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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:26 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
I have tried a few times to run Play by Post games set in Arcana but they fell apart. The latest one is working out better as we are playing like normal RPG. We are using Eldritch RPG and so far everyone is happy. I should be a better person and write reviews but I am kinda lazy and at this point I would have to review 72 journals, 7 kingdom books, the northland source book and the core atlas. I did want to say something about the setting and why people should use it somewhere though.

The first thing I had to do was muck about matching Eldritch and Arcana which took a couple weeks of intermittent effort covered on the Eldritch RPG G+ site
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103267749787860759029

I knew I wanted to run in the northlands so where on the world wasn't an issue. And then we started characters which provided the best reason to use Arcana. None of the players knew about the setting and had generic ideas for a backstory. It was beyond easy to come up with home lands for them. One player wanted to be a swashbuckler but agreed smuggler was just as good and viola he is from Ithengar, Robin's Egg and has ties to all the drama there. Another wanted to be a grumpy mercenary randomly picking a place on the map I got Hobbith Manor whose lord was killed by goblins last year and a few original ideas later we have a failed raid on Fearhold. An elf with an eating disorder has a link to Borden because of Lady Reardon's pies (completely random the player had no idea of her and I had forgot). A dwarf wanting to show his idea of just crushing your enemies with a large stone shield nicely fits in with Darkstone and it's famous marble. Another guy just wanted to wield a 2 handed sword a little work and he was employed by the nefarious Baron Bronk (although unaware of his evil schemes) and was now out of work. The final player got added later but even so I could say kingdom/town/lord quickly with a couple tidbits of info to make non game play NPC's seem a little real.

And none of that required more than 10 minutes or so of reading the sources books for the various areas and a little thought to make it MY version of Arcana and have the player pyched to know more about the world than usual at a start. I had originally had an idea of starting in Shorenborg but the stories made Borden a better choice. Normally it would suck to change but Avalon has done the grunt work of the setting and given me tons of places and NPC's. Ad the places and NPC's are only a sentence or two enough to give you the hook but the detailing will make them mine. Actually running is just as easy each session prep I work on the story they players are following and then roll 3 rumors from the journal and imagine an encounter to relay it. For instance last session I got The curse of Foxlight Manor (I came up with a book peddler off to sell curse removal books) ignored by player. The tunnels under Guilmarinborg (probably not spelled right) if the player tried to follow up on a demonic encounter, they didn't and a rumor from a far off hex randomly picking Journal 27 and the rumor of the Dead King's forgotten stash of Dwarven super weapons, I decided some centaurs and a Barbarian had come North to sell horses also unpursued. Anyone who has GMed would think I was frustrated to have all three things ignored but it wasn't a problem as I didn't have to put much effort into coming up with them. I worked out how to relay the rumor with a vague plan on dealing with any interest but all three only took 15 minutes of prep.

Seriously this is an awesome way to have a world that has tons of stuff going on, NPC's who aren't Bob the farmer and still you can be middle aged working full time with only a limited time for gaming.


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 Post subject: Night 1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:27 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
Our dynamic group of unique heroes (and a dwarf who sings like Dean Martin assisting) have agreed to take on a mission for a group of Guides. Mikkel was a sailor on the Sea Breeze (a Cape Codder class vessel) which has no business being at Imborg in good weather much less in the early spring. A bad storm had driven the ship off the Western Ocean and in desperation the ship's officers struck a deal with some Guides. Along the voyage through the stormy, freezing cold bay at 5 points an officer drove into the water and stayed under for 10 or more minutes returning to the ship carrying a stone in their left hand. These stones are the same size and weight as a pool ball and the officers never let them go after retrieving them. The officers who now had odd accents and glowing green irises from being possessed sent Mikkel off to find 4 others to carry the stones from Imborg to Hobbith town the capital of the neighboring Duchy of Glasborg specifically to the Mayor. Stepping off the ship he encountered a grizzled old dwarf with a crippled leg singing "Glow worm" in appreciation for getting a tip Dimarr listens to Mikkel's problems and sends him to Madame Bosley's boarding house to ask for a man called Brazen who is a good man no matter what you may hear.

