On to third level! This time I’ve expanded the scope of play to where I’d originally conceived it should be, with a number of different characters and unstable situations which interconnect. The point is for the players to decide whom they want to help or kill, and for them to assess the potential dangers of doing so. Time will play a role too, more so than its minor way last time – what they don’t confront or interact with directly, and when they choose to take an Extended Rest, is going to matter.
I’ve also set into place a number of fixed Skill Challenges, to proceed without much time-limit (except insofar as events may render them moot), so players now have mysterious boxes to fill in with tallies regarding successes and failures. I like the message this conveys, that they’re feel they’re in the middle of doing things and finding stuff out which at the moment don’t make much sense.
I’m using a couple of maps by Dyson Logos. One of them is “Mirelyn’s Skyrealm,” reproduced here, for the whole of my quirky Our Realm, pretty much the setting for the adventure at third level. Also check out his series of posts beginning here. I’m not using any of his setting or other concepts, just running with the picture on my own.
I’m also using another map by him for the inside/outside/wherever of the crystal shard, but I can’t show it to you, or explain the entirely off-brand thing I’ve done with it, because Urri has not shown Runt what it’s like from the vantage of her shard. So the map you see here is not really the map, but a misleading piece-together based on what the other characters could see or do via Irru’s shard. I’ve even written up what I’ve done and can’t wait to explain it here, but grrr, I cannot.
As for any big thoughts … well, not yet. I like the slight shift in our play to player-driven movement, and what is clearly the chance for opposing viewpoints among them, or for the reconciliation of same, however they end up. The Heavy Metal ish concept for this game doesn’t lend itself well to nuanced characters (see by contrast the RuneQuest game), but now that a little raunchy fun has crept in, I’m finding that I want to make more out of a couple of the characters than I’d done in prep. Part of the point was to play a fantasy adventure rather than merely “play D&D” as an abstract thing with specific expectations, so considering I was aiming at the players having that response, the fact I’m doing so is probably a good thing.