Campaign Diary | Session 21
Session 21: An Elvish City
I have not been preparing enough for these sessions. I am not sure what is going on, stress, burnout, or maybe my time management has gone to shit, but I am only preparing the night before for maybe 2-3 hours. I use to spend 4-6 hours prepping a session or worldbuilding. I just get home from work and want to play video games. Fun but not productive for DnD. My idea for this session was just to let the players explore the city which means the city needs to be fully flushed out. Lots of NPC’s. The problem for them to solve this session is how they are going to meet a High Chair of Seyrine or the Tree Speakers Commune. I do not want it to be easy for them as they have been flashing the writ of King Andras around to get things done and that writ means nothing to the elves of Seyrine.
The session began with the party outside the Lone Song, an inn in Seyrine run by Symma a forest gnome. Inside the Inn, the party found their Wizard companion who had been teleported to Seyrine by Keruxabradaxu. A joyous reunion commenced with food and drinks being consumed as the party caught up on the various events that transpired during their separation. Symma proved to be a capable host, happy to assist the party with information, have her ferrets deliver messages, point them in the direction of the Tree Speakers Commune, and overlook the elvish custom of gift-giving which can make purchasing something in Seyrine difficult for non-natives. After the party finished their meal and reconnecting, they set out to find Hadarai Othronus, a member of the Tree Speakers Commune, who was camped beyond the city walls amongst the Wood elf refugees flocking to the city for protection. On arrival at his camp the party was greeted by Russano, an awakened badger and wife of Mr. Hats, who inquired of their business and deeming it important took them to a meeting of the Tree Speakers Commune were they plead their case and offered their assistance in finding those responsible for the attacks on the Wood Elves. Unknown to them, a broken arrow shaft recovered from a slain Kith provided the means to find those responsible for the attacks. While the Tree Speakers Commune began preparations, the party returned to the city and along the way the Druid was offered advice from Hadarai who presented him a journal filled with notes and depictions of the creatures in the Dracken Wood. Before retiring for the night, the party bathed and laid out their finery as on their return to the Lone Song, they had received an invitation to attend brunch with the Wizards estranged parents. The session ended with the party receiving a tour of the city and knocking on the front door of the Wizards family home.
After this session, all I could think about was table dynamic and managing players. I could talk about how I wasn’t prepared for running some of the NPC’s and how I gotta stop winging descriptions of people, but what really stood out was some of the interactions between my players. Anytime a player is missing or in this case, come back to the table the dynamic shifts. While everyone has off days, this session illustrated how I need to do a better job managing players talking over each other as I have some personalities at my table. I don’t think they are trying to be rude, but are just unaware that they are doing it. I think I will implement a raise hand policy for if anyone feels that they are being talked over and then I can call on that player to speak and it is a visual cue for the other players that someone else wants to talk. Another policy I think I will implement is that players cannot describe someone else’s character. For instance, say that another player’s cloak is ripped or torn. I noticed the last session, comments along this line can upset players and it hurts players’ image of their own character and removes some of their agency because now they need to defend or rationalize why their cloak isn’t torn and this can cause arguments, build resentment, and hurt immersion. Let’s hope these new rules are well received next week and I hope everyone is enjoying these posts and their own DnD games.