ZEITGEIST 1001 things PCs are totally allowed to do in Zeitgeist campaign

Ha.

Man, that encounter was the most playtested thing of the whole campaign. The online playtesters had a lot of back and forth about how to manage to pull off, in an RPG, "the PCs are trapped and cannot win." It almost NEVER works without a railroad, but I think we managed to come up with a scenario that still gives the PCs lots of decision points in how to handle it.

How, may I ask, did they set off the grenades?
 

hirou

Explorer
Indeed, they planned to run away through the toilet right until the second carriage arrived with Heward inside. I shortened the time to half an hour, as this happens in the middle of the night and OB shadow horses are probably faster then regular. Btw, I don't know if it's an oversight or intended, but with Creed captured the party almost had enough amulets to escape through the metal bars by themselves (+eladrin feystep)
As to how they detonated poor Creed (they still don't know his identity). Well, we have somewhat paranoid gunsmith rogue/ranger... Let's say it involved several claymores which they found in Eberardo and Valando's lair, some Thievery checks, thin thread going back in church when Creed stepped out and a well-placed shot for good measure.
I honestly wanted for him to survive this somehow, but they didn't give him a chance for rest, nor to use his phasing to slip away, and I ruled that he wouldn't feel threatened enough beforehand to carry emergency "slip into Bleak gate" amulet, like Kell later.
 

roadtoad

Explorer
62. Stay in hiding for the climactic fight scene at the end of an adventure, and just spy on the secret meeting and then quietly go home from Vendricce with a ton of information and the Ob still thinking you're dead.
 

hirou

Explorer
62. Stay in hiding for the climactic fight scene at the end of an adventure, and just spy on the secret meeting and then quietly go home from Vendricce with a ton of information and the Ob still thinking you're dead.
Wait, your party did sensible, rational thing to do?.. I'm flabbergasted. And a bit envious, cause in no way my party will go for that...
 

hirou

Explorer
63. Using "A man with two guns is a god" with two grenades on suspicious druidic carriage on Dawn square right before Nevard's speech. Player visibly exhaled when skeleton bones went flying...
64. Going straight to Delft with "sir, I found them, can I keep them?" with two flayed jaguars in tow (for the record, both animals were grabbed with natural 20s)
 

hirou

Explorer
65. (Payday2-inspired) Donning wooden masks with faces of past Risuri kings when on not-perfectly legal missions, such as aiding The Family to return a cache of wands (which was assaulted by Kell guild the night before. Yes, I've turned that encounter 180 degrees, I promise it made sense).
66. Vandalizing a grand painting of Kell in Machete hill mansion. After successful stealth infiltration.
67. Kidnapping Kell lieutenant Rufus Hammerton (5 levels above them, caught with literally pants down), still in masks. After brutal interrogation they delivered him to RHC headquaters with a note "Hail Risur!". City newspapers are ecstatic.
 

hirou

Explorer
68. [EDITED OUT TO SHOW THIS THREAD TO MY PARTY]

UPD: from one of my players:
-I dunno how much I'm breaking this campaign, but I'm going to squeeze every last bit from it. Cause last three days I jump up from my bed at 3am and start writing down some requests to DM.
 
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hirou

Explorer
69. They've done it. They've killed poor, poor Lorcan Kell. In-between adventures 3 and 4, on 7th level, without any support from police. In 1 (one) round.

From a Bosum Strand dweller's point of view:
  • a grim-looking non-descriptive person knocks on each door in the block and strongly recommends to stay inside and lay low for the next half-hour (the party learned Kell's route and prepared an ambush. Since noone from RHC or police, except Delft, was informed, noone warned Kell);
  • the same non-descriptive person spends 5 min to bury 35 grenades along the road, while several others block the road with some wagons;
  • Kell's carriage rolls down the road, the driver gets down to clear the road (not one of the thugs on board beats party Stealth/Bluff, driver actually shoves around changeling rogue|ranger disguised as beggar);
  • a spectral figure glides from a nearby roof right into the carriage (phasing potion) and opens one of the doors from the inside;
  • Kell gets to say "Why, hello, constables, I definitely wanted to talk with you" and stick some knifes into the first constable;
  • a second figure hidden in the stack of crates fires 3 bullets through the open door, each echoes with a sphere of fire (firestorm bullet);
  • an eladrin warrior in glowing armor storms from the shack nearby and hacks through the second door, leaving Kell exposed;
  • non-descriptive beggar suddenly pulls out a small shotgun, fills the carriage with another firestorm through the destroyed door, then throws around half-dozen of grenades, then pulls out of thin air a freaking huge seven-barreled shotgun which shoots The Ray of Death and Devastation, making a literal hole in Kell's chest (rogue|ranger was really pissed by Kell's attempt to frame him for a murder. Vendetta bullet + daily power + Nock's gun + natural crit = about 60-80 damage points in one attack, I didn't really count it at this point).
  • someone from the inside of the carriage manages a weak "...parlay?" (Nick Rider was knocked out by glancing blows, Kate Glenn decided to... make a compromise), the beggar digs out the grenades (grumbling about too much work), and party leaves in Kell's carriage.