At the boarding house Madame Bosley puts Mikkel in the formal parlor and fetches Brazen telling him to let her know when he wants the other 3 to join them. A less than sunshiney day meeting later Brazen is intrigued and Mikkel realizes he should have asked what kind of wages are being payed. Mikkel returns to the ship where the guide/officer's are momentarily preplexed at the concept of money before offering a thousand Math's a piece for 5 people to do this. Meanwhile Brazen has gone to question Dimarr to verify that Mikkel actually told the truth of why he was looking for him. They encounter each other and decide to meet up that evening with the other possible 3 contenders at the boarding house. Much happiness for money, much whinyness about carrying the rock meanwhile the sugar bowl sat unmoving and silent under observation the entire time by Nardhon the elf. A consensus was reached and it was decided the group would meet tomorrow morning about the ship to get the money and rocks. Some whine but no cheese still about rocks revealed that once taken they could not be dropped but the donkeys...Pack monkeys..bearers could still perform any task they needed to with there left hands. Junk was moved to prove this and they made ready to adventure south.


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 Post subject: Night 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:28 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
Game night 2 was last night and more fun was had, I think. We picked up a new player and actually played most of the session. I do love using Roll20 however I did find out last night that if you are going to be using more than one map you need to make the tokens for characters on each map before you start playing as it is slow going to copy and paste them when playing. That being said it really is an awesome way to play and if you sign up for at least the 45 a year/5 a month level you can use the Line of Sight feature which adds a lot even more than if we were playing at a table in real life.

So as the group left the Sea Breeze they see another person carrying a billiard ball who approaches them and after a brief discussion joins in the quest as Cap has no idea what the stone he has is or how to get rid of it. They head south along the High Road in unpleasant cold weather and mud hoping to reach the village of Little Stone by nightfall. Several hours before the village and nightfall the come on a wagon, a horse and a man and woman. The living creature are actually not having rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Though obviously an ambush (or trap if you like calamari) the dead were apparently killed out of hand rather than in combat. Tracks were discovered of several booted feet and some children sized feet. Following the group ends up leaving the road and approaching a small though dense pine forest. As the entered the edge of the woods they heard something approaching and taking cover manage to get the drop on a terrified 8 year old boy Timmy.

After some initial difficulty they manage to calm Timmy down enough to find out he and his younger sister were grabbed by 8 bandits 7 of which were very upset with the 8th for killing his mom and dad and Pokie the horse. Reaching the cap the 8th bandit, Fandor, grabbed Tiffany (his sister) and announced they were going to the tower. The other 7 said NFW you are seriously effed up in the head and you aren't going anywhere with a little girl. Violence ensued and one of the 7 bandits told Timmy to run away so he did. Being only 15 minutes away from the camp the group heads to the rescue. They find 6 dead bandits and a mortally wounded 7th. Before Anson Redshirt (a member of Redshirts of Enterprise family) passes on he begs the group to save the little girl and Fandor had changed into something evil over the past couple of weeks ever since picking up that "damn stone" from the tower. Significant looks are exchanged.

Pressing on the group comes to a tower and avoiding a pretty obvious trap the head for the dramatic confrontation in the basement. The first thing the notice is a voice speaking in an unknown language that none of them want to hear as it is somehow wrong on some many levels. Popping around the corner they seem something that looks nothing like this at all instead being a glisten white 10 foot long slug with a lampreys mouth and 6 eye stalks. An arrow is loosed and it screams. The scream is like no sound made by anything of this world and terror checks are made (mocking alert the little girl made her's brave heroes). The villain Fandor is spotted hiding behind a wall and also to be a woman. Bronn the non singing dwarf uses his singular subtle combat style of bellowing a war cry and trying to crush the slug thing under his shield doing a significant amount of damage and discovering touching it causes real damage. Big brave hero Mikkel tries to put on his big boy pants and recover from being skeezed out by screaming slug beings and fails. Cap again shoots the slug with an arrow and it starts to swell up. Meanwhile Nardhon seeing the villainess waiting with sword drawn shoots it out of her hand and then the slug explodes. Bronn gives Fandor the chance to appreciate his combat moves (befuddling the GM briefly as she didn't have a sword anymore). With a dainty yet evil squeak of alarm she dodges the dwarfpedo (like torpedo not pedophile) and breaks a glass bell to vanish. the group briefly looks about and then retreats collecting up Timmy along the way back to the wagon.


