4E Dungeons and Dragons – The New World Campaign Game 40: The Pupil

Locke, the wizard of the Water Barons, has a star pupil named Anakin. Unfortunately, Anakin has been keeping secrets from his teacher and Locke will not tolerate such disobedience. Furthermore, the election of the mayor is rapidly coming to an end. At what lengths will Locke push to prevail over his wayward pupil and at what cost? All this and a vignette for Vashyk, the Dragonborn fighter and more!

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  1. Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! I love when Ross does this. And i still don’t really see the point of Locke’s actions, but I guess I’ll find out later.

    And Tom was just on fire this session, it sounded like he didn’t even work that day. Yay!

  2. OMG… Cody is officially the biggest dick ever in the New World game (not to be confused with asshole, that goes to Mike, lol). The gamer logic going on with Locke is hilarious.

    I would have totally not have ret-conned the reveal to the town that Lock is a Lich. It should have been allowed to stand. You’re too soft Ross. Too soft.

  3. Yeah, I was disappointed by the ret-con on the Lich thing too. That and the players all jumping in on Ross while he was trying to finish out the scene.

  4. This was hands down the worst session ever. I was so pissed by the end of this session that I almost quit. Seriously.

    I understand that I fell towards gamer logic and I will acknowledge that, but I won’t be the only one to blame for my actions. Ross knew that I hated Anakin and did all he could to antagonize me, so I reacted. I think this topic could be addressed on the podcast itself, but I this was a case of the GM specifically trying to piss a player off and the player reacting accordingly.

    Of course, I’m not mad now nor do I hold a grudge about it, but at the time, it seriously pissed me off.

  5. Also, I forgot about Jean Claude Van Swamp . . . the character that should be an RPPR hit but for some reason no one has does anything with him. No pics, no fanfics, nothing.

    You all should be ashamed.

  6. Author

    For the record: I was not trying to do all I could to antagonize Cody. That was not my intent. I would never run a game with the intent of just pissing one player off. I had no idea Cody felt that strongly that about Anakin. Given how much shit everyone gave me during the campaign and to each other, I thought his grumbling about Anakin was just par for the course.

  7. Don’t worry Cody. The dick comment was meant partially as a compliment. I totally admired the whole show as a Player. You were out to do your best to kick some ass and take no sh- from nobody. I’ve been there in a game. It can create some very volatile tunnel vision.

    I agree about Jean Claude. I draw. And I am ashamed i haven’t drawn anything of it.

    Also, I”m wondering. How long ago was it from the play to the posting of the AP? I know some time has passed possibly a few months to a year.

  8. Ross – I honestly believe that you weren’t trying to be malicious or create an atmosphere of hostility. I really do believe this because in the hundreds of games we’ve played, I’ve never seen you come after a player, ever.

    In this situation, I felt like you knew the depth of my hatred for Anakin because I thought I was pretty vocal about it (in all fairness though, I’m pretty vocal about lots of things, so who knows when I’m actually serious) and maybe it was my own limited perception of the situation that made me feel like you were intentionally trying to piss me off.

    I had never felt it before or since, but that night, I felt like any suggestion I made for the course of my character was met with hostility and I felt powerless to be able to do anything. Looking back, this could be because I was wanting to take my narrative to places that you hadn’t prepared for and if that’s the case, I’m sorry, but I have so much faith as you as a GM that I knew you could handle anything I wanted to do.

    To explain Locke’s actions: If I remember correctly, my intentions were to get Anakin under control. As a Lich, I wanted to start consolidating power, so I was going to do what I could to make him mine to control. Is that a bit evil? Of course, but it was done to further show that Locke’s vision of right and wrong had been significantly corrupted over time. In his fucked up head, all of his actions may have been morally questionable, but he had good intentions. Again, he does all the wrong things, but for all the right reasons.

    Ultimately, it’s absolutely no hard feelings or hostility between us because I fucking love how things turned out. Next game solves everything quite nicely.

  9. I thought the ret-con of Cody’s lich-reveal was right and justified. Without it, it felt like Cody was getting a bit screwed.

    Cody: love your take on Ayn Rand. I’m in perfect agreement. Fuck that bitch.

  10. This episode was not the best you’ve guys have offered up.

    The election skill challenge was great. The DMGs are terrible about discussing skill challenges and the one you guys did (both from a GM and a player standpoint) was excellent as teaching examples.

    I enjoyed Cody going full lich, kicking in doors, intimidating and whatnot.

    Ross’s vingette seemed a bit muddled, it felt more like Koothen’s patrons bargaining than with two primary dieties talking to a mortal.

    The biggest thing I don’t understand was how Cody went insanely out of his way to go after Anakin. Nothing in their past interactions struck me as warrenting Cody’s ire…other than Anakin is a npc that has not completely rolled over for him from the very beginning. Given Locke’s personality, I would have thought he would have pulled a Papa Palpatine on the kid.

    The last bit when the colossus showed up was even more muddled with everyone doing twenty things at once and stepping over each other.

    I love all things RPPR but this particular episode just didn’t sit well with me.

    I don’t under stand Cody’s hatred of Anakin. From what I remember Cody never really went out of his way to interact with him the past

  11. I think that was the point, he hated the character so never interracted with him seriously.

    I think the very end sort of shows you can’t really do DM surprise and DM gotchas without a good build up first, or somehow getting the players to buy in to it, even if they don’t know exactly what they’ve bought in to. Players instantly – sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly – will start throwing up a million flags against it without instead rolling with it, and it just destroys the flow of a game.

