Events in a City Under Siege

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Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Saisei » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:43 am

Howdy folks.

My party has just landed in Denerim while it's under siege from the darkspawn (literally. They fell through a magical portal. Long story.). I'm not running off canon. Alistair and the Hero of Ferelden died at Ostagar in mine and only Highever and Denerim are left standing.

I know the parties objectives are to get in, get their loved ones, and high tail it the hell out of there. This is good for me cause it means I don't have to worry about them defending the city really. I do however want to get the panic of being in a city under siege across to them so I'm looking for some nice little events or advice on running it.

I'll probably throw the old moral choice dilemma at them of going to someones defence or getting past safely and quietly. It'll be quite dark as a whole, with more than just the darkspawn being a problem: looting, robbery, rape, murder, that kind of thing will all be happening while the city is under attack.

My party aren't out and out heroes, but they're not heartless bastards either. I think almost all of them have the Stealth focus so I imagine they'll try to sneak by alot of the trouble.

Any nice little nuggets or suggestions would be much appreciated. They were already present at the defence of Redhold but I want this to be different. This is travelling through a city when the walls have been breached quite severely, rather than defending it.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Alchemus » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:40 am

You could have a group of city guards try to force the party to help defend the city. They then have a choice to help the guards or fight them. Then halfway through the conversation (or fight) have an ogre or three bust through the nearest wall and attack the guards. That gives the party the choice to help the guards or flee, leaving them to die.

If they've played the games maybe throw in some characters from Denerim. Maybe Wade offers a nice set of drake scale armor if the party helps get him out of the city.

Perhaps Isabela was still in the city when it was attacked. Since she has access to a ship she could be an alternate means of escape.

Maybe Hawke and Carver were killed at Ostagar so Bethany, having never met Flemeth, was only able to get to Denerim. While there she could have been picked up by templars. Meeting in the streets they can choose to help the templars get Bethany to Kinloch Hold (if they're anti-mage), helping Bethany escape the templars (if they're pro-mage), or neither.

Those last three are really just variations on the same theme, but you may find one useful.

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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Saisei » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:26 pm

Ooo I like some of those. It's funny you mention Isabella as that had been my exact plan for the escape! I like the stuff with the guards too I'll have to try to work those in. Thanks!

More suggestions welcome! :D
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby kwanzaabot » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:18 pm

Have you played the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC for DA:Origins? That's basically what happens in it. It's set in an alternate reality where the player died at Ostagar.

Basically this means most of the party members never joined, although many of them happened to find their way to Denerim and joined the fight against the Darkspawn. eg. Zevran's helping the elves fend off the Darkspawn in the Alienage, and Sten is helping the soldiers in the palace, while Oghren is getting drunk in the marketplace.

Since Alistair's dead in your campaign, the last stand against the Darkspawn with Alistair, Leilana, Morrigan, Dog and the werewolves probably wouldn't happen- although you could probably use Leilana in the Chantry, but I doubt the rest would be around, since Dog relies on the player to live, and Morrigan probably wouldn't care.
Here's an idea: you could use the werewolves- just say they're blighted werewolves, and maybe beef up their stats a little.

Additionally, the Archdemon has a lieutenant of sorts, the Hurlock Vanguard- basically a Hurlock that can enthrall other Darkspawn, which I'd take to mean that the otherwise mindless Darkspawn don't just swarm the city- they're organized, disciplined, and more dangerous than ever.
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby shonuff » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:41 pm

Saisei wrote:Any nice little nuggets or suggestions would be much appreciated. They were already present at the defence of Redhold but I want this to be different. This is travelling through a city when the walls have been breached quite severely, rather than defending it.

Thanks in advance!


I don't think it will be very different from a run-of-the-mill combat encounter. This, IMO, would be different if it were an enemy besides Darkspawn, but if you take the utter destruction they bring and throw in the Taint and ghouls, I can't see the population falling apart like that when the Darkspawn have breached the walls -- I see them trying to escape.

If you want to show the helplessness of the city and make it dark, why not let the city hold for a while. Then, you get all of the murders/looting/rapes while the city starves. Then you can have the walls breached.
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Alchemus » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:47 am

Saisei wrote:It's funny you mention Isabella as that had been my exact plan for the escape!


Great minds I guess.

