In the scenario here "Am I Being Unfair, When The Outcome Isn't Important?" http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=6263.0
I finally figured out what the enemies are going to be, and even came up with two scenarios that'll lead up to the final battle. In essence, I've turned this one-shot into a full blown three-part D&D tournament for Gameday in my local hometown.
The first scenario will be six players at lvl 2 being city guards who'll help bring the old man that'll tell the tale of the Will Breakers before he blows up and dies (because the villains let him live long enough to tell the next city they were coming). They will be dealing with dread necromancer's army of skeletons and zombies. They won't be along though. They'll have 40 lvl 1 warriors, their lvl 5 fighter captain, the local priest (lvl 5 cloistered cleric), and the potion brewing alchemist (lvl 5 wizard) there as well. Whether anyone survives or not isn't important. It's just letting the players know the background of the story, and what they'll eventually be facing with stronger characters.
The third scenario I already proposed in my other thread (although I'm still debating on whether I'll have six or eight characters in the final -- eighth would be a gold dragon shaman to pester the half shadow dragon), and will have a few variances now that I've come up with two previous scenarios, but the second scenario will deal with a scouting party of six. They were all sent out well before the zombie attack to learn if the rumours spreading of a terrible group being sent out to "harvest" whole cities of their wills for their master/client's take over is actually true. When the city in the first scenario is attacked, they will immediately get notified by the mayor that they are to return to the city, which is currently being overrun by undead. However, they won't be returning to the city empty handed. While they haven't encountered the villains themselves, nor find anyone alive to tell them of their tale, they did find at least one city along the way that was practically in ruin, and currently being invaded by wights (the shadow half dragon has negative breath), which they would vanquish if they were spotted. After getting their summon, they respond and head back to the city, where they each meet up (there's only one road that leads to the port city), and unintentionally meet up with the villains who are part of scenario three.
My question is, what would make a good set of scouts (and if you can, add races to them)? They'll all be lvl 6 so there is a chances they could be prestiged, but I want to try avoid that if I can. Just less hassle that way. I came up with halfling rogue, catfolk ninja, wood elf ranger, lizardfolk scout, xeph soulknife, and human monk. Are these doable?
If anyone's thinking "Wow, way to put the lambs to slaughter, you bastard", I've been in tournaments like this where the first group, which were all lvl 2, actually arrived at a scene where a tarrasque was taking out lvl 20 characters. Then we were lvl 5 as different characters, and finally lvl 10 in the final where we took on the boss who had orchestrated the whole thing, and we were assassins trying to steal back the weapons actually meant to kill the tarrasque. If there had been time, there would have been final scenario to take on the beast. I've also been in a tournament with 100 lvl 1 characters with epic weapons and armour, where you went through a CR 20 dungeon with end boss, and we saw if numbers really were worth something over actual gained levels. This is all in fun. If characters survive, I will make note of it, and chances are they will make an appearance the following scenarios.
EDIT: As well, does anyone have a good idea for an item or a tattoo that a character could use to finish themself off with? Like the scenario is they're probably going to die anyways, but the villain is going to torture them and extract as much info out of them as they can before hand, so they blow themselves up in a burst of whatever, and hope to take their capture with them. Maybe a psionic tattoo, or something like that. Just touch it, and an area around them goes up in flames (or whatever else), and if the capture happens to be in the vicinity then they go up in smoke too.