Great Game Last Night

I have been playing about with the idea of video recording one of our gaming sessions and last night when we wound things up I wished it had been that session.  Last night turned into an exceptionally entertaining night of role playing.  Each of the players did exceptionally well in playing their characters and the game was all about the intrigue of the story and the interaction of the characters.

Prep, prep and more prep…

At the conclusion of last night the group are now but one final push away from the completion of the six module adventure path, the Serpent Skull from Paizo.  Last nights session was always ear marked as a session that would be more role playing than combat based as the players needed to scour the city for support of their cause.  Playing against that back drop there was the threat of assassins against the players and they became seriously paranoid of every NPC that I had.  In fact they essentially were trying to garner support from NPC’s without trusting a single one of them that they were speaking to.  Factor in that a divination cast by an NPC cleric stated that one of their closest companions would work against them the group nearly had a melt down.

The game ran for around four to five hours and I do not think there was a low point.  There were certainly points which made me laugh, such as the group decided that they had to be absolutely certain that the person who would turn against them was not one of themselves.  They headed to an abandoned part of the city, removed all magical equipment, had one player cast Discern Lies  and another cast Zone of Truth and state that all had to voluntarily lower their spell defence to make the spells work.  When this happened two of the players refused to lower their spell defence.  It was hilarious!  The party were so paranoid at this point that they were not even willing to submit to something that could clear the paranoia from the air!

<SPOILER ALERT> If you are playing in a Serpent Skull game at the moment do not read any further.  It will make the game less enjoyable.  If you are not, scroll down to continue…

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In the books there is meant to be an assassin attack on every player simultaneously after they have been separated.  The assassins are tough opponents but not too tough to have super serious chances of killing a player of the characters expected level.  I decided to play this out differently because I knew that it would be much more enjoyable.


Rather than having the assassins strike simultaneously I had one of the characters likely to survive attacked first.  He ran back to the group after escaping to warn of the attack and the paranoia began.  This was a week ago.  In last nights game I hit a player with a second assassin, and although that player beat the assassin, they were not 100% certain if the attempt was an assassination attempt and decided to keep it quiet.  Regardless, this had the desired effect and the party were on edge in a major way.  I then focussed on NPC interaction and had NPC’s attempting to get the characters attention individually and the players responded with total paranoia.  That coupled with some sticky visits to previous foes who they were now trying to make allies lead to a fantastic night of gaming.

One of my players commented as we packed up that he had not rolled a die in anger for the entire evening but had thoroughly enjoyed it.  This morning I found a text on my phone from moments after I left the venue last night from another player thanking me for an excellent game.  It was one of those nights that make you really glad you GM!  I threw myself into every role and gave my players just enough rope to hang themselves with and let them go to work.  In reality, I set it up but they completed it.  It was a perfect night for a game and I am keen to see the adventure path out!

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