Tabletop and Video Games

Reviewing Feudal Attraction, a D&D 5e Dungeon

History

Feudal Attraction was a winning entry in 2019’s One Page Dungeon Contest by Max White. You can find the single page adventure on RPG Geek.

“Two star-crossed lovers from feuding noble families have decided to get married. It won’t go smoothly.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A DM’s Perspective

Highlight

This is one of my favorite one-shots to run; it is silly and romantic, which is me in a nutshell. In fact, I have run this adventure four times now! It’s a mark of how good the adventure is that with one page of information, I have had four very different experiences with different groups of people.

The story is simple: A group of characters has been hired to run interference for a wedding between two feuding families. The wedding takes place in the enclosed grounds of a fancy estate and has a schedule that is recognizable to anyone who has been to a wedding before. As the day (and the adventure) progresses, the players must try and thwart various attempts to keep the happy couple apart.

My favorite thing about this adventure is that it allows room for a lot of creativity and social interaction. I find this to be a perfect adventure to run for people new to D&D, since weddings are a familiar setting and they only have to worry about creating a character and some basic skill rolls. It’s also a lot of fun with experienced players. I just played through Feudal Attraction with a group (some of whom wrote their thoughts below) who brought a lot of roleplaying and creative character skills to the event. It was an absolute blast as they prevented kids from throwing eggs, found the lost ring and vows, and exchanged a rigged dowry with the correct chest of gems.

Changes Made

Other than the first time I ran this campaign, I never include the combat at the end (there is a demon in the wine barrels that can break out and cause a fight). All of the other mishaps are more petty than dangerous, so it feels out of sync with the rest of the experience. More than that, I just really like running an adventure that challenges the assumption that all D&D adventures must have a fight to be fun.

The other significant change is in how the wedded couple is decided. Sometimes I let the players decide the race/gender/names of the couple (most recently, a female tabaxi named Bella married a nonbinary dwarf named Chives). If I know the group needs something familiar to latch on to, I will run it as the wedding of Legolas and Gimli. This leads to some excellent comedy (Frodo the cursed ring bearer, Gandalf the “a wizard is never late, nor is he early” missing officiant, and Aragorn as the grieving ex) that works if your players are big LotR nerds.

What I Would Do Differently

One thing I always forget to mention at the beginning of the session is a warning along the lines of “I don’t know what you might find, so it’s best not to wander alone!” The wedding estate is pretty spacious, and players tend to spread out in 1s and 2s at the beginning. They do inevitably start to work together a bit more as the session goes on, and I’ve gotten better at shifting scenes more smoothly, but setting that expectation early might allow for more player interaction from the beginning.

Let’s Hear from the Players!

Izzy AKA Cassian Pwyll (Human Hexblood Shadow Sorcerer and Event Decorator)

Dungeons and Dragons is not normally a game that is built to reward completely non-combat related conflict. With the level system designed to dole out largely combat related abilities the natural progression is an almost natural shounen anime-like curve… But even in shounen anime sometimes you just need an episode where your characters go to the beach to relax.

Having a number of challenges social and mental this one shot gave a chance for cantrips, racial abilities and skills to shine. Keeping the players at level one was an incredibly savvy move as most of the flavour of a character is intact at the beginning of their arc and there is no backlog of non-combat skills that never see the light of day. It is also my belief that this particular one shot keeps the DM engaged with a lot of topical variability as at the outset we were given the choice to pick the families of the two persons getting married (We chose a Dwarf and Tabaxi) and their officiant was a party member who chose a cult of the apocalypse which stained upwards to colour the entire tale with the vibrant hues of a calico heat death of the universe which still managed to be endearing and romantic somehow.

Every character got a chance to shine and teamwork and colorful NPCs tugged at heartstrings and kept us laughing. After a solid three hours of lighthearted comedy, weird facts about doves/bees and bardic inspiration that seemed to affect the players more than the characters themselves I experienced a roleplaying high of the sort that refreshed me like a long rest. Solid 10/10.

Listen to two players relieve their experiences in character!

Allonté AKA Maester Diehart (Nihilist Cultist Cleric of Peace, Extoller of the Saint Mediggo’s teaching)

This the kind of adventure for those who either thirst for roleplay or perhaps may not know how. From the onset, our wonderful DM/GM asked us, the players, to decide whom shall be wed. I am glad our group was on board for the most unlikely of pairings as well as having the ability to remind each other that in a fantasy world, why cling to convention or norms? In that, it is easier to find the heartbeat of this adventure, giving two who love one another the best day possible.

Now this is an adventure of course, so there will be many obstacles in the way. If you are a completionist like me, you might miss a few things in the pursuit of a mini-quest and that’s….. Great! This is a hallmark of an adventure that you may want to experience again and again to see all the things you missed or to have differing experiences with different characters.

Be forewarned, this is an adventure made without combat. With that knowledge, if you have some murder hobo tendencies, think of the social interactions or obstacles as a form of combat and choose your spells and abilities somewhat wisely. Or just have fun justifying why or how something should work. If you are a GM/DM looking for something to get your experienced roleplayers on a high or getting those without much experience engaged, I would run this adventure! Moreover, this will test your DM/GM skills in switching between scenes. For once, this is a great time to split the party! 12/10 would play again!

Chad AKA Albert Corrian (Half-Elf Bard)

As an experienced and long time player, it was an excellent change of pace to play something that was pure roleplay. There’s more than enough hack and slash to go around so a session with zero combat and all skills and talking was engaging. It’s important to note this was a known element coming in. Had we not been told there would be zero combat, our character choices would likely have been considerably different. I could see a meat-and-potatoes Fighter not having a lot of fun.

Everyone got to do something, and everyone was involved. Playing a Bard, I focused more on my performing than my bevy of Charisma skills as our Warlock officiant had those in spades. I was ready to back him up but he handled everything well and rolled like a champ (once with a bit of help from Bardic Inspiration). I didn’t even have to sling any of the non-combat spells I selected, like Charm Person or Sleep, as ‘oh hell’ buttons. The atmosphere was calm and enjoyable, and we were able to inject some excellent comedy. Everyone left feeling energized and accomplished.

10/10 would recommend running this session as a nice break, especially to try and crack some non-roleplayers out of their shells.


If you would like us to run Feudal Attraction for you, email us at roarcatreads@gmail.com, and you can book a session for only $10!

1 comment on “Reviewing Feudal Attraction, a D&D 5e Dungeon

  1. Pingback: Episode 95 – Jessy & Sean Have A Chat! – The Cave Goblin Network

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