Questions for Erik Scott de Bie, author of Season 6

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Well, the son of Alagondar theme requires some DM oversight, but generally:

Maybe you seize an opportunity in session 3, or maybe you're an intentional plant in Neverember's service.

No reason Neverember would be aware of your loyalties (or maybe he is and hopes to use you).

You could also be doubting your organization.

Others?

Cheers
@Gimper: Somewhere just across the river from Castle Never.

Cheers
Erik,

I just read Bart Carroll's Design & Development article where he gives a recap of GenCon. I found this interesting:


3. Neverwinter Mass Adventure


For those who aligned yourselves with Bregan D’aerthe, we (covertly) salute you! Of course that’s because it was my own personal faction choice, as well as R.A. Salvatore’s (who actively campaigned for folks to sign up at his seminar). Jarlaxle and his mercenary band of drow ended up as the ultimate winners, a newfound influence over Neverwinter that will later materialize during this season of D&D Encounters.

Is there going to be some sort of revision to the adventure?

- Rico
Jarlaxle and his mercenary band of drow ended up as the ultimate winners, a newfound influence over Neverwinter that will later materialize during this season of D&D Encounters.

Is there going to be some sort of revision to the adventure?

We'll see. Stand by!

Cheers
Erik,


I have a question about a mechanic in session 4:

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I'm assuming that the bandit power Dazing Strike only works for one hit. Once the bandit hits with it, he can't use it again, but if he misses, it recharges. In other words it functions like a reliable Encounter power. Is that correct? That's the only way I can make sense of the fact that it recharges on a miss.


Thanks!    
- Rico
Yep, that's how it works. It's basically a reliable power--the bandits can keep using it until they hit, then it's expended.

Cheers
Erik,

There's a lot of stuff that happens in chapter two, and it all takes place during one day. I'm trying to get an idea for the timeline of the day. As you were writing it, did you have any thoughts as to what time of day it is when the characters start out at the Beached Leviathan, and how long the various events take (including travel time in between)?

Thanks.
- Rico
There's a lot of stuff that happens in chapter two, and it all takes place during one day. I'm trying to get an idea for the timeline of the day. As you were writing it, did you have any thoughts as to what time of day it is when the characters start out at the Beached Leviathan, and how long the various events take (including travel time in between)?

Good question. Unless it specifies it otherwiseI think my working assumption was that
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the scene at the Beached Leviathan takes place in the evening, the trek by boat takes place as the sun is setting, the conference with Neverember is at dusk, the attack on the wall is at night, and the heroes hit the House of a Thousand Faces at around midnight.


If something else would work better for you, feel free to describe it that way!

Cheers
Unless it specifies it otherwise I think my working assumption was that
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the scene at the Beached Leviathan takes place in the evening, the trek by boat takes place as the sun is setting, the conference with Neverember is at dusk, the attack on the wall is at night, and the heroes hit the House of a Thousand Faces at around midnight.


If something else would work better for you, feel free to describe it that way!

Cheers


It does specify something somewhat different, but honestly I like what you presented much better. It makes some of the encounters much more interesting.
- Rico
I plan to use the bar fight mechanics proposed on the site for tonight's battle!

community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...

Cheers
So I'm DMing for the first time with this encounter. Our normal DM has been doing the last seasons of Encounters and honestly needs a break and he really wants to play. So I decided to jump in.  Our group does heavy roleplaying. And I have a few questions.
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Three of our PC's are harper agents, what are the ties to the Alagoron family before the catacylsm?  And secondly almost all the PC's played during the gameday so they already have experience with Seldra, but not me.... I had to work. Lame I know. Any tips advice how to handle that will be greatly appreciated.


If I missed somebackground in the kit just let me know the page number. Thank You.
@Vindictress: And these will probably be helpful to anyone DMing the game!

