DM's Notes: One of Sualy's favoritest characters, Bell, died in Xs3e4. I allowed for one more roll than is allowed by the books, and so she lived and the story could have gone on, but… I think it took the wind out of Sualy's sails, especially on the heels of the death of Jasper in Xs2e22. Sualy was interested in making a new character, and in some ways, Bell was the heart of the Season Three campaign, so…
As a DM, I hate to kill players. There are times I fudge my dice rolls to advance the story, and I like most encounters to be rough-and-tumble with the risk of death (or worse, since this is D&D). I killed my wife's characters too often, and now she's reticent to play. My DMing style and her play style apparently do not go well, together, and the same might be said for Sualy's characters. I'm learning as a DM, and trying to do better by my players, but I'm adamant about the risk of death. No victory is as memorable as the battle barely won.
The book Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (link below) came out and stoked quite a bit of interest in building some new characters, particularly for Sualy and Caileb. For Saige, however, this is becoming a bit of a problem. She pours a LOT into character building, and switching from Toox to Callista and now to a new character is taking a bit out of her. She may soon see the same kind of character generation fatigue that got Sommer if we can't make a decent campaign.
I explained my concerns about team-building to the core trio (Caileb, Saige, and Sualy), and pointed out to them that I usually have to lead them around by the metaphorical nose. I needed them to find ways to integrate their characters and have meaning for the campaign. I needed them to decide on a theme for their missions.
Caileb's been wanting to play a wild sorcerer for ages, but Saige is aghast at the idea of so much chaos on the battlefield. In the Tasha's Cauldron book, though, the fungal druid caught Caileb's attention, and the charisma ranger caught Saige's attention. Sualy looked at one of the new sub classes of paladins, and wondered if Nature or the gods of plants could have paladins, too.
Caileb, Sualy, and Saige spent several evenings planning and plotting and scheming, with Michael kept in the loop via texts and calls from Saige. They decided that they wanted a nature-themed campaign – two druids, a paladin of nature, and a ranger. Given that a hunk of the world history for the campaign world involved a druid empire that died in Pyrrhic victory against a God of Strategy, Silence, and Darkness… Well, I had plenty of ideas on how to handle a nature-themed adventure.
The trick, as usual, would be getting all of the characters into place. Caileb and Sualy's characters would be siblings (they do have a penchant for shared back story), so no problem, there. Saige's character would be from the Fey Wilds, and would be a newcomer to the world, having spent all of her life as one of the fey. Michael's character was a druid, so learning from one of the ancient treants of an old threat that was awakening seemed perfect.
As a paladin, Sualy's character would have a divine mount. As a ranger, Saige's character would have a companion. From there, it was time to rock n' roll.
They decided on 5th-level characters to start the campaign, and I agreed.
None to date.