Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sorting out the eternal question of "What's Next?" for February 2020

One of the great things about a megadungeon - and a limited sandbox play area - is that you can keep re-using what you make. Further, you can prep ahead so the game session can take various twists and turns but you're still ready.

Still, Felltower is big, and there are a lot of options in front of the PCs. If I'm to be on top of my game, with the right minis in the box, the right materials reviewed, etc., it's almost essential that I have some idea of what the plan is for the session.

Here is a rough list I provided to the players of what I see is ready to do. I've added to the end with the ones I'd overlooked and one of the players suggested.

- draugr
- Lord of Spite
- big orichalcum doors
- Various gates
- Lost City of D'Abo (gate destination, I'm double-counting here)
- orc fortress
- door beyond the iron golems
- big chained doors
- mid-point door on the GFS
- gigantic dragon
- five ooze corner
- black reaver
- Saints of Felltower
- Black Library
- Lenses/Mirrors

The PCs added

- Swampsedge, to fight trolls in the area and go back to Sakatha's Tomb
- killing Big John the troll

I left off things I knew weren't really options due to player rejection:

- going back after the beholder
- going after the dragon on the "beholder level"
- going back after the cone-hatted cultists
- exploring further down the second GFS

Some of these just aren't doable for the PCs right now, due to lack of knowledge (the lenses/mirrors and the repulsive door), lack of power (the gigantic dragon), lack of plan (the Black Library), or missing pieces (the tomb of Sakatha - they lack unholy water and have no knowledge of where to get it, and can't make it.)

Obviously I can't prepare for them all. If I load up on all of my ice-and-snow stuff for the Arctic Gate, all of the minis for the cone-hatted cultists, beyond the Joker Gate, the gigantic dragon, the orcs, the oozes, the Air Gate, the draugr, the Lord of Spite, etc. and prep them all . . . when do I work, write, and sleep? I can't have them all ready on a hair-trigger in a high-detail game like GURPS Dungeon Fantasy with lots of tactical options turned to "on." The positive pluses for such a material-heavy gaming approach in actual play does make for more prep and more physical lugging than I can do between every session for every thing.

So we'll see . . . one of the players created a sorted list, but as yet no one has opined on what's next. We'll see what they come up with the night before. Which, incidentally, also leaves me no time to prepare for game. Heh.


  1. My two cents: I think we should try to come up with two plans close to a week ahead of time.

    First, if the constant delvers are all present (Ulf, Gerry, Crogar, Galen, Heyden, Mild Bruce) as well as the *very* frequent delvers (Wyatt, Aldwyn--and both of them are almost "constant" recently). If others drop in (Dryst, Astrid, Ahenobarbas), great. They can go with the main plan.

    The other plan should be the contingency plan if certain key delvers are missing (Galen, who is 99% of the ranged combat, and Gerry, who is the only mage unless Desmond comes along, which means no Ulf and therefore no magical healing except for potions). With a front-line fighter or two missing, it's not a HUGE deal, because we have quite a few. But missing Galen, Gerry or Ulf changes things a LOT.

    Depending upon the nature of the plan, Plan A and Plan B might not differ, but they could (we need Player X for this plan, Player Y for that plan).

    Also, we should try to figure out availability well in advance so the plan is only upset by last-minute illnesses (which happens--that's life).

    Finally--given the Power level of the delvers, and trying to easy Peter's need to prep, the group should probably start planning things that do not require double-preparation, i.e., where Plans A and B are pretty much the same.

    Easier said than done, of course! But we should try.

    1. That would make a big difference, especially the week-out bit.

      Having a leader/caller/decider of some sort would help, too, if we could find a good way to do that. Having an in-session leader would help, too. I can't easily track what 9-10 people are doing, plus NPCs . . .

  2. It seems to me the cone-hatted cultists might be the kind of folk to have unholy water. Perhaps the characters should try to deal with them instead of exterminate them. Now how does one give them an entreaty for parlay given the last encounter was initiated with violence and no warning?

    1. They haven't seen any evidence of the cultists having priests or religious paraphernalia of any kind, however. Nor having any connection with demons except for using "Demon's Ichor" grenades, which are freely available in town for purchase by anyone. They may have some, but show less evidence of demon-worship than many others the PCs have encountered.


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