I really need to crack open that adventure and take a good look at it. Excellent write-up, Alex. I’m following the progress eagerly.
It’s good to know the lack of battlemats went well. Tell me more
– GreyWulf 2008-01-13 22:29 UTC
Hehe… Well, one day, when the British postal service is not on strike, we might do another barter thing if you don’t have it yet.
As for no battlemap, I try to use common sense. I split the fight up into little groups, usually such that it’s a n:1 situation. For example: If ten orcs attack four characters, then there’s four orcs to the guard, and two orcs each for the other three characters.
I don’t think we had to use anything else. Notice how I ignore movement speed.
The only thing I need to get used to is going with cinematic combat without thinking about the rules. Karamutenga the female half-orc is feigning sleep while on watch in order to lure the orcs into the ambush. Once they’re close, she “jumps up and beheads the guy”. Instead of thinking “uhh… jump?” just say “Hell Yeah!! Roll to hit!”
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-14 01:01 UTC
My characters’ deaths have always been violent and sudden. It was a unique experience to have a few minutes to settle down, scribble out a last will and testament, say my farewells, and make peace with the universe before finally sucumbing to the poison.
Actually I was having flashbacks of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
And even better, Belflin’s back, only lost half a level, and we sold that stupid dwarven-crafted longbow. You can be sure I won’t make that mistake again.
– Marco 2008-01-14 09:22 UTC
I liked that scene very much. And Claudia did as well.
Now that you mentioned Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000), the similarity is striking.
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-14 10:24 UTC
I think I really have to reconsider what a Raise Dead spell does in-game. You guys just bought a diamond worth 5000 gold pieces, which would have paid more than nine years of a very decent upkeep for a man – living in inns, eating good food, sleeping in clean beds, drink good wine. I’m sure Jeffar rarely gets to cast this spell. Maybe once a decade. Rumors must be spreading like wildfire. “Remember Belfin? Yes, the elf that slew the ettins of Twain! I heard he got killed by a poisonous monster in the Underdark. Yes, the Underdark!!”
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-15 18:30 UTC
Damn. I just realized that Jeffar is a level eight cleric in the book. She’s not supposed to be able to cast Raise Dead yet.
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-17 19:13 UTC
Maybe she had a scroll…
– Sektat 2008-01-17 19:34 UTC
Yeah. Or she gained a level in the mean time. I think a better question would be: Would it be more fun if Belflin had died permanently? I’m not sure. I remember Claudia being speechless and thinking to herself: “What!? This can’t be true!” So assuming having Jeffar raise the dead is good for the game, then it will be good for the game the next time as well. I might as well make her ninth level.
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-17 19:49 UTC
Still…I remember the times where it really meant something to die…not just a small hole in the group cash.
– Sektat 2008-01-18 07:11 UTC
Those were the days of low-level play…
– AlexSchroeder 2008-01-18 08:13 UTC
If Belflin had died without any means of resurrection, it would have been a bummer. Considering the circumstances (failed two saves, causing 15 out of a maximum possible 16 con damage) it would have sucked big time, in fact.
After a certain amount of character development (and Belflin has had his share) a player becomes attached to his or her character. I understand there’s a certain risk in dying, and it’s a process of heartache and character development, but to just start again with a new character…
I mean, come on! Where is the love, people?
– Marco 2008-01-22 18:40 UTC