[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-05-18

With some additional reinforcements from mercenaries that tried to plunder the ruins, the group continued their search for treasure.

This week’s characters:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 668 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 2), human rogue, 601 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 668 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 742 XP

First, they sent Jules into the tunnel entrance they found, but he only smelled rodents and found nothing else. Their next target was the barn, where the mercenaries Alrik, Torben and Perainos had seen a monster earlier. The group dispersed, taking vantage points up on roofs and walls, in case a monster storms out. Jules again was sent to scout the barn, but could only report a smell of decay.

Dargoth opened the door, but nothing dashed out and attacked. They started smashing barred windows and walls to let some light into the barn, and finally found the monster: a giant sowbug! It hid in the darkest corner of the barn. Discerning it probably was no threat if left alone, they gave it an opening to scuttle of, which it did.

I had them roll a Nature DC 8 check to safely route the sowbug off.

Afterwards they searched the barn intensly, but found only a couple copper pieces. Only when Dargoth took detailed measurements he found a trapdoor hidden under the hay. It took the group quite some effort, but finally with a lot of noise, they cracked it open.

And smashed the healing potion that lay beneath it. Such is life.

Beneath was a small tunnel where Dargoth barely fit into, and which caused a strange echo effect if shouted into. The group did that for some time, before Tapio decided to investigate (and stepped into a puddle of healing drought). Dargoth followed him.

The tunnel ended in a wooden grate, in the room behind it stood an ugly stone statue. Tapio simply threw the grate over, disturbing lots of dust, which temporarily blinded him. When the dust settled, the stone statue stood right in front of him, he immediately attacked, but his swords brushed the stone without any effect. In return, the monster grabbed him and gave him some nasty bites and shoves. Luckily, Dargoth managed to persuade the monster that he would be a more dangerous target, which let the rather winded Tapio go. After a harrowing back and forth, the monster finally crumbled.

Phew. That was a difficult fight – all fighters had to use their second wind ability, and Dargoth even drank his potion of giant strength as his early attacks barely caused any noticable effect. If Dargoth had not successfully intimidated the monster, poor Tapio would have probably been crushed in its grip. And all that by a well positioned standard monster.

Afterwards they searched the chamber and found quite a lot of loot among the rubble: Among other things, a throwing knife, an axe, a halberd, a morning-star, five potions in differently coloured bottles, and a little money.

I am really curious when they are going to test those and what they will make of them!

After having given XP for the successful fight, we stopped the session a bit earlier than usual.

Crowdfunding: Mythic Britain (deutsche Ausgabe)

Für Fans des historisch angehauchten Rollenspiels: Die Rune-Quest-Gesellschaft (RQG) will Mythic Britain, ein Setting für Mythras bzw. RuneQuest (und kompatible Regelwerke), im Rahmen eines Crowdfundings übersetzen. Es spielt in einem Britannien, in dem aller Aberglauben des 4. bis 6. Jahrhundert nach Christus wahr sind.

Das finde ich etwas ärgerlich, da ich mir gerade vor kurzem die englische Ausgabe gekauft habe. Hätte ich mal ein wenig gewartet, denn die Rune-Quest-Übersetzungen dauern bei der RQG zwar immer etwas länger, werden dafür in aller Regel auch gut.

Der letzte Crowdfunder der RQG (das Mythras-Regelwerk) wurde erfolgreich abgeschlossen und weist nach allem, was ich gehört habe, eine gute Qualität auf. Da das gleiche Team hinter diesem Projekt steht, sollte es eine ähnliche Qualität aufweisen. Zu Beginn holperte bei Mythras allerdings die Kommunikation etwas (weshalb ich schließlich auch kein Geld dafür ausgab), das kriegte die RQG aber mit der Zeit in den Griff, weshalb ich vermute, dass dieses Crowdfunding runder verläuft als das vorige.

Für Fans des historischen Rollenspiels kann ich daher nur empfehlen, einmal ein Blick auf dieses Crowdfunding zu werfen. Die Preise scheinen mir angemessen, der Umsetzungszeitraum etwas knapp, allerdings nicht unmöglich.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-05-11

This week the party faced an invincible swamp monster, and prevailed!

