WotBS WotBS advice needed (SPOILERS galore)

trencher7

Explorer
The summer is almost over... Gaming season begins soon.
I am preparing the second part of adventure 3 (luckily it just was released for 5e) and I am also preparing adventure 4. As you might remember my group extinguished the Seela and made the wood burn down. So now when the Ragesians march to Dassen there seems to be no need to use the Alydi Gap to Gallo. As far as I can see it the Ragesians could now just march through the remains of the burning forest. So what to do? Change the locations? Let just a scouting group come through the forest while the main part of the army uses the Gap? I´d like to make their decisions have an impact on the future.
Thanks in advance!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

You could make the scouts be an expeditionary force who, if killed or captured, won't report back that the route is clear. The fire forest has been impassible for so long, the Ragesians won't pay close attention to it unless their scouts find a clear path.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
The summer is almost over... Gaming season begins soon.
I am preparing the second part of adventure 3 (luckily it just was released for 5e) and I am also preparing adventure 4. As you might remember my group extinguished the Seela and made the wood burn down. So now when the Ragesians march to Dassen there seems to be no need to use the Alydi Gap to Gallo. As far as I can see it the Ragesians could now just march through the remains of the burning forest. So what to do? Change the locations? Let just a scouting group come through the forest while the main part of the army uses the Gap? I´d like to make their decisions have an impact on the future.
Thanks in advance!
Keep in mind that my advice is only for the adventures as they are written, not for how you make it your own.

Up through adventure 9, the Second Ragesian Army has only made it through the six western districts of Gate Pass before they are defeated by the Resistance. They needed to make it to district 11 to be able to bring an army through Innenotdar. So the Ragesians are not really going to have a chance to actually use that route. The Third Ragesian Army's actually has two missions. They are going to destroy Seaquen, but they are also going to take over Dassen on the way after all the leadership is dead. So they are not going to march several hundred miles away. Their route lies through Dassen.

Also, a few things happen in adventure 4:
1. In act 2 Lady Timor is royally pissed that the route through Innenotdar is opened (regardless of why) though it doesn't affect whether she helped.
2. In act 3 the heroes run into some Tragedies and will recognize what they are and that Balan (and others) are dead.
3. Also in act 3 Serrimus is going to send a message to Guthwulf that hints the path through Innenotdar might be opened. So the heroes have a chance to slow down how quickly the information makes it to the Ragesians.

As for running into a scouting group, it might be a bit contrived. The heroes will take the western route to Bresk. A Ragesian scouting party would be hundreds of miles away.

Remember that the adventures were meant to be a bit modular in that each one is in a different location. So if Innenotdar falls, or Dassen descends into madness, the campaign saga can still continue. The success and failure of the heroes throughout the campaign is accumulated through Victory Points in adventure 12. You could add a -5 for the forest being burned down and represent it by Dassen sending a smaller army because they kept more soldiers at home to protect the northeastern border.

Honestly, the sense of failure about what happened is the biggest thing the heroes will carry with them. It will shape their decisions as they move forward and may save the royal court as they learn to dig deeper.
 
Last edited:


Tormyr

Adventurer
Getting a little ahead of themselves aren't they? :)

The firestorm reaches out from Korstull in a 20-mile radius, but I am not sure anyone in-game has measured it. Sindaire Ambassador Cranston Snord just knows it's "big".
 

trencher7

Explorer
Alright, session done! [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION]: my Group was just checking their possibilities and one route to go was to ask one of Lyceum´s mages to summon a flying steed, fly to Korstull and try to find a way into the Castle. So I at least just wanted to be prepared for this course of action.
But as always everything did not go according to plan...
They failed to get the Lyre of Fabrication from Naizelasa because they did not catch Lowduke alive. The Dragon felt betrayed of her revenge and just let the PCs live because they were able to retrieve the egg.
The Group then decided to find out about the raging storm. Knowing that the witches in the swamp were responsible for creating the Tidereaver´s tears and knowing that at least one of the witches escaped during the first encounter, they decided to recruit some of Foebane´s men and return to the swamp in order to see whether the remaining witch(es) are responsible for the storm. The preparations took quite some time. Meanwhile the Theater play had premiere and two days later was the performance set to which all the dignitaries have been invited by Giorgio. I as the GM kept track about the passing time and it happened that the group was in the swamp fighting the witch. Katrina was with the group so I made her become uncoscious all of a sudden and when she awoke she told the PCs that something terrible has happened. There was a grave disturbance in the fire plane... I ended the session there.