Ties to the Alagondar family:
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The Neverwinter Noble PC theme is supposed to be a true heir to the house of Alagondar. The Lost Heir is pretending to be a scion of the noble house, as marked by having the ability to wear the crown (something only a true heir is supposed to be able to do). The Harpers would obviously be extremely interested in a true heir sitting on the throne, but they'd want to make sure he/she is better than Neverember.


Seldra:
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If you missed the Game Day adventure, don't worry about it too much. Seldra was a NPC there, having hired the PCs to bring the crown to Neverwinter. She accompanied them along the way, carrying the crown herself in a storage box, but it was then stolen by a Thayan wizard, Tolivast. The heroes tracked him down, defeated him, and reclaimed the crown--but not before he put a curse on it. Seldra showed up thereafter to take possession of the crown. That's basically what she did in the adventure.

As for running her in the Encounters season, just stick to what's printed in the adventure and you should be fine. One or more of your PCs might have a pre-existing relationship with Seldra based on shared experience, or might develop one over the course of the game--you'd basically just want to wing this. You should present Seldra as a friend to the PCs, as that's what she earnestly wants to be.


Cheers
Just got back from running session 3 at my FLGS. Verdict: Great time had by all. Bar brawl mechanics were great fun--particularly how all the PCs were assumed to be proficient in bar brawl-ish weaponry because--of course--they've all done it before.

Ideas for running session 4 as well...

Cheers
Erik,

I know session 4's combat is pretty straightforward, but are you going to post any of the background information, or any advice? I plan to really play up the RP with Neverember, since that's where this session really shines in my opinion.

Since you never know what the players will do, any thoughts on what to do if the party decides to attack Dagult Neverember? I have an alternate combat ready just in case, and it will be a TPK.    
- Rico
@Gimper: if they attack Neverember, have guards rush in. Not to mention Neverember probably has a magic item or two to whisk him out of danger. 1st level pcs would have to be pretty dumb to attack Neverember in his own sanctum. He probably gives them a chance to back down with no hard feelings.

As for the bandits,go by their motivation as listed and you should be fine.

Cheers
@Gimper: if they attack Neverember, have guards rush in. Not to mention Neverember probably has a magic item or two to whisk him out of danger. 1st level pcs would have to be pretty dumb to attack Neverember in his own sanctum. He probably gives them a chance to back down with no hard feelings. As for the bandits,go by their motivation as listed and you should be fine. Cheers



That's basically what I had in mind. You just never know with some players.
- Rico
Is there a link for DM's to see the stats for the treasure table? Unfortunaltey no one at our table has the books.
Erik--

One of my DMs pointed out, rightly, that as written, the mods end each chapter (extended rest) about 50 XP short of the next level. So, Chapter 2 starts the PCs at level 1 with level 2 being tantalizingly close (and they have to go through all of Chapter 2 with enough XP to level, but no time to do so).

Did you intend for PCs to level mid-chapter, outside of an extended rest? Did you anticipate the Twitter buffs that *could* bump a PC up to the needed amount for their level, but only if they were really hounding after the XP-related buffs and had both luck and timing on their side?

We're just kind of wondering what the thought process is with the XP and balancing the encounters. It's a little frustrating for my players, who enjoyed leveling after each chapter in Dark Legacy of Evard (most of my players did the Game Day adventure as well, so they really are *very* close to leveling).
Is there a link for DM's to see the stats for the treasure table? Unfortunaltey no one at our table has the books.

You mean your FLGS doesn't stock Heroes of the Fallen Lands or Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms? I don't think I have clearance to post those items, but you should be able to find all of them on the character builder or the DDI compendium.

One of my DMs pointed out, rightly, that as written, the mods end each chapter (extended rest) about 50 XP short of the next level. So, Chapter 2 starts the PCs at level 1 with level 2 being tantalizingly close (and they have to go through all of Chapter 2 with enough XP to level, but no time to do so).
Did you intend for PCs to level mid-chapter, outside of an extended rest? Did you anticipate the Twitter buffs that *could* bump a PC up to the needed amount for their level, but only if they were really hounding after the XP-related buffs and had both luck and timing on their side?
We're just kind of wondering what the thought process is with the XP and balancing the encounters. It's a little frustrating for my players, who enjoyed leveling after each chapter in Dark Legacy of Evard (most of my players did the Game Day adventure as well, so they really are *very* close to leveling).

