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Lord
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Doboshova's Inn


Some questions regarding Andrew Lum's quest "Doboshova's Inn": [sign in to see URL]

Firstly, has anyone played it? And what were your experiences with it?

I'm starting to plan out my next campaign as a DM/GM and am thinking that this would make a great first quest for my warriors. I can build up a good story by having them have all traveled to the same inn for different reasons, end up getting trapped there together, and forming as a questing group as a result of their collaborative escape. A quick escape from Doboshova, a couple days at the next town, and they should be ready to play through the Death Below Karak Azgal adventure from the back of the RP book, which I am definitely going to put them through since I've never had the chance to play it, before!

So I'm just interested in any comments you might have about this quest. I know it's written for BL 1 warriors, but do you think that sending them into it without any prior experience would be too much? It is pretty short without many monsters, and I guess having had all their possessions stripped of them at the beginning of the quest might negate any advantages they may have had from having accumulated some treasure on previous quests, but I just want to make sure that it's a good game and they don't end up getting slaughtered. I'd much rather keep them alive so as to use this first quest more as a story vehicle than anything else.

Other questions: what miniatures or markers might you suggest for use in representing the flying broom or Angoru the giant cat? I think I have everything I need for the other characters.

I also am going to add a little extra intro to the quest, with the warriors starting it all in a big empty room (courtesy of Advanced Hero Quest) with tables (Hero Quest) to represent the main hall of the inn itself. There they will play through a couple turns and have a chance to meet a few NPC fellow travelers before getting drugged or cursed or whatever and knocked out/captured. I may even keep one or two of these NPCs alive to wake up in the cell alongside them and Reitze, which will increase the depth of the story and maybe add a little extra help if they have problems in combat. If they seem to be doing just fine on their own, then it would be no problem to give the NPC a dramatic death while trying to escape.

Last question: the end of the quest says, "If Reitze survived too, add an extra week to the travel time (any hazards involving individuals just simply ignore Reitze). They characters are rewarded D6 x 100 gold each for rescuing the girl at the next settlement." but the directions also read "Monsters will not attack Reitze while there are Warriors still standing."

How do you interpret this? Would the whole party have to go prone before there was any chance of Reitze NOT surviving?

Thanks for your input!
23/Aug/2011, 4:47 am Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


I just finished playing this adventure (as GM). It's pretty good. I have a couple of suggestions.

First, the Mutant Spiders were really, really tough for the Warriors to beat without weapons. The Warriors were all first-timers without having done an adventure together. I would suggest setting the deck so that they encounter the Squig or Lapitut first, because when they appeared, the Warriors had weapons and they killed them immediately.

Secondly, Angoru is very tough, I think more than a Minotaur, which doesn't mean that they can't beat it, although without weapons I think it'd be impossible.

I had a really fun time whenever a 1 was rolled, since there aren't unexpected events; so I described something with reality warping like the dead spiders all turning back into the brushes that Doboshova used to create them or blood running from the paintings down the hall.

Reitze was a bit irritating. Since she was in no danger the Warriors mostly just told her to stay outside the room and didn't talk much to her. However perhaps you can do something better as the GM than I managed.

They also killed Doboshova very quickly, but that was partly due to a lucky roll. I think I would have placed her with some Mutant Spiders or something.

You could scatter the NPCs through the other rooms and have them relay information to the Warriors as they go...

Oh, and I checked out the history of the story it is based on. Lapitut is originally the Witch's husband! So that's what I made him in the story, for a bit of 'yuck' factor. emoticon
23/Aug/2011, 12:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to thecustodian   Send PM to thecustodian
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


Thanks, this is really helpful emoticon

quote:

thecustodian wrote:

I had a really fun time whenever a 1 was rolled, since there aren't unexpected events; so I described something with reality warping like the dead spiders all turning back into the brushes that Doboshova used to create them or blood running from the paintings down the hall.


This is a great idea!

I think I might go ahead and just predetermine where all the monsters are going to be, so that way I can make sure they don't run into anything too crazy until they at least have their weapons back. Keeping an NPC or two around to help in combat might help, too.

