Telengard session # whatever: DMing fatigue ho!

Cripes, three sessions in a week (Thursday, Saturday, & Wednesday).  I’m afraid my DMing fatigue may be showing.  I am not even sure if this was session 25 or 26…I think 25.  I originally posted the AnCon session as #25 but looking at my notes maybe it was 24…oh whatever.

The party accepted a mission to find out whatever they could about the impending the pirate raid, and set off on horseback toward Porttown, stopping off at Puddington, the halfling village,where they asked some questions and considered taking the river rather than the road, just in case the pirates were already on their way.  In Porttown they went to the roughest bar they heard about, and started a ruckus in order impress the locals.  Things were going pretty well with that plan except that Quinly, the halfling drew a dagger and Grumble seemed on the verge of drawing a weapon too (he felt justified because one of the sailors in the brawl had a gaff hook and had entangled his sleeve with it…”That’s a weapon!”)  Garmin, the new guy’s magic-user, used a Sleep spell to end the fight quickly, and Grumble began waking the downed sailors, one at a time, to beat them unconscious again.  That struck me as remarkably inappropriate even for a bar fight in a rough bar, and they came close to having the entire bar turn on them.

The party managed to set up a meeting on a pier with some pirates, pretending to want to sign on to a crew, and after some negotiations they managed to get on.  As soon as they got some info about the captain’s plans, though, Grumble admitted he was not going to become a pirate and the inevitable fight on the pier broke out.  Things went pretty well for the party, but when the pirate captain fell, the rest of his men lost morale and began to flee.  One of the crew lit a fuse on a powder keg and jumped off the pier.  The PCs figured the keg must be some kind of weapon, and tossed it in the water after them.  It still blew up, though (I gave it a 7 or less on 2d6 to be doused but rolled high).  The explosion injured some of the folks on the pier and killed the magic-user.  The party looted the pirates and killed one pirate who had been slept by Garmin in the fight, at which time the harbor watch appeared demanding answers.  The party went along with them but when the guards went to place Grumble’s Hammer of Thunderbolts in a lock-up, he grabbed it and I found that 1st and 2nd level guards can barely touch a PC in full plate armor. I have occasionally been on the other side  of the screen in these kinds of situations, and the usual DM tactic is to just bring out bigger and bigger guards until the party is defeated, but I had decided ahead of time that the Porttown authorities were nowhere near as tough or competent as those in Skara Brae, and realized too late why so many towns in game worlds have weapons restrictions.  So, the guard backed down and allowed Grumble and the party to leave, as persona non grata.  They never really gave a convincing explanation as to why they were there and were completely unapologetic about killing people on the pier, and the damage to the pier; they just argued “these guys were pirates and we did you a big favor.” Oy.  On their way out of town they remembered they had gear at the inn and their fallen comrade Garmin.

On the way back, traveling at night, they ran into some bandits, and lost a horse.  By this time I was losing interest in the game due to all the complaining I’d been listening too about how the NPCs were not reacting as the players thought they should, and how the party was being screwed by the authorities (I thought of it as being met with skepticism, as strangers who’d just blown up the place), and wah wah wah.

Anyway I’ve learned quite a bit from this.  I’d painted my self into a corner with the whole pirates subplot, and failed to really plan an adventure around it.  Part of it I think is the party’s fault for not being proactive about the whole thing and basically waiting to be told what to do about it, but the larger issue is that while I’m pretty comfortable running a dungeon or wilderness adventure, adventures in town can be a massive headache and require a different approach, which I’m not good at yet.  I don’t care for cities in real life so maybe that should be expected.  Also I am chalking a lot up to DM fatigue, and the fact that I’m feeling a little head cold coming on.

Oh, and did I mention we had a tornado scare?   I don’t think one touched down but a funnel cloud was spotted about a mile or less away from my house, and the sirens were blaring, and we spent the first part of the evening watching the news and huddling in the basement.  It scared the bejeezus out of my daughter at first, but after a while everyone’s calm and humor won out and she relaxed.  There was some damage around town but nothing serious.

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Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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