DM’s Notes: Episode 11 – In Through the Backdoor

WARNING: SPOILERS for both Waterdeep: Dragon Heist the module in general and the story arc for this campaign in particular. If you just want to follow along the campaign but don’t want to have the plot spoiled for you, read no further.

Link to this episode’s podcast.

OK, now we are getting down to brass tacks. The players are grappling with how to solve the mystery of the fireball that devastated their neighborhood, leaving them with a dead gnome on their doorstep and a Nimblewright fleeing to the Gralhund estate with a sinister assassin in hot pursuit. I feel like they have already worked it out, but their investigations may reveal some new clues. And in the middle of all these careful investigations, Kyva, being Kyva is just YOLOing her way into Gralhund Villa. Thanks to the preparations made in the module, I’m happy with either approach. The story can be driven forward by careful investigation, or rushing headlong into danger.

And that is an important point about running this and any module. While the book provides a clear path through which the players can get from one point of the story to the next, that by no means is the only way they can get there. The book suggests that the players visit the House of Inspired Hands and obtain a Nimblewright Detector there. But Icky’s quick thinking and use of his familiar made it so that they don’t need to track the Nimblewright to the Gralhunds. You can be flexible with the plot. No, to state that more properly, you SHOULD be flexible with the plot. Even one step further, the plot should react to the players, not the other way around.

Will the players still make it to The temple of Gond to obtain the Nimfinder? Quite possibly so. It’s a fun location and they once again have the need to track down a Nimblewright. Or maybe they’ll find another way. We’ll see where they go next. I’m looking forward to the interrogation of the Gralhunds or more to the point, the power struggle with the Gralhunds that is coming next session. They won’t give up details easily and they have some juicy details to uncover. By the way, if some of the details about the Gralhunds doesn’t sound familiar from the book, that’s because I augmented them with details from the Forgotten Realms Wiki. This is a great resource for more details about famous people and places in Waterdeep but be careful, because a lot of the information is rather old, so make sure that people you talk about would still be alive in DR 1491. (I use 1491 in this module because when I started running it, the authors had not yet clarified the year as 1492.)

The following article appeared in The High Road Herald this session

This morning, a fireball erupted in Trollskull alley killing 11 Waterdhavians and injuring several others. The blast went off shortly before breakfast, rattling the windows of the shops and private homes of the alley. Representatives from the City Watch, the City Guard and the Griffon Calvary raced to the scene to investigate. 

Inspector Barnibus Blastwind announced “It may seem an impossible case to solve but rest assured I will  sift through the clues, eliminating the impossible until whatever remains, no matter how improbable will point me to the truth!

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