Preparing for the seventh session as DM in Lost Mine of Phandelver
Preparing for Session 7
So again, I’d not really forced my players to make a decision about what to do next … I’ve found this to be the most stressful thing about DMing …
My players seem to quite like a quasi defined path, they follow it, go off piste a little, but broadly speaking they like a bit of a path to follow.
So I was fairly confident, that given the hint around waiting for Gundren before heading out to Wave Echo cave, that my group would either:
- Head back to Cragmaw Castle (they did not find any magic items and they have past form with ‘executing a plan and then return for loot’)
- Head off on a trip, possibly trying to deal with the Orcs, perhaps taking in a necromancer and banshee :)
I decided that if the characters immediately returned to Cragmaw Castle then they would probably interupt some kind of power vacuum being resolved. Probably through fighting. The LMOP adventure book hints at this with the small encounter on the path out of Cragmaw.
Old Owl Well
If my adventurers head off to Old OWl Well first then I decided to try and catch them off guard a bit. I wanted to play a little on their new found love of talking first. Rather than this being an undecided encounter, I wanted to make it a definite ‘fight’, however, I would lure the adventurers in with kindness. Susan the necromancer would be a lovely person, offering tea, being nice to her zombie minions and generally just being lovely to chat to and just … yknow … nice.
And then at some point she wouild try to kill them all :)
I also wanted to have something a bit more special in the well. At the tiime of running the adventure I was up to the episodes of Critical Role where the Mighty Nein investigate the ‘Happy fun ball’ / Heirloom sphere. I loved this device… I thought that it would allow me to do some cool stuff AND I wouldn’t have to decide for a few more sessions after as to what it actually did.
Conyberry and Agatha
I wanted to really make this setting creepy and I know that when I would be describiing it to my players I wanted to emphasise, mists, darkness, quietness and general creepyness. I also wanted to make the banshee hereself creepy as I could. The woman from the ring always freaks me out and so I wanted to get the feeling of unpredictable movement in Agatha.
The Orcs of Wyvern Tor
I had the starts of a thought of making the Orcs of Wyvern Tor a little more. The inspiration from this came from the Essentials set, where a few encounters link together. So, I decided that the 3 scenes I had would all lead to a culmination at Wyvern Tor.
I now had maps for Wyvern Tor and Old OWl Well which you find in the Appendix. The other locations I used the maps from the Essentials or Starter sets.
Session recap and intro
When last we met … the goudefallas found themselves outside cragmaw castle looking for an entry. Deception was the name of the game and this time, with a little more planning, Vivian managed to blag his way into the castle. The others followed and managed to sneak through the castle making no disturbance, and even managing a little knifey knifey on a couple of sleeping hobgoblin guards. The goudafellas managing to do a rather respectable version of assassins. Finding King Grols hideout, our adventures surgically attacked striking at the beast. That is, until Wistendal, having watched a few too many lord of the rings films where the elf is the badass, did his best bad ass impression… and promptly managed to knock out the hostage they were rescuing and alert the entire castle to their presence.
It was up to vivian again to try and convince the defenders not to attack them. And despite only knowing 2 sentences in goblin…. He managed…. Making good there escape, the goudafellas took Gundren back to Phandalin and collected their reward.
Gundren left to recuperate and asked the gang to check in a few days so that they could venture to Wave Echo Cave together. After quickly humiliating Harbin Westor for some reason, apparently we pick on fat kids now, the group caught up with Sildar and learned of many strange goings on around Phandalin and across Amphicea, Orc attacks were increasing, rumours of necromancers in hidden places and cultists on the rise. They wake the next morning and ponder the days ahead….
What would you like to do?
Gundren is recuperating in the stonehill inn, can see him but he’ll basically tell them to go away for a few days. He knows his younger brother is dead but has not got the body. Doesn’t know what has happened to his older brother.
- Black spider
If the players want to investigate the cultists they will have to go back to bariande and meet with the Lords Alliance their. Sildar will give them a note of introduction if asked.
Wants the orcs gone as they are stopping business Will tell them about reports of orcs at: Butterskull Ranch Wyvern Tor
No new leader has been installed yet, in fact, if the adventurer’s arrive in the morning, most of the denizens of the castle will be outside at the front of the castle in some form of ‘fight pit’ trying to decide on a new leader.
Old Owl Well
Play the necromancer as nice, jolly, give the zombies names like ‘herbet’ ‘bill’ ‘ethyl’ … chat to them all cozy like … give them tea if they ask for it. She’s called susan. Extract information from the players as best she can … and then in true bad guy reveal tell them there is something powerful in the well and that now she will have to kill them
If the characters search the well … they will find a device that is similar to the Heirloom sphere from Critical Role.
Conyberry Just off the central highway, mysterious, ruins, … easy enough to find the path to Agatha’s lair …
The forest path very quickly goes dark and claustrophobic even though outside. See Adventure book for more descriptions.
Agatha herself, play like the woman from the ring. Sharp jaggedy movements … creepy voice, etc.
Job offers in Phandalin
|Quest||Location||Found out about it||Started||Finished|
|Old owl trouble||Edermath Orchard||✅|
|The Banshees Bargain||The Shrine of Luck||✅|
|Orc Trouble (Butterskull Ranch, Westor’s Logging, Wyvern Tor)||Townmaster’s Hall||✅|
|Finding Cragmaw Castle||Townmaster’s Hall||✅||✅||✅|
Old Owl Well