First, let me observe that dealing with XP is extremely dicey when writing these things. We'll be dealing with players who've been to every session, a few sessions, none at all, etc., and I tried to write the adventure to appeal to all levels of experience. So as a DM, what this means is that you have to be a little lenient/fluid as regards the XP at your table.

My intention: The way I did the math and set it up initially was that characters level up to level 2 basically at the end of chapter 2, to level 3 at the end of chapter 3, then finish out the season fairly close to 4th level. Players who have also played the Game Day should have a little head start, and can actually hit fourth level before the final battle. (Whether it still works out mathematically that way is open to interpretation.)

I'm totally cool with PCs leveling during short rests, though a level isn't a *reset* of all your HP and healing surges and daily powers--you just add on what you get for the new level.

There is absolutely no intention to make people scrimp and worry over the math. I'd say that if you have players who are chomping at the bit to go up to the next level but are still 50 or 100 xp short, go ahead and advance them. People should level up as is appropriate for their fun level and your story.

Also, I've opened up another thread to discuss this: community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...

Cheers
Suggestions for Neverember response after being told by the PCs that Seldra brought the crown to the city?

One of the first questions the dwarves at my table asked.
Suggestions for Neverember response after being told by the PCs that Seldra brought the crown to the city?
One of the first questions the dwarves at my table asked.

Well, I hope you improvised a good answer/reaction. At my table, I would have had him look intrigued and say "Interesting," then continued with "I am more concerned with who has it now."

Cheers

My response was more of a "I hate you players." I told them I'd have his response next week.

I've also started building more on the themes for the players. Two Devil's Pawns, two Harper Agents, a Noble, and one Ohgma's Faithful. I could use some help on building up an interesting subplot for the Faithful though - he's the only one not getting anything extra from me each week mostly because I'm just not sure what to do with him.
My response was more of a "I hate you players." I told them I'd have his response next week.

How so? Because they tear up your campaign?

I could use some help on building up an interesting subplot for the Faithful though - he's the only one not getting anything extra from me each week mostly because I'm just not sure what to do with him.

Well, how fascinating is the lineage of the rulership of Neverwinter? He should earnestly want to find out as much as he can so he can document the Lost Heir and Neverember himself. Since he's a scholar, he should also be noting basically everything about the city, its politics, its threats, etc. And he's on the ground floor of what could be a revolution! Really stirring stuff for a scholar.

Does that help?

Cheers

My response was more of a "I hate you players." I told them I'd have his response next week.

How so? Because they tear up your campaign?



Hahahah.... I'm sure it was one of those "argh!" moments. VileSin has our dwarf table-- they're basically forming a home group out of Encounters, great bunch of guys, and they and VileSin get along great.... but if you're looking for the "we broke the mod!" table, they're usually it. They're also the table you'll carefully prep for, knowing their strengths.... and then surprise you with the last thing you would have expected!

As a player, any time the DM narrows his eyes and whispers "I hate you players," you know you're doing something right. It's like hearing "...if not for those meddling kids!"
My response was more of a "I hate you players." I told them I'd have his response next week.

How so? Because they tear up your campaign?

I could use some help on building up an interesting subplot for the Faithful though - he's the only one not getting anything extra from me each week mostly because I'm just not sure what to do with him.

Well, how fascinating is the lineage of the rulership of Neverwinter? He should earnestly want to find out as much as he can so he can document the Lost Heir and Neverember himself. Since he's a scholar, he should also be noting basically everything about the city, its politics, its threats, etc. And he's on the ground floor of what could be a revolution! Really stirring stuff for a scholar.

Does that help?

