May 15th, 2002


D&D Critique

I'm taking a long time to write about what happened in the May 1 D&D session, so I'm going to go straight to the merciless self-criticism and hope to fill in the actual facts later.

- I did manage to explain some of the loose ends from the original adventure.
- The players seemed entertained by the crazy mage Nithelen. And they figured out right away that he was batshit insane.
- I wasn't too focused on fighting.
- I used the Zwieback of Zymurgy in such a way that the dorky name was clearly in-character.
- I didn't keep the final resolution of the pool of pus hanging nearly as long as I could have.

- I worry that Nithelen is being too cooperative. Perhaps I could have been smarter with him in the initial confrontration--he hardly used any of the spells I had planned. And perhaps he should be a lot more cautious when the charm spell has worn off. On the other hand, the sort of slavish praise that the PCs have been giving him is just the right approach to take with him, so that should be fairly successful...
- The dealing with the pool was fairly anticlimactic. Perhaps someday I'll learn to pace things better. I excoriate myself about this, probably to excess.
I also think that it felt railroaded to the players. This is a pity, since I had really intended not to railroad them. But they tried a good solution (poisoning the pool) and I wasn't quick enough to roll with it and the consequences it would have. I regret this too.

Ah well. I am still learning.