I’m curious what PCs in other campaigns have come up with as additional clues/deductions/evidence, in addition to those listed in TOTB, or additional approaches or glosses to the listed evidence. Here are a couple places where the PCs in my campaign viewed the Morast and Hergstag evidence a little differently than contemplated in the book (they haven’t gone to the other sites yet).
Morast: (1) The PCs had the brilliant insight that, although the elder said the Beast’s blood tainted their burial ground, which implies he saw the Beast bleed, the Beast does NOT in fact bleed. On the PC’s urging, Barrister Kaple (with a very lucky diplomacy roll) even convinced the judges to permit a demonstration, and the Herald (with the Beast’s advanced permission) cut the Beast to show he does not bleed. This seems even a better piece of evidence than the absence of a scar, because, for all the judges know, maybe flesh golems don’t scar, or maybe he got healed. (2) The PCs also pointed out that it is unlikely the Beast would have had knowledge of and used the colorful local expletives yelled by the victim of the blood caiman attack. (3) The darkvision extract clue doesn’t seem so great, because the PCs can’t really authoritatively testify that flesh golems have dark vision, and they don’t have time to find expert testimony. But, as my PCs pointed out, there is a ton of other stuff on the island that it also doesn’t make sense for the Beast to have -- fine surgical tools (have you seen the Beast’s hands?), a boat too small for him, food which he doesn’t eat, etc. All that does add up to good evidence.
Hergstag: (1) A pretty basic piece of evidence that the PCs don’t even need to confront Brother Swarm to get is that the children are wraith spawn, and the Beast doesn’t make wraith spawn. The cleric in the party is competent to present that evidence. (2) It is a bit silly to count the evidence related to Karin’s bedroom as two separate deductions -- that it is hard to climb the outside wall and that the window wasn’t tampered with. That seems more like one piece of evidence to me, and I’ll treat it as such, using the above as a replacement.
Have your PCs come up with any other interesting insights, or approaches to presenting evidence at trial, for those or other investigations?