One of the ways that I keep ahead of the players in my games is to design skeleton encounters that can then be slotted in more or less any order depending on where they go or how they choose to deal with a set of situations. For any given arc there will occasionally be bits I end up not using – and in this case due to the utter chaos of the assassination attempt on Thorin in the last few weeks I decided not to use the following scenario that was aimed more at a murder-mystery feel. Its a bit more Agatha Christie meets Dr Who with a side of murderhobo. It felt like it would be a bit too jarring on top of what they had already encountered.
So the unused scenario in this case would have had a series of mysterious deaths through the train – locked room mysteries where the victims all mysteriously died of a wasting disease overnight despite no previous signs of illness. Two of the passengers would begin to look suspicious – a distinguished elven general and his Undying wife – as it was worked out that they had all recently been seen talking with each of the victims.
In the end it would be revealed that one of the luxury suites was retained by a guest who has not been seen – a Deathlock Mastermind transporting three Mummies in a portable hole and using dimension door to access locked rooms. The Mummies under the creature’s control acted as muscle, rotting the victims while they were paralysed with fear and the Deathlock ransacked the room for an artifact wanted by its patron in the Emerald Claw. In the end the common thread of the murdered people would be that they had all adventured together years ago and it was rumoured they split in an argument over something they found.
With only one Mummy seen at a time, having three in the hole would allow for some misdirections and strategic scares with attention on the shambling horrors rather than the fallen warlock flitting around in the shadows.
Ah well – I’m sure its something I can properly develop for another time, but feel free to use and tweak the concept for yourselves.
One of the casualties of our moving all in together, for now at least, has been our regular Sunday game of D&D. That’s why there haven’t been any updates on that front.
We’ve thought of various ways of accommodating the new arrangements: from being in different rooms and hoping the flat’s bandwidth can keep up; to adopting a tabletop, camera, and mini microphone combination with discord and twitch Heath Robinson invention.
I think what we’re probably going to revert to is a once a month or so meeting in person, at least for now. I’m missing playing and DMing intensely but its further down the priority list than the logistics of blending our households right now.
It does give me time to do some writing for the next phase of the game though, and make some maps and encounters online for reference. There will be a small time leap to give the characters some downtime – which allows them to make some plans, and me to throw in plot devices.
If reading that doesn’t make them clamour to get started sooner so that I have less time to plot, I don’t know what will…
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…
I was about to write a blog and found three unpublished drafts from over the last few weeks, so I’ve hit the button on them. That should confuse the stats.
It’s been a very busy weekend – we finally caught up with each other yesterday – so today’s gaming session was a bit more subdued and roleplay-led than our more recent weekends.
The DDC ended up visiting a casino and taking advantage of Thorin’s local fame and popularity to sweettalk the owner into giving them some information about the missing Lord Kemsler. They now have the office address and name of a skyship captain who transported the artificer.
It doesn’t sound much, but the session was full of visits to tailors, shopping for gifts, and asking questions of suspicious town hall gnomes. It was gentle, but we had fun.
We’re also starting to get a regular viewership – a steady half dozen or so listeners all the way through and another couple of dozen who dipped in and out. According to our stats we also have a healthy number of people who check in on the recordings during the week – so if that’s any of you, thank you very much and hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have making it.
Last night’s game ran over time, but was great fun, mixing the freeform joys of a festival with a guest player who needed to recruit the DDC. As with last week, I’d drawn up a timetable for events to help keep us on track for the session and by and large it helped us clip along at a brisk pace all the way through.
Our guest character, Zorra, was a warlock from the University library, well known to Kerne. An aarakocra looking like a large humanoid owl in a smart suit, Zorra had been shut out of her home by an invasion of kobolds and needed the DDC’s help getting back in.
Home Alone style hijinks then started before the group managed to break in and fight off the small statured but persistent pack – while Valenia and her wolf fell through into a sub basement which looked to be where the kobolds had come from.
We did overrun, so the story will continue next week with our guest returning – but if you’d like to hear and see what happened then go to www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 and you can catch up there.
Last night’s game went really well, with only minor fudging by yours truly to shift things along. We completed the adventure started for the charity stream with kobolds defeated and a hidden sub-basement discovered and cleared of menaces.
Tonight’s session was fantastic, well-paced, and had sass and drama in equal measure. Great fun all round, had by all.
I’d planned out key milestones to help mark timings for the evening which left ample time for roleplay and plot elements to come into play – and with key events in early bouts being used to punctuate conversations, it kept a momentum going.
The wrestling references and in-jokes caused much eye-rolling from myr s and laughter from everyone else, so I’m glad I spent the time googling ring names.
A confidant of their host identified themselves as an agent of House Phiarlan, there was a meeting at last with Mr Friendly and Mrs Nice, there were fireworks and dancing lights, banners were made and flown, and Kerne made a new friend.
Oh, and in a bruising and tense knockout finale, Thorin won his match, much to everyone’s relief. Great fun, must do another one soon.
It’s been a bit of a lazy day, but I’ve done a fair bit of preparation for the Sunday game. The main map has been adapted, NPCs placed, and even some loose plotting sorted. I’ve also been creating a number of potential opponents for the main event, which is shaping up to be a WWE style pitfighting competition.
So far Iron Ryan (warforged unarmed combat champion), Rigger Reins (human drunken fighting monk), and Seck “The Snake” Saash (lizardfolk Eagle Totem barbarian) have been sorted out to join Thorin “The Firebringer” in the ring. I’ll finish off with Gorgeous Glorfina and The Chef (can you smell what he’s cooking?) in the morning.
Those who follow such things may have spotted some cheeky nods to well known ring names already. I have no shame…
Come join us at 7.30pm but don’t forget that the clocks go forward tonight here in the UK.
Just finished a great session for this week’s game. There were no great heroics or epic fights, but instead a quiet period of investigation and regrouping.
They now own a market stall, are setting up a WWE-style exhibition pit fight, and have found the culprit responsible for the pranks and missing items in their house: a surly boggle called Tanglefinger.
After a fight scene that owed more to Home Alone than The Raid, they captured the elusive and slippery fey, and eventually came to an arrangement to share their living space.
And we all had fun, and I broke out some silly voices, and it was pretty much all ad-libbed. A good session.