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Main / BG18-OOC

Birthday Game 2018 - Out of Character Discussions


John - wouldn't an area of effect collateral damage like that be subject to save for half like a fireball in a room with no escape?

9/19/18 Lisa

I am really very sorry about QuiFon. I saw some hesitation about resurrecting him at the end. In my opinion, PCs come first without question. John, whatever you want to do about Qui is, of course, completely your decision. Please do not think about Penelope's status or think that I would be angry or anything about you resurrecting Qui right away.

I had to read the end of the chat 3 times for the section after I left. It is hard to fully get for someone who didn't watch the movement on the maps. So when I formatted it I tried to put in a lot of the moving forward as IC in that last section (especially the moving forward after PCs saw Kel "disappear") that I normally don't do, in case anyone wants to try to do any further analysis.

The nice thing about doing the chat formatting is that I get to read the chat logs over again. Both the scorpion and the trap encounters are over, but I had some thoughts on them, both during the night itself and as I plowed through formatting and reading 17 hours of chat. I wouldn't mind discussing it in the interest of potentially avoiding similar situations happening again, but I don't want to take the time going through it round by round if everyone would rather just move on. My bottom line take is that the scorpion encounter was not as simple as BOB/Penelope's "fault," and there was a chain of less than perfect calls by all of the players in that encounter.

9/20 TMO

I missed the starts of a lot of the encounters, which is undoubtedly why Ilero wasn't in the thick of them. But from what I saw of the scorpion encounter, the "simplest" answer would have been to back out the passage and let the scorpions be the ones in the bottleneck as they chased after you and came out the other end. However, the simplest answer isn't always possible, and I'm not sure if this is one of those cases.

I'll read through the chat with interest and see what I missed! Thanks for doing them!

9-20 BOB

1 - This is why I keep on insisting on using text chat rather than voice. We can all go back and review, relive.

2 - I think that over the course of the 17+ hours of play everyone did things that were less than optimal, including me in presenting the story and certain reveals

3 - I did find it frustrating that many people were saying, "Penelope needs to get out of the way" when they were in the way of anyone else moving either.

4 - I am very happy that everyone was so devestated by what happened both in character and out of character. It means that everyone does really care.

5 - No one should feel that they are to blame for any of the character deaths. Sometimes you just do not get out of a situation. With the scorpions - if everyone retreats back to leave only Indigo in the entrance, if he got those two hits from one instead of two scorpions he would have died and the next person would have then had to take the brunt of the attacks. If they retreat back to let the next more powerful character come forward, Indigo gets gnawed on and could be unrecoverable.

6 - To John's point up above. I went with the easier method for doing damage. It was a lighting attack that rebounds inside of a small space. Add in water and metal spikes. What could have happened is to have those in the pit to make a save each time the lighting goes through the area, so 3 separate rolls for damage, each one save for half. Instead I made the one roll for damage to make the process simplier and go quicker for everyone. Even if someone had made all three saves they would have taken more damage than the one bit of damage assigned.

I do hope that everyone gets a chance to contribute here to talk about what they might have liked to see done differently so the next time that happens (you are still in the middle of the caverns after all) you have a better understanding of what each person would like to do.

6/20 Lisa

A large part of the reason I wanted to talk about the scorpion encounter is that to me, it felt like no one understood what I was trying to do. That is one of the drawbacks with text chat. All we see is what is being typed and perceptions can be different to different people when they read the same words on the screen. I donít usually see other players discussing their combat strategy in the middle of combat, but would it help if I took the time to explain mine OOC, when I have a plan other than hack and slash?

First, I purposely stopped in the doorway because I didnít want to rush into a room not knowing what was in there. In this case, 2 scorpions came to greet me and they were the first ones blocking the doorway. I really didnít think trying to push past them was a great idea.

In my head, I always feel like when the cannon goes off, weíre pretty much done having OOC discussions. Also (BOB Ė correct me if Iím wrong!) I thought in order to get my 3 hits in, my IC dialogue couldnít be more than 1 or 2 short sentences. Penelope was the only one directly near me, so I thought if I told her to run away, then she would be telling the group what was going on as she took off down the corridor. Indigo could get a round of swipes in, and then run down to the big open room.

TMO Ė like you said above, that is also what I thought would be the easiest solution to this combat and I didnít understand why it seemed to me that everyone wanted to charge at us rather than let us retreat to them. I had absolutely no intention of trying to take on 3 scorpions at 45 hp a piece all by myself!!

