Monday, July 5, 2010

Next Session

Jay has suggested Saturday, July 17 as a possible date for our next session. How will this work for everyone?


post festum said...

I can make it, live or Memorex.

Calysta said...

One of us will definitely be able to. Two of us, if I can secure childcare.

Thanks for offering to host, Jay! :)

Batman1970 said...

I'm fairly certain I can make it.

And don't thank me too much -- I'm just eager to get through a second night of adventuring with the same character. If I can make it through four nights of adventuring with the same character, I'll have broken a record! But I'm not going to count my experience points (or treasure) before they're found (and survived)!

Riley said...

I have a good feeling about Bian Fu, Jay. He has armor and stuff, so with our somewhat more measured approach, I think you'll be good. I hope to god I didn't just jinx it.

Riley said...

I'm pretty sure I can make it.

Batman1970 said...


I'm hoping you're correct. It didn't do Murder any good in the pit trap, and it wouldn't have done my first monk any good with the riddle of fire, but I think you're right -- if we can pick our battles a little more carefully, then I think he'll have a chance.

That and I'll learn to shut up. . . .

post festum said...

I believe that weekend is Julia's "LIVE" campaign, so I don't think she'll be able to join us this time out.

We'll have to get an early August date set up ASAP in light of this.

Have fun that weekend, Julia!

Riley said...

Hey, Jay, I'm the one that had to learn to shut up by getting his tongue cut out.

Sorry to hear that about Julia, but I'm sure it'll be a very aerobic weekend for her, doing all that running in real life. *rim shot* Sorry, Julia, could resist :-P

Julia said...

Yep, I'll be in Dansville that weekend playing live. (Or more specifically NOT playing but being one of the four game designers - DMs, if you will.) I will be getting a workout, lots of hills, creeks, and many paths, but I won't be running away to save a character. :-)

I'll be thinking of you guys and the dungeon that night when I'm sitting around the bardic circle, sharing songs, stories, and our traditional howl.

Erth said...

I expect to be able to join in, too.

post festum said...

Great news, Paul! Any news on childcare M or H? Looks like we have 6-7 depending on your availability.

Aeschere said...

The kids are going to stay over at mother-in-law's, so we are all set.

Riley said...

Are we starting at 6 or 7 then?

Batman 1970 said...

I'm good with 6, but we can do whatever.

One thing I've been mulling over. Someone (I think it was Matt F., but I'm too lazy to look it up) suggested that we should resupply before continuing. I'm not sure if that's necessary, but if it is, should we consider (too lazy to get my map) the "city" to the east rather than the one we've been going to? I'm not asking so that we avoid the thieves guild. In fact, I have the feeling that they probably have very long lines of communication, and attempting to avoid them might get us into MORE trouble.

Instead, the reason I bring this up is for any hirelings we may want. Pickings are getting slim in Sorrowside, and I think we might have some better luck with a fresh town that might not know so much about our attempts. I just don't know how to negotiate that so that we don't give the wrong impression to our "friends" Igmar made us last session.

Just thought I'd throw this out for discussion for Saturday.

Riley said...

I don't know that we need supplies right this second. I think everyone is fairly healthy and my character has plenty of food and water. Now, after we've explored some more and need to check in, I don't have a problem with going to Raven's Falls for the reason you suggested.

I did suggest going back to Sorrowside, though, just because we found that bat sword you now have, Jay, and since we now have proof of our skills, we could get additional fighters from Steng.

Of course, that might come at a high cost (it sounds like he'll want 50%), and with as many folks as we'll have with us just from PCs, I think we might be okay without hirelings. We have one torch/shield bearer still with us. Of course, I'm open to anything.

Aeschere said...

I would very much like to stay in the dungeon and explore. This is one of the first times I can remember that we are starting out in the dungeon with a strong party, so I vote that we take advantage of that and see what we can discover. If we choose our combats carefully, we may be able to uncover a lot.

When we do return to town, I like the idea of going to Ravens Falls. Nobody is familiar with our party's tragic history there, so it may be a lot easier to find new hirelings. Once the folks in Ravens Falls catch on that most of our hirelings don't come home, it makes sense to return to Sorrowside and see see if Steng can give us some help.

I can't wait until Saturday!

Calysta said...

Lilyth would also like to stay in the dungeon and then go to Ravens Falls after we do some serious exploring. This fighter wants to fight and find treasure! She also is not fond of the idea of going to Steng anymore, and feels the well has run dry in Sorrowside.

Looking forward to Saturday. :)

Batman 1970 said...

I hadn't thought about the sword, but of course that would be a fairly powerful artifact to bring back to prove our effectiveness.

