Home forum Help Search Login Register

Site Sections

User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 13, 2021, 07:17:48 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent Topics

Site Tips

If you liked something, say so, if you think it can be bettered, say so, commenting on threads and giving ideas for the site are always welcome.
Pages: [1] 2
Send this topic Print
Author Topic: New Crown of Shadow campaign  (Read 14755 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« on: May 26, 2009, 11:28:43 AM »

Hello!

I just found Midnight and are about to start up a campaign based on the Crown of Shadows. I have been skimming through the treads on the forum, Stickylis notes and Pheros campaign, which have been really helpful. Is there anyone that got some good tips for the adventure? I would like to make it a bit longer and perhaps not spill the beans about that they are headed for Erethor too early in the campaign. Stuff that seem to have been good for other groups is:

- The ghost Durum Frostbane in the dungeons
- The orc attack at the dwarven holdfast and perhaps a side quest here
- A bit more paranoia about astiraxes

Is there any other side quests or important stuff that deserves to be put in CoS that you can think of? My palyers like exploring, big events like dragons and war, Indiana Jones-stylish artifacts and traps and a high level of independence. 

Thank you for all ideas, they will be helpful Smiley



Logged
stickyii
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 11


« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 05:05:29 PM »

Just wanted to log in and say it's a treat to still see our work getting some use.  Crown of Shadow was probably my favorite campaign to run.  Even though we did have 5 minute flashbacks during combat...

Suggestions:
- Food Scarcity: hunting was fun, but don't over do it. It gets boring after about two sessions-worth of searching for berries and failing to snare rabbits
- Fear: Scare the shit out of them at every possible opportunity (e.g. Dragon flying over head, paranoia as to whether or not everyone is a fell (again, limited use before they start chopping everyone's heads off, astriax as you mentioned)
- Player Death: Kill someone in an epic way early on.  Suggest your players have back-up characters prepared Smiley
- Cut Scenes: Allow the players into the mind of a Legate.
- Doomed to Fail: Your players will never have a chance at redeeming the world.  They may win battles, but never the war.
Logged
Pheros
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +6/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,504



WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 07:22:54 PM »

Glad to see Stickyii and my notes are useful!  And I'm excited to hear about your CoS campaign...be sure to tell us about it.

In terms of side quests, Baden's Bluff begs for exploration and intrigue.  I can easily imagine reworking "Last Crusade" (climbing around the catacombs in Venice, etc) into a hunt for an artifact or resistance stash in the Bluff.  I played mine online because a) we would have had to have a 3 week break in real life due to timing issues, and b) only one player was really into the cloak and dagger stuff, but that could easily be three or four sessions of side quest joy.

Extra things in the party's path on the run through the Plains or into the forest of Erethor are also great opportunities for shorter side quests.

I'd echo Stickyii's comments about Food, and Fear.  And about player Death: don't pull your punches.  Midnight is dangerous, and characters die.  Don't feel bad about being harsh.

Joe
Logged

1.6180339887...
Dunkin stats
arnon
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +8/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,600



« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 03:25:31 AM »

What everyone said Smiley

I also expanded the encounter with the Sarcosan Raiders on the Plains. The party was raiding with them for a while and later found out that the leader (or lieutenant, i don't remember correctly) was actually a double-agent...

Can't trust anybody
Logged
mit_2k
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 30


« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 06:37:48 AM »

- Food Scarcity: hunting was fun, but don't over do it. It gets boring after about two sessions-worth of searching for berries and failing to snare rabbits

I've run the campaign twice now and both times I've put in a nasty surprise for the wildlander when he is inevitably off gathering food on his own while the party is trekking through the plains. One day, just choosen at random when it seems to be a little quiet, I throw in an encounter with a carrion stag, scaled down a little to meet the PC's level and to keep the fight fair.
By the time the wildlander realises that this particular game isn't quite normal (as it seems to be chewing on a corpse) it has scented them and is charging up hill, usually i give them enough distance to get a couple of ranged attacks in before it closes. The ensuing fight is usually pretty difficult but fun, leaving the wildlander on both counts almost on deaths door, the first time on about 3hp and he only won by a lucky critical which put the stag down. Then they return to the party battered and without food for the night and probably use up some of the healing charms or such that they happen to have with them.

