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donbaloo2

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  1. Sure, it went a little something like this: I had a tug of war tracker with three spaces to either side of center. I started the token in the center and had everyone roll an initiative off of Fellowhip. The party got an initiative slot at 1, the doctor was at 1, and then two more at 0 for the party. The tie at the one slot goes to the PCs so Timothy opened the exchange. "Lord Aschaffenberg, believe me when I tell you that this doctor is lying about what is going on here and what his ministrations are doing to your staff." Z rolled his Charm and got 2 successes so we moved the token two spaces to the right. Two more successes would mean victory. But the doctor rebutted with, "My lord, I'm being as honest as I feel necessary with these meddlers but they are making it impossible for me to work. Indeed, I may be unable to work thanks to your guest's reckless assault upon me, ruining my hand." The doctor shows his crushed knuckle to Aschaffenberg. I roll 1 success for the doc and move the token back one space. Sven joins in on the next initiative slot. "Look, its clear that the doctors work is exactly what's behind the staff being so lazy and unresponsive, he told us as much when we pressed him!" Y rolled Charm and also got 2 successes, moving the token onto the last spot of the track. One more success would gain them victory. Bazgaan's player opted to stay out of the discussion as he had no further info to throw into the talks. Its back to the party and Z jumps in with Timothy, "You know how you've been wanting me to show you how to get better at cards? Let me tell you something about bluffing." And Timothy proceeds to point out various tells in the doctors mannerisms that make it obvious to Tim that he's lying. Z rolls Charm, and gets 0 successes! He opted to use his Gambler career card to reroll the entire roll. And we all die laughing as he comes up with another big goose egg for successes! Doc Seiger retorts, "As fascinating as your little card games are, bear in mind that I'm trying to save ACTUAL LIVES HERE, which has become increasingly difficult to do thanks to you guests!" But alas, 0 successes. Aschaffenberg interjects that he realizes its an inconvenience but he'd like to hear the party out. Sven takes his turn. "I've discussed the symptoms in detail with Hans and its clear that he is not feeling well. He is slow of speech, exhausted, and his eyes stay dilated at all times. Stop the medications and your staff will return to normal I'd wager." Y rolls....0 successes!. Bazgaan continues to watch from the sidelines. So its been two exchanges and the doctor is on the ropes. I explain that we've got one more round of exchanges, after which Lord A will have lost patience and we'll determine a compromise based upon the token's position. Z goes first with Timothy again. "Something is not right Lord Aschaffenberg. I know he's lying about something and he admits that the medicine is causing problems. Its clear to me that he's STILL not being forthcoming with all that he knows and I've literally threatened this mans life to extract that info. Yet he remains cool and flippantly dismisses our questioning, his only concern being to get back to work. He can't be trusted." Z then rolls 2 successes which is more than they need to secure the win. Lord Aschaffenberg is convinced that the medical treatments must come to an end and decides to hold Dr. Seiger for further questioning in his chambers.
  2. Bazgaan, dwarven mercenary, played by X Sven, coachman, played by Y Timothy, gambler, played by Z I don't have my notes so I think I've really butchered some of the NPC names from the scenario. Also, I'm new to writing session reports and I'm really struggling to find a good way to write them. For some reason I'm defaulting to writing mostly in present tense which is unusual but I'm going to roll with it for now. I'm probably jumping tense some too, sorry about that. I'm going to try to get a little cleaner with these write-ups in the future so any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I know my personal preference for reading write-ups is less fiction writing and more talk about the rolls and the chatter at the table, so I'm not really putting any effort into presenting a piece of fiction writing. And hopefully, if I can get around to writing these things sooner after the game I can start getting more of the table chatter about the rules and rolls and players' intents. Again, suggestions welcome. So we reconvened and picked up as the dust settled around the wagon with the guards shouting congratulatory greetings from the wall above. The first order of business was to pull the wagon around to the kitchen and begin unloading supplies and luggage, in the process very briefly meeting a few folks at the estate as Gregor, the steward, oversees a couple servants unloading supplies. Lord Aschaffenberg makes an entrance and ushers the PCs, with luggage in tow, up the stairs to his chambers. On the way up Lord A congratulates them on a fine piece of work back there at the gate and Sven begins explaining what happened back in town with the suspicious book that was stolen from the salt sack, reclaimed, and then burned. Lord A expresses his shock and wonders with the party what it could mean as they begin to discuss the beastman attacks of late. Once in his chambers he expresses his growing concerns with the staff and their dereliction of duties. Being new to the estate and outsiders the same as he, he asks if they'd mind checking around to see what they come up with. Game time was evening so I decided to push the timeline for the scenario back a day. Before bed, Sven the coachman pokes around in the smithy to see if he can round up some equipment but all he finds of interest is some beat up gear taken