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Grand Conjunction Problems 
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
Quinntonia wrote:
Well, after embarrassing the much lower level Constable and disarming him, the knight chases him out of the church and addresses the crowd accusing the local priest of witchcraft, only to be yelled down by the crowd that they know about this, and that he is doing the sacrifice every night to protect the town and trying to appease the spirits. Well, he gets arrested and now has to be bailed out and can't be armed in town.
I love this. hilarious!
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So, them being so much higher level than what the level of the module has been a problem, but very soon they will be facing hordes of infection zombies.

So, any thoughts about the next step, how have you handled this in your games?
Well, I think you're on the right track. They can easily take out anyone in town, including the authority figures, but they should know by now that that's not the right answer. And once the zombies show up, everything changes. They'll have a clear threat that they can fight, and as you said, you'll be making the zombies infectious, so as to increase the threat. I would probably beef them up a bit too, since the infection isn't likely to take hold until after the battle. You want the battle to be somewhat challenging as well. If they somehoe know that the zombies are infectious, that alone could be what you need, since they'd have to adjust their tactics to avoid being infected at all costs. Fighting defensively and at range should make things harder for the tanks of the group.



I'm thinking of just having the first one that gets hit roll his Fort save right away...? Hmm, but you are right, maybe I should contrive a situation wherein they see how quickly the transformation happens to an NPC.

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Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I also maybe had someone in the crows yell in a Monty Python-esque voice at the knight, "I bought him the chicken." Wasn't the most gothic-horror-y moment of the campaign, but yeah.

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Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:47 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
So we had to cancel this week's session, but it gave me more time to plan and deal with some of the issues that are coming up with my campaign, role-playing-wise.

First of all, I want to show the players that the zombies in this world are terrifyingly infectious. I want to do that in way that shows the fatality of it all before I attack the PCs and give a legitimate shot to them to prepare for that. I have bunch of staff that they need to get done and at this point in the module the next thing they are going to do is likely to head out to the Plantation House where they will encounter the ghoul feast. On the way out there, I think I am going to have them encounter some locals being attacked by a group of zombies so they can "discover" how fatally infectious these zombies are rather than the zombies they have seen previously.

I'm also going to add a shit-load of more ghouls to the Plantation House event.

Anyways, that being covered I want to start to insert some of the Grand Conjunction suggestions I have seen in that ye old King of Darkon should be all over this from the beginning. So, since I have a Darkonian noble knight with the party, who is very patriotic and loyal to the Mage-King, I am going to have him contacted by an agent of the Kargat in order to get him to secretly spy on his fellow PCs on behalf of the Lich. Further, we have a gnomish mage with the group that is VERY into acquiring power and I think that the same Kargat agent is going to contact him for the same reason but instead of appealing to his better nature or patriotism, is going to ply him with new spells that are "Ravenloft-specific." I think both player and PC will love that.

I am thinking though, of having either the rogue leader of the group or the cleric, (or possibly both, possibly at the same time?) contacted by Mordu, the village quasi-conspiracy theorist on behalf of the Fraternity of Shadows because they are also concerned about the prophecy and the PCs now obvious place at the centre of it all. They would just want to know how they can help and to keep tabs on the whole situation.

Now, as for the cleric. What the cleric doesn't know, is that when he came into Ravenloft the Dark Powers started granting him his higher level spells and whatnot to make him get comfortable and work to corrupt him, but it has not been a success. And since his deity cannot sufficiently contact him any longer, the Dark Powers are basically going to start stripping him of his powers. How should I handle this? Should I push him to a conversion to Ezra, or let him play for awhile at lower power level and then reward him with some boon of faith?


Anyways, I just want some input into how this is going and what the plans are?

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Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I have used languages as part of the atmosphere main focus being isolation. The group started speaking Darkonian and Tepestani. The leader or employer being the palidan's church. He only spoke Tepastani at the beginning the others spoke Darkonian but the thief which spoke it was the translater. The priestess that joined later in Sourougne spoke Balok and Darkonian school educated. She could also read Dementiau language but not speak it. The spell comprehend language has been essential. With the death of the Bard the new character is from the island and a necromancer. Being the most intelligent in the group he leared Darkonian in a day. Similar to the move the 13th warriar when the arab learns the language of the northman. When the arrive in Har'Akir they'll have to start all over in getting to learn who to trust. It emphasizes game play.

