Downtime between Burnt Offerings and Skinsaw Murders (Spoilers)

Rise of the Runelords

Hello, first time posting here, but long time DM. Gonna start off by apologizing for any errors/formatting; I'm on mobile typing this out.

This is my first time running RotRL, and I wanted to do some Player specific encounters/events during the downtime between chapters 1 & 2. Our cast of characters includes:

A female gnome bard of Desna, and the only character I don't feel like I need help with. The player is the only one who reliably role plays, and has actively helped me get the other players a chance to shine.

A female dhampir archery ranger, and the one I need the MOST help with. The player is a bit of an introvert, and despite playing with only close friends she has trouble coming up with anything on the spot. I was planning on having their character be the object of Foxglove's obsession to put the spotlight on her, but I have no clue about what I can do for her between chapters. Her lack of depth on her backstory is a pain point for me. She lived in Ustalav, and fled the country due to the near constant civil wars. That's pretty much it.

A male oread brawler, and a male half-orc fighter/monk. These two built their backstory together as a pair of Term Slaves in the northern Chelaxian territory of Menador. Long story short, they fled Cheliax and wound up in Sandpoint after escorting a nobleman from Magnimar as hired muscle. I was planning on having some bounty hunters (possibly the Sczarni?) try to take them in, but having the townsfolk run them out of town. Maybe have Mayor Deverin send them back to Magnimar for a Varisian pardon.

They captured both Nualia AND Tsuto, killed Orik, Bruthazmus, and Lyrie, and cut the rope bridge stranding all of the goblins on Thistletop. I read this post ( -Murders) and liked the idea of having them escort the prisoners to Magnimar and meeting Ironbriar before the cult is revealed. But no clue of that alone is enough downtime before hurtling them into the Skinsaw Murders.

This is a good time to get some downtime action in, definitely.

For the ranger... there might not be a lot to work with there, but Shalelu could be a nice one to show up -- just have her talk with the ranger, and see what develops. Ask about background (and give the player some warning so they have time to invent something instead of just doing it all on the spot.)

For the ex-slaves, Magnimar is probably a better place for the bounty-hunters to be, but give them some way to fix the problem themselves instead of having the townsfolk solve it for them. Working the Sczarni into it somewhere sounds good.

Escorting the prisoners to Magnimar and having a trial could easily be an session or two (or three...).

For the ex-slaves, the big reason I was thinking about having the encounter in Sandpoint was because the characters very frequently have conversations about hightailing it out of the place before they stand out too much (kinda hard for the Heroes of Sandpoint). Having the people of Sandpoint come together in support of them would (hopefully) instill a sense of home in them. The players both know that they aren't going to ditch the town, but it'd be nice to get the characters on the same page. Maybe have them duke it out in the streets, and when the PCs have the bounty hunters on the ropes the citizens start chucking rocks to force a retreat? That way the players can feel good that they defended themselves, but also fell good that the whole town had their backs.

As for Shalelu, I can't believe I forgot about her! She'd be a perfect role model/colleague/mentor figure for the ranger, thanks for that!

You might introduce an undead-obsessed inquisitor of Pharasma who insists that Dhampirs are unnatural abominations who must be destroyed. If he/she is run out of town by the locals, the PCs will feel more welcome there. Of course the inquisitor and associated goons will pop up again in Magnimar, stirring up trouble.

Grand Lodge

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Hi there Ix.

If you wanted to tie these stories together a little bit (thematically), then the dhamphir ranger being mentored by Shalelu makes for a great opportunity for them to see Sandpoint through Shalelu's eyes. Shalelu is an outsider to the town, but she's distinctly a welcomed friend doing her best to protect the community.

She might also introduce the ranger to Hannah Valerin as another person beloved by the community who still has an outsider's perspective to it. These outsiders all care deeply about Sandpoint, and I think a 'hands-off' player might appreciate other characters who keep an emotional distance (and are long-lived).

Shalelu, along with your dhamphir ranger, might keep tabs on the bounty hunters when they show up, watching half orc and oread's backs from a distance. Of course, if the citizens of Sandpoint run the bounty hunters out of town on their own, that's all well and good, but Shalelu (and your ranger) could be backup in case things turn bloody. But some instances of sneaking around, learning where to go to learn gossip, and that sort of thing could help set up Book 2.

Then, once Shalelu leaves, the Skinsaw Murders begin, pointing blame on the ranger. After all, she's a mysterious stranger who's been slinking about (though people she and Shalelu helped, along with Sheriff Hemlock, can all vouch for her).

Proposed Timeline:
Right after the events of Book 1, the party is asked to help escort Nualia and Tsuto to Magnimar. They don't plan to spend a lot of time there, but they at least meet Ironbriar and have their testimonies recorded before returning to Sandpoint. Shalelu escorts them there.

On the way back, Shalelu asks the dhamphir if she'd be interested in learning more about the hinterlands and the work Shalelu does. The answer to this could be an easy 'no,' but it at least communicates that Shalelu has an interest in the dhamphir.

A few days after returning, rumors crop up about some bounty hunters. If anyone is hanging out with Shalelu, they get a slightly earlier tip about this. Very soon after first hearing about them, the bard and/or ranger meet the bounty hunters and are given a chance to intervene or try and mislead them. The bounty hunters won't start a fight, and will even back down if provoked, but they'll defend themselves if necessary rather than trust law enforcement.

If the bounty hunters still live, Shalelu contacts the dhamphir (whether mentoring her or not) about the need to back-up the half-orc and oread in the event that things go south.

[If the half orc or oread slept with Shayliss in Book 1]: The bounty hunters get a tip from Ven Vinder, which the party hears about from either Shayliss or Katrine Vinder.

The oread and half orc are finally confronted directly by the bounty hunters, as well as a few sczarni thugs who are locals. The locals can be convinced to back down in various ways, but the bounty hunters come to fight. Once the PCs have started taking damage though, various townsfolk start throwing shit at them. 1 round later, the bounty hunters lose morale and flee the town.

Before the murders begin, the Scarnettis criticize the half-orc and oread, and maybe the other PCs, of 'bringing trouble' to town.

Shortly after this accusation, Banny Harker and Katrine Vinder die.

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