"If the sheriff won't do something about them, then someone has to. They are bleeding this place dry with their thievery. I was pickpocketed right here at the circus."
A chorus of people with "me too" responses follows. Evidently, dozens of people have been pickpocketed while at the circus.
"There weren't problems like this until the Varisians got here. Makes it worse that they agree to meet with the local priesthood, and even while the meeting is going on, they rob people blind."
From inside the tent, you can hear the sheriff rather loudly and forcefully ask, "And WHERE is the Sphinx now? Why is she not in her cage?"
Sorry, had to close a deal in Trinidad last week, and then storms knocked out power this week, so haven't been able to post in way too long.
Some people seem to take note of you calling out, but many more seem intent on a fight. Most of the crowd hurls insults at the Varisians. The two varisian men don't back down from the others closing in, intent on keeping people back from the rest of the circus. Diplomacy 15 sways some of the crowd. More arguments with diplomacy or intimidate may sway them further.
Someone shouts back to you, "The pickpockets need to be punished! We can't let this stand. Our town isn't here for thieves!"
Even over the shouts, you hear a commotion going on inside of one of the tents.
Knowing that the sister is likely already on the way to the circus just outside of town, you head in that direction. As you begin to arrive on scene, it seems that the situation has heated up. Two large muscled men of varisian descent stand at the edge of the circus campus, seeming to try to hold back a crowd. Five townsfolk have surrounded them, with the rest of the crowd farther back cheering them on. You hear shouts coming from the crowd, "They are trying to bleed the town dry!", "The damned varisians are a pack of thieves!", "We can't let this go unpunished!", "Show them what good folk are made of!".
It seems the situation is close to escalating from shouting to an actual fight shortly.
First time the name came up. So OOC you aren't forgetting anything.
"Sister Woodmere is our local priest...from the temple of Erastil. When word came out of the death of such a prominent person in town, she said she'd do her part to get to the bottom of it, using her god's blessings to compel the truth from that beast. She should already be there if I had to guess."
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
While I would like to adjust the XP track to avoid fractions, I fear adding another difference between PFS1 and PFS2 is not worth the gain.
I actually think differences are advantageous. Helps keep people from confusing PFS1 and PFS2 characters even more. I imagine a lot of players are going to blur things.
Marc Waschle wrote:
See, in my opinion, this highlights the issue. If the only way people will play them is in one sitting playing all parts at a single session, then it completely removes the necessity to have quests at all. Might as well write another scenario instead. Quests need to be more versatile than this, but under the current system, your experience is the optimal way to run them, because breaking them up leads to logistical problems.
The deputy looks at the prints and back and forth to Fate before turning to Ella. "Yeah, it seems there is something more going on here. Someone worked really hard on setting this scene up. Still doesn't mean it wasn't the circus freaks though... still some kind of strange creature that was making the prints here. Those ain't human. I'm sure Sister Woodmere will get to the bottom of it though. She's going to talk to that vicious beast they have caged."
I've had several posts in various threads that all really come back to one topic: Quests.
1) Brief history of quests and similar content in PFS1.0?
2) What is the benefits of having quests as a part of organized play?
3) What works with the current quest system in PFS1.0?
4) What areas have opportunities for improvement around PFS1.0 quests?
5) What organized play systems need to consider quest?
6) Why is this important to address now?
1) Brief history of quests and similar content in PFS1.0?
Quests as most people know them have been a part of PFS since the release of Honor's Echo during season 5. It had 6 quests, built around a somewhat united plot, with the 6th quest being a finale. It was built for level 1 characters, and each quest was built to be about an hour long. 3 more quest packs followed this model with a release in each season from 6-8. The Season 8 entry varied a bit, expanding to a 1-5 tier and only having 5 quests instead of 6 in the set.
There are other similar types of content that have been flirted with including those published in kobold quarterly and demo table creations like those run at gencon each year (that offered boons but no experience, prestige, or gold.)