Mit
Logged

---
But would I run today just to die another day,
Give up now and every fight has been in vain.

Turisas - Stand up and Fight
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 09:23:11 AM »

Excellent!

Thank you, carrion stag sounds fun after reading about it and will absolutely use the double-agent horse nomad. How did the PC:s find out about him?

Meanwhile, prepping some stuff for my players...  twisted The one that can solve this riddle will earn a CoS-point  Smiley



(tell me if the picture doesnīt work, not good at that stuff)
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 12:26:46 PM »

One of my players made his first character yesterday, a dwarven goatherder named Nalor Clawface (badly translated from swedish), equipped with a big twohanded axe and clawmarks from a cavebear on his face.

We got Nalor a short introductory adventure just for him as well, played over Skype which worked fine, about when Nalor was herding his goats in the mountains and a snow storm struck... He got himself and the herd in cover among some big rocks and all seemed fine. But during the night more and more of his goats disappeared... No goatherd can take that, so he found that the goats were entering a small cave opening in a corner of the shelter and in a strange way making their way deeper into the mountain, like they were under hypnosis...

Nalor bravely followed them in, only to find some sort of goblin shaman and his apprentice happily preparing to slaughter his goats in a cave room! A dwarfish war-cry and the big axe was the last the apprentice ever saw, but there was something else in the cave as well, some bigger evil that the goblins seemed to worship... Nalor saw something resembling a huge tree or plant seemingly eat one of his goats in the room to where the shaman fled. After getting some lesser magic thrown at him, Nalor quickly collected the remaining goats and retreated out. A bit too risky for one goatherder he thought. He marked the cave with some warning-signs using his Stonecunning and then made it back towards Durgis Rock, having all of his goats but two with him.

In Durgis Rock, Wooden the dorthane listened to his story and told him that his father had encountered something similar up there 200 years ago, but no dwarf had been able to find the cave after. Nalor got a reward for his bravery in the form of an ancient heroes axe from the wall of the Hall of Heroes, and then got to lead a team of dwarfs back to the cave. Back there, the corpse of the goats and the goblin apprentice was left, but no sign of the schaman or the strange evil he saw. Confused, they blocked the entrance with some big stones and left for town. When back, Nalor will get his next mission about the collecting of some strange emissaries... Smiley

Was a fun little adventure and the first in the Midnight setting. It was about a twisted elemental that resides in the area, having the goblins to bring sacrifices in exchange for magical training. I will hint later in CoS enough so that Nalor will understand more of what he saw, perhaps in the Pardrum Holdfast where there might be some dwarfs knowing more about what roams the Kaladruns.   
Logged
TwiceBorn
Editor
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 669



« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 04:30:23 PM »

Excellent!

Thank you, carrion stag sounds fun after reading about it and will absolutely use the double-agent horse nomad. How did the PC:s find out about him?

Meanwhile, prepping some stuff for my players...  twisted The one that can solve this riddle will earn a CoS-point  Smiley



(tell me if the picture doesnīt work, not good at that stuff)

Are these the pictographs for the Dwarven nursery rhyme on p. 23 of Crown of Shadows?
Logged

TwiceBorn
Editor
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 669



« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 04:51:56 PM »

Hello!