Cheers




Actually, yeah that does. I could work on something with that. And he does keep going on about how the paladins of Ohgma (which he is) never lie, love knowledge, etc etc. I'll throw that out to him and work up a little extra side story.

As for the hate you comment, yeah it's all in good fun. Encounters is notorious for being a bit railroady and sometimes they just happen to find that little bit thread to pull on and unravel things.

As for the hate you comment, yeah it's all in good fun. Encounters is notorious for being a bit railroady and sometimes they just happen to find that little bit thread to pull on and unravel things.

Gotcha. Encounters is, by definition, a little railroady. It has to be, in order so that people are all playing the same thing at the same time. But I am totally in favor of you breaking the campaign for your own table, so long as everyone is having fun. And as a DM, I know that can be a very fun challenge.

If you need any help with anything you anticipate the PCs disrupting in the future, do let me know! We'll compare notes on how to handle it.

Cheers

wow, I've got an interesting situation to post from this last week. I welcome all input.

A player of a drow thief with Bregan D'aerth theme swapped from the other table to mine (the other table already had a drow thief of Bregan D'aerth theme). I told him that he would be in Neverember's employ already before the other adventurers arrived. He did not participate in the riverfront combat alongside the Lost Heir and heard of it only later.
The work he does for Neverember
Naturally he asked what sort of work he has been doing in Neverember's employ. I explained that the Bragen D'aerth has essentially placed him in the position to take notes on Neverember and keep an eye out for anything worth taking additional notes.

So, Neverember has had him working as part of the muscle behind keeping organized and disorganized crime in-line with Neverember's best interests:
-- kidnapping, assault, flesh trafficking, and the like; tell them to get out of town, or face death
-- racketeering, drug trafficking, prostitution; tell them to ensure a cut comes to Neverember or get out of town or face death
-- Gangs and cults: Dead Rats, every once in a while, we'll have to put some heat on, it is a good chance to clean out some dead weight from the gang; Ashmodai, we'll come rescue whomever we like after they've been abducted else we'll wipe out the cult; Sons of Alogondar, we've got no control and no contacts

 Since the wild elf has the Devil's Pawn theme, I said that unbeknownest to the wild elf, he has been rescued from the cult by this drow under disguise in the employ of Neverember. The wild elf thought that was a great tie-in even if he didn't realize who rescued him.


The basic summary of the past week
The party had a nice visit with N and heard his offer; they enjoyed his wines and cigars. Only the wild elf made an appropriate insight check, but decided not to tell the party about his feelings. They all left in a carriage (with Jarvy still clinging to her savior dwarf sniper) for several hours of looking over the wall. Each PC got to inspect the wall from their own perspective, but I told them they were moving from point to point along the wall and it was taking a few hours.

In time, they reached the unattended gate (as I'd established that other areas were manned by alert, awake, attentive, hardy guards) for the combat. I assumed, wrongfully, they might try to subdue the bandits to question. Also, the bandits really were not going to take advantage of the money paid unless they lived; they tried to escape after a time fighting. One did get away, but he was caught off-map by Seldra and brought back to the party by her.


As teh group spoke with Seldra, the drow and the moon elf bladesinger immediately didn't trust her and believed she was connected to this group of bandits that attacked rigth during their tour of the wall. I told them that 10 guards were subdued and bound inside the wall; that made them really wonder how this incompetent group of 5 bandits handled 10 guards. Seldra told them perhaps the guards were disloyal. It was intended to cause them to see that these bandits were really something, and they, as adventurers, were really something much more than that since the bandits looked so incompetent relative to the party. Too bad it didn't work out like that.

Some further thoughts about the bandits
As the adventure told that the group had been hired by a cloaked figure, I played that up. I thought that was awesome; when questioned they let loose with, "I don't know, lud. It was a cloaked and masked figure with gangly arms and legs as though it were a puppet. The voice was strange and altered as if by magic.

"We were just meant to test the defenses, lud. We didn't kill anyone. All the guards are knocked out and bound."

