A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Depends on what you mean by "like this".

    Brian is the only war-game player in the group, and he tends to act out significantly more often in war-games. I have seen Bob and Johnny have more than their fair share of meltdowns when play video games however.
    No no no, not the meltdowns. The "analysis paralysis", the "oops, I forgot the plan", the three stooges of teamwork - are they like that?

    Does Brian spend 45 minutes planning his turn, throwing away dozens of strategies that would have won, then lose because, despite picking a workable plan, be forgot to set his sniper on overwatch?

    Do Bob and Johnny… well, same question, actually.

    Myself, I enjoy planning things out. And tend to prefer games with save/load features for when my senile mind forgets to follow the plan (or I have an "Oh, that's why…" moment). Dang, I sound like your players now.

    But even so, I don't think I've ever come anything close to the behaviors you've described from your players when I've played an RPG.

    So I'm wondering how they do playing other games.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-10-08 at 04:44 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Ok, so here is the next part.

    Spoiler: Session 4B:
    Show
    Back in Golgotha, there is a message waiting for Anani at the embassy; the Fabled Motherlode, one of the town's smaller casinos, has been robbed and they would like her to consult on the case.

    The casino is not one of the largest in Golgotha, but nor is it a small seedy gambling den. It is adorned in red velvet and edged in faux gold. As the group enters, the concierge immediately pulls Krystal aside, separating her from the group and leading her to the high-rollers room as a small man takes her measurements.

    In the center of the hall a large, apparently empty, fish tank stands, people crowding around it, betting slips gripped tight in their hands, as they watch a shark being lowered in. The creature swims around for a moment, confused and disoriented, before a long razor sharp tendril shoots out of the sediment and slices its fin, filling the tank with blood. The shark turns upon its attacker, and pulls an enormous worm from its hiding place. People cheer and hiss, and after a few moments the shark is slain and the gigantic worm begins to feed; those who wagered upon the worm’s victory collect their rewards.

    Kim wonders how they got a shark here all the way from the ocean, and Quincy tells her it’s a bull shark, and that they are known to live in rivers. Kim jokingly mentions that she will rethink swimming in the future, and Quincy tells her that was nothing compared to the giant lungfish they encountered in the Nameless City.

    There is a moment of silence as the group awkwardly reconciles their differing memories, when they are approached by the floor manager, a woman named Collette. She escorts Anani and Valentine to the back room, and hands the other three small stacks of chips to play with while they wait.

    The vault is behind the cashier’s counter. A security guard sits on a stool with a clear view of the vault door and the cashiers. There is an empty hallway all around the vault. The vault is about ten feet across, made from foot thick concrete with a cold-iron mesh within. The door is solid iron, with two keys which must be turned together and a combination lock. The interior has smaller safes containing coins, ledgers, letters of credit, as well as miscellaneous valuable objects which customers have anted to the house to cover their bets. Once a month, the temple of Hermes sends a junior miracle worker named Laike by to ward it against spells.

    Every hour, the floor manager and the security chief open the vault and put winnings inside. Twice a day, at dawn and dusk, an armed guard escorts the profits to the bank.

    A week ago, everything was normal at the five AM deposit, but when they came to remove the riches at dawn, they found several of the safes had been opened and emptied of gold and letters of credit. That days ledgers were also missing.

    They had a thorough investigation conducted by several detectives, but turned up nothing amiss. They concluded that witch-craft was at hand, and decided to bring in the emissary of the arch-mage Thanatos in as a consultant.

    Valentine interviews the staff, while Anani investigates the vault.

    Valentine does not turn up anything amiss. She doesn’t think anyone is lying. She talks to the head of casino security, an old man with a white crewcut named Quarken, who verifies the story she has already heard. He tells her that he personally interrogated the security guard who let it happen on his watch, and his story didn’t change under duress. He doesn’t believe the man new anything about the job, but still let him go for his incompetence.

    All keys are accounted for.

    Anani investigates the room with her supernatural senses. She finds that the wards are intact and nothing within has been subjected to a spell.

    They call in Kim to inspect the area. She analyzes the materials of the vault and finds them as described, concrete over an iron grating on all six sides and an iron door. She speaks to the stone, and it tells her that a “little fish swam right through it,” but there is no indication of any sort of damage.

    Next they bring in Feur; who rewinds his senses to the night of the robbery. Looking into the past, he sees what appears to be a common garter snake slither directly though the wall of the vault and then transform into a humanoid figure. They are wearing leather strips that cover all exposed skin, and are either a slender man or bulky woman. They pick the lock on several of the safes, and then shovel the contents into a leather pouch that appears too small to hold them before fading from sight.

    Quincy is unable to find anything out of place, so he leaves to get a smoke and they finally decide to bring Krystal in, against the hotel staff’s objections.

    They find her in the high roller’s room; she is wearing an expensive backless black evening gown and holding a mostly empty bottle of aged brandy, obviously gifts from the house. She is peeking out from behind a fortress of chips which she has assembled to shield her increasingly broken poker face from the other players. She is reluctant to go, and when Anani promises her that if will be even more fun, Krystal thinks she is being hit upon and goes with her.

    The devil-girl is only allowed in the vault accompanied by several security guards as well as the house detective. She tries several times to get into the vault from the outside, and each time is rebuffed by the wards and barely catches herself before running face first into the wall. She then asks to borrow a pin and attempts to pick the locks; she is unable to penetrate the vault door and pronounces it satisfactory, but the smaller safes inside are easy pickings and she says that such cheap junk makes them easy marks.

    Unsure of how to proceed with the investigation here, they ask around the local area for anyone fitting the burglar’s description with no luck. Likewise, when it comes to rivals or people who might have a grudge against the casino, the number is too great to count.

    Lacking leads, they decide to call it a night, and the next day they visit Decker the Gun Runner and provide him a hefty bribe for any info. He tells them he will get back to them, and the following evening informs them that the Kelly Street Gang has recently purchased a plantation house on the edge of town and has been hiring Black Scar Mercenaries to defend it; that is either someone who came into a lot of dirty money without any idea of how to keep a low profile, or else the party is about to stick their noses in something way over their heads. Either way, the time frame matches up and that is their best lead.

    They approach the plantation just after dusk. It is surrounded by three meter adobe walls, and the clean armored figures of Black Scar mercenaries can be seen walking it. Kim finds a small trench to the rear and shores it up with some sandbags, and then they signal their approach by letting Quincy take out one of the guards.

    The mercenaries immediately sound the alarm and scramble for defensive positions. When she sees her opportunity, Kim charges forward and attempts to summon up a might earthquake to knock the walls down, but someone within the manor counters her spell, and the shaking does little more than knock the guards from their feet. Still, this gives Krystal time to move forward, teleport atop the wall, and sneak up behind them, Black Flame Blade in hand.

    Her mana depleted, Kim runs back to cover, and a few of the heavy steel quarrels of the Black Scar crossbows penetrate her armor.

    Quincy spends the next few minutes trading shots with them as the Kelly Street boys climb onto the walls and contribute to the fight with hurled daggers, Molotov cocktails, and a few small caliber pistols. Their sorcerer also casts a spell to reinforce the wall, rendering the adobe strong enough to stop bullets cold.

    Kim calls out to the group to retreat, but Anani feels a sudden premonition of doom and gives an inspiring sermon urging her comrades to press on.

    Feur and Anani move forward; she summons a shade inside the walls and he reads from the scroll of aeons, unleashing the blight of years upon his foes and causing them to drop dead from old age. At the same time, Krystal moves behind enemy lines, silently slitting one throat after another.

    Their sorcerer unleashes a deadly fireball upon the party’s position, hoping to force them out of cover. It works for Kim and Quincy, but Valentine is too slow. She is badly burned and the force of the blast slams her face into the dirt and knocks her unconscious.

    Anani finishes off the last of the mercenaries with a blood ritual, stealing their life forces to heal the few wounds she has suffered.

    Krystal attempts to sneak up on the mage, but his mystical senses warn him at the last minute and he uses the last of his mana to set her on fire. Her demonic flesh is resistant to heat, and she isn’t badly wounded, but she delays for a moment to douse the flames. He attempts to take a crossbow from one of the fallen guards, but stumbles and falls from the wall. Feur rushes forward and attempts to subdue him, but he manages to get away, and after a few seconds hesitation Quincy decides to put him down with a bullet to the back.

    Once Anani has finished tending to Valentine’s wounds, they track down the mage and she does her best to save his life.

    Under interrogation, he identifies himself a Hraijian. When asked about his name, he says that he was named after his father, a longshoreman from the barbarian lands of Aureth whom his sailor mother had a dalliance with but whom he never met.

    He tells them that he was a member of the Kelly Street gang for most of his short life, and a few years ago he began to develop strange powers after smoking indulcet, a drug which the Putrid Flag used to sell before being wiped out by the Templar. They did their best to teach him to control his powers, and he has been using them at the gang’s behest for years.

    He admits to the casino job, and tells them that he stood in the back alley, disguised himself; cast a difficult phase spell to walk through the wall, then a short term metamorphosis spell to move through the cold iron bars. He had previously enchanted his pouch to be larger on the inside, stuffed what he could inside, and then cast an invisibility spell. When the vault was opened, he simply slipped out in the panic.

    This was similar to what the party thought, although Kim assumed he used a Body of Earth spell rather than phasing to bypass the walls. The party offers to let him off the hook if he joins them, and Hraijian agrees.

    He doesn’t know how the other gang members got the information on the casino’s security; he wasn’t the one who cased it and he doesn’t plan on ever going back to find out.

    The plantation’s adobe walls conceal a large square patch with three fields of recreational crops, a well, a bunkhouse, and a manor house. The remaining members of the Kelly Street Gang, as well as the slaves who worked the fields, have had the life stolen from them by Anani’s shade. They find most of the stolen goods.

    The group decides to keep the plantation for themselves as their new base of operations.

    They turn the bodies of the Kelly Street Gang over to the sheriff and return to the casino with the agreed upon 60% of what was stolen.

    They give a full report on how the heist was carried out, although they tell them that the magus was amongst the dead. They suggest the casino improve their security by having a finer mesh of iron or, if that is too expensive, several alternating layers. They should get better interior locks, make sure the doors to the sensitive areas are doubled up, to be opened one at a time with a narrow chamber between, and suggest putting several bead curtains in vital hallways, preferably ones that make lots of noise when walked through. This won’t prevent entrance per se, but it will certainly reduce crook’s ability to escape.

    Kim tells them that she can set up a true magical alarm system, but doing so would be inordinately tricky and the casino declines the excessive cost.

    A few days later, Sir Jakul is able to arrange a short meeting between the Templar Lord of Golgotha, Asmon Delaceur, and Feur. The Templar Lord is a powerfully built man who must be in his mid-nineties; although he doesn’t look his age. He tells Feur that the Lady Umbriel has not attacked Golgotha, and indeed the lands of the far west are almost a fairytale to the people of the Badlands. Still, he commends Feur’s people for holding out as long as they have, and promises to share any information he hears about Umbriel’s agents in the area if Feur will extend him the same courtesy.

    He doesn’t know about the red and black armored knights, but will look into it. He identifies one of their heraldries as belonging to the house of Andrew Sure-Strike, who was head of the Imperial Guard during the Masarian Revolution, exiled along with those loyal to him after choosing to massacre civilians in Masaria rather than return home to fight off the Warlords in the wake of the Cataclysm.

    When the group tells Tatters that the attack never happened, she dismisses them, and when shown the area where her house once stood, she insists someone must have rebuilt over the area. Feur casts a spell upon her and finds that she, much like Kim, is an artifact from a collapsed timeline.

    Kim speculates that whoever these mysterious warriors are, they might be abducting people from alternate worlds to bring them together for something important. Krystal scoffs that she thinks so highly of herself, and Kim says that she doesn’t mean the people are innately special, but perhaps those they will do something vital at some point in the future.

