WatcherDM: Strange Ways Festival

The Strange Ways Festival is a great way to kick off a new campaign. It can provide a slight reprieve for adventurers between quests. Or, it can just bring together some friends to have some table time without much structure. I have been using this format for years! Introducing players to the game or disparate groups of friends to each other.

This module takes the peaceful and fun-loving environment of a local fair or festival and uses it as an opportunity to bring your world alive with creative storytelling prompts and world-building questions. What are the PCs’ favorite food and drink in your world? Find out in the eating content. Want to test your combat skills? Pit them against each other or monsters of appropriate difficulty. In addition, the prize tables are sure to delight DM and players alike.

Weird Options, Wild Options, Everywhere

Custom tables overflow in this module with hilarious results from unique fortune tellers, pricing charts for Tattoo sizes, exaggerated features for caricature renditions of the characters, and more. Also, If you’re rounding up your players for the first time, this can provide an excellent way to end a Session Zero with a bit of play that doesn’t impact the greater story but can add a lot of depth to their characters.

This is the first production by WatcherDM from back when content creation or my favorite RPG was just a pipe dream. So, I hope you will enjoy the antics and creativity that came directly from my table experience. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you find yourself running this at your table! We love to get feedback on how it worked, what didn’t land, and how we can improve our content to best fit your needs. If adventuring is a strange endeavor, the strange ways festival is the matching respite.

Festival Combat Options

The arena is where the action happens when two or more players want to try their skills against each other. Played out in a battle zone protected from death the players can unleash their powers without fear of consequence. The arena can be customized to the combatants allowing all types of tactical encounters to play out. Alternately, the pit is where the menagerie curators bring their captured monsters to challenge adventurers interested in testing their strength. Likewise protected from death the characters can find an appropriate challenge up to CR 8 within this sunken battle dome.

Games and Entertainment

The Strange Ways Festival covers an array of entertainment and game options. The toss describes a “Log Toss” or “Kaber Toss” in which competitors see who can “toss” a log the farthest end over end. Likewise, faire games outline “tests of skill” to mimic the common ring toss or dart games found at festivals and arcades. The dancing circle tells the story of the chance meeting on a dance floor, pulled into the fray of musical gyrations, with the outcomes relying on your ability to dance or impress your dance partner. Also, ritual theater gives an opportunity to tell a theatrical tale from your world’s culture.

Eating, Drinking, and Fortune Telling

The eating and drinking contest offers a fun way to explore the tastes of the characters. Likewise, this exploration can offer a glimpse into those things the characters find unedible. Since it is based on dice rolls you may be surprised to find what they just can’t keep down. Also, you may find that they have a surprise love for a strange dish you weren’t expecting. The fortune-teller encounter leverages the classic Tarot to deliver canny insights into the character’s future, past, and present. Additionally, the included table illuminates a wild cast of card readers that your players are sure to love.

The Arts

Finally, the caricature artist and tattoo artist encounters give the opportunity for PCs to find out interesting physical characteristics of themselves and customize the look of their characters on the cheap. After all, none of us looks in the mirror and sees what the world sees. The exaggerated features table can tell you when others think your nose is large, or your ears are droopy. A great time can be had defending your charisma score in light of the artist’s unflattering rendition.

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