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5E [SKT] Players want to 'own' Nightstone

Herobizkit

Adventurer
Short story is, my players are rabid for base building adventures. Obvious spoilers follow.

[sblock]When my players were presented with a wrecked town featuring a Keep manned by inept guards and a dead Lady, their eyes lit up with wonder and excitement.

"Clearly, our Tiefling Warlock can replace the Lady; she's already befriended the midwife and her son. We have a Goliath Lathander priest who can run the church as the current priest is too much of a coward. Our Kobold Rogue always wanted to be a bartender and he doesn't mind sharing with the Dwarf. My guild connections make me (a Half-Orc Ranger) a shoe-in to take over the general store."[/sblock]

What do when players would rather hole-up than pursue quests? ^_^
 

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Coroc

Hero
That is awesome of your Players, give them something which is important for them, the more they are motivated to keep what they achieved.

A base can be invaded, set on fire, haunted, explode .... just refluff your adventure hooks a bit. It does not always have to be yer olde inn where Gandalf appears to send you on a Mission - It can be your Players base visited by a local Dragon in distress.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
If this was a homebrew, I'd agree with rolling with it. As you've invested a nontrivial amount of money in SKT, I might take a different tack and have a frank season 1.5 where you sit down with your players and figure out what game you're all wanting to play. Because, if they don't buy into doing SKT, this won't be the only or worse point it goes off rails.
 

dave2008

Legend
SKT right. How about waves of giants? The only way to stop the giants from destroying "their" town is to find the source of the problem and fix it.
 

Sadras

Hero
Short story is, my players are rabid for base building adventures.
What do when players would rather hole-up than pursue quests? ^_^
Have the quests come to them :)

I don't own SKT yet, so I'm not familiar with Nightstone and its backstory, but that doesn't stop you from expanding on it, with a secret backstory i.e. what was Nightstone built on or what is it hiding?

Let Nightstone host major SKT agreements/negotiations for x reason.

Have the PCs leave Nightstone to source materials to rebuild it or redecorate it - schedule meetings with furniture/curtain/carpet merchants, a nearby stone quarry, local brewers (for the bar), and various craftsmen or craft guilds.

You could have a members of the church come to re-annoint/bless the temple/church in the area for the PC. A mass of clerical leaders come to visit the latest religious establishment. Maybe you have an opposing faction try sway the PC to 'change' faiths. Or even cause trouble between the characters by asking the other PCs if his faith can enter into an operating lease for the church premises (which would be against the wishes of the cleric PC).

Perhaps there is a large outstanding debt owed by Nightstone and the new owners will be held liable.

I'm sure there is a creative way of tying up the refurbishment of Nightstone to SKT. Have fun. :)
 
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KahlessNestor

Explorer
Given that you can't just "claim" a town or keep, there is likely some other authority above the deceased Lady who might take issue.

The townspeople of Nightstone might take issue, too. I'm sure they don’t want strangers taking over their town and businesses. Especially the local cleric and the dwarven bar owner and whoever owns the general store.

Sent from my SM-G900P using EN World mobile app
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Have the quests come to them :)

I don't own SKT yet, so I'm not familiar with Nightstone and its backstory, but that doesn't stop you from expanding on it, with a secret backstory i.e. what was Nightstone built on or what is it hiding?

Let Nightstone host major SKT agreements/negotiations for x reason.

Have the PCs leave Nightstone to source materials to rebuild it or redecorate it - schedule meetings with furniture/curtain/carpet merchants, a nearby stone quarry, local brewers (for the bar), and various craftsmen or craft guilds.

You could have a members of the church come to re-annoint/bless the temple/church in the area for the PC. A mass of clerical leaders come to visit the latest religious establishment. Maybe you have an opposing faction try sway the PC to 'change' faiths. Or even cause trouble between the characters by asking the other PCs if his faith can enter into an operating lease for the church premises (which would be against the wishes of the cleric PC).

Perhaps there is a large outstanding debt owed by Nightstone and the new owners will be held liable.

I'm sure there is a creative way of tying up the refurbishment of Nightstone to SKT. Have fun. :)
Generally nice ideas, but SKT is a "travel to all these different places" adventure, so the rewrite necessary to make Nighttime, which is the starting place for the tacked on rush to 5th where the rest of the adventure starts (somewhere else, natch), would be quite extensive. At that point the majority of the expensive adventure book is useless, since it's half Gazetteer already. Heck, the motivation of the antagonists couldn't really be plausibly rewritten to be focused on Nightstone, either.

SKT doesn't work with focusing ther game on a base. And most of it takes place far from Nightstone. Relocating hordes of giants that close to Waterdeep also had some suspension issues if Waterdeep ignores it.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I dont know if you know the j-rpg called Suikoden? In it, while you try to save the world from a BBEG, you can recruit NPC from various location to bolster your homebase with different services. If you say Nightstone was mostly abandonned, instead of having the PC opperate the various stores and services, have them travel the world (using the SKT sandbox) to recruit NPC to populate and operate the town, all while sustaining Giant attacks and discovering why they attack the settlements. Have them travel to a town and recruit a well-known gnome barber to operate the public bath or a young entrepreneur who want to start her own tavern. When they recruit someone, improve the available downtime activities in Nigthstone. A new smith? Better equipment. A traveling cleric settles in Nightstone? Make clerical services available. In short, dont have them operate the town, but let them ''build'' their settlement while adventuring.
 

