(Spoilers) Day Zero - Ideas?


Tyrant's Grasp

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As much as starting the game off with, "You wake up in a coffin," sounds appealing in its way, I really think that Part Two will be much more impactful if there's a scene beforehand where the PCs get a chance to interact with the people of Roslar's Coffer. Shall we put our heads together to see what we can come up with?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For my part, right now I'm thinking of having the inhabitants of Roslar's Coffer celebrate Bastion Day, the first anniversary of the defeat of the red reaver at the nearby Bastion of Light sanctuary by daring Pathfinders. As a prequel, I am going to run that scenario for my players, to further invest them in the little town before it gets blown to smithereens. (Also, the PCs can meet Arazni themselves, this way, rather than just having the mayor drop it awkwardly.)

The problem is, having a festival to start the AP off is either iconic or cliche, and I'd like to make it feel more like the former than the latter. I'd appreciate any ideas people might have to make it feel a little less like the Swallowtail Festival, take 3 (take 2 was Ironfang Invasion).

So far what I have come up with is the finale, the ribbon-burning. When the reaver was finally defeated last year, the town celebrated by taking down all its "go no further" red ribbons and flags and then burning them in a big celebratory bonfire. This year, the organizers will be handing out red ribbons to attach to everyone's lapels; the participants are asked to write on each ribbon as aspect of themselves from which they would like to be redeemed, and at the end of the celebration, a bonfire will be built and everyone can toss their ribbons into it.

Since puzzles feature in both the PFS scenario and the rest of Dead Roads, a few puzzles seem like a good idea. Obviously, there might be mock combat as townsfolk try to defeat a pretend reaver. That's all that I've got so far. Anyone else?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Would you be looking at them playing different characters in Reaper's Roar? Or the same characters at higher level who then "lose" levels when they are turfed into the Boneyard at the beginning of TG?

I would be inclined to do the latter, personally.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Daronil wrote:

Would you be looking at them playing different characters in Reaper's Roar? Or the same characters at higher level who then "lose" levels when they are turfed into the Boneyard at the beginning of TG?

I would be inclined to do the latter, personally.

Different characters. Most of my players are members of PFS normally, so we're going to run it as a PFS home game for credit.

That said, if you weren't too worried about getting PFS credit, that's a fricking awesome idea.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm sure there will be a ghost or 2 in book 2 that will help this pregame scene form. I would have each PC get a short interlude of their normal day, ending in a bright flash.


My party will be passing through Roslar's Coffer on their way to conduct urgent business in Lastwall. I plan on having a couple encounters before Roslar's Coffer, a little interaction with the townsfolk, somehow having the shard being placed on one PC's person and then casually nuke the town.

I feel this way is far more jarring.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Daronil wrote:

Would you be looking at them playing different characters in Reaper's Roar? Or the same characters at higher level who then "lose" levels when they are turfed into the Boneyard at the beginning of TG?

I would be inclined to do the latter, personally.

I really like this idea...play the PFS scenario, then have everything end in a bright flash and have them wake up in the coffins at level 1....Might just have to do that

Paizo Employee Developer

Shisumo wrote:
As much as starting the game off with, "You wake up in a coffin," sounds appealing in its way, I really think that Part Two will be much more impactful if there's a scene beforehand where the PCs get a chance to interact with the people of Roslar's Coffer. Shall we put our heads together to see what we can come up with?

You'll probably want to wait for "Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer" to come out, as it includes a map for the town and refers to several NPCs you might use. The danger is in creating, then subverting, emotional investment; I remember that one of the reasons Second Darkness seemed jarring to a lot of people is that it makes you really feel connected to Riddleport and then yanks you away from it. But a short Roslar's Coffer scene or mini-adventure could be really neat.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Ron...I'm pretty far away from running it anyway...Leaning toward running them through Carrion Crown first, to introduce Whispering Way and Tar Baphon...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
As much as starting the game off with, "You wake up in a coffin," sounds appealing in its way, I really think that Part Two will be much more impactful if there's a scene beforehand where the PCs get a chance to interact with the people of Roslar's Coffer. Shall we put our heads together to see what we can come up with?
You'll probably want to wait for "Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer" to come out, as it includes a map for the town and refers to several NPCs you might use. The danger is in creating, then subverting, emotional investment; I remember that one of the reasons Second Darkness seemed jarring to a lot of people is that it makes you really feel connected to Riddleport and then yanks you away from it. But a short Roslar's Coffer scene or mini-adventure could be really neat.

That is my intention - I won't be kicking off the campaign until April, so I will absolutely incorporate what's in "Requiem." But we've already had some good ideas in this thread...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So here's what I'm planning on doing...

The dhampir at the end of Book 2 who is having a tea party with the juju zombie party will actually hire the party prior to book 1 to deliver the Shard to Roslar's Coffer. The Campaign Traits work just as well as if the party were regional residents instead of actually in Roslar's Coffer, and doing a bit of freelance courier work near to home is a great way for a wet behind the ears adventurer to get some XP.