2) What is the benefits of having quests as a part of organized play?
PFS was built around 4 hour scenarios, which has proven a good basis for organized play, but doesn't work for all groups and situations. Quests allow organized play to target 1 hour slots, being better for those with lower attention spans (kid track!) or smaller windows of play (weekday evening slots at game and hobby stores). They give smaller building blocks to be able to fit into events. (Have a 2 or 3 hour slot to fill at a con? Quests can do that, where scenarios don't do it well.) Quests give us a better way to introduce players to a game. (Getting people to play a 1 hour quest is much easier than getting them to commit to a 4 hour scenario. Perfect for both game store recruiting and con demo tables.)
3) What works with the current quest system in PFS1.0?
PFS1.0 quests gave us these 1 hour timeslots we could build around. This let us work with shorter time slots and something to more easily catch the attention of players who couldn't give us a full 4 hours for a scenario. They gave smaller sized offerings to develop new writers with, are excellent for training GM's, and are good learning tools for new players.
4) What areas have opportunities for improvement around PFS1.0 quests?
Although each quest in PFS1.0 was an individual session, which could in theory be scheduled independently, the implementation didn't truly make them independent. Series of quests were all linked by a single chronicle sheet, effectively "locking" a character who wishes to play all of the content or to get rewards from the quest. Rewards were based on completing multiple quests from the same set. This creates scheduling problems for players in situations such as "our game store are going to run 1 quest per week on Wednesday nights after work." If you run all the quests from one set, players who made some weeks and not others end up with a partial chronicle and have to decide whether to shelve a character, or whether to live with the reduced rewards, putting their character behind the curve. Mixing multiple quest packs doesn't work at all, since each player needs to have a different character for each quest pack they have "open" and haven't completed the chronicle for.
When doing demo tables or con slots, you often end up with partial chronicles. This makes it so those just trying out the game don't really see any tangeable results at all in the progress of their character, where even small rewards of xp/pp/gp would show them moving forward and give a feeling of accomplishment.
Many veteran players avoid quest play altogether, for fear of "locking" a character or necessitating closing a chronicle without finishing.
Independent chronicles with independent rewards would resolve all of these issues. The current experience and prestige systems make this difficult, and would likely need to be addressed to realize improvement in this area.
5) What organized play systems need to consider quest?
Although the quests themselves don't need to change a whole lot, how the organized play supports them has some key factors to address.
Experience System: - The current 3xp/lvl system is based on scenarios being the smallest increment of adventuring. Each scenario was 1 xp, and larger sized adventures (modules and adventure paths) awarded larger increments of xp. This created some obstacles when figuring out how to best chronicle quests. A change to make the quest the base increment instead of a scenario, resulting in 1 xp per quest, would make expanding the role of quests in PFS2.0 much easier. If the base decision is made that 1 quest = 1 xp, then it's a matter of determining how many quests make up a scenario (4 or 5 are the likely choices) will tell us a resulting xp/lvl system. (This assumes we still want 3 scenarios to result in 1 level. That can change as well, but that is an independent decision from this discussion.)
Prestige System: - The prestige system is equally difficult to break down into increments to support quests. With 2 pp per scenario, the pp per quest is currently fractional, and only works due to the way combined chronicles for a set of quests is structured. In order to support independent chronicles per quest, I recommend we establish a new figure of 2 pp per quest (so that pp are still earned on a 2 to 1 ratio vs xp). Scenarios would be increated accordinly, awarding a maximum of 2 pp per xp. (This would result in them being worth 8 or 10.) Note, this also gives the advantage of allowing more variation in prestige rewards based on how successful a party was, or what tasks were accomplished, potentially moving away from the expectation that all prestige will be earned for every scenario.
Quest Independence: - Although I believe quests should still be released in packs, each quest should stand on it's own, allowing players to get a full "experience" for playing it. If a player is getting their first look at Pathfinder, or their first look at organized play, it's important that they feel that they have accomplished something, even if they are only playing a 1 hour demo.
