Crown of Kings - feeling a need to rewrite the Kharé quest..

Baldrick
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Re: Crown of Kings - feeling a need to rewrite the Kharé quest..

Post by Baldrick » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:36 pm

What about this? Instead of knowing from the beginning that the Crown was stolen for the Archmage of Mampang, what if the Crown was just stolen by a chaotic thief to sell to the highest bidder? The thief was last seen heading towards Kharé, the Cityport of Traps, to hold a secret auction with representatives from the worst warlords and warlocks of Kakhabad present.

The party must travel to Kharé with all haste and stop this secret auction before the Crown falls into the wrong hands. By definition, they won't, and will have to follow the trail that leads them to the Crown's new possessor, the Archmage of Mampang. But it does mean they will have to scour Kharé for clues before they figure that out. In theory, they will be questioning every thief they come across and raiding every hideout and secret spot until they discover that they just missed the auction... perhaps they could even ask some of the disgruntled attendees who the final winner was. These NPCs can then exhibit their penchant for chaos and evil by divulging the true winner in order to spite the Archmage of Mampang for outbidding them. The heroes will need to play evil against evil!

It changes the adventure very little and seems to be the most simple solution. And just for fun, here's a big old map of Kharé (I changed the water texture for the river as the original texture looked a little off). Click to cast BIG:

Image

Baldrick
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Re: Crown of Kings - feeling a need to rewrite the Kharé quest..

Post by Baldrick » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:49 pm

As far as fly spells and the gate spell, in general I would just let the players use whatever skills or spells they have. If they want to fly over the wall or even climb it, this should be an option (although climbing would be particularly dangerous, and both options run the risk of being seen by the guards). If the above suggestion is used, they cannot really bypass Kharé anyway and will need to go inside.

Once inside the city walls, I think it is fairly thematic to say the Cityport of Traps is itself one big trap and any "good" heroes entering the city will be subject to a particularly nasty curse. If you do not exit "properly" using the gate spell, then wherever you flee, you will wake up the next day right back in Kharé... Maybe in the Red Eye Jail or a random location, which would pretty easy to do since there are exactly 30 numbered encounters in Kharé. Just roll a 1d6-1 to see which multiple of six to start with and then add 1d6 to that. So a 3 (-1) on the first die would mean your second roll would be 1d6+12 to find the final Kharé location (a roll of 4 here would thus indicate location 16—The Harbour Area). A roll of 6 on the first die would be a special result—either the Director chooses a location or makes up something of his own.

Of course, most people in Kharé are not heroic types, which explains why knowledge of the gate spell is relatively rare.

Whatever your solution, I would generally advise against strategies that just involve the Director saying "Nope, you can't use your powers! Doesn't work!" as this can come off as arbitrary and it will just frustrate your players. For instance, if they put in the footwork and figure out an ingenious way around the curse, then let them be rewarded for their clever thinking.

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Crown of Kings - feeling a need to rewrite the Kharé quest..

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:01 pm

Baldrick wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:36 pm
Instead of knowing from the beginning that the Crown was stolen for the Archmage of Mampang, what if the Crown was just stolen by a chaotic thief to sell to the highest bidder? The thief was last seen heading towards Kharé, the Cityport of Traps, to hold a secret auction with representatives from the worst warlords and warlocks of Kakhabad present.
Yeah I like this, it gives them a very believable reason to go to Khare and then Mampang. With my Gate Spell alternative I was trying to make it all work with the minimum possible changes. But if you're not worried about the plot deviating a bit more from the gamebooks then this may be the ideal solution.
Baldrick wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:49 pm
As far as fly spells and the gate spell, in general I would just let the players use whatever skills or spells they have.
Agree you should never stop them doing something reasonable. I suppose you're thinking you still want them to need to talk to the four people who know the spell, even though they've come to Khare following the thief. I'd come up with a different reason than opening the North Gate. Maybe rumours are spreading around Khare about the auction and who won, with those four being popular guesses. When they track down the one who did they learn he was bidding for the Archmage and that his agents have already collected their prize.

Nuvole!
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Re: Crown of Kings - feeling a need to rewrite the Kharé quest..

Post by Nuvole! » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:36 pm

Baldrick wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:36 pm
What about this? Instead of knowing from the beginning that the Crown was stolen for the Archmage of Mampang, what if the Crown was just stolen by a chaotic thief to sell to the highest bidder? The thief was last seen heading towards Kharé, the Cityport of Traps, to hold a secret auction with representatives from the worst warlords and warlocks of Kakhabad present.
Like it too!
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

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