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OOC THREAD

Started by tomcat, Apr 21, 2015, 01:01 PM

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Telcontar

Paul,
 Here are my thoughts on the matter.

There were a couple of things holding me back during this adventure. The first is that my character didnt have the status or position to take part in the discussion. Everyone except Grimbeorn was kind of not in a position to effect the council directly. Also if I did try something and it was left to a dice roll then my skills in those areas would not have been much help either. So letting it ride on its own seemed like the best course of action.

I am also interested in the Mogred and he Ceawin story arcs, but here again I didnt see how we could impact them. We called Ceawin out in the council, but that didnt seem to have any impact one way or another and I didnt see how we could tie him with anything directly.

I was kind of confused a bit too. The visitation of Gandalf and the warning was leading me to believe that the threat was the machinations and infighting of men jockeying for power. Something I thought was in our power to sort out. The addition of the Wraith made Gandalf's warning out to be severely understated and in no way prepared to deal with, especially without Grimbeorn. Hathcyn and Laeral not being in the same 'weight class' as the other members of the party. But that fight was cool and fun to be the underdogs so that was a great part of the adventure, but Gandalf, damn man how about a little bit more to go on! I also completely missed the poisoning bit.

In terms of clues and following them I was trying to deduce the why and motivation and get to the root cause. We knew something was going on under the town, but I was trying to tie it to some of the power players. Meta game we know Saruman is spotty, so he was a lead, Ceawin of course was a lead, we had history with that guy. I think I was trying to find the why of the thing and not just the what. I think the issue was a question of focus I am not sure we knew completely from start to finish what we were trying to do or uncover. The social aspects of the council were hard to leverage and I was unsure what the stakes were or how they could be influenced. I tired to work indirectly on events by getting the dwarves spun up about Mogdred and the forest road, but I didnt get any traction with that. I didnt have the dice or standing to get involved directly and indirectly wasnt bearing any fruit either so it just started running in the background for me.

If the council of the north was the key piece we didnt seem to get anywhere with that either. We tried to paint it as a great opportunity, and maybe even a council with the authority to try Ceawin. I think there could have been more story with council and its impact on the north. An idea that just occurred to me is that you could have assigned out roles of the council members and we could have hashed out some agreements on the forum playing the council members instead of our characters for a scene or two.

Anyway, just some of my own thoughts on the subject, I think your assessment is valid and I agree with you.
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

tomcat

Jul 04, 2021, 09:24 AM #1696 Last Edit: Jul 04, 2021, 09:28 AM by tomcat
First let me start with the fact that as the GM that started the Lake-town thread, I had foresight into the Darkening of Mirkwood campaign and what was to happen during this Adventure Phase. It partially impelled my character's actions, as I kept waiting for it to happen. That said, I thought it had a great twist - although I do not know how the results of our encounters will tie to the overarching campaign going forward. I thought something HAD to happen in the books to spark some future part of the campaign, but I may be wrong.

As for the rest, I thought it was great. I was not surprised by the Nazgûl being there - it was hinted at early in the session. Gandalf's message was cryptic, but I knew that it hinted at the corruption of men and trying to turn us all against one another.

The one thing I will say is - it is a play-by-post game. Although much nicer for doing narrative and dialogue because you can more clearly hash out what your PC will say, or what they think (where you can't easily do that around a table), still it is amazingly hard to propel a story. Yes, players will pick up the thread and give good posts, but most of the time the player will not push a action forward, as they do not want to overstep the GM's control. I have watched and dealt with it now for 18 years on this site, and I do not say that with any disrespect.

It just is.

No, GM's do not want to railroad a story at all, but this format of play makes it necessary at times. To do it subtly is an art and I am not sure I ever had it ;), but we all keep coming back so the storytellers must be doing something right. ;D

But the GM must do a LOT of spoon feeding and at times write the path into the story for the players. I used to actually add either out of character notes that said, okay, you can go this way, this way, or this way. Or I used a character directly and spoke for them (thought for them) and did a small bit of the story resolution for them. If you don't the posts stop, the story stops, and the GM is wondering, "Okay what did they not see? What do I do to spark a post?"

I will say not to stress the loss of a player. I have a table full of buddies that have NO desire to join me in my play-by-post game but will sit every Tuesday for my live play game. This type of gaming is hard and it there is a lot of player turnover. The ones that like it stay and the others go. Think about it - I have had this site for 18 years and there are only four of us here.

The only problem player turnover creates is being stuck with the character they created. Sometimes it is an easy write out and others you may have to NPC - and that is not a bad thing. I always like having an NPC in the party so to pass GM hints through as character dialogue or narrative. I did it with Esgalwen, Fengel, and Edrahil in our Middle-earth stories, and others in the other game genres we played. I usually pick the one I think has the coolest backstory or provides the best mix in the party.

