The second session of my Middle-earth RPG went really well and I'm incredibly happy with the way it's going. Cthulhu: Dark Ages is a perfect fit for this game and now that I've got my hands on the Decipher 'Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game' core rulebook I'm going to mine it for ideas, and try to get some of the Renown and Courage rules inserted into the game.
I thought an exciting encounter would be running into a forest troll in a run-down watchtower on the edge of Mirkwood. There could be a great fight, or maybe the players would try to sneak past, or maybe con him, or ambush him... but no. Big J steps up to him and takes a swing. One swing and one critical hit with maximum damage doubled later, there's a dead troll on the ground.
Well... well, crap.
Gone was the encounter. So, I figured I'd throw a pack of wolves in to make up the time, and try and force the PCs into the watchtower where the next part of the adventure was going to take place. But Big J, still flushed with his victory, stands his ground... and during the fighting gets three more critical rolls and takes them out with single hits.
As a prize for his prowess I awarded him a Westerness blade (+1 damage) from the troll hoard, but I was reminded of something very important I should have remembered as a GM: no matter what plans you make, no matter how you'd like the story to go, it's never possible to predict the actions of players. It's even more impossible to predict the outcome of sodding dice rolls!