My players have reached the Blind tesserect and, to make a long story short, they do not want to activte the Iron daughter. Given the players roleplay choices, past behavior and their understanding of the blind tesserect, I feel that this is a valid choice on their part and I am reluctant to force them along the scripted path.
So as an alternative, I was considering the option of letting the players escape the room. They have an antimatter bomb, which they are willing to use to blow their way out.
This brings me to the question, if the room of the iron daughter is a creation of Haarlock, what does the blind tesserect actually look like? I am thinking that it could be some type of eerie open plain, were the players can see various visions of the past and future.
Each player would have a vision, seeing the various events they would have seen in the portals, but not participating in them.
I would think about assigning 1d10 insanity points because of the mind bending reality of the place.
Finally, they see a portal manifest, 'calling' them away. This portal would be created by the dusk hag and bring the players to Dusk.
I am inclined to have the players burn a fate point here as this is effectively a rescue from death by insanity.
From dusk, the players could continue as normal, but now, Haarlock will not return as the door has not been opened.
Does this sound feasibile? Has anyone else encountered this problem and what did they do?
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Would not an antimatter bomb annihilate them as well?
Are there really any other choices at this point? I'm not familiar with the adventure yet, but it sounds like a situation of "embrace the insanity, or sit here and starve while the sector burns".
Sacrifices must be made. They don't have to like it :)
Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg
You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on
If the problem is Haarlock's return and the Climax- why not have another group activate the machine as another Alternative?
My players have only done Damned Cities, unfortunately (and we haven't quite finished that yet- I expanded it quite a bit), so I am also not very familiar with Dead Stars at 100%- but I do know this: several groups and power-factions are all after Haarlock, and even end up on Mara with the players at the end.
From the Slaught, to the Pilgrims of Hayte, Radical Inquisitors and the Tenebrae Collegium- heck, in my games, even Amicus Tole is involved! Push comes to shove, Nostrodomo the Navigator is encountered somewhere along the way, right?
You can always pull a Ghost Busters "Think about it and it will take form"- taking each player aside, running a small mind-screwy fifteen minutes with him where he may, or may not, trigger Haarlock's return.
If nobody does it- in comes stumbling an enemy they'd thought dead, but that manages to drag himself to to the room just as they leave for Dusk. Sure, maybe he dies with the Anti-matter blast, but time works differently in the Tessarct. All it takes is a fraction of a second for him to "open the door" :P
"Even the defeated pretend to elevate their wisdom and words"
We finished it.
HAARLOCK LEGACY SPOILERS
HAARLOCK LEGACY SPOILERS
If they don't destroy the gate on Dusk, then Haarlock returns, and deamons will eventualy run riot in Calixis. Simple. How do they know about the gate? By going through the Tessaract.
Besides, how do they get OUT of the tessaract if they don't activate it?
And if they've got what I think they have, how do they know it is an antimatter bomb? And who says an antimatter device would even effect the tessaract, which is really a warp structure.
The adventure really is quite linear, so don't sweat the railroading, it is an enjoyable 'ride' regardless and is where the PC's get the information they need to inform their BIG decision at th end (which has massive implications for Calixis). If you need to nudge them along, perhaps while they're sitting around scratching their asses Haarlock (it) wanders through one of the doors and they have to fight it. Give them some foreshadowing. Perhaps he has the Widower and the Spider Bride with him (our GM made us fight her and her minions at the very end). I really wouldn't want to face that. Perhaps they have to activate the tessaract just to get away and save their own necks.
Idolatry is worse than carnage.
The Iron Daughter is that it has to be activated for Haarlock to return. It is the latch on the far saide of the door that Haarlock needs opening. So your players have reached the Tesseract and they have realised this? Or perhaps they are just sick of dancing to Haarlock's tune? Either way I personally think that is pretty awesome. At this point they have no choice. There is no other way out of the room (I would argue that is kinda how Haarlock designed it, to force the decision!).
