I’ve put up more background information for the setting, including NPC profiles, a few odds and ends (Herbs, Player Options, Trollkin, Sun Child), and posted a few puzzles on the Facebook group for some mid-week fun. The font creator (fontstruct.fontshop.com, if you’re interested) has come in really handy, as I now have a font for Xidel, Pact Battle Codes, and a yet-to-be-revealed SEEEKRET language.
As for the last few game sessions, things have progressed, though not as smoothly as I think everyone would have liked. Perhaps it was just getting back from the fair, but the first few sessions were a bit rough around the edges. I was a little on edge, and some personal issues with one of my players clouded my delivery of the game one particular night. The next session, I switched the tempo from the role-play centric game to a good meat grinder. The group got to slog through a few waves of undead, and rack up enough experience to level up.
I don’t mind combat, as it’s pretty easy to GM, if a little long. But I’m afraid to say that the big benefit for me when it comes to combat is that it doesn’t require much thought or participation on my part. If I’m not feeling particularly motivated, or having a bit of story-block, that’s usually when I’ll cobble together a night of face-pounding for my group. The players don’t seem to mind, but I know it shows.
On the other side, I’ll find myself quite involved with the story aspect, and encourage a good long role-play with the group. Ironically, those seem to be the sessions wherein a few of my players have the same condition that I do when I toss down heavy combat. Either tired from work, or just not feeling the story, I sometimes feel like I’m trying to pull story bits out of their clenched fists. There are nights where everything seems to mesh together well, and those are the nights that we all remember clearly for months to come. I can remember a few times where everyone was sad to leave the table, and waited in anticipation for the next week’s game. I’d like to have more of those.
Well, the title of this post is “NEW AND IMPROVED!” so I guess I’d best get to delivering that. The PCs are currently returning from an old cathedral that is being converted into a forward staging ground for a second Resistance base. When they return to HQ, they will find the council divided. One half of the council will want to push the war to the north, and drive the enemy before them. the other half will advise patience, as their new Sun Children allies are working on an arcane weapon to disable the Pact with greater effectiveness (Magical WMD, if you will). The players will get to decide, and have to decide as a group, whether they will head to the front lines and take the war to the Pact, or whether to stay and help the research and construction of a large-scale weapon.
Speaking in meta, the front will offer more combat, though usually against waves of weaker foes. The front will allow a bit of grinding, as well as access to the Blacktooth city at Korat’s tooth. Choosing the path of the WMD will have PCs engaging in research, and expidiitions to other Xidel ruins in the region, as they gather information and components. This path will pit the heroes against foes far more capable than a Pact platoon, though in fewer numbers. The rewards for this path would be a bit more exotic than what they would find in the goblin armories, but much more difficult to acquire.
Whichever path is chosen, the heroes will once again enter a locked state, meaning that players cannot switch characters/classes between sessions. I’m quite lenient with character switches when its a plausible explanation, but during missions, I don’t allow it. makes for bad story :P
Either way, come Sunday, the PCs will have to make a choice that will decide the flow of the Pact War in Cambria.