Not quite the ending we expected [Plaguestone Spoilers]


Adventures


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Well we wrapped our final session of Plaguestone last night and didn't quite get the ending that anyone expected.

For starters in the previous session after making their way through the numerous severe and moderate encounters of the main level of Spire's Cradle and finishing off the alchemical drudges in the main laboratory the group, out of spells and beat-up decided to retreat and rest up before assaulting the final bottom level of the dungeon the next day.

The next day (and session) they returned to Spire's Cradle went into the lower levels, defeated the Amalgam creature, easily fought past the big bats, and then engaged Vilree the Alchemist in her underground layer.

It was there that the party was dismayed to learn that.... the town was already destroyed.

You see in the adventure ( as written) Vilree has sent one of her alchemical drudges off to trigger the explosion which will destroy the town as soon as she learns of the PCs intrusion. She informs them of this with some boxed text as she lays dying post-fight; a sort of "you think you've won.. but *coughcough* I'll have my revenge.. You'll be too late!!" then the PCs are supposed to run back and save the town.

There are numerous ways she is informed of the PCs approach, but the killing of her alchemical bonded servants alerts her of their death and so the prior day when she began notice the destruction of her servants she set her plan in motion.

Alas by the time the PCs learned of this it was of course far too late.

(I will add that my party didn't really care since they felt no real sympathy for the town and wondered why they were so helpless anyways. Additionally they wondered why Vilree spent months concocting some super alchemical bomb hidden in the town when she could have very easily taken her hordes of level 3, 4, and 5 monsters and just completely ravaged the town at-will... but I digress)

Since they couldn't save the town, they decided to at least avenge it and decided to end the threat of Vilree once and for all.

Combat followed and after playing PF2e for a while the group has begun to learn that just spamming attacking isn't the best option as many people on this forum routinely remind us of.

With that in mind, the fighter dropped his axe and Grabbed Vilree. He then kept her Grabbed (and even Restrained a few times) throughout the rest of the battle while bashing her in the face with his shield.

Flat-footed from the grab, the rest of the party was able to pile a lot of damage on her. And between wasting actions trying to escape the grab and taking attacks of opportunity from shield bashes from trying to do maniuplate actions (like pulling out potions); Vilree didn't do much.

Her big alchemical behemoth beast tried to save it's master; but there wasn't a whole lot it could do to free Vilree besides just try to attack the fighter as best it could.

We imagined it as the big strong fighter just kinda holding the small elf town (Grab) and beating her in the face with his off-hand shield... until the rest of the party joined in and surrounded her and wailed on her until death.

Not exactly the kind of Heroic Fantasy we were going for.

Everyone agreed that the tactic of grabbing and/or keeping her prone was very effective. But everyone also agreed that it both felt strangely cruel and violent (even more so than just hacking with weapons) and also very very non-heroic and even pitiful for the villain of the story to be dealt with in such a manner.


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I'm not really sure which part of the ending you guys didn't like.

Sounds like your players were dissatisfied with not being heroic, which I get, but going for optimal efficiency isn't really heroic.

It's cool if you just needed to vent - I'm just trying to figure out Why.


Tweezer wrote:

I'm not really sure which part of the ending you guys didn't like.

Sounds like your players were dissatisfied with not being heroic, which I get, but going for optimal efficiency isn't really heroic.

It's cool if you just needed to vent - I'm just trying to figure out Why.

Yeah just a random statement of a surprising end to an adventure ending in both a double un-climatic ending (both in terms of the town being blown up and the fight being a bit more of like a mugging)


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Sounds like a pretty cool story though honestly. The heroes find the town destroyed after thinking they'd won and, when finding the one responsible, go dark and beat the perpetrator to death without mercy, feeling like garbage people afterward.

Shadow Lodge

Could Vilree have been lying? Could the drudge plan not worked as expected - and the PCs have a bomb detonation scenario to deal with? Could the bomb have half-gone off and the PCs need to rescue the town? There are obviously a few options but they all go off-piste so to speak.

It sounds like the big problem though was one of both player and PC motivation. What would you do differently if you had the time over again?

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