The setup of the main chunk of Hearts of Stone’s story goes like this: Olgierd von Everec, who first put up the contract to kill the monster in the Oxenfurt sewers, has made a deal with the devil-like figure Gaunter O’Dimm. In order to fulfill his end of the deal, O’Dimm enlists Geralt to make three of Olgierd’s wishes come true.
I get the distinct sense that the writers were given more of a leading role in this expansion, because this is the perfect excuse for them to do all the stuff they’ve probably always wanted with this setting and cast of characters. Olgierd’s wishes can be (and are) as off-the-wall as CDPR would like, and they take advantage: show Olgierd’s (now-dead) brother “the time of his life,” steal an entire house, and a third which is left unrevealed until Geralt has completed the first two.
I would say the writers chose their wishes well, because the first two are clean and promising setups for long set pieces featuring a body-swap comedy and an elaborate heist, respectively. In the first, Geralt attends a wedding while intermittently possessed by the spirit of Olgierd’s late brother Vlodimir, and in the other, he recruits a crew of charming sleazebags to steal a will (the “house”) of a wealthy merchant.
Rather than try and do a blow-by-blow of each of these two sequences, I thought I would just point out a list of things that I enjoyed, and which I think illustrate some of the unique advantages an expansion can have over a base game.