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ZEITGEIST Crispy's Zeitgeist Campaign

Crispy120286

Explorer
We finally began our adventure in Zeitgeist!

I’m going to try and keep up a campaign journal but I am terrible with taking notes but i will try my best to write from memory. The introductory session was Fantastic and I was very excited to be able to run it. My players really enjoyed it as well.

And here are the cast of characters!

Inspector Amethyst Ironforged. Human Yerasol Veterain. Tactician Fighter who was a linguist in the Fourth Yerasol War. Through a string of bad luck was thrust into the thick of combat. Was settled in a Danoran village on an Island in the Yerasol Archipelago. He was acting as translator to the diplomat when the village was attacked by its own nation. He fought back until the orders to retreat was called when they fell back with a group of Danorans who fled the attack of their own people.

Constable Cloche Lemaitre. Tiefling Martial Scientist. Swashbuckler who lived on one of the islands of the Yerasol Archipeliago, her coastal village hosted Risuri soldiers during the war and was attacked by the Danorans by cannon barrage along the coastline. Her entire was village was prosecuted as traitors by a particularly zealous military official. She was able to escape with the Risuri soldiers and lived in Flint ever since.

Constable I'Sheng Liuxing. Eladrin Skyseer. Restorer Druid who hailed from Elfaivar. Very progressive for his people, he left to explore the world. Joined the Risuri as a field medic in the Fourth Yerasol War. Took part in the rescue of a few prisoners of war. It is here where he met his wife, a female Eladrin who was a prisoner of a Danoran Nobleman. His animal companion is a Fey Housecat. Intelligent and can talk. He spent an extra feat for the improved companion.

Constable Keiran Oddcog. Gnome Technologist. Alchemist who always had a fascination with technology due to his older brother. It’s been over 10 years since he’s seen his brother and has been looking for him ever since.

We begin in the Headquarters of the RHC. Their secretary gives them the Sunday newspaper and their itinerary for the day. A Halfling names Lindzi (Shameless ripped from Pathfinder Kingmaker and unanimously voted for by my players, who am I to argue?) who is the group's biggest cheerleader. They finish up some paperwork before the days mission then the RHC Cab brings them to Royal Square.

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Here is the newspaper handout I created. Thank you to whoever wrote those original articles, I don't remember where i picked them up from, they just have been sitting in my notes for years now.

First Amethyst began by briefing the party and the police officers there.
I had the police officer be Officer Bellastair from the beginning of the second adventure so they have someone to recognize later on.
They spot Coulton leaning against a tree and quickly are able to have him leave the area. A police officer escorts him from the grounds.
Soon afterward they find Marcliffe and Iscalio near a map shop. They listen in to them talking about where Coulton could have gone off too. Cloche confronts them and tries to bluff them by saying that Coulton isn’t coming as he was just arrested, She manages to be very convincing but Amethyst tries to add in but being the furthest from a docker you can get, immediately tips them off. A fistfight breaks out. Soon Dafton charges in an disarms Amethyst and begins beating him with his own weapon. Thames Grimsley following dafton charging through the crowd tries to diplomatically stop the fight. He is unsuccessful and asks the constables to do what they do best. The dockers are defeated and arrested and Thames is broughts in for questioning. He agrees to go quietly as long as they deliver a message to Governor Roland Standfield. The party agrees.

They move to Fleet Square Stover Delft gives them their next orders and they speak briefly to Principal Minister Harkover Lee. Keiran has a good conversation with Geoff Massarde about the technology that went into the Coaltonguel. Amethyst talked with Captain Rutger Smith about Philosophy and was very happy to receive a Drakran Cigar from the Black Bearded Dwarf. Duchess Ethelyn asked Amethyst to arrange a room for her which he promptly did with the petty officer. King Aodhan arrived and christens the ship and everyone boards.

Throughout the next hour or so the party emarks on a tour of the Coaltongue and meets the various characters aboard. Amethyst likes Divianne Athel and brings her food from the dinner upstairs. Keiran spends way longer in the engine room and holds up the tour. The tour ends with the banquet but Stover Delft detached himself from a group of Soldiers and asks the party to fetch the Duchess and she hasn’t woken up from their nap. Heading downstairs they spot the body of Divianne stuffed behind some barrels in the corner of the magazine.

