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26. Head Above Water (CORM 1-3)

This was sort of a last minute addition when Mark got Jason to come up and play, which meant we’d have five people for the full day, which meant we could have another game, but I didn’t want to ask anyone to run at the last minute, so I said I’d run. And Mark asked for Head Above Water. Which is awesome, because Head Above Water rocks.

I told everyone we were switching from the Hong Kong action movie genre over to gothic horror. I was so right. Head Over Water takes place in the Vast Swamp of Cormyr, and a lot of the plot occurs in this almost deserted mansion. I went full out and described the place as a Southern plantation, decrepit and decaying, and played the Lady Mersha as a steel-backboned elderly Southern woman. Fun for me and the players seemed to like it.

The adventure is pretty solid, with several paths, and a serious choice for the PCs. My players were very noble in the face of temptation and managed to roleplay well enough so that they could split the difference and avoid choosing between two rather divergent interests.

Key moment: Jason’s PC, who happens to be an eladrin, is dueling an eladrin knight. Said knight had earlier called him a traitor to the fey kind. Jason dodges the blow which will probably bring him to 0 hit points, and retaliates, hitting for enough damage to take out the knight. He then says “OK, can I reduce him to 1 hit point but knock him prone?” I say sure, since the knight would have been prone and unconscious otherwise, and I want to see where he’s going with this. Jason says “OK, I do this,” and reaches his hand across the table to me as if to help me up. I hope I was grinning like a madman when I accepted his hand, because that was a completely cool thing and Jason deserves huge props for it.

The knight called for his guys to surrender, and they did, and then the PCs kept on thinking hard and figured out a way to make everyone happy and took some chances and it all worked out in the end. So satisfying.

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