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Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:42 am
by Solomoriah
Okay, I'm going to put on my profiler hat and see if I can reverse engineer this adventure.

The scene presented in area 17 has Severin and his allies attacking Baron William and his loyalists. This appears to be Severin's end game; there's no indication that he wants anything from William other than his head... implying that Severin is rather cross with William. Cross enough to summon elementals (or whatever he did) to sink William's ENTIRE CASTLE just to kill him.

To hate William that much, Severin almost has to be family. I think he is... I think he's William's youngest brother, the one expected to go into the priesthood in order to avoid dividing the inheritance. Severin's allies include a bunch of locathah, which leads me to wonder if he turned away from Tah (or whatever god or gods he worshiped) and began to worship some Lovecraftian horror. Ulghrumboth, let's say (just made that up). The locathah are also loyal worshipers of this elder god, and follow Severin because he's a priest in the monster's service (obviously).

Simon the wizard appears to be William's ally, but for some reason does not go into the sunken castle himself. This suggests to me that there is some reason he cannot... perhaps physical infirmity? He is described as being elderly. Perhaps he's William and Severin's uncle, an accomplished wizard but not physically fit enough for adventuring. He doesn't know what happened, but may suspect Severin's involvement.

No one expected Richard to turn against his father, though. I have no idea why he did so... open to suggestions here. But it was Richard who provided water breathing amulets to his sister and mother, whom he still cares for. Not sure why he left out Martha... perhaps she rebuffed him when he tried to get her to oppose their father.

I'm assuming the Baron and his men who have these amulets took them from usurpers whom they killed. I can't think of any reason why anyone other than an usurper would be prepared for the sinking of the castle otherwise.

How is this sounding, quozl?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:33 pm
by quozl
So our thoughts were that Simon was jealous of his brother and wanted to take his kingdom. He has enlisted the help of Severin and also the King's son. The King's son was to be crowned king and then would be Simon's puppet. Casting waterbreathing on the players is an attempt to prove to the people that Simon is not responsible and Simon figures the players could not possibly be powerful enough to defeat his allies.

This really should have been in the text but we were really new to RPGs when this was written and made mistakes.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:04 am
by Solomoriah
AH okay now I see it! Thanks!

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:58 am
by Solomoriah
Okay, I'm taking a few liberties here, but this is my idea for a new "What's Going On Here?" section:

Old Baron Rodolf had two sons, Simon and William. Simon was the eldest, but when he decided to take up magic his father disowned him, making William his heir instead. Simon, banished, never forgave his father, and in his envy he also blamed his brother.

Upon the old baron's death, the new baron invited his brother to return. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Simon came back to the castle by the sea and made a show of reconciliation. He visited the castle frequently, forming a friendship with Richard, William's only son and heir; slowly, over time, he turned the boy against his father, and together they plotted his death.

Simon had become a powerful and rather amoral wizard over the years, and had allied himself with Severin, a dark and powerful priest in the service of the Outer God Ulghrumgoth. Severin in turn had formed a close relationship with a tribe of locathah, and had several devoted followers who came from among their number. Simon's followers included several disgraced knights who had served his brother, and also some of the knights who guarded the baron's castle were secretly loyal to Simon instead.

For the last several weeks Simon has been working to undermine the castle, summoning earth elementals to remove the stone beneath it. He started in a small natural cave, its entrance hidden by bushes, a few hundred yards north of the castle along the shore. He ordered the elementals to remove a massive amount of stone, leaving a few pillars to support the castle; now, today, he has ordered them to remove those pillars, and the castle has fallen into the sea.

Simon knew the adventurers were not as powerful as Severin, nor as numerous as their combined forces. He has decided to offer to "help" them, so as to mislead the onlooking crowd into believing him blameless in this strange tragedy; he assumes the adventurers pose little risk to his plan, and will be quickly slain by Severin's locathah or his own forces within the castle.

Knights within the castle who are loyal to Simon will try to present themselves as the baron's men, and as they were regularly assigned to the castle, they should be able to do so convincingly. They still wear his livery, making visual identification impossible.

When the castle fell into the sea, the rushing, crashing waves broke open the front doors and flooded most of the castle. Some rooms have heavy doors and shutters which did not break, and though water is running into those rooms, there may still be air inside. Also, air pockets may be trapped near the ceiling of some of the rooms. These situations will be pointed out on a room-by-room basis in the key following.

The usurper knights have all been provided with water breathing amulets. Some of these knights have been slain in combat, and their amulets taken by loyalists (and by the Baron himself). Of course, Richard has one, and as he did not want his sisters to die, he had two more to give to them; however, he has not been able to pass one along to sister Martha in room 18, as the Baron and two of his men stand in the way in room 17.

So quozl, how does this look to you?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:36 pm
by ThorinSchmidt

You forgot the Outer Planar Creature that for reasons yet unknown ran off with every piece of rope in the castle! :D

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:49 pm
by Solomoriah
... did you notice that I realized it was too easy to identify usurpers?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:29 pm
by quozl
I ran it by my daughter and we're both on board with that.

I am curious though about the rope. How would that change things?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:35 pm
by Solomoriah
It's not you, it's me. :D The pregens I used in the playtest were not equipped with any rope. Thorin is just ribbing me about that.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:10 pm
by Solomoriah
I revised the material above a bit, rewrote the player's introduction into a single big box of text, and am right now uploading R14 for your review. The revisions don't change the story from what I posted above; I just made it all flow more nicely. But of course, I'd like you to review the uploaded version and weigh in.

Chi, if you have time, please take a look through Castle Under the Sea. It still needs some revision by me (for example, there are air-filled rooms that cannot be air-filled, but I have a workaround for them) but if you'd work over the stat blocks I'd appreciate it. We need to actually list spells for Severin, and the stats given for all the NPCs are written out in monster format so they need revision. If you don't have time, let me know and I'll make another pass.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:51 am
by chiisu81
r15 put in Projects folder.