Mid-campaign AP

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Mid-campaign AP
« on: March 19, 2012, 02:44:20 PM »
Saturday night was my weekly DW game and I went in relatively unprepared compared to the five previous adventures. We had established at the end of the previous adventure that we would be returning to the city of Danbury for a layover before continuing so I at least had a setting. In the week ahead I took a look at the Danbury adventure and noticed we still had an unresolved front there so I tagged that. 

The front was all about the local governor placing the town under marshall law due to the pirate threat. The pirates were dealt with the last time they were in town so I invented a new threat that he could blow out of proportion. I used the old fantasy fall back of Orcs, gave them a reason for being there that also fed into some leads that the PCs were following and decided on a vague location for them. 

That was all the prep I had. 

I didn't bother stating up any of the Orcs and just stole their stats from earlier adventures and boosted the damage a bit. I had two new players so we spent the first 45 min building their characters and filling them in on the pertinent backstory. I have a rule that any new players, their characters are already integrated into the story somehow so we determined that they went on the last adventure in a purely support roll and have now become a part of the crew. 

I had some idea that they might want to get involved with the politics of the Duke's daughter, who was posing as a male cleric so she could follow her love to war, getting to continue with them on their adventure but no one bit so I dropped that thread pretty quickly. The thief provided a bit of entertainment by attempting and failing to steal several riches and getting himself thrown in jail. 

That was an inauspicious beginning for a new character so I was glad when the party decided getting him out was job one. The bard used his ability to know someone in town to narrate in a guardsman and I played nice by making him the jailer. The jailer was nice enough and we had already established that the bard was good at making quick friends so he agreed to release our thief if they could fill his cell with another body. 

The party didn't feel right about putting just anyone in that cell and so went looking for some scoundrel to take his place. They found one and the fighter used his new paladin move, I am the Law, to bring the man in. The party decided to leave with their thief in tow as quickly as possible and head out to deal with the Orcs. 

They tried a fe approaches to the Orc base and were ambushed both times. The second time it was a massive failure but rather than have them deal with a big fight with a bunch of mooks I fast forwarded to them being led into the Orc king's presence by spear wielding Orc guards. 

I had planned on a brazen escape attempt but the group  chose to take a more diplomatic tact. The cleric offered his own life in exchange for all the others which Orc king took as a sign of great honor and was willing to let the rest leave if they left the cleric behind. 

The fighter had a token given to him by the Queen's Emissary (they don't know much about the Queen other than she enjoys making trouble). He gambled that the Orc king might be in her employ and won earning them free passage back to their ship and the promise of the Orc king not to besiege Danbury. 

The cleric elected to stay behind and attempt to convert the godless Orcs. Back at the Duke's keep they convinced the Duke that they had defeated the Orc king and the fighter earned the promise of a maid's hand in marriage. 

The thief's player was not very happy with his character by the end of the session, he had made some decisions at character creation that made him unsure how to play his character. I offered to allow him and the cleric's player to either roll up new characters or to step into the rolls of the Duke's daughter and her lover. I'm not sure what paths they will take but it was a bit of a mixed emotion for me. 

On the one hand the cleric had clearly come to a satisfactory end to his arc and that felt pretty good as a GM. On the other hand I had a first time player who had come away with a bit of a bitter taste. I'm hoping that he will come back and either push for a new character or re-roll his thief to better suit his play style. All in all a pretty good game both showing how campaign gaming can work and showing how very little prep it takes to run a DW game. 

Re: Mid-campaign AP
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 04:43:04 PM »
As the cleric player, I thought it was awesome and I had no idea you didn't prep much. I figured we were just resolving a front we'd left hanging. I've been a DM for 20 years and didn't notice. It was seamless.

Everything that was established and developed about Bendito from the get-go led up to that point, at least that's the feeling I got when I was immersed in my character at that moment. And I wasn't even that drunk when I made the decision to stay. I figure it's a good NPC for you to use later or maybe I can pick him back up as a PC if the story goes in that direction down the road. (Level differences seem to not matter much and I don't care about that stuff anyway.) I also felt that the party has started to depart from Brother Bendito's core values, though I think the cleric made his impact on them. And relinquishing my character in a satisfying way was so much better than getting buckwheated in a spiked pit trap. (Well, depends on the pit trap, I guess, but you get the idea.) I was even able to resolve a bond that hopefully brought the remaining characters closer together before retiring.

I know the thief player personally and any objection he had was to the pace and/or delivery. He's used to a more DM-focused game and this threw him a bit. I don't think he was prepared for exactly how much freedom and control players are given. He understands the possibilities now and can come at it fresh next time with better perspective. Possibly the online format was a problem as well as this was his first foray into an online game. If you're not used to it, a 5-second pause can seem like an eternity even though more gets done in an online game than an in-person one as there are fewer distractions. Plus you don't have to smell other people's farts. It's like one of those jokes on Family Guy that runs about 5 - 10 seconds longer than they need to. You really notice that in the silence of one's lonely basement. It's just a perception thing that you overcome with further online games.

Big thumbs up from everyone I talked to. The thief player just needs a new character I think. He was set on cleric until he realized there couldn't be more than one represented in the party. I told him not to dream about anything before he sat down. Neverthless, with Brother Bendito out of the way, here's his chance...

*

noofy

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Re: Mid-campaign AP
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 07:45:00 PM »
Nice Josh! I personally love running thi style of play and my regular players do too. So cool.

How much have you got left to re-incorporate? Its wicked! That 'substitute' that was thrown in jail in return for the thief is a nemesis waiting to happen. Zealot Orcs, led by a righteous cleric at the front of a slavering orc army, an 'unfaithful' maiden whilst the fighter is off adventuring... Oh the possibilities!