Doom related advice,

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Doom related advice,

Post by Blustar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:55 am

Iraco talks, a hunter escapes. . .

The PCs have just retrieved the spear after a very fun dungeon crawl and we paused at this point. Next session, Iraco being captured and at least one hunter escaping seems like the most likely scenario. I'm a little unsure of how I should play out the following scenes.

Does the Jarl confront the PCs when they get back and throw everything at them, knowing they have "the goods" on him? Will he try and question their information and deny their claims?

The PCs haven't defeated the Hound yet and I feel this encounter could change the feel and vibe of the adventure dramatically. Was the intention of this encounter to raise the suspicions of the PCs ( or confirm them) or to push a climactic encounter as the PCs and villagers battle the Jarl and his thegns to the death.

Just soliciting some DM'ing advice. Should this type of question be posted in the Judges forum? I posted here because it has to do with a DCC module.


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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by AJClark » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:19 am

I think it would depend on what the characters want to do and how you've been playin the Jarl. Is he really an evil guy or just a typical jerk nobleman?

When we went through this module (I DMed), after teh confrontation outside the burial mound, the players captured and extensively questioned Iraco about where the Hound lair I finally just had him offer to lead the group through the swamp to the Hound's lair. After they slew the Hound, they took it's head back to the village and threw it at the feet of the Jarl. They had interpreted him as a typical jerk nobleman (which was how i had played him), not really a evil guy, so they didn't feel the need to confront him further and pull him from power. Of course, this emabrrassed the jarl. who has friends in high places..which could come back to haunt the characters i the future...bwah hah ha.

There is no right or wrong way to handle it...just follow the players lead.

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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by Blustar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:15 am

It's not necessarily that I feel the Jarl is evil or just misguided, but how does he react to being "outed" as the bad guy. He's trying to murder the PCs, surely he's not a "good" guy. He knows the PC's know he tried to kill them or does he? IF the Jarl knows this, wouldn't he assume retribution and be proactive? or

Should I play it that he knows the ambush failed but doesn't know that Iraco talked? This way the PCs can direct the path of the adventure by their actions? This way, the battle with the Jarl will be more even as well as the Jarl "hopes" they don't know the truth.

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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:29 am

IMC, the PCs discovered the Serpent Mound on their first full day in Hirot. They are still inside when we ended the last session, so I am facing the same decisions. Largely:

(1) Bluster. "Who are you to speak so to me?" (Frowning thegns, the sorcerer whispers in ear) (Then grudgingly:) "Iraco may have exceeded his authority." (With some malice:) "He will be punished."

(2) The Rigged Lottery encounter.

(3) Armed with proof of the Jarl's perfidy, the thegns turn against him and elect one of their own as the new Jarl.

(4) The PCs are given information to lead them to where the Hound lairs.

(5) The Hound is defeated, gifts are given, and the adventure wraps up.
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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by jonchappellnow2 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:13 am

Great thread.

You guys are one step ahead of us. On Wednesday it looks like my group will be heading into Burial mound.

I love the description of "typical jerk noble." That's how I've been playing him. His character motivation seems to be built upon holding on to the fragile grip of power that he has. Sending the hunters to kill the adventurers as they emerge victorious (and wounded) from the mound is such a cowardly act that I've considered doing away with it, specifically because half of our party ingratiated themselves to the Jarl while the other half made him mad enough to kick them out of his hall.

The Lottery encounter definitely will upset the tenuous power that he holds and likely turn the Thegns against him.

I can definitely see the hunter attack outside of the mound as being a "de-motivator" to bother finishing with the adventure. The players could think, "Look, we just risked life and limb for this dude and he attacks us? Screw this town." Some of my players might do just exactly that, so I may be in the same situation.

It really depends upon the character's motivation. Are they under the impression that they are saving the village for the Jarl? Or is there a motivation to rid the village of the wolf that has nothing to do with his authority (or lack there of)?

I planted seeds of motivation through several tactics that may or may not work. My premise for the linked dungeon crawls is that they are members of an adventuring guild that investigates and troubleshoots issues a'la a Medieval X-Files. Our mages were told privately that there is a major arcane power source that is to be investigated and, if possible, harnesessed. Our theives were told that the local guild would be a contact and that there was major treasure and artifacts in the area ripe for picking, etc. Then, I also made a point to have the village be more about the villagers than the Jarl. The PCs have gotten to know Brogan and his daughter Morgan, while also building a relationship with Father Beacom and the old witch.

For your specific situation, one tactic you might want to try is to view the hunter attacks as optional or open to modification. If you feel that it is going to derail your overarching confrontation in the black pool, then it might be worth skipping or changing.

You could have the hunters waiting outside in an ambush that, through diplomacy, is averted. Or they could just be "checking up" on the progress of things for the Jarl. Or they could be spying and there presence could be detected via a notice check. Then if they are caught, they simply say that the Jarl sent them to see if anyone came out alive.

I think that your situation basically boils down to the gamble of: if the hunters attack the emerging party, will it pretty much end the motivation of the characters to see the adventure through?

If that's the case, then you have to decide if it's even important for them to "finish" the adventure? This is swords and sorcery after all. There's nothing wrong with a mercenary tale of adventurers who tried to do the right thing, got screwed by a noble, and just left with the spear.

Of course, there's missed opportunities then.

Further, you could always complicate things for the PCs by giving them a curse for leaving things undone. They have nightmares of the hound, etc...

I hope some of these ideas help.

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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by ragboy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:20 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
(3) Armed with proof of the Jarl's perfidy, the thegns turn against him and elect one of their own as the new Jarl.
This is how I worked it out in our game. The PC's defeated the Hound in the streets of Hirot -- They approached the long house full of righteous indignation. The doors opened and the thegns came out one by one... The last one had the jarl's head and threw it down the steps... declared himself jarl and thanked the "heroes" for exposing the "evil" in the village and saving the people. The sorcerer dude slipped out the enemy for another day.
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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by d(sqrt(-1)) » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:25 am

My players didn't find the real spear; they've gone off to fight the Hound with the other one from the dodgy room (which they survived, barely). I didn't run the ambush as they came out of the Mound though.

They will fight the Hound with the spear they have, probably kill it i.e. it turns into gas and will reform next night.

I'm in two minds as to what might happen next:

1/ They are ambushed on the way out of the Hound's Lair, the huntsmen taking the Spear and heading back to town to claim vistory - until next night when the hound reappears. This will turn the village against the huntsmen but I find it amusing.

2/ The PCs head back to town and claim victory, only for the Hound to reappear. This is likely to sour the village against them and they will probably have to leave town, or be pulled out for sacrifice to appease the Hound.

If they realise it's not the real spear they might head back to the mound to try and find the real one since they missed it first time.

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Re: Doom related advice,

Post by Zeiros » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:08 am

I love reading all the interesting takes on this portion of the game. about 3/4 of way thru ourselves we just finished the Tomb portion
(and I just finished writing it up)
In our game, the animosity with Jarl is high right from the beginning, as they rescued Morgan Halverson and marched her back into the town after driving the hound off.
Reforming the next evening the Hound then slaughters a bunch of villagers and its all downhill from there.
By the time they get to tomb, its was no surprise the Jarl sent assassins to kill them. The PC's have succeed in usurping the Jarl's rule
at the end of the last session. The Jarl and his men haven't had their day in court yet however. play continues this weekend.
Scrying the land from The Tower of Zeiros

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