I might not think this is the mindset of every DM out there but I love it when something pops up from left field and throws a monkey wrench in my campaigns. It might make me stall on the table, where I really start stuttering, but during that time, wheels are going in warp drive in my head as I think of how to incorporate this development into the campaign.
This is what I like happening. The right side of brain might hate it, it doesn’t like surprises, but the left side lives for this. This is when the unexpected happens on the table that makes D&D a very unique game to play. No two tables play the same game twice, and no published campaign ever contains every possible situation that comes your way.
Such as when the party goes back to town at the end of Harpshield Castle and before they head to Julkoun. Someone decided to do a little carousing.
I’d usually refer to the DM guide for any needed tables to counsel, but if someone pops a link to a table they will use instead, I’m going to allow that.
Brett called this carousing table: http://grsdm.wikia.com/wiki/Carousing_Table
He rolled an 81
Everybody, including me, had a collective OMG!
80-85 Your character now owns the tavern, wine shop, or brothel he woke up in.
I had to pause the campaign to set up The Mangus Scroll, a new tavern in the town of Daggerford. It’s just as well, because Sir Isteval misses that Pandaren Brew and Chou needed a place to make his brew. A fortunate d100 roll makes everything easier.
At this point, I have the feeling that the game has changed. I originally created this campaign to string Scourge of the Sword Coast and Dead in Thay, but this tavern changes a lot; the party might decide not to deal with the Thayans and instead just opt to run the tavern, which is fine by me. A ‘slice of life’ campaign would be a nice change of pace, especially when I can now regularly stream my sessions. Besides, just because I started with a published campaign, doesn’t mean that the campaign has to end there; The campaign lasts as long as they have to. Veer to one side and leave the published part entirely, on the table. Continue their legends after the campaign, on the table. Completely uproot my Realms in the process…let’s talk about it.
Expect to see a lot more about The Mangus Scroll, how they stock and hire the help, and a secret dungeon underneath where they need to clear for a brewing space, in the not too distant future. Just like with Red Larch and Parnast, these cities are gaining a life of their very own.
In other developments in the campaign, the party managed to return the Delimbiyr Bloke back to Daggerford, which reopens the city back from its lockdown. One of the wrenches they hired is Natyssa, who is the village harlot and…if you read the module, she has a darker secret. The main question would be: would that come into play in a form different than what they put in the campaign, if at all?