Of course they will be watched the way there. They will be operating under the assumption that the item they're carrying is a valuable historical artifact that the town is trying to quietly recover as part of their plans to oust the Reaver from the Sarenite Temple. They will touch base with a WW plant acting as a "go between", and after meeting with the Contact, the WW will send word to TB that everything is in place. The party will be delayed (maybe chilling next to the fountain) by the Contact not returning with the person they're to deliver the item to, and will be literally holding the package when it goes supernova.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shisumo wrote:
For my part, right now I'm thinking of having the inhabitants of Roslar's Coffer celebrate Bastion Day, the first anniversary of the defeat of the red reaver at the nearby Bastion of Light sanctuary by daring Pathfinders. As a prequel, I am going to run that scenario for my players, to further invest them in the little town before it gets blown to smithereens.

By the way: any GM trying to do this is strongly advised to read Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer before running the PFS mod. I wish I had, because now I have two completely different Bastions to line up somehow...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, Ron,

Spoiler:
I was looking for a more impacting "eye opener" as introduction in TDR and wondered why no map of RC was included in the first part.

Ron Lundeen wrote:
You'll probably want to wait for "Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer" to come out, as it includes a map for the town and refers to several NPCs you might use.

I was lucky to lay may hands on the map from EFRC before I started GMing the AP. I "coerced" one of the players to name some inevitable structures, churchs, and inhabitants to create a little bit of adherence to the village - not too much but at least almost tangible.

Ron Lundeen wrote:
The danger is in creating, then subverting, emotional investment...

I wouldn't like to miss the "homesick" feeling for RC and when the surviving PCs will get back - just to see the damage done. Players can't miss anything they haven't had a chance to "like or love". The more "cruel" will be all of the coming encounters and intrigues on behalf of the WW perceived and the more engagement against the WT will (hopefully) arise.

Ron Lundeen wrote:
But a short Roslar's Coffer scene or mini-adventure could be really neat.

My idea was to put all the known information about the RF together to simulate an individual experience for each character on his/her "last night on Golarion", describing a situation on an early night with enterntainment or work, then a bizzarre exploding light, then a flesh-rotting darkness, and then death... I "apologized" for pushing each player to make a background history for his/her character in "apparent vain" and declaring each character to be dead, collecting each character sheet, leaving them blank and a little bit" irritated. Of course, that moment didn't last for long as their PCs all began to wake up in the sarcophagi.

Thank you for a unconventional and (growingly) exciting last AP beginning with really uncommon encounters.

Paizo Employee Developer

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archmagi1 wrote:

So here's what I'm planning on doing...

The dhampir at the end of Book 2 who is having a tea party with the juju zombie party will actually hire the party prior to book 1 to deliver the Shard to Roslar's Coffer. The Campaign Traits work just as well as if the party were regional residents instead of actually in Roslar's Coffer, and doing a bit of freelance courier work near to home is a great way for a wet behind the ears adventurer to get some XP.

Of course they will be watched the way there. They will be operating under the assumption that the item they're carrying is a valuable historical artifact that the town is trying to quietly recover as part of their plans to oust the Reaver from the Sarenite Temple. They will touch base with a WW plant acting as a "go between", and after meeting with the Contact, the WW will send word to TB that everything is in place. The party will be delayed (maybe chilling next to the fountain) by the Contact not returning with the person they're to deliver the item to, and will be literally holding the package when it goes supernova.

This is neat. Keep in mind that the residents of Roslar's Coffer know that the Red Reaver that inhabited the Bastion of Light is dead; Pathfinders killed it recently, finally freeing up the temple for use at last. Yay, Pathfinders!

Spoiler:
Emphasizing that the Red Reaver is dead and gone causes a bigger surprise when the PCs face its zombie in Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoiler:
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Keep in mind that the residents of Roslar's Coffer know that the Red Reaver that inhabited the Bastion of Light is dead; ... Yay, Pathfinders!

I plan to make the red reaver zombie "great"...er.. Huge again, as in the PFSC 10-04 Reaver's Roar - and maybe (just maybe) it kept some residual mythic energy.


I'm thinking about adding a Day Zero too.

Spoiler:
They will go on their normal life, helping each other out with their usual work in town depending on their background, and make them work together on some things. Or have a celebration that they forgo together. It will depend on my party's characters. My first goal is to establish that the characters already know each other and are good friends, and to allow my players to present their characters and their personallity in a more interactive method.

I also want to take some time to introduce them to some characters they will encounter later, such as the mayor or Norreth Albo. I plan on having a scene where Arazni, while wearing her mask, asks one of the PCs where she could find the mayor. They will also see that a bunch of tourists has come to visit Roslar's Coffer (the tourists being in fact agents of the Whispering Way).

As of now I think I will keep Jando's existence a secret until book 2. Or maybe just hint at his presence, for exemple by telling them they saw an undead's corpse killed by an arrow during a patroll and that this is not the first time, but they don't know who did it.

Then they will say to each other good night, go to sleep... and wake up in the cofins :)

EDIT : Also, in my campaign, Tyrant's Grasp will happen something like a generation or two after Carrion Crown, since my players already played Carrion Crown. That way, it will allow them to play descendants or apprentices of their previous characters if they want, and let the dust settle on the events of Carrion Crown :) : END EDIT

But I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I don't know if I should do this, or just start the AP the way the book tells you to. Ron gave the argument that starting the AP with a Day Zero could make the players attached to Roslar's Coffer, but that's what I'm going for. Would there be other arguments against adding a Day Zero ? Or against not adding a Day Zero ?

Scharlata, I would be curious to know how your players reacted :)

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