Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Aldelle Group: Campaign Conclusion

The Aldelle Group Campaign concluded with an execution.

The final session (Session 82) was on Sunday, July 22.  It started with a fight already in progress against powerful otherworldly foes.  In the middle we banished a containment field keeping in something gargantuan and tentacle covered in a Chthulian manner to a demiplane specifically created (by Harkaitz) to hold it and keep out cultists forever.  Then we got down to some serious revenge for the destruction of our colony and the threat of death hanging over our friends and associates.

Angry 16th- to 18th-level Pathfinder characters can really put a hurt on a bad guy when they are not distracted by saving the world.  And Ra supports the meting out of righteous justice.

So we are starting the discussions as to what game we are playing next, both system and world.  I'm interested in a game set in the Warhammer world but using Pathfinder, but we are also talking about a short Mouseguard game to try the system out.

Once I finish the first draft of my novel, I'll resume writing the Aldelle Group adventure summaries, at least through the end of the war against the lich.  The material after that was a good experiment, but not so good for interesting reading.  We learned why a fresh sandbox setting isn't quite so challenging to characters with tons of money and magic to throw around.  Plus the need to challenge PCs with things that cannot be solved by killing or a handy spell (at least not without good ethical challenges).

Also, cohorts and minions, while VERY handy when you only have 3 or 4 players, quickly get out of hand when you have 6 or 7 players.  Especially if you flirt with letting cohorts have cohorts of their own.

Although, now that I think about it, it is still do-able and can add some interesting roleplay, but the DM has to do more work with soft challenges or setting multiple goals that have to be solved somewhat simultaneously.  Split the party up and the problem becomes more manageable and adds different tactical twists.  Plus, if you have time to run side adventures through blue-booking or short get-togethers outside of the regular play session, you can do a lot more personalized adventures.  Just make sure everyone gets equal time so no one runs away on the XP chart.  I've seen that and it's not fun to be on the short XP end.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chapter 7: War Comes to Speedwell - Status Update 2

OK, I cheated.  I skipped a scene that was poorly outlined (as in "only two sentences to cover a long series of complicated conversational scenes to provide updates on the Mars War") for one that was more richly outlined and one that I've been waiting to get to since I started writing.  I've written the fun stuff, but now I have to go back and do the "hard one".  

This is a result of my reorganization of Chapter 5 into two parts and adding the necessary connecting bits before and after for the stuff I missed in the outline.  It's those "connecting bits" that are now the pain to write as I have to embroider full scenes from little blurbs that are just the gist of what I needed to go there.  These are coming out as very rough scenes and I know they will get seriously revised once I get to the second draft stage, but they are necessary to grind out or the whole thing falls apart.

But that cool scene - it was totally worth it.

Word Count: 54,397 words

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chapter 7: War Comes to Speedwell - Status Update 1

OK, so things are progressing again.  It has been a busy and stressful week and a half (partly due to my wife's monthly tea being a week earlier than we thought it was) and my back acted up again, but a trip to the chiropractor has that on the healing track once again.

I had to re-write some of the material I had already written as I was not happy with it enough to push on.  I think it needs more polish and maybe to be expanded a bit, but it will have to do for now.  Plus, the domes of the Mars colony are now laid out, so I can write the scenes happening there with more detail.

The war crimes in Jupiter orbit have been written.  This involved my first space battle and took two tries at to get done as well.  I think it is better now, but will also need some embroidery on the editing pass.

After that, some more updates on the war on Earth and developments on Mars.  Then a set of important scenes that I don't want to spoil ahead of time, but I'm looking forward to writing them.  After that, Chapter 7 will start wrapping up.  Chapter 8 will be the aftermath and conclusion of the book (but not the story).  I'm starting to see the end of the writing tunnel - hoody-hoo!

Word Count: 52,265 words