I’ve been doing some additional work on the campaign and would love some more feedback, if you may
I’ll repeat the first 3 scenario outlines for Act 1
Scenario 4 – Bawdy Men and Women for Sale
Angelman wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:45 am
Scenario 1 - Mean Men in Monster Masks
: Present day. In media res start, with the PCs in prison overlooking the gallows where an associate wrongly accused is being hanged for a series of murders. Several masked individuals, including the hangman, are seen at the event, all carrying mono-eye monster masks (i.e. fimir masks) and performing subtle rituals (i.e. fimir magic to capture the dead person's soul); the hangman stares into the dying man's face as he swings (see below). The PCs are let out shortly thereafter and allowed to investigate the evidence they brought to court yesterday. They receive assistance form a third party (Verena priests/Sea Elves/other faction) with a vested interest in the previous murders, but this faction ends up being set up by the conspiracy. Long story short, a group of watchmen kills the allies just as the PCs come to meet them late in the scenario, on the pretense of the faction being the actual murderers (of course, the [cultist] watchmen have killed everyone before the PCs arrive and the trail goes cold). Second ending = unforeseen developments lead the PCs on a hunt for the hangman, with a dramatic showdown. The man dies staring contently into one of the PCs' shiny buttons or something [i.e. a vital part of the Fimir magic is that the cultists need to look into their own eyes when they die, to prevent their souls from escaping; likewise, their victim's die staring into their killer's eyes, whereby the killer steals their soul for his afterlife court. Eyes being the mirror of the soul, and all that...]
Scenario 2 - The Man with the Pearly Face
: The Past. The PCs are kids investigating the disappearance of several children. The grown ups all claim the kids have run off or fallen in the river; i.e. being careless and not listening to their parents. Grown ups are useless and the kids must fix this themselves. They have a clue, however, a creepy man prowling the streets for children. His face is very pale, and he's only seen at night. When torchlight flickers nearby, a pearly luster shimmers on his face (actually, his fake nose and fake replacement teeth = the creep suffers from advance stage syphilis and masks his decay with mother-of-pearl prosthetics +he shuns daylight and is very pale). The kids manage to lure the Pearly-faced man into a trap and/or corners him in his lair. The man catch his own reflection in something, and dies in peace, knowing he will get to his well-prepared afterlife haven.
Scenario 3 - The Coughing Man
: Present Day. The party investigates a murder spree happening around a popular tavern. The cooks, the brewer friar, and several warrior patrons all disappear in the night after leaving the tavern. This time, it turns out it is the night watchman working this beat -- himself a regular at the tavern -- who is the killer. It is deep winter now and the man suffers from lung cancer or tuberculosis or something, and knows he's dying. He is therefore in a hurry to stock his afterlife kingdom with suitable retainers, and choose the cooks and brewer from his favorite haunt to accompany him in death. Likewise, he takes pain to gather some fighting men slaves to bring along, fearing an eventual war between pocket dream-realms and/or from invading fimir ('cause who can trust them?). The watchmen helps the PCs out at first, but sends them on red herring searches. When they finally take him down, the sickly killer pleads to let him see his reflection as he dies. "Please, I beg of you! For the love of goodness, bring me a mirror!"
More stuff to come.
: Present day. The conspiracy is taking notice of the PCs meddling and set up a trap. Following up on a tip, (which the players may conclude is an obvious trap but they must follow up in an effort to outsmart the badies), the PCs find themselves in a locked warehouse set on fire. PCs being PCs (with Faith Points to spare) and players being resourceful, they are bound to escape in some way. Clues learned gives the party several glimpses into the conspiracy and their machinations, plus sets them on a course to chase a wagon-load of bound-&-drugged women (prosts mostly) heading into the marshes for a drop of to the fimir folk. We end the act with a chase, a boss fight, a chance to save a lot of kidnapped women, and some hints to the nefarious “fen fiends” at the heart of the story.
– Now we are heading into marshland, fimir-territory, and dream realms
I haven’t mapped out the scenarios here yet, but they will probably run something like this:
1) PCs investigate the marshes, have a run-in with mist-cloaked fimir in an Iron Age hill fort ruin, discover information on the cult’s witch envoy (“The Witch Prince of Mistvale” = the mentor of the mentor of the party witch). The Witch Prince is the connective tissue between the Khainite cultists and the fimir.
