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help for weatherstone

Posted: Mon 16 Mar 2020, 11:03
by Gromril
I’m here to ask for some advice about how to manage a plot issue in Weatherstone:
My players are a full orc party (a peddler, a rogue and a hunter…. We’re still looking for a fourth player) with poor equipment, almost without food. Two of them arrived to Weatherstone because  a goblin (ex party member) was kidnapped (and killed) by some harpies who they saw going to the castle rock.
The ex goblin player rerolled an orc (we’re using the random character creation), so I decided the new player character would have been met in the tower accompanied by Dalb the bard
When they arrived, they were greeted by Dalb, (because they missed the sneaking throw), who was immediately killed by the hunter. They were going to prey on the corpse, but due to Dalb’s nature, I decided to make the corpse vanishing in ashes and the food which was cooking in the tower becoming pitch (so they could craft some torches because they had no one).
I don’t describe how the new orc player joined the party, but he finally did it. So, in the evening they decided to explore the river (after some rest): They crafted a raft to cross the moat, and then they decided to go sleeping (again) before the crossing. Due to the fact it was 1 day they were there (and they rested 2 times) I throw a random encounter, so an ogre arrived to the tower looking for a place to rest (it was night): they ran away climbing down the tower, then they decided to cross the moat (and it was tough but they made it) so they decided to sleep (again) in the Castle entrance while one of them kept watching. In the morning, after the sleep, they sow some harpies flying over them, and fearing to enter the castle they decided to cross again the moat (again some trouble with the tentacle, but this time the dices were better).
So we stopped the session!
Now my concerns:
I’m really bored about all this rests, I can understand they see their stats going down, but so many stops are irrealistic in my point of view and (worse) it kills the story rhythm.
Obviously without lore (nobody has it) and without Dalb I decided to give them no clues about the place
At this time the other group should have already arrived to the sword and the deads should had already had raised.
If I were Dalb I would have had liked to give the players some “gift” for such a rude behavior.
Now I’m here asking for some advice:
Should I let the player to come back to a village, buy equipment and come back? I can understand they do not know anything about the place, so they aren’t really interested to the place
Should Dalb raise the dead outside the castle? Or do something?, Or I can dismiss it by now, and maybe making him come back with a very unfriendly behavior versus the players?
Should I freeze the place or should I let the rival party get the sword? Maybe rising the dead and giving Algarond the castle and then let him march?
Another Idea could be that  the rival party woke up the deads, and the players could see some of them fleeing away, after that the deads will start a march to catch them.
All this because I do not want to let the players to think that the Castle and all the location are waiting for them, I’d like to keep the world alive. Then I have also the concern that I see my group thinking to the game too much like a videogame: they want to be prepared, because they saw the fight is brutal and nasty, but at the moment they are only making resources management.
I’d like to listen some of your thoughts

Re: help for weatherstone

Posted: Mon 16 Mar 2020, 18:57
by Mr Oldtimer
So, this is a way in which I might have solved the situation, had I GM the session. Just my ramblings on ideas how to solve this. I understand your players don't know anything about the site. Not the legend nor the other party at the site? Then I'd let the players decide or even nudge them a bit towards getting out of there till they are ready. The harpies call them cowards and shouts insults and profanities at them while they're running away. Let them find adventure somewhere else till they get one or two more talents. Additional talents really make a huge difference in this game. Also, regarding damage, it takes a few sessions to learn when to push a roll and when not to for players new to the game. 

Then make sure they hear a legend about som great artifact or treasure, pointing them towards the site when you think them ready. If they don't have any insight to the site they won't know you halted the other adventurers till the next time they get there. If they know about them, let them find their remains, perhaps fallen on a hidden trap or as an ominous warning to creatures dwelling in the castle.... Dalb can even get back, in the same or another form, depending on how you want to play him. This time around he might want to up the ante a bit to get revenge on the brute adventurers that murdered him earlier. 

Also, if the players stop for a rest too often, it might be a sign they need some more experience and gear before they take on this site. If they don't get that and make camp every now and then just because they can, let them run into other problems like running out of food and water. Let the harpies harass them so they won't get any sleep or wake them up in the middle of the night, warned by lights getting closer. Might be a good time to leave before they're spotted by... whom ever is approaching in such great numbers... The occasional restless undead might also wander into their campsite. Perhaps stumbling into their camp site one night when the guard missed his scouting roll, stepping into their camp fire, setting the place on fire, making some equipment start to burn/food get spoiled/people loosing sleep because of putting out the fire. That camp site might not function as a place for rest any longer... Let more and more undead "randomly" rise every night till the players get out of there or finishes the "quest". Give them a sense of urgency or the chance to realize they need to gear up and get some experience before continuing this site.

