Epees and Sorcellerie — 3

Continuation of Part 3 of my Epees & Sorcellerie game. Last time, the party was deep in a cave system, tracking a group of bandits to their fallback position. I was disappointed by the number of uninteresting rooms in the last session, so I plan on using Mythic to supplement Scarlet Heroes for the dungeon delve.

Current Setup

Experience Record

  • Thunderbird = 300 exp
  • Young Ogre = 300 exp
  • 3 bandits = 300 exp
  • turquoise necklace = 60 exp
  • found gold = 60 exp

Character Sheets

Hallada, P1 (109 exp). S4 D9 C4 I9 W12 C7. HP 2/4. AC 9 (nothing). AT: mace (-1 hit, -1 dmg). Spells (1/2): healing, detect magic. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 2 ration, lantern, brooch (35 gp value). 21 gp. Goal: overthrow/pleasures (a real wet blanket).

Bruge, W1 (109 exp). S10 D12 C8 I6 W9 C7. HP: 4/4. AC 12 (none). AT: battle axe (+2 hit, +2 dmg) or bow (+3 hit, +2 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 2 ration, turquoise necklace (60 gp). 22 gp. Goal: harm/illusions (all about tearing down the veneer of civilization).

Silene, W1 (109 exp). S8 D7 C10 I8 W5 C9. HP: 6/8. AC 9 (leather and shield). AT: sword (+1 hit, +0 dmg) or crossbow (+1 hit, +0 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 2 ration, lantern. 29 gp. Goal: travel/portals (wanderlust, insatiable curiosity).

Josue, P1 (109 exp). S9 D9 C7 I4 W11 C8. HP: 5/6. AC 10 (shield). AT: hammer (+1 hit, +1 dmg). Spells (0/2): healing, sanctuary. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 2 ration, torch. 81 gp. Goal: procrastinate/enemies (standing alone against an unspecified threat).

Mythic Stuff

NPCs: Barssus, a foppish and overpromoted captain in the Hierophant’s army. Pair of soldiers, one of whom may be a traitor.

Threads: Discover the fate of the missing supply wagon to earn 100 gp each.

The Game

The party advanced east after combing through another empty cavern (room 6). The tunnel twisted through the hard stone as it worked it way further beneath the hilly country. They passed through a T intersection and continued east, not yet ready to return south.

We resume in room 6.

Room 7: The bandit headquarters (Truce/Plans). Encounter (HD3 boss, HD2 mage, 2 HD 1 minions, and an HD 1/2 dog supporter). Hidden treasure (H5 – 400 gp, 2 pieces of costly jewelry, 4 cheap gems, 3 costly gems, 5 articles of costly clothing, and a Potion of Celestial Step). Feature (Item of information — clues that are worth something to the city).

Bandit Boss. Warrior 3 (12 hp). AC 10 (chain). AT: sledgehammer (+1 hit, +1 dmg). MV 2.

Bandit Magician. Magic-User 2 (6 hp). AC 7 (none). AT: dagger (+0 hit, +0 dmg), magic lash (+1 hit, +1 dmg). MV 4. Spells: Detect Magic, Read Languages.

2 Bandits. HD 1 (2, 2 hp). AC 9 (leather and shield). AT +0 (sword). MV 3. These are the same guys as before.

Fighting Dog. HD 1/2 (3 hp). AC 9 (dex). AT: bite (+0 hit, +0 dmg). MV 5.

Up ahead, light began to flicker into the tunnel. They heard voices arguing, and then a [m/w] gravelly man’s voice shout over the tumult. The voices died back to a quiet murmur. The party paused, glanced at each other. Hallada shuttered her lantern.

Does the party manage to approach without being noticed? +2: Yes.

They crept forward, quiet in their light armor, until they could see the source of the light. The tunnel emerged into a well-lit and furnished cavern. A small crowd was clustered around a parchment-covered table, arguing, while a bearded man in chain armor frowned at them. A dog sat at his heels, growling. The party froze.

