Sunday, August 3, 2014

Game Log for 3 August 2014

Cast of characters:

Yémos, human male cleric of Dōsaútōr, goddess of magic (146 points, Eric)
Anêr, human male swashbuckler (146 points, Eric)
Mayhem, short human male barbarian of the Dragon Claw Clan (146 points, Chris)
Caleb, human male wizard (125 points, Chris)

We started on the early evening of 27 Žneâns 5812, in the town of Mīstássun. Yémos asked Praidīvós where the best place was to buy a pony, and he told Yémos to walk for a couple miles outside of town to the hamlet of Šlešûmos, where its lord breeds and sells steeds.

Mayhem went to the armor smith, Alliólē, who agreed to cut the mail hauberk and coif down to Mayhem's size for 13 silver pennies and the spare links. She bade Mayhem to pick up the mail the next day.

That night at the Scarlet Harlot, they found the scorched table now better than ever, and a woman in a face mask soothsaying for a copper farthing. Anêr plunked down his farthing, and the woman whispered:
Where things are grown, a beast with a brain will try to kill thee. 
Justice must be served with irony.
The rest of the night was merrymaking, and Yémos cast Watchdog and they go to sleep.

The next morning, they woke up to find there had been a shower outside that night. No sooner than they turn a corner, they looked between two buildings and saw a male orc with a weather-beaten face mugging a young man with a pointed beard. They walked up to the orc and stood around him, and he suddenly thought better of mugging the youth and turned to run. Mayhem tried to trip the orc as he fled, but the orc jumped over his foot as he ran away.

Dīpátōr, the young man, was thankful to the gang for saving him. Yémos asked Dīpátōr where he could buy a pony, and Dīpátōr, like Praidīvós told him to see Kúktos, lord of the hamlet of Šlešûmos. He also told the gang that he would gladly give them a free meal at the Pantry, the tavern of his family, where he is a cook.

Our heroes went to the hamlet of Šlešûmos, two miles south of Mīstássun. There, all the serfs were friendly, and a drunkard told the heroes to go to the manor house. There, they met Kúktos, the red-haired Dēspótēs (lesser lord) of Šlešûmos. He sold them a grey mare for 17 gold pieces and 10 silver pennies, down from his first offer of 20 gold pieces, throwing in a bit and bridle, and some old saddlebags. Kúktos told them that the pony rubs against fences and sometimes will stop while bearing a load, though a carrot can help get her to go again.

They went back to Mīstássun and ate a late lunch at the Pantry, which is also in the Market Ward, but near the South Wall of the town. There, among the trinkets on the wall, they ate a beef and wine pie, and Arrūnús, the lopped-eared father of Dīpátōr, gave the heroes a bottle of wine.

Also eating there was a rich woman with a tall neck and paling fair hair and her guard. Yémos asked Arrūnús who she is, and he told him she is Nabbrášus Zúbra, head of the Zúbrēs clan that owns the Zúbrēs Mines in the Áos Hills to the north of Rēláistis. Anêr walks up to her and introduced himself. This impressed her, especially as she knew of Anêr and his friends saving Dīpátōr from the orc mugger earlier. She said she would be happy to give a job to a strong, brave young man like Anêr.

That afternoon, they finished training, and Mayhem picked up his armor. They spent that night in the home of Praidīvós, who told them of the armor and shield of Kīrid that folks say are in a tomb in the Áos Hills. When Praidīvós was young, he went hunting for them, and went into a tomb that he thought had those artifacts. However, he and his friends were wrong, and instead of finding the armor and shield, he fled, lucky to have only lost his right hand instead of his life, unlike his friends.

The next day, they packed up their pony, still not having a name they wanted to give her, with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon that Praidīvós had bought the day before. He told them he had cast Preserve Food on the flour, and that it would last a week. They left town, and Mayhem thought rain was coming, so they moved with that in mind. However, no rain came that day until after they had made camp and a caravan of serfs had made camp next to them. Kûltōr, the leader of the serfs with wood sticks in his beard, said they were coming home to Drūkûros after helping the lord of Vēristrés Castle sow his fields. He told them that a man of the Queen's came to Vēristrés Castle and tried to throw out Kaggrétōr, rightful lord of the castle. Instead, Kaggrétōr and his men threw out the Queen's man and told him to go back to Gōkésun.