This week’s characters:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 556 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 2), human rogue, 489 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 556 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 630 XP

The party stood at the foot of a log causeway that was lined with willows. Dargoth noticed an owl sleeping in one of the willows, but otherwise, everything seemed calm. Of course, this made the group very suspicious and they set a marching order and prepared their weapons.

Dargoth went first, and when he came closed to the willows, he noticed its branches stretching and moving in his direction. He barely manages to step back, cutting a few twigs with his sword in defense. At the same time, Tapio (who was guarding the rear) is flooded with a black liquid over his shoulder, a gust of wind blows his hat on the swamp and when he turns around, he sees a horrible swamp monster coalescencing directly behind him! Furthermore, the owl opens it eyes and stares directly at La Fleur.

Frantically, the group attempts to fight the monster, but for naught, all their attacks are repelled: Arrows are just sucked into the monster’s muddy hide, other weapons get stuck and have to be retrieved, fire bolts are extinguished by the monsters watery surface, frost rays melt from the monsters composting heat. When La Fleur throws a Chromatic Orb, the monster simply swallows it, burps and licks its lips.

Grapping for straws, Roderick shoots and kills the owl, which he assumed was a proxy to control the scene, but it simply falls from the tree with a loud thud. Tapio attempts to run past the trees toward the ruins, but is grappled and lulled to sleep, losing his bow. Roderick gives up hope and runs for the shore, while Dargoth gets second thoughts and assumes this might be an illusion.

With Dargoth standing still and concentrating on what happens, but only figuring out that this makes him feel odd, the monster grabs muds from its stomach and throws it at La Fleur, who just barely keeps standing. Roderick meanwhile reaches the shore, turns around to support his comrades and sees … a rather odd scene: Dargoth stares at nothing, La Fleur attemps to brush of nothing from her rather clean robes, and Tapio leaning over a willow branch, sleeping. There is no monster!

When the group realized this, there was quite a lot of laughter as the tension was relieved. It was very much fun to run this scene and, according to the players comments, they enjoyed it as well. The poor owl was just an ordinary owl, sleeping in the willow, which wanted to know what all the ruckus was about.

Noticing Rodericks erratic behaviour at the shore, where he waves and shouts at them, the others are convinced that something truly odd was happening. Dargoth grabbed the sleeping Tapio, and dashed with La Fleur to the shore as well, where they all rested for a bit.

After the rest, the group simply walked over the log causeway and ignored the willows and monsters appearing. They safely reached the gatehouse, whose outer gate was torn apart by brute force and the inner gate was stuck at a low height, requiring the group to crawl beneath it.

Inside, there was a yard with four buildings, with the largest to the south-east, and a tower right next to the gatehouse. The group first investigated the tower, where they found three shadow-bats hanging from the roof. They attempted to roast them, but the bats evaded and dove for the shades beyond the buildings, with the group in pursuit. They finally found them in another tower, where they managed to burn one of them (which disintegrated as it fell down), and badly crippled a second one, which was shortly later nailed to a window frame by Roderick. When inspecting the bat, they found that it had purple fur looking like a collar beneath its head. The third bat escaped into a large building behind the first four buildings already discovered prior.

The group returned to the front yard, and decided to investigate the large building first. On their way toward the building, when passing between two of the smaller buildings, La Fleur noticed hushed voices within one of them, arguing about whether or not there was treasure in this ruins. The group assumes those are fellow adventurers and sends Tapio to introduce them, as he is the most charming of their lot.

Now, I had prepared for a nice little fight, but I made a reaction roll which showed an 11: Friendly and helpful. So, I had to quickly turn these plunderers into a group that was willing to somehow cooperate with our groups. Thus, a group of former mercenaries was born.

When Tapio enters, the opponents attempt to hide, but fail greatly, and are quickly overwhelmed by Tapio’s charm. They introduce themselves as Alrik (a Middle-Realmian), Torben (a Thorwalian) and Perainos (from Fairfields). They all worked as mercenaries for the Empire during the Orc Invasion, but when their units were annihilated, they got somehow stuck and tried to get rich quick somehow (but not very successful so far). It was Torbens superstition that kept them from the log causeway, and thus they never encountered the hallucination, but they report about a strange desk in the next building and strange noises from the fourth building.

