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DM seeking help to keep campaign on the rails.. The wreck of the Sea Wyvern


Savage Tide Adventure Path


At the end of the last session (Sat), we left the PCs all wrecked on the IoD. More specifically, beached and the storm continues. It's not morning yet. I fear what metagaming will occur before daybreak, even though all the PCs should be exhausted.

The PCs have 3 ships (yes any pirates attacking them ended up taken over) + the Blue Nixie. Dang druids and their woodworking skills! But ALL hit masher reef and all needed to be beached.

The Nixie did get separated and arrived about a day ahead of them and wrecked on the beach only about 2 miles away. I KNOW my players will fix up their boats and not walk the IoD, so I'm thinking of progressing ala Belessa's Journal campaign did. I'd have gargoyles kidnap some NPCs from Lavinia's ship, but besides Lavinia herself there are no strong ties to encourage the PCs to go rescue them. Since they'll need to rescue Lavinia later, I didn't want to repeat this.

My thought right now was to have the Nixie's pilot and navigator and perhaps some of Lavinia's personal loot stolen? The loot seems the strongest tie, because if all the ships stay together I can see the PCs not worrying about a lost captain and navigator.

It also seems now that pretty much all the NPCs are alive. I almost got Avner killed when he shot the albatross, but instead ended up in Lavinia's brig in order to save his life. Perhaps I'll have him kidnapped as well.

Anyone have any other ideas to encourage the PCs to chase the gargoyles (and the plot)?

Thanks

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Olangru, Olangru, Olangru. The nasty stuff monkey-boy can pull off is nigh limitless - see the "Olangru Creepiness" thread. Have him telekinetically steal their stuff, lure the gargoyles to the ship, kidnap someone, etc. etc. etc. Have him keep harassing them - invisible, telekinetically, lots of teleporting - until they give chase. And so on and so on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cthulhudarren wrote:
I KNOW my players will fix up their boats and not walk the IoD...

Olangru and the bar-lguras kidnapping someone like Lavinia will effectively force the heroes into tracking them down to the islands interior. Better yet, have several of the important NPCs be kidnapped. Olangru is your greatest asset.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cthulhudarren wrote:
I KNOW my players will fix up their boats and not walk the IoD...

Also...

Spoiler:
...don't worry too much about it. Once time comes for the heroes to prepare for Vanthus' invasion of Farshore, the heroes will be forced to explore the island's interior. You could easily allow them to fix the Blue Nixie or Sea Wyvern, travel to Farshore, then have them encounter Olangru during their exploration of Phanatons villages, Rakasta ruins, etc.

-Skeld


I'm prepared for my pcs not doing fogmire until later. I have something prepared similar to how it transpired in Belessa's campaign that is perfect for the campaign. I want my PCs to chase the gargoyles to their clifftop lair, and meanwhile encountering Lithira and her city pyramid (which my pcs have seen in visions and will want to explore).

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

My guys also went straight to Farshore, even though Olangru took their cohort. They saved Farshore from the first attack, got the news, and headed into the interior - with their first port of call the rescue.
Except... they have no cleric and precious little divination - so they decided they needed help from the Olman. Who needed saving from an angry volcano/dude.

When they finally reached Fogmire, after some brutal 'random' encounters with bar-lgura, the Big O himself, enormous fiendish giant centipedes, and some other stuff ... they were creeped out, tired, and totally worked up. By the time they'd rescued the cohort, their Olman guide was a captive too. The cohort was in a box, very badly hurt in a nasty, Hannibal Lector in the 3rd book kind-of way. They rescued him only to have Olangru steal him back and telekenis him into the fire pit just to split the party.

Man, they were so glad when they kicked his butt. SO glad! And once I stopped sweating it about the order they did stuff in, I enjoyed the module a lot more.

I sent a two-headed retriever after them for trashing the golem and they kicked it's butt. I've rewritten the Temple of the Jaguar with some brutal traps and thrown in a few Logue creations and some Skinwalker sorcerors cursed with Nilbog-traits.

It's not a problem - it's an opportunity ;-)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Using Orlangru doesn't make much sense - how would the PCs manage to track down his lair from the shipwreck?

You could always destroy the ships rather than leaving them repairable, but that's a bit heavy-handed.

Perhaps the Nixie has crashed by the gargoyle cliffs? Lavinia gets word to the party that they are in trouble and need help. Repairing the ship might take too long so the PCs head off on foot to help the Nixie?


DMFTodd wrote:

Using Orlangru doesn't make much sense - how would the PCs manage to track down his lair from the shipwreck?

You could always destroy the ships rather than leaving them repairable, but that's a bit heavy-handed.

Perhaps the Nixie has crashed by the gargoyle cliffs? Lavinia gets word to the party that they are in trouble and need help. Repairing the ship might take too long so the PCs head off on foot to help the Nixie?

I guess Olangru could just be gently nudging the gargoyles into action.

Right now I have the Nixie wrecked two miles down-shore of the PCs' ships (which are only damaged and grounded, not destroyed). I can have the Nixie as damaged as I like, but I need to ensure the PCs take the bait.

As of now, until I can think of something better, I'll have the crew unloading the cargo onto the beach and then have some valuable cargo and most of the crew kidnapped by the gargoyles, which would make the ship unsailable until they recover some crew. I'll have the Jade Ravens off scouting for a secure campsite, so they will be available to protect those left behind. Lavinia won't be kidnapped as I don't want to repeat this event.

Still, I can see the PCs just wanting to tow the Nixie, leaving the crew to their fates. Having Lavinia promise a reward for the return of her cargo is about the only other thing I can think of that has a chance of success.

Any other ideas, or see holes in my plan?


My players ended up taking the coastal route, on horses that could walk on water (we're playing under 4e rules, so it wasn't hard for the Wiz to get uber-horses conjured up). In the end, I lured them into stopping off in the mainland to refresh water and food, and after an hour or so of walking about, they found themselves trapped in Fogmire, unable to get out until they found the evil taint that was stopping them from leaving. The gargoyles etc aren't really an exciting part of the adventure (in my opinion), so I wouldn't sweat it...

if your players are dead-set on making their own way from A to B, which ma players tend to be, then let them go the way they want, and just do your best to make sure they stumble upon the critical (i.e. most exciting and plot-relevant) pieces of the adventure at some point.

Even if they get to Farshore immediately, you could easily have them arrive before the pirates invade, then go exploring / on some errand, which of course leads to them being stuck in Fogmire... then when they get back, the first set of pirates are attacking...

As I say, it's best to let your players do what they want, and as DM you just see to it that, no matter what, the most important piece(s) come about anyway. Then your players don't feel rail-roaded or cheated, but they still get cool adventures.


I would not force the issue if I were you, but if you really want to keep them on the island, you can consider the following:

1) The storm keeps continuing and does not abate, so they cannot use their ships. (I actually used Torrents of Dread as a reason for the storm, so that it seemed less like railroading.)

2) If they want to repair the ship, they need tar to make it watertight. Lavinia remembers that there is a tar pit at the other end of the island. (E.g. from one of her mother's notes or a comment her mother made in the past.)

3) You could use extra mashers to attack them while repairing the ship, so that the circumstances for repairs are not very good.

The problem with using Olangru is that according to the adventure he doesn't come into action until after Dark Mountain Pass. But of course you can change that.

My group fought Olangru last Friday. It was a blast!

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