Another thing is the necromancer found a copy of The Revelations of the Prince of Twilight. He's has to translate or have the priestess read or translate it. Should be fun it has a 2nd level summon spell!

The Zombie power issue was downplayed until the follow up adventure, being the my group at the time were 2nd level the basic zombie and juju zombie that supported the zombie lord was enough. At the end of my game, my palidan had been dropped after slaying the juju zombie and the bard had been dropped by the zombie lord power. The priestess was dropped by a basic zombie outside the crypt they had a zombie follow them from a crypt they. leaving the dwarf sorcerer and thief to face off and slay the lord the dwarf being the one which succeed. Ghoul wise I only used 6, not including those in the cemetery. The planation house also had a wine cell slash old crypt which wall had been cracked by the new wince cell addition. The group explored that and barely escaped with their lives. They slew the killer on the 3rd day so with a day to kill they decided to check out the plantation house which lead to this discovery and the background on where the ghoul disease came from.

On the follow up adventure I introduced cannibal zombies with chicken bone and my viola. My group did not like them at all. The fortitude saves on the zombies sound brutal let me know how brutal that's going to be. Chicken bone will very busy with your group.

Question has anyones group followed the scary movie rules? Mine broke the rule of checking something out alone and became something dinner. Was fun when they found the bards head on stick.


Last edited by Hamiclar on Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:
Question has anyones group followed the scary movie rules? Mine broke the rule of checking something out alone and became something dinner. Was fun when they found the bards head on stick.


Oh, yes. Basically the same thing. My rogue went off on her own (it was so long ago I cannot recall, but maybe scouting) and the crazed local huntsman stalked her and took her out before she could get away. So the rest of the party went looking for her and was able to kill him (after breaking into his warren hideout), find her, and locate his collection of body parts and skin hangings that would make Ed Gein jealous. She stopped breaking off for the party for quite some time.

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Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:
I have used languages as part of the atmosphere main focus being isolation. The group started speaking Darkonian and Tepestani. The leader or employer being the palidan's church. He only spoke Tepastani at the beginning the others spoke Darkonian but the thief which spoke it was the translater. The priestess that joined later in Sourougne spoke Balok and Darkonian school educated. She could also read Dementiau language but not speak it. The spell comprehend language has been essential. With the death of the Bard the new character is from the island and a necromancer. Being the most intelligent in the group he leared Darkonian in a day. Similar to the move the 13th warriar when the arab learns the language of the northman. When the arrive in Har'Akir they'll have to start all over in getting to learn who to trust. It emphasizes game play.

Another thing is the necromancer found a copy of The Revelations of the Prince of Twilight. He's has to translate or have the priestess read or translate it. Should be fun it has a 2nd level summon spell!

The Zombie power issue was downplayed until the follow up adventure, being the my group at the time were 2nd level the basic zombie and juju zombie that supported the zombie lord was enough. At the end of my game, my palidan had been dropped after slaying the juju zombie and the bard had been dropped by the zombie lord power. The priestess was dropped by a basic zombie outside the crypt they had a zombie follow them from a crypt they. leaving the dwarf sorcerer and thief to face off and slay the lord the dwarf being the one which succeed. Ghoul wise I only used 6, not including those in the cemetery. The planation house also had a wine cell slash old crypt which wall had been cracked by the new wince cell addition. The group explored that and barely escaped with their lives. They slew the killer on the 3rd day so with a day to kill they decided to check out the plantation house which lead to this discovery and the background on where the ghoul disease came from.

On the follow up adventure I introduced cannibal zombies with chicken bone and my viola. My group did not like them at all. The fortitude saves on the zombies sound brutal let me know how brutal that's going to be. Chicken bone will very busy with your group.

Question has anyones group followed the scary movie rules? Mine broke the rule of checking something out alone and became something dinner. Was fun when they found the bards head on stick.



Yeah, I wouldn't have juiced up the zombies at all had my PCs been at the appropriate level for the module, but since they are quite a bit higher I had to find a way to make the combat with them scary.