I just found Midnight and are about to start up a campaign based on the Crown of Shadows. I have been skimming through the treads on the forum, Stickylis notes and Pheros campaign, which have been really helpful. Is there anyone that got some good tips for the adventure? I would like to make it a bit longer and perhaps not spill the beans about that they are headed for Erethor too early in the campaign. Stuff that seem to have been good for other groups is:

- The ghost Durum Frostbane in the dungeons
- The orc attack at the dwarven holdfast and perhaps a side quest here
- A bit more paranoia about astiraxes

Is there any other side quests or important stuff that deserves to be put in CoS that you can think of? My palyers like exploring, big events like dragons and war, Indiana Jones-stylish artifacts and traps and a high level of independence.  

Thank you for all ideas, they will be helpful Smiley





I have just added my own CoS campaign journal to this website (it's rather longwinded!). As you can see, the party is progressing quite slowly, partially because I want them to spend a considerable amount of time in each area developing a real feel for the geography, culture, environmental hazards, etc. Instead of making the underground trek to Pardrum Holdfast last a few days, it's probably going to last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks, and will feature alot more encounters and challenges. I want them to feel true desperation and discomfort in the underdark... and for the non-dwarves to really hate and fear the place! I want them to have to struggle to find food, to worry about using up their light sources, to worry about getting lost, etc.

It's worth noting that the placement of Pardrum Holdfast on the map in Hammer and Shadow seems inconsistent with its location on the map in CoS... and I prefer the location depicted in the former source, hence the longer underground journey.

I might add a modified version of the adventure "Home Under the Range" (Dungeon no. 134) as a side trek in the Pardrum Holdfast area.

I also intend to add more encounters on the plains. I'm thinking that the party may stumble into a town of freemen (possibly one that would have been home to one of the PCs) that is under siege by slavers.  A modified version of the adventure "The Distraction" (Dungeon no. 145) would work well here. Haven't decided yet whether I should keep the gnolls as the besieging force, or substitute orcs, goblins, or other goblinkin in their place (I love gnolls!).

A few other side treks in the plains/foothills area might involve raids on goblin lairs (using "Depths of Rage" from Dungeon 83 and/or "Unfamiliar Ground" from Dungeon 119) as the basis for these forays.
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 05:31:38 AM »

Are these the pictographs for the Dwarven nursery rhyme on p. 23 of Crown of Shadows?

Yes! Thanks for that, had to know whether it was possible to solve so my players have adecent chance. I have given the players a page with "What it means to be a dwarf" with some background information about culture etc. Included here is the nursery rhyme and the poem from the Kaladrudrunchapter of the Rulebook. There is also references to that all dwarven households contains a broom and that dwarfs value to keep their temper, to give some clues to Stickyliis riddles that Durum Frostbane will ask them Wink

Just as you, I have planned to use Koln and Well of Rebellion in the campaign, but I will use it after the Pardrum holdfast part. I donīt want to tell the players straight away that they are headed to Erethor, so they will only know from the elves that they are to meet their Erenland guide in Koln, a village in the foothills of the mountains. When they arrive, the guide will be dead, killed by the lost astirax, but a small note or perhaps that he is rising as fell will give them information that another Erethor guide waits for them in Badens Bluff.

Going to skim through your campaign now, donīt have the Dungeon magazines but good descriptions are always useful Smiley
Logged
TwiceBorn
Editor
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 669



« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 07:24:05 PM »

Saltsmurf,

Do you have a key for what each symbol in the pictographs represents? My players are likely to find the secret door in the next session, and I'd love to use your drawing as a hand-out.  But that having been said, I'm not 100% sure I'm interpreting your symbols correctly.

Cheers!
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 05:44:46 AM »

You have the orc-shape, the swinging-axe-shape, the skull shape (death), the little circles following each other means "follows" or "comes" and little triangles symbolizing north, east, south and west.

The three orcs mean actually "them" from the pictograph, the translation from Old Dwarven pictographs to English might be a bit complicated Wink

This is how I thought it should be pressed:



If they realize that it is the nursery rhyme, the only problem might be the north, south etc since the triangles might be to small, but I hope it will work. The "comes" might perhaps be tricky as well, but there is a limited amount of buttons so they ought to figure it out.