My group suspects that the wayfarer ship might have teleported. My first impuls was to really have the ship teleported and all dignitaries are dead. You see, I love to have the dicisions of the PCs have consequences. For example because they are responsible that the Forest of Inenotdar no longer burns Laurabec Adelsburg left Seaquen in order to prevent Ragesian Scouting Crews to spread the Information that this path would be accessible. But because Adelsburg left Seaquen there were some severe riots among the refugees which resulted in some deaths and a lot of injured refugees.

So my question is: shall I have all the dignitaries be killed on the Wayfarer´s ship? Did Crystin have a vision and some of the dignitaries survived by either leaving the ship just on time or by just not attending the play?

I think that the Dassen ambassador Numhaupt will have been killed by all means because this will be the entering hook for the PCs into Adventure 4.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
You need to look ahead to the ramifications of the Seaquen leadership and the wayfarers being killed. Some of these would include,
1. After the leadership is teleported away to their fiery deaths, Lee Sidoneth cranks up the hurricane to full force. With the leadership dead, the Ostaliners convince everyone to attack the Shahalesti blockade. Seaquen will be demolished within 24 hours (more like 12, but it isn't a fixed timetable). With little adequate shelter, the refugee population is largely eliminated (as is most of the original population). The heroes are a day's journey from Seaquen if they are fighting the witch. They return to find little left.
2. Katrina likely sees that she needs to side with Ragesia if she wants to survive this war.
3. Without Seaquen you need a new center for the resistance. Maybe Dassen would work, leading into adventure 4.
4. Without the Wayfarers, it is more difficult to get teleportation (especially safe teleporation) to the monastery of Two Winds to get help making to Castle Korstull
5. Again, the heroes will want some sort of teleporation to get to Ycengled quickly to repair the torch.
6. Without Simeon's divination magic, someone needs to decipher the Ragesian intelligence and figure out where the Scourge Prison is when the superweapon is used on the heroes' new home base.
7. Seaquen's destruction means that it is more difficult to assemble the armies of the resistance for the final battle, resulting in a loss of 10 Victory Points.

Another option is that Larkins manages to unlock the door quickly enough to get Kiernan and a few others up to the main deck, and they stop Giorgio in the nick of time. Even then, the heroes are technically out of position to help the town before the townspeople attack the blockade and the hurricane wipes everything out.

Finally, Katrina's sense could have just been an intense premonition. A technical glitch occurred, and the big show has been pushed back a day (or if your player's were not paying attention, it was actually the next day all along). This gives the heroes the chance to be involved with the events of acts 4 and 5.

So I am curious why the heroes did not decide to attend the play.
1. Did they get the tickets from Giorgio at the war council?
2. Did Simeon ask them to attend?
3. Did they get the vision from Crystin/Foresight?

If they received all those nudges and still did not attend the play, then their absence may have doomed Seaquen.
 

trencher7

Explorer
So I am curious why the heroes did not decide to attend the play.
1. Did they get the tickets from Giorgio at the war council?
2. Did Simeon ask them to attend?
3. Did they get the vision from Crystin/Foresight?

If they received all those nudges and still did not attend the play, then their absence may have doomed Seaquen.

They got the tickets/ Invitation from Giorgio during the council. Just before they were leaving into the swamp Simeon had a Meeting with the Bard from our group. The Bard even participated in the play in some minor roles as an extra. Simeon asked him about the play and mentioned that it would be great if all dignitaries and the PCs would attend. It seems that doing something against the storm was more important to them.
I was quite sure that they would attend the play so I planned Crystin´s vision to happen shortly before the actual event during the play.

Maybe I will treat Katrina´s behaviour as a vision of things to come and will find a reason that the "special play" was postponed for a day or two because, for example, of the riots in the refugee camp. I really would love to play the scene on the Wayfarer´s ship.
Or maybe the disturbance on the fire plane had something to do with Lee Sidoneth tapping the power of the fire plane to increase the storm´s might?

