Saturday, February 20, 2010

Play Recap: Session 8

Well, no matter how good you think you are as a Game Master, you're going to run into some inter-party conflict. In a way, I hate inter-party conflict, because it can lead to bruised feelings or game dissolution. I'm pleased to say that didn't happen

When we last left the party, they were being told in no uncertain terms they would revisit via teleporting the Pools of Portation at dawn and clean up the damage they did. The problem? There were at the least 16 Darrakian (read: evil Necromantic Overlord lackeys) troops sitting around waiting for them, along with one dude with the capacity to tear them up with fireballs.

The players managed to garner a pretty good list of supplies, including the equivalent of some smoke bombs and powerful healing herbs, and went back at it, taking along a single, profane guardsman who seemed to have a healthy dislike of everyone (they picked him over the hypochondriac or overweight dude with the polearm).

The Pools of Portation were set up in the middle of a grove, so that jumping into a pool ended up with the player in another pool in the grove. The players used this teleportation effect wonderfully, using their smokescreens, good movement, some key Sonic Bursts, and the druid's Vines O' Entanglement to kneecap the baddies pretty early on. This fight definitely went better than last time.

At the end of the fight, Antigus the Druid prevailed upon one of the remaining fighters to surrender. He did, throwing his sword down in disgust. Immediately after this, our mercurial Jack-of-All-Trades Leyton threw Alchemist's Fire on the now-prisoner.

Cue the Star Trek Fight Music.

Antigus and the rest of the party did not care for this at all, and in some amazing rolls, managed to overbear and grapple Leyton, who was the strongest member of the group. Antigus got thrown off, then our mage Vas ran in for a tackle. Nalgin the Cleric pointed a wand at him, and Friar Charles tried desperately to save the life of the prisoner.

Nalgin roped his feet, but Leyton still fought. Finally, Vas used his d30 supercharge for a kick to the head (subdual). Leyton finally went limp.

How to deal with this? The party was torn on the best course of action. On one hand, Leyton had been a help in the past, and not having him weakened them. On the other hand, the party had a Friar and Cleric. Could they ignore the sort of act he had committed?

Well, it turns out one of the Pools did not lead to another pool in the grove. They weren't sure where it went, but it wasn't anywhere nearby, apparently. The guardsman had decided he had had enough and was walking back to Morsten, some 60 miles away, to spend his newfound loot. The party was considered exploring the pool, a decision accelerated when then the party members began to jump into the pool and disppear.

Finally, the decision was made to cut the unconscious Leyton free, leave him his items, but leave him nonetheless, basically separating him from the party.

After this, I discussed what had happened with Leyton's player. Obviously, he could wake up and try to find them (for good or ill), or go on his own way for a number of reasons. I think what the player decided on will be an interesting course. I don't feel comfortable revealing all of what went down, since we have other players reading this, but they'll find out when we play again in two weeks. Players sometimes make decisions that turn out to be unpalatable to the rest of the group. The secret isn't to try to shoehorn a resolution, I think; it's to face facts, make sure everyone leaves it on the gaming table, and press on with the game.

All in all, a challenging session, but one we got through. I think the campaign is in a good spot next week, where things should get very interesting. Of course, player action drives everything, so we'll see.

4 comments:

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Hmmm.

I'm strongly of a mind that inter-party conflict (that comes to virtual blows) is to be discouraged.

Thanks for the game recap; i'm interested to see how this is resolved!

Zachary The First said...

Discouraged, yes, but there are times where I think it would do as much damage to the game to stop it in its tracks as it would to let it go on to its natural conclusion. It's something where you have to trust the players to be able to differentiate between themselves and their characters.

Mr.Seurat said...

I really loved the session. It was so much fun to see the choices made and realize that they were all in the spirit of the characters.

What ended up happening was a bit unexpected for me, but I went with it and tried to think what my character would do in this situation. I truly enjoyed it and I hope the other players did to.

Of course, I hope they all know, there are no hard feelings about how things went down. It is a game, we all have characters and roles we are playing (emphasis on playing) and I feel we all did a great job of keeping in line with our characters. A+ Team!! Iam looking forward to the next session very much.

Mr.Seurat said...

Here it is, Leyton's Frenzie!



The air was cool. There was the damp scent of grass and mud. It was almost comforting as the fog began to clear from his head. There was a distinct pounding at the base of his skull. It would be hours before that would dissipate. As he opened his eyes Leyton realized night had already fallen.

And then all that had happened came racing back. Anger, rage, and even a bit of confusion assailed him. How could they dare attack him that way? After all that he had done to literally save them countless times, they had the audacity to attack him. “And for what reason… the life of an enemy?” Leyton thought to himself.

Leyton sat up, his muscles protesting with twinges of pain. He grimaced as he slowly rose to his feet. There was a mist hanging just above each of the pools of portation. The infravision effect from the magic pills they had all taken had worn off but his Elven Twilight Vision was working just fine. There was a full moon above and the sky was speckled with hundreds of stars. Of course all of the constellations looked very different from the ones he had grown up knowing half a world away in Legan.

As he looked around Leyton saw the scattered dead bodies. There was no sign of the rest of the group, not even the Sergeant of the Guard from Morston. Where were they? Are they coming back or did they just leave him? All of his equipment was in a pile a few feet away. Based on that, it was a good bet that they had deserted him. Apparently they did not want to see him dead… just gone away from them. That was almost worse. Leyton had no love for the group, especially for Nalgan, “That self-righteous, loud mouth stinking Dwarf! He was probably behind this defection. His lies have assuredly poisoned the minds of the party. If I… When I find that scum-sucking weasel I will surely make him wish he had died at birth!”

The most disappointing was the fact that Vas had betrayed him. He was so irritating and naïve, but there were a few bright spots to his personality. “If he had just listened to me more I could have helped him find true power.” Then realization dawned. It was Vas who had dealt the final stunning blow. How embarrassing is that! “The weakest member of the group lands his first and only lucky shot of the entire adventure and I had to be the damn target.”

Emotions began to churn… anger… sadness… rage… regret… like a hurricane inside his mind, heart, and soul. Leyton doubled over as burning hot tears flowed unchecked down his cheeks. And then with a swift motion he shot up, back arching, fists clenched, arms outstretched, face raised to the heavens and a blood curdling bellow poured forth from his lips. There was a flutter in the distance as the echo of his madness filled the wilderness and startled what little wildlife was there into fleeing by whatever means possible.

Several miles away a pudgy old warrior sat around a campfire nibbling on a few trail rations and counting the stacks of silver coins that were his share of the spoils of adventure. A shiver of cold fear snaked its way up his spine as the remnants of an unidentifiable scream touched his ears. The Sergeant of the Guard from Morston lowered his head and mumbled to himself, “Leyton has cursed his former companions. They are all doomed now. Leyton is too new to this area to understand the power such a curse has.” A sigh escaped is lips. He had been around magic for a long time and knew that his fate was also sealed.