I have planned the button in the middle to be some sort of execute-button. If they pnly press a few buttons and then execute - then nothing will happen. If they press all of them but in the wrong order and then execute, the spear-trap will get activated. If they press in the right order and then the middle-button, then it opens.

I am also going to let the trap be an automatic reset version. A small waterfall is pouring close to the door which is the power source. When the trap or the door is reset, the waterflow is diverted into the mountain for a minut to refill the ingenious mechanics of the dwarven trap. The spears or door remains out or open for one minut and closes after (slowly), if no-one on the inside closes it before from there.

Tell me how it works! Bet it can be nerve-wrecking to try to solve a puzzle in real-time while the others fight off orcs in a proper 300-fashion Smiley
 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 05:47:20 AM by Saftsmurf » Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 05:49:20 AM »

Hmm, donīt seem to be able to upload the picture correctly, but I think it works if you right-click on it and press "open in new tab".
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 05:53:28 AM by Saftsmurf » Logged
Doomed Hero
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +11/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,907



« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 01:27:59 PM »

When the trap or the door is reset, the waterflow is diverted into the mountain for a minut to refill the ingenious mechanics of the dwarven trap. The spears or door remains out or open for one minut and closes after (slowly), if no-one on the inside closes it before from there.

So if the player gets it wrong his buddies have to hold the orcs off for ten rounds before another attempt can be made?

There's a few problems here-

1) ten rounds is a long time. You're looking at a very possible party wipe. If that's the kind of pressure your game calls for, then it's perfect.

2) ten rounds is a long time (part 2) Your party is going to be facing off against the advance party/scouts of a larger main force, yes? Realistically, how long until the bigger guns show up?

3) The spear retracts slowly? A smart player is going to break that off as soon as it starts to reset. What happens then? Does the mechanism break? Does the door seal? Does it change anything? Leaving the business end of the defense out in the open for that long seems like a poor design. I'd bet dwarven trapsmiths wouldn't make that mistake.

4) Is there a dwarf in the party? Does anyone read Old Dwarven? If so, you might want to prepare another version of the picture that replaces the symbols with words in english. (or whatever your player's native tongue is)  The picture is very cool, but the character that can read (unlike the player) isn't going to be translating and deciphering. The character is just going to be putting the words in order. If it's a well known dwarven nursery rhyme, it would be very similar to a real-world puzzle that had the words to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in random order. It wouldn't take that long for someone who's heard it to figure it out. On the other hand "Twinkle Twinkle" as a pictographic puzzle, or a puzzle where the words were written in Chinese (which is what the players are essentially having to figure out) would be damn near impossible just on the basis of not knowing the frame of reference for the puzzle. Once they figured out it was "Twinkle Twinke" It would be a breeze (assuming they have the means to translate it), but figuring out that first step might prove to be a serious problem.


Hope this critique doesn't seem harsh. I really do like the ideas you've presented. I just naturally find myself playing the Devil's Advocate.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 01:30:49 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...
Pheros
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +6/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,504



WWW
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2009, 06:44:48 PM »

Yeah, DH makes very good points.

Now, if your players love this kind of thing, and want to think through it, then by all means give them that challenge, but it could be quite a hurdle to overcome (unless you pull your punches during the battle, but I never recommend that, esp. in Midnight.)
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2009, 02:23:17 PM »

Hmm, yeah, understand the problem with the dwarven pictographs - if the rulebook and CoS is followed it should of course be in english, but I want to make the puzzle more tricky. I have decided that its either an old or clan-based version of dwarven pictographs or just pictographs that a dwarf with no cunning in writing have made (just pictures). Depends on what characters my  players make. But if none of the chracaters know Dwarven writing they are screwed in the original CoS setting as well aren't they? The idea is to leave as much as possible to the players brains instead of their dice, thats why I'm not going for the english version...

