Er…where were we exactly? Quistine needs to be dealt with this session, so I need that half-elf—not worked up exactly, but worked out to some degree. Basically he will help her, give her money, and get her out of the city. Kindrok is back in the pits. He will not discuss how he got there, saying that he…wait, Quistine’s gone too. Dammit. I thought it was that he wanted to watch over Quistine. Who the Hell’s left? Lessee…Lots of almost dying in the Pits. Mina taking charge…oookay. The last encounter was Cruel Overseer, from which they miraculously escaped scot-free (reiterate this to the players). Other Scenes should be played out soon.
- Mina is Urrgos’ new best friend. Make sure the elves taunt them both mercilessly over this.
- Also remember that there are several unusual races in the pens—gith, etc.
- Don’t forget about Liurgand, who is trying to insinuate himself into the group.
- Play out a few days with just the skill challenges and sun sickness checks, unless the characters declare actions, with perhaps a scene thrown in. The point is to stress the sameness of every day, and the lack of any calendar (so I can fudge times later if I need to). There’s a lot of time left, and I may need to compress some.
- Rain! It’s time. Plus it’s starting to cool off at night.
- Start pointing out that the weaker slaves are starting to die off from the decreased rations.
- Morrow 3rd is in 14 days.
Everyone is in the pens except Quistine.
7: Very hot/cool, 2: No wind. Also, as it’s winter, there is a light dew in the morning, almost unnoticeable in the city (but Quistine would notice).
- Don’t forget to time the session & take regular breaks (10 minutes every two hours).
- Try to give experience after each encounter.
It’s low sun, so -2 adjustment to the temperature chart. Wind doesn’t matter unless it’s Storm or better. Well, I suppose Strong would result in a nice breeze in the city.
6: Hot/cool, 2: No wind.
I think some rain soon would be good. I read somewhere (DSCS, I assume…) that it rains several times a year during Low Sun. I like that much better than once a decade.
No moons to speak of. The moons are rising in early morning, with not much more than pale shadows of themselves visible. They rise earlier every day.
Korvin on Trial
Korvin is hauled into the office of his boss, Korik. An accounting is demanded of his actions, given his dustup with Larkyn. His progress has been zero. Can he get out of this by betraying the secrets of the amulets? No; he doesn’t know anything other than Ktandeo’s name (which was an error on my part). The only Veiled Alliance information Korik is interested in is the location of the amulets or information that can help locate them. If Korvin bullshits well enough, he can gain imprisonment for one day while his claims are investigated. Regardless, unless he combines excellent rolls with superb roleplaying, Korvin’s getting enslaved. His abilities are not taken from him, but all of his possessions are. When he gets to the pits, Terric (aka pissant) gleefully receives him, and warns him of dire consequences should he use any magic whatsoever. He also makes sure everyone knows he’s a former templar; he doesn’t expect Korvin to live long. No one will tell him a damn thing about Kasia, but at some point during the adventure, whatever templar has her (it’s Larkyn, High Templar of Security, who dies at the end of Verdant Passage) will stroll through or near the pits, or the ziggurat, or the arena (i.e. where Korvin is) with her on his arm.
2A— Friend in Need
No further stats are necessary; run it as shown. Don’t jump straight into this, though; run a scene or two beforehand, and also just some generic scenes and happenings, and let the party try some stuff.
- Don’t forget that half-elf they rescued! He’ll try to help them to the degree that he can.
- Probably ought to write him up.
- Mahlanda and Chari will be in the pits. They will not be seen immediately, as they have been there longer than the party, but they are there. Mahlanda, at least, is in the kitchens.
- How did they get there? A story will need to be constructed.
- What encounters do I need to prepare for this session?
- Look over the rules for wilderness survival without food or water. It’s about to happen here. Probably need to make additional rules in line with the module info.
- After the party gets into the pits, play out their days in some (but not excruciating) detail. Walk them through hour by hour (ish; not literally), by the description in the module. Make them do ability checks for their work.
- Plot holes
- The templars were looking for a “Renegade Preserver.” Most people have no idea what that is. However, that might explain why no one gave her up. Nobody likes a sorcerer, but if they have no idea what a Preserver is…
- Timor got passed by the party, but ended up conversing with Rhotan before the party arrived. Oops. How did this happen?
- There was another one I can’t recall ATM.
Think about the PCs’ histories when developing this adventure. They could meet known NPCs on this road…That would have been a good idea. Well, it happened for Channe, anyway. Think about this some more for Tyr.
- By the way, I wonder who the Tyrian Outlaws were running from?
- Why is there so much confusion in Verdant Passage about how significant the bone amulets are? (Bonus XP if someone wants to draw them!) Because there is varying understanding of their significance. To Sadira they were intended to be an annoyance only, a way to distract Kalak and slow down construction until the Veiled Alliance could discover Kalak’s true plans. She believes this because the characters tell her this, because that’s what Aristiphaneles told them. As far as she’s concerned, they served their purpose. Tithian doesn’t know what they’re for; he only knows that Kalak insists that he find them. They don’t seem to be slowing down construction in a perceptible way; what’s the harm in putting invisible walls in already-constructed areas? Only Kalak understands their true significance; the invisible walls may or may not slow down construction, but they will accomplish something much more important: They will prevent the proper operation of the ziggurat by interfering with the flow of life energy into it. This could result in Kalak’s plan failing.
