We’ve had four or five sessions of my new Labyrinth Lord campaign, and I think it’s really starting to get good. Last night, for the first time as GM, I dismembered a player. OK, he only lost his arm, but I’m amazed after years of playing Warhammer that it took switching to Labyrinth Lord to finally take a character’s arm off. Score.
But I’m not just thinking about my new-found sadistic GMing style. Actually, it was just bad luck on his part to get severed arm result on the critical chart. It happens. Mostly, it’s all the stuff going on in the game, and how excited everyone seems to be about it. The players are leaving my house jazzed, and I personally can’t wait until the next session.
For the most part, we have yet to really explore outside the bounds of the original module I based this campaign on. Though I am already prepared for that to happen, it really just depends on what plot elements the players pick up on. That’s one big difference between this and the last sandbox I ran (the lunch-time game). In that game the players thought very linearly, picking up on the first plot hook dropped and following it with blinders on. In this game, the players have a pretty good sense of a lot of the things around them, and often debate which things to look into next. They’ve made some pretty intelligent decisions, and in general tend to plan their attack well. Not that it always goes exactly as they planned, but generally they tend to think things through.
I think it’s this openness, and the fact that I try to force myself not to think through eventualities until the players are directly looking into something, that really is making this fun for me. I do little planning between sessions, and I try to make sure I only have ideas and not plans for the campaign. As such, when I sit down the table, I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen, because I really have no clue what it will be. I feel like a player!
The only thing I still have yet to see that I’d really enjoy is having the players invent their own leads. For example, I made sure to let them know that although the spell list clearly doesn’t have anything in it that restores lost limbs, if they made it a priority to find some magical means of doing so, it wouldn’t be impossible. I was kind of excited actually by the idea that they might decide to start talking to sages or the like to try and dig up the location of a person or artifact that might do the job. So far all the adventures the group has gone on have seeded from something I put (or Len Lakofka put) into the world from the beginning. In fact, I was hesitant to even mention the above example of the replacement arm for fear my players might read this and be influenced in their decision on whether or not to pursue that. I really don’t want to steer the campaign in any way. I want to see the players go off an a quest that’s entirely their own devising. I’m sure it won’t be long before they do.
Man, is it Wednesday yet? I want to play again!