I just finished reading the new TEW campaign, and I was disappointed with the Epilogue. After taking out Dr No, you don't want to follow him into Hell, you want to go after SPECTRE!
So here are some thoughts on a extending out the campaign (ignoring part 4) and taking out the Conspiracy as they attempt to execute their ultimate plans. I'm ignoring "Canon" history here, so FYI.
After the party defeats the Black Cowl, they are left in an Empire in turmoil. The Emperor is still ill – the Black Cowl's poison has done its damage and there is no telling if he will ever recover. Meanwhile, the Conspiracy sees its opportunity to put someone under their control on the throne.
Meanwhile, Frederick Grosz is picked up by their agents, and very willing to serve. He is not blamed for his superior's mistakes, and claims the mantle of the new Black Cowl.
The first step is to gain a majority vote with the Elector Counts. There are already some Counts under their influence (either through of greed or blackmail), but not enough for a majority. As part of that, they plan to fill the position in Averland with one of their numbers. The party must stop this from happening (perhaps supporting Graf Friedrick or Gravin Clothilde). If they are successful, the Conspiracy keeps them from taking the seat through bureaucratic stalling tactics while they consolidate power elsewhere.
Back in Altdorf, there is talk of electing a temporary Steward to rule the Empire in Karl Franz's stead – until he (ever) awakens and is fit to rule. The movement has some popularity with the nobles, but not enough to take effect. The proposed Steward is a Conspirator (or is a willing servant of the Conspiracy).
The Conspiracy needs some crisis to mobilize the remaining ECs to vote for the Steward. To this end they start planting seeds of rebellion in the populace. There are riot in major cities of the Empire. One movement has the backing of some petty lords and is able to take a capital and kill the EC (maybe Ostland, since they have recently been hit fairly hard with the assault of Chaos). Not only has the Conspiracy given the Empire a reason to desire a new leader to quell the rebellion, but they have also taken out an obstinate EC in the process. The Steward is elected. The PCs must expose his connection to the Conspiracy, prove that they are behind the
rebellion, as well as protect the Emperor from a last-ditch assassination attempt which would make the Steward the true Emperor.
I don't know, yet, how to break this into chunks that would become an adventure, but I think the structure works. I'll post some further thoughts on the nature of the Conspiracy and it's primary members.
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I have not put much time into thinking about the epilogue/after this adventure stage. Mostly thinking "after that what next" rather than "instead of", whether to go back and "deliver on" the whole Averheim elector thing vs "does the Storm of Chaos unfold as in earlier editions and on same timeline" etc.
I think any plans for the epilogue/what next need to be held lightly as who knows what state everything is in, which NPC's are "still standing" etc. by that point.
The thing I have been thinking is that if the "heroes" emerge victorius, alive, not mutants etc., their most senior noble member could be chosen as the Imperial Plenipotentiary (thinking back to Death on the Reik etc.) to be sent to Averheim and "sort out this Elector business" (the job Schwartzhelm is given in the Sword of Justice novel). After all you come from there, are not one of the competing noble families, so give us your recommendation which (unless you are discredited by those who don't like it) is almost certainly the Emperor's decision. This can blend with the Storm of Chaos coming as "the Empire cannot afford continuing weakness in Averland in this time of need", meanwhile "the Ruinous Powers would weaken the empire by destroying the support of that rich, fertile territory".
This gets into all sorts of political fun with assassination, seduction, corruption etc. being tried as the heroes should be onto establishing their "personal legacy" (marrying well, setting up business, etc.). I admit this sort of thing I think works best for a smaller group of Players (3 or so) so not sure it will work for my table (4, maybe 5 for this campaign).
Yes the Enemy Beyond does appear to be an add on that could be made into something much more rewarding. Liking the thoughts on post TEW conspiracy goals. Does look to good to be ignored in favour of a demonlands punch up… To me it seems like the obvious next step should be a high level story detailing the players actions during the coming Storm of Chaos. I was thinking the portal to the daemons castle could be an introduction to its neferious plans for the coming invasion, and rather than going toe to toe they can flee back to Altdorf with some clues and begin the next stage of the campaign from there.
With a bit of planning and Jackdays SoC timeline it should be possible to put together a mix of politics, intrigue and all out war for a post TEW scenario.
The campaign we finished last year had a Lord of Change as the main antagonist, was thinking of tying it into the end of TEW then running a campaign around finding out how to stop it and finally kill it, all while attempting to help save the Empire from ruin from the SoC.
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