    Regardless, they decide to invite Tatters to stay in the bunkhouse at their new plantation, and begin looking for their next job.


    Overall it was pretty average. I meant it to be a quick, simple, straightforward mission without a lot of challenge.

    The problem was that, as with anything that resembles an investigation, the PCs fell to analysis paralysis; coming up with many working plans but not actually following through with any of them.

    They also kept ham-stringing themselves by trying to overthink their plans in a sort of Roy at the Oracle manner; overly wording their divination spells to try and prevent me from playing word games (which I have told them I don't do) and lawyering themselves out of the information they actually need, and when performing social investigations rather than simply asking around for clues, they ask "Have any of the local shopkeepers seen a man dressed head to toe in strips of brown cloth", and then when these very specific avenues don't yield any results, they get frustrated and declare the puzzle impossible.

    Eventually after stretching a fifteen minute seen into four hours I broke character and started just telling them which of their plans they should go with. It made them mad, but it did get the game moving.

    Then, during combat, Kim blew all her mana on one big spell, and when it was countered Brian got mad and gave up, as usual. He declared the mission impossible and had Valentine order a retreat. OOC I knew that retreating would turn an easy encounter into a very dangerous one, so I had Anani receive a message from her patron telling her that this was a very bad idea. And then they wiped the floor with the enemies.

    So yeah, not a terrible session, but a very long and uneventful one where I had to resort to more handholding than I would like to keep it from turning into a true horror story.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    No no no, not the meltdowns. The "analysis paralysis", the "oops, I forgot the plan", the three stooges of teamwork - are they like that?

    Does Brian spend 45 minutes planning his turn, throwing away dozens of strategies that would have won, then lose because, despite picking a workable plan, be forgot to set his sniper on overwatch?

    Do Bob and Johnny… well, same question, actually.

    Myself, I enjoy planning things out. And tend to prefer games with save/load features for when my senile mind forgets to follow the plan (or I have an "Oh, that's why…" moment). Dang, I sound like your players now.

    But even so, I don't think I've ever come anything close to the behaviors you've described from your players when I've played an RPG.

    So I'm wondering how they do playing other games.
    Hard to say.

    Brian is really bad at wargames, and he tends to rage quit as soon as things look bad.

    Bob doesn't really like planning, he likes grinding, and when rage quits video games as soon as he gets to an encounter that he can't simply brute force his way through.

    I haven't played as many games with Johnny, but when I did play with him in Warcraft he was the raid leader and I wasn't privy to officer planning sessions. The guild did take an inordinate amount of time coming up with plans before pulls compared to other ones, and Johnny did scream and yell at the raid for not following his plans when they wipe, but that is hardly uncommon in WoW.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    … all the magic sights / insights into the caper were great, but… how did you expect the party to be able to advance the plot from there?

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    … all the magic sights / insights into the caper were great, but… how did you expect the party to be able to advance the plot from there?
    Ask around.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ask around.
    … ask who what? "Have you seen this snake?"? (No, seriously, how big a deal is "turning into a snake" in your world? I have zero context -> I have zero clue how one would investigate this.)

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    … ask who what? "Have you seen this snake?"? (No, seriously, how big a deal is "turning into a snake" in your world? I have zero context -> I have zero clue how one would investigate this.)
    Well.. that could work. There are probably only two or three people in the entire city who can cast that spell.

    But I didn't have a fixed solution in mind, my players don't like it when I tailor adventures to them and so I generally don't do it. If they had a diviner in their party (or hired one) they could solve the mystery trivially, an exceptionally good investigation roll would have uncovered some sort of smoking gun clue, and the spells they had could have revealed the culprit if they were willing to spend more mana on the investigation than they were.

    But the simplest way was to just ask around town. The Kelly Street gang had not been subtle, and they have a lot of the same underworld contacts that the party does. Tracking them down was not meant to be the hard part of the mission.


    You know, on a related tangent, I think one advantage of video games is that NPCs are more memorable. In a video game every time you go to town you interact with the same animated and voice acted NPCs, and most of them have memorable designs and say memorable or funny things. In my game the whole support network of NPCs that I create for the party tends to just get ignored and forgotten no matter how much effort I put into making them memorable.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Well.. that could work. There are probably only two or three people in the entire city who can cast that spell.

    But I didn't have a fixed solution in mind, my players don't like it when I tailor adventures to them and so I generally don't do it. If they had a diviner in their party (or hired one) they could solve the mystery trivially, an exceptionally good investigation roll would have uncovered some sort of smoking gun clue, and the spells they had could have revealed the culprit if they were willing to spend more mana on the investigation than they were.

    But the simplest way was to just ask around town. The Kelly Street gang had not been subtle, and they have a lot of the same underworld contacts that the party does. Tracking them down was not meant to be the hard part of the mission.


    You know, on a related tangent, I think one advantage of video games is that NPCs are more memorable. In a video game every time you go to town you interact with the same animated and voice acted NPCs, and most of them have memorable designs and say memorable or funny things. In my game the whole support network of NPCs that I create for the party tends to just get ignored and forgotten no matter how much effort I put into making them memorable.
    So… if tracking down the Kelly Street gang was supposed to be easy… then why had a "thorough investigation conducted by several detectives" not produced results? Why didn't the police (or whatever power was behind the $$$) find and bust the Kelly Street gang before the party got there, leaving them to find the site of a battle, and maybe some corpses?

    Now, let's say I built a similar scenario, and asked how some characters might further the investigation on their own merits.

    So… had I been playing…

    Quertus: too easy. Scroll back time (much like… Quincy? No, that's probably the sniper… Feur?) to see what happened. Then… a) be functionally ineffectual, simply automatically recognizing a1) the extradimensional space; a2) any spell cast by that caster; a3) anyone who can cast those specific "spheres", or b) rewind time further, to a point "before he put on the mask", b1) and still be ineffectual, simply adding "the thief" to the list of things automatically recognized, or b2) actually sketching the thief and saying "anybody know who this is?", or c) tagging the thief, and just knowing where he is.

    Armus? Uh, dogs, scent, tracking? Why are we still talking about this?

    Sherlock Holmes? Harder for me to RP, but… obviously he had inside information. How? Is there a pattern to the vaults hit? How does "turning into a snake" work? Can the type of snake, or any identifying markings on the snake, tell us anything about the man (ie, a Floridian becomes a Florida snake, a 1-eyed man always becomes a 1-eyed snake; scars/tattoos carry over, whatever)? Their clothes - what are they made of? Condition? Recent purchase? What can we learn about their vocation from their tools and techniques? What did they take? Who can fence that kind of stuff? Their magic bag - who can make that? Was its materials native to this region?

    So… I'm picturing that 3-man party going like this:

    Quertus begins looking back in time. Armus has dogs (possibly magic dogs) sniff the area, and, (possibly) to his surprise, find a trail, and begins following it. Quertus eventually (likely after Armus has left) points out that, yeah, he simply became invisible. Eventually, Quertus draws the sketch, and tags the culprit. They catch up with Armus, likely already headed in that direction. Sherlock fills them in on what to expect of his personality and capabilities; Quertus scoffs at Sherlock's guesswork comprehension of magic. They get there, find it's not a lone guy, and likely surrender at crossbow point. Because surrender means negotiation, which my 3-man party is likely better at than combat.

    Notice how that party did the investigation "on its own merits", in ways that it's reasonable to believe other teams could have failed?

    So, my question is… actually, I'm not sure *what* my question is. Because I'm not 10% sure what your group cares about.

    There were, IMO (limited by guesswork about both your system and your world-building) 4 things of interest in your description: the insider knowledge, the "spheres" of magic used, the outfit, and the snake.

    Your group picked up on and fixated on one of those.

    Why was that not a valid path to the answer?

    Could the outfit have been a new purchase, trackable that way ("follow the money")? An old purchase, that the thief might have been recognized for? Innately recognizable or connected to an organization, like Mandalorian armor? Of exotic materials? Clearly cut to, or showing wear from, a specific purpose, that could lead back to the culprit, or at least move the story forward?

    Because "the party tracked the thief by his clothes" is much cooler than "they were being really obvious; anytime could have told anyone that".

    Trying to question the 3 ophidian anamagi in town could also have made for an interesting story. Does the Ministry of Magic require them to register automatically catch whenever they speak the name of "he who much not be named" register them when they gain the ability?

    But the way the story turned out would have been very unsatisfying for me, as a player.

    Speaking of unsatisfying: why was "retreat and regroup" a bad plan? They'd whittled down their opposition, and one PC was seemingly fairly unplayable (no mana and shot up) - sounds like a good time to fall back to avoid permanent losses to me. Why did you consider this such a horrible idea that you felt the need to intervene?

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So… if tracking down the Kelly Street gang was supposed to be easy… then why had a "thorough investigation conducted by several detectives" not produced results? Why didn't the police (or whatever power was behind the $$$) find and bust the Kelly Street gang before the party got there, leaving them to find the site of a battle, and maybe some corpses?

    Now, let's say I built a similar scenario, and asked how some characters might further the investigation on their own merits.

    So… had I been playing…

    Quertus: too easy. Scroll back time (much like… Quincy? No, that's probably the sniper… Feur?) to see what happened. Then… a) be functionally ineffectual, simply automatically recognizing a1) the extradimensional space; a2) any spell cast by that caster; a3) anyone who can cast those specific "spheres", or b) rewind time further, to a point "before he put on the mask", b1) and still be ineffectual, simply adding "the thief" to the list of things automatically recognized, or b2) actually sketching the thief and saying "anybody know who this is?", or c) tagging the thief, and just knowing where he is.

    Armus? Uh, dogs, scent, tracking? Why are we still talking about this?

    Sherlock Holmes? Harder for me to RP, but… obviously he had inside information. How? Is there a pattern to the vaults hit? How does "turning into a snake" work? Can the type of snake, or any identifying markings on the snake, tell us anything about the man (ie, a Floridian becomes a Florida snake, a 1-eyed man always becomes a 1-eyed snake; scars/tattoos carry over, whatever)? Their clothes - what are they made of? Condition? Recent purchase? What can we learn about their vocation from their tools and techniques? What did they take? Who can fence that kind of stuff? Their magic bag - who can make that? Was its materials native to this region?

    So… I'm picturing that 3-man party going like this:

    Quertus begins looking back in time. Armus has dogs (possibly magic dogs) sniff the area, and, (possibly) to his surprise, find a trail, and begins following it. Quertus eventually (likely after Armus has left) points out that, yeah, he simply became invisible. Eventually, Quertus draws the sketch, and tags the culprit. They catch up with Armus, likely already headed in that direction. Sherlock fills them in on what to expect of his personality and capabilities; Quertus scoffs at Sherlock's guesswork comprehension of magic. They get there, find it's not a lone guy, and likely surrender at crossbow point. Because surrender means negotiation, which my 3-man party is likely better at than combat.

    Notice how that party did the investigation "on its own merits", in ways that it's reasonable to believe other teams could have failed?

    So, my question is… actually, I'm not sure *what* my question is. Because I'm not 10% sure what your group cares about.

    There were, IMO (limited by guesswork about both your system and your world-building) 4 things of interest in your description: the insider knowledge, the "spheres" of magic used, the outfit, and the snake.

    Your group picked up on and fixated on one of those.

    Why was that not a valid path to the answer?

    Could the outfit have been a new purchase, trackable that way ("follow the money")? An old purchase, that the thief might have been recognized for? Innately recognizable or connected to an organization, like Mandalorian armor? Of exotic materials? Clearly cut to, or showing wear from, a specific purpose, that could lead back to the culprit, or at least move the story forward?

    Because "the party tracked the thief by his clothes" is much cooler than "they were being really obvious; anytime could have told anyone that".