Dargoth continued the search of the room the three had started, and quickly found a linen pouch with a few coins inside. In the house over, they found a strange tunnel that looked like it was dug by a mole, Jules reported that it smelled like rodent. Dargoth identified the wood as an exotic hardwood that was looked for by captains, and Roderick easily picked the desk’s lock. Inside, the group found a silver bottle filled with liquid (that La Fleur identified as healing potion), some coins and a gilded key (both non-magic).

I had always wrongly assumed a magic ritual in D&D5 takes an hour, but it only takes 10 minutes in addition to the normal casting time, as one player pointed out.

It was getting late at this point, so I stopped the session here. The group plans to investigate the stables next, where their three new sidekicks had seen a monster.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-05-04

Once more, we played in Adventuria, this time, the group mainly recovered, was celebrated and earnt experience.

This week’s characters:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 536 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 536 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 610 XP

After their encounter with the catfish, the group arrived in Lowangen without further distractions. When they arrived at the Grey Stave’s quarter, they were welcomed with fanfare, Agdan was obviously a well liked commander. They were bathed, got fresh clothes and were invited to a feast were the whole order sang a hymn to praise their deed. Furthermore, they were invited to stay at the order’s quarters for free, including cost, and got 200 gold pieces and two magic potions of their choice for free!

The group tried to learn more about the Morgendornstrauch, but the order knew less about it than the swamp witches. They wrote to the sage in Ansvell to learn more about nymphs; even though they were not completely certain the witches were benign, they assumed it was probably better to stay on their good side. They assumed it would take about one to two weeks till the sage answered, so they decided to do something else inbetween. When they inquired about possible new goals, the order told them that a patrol recently discovered an old ruin the order had searched for quite a long time, and if the group wanted, they were invited to investigate it – the order just requested that the order would have drawing rights to anything the group might find in there.

With plenty of rations, the group set out to this ruin. On their way, during camp, they met a friendly band of Norbards, who told them that a great festival was to take place in Lowangen in about two weeks. Dargoth asked them about their customs and fairy tales, which they were happy to tell. Both groups left amicable the next morning.

Shortly afterwards, they entered the swamps near Lowangen once more, this time the Ödermoor to the north of the Svellt. It was every bit as inhospitable as the southern Svelltmoor, if not more inhospitable. The first night, they found an abandoned charcoal burner’s hut to rest in. During night, Tapio smashed his bed and found a box with 18 copper pieces hidden beneath it; he decided to leave them where they were.

The next day, the group found a large group of green apes (Sumpfrantzen) blocking their way, with some luck the group snuck past nearby. Dargoth’s made quite some noise, which agitated the apes, but they were unable to locate the source of the sound.

I gave the group the chance to give the Sumpfrantzen a wide berth, but they would lose half a day of travel. They decided to risk sneaking by closely instead. I had them roll a group test on stealth, and with both Tapio and La Fleur succeeding, Dargoth’s fail did not give them away.

After one more rest, the group passed a group of moss covered stones in the middle of a big circle of hedges. Dargoth attempted to rub the moss from one of the stones, which reacted with a chuntle. Dargoth then hailed it, after which the stone rose and turned out to be a bleary stone-creature in a foul mood. It did not answer any of Dargoth’s questions, and behaved very much like a grumpy owlish oldtimer being woken up by a larkish child. The group excused themselves before the stone-creature got violent, and quickly thereafter found the ruins they were looking for.

Thus ended this session.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-27

This week saw a fight, where the group was chased off without lasting damage, some friendly witches and Agdan Dragenfeldt rescued.

Again it were the same players as last week, despite that, new players are welcome any time:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 449 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 2), human rogue, 469 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 449 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 523 XP

After their fruitless attempt to save Ilmbold’s live, the group did not waste much time to grief, but instead geared up and went into the swamp to save Agdan Dragenfeldt from the Bullywugs.

Thanks to the very accurate and recent directions in the patrol’s report, they navigated the swamp easily and without troubles. On their second night in the swamp, Tapio heard a strange chanting and woke the others. The group investigated and found two witches, that were happy their adventurer attraction spell worked so quickly.