    I’ve had an RPPR gnome mage called Brighteyes do a brilliant gotcha (they didn’t realise he was the ultimate evil mage they were looking for), because I basically had two of the party know the gnome was evil, and was obviously up to something, and one was even pretending to conspire. Given that, they therefore didn’t react poorly when the gnome then managed to trap them, because they had essentially led themselves to that place by thinking the trick would happen later, and left themselves vulnerable.

    It’s interesting to see how perceptions of events can go. For example, if you look at it Doppleganer idea of Cody’s, and you know Cody felt blocked in this episode, you can definitely see where that impression could come from. Ross basically says no to the idea, and that’s that.

    Except, of course, that’s not what really happened. Ross let Cody roll, went with the failure as Cody’s action in a busy dynamic at that moment, and did actually mention that there were other ways to get the same effect when Cody had another chance to act.

    Anyway, can’t wait for the next episode, since Cody says everything wraps up beautifully!

  12. This was really interesting to listen to.

    It’s a bit like analyzing a sports game and figuring out what went wrong to learn from it.

    So this is what I learned.
    1. Make sure that everyone is playing the same game. Ross sounded like he was trying to run a game about drama and story. Some of the players were trying to play a game of WINNING. This was especially clear in the scene in the ends with the bombs falling. Both games can be fun, but everyone has to be playing the same game.

    2. If you player is doing something that you find strange, ask him why. Then you can play along with what he is doing without having to feel like you are playing catchup.

    3. Take a page out of Vincent bakers ‘Apocalypse World’ and look at all NPC through the cross-hairs. If the story is better by pulling the trigger then do it. Anacin should have been blasted of the face of the game. Then Cody could find out he had children and deal with the aftermath.

    Finally. I think Cody should have embraced the opportunity of coming out as a lich after the teleport. It would have made for a great story element and a character change moment. But saying that I as a listener is invested in a good story. Cody is invested in his character, so I fully understand why he wouldn’t want that. Maybe Ross should have asked, ‘Cody do you want to come into the square as a lich? It could be cool.’

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Being a listener, and listening to the episodes so close together as opposed to playing them out over months and years, you can tell that Cody basically started anakin as soon as he was named, maybe impart due to his dislike of star wars, but as their small interactions went on, Cody did try at first, but anakin was quickly becoming an arrogant jerk as he grew, giving some justificatin for Cody to hate him more and more.

    At parts it did feel like Ross was trying to stonewall cody, but having listened to so many games, i could never claim that he was ever out to get anyone, but if this were the only session i had listened to it would seem as if he’s trying to screw with locke as much as possible.

    However Cody clearly made mistakes of his own, like listening to the rest of the guys and going full lich, when he could have just as easily blasted the doors down revealed himself to everyone but the girl, detecting magic to see if she is prevented by an outside source from telling him why she can’t go, or even threatening her with the fact he knows where her kids are. He also assumed, as I probably would have, that Anakin hurt the girl, and thats why she wants nothing to do with her, though given that his children are considered his most embarrassing could easily lead one to believe that, though he considers his stealing worse, makes it questionable.

    One problem i had was with the debates, and trying to win favor from crowd and cause others to lose favor. and thats basically order in which each person goes. I applaud rj for stating he was going after falstaff in the one round, but think a fair way would have been to make a roll for each highest number getting to go last.

    Its so easy to say all this now, but i know its so different when your right in the thick of it.

    It always amuses me how Locke goes to Ponty for advice, and will always do the opposite.

    Props to ross for letting the girl live though, He could have just as easily say that the bubble took over the damage it could withstand. Thats one thing i will always respect, aside from his amazing story telling and on the fly thinking, when others point out what they did to prevent such a thing he will go with it.

    Its amazing how the main heroes never found anything amazing like all the NPC’s found….an airship…a colossus…way to not even kill a hydra guys.

    Can’t wait to see anakin die.

  14. At times, I think we’re the worst adventurers ever because we never get to find really cool stuff like a colossus or an airship and there are other times when I think we’re the best ever because negotiate some of the most ridiculous terms and we’re pretty unconventional.

  15. Yea, thats part of the reason i love listening to your guys adventures, more often than not the majority of the group would rather find some other way to solve a problem than get into a battle.

  16. Skimmed through some of the comments here, but I have to say that the whole “you forgot to activate your non-liche illusion” episode between Ross and Cody felt like a cheap GM ploy.

    I’m not saying that Ross is suddenly a horrible GM, I’m just saying that, at that particular point in the story to announce that Cody had “forgotten” to assume his mortal appearance felt somewhat contrived and cheap-shot-ish…

    How many sessions has the RPPR crew played where it was implicitly assumed that Locke’s illusion of mortality was just “on”.

    Did Cody develop a gamer-boner for Anakin, certainly, but I don’t feel that Cody’s antipathy for Anakin was ever meant to be a major plot point in the overall story. I think Anakin was just one of those inside joke NPCs that took on a life of it’s own as the story progressed…

    That being said, I definitely think Ross pushed Anakin to the forefront over the last two episodes because of Cody’s vitriol towards the character. I think this was just Ross’ good natured attempt at messing with Cody.

    Anyway, I’m sure Anakin-gate will resolve itself once Locke slays him in spectacular fashion.

    Ross, don’t be afraid to kill a bitch! Anakin’s squeeze got killed in the sneak attack! You know it, I know it, other listeners know it, DOGS KNOW IT! 😛

  17. I just discovered this recently and have been listening through this campaign over the last couple weeks. Even though I had D&D (yeah, I’m a pretentious indie gamer, which reminds me, I feel this group would like Burning Wheel) I’m really intrigued by the setting (and I can just skip past the combats).

    Anyway, I mostly wanted to leave a reply because I was wondering if you realized that you accidentally made Falstaff Mitt Romney (before he was running).

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