D&D 5E Is it right for WoTC to moralize us in an adventure module?

I was a bit confused about that actually. It seemed to me like it was an either/or thing - if you're using the Golden Vault, you only get their reward (or not); if you're not using the Golden Vault and have been hired by the dwarves directly, then you get their offered reward (or not). Do you think it should be both if you are using the Golden Vault?
The Golden Vault have you meet the Dwarf so you should get both rewards.
 

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Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
I think the "good" ending is the one the players come up with themselves that doesn't involve a) aiding a criminal mastermind or b) murdering said criminal mastermind. It could be kidnapping the criminal mastermind and returning her to the clan she betrayed. It could be subduing her and making a copy of her tattoo without her permission. It could even be, as someone suggested above, working with the warden to create a false set of prison records that are then given to the criminal mastermind as payment for her cooperation.
All great ideas!

But does a well-written high-quality WoTC adventure present these different ideas as written in the published adventure? Or does a high-quality WoTC adventure exclude or obfuscate these ideas and the DM might have to think hard of coming up with them independently?

What if the DM is not on Enworld and doesn't have a channel to brainstorm ideas? What if the DM is young? What if the DM is new and inexperienced? What if the DM is juggling a job and kids and other life stuff?

To me, this is the crux of the issue: does the adventure as published, as written, examine & explore the different outcomes in order to serve a variety of DMs? (and not just to experienced DMs?)
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
That feels incomplete isn't it? The good ending is not "Get the treasure (no matter how)"? There has to be a qualifier there, for it to be "good".

I don't see any "good" ending in the adventure as written, by my definition of good.
So if the party uses a perception check and magic to copy the tattoo to use the key to get their reward it's still morally wrong? Because that's one of the options listed in the adventure. Make a perception check to recognize the tattoo is the key, spend 10 minutes either studying it or drawing it, make a skill check, and you've got the key without doing any harm to anyone.

Like it's -part- of the "As Written" adventure in the same section they're like "Or you could give her the records."
Which isn't to say that everyone needs a heroically good and morally correct ending spelled out in the adventure, but since D&D is not grimdark genre for everybody, I submit that a well-written D&D adventure ought to offer one. (And ya, my subjective preference is spilling out here)
The "Get it without hurting anyone" option is on the table.
Ya I did mention upthread that I think the adventure's conclusion could have been written and/or presented in a more broadly appealing way.
Broadly appealing... suggests that more people agree with you than not and looking at the thread that doesn't seem to be the case, here.

Could also have been written in a narrowly appealing way, like Mass Effect 3's ending. Personally I prefer this ending to that one. (Or those three, after the update)
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
So if the party uses a perception check and magic to copy the tattoo to use the key to get their reward it's still morally wrong? Because that's one of the options listed in the adventure. Make a perception check to recognize the tattoo is the key, spend 10 minutes either studying it or drawing it, make a skill check, and you've got the key without doing any harm to anyone.
What do you mean? It says "She allows the characters to study it so they can replicate its image using magic such as disguise self or minor illusion, or even copy it with pen and ink."

Why would she allow them to copy it if she didn't get what she wanted (them aiding and abetting her)?

Where does it suggest here that the PCs have a photographic memory and can take a mental snapshot of the tattoo against her will?

Broadly appealing... suggests that more people agree with you than not and looking at the thread that doesn't seem to be the case, here.
I don't know what you mean? "Broadly appealing" means that a variety of DMs who are not on Enworld can read the adventure on their own and clearly understand some of the different options that the author had intended for a variety of gaming preferences.
 
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pukunui

Legend
All great ideas!

But does a well-written high-quality WoTC adventure present these different ideas as written in the published adventure?
It already does to a certain extent. There's a built-in DC for memorizing / copying the tattoo design. (Yes, it's written in the context of the NPC cooperating, but there's no reason you can't allow the PCs to attempt it in some other way. After all, the adventure also points out that the PCs can make a disabling poison using materials in the infirmary and that they can potentially get the NPC alone in that room. My mind immediately put two and two together and thought of getting the PC in there and then drugging her so you can copy her tattoo ... but then the NPC is a dwarf, so using poison probably isn't the best way to go about it.)

Yes, the NPC wants the prison records, but the author doesn't push the players towards acquiescing to her demands. On the flip side, the author does attempt to push the players away from committing murder and desecrating a corpse.

I'm actually quite happy with the way this adventure is presented. As I said way back on page 1 or wherever, the only thing that really irked me about the setup was the expectation that guards would be standing out in the freezing cold for 8 hours at a time.
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
It already does to a certain extent. There's a built-in DC for memorizing / copying the tattoo design.
"In any case, a character must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check to correctly re-create the tattoo, which requires 10 minutes of study or drawing" which is under the section "Trade for the key"

I guess I am not reading it the same way some as you are.

It seems quite clear it takes time to study and re-create the tattoo, and it highlights the difficulty of knocking her out -- for example, in order to memorize the tattoo (she has a lot of hit points, so not even sure how that's possible without her alerting the guards!)
 

pukunui

Legend
I guess I am not reading it the same way some as you are.
So it would seem.

It seems quite clear it takes time to study and re-create the tattoo, and it doesn't present the option of knocking her out in order to memorize the tattoo (she has a lot of hit points, so not even sure how that's possible without her alerting the guards!)
Silence is only a 2nd level spell. That would be one option. Falsifying the records she wants would be another.
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Silence is only a 2nd level spell. That would be one option. Falsifying the records she wants would be another.
Which circles back to my previous point: Neither of which the author presented in the conclusion, and a DM who is young, inexperienced, busy, and/or not on Enworld might not occur to them (as per here upthread)
 


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