Great Game Night

Another fun games night just finished, continuing on the DDC’s pursuit of a missing alchemist which has led them to helping sprites with a spider and ettercap problem in return for passage to the Feywild.

We had a lot of character moments too, with Valenia assisting dryads in repairing damaged forest land, and young baby Odif spontaneously beginning to crawl, and to begin to talk.

More than a mascot?

As everyone has generally been speaking a mishmash of Common, Sylvan, and Draconic around him, the baby kobold is mostly calling people and objects by single-syllable names to accommodate his jaw structure. This can’t possibly end in tears…

Story Progression

Another great session with the DDC this evening that started with sky pirates and ended with lamenting fey at a crash site. I’ve always tried to keep player agency to the fore when running games, not always successfully I’ll admit, but this week is one that rewarded the approach.

The DDC is at a level now where they are starting to be established adventurers, and are facing bigger adventures. Encounters that might have overwhelmed them now tend to merely raise pulse rates rather than induce cardiac arrests. What is especially rewarding though is that the characters are learning and evolving, and demonstrating empathy with events and creatures encountered.

As an example, they found the burned out crash site of the skyship they’ve been searching for: a blasted crater where once a proud copse of trees had stood deep in the forest.

Investigating it brought out the maddened dryads whose trees had been destroyed in the crash. A traditional adventuring encounter would have led to a pitched battle with the grieving fey. In this instance though the group refused to fight and with words and some lucky persuasion rolls were able to talk the dryads into pausing at least.

Which is when sprites appeared, and offered a deal, and we ended the session.

When the dwarven Barbarian puts his axe down and refuses to fight because “they’ve every right to be angry” you know there’s something going right with your game.

Prepping for Battle

I’m having a quiet day, and being productive at the same time. I had my second covid jab this morning (Astra-Zenica) and so far there’s no aches or pains so I’m just keeping hydrated and will take some paracetamol later if anything starts up. At worst it should feel a bit like the flu if last time was anything to go by.

In the meantime I’ve written the introduction to tomorrow’s game:

And so that’s one less thing to make up on the fly tomorrow. Now I’m going to go and prepare some spare encounters and maps that I can throw into the mix if the game goes in strange directions.

As ever I’m using a combination of Roll20 for the virtual tabletop, and dndbeyond.com for the creatures, people, information, and tricks of the trade, so I shall probably get lost for a while delving into lore and obscure rules for a while…

Lady M’s Catnip

Lady M is, in her own words, a completionist when it comes to Open World games. She’s recently started playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and has discovered just how many natural resources there are to grab for crafting.

Her general approach to the AC games is one of doing her best in investigate and complete every possible location, gathering and completing quests to complete regions as she goes.

With this game there is now the additional distraction of resources in caves and growing on hillsides. Whenever a search is done, they appear with a small clinking noise, along with any treasures – and so I am now doing my best to not twitch at the sound of constant searches and pings while she is in the middle of clearing a location.

After hearing her mutter that she could hear the ‘ting’ and where was it? I couldn’t resist likening the noise to being her personal catnip… and so an ongoing tease has begun…

Planned Recaps

The last three or four episodes of ‘Well That Just Happened have seen my usual introduction spiel and recap take a more fluid feel through the simple change of my actually writing it out in longhand in my DM’s journal ahead of schedule.

Before this last month or so I’d just been winging it with the occasional glance at my notes from the previous session to remind me of names and places.

It’s the only part of the show that is scripted. I welcome viewers to the show and now include the regular introduction:

“Hello, and welcome to Well That Just Happened: a very queer adventure; where a tired and geeky polycule makes dad jokes and plays some Dungeons and Dragons.”

I then quickly go round the table to let people introduce themselves and their character (and mention what food and snacks they have) before making any announcements and then launching into the recap – a sort of ‘Previously On’ segment as described above.

I started doing it on a whim one afternoon when bored, but have found it a good structured way to get the session ready and players in the right frame of mind – hopefully it viewers find it useful to.

