Sunday, June 10, 2018

Game log 10 June 2018: She didn't sing yet

Dramatis personae

Xóran, fox-man scout
Kim, thief
Mayhem, short barbarian
Ash, squire
Grymalkus, whiny cleric of the war god
Caleb, wizard
Kôštē, cleric of the farming goddess

Quid occurrit

Back in town, the gang bought gear and listened for tales. Four of them heard something worthwhile:

  • Xóran heard that an ogre with a mighty sword and his gang has taken over a mine in the north of the Áos Hills, near the wrecked Abbey of the Respectful Warrior.
  • Ash heard that undead and werewolves haunt the hobbit village of Kīkídzā at night.
  • Mayhem heard that evil cultists had poisoned themselves in their church in the woods, and their riches were still there.
  • Grymálkus heard that sexy Lady Dīdótē of Érrōn Point suddenly had gotten fat.

After a week of all this and some colder weather, they set forth in the sun, first for Érrōn Point, planning on going through there on the way to the hills, wherein they would seek help from Mayhem's kin. On the way, they ran into a gang of eight wayfarers. They tried to walk past, but the woman at the fore of the gang dropped her hood, showing her bulging grey eyes.

She was Grádē, whom they had met that summer, and she recognized Kim, who was at the fore of the party. Grádē was oddly  glad to see Kim, and, after asking if Kim and the others had learnt the true path of Ga’an, told her that the other half of her cult was in Fort Rénnutēs, which was in the hills, south of the Zúbrās Mines, and the goons who staffed the keep didn’t think much of her cult. Unbeknownst to Grádē, the path to the Abbey of the Respectful Warrior would take them near Fort Rénnutēs.

Anyways, shortly after nightfall, they reached Érrōn Point. A peasant woman named Praigên told them that Lady Dīdótē, wife of Lord Néttōr, got fat while putting on a girdle to turn on her husband. Praigên was happy that Dīdótē was now fat, as her husband no longer put his hand in his pants upon seeing her.

After learning this, the heroes went to the small manor house and knocked on the door. A well-dressed and handsome man answered the door, and Ash, leading the gang, said, “We’ve come to see the lady of the house.”

The man said, “My wife is not seeing anyone. Go away.” It was Lord Néttōr.

Xórin and Ash said they would help for nothing at all, but Néttōr bet them they couldn’t. When they again said they would help for nothing at all and there would be nothing in it for him if they couldn’t help, he told them to go away and slammed the door.

Praigên let the gang spend the night at her home. There, after drinking a few beers with her husband, Caleb learned that while the village was clean, it stayed small since Néttōr had gambling debts and never had any money.

Now knowing this, Caleb took the heroes back to the manor house the next day. There, after one of the children answered the door and fetched Néttōr, Caleb told him that they knew about his gambling debts, and tossed a glowing rock up and down in his hand. Néttōr was unimpressed by the glowing rock, but Caleb stared him down, and started tossing the rock higher and higher.

Néttōr got the idea. “What do you want?” He opened the door, letting them inside, and they got to see the family painting with Néttōr and Dīdótē, who was indeed quite comely, at least in the painting.

Caleb said back, “First, we want to fix your wife.”

Lord Néttōr shrugged. “Why should it matter that you want to fix my wife? Every guy in the county wants to fix my wife.”

Xórin then shot in, “Is your wife really that good?”

Néttōr stared icily back at Xórin, saying nothing to him, but instead called out for his wife. After some coaxing, Dīdótē came out. She looked much as she did in the painting, but weighed about twice what the woman in the painting weighed. She brought with her the girdle, which was now wrecked, as she suddenly had become fat upon donning it and her sudden girth had broken the girdle. Caleb felt that this was indeed a magical girdle.

Néttōr and Dīdótē didn’t know who did this, but did know a few things:

  • Dīdótē had bought the girdle from Makšilíā, a dressmaker in the town of Mīštássun (the heroes’ home) who held a lesser noble title.
  • The two had some foes from their misbegotten youth. They didn’t spill any beans, but it was clear that they had been less than lawful.
  • Suggên, a friend of Dīdótē from Ōndrûnkš, had lost her husband last year. Again, Néttōr and Dīdótē did not tell how this happened, but Dīdótē said she was helping Suggên try to learn what had happened.
  • Prailtûvos, the husband of Dīdótē’s friend Attibélon, had tried to sleep with Dīdótē the year before at some kind of games, but Dīdótē had pushed him away.

While not knowing who had done this, the heroes chose to go back to Mīštássun to see if Bašêr, head of the Church of Saundīvós, could come and banish the curse on the farthings of the heroes. On the way, they ran into a gang of bandits who were trying to ambush wayfarers, but found themselves dead at the sword points of the heroes. Once back in Mīštássun at the end of the day, now richer with the 55 copper and 25 silver they found on the bandits and the 1,500 copper they made from selling the lame gear of the bandits, they found that Bašêr was quite eager to help them.

Res aliae

First, we had a long chat about why I don’t write storylines. In a nutshell, I don’t find them fun, and they’re much harder to prepare since the players will go off the rails. Conflicts? I’m all into them, but I want the players to find the conflict that suits them best.

This session had many reaction rolls, and most of them went well, aside from the first one with Néttōr.

I glossed over the fight since from a game tale standpoint it isn’t interesting. I told the players this at the start of the fight, once the bandits had failed their rolls to ambush, and encouraged them to experiment with combat techniques. In one of my favorite gaming moments, Roman’s eyes lit up when he at last understood why the hit location table was so important, and tried a few tricks. The first was one he called “Trimming the Hedges” wherein Xórin used All-Out Attack (Double) and hit each arm of a bandit, trying to cut off each. Neither came off, but both were crippled, taking that bandit out of the fight. Right afterwards, Xórin stabbed a bandit in the vitals and, the next second, did the same to another bandit. As the second bandit died, Xórin said, “Too bad you can’t tell your friends about me,” and howled.

Steph, for her part, got more used to Mayhem swinging for the neck. After beheading one bandit, he stepped towards another, and “axe[d] [him] out nicely” to cut off his head, too, with a crit: “Momma had a baby and his head popped off!”

Five points. In a takeaway from Whiterock that has jibed with things I’ve felt so far, I’ve chosen to give out five points most sessions, as well as lobbing out the unused disadvantages from the character sheets.

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