Session Report: Deathhole, Group 2

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Session Report: Deathhole, Group 2
« on: January 22, 2012, 06:07:35 PM »
Yesterday I ran my Deathhole dungeon for another group, this time they were all experienced old-school D&D players.  It was cool to see a completely different story unfold with the same Fronts and Locations that I had run for a different group a few weeks ago.

We started with a Thief, Cleric, Wizard, and Paladin.  I started the game in a bar in town.  Bonds had been established and we played out a Bond where the Cleric always had the back of the Thief.  There was a brawl with some farmers, the Thief coming out 28 Gold richer, and 3 burly farmers left unconscious on the bar floor.

On the way to the Paladin’s order, there was 30 minutes of role-playing about an Elven heirloom that had popped out of the Thief's garments during the fight.  This was the necklace that the Elf Wizard had suspected that the Thief had stolen all along!  At one point, one of the players said he felt guilty that they weren't involving me in the game (as the GM), but I told them to go ahead - it was pure gold and I was taking notes and establishing more facts about the world as they had fun playing their characters.

At the Order, the Paladin examined some bodies of recently defeated enemies, and noticed strange stitched up incisions at the base of their necks.  Unlike the previous group, these players didn't think to go all the way in their examination; otherwise they would have discovered the Larva in the craniums like my former group of players had done.

After spending the night in the Order's mansion, they set off for the site of the Deathhole, which I pointed them to through various clues obtained during the four hour long city adventure.

The climax came during their first big battle on the grounds of the site.  Attacked by Leucrota, the Wizard was wrestling with one on the ground.  The Paladin said he wanted to strike the creature with his long sword.  I decided to "Tell them the Consequences and then Ask", and warned him that, since the monster was wrestling on the ground with the Wizard, if his blow missed there would be a good chance he'd strike the Wizard.  The Paladin thought his god was looking down on him, because he took a mighty swing, and rolled a ... 5.  Somberly, I described how the combatants twisted below his descending blade, and asked him to roll damage against the Wizard - which came up an 8!  The Wizard failed his Last Breath move, and the Paladin's player was in semi-shock.  This veteran D&D player said quietly "I never killed a PC before."

Just then the pizzas came, so the Wizard's player created a new character, a Fighter.  When we resumed, I described how the Fighter appeared, climbing up out of a secret entrance to the dungeon.  He did a great job describing his months of captivity below: the cells where they were all kept, the hideous screams he heard when someone was taken away.  It was all ad-libbed, but it actually fit what I had prepped quite well ;)

When we wrapped up I asked for their opinion of the game.  They liked the fact that they could help build the world more than in the D&D games they'd played before.  One player thought my Hard Moves on failed rolls were a bit much.  He was used to the chance of a critical failure being a 1 in 20 ala D&D.  But objectively speaking, there was only one PC death despite those Hard Moves, and that came after a clear warning that went unheeded.  Hey, the Paladin could have dove in and try to grab the Leucrota off the Wizard instead of swinging his sword into them!  I think it's a testiment to the level of intensity that this game can generate ;)



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Re: Session Report: Deathhole, Group 2
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 08:07:58 AM »
How much better does it feel after a few games under your belt Glitch? You are running epic games mate, so wonderful to read these APs. Keep 'em coming :)