Session 2 and a litany of failures

Last night’s game was not very successful.

The first fail was when I set up the Line of Sight on one of the maps I had left a small gap around one of the alcoves. When a character stepped into the alcove they could see across to a ‘secret’ area. This was an area that I did not intend to use in the adventure, and had blocked off using the wall tool in Fantasy Grounds.

The player immediately told me that there was a problem and they could see more of the map than he should be able to.

So that was a failure in preparation. My fault.

That disclosure that they could see another area had an instant effect on the other players. They were three levels down into a temple and had not checked for a secret door at all in all that time. All of a sudden they were checking every wall. Because the players thought they knew something was there, they couldn’t resist searching for it. The more detailed their searching, the more detail I gave them. The more details they got, the more convinced there had to be something significant about the damp patch on the plasterwork, or a section of bricks that looked like it had be repaired at some point.

If they had had a hammer or a pickaxe, they would have started exhuming 40 year old bodies.

Meta gaming, tsk, bad players.

I did find that about 60% of the entire talk amongst the players was directly about their tokens on the map, where to move them to, where not to move them, trying to step their characters forward to get maximum line of sight. This part was particularly tedious.

The players seem to like the map, but they are dyed in the wool wargamers, they do love a battle map. It is just a pity that I think they really spoil a game.

I am going to try and wean them off of maps. I am not adverse to imagery. I am going to try and give them a flow of pictures of what buildings and places or beasties look like, and try and tone down the map use. Not sure how that will work out.

What I am thinking is to not make maps of the entire place, do that by theatre of the mind. But when they enter combat then give them a battle map so they can use the ranges and positioning.

Finally, something went very wrong with my Fantasy Grounds set up last night. Clicking on the prepared encounters would not open them. I had to try and recreate the encounters in real time, not ideal. Once I had done that, there was definitely something wrong as I could not roll any attacks for the foes. The player rolls worked just fine, but the foe rolls did not register. I didn’t notice for two rounds as the foes were closing the distance and the players used missile weapons.

That glitch effectively ended the session. It was then pooling our limited knowledge of FG to try and work out what went wrong.

All in all, not the best session.

6 Replies to “Session 2 and a litany of failures”

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  1. Sorry it didn’t go well; hope I didn’t contribute by touting the Line of Sight features on Roll20! I’ve mostly played pre-made DnD modules, so those issues are not ones I’ve had to deal with as much.

    1. No, it was a simple slip of the mouse. The line of sight in Fantasy Grounds Unity is generally very good. The encounter where the technology let me down took place outdoors and the weather effects were quite cool.

  2. Doesn’t sound that bad, would have preferred a private message from the player with the LoS issue, but I guess they weren’t to know if it was real or an accident. You are right about fixing your maps for the needs must parts (and I like maps!). The less I use them, the more the players have to roleplay and imagine and draw their own maps. On the flipside, no-one sees my hard work.

    Mind you, I went the other way in “The Night of the Long Knives”. I had a battle map expecting the players to retreat to the defensible position and they spent the whole session wandering around in the jungle in various forms of concealment. It was all totally theatre of the mind and the map went virtually unused until the final moments when, battered and wounded, some of the party retreated to the vary aid I’d provided to protect them in the first place.

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