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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:11 am

Loghain would probably fight to the last, so having guards trying to conscript recruits for the city defense was a really good idea by Alchemus.

On the flip side, Arl Rendon Howe doesn’t strike me as the self-sacrificing type, when it becomes clear that the city will most likely fall I would expect him to flee Denerim. The party could cross path with him during their own escape and it could provide potential for future story lines. Does the party know what a sleazebag the Arl is? If so, that could make for an interesting moral choice…do they side with the devil to increase their odds of success or spurn the offer to ally (making a potentially powerful enemy in the future if he escapes). If they ally, does Howe betray them at some point during the escape. (The portcullis slams down cutting the party off from escaping with the Arl’s group. “Nothing personal you understand…but someone needs to fight a delaying action and it seems that would be you. I’d wish you good luck, but I think goodbye is more appropriate”) Or do they perhaps save the Arl’s life at an opportune moment, gaining them a potentially strong ally…after all he may be a sleazebag, but he is a powerful sleazebag. The Arl also has the kind of money to make things happen…maybe he hired Isabela and her ship to get him out of there…having access to a ship that is departing could be a powerful incentive for the party to ally with Howe. Heck…maybe the party makes it to the ship on their own, but Isabela won’t leave because she is waiting for the Arl (and his big sack of gold) to arrive…the party might have to go and get the Arl and his group in order to escape.

Having Arl Rendon Howe survive the fall of Denerim could give you some interesting story fodder...depending on the relationship (or lack thereof) with the party, you could use him as a potential benefactor or enemy...assuming you haven't already killed him off...in which case never mind...
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby shonuff » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:37 am

Ghostdanser wrote:Loghain would probably fight to the last, so having guards trying to conscript recruits for the city defense was a really good idea by Alchemus.


I could equally see Loghain as cutting his losses and evacuating as much of the city and army in order to fight another day.
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:33 am

shonuff wrote:I could equally see Loghain as cutting his losses and evacuating as much of the city and army in order to fight another day.


True…Loghain might do that…especially if it meant saving his daughter helping to preserve his (that is to say her) hold on the throne.

The main reason I recommended Howe was because I remembered Saisei stated in another thread that he’s toying with the idea of allowing the darkspawn to overrun Ferelden. If that’s the case then you would probably want Loghain dead. If Loghain dies the odds of Ferelden falling increase significantly.

So another possibility could be that Rendon Howe (now a Teyrn if the betrayal of the Cousland’s took place), might take the opportunity to assassinate Loghain and his daughter, with the intent that the darkspawn over running the city will cover up his crime. Once he escapes he could setup a government in exile, and being the highest surviving nobility declare himself the king of Ferelden in exile…issued by emergency proclamation of course…tough times require decisive leadership…blah, blah, blah...with the most vocal dissenting nobility suddenly suffering an unusually high mortality rate.

Howe would make for an initially weak despot king, but if he solidified his position over time, one that would become increasingly difficult to depose. He is perhaps the worst man for the job of rallying the exiles to take back their country, making him the perfect leader for a campaign where Ferelden is under darkspawn control with little chance of being freed any time soon.

Of course…even if Alistair is dead, it doesn’t mean that there’s not another bastard prince amongst the survivors. The npc may not even know they are the heir to the throne…but if the party were to find out somehow…(royal letter hinting at a bastard with an unusual birthmark).

Eh...it's a thought...
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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Alchemus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:58 am

Ghostdanser wrote:If Loghain dies the odds of Ferelden falling increase significantly.


I think Loghain's survival wouldn't matter. With the wardens dead he has no way to stop the Blight. He wont let the Orlesian wardens in to help, so at best he'd only be able to defend one city for a prolonged amount of time. Since Denerim is being taken in this scenario he may pull out his troops and head north to Amaranthine. Even if he's able to hold out there, I think the people would grow tired of his inability to drive the darkspawn back, and possibly rise against him.

Eventually wardens would come in (Orlesian or otherwise), but by then it's probably too late.

Having the group come across a city slaughtered by Loghain's men could lead them up to confronting Loghain himself.

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Re: Events in a City Under Siege

Postby Ghostdanser » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:20 pm

Alchemus wrote:I think Loghain's survival wouldn't matter.


True...there's definitely a ton of possibilities.
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