My earliest mistake was not being more forceful verbally for everyone to GET OUT!!! 😊 By the time people began moving up the narrow corridor, we couldnít escape if we tried.

Over the weekend, I thought about what if instead of Indigo and Penelope, it was Branadarus and Branwyn (with dagger and no spells). (Again BOB can correct me if I am misjudging.) But I could picture Branadarus literally throwing Branwyn out of the room rather than risk her experiencing insta-death with no one to save her. On Round 2, I should have picked Penelope up and crashed down the hallway into Shi and Anor rather than trying to crash through 2 scorpions. Hindsight is always 20/20, isnít it?

9/20 Carissa

Hindsight is always 20/20. Just a few thoughts, might add more later whenever I do finally go back and read and summarize the rest of the text.

I have the same thought of not really doing OOC when in the middle of combat. Maybe next time, when it gets so dicey, we can maybe (if BOB let's us), yell PAUSE and try to explain our plan? I thought that might have been your original plan, but when both Indigo and Penelope stayed, I had Shi keep advancing to see if she could somehow support you (I think. It already feels so long ago). Penelope also had a plan. I'm kind of disappointed she never successfully lasso'd her scorpion - that would have made a difference. I was trying to figure out on my end if it was better to try and boost her success or help Indigo with that third scorpion. Either way, first time of scorpions for me. I hadn't a clue until then how deadly or how hard they were to kill.

As for the end of chat encounter, I fully admit that at that point I was just pushing to be done. In my mind, I was thinking we were so close to maybe the big final reveal that'd make this damnable cave worth it...only to make more mistakes and run into a similar situation as earlier of deaths and near-deaths. It was a very exhausting game, especially for all the emotions. On one hand, good that we care, but on the other hand, all that caring actually made me stop caring (why wouldn't we think to check for traps?) and thinking (realizing a second too late that maybe I should point out the bad mix of water and electricity) at the end if that makes sense.

I don't know. My two-cents, although in this economy, not sure how much worth that actually is :P

6/23 Lisa

Next steps?

Before I logged off last Saturday, I was thinking of searching for the passage from the castle end of things. But considering what happened in the caverns, I am going back to my idea of interrogating the Head Steward. Seewick said the Count took her cloak. He has to know something. Hopefully direct requests for information will work, but if not, we need to be prepared to go further.

This doesnít have to begin as an intense questioning. Another reason Indigo is probably not the bestest of choices as he is not in a great frame of mind and doesnít do subtle well. But so far we havenít followed up on even the basics. (For my characters it was a matter of politeness and not knowing that this information was relevant to anything mission-related.)

We can start with simple things like Ė

  • What was the Countís wifeís name?
  • When/how did she die?
  • Where is she buried?

And then go with the whole Ė The Count stole her cloak, left for dead in a cavern thing.

I wish Branwyn was here, as what I am thinking would more likely come out of her head than Indigoís. Iím not talking about waterboarding them or anything, but maybe a threat or two would be helpful. Or, if one of our priests has Zone of Truth, that would be a good spell to get info. But if no one has it, I was thinking maybe we could bluff it with a Faerie Fire spell. In a land with no priests, Iím thinking that people wouldnít be too familiar with either of those spells and if someone thinks they are compelled to tell the truth, maybe they will. Spells listed below.

Then, depending on what we find out from knowing what the staff know, we can plan further from there.


Zone of Truth: This spell prevents creatures within the area of effect (or those who enter it) from speaking any deliberate and knowing lies. Creatures are allowed a saving throw to avoid the effects; those who fail the save are affected fully. Affected characters are aware of this enchantment; therefore, they may avoid answering questions to which they would normally respond with a lie or they may be evasive as long as they remain within the boundaries of the truth. When a character leaves the area, he is free to speak as he chooses.

Faerie Fire: This spell enables the caster to outline one or more objects or creatures with a pale glowing light. The faerie fire does not cause any harm to the object or creature thus outlined.

- TMO :: I couldn't find any good GIFs of the urban legend of the police interrogating a suspect and using a sheet with 'He's Lying' in a photocopier, and they just pushed the button every time they thought the suspect was lying.

- Lisa :: Lol! I'm not saying it's a perfect solution. Just a start for clues not involving the Cavern of DOOM! And I am not entirely convinced the Count is the bad guy here...

