Topic: A Stranger Storm session report (SPOILERS!)

The game went well - I could tell players were a little concerned at first at how brutal the game could be, the possibility of TPK, and their fragility relative to stuff like Pathfinder, but they left happy.

Some highlights:

They were traveling from their homeland in search of adventure.  I gave each of them slips of paper with a "hook" for the future, or info they would know for this adventure:

Specialist: "The circus is in Thiedenfeld, you want to go because you've always wanted to see a..." (player chose something they wanted to see at the circus - this is a hook to get them started on Better Than Any Man).

The Cleric learned about Saint Petra's history.

The Magic User learned about the Legend of the Stargazers's Tower and its location.

(The fighter, who will be joining us next week, has a wanted poster for a bandit [the lead bandit in Thungen].)


They didn't buy a lantern, so they missed the dead body.  They were pretty open with the bartender and this was a great way to develop their backstory.  He told some stories about cheese rolling, a practical joker who puts chickens in odd places, and a pig getting into someone's garden and eating their flowers.

The confrontation between the bartenders resulted in one of them dying (by chance, the changeling) and since the party happened to have hit this one, the bartender vouched for them. 

The ensuing arguing once the entertainers and merchants joined resulted in the merchants getting pissed and leaving, they made it with all 8 horses.  The entertainers were attacked, and one of the party members was mimicked at this point.  (Luckily for him, his mimic was knocked out, and he was later confirmed as a non-mimic via die roll...)

The party chose a Gingerbottom at random and took only her to the village to see the priest.  When they got back and everything was empty (including their expensive mule with gear they left tied up in the stables) they moved on.

When finding the dead horses along the way, they spent hours cutting into each one of them to find the gems they had learned about from Father Naylor (not finding any).  By the time they caught up with Sir Boris, he was already burying the bodies - random dice roll determined it was the real Sir Boris, and while he insisted on burying all the bodies, he did allow them to cut into his own mimicked body in order to prove his innocence (so they got a gem).

The orphanage antics went as expected - the nuns voted to do nothing and kicked the players out.  (They kept Sir Boris tied up and sent for someone to come get him.)  Party went back to Argyle, got father Naylor, rested (memorizing Detect Evil and Detect Magic between the MU and Cleric) and went back to the orphanage.  They gathered all the infants, Sir Boris, and as many nuns as could be spared into the room and detected evil - finding the mimic baby.  They removed this to another room where they killed it, found the gem (verified by Father Naylor as evidence of it being a mimic) and gained the respect of the nuns and Sir Boris.

Then they went back and dug up all the bodies they saw Sir Boris bury, and cut out the gems from the changelings, so they ended up with 5 gems in all!


Despite their success, this module was challenging - they were never quite sure what to do.  They didn't trust the MU who had a mimic (was he the real one or not?)   It took a while to figure out how to deal with two Gingerbottoms, they were frustrated with Father Naylor's slow methods of revealing a mimic, they were afraid to leave the inn, to travel at night, to enter and leave the orphanage, to cast detect evil when not all nuns were present (some insisted on watching the younger children on other floors), etc.  Everything felt wrought with risk and peril, but they prevailed and we all had fun!

Next week: The Tower of the Stargazer...or, maybe I'll let them just go into Better Than Any Man.

One thing I'm not sure how to handle: they also took the Sir Boris mimic's plate mail, as well as took the chain mail from the other buried bodies (so they have 3 mimic chain mails and 3 real.)  It doesn't seem right that the mimic plate and chain is usable off the mimic, but in combat it works per usual.  I'm thinking if they try to keep it, maybe it will deteriorate or get broken?  If they sell it, they might just have a bad rep in the place where they sold it...(since it will rot in the store).