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Author Topic: It's a bad bad situation.  (Read 16183 times)
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Blackstorm
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« on: October 16, 2011, 12:29:52 PM »

Hi guys. Finally I've started my midnight campaign. And I've a ton of trouble yet. We started with the adventure in the manual, with 3 players, erenlander defender, dwarf barbarian, erenlander channeler. So, when they arrived at the nexus cave, they found the orcs yet there, so they fought them. But, my fault, I've forgot to recalibrate the encounters, so they're in disadvantage with 5 orcs. Now, the session ended with 4/5 orcs killed, 1 orc alive, 3 pcs unconscious but stable, and the legate in the cave. Now, I said my players that I've made a mistake, and asked them if they want to replay the combat, next session. They said that they want to go on with this event, but now I'm in trouble. How can I go on? I have a channeler and a dwarf, plus the defendere with giantblooded hp, so they're obviously fated to a death in the black mirror or like. I can't imagine how to going on with this. A capture, with torture and slavery seems to me the only option, but I can't see how they can free them, when imprisoned. Any suggestion?
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 01:22:05 PM »

I sympathize. I've made alot of mistakes as a DM in my campaign, as well.

Yeah, this is a tough one. Where did you place Koln? If you had them locked up in a dungeon before being slated for transfer and subsequent execution in one of the mirrors, then perhaps you could seek inspiration from the AD&D 1E Slavers series of modules, and have the next few adventures focus on them trying to escape from the dungeons? It would be tough, but could also be fun, and would circumvent any kind of deus ex machina orchestrated rescue...

Just one idea, I'm sure there are many more.
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Blackstorm
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 02:23:41 PM »

Hmmm. I put Koln in the middle Erenland. No dungeon near, aside the cave, that they haven't seen anyway. It could be an idea,  I've think to do something like that, but the legate Durgan is in the cave, and he come out soon or late. I've delayed it's entry in the battlefield, so I think that the legate came out and find the orc alive, and the pc unconscious, but I cannot think why he shouldn't kill the dwarf. But I said the players that the cave is a big complex of tunnels, so this get me an idea: maybe the legate give the orc the order to guard them, hiding in the cave, so it can go back to koln, take the other orcs, and then come back to the cave to transport the players to baden's bluff or similar place, in order to be sacrificed. I think that it takes him at least 3 days, like 1 day to go to Koln, 1 day to set it at fire, 1 day to get back. The channeler is stable at -2, so at the beginning of 3rd day she could be up and then heal herself and the allies, then they go out the cave, and try to escape. They can or not try to defende the nexus, but I think they're don't do it. In turn, if they can escape, and try to get back to koln, they'll find it totally destroyed, so they must carry the guilt of the defeat.... I'm still open to any suggesiton...
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Luiniel Blades
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 06:12:50 PM »

Well this really depends on how you want to play it.  A couple of facts to keep in mind.  Drugan is a minor Legate who wandered off on his own to find a possible source of magic.  He lost his Astirax, but now he has found a Power Nexus and defeated it's guardian, informed his superior Geodric of its location, located hidden contraband, and his Orcish bodyguards were assaulted by active resistance members and managed to defeat without killing them.  With all this in mind, he has a very large amount of evidence to suspect Koln was aiding in the insurgency, especially considering that the mayor knew something about it.  It's a big day for him.

One way to play this is that he's grown overconfident.  His god obviously favors him.  His superior will overlook his minor discrepancies for what he's accomplished.  To top it all off he now has resistance members to question.  

Since it takes a reasonably powerful Legate to question the dead, which Drugan isn't, one reason to not immediately kill the Dwarf is because he might know something about a nearby Dwarven insurgency that the humans probably wouldn't.  Assuming of course that Geodric's warpath was heading to the Kaladruns and not Erethor.  Besides, how many Legates can claim to have sacrificed a Dwarf to one of the Dark gods mirrors.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 06:27:05 PM by Luiniel Blades » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 06:42:30 PM »

Don't undo their loss, they already expressed to you they want to take the result as it is, just develop from there. Luiniel has a very good idea there, this means he will want to stay around the nexus at least until he hears from his master too, Not to mention he will try to squeeze info from the PCs before his mater gets there.

If he knows there is a channeler in the group he will also take action to avoid him/her using spells to flee.

