Author Topic: Second Game  (Read 1165 times)

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 31731
  • Karma: 131
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Second Game
« on: June 16, 2019, 06:01:28 PM »
So, my second testing one-shot, entitled "even doves cast a shadow", happened, and I think it worked well enough :)

As a mystery story I think the plot here worked out quite well and didn't feel like it had too many obvious holes in it - the players expended quite a lot of resources in their efforts, but in a one-shot that's OK and expected. The final battle, a setup where the players had to hold off the called monsters of the main villain, worked pretty neatly as I'd planned it, though very fortunately I decided to give them eight rather than ten turns to hold out - a decision made because we'd have overrun badly on time otherwise, but also helpful because ten turns would've killed them. I generally managed to poke the players in the right direction enough but still have them come up with some of their own solutions which I wasn't expecting (stunning the fungi was smart, creative use of the beast handling skill on the Kalade and of falconry commands in the final battle too). There's definitely a particular thing for one-shots of having to keep the players on more of a track, but they were good about taking that track in the spirit it was intended so credit to them

I still didn't get into doing more detailed combat stuff as I'd hoped after the last game, but the players once again generally avoided fighting. I think the combat was successfully cinematic, though I was finding it a lot to think through in my head. In the final battle I did manage to let Clara/Robin use the "defend" action though I got how it was meant to work wrong (mea culpa), though my on the fly version fortunately worked fine. I definitely forgot to worry about or explain called shots and didn't use the ganging up rules - the latter probably a good thing. Toughness makes a big difference in Savage Worlds, I'm rapidly finding - the difference between a T4 and a T5 enemy is really very significant for a first-level, low strength character fighting with a dagger. This in turn makes decisions on how to equip/stat up enemies pretty important. I suspect this starts to become less of an issue and the fights get quicker and more deadly once you hit 2d6 being a more normal damage level, but I quite liked the desperate, low-power, defensive nature of the final fight in this one, which fitted the atmosphere I'd hoped for.

I think I possibly could've done with lower character complexity - I didn't have the time I wanted to really build up all eight or nine NPCs who turned up. Having to go through the basics of how religion works in this setting was a lot to dump on the players as well, though they handled it admirably. I need better notes on what information to give the PCs in future - I should probably have given them a hint about the knockers somehow, which wouldn't have been hard to do.

And here's the actually fairly long writeup of everything that happened:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 06:23:46 PM by Jubal »
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Ierne

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 183
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • DeviantArt
    • Awards
Re: Second Game
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2019, 05:08:08 PM »
I don't have very much to compare this to, given that the only RPG saga I follow is a very dramatic hundred-year epic about exiled Drow destined to save the world.
But I really enjoyed reading the write-ups for both this and the first game :) the sense of mystery was really well developed in both, and they didn't feel predictable. I was fairly sure one of the monks was going to turn out to be behind the theft, but the plot to get to that point was nicely twisty; and the riddles were fun to have. In the first game, I really did not see the trapped water elemental coming at all.
I would say overall I prefered the second one, just because the various plot episodes seemed to fit together better, and there was a greater sense of atmosphere. And giant death polecats, which were great.
I would very much enjoy reading further installments from this universe :)

(And this isn't really a proper criticism, seeing as I'm not used to the universe yet, but I did keep forgetting what a Hanau was and getting them mixed up with C.S.Lewis' Hrossa, which are sapient otters XD ).

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 31731
  • Karma: 131
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Second Game
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 08:49:34 PM »
The Hanau are named for a people from Easter Island folklore: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanau_epe :)

But yes, it's one of those in-world terms - they're sufficiently not quite elves that I felt I could get away with/should use a different word.

And I'm glad you enjoyed reading them! I'm not sure where I'll be going with this next - I'd like to run a full campaign, but that's dependent on me having time, which is not a strong point for me lately... the various monsters I've designed have gone well and I have a fair bunch of setting notes being collected too, so at some point I'd like to collect a setting primer type thing together. Need more material for that though. Possibly also I need to write up how some things work; I have some quite specific ideas slowly forming on e.g. the difference between clerical and arcane magic in this setting, and the limits on magic, which should maybe be written up.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Ierne

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 183
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • DeviantArt
    • Awards
Re: Second Game
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 11:36:47 PM »
The Hanau are a great concept, and I really like settings with non-traditional fantasy races. I'm interested in why you went for a mix of traditional and non-traditional - why Hanau but still Dwarves?  (Very legitimate if the answer is just that you really, really like Dwarves, which  I remember you do :) )

I'd be really interested in hearing more about the setting at some point, especially the landscape and culture :)


Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 31731
  • Karma: 131
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Second Game
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 11:53:26 PM »
So, the idea of this setting is that it's kind of generic in some ways - like, I want it to be close enough to the staples of the genre that I can use them - but also I can't resist putting twists onto things.

I think the reason why the dwarves are still dwarves is less because they lack any twists, more because those twists are created by internal subdivision rather than a whole-species change. The dwarves and humans are the two really widespread and diverse species/peoples in this setting, and both of them have a lot of different cultural etc variations with their own names - I think there's about six cultures I worked out within dwarf society (and a lot of those are fusiony cultures because "dwarf society" in most areas is not a sealed bubble from "human society", the two largely coexist). The Hanau meanwhile are simply fewer in number and more culturally cohesive which means there's sort of more difference because the cultural and species differences all turn up together? (I could have renamed my gnomes for the same reason as they're quite monocultural, but gnomes are sufficiently not-quite-everywhere that I don't think I need to, and I feel like they could actually do with more airing as a serious-ish fantasy species/race.)

Also yes I should get the map sorted!
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Ierne

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 183
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • DeviantArt
    • Awards
Re: Second Game
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 12:47:25 AM »
I like the idea of Dwarven and human communities coexisting and being mutually influenced, its an interesting change from Dwarves being purely cave dwellers and kinda isolated. Tolkien suggests situations like this in the Hobbit, but the concept doesn't get developed much bc everyone starts fighting :P

I agree with keeping genre familiarity- I'm writing in a very different universe to doctor who, but I like keeping time travel concepts that fans are used to thinking in, because the show is so iconic.