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Play reports for the Dying Skyseer

imars

Villager
There are no spoilers in this post, but if you visit my blog, you will find spoilers. It took us seven sessions to play this monster adventure in our monthly Pathfinder gaming group. We had a grand time playing it, though the plot was complex enough that is was a challenge to DM as well as to play. My group managed to follow up on all the threads.

It seems that I cannot post direct links anymore :confused:, so if you want to visit my blog: Parhoon Naval Yards in my profile and you use the label The Dying Skyseer, you can view all seven entries.

parhoon-naval-yards.blogspot.de/search/label/The%20Dying%20Skyseer
 

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Thanks for the link. I'm always thrilled to hear about people's experiences with the campaign. And I like your players' styles.

As for posting links, I believe it's an anti-spam measure. People who have fewer than 10 posts cannot put links into their posts.

Considering the pace of your game, do you foresee continuing the campaign?
 

imars

Villager
Oh, yes. Most definitely we will continue playing. My players (all 40+) are having fun with this, more so than we had with the Council of Thieves campaign that I ran. That went almost exactly two years. I am hoping that we will be able to move more quickly through the other books, but if we don't I hope we finish before we retire.

SPOILER

Since I have you on this thread. One of the things that gave me trouble were the difference between the individual books and the Act I book. Specifically, Lorcan Kell's conditions for releasing Dr. von Recklinghausen changed. I had been working from the individual book at the time I GM'ed that section. The motivation provided in the Act I compilation is much better.

I also left out the fight with Cillian Creed at the end. Our evening was winding down, and I had not expected them to leave behind two guards. Rather than figure something out at the time, I just had the guards barely survive the fight and kill off Creed and his helpers.

One of the finest moment in the game was when the heroes came down from Cauldron Hill and caught a cab to Heward Sechim's factory. They struck up a conversation with the cabbie, named Albert Ecclestone. When they catch the two half-dragon arsonist brothers and they reveal that the Ecclestone brings them their messages, their jaws just dropped. "Arggh! We could have had him!"

Actually I have one question for you. Book one states that the players can keep the golden icons. But this is probably something that the RHC would not approve of when the audit came about. Is that how you meant it to play out?
 

Yeah, we tried to polish and refine things with the compilation. I should probably put a note in the DriveThruRPG descriptions for all the individual adventures encouraging people to buy the compilation.

As for the golden icons, the audit would only have a problem with it if the party did not use their funds to officially requisition the items. If they pocketed them and didn't report them, yeah, that's a problem.

Early on, I definitely wanted the players to have an option to be dirty cops, because that can be fun, but I hope that Nigel Price-Hill will encourage them to be more upstanding, to lay the groundwork for them rising to positions of authority.
 

imars

Villager
We have both extremes in the party. Tumbar the Monk wants to follow the letter of the law. This meant he had to be sent on a useless errand when a deal was cut between the constables and Sorghum and Ford on the prison boat. The aptly named Ana R. Chi is only in it for herself. I fogot to mention in my blog how she kept urging the other constables to decapitate Macbannin.

The party believes in the conspiracy, but suspect that the RHC itself has been affected. I am eager to see how they explain what happened to the 100,000 gp recovered from the Wareyes and the crates of wands.

Kudos to you and your team as this is by far the BEST-written adventure I have ever had the pleasure to run.
 

The1exile

First Post
How did you find tying the investigation together? I finished running Night on Bald Mountain and Two Fronts yesterday but despite the party having spotted the link to alchemists on the brigadeiros and learning that the House Elf was involved from the accomplices at the Goodson Estuarial Reformatory, they were reluctant to do the busy work necessary to actually track down the leads in no small part (I think) because of the time pressures from travelling meaning that although they'd tracked down a huge amount of information in 3 days (they went up the mountain on the evening of the 3rd) they still felt on the clock to solve everything and that they would't be able to track down the smuggler's wharf. They also didn't go back to central after arranging to go up the mountain and therefore missed their chance to liaise with the informants they had out doing favours.

