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I just had a PC come on as a secret child of the late Victocoras. Training in secret as a monk of Irori and up until now thought to be the next warden of the sacred Archives, he and his distant master heard about the slaughter and he left his training early to fight the good fight.

Note that many Milanites I Kintargo never get to meet one another, so it's safe to say that an organized body doesn't need to be a pool of mutual friends. I have a vigilante in my current game and I will say that the secret identify being kept against the other allies feels forced after a while. Everyone at the table knows and as both personas become more important to the faction it gets obvious that the person is living a double life. You're better off giving the vigilantes better reasons to be disguised. For example, you could have an Aulorian Nobleman actually a strong critic of Thrune (Book two would be fun this way, trust me)

Unrelated to previous parts of this thread, but is it just me or does the encounter "Public Excruciations (CR 9)" have a remarkably high XP payout? Two hounds, four armigers, and four Dottari guards yelds 2(400)+4(800)+4(800) = 6800 XP before the bonus XP for rescuing anyone else. Do fleeing guards not yield XP? Meaning if half of the enemies run away before they participate significantly in combat, do I opt from granting XP as if they were slain?

Lanathar wrote:

I really want to run an Influence game around this to both give my players some chance to recruit assistance and also to try and introduce and/or clarify some of the many strands of plot information that spirals around in this book (hints to cult before they are told about the lucky bones mainly ). I might even add some CCG and the investigator (who will be a Kintargan ex dottari)

My challenge is where and why these elements might convene either in the same place or relatively close to each other in the way these things normally run.

My best thought is something in the under city - but this is not really precisely explained. It seems like there is scope for an entire city beneath ground very much like in Chicago in the Dresden files

So perhaps some kind of underground tavern. I am not convinced the Tooth and Nail would be appropriate but I suppose it could be...(perhaps Luculla suggests it to Setrona to try and find out what people know)

Remember that house Jarvis made a significant effort to raise the city against floods. It's beyond reasonable to imagine a messy undercity below Kintargo. The Fair Fortune Livery basement has a pit with what used to be a fountain, and the Wasp Nest even has an extension built from a forgotten basement and a sewer connection. I was even considering creating an undercity of sorts long enough to connect the two.

Lanathar wrote:
Under Luculla’s section the book suggests that “incriminating evidence” is available in area C9. I have read and re-read and can’t see anything that incriminates her . Am I being dense?

It seems unintentionally vague in the wording, but I think the writers anticipate heavily diverging outcomes for the encounter, so the 'incriminating evidence' could be one of many unpredictable things. Because a lot of her story is improved via the players interacting with her in RP I think the evidence can be whatever. Just note that the AP really wants the players to discover her secret: 'This adventure assumes the PCs either don’t fall for

Luculla’s trickery or quickly find evidence of the truth.
Interrogating a charmed faceless stalker, a rescued
prisoner, or taking the time to explore area C9 before
returning a “rescued” Luculla are all likely ways for the
truth to come out. In such a case, the changeling hisses
in frustration and rage and attacks the PCs as detailed in
her statistics below.' (Pg. 45)

Trichotome wrote:

I had a few of these that I tossed into my game (all of my own invention, so nothing canon or even necessarily implied in the vanilla game):

Urora Sarini had been trying to woo Barzillai, much to his disgust. This is part of why in my game Barzy used her as a scapegoat and had her murdered on stage at the Ruby Masquerade by one of his agents disguised as a member of the Silver Ravens (just prior to the massacre, which I tweaked a bit accordingly).

DEFINITELY going to use this. One player is an exiled member of house Sarini, and the timing might just be perfect. I love the idea of Barzillai being asexual for the purposes of contrasting him from the rest of the high and noble people in Kintargo, and there will be plenty of Sarini drama in my campaign.

Warped Savant wrote:

Introduce her as early as you can and be willing to change her reactions to being found out. (I had Rexus bring the group to the Tooth & Nail right after the opening riot instead of where the book says he brings them and Luculla was introduced right then, during the first session of my game). Have her have a reason to be doing it (eg: fighting against Thrune's forces because he desecrated Mahathallah's domain) but not telling the group about it (eg: maybe they never tell her about the Silver Ravens so both her and the group are hiding a secret that makes sense to hide). Be open to her opening up to the PC she's involved with if the PC tells her about the Ravens; perhaps she thinks they can join forces to fight against Thrune then the cultists can become a team rather than an opponent (albeit a bit of an extremist team). Don't be set in the decision that she'll betray them because sometimes the story goes a different way. Specifically ask the player if they tell Luculla about the Ravens just in case the player assumes that the character would but doesn't mention it to you. Ask the player how they hide it, have them make Bluff and Sense Motive checks to see how well they hide it and to "see if they can tell if Luculla is doubting them/to gauge Luculla's reactions to the lies" (but really to see if they can tell she's lying to them about things she's getting up to).