As the GM, Reitze will be under my control so that gives me the chance to make things a little more interesting with her and I might even try to half-heartedly kill her off just to make things kinda tense, we'll see. I will definitely have to think of something to make her character more dynamic, though. I think your idea of having the other NPC's in different rooms is good because it might underscore that there is something particularly important about Reitze whereas the other captives are pretty much just cannon fodder.

Angoru is the other big thing I was looking at... yeah, he seems pretty overpowered and I might change his stats depending on how the group is doing when they run into him. Having Doboshova appear with some mutant spiders is a good idea, even moreso if I can have all the spiders spontaneously turn back into mundane items if Doboshova is killed while they're still alive!

Since Reitze is able to give the warriors the layout of the inn, did you place all the floorplans down at the same time, or did you have them explore room by room as they would otherwise?

I also need to go and read Death Below Karak Azgal again, but I'm hoping that I can tie the two quests together somehow, like have the warriors hear about the star of dawn from one of the other guys in the inn before they get captured? At the start of the quest I was also going to have the Dwarf (or whichever warrior seems to have the toughest constitution) be the last one to lose consciousness, and the last thing they see before blacking out is a pair of cloven-hoofed legs (Lapitut) entering the room where everyone had just recently been drinking.

Sheesh, I am so excited to start playing WHQ again...
23/Aug/2011, 1:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


Here's what I'm thinking about monster placement:

First Corridor: Trained cave squig
Torture Chamber: Lapitut and an NPC on the rack from Hero Quest + the weapons rack from that game
Second Corridor: Mutant spiders
Well of doom: Angoru (probably where the NPC will die)
Circle of Power: Magic broom
Guard Room: Doboshova + spiders?

How did you have the warriors learn that Lapitut was Doboshova's husband? Did Reitze tell them at the beginning when warning them of what was ahead?
23/Aug/2011, 1:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


Actually I think she sort of yelled out warnings too late. "It's her evil beast-husband!" "Don't pet that cat!" things like that. Kinda cheesy. But she told the Warriors where to find their weapons, gave little hints about exploring the lab to find the key to the Guardroom where D was. I had actually pre-determined randomly how the Monsters would appear, so it was a surprise to me that D was in the last room, but it works well.

In her lab they found lots of skins and furs and Reitze explained that the Witch put them on to change shape. So when they killed Lapitut his fur came off and it was man underneath. And Angoru's corpse fizzles and dissolves and there's a cute kitten instead that Reitze picks up.

At the end, once Doboshova died, I said that the house crumbled and blew away, and they were surrounded by old ruins, with a broken old chest nearby with her wealth in it.

Your placement of monsters looks really good. As I remember from the rules, they said that no unexpected events would happen until after they got their weapons back, but since there are only enough events for 1 per room, I ignored it for the rest of the game.

Hope you find something to do with Reitze. Maybe in the last room, Doboshova would target her for revenge. The Warriors have to choose between rescuing her from spiders webs and escaping out the open door... we all know what they choose, of course... emoticon
23/Aug/2011, 2:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to thecustodian   Send PM to thecustodian
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


These are great ideas, thank you. This is going to be my first time GM'ing "for real" and also my first time playing WHQ in a decade (gonna run a couple randomly-generated dungeons with one-off warriors first just to get back into the swing, though) so any advice helps. I was thinking of sitting in on RPG night at the local gaming shop just to see how other GM's are doing it for things like WHFRP.

Now I just have to find good minis for the giant cat and that silly flying broom!
23/Aug/2011, 9:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


I think I've just about sourced everything I need!

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

The cat from this set will represent Angoru before his transformation... I'll probably keep him as an innocent-looking cat until after the warriors have found the two pieces of treasure in the well of doom, which will help them defeat him in his monster form. I don't really like the witch mini in this set so for Doboshova I'm thinking I'll use a basic Reaper minis female innkeeper and then change her to a Dark Elf sorceress model for the final confrontation.

Transformed Angoru:

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

This cat model is sort of oversized, which makes it perfect for a monster that is supposed to have more wounds than a Minotaur.