6) Why is this important to address now?
To support some of the items here means some fundemental changes to the foundation calculations used in the campaign. Making those changes now, allows quests to be useful, in addition to giving a number of other side benefits by allowing more configurability when writing. I believe making quests more of a focus can go head to head with some of the advantages D&D gained over PFS, by giving content easily run in short slots. Most D&D AL players in my area started with 1 hour content. I want the option to win players back and find new players using the same tool.
Richard deMorris wrote:
I'd say make Quests worth 1 XP. Just parse out the rewards for gold/items/boons for completed elements. Players have invested time into playing the game and should be given something for their characters. Just close the quest sheet out if the player needs to move on, allow them to start over if in a replayable teir.
My belief is the current quest sheets are a problem, and each 1 hour quest should be a standalone adventure, that may be linked to others, but in no way requires you to play the other components in order to get the experience, gold, and prestige rewards. (BTW, prestige is another discussion I want to have, but I want to see how the xp discussions play out first.)
I will admit that quests are my main reason around this line of thinking. However, I completely disagree that it's just quests, and not the experience system that is the problem.
The 3xp system is simple, elegant, and easy to follow. It's served us pretty well in most cases. However, it was built upon the assumption that 4 hour slots were the smallest increment of a gaming table, so we would not need to break down xp more than the 1 xp for a scenario.
The introduction of quests didn't come until about 6 weeks later, giving adventures in 1 hour slots, which is a huge step in development, and competes directly against offerings from adventurers league.
One of the pillars I stand on is there should never be fractional xp, ever. Maybe it's just me, but I hate seeing half xp now, and different options of quests could result in 1/4 or even 1/6 xp if built around the 3 xp/level system.
My number 1 goal with this thread was to discuss options that gave more flexibility to develop content in the 1 hour time slot, while at the same time not creating crazy fractions.
Quests being 1 xp, I feel should be the baseline.
I've posted my thoughts specific to structuring quests in a different thread, so I won't rehash it here, but for xp calculations, I think they are a key component that allows us to grow the player base, run at places/timeslots that are currently hard for us to accomidate, and gives us more flexibility on how people can play. The clunky implementation of quests currently was a great step, but doesn't execute on those objectives.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Yes. 126.The inside joke among my group is that Starfinder was intentionally set at 700 to limit how many characters I would make.
I think 2000 is the proper place for 2.0 to start.
Bjorn: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Galahad: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Helios: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Manus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
The tremors cause the cabinets of the room to fall over, as blocks of stone fall from the ceiling. Most of you manage to hold up cabinets to escape the room unharmed, but Helios is hit with a falling shelf on the way our, causing sever bruises on his back.
You run up the demon bile encrusted staircase, but already having killed the mites, it proves to be little obstacle to anyone. However, when you reach the secret passage back to the piano, you find the way has collapsed, forcing you to head through the flooded chamber with the barrels. The falling ceilings make the barrels difficult to navigate, but Manus manages to jump from barrel to barrel, crossing the room, while the others take to the water to swim their way accross. Both Galahad and Helios come under assault by giant leaches as they cross, but manage to pull themselves from the water onto the stairway up to the kitchen.
The stairs are crumbling, and everyone must hurriedly make their way up before they completely collapse. Bjorn, Galahad, and Manus have no issues picking their way up the stairs, but they almost lose Helios on the way as he transitions from fighting leeches to trying to find solid footing. He twists and ankle as it gets caught in a collapsing section of stairs, but his companions manage to pull him up to relative safety.
As you enter the kitchen, it seems there were more who lived here than you thought, as a massive swarm of rats are scurrying from the walls out the door. Manus finds himself falling in the swarm, being overrun by the vermin, but the others are able to navigate their way through, using their knowledge of small rodents, and pull the diviner out into the garden.
