[OSR Actual Play] Greysands Campaign - call for IRC players

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  • edited May 2014
    Eero, just because the players mightn't perceive the situation on the Silent Dusk as mortally dangerous right now doesn't mean that it isn't. I'm not trying to justify myself to you, but trying to express the validity of my choices. The idea that the ideal DM is free from intentionality and aesthetic hopes and dreams is rubbish. Or perhaps just not the Dungeon Master I want to be: aestheticsm has a place in primordial D&D, or at least a place on the Silent Dusk.

    The process is, largely, hygienic along the lines you describe. I've been strict with myself about how encounters are generated and the threat they pose. Perhaps I should be more open with exactly what's at stake and the probabilities I'm using? I'm simply that, in constructing the scenario, I just reduced the likelihood of immediate hostility of Encounters in favour of a more leisurely situation generation where new events add details to the ship's current predicament. Like, Leakage (and the chance of sinking) is a danger from the outset but I assume that if the players work on fixing the problem then the chance of sinking isn't on the table (in the Storm example, taking reasonable action to seek shelter of the cliffs meant that I didn't feel I could make a Save Vs. Shipwreck Roll). Leakage, combined with a crew mutiny (again, a possibility - the crew make frequent nuanced reaction checks to PC behaviour), a sea monster and other combined distractions will sink this ship faster than any single danger. The Silent Dusk is challenging logistical boat-operation game, not a regular wilderness crawl. In future I'll be more exact about what the parameters of the scenario are to avoid any sense of the players feeling deceived about the nature of the situation they'll be facing.

    Simply adjusting the D&D rules so that individual dangers aren't overwhelming independently of one another isn't unhygienic in your terms, I'd argue. Yes, the outcome is that character death isn't quite as ubiquitous as standard D&D scenarios, but it doesn't mean the Nihilistic Void (the Death Drive* of PCs) isn't there.


    *Freud, a force "whose function is to assure that the organism shall follow its own path to death." Seems fitting here, no?
  • edited May 2014
    The Silent Dusk sails again in 20 minutes. Players old and new or spectators of any kind are welcome.

    [Edit: And again tonight! (12/5/14 @ 2000hrs GMT) - see you there. Only two days from land now!]
  • And, finally, the Silent Dusk has limped home to Carrion, awash in blood, gold and stories.
  • ...and an incredibly complex ledger.

    One thing I'm finding both fascinating and frustrating is the intense level of math and negotiation over rules at almost every step of this game. It's fun in its own way, but nothing is ever just *easy*. You've got to fight for every little bit.

    For instance, we have a Magic-User who levels up, and is supposed to be able to cast an extra spell. The book says that a magic-user has a certain number of spells in her spell book, and a table which shows how many, at each level. "The DM may choose which spells a character has in the book, or may allow the player to select them." So what do you do when you level up? Do you automatically learn new spells? How does the DM decide whether to pick a spell or let the player choose?

    And so on.
  • Also amusing is a randomly-rolled magical item, which is a Ring of Delusion which convinces its user that it is (roll) a Ring of X-Ray Vision.

    What do you do with that? I've decided that my character (with said ring) is just going to appear crazy to everyone around him, constantly convinced he knows and sees things they cannot.
  • You only have issues because your mechanical procedure has a chokepoint at the text level, and you're using a shitty text. Either use a better text or get rid of that neutenic tendency to hang onto the text, and the problem passes :D

    The Moldvay gloss of the magic rules is intentionally extremely simplified, as it attempts to keep concepts such as learning new spells practically out of play. The right choice is to use a solid process from some other text. Options include "you only learn spells through play" and "you get one new random spell each level" and "you get one new spell of your choice each level". I personally prefer the first one, I have no sympathy for magicians unable to research, seek mentors or discover magical tomes; those other options are only good if you're abstracting spell research out, so the players actually can't take the action to research spells.
    Also amusing is a randomly-rolled magical item, which is a Ring of Delusion which convinces its user that it is (roll) a Ring of X-Ray Vision.

    What do you do with that? I've decided that my character (with said ring) is just going to appear crazy to everyone around him, constantly convinced he knows and sees things they cannot.
    What you would do with it properly would be that the GM would lie to you about the ring's nature, and then misinform you about things as you use it, until you realize yourself that it is not reliable. Evidently this isn't the way it's being used here.

