ZEITGEIST Xambria advice

kelots

Villager
Hey guys thanks for your help with Adventure two. Just been reading through adventure 3 and keen for advice on how to play out some themes. First off though, some context as this party had a ROUGH encounter at the Church which went roughly like this:
  • Go in, find wolfgang, convo went well with him and when asked wolfgang used disguise self to show his attacker, tieing creed Creed to the Consulate
  • Wolfgang started to go get the papers, the trap with Creed was sprung (canary went black to warn them)
  • Party went out and fought Creeds aides, while he cruised behind them, knocked out then collected Wolfgang
  • Combat ended party realised Wolfgang was gone, started exploring and found the church sealed and met Leone
  • Minor split while the Wizard read the docs for info, two of the party talked to Leone, two climbed the chimney they'd found and started a plan to assault those in the street
  • Tried to establish Leone as powerful but they ignored the hints
  • Wizard finished reading and joined the others up top. They put all of the docs in a pouch with the wizards familiar and told it to fly them back to HQ.
  • Convo at the door went poorly, Leone shortened their remaining time and brought out his hostage: One the Cleric PC's Wife
  • While the pair at the door were frantically trying to figure out how to deal with this, the three who left via the chimney sprung an attack using feather fall. The instigator here really did not listen to the number of people in the description.
  • The fight was a slaughter, with Darkness running rampant and the party split, Leone sat in his chair and drunk wine, ate cheese while his minions wiped out a lot o the party.
  • Leone killed his hostage in front of the PC Husband who was behind bars
  • At some point the players realised their mistake but the Wizard PC refused to snap the documents back
  • Leone caught some of this convo, and i gave him an arcana roll which he got 27ish on, so he understood how find familiar works in 5e, and killed the wizard (continuing beyond saving throws)
  • This caused the familiar to die mid-flight, and the papers to be scattered across the Nettles
  • The other two players fighting in the street only survived because one of them got a nat 20 on his final death save and managed to heal the other (both were at 2 pass 2 fails, was a very tense session)
  • The two inside, one panicked and tried to climb the chimney which failed, the other threw grenades and everything he had at the steel but couldn't get out in time
SO a rough session... Have had a few challenges with the party (or more commonly one constable) who keeps trying to dice/fight their way through the investigation ,but this time instead of a big setback PC's and NPCs died. This player managed to recover about 1/3rd of the docs over several hours with the help of local cops in the Nettles while the others made funeral arrangements and grieved. The party then set up a sting for the dragonborn brothers to get a warrant but same PC decided to kill Valando for vengeance.... for... something.... only to learn Eberrado is the dumber one and didn't know much about the dealings (other than the name of a carriage driver which got them back on track and this week we should hit up the mayors manor for the climax).

Trigger happy Constable ticking off his table-mates aside, I am starting to prep Adventure Three and way back when the Cleric made his char, he described his NPC daughter to me. She's 28, an archeologist, and teaches at a university/goes on excavations and digs. Wow I thought, there's a perfect NPC to template swap for her - Xambria Meridieth! And I worked this into the story.

Now after still reeling from a couple of very grim sessions, with my Cleric hell bent on vengeance for Leone killing his NPC wife... I read adventure three properly and now realise that his daughter is central to the plot, and going to be the unwitting villain!
  1. Any tips on how adventure 3 plays out?
    1. I see there are paths for her to survive and don't plan to change anything, but would like to ensure the players see the path to save her, they're pretty shook about the NPC wife
  2. Any tips on playing Reflavored-Xambria?
    1. She will be in Flint a few times during my downtime recap, home for her mothers funeral early in Summer (after she opened the Zig in spring but before the seal is opened)
    2. Could be good opp to do some world building/foreshadowing, thinking they talk about work to take mind off things after funeral and she is going on about the Ancients?
    3. When she comes back on 51 summer, her dad will be keeping an eye on her and worried if she has strange behavior, any ideas? At this point she's possessed and acting weird, but I need him to not delve into it too much?
  3. Suspect the start of the adventure will short cut a little and they will want to talk to an Ancients expert asap, happy to adapt this but keen for any tips or things to watch
  4. I understand Leone doesn't make a comeback until far later in the adventure, any hints or near misses I could add to help curb the players bloodlust as he will want to take steps to track Leone down haha
Thanks for reading!
 

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MrsMongoose

Explorer
Going after someone that "fits the description" only for it to be wrong and them get blasted for it might work. There's a professionalism blasting coming up from 'limelight' Saxby at the start of 3 anyway (which Nigel mitigates IF he thinks the characters are worth it, but it can definitely be used as a shot across the bows...)

Oh, there's always the possibility that Xambria is NOT the bad guy of chapter 3 but another made-up archaeologist is, and have your PC's daughter be a slurped fragment in their head fighting back... (so later on they can be in another PCs body etc...)
 
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Crispy120286

Explorer
Xambria herself was never the villain. It was Sijhen in her head and controlling her like a puppet. After the final encounter Xambria's body should be "dead" and her consciousness would pass to a nearby willing individual. In my campagn, Waaay later between modules 7 and 8, After Grappa/Leone is saved from the convocation, My players had Tinker make Xambria a new body using duplicant technology and Grappa/Leone move her mind from one of the constables into the duplicant permanently. She's now is travelling with them to the Eladrin ruins across Elfaivar, But now she is her own person again.
 

MrsMongoose

Explorer
Xambria herself was never the villain. It was Sijhen in her head and controlling her like a puppet. After the final encounter Xambria's body should be "dead" and her consciousness would pass to a nearby willing individual. In my campagn, Waaay later between modules 7 and 8, After Grappa/Leone is saved from the convocation, My players had Tinker make Xambria a new body using duplicant technology and Grappa/Leone move her mind from one of the constables into the duplicant permanently. She's now is travelling with them to the Eladrin ruins across Elfaivar, But now she is her own person again.
Should have put 'Xambria' in quotes... We did similar: my character ended up with her in that way... it was weird having her watch my PC's nightmares...

I was more sort of thinking in this case that Sijhen in 'insert extra archaeologist here's body', is carrying some of the fragments of people that he 'ate' as the memory access thing, and you could still get 'a' Xambria out the other end in this case if you rule she's strong enough willed to stick around... that can remember some of Sijhen's stuff like before...
 

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