Before we start the session, we have a few things to do. Bastian has mild insomnia, so I need to roll for when his next insomniac episode is. It is 12 days away. With a GM, Bastian wouldn’t know when his next episode would be, so I will make conscious effort not to act on this knowledge. Carys has a duty, so I roll for that, but it does not come up. I finally roll on the Plot table, but it just says continuing the story. I will be keeping track of days fairly seriously because I like that sort of detail. I could make up names for months and so on, but I will just use the real-world ones. The adventuring begins on March 1.
Looking for Work: March 1
The Chapwyrd siblings, Carys and Bastian, leave their small village and arrive in the town of Sundered Falls, looking for opportunities. Carys decides to go to the local tavern and see what she can learn and Bastian decides to go for more of a town crier approach.
Carys succeeds at her carousing roll and finds a lead: Peril 4, Standard Pay: 1200sp, Nearby: 1day, No Rush, Kill all the demons at an old sewer, slave employer. This sounds like a tough first mission, so hopefully Bastian does better. Bastian succeeds at his public speaking roll and finds a lead: Peril 1, Low Pay: 200sp, It’s here: 0 hours away, Got to beat the competition, Escort valuable object far away 3 days, Thief employer. Ok, sounds good.
Carys spends some time in the local tavern, and she meets an escaped slave who tells her that a community of escapees had been living in an old ruined sewer just to the north of town. Everything was fine until all of the sudden demons came up from the depths. The people were forced to flee, but want someone to reclaim there home. She thinks the guy may not be very reliable but she notes the information anyway.
Bastian takes to the streets to tell whatever crowds would gather that he was looking for work. Most of the people are too caught up in their own problems to really listen, but a man approaches him afterward with an offer. Bastian agrees to bring his sister and meet the man that evening at the local tavern.
Time for our first random NPC! Because of the adventure we rolled, we know that he is a thief. When I roll his name, I get Finneas Wainrunner. Rolling up some details gives: squat, mixed gray hair, and holds his head in palm. The combination of thief and valuable object makes me thinks he wants us to carry some of his stolen goods to his fence in another town.
The man is clearly anxious when the siblings show up, he is sitting at a table, holding his head in his hands and mumbling to himself. The man introduces himself as Finneas Wainrunner, procurer of rare goods. Finneas claims that he has found a valuable figurine and he has a buyer ready for it, but it needs to be taken to a village about 3 days upriver. Carys asks why he doesn’t take it himself, and he says he is getting too old to travel, pointing at the gray in his beard. It is also a ‘bad time for him to leave town’ whatever that means. They need to hurry, because he knows there is another group trying to fill this figurine request and he is not sure how far along the competition is. He stresses that it couldn’t be easier, just take the figurine to his fence, er, seller and collect the 200 sp fee. Despite suspicions, the siblings don’t have anything better, so they agree and take the small box.
Some notes here. I rolled low on the far away result so it really isn’t very far. At low peril ratings, the ‘far away’ and ‘nearby’ results are very similar. Also, this mission is part of the Protect! Series and I was a little confused by the escort version. Now when I read it, I think that escort means that I don’t make navigation and survival rolls (that would be a guide mission) and instead, I have to fend off potential attacks like a defend mission. I am still not 100% sure, but I played this like a guide mission which is fine.
Journey with the Figurine
Because of the threat of competitors beating them to punch, and because it does not seem very dangerous, the siblings leave in the morning without doing any research at all. They are brave!
I first roll to see if the journey has the expected Peril Rating of 1, and it does. It is normally a three day journey as determined above, but both siblings have the Hiking skill, so I roll to see if they move faster. Carys succeeds, but Bastian fails, so no time is saved that way. The Peril is only 1, so they only have to roll navigation once. Carys manages to fail her Navigation roll, so the journey will take four days after all. Carys also fails Survival (way to go) so we add 2 to our Event roll. That roll indicates we will have ‘A choice of two mishaps.’ Carys is not off to a good start.
The first day of travel is fairly uneventful, the siblings are just following the river upstream and chatting about whether the figurine was stolen by Finneas or not. Carys thinks it was, but Bastian is uncertain.
