This is the second part of the open-ended solo adventure I began last week using the tools on RPGsolo.com. I’m sorry if this one’s a bit short. I’m going to try working on getting more regular updates out, even if the sessions are slightly shorter. I’m also experimenting with creating significantly more concise narrative elements between game mechanics. I have found that, when it comes to reading other AARs, I really am more interested in seeing how other players convert the oracle/system into action than I am in reading fiction (although good fiction is always welcome too!). Since I’m not a great writer, I figure I’ll try out this more direct story-game telling method for these next few rounds.
Begin Session 2
The village at the end of the world spreads itself out before Mattie.
Was anyone there to meet her? (Somewhat Likely) Yes, and… +Event: Celebrate / Opposition
They ride up and tell her that she has come during hard times. If she doesn’t cause trouble they’ll be happy to have her.
Is the trouble related to the cultists that she saw? (50/50) Yes, but… +Event: Lie / The intellectual
They act sad but don’t want to tell her much about the cult activity that she reported.
Does she detect that they’re keeping something from her? (50/50) Yes, and…
Is it because they’re afraid? (50/50) No
She grows suspicious but decides not to press further. There will be time to learn more in town. Maybe it’s just these two, or maybe it’s just because they don’t trust her yet. [This will impact the bizarre cult murders thread.]
She arrives in town around mid-day.
Does the town pay any particular attention to her arrival? (Unlikely) No, and… +Event: Spy / Hope
The townsfolk are gathered in the square as she arrives. Few turn to face the newcomer. They’re listening to a pair of adventurers standing on a raised platform. The man is clad in chain and the woman in traveling clothes. Both are filthy. Mattie turns to one of the men who met her outside of town. “Who are they?” she asks.
They’re adventurers. Just got back from scouting in the east march. It’s become tradition for survivors of expeditions to describe what they found. Helps others plan out future trips.
Mattie asks why anyone would reveal their secrets that way, but the man says that survival here is more important than treasure–at least in the long run. Everyone works together, and today’s rival might be tomorrow’s ally. The marches hold more danger than anyone could face alone.
What did these two find? Frantically / Modern – Intolerance / Vehicle
These two found a band of humanoids building a set of siege engines deep in the wilderness. They put the torch to them and killed the ones they could find.
[+Thread: humanoid warbands]
Can Mattie find any lodging? (Likely) Yes – Cheerfully / Delightful
Mattie finds her way through town to a bustling tavern and inn. She books a room for a silver piece and pays another for dinner and breakfast. [-2 sp]
Does she overhear anything interesting while she eats? (50/50) Yes, and… +Event: Adjourn / Expectations
[she overhears something that will delay a thread — d3 = 3, humanoid war bands]
Chatter in the tavern is all about the adventuring party that just returned. Whatever threat the war bands had posed, it sounds like the townsfolk are awfully glad it’s over. Mattie finishes her dinner and decides to turn in early.
Does anything happen overnight? (Unlikely) No
She rises early, grateful for the first good night’s rest she’s gotten in a while. She eats breakfast in the common room and then steps outside. It’s a fine morning, bright and trending warmer. She cinches her sword belt and sets out east, toward the edge of town.
Does her treasure map have any point of reference that she can recognize? (50/50) Yes
She stands at the edge of the village and climbs to the top of the low wooden palisade. The wall stretches north and south, not quite continuing all the way back toward the west to fully enclose the village. Piles of logs lie near the ends of the wall; material for future work.
When she’s alone, Mattie draws out the Javie brothers’ stolen map and looks at it. There’s the village, clearly marked. And there, nearly to the other side of the page, is a great X. Nothing else. No indication of what might be buried there, what might be guarding it. Just a town, a dotted line, some obstacles, and an X. Mattie can’t resist.
Several other landmarks like between the town and the X, but Mattie decides against approaching any of the other adventurers she has seen around town. Better to play cards like this close to the vest.