Calysta, I understand what you're saying about not wanting to deal with Steng again, but I have the feeling that we would be foolish to expect that if we went to Raven's Falls to avoid him that word would not get back to them. I recognize that we're in a different kingdom and all, but the one merchant is proof that people do travel between the two. A specific group bringing treasure and using up hired locals in Witchspyre Hill is going to attract notice. This is going to be similar to when Thimble arrived back at the inn -- everyone was asking about the party and our success (or lack thereof). I don't think Thimble or any of the rest of the party would get instant recognition in Raven Falls, but I think it's highly likely that a visible party like us would be noticed. -- Particularly since we attempted to cozy up to the one merchant from Raven's Falls and failed miserably at the attempt -- That seems like the type of thing that would be remembered.

The only reason I opened this kettle of fish is that I wanted us to consider carefully how we want to handle our "town encounters." I figure it's better to have this discussion here if possible so that we can spend all of our precious playing time dealing with the problems and engaging them as best we can. There's definitely a mystery in Null's Harbor, and I would like to get further into it (perhaps even the bottom of it), but I don't think we can do that if we start avoiding Steng and the rest.

Besides, if nothing else, I like the challenge he presents. As we grow in experience (and I PRAY we do), I sincerely hope that we have something for him and his goons. Bian Fu would like to revenge his Bat-brethren's ear as well.

Riley said...

If we really feel the need for additional firepower, I think Steng might be our best source, even if the price will be high in terms of a percentage of our loot. However, I'm not sure we have to decide this now. We have a strong party as it is to start exploring the dungeon and so I'd like to examine as much of it as possible before having to find civilization again.

post festum said...

Thanks for all the thoughtful posts, everyone. I'll mull over What Would Igmar Do over the next few days.

In the meantime, any chance for even a short summary and/or experience point totals from last session dm?

Calysta said...

I second the motion for XP. I think Lilyth may get to move up to second level.

Riley said...

Well, I can tell you now that Abo loves sitting with a pint of ale in his hand in front of a roaring inn's fire instead of a spider-and-undead-infested dungeon, but I can't let him give up this great opportunity to explore the dungeon first.

Aeschere said...

Good point about Raven's Falls, Jay. People would eventually recognize us, but if we go about it smartly, I still think that we would be more successful finding hirelings, at least initially. In Raven's Falls, a few people may recognize us; in Null's Harbor, everyone will know who we are.

I do not think that there is much of a mystery in Null's Harbor, at least not one that is worth our time and effort uncovering. There is some local intrigue, which can give the appearance of a great conspiracy that connects people like Steng to the appearance of the tower, but I really do not think that those connections exist. Last session, we spent a lot of time talking to people in Null's Harbor, and we uncovered relatively little about the tower and dungeon. I do think that our efforts were worthwhile - we more fully understand the local power structure now, and can use that knowledge to get what we want next time we return to town - but I do not think that we are going to learn much more in Null's harbor.

This next point is metagame, but I think it is worth considering: Carl has clearly spent an immense amount of time developing a vast, complex mega-dungeon, which we have to assume he intended us to explore; if the answers are in Null's Harbor, there would be no reason for such an elaborate dungeon. I think we need to explore the dungeon to uncover the mystery of Witchspire Hill.

Though Wulfgar would love to share a drink at the inn with his new friend, Abo, he agrees that the party should remain in the dungeon until circumstances compel its return to town.

Aeschere said...
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post festum said...

Thanks again for giving me a lot to think about this week, everyone. Here are some of my contributions to the discussion:

First, since we all seem to be agreed that further exploration of the dungeon under the Witchspire is our next step, why don't we give a thought to our methodology? Igmar's 16 intelligence recoils at the idea of continuing to push forward blindly without a plan unless absolutely necessary. Could we start by taking a good look at our maps to see if we can find clues that might help guide our further explorations (e.g., relationships between the locations of idols, special rooms, etc.)?

When we do decide to resupply, I've got no problem checking out Raven's Falls to see what it has to offer. And I'm not really concerned about Steng finding out since we never promised him anything beyond a split of findings if we return to Null's Harbor. I do think, however, we would be wise to send one or two advance scouts and for us to never EVER mention our work in the Witchspire Tower to anyone.

I have to add, though, that I can think of several significant reasons to return to Null's Harbor sooner rather than later, even if, for example, Igmar's outreach to Steng proves pointless.

First, there are the ruins of Leng's Tower just sitting there begging to be plucked and offering us zero travel time when we need to resupply. Also, we have Bytor's explicit offer of information regarding the Witchspire dungeon in exchange for a "magical" finding. I consider Bytor's offer our most significant lead that should be followed up as soon as possible if we want to increase our ability to explore the dungeon smartly.

Finally, I suggest we use any favor we can curry with Steng not for hirelings (Igmar would be suspicious of spies) but instead for access to better equipment, arms and armor. Since leveling up in this game takes so long, and the benefit gained by adding any one additional level so minimal, I think an important priority of our party should be to seek out alternative ways to help strengthen our fighters and clerics. I agree with Aeschere that Null's Harbor is most likely not hiding some Mystery. But it is filled with mysteries. And whether or not they are immediately relevant to our search of the Tower on Witchspire, they are potentially useful nonetheless.

