Saturday, December 26, 2015

Game log for 20 December 2015

Qui sunt?

Mayhem, barbarian
Caleb, wizard
Yémos, cleric
Kim, thief
Anêr, swashbuckler
Kúflaug, orc slave

Quid occurrit?

14 Párūs

fter walking about an hour northeast of Rúkranun, they found a wooden totem of an eight-foot-tall kobold holding a spear. There were no tracks around it and it wasn’t there the last time they passed through there.

That evening, a bunch of deer stampeded. Most of the gang made it up a tree, but Mayhem and Yémos each had one trample him. Mayhem’s armor took the hooves, but Yémos needed to heal himself after taking damage.

They made camp. That night, bandits came, and three shot arrows into Mayhem. He held his temper and roused the cry, and everyone woke up other than Kúflaug. Two bandits struck at Anêr, and one dropped him to the ground, but still awake. Some other bandits got near the tent, and tried to steal the horse. Mayhem stepped and felled one of the bandits with a blow. The others saw this and panicked. Yémos healed Anêr and Mayhem.

Kúflaug awoke, and asked Mayhem, “What happened to you?"

Mayhem said, “It was an arrowing experience."

The next day, they went to the trading post. Outside the post, seven men on horses stopped them and asked their business at the post. After telling them, the horsemen let them pass, but warned them not to touch anything. The gang ate stew at the post, and Mayhem bought ten pounds each of grain and iron as gifts for his clan.

They made camp on the plains that night, and Mayhem caught a big fish.

The next day, the gang went east to the river and foraged for the whole day. Mayhem and Kim had big hauls, but Anêr found some bad berries and shared them with everyone. Kim got especially sick.

The day after that, 17 Párūs, they went northwest, and sighted the Dragon Claw Clan’s camp near midday. They told tales, and the chief asked Mayhem if he wanted his initiation. Mayhem agreed, so the next evening, Mayhem, Kim, Kúflaug, and Séttora, a warrior woman of the tribe who lusted after orcs, set out to have Mayhem touch a lynx with a painted hand. Mayhem snuck up to the lynx, baited it with a fish, then touched it when it ran away with the fish.

Quid aliud possum dicere?

This game works best with some kind of destination in the thick of danger, like a dungeon of 2-3 levels or a big lair. Along the way, they loot monster lairs and shallow dungeons. Sticking in the civilized areas and dealing with bandits is repetitive. And I told everyone such, so the idea is to go deeper into the forest, hills, or swamp, which is where danger lies.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lodging for Wayfarers

One thing that stuck out was that I didn't have any rules for finding lodging in a village without a tavern or inn. Now, of course, you don't need rules for these things, but I realized there wasn't a downside to staying at someone's house instead of camping.

To stay at the home of some peasant, make a reaction roll. On a Neutral or better (10+), the PCs can do this. Don't bother rolling for every home in a settlement; this is for the whole settlement. Historically, this is a common way to wayfare; folks seldom left home, and welcomed the tales wayfarers would tell, and the small trade they would bring.

Of course, there are modifiers to this reaction roll. For each day after the first, apply a -3 to the reaction roll; the wayfarers eat the food, and the tales get old. Apply another -3 if there is a tavern or inn in the village, as if there is, that's where wayfarers should spend the night. The weather can affect this too: use the weather modifiers for Survival and Tracking in DF 16, p. 30, but reverse the signs, as bad weather makes folks more likely to help.

(Incidentally, these rules will work fine for classic D&D if you make the reaction penalties for extra days and the presence of a tavern -2 instead of -3. I'd make them -4 in d20 or D&D 5e, since a reaction roll is on a flat d20 (it's a Charisma check) instead of 2d6 or 3d6. Folks in classic D&D let you stay on a reaction roll of 7 or better, 10 or better in d20.)

A pickpocket shouldn't happen often, maybe only on a 3 on 3d. If you want to have the Bloody Benders happen, that shouldn't be a random roll, and needs to be role-played.

Game log for 6 December 2015

Dramatis personae

Anêr, swashbuckler
Kim, thief
Mayhem, barbarian
Yémos, cleric
Caleb, wizard
Kúflaug, orc slave

Quid occurrit, nullo pugnante

The gang chose to walk towards Mīstássun to sell its gear, and left Drūkûros. About an hour after leaving the village, seven men, dressed in leather and armed, came from their left, and skulked after them from afar. After a few minutes, the men took off, leaving the heroes to make it to town, though not before they foraged for a few meals.

