The past four weeks I’ve been running an adventure shamelessly ripped off from Chris Perkins’ game for the Robot Chicken crew. The party is after three magic shields that open a vault. The latest of which is stored within the largest bank in Waterdeep. This portion of the adventure was shamelessly ripped off from an adventure in Dungeon 147 called “The Aundairian Job.” In that adventure, the PCs get hired by a priest from the Church of the Silver Flame to break into a House Kundarak enclave to recover an amulet with a powerful demonic spirit trapped within it.
For those not familiar with Eberron, the Church of the Silver Flame is basically the Catholic Church. Although its influence is much more limited in Eberron than its equivalent’s power in Europe. House Kundarak is a dwarven family that runs all the big banks in Eberron. A bunch of Houses called The Dragonmarked Houses because in Eberron they develop these magic tattoos called Dragonmarks that give them an edge in certain types of magic. For example, House Vadalis has a dragonmark that gives them mastery over animal handling, so they breed the best beasts in Eberron. It’s like if the Starks of Winterfell realized they could go into Wolves so they started selling badass intelligent wolves. House Kundarak are masters of security. Their locks can’t be picked, they make badass traps. And they’re dwarves so they combine this knack for security with all the gold from The Hobbit. So you see how its natural that they run all the banks in Eberron.
For Eberron purists out there and possibly Keith Baker, I realize that crash course in the Dragonmarked Houses isn’t precisely accurate, but if I typed out the terms of the Korth Edicts we’d be here all goddamn night. I assure you I have forgotten more about Eberron than Kaius III remembers.
So you have the setup. Its a heist from a building that’s impossible to break into. Fun right? So I adopted the adventure. Except, the players didn’t bite for breaking into the bank. They had the magic key to the strongbox and they knew they were on the side of the angels. So they walked up to the bank president and told him, look, the owner died and you don’t want this fucking thing in your bank. I really couldn’t argue that. Well, I could, but its a difference in the needs of an Eberron game versus the needs of my home game. And hence the point of my rambling article.
The game I’m running is a 5 game module at my FLGS. I have one more week to run this game. Even if they survive, the characters cease to be. Sure we might do a sequel and I’ve already got what I think are some great ideas if they want to continue the story. The players came up with a great way around half my adventure and I am fine with it. It saved time. Honestly, if they hadn’t done that, they would’ve probably gotten frustrated and left after I subjected them to the Endless Hallway from Mines of Madness. But the reason it worked wasn’t just that the players had a good idea, its that this wouldn’t work in the context of the Eberron world.
I had thought this might happen when I was writing the adventure. Just because I put a bank in the campaign doesn’t necessarily mean the players are going to heist it. But the main reason I’m writing this and the main reason this wouldn’t happen in an Eberron games is context. I am certain that Lord Brannick d’Kundarak, the dwarf from the Aundairian Job, does not want some cursed amulet in his fucking bank. But that doesn’t mean House Kundarak doesn’t want it. And there in lies the primary difference between my game and Eberron. In my game this is the bank of Waterdeep. They want their money. House Kundarak wants power. And if the Silver Flame has this thing, that’s power they don’t have which is unacceptable. In my game, the goal is to be done with these bankers by the end of our session so I can finish this game off next week.
I’m not sure there’s a lesson here to be applied to your game at home, but it was kicking around my mind.