Fate of the Norns

Let's crowdsource a saga
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Author:  andrew [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Let's crowdsource a saga

OK I have an idea, not sure if it'll work, but nothing ventured nothing gained. I have less than a week to come up with a new 2016 adventure for the convention circuit if I plan to use a new one at Pax-South. All I have is a seed of an idea:
"Someone wants to steal Heidrun so they can have eternal mead"
- The Laerad tree is completely optional if it's a mandatory ingredient for the mead
- The player may want Heidrun, or want to stop those trying to steal Heidrun
Who is Heidrun? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hei%C3%B0r%C3%BAn

So if we have a huge mashup of ideas from all our forum goers, I'm hoping a great adventure will coalesce.
Throw any ideas into the mix, from who the pre-gens should be, to who the villains could be. Side quests. Magic items. Encounters. Plot twists. Any and all ideas welcome!

My only restriction is that whatever story arc we come up with needs to play out in 2-4 hours. Oh and that the pregens should be limited to 6 Essence so that we have an easy learning curve for first timers.

Let's see if this works... 3...2...1...go!

Saga Summary (from feedback in the thread)
Story: Players asked to pull off a heist - steal Heidrun from Asgard
Main Quest: The Dvergar hire the players to steal the magical goat (epic party or a required crafting material)
Side Quests:
[*]Get some magical vegetation to try and lure Heidrun away (speed up the theft)
[*]Travel to Niflheim/Folkvangar to obtain a disguise (easier to sneak in and fit in)
[*]Get a magical portal bonfire from the Muspeli Jotuns (to speed up escape)
Archetypes: Sceadugengan, Maiden of Ratatosk
Enemies: Golden Effigies, Einherjar, Odin
Final Encounter: could be on a timer as the portal must open after X rounds

Author:  raleel [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

I feel like a sceadegengan is required for this saga. A maiden would seem appropriate as well.

I like the idea of a heist for this. Stealing Heiðrún would be coup for some before Ragnarok.

In 2-4 hours, side quests are going to be minimal, if any. You gotta move along at a solid clip to get that done. However, one might be to get a branch of something sweeter for Heiðrún to nibble upon, drawing him away.

Author:  andrew [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

And we're off! :)

Great points, added them to the Saga Summary in the first post.

Who would want Heidrun?
Where does the adventure start?
What encounters do the players have along the way?
Who are the guards who surround Heidrun?
Are there any time critical points in the story?

Author:  raleel [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

Well, if Heiðrún makes the mead that the Einherjar, then that would be a blow to Odin to lose it. It's his troops that are drinking, afterall. Thus, the Jotuns are asking and wanting Heiðrún. Maybe Loki, which amounts to the same thing. Possible that the dwarves are looking for it. Maybe they need the mead to quench some item they are forging.

Low level characters (essence 6, so destiny is not going to be more than 6, and so limit to level 18) - so Midgard seems appropriate for it to start in. However, likely moves to somewhere else quickly. Vanaheim seems like a good place for a side quest for some extra special foliage. Ultimately, it has to go to Heiðrún, which means it has to go to Valhalla as:

Heidrûn the goat is called,
that stands o’er Odin’s hall,
and bits from Lærâd’s branches.
He a bowl shall fill
with the bright mead;
that drink shall never fail.

Which means they are sneaking by Einherjar somehow. Seems like they might need a disguise here, so something to get them a Einherjar disguise. Side quest opportunity. Feels like a trip to Niflheim might help here - how better to look dead than visit the dead, I suppose.

they guards are the Einherjar, and generally not "guards" as much as being right there and Odin's hall and all. The goat should be able to be acquired when the bowl the mead falls into is switched out. A smart party might even get themselves into the role of bowl changers, and have an excuse to go up there and make off with Heiðrún.

The question comes of how to get Heiðrún out of there. You probably want to have a way out quickly, but that could be provided by the Jotun. This provides a nice opportunity like "you must build a giant bonfire to create the portal" and as they are building they attract the attention of the Einherjar and they attack, providing a dramatic moment as they try to get the bonfire big enough and get through the portal. A similar escape could be made with the dwarves, but an item that requires a ritual or something.

Author:  andrew [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

I like the Dvergar as the hiring party. It can make for a serious quest (item required for forging) or a silly quest (epic party)... depending on game group and alcohol involved!
Also the brothers Fjalar and Gjalar (who practice Blood Smithing) may want to extract a creature reliquary from Heidrun. This could pose the ethical dilemma and plot twist if it comes out later in the quest.

The disguise is a good idea, and perhaps we can expand that to Folkvangar (Freya's hall of the dead). Njord is said to return to Vanagard at the time of Ragnarok, so the players can tap into his disillusionment with Asgard. Niflheim may be a stretch due to the inherent challenges posed by the denizens and environment. "Once does not simply stroll into Niflheim and ask for a disguise"- some Tolkein dude.

Guards in Asgard should include Golden Effigies (CRB Denizens chapter). Bypassing Heimdall may require Loki's help. This adventure may take place right after Loki escapes Hvergelmir. He meets the players en route and gives them the necessary assistance to get past the guardian of Bifrost.

I'm a fan of giving the players the tools, but letting them figure out how to use them. But sometimes in a 2-4 hours game, the hints turn into hand holding. So we need to factor that in.

I like the quest endings to have a timer or a big sense of urgency. And if it'll be a battle it should be memorable where players leave the table with a high. Portal is good, but we can probably get something more mind-blowing. :) Odin is called, and the players summon Jormungand for an "Uber" ride. He smashes through the wall as the Valkyries bring down the wrath of Asgard. Whaaaaaaat?

I definitely won't have time to make Valkyrie and Son of Muspel pre-gens, but this is shaping up like an epic immortals adventure ;)

Author:  andrew [ Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

I think this adventure could be playable without a single combat (perfect heist), but there should be one that is forced into the scenario so that new players get a feel for how combat plays out in RGS.

So what (if any) plot twists exist?

Author:  raleel [ Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Let's crowdsource a saga

Plot twists - you know, doesn't Freya have a competing hall? she and Odin split the dead and all that. I could see her wanting to get her hands on that mead for her warriors. Her coming in and circumventing the trade off with the dwarves might be interesting :)

I like Loki helping out with bypassing.

Combats - Einherjar, Golden Effigies are the obvious ones. I feel like there should be another, but I have no idea what. And, frankly, I like trolls. they are classic, after all :)

how are they going to hide from Odin? I mean, dude is kind of set up for seeing everything. I gots me a throne and a couple ravens and I gave and eye and all that. Seems like they need some extra special oomph to get ignored by the all-father.

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