Mystery consequences


I'm looking to fix one of my major annoyances with the first adventure before my players start the giantslayer in a couple of weeks. That's the fact that regardless how they do in the first section the consequences are the same.


Solve who dunnit, solve why, get the bonus knowledge of infiltrating saboteurs -- or not -- everything goes the same.

Now in part that is because the mystery is railroaded to an automatic success. Even though the spy-messenger only comes at night, it's assumed the players will catch him. And he spills a lot of what it takes to solve it all.

But I'm thinking my players may go in the day. And leave clues they are there. Making the villains idiots or slaves to the plot to stay and get caught.

So, I'm thinking of making changes. The players can fail. Levels of failure or success have consequences.

Ability to fail first. I'm setting a clock. Rodrick's funeral and the resulting attack will be sunset of the night after his murder. If I have to extend a night to get the second event in, I will - but it will count against them in the 'success' score. If they haven't entered plague house by the third day

Levels of success. At the extreme and unlikely is:

'Kurst, your brother was murdered by the leader of an infiltrating team of saboteurs using a hopeknife made by one of his team. He was murdered because he was closing in on the plot to sabotage the town's defenses. They were also searching for some ancient treasure. We have captured/killed most of the saboteurs at [purchased house], but Skreed is still at large.'

Note that this is only one touch more than what is found via the railroad. It assumes the players by inspiration and perhaps divination locate the house and they capture and question one or more of the infiltrators.

Failure comes by not having some or all that with usable proof. (For example, Rodrick's knife.)

Overall I am breaking it into five levels of success/fail.

That takes me to consequences. The first is that at max success I'm giving the players a couple of bonus resolve points and xp. At total failure I'm giving them a resolve deficit. +2 to -2 possible.

The real payoff will come for the second adventure. The more successful they were the better prepared everyone was for the attack. Better preparation means less loss and repair in the raid which means more money and such available when the party sets out for their little pleasure cruise.

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