Sea Dogs, Chapter II:XI, GM Debrief

GM Confidence: 3.5/5. This session, the season (and maybe campaign) finale, had the potential to be great, but for all the shouldadones that came immediately to mind afterward.

Full of Regrets

We got off to a late start in the first place, and with the hard-stop at the end, and no session twelve for overflow, compromises were inevitable. I had some combat planned, but I knew we wouldn’t have time for it.

  • The crew of La Dame Blanche was supposed to go into the Treasury with the PCs but I screwed that up: they arrived on the scene late, got left behind, and then I kinda “forgot they were there” until afterward. So, technically, they’re stuck in the hole with the PCs, having explored the caves a little in their absence, trying to find a way in.
  • I didn’t consider whether or not the small “treasure box” would appear on the “other side” with the PCs until someone brought it up.
  • I had expected all the players to voluntarily fail the initial Will check and was taken aback a little when they didn’t—I probably should have worded that differently.
  • I knew the shadowy figures would press the PCs forward, but I didn’t actually think about the “details” of that process—could have been more effective.
  • I missed some bits of Reade’s monologue.
  • I had other “incidents” planned in the Maze that might have been a bit more…dynamic, but I had to truncate.
  • I had intended for the shadow-figures to catch up in the treasure room and do a little combat there.
  • The “druid water” coincidence came completely out of left-field—but to be fair, there was no way to have been prepared for that.
  • I realized, in the moment that Payne (PC and his player) was flailing for a clue in the treasure chamber, that I hadn’t actually defined the conditions under which the “hall” would be revealed. I was lucky he decided to “call Reade out” like he did, which gave me a way out.
  • On the other hand, given I didn’t know about the “calling out” before it happened, I didn’t think through the potential consequences of having Reade in the hall. I had considered Davino might shoot the statue, but Reade wasn’t actually supposed to be there. I toyed with the idea of having it not work—there was justification—but the time crunch caused me to back off.
  • Boissonade was supposed to discover Boulet and his journal, so he could confirm it was the original, and the copy was a forgery.
  • I meant to review the PCs’ Move scores before the game and calculate the “collapse” timing a little more thoroughly. As it was, I had factored in maybe a three-second delay, but not eight, which at the time of execution, I thought was too far for it to catch them up. After the game, Spenser’s player calculated it, and discovered he might not have made it, if it had played out normally. In any case, in the heat of the moment, I didn’t like the clumsy way I was handling the movement, and I just let it go. This segment is probably my biggest regret of them all.
  • I completely forgot to reveal that Reade had the Steward’s brand on his chest. I also meant for him to catch fire from within, which would have eliminated the need for “medical attention.”

Not All Bad

  • I do think I achieved the supernatural “look and feel” I was going for.
  • At least some of the PCs failed that initial Will check, voluntarily or otherwise, and the confused fighting of each other worked out nicely—I had just intended that effect to be a little more widespread.
  • The session ended pretty much as I had intended, on a nice, solid cliffhanger.

One thought on “Sea Dogs, Chapter II:XI, GM Debrief

  1. Gigermann Post author

    Some weeks later, I know now what I should have done with the “danger run” at the end. Given all the characters have a Move between 5 and 6, I should have just precalculated their progress based on their likely Encumbrance level, and threw some key-points along the path to potentially delay them, and narrated the details at those key-points. Maybe even a spreadsheet 😛 Better than turn-by-turn movement.

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