The dice favoured the group today, as I had rolled an 11 on the witches reaction roll. This would continue for the rest of the game, which made for a rather smooth game.

They asked the group to retrieve a nymph’s hair for a binding spell, but were unwilling to say what they want to bind. In return they told the group that the Morgendornstrauch was cursed by Peraine, after she had scratched herself on the plant, and would now turn those that were scratched into horrible monsters. It is possible to save the accursed with a secret ointment only witches can create, and since La Fleur succesfully proved to be a witch, the two sisters taught her how to create it, as it was not possible to preserve the ointment which had to be applied fresh.

The rest of the group slept well in the witches hut, but woke the next morning on moss and stones. No sign of the witches!

They continued through the swamp, shouting for Agdan, passing some landmarks from the report, till they arrived near an ancient battle field. Dozends of corpses, fresh and old, littered mud and a small copse. Within the copse, the group spotted a horde of green apes, and one green ape with clothes! Might that be Agdan Dragenfeld turned into a Sumpfrantze? It did react to its name, albeit not breaking its lethargy.

The group came up with a plan: They would build a pile of corpses to distract the apes, and La Fleur would Disguise Self herself as a Sumpfrantze, approach the clothed Sumpfrantze and lead her to a safe distance, where she would attempt to break the curse.

Despite the apes throwing feces at the group, the plan worked. Luckily, Agdan’s little toe was still human, and thus he could be saved, albeit exhausted.

I rolled a CON save whether or not Agdan could still be safed, with each day reducing the change. This roll was succesful, returning Agdan to its human self.

Roderick built an improvised stretcher, as Agdan could not walk by himself, and the group started their way back to Lowangen. Now their luck had run out though: When they walked through a lake, a giant catfish attacked them!

Of all the random encounter rolls this session, even the ones with their chances doubled due to the group shouting for Agdan, only this one showed an encounter. Again I used the Hellbog random encounters from Elf Maids & Octopi.

Agdan looked like a tasty snack, but Tapio and Dargoth managed to lift him out of harms way in the nick of time, which left them in unsteady footing. Lucky for them, the fish got entangled in some reeding, which bought them some time.

I am usually a rather soft DM and dislike harming player characters, but I was slightly disappointed when the attack roll against Tapio, which were made with advantage, turned out a 1 and a 2.

The group started to race toward the shore. Just before they reached it, the catfish caught up to them and bit Dargoth in the tigh. The skin around his leg started to blister and felt nettle-whipped, but they reached safety alive. Roderick shot at the catfish, hitting it in the fin, which caused to fish to dive and swim away.

With two days of march to Lowangen remaining, we ended the game.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-20

This week was rather slow, as neither I nor the players had a clear goal established and rather spontaneous ideas dragged the game along. Nonetheless, the whole group made it to second level!

It was the same players as last week:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 349 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 2), human rogue, 369 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 349 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 423 XP

We started in Ansvell. The group decided to contact the local outpost of the Societas Hesindiarum Intelligentiae, to learn a little more about the strange occurances and mutations in and around Ansvell.

This took me completely by surprise. I knew that there was a sages guild based in Lesserton, but I had not prepared it. So I basically made everything up as we went, and the little inconsistencies made the players extremely suspicious. This changed the guild somewhat, and I have not yet decided how exactly.

They were greeted by Hesindion Binfane, an archeologist who was studying stones. La Fleur and Dargoth quickly figured out that he was studying Achaz reliefs, and seemed to inquire about a certain idol the Achaz worshipped. He was interested in Achaz relics, mostly mosaics and stone reliefs.

He told some background information about the ruins: It used to be an important Achaz city, which was destroyed during the last war between Achaz and Elves. Wild magic devastated both empires, and orcs used the opening to pour in and sack the area. A couple orcs remained in the ruins and changed greatly, turning into the lizorcs that today live there. When asked whether the mutations of the burghers of Ansvell had the same cause, he reacted denyingly, pretending the group must have falled to optical illusions.

The players assume that he might have caused the mutations, but are unsure whether he is an Asfaloth cultist who caused this change deliberately or whether it was an accidental side-effect of his studies.