Can Mattie find a general store that sells adventuring goods? (Somewhat Likely) Yes
She purchases a rope, lantern, oil, and flint. [-8 sp].
After buying a few tools, Mattie heads north, toward the temple district.
Can she find one that bears the wooden circlet symbol she found in the inn? (Somewhat Unlikely) No
What does she find? Meaningfully / Rotten
The men here have forgotten the gods in favor of the strength of bow and steel and magic. The temples are falling apart, and few are manned by even a volunteer priest as she walks by. She decides against offering sacrifices anywhere and returns instead to the eastern gate.
Is the gate guarded? (Likely) Yes
Do they stop her? (Somewhat Unlikely) No, but…
The spearmen and archers at the gate give snorting laughs as Mattie passes out into the wilderness. She hears “Fresh meat” whispered more than once. She’s sure she wouldn’t be the first newcomer to disappear into the east.
Will reaching the map destination take many days? (Somewhat Likely) Yes, and…
With the village behind her and the road ahead, Mattie takes a deep breath and finally feels the tightness in her shoulders release. She is in danger here, sure, and a long journey away from her destination, but at least she is in control, making her own choices, for the first time since that sumbitch turned her in the Javies.
She looks at the map. Too far to go this time, but her twenty-odd golds aren’t going to hire her a team nor keep her in food and lodging forever. But there will be time. For now, she just has to find the trail, find some way to orient herself out here.
Daily encounter? (Likely) Yes, and… PC negative – Antagonise / Danger
What does Mattie antagonize? Gratefully / Smooth
Is it a slimy smooth thing? (50/50) Yes, and…
It isn’t long before the trail peters out and Mattie is marching through patches of waist-high grass which slowly give way to virgin forests.
The map leads her to a river, which she follows east and then north. Soon enough to going becomes slow, the ground mushy beneath her feet. She doesn’t know it, but she has stumbled into the territory of a band of skink-man zealots.
Does Mattie recognize the signs of the skink-men before they detect her? (Somewhat Likely) Yes – Healthily / Glorious
As she moves forward, Mattie notices piles of bones–birds, small mammals, that kind of thing. Later, she sees the pale shadow of a man lying against a tree. She examines it and realizes it’s the skin of a lizard-thing, its shape an alien blend of creature and man. She draws her bow and nocks an arrow.
Is she walking into an ambush? (50/50) No, and…
She crosses the next ridge and hears voices. Moving slowly, she crests the hill and sees a pair of slimy, naked lizard-men fighting each other with fists and fangs. Spears lay discarded on the ground nearby.
Does she see anything interesting beside the two beast men fighting? (Somewhat Unlikely) No
Eager to avoid putting her nose into anything, Mattie creeps south and then catches up with her trail a few hundred yards further on. She makes a mental note to avoid this stretch of the river in the future.
[That concludes her daily encounter]
What terrain does she reach by evening? Perfectly / Glorious
The trail winds up a hill, and Mattie reaches the top just as the sun settles down low behind her. The sun shines golden bright in the west as darkness creeps up from the east. She takes a moment to breathe it in, to remember a life before taking the Black and becoming the woman she is today. After a few moments, she exhales, lets it go. What’s done is done.
Can she find a good place to camp? (50/50) Yes – Healthily / Colorful
Not far from the summit she finds a shallow cave. The remnants of a camp fire lie within, and the walls are painted with graffiti in many languages. Those she can read brag of adventurers she’s never heard of. The ones she can’t read don’t look much different than those. She kindles the fire and cooks a dinner from the rations she took from the ruined inn. She gives thanks to the family as she eats their food. [-1 ration]
Black-Eyed Mattie, Bandit
Skills: Stealth (Great), Archery (Good), Swordplay (Good), Toughness (Bad)
Inventory: bow and arrows, sword, leather armor, map, rations (1), broken holy symbol, rope, lantern, oil, flint, 21 gp 8 sp
NPCs: eunuch fence, the Javie brothers, traitor second-in-command
Thread: follow treasure map, bizarre cult murders, humanoid war bands