Assassination Outclassination

So, got back into the swing of things with my gaming group. And what better game to restart on than the beloved Return To Daylight campaign?

The party made landfall on the Asian-inspired continent of Shin Rokago, specifically the outsider-friendly port city of Shianxi. It was there the party’s monk/spy Shaarhu met up with her master, the vile and greedy merchant prince Hao Hao Ling Na, at his hillside estate. The party were received by him inside The Indoor Garden, a large and roofless square room with the two outside thirds vegetation and water features.

Cue major assassination attempt, as at least a dozen ninja archers revealed themselves and attacked! Hao Hao’s personal guard sprang into action, casting Wind Wall to protect him from arrows, and they fled the scene with Shaarhu in tow.

The rest of the party were left to fight off the ninjas. But not for long, as the focus shifted back to Hao Hao and Shaarhu, now ‘safe’ inside his office. That was, until the drow assassin smashed in through a window, daisho drawn and ready for action. After a war of words, Shaarhu showed exactly why she was known as The Murder Machine, making short work of the assassin with her Stunning Fists.

Camera panning back to The Indoor Garden just in time to catch our heroes scoring killing blows, the excitement is overshadowed when a spear-wielding drider entered the scene from near-earth orbit. Even while flanked she proved a fierce adversary, taking Rumi’s katana, dagger, and a sneak attack flintlock pistol shot to the guts without slowing down. And then she tried to eat Iona! If it weren’t for her player’s quick thinking, and me houseruling that she could cast Summon Swarm while being devoured, that saved the day.

The Post Mortem:

  • Players were happy with the narrative flow, which gave attention to each player without giving anybody nothing to do for too long. Am still experimenting with different ways to split the group, but this one is a success.
  • The assassin just wasn’t good enough for Shaarhu. It had been too long, so I had forgotten about her murder-tastic Stunning Fist and ki-powered +4 AC. Will be making the assassin a recurring villain, so I’ll have to come up with ways to prevent this floor-wiping in the future.
  • In fact, the interrogation and eventual escape of the assassin will now become part of the plot. Already got that part planned out. Love it when my players for me to think on my feet.

Today’s Lesson: No plot survives contact with your players.

~Swing on you crazy diamond

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