So I had an idea of taking a Magic: The Gathering booster pack, 15 cards, and generating an adventure based around it. Ideally, it’ll be an improv trick, 10 minutes, 15 cards, go! but for this first attempt, I’ll walk you through my thought process, and what I’m doing with it to try and determine if this is a viable challenge.The pack I have before me is from “Journey Into Nix” set, as it was one of the cheaper ones. I know nothing about this set, other than the pack has a lion man in armor and if I make my Lore check, Nyx was some artificer guy.
The First card is a Golden Hind. (I don’t know of the best way to link cards, so I’m not going to.) Green creature, a deer that has flowers in its wake. 2/1 so its a bit ferocious in a fight. Golden hinds are the type of creature that is hunted by someone. The party? A monster? The flavor text has a god of the hunt forbidding mortals to hunt it and just rely on its beauty.
The second Card is a Feast of Dreams. Black instant to destroy enchantments. flavor mentions taking power from the gods. The picture is of a guy with I dunno, his soul being sucked out or something.
Cloaked Siren is third. It is a bird harpy creature. It can fly and it has flash, so it can appear quite suddenly. Flavor text indicates that people can mistake their sound for the wind, which adds a interesting layer of lore.
Forth is an enchantment, Lightening Diadem. Its a crown of sparks that deals damage while boosting the wearer. Its an expensive card, for some reason.
Fifth is a centaur, a Lagonna-Band Trailblazer. Centuar has a sword and a long spear thing in the picture, on the seaside next to a city. It is heroic which is a new mtg effect, but it paints an NPC, doesn’t it.
Sixth is Cast Into Darkness. Its and enchantment that removes defenses and attack power. Flavor text mentions a gorgon, but it means medusea.
Seventh is an Oreskos Swiftclaw, a cat warrior that hits had, though is pretty squishy. Flavor text says its quick to take offense, not because its thin skinned, but because its eager to fight. Man, these NPCs get characterorized. dude is wielding a battleaxe and probably hide armor
Triton Shorewalker is a cheap merfolk coming up on someone for a sneak attack. Wants people to stay away from his waters. Has a nasty looking sword that’s all jagged.
Ninth is a Raveouns Leucrocota. A nasty beast with sharp pointy teeths.
Tenth is a font of Ire. Things are coming together in my head a little. “Drink Deep, and find your vengeance fulfilled” is the flavor text. this sounds like a macguffin.
Getting into the uncommons now with Nessian Game Warden. A large beast that lets you add a creature to your hand, meaning theres an ally near by. It looks freaky, hundreds of heads piled on and hundreds of tales, too. Huge creature, at least.
Kiora’s Dismissal is number 12. bounces back enchantments. not sure how to work it in or what to say about it.
Nyx-Fleece Ram is number 13. It is a creature that is an enchantment and is a sheep. Gives some regen to its owner, looks like
The rare is Polymorphous rush, which just looks fun. It lets you turn a bunch of your creatures into another creature on the battlefield. The picture has some greeks turning into huge boars.
The final card is a land and specifically a swamp.
Now that I’ve read all the cards and examined the art and flavor, I separate them into different piles.. the first pile is beasts, which has the hind, the ravenous thingy, and the game warden. The next pile is PCs, which is the centaur, the siren (who could go in either, really) the lion and the merfolk. Third pile is treasures. the font, the diadem, and the ram.
Finally is the tricky one, the spells, which are going to be tough. But if we separate the card from the title, Feast of Dreams, which was the one I couldn’t think of a good use for, can be moved to the treasure pile. Giving us 3 spells, and there for 3 ways to make an interesting fight.
Here is the basics of the adventure. there is a treasure discovered int the Nessian Swamp Woods place. It is a crazy treasure. people had put off the rumors, but with the appearance of the Golden Hind, the town is being overrun by treasure hunters looking for the thing. the party is one of these. After collecting supplies and rumors, they head out into the woods. There is a winding trail of flowers that springs up behind the hind. There is always a trail nearby, unless they venture deep out. Following the trails in the direction of the center of the forest brings them through the encounters. Following only the freshest paths leads to encounter 2.
Encounter 1: The first challenger they meet is the lion guy with the axe. He’s run out of supplies and feels the party should give him theirs. He fights for the rights to it, but if someone fights him fairly, he’ll grudgingly respect their victory and give them directions to the Hind’s trail, a warning of less noble people who might challenge, and maybe some other clues about how to talk to the gamewarden. If defeated or killed, the party gets none of these.
Encounter 2:the Hind itself. If they keep moving to the freshest lines of flowers. If it notices the party, it will run off. If they can stealth up close enough to catch it, the game warden will soon appear. If they don’t catch it and just pet it or something, the hind will walk off and the Game warden will reward the party with the lightning Diadem, a crown that acts like a wand of thunderbolt or something.
If they do attack or catch the hind, the Warden will confront them with his terrible ness and they’ll have to talk fast to keep him from attacking. He’s a huge creature that attacks with a different animal’s style each time. He also calls for the leucrocta, who comes in and aides the attack. the leu– gets bigger with everything he eats.
Encounter 3: The trapped Centuar. The siren has captured the centaur and is doing nasty magics to her. the party comes across a ritual circle, with the trussed up centaur in the center. The circle is building up or counting down or something Centaur is gagged and will alert the party to the hiding siren once ungagged. The siren’s feathers are painted as camaflouge and she has been watching nearby. Use the harpy statblock, I think? If the party doesn’t immediately move to recuse the centaur, the ritual goes off and the party sees visions of the centuars happy moments. These invigorate the party, but have been stolen. centaur is now a zombie, although not undead. Obeys the siren. Siren is pissed the party stole all the happy thoughts.
Siren has a spell that will banish an object from each player temporarily, which ought to change up the fight. You don’t want to entirely nerf the party, but it should become very tricky.
If freed, the Centauress is willing to lead the party right towards the Heart of Nessia, the place with the macguffin. She wants to cast a spell to get everyone there faster and, if the party is willing, will turn all medium creatures into a centaur version of themselves. She is willing to give small creatures a ride. At a gallop, she leads the party to Encounter 4 and dismisses the spell, heading off.
Encounter 4: Heart of Nessia. This is a large tree and at the base of it, is a sheep. this sheep seems to be occasionally transparent. The sheep is magically intelligent and will answer yes or no questions. The sheep has a high insight and will only open the door to a good person. If the party is good, the sheep will open the door to the center of the tree, where the Font of Ire is, which will grant an extremely specific wish of revenge.
The merfolk is lying in wait for the door to open and will attack out of a pool of water, casting darkness to obscure the fight and try to sneak attack around. If the party is evil, he’s a good merfolk adventurer who is coming down the path. Reversal is fair play, maybe?
At the end of encounter four, if the party hasn’t done encounter 2, the hind runs past, suddenly, then conveniently grazes in a nearby glade, potentially leading to that.
And that would be that! 4 strong scenes, with various fights with interesting NPCs. I think this method is a success and I might have to try and do it live once. But not today.