This was my second time running Lady Blackbird today with a group entirely new to the game. We had no Kale, unfortunately.
The twist I didn't expect in this game was that Naomi was pretending to be a noble lady and Lady Blackbird was pretending to be her servant.
Naomi busted them out of the cell (they were planning to do something with a ventilation shaft, but unfortunately got caught by the guards). The crew set off the alarm, but managed to disguise themselves as soldiers and make it to the hangar by claiming that Captain Hollas had sent them to destroy the Owl. Snargle's trick piloting got them out, but the ship ended up leaking fuel with no way to reach Haven.
They hid from the Hand of Sorrow in the Lower Depths for a bit, where their ship was attacked by a sky-squid. Cyrus (taking Secret of the Sky-song) realized that the sky-squid was a baby whose mother had been captured near Haven. He convinced it to tow the Owl to Haven in exchange for finding its mother.
This was somewhat hilarious, because Naomi and Lady Blackbird did not trust the sky-squid Cyrus claimed to have talked into hauling the ship. There was a big argument. It didn't help that the sky squid kept jerking the ship around. Favorite line from Naomi about the squid: "Don't worry, if I see one hole in the hull, I'll go out in a suit and eat it."
Naomi and Lady Blackbird were not very happy when Cyrus insisted that he needed to go rescue the squid's mother instead of finding the route to Uriah.
The gang got their ship repaired at Haven, won a lot of money by having Naomi fight in an illegal pit fight while pretending to be a delicate lady, promised to rescue a group of sky-goblins from the illegal slave trade on Haven, and learned that a group of young merchants had formed a club for hunting dangerous monsters.
The gang decided to disguise themselves as wealthy folks with a goblin servant (Snargle). This required buying clothes, during which Lady Blackbird met her second cousin's wife, Lady Bluejay, who recognizes her. Naomi followed Lady Bluejay to a mansion, where Bluejay informed Count Carlowe of Lady Blackbird's presence on Haven.
At this point, they're all prepared to infiltrate the club, which is where we will begin next session!
Naomi, Lady Blackbird, and Cyrus were almost always at odds. Everyone (except Snargle) was very bloodthirsty. Snargle and Naomi saved each others' lives early and became blood family. Cyrus completely failed at flirting with Lady Blackbird, who was very nasty to him in response, and gave up his Key of Hidden Longing (in favor of Key of the Vow -- to help make the world a better place by helping people!). Lady Blackbird revealed her secret identity to the crew and bought off her Key.
So this session (mostly!) worked.
- The group was really great about helping with the worldbuilding and what happened next and took a lot of the heavy lifting off my shoulders. There were a lot of scenes where I just sat there while folks argued, and they had some wonderfully creative solutions.
- I had trouble figuring out what to do with Snargle - but hopefully there will be more opportunities for piloting/sneaking/trading in the future.
- I decided to let players award up to 3 XP for cool things in a scene. I think this was used three times in the group? My hope was that it would encourage good feelings and good roleplaying (this was a Meetup, with folks who mostly hadn't played together. Not sure if it worked.
- In hindsight, the squid thing might have been a mistake, since Naomi and Lady Blackbird didn't really care. The only reason they're doing this is because Cyrus declared that this was his ship and they were going to SAVE THE SQUID first. I'm going to try to wrap that up quickly next session.
- Desperate Housewives of Ilysium
is apparently the soldiers' show of choice.