5e The North Road - 01 Death and Taxes (Nerdarchy)
Finding a module to run for your 5th Edition tabletop role-playing game is sometimes hit and miss. You want a 5E adventure module that will entertain your RPG group, that will hook them with an interesting story, great characters and memorable encounters. You don’t mind doing prep, but you really don’t want to have to rewrite the whole thing to fit with your style of gaming, your group’s current levels, the rule system you are playing, or because you always have had to do that with previous modules.
Getting your players to engage beyond a single quest and to build a campaign they will want to keep returning to play is important. However, you don’t want everything to be prescriptive and you still want to be able to add your own flavour and make it your own.
You don’t want to have to drop all aspects of your homebrew world or your house rules that have taken so long for everyone to agree upon and get used to. You also don’t want to spend hours having to bend a module to fit what you have already achieved, or to have characters start again from level 1, or whatever level the module prescribes.
If you are new to being a game master or dungeon master for your group, adventure modules can be quite complicated beasts to wrestle with. This makes it difficult to actually learn the skills required to be a good game master and to begin to create your own successful campaigns. You just want something you can actually run straight out of the book.
We at Quest Givers found that traditional modules for tabletop role-playing games tend to lack certain important components. Components that lead to frustration and having to take the adventure apart and put it back together again so that it works for your group. For beginner game masters this becomes quite a daunting task as you don’t really know how to do this and the game rulebooks give little in the way of instruction on how to actually structure a story or how to flow from scene to scene.
The first thing we found lacking was a consistent structure to the story, an easy to grasp and simple to relay structure to build interest and continuity with the players. We also found most modules don’t really give you an idea of how to portray NPCs. There is no dialogue to help you figure out how they should speak, how they carry themselves in the environment of the story and how they react to player input.
Adventures usually tend to be built around a monster encounter and the game world lacks depth and continuity, leading to player disinterest and murder-hoboism. We don’t like being lured into a purchase that lacks substance, ending in a pile of RPG books that are only ever good for picking a handful of ideas out of. Death & Taxes gives you, the game master, a wonderful starting point to a 12 episode campaign. You will find enough detail and depth to the setting to get the players to truly invest in your game and return for the next session. The group begins in a seaside fishing village that is under the burden of over taxation.
This Nerdarchy version of Death & Taxes is designed to run with Fifth Edition. The adventure will work for characters early levels 1 to 3. We introduce a monster that is not in any monster manual, however, we have created the stat block necessary to include it in your game.
The culture of the game world, while different from most, will not be completely alien to most homebrew worlds, or settings of major game systems. You will be able to easily insert this realm as another area of your world as if it had always been there. Interesting political structures, strange cultural differences and a different approach to a society that will give the players the sense that they truly are in a foreign land.
The story provides detailed responses to character questions and plenty of rumours and utterances by the local populous to build a background to events.
The story unfolds as you read it through the first time, so you get an idea of what the players will experience when they play. The module is written in a style reminiscent of the old “choose your own adventure” book series. The narrative is event driven, so you can easily allow the players to find their own path and then use the next event to propel the story forward. Learn a little of the history of the place in books that detail more about the realm the characters find themselves in.
If you are new to being a game master, our YouTube video series will help you through the motions of putting together a great, fun and exciting game. If you are a veteran you will learn some of our philosophies of role-playing and what to expect from our approach to module design.
Any purchase you make on this website helps to support the future production of content. We are grateful to Nerdarchy for helping us out and for your support and want to continue to give back to you the kind of adventures you want to run for your group. New modules, more videos and RPG tools for you to use in your games.
Death & Taxes is the debut module from Quest Givers, the collaborative effort of DM Scotty (Scotty McFarland from theDMsCraft) and TheDMG (Gareth Q Barrett from theDMGinfo) and Nerdarchy (Nerdarchy.com).
The 3.8Mb PDF is 36 pages (including the cover). It contains black and white and full-colour images, but is reasonably printer friendly.
Warning: This work contains graphic and/or extremely violent scenes. The content is not intended for children and should be considered adult in nature. It may contain horror, torture, violence, murder, death, conflict, psychologically disturbing and other adult themes. Discretion is advised
Running the module - Mini Terrain Domain
Discussion of "Death & Taxes":
"Rogues in the House", swords and sorcery, heroic fantasy podcast (Ep5). The discussion of Death & Taxes begins at 29:10
Bungwirez YouTube video discussing his experiences with Death & Taxes with his RPG group.
Roll for Damage discusses Death & Taxes with a Q&A