    Trying to question the 3 ophidian anamagi in town could also have made for an interesting story. Does the Ministry of Magic require them to register automatically catch whenever they speak the name of "he who much not be named" register them when they gain the ability?

    But the way the story turned out would have been very unsatisfying for me, as a player.

    Speaking of unsatisfying: why was "retreat and regroup" a bad plan? They'd whittled down their opposition, and one PC was seemingly fairly unplayable (no mana and shot up) - sounds like a good time to fall back to avoid permanent losses to me. Why did you consider this such a horrible idea that you felt the need to intervene?
    First, you are obviously more clever than my players. Those are some good ideas.

    Anani is as close to the "ministry of magic" as the town has. She could probably have checked with her underlings to get more leads, but didn't.

    This was not a master thief with a unique costume and a calling card, this was a dumb kid doing the equivalent of wearing a ski mask before a robbery, so specifically asking people in the immediate area if they had seen someone with their face wrapped in brown cloth didn't turn up much. BUT you know, Fuer is a tailor and Valentine is a merchant, and they probably could have figured out some way to track him down by his clothes between them if the players had thought to go down that route, I sure didn't. That would have been a neat surprise.



    So, what you mention about "anyone could have done it" is a recurring problem in low adventure design, and something I know we have talked about before. Low level characters can't simply overpower everything that they come up against. Usually, for the scenario to make any sense, this requires the party to be somewhat more clever or less risk averse than the people they are helping, although my players seem to be reluctant to do either of those things (and most forum posters seem to agree that they are right to do so) So, for this campaign I am trying to mellow out the "realism" a little and just drum up the incompetence of allies and authorities for the sake of the game.

    Likewise, my players consider it cheating to tailor an encounter to the party.

    So, in this case the party, particularly Valentine, have a large network of contacts, most of them illicit, and so I made it a point that the Kelly street gang wasn't being too careful with their newfound wealth and that it was something of an open secret in the local criminal element. But, at the same time, Trade Prince Valen, Krystal's old nemesis, is also aware of the situation and, once he learned that Krystal was the one investigating the case, has been covertly supporting the Kelly Street gang in the hopes that Krystal will get in over her head and end up losing it.


    The local sheriff is rather weak, and it was concluded that something supernatural was at play here, they decided to step back and send in an expert.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Speaking of unsatisfying: why was "retreat and regroup" a bad plan? They'd whittled down their opposition, and one PC was seemingly fairly unplayable (no mana and shot up) - sounds like a good time to fall back to avoid permanent losses to me. Why did you consider this such a horrible idea that you felt the need to intervene?
    Ok, so magic recovery in my game is based on lunar cycles rather than nightly resting, so Kim blowing all of her mana on one spell means that she is going to be out for most of the month, BUT she is just a single gish, and just because Brian is mad that his spell got countered and wanted to give up, did not mean the party as a whole was in a bad spot.

    Indeed, they were in a pretty good spot, as even with Kim pouting and sitting out the entire fight, the group still managed to pretty much clean house with only a single serious wound being suffered.

    Had they fallen back, they would now be on the defensive, and with Valen's resources supporting the Kelly Street gang, being on the defensive is not something they would want.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    They also kept ham-stringing themselves by trying to overthink their plans in a sort of Roy at the Oracle manner; overly wording their divination spells to try and prevent me from playing word games (which I have told them I don't do) and lawyering themselves out of the information they actually need, and when performing social investigations rather than simply asking around for clues, they ask "Have any of the local shopkeepers seen a man dressed head to toe in strips of brown cloth...
    If you don't play word games as the GM, how is it possible for players to lawyer themselves out of the information? Can't you clarify their intentions of the Divination spells and give them appropriate answers? Are they drawing this information from deities seeking to help them, or entities seeking to screw them based on their word choice?

    You "don't have a fixed solution in mind", but there are right questions and wrong questions the players can ask, apparently. Asking about the man's clothing was wrong, and so produced no results regardless of how it was done. Asking about the Kelly Street Gang was the right answer - no rolls required, apparently, just the right question - but none of the players thought of it, presumably because they don't have the GM's notes in front of them to know that. Is there any ability in here for them to make more generic statements, like "I want to make a Streetwise check to question people in the area about what they might have seen about the crime?" (A possible GM reply might be "Sure, your total is 22? OK, you find out nobody has seen anyone in those clothes - he obviously removed his mask shortly after committing the crime, but you do find out the Kelly Street gang has been free with their money after the crime, so it looks like they got a payout from it in some way. You'd need a 25 to reveal who in the gang has been spending the most money.")

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ok, so magic recovery in my game is based on lunar cycles rather than nightly resting, so Kim blowing all of her mana on one spell means that she is going to be out for most of the month, BUT she is just a single gish, and just because Brian is mad that his spell got countered and wanted to give up, did not mean the party as a whole was in a bad spot.
    I think most parties and players would consider it time to retreat when a caster just spent a months (!) worth of spell energy to no effect. It sounds like a big red flag that things are about to go horribly wrong. And the question is, how could the players possibly know that retreat was the "wrong" option here?
    Last edited by Reversefigure4; 2021-10-10 at 11:12 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    If you don't play word games as the GM, how is it possible for players to lawyer themselves out of the information? Can't you clarify their intentions of the Divination spells and give them appropriate answers? Are they drawing this information from deities seeking to help them, or entities seeking to screw them based on their word choice?
    By asking overly specific questions in an attempt at lawyering, I would assume in an attempt to filter out red herrings.

    IMO I would start with broad questions and then work to more general, my players start with very general and then give up.

    And yeah, as a GM I can correct them OOC or insert something into the narrative, that is what I ultimately did, but it feels awkward and rail-roady.

    To use a hypothetical, A both feels a lot more fair and less forced than B:

    A:
    Player: I ask around the train-station to see if anyone saw anything unusual last night.
    DM: You find a young street urchin who tells you she saw a man in a yellow cape sneaking around at about 2 AM.

    B:
    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    DM: He tells you know, he didn't see anyone like that.
    Player: Drat! Well, this is impossible. Time to go home and drink our sorrows away!
    DM: As you are leaving, a young urchin who overheard your conversation comes up and says that while she didn't see a man in a red cape at 4 AM, she did see someone suspicious in a yellow cape at 2 am.


    In this case the parties divinations consist of talking to rocks or sending one's senses back in time. Neither demons or gods, or any actor with a will of its own, is involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    You "don't have a fixed solution in mind", but there are right questions and wrong questions the players can ask, apparently. Asking about the man's clothing was wrong, and so produced no results regardless of how it was done. Asking about the Kelly Street Gang was the right answer - no rolls required, apparently, just the right question - but none of the players thought of it, presumably because they don't have the GM's notes in front of them to know that. Is there any ability in here for them to make more generic statements, like "I want to make a Streetwise check to question people in the area about what they might have seen about the crime?" (A possible GM reply might be "Sure, your total is 22? OK, you find out nobody has seen anyone in those clothes - he obviously removed his mask shortly after committing the crime, but you do find out the Kelly Street gang has been free with their money after the crime, so it looks like they got a payout from it in some way. You'd need a 25 to reveal who in the gang has been spending the most money.")
    There is a world of difference between having a fixed solution in mind and warping the narrative so they players always succeed.

    To use another example; if the DM puts a locked door in front of the players they may not have a fixed solution in mind, the players can pick the lock, bash it down, unscrew the hinges, ask someone to open it for them, find a way around, magic themselves through the door, look for a key, etc. But that still doesn't mean that the DM is being unreasonable if giving the door a cupcake and saying "pretty please" doesn't make it swing open of its own accord.


    What tends to happen is my players fixate on one very specific approach, and if that one very specific approach doesn't pan out, they give up and declare the whole affair impossible and start ranting and raving about puzzles and needing to read the GM's mind.

    Not sure what you mean by "is there an ability here," but yeah, what you described is exactly how I would have foreseen the situation playing out. But the only social interaction the players made was asking shop owners if they had seen anyone walking around in a brown mask.


    Although again, there is quite a bit of power in fast talking the DM. If someone had tried Quertus' Sherlock holmes approach by analyzing the specifics of the fabric and the species of the snake to track down the culprit, that would (dice willing) have worked in a very impressive and rewarding manner. But again, they didn't, they didn't do anything with that information except ask neighboring shop-keepers if they had seen anyone walking around wearing that specific mask.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    I think most parties and players would consider it time to retreat when a caster just spent a months (!) worth of spell energy to no effect. It sounds like a big red flag that things are about to go horribly wrong.
    Sometimes players over-commit and bad dice rolls happen. It has nothing to do with the encounter being un-winnable.

    Like, if I spent 10k gold on an arrow of dragon slaying and then whiffed my attack roll, that has no bearing on what the CR of the dragon is. In this case Kim spent all of her mana adding metamagics to her one spell and then fluffed the roll so that it was easily countered by the enemy mage.

    To use another example, just yesterday I was playing D&D, I cornered the BBEG, had a caster give me a spell to give me advantage, and then I burned my action surge for a whole bunch of attacks; but every one of them missed even with advantage because dice are fickle, so we ended up wasting both of our turns and a bunch of daily abilities (that might as well have been once in a lifetime abilities because it was a one shot) for absolutely no effect. But ultimately, it just wasn't that big a deal and we pressed on and still killed him two turns later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    And the question is, how could the players possibly know that retreat was the "wrong" option here?
    As I said about the last session; the players just need to trust that the DM isn't out to TPK them.

    There is no way to disprove a negative. There is no way for players to know that there isn't an army of invisible tarrasques hiding behind every door.

    But, imo, unless you have some reason to believe that you are outclassed, you have to proceed under the assumption that most fights will be of the appropriate CR. Not that you shouldn't keep on your toes and plan for the worst mind you, just that you can't assume defeat is a given from the get-go.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    By asking overly specific questions in an attempt at lawyering, I would assume in an attempt to filter out red herrings.

    IMO I would start with broad questions and then work to more general, my players start with very general and then give up.

    And yeah, as a GM I can correct them OOC or insert something into the narrative, that is what I ultimately did, but it feels awkward and rail-roady.

    To use a hypothetical, A both feels a lot more fair and less forced than B:

    A:
    Player: I ask around the train-station to see if anyone saw anything unusual last night.
    DM: You find a young street urchin who tells you she saw a man in a yellow cape sneaking around at about 2 AM.

    B:
    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    DM: He tells you know, he didn't see anyone like that.
    Player: Drat! Well, this is impossible. Time to go home and drink our sorrows away!
    DM: As you are leaving, a young urchin who overheard your conversation comes up and says that while she didn't see a man in a red cape at 4 AM, she did see someone suspicious in a yellow cape at 2 am.


    In this case the parties divinations consist of talking to rocks or sending one's senses back in time. Neither demons or gods, or any actor with a will of its own, is involved.




    There is a world of difference between having a fixed solution in mind and warping the narrative so they players always succeed.

    To use another example; if the DM puts a locked door in front of the players they may not have a fixed solution in mind, the players can pick the lock, bash it down, unscrew the hinges, ask someone to open it for them, find a way around, magic themselves through the door, look for a key, etc. But that still doesn't mean that the DM is being unreasonable if giving the door a cupcake and saying "pretty please" doesn't make it swing open of its own accord.


    What tends to happen is my players fixate on one very specific approach, and if that one very specific approach doesn't pan out, they give up and declare the whole affair impossible and start ranting and raving about puzzles and needing to read the GM's mind.

    Not sure what you mean by "is there an ability here," but yeah, what you described is exactly how I would have foreseen the situation playing out. But the only social interaction the players made was asking shop owners if they had seen anyone walking around in a brown mask.


