There was much delay on the second session, and most of it is because of real-life reasons. First, we changed sites. Since the original site was rather noisy, a player suggested to game on his own house. While I am very thankful for the change of venue, our exodus did take away some from our game time, so we had less finished during this session. Second complication was that I was suddenly flooded by so many players. When originally, we only had four players (which is the best number of players for a DND/PF module-run game) that number suddenly doubled… in one day! Yup, 8 players, so I answered character creation questions, and was forced to make sudden changes out-of-module, to introduce these new characters, and to make their appearance as logical as possible.
The session seems like a success, but it was taking too long. This was supposedly a pre-adventure, an introductory “tutorial” game to let the guys get a grasp at their characters before the game’s actual start. Thus, I’m allowing them to tweak their characters throughout this pre-adventure. But I was expecting this pre-adventure/tutorial game to only be one-session long. But now, it’s lasted more than two. So saying I’m delayed is an understatement of sorts. I’ve finally decided to finish this introductory adventure next session, by hook or crook.
Something of note was that most of the guys weren’t too happy about being duped by an impersonating villain. (That, or disappointed that the cute loli character they were eagerly protecting turned out to be a backstabbing villain in disguise) I know there’s a GM guide/text around that says “duping” characters isn’t a nice practice, but alas, the “duping” was originally in the module, but I may have tweaked it a little too much to be more deceptive and potentially dangerous. Also, that’s an important lesson about the price to be paid for not purchasing ranks in Sense Motive. Their highest ranking “Cal Lightman” character was the elf cleric, who had an even +7 to his Sense Motive roll. This was Blake, however, who was constantly plagued with bad rolls – sense motive rolls included. The villain had high bluff and disguise ranks, so they never saw it coming.
Another thing of note is Arj’s character, the halfling merchant, who has echoes of Pointyman’s Roscoe (his Gnome character) albeit much, much less helpful to the party — though the guys don’t seem to mind and treats him like a comic relief character, or a sidebar character like Bodahn Feddic from Dragon Age. Being genuinely hilarious, I was torn between giving him a hero point for roleplaying his character well, but doing so would seem like rewarding inaction during a dangerous situation. I just ran with my gut and rewarded roleplaying over tactical decisions. I’m still wondering if I made the right move rewarding him.
There was also a lengthy rules-lawyering discussion about Blindness and Ranged Attacks, and whether Ranged attacks was visually dependent. One of the players got somewhat irked at the fact that he can’t do anything when blinded. He was, of course, a ranged attacker. By text, ranged attacks had a 100% fail rate while blinded, (the operative word being ranged attacks requiring “line of sight” thus, is a visually based check). But we simply resolved it with a compromise of sorts – instead of a 100% fail rate to all ranged attacks, we made Blindness a less crippling condition for ranged attackers and gave every enemy of a Blind character full concealment. (James Jacobs said in a post that any ability that completely shuts down an entire class’s abilities is of bad design, so I decided to adopt that line of thinking with regard to this decision.)
Whew. Now, perhaps the biggest challenge I have left is to readjust the modules I have lined up. Especially since most of these adventures were made for four players only. And now that I’m running for double that number – Eight Players! – the loots, XP, and much of the module’s mechanical boons, must be rebalanced for the player’s character progression. I fear for my free time.
Anyway, that’s it in a nutshell. Details on the narrative and story (or the absence thereof… but hey, its a dungeon crawl) are written down below, but it’s VERY LONG, so…