Okay, obviously I need to find a way that whatever Katrina felt has some meaning in the game but it should give me the opportunity to still play the scene on the ship...
 

Mrpereira

Explorer
You could compromise a bit. Since the storm is magical, some of the Lyceum toppeople could have been warned that something magical was happening, and thus didn't attend the play, being saved by mere "coincidense". That way you could have a few important people die, like Foebane - which will mean that later on they will have to suffer Shaaladel's presence even more (that is a punishment in itself).

At the same time with the top of Lyceum alive, they could repulse some of the tragedies mentioned above keeping it as the center of the resistance and still having Simeon's magical help
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
so they deliberately missed the play? Or did they simply forget to track the time themselves? If it was the latter, then maybe you should let Katrina's vision just be some doomy foreshadowing. Especially when they are trying really hard to make sense of the storm.
 

trencher7

Explorer
so they deliberately missed the play? Or did they simply forget to track the time themselves? If it was the latter, then maybe you should let Katrina's vision just be some doomy foreshadowing. Especially when they are trying really hard to make sense of the storm.

Yeah, this sounds fair. They are indeed trying very hard to grab what is going on with the storm. So maybe I will have Simeon send them a message that their attendance is required and let Katrina´s vision be somehow connected to the storm itself or maybe some disturbance in tapping the Fire Tomb´s energy for example.
 

trencher7

Explorer
Change in plans!
In last night´s whatsapp discussion it came out that my group is convinced that their attendance during the play would not have been necessary. I quote: "We didn´t have any good reason to go there and none of the councilmen was of any interest at that moment..." They also think that Katrina´s vision of something bad happening in the fire plane is connected to the torch and shall, on the metalevel, make them hurry up to find the torch.
At the moment I think, teach them a lesson!
One of my players was absent the last session so I could have him attend the play and let the other players play some NPCs from the crowd when Giorgio starts his betrayal. But the ship will be teleported and some of the dignitaries will die.

So I have two questions:

- What exactly is Giorgio´s escape plan after he teleported to the nearby vessel? Leave the town? Hide somewhere?
- Whose dead (among he dignitaries) on the Wayfarer´s ship would not interfere with the rest of the campaign. Simeon and Kiernan will have to survive obviously and Kiefer Numhaut will definitely die in the fire because this gives the NPC reason to proceed to adventure 4.

Or do you think I am to harsh on my players?
 

Mrpereira

Explorer
I don't think you are too harsh as long as the punishment comes in form of flavor terms and not in gamebreaking terms.

I think you should go through with the plan of having your last PC watch the play and let the others be NPCs. Make them some of people you want to die - and kill them off in fun ways. Make sure to have them be lower level than the players, so they can feel that they would have made the difference, but don't punish the last PC for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, unless he/she is ok with it.

Basically you could kill off some of the named pc's but let the last PC save the day, stopping the teleport, but still leading to casualties - that way it will be a partial success due to one PC being present.
As I wrote earlier, you could for instance make Foebane die, he would try to save the ship. He has no in-game role that cannot be replaced and the punishment comes in the form of Shaaladel (just remember to let npcs moan about if only Forbane had been alive).

In my campaign I made the play a presentation piece, which the player's enjoyed because the feeling of unease kept with them all along. After Giorgio sprung his trap he did manage to escape, but died in the ensuing storm - I didn't want him around as a non-resolved part of the plan. One could argue that someone was taking care of lose ends.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Oh boy. At this point, you could go all out. You could let Simeon, Kiernan, Foebane, and most everyone else die.

Let the remaining hero attend the play, and have the other players play some level 1-3 characters (visiting dinitaries, Lyceum students, etc.) who hang out in the back row with him. At this point, run the scenario as usual. Allow the heroes the chance to notice Giorgio leave through the stairs and follow after him. Giorgio locks the door behind them, and the under-powered party will probably lose. Make sure the "left behind" hero only gets knocked out (or at least no coup de grace). Sheena Larkins (the only NPC I really think the other adventures depend on) unlocks the door from the inside just in time to see Giorgio finish the teleportation sequence and jump overboard with the other perpetrators. She teleports the one hero and any important NPCs you want to save back to the Lyceum (less than a half mile so does not fall afoul of the pylon) and then uses healing word on the hero to keep him from dying.

