Monday, September 13, 2010

Session XXI: Them!

So our last session was a bit interesting for three reasons.

One, we attempted to record the audio of the gameplay. Why are we doing it? Perhaps to PodCast later? Who knows. But it's kinda this experience like when you're high and you think everything that comes out of your mouth is totally profound so you record to later find out it's just a bunch of babbling nonsense - well, maybe. So thats what we did. Was it funny the next day? It actually kinda was. Will it be funny to other listeners? That remains to be seen. The recording process isn't quite ready for prime time so we'll be tweaking that up a bit. Thanks to Zak for getting this started.

The second was the introduction of a new death chart. More on that later.

The final interesting bit was the fact that my wife actually sat down for a session. Yes, all you married Grognards out there, amazing at it sounds, my wife actually rolled some dice with us. Now, I always open the invitation to her as the players begin to arrive but she's always been apprehensive. I played a couple of solo sessions with her a year or two ago. Her verdict was undecided. It was hard to give her the full game experience with just one inexperienced player and DM. She didn't quite know how to handle the open-endedness of game play though I helped her along as much as possible. I told her that to really experience the game we need more players.

Fast forward to present day and here we are at our campaign session.

Christy (me wife) walked in to the man-cave and asked if she were too late?

Of course not! Never! Sit right down!

She played the same character she rolled up back in the solo sessions; Maudlin the dwarf fighter with a CHA of 5!

So she sat down next to me (for some additional coaching) and we got started...

After leaving the home of the Amazon Cron fully healed, the party headed south along the edge of Harrowood and back towards Caladan to return the Crimson Skull of Yam-Gregak to Father Halford of the temple of Mithra.

As they trudged along through the falling snow they spied running out of the woods a dwarf chased by a number of giant ants! Some of the ants notice the party and begin to head in their direction. Wolfheir leaped upon his horse and rushed to aid the fleeing dwarf while the rest of the party prepared for the onslaught of the ants.

Skwanky and Nadrak rushed forward while Wolf galloped past the little dwarf and reaching down lifted him/her upon his horse. He lead the rest of the ants away from the party.

Skwanky was knocked unconscious as was Nadrak. The ants lifted those two and began to carry them off to their nest while the rest of the party began to loose the battle. Things were looking pretty grim!

Wolf, noticing that the party was in trouble, headed back to aid his companions bringing the rest of the ants with him. As he neared the party he left the dwarf with the horse and then leaped into battle, hacking at the ants.

The dwarf reeled around to cut off the fleeing ants with their prisoners. From the horse, the dwarf hacked the two ants dead.

The rest of the party battled the ants but it wasn't until Slick Vinny pulled out his wand of flesh to stone that the tide turned and the party finally ended up victorious.

After recovering their some of their wounds, the dwarf was introduced as Maudlin. She was out with her fellow travelers seeking the ruined temple in Harrowood when they were attacked by the Gian Ants. Apparently, the dwarf was the only survivor.

The party continued south and set up camp near the ancient Three Sisters of the Sea where they were briefly attacked by Stirges.

The next day, though still snowing, they arrived at Caladan and presented the Crimson Skull to an excited Father Halford. The party recovered their remaining wounds as the snow still came steadily down in Caladan the night before the Black Sabbath - a night where black magic is at it's most potent….

So that was my wife's first real session. I meant for the ants to be a brief encounter but does anything go as planned in this game? Actually, it shouldn't. But the ants did take up quite a bit of the session and that took away from some of the group role-playing that is always good for new players. Did Christy enjoy the game? It's hard to say. She laughed a lot as did we all but I think she was still a bit iffy on how the whole 'role-playing' thing works. That night, however, and at our weekly sketchgroup, she proceed to illustrate a portrait of her dwarf Maudlin. That's a positive sign. A game to inspire imagination indeed! I don't have a scan of her drawing yet but I'll post that soon.

Our next session is this evening. Will Maudlin return? Stay tuned!

As for that new death chart I mentioned above; I've been going with a kind of standard negative hit point death rule. However, I always felt that battle should leave it's scars both mental and physical. I ran across this chart from Carjacked Seraphim a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it in my session. It seemed to make actual death a bit less possible but throws in a couple of other options for lost limbs and dismemberment. We used it with the battle with the ants and it actually saved Skwanky and Nadrak from game death. I'll still play with this and see how it goes.


  1. I always wanted to base an adventure off of the movie "THEM!" but never got the chance. I have fond memories of scene in the film where a cop is shooting up giant ants with a Thompson sub-machine gun.
    I've been asking my partner for years if she would care to join us --- no interest on her part.

  2. It's cool that your wife is playing. My wife loves to play, but she's pretty attached to her character at this point, and I don't know what kind of marital discord would go down if her PC died!

  3. Man those ants turned out to be some of the most difficult creatures ever. WTH. Still fun session!

  4. Sorry I missed it. Just read this post and the new death table. I'm glad Maudlin is sticking with it.

    Great session last night! I don't know why I always get tired at 9:30 and then start nodding off at 10:30; oh wait, it's the beer and the snacks.