Monday, August 7, 2017
#RPGaDay: Day 5, 6, and 7
As expected I got behind in my posting for this over the weekend. But we're back today to make up for lost time.
Day 5- Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game.
Good question, there's a lot of games out there that have covers that really inspires the game within. In recent memory, the one that I feel captures the game the best is Pathfinder. I mean come on, look at that thing; it's got adventurers fighting a dragon amidst the ruins of some castle. The only other one that comes close to such evocative imagery is the cover for Eberron, and that was done by the same artist. The problem with Eberron was that the full artwork got condensed on the cover, so only if you saw the original piece would you appreciate it's full glory. Meanwhile, limiting it to a small piece of it was a disservice to the artist.
Moving right along...
Day Six: You can game every day for a week; describe what you would do.
Good lord, I'm reminded of my college days...
If I was running the game and had to run for a week straight, I'd have a ton of prep-work to do; I can tell you that. Actually, gaming every day for a week actually wouldn't be great if it was limited it to one game; it would be a lot of "game, pause for several hours to plan next phase, game, plan for several hours, repeat".
What would be better is to get six others and have each person ready to run a solid, long game sessions of their game. So seven campaigns in seven days; that sounds awesome. Now, if I could only still survive that long on gamer food without dying from digestive distress, it would be better.
Day Seven: What was your most impactful RPG session.
Oooph. Yeah, I remember this one. It was a 3rd Edition D&D game back in...2002? An epic Twin Worlds game titled "The Four Aces". The scene was that the heroes were opening at a dimensional opening from the "other world" (long story). They were ground zero for a Yuan-Ti invasion. In my mind, the fight was supposed to be a "present PCs with overwhelming forces and make them run". So there's my group of 8 PCs (ah, the good old days...) and about 60 Yuan-Ti come flooding out of the gate, with more behind them. According to my plans, they turned and ran. This is when I made my first mistake (well, second one actually, my first one came in the pre-game statting for my NPCs, I'll explain in a moment); I had several Yuan Ti teleport in front of them. Not many, maybe a half dozen big ones (abominations?). In my post-game discussions, the mentality of my players turned from "he wants us to flee" to "okay, he wants us to fight; let's do this". So they pause in their escape to take out six abominations while the bulk of the Yuan Ti invasion force comes at them from behind. A grand melee starts, one that would prolong a one hour engagement into a three hour slogfest, and my second (or first) mistake happens.
While crafting up the stats for the lead Yuan Ti warriors, I gave their commander a magic scimitar. It was a Greater Displacing Scimitar, a nice threat for my brother who was playing the Aasimar Paladin. I mistakenly thought to myself "this would be fun if he got hit with it and was forced into another plane of existence", not actually thinking he'd fail the save throw necessary to keep that from happening. I thought it would be a nice "you feel dislocated for a moment, but snap back to this reality" that would ramp up the threat and tension.
He got hit with the scimitar and proceeded to roll a "2" on his Saving Throw. So the big, bad tank got punted into a hell dimension. This was in round 3; remember how I said this turned into a 3 hour slogfest? My brother ended up going into his bedroom and poking his computer (justifiably) in an angry funk while listening to everyone else at least have the enjoyment of playing out the battle. At the end of the fight, they found a way to open a dimensional portal where they found him standing amidst the bodies of dozens of minor demons (I didn't want to gyp him out of XP). My brother was not happy, my players felt challenged to the point of frustration, and I learned a valuable lesson about tactical management, scene setting, and Murphy's Law.