So continues my commentary track on Katja's Diary.
In the last post, I discussed some of the behind the scenes divine maneuverings that affected Bix and Katja. This post will discuss the events of this session in, hopefully, an interesting and semi-coherent fashion :)
Though this and, especially, the next session were high points in the game, there are elements present here that illustrate some ongoing tension with the group and set up not-so-enjoyable sessions to come. Remember, the entire reason the party has come to the Thoralien Forest is to hunt for a pseudodragon for Orion's familiar. As Katja mentions, not all of the party thought this was the best use of their time. But Orion's player would have nothing else, so in the interest of party unity, everyone went along. Katja also notes:
"We also found some empty potion bottles. One of them had a curious ring around the neck that seemed to fascinate Orion to no end. He is a strange one. He’s nothing like the elves I read about in stories. He’s usually very cool and businesslike… but the moment something magical happens, he gets this kind of fiery glimmer in his eye."
Three things are significant here:
1. The ring was a magic item I made up: a ring of potion storing. You put it around a potion bottle and it magically sucked the potion into it. When the command word was spoken, the potion would infuse into the wearer. Not a huge deal, but rather important in 3E when the "action economy" became such a big deal. With the ring, you could imbibe a potion as a free action. I think it took the party a bit to figure out what this ring did.
2. Katja does not mention something here because Katja wasn't aware of it: Bix had found the most powerful magic item (up to this point) in the game. And hadn't bothered to tell anyone. It looked like a rusty sword, but it was enchanted, with the enchantment growing stronger every time the sword was used to defeat a certain type of evil foe. It began as a simple masterwork weapon, though it radiated magic. But defeating an undead creature with it would make it +1, defeating a giant would make it +2, defeating an evil outsider would make it flaming, etc. (I have the full write up for in in the Blue Notebook, if anyone's interested). Bix held on to the sword almost the entire campiagn, as I recall, despite not being anywhere close to a front-line combat character. Which brings us to . . .
3. Orion was obsessed with magic items and power. Some of this was in-character. Most of it was player driven. I remember some fairly harsh words for Bix when the power of the sword was discovered and Bix didn't hand it over to the fighter-types. I thought was a poor tactical move, myself, but I wasn't about to yell at Cthulhu's Librarian for it.
As for the rest of the session, I thought it went great. The satyr was one of my favorite NPC's. I thought he came across just as I wanted him to -- lusty, mischevious, but ultimately beholden to the forest. I also really enjoyed the brownie concert of the Ballad of Thomas Dunn. I wrote those lyrics myself! They set up the story (and following adventure) nicely, giving clues to the Dunn's undead nature and powers. The players listened and took advantage, resulting in one of the best sessions I've ever run coming up next.