    What I would do as GM would be to require occasional Wis checks to not have the character act according to flawed information the ring gives them. The player would have input to what that action might be ("What would you do if you knew that there is a secret door here?"), to the extent of their mature capability for pretending such when they themselves know that the ring lies. I might require similar checks from other characters to realize that this character is crazy and not to be trusted, at least until they know him better.
  • edited May 2014
    "Colour event", "tourist sighting", "combat encounter", "deadly" and so on are all terms of unhygienic teleological thinking: they're all about what you imagine might happen either immediately or later.
    I'd add "warm-up fight", "interlude", "comic relief" and "boss monster" to these examples.

    On a tangent, I've totally stopped using my large collection of battlemats. I have scores of beautiful full-color floorplans for castles, temples, forest roads and so forth. However, if I plunked down one of these on the table, it would immediately create two expectations: (a) there is going to be a fight and (b) that fight is going to be here.

    (I'm still using a grid and miniatures - which also entails problems -, but that's it.)
  • Paul, are you willing to walk the readers of this thread through the considerations of the value of the gildwasser?
  • edited May 2014
    What do you mean, exactly? I'm willing but I'm not sure exactly what you're asking for. :)

    Eero, agreed on all points! I'm just constantly impressed/amazed by the number of fairly significant questions which appear to be entirely unaddressed in a text which is supposedly the culmination of about ten years of play and publishing. (I suppose it's much like the curious shock of a modern man glimpsing the pages of an ancient treatise about the world - just yesterday I was looking through a "Dictionary of Facts" published in 1906, and was truly amazed - in the proper sense of the word - by the highly colourful and extremely racist description of various types of people around the world.)
  • edited May 2014
    The Ring of Delusion was an interesting one from a Dungeon Mastery perspective, I can tell you what. I had intended for the ominous, crewless festival boat to reward those brave enough to enter with a magical item (a ring, wand or staff rolled randomly from Expert). Till the Sailor (Paul), a strapping and caregeous youth, busted in there and picked a ring, which turned out to be a ring of delusion where the wearer believes the ring gives them the power of a different ring - in this case X-Ray Vision. It's a shame for Paul that's the only "cursed" ring option on the table, but there we go. But how to implement this - expert certainly isn't offering up any suggestions. I felt the fairest option was to let Paul know about his character's predicament and see if I could negotiate some way to replicate the "DM misinforms player with potentially credible x-ray knowledge" mini-game (which is fun but far too much work for me) but with more player buy-in.

    After all, if it's intentionally wrong info that the DM is dispensing in accordance with the ring's delusional power then you needn't actually give any info at all if the player is in on it - you might as well let the player/s suggest fun stuff! The only thing you need to be sure of is what the chance is that the PC will involuntarily act on account of this "false" information. So whoever DMs with Till next needs to talk to Paul about Wis checks and what that means - I hope he's up for this kind of dramatic irony. We had hashed over something like "When Till uses the ring to see through someone's clothes there is a 5% chance he will believe he sees a hidden weapon/priceless necklace/cultist tattoo/horrifying mutation." I think this kind of rule is fun, but maybe not the catch-all that would be more useful.
  • I thought the stuff you put in that spreadsheet might create interesting discussion.
  • edited May 2014
    @Potemkin -

    I agree here: I think this was a good way of handling things in a campaign which lacks a Central Authority, and has characters often flying from the hands one GM to the next: putting the care of this ring in the player's hands seemed like a good thing to do here. I intend to have some fun with it - especially now that it seems Till, a relatively brand-new character, has a chance to become on the mainstays of the campaign.
  • edited May 2014
    Chris, very true! I'll go on, but first an announcement:

    ---

    Wednesday's Game

    Speaking of continuing the campaign, I'm prepared to continue the adventure on the edge of the ancient battle-site of Thorgul-Hamun, TOMORROW (Wednesday) at 2100 GMT. Anyone who wishes to join in is welcome!

    Chris and Daumantas, I hope to see you there - and @Jonas_Ferry, if he can make it, to reanimate Haidar...

    ---

    Now, the matter of the barrels:

    When it came to apportioning XP at the conclusion of the Silent Dusk's voyage, we were faced with a challenge. We had established that there were 8 barrels of "gildwasser" (water that spontaneously turns to gold upon contact with other materials, as far as I can tell) aboard the ship. How much gold is this all worth?

