***hello friends, if you are a player in ironblood dwarves please do not read this! Multiple layers of spoilers for both the immediately upcoming game and end-game revelations!***
* s p o i l e r z
Well, Game 4 went pretty well. They got what the came for in Ulm and nobody wound up dead or in jail. A broad peek into my brain before going into specific concerns:
1. I haven't made much hay out of Ed's demon blood yet. I'll create an opportunity in the depths of the dungeon. I like the RP we had around his shadow spider. Ed had me pick the familiar which I really like. There's music when the player and the DM trust each other to make cool decisions and riff away. It is a tiny tiiiiiiiny hit about the true nature of the demon that's under Iron Mountain right now (it's a shadowlord...that TPK'ed another party George and Miranda were in. I used the bad-bad-ending Undertale laugh and a spooky shadow sprite for it, I will introduce it with both of these things if/when they fight it and it will make them crap their pants just watch).
2. Dan's decision to steal from a guard was alarmingly and uncharacteristically durr-hurr-I-throw-a-fireball-at-the-mayor, for him. My doctrine in these situations is warn them extensively, and make them live with the results, but allow it. This time the NPC managed to roll low but if Dan declares another action that approaches gratuitous suicide (or at least constructive suicide by capture) I'll probably freeze the frame and ask why OOC.
3. I'm satisfied with how Miranda got to be the weirdo elf on both sides of the coin. She's doing what she does. Grass grows, birds fly, and Miranda plays characters than are quiet most of the time, loudly sigh at the antics of the other characters, and make attack rolls when necessary. None of that needs much cultivation from the GM.
4. I'm satisfied with how George got a new follower and made a lot of hay out of the dwarf church connection. George was sort of the star of this go around so I'm not going to deliberately put big decisions and scenes on him for a little while but hey, he's the cleric in an against-the-demons game and the last really genuinely unbroken line of authority-wielding social institutions back from Iron Mountain so he's gonna be important whether I go out of my way to make it The George Game or not.
5. I'm satisfied with how Chad got to be a brash yet traditional-lawful-good dwarfy dwarf. To use a now-FTB-archaic comparison, Chad is the Phil. Every group needs a Phil. So far Chad has been the skull-cracking fighter dwarf in a game that hasn't really had that much in the way of skull-cracking-fights, though. The next adventure should fix that.
1. Tie it back to the demons. Delving this mountain should give them solid clues as to what happened to their own.
2. Decide what tensions may exist between new dwarves from Ulm (who outnumber the old Ironbloods significantly) and the old Ironbloods. The most obvious tension, and a trope I wanted to make use of from the beginning anyway, is between the dwarves who want to fight to retake Iron Mountain (with the potential buckets of dwarf-death that this fight would cost) and the dwarves who just want to hole up in their new home. Do I want to force a recapture of Iron Mountain with demon-plot-stuff or do I want to make hunkering in at the second mountain a legitimate long-term strategy (even if it's a long-term strategy that lots of the NPCs don't like)? My instinct is the second because choices are better than railroads but they're still not done with the demons even if they chose that. The demons will pursue, although probably not with the investment that they would fight to defend what they've now captured.
3. Deciding how much the new semi-fake king wants to take orders from the PCs and how much he wants to give orders...and what those orders would be.
Probably going to be a dungeon delve into the lost colony. I have broad strokes for this thought up but I'll post finer details soon.