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 Post subject: Night 3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:29 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
Night 3 and the plot thickens. The group heads to the village of Little Stone and the Hobbith Manor with the intention of providing for the now orphaned children. The meet and do not measurably interact with a barbaric looking man who has a butterfly speech tattoo and 3 Centaurs. The innkeeper Max of the Red Rooster warms up to the group as money is spent. Cleaning up in a slightly dirty way they feast on mundane cinnamon buns and disturb the man at arms of Hobbith Manor in more than one way before meeting Lady Jenna Hobbith the lady sheriff. She listens to their tale agrees to see the children are looked after, explains banditry is on the rise with so many men having died in the raid on Fearhold and all the refugees from Ithengar. She says it was most probably a demon in the tower and she will contact the Baron about that.

Returning to the inn the group chats with the Centaurs via Bronn's fish and finds out they are from the Wind Runner Herd from the far south traveling north to sell horses to the king of Borden. The group is horrified at the inflation in horse prices. They decide to return to the bandit camp and then the tower. At the bandit camp they find some coins, the families belongings and some trade goods. Oh yeah all the bodies got up and left. An extended discussion ensues before it is determined that following the mobile dead is a good choice. It takes most of the day but they eventually come upon them marching in column and kill them without resistance. Considering the direction of travel it is supposed the dead were headed for Fearhold. It is decided not to continue on to certain death. The notion of spending the night in a tower were a demon was summoned was toyed with and discarded in favor of a late arrival back in Little Stone. In the tap room the group is treated as heroes for saving children (who knew) and approached by a bookseller hoping they are going north. He is disappointed they are going south but transactions are made (some questionable in taste) He asks about the stones and when told "nothing suspicious about them at all" seems suspicious. The following morning they return to the manor and after a longer wait than before Lady Jenna comes in with a man dressed in chainmail wearing the Baron's heraldry probably because he is Baron Ashmorg's herald who is on hand in a unlikely short amount of time if Lady Jenna's message only reached the Baron the previous evening. The group is requestioned by Miles including about the stones. He is sure the creature encountered was a Void Demon which is very bad and offers a mercenary contract for Fendor's capture allowing time for the group to travel to Hobbith in Glasborg first. THose who know what it is are impressed that Cap has a Solemn Word to validate the contract. And the story paused there.


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 Post subject: Night 4
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:35 am 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
Night 4 and Eldritch got to shine. We had real life scheduling issues and rather than the center story we did a prequel adventure. With no prep. It wasn't bad for me and I would like to think it was still fun for the players. At least until I ended in a classic GM dick move. It really is as easy as deciding what difficulty any situations is and what ADC applies. Having the number set by dice also makes it a lot of fun. If something is a moderate difficulty it is going to have a NN of 2-8 so even people with only a default rating can still succeed. And I think player really enjoy when they pull off something with a default roll, for instance picking a moderately difficult lock with a default skullduggery.

So our story was set 5 months before the start of the campaign with Nardhon; Isaak and Bronn learning that their landlady wasn't insane and the sugar bowl does talk. Okay she might still be insane just not because of this one thing. The voice claims to be a spirit that isn't ready to move on through the soul gate before helping some mortals. Charles claims he doesn't show himself because his appearance upsets people and then offers highly personal bribes if they will go offer to help a ship captain. Best I could come up with on short notice was a variation on the same theme, sorry. They needed to go find the SS Minnow and ask Captain Venger what he needed help with. If they helped him Charles would reveal where a never ending granola bar was; where to get a special kind of shield worthy stone was and how to find Isaak's mother. They group agrees.

