Hello everyone! Since we currently are sans AP synopsis, I thought it might be useful if we got together and worked out some ways to foreshadow coming adventures in previous ones, to better chain the modules together. Plus, we can find areas of plot/module inconsistency and get some brainstorming done on how to fix them up. I went ahead and read the first three modules and compiled some notes along the lines above, noting people, locations, a general adventure synopsis, and some areas that I'd change to better flow with the next modules. I haven't gone past the third one yet, but I'd love feedback on both what I've done so far, as well as what you guys suggest for future modules. Enjoy!
Hobgoblin warband seeking to gain fame and fortune is urged by mysterious Emissary to attack town of Brindol, Hobgoblin band attacks, stealing relics and kidnappings townsfolk, plan on sacrificing townsfolk to cement undead's aid at homebase of Castle Rivenroar
My thoughts on this module were that the presence of several monsters simply weren't well explained. The townsfolk were kidnapped supposedly to be sacrificed to the undead, yet the only one killed was given to ettercaps? And why are gnomes and wererats involved at all? So I tried to up the undead/goblinoid presence and removed the gnome/wererats. Also, I think I'll start SoW off with a call to arms out west in Overlook with the PCs heading that way. Stopping at Brindol, they'll get wrapped up in RoR before continuing on. Should help things flow better.
An orc army marches on Bordrin's Watch and Overlook, scouts report they've discovered hidden dwarven paths, Farstriders dispatched to seal one set of paths with the party going to the Monastery of the Sundered Chain to seal another, Monastery found overrun with only survivor insisting the Nexus be checked, at Nexus find Farstriders slain, kill warchief of approaching army and seal passages.
Holy hell, this was a lot of work jotting down notes on all of Overlook. Still, I suspect at least *some* of these NPCs will come back at another point (and indeed, Reggen is mentioned next module so I'm already proven right ...)
This module didn't strike me as too problematic, except that the relation between the underground passageways and the structures on top was rather hazy. Also, not much is made of the fact that the orcs have superior weaponry and shadow creature help. Considering that the PCs are expected to chase Mordra to the Shadowfell for vengeance it might be a good idea to start riling them up now.
Mordra attempts to slay PCs to obtain brass key to return to Shadowfell thus attracting PC interest, PCs track Mordra to Shadowfell gate and follow him through, in Shadowfell Mordra tries to sabotage Sarshan operation but stopped by PCs, PCs meet Sarshan but escape when volcano erupts
The party is approached and told of an abandoned mine in the southern desert. Venturing there, they find the mine under the control of a mysterious Queen. After killing her duplicate, the party follows a group of would-be assassins into a secret section and slay the real queen.
Hrm, what to say? This section seems very disconnected from the rest of the series so far, although it is likely the unknown group that was financing the Queen is Sarshan or someone from his organization. The Birdman is a mysterious figure who may appear again, but really I'm drawing a blank on how to intergrate this with the rest of the series as a whole. Of course, not every adventure really needs to advance the storyline. A one-off helps break up the narrative.
The party is summoned by the longsword found in Rescue at Rivenroar. It reveals it is trapped in longsword form and needs the use of a planar portal opened by gnolls to the north. Traveling to the gnoll stronghold, the party defeats a gnoll trying to infuse himself with Yeenoghu's power and release the imprisoned being (Amyria).
I've read that this is the most dungeon-crawly module yet, and that is pretty apparent. Very few new characters introduced, but many plot-points revealed to the players. Kyrion knows Sarshan is behind both the Wicked Fang and Sinruth from long ago and reveals both. Plus, Amyria promises to likely be important to future adventures. Very solid; I'm excited to run this one, although it is likely months away.
One minor complaint however; the three prisoners rescued from gnoll captivity don't seem to be detailed at all! Obviously the author felt these guys weren't important, but that doesn't mean we can't give them a name and make them a recurring character.
Thanks go out to contributors PDS and Lindharin. Thanks a lot for contributing guys!
Thanks Codegeass! I finally got to the spot to understand what you were suggesting!
Currently running the first module here, and here are some things I've done:
1. I'm using a slightly modified of the Player's Guide that was posted on here by Jeremy Sager. That fills in the player's background info wonderfully. I modified it to play up some mention of farms being raided to the north-east of Brindol near one of the villages up that way (forget which one just at the moment) because I believe that will be relevant in the fourth (?) adventure, the one with gnolls I believe. I also played up the arrival of dwarven messengers from Overlook over the last few weeks, having closed-door sessions with the council (about the possibility of war) that the public has not been informed of, so the players know something is going on over there.
2. In the first scene, I had the goblins attacking the tavern split their attention three ways: some attacked the PCs, some scattered the other patrons, and a few went to pull down and take an old Red Hand war banner that was decorating the far wall of the tavern. The players found this very intriguing, and once they heard about the relics taken from the museum, it made their first encounter really tie in to the adventure more. Without that, why are 20% of the attacking force grouped up and just happen to assault the one tavern that the PCs are in? This really made it part of the story, especially since...