From the garden, you watch as the entire building collapses with it's foundations no longer able to hold it up. You are bruised and battered from your escape, but nothing life threatening.
Over the next few days, many townsfolk line up at the city hall, examining the documents to find out the fates of their ancestors, happy to know the fates of their kin, even if it meant gruesome ends. City guards armed with cold iron weapons, and both the priest and his apprentice from the temple of Erastil are dispatched to the ruins of the mansion to ensure there are no more traces of demon bile that are left behind to threaten the town again.
The society is very happy with the reports that return, and quickly get to work to get a team assigned to set up the lodge, seeing it as a key position for some of the world events going on. You are all given rewards from the society, in addition to key contacts you have made in town that should prove useful in the future.
Galahad and Helios both hack into the demonic worm, cutting it to pieces before it is able to mount another attack.
A search of the archives finds that the Sarini family kept extensive records of their victims and the rituals they performed on them. There is definitive proof of their crimes. Based on notes out on the table, the Vermlek was attracted to this place, and was trying to put together some of the ancient abyssal rituals. This is definitely the source of the demon bile that has plagued the area.
As you collect evidence, a rumble begins to go through the building. Quickly grabbing evidence, you can see that the demon bile is shrinking, but that it had become an integral part of the structure of the building, and the whole foundation of the mansion has begun to collapse...
Upon reaching the scene where the body was found, you start your investigations.
survival dc 14:
You find tracks of a large clawed creature at the scene. Interestingly enough, there is no indication of where the creature came from, or where it went, indicating it likely could fly or teleport.
Survival DC 19:
The area around the clawed prints seems to have been swept clean, but very careful examination shows that there were humanoid boot prints around the claw prints before they were removed. You also note the clawed prints are not leonine, and not deep enough for a 600 pound creature to have made (which is about the size of Jherizhana the sphinx.) The tracks were made by something large however, much larger than a human or a skulk.
One of the skulks speaks up, "We aren't shapeshifters. We just, well, blend in with surroundings. We had nothing to do with any murders." Both skulks seem to be rather shaky, and you notice they are sweating a lot.
The sheriff replies, "We aren't in the business of manufacturing evidence. I just follow where it leads." She then gives Lunevi a nod of approval in curing the skulk. First aid can do little more than bandage, but the wounds heal with the magical assistance. "I'll have the deputy lead you to the crime scene to take a look for yourself."
High winds and power surges hit here too. I just replaced all my network components with temp replacements, and have comcast coming out to get more permanent replacements in place...but they couldn't schedule until all the way into next week.
bite: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
It seems the last demon is cut down, leaving only the human, who takes a vicious blow from Helios. However, Helios attack reveals that the body is just a shell, as a worm-like creature bursts forth from the damaged body, asbsorbing some of the flesh on the way out.
The creature tries to bite Helios, but it is unsuccessful in it's attempt.
Knowledge Planes DC 13:
The creature is a Vermlek, an evil worm-like outsider (demon) that inhabits corpses.
All of you are up...
Gregory Rebelo wrote:
I hear what you are saying Blake's Tiger, and I do understand it conceptually. But as an organizer, I find the idea of not offering one campaign because "you gotta go with the new stuff" silly, overly consumeristic and personally abhorrent. Sessions should be offered with an eye towards the demand.
In my area, it's about tables. Every table I give to Starfinder is one less table of PFS I can run. If I run a core table, it's at the cost of a regular PFS table. A split to 1.0 vs 2.0 isn't going to mean "just run both". It will be logistics decisions of what to schedule and what not to schedule.
We have a year and a half to plan, but handling this has absolutely been a topic of discussion among players already.
I can say for sure that boons entice GMs in my area. It's always a struggle to get GM's here, but it's usually easier to find convention GM's where there are boons than game day GM's when there are no boons. Our venture officers end up GMing far too many games in my area due to other GM's not stepping up.
