In any case, last night's session (sans morsla) went really well, with much enjoyment had by all. There was NPC-interaction, plot (heavens forbid!), and some PC smackdown. Wooo! Three of the four PCs were reduced to 0 or lower hit points throughout the session, and they didn't even get to the bottom of the dungeon.
Hee hee hee.
I'm not really that evil, but I figured that since they are getting to the end of the story arc I ought to introduce beasties which were a little bit more of a challenge that they have faced thus far. Especially since they are all an average of level 8 (if you take ELs into account), they can withstand a little more of a beating than they used to.
I will publicly promise, however, that I resisted the temptation to put a Balor at the end of the dungeon. It was very tempting, though.
I got to wave around a few new beasties, like Ether Scarabs, as well as some recurring monsters like Babau, and some old time, nostalgic encounters - Umber Hulks (yay!) and Displacer Beasts. Mmmm - displacer beasts. 50% chance to miss. Gotta love them.
I also got to introduce an NPC that I've been hankering to - a talking ginger cat named Vim. I have no doubt that Vim will become the useful thorn in the side of the party. Go, Vim, go!
There is also going to be some interesting NPC back-story flying about in the next few sessions, which always makes for interesting happenings.
I was really trepidatious when starting this campaign, because I'd never really run D&D before, and I only had a really loose understanding of it, as well as only have a dim concept of what I wanted to do with the plot. It's a really crunchy system, but I seem to have dodged most of the nasty rules.
As for the plot, I'm planning on taking it grander places than I ever have before. Most of the games I've run have been about ordinary people doing pretty impressive things - infact, I've made a real point about that, to the extent of having to remind people (usually Jye) that unless the PCs are certifiably insane, they would not be acting in such a brash fashion.
I get a different feel from this campaign entirely. The PCs, in my mind, are heroes in the making. The stuff which is going on, and will be going on, in the game world is truly universe shaking. Mind you, listening to the Lord of the Rings movie STs while thinking up plot will do that.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the way things are going.