from the guards that were killed in the beastman assault several days ago. He grabs a mail shirt anyway and we reduce its effectiveness to illustrate it's disrepair. Sven meets with Hans, Albrecht, and Franz in the stables before bed but nothing of note takes place. Next morning Bazgaan, who's still mildly wounded from the cemetery battle wants to go to the Hospice for treatment. He meets Dr. Seiger but is treated by Sister Sonja and is fully restored. In the process though he grows curious about the mumbling dwarf on the cot in the corner of the room. The good Sister explains the misfortunate turn of health that has led Kurgan the Smith down a road of insanity. Bazgaan tries to interact with Kurgan but mostly just gets a bunch of ramblings about the "eye sees all" and not letting them cut his beard. I gave Bazgaan a Charm test to see if he came across as trustworthy enough for Sister Sonja to confide in him about Kurgan's family hammer that she had hidden for him. He didn't make it so I kept mum. If Bazgaan returns to check in on him again I'll divulge the secret with no roll necessary. Meanwhile, Sven is out in the stables while Timothy eats breakfast in the great hall (doing the gambler thing and studying the interactions of the staff). As Sven chats it up with Hans and marvels at what a pathetic job of stable cleaning Franz is doing, he makes an Observation test to determine whether he notices Hans's lethargic condition. Having a history of failing most of his Intelligence based rolls with his 2 intelligence, Y decides to toss in a fortune die to help out. As it turns out, the fortune die was exactly what he needed so we narrate that Hans turns his head at just the precise moment for the morning light to make it clear that his pupils were very dilated. This leads to a discussion about his lethargy symptoms and Sven wants him to see the doctor. Sven's concern is enough for Hans to divulge his secret that he's really upset over having lost the blunderbuss that normally stays on Aschaffenburg's personal coach. He pleads with Sven to help him find it before Gregor or Lord A finds out. Sven says he'll help but not before they see the doc. It requires a Charm test by Sven to convince Hans to forget about the blunderbuss for now, but that they'll look when they return. I should point out that Y was pretty interested in this missing blunderbuss because, well, he's poor as dirt and really wanted one at creation but then we all discovered how expensive firearms were. Timothy watches the servants and notes that a couple are rather inattentive and sees Gregor Pierson looking over the great hall from the balcony, straightening his vest before disappearing down the hall. As Sven and Hans enter the great hall and begin heading up to the Hospice, Timothy tags along. They all enter and find Bazgaan finishing up. Sven is greeted by Sister Sonja but explains that he'd rather the doctor have a look at Hans but then is curtly told to wait by Dr. Seiger. When the good doctor finally gets around to seeing Hans, he matter of factly dismisses him and says he thinks he's doing fine with his recovery. Sven presses the matter, saying that Hans is clearly not doing well, above and beyond his knee injury. The doctor gets a little irritated at being questioned like this and blows them off, saying he needs to get back to work. And here's where things started getting funky. Timothy makes an Intuition check on the doctor to get a read and gets the success, determining that Seiger is hiding something. Timothy asks the doc why he's not being more forthcoming, to which the doctor scoffs and explains that he doesn't need to discuss medical science with commoners. Timothy's response? A loaded pistol to the side of Doc Seiger's head! Timothy explains to the doc that its his trade to know when people are bluffing and that he wants the truth immediately. I ask Timothy to make a Charm roll which was wrong and should have been Intimidate or maybe even Guile for bluffing that he was going to blow his head off. Either way though, I gave him a fortune die for having called out the lie and two fortune die for having the gun to his head. He passed. This was a very tenuous moment as I had to figure out how much information to give out. I wanted to give him something good but I didn't figure that the doc would reveal everything. For the record, I despise this part of GMing. No matter how you slice it, its just simple fiat as you decide how much to give them for their successful roll while still trying to maintain some sense of pace for the investigation. I'm working on a more codified way of doing this within the rules framework. So anyway, the doctor is sweating it out and finally breaks saying that Hans is acting strange because of the medicine he's been given. Which is still a lie, but he is coming clean with the source of the problem, which is him and his Schlaff concoction that he's spreading around the staff. So he passes it off as his medical administrations that are making the folks weak, drowsy, and lazy. Timothy wants to check to see if he's lying again and I actually made him roll it though in retrospect I should have just went with his initial success and let it ride through the scene. Doesn't matter though, he made it. When Tim sees that he's still not being told the full truth, he cranks back the hammer on the pistol and says he wants it all. I decide that the doc has said all that he's going to say and he calls Tim's bluff and says that they should take this to Aschaffenburg. Tim then uncocks the pistol, holds the Docs hand down and crushes one of his knuckles with the butt of the pistol. Seiger begins screaming and Bazgaan intercedes, telling Tim that this has gotten out of hand and that they need to see Aschaffenberg. Tim and Sven agree so they escort the good doctor to see Lord A. After barging into the lord's chambers Seiger starts to yell