    Although again, there is quite a bit of power in fast talking the DM. If someone had tried Quertus' Sherlock holmes approach by analyzing the specifics of the fabric and the species of the snake to track down the culprit, that would (dice willing) have worked in a very impressive and rewarding manner. But again, they didn't, they didn't do anything with that information except ask neighboring shop-keepers if they had seen anyone walking around wearing that specific mask.

    There's also a world of difference between warping the narrative and being lenient with player approaches. Your problem is that the players asked very specific questions because they wanted to make sure to get straight answers. That's because they don't trust you to be straight with them (as has been established in previous threads). So they tried to ask questions that wouldn't allow you to screw them over. What did you do? You screwed them over by answering their questions literally.
    What you do is, assume that the characters are smarter in asking the questions than the players are, because the characters are not subject to those meta considerations about trust. Answer the direct question, but volunteer additional information. For example:

    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    GM (as ticket seller): "Someone in a red cape? I don't think so. There was that young couple, they seemed to be on a date. The old guy with the cane. That sleazy guy at 2 am, but he wore a yellow cape, not a red one. And the fishwife on her way home.

    That's not forced, that's a pretty normal way for people to remember, and you're letting hints drop that way.
    If you want, you can also ask for a roll and tell them additional information:

    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    GM: Alright, roll for gathering information
    Player: 22
    GM: He hasn't seen anyone in a red cape, but he mentions someone in a yellow cape during the conversation.

    None of this is warping a narrative. It's working with your players to get a satisfying game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Sometimes players over-commit and bad dice rolls happen. It has nothing to do with the encounter being un-winnable.

    Like, if I spent 10k gold on an arrow of dragon slaying and then whiffed my attack roll, that has no bearing on what the CR of the dragon is. In this case Kim spent all of her mana adding metamagics to her one spell and then fluffed the roll so that it was easily countered by the enemy mage.

    To use another example, just yesterday I was playing D&D, I cornered the BBEG, had a caster give me a spell to give me advantage, and then I burned my action surge for a whole bunch of attacks; but every one of them missed even with advantage because dice are fickle, so we ended up wasting both of our turns and a bunch of daily abilities (that might as well have been once in a lifetime abilities because it was a one shot) for absolutely no effect. But ultimately, it just wasn't that big a deal and we pressed on and still killed him two turns later.



    As I said about the last session; the players just need to trust that the DM isn't out to TPK them.

    There is no way to disprove a negative. There is no way for players to know that there isn't an army of invisible tarrasques hiding behind every door.

    But, imo, unless you have some reason to believe that you are outclassed, you have to proceed under the assumption that most fights will be of the appropriate CR. Not that you shouldn't keep on your toes and plan for the worst mind you, just that you can't assume defeat is a given from the get-go.
    But we have already established that your players don't trust you. By the time they know for sure they are outclassed, it might be too late to retreat for them, at least without casualties. Since they don't trust you, they might very well retreat prematurely because they don't want to risk it. Also, what is an appropriate encounter?`I know you plan your encounters around a certain amount of resources to be drained. But your players don't know how many resources they are supposed to spend on a certain encounter. This time, someone went all in and spent close to 100% of heir resources on an action, and that action got countered for no effect. Now, admittedly it's not especially smart to channel all your mana in a single spell like that, when it takes a month to refill. But I can also understand being frustrated when that kind of commitment then gets completely nullified.
    I admittedly don't know how to judge spell power in your system. But I would assume that to nullify a spell that effectively, whoever does it would have to be at least on a similar power level as Kim. So a tactical retreat to assess this new situation is certainly not out of question.

    And if they did retreat even though it wasn't necessary, so what? They made an enemy there. An opportunity to have the narrative shift into a different direction that can lead to more interesting, and possibly even personal developments down the line. How is that a bad thing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    DM: He tells you know, he didn't see anyone like that.
    "I didn't see anyone like that... except the man in the similarly coloured cape at a very similar time, but I obviously won't mention that".

    If you're happy with the players having to read your mind to find the specific answer, then that's your business, but it doesn't seem to be working out well for you.

    What I mean by 'is there an ability to ask X', is to ask what happens in your game if a players wants to just make a Streetwise check to ask about the crime? Do they have to come up with a specific question that's worded right to get the information? And as the GM, are you willing or capable to say on a more specific question "Red cape at 4am seems a little too focused. Do you want to just ask for general information about men in capes at the train station recently?"
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    "I didn't see anyone like that... except the man in the similarly coloured cape at a very similar time, but I obviously won't mention that".
    I'm not so sure about this. It depends on how public the location and how uncommon capes are, I think. If I was standing in a fairly crowded place and someone asked me about someone wearing a red coat, I probably wouldn't randomly give them information about someone wearing a yellow coat.

    I think investigations are generally one of the toughest adventures to make just the right amount of challenging. A clue that's meant to be obvious could be completely missed or the party could luck right into the solution immediately.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    "This was not a master thief with a unique costume and a calling card, this was a dumb kid doing the equivalent of wearing a ski mask before a robbery"

    Sure. But, again, I'm ignorant of your world-building - how common are ski masks in the Sahara desert? Who would already own one vs who recently purchased one? What can the brand of ski mask tell us about the perpetrator?

    As my characters are always "not from around here" to parallel my ignorance, they could have legitimately asked those questions; to not be pants-on-head, that should have been an OOC question to the GM (you) for any "natives".

    -----

    "Fuer is a tailor and Valentine is a merchant"

    That is a neat surprise.

    -----

    "So, what you mention about "anyone could have done it" is a recurring problem in low adventure design, and something I know we have talked about before. Low level characters can't simply overpower everything that they come up against. Usually, for the scenario to make any sense, this requires the party to be somewhat more clever or less risk averse"

    You keep saying that. And you're wrong. In fact, you've got it backwards.

    Characters who are less risk averse fail. Characters who are less risk averse die. Characters who are more risk averse pull out 10' poles, Canaries, and bags of flour, and actually succeed where all the brave idiots charged in and failed.

    It's probably important for you to understand this if you're going to continue to insist on your parties starting out low level, and you and/or your players want the party to succeed, let alone feel like BDHs.

    -----

    "Had they fallen back, they would now be on the defensive, and with Valen's resources supporting the Kelly Street gang, being on the defensive is not something they would want."

    … (there's so many paths here. Multiple timelines converge, and, in this reality, we get…)

    Are you sure?

    Had I been a player at your table (and this scenario we run by one of several GMs I know), that's exactly what I would have wanted. (Yes, some of those GMs occasionally look confused, and either ask me, "are you sure?", or outright "you realize if you do X, then Y, right?". And I just smile a "cat that ate the canary" grin and respond "yes".)

    Home turf advantage can be big. Especially if your opponents are idiots (as the Kelly Street gang already demonstrated themselves to be, per your plot).

    Also, Krystal has an enemy, Valen. Getting him to commit more resources to this group of idiots can only turn out well for the long-term outcome of this conflict.

    "Not for revenge. Not because they deserve it. Not because it'll make the world a better place. We need a heap of bloody bodies so when the trade prince Valen looks over his charts of profits and losses, he'll see what it cost him to mess with the mercenary company of Krystal."


    I want him to invest as much as possible into losing. That's how I roll.

    -----

    "Ok, so magic recovery in my game is based on lunar cycles rather than nightly resting, so Kim blowing all of her mana on one spell means that she is going to be out for most of the month, BUT she is just a single gish, and just because Brian is mad that his spell got countered and wanted to give up, did not mean the party as a whole was in a bad spot."

    Still ignorant of your system. Could a starting PC / what level of build resources would be required to…
    • turn into a snake
    • phase through stone
    • turn invisible
    • counter a massive spell
    • and whatever else he did off camera this month?


    Because, depending upon the details of your system, "falling back and gathering more Intel", or even "moving to another country" might well be the correct response here.

    -----

    "By asking overly specific questions in an attempt at lawyering, I would assume in an attempt to filter out red herrings.

    IMO I would start with broad questions and then work to more general, my players start with very general and then give up."

    I assume you mean the opposite of what you said.

    -----

    "And yeah, as a GM I can correct them OOC or insert something into the narrative, that is what I ultimately did, but it feels awkward and rail-roady."

    The way you do things often feels awkward and rail-roady, but that's a property of you, not inherent to the concept of responding.

    IIRC, Cluedrew once asked me (IIRC, when I was ranting about the Tier system), if I could only give players & GMs one tool, what tool would i choose instead of the Tier system. IIRC (darn senility), I responded with something about general training in finding and debugging problems, which Cluedrew found quite surprising.

    I suppose I should apply that same reasoning here, and encourage you learn debugging tools. (Actually, that's kinda what I was trying to hand you with the X-point plan you rejected).

    On the plus side, in this specific instance, you recognize that your way is bad, and how it is bad. That's a lot of the battle already won right there!

    Now you just need to not blame the wrong thing, recognize that there *are* good responses, and learn how to produce them yourself.

    -----

    "In this case the parties divinations consist of talking to rocks or sending one's senses back in time."

    Senility willing, I'll circle back to this one. But it'll be part of its own post.

    -----

    "There is a world of difference between having a fixed solution in mind and warping the narrative so they players always succeed."

    Oh, I fully agree! In fact, one of my (many) flaws is that, contrary to my players' beliefs, I *don't* improvise well, and, relevant here, I'm *not* good at handling "Sherlock Holmes" style PCs. I'm… passable… in very specific circumstances (I wrote the content myself. I *know* the content (I didn't *just* write it for this scenario, it's had a life of its own). And I've thought about the scenario with Sherlock Holmes in mind.); otherwise, it's a terrible experience for the player.

    Oh, wait, that probably belonged somewhere else.

    (Darn "cut and paste" errors).

    Anyway, the part that was supposed to be here involved thoroughly agreeing that you shouldn't warp the narrative / the facts, and that some approaches can (and legitimately should) fail.

    I'm all about the PCs failing… but, do keep in mind, most failures can be spun as "setbacks", not TPKs.

    (Whereas, a failure of "sticking around when we should run" is much more likely a TPK.)

    -----

    "What tends to happen is my players fixate on one very specific approach, and if that one very specific approach doesn't pan out, they give up and declare the whole affair impossible and start ranting and raving about puzzles and needing to read the GM's mind."

    Your players showed great creativity trying to deal with the Avatar of Hate…

    Have I already asked my Evil overlord mandated 5-year-old advisor substitute(s) about that scenario?

    Also… can we try a simply game of "what might you try?" with your players? Get them to practice brainstorming when nothing's on the line?

    -----

    "As I said about the last session; the players just need to trust that the DM isn't out to TPK them."

    Now, I'm biased. Trust? A GM?

    However, if some Mirror of Opposition version of myself played at your table, and encountered that scenario? Do you know what they'd do?

    "By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!"

    That is, immediately have everyone summon their summons. Find some way to make it work mechanically, and then demand / ask / cajole / trick / or plead that they not (depending on the specifics of the individual's relationship with their summons) that they all join together *and* possess the tank. (I'd say "think Warhammer 40k demon tank", but apparently I'm from a collapsed timeline where it worked very differently)

    Then proceed to have a "balanced encounter" destroying every man, woman, and child in slavery city. Just start at one end, and level the place. Bring down the mountain as needed.

    Anyone worthy of being the high priestess should consider her life a suitable sacrifice to end this threat. And, if she doesn't look at it that way, my Necromancer would bring her spirit back to torment for all eternity (also to keep anyone from contacting her spirit to discredit our version of events).

    -----

    "Your problem is that the players asked very specific questions because they wanted to make sure to get straight answers. That's because they don't trust you to be straight with them (as has been established in previous threads). So they tried to ask questions that wouldn't allow you to screw them over. What did you do? You screwed them over by answering their questions literally."

    Senility willing, I'll bring this up when I revisit my "your players cannot win" concept.

