We had our last Dresden Files session before the holiday break. I decided that we’d speed up the timeline in the campaign. This way after a couple weeks off from gaming we can come back and advance the city and get things rolling again with a semi-fresh start. Here’s how things went down:
We finished up the football season. Yippee! New Bay City University won the championship. Alex The Werewolf continues to be the local football here. When the campaign started off he was the bumbling country boy. Now he’s a start and getting a few kickbacks from the alumni.
We sped through the baseball season. The Dude is really The Dude of Baseball. And now New Bay City University has two championship sports teams but its not going to the Dude’s head because after all he IS The Dude.
Finals: And this didn’t go as planned. But we muscled through it. Alex cheated, bribed and just tried to weasel his way through the finals. He still failed. Artie the Apprentice Wizard brewed up his “Genius Potion” and did a little divination but still in the long run. He failed too. The Dude did manage to pass. The others are on double secret academic probation.
Amongst all this chaos, Artie takes the time to confront the Dean. Artie spells out a simple ultimatum to the Dean. Tell him what is going on and why he’s being used as a delivery boy or the Dean can just get his own packages. The Dean asks for time and tells Artie that he’ll get back to him. A couple days later Warden Lake shows up at Artie’s dorm room. She asks him to come along with her to a meeting at her office. Once he gets there the Warden tells him to into her office. She stays in the waiting room (along with Whisper and The Dude). Inside, Artie is a little shocked. Sitting there waiting for him is the Gatekeeper who explains to Artie what exactly is happening. The Dean has the position of Custodian of the Vault. It is his responsibility to collect, store and protect various dangerous magical artifacts. Some of these artifacts has dangerous side effects and many would drive a normal person mad. Plus, there’s the temptation to possibly use some of said artifacts. Many a Custodian has gone mad or worse. The secondary role of the Custodian is to be a Gatekeeper in training in case anything should happen to the current Gatekeeper. The theory is that if a wizard can stand up to all of those magical artifacts, he should be able to watch the Outer Gates. The Gatekeeper makes it clear how important the Dean’s job is, he also stresses the importance of keeping an eye on the Dean ahould he be driven mad.
Then we get into the meat of the session. It’s Pirate Days! The local festival kicking off the summer vacation and the tourist season. The local radio station is having a big contest! They’ve hidden old pirate coins all around the city. Whoever collects the most coins wins a shiny Shelby Cobra. This wouldn’t be so terrible if there weren’t a Denarian loose in the city. Finally, the second major villain of the campaign shows up.
For this I made a little mini game. I wrote out the names of all the major NPC’s on index cards and dealt them out on the table face down and placed a coin on one of the cards in the center. We decided on 13 “rounds” and then the Denarian would have his new host. The rounds broke down in this order:
Puck: could switch the position of any two cards.
The Player Characters: Each PC could use their skills to do one of the following. Turn a card over. Switch the position of any two cards (one of them must be face up).
The Denarian: Could move the coin to any adjacent card.
At the end of 13 rounds where ever the coin ends up, that NPC would be the host. To add a little more drama, I allowed the PC’s the option of putting themselves into the mix. Alex the Werewolf took up the challenge.
It was pretty exciting. The players were having to make all sorts of moral decisions. Do we let this really bad and powerful person get the coin or do we throw somebody else under the bus. For some reason, Milo Swanson the Mild Mannered City Clerk kept getting throw under bus.
After all the rounds, it was the moment of decision, the Denarian had a few choices but basically boiled down to two. Alex the Werewolf (A PC) and an unknown person (the card was still face down). I let the players decide what the Denarian would do. It was a pretty short debate and the best and most dramatic story twist would for Alex to take the coin and be the new host. The player heartily agreed and even encouraged it a bit. We did some quick calculations and there was no way that Alex could remain a PC. So there’s a whole new plot twist for the next story arch. We’ll see if Artie can save the love of his life from a Denarian. If the Dean finally goes off the deep end and a host of other questions. I had no idea that the story would end up like this.
And that dear readers is sacrificing a PC for story. Man, fucking cool.