I ended up going with the two characters I posted earlier (the knight and the outrider), since it was getting too close to play-time to start working on additional character concepts.
The adventure worked pretty well. It ended with them on top of the tower, the knight (who was still convinced this was the spear of myrmidia) picked up the spear and lost the battle of wills. He then turned around and impaled the outrider (I let the knight player make the attack roll ), hoisting him up like a grizzly banner atop the tower, while the imperials and norscans below tore each other apart and a booming laughter rolled across the sky.
I made sure that both characters were very combat competent. This made the war/peace choices more meaningful because they were almost never worried about loosing the combat, so it became a question of wether they wanted to start a fight or not. Turned out they did want to start a fight. Every time it was available. Including riding down fleeing enemies, shooting them in the back, executing prisoners and holding them captured in a burning barn with gunfire.
The adventure will have a LOT of combat. Luckily, I saw from the first combat encounter (three marauders storm into the bar) that the fighting would take WAY too much time and we would be lucky to get even halfway through the adventure. And the combats are not even really important. The important bit is wether or not the characters decide to instigate combat.
So for each fight I just had each character make an appropriate test with a difficulty based on how hard the combat was. Fails and banes led to taking wounds, chaos stars to recieving criticals.
This moved the adventure along rapidly and let us concentrate on the roleplaying instead of the roll-playing.
The characters racked up a lot of khorne points and maybe one or two shallya points during the adventure, but they still barely reached 15 points. And I used almost all the encounters and the players went for the most bloodthirsty solutions in every case. You have to play like some kind of raving psychotic to reach 20 points.
By the way, I never revealed the point-counter. It would seem like revealing the whole twist of the game to the players and give them too much under-the-hood information about the story.
The final duel at the top is awkwardly written. It tries too hard to contrive a filmatic climax that is almost guaranteed to be disturbed by the players. In my case, the knight gets to the top of the tower and just barrels into the maruaders to get to the spear. I had to skip forward to get to the point where Olaf is about to win. Then the knight kicked Zigi his sword and Zigi won but the knight grabbed the spear first. So now you have the duel of wits, which should be the focal point of the story. But I also have 3 marauders who were fighting with the outrider. Not to mention Zigi, who is not mentioned again in the adventure. They are just hanging around on top of the tower while the battle of wills is going on.
The outrider never even thought of trying to help the knight as he was busy holding his guns trained on everyone.
The scene would probably be better to run by having the first character arriving at the top seeing Olaf standing over Zigi and having one chance to intervene before Olaf wins.
In addition, I am becoming more and more in favour of just avoiding rolling any dice for NPCs. It generally works much, much better to just let the players do rolls for their characters and use the dice as the narrative tool they are intended as.
If I was to re-do the battle of wills, I would simply have the knight do a bunch of Discipline-vs-Discipline rolls where successes moved the demons marker towards the end while failures moved the knights marker towards the end. It halves the amount of rolls needed, is more engaging for the players and makes the scene easier to narrate as there is less breaks in the narration to construct a dice pool.
Edit: Just to be clear though. I really liked this scenario. I thought it was very nicely constructed by just giving the GM a bunch of narrative tools.
Edited by Ralzar, 10 April 2014 - 04:17 AM.