    -----

    I think I missed something, but I cannot remember what. Maybe next time.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-10-11 at 03:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    You keep saying that. And you're wrong. In fact, you've got it backwards.

    Characters who are less risk averse fail. Characters who are less risk averse die. Characters who are more risk averse pull out 10' poles, Canaries, and bags of flour, and actually succeed where all the brave idiots charged in and failed.

    It's probably important for you to understand this if you're going to continue to insist on your parties starting out low level, and you and/or your players want the party to succeed, let alone feel like BDHs.
    I think the point is that adventurers are typically expected to be more prone to risks than the average NPC. Most people who encounter a dungeon (ie. a dark place full of traps, monsters and a dozen other ways to die) probably wouldn't even consider going in, no matter how many treasures awaited the survivors.
    Last edited by Batcathat; 2021-10-11 at 02:11 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Characters who are less risk averse fail. Characters who are less risk averse die. Characters who are more risk averse pull out 10' poles, Canaries, and bags of flour, and actually succeed where all the brave idiots charged in and failed.
    If you set up the scenario that way, sure. But you can also set it up so that quick action is the best route to victory. And if you're just letting things arise emergently, it could go either way.

    For example, PCs in my game are about to raid an enemy facility which is relatively isolated from backup. If they get in and get out in one go, they'll only have to deal with the somewhat unprepared guards there and will be long gone before any backup arrives. If they retreat and come back a few hours later, still just the guards there but they'll be on high-alert and internal doors will have been sealed to create chokepoints. If they take several days, backup may arrive. If they take over a week, a lot of backup will arrive and they'll probably need to abandon this plan.

    Meanwhile there aren't many traps to find with a 10' pole, because this is a facility in active use that the staff would need to freely move around inside.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-10-11 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    For example, PCs in my game are about to raid an enemy facility which is relatively isolated from backup. If they get in and get out in one go, they'll only have to deal with the somewhat unprepared guards there and will be long gone before any backup arrives. If they retreat and come back a few hours later, still just the guards there but they'll be on high-alert and internal doors will have been sealed to create chokepoints. If they take several days, backup may arrive. If they take over a week, a lot of backup will arrive and they'll probably need to abandon this plan.
    "In and out in one go" is irrelevant to whether they use explosives that risk bringing the roof down on themselves, vs use poison gas that incapacitates 100% of the resistance. vs actually check / don't just assume that the poison worked, vs being prepare for resistance that was somehow immune to poison, vs…

    IME, fortune and RPGs do not favor brave idiots. Fortune and RPGs favor those who understand risk management, and are risk averse.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-10-11 at 03:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    There's also a world of difference between warping the narrative and being lenient with player approaches. Your problem is that the players asked very specific questions because they wanted to make sure to get straight answers. That's because they don't trust you to be straight with them (as has been established in previous threads). So they tried to ask questions that wouldn't allow you to screw them over. What did you do? You screwed them over by answering their questions literally.
    What you do is, assume that the characters are smarter in asking the questions than the players are, because the characters are not subject to those meta considerations about trust. Answer the direct question, but volunteer additional information.
    If I may be pedantic for a moment, I don't think answering a question directly and screwing them over by answering them directly.

    For example; say the culprits are a pair of middle aged men, but the players got it in their heads they were children. If the players ask if the bartender saw a couple of kids come into a crowded bar, saying "No, no children," is a direct answer while saying "Kids, no, of course not! We don't allow goats in here!" would be a literal answer, and imo only the latter would be screwing someone over or playing word games.

    But in a broader sense, there is a wide gulf between screwing players and playing their characters for them. I don't know about you, but if the GM assumed I was asking a question I didn't say I was asking, I would be incensed and feel that they were both railroading me and overstepping my bounds.

    Volunteering information works, but only if it makes sense (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    GM (as ticket seller): "Someone in a red cape? I don't think so. There was that young couple, they seemed to be on a date. The old guy with the cane. That sleazy guy at 2 am, but he wore a yellow cape, not a red one. And the fishwife on her way home.

    That's not forced, that's a pretty normal way for people to remember, and you're letting hints drop that way.
    If you want, you can also ask for a roll and tell them additional information:

    Player: I ask the ticket seller if he sold a ticket to a man in a red cape at 4 AM.
    GM: Alright, roll for gathering information
    Player: 22
    GM: He hasn't seen anyone in a red cape, but he mentions someone in a yellow cape during the conversation.

    None of this is warping a narrative. It's working with your players to get a satisfying game.
    That assumes that:

    The ticket seller saw the man in the yellow cape and that the man in the yellow cape stood out enough to warrant commenting upon. If it was a crowded train station with hundreds of customers over the course of the day in a society were capes are not uncommon dress items, I would find it extremely odd for someone to just blurt out that they saw a guy in a different colored cape two hours later unless there was something very unusual about his appearance or actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    But we have already established that your players don't trust you. By the time they know for sure they are outclassed, it might be too late to retreat for them, at least without casualties. Since they don't trust you, they might very well retreat prematurely because they don't want to risk it. Also, what is an appropriate encounter? I know you plan your encounters around a certain amount of resources to be drained. But your players don't know how many resources they are supposed to spend on a certain encounter. This time, someone went all in and spent close to 100% of heir resources on an action, and that action got countered for no effect. Now, admittedly it's not especially smart to channel all your mana in a single spell like that, when it takes a month to refill. But I can also understand being frustrated when that kind of commitment then gets completely nullified.
    I admittedly don't know how to judge spell power in your system. But I would assume that to nullify a spell that effectively, whoever does it would have to be at least on a similar power level as Kim. So a tactical retreat to assess this new situation is certainly not out of question.
    This is all true.

    That doesn't mean that it isn't counter-productive on the part of the players or frustrating for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    And if they did retreat even though it wasn't necessary, so what? They made an enemy there. An opportunity to have the narrative shift into a different direction that can lead to more interesting, and possibly even personal developments down the line. How is that a bad thing?
    The forum has told me to stop giving the players enough rope to hang themselves and warn them before they embark on a suicidal course of action.

    When they announced their plan to retreat, I sat back and thought about what the enemy's reaction would be. I concluded it would be to go tell the mercenaries that the guys they were looking for showed up, and to then hire more and plan an ambush if they come back, and then to go on the offensive if not.

    The players plan was to fall back, wait four hours, and then try again attacking the front door.

    Going through with that plan would almost certainly result in a TPK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    "I didn't see anyone like that... except the man in the similarly coloured cape at a very similar time, but I obviously won't mention that".
    Strawman much? Yeah, if he had seen a similar man at a similar time that would make sense, but that wasn't the case in either my example or the original scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    If you're happy with the players having to read your mind to find the specific answer, then that's your business, but it doesn't seem to be working out well for you.
    That phrase is so over used that it has lost all meaning. AFAICT, "reading the DM's mind" is how players say "doing anything at all other than the very first thing that comes to my mind".

    There are absolutely puzzles where there is a very small number of counter intuitive solutions. For example, almost every Delta Green module has one (I played through one last year that requires you smash the haunted mirror with an elder sign, despite the fact that no elder signs are ever even mentioned, let alone present, in the module). But stuff like that is NEVER what is actually happening in a scenario I have written and wild hyperbole to the point of uselessness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    What I mean by 'is there an ability to ask X', is to ask what happens in your game if a players wants to just make a Streetwise check to ask about the crime? Do they have to come up with a specific question that's worded right to get the information? And as the GM, are you willing or capable to say on a more specific question "Red cape at 4am seems a little too focused. Do you want to just ask for general information about men in capes at the train station recently?"
    Its a spectrum. Generally, being specific alters the difficulty of the roll. So, "asking around" might be DC 20, but specifically asking someone who I have established as knowing something about the situation might lower it to DC 10 or less, while specifically asking only people who have nothing to do with it might increase the DC to 30 or higher.

    But yes, ultimately that is what I did, I "broke the fourth wall" and flat out told them that they were pulling a Roy and that by asking such specifically worded questions they were making it impossible for me to actually convey any useful information and reminded them that Valentine has a vast array of underworld contacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I'm not so sure about this. It depends on how public the location and how uncommon capes are, I think. If I was standing in a fairly crowded place and someone asked me about someone wearing a red coat, I probably wouldn't randomly give them information about someone wearing a yellow coat.

    I think investigations are generally one of the toughest adventures to make just the right amount of challenging. A clue that's meant to be obvious could be completely missed or the party could luck right into the solution immediately.
    Yeah, my example assumed that capes were not outlandish fashion, the station was fairly crowded, and that the guy was sneaking around so that only the one girl saw him.

    But yeah, investigations are hard. I would never willingly run a mystery adventure, but I have on frequent occasions had players decide they were going to solve a mystery and that ends up derailing the entire session. This was one of those sessions.

    I meant for the investigation part of the mission to be short and optional (and with this particular party's skills solvable with a couple of spells). Valentine's social skills are high enough that she can't fail to track down the culprits, and I meant the combat to be the main part of the session.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Sure. But, again, I'm ignorant of your world-building - how common are ski masks in the Sahara desert? Who would already own one vs who recently purchased one? What can the brand of ski mask tell us about the perpetrator?
    Yeah, sure. But that isn't what happened. They were convinced that it was some sort of unique costume and pulled all other thoughts out of their minds.

    In retrospect, I think that they assumed from my description that the guy was a mummy or some sort of leper who had to be wrapped in bandages all the time, and so that was the detail the obsessed over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    You keep saying that. And you're wrong. In fact, you've got it backwards.

    Characters who are less risk averse fail. Characters who are less risk averse die. Characters who are more risk averse pull out 10' poles, Canaries, and bags of flour, and actually succeed where all the brave idiots charged in and failed.

    It's probably important for you to understand this if you're going to continue to insist on your parties starting out low level, and you and/or your players want the party to succeed, let alone feel like BDHs.
    We have had this conversation many times. As I have said many times, to be a successful adventurer you need to be both clever and daring.

    Being smart and cautious like in your example is GOOD. I would love to see that from my players.

    But my players are either unwilling or incapable of being careful and cautious.

    They fluctuate between two binaries; charging into the dungeon as mindless berserkers or running back to town and hiding for the entire session the first time they face danger.

    And of course, in either case if something bad happens or I complain, they ping-pong to the other extreme and tell me they are only doing what I told them to do when they were on the other end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    "Had they fallen back, they would now be on the defensive, and with Valen's resources supporting the Kelly Street gang, being on the defensive is not something they would want."

    Are you sure?

    Had I been a player at your table (and this scenario we run by one of several GMs I know), that's exactly what I would have wanted. (Yes, some of those GMs occasionally look confused, and either ask me, "are you sure?", or outright "you realize if you do X, then Y, right?". And I just smile a "cat that ate the canary" grin and respond "yes".)

    Home turf advantage can be big. Especially if your opponents are idiots (as the Kelly Street gang already demonstrated themselves to be, per your plot).

    Also, Krystal has an enemy, Valen. Getting him to commit more resources to this group of idiots can only turn out well for the long-term outcome of this conflict.

    "Not for revenge. Not because they deserve it. Not because it'll make the world a better place. We need a heap of bloody bodies so when the trade prince Valen looks over his charts of profits and losses, he'll see what it cost him to mess with the mercenary company of Krystal."


    I want him to invest as much as possible into losing. That's how I roll.
    That is how I would want it as a PC to.

    But I think you are giving my players too much credit here.

    They weren't thinking long term, they were thinking that they fight was too hard and they were running away, and following that up with an even harder fight that might actually defeat them (which this one had zero chance of doing) is not likely to work out well for anyone's enjoyment of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Also… can we try a simply game of "what might you try?" with your players? Get them to practice brainstorming when nothing's on the line?
    One issue is that we are all adults now with busy lives and gaming time is at a premium. Most of the players don't give the game a thought when we aren't at the table, and I can't imagine spending our limited gaming time doing exercises is going to be high on anyone's list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Still ignorant of your system. Could a starting PC / what level of build resources would be required to…
    • turn into a snake
    • phase through stone
    • turn invisible
    • counter a massive spell
    • and whatever else he did off camera this month?


