So I’m gonna go ahead and say it – when it comes to prep and getting the game to play as it should, I feel I don’t do well. My groups usually really enjoy themselves and I usually enjoy myself too, but I feel like I’m doing something wrong. But you can’t really argue with results.
So I’m running a game for my local group, second session of the campaign. They’re sent to track down an artifact and the thing is surrounded by orcish and hobgoblin bandits.
What starts as a coy attempt to get in very unnoticed turns into a storm of trouble as they miss shots, make mediocre calls and some enemies get some lucky hits.
With some clever improvising, they pulled off a few nice stunts and traps and were able to chew through many bandits and get the rest to surrender. This wasn’t the truly impressive part.
So they come down to the boss’ room. The bandit leader activated the artifact in question – a magical circle that summons are very strong demon. After some taunting on both sides, they decide they can do with the fight and think they call a bluff.
First sight of the demon is when they get in their first lucky shot that actually damages the thing. Everything kinda went downhill for them from there.
They put some distance between themselves and the demon, trying to spring a set of attacks before it gets to them. They all miss and the first casualty – a henchman – is taken out in shot.
They get back to the stairs and are able to hold their own. Two run up, leaving the fighter with his beloved henchman – an ugly as sin man-at-arms.
Despite the plan to run away, the fighter insists on sticking around downstairs and take out the demon, while the rogue plans to head around through a different route they blocked earlier. The caster trains up his spears proficiency with worrying uselessness.
The rogue is useless at that door, essentially leaving a fighter and a henchman, averaging .75 levels, to fight a boss monster that can one shot them with ease. The henchman is taken out quickly and is mourned.
Against all odds, the fighter is able to survive with potions, missing that killing hit by hairs at a time. Finally comes the do-or-die: the fighter will die next round most likely. He takes a swing to the demon’s head, striking a crit with the ad-hoc double damage for headshots. The demon dies right there. The rogue is still trying to get through the passage and finally breaks the door open.
And then walks in the master.
On that same roll, the fighter calls out a challenge. They strike swords and get both down to one hit away. The caster keeps missing with his spears.
Finally, it’s the master of the demon that gets in a hit. With a touch of good luck and a quick decision, GM intervention is invoked. The intervention die shows 6 – Good Change. The killing hit changes into a parry and counterattack. The last enemy drops.
We all had a blast as epic turn came after epic turn. They also all gained 2 levels, going from 1 to 3 in one fell swoop.
We had a blast, as can be inferred from the above. Additionally, here is the prep material I used, filling in some holes as I went along.
I feel like I did well in running the game, but not very well in planning it. It was deadly, since they were up against atrocious odds, and it was strange since I had to improvise a lot of the reactions of a generally organized group of enemies.
I don’t regret prepping less than 2 hours ahead of time. I also don’t regret for preparing a potential TPK. We had fun and they got out alive with 2 levels more to boot. I can see this as a successful session.