Monday, June 5, 2017

The Curse Of Calimah

A while back, on April 8th, I had a chance to run my first Fantasy Grounds (FG) game during FG Con 10. I ran an adventure I wrote, titled The Curse Of Calimah. This Savage Worlds adventure was designed to be an introduction to the Pirates of the Dominions sourcebook from the Beasts & Barbarians setting published by Gramel. I would say that overall, it was a success. Unfortunately, I had to omit lots of information in order to try to finish the game on time. Even after that we still went an hour over the scheduled time. The players said they had a good time and it was fun but I’m not sure if they were just being polite.

I learned some valuable lessons. First is to make sure the images and maps are under 1MB in file size. The images I used were large and stopped the game for 5-10 minutes while the players downloaded them. Alternatively, you can set the images to be Force loaded to the players. This means when the players connect to your game all of the images will be downloaded at that time. This can take some time if the file sizes are large but that also means that the game will run faster for everyone during actual play.

Second, if at all possible, try to have a veteran Fantasy Grounds GM as a player. They can help tremendously for a first timer in FG. There were times I felt bad because the game slowed to a standstill. I couldn’t figure out some of the nuances of the combat tracker like adding multiple NPC’s under a single action. I’ll have to go back and revisit that. I know Eric Lamoureux has a video on YouTube about that here. You should go visit his channel because he has a good selection of instructional videos as well as recorded game sessions.

The third and last lesson I learned was that, if you make the players unnecessarily chase after a bad guy, they will either hate the NPC or you, the GM. There is a fine line here and hopefully I didn’t cross it. The first few rounds of combat during the final encounter were slow to say the least. Each player had an allied extra that were relatively close enough to engage an enemy but most of the players were out of range. Then the final bad guy is revealed and the players had to chase after him. They hated the NPC (or me, it’s hard to say for sure) so much that when one of the players killed him, they wouldn’t let him die until I spent all of my GM bennies to try and soak the damage.

I’m starting to come around to the idea that I ran a good game because the players had some laughs and by the end they got emotionally involved in making sure the bad guy felt every last wound. 

With the announcement of the Beasts & Barbarians Steel Edition crowdfunding via Indiegogo, it's fitting that I can announce I've finally gotten approval from Piotr Koryƛ to release this adventure. For anyone interested, you can download the adventure for free here The Curse Of Calimah.