about the crazed maniacs the lord has let run loose on his estate but Tim punches him in the mouth and shuts him up. I ask for Fellowship checks as initiative for this social encounter. I set up a tug of war type track with 3 spaces for the docs Willpower and 3 spaces for Timothy's willpower since he's sort of leading this exchange. I start a token in the middle and let them take turns going back and forth arguing their case with Aschaffenberg as Seiger gives as good as he gets. After three rounds though, they had convinced Lord A that Seiger was suspect and that he definitely needed to stop treating the staff. The final success by Tim was what won it but it also included 3 banes so I narrated that though Lord A. was taking the doc off duty for further questioning, he was pretty aggravated at Tim's reckless methods. So the guys felt pretty good about having a big social victory over the doc and everyone enjoyed the track method of the drawn out social exchange. It was pretty intense. From here, Tim and Bazgaan head down the hall to check out the doctor's chambers while Sven escorts Hans back to the stables to help look for a blunderbuss. Tim succeeds at a Skullduggery check and narrates using an acid dropper to foul the lock to the doctors room which was cool with me. They look around, finding the schlaff under the doctors bed but both fail their Nature Checks and can make nothing of it except that it smells like the Hospice. They carry it over to Sister Sonja who can only say that it smells similar to some of the "medicine" that Dr. Seiger was using. As Sven and Hans make it out to the main steps, Sven notices Gregor Pierson just hitting the landing below them, obviously having just come from upstairs, and walking away. They head out to the stables and Sven tells Hans to take a rest while he looks around. Just as he's about to head up into the loft, Albrecht Krug walks in and asks what's up? Sven doesn't answer, as Hans has told him to not to tell anyone. Neither of them say anything for a second and Albrecht wants to know why they're being so weird. Sven just explains that the doctor has been discovered making some harmful medicine and that he just wanted to look around to make sure there's nothing fishy around the estate. To which Albrecht rightfully asks, "Why the hell would you look up there?" Albrecht proceeds to ask Sven to not mess around in the loft because the floorboards are messed up pretty bad and they don't use it much any more. Sven insists and so heads on up. Albrecht sweats bullets below. Try as he may though, Sven cannot pull off a successful Observation test, even with his use of Favored by Fate, and he disgustingly heads back down below. He did roll a couple boons though so I made it clear to him that the floor seemed rather sturdy up there and in no danger of falling through. Y was so aggravated because he knew that blunderbuss was up there, but there was nothing he could do. We all laughed as he said it was like "looking for a blunderbuss in a haystack". Timothy and Bazgaan meet Sven out by the stables, with the schlaff, and are wondering what to do next when they see the kennel master, Olver Gand, working with one of his Tilean manhounds in the courtyard. They stroll on over and Olver is suspicious of the two new guys and a dude he's never met rolling up on him out of the blue. They exchange some brief courtesies while Sven uses his Animal Handling to successfully befriend the hound. Olver is impressed and they share the news about the doctors medicine. They chitchat very briefly, and one of the PCs asks what the dogs hunt, to which Olver responds "Any **** thing I want them to." Sven jokingly asks, "Beastmen?" and Olver chuckles and gives a telltale glance back at his cabin. Bazgaan is the only one to pass the Intuition test to catch it though. Olver goes back to working with the hounds and the group debates checking out Olver's cabin but are afraid to sneak in and look around. They decide that they were going to revisit Lord A but as they start heading towards the house they see the gardener messing around outside the tool shed, not really doing anything, but then turn to walk back inside. Timothy trots up to him and introduces himself and they explain pleasantries, the gardener being a very friendly guy. Tim asks him if can tell what the schlaff is and the gardener looks around in it, saying that it looks like rosemary and milk thistle and that it looks a lot like the medicine the doctor makes. Timothy somehow spectacularly fails his intuition check and assumes he's made a nice friend before they part ways and the group continues inside. As they walk down the gallery, they notice a servant girl at the other end stop outside the sitting room, look in hesitatingly and then shuffle off. They decide to check out the room and are immediately struck with a sense of dread and a palpable chill to the air just inside the room. Timothy makes an amazing 5 success Observation test to check the place out and I describe in detail all the ways that the gambler can see that the room has been neglected. They find the painting of theUnblinking Eye behind the drape and all proceed to fail their discipline checks, so are thoroughly rattled at the site of the large distended eye, strained in terror that they see before them. Timothy notices the bloodstains on the eyes pupil. And that's where we left off, with a healthy but terrified party, two members of which are currently over their Willpower score in stress. Everyone had a great time and I mentioned how odd it was that we've now been two sessions without a battle and how refreshing that was. The social scene with the doctor and Lord A was every bit as exciting as a good fight though. We're still having a blast and look forward to the next session. I anticipate wrapping up Eye for an Eye then and getting back to seeing what Wando is up to in Ubersreik!
