So. Today is game night, and I'm going over my SCAP materials in order to get prepared. This is my second real start of Shackled City. I ran it a few years ago for a group and they ended somewhere around demonskar legacy/test of the smoking eye. We had played for quite awhile and relocation and lives got in the way of ever completing.
They were a great group. Thorough and engaged, they enjoyed creating backstories and role-playing.
One PC was a flesh golem. Which made the drinking contest very interesting. The player was looking forward to the contest, knowing that the alcohol would have no effect on him. Believe that Vhalantru hit some radars big time that night. As well as the PC hitting his in a big way.
Perhaps my fond memories of that game prompted me to revisit the shackled city when the the opportunity to start a new gaming group arose.
This is our fourth session third playing Shackled City. It consists of myself and three new to the game players. My brother-in-law playing the grumpy take the lead wizard. He's a LOTR and rts nerd, and seems to like bossing the other two characters around and solving puzzles, managing tactics etc.
Then there is, at the time of the first session, the 10 day in america chinese international grad student. He is playing a fighter named Burger King. He has played many PC dnd games, Bauldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights. He really enjoys killing monsters and taking their stuff.
My temporary roommate, who may come back for future games, if I can manage to find a better night. Started with a bard and after the first session or so asked about creating another character-a monk- and I suggested playing both.
They've all had a good time each session and are flying through the path.
Maybe I've edged it along but here's what happened so far...
The first session I ran a pathfinder module, Crypt of the Everflame I believe. They pushed to the big bad, killed him and we ended there. I used it mostly as a learning tool and a buffer as I expected a few more people to join the gaming group.
Session two found us with still only three players and I decided not to postpone the adventure path any longer. Starting the session at the Lucky Monkey, I gave a minor narrative loosely tying up the Everflame and starting them off. Without much prodding they went to the city, paid their entry tax and began exploring.
I asked if they had any particular desires and we bought and sold a few things. I eventually drug them around to the Rufus encounter and off we were.
It took them awhile to find out where to go, I had to pull them along and drop a few things in their laps.. they were convinced the Last Laugh were responsible for the kidnappings and were trying to find their base. They couldn't think of any other leads or possibilities.
Once below the locksmiths house they discover the secret door and after killing and intimidating the guards, work out a plan to find the boss.
They get to Kazmojen and outbid the buyer for the children. Offering something around 750 gold for them, knowing that the reward was 2500gp for return they surmised that they would still profit, the children would be safe and all without bloodshed.
They exited and looked for the next hook.
Session three.. they dive into the bathhouse. I ended up using Jil in disguise to give them the hint. They spoke with the captain but never took Jenya up on her offer to meet with the Lord Mayor.
At the end of session three they had pushed to area 19 in Drakthars Way. Bypassing most of the upper area, mostly due pursuit of some goblins.
Now we begin session four and tonight they'll reach Drakthar. They've exhausted their resources (spells and the like) so I'm expecting a retreat and rest.
They'll be looking for the big bad, so I'm sure they'll find themselves face to face before they know it.
They'll probably try and push through and I may start flood season tonight. If they don't die first.
Any suggestions on how to further build the city, foreshadow people and events etc.. I've collected many SC resources, and I've tried to acquaint myself with the material as much as I can.
My group likes to feel accomplished and wants to achieve objectives. In order to give them information I've started doing narratives to set the scene and give them information to work off of.. rather than making them work for it in a sandbox. I'm trying to make their sandbox a little bigger, however and thought some other dms might have some advice or whatever.