Friday Night D&D – The Courts
Alright, we’re back with another Friday Night D&D, where I write down an idea that I’ve had for a D&D campaign to help give you ideas for your Dungeons and Dragons games!
Last time we were looking at Demons and Devils and their Blood War. This time we’re going to look at the Seelie and the Unseelie courts. The Fae Wilds play a large part in D&D as another plane that you can go to. And all Elves have some fae ancestry, though it might have been long long ago.
In this game, the material realm is where the players are from. The world is going to start to change. Mainly, the Unseelie Court is going to start changing the world around the players. They are going to be causing basically an incursion into the material realm.
Now, a first level adventuring party isn’t going to be able to deal with a Fae Queen, but they are going to be able to start to deal with the incursion. It’s going to be the small fae creatures who are slipping through the cracks of this incursion. However, that’s not going to be the big issue. But it’s going to be pest for neighboring villages and houses, where the fae creatures are pulling pranks and playing tricks.
The crux of this campaign is going to be how the players deal with the incursion. Mainly, because it’s going to be hard to fight their way into the Unseelie Court and deal with the Queens of the court. However, even the more chaotic and malevolent parts of the court will respect a mortal if they behave honorably. So if the players behave with honor, don’t kill everything and everyone, they might be able to stop the incursion without bloodshed.
But in classic form, there is always a bigger bad guy. There is going to be someone, some deity, probably Lolth the Drow Goddess who has influenced the Unseelie Court. Her plan and those of her followers, since you most likely won’t be fighting Lolth herself. You’ll be fighting a priestess and some acolytes of hers at the end, but a powered up priestess that is going to have some of Lolth’s own spell list, resistances, and lair actions. But, again, if the players have played to the courts right and not offended the Unseelie Court, and for that matter, the Seelie Court since they’ll have to deal with them as well. If they have managed to keep the courts “happy” and earned the respect of the various Queens of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, they might have more help or some boons that they will be able to use in this final battle.
Probably the final thing for this game, I would make it a game that has a lot of rigidness to it. The interactions with the courts and the Queens, those should be expected to go a certain way. Also play into the Dresden Files like thing where the fae creatures can’t lie, but they also don’t have to tell you the truth as you’d expect and they will find ways to skirt around questions. Also lean into making deals, the fae creatures, especially more powerful creatures, shouldn’t volunteer information. The adventuring party should have to agree to certain conditions for that information. If you can even have them negotiate with intelligence rolls and allow your players to lawyer it up somewhat as they word out deals with the fae creatures.
I think that you can build quite a campaign out of it, have the players fight the way to where the incursion is coming from and probably even have a mid-level interaction with one of the Queens of the Seelie Court. So at that point the game can transition from it being a situation where they are fighting a lot of fae creatures to where they are now having to investigate and infiltrate to figure out what is really going on in the Unseelie Court. Even before that, I would hint at honor and rules that the court has when it comes to torturing for information (since your players will probably try and do that), and set-up the rules for the court and how a fae expect a captured creature to be treated.
This idea isn’t as fleshed out as the other, but I think there are some interesting story options there and a good progression as the players learn more information, how do they deal with the changes that are happening? Do they continue on a combat focused route, and how does that change later interactions?
Would you want to play in a Fae game? How would you role play some of the interactions with the queens?
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