We [Go To] The Land Of The Ice And Snow
I knew there was an image of the draakhorn, so I pulled that up and shared it. However, I knew there was also a description of the artifact somewhere in the module…I didn’t know where. This really put a damper on that portion of the evening when I had to spend time looking for the damn information.
I also had some issues tracking down the intro info for the Sea of Moving Ice chapter. In fact, looking over it this morning, I realized there there was a significant chunk of information omitted that the party is going to need. I’ve already figured out a way to get the info to them, but I’m really irritated that FG’s module structure really depends on the linearity of the content, or on proper linking of information.
One thing I had tried to do to keep a lot of this info straight was to create stripped down versions of the module info in the Story panel. In these notes I’d write down the really important bits, make links to relevant encounters, items, tables, maps, etc. so I wouldn’t need to use the overloaded Story panel to try and track down the relevant info where and when I needed it. However, the party is asking more questions now, with more people, which is proving to require more information than I thought to distill into my notes.
So I’m going to have to eschew that shorthand option and stick with the actual module itself. The issue with RoT is that it’s decidedly non-linear, allowing the party to tackle certain tasks in random order. Not only do I have to prepare for the eventuality of the option the party will exercise, but I need to be able to get to that section quickly. My notes were trying to help out with this, but I guess it’s just causing more trouble than it’s worth.
Still, I spent some prep time last night drawing up A Matrix which listed all of the Council members, and all of the party members, and then envisioned how the Council member felt about each party member, based on the Council member’s “traits” listed in the module, and based on the past behavior of each party member. The two new members are still mostly blank slates for this purpose, but the original AdvCo members have definite styles that I suspect will continue to play out.
The giant octopi battle was pretty quick, since one escaped once the other was killed, but the merrow battle was kind of drawn out. Part of it was due to the high HP value of the creatures; they didn’t have impressive AC, but they had a decent amount of HP each (87, if I remember correctly, with an AC of 14). Thanks to all of the class, race, level, and magical bonuses applied, the party was hitting often, but that didn’t translate well into overall damage. Thankfully, the Frostskimmr’s crew was on hand to help. I was using “mob rules” to divide the crew into five groups of eight or so in order to allow them to participate, but to not have to roll attack and defense for 40+captain crew members. I think it worked pretty well, and the combo of the party and the crew was enough to take out the merrow, although it was still a protracted battle.
One thing I wanted to do was to ensure that we do stuff “by the module”. That means that the players need to spend time using this special encounter table to see if they spot anything, or run into an encounter of some sort. Of course this morning I realized that the module actually did tell the players what they were searching for, but I did not, so I have to fix that next time in order to get everything back on the same page.