August 12th, 2006

It Stinks

The Ballad of the Has-Been

I don't often turn my hand to writing songs (other than filks or parodies), because when I do they always come out as vaguely-country-western novelty songs along the lines of Ray Stevens. I wrote one called "Cry, Baby Cry" about riding the Greyhound bus, for instance.

However, I woke up this morning with this one going through my head, so I figured I'd better write it down. In terms of the music, I've got it in my head but I don't know musical notation, so I couldn't begin to write it down. Think of something roughly along the lines of Kenny Rogers' "Coward of the County" ... if doing so doesn't hurt too much.

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-The Gneech
  • Current Music
    The Gneech -- "Ballad of the Has-Been" IMH
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Obi-Wan Not Good

Oh Dear, We're Dropping Like Flies [gaming]

Session #2 of Laurie's Star Wars campaign found us on Kashykk, investigating a rash of mysterious fires. Unfortunately, due to a series of unfortunate events, the middle of the adventure found jamesbarrett's smuggler -this- close to taking a the Big Jump, my Jedi Guardian gasping for VP, and hantamouse's squib facing the very real possibility that "Run away!" might be his only chance of survival.

The events were, probably in order of severity:

1) Evil dice. As always. laurie_robey consistently rolled 15+ for the enemy attacks, and it was a critical hit that dropped Martin (the smuggler) in one shot. Meanwhile, we rolled absolute junk. I managed to successfully activate my Battlemind skill ... that was the only thing I rolled above a 7.

2) An overwhelming encounter. Our party was one 3rd level character and two 2nd level ones, dropped into a surprise combat with six 'challenge code B' thugs with no prep or buff time at all. In D&D terms, this is a party of EL 1.7 in a EL 7 encounter -- owie! This adventure is designed for 4 characters of levels 4-5 ... or a party EL of 4.5. Still a tough encounter, but not quite so OMG hard. But as we'd been rolling over most of the encounters we'd had up until then, laurie_robey figured we could handle it. (Which, chances are, we probably could have with some less hostile dice.)

3) Unfavorable conditions. The encounter took place in one teeny room with no cover or features, meaning there was nothing for us to duck behind, and no way for my melee-centric character to really take advantage of the terrain or anything like that. Laurie tells me that she expected us to backpedal out of the room once we saw what we were up against, and if the critical hit on Martin had just been a regular hit, making both he and I hurt, we probably would have done so. As it was, I was staying there to try to pull him out of the fire.

Laurie rescued the game from TPK by having the Wookiees show up and overpower the opposition, which is preferable to "and then you die, game over" but as she said on the way home it would have been more satisfying for the players if we'd played it out the rest of the way (with wookiees providing cover fire so we could escape) rather than her just shutting down the encounter right there with the announcement that the cavalry had arrived.

The good news is that from that point forward she, in her own words, "threw away the script and made up the rest" -- and from there on it improved dramatically. She created a new ending with an unexpected ship combat completely on the fly, and we all got to show off our specialties. Martin flew circles around the main villain, Rumzhin (hantamouse's squib) got to use the "Vehicle Weapon Familiarity" he just burned a feat on, and I got to be dramatically heroic by going EVA on a tether to rescue the schnook when a botched pilot roll sent the villain's ship into a tailspin doomed to end as a fiery ball on the side of a mountain.

So a good time was had by all, and Laurie, neophyte GM that she still is, managed to snatch a good session out of the jaws of a potential disaster. You go, girl! =)

-The Gneech

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