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Hack For More

WEEK 31: 11/09/04

by Edward McEneely
Nov 23,2004

 

Hack For More

WEEK 31: 11/09/04

Running a Hackmaster game is a lot like writing for an action/fantasy television program. You have to consider the props available to you (the sourcebooks you already have), the state of the cast, the necessity for a challenge that won't overwhelm them (until the season finale, of course), the over-arcing plot of the series, and your budget (which essentially represents how creative you are and how much free time you have; I imagine that there's a boardgame out there about being a GM...I'd play). Every now and then you end up with a sort of filler episode when the budget is depleted and it's hard to find any guest stars.

The campaign has settled into one of those periods for right now, as the cast has chosen to leave my prepared sets (the keep, assembled at great expense) and move out for some location shoots, which are always the most expensive and hardest to do right. When the PCs are travelling, it's a lot harder to map out the whole Road to Badger Falls than it was to map out Dungeon 1.

Nominally, the trip home should be chock full of random monsters, but those are a pain to generate, and spontenaity (as we have seen) ruins a game like HackMaster. I've taken to pregenerating any encounters I want the PCs to run into well before the game begins, which cuts further into my budget.

As a result, the PCs ran into a smaller encounter this week; a party of ten Grel contract employees lead by a Grey Elf Ranger and a pack of Elven wardawgs.

The battle itself was a short one, but far more dangerous to the party than I antcipated; Seth and Erich both went down to 0 hitpoints at one time or another, and Laura's character didn't look much better. Standing in the back is no defense against arrows.

In the end, the players were triumphant, and Erich even managed to save the last charge on his wand for a more serious emergency, should one appear.

The party recovered a little treasure and some more information about the nature of their enemies in the form of marching orders in Elvish and diagrams of the cannons they had found back at the keep.

Thus fortified, they set off for Badger Falls.

This was a weak episode in a larger series, but I find as I go on that looking at it as part of a whole helps me get over how crap it actually is.

Hey Even The Quotes Sucked This Time:

Erich (making an itinerary): And we'll be stopping at Varturus, which is a big dot on the map, so it's sure to have armor!

Seth: I'm lightly encumbered without my goats.

Seth (watching Erich reanimate dead goblins to haul gold): Truly, I had expected lawful good to be something different.

Ed: You know that great Final Fantasy scrying game you play?

Seth: Let's just melt the gold down with sidewinder fireballs and meld it into a duck!

Ed: Badger Falls has counties?
Seth: Well, it has people who can count and we call them "counties!"

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What do you think?

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