As long as I’m going to be crossing brains with Denzil, I’m going to have broken campaigns. Part of me doesn’t even mind.
You probably know of guys like Denzil, the Power Gamers, the Rules Lawyers, the ones that are “That Guy.” In fact, when he dies, I’m going to chisel “Here lies THAT GUY!” on his fucking tombstone. He’s the one who gives Dungeon Master’s fits with the way he games the system, and he’s got even worse plans for his character than I do. At least with someone like Linka, I see her forming her own brewery in Phandalin. And with Justin, I see him becoming Æthercoil’s answer to Blarion Mercurial (The original Dreamfinder) I mean, Mercurial’s his last name as well, so all he needs is his own dragon…and I see him getting one soon.
Denzil has two PCs already becoming deities, and the one he plays in the Saturday Curse of Strahd game, he’s playing a dwarf who’d turn on the party if I played it straight.
I relish the mental chess game I have with Denzil because I’m still learning how to be a decent DM. Denzil finds ways for him to game the system, while I find ways to counter. We love just feeding off each other because, as steel sharpens steel, it makes us better players.
Unfortunately, if Denzil wins, it breaks the game. Such as what happens in the last session of Saturday’s Curse of Strahd game.
What I had in mind is that thanks to that near TPK, the real bad guys either turned or brainwash those who got killed. Especially that succubus. She would then attack the party at full blast, with a whole lot of revenants and rust monsters to back her up.
When I found out that rust monsters are territorial and that the several I had wouldn’t fit in with their nature, that’s when I learned I fucked up.
In the end, it was just PC vs turned PC and Denzil won, not just gaining 8 more levels in single combat but also turning the succubus into a vampire as well.
That’s when everyone else called fowl, and I ultimately called the campaign “as broken as a vase in a museum.”
What did I learn from that campaign of Curse of Strahd? Basically, any vampire-based classes are Banned! Ditto with any background that connect any party member to Strahd in any way. Vistani is all right, but No More Vampires!
I got some decent playtesting anyway toward the tweaks I gave it. Enough for me to start making an expansion of the module which I’m calling Tatyanna’s Revenge. I won’t tell you much more about it because of spoilers, but once I get it done it’s going to be my first entry in the Dungeon Master’s Guild.
The following week, I dragged Denzil into the DM’s chair, where some would say “Where he fucking belongs,” while I switch back into Player Character mode with my lovely Pandaren beauty, Linka. In the meantime, I’ll be focusing more on the following:
- Finishing up the Curse of Strahd campaign on my Encounters table. I’m about 75% through that part, and yes, it’s on my revised Tatyanna’s Revenge
- Working on Æthercoil with both the sessions and the 2nd Issue of Æthercoil Magazine. I’m at the Illustration stage and hope to have it in DriveThruRPG by the end of the month.
- Starting up with Storm King’s Thunder. I’ll be making a Thursday table as a DM as well as preparing for the Encounters table after Curse of Strahd. Eventually it’ll be part of the Saturday Table when I’m tagged back into the DM’s chair.
- And for BasedGamer, I’ll make a review of the 5E Starter Set, compare it with the 4E Red Box, and announce a project to create a better 5E Starter Set for people to get into D&D.
Yeah, this will keep me occupied until it’s time for me to vote for a president, provided I don’t have to choose between Voldemort and Dumbledore.