As for languages, I haven't to this point used languages at all because it seemed to difficult a way to handle communication. The group was from outside Ravenloft and ended up at first in Lamordia, and I had them be able to communicate with the locals, including having a Lamordian join the group. Since then both a druid that grew up in southern Barovia but is actually from Forlorn and Darkonian Noble Knight have joined the group.

I am thinking of making the Tough of Death campaign seem very exotic and foriegn by having language being an issue, and could possibly introduce it again when they go to the Core? Just a coincidence then that the OUtlanders spoke something resembling Lamordian? Is that what they speak there?

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Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:26 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I was under the impression it was similar to Demelteau. Both seem like cult 8 and with Sourougne gaz advising of church of ezra for the higher classes it would seem like perfect fit. I had a outlander elf in the group from earth he had trouble understanding the native half elf at the beginning. I love the concept of isolation especially in the big cites, with the book plant, the group may go to richmulot. The cores going to be interesting. Kartakss for instance has vassi and balok. Sithicus also language is different from that elven spoken in the north, and with traders and ncp encounters are going to be shock when they speak elven to gray elves and receive the blank stare!

If you have access to VR the walking dead that helps with the basic zombies giving them special abilities.

The groups arrival is going to be a surprise their going to start 100 feet underground being hunted by something leading into a library and out into Har Akir. Similar to the move Stargate. The group needs cure spells and going through a exploration is just what the doctor ordered the group has been pretty successful so far. It will also hopefully get a 4the or new 5th level if things go right. Feast of Goblyn's is going to be brutal from what I've read. This will be start of my campaign leading to a certain Dukes death and its aftermath. I have a plan for the roots of evil opening way different but still having the pc with their bodies missing!


Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:

The groups arrival is going to be a surprise their going to start 100 feet underground being hunted by something leading into a library and out into Har Akir. Similar to the move Stargate. The group needs cure spells and going through a exploration is just what the doctor ordered the group has been pretty successful so far. It will also hopefully get a 4the or new 5th level if things go right. Feast of Goblyn's is going to be brutal from what I've read. This will be start of my campaign leading to a certain Dukes death and its aftermath. I have a plan for the roots of evil opening way different but still having the pc with their bodies missing!



I've heard that about Goblyns as well. I haven't started to look at it/convert it to 3.5 or prepare it. I have a group that are deeply, deeply, into role-playing and we only get 4 hour sessions once every two weeks, as we alternate with a Shadowrun campaign.

So, I am still working out exactly how I am going to bring "Egypt" to life. I wan to emphasize the desert, that the zombies there are completely different, and the isolation and religious zealotry that seem to be apparent.

That is why I think I am going to drop the whole "They speak a language you don't" thing on them.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
The language issue is a difficult one. quoting myself from campaign's DM notes: "Language is a constant problem for a Ravenloft DM. Strict enforcement means leaving some people out of role-playing, but lax enforcement is unfair to the classes that excel at languages. In general, I try to keep the players informed of who speaks the local language, and give occasional hassles to those that don't, but unless it's a very exotic locale, I assume most important NPC's speak one of the more "common" languages."

Har'akir certainly qualifies as an exotic locale. I think reminders of the language problem early on will help with the feel of being strangers in a strange land. But by the middle of the adventure, they should have the means (magic, translator, handwaving...) to move on, so they can interact with NPCs and fully participate in the adventure.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I am going to emphasize the technological differences. My group for instance started in cultural 7 Viking like and later went to Sourougne cult 8. Now the group is going backwards to a cult 2. Steel and metal weapons for instance are going to be a curiosity to the natives of Har Akir. I'm debating on some citizens trying to get some weapons or equipment. The vistani are going to make a introduction also in the adventure I love how they play in it. The religious differences are going to be fun also, Belenus for instance is similar to Ra. I'm thinking of having the follower of Belenus maybe catch Isu teaching the young her faith's creed. The spell comprehend languages will help the group with natives. Any ideas on the priestess' spells


Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:33 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
The language issue is a difficult one. quoting myself from campaign's DM notes: "Language is a constant problem for a Ravenloft DM. Strict enforcement means leaving some people out of role-playing, but lax enforcement is unfair to the classes that excel at languages. In general, I try to keep the players informed of who speaks the local language, and give occasional hassles to those that don't, but unless it's a very exotic locale, I assume most important NPC's speak one of the more "common" languages."

