Monday, February 16, 2009

Chasing the Clocktower

Upon discovering the rookery at the top of the Seven's Sawmill, the PCs have a prime opportunity to track down who Ironbriar has been working with. Note that if they already managed to get ahold of information on Xanesha's lair (probably through Ironbriar himself) they will not need to participate in this encounter. In that case, consider awarding the party experience as though they had completed the skill challenge successfully.

Skill Challenge: Chasing the Clocktower

Setup: The rookery atop the sawmill holds three messenger ravens at the start of this encounter. By releasing one and following it, the party can discover the location of Xanesha's lair. This requires hasty navigation of the half mile of streets between Kyver's Islet and the Shadow, without losing sight of the raven.

Complexity: 4 (10 successes before 3 failures)
Level: 7 (1,200 xp)
Primary Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Nature, Perception, Streetwise

Athletics (DC 14): Forget the streets. You take to the rooftops of Magnimar, where there is no longer a skyline to disrupt your view of the messenger raven. Clambering up the sides of buildings and leaping gaps, you have little problem keeping up. Gain a success for the skill challenge.

Endurance (DC 19): Your stamina is tested to its limits, but you are able push yourself to keep within sight of the raven where your companions have failed. Negate one previous failure during this skill challenge.

Nature (DC 15): You have studied birds and may have even used them as messengers in the past. Their flight patterns are obvious to you, and you are able to use this knowledge to pick roads and alleyways, preventing the raven from flying too far ahead. Gain a success for the skill challenge.

Perception (DC 14): There! You spy your messenger raven ahead, winging its way towards an unseen goal. Pointing the bird out to your companions, you rush on in pursuit of it. Gain a success for the skill challenge. If the PCs thought to mark the raven in order to make it more visible from a distance, they receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks during the skill challenge.

Streetwise (DC 16): You know these streets well. Thanks to your familiarity with the city, you can anticipate short-cuts and potential roadblocks or bottlenecks. Gain a success for the skill challenge.

Success: The raven finishes its journey at the Shadow Clock and the PCs arrive at the base of the tottering tower. Xanesha, Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms, waits within.

Failure: The party loses sight of the raven for too long - it has left them far behind. Luckily, the rookery contained three ravens at the start of this encounter. As long as a raven remains for the party to set loose, they can repeat the skill challenge. If they run out, consider having Xanesha send one of the ravens back a day later with a confused or angry note attached.

Quest card(s):


tadkil said...

Seems like this needs to have a more severe consequence for failure.

This is a level 7 encounter. My first instinct is to have Xanesha send a level 7 encounter to the sawmill to do recon and see what the issue is.

As a second issue, I've thought about an increase in security at the Tower as a result of the bobbled encounter. Perhaps the level of hazard of the encounters gets increased by one for each time the PCs fail the challenge.

Your thoughts?

Scott said...

Not a bad idea. It wouldn't be tough to simply add one extra faceless stalker to each fight every time the PCs fail this skill challenge.

Xanesha sending some agents to investigate the sawmill isn't outside the realm of possibility, either.