aco175

Hero
I would be cruel, but you can blow the town up so they have to move on. Players may feel like you are being heavy handed though and railroading them. Which you would be. It would push them along though.
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
This isn't too different from what's happened in my SKT game, where the Seven Snakes took over the town (installing Daphne Featherstone as a figurehead) and the PCs have been working for Xolkin Alassandar. The campaign opens with Nightstone being bombed by giants, and it's never going to be safe until the giants and their allies are dealt with. They're eventually going to have to hit the road to keep "their town" safe. You can definitely roll with this.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
Have the rightful lord of the area (whomsoever the lady swore fealty) show up. Rather than stringing the pretenders from the trees, the lord offers the rights to the town (by swearing to the lord obviously) if and only if the SKT situation is satisfactorily resolved.
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
Have the rightful lord of the area (whomsoever the lady swore fealty) show up. Rather than stringing the pretenders from the trees, the lord offers the rights to the town (by swearing to the lord obviously) if and only if the SKT situation is satisfactorily resolved.
As far as I can tell (Realms experts correct me if I'm wrong), there's no feudal system, and no surviving kingdoms for that matter, on the Sword Coast. I don't think there is a "rightful lord." The Nandars -- some Waterdhavian family -- had a hunting lodge in the Ardeep Forest, which was destroyed two hundred years ago. Their descendants returned and built a keep, prompting a conflict with the wood elves, which resulted in the death of Lord Drezlin Nandar.

I don't really know what the political-economic structure is supposed to be. Maybe Italy after the Italian Wars, only with more political fragmentation (and yet, surprisingly peaceful relations between polities and extensive trade and commerce).Basically plutocratic despotism?

Anyway, I think you can make a claim on Nightstone. Make the right alliances with the regional signorie and factions.
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
I'm reminded of Pathfinder's Kingdom Building system. Previously, our group tried Kingmaker with limited success - they wanted to stay home and have all the resources come to them instead of wandering about as the adventure intended. We never actually got to the Kingdom Building part.

That was a few years ago now, though, and we have a new and eager player rounding the team to four. This new player wants the 'full' D&D experience; I compromised with the others and offered the town up as something that can be managed during Downtime. I'm going to experiment with the Kingdom Building rules to see if it's even worth looking into.

Some of you have correctly surmised that Nightstone is intended to be the noob/throw-away portion of the game and there's no in-game support for the town once the PC's are whisked away to a new city. There's already a highly improbable stack of hostile events that happens in said area. One might almost think it was cursed... :devil:
 

pukunui

Adventurer
[MENTION=93631]Greg Benage[/MENTION]: My understanding is that the Nandars of Nightstone were part of a much larger family. There are no doubt other Nandars in Waterdeep who would have rightful claim to the village, although it's possible none of them would want to stake that claim.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
As far as I can tell (Realms experts correct me if I'm wrong), there's no feudal system, and no surviving kingdoms for that matter, on the Sword Coast. I don't think there is a "rightful lord." The Nandars -- some Waterdhavian family -- had a hunting lodge in the Ardeep Forest, which was destroyed two hundred years ago. Their descendants returned and built a keep, prompting a conflict with the wood elves, which resulted in the death of Lord Drezlin Nandar.

I don't really know what the political-economic structure is supposed to be. Maybe Italy after the Italian Wars, only with more political fragmentation (and yet, surprisingly peaceful relations between polities and extensive trade and commerce).Basically plutocratic despotism?

Anyway, I think you can make a claim on Nightstone. Make the right alliances with the regional signorie and factions.
*shrug* then go with rightful heir or even "powerful political entity that can make the claim plausibly".

Ultimately, the DM knows something the players want. Turn that into advantage for moving the train forward. Dangle the wanted item as a reward for moving forward with the AP. You don't necessarily need to insist on adventure completion to achieve the reward. Use the player-provided bait to push the PCs far enough along they'll want to finish/find other things of interest.
 

Give them the flying ship earlier. Have that be part of town's valuables.
Then have some of the other plot hooks come to them. Have them defend Nightstone from giants and the like. Also have them questing to recover the stolen stone to cement their power. (Which isn't in the adventure. You'll have to add that.)

So rather than being hobos across the North they do little short ventures to and from Nightstone.
You can send them to other cities for other reasons as well: securing engineers and builders to repair the walls, arranging for trade, and the like.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Perhaps the removal of the Nightstone weakened the barrier between worlds, not only requiring them to recover it for the long-term viability of the settlement, but also giving them a means to easily return to the town between adventures (perhaps they find a shard of the Nightstone that allows them to teleport back to town once per week - you could even have it happen subtly during a long rest to avoid it being used to escape combat, if you prefer).
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
[MENTION=93631]Greg Benage[/MENTION]: My understanding is that the Nandars of Nightstone were part of a much larger family. There are no doubt other Nandars in Waterdeep who would have rightful claim to the village, although it's possible none of them would want to stake that claim.
Not arguing with you because it would be cool if you could point me to some more information on the Nandars that I could use to complicate things, but this is all the adventure says, AFAIK. Under "The Nandars of Nightstone," after Lord Drezlin is killed by elves:

"His widow, Lady Velrosa Nandar, made peace with the elves and promised to make no further incursions into the Ardeep Forest—a promise she kept for the rest of her life. Velrosa was mortally wounded when the cloud giants bombarded Nightstone, leaving the village without a lord or lady to govern it."
 

Stormdale

Explorer
Me, I'd kick the "real" adventure to touch and roll with it. The game should be based on meaningful choices made by the players and the consequences of those and their adventures growing from their actions which are not necessarily the ones the DM thinks they want. My players find it impossible to complete any of the adventures as written, they wander off onto their own adventures that grow out of the things they get up to and the consequences of those actions.

So I'd roll with it and adapt the adventure to them. They might be happy with a session or 3 of town building then the town could, for example, be attacked by hill giants (leading to the hill giant section of the adventure) and this then lead into other parts of the adventures from there. I use the adventures as a framework or smorgasbord of ideas, not a railroad the players can't get off.

Stormdale
 

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