  3. Yeah, the guys asked for advice on what was the best way to build and I had no idea. That's why we're considering everything a test run for a while, with the option to change anything about the characters at later date. The way I see it, it's no more difficult to buy that 4 stat during play than it is four cards or train four skills. The cards and skill training generally seem to make you better in specific areas than the stat increase. The stat increase though gives you a broad benefit. The exception I think is with opposed tests though. A 3 stat with an expertise die up against a 3 stat gives 2 challenge dice. The 4 stat with no expertise dice would only bring you 1 challenge die. I've been a big supporter of Opposed Tests all along but this an area that bothers me about them. In a lot of cases they make the higher stat more important than training, I don't like so much. Anyway, we're still figuring it all out.
  4. Some comments. Overall we had a good time but the very late start stole some of the mojo I think. It wasn't quite as hopping as the first session. We only put in two hours of play but we did make some headway. I especially loved the opening scene and the closing scene. Things are set up nicely with Wando and all of that back in town too. I've actually really enjoyed the freedom of that whole story line. Very little prep and the guys are sort of springboarding enough off of my scenes to start pulling in their own directions, which is cool. I was really frustrated with not being able to adequately make a call on intimidating the beastmen with the pistol shot. In retrospect I should have probably just said that it was ineffective (because I think legitimately think it would be) or gave the beastmen a simple Discipline check. I just hate making the roll fall on the NPC/Opponent. If my players are trying to do something, I want them to be making a roll. We also had a weird moment as we tried to figure out what to make of the Fake Out card. Z wanted to try and imitate a nobles wagon as they approached the Lodge, in order to convince them to open up. This was extremely awkward for two reasons. The whole notion stretched all believability for me but more importantly, impersonating a stranger seemed counterproductive to getting the gate opened on the fly. I hate telling my players No though, so this was uncomfortable. Z agreed to drop it though, as he didn't really feel like it was appropriate after we talked it out. Whew! The dice were really starting to get a good feel to them this session and I really enjoyed being able to riff off some cool scene stuff based on the lay of the dice. Sometimes the banes and boons just really paint themselves into the scene. Other times its not so easy and they sort of get glossed over. Helping dice have been a lot of fun so far as well.
  5. Sven the Coachman Bazgaan the dwarven Mercenary Timothy (some call him Tim even though his real name isn't even Tim or Timothy but is some other crazy name like Tiberius Frostmoore the 3rd but its a big secret because he's really an outcast noble or something crazy like that) the Gambler So session 2 was planned for 6PM as usual with Z saying he'd be over an hour early to get started on his character. At 5:45 still no Z, though X and Y have already arrived. The phone rings and Z's jeep has rolled a chaos star and he's stranded 20 minutes away. He asks to be picked up so I run and get him. Late start and we have a character to make. Sweeeeeeet. He flies through character creation, opting for lower stats and more cards. We got started around eight o'clock. We dive back into the followup at the cemetery. Now, in the background, I've been thinking that Nole needed his mother exhumed for two reasons. The reason he gave Sven, which is she wanted to be buried in Geissbach was true enough. But what he didn't tell Sven was that he really needed to get her modestly valuable brooch to help pay off some debt that Wando the loan shark is holding over him. What happened next is what I really like about low prep. We had already decided that Tim the Gambler was going to be tied in through a previous meeting with Lord Aschaffenburg. They had hit it off and Big A had invited Tim to join him at Grunewald Lodge once he got moved in. All good stuff. The coachman was supposed to give him a lift from Ubersreik after picking up supplies and luggage. Well Y throws out how funny it would be if Tim was actually in the coffin they had just dug up! So I ask the table, "Well guys, we need to decide, is he going to be in the coffin?" Z responds that Tim is definitely in the coffin. BOOM! On the fly Z decides that he had earlier played in a card game and saved Noel a serious loss to one of Wando's conmen gamblers who was trying to basically win enough to take the pub from Noel. It should have been a sure thing but Tim saved the day and quickly became a target for a very pissed off Wando. So Noel and Tim fake his death, used some mysterious Romeo and Juliet herb to put Tim in a deep coma, and now Noel has come to retrieve him. Sven and Bazgaan have been DOUBLE