And finally, the Flying Broom:

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

This mini comes from some sort of Harry Potter set... I can't exactly figure out what but supposedly it is about 1" tall which should be perfect, and there are 4 of them for sale on eBay right now.
24/Aug/2011, 11:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


Cool! Those are perfect. Make sure to take some pics during the game...
24/Aug/2011, 1:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to thecustodian   Send PM to thecustodian
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


Well, I goofed up and didn't take any pictures (though maybe I'll go back an re-create some of the key moments, later) but here is a little report on how our first session went, running this adventure:

I started everything out on a large board section from D&D, setting it up as the inn's ground floor on the night before. This allowed the characters to roleplay a little bit, with the Witch Hunter questioning the Barbarian a bit about his polar bear furs and what a northman (under suspicion of being a follower of the Ruinous Powers) was doing in the Border Princes. Doboshova flitted around looking like just a regular inn hostess, pouring drinks for the guests:

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

Later on I would replace her with an older Dark Elf sorceress model. I also placed a bookshelf in the room, which the Wizard character spent most of the scene hanging out by (this is great, since it was basically a hook for him anyway, and it was awesome that the player roleplayed him as the kind of guy who would have been over by the bookshelf while everyone else was drinking). Successful initiative checks by the Wizard and then later on by the Warrior Priest revealed that the books on the shelf were very out-of-place for a roadside inn/tavern, and that while they were not exactly about magic per se, they were definitely of a genre (encompassing children's books as well as fiction and other types of literature) most often associated with Hedge Wizards and people who were dabbling in some kind of occult art.

Meanwhile, both the Witch Hunter and the WP were also suspicious of the Wizard, as he looked like a mysterious fellow off in the corner, and any unsanctioned magicians must surely be corrupted by Chaos. The WP managed to get 50 gold (XP) by roleplaying particularly well and proselytizing about Sigmar.

The only other people in the tavern were two gruff trapper-looking types in wolf skins, who would have had some brief information about recent disappearances in the area if asked (these disappearances were what the WH and WP had arrived in the area to investigate) but as it happened only the Barbarian tried to talk to them, about local hunting, and they gave him very curt answers due to their sour moods and the poor quality of game in the area, so he returned to his table. There was also a Dwarf NPC at the Barbarian's side, who he had been traveling with from Barak Varr. This was Rorek Grunnson, on his way to Karaz-a-Karak to find out if it was true that his cousin Ironbeard had really lost his father and grandfather (plot hook into Death Below Karak Azgal). A couple of the characters made rolls to see how much they knew about Dwarfs and their culture.

The other plot hook in play was that the Wizard had tracked Alberto Laranscheld (son of Gunther Laranscheld) from Altdorf after the latter was implicated in the attempted theft of the Grimoire Necris. He lost Alberto's trail, but picked up on the rumor that he was seen with a hunch-backed assistant, and was able to track Luthor (from Catacombs of Terror) to the area of the Inn.

The Wizard ended up questioning Doboshova about her strange library, and she acted very clueless and said they had been the previous owner's, while offering him some ale. After he declined she started heading upstairs, at which point he tried to follow her and rolled a 1 for stealth. The WH (who had overhead the conversation) also followed behind him but ended up doing nothing more than briefly catching the Wizard as they both started to fall unconscious from Doboshova's magic. The WP rolled high on a Willpower check and managed to stay awake long enough to see a paid of cloven-hoofed legs enter the room before he blacked out.

The warriors awoke, without the Dwarf, in their jail cell and were able to see Doboshova talking to Luthor through the grated window in the door. I played out the following conversation in my best fake voices:

D: "Hmmm, they're waking up now. The spell isn't as effective with this many of them; that Dwarf was barely unconscious through the night."

L: "I doubt they'll be any trouble, just make sure to take care of that meddling Wizard."

D: "I'm taking an awful lot of risks for you and that little brat."

L: "Your service will be well-rewarded. Our failure in the capital was but a minor setback, and my master has sent along this familiar to help you deal with these interlopers."

D: "Good, well it can start by standing guard here until Lapitut is finished with the Dwarf."

