Friday, May 8, 2009

2 out of 3 have climax

Heavy gaming week for me. Wednesday night I ran Trail of Cthulhu. Last night I played in a Savage Freeport game. Sunday I'll be running Deadlands.

Wednesday night's Trail of Cthulhu for my wife was mostly a wrap-up session. Campaign's not over, but that story arc was essentially post-climax. I'd been tempted to just jump ahead to the next story, but there was still some possibility for her to screw it up and let the bad guys off the hook (she didn't), so we kinda had to go through the motions. I kept it short, and freely dispensed with relevant facts in the few minor areas of inquiry she had to track down. Having effectively disarmed the villains, she was able to hand them off to the police without having to expose the authorities to any supernatural elements. Good moves on her part.

Thursday night's game I played in (at the weekly Game Feast) was a one-shot that turned into a two-shot due to getting started a little late. Pirates are fun, as is the notion of the Wizard-Lizard. Not much more to say on it till I see how it wraps up next Thursday.

Sunday's game is hard for me to predict. PC's are either posse-ing up with, ambushing, or getting ambushed by, the Big Bad. Way ahead of schedule, to their credit. But that makes getting the balance very tricky. Make him too weak, and it'll be cheap and anti-climactic... which might burn-out the campaign despite significant plot that will survive his defeat. Make him too buff, on the other hand, and they'll feel railroaded or ineffectual. The ideal scenario is probably PC success, at the cost of 20%-40% PC casualties. The plot would then continue into the city they're approaching, where the dead PCs could be replaced by new characters (provided they don't get "lucky" on Harrowed draws). There's a palpable tension for me as GM, as I can either bungle and implode the game, or make what follows far more interesting.

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