Dear God No!
A couple of minutes pass, they discuss the carious lengths of rope they have and who may have climbing pitons in their starter packs. I can stand it no longer and I give them a nudge. “You could probably just slide down…?”
A quick acrobatics check later and everyone makes it to the bottom, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. For them the evils of the slide are behind them. For me the excitement of the rest of the dungeon awaits!
They come upon another room, and wisely take a peek inside before they enter. They see rats. D&D rats sure, bigger and meaner than real rats, but just… rats. I rub my hands together in anticipation, this is just what they need. An easy victory to build their confidence, and they will be happy to discover the few gold coins that I hid in the rat’s nests. Because, you know, that’s where rats put their gold coins.
“Let’s go another way.” They turn around and walk back.
What!? Are you kidding me? Can this really be happening? Would you like to just forget about the adventure, go home and have some tea? Well I’m not going to make it that easy on you! You are going to win a battle, and you are going to like it! I force them to fight some rats, they are guarding a key they need to open a locked door… conveniently. The fight goes well for them, but I am troubled that they keep forgetting what dice to roll. Like, over and over again, How many times before you remember which is which?
I glance at the clock, then at my dungeon map. We have already been playing for some times, this is taking to long and I want to make sure we get to the spaceship. With some disappointment I take out all the traps (they are to paranoid anyway) and the last floor of the dungeon.
I kept the Sea-Lion though, nobody is going to take that away from me! About 30 minutes later they reach the end of the dungeon, and emerge from the sewers at a carefully chosen spot, to ambush and kill the prince during his inaugural parade. Did I mention the prince was in a parade? It doesn’t matter I guess, they shot him with a poison arrow and he died. His guards were pissed about it, but they died too. So there they stood. In the streets next to a dead prince, mission accomplished. What’s next? It was my hope that they would get curious about the “ancient knowledge” and go looking for it, perhaps realizing that they were just the decoys.
No such luck of course, time for the hand of God to step it. They were swept up in the fleeing crowd of people and ended up at the church. You know, the same one from the story, the one they built on top of the fallen ‘star.’ The church that has a spaceship in the basement.
After some snooping around they find their way into said basement to find a room filled with dead people. There had just been a battle between the forces of Baeron and the forces of Cook, and both sides killed eachother! There is also a stairway to the next room. There is a stairway to the next room. I’m sorry to repeat myself, but I’ve found if you don’t specifically repeat important details, like the fact that there is a stairway to the next room, the players will miss it.
“I loot the bodies!” They excitedly go to work going through everyone’s pockets and weapons. That’s not really the point of this scene, but fine. I give them some spears and chain mail, maybe a shield. Whatever kind of stuff soldiers would have on them. “No gold?” they ask. “No gold.” I reply. They don’t give up. “Do they have any purses or pouches? Are any of them hiding anything?”
What, are you going to dig through their stomachs to find out what they had for breakfast? If you find an apple core, will you add it to your inventory? These are your fallen countrymen! Aren’t you going to ask any basic questions about what happened here? Aren’t you at least going to go into the next room to see what they were fighting for? They don’t. They ask if this is a good place to end the session, they are getting tired. Come on! Do you know how long I spent making this story? Aren’t you curious at all? You wanted some loot so bad, the freaking cave of wonders is in the next room!
I promise them that it’s almost over,I really want to get them to the end. Surely having their own spaceship will keep them excited to play next time. “So where do we go?” My heart sinks. Where do you go? Did I mention the staircase that leads to the next room? You literally have one option, have tried nothing and are asking for help.
I tell them where to go.
They find the spaceship and I am excited to describe it. This session has probably gone on for too long and they are too tired to investigate everything as much as I hoped they would. Before they explore the exciting rooms, they find their way into the cockpit and ‘jump’ the ship to a new planet. I end the session there, I figure that is a good cliffhanger ending. They didn’t even find any of the cool stuff yet.
I think I worked to hard on this.