The Alexandrian

Eternal Lies – Thibet

July 15th, 2015

Go to Eternal Lies: The Alexandrian Remix

Eternal Lies - Thibet

Campaign NotesDioramaProps Packet

As with the Yucatan, Thibet is organized in sequences and locations instead of around nodes. Primarily sequences, because this location is largely about journeying deep into uncharted territory in search of a finale.

Speaking of finales, we’re getting near to the end of the campaign so I’m going to refresh our:

SPOILER WARNING

I’m going to do my best to keep things fairly vague at this juncture so that someone casually glancing at these pages won’t have the campaign spoiled for them, but since we’re also nearing a critical juncture it wouldn’t take much to spoil yourself.

MACEWAN: One thing you won’t find in my remix notes is the explosives expert MacEwan. This is nothing personal. By this time in the campaign, my PCs had become so completely well-versed in explosives that they had no need for MacEwan and I didn’t bother prepping him.

HIGH ROAD, LOW ROAD: One big shift I did make is bifurcating the first sequence so that the players have a choice of the route they want to follow. This is designed as a pretty straightforward incomparable: One route is fast-but-dangerous; the other route is slow-but-safe.

Eternal Lies - Mt. KailashThere’s a sequence of photographic props designed for each of the routes. If you’re playing with the poster maps, you can put these travel photos directly onto the map in a rough sequence pointing towards the mountain.

THE RAVINE: In a similar fashion, I’ve tweaked the design of the final descent into the Devouring Ravine. Regardless of which method the PCs use for destroying the Liar, there is now trade-off between going deeper into the ravine (which makes it easier to destroy the Liar) and staying higher (which is safer).

As written in the original campaign, the Devouring Ravine is cripplingly difficult. For my remix, I tried to take the “auto TPK” quality out of it (primarily by treating the entire descent as a single Mythos experience, so that the maximum Stability loss gets capped). But, in practice, I discovered that it’s still too tough. I’ve talked in the past about the numerous hard limits that the GUMSHOE system has which severely limits your flexibility in scenario design. In this case, the scenario drains out the Athletics and Outdoorsman pools of the PCs and then auto-kills them.

When I run the campaign again, I’ll be re-visiting these mechanics once again. Without doing a thorough analysis, I’d suggest (a) getting rid of the auto-kill climbing mechanic and (b) reducing the Athletics climb check difficulties by 1. Also: If the PCs make ANY attempt to gauge what they need to do to destroy the Liar (and they have the appropriate skills), I would make it clear what the trade-off is between going deeper and staying higher. After they’ve made the initial inquiry, I would also offer appropriate spends to give them specific number (the Liar’s inertia and/or the number of explosive charges required at each level of descent).

FINAL VISION: I’ve shifted the wording in the Final Vision provided by the Liar in order to obfuscate that it’s revealing the completion of a sacrifice. This is deliberate. I want to give the players a chance to discover that idea for themselves instead of having it handed to them. I think it makes for a more powerful “oh shit” moment. (It’s a problem if they don’t realize it, of course, but there’s a thematic Get Out of Jail Free card programmed into the final chapter of the campaign.)

PROP NOTES

DIORAMA: There’s a large number of “mystic paintings” in the diorama material for Thibet. I wanted to strongly instill the sense of Mt. Kailash (and its surroundings) as a holy place, so that the contrast between that and what’s lurking inside the mountain would be as large as possible.

You may also note that a large number of diorama elements actually feature Mt. Kailash. This presumes that, by the time the PCs are coming to Thibet, they already know that the Maw of the Mouth lies within the mountain. If they don’t know that — for example, if they’ve built up a theory that the Maw must be somewhere else in the region since the Emporium of Bangkok Antiquities didn’t find anything on the mountain — you’ll want to hold back those elements so as to avoid tipping your hand.

Eternal Lies - Thibet

Go to 3.2 The End

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