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WotBS Suggestions on entering the elven ghetto in module 1?

ned

First Post
I've been DMing the first module on Roll20 (D&D 5e), and I've got a question about getting my party to the elven ghetto in Gate Pass. The guide states that the entrances to the ghetto are concealed:

Getting into the ghetto is easy for elves, but not outsiders. There are no apparent doors, but an elf walking along the outside wall notices one of the several secret doors that lead inside with a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check. Alternately, a DC 11 Charisma (Investigation) check can turn up the location of one of these doors, since occasionally people see elves slipping in or out. Opening a secret door is easy enough, requiring a DC 11 Intelligence (Investigation) check to locate a triggering mechanism hidden amid various carvings of celestial creatures, gods, and myths.


I was wondering if anyone has suggestions about getting the players more involved in searching out the doors. So far the only options I've been able to come up with are:
  1. As the players approach the ghetto they see more elves. If they wait around long enough, they'll eventually see someone emerge out of a wall.
  2. The players can ask an elf. We have a half elf in the party and a wizard who knows Friends, so maybe they can be convincing enough to get an elf to let their guard down.

And that's it. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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My suggestion is that the DCs are entirely too high for a low-level adventure. I also don't like skill checks for things that need to happen for the plot to progress.

The PCs show up, and see an elf carrying some bags, trying to get inside through a secret door but not having enough hands. He's struggling, and maybe the PCs help. Turn it into a roleplaying scene to convey the environment, rather than a challenge.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
The DCs are based on the 3.5 adventure and lowered by 25%. :) I am working on an update to adventure 1, and a Taranesti (wood elf, likely from Innenotdar or Phorros Irrendra), would be able to figure it out automatically.

All of the above ideas are good ideas. The option with the DC is a route for the heroes to use that does not require getting outside help. Otherwise, the ways in are innumerable. They could find an out of the way place and just climb over the wall. A barkeep across the street might know a way in.

The scenarios in the War of the Burning Sky adventures are not prescriptive. That is, they don't tell you how things have to happen. They set the stage and then describe one way that they might happen. If the players come up with an idea that seems plausible, run with it. :)
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
yep, to be honest, the DCs were rather high for the 3.5 version in the first place (search DC 20, Gather info 15) and you had to get the elves that could give away info from unfriendly to non-elves to helpful to spill the beans on the Shahalesti spies.

But yeah, the roleplay option should always be on the table :)

If anything, then the WotBS material is robust enough for several creative solutions. I went wild with additions and my players stretched the story really far at some points, but it never broke.
 

Salicus

Villager
I dont think that a DC 15 is a too high DC for a LVL 3 Character. Perception is not really a Skill that is uncommon to have proficency with. In my campaign I actually had 2 elfs in the group and the resistance sure knows its ways around the city as well. So Torrent could actually think of an informant near the elven ghetto if the PCs ask her I think. Other than that, yes seeing elves come out of seemingly inpenetrable walls, should actually make the PCs curious. And seeing them come out could give them advantage on the Perception or investigation check, if they dont want to roleplay their way around.
You dont have to give the PCs too many options, they can actually think of it themself as well since the Players Guide actually mentions the walled off ghettos that only elf can instantly see the entrance to. Always depends on how much the Players actually read about in the Players Guide. But even then you could tell them, since when they live a bit longer in the city they will actually know about this for sure.
 

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