3. When the PCs talked to the councilman, they focused on the thefts as the motivation for the raid, and in the conversation about that they discovered that the attackers knew where all the relics were that were publicly displayed (the museum, the tavern, etc.) but didn't necessarily know where private collections were. They quickly figured out that the raiders must have a contact or spy in town who was able to find the publicly displayed relics, and directed the raiders to those locations.
4. When the PCs found out that the respected leader of the guard was captured / disappeared, and it just happened that his son was gone too, they have a working theory that he might be the spy! :-) They've toyed with investigating whether the boy disappeared before the raid or during it, but decided they didn't have time and that they need to focus on the rescue. I'm still trying to decide whether I want to incorporate that idea (adding a further moral dilemma to what they tell the boy when they find him), or have them discover that he was just a victim of poor timing.
5. The way the prisoners are scattered around seemed odd to me, but I decided that they goblins didn't want to give them to the undead yet - they're holding on to them as bargaining chips, will trade one at a time for favors, etc. So they didn't want them grouped together to prevent the undead from finding them all and having an all-they-can-eat buffet. And the prisoners are mostly guarded by non-goblins because, well, the goblins were tending to beat them up too much (especially the dwarf) and the leader didn't want to risk losing any of them "accidentally". I'm going to have the dwarf give that info to the PCs when they find him.
6. I don't mind the gnomes, but that is due mostly to a prior history between those races in my personal campaign. One of my players is closely tied to the Feywild and I'm going to be bringing a lot of fey issues into the campaign. In my world, the goblin race is a fey race, originally from the Feywild like the elves, eladrin, fomorians, etc. Many of them have moved to the natural world and lost much of their innate magic (like the elves, as opposed to the Eladrin), although many goblins remain in the Feywild (per the Manual of the Planes) and I'll make them more magical like eladrin and gnomes. Anyway, the upshot is that the goblins get along fine with the more evil gnomes, with a common history and background, so I wasn't thrown by the gnomes helping them in this adventure. I am much less certain about the inclusion of the ettercaps, and I may replace them with undead as the OP suggested.
I am currently just finished with SOW 3. Here are a couple of the things I did to link the adventures:
Rescue at Rivenroar: The party started out in Rhest near the swamps and practiced and trained there. One of my PCs got a message one day from an old friend in Brindol, Alys (the same Alys who brings message to the party in Overlook in SOW 5.) She asked for him to Brindol and find her at the Antler and Thistle. This allowed for them to save her in the tavern and gain an ally in town and someone who they will remember. Later on when she is beaten from the Lost Ones they will be more emotionally attached.
Eoffram mentions that the Freeriders are usually the group that helps them out in a time of need but that they are away investigating rumors of orcs on the rise.
Siege of Bordrins Watch The party decided to visit the Mountain's Hearth as their first destination in Overlook. They saved Reggen from a group of lost ones here. (I made sure that one of my PCs got into a personal fight with the Mage and I also made sure the Mage escaped.
Once at the Monastery the party found that the orcs were using shadow weapons, while these didnt give extra ability, they were very nice weapons. too nice for savage orcs to have forged.
On their way down the secret passage to the dwarven hall at the monastery, one of the PCs that can understand Giant hear an argument that involves the name Modra.
When the party goes up the ladder in the Nexus, they are found in a small cavern at Bordrin's Watch by Madrick, the gnome from the Freeriders. He tells them that Megan is upset they were given the Monastery job (playing on her jealousy in the Temple Between and The Mottled Tower.)
Umbraforge During the city crawl, the party had an encounter from Siege named mysterious killers. These were dopplegangers that had a list of the parties names and some of the Freeriders names. The twist I put in was that the dopplegangers were diguised as two goblins and Sinruth. This was a big surprise when they saw this. This will come back into play in SOW 5.
They also had the lost ones encounter where the mage returned and they finally did away with him and found a letter from Modra on him.
They also met Haelyn from the Temple Between in Tradetown right before going to the Happy Beggar.
When they get to sarshans tower they will hear the gnolls having a conversation about fangren and something called the wicked fang.
In sarshans chamber at the top of Umbraforge tower (if they go there) they will find a note on his desk detailing his discovery of something called "Blood Chaos" in the Sea of Fire and they will find a linked portal ritual.
More of my ideas for the next few adventures when I can post more...gotta run right now. I think this thread is a great idea by the way!
Welcome to the thread guys! I'm glad you all are finding this useful! :D
Thanks for the recommendation for the excellent write-up. (Here's a link to the post in case someone can't find it). I like your ideas about giving the goblins a bit more of a purpose for attacking the inn. It cuts down on the dumb luck aspect of the heroes just being in the right place at the right time.
Lots of good ideas here! It sounds like you're laying groundwork far in advance, which I love! Hopefully I can get a writeup similar to what I have for the first three done for the fourth soon; when I do I think I'm going to go back and integrate some of your and Lindharin's ideas, if neither of you mind.
CodeGeass and Mike_Conno,
You guys are too far ahead of me for me to understand what you mean. I take it this sage is strangely ... obstinate? :P
Thanks again everyone for reading and participating.