At this point the Barbarian tried to reach through the grate and grab one of them, and for his efforts was rewarded with an automatic one wound deduction as Luthor clubbed his arm emoticon

The two villains walked off down the hall, and the warriors began to hear the Dwarf's screams and stoic taunts to his captor echoing down the halls as he was tortured in another room. At this point I placed Reitze on the board and explained how they noticed a cowering little girl in the dark corner of the cell. The Wizard placed his robe over her and she started to tell them everything they needed to know - where their weapons were stashed, that the Dwarf had awoken earlier and nearly broken down the cell door by himself before being carted off (this gave the warriors the clue that they would probably be able to do it themselves) and that she had escaped before by stealing the beastman's key from his belt. She also said that Doboshova liked to torture her captives to near-death, then heal them magically so that her cruel beast-husband could play with them some more (this justified all the healing potions they found in her study, later).

So with a combined strength test, the warriors were able to break down the door and immediately fought with Gunther Laranscheld's necromantic famliar (the old "tiny skeleton" familiar from WHFB). I used this because I don't yet have a Squig model, and plus it ended up being way more flavorful that way. I used the same stats as a Squig, though. The Barbarian grabbed the familiar by the legs and smashed it into the wall, sending pieces of bone flying everywhere.

The warriors entered the torture chamber and found Rorek on a rack while Lapitut did terrible things to him. Their weapons were on a rack behind the beastman. The WH bravely charged in, pinning the beastman and managing to gouge out one of his eyes before the other warriors regained some of their equipment and were able to cut him down. The Wizard cast his first freeze spell at this time, doing 5 damage and shattering one of the beastman's horns.

They freed Rorek, who looked awful but said he would be fine, "Just give me me axe, lad". They ended up using a bunch of healing spells and ring of jade abilities on the Dwarf to get him back up to full wounds, but behind my screen I wasn't even keeping track of him since he was just a useful NPC for the moment. I let the Barbarian player control him, since their characters were friends.

The warriors made it to the locked door at the end of the first corridor before remembering to go back and get the key off the dead beastman. In the next corridor they fought the mutant spiders and although a couple of them were webbed only one of them took wounds and the WH's amulet of purity wiped a lot of them out.

At this point I was forced to stop myself from openly laughing as the fools split the party, the WH and WP going into the treasure room and the Dwarf, Barbarian, and Wizard going into the witch's study while Reitze waited in the hallway. The study had a desk full of papers and another bookshelf, this one filled with books plainly discussing dark magic. And of course the broom animated in here and caused mischief for a few turns before the Barbarian was able to splinter it.

Across the hall, things went terribly wrong as the WH and WP found a treasure chest and a little black cat. The WH played right into my trap by saying he was going to investigate the cat while looking back questioningly at Reitze, which gave me the chance to have her yell "don't pet that cat!" as suggested by Thecustodian emoticon

The little cat transformed into full-grown Angoru and everybody said "oh !@#$". The WH was able to wound it with his amulet of holy fire before it killed him in the monster's phase with one swipe of its massive claws. A pall fell over the table as the players realized they had screwed up bad, and everybody just stared at each other for a minute before I reminded the Wizard that although he had rolled a one for power that turn, he could still blow his power store of 4 to cast a level five healing spell. So the day was mercifully saved, which also gave a great roleplay justification for the WH not being so distrustful of the Wizard, now!

Last edited by Nachie, 21/Oct/2011, 3:00 am
21/Oct/2011, 2:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 
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Re: Doboshova's Inn


The Wizard also immediately used his Hand of Death Scroll and blew Angoru into scorched fur and red mist, saving the WH and WP, one of whom surely would have been killed again on the next turn.

This whole episode led to a pretty funny moment as the broom was still alive at this point, so the WH came across the hall and said something like "You guys won't believe... oh god, we almost died... what the hell!? You're in here fighting A !@#$ BROOM!??"

I was pretty generous with the treasure: in the chest they found a ring of power, which the Wizard took and used to add +1 to his toughness (lucky git...) as well as a religious relic that will be worth some gold if returned to the right temple in a settlement. I might make it so that they have to take it all the way to Middenheim, which will provide a great hook into the Ashes of Middenheim campaign from WHFRP, if I'm able to convert it to WHQ and get all the models together in time (doubtful).

