ZEITGEIST Death of an Author during Gears of Revolution

MarkM

Explorer
The new setting book came out, so I know that lots of Zeitgeist fans are ready to dig into the new era. For those still in the past (like me)...

Our party has finished Crypta Hereticarum and Always on Time and are eagerly awaiting Cauldron Born to come out for Roll20. For those who haven't run the whole Gears of Revolution path yet but who can't wait to run the amazing Death of the Author adventure, it can fit nicely into Gears with only minimal changes.

In our campaign, a constable witnessed Cardiff selling secrets to Ulrik Pevedin, but was on her own and unable to apprehend either of them. The RHC has been investigating (offscreen), and is sending the newly-formed "B-Team" to follow up on a lead -- that Pevedin is linked to the Kuchnost crime syndicate and is sending an agent to Endswile Island to sell the Danoran millitary documents.

Easy changes to adapt Death of the Author --
1. The item for sale is Danoran documents, not spaceship plans
2. The last name of the family who owned the manor house has been changed to avoid giving away too much too early; the scientist whose family formerly lived in the manor is the uncle of the doctor who appears in Gears (he found his uncle's writings and used that research to conduct his own family project), but the party won't know that for a quite a while.
3. The host uses the younger-looking portrait and is an influential philosopher only, not a Chancellor; his dwarven bodyguard is Karlin Bolgar (already in the adventure) who has a different rifle

There are some other minor changes, most easy to do on the fly. The timeline before the adventure is a little different, Delkovich has secret connections to the radical branch of eschatologists (in order to undermine his rival), etc., but for me it all seems to fit very well. It gives the players a chance to create their "B-team" characters and introduces them before Cauldron, and provides a perfect opportunity for Heid to discover and send warning about the chance of a radical eschatologist plot.
 

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That's a neat idea.

There's a bit of NPC backstory that might need some tweaking. Budwati could just be the child of some other matriarch who is on the run after joining with the Harimau (and this would showcase the Harimau elves a bit long before the party meets them again in adventure 8). Julius could be a more generic pious spy, since the Ottoplismists don't exist yet. Or he might be with the Family. And Nargio could still have been involved in some sort of military disaster, perhaps one that involved a Vekeshi mystic, to keep him angry at elves.

A bit of script rewrites could make it all work, yeah.
 

MarkM

Explorer
Thanks, Ryan. My plan was mostly as you suggested -- Budwati's story stays essentially the same but her mom is the leader of a band of generic elven terrorists/freedom-fighters who make guerrilla attacks on the colonies to try to drive foreigners from their ancestral lands. Since Ber hasn't been in a war for a while, Nargio isn't a veteran. Instead, in my version he was the curator for the Ber wing of an "Indigenous and Primitive Peoples" museum in Tropaeum. The band led by Budwati's mother hit the museum (offended by the portrayal of elves); Nargio was the sole survivor and became a local hero for protecting his wing of the museum (Delcovich later accuses him of just hiding until the rebels left). Julius was going to be a pious spy (helping the Church prepare for possible future conflict with the Godless Danorans), but the Family is an interesting idea... have to thing about that one.

If anyone sees any other holes, ways I might inadvertently spoil a future reveal, or have other ideas, I appreciate the feedback!
 

Well, if the VIP dies, you'd need to think of someone else sympathetic to take his role in later adventures. Heck, maybe Kvarti finds his calling in carrying on eschatology.
 

MarkM

Explorer
Yike. Dead VIP would not be good at all! Maybe the dwarves of Drakr have invented bulletproof vests... I think that's how it works in movies -- the key character "dies," then once the fighting is over they sit up and pull the bullets out of the vest they'd secretly been wearing under their clothes. Of course, then my players will try to buy or steal one.
 



MarkM

Explorer
I've been busy and traveling a bit, but we're still working our way through DOTA each week. They defeated the monster and sealed the well last time, so are heading back upstairs to solve the murder (sans a couple of limbs). We will probably finish up tonight; maybe next week if they spend a lot of time searching the rest of the mansion and speaking with the NPCs before combat breaks out again. I'll give a better update soon!
 

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