I would say he would try to squeeze information from them for a while, if they give it to him, they are not immediately dead, he will want to hold his trophy in front of his master, you can make the pcs overhear a dialog between the legate and the orcs on that regard, they don't understand why he doesn't want to let them eat them, for example.

After he has the info he wants or is frustrated and time pressed before his master arrives, he will certainly move to the city to deal with whoever he believes is helping the insurgents or is actually one, he leaves the PCs on the cave with the orcs. This might be their chance to escape, only deeper into the endless caves, you can then insert 2-3 dungeon style sessions with hazards like water chambers, subterranean rivers and then deliver them to a new location.

Another idea is to have the master tell Drugan to immediately return to him with the prisoners and leave a host of orcs on the town and nexus, he will take care of that personally, it is jsut his master stepping on Drugan's head and stealing his glory. If the legate complies they have a chance to escape in the route to the town his is reporting to.

Some ideas.
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 11:52:29 AM »

Hmmmm. The overconfindence of Drugan seem reasonable, I like it. I'm thinking of it since I read it, i'm trying to figure how to act. I like the idea of the escape from the cave, but I'm in doubt about a couple of issues. Aside the possibility that player escape out of the cave, if they flee inside, where they go? They don't know if the cave has another entrance, and if they risk, where do you think it's going? And, if they manage to escape, maybe blocking the orc, what about allow them to find the contraband items? I think that Drugan don't want touch them, as they're a proof on his master, so it seems reasonable to allow them tfind the items...
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Luiniel Blades
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 02:03:58 PM »

Play it however you want to.  If they flee further inside, then let them have the possibility of discovering the contraband.  Drugan only needed to see that there was contraband to confirm his suspicions, he didn't necessarily need to check every crate or barrel.  Your Dwarf would likely be the one to notice the hidden entrance right away.

Aside from that, your Dwarf would also be the one to guide them through the cave, who knows maybe there is a hidden cave exit from a long time ago that leads to a natural outcropping of rocks somewhere in the wilderness a few miles away, maybe it's an abandoned mine shaft that dried up and was forgotten about, or it could be that the Nexus and it's guardian were created as a counter measure against people poking around discovering an ancient tomb that seals a darker evil from the world, and once the nexus feeding energy to keep the barrier in place is either drained or destroyed it will awaken.  

This last one has to do with the Dhaargul, and the chamber beneath the pool of water that the guardian could allow the PC's to move the contraband into.  It is after all a bad situation.  twisted
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 02:06:49 PM by Luiniel Blades » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2011, 03:46:26 PM »

If they stumble into contraband I think you have a GREAT chance of introducing one covenant item too. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 10:08:02 AM »

Have the resistance intervene or maybe gnomes save them in transport and you can move into The Crown of Shadows adventure or the like to introduce the world better.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 04:17:36 PM »

I would avoid saving them, it is against the entire idea of rolling with the defeat imo, and a bit Deus Ex Machina too.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2011, 09:34:07 PM »

i concur with Nif...don't send saviors from above.  At most, I would have some in-fighting amongst the guards that left them distracted or weakened enough that they have an opening.

Of course, if you want to really be cruel, let them be send to the slave galleys, let them be worked to death, and come back as Fell.  That might give them enough strength to escape, though would add a world of complication to the scenario.  A little bit a Deus Ex with them all rising, but they are near a Nexus that a Legate is trying to control/corrupt so who knows what effect that would have on the likelihood of rising...
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Blackstorm
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 03:16:26 AM »

I'm definitely not for save them with a friend or a snow elves patrol or so. I like the Luinel's idea, and Nif has added some interesting option. I'm trying to develop it as more "naturally" possible.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 03:24:31 AM »

In any case, make them sweat, and fight or it, in the end they will love you for it, also, make lans for what is at the end of the slave route, cause that can also end up happening if they do fail to escape, or just not try.
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 08:13:19 AM »

You could always fain a Dues Ex Machina rescue but have it be a ruse the shadow planned to hopefully lead them back to a resistance cell. Then the game becomes weather your players can figure out things in time.
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 10:52:33 PM »

You could always fain a Dues Ex Machina rescue but have it be a ruse the shadow planned to hopefully lead them back to a resistance cell. Then the game becomes weather your players can figure out things in time.

