ZEITGEIST Questions for The Dying Skyseer

Echolocation

Explorer
I have a few miscellaneous questions regarding the second book of Zeitgeist, The Dying Skyseer. For some of these questions, I imagine there is an 'official' answer. For others, I would like to know how DMs/you would personally handle it.

1) When Nicodemous has possessed someone through needlewire, does he speak in a different accent than the possessed target?

2) If the party arrest members of The Family in the wand smuggling of the 4th of Summer, they are contacted by Morgan Cippianno. Their favour with the oraginsation increases to prestige 2. In this instance, are the constables seen as friends or foes? Does this solely depend on whether they release the prisoners Morgan requests of them?

3) Can the party access favours from the Unseen Court in this book? If so, how do they do it?

4) In the campaign overview, there is a suggestion to allow the Ob to try to tempt a technologist in the party to become a double agent. The technologist in my party would never do such a thing, but I would still like to try. When is are some good moments to do this? I imagine after this book, as the Ob is barely known to the party, and vice versa.

Thanks in advance!
 
1) I didn't consider the accent but he was speaking as himself if the players later encountered the same person he would speak differently. The courier had his throat cut in my run through so no one could talk to him
2) Prestige means how capable the group is thought of, it is a very rough system (note you have prestige with the Ob and you certainly couldn't get any help from them in normal circumstances). In this case I doubt Morgan will be offended his men are arrested but when asked for help he would probably try to get his men released as a quid quo pro for the help. Even if the keep the prisoners being on talking terms with the constables is useful to him so he won't stop talking to them and maybe even provide small aid to show how useful being freinds could be. His big picture is taking out Kell and the cops (i.e the cp's could be really helpful) so until its clear they won't deal with him he will try

3) Yes. The same way they access any other they talk to someone they know who knows other people. How they do that is up to you, maybe the Vekeshi (I think you have one) talks to other Vekeshi and they know someone. Maybe the local Brownie if you leave a note and some cookies with his milk can pass a message on. My Vekeshi pc handled all fey contacts (and most others as she was the one with diplomacy)

4) I would not even try it until book 7 really. Then let your players make an informed decision about if they want to join this group knowing what it is and what they want. Otherwise a PC traitor is nothing but a hassle who will cause serious player discord at some point when they are uncovered. Also at the moment you have to either Bribe the pc's or tell them what the Ob want several books early and unless they join the Ob and get a ring casual Divination will reveal them as traitors , certianly in book 3 when they are audited I assume someone uses divination to ask if any of the pc's are traitors . Saxby of course has a ring and is covered. If you really want the hassle now have a pc be recruited by Saxby to keep an eye on the others that way they still can claim they worl for the RHC and won't have to know about the Ob but should work it out when she is revealed
 

Galandris

Adventurer
1) When Nicodemous has possessed someone through needlewire, does he speak in a different accent than the possessed target?
I don't think so. Needlewire allows Nicodemus to take control, but I don't see magical control to be to the level of fine throat control needed to speak like the controler and use his accent. I see it -- and I don't think there is an official answer -- more like a possession with the controller wishing the puppet to say something, and said puppet speaks in his own voice. If you wanted to drop a subtle hint, you could use a more refined vocabulary than a vagrant would use for the courier.

2) If the party arrest members of The Family in the wand smuggling of the 4th of Summer, they are contacted by Morgan Cippianno. Their favour with the oraginsation increases to prestige 2. In this instance, are the constables seen as friends or foes? Does this solely depend on whether they release the prisoners Morgan requests of them?
The reputation level can't be negative, so it really tracks how much the party is noticed, not in which way. Indeed, after meeting Cippiano, they are noticed by the Family. If they help, it will be in a good way and they'll be able to draw favours from them, or they deny everything, they will be seen as harder to get... But it's explicitely noted he won't be against the PCs if they deny him, and he could do another gesture of good faith later on if it suits his goals.

3) Can the party access favours from the Unseen Court in this book? If so, how do they do it?
If they are Vekeshi and delivered the mirror to Gale, they should be able to request favours. I'd mention this possibility to the player, by making a small fey explicitely meet the character and say the Unseen Court is willing to help those who help it. You can't expect the player to imagine his character could start requesting favours by himself.