Up and Away

Sunday’s game was a quiet contrast to the previous session’s conflict. The group had boarded a skyship as it was leaving, and this week found that the owner was going in search of the ship that had been carrying Kemsler when it apparently crashed. If the group agreed to defend the ship, the passage cost would be waived and they could join the search.

Most of the session was spent meeting the crew, adjusting to flying on a ship, taking watches, and getting to grips with the practicalities of raising a baby kobold.

Tiefling horns were teethed upon, a papoose rig designed, wild pegasi seen flying through the clouds, and the peace of the journey remarked upon when the baby settled.

And then, as we ended the session, large flying dinosaurs carrying halfling bandits flanked the ship, and prepared to attack…

Games Night Round-Up

A good game this week, less roleplay and more rollplay in as much as it was dominated by a fight scene on the platform of a sky dock some sixty foot up in the air.

Sometimes you just need a simple combat session to contrast with the soul searching and verbosity of the story, and if nothing else this evening was a good illustration of how time slows down. The whole three hour game covered about thirty seconds of an extended brawl and a rapid flight up into the clouds to escape incoming reinforcements.

And that’s where we’ll pick up next week, on a flying ship powered by an elemental, up in the clouds.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Just Ambling Along

Today has mostly been spent on rotas and preparing for opening up more options for people visiting our libraries next week. The restructure continues apace, and people are naturally worried, so I’m trying as best as possible to continue at a steady pace.

In the meantime I’ve put up a few more designs on the Amazon UK store – most notably one based on the sketch of Odif I showcased the other day. There’s now colour and a bit of rendering, and almost universally I’ve had people saying very kind things and asking for links. So to that end:

The Odif T-Shirt

You’re welcome, and I look forward to how the DDC adapts to their new travelling companion. I suppose I should finish off a couple of maps I’ve got in development. I’m off on Friday, that looks a good goal.

The Morning After

The D&D session on Sunday went really well – albeit not in any direction planned by myself. It was set the morning after a long night of carousing and started simply enough with Thorin’s hangover.

During the afternoon I’d messaged the players of every other character and asked them to nominate random items that he would find to give clues to the previous evening – with the hope this would lead to their comparing tall tales during the session.

What actually happened was that Thorin woke up and saw something moving under his discarded cloak. As he approached, it began to cry.

After a few moments of confusion the group was gathered round the swaddled baby kobold, and wondering why there were poker chips, a lone ace of spades card, and a broken monocle falling out of Thorin’s pockets.

There then followed an ethical debate between keeping the baby and trying to find the baby’s mother which was an emotional rollercoaster for several players.

A combination of retracing their steps and asking questions in low places (like the Floating Market) turned up memories and stories of betting against a powerfully built Shifter at the casino – putting up their house against the baby as a wager. While being unable to identify the Shifter (and suspected slaver), promises were secured from various people to either identify the Shifter, or the tribe from which the baby had been taken.

The baby, by now being called Odif, was being firmly taken care of by Caeluma and they refused to put Odif into anyone else’s hands – which is why they still had Odif in their arms when they walked into the middle of an armed industrial dispute at the Sky Docks…

So, that was our Sunday…

Not-so-small Visitors

Taking advantage of rapid testing and eased meeting restrictions we played host to Lady M’s neice and nephew this afternoon to finally swap Christmas presents. If you’re spotting a theme to recent meetings, then well done, it’s entirely deliberate.

Unsurprisingly, they’ve grown in the year since we last saw them. They’re just on the cusp of overtaking Lady M in the height stakes – as you might expect from a 12 and 13 year old. There’s starting to be hints of the adults they’ll grow to be, but the excitement of getting delayed presents doesn’t bypass anyone, and so the air was pleasantly full of chatter and the ripping of paper while it lasted.

We mostly got them books and dice for D&D along with a plush dicebag monster each for those interested.

And now they’re off and away home, and I’ve got a bit time to check all’s ready for tonight’s game which will be streamed on www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 as usual. See you there.