AAR: The cult of Illmire

27 Apr, 2021, updated 29 Apr, 2021 evils of illmire 5e fvtt

So last time, the players decided to sneak into the cult’s temple in Illmire. Coincidentally they managed to knock out the window to the only room without cultists inside it.

This session started with a happy murder of all the cultists desecrating the temple that didn’t surrender in time. Most notably the ranger found a sacred mace, that he very carefully didn’t touch with his skin and passed back to the cleric for safe-keeping. And keep it safe the cleric did, not sullying it with combat.

This made it very perplexing when the party descended into the crypts and encountered the fearspawn under the graveyard. The shovel on the altar with skulls and candles, however… well, the ranger picked that up straight away. Clearly fighting the zombies had added some confidence! Or maybe just some confusion - they found some well-sealed clay pots in the room before, and during the combat with the mindphage was the point they decided was the best time to open said pots. Shame they were filled with hungry mindphages1.

Top-down gridded map of a crypt, with zombies and a land-squid monster
One crypt, sorted.

Once they emerged from the crypt, fresh with the source of the “plague” afflicting Illmire, they went straight to the Mayor. Previously they’d been kept from seeing him by the butler, but they’d recommended the water of the town should be avoided, and, wouldn’t you just know it, he’s feeling a lot better? The grateful butler rushes them up, and they spill the tale.

Hurrah!

They triumphantly return to the Weary Wagoner pub, where the sleepy owner has outright collapsed. The cleric rushes to help, but she’s been strange for a few hours now. She’s diagnosed with a case of Having A Goddamned Mindphage In Her, although it seems to have recently died. They help her to a bed. The barmaid seems pretty upset when she’s told there are cultists in the church, and not so reassured when the party tell her that they have vanquished them. Regardless, the party go to bed, they’re exhausted for being up a day and a half.

Obviously they’re attacked in the night by the barmaid who is also a cultist. Happily despite their lack of armour, the dice are in their favour.

Now, they just have a town to sort out, who knows who else is a cultist here?

Lessons

  1. My players just don’t check for traps, unless there is no trap present. A big ol' button marked with a weird glyph? Yeah they will absolutely press that. Despite having Mage Hand.
  2. Trying to narrate round the town of Illmire has felt a little like shedding a curtain, and some magic is gone. I’ve been offering the players “OK do you want to be invested in Illmire or do more dungeons?” and similar. I want to go back behind the curtain again but they’re interested in supporting the Illmire economy so some side quest options become available. But I can’t prep everything so I’m creating some lists.

Foundry

  1. The Blood & Guts module now actually cleans up old blood stains to set an upper limit, which is nice, although the levels look a bit cleaner now the stains fade as the wounded party members track blood round the place instead
  2. Some players still are having to reload tabs to see what’s going on. I’m going to turn off more things, in case it’s something I’ve missed.
  3. When I turn things back on I’m adding Stairways which is a nice module for linking areas of a scene, or different scenes, that tokens can walk between.

  1. Strong Alien vibes at this point, much fun had. ↩︎

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