How did you find the fighting? My party nearly died to an all but one 8 round daze from the legless cackler and charisma damage as the druid rolled miss after miss after miss and the charisma damage racked up.
 

imars

Villager
I will answer the pacing problem first.

SPOILERS

I did have to give the party one push in the investigation. On their first day they followed the Dr. to the House of Blue Birds and stopped except to request information on Officier Porter. There was a half-hearted attempt to look for apothecaries. They also went to the Thinking Man's Tavern and the Parity Lake Police Department. These hints led them to Heward Sechim and then on to Nevard. The second day led them to the top of Cauldron Hill with a visit to the factory in the early hours of the third day. That morning they checked in at RHC HQ and then went to meet with Gale and before returning at noon to the RHC.

This is where I decided to push the party. According to the adventure as written, Nevard should have announced his plan to speak in Dawn Square on the forth. I decided to push out the announcement by a day so as not to conflict with the smuggling operation. I didn't want to force the party to decide which lead to follow or risk them splitting the party. So my push was to have Delft review what the players knew and then ask them to look into Sorhum and Starter to see what their involvement was. He also wanted to know what Recklinghausen took off the body. The constables took this cue to visit the Goodson Reformatory, which led them to the Wareyes. There they learned about the smuggling operation.

The constables debated long and hard about the smuggling operation. They felt it was irrelevant to the murder. In the end, they decided duty required them to investigate and maybe they might learn where the witch oil came from. With time to kill until the evening, they interviewed Camp and Kindleton. Kindleton agreed to try and meet with Recklinghausen and convince him to come in. She was going to try and establish contact on her own. The constables followed her in secret. I used this opportunity to have Kell's men kidnap her. Kell's me then brought the party in to the theater. They paid the ransom, were led to the church, drove off Creed, then snuck out the secret passage with Recklinghausen and Kindleton before Quital buried them alive. Quital murdered before the church. They still had enough time to return to the RHC and then head out to the baijou and make the exchange with the smugglers. So that was the end of day 4.

Day 5 saw them return to Flint in the early morning hours and report in at HQ. There they learned of the Dawn Square event later that day. Before heading off, one of the NPC's told them of the goings on in the warehouse district. They passed through Dawn Square on their way through and noted the gathering crowds. They fought their way into the warehouse and captured nearly all the technicians. They just had enough time to rush back to the square before Nevard's arrival. After rescuing Nevard, the returned to RHC with the evidence from the warehouse and requested an arrest warrant. They also really needed to recover.

Day 6 they headed off to confront Macbannin. They captured him and with his help, turned off the eldritch machine.
 

imars

Villager
As far as the fighting goes... again there are SPOILERS

I was worried about the fighting on the mountain. I was not hard on my players. When the shadowy man began throwing sunrods, I allowed the monk to be fast enough to catch and throw them back before the creatures crossed the ring of blood. I liked the idea enough to allow it to work. Where the party did almost die was fighting the construct in the warehouse. They blocked the technicians escape by fascinating them or using a wall of stone to block their access to the ring. The construct stunned most of the party. Only a lucky save by the barbarian followed by a critical hit saved them. Macbannin would have been dangerous, except the monk grappled him. He could do very little after that, though he had knocked 2 of 5 players out of action with curses. Though once the monk pinned and cuffed Macbannin, I ruled that the mage cuffs broke the curse. It would not have changed the ultimate outcome, in my opinion. It just would have slowed things down. The only other fights were against the Wareyes, the arsonists, and against Creed in the church. They managed to avoid or intimidate or negotiate their way out of any other fights.
 

takai

First Post
Thanks for the meticulous blog, imars. I enjoy reading up on your party's progress.

My group will start the Dying Skyseer in two weeks and i am really looking forward to how it will turn out. I did find the adventure very complex, and have started compiling a comprehensive cast of characters as well as a story mindmap, built on a sketch that imars send me earlier. If anybody is interested in this, let me know, i'll have it finished in about two weeks.
 

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