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TotB Chymic Works [Spoilers!]


Carrion Crown


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My PCs have once again handled things in a very interesting manner. After their investigation into Morast, They split their forces and managed to - with lots of gold passing hands to open doors past business hours - track down Vorkstag's connection to Morast prior to the beginning of the Morast portion of the trial.

The situation they created is while one PC registered all their evidence bright and early that morning, the rest wrapped up the Vorkstag trail. This ended with them demanding entry to the Chymic works and Grine telling them to "get lost". The PCs pushed their hand and announced they were working for the court and their investigations lead them to the Chymic Works and they have questions for Master Vorkstag. Grine informed them that proper methods had to be used to work for the court and to come back once they followed them. The PCs retreated to attend the trial and present their evidence. Part of that evidence was that the surgeon's tools belong to Master Vorksag.

The first day of the trial concluded, and the PCs headed off to Hergstag. I'm planning on having Vorkstag and the whole facility ready for the PCs when they get back to him. I'm just curious as to what all others might suggest for problems that could be awaiting the PCs when they do return, as the rumors suggest Vorkstag has friends in high places. As well as any additional fun to be waiting for them in the Chymic Works.

Sovereign Court

Vorkstag IS his own friends in high places! I'm sure he has skins that connect him to people of power. A visit to those friends while the PC's are in Hergstag can garner plenty of opposition and stalling. The local Militia might handwave them off or agree to investigate after the 2nd days proceedings (depending on whether the DC to present the tools as Vorkstags was successful).

In either case your PC's maybe sorely in need of rest before being able to tackle the Chymic works. By my calculations the journey to Hergstag by road/trail is 10 miles through swamp (x3/4). If they spend anytime tracking down & interviewing the Sisters (1 to 4 hours) before they go it'll be dark partway through their journey which doubles the travel time per mile. Don't forget force march checks on the way back which can certainly lead to fatigue.

The Exchange

I ran this twice..and both times it was a cakewalk for the PC's.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

What an opportunity! The chance for a mid-module boss to prep and throw some challenges at the PCs.

You have a lot of freedom here, so I would definitely try and stick to the theme of the module here. ToTB is the "mad science" part of the campaign, so anything that reflects those elements within both the Gothic Horror and the medieval is going to pay off well. So pick things like: electricity, experiments, alchemy, students, apprentices, university, magic, familiars, potions, politics, fire, acid, herbalism, town vs gown, secrets, masters, art, literature, chemistry, biology, scrying, knowledge, wine beer or cider, public speaking, excess, madness, romance, duality, faustian pacts, transmutation etc etc.

Some ideas:

- V+G have a gang of evil students in their pay, with whom they have a number of holds over (eg helping cheat in exams, knowledge of past crimes, blackmail etc). They ask the students to lure the PCs to a pub with promises of secrets, and poison the PCs drinks. A chance for a roleplaying "hazard" where the PCs must see through various nefarious personalities.

- Through the use of an evil professor (perhaps a hated colleague of Prof Montague), V+G discover about the PCs connections to Judge Darmind and get the evil prof (who is a shapeshifting alchemist in the Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde vein) to kidnap her. You could either have them have to track down and save her, or have D+G suspend her above a vat of chemicals for a mexican standoff.

- V+G organise the theft of some baroque art from Lepidstadt's private galleries and frame the PCs for it. A warrant is placed for their arrest and the PCs have the law on their heels. Or, given their character, perhaps the frame is more likely to be the murder of a young but pretty alchemist, or a well-liked prostitute.

- V+G offer to meet with the PCs to be "interviewed" by them and answer their questions, to persuade PCs away from their lair. They can meet over some wine in a public place (eg viewing the new opera in town by the dwarvern maestro Boradin), allowing them plenty of ways to escape if the PCs get violent. If the PCs are still suspicious, they can retreat back to their lair and leave some minions to stall the PCs while they prep. I like this as it presents the PCs with a chance to think that V+G are a normal human / gnome and thus be even more horrified once they realise their true state.

- V+G buff their lair. Perhaps they have an evil weatherologist contact who is able to summon a dark and thick fog all around their street and surrounding streets. Within the fog they can position murderers, evil fey, young but misled student sorcerors, lumbering mad servants. Or they could buff their lair with traps such as door handles that attack you, or acid that squirts from wall, or protecting their lair with corrupt (or misled) policemen, or dogs.

