|Curtisin RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32|
Modifications to the adventure as written.
Right, this is a list of the things that I'll be modding as I don't think they make sense in the course of the adventure.
NOTE: My players claim to like an investigation, and they (being new players to the group) need a bit of time to get to know each other, as this will be their first gaming night together, so I am planning on keeping that bit in.
1) - Inclement weather. Weather will be played up, and players will experience some unusal weather patterns, both to cover the orc horde's advance (using fog) and to foreshadow the Storm Tyrant himself. In this case, he will know of Grenseldek's plan to become his queen, and while he may not be interested in her, he is still interested in Agrimmosh. - They might find a dead orc or hill giant courier in his castle once they get there.
2) - Liquid blade for the Freedom Town rogues is getting removed. There is no particular reason for them to use such an expensive blade for an attack of this sort. The point of Liquid Blades, to me, seems to be to leave no trace of the murder weapon. In this case, in a city where everyone carries weapons, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch for them to be able to carry their Short Swords openly. (And on a gameplay related note, the statistics are the same, you just don't have to worry about the short sword being fragile.
3) - Plague house - Area H3 - For players there will be a spattering of blood from where one of the orc assassins died to the Giant Centipedes. A perception check 20 will show it to them, as the orcs made some effort to remove the blood (the corpse was devoured).
4) - Plague house - Area H5 - Will have a fireplace added to it, if the fire is lit within 5 rounds, the Giant Spider stays away. That's how Rodrik and Brinya never got to encounter it. Assassins happened to note the spider as they were sneaking through the area, so stay away from here. If the fire isn't lit, the spider attacks as normal, and the PCs get the normal perception check. (how did that thing move in, seeing as it's only been a day or two since Rodrik's death and only a few weeks at best since Rodrik and Brinya were last here?)
5) - Plague house - Area H6 - Spiders will be removed. Instead 2 guards will be present. Same stats as the assassin from Freedom Town. The orcs have Darkvision, so likely wouldn't have been using torches to get through the area. In this case, they killed the spiders.
More to come, when I have time to do Part 2
Well, one thing I would change, after reading the whole path, is including Volstus earlier on as a teaser to the PCs.
Perhaps when they finally round the bend to the Cathedral in Part 3, they see the vast, assembled host of giants - and above them comes Volstus, atop his deadly Red Dragon, who wheels in the sky a few times, lands dramatically, and a disembarked Volstus addresses his titanic followers, urging them to destroy the realms of the lesser races. The cathedral's leaders are next to him, presenting the PCs with the first view of the dangers within, and beyond, the adventure. Volstus leaves, the giants cheer and celebrate, and the PCs have a means to approach, but not enter, the cathedral fairly circumspectly (since it seems to me that just making it through the giant camp is the most dangerous part of the adventure).
All the cryptic stuff from the first two parts then comes to fruition as the PCs are confronted with the reality of the Storm Tyrant's might and ambitions. He's too far away, and much too strong, for them to do anything to him, and they are beneath his notice, so there's no chance of the AP ending with a wayward multi-critical, but the hints and rumors that surrounded him before are dispelled with the majesty of his power.
Just a thought.
A few things.
I kept the liquid blades, but they're unused loot. Well, unless it's necessary to get to where one of my players is hiding, but that's just the way play goes.
At the very beginning I greased the skid a bit by having Rodrik tell the group he had something he wanted them to do, but to meet him at breakfast the next morning to discuss it so it wouldn't ruin the party.
Minor tone issue changes at the party. First, the party itself is not just about Ruby. It's a town-wide name-day celebration for all who had or get their 'name' that month. Small towns are boring, they use community events to break that problem. This month there just happens to be a single candidate for the 'welcome to adulthood' part of the program.
Second on tone, I modified the speech and reason for the hopeknife. It's a 'weapon of last resort, with death the true last resort.' The focus is on fighting to the end, and death before surrender.
When the time comes, Kurst will meet and direct the players once. They won't get another meeting with him at the inner beacon.
If/when all beacons are lit, all allied with Trunau will get a +1 morale bonus to attacks and saving throws.
More later as well.
|Curtisin RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32|
Unlike the original post, this one is made with the benefit of hindsight, as I ended up playing this one before I had time to put thoughts to paper.
1) Weather was described as very foggy, and player's only had a couple of minutes warning before the first attack. Seemed to work well as they all appreciated being thrown into it right away.
2) No changes were made to the battles in Trunau themselves, though in the cases where multiple encounters in a small area (such as the ransacking orcs in 3 houses) would happen, the orcs ganged up and summoned reinforcements. In short, played smart.
3) The battle against Crusher the giant: My players had done all the encounters and gotten all the points they could, except the one for saving the druid. And then proceeded to beat Crusher to a pulp in 2 rounds flat. I'd probably throttle back the amount of hit points he'd lost (probably not losing any) or increase his armor class a bit to keep him in the game longer (having the armor without the broken condition should do the trick).
4) The battle against the Hill Giant Skeleton was deadly. The Skeleton had great trouble hitting (due to crap rolls on my part), but the 2-3 times where it did hit, it made a MASSIVE impact. I'd suggest giving it a +10 circumstance bonus to it's Stealth check against player's noticing that it's not actually dead, unlike the rest of the honor guard.
5) I ended up swapping around the tactics for Skreed. I'd originally planned on having him ambush the group as they left the tomb, but with how weakened they were at the end of the encounter with the Skeleton, he HAD to attack then. (With a group of 6 players, including 3 characters that can cast healing spells, seriously threatening them became a problem). Skreed himself kept the group distracted, but the real ace in the hole here were the Dire Wolves. At this level, they're both dangerous and tough. If I was to change Skreed in retrospect, I'd probably change his spells around to incapacitating players instead of the bombing runs. (In my game he was purposefully trying to avoid hitting the wolves as well).