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Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/28/03 7:26 am)
How many sessions in the Fanes?
Ok, my group are chewing up the CRM at a fairly good speed (air and earth temples are gone, and the whole western half from earth to air is clear). They'll be striking at either fire or water fairly soon, and they've got the strength and tactics to deal with the defences. So, they'll be onto the Fanes in another few sessions.

How long did the Inner and Outer fane take other groups, in comparison to the CRM? I'm guessing we're about half-way through, maybe a bit less, but the size and level of integration in the Fanes suggest that they might be dealt with in a handful of big fights instead of the clear room/heal/scout/clear room/heal/scout pattern of the CRM.

Brother of Venom
(12/28/03 5:28 pm)
Re: How many sessions in the Fanes?
Dunno! Let ya know soon! :D

Seriously, I'd guess going through the OF takes about 1/6th to about 1/3rd the time of the CRM. Not all groups (maybe half at best) go through the IF at all, or even have the opportunity to go through it, but that is typically only a session or two, depending on much ass the First kicks.

Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/28/03 11:53 pm)
Re: How many sessions in the Fanes?
Well, it kinda depends on how long your sessions are, but it took my group about two sessions to take out the Outer Fane. The first session was one big fight against a majority of the inhabitants, with the party fleeing when Hedrack put in an appearance and killed a second party member.

They then spent the next session and a half doing teleport in and out raids until I got sick of it and Varachan helped them take out the remaining members (Hedrack, Thrommel, Chymon, Naquent and the gelugon). My group didn't bother taking out the Inner Fane and proceeded on to the Recovered Temple.

So I would say about one or two sessions, bearing in mind that my sessions were about 10 or 11 hours long each.

Hope that helps.

Cheers, Simon.

Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/29/03 10:17 am)
Re: How many sessions in the Fanes?
In my game (4.5-5 hour sessions) the Outer Fane took 7 sessions, and the Inner Fane is standing at 2 sessions and incomplete.

However, my party habitually withdraws and regroups often, so your results could be much faster.


Mr Kaze
Ebon Hand Cultist
(12/29/03 2:16 pm)
Re: How many sessions in the Fanes?
In my first run through, the party quit at the inner fane on their first [4-ish hour] session into it when the wizard got mauled by a fiendish lion (pounced, raked, whole thing) and the party fighters were upset that they wouldn't be able to pull him free to save him. (As I just stared dumbfounded at them, the wizard aptly noted "Well, you could pull maybe half of me free..." It should be noted that, in the previous session, the rogue had been torn asunder by the dire apes; neither of the fighters' characters had been killed in several months.)

So, assuming that the party had continued, I would guess that they might have made it -- lightly -- through the inner round in 4 sessions. No telling how long the door or black spike would've taken though -- had I played the door straight up, I think the party would've probably quit there anyway. (As noted in another thread, I'm removing the door for the second run -- there's just nothing genuinely fun about either fighting or outsmarting a door. Think about it. "Ha! We fooled it! What a stupid door!" No, that doesn't work. "Boo-Yah! Kicked that door right in the brass knob! Woo! What a rush!" Nope, just doesn't ring true either... So the door gets replaced by something that would look much more interesting if we were able to put it on film...)

So my advice for the core of the CRM is two-fold:
1) Mentally run through how you think your party might take on a challenge using their known resources before they get to it. If it's miserable (or profoundly silly or dumb) from either side of the table, replace the encounter with something that seems a bit more appropriate and substantially more fun.
2) Make sure your players are mentally geared up for the inner fanes. There's death around every corner and they need to be prepared for it. If they're not up for it, then they either will be dead -- losing experience and patience -- or not deserving of the experience that they'll desperately need when they get to the bottom of the temple. So don't start the game until your players are ready -- do another food/beverage run or something to stall for time in the hopes that people's brains will start clicking.

::Kaze (expects the current group to fare much better -- they're having much more fun.)

Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/30/03 12:27 pm)
Re: How many sessions in the Fanes?
My group spent about eight 4-hour sessions dealing with the Outer Fane. These sessions were NOT sequential -- they were spread out over three or four forays interspersed with other adventures.

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