Well, its done! I DMed for my group of friends – which includes Steve, the dude who has been DMing for us for the last… 10 years or so…
I had not DM for adults in a loooong while. I had may reasons to be nervous and nervous I was.
Forget sharing narrative control, forget… in fact – just plain about forget anything I had planned!
For the last few weeks I have been carefully retooling « Kobold’s Keep » to run as a prequel to « Scepter Tower of Spellgard« .
I had NPCs prepared, hooks for the adventure, hooks for side quests, fights traps, etc. I was near over prepared.
Once I got with my buddies, I eventually nervously plunged forward in the narrative.
Overall, I’d say the day (and night!) was a success – I planned on playing a few rooms of the Kobold keep before we call it a day… we ended up playing nearly 8 hours straight! I must’ve been doing something right!
I’ll go on ahead and tell you of the plot and my mistakes and what I learned. But let me tell you first of my only real big mistake of the night:
I kept on telling my players about my mistakes.
I can blame it on my nervousness or lack of assurance for this particular task. In retrospect, seeing how they liked the game, I guess I can cool back down and roll with the punches silently. I don’t need to have the special feature « director’s comment » track turned on all the time, don’t I?
All the players (all 6 of them) had – for their own reasons – been hired to protect a merchant caravan, going from Waterdeep to Athkatla and stopping in just about every village or city that could be a good spot to sell or trade wares.
Somewhere along the road, during a stop in a rather small village called Albercott, the caravan leader is informed by the town chief that some of his citizens have been kidnapped on the road up ahead over the last few days. The caravan leader sends for this hired adventurers to make sure the road is secured. The chief also seizes the opportunity to try and convince the adventurers to look into the disappearance of his citizens.
This sounds good here. But I actually had to… uhm… do a flashback and « readjust the matrix », so to speak.
The game started strong with Steve playing a dark human spellblade… who happens to be a devout follower of the Raven Queen – the goddess of death. His character started with a strong personality and positioned him as the de-facto leader of the group.
This placed me in the situation of not being able to rely on the good-natured intentions of the players. Luckily, Steve allowed his character to « follow the railroad », provided there is a good reward at the end for his troubles.
I didn’t feel like the players were hooked in the story at this point, but they played along. Our ranger, Rolen quickly found some kobold tracks and traces of a kidnapping and rapidly led the group near the entrance of the Kobold Keep.
They were getting ready for Area 1 from Kobold Hall, which I left pretty much unchanged from the original (added a critter for the larger group).
Tomorrow: Area 1