Week 11 – A Quick Spelljam

This week’s session was odd in as much as it was partly wrapping things up from the last session and the unexpectedly quick defeat of the Big Bad and led into a glorious new chapter in the rolling campaign.

I’m still setting up the campaign to come, and while I have the major set pieces plotted now, I’ve still got to get to grips with uploading maps, setting tokens and teaching myself the more arcane aspects of the interface like managing the fog of war, so I was grateful that we were able to roll on, so to speak, from where we’d left off – I had a real fear that I might suddenly be catapulted into the driving seat with so much left to set up.

Of course it didn’t help that we had a few communication issues getting set up this week – with the Hangout invites being sent from the wrong account (our GM’s girlfriend had left her Google account logged in, leading to a slight bemusement about where the unexpected Hangout invite was coming from) – and then my not being able to see the renewed Hangout led to my missing about five to ten minutes of the session itself. This led to the first words I heard from the group being: “Hi, take thirty one points of damage!”

Spelljammer Motivational - Dungeons and Dragons meets Starwars: Porn for Nerds
Snarky? Well just a little, but horribly accurate

Cue one grumpy mage pointing out the various protections that made this unlikely or at least reduced (layers of defence that included a ring of spell turning, a staff of the magi with spell absorption capacity and a shield spell still active from the previous session. Not wanting to spend the entire session in a huff, I then made an active effort to lighten my own mood and stop being precious so we could get on with the show.

The show in question was the journey of our group back home by means of a spelljammer spaceship – just go with it – that allowed us to travel from the Big Bad’s pocket dimension back to our homeworld. This effectively translated into a number of encounters during the voyage’s duration with a number of strange entities that included metallic flying space monkeys and an enormous snake about the size of our boat. This latter beastie was seen off by our previously departed and now draconic wizard, dropping in for a cameo appearance.

On arrival back home, the ship was confiscated by the dragon and we were free to pick the next target of our campaign. We chose to hunt down a dwarven collaborator who had been responsible for betraying the nation’s defences in the initial invasion. If this sounds a little brief then that’s a fair description of the session up to that point. Our GM had had to rapidly rework the entire endgame for his campaign with only a week’s notice, so if it was lacking in pace and detail it was entirely forgiveable. I don’t think we were quite expecting that the campaign was going to continue when we got started that evening – and I certainly fielded a few whispered conversations with players about options and preferences for the new campaign so that they could get started with character creation.

This has led us to an isolated fortification that appeared to have been hastily repaired and enhanced – so with all due caution we started to scout the area to see what we were walking into. Perhaps scarred by our encounter with the minotaur demigod we overdosed on caution, so before long the thief was invisibly scouting the walls and my wizard was invisibly flying overhead – becoming aware of a virtual army waiting for us that was milling around doing… something…

In the grand tradition of our group of dysfunctional mavericks we then began our assault, going on a basis of “well we might as well start somewhere and adapt to what they can throw at us.” A passwall opened a hole in the outer walls for the fighters to storm the breach, stealth kills of troublesome-looking spellcasters were performed under cover of – well not much really – and some strategic area effect destruction was unleashed on the nearest low level troops to clear the breach.

Then the counter attack began. Giants, some of them spell wielding, and surprisingly tough ground troops began to press back and we realised that we had done a rather clever impression of kicking a termite mound with bare feet. Summoned creatures started popping up on both sides, and our fighters began retreating back to the breach to give themselves some more easily defensible terrain.

We ended the session with the fight well and truly hanging in the balance – so let’s see where Monday takes us…

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