Here is Episode 8 of our Made Men DnDNext Play test game.
In the last episode most of the time was spent bringing the party together. Eventually everyone met up at Yomi’s apartment. The fact that Yomi had a Rex addiction was already beginning to surface, but it hit the fan when he had an overdose. In this Episode the Party tries to keep Yomi alive despite some challenges (many of them self-inflicted).
We are also introduced to the Silent Sisters, a gang of female assassins. For more on them, see the spoiler section below.
As always, comments and feedback (both here and on iTunes) are appreciated.
**************You may want to listen to the episode before you read below here************
A couple things happened this game I’d like to comment on from a DM’s perspective.
One of the things we’ve commented on this site and podcast multiple times is the fact that the PC’s never do what you think they will. Rob, who plays Yomi, and I had a conversation about his Rexan addiction. I think it was his idea for him to OD, but I took the idea and ran with it. Certainly Pulp Fiction was used a creative springboard (I do think the scene played out very much like the movie – to an extent, anyway). I had assumed that since Yomi lived over a herbalist shop that it would be fairly easy to get him the antidote and then pave the way for some cool role play as they do an intervention and he went through detox/withdrawl. However, Niko as Grexil, had killed two guards earlier so when he went down stairs (because he thought he was protecting Zaine) it created a new set of problems that made it more difficult for them to get the antidote. I could have just caved as the shopkeeper and given them the antidote, but in the moment it felt right to be an Ass to him since he was being an Ass to me (though in hindsight, I doubt the shopkeeper would have really reacted that way to the 8′ tall mutant killing machine!).
So, instead of this being a quick little moment it turned into a very tense scene. Grexil and Wang got to have some battle that night. Once Zaine and Yomi were running I decided to bring in the Silent Sisters. I had decided they would attack the party at some point, but it seemed like the dramatically appropriate time to do it when the party was separated (we spent almost the entire last episode separated, then right when they get together they split again!!).
This was the first contact this party had had with the Silent Sisters (though the PC’s would have known about them), but the players had fought them before. If you are keeping score you know that this game was originally designed as a one-shot in the same world as my previous game. In the original game the PC’s were attacked by the Silent Sisters while visiting the Dwarven City of Thronhold (this city will likely become important in the current game soon). The Silent Sisters use weapons from left over Ghiss technology (essentially hand guns and shot guns). They also have access to devices that create a bubble of silence (similar to the spell Silence). These devices, however, absorb the sound and eventually will overload and explode. In this game after the Sisters are defeated Alicia takes this devices and runs away with it. Not sure the Players caught on, but this was me telling them that she knew what the device was.
One of the other points I wanted to make was about the Silent Sister battle. An observant listener might notice that the very first attack on Zaine by the Silent Sisters did over 20 points of damage to him, which was over 50% of his total HP. There was never an attack of that magnitude again. I’ll admit it, I fudged the dice a little in his favor. I wanted the scene to be tense, but I didn’t want to kill two characters (if Zaine had gone down, Yomi would have died too). The reason I want to talk about this is because I feel that it is very important that Players know their PC’s can and will die. Once the game looses that risk of failure and PC’s can just re-spawn like in Halo then I think the Players react differently. It’s like playing poker for no money. Everyone is going to go all-in and call because there’s no reason not too.
Having said that I choose to make sure Zaine didn’t die in that battle for a couple reasons.
1. I didn’t think it would be fair for Yomi to die without having any chance to fight back himself. I’m a stickler for the story to run organically and i’d rather fudge a die roll here and there than to destroy continuity and have Assassin’s choose not to kill the guys they were sent to kill for no reason.
2. I wanted to show the players that there was more to Alicia than meets the eye (no, she’s not a Transformer!) but from the beginning I’ve had in mind that she had some big secrets, more than even Grexil knew. I did not know that Zaine would take Yomi to her, but it worked so well I couldn’t resist using her as the Deus Ex Machina in this battle and allow her to save the day. I think that reveal overshadowed the fact that Zaine was spared. At least for me, it worked out and I’m happy with it.
Michael – AKA Mumbles
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