Carys knows that the path of the river veers a little north and then curves back south toward their destination. Rather than have to backtrack she decides that they should leave the riverside and cut the corner. Bastian thinks that they should probably just follow the river, but yields to his sister. She is the navigator, after all.
Unfortunately, the area away from the river is lightly wooded and by the end of the day, it is obvious that something is wrong. Carys says that they should have reached the river again by now. They agree that tomorrow, they will backtrack a little and try to find the river.
It takes longer than expected, but they manage to get back to the river around midday. They have certainly lost some time, though, and Bastian gets to tell Carys that ‘he told her so.’
Feels like a good time for those mishaps. We get a choice of two, so I roll them up. The first is ‘do something that will earn you -5 points in social disadvantages,’ which seems sensible because we are probably trafficking stolen merchandise. The other is a hazard. Further rolling reveals that it would do 1d-1 damage which is the standard amount. Somewhat strange is that at Peril 1, trivial hazards do more damage (1d+1) than standard ones. This is just an example of a fringe case in a system designed to cover everything. I roll for hazard type for a generic outdoor area and get one that requires geology/prospecting to detect and stabilize and deals a random damage type which turns out to be burn. That seems like a weird combination for a river, maybe scalding water from a spring? I also check and find there is a meditation workaround. I just decide to go with the social disadvantage. I plan on it being an enemy related somehow to the figurine.
Somewhat fortunately, shortly after returning to the river, they come across a small boat dock with an attached inn. They go in for some lunch, and the inn-keeper gestures for them to sit. There are only three other people in the place.
Time for another random NPC! This one is an enemy, I think someone who was sent to retrieve the missing figurine. I roll for name and get Mireya Anvilark, which sounds like a woman. I roll some details and get androgynous, distinctive tool, and points at who she’s talking to. I am not sure what kind of tool a fantasy repo-man would have, so I change it to weapon. I think about a distinctive weapon and I pick the weirdest weapon in the Basic Set: the kusari!
She needs to be a five point enemy, so I settle on a 75 point hunter enemy with frequency 9. She is not that tough, but she does want to recover the figurine and get revenge on the siblings. Maybe she was supposed to be guarding the figurine, so it is more personal.
In the middle of their meal, one of the other patrons with short dark hair approaches the table casually toying with a ball on a chain. At first, the siblings thought she was a young man, but her voice was distinctly female. She introduces herself as Mireya and says she is looking for some people with a stolen figurine. Uh oh! Carys says something, but Mireya can tell she is lying (easy to read, remember?). Pointing at Carys, Mireya demands to know everything she knows. When Carys refuses to say anything, Mireya says that she has sworn to recover the figurine and if she finds out that they took it, she will hunt them down. The siblings stand up since things look like trouble, but the inn-keeper tells Mireya to leave. On her way out, Mireya points at the siblings one more time and says she will find the truth eventually.
Slightly unnerved and eager to move on, the siblings hit the road again. Carys tells Bastian that Finneas probably chose Bastian because people would be less suspicious of a priest. Bastian, who now must admit the figurine was stolen, is unhappy.
The rest of the journey is uneventful and the siblings return to high spirits when they see the village ahead. Arriving in the early evening, they head to the arranged meeting place.
Time to see how everything worked out. First, we check to see if we beat the competition: the expected time was 9 units of time (3 days journey times 3) and it took us only 4 so we add 5 to our 3d6 roll, and easily beat the competition. Then I check for a plot twist on the ‘We Did It! Now What?’ table and find that it turns out to be important in some way. That gives us a bonus on our reward roll and a new adventure lead!
Finneas’ seller is the obvious choice for source of a new lead, so I decide to roll her up as another NPC. Rolling generates the following: Riona Hopewood, military, wheedling, very straight posture, stutter, foreign accent. Huh, Some foreign veteran who has a plan to get rich selling relics and such, I guess. My roll on the Claiming Reward table results in a generous reward! Hooray!
Now is a good time to try to figure out what was important using the solo 6. If you don’t know, the solo 6 is a way to help make decisions and create ideas. The Collaborative Gamer explains it here. So, why is the figurine important? Did we actually returned it to its rightful owner? Yes, but… that is not that important. Does it have some kind of power? No. Is it the only one of its kind? No. Is it part of a set? Yes.
