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5E Rise of Tiamat - Question from a DM - spoilers ahead

Ezequielramone

Explorer
Hi all. I'm running the Rise of Tiamat and my party went through the third council two sessions ago.
I noticed that I only have a few lines on how to track the zhentarim influence (they like killing people and are upset if the party take prisoners).
They don't appear in the scoreboard at the end of the book.
I am missing something? Is there other way to influence them and they just don't have a "score "?
 

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jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
I guess the Zhentarim's resources don't make a big difference to the final outcome either way, and the notes about their reactions are just for roleplay. After all, the Arcane Brotherhood doesn't have a line on the scorecard either. And the Zhentarim aren't officially at the Council of Waterdeep--their representative, Rian Nightshade, is posing as Lord Neverember's advisor. Some groups could probably play through the whole adventure and not realize that the Zhentarim are even at the council.
 

Sloblock

Explorer
I guess the Zhentarim's resources don't make a big difference to the final outcome either way, and the notes about their reactions are just for roleplay. After all, the Arcane Brotherhood doesn't have a line on the scorecard either. And the Zhentarim aren't officially at the Council of Waterdeep--their representative, Rian Nightshade, is posing as Lord Neverember's advisor. Some groups could probably play through the whole adventure and not realize that the Zhentarim are even at the council.
yeah I had them at the first and third council meetings but it was merely as background fluff so to speak. I do wish that more had been put into the adventure for the Arcane Brotherhood as you go to the bother of rescuing Maccath and then nothing....
 

GuardianLurker

First Post
I agree, frankly if it wasn't for the implied "tour-the-Realms" objective, going to Thay doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm solving this by swapping out the Thay support for Arcane Brotherhood, and then replacing Ep. 8 (Mission to Thay) with two other missions - one where the players visit a lot of the independent Thayan exiles for mor einfo on the ritual, and another where they'll be questing for the Arcane Brotherhood itself.
 

jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
I agree, frankly if it wasn't for the implied "tour-the-Realms" objective, going to Thay doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm solving this by swapping out the Thay support for Arcane Brotherhood, and then replacing Ep. 8 (Mission to Thay) with two other missions - one where the players visit a lot of the independent Thayan exiles for mor einfo on the ritual, and another where they'll be questing for the Arcane Brotherhood itself.
I'd love to hear more about this! Post it on the Enhancing Rise of Tiamat thread, maybe? :)

P.S. If you haven't decided yet what they can do for the Arcane Brotherhood, that seems like an ideal place to insert The Frozen Castle.
 



GuardianLurker

First Post
I'd love to hear more about this! Post it on the Enhancing Rise of Tiamat thread, maybe? :)

P.S. If you haven't decided yet what they can do for the Arcane Brotherhood, that seems like an ideal place to insert The Frozen Castle.
:erm: Well, as soon as I have it written, yeah. Those sentences were in the present tense for a reason. :blush:

What I can tell you right now is that the Thayan portion keeps a large portion of the "tour of the Realms", but tightens the focus to the Sword Coast. For instance, one of the Thayan Exiles knows the *full* details of the ritual being used to summon Tiamat - helpful when planning how to stop it. The Cult knows about this as well. The problem facing the cult assassination team, and the player characters, is that the wizard is now an Avowed Scribe within Candlekeep.

There are three other Thayan Exiles that know the full details of the Dragon Masks (as Tiamat has used them before, for different purposes, a long time ago). The cult *doesn't* know this. These exiled wizards all greatly fear retaliation from their homeland - one's trapped his tower 19 ways to Tenday, another has so many layers of indirection to contact him that sometimes *he's* confused, and the third has put an adventuring company under contract to guard him (and is loaded for demonic bear-tiger-elephants). The characters can offer the protection of the alliance, or the arcane brotherhood. The real problem though, is that by this point, the cult is watching the characters (and all of the Alliance's known agents very carefully). So once the characters start following the trail, the cult won't be far behind them. One wizard is in Neverwinter, another in Waterdeep, and I've been debating where to place the last. Right now, the leading contender is Silverymoon.

As for the Arcane Brotherhood, I haven't looked at Frozen Castle, but given how many cold environment quests are already part of Tyranny of Dragons, I'm leary of it just on that basis. I've debated cribbing something from Princes of the Apocalypse, but right now, I'm leaning towards a quest I'm calling "Rex Elementorum", where the players have to retrieve portions of the purest of each of the 6 elements (i.e. go **deeeep** into each of the Elemental Planes, past the point where genies and other elemental denizens live). And that's about all I have of that.

I'll cross-post this into the http://www.enworld.org/forum/showth...(Practical-stuff-to-try-at-your-table!)/page5 thread.
 

GuardianLurker

First Post
Here's the portion dealing with the Thayan Exile in Waterdeep:
[sblock]
The wizard in Waterdeep is known as the Wizard of the Red-Feathered Hood. He makes his living as an information broker and investigator. He also has the reputation of being extremely ... cautious ... *cough*paranoid*cough* in arranging his contacts, and in conducting his investigations. No-one is known to have ever met him in person, and the few times he's been caught in public, the person under the hood has never been a wizard at all - an actor, an urchin, and a peasant, but not the wizard.

However, the contacts all start with reading the posting board by the Yawning Portal.
A notice on the posting board will lead to the next step. From there, lead the characters on a wild goose chase - except the goose is a disguised snipe. In short, the contact will always have been hired/given their instructions anonymously, and doesn't know who they'll meet next, they just have instructions for the next link. Sometimes, even that's misdirection - the Red-Feathered Hood has been known to use pickpockets to leave instructions on people's persons that the next contact tells them to look for. Sometimes, the contact is just an instruction. Characters who try to back-track the chain find themselves following another chain of instructions. Feel free to send the characters to *every* single ward of Waterdeep as part of the chain.

Eventually, the characters will be able to negotiate a price for the book. The wizard will discount the price if their antics amuse him. He'll also raise the price if the characters try to backtrack the chain, or otherwise annoy him. The starting price is 750 gp. The Red-Feathered Hood isn't interested in joining the Arcane Brotherhood or the Alliance.

If the characters are not dealing with the Red-Feathered Hood first, the cultists are likely to have discovered the character's activity, and will be following them. In which case, the Red-Feathered Hood is likely to arrange one or more nasty surprises for the cultists (and for the characters if they don't enter the fight against the cultists). Aiding the cultists will have the Red-Feathered Hood end all discussions.

[/sblock]
 



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