In coming back, the players found that the homefront has a new sheriff, and one that might not be as appreciative of the players as before. Time will tell ... alliances fall, only to see new opportunities and new challenges. The players ratcheted up the action and the orcs have responded, will the players?
I'm finding that I'm enjoying thinking about the reactions and the ways that the monsters will react now that the players are making their mark in the world. Make no mistake, disrupting the slave trade in enemy territory and killing a shaman was a definite mark and the orcs will not soon forget it. Now I'm looking forward to seeing how the players will react. It's a fine line thought. Squeeze the vise too much and the game becomes grim and hopeless. Don't raise the bar in response to the players and it becomes boring. The world will move without the players, but it will also move when the players have enough leverage. Things are starting to get very interesting.
Unfortunately, along with the death of another PC , I also learned that one of my longtime players, Lu, will be leaving us in April to go back overseas. In the time Lu's been with the campaign, he's taken his human thief, Irem, to fifth level - the highest of any of the players. He's a smart player, thoughtful and has adapted well to my campaign while also challenging me to come up with things in response to his play. Unfortunately, there are two avenues that had opened up during his time in the campaign that I won't be able to explore with him directly.
One was a bad roll on the Rient's Carousing Table. Lu found himself with a "black mark" on his forehead that faded... or did it? I actually was going to start exploring that again, but with his departure, we'll have to send that hook/path on to the realm of possibilities. The other avenue was a previous contact with a man with glowing eyes. Lu never returned to that contact, but who knows what the other players may find if they start turning over some rocks?
Well, in any rate, I plan on doing something special for Lu at our final game, which looks to be April 3rd.
I've made suggestions to Lu that he join my online/Google Wave game, but time will tell. He's going to be busy with his move and whatever happens, I wish him the best and a very heartfelt "THANK YOU" for playing at my table. Lu, you're welcome back anytime.
 - what is it about PC deaths coming in clusters. I've gone almost a year without any and now I've had two in two games. I knew that the players were ratcheting up the game, with exploring new areas/levels and riling up the orcs, but this seems to be very coinky-dinkal. It wasn't that the monsters were more powerful.. yellow mold and orcs.
Sidenote: I really enjoyed Monday's DM Dilemma discussion. Here are some of the topics I'm going to explore in future posts:
- Mounted combat - between two mounted combatants
- Poison and how it works
- Other spell interpretations