This brings me to my small disagreement with Aeschere's excellent metagame question. To be quite honest, I don't care one bit what the dm wants or expects of our party. And I don't mean this as an insult to the dm but as a compliment. I want to expect and assume that the dm will have a sufficient understanding and vision of this broadly "sandbox" world that he would be prepared for whatever we wanted to do as a team. (And Ironbeard don't answer this even if I am incorrect here - don't spoil my illusion!) And if he isn't, well then shame on him. ;)

I've been playing this thing as if I try my best to make choices that I think Igmar would make. And, admittedly, in a selfish way I don't want to have to add the factor of what the dm wants or expects us to do to my decision-making process.

If I were really playing it straight I'd have to say that Igmar has found precious little treasure and, more importantly, almost nothing in the way of magic items and arcana to help him grow as a magic user in the first level of the dungeon, at least relative to high level of bloodshed and death he has encountered searching this stuff out. And by this point he has made a good MANY trips down the stairs of from ground level. It would, therefore, take very little to convince him to forgo the Witchspire in the short term to explore possibly greener pastures. And I really think we all should have the option to play our PCs faithfully in this way.

I don't know, am I wicked?


Can't wait for Saturday! I'll see you all then!

Aeschere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aeschere said...

I did not mean to suggest that we make decisions based on what we think the DM intended. Rather, I was suggesting that we will ultimately discover more information about the dungeon in the dungeon, rather than in the town. I am not opposed to exploring Leng's Tower, or pursuing any other opportunities that appear, but if we are interested in finding out why and how the Witchspire Tower appeared, I think our best course of action is to continue delving into the dungeon.

In the future, I will refrain from metagame arguments.

Batman 1970 said...

I wanted to reply to both Post and Aeschere.

First of all, OF COURSE you're wicked, Post! You're a d4. 'Nuff said!

As for the metagaming issue. I think Post is right in saying that our DM has created a rich world for us to play in. Even if he hasn't planned for every eventuality (and who possibly could?), he has to be as creative on the fly as the characters he's leading through this wandering existence we've all mutually created.

I remember talking to Julia about a LARP adventure she had a couple of years ago. The people setting up the LARP had constructed a large "castle" area that they had thought would be perfect for a staged battle and perhaps the holding of hostages if I remember correctly. Instead, the players had other ideas (as we all so often do) that involved running straight through the structure and never using it for its intended purpose at all. Unfortunately, that was wasted time, effort and material for the designers, but the players didn't waste time in metagaming it -- they simply appreciated the realism of their environment and utilized other tools at their disposal.

One of the advantages we have is that we have time to think that the LARPers don't have. We can have these discussions (which are rich, and I think very helpful)before and during play. As I understand LARP, it is played in real time, so a screw-up can have "fatal" consequences (though ours have had their share of fatal consequences as well) much more easily and quickly.

I don't think that it's bad that Aeschere was metagaming, and in fact, I have the feeling that he's right. But I also feel that Post is right in that even though there may be intent on the part of the DM, we can't allow our characters to be swayed by that. We have to let our characters run wild through this discovered world and do what they will. If that means that Thimble keeps wearing out the soles of her shoes, or that the Bat-people keep dying for honor and glory, then so be it. That's how things play out.Likewise, if our DM has to do a little ad-libbing along the way, that's cool. It may get a little bloodier because of it, but Bian Fu is cool with that.

Finally, I opened this kettle of fish in hopes that we would talk over options -- and I find that I'm very glad to have done so. I think this has been a very useful discussion throughout. If nothing else, I don't think we'll necessarily be charging blind into any more Steng-like ambushes (I fervently hope), and I think we have a better understanding of our options and their possible repercussions. I have to be honest though -- I'm DEFINITELY not so sure about splitting up the party and sending scouts ahead to Raven's Falls. That doesn't appear to have benefitted our party all that much to this point.

Thanks a bunch for this wonderful discussion! I absolutely CANNOT wait until tonight!

post festum said...

Sorry to have misunderstood your post, Aeschere.

Thanks for the thoughts, Bat.

And drive safely, Andy!

See you all tonight!

Riley said...

I have no problem with metagame arguments, but I know a fact that Carl is ready for wherever we go, so it shouldn't influence us one way or another. We should do what *we* and our characters want to do. That is where we seem to be running into problems.

I think we are all agreed that exploring the dungeon while we are here only makes sense. it's a question of what to do when we finally are ready to return to town. It sounds like we'll have to just take a vote when the time comes since there are good arguments from both sides. Personally, I'm very intrigued about the promise of information about the tower from Bytor if we can only find a magical tome again. That is my main reason for wanting to go back to Null's Harbor when we are ready.

I say we put aside that discussion till we need to have it. It might be moot after another day in the dungeon because one of the factions might be all dead :-P

Aeschere said...

If we find something that Bytor might be willing to exchange for information, it makes sense to return to Null's Harbor. I am definitely interested in what he knows. If we just get our asses kicked and have to return to a town to resupply, get new hirelings, etc, then it might be more interesting and productive to check out Raven's Falls.