A climatic ending to a thieves guild war?
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  1. #1
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    A climatic ending to a thieves guild war?

    My thieving players have rounded up some independent thieves, scoundrels and assorted scum to form a band of cutthroats. With some expert help by other hirelings who have joined in they have been raging war in the back alleys of the city with the halfling thieves guild.

    Between being hooligans and those special hobos the thieves have managed to upset to various degrees the nobility and constabulary.

    So how to bring all this to a fitting conclusion? A field battle does not feel appropriate. A massive brawl in the city streets is out of place with all the eyes looking for them. The players do not want to go into the sewers where the small halflings would have advantage within the confines of the smaller pipework.

    What type of venue would best serve as a location to get the majority of both sides together at the same time so they might go at it? I would like the players to choose a locale. If you were the thieves which public place would you choose? How would you draw the halflings out?

    Colosseum
    Public baths
    Open air laundry
    Farmer's Market square
    Public Square outside the Bishop's residence
    In front of the castle courtyard.
    Cathedral island
    City park
    A brothel

    The players are outnumbered two to one.

  2. #2
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    Or prior to the above fall out or instead of it, you pursue one of the below.

    1. A truce is discussed over a game of chess. An agreement is drawn up to separate the city's resources between the 2 factions;
    2(a). High-stakes Poker Game, winner takes all (4 PCs vs 4 NPCs). Possible Twist: The dealer though has been bought though, so if things are going badly the NPC swaps out a card during play. Active Perception check to spot this. The NPC if caught is removed from the game and their winnings become part of the pot.
    2(b). Game of Darts, winner takes all. Mix it between die rolls and actual throws, building the tension.

    The way to draw out the halflings - PCs could destabilise their supply of goods/weapons, poach a high-end customer, get one of their leaders arrested.
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    I could see a large fight in a temple being built. You can have ladders and ropes and elevators at various heights. Crawl spaces for heating ducts where the halflings can run through and pop up on the other side of the room. Throw in a twist like a clergy member being there who happens to control a stone golem to make things a 3-way battle. Final scene where the building falls down around the PCs taking out the golem.
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    I'd set it in a poor part of town (every city has one) and take the fight to the rooftops. Lots of jumping between rooftops, balancing while fighting on slanted roofs and other environmental hazards. Plenty chances for ambushes and traps where parts of the roof have been strategically weakened and so on. Warehouses are great as well as long as you don't mind the cliche.

    Or do it in stages, having the fight go from one place to another where the group tries to set up scenarios in their favor only to run away strategically retreat when they're about to be overwhelmed.
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  5. #5
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    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)



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    I'd go with the bath house to exploit the vulnerabilities of the halflings:

    - Fight them at night: they dont have darkvision,
    - Divise them: the steam from the batch mess with perception, so you can isolate them.
    - Fight them in shallow water (approx 3 feet): they are small, what is difficult terrain for you is underwater fighting to them
    - If possible, use summons: Steam mephit, mud mephit in the mud bath, water elemental in the bath etc

    To flush the halflings out, I'd manipulate a noble into giving them an assassination mission to kill a bunch of rival notables while they are bathing.
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  6. #6
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    I second the rooftop setting for the big fight. Very theif-y and a great setting to use all the physical thief skills. Warehouses make great 3D battlegrounds too, with the added benefit of being more secluded. I might combine those two elements if I were feeling saucy.
    Last edited by Fenris-77; Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 at 12:20 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draegn View Post
    My thieving players have rounded up some independent thieves, scoundrels and assorted scum to form a band of cutthroats. With some expert help by other hirelings who have joined in they have been raging war in the back alleys of the city with the halfling thieves guild.

    Between being hooligans and those special hobos the thieves have managed to upset to various degrees the nobility and constabulary.

    So how to bring all this to a fitting conclusion? A field battle does not feel appropriate. A massive brawl in the city streets is out of place with all the eyes looking for them. The players do not want to go into the sewers where the small halflings would have advantage within the confines of the smaller pipework.

    What type of venue would best serve as a location to get the majority of both sides together at the same time so they might go at it? I would like the players to choose a locale. If you were the thieves which public place would you choose? How would you draw the halflings out?

    Colosseum
    Public baths
    Open air laundry
    Farmer's Market square
    Public Square outside the Bishop's residence
    In front of the castle courtyard.
    Cathedral island
    City park
    A brothel

    The players are outnumbered two to one.
    A gang war where the leaders of both thieves guilds duke it out in a predetermined spot seems very Gangs of New York, but not at all how I'd imagine thieves would prefer to resolve a dispute. Have the halflings really exhausted all other options, like discrediting, hedging out of a key market, buying off contacts, blackmailing a noble, assassination, etc.?

    As far as your idea to pick a specific venue for a final fight to happen... well, halflings like a couple things:
    1. Relatively confined quarters (where their Speed can't become a significant disadvantage) with Tiny/Small passageways they can escape through.
    2. Crowds of Medium humanoids and Medium or larger beasts. Halfling Nimbleness lets them move through what might otherwise be impassable "terrain." Lightfoot Halflings also can use Naturally Stealthy to hide in crowds.
    3. Spooky places with scary monsters. Brave makes them less susceptible to monsters with Frightful Presence and similar magical effects.
    4. Smoggy, toxic, or places with poison fumes...though probably only for Stout Halflings with their Stout Resistance.


    Of the places you listed, I'd think that public baths or an open-air laundry would meet #1 and #2.
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  8. #8
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    I have asked my players to come up with a conclusion so we all can move on with the greater plots.

    Both characters are human, at the moment they believe that another player Pip the halfling mage has been snitching on them to the halfling thieves. They no longer meet in their previous favorite inn, The Four and the One.

    They have 30 thieves mostly pick pockets and snatch and grabbers. There are 30 bandits who are slightly better fighters. Then they have 12 leader types.

    I'll share your ideas with them.

  9. #9
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    I would steer the plot towards a peace treaty, where one group tries to assasinate the other. The best location for that would be a multi-story building, like a theater or a government building. I could imagine that the nobles start to realize that some sort of a solution must be found in regards to all the criminal gangs, so they offer the leader of each gang a seat in governing the city. They then attempt to lock all of the criminals up in that building during the peace negotiations and attempt to kill them all, possibly leading to a massive battle and the entire building being set on fire, and also possibly setting fire to the rest of the city.
    Last edited by Imaculata; Thursday, 13th June, 2019 at 11:39 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Depends, a back alley brawl is always a good way to go. Unless we're dealing with a significant modern police force the time it takes the coppers to show up will be after the brawl is over.

    Look at Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for some inspiration if you need.

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