DM’s Notes: Episode 13 – Bump in the Night

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.

If you have read the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist module, you will know that I make many small modifications and some big ones. One small modification is the addition of the Everlasting Unguent which is basically one free revivify for the party. I think they earned it with the way they went above and beyond to help Meloon, also it’s hard to be level 4. Another of the dormant artifacts they carry was Awakened this session, The Spectacular Spectacles. The stats for the Awakened Spectacular Spectacles are:

Effects

Eye for Riches

As an action the person attuned to the Spectacular Spectacles can determine how much wealth a person is carrying on them. The type of wealth detected includes precious metals and jewels but not magic items.

Eyes on the Prize

Due to your ability to see the minute workings of locks and traps you have advantage on rolls to pick locks and disarm traps.

Eye for Opportunity

The spectacles grant you the innate ability to see opportunities to weave effortlessly into the flow of battle. After initiative is rolled but before combat has begun you may choose to change your initiative such that you go immediately after one of your allies.

Ability (once per long rest)

Eyes on the Past

Once per long rest you can choose to see something from the past. You automatically succeed on a history check to know something that it is possible for you to know.

Eyes on the Future

Once per long rest you can choose to see a very short distance into the future before you decide to do something. You can see the result of a single die roll before committing to an action.

As I explained in the DM’s Notes for Episode 6. the strength level of each of the artifacts the characters have was set to be balanced to the same level of power as an Instrument of the Bard. I also added a mechanic for them to level up with the characters.

Another change I made to the module was adding the Black Viper to the encounter with Gaxley Rudderbust. Note that in my mind I imagined the characters seeing, her and chasing her into the Moonsphere where they would fly around and have a grand old time until they escaped the guards. I was inspired to add the Moonsphere to the adventure by the Broadsword’s episode of Podcasts of Waterdeep. But of sourse the party magicked the Black Viper up before she could make the leap into the dancing court. This is the life of a Dungeon Master. Never get too attached to your plans and let the dice tell the tale.

We did wind up with an interesting bit of RP with the Black Viper and especially the rather chaotic, selectively moral party versus their very Lawful Good Paladin.

One point to clear up, although I didn’t remember it at the time, there is a list of ranks for the various organizations published under section Factions in Waterdeep (p. 14 of the book). They are:

Emerald Enclave Ranks: (Springwarden, 1), (Summerstrider, 3), (Autumnreaver, 10), (Winterstalker, 25), (Master of the Wild, 50)

Harpers Ranks: (Watcher, 1), (Harpshadow, 3), (Brightcandle, 10), (Wise Owl, 25), (High Harper, 50)

Lords’ Alliance Ranks: (Cloak, 1), (Redknife, 3), (Stingblade, 10), (Warduke, 25), (Lioncrown, 50)

Order of the Gauntlet Ranks: (Chevall, 1), (Marcheon, 3), (Whitehawk, 10), (Vindicator, 25), (Righteous Hand, 50)

Platinum Cadre Ranks: (Hatchling, 1), (Whelp, 3), (Dragon, 10), (Scourge, 25), (Wyrm, 50)

Zhentarim Ranks: (Fang, 1), (Wolf, 3), (Viper, 10), (Ardragon, 25), (Dread Lord, 50)

Bregan D’aerthe Ranks: Orbb (private, 1), Kyorlinorbb (corporal, 3), Khal’abbil (sergeant, 10), Mallasargtlin (lieutenant, 25), Ilareth (captain, 50)

Force Grey Ranks: Gray Hand Initiate (1), Junior Gray Hand (3), Senior Gray Hand (10), Force Grey Initiate (25), Defender of Waterdeep (50)

Xanathar Guild Ranks: Eyestalker (1), Agent of the Eye (3), Eye Ray (10), Guild Boss (25), Hand of the Eye (50)

I decided to give the characters a little nudge from Mirt on hiring someone to run the day to day operations of the Backdoor Bar. I think that running the business is important to the story because it gives the characters real roots in the city that are hard to cultivate better in other ways. Plus, let’s face it, it’s what Mirt would do. He’s not about to see his investment go down the tubes.

The following articles appeared in the High Road Herald for this session

Gralhund Villa Bloodbath!!!

You’ve got to hand it to those plucky Gralhund’s. Last night, a pack of villains from the Black Network stormed Gralhund Villa in the stately North Ward. “They didn’t get too far though, thanks to our crack troop of mercenaries, who are all available for hire, incidentally.” Lady Yalah Gralhund crowed triumphantly. 

“No doubt they were looking to settle some scores where their mercenaries were shown up by ours. But luckily we drove them back with only minor loss of troops and nothing stolen.” 

The watch has set out on a city wide manhunt to capture any and all Zhents who might have been involved in the disastrous raid.

Black Viper Terrorizes Local Nobles

The Black Viper was a notorious burglar, pickpocket, mugger and assassin who was thought to have died nearly a century ago. However, if recent sightings by some of Waterdeep’s finest noble families are any indication, news of their death has been greatly exaggerated.

The last several tendays the highest social circles have been abuzz with rumors of missing jewelry, late night stick ups and other skullduggery committed by a black cloaked and masked figure known as The Black Viper. The rumors are too numerous and scandalous to print!

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