Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Behind the Curtain

At last I am free to speak of some things behind the curtain; I can say without equivocation that the crossdimensional door is gone, and the players will not be able to change any of the things I'm going to say now.

I hope you will forgive me for any railroading with the door; I'd like to assure the party that there was a non-door option, but it almost certainly would not have been seen as the desireable one.

My plan, if the party did not take the door, but were instead ready to fight the six marines assaulting the tower, was to have the following occur:

1) To have Nachnamen, the officer left outside the caverns, to make his first appearance on the scene - he would have started, with his men, upon the Worgs below, making it possible for the party to return to the interior of the castle.

2) Once the party had been fighting the men on the tower's crown for six full rounds, on the seventh round I intended to introduce a 7th level fighter, teleported into the tower by one of the mages below on the party's side, who had ALSO realized the Stinger was not functioning.  Determining that a fight was going on there (augury), the fighter Wainscomb was going to be there to back off the men.  All things going well, the party would have lived and Nachnamen's party would have helped heal them, to keep the battle going.

This was, of course, not revealed to the party in the slightest.  It was my intention that the party would need to commit to a moment of possible death - such things are dramatic, after all.

As surmised, yes, the location of the room was entirely random.  It was jumping to those areas where I had mapped, and for which I had area data (updated from the wiki posting), a possible 13,500 hexes (661 of which are in Germany).  For interest's sake, the locations the party appeared (barring this last one) were the Muyun Kum desert, 100 miles north by northwest of Taraz in eastern Kazakhstan; central Moscovy, 40 miles West by southwest of Peroslavl-Ryazan (about a hundred miles from Moskva; the coast of Sivash, 15 miles due east from where the Crimean Peninsula meets the mainland; and finally the Sam-al-Katub desert, about 30 miles from the western shore of the Aral Sea.

If the party feels that they've been treated unfairly, please tell me.  As it happens, its quite a comfortable way for a DM to wrap up a rather difficult battle endgame ... and after all, you did live through it.


János said...

I didn't think it was very unfair; altogether, it was a actually a rather interesting series of events. I wish we could have gotten some idea of how the dimensional door actually function (I assume there is some way to control the destination), but c'est la vie.

Ahmet said...

Interesting, yes, but honestly, I'm disappointed with the outcome.

Frustrating after all this build up to the battle to have it end in the middle of nowhere, but it is what it is.


James C. said...

Nothing struck me as unfair. We made a risk assesment and collectively chose to go through the portal. I know it wasn't Ahmet's first choice and I'm truly sorry he's disappointed. But we were somewhat lucky to have made it so far and were hard pressed when beating a party of artillerists. I wasn't feeling confident against whatever crack commandos thery were sending up on the tarn.

I do feel the lack of closure Ahmet feels. It bothers me that we miss a post or two of basking in some glory and getting congratulations and possible rewards for having made a decisive contribution to the battle. I'm hopeful that we at least did take out the stinger and those we left behind know this and are scratching their heads now, wondering what happned to our plucky and motely crew. I hope Emmanual signs on with Hornung or goes back to Dachau for that gal he was talking about.

Had I known help was six rounds away and the portal would take us across Europe I might have stuck around as Ahmet hoped... but six rounds is a long time with no healing, 14 hit points and being out of spells... so I also might not have.

Here's my question: Had we stayed, and had the first three rounds or so gone particularly bad for us, would you have stuck to the 6 rounds until help and allowed the dice to fall where they may; PCs dying or even a total party kill? If not, yeah... I regret leaving.

But I'm glad Andrej and his companions are alive and well and on the brink of more interesting adventures.

Lukas said...

As I said, I would have preferred some confirmation of achievement, but such is the way of things.

Alexis said...

I would have stayed the six rounds ... but here's a bit of behind the curtain.

Just as the first round of artillerists did not all die, because they fell unconscious before -9 hp, you may not have died ... and the help would have come even if you were unconscious. Then it would have depended on whether the help would have succeeded against whatever you left behind for him.

However ... if any of you were wounded, say, bleeding a hit point a round, or simply struck down below -9, that person would now be rolling a new character.

Alexis said...

Things may not be as dark as you think, vis a vis confirmation of achievement.

James C. said...

I focused a lot on the downside above. On the upside we made a helluva run on that castle and at that point in the battle had penetrated further into the enemy stronghold than any visible allies. As for the portal, I love that it didn't go as expected... I loved opening the door to see what remote corner of your mapped world we'd get a glimpse of next. I also have to admit I enjoy somehwat the feeling of Andrej and company being back on the road, with no commitments or immediate goals,even if we've no clear idea which road.

Overall I'm good with everything, Alexis, so I hope you don't feel like you have to placate any of us. Unless, of course, its me you want to placate with a +3 mace or some magic staff of some kind. That would be fine. ;)

Lukas said...

Yeah, upside, I'm level 3 and have second level spells. I can also start pursuing a few objectives of mine that have been backlogging.

Andrej said...

Lukas, noting that one of your goals is to acquire magical tomes, if we ever make our way back to Germany there is a scholar in Eichstadt holding what could be a pretty valuable arcane tome now belonging to Andrej.