By the amazing and talented, Rachel Walton.
During our last Burning Wheel game Swordlord Zora seized control of a 400 person Rostlander army with 7 knights among them. I looked to my Swordlords pinterest board and found some decent knights and wrote up a short blurb on each.
Lady Liva the Young: a squire of Lord Drazj, she was knighted after holding a bridge during her Swordlord’s retreat. Her family’s lands was among the first to be taken by Brevoy when this conflict escalated. Her family’s True Sword is said to be captured by Brevoy and held by a Brevosi lord.
Sir Jeppe Sokka-Drazj: Jeppe is the knight who reported directly to the castellan; he is called the House Butcher behind his back in whispered tones, referencing the bloody work he did for his Swordlord. His father was raised to knighthood from distinguished service in Rostland’s army.
Lady Thea the Dawn-killer: one of the most celebrated tourney knights in Rostland before turning her eye to war. She has taken to it, known for surprising a small army of Brevosi soldiers before they had woken and butchering them in their tents.
Sir Karl the Saint: Is said to have traded away his True Sword, left his lands to his heir and took up errant knighthood because of a holy calling. Same say that he will be a Sword Saint when he perishes.
Lady Eliska Nemec – Her family held a border fort near Brevoy for years before Lord Drazj commanded them to pull her forces out to protect his retreat. The Nemec line can trace their lineage back to one of the original 7 Swordlords but their True Sword was lost centuries ago.
Sir Noah the Tree: He is an old knight who folk jest is old as many oak trees. In his youth he was a fine tourney knight but has since trekked from Swordlord to Swordlord, pledging his service for a time but leaving before setting down any roots.
Lady Pavla Drazj – a distant elder cousin of Lord Drazj whose True Sword was broken in a battle with the barbarians in the west. She was captured by a war band and sold into slavery but returned of her own accord.
Frozen in Time, Session 1
as a 0 level funnel
First thing’s first…
Rest in Peace
Nannie Milhaus Cromwell the smith, femoral artery pierced by Bore Bugs
Delbret the Beepkeeper, skull crushed like a grape by a robot’s pincer-hands, skull cavity licked thoroughly by Carl the Pig (not a nickname, an actual pig)
Hugo trading for a grappling hook and a Holy Symbol of the Whale God just outside the caves with the locals who came to watch the crazy foreigners go into the haunted glacier.
Players winning the yeti over with food when fire didn’t work.
Groat the Slave, in the midst of the battle with the robot, praying over his strange shaped rock to the Chaos Gods for aid – no response.
Players wrapping the robot up in a chain, winning a big Strength test and holding it down for a while. Once 5 PC’s were holding the chain, I asked them to make a Strength roll vs the robot, with the highest Strength modifier and the players rolling a d30 vs the Robot’s d20. They won and held it down for a bit.
Then was a funky moment where Groat gumbled, Eric rolled on the fumble table and rolled a 16+ but with the robot subdued, it made more sense for a really bad fumble to mean cutting the chain and with the group’s blessing, that is what I did.
Then Groat picked up the katana of the Enteral Shogunate of the Lich Shogun, fumbling and cutting the chain that was holding down the robot.
Group killing the robot just before it could kill Groat.
Llaras fitting into the Petal Knight’s full plate armor after making the roll of a 17 on a Luck check.
E: Llaras would like to wear the armor. Does it fit?
J: I dunno. Make a luck roll!
There are a whole lot of slow, even nearly harmless rooms but that ramps up the tension for those rooms where there is a whole lot at stake. Fun times for my first time as a DCCRPG Judge!
At the end of the session, the surviving characters hit level 1. It would be a little over a month until we’d play again.
First thing’s first:
RIP Maeve the Thief and Isidore the Dwarven Priest of the Whale God.
Maeve dared to dream beyond being a simple wainwright, making a short living by her stealth, luck and wits.
Isidore was born deep under the earth and found faith in a deity of the sea. Perhaps that combination was what led him to die in that haunted glacier.
They both died climbing out of the haunted glacier while its demons yelled misunderstood warnings to them all from the infernal walls. The crevasse did them in where the T-rex, mutant ant man and killer robot did not.
The party had accrued enough XP to get to level 1, so in the month between games, we leveled them up to level 1. It was a big group, with only 2 being killed in the first session (and 2 more tonight).
