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3ebb 
Looking around
(3/20/03 2:29 pm)
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ezSupporter

How much for each session?
My campaign begins tomorrow. I am tiling all of the maps (Photoshop printouts on posterboard), selecting themed music, and painting minis for all of the major encounters. That's a lot of work.

I think I am ready for tomorrow's session, but I am not sure how far the players will get. I have everything ready to go as far as the upper MoatHouse (including a cool mini of Big U).

How far have your players gotten in the first session (6 hours of so). I figure it will only take me an hour or so to get the PCs motivated and into Hommlet, ready for action. What kind of experiences have you guys had?

__________________________
Jim
www.3rdedition.org jim@3rdedition.org
I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/20/03 2:48 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
Well well...we have a celebrity among us. Looking forward to hearing how things go.

Sounds like you're starting out with goals about as lofty as I did. Best of luck if you can keep it up, for it is very difficult week in and week out.

My sessions are about the same length, but it's hard to tell how long the PCs will want to BS. I went into a lot of detail about the sights, sounds, and smells of Hommlet, and lengthy descriptions and introductions. As such, between shopping for various and sundry items (including fresh bread from Papa's Bakery), making themselves familiar with the available magic itemage, meeting and greeting numerous NPCs, and getting a good night's sleep before setting out, I don't think my players actually MADE it to the Moathouse the first session.


But again, YMMV. They could breeze in, ready for trouble, find none in town, and make for the nearest place to start killing things.

Word of warning...this one caught me off guard. CHECK THE SCALE on the Moathouse and it's dungeon. It shifts on you. I was caught off guard by it, and thrown way out of proportion.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

3ebb 
Looking around
(3/20/03 3:20 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: How much for each session?
I noticed the scale change as well. I think I will be able to keep it up since we only play this game every other week. I play in another game in between.

I plan to keep an online journal of the campaign. I'll post a link after the first session.

Anyone else care to chime in with their first session experiences with this adventure?

__________________________
Jim
www.3rdedition.org jim@3rdedition.org
I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(3/20/03 3:28 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
My players spent over half the session in Hommlet, exploring, getting set up in the Welcome Wench, and talking with various NPCs.

I think it works out well because as soon as they head towards the Moathouse they are going to run into an epic fight they probably won't forget for quite a while. :)

My players fought off Utreshimon and then did some minor exploration of the upper levels (killing the Grey Slime) before deciding to call it a day, both in game and in real life.

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(3/20/03 3:31 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
first session?

flesh out the town npc's a little

elmo, renne, welcome wench crew, chat, rethidoor (make him a real loser, memorable afterwards)

stuff like that

they made it as far as halfway to the moathouse, where they encountered a yeth hound (which proved tough for them at low level)

fleshing out the town makes it all 'alive', not just another hack 'n slash adventure :D

Tychus
Here for a while
(3/20/03 3:58 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
One thing to watch out for: according to campaign logs on this site, after gathering information in Hommlet, several groups have set out for the Old Temple or Nulb first, instead of the Moathouse.

3ebb 
Looking around
(3/20/03 4:13 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: How much for each session?
I plan on giving the players heavy incentive to go to the moathouse first. Information will point them there repeatedly. They won't be able to get solid information about Nulb or other locations until they've discovered the clerics at the moathouse and returned to find the clerics in Hommlet.

__________________________
Jim
www.3rdedition.org jim@3rdedition.org
I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

blakwind
Here for a while
(3/20/03 4:56 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
Like many DMs, I like to end my D&D sessions on some sort of cliffhanger so we can launch right into some action at the start of the next session. My first RttToEE session ended with appearance of Big U. It doesn't get any sweeter than that. :eek

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/20/03 7:26 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
I think it will really depend on your hook. Mine was intended to be mostly a dead end and somewhat frustrated my players. This was partly intended because I think having the Big U encounter is so far out of left field compared to most traditional plots that I wanted them to be even a bit lax about things before encountering him. I still hear many sessions later how crazy it was that they (5 3rd level PCs) were pitted against a dragon on the *first* encounter. It really set the mood nicely that this one will be full of curve balls :)

So, IMC, we 'wasted' one and a half 3-4 hour sessions and a pretty long interactive fiction "session" between the first and second sessions where Elmo and Y'dey dumped a lot of info on them. That bit might have taken another hour or two in person, so we're talking about a total of 6-8 hours before they arrived at the moathouse and fought Big U.

