21 February 2011

Forgotten Songs Retrospective -- Supernatural Awakenings, Pt2

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.

4 comments:

  1. I'd like to post some comments on things that you have said, to give some insight into what I was thinking when I made some choices that were most definitely poor tactical moves. But I had other reasons at the time...

    The day after the combat with the goblins, nobody expressed much interest in going down into the ravine by the river to see if the goblins that had fallen there had anything useful on them, although they made sure to pick clean every last copper in the goblin camp. Bix was bored so he took it upon himself to go down and do a quick search of the goblin bodies. A quick "Detect Magic" and the only thing revealed was a beat up rusty sword on a skeleton that was also in the ravine. Bix took it and decided that if nobody was interested in looking down there but him, then nobody needed to know what he found. At the time I figured it was going to be a sword +1 or something like that, very useful, but not the most powerful item found so far.

    He made no attempt to hide the sword, I distinctly remember at one point during this session having Bix polish and oil the rusty sword in camp, only to be ridiculed by Orion's player for dragging around a broken, useless weapon that I couldn't use (Bix had no weapon proficiency for a long sword). That moment right there may have been the point where I decided that nobody was going to get the sword regardless of how inefficient Bix was as a combatant. This was both in character (Bix was not above telling half truths and hiding stuff from the party) and a response to the way Orion's player acted at the table. Passive-aggressive? Yeah, maybe a bit, but I was tired of the petty crap that she pulled on a regular basis. This was one way to stick it to her, as I knew she would be furious when the swords magic ability came out, and truthfully, I was looking forward to it. It was a pretty big arguement when it came out that the sword was powerful, and words were spoken to me along the lines of "I demand that you give it to someone else" and "You damn well better give it to someone else, asshole".

    Nobody else ever got the sword (or the magical helmet Bix aquired at some point from a troll,which nobody else wanted to wear it because it still smelled like troll). Bix did eventually spend a feat to gain proficiency in long sword so he was a little more useful in combat with it.

    And yes, I would like to see the swords write up from the Blue Notebook.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope you didn't take my comments as critical! I thought keeping the sword was perfectly in character. Thanks for adding to my recollection.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to see the write-up of the sword. And I do *not* hold it against Bix for keeping the sword. As CL said, the moment had passed when the party had any claim on it.

    I really loved this session. And of course, the next session was the BEST...SESSION...EVAR

    ReplyDelete
  4. No, I didn't take anything you wrote as critical! I just wanted to expand a bit, and give more insight into why I did what I did. I've been waiting for you to get to this point in the commentary so I could talk about the sword since back when you started! I'll be the first to admit that I took a fair amount of satisfaction from being able to basically tell Orion's player "Screw you!" and keep it all justified in character.

    ReplyDelete