Running Blackest Night

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Quistar
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Final Thoughts on Running Blackest Night

Postby Quistar » Tue May 21, 2013 3:29 am

That's the whole adventure. All things considered, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be, but still worth running. I hope my experiences have given other GMs insights on what to watch out for when adapting a comic book event into game form.

All things considered, I think I was a little too in love with the story compared to the players, who hadn't read it but knew the basics. Enthusiasm is important, but finding ways to make sure the players are just as excited is also important and harder to do.

If anyone else tries doing what I did by giving the PCs temporary power rings, save it for as late in the adventure as possible. Once they get the trick for instant-destroying Black Lantern zombies, the horror level goes way down.

Talk to your players about reacting horrifically in-character when confronted by returned loved ones (and hated ones). Some players get totally into that, others shrug it off too easily. It doesn't mean they're bad roleplayers, they just have different modes of roleplaying. DEFINITELY reward players that DO go along with it with Hero Points!

The session that went best, I think, was the one where I tossed in Doomsday as a "random encounter" before Coast City. I aimed to give the players a strong "lateral challenge" where they had to think of a way to effectively end the combat without resorting to a major smackdown. Even with the rings, Doomsday was a serious challenge, and in this case, he really was a "speed bump" on the way to the real mission. This encounter really brought out the players' creativity with the rings, which pleased me greatly. It had a cosmic, epic kind of feel.

Speaking of the rings...one thing I had NOT anticipated was that some players really didn't LIKE getting the rings. Part of it is that the rings have potential to overshadow the PCs' own superpowers. Another part is that some rings have major emotion and mind-altering properties, especially the orange ring of avarice. In one case, the green ring of will went to a PC with a moderate Will rating (a paragon with Will 8, as it turned out), so the ring was far less effective and useful to him than his own powers, except when a green beam was needed to help destroy Black Lanterns. So if you go this route, tread carefully, GMs.

As for the big encounter in Coast City for the finale, it was a mixed bag.

The mass-combat rules as I ran them made for a fairly boring run of dice rolling against the horde of Black Lanterns. That may be more my fault than the system's, and it's the first time I tried using those rules. I'll definitely try them again but under different circumstances, like an army of simple minions that has to be disposed of before tackling the Big Bad.

The encounter with the Black-Lanternized heroes was much better, and exactly what I was looking for. A fun fight with a little extra effort at figuring out how to break the connection to the black rings, and the team came through with flying colors.

I would recommend NOT trying to involve the PCs in the big wrapup with the Life Entity, Nekron and Black Hand, unless you write up the encounter yourself in advance and plot it a bit differently than as written in the comic. Mind you, you may do better than I did. But there is a ton of narration there and multiple actions and activities...it's quite messy. Proceed at your own risk, though if you can pull it off, more power to you!

All things considered, I'm glad I ran the event. I'm also glad it's done so I can move on to other plots.

Please feel free to comment or kibbitz on this thread, I haven't heard much feedback or such in a while and would welcome it. Also feel free to discuss your own ideas for running a Blackest Night event for DCA.

Time for a Brightest Day!

- Andrew <:-(}

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crashmurdoch
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Re: Running Blackest Night

Postby crashmurdoch » Wed May 22, 2013 9:15 pm

I plan to run my group through Blackest night in the near future (Possibly near Halloween).

I do have to disagree with Quistar a bit though, as I design my game with the players as the center of the Universe, so to speak.

So when the final chapter unfolds I plan to have my players at the center of it. One of my players is a Green Lantern and he will most likely take Hal Jordan's place in a lot of the story, and I plan to have each of the players briefly gain on of the other rings from the emotional spectrum.


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