    Because, depending upon the details of your system, "falling back and gathering more Intel", or even "moving to another country" might well be the correct response here.
    Yes, a starting PC could do all of that.

    He was individually a higher level than anyone else in the party. He was also a full caster rather than a "gish" like all of the party's casters. Phasing through a wall is more difficult than a counterspell, so they weren't getting new information here.

    Still, I wouldn't place money on him winning a 1 on 1 fight with any of the PCs, and with all six of them there he is going to get crushed even with his gang's support.

    I g2g now, I will reread your post later to see if I missed anything!
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    There is no way to disprove a negative. There is no way for players to know that there isn't an army of invisible tarrasques hiding behind every door.

    But, imo, unless you have some reason to believe that you are outclassed, you have to proceed under the assumption that most fights will be of the appropriate CR. Not that you shouldn't keep on your toes and plan for the worst mind you, just that you can't assume defeat is a given from the get-go.
    how are they to figure out they are being outclassed?
    imho, if the enemy just no-sells your most powerful attack, that implies a fairly high likelyhood that you are indeed being outclassed. Retreating and gathering more information is a perfectly valid strategy there.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    how are they to figure out they are being outclassed?

    imho, if the enemy just no-sells your most powerful attack, that implies a fairly high likely-hood that you are indeed being outclassed. Retreating and gathering more information is a perfectly valid strategy there.
    I guess it depends on you you define "no sells your most powerful attack".

    Like, if I cast Meteor Swarm on a fire creature or Energy Drain on the undead, that means a ninth level spell did nothing, but that has zero indication of how strong the enemies are.

    In this case, the enemy just cast a counterspell, which meant that they were facing an enemy caster who could cast mid level spells, which they knew before going into the fight.


    Whether or not falling back to gather more information is a valid strategy really depends on the context; if maintaining the element of surprise is important or you are on a time critical mission (like stopping a ritual or saving a prisoner before they are executed) then falling back to gather more information might effectively be suicide.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Session Five is in the bag. An early Halloween adventure!

    Spoiler: October 1113: Content Warning (Gore and Dead Bodies)
    Show
    Now that Quincy has a permanent address, it is easy for one of the local recruitment officers to track him down for a check on his progress, as it has been nearly six months since he last claimed a bounty. Quincy hems and haws a bit, before trying to turn the conversation around on the recruiter, who insists that he keeps plenty busy by tracking down AWOL soldiers and recruiting young men who will accept a tour in Balthazar’s army in exchange for paying off their gambling debts.

    When Quincy seems in over his head, Valentine moves in to save him, telling the recruiter that they have been helping Quincy perform reconnaissance on a large army of hengeyokai who are amassing south of Livonia’s territory and planning on invading the frontier. Her descriptions of the Omukade are so graphic and horrifying that the man is visibly shaken. He thanks Quincy for the report, and says he will make sure the information goes all the way to the top.

    He then sets up Quincy with an easy assignment: The small town of Havensbrook which lies on the edge of Balthazar’s territory has stopped paying tribute or sending soldiers for the draft, and asks Quincy if he could go out there, see what is up, and make sure the tribute starts to get paid again.

    Quincy agrees, and the recruiter gives him directions to a small garrison near Havensbrook where he can go to rest and resupply before the mission, and gives him a letter authorizing the garrison to pay him, as well as his allies, standard mercenary rates.

    Quincy prepares by purchasing a lightweight sawed off shotgun from Decker to protect himself at close range.

    The garrison is not terribly far from Golgotha, and they decide to go on horseback rather than take the Juggernaut, leaving Zara to finish setting up a garage near their new plantation. The garrison itself is modest, built into a hillside out of wood and adobe, and is home to maybe a dozen of Balthazar’s troops. Their leader is Lance Corporal Sean Williamson, and he briefs Quincy on the situation in Havensbrook.

    Havensbrook simply stopped paying their taxes about four years ago. The garrison doesn’t collect directly and has had no contact with the town. Their tribute was being sent to the nearby city of Lone Tree Hill and handled by the bureaucrats there, but was small enough that it was kind of lost in the shuffle. The soldiers have not visited the city personally. Tribute is normally four recruits a year and 20% of the town’s income; they will be expected to pay it back with interest. Quincy tells him that may be tough, as you can’t get blood from a stone, and Feur corrects him, saying that there are such things as bloodstones.

    They stay the night at the garrison, and Feur makes friends with the local soldiers telling corny jokes.

    Havensbrook is a small roadside town with a stream running through the middle. It consists of about half a dozen businesses on main street and various outlying farms. The group estimates that there are maybe two hundred people here. The town seems well maintained and not struggling.

    Their first stop is the church, which is very dilapidated and doesn’t look to have seen service in years. The cemetery in the church yard is likewise ill kept, and Quincy notices that there are no fresh graves, indeed the dates on the tombstones indicate that nobody in town has died in the last four years. Some quick math says that they should have lost at least a dozen to natural causes in that time, even discounting the high chance of death by violence or misadventure that hangs over the frontier.

    Asking around town, they find the mayor is the local miller and goes by the name of Brayden Rhys. He is a large, hirsute man, and when he shakes Valentine’s hand he nearly lifts her off the floor.
    When asked about the tribute, Brayden explains that they have been paying it to Livonia and her “clankers”. Four years ago they came into town, their leader covered in clockwork limbs and with a robotic monocle, and gave a speech about how Balthazar’s forces in the region had been defeated and that from now on they would be working for the good of Avarus.

    Valentine questions his honesty, and the mayor reluctantly admits that maybe the robotic monocle was a bit of an exaggeration.

    He goes on to say that they were happy under Balhthazar, they have paid their dues to Dungenus for the past fifty years, and that Livonia’s forces don’t protect them or even bring money into the town when they are on leave. Three months back an ogre raider came down from the hills and they had to form a posse to put it down, and without any military backing they suffered four casualties in the attempt.

    Quincy asks him why there are no graves if they lost four men, and the mayor quickly corrects him; casualties don’t mean fatalities, as a military man he should know that.

    The group gets directions to Livonia’s nearest garrison two leagues away. The mayor tells them he is against attacking it, as Balthazar’s forces haven’t even checked in on the town for years, and he is afraid they won’t be able to protect Havensbrook from retribution. He then tells a story about how before the mill his family used to be ranchers, and how they normally just slaughtered a few animals each year to make sure there were enough to breed, but after the Cataclysm when a plague swept through the herds, they slaughtered them all to recoup what meat they could before it all went bad.

    The mercenaries are undeterred. They find Livonia’s forces camped amongst the rocks and the tall grass, their tents surrounded by chainlink fences topped with barbed wire and surrounded by sandbags.

    Four homunculus battle drones stand guard. The group approaches openly from the front while Krystal sneaks around the back. Once they are in range, Kim casts a spell to protect her companions from bullet.

    The homunculi open fire, a bullet whizzing past the head of Quincy’s horse, startling the beast and spoiling his shot.

    Anani calls forth a shade as well as conjuring a globe of darkness to protect it from the sun’s light. It falls upon the homunculi, but finds the artificial warriors to be immune to its life draining touch and instead flows through the fence to get at the living soldiers housed within. At the same time Krystal uses her magic to step through the fence on the far side and move in to assassinate their hellion commander in his tent.

    The fight outside is short but brutal. Both sides are shot many times, but Kim’s magic manages to keep any of the wounds from being serious; though their clothes are perforated.

    In the end, they leave no survivors. Within the camp, they find a strongbox full of golden thari and numerous papers. Kim goes over them and finds that Livonia’s forces had orders to secure the area but not to engage Balthazar’s men. Anani performs quick field surgery to remove the bullets that are imbedded in her companions’ flesh.

    When they return to Havensbrook, the mayor acts a little too happy to see them, and jokes about how they are so holey that they must have gone to see the bishop. Then talk gets serious, and
    Quincy says that he might be able to work out a protection arrangement, but they are going to have to send atleast thirty recruits to the military to make it worth Balthazar’s time. Rhys says that they can’t spare it, it would be the end of the town as there wouldn’t be enough laborer’s to justify its existence, and it would be a lose / lose proposition.

    The group decides to stay the night at the roadhouse and return to the garrison in the morning. The proprietor is an elderly man named Winston with round red cheeks, puffy white hair, and a wheezing voice. He serves them milk and mead and meat and cheese, with promises of brazed mutton later.

    As they eat, the group brainstorms ways for the town to make money for their tribute. They ask Winston what he thinks about the idea of a small toll on the road, and he says that it might work, although he is nervous that it might detour visitors.

    Sometime later, Anani shrieks and falls backwards in her seat. As it happens, sharp eyed Quincy notices her shadow glance around nervously and then vanish entirely.

    When Anani comes to her senses, she says that she felt a great wave of necromantic energy wash across the room, guided by small sparks of wild magic. The roadhouse wasn’t overly crowded, but now it has fallen gravely silent, and everyone seems to be on edge, as if they can subconsciously feel that something is very wrong.

    Then the silence is broken by a deafening crash in the kitchen, and several people shriek in fright. Nobody moves, and Kim alone has the courage to investigate. She finds the floor covered in sticky broth and the pots nocked from the stove, and in the center is the butchered and cooked carcass of a skinned lamb. It flops about, and then lurches toward her on what is left of its shanks, turns eyeless sockets to her, and shrieks.

    Kim marches into the main room and tells them matter of factly that the dead are rising and they need to barricade the doors.

    Krystal steps into the Hellscape and climbs swiftly onto the roof of the inn. She doesn’t see any undead, but there are many candles burning on the upper floors of homes, as if people have been wakened from sleep by uneasy dreams. There appears to be a large gathering in the mill.

    Valentine flies to the belfry of the dilapidated church and figures out how to get the bells ringing as a warning to the town, although it may only attract attention. As she passes above the cemetery, she can hear the ground itself screaming.

    The rest of the group marches into the mill, where the townsfolk appear to be having some sort of late night meeting. They seem surprised and nervous, and many are clutching weapons, but when they are told that the dead are rising, they seem more confused than anything. Still, they listen when they are told to go find their families and secure themselves in their homes.

    The group keeps on the lookout for the undead. They decide fortify the bridge that crosses the stream in front of the old church. Kim uses her magic to create a fine mesh of razor sharp wire main street, and transforms the side roads into sheets of razor sharp stalagmites. Quincy retrieves his horse from the stable and mounts up for battle. Feur gathers up all the broken pews in the church and starts a massive bonfire in the churchyard. Anani goes to consecrate the ground, but finds that her god has gone silent and her prayers fall on deaf ears.

    Half an hour passes before the group’s suspicions prove to be correct. The first to approach the party are the remains of local livestock, half butchered and nearly skeletal, as well as swarms of desiccated rats, white eyed and maggot-filled. They are put down by sturdy blow to the head or the spine without too much fuss, and the only serious injury suffered is when a large skeletal goat charges Feur from behind and rams its molded horns into his kidneys.

    Then a group of atleast a dozen human zombies comes staggering out of the woods to east of town. They are of all ages and dressed in the manner of the local people. Kim conjures magical barriers that funnel them through her traps, but they are insensible to pain and enough get through that the group falls behind the curve, and undead show up faster than they can be put down. Krystal darts in and out of the shadows, the Black Flame Blade singing as she moves about, slicing the slow moving creatures to ribbons before they can react.

    The zombies are joined by dead creatures of the forest, mangled and half eaten. Deer, foxes, weasels, even a monitor lizard with a burst stomach and a pack of freshly slain wolves coated in dried blood. And then older human remains, mostly skeletal, dried by the summer sun and missing skin and limbs, and many bearing the weapons and uniforms of soldiers killed in some border skirmish and forgotten in unmarked graves.

