The players have encountered the “diversion”: a sword demon. A feararkh blade from the Pale of War. It has been giving them a serious smack down. All the foreshadowing of its power was ignored by one player and the rest stuck with them anyway to try and keep Felghanis alive.
Fate Points were burned! No-one has more than two left after starting with four each.
I think they can salvage it without spending more and technically they can’t spend more since the Fate Point wasn’t intended to ignore a blow and stay in the fight. It was intended to keep the PC alive after the blow and use the narrative to explain why they didn’t die. Good example is Kellor after being struck by Thiridea’s poleaxe. It certainly looked like the dwarf had his head smashed in but when they checked him Kellor was alive, unconscious and missing his ear along with a swath of skin off the side of his head – making the mess they thought was his skull’s contents.
Unfortunately I was caught up in the excitement and fear of the confrontation with the Feararkh and allowed, if not encouraged, the use of the Fate Points in that way. And to top off the bad GM’ing brought in Fenris as a TPK preventer (god mode Sue?). I reneged on that and ret-con’d it after the session ended. It was fairly pointed out to my face that was what I had done and although it cut a bit it felt good to “undo” it.
Given the party are in a bad tactical situation I have to think of some narratives to save the day.
1) The fate points already spent will still do what they were meant to. OOC explanation will be made up front to clarify how FP are intended to work and what the IC ramifications are going to be. That is PC’s will be “saved” by the FP already spent but still go down and look dead. In future that is all that FP will be able to do.
2) Intervention: there is a caster within the keep, Lady Murelle, who could intervene and possibly save the party.
3) Aftermath: FP based survival has the characters “wake up” to the aftermath.
I don’t know what’ll happen, and I have a few more ideas that I won’t list, but I’m hoping to get it back in the good zone after my GM stuff-ups.
Kalista’s player, Chris West at buygameshobbies.com, has written a fantastic entry which I’ll link to instead of writing my own review.
Winter’s End: Session 18
They’ve made it to the first town since Dwarftown, where they were pretty much imprisoned straight away. Vrim is filled with side-plots and has the added complication of Thiridea’s Scours being based there. What the players will do in regards to that I am not sure.
Coming up is a bit of rest & recovery. I’m anticipating that they’ll want to try to locate the other book, not the one in the capital, and recover it. That is fine and planned for. However, I’m hoping that the rich background and potential side-quests are a good lure, too. Unloading loot is coming up and there’s hooks for other quests in that, as well. Basically Vrim is like the major town in a video RPG with hooks on every corner. I may have overdone it.
I’m hoping the players certainly have some questions:
- Why were scours attacking the barrow?
- What the hell is a werebear doing as a Scour at all?
- Are these Scours, Thiredea’s band, connected to those that died at the Iron Tower?
- Will Kentos’ spirit let them take the book now?
- What about the Hob’s & Blakh?
- Is there a Garren revenge warband on the way?
- And where is Fenris (if they even care any more)?
Session 14 will be back to plot and information with a very good chance that the party will make it back to civilization for the first time in nearly three months! I know I’d be lusting after a hot bath, a real bed inside of four walls and a roof, and a fresh baked loaf of bread after that amount of time in the dirty wilds.
However, the party do have the entire Scour group as prisoners: two soldiers, a priest and Thiredea the werebear.
Interesting choices and possibly dilemmas ahead.
Session 8 is looming close and with the party in gaol they may be hitting a motivational crisis. As players, and as the characters, dealing with imprisonment is difficult. The emotions rise and people become desperate to get out. Bribery, violence, promises, imploring for empathy, all the tools of someone who thinks they may be hurt and does not have the ability to adequately defend themselves. It really is a horrible place to be and, in essence, is a kind of emotional abuse. Thankfully it’s only a game and all of this is a kind of “program” being run in the sub-routines of the players brains.
This is the kind of magic of RPG’s. We can use our experiences and knowledge to place ourselves in the situation of the characters. A kind of mental simulation of the experience. How intense this can become depends on the investment and capacity for imagination of the player. Frankly, if it’s enjoyable for everyone at the table it’s working as it should.
What’s in store for them?
Quite a bit is lined up. What I think they’ll do is plea their case as if it’s a court. The unfortunate part of this is it is a religious court and all the mockeries of justice that go with that will be in play. What I expect will happen shall be quite a surprise for them. Especially when I drop the news that a war has started whilst they were traipsing about the wilderness for 50 days.
We’ll see what happens because they certainly will have the opportunity to hang themselves by saying too much. But that’s okay. We’re playing with Fate Points (save your ass points) and it will mean some strange occurrence will save them all.