2) Here I want to do a second flashback-to-childhood, although I’m not entirely sure what to use it for yet. We will explore the PCs background and “roots” more, especially the witch character (who will possess at least one fimir spell in their repertoire, only learning about its source now). In the end, it is possible it was all a dream they experienced within a Dream Realm bubble dimension thingy.
3) On Hexensnacht or Geheimnisnacht, the PCs now get to witness (and quite possibly infiltrate and/or foil) a meeting at the Witch Prince’s domain between fimir & cultists. There will be an exchange of gifts, a grand ritual to fashion reality out of dreams will be held, and it all ends with the PCs being caught in a cultist’s* Dream Realm haven. (*This cultist will likely be the Man with the Pearly Face, aka. The child-killer dude in Scenario 2/the PCs childhood).
4) Now we have a haunted house kind of story where the PCs try to unravel whatever evil is taking place in the cultist’s private dreamland bubble. Basically, we’re in a nightmare horror story now. (Yes, I recently re-watched Nightmare on Elm Street… oh dear). Much insight can be gathered here, and the badie who escaped hell for his crime by slipping into his Dream Realm at the time of death can finally be brought to justice, once and for all).
– We return to Marienburg to take down the Khainites. All I know here is that the Magistrate from Scenario 1 is a/the big badie.
Any thoughts, comments, and/or suggestions?
And now for a second subject of my campaign – the PCs. We have a tradition of GM-made, story-tailored PCs in our games, which offers great advantages of storytelling at the expense of the joy of the players creating their own characters. It is a trade-off, but it has been totally worth it thus far (and we allow player input, of course). So, at the time of writing, I am planning the party to consist of the following PCs (WFRP4):
: He has a natural connection to the “corrupt law enforcement elements” trope of the story. He will know the evil magistrate quite well, but have no reason to suspect him at first. This character will bring wits, charm, and research powers to the group.
: I wanted a spell caster/magic dude as they tend to elevate a game with an additional dimension that the GM can (ab)use, but I wanted to try something other than a collegium wizard this time. So, we’re going full (good-guy’ish) witch, working on the Marienburg streets as a soothsayer & curse-mongerer, and whose mentor’s mentor had (has?) connections to the entire khainite witch/fimir magic thing. This character brings mystery, magic, and horror to the group.
: Here I’m envisioning a Rustin Cohle (True Detective season 1) type of conspiracy theorist on the trail of the khainites from the start. Basically, he became obsessed with the badies in his childhood and never stopped looking into it, eventually turning his investigative skills into a job (a sort of PI, I guess). This character brings forensics, investigations, and a burning conviction to the party.
--Sea Elf Boatman
: Finally, I want to explore a non-human culture thread running parallel with the story and settled on Sea Elves. This character’s fate is tied to that of the humans, and she has a sort of protective-pet-owner relationship to the others. There will also be a Dark Elf sub-thread running through the thing, to parallel the Sea Elf. (Here I should note that my concept of Dark Elves are a bit looser than the official, satanic-elf-civilization approach; basically, Dark Elves are just evil elves in my setting. In this story, a few will show up as bosses that run things to explore & exploit the human cult of Khaine for their own ends. This character brings some practical skills, exoticism, and fighting prowess to the group. I just thought of something... To expand this character's purpose, I'll have her being tied into the entire dreams & afterlife realms thing by having her search for 3 fellow Sea Elves whose wayshards where emptied when they were murdered (by Dark Elves, probably, who wants fresh elf souls as substitutes for their own souls once Slaanesh claims them after death). Basically, the Sea Elf will have 3 dull wayshards in her possession, plus her own shard, and will assisting the humans in their dreamland search in an effort to reclaim the stolen kindred souls. That should add a pretty horroresque slant to it all
As you can see, I have avoided warriors and other ass-kickers this time around. Instead, I want the party to solve problems through wits and stealth, rather than violence. Encounter will, of course, have to be designed with this in mind, but I find that, especially in horror stories like what I’m going for here, a non-(primarily) combat group fits better. That said, I don’t know WFRP4 very well yet, having never actually played it, so if anyone have any insights into these characters & careers, and how the party will likely function in the game, please do share! Also… random question about Riverwomen (because I looked at this career a little); why does this career have a WS advance when the combat skills it provides are Ranged? Is this normal for WFRP4? And more importantly, is this intentional? (I checked the latest WFRP4 errata and I didn’t see any fixes in this regard).
Wow, that was a LOOOOONG post. Thanks for all help