Does the dog notice them? +0: Yes, and…it barks.

Suddenly, the dog sniffed the air. Its ears perked up, then pointed. It barked. The armored man turned to the dog and then toward the tunnel where the party hid.

Check for surprise: 5 vs 2-, no surprise.

The two leather-clad bandits turned and pointed. “That’s them!” one shouted. The armored man lifted a massive sledgehammer from the table and turned toward the darkness. “Get ’em,” he snarled at the dog.

“Damn,” Josue said. “I guess we should’ve gone after them after all.”

“Run, then?” Silene asked, as she turned and started to sprint back down the corridor, stopping only long enough to loose the bolt in her crossbow into the crowded room [attacked (randomly) one of the common bandits, missed by 1], but it thudded against the man’s shield just as he drew it up.

“Didn’t realize I’m come this far with cowards,” Bruge said, but he was running right along with her. The sound of the dog drove them onward.

The dog was on them in an instant. It snapped at Josue’s shield, but the priest held the beast at arm’s length [both missed] as he hustled down the corridor.

“Lantern!” Silene called as they rounded the bend and made their way south. Hallada fumbled at the shutters on the lantern until she got the hood up, but then they were off again.

They reached the iridescent cavern in moments, just as Bruge managed to get enough room to swiped at the dog with his axe; it went down in a heap [5 damage killed it outright]. The bandits from before were on their trail, but the heavily-armored man was lagging, a few dozen paces behind now.

“Go!” Silene called to the two priests. “Get the prisoners and get outside. We’ll hold them!”

“What?!” Bruge demanded, but the priests were already gone.

“The bridge. Fire!” She had her crossbow up again. Bruge skidded to a halt and dropped his axe, fumbling for the bow hanging across his back. Both shots, snapped around over the soaring bridge, went wide, and then the bandits were upon them. They dropped their bows and scrambled for their daggers as the bandits crashed into them. Silene took a deep cut across her forearm as she tried to ready her blade [5 damage leaves her at 1 hp], while Bruge stepped carefully back and his foe’s swipe went wide.

He stepped back into the man’s backswing and buried his blade in the man’s neck [4 dmg kills him], then turned to help Silene as she and her opponent feinted back and forth [both miss badly].

Just then, the armored bandit chief and a lithe young women stepped out into the cavern. The man before them shouted for help just as Bruge struck him hard against the shield [AC match staggers the man; -1 AC] and Silene’s dagger slashed his belly open [3 damage, dead].

They sheathed their daggers and picked up their bows and axes as the remaining enemies raced across the bridge. “Josue!?” Silene called behind her.

Is the priest nearby? -1: Yes!

“I’m beside you,” the priest called. “Hallada has the prisoners; she’s taking them outside.”

He handed Silene the lantern and stepped in front of her, lifting his shield high. “We’ll stop them here.”

Who will fight Bruge? Mage or Boss? Mage.

A moment later, Josue’s breath was taken away as the bandit leader’s sledge caught him full in the shield, but the warrior-priest rolled with the blow and returned as well as he got [chief missed; Josue hit for 3 damage. 9 hp left]. The wizard wasn’t as sturdy; her arcane whisperings fizzled as Bruge stepped through a lash of burning ozone and cleaved her head from her shoulders with a single blow [she missed badly; he hit for 7 and killed her].

The bandit chief roared and spun his hammer around for another strike [passed morale], but the flurry of blows from both sides tripped him up and Josue’s hammer struck hard against his elbow [5 dmg, 4 hp left]. The man howled and allowed his grip to slip just for a second, just long for the priest to step inside and cleave in his skull [hit for 7, dead].

The party stood, panting, in the quiet room. For a long time, no one moved. Finally, Josue looked at Silene and said, “We need to get Hallada. You’re hurt bad.”

