It starts with a “D”


For starters, let me say this: when I anticipated doing the campaign write-up last time, I imagine that I would be in the same position this time, that of a player. As my last post illustrates, things have a way of changing.

To put it short, we not only had a lot of people, we had way too many people, about twelve we estimated. This is where we went into contingency mode, as it seemed rather mean to turn people away. So I did what I had to do, I stepped up to DM.

And this is coming from me, who swears they have enough on their plate already with the Star Wars campaign. But it wasn’t that difficult, to be honest. We came to descision to split the players between us, with a meet-up at the beginning to carry over from the last session, and a meet-up at the end for a rather big encounter.

There was a slight problem, my co-DM had okayed the invoking of player vs player, something that I was not okay with for reasons that deserve their own post. Of course, once such a thing had been given it is rather mean to take it away, so instead we set up the entire night to lead to this point where one group could turn against the other.

However, there was also the incentive (at least that was in the back of my mind) for both groups to put aside their petty differences and unite against a common enemy. No, not the Romans or the Judean People’s Front, someone named Marduk.

Marduk, in all his awesomeness! I just wish I had this on the night!

But, as is often the way with roleplaying games, things did not go according to plan. Or at least, the plan that I thought we were following. But more on that later, I’d like to say a few words on my own time with the smaller group.

The Convienently-Sized Corridors

Did I mention that I left my dice bag at home? And that’s with my new set of dice that I had only bought last week and was planning to roll for the first time on the night. They’re an official set, with an official dice bag, and they’re still in the plastic bag. So, I had to borrow another set of dice as well as some tokens to be the mooks. However, one of the most ingenious miniatures of the night just happened to be a clear plastic box.

I do wish they still looked like this!

Both parties had the same goal with differing pieces of information to be given (at least, that was the plan, as I didn’t give any out and my fellow DM gave out too much). We planned it to make sense, ending up with the dragon so everything else had to be rather dragonish. And this means my favourite kind of mook. The kobold.

The Monster Manual that I managed to borrow from another DM has a rather interesting write up on them, saying that kobolds will not only make traps but will lead their enemies into them.

And here is where I did a bit of seat of the pants DMing, there were two kobolds left after an encounter. I had those one’s flee, run down a corridor that I had set up a trap in, and stop just in front of the gelatinous cube at the other end.

I think this was the sweet spot, particularly when they spotted the cube and the trap in that order. One of the players threw a looted javelin and rolled a natural one, the javelin seemed to hang in mid-air. And then, when one of the players tried to attack the cube by throwing a lit torch at it, they failed and the torch instead landed on a pressure plate tiggering the trap.

And here’s another element: cubes are 2×2 squares, and the coridoor was two squares wide. I hadn’t planned on exactly when to use the cube, but when I noticed what I had done I could not resist.

The fight with the cube was rather long, as the things had over one hundred hit points and absolutely no sentience. One of the players suggested they cleaned the dungeons, and I would agree with him. They just sort of slurp around and swallow everything.

A few people did get eaten by it, which meant their mini got a turn inside the container. But it was a hard slog, harder than the dragon they said later, as they had to actually kill it.

There is something rather cool about them, I think.

How it didn’t end well

This was my first time co-DMing with someone, and I’m not sure I would do it again with the same adventure as the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. My co-DM gave her players all the information about the dragon, and this amulet (changed to a gauntlet without my prior knowledge) that could control it. Namely, there had to be a spilling of human blood. To add to that, she had also okayed player versus player.

Can you visualise the pandemondium that ensued?

The other team came in waving the gauntlet, which of course led to the dragon’s acolytes sending Marduk after him when he appeared. So of course, the mooks and the dragon targetted them. Rather than appeal for help, the players (at least one team) started attacking each other which resulted in the death of all of one team but one (who surrendered), the players killing one, the dragon killing three and eating two.

Marduk the dragon, without a scratch on him, I may add, then made a deal with the other team which was the result of a successful Diplomacy check: they could leave but were not allowed to touch his hoard.

So my carefully planned final encounter, which I had help from a DM in Spain the make it level-appropriate, was all for naught. Only one person made an attack against the dragon, and he didn’t roll high enough.

We also still have the problem of our large numbers, which we still have to resolve somehow.

On the flipside, on my first session I DMed I had four PC deaths.

But I want to run a game again, perhaps in addition to Star Wars. You can say that the Level 1 GM is now also the Level 1 DM.

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~ by katanageldar on March 29, 2010.

2 Responses to “It starts with a “D””

  1. Heh. Should have read this post before replying to the previous one…

    I find your comments about the gelatinous cube, well, amusing. Yes, they are intended to exactly fill the corridor. And, yes, they are designed to be garbage disposals for dungeons. That’s what they’ve been for generations. The difficulty of the kill has varied considerably from edition to edition. But, otherwise, you used them in exactly the classic manner. (The other nifty trick to do with them is have the only thing visible be a partially digested skeleton floating in “mid air” inside the cube.)

    I feel like the grandpa who just saw his grandson work out how to cast using his wrist instead of his shoulder….

  2. That sounded fun. Here’s advice from someone else who helped run a double GM/DM D&D game.

    Don’t do it!

    Split the players up. Play different games, if you can. Otherwise, just never have them contact each other. Maybe they should only meet up at ‘team HQ’ or something like that. But it’s a really bad idea for them to get involved in the same combat as each other. Pull a Return of the Jedi- One party in space, the other on the ground, one guy on the Deathstar.
    But for sakes, don’t have them all fighting Palpatine at once!

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