They find the target vessel in a rough part of the docks in poor shape. Approaching the boat they fail to make a positive imoression on 2 rather rough looking people who claim to have never heard of a Venger and wanted nothing to do with people commanded by crockery. They threatened, Nardhon hears some muffled thuds from below deck and Isaak shows the thugs how to really threaten people. They thugs flee and our heroes investigate the boat. In the fish well they find a tied up Mikkel and a tied and beaten Captain Venger. Mikkel is unhappy because he went to bed on a nice vessel in the warm southern ocean and wakes up with a bag over his head and with his hands tied behind his back in 4" of nasty smelling cold water. Bronn and Isaak have an alarming conversation about sugar bowls and such convincing Mikkel he is having a nightmare. Captain Venger is suffering some cognitive difficulties do to the head wound which Nardhon resolves getting the story that he owes money to a Jeffery. Captain Venger reveals he has a treasure map to a hidden stash in the sewer but can't get it himself and then passes out. The group passes on traveling into the sewer and decides to see if this Jeffery person will accept the map as payment. Mikkel uses his criminal background to find out Jeffery is a jack booted mercenary thug hired as a kind of policeman and a real piece of work. Bronn remembers a real piece of work mercenary he served with who is now working as a cop. There is not much rejoicing when it is discovered to be one and the same.

Jeffery is mean and insulting and adamant that Captain Venger owes money not a map and walks off. Here is where I made an error I decided Jeffery was going to screw them but didn't give them a chance to spot that they were being followed Mea Culpa. With no other alternative they head into the sewer and find gobs and gobs of cool valuable stuff. Exiting the sewer they find a large contingent of mercenary town watchmen, the watch captain and Jeffery. They briefly and ineffectively try and drag Jeffery down with them only to find the Gaurd Captain only wants the stuff and they are free to go. They drink lots of cheap beer. Mikkel awakens back on his ship with his companion's identities hazy and hard to recall but he wishes to never again be stuck in Imborg in the cold doing a mission he sees little other choice in for a ships captain. What are the odds of that happening. Isaak; Bronn and Nardhon wake up back at Madame Bosley's with equally impaired memories and the sugar bowl giving them the silent treatment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:22 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 32
After 2 years we are thinking of resuming this game and going through my notes I am pretty keen too. Here are 2 minor magic items that were in use

Speech Tattoo's: Usually in the form of birds or flying insects these magic tattoo's will animate and move from the owner to the ear of a person they wish to speak too and relay a message and then return with the reply. The 2 beings do not need to share a language as the magic will translate. The range is line of sight.

Eldritch RPG does include a skill in languages so this was to get around us failing to realize one of the players didn't take it and not wanting to roll every time he tried to have a conversation. The limitation of one person at a time and having to wait for the tattoo to travel back and forth keeps it from eliminating the need for the language skill

Solemn Word: A personal seal usually in the shape of a warrior that when used binds two people or parties to honor a contract. Everyone who is going to be under the contract drips a drop of blood on the seal then the contract is read and stamped with the seal. To take an action in violation of the contract requires a very difficult willpower contest
.

This was to provide a piece of fluff for how in the game world you can get people to act as more or less free agents with no way for either party to easily check that the other is keeping their word.

I suppose I should also mention spirits and guides, spirits are non-harmful ghosts who for some reason have not gone through the spirit gate and been reincarnated. Spirits usually reside on the spirit plane but can manifest on the mundane world. Guides are native creatures of the spirit realm who can interact with mundane world if a mortal creature calls them forth. This was a house rule addition to the Eldritch system of mine to provide a way around two common RPG problems namely the info dump and because ERP is a skill based system no player having the right skill for a task. Spirits can answer questions and it isn't terribly hard to get a decent chance to talk to them in the worst case all they will do is lie to the party. Guides are like the Fey in Celtic lore not necessarily good or evil and more than a little hard to understand any given ones motivation. Guides can posses a character and give them a skill or ability they don't have themselves (like the ship's officers being able to survive underwater for an extended period of time) in return they will demand the PC do something in the mundane world for them. It is hard to get a comfortable chance of success dealing with guides and if things go badly they can posses and not leave a player. In short it is always risky to deal with them.


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