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.
For those who haven’t caught up with Sunday’s streamed game, well where have you been? I knew it was probably going to be a bit random but I wasn’t expecting them to end up in a BDSM club.
On the one hand it was perfectly plot driven and was kept on the tasteful side, but it’s a stark reminder to DMs that any throwaway line can and will be used as a plot hook against you.
In this case it came from some abandoned and near ruined diaries found while investigating a deserted and haunted house. I was establishing the back story linking the owner of the house with another character that had previously been mentioned. A previous throwaway line of that character being a fugitive chemist and drugs being involved segued into the two mentioned characters being lovers.
This then led to a throwaway line of the DDC finding some erotic poetry between the two while searching through rubbish, and mention of some clubs that they’d frequented together. Having had a glass of whisky at the time I then made up some risqué sounding names.
This week, having rescued Coal, the DDC decided to go searching after the missing alchemist, and went looking for his previous haunts. This was where everyone produced their notes and said the name of the club they wanted to visit.
So instead of hunting after Warforged terrorists as I’d expected, they went clubbing, leaving Coal and Kerne behind to protect innocent eyes. Caeluma compared knitting and knotting techniques with a semi pro rope rigger, Thorin found his burgeoning pit fighter career made him a bit of a celebrity, and Valenia shmoozed for clues.
I have a vague plot now writing itself, but who knows where it’ll all end up…
Another game tonight, so as the last couple of weeks were intense fights and investigations this will probably be a bit more free-form and roleplay centred. There will be a week’s downtime to resolve, and that alone will likely determine the next directions taken.
With a largely character-led campaign I’m fully expecting some interesting side trips in response to the plot hooks I throw out there so my preparations are largely along the lines this week of some generic battlemaps that can be turned to a variety of uses. I’m posting them up in the Roleplay section as I go along, feel free to take a look.
In terms of active plot lines: we currently have the missing Gnomish alchemist who fled from the university and his partner (Lord Rancaster) with a recipe for synthetic dream lily. We have the pit fighting scene that Thorin has begun to get involved with. We have random pranks by persons unknown in the DDC’s house, and we have the Warforged zealots following the Lord of Blades who were working with the Emerald Claw cultists who kidnapped Coal and used him to resurrect a Warforged Titan.
No doubt they will go investigate something else entirely.
We ended up not gaming this evening, but not for the reasons expected. Lady M has had a headache, myr s had a tummy ache, and so we were considering not playing. Then we decided to give it a go anyway.
Our collective pieces of technology decided not to cooperate. We had plugins fail, browsers crash, voice comms break down… so after 20 minutes we threw our hands up and started comparing notes about using Inkarnate and designing homebrew items for the game.
We had a great session today, bringing to a head the mystery of where Coal had disappeared to and what had happened to his former compatriots. Last week had brought the group to a war damaged slum, and the zombified remnants of the gang, and a wight that controlled them.
And then this week, as they thinned the waves of zombies out, the wall next to them came down revealing a roughly rebuilt Warforged Titan – a towering engine of destruction from the Last War – which had Coal patched and embedded in it as a jury-rigged power source.
And they fought among the ruins, fighting their fears for Coal, and were triumphant. The wight escaped, but they were able to rescue their companion. A huge victory, all the better for the emotional investment for everyone.
And it’s those connections I’ve been watching build, and encouraging as we go that rises to the queer experience of this set of adventures. There’s an underlying theme of the consciously built family in place of their various fractured backgrounds.
All the characters are outsiders and have bonded together in mutual support and love, but they are adventurers first and foremost. The characters original backgrounds are now being developed with new connections, and I’m enjoying weaving those into the story and hearing my players reactions.
Hearing my description of Coal being literally forcibly enfolded and assimilated into this relic of the military and wars he had fought so hard to reinvent himself away from, there were gasps around the table. There may also have been joking threats from myr s of what might happen if Coal died.
Music to my ears. Passion and determination fought fear and desperation this evening for stakes that felt important to everyone around the table. The discovered family fought the clutches of the abusive past, and won.
I said I’d get started, and so I did. In the Games and Gaming section, reachable from the menu at the top of the page, there are now links to maps suitable for use in virtual tabletops. Most are pretty bare to allow for variety in setting further props and furniture tokens, and are accompanied by notes for intended or past use.
The links to various past and present games are also there for delving into for ideas and narratives.
I’m going to get on with making a page just for maps, using old and new material, probably starting this evening.
In the meantime, here’s a very quick cave map with a stream pubbing through it from a spring at the back. A group of smuggler’s (or other antagonists of choice) have made use of a cluster of side caves and installed a portcullis style gate to deter intruders.
Further back in the cave there is a branch where a fissure opened up and a number of cave fishers (or other suitable pest-level monsters) have settled in, eating vermin and fish that emerge from the depths in the water. By and large the two sets of inhabitants ignore each other barring opportunistic encounters.
Lady M made an unflattering comparison to a set of mutated ovaries and associated organs, but she’s flying on painkillers post-surgery so I’m going to nod and smile…