This time, the warrior did not protest. “That might be a good idea,” she said. Josue helped her south into the improvised jail while Bruge rooted through the purses of the dead. He came up with a handful of coins [4d6=14 gp] and a bottle of cloudy, vaporous liquid [the potion of Celestial Step].

By the time he rejoined the others, Hallada was just finishing a prayer over the injured warrior, who seemed [healing, +6 hp] almost entirely herself again.

“Now then, shall we?” Silene asked as she rose and dusted herself off.

“Shall we what?” Hallada asked.

“See what these bastards were doing, of course. And what they had that made it worth it.”

“You need rest,” the priestess clucked.

“There will be time for that,” Silene argued. The headed back north into the caves.

What is the headquarters like? Aggressively/Bizarre

The chambers were immaculately clean, for the cave hideout of a bunch of brigands, and filled with bizarre carvings of almost-human idols, made of wood, stone, and bone. Josue set to smashing them with his hammer before Silene stopped him and grabbed one.

“This could be worth something to the army boys,” she said as she dropped it into her pouch.

+Thread: Weird statues found in bandit hideout.

Search Check: 11+2w = 13, pass

They set about tearing the room to pieces, and soon enough found a heavy chest hidden behind a box of moldering flour. Each checked carefully for traps, but finding none, agreed to open it.

Can it be smashed open? +1: No.

The iron bands wrapped around it made it impervious to Bruge’s axe, so, gritting his teeth, the warrior flipped the latch and tipped the lid open. When nothing happened, he allowed himself to finally exhale, and then to laugh.

“Ale in both hands, tonight!” he shouted when he looked into the chest. None of the others could disagree. They tipped the contents out onto the floor and tallied them carefully, each watching the others. None had seen such a hoard.

They found an outfit–cloak, shirt, shoes, the works–of the finely-printed cotton, worth 390 gp; 4 sardonyx gems worth 40 gp each; three onxy stones worth 200 gp each; a small sack stuffed with 400 gold coins; and, best of all, a matched set of silver jewelry (an amulet and bangle) worth 100 and 300 gp, respectively.

“We have to get back to town,” Silene said. No one disagreed.

They packed the things carefully into their bags and headed for the exit.

“Where are our prisoners?” Bruge asked.

“Just outside,” Hallada said. “I tied them to a tree.”

Are they still there? +2: Yes.

And so they were. The party tied the two prisoners to leads and led them back through the forest to the trade road. They traveled a little ways down the path and then headed into the woods a few hundred yards to camp and rest. They had a long day of marching ahead of them.

Night Encounter Check: No.

Travel checks: no, no.

The woke early the next morning, after a quiet night, and made their way back to town. The walls of the city were a welcome sight as they grew closer. They were stopped by guards as they neared the gate. The man saw the prisoners’ armor, recognized it as the army’s. He blew a whistle, demanded answers as spearmen swarmed out of the gatehouse.

Josue stepped forward. “Let us through to the captain,” he demanded. “Something is afoot in the wood.”

Wrap Up

Experience Record

*Note that I am adjusting the exp from enemies because I was going by the E&S rulebook, but when I looked at them carefully I realized that would be way too high as-written along with xp-for-gp, so I am adjusting EXP values here for monsters to be in line with Labyrinth Lord/Lamentations.

  • Thunderbird = 65 exp
  • Young Ogre = 50 exp
  • 3 bandits = 30 exp
  • turquoise necklace = 60 exp
  • found gold = 60 exp
  • dog = 5 exp
  • magic-user = 29 exp
  • bandit chief = 50 exp
  • jewelry = 400 exp
  • gems = 760 exp
  • clothes = 390 exp
  • coins = none, because they were recovered from known humans who were hiding them

This is a total of 1,899 exp, which rounds to 475 exp for each character. A comfortable haul, but they’re still a long way away from leveling up. It should hopefully be enough money to buy the slower members of the party some better armor, and maybe some other more specialized tools of the trade.