T-Rex and Art
I had been inserting some power glitches after the big robot fight and had the stasis field go down around the t-rex, causing its eyes to focus on the party just before the field went back up. This might’ve tipped them off too much but I liked the effect.
They went through this room, ignoring the art and getting to the tube.
The mutant ant-man was getting pouched on by the party, getting nickled and dimed by them. I knew that the owlbear would seen come out of its field. Renee’s thief wanted to hide, get away from the combat. I asked her where she wanted to hide.
“Behind the owlbear, I guess.”
Eric’s wizard still has the katana from the Shogunate of the Lich-Shogun. Groat made the killing blow against the ant-man.
Then the owlbear lumbered to life. Renee’s thief made a backstab against the owlbear that had no idea anyone was there. Then Groat stepped up with the katana and did a crit, finishing it with another blow.
I said that the katana, clearly magical, seemed like it was made to do this, made to behead enemies but that it clearly hungered to do something more. The katana is sleeping but can be awakened.
It was really important to figure out where everyone was. It wasn’t a matter of having pieces on a map, just a matter of asking good questions when the players announce their actions.
I had some trouble describing the time machine. Renee cautiously tapped at it with a staff and as described in the adventure write-up, a successful Luck roll means nothing happened. When her character made that roll, I described the character feeling as if they were on the edge of a terrible precipice, a bottomless pit, that they were very lucky that nothing happened due to their meddling.
They left the time machine alone.
But Eric’s thief was still in the room, trying to cut out the ant-man’s poison sacs. He was successful but couldn’t get out of the room, as he didn’t have the gold pass-key. When the stasis fields came down, the thief hid successfully while the 3-headed tiger devoured the human and the walrus man backed up to the door, claws and tusks at the ready. The slug climbed to the ceiling.
They went back for the thief and the tiger was sated, fat and content from devouring the human. Knowing that the t-rex was waiting for them above, they climbed into the room where the yeti had been, using their rope and grappling hook to good effect.
The yeti had left when the explosions hit. The crevasse claimed 2 lives when Eric’s wizard failed to cast Feather Fall. But their bodies were retrieved.
I love how the power going out changes the rooms entirely, letting beasts out and making levitation tubes into dangerous smooth surfaces to climb.
Describing modern things to a non-modern mind is fun and funky, though sometimes I’d just say it, “If this was a movie, the audience would recognize the Mona Lisa but you’d just all see it as a woman with an enigmatic smile in an odd dress.” Though I insisted on calling the laser rifle a stringless crossbow.
I have to learn the characters’ names now that they are first level.
Doom of the Savage Kings!
NOTE: This was cobbled together from a few AP posts on the DCCRPG G+ group but wanted to save it here.
From last night’s game, Doom of the Savage Kings…
Groat was a slave, once considered an elf’s property. Now he’s a katana-wielding cleric, worshipping the Chaos Titan.
Hugo was a rutabaga farmer and now he’s a wizard under the Patronage of the 4 Maidens; Hugo is of Lawful alignment.
And sometimes a slave turned Chaos Titan Cleric and a rutabaga farmer turned Lawfully aligned wizard find themselves in a crypt, fighting side by side against tomb ghouls with nasty ghoul snakes in their guts. Life is funny that way.
Hugo got clawed by one of the ghouls and managed to avoid the snake’s bite before it burrowed back into the ghoul’s guts, waiting for someone else to touch the corpse. Groat healed him, against the Chaos Titan’s orthodox traditions.
Eric mentioned something about divine disfavor and read the rule, something about between 1 to 10 points of divine disfavor..blah blah blah. I figure I’ll roll 1d4 for each level of the Lawful entity healed with the Chaos Titan’s power unless they take the Devil’s Bargain offered.
But first, time stops, all of time except for Groat and the snake in the ghoul’s guts.
The Ghoul Snake talks and I know that they can’t talk but in these moments between time, carved off of creation by the power of a Chaos Titan and a Chaos Titan’s prophet, they sometimes make words when it suits them.
“Ghoul snakes are a creation of one of the Chaos Titan’s children. Your deity wants you to take me into your bag and put me into the Jarl’s Great House so that I might bite him. If you do not do this, you will earn the disapproval of your deity.”
Groat took the snake into his bag where it curled up in a neat little ball, hoping to bite the Jarl (whom the entire party hates) later.
It occurs to me that it is moments like this that can put an adventurer’s bloody thumb on the cosmic scales of Law and Chaos.