Freshly back from the wilds of Minnesota, I realized I even missed my useless summer post this year!
In other news, my campaign ended.
It ended ...probably as well as it could have. The overboisterous fighter finally talked himself into a showdown with local, more established powers and earned a siege.
The fighter had an ill-advised scheme to pretend to surrender, buying time for the undercautious voudon witch to execute on a summoning he ought not have. He didn't have enough troops to oppose the siege. The opposing ceremonialist and the leadership of the brigand crew besieging the joint whipped their troops into a charge around the daemon (the witch having a bit of a tactical breakdown trying to stop all this, as he was the only force on the battlefield at this point) to hit the witch and his pile of assistants to break concentration and retreat.
That succeeded. Due to positioning, the witch and three of his assistants were able to flee with the remaining forces in the fortress (the fort-temple from N1: Reptile God) and hide out in the sub-sub-basement while the daemon rampaged around for a bit and finally disappeared.
Those villagers and militia were...unimpressed with the effort the witch put into their defense, and he and his assistants were forced to take a little boat into the underground river and head into the unknown darkness. His fourth assistant had previously fled the battle while everyone was above-ground - probably off to the underground complex once owned by the necromancer Nuromen to do who-knows-what.
The druidic witch, her wolves, and giant hawk quit the field once the summoning was done and the extent of the desperation revealed itself. The assassin and his two followers also escaped.
The fighter died on the battlefield, overplaying his hand.
So what happened?
One thing, mainly: my desire to introduce a bit of domain play early - with the party inheriting nominal control of the little town at about 2nd level via the resolution of the N1: Reptile God hook - took a few of them off-task.
By off-task, I mean doing what parties of 1st-5th should be doing - putzing around their local area, completing achievable dungeon plunders, getting gold.
Rather, the little fledgling domain took focus - and that's not sitting around administering it - they spent a good deal of time traveling the region and recruiting peasants to live in their little corner of the world, with only a few random encounters to provide character advancement.
Worse, the fighter, in a fit of espirit de corps, let them all be their own landowners, which basically eliminated any domain income.
The final part was looking for threats to the domain specifically, finding those threats, and in this particular case, pissing off those threats.
Without the income from adventuring, they couldn't counter a lot of this.
I didn't really provide anything more than cursory advice; so, I was no help - nor should I have been, really. Gotta have bite for your bark, and there were enough things to do that weren't what they did.
Anyway. Gaming continues, this time as a player - one of my players was one of our group's usual DMs, and he's taking over for a spell.
Here, eventually, I'll get back to blogging with largely pointless expositions and poorly pasted tables of mechanics what-don't-need-fixin', which will be nice, for me at least.
You, maybe not so much. :P