I didn't have any of them focused on openign the gate; maybe that would have been a better choice. I could have had plaguechanged creatures waiting on the other side.     
 

Seldra offered to take the two live bandits into custody directly to Gen Sabine and took along two of the guards once unbound and awoken.  

After they gathered info from Seldra, the drow wanted to silently follow her. I reminded them that they travelled by carriage several hours; following Seldra back to the Hall of Justice would be several hours on foot. Catching up to the group would be another several hours beyond that. I told her it was unlikely he'd get back with the group for the next few sessions.

Seldra started in the right direction, then handed off the bandits to the guards and headed next to the Beached Leviathan. At the end of our session, I told him he'd followed her about an hour total, thirty minutes to the Leviathan and thirty minutes of waiting in the Leviathan.

The rest of the party is headed toward House of a Thousand Faces.

Stuff Ahead
I know that Seldra makes her way to warn her contacts of the coming heroes with hopes of getting them killed. I don't want to open that to the group yet, but with the drow following her, I'm not sure what to do next for certain. I have a few thoughts:

-- the adventurers will face plaguechanged creatures at the bridge during next session
-- the drow might be noticed by Seldra and get attacked while alone
-- the drow might see where Seldra is going, but be too far away to report this to the party anytime soon
-- the drow might head back to Neverember with claims of Seldra being a spy (which is exactly what Neverember thinks she is doing for him, it won't be a surprise; also, he'll ask why he is trailing Seldra instead of tracking the Lost Heir)

I don't want to be a jerk about the split party; partly I want to say, "Dude, jump on the railroad and ride happy with your free ticket! Woooo!" If this were a home campaign I'd totally reward this, but in public play and in pre-published adventure I'm not so fond of wildly off-track decisions. 
 

So, that's where things are and I've got to hold together. I don't want to be compelled to give them info about the Lost heir and Seldra's role before the right time. But, I don't want ot be a douche by refusing the players' unique ideas.
It sounds like you're doing quite well. As to handling Seldra:

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Even if they go to Neverember and say she's a spy, he'll say, "aye--MY spy. I hired you to find information on the Lost Heir, not my own agent." You'll want to determine what Seldra has told Neverember about the Lost Heir--probably only that he exists and she is trying to get into his inner circle. Too much interference will just hinder her efforts. If it's going to shut the PCs up, Neverember will agree to look into her activities. But he wants them to find out about the Lost Heir, and he's not going to pay up for telling him what he already knows.

RE: following her, it's entirely possible that Seldra just starts toward Blacklake, taking shortcuts that put her near the bridge about the same time the other PCs get there. The battle provides an excellent distraction for her to slip away.

On the other hand, Seldra might know about the drow following her and has to improvise so as not to give away her plans. She might confront the drow and assure him that he is wasting time following her.


Cheers
Thanks. The other DM and I talked about the result of telling Neverember. 

I wouldn't mind the drow following her to the battle by another route. I guess I partly want to illustrate that he's missed out on the team combat by heading off alone. In a worst case, a solo combat would illustrate that he risked too much by going solo.

Also, as the group already walked into Neverember's service with distrust, I don't want to feed that by having Seldra headed in the same direction, or worse, risk someone continuing to track her.

Something my fellow DM mentioned is that Seldra could call for plaguechanged creatures without a word, gesture, or signal of any kind which would give clues as to her connection to the spellplague at all.

So, initially the drow has gone unnoticed, but we'll see how long that lasts.

It seems players with too much experience never trust an NPC to be honest. The overly generous dose of mistrust just sucks. 
WARNING!!! IF YOU'RE A PLAYER, AND NOT A DM DO NOT READ THIS POST OR CLICK ON THE SPOILER TAG!!!
Erik,

I realize that this is jumping ahead quite a bit, but I have a question about the last two encounters.


