Feedback to players:
I am happy to receive feedback from players, this time I have some feedback for the players.
- Evelyn complained about the time rounds were taking, and I agree that this is an issue in most quests. Have your actions prepared, it's ridiculous to think that it might take upwards of twenty minutes per round.
- Single line posts for actions, even if it's not interesting or you didn't get the roll you wanted. 'X swings his/her sword and misses' is just so depressing to see… please try harder even if it's only a few more words for flavour.
- Lastly, bottlenecking of the quest: It was suggested by Evelyn that the quest was bottlenecked so it would only end one way, however I refute this on several grounds.
The evidence list below details many ways which people could have learnt more, but it didn't happen. Out of all of the players, only Voss ever rolled a skill check that wasn't asked for. Where were the knowledge checks? Where was the interaction with villagers? Where was any attempt whatsoever to uncover more aside from expecting to have it handed on a plate come the end?
With specific regard to the Cleric himself, there was the charge that a single skill check may be too fine to base success on, or expecting good characters to behave otherwise in pursuit of information/etc. I agree with regards to skill checks, and will consider alternatives in the future. For alignment issues, Voss is evil and Nerylos is chaotic neutral, perhaps they could have acted differently if they wanted to.
Going to the chapel first, actually harming the cleric, having nobody to hide behind, passing sense motive, these are just some of the ways in which you would have had a better chance of unveiling the truth behind it all.
I will take the criticism onboard, however I hope the players also take it upon themselves to be more proactive and take some initiative. Not all situations can be solved by any one particular individual, and evil is insidious.
Evelyn, Level 2
Hussam Arbouqa, Level 1
Nerylos, Level 4
Silk, Level 4
Voss, Level 4
x2 Skirmisher Lizardfolk CR1 [CR1]
x6 Mature Lizardfolk CR2 [CR7]
x2 Bulky Lizardfolk CR3 [CR4]
x2 Skirmisher Lizardfolk CR1 [CR2]
x2 Mature Lizardfolk CR2 [CR3]
x1 Shaman CR5 [CR5]
Level One to Three: 1,440XP
Level Four: 1,280XP
Abbassia (Hussam) receives partial XP due to leaving early, however a bonus is awarded for his clever combination of spells. As such he gets 1,000XP in total.
3,000GP to all except Abbassia (Hussam) who receives 2,000GP.
Gemstones found by Voss worth 500gp, may be shared if he desires.
A purveyor of oddities in the Underdark hired the ragtag band of adventurers to deliver a lead lock box to the chapel of Matra in a small farming community out in the backwaters. Through the swampy marshy terrain it took them a while to get there, but they completed their mission without too much difficulty on the way and set about enjoying a night in Rohori‘veil Vif’s finest and only tavern, Trollsbane Stoop.
As the party really got started with dancing and live music, the adventurers heard heavy rain outside, which Hussam correctly identified as a rain of arrows. It wasn't until the music stopped a moment later and a bloodied sword ran through the tavern door from the outside that the party stopped, panic ensued, and everyone looked to the visiting heros for help.
A tribe of heavily tattoo'd lizardmen were marauding through the village, setting every building ablaze and killing all that they came upon. Whilst the adventurers barricaded themselves into the inn for a few precious moments the skirmishers continued onwards to slaughter innocents and set upon the chapel of Matra.
The militia and the adventurers sortied from the tavern before long and took to defending innocents from further slaughter, but this came at the expense of exploring the motivation behind it all - the chapel. A combination of might and a clever burning grease trick dispatched the biggest threat to innocents but due to the time it took by the time they went to investigate the chapel it had already been smashed into.
Visual acuity spurred them on to their goal, down into the catacombs where the cleric of Matra might have run to hide with the Lizardfolk hot in pursuit. By this point the adventurers were very curious about why this was all happening, but they only had suspicions [detailed later]. They made no effort to be silent, nor hidden as they moved down into the catacombs carrying a torch to give their position away easily.
Fortunately for them, when they were set upon by a large group of brutish Lizardfolk and their Shaman leader who decried them as 'blasphemers who would die fore the Holy'. Voss was able to cripple the majority with a well placed Color Spray. Together they overcame this most trying of challenges, with Silk going so far as to snap the Shamans neck clean during a bout of kitty wrastlin'.
The haggard Cleric of Matra only reappeared when the worst of the fighting was over, he'd been hiding somewhere. Something seemed a little off about it all. They found the lead box they had delivered, empty, so the party decided to interrogate the Cleric for a while but although Evelyn pointed a sword to his throat the adventurers had no clear line of evidence. Ultimately the Cleric left unscathed and was escorted back to Avalon along with with the refugees from the sacked village.
The adventurers believed that the attack on the village was to do with the lead box they delivered, either the box itself or what may have been inside of it.
- Lizardfolk Attacking - Nobody thought to ask a member of the militia or a villager anything about it.
- Tattoos on Lizardfolk/Knowledge - Nobody rolled any kind of knowledge check throughout the duration of the quest.
- Saving Innocents vs Rushing to Temple - Saving innocents meant that you missed out on catching some 'red handed' stuff.
- Attempt to Interrogate Shaman/Lizardfolk - In spite of at least one party member speaking their language, no attempt was made to interrogate the Lizardfolk. They were killed, this is especially poignant in the case of their leader, who would naturally have known their motivations.
- Attempt to Interrogate the Cleric - Due to a lack of evidence to that point, and no good rolls on sense motive, the Cleric was able to worm his way out of a difficult situation by playing upon the behaviours of typical 'good' adventurers.
Although over half of the party was either neutral or evil, only Evelyn attempted to press the issue of interrogation and in spite of the cleric believing she would hurt him - she never actually did and the cleric was able to hide behind someone prepared to protect him. So in the end, all the adventurers had were their suspicions. A lead box proves nothing, it may have held something, or it may not, the lizardfolk may have been there for it, or they may not have been. What a puzzle!