Another idea that has been brought up on the boards before (and the one I am most likely going to go with) is that the Raven's Head mace isn't actually used in the Carrion Crown formula.
The Whispering Way was attempting to secure it since it was a weapon used to battle the Whispering Tyrant before and could potentially be found and used against him again.
Professor Lorrimor and his daughter were close friends with the extended family that includes my group of players. She spent all of her early childhood and some of her teenage years growing up with the group. I worked with one of my players and created a teenage puppy love story line with his character, Christian, who is the same age as her.
That got developed more in the first book, and she decided to travel with the group instead of moving to Caliphas at the urging of her father's colleague, AA. During their stay in Lepidstadt, she stayed mainly out of the way and did research type stuff for the guys. Now that Christian has reached level 7 and took leadership, she has officially become his cohort.
So in other words, she became an integral part of our game.
I totaled up all the xp for the first book and if no changes are made, a party of 5 is quite a ways from the level 4 they should be at the end of the book.
For all the story/research rewards I ended up upping all the xp to give the same amount of xp per person that a 4 player party would have gotten. For example, for the 100 xp reward, it became 125 xp so each player got 25 xp instead of 20 xp.
I also bumped any encounter that had multiple creatures with the same logic. If a 4 player group would have gotten 200 xp each from X monsters, I added enough monsters to give 5 players the same xp total. This has the added bonus of giving my party of 5 a little greater challenge.
If you are worried about them not being able to deal with the haunts, you can give them a couple of extra Haunt Siphons.
The party I am running through does not have a cleric either (but 5 party members), so I gave them 6 siphons instead of the 4. It has definitely helped offset the lack of positive energy.
We have not gotten our campaign officially kicked off yet, but should be very shortly. We will be finishing up our Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign in the next week or two and then diving right into Carrion Crown.
The official finalized party is:
Everyone is related by blood in some way. Mostly, they are all cousins, but we do have half brothers (Dhampir and Sorcerer). Deaths are going to be a horrible experience for the group.
The simplified background for the party is that there were a couple of brothers that joined the Crusaders of Lastwall. After a few years in the order they felt that the Crusaders were to focused on the Orcs of Belkzen and blind to the true threat in Ustalav. They decided to leave the order and start adventuring with others, focusing on undead threats in Ustalav. After many years of adventuring, they settled down (mostly) and started families. Now the children of that family have been informed of the death of an old family friend and adventuring partner, Professor Lorrimer.
Pedro Sampaio wrote:
The group I am running through this will be starting the AP in a month or so and I am still working on the specifics of how I am going to integrate the BBEG in more. My original thought was to make the trapped scholar be an ex servant of the whispering way, but changed it to give BBEG a little more exposure. The main thing I am trying to accomplish is to use the adventure as a tool to give the PCs a little more info that tweaks their sense of urgency even more going into Illmarsh.
I don't think my players will actually meet Adrissant until the final encounter. Everything they hear about him will be in notes from him to others, Whispering Way minions mentioning him in writings, and other NPCs describing him.
I think I am going to first introduce him in book 1 or 2 through some note left by Vrood for one of his lackeys. Vrood will be threatening to let Adrissant deal with them should they fail or some other type threat involving Adrissant. While reading of the adventures, I just envisioned Vrood as the type of guy who only knows how to motivate people through threats and shouting.
I just picked up the module and I am considering inserting it as well.
(Carrion Crown spoilers ahead)
One of the ideas I am fleshing out is to run it in Wake of the Watcher after the Livery Stable encounter but before the party reaches Illmarsh. The Harrow deck would be one of the things they find in the possession of Viliras. He would have had instructions to kill or, if he thought the threat was beyond him, trap anyone who was following the riders. If they don't find the deck...well I haven't thought that far ahead!
The PCs would then get sucked into the deck during the trip to Illmarsh, probably while sleeping.
I am also thinking the person currently trapped in the deck (sorry can't remember his name) is a willing accomplice of Adrissant and helped him perform the research on the Carrion Crown. As a reward for his assistance, he was trapped in the deck. If rescued he could be a source of information for the motives/motivations of Adrissant. Of course he would act like he was coerced into helping. If the PC's found out the truth it would then be up to them to free him or not.
No matter how much time passed in the deck, only a day or two would pass in the real world.
I have a couple other ideas I am bouncing around, but that is the most feasible.
I plan on doing something similar and have already spoken to my PCs about this to get them on board as well as to get them thinking about their character's reactions.
One of them is playing a Dhampir and I have given them a couple of options.
If they ride into town and don't try to hide it, then they are going to take a hit. I was originally thinking -5, with it being a Dhampir and all, but I might tone that down.
If they hide the fact that he is a Dhampir, then there won't be any trust hit....unless someone finds out (other then Kendra). At that point, the trust hit they take will depend on how well they are liked.
If they are Loathed, it will probably take them to Hated.
I could probably make an argument that the trust hit would be the same no matter how well they are liked, but to me it gives the PCs no incentive to try to hide it. And I want them to hide it, it creates more drama (good drama not bad drama!) and roleplaying opportunities in my opinion.
I had a couple of questions upon reading the book and comparing the information to the maps.
Marking as spoiler as I am quoting from the books.
On page 25, 1st column, 1st full paragraph
I am wondering if I am missing something, because I am not seeing anything marking these locations on the Town Hall map on page 18.
Also, on page 40, 2nd column, 2nd full paragraph
Again, I am not seeing any X's in the T4 area map on page 30.
Both of these are not major as I can mark them myself, but figured I would bring it up as I do like seeing the suggested configuration.
I will be the one running this game for Mikaze and the others.
I am thinking of the party more as a family of hunters that is focused on undead in general instead of specifically on vampires.
As I haven't read through the AP yet, I don't know how exactly I am going to tie the party concept into everything, but I am looking forward to it. The concept is an interesting starting point, and everyone is excited about their characters concepts, so that is always a plus.
I am going to encourage them to keep a campaign journal, but I think it is going to have to be a collaborative effort so one person doesn't get overwhelmed.