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Bonus scripts / cut-scenes for Carrion Crown (spoilers)


Carrion Crown

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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So I often use scripts. These are out-of-character cut-scenes that allow the PCs to get some flavour or some plot without experiencing it first hand. In my current game, one of the PCs is a Varisian follower of Desna, so these take the form of dreams to her, but they could be delivered in any number of ways, or even without explanation. We don't use these every session, just every now and again.

To use them, simply print out a few copies, hand them out and allocate characters. If possible, the DM should not be a character (ie, entirely player read), but otherwise you can just read a minor character.

Evil Paul wrote:


Anyway, here are the scripts I used for the first two modules.
Script 1: Prologue to the campaign
Script 2: Murder in Ravengro
Script 3: Introducing Auren Vrood
Script 4: Count Caromarc as a young man

Some notes:

* Script 1 can be used as the very first action in the campaign. It allows the PCs to feel an immediate bond for the Professor and Kendra, which is useful I think. It foreshadows Judge Daramind (II), Estovion (III), and Modd (V).

* Script 2 is useful if your PCs haven't solved the Ravengro murders by the first time you escalate to a human. It throws suspicion on a bunch of characters in Ravengro in a murder-mystery style. (NB: the Lorrimor cheese collection was an in-game joke.).

* Script 3 deviates a little from the plot in that we have the Whispering Way kill Aleece and also have Luramin the money-lender a necromancer. To me, one of the changes the campaign needs is more of a prominent villain and more encounters with the Whispering Way. This allows for some WW action in Ravengro as well as framing a big bad evil guy for the PCs. (It also allows you to mask the real big bad, so Vrood is sleight-of-hand in a way).

* Script 4 is my take on a Count Caromarc origin story. Both Koch and Werner are added characters. Werner was the father of one of my PCs and Koch was an NPC at the University who could help out with various alchemy things related to the module, as well as enroll Kendra in class.

More scripts to come for later modules. The one I regret not doing is a script around the night of the fire in Harrowstone. I think there is a lot of cool information in the first module that goes to waste, and having that dramatic evening as a flash-back would work well.

Comments welcome...

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Oh, yes, I made Estovion a Palantine Eye member. The AP needs a good traitor!

Grand Lodge

Evil Paul wrote:

Oh, yes, I made Estovion a Palantine Eye member. The AP needs a good traitor!

Interesting to be sure... need to think on them somewhat.

Not really big on the 'behind the scenes/cut scene' thing but there are some good ideas here.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Evil Paul wrote:
So I often use scripts and do other AWESOME things...

OMFG THESE ARE AWESOME!

Good, good show, sir! What a fantastic idea. I'm sure these are super helpful. If you get a chance I'd love to hear more about how these worked in your game and - completely selfishly - more of these scripts if you put them together.

Again, Fan-frickin'-tastic work!!!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
OMFG THESE ARE AWESOME!

I am going to have to second this sentiment. These are fantastic.

I would be EXTREMELY interested in seeing anymore you come up with (though what you have here will give me more than enough to help bring my players back into interest after the 2 month break we have had due to the holidays).

Fine work, and good show!

I would also be very interested to know how you typically present these (are they sent in document format, acted out, etc?) and your players reactions.

Sean


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sean Mahoney wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
OMFG THESE ARE AWESOME!

I am going to have to second this sentiment. These are fantastic.

Agreed. While Mr. Schneider did some great writing in the Journal, I would prefer something like these that focus on key personalities in the module/campaign. I also like that this tool engages the players as well.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very cool and I would like to see your Fire script as well. i know you are past it but my group has not played CC yet and that would be a cool script to have. So far they are great.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Evil Paul wrote:
So I often use scripts and do other AWESOME things...

OMFG THESE ARE AWESOME!

Good, good show, sir! What a fantastic idea. I'm sure these are super helpful. If you get a chance I'd love to hear more about how these worked in your game and - completely selfishly - more of these scripts if you put them together.

Again, Fan-frickin'-tastic work!!!

Wow, cool. That certainly made my day.

We took an Xmas break, but Carrion Crown is back on the menu for us, and I've been working on some new scripts. I'll post them here once they're all shiny.

And, sure, I'll doing a bonus Harrowstone Fire script too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AWESOME.
How are you tracking with the BM ones? We will properly start in like 2 weeks time.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Evil Paul wrote:
Wow, cool. That certainly made my day.

More than well deserved! Can't wait to see the next ones. :)


These are excellent, so much so that I am kicking myself for not doing something similiar. I added a number of storylines to the AP to tailor it to our slow exp path sandbox style and something like this would have been excellent for narrative transitions. This is a method I certainly plan to employ in future campaigns and I thank you for sharing such a great idea.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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OK, our group finished TOTB at the weekend (which was awesome btw, but more on that another day). Broken Moon beckons, so I've got some Broken Moon scripts for you all...

