Monday, July 4, 2011

Games in Review, July 4th, 2011

Yeah, I skipped this last week.  I was still reeling a bit from the end of my Pathfinder campaign to post about that particular session, but I'll recap that one here as well, since our Thursday night game didn't go off last week, and it will round out to two games recapped in this particular installment.

End of an Era

The Second to last Pathfinder session found the party outside of Liebdaga the Twin's chambers, and the party was casting spells and buffing themselves in preparation, waiting to answer the last riddle on the doors before they opened and they fought Liebdaga.

The group had Liebdaga's soul object, and had shut down all of the cooling towers, so the pit fiend was saddled with five negative levels and was staggered.  Staggered is frustrating for a GM.  The bad guy either has to tear into the nearest good guy, or they have to charge, or try to move towards someone without being able to do anything else.

I wasn't trying to kill any party members, and in fact, in the end, Liebdaga did take out our dwarven fighter/ranger/Hellknight and our half-elf investigator rogue.  In the end, however, I would have rather not killed anyone, but scared the whole party by being able to pull off some nasty effects and conditions on the group.

Can I prove that I would rather inflict conditions on the party and "do things" to them instead of kill them?  Yes, yes I can.  At the end of the adventure, there is a half-orc monk that shows up to assassinate the party, and I was having a blast with him.  He really had no real chance of killing the party, but he was tripping them left and right, charging around without provoking, getting AoO on people, and trash talking the party the whole time.

So, while Liebdaga killed two PCs, it felt like I did very little but hand out hit point damage to the PCs that ended up close to him, while the monk, who took out no one, charged around, tripped and hit multiple PCs, and it was fun.  Your mileage, as they say, may vary, but for me, the monk was actually more fun than the BBEG pit fiend, which seems wrong somehow.

In the end, with two fatalities, the PCs manage to take out a BBEG that had been foreshadowed since the second adventure, so I guess that's a bit of a resolution.

Now, on to the DC Adventures game!

When last we left our nameless band of super heroes, they landed on Paradise Island, Myrmidon had dumped Cadmus' teeth on the beach, and Artemis was ready to kill Myrmidon, with the rest of the party having no idea how to resolve this situation.

I'm really pleased with how this unfolded, because the PCs dug themselves in slightly deeper, then resolved the whole she-bang really nicely.  It was also nice that they picked up on the fact that Ares couldn't set foot on Paradise Island.

Long story short, Marathon took Steve Trevor with him to find Hippolyta and reason with here directly, Ares tried to force everyone to fight, which everyone but Steve and Javier  (the NPC pilot) resisted, Myrmidon's troops and the Amazons engaged, and Myrmidon and Artemis started beating the Hell out of each other.

Marathon, Paradox, and Necromancer all teamed up to drag Ares onto the beach, in a very comic book like moment of awesome, and Zeus shows up to lock Ares up.  Ares plays his last card, as he's done some backdoor dealing to get Isis soul, and gives her to Myrmidon as his bride, then the gods all end up locked on the other side of the gate to Tartarus.

After an amusing moment where Necromancer turned Isis back into a corpse briefly, the group ends up trying to take Isis to Black Adam rather than trying to wed Myrmidon to her, and in the end, Black Adam is happy for one more moment with his wife, Isis goes back to the land of the dead, and the group was one big happy family, despite being ready to kill each other at the end of last session.

What I really like is that while Necromancer and Myrmidon got roughed up a bit, in the end, the fight wasn't about "taking out" opponents so much as figuring out how to get Ares out of the fight as a factor and trying to reset the diplomacy clock.  It was a lot of fun, and felt very "comic booky."

After all of that, Beorn managed to hack Amanda Waller's computer, Marathon had a touching reunion with his family, Paradox, Fahrenheit, and Myrmidon went to a strip club, and Necromancer went to the Dreaming, met Destiny, and handed the dreamstone back to the new Dream.

Oh, and the party (sans Myrmidon and Paradox) found out that Black Hand may have killed them to start this whole chain of events.

"Wait, who is Black Hand's master?"

Also, Heroes and Villains Volume One was very hand.  Ares was everything I wanted him to be using him straight out of the book, and Isis was pretty impressive as well.

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