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
The entirety of the argument for a 12 XP system is to make partial questing work. The idea would be to make quests 4 quests per quest pack instead of 6, meaning that they are designed around 4 1 hour slots, or 1 4 hour slot. However, scaling this way allows creation of quests in any size packs, even single quests that stand alone and earn you 1 xp.
I HATE both fractional xp and the way starting and completing quests packs currently work. I think quests have huge potential and should be used much more than they are, and if the xp system actually supported them properly, it would be easier to do so.
A) It's easier to write modules with the closer levels. Obviously mechanics are different between PF1.0 and 2.0 but a module using a "young" template at one tier and the "advanced" or "giant" at the other can use exactly the same creature for both cases rather easily. Many times it seems like the low and high tiers are vastly different experiences due to using completely different monsters. Doesn't mean that templates should always be used, but it makes it easier to do so in many cases.
B) 5th and first level characters at the same table are vastly different. I don't know how many times a 5th level wizards with fireball or haste was at a table I played or GMed with level 1 foes. Or 3-7 modules with 3rd level characters playing up against foes with iterative attacks and throwing around 5th level spells. It's just nicer to bring that gap in, even if it's just one level.
C) I hate being in between tiers with characters. I also think the elmination of in between tiers make calculations of playing up or down far easier. Playing up vs playing down isn't quite as much of a factor of deathtrap vs cakewalk when all the players are in between.
D) I think 3-6 tier modules should not be rolled out as early as they were in SFS. The AP gave an extra 3
XP Per Level
A) Scenarios per level - I'm not opposed to changing things to be more scenarios per level. (I kind of actually like 4 per level over 3, slowing advancement slightly, but I certainly wouldn't stand on a mountain to defend that position.) I think the general agreement I'm seeing is that most people like the 3 scenarios per level system.
B) XP calculation system - This is where I believe we have an opportunity to "improve" the system. I would like to see us change the calculation system to accomodate quests better. I believe basing the system on 1 hour quests being worth 1 xp will create a much better system. This also can more easily accomodate slow track, if that's going to be included, by giving enough space to not ever require 1/2 xp measurements. I actually proposed a strawman for discussion in another thread based on a 12 xp/lvl system so that 4 quests (1 xp each) is equivalent to a scenario (4 xp each).
One thing that would simplify things A LOT. A module/quest/scenario should be evergreen or not evergreen...period. I HATE the current evergreen definitions of "replayable with level 1's, but play once with X level characters. Draw a line of "this is replayable" or "this is not replayable" and it is far easier to explain to people. New players seem to have issues with this often early on, and I'd like to just eliminate the potiential for issues.
A) Introductory Evergreens - Quests and scenarios like first steps, Confirmation and Wounded Wisp are a great way to bring in new players, as well as a great way to start out new characters for players who already have characters. Some of these have some modularity, but I wish they had even more to be honest to keep things fresh and give some variety, as well as allow GM's to have some freedom within the adventure. I personally think the perfect 1st level scenario for me would have been Fallen Fortress if it had been built more modular like the 3-7 evergreens. Confirmation, Wounded Wisp, and Consortium compact did have some random monster tables and some puzzle variation which I greatly applaud, but I would have liked to have seen the customization go further with multiple endings and plot twists to throw in as well. Fighting the same monster at the end of every confirmation makes it feel more the same, even though each of the fights leading up to it may have been different.
B) Modular Evergreens - The two 3-7 evergreens from season 8 and 9 have become my absolute favorite things to run in all of PFS. They give me a toolbox to customize and tweak the adventure so that I can tell a different enough story each time that even those who have played it before are kept on their toes and get a fresh experience. I would love to see more toolbox style adventures offered right from the start.
I believe with starting from scratch, there are some very simple things that can be changed when reorganizing the society rules that will make logistics easier.
3xp per level had a nice simple elegance to it. It is easy to follow, and it is easy to explain. However, I think there are some other pretty simple mechanics that would make lives easier for other things. I'm going to put a straw man up for a new system for discussion. There may be cases for moving off of 3 scenarios per level (maybe 4?), and or even making it so things aren't even (so that 3 scenarios might not advance you, but 3 scenarios + 1 quest might.) My strawman isn't going to include those, but they may be good for additional discussion.