Just my two cents. If you want to share, it would be fun hearing what happened, how you and your players handled this. Anyways, good luck and make sure you and your players have a good time, no matter how you solve this. 

Re: help for weatherstone

Posted: Tue 17 Mar 2020, 00:58
by Gromril
Thank you for your reply: good advices
Maybe I have to try to engage them a little more (and give them some more xp)
I'll try to keep you update with the events

EDIT: with updates
.... so the guys decided to leave Weatherstone to find some equipement, some food and maybe some exp point. 
The travel was very lucky, long but lucky (only 2 encounters), they were attcked by a group of harpies, but they were from Weatherstone, so I decided they would have been only laughted at, and the camp destroied by EXCREMENT ATTACK, clearly during all the travel they decided to rest many times (up to now I waited for the encounter table results, but now I think I will start to prepare the journey to give them a little more pushing, also because they are full of willpower point, because after every stat loss they tend to rest or sleep).
Aniway they arrived in the swamp and they found an ork (encounter 8; THE GREAT INSULTER ), they decided to fight it for his equipment, and sadly it wasn't a match: the ork died miserably without making any attack (the guys were all bare handed except one with a dagger, with no armour, the ork with studded leather, shield and axe missed every throw, to attack and to parry, he was  a berserker, but they killed  him before ha could go berzy)
Now they have to cross the swamp and arrive to the little village I created: the hamlet (27 people) is a trading post along a river, built it up in the last 4 years, with a problem about bandits assault, so it is ruled by a little patrol (6 people + commander )
Players want to go there to sell the pelts they have collected along the way, and to buy some eauip.
My idea is to rise the prices of the goods because they are stinky orcs, making them meet some young child dreaming about adventurers to show the they didn't  accomplished anything along the way (they skipped all my hints:  they didn't want to enter in the Hollows, or Weatherstone, and many of the random encounter they faced they skipped them, those they thought could be affordable they killed with a coup de gace all they faced, letting not very much for a story), there I will try to give them some info about Weatherstone and the crown Stranegist (I think I'll try to use same approach of Raven's purge book), and after this I'll let the bandits attack them because in the village there is a spy who will see them selling the pelts.
I think Also to let them found the THE RESTLESS DEAD encounter they ran away in the past

Re: help for weatherstone

Posted: Sun 12 Apr 2020, 23:50
by Gromril
Here I am with the updates: I'm happy my players are reducing the camping fortunately, but they continue to behave like rogue and bandits, that's ok, the only problem is that tis lead them to refuse to help anyone and with the memories of DnD they do not understand that 10 silver is a big reward in a place that has very little economy.
They say to be against dwarf and human due to their ochish kin, but when I asked them help the elves to take back the ruby to avoid a battle they refused, I gave them the chance to alert the orcs, but they didn't asked for the site location, and I didn't want to make them encounter another person asking for another mission in the same place, it would have been too pushing.
So they lost a day wandering in the woods, and after the time I gave them to act the eye of the rose was attacked, in the wandering I let them encounter the ent with the elves, but they preferred to not follow them.
Now they are arrived to eye of the rose and I have to think about the situation: clearly the ruby now is stolen to the stillmist.
I think they will find the orcs preparing for the war
Meanwhile they have found the girl with the village destroied by the wizards duel: it is passed enough time to make her show them their powers.

the fact is that after 2 months of play this is the first time they enter in an adventure site: it is frustrating see how they avoid any hints: they only reacts to journey events

Re: help for weatherstone

Posted: Mon 13 Apr 2020, 18:51
by Arnold
Perhaps it is their kind of playing. 
Ask them offplay if they are pleased with the adventure or if they want more plot.
But my expierence is that in an open world- sandbox, the players want to explore free a bit.
And they always don´t act as you have planned.

When my players entered weatherstone, the first thing they did was backstabbing a sleeping human from the other party. They simply cut his throat.
When his party members arrived, they lay ambush and killed every one of them exept two woh surrenderd.

I was really thinking a lot of this. So i gave the backstabbed human a griefing father in the hollows and a grieving sister in the hexenwald, so they always had to be careful.