Nathonicus's page

Organized Play Member. 98 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting story. The neighbors across the street decided that it was time for Car Dance Party Moscow at 3 AM this morning. It wasn't all bad, though, cuz after the cops came inspiration struck!

I've been fretting about what to do at the Schloss re: roleplay, logical reason for Vrood to have used the beast, and why the Beast is just on hand in the nick of time, and I think I've finally got it.

Drawing on inspiration from several posters in this thread, I think it goes like this:

In the Schloss, there are signs that guests (beyond the engineers) were expected, maybe even some letters left behind, books left out in the library as if they had been consulted. Vrood had arrived as a guest on a whim, stopping by to check on the count who was an old Comrade/nemesis. (Perhaps he hated the count for refusing to join the Whispering Way when it was obviously the superior path to understanding life and death.) He learned of the counts wife's condition and convinced the count that his own researches into death could help her. (Sheer malice on his part.) Traveling to the tower, he witnessed the sad state of affairs there with the count's deceased wife, and realized the best revenge was to seal him away facing his wife's body, then vandalize his life's work after defeating him.

Having helped build the device that controls the Beast, Vrood quickly figured out it's use once more and utilized the beast to release all the critters in the menagerie, kill the guards, and generally wreck shop, then remembered his original purpose in visiting Lepidstadt and sent the beast there to get the Effigy. (This should creep the players out when they enter the musuem, as there will be signs that the beast went amok in there, and they will be nervous about running into him.)

Vrood abandoned the Beast after stealing the idol, trusting that the authorities would chase the Beast back to the Schloss, revealing the perverse experiments of the Count and finalizing his ultimate humiliation. He left the Erinyes trap to ensure that the counts reputation would be further besmirched as a Dibolist, and also to cause general havoc.

When the players exit the museum and get their first view of the tower, they will see the beast scaling the walls and prying open the doorway from above - at which point something HUGE lunges forward, dwarfing the mighty beast with it's size, before overpowering him tumbling out of sight behind the tower.

When they reach the tower, the two assailants are nowhere to be seen, presumably at the bottom of the river.

This gives the party a chance to fight the guardian, then rescue the count and get his story. As they wrap up, attentive PCs may have a chance to hear the Promethean haul itself out of the water and scale the tower, followed by a Bezerking Beast. They will have the opportunity to try and activate the controlling device and use the Beast to attack, or flee, or fight without the machine, trusting on the Beast's Bezerk state to keep it attacking the Promethean.

It may not be a stroke of brilliance, but I think I've finally adapted the end in a way I like. Thanks to everyone here whose ideas I borrowed!

For the transition to Broken Moon, I have a handy aid in the addition of a fifth player who is playing a Ranger specializing in hunting down the creatures of the night. Altering the story a bit, he was hired by Estovion to serve as a tracker for Vrood to find the Packlord. Once he had done so, the Way moved in to make the kill, and the ranger was alarmed by the Necormancy he witnessed, knowing that general chaos would break out in the Werewolf tribes. He decided to make for Lepidstadt to contact his ranger buddy for help (the poor dead ranger from the starting group.) From there he'll be directed to join the party at the Schloss, and after getting over the sad news can alert them to the activities of the Way in the Shudderwood.

Maybe it's just the sleep-dep, but I feel like I finally have a handle on how to wrap up this "Beast" of a module! :D

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
W E Ray wrote:
I just wondered if other groups felt that way or if it was just how our group played through it where it seems like a design flaw. It could be that we just did it a bit differently and the adventure is well designed after all. But I don't see it yet.

Unfortunately, I think that the AP has conflicting goals. On one hand, it is supposed to be a chase. On the other hand, it is full of sidequests. Both suffer. The chase gets lost in the sidequests, and the sidequests seem spurious and the locations don't get fully developed because the PCs are supposed to get back to the chase.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

1. Guns in my fantasy.

2. The smorgasboard effect that has been commented on. Too many wildly different countries abutting one another in a very small space, with not much sense of an overarching geopolitical situation or much interaction between the nations.

3. The setting feels very modern in terms of society, tech, and customs. I always imagined Greyhawk as a very Medieval setting, Forgotten Realms as somewhat closer to the Rennaisance, and the inner sea feels closer to the Enlightenment. I like my fantasy more Medieval, or even better, ante-historical.

It's great though, for a setting in which you've got anything you want, all in one place, if you can separate the OCD part of yourself that wants to organize and explain everything.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good point - I think I'll add a day for them to deliver the books and do some sight-seeing, maybe get a view of the punishing man before they know why it's there - and get in a quarrel with some student duellists!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, fantastic, do let me know how it goes!

The more I am thinking about it, the more I think there will be some innocence and hurt in the beast, but he will do his best to cover it up and pretend that he does not care. Uncovering what happened to the little girl may get them inside his shell.

He will be confused and guilty, and hateful of his rages and the damage he does in them, so if they can reach out to him with the same sort of acceptance as his young child friend did, then they should be able to win him over, but he's going to be a tough sell.

I think I am going to play up the fact that he is making a decision... and may have allowed himself to be captured. He is biding his time, deciding what he wants to do about his "father", the townsfolk, the PCs, etc.

One other question: The Count! It says he created the Beast as an act of Vengeance - is there background for this somewhere? Is the count a bad dude? His castle would certainly suggest it, but I couldn't find much background on the count and how he was thought of by the people.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some great ideas regarding tweaking the ending. I am still pondering how to work that. I think that the PCs will actually LOVE controlling the beast.

I am looking for ways to work the Whispering Way more prominently into the story, which I think will be a better drive than helping the Beast, especially as the PCs have adopted Kendra, converted her to the Worship of Calistria, Goddess of Revenge, and sworn to help her hunt down the murdering Whispering Way folks.

I think this will be more motivating to my group than helping the beast.

Also, I'm not sure that they Beast as a Chld-like mind will work well with my group. It also removes some of the fear and ambiguity from the setting. I am thinking of running a classic Monster, as from the book, so he is highly intelligent but full of resentment at his creator and the world. The idea would be that when the PCs encounter the beast he is actually at the turning point, brooding on whether he should become the monster everyone thinks he is or not.

The motivation for the PCs would be slightly altered then as the Judge would be more concerned that the real killers are going free than sweating over the fate of the Sardonic Beast. Hopefully through exploring the 3 areas, the PCs will realize the Beast is innocent, and have more respect for him than the parental care feeling. Might be tricky, but I think will engage them more. Besides, if they screw it up and get the Beast convicted, then he has a very good reason for only being 2d4 rounds away - he's after the PCs for vengeance!

Just curious - has anyone else tried the classic Monster - intelligent & embittered? How did it go?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was also puzzled by this, but saw where folks can earn trust by "respecting the townsfolk" and so have been awarding trust for good roleplaying convincing the Sheriff to trust them, etc. Also the party Ragner was determined to gain entry to the temple of Pharasma's records, and so has been having nightly "Pray-offs" with Father Grimburrow to see who can kneel in devotion the longest. (I have them both make fortitude saves vs. excessive prayer.) I've been awarding him a trust point for each evening. It is also a great way to break up the party in preparation for some zombie shenannigans.