If the players break the trap, good on them Wink  Donīt mind unconventional solutions. But might as you say be more realistic if the dwarfs have made the spears (thick metal pikes btw, wood would probably not hold for 200 years) withdraw more quickly. And it ought to go on different mechanics if someone would be able to jam the spears, see no reason why not.

About the orcs killing the PC:s in just a  few minutes? Realisticly speaking, they probably would. But realisticly speaking, the PC:s chances of finding a Goral Fen towards a hidden escape route when closed in on by lots of orcs is very small, and the chances of the riddle to be one that any dwarven prisoner could give away to the orcs are similarly very low -it would probably be a random number combination that only the scouts of a 200 year dead clan had memorized. I think that withholding the punches in rpg is unavoidable if you want any heoric and adventurous feeling in it. You just got to do it in the right way, even in a darker setting.

I'm going to let the orcs come in small waves due to the problems of following the tunnel towards the escape route. They can get stuck, scout on slowly, try to rescue a friend that has fallen down a gap, all sorts to let them come in dramatically correct numbers towards the PC:s. For me, the most important way to not withholding the punches is to not change a rolled die. If a PC dies he is dead, but I woldnīt avoid a cool situation because realism craves it. 

I'm probably going to give them around 10 minutes (around 4 or 5 tries) before the orcish hordes totally overwhelm them, 10 minutes of drums, shouting, orcs up on the cliffs throwing down rocks on them and all sorts Wink If they donīt seem to hack it, a few die rolls against dwarven history or stonecunning ("these escape routes are often made based on some common dwarven knowledge - something even a dwarvish child would know") could give them clues. But then thereīs less xp and fate points etc as reward after.
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2009, 02:55:06 PM »

Thanks for the critique btw, is always constructive whether it's bad or good Smiley
Logged
Pheros
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +6/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,504



WWW
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2009, 03:17:09 PM »

Yeah, as I said it's all about how you run your campaign, and what will give your players the most enjoyment.  You make good points with the narrow path having to be followed.  And I definitely appreciate your desire to make as much of it player based and as little die based as possible.

On a more mechanistic end, 10 minutes of battle time can take quite a long time in real life.  I don't know how long your sessions are, but it might drag out a bit...again, your call (and hopefully they'll get it early...)

Joe
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2009, 04:21:46 PM »

(and hopefully they'll get it early...)

Hehe, yeah, otherwise there will have to be plan B, that surviving PC:s get captured by the orcs and taken down the dungeons as food for the cave trolls (as everybody know, south kaladrun cave trolls only eat meat that kicks) and get to escape a few limbs shorter.

Had the first session of CoS today. 4 PC:s on 2 players, played over a Skype conference call. Skype-play was surprisingly fun, even though the mimics and wild gestures of the DM during battle got somewhat limited.

The PC:s so far are Nalor Clawface the Shepherder, Ferun Foolcleaver the Channelers Apprentice, Valdrin the Merchant and Gord of the Durgis Rock Militia. All good dwarfs selected by Woden to be a suitable escort for the mysterious emissaries back to the village.

The main happening of the session was their encounter with a small scouting party of goblins from the main army. On the second day from DR up by a lake, they ran into 3 goblins and a worg rider. The goblins were scouts for the army about to attack DR, and placed as a chance for the PC:s to realize what is going on and have the opportunity to send someone back to warn DR about the attacking army. However, the PC:s were content with chopping the goblins to pieces, loot their arrows and then push on, so no salvation for DR in this campaign either Wink The worg was quite effectful though, it almost succeded in killing the channeler and the merchant, and would have succeded if it wasnīt for Nalors big axe. One of the goblins also woke up as a fast-waking fell. It didnīt work out as scary as I hoped, but at least they know to chop the heads of fallen enemies in the future. Midnight crash-course Smiley

The rest of the session was camping life and tracking in the mountains, they just reached the falls in the end and will climb down to the trading post in the next session. Overall a good first session.