Evil Paul wrote:


Script 5: Vrood vs The Shudderwood
Script 6: The Fall of Feldgrau

Some notes:

* Script 5 is my plan to introduce Kvalca Sain and some of the "people" of the Shudderwood. If your PCs are like mine, then even the slightest hint of shaggy dog would give the game away. I've tried to disguise this a little... time will tell.

* Script 6 is a combination of the fall of Feldgrau and an origin story for Vrood (from the module, I just filled in the blanks). I have to say, this is my favourite script so far and Neska is just a brilliant baddie who steals the scene, props to whoever created him. I will have to use him again when the PCs get to Caliphas.

As before, comments welcome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AWESOME....


Keep em coming!


I concur that these are super impressive. I'd love a little more information about at what point in the story you deployed these. For example, at what point did you decide the PCs knew enough about Auren Vrood to use script #3. Same question vis-a-vis script #4 and Count Caromac, since the PCs aren't supposed to know he is behind the Beast until after the trial. Thanks for sharing!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I'm working on scripts for the rest of the modules... will post 'em here when they are ready.

To answer Voomer's question, one of the ways I think the AP can be improved is more involvement from the Whispering Way. They are the main villains in the adventure, and I think that needs to be made more explicit. By lacking a central antagonistic figure (Vrood) until Broken Moon, the overall story loses some bite.

So I introduced Script #3 when the PCs are still in Ravengro, in-between HOH and TOTB. I also made Luramin (the moneylender) a WW agent to harry them. I put some WW agents in the end of TOTB as well, but you could drop them in pretty much anywhere in TOTB. I had Adivion introduced a lot earlier too, and the PCs stay at his house in TOTB.

For script #4, I dropped this in midway through TOTB. There is no disadvantage of the PCs knowing CC is involved, as Schloss Caromarc is too far away to travel to and back without missing the trial. The mystery element is not so important here - the big question of the module is not "where does the beast comes from?", but rather "what now? how do we (society) handle this creature?", and to fully get all the pieces in question to answer that, they need to gather the evidence for the trial and explore and understand the situation at Schloss Caromarc. I also hate the linking bit after the trial, with Judge Daramind basically saying "and now you need to go HERE!". Better if the PCs can come up with that idea themselves.

Broken Moon and Wake of the Watcher are a lot different in that the central part of the module is a mystery of sorts (murder-mystery for the first half of BM, and situation-mystery for WOTW), so I need to be more careful as to what the scripts reveal. Nevertheless, there is still lots of points to drop in. Broken Moon really needs a lot of tweaks to the detail in the first half - the werewolves shouldn't really come into it until after the Vilcanis murders have been wrapped up, and more emphasis on the Whodunnit angle is needed IMO.

Some of this is conversation for another day...


Thanks so much for your perspective on all this! Did the players figure out Luramin's involvement with the WW before they left Ravengro? How did that play put? I'm assuming they figured it out before you unveiled the script? This all gives me lots to think about...

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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My players are fairly a fairly meticulous bunch and usually explore every nook and cranny of each layer of the dungeon, every shop on the map, etc. Having said that, for some reason they completely ignored the moneylenders until after clearing Harrowstone. So I dropped the script on them, despite the fact that they hadn't worked out Luramin was behind the threatening letters and undead assaults on the professor's house. (In my campaign, the half-elf rogue has gypsy blood, and the scripts manifests as her dreams).

So they knew it was someone called Luramin but had no proof. This led to two great scenes, the first one was the rogue entering the moneylender's shop, the doorbell tinkling and a weasel-like Luramin looking up from behind his desk. "Yes, can I help you?". They've never met, but the rogue recognises him from her dreams and knows he is a murderer and a cultist. Queue interesting social encounter. The second great scene, was the finale of the module, which ended up being a high stakes poker game with Luramin, Quess, the Sheriff and some other key NPCs present. The stakes kept being raised, and the PCs were simultaneously trying to break Luramin's will, find out Quess's secrets, get Jominda hooked up with the Sheriff, and get flirty with Kendra all in one go.

In general I think there is too much emphasis sometimes on restricting the point of view of players to "only things that my character can see". Sometimes you want to introduce backstories, cut-scenes, etc, because it adds to the story of the game. Eg, after a module has finished, if the PCs want to know some aspect of the plot they missed that doesn't affect the rest of the campaign - why not tell them? The scripts are in that vein.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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And on that last point, if you like the scripts and extra backstories you should check out my magic items handouts too.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey just curious, did you ever do more of these for the rest of the adventures?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Yes, quite a few in fact. I'll post them up here soon...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

These are excellent and I really like your magic item handouts as well.

I was wondering, how do you utilize the scripts in actual play? Do you read them out aloud or do you hand them out to your players as handouts?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I give them to my players and assign parts. (I've tried letting players pick parts, or random parts, but found that assigning parts is the best). I normally assign the smallest part for myself, or if there are enough players, I have no part. In the past I have just done this as a cut-scene, but this time the Rogue is a Varisian Half-Elf of Desna, so she receives them as prophetic dreams. I prefer this as there is no worry of metagaming then - all the knowledge and visions in the scripts is with the characters as well as the players.