If you want to use the future adventures without needing to write in new NPCs, save Simeon, Kiernan, Foebane, Sheena Larkin, and Tiljann (I think that's all the important ones). Oops, nevermind about Tiljann (too soon? ;) ).

So the Wayfarer's Theater is likely destroyed as it would be hard for the outmatched "B" team to prevail against the saboteurs. This leaves what to do about the Seaquen flotilla and the hurricane. Pickfort and the Ostaliners should whip the town into a frenzy and form the flotilla that attacks the Shahalesti blockade. It doesn't really matter that Sheena Larkins and the hero know differently; the flotilla is running on a mob mentality at this point unless the heroes turned Pickfort before all this.

Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes are a day's travel away dealing with the witch. Lee Sidoneth is timing the hurricane to strike when the flotilla is engaging the Shahalesti fleet, and the heroes are in the wrong place. Either you have Seaquen be devastated by the hurricane, or you need to get the heroes back together.

If Seaquen is destroyed, you can narrate the destruction. The remaining hero, Sheena Larkins, and the other survivors of the Wayfarer's Theater shelter in the basements of the Lyceum. The people on the north side shelter in their basements. Much of Seaquen is devasted, but many of the inhabitants of the north side survive. The refugee camps, however, are a site of complete carnage, with no shelter, the sustained hurricane kills most of the refugees minus a few who make it to a shelter (such as Foebane's fort). The Ragesians use sending to report a successful mission, and withdraw until the army can reach them through Dassen.

If you want to give the heroes a chance to save Seaquen, they need to get back to Seaquen posthaste. A sending spell from someone in the Lyceum can notify them of the situation. Sheena Larkins would have used her bardic inspiration to ritual cast teleport after having someone use scrying to locate the heroes. Her plan would be to teleport herself to the heroes' location, have the heroes (who are warned she is coming) heal her unconscious body, and then ritual cast teleport with all of them back to the Lyceum where they get healed before they die from the fire damage during teleport. Unfortunately, she is redirected by the pylon to a cell in the pyromancer's tomb. After 30 minutes, the heroes get another sending asking why they have not returned yet. A third sending urgently begs them to return immediately to the Lyceum without delay. The heroes can return in 5-6 hours, but they likely get a point or two of exhaustion which can be handled by medics at the Lyceum. Seaquen is half destroyed at this point, and the heroes can head out to the ruins to stop the hurricane from finishing the job (and save Sheena Larkins). More of the inhabitants and some of the buildings of Seaquen survive, but most of the refugees are still dead.

Regardless of which direction you choose, Seaquen is likely no longer strong enough to be the center of the resistance. The heroes need allies and a new place for the resistance to relocate. They first turn to Dassen, setting up the next adventure. The heroes are sent with Balan as an advance group before the rest of the resistance relocates. If they are successful there (gosh I hope so; your heroes need a win), Dassen becomes the new stronghold of the resistance, and Bresk is hit by the Scourge super weapon in adventure 8.

I have to say, I am impressed by your willingness to let the heroes make their own decisions and not be led around by the scenarios in the adventures. You have truly made this saga your own, and I hope that you and your players continue to have fun with it.

P.S. And [MENTION=6781484]Mrpereira[/MENTION], having Shaaladel be the allied commander, completely cruel punishment, but totally appropriate to the situation. ;) I laughed out loud when I read, "if only Foebane was still alive."
 

trencher7

Explorer
Guys, thank you sooooooo much for your help!
Especially a big special thanks to [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION]! There is a lot of food for thought. Thank you that you were willing to write in such detail! Your and [MENTION=6781484]Mrpereira[/MENTION] 's ideas on that matter are brilliant!
I will be away over the weekend but I will let you know how I plan to proceed.
 

Mrpereira

Explorer
P.S. And [MENTION=6781484]Mrpereira[/MENTION], having Shaaladel be the allied commander, completely cruel punishment, but totally appropriate to the situation. ;) I laughed out loud when I read, "if only Foebane was still alive."

