Page 1 of 1

The Promised Land and beyond

Posted: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 13:03
by Lorka
Hello everyone,

So I am preparing our first foray into Symbaroum as a setting and a rule system, I hope our dnd diehards will come around or else we can always pivot to the Ruins version.

Now I bought the Korinthia Bundle, in other words I basically got everything, so I want to start us off with the Copper Crown campaign and hopefully the players like it and continue with the Throne of Thorns.

After the Promised Land I will run the The Howling of the Damn Gods, with slight changes, so I wanted to include prison transfer in the Caravan that the players are with, I think this could be fun with the PCs maybe finding out that the top secret weaving machine is in fact a cover. I don't see a problem with them finding out there is a super dangerous prisoner being transported. But any advice on including them would be great.

I would like to include more tie-ins with the rest of the Copper Crown and Throne of Thorns both in PC backgrounds, but also in NPCs they meet. I was thinking maybe to include Anadea in the caravan as well, if she is then a healer and helps the PCs, they will probably like her somewhat, and I can keep the cool opening of Throne of Thorns without the obvious problem of the players completely forgetting Anadea in all the stuff going on. I was also thinking of running the whole church stuff before hand, especially with the events in Prios Pass setting up the frictions in the church and maybe Anadea can tell them about Sarvola (btw Father Sarvola have a girls name, considering he is ambrian).

I also intend for them to work for master Vernam before the Flayer stuff, maybe have him send them out on a mission in Davokar beforehand.

I still need to find something fun to happen at least in Yndaros and Templewall depending on what route they want to take, but that is the most likely. I think something with the Dwarfs in Yndaros would be cool, so if anyone have suggestions be free to share. I think around Templewall it depends a lot on whom they are traveling with at the time, if there should be more religion or something completely different again any ideas are welcome. If anyone have any ideas for some event in Blackmoor once again feel free to share.

Now back to the beginning: The Promised Land.

How big is the caravan? There are six wagons, reading between the lines it mention Telk and Keler as being part of a larger group in one wagon. But how many people total.
The 'adventure' starts with the PCs fighting some of the guards, PCs+1, so there are probably more. How many guards? The more guards, the less danger for the PCs later.
With minimum number of guards and people I am up to at least 25 people, but probably 35-40 people, you also want some nameless, but competent people that can be PC replacements, being first time with a system I think a death or two might be unavoidable.
So how many people did you bring in your caravan? Did you have some cool or fun NPCs I can steal for mine?

Did you use the original version with a player possessing the Sun Stone and delivering it to Master Vernam, or the Ruins version with the NPC Edira (could be Anadea instead) carrying it to Thistle Hold? I am leaning towards to later version, tho it would be fun for a player to get the stone ... maybe as a reward for some service to Anadea/Sarvola in Thistle Hold later.

I think there is room for one or two landscapes more on the way. I was thinking of having them come across a Way Station that is packing up for the winter, but still open, except it's Mal-Rogans gang that have taking it over (Inspired by the movie The Hateful Eight by Tarantino). Anyone had something they used and want to share?

Edit: Also only 2 elves, with the PCs organizing a defense with ever capable person and wagons circled, it just seems to weak, I would probably add a vague number of younger elves, with the numbers hidden in a magical snowstorm, I can tweak it doing the session.

Re: The Promised Land and beyond

Posted: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 19:32
by Falenthal
Sorry that I've just read the post quickly, and can't answer thoroughly, but...

"Did you use the original version with a player possessing the Sun Stone and delivering it to Master Vernam, or the Ruins version with the NPC Edira (could be Anadea instead) carrying it to Thistle Hold?"

I did this: in my case it was the mage apprentice, Bartelom, who carried the Sun Stone, to Master Vernam in Thistle Hold for further study. After the attempt to steal it and the saving by the players, Bartelom decided he needed some protection along the way and hired the adventurers. This way, there was a hook for the company to travel to Thistle Hold. As Bartelom became a friend of them, and began studying under Master Vernam, he was first the link to discovering the flyed body of Master Vernam in Mark of the Beast, and afterward played the dramatic part of Anadea (Iron Pact contact in the city, as Master Vernam was before him) to trigger the envents in Wrath of the Warden.

Re: The Promised Land and beyond

Posted: Sat 01 Apr 2023, 03:06
by Apophatos
Hello! I have only recently started GMing Symbaroum campaign (we are 7 sessions in), but so far have been really enjoying it. I have decided to keep to the published material as much as possible, making tweaks here and there. We are just about to finish the Promised Land, and I do believe we will be jumping straight in to Mark of the Beast next. Throne of Thorns is on the horizon as well, but I would like to give the players a taste of life in Thistle Hold, and develop some depth with Davokar and its inhabitants a bit more before pulling the trigger on Wrath of the Warden.

Like you, I have been interested in making as many links to The Copper Crown and the Throne of Thorns as I can in order to start setting up some of the conflicts and relationships.