9-25 Mario

I may be a bit late with this, but I had to digest:::

Speaking specifically on the Seewick seance, I too am not convinced the Count is the bad guy. There were six relevant lines during the seance, and one unanswered question:

[Wisewoman Sunflower (Master)] Seewick, Where is your cloak?
[Seewick (Master)] my husband took it
[Wisewoman Sunflower (Master)] Where is your sister?
[Seewick (Master)] my sisters are far away
[Wisewoman Sunflower (Master)] Where is your cloak now?
[Seewick (Master)] I do not know
[Wisewoman Sunflower (Master)] How long have you gone without your cloak?
[Master] The flames turn back to gold

None of these answers makes the Count a bad guy. There could be many reasons for the Count to take her cloak and not necessarily be a bad guy. We need more facts and straight answers from the NPCs (which are all controlled by BOB - what are the chances of a straight answer?! :0) ). I also agree we are "safer" searching from the Castle out, than the Caverns in. The only question then becomes, at what point do we stop caring about being diplomatic and being gracious, and more openly search with a purpose through the castle? We will certainly lose our friendly status with the Count.


On a totally unrelated note, I left Saturday night not thinking of the pit trap final scene, but of the return of the larger party to Indigo and Tyberius. After our reunion, I felt bad that the return team kinda crashed Indigo's (and Lisa's) plans and chance for an encounter. Indigo stormed off, and missed out on the "fun' of an encounter. I voiced my concerns to Bob before leaving for the night, mostly that Lisa missed out. She had not been present during the Kel questioning with the gypsies, nor the resurrection at the castle, nor the conflicts in the Caverns after the reunion.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that every character was role-played as I would have expected them to in this situation. The returning party would rush back to try to help Indigo, who was in effect alone in the caverns. The party would have wanted to use the Rod of Resurrection on Penelope, as it worked as intended on Kel. And Indigo would have been steamed still, and perfectly in character, stormed off in grief, anger, frustration. So, after thinking about it, I suppose I just feel bad Lisa didn't get a chance to encounter for a large part of the session.


Finally, the end scene of the session is all but a blur. I know I was rushing to try to finish in the time allotted for this session (a totally self-imposed goal). Kel was rushing, so as to not lose the lights in the caverns again, and also finish the session at a logical stopping point. We did have previous knowledge of the caverns, but our haste made us move aimlessly in search of the cloak. To show for it, we have another dead character (Rest In Peace Qui Fon), a walking wounded, and a separated party. Hindsight says I (we maybe) should have just stopped until we could use our full faculties to make better judgments and decisions. Please don't think I am imposing blame; quite the contrary. Kel should not have run off toward the lights.

I suppose we regroup this week and decide what is our goal(s), and the best ways to achieve them

PS: We close on our home this Friday at 2 pm, so I will be on a bit late, as we celebrate! No guarantees on how long I'll be on, or even when; the missus already has our weekend planned to the tee, which involves two days of moving truck rentals. yay! :0/

9/25 Carissa

Family back in town for a long weekend so sorry for delays in replies and summary. Anyways, just to add two more things:

1. In reply to Lisa's plan, I will simply put out there that of the spells Shi has, she only has Faerie Fire and Charm for use - and not until, what, midnight? Correct me if I'm wrong, but walking wounded can't cast until next day (...unless next day isn't until 7 AM; I can never remember). Or did she also lose the spells she hadn't casted yet? High chance she'll be useless for casting help. Although, with the thought of Charm in mind, would Miranda's flute potentially be useful? And also agree with the questioning, but I always imagine Shi has only mild interest in "human" affairs at best. She asked a guard (I think it was a guard not long after they all arrived...well she asked someone) once how the Countess died, didn't get an answer, and presumably stopped caring/wasn't curious enough to care since it didn't directly affect her or her friends at the time.

2. Agreeing with going from castle to cavern for searching. We've been doing cave with attempt to castle too many times. I mean, I am almost tempted to bet money that the door is right close to where we were since it was literally the last passage we haven't fully explored, but, you know, death and destruction and such. Maybe what we're looking for is in the wine cellar we were already shown? Reminder that Elves have the innate ability to find secret and concealed doors...

No opinion yet on the Count, but I admit I find a swanmay and vampire to be an odd couple alignment-wise. Then again, Wisewoman Sunflower did kind of argue in vampires not being evil but misunderstood (major paraphrasing there). Or something like that.