Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Cha'alt Play Report


I took time off from virtual gaming, like the entire lockdown.  That's 5 months.  

Partly, this was because I was finishing up Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.  The rest was due to my being mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted... I've been running my very own in-home daycare (ages 3-9).

Flush with excitement from updating my transparent aluminum (so light weight and durable) O5R house-rules / hack of D&D known as Crimson Dragon Slayer (arcade-mode, bitches!), I ran a 90-minute one-shot of Cha'alt on Roll20.

A couple people dropped out because my way of running 5e isn't RAW enough for them, but we still had a decent party of 4 1/2 players (one guy was late and didn't quite get the hang of the chat until the very end).

The reason I like fast and dirty character creation is because I want to get playing.  And if you get killed, go ahead and think of a new guy and jump back in the next scene.  Everyone's time is valuable.  If I know you're playing a chaotic elf fighter named Gera'ald with a penchant for tentacle cow-tipping, that basically tells me all the mechanical and flavor junk I need to know as the GM.

The PCs had been wandering for a few hours before coming to a well-known landmark in the desert wasteland known as S'kbah.  The adventurers stood on the edge of a sarla'ak pit, it's gaping mouth wide and sun-burnt tentacles writhing hungrily.

20' above floated a hover-skiff containing a prisoner, two Federation guards, and a man wearing all-black.  It appeared that the prisoner was going to be executed very soon.

After some chit-chat with the Federation people, a PC (pixie-fairy thief) flew up and helped the prisoner get his hands free.  Fighting soon commenced.  Weirdly, two of the players chose clerics as characters but only a single healing spell was cast the entire game.  Hand-crossbows versus blasters, the PCs were taking heavy losses.  Feeling cocky, the man in black ignited a purple laser-sword and jumped down to engage the party's only fighter - a reptilian named Drak'thiss.

I missed every single attack with the man in black, so he eventually fell after the PCs flanking him both rolled a critical hit.  In the meantime, the prisoner had run off.  

The survivors looted the bodies and started walking as night approached.  Replacement characters met up with the party and shortly after discovered the prisoner crawling on the sand, dehydrated and near death.

One PC helped him up and gave him water.  Everyone listened to the prisoner's promise of wealth and power if they kept him alive long enough to get off-world.  He mentioned the infamous black pyramid...

Two seconds later, another PC attempted to brain him with a mace.  He missed and the other PCs brushed it off with uncomfortable laughter, somehow unable to see the giant red flag being waved in front of their faces.  Next round, that same PC shot him point-blank in the head.  

A couple of the other PCs complained about their comrade's rash action, but they didn't take up arms against him.  And then we were out of time.

While I'm running the game, I try not to judge.  I may slightly nudge adventurers in a certain direction from time to time, but ultimately it's their choice.  

Now, that the game is over... well, let's just say mistakes were made.  Nothing was set in stone.  The scenario could have gone in one of a dozen different directions.  Next time I run the same scenario, it'll go a different way.  Always does.  

If you choose to GM your own introduction to Cha'alt, feel free to use that (completely and utterly original start-point), and ask me for further information on the NPCs, possible future plans, etc.


p.s. I still have 40-something luxury Cha'alt hardcovers left.  Want one before they're gone?  Here ya go, hoss!


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