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At the end of session 13 when Seldra is defeated, the crown falls from her head. Assuming the party didn't kill her in that fight, at the beginning of the last session, immediately after the crown falls off of her head she is no longer under the influence of the curse that is on the crown, and explains that all of her actions were as a result of the paranoia and madness that the curse caused.

Yet, at the wall encounter in session 4, and a second time either at the end of session 6 or the beginning of session 7 at the House of a Thousand Faces, she appears before the party not wearing the crown. And, theoretically at least, she had to have appeared before Lord Neverember (to report to him as his spy, and because she also knew of his intention to hire a group to investigate the Lost Heir) while not wearing the crown. And during those times she has the crown off of her head for a longer time than that which occurs at the end of session 13/beginning of session 14. Yet during those times she is still suffering under the influence of the curse on the crown.

So what is different about the events of the last two sessions? Why does the effect of the curse end immediately after the crown is off of her head in sessions 13 and 14, but not in the earlier sessions? If anything I would think it would be just the opposite. I can easily see my players asking this question, and I don't have a good answer.
- Rico
I don't know if Erik takes PMs, but this would be one that definitely deserves it. That's such HUGE HUGE spoilers it deserves some sort of lock.
I don't know if Erik takes PMs, but this would be one that definitely deserves it. That's such HUGE HUGE spoilers it deserves some sort of lock.



Why should it be locked? If a player is intent on cheating, nothing is going to stop him. In that case, we shouldn't have any spoilers. Also, there may well be other DMs who may have the same question. If I were to PM him, only I would have an answer, and no one else would benefit from it.
- Rico
I don't mean it needs action taken. I just mean that it is the crux of the season. Sometimes people accidentally read spoiler tagged items because they are used so liberally around here. Once something's read, it can't be unread - and no matter what people say you can't act as if you don't have extra knowledge because you do.
Pretty much every post on this thread then falls under that then.  The thread is set up to ask Eric questions about the Neverwinter Encounters Season for clarifications and expounding on the adventure.   If a player decides they want to 'peek' then they could/can just as easily buy the module off of ebay or find the same information for a myriad of other sources.   It's in a spoiler block for a reason.  If the player is going to be on the thread in the first place it means they are looking for information that they should not be privy to in the first place.
Pretty much every post on this thread then falls under that then.  The thread is set up to ask Eric questions about the Neverwinter Encounters Season for clarifications and expounding on the adventure.   If a player decides they want to 'peek' then they could/can just as easily buy the module off of ebay or find the same information for a myriad of other sources.   It's in a spoiler block for a reason.  If the player is going to be on the thread in the first place it means they are looking for information that they should not be privy to in the first place.



Exactly my point. If we can't feel free to ask our questions, there's absolutely no point to having this thread at all.
- Rico
Apparently, my point has been lost. Ignore what I said if you feel it to not be necessary. I still feel it is the crux of the entire season and should be better labeled or kept private. We use spoiler blocks (those that don't use sblock) even for weekly reports. I usually click open boxes like that before I read a post so I can just do it in one go. Or as I read. Things can be accidentally read. Yes, if someone wants to learn the secrets ahead of time, they can - and nothing can stop that. But sometimes people read things they shouldn't by accident and it ruins the mystery - this being such a thing. And being only halfway through the season, it would be unfortunate for someone to accidentally read it or even a couple key words and have the next six weeks of story unraveling be for naught.

All I was saying. And again, my opinion. I'm not in charge - I don't have access to your account - I can't force a change.
Apparently, my point has been lost. Ignore what I said if you feel it to not be necessary. I still feel it is the crux of the entire season and should be better labeled or kept private. We use spoiler blocks (those that don't use sblock) even for weekly reports. I usually click open boxes like that before I read a post so I can just do it in one go. Or as I read. Things can be accidentally read. Yes, if someone wants to learn the secrets ahead of time, they can - and nothing can stop that. But sometimes people read things they shouldn't by accident and it ruins the mystery - this being such a thing. And being only halfway through the season, it would be unfortunate for someone to accidentally read it or even a couple key words and have the next six weeks of story unraveling be for naught.

