The session was heavy on combat and dungeon exploration. I think we had a couple of memorable encounters again, and some foreshadowing that worked to my favor.
I’ve been reading a blog post by the AngryGM on recapping, and he makes some good points (you can read it all here). For example, that the GM should do the recap in the beginning of the session, as he (or she) should highlight what was important previously –
not just in the last session – to make the story flow and set the scene, and perhaps even highlight things that the players didn’t really pick up on in one of the previous sessions. I think, certainly in long campaigns, that is a very valuable point for GMs. As a player, pertinent details have often escaped me, which influences my decisions.
That said, this blog post, and the ones before it – does not serve – entirely – the same purpose. It is a recap, so we will have a log of the campaign in years to come, but it is also a meta-discussion of what worked, and what didn’t. For me, it can also work as a reminder, when you run very long campaigns, as I tend to do.
That said, I will try to adhere to some of the rules the AngryGM has on recaps:
After a month of recuperation in the settlement, the party had decided to explore the area, where the elves claimed there were iron deposits, as they would be of great strategic value to the settlement. The party travelled along a crumbling road, going south, which indicated the grandeur and construction skills of the former civilization. The ruined villa they found along the way, contained both horrible corpse worms, that the group defeated and fabulous treasure, such as a magical longsword.
Finally, the group located an open mine, with crumbling structures in it, and a large mine entrance. The structures were explored before they entered the mine, which had strange monorail tracks with mining carts. In the first section of rooms they found giant centipedes crawling all over, ancient magical scrolls, piles of rust and a deep and wide mine shaft.
The pushed deeper into the mine, and in a vast room, the wizard’s torch sets off an explosion that collapses the hall behind them, trapping them in the mine, and leaving them in a dust filled cave, while being swarmed by grimlocks. The grimlocks are defeated, but the group is now trapped in an unknown cave system, deep underground with no knowledge of the way out and with many dangers lurking in the dark.
I think the scene with the cave exploding and the tunnel collapsing, kicking up a dust cloud, effectively blinding the group, before the grimlocks attacked, worked well. It was avoidable, and I made sure that I had prepared the other path in the mine (the mine shaft), so I wouldn’t have to rail road them, to make sure they got trapped. Role-playing and games are about meaningful choices, and it had to be meaningful if they picked one path or the other.
As experienced players, the piles of rust naturally created many nervous glances around the table…
Note: We skipped a session and played Temple of Elemental Evil instead, since I had several players cancel. So session 15 will be on July 6.