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Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Dungeons & Dragons Tuesday #3
I woke up this morning with the best idea for our games. At least, best idea for my daughter. I think I've mentioned that she's been painting minis for games, but we're not playing the game physically. I felt bad, because what are we going to use all these minis for that she loves to paint? Then it clicked - Photograph her minis and use them IN GAME! I knew they'd need raptors today and I couldn't find a good picture that I liked, so I photographed my daughter's two raptor minis against a black backdrop. Then I sent them to my husband to turn the background invisible. They turned out AMAZING!
Preparing for today, though, was another day of nervousness, because I feel like I don't live up to what my players want. Sadly, a bomb was dropped when we started that day's adventure.
It started out with my husband listing off all these places and people they wanted to look for and talk to. I was taken aback, because these were not places or people I created in the town (ex: Necromancer, Mage Quarters). It was at this time that I also realized my players have their own "player chat." That's where they discussed these things, but I had not been made aware of what they were going to be looking for. I asked in the future to know about those things, because either they are something I can accomodate or you're in a place where they just aren't.
We started out the adventure with some breakfast. The two men stayed at the inn and ate, but myself and my daughter's character, Rose, both went to the fish market to get some fresh fish. Being Tabaxis, it felt like a stereotypical cat thing to go get fish for breakfast, but that's alright, because it made my daughter happy. I had her roll some D20s to see what kind of fish experience she'd have. Two normal fish and then two interesting fish. We found some exotic fish livers which were, as I described, sweet and delicious. The second exotic fish Rose dropped down her gullet before she even realized what it was. I made it a fish that creates oil to help people throw up. Ha!
The two men, after they were done eating, did some guide shopping on the board at the inn. The picked Azaka Stormfang out of the three available. Then it was time to stop at the Grand Coliseum to see if they could find a mage or a necromancer. The four characters met up and went to see what they could find. I had to divert them away from that, so they instead went shopping.
While in their market, they met Azaka and I tried to play it cool, but confident. I think they got that. Then a parrot pooped on Rorik. It was an event roll! So he declared he needed to take a bath and they went to the bathhouse. We needed to explain the bathhouse to our daughter and it was so awkward. She just went with the flow, until I made people roll for fart bubbles. Haha! You had to roll strength to keep your butt cheeks clenched, but then my daughter pointed out that cats and bulls don't have butt cheeks. So I rolled for Milly and she let out a stream of tiny bubbles. I thought it was really hilarious.
To add to the awkward, this is where I made them meet the husband of a man who was falsely arrested. At this point in my game my daughter was getting restless, but also wasn't engaging in the game. It felt very much like a game between me and my husband. So my husband pushed her to go and talk to the poor, naked, crying man. He shared his story about his teacher husband being sent to the Executioner's Run and that he was falsely accused of stealing. He offered them money and everything, but the group didn't bite. Instead they thought about it after the guy had left the bathhouse. We're all still trying to get a feel for each other, but I'm struggling pinning the two dudes. I know my daughter wants to help, but she's being shy about speaking up. I think the guys are trying to get her to do that. We'll keep working on it.
After the bath, it was around noon and the characters went back to The Grand Coliseum. I finally just had to quick make a necromancer, who I named Utchara Vlall. Utchara gave them information about Szass Tam and Lt. Valindra Shadowmantle. If I had had time, I probably could have located more meaningful information to share, but that's the best I could do on the fly. That also now means I have to get more information on the Red Wizards of Thay. Boy do I have quite a bit of work to do there.
Once the characters seemed pleased enough with that information, they felt they should go check out the Executioner's Run and see how likely they might be to save this teacher guy who is potentially innocent. I'll tell you know I'm horrible with math, but Friend Jim (Rorik) is really great at the numbers and gambling. So I had him do the betting numbers. I told him the three different betting types and let them bet as they saw fit. I really don't know how to bet or do stuff like that, but I at least had planned for it, sort of. Again, another area where I felt inadequate, even though I knew it would make my players happy to have some sort of interesting gambling. I wanted to put restrictions on some of the stuff they did, but I let it slide, because, for now, it wasn't hurting anyone. I'm learning while they go along, too. Besides, what they did could be a lesson noted by the guards to not let it happen again (even though you know it's happened).
Everyone, except Milly, placed bets, and then they all got into the bit to run it out. I chose to make it a multi-person run instead of a solo person run. It didn't go quite how I had envisioned, but I think it was still fun? The raptors were released after the first movement of the characters. The bummer side, for me, was that the raptors all rolled initiative lower than everyone! So I wasn't able to stager their movements, etc. Suffice to say, everyone made it out alive, but there were some casualties.
The group saved the man and won some money and were approached about collecting a debt by another NPC. A complaint was issued by one of my players that they'll never get to the expedition if they keep being approached. Ouch... but I left it at that, because I, too, want them to start exploring. There was no time limit on the activity and was a simple "locate man and collect debt."
Luckily, they chose which guide they were going to go with and that'll make planning next time easier. They're going with River Mist and Flask of Wine, instead of Azaka. I thought that was an interesting choice, but I'm totally fine with it. I had already rolled that whichever guide they chose would get this super sweet boat I found.
Next time the Tomb of Annihilation group gets together will be the day before my daughter's 10th birthday! I think we will be giving her the Wyrmwood gift for that game night. I also love that they'll definitely be going into the jungle, because I have the dinosaur cats prepared! I think it's going to be a really great birthday for her, even though it's the day before.
I'm getting better at the GMing, it just takes a little while to get into the flow again. I tend to fumble, but really it's a vehicle for the others to have fun and not worry so much about me. And we had fun!