Character Sheets

Hallada, P1 (584 exp). S4 D9 C4 I9 W12 C7. HP 4/4. AC 9 (nothing). AT: mace (-1 hit, -1 dmg). Spells (0/2): healing, detect magic. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 1 ration, lantern, brooch (35 gp value). 121 gp. Goal: overthrow/pleasures (a real wet blanket).

Bruge, W1 (584 exp). S10 D12 C8 I6 W9 C7. HP: 4/4. AC 12 (none). AT: battle axe (+2 hit, +2 dmg) or bow (+3 hit, +2 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 1 ration, turquoise necklace (60 gp), unidentified potion (celestial step). 136 gp. Goal: harm/illusions (all about tearing down the veneer of civilization).

Silene, W1 (584 exp). S8 D7 C10 I8 W5 C9. HP: 8/8. AC 9 (leather and shield). AT: sword (+1 hit, +0 dmg) or crossbow (+1 hit, +0 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 1 ration, lantern, strange idol. 129 gp. Goal: travel/portals (wanderlust, insatiable curiosity).

Josue, P1 (584 exp). S9 D9 C7 I4 W11 C8. HP: 6/6. AC 10 (shield). AT: hammer (+1 hit, +1 dmg). Spells (0/2): healing, sanctuary. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 1 ration, torch. 181 gp. Goal: procrastinate/enemies (standing alone against an unspecified threat).

Mythic Stuff

NPCs: Barssus, a foppish and overpromoted captain in the Hierophant’s army. Pair of soldiers, one of whom may be a traitor.

Threads: Discover the fate of the missing supply wagon to earn 100 gp each. Weird statues found in bandit hideout.

Epees and Sorcellerie — 2

NOTE: This is a continuation of Part 1 of my solo adventure in the world of the d6-based retro-style RPG, Epees & Sorcellerie. My goal for this game is to let the adventure and plot take center stage and hope that emergent storytelling will eventually bloom, rather than focusing on the game and oracle as any kind of fiction-generating tool. As such, a lot of the characters will be poorly sketched out at first, but should reveal themselves if they survive long enough.

Setup Material

Experience Record

  • Thunderbird = 300 exp

Character Sheets

Hallada, P1 (109 exp). S4 D9 C4 I9 W12 C7. HP 4/4. AC 10 (shield). AT: mace (-1 hit, -1 dmg). Spells (1/2): healing, detect magic. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 2 ration, lantern, brooch (35 gp value). 21 gp. Goal: overthrow/pleasures (a real wet blanket).

Bruge, W1 (109 exp). S10 D12 C8 I6 W9 C7. HP: 4/4. AC 12 (none). AT: battle axe (+2 hit, +2 dmg) or bow (+3 hit, +2 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 2 ration. 22 gp. Goal: harm/illusions (all about tearing down the veneer of civilization).

Silene, W1 (109 exp). S8 D7 C10 I8 W5 C9. HP: 6/8. AC 9 (leather and shield). AT: sword (+1 hit, +0 dmg) or crossbow (+1 hit, +0 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, 2 ration, lantern. 20 gp. Goal: travel/portals (wanderlust, insatiable curiosity).

Josue, P1 (109 exp). S9 D9 C7 I4 W11 C8. HP: 5/6. AC 10 (shield). AT: hammer (+1 hit, +1 dmg). Spells (2): healing, sanctuary. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, 2 ration, torch. 21 gp. Goal: procrastinate/enemies (standing alone against an unspecified threat).

Mythic Stuff

NPCs: Barssus, a foppish and overpromoted captain in the Hierophant’s army.

Threads: Discover the fate of the missing supply wagon to earn 100 gp each.

The Game

The party lurked outside the cave, waiting for something to happen. Silene fiddled with her crossbow. Bruge picked his nails with the edge of his axe.

Do they see anything? -1: No. Random encounter check while waiting: None.

