Escape from the Brig
Dungeons & Dragons 5e on ...
About the adventure
"You wake gasping. Your wrists are bound; your head throbs; you smell salt, blood, mold..." When you wake up in the Brig, a maximum-security prison reserved for the Kingdom of Qiulong's most vicious and unrepentant criminals, you discover that you -- and several other strangers -- have been accused of heinous crimes you have no memory of committing. The punishment? A thousand years in the Brig. However, the mysterious Warden offers your group a devil's bargain in exchange for your freedom: complete a series of increasingly deadly, bizarre, and impossible quests... starting with breaking out of the Brig! CONTENT WARNINGS: Imprisonment; police brutality; torture, abuse, exploitation and harrassment of prisoners; graphic and explicit fantasy violence; coercive medical experimentation; the prison industrial complex. THEMES & FLAVOR: The flavor of this adventure is Suicide Squad meets Lord of the Rings. Think gallows humor, moral ambiguity, ultraviolence, blackened magic, sucker punches, and blood on the concrete. The themes being explored include imprisonment versus freedom, cruelty versus kindness, despair versus hope, guilt versus innocence, and corruption versus justice. A CRITICAL APPROACH: We will be approaching these themes of imprisonment and the prison industrial complex with a CRITICAL lens. Meaning, we are not mindlessly playing a prison break set in an oppressive institution without thinking about the real-world implications of our game. Players will be encouraged -- and expected -- to interrogate their assumptions about criminality, justice, and acceptable versus "unacceptable" violence. At the end of the day, this is still a tabletop game, but as a GM I am uninterested in perpetuating harmful myths about people who are labelled criminals in our society. Instead, I seek to fight against normative portrayals of criminality, and ways of thinking about criminality.
How to prepare
REQUIRED: A mic is mandatory. HIGHLY ENCOURAGED: A webcam is highly encouraged, but not necessary. So is an Ethernet cable. Familiarity with the rules of 5th Edition is helpful, but also not necessary. I will help guide brand-new players through character creation and the first session. BEGINNERS/ADVANCED PLAYERS: In the event of a party with mixed experience levels, I expect more experienced players to exercise patience and respect for the new players. We all begin somewhere. DISCORD/GOOGLE HANGOUTS: We will play this game over a private Discord channel in the Transplanar RPG Discord server, which is the actual play livestream campaign that I run. As such, a Discord account is required. Sign-up is free and only requires an email account. Downloading the software is encouraged, but you can also run Discord in your browser. If for any reason you cannot use Discord, we will use Google Hangouts as an alternative option. CHARACTER SHEETS AND DICE: After making characters in Session 0, I expect players to keep track of their PCs through either a physical character sheet or an online character sheet via Roll20 or another application, player's choice. Dice will be rolled physically or through Roll20's dice rolling feature, whichever the players prefer. TELLING THE TRUTH: I trust my players not to lie about their rolls, and I do my best to foster a play environment where low rolls don't result in catastrophic, humiliating failure or defeat... but instead, in dramatically interesting consequences.
What I provide
Everything is run theatre-of-the-mind, meaning there are no battlemaps, no VTT, etc. I do my best to bring my A game every session!
I consider my role as the GM to be the "director" of the play we are staging together, and will do my best to make sure everyone gets an equal share of the spotlight. Organic and flexible, but nonetheless exciting pacing, is very important to me. I do my best to run each session with a strong structure baked into the premise. Players will either be given, or will discover of their own accord, a specific and tangible goal to complete by the end of each session -- though how they complete that goal is entirely up to them! I will do my best to balance roleplay, exploration, and combat opportunities to appeal to every playstyle.
Safety tools used
How will character creation work
SESSION 0: I will run a free Session 0 for everyone to make characters together from scratch. You can certainly bring a character concept to the table, but it is important to make a PC that will mesh well with the party, the themes being explored, and the premise of the adventure (which is a gritty prison escape and Suicide Squad-esque hijinks). We'll talk more in-depth during Session 0, but I highly encourage you to build a PC with strong opinions about imprisonment/freedom, justice/criminality, cruelty/kindness, etc. DEVIATIONS FROM RAW: I will be providing alternative rules to choosing racial attributes for your character that I expect all players to use. We will NOT be using the rules as written (RAW) when it comes to picking a race for your PC.
Players can expect
- Combat/Tactics: Medium
- Roleplay: High
- Puzzles: Low
- Experience Level: Open to all
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