So they want to blow their way out. I say fine. They want to use an anti-matter bomb they have. Again fine, but as Darth Smeg says they should also realise that in this relatively small realspace this bomb is going to kill them (burn a fatepoint to have the Tesseract grab them before they are annihilated). If they have some other way of breaking out let them use it. After all the Tesseract must have had some other 'interface' before Haarlock created this room. They break out into that.
If it was me that would indeed be something like you suggested except that it would be private visions of past present and future. Each person has their own past, present and future thrust into their brain all at once and it requires a supreme effort of will to understand/control it. This for me would take the form of three WP tests (probably hard ones). One for each time. Each one they pass allows them a scene they can actually see. Each one they fail is 2D10+5 insanity points as the visions overwhelm their senses. This may cause some fatepoint loss…
At the end I would have the Tesseract itself spit them out of the gateway on dusk but with no portal left - since they didn't open it. Then have the Hag potentially explain some of what has happened so they understand that they did stop him.
The Iron Daughter (is that it) has to be activated for Haarlock to return.
Whoops grammar fail. Sorry!
Good you mentioned that. My players almost reached the Blind Tesseract and I can imagine them being reluctant to activate the Iron Daughter either. Regarding the anti-matter bomb, I expect my players using it on the portal on Dusk, if they reach it that is…
There is a small picture in the book and I imagine the Blind Tesseract looks a little like that.
There is no way of escaping the Blind Tesseract besides activating the Iron aughter and stepping through one of the manifesting doors. The anti-matter bomb won’t help and would most probably just kill the PCs. Even if one could destroy the Blind Tesseract, the pocket dimension it is in would most probably just collapse onto itself thereby annihilating anyone and anything within.
As mentioned before, as an emergency (i.e. the PCs simply do not activate the Iron Daughter irrespective of having no other way out) you could make other (maybe until then unknown) factions appear en masse from Mara in the Blind Tesseract and rush forward to activate the Iron Daughter irrespective of consequences. In my game we have more than one key, pattern and guide to make it able to reach the Blind Tesseract for others as well.
Maybe through an Arcane Lore – Xenos/Archaeotech or (Very Hard) Tech-Use test.
Thanks for the feedback.
In hindsight, another team coming in could activate the iron daughter, but I sort of made sort of difficult to do now.
If you do not activate the Iron daughter, Haarlock cannot come back. The players figured out that haarlock made this machine to go through time and is somehow trapped. That is as much as they know and given everything they have seen (his ship, demon bindings, iron daughter, gilded widow) are quite happy to let him stay trapped. This means they would loose out on certain knowledge, but I think that is ok.
About the anti matter bomb, I did not realise the implications of giving it to the players. The blast radius is 25m, and with a little bit of math, they figured it can be put out side of range, up near the roof. They would still take damage from falling masonry&glass, which could be lethal.
From the player handout 3, they know that solomon haarlock visited the tesserect and managed to leave it. They are convinced that the current machine and room were built by Erasmus. They do not know what would happen if they blow their way out, but they do not know what would happen if they activated the iron daughter either.
I do like some of brotherkanes ideas. Now I am thinking about
Its quite a diversion from the book, but it does have a certain cinematic feel to it and should be very memorable
If your players don't mind playing seperately for a while, though I guess you can do it quite quick if you just do an overview, those sound quite fun to me. I'm sort of hoping my current group do something similar now!
Funnily enough my first group dropped into the room, straight away activated the iron daughter and ran through the portal without even waiting to talk to it! So they got to the time crazyness without any idea what was really going on. Love how different it can go :-D.
So as a follow up, the players decided to activate the iron daughter (after 2 hours of debate). Everything went smoothly. They got to Dusk, after a short discussion they blew up the portal with antimatter bomb and met the hag afterwards.
Then to my surprise, the assassin made a private pact with the dusk hag to follow haarlock into the black sun, just to make sure he was finally dead!
She has to make a new character now.
Oooo, I like the idea of that pact. In my last game there was a rush to stand in the portal as Haarlock came through - pact with the hag to double make sure could be interesting!
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