But all was quiet. They waited the better part of an hour and grew bored. Finally, Josue rose. “I’m going in,” he said. “Justice can’t wait any longer.”

Silene rolled her eyes as Hallada stood up, but she stood up to follow the priests as well. Bruge caught up as they neared the cave entrance. He took a few practice swings with his axe and shouldered his way up to the front.

Marching Order: Bruge and Josue in front. Silene (holding her crossbow) and Hallada (holding mace and lantern) in the second row.

They traveled on deep into the cliff face before the low, unworked corridor ended at door.

Listen Check (Josue): 5+2 = 7, moderate. If there is a monster in the room I will decide whether a moderate success would have been enough to hear it. If so, the party will be able to prepare/surprise the foes.

Room 1: 2000′ hexagon, exits to north and east. Contains Monster and 275 gp + 850 ep. What is the monster? Ruin/Home. What is the room like? Busily/Damaged. An ogre smashing his own cave up. A moderate listen check would definitely determine that. Is the ogre a slave or the occupant? Slave. Is it full-grown? -1: No.

Josue leaned toward the door and then jerked back. He placed a finger to his lips, but a moment later there was no need for secrecy. A great roar resounded inside the room, and they heard the sound of stones smashing together. The party hoisted their weapons.

Josue kicked the door in. Beyond was a huge, hexagonal cave. Rubble and stalagmites broke the even floor. Within, a hideous naked man raged against a chain the thickness of a man’s wrist. He was eight, nine feet tall, easy, and his eyes were made with a dumb rage.

Continue reading “Epees and Sorcellerie — 2”

Epees and Sorcellerie – 1

I have decided that Ironsworn really isn’t for me. I didn’t like that my character felt helpless at everything, and that dice rolls prevent what I had been hoping to be light diversionary quest legs into meandering, obstacle-filled trudges. I’m sure there’s a way to play it well, but until I have a chance to watch some videos/find some AARs, I think I’m going to step back to D&D inspired party roleplaying for a while.

In this session, I’ve decided to roll up a party of Epees & Sorcellerie characters and explore a dungeon generated entirely through Mythic.

Also, I’m going to apologize right off the bat for some truly horrendous switching between past and present tense. I write these up in the wordpress editor as I play, and depending on the pace of the game during a particular session (these usually take 3-5 days to play through), I may accidentally get swept up in what feels right, only to come back the next day during a placid scene and forget I was doing present tense for the adventure. Please forgive me.

Characters

I started by discarding any PC with a total score of lower than +0, since I figured they would be unlikely to choose the adventuring warrior life.

Bruge, W1. S10 D12 C8 I6 W9 C7. HP: 4/4. AC 12 (none). AT: battle axe (+2 hit, +2 dmg) or bow (+3 hit, +2 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, ration. 10 gp. Goal: harm/illusions (all about tearing down the veneer of civilization).

Josue, P1. S9 D9 C7 I4 W11 C8. HP: 6/6. AC 10 (shield). AT: hammer (+1 hit, +1 dmg). Spells (2): healing, sanctuary. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, ration, torch. 9 gp. Goal: procrastinate/enemies (standing alone against an unspecified threat).

Hallada, P1. S4 D9 C4 I9 W12 C7. HP 4/4. AC 10 (shield). AT: mace (-1 hit, -1 dmg). Spells (2): healing, detect magic. Inventory: holy symbol, scripture, dagger, blanket, ration, lantern. 8 gp. Goal: overthrow/pleasures (a real wet blanket).

Silene, W1. S8 D7 C10 I8 W5 C9. HP: 8/8. AC 9 (leather and shield). AT: sword (+1 hit, +0 dmg) or crossbow (+1 hit, +0 dmg). Inventory: dagger, blanket, ration, lantern. 7 gp. Goal: travel/portals (wanderlust, insatiable curiosity).

The Game

The entrance hall. Low and quiet. Litter fills the dank chamber. Corridors stretch off, east and west. A tall bronze door stands before them. They head west into the darkness.

