So, here’s how it went…
I describe that they wake up from the explosion that appears to have happened just outside their door. The characters rush outside the Manor to see what has happened and here’s where the issues start.
One of the characters has Thamauturgy which allows them to increase their voice volume. So, he basically uses Thaumaturgy and shouts “Who did this” expecting someone to come out and plead guilty… As a consequence, the few people that rushed to the scene to help possible survivors, start running (Three of them were vital witnesses, such as Fala). So, there goes their first lead. I describe that the police closes all entrances and that an “Important Looking Guy” approaches them. I then tell them that the Manor (which now operates as a tavern) must stay closed for until they capture the culprit, just so to get them interested in searching who threw the fireball.
Because they didn’t seem willing to ask people about information I have Ranear appear to the scene before he is supposed to just to hopefully give them a clue about who they’re looking for. One of the characters notices that there’re two Zentharims and believes that Xanathar did it and with the help of Ranear he comes to the conclusion that Xanathar now has the Stone of Golorr and that it was stolen from Dalakhar, the gnome. Now, that’s their only clue for the time and I am starting to get a little nervous about the whole situation, so I ask them to roll an Investigation die to determine whether they see the Halfling inside the barrel or not. Thankfully, one of the characters succeeds and he approaches the Hafling. The Halfling is obviously scared and upset as he saw his friends die before his eyes. I describe that it jumped inside the Barrel just after the explosion and then it found this weird-looking necklace with two red circle stones on it. The characters decide not to ask anyone about the necklace as it would make them suspects, in case it had to do with the whole Fireball situation (They weren’t aware that it is a Fireball necklace).
1) The witnesses have fled.
2) They have the necklace but decide not to ask anyone about it.
Now, because I wanted to personalise this campaign as much as possible and since one of the characters is an Elf Warlock and his character reads lots of books, I decided to add an “Elven Guild” where he would be able to train and gain XP and learn new Spells as the campaign progressed. The Warlock decided to go to the Elven Guild to ask for information regarding Pyromancers in Waterdeep. I have an Elf NPC tell him that there aren’t many, and even if the explosion was caused by a Fireball spell it couldn’t have been one of the few Pyromancers as they are all part of the Mage Council (another Homebrew content). I then decide to give them the first clue, via this Elf NPC saying that if he wanted to harm anyone he would have done so using a Nimblewright, an automated humanoid. The character then decided to go back to the Trollskull Manor but on his way back I describe how a Newsboy shouts “Day of Wonders is near! See the most amazing Automations perform!”. The character decides to ask the boy about this Day of Wonders and the boy tells him that there is a Temple that sponsors the festival. Obviously, the character goes back to the Trollskull Manor where the rest of the party is and tells them that they should go to the Temple. That’s my first mistake. As they aren’t sure whether an automation caused the attack, there would be a huge logical gap. Anyway, they meet Nim and he gives them the Nimblewright Detector. With it, they decide to search the Waterdeep starting from the Dock Ward. There, they notice that the Nimblewright detector spins faster the closer they are at the two galleons. They decided to board the ship in broad daylight, but nobody seems to be interested in them. The crew isn’t present on one of the ships just so I can allow the players to investigate freely. On the other ship, however, I decided to put Zardoz Zord or Jarlaxle Baenre so I can make it easier for them. Along with Zord, there are 6 crewmen on the ship. 4 are sorting some stuff on the ship while the other 2 are in the Captain’s Cabin and Zord is shouting at them about dropping a crate in the sea. This allows the characters, with stealth, to go to the Crew Quarters where they find one of the Nimblewrights. While the 2 characters investigate the one ship, the other 2 investigate the other. I decided to make one of the Nimblewrights tell them that the skin of the crew is black and not white (Through pantomime) just to see what they will do. That’s where we left off… I really don’t know how to help them or get them back on track… I will probably tell them that the Nimblewright detector starts spinning at some random location to make them go towards the Villa but I really don’t know… Do you guys have any tips on things I should do differently? My party isn’t really good at investigating, they’re more into battle and stealing rather than helping. The only reason they set out to investigate is because the City Watch closed their shop.
Thanks for your time!