Reckless Dice #44: Thousand Thrones Recap

The group dissects the Thousand Thrones campaign. We discuss why we ended the campaign 1.5 chapters short. We explore where things went awry and what we can do to improve in future adventures.  Lastly we discuss what we will be playing next.

5 thoughts on “Reckless Dice #44: Thousand Thrones Recap”

  1. OMG, this comes suddenly and unexpectedly! I haven’t even got here, still at episode 20. Actually, I was gonna ask you guys why the characters never advanced in their carreers, having earned around 20 XP, but that’s obsolete now.
    Well, thrilled to see what my favourite podcast is up to next. I’m always one for WFRP3 and would wish for sth. like “The Art of Waaagh” from Hero’s Call, but I guess that after 21 episodes of WFRP you will be testing different waters soon…
    Thrilled to listen to the FINALE soon
    Best,. Emsstrand

  2. I can’t fault you for packing this in early, I’m surprised you played as much as you did!
    Still, I enjoyed listening to you “suffer” through it, and the discussion mid way through about on Nate’s character and if he should soldier on or play a new one was a great look at character vs player enjoyment.

    I look forward to whatever you decide to play next!

  3. Enjoyed the campaign. It did feel disjointed, like they had a grand idea for the story but had no idea how to fit it all together for an rpg.

    It was nice to hear how the story was suppose to be, surprised they didn’t weave more of that story into the game for the players. If you hadn’t discussed it at the end I would still be wondering what was going on!

    One question, how did the campaign assume the party would end things? Was death by spiders or death by the realm of chaos the only choices? Was there a choice where the good guys get to win and survive?

    1. Great question. So spoilers ahead obviously for those of you who intend to play this campaign.

      The game as written has the players enter the Black Witch’s Womb not really saying they cant leave, but the book presents them with SO MANY OPTIONS FOR MUTATIONS that you really cant leave intact. Every time you eat, get wounded, etc. you gain corruption/mutations. I believe the intent is that once the players get to the end they are as messed up as the rest of the creatures down there and wont think twice about sacrificing themselves to save the world.

      Regarding the spiders, this is just such a weird room. Its not even really part of the adventure as a whole, its just a single room with a bunch of eggs that could be the beginning story arc for some other adventure. But all a player has to do to trigger the room is touch anything! After that an unstoppable exponential explosion of spiders erupts and destroys everything in their path, eventually escaping from the womb and terrorizing the world. No further details are provided for such a catastrophic outcome.

      Regarding how the end with Karl and the Witch could go, there were a few options based on how the players acted up to that point and how they reacted to the Witch/Karl/Vampires. It really comes down to how to stop the witch and if you can stop her for good or just delay what she is doing. She has been using the vampires and Karl as puppets to possess Karl’s body, and luring the vampires there by making them think their Thousand Thrones prophecy would come true, which it wouldn’t because it was all faked by the witch. If Karl is killed, things go horribly but the witch still lives in her womb. If the vampires are killed, the witch is just delayed as she gets more vampires there over time. If the witch’s bones are taken to the chaos portal and tossed in the witch is banished (this is the best possible outcome). Lastly, what our players did was have Karl himself banish the witch which results in an unknown. Is she gone for good?

      The players are then left with un-transfixed vampires, and possibly/likely a ton of corruption. And the spiders rampaging around. Maybe they get lucky and the spiders follow them into the realm of chaos and die there? That could be a good option.

      I hope this helps =)

      Jesse

  4. Hello Jesse, Leila, Chris and Nat,
    I’m one of your listeners who actually made it through to the end. When I listened to your recap two months ago I was really sorry to hear you all so disappointed with the campaign – and even with the gaming system. I think the last bit was more shocking to me. After all, Recklessdice was founded as a Wfrp3 podcast and did that job extremely well thru the years.
    First of all, I wanna say that despite its apparent weaknesses, I enjoyed following Leo and his crew through the empire, even though things got worse closer to the end.
    THE CAMPAIGN
    As for the campaign, I think your main problem was trying to play it as written. While this has been a hallmark of your Podcast, in this case the campaign is just crafted to badly to be played as written. Mind you, I think it has absolutely fascinating ideas and scenarios in it, the whole idea of the Crusade of the Child, and it was a bit sad that none of the positive points was mentioned in your final analysis. But actually, I see this massive book more apt to deliver a good start and lots of interesting ideas, rather than a 1:1 playthrough book. I was reading the book parallel to your adventures, and I think that the chapter you skipped at the end (“Death do us apart”) might have been an interesting adventure in a really cool location – the abbey of Morr in Siegfriedshof. But alas, things got unplayable…
    I was shocked, though, when I read that the actual background story of the whole campaign only got touched upon here, after 150 pages! Anyone wanting to make this campaign enjoyable will have to find a way to hand clues to players far earlier AND give them a chance not only to react but also investigate proactively. As you said in your analysis, the unwinnable chases and surprise appearances of overly mighty NPCs…. That was so 80s that it hurt.
    THE GROUP
    Group composition was an important part of your analysis, and I am with you: You did follow the leads for PC creation that are in the book, and they are fun at first – but they make no sense in the long run. What any campaign needs is a strong personal (!) motivation of the characters, and also compelling reasons for them to stick together. Being coerced into an investigation by a witch hunter does not do that by any means. And that’s a shame. You might have been better off changing parts of the group composition during the campaign. Characters with religious motives would have helped, for example. And I also prefer to have at least part of a group of PCs tied to each other by bonds of loyalty, fealty, debt or especially family from the start of a campaign. Especially “family” is always a good reason, regardless of how different you are from your cousin or uncle or brother. This has led to very good roleplaying and conflict solutions within my groups.
    THE SYSTEM
    As for WFRP3, it’s still my favorite system and I intend to keep playing it, so it grieves me go hear that you’ll not be coming back to it. Jesse said it, you might have explored a mere 8% of its possibilities. That said, I share the thought that the system gets into too much micro-management and it can slow you down quite a bit with so many cards and bits. In my experience, this happens when characters advance to 4th tier or so and have s a lot of talents and career abilities stacked, not so much with the actual action cards. The storytelling dice mechanism is still a favorite of our group, though, maybe also because we took some mathematical imbalances out. I also think that often you ruled too harshly on rolls of single chaos stars, because these are bound to be rolled all of the time. In my game, things get messy when 2 chaos stars are rolled. 1 star gives only minor bad effects, more like two banes maybe.
    THE WORLD
    Good to hear though that you might be coming back to the Warhammer world once Cubicle7 has the new edition out. I really like the world, and while it’s true that it’s built to slowly erode and destroy the characters, I don’t agree that it’s always a downward spiral altogether. In The Enemy Within II, for example, your PCs rose from lowly nobodies to people with connections in high places. They got shot at the end, okay, but only after saving Altdorf! In my campaign, corruption, disease and wounds gnaw at the characters, but at the same time they have become very powerful with strong skills and all. It’s that contrast in them that appeals to me.
    That said. Thanks again for your serious commitment to play this monster well and finish it.
    It’s been one hell of a ride!
    Emsstrand

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