Created with DungeonScrawl. A heck of a lot easier than my old GIMP work.

What do they find? usurp/the spritual. A site of some profane ritual. Are there still people here? +1: yes. Is the room large? +0: yes.

The tunnel emerges into a smoky room, lit by fires blazing in a set of braziers in the corners. An altar, something obviously wrong, rises from the north end of the room.

Continue reading “Epees and Sorcellerie – 1”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 11

This session begins as Father Israel Clement and Zephaniah Poole, armorer and experienced campaigner, limp home from a disastrous but profitable delve into a lair of Chaos magic. Considerably wealthier but now nearly alone, the pair must consider their options before moving forward.

Scene. Return to the Keep.

Setup: Return to the Keep to report, resupply, and plan
Chaos: 5 v 2-, no chaos

Israel and Zephaniah limp out of the woods and into the shadow of the Keep. Neither thought they would ever be so grateful to see the small, monster-threatened fortress. They climb the winding trail and approach the gatehouse.

Do they find the Corporal inside? +4: No +Event
Event: NPC Action – arrive/news

They enter to see a crowd clustered around a rider on a lathered horse.

What is he discussing? Propose/Competition

“People of the Borderlands! The Queen, God save her, has heard your plight and recognizes the great sacrifice that you have made for her empire. As such, she has proposed a competition–a way for men of might to show their honor and strength.

“The company that can rout the forces of Chaos from their foothold in the hills will be granted a reward of 5,000 gold pieces, and they will earn Her eternal favor.”

Is the news received favorably? +0: Yes

The war-weary citizens of the Keep applaud, though Zephaniah and a few of the other men-at-arms in the crowd curse under their breath. Five thousand gold pieces is enough treasure to bring adventuring parties from across the Known World.

“It’s about to get crowded,” Zephaniah whispers to the Cleric, “but at least we won’t have any trouble finding help.”

+Thread: Queen’s call to clear the Caves (5000 gp reward)

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 11”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 10

The Banner of the Bleeding Wheel ended last session at the mouth of a yawning pit, attempting to find the source of a mysterious lightning storm that has blasted a swampland into oblivion. The journey there had been uneventful until a mud monster ambushed them and slew Richard the fighting man and Modesty the scout.

Scene. Into the Dark.

Chaos: Level 3, no roll

The party peers down at the torch flickering 40′ below.

Is there anything within 10′ that they can tie a rope to? -4: No.

“How are we going to get down there?” Balthasar asks. “Looks deep.”

“Rope,” Hannibal says. “String it around the stone there, and we’ll daisy-chain half of the second.”

“Better be a good knot,” Balthasar replies. “We’re heavy.”

“I grew up in a ship’s rigging,” Hannibal says. He cuts one of their lengths of rope in half and joins it with the other using a good knot. He loops them around the donkeys’ harnesses before tossing the end down into the dark.

-Inventory: 2 lengths of 50′ rope
+Inventory: 25′ rope

“Should we leave something up here, just… you know… in case?” Miles asks, peering down into the hole.

Israel nods. “I’d rather my gold be returned to the poor than lost in the dark.”

They each chip in 40 gold pieces and bury them in an inconspicuous place beside one of the standing stones.

+Thread: 240 gp buried beneath the stones

When the coins are buried, Balthasar moves to the rope. “Me first,” he demands, grabbing the rope and dropping into the pit.

“Godspeed, my son,” Israel says. He shoulders his pack and prepares to drop onto the rope next.

It takes a few moments for Balthasar to reach the ground, but they soon see the torch pick up and wave the okay. Israel grabs the rope and rappels down.

One by one they descend until they find themselves in the darkness.

Tools Link: I’m using Kabuki Kaiser’s Mad Monks of Kwantoom, his awesome sequel to Ruins of the Undercity, to generate this dungeon.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 10”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 9

After preventing the forces of Chaos from undermining the inner bailey, the Banner of the Bleeding Wheel has spent a few days burying its dead, resting, and getting to know the other residents of the Keep.