duped and are none too happy when Tim starts waking up, yelling and rapping on the coffin lid from the inside. So a funny little scene unfolds with everyone getting introduced and Sven letting Noel know that, make no mistake about it, they are most square now...all debts are paid in full. Noel agrees. Bazgaan is just pissed. Well, since Sven and Bazgaan are pretty wounded they decide to stay the night in a back room of the pub. Tim would really like to get out of town but is willing to give it a night. The next morning, Sven and Bazgaan are having breakfast in the front and are approached by a couple of Wando's men. They explain that things went poorly last night but Wando would like to make them an offer. Wando is concerned about too much attention coming his way for the cemetery robbing and would be appreciative if Sven or Bazgaan would give some assistance towards framing Nole for all of it. They politely refuse. The thug is disappointed but accepts their answer. He goes on to offer Bazgaan a position with Wando, since there's an opening or two now, essentially filling Randal's role. Bazgaan tells him that he's on a contract, but maybe he'll get back to him (which would be pretty awesome if he goes for it!). On the way out Wando's man turns and tells Sven that Wando found some work for Shanna and that if he has any interest at all in her wellbeing that he should reconsider the frame job, then exits the pub. As GM I have no idea whether Y feels any connection to Shanna but he did have a hand in landing her in this situation. I just wanted to put some pressure on him to see if it resonated. Well after everything gets explained to Nole he gets to feeling pretty hopeless, like he's never gonna get out from under Wando. Tim takes the opportunity to convince Nole, with a successful Charm test, to hire the group to take care of the Wando situation in whatever way possible. A successful opposed haggling test later and they've convinced Nole on a price they like AND to get them half up front. Somehow Tim got wrangled into paying the other half, still not sure how that happened. They say that they need to wrap some things up with Aschaffenburg but they'll be back in town soon to get started. They set off for Grunewald Lodge, by way of Geissbach but part way through the trip Sven decides he just doesn't have it in him to deal with Shannas father in the village so he wants to skirt it altogether. I offer him, I think, a 3 challenge Ride test to blaze a path through rolling hills/fields and not get stuck. He succeeded, so a pissed off daddy was avoided. Had he failed I was so going to have them break down at the edge of a field that the father was out working in! Oh well. Next up was the Ambush outside of Grunewald Lodge. I led into it by describing a tree down in the road ahead, right about the time that the Gambler started to spot beastmen (successful Observation) casually moving in. Sven wants to make a Ride check to get the wagon around the tree without having to slow down. He fails the check but gets a number of boons. The rear wheel catches on a limb and it kicks the wagon around sideways in the road but the boons tell us that they're in a good position to get going again if they can make a check to free the wagon from a divot. Sven makes an Animal Handling check to coax the horse back into action and with a helping die from Bazgaan who's helping free the wheel. Right about here is where Z wanted to try and scare the beastmen with a shot from his pistol. The Beastmen were out of range but he just wanted to basically spook them and I for the life of me couldn't come up with a good roll for him to make to do it. I was frustrated that I couldn't work that out for him but he said it was no big deal so we just moved along. I really hated doing that though. Anyway, success at freeing the wheel put them rolling down the road again and the estate was in sight. The gambler spots the real ambush at the wall up ahead and so they proceed to attempt to get the guards to open the gate as they rapidly approach. This was a bit of a weird scene because I know that if the guards see the beastmen below they're not gonna want to open up. So we sort of fudged a bit and I let them make a Fellowship check to convince the guards to recognize them as they approached. They succeeded. As the gate begins to lower the beastmen charge forth to make the opening, no longer concerned with the wagon and I call for a Ride check to rule the scene. If they make it, all is well. Fail, and there's big problems on hand. Sven rolls a Ride check, and I let Tim and Bazgaan roll a helping die as they fire pistol and crossbow respectively to help clear the way of beastmen. The Ride roll succeeds, with a success from the Gambler (who gets to narrate his shot ringing out and spittling a beastman's skull) and Y gets to narrate Sven masterfully handling the horse and wagon to cross the bridge just as it hit the ground and overrun the few beastmen who had entered the gate house. Great success! We ended the night there as the dust cleared and the drawbridge was raised.
