Friday, 4 September 2015

Retrospective 6 - Evade Content! Build Businesses!

Things are good! The group size fluctuates between four players (which now feels small) and nine (which feels too big).
The lean times are very much over. I feel much more confident about the game's prospects, and my concerns transition from "fuck will I get enough players?!" to the more interesting concerns of "fuck I don't have anything prepped in that part of the map yet".

There's lots of fairly straightforward adventuring after they leave DCO. A fair amount of travel around the campaign map, going into smaller delves, and picking up new players occasionally.
That, and setting up businesses with my then-new Business Venture rules.

The players start setting longer-term goals which was great. 
This player-driven campaign thing was really starting to work!
Verbosity of recaps has been growing due to DCO, and stays there for the rest of time. Oh well!

Lots of going into unprepped places, which meant the world kept getting more "real" in my mind.
But also lots of prep that was "wasted" in the short term, as they never used it.
A good thing about running an ongoing campaign of this kind is that eventually, somewhere down the track, they go back. It's nice.

Some weird coincidences with characters though...
- Ollie's dead Cleric was called Zed. Later Charles would create a Cleric called Zea, followed by one called Zan. He was freaked out when he discovered this.
- There was a French Barbarian a year before James Gregory's now-extant French Barbarian!
- The currently-extant Goblin in the game is called Svetnir. A previous Goblin was called Svalborg!
All of these unrelated and unknown to the later players!

Nimrod, who arrived into session 51, was a friend of a friend. Unfortunately he was used to dicking around in railroads, so his character was a zany monk-type Specialist who couldn't talk and was also annoying and shit.
Wow ok, looks like I gave him a 0 exp "Asshole bonus" in the recap and he never returned! I completely forgot. For the best, really.

The death of Fungonius! My word!
We went from four Clerics to none in no time flat. His death was... I guess deserved. His hubris at wanting an ultra-poison sword resulted in his death.
Lulu's still got those maxi-poison crossbow bolts. They're rarely used because they're precious and usually do more harm than good.

Mariana's Halfling annoyed people, I think. I had a soft spot for her because the player was a girl, looked about 12, and was Portuguese. Not a romantic soft spot, you understand, but female players are fairly rare and I didn't want to ruin someone's impression of D&D forever.
Mind-controlling Halfling suited her perfectly. Made lots of pets from bats and wolves and stuff. Always did want to go back and control that roc from DCO.

Leo was this big, quiet dude who played a Cleric also called Leo. I was always a little worried about whether he was enjoying the game because he wasn't so vocal about things as the others. He's the reason I have a sort of hands-off approach to people's fun now, they can engage when they want to.

David was the guy who'd eventually help by splitting the group and running a game himself. He was a good guy, but the sort of guy who's experienced in rulesy late edition D&D stuff so it took him some time to adjust to the "do whatever!" feeling at the table.

Mini Reviews:

Deep Carbon Observatory
The tail end. Very very good.

The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying - Review/Fix here.
A truly shit module, and the worst I've ever run. The publisher put out a new version a few months later, partially as a result of that blog post, which made me feel guilty and also astonished.
The new version's a better, allegedly! I haven't looked at it though.
Also it's free.

The Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine
Fucking disgusting... in the best possible way!
Lots of gross spurting pus and gunky weird stuff. Cancerous people who turn you into them when they touch you. A big old feathered beaked pig is in there which will ignore you unless you try to steal its valuable cysts.
I totally wasted the gimmick where you print out the bits of dungeon and place them as the party explores because I didn't have access to a printer. A real shame.
Also my name is in it because I helped with torch dice maths! Rolling for torchlight influenced Black Hack's Usage Die, which caused a brief scandal.

Daughters of the Deep
Apparently no longer available for purchase?!
Converted this back in Australia, since moved the location on the map. It's pretty good, mostly for the ideas about body horror mermaids.
Fun fact - I rolled the creepy "mermaids" from this into lovecraftian Deep Ones. This species are what turn a bunch of PCs into breeding chambers in Session 119.

They went back here a fair amount. Good megadungeon, easy to use, easy to reskin, etc etc.
They got to the Asylum level where I had a bunch of mad people in animal masks, probably reskinning something else to make it less generic fantasy than standard stonehell.
A good module, anyway!

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