Cultist Hunting – Winds of Change Session 8

At the end of this hypertext link, you will find the audio to the session in question.

Every time I look back on one of these sessions, I feel like saying “and here’s where things really take off.” It’s a bit of an odd feeling considering that I really like the way the campaign is developing. I guess I’m so excited about each session and am excited to share them with you all. Every session has some really good stuff in it, so it all feels like a new beginning each time.

This session sees the party beginning the actual hunting of the cultists. However, it starts out with a really special interlude.

Ever since their relationship had its tentative start back in the 4th session, I’ve been looking forward to Gufasove and Gorum going to the Seal Lord’s Gala. It was supposed to have happened last session, but plans changed due to a real-world interruption. I wanted to make sure that we gave the Gala all the time it needed. Problem was, only one of the characters was actually going to be going to the Gala; the others invaded a Noble’s home during that time, so there’s no way they could be there. What to do?

I decided to ask my players to stretch a bit. The Gala was going to be filled with all kinds of people and I wanted to be able to give the impression of there being a lot of guests without having to role-play all of them. So I asked the players whose characters weren’t going to be at the gala to portray certain NPCs as they were introduced. I would describe how Gufasova and Gorum first saw the pertinent NPCs and then indicate which players should role-play those NPCs. As the conversations went on, I gave the players cues as to how the NPCs would act so they wouldn’t be left hanging with only a thumbnail sketch to go by.

It went really well. It helps that most of my players are active in community theater and have some experience with improvisation, but I think that with the right impetus, it could work for most any group. The best part was that Gufasova and Gorum ended up having a conversation with the nobles whose house was being broken into by the PCs run by the players who were portraying the noble Lord and Lady. There was a delicious irony to it all.

Following the party, there was also a good chance to develop Gufasova and Gorum’s relationship. They got jumped by thugs on their way home and Gufasova was able to defend his boyfriend’s life. They ended up spending the night together (which we hand-waved and glossed over). This emotional development proved to be really important in the next session (which I will be writing about later this week because it was just so damn good).

The next morning, the group set out to begin the actual hunting of the cultists of Haagenti that had cursed the Hall of the Gods. They knew names, thanks to the Noblewoman’s diary, and they were able to get some locations with some diligent snooping. Unfortunately, both of the first two cultists caught wind of their investigations and were able to get the drop on the party when it came to combat. Both fights went fairly well. I’m still learning how to effectively build and use a challenging NPC, and these combats were steps in the right direction.

Of note was that two PCs were nearly dropped in the combats (one in each combat) and the second fight took place in a relatively upscale area of the city and the Watch was alerted. The party managed to crawl down into the sewers and escape out to sea thanks to the timely use of some magic.

Overall, this was a good session and it left some great things to set up for the next one. And I’m going to tease the next session right now because it was, by far, the best session that I have ever had the pleasure to GM. I mean, it was awesome. I’ll get to that in a few days, rest assured.

[tags]rpg, rpgs, roleplaying games, Pathfinder, Actual Play, Winds of Change[/tags]

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