Har'akir certainly qualifies as an exotic locale. I think reminders of the language problem early on will help with the feel of being strangers in a strange land. But by the middle of the adventure, they should have the means (magic, translator, handwaving...) to move on, so they can interact with NPCs and fully participate in the adventure.


Exactly. I think in Touch of Death I am going to emphasize the exotic to the Nth degree, up to an including no one speaking the language, and just make sure that this reinforces exactly as you put it "strangers in a strange land."

That being said, they are soon going to the Core, and I want to emphasize the local flavours. I am very good (IMHO) at showing off differences in culture, technology level, religion, etc., and giving each place the feel of a foreign land but the loss of all of these languages is still bothering me. I love that Ravenloft is so small setting, but the cultures are so dissimilar, it gives the world an unnatural, patchwork feel which is important.

Hmmm, I may just have to revisit this issue as I move along. IN the short term, we are still finishing "Walking Dead" so I am getting ahead of myself here.

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Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:32 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:
I am going to emphasize the technological differences. My group for instance started in cultural 7 Viking like and later went to Sourougne cult 8. Now the group is going backwards to a cult 2. Steel and metal weapons for instance are going to be a curiosity to the natives of Har Akir. I'm debating on some citizens trying to get some weapons or equipment. The vistani are going to make a introduction also in the adventure I love how they play in it. The religious differences are going to be fun also, Belenus for instance is similar to Ra. I'm thinking of having the follower of Belenus maybe catch Isu teaching the young her faith's creed. The spell comprehend languages will help the group with natives. Any ideas on the priestess' spells



I love doing that. In my current campaign, they first entered Ravenloft from a homebrew world that had a "cursed country" that is kind of Ravenloft-y in that it is where you would find undead, old castles with vampire lords, etc. So, the first realm that they entered into was a minor domain based on an evil Viscount from that homebrew cursed place. They eventually defeated him and while the place dissolved into mist, they escaped into Lamordia. This was a proper D&D world that was thoroughly medieval, so as they entered Lamordia the first thing I had them hear while still obscured by the mist was the steam whistle from a steam powered paddle boat. It had a big impact on them and we even had someone join them from Lamordia who is an expert with firearms, which none of them had ever seen before. (Though the gnomes of their world had some early cannon technology it wasn't exactly practical for most modern warfare)

Then entering Souragne I have taken a slight step back on the tech, but based on the Gaz it seems that firearms are present, just rare and for the wealthy. But Har Akir is a step back to lower technology than even they were used to, so that should be fun.

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Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:43 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I had blackpower cannons in the town overlooking the area the Pirate visitors on the other hand muskets cult 9. I actually had the group get feel of cultures times in the down was way cool roleplaying. The thief at the time had just stole a highly crafted light crossbow from the towns constable his first power check. The constable died searching for it when the zombies came in the final scene. I stressed the improvements unlike those from cult 7 weapons he could get beforehand. The encounters with pirates was fun with group, they actually wailed on them but got stopped by hired halflings which had been residing there for some time and had strived on assassination My thief is working on prestige requirements for the assassin, going to be fun when the Palidan finds out!


Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:
I had blackpower cannons in the town overlooking the area the Pirate visitors on the other hand muskets cult 9. I actually had the group get feel of cultures times in the down was way cool roleplaying. The thief at the time had just stole a highly crafted light crossbow from the towns constable his first power check. The constable died searching for it when the zombies came in the final scene. I stressed the improvements unlike those from cult 7 weapons he could get beforehand. The encounters with pirates was fun with group, they actually wailed on them but got stopped by hired halflings which had been residing there for some time and had strived on assassination My thief is working on prestige requirements for the assassin, going to be fun when the Palidan finds out!


Wait, what? What pirates? What town?

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Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:10 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Port d' ElHour 15 miles north of the village. The town is a port town and a way to get the group moving, the ship of horror would be a good starting point. Being that its a port different cultures would be encountered all the time. I had thief guilds, halfings organized, pirates which were there with another ship it had chased from the fog from Boston pre colonial.


Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:44 pm
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