All I was saying. And again, my opinion. I'm not in charge - I don't have access to your account - I can't force a change.


I labeled it as "I have a question about the last two encounters." Then I put a spoiler tag on it. It should be pretty obvious to anyone that it isn't something they should read if they're playing the module. When I'm playing, I don't even read these sections because I don't want to know anything in advance.

Edit: I added a big warning label.  
- Rico
Thanks for the concern, guys, and while I agree that it would be better safe than sorry about the question by PMing it to me, I think it's ok to post here in the scroll. Thanks for the warning message! At this point, any gamer who reads it is just inviting the spoiler.

An answer @Gimper--PLAYERS DO NOT READ THIS SPOILER!!!!

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I'll obscure the Heir's identity in any way I can here.

This is kind of a grey area. Wizards rewrote my original ending to a version I think actually makes more sense and provides more closure, but they added that line about the crown falling off the Heir's head and freeing the Heir from its power. Which of course seemingly contradicts the previous plot as you specified.

I don't think it's really contradictory, and here's why:

The intention rather is that the act of beating the Heir breaks through the crown's madness and allows the Heir a moment of clarity in which that redemption thing happens. Think of it more as an addictive artifact--like Gollum and the ring: it's an item that continually warps the Heir's perceptions and judgments. The Heir feels a need to wear it more and more, deepening the madness, until by chapter 4 it is so addictive the Heir has to wear it all the time. Note that when the PCs interact with the heir early on, the Crown hasn't exercised all that much control over the Heir. The Heir is still a reasonable if somewhat dodgy member of society. It's only through more use of the crown as the events of the adventure escalate that the Heir finally loses it.

In that final battle, the heroes manage to break the Crown's power over the Heir, resulting in that "Come to the Gods" moment. And you should play up the sacrifical redemption story in all its Darth Vadery goodness.


Cheers
I dig the new warning label - makes it night impossible to accidentally read something. But also, for such delicate matters I liked the way Eriks response was done. "The Heir" instead of "name" - makes it even more obscured just in case someone still does read a couple words on accident. But anyway, it was still a good question - never did say that - and the response was helpful for when that time comes up.
Thanks for the concern, guys, and while I agree that it would be better safe than sorry about the question by PMing it to me, I think it's ok to post here in the scroll. Thanks for the warning message! At this point, any gamer who reads it is just inviting the spoiler.

An answer @Gimper--PLAYERS DO NOT READ THIS SPOILER!!!!

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I'll obscure the Heir's identity in any way I can here.

This is kind of a grey area. Wizards rewrote my original ending to a version I think actually makes more sense and provides more closure, but they added that line about the crown falling off the Heir's head and freeing the Heir from its power. Which of course seemingly contradicts the previous plot as you specified.

I don't think it's really contradictory, and here's why:

The intention rather is that the act of beating the Heir breaks through the crown's madness and allows the Heir a moment of clarity in which that redemption thing happens. Think of it more as an addictive artifact--like Gollum and the ring: it's an item that continually warps the Heir's perceptions and judgments. The Heir feels a need to wear it more and more, deepening the madness, until by chapter 4 it is so addictive the Heir has to wear it all the time. Note that when the PCs interact with the heir early on, the Crown hasn't exercised all that much control over the Heir. The Heir is still a reasonable if somewhat dodgy member of society. It's only through more use of the crown as the events of the adventure escalate that the Heir finally loses it.

In that final battle, the heroes manage to break the Crown's power over the Heir, resulting in that "Come to the Gods" moment. And you should play up the sacrifical redemption story in all its Darth Vadery goodness.


Cheers


Erik,

Thanks. I was thinking along those lines, but I wanted to have your thoughts.

As for PMing you, I was/am hesitant to do that because if we all start doing that with these kinds of questions, you're going to be inundated with duplicate questions, and you'll spend a lot more time answering them. I figure your time is more valuable than that.
- Rico
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