Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Recap: Bounty Hunter Hunters

The top search result for "Glitter Elf"
We had a shorter game this week. I'm trying to lay down some groundwork for my players, letting them know that if they come to a settlement, there will be random quests they can do to curry favor with the locals. Of course, they could spend a whole month in a city, so I wanted to get all the Bryn-Shander-ing out of our system before they began their trek southward.

At some point, this game is going to stop being "Storm King's Thunder" and start being "Explore Every Inch of Faerun". Which honestly, I'm okay with. I loved playing the Baldur's Gate video games as a kid, and I'm happy to explore more of this setting.

And steal all the ideas for my other games.

This story is part 8 of a series. This campaign was discontinued.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 |

Storm King's Thunder: Bounty Hunter Hunters

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Megan: Cecelia Sondheim, human bard, a Harper hoping for a bright future!
Cody: Rolen Dundragon, half-elf Warlock of the Archfey, a scoundrel with a heart of gold
Cait: Mialee Galanodel, elf ranger, from a distant land and doesn't have personal space boundaries
Shannon: Kye Bosunen, human Purple Dragon Knight, carries a big sword and his honor
If you're tired of Taverns, you're tired of life!
When we last left our heroes, they had just brought a dwarven militia from Ironmaster to Bryn Shander, ensuring the town's safety against upcoming Giant attacks. The group had a big party, during which they received favors from the townsfolk and then got very, very drunk.

The next morning, the "Defenders of Icewind Dale" were nursing their hangovers over lunch, when Duvessa Shane, the town speaker, approached them. She asked if they could stay in town for a few more days, since everyone was still on edge from the multiple Giant attacks. It would be good to have the heroes who saved the town be around to instill confidence in the people.

Beldora also popped in and mentioned that she had a job for Cecelia, and Dell Von Ludwig (local priest, had a night in with Mialee) showed up and immediately left, with a little bit of glitter still behind his ears.

The heroes were walking around town when they were stopped by Gwent Brighthelm, the dwarf who was leading the current militia. He told them that one of his dwarves had already perished on patrol, all due to his weapon (a Blackiron axe from the local smithy, Blackiron blades) shattering in a fight with a Frost Giant. Gwent wanted to somehow deal with the situation, but didn't want to cause any hostility between the new militia and a longstanding citizen of the town.

Cheapest blades in town! Also they might explode.
The party spoke with Garn Blackiron, the human smith who owned Blackiron Blades. While Rolen flirted with Garn's sister, Cecelia and Kye found out that Garn was only making cheap weapons so he could compete with the Dwarven Steel coming out of Clan Battlemaster.

Cecelia and Mialee decided to speak to a local iron merchant and see if he couldn't get Garn a better price on iron, to allow him to use higher-quality materials. Between Cecelia's impassioned plea for the town's safety and Mialee's feminine wiles, the merchant was easily swayed.

Meanwhile, Rolen and Kye went to Duvessa to discuss lowering Garn's taxes, since he was a longstanding smith in town and the problem of funding a militia had been temporarily solved. She agreed, and both groups went back to Garn to tell him the good news. Garn, being a stubborn and callous man, promised to make better weapons, if the price of iron and his taxes went down, which he said he would believe only when it happened.

Cecelia and Mialee decided to go to bed early, while Kye and Rolen went out for drinks. Rolen got the impression that Kye was a super-nice guy, who could be trusted to join their crew indefinitely.

The next day, the group got breakfast at The Northlook, an inn frequented by adventuring and mercenary types. Mialee caught the eye of a handsome half-elf, and they went up to his room.

Unfortunately, it turned out the half-elf was actually a doppelganger in disguise! He tried to rob Mialee, but she turned on the charm and they ended up making a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Meanwhile, the group was approached by two bounty hunters, a woman named Sorelisa and a man named Naeremos. They were also looking for "the Weevil", a criminal who had been leading strikes on the Mines of Mirabar. They claimed to be with the government of Mirabar, and were offering a 5000 GP bounty on the Weevil, alive only.

Kinda like this guy? But less "future punk" vibes
The entire time, Rolen kept making cracks at Naeremos because he was missing his left arm. Sorelisa had to pull him away before a fight broke out.

