Second Session (13 page pdf) – We go kill naughty cultist mongrelmen and their cultist leader “Hozilla.” No, seriously. “Hozilla.”
One set of “good” mongrelmen tells us we should go genocide some “bad” mongrelmen. So of course we do. And then we conduct enhanced interrogations, “Lawful Good style.”
We end up having a bunch of debates about what the right Good response is to a lot of this; our characters worship a variety of gods (Iomedae, Shelyn, Irori, some pagan god) and so there’s an interesting plurality of opinions there. I hate to gripe, but the GM kinda decided anytime we started talking about that he should butt in and tell us what the “right” response is. This totally jammed up any meaningful roleplay around the topic. Matt would basically say “yeah yeah what the GM said” and those of us with different opinions would just hunker down and cast sidelong glances at each other.
That got me in a bit of a bad mood, and then when we had a fight with some mongrelmen and I was told that it was impossible for my monk to jump a 4′ barricade – not “here’s a high Jump DC,” just “you can’t do it,” I pretty much checked out of the rest of the session and just did damage when told to. Normally I would have been jazzed about getting the death blow in on someone named Hozilla but eh.
Then we find a super artifact sword and give it to Shawanda, which is cool. Her player, Patrick, is somewhat retiring a lot of the time so I like it when he gets an uber plot gizmo or whatever because it gives him more spotlight.
We also took a prisoner, Uziel, after some debate. There’s an unsubtly high premium on redeeming bad folks in this AP so we may as well get started I guess.
So, not the end of the world, just an off session. It does raise my antennae though about too much railroading in the AP – not just in terms of “now here is your next scene,” but in the “here’s what you are supposed to do in this scene, and think, and feel.” I had some bad-touch experiences with that earlier in my gaming life and I’m touchy about it. (Yeah you, White Wolf staffer.) There was a little of that with the NPCs in Jade Regent – “these NPCs have the magic hook on them, so you can be friends with them, but not these other people you meet, regardless of whether you find them more interesting.” I’m starting to get the sense of that in the “redeem the enemies” follies as well, and that will be disappointing.
They do seem to fall into the “this is what you’re supposed to do” trap now and then; the vampire chapter of Carrion Crown was the biggest offender we’ve encountered, although Wizards’ Hoard of the Dragon Queen makes that look like a sandbox!