In Doboshova's study they found 6 healing potions and each held on to one except for the Barbarian and WH who as front line fighters took two each. They also found a potion of water-walking which I threw in there just because I thought it would be interesting for an outdoor adventure in the future, and an alchemical potion that can be traded in for some gold at an alchemist in the next settlement. I think the WH kept both of those - uneven distribution yes, but he had the least amount of gold and so I think the others figured they'd give him something. I had some fun making them take initiative rolls to figure out what each potion was. As usual, the wizard had the easiest time identifying them.

And that's about where we ran out of time for the session. So this Sunday we'll pick back up with the warriors making their way down the stairs for a final confrontation with Doboshova before escaping to freedom, hopefully getting Reitze safely to the nearest town of Fredrickburg, and then ideally setting off for Karaz-a-Karak to start Death Below Karak Azgal. I'm going to have the Dwarf NPC get killed in the battle with the witch, and as he dies press a family icon he had been wearing around his neck into the Barbarian's hand, making him promise to take it to his kinsmen and find out what happened to Grimcrag and Ungrun Grunnson. A little rail-roady, but altogether not a bad way to explain how a party without a Dwarf in it ends up taking on a quest for the Grunnson clan, I think!

As the warriors descend the stairs to the guard room where they'll fight Doboshova to the death, they'll hear this continuing dialogue between her and Luthor from the other side of the door:

"Dammit, Luthor! This has gone too far, these sacrifices are drawing too much attention."

"That is no concern of yours, just keep doing your job."

"One of the ones we took last night was a Witch Hunter! People are starting to talk. I have worked too long on this to have everything ruined by your carelessness. You said it would only be that frail wizard, and it was your failures that lead him here in the first place. I demand what I was promised!"

"Quiet, wench! My master is working for powers the likes of which you cannot imagine. Continue your loyal service and you will have your reward in due time. Trust me, no one will notice a few more missing peasants in this backwater."

"*I* will not have everything I've worked for ruined by the incompetence of a mere boy and an underling who cannot even steal a simple book."

"You do not have to worry about Alberto. Now that the Wizard has been dealt with, his father has sent him to the Dragon Crag where he can continue his studies until he's ready return to Altdorf and complete our mission."

"And what of the plan? Surely soon he will be ready to move?"

"Do not tire me with your insolence! Know your station and my master will collect you when the time is appropriate. Do not waver in your service, or there will be consequences beyond your comprehension."

Of course, this is all setting up for Catacombs of Terror several levels later, as well as Alberto's presence in Karak Azgal. Do the warriors know that Karak Azgal is also called the Dragon Crag? Probably not... but the Dwarfs at Karaz-a-Karak would! Will they be able to put together that Luthor's master is also Alberto's father, Gunther? Hopefully they are learning to start taking notes whenever an NPC says something.

Anyway, they'll throw open the door, Luthor will curse Doboshova and fling a brazier of hot coals at the warriors before making an automatic escape to fight again another day. Any warriors in the front rank who fail a reaction test will have negative modifiers to their weapon skill during the first round of combat as they brush the embers away from their eyes. Then Doboshova will probably fry the Dwarf with some lightning spell so that he conveniently dies, and summon another 6 or so mutant spiders to buff her up for the combat, again as per Thecustodian's suggestion. Should make for a really great encounter!

By the way, I ended up using this model for Angoru transformed instead of the one I had been thinking of originally:

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A little smaller than the other one, but much more vicious and thematically appropriate.

Another funny note: the WH has not fired his pistol once, because he really doesn't want to have to buy more powder and shot at the next settlement! He does say that he'll use it against the witch if it means he might get a kill, since he does get double gold for killing evil spellcasters emoticon

So all in all, this has been VERY successful. I worry that I may have presented the warriors with too many opportunities to get gold, which means they'll all have tons of armor before going into Death Below Karak Azgal, but we'll see what happens. It might work out OK, especially since the Wizard already lost his item.

Doboshova's Inn has worked very well as a first adventure because it gave the players a believable setting in which to meet each other's characters, do some roleplaying, learn the rules of the game in an environment without crazy traps or unexpected events, and learn a few important lessons like DON'T SPLIT THE PARTY emoticon
21/Oct/2011, 2:53 am Link to this post Send Email to Nachie   Send PM to Nachie Blog
 


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