Allow an escape to track them. Good call.
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2011, 03:21:06 AM »

Oh, my God. Guys, you're so full of good ideas that I really don't know what to do... they're all good ideas... The last has something of... hunter&prey... Maybe they must get the kaladruns... hmmmm.... maybe I'm going insane... Tongue
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Luiniel Blades
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« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2011, 03:28:06 AM »

Ooh yeah, that's a great tie in for the Crown of Shadows campaign. 
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2011, 12:37:56 AM »

Keep in mind the characters are blooded, a product of the worlds last ditch response to Izzy. This could also be a useful way to introduce the worlds spirits that respond to them.
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Blackstorm
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2011, 12:25:46 PM »

Yo guys Smiley

I'm still here. Just ended the 2nd session of my campaign.

That's the cronichle: I mede the defender wake up, healed by Drugan. He asked him the name of other rebels. The defendere said that he received the task from someone near the village. Drugan received the animal messenger with a message from Geodric. So he left the prisoners, saying the defender that he should think about the generosity of the Shadow for whom that are at His side, and then said that when he come back, maybe he can "convince" him to speak, staring at the dwarf and the channeler.

So he go, with the orc to guard them. I made the last standing orc patrol nearby the cave. So, the defender tried to break the ropes. I made the orc a perception check every 3 rounds. The defender break the bounds, but the orc hear him (19 perception check), so he take a look into the cave, and roar at the defender. The defender charged him, and defeat him (lucky blow). Then the defender discovered the cove, take some food and mantle and boots, then take back their equip, then he go out in the wood.

I've give them 3 days (drugan go to kolm, set it on fire, then come back). The  2nd day they go back to the village, after some heal, but find it on fire, so they get back to the bridge on the mood, and made an ambush. The channeler find the nexus, and she exausted it, to prevent the shadow to get the power, the dwarf found 4 crossbow. So they hide near the bridge and when the 1st orc in the line on the bridge (drugan was the last) come at 30 meters on the next day, they cut the bridge. I've not even made a perception check to notice the ambush, because on 150 meters of bridge there was no chance that the orcs can see them (they all take 20).

Then the orcs and drugan go in the mood, they can do just 10 feet per round, and they kill them all (7 1st lev orcs and one 5th lev legates executed) I rewarded their strategy. They not fleed, instead they fight using the surrounding environment. I made them lev up, I think they deserve it. Then Tanner Hurley come out (he was ready, when the shadow came), spittingout all the rancour he feel about them, as he consider them the responsible of the slay of the entire village. So, a quink rant, then he go.

End of the session.

I now think that Tanner will go to the elves, and tell them the story from his point of view. So, when the players go to the elves, maybe they will be a little hostile....

What do you think?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 07:11:20 PM by Nifelhein » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2011, 07:11:39 PM »

I bet they felt really heroic after that session! Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2011, 05:24:09 AM »

Yup... They have a true moment of glory, and I think that they had even felt the guilt of the destruction of Kolm. They had a moment of glory, but with a price too high... A good way to get them deeply in the setting...
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2011, 07:18:00 AM »

Ok, guys, I need a hint. The next session is this sunday, and I'm thinking of the developement. The channeler wants to return to her master to report the nexus destruction (she exausted all the power points in the nexus pool for avoid the legates claim it). The barbarian dwarf need to regain his peraonal honor, as he fled durig a battle with orcs, leaving his companion to their fate, so he wander to made something honorable (I love this bg). The defender has, by bg, a village called Korn (he said me the name, 'twas a great hook), that he has lost, literally: he go out for hunt, as he came back, he found... Nothing... So, aside the channeler, I need some idea for the village, I think he can found some info from channeler's master, but... What could be happened to his village? And what about the dwarf? I would give him some... Spicy situation, like some type of karma, his past cowardy return back... Oh, and a flavour note: the defender, with giantblooded path, is an erenlander that want, or hope, to regroup sarcosans and dorn under one flag, because his race is a cross breed from the two races...
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2011, 01:01:55 PM »

Ever seen or read Brigadoon?

It's a story about a town that's caught in a sort of time-bubble curse. It only exists in the real world one day a year.

Something similar could be a neat concept for this town.

What if, to save it from the coming apocalypse (izrador's fall, or any of the three wars) some powerful channeler cast a spell on the area meant to seperate it from the world by taking it to another plane. The problem is that there are no other planes since the Sundering, so the town is caught in transit, wavering in and out of the real world and the other side of the Veil.

