There is no Cool Point. There is no Cool Point. There is no Cool Point.

by mshrm

A weird thing happened, this past session. Nobody won the Cool Point.

What we usually do is, at the end of the session, the players will vote for who deserves the point. It’s usually awarded to the one who pulled off the most impressive stunt, but it’s also been won through unexpectedly good (or bad) rolls and through role-playing everyone into more trouble than they already had.

It’s not a “most valuable” bonus, by any means. Often, I’ve written up the synopsis and realized that one player or another was just on, that day, quietly holding down their end of the challenge with understated competence… only to see the Cool Point go to the character who lit himself on fire, because ninjas can’t grab you if you’re on fire.

I feel like this is what happened, last time around. Everybody did their job, and did it well. When difficulties arose, they closed ranks and covered for each other. What they didn’t do was anything crazy enough to particularly stand out.

For example:  The shield-wall idea worked quite well, for the most part. There was a moment during the last battle, if I remember correctly, where Alric was standing directly behind TKotBO, who was in turn flanked on either side by Dean and Roman. Alric performed some kind of hideous All-Out Attack, laying down the damage at a reach of 2 hexes. The opposition attempted to take advantage of his lack of defenses, using greatswords with their own reach. They then discovered that the three with the shields had all bought the correct perks to be able to block for a comrade, as all three defended the big man. (It took all three, too. Could have used some Luck, there, but whatta ya gonna do, two of ’em are cheap hirelings.)

Hmm. It’s a bit of a shame that the components of the shield-wall are going away, just as the tactic is proving its worth. Ah, well, at least the battles should get more mobile.

At any rate, that’s an effective tactic that required teamwork.  Teamwork, sadly, doesn’t earn the Cool Point.

And I think that same thing happened throughout.  Jed provided the invulnerability and the weakness-exploiting weapons, and so wasn’t able to pull out the usual flashy spells as much. Posy was somewhat hampered by the close confines of the caves, but was still able to keep up harassing fire as the enemy poured in to close combat.

If Needles’ player had been able to stay for maybe two more turns, I suspect he might have tried to earn the point. He was working his way up to it. Had two ice potions in his hands. Was in position to strike any of several different targets. Then the clock ran out, so we’ll never know.

There were quite a few moments of cool.  Alric planting himself in front of Mississippi “I Just Made Three Death Checks” Jed’s unconscious form, volunteering as meat-shield, was a personal favorite. That three-way defense. The “looks” on the “faces” of the flame lords, when they figured out that their usual response to invasion wasn’t going to be effective.

But, yeah, overall, there were more moments of efficiency. They planned and prepared, went as directly as they could to the target area, did the thing, and got out. They showed wisdom in not trying to climb down into the crowd of flame lords, who clearly would have taken the first to try it and thrown them to their doom.

I did question the wisdom of picking that last fight, on the way out, though. I don’t believe they had a clear expectation of treasure, aside from the valuable debris of dead flame lords, and it did end up costing them quite a lot in healing potions. They’re running 50-50 on making “one more room” worth it, it seems. This time, it backfired, but the time before, it payed off.