I'm running Life's Bazaar for my group right now, and they've mostly cleared out Jzadirune and were looking for the way down to the Malachite Fortress. In the last session, they captured Yuathyb, leader of the dark stalkers, and intimidated him into revealing the secret door to the elevator room and the knocks needed to get the hobgoblins to deactivate the slime pit trap and open the door. The hobgoblins just opened the elevator room door to find the party, with a tied-up Yuathyb in towe. That is where we ended the session, and the party is pretty much worn down and in need of rest. I think they will be able to defeat the hobgoblins but will need to retreat to recuperate before going down into the Malachite Keep and in order to turn Yuathyb over to the authorities.
So here is my question - what will Kazmojen and the hobgoblins do if the 2 hobgoblins in the elevator room in the level above have been killed, after 24 hours have passed? Will they discover the guards are dead? I assume so, since I'm sure they change the guard at least once in 24 hours. Would Kazmojen merely replace the 2 guards with 2 others, or maybe 4 others? Would he change around his security in a major way in the Malachite Fortress level? Would he send agents to check out what is happening at Keygan's shop above? If his agents are killed and don't return, would he do anything drastic within 24 hours? Any and all suggestions are welcome. I want to come up with a realistic response which hopefully will also allow the players to still enjoy the Malachite Fortress part of the adventure more or less as written if possible.
|Oliver von Spreckelsen|
Bring the Fortress on alert. Take the hobgoblins from the guard barracks M9 and M26 and prepare an ambush at the elevator (my party went down and killed the "ogre" and then went back to rest).
Make a makeshift barricade in the room M3 behind the stone spike and place some hobbos in the control room to attack them from behind. This will be a hard figtht, but make it solvable for the group. The ogre/otyugh will join the fight later, as he was sleeping in his room.
Give them a warm welcome. This will be a hard fight, but it should be solvable for the group, making it a memorable experience.
|Tom Qadim RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4|
I like Oliver's idea. Also, after a few hours, Kaz may decide to send an exploratory force into the upper ruins to see what the heck happened to the guards, and to see what the status of their skulk/creeper allies is. I'd suggest a small group of 4-6 hobgoblins, led by a hobgoblin leader. Nothing major - just a taste of what's waiting for the PCs in the Malachite Fortress.
I think Oliver's suggestions make great sense, but if you are looking to keep the adventure as written they won't necessarily do it for you. As you could tell the big problem is relief coming to speak with the hobs that will be dead. So, you need a reason releif wouldn't be coming. Make sure you add in some food supplies and beds around for the hobgoblins and make a mental note that they are assigned there for a few days at a stretch. Perhaps even have a document that orders them there and lists when they will be relieved (giving the party a good idea just how long they have to rest).
Thanks for all the suggestions. My group ended up resting right in the elevator, and used Disable Device to jam up the elevator pulleys (I decided that could work at least temporarily). I decided the hobgoblins have 12 hour shifts and rolled randomly and got as a result that there were 10 hours to the next change of guard, so they actually got to finish rest and go down before the hobgoblins noticed anything. The party went down and killed the stone spike, the ogre and the hobgoblins in the hall with Zenith's statute, and they are now retreating back up. Now the hobgoblins are on alert for sure now, so I will use these suggestions and either send a retaliatory/exploratory mission or at least set up an ambush for the party's return.