here is a recipe for how to amuse my players: don't prepare too much, & let them fuck off as much as they want. not that i wasn't prepared? i was...over prepared in some parts, & it was totally unknown which way they would jump. there is a fork in the flow chart (not that i flow chart, not really) & who can say how they might attack it! the best response to that is to let the role playing flow. i can't say as i'm disappointed: so much the opposite. what a great bunch of soldiers i have that i can just let them act in character & respond to them. i want to run a character driven game, right? they may not have the overweening ambitions (yet) but they certainly have the personalities down to just go & go.
the session started with a bit of pick-up. last session they had more or less exited the badlands (though they didn't know it) & the session had concluded with lorelai o'dragonfly's kidnapping to faerieland. tracey had some concerns about it, i knew. tom, james, & sam had a blast, but she was a little broadsided by the events. she mentioned wanting something supernatural to happen, but i went overboard with the full-on otherworlding. on one hand, i don't want the supernatural to be a walk in the park, on the other i want her to have fun, especially since my goal was to focus on her. we talked about it in the intervening time & i think it will incorporate into her over-all character well, but it was touch & go. this session started off with the other characters (well, tom's character & sam's characters, bedwin & damocles the maimed of the sun cutting darkness sept respectively) in the "haunted house" where she had been whisked from. i didn't expect the session to get derailed into their hunt for her, but it did. mostly, they kept coming up with good ideas & exceptional successes! bedwin, the psychic sensitive, kept rolling five (5) successes on his perception checks & hearing her in the walls, or whatever. damocles started doing tai-chi sword katas. it was crazy! james' pc, xartrus, had turned into an npc, & vanished, except for buckets of blood. eventually though, lorelai came staggering out of the woods, & they got going.
then the road! they found it, sided with short walls & sitting in a shallow ditch! the road was made by the milesians-- you can tell because they left the monolith mile markers! each covered in ogham, not that anyone can read it. they found a barrowmound in the crossroads & left bread & water as an offering, & moved on. eventually, after a day on the road, they met anaisthesio, a fellow in anonymous linen clothes with bandages around his head, & a cudgel. he couldn't remember who he was! so they all started out more southerly, with him filling them in on details about the kingdom of lalala as they asked. until...spiders! spiders made out of flower petals! not actually something i'm borrowing from kingtycoon at all, actually! he had something similar in his game, but funny story: over drinks, i asked jenny if i should put anything into my session on sunday & she said "spiders made of flower petals." weird, right? she also wanted me to make the floor out of babies, but i didn't do that. so i did! they walked into the webs, high on pollen. poppy-like. ever success (*) they made on their resist roll i gave them as a round to free themselves: & then spiders came! our stars were smart! ever so. when the swarms started forming, lorelai killed her spider & threw the corpse into the swarm. well fed swarms never attack! also, a strong point of the world of darkness storyteller rules. even if the pc's had one hundred (100) more experience points (xp) the spiders still would have been a credible threat. they fought them off & put up signs on the road warning other travelers.
anaisthesio told them, outside the town they finally found, a little bit about lalala politics. the royals? king clwdwg & queen gloriana? yes, they are married. yes, they are brother & sister. what? so? is she "nice?" no...they aren't nice, or mean. they are merciful, or cruel. they aren't happy, or sad, or anything like people. they are the royals! & as for governance, well. it all happens at the sufferance of the trismegistus, the secret police. in lalala that is taken even further. the courts rule everything, half in secret. the red court the players met first: they had torches & heavy armor & rose-burst armor, & were worried about the spider problem-- they set out to destroy the nest as soon as our heroes reported it. then-- the black court! all chainmail & snidley whiplash moustaches, all black trench coats & badges on the backside of the lapel. the comendant hit on lorelai outrageously! but they had letters of introduction & holy orders from the church. so to the temple they went, in through the giant kerubim statues, & past the ante-chamber guards (abbot & costello). there, to baths, & prayer, & discussions of open relationships. really, they talked about their relationships. fun!