Rules Changes.

I really dislike having to keep track of a bunch of kinds of dice. I’m working to winnow the dice used at the gaming table to a d20 or two, a d100 (for Mythic), and a couple of d6s. As such, I’ll be remaking the PCs to accommodate the following rules:

  • d6 Hit Dice. Fighters and monsters get d6+1, thieves and clerics get d6, magic-users get d6-1.
  • d6 Damage. Two-handed weapons deal d6+1. One-handed weapons deal d6. Small weapons (for magic-users and less-conspicuous carrying) deal d6-1.
  • Combat styles. Fighters can choose to dual wield (+1 to hit), carry a two-handed weapon (+1 to damage), or carry a shield (+1 AC). Clerics can also carry a shield, but no other class may choose from these options.
  • d6 Specialist skills. Thieves in Labyrinth Lord are boring. I’ll be switching to Lamentations of the Flame Princess’s specialist skill selection (roll-under on d6). Modesty is the party’s scout–learning Search 3, Bushcraft 2, and Sneak 2. Miles is their second-story man, learning Tinker 3, Search 2, and Architecture 2.
  • Reduced coin clutter. I’ll either be rounding copper pieces away or will be replacing them with bulky but obviously valuable trade goods–iron bars or silverware sets, etc. (I believe this idea was Gerard Neval’s). PCs can carry a number of coins equal to ST x 10. I will be tracking all found coins and distributing them only at adventure’s end. I’ll be assuming that 1 gold piece is approximately equal to a day’s salary for an average laborer, so prices will be adjusted when clearly out of line. An ale at the tavern doesn’t cost 5 silvers, for example, and no one would be willing to adventure for 1 gold per day.

Scene. Keep Business.

Setup: Finish up mundane business in the Keep and get a mission
Chaos: 2 vs 2-, Event!
Event: Move toward a thread – adjourn/reality (supernatural phenomenon)

Recovered and rallied, the Banner of the Bleeding Wheel makes ready to sally forth into the wilderness. Hannibal sets the men and women of the company to their duties as he reports to the inner bailey for a scheduled meeting with the Castellan.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 9”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 8

After how long it took to play out the battles against “trash mob” monsters in my last session, I have decided that I would much rather fight more unique, difficult monsters in fewer numbers. Starting with this session, I’ll be using Mythic to create a unique monster for most encounters. If an encounter calls for a more mundane enemy, it will be men. Check out Room 9 to see how I am using the oracle to develop a monster’s look and special abilities.

Scene. Continuing in the Dungeon.

60 minutes have passed.

After taking a short rest, the party escorts the body of Comfort back to the bottom of the well. While they keep a loose watch in the corridor behind them, they send the wounded Miles back up to the surface with a pile of silver and coppers coins, the chaotic warrior’s armor, and Comfort’s body and effects.

The tunnel after part 7.

The return north, passing a door beyond which Modesty could hear nothing. From the slave quarters [room 5], they head north into the tunnels, passing a closed door and a side tunnel before their own passage ended in a T.

70 minutes have passed.

Choosing blindly, Hannibal leads them west. The short tunnel dwindles away, and they return to a nearby door.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 8”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 7

In Part 6 of my solo Keep on the Borderlands playthrough, the Banner of the Bleeding Wheel arrived at the Keep just in time to help put out some fires and repel an invasion by the forces of Chaos. Thanks to their heroics (and the fact that everyone else has their hands full), the Corporal tasked the Banner with chasing the retreating kobolds down the Keep’s well and finding out how the beasts got in.

Scene. A Night to Worry.

Setup: The company gets lodging and rests up before their mission
Chaos: 14 vs 3-, no event

Are there any rooms available at the Traveler’s Inn? +2: Yes.

