Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Darken Wood – With the Kids

Back at it with the kids again. I’d hoped to get another session in over the long weekend (since all dance classes were cancelled…) but we just ended up doing other things… In our last session, the group had been ambushed by a group of draconians disguised as monks. The group was victorious, but as they wiped the sweat from their brows and caught their breath they hear the far off sounding of a horn and saw more draconians gliding down from trees to the road ahead of them….

Starting this game they simply assumed they would be fighting them. I pointed out that there were "many, MANY more of them than you". They still didn’t see any other option. I pointed out that they could run and hide… They questioned how they would ever make it to Haven if they ran the other way and I explained that they could hide out and find another way to get their.

They decided that discretion was the better part of valour and scarpered back up the road. Only to discover that there were still more draconians gliding down from trees that way! What to do!? They were quite dismayed! So I gave them the white stag.

Much like in the other Saturday Night game they followed the white stag up prayers eye peak (evading the pursuing draconians) and through the crack in the mountain…

I love playing with these guys… They take everything at face value – not yet jaded by overexposure to formulaic fantasy adventure. When I first described Darken Wood as a “deep dark haunted forest full of malevolent spirits, that no one ever went into and returned alive…” to the Saturday Night Crew their comments were: “Well I guess we’ll be going in there at some point” or “Let me roll on my ‘Knowledge: Role-playing Games skill’ to see if I figure out when we have to go in there…”.

When I had the kids make smarts/common knowledge rolls and (upon their success) told them they realized that following this tunnel they would probably come out in darken wood the girls eyes welled up with tears and the boy had a distinct look of dread… I think the girl was actually certain that I was determined to destroy them all at this point (now, I know there’s GMs out there that view RPGs as a GM vs. Player competitive game… I ain’t one of those…). There was some debate between the two – go back and fight the draconians (I had told them that there were “hundreds” in an attempt to dissuade them from taking such an action) or face “certain doom” in Darken wood. At one point the girl eve suggest that they “just give back the crystal staff to the draconians!?” Cooler heads prevailed as I told them that none of them actually KNEW anyone to have ever ventured into Darken Wood… it was just something everybody “knew” (don’t go into Darken Wood, it’s full of evil…).

So they decided to take their chances with the evil spirits of Darken Wood…

The kids and the groups order of march through the Prayer's Eye Peak tunnel

They did meet some rather menacing Spectral Guardians that demanded who they were and why they were there. At first the boy explained that they had come there not of hteir own choosing but were fleeing evil lizard people – they the guardians seemed unimpressed. It was the girl who fessed up – Goldmoon introduced herself and admitted that she was bearing the Blue Crystal Staff. The minions led them on into the forest to meet the Unicorn/Forest Master that set them on their way to Xak Tsaroth on Pegasi! Yippie!

The session involved no combat just role-playing and the occasional skill or attribute check. The kids were rather shocked by this – thinking that all the games I played involved COMBAT! They seemed to have a great time none-the-less and are as stoked as ever to carry on!

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