With this in mind and two honey addicts in tow, the group went on their way to Lowangen. The addicts greatly suffered from withdrawal symptoms, which slowed them down. When the group woke on the fourth day, one of the addicts did not rouse. He died in his sleep. Ilmbold, the second addict and Black Jandora’s agent, was in a horrible conditon, and the group raced him to the famous Jhaell Sternenschweif, who is said to be one of the best healers in Adventuria. But despite their hard work, Ilmbold died from the withdrawal.

While the rest fought for Ilmbold’s life, Tapio brought the honey to Black Jandora to ensure that she would not send a squad of assassins against the group for crossing her. When hearing about her agent’s state, she vowed to pay the healer in full and handed 350 gold pieces as reward for the honey. When she learnt about Ilmbold’s demise, she also paid for a funeral.

The next day, they went on a shopping spree and bought all kind of adventuring gear, including potions and belts. Afterwards, the group visited the Hall of Miracles, where they learnt that the sword they found was probably made from an alloy of copper and asthenil, which is easily blunted (and thus not very useful against armoured opponents), but also extremely resistant against heat (and thus very useful against fire elementals or dragons). The smith guildswomen offered 75 gold pieces for the sword, but the group kept it.

Last, they went to the barracks and spoke to Erbert Domian, captain of the guard. He invited them jovially, told them that the rescued officers had been sent by the Middle Realm to ask for help in the civil war, but that he could not comply as the orcs prevented all military actions south of the city due to a spy tower. So far, all attempts even to spy at it failed, and he would offer an orcish healing potion (with slight side-effects) for anyone who was willing just to investigate. The group declined, and decided rather to search for the missing Agdan Dragenfeldt, which will happen during the next session.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-13

The same crew as last week continued their search for addictive honey. This time, having finally found a likely source for the honey, they became more daring and attacked recklessly. With luck on their side, they prevailed and started their journey home ladden with honey.

The following characters risked life and limb for honey:

  • La Fleur (lvl 1), human wizard, 272 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 1), human rogue, 292 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 1), 272 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 335 XP

Last time, the group had attempted to assassinate the lizorc bandit’s sentry, which failed. The bandits sent a scouting party, which the group decided to ambush. Dargoth was to attract their attention, and then lure them towards the others.

This was not difficult, as the group was looking for attackers. Seeing the lone fighter, they immediately gave chase. I asked for an Athletics check DC 8 for their plan to succeed: If the check was made, the group would have a surprise round, if the check failed, they would only win initative. Dargoth’s player failed the roll with a 1.

Dargoth accidently steps into a rabbit hole and wastes time, the lizorcs are right behind him as the trap is sprung. The combat goes well, and only Dargoth takes a few scratches while three lizorcs are killed and one is captured.

The group questions the captured lizorc, who introduces himself as Narhbub. He tells them that their band is lead by Vrogak, a very tall and strong lizorc, and ten further bandits and two slaves were still in the hideout.  The group verified this information with the help of Jules, and then came up with a plan: Dargoth would distract the sentry, while Tapio and Roderick were climbing the wall and then assassinate him. Afterwards, they would take care of two guards that were hidden on the roof. Meanwhile, Dargoth would open the door and storm in.

Up to the point where Dargoth was to open the door, the plan worked flawlessly. The sentry was shot down from the pillar, and Tapio and Roderick were waiting in cover. Dargoth found the door to be rather massive though and held by a strong bar, it was not possible to open it from the outside! Narhbub pleas to open the door do not do anything, either.

I have no idea why the group assumed the door could be opened from the outside, probably because I used the word latch instead of bar.

As Dargoth powerlessly rattled at the door, Tapio dashes over and attempts to lift the bar, which proves to be rather heavy and would probably require two persons to lift.

Two person can lift the bar easily, but a single person attempting it needs to succeed in a DC 15 athletics check. Tapio’s player rolls incredibly well and beats the check.

He somehow finds the correct spot where he could apply leverage and pull the bar off, but just as he opens the door two guards stand up on the roof and shower him with buckets filled with sharp stones! Luck is on his side though, and no stones penetrated his armour. With all the ruckus, the remaining bandits storm onto the yard, and the group now faces seven bandits in the yard, their very lizardy looking captain and two guards on the roof.