The Banner takes up residence at the Traveler’s Inn, although the fire next door has made the air inside acrid and stale. Hannibal hands the innkeeper 10 silver pieces for a private room for the women to share and another 7 silvers for space in the common room for the men. Another twenty silver pieces buy the whole troop dinner and a breakfast of bread, butter, and thin soup.

Israel prays for healing for Zephaniah Poole, and the Holy Spirit answers him [heals 5 hp, back to max].

Hannibal sends Miles, Modesty, and Richard Lanius to the stables. They feed both donkeys and retrieve 30 gold pieces from the pouches hidden in the feed bags, then head to the provisioner’s to buy a set of thieves’ tools.

Can they find one? +6: No, but… +Event
Event: Ambiguous — Betray/Danger

The provisioner’s shop is closed when they arrive. [1-2: him, 3-4: wife, 5-6: kids] The man sits weeping on the front porch, the body of his wife in his arms.

The party moves onward, not wanting to disturb the man. The trader has a set available, although he is quick to charge a premium when he learns what they’re looking for. [+4% cost] Miles hands over 31 gold pieces and two silver for the set of picks, files, and pliers.

That evening, Israel retreats to the women’s private room to devote himself to prayer while they sleep. He prays for the strength to detect evil and heal his companions’ wounds twice.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 7”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 6

The Banner of the Burning Wheel arrives in the Borderlands road-weary but alert. The company’s rations have run low. Morale is better, but fading–fighting is hard on the men, but long bouts of boredom are even harder.

So it’s with great relief that Hannibal Emmitt sees the Keep rising in the distance. A night or two of drinking, sleeping beneath a roof, and letting off steam will do the company good, he knows, and he and Comfort are sure to find profitable work in the dangerous region.

Note: For this session I went back to using a Mythic Variations II style “roll for 11+ on a d20 with modifier” oracle system. I also roll a second d20 against a Chaos number to determine if a random event occurs.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 6”

Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 5

After last session’s disastrous attempt to explore a ruined castle a few days’ march from the Keep, I’m stepping back from my oft-repeated experiments at running sole heroes or tiny parties through Basic-DND era dungeons and encounter tables. It’s hard enough with four, but with one or two guys a single bad roll–which happens a lot–is enough to spell our doom.

The Banner of the Bleeding Wheel

And so, I introduce The Banner of the Bleeding Wheel, a mercenary company that has come to the Keep in search of work, wealth, and excitement. If they do a little good while they’re at it, all the better.

Party Members

I’ve rolled up a party of ten random PCs, based around a low-magic world in which only PCs with a natural 15+ in INT or WIS can choose to be Magic Users or Clerics. Presenting the Banner:

Hannibal Emmitt: F1, 9/9 hp, 12-8-13-11-8-16. Leader, crippled sailor.

Comfort Stewart: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-10-8-7-12-16. Sergeant, butcher.

Mercy Rouse: MU1, 4/4 hp, 8-16-11-15-8-10. Wise woman.

Israel Clemont: C1, 6/6 hp, 15-8-11-11-15-10. Brewer.

Balthasar Hill: F1, 7/7 hp, 15-10-7-5-12-11. Bridlemaker.

Zephaniah Poole: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-14-8-9-11-9. Armorer.

Zaccheus McCanless: F1, 8/8 hp, 13-15-12-14-13-11. Cooper.

Richard Lanius: F1, 7 hp, 13-12-7-8-13-6. Farmer.

Miles Sinkler: T1, 6/6 hp, 7-14-9-14-13-14. Roofer.

Modesty Boyd: T1, 4/4 hp, 5-15-5-12-9-10. Bookbinder.

Adventuring Gear and Equipment

Since the Bleeding Wheel is a mercenary company, I’ll be rolling each of their starting coinage and then pooling it for the company’s benefit. Pay will be distributed after everyone is equipped and company goods (wagon, etc.) have been purchased.

Continue reading “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 5”