Lincon 2024

I prepared two scheduled games this year, without workshops. I’ve learned that Närcon is the best venue for those, and I wanted more time to socialize, promote the Happening, and play more casually.

Advanced D&D, first edtion

This was a focused, content-stuffed romp using the half-elf/half-orc fighter/thief/cleric/assassin construction similar to the ongoing game at Spelens Hus. In this case, I made 3rd/3rd level characters, in two pairs representing “teams” independently sent by the big Law and Chaos churches to deal with a dangerous new temple and religious way which has been expanding curiously rapidly. If you’re following the Spelens Hus game, you’ll spot some common elements and terms, but there’s no continuity.

I used this map for the Center for Universal Munificence, modifying it a little during preparation, e.g., the wide ramps connecting the two levels, so that getting up to the top is a metaphysical through rooms 10 and 13.

The next step was treasure, less in the sense of character-reward and more as substantial content. Except for the Jacinth and the Sphere, I generated it all using the monster-specific table in the Monster Manual + Fiend Folio, which direct into the DM Guide. I took the notes for it onto this colorful map or page or whatever it is, which I was considering for use but eventually didn’t.

I didn’t associate each treasure with each creature, but just pulled it all together, then put things where they made the most sense to me for the situation. I was getting a pretty good idea at that point about what the treasure was used for, what was happening to it, and where the varying types or metals would be found.

(The location numbers don’t match the map above, because I revised them in the final document.)

As with all my preparation notes, there’s a lot of content that I don’t write down because it’s thoroughly internally associated with what I do write, e.g., the whole “wedding” context between Oodripoor and Selesh, including their stereotypical smug, gooey we are such a happy privileged couple vibe, which I associate with preacher-couples of this sort. Another is that all the wealth visibly deteriorates, or as they would say, “transcended,” or “essentialized,” as any of the temple spells, people, creatures, or items do their various magical things.

For those of you who’ve spotted the satire, which isn’t surprising as it’s totally over the top, please give me credit for not including the Bigby’s Hand spells somewhere.

Here’s the final version.

I thought a lot about what to do with character death. To put it mildly, the contradictions among “this is a risky game and characters can die” and “if your character dies you can’t play” are so fraught in this game, tying into every variable, that I had to do some game design. Here’s the notebook page for working it out:

I chose to go with a more extreme form of the technique in The Mountain Witch and Circle of Hands, to the point where the player is now playing a relatively abstract force “opened” by the character’s death, or if you will, a or the god of the respective church. In practice, it meant being omnipresent and able to cast each of the 5th level cleric spells (which happen to be the really hard-core set, much better than 6th or 7th) once.

I made a couple of technical mistakes, e.g., to forget that the coiled dragon’s water fire ability is extinguished for a few rounds when exposed to real fire, so, given the flame strike, Atthia would not have taken extra damage when she was seized in the thing’s coils. But for the first time, I thought it went pretty well. I’ll definitely use it again and change a couple of things for easier player-access to the content and a wider range of response for the various NPC/monsters.

Circle of Hands

Here are my first preparation notes:

Yes, that would be black 6, white 1, red 5 for Rbja interference and Amboriyon interference, in Rolke, with full squick.

I suppose it’s a good thing to report that we totally lost track of time and played well over the allotted time, finishing the venture with substantial play.

if you watch, I’d like to you see how often I pause to think about what all the NPCs are doing, especially in this case with a demon and an eidolon, both with strict “if this then that” rubrics regarding a single person; and two nigh-crazed fanatics running around. [Please note as well that I ahered to the rules about not combining preparation between components, so they did not use/have the same person.] It applies especially regarding Ansgar’s failed Charm roll in socializing and the essence’s later attack on him, because there were people who were inclined to kill him already.

I made the characters and did the preparation some weeks apart, so there wasn’t any correspondence between Ansgar’s white Gift and the lammasu preparation; also, there was no guarantee that anyone would pick Ansgar anyway. But considering that both did apply in play as it turns out, and considering what an extreme guy he is, see how Nathalie embraced his damaged psyche and turned it into both a maximum risk and maximum asset.

I was a bit sad that I rolled generally poorly for the lammasu, a couple of 2’s and 3’s on 2d6 as I recall. Given that Erlend played Ebbe’s combat splits very intelligently, she actually made it through that fight; Kunibert was not so fortunate against the essence’s Blast effect, having already been hurt by the lammasu.

As usual, I kept the tripwires straightforward and did not trouble myself with whether or how they might occur. One got hit and one didn’t, so if you’ure interested in this rule, this is a good session to watch.

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