Earlier this week, I talked about situations in which neither players nor GM are particularly interested in seeing a scene go to its conclusion, but it’s not that easy to just skip through, either. I had one of those last week.
The group? Colossus-climbing their way through something very large and very dead to reverse a few necromancies on it and disable it. The problem? I really should’ve expected, once they got the idea of sneaking past the patrols around it by everyone hiding in the Hat and Sky utterly stealthed swimming through the air, that they’d go straight to the one spot where I’d actually had someone with decent strength guarding the thing. Which wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem, except for two things: the group’s disinterest in fighting that day, and the nature of the guardian.
Her name was Ivory, and she was a legacy character, in that she’d originally been played by my former assistant. Originally designed as an opponent for Geri (who had no use whatsoever for her), she was one of those characters you see every so often who seems to have accidentally gotten her bloodlust switched with her sex drive, the kind that will do just about anything to get in a fight and then turn it into one big long extended metaphor full of innuendo. It’s not that I can’t do it; just a session before I’d given Midori her first full-group session (the first time she showed up the probing her for information turned into an extended voyeurism metaphor, and in her last appearance she’d ended up turning a surveillance assignment into an excuse to (probably) proposition one of her coworkers. But Ivory? Couldn’t do it, not with the original voice. Couldn’t figure out how to make her that interesting. She was itching for a fight, and the group didn’t want one.
We went back and forth on this for a while, the players lamenting their inability to come up with a clever way to get around fighting, before just sort of brute-forcing the situation (all they needed, after all, was to get Lirit to a certain spot, on which Ivory had initially been sitting, get her to counter the magic there, then remove her intact and run like mad). Next time… I’ve been getting ready for next time. Trying to come up with fights that I’d want to run, or that are easier to avoid. Getting my newest player to understand how her magic works in a combat situation. Not using Ivory (not that that’s going to be hard; if what the group just accomplished doesn’t kill her, her boss probably will).
Next time it will be fun. Last night’s game certainly was.