Posted by : David Guyll August 02, 2016

The best session over the past year was, best as I can recall, this one.

For awhile I've been running Age of Worms using FrankenFourth, because I want to see how it handles over a long term campaign. Unlike previous attempts to run the adventure path with 4th Edition, 4th Edition with all of the houserules I used when I ran the first A Sundered World campaign, and even 3rd Edition--all of which only ever got to Three Faces of Evil--we're almost finished with The Hall of Harsh Reflections.

The default adventure plot is that the characters arrive in the Free City to meet an associate of a wizard they met in the first adventure, and while waiting on some information a group of doppelgangers try to frame them for murder. If they succeed, then the characters get imprisoned and moved to a warehouse, and from there can try to escape. If they manage to reveal the doppelgangers and avoid getting thrown in jail, they find a key on one of them. This leads them to the same warehouse, and from there they can investigate further.

Before the doppelgangers act, one of the characters is supposed to get captured and replaced to make the framing easier. The adventure states that doing this requires you to "enter a conspiracy with one player against the rest of the group", though I've also heard of groups where everyone is aware of the doppelganger presence, and they just have to act like they don't know. I've never seen the latter actually work, and while I could have easily planned the whole thing with Melissa I decided to try another approach.

I lied.

While Humal and Corzale were at Stonehome (I swapped out the gnome-run Crooked House), Sumia decided to go look for Filge (the party not only spared him, but had actually worked with him in both The Whispering Cairn and Three Faces of Evil). She found him, they talked, and he asked for her help transporting some corpses through the sewers. I handwaived the job, stating that I didn't want to spend a lot of time with Sumia maybe killing off some oozes and other sewer monsters.

She arrived at Stonehome a half hour later, the characters talked for a bit, and then Sumia went upstairs to take a bath, since the inn had baths and she'd been at least waist-deep in filth. I then told everyone that Sumia came back down a few minutes later, and jammed one of her oddly coveted demon horns into a kobold's eye, before fleeing up stairs.

No one, including Melissa, had any clue what the hell had just happened. The rest of the party and some angry patrons went after Sumia; when they found her she was still taking a bath, and claimed to have no idea what was going on. When the guards arrived the party tried talking their way out of the situation, but ended up getting imprisoned. While trying to figure out a way to escape they ate drugged food, and when they woke next were in the warehouse prison.

Sumia was also there, albeit beaten and bloodied, which was when I told Melissa what happened: when Sumia followed Filge into the sewers, a bunch of cloaked figures ambushed her. They knocked her out and brought her here. Since doppelgangers were common enemies (more so because I replaced drow with more doppelgangers), on several occasions everyone questioned whether Melissa was still playing the original Sumia.

It didn't help when they found a machine that extracted memories and stored them in crystals, so as to make doppelganger disguises even more convincing.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Paladin is also available!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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