I won't go into the details of the first quest, but I feel that I timed it well enough. What I need to do better next time is throw more Strife at the heroes. They were simply too strong for the NPCs and minions that they encountered. With one cautious player and one gung-ho player it wasn't long before the cautious player was using the gung-ho player as a shield.
The only other snag that I feel we hit was with regards to persuasion. In a contest of Oration (seems to be the most appropriate ability), when the heroes win there was no doubt that the NPCs would have to fold. However, if the heroes lose there is nothing to force them to submit to the goal of the NPCs. I think I might need to make it more clear that when the dice are rolled, it is a branching point in the story. I think I also need to frame the scene and the contest better to ensure that the players don't simply say, "No, I'm not going to do that, no matter what the dice have rolled." I will have to be more explicit in laying out the consequences of winning and losing a contest.
Mistakes that I made
- Armour impairments can be removed during an interlude, as with any other ability
- The Shield ability should be used during combat
- Defeated minions are only worth 1 glory, without adding the Strife cost
- I didn't spend Strife correctly
Other things that I will change next time
- NPCs will be fewer and more powerful
- Objectives will be more linear