They rush to the Duchess. Sokana stalls them enough time for the Duchess to escape. They see her sinking beneath the seas with Beshela on the back of a giant squid. Sokana jumps out the window and spider climbs outside the ship. Cloche is attacked by the Halfling Assassin but escapes and the Halfling goes invisible again. They try to head towards the magazine ward but find two firesprites trying to mess with the firewards. Amethyst kills one but the other escapes downstairs. They hear Sokana yelling for the engineers to rust the door closed. They manage to subdue Sokana and one of the Saboteurs but the other dies due to the fires of the furnace. Cloche gets the firerod out of the furnace and stops the elemental from manifesting. The halfing reappears and attacks Sheng nearly dropping him in one hit. Amethyst Nearly kills him with a well placed critical hit but stabilizes him so he may be questioned.

With time quickly running out Keiran Oddcog manages to fix the alarms and release some of the pressure on the boiler. And just in the nick of time, they manage to calibrate the capacitor and shoot off the Brand, averting disaster and the assassination of their King and the dignitaries.

They're debriefed by Stover Delft and Harkover Lee and arrive topside just as the King is about to begin his speech. Afterwards King Aodhan has a brief words with the party congratulating them on a job well done.

All in all, this was a blast to run and everyone enjoyed it. I am eagerly looking forward to next session. I am curious how Cloche will react to Lya Jierre as she believes that her own country turned on her and hates all things Danor now.
 

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Crispy120286

Explorer
In hindsight I should give more descriptions of the player interactions rather than straight narration. Everyone's heard the Zeitgeist intro a million times.

Here are some Highlights,

Cloche trying to blend in with the Dockers, confusing them as they had no clue who she was. And Amethyst trying to be sneaky and rolling a natural 1 on stealth and just glared at them menacingly from the alley way beside the map shop.

Sheng wanted to interrogate the little girl with the lisp because he seen her in his skyseer vision. He thought she was suspicious because she ran away when the first fight broke out.

Delft telling them specifically to not bother him, then the Duchess asks Amethyst to arrange a room. Hin going straight to Delft and spoiling his attempt to get in with a young noblewoman. After being reprimanded about not bothering him. Amethyst responds that it is his duty to keep his commanding officer abreast of the situation. The argument went on long enough for the noblewoman to slip away unnoticed. The resulting argument was hilarious and Amethyst is now branded Inspector Stick-up-his-butt.

I should add more if I can think of them. After this point we went right into the tour and then the sabotage.
 
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Crispy120286

Explorer
Session 2

The constables worked on the puzzle for a few minutes. They really struggled in person, it took Kieran Oddcog's player to solve it who was video chatting in through Discord. he was the only one to suggest to move it in 3 dimensions.

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They all really enjoyed it.

I loved how their jaws all dropped when i handed them each 1000gp for spending. i don't think they were expecting so much on the second session of a campaign.

On the RNS Impossible they had some great dialogue with Captain Rutger Smith. I think my Yerasol Veterain Amethyst Ironforged has some interest in Millerism. The Infiltration team went over well. Kieran got along very well with Burton, who taped a bunch of knives to his Simulacrum who then could only waddle around dangerously. Amethyst got a great "Breaking Things" lesson from Seven Foot Dan. and Letmas was sure I'Sheng was the only sane person onboard the entire ship.

All this made it all the more sad when the infiltration team died in the underwater tunnel. They managed to rescue Burton on the first try by rolling a Nat 20 on their strength check to move the boulder.

They managed to talk Nicolas Dupiers down without combat with some lucky diplomacy rolls. They retrieved the Golden Icon of Avilona and talked to Nicolas about what has been going on on the island. They promise to stop the Duchess and make sure the Danorans know he has survived and is holed up in the mines. He gives them the other two Icons to help them with stopping the Duchess at the Fortress. I'Sheng is particularly interested in the Icons and he feels a great connection to their respective planes.

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Sadly i couldn't use the battle map for combat, it would have been a fun encounter. I was looking forward to having the Earth Elemental play Donkey Kong with the barrels.

They are being incredibly careful heading up the mountain, stealth rolls and some spells to hide their tracks. On their way to the peak of the mountain and encounter another one of those reality fluctuations, finding themselves in the swamp. Cloche unhappy about soggy boots and Kieran unhappy because he is wet up to his chest now.

As they arrive at the peak of the mountain they can see the fortress far into the distance. and that's where we ended for the night.

All in all, a great session and my players enjoyed it. I still need to work on running from a book, I find myself stuttering sometimes trying to get the information out.

Now i'm worried about how they are going to get into the fortress. Yes, they have a few Passwall scrolls but no one can actually cast them. Even with a Nat 20 UMD check, i don't think it's possible as they wont reach the desired DC. Any suggestions or recommendations on how they could manage to sneak in?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I had the same problems with getting it. One team with a Yerasol veteran and a character with Bluff pretended to be a patrol and talked their way in. The garrison is from a mix of units put together in a hurry so I allowed them to talk their way in , particularly as they had been in the army. Your lot could pretend to have taken the tiefling prisoner to get him in
My Kobold and Goblin got in by riding on the Goblins Giant Bat which is probably less useful for most teams. But stealth and ropes could work if you assume the garrison is undermanned and concentrated on the seaward approaches
 

Crispy120286

Explorer
I'm not as good as others on here at giving campaign updates but i think I should try at least.

