Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A season of Lumbertons, lessons learned

This last weekend marked the culmination of my second full year on a plot team. I am very excited to say that I think this season was better than last season and I expect next season to be better still. This season I made a couple of mistakes in my plot line, but I got to have a lot of fun with collaborative plot and I got to have fun facilitating my fellow plot members plot lines. I am going to talk about what we did well with our various plots, what I think we can work on, and my general feelings about the whole season.

First, my plot line never really got off the ground. I decided at the beginning of the season that I did not want to run another world ending plot, my plot was focused more on a deeper understanding of the campaign world. I hooked it through a couple of different players who generally do not see a ton of plot and at the end of the first event I was fairly confident that it was going to get pursued. I was wrong. Elements of my plot, NPCs and cultures became integral in other plots. Modules from my plot were rewritten to be used in other plots. Of the players that I hooked to pursue my plot directly, one permed, one had a hard time gathering support and one never came to an event. Had I been really interested in pushing my line, I would have increased the number of involved parties, put in more plot items and information and generally increased the exposure to elements of my plot line. I did none of those things, so my plot line remained in the box. I am ok with that though, there is always next year.

My fellow plot people and I came up with an idea for a campaign wide plot line at the beginning of the season and we kicked it off at the Lumberton events. I will not mention specifics but I will talk about a few generalities. First, I really love wide arcing plot and I think that the one this season is a great example. It probably touches three quarters of the player base which is huge. The plot has elements of a world ending plot for some characters, mild interest for others and some just enjoy the beat stick modules that go along with it. We were able to work in some really great roleplay and some cool modules, this was definitely my favorite line of the season.

My biggest area of improvement is in the statting of monsters. I took a real step backwards this year and forgot that the best way to make a module fun for everyone is to give everyone a target that is going to make them feel like the coolest person ever. I fell into the trap of every mob being survivable and high damage. In the last event of the season I tried to correct and i think that I met with some success. Next year however more modules will include a variety of mobs intended to be most easily defeated by different types of characters. I think that this will go a long way towards making more people feel like they were the hero, which is the whole goal.

We ran two plot lines to their completion this year. One of them spanned two seasons and the other only one. That rate of completion feels pretty good. I think the players felt suitably successful without feeling like everything was done. We didn't leave any armies of creatures roaming the land, also a good thing, since it is hard to explain why everyone isn't dead. Overall I felt good about the plot lines that we ran and completed.

So thats my take on the season, I would love to hear from those of you that played one, two or all of my events. Please give me some stuff to do better, I am always looking to improve.


  1. Are rumors and mod sheets not done anymore? I miss having stuff to investigate.

  2. MOd sheets were out. I think we just forgot to do rumors this year, too bad really. Next year.

  3. I had the unique experience of only coming in on the last two events of Lumberton. I found in general the stating of monsters to be pretty high. Being 40th level I love being able to end every reset with having no spells or formal levels left, but if I were lower level, I would run out even faster and be stuck being able to do "nothing" in between resets. I would recommend more implementation of the "lesser" call which I've seen to great use. I think the final lumberton mosh was good. I found that most people knew what was going on and why. It was pretty heinous for some (reseting 20-40 magic deathknights) but not to others. I would probably partition off things in these larger encounters if at possible. Something like waves of resetting smaller revenants coming from one front, and the hoopty deathknights from another. This way the lower level people dont get mowed through every reset just to get saved by the higher levels. I did find the story to be engaging though and I felt involved just because I asked questions.

  4. I wish that my new job didn't take me away from the the game as much as it did this summer, but the short times I spent at the event were very fun. I loved the air squid! That was the highlight of my event!