And, most importantly, don't force the relationship. Maybe the player doesn't go for it but if they feel like they're being forced into it and then betrayed it becomes a railroad and that's not something you want them to think.

All amazing points. I certainly won't force it, but it seems that this player is really great at playing into his (Urban Sleuth) character. Any and every time I throw in something mysterious or confusing, he bites. I think her circumstances would make his character drawn to her naturally. I WILL take your advice and introduce her sooner rather than later (party is still exploring the Fantasmagorium right now) so get extra time in with her character. This party seems to be willing to leave antithetical factions on the back-burner, an example being that they didn't kill Scarplume right away and decided to form an uneasy truce until the Ravens had the manpower to prepare for it. I certainly won't plan on an inevitable betrayal, but I'll do what I did with Blosodriette and the Sarini player and set up a possible (and likely) betrayal and let the actions of the player determine whether the NPC becomes attached enough to decide against it.Thanks for the replies!

Latrecis wrote:

This is a really good post and the video linked to is directly relevant to the conversation but this sentence "Good players will know not to attack it anyways." made me laugh out loud and set off my DM spidey-sense (I've been doing this a while so my spidey-sense is based on the old style 1.0 version :)

We all hope our players are smart and able to recognize and assess danger levels. But player groups are funny things and the same group that we think is smart will stand in the wreckage of a TPK and say, in all seriousness, "If you didn't want us to kill it, why did you let us find out about it?"

It sounds great - if they setup a night watch in the right district (probably Temple or Jarvis End) give them a 1 in 5 chance to spot the dragon flying about. Cool! Rumor confirmed! But be careful, never underestimate a player's ability to monkey-wrench the situation. Example: when one of them sees it, they ask how high is it? You make a seemingly innocuous statement - "a few hundred feet." And the player says "Great! I cast whizzle-bang - it has long range 400'+40' per level - well within range." You didn't even know he had wizzle-bang and now you're on the edge of pot-committed. Because really, would the dragon simply fly off and ignore someone in the city taking pot shots at it?" Chaos and carnage ensue. Or you somehow hand-wave off the encounter and the players feel cheated or frustrated.

Good points there for sure and players are nothing if not an engine for absolutely surprisingly the GM. Perhaps instead it'll be a good way to introduce a little bit of irony later on. Maybe have them spend time trying to find the dragon to no avail and let one of their allies give a speech 'not letting ourselves give in to rumors too much' and/or 'thinking objectively about urban legends and asking ourselves what's important in trying times' and then let that same NPC say something funny in Book 4, like 'yeah, well, nevermind that's certainly a dragon. Sorry.'

I figured this would be a good fit in this thread.
I want a casual flirty NPC-->Romantic interest-->emotional attachment-->betrayal story arc between Luculla Gens and another player (who happens to wear an eye patch). Any suggested storyline changes to make this more feasible? If I need to drag out her involvement in the story I can.

Funnily enough, two of my players wanted to have a backstory that involved a falling out with a gang in Kintargo, so now we have a player from the Red Jills and a player from the River Talons on board and looking to shake things up. I plan on plenty of future shenanigans with those relatively small factions

Regarding whether you want that rumor to go away, I'll lead you to this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JL3-mzFbn0&index=9&list=PLNia51yBt gCAup0w7GHUO2HKJ_EBQb-nu&t=5m44s
There's language in the video, but you'll probably be surprised at the relevance here. The idea is that you wave the end game at the character ahead of time.
Do you have the PDFs for the AP? I would recommend that you simply read up on Rivozair and let the players get a glance. Good players will know not to attack it anyways.

We're finising Book 1 now, but I do intend to have my players spark romantic connections with NPCs: Zea is developing deep feelings for the Tiefling in the party, but is far from admitting it. I'll either have her wait a painfully long time before she tells her, or I'll let her find out after Zea gets killed (but that's an *if* situation and not a *when*).
I also plan on one or two players being involved with Laria Longroad during the campaign.