WotBS Question about the structure of Chapter 2

lockyreid

Villager
My players have just reached the village ruins just past Indomitability's Trial and I have a question about the upcoming section.

They have been told to go to free Indomitablity who is trapped beneath the lake, so I'm wondering how the story steers the players towards exploring up river first, as they don't really have any reason to at this time. I'm assuming my players will head immediately downstream (after gaining access to the reliquary).

Is there any problem to them doing that? I haven't finished reading the whole adventure, but it seems the layout of the book intends the players to head towards Nelle first.

Does the adventure change in any way if the players explore one direction before the other? or do they eventually have to go to both places before the final confrontation.

Thanks
 
First, you probably ought to read the whole adventure before running it. It helps with pacing, foreshadowing, and the like.

Second, eh, you can skip Nelle and the others upstream. It's just a slight reward of information for stubborn PCs who want to resist Indomitability. It helps suggest to them that there's more at stake than just an angry fire spirit, which could encourage them to, y'know, get back to the plot.
 

Mrpereira

Explorer
If I recall correctly there is a journal, that mentions going upstream - that would be the hook for going there, but it is entirely optional. If they feel a time constraint they most likely will just head downstream.
 

Lylandra

Explorer
Yep, this is Bhurisrava's log that can be found in his shrine to Anyariel in the elven village.

Depending on how much time your party spends with Indomitability, he even suggests that the PCs could get some rest and the village is relatively safe to explore (except the Ghasts). So chances are that they find the entrance to the shrine and, beacuse there were "monster guardians" in front of it (typical PC logic :D), decide to explore it.

In the shrine they find a puzzling situation with the Ghaele who doesn't know why she's there, the dead Bhurisrava, the stolen "whatever", still burning Diashan in stasis and said journal.

And there is that passage basically saying "I am goin to deliver the victims upstream where they maybe find relief. May someone find what I have hidden. It would help to bring justice."

Of course, this means two things: 1) the victims - possibly still alive - are upstream (with Nelle) and 2) whatever he has hidden can give them clues to find out what happened (this hints at Diashan, but can easily be applied to the victims as well)

So there's the hook for going upstream. But of course, it doesn't matter if they head downstream and ignore this part.
 

lockyreid

Villager
Cool. thanks for the replies. My players have found the journal, but they didnt hook too hard on that part of the journal. I wasn't sure if I needed to push that part a bit more, but sounds like they can check it out if they want, or just head downstream to the village.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Yes, the journal and the shrine are the primary "there is more to this" signals. The reward is the feather tokens and a potentially better understanding that the fire is what is keeping people alive. Before the heroes actually travel southward, they should have received Indomitability's and Kazyk's offers and met Tiljann (at the tower if they spent any amount of time in the elf village). My players had not checked the tower on the way in, so I had Tiljann show up and get jumped by the Seela rebels as the heroes finished searching the tower.

I used my heroes' trip north as an opportunity for Kazyk to show up for the third time and chastise them for heading northward when the target of their agreement is obviously to the south. It spooked the heroes to think that Kazyk was keeping tabs on them.

How did the meeting with Indomitability go? My heroes were convinced he was a dragon at first.
 

lockyreid

Villager
Great. My players also think that he is a dragon being held captive. They really don't want to side with him as they didn't want to unleash a dragon on the world. They were convinced that he was a red dragon (they think he started the fire, and is responsible for all the chaos), but I made them doubt it a little bit by saying its just a dragon shaped head in the fire. It could be a silver or platinum dragon that is trapped (worked well as one of the players is a classic Bahamut style dragonborn paladin). But they didnt see much other option at the time so have decided to side with him... for now...

They will be exploring the elf village and shrine next session which will then prompt them to go back to the cavern and find Khadral. After the shrine section is complete I'll have them see Tiljann back on the bridge near the tower and run that before they take a boat onto the river (either upstream or downstream).

I really like that this adventure can be quite dictated by the players. Makes it fun to explore myself! I have no idea which side they will take in the seela village.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Khadral? I didn't realize you were playing the 4e version. Is that the preferred edition for you and your table?
 

lockyreid

Villager
Oh. I didnt realise that the edition changes were that significant. I assumed that just the encounter designs where converted, but the characters and story stayed the same. That's quite cool.

Yes we are playing 4e. We started playing 4e last year after getting quite bored of 5e. Started with Scales of War, but that fell apart after a TPK in chapter 2. So we looked for something a bit less dungeon crawly and more story based and I found this campaign!
 

Lylandra

Explorer
Hah, nice to see that there are still 4e fans out there :)

The 4e version has some cool additions and extra details for the fluff, but there are many occasions where you can see directly that they wanted to increase the numbers of encounters to reach the necessary XP thresholds.

If you're currently in adventure 2... [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION] and I found an error in the 4e version that you may wish to correct:

In Anyariel's shrine, there is an Eladrin Knight named Eteranth who is said to be a Solei Palancis, but also sent by an unknown god. Now he does have some info about Shaaladel's/Aurana's betrayal, but this all didn't make much sense:

1) The Solei Palancis are the Shahalesti elite warriors. They are high elves. (or Eladrin, in 4e)
2) The being sent by the "god of healing" to answer Bhurisrava's pleas should be a celestial
3) I can see no way how or why a god could or would command/send Shaaladel's troops, especially those who are kind of involved in the betrayal

I guess it all came down to the Eladrin confusion in 4e as originally, the celestial was a Ghaele Eladrin and Eladrin in 4e are just elf people. So you can keep the background (Torfendar, Diashan, House Kiirodel) and just change the Eladrin to a celestial of your choice who has nothing to do with the Shahalesti.
 

Mrpereira

Explorer
I never did read the 4th edition version of the AP - but I find that it is a shame if there is more flavor and storyrelated things in one edition and not the other - at the least that should have been in a side bar.

when that is said - in the 3.5 version my players never found evidence that pointed sole blame on either one or the other party for burning the forest (they had a clear idea that it was Shahalesti) but never had that final piece of evidence. It ended up giving the game an extra layer of never really knowing who to trust or what to believe, which is one of the great things in the campaign. My point is that you don't have to worry too much about them missing some smaller part of the information. If you want to give it to them, have it delivered somehow or else let their own imaginations fill in the blanks.
 
I wasn't involved in the 4e conversion of WotBS, but my understanding is that more encounters were added because 4e has more levels than 3e.
 

Lylandra

Explorer
If I got this right, then the authors of the 4e conversion tried to add some replayability for those who had played through the original. Hence the additions, at least until chapter 6.

Some of them are really good, some of them even close gaps and ease the DM's prepwork. Others can distract (at least in my opinion) or are a bit incoherent. Like the Eladrin or "41 light - troll version".

Oh and IIRC the 4e version was released after the original, so all of these additions happened after the 3.5 version was finished.
 

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