I liked that part too :)

I was evil enough to force feed them Shaaladel in my campaign. When it came down to the discussion as who would lead I had him pull out the document the players signed giving him authority. Watching the players realize what they did and actually have them vote for him as leader… that was fun :)
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
Oh my, so they have really brought this upon themselves. In that case, I love [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION] 's B team option as they can at least try to help while still seeing the consequences of their decision firsthand.

And having Shaaladel as commander is such a great opportunity later on. My group avoided having to deal with him as leader of the Alliance, but they had to let him lead the "Reconquest of Shahalesti" campaign against the fourth. And Shaaladel on his home turf was an extra prick.
 

trencher7

Explorer
So this is how I plan the next session (I am fully aware that the best plan never survives first contact with the players ;) )

- The main group loots the rest of he stuff of the witches in the swamp
- They will find some clue that directs them to Lee Sidoneth being in league with the witches
- The lone hero in the city goes visiting the play (I will use [MENTION=6781484]Mrpereira[/MENTION] ´s summary which he was so nice to send me beforehand)
- Giorgio starts his betrayal, the hero and 3 lvl3 NPCs try to stop him
- The 3 NPCs will likely be killed during the fight
- The hero will be saved by Sheena Larkins who teleports them both to Lyceum while the Wayfarer ship teleports/ bursts
- The hero and Sheena will be healed
- Lyceum Mages contact the main group and inform them of what happened and announce Sheena who will teleport to them and bring them back to the City
- Sheena will get stuck in the Pyromancers Tomb
- Main group will travel to Seaquen, meanwhile Seaquen´s fleet attacked the elves
- Main group arrives in Seaquen and sees the destruction, storm is at its peak
- They see that Seaquen´s fleet is defeated but the elves are helping rescueing Seaquen´s sailors from the water
- Group is reunited and heads to Lee´s home to find a severely wounded Giorgio and a map pointing to the prison/ the tomb´s entrance
- Group clears the Tomb and has final encounter with Lee as described
- Elves enter the town and arrange a meeting in the Lyceum
- At the moment the heroes are the only more or less experienced attendees of the meeting so the elves will take over the town
- After two days of rest the viceregent of the elves will send the heroes on a Mission to Bresk

So that´s it in a nutshell!
 


trencher7

Explorer
It all went (more or less) according to plan.
The PC who was absent the last session tried to prevent Giorgio from teleporting the ship but the other players just tried to escape from the danger so he stood no chance and the ship teleported breaking in two parts during the process. At the moment all dignitaries are presumed dead.
The other PCs returned to the city after the failed attempt of sending someone to teleport them. They saw that Seaquen´s fleet was roused but the Elves tried to save all of Seaquen´s sailors that went overboard during the fight. The group went to Lee´s house to find a severely injured Giorgio and a map that led them to Teven´s prison. They went there but the encounters with the Chuul and the Skeletons weakened them so much that they had to flee the fire tomb as soon as they entered it and stumbled across the Ragesian soldiers.
So I let them rest in a ruin nearby and when they returned I let them see Lee doing some sort of ritual on a nearby island that started lightning strikes from the storm down on the city and wreaking havoc. So they took a boat and rowed through the storm to the island and killed Lee who spoke his last words.
When they returned to the city next day they just saw that an elven boat was steering towards the city and they suspect (correctly) that the elves now with all dignitaries gone want to take over the city.
So far so good but what bothered my players is that they find they do not have enough information of what all this is about.

I Need your help again! They feel that they are only reacting to what is happening.
At the end of adventure 3 what information concerning the whole campaign should be available to the PCs?


- They know of the existance of Trilliths
- They know that Leska searches the Torch
- They know where the Torch might be located
- They know what Simeon and Kiernan told them about the Contents of Kreven´s writings

What else should they at this point know about.
The PCs are going to search Lee´s house again so I could plant some clues there. I think they will with some help of the Elves also return to the prison so that I could also plant some clues there if need be. At the moment I plan to have the Ragesians have left the fire tomb with their goal of destroying the resistance accomplished but of course I could also have them still remaining there if I have to convey some more information.

Thanks again in advance.
I am fully Aware that the next two or three adventures will start by being sent somewhere to accomplish something but I also want to reward my Players with some Information for all the stuff they had to endure in the last sessions. :eek:
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top