Keira’s adventure continues with question 3 of the 9Qs and an unpleaseant surprise inside Fiveleague House…

Q3: What elements of the results of Questions 1 and 2 suddenly get twisted in a surprising manner, increasing the danger to the heroic motivation?

Be the GM first: Use the random idea generator to inspire a shocking twist related to the previous encounters and then roll a d6 twice to express that twist in an encounter of (1-2) betrayal, (3-4) revelation, and/or (5-6) combat. Be the player next: Use the heroes’ abilities to respond to the twist as per their heroic motivation and the RPG’s rules. Be the GM once more: Close the encounter by resolving NPC reactions to the heroes.

Symbol rolled: Submarine. Encounter type: Betrayal (rolled it two times). Interpretation: I interpret the submarine as working under the surface. Together with betrayal that means that the agents from the Guardians of Ioun that reportet the Vecna activities are in fact undercover agents of Vecna who have been working to betray the arcane society. They purposley spread the information about the Vecna followers to set-up an ambush and to possibly draw out members of the Guardians that they don’t know of so far.

Keira enters the taproom of Fiveleague House and is greetet by a comforting warmth and the spicy odor of fresh stew. She takes a look around, watching for other members of the delegation of Vecna but it does not seem like there are any. Was the cultist outside just an advance scout? She has to wait and see. She walks up to the bartender and pays for a room, a hot cup of coffee and a meal of fresh bread and stew. She then takes a seat in a corner of the room, enjoys her meal and eyes the taproom. With one hand under the table she pulls out her messenger stone, cuts herself in the finger with her dagger and wipes some blood onto the stone.

She then whispers: “Master, I hope you can hear me. I have reached my destination and encountered a Vecna cultist in league with a Drow assassin outside the gates of Fiveleague House. I managed to defeat them and so far it seems as if no other cultists have arrived. I had another close encounter with the Drow just outside the gates of Fallcrest. Do you know of any other Drow sightings? I don’t know what it is yet, but I have a bad feeling about this. The Drow are up to something and I don’t know how the cultists will fit into this. I will keep in touch and I hope to hear from you soon. Bye.”

(Perception vs. Stealth, failure)

Keira didn’t notice the cloaked figure in the shadows watching her from the moment she came in. With a whisper, the figure talks to himself:

“Well, what have we here. Desmond send his little bird herself. What a fortunate development.”

The figure slips out of the room unnoticed through a back door. Outside, he pulls the cloak from his head, rights his hair, puts on a fake smile, prepares a small vial with a sleeping poison, takes his staff and enters through the main door, pretending to have just arrived.

Keira looks up from her cup as the door opens. She smiles. The man standing in the doorway was Seldrin, a fellow guardian of Ioun and mage. Good to see a familiar face. But even though she was happy to see him, she didn’t signal him or even call out to him. She was here undercover and pretended not to know him. At least at first glance. He walkes straight towards her, however.

“What a comforting sight. So my eyes didn’t betray me.” He greetes her warmly and with a friendly smile.

“Good to see a familiar face. What brings you out to Fiveleague House?”

“I am on an assignment. I am afraid I can tell you no more.”

“Oh, I understand. So I won’t ask any more.” He nods in acknowledgement. “But I can certainly share a good cup of whine with you before settling in for the night, can’t I? My treat.”

“Why not, one cup can’t hurt.”

Seldrin gets two cups of wine from the bar. While he is turning his back towards Keira, he pours the content of the vial into one of the cups.

Perception check to notice (hard DC of level 1, failure).

Returning to the table, he hands Keira the now poisoned wine, salutes her and drinks. She does the same. After a few sips Keira feels dizzy. The room suddenly starts to spin around her and all the noises seem to fade out.

Level 3 sleep poison: Attack +6 vs. Fort Defense, success (11+6 vs. 12)

This is what I like best about 4th Edition: You only really need the level of the opposition or obstacle and can determine everything else with it. Once you have the monster math down, which is pretty simple, you don’t need a book to improvise.

An attack against a non-AC defense is always level+3, an attack against AC is always made at level+5 (one exception are artillery monsters that get +1 or +2 on ranged or area attacks) and the same goes for AC (level + 12 for artillery and brutes, level + 14 for lurkers, skirmishers and controllers and level + 16 for soldiers). Non-ac defenses are always level + 12, adjusted slightly for role by increasing one defense and decreasing another one to compensate.

Keira looks desoriented. She tries to focus and to cast a spell to fortify her resistance.

Arcana vs. hard DC of level 3, failure. Note: I house ruled a little freeform magic into the system. Since 4e is very combat oriented I use the Arcana skill also to cast minor spells that a mage should be able to cast, in addition to the very flavorful prestidigitation cantrip. Of course you have to keep it within reason but the possibility to use Arcana in this manner is also hinted at in the 4e Red Box Starter GM Book (p. 27 at the top of the left collum “…or Arcana to use a simple illusion effect to…”)

It was to late. As she blacks out, the last thing she hears is the laughter of her “brother” Seldrin…