 
Logged
TwiceBorn
Editor
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 669



« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2009, 11:08:54 PM »

Hmm, donīt seem to be able to upload the picture correctly, but I think it works if you right-click on it and press "open in new tab".

Still couldn't open it...  Sad
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2009, 04:10:00 AM »



There!
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2009, 12:18:54 PM »

We had our second CoS-session yesterday. Two new PC:s started up in Koln as the emissaries guides. A gnomish smuggler named Wolmond Smirr and his mate, an erenlander trickster named Inja. They met with the elves close to the Tearfall Cavern and shortly met the guide that has been taking them from Badens Bluff, a wildlander named Ranulf. After an introduction we fastplayed up to through the mountains and went over to the dwarvish group.

The four dwarves descended down the cliff at Kurgun Falls with ropes and climbing gear that they left hanging. After scaring up a couple of orts in the passage between the warehouse cellars and hunted them down, they put themselves to wait. In the sunset a strange couple of two pale goblins, one taller than they usually are, appeared. Inja and Wolfram saw a couple of short, dirty, bearded semi-orcs. After some careful chatting in Traders Tounge, both groups decided to trust each other and Wolfram signalled for the elves to come forward.

A multicultural squabble started that was pretty fun to play, missed etiquett rules from both partys and language difficulties. Bayal and Gord the Durgis Rock guardsman couldnīt speak any other  languages than elvish and dwarfish and was soon left to their own, becoming friends in mutual silence.They decided to set back the next day, after that Rhiann had warned them that worg-riders could mean that an orcish army group was nearby.

Close to sunrise, six goblins appeared from the mist around the bridge (they couldnīt see the bridge through the mist from the waterfall) chatting away and pointing on the main building, but seemingly waiting for something. The elves left for the dwarves to decide what to do (boring if the high levels take command and it is the dwarves mountains). A quick decision was made to try to flee through the cellars towards the ropes and then climb up in silence.

I let the group consist of one elite orcish veteran from the Bone Mother tribe and twelve goblins with their golem. When all PC:sa and elves where up, Nalor was peaking out from behind the wall to have a look, and I let the orc spot him (must be a little action in the session). The orc charged forward the 200 meters towards Nalor and Gord while the others started to climb up the cliff. Thought that They would have some problems with the orc, equipped with some extra feats and stuff to be nasty enough, but they got him pretty quick in a wild axe-hacking grappling fight. After the orc the goblins attacked in a more careful manner, shooting arrows and trying to surround the dwarves on the ground. Bayal and some other PC:s with bows take posts halfway up the cliff, starting to shoot down on the goblins.

In the midst of this, the golem appear and starts to throw big rocks at the climbers (that scared them!). After a couple of lucky evasions Nalor realises that the shouting and pointing goblin hiding between the giants legs might have something to do with it. He signals to Bayal to take him out which calms the rock giant down. Under cover from the bows on the cliff the two last dwarves climbed up, with no sign of goblins trying to come after them.

The last bit of the session was spent with trying to figure out a way to get out three of the goblins hooked arrows out of Nalor and Gord, getting a bit of a gritty feeling over it when they had to boil water, cut up armour and muscles to get them out only to realise that the goblins dip their arrows in excrements before they use them (I let Rhiann be busy with some sort of ritual to scan the environments here to let them sort it out themselves).

If they come back the same way later, I might let Bayals arrows have more than twelve goblins killed to make more fell, no-one really saw how many there were so can be a good reminder later on exactly how awesome the elves really were Smiley
Logged
Saftsmurf
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Posts: 22


« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2009, 08:25:06 AM »

I tried out my homemade pictograph-puzzle in an improvised roleplaying session during a rainy day in a wilderness-cabin. The adventure was not set in Midnight, but had loads of influence from the setting though (the PC:s were great heroes about to check out the cursed forest where the evil trickster god had landed a 100 years ago, at the same point as when the rest of the gods became silent  Roll Eyes ).

