Monday, November 10, 2014

PLAY REPORT - Alternative style

I'm not sure if anyone is reading or not, but if so, I would like to ask you for some input. I am considering two different styles for writing my solo play session reports. A couple days ago I posted the first play report in normal 'DM summary' format. Below I offer the first-person journal entry format from the party's magic-user. I think both formats have their pros and cons, and to be honest, I still think I'm a long way off in finding an approach that I like. The fact that I suck as a writer doesn't help either.

But which version do you prefer? Any general considerations for writing session reports?

Foray into Stonehell as recorded by Balork the Medium

Day 1

Led by Thowin Four Fingers and Imorfin the Elf, we made the long descent down the stone stairs and into the dungeons of Stonehell. Nux, the young torchbearer with the lazy eye walked just before me holding his torch high. Next to him went his employer, the good cleric Reldari, mace and shield at the ready. I never found out exactly which minor deity or demi-god the acolyte worshipped.

Bursus, my man-at-arms, walked at my right. The young lad appears a good sort, despite his numerous tattoos and his strange wood-whittling obsession. If nothing else he is focused on securing as much gold as he can, owing a rather large debt to some unsavory individuals in Enharza.

Fretta the Dark, the albino thief rounded out our motley band. She has not revealed the story behind her moniker, despite some badgering from Thowin and Bursus. Fretta seems somewhat sickly, and mostly hides under her cowl.

After a long descent we finally emerged from the stairs into the middle of a large chamber. The light from our torch revealed a well-travelled place evidenced by the numerous scribblings on the walls and refuse on the stone floor. We saw no one, but to a man we were convinced we could perceive distant sounds, although we could not agree on their source.

Four  passages left the entry chamber, running  in different directions. In addition we saw a large wooden door. With no real preference we selected one of the corridors. We passed through an interesting archway which seemed to represent the gaping maw of some demon or devil. Unharmed, we proceeded onwards and soon came to an intersection.

An iron rod stood in a crack in the stony floor in the middle of the intersection. Attached to this rod was a sign. In crude Common we could read that a 'dragon' was to be found down the passage to the left. After some debate we decided to investigate, all the while doubting the veracity of the sign.

The carved stone corridor gave way to a natural stone passage which soon opened into a large cave. We ran almost headfirst into a party of dog-men who emerged from a side cave. We were both startled and before we really had the chance to size each other up, one of the kobolds startled a nest of snakes which were nesting behind some large stones.

Our two groups joined forces instinctively against the new threat. I pulled forth a flask of oil and tossed it in the direction of the snakes. It was close, but unfortunately not a direct hit. I threw my torch anyway and the flame ignited the oil.

The snakes, giant spitting cobras each at least eight feet long, were startled by the flame and retreated into the crevices. But unfortunately not before a serpent spat its venom into the eyes of one of the kobolds.

The kobolds, grateful for our intervention, quickly departed with their dying comrade. Perhaps they knew of a way to counter the poison, but if they did, I think it was too late for that one. Before the dogmen left they did answer the mystery of the dragon sign from the intersection. Apparently an oversized lizard has taken up residence in these caves.

Not wanting to test ourselves against the lizard-beast, we headed back to the intersection and went east. We found a chamber filled with refuse. A path led through the mess to an opening in the opposite wall. Fretta began poking about the piles of trash, hoping to find something of value. Instead she uncovered another giant snake and bolted from the room.

We had no choice but to follow after and we found her in the entry chamber, cursing snakes and all forms of reptiles. We convinced her that it was too early to leave the dungeon and that treasure certainly awaited us if we remained diligent.


  1. Very cool. I think both styles work for me, so my recommendation is do whatever you feel like in the moment. You could do some DM style, some in each of the various PC's voices, maybe even some others from the perspective of a monster who managed to escape death at the hands of the PCs. Just roll with whatever feels fun to you as it comes up.

    1. I think you're right. The bottom line is that the session write-ups in general are the hardest part for me. I'm trying to find that balance between relaying the essentials of what happened while still providing some color to the actual environment. I definitely don't want to move into fan-fiction mad skillz lay elsewhere! :)