Last night was such a disaster on so many different levels that it pains me to dig into some of this but I must.
1. First off, I'll ponder what I consider to be my biggest disaster of the night: the poor and premature timing of that "airburst" fireball.
The story I gave last night was to put a game face on what was, realistically, a stupid thing to do and was an over-the-top example of using "player knowledge" out of character. Guilty. The problem for me that I've seen time and time again where a fight starts that we shouldn't have allowed to start in the first place, on poor terms for us, the fight is beginning to go badly, we're facing "countless hordes", AND on top of it the hour is getting late. At the start of this campaign there was the idea that a game session would run until perhaps 10pm or 11pm, so the "extended sessions" place me in a terrible personal bind. My wife expects me home at a "reasonable" hour, is willing to be flexible enough to accomodate an "occasional midnight", but I knew she would be livid if I pushed last night beyond midnight and had agreed with her in advance that if I couldn't "cut myself off" and walk out at a reasonable hour that I might need to drop out of the group entirely. I was feeling pressured by the time and my wife, not the severity of the battle, and panicked.
What I should have done was left early, fled the scene, made a personal escape, or something natural. Hid in the snow. Flew away. I could have held that fireball an extra turn or two and the battle would have progressed naturally to the point where I could have easily used it with no question of circumstance and then bagged it for home. I could have voiced my true intentions instead of "gaming" the game. I was, in fact, cleaning up in the kitchen around this time with the vain hope that I might be able to head home soon so I really wasn't paying as close attention to the game as I should have.
I didn't do what I should have done, the scheme backfired, and here we are. I'm sorry to have offended you, Dave. You were absolutely right: the stunt was completely out of character and based on player knowledge. But it wasn't motivated by a desire to "kill orcs". It was motivated by a desire to end the fight quickly so I could get home. I should have just been honest about my intentions instead of trying to gimmick the game mechanics to the detriment of everyone else's enjoyment.
If I am to continue with the Rolemaster group, I must be clear up front that I'll need to bag out by 11:30pm at the very latest.
I would like to continue with the Rolemaster group. Petitions on my behalf can be emailed to wprentice AT usa.net for my wife's consideration.
So with the optimistic hope that my wife can be convinced to give me a second chance, and with the hope that the group sees fit to extend the same, I'd like to consider some other thoughts.
2. I really wanted the Familiar to help serve me as an extension of my eyes. I'm not very stealthy, but a small animal could be very helpful in that regard for me. My intention was to have the animal roaming around on foot with us to help with scouting. Someone made a joke about hunting the sable, which I took personally and seriously. As a result, I never followed up with my plans. I immediately began seeing the sable as a liability around "people threatening to kill it". We have to trust each other. I think the sable could be very useful. At the very least, if we let him roam 100-200 feet ahead of the party he might have clued us into the disaster we encountered last night. As I talked about with Joe, I would like to work with Joe to get him a Familiar as well. It will take me crafting a lot of scroll spells for him to work with to bind an animal to him, but this could be a very important asset for us. Bottom line is that because I mistook someone's joking comment as a serious threat, I failed to trust the rest of the party and thus failed to use what could have been an important scouting resource.
3. The steam vent demands deeper exploration. I'll volunteer to fly down to scout it, or I'll volunteer to cast Flight on anyone else who desires to go this instead of me. I dropped a rock with Light on it down the hole, it disappeared into mist, and then splashed in water. Thats all we know. How deep is the mist? How far to the water? What temperature is the water? The steam vent may be a backdoor entrance to whatever complex the defended cave leads to. By my recollection, it is a 10hr trek from the battle site back to the steam vent cave. That puts it on the other side of the same mountain that the defended cave is at. It is winter, so the water doesn't need to be boiling hot for steam to come out. A natural underground hot springs would have plenty of steam, and naturally be shrouded in mist. Anyone ever visited Chena Hot Springs? I think we need to do some serious underground cave exploration in the near future.