Last night, I ran yet another 90-minute one-shot within the Cremza'amirikza'am megadungeon on Roll20. That's nothing new. I'm probably up to a Devil's dozen by now.
It was a night game. So, that was new. I borrowed my daughter's magenta lamp, turned the lights off, put on some dark ambient music and did my thing.
The way I introduced the session was also new. I thought it would be funny if the "meet and get plot hook in a tavern" trope was tweaked a little. So, the PCs were summoned to a strip club. And it was so loud and distracting that the PCs didn't really hear or remember what they were supposed to do, other than get something from someone in Cremza'amirikza'am.
The last bit of newness came from the weird state of consciousness I was in (not totally baked). Unconsciously, I probably take on aspects of other people when I'm GMing (as if I'm also roleplaying right along with the players), but last night was on a whole other level.
I consciously became a hybrid of myself and Rick from Rick and Morty while I was GMing. And I had a quick conversation with myself, asking me if I was being Rick in a joking ironic way, or if I was committing to the bit and was pretending, acting as if I really was Rick, except in my body with my knowledge of the game.
Yeah, it was trippy. But the session was fun, at least from my perspective. The players said they had a good time, too, but let's be honest here. Can we ever truly know how players feel about the games we run? If they stop attending, that's a dead giveaway. But sometimes I wonder if I know the full story. And then, sometimes, when I'm feeling deeply cynical and jaded, I ask myself if it matters... if I really care what they think.
After all, am I not above everyone else? Literally, the messiah? The One? The magus to end all magi!
There I go again, or maybe residual Rick fluid, chartreuse or fuchsia (?) hasn't been flushed clean just yet? Or perhaps I've contracted some awful GM disease from that Alexis dude's blog. Gross!
Anyway, I was showcasing a new part of Cremza'amirikza'am - the predominantly demon city called Lex Talionis. Think of Escape From New York mixed with A Clockwork Orange, except with a lot more demons walking around.
I've got some more work to do on it, but what I presented had a real impact, I think. A lot of flavor. Maybe it was the lighting and music and drugs, but it felt kind of real.
One way of determining immersion, in my view, is to gauge how many missed opportunities there were in a session. Mostly from the players perspective, but there's a case to be made for the GM, too. If the world is vast and rich, there will be dozens of avenues, alternative ways where things can go. Realizing missed opportunities makes us feel slightly annoyed, like we missed out on something. But that's the way life is. That's reality. It's weird to think that lessening a certain amount of enjoyment in one area can increase the amount of enjoyment we feel in another, but I think that's the way it works.
Feel free to weigh in on that... or anything else, by the way.
Eventually, the PCs march up to the Big Bad of that particular level. Realizing, I hope, that they were severely under-prepared, the adventurers tricked the Demon Lord Null into hiring them to assassinate the dude who sent them to Cremza'amirikza'am in the first place.
One sack of gold later, the PCs were looking for a way out of the megadungeon.
There was a really brief combat at the session's beginning and another right before the end. The second combat began with a surprise attack, but the first full round I let the PCs crit on a 19 because two of the players rolled 19s and time was running out.
Was it a fudge? Maybe, who cares? I'm the GM, the god of all gods. I do what the fuck I want, bitch! Yeah, some Rick is still lodged inside me somewhere.
As you can tell, I'm trying to keep the length of this blog post manageable, as well as, avoiding spoilers. If you really want to smell the inside of Cha'alt adventure, play in one of my games.
Have a great weekend! I'll announce another Roll20 session sometime next week. Follow me on Twitter, MeWe, and YouTube [speaking of which, here's a related video entitled Game Master Persona] for notifications. Also, keep visiting my blog.
p.s. I'm running a sale on luxury hardcover Cha'alt books (limited edition, signed and numbered). $50 for one or $90 for both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise within the USA (foreign shipping is an extra $30 for one book and $50 for two).
Physical book purchases get you free PDFs, as well. Paypal me at: Venger.Satanis@yahoo.com