The #RPGaDay 2016 train rolls out of the station, ready to bear all on its journey to the end of August! Woo hoo!
2) Best game session since August 2015?
This is a tough one. I’ve had a lot of great sessions at conventions, including Gamehole Con in Madison and GaryCon in Lake Geneva, but I think my best single game session was with my home group. I’ve got a (semi)regular Friday night game going, and we’ve had an influx of new people lately so I thought it would be a fun idea to run them through my WRATH OF THE KOBOLDS series for D&D 5th Edition.
The players were a mix of veterans and newbies, and I decided to set the campaign in Mystara. Why Mystara? Why not? There’s a wealth of information available regarding the Known World, specifically a lot of really cool maps, and I could if I wanted drop in some of the BECMI modules I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve also never played in it so this was good opportunity to adapt the WK modules to the setting.
We actually recently wrapped up the series, but I think the highlight session for me was actually a TPK (!) that was salvaged into a rescue mission. The players had gone through WK0 Night of the Mad Kobold and by SHEER LUCK stopped the kobold bomber without much destruction. They then proceeded to the town of Ormkirk to rescue kidnapped townsfolk (starting WK1 Caves of the Kobold Queen) and they bravely set out into the Talon Hills to find the menaces. A few random encounters with feral weasel swarms and bandits gave them some problems, but eventually they came to the cave marked on their map.
Kobolds, when played smartly, can be deadly opponents, and my players were not expecting the beating they took when they came into the cave. The wild dogs and pit traps kept the party pinned down from the outset while the kobold warriors used their slings to plink away at their hit points. The pitched battle in the cave took a turn when the group’s lupin wizard cast fog cloud, perhaps a bit later in the combat than was helpful, and everyone’s visibility dropped. The wild dogs managed to take the wizard down, dropping the cloud, and even the armored dwarf cleric went down under the hail of sling bullets.
The lupin ranger and human rogue decided to beat a hasty retreat, though the ranger was taken out on the way out by a lucky attack. The human rogue escaped, stumbling out of the cave and pursued by kobold warriors, though she managed to get away under cover of night in the Talon Hills. Meanwhile, the kobolds took the unconscious players hostage, where they were subsequently tortured by the tribe’s alchemist – who happened to be the father of the kobold bomber from WK0! Oh what delicious torture he wrought with the aid of his pet black bear!
The next session the players rolled up new characters (except for the human rogue) and they mounted an attack on the cave again, using sound tactics this time, and managed to route the kobolds in the cave and rescue their old characters. But I remember more clearly the “TPK” (I didn’t kill the PCs, that’s no fun!) as failure in the face of adversity always sticks out in my mind rather than outright success!