Roderick acts first and shoots on of the guards from the roof, before joining his friends at the door in the hope of creating a bottle neck.

At this point, the group jokes that their enemies would be in perfect position for an area of effect spell, which was true. They failed to notice that they themselves were just as densely packed as their enemies though.

The bandit’s captain acts next, steps forwards and exhales a stream of acid on the group! Narhbub dies outright, Roderick falls down unconciously with his left arm badly burnt by the acid. Everyone else was in bad shape too and things looked grim. Then, La Fleur stepped in to retaliate: Her Burning Hands burnt all bandits in the yard to a crisp, except for the bandit captain!

After the horrible rolls last week, the dice were extremely hot for the group at this moment. Not only did La Fleur roll extremely high damage, all the bandits failed their saving throws too.

Amidst the flaming inferno, Vrogak looks around, sees his band perish in the flames and Dargoth approach him menacingly, and decides it is time to run away. Tapio and Dargoth attempt to catch him, but despite some wounds, he manages to jump into a hole in the cellar and run off through an underground tunnel. Tapio hears him running away.

Meanwhile, La Fleur managed to stabilize Roderick with a Healing Kit and to enthrall the remaining lizorc guard with a sugar cake. Blissfully, he told the group about where the slaves are and that the boss hid the treasure in the cellar, that the boss warned them that anyone who tried to take his treasure would choke to death, and did not allow any of the other bandits near.

First, the group looked for the slaves, which turned out to be on a trip. Neither of them was Agdan Dragenfeld, but one turned out to be Ilmbold, the missing agent of Black Jandora.

Afterwards, they searched the bosses chamber and found a treasure chest and some valuable furs, and then continued to search the cellar where they first blocked the hole with an old grate and some furniture. Dargoth found a stone looking strangely placed and pulled it out, finding a bag behind it. When he poured it out, a moulded bread falls out, and its yellow spores spread throughout the room!

Yellow mould on a piece of bread to choke the dear life out of any potential thief, a very nasty trap. Both Dargoth and Tapio, the only characters in the room at that time, made their save, so nothing bad happened.

Behind the bag, Tapio found an amphora filled with honey. After all, they found what they had been looking for! A discussion started among the group whether it was wise to bring this horrible drug to Black Jandora. Tapio worried about crossing her and assumed the enormous risks the drug carried would discourage her from selling it. Roderick wanted to destroy the honey outright. Dargoth and La Fleur did not have any opinion whatsoever. In the end, they decided to take the honey with them.

There was a rather long moral dispute about the honey, which was a much more potent drug than the players had suspected in the beginning.

They barricaded the mansion and rested for one night, to let Roderick recover form his wounds. The next day, they started their way home to Lowangen. They see a couple giant bees collecting honey from the Morgendornsträucher, and pass a giant centipede which Dargoth smashed. They pay the bridge lizorcs with two bottles of wine and arrive in Ansvell around midday and decided to rest in the ‘Explorers Inn’, at which point we stopped this session.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-06

This week, we had four player who sent their characters to search for honey in the ruins of Ansvell. Despite facing several horrible creatures and even several fights, everyone survived!

This week, the following characters took part:

  • La Fleur, human wizard, 75 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater, human rogue, 95 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter, 75 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter, 138 XP

Last week, we stopped when the group met some lizorc gathering herbs and roots, and continued at exactly this moment. The lizorcs offered information for food, and gave the party more detailed information about the area:

  1. Honey makes you crazy, the Beekeepers produce it.
  2. All the lizorc tribes are somewhat crazy, that is why this group remains for itself.
  3. A group of lizorc bandits raid people who try to barter with the Beekeepers. They have a fortified mansion beneath a huge pillar, which they use as lookout.
  4. There are plenty rats in the area, which the lizorc’s hunt.
  5. The lizorcs used to have a nice building, but fire beetles had dug into it recently and drove the lizorcs off.

The group offered to reconquer the lizorc shelter instead of paying with food, to which the lizorcs happily agreed. After quizzing the lizorcs about the shelter’s layout, the group came up with the plan to send Jules, La Fleur’s squirrel familiar, into the shelter to lure the beetle out. This worked rather well, and two beetles were lured into the trap and slain easily. Jules complaint about the beetles shooting something at him that made the walls bubble.

