Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:14 pm

Gargoyle wrote:IDK Giant Scorpion men with guns sounds better IMO.


Me too, but it doesn't follow the scenario.
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graethynne
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby graethynne » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:58 am

hawaiianbrian wrote:
Truth be told, there were several things I'd probably do differently if I were writing Fires of Ra today, and Acts 1 & 2 would get the biggest changes. Act 2 could have made a good mini-sandbox. Hopefully your GM will find the other acts more useable as-is. It's a done deal now, but rest assured that we're using different methods in other adventures. Sometimes we'll have plot scripts, other times we'll have open areas with a goal but no given plan.


Any chance you might dash off a rough sketch of what the alt act 1 or that sandboxy version of act 2 might look like? Don't get me wrong I dig the adventure, and look forward to running it, but my curiosity is great, and some notes in this direction might inspire me (or others) even further :D

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hawaiianbrian
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby hawaiianbrian » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:01 pm

It's really hard to say. I can envision a version of the adventure where the heroes are tracking all four canopic jars, seeking them out in any order they wish (kind of like what we're doing with Revenge of the Carredon). The heroes are sent to investigate the murder of relics dealer with ties to the Delphi Council. Apparently the killers were after a conopic jar, but not to steal it –– one of the four jars is shattered on the floor. The other jars had been sold in auction to separate bidders. Armed only with that information, the heroes track down the jars, running into villains as they do so. One jar is in a museum, one in a movie set, and one in a nightclub. The *was* scepter is hidden in one of them –– and, true to the genre, it of course happens to be the very last one. The adventure would provide instructions for how to handle that. Different villains would be at each location, but the last one would also have Hooded Cobra and additional allies on scene, and would end with a chase. Somewhere along the way the heroes would also meet the intrepid reporter, Shafira Azar, who knows the wherabouts of one of the jars, but first she needs to be rescued from Professor Plasmo.

The problem with that version is that it doesn't start *in media res*, which is something we really wanted to do for Nile Empire.

Act 2 wouldn't have the dogfight, plane crash, and subsequent meeting of the Bedouin leader as an expected sequence of events, but just one possibility. I'd have built in other ways for heroes to get to Abkhemurna.

Basically, pulling back a bit on what's expected, and offering things more as opportunities or potential encounters. But that's the benefit of hindsight, I guess. Everything I learned from Fires of Ra I tried to apply to Revenge of the Carredon.

graethynne
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby graethynne » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:34 pm

hawaiianbrian wrote:It's really hard to say. I can envision a version of the adventure where the heroes are tracking all four canopic jars, seeking them out in any order they wish (kind of like what we're doing with Revenge of the Carredon). The heroes are sent to investigate the murder of relics dealer with ties to the Delphi Council. Apparently the killers were after a conopic jar, but not to steal it –– one of the four jars is shattered on the floor. The other jars had been sold in auction to separate bidders. Armed only with that information, the heroes track down the jars, running into villains as they do so. One jar is in a museum, one in a movie set, and one in a nightclub. The *was* scepter is hidden in one of them –– and, true to the genre, it of course happens to be the very last one. The adventure would provide instructions for how to handle that. Different villains would be at each location, but the last one would also have Hooded Cobra and additional allies on scene, and would end with a chase. Somewhere along the way the heroes would also meet the intrepid reporter, Shafira Azar, who knows the wherabouts of one of the jars, but first she needs to be rescued from Professor Plasmo.

The problem with that version is that it doesn't start *in media res*, which is something we really wanted to do for Nile Empire.


Hmm....What if the relics dealer had a small safehouse in a hidden basement beneath his shop? The Storm Knights are holed up down there with the plan to slip out under cover of darkness to rendezvous with someone. Just before twilight they hear voices from upstairs, which raise in anger, followed by some crashes. If they head up immediately they see Shocktroopers tearing the place apart, threatening the shop keeper, and maybe even the blow that destroys the jar. If they hesitate, a loud crash is heard covering the trap door. The delay means that by the time they get upstairs the bad guys are leaving with the information, the shop is a wreck and the shopkeeper is dying.
So either they just barely have time to initiate a chase, and catch the minion with the ledger sheets (overhearing said minion radioing some of the details) or they have a fight during which someone slips out unnoticed with the info which the shopkeeper can share with them afterward.

This leaves the question open in terms of where they go first and why....but that should be manageable I think....

graethynne
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby graethynne » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:39 am

Or the SKs could be on their way to the safe house under the relic dealers shop and interrupt the heist? That might be cleaner even....

Turning the corner, already thinking ahead to the familiar safety that awaits you, you're greeted instead by the sight of armed men thoroughly ransacking your's host's shop. Through the large window you see a familiar villain smash what looks like a large canopic jar against the floor, and begin sifting through the resulting shards.

