Running Anniversary Edition, Had a TPK at thistletop (Spoilers)

Rise of the Runelords

So as it says, had a tpk from a combination of not knowing to rest and lack of party balance. Question is, Should we start over at level 1 and do the whole thing again (level 2 at thistletop) or should we work in the new pcs and leave the other stuff as it happened? If I take the second approach then that leaves the Aldern Question unanswered (who he obsesses over and why)... Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

Maybe have Aldern hire new PCs to go and search for his missing obsession. Once they return he can develop a new obsession.

Since the timeline of RotR is fluid Aldern could still be in Sandpoint waiting for word about his obsession. Or while they are in Thistletop he could leave Sandpoint then. Either way it introduces Aldern.

I agree with DedmeetDM on the timeline. In the "Ask James Jacobs Anything" thread I asked him what campaign-specific piece of advice he'd give me for running this AP, and he said I should make sure to give the players plenty of time to wander around and explore off the rails, as it were.

Having Aldern hire a new party is one way to go, and it would tie him to the party from the outset, which is an advantage.

I think I might have Sandpoint hire a new party to investigate the fate of the Heroes, so that when the party returns victorious, the fickle Aldern can then become fixated on one of the new people. The odds are that the players are going to want to wander the Sandpoint hinterlands for a time anyway and they should be given the chance to do so, killing goblins and maybe having a close encounter with the Sandpoint Devil. Allow an appropriate amount of time to pass between the killing of Malfeshnekor and the ghoul outbreak and you're good to go.





I suggest bringing in new Lvl 2 PCs.(Perhaps with a little extra money for scrolls and potions) and send them in. Trying to do the whole thing again(goblin attack, town interactions) would be of little use since not every group wants to spend all that time again.

I think I gotta give a spoiler warning.

I would start level one, a couple gp extra for scrolls and potions. Start with a wee baby city adventure in Magnamar. With their newfound "rep" they meet Aldern who hires them to go to Sandpoint and find his obsession. Enroute maybe a detour with some fireworks wielding Licktoads,rescuing a pig, some kobolds with a wounded wyvern master and catching a Scarneti mill burning while saving the family from the burning windmill...wicker man kinda thing.

Don't forget, Vin Vendors smoking hot easy daughter will want to score too when they get to Sandpoint.

Foreshadow the second chapter by showing/describing the Foxglove manor in an lightning filled windlashed thunderstorm. Little haunted house action.

Good luck!

Grand Lodge

I like DedmeetDM's suggestion, although I don't know if Aldern is still in town in your campaign. In mine he left with the Sheriff.

It also would depend on where they died. In the brambles pre-bridge, in the fort taking on Ripnugget, etc.

The AE edition gives an idea of where the characters should be if you don't want to track experience. Use that as your guide for what level they should be. If you haven't already, download the free Players Guide to assist in the character creation. Balanced party aside, the fight against Nualia is brutal.

Liberty's Edge

Let us step back for a moment and look at the big picture, because I think logical solutions will follow.

We have a group of heros who went off to Thistletop to stop the Goblin invasion. If they are level 2, I presume you didn't due the Catacombs first, meaning you can have that be the start of a new adventure for new Level 2 PCs if you start.

Which was the really should be level 3 before you try Thistletop.

If your new party clears Thistletop, Aldern could then hire them to go find the lost adventurers, as was suggested, or just become obessessed with the "New" heros of sandpoint who stopped the Sinspawn invasion from below.

Grand Lodge

The level pacing, and hitting up the Catacombs first definitely helped my party. At 2nd level they almost had a TPK on both the Quasit and Koruvus (sp*). They just now hit the bridge to Thistletop at level 3.

This is what I am currently running with based on what the pcs are making:

"During the Swallowtail festival, like the townsfolk themselves, you found yourselves assaulted by a horde of goblins. You rose to the towns’ defense and killed many goblins that day earning the shared title of the “Heroes of Sandpoint”. After the initial raid you found yourselves employed by a wealthy nobleman named Aldern Foxglove. Foxglove paid you well to safely escort him to the city of Magnimar. During the trip he made it no secret his attraction to the lovely varisian dancer that was a member of your troupe, but was thankfully well behaved. Upon your return trip you found Shelelu an elven ranger you met during the festival. She was camped upon the side of the road and wounded heavily. She filled you in that she was hunting some of the goblins that had attacked Sandpoint and had stumbled into quite a mess of them. You helped patch her up and the five of you assaulted the camp leaving none alive. Upon your return to Sandpoint Sherriff Hemlock explained what the other heroes had learned. He told you of Tsuto Kajutsu kidnapping his sister and murdering his father, of the unholy tunnels beneath the town, of the mad Aasimar Nualia and her plan to lead hundreds of goblins in an effort to destroy the city and their base in Thistletop. Worse yet, you learned that no one has heard from the other heroes in days and the worst is feared. The five of you (including Shelelu) set out to finish these goblins at their source, the dreaded Thistletop. "

This explains what they have been up to during the few weeks that the "other party" were adventuring.

Grand Lodge

That makes perfect sense to me.

Liberty's Edge

Sounds good. Hopefully the players learned from the last one and are better prepared.

Good idea..I had a TPK at thistletop. My party 5 characters attacked it after the catacombs, they triggered the trapped bridge leading over to the island itself which made for some hilarious roleplaying from the paladin who could hold his breath for ages but could not swim in his full plate. Anyway, none where killed in the fall but the druid fell from the top again as he was climbing up, and not being fully healed died of his injuries the second time. The rest filled with anger burst into the fort and by sheer bad luck managed to find the exact route straight to the lower levels without fighting anything else, Bad party tactics brought them face to face with Nualia and Akenja, who our goblin character had chased downstairs. The monk fell into the pit trap outside the observatory and was diced to pieces, the goblin was shot through the neck from behind and then dispatched off screen by nualia and the paladin and barbarian where cut down after a heroic last stand in the war room upstairs by nualia her dog and akenja. The barbarian then made a character who was the cousin of his previous character who along with his companions had accompanied sheriff hemlock from magnimar to sandpoint to defend it from further goblin raids. On hearing his cousin had gone to thistletop and not returned, he persuaded his party companions to help him find out his cousins fate and so the adventure continued.....

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