We just finished running through the first part of the Bullywug Gambit. My PCs are currently hacking their way through frogmen at Vanderboren Manor, but developments have me looking much farther ahead.
Serpents of Scuttlecove says that if Captain Harliss Javell was made friendly or helpful in the Bullywug Gambit, she would contact the PCs with a dream spell and lead them to Red Foam Whaling. The adventure assumes that she left the PCs with a favorable attitude.
My problem is, do to a horrendous roll on the Diplomacy check, the party only managed to make the good Cap'n indifferent, despite a total +15 to the check.
How should I weave Harliss back into the story when Serpents of Scuttlecove comes about? She certainly made an impression on the PCs, so they'll remember her. Should she be a bit combative if the PCs find her. How will they know to go to Red Foam Whaling? etc.
Either use a different NPC (I did it that way), or have her contact the PC's anyway out of desperation... maybe by then she'll have heard more tales of the PC's deeds.
Should she be a bit combative if the PCs find her.
Sure. No reason she can't be both bitter and in need of help.
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That seems a bit harsh...she's indifferent after all...what reason would she have to "get revenge" on people to whom she is indifferent?
None. If she's indifferent, then there's nothing to worry about. But in my games... pissing someone off does not mean that they're indifferent to you. I may have been led astray most wrongly by this thread's title...
I think that if shes indifferent, that maybe someone suggests them to her. That failing, you can use someone later in the adventure that might benefit from the PC's being there to call them under pretenses of it being her. If they can make a better impression after that, by showing up to aid her when not asked it may give them a chance to make a better impression. Pending on how they play it.
Take into account that much time passes between their two encounters with Harliss. Also, that by the time Scuttlecove starts, Harliss has realized the seriousness of the plot. Nothing strange that she tries contacting the only people she knows to have had first-hand experience with the ST stuff back at the pirate caves, especially when the PCs have earned a heroic reputation she may be aware of.
Oh, and Harliss hates Vanthus. The enemy of my enemy. So, Harliss could well be Indifferent or even Unfriendly, and still forge an alliance out of convenience against the bigger evil. Just role-play her more distant and curt to the PCs and less ready to help them remain healthy (or alive) unless it favors their common aims.
Bear in mind by the time SoS rolls around the party should have given the Crimson Fleet a big bloody nose in ToD. Harliss would likely hear of that and when she realizes the same people she encountered earlier are responsible she has more than enough reason to look up the PCs for assistance.
Sorry for the mild threadjack, but I am currently rebuilding Harliss using Pathfinder beta rules and I gave her dazzling display and stunning defense. Will intimidate (demoralize)/dazzling display work against the savage pirates? Thanks.
At a wild guess, I'd say not so much. Creatures affected by the savage tide are less "thinking opponents" and more "ravening berserk eating machines". It's like trying to intimidate a shark or a T-rex -- in the end, the beastie just thinks you're doing a pretty dance before it tries to bite your head off. *grin*
Good point :)
My Pathfinderized Harliss is an absolute demon in battle and I guess taking away that aspect of her combat options makes it more believable that she was fighting for her life. Otherwise, I think she could have cleared out Kraken's Cove in about five minutes :P