Rise of the Runelords

Session 12: Player’s Thoughts; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Chapter Three: The Hook Mountain Massacre

Contributed by Chris

In a review I buy every month for video games, they have a section called The Good, the Bad, and Ugly. Thus I thought I would try to include a similar review for this campaign. No pulling punches this time. Note that what comes next is my opinion and not fact necessarily. To those who this concerns, try not to take anything too personally.

<u>The Good</u>

There has been a lot of good in this campaign. For starters, our party is another unique blend of personalities. In Libra you have a classic rogue. Money is one of his passions. He is a mix of man who always seems to be balancing on the edge of a sword whether its with his friends or his enemies. Libra is a man who despises religion, no matter what deity, and yet appreciates anything that pure nature created. He is a mix of several personality traits. At times he strives for self-preservation. Yet when the need arrises, he will place his small form in front of the healer to protect her, or run into the breach to stand against any number of odds, even if it means his death. For the moment, he seeks cash to fund his own thiefs guild. And yet he seeks funds to raise Sheilu back from the dead as well.

For Tirion, it is not the varrying styles that make him important, as much as the damage any style dishes out. They are very powerful and if it wasn't for regular 40+ damages, we would all be making characters to replace our dead ones.

Vala's healing is more important than Tirion's damage. With a near inexaustible supply, she keeps us all alive as was made evident even more during this last session. In every battle, it is a race to see if we can down the enemies before Vala has to dimension door us out once her healing does run dry.

The printed maps are great! It's nice to have all the clear details before us.

Bob as a DM is great! Given how much time has passed since he last Dmed, it was a concern on my mind to see how he would fair. So far so good. Little tweaks to rules fit in seemlessly and there has been very little conflict over anything.

Particulary last session, Bob was very realistic in the spells he threw at us. Sometimes as DM's we are tempted to use spells against players that we know they are not immune to. However Bob kept it real and threw enchantment spells at us and even lightening bolted a near dead ogre to hit us, something that any boss would do in a second if it meant killing ones enemies.

<u>The Bad</u>

Although the campaign has been great, the links between chapters sometimes seem a little blurred. It seems like we are sometimes just jumping from adventure to adventure sometimes, rather than chapter to chapter. Case in point was saving the Keep. All of our characters were pretty much ready to retire as realistically, everything seemed solved. Only after the lamia and her 7 pointed star showed up did there seem to be a link. And what of the Foxgloves? Is that over, or is there more coming? I'm sure there is much going on in the background that we simply haven't discovered yet. I know this because this is exactly how the next campaign that I will run is paced out.

Critical hits on halflings, very bad. It seems like Libra gets hit and criticaled a lot more than statistics should allow. This is not dice fudging from the DM, just bad luck against poor Libra.

On that same note, both Libra's and Tirrion's armor classes suck. That is the conclusion I have to draw as our enemies have pretty high attack bonuses, needing a miracle not to hit us.

Sneak attack. Thank god I have the feat to sneak attack on critical hits, else I would never be sneak attacking; the basis I built my character around. The campaign maps seem built for close quarters fighting meaning no way to flank enemies. The adaptable flanker was supposed to help in such cases but so far, I've used it very little.

Unlucky attack rolls for Libra this past session. I've a pretty high attack bonus, particulary with ranged weapons and still I missed most of the time. Probably would have been better just to have Tirion go nuts with his sword as he had a much better chance to down ogres with one hit thanks to his high critical range. I needed a 19 with the dagger and 20 with the sling.

In the beginning of the campaign it was nice to see Vala being rollplayed as this elder who was given the gift of youth thanks to her good needs. However that rollplaying element and her dedication to Serenrae has become completely lost since then. Vala has been reduced to the roll of a healer, but she is SO much more than that. I would think than her god brought her back to do more than just keep a warblade and silly halfling from getting themselves killed.

<u>The Ugly</u>

Nearly dying twice in two rounds thanks to a power attack ogre. To be twice only 3 hit points away from dying was about as ugly as its become this campaign. Even worse, the ogre wanted to finish the job, something we've never had in our other adventures. Obviously there was a reason, other than the lamia thinking Libra slew her sister. I hope so anyway.

The session before Tirion dropped early on in the last battle. Because Vala couldn't get to him and Libra was desperately fighting off the enemies, poor Markus could do nothing but doze as there was nothing he could do.

It will be a major headache to convert the next pathfinder campaign to 4E as I said I would do. This is starting to make me rethink that decision. Every NPC has to be redone with their classes being changed to the new system and replacing classes that no longer exist. Equipment, tactics, and enemy numbers, all need to be changed.

Staying on the 4E subject, from what I understand, battle will be more epic. After this past session though, my fear is that they might become too epic. Even though this past session was one battle, it was a lot of fun. However, my fear is that if it had been a 4E battle, then it would have lasted another three sessions, which might not have been fun.

<u>So on, so on, an so forth</u>

We have the rest of this campaign, the three Ptolous back-to-back campaigns, and possible return to Key of Destiny coming up. That means that when it comes time for me to DM my next campaign, my godson (who just turned 2 years old) could be starting 2nd grade.



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