They went to the Pantry to spend the night, and Arrūnús, the owner, was happy to see them, though his son wasn't there. It was a small crowd, but Kim made some ado as she bumped into a woman with Stahl ears, dressed for wayfaring. The woman stood up and said that Kim tried to pickpocket her, and a big man with a birthmark on his mug who was sitting with the woman stood up, and smacked Kim. Arrūnús came over and asked everyone what was the matter, and, when he found out, told everyone to watch it. Aside from the others, Arrūnús said to Yémos and Caleb that he thought Kim was indeed a pickpocket and had tried to steal from the woman.

Kim never bothered to let Arrūnús know that he was right.

The next day was the 11th of Párūs, which was a sunny day albeit with a chilly morning. Yémos went out to look for herbs, and found enough to make a healing salve to make later, when he could learn how. Mayhem took Anêr and Kúflaug fishing, and he caught enough fish for ten meals.

Kim went out to learn how to forage better, but as she made her way to the gate, a gang of four men in armor stumbled towards her. "Hey, baby" said one. "Come over here. I've got Vecna's Dong."

Kim went on her way, saying nothing, but the men followed her outside the gate. She stopped by a tree, and pulled back the branch. "What do you guys want?" she asked.

"I want the babe with the hooters!" said one of the drunk fighters (was it the same one? who cares?), and they came nearer. Kim let go of the branch, and it hit the drunk fighter in the kisser. He fell over, and his friends fell over themselves laughing. Kim went outside and learnt a bit about foraging and living off the land. (Metagame: I let John put an unspent point into Kim's Survival (Plains) at this time, since he'd been trying to come up with a good reason to get the skill.)

Caleb went looking for a library or a wizard, and asked others in town. He found out from the townsfolk that there were two in town: Dénnos, who was interested in arts and giants, and Prainêr, who knew about lost civilizations and politics. Caleb chose to go to Prainêr, a man with tattooed forearms. He brought Prainêr drawings he had made of runes in the mines, and told him of the statues of the man, the woman, and the demon. Prainêr knew that these runes were from a folk who lived before the dawn of magic, and showed Caleb a book he had which had a bit about this. The book showed men leading apes, apes leading men, and, yes, lizard men ruling men. Prainêr knew the demon was a common motif in their work (he thought they may have worshipped demons), but didn't know about the statues of the man or the woman.

That evening, the fishermen were coming back, and three scrawny dogs followed them, begging for food. Mayhem took the innards out of one of the fish, and threw them to dogs, who ate them up. Back at the Pantry, he gave the fish to Arrūnús, who gave them to his son to cook for the heroes and for themselves, and let the gang stay the night for free.

The next morning, they awoke to rain outside. After a bit of rain, Mayhem and the others went fishing again, now with Kim and Yémos, and again caught enough fish for ten meals, which they brought back to the Pantry for another meal and free night's stay. Kim tried selling the hematites, the mace, and the goblet, but only got an offer of 15 silver pennies ($60) for the lot, which she thought was low so she kept them.

Caleb went back to Prainêr, and brought with him the platinum box with the eyeball stones. Prainêr looked at the runes on the box. He couldn't read them, but showed Caleb that they matched up to some runes in what his book said might be a list of kings. Caleb looked through the book himself, and saw the man and the woman of the statues, which the book said were gods named Ἀπόλλων and Ἀθηναία, whatever those meant. It also had a drawing of the big winged lizard man on the throne, which Prainêr said the ancients called the Immortal King. He didn't know much about the Immortal King, but said at least at one time, the Immortal King was of flesh and blood. Prainêr asked to buy the box and the eyeballs, but Caleb wanted to wait, and went back to the Pantry, wisely sidestepping two hookers bickering.

The gang set out the next day, wanting to get to Mayhem's tribe before too long. The weather kept them from getting too far, and they ran into a merchant woman with an upturned nose named Lúbolē, who sold Kim a pound of soap for 8 pennies. Kim said the soap was for Mayhem and Kúflaug, though neither of them knew much about it. They made it as far as Lûtē Downs before the storm started, and ran into Gên, the woman with the long face and the lip ring to whom they had spoken a few months before. As Lûtē Downs had no tavern, Gên and her husband Šērêš, a hunter with a five-o'-clock-shadow, let the heroes spend the night.

Res aliae

There wasn't anything in the way of combat, other than Kim's failed Pickpocket roll, which led to a mandatory 1d HP damage and a reaction roll from Arrūnús. There were a few times they didn't go for combat, like when they saw the gang of scroungy guys on the road, and when Caleb didn't get in the way of the screaming whores.

We had to break because one of the players had a personal issue, so I didn't give character points yet. I do need to come up with rules for asking for lodging when there is no tavern; that will be another post in a bit.