If this is the case, the people in the village would know that anyone who left never came back. The reason being that if you left you'd be out in the fully real world when the town "phased out", and that's if you were lucky. To the unlucky leaving meant going outside the area of the protective spell and being stranded in the world of the dead (the other side of the Veil).

The inhabitants would have long ago made a rule against leaving, but it might have been so long that no one remembers why the rule exists anymore. They might not know that there's anything weird about their little hamlet.

Depending on how hard you want the village to be to get to, you could have it's "phased in" time be a particular hour of the day, a certain phase of the moon, or even a certain day of the year.

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Luiniel Blades
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2011, 01:20:28 PM »

Hmm, I'm not entirely clear here.  Was the village itself gone, as in seeming to have never existed in the first place, or was it that it was still there but there was nothing left in the village like a ghost town?

If the village itself seems to have disappeared then it could be some curse like the Dornish city of Norfall, where once a month the city appears back to replay the events of what happened to cause it to disappear, or it could be something like a group of resistance channelers cast a ritual spell of Illusory Terrain to make it very difficult to detect and if they had a Dwarven Lore Master at the groups head they used the rune Magic ability to make it permanent.  If it's the abandoned village scenario then an Orcish garrison could have come by and just emptied the entire city of its population for one reason or another.

The Dwarf could very easily be thrown into a situation where an Orcish patrol could find a small tribe of Halflings that are being attacked and he could either, most likely die trying to help them or could watch and let them fight alone against being slaughtered/captured but avoid the fight altogether.  If he succeeds however you could allow them to make some allies among the small folk and he'll have earned his honor.

As for the flavor, show him that his hopes will not be easy at all.  Show him that the old animosities between Dorns and Sarcosans have arisen again.  If they're where Sarcosans are more numerous then show them Dorns doing menial labors and tasks, while the Sarcosans bark orders, or a Sarcosan gets tossed out of a tavern or meeting place run by a Dorn and he leaves cursing Dorns altogether.  If they run into some free riders and the Defender tells his plan to the group have an older more experienced rider tell him he's a fool who would invite the Shadow's Wrath down upon them all if they banded together.  If they run into some less rebellious types have them spit at him and tell him they are already banded together under the flag of the King of Erenland, Jahzir.
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2011, 06:24:52 PM »

Hmm, I'm not entirely clear here.  Was the village itself gone, as in seeming to have never existed in the first place, or was it that it was still there but there was nothing left in the village like a ghost town?
The first. Or near to the first. In effect, he said me: "I came back from my hunting day, and in the place were the village was, there is nothing. Decide yourself why this happened."

Quote
If the village itself seems to have disappeared then it could be some curse like the Dornish city of Norfall, where once a month the city appears back to replay the events of what happened to cause it to disappear, or it could be something like a group of resistance channelers cast a ritual spell of Illusory Terrain to make it very difficult to detect and if they had a Dwarven Lore Master at the groups head they used the rune Magic ability to make it permanent.
Hmmm. Norfall's in the manual, yes? Not bad. I could use Norfall as hook from starting to find an explanation. Maybe I'll get some evolution.

Quote
The Dwarf could very easily be thrown into a situation where an Orcish patrol could find a small tribe of Halflings that are being attacked and he could either, most likely die trying to help them or could watch and let them fight alone against being slaughtered/captured but avoid the fight altogether.  If he succeeds however you could allow them to make some allies among the small folk and he'll have earned his honor.
2nd level seems to be early to do.

Quote
As for the flavor, show him that his hopes will not be easy at all.  Show him that the old animosities between Dorns and Sarcosans have arisen again.  If they're where Sarcosans are more numerous then show them Dorns doing menial labors and tasks, while the Sarcosans bark orders, or a Sarcosan gets tossed out of a tavern or meeting place run by a Dorn and he leaves cursing Dorns altogether.  If they run into some free riders and the Defender tells his plan to the group have an older more experienced rider tell him he's a fool who would invite the Shadow's Wrath down upon them all if they banded together.  If they run into some less rebellious types have them spit at him and tell him they are already banded together under the flag of the King of Erenland, Jahzir.
Oh, he knows that's really difficult, but he wants to try. I'd like to handle his intents with flashes of hope and despair... Maybe he could start to gather a group of sarcosan and dorns, maybe some erenlander... and then show him the opposing interests of the races, inner frictions...

But wait. Now that I'm thinking of, it could be possible that he want to regroup the erenlanders, under one flag. In this case, how do you think I should act?
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