Our Session #12 - Dark Passage to Fogmire
- If you have a lot of NPCs like our group, water becomes a major concern. No one washed up to shore with a waterskin. While the module says frequent rainfall suffices, spending hours walking in subtropical settings along a mountainous coastal path works up a sweat. My NPCs constantly complain, and the spell "Create Food and Water" needs a container to be carried. Also, Thunderstrike can't lift his head into the rain to drink that way.
- Used forum suggestions to make Olangru's acts more creepy. He wants the party to FEAR. This is key. I have the party roll a lot of the dice. 1d4 for whose night shift something happens, a Perception check (which means they spot something or nothing, difficult if your enemy is invisible or teleporting).
Night #1: Olangru teleports in and steals Thunderstrike. Our PC makes a check with enough time to hear a "snort." A mystery as his tether is still tied in a loop to his saddle. Avner wakes up and accuses the PC (a sorceress) of finally doing what she always wanted and killing off the horse. Now because of her petty revenge, they have no ride for our pregnant Penelope. (this worked great because our PC has REALLY been spiteful to him).
Night #2: Party's food supplies manipulated. Our PC notices just in time to see some vanilla wafers (from Create Food and Water) go marching cartoon style to the cliff and throw themselves off. Avner wakes up to Thunderstrike's leg (freshly ripped off at the socket) curled up against his back, spooning him. Creepy.
Speaking of food, the NPC kids are making it very well known they HATE the vanilla wafers. They play a game ("eating this is worse than....(insert a gross item, like Pete's socks"). If you're doing this and the last adventure right, your PCs will love your NPCs.
Suicidal Olman: modified it to be a native in loincloth who turns his face to the party. His eyes are gouged out. He takes a ceremonial knife, smiles at them, punches it in his gut, and topples over the cliff edge. Creepy.
Gargoyles: could have had them attack NPCs, but they are smart. They'll kill the shepherds first, then the sheep. I modified the chief into a barbed devil to shake things up.
Vine lift: Great spot for NPC concerns. I've been having Tavey try to impress his hero with dangerous cartwheels near the cliff edge, etc., and having him roll a check (20% for something bad). On the vine lift (it fell but party was testing its weight with a summoned horse anyways, no harm), the group used an immovable rod, grappling hook, and rope harness to haul people up. At the top, Tavey decided to impress his hero by playing "jungle boy" ("lookit PC NAME, I'm jungle boy, woohoo!") and leaping to a vine to finish the last bit. Player rolls and Tavey's stunt might fail, I had his save at a 50/50 chance.
One of my players later remarked her heart was pounding at the roll. They really liked the little guy. The save was made, and I probably would have allowed a heroic leap to try and save him if Tavey's grip failed.
Fogmire: Man, what's to adjust? This place is creepy. The zombie if you do the right voice is creepy. My players think they're in a dream. I simply had Urol vanish, his bedroll slashed, and under it written in blood was the word "mine." By this time, Olangru has had enough fear building. It can't get much higher. Throw in some freaky dreams (consider using an exact script for your dreams rather than summarizing, I had them fleeing the jungle from creatures that would rip them to pieces, eat them, and the ocean is a black pudding that will dissolve them).
- Finally, I mentioned making sure Avner isn't one dimensional. If so, the party might shove him off a cliff. He's an ass, he's scared, and he hides it behind bravado. I've been having his veneer crack at times, then back to his old ways (describing how the peasants need people to lead them, people with education and proper training). However, Avner has attracted a following from the impressionable passengers. It's not mutiny, it's just people who nod along to his complaining.