So I really haven't used the Night Swan in my game, outside of her stealing some 500 GP worth of stuff from the party.
I didn't think it made sense for her to just know what the party was doing and so have some kind of ambush set for them.
They were going to try and track her down after she robbed them but I had the inquisitor show up and that was the first time he questioned their "Loyality", even though all they had done is help people, so they weren't quite able to track her horse back to the main town.
I'm thinking of having them start looking around Loaithadar and rolling to gather information about info and find there have been more robberies committed in that town than anywhere else. Maybe setting a trap or something for her to steal and then catching her.
I've already done away with the auto hate for them being best friends with Oketra so she will just be neutral to them and maybe they can talk to her and explain that they just want to help, even though she sees helping people as stupid.
Any thoughts or suggestions? I would also love you hear how you used this NPC in your game!
I've done a few things to try and make the Night Swan a bit more compelling in my game. Now granted, in my case I have a big advantage because one of my players is a vigilante and also comes from Cassomir (where she used to be based). That said, here are a few of my notes:
- In my game, Lady Lucretzia Marthane is living in Songbird Hall as Titus Lotheed-Casava's girlfriend. She's effectively using him as cover to act with impunity, and then tricking him into being her alibi. It also means she's around to see the PCs whenever Titus makes an effort to go and cause trouble for them, which gives them a chance to interact with her a bit more.
- Just a couple weeks after their arrival, I had the Night Swan steal some goods from the Estate in Stachys and leave her threatening note. In my case the vigilante PC spotted her and she specifically extended an invitation for him to meet her in Lotheedar. In this specific case, she believed him to also be an undercover agent working against the nobility but didn't suspect the rest of the PCs to also be agents. Alternatively, after the PCs accumulate a decent amount of Loyalty Points (I was going to go with 30 or so) or perform a clearly anti-Lotheed action (like helping the Beggarwood or slaying Lotheed's ooze, for instance), I was going to have her either sneak up on the PCs while they were unprepared or send them an invitation to meet so that she could meet them and ask them just what it was they thought they were doing. If they make a decent impression, she is guarded at first but is willing to speak with them again to continue probing their motivations and perhaps convince them to adopt her philosophy (the PCs meanwhile can use the influence system to try and convince her to work alongside them instead. If they annoy her too much, she tells them not to get in her way and if they do she becomes a hostile encounter in the areas around Lotheedar.
- In the event that the PCs don't do anything to prompt her interventions, she may occasionally attack them or their allies while travelling through the Lotheedar area, possibly leading to Baron Okerra asking for the PCs help in finding her and putting an end to her banditry once and for all. This gives the PCs a direct encounter between the two in which they can choose a side or use influence to try and convince them to call a ceasefire (which would be incredibly difficult). Whichever party the PCs don't ally with becomes a recurring enemy for the rest of the adventure.
- As an extended plot element of her new affiliation, I also tossed in a love triangle plot. Syras Cockleburr secretly loves Titus and Carodd Hellebore doesn't actually care much for Titus but is Syras's closest childhood friend and tries to look out for him (even if it means following him into the wrong crowd). Syras is naturally very jealous of Lucretzia and so at some point during the later part of part 2, he plots to murder Lucretzia and blame it on the PCs in a misguided attempt to get closer to Titus by helping him slay the villains. Carodd figures this out and decides to warn the PCs ahead of time, giving them an opportunity to do something about it. From there I left it pretty open ended based on what their relationship with the Night Swan will be at that point.
- As a sort of aside I did also add one red herring in the form of Alista Cragus also having a long blonde braid and having her skulk around Songbird Hall at one point during the jubilee. Turns out she's Baron Telus' long lost sister who was sent to Cassomir when his condition started worsening, but then the servants that brought her were robbed and killed and she ended up living as a street urchin (everyone else believed she was dead as well). She came to Lotheedar in the hopes of finding out where she came from. This was my solution to Baron Telus' curse (true love can include sibling love), but also was there to lead some suspicion away from Marthane.
- One last thing I did was make a point for interactions between the Night Swan and Sir Gul Gusairne to be relatively close to each other, as a way of leading Gul to suspect that one of the PCs might be the Night Swan, or at least working directly with the Night Swan. This can be a way for him to keep pressure on PCs who aren't careful with covering their tracks. This also means that if the PCs aren't discreet, it will cause the Night Swan to want to know why she's getting pegged for things the PCs have done, or if the PCs are too discreet, a way for the Night Swan to direct suspicion towards them, forcing them to take action with or against the Night Swan.