My log is here although you'd probably be more interested in the fictionalized session summaries (1, 1.1, 1.2, and 2 are relevant here) at the GEAS site (link on that log page) to get some idea of what the players did over that time.


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benhamtroll
Here quite a while
(3/20/03 9:18 pm)
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Re: How much for each session?
My group made it through the entire moathouse in the first session. They didn't do a lot in town, and as soon as they figured out that there was something at the Moathouse (with a little prodding from Chatrillon's denials) they headed out. We played a LONG session that day (2:00 pm to about 11:30 pm), so they had a bunch of time.

And on the tile front, when you get to the CRM you may want to consider only tiling the major encounter areas. Otherwise your looking at possibly 100+ pages per map. Of course, if I still had access to a large format printer I might do it anyway . . .



There's no business like gnoll business

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 12:14 am)
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Re: How much for each session?
My crew got into Hommlet and was immediately insulted by Maridosen. I had her slip up by correctly identifying the group's wizard as a tiefling (which IMC are rather rare), and when she was fired for being very, VERY rude, the wizard followed her to the mill, where he saw traces of the (then) very recent murder of the miller.

He then sent his familiar to fetch the rest of the group, while he followed Maridosen, who was sent to the Moathouse. The group confronted Maridosen and killed her in the ensuing battle.

The session ended with the group slipping the latch to the cellar in the mill.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(3/21/03 5:58 am)
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Re: How much for each session?
If the characters have been generated specifically for this campaign, and don't have any past gameplay history together (as it was for my campaign) I think it is a good idea to give them a relatively tough "random" wilderness encounter the night before they get into Hommlet.

That way they can learn the capabilities of their own characters and others before facing Big U, and since the encounter takes place before Hommlet, they should have a chance to heal up.

Edited by: Cordo Crowfoot at: 3/21/03 5:58:51 am
Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 7:26 am)
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Re: How much for each session?
Don't forget to play up the encounter with "Old Del" on the way to the Moathouse as well. That's your one chance to justify the Dragon encounter as "fair".

If they brush him off or ignore him, they've only themselves to blame.

If they listen, take heed, and come back tomorrow (perhaps even with Endure Elements: Lightning cast), they should do quite well.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

3ebb 
Here for a while
(3/21/03 8:00 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: How much for each session?
I definately plan to run the Old Del encounter. I also plan on running a wilderness encounter or two on their way to Hommlet.

I have changed Nulb a bit in my campaign. It will have been recently overrun with undead, etc. I can't go into detail in case my players decide to read this, but I plan to give them an encounter on their way to Hommlet that will tie in nicely with Nulb later on.

__________________________
Jim
www.3rdedition.org jim@3rdedition.org
I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

