This, the second planned, third actual, session marks the end of what I had prepared months in advance of me organizing the game and getting players together. From this point, I started to feel behind in planning the sessions. Pointlessly, so, because the players never get as far in the plot as I expect, and I eventually was several sessions ahead on accident.
This session is the beginning of the rising action. I gave them a week right off the start to do whatever the needed. They didn't really have enough to raise anything, but they could shop. The primary thing I expected was for the Weaponsmith to forge the Warrior's ax. He didn't, and I didn't want to give them the idea. When I brought it up later, the player basically shrugged and said he probably wouldn't have anyway.
What he DID do was get another PC to owe him money. That fits the player to a tee.
A lot of exposition in this one. I put the exhibition in the middle of the parade to give them something interesting to do. That whole section felt flat to me, though. We were all still trying to find our feet with the game and rules, not that any rules came to bear, here. Then, the speech
I'm proud of it. I liked putting out there a piece of Earthdawn in a more tangible way. Instead of merely telling them that the Book of Tomorrow is important, I wanted to show it. Not sure the players got it, though, and one wasn't even present. (As well, I secretly harbored some hope that Josh and team will like it and put it in an official book. Not secret anymore, I guess.)
And then the vomit. Now the real plot begins! I wanted a potentially simple encounter that was disgusting and a little horrific in concept, so I created the maggot mask (detailed elsewhere in the forums). I think it, along with the Toxic Blight, captures the feel of Horrors in how they twist people and poison them against each other. The big bads play the long game. By themselves, these things aren't a problem. But maggot masks are never really by themselves for long. Let one through and you have a friggin' epidemic.
Combined with the lights going out despite Valteri's fixes (I still feel that it was a little cheap of me) at that exact moment we have some okay dramatic tension. A bit contrived. In retrospect, the lights going out is kinda dumb. I wanted to draw a similarity between the dark void of the cavern ceiling and seeing the starry night when they finally got out. However, they are still in the the kaer 6 sessions later, so it loses a bit of the punch. Plus, I've mostly ignored the darkness penalties because we aren't good with the mechanics yet. A lot better now, but still not going to worry about the penalties.
I introduced Veran, the human guard, when the players wanted someone to watch the maggot mask corpse. Random name and NPC that I keep bringing back. My players seem to like him!
This one ended on a cliffhanger. Always good to end on a cliffhanger! I highly recommend it!