4) In the campaign overview, there is a suggestion to allow the Ob to try to tempt a technologist in the party to become a double agent. The technologist in my party would never do such a thing, but I would still like to try. When is are some good moments to do this? I imagine after this book, as the Ob is barely known to the party, and vice versa.
I am not sure it's a good idea unless the WHOLE party joins the conspiracy. I wouldn't go the road of having a "traitor PC" as it can lead to resentment between players. Even if the would-be traitor's player is OK to have his character betray and become an NPC, I am not sure it's something that can work unless discussed before... and if you do that, you'll spoil the betrayal, removing most of the interest of it. I'd introduce the idea later only if

a) the players, by themselves, express the idea that th Ob's goal are not misguided
b) only after they are aware of said goal (after book 7). I wouldn't have the Obscurati trying to lure one of them and betray the betrayer after that, but make a bona fide approach to make them take a part in the future new world order.

At least, it could spark a good discussion among the players on the best course of events.


If you look at the sidebar "PC in the Obscurati", they start appearing in Diaspora.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
I don't think so. Needlewire allows Nicodemus to take control, but I don't see magical control to be to the level of fine throat control needed to speak like the controler and use his accent.
Thanks for your response. I believed this to be the case too, until I quickly skimmed Book 7. Towards the end (Battling Nicodemus block), the book specifies:

If the party’s true identity has been revealed, Nicodemus’s voice changes accent and timbre to that of Andrei, who says, “These are not yours to harm.”
 

arkwright

Explorer
  1. I would strongly assume that after 500 years of being the most powerful ghost on the planet, Nicodemus can speak in whatever accent he wants. Maybe by experience, maybe by concealed magic. Heck, maybe he added an additional enchantment into the needlewire for perfect voice control. Or maybe he's just that good at disguise.
  2. I don't believe that the AP offers many different outcomes based on whether faction prestige is due to allegiance or due to rivalry. It just goes 'prestige X, thus Y'. For this case, I'd say whether the Clergy Prestige is allegiant or rivalrious depends on if Morgan considers the PCs as assets or enemies. Go with whatever you think works best, and don't stress; the AP doesn't offer many opportunities to leverage Clergy prestige.
  3. The favor-accessing rules are in the Player's Guide; the players can definitely access Court favors in this book. While Flint does have a lot of fey tech disruption, there are still some fey living in the city. Gale describes her gremlin-contact, and the Vekeshi Mystic handout has some fey assets in the city. I'd suggest the party can get a favor by flagging down a passing contact/speaking to a druid/visiting the Cloudwood.
  4. A major double-agent temptation point is in Book 6, where the party is competing with Minister Lya. Otherwise... could do it when they are pretending to be Ob agents in Book 4, could do it when Saxby is investigating them in Book 3... lots of options.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Hi all,

I'm unearthing this thread to ask a few more questions about the conclusion/epilogue of this adventure. Most of these are inspired by the documents given to the PCs in Adventure Five.

1) Is Cillian meant to die? He is labelled as deceased later in the book. Maybe I missed something?

2) Would Cillian, by virtue of a ghost medium or confession in trial, reveal to the PCs the reason for his actions?

3) I noticed in the introduction to Adventure Three that other people involved in MacBannin's operations believe the Witchoil laboratory is an effort to aid the King/realm. Do the PCs find this out in trial? I am a little cautious, as I am worried by PCs will become greatly distrusting of the RHC.

4) When the Steelshaper introduces himself to the PCs in this adventure, I assume he doesn't mention his real name. Is that correct?
 
1) Cillian is likely to die as he fights the players. However I faked his death so I could bring him back as villain in book 5(He fell into a pool of Witch oil) and in fact he had a mysterious death in book 5 so he can return in book 8 or 9 as another villain
2) Up to you, he knows nothing the players cannot be allowed to find out, he does not know enough about the Collossus construction project to get the players further than they are already in book 2, he worked for Macbennin and so knows no more than him. I think he would be difficult to get to confess unless you think his patriotism would make him confess if it was proved he was not working for the king.
3) Yes the players should discover this. There should be no links to their superiors , just Macbennin claims he was working in a secret royal project with no collaborating evidence. My players did at various points think the King and Harkover may be more involved until they discovered more about the Ob, just make sure they trust drelf, after all his boss is an enemy agent
4) He does not use his name, but it is in documents and various other places so it does no harm for the players to learn his name , he is not locatable using his name so it does no harm. But I think introducing himself as the Steelshaper MAgneto master of Magnatism Metal is cooler
 

