DM’s Notes: Episode 17 – The Gang Visits the Theater: Mistakes Were Made

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.

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that… It just goes to show that you can’t always plan on your party doing what is expected of them or even what is smart. Going in to the theater with no backup was a big mistake. If they had brought Meloon and Renaer and Mirt, this would have been more of an even fight, but as it was it was a bloodbath. They are lucky that Icky finally made a good roll on the City Watch response as it saved them from even more unpleasantness. As it was, that roll saved them from being interrogated by Jarlaxle at his leisure which would not have been pretty.

But this episode also illustrates several important lessons about the module specifically and DMing in general.

You don’t have to have one set path that the party has to travel. They confronted Jarlaxle, it went terribly. He never even had a chance to learn the location of Fenerus Stormcastle. That one was an easy change to keep the story on course. Having them brought in to the Courthouse for questioning was a natural next step and wouldn’t you know it, that just happens to be where Fenerus was at the time!

It’s good to have an idea of what you will do if things go horribly wrong. The Xanathar would have just killed the party outright. But in the book what happened to them (winding up unconscious and missing all of their magic items) is exactly what the book says Jarlaxle would do. He is a master manipulator. What would be the fun of killing them?

It was sad to see that Vince decided to retire Drex. I thought it was an interesting conflict within the party but obviously not something that Vince was prepared to keep playing out. He and I haven’t talked about it too much but I suspect when he made the decision to sacrifice Drex to save the party he was already rolling up a new character in his mind (if not even before that). By the time he found out that Drex wasn’t dead he’d already made up his mind. This happens. Sometimes players just wander away from a great character because they come up with another that they like better. This is one of the reasons why you should never tie the entire plot of an adventure to one character. You just never know.

This new article appeared in the High Road Herald this episode, offering a preview of events to come:

Last Sheaf Party!

      Announcing what is destined to be the social event of the season, the Cassalanters today divulged details of a Last Sheaf  party they will be hosting on Uktar 20th. Invitations to the party are in scant supply as it is rumoured that the list is molto esclusivo. 

    However, in a gesture of utmost generosity, the Cassalanters have announced that they will be sharing the year’s bounty by hosting 100  of Waterdeep’s most needy urchins and homeless. Bravissimo, Cassalanters. Noblesse oblige, Indeed!

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