- So why were the amulets constructed in Altaruk? Were there no magicians in Tyr accomplished enough? No. Making the amulets themselves is relatively trivial for an advanced wizard. However, the unbreakable spells and psionics protecting them from Kalak’s view are almost impossible to craft in secret within his sphere of influence. The last thing Kalak wants is things he can’t see in Tyr! In Altaruk this can be done without difficulty; there’s no one, really, to hide from.
- Remember that Korvin is smitten by Kasia, a platinum-haired, fair-skinned, elegant beauty. Also remember that only 10 slave girls are left alive and with the party, including Chari, the ‘tough’ one. Other possible names: Devra, Dena, Evona, Kasia; more at Names for Kajirae.
- Review the timeline again, from every log. There was an apparent error in my date the session before they leveled to 3.
- For that matter, make sure that each character has an NPC or two in their history. DMG2 has guidelines on this.
- Work up Rhotan; at least to the extent of a character description.
Note to the characters that they have a new major quest: Reaching Tyr with the caravan intact (done; note in session log). RP XP for Korvin for Vault session 5 (don’t recall for what). Give Anthony some RP XP for his handling of Korvin in Vault Session 2 (this won’t happen until I get a session log).
Kalak finds the first amulet on the morning of Hexameron 15th.
- The death of Kalak on Morrow 3rd.
- Holy crap! Looking at the Defiler Assassin description (p. 31, Dungeon 181), I realize how I can compensate defiling wizards (& sorcerers, probably) for the fact that they always defile/have to defile when they memorize their spells—they can damage their enemies with their defiling! Though I’m really not sure how that works with the lore; I thought only dragon magic took energy from animal life. Have to look into this. Still, it’s promising.
- What I’d like to do is make that random encounter table a true list of encounters (and events); i.e. don’t just list monsters and event types; work up a bunch of actual encounters so that a random encounter can be run out of the box.
- I’m irritated; this would have been a fantastic time to integrate puzzles into the game. Sadly and frustratingly, making the undead non-self-willed without adding puzzles or the like killed all the possible roleplay in the dungeon. Arg. I’d like to see a lot of skill challenges replaced with player puzzles.
- I need to start using some sort of random encounter mechanism.
- Direction Sense is a DC 10 Nature check most of the time aboveground, DC 15 when the sun and stars are obscured, 5 DC when on a road or path the direction of which was originally known. Belowground (or in town when the sun and stars cannot be seen), it is a 15 DC Dungeoneering check—20 in the dark. (The rules only say that it’s a Common Dungeoneering check belowground.)
- I think I used to keep game time by timing non-combat time and adding in travel and rest time. This is not a bad idea.
- Take a look at Skills. There’s a thread that has some interesting ideas on the subject, like a subskill for every trained skill, and, in particular, revamping Dungeoneering to be Engineering and having Nature for animals of all natures.
- Treat roleplaying encounters as skill challenges both for XP and for running them.
- Templar rank names?
- Find or make a standard format for NPCs. Not for mechanics; for flavor. A walkthrough generator would be ideal.
- Implement some critical fumble method.
- Guidelines for the Adventure Log. Need general descriptions of campaign events, general description of battles & encounters (who & why; NOT blow-by-blow) and outcomes. Optional: Interesting or amusing events & actions, and lists of loot. In particular, need description of what was going on at the end of the session and party’s intent for next session. Perhaps make a template? The idea is to be able to refresh our memory as to what was going on even if there has been a several month hiatus between gaming sessions, and to give newcomers an outline of what has happened.
- How to speed up (non-combat) play encourage envolvement?
- Look over everyone’s character sheets and make sure that they are within the rules, that their abilities are justified by their character histories, to better understand the character, and for plot hooks. Try to keep track of their equipment as well.
- Explain to me the lack of damage on Barbed Spear for the Human Wasteland Raider??
- Make/find rules for forced marching.
- Put more weather events into the tables.
- Only things useful during the session should be on this sheet. Otherwise it’s just wasted paper. Move these longer-term to-do lists to a wiki.
- Did I already note that this sheet needs known NPC lists (so I can remember their names at a glance) and lists of unused NPC names?
Kasia—Korvin’s concubine, rescued from trade caravan. Currently attached to an unknown templar (Larkyn).
Chari—slave girl rescued from trade caravan, attached to Quistine. Currently a slave in the pits (in the kitchens)
Mahlanda (her name is unknown to the party)—preserver the party saved from the templars. Currently a kitchen slave in the pits.
Terric—‘pissant.’ Slave pit overseer (at least one of them).
Fyrian Wynder—the half-elf the party saved from the wastes during Road to Tyr. Described on p. 61-2, City-State of Tyr. Of course they don’t know his name. An ally.
Rhotan Vor—We know who he is. No one actually has the Favor of House Wavir, but they might be able to get word to him to ask him a favor.
Ktandeo—Probably impossible to contact, he will not be willing to help.
Timor—A senior templar. Described in City-State of Tyr. An enemy.
Turloff—A wealthy merchant. Described in City-State of Tyr. An enemy.
Sadira—Probably impossible to contact. They have no idea how. In fact there is no one left in the party who has met her. Also true of Ktandeo. No one knows her name.
Hamash in Freedom. Now a pit slave.
Verrasi of Minthur—Nobleman. Object of hatred for the PCs. Described in Freedom.
Eremas. Views Kindrok as a boon companion and a comrade-in-arms. Described in Freedom.
Mandax—Templar, enslaved Quistine once. Described in Part 1C, Freedom.
Torban—half-giant commander; captured Kindrok. Described in Part 1D, Freedom.
Unused NPC names
Refer to the Combat Assistant app. Make sure to pre-enter monsters.