GM Commentary for Session 6.01

Full recap here.

As stated, there were four main scenes and they worked out fairly well. It was a little shorter than I would have liked – two of the players were late due to circumstances out of their control, and then we BS’ed a bit more than we should have – but overall, it was fine.

 

 

Scene 1 was Lee in the fight club. He handily took down three 100-point “Tough Guys” from Monster Hunters 4 without taking any damage himself. As is my wont, I handed out the NPCs to the other players and let them run them. Originally, I was expecting four players for the night (hence, three bad guys) but one of the players was out, so I handled one of the fight club thugs. I was pleasantly surprised at how the players ran them. In the end, all three thugs were down (and badly injured; Lee wasn’t pulling his punches) and Lee uninjured.

Scene 2 was the OSBI guy(s) – originally, this was intended to be for two players, but as stated above, one of the players was out so we basically NPCed his guy and mostly left him in the background. Carter was surprisingly aggressive in this scene, but it worked out overall. He got in some Taser action (High Tech p89) followed with some straight-up wrestling. Looking at it in hindsight, his cloak is potentially a lot more game-breaking than originally intended and I’m thinking of making it like the mist cloak in the Alex Verus books where it gets potentially life-threatening if he wears it for too long. We ended that scene in a pseudo-cliffhanger with twp bad guys armed and ready to shoot in a stairwell on a landing with Jack above them and Woo (plus some NPCs) below them. I’ll start next week with a quick shoot-out, I think.

Scene 3 was Sofia facing off against a ghost and it played out rather easily for her. First, she had Hidden Lore (Restless Undead), which I thought she did not, and when prompted, she rolled quite well on the check. Then she opted to create a Pentagram Trap (Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic p47) – she burned her 15-point energy reserve on this so she only needed to gather 10 points of energy for it, then gathered that without any quirks. After trapping the ghost in the trap, she used Banish which, according to the Project Grimoire thing, is 69 energy; she gathered that energy in 55 seconds with only one quirk and we decided that it was a permanent shadow in the library. According to Banish (Magic p156), this is a quick contest of of the Banish skill vs the subject’s will, but since this is RPM, I had Sofia make a Will check herself … which was wrong. I should have just used the spell-casting Path of Spirit check she used to actually cast the spell. Regardless, she beat the ghost by 1, so I declared that in the process of her spell, the ghost destroyed itself by trying to break her circle.

Scene 4 was entirely too short (due to it getting late and me wanting to end on a certain note.) All that really happened here was that we established Colin was in the casino, I had him, the other two players and myself make opposing Gambling checks (which Colin won without cheating), and then he was escorted “downstairs.” I didn’t notice the Modifiers for Gambling (Basic p197) that provide a +1 to +5 for familiarity (not sure how you determine which level that is) and -1 to -5 if game is rigged. Had I known about the latter, I would have definitely thrown that in. We ended with Coyote making his appearance; originally, I was going to steal the idea of dragons owning casinos from Larry Correia’s Monster Hunters books, but since this is an Indian-owned casino, I figured Coyote was more appropriate. The fact that Riverwind is owned by the Chickasaw and Coyote is not an actual part of their mythology … well, that’s a sneaky bit of sneakiness on my part to hint that something else is going on…

Overall, I was quite satisfied with this first session. Everyone was engaged and involved, though naturally, there were some periods where they were less involved but thankfully, nobody seemed to tune out. Next week should have the full group of players (minus the guy who had to temporarily drop out due to grad school) so we’ll see if I can maintain my momentum. This entire adventure is something of an experiment, to see if I can maintain four different story arcs simultaneously and then eventually have them converge into a coherent climax that ties together. I’ve got one definite firefight scheduled in session 6×02 (probably two, once the first one is done and the characters realize they’re now on the clock and have to storm the penthouse to rescue the hostages; I’m already thinking that their lack of planning for this should bite them in the ass … hard.) Carter’s decision to not even hide the ridiculous-looking cape from view is also going to come back and bite him at some point; I think it is going to end up being stolen somehow down the road (which means I’ll need to come up with a suitable replacement power for him.) Colin is going to get a data-dump, Lee is going to get a visit from his Fae mistress, and Sofia is going to be pointed toward a vampire encounter … though it sounds like we’re going to hitting Neutral Grounds, the supernaturally good coffee place, first. Which is good, as it means I can do another data dump for her to set up my further tweaks to the Dresden Files universe (I recently finished the Alex Verus books and loved the idea of “faction” within the wizards, so the White Council now has factions!) Should be … interesting.

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