Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Friday Recap and a Question about timing

Two of my younger players enjoy dinner before the game.
So, here's the situation.  I'm running a module, The Crucible of Freya.  The group has, over two sessions, literally completely cleared out the entire "dungeon."  Through an amazing amount of luck and guile they have defeated all three of the major "above ground" villains and are down to just the two underground rooms.  The first underground room takes longer than expected and we are a half hour past our usual stop time. One couple has to get their infant some home and to bed.

Here's the crux of the problem: this is the end of this adventure. Once the module us done, we are starting something new with new PC's, stories, etc.  What do you do, if you have to stop gaming at this point?  Do a one-encounter session next time, then switch once it is done, or just quit and not bother with the final villain?

It's conundrums like this which is why I don't like railroads or story arcs or whatever. I suppose if I had been really invested in the game I could have padded it out with more rooms or restocked the upper levels or something. As it was I wasn't as invested in this trial run of 5E and gave the players the option to choose. They wanted to move onto other things, including their own PC's rather than the pre-gens, so that was that. The players asked what was in the last room, so I told them, and then they were disappointed because it sounded cool to them, which kind of made me unhappy as well.

So, comments welcome about how you handle timing, especially hanging loose ends to a story arc.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday Night Gaming Recap, or "I only have seven hit points?"

We decided to add a game night to this month so we could try another go-around with Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.  We've got two new players in the group, two who played in the first trial session of D&D Next (I hate that name).  That raises the pool of potential players to ten.

For Friday, however, we had seven people show up to play.  I don't have any photographs, but we began the module The Crucible of Freya by Goodman Games, converted to 5E.  Goodman had released a 5E version of the mini-prequel to The Crucible, called The Wizard's Amulet, which we had done the last time I ran 5E.  Converting the module isn't too hard, except that orcs have changed a lot in two editions.  I think they might be a little undervalued at a CR 1/2 monster, given that when they hit with their greataxes, they are doing 1d12+4 damage, which is usually enough to drop a first-level PC.  With 15 hit points themselves, fighting an orc is usually a matter of who hit whom first to see who loses.

I did an introductory skirmish to see how powerful orcs are.  Three orcs knocked two out of seven PC's to 0 hit points in the fight, which informed me a lot.  After that much of the session was spent with the PC's wandering about the town of Fairhill, where the adventure takes place.  After the crucible was stolen in an orc raid, the PC's chased the orc raiders down, killed them (taking advantage of a surprise round), and brought the crucible back.  At that point we had hit the end of the gaming session, and so decided to postpone raiding the orcs' lair until the next session.

There's a whole different feel to combat in 5E for players who were used to playing level 12-15 PC's in 4E.  Before people could just jump into combat willy-nilly figuring they were tough enough to take whatever was dished out (or at least could coordinate with the group without difficulty).  Now the group is being forced to be careful, scout enemies, etc.  That feels more reminiscent of earlier editions, and I like the edgy feeling of concern (if not terror) that it brings with it.

More on what I'll do with ten players later.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday Game Night Recap, Fallout Edition


We didn't expect much of a group the day after Thankgiving, so my son Mac asked if he could run a scratch built Fallout RPG encounter using the d6 Space rules (better known as the old West End Games Star Wars rules minus the branding).

He did a good job, although managing the roller coaster of the d6 rules and the wackiness of ethically murky PC's would challenge anyone.   He came up with a gray, morally ambiguous story involving settlers encroaching on ghoul territory that was meant to make us squirm. Admittedly our response was to pretty much burn everything to the ground and run away, KoDT style...
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