The next day was clear but chilly, and that morning, outside Ōndrûnks, a scrawny peddler named Praidīvós (no, not the same one; this is a common name) tried to sell them a little musical box that played "Old King Cole." As none of the gang had need of a musical box, they passed on it and ate lunch at Magog in Ōndrûnks.

They passed the night in Bóllā, which has no tavern or inn. Instead, they spent the night in a serf hovel, and the serf clan told them of the sightings of big spiders. The town watchman had even gone mad when he saw one bear off a pig.

The next day was uneventful, and they spent the night in the woods near the caterwaul's cave. The day after that, they walked past the goblins' cave, and outside were three men with broadswords and no armor. One, whose beard had dyes of many hues, spoke for them (the others had a black eye and a wrinkled face), and told the gang to go away.

Early that afternoon, they made it to Dībités Rock. When they rapped at the door, Aidīvós, the majordomo, told them to go away, after making sure they did not have the druid or the testicles of any fauns. When they did not, out came Aidīvós, four guards, and Praitanêr, who bade the guards to kill the heroes. (Praitanêr's face was scorched when he greeted the gang.) Things went badly from there. Aidīvós crippled Anêr's arm, and Mayhem's axe flew out of his hands when he tried to strike Aidīvós. Within seconds, Anêr and Yémos had passed out, while Caleb told Mayhem to surrender, with Praitanêr promising to sacrifice them.

Notes

Lots of reaction rolls today. The one for Nabbrášus was outstanding, while the one for Praitanêr was truly awful, -1 after his -6 reaction penalty to everyone. He's a Paranoid Loner! You have to take the good with the bad, and he was upset after the PCs didn't find the fauns, but chatted with the druid instead.

So, what do I do with them? Ideas off the top of my head:

  • Follow through on Praitanêr's threat to sacrifice them, and make them make new characters. It seems both logical and unfun.
  • Let them try to get out. Unlikely, and again Praitanêr might send goons to follow them. Also, Anêr's right arm might be bum; we didn't bother to roll to be sure. (Yémos did heal him right back up to full HP as soon as he could, before both dropped, of course. He took 12 HP to the arm when 6 HP crippled it, but I didn't have it lopped off since it was exactly twice the minimum and again, it seemed unfun at the time.)
  • Let Praidīvós bail them out. However, he isn't a Patron, and it seems anti-climactic. Needless to say, they won't get any character points if this happens.
  • Make them prisoners for a long time.
So I'm asking the few readers of this blog to post in the comments what they think should happen to these guys, and I've asked my players as well.

2 comments:

  1. What I'd do:

    - roll for the crippling of Aner's arm. May as well find out now how long it's out of commission. I saw the suggestion the forums that he might want to retire the guy. Personally, I hate when players do that, so if I allowed that I'd make the player start over at the bottom points-wise. A crippled-up combat specialist is actually pretty interesting.

    Cutting it off would have taken more than 12 HP, so don't worry - dismemberment occurs at 2x the threshold for crippling, which in his case is 7 HP, not 6, so it would have taken 14 HP.

    Next, take advantage of the fact they are prisoners - they're in that rare situation where NPCs can ask them to do things and they won't be able to answer "No, we chose to fight to the death instead!" They already tried that.

    So what do the guys want? Money? Have them ask the PCs for money, and if the PCs need to borrow it let them.

    A task completed? Send them on a quest. It needn't be legal, but it should be dangerous. Maybe getting replacement sacrifices, like something rare and dangerous.

    Do they have prisoners they want to trade for? Maybe someone else wants the PCs for a job, for money, or something, and these guys can trade them to those.

    Is there an NPC, perhaps a mysterious one, who needs something and can get the PCs out in return for it?

    Any of those, plus an oath not to retaliate, is a good way to go.

    In any case, the consequences of being captured should simultaneously worse than winning but more interesting than not surrendering. If players know this is the ranking:

    1) Win
    2) Surrender
    3) Die

    and that 2 is always better than 3, and leads to interesting consequences, they're more likely to chose that. It's up to you, right now, to make it so.

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    Replies
    1. I have an e-mail with Anêr's player to see who wants to make that roll. I'd prefer to keep the character, if for no other reason than continuity, and to have a simple fighter guy for when his player's son, who was originally supposed to play him, comes to the table.

      The hierarchy of ends is definitely good to have in mind. It's something that will guide how I handle these situations in the future, so thank you.

      I could also have a dungeon under the keep, and they're down there to clean out what beasties the psycho demonologist doesn't his regular troops dying to take out.

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