Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, plans going awry, people needing to be nerfed, DM pulling shit out of his @$$, One of those sessions.
Eventually, during your time with D&D, be you PC or DM, where you have a session that could’ve gone better. Plans go awry, an encounter that should’ve lasted two hours went by in less than 5 minutes, the party ends going off the rails, or worse, ran out of rail to run with. Everyone on the table ends up pulling stuff out of their respective colons, and the result might, emphasis on the word might turn up okay, but more often than not the progress isn’t something to write home about, and it often ends up early.
This was one of those sessions. I had the ritual battle at Sloobludop where they see Demogorgon for the first time. Even had a battle map and a figure of Shrek (??) for where the demon rises up. I was hoping it would last at least an hour for my usual party of 6 to 8.
Unfortunately for me, only the four older regulars showed up, with the kids having a busy night with school work. I thought I gave the Prayer Beads magic item that was a bit too OP at this time a needed nerf by having the recharges off until they reached the surface, and when Demogorgon made his entrance, he would make the Deva that was summoned through the Prayer Beads to go psychotic and start attacking the party.
I didn’t nerf it enough. When Demogorgon appeared, immediately after the insanity check, the team used Wind Walk and bailed.
That happened within the first ten minutes.
Well, that threw out all of my plans all to shit. Time to start improvising.
I was scrambling as much as the party was to get outta dodge. I managed to at the least get the party back on track, heading toward Blingdenstone, which will take them through The Darklake. I used most of the time to playtest this Chase Scene Mechanic that uses my Event Deck. I managed to fill up the rest of the hour or so using the playing cards and little dice. (In fact, I stocked up on smaller d6s just for the occasion.) I had this for the chase with the Drow Party. I ended up using it against Demogorgon instead as the party rows their way out of Sloobludop, which will no doubt be destroyed by the demon.
Chris Perkins is going to hate me for this one.
And now I need to revise my traveling mechanic. I’ll already ruled them having enough light and food. They just need to not do anything stupid. I also have to make the link between the two cities remaining, Mantol-Derith and Blingdenstone, and then move up to the surface. I’ve already got some ideas in the works, but that’s going to be telling for now.