Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ashes of Angels, Final Wrap-Up

We ran our final session of Ashes of Angels a couple of months ago. While not the longest campaign I’ve run, 12-plus sessions is a pretty healthy run for me these days. The campaign started as a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game and transitioned to Dungeon Crawl Classics near the end. The conversion was pretty easy and injected enough interest back into the campaign to keep it running for a few more months.

Everyone enjoyed the campaign, but what ultimately ended it was my desire to move onto new games, settings, and genres. Specifically, after a couple years of bleak horror games, I’ve grown weary of nihilistic “the world sucks and you suck too” campaigns. My players, I could tell, were starting to grow bored with the constant character attrition. They want a chance to grow attached to the PCs for a while. I grok that.

Our last session revolved around resolving “Intrigue at the Court of Chaos.”  I’m not going to go over the whole thing because that module is mostly just a series of riddles and puzzles. It’s very good and very weird, but to recap all the events would be boring and spoilerish to the module.

Some highlights, though:
  • The PCs all readily agreed to work for the various Chaos Lords that approached them in their dreams. Belinda the Serpentblood, of course, tried to charm the agent of Law.
  • Madeline the Gravedigger apparently knows how to speak Enochian and was able to decipher the angelic script on the Bull of Law’s horns, sparing the PCs a fight.
  • The party did a good job of figuring the puzzles, although the rainbow liquids and cradle of clay puzzles proved to be harder than expected.
  • Liberal use of flaming oil and black-powder bombs made short work of the party’s Lawful clones.
  • The race back to the Chaos Rose while running away from the Crystal Guardians devolved into a slapstick farce as the PCs kept stealing the Yolkless Egg back and forth from each other mid-comnat.
  • Garritt the warrior burned all his Luck and was bodily taken to Heaven by the Crystal Guardians where Jack Chick’s Giant Glowing Faceless God personally cast him into Hell.
  • Back in the Court of Chaos, the fight over the Egg continued until someone fumbled a roll and dropped the Egg, breaking it open and causing the entire Court to collapse. The surviving PCs managed to step thru a rip in space-time back to Berlin.

Afterwards, we as a group decided to step away from the campaign and try some new things. We played three sessions of Mothership that went very, very well. Many of my players had never tried a percentile-bases system before and they loved how easy it was to pick up. Mothership’s a helluva game.

Ultimately, though, we decided as a group that our next game should be something totally different in tone and setting. So instead of semi-historical horror-fantasy we’re shifting to optimistic space opera—Star Wars! I’m pretty excited about it, and my players are all stoked about their competent and (semi)heroic new characters.

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