I have been running a campaign using 4th edition GURPS (no, not Kitchen WoW, 4E D&D) for the last two months now. Over that period I have run 7 session of rising and falling intensity. The world is a mid-high level of magic, most of which hasn't been mastered but has been seen or recorded at some point in some way. The realm is mostly human with a single major settlement of elves within the central forest, while a single dwarven empire lives within the mountains to the northern ridge of human lands before reaching a desert devoid of all known life.
All players are (recently) from a small village named Thurheim. It is known solely for being a farming community of close to 200. Though not massive by fantasy standards, it is quite large, housing it's own small contingent of guards, a few hunters and trappers, THREE bars, and even a small inn for travelers venturing on foot rather than through the river ways leading towards the major trading ports to the east.
The game began following a drought which ruined a large portion of the crop last year. The town was faced with a terrible situation between refusing to pay their taxes but not starving in the winter months, or risking starvation of most of the town just to avoid the anger of their king. The party (two members of the guard, a young boy who was trying to join the guard, and a local street merchant and thief) took up arms to defend the village against the risk of attack from the imperial tax collectors. Over the winter and spring, the party managed to bring two villages under their protection, bringing the citizens to live with them and build a larger settlement, as well as train some new foot soldiers. Even managed to uncover the truth about a small village lain-to-waste for another tax infraction in the past, and to bring their smiths and sailors to their village to help out in the war.
The party has now returned to their village, and spring has turned the landscape back into a beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, the village is housing more than twice the number of people it help last spring. Food is not sparse, but supplies are beginning to show how much has been used. Cloth is almost entirely used up, and medicines won't last to the next full moon. Sadly, the village has made great efforts to fight a just war to protect the people, but they grew too fast, and may fail for that reason alone.
The town is falling ill, quickly. The new villagers, known in game as Albions, have brought with them new illnesses from the coastal regions. Many of the town have never seen such a thing, and due to no exposure to it, have no immunity to it. People are falling ill to a new bacteria that could easily be cured... if the town weren't seen as traitors to the crown and unable to trade.
That said, an Albion priestess know that the hills to the south grow the wild flowers, root, and herbs needed to make plenty of elixers. Unfortunately, she's not a warrior, a tracker, or a hunter of any sort. She is a medicine woman, a naturalist and a teacher, and would likely die to wild animals or be enslaved to bandits, kept as a personal slave or sold into servitude. Thus, the party must escort the new PC (In the form of this healer/priestess/herbalist) to gather these medicines.
Now, with all that said, what I'm looking for from the MW community is some input regarding what the party should face in their efforts. As of now, I have plans to use wild animals and weather conditions to be the primary challenge to the party. I'm also looking to add in more references to the Albion people, maybe a small settlement of a single family from the lost town hiding in the hills, living with a small band of dwarves who were banished from the mountains of the north. What I do know for certain is that this next piece of the story needs to run three sessions of the party working with the priestess.
(It's our group's policy to bring in a new player for three sessions and then take a vote of already approved players rather they fit well, played well, and added to the game. If not, the new players is not brought in, but in a future campaign, can be come back for another set of three assuming the vote was not entirely against the new player. If even a single person votes against the new player, they do not join. In fairness, all votes are taken over a long lunch between sessions and the player discussed in depth.)
Going to keep bumping the thread looking for some input. Need some good ideas, something to spark material in my mind to fill all three weeks of continued story. So if you've got ideas for a table top session you used in the past, or something you're not sure if it would work, feel free to throw it here. Hell, if I use your material, I'll write you and let you know how my group responded to the situation. Let you tweak for material you didn't expect a party to go after.
Anyone with something to add?