The logic of a madman. by Avatar
This campaign started off pretty cleanly. Malum the arcane archer and myself, Solan the wizard, had just left our crazy cleric for dead, stole his Ring of Sustenance so that he might actually die of something quicker than old age, and just met up with 3 new crazy clowns - Leor, Soban ("Nabos", so as not to be confused with Solan), and Jozan.
This initial meeting with our 3 new friends should have been a sign of things to come. Introducing new characters into the party is rarely simple for either the players or the DM, and if the DM doesn't have a situation where this can easily happen, the decision to introduce new people permanently into the party can be tricky. For us, we didn't even want to talk about it.
So when Malum and Solan saw 3 men sitting on the hillside "looking for adventure", we didn't want to go through the boring hustle and bustle of trying to work out a good reason - that we didn't really have - for them to join us.
So when I asked "do these guys have a story or can we tell them what we're doing and hey, come with us?", while the DM allowed them to say what they wanted, we were quickly getting nowhere. They wanted treasure, or something, so I said "okay so we explain there's treasure where we're going, and hey, want to come?"
It's worth noting right here that even with all 5 of us now, we didn't have anyone who was particularly good at diplomacy or spinning a clever story, and we didn't really like having to do it unless we were forced to. Little did we know that later that game, this would be the case.
So we eventually get to this giant encampment, and here is what we understand:
- it is absolutely full of bad guys - they outnumber us maybe 6 to 1, and they're mostly giants.
- the encampment is easily defendable
- we do not know their motivation, but assume they are probably allied to the Sorcerer
- giants aren't really that intelligent, but intelligent enough to think we are weak, puny and (mostly) worthless
- this is where our only lead takes us - from here on, we need information
So during our scouting mission, we notice one giant separates from the encampment, and we consider talking to it to try work out its motives. As we move up, we notice we are not dealing with one giant, but three of them.
To make matters even better, I was the only one who could speak its language. Did I mention we have nobody in our party good at diplomacy? And that we have no other leads? So basically the next few moments, and the future of the campaign, would rest in my next few actions.
Before we decided to have a chat to the "lone" giant, I had considered a few other options. Taking a look inside on my own invisible, hopefully avoiding to not make a sound, or have the spell wear off. Teleporting in and out. Scaling the wall. The very last thing I had wanted to do was to try and sway a giant to give me information we needed. The very last thing next to the brute force option, of course.
So when I decided to try and give the giants something they needed for something we needed, I wasn't really expecting to actually surrender. The problem, again, was that this was our final lead, and we needed them more than they needed us.
Two good things came of surrendering, when it finally came to that. It meant that we weren't dead yet, and we had a chance of seeing what exactly was going on inside this area that, previous to this situation, would probably have meant a fight with 30+ giants.
When we finally came to meet Samtusk - their leader - we finally got to make good on our mutual trade of something for them and something for us. It almost did cost us our lives at first, but let's face it, there didn't seem to be any other options. Fighting a village of giants was always the last, last resort.
And here's my favourite quote of the game:
[Solan] "Does anyone speak giant language?"
* Nabos shakes head
[Ballig] Solan does
[Solan] are you serious
[Solan] hahaha! so I do
* Nabos quirks eyebrow at solan and tilts head
[Solan] "Oh that's right, I do"
[Ballig] your newfound friends think you're a bit of a douche