I am GMing a one-shot campaign for my brother and a couple sisters and I have the start of an idea but I'm drawing a blank at parts. What I have so far is they start in a town that's in a panic. Each day someone new falls into a strange sleep, unwakable, unending (thinking sleeping beauty or snow white). Originally I was thinking of having a Dragon be the cause of this, but I couldn't figure out how a dragon that is fightable for a group of level 7s would be capable of that, or why it would want to do so. Though I could just make up a new dragon from scratch, I am new to GMing and my homebrewed monsters are often overpowered or underpowered, and very unbalanced.
So what I am asking here is for ideas of what could be the cause of the town falling asleep. For all I know I may end up just trying to make the dragon, but I figured it didn't hurt to ask and see what ideas others might be able to offer.
You're the GM, so if the dragon mysteriously has access to an unknown spell responsible for this, that's how it goes. Alternatively, the dragon could have somehow opened a portal to the Plane of Dreams (that's a thing, right? Not sure) and it's energy is peaking through, putting people into unending sleep.
- Could be a curse. There could be a witch nearby putting everyone to sleep, if she can get a certain number of villagers to fall asleep by the next full moon, they all turn into... witches... or werewolves under her control... or cats.
- Could be a psychic dragon, dragons tend to sleep alot, so maybe when he or she fell asleep the last time they had a really cool dream and started pulling psyches in from nearby lands. Probably got a few animals in the wild, but no one's noticed. The PCs must either kill the dragon, or speak to a local witch (the good one) who sends them into one of the villager's dreams to find the cause. Of course, in this dream, the dragon is something else and it accepts this fully. That's just the way things are, you're somewhere you've never been, but in the dream it's your house or something and that seems perfectly normal. The dragon could be a helpful maid or something and unless the PCs have listed, looked at, at know every sleeping villager (and a few random psyches from elsewhere (like sleeping travelers and animals) who are filling other spots, they've got a mystery to solve. Even if they did, the dreaming psyches don't necessarily look like themselves, one might be a brave knight, the other a bird.
- Maybe it's a curse, but the villagers need the kiss of a prince.
Well, the PC bard or local smartypants has heard a story of a charming prince in the nearby kingdom who once cured a fair maiden of such a malady. So the PCs go seeking him, well, he's the king now (or otherwise out of the princely game) and the maiden is his wife and she'll not have him go around smooching sleeping villagers (men or not,
but especially not the young maidens). But he has a son, but in princely fashion he's off gallivanting. So the PCs must track him to the local tavern, then a nearby ruin, then bring him back to the village where they hold a big ceremony where he must kiss all the sleeping villagers but not until the PCs return with herbs and ingredients for lip balm... because... peasant lips, eww.
Thanks guys, this was enough to get my gears turning, and I've managed to start developing the plot line a little more.
I am going to stick with the dragon which opened a portal of sorts into the land of dreams and ended up getting stuck inside. The portal is now to small for it to get back and the magic is leaking into the land and putting everyone to sleep. The PCs must enter into the land of dreams facing their worst nightmares as they rescue the dragon and close the portal. There will be several methods by which they can enter, one is the which that lives in the forest, they can expand magic to temporary make the portal in the dragon cave bigger, and I'll think of another way by the time we play.
Again thanks for helping me get my gears turning. It was very helpful.
Might I suggest the trapped Dragon is (perhaps accidentally) reaching into the normal world for help, and it's just too hard for the normal folk to get back? The PC the dragon finds, too, but at least the PC suggests another PC, and another... And eventually the whole party is in dreamspace.
The can kill the dragon, that might free them all, or they can face the wi[tch|zard] that cursed the dragon...