Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Drow Medusas, Fresh Blood on tables, and the first invocation of the Dark Powers!!
You have to excuse me this week; between the bruhaha at Missou (which in my lived experiences proves that the ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ rule must apply in a liberal arts college, and what happened in Paris, I had to go into my own personal ‘safe space’ for most of this week. Of course, my ‘safe space’ consist of OneNote, Roll20, RPG Maker MV, and a bunch of long naps. I do allow the press to look over my shoulder, however, to see what I’m doing. Unless I’m napping.
Both tables this week had some new players, especially in Princes of the Apocalypse, where the players insure that this table’s going to be…interesting.
Item: Out of the Abyss, Encounters, 11 Nov
They’ve starting the preparations of the Battle of Blingdenstone and this time, they’re not allowed to split the party, they pick one of the three paths, two of which go side by side, and the Deep Gnomes and Wererats take the other two. The party chose to deal with Entemoch’s Boon, the Wererats went with cleansing the Steadfast Stone (as thanks for the Deep Gnomes for allowing them to stay) and a party of Deep Gnomes headed to Neverlight Grove to ooze-proof their weapons.
Along the way, they encountered someone that might pose a bit of a problem: No, it’s not that they ran across the Mind Flayer who was full, but what he warned them about:
“Oh, lightbringers! Don’t worry about me. I’ve already eaten. A archmage that succumbed to madness by the demons. Never tasted a brain that was so delish. I am Grazilaxx of the Society of Brilliance; a group of like-minded Underdark Denizens who were studying what is coming on among this region, and I have to tell you, these times are very interesting. Fun too, if you’re someone like me. Ever tried the brain of a minor demon. I’d suggest you don’t; it fried one of my kind from the inside out.”
“If you’re heading to Neverlight Grove, it’s in this direction,” He points ahead. “I didn’t encounter anything on the way here, but as you can expect, there’s no guarantees. However, I do know that there are demonic activity going on there. It seems that the Demon Queen of Fungi, Zuggtmoy, is in the vincinity. I would suggest that you do your business and bail before your minds are reduced to mere delicacies. Not that I would’ve minded, of course.”
There might be some problems for the Deep Gnomes over there. Do you think that Grazilaxx would warn the other about what might befall the Deep Gnomes? Will Blightenstone be heard about this. Will the party have to stage a rescue? Depends on what I plan for the next two days.
Item: Princes of the Apocalypse: Second Strike, 13 Nov
Thank God I was able to get a party in this day. It must really suck to be a Muslim in France at that day.
This session has a bunch of new players which I broke in easy with a series of roadside encounters, and already I could tell that this campaign’s really going to kick up some notches. One new character was a Half-Orc who was prepositioning every lady of ill repute in the village. (I have to invoke the Carousing Table on this one) and…<gasp>…a dwarf.
A Dwarf who looked at a passing band of dwarves who just wanted to mine in peace away from the Cults of Elemental Evil—a group I had just for forshadowing purposes—and called them all women for retreating.
I could just hear those Little People go, “Oi! Dungeon Master! Yeah, you, David Foxfire, you waste of a beard! We all of the sudden like seeing ye scramble over your screen turning this encou…oh, yer set up a combat table already?….Ye’er no fun. Roll for Initative, ye buggards.”
You can tell how triggered I’ve gotten this week (Missou and Paris) when the monsters I throw at unsuspecting players get snippy. Why, oh Gods, can’t I just summon Tiamat and sic her on all these ISIS bastards? It’ll make for much better snuff porn.
But having the party Dwarf arguing with the NPC Dwarfs to the point of fisticuffs wasn’t the best part. Remember that Half-Orc? He joined in with the Dwarf…and called the others who didn’t join in, because they had no skin in the battle, cowards.
Yeah, I know it’s good Role Playing, and I know good Role Playing is not always sunshine and lollypops. (This is Dungeons & Dragons, not a Liberal Arts College!) But all of the sudden, the encounter went into PVP mode! With a DM who didn’t know if he could laugh or cry, with an inner child going, “THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!!”
In the end, the Half-Orc K.O.ed one of the PCs. So I had to do it:
Me: “Dark Powers has been trigger, the sky darkens and the surrounding area starts to fill with a mist. Necromancer, what happens?”
(And yes, the person knocked down was a Necromancer. I had to nerf his body guard for him to summon it to once per session, but in this special case…)
Necromancer: “I rise from the dead as a 20th Level Caster for 1 Round.”
Half-Orc: “Hey, what the fuck?! that’s OP..”
Me: “I allow it.” <Insert Shit-Eating Grin here>
Yeah, I’d allow it in this case. Any other situation where he falls, I would’ve ruled it that his deity, a benevolent deity of death—they are out there and they deserve our love—would’ve told him, “Hey, it’s not your time yet, but you got a bit unlucky there. Go enjoy your nap.” But no, someone was roleplaying stupidity and invoked the Dark Powers for the first time in my career. That mechanic against evil roleplaying is there for a reason.
But all in all, everybody enjoyed the Roleplaying and understood what was going on (Overpowered moments notwithstanding). And I didn’t have to do much outside of making sure that arguments on the table doesn’t come to blows over the table. That’s part of the DM’s Job Description after all.
Item: In this coming week
I haven’t been posting here because I’ve been playing with RPG Maker MV, and I wish to post an introduction to my first D&D themed project here. These are, of course, non-commercial projects designed to a) give me a venue to learn RPG Maker and experiment on, and b) to fill online players up on what happened in my Encounter Campaigns. The first one is based in Baldur’s Gate and combines Murder in Baldur’s Gate, Legends of Baldur’s Gate, and in a twist I didn’t count on until the brain cells connected while I was designing it, Ace Attorney.
So this becomes a bit of a To-Do List for this week:
- Introduce Baldur’s Gate Investigations on the Web Site. (Already have a Page ready for it, with my first forays into digital inking. Don’t expect the Mona Fucking Lisa at this point)
- Plan my three campaigns.
- Set up various micro delves that can plug into all three campaigns, such as a crime scene hunt, several treasure caches, a spare Dungeon Delve, and so on.
- Write the next post on Æthercoil, and refer it to an RPG Maker MV forum, because someone was interested in it.
I just hope that I can get my sleep schedule to agree with me now. At 45, your internal clocks like to troll you.