Hi guys, new DM here running my first campaign, we've just finished the first chapter and are going to move on to Seven Days to the Grave. In Dead Warrens, the PC Oracle was unconscious so the party rushed him to the closest temple to request healing. Since Pharasma is a Neutral deity of the dead and probably doesn't have much interest in healing people I had the local priest heal up the Oracle free of charge, but in exchange the party owed the Temple a favor, to be collected at a later date. What would be a really cool idea to tie in with the AP that's appropriate for a Pharasman temple to request of the PCs?
The aforementioned Oracle (Life Mystery) had in his backstory that he was training to become a royal doctor before Lamm messed it all up. Since they have cleared their names I'm thinking maybe the take him back to the Hospice to "help" with the plague, only for him to slowly realise the Royal Physicians are not all they seem... Does this sound like a good idea? Would the Doctors try to restrain him/kill him if he refused to cooperate? I'm afraid it might result in his character dying unfairly and I want to avoid that.
Finally, the team Archanist was an Acadamae student until Lamm meddled with it and he was kicked out. Now that his name is cleared I assume he could return, although I've read a bit on the Acadamae and it seems students basically live there for years while studying so that would quite interfere with his adventuring and problem solving (plus the whole demon thing). I've considered if they manage to do great in the second chapter and make a name for themselves maybe the Acadamae could ask him to come teach there, and maybe down the line tie in the whole Arch Duke of Hell thing for them to fix. Has anyone done anything similar? How would you approach this?
Not sure about others, but for the Pharsma tie in. I would use the story hook in chapter 2 Part 1, "Burn up the Dead". In the hardcover Pg 81. Or have them assign them Chapter 2, Part 2 Mission "The Hungry Dead". Both are great ways to avoid the Cressida, always asking them to work for free flaw. Pg 101.
I think the Oracle being a Royal Dr.sounds like a lot of fun. However from my perspective it would also take a lot of work on part of the DM when the questions start pouring in. The character may be too close to the plot answers if on that payroll for story as written. Totally still doable obviously. Myself, I would do something like having the Dr. be hired by the Church of Abdar when the Royal position does not become available in the cities time of need. Basically Chapter 1, Part 2 " the Healers Hands" (page 84 HC) The Church needs additional help, as they are down hands due to the missing Arbiter. It would be purely business.
Finally, from what I understand the Acadamae is closed throughout, most of the AP. Of course, as a DM you can most certainly open it. I personally would look across the river to The Theumanexus College, which is a small wizard school located in the East Shore district of the city of Korvosa. It would allow them some degree of flexibility.
Not sure if any of this helps or not. But that's the great thing about a world we create as a DM. The audience is stupid as to what is canon until we make it canon. I personally try not to change to much about what is written in the AP, just add too it. Simply to avoid pulling a link out the chain, that I may have miss read earlier.
In my game, I'm trying to use the academy a bit more than the AP has as written. One of our original PCs had studying at the academy, and at the end of book 2 left the party to return to see what had caused the academy to close its doors.
Because my party is new players, I've been letting them swap out charaters between chapters so they don't get stuck with a character that they don't like or that isn't built well. So essentially this original PC has become an NPC.
At the end of book 3, I am going to have the wizard NPC send a message to the party asking for their help. I am then going to run a heavily modified Academy of Secrets between chapter 3 and 4.
The way I'm running it is that in addition to the knowledge drop at the end of book 3 about the Fangs of Midnight, Neolandus will also mention that the queen has been spending a lot of time at the Academy pouring over records with Togomor. Hearing that Togomor has his job now, Neolandus will recommend trying to figure out what she was researching, hoping it will give more information about the Fangs.
Of course, the queen was really trying to learn the rituals needed to summon a devil to sign her contract. She got some devils summoned, but of course has no idea about the devil history of the academy. the power of her rituals broke something, and basically triggered the breaching festival early.
Now all of a sudden, the various halls are locked down with their key light puzzles, and the hall of wards is inaccessible. of course the hall of wards is where Illeosa made a summoning circle, so it is where the PCs would need to go to figure out what she had been doing.
Also, they find out that the only sure-fire way to end the unplanned breaching festival is to win. Without that, there's no telling how long the grounds will be on lock down. This "breaching festival" has been going since the beginning of book 2, and shows no sign of stopping.
The administrators are getting desperate, and have called in the wizard NPC to help. Now she is reaching out to the rest of the party to give it a go.
So in the end, the PCs will learn more about the academy, beat the devils that have it under their control, and will learn about the deal with the devil that Illeosa has on top of her artifact.
To run this module at level 10, I am tweaking a lot of encounters. most of them are easy enough to just reduce the number of devils, or demote a few of them to less scary creatures. the treasure at the end will also be a whole lot less, so as to not unbalance the campaign. Likely going to be a unique magic item for each character crafted by the academy.