  6. Figured I'd throw in a few comments about our experience with this session, as best I can recall. We had first planned to only play for four hours but we had to create characters and that took around an hour and a half I guess. Then we went ahead and played for four hours on top of that so we ran longer than we had really wanted. Character creation was relatively smooth I thought and I made it clear that choices were in no way set in stone and could be changed once we had a good feel for the game. We're three sessions in now and I still stand by that. I did very little prep for the game, had probably ten or twelve post it notes with NPCs names and motivations and a few words about each scene I was thinking of throwing at them. I used to be the type of GM that planned for many hours for our weekly game and felt like I needed to know everything in and out. Not so any more. Time is so limited these days I couldn't do it if I even wanted. I'm finding low prep to be pretty refreshing and even a little more fun for me during the game. I just used average stats for anyone that the guys came in contact with, the only exception being Randal who got a four strength. That worked pretty well and I was very impressed with how smoothly the game handled stuff like that on the fly. Very cool. The dice system was picked up pretty quickly by the guys and they said that they really enjoyed it. We were pretty weak at coming up with good uses of banes and boons on the fly but we're getting better at it and I really adore that aspect of the system. One of my favorites was the Observation check to detect Randal and his gang slipping up on them in the cemetery. They failed that check but the dwarf got a number of boons and it just made sense to say, "Hey, if you want you can spend those on already having your weapon in hand. Just so happens that you were getting ready to lay it the side to give you more freedom to dig and you hadn't quite let go of it yet." Stuff like that is really neat.
  7. The guys and I began our Warhammer campaign about a month and half ago and have put in three sessions now. We've had a blast so I figured I'd share a little for what its worth. Right now we're aiming for every other Friday night for four hours and that seems to be working pretty well. We're all in our thirties and married with kids so time is pretty limited these days but we're making it work. Session 1 started the campaign off with only two of our three Players (henceforth X, Y, Z). Z's fiance's grandfather passed away on Wednesday, our first chaos star. Yes, I just referenced my friend's loss as a game mechanic. So they were gone out of town Friday and the rest of us threw together a session as an eventual lead in to Eye for an Eye. We decided that our coachman and mercenary are already standard two-day-new hirees of Lord Aschaffenberg and they've been sent to Ubersreik to pick up supplies and more luggage with the flatbed wagon. Keep in mind that I know just about jack squat about Warhammer fluff or any material outside of the Core Set and we're not about to let it stand in our way of making stuff up on the fly. The game opens with the coachman and the mercenary just leaving the small village of Geissbach when a teenage girl flags them down about a hundred yards down the road. She wants a ride to Ubersreik and is sporting a blackeye and says she needs to get out fast. The coachman says come on up and right about then a middle age man comes running down the road yelling for the girl but the party snaps the reins and take off down the road. On the way the girl, Shanna, tells them that she's running away because her father beats on her ever since her mother died and she can't take it any more. A spectacularly failed Intuition check has the coachman believing that he's a hero and has probably saved this girl's life. Once in Ubersreik, while making a quick stop in at one of Sven's (the coachman) favorite pubs, The Rusty Scabbard, Sven is chatting up Nole the barkeep, an ole NPC buddy of his, to see if he can get Shanna some work and a place to stay, while the dwarven Merc (Bazgaan) runs into an old one-armed vet that he served with back in the day. We find out that the vet is having a bit of trouble with the local loan shark, Wando, when Wando's muscle comes in and gives him some hassle. Bazgaan intercedes (no dice rolling) and discovers the main thug to also be an old acquaintance...Randal the Rebel. We decide that Bazgaan served with a platoon that captured Randal some time in the past while Randal was attempting to raise a rebellion against a minor noble, burning down Randalls house in the process. Randall has a major grudge against Bazgaan and goes to leave, assuring Bazgaan that they're not through with this. After that scene, Bazgaan and Sven catch glimpse of someone messing around in the back of their wagon outside and as they run out to accost him he takes off down an alley. A chase ensues, and I use a Progress Track and some Athletics checks to handle it. The thief escapes but not before Sven takes an impossible throw with his dagger. I give him 4 challenge dice and tell him if he makes it the thief gets dropped. If he misses with banes, he loses his dagger. He's one success short and his dagger goes skittering into a storm grate. Y had gone with the lowest wealth score and so had to dip heavily into his remaining starting funds to get a new dagger. They return to the wagon and check to see what's missing and find that a bag of salt had been cut into but otherwise all was there. They