A one shot leads to meta-exploration. The Pearl will be back as we launch full on into season 2! In the meantime I went back to a pick-up session we did a couple weeks back and started messing around with sound effects and background music. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend a little more time editing the show together in the weeks to come.
Out of the sewers and into the temples. The boys got their asses handed to them by a couple of snakes and they don’t quite feel like revisiting that embarassment again right away. So they take another quest from the priests of Shkiiv- regular errand boys at this point.
The cast for session three:
Santiago the Human Fighter Sturm the Dwarf/Human Cleric Ricky Wrinklebottom the Gnome Fighter Faelen Aedius the Wood Elf Monk
After the way-too-long encounter, I continued to put my campaign together piece-meal, stringing together encounter after encounter. I think I got into that habit mostly from enthusiasm overload. We would play every two weeks and there was a lot of time in between sessions for my head to spin, and the only outlet was to envision the most likely direction the party might go. Roll20, an excellent virtual table top gaming tool, provided me with an outlet for my imaginations. I searched for monsters and found reasons to put them in the PC’s path. I know, this is not the way to go.
I have learned that the story will reveal itself. No matter how many times I hear other GM’s say it or read it on my favorite RPG blogs, the game is not all about me.
So, this is my lesson, as a returning DM, let the game play itself. I can create the world without having to tell the story. It is difficult to let go of this aspect of world-creation, the writer inside wants the final word. But the best part of playing an RPG is not knowing what is going to happen. The most obvious example of this- polyhedrals. PC’s love to roll dice, and not just in combat, anytime anywhere for anything. You want to see if that surly half-orc at the bar really believes you got that blood stained scale armor (that looks a lot like his cousins) from the blacksmith up the street- roll for it.
Episode 6 begins with the party at the entrance to what they believe to be a dragon’s lair. They’re anxious and nervous, wondering just how one should approach a dragon. It is a good question and one that needs to be asked. How would you approach a dragon?
Also, the party had recently reached level 2 and I talk a bit about what that means.
Episode 4 wraps up the exploration of the kobold caves. This episode is the final hour of our group’s second play session, and it opened my eyes to the wide, wide world that the adventurer’s were wandering through. Involuntarily, NPC’s stories began to fill my brainspace and populate the surrounding mountains, forests, hills and dales. I had a rough idea of perhaps two or three “problem” areas in the kingdom that the PC’s might want to investigate, but it was at the end of this session that the story (the lives of the people living in the kingdom) really took over. One of the most appealing aspects of D&D, if not the most appealing, is character creation. When I get a chance to be on the other side of the DM screen I relish the opportunity to piece together a being. As a player I invest a lot more of myself into the character, it really becomes a means of expression. As the GM, I can allow myself to engage in an NPC for a little bit, but I’ve found that if I really put a lot of myself into the NPC I begin to overwhelm the story-telling aspect of the game. I want the character to be interesting and intricate, but I don’t want my attachment to the NPC to overshadow the actions of the player characters. In this episode we get to meet the Kobold Wild Mage- Fekbet.
Making a map reveals so much more than where the mountains turn into hills and where rivers meet the sea. Every mark, every curve and every color opens up the possibility of “a happening.” When a river ends in a lake beside a mountain the ecosystem practically screams for some monumental event to have taken place there; and once I’ve drawn out the circumstances of the busy spaces, all those empty spaces start to scream for attention. Why is that there? and how come there’s nothing there? Then, inevitably, my mind wanders beyond the edges of the page and the story unfolds.