A Case of Missing Students Postmortem

This case was loosely based off the Deadlands Noir Savage Tale “The Axeman Cometh”. I re-did the intro because I wanted to tie it into one of the character’s (Ada) and I was pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastically the group dropped the case they were still working to jump on this.

Overall the case was kind-of a roller coaster with me finding out how tough the Patchworkmen can be without luck, how too many minions can also route the characters and finally how even a nearly invulnerable monster could go down quickly. I had more or less expected The Butcher to escape his first encounter with the group, but the combination of a good damage roll and a good adventure card play shot that plan all to hell. Fortunately there were enough surviving walking heads about that the scalpel could get away.

This case turned out to be a short three session one and really more like two and a half which makes this the shortest completed case that I have run. I hope that this is because I am providing more direction for the group instead of leaving them floundering in all directions trying to find a way forward. I think the best way to figure out if this is the case is to see how long it takes us to get through the next case be it finish off the one that they started “A Case of Craves Robbed” or move on to a new one.

Things that I need to think about for encounter size are. Average two minions per player if they are going to be hard to hit or kill. Any more than that and the odds of me rolling exceptionally high for either an attack or a damage are just too great. If they are easy for the party to hit and kill then I might try upping to three. This is getting really hard to nail down with Greyson’s tommy gun more than anything else. Wildcards probably should always have a minion per player or a second wild card as backup, but I am not completely positive on this balance yet. Though particularly tough wildcards like the Patchworkmen might not need as much help.

This case has also been run after the switch to running this campaign one week and our other campaign on the alternate week. To help with that we have been trying to do some more refresher work on what happened last week to catch everyone up and remind them what is going on and what they have been up to. So far that seems to be helping but I need to make sure that there is enough of a refresher given while also not taking too much time from the current session. So this will continue to be a work in progress.

Because of how the group responded to this in, I am planning another similar in for a later adventure and maybe a return of the Butcher as well with a new host.

Things that I need to work on still are Social Conflict rules and Chases. Neither of those systems are really ingrained in my system and while they each came up, I still don’t feel like I am handling them as well as I could be.

Last of all, I am starting to get an idea of how the Church is going to end up being entangled in all of this. It isn’t how I had originally had planed it, but it will work based on what has been revealed and it will be interesting to see the reactions to it if I go ahead with the plan.

Well, I think that is it for this post, if you want to see what my plans were for the case, you can find them here.


Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

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