They arrive and Riona is waiting for them dressed in what looks like an army uniform, but not one they recognize. She is very pleased, says she has gotten a higher price and gives the siblings 240 sp as a reward. They have a little trouble understanding her strange accent and stuttering, but Bastian wants to know about the figurine. He asks if it was stolen and why. She says that it was part of a set of figures which was stolen from the original owner years ago, and that Finneas and her finally managed to get at least this piece of it back. The fact that Finneas made none of this clear is just due to him being so distrustful of strangers. Without any prompting, she praises our speed and courage and asks if we might please consider taking a second job.
Time to create that lead that is part of our reward: Peril 2, Standard Pay 600 sp and 2 social points, Far Away 4 days. No rush, Convince someone military of something.
She learned that one of her old soldier buddies is a few days north of here and has a lead on some other portion of the set of figures. She offers 600sp if we go and convince him to meet her. Carys asks why this buddy would need convincing, and Riona stutters more than usual while explaining that they parted on bad terms. It seems like a good reward and a not too difficult task, so the siblings agree.
The Chapwyrds have completed their first adventure! It was easy, but I would consider it a success. Rolling on the experience table and subtracting the 2 for success shows that they earned 1 character point a piece. They should also spend the money, but I feel like this session is a bit light, so they are moving on!
Journey to Find Riona’s Old ‘Buddy’
March 6: Preparations
Carys hits the local tavern to see if she can learn anything about their destination. Bastian buys some food and supplies.
A journey four days north takes us out of our known region, so I thought a little research might help. Unfortunately, Carys fails her carousing roll and so the day is largely wasted. I’m sure that nothing bad will happen because of this.
The siblings leave, following the river north while they can and then on into the unknown!
Speaking of unknown, let’s see if this journey is what they expect or not. I roll on the table and find to my horror that the journey is much more perilous than expected! So the Peril Rating is now 4. It is supposed to take 4 days, and I roll against their hiking skills to speed it up. With the new Peril rating, Bastian fails his hiking and so we gain no time. I will have to make 4 sets of journeying rolls for this, so I will do one a day. Carys rolls for Navigation and somehow succeeds despite the peril! Worried that she might appear competent, she fails the Survival roll. Luckily, the event roll turns up uneventful anyway.
On the first day, the siblings can simply follow the river and feel confident about their chances of success. Bastian, in particular, seems happy that the figurine delivery turned out to be somewhat noble after all.
Carys fails both navigation and survival, so they take an extra day and end up with a choice of two mishaps. The first mishap is an obstacle requiring Acrobatics/Jumping/DX to cross and dealing 1d+4 cr damage on failure. Rolling for a workaround gives Architecture/Heraldry/History as options. The second option is sneaking past a deadly encounter. A deadly encounter at Peril 4 scares me right now, so we go for the obstacle.
On the second day, they leave the guidance of the river and strike out on their own. Carys’ ‘expert’ navigation leads them straight into a wall. Well, more like a ruin of a wall. A lot of it is intact enough to prohibit climbing, and what looks like an old guardhouse has heads on pikes on display. Not wanting to join that particular art installation, the siblings walk along the wall a ways and find a collapsed area. The ground has a few solid stone pieces, but a lot of loose rubble. All they need to do is jump from one piece to another, no problem.
Carys has neither acrobatics nor jumping, and so rolls against her DX-4. Happily, she succeeds. Bastian will also have to roll against DX-4, but he is not as nimble and fails. He rolls vs DX-4 to avoid the damage and does.
The siblings decide that Carys should go first. While she doesn’t quite leap from stone to stone, she manages to keep her footing the whole way through. Bastian gets almost to the end, but his foot lands on a loose stone and he slips and rolls the rest of the way. Carys rushes over to help him, but he just hops up without a scratch!
Although happy they made it through the wall, the detour put them off track. Carys spends a fair part of the day trying to relocate the correct direction and guide them back to the north.
On the next day, they enter a new region! Will Carys ever succeed at another navigation roll? Who is this buddy of Riona’s? Will Bastian’s imminent insomnia cause trouble? All this and more in the next report!