25 Aug, 2020, updated 27 Aug, 2020 witchburner wizard thief fighter

This post is just spoilers for Witchburner. You probably meant to read this one.



Okay, so there wasn’t a witch. There’s a few options in the module but this is the one I picked, I liked the idea of going all-out on the Salem vibe.

More specifically, it doesn’t matter whether anybody is accused or not, or burnt or not, some stuff happens in the village. The villagers will react to it differently depending on whether they’ve burnt someone.

My players, after the shenanigans in the first post finally went out to see the beekeeper, and found her living alone and being suspicious and having no alibis because she has no friends. So they accused her, and she burnt before the town. She offered no defence, but just cried.

My players were more surprised about her innocence than I expected 😒. I thought they’d enjoy the more-explicit Salem inspiration, and they weren’t unhappy per se but definitely felt like I’d fiddled their backstory behind them a bit.

They were Witchburners, therefore there are Witches to burn. Their backstories when stated didn’t include actual witchcraft but we inferred different things from them. So I think it’s important to establish whether this world has witches and sorcery and the like, and if the answer is “nobody in Bridge caused these portents” the next question is “who did?”. As if this is standard D&D then you could say “Well we’ve clearly not found the witch”.

I think I’d also consider toning down the portents a little - although quite a few, like the river foaming up into clumps, were nicely ambiguous. Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

Perhaps I should have had them as experienced in criminal catching and had no experience of witches so their characters didn’t know whether witches exist or not. Then a background question (a la Dread): “Does your character believe in witches?”

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