return to the pub and start to ask around about the thief, Sven makes an average Fellowship check to stir up enough information for a lead on a street urchin that hangs out a few streets over. Before heading over that way, Nole pulls Sven to the side and asks if he can call in a favor. Y decides that Sven owes Nole for some unspecific but impressive favor from the past and agrees to help in order to make things square with Nole. Nole explains that he would like for Sven to give his mother a lift back to Geissbach on his return to Grunewald Lodge and that it needs to be done tomorrow evening. Sven says no problem and he and Bazgaan head over to look for the urchin. They hit Gray Street and give the street and alleys a good look over but fail their Observation test. Sven starts asking around with the pedestrians, passing a Fellowship and get pointed to another alley where the urchin had just been seen. Sven passes a Stealth test to get up on the urchin and lay hands on him. Lots of whining and a failed Charm test later, Mud the Urchin isn't being cooperative. Sven lets Mud know that this is the easy way, but they can get rough if he wants (attempting an Intimidate with the dwarf helping) and steps aside to give Mud a good look at the hardened dwarf. The helping die is just enough to give them success as Bazgaan casually moves his hand to the hilt of his morning star at his belt and glowers at Mud. The confession comes quickly. Mud explains that he was offered a meal to steal a book from a bag of salt that would be loaded onto a flatbed wagon this evening. The party is surprised and wants more info, Mud describes the book but being illiterate can tell them no more. They threaten him a bit more and he reluctantly tells them that the man that "hired" him is named Lucas Leder and tells them where he lives. So they were off to Lucas's house. Neither Sven nor Bazgaan are terribly bright dudes and after spending about five minutes staring at the house from across the street they try the direct route and knock on the door. Lucas cracks the chained door to answer. They try nicey nice, explaining there has been some mistake and that Lucas has mistakenly "acquired" a book of theirs but they're willing to let it slide if he'll kindly return it. He scoffs and goes to close the door. Sven jams his foot in the door and threatens Lucas with bodily harm lest he return what's their's, failing his Intimidate roll. Lucas calls his bluff and threatens to yell for the watch right about the same time that Bazgaan succeeds at a Strength check to kick the door in, mashing Lucas in the face in the process. They both charge in and see the book sitting on an end table. Sven hovers over the prone Lucas, pressing his face into the floor while Bazgaan grabs the book. They exit hastily. Back at the pub the illiterate coachman and mercenary ponder the book but don't get very far with it. They approach Nole and ask if he can read, a roll of a fortune die says that he can, and so they ask him to look it over. He explains that its a little above his head but the title is "Secrecy" and it seems to be a book about how to organize secret societies and effectively keep them secret. Nole says he thinks that's some borderline sketchy stuff and he doesn't want to have anything to do with it. The party agrees and burns it in the fireplace. But they're very curious whether this was intended to arrive at Grunewald Lodge or if it was just a clever smuggling job gone bad. They get up the next morning and gather the rest of Aschaffenbergs luggage from the docks and kill the rest of the day so that they can pick up Noles mother in the evening and head out for Geissbach. They're rattling along with Nole giving directions to his mother's, leading them towards the edge of town. As the cemetery looms into sight, Nole explains that he hasn't really told them everything. He explains that his mother actually died a couple days ago and that she wanted to be buried back in Geissbach but he didn't have a way to get her there and the city had required her burial. He says the good news is that the Priest of Morr that usually resides over the cemetery has been moved to another charge and there were complications with the arrival of the new priest, so the cemetery should be unwatched tonight. Sven is chaffed and Bazgaan is pissed but they follow through on their word. In the midst of digging up the casket, Randal and four thugs wander up on them (they're grave robbing tonight too) and Randal is thrilled to have this opportunity to "work things out" with Bazgaan. An extremely tough fight ensues as we learn pretty quickly how harsh the combat system is for everyone. Randal dishes out some quick damage on Bazgaan but two rounds in Bazgaan cleaves Randal's face, making it a pulpy paste. A couple rounds later and they've managed to drop another thug but not before they were both critically wounded and only a few wounds from falling out. I didn't even use any of the ACE pool!! I went ahead and had the rest of the gang begin to flee. They picked one off as the other two skated. Thus ended the first session. Next session we discovered that there was still yet a surprise to be had in the cemetery!
  8. Hahaha, this is a funny thread to me. Maybe I'm harsh but your Troll Slayer is totally destroyed at my table. After he dropped, with no other targets in sight, it would take exactly 1 second for the troll to fall on him and mutilate him in the most ferocious scene imaginable. And hey, win for the Troll Slayer too. That's his goal, right?
