Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dark is the Sun - May Ed.

Long stretches between games can mean ample time to plan and prepare. That or time to procrastinate and rush through planning in the week before game night. I thought I was doing the former this month and it turned out to be the latter.

The story so far has been a hunt around Athas for an artifact of great power "the Crown of Dust". Why the party was looking for it originally was not super clear. Unpaid debts and missing family members tied to the ancient item was all that was driving them. So I added some context. Now a Sorcerer King wants it to destroy their home city with the Crown. So it is either gather the fragments before him or kill him before he finds and assembles it. The group has been set on the path to kill him and now need allies to do so.

Last Minute Changes
I had this game planned since the last time we played. Not on paper mind you, but it was kicking around in my noodle for nearly two months. When I finally got it on paper last week I wasn't happy with it though. So I went into edit mode to try and take it off the rails. By Wednesday I still wasn't happy. So I decided two days before we played, that I would blow out the ending from one possible outcome to three.

All with their own map, monsters and plot points. I got it done, but after the last dice was rolled Friday night I didn't feel like I had done it well. The answer could be not procrastinating, but it could also be spending more time on my encounters. Thankfully the two encounters on deck are already done. Now I can take the next month to sharpen them to a fine point.

Being heroes who want to do heroic things isn't always enough. Maybe it should be. Sometimes I can't get a read on what motivates the party though. It could be me doing a poor job of setting up plot hooks for them. This isn't specific to one player or one event, but it is something I need to do a better job of in general. Part of me wants to just say the hell with it and wait for the next campaign to get the hooks right, but I know I can salvage this one. Overall things are going well, it just needs some tweaking.

Friday Games
Ugh, the bane of our group so far has been Friday night games. We learned a while ago not to do them. Everyone has worked a full week and comes in tired and edgy. With families, friends and careers it can be tough to be free on a Saturday though. It can't be helped sometimes. The answer could be postponing to the next free Saturday or planning lighter for these off months. Neither option sounds great.

The rest is in the pictures...

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