This created an interesting situation:
-Morgan Cippiano will at least consider silently poisoning the party during their next tea session;
-Obscurati structure in the city was dealt another blow, I see it very likely that Nicodemus will pay Leone a visit to inquire about all the delays in the last 6 months;
-a freshly-promoted Kell's new third lieutenant (the party ambushed and kinda disgraced Rufus in adventure 2) suddenly finds himself in power vacuum of a sort (Cippiano's activities are concentrated on the port and, now, Parity Lake, the southern part of the city is ungoverned). I think that this city deserves a proper assassins guild, and he knows the right targets to make a name for himself, especially if Ob are willing to pay...

Comments and suggestions are welcome. I also can't help but wonder what must my party do to take the "Broke the campaign the most" trophy...
 

hirou

Explorer
70. Making Ottavia doubt her loyality and Bluffing through confrontation with her on Isle of Odiem. As a result, the party, Luc, Ottavia and Bree are on joint dungeon crawl through Crypta Hereticarum, with Ottavia undergoing ritual pilgrimage. I have a feeling that she may be promoted to "recurring ally/villain" role...
 

Empirate

Villager
71. Shoot two (!) critical bullets through Cillian Creed's head the first time they fight him (abandoned temple). The man with two guns is, indeed, god.
 

hirou

Explorer
72. Ask Ashima-Shimtu to use her magic well to send them to Whore Island.
73. After hearing that Ashima-Shimtu can send them "anywhere within 200 miles", immediately asking for "Bree's anus". (Bree is right beside them and is possessed by Nicodemus)
 

hirou

Explorer
Y'all have weird games.
Well, you don't say. I decided to up the ante a bit, summoning Nicodemus via needlewire into Bree, because with the way things are going now the party has a real chance of closing the operation before Vendricche, and I wanted to introduce him one way or another. Cachalot is scheduled to carry them back onto rails, with Nic telling the party his plan of Ob's wonder-of-tech battling Risuri fey titans and freeing the land from their menace forever.
[EDITED OUT TO SHOW THIS THREAD TO MY PARTY]
 
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hirou

Explorer
74. Travelling to the last bridge of Stanfield canal, beating some shadow trolls into submission and obtaining Ob wand of "bond person to this plane"... Three days before the "official" start of adventure 5.

75. Making inquiries about "whether any Fey are looking for passage into Bleak Gate" three days before that. Yes, they got to talk to Ekossigan even before Asrabey showed up in Flint.

This is going to be a weird adventure.
 

Noodle

Explorer
76. Raiding the subway tunnels before Zubov and his comrades have time to prepare the bomb. Now they're thinking about taking the bomb with them into the Bleak Gate.
 
If you want to end your campaign early, and just do 5 adventures instead of 13, blowing up Borne with the bomb is a great way.

Otherwise, if they do use the bomb, I'd show how invincible the machine is by just having the bomb blow a hole in him without actually disabling him.
 

hirou

Explorer
77. Convincing their DM that a random legend they once heard about ruins in the jungle is totally connected to the quest at hand. That sounded much better than the thing I had in mind.

Did anyone end up using The Perpetual City in the jungles of Elfaivar in any way or form? I get "Made in Abyss" vibes from the description, although I'm half-sure the adventure was created way before that story was written/aired. My campaign just got... weird, as my half-random descriptions of the legends surrounding Perpetual City made the party conclude that it holds the keys to controlling ancient Tarrasques-like creature in the heart of Ushanti. We're on the way to the place literally called "megadungeon" and I have no idea yet how it is tied to Thuuga-el-Shembul the Worldshaper, Kasvarina Varal, her attempts to make a god out of Born, Etherkai Tempestborn, ongoing peace talks at Yerasol Archipelago being consumed by [REDACTED] or the fact that party casually ignited the civil war in Ber and is likely to do so in Crisillyir. Oh, I almost forgot Vicemi Terio partially usurping the control of Obscurati. So I definitely don't want to introduce any more plot-threads...
 

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