The PC:s got to hear the most common dwarven song sung by the dwarven PC:s friends when they left out for the adventure in the woods. After fighting twisted servants to the dark god, fell and ghosts - close to the end of the session, they encountered an abandoned dwarven holdfast with a secret entrance guarded by the pictographs and a re-setting spike-trap.

It took my players around 15 minutes to solve it and I had to give quite many clues, mostly by using hinting words for the pictographs ("it looks like an axe, being swinged", "that one looks like a couple of dots sort of coming after each other", "the arrow seem to point north, or upwards"). I also told the that these puzzle-locks usually should be possible to solve with common dwarven knowledge, something every dwarf should know. When they had connected the song to the pictograph they solved it in a couple of seconds, but the connecting thing wasnīt that easy. They spent a lot of time just pressing one or a few buttons and then "execute", having to wait a minute between each try for the trap to recharge (they were using long poles to push the buttons, very brave PC:s indeed Smiley )

When I use it with my CoS-group, I will probably let the orcs search in the vincinity and just stress the PC:s until they connect it to the song, and then let the orcs attack just in the end. The means of doing this is that the path to the entrance is changed into a veritable maze, only possible to follow for the ones that can spot goral fens. Even if a few orcs attack and there is a loud battle, the sounds from where it is will be tricky for the main force to localize and there will be a big attack just the seconds before the PC:s can escape.

I will also let the trap only get activated when all buttons are pushed by letting the execute button be impossible to press until then, hoping that it will be an indicator to that it is the order of the buttons that is the important one and not just to find the right button (which otherwise will make for at least 8 failed tries).

During this little field-test, the players really liked the chance of using their brains for a while, and did consider it to be a fun and fair puzzle afterwards, with the reservation that they thought I should have put more weight on the song from the start. 
Logged
TwiceBorn
Editor
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 669



« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2009, 09:21:41 PM »

IMC, I also presented the players with an illustrated ring of pictographs (large scale, on the back of a Paizo flip-mat). I had the dwarf, dworg and gnome PCs make secret Knowledge (Kaladruns), Intelligence, or Perform checks, as appropriate. The dwarf and dworg both recognized the meaning of the images and quickly figured out what they had to do, but the skill or ability check would determine whether they remembered the correct order of the verses. I had different notes prepared, with a different order to the verses. Those who beat the required DC (I did not tell the players what the DC was, and they rolled behind my screen)) would be given a note with the correct sequence, and those who did not were given another note with a different sequence. In this situation, even the PC who was wrong might argue that they were right...  twisted

Ultimately, in game, both the dworg and dwarf beat the required DC, and so agreed on the correct sequence.  

But the inspiration for drawing out the pictographs came from you, Saftsmurf... thanks (I made my own illustrations, though)!
Logged
Wil_Upchurch
Heepa-Heepa


Spell Energy / Taint +1/-1
Gender: Male
Posts: 33



« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2009, 10:20:06 AM »

I found Silver Vein to be an invaluable "side trek" addition to the module. I had the PCs march the survivors of Durgis Rock to Silver Vein, which provided some amazing roleplaying opportunities both on the trail and in getting to a dying town and trying to convince them to take in refugees. I also through in some combat encounters while they were in Silver Vein, and got them caught up in the intrigues of the place, pitting two brothers against one another, one against their father, the town's shaman (and his exiled brethren), and a gnomish consort in the middle of it all.

If you do a search for Silver Vein here you should find all sorts of goodies.
Logged

It's been 100 years since the Shadow fell...

"Damn, that's so lame, why are writers all lazy. It's always 100 years this, 100 years that. Why can't it be 62 years, or 137 years?"
Pages: [1] 2
Send this topic Print
Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  GM's Corner (Moderators: Bleak Knight, Glacialis)  |  Topic: New Crown of Shadow campaign
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
AtS Dark Mercury design by Nifelhein, based on the Mercury theme by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.109 seconds with 28 queries.
TinyPortal © 2005-2011