Friday, October 9, 2015

Shady Hobo Moth and Witch Pies - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 3 - GM Commentary

First, go listen to Antagonist Relations Podcast - Episode 17 "I have my finger in many sinister pies!" as that is the session that I'll be commenting on. A Red and Pleasant Land is abbreviated as aR&PL below. Also, spoilers for the podcast, though I'll hide any spoilers for the players about upcoming sessions.

Comments are in roughly chronological order as I listen to the podcast for the umpteenth time...


  • Wubba lubba dub dub! We've made three actual play podcasts! Hopefully we'll squeeze another one in during October or early November but that Extra Life event might muck scheduling up as prep for it ramps up. PS. If you haven't go to our page and donate! DON'T BE AN A-HOLE. GO DO IT NOW. Even if it's just a dollar or two.
  • Switched up the opening music, since we had finished the first "story arc". Now it's the Forest Theme from the Path OST by Jarboe & Kris Force. Hopefully it doesn't give too many people heart attacks. Chosen before I knew the PCs were encountering a Witch.
  • I tried to give the Ginger Giant only two minutes, but he took longer, but I did keep him from taking up three hours. YOU'RE WELCOME. That deserves a donation, right? RIGHT? I have donated myself, and if you donate to support me maybe Ben will allow me to play HAR HAR FINKS.
  • Mike is the first player on the podcast to get to use the Planarch Codex Heritage moves that I wrote myself that you can find here.
  • I was going to roll on the "Where Have You Been?" table, but looking at it, it works much better for PCs that have been in Voivodja, so I decided instead just to let Ochen show up. Also, I really hope that's how he spelled the name, because I did not write it down.
  • It is always interesting to listen to the players try and remember what occurred the previous session and I cannot recommend enough to other GMs that you should have the players summarize previous events instead of doing it yourself. You can make corrections or provide reminders, but you'll learn a ton about what's important/memorable to them.
  • Apologies for the wrangling required to get the three returning players to tell me if they wanted to rest immediately or continue adventuring. I should have been more explicit that I just wanted to know if they were going to rest ASAP or had other plans.
  • The Hit Dice mechanic is probably the fiddliest bit of World of Dungeons 1979, it's the mechanic I have to explain the most and that players seem to understand the least. Here it is...
    • You have Hit Dice equal to your level, so for 2nd level, that's 2
    • You roll d6 = to your HD+CON, so if your CON is +1, you roll 3 dice and keep the best two.
    • If you have magical healing, use a use of bandages or are resting in an Inn or other comfortable location, you can set one of your HD to 6 and roll the remaining.
    • If your roll is not better than your current HP total, you keep your current total.
  • I think, to incentivize players into spending Heritage Holds, I'm going to switch and let them get 2 hold for 7-9 if they roll for holds when they have no points remaining for hold. So, if they have a point of hold, they might only end up with a point of hold if they roll 6 or lower, but if they have no points of hold, they'll end up with at least 2 points when they roll.
  • The Map to the Tower in the Forest was a result of rolling on the Adventure Hook table and Instant Forest Landmarks table. Once that was established, I rolled on the Animals table to see what would have the map and that's how we ended up with the Sloth. And, as Zak S himself pointed out, some of the tables have less extravagant names so that they would be easier to find alphabetically, something so obvious I didn't even consider it.
  • I'd like to think that the Sloth's tight five minutes would be 3 one line jokes.
  • One advantage of a Sloth NPC is that coming up with a memorable and easy voice was ridiculously simple.
  • Man, the players were super intent on getting the best deal the could from the sloth.
  • I was also pretty surprised that after all the carping about bandages, Raka traded the napkins to the sloth instead of turning them into bandages.
  • The non-map objects came from the Object table, natch, except for the recipe which I took from "I Search the Body" because apparently the game is secretly about collecting recipes.
  • Walking work bench has gone onto my list of treasure to put on some future "Random things you find on that dead gnome" table.
  • The spatial distortion is from the Instant Forest & Garden Complications table. I'm honestly not certain how I feel about how I ran it, I don't know if I let it be too easy to puzzle out or didn't explain it well or didn't pair it with something else to make it more interesting but it felt a little flat when I was listening to the game again. Maybe that was just me. If your opinion differs you should leave a comment. I think next time I might make it more difficult to escape...
  • I'm always surprised by the various things the players expect from the moth... It's not a monarch butterfly folk... 
  • That long pause you hear before the Mome Rath answers is me reading the monster entry carefully for the first time and realizing that Mome Rath's are real jerks and either make wild accusations about female behavior and clothing or tell terrible, Dane Cook,jokes and honestly, I don't know any Dane Cook jokes so into the extended riff on Trollops I dove. Moral of the story, GMs, browse the monsters on your encounter tables now and then so you know if you have to get a list of really awful jokes together. Which I'll have to do now, so that the next Mome Rath they encounter isn't quite the same.
  • I really, really expected that the PCs would decide to fight that Mome Rath. Also, I have no idea if I pronounced Mome Rath in a way that makes sense at all.
  • Showing the map to the Mome Rath was another in my list of ridiculous things the players expect from NPCs. A boar understanding a map? Just as they then try and get the Mome Rath to tell them where the King's armies were marching.
  • Finally drew some maps and made a dice drop map. (Picture taken after I'd moved the dice that were for the Witch's Hut.

