This series of articles offers some of the design concepts that went into each of the Encounters Season 6 sessions. From weaving a story to sculpting an attack by a creature 8-9 levels higher than the PCs, the plan is to give you a sneak peek into the making of The Lost Crown of Neverwinter. If you're an Encounters DM, this information might be a helpful guide to running the encounters. If you're a player, you're certainly welcome to read these articles, but it might be best if you wait until the day after the week's Encounters session.
You can also catch up with Erik and ask him questions directly on the Wizards Community boards, where he hosts a thread specifically on "The Lost Crown of Neverwinter.”
Session 4: Lord Neverember’s Offer
This session has a great deal of important exposition and plot advancement, and (combined with the outcome of chapter 1) is really the basis for much of the conflict in the adventure. After this point, the heroes are going to have to start considering a side to take.
This is one of those situations where the PCs have to do something to advance the plot, so it should be less about whether or not they agree to Neverember’s plan, and rather more about whether they get the generous reward he’s offering (the 500 gp each) for something they’re going to do anyway. Neverember has a vested interest in the PCs taking him up on his offer, and he is unfailingly confident that they will do the right thing regardless (which is to investigate the Lost Heir).
The first draft design of this session cast the negotiation as a skill challenge, but the heroes aren’t so much trying to get something out of Neverember as the reverse. For those players itching to roll some dice, skill checks are imbedded in the roleplaying guidelines to find out a few secrets and earn some additional rewards.
About the Author:
Erik Scott de Bie is a fantasy author and game designer in the Seattle area. In addition to his five Forgotten Realms novels, he worked on Neverwinter Campaign Setting and its related adventures, including The Lost Crown of Neverwinter. Find him on his website (erikscottdebie.com), facebook/twitter (@erikscottdebie), or ask him questions about Encounters Season 6 in the D&D forum.