As I mentioned in my last post, we recently bade farewell to one of the five players who had been in our online War of the Burning Sky campaign since its inception last summer. The player behind Thorfin the dwarven fighter was moving to a time zone that would make it impossible for him to continue with the group, so we needed to find a new addition.
I advertised the open spot here on the blog and over on EN World (where the group originally started). I quickly had one player express interest from the EN World post. He asked about the campaign and the rest of the party, and he soon created a new human fighter, Dorian, complete with a back story that would fit into the game world. He was the first to respond and therefore would have first crack at joining our group. We had to take the next Friday off as I was traveling for work, but we agreed that Dorian could join up for our game last night.
In the mean time, I was contacted by three other people. One was not a good fit, and the other two are on the “waiting list” effectively.
I’m happy to say, though, that it looks like Dorian the human fighter will work out just fine. We got together yesterday evening for our usual game, with three of the four pre-existing characters plus Dorian. I sent the party on a bit of a side quest, just in case things didn’t work out – I didn’t want things to be too plot-heavy if the character who had joined wouldn’t be there in the future.
We did start with some role-playing. The party was invited to try out for an acting troupe. One was flat-out rejected. One was accepted for a small role. One made it onto the stage crew. And an NPC that had been traveling with the party for a little while won a spot in a lead role (she’ll be leaving the party now).
After the audition, the group was contacted by an NPC who had previously traveled with the party. She had taken up with a half-elf woman who was trying to smooth over religious strife among various groups of refugees by starting a pan-theistic temple. The written adventure lays out a skill challenge to talk to the various religious groups to get them to agree to put aside their differences, and we still may run that (though this is a group of non-religious PCs – no divine characters – so I’m guessing we’ll skip it). However, the adventure doesn’t talk about a physical temple building, so I saw an opportunity for a side quest.
The PCs were asked to rid this forgotten temple of the undead monsters who had taken up refuge there. Straightforward battle premise – destroy the undead. I used a map I found online (I was in a hurry) and populated it with a variety of monsters. One monster I chose was the ghast – a monster the party had fought many levels ago, and I was delighted to see them remember the beast with dread.
Since this would be a two-combat day, I ramped up the challenge level, and I think I hit it just about right. The first fight left one PC unconscious at one point and everybody bloodied. The second was less brutal but more fun (the skeleton lord they fought was surprisingly fun to play).
So, it looks like our table is full once more – huzzah! Now I just have to figure out how to handle the fact that the leader in the party wants to switch to playing a striker…