    Having no real expertise in this subject, I decided to come up with an estimate.

    Based on what principles does the water turn into gold?

    We have seen the gildwasser turns to gold almost instantly, and pouring a bit of it into a cup produces an explosion (the conversion of water to gold in a confined space is a dangerous thing! we lost a few men to this effect, I believe). This suggests that when water turns to gold, the conversion does not operate by weight (in which case a cupful of water would simply into a very tiny ingot of gold) but by volume.

    So I estimated the volume of a barrel or cask, and various modern standards fluctuate between 26-43 gallons. I took the lower end of that, so 26 gallons per barrel. Then I found out how much a "gallon" of gold would weigh: according to other folks on the internet, apparently that's 161 lbs of gold.

    How many coins, then, to a pound? In Basic D&D, 10 coins count as one "pound" of encumbrance. However, in modern D&D, there are 50 coins to a pound (this is more "historically accurate", if you're into that kind of thing). Again, let's take the lowest bound: 10 coins per pound. (That means that each gallon is equivalent to about 1600 coins!)

    Now, a 26-gallon barrel of gold would weigh 4186 pounds, which gives us a low estimate of 41,860 gold per barrel.

    Then I decided to cut down this number some: surely the barrels aren't perfectly full, there might be costs involved in transferring the water and turning it into gold, some lost along the way, and so forth. So I arbitrarily took off 10%.

    That gives a total of roughly 300,000 gold. Yikes! What do we do with this?

    (I have no emotional attachment to any of this, mind you - I was just fooling around with some numbers. Any logical quibbles, mathematical quibbles, or a desire to retcon things in the interest of maintaining the game on a certain track are very welcome as far as I'm concerned. This was just my shot at it - if someone else can do better, they're very welcome to it!)

    (One potentially important issue is to settle on a standard for XP limits: what happens when a character scores "too much" experience? In Moldvay by-the-book, you get one XP less than it would take you to level up twice, but this seems overly generous. I believe Eero once said that you should just get enough to level, and that's it. A compromise like "halfway to the next level" could also work; I've seen that in some OSR rules. Anyway, we should add this to the list of Things We Should Consider Standardizing.)
  • I ran some similar calculations myself for Daumantas today, and came to about 100,000 gp per share - roughly a million gp total. Same magnitude as Paul's calculation, the differences are mainly in assumptions about barrel size and efficiency of transformation. I also assume that a percentage off that 100,000 will be lost in establishing the positioning of the wealth, in various types of graft and bribes and whatever.

    Regarding xp limit rules, there's no methodological necessity for consistency in that - certainly if a classic turkey stuffing Monty Haul adventure like this one flies, then minor differences in xp limit rules are of no concern. For what it's worth I recommend allowing a character to gain a maximum of their current level xp limit in xp at once - so a 1st level Fighter can get at most 2000 xp at once, etc. That's a mathematically elegant rule that maintains the basic precept that a "full success" in a single matter is worth at most a single level.
  • My two cents: it's not what it's worth, it's what someone will pay for it. So you know they're not going to pay market value. Let's say, 50%. 150,000 gold? Who has 150,000 gold lying around? If you get a single buyer, you'll probably receive it in land deeds, bonds, IOUs. More likely you'll have to keep hawking it to small purchasers in 10, 20, 50 gp increments. How long will that take? How will you store it? Are you going to just pour it out into a quarry and scoop it all up instead? How will you transport...? The practical distribution of that crud seems way less attractive than the figure on paper.

    (Doesn't that cargo belong to someone else? Do you really need to worry about it, or do you just get paid for your time, given the XP promised at the start of the adventure, and shown the door?)
  • Eero,

    I love that XP rule. Easy and solid, does the precise job required, and still differentiates between a brand-new adventurer and someone who's been around for a while. Perfect!

    As for the barrels, I agree with your number. I intentionally tried to drive mine down to the lowest believable bound; a more reasonable estimate (yours is three times higher than mine) would be significantly higher, so I agree with your numbers as being a more likely estimate.
  • edited May 2014
    Veav,

    That's a very important point, as well - and it brings us back to a conversation we were having earlier (at least Eero and I were...) about whether XP should be awarded based on the acquisition of wealth or when it's spent, and whether market value influences the final figures...

    i.e.