12 XP per level basis
PFS Scenario = 4 XP
Easier integration of quests makes it easier to demo for new players, fit short time slots, or create more special content (for example the demo tables at gencon) that can easily award appropriate xp for the time spent.
"While you've been investigating here, we my deputy has been at the murder scene. There are tracks of a large creature that start from nowhere. This would indicate the beast could fly. We've received several reports of a large four legged, winged beast flying around. I'll let you put the pieces together for yourselves."
purple will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
green will: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
blue will: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
inflict light wounds: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
blue claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
blue claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
blue bite: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Galahad severely injures one of the strange creatures, and Helios cuts another down completely. Manus throws sparkling dust at the enemies seeming to at least distract them for a moment.
The human casts a spell in return targetting most of the party. (He is unable to see Bjorn, and can not include him.) Negative energy emanates from him harming everyone.
The two creatures step forward. One flails wildly, indicating he is having trouble seeing, while the other seems to have avoided the worst effects of Manus' spell. The blind creature strikes at where it last saw Galahad, but the paladin easily steps aside leaving it flailing at the air with it's flurry of attacks. The other creature steps away, and casts a spell at Helios, leaving his weapon slick with a layer of slime.
Bjorn: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Galahad: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Helios: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Manus: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
red/green/blue: 1d20 ⇒ 3
purple: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
The door opens up into what must have been the Sarinis secret records room. 6 cabinets around the room are stuffed full of papers and books, and seem to be neatly organized and labeled. It is likely that whatever records you were looking for can be found in here.
Unfortunately, you are not alone. A human male in merchants garb stands at the opposite side of the room. Three demonic looking bloated humanoid creatures stand between him and you. He speaks, breaking the momentary silence as you enter. “So, the heroes have arrived. Try not to make a mess when you die—I have great plans for your remains.”
knowledge planes DC 12:
The 3 creatures are dretches. They are chaotic evil demons (outsiders). Like many demons, they are known to be very hard to kill, and they have spell like abilities.
knowledge planes DC17:
These demons are covered in purple goo, and seem much slimier than is normal for such demons. Their abilities might not match what is normal for their kind. Normally dretches cast stinking cloud and fear magic.
perception DC 28:
The human seems very strange. His expressions and mouth down quite match when he speaks, although it's very close. It's almost as if something was wearing the body as a costume instead of it being a human.
The mites that move, try to strike out at you when you get into range of them.
They are stuck to walls, you have reach weapons, and they really aren't a viable threat, so you have no problem putting mites out of their misery as you find living ones.
The sheriff interjects. "While you have been looking here, our investigations indicate that creature from the circus was behind it. Witnesses and the evidence both agree. It looks like the circus might have hired these creatures to do the stealing after the murder, possibly to cover it up, but more likely to get out of town with some easy money."
Day 1: -10 Provisions = 41
We now have to start watching for animal care. With 7 animals in the herd, we have a DC 17 roll needed to keep them from running off. I'm wondering if slaughtering a few each day for 2 provisions each is a better plan to keep the DC down and to make up for our provision gap.
Oops, door was actually west, my bad. But through the west we go.
The door sticks heavily, but you are able to force it open with brute strength. Once open, you are assaulted by and awful smell of decay. You have gotten used to the smell of the purple ooze, but this is much stronger than even the warehouse or the building full of the stuff in the goblin fort.
You find yourself at the top of a dark staircase that seems to "spiral" down even further underground. It must have been a great undertaking to build this into the bedrock, as the bottom is at least several stories down. The room seems to be square, flights of stairs heading down around the outer walls.
Purple ooze covers everything, the railings, the walls, the floor. It must have been growing here for quite some time, possibly being the original source of all the other ooze you've found in your journeys.
