Wednesday, 23 December 2009

2009 in review

As year comes to an end, I know there will be no session until January 9th, so there I post a little summary of the year, as well as some loose thoughts and ideas.

- Sessions We had 18 sessions, plus at least at two cancelled. I hoped for about 24 (roughly twice a month), but it isn't bad score. I wish next year whole party will meet in complete more frequently.

- Characters. Heroes advanced from lo level tier to medium. They are quite powerful and confident, boldly go, where others shun. Each and everyone became integral part of a party, is characteristic individual and memorable hero. The easily can be compared to other long-time running characters, we used to play and remember dearly.

- Rules. I have a a hard time with D&D 3.x/Pathfinder rules system. In my opinion game mechanics is overcomplicated, there is way to many situational modifiers, rules, exceptions to handle it properly, without forgetting some important elements. At the same time, D&D mechanics is like house build of cards, when you take one away, whole construction is about to crumble. I always believed that rules are to help DM doing his job and they assist in solving situations, that need objectivity. It is why I feel unconformable when I forget or misinterpret some rules, even the smallest ones.
Complicity of D&D rules made me to think of old AD&D 2Ed. time with warm heart. There was a time, when I considered going back, perhaps for little Dark Sun campaign.

- Best Adventure/Session. For me best adventure was "Lost in Bogs". It was nice, low-profile adventure, I liked road encounters (with wedding especially), presenting Caer Dunnachey as dunk, stinking little piece of rubbish and slowly unfolding intrigue. Fight with Jarl Haken was epic, as for low levels, and marked first appearance of clearly mine ideas.

- Lowest point. As you can expect, thwe lowest point of this year was whole "Sławekgate". None of us can see, what he was about. None of us understands his agenda, all I know is that he hates me now, tried to ruin campaign (there was a moment I considered closing Forgotten Epic in light of his accusations and behaviour). This a reason I blocked comments (they are to be moderated by me, as Sławek tried to spread his agenda, upload translation of correspondence without permission etc.). In order to play, we were forced to part ways with him (which I regret, as I considered him friend of mine and thought of him highly), but still I don't understand his change of behaviour. Clearly, he had something else on his mind.

- New player Now, we have Jacek onboard, another cool friend of mine, great roleplayer, nice person and one with mind to rules. He is not rules lawyer, no way, but knows them well and helps to manage things smooth and by the order.

- Biggest surprise. Way the heroes dealt with scroll taken from Cloister of Healing Dove. I was surprised and proud of them, at the same time. Hail to you, guys!

Biggest success. Despite difficult personal situation, difficulties with synchronisation in time, cancelled session, we are still rolling and roling! Right, there are some troubles with rules, but I believe we will beat them and will be adventuring to Epic, and Beyond.

Guys, I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the dices will be with you, your characters grow and become more heroic, monsters give away much treasure and spells never fail. God belss you all.
Your Dungeon Master (still proud to bear this title, after all those years).

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 25 - Land, the time forgot part 3 of 3

Last session was held on December 4th, at Adrian place. I had straight plan: a little dungeon crawl and final showdown with gnoll leader. It unfolded as I expected but with a little twist.

After defeating guards, heroes entered a tunnel, with Jarod leading the party. He searched for traps, found none and heard some noises coming from a complex. He spotted open door and lead group to a chamber lit by fluorescent fungi. There the found a sarcophagus. During search a trap was sprung and Connal fell into pit. Fortunately almost no damage was done.

PC decided to follow trail of gnolls. They crossed few rooms and in one of them was attacked by a manticore. Fight was fierce and short, due to Xandos physical prowess, and finally beast was killed. Heroes wondered during fight, how beast got inside a dungeon and after it's death it turned out it was a magical artefact. Unfortunately when it returned to it's original form, a a little stone figurine, it was badly damaged and apparently useless.

Pursue after gnolls was only interrupted by stacked door. When party tried to force blocked door, heroes wondered how it was possible, they heard voices. After smashing them to pieces it became obvious door was bolted with purpose, gnolls were aware of someone following their trail.

Finally a showdown took place. Fight erupted in two chambers and party consisting Jarod, Connal, Ren, Xandos and Kyril faced four gnolls, a shaman, two fiendish trolls and three fiendish gnolls, with a general as one of them. Hurling spells, Mask of Skull and shooting bows heroes wrecked destruction, slaying all of the weaker opponents. Then they faced trolls and other gnolls in archway. After tough confrontation, only one side was standing in aftermath and it were heroes!

Behind the Courtain
- Ren advanced on 8th level.
- Final fight took about 2,5-3 hours to resolve.
- Me and party got upset a lot with rules. There are to many modifiers, rules, situational modifiers to remember. In the heat of battle I tend to forgot about them (for example my favourite rules concerning terrain). I have a plan of making special cards, but isn't it what new WFRP is about?
- It is pretty weird that five seasoned players (not only in RPG but also miniature wargames, boardgames etc.) have issues with mechanics that is almost year in use. Despite my initial enthusiasm towards Pathfinder I begin to consider it to much complicated. No wonder former player had constant difficulties with rules of combat and magic.