  9. Anyone have any experience with the action card "Fake Out"? What exactly is going on in the game when you use it? As I read it, it sounds like a disguise or impersonation. But that just seems to be of limited use. Give me some advice on this card. A player just picked it lst session and will be looking to use it this week I'm sure.
  10. Great discussion guys, thanks Callidon, Camelopardis. You have guided me through the mists. I really like the two track system for time/willpower. Might even use the fancy T-track with time counting down, just because! Going through the willpower track multiple times is good because I was already thinking about doing something along the lines of three tiers of information. For example, the first time through, the subject gives you simple acknowledgement of the situation you're asking about, minor details that lead the investigation further but do not incriminate self or others. Second time through gets you some ratting on others. Third time through gets you a confession and an information dump based on the subjects knowledge. And Callidon, great general advice on running the investigation and GM purpose. Thanks again to both of you!
  11. All good stuff, thanks for the feedback. So in general I'm getting the impression that having chaos cults pop up within your domain or estate even, is not necessrily stigmatizing so long as you either keep it very quiet OR make a very big deal about unflinchingly wiping it out when discovered? And this would be common practice to take care of ones own problems and not call in the church or the witch hunters to handle the meting out of justice if you can help it?
  12. I'm not super familiar with Old World fluff so help me out a little. What would the fate of chaos cultist, captured by PCs be? And more specifically, take Eye for an Eye for example. If any of the cultists are captured, what would generally happen? I just don't see Aschaffenburg being keen on getting the Witchhunters involved, wouldn't that bring a certain blemish to his name? I'd imagine that most people who cared about reputation would want to handle stuff like that, in house so to speak. Am I wrong?
  13. Yeah, of course Callidon, and I didn't mean to sound unappreciative of the advice. Your throwing out really good stuff. I'd like to continue, and others chime in as well with your advice/experience as well please. You mentioned the scenario integrity. That's specifically what I'm struggling with as I think about this. There's always that urge to pace everything properly the way we'd like for it to go but in the process what we end up doing is just interpreting successes and failures to mean whatever we want them to mean. For example, I realize that getting a full confession and incrimination of others from the cook really short cuts the scenario. So my instinct is to not give out too much information. But isn't that sort of just dragging the PCs through MY story? I really want to be able to say, "Yep, you've really shined at your specialty here and so you get exactly what you were aiming for...full confession including accomplices". So I want that to be a possible result. But there's not a good rule of thumb for how difficult to make such a test. Obviously, convincing a fruit merchant that you'll pay him tomorrow for an apple today should be easier than convincing a chaos cultist to come clean (essentially exposing themselves to possible execution), but HOW MUCH more difficult? Any of this making sense? At it's core, I'm really just wondering how much can you really accomplish through Guile, Charm, or Intimidate. And I'd really like that answer to be objective rather than subjective. In other words, no GM fiat.
  14. Love what you've come up with there Callidon and Ill probably use it. The only catch in what you've presented is that the amount of information that you are willing to provide via the tracker is far less than what the cook really knows. The character will very likely know (through intuition) that she's turtling. And if he wants to know more, and is successful with his roll, I don't want to block him from his success. If his attempt is successful, he should get the info, right? The funny thing about the library, and I'm curious how they react to it, is that no one in the party can read. All three are illiterate! I expect them to look it over and find nothing and keep moving probably. I think theyre far more likely to find the trapdoor than notice anything about the books themselves.
  15. I wouldnt worry too much about it Destroyerhive. We are about to go into Eye for an Eye as well, after a two session lead in. We established that our party already works for Aschaffenberg and in our intro sessions we've already established some suspicion as well. Interestingly, I anticipate my group doing the opposite of what you're expecting from yours. My guys are more socially built and I'm anticipating some direct social confrontations very quickly within the estate to get all the information out in the open. Not sure what they'll manage to do with it though. And if your guys just go in swinging, I'd anticipate them getting their tails handed to them. Until they are able to CONVINCINGLY present some incriminating evidence, the entire lodge will be against them should they draw arms. Good luck surviving against the armed guards, the huntsman (who's a military vet) and his hounds, and the rest of the staff. We've had one battle so far, our coachman and armored mercenary against 5 thugs who were completely average. I didn't even use fortune dice for outnumbered or ANY of my ACE budget and the PCs very nearly died. Would have died actually had the surviving two thugs not ran off. We gained a very quick respect for Warhammer's tough combat.
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