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Last week I started Jade Regent for my group. This is my second campaign attempt, and the first long term game attempt for this group. I was worried. Two of the players, the ones who usually do the DMing, are also pretty hefty power-gamers with a dash of rules-lawyering. Not in a bad way, mind you, it's just that they know their stuff, and correct you when you are wrong. They also make characters that tend to wipe the floor with EVERYTHING. The only reason I thought I was up to this is because of my personal DM style. I like to think of it as, I don't screw with the character, I mess with the player. I play off of natural metagame senses to get the reactions I want.
Well, I will post the events of the nights game below, but I have to say, I feel like that the Licktoad Village encounter was you personally turning to me and saying, "Hey, DM, here is my gift to you." I cannot conceive of any encounter that I would enjoy running more then what has transpired tonight. The party, while a group of goblin munching machines, were held at bay and baffled by the goblin's tactics and the players were just frustrated enough at Gutwad that it gave me time to really dig into the insanity that is the Goblin mindset. Mechanically, it was great. The fight lasted 3 hours and never got boring, Pacing was perfect, they party enjoyed it, and I had the best time I have ever had running it.
Thank you for loving me, the DM, Mr Jacobs. I receive your gift gratefully.
Now for the play by play. Hidden by spoiler tags.
This brings me to tonight's game. We ran the Licktoad Village encounter.
Suffice to say, it went pretty textbook. They went in the front gates, and I noted that the party was almost taller then the walls. They started to look around and noticed the goblins who are in the huts.
The samurai decides to check it out, pokes his head in, which triggers the fight. He wins initiative and kills a goblin right off, the other two try to swarm him. The rest of the party finish them off with no trouble. Then came the one round beat. The party knew something was going to happen, they player's knew it. Then I opened the flood gates and had the goblins come out.
The two closest ones ran right into the party for a kill, then one of the other goblins scored a critical hit against the fighter with a desnan candle, blinding him. As per the tactics I had them all drop what they were doing and watch, Oooooo-ing and Awwwwe-ing. The two closet ones died. I had two goblins climb up on the roof, one failed his climb check and landed in front of the fighter, nearly dead from the fall.
I started to see the looks of "Wow, the DM has bad dice skills and these goblins are bad at tactics." Then in the next round, the next glorious round, it started to go right. The next wave of goblins tried daring attempts to defeat their foes. One Goblin dove at the rogue to disarm her, another one dove from the roof, one attempted to grapple the cleric. Each time I did this, I saw a flash of excitement in their eyes as they asked me "You know that provokes, right?" I say, "Yes, go to it." They then shrug and take the shot. Then they discovered that goblins have a halfway descent AC, and that crossbows aren't good for attacks of opportunity. Well, those goblins didn't last, neither did the Desnan Candle shooters (when they died I had the fireworks shoot in random directions, adding to the chaos.) One goblin, that glorious goblin, did manage to get a grapple against the cleric. So, I did what came naturally. Next round the goblin bit him. We figured out the appropriate damage and modifiers, and it rolled max damage. This took the cleric into half damage, and the player had the character flip the f*ck out! While the party dispatched and peeled the biter off of the clerics leg, the rest ran away to the door of the chiefs "Impenetrable Fortress".
Here is where it gets delicious. The party is now outside Gutwad's door, the chief is inside yelling, not able to comprehend why the party is still standing after hearing the AWESOMENESS of his voice. (Yes we played "We Be Goblins." and no, none of them spoke Goblin) The summoner looks around the building. She's the one that finds the latter to the secret entrance. She fails the perception check. Her eidolon makes it. He's supposed to be playing dumb (as the character is posing as a bard with an exotic pet foo dog), so he pulls her back and I have it do this entire scooby doo routine to get her to go up and find the secret entrance.
After alerted to it, the party goes to ambush the chief from two sides. I loved the concept of the goblins reaction to watching the doors open from such a simple disable device check, and again, I play it up as they are horrified at the diabolical skills of the person able to bypass the very secure door. As soon as combat begins, I have Gutwad flip out about the DOG IN HIS ROOM, and start firing animal bane arrows at the outsider. Everyone piles in the room. Everyone takes a shot at the chief. Everyone except the eidolon misses (of course, cause no one it as awesome as Mipsy!). The second round, Gutwad lights the skyrocket. Again, the players inform me this provokes, expecting me to take back the action, I say go ahead. Again, they mostly miss. In they next round they do a little more damage, and almost bring him down. The summoner pulls her eidolon, Mipsy, out of the fight as she thinks it's all wrapped up and wants to let others get the kill, and also to check and heal up any damage. No one hits Gutwad after that. His turn comes round. Everyone is now in the room, except the summoner and her eidolon. He goes to fire, again they jump on me that this provokes. They take the shot, and one of them hits. They roll damage... and bring Gutwad to 2HP. The skyrocket goes off.
Half the party gets dropped to 0, Gutwad dies, everyone in the room gets deafened. Forever more I will remember the mental image of the summoner walking outside of the fight, looking at her giant freaking multicoloured foo dog and saying "Awe, Mipsy, are you okay, did the mean goblin hurt you?" Then from behind her you hear "BOOM!!!" Whistling and sparks flying out of the door, shocked look on her face, she turns around, sees the carnage and says "Oh shi-"
This is why I love gaming.
As a Dm that just is running a JR game currently, this two was my personal favorite encounter.
party consists of Tengu Ranger, Horc Stone oracle(blind earth bender?), Human Barbarian, and a "Human street performer" i.e. kitsune Ninja who only reverts back to his kitsune form at night so he can jump around the city buildings and be a super hero known as the Red Fang
Since the AP states to make this fight as ridiculous as possible I pretty much threw physics and reason out the window when it came to the goblin tactics.
A goblin that got an arrow in the leg, grabing the shaft of the arrow sticking out of its leg to swing itsself like a club at a PC which resultd in a crit that killed itself and made the PC barbarian panic.
Goblins launching themselves into the air from the towers with long bows, while mid air using thier attack actions to launch themselves further with shortbows and finally lighting skyrockets to launch themselves stright downward at the party.
5 goblins Voltroning it together to make a large sized Goblin "mech"
Gutwad using dirty tricks on the ninja in the party to spit in the ninjas mouth while the ninja tried to declare how awesome he was and how the chief should just give up to his awesomeness(think black star from soul eater on this one)
Chief Gutwad escaping by straping the remaining skyrockets to his back to make an improvised jetpack, where he managed to escape the party but not before the rockets exploded "blasting him off" into the horizon to become a reacuring villian that recruits a group of summoners to hunt the Pcs named Team Skyrocket.
Thanks all for sharing. I've run We Be Goblins once, and am running Second Darkness at the moment, but this little writeup has me wanting to run We Be Goblins for another group, and then run Jade Regent afterwards. We Be Goblins was fun enough the first time, but having the part face the tribe afterwards would just be hillarious...particularly if I use the 'ex-PCs' against them.