Frozen Misery of Centuries: Session 2 After Action Report

Had the second session of my Exalted game yesterday. It had a few logistical challenges, the biggest being a weird split in the party. Two PCs were in the “home base city,” where there was a lot of political intrigue raining down. The other four were in the middle of nowhere with an army at their back, beating up barbarians. It was pretty hard to balance out camera time between the two locations. With the one-month time-jump I’d inserted, there was a bit of strain on some of the believability for some of the NPCs withholding their master plans.

The stumbling block I had this session was something I always feel awful about: When you don’t have much plotted for an individual player. I’d come up with some events for players assuming that they would be interacting with the village I fiated them into being next to at the open of the session. Instead they were sequestered in their camp and not leaving unless shit rained down on them. (Which did happen on a couple of occasions.)

It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been a bit gunshy towards combat. Though I’ve played some 1st and 2nd edition Exalted, I’m not overly familiar with the combat rules (not to mention the pages and pages of charms) so I’ve been hesitant to have a whole lot of combat. I really need to work on that.

Since at least one of the players is wanting to be able to lead armies, I think the difference in tone and pacing between the more urban characters and the ones that take to the field will continue. I either need to handle the social/intrigue stuff in broader sweeps or have more day-to-day stuff involved with the armies. Both have their challenges.

I think I may have lent the tone that I was trying to railroad the army back to Cherak, which wasn’t really my intention. I was mostly just trying to offer conflicting options for the players: Do they deal with the assorted shit raining down from the North with Fair Folk eroding the borders of Creation? Or do they deal with the burgeoning political crisis to the south?

I think once we get the wedding out of the way (one way or another), then that will proabably lead towards broader sweeps being possible since it will either be a matter of Roseblack making her push for the Scarlet Throne or shit going bad because the PCs have offed Roseblack.

Things will be a bit different next session anyway, as we’ll be down two players. And one of the players has learned a spell that will help in dealing with the logistics of shortening travel time. So there will probably a lot of intense, granular planning and then we can go to broader strokes in the upcoming sessions.

So, things to work on for next session:

  • Overcome my fear of the combat rules (and the mass combat rules).
  • Become more familiar with the charms for different types of Exalted.
  • Stat out some of the major NPCs.
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