I think this answers what Tom was saying where his character didn't have the station to talk in the council, and so he did not know which way to go. I struggle with that at times, too, with Esgalwen being a stranger from the south - whether she has nobility there or not. Instead of giving Laeral to Matt, she could have been a good NPC to help 'guide' us through your story plot points.

So to end this long (maybe pointless) post - I thought it was a successful Adventure Phase. We had social interactions, conflict, and we pushed forward the overarching story. Having it not turn out the way you envisioned - well I think that is the plight of every GM whether they are using this format or sitting behind the GM screen at a table with friends.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Eclecticon

Quote from: Telcontar on Jul 04, 2021, 08:35 AMAn idea that just occurred to me is that you could have assigned out roles of the council members and we could have hashed out some agreements on the forum playing the council members instead of our characters for a scene or two.

I feel so stupid for not having thought of this at the time. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

tomcat

Are you still manning the ship, Paul? If so, that is cool. If not, let me know.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Eclecticon

Yeah, I'm cool to keep GM-ing.  I have what I hope will be some fun things to do in the next adventure, and I want a chance to regain my lost honour from this last one. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

GandalfOfBorg

Hey guys, getting back tomorrow from extended break to Washington.

The adventure I think went well myself.  Sometimes I didn't know which way to go, partly due to where I want take Grimbeorn.  I unfortunately had multiple time outs so I made things difficult for you.  It had great twists and turns, and boy did I suck at Laeral lol

Maybe a suggestion is to leave us with choices to make at the end of each of your expositions (improv-like "yes, and..." .  You did that a few times which I think is where we got going but we are also annoyingly experienced at gaming so that can lead us to analysis paralysis, partly why having a de facto or actual leader of the group to decide things can help... a group of equals is great but collaboratively is quick sand.

all-in-all no worries here, thank you for an interesting story.

Eclecticon

So, everyone... what's up?  It seems like we never talk any more, you know?  How are you all travelling as the pandemic recedes into the actually-quite-nearby distance? 

My family and I are back from the first holiday we've taken since last September.  Unfortunately, since our federal government has completely faceplanted on the national COVID vaccine rollout, we got locked down in a campsite in the mountains.  We couldn't visit the cafe we usually go to in a nearby town, and couldn't even go shopping to top up our groceries, so we were frantically improvising for food from Wednesday to Friday.  Then, to top it off, it rained pretty much solidly for the last 24 hours, including as we pulled our tents down and tried to pack everything in the car.  We arrived home last Friday afternoon and I think I got the last few things dry and packed away on Tuesday. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

GandalfOfBorg

For me, this trip over the 4th has been postponed for over a year so it was nice to finally have it.  Though over the time I've travelled late last year for a funeral and the flight inconveniences are worse now than then.  Otherwise, we've limited our travel to the state but going forward have plans for a couple cruises next year plus a road trip with my son later this year.

Eclecticon

Nice.   Where are you planning on going?
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

GandalfOfBorg

Road trip is out to the east coast, outer banks of north carolina, etc.
Cruise in Feb is western Caribbean.
Cruise in Sept is western Mediterranean.

also plan to canoe in the boundary waters with scouts in a few weeks.

Eclecticon

Wow, cruises - you're a brave man!  Though I guess they'd be cheap about now. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

Quote from: Eclecticon on Jul 07, 2021, 05:48 PMSo, everyone... what's up?  It seems like we never talk any more, you know?  How are you all travelling as the pandemic recedes into the actually-quite-nearby distance? 

My family and I are back from the first holiday we've taken since last September.  Unfortunately, since our federal government has completely faceplanted on the national COVID vaccine rollout, we got locked down in a campsite in the mountains.  We couldn't visit the cafe we usually go to in a nearby town, and couldn't even go shopping to top up our groceries, so we were frantically improvising for food from Wednesday to Friday.  Then, to top it off, it rained pretty much solidly for the last 24 hours, including as we pulled our tents down and tried to pack everything in the car.  We arrived home last Friday afternoon and I think I got the last few things dry and packed away on Tuesday. 

This sounds like one of our journeys with failed travel rolls!
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Eclecticon

It's certainly given me a new appreciation of a permanent roof!  I have to say, though, that the kids bore up much more stoically than I'd expected.  Going past the point of 'well, fuck it - everything's damp and muddy and there's no point in pretending otherwise' definitely helped. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

GandalfOfBorg

FYI I will be incommunicado Tuesday into the following week up in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota on a lake, in a canoe, fighting fish, swatting at flies and mosquitos, and hoping the Canadian fire doesn't jump into the US.

Eclecticon

Cool, thanks for letting us know.  Would you like anyone else to take over Grimbeorn?

Doug, I'm sorry for kinda not responding to you letting us know that you've been in pain - are you doing okay now, mate?
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet