A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

the Shadow of Yesterday

We sat town to play again, a continuation of last week's game.

This time we had Michael and Maddie as well.

I missed going over this in my last post about the game: the characters.

Jason created Kragar, a Khale Human. He currently is Adept in React, Stealth and Deceit, and Competent in Reist, Aim, Theft and Guerilla Warfare. He took Secret of Contacts and Hidden Pocket. He took keys of the Outcast (thieves guild back in the city) and Impostor.

Krissi made Violet, a Khale Human. She is currently Adept in Endure and Spear Fighting. She is Competent in React, Stealth, Athletics, First Aid, Sense Danger, Woodscraft and Scrapping. She took Secret of Mighty Blow and Signature Weapon (Spear). She took Keys of Bloodlust, Conscience, Masochist and Carousing (gets 1 xp for engaging in boisterous, drunken merrymaking. gets 2 xp when she engages in drunken merrymaking which results in a bar fight or a problem with the law. gets 5 xp when her drunken merrymaking results in an incarceration, arrest, or becoming a fugitive, or when a barfight gets way out of hand)

Maddie created Reek, a Ratkin of unknown origins. She took Adept in React and Scrapping. Competent in Resist, Litter Bond, Streetwise and Athletics. She took Secret of Suddden Knife, Rat Familiarity, Contacts and Throwing. She took Keys of Reknown, and the Litter.

Michael created Sedu, a Zaru Human. He is Adept in React and Zu. He is Competent in Resist, Uptenbo, Research and Counsel. He took Secrets of Kinetic Redirection, Zu (syllable), Sand/Sleep/Weaken (syllable), Spyglass/Focus/Intensify (syllable). He took keys of the Collector, Pacifist, and Conscience.

As we all sat down, I explained that after the events of last week's game, the food-carrier who got away in the forest earlier, burst into the Meeting Hall with 10 guards on his heels and called them out. They were slapped around and thrown into a hut to await dawn, when they would be hanged. Also in the hut with them were Reek and Sedu. These two had also infiltrated the bandit camp in search of a huge garnet, which they'd been commissioned to find and return to a noble in a nearby town. They were caught and were also awaiting the noose. I explained that they sat huddled inside this dark hut awaiting dawn, but that they could hear the snoring of the guard outside.

Maddie announced that Reek was going to start digging. Stakes involved either digging a good enough tunnel, or having the guard wake and come investigate what was going on. She managed fine and dug herself a tunnel under the wall of the hut. They all managed to crawl out, and huddled beside the hut in the darkness, debating in whispers what to do with the guard near them. Sedu advocated a non-violent course of action, while Reek nearly set upon the guard with a dagger that Kragar produced. Violet brought an end to the argument though by thunking the guard on the head, rendering him even more asleep. I had set the stakes as guard is knocked out/guard is awakened and pissed off, and will try to attack. Jason disliked the stakes, saying that the guard wouldnt be able to respond so quickly. Dice were rolled though and the guard was out. While Violet hid the unconscious guard in the hole they'd dug, Kragar took his helmet. They spied a wagon being loaded a distance away, apparently with assorted goods. About this time another guard patrolling the camp came their way. Sedu spoke the syllable "Sleep" and the guard collapsed in a snoring heap.

The players sat and debated for a few minutes, their next course of action, wanting to locate their missing gear - I implied that they loaded a couple of spears possibly including Violet's into the wagon. I suggested at one point that it would be really awesome if they posed as bandits again and approached the wagon and ordered it off, basically taking command of the wagon and its guards. Krager headed in on his own. He told the fellow who looked like he was in charge that "Your Captain wants to talk to you. You better get back there right now." Dice were, of course, rolled. Jason and the NPC came out dead even. [Question: should I use Jason's Deceit vs the guard's Sense Truth, or should it be Deceit vs Resist?] So Krager has not convinced the guard that he was needed, while the guard was not certain that Krager was lying. The guy he was talking to turned out to be a Captain. Krager played dumb though, and said that he was just following orders. The guard Captain agree'd to go with Krager and talk to the fellow that supposedly sent him. Krager led him back toward the hut where his compatriots lurked, and Sedu attempted to use "Sleep" on the Captain, but the roll outcome was even! He didnt go to sleep. Reek charged out, using her Athletics to charge before using Scrapping. She rolled incredibly well on her Athletics, getting an outcome of 5! So she added 5 dice to her Scrapping roll and got a smashing success. The stakes dictated that the guard captain was down and out!

They advanced back to the wagon, Kragar had donned the scarf of the Captain. They reached the wagon, and Kragar told the sergeant that he was the Captain in charge now, that the other had been reassigned (ding, xp for Jason). At the same time, Reek climbed on top of the loaded wagon and proclaimed that in fact, she had killed the previous captain! (xp for Reknown) The sergeant bought Kragar's story, and Kragar's subsequent explanation that the Ratkin was uh.. insane. Reek continued to menace the guards, until Sedu discreetly used "Sleep" on her, sending her into la-la-land. They played it all off, and soon has the wagon and its guards heading off along the narrow track into the forest. A few hours later, they planned to stage their inside heist. "Captain" Kragar stopped the wagon and said that he'd heard something in the woods, and sent Violet and two of the guardsmen into the woods. Reek (awake again) followed Violet into the woods, bitterly bickering about a misplaced pendant of some sort. Reek, Violet and the two guard stomped around in the bushes for a few minutes, and just as they were all ready to spring the trap on their unsuspecting guards, an arrow thumped into a tree near Violet. Then a number of heavily armed soldiers emerged from the trees, making straight for Violet, Reek and the guards. The guards turned and ran back toward the wagon, shouting that they were under attack. Two of the soldiers attacked Violet. Dice were rolled, but everyone broke even and no damage was done. One soldier began to attack Reek but suddenly recognized her (Secret of Contacts). The soldiers were from the same region as she was, and one of them knew that she was in service to one of that region's lords. They ceased attacking the two of them. Reek hurried back toward the wagon, where Krager had ordered the guards to both sides of the wagon - splitting them up. Reek walked onto the path and demanded that the guards drop their weapons. I had her use Sway, even though she was unskilled, resisted by the guards. These players had some great rolls. And a few terrible ones as well. This was a great roll though, and they all dropped their weapons. Then the soldiers walked out of the trees as well. They bound all of the guards and took possession of the wagon. Krager explained that he was a spy in service to the soldiers' region, and they bought it (ding!). Meanwhile, our characters had found both the Ruby and the Garnet that they'd all been hunting for. The soldiers were taking the wagon back to their town. The characters traveled along with them, and at one point they stopped and the sergeant of the soldiers decided that he didnt want to continue to keep up with prisoners, and ordered one of his men to kill the tied up guards. Sedu of course objected, and managed to talk the sergeant into not killing the prisoners (ding! key of Conscience).

On they traveled, and came to the town, Ammen, from where the guards were as well as Reek's employer. The characters split off from the wagon and headed toward Lord Duval's place in town. Reek explained that they had gotten the Garnet that he sent them after. Also Kragar asked if he wanted a ruby. Duval was certainly interested in the ruby, and they set to haggling. Finally Kragar agree'd to let Duval have the ruby appraised, meanwhile, Duval would put them up in the Horse and Tack Inn, "the finer of the two inns in this town". They ate and drank, while Sedu looked around forlornly for a library. Violet hit on her key of Carousing. They overheard that someone was in town asking around about some fine gems. It was a very very tall man with black hair. Jason used the Secret of Contacts, and so this fellow turned out to be the Boss of the local thieves guild, with whom Jason was formerly affiliated (key of the outcast). They laid low that evening, but then heard something from outside, and discovered that Lord Duval's place was on fire. They raced over, well except Kragar, who for some reason chose to hang out at the Inn. At Duval's they found the home in flames, and ruffians doing battle with Duvals men-at-arms in the courtyard. Also in the courtyard was one very tall, black haired man, and a woman with long red hair who was using magic against Duval's men. She used "Flight/Flee/Fugitive" on one of Duval's men, and Sedu promptly stole it! Reek and Violet rushed in to do battle, Reek leaping onto one of the ruffians to assist the combatants. Sedu attempted to use "Sleep" on one of the ruffians, when the red haired woman stole his syllable! He of course brought down the pain. I debated for a bit on how to properly run this bringing the pain. What actually occured was that Sedu used "Sleep" on one of the ruffians, successfully, then red-hair stole it. The pain was brought, and I finally concluded that the conflict was simply over controlling the word- Sedu trying to keep it, and red trying to steal it. I tried to figure out what the bits of the conflict were, the actions that they'd be rolling over. Finally I just had Michael and myself start rolling the conflict. The first round went to Sedu, as his fellow players were being liberal with their Gift dice, but then it was back and forth after that. Both characters in the conflict were Adept at Zu. The Gift dice, and pool dice quickly ran out, and quite a few rolls were dead even. We probably rolled a dozen times, and still only ended up with red being Bloodied. Still, she dropped out of the conflict, and Sedu kept the syllable.

Reek and Violet rushed in and dispatched tall black hair and red hair, while Sedu and Duval's men finished off the ruffians.

We left off there.

I'd explained to my players that this two-game session was really intended to be a figuring out of the system. Thus, I'd dispensed with some of the things I'd normally do, like setting up relationship maps and really striving to make sure all the characters were super compatible and so forth. The players seem open to making it a semi-regular game and keeping it going. They seem to like the characters that they've got, and say that they're enjoying the story. So I will probably try to flesh out the characters and tweak them some and keep it all going.

Michael, having never seen TSoY before, and being somewhat new to Role Playing Games anyway seemed to jump right in, but took a little while to start hitting his Keys. Admittedly, Key of the Collector isnt super-easy to hit if I'm not trying to help with it- so I'll have to work on that. But he got some points for keeping the guards from having their throats slit, and for his non-violent approach to conflict. Maddie really racked up some xp using key of Reknown. Jason and Krissi both did pretty well also.

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