Tapio snuck down and took a look. He found four more beetles sitting at the far end of the cellar, eating something. The group hatched a plan: Everybody would sneak down, shoot at the eating beetles and hopefully kill them before they could react. This almost worked, but two beetles (one of them almost frozen) survived and retaliated by shooting acid at the party! Luckily, only one hit and caused only minor damage. Before the beetles could do anything else, the group killed them.

One player calculated the possible damage afterward and found that a better hit could have annihilated the whole group. The lizorcs had good reasons why they did not attempt to reconquer their shelter.

Afterwards, the group took some time to clean themselves and take a closer look at the strange sabre (kopesh, in rule terms: a scimitar) they found (in rules terms: they took a short rest). Nobody knew anything about the strange alloy, except that it was very similar to bronze. It was not magical either, but had an affinity to fire and was once exposed to strong magic. Meanwhile, the lizorcs cleaned their shelter and prepared some rats on a stick.

The group had really bad luck with their rolls this time.

The group decided to investigate the tunnel through which the beetles had come. Jules found a break in the tunnel which was blocked by some piece of wood. He also could follow the tunnel further, but that would lead him out of telepathy range. Tapio, Roderick and La Fleur decided to crawl into the tunnel themselves instead.

The piece of wood turned out to be a chest or something similar that could be moved (with a DC 8 athletics check). They decided not to, as they heard high pitched, grumbling voices behind. La Fleur cast ‘Comprehend Languages’ and understood that the voices were arguing about the rules for a game (the lizorcs would later identify these creatures as Ratiers, a race of rat-man).

If a certain company was not as strict with their trademarks as it is, these rat-man would have listened to Ska in a Van.

Tapio decided to crawl even further down the tunnel, as he had smelled something odd earlier. Finally, he reached a grid set into the stone atop and below the tunnel and saw a strange, scaled creature below of brownish-grey colour beneath which emited a horrible stench. He heard some noise from further afield, heard a human voice pleading, and then saw an elder, scrawny man tossed from the left into the cage. The stinking lizard quickly devoured the poor victim.

Tapio retreated and informed the rest of the group. They decided to leave these strange underground tunnels for now, and instead concentrate on the bandits, as they hope those might have some of the honey the group was looking for.

They walk along, passed a pile of rubbels in which they heard loud ‘ribbit’, and continued to reach a wide, open area. In the middle of that wide area they saw a pillar, which they (correctly) assumed to be the pillar the lizorc’s had described. They decided to use a combination of dusk and the sparse cover on the open field to sneak close to the pillar, which worked. Their attempt to sniper the watchout failed, though, and they retreated again when an alarm was shout.

We ended this game with a small scouting group leaving the mansion and circling it in search for the snipers.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-03-30

This week, there were only two players due to Good Friday, but I ran the game anyway since I had already cancelled the week before. Again, the group was extremely cautious. Again, everyone survived, and furthermore they even found their first treasure!

Our roster consisted of:

  • La Fleur, human wizard, 20 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater, human rogue, 40 XP

The game started in Ansvell, where our adventurers had breakfast and learnt a little about entering the ruins: There are three entrances to the ruins, a rope bridge, a breach and the former harbour. The bridge is considered the safest and most travelled, guides have seen the adventurers they lead to the ruins attacked on their way into the ruins on the other entrances. On the other hand, the lizorcs guarding the bridge demand outrageous sums from travellers for entry, but uncle Murgin mentioned that they can often be bribed with fancy food and drink.

The players decided to buy some adventuring gears, which were in surprisingly great supply (with slight defects, though). The group brought several bags of caltrops, a healers kit, and two bottles of acceptable wine with accompanying cakes and cheese.

Uncle Murgin lead the group to the ruins, telling them a little about the swamp on the way and advised them to speak with the lizorcs. He would not enter the ruins, as he considered them to dangerous and prefered earning money as craftsmen and occassional guide. They also inquire about the swamp hags, and are told that those will contact anyone who leaves a message at one of the crow poles, small birches that are overgrown with an obligate hemiparasitic shrub of black colour.

