We wrapped up the chapter in Seven Days to the Grave, Part IV. It was a little disjointed, as we left and returned to the warehouse/dungeon sooo many times. I halfway hoped the nurse that fled would bring down the Queen’s goon squad or something so that we didn’t have unlimited back-and-forth access. It becomes too tempting to play it safe (clear a room, rest, clear a room…)
We fought Nosferatu. Not sure if that is what it was called, but its pic was a total copy of the original from the movie. Then we leave, and go back to free the ocarina player, then leave, and go back to clear the place.
I was a little unhappy with the writing towards the end, though. In both chapters there’s been some “Korvosa is totally rioting and there’s starvation! Well, not really. Plague has closed down the city! Well, not really. They all hate the Queen! Well, not really.” Last we heard, the city was in flames because of the city being enraged that this new Queen was now in charge, but when we come up with proof that her own hand-picked SS guys and goon squad are behind the plague, Guard captain and populace alike are all “Oh, must be a coincidence.” What!?! But to no useful end, since immediately afterwards, in a cutscene we’re not there for, she reveals herself as evil anyway. It seemed like a big “fuck you” to the players.
I am not allergic to story – all the “sandbox” or “old school” gamers out there say “story baaaad!” Not me, I like me some story. But this is really the first time in the APs I’ve felt like they were more in love with their own story than the PCs’ part in it.
Sure, Paul our DM hews very close to the written word and you could say he should just change it, but having to change it reveals a weakness.
Anyway, in the end it’s a minor nit – the chapter was still enjoyable overall – but it seems to me a bit of a warning sign. Interesting characters and driving plots are great, but should never threaten the primacy of the PCs in the story.
Best session quote:
We find an operating room, and cells beyond with more hapless Varisians. As Annata tries to calm them in Varisian, Thorndyke demands, “Stop speaking that dog language!”
Next time – Escape from Old Korvosa!
Ah, I’ve been missing these. Always fun to read about your groups’ adventures. I wish my own players had a similar kind of report every week. One of the players takes a monstrous amount of notes that she had intended to translate into story form, but sadly has only thus far done her own Prologue up until the group gets to Lamm’s place. And we’re just starting Skeletons of Scarwall.
It definitely is striking how big the differences are in your groups’ battle style compared to my own. They’ve never had a Cleric with them so some fights are breezier (more pure damage dealers), others are a much bigger challenge. With the undead heavy part of the campaign coming up I’m not sure how well they will fare. 🙂
Yeah, the different play dynamics from differently composed groups is interesting. Now that we’re going to be without our sorcerer for a while, we’re sweating how it’s gonna go – Malcolm (2-hander) can dish the damage, but Thorndyke’s (2-weapon) a little behind there, and then pretty much it’s me pouring in the healing – my sword-and-board is crap for damage. We’re low on damage and battlefield control in general.
And I’m not *all* that much hell on wheels on the undead. They’re all making saves against my channeling routinely now (even with my 18 CHA), so my 4d6 damage + run away is just 2d6 damage – if I didn’t have Quicken Turning it wouldn’t be worth using, without the healing side-effect (except if surrounded by a mob of lesser undead). I was very, very lucky in that Nosferatu rolled a “1” on his like 4th channeling save, because between him and Dominated Malcolm I was gonna buy it and Thorndyke was going to have a 50/50 shot at running for his life.
Curse of the Crimson Throne gets better in the “in love with their own story” thing, although it is incongruous whether the queen is beloved or suspected by the people. I ran with “suspected” in my game, and the PCs were not alone in thinking the queen was up to something. Ileosa is definitely waay more feared than loved at this point.