Hey ho, all.
Feel free to read on, of course, but I wanted to point out that this blog post will most benefit those who own or are considering a copy of Rone Barton's and my adventure The Bloody Fix.
At the recent Paizocon, over which I'm just about blogged out, I enjoyed a fabulous opportunity. I ran my own (and Rone's) adventure, The Bloody Fix, for a group who'd never seen it before.
This is a special sort of experience for an adventure writer. Writing is its own reward, but an RPG is more than just the words on the page, the fantastical and mechanical creations, the crunch and the fluff. RPGs are incomplete without the play experience, which is itself part improv theater. To run your creation for others results in an immediate gratification not often available to writers, the kind traditional actors experience on the stage, but even then -- not quite
My opportunity ran 9 hours. I expected 12, but this party pulled off the adventure in 9. They chose all the unobvious clues, walked an almost utterly unexpected clue-path, triangulated the BBEG as he/she/it tried to scare them off, then confronted and beareded her/him/it in his/her/its lair. They also did so in a unique way that amplified their victory. A fantastic experience and fun all around.
That said, I learned a few things that escaped our original playtest, and I'd like to share. So here 'tis, my points of shame:
1. In the Zheeld and Zharnol encounter, add a minimum of 3 more monks of the same type as backup.
2. All the skill checks in the adventure? Reduce them by 5. That's right. All of them. They are set against the perfect min/max character, not for the average adventurer.
3. Consider adding in that Galwatty doesn’t know who his fight club opponent is, just that the first name is Opie. This turns the Opie Hardbar encounter into a two-part investigation (find last name first, then locate Opie) and reducing the chance PCs always visit Opie first.
4. Some of the insults in the insult match encounter are published PG-13. In our original write-up they were a bit...stronger. I've added them below.
*WARNING: SPOILERS, RATED R TEXT, & NSFW*
1. “When was the accident?” (A party member then naturally asks what accident he refers to.) Your mother must have kept rocks and glass in her snatch.
2. “Speaking of your mother, what’s it like getting bopped in the head with horse cock and sailor fists every day for nine months?”
9. “Who knew a pile of donkey shit could walk and talk? Any way you can stop the stink?”
About fighting Galwatty: “Troops went wild when Galwatty was pitted against me. They want to bring me down because I’ve won against all three Korty scumbags, and two of those Talquars whimpered and died at my feet. I am the storm made flesh! They say Galwatty’s a top-notch fighter, and I almost doubted myself when the ehrenrood arrived, but after his demotion? No fight in his eyes. Demoralized souls make lousy fighters. That’s it. The game is already won. Can you believe he’s the favorite in this match? Whatever. For once, I can bet on myself and score some real coin. I’m going to beat his mouth so hard he’ll shit teeth like baby corn.”