    At one point, the party is surrounded. Quincy is pulled from his horse by an aged pair of forest hyenas, brought back to engage in one last hunt, and has his throat town out. Kim, likewise, smashes skeletal skulls with ease, but when the ribcage of one of her foes gets entangled in the chain haft of her weapon, she finds herself surrounded and overborne, suffocating beneath a tide of rotting flesh.

    Feur quickly rewinds the strands of time to save them from their fates, but in doing so exposes himself to injury and is forced to fall back into the church.

    Among the last of the undead to show up are a group of zombified soldiers bearing the marks of Livonia, and they seem to be the very same group that our heroes slew this very morning, although they can’t fathom how they could have covered such a distance in this short a time.

    The warriors do their best to stem the tide and defend the town, but one by one they fall.

    Valentine, who had perched upon the roof of the church to direct her compatriots, is taken by surprise when a skeletal eagle descends from the sky and tears at her face with its talons, and she stumbles backwards, falling from the roof, and her wings fail to catch her as she smashes unconscious into the ground. Krystal breaks her normally cool composition and cuts a swath to her, smashing the skeletal bird beneath her hoof, and dragging the fallen angel into the defunct vestibule.

    Anani is doing her best to hold off the skeletons with the blunt head of her staff, and is holding her own until a massive frog’s corpse emerges from the stream and engulfs her foot in its slimy mouth. This does no real damage, but distracts her long enough for a skeletal soldier is able to bring its machete down on the back of her head, and soon she passes out from a combination of head trauma and blood loss.

    Kim takes two nasty hits from the battle axe which is wielded by the undead creature that led Livonia’s forces in life, one in the small of her back and another across her temple. She manages to remain conscious long enough to smash its skull with her meteor hammer, but only just.

    In the small hours of the morning, Quincy and Krystal are the only ones left, but the wilderness seems to have run out of corpses to disgorge upon them. By the end, they are both exhausted and Quincy has resorted to smashing skulls with the butt of his rifle, but they think that the worst is behind them.

    Then they hear heavy footsteps coming down the street, and see a fetid hulk moving toward them, the foul remains of the ogre which the townsfolk said to have put down some months earlier has come back for revenge.

    Quincy gets its attention with the very last of his ammunition, and it lumbers towards him and gets caught in the razor webs that Kim erected. Black blood pours from the hulk, but it is too massive to keep trapped for long and soon pulls the entire net down. Quincy tries to distract the giant zombie, riding in a broad circle to give Krystal the opportunity to flank it, but he doesn’t account for the sheer length of its arms and is knocked from the saddle by a bone-rattling clothesline. Fortunately, the ogre is distracted chasing the bolting horse, allowing the wounded man to crawl away to safety.
    Krystal, seeing the battle is lost, drops a smoke bomb at her feet and disappears.

    From her hiding place, the young rogue hears the sound of the ogres smashing down the walls of the general store and then the cries of those sheltered within. In an uncharacteristic display of heroism, she uncloaks herself and follows the creature inside, sneaks up behind it, and drives the Black Flame Blade up to its basket hilt in the creature’s flabby back. Unfortunately for her, this does almost nothing aside from getting her rapier stuck. Still, it gets the ogre’s attention, and the beast turns around and bellows, a cloud of putrid gas filling the air, and swats her away.
    Krystal rolls to a stop and stands up unsteadily after suffering her first wound of the battle. She decides to go for one last desperate gambit before abandoning the townsfolk to their fate. She draws her crossbow and fires two bolts into the ogre with no effect.

    Then she turns and runs across the gauntlet of razor-sharp rocks that Kim conjured before the battle, trusting in her goat-like hooves and cat-like reflexes to keep her safe. She corners herself on the far side, continuing to fire meaningless bolts at the ogre, each one sinking into its rotten flesh with a soft slurping sound.

    She isn’t really trapped of course, if worse comes to worse she readies herself to escape into the Hellscape, grab Valentine, and make her way into the wilderness, letting the gods decide what is to become of her wounded companions and the huddling townsfolk.

    But, the ogre takes her bait, and its big feet are immediately sliced to ribbons as it moves. It continues on its knees, and then crawls along on its stomach, its gangrenous flesh bursting and oozing between the rocks. Still, it keeps coming, and by the time it reaches her, it is just a blindly chomping head attached to a ten meter smear of stinking gore.

    She holds her nose and braves the sharp rocks and cloud of flies to recover her sword, and then gathers up her companions one by one, returning them to their rooms above the roadhouse.

    A few more of the walking dead stagger into town, but there are no more large waves, and the townsfolk are able to put them down with pitchforks and sledgehammers and then toss them onto the bonfire in the church yard, the ancient remains trapped below still giving voice to their insatiable hunger.

    In the morning, Krystal makes back to Golgotha alone, making fast time traveling the paths of the underworld, and fetches Zara and her juggernaut to retrieve her injured companions.
    At sunset, Anani’s shadow returns unceremoniously, and her powers with it.

    Before the group leaves Havensbrook, Quincy gives an impassioned plea to the young townsfolk to step up and join the army, to defend their town and their lands, but nobody volunteers.

    Kim, on the other hand, is convinced there is something more to this mystery, and grills the townsfolk to see if any of them are aware of the source of dark magic; a local wizard, a strange artifact, a cursed temple, an evil cult, a forgotten ruin, anything really, but doesn’t come up with anything except puzzled looks.

    The townsfolk do thank the mercenaries for selflessly defending the town, and many of the families reward them with small trinkets that have no intrinsic value but great worth to a collector who knows what they are.

    They learn from the small towns along the road that the event was not confined to Havensbrook, and some of the smaller homesteads were even wiped out by the undead, but the corpses laid down and stopped moving again when the sun rose, so the damage was not too extensive.

    They report to Balthazar’s soldiers, who seem to be more interested in the presence of Livonia’s troops than with the undead. They make Quincy write two reports, one for the ambassador within Golgotha and one for their military commander to pass up the chain. Quincy tries to turn over the moneybox they took from Livonia’s camp, but they give it back and tell them to keep it. They say that Havensbrook and its tribute are no longer their concern.

    Back in Golgotha, they find that the city was also beset by the walking dead, but there were relatively few corpses in the large urban area and most were quickly defeated; the outlying plantations were the only ones hit hard. Strangely, the large cemetery at Boot Hill was completely unaffected. Reports from the Templar of Hades at Sheol indicate that, as far as anyone can tell, the phenomenon was global, affecting every corpse in the world, from those who died that very night to the inhabitants of millennia old mausoleums. There were even a few instances of leather coats reanimating and strangling their wearers.

    Still, it was just one night, and was swiftly forgotten. Pangaea is a strange and dangerous land, and this is far from the first global cataclysm in living memory.

    The group will take some time to heal up from this, all except for Krystal. One evening as the cambion is replacing the blade on her sword, it speaks to her in a raspy voice:
    “Did I ever tell you that I think I knew your father?”
    “You never mentioned that you could speak at all,” she replies cooly.
    “Oh. Guess I never had anything to say. Anyway, I recognize your fighting style, and I think maybe I served with your father during The Reckoning. You are making the same mistake he did, getting so caught up in your enemies’ physical defenses that you are neglecting their spiritual. Mind if I show you how to correct for that?”
    “Please do.”


    The game went rather well.

    Pacing was a problem; we started a full three hours behind schedule, and the game went four hours past our stop time. We really need to learn how to focus and manage our time, it seems like every session is less productive than the last.


    The finale battle really came down to a nail-biter. By choosing the defend the town, they chose the highest risk highest reward path, and it could have gone very badly for them, but they pulled through and, more importantly, didn't complain! Even Anani, who was deprived of her powers for half the mission and had every right to sore over it.

    The only mistakes I think the players made was, again, not knowing where to put Quincy (imo they should have either made a sniper's nest for him on the roof / second floor of one of the buildings or created a corral where he could kite the slow moving zombies from horseback) and that Kim didn't have any sort of protective magic up on herself, which with her build is a huge mistake.

    Kind of disappointment that they didn't get to the bottom of the conspiracy going on in Havensbrook, but I prefer it to the non-investigation that occured last session, and there is always the future.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    They weren't giving tribute… and the quest-giver didn't order the entire town executed? How can adventurers possibly have anything to do in such a world?

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Session Five is in the bag. An early Halloween adventure!

    The game went rather well.

    Pacing was a problem; we started a full three hours behind schedule, and the game went four hours past our stop time. We really need to learn how to focus and manage our time, it seems like every session is less productive than the last.
    From what I can tell, this is a relatively common issue. I've seen people spend an entire hour of a session arguing over whether to beat up or ignore a swarm of piercers. As long as people are enjoying themselves, I would say it is "productive".
    Having a bit more focus and better time management may be a good idea, but it seems like better scheduling would be just as effective. If the game had started on time, then going an hour over isn't actually that bad.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Played again. It was a short simple session, honestly I planned on having it go a lot longer, but the players cut all negotiations short with naked brutality, almost going full murder hobo for the first time in quite a while.

    I will have a full writeup sometime this week.


    So, one issue that came up is that the players have decided to start murdering friendly NPCs. The claim that his is justified because "in my games NPCs always betray them". I asked for an example, because I legit can't think of any, and the best the players could come up with was:

    Seventeen years ago (ooc) the PCs found a magic item that was significantly above their level, and decided to sell it rather than use it because they couldn't decide who to give it. They took it to a local arms merchant who told them that the best he could do was (GP limit for the community). They took him up on the offer. After the session, I told them that I was really disappointed they decided to sell such a powerful item, especially for less than full value. They immediately got mad at being swindled, and I told them they didn't get swindled, literally no body in town had the money to buy the item at full price and gave them all they had, but the players insists that because the NPCs didn't tell them the item's full market value upfront, they betrayed the PCs and all had to die.

    So yeah, we had a miscommunication about buying and selling seventeen years ago, and they are using that as justification for cold blooded murder.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Sounds like they want a game that they can win by their own power, with no help from allies.

    Honestly, I'd expect nothing less from your players.

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Or/and that they're continuing to take advantage of you and your endlessly tolerant nature because they're shallow and immature people. "I'm hurting you because of this thing you did seventeen years ago" sounds like a line out of a cheesy PSA about domestic abuse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Sounds like they want a game that they can win by their own power, with no help from allies.

    Honestly, I'd expect nothing less from your players.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Or/and that they're continuing to take advantage of you and your endlessly tolerant nature because they're shallow and immature people. "I'm hurting you because of this thing you did seventeen years ago" sounds like a line out of a cheesy PSA about domestic abuse.
    Both are probably correct.



    Anyway, Session Six:
    Spoiler: November 1113 Content Warning: Violence toward children
    Show

    One evening while Feur is convalescing, his room fills with golden smoke. At first he thinks that he is dreaming, or maybe having a reaction to his painkillers, but then endless coils of burning golden scales emerge from the mist, and he realizes he is in the presence of one of the shen-lung.

    The dragon god identifies itself as Asgorath, talon of Hyperion. It tells Feur that the events of the previous month were not restricted to Earth. Throughout the elemental planes, slumbering spirits abruptly arose as half-dead monstrosities, and the Tribunal is stretched thin trying to hold them back. As a result, they have had to pass many of their low priority investigations over to mortal agents such as Feur. Recently, someone in the Golgotha area has been mangling mortal souls in violation of the Gotterdamerung, and they would like Feur to investigate.

    He asks for more information, but there is nothing to give, finding out will be his job.

    Feur asks the group to assist with this task, and they reluctantly agree, although Krystal tells him that there better be some form of compensation for her.

