Sixteenth Session (13 page pdf) – “The Sitdown” – A meeting of all Riddleport’s crimelords is held and Saul and the PCs are invited. Saul is given Avery Slyeg’s empty seat at the table and they engage in negotiations with Riddleport’s other “serious people” and their demented minions. It seems like things go well, except when they get sent on a simple message-delivery mission afterward, it’s a trap! Business as usual in this sixteenth game session of Reavers on the Seas of Fate!
This was a role-play heavy session, which I enjoy. The big crime lord sit-down was inspired by like very Mafia movie ever made. It was an adaptation of the opening scene of Madness in Freeport, the third module in the Freeport Trilogy – but in that one, the Freeport Captain’s Council holds a ball. A ball? Jeez, this is Riddleport. So instead we have a standard “goons around a table” meeting. It served a couple purposes. One was to give the PCs a glimpse into the larger power dynamics of Riddleport and also to meet personally all the movers and shakers now that they’re a respectable level (character level and level of Infamy they’ve gained). Another is to help set up explanations for what’s about to happen. In the Second Darkness Adventure Path as written, there’s this whole ‘the drow are behind it’ subplot that I’m not using a bit of, instead going for more of a motivation/plot from Freeport using the location and NPCs of Riddleport – although the perceptive will notice some Freeport originals making their way in (Milos, Anton Mescher, Karl the Kraken…) .
Running it all this way has let me use recurring characters a lot more. If you just run Freeport as written, there’s a lot of “who the heck is this new guy” syndrome. But here, when Avery Slyeg (Riddleport’s answer to Councilor Verlaine) is assassinated, it’s two people the PCs are familiar with doing it. When they go to this crime lord sitdown, some of the people are new to them, but they know a lot of them. In fact the PCs were gratified to see that Clegg Zincher had to fill his third accompanying-minion slot with some low level goon since they took out his capp Braddikar Faje earlier. I worked in people they knew from earlier and tried to throw in other NPCs they’ll be dealing with in the future like Captain Grudge.
One of my general rules of GMing is “use the same NPC when you can!” It’s analagous to the theory of Chekov’s Gun. That’s the one place where I felt like the original Freeport trilogy kinda fell down – it kept putting in new hapless guys to rescue (Lucius, Egil, Thuron) and so I’ve collapsed all three of them into one character (Samaritha). Well, I had Vincenz standing on for Lucius but he got offed.
So now the PCs realize they’re Marked for Death ™! They’re not sure what to do. “Bust in and kill Saul” is one of the leading options under discussion, but I’m worried that’s because two of the players know “that’s what’s supposed to happen next” in Second Darkness. Like I said, I’m using NPCs and encounters from SD but have pretty much already totally left its plot behind. But I guess we’ll find out – tomorrow!