The group (and Beldora, who showed up unexpectedly) decided that these two were pretty suspicious. Mirabar was a major part of the Lord's Alliance, but the pair of bounty hunters had said they were with Mirabar's government and not the Lord's Alliance. Also, Beldora said they had been going in and out of Geldenstag's Rest, an inn that had been recently closed due to the death of its owner in a Giant attack.

The group went to Geldenstag's Rest while the Bounty Hunters were occupied, and Rolen flew up to a second-story window to let the group in via rope. They found the room used by the mysterious pair, which was the only one with belongings in it, and began to search.

Cecelia discovered a coded message, and had Mialee copy down the code for later examination. Rolen found a map leading from Bryn Shander to Mirabar, as well as Sorelisa's diary, where she expressed great happiness at no longer being an urchin on the streets of Neverwinter.

Meanwhile, Kye broke a flask of water and ripped a blanket without knowing his own strength. Cecelia and Mialee cleaned up the mess and replaced the flask and blanket from items in their packs.

Rolen had Morgana, his Fey Flying Cat Familiar, on lookout, and they knew the Bounty Hunters could come back at any time. Just moments before Morgana sent a telepathic alarm to Rolen, Cecelia discovered a secret compartment in the wall, where the strangers had stashed a bag of gems worth 5000 GP - the bounty they had promised the party.

Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got...
Rolen also found a cloak with a patch on it - revealing that these two were actually Zhentarim! The Black Network was surely up to no good, and Cecelia took the gems, replacing them with broken-up candles. Rolen, never missing an opportunity to tease Cecelia, started reading passages from Sorelisa's diary which said how happy she was and how she didn't want to fail her new "family". Cecelia felt bad, but not bad enough to return the gems.

The group escaped just as the Zhentarim Bounty Hunters were returning. They immediately went to Rendaril's Emporium to pawn off the gems and replace the gear they had used in their heist. Mialee and Rolen kept eyeing the very fashionable clothes that Rendaril was selling, but didn't end up buying them.

That evening, the entire group went out and drank quite a bit. Kye got hammered and kissed Rolen! Rolen, in a flash of clarity (and an excellent insight check) suddenly realized that all the nice things Kye had done for him added up, and Kye was really attracted to him! Rolen immediately excused himself and went to find Garn Blackiron's sister.

In the middle of this scene, I realized there are 14 locations in Bryn Shander, and a couple of them are closed off. So, I just had the players roll 1d12 to figure out where they ended up after their night of debauchery!
"I love you, man!" "Wh... what? Really?!"
After their raucous evening, Cecelia and Mialee woke up together in the town armory, which only Duvessa Shane has keys for. Rolen woke up with Garn's sister in the stables, and Kye woke up on the front porch of Rendaril's Emporium with no memory of what had happened.

Rolen woke to find his Tome from the archfey Hyrsam lying open. Hyrsam is the Lord of Fools, so the tome is actually a joke book. On a blank page was a drawing of Hyrsam himself, and Rolen could hear him speaking! Hyrsam said he wanted to check up on Rolen, and also he needed "a piece of him" for some purpose.

Rolen decided to give up his secret fantasy of being attracted to Mialee. Hyrsam thought that was hilarious, and disappeared, leaving a new ritual spell in Rolen's tome.

Kye and Rolen met up to get the girls out of the armory, where they had caused quite a stir during the guard's shift change. Rolen saw Mialee and immediately became re-attracted to her, which was as funny as hyrsam anticipated it would be.

Meanwhile, Kye began to delicately fish for information about what had happened the previous night. Mialee bluntly told him that he had kissed Rolen, and his face drained of all its color.
Taverns in D&D: not just for quest-giving!
We stopped there for the evening. I have a couple more things for them to do in Bryn Shander and the Ten-Towns, but we were all pretty tired after all that in-game partying.

I really like this kind of game, where the players are just given tasks and they can do them however they want. It's really good for building short, character-focused sessions.

Hopefully, once their duties in Icewind Dale are completed, they can wander the country and continue to apply their own weird sense of "help" to whomever they meet.

Thanks for reading!

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