    If no one wants to buy the gold, is it worth less XP?

    If someone can be convinced or tricked into paying more for the gold, is it worth more XP?

    When should the XP actually be awarded, if its quantity depends on things like market value?

    etc.
  • That consideration would work, Veav, if it wasn't gold that's being waved around here. The Grey Shores economy is in a gold standard, so there is a continuous demand for gold in the system, with almost any merchant capable of taking it in exchange, coined or not. Admittedly coining is a necessary step at some point, but it's not like the Archon's administration can prevent that - rather, they're likely obligated to do it themselves. So it's an expense to get that gold into spendable form, but not a massive one.

    Of course there are a bunch of second-order concerns ranging from wholesale theft (governmental or otherwise) to the foolishness of the newly rich owners and even inflation (the total value of this gold is about comparable to the value of the annual gross output of the city of Carrion, so it's not insignificant by any means), but these will presumably be addressed via play one of these days. I already made a rudimentary offer to Daumantas - shave 50% off your nominal share, and we may assume that you get to squirrel the rest away as real money or investment in your preferred form of real estate. (In the interest of clarity, that's not a "rule" or anything, just a GM-type negotiation offer in case the player is not interested in micromanaging the complex socio-economic process that starts whirring when they get in town with a huge load of gold.)
  • I swear that's the XP rules as written in Moldvay, Paul. I might be wrong, but Gygax needs a little love.

    If it helps any, let me tell you about the water of the magic pool. Anywhere the water touches turns to gold (a localised transformation, like a chemical reaction) - the water is then considered "used up." For the sake of simplicity, the gold you can generate from dousing objects is exactly equal to the volume of water. The gold-water causes an explosion when brought into contact with mundane water/liquids because it immediately turns the water it touches into liquid gold (1064 °C) which then proceeds to immeidately evaporate the water in contact with it. In a confined space (a barrel or cup, say), this causes an explosion comprised of shrapnel and unused gold-water. Very dangerous.
  • Veav,

    If no one wants to buy the gold, is it worth less XP?

    If someone can be convinced or tricked into paying more for the gold, is it worth more XP?

    When should the XP actually be awarded, if its quantity depends on things like market value?

    etc.
    It's gold. The currency is the Gold Piece. You don't need to sell it, it's de facto currency. Buying "by ingot" would be acceptable in my book for 1000gp+ purchases.
  • Indeed. If we're operating on a gold standard, that resolves a lot of issues!

    Not sure what you mean about the XP rules, Mike! Want to clarify?

    (And glad to see my guess about the gildwasser was basically correct.)
  • When will we next have someone running a game in Carrion? (I'm looking at Eero, but not just Eero.)
  • whether XP should be awarded based on the acquisition of wealth or when it's spent, and whether market value influences the final figures...
    Mm - I was meandering more about PCs with 300k GP (or 150k, or 100k) to spend, and possible ways to make their life miserable. As the thread suggests, disposition of XP is open to debate... but if the quest reward remained "1k if the ship makes it, 10k if the party is still in control, extra for cargo", I'd be irked if I received less than 11k and level limits be damned. Moldvay might be the boilerplate, but that 11k was on the contract I signed. :3
  • (Veav, the 10k XP was for *gaining* control of the ship, which we never did - it was still in the hands of the Sultan when it arrived in Carrion.)
  • I'm on a personal dog-watching heroquest/holiday this week, which means that I'm away from my library and thus somewhat limited about GMing. Doesn't mean we can't deal with light monetary issues and such easily enough, as we've been doing in-channel. Next week I'll be in ordinary circumstances, more or less, and thus available to run a game in Carrion.
  • (Veav, the 10k XP was for *gaining* control of the ship, which we never did - it was still in the hands of the Sultan when it arrived in Carrion.)
    ohhhhhh. I had a different idea of "party" than that. Sorry for opening my big mouth folks.

