So no one made it out last session from Felltower.
But we play the game with everyone knowing what the players know about past sessions.
How do we explain that?
I had some ideas, and solicited them from my players. Special thanks to andi, our Gamma Terra GM, for providing a very detailed explanation of how people would know the pre-delve plans, who was going, what the aim was, etc. It boils down to "we plan in public," clear descriptions of the aim, map copying, etc. It would be clear to all the other normal crew (Vryce, Dryst, Angus, Gerry, Galoob) who are in town what's going on even if they didn't make it.
But then they went somewhere, found Baron Sterick (which they didn't really suspect), and never returned.
Yet the next group of PCs will know it was the Baron, how to get in, not to try the doors back out, not bother to try and block them, know roughly how Baron Sterick operates and his weaponry, his skill, his capabilities, etc. etc.
In other words, it went from "I wonder if we can open those doors, and what's in them?" to "let's go in and fight Baron Sterick, and we have a rough idea of his skill levels and know exactly how much damage his weapons do."
Here is how that can be explained:
- the crew can use Summon Spirit to question the dead PCs once it's clear they are dead. This can explain a lot of very specific in-game knowledge about the combat, assuming questions were worded right and power was handy. We can assume those. That would also explain getting to hear about the aborted attempts to deal the doors, too.
- the crew has access to Divination spells to get some yes/no questions answered or visions. While those would not explain the final combat as that area is proofed against divination (for obvious reasons). The other areas are shielded to a lesser extent, but basic questions could have been answered. Shielding wouldn't affect Summon Spirit, because the deceased's spirits weren't trapped. Lucky them.
- There will have been GREAT commotion in the churches very suddenly on Sunday, especially the great cathedral of Stericksburg, with priests alerted that someone penetrated the great seals and defenses. Word will spread, even if it's just "something bad happened and the priests are very upset!" The living PCs can easily put two and two together and get "I guess Hjalmarr was right about those doors, and Asher did detect something supernatural and evil over that way. Guess it was pretty dangerous."
So that is how the next group will be able to know what happened to the last group in dripping detail.