Given unforeseen changes in my situation and a new job opportunity for one of my players, I’m planning on having a grand finale this coming weekend for my GURPS: Midnight campaign. It’s been a fun campaign, I think, where I’ve tried a number of new things. It has survived not one but two holiday seasons, which might be unprecedented for long-term games I’ve run.
I had planned to have about 5 more 4-hour sessions to finish the game up, and I’ll be collapsing that down into one 8-hour session with a break in the middle. Essentially, I’ll be trimming any fat that I can find, and bringing things to a climax sooner than I’d thought.
As far as the story goes, the PCs have been kicking ass all over Baden’s Bluff. They’ve managed to kill the head of a powerful smithing family, the Prince of the city, the High Legate, and a PC infiltrator nearly took over the Temple of Shadow, only barely being ousted by the NPC who is the new High Legate. Another trio of PCs working together killed a colossal undead wyvern that had been plaguing the city since the very first session – written up as a 400pt monster using GURPS rules. The PCs are now about 250pt characters, but still, they had a cool plan, took absurd chances, and my wife’s character got to ride on the re-dying undead wyvern’s back as it crashed into the city’s governmental center.
In some ways, it’s going to be hard to follow that kind of stuff up. Fortunately, I have one more evil NPC to throw at them, and he’s the worst threat they’ve faced yet.
In the Midnight setting, Eredane, there is only one god, Izrador, the Shadow, who rules everything through his minions and Orc hordes and enslaved Dragons and so on. His four most powerful lieutenants are the Night Kings (like Nazgul if Sauron had gotten a hold of the ring). One of them, Sunulael, the Priest of Shadow, has gotten word of how well the resistance is doing in Baden’s Bluff, and he will be making a personal appearance there to straighten things out.
On the GURPS scale, he is a 500pt character, using the 4th Edition rules – firmly in demigod range. The PCs are slated to be about 300pt characters by the end of the game, rising from 100pt to 200pt characters, and then having another 100pts of abilities from their Heroic Paths. At first I wrote up Sunulael as a character just out of curiosity – what could I do, within reason, with 500pts? Since I am adapting a D20 setting, I was looking at an ECL 32 monster in the setting sourcebook and trying to translate him into more limited GURPS terms. Now, it turns out, I have reason to use him, since all the things the PCs have accomplished would absolutely draw his attention, and ire.
In a world run by evil, heroes are punished for success.
The PCs had a meeting with other resistance leadership (all but one of which they have overshadowed pretty thoroughly), and they ended up making the case for overthrowing the Shadow in their city and then working to inspire resistance in other places around the world. That was one option, the other being to drastically strengthen their position in the city but continue working in secret, training and equipping resistance movements in other cities. My players, though, they like drama. And, honestly, this is the more fun option.
I haven’t planned for an 8 hour session since college, and even then not very often. It’ll be interesting, and I want to cram the time with as much awesome as I can fit in there. That being said, characters in GURPS are fragile things, and this Big Bad is very, very big. Should be interesting.