Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AD&D/OSRIC campaign - Sometimes the vise squeezes the other way

Sunday's AD&D game saw the players discover the reaction to their previous adventure in freeing the human prisoners and killing an orc shaman. The orcs have become more deadly, more organized and, most importantly, have learned to turn the tables on the players. This time, the orcs were using ambushes by suicide troopers, traps by multiple mounted patrols and using the players' habits against them - which resulted in a loss of another brave warrior. It also didn't help that the players lost a third of their group to a temporary paralysis from a disastrous encounter with giant wasps.

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 [1], 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.

[1] - 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


LucidDion said...

LOL, I ran my OSRIC session Sunday too :) No player deaths, but the group entered a goblin lair in an abandonned tower and the halfling thief almost bit the dust. I look forward to the discussion on poisons, I've made special notes regarding the effects of various natural poisons, I typically give the players some chance to apply an antidote or cure, rather than just a brutal save or die.

Alexander said...

I find myself intrigued by your games, to the point that I wish I lived nearby so that I may join your game group =)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Delve - cool! Where do you play at?

@Slatz - I do have open places in my Google Wave game, if you're interested. It does require about a post or two a day, depending.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

What does Wave require? I don't want to have to download anything, but I'd be interested in joining otherwise

Alexander said...

Could you email me (slatzgrubnik@gmail.com) with more information? =)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@C'nor & Slatz:

Navigate to here: Dark Ages AD&D Game - Reference Wave to see the previous "Acts" and get an idea of how Google Wave works and how this game flows.

Once you have a Google Wave account, you can contact me there (chgowiz(at)gmail) and I'll add you to a couple of private waves so you can see chargen and see if you're interested.

The campaign wiki for the Souther Seas game is a bit out of date, mainly because the game progresses much more slowly than tabletop, but you can read it here.

Deux Anges said...

Yeah, that last mission hurt. But hopefully their deaths won't be in vain. We have learnt many lessons about how the orcs operate so the next time we head out hopefully we will be better prepared/less foolish.