The lizorcs turn out to have a very strong emphasis on the S-sounds and greedy: They demand 300 gold per person to pass. Roderick turns his charms on, however, and convinces them to let the group pass for a cake and some sugar.

For an additional offer of one bag of salt, the lizorcs tell the group some more details about the ruins:

There are four major lizorc tribes in the ruins: the Froggers at the harbour, the Beekeepers slightly north of the harbour, the Locusts in the centre, and the Spiders in the north. Explorers are quite a common sight, and they usually barter with the lizorcs. There is a large pyramide in the ruins, but nobody who went there ever returned.

With this information, and after climbing on a vantage point to get a general overview, the group pushes deeper into the ruins, heading south-west. After just a short while, they meet a rather hollow looking man with honey-coloured lips and teeth, who totters and pleads for some honey to clear his head. When asked about the honey, he tells them that his boss pays him in honey, but that he cannot work any more because his head is so clouded, and he needs honey to clear it. He offers to join the group, but they convince him that their chances will increase if they split up. Thus, they part ways, promising to whistle if he finds any honey, before stumbling back into the rubble.

Further on, the area changes a bit from rubble to vegetation, probably a former park. The group sees some of the Morgendornsträucher and keeps their distance. This leads them to a wide open plaza, with a couple of steles and obeliks on the otherwise empty place. A lizardman seems to be melted into one of the steles.

Roderick is extremely suspicious, and La Fleur does not even dare to attempt an Identify spell. Her attempt to render an expert opinion based on her magical education fails, the place is just to different from the things she is familiar with. She only recalled a clerical spell called ‘Meld into Stone’ that would produce somewhat similar effects, but nothing more.

Or rather, her player rolled a 1 on her Arcana knowledge roll.

Roderick considered the place a death-trap and decides to give it a wide berth, but La Fleur decides to sent her squirrel familiar onto the plaza. The squirrel touched the lizardman, and found itself in a shower of stone because the melted lizardman turned out to be extremely brittle. Afterwards, the squirrel flit across the whole plaza, without any negative results. Finally, the group dared to enter too.

Roderick’s player was very suspicious and insisted on leaving, even though La Fleur seemed not that certain. I had to encourage La Fleur’s player a little before she dared to tell her plan. It worked great and I am glad that she told it, because that way the group saw that not everything odd is necessarily dangerous. Sure, many odd things are dangerous, but no risk, no gain—and without La Fleur taking this (calculated) risk, the group would have missed its first treasure!

Inspecting the statue a little closer, they noticed the lizardman was holding a kind of sabre with a reddish metallic hue. Still somewhat suspicious, they pulled the sabre of the statue with a grappling hook and some rope, which resulted in nothing but a loud ‘clang’ when it fell to the floor. The group pocketed the strangely looking sabre, decided to inspect it more closely in a more secure spot, and went on their way.

The sabre they found was actually a Kopesh (or sickle-sword), but the name completely escaped me during the session.

Shortly thereafter, they met a small group of lizorcs that were gathering roots and herbs. With this encounter on the horizon, we finished the session.

[RSP-Karneval] Tipps für neue Spielleiter

Du hast auf Youtube ein Rollenspiel-Video gesehen oder ein Rollenspiel-Regelwerk wie Das Schwarze Auge oder Dungeons & Dragons geschenkt bekommen und möchtest nun deine ersten Gehversuche als Spielleiter unternehmen? Dann möchte ich versuchen, dir ein paar Tipps zu geben, damit der Anfang nicht ganz so schwer wird.

Ruhe bewahren

Zunächst einmal gilt: Ruhe bewahren. Spielleiten muss man lernen, deine Abenteuer werden nicht auf Anhieb so gut gelingen wie in den Videos. Am Anfang wirst du oft Regeln nachschlagen, Denkpausen brauchen, den Faden verlieren oder auch mal NSC verwechseln. Das ist ganz normal, einmal durchatmen und weitermachen.

Lass dich auch nicht von theoretischen oder philosophischen Diskussionen um richtige Spielstile verwirren. Das sind bloß die ganz normalen Fachgespräche unter alten Hasen, die man in allen Hobbys hat. Für die ersten Schritte im Rollenspiel kannst du das getrost ignorieren.

Klein anfangen

Spieler verhalten sich immer anders als man erwