Content of the article: "LMoP Spoilers Could you help me fine-tune my plans for Glasstaff?"
Hey folks! I've DM'd more rules-light and story games than I have D&D games, and like the total improvisational freedom to invent anything in those freeform games. I've felt a little restricted with Lost Mine of Phandelver, my first time running a group through a 5e module, but I'm loving the setting! I'm flipping through Dragon of Icespire Peak and trying to absorb all the Phandalin-adjacent lore I can, and I'm finally letting myself off the rails!
If you're reading this, I'd like to hear your two cents on what I've got cooked up for the near future. My party of five is running the pregen characters. They've skipped all sidequests so far, but just reached Level 3 mid-Cragmaw Castle. In one night they killed almost every creature in the fort, plus Klarg and his goblin underlings who earlier fled their cave hideout. After the slaughter, the party barricaded themselves into one of the small Area 1 arrow loop chambers to risk a short rest.
I gave them a 1-in-6 chance of actually getting those sixty minutes uninterrupted and rolled a 6 on the die. During that time, however, I decided that Vyerith would have grown impatient and attacked King Grol. I ran the combat on my own for the sake of realism – Vyerith went down to single-digit HP bludgeoning Grol and his wolf to death. The doppelganger intimidated away the two remaining goblins and ransacked the room. Vyerith found the map, downed all three potions of healing listed as treasure, chanced murdering Gundren, and avoided the returning hobgoblin patrol on the way back toward Phandalin. Their next task: rendezvous with Redbrands to enslave the Dendrars. (If the Redbrands are selling slaves, and the Drow love enslaving surface-dwellers, why not plan to send Mirna and her children to Wave Echo Cave?)
Meanwhile, Glasstaff and a few Redbrand stragglers have returned to the destroyed basement of Tresendar Manor, salvaging spellcraft supplies and preparing to set up shop again. Reading that Iarno refers to "sordid acts such as kidnapping or arson as 'that unpleasant little business'" inspired me. I'm going to have them swagger up to Harbin Wester's home, yank him out of bed, and light the place on fire as retaliation for letting mercenaries fuck with their gang. Their message: if the people of Phandalin don't run the party out of town, they'll return to kill Harbin and kidnap some more slaves.
The players will show up in the middle of this, and we'll see what happens from there. I anticipate that Glasstaff will taunt the party, threaten the few NPCs they took the time to speak with, and instigate a fight once Sildar joins the crowd. He'll use misty step to teleport out of sight the first round he takes damage.
Getting Vyerith in touch with the Redbrands will allow me to have the doppelganger on hand in Phandalin for future complications.
TL;DR: I'm changing the adventure ahhhh
Is it unfair to murder Gundren because the PCs took a break mid-dungeon? My dwarf cleric player just wrote me a great bit of backstory about Gundren and his character, too.
Is it unfair to give those potions of healing to Vyerith? Should I sneakily supply those items some other way to still reward them for completing Cragmaw Castle?
Is Glasstaff's direct approach too direct? The party never saw him when he escaped the Redbrand Hideout, but I think it would be confusing/boring to have both Glasstaff and The Black Spider stay in the wings pulling minor characters' strings.
Are there any places I can nail down a more specific goal or detail for the above characters? The clearer I can make their motivations, the more real I think they'll feel.
- LMoP: Advice for the end of Cragmaw Castle?
- Captured Glasstaff! Advice?
- LMoP Story Expansion Prophecy
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