This last session has really driven home some things that I guess I never knew or didn't really want to find out about roleplayers (or those I play with, anyway.)
First, it's really, really hard to structure a tribe (of anything, really) that works independently of the PCs. Maybe, and most likely, it's something I don't really want to bother with, but it seems like I'm the one who has to come up with everything this tribe is doing/will do and not much input comes to me from the player who has control of the tribe.
I'd like to feature them, since it was something I saw as a unique part of the game that happened by sheer luck and took everyone by surprise. I guess I could work on that...see what happens.
Secondly, that murder really freaked some people's shit. I had players who were visibly upset or angry that this kid died in the game. Maybe it's the fact that it's a child, but I wonder if it's not more. I wonder if any scene of murder, if not committed by the PCs, is jarring, especially if outside of true combat.
I might look to more mature themes to evoke different reactions to see what works, or will be accepted, and what won't. It'll be a fine line to walk, as I don't want it to be trite or push any of my players away.
I really liked the reactions that got. It seemed so real. The party is good aligned, for the most part, as are the players. Generally good people, who are fairly generous overall...and then they wanted blood. Eye for an eye...or more, even. 10 lives for 1. They wanted all of these people to pay.
It was one of those moments where truly good roleplaying came to the surface and hardly anything had to be spoken. It stayed intense til we ended, because there was this pall...this weight of a life on the shoulders of these guys who are just now making it into their adventuring careers.
So yeah...I suppose I could summarize that as "Good games just happen." Nothing prepared us for Ricky gaining control of a tribe of hobgoblins, and nobody really expected the kid to die, but those things did happen and they have brought about opportunities for good roleplaying and character development...and this is a book campaign.
Needless to say, I'm having fun.
PC roll, because someone just might care...
Fidious Gray (Starborn Human Ranger 2) - Kenny
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 2) - Ricky Joe
Therass of the Screaming Arrow (Starborn Catfolk Scout 1) - Dusty
Veit Granetfist (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 1 of Old Heakun) - Paul