The SKs could try and get closer to eaves drop to find out what is going on, come in guns blazing, or something else entirely.....

mathey
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby mathey » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:39 pm

The In Media Res part of a mystery style story from the pulps tended to start with a description of the Horrible Crime (tm) the villain(s) committed, often from the perspective of the hapless victim. The heroes would show up after that to pick up the trail and start the chase.

I suppose you could get that sort of immediacy by having a player or two portray temporary NPC roles during the inciting crime? Then the players also get a better sense of the villain or at least how dastardly they are.

Having the adventure kick off with my group on the roof of the Venice museum worked fine for us, though. I can see maybe opening up the options to decide which of the other three AFTER a strong opening like that? "Well you got the jar, but its not the one we need. Here's three other locations/people to investigate".

Alternatively, you can do what some of the Bond films did (and Raiders did, kind of) and make the In Media Res opener barely related to the real plot at all. I always wish I could deliver a bad guy as great as Belloq in my pulp adventure games, and having Hooded Cobra show up earlier in my campaign to better establish some rivalry would have been a nice idea if I'd thought of it. We didn't play through the Day One adventures, but even a brief meeting with him to twirl his figurative mustache and taunt them about their differing philosophies woulda been great.

Meantime, we just wrapped up Crime City and are headed to Act II. They ended up targeting Hooded Cobra out of the gate during the nightclub scene, and our resident Ayslish knight nabbed Cleopatra from his clutches in like the first turn with a Player's Call. I had Cobra leave a little early, and despite my stated goal to not have -another- female hostage, I forgot it and had him grab a panicked chorus girl who had been screaming into the face of our Victorian vampyre hunter. Counting on players leaving a particular NPC alone - ESPECIALLY the main bad guy - never works out, short of outright telling them they can't. This is probably why Belloq-and-Indy style interactions are hard to pull off.

On review, I think having two DSRs in a single Dramatic scene may be a bit much. The group didn't make any real progress trying to get the jar before Hourglass (who was likewise stuck on step A for most of the scene), and I ended up running the chase separately in parallel when one of the PCs split off from the rest to pursue Cobra and his new captive. Once they finished the chase (they used a Cosm Card to help cut it short), I let them use a Trick to swap the real jar for a convenient fake that Hourglass ended up taking.

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Greymarch2000
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby Greymarch2000 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:24 pm

I've only done the first three scenes so far but I was relieved when one of my players just said "we let him go" when the Hooded Cobra bailed in the first Scene. It was refreshing to not have to come up with a BS reason for him to come back. :) Especially as the Core Earth Realm Runner has taken a tendency to try to chainsaw enemy monsters heads off to "make sure".....

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:17 pm

My players ended up capturing the The Hooded Cobra and I just had Lady Hourglass become the main villain instead.
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mathey
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby mathey » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:41 pm

I found what appears to be repeated text in Act II, starting on page 29. Under "Race to the Station", we get a version of the text describing the pursuit of the train, going on to list the number of enemies pursuing the PCs. The next page, 30, has what appears to be a different version of the text, repeating the sentence "A service road winds down the gravely escarpment toward the town" from the previous page.

Then, under "Stop That Train!", it appears to reset again describing the pursuit of the train. The number of foes chasing the Storm Knights changes, and then we get starting descriptions of the train opposition the group faces. On page 31, a number of enemies is listed at the end of the section which may not be consistent with the earlier description of the train numbers.

Its all a bit confusing.

Do we have a chase before the chase after the train? Or is THE chase including the train? How many baddies chase the Storm Knights? And how many are on the train and where are they?

I know the idea is to keep a steady flow of Minions for Hooded Cobra to toss at your heroes, but this all feels very confused.

graethynne
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Re: Fires of Ra Discussion and Questions

Postby graethynne » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:19 pm

mathey wrote:I found what appears to be repeated text in Act II, starting on page 29. Under "Race to the Station", we get a version of the text describing the pursuit of the train, going on to list the number of enemies pursuing the PCs. The next page, 30, has what appears to be a different version of the text, repeating the sentence "A service road winds down the gravely escarpment toward the town" from the previous page.

Then, under "Stop That Train!", it appears to reset again describing the pursuit of the train. The number of foes chasing the Storm Knights changes, and then we get starting descriptions of the train opposition the group faces. On page 31, a number of enemies is listed at the end of the section which may not be consistent with the earlier description of the train numbers.

Its all a bit confusing.

Do we have a chase before the chase after the train? Or is THE chase including the train? How many baddies chase the Storm Knights? And how many are on the train and where are they?

I know the idea is to keep a steady flow of Minions for Hooded Cobra to toss at your heroes, but this all feels very confused.


This is on my list of things I wanted to ask about, so following with interest =D


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