Dateline – Storm Point

Sunday was the latest session of the Storm Point game. It was even more scattered than usual, and we got into combat somewhat later than planned, and wound up playing until much later in the evening than we had planned.

Still, I think we all had fun, even if I had to threaten them all with death a couple of times to get them to focus.

With the dragon out of the way, the group was seriously depleted, resource-wise. The main tank had only two healing surges left, and everyone else was pretty beat up, as well. The battle with the wights just before the dragon hadn’t helped any, either. The temple was still jumping pretty randomly through time, and there was some discussion about whether they should just get off the temple and enter the new time period.

I was ready for that decision, but I wanted them to appreciate the gravity of the choice. See, I hate time travel in games. Well, more specifically, I hate player-controlled time travel in games. It just adds so many new layers of headache to running a game. So, I explained to them that leaving the temple and going adventuring in the remote past was a viable choice for them, but that once they left the temple, they couldn’t be sure of ever finding their way back to their own time. I told them I was prepared for that to happen, and to continue the campaign in the new world they found themselves in, but that it was a big decision for them to make.

They opted to stay in the temple, and try to stop it from jumping through time. I handled this with a complexity 5 skill challenge, and was quite glad that it all came down to the final roll*, when the dwarf decided to use his Endurance skill to act as a bridge for the arcane energy to use and complete the mystical circuit. Several of the other characters assisted him, and we had this great image of several adventurers joining hands and touching two different arcane terminals, with mystical power flowing through them to reset the time-jumping magic the dragon had messed up.

What happened next was something I had been planning for some time, but it really surprised them.

I told them that the lightning pillar that had been powering the temple had changed into a vast sphere of silvery energy and, when they looked into it, they saw themselves as they might have been, with different abilities, different training, even different races. I said that they knew that, if they touched this sphere of potentiality, they could be remade into one of their alternate selves – and that they would always have been that person.

Yeah, it’s kind of corny, but here’s my thinking.

When we started this game, the Forgotten Realms settings had just been published for 4E. Since then, there have been a whole lot of new character options that have come along, including new races and classes. I wanted to give my players a chance to look at their characters and decide if they were the ones they still wanted to be playing, without having to bring in a completely new character if they wanted a change. This tied in with the temporal energy being used in the scenario, and gave them the opportunity to think about how they’ve built their characters and whether they want to change them.

I know that one of the players is reworking his rogue into a monk. Another couple may be making minor tweaks to their characters. But mostly, people are happy with the characters they’re playing, and that’s a good thing.

Anyway, after that, they went looking for the dragon’s treasure, of course. They didn’t find it that session, but did manage to find a crypt full of undead that ate up the rest of the evening*.

Next session should be our last one on the Floating Island. After that, one of the characters has expressed some interest in going to see the old dwarven ruins up in the mountains, where his grandfather died. Should be fun.


*11 successes, 2 failures. One roll would tip it either way. Back

*10 zombie rotters, 3 zombie soldiers, 2 zombie hulks, and 2 skull lords, for a total of 2455 xp, a level 9 encounter for 6 characters. Back

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One Response to Dateline – Storm Point

  1. Barry says:

    “Should be fun.”

    The last time I said that to my players it was met with mock horror and the phrase “Fun FOR WHO!?!? And you don’t count!”

    I love this job. 🙂

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