Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

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Corvo
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Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Corvo » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:25 pm

Warning! Spoilers for The Darkening of Mirkwood!








I'm about to run “The Anger of the Elvenking”, year 2963 of the DoM, and I have a question for the forum.

The all-Barding fellowship got a difficult relationship with Thranduil and most of his minions, so they wouldn't be tasked by the King with the hunt for Gandalf.

So we have the second option, in which “Upon approaching Gandalf, the companions will discover that he is actually being escorted by a group of armed Elves of Mirkwood, and that their bows are pointed at the companions as they speak”.

My question is: why would the Elves keep the Heroes at arrow-point?
Don't take me wrong: I like this scene, it's a “classic”, and given the temper of some of my players, it's bound to become damn interesting.
Yet, on the other hand, these characters are famous thanes of Dale, Heroes whose deeds gained the praise of Thranduil (they fought the Werewolf in '53 “The Beast of the Forest”, for example).
Would these Elves really point their weapons at those Men?
The more level-headed among the Fellowship are bound to ask the archers “Why are you threatening me?”, and I need a good answer.

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Wbweather
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Wbweather » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:35 pm

Maybe these particular elves don't know the players?

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Majestic
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Majestic » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:52 pm

My situation when I ran this was a little different, in that at the time all of my PCs were Elves, with half of them being Mirkwood Elves (one an Envoy of Thranduil who had chosen to keep this secret from his king, just like Gandalf). At least you have Bardings, which right now probably have a tenuous relationship with the Elves of Mirkwood, due to the frictions between their two peoples (with the Bardings often encroaching on the forest).

Where your game is similar to mine is that the PCs are now Big. Damn. Heroes.™ who have won the hearts of the people of Wilderland for their many great exploits all over the region.

You could have some of the Elves not recognize them (at least briefly), or you could still have a tremendous amount of tension by the Elves just having their bows (or spears) pointed at Gandalf.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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zedturtle
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by zedturtle » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:14 pm

What's the state of the relationship between the Barding cottars and the Wood Elves? Perhaps the Elves escorting Gandalf have been ambushed by cottars in an ill-advised attempt to rescue Gandalf. The company comes upon this battle and must resolve it with minimal bloodshed (helped perhaps, a little, by the Wood Elves 'Thranduil said not to kill anyone. He was less specific about kneecaps.'). Then you get the tension and a chance for big-deal Barding to show off their hard-fought Standing.
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Corvo
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Corvo » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:19 pm

Wbweather wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:35 pm
Maybe these particular elves don't know the players?
Majestic wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:52 pm
Where your game is similar to mine is that the PCs are now Big. Damn. Heroes.™ who have won the hearts of the people of Wilderland for their many great exploits all over the region.
Yeah, this is the situation. And they usually declare their names as soon as they meet someone, so they would be quickly recognized
Majestic wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:52 pm
(...) or you could still have a tremendous amount of tension by the Elves just having their bows (or spears) pointed at Gandalf.
Interesting.
Would the Elves threaten Gandalf, though?

By the way, my Fellowship is pretty distrustful of the "meddlesome" Grey Wizard. If the Elves tell them that Mithrandir commited some crime, they would be all too ready to believe it! :lol:

Corvo
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Corvo » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:26 pm

zedturtle wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:14 pm
What's the state of the relationship between the Barding cottars and the Wood Elves? Perhaps the Elves escorting Gandalf have been ambushed by cottars in an ill-advised attempt to rescue Gandalf. The company comes upon this battle and must resolve it with minimal bloodshed (helped perhaps, a little, by the Wood Elves 'Thranduil said not to kill anyone. He was less specific about kneecaps.'). Then you get the tension and a chance for big-deal Barding to show off their hard-fought Standing.
A good idea, but in my campagn the adventure is happening in the western eaves of Mirkwood, far from the lands of Dale.
By the way, in the last adventure they defused a fight between the Woodmen and the Outlaws. I risk a déjà vu :oops:

Mikha
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Mikha » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:07 am

I'm currently running this adventure too with a company whose patrons are both Thranduil and Radagast, and for us too the premises are very different: they managed to get very high standing by the court of Elves after slaying the seven trolls in Northern Mirkwood, so they where in the King's great hall when the silvan Elf Nimrodel confessed that her suspects about the Lamp where right.They were tasked to find the wizard by the king himself soon after he reconsidered that they've committed treachery for hiding this secret from him.

If your adventurers did come across Radagast before they might call out for his help to find his fellow wizard after hearing that he is wanted by Thranduil. At this time Gandalf and Radagast just met, he can have some good informations that might help your Bardings find Gandalf before the Elves. gandalf is also told that Dol Guldur is rebuilt and he travel fast north to search for answer; maybe the adventurers have good informations for him that they can use to persuade Gandalf to go with them and see the Elf king.

thorr-kan
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by thorr-kan » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:54 pm

Corvo wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:26 pm
A good idea, but in my campagn the adventure is happening in the western eaves of Mirkwood, far from the lands of Dale.
By the way, in the last adventure they defused a fight between the Woodmen and the Outlaws. I risk a déjà vu :oops:
Nononono. This is a *feature* not a bug. It the players defuse this fight, they're going to get a *reputation!* As *peacemakers!* Those poor, poor PCs...thinking of your DMing opportunities here.

As an example, I run a 2ED Al-Qadim (Arabian Adventures) DND campaign. My players have an in campaign reputation as evangelists and diplomat since they tried talking their way through an obvious combat encounter. It worked. They seized on that and kept trying. And it's worked often enough to become part of their schtick and expected of the characters.

(As an aside, it has derailed some really exciting fights I'd hoped to run. But it's lead to some brilliant roleplaying and a lot of positive reminiscing. That's always a net win in my DMing book.)

See what happens!

Corvo
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Corvo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:58 am

The session was played earlier than planned, and it went well.

About the setup, I reread the book, and focused on the part where it's written than some Elves, especially the Wayward Elves, are clamoring for war against the Woodmen.
So I choose to have the patrol led by Galion: one of the Wayward, deeply set against the Men and with a grudge against the Fellowship.
I thought that such a fellow would gladly have his warriors point their weapon at the humans.

The Fellowship spotted Gandalf, got nearer and started to talk to him, only to see the Elves and their weapons. The situation became suddenly tense, but the leader of the Fellowship made an exceptional Awe roll, asking what reason the Elves had for pointing their weapons at them, of all the people, that many times fought against the Enemy of the Woodland Realm.
It was enough, I thought, and Gandalf stepped in to explain the situation.
The fiery tempered Swordmaster interposed himself between the Wizard and the Elves, but at this point Gandalf said it was his intention to go to Thranduil to sort it out, and this closed the encounter.

The best part was when Galion declared "we are bringing this Wizard with us, because it's the King's will"
The Swordmaster drew his sword "Not my King"
The leader of the Fellowship was facepalming :lol:

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Doubts about "The Anger of the Elvenking" adventure

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:32 pm

Corvo wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:58 am
The best part was when Galion declared "we are bringing this Wizard with us, because it's the King's will"
The Swordmaster drew his sword "Not my King"
The leader of the Fellowship was facepalming :lol:
That would be the time for Gandalf to interject: "Don't be more of a fool than you already are, Swordmaster! I am allowing these Wood-elves to escort me to the Elf-king's court by my own choice as I urgently need to speak with Thranduil regarding this matter. If it makes them feel better to think of me as their prisoner, what is the harm?"
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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