The Other DM
“Strange Events in Relfren”
The Wererats of Relfren was originally created by Grant Boucher & Kurt Wenz
Whoever the organizer for Breakout Con that suggested I bring pre-made character sheets was a genius. I want to thank everyone that put together the convention and volunteered their time to keeping us RPG nerds organized and on schedule.
Only three people came to my table, which was good, because we would not have had time to run it with more players. There was a fourth player at the table, but when he discovered we weren’t doing an AL game he left.
The Wererats of Relfren adventure takes place over a three day period, ending in a massive town festival, and I thought for sure it would be finished before the end of the four hour time frame. I think the players had a good time and I was glad to hear that they wanted to keep their characters after the game ended. It feels good to get a thank you from players for a good game, but its also nice to get complimented on the characters I made for them. A young lady named Amber took the Barbarian Goliath, inspired of course by Critical Role, and named her Frostpeak. Her partner took the high-elf Rogue and the other gentleman at the table took the halfling Life Cleric and named him Pandelion Tumblebelly. It was cool to see them breathe life into the templates I had put together, although I have to admit I don’t remember making the Rogue but I am sure I made one of each class.
As the players moved through the town of Relfren, they learned of the murder of a family of Dwarves. The reward for catching their killer was 1000 gp, remember this was an older D&D module, I believe for 2nd edition, when gold and magic items were given out for the most menial of tasks. In earlier versions of D&D, only humans could become lycanthropes. Any other races that were bitten were badly poisoned and would die from the infection. In 5th edition, there is no racial limitations to who can become a were-creature, so I had to change the motivations of the wererats. Instead of killing non-humans because they were immune to the disease (and therefore unable to convert to their growing army), they were simply killing them because they were NOT human.
I won’t go through the whole adventure, but I do want to point out the two funniest moments that we experienced. The players were able to jump ahead in the adventure, bypassing many other clues and meetings with townspeople, all because of one fat rat. They were talking with a foul-mouthed owner of the town’s trading post and she became distracted by a rat in her shop. As she went to smash it with her broom, Pandelion asked if you could take care of it. He rolled incredibly high to catch the little guy and easily scooped it into his hands. Then he cast Speak with Animals on it. I didn’t even know I gave the character that spell. I must have figured no one would pick him. Obviously the rat would know everything that was going on in town, I mean the town was being taken over by Wererats with command over swarms of rats and giant rats, there was no way this little guy didn’t know what was going on. So I described his cute little nose twitching and then I said in a really deep, evil voice “Our kings have come. Humanity shall join us or perish!” Seeing their faces when this evil mouse told them the plot was worth the fact that they learned the info sooner than they should have.
Frostpeak, the female Goliath Barbarian, was a pleasure to DM. This was the first time I ever DM’ed a female player, at least as far as I can recall. To have one at my table, playing the strongest, toughest character in the group, made the whole day worth it. I’d considered dropping out of the event the week before because I only have two days off a week and I spent both of them that week playing D&D. I was missing my kids, but I stuck it out because I’d already committed to doing it. Even though only three players ended up at my table, they were the right places for the adventure and I am glad I did it.
Here’s how it ended: The players fought there way through the cheese factory and discovered the owners hidden room behind a large painting of himself. They thought they were rescuing him, but when the true Big Bad Guy showed he turned on them. They were forced to face a Wizard, A Rogue with some magic and four wererats. The evil wizard was beaten pretty quickly when he tried to run, and the rogue on the team, Reed, chased him down. The wizard was not the brightest guy and thought if he used his newly learned fireball spell, he would not be harmed because he was a lycanthrope. As I said, not a bright guy. The rogue used uncanny dodge and the evil wizard roasted himself. As the party began to finish off the wererats, the Big Bad saw his imminent demise. First he tried to use Charm Person on Reed, hoping the rogue would assist him. Reed made his saving throw and the Big Bad was losing hit points fast. With his last spell slot, the Big Bad used Charm Person on Frostpeak and it succeeded! Frostpeak was a totem warrior with the Elk totem, giving her a movement of 40. The other players were not nearly as fast and so the Big Bad hopped on her back and rode her to safety. The spell lasted for one hour, more than enough time to get him clear of town and out in the mountains before the spell effect wore off. The player, Amber, fully cooperated with this and was more than happy with the villain using her to get away. She thought it was hilarious. Of all the scenarios I envisioned for the Wererat leader, this was definitely not one of them.
Goliaths, the new alpacas.