Honestly, I am at a loss as to what I should type for this post. I normally have at least a vague idea of where my brain is wandering before I set down to the computer, but today I'm just blank. Sometimes I just have nothing to say really, and then you get a randomly constructed completely directionless post like this. Oh well. Shit happens.
I guess I'll start with being really excited about the next chunk of the Orcunraytrel campaign. The guys have had five scenarios to be their own bosses and finally when it comes time to choose, they choose to be the bitch. I am very curious to see how comfortable their characters are taking orders and not having any leeway to make their own decisions about the future. The power to do whatever the fuck you want whenever you fucking want can be very intoxicating and I am wondering how much they will chafe under Vanden's command. Should be interesting.
I am actually rather excited to play Captain Vanden. It has been a long long time since my npc was anything remotely resembling the man in charge, and that is what Vanden will be. He will give the orders and the players will do exactly what he says when he says it because he is their Captain. I haven't got any clear ideas on his personality, aside from being a grouch. I'm not going to have him abuse the players for no better reason than he can, but he is an Elduman of over 2,000 years old, so he expects discipline and order. He's already clashed with Eran, so we'll see how that develops.
I'm am interested to play Mog and Gamog as well. I needed to round out the troops a little more and kind of pad the numbers a bit so it wasn't just four dudes and their captain. My understanding is that military units usually consist of more than four dudes. Plus, the group isn't exactly thick with big frontline bruisers. Anyway, already controlling Vanden, I didn't want any complicated npcs in the group. Vanden is complex enough. So what I did was make twins with the exact same stats, skills, feats, and gear. Now I only need to know one set of info to control two characters. The other thing I wanted to try out is teamwork feats. Teamwork feats are feats that only function when two or more characters have them and perform them together. They are kind of interesting for a group mechanic. There is one that improves the flanking bonus for characters, one that is a kind of sneak attack, another allows two characters to switch spots in combat, another allows for volley attacks with arrows. They're a neat tactical element for group combat. I think they're impractical for parties though, most players view their characters as individuals and battle plans usually don't consist of much more than kill the boss before he kills us.
I'm not entirely sure how long this Vanden arc will take, but I do have a few scenarios planned so I am assuming at least half a year worth of in game time. The hopeful culmination of events is that the players will either reaffirm their ties to the pirates and commit to being full time members of the expedition, or will sever ties completely and go their own way with the whole airship/Immortal/Goebleen paratroopers thing. Jason was just musing about how to make a lot of cash and came up with burning Asosa to the ground, I told him to crash a hydrogen filled blimp into the city.
My goal with this arc is also to get the guys to level eight or nine and begin the whole Leadership aspect of the group. I plan on introducing the thrall and cohorts of the group as new recruits for Vanden's team and using that as a convenient way to fold them into the group. Cary, Eric, and Jason will still have control over them and will still create them, I just feel like it offers a convenient method of recruitment/psychic mind fucking. Plus, it pads the team's numbers and allows them to take on more difficult challenges while they're working as pirates.
Meanwhile, while they're off fighting the good fight in the name of their homeland and whatnot, I want Gob to begin consolidating power using the Fort as his base. He takes Leadership as well when he hits level 7. By 9th level he'll have a 5th level cohort and 5 1st level followers. When I say consolidating power, I don't mean he'll be staging a coup to steal the tower. If he wanted his own fort, he'd just dig his own warren.
What I mean is that he'll be making some additions to the fort without the precise approval of the other members of the group while following the guidelines they set down. One of those will be a mushroom cave to grow fungi for food and to distill them for alcohol. He'll also, with the King's approval and from his own finances, begin construction of a tunnel leading from the Goebleen warrens to the Fort. This will basically allow Goebleen scouts safe travel from the Fort to the warrens and vice versa. It will also allow the Goebleen to safely send merchants to the tower to sell shit to Gob's crew while the group is gone. It also gives a reason for Goebleen to drop by the Fort, it is directly connected to the Goebleen Warrens and safer than just walking cross country. This would make something like an inn or tavern or shop of some kind a reasonable to build as a source of income for the guys. The tunnel would likely be outside the walls of the Fort, so someone couldn't dig, find the tunnel, then wander in under the Fort's walls. Also, Goebleen are pretty good about protecting their tunnels and preventing folks from penetrating them and sneaking in.
So there are some thoughts I guess.