Friday, 10 February 2012

Flying blue demons

My one-shot 4e adventure has reached its first combat.  The group spent the first week wandering around a sheep market chatting to the locals and getting to grips with Yorkshire dialect.

Contrary to a certain strand of belief, 4e does not quench role-playing any more than any other gaming system.  All you've ever needed for that is pro-active players and an environment that encourages them to talk to each other and the NPCs around them.  The actual mechanics are meaningless.

On the whole, I don't make players roll dice unless there is some reason  for it.  You want to go and talk to the auctioneer?  Fine.  Unless you grotesquely insult him and his family, there's no reason to start rolling skill checks.  Behave like a pinhead and charge up with your battleaxe threatening him in a public square - well, I might ask you to roll a check of some kind, but frankly, I'm more likely to turn the guards out and let you suffer.

In this case, I've had the chance to create some interesting hooks for future adventures if the group lasts that long and wants to play more.  Now they are about to invade the isolated tower containing some kidnapped halflings and the brother of one of the PCs.

I'm enjoying it very much, although I have to keep reminding myself to state the rules clearly.  Not because any of the players are stupid (far from it, they're all experienced and very capable), but because the combat system is new to them.  The kind of new that is familiar in a lot of ways, and different enough to mean that they're asking a lot of questions.

It's been a while since I ran a low-level game and it is a lot of fun.  All my other games at the moment are Paragon level with hyper-powerful characters.  They can all do a myriad different things in virtually any situation, so it's rather nice going back to basics. 

The flying blue demons?  There were reported sightings at the kidnap site.  Quite rightly, at least two of the characters think this is a load of tosh and don't believe in such things.

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