Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rise of the Runelords aka Welcome to Infighting Central!

And its beautiful infighting too. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion every session. And not in a bad way either but I'll touch on that in a bit. First lets introduce the cast of characters and a brief synopsis of what the 'Heroes of Sandpoint' have been up to.

The Players

Bruce - Marcellus (Human fighter 10 / damage sink / constantly hungry / Aerodus older brother)
Mike  - Seoni (human wizard 1/ cleric of Calistria 9 / Marcellus' girlfriend / scary lady)
Jim     - Aerodus (human sorcerer - destiny bloodline 10 / too willing to commit murder for his own profit)
Matt  - Nicholai ( half-elf bard 10 / wanna-be playboy / skill whore / Wren's....boy toy)
Jess   - Wren (human rogue 10 / pie thief of Sandpoint / linguistics master / Nicholai's lord & mistress)
Brian - Zatara ( half-elf barbarian 10 / damage monster / the party's conscious / afraid of Seoni)
Me  - DM (awesome DM lvl Infinity / storyteller / easily bribed with pie or hot cocoa with marshmallows)

So far the party has stopped a goblin invasion of their home of Sandpoint, cleansed a haunted house, thwarted a supernatural serial killer, beat the banjo out of a family of inbred cannibal hillbilly ogre-kin, rescued a mountain fortress from an ogre army and defeated their stone giant leader only to find out that the stone giant tribes on the plateaus are going to war against mankind. All the while the taint and influence of centuries old wizard rulers that used rune magic based off the seven sins permeate everything they have encountered so far. As of now the party is deep into book 4 of 6.

As of last game the party is now deep in the stone giants fortress of Jorgenfist and they are dispatching guards and underlings, making contacts and finally discovered approximately where the leader of the giants, a wizard named Mokmurian, dwells. For progressions sake they are coming along swimmingly. For inadvertently role-playing their characters so well as people they have fueled me with so much ammo to use against them in the following 2 books provided they survive the encounter with Mokmurian at the end. You see I've been tracking which of the seven sins each exemplifies since game 1 and boy oh boy they have ramped up some to epic levels.....without really even knowing it. And in books 5 & 6 those very sins get used against them. And I can't wait to do that cause it'll be so much fun for me and they'll also enjoy the challenge as well. I hope.

Once we get into book 5 I'll go over which sins the PCs most represent and why. Its actually kinda cool seeing how the personal flaws of the PC's become more of a threat than some monster encounter or trap.

But that's only if they survive Mokmurian. I mean it. I'm not being smug here but he's a beast. This adventure path was originally for 3.5 D&D rules and I have been converting them to PFRPG and when I recreated Mokmurian he jumped from a CR14 to a CR17 encounter with the PFRPG rules. And the party *should* be approx 12-13 when they meet him.....they are at 10th. Oopsie.

So I'm at a dilemma: do I throw in more encounters to level the characters up to a 13 or so to help ease the fight ahead, or do I let them go ahead into a 6 against 1 fight that may kill over 1/2 the players if things go  badly. It is just 1 wizard VS the party. They have fought tough challenges before. But this could be too much even for them.

But I still have time cause at the minimum they are at least 2 sessions away from going head - to - head with Mokmurian so I can do some DM magic and see what works out best without being a cop out. All I really want is for the players to keep having fun.

Having fun is *that* important.

And sometime I'll tell you about how I met with Keith Baker (creator of Eberron and awesome guy) at GenCon with Jess and Matt and we discussed this very topic about how important 'fun' is in gaming. That was THE highlight of GenCon for me.

Oh and the infighting! I almost forgot. Its so damn high school. People are scared and don't trust the cleric because she channels negative energy. The sorcerer was the most charismatic member.....until the bard showed up and then started to out shine him. The fighter and sorcerer fight because they are siblings. The rogue has trust issues with some of the party. The bard is a man whore and makes the sorcerer jealous at all his l33t skillz. And it goes on. Its Varisia 90210 in this game! And most are playing teenagers. And they have managed to grasp the feeling of teens dealing with a very adult situation so you see the frustration from not having the answers or experience to handle whats at hand. And it causes come catty behavior. Its my once a month soap opera without Susan Lucci hamming it up.