The second session of our Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign has finished. Things have changed, people have shown up. Who knows how this stuff will play out.
Session 0 wrap up
The group had gotten down into the ruins below Asylum in the last session. We'd gotten a little ways into it, but had to end before getting through the whole thing. We had done character creation in the first session, so we were behind about 45 minutes. I was hoping to finish up the rest of the stuff down there in an hour or less. I used A Year Without Rain as the base for this session.
Shart proved useful as he expertly discovered a trap in the hall, which everyone was able to easily avoid. I trimmed a couple of encounters and went straight for the musical ghoul. It was a pretty great build up as the characters seemed rather confused by a ghoul playing terrible music for them. It didn't last very long, as Azeeze very quickly pulled his bow out and shot the poor creature. He just wanted to entertain, you stupid horse!
This seemed like a good time to have the Laugher show up. The fight was tough and brutal. Krunk was taken out twice, and Azeeze went down once as well. Things got close for them, but Fortune and some favorable dice kept them alive. Chert found a fancy orb to help him with his technomancy, and Shart picked up a decanter of never ending salt water.
Once the business from the first session was finished we skipped ahead in time. Rain came to Asylum, and eventually the magistrate did as well.
During the interlude, the group became rather loved in the town. They brought the rain back, and things were turning around for Asylum. Chert spent his time working with the orb and adapting it to help him with his magic experiments. Shart went about robbing things from the town, and manged to stay undetected. Aeryn kept an eye on his wife as she showed up every morning to collect food for the day from Adele at the Weary Traveler. He even spent his last coppers to get some chocolate dipped strawberries in her care package. Krunk found a job mucking pig slop for Margo in order to keep her cover for being in town. Azeeze pondered how well his business would do now that the crops were back.
Finally, the magistrate returned to town. This is going to be interesting. He was informed that the group had brought the rain back and he promptly invited them to dinner. Aeryn avoided him, as the magistrate would be sure to recognize his dead brother, and left a note for him asking him to meet in a secluded spot late at night. The dinner went well, though Shart did steal a geode from the magistrate's son. Chert made him happy by molding a bunch of stones into a toy sword. Jaren, the magistrate, was a gracious and generous host.
The following day, Margo was panicked when Krunk arrived at his farm for work. His pigs had been skinned and left to die in the barn. Krunk sent Margo to fetch the rest of the heroes of Asylum while she tried to track down the perpetrators. During her searching, she was attacked by a pair of bloody bones. Fortunately, Shart had been tailing her and he came to her aid. Unfortunately, the bloody bones were ferocious and too formidable. Krunk and Shart were knocked out.
Aeryn, Azeeze, and Chert arrived at the farm and heard a wet ripping sound coming from the fields. Concerned that they couldn't see Krunk, Azeeze pulled Chert up and the two of them charged into the field. When they got there, they found one of the bloody bones peeling the skin off Krunk's arm. Part of her face had been peeled off and was now pasted to the creature's shoulder. The two of them managed to scare the beast off, then tended to Krunk. With a little ingenuity, Chert fashioned a stone mask for Krunk to seal the wounds.
Krunk and Shart probably should have died here, but I was going for momentum here. The bloody bones would have run if they got outnumbered, but they were tough and took the two PCs out really quickly. The aftermath here felt much more fun than the two of them dying.
The group rested up for a couple of days, and the bloody bones had been sufficiently frightened off that they didn't claim any other victims. Once everyone was better, they headed off into the woods. The path was more difficult to follow, but Azeeze was up to the task. Eventually they ran into a camp of beastmen, but a clever ambush split the creatures up and made the fight much easier. In the camp they found the body of a man the creatures had been eating. Around his neck hung a strange pendant, that of a skull with a sword stabbed through it.
I delegated the responsibility of rewarding Fortune to my players. I hate having to remember to hand out rewards like Fortune and Inspiration. It is the last thing I'm thinking of when I'm running a game. Good thing for me, my players are all great. I knew I could give them the power to reward Fortune without being terribly concerned that they'd abuse it. I did reserve the right to veto any Fortune, though I didn't expect to use it. I also limited the amount of Fortune that could be handed out. Overall, it worked very well.
We got into a couple of big fights this time and combat moved along really well. The Laugher fight was tough, but they were level 0 characters going up against a hard monster. The group fight against the beastmen took more time that I'd expected, but they did roll really terribly. Things did get to be just a back and forth of rolling and missing toward the end, so I should have just routed the beastmen a turn or two earlier.
Things to remember
- Chert is using the orb to make his technomancy spells work. Reward this creative role playing.
- Shart has been stealing things from around town. This will eventually come back on him somehow.
- Aeryn would be recognized by people who knew him.
- Tomas, the magistrate's son (actually, Aeryn's son) really likes Chert.
- Chert has the salt water decanter.
- Krunk now has a mask made of stone and looks much more intimidating.