The one thing I'd be wary of overly prepping and escape route for V+G and letting them get away. The PCs need some kind of victory at this point, especially given the overall conclusion of the module lacks a stand up evil dude who pays for their crimes. Plus, V especially is such an horrible creature, that it would leave a bad taste I think to have him still running around post ToTB.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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King of Vrock wrote:

Vorkstag IS his own friends in high places! ]

Oh, and this is such a good quote, you must make use of it in some way. Perhaps coming up with some macabre labels on his 'coats' in the Cabinet O.S.A.F. one of which reads "Friends in High Places". Other horrid labels such as "Isn't She a Looker?", "We've Been Friends Since Childhood", "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor" etc could really creep people out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evil Paul wrote:


Oh, and this is such a good quote, you must make use of it in some way. Perhaps coming up with some macabre labels on his 'coats' in the Cabinet O.S.A.F. one of which reads "Friends in High Places". Other horrid labels such as "Isn't She a Looker?", "We've Been Friends Since Childhood", "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor" etc could really creep people out.

Oh I SOOO gona use that...lol

Sovereign Court

Windspirit wrote:
Evil Paul wrote:


Oh, and this is such a good quote, you must make use of it in some way. Perhaps coming up with some macabre labels on his 'coats' in the Cabinet O.S.A.F. one of which reads "Friends in High Places". Other horrid labels such as "Isn't She a Looker?", "We've Been Friends Since Childhood", "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor" etc could really creep people out.
Oh I SOOO gona use that...lol

+1

Time is really your best weapon agains the PCs during the trial. They have a lot of ground to cover and only so many hours in the day. My PCs will be starting at 9pm of Night #2. They've already tried to gain access to the Chymic works by ringing the bell and Vorkstag's already told them to "pike off" before he called the militia.

So... they left to ask Judge Daramid her advice on how to proceed. I'm actually impressed with this move as they usually don't care about the legalities of their actions!

This gives me time for V to slip out an rile up the mob. The party ended our last session regrouping at the Courthouse so getting the mob to hold them up there while V observes from a distance to gauge the PCs strengths.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
King of Vrock wrote:

...

This gives me time for V to slip out an rile up the mob. The party ended our last session regrouping at the Courthouse so getting the mob to hold them up there while V observes from a distance to gauge the PCs strengths.

lol....I didnt need that, my Bard did that allready...he thought it would be fun...lets see what he thinks about that in the Morning...

Also if you do that....push up the amount of Townsfolk and Ringleaders. As the Bard was REALY active...I pushed it up by 20/2

Sovereign Court

They're already at 90/9... lol


Ok so I will start with I am a new DM and this is the first story I have ever run. My group is right now in the courtyard of the chymic works and hasn't opened either door yet (that's where we ended our last game). It is about 2200 on the second day and they have investigated everything thus far but the cut if works. At one point they stopped off at the chymic works to talk to V but Grine shoed them off I used lack of warrant as an excuse (really I hadn't read that section yet and didn't want to stop the game while I read it)

What my question is is that the module says V isn't present at night but if the group doesn't get V there is NO HOPE for the beast. What should I do? Should I have him be there just about to leave or have him be absent? Please give me some advice.


If you decide Vorkstag isn’t there, you can set the players up for a fun final mystery.

After they defeat Grine and the Mongrelmen, they can search the works and find the Cabinet of Skins. One skin will be missing. That’s who Vorkstag is disguised as today. But who?

Having a Mongrelman survive the fight would be a useful device; from him the players could learn of Vorkstag’s abilities and get a description--perhaps not a very good one--of his current skin. Alternately, perhaps there are other clues in Vorkstag’s room: a recently used bottle of scent, or an empty hatbox with its milliner’s name on it.

Then it’s up to your sense of drama to decide where and how the players spot Vorkstag. Do they smell that scent on the seductive Madame Olga Slovech in the midst of Cerny Brothel, filled with her rough clientele? Do they spy that hat on Doctor Katarina Vilt as she testifies against them in court? Do they find the skin of corpulent Borgo Znojmo hastily abandoned in an alley, and realize the skinless monster must be stalking the shadows of the back streets for a new victim and identity?

Even if Vorkstag escapes them, they’ll still have other evidence from the works, such as the cabinet. But if they fail to prove the Beast innocent, let them fail! Saying goodbye to him and seeing him go to the Burning Man, only to watch him (and perhaps help him) escape death--that’s great RPG drama there. The party doesn’t have to win every time. It’ll make them hate Vorkstag even more, and you can bring him back later, after they finish Schloss Caromarc, or perhaps even in Caliphas.

Let us know how it goes.

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