The Island at the Axis of the World ended with the constables arresting the Duchess however they never fought Asrebey and instead handed over Nathan Jierre to his custody.

The Dying Skyseer went rather smoothly as well. I’Sheng, our Skyseer, instantly went fanboy over Nevard. The party loved Wolfgang von Recklinhausen and i must have rolled insanely good for the combat encounter with him because after looking at his portrait, they started calling him John von Wicklinghausen. Cillian Creed as the villain who always got away was fantastic. I loved having him show up a few times but always be one step ahead. It was very satisfying for them to fight him. I also have never seen my players so frustrated as when Macbannin killed himself.

Digging for Lies really got them to HAAAATE Saxby. They wanted to pursue Macbannins case all the way to the end and were not happy when I effectively told them NO. This is where they started to understand the bureaucracy of the RHC and they are not simple adventurers who can do whatever the hell they want. Throughout this module I really played up the Lovecraftian horror aspect. They came upon many people with missing brains. Then the constant Thought beast attacks. Finally at the conclusion, at the Gala I had Morgan Cippiano, Wolfgang, and Rock Rackus show up for good fun. Our team leader and Yerasol Veterain Amethyst does not like Cippiano at all so he mostly ignored him. However Wolfgang enjoyed a good conversation with the party and Rock Rackus tried to be the center of attention. They needed help as they were one player down (Cloches player stopped playing for the final two sessions of this module) so they told Rock he can be a deputy and took him to the RHC to help. Kieran Oddcog also put on the steam suit, picked up the Nock Gun and shot the Thing from Beyond and launched a train at it. That was pretty awesome.

Next week we begin Always on Time. Wish me luck! :D

My players take very detailed notes but nothing that could be used as a journal unfortunately. Here is a link to the campaign document.
 

Crispy120286

Explorer
Its that time again!
My group recently completed Always on Time. It took us 9 5-hour sessions to complete, including the expanded Crypta Hereticarum.
During the montage in the beginning to get ready for their mission, their dice were on fire! They got a perfect win and no one knew they were going on a mission.

The one thing I got from my players about this particular adventure is that while they enjoyed becoming new characters and going undercover. 4 days of the same thing got really tiring. once I told them there was no more tailing suspects they were very relieved.

With the Three Milestones encounter, they knew Boone by this point was a murderer and I'Sheng, our Skyseer Druid turned into a gorilla and beat him senseless and threw him off the train.

I got a lot of praise with how interesting and unique the Crypta Hereticarum was and Ashima Shimtu was particularly creepy with her knowledge of them. They took Ottavia with them throughout the dungeon and instantly liked her. However she wasn't once to immediately betray the Ob even though they told her of their atrocities. She wasn't sure if she was to believe them or not. In the end she willingly went into custody. She implored them to not hurt Luc.

the final encounter they managed to plan out their view of the meeting quite well. They discovered Lya Jierre was a part of it and learned of Nicodemus and the others who are a part of the mission. I'Sheng was a small mouse then turned into a Gorilla again inside the station, took Luc's Amulet off and smashed the Lantern. This made Bree and Everyone else disappear. It all happened so fast i was really disappointed I couldnt have has Nicodemus talk to them at least for just a little bit. I did however have him praise I'Sheng telling him he didnt see that one coming and give him a grin as they dissappeared once the lantern was destroied. Lya removed her amulet and dueled Amethyst but she too dissappeared because of her gatecrasher charm. They arrested Luc and managed to escape the city being chased by everyone. Kieran decided to launch the train off the side of the bridge but didn't ride it down saddly, oh well. they did dive into the waters below and was able to escape with their ship.

Here is the Link to our Google Document for the campaign so far!

Tonight we begin Cauldron Borne. I am very excited. Wish me luck!

