I had a great plan.
That's probably what every DM says after more than a few sessions.
I had a great plan.
And then my players did something I hadn't thought of. Years ago, when I was getting back into DMing, this would have been devastating. The session would have been all messed up and I'd be scrambling for something to handle the way my group tackled a problem. These days? Not so much.
I actually didn't have much of a plan. I don't make plans that account for small details in a session. Here's what my plan consisted of for the last session.
- The group arrives in Ghastenhall, skipping ahead a few weeks.
- I prod them into taking some sort of action. I have no idea what they want to do when they get to the city. I know their ultimate goal, but I don't know how they'll start.
- We mess around with the stuff they are interested in and see where it goes.
- Eventually the group will track down their current nemesis and try to infiltrate his fortress.
- The group will go on a bit of a dungeon crawl to get something very important.
Everything went as I was expecting for the first part of the session. The group found a decent house where they setup their operations. They ran into their operative from Farholde, Anaxibia Ghostfinger, and brought her into the fold. They started tracking down where the Cardinal's tower could be in the city, and eventually find it. The group has Anaxibia stake out the tower and she gathers some good intelligence on the count who lives there. Finally, the group decided they were ready to sneak in while the count was out on business.
This is where I'd done some planning.
I had put together some information the group could have found out about a vault in the sewers under the tower (sorry, Jim, this is slightly a spoiler, but we'll address it pretty much immediately in the next session). This would have led to a sneaky way into the vault. I had also put together a little bit of work if they decided to storm the front doors. I had characters, and had anticipated what would happen if they tried to muscle their way through.
My plans didn't include Teleport.
The group teleported up to the balcony they had once been killed upon and walked into the tower untouched. I threw my plans into the garbage and just started making stuff up and it all worked out well. And now the group gets to march around a dungeon that I'm constructing with Dwarven Forge tiles, thanks to Mark. Those tiles are pretty awesome.