arkwright

Explorer
1) I'd say it is expected that the PCs kill Cillian when he attacks them atop Cauldron Hill while they're with Nevard. He has no further role in the AP. If the PCs like him, keep him around as a future secondary villain.
2) I think you should definitely have Cillian reveal his actions and his reasons. It'll be a good reward for the PCs investigating and will help them understand what has happened. But he shouldn't know very much at all about the Ob, about the witchoil lab. All that Macbannin should have kept to himself, thus his death at the end of this book.
3) I believe that the PCs find this out through exploring the laboratory/talking to any researchers still in the laboratory. Presumably, King Aodhan/Delft/the higher-ups firmly disavow this notion. It's kind of a reverse-twist. The PCs will go 'of COURSE they say it wasn't a secret royal program', and then it turns out it actually wasn't.
4) I don't think it matters if he mentions his real name or not. Leone Quital has been 'underground' for decades, the only thing the PCs could connect him to is his family vineyard. Perhaps the PCs might find that cool, for learning about his background.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Thanks everyone. I have a few more questions I would like input on. Hopefully these will be the last:

Leone Quital has been 'underground' for decades, the only thing the PCs could connect him to is his family vineyard.
1) Is there somewhere I can read about Leone's background? Or is the description in Adventure 2 all I have to go off?

2) Is there somewhere where I can read more about Wolfgang von Recklinghausen? I've read a bit of Adventure 4 so am aware of his 'son'.

3) I have assumed the earthquakes plaguing Flint subside after the events of Chapter 2. Is this correct?
 
1) If you have not already read it Leone is a big character in book 6. I cannot recomend highly enough reading ahead all of this campaign, there are a lot of links from events in later books and knowing whats coming will help you foreshadow for the players and know what not to let them do

2) I don't think there is a lot more on Wolfgang, he appears in 11 and 13 but I don't think there are any revelations, his son appears repeatedly in 6 and 8 . Really he is Frankenstein who's while seeking the secret of life eternal through SCIENCE! created Andrei , disaster ensued and he is fleeing his creation who may not be as murderous as his earlier experience makes him think.

3) No. They are created by issues with the Collossus as well as with the Oil reservoir and he will be making the ground shake in the Bleak gate until the end of book 5 and then he makes the world tremble.

My impression here is that you are reading just as far as you need. I think this is a mistake in any AP , but this one has a particularly complicated plot where the revelations from each adventure build on each other. I would not consider running it without having read all 13 parts , details of pc backstories were drawn from events in book 8 and 13 , the fate of my Kobold gunslinger was influenced by Pembertons role in the final few adventures. On the other hand if it is working for you and everyone is having fun then keep on going
 

arkwright

Explorer
1) Books 5 and 7 might have more on Leone, those are the only places he shows up.

2) You can read ahead and see what Wolfgang will do which might change how you portray him, but you won't find out very much more about his background. In Book 6 he gets stuck with a goblin tribe and cures a plague for them, in Book 11 he goes Ob and assists with helping them learn about the Gidim menace and how to use gestalts to mind-control the world. Oh, and Book 4 involves an encounter with Andrei, that might have some information from Andrei's perspective. Andrei pops up in a few future places.

3) I'd say... yes? I don't recall them being mentioned in the books following. Probably because Borne gets mind-wiped into unconsciousness at the end of Book 2, causing a large and final earthquake.

Ditto for Andrew, reading ahead is really important in Zeitgeist, I'm not going to repeat his reasons. I would note that the AP wasn't written all in one go and then released, it was released periodically, meaning there are lots of things invented in later books that actually have impacts on previous books.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Thanks Andrew and Arkwright. I only recently picked up the rest of the AP (act 3), so I'm looking forward to reading the rest and saying my hunger. Hopefully I be won't need the forums to fill in my knowledge gaps.
 
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Asking questions is always a good idea , and sometimes answering them gives me an idea. I had forgotten I still had Cillian Creed available as a bad guy and I got reminded to I could bring him back when I needed an extra villain last week
 

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