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Evil Paul wrote:

. . .

Script 5: Vrood vs The Shudderwood
Script 6: The Fall of Feldgrau

Paul, I actually ran your script, The Fall of Feldgrau last night before our session starting Feldgrau. I asked my group to entertain this and offered them up some parts. We hadn't pre-read the story and this was entirely off the cuff. Some of the voices are pretty funny - the player who played the candlemaker was playing it very timid and scared, the player who read for the margrave played it like an orc. :)

Anyway, if you'd like to hear the audio I uploaded it to youtube. I recorded it as a 'video' with my iphone during the session and it picks up about halfway through the reading so it's not all of it.

I thought some of you would get a chuckle out of it. Maybe this'll encourage you to add more stories, Paul.

Thanks man!

LINK TO AUDIO ONLY IS HERE.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So any word on when the next ones will be done? See this is what happens when you do something cool, people won't leave you alone wanting more. :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

OMG Ullapool, that audio is great. How funny it is to hear things with American accents (we're British). I definitely would like to hear more.

Anyway, we had a summer break. The Wizard flew across the Atlantic and went to Comic Con. The Cleric went to train to be a barista. The Fighter and the Bard went on a road-trip across India. The Paladin did some loop-the-loops and picked up his aerobatics flying license. Meanwhile myself and the Rogue stayed at home and had our first born child.

Anyway, summer is over and the gang is back together, so we've returned to Carrion Crown. I'll post the updates for Wake of the Watcher which we have almost finished. We are starting Ashes at Dawn soon so I better get cracking on that material also.

Laters...

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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Here we go then

Evil Paul wrote:


Script 7: Broken Moon Ending
Script 8: Welcome to Illmarsh
Script 9: The Fall of the House of Undiomede

* Script 7 is actually almost in the module. At the end of Broken Moon there is a flashback which is the WotW hook. I had this delivered by the ghost in the bar, but only once the PCs had buried the town.

* Script 8 is really a WotW prologue, and best done before they get to Illmarsh, eg, once they are travelling from Thurshmoor to Illmarsh.

* Script 9 is a retelling of the Manus/Claudius story in the module. It doesn't overtly reveal the true secrets of the module (though goes pretty close), so good for a mid-module read. Our group loves blood biography so I did it when they cast it on Claudius' blood in the mansion bedroom.

Ashes at Dawn up next...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool DLed them all will read them later today or tomorrow.


Evil Paul wrote:
OMG Ullapool, that audio is great. How funny it is to hear things with American accents (we're British). I definitely would like to hear more.

We'll definitely be doing these again as we move forward - the crew really enjoyed them. Next time I'll even have the audio going appropriately early.


Paul I'm a huge fan of your cut-scenes. We've just finished Broken Moon with my players, and I served them the horrible truth behind the end of Feldgrau. And they were all impressed by your creativity.
I told them "The only reward I can take from this text is the translation from english to french".

Again, if you have extra scenes for Ashes at Dawn and Shadow of Gallowspire, please, share :)

Sstrad.


theyre so good!!
thanks for share.
actually im running this ap in two ways (as the pc adventures, and as villain [one behind the other], so, they just finish HoH and begin with the auren vrood role) and this my friend, it will be more exciting roling them!!

txs


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You've done an incredible job, Evil Paul. They are all gripping and well written. Did you actually do them for the final books?


I'd missed the later ones.

I did my own things for my game, but these are all damn cool.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber

My group is going to be starting Carrion Crown in a few sessions. These look to be very useful! I'll tweak them a bit to fit our group, but this is a huge boon to me! Thanks!

-Aaron


Dear Evil Paul,

I am running the German translation of Carrion Crown and post the journal of a ghostly chronicler, advice on inspiring literature and movies, houserules etc. to our blog: http://tintenteufel.wordpress.com/

Translating maps, Wayfinder-articles and other community stuff as well, I wondered if you would be okay with us translating your fantastic bonus scripts / cut-scenes? Of course giving full credit!

please think about it and let me know!

Cheers, Aureus


Oh, perhaps I should mention that our translator studied the English language and is teaching it in a "high school". And here is the blog linkified: Tintenteufel!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Paul wrote:
Ashes at Dawn up next...

So did you ever do the next parts?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Tales Subscriber

Thank you for making these =) I'm about to start running HoHS this Thursday and I think I'll try and use them. Is there any chance you've done Ashes at Dawn or Shadows of Gallowspire yet? I'd love to use them when it comes time.


Dear Evil Paul,

Christmas time is full of wonders! We finally uploaded the German translation of your Script 5: Kendras Visionen, Teil 1 (Kendra's Visions, Part One) our first installment of your wonderful cutscenes! I dubbed the article series on our blog that way because I may change their order as we have just reached the middle of the AP.
Tomorrow Script 6 will follow as the PC in our campaign are on their way to Feldgrau and our next session will be in the afternoon. Thank you very much and if you wish any further additions please let me know!

Cheers, Aureus

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