Thursday, April 15, 2010

HELGACON III - Valley of the Forgotten Kings

So this was the third event for me, and the second event I ran. My big wish would have been that I wasn't frikkin' sick, 'cos by this time I was really dragging. I was swilling Coke and trying to muster energy, but it was like it was draining out through my heels.

That said, I overall think it was a pretty good session. I just wish I had the energy to make it an AWESOME session. My players were Delta, Paul, Emily, Maggie, and Dave, and they all did pretty darn good. Delta and Paul played the brothers Jarib, and like brothers they had their moves down and were constantly feeding each other lines and jokes. Being old hands at the dungeon, it's not too surprising that they were the only characters who came through the whole thing intact. This is not to diminish the other players and their contributions. Heck, even dying in interesting ways adds to the fun, far as I'm concerned.

Overall, I was extremely gratified by how well the group overall was operating, 60% fatality rate aside. Everybody was figuring out puzzles and contributing to strategy and negotiations and such. One thing I'll say is that they managed to follow a very high yield path through the tombs, running into more useful than harmful encounters, especially when it came to gathering info about their surroundings.

As for stuff I'd improve, well, of course I'd have liked to have run this not half out of my gourd from exhaustion. There were points at which I let stuff drag on, like the initial party equipping, that I should have curtailed sooner, and stuff I kind of rushed through that I would have preferred to give more time in retrospect, like the effects of the Throne, for example. Wanting to end with a bang, I kind a shoved the party towards the throne room, for good or ill.

I felt a little like I gave Nabil's player the bum's rush in the fight with the scorpion, but I'll stand by it since circumstances were logical. (He stepped up into range to grab his familiar, and was exposed to the thing's attacks. I rolled randomly on who'd get stung and his unlucky number came up.) I probably should have stopped his replacement sha'ir from taking multiple seats in the Throne, but I guess it was fair enough for him playing multiple games of Russian roulette with the thing. I felt like Faridé's flash mummification at the very end was kind of a downer afterthought, since logically the character probably wouldn't want to park her keister in a throne full of angry snakes. But whatever, c'est la donjon...

Overall, the party worked thru about 30-45% of the Valley, which I set up as kind of a mini-sandbox type setting. I still love how much you can get done in a session of Labyrinth Lord, and again I found the system very easy to play and to write material for.

So that was my second foray behind the screen at this year's Helgacon. Thanks once again to my wonderful players for putting up with a seriously muddled DM. I hope you all had fun.

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