Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Painted into a corner


First, a huge "Thank you!" to everyone who watched and commented on my recent youtube video.  The video, for those who have seen it (I've included it below for reference), left an important nugget of information out, such as this is D&D Carcosa... not Call of Cthulhu.  Yeah, that makes a wee bit of difference.  Oops.

Even though I knew there were plenty of options, I wanted to do something special, something new - to challenge myself as a Dungeon Master.




So many choices out there!  I could have had the party fight and get killed or run away, used the Primoridal One to control them via some kind of possession or threat of annihilation, made the godling temporarily weak and susceptible to their desires, or a dozen other options.

I chose to have the adventurers see, up close and personal, the nature of this thing.  First, it let out an ear-piercing shrieking roar which made everyone cover their ears in order to prevent hearing damage.  Then, the shambling Primordial One possessed the NPC shaman who summoned it, and forced him to cut his own throat as he had just done to the Ulfire woman a few minutes before.  Following that, it swung its monstrous tentacles and took out part of a mountain range (it was about 20 - 25 stories tall), showing it to be hollow and containing some kind of advanced technology.  Lastly, the thing reached its tentacles out to one of Carcosa's moons, as if willing the satellite on a collision coarse with the planet itself.

At this time, 5 dimensional gateways appeared nearby.  A single gate would bring the PCs home - where the Primordial One would follow them, of course.  The rest, doorways to various temporal states.  Traveling through time, in other words.  The cleric prayed for guidance.  He wanted to know where the gateway home was.  They did that, the godling peeled back a layer of reality.  The party split up.  One group stayed in their native world to raise an army.  The second group went back to Carcosa, attempting to stop the Lovecraftian horror.

The second gateway brought them to 15 minutes before the party reached the stone godling.  Naturally, they tried to stop themselves from completing the ritual.  There was a group of Ulfire Men who were trying to awaken the Old One before the PCs originally arrived.  As you can imagine, the notion of disrupting the chronology of events and their repercussions came up.  Every PC who was there took their own unique tactic - from engaging their previous selves to capturing the Ulfire female sacrifice.  I handled things as best I could.

After an initial exploration of the hollow mountain and the weaponized craft it contained, Group #1 was able to raise an army, and those PCs had fun doing that.  Group #2 managed to prevent the Primordial One from being made flesh in the first place via their trip to the recent past.  Finally, I waved my DM hand and made everyone reappear in Carcosa at the present time.

The confidence and drive to get started on a game plan eluded me.  Waiting until the last possible moment (two hours before the game's start) isn't usually how I conduct my DM business.  And yet, I knew that if I prematurely decided on a course of action, it would not have been as epic nor as awesome as last Saturday's adventure.  Drawing it out somehow led to an outside-the-box idea where I was able to safely get out of the way to paint the corner where I had just been standing.

Next session might be the end of Carcosa.  It's a great setting, but I also feel the need to get back to traditional D&D environs (more or less).  Yes, I miss the dungeon.


VS