Between sessions I’ve been mulling over my options for what to do next. Helgot needs to continue exploring the first floor, searching for the The Exarchate of Theana for Jasper, and he could do to pick up some oil and some tools to try and coax the rusted mechanical face he found back into life.
What’s more concerning is how close he came to death in the last session — first almost mauled to death by a pack of giant rats, and then narrowly dodging past a patrolling eldritch bone skeleton. If Helgot dies, Jasper would never hear from him again, and in theory the campaign would end. Unlike the OSR/D&D campaign Dwimmermount is designed for, there’s no party to continue on should the worst happen; a solo death is also a TPK.
Luckily, I have options. I think the best thing to do is to roll up another Ironsworn character and run them through a little mini-adventure: they can start by meeting Helgot in Muntberg, then make a journey back to the City-State of Adamas to meet up with Jasper. Then we would have three characters — Helgot as primary player character, a newly rolled one as backup, and NPC Jasper gluing them together. Ultimately, I’d like to have a little adventuring guild of PCs to rotate through, based in Muntberg, and if at all possible, I’d like to convince Jasper to close up his shop in Adamas and join them there. I can then pick-and-choose which PC to use for a given session, or take one of them along using a temporary Companion asset.
There are, however, a few issues with convincing Jasper to make the journey from Adamas to Muntberg. First of all, Adamas is his place of business, and he does good business. He’s unlikely to want to close up shop and cut off his income. Secondly, and probably more importantly, he’s currently being surveilled by Termaxian cultists. He doesn’t know this for sure, but he’s paranoid about it (and with good reason). This is all good plot material though, and should the cultists ever make a move he may just decide he’d be safer with his budding group of mercenaries and treasure hunters after all!
One of the recurring threats of the Dwimmermount campaign are the other adventuring parties also exploring the site — at the start of the campaign, there are three groups in competition with the players:
- The Five Delvers, sponsored by Muntberg’s temple of Typhon have not discovered much and are mainly scouting out the various entrances
- Typhon’s Fists, from Adamas, sent by the High Priest of Typhon, have made some small progress inside
- The Crimson Band (working for the despot of Adamas) have not yet been committed
I haven’t yet decided how to slot these into my Ironsworn variation of the campaign — I’m thinking perhaps as slowly-advancing Threat tracks, once the oracles show a reason to introduce them — but their background presence makes me think I should solidify my own characters into a recognisable party, even if they do delve solo.