madfox
Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 8:03 am)
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Re: How much for each session?
You know, I ran the first sessions so long ago that I do not remember anymore how fast the PCs were. I know exactly what happened, but I just cannot remember what happened during what session. This is especially true since the PCs were played since level 1, and they just had an interesting journey through the Shar. If I remember correctly, they made it to the Moathouse (as in preparing for their forray into the Moathouse). There was some intensive roleplaying at the inn (trying to sell the corpse of black dragon they had just killed and trying to get Redithor to make decent song out of -of course Red rolled a natural 20 on that song ;) ). While the rogue was gathering information on the area and the cleric was having a chat with the local authorities on laws and the like. We tend to have 4 hour sessions.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 8:08 am)
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Re: How much for each session?
Jim, if your players ARE reading this board, they've already blown their chances for enjoying the adventure...it's one long, run-on spoiler. Please, lean back, relax, and share...the DMs here always benefit from new and fresh insights and ideas.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Ulthwithian
Here for a while
(3/21/03 10:06 am)
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An answer...
I believe that my first session ended with the death of U. Since I've hyped this module for literally months to the players, they knew better than to discount a mention of a dragon. I think one of the highlights of the entire campaign isn't the fight with Utreshimon so much as the poll of which parties paid attention to Del. I still get a kick out of people not paying attention to him. I just want to go up to them and say, "Okay, he may be off his rocker. Are you willing to risk your life on that?" Apparently, some people are.

Now, the characters were generated specifically for this adventure/campaign/huge-long-game. So a lot of the first session was them coming into Hommlet, meeting and greeting, and figuring stuff out. I still think they managed to get to the moathouse and kill U before the end of the session (which are 4 hours long here). Of course, my memory is a bit flaky here and that may have been the end of the second session.

My 2 pennies...

Ulthwithian
Gamer-at-large

Tribal28
Here for a while
(3/21/03 10:23 am)
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Re: An answer...
I started the module not too long ago and NOTHING went as planned. They had just come from a much modified Return to Keep on the Borderlands. They had just mopped up a wannabe version of the cult of elemental evil in that area. For some strange reason they got the notion that they shouldn't trust anyone in the Keep (There was no real reason for it either)
Well that paranoia carried over into Hommlet. I did spend some time in Verbobonc using some of the Best of the Boards info on shoping there. The PC's sold and bought items and then headed to Hommlet. Once there they they looked around a bit, called the place a dump, and decided that everyone in the town was in league with the cult. (they really only like big towns where they can sell and buy very expensive magic items....something I am trying to break them of) After meeting several key people in town and deciding they didn't like any of them they finally went to the moat house. I ended just after the battle with Big U (who is really only Medium sized)
Once they found Spugnoir hiding in the dungeon they suspected the whole town of being evil. It was really kinda funny

Tribal

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/21/03 11:58 am)
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Re: An answer...
Quote:
I think one of the highlights of the entire campaign isn't the fight with Utreshimon so much as the poll of which parties paid attention to Del. I still get a kick out of people not paying attention to him. I just want to go up to them and say, "Okay, he may be off his rocker. Are you willing to risk your life on that?" Apparently, some people are.


Our Del encounter was just plain fun. Great RP by the group and great stifiling of smiles and laughs by me ;) They just did not want to believe him, but everyone had fun with the conversation. The meta-gaming go so high that I think the players were convinced that he must be an illusion on seeing him for the first time. I enjoyed bringing them back to earth :)

Session 2 has the juicy bits, including this great exchange:

Quote:
Fallon can't resist poking some fun a the old coot. He tries to hide his smirk as he asks, "So about this dragon. You sure it was a dragon? What'd it look like?"

Del looks kind of shocked at such an obvious question. "Look like? It's a dragon! Big, sharp teeth, huge, sharp claws, wings out to here..." Del reaches as far as his hands will reach. "You know, lizard looking thing. You never seen a dragon?"

"Huh. And what color was it?" Fallon continues.

"Color? A gray-blue I guess, with some yellow here and there. I didn't get a long look, you know, with it being a dragon and all. I didn't stick around!"

Fallon sees his opening, "Blue, gray, and yellow? Like a plaid? Or striped?"

"Plaid? Who ever heard of a plaid dragon? HEY! Are you making fun of ol' Del? What, you don't believe me?"


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3ebb 
Here for a while
(3/21/03 12:09 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: How much for each session?
I can only hope for some great interaction with "Old Del" like that. That sounds like it was a blast to DM!

__________________________
Jim
www.3rdedition.org jim@3rdedition.org
I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

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