I wish I was as good as some of you DM's who give weekly and session by session reports of your campaigns. But I don't take the notes for the doc. That's mostly done by Amethyst's player. I do all the formatting and some inputs here and there. Take a peek at it for everything that's happened in the campaign up until the end of Always on Time with in the players perspective.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
 



Crispy120286

Explorer
3 out of 4 of my players absolutely love this campaign and always tell me so. The last is extremely difficult to please and will pick apart everything he encounters for flaws so I have learned not to take anything he says too personally. However most of my group thinks this campaign is engaging and are really looking forward to seeing how things progress. I get a lot of compliments on how cinematic things feel and how well the pace is. Thank you @RangerWickett for writing such a fantastic campaign.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I did the large write ups mainly so I had a record of what happened in case of interruptions, I knew we were taking a break at the end of book 1 and my experience of the year or so before that lead me to consider the possibilities of me being unable to run a game for several months. I missed nearly 6 months 3 sessions before the end of our previous campaign, then I got into the habit of it. Even then a lot of details escaped each write up so write up what you feel like its all appreciated
 

Crispy120286

Explorer
Last night we completed Cauldron Borne. It only took us 11 Sessions. My table splits weeks with myself and another DM who is currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Here's the breakdown of all of Act 1.
Season 1- 5 Episodes. Adventure began on Oct 10, 2019.
Season 2- 7 Episodes.
Season 3- 8 Episodes.
Season 4- 9 Episodes.
Season 5- 11 Episodes. Adventure concluded on May 27th, 2021.

Overall this was a great adventure. I will admit that my players felt very overwhelmed with the many plot threads. they didn't particularly like the fact that some of them felt like they could get through them all. But they made it. They killed Ekossigan, They captured Grundun Zubov and his Prophet (Who doesn't shut up and constantly preaches in his cell), But Kell murdered Team B and got away. That REALLY Pissed them off.

Once again, the most difficult player at my table left again, We're left with the main 3 which really isn't a problem at all.

They enjoyed the Peace Talk. One of my players had a revelation then that this campaign expected that sort of political talk with your enemies. Once that was realized they had a very engaging conversation with Lya Jierre which was very fun.

Here's an image of the Bleak Gate encounter. I got screams all around the table once I revealed this thing. That was super satisfying.
Borne Fight.jpg


The Technologist was screaming NOOO! when the Steelshaper tore apart Grappa again. "I spent MONTHS putting him back together!"
Then there was the jokes as the Steelshaper fell to his death. "Oh no, we shall never see him again. Nope, Not ever." Overall it was good Bond Villain fun.

During the final encounter I decided to have ol' Cillian Creed manifest from the witchoil oozes. He escaped into the witchoil during the climax of season 2 and was out for revenge on Amethyst. No it doesn't Make sense but my party hates when a villain gets away so they were happy to take him down again.

They absolutely loved the Knighting Ceremony. Everyone said they had goosebumps. I played the Zeitgeist theme right as he started saying their names and played a crowd cheering track behind it for effect and it got the exact reaction I was hoping for.

The people of Flint line the shore, cheering and applauding for the heroes that drove away the monster that attacked their city. As the party sails close enough to be clearly viewed by the citizens, the king stands, draws his sword, and asks the party to kneel. With just a simple proclamation that no one will ever hear but them, he touches his sword to their shoulders. The crowd grows quiet at the scene.

King: “Amethyst Ironforged, Kieran Oddcog, I’Sheng Liuxing, you have been deemed fit for this high estate by your peers, and have indicated your willingness to accept this honor from Our hands. Do you now swear by all that you hold sacred, true, and holy that you will honor and defend the Crown and Kingdom of the Risur?

Candidate: I will.

King: That you will honor, defend, and protect all citizens, and those weaker than yourself?

Candidate: I will.

King: That you will conduct yourself in all matters as befits a Peer, drawing your sword only for just cause? That you will enshrine in your heart the noble ideals of Chivalry to the benefit of your own good name and the greater glory of the Risur?

Candidate: I will.

King: Then having sworn these solemn oaths, know now that I, Aodhan Lesterman, by right of arms, King of Risur, do dub thee with my sword, and by all that you hold sacred, true, and holy... Once for Honor... Twice for Duty... Thrice for Chivalry... Arise, Sir Amethyst Ironforged of Flint, Sir Kieran Oddcog of Flint, Sir I’Sheng Liuxing of Flint! Knights of Risur!

As you stand, the magic of the land rises with you: healing your wounds and wrapping you in its warm embrace. The king gestures to the city.

You look to Flint, and applause can be hard across the city.

All in all, Zeitgeist is a fantastic adventure. I am really looking forward to continuing to run this adventure. I wont be running Act 2 for a while however, a couple of months at least. My Wife is pregnant and we're due on July 4th so right now is a great time to begin a small break.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I brought Creed back as well and on several other occassions after all the Butler did it.
The only visual prop I used in the campaign (I lack talant) was for Borne. I stood at the edge of the Battlemap and that was to scale with the little cardboard miniatures.

Good luck with the new baby and in my experience a planned gap works much better than a sudden unplanned gap in a campaign,
 


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