  • Wasn't going to put a mobile pond in this game, but I will put it in a game soon.
  • "I like shady hobo moth too, but he's not useful!" is my favorite line of the night.
  • They rolled up a Jub on the encounter table, but right below was Witch and because of the Onion Witch Thomas put in the Far Away Land game he ran I couldn't resist... PS. Far Away Land is a lot of fun, someday I'll have to run and/or play it again. And my Pie Witch voice is a straight rip-off of his Onion Witch voice, and that's why the witch ended up named Thomasina
  • I enjoy the player reaction when the PCs realize that the woman in the woods is a witch.
  • Finally a result on the Growing & Shrinking Sizes table that is not "Ordinary Size"!
  • The business about the forthwick is from the Idiotic Voivodja Filibuster Conversation Openers table, of course.
  • Went back to the Adventure Hook table and object table to figure out the Witch needed a bone rattle acquired from the tower.
  • "She's the nicest lady ever," whispered by Melaries is the best foreshadowing I could have ever asked for...
  • Ben should have known better as a GM the immunity of Skeletons to both Pain and Terrible Hidden Beauty... But now I encourage all the players in his games to subject skeletons in his games to pain beyond measure and terrible beauty.
  • I really didn't mean for the skeletons to such a challenge, I gave them 4hp, no armor and [w]2d4 damage when players had a 7-9 on their attacks instead of a straight d4. Remember, that [w] is worst of the dice rolled, like disadvantage. 
  • A little surprised that two of the PCs didn't have a melee weapon...
  • Spoiler, the name I gave the tower was SUNNYSIDE ORPHANAGE.
  • Another attempt by the Players to rely on the Moth for obscure knowledge.
  • Not sure that the players picked up that the net was made for child catching.
  • "At least it's not vampire orphanage..." but it could be...
  • Nothing would have happened if the rattle was accidentally rattled, but I am pleased that the players thought to prevent that.
  • UNCOMFORTABLE WITCH HUGS
  • 3 guesses as to what the Witch puts in pies and the first 2 guesses don't count. 
  • BEN (and other players) DON'T READ THIS: So far, Melaries has consumed human remains three times, once it gets up to ten, I'm going to give her a Vampire Heritage move, like...
    • Charm someone
    • Feed on someone’s blood
    • Heal your wounds (not those inflicted by wood or silver)
  • After bruising up the PCs so badly with what was supposed to be a quick and easy skeleton fight I figured the party could use some magical healing.
  • If, before I began to run this, someone told me that the game was going to revolve around baking recipes and baked goods, I don't know that I would have believed you.
  • Fortunately I have a few weeks to figure out whose blood they have, in case they use that in the Elephant Cake recipe, and also to figure out where the PCs can find a Pudding, and a mystery for the Proof... which delightfully, is straight from the aR&PL book.
  • If I'm kind, I'll let the players take some things from the Advanced World of Dungeons rules.
  • It amuses me that Thomasina doesn't believe that Knob Goblins are a thing.
  • The outro music for now is "This Carnival is Dead and Gone" from Current 93's classic album All the Pretty Little Horses, one of many creepy songs with children singing that I plan to use as music for these actual play podcasts.
  • A little taste for next time...


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