  • I know some folks disdain mathematics, but that's one of the things I love most about trad games...
    The absolutely bizarro things they compel me to calculate!
  • edited May 2014
    I've been thinking about the ring. I think the best way to play the ring of delusion is to say that it actually functions as a ring of x-ray vision except that it has a will of its own and can also control what is revealed to the wearer -- inserting visions that aren't actually there and suppressing things it might otherwise reveal, in order to motivate the user to act in ways that accord with the ring's goals. Obviously, it's also in the ring's interest not to mess with the player too, too often or the ring will just be found out and declared garbage. It doesn't seem like this would be too hard to implement, even in a multi-GM campaign and having the player know about it works just as well.
  • edited May 2014
    I like that, Chris!

    And I think items which may be useful under some circumstances and dangerous or misleading in other circumstances are far more interesting than your typical "good" or "cursed" magical item. This gives it a lot more character and makes it an interesting, dynamic thing in play.
  • edited May 2014
    Interestingly, my Expert book already has this situation covered: there's a significant proportion of the text dedicated to rolling up Intelligent Swords who have insidious desires. Using these rules to adjudicate some kind of manipulative ring of power that coerces its wearers with false visions would be pretty easy but the real roadblock here isn't lack of ideas about how to run the ring, really it's that most of these solutions are these clunky illusionist situations that really aren't much fun and very easy to see through. I'd much rather negotiate the terms of a character's curse with the player themselves rather than playing this dull one-on-one information game.
  • Like I said, I like the way you handled it. I think it'll probably be fun Colour for a while, until some insidious GM finds a use for it in a tricky situation and uses it to screw over poor Till and/or his companions.
  • edited May 2014
    Last night, it seems the expedition into the ancient wizard-hill finally decided they were out of their depth and fled from the "dungeon", a little shaken after an encounter with a frightening and mysterious beast.

    It seems that it was only their careful, strategic use of the layout of the locale and a trap they set for their enemies the night before which allowed them to escape with their lives. (A potentially very harrowing "double encounter" from the encounter table struck while they were trying to pick a lock, and they would have been surrounded if not for the precautions they took.) They left with the highest XP score they've earned in a session thus far (about 200 XP each, plus a similar amount from treasure, if they get back to civilization and find a buyer).

    But they are pretty convinced that there are some really valuable things to be found in there. Will they return home and leave the place for good, or leave someone to guard it while they're gone, as they were discussing? Will they come back with reinforcements, or give up on the matter of the potential secrets of the ancient wizard-hill?

    They are a little troubled that there are two other parties (Pollux, the halfling entrepreneur, and the King's scribe in Irllendom) which may have enough information to find this place. How to handle this situation, and how to maximize potential profits?

    (If either of the players are reading, I'd love your impressions on this adventure so far. What does it look like from your perspective?)
  • Last night, it seems the expedition into the ancient wizard-hill finally decided they were out of their depth and fled from the "dungeon", a little shaken after an encounter with a frightening and mysterious beast. [...]

    (If either of the players are reading, I'd love your impressions on this adventure so far. What does it look like from your perspective?)
    What, they left? NO! ;)

    That's what you get when you miss a session. I'll have to join next session and convince them to go back.

    I played the first three sessions (starting in the city, getting into the dungeon through the stone slab, fighting in the throne room) and really enjoyed them, especially the latter two. Dweird is a great player, and Christopher Weeks showed up at the right time to help us fight.

    It's interesting; I've been conditioned that there's very little hand-to-hand fighting in the sandbox games we've played. In Silent Dusk we've handled potential fights by using our NPCs (the captain cleric who turned a bunch of undead and the sultan who charmed a pirate captain). In Greysands I spent one session with Eero as DM, with my current fighter PC looking for adventure in Carrion, and the first session of this adventure doing the same thing. I think that the first session we played were 3 hours, if not 4, and in that time we only managed to figure out what lead to follow and get out of the city. The session ended when we talked to Pollux. That's why I've enjoyed the later sessions, because we start in media res and get to the good part (dungeoneering) straight away.
  • You're not going to enjoy what's going to happen now then, Jonas! We're in a state where the fighting-scouting is no longer the core of the game, and we've gone to town to do the logistics for extracting treasure out of a single room.

    It's mule-hagglin' time!
  • edited May 2014
    The tension level in this adventure is pretty sweet. It feels like we're capable of being pretty seriously bad-ass but if we screw things up, even a little, we could be wiped out. We have reaffirmed the D&D value of burning oil as a tactical resource (I intend to acquire more in town).