    They ask Tatters, and she has nothing. She tells them urban legends of the Golgotha Ripper and of Dream Demons, but nothing about mutilated souls. She will keep her eye out, but might need more information to go on.

    Likewise, Father Genaro at the Immaterium doesn’t know anything about it, although he does say that the matter is of interest to him, and that if they do find any fellows whose souls have been chopped up, they should send them his way for more information. He suggests consulting with a witch.

    Valentine says that they have a witch in the form of Anani, and Feur spends the rest of the day making bad puns involving Anani and the word “which”.

    That night, Anani seals herself in a windowless room and communes with the spirit of darkness itself. The cold voice whispers to her that the one she seeks is the Dark Elf Akatosh. It also warns her that if his magic grows unchecked, he could well be a threat to the darkness, but if he dies, then all magical creatures on Earth might die with him.

    The next morning Valentine decides to ask Decker if he knows Akatosh. Decker is incensed that she thinks that all elves know one another, but says that she is in luck, because in this case not only does he know Akatosh, but he has a score to settle against the man and gives her his address, with a warning that he is some sort of sorcerer.

    They find an old Victorian house in the low part of town, centuries old even in Kim’s time. It is rundown, but unlike the rest of the neighborhood it seems to have enjoyed continuous occupation. They set up an observation post on the second floor of an abandoned home down the street, and Quincy keeps watch until nightfall.

    Mid-morning, a half-elven boy of about ten or twelve leaves the house and unhitches a mule which he walks into town. Valentine tells Krystal to tail him, and she follows him to a local chemist’s shop where she decided to grab him. She drags the lad into an ally; roughly gags him and binds his wrists and ankles before hoisting him over her shoulder and then returning to their hideout, dragging him through the hellscape.

    Valentine removes his gag and he stares at her coolly. He mutters a few words in a language that Kim thinks might by Sylvan but doesn’t recognize.

    “My name is Valentine, what is yours?”

    “Why should I tell you anything?” The boy states in an oddly calm voice.

    “Because it’s polite.”

    He glances down at his bindings and responds “I think the time for politeness is past.”

    Valentine is unnerved by his calm and verbose nature, and pauses to think. Quincy notices a rat crawl up the boy’s pant-leg and when he doesn’t react, the sharpshooter immediately trains his rifle on his head and tells him to get rid of the rat now or die.

    “You’re going to need to untie my hands for that,” he says.

    Anani moves to remove the rat herself, and the creature bites and scratches at her. It is cold and stiff, with white eyes and maggoty flesh, and she knows it died of some horrible disease. She shrieks and tosses it away.

    At this, Valentine nods and Krystal impales the child from behind, sticking her rapier through his heart.

    He falls to the ground without a scream. A pool of blood spreads out and then stops. They tell Feur to dispose of the body.

    That evening, they decide to raid the house.

    Kim will come in the front, with Quincy and Valentine; Feur will come in the back with Anani and Krystal.

    Kim has little trouble breaking down the front door.

    They find the dark elf sitting at his breakfast table, dining from glass plates upon a salad of pears and pine nuts drizzled with honey while drinking butter-tea. He is tall and slender, with dark receding hair and craggy features, and is caught totally off-guard.

    As Kim races toward him, Akatosh rises to his feet and fumbles with his spell-book, casting a quick spell of protection and barely avoiding the crash of Kim’s meteor-hammer, which sends dinnerware and wooden splinters flying.

    Unseen to the mortals, a small rakshasah who serves as his familiar, slides out of the shadows and reinforces Akatosh’ magic, allowing him to steal Kim’s vitality, trading his delicate elven constitution for her hardy nature. This is all that allows him to survive when Quincy’s rifle roars out and blasts a gaping hole in his shoulder.

    His protective ward goes off a moment later, and Quincy finds searing golden light inflicting an identical wound upon himself, and he drops from the fight.

    Feur took several strikes to shatter the backdoor, and Krystal gets impatient, instead using her powers to walk through the walls in an attempt to flank her foe. When she arrives, she attempts to sneak up on the magus, but finds his elven ears hear her coming and he steps aside.

    When Feur and Anani burst into the room, Akatosh reveals a polished bloodstone amulet and raises it, the magics within stealing the life-forces from his attackers, healing his wound and leaving his foes weak.

    They struggle for a few moments, the elf evades most of their blows, and those that they land are mirrored onto themselves by his protective spell. He uses his magic and that of his amulet to attack their animus directly, healing his own damage in turn.

    Anani is finally able to smash a vial of holy-water upon his chest, which dispels the magical protections. Kim then trips him with her meteor hammer, and Valentine moves forwards and slips a garrote around the elf’s throat. Feur wraps his strong hands around her slender arms and pulls back, choking the breath from the elf and leaving him unable to speak the words of magic.

    When Akatosh loses consciousness, Krystal moves to finish him but Anani bids her to wait. She has been warned against killing him, but also against letting him go, and decides now is time to try an experiment.

    She hastily does her best to perform the same ritual that the Archmage Thanatos attempted upon her so long ago, conjuring up the very essence of the Abyss and shattering Akatosh’s soul.

    When the dark elf awakens, he attempts to cast a spell, but finds his magic gone. His confusion turns to despair and he wails in frustration. He starts to sob, but when no tears come he realizes the true extent of the damage that was done, and coldly composes himself.

    “You have taken everything from me, even my grief. Why? Who am I to you?”

    Feur answers that he is merely doing the bidding of the great cosmic dragon.

    Akatosh laughs hollowly and tells them they are pawns of gods who care nothing for them, gladly aiding in their own subjugation.

    Valentine says that he was mutilating souls and needed to be stopped.

    Akatosh explains that he was doing a public service. His clients came to him willingly, asking to have the darkness, the anger and hatred that prevented them from living a normal life, excised from their souls and he obliged.

    When asked what he was to get out of it, he said that he was adding their miniscule necromantic powers to his own, and eventually, once his technique was perfected, he would perform it on a mass scale, allowing humans to live short, utopian, lives while he ascended to demi-godhood and claimed the moon for his own.

    Kim asks why he would want the moon, and he tells them that it is the source of all magic; but he has noticed its power waning over time. The effect is subtle, but is growing asymptotically, and he imagines that within the next twenty years the magic will be entirely gone, but if stored and rationed out, it could still change the world.

    Valentine says that surely the gods would stop such a thing, and Akatosh laughs and tells them that they sound like the fools at the Immaterium. No, the gods would not help, they never approved of their sacred fire being stolen in the first place, and would be quite happy to see magic stripped from the world and the mortals put back in their proper place.

    Anani asks about the bloodstone pendant, and he tells that it allows its bearer to cast the Blood Ritual spell indefinitely, stealing others’ life forces to heal one’s own wounds. She asks for it, and he tells her coldly that it is of no use to him anymore, and that the magic word is “Hemotroph”.

    Quincy and Krystal have been busy ransacking the house, stealing books of arcane lore as well as art objects and relics of the Sidhe. Akatosh does not try and stop them, for they have already taken his dreams from him, what more harm are a few trinkets.

    Kim asks if the plague of restless dead that attacked the world last month was his doing. Akatosh smiles and shakes his head, and says that it was far beyond his power. “No, there is only one being who could have cast such a spell. Salebenothan, the Black King, walks the world once again.”

    They ask if the boy was his son, and he says it is unlikely, for he has no interest in human women. The boy, whose name was Mordeth, was his apprentice, a lost and damaged soul, who could have great magical potential if guided along the right path. They nod and do not elaborate on his fate.

    After stripping his house of anything of value, they tell Akatosh to leave Golgotha to seek his own penance, lest they return and put an end to him. They loosen his bindings and depart. They do not look back.

    That night, Asgorath returns to Feur. It tells him that his work was surprisingly direct. Though efficient, he might have uncovered the full extent of the conspiracy if he had taken a more measured approach. Still, the dragon-spirit cannot dispute his results. It breaths its fiery golden breath upon his master-crafted cestuses, and imbues them with the power of pure justice. It tells him that he is now a full member of the Tribunal, authorized and expected to enforce oaths across the cosmos. His fists will now turn the weight of the subject’s sins against them, striking harder and harder the more evil is in their target’s heart, although he shouldn’t expect it to do much at all the next time he decides to murder a child.

    A few days later, Feur receives a letter from Lord Delacuer saying that he was able to pull some strings and found that the order of knights garbed in red and black have been occupying hidden
    Templar bases in the desert that were abandoned in the Cataclysm, and he spoke to someone who had a run-in with them. He asks Feur not to investigate further, as he had to use several unofficial channels that were beyond his authority to even get this much information, and does not wish to play his hand by getting civilians involved at this time.

    At the same time, Valentine is summoned for a personal audience with her mysterious patron, Lady Abasinia.


    This session had kind of a Knights of the Dinner Table feel for me.

    Not bad, but very direct. I had planned on a bit more investigation (although I did like that they cut to divination rather than stumbling around blind) followed by conversation. The killing of the apprentice and then attacking Akatosh without finding out what he was doing or why shocked me a bit, but whatever, it turned out ok in the end.

    Now Bob is planning on betraying Hraijin (the mage they recruited last session); killing him in his sleep, looting his stuff, and sacrificing his soul, and justifying it saying that she is only doing it before he can betray them in turn. Although, to be fair, that is pretty much their MO, to take offense at something an NPC says and then use it as an excuse to kill and rob them "in self defense", so I shouldn't be surprised that they are just being a bit proactive at once.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2021-11-09 at 05:08 PM.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Both are probably correct.
    I'd say something about running far, far away from this group but at this point it seems clear that you will keep shoving your hand into the garbage disposal that is playing with this group. (The metaphor feels kinda mean even for me, but after reading only a small fraction of your posts about them, it feels rather apt.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Now Bob is planning on betraying Hraijin (the mage they recruited last session); killing him in his sleep, looting his stuff, and sacrificing his soul, and justifying it saying that she is only doing it before he can betray them in turn. Although, to be fair, that is pretty much their MO, to take offense at something an NPC says and then use it as an excuse to kill and rob them "in self defense", so I shouldn't be surprised that they are just being a bit proactive at once.
    I can understand killing someone preemptively if you think they'll betray you (and once they're dead, you might as well take their stuff) but I feel like preemptively sacrificing someone's soul would be really tricky to justify as any sort of self defense.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I'd say something about running far, far away from this group but at this point it seems clear that you will keep shoving your hand into the garbage disposal that is playing with this group. (The metaphor feels kinda mean even for me, but after reading only a small fraction of your posts about them, it feels rather apt.)



    I can understand killing someone preemptively if you think they'll betray you (and once they're dead, you might as well take their stuff) but I feel like preemptively sacrificing someone's soul would be really tricky to justify as any sort of self defense.
    Yeah.

    They have no evidence whatsoever in or out of character that he plans to betray them (cards on the table, he doesn't).

    It just seems really weird to spare his life, to the point of lying to the casino owners, only to kill him in his sleep afterward.

    From an OOC strategic perspective it makes sense, as the value of a stolen stole is based on the mana it contains, and he was depleted when they defeated him, while if they kill him in his sleep he will, presumably, be close to full. But it feels like a bit of a tosser move either way, and if Krystal gets killed in the attempt we are in for another full fledged episode of Talakeal's gaming horror stories.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Campaign Diary (1 Day without a horror story!)

    I'd suggest pushing back on that, IC or OOC ... but your players would probably whine about it.
    On a system level, I'd suggest not having direct incentives for murdering people, but it's a bit late for that in this particular case.

    Since it won't change anything once he's dead, I'd be tempted to just flat out state. "Oh btw, he had no plan to double-cross you or anything," when they give that as their justification after the fact, but I'm sure they'd just claim you're lying or complain about "trying to make them feel bad".

    [zoidberg]Their (OOC) behavior's bad and they should feel bad.[/zoidberg]
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-11-09 at 05:51 PM.

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