Perception DC 12:
Although it is partially covered in ooze, you see what looks to be a pentagram in the center of the room far below. It takes up much of the room, and seems to be what this chamber was built around.
Perception DC 16:
Down the first flight of stairs, (on the west wall) it looks like their is a door obscured by a layer of ooze.
Perception DC 20:
You notice that among the pulsing ooze, there is other movement in some places. Some of the small blue goblinish creatures (mites) seem to have been "hung" on the walls and are completely covered in ooze. There may be dozens of them in there, but only a few are actually still moving.
Perception DC 24:
You hear sounds of some kind of creature through the western door. It does not seem to be human.
Map pending what your declared actions are. It reveals a ton once I put it up. We aren't in initiative (or combat at this time. So narrative actions will do nicely.
"We've thought about that we might have been set up. We got instructions from our clan member and followed them. We already missed the meeting last night where we were supposed to deliver the goods, so I'm not sure what we'd do with them now. It's not the first time we've been hired for this kind of job. We just never were caught be such elaborate traps in the past. We thought with the key, everything was going to go easy."
The wife seems pretty upset at the key. "My husband and I had the only two copies of the key. The one they had, must have been my husband's."
"I'm Zakhar, and this is Rogi. Do you have any medical supplies? He was injured in the fall." You can quickly see that one of the skulks has some kind of arm injury, with their forearm turning somewhat purplish.
The sheriff and guards arrive after a couple minutes. The questions go back and forth, but it's apparent these two are low on the totem pole and don't know much more. Their tribe was hired to send them to steal goods (not anything in particular) from this vault. They were given a key to the vault just before the heist (by one of their clan mates who works as a go between for work.) They got in using the key, but were unaware of the traps.
In the pit, they have a number of valuables they had grabbed, likely totalling several hundred gold in value. It all seems very random, as if they were trying to just grab some things that looked to be of value.
Playing the music specified from the sheet music with the music box, Galahad plays on the piano. The piano and the accompanying floor tiles slide to the side, opening a trap door and a descending staircase to a lower basement level of the mansion. Damp air immediately hits you, and you quickly see that much of the area below is mold covered and damp. With the staircase down, you can see a door leads east, and a hall goes north into a flooded room with a number of barrels mostly underwater.
Sorry, local con, and some family stuff, made things rough for online.
After some experimenting, you find that the hidden latch deactivates the trap, and the floor panel activates it. This explains why you were able to walk through the hall the first time, as someone has to step on the floor panel to activate it again. The second skulk must have tripped it in her attempt to get past everyone and make a getaway.
The skulks quickly concede they are beaten, and don't wish to die in the pit, offering (in common) to trade information for release.
The creaking sound of a rocking cradle echoes in the room. Dolls, wooden figurines, and clockwork toys lie abandoned on a table.
An investigation of the cradle reveals a baby giant centipede wrapped in a blanket and squirming to escape, causing the cradle to rock. It is too small to be a threat now, but it obviously is of the stock encountered earlier in the stables.
On the table, there is a silver music box that stilll has worth. It plays a cheerful melody when opened, and the sheet music for the melody is carefully folded and placed within the box. On the back of the sheet music are the scrawled words: “play to access the secrets below.”
History/local DC 14:
You recognize the melody as a popular sea chantey still
sung in Remesiana today.
Beyond the heavy steel door, this darkened chamber is lined with shelves, including freestanding shelving in the center. There is ample room in the vault, but labeled boxes, bags, weapons, and armor are spread throughout.
A secret panel in one of the shelves (found on Fate's perception check) hides a hidden lever, which likely disables the trap.
The vault contains the Walder family’s better collection of items, gems and jewelry, and masterwork weapons and armor when not on display, as well as coins minted in Korvosa, Magnimar, and neighboring countries. There are even a few boxes marked as belonging to Ilsurian citizens who likely pay a fee to have belongings stored securely.