I started Promised Land in Alberetor. The party are agents of Master Vernam who had dispatched them to Alberetor a few years ago to undertake some mission (monitor the refugees and activity, monitor spread of the undead, effect of corruption on the landscape and the people, be on the lookout for Lyastran agents, that sort of thing). The party members then receive a letter from Master Vernam, sent by courrier, recalling his agents to his academy at Thistle Hold. Vernam tells his agents that difficult challenges are afoot, and he is in greater need of their skills in Thistle Hold than in Alberetor.

As the party members make their own individual trek towards Korindra's Cliff, where they are to seek out Argasto and his caravan to travel north. Argasto's official destination is Blackmoor. I had run the trip to Korindra's Cliff as solo encounters for each of the PCs. Each PC encountered a group of friendly NPCs who were also looking to leave Alberetor and head to Ambria via Korindra's Cliff. Before they could arrive at the muster point, however, the PCs were each attacked by a pair of thugs; first making efforts to recruit, then rob as the circumstances merited. Combat with the pair of thugs was the first opportunity for the players to test out the combat mechanics. The thugs did not make reference to any gang they were a part of, but I had each of the pairs be in possession of a dirty sack of severed hands (that they use as part of their initiation process to test new recruits, as well as a kind of offering to their boss, Mal Rogan, who the party will of course run into later on in the adventure). The PCs managed to convince Argasto to allow the NPCs they encountered on the road to Korindra's cliff to accompany the caravan to Blackmoor, although it took a promise to pay Argasto the costs of an additional couple of wagons, mules, and food to carry the new passengers.

I had Bartolom be the custodian of the sun stone, though I had Keler kill Bartolom during the theft. One of the PCs was an adept of the Ordo Magica, and agreed to help Argasto with the sun stone until they arrived at their destination. Promised Land went pretty much as the published material decribe, up until the battle with Godrai and Saran-ri. I had the abomination appear in the middle of the fight, and despite the elves focusing fire on the Abomination, the party continued to see them as a threat, and killed them. The death of the elves complicated things a little, since we now have to figure out what to do with Ludo, who had yet to become an abomination.

The party agreed to support Lestra's request to bring Ludo to the Twilight Monastery. The party carefully gathered the abomination skull into a chest, brought both the skull and Ludo to the Monastery. The Twilight Brothers were very happy to receive both Ludo and the skull for examination and "treatment," and, hearing that the party are agents of Master Vernam, have invited the party to get in touch with Deseba The Old in Thistle Hold, and thus providing an opportunity to strengthen the Vernam-Sarvola-Reformist faction item in advance of The Witch's Hammer and the drama on Karvosti.

On the way back from the Twilight Monastery, the party had to take a less direct route to Prios Pass (where they are to rejoin Argasto before finishing their trip to Blackmoor). The party's Ordo member has had difficulty managing his corruption intake, and so they decided not to risk a high-traffic road as that between Prios Pass and the Twilight Monastery. While on this more remote trail, they were waylaid by some dragouls, and had a brief exchange with the Templars who had been hunting them. The Templars are none other than the Mekele brothers, who are heading north" and will feature in Wrath of the Warden.

I'm now working on trying to have some drama at Prios Pass. Nothing big, mind you. I do want the party to get to Thistle Hold without too much more delay and get Mark of the Beast started. But I'm thinking of making links between the soup kitchen among the refugees at Prios Pass and Sarvola in Thistle Hold, perhaps even showing how Sarvola's acolytes at the soup kitchen are mistreated by some at Prios Pass despite doing noble work helping the poor. Shortly after Vernam's death, the PCs will learn about Vernam's connection to Sarvola (Sarvola would refer promising young Ambrians and goblins to Vernam to study at the Academy), and both Vernam and Sarvola have relativeley recently rejected their official membership in their institutions out of a sense that those institutions are not properly managing the risks to the kingdom.

And that is the scene I'm hoping to set at the PCs begin their adventures in Thistle Hold, perhaps being the new owners and managers of Vernam's academy, and having to manage the tension between Vernam's connections with the Iron Pact with their own roles in the deaths of the elves that attacked the caravan and Belun and Ludo. The NPCs that accompanied the caravan might also end up as being either instructors or students at the Academy, providing the PC with something of a headquarters in Thistle Hold (that they will be expected to purchase before too long) from which they can begin the campaign in earnest.

Re: The Promised Land and beyond

Posted: Sun 20 Aug 2023, 15:57
by Lorka
Some nice ideas there, I especially like the meeting with the Mekele brothers.

I don’t how far you are yet, but I had the PCs steak the prophecy from the bothers long before we are starting Wrath. I have had the PCs work for Master Vernam for awhile. They have recently returned to Thistlehold and found their mentor Vernam murdered.

Re: The Promised Land and beyond

Posted: Thu 21 Sep 2023, 21:36
by Apophatos

I like the idea of raising the profile of the prophecy, given its prominence in Wrath.