|Chris Mortika RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16|
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The St. Louis crowd was fond of running Thornkeep levels in 4-hour slots -- whoo-hoo, my new PC is 4th level after a day! -- but my attitude is that doing so short-circuits the strength of the adventure. Those sessions start with "You're at the doors to the Accursed Halls..." and entirely side-step the town of Thornkeep, which I think is a shame.
Not only is Thornkeep chock-full of useful gear, rumors, NPCs willing to cut prices for bold adventurers, a ghetto that can turn the goblin combats into something else, etc ... but it's one of Paizo's versions of Hommlet or Sandmarsh. This is the cool part of Thornkeep: it's the ancient gamer trope of the town sitting atop the ancient tomb: malignant, mystical, and mysterious.
Every time I talk to players who are upset about the encounter that Kadasbrass references, I ask them why they didn't take the hints about that character available at the Blue Basilisk. Why didn't they go into that encounter fore-warned? And the answer is always the same: we ignored the town. Okay then.