    I have only the faintest sense of what lies below. What is the relationship between the Troglodytes and the Morlocks? What's with all the crazy bugs and parasites? What ecosystem supports that ravening beast's existence? How extensive is the terrain below and how much more is wizard-bunker/capsule and how much is cavernous intrusion?

    I've got to admit that it'll be a shame when Lenly bites it (as how could he not, given the behavior we keep seeing) but until then, he's pretty fun to play.

    And what do we have to do in town? Sell stuff and buy stuff. And get back out to the dungeon ASAP. It shouldn't take too much play time, right? Jonas and Daumantas, What tactical assets do we want to acquire?
    • A 5x5' wooden door that we can bolt from below.
    • More oil.
    • Meat-shields if they're done searching for the lost girl. Mules if not?
    • Thief's Locksmith's tools.
    • Book-scale crates.
    • More rope.
  • Jonas - our goal is a room behind a large locked door, behind which lie some really, really old books, and possibly other good stuff. We only know what we saw from the keyhole.

    For our operating capital, we have 9 pearls worth 30-50 gold each, a pendant worth 1, and a scroll-case with silver rings on it worth 2d4x10 gold. We will likely need to pay tax to the petty king.

    We also have a major decision to make in terms of how we approach the king's scribe. The truth is that we need a buyer for all those books - they're the kind of thing that are far more easily sold to a specialist. He might also be a buyer for the scroll we already found, one that shows a relationship between the place we live in and other possible dungeons.

    At best, we will develop a healthy relationship with him - the man is obviously interested in exploring wizard-king ruins, but won't do any of it on his own, and would hire agents in his stead. There is no reason why we could not be those agents.

    There are of course obvious risks if the plan doesn't work out, and the man is certainly powerful enough to be trouble if he decides to be. Might be worth scoping him out, get a feel for his personality.


    As for tools and gear...

    I prefer a mule over meat-shields just because our current location is still mostly a secret, and we will likely want to explore further in after we have secured the library.

    If we do get people to go with us, I'd almost prefer a skilled craftsman over anything else - the lockpick plan is likely to fail, and we could simply take the door off it's hinges, or drill into it and saw the lock out. Plus, we could put the doors lower down back on the hinges, or construct wooden blockades of them, to better control random encounter flow. The lights in the throne room and so on are valuable as well, if we can dismantle them. Might be even more useful as portable sources of light if they retain that quality when removed from the floor.

    Finally, I'd like to get some extra food for placating the morlocks or the troglodytes. We are a fearsome bunch, that much is true, but if a single random encounter goes for food we had left out instead of attacking us, it'll be far easier to deal with. Plus, I feel a little bit guilty for killing what are obviously pestilence-ridden degenerates.

    So:
    * Drill, saw, hatchet, hammer, chisel. "Fighter's lockpicks", as they say. Possibly planks.
    * Spikes & rope for climbing.
    * Additional food supplies.
    * Clay jars for the morlock infestation in its various stages. They worry me, I'd like to play young epidemiologist some more.
  • Anyone up for playing today?
  • edited May 2014
    The delve into the wizard hill at Thorgul-Hamun continues tomorrow (Tuesday), at 2030 GMT. (We may start around 2000, if enough people show up by then.) All are welcome!
  • edited May 2014
    The delve into the wizard hill at Thorgul-Hamun continues tomorrow (Tuesday), at 2030 GMT. (We may start around 2000, if enough people show up by then.) All are welcome!
    Nice! Yes, if we make a quick trip to town for supplies it's extremely easy to pick up some extra PCs there as well.
  • We're in town right now! (Unless I'm not current...)
  • We're in town right now! (Unless I'm not current...)
    I'm sure that you're current; change my comment to "since we made a quick trip to town". My point is that you can always get new PCs in, even in the middle of a dungeon, but now it's recruiting time, and even easier to justify.
  • Agreed.
  • edited May 2014
    Well, the brave troupe of Haidar, Lavender, and Lenly-the-Assassin heal up, sell off their loot and supply for a return to the delve. They hire four strange foreigners they find meditating in the town square, led by Nid the Elder (complete with Franz Josef-esque beard, thanks to Eero), and enter the wizard hill once more.

    The stone slab looks like it has been dragged a hobbit-length by someone or something, scouring the rock, and the cut Lavender made in one of the tall pines appears to have... disappeared. Lavender carves a new notch.

    They settle in for a three-day stint in the throne room, covering most of the exit with the overturned cart, and then half of them head down to the locked door they believe holds a valuable library. Lenly manages to unlock the door just in time: as he does so, some kind of enemy (only Nid managed to see who they were, and, as you will see, didn't have a chance to explain) rushed into the lower room, surprising the poor sentry.
    "A stone-tipped spear flies through his throat as Nid the Elder ducks, panicked, behind the corner, his body falling into your arms. Outside, in the lower room, where no one can see, you can hear more guttural shrieks - at least a handful of different voices, but not a huge crowd, by the sound of it. As you crouch behind the corner, you can see flickering light dancing against the walls: there's a lot of flame in the lower room all of a sudden!"

    "Well, we did fill one of our vacancies specifically for the role of 'replacement'," says Lavender.
    This is potentially a very sticky situation; we will need to pick it up "in media res" to see how it may be resolved.

    For instance, is Nid actually dead? Eero uses a "death save at 0 hp" rule, so, if Nid's body is ever examined under safe circumstances, there's a chance he could actually turn out to have survived, merely unconscious. This kind of suspense (for everyone, including me as GM) lends a fun spirit of excitement to the proceedings. We'll roll if and only if it becomes relevant (for instance, in the case of a TPK, or everyone fleeing from the site, Nid's fate will remain unresolved, potentially forever).

    As the GM, I'm really enjoying putting the various tricks and techniques I've learned from Eero, as well as some various OSR sources I've found online, into use. Trying to approach play "as a curious scientist", as opposed to a GM with any kind of deterministic agenda, has been tremendous fun. Using random tables (sometimes written on the spot), reaction rolls, morale checks, and similar mechanics in play means that unexpected things happen constantly, and often story elements are formed when making sense of those random elements retroactively.

    It's often tempting to change the outcomes after-the-fact, because they "don't feel right", or are too dangerous, or too safe, but I'm learning to trust the dice more and more. I'm actually particularly grateful for the IRC medium here; by necessity, all rolls are in the open, and even when it might be tempting to fudge something, it's often impossible. (I try to make a habit of posting the roll and the established odds first, and then the system returns the die value afterwards, and this way there is no possible ambiguity. For instance, I might type, "1d6, on a 1 the ceiling crumbles immediately, on a 2-3 everyone still in the room can make a saving throw to escape first, on a 4-6 everyone is safe", and only after that is posted does the system give a result for the d6 roll. No way to fudge a thing like that!)

    Making the process relatively transparent to the players is fun, too: twice now I've been called out for making something too easy on them, and it's strengthening my general process.

    Here, just as with the attack of the beast last session (which was an unlikely "double encounter" on my random encounter chart), an unusual coincidence of the dice produced a tense situation I would never have determined myself without the use of the die. This particular incident has the potential for incredible hilarity here (and could have been even more complex had Lenly made a couple of different decisions while scouting earlier). We will see if any of that transpires when we resume! (Stay tuned for when.)
  • I think the variety of rules that the GMs in this shared campaign implement is interesting. I'd been thinking we should elect standards but I've changed my mind. The freedom to do whatever is supportive of the sandbox ethos.

    Are there any play-plans at this point?
  • The Nightloader & crew shall adventure at some point during the weekend.
  • I can continue the delve on Thorgul-Hamun on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. I was hoping to hear from Jonas/Haidar before making a certain plan, but it seems he is MIA.
  • I can continue the delve on Thorgul-Hamun on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. I was hoping to hear from Jonas/Haidar before making a certain plan, but it seems he is MIA.
    I read your PM and wanted to send a longer response with feedback on last session, but being at home with two sick kids I haven't had time.

    It's best if you schedule without me and I'll decide if I'll join or not.
  • I am good for Saturday or Sunday, though Sunday would be best.
  • edited May 2014
    Thanks, Jonas!

    Ok, we'll play at 2030 GMT on Sunday.

    But, Jonas, if you find a timeslot that's good for you, let me/us know! (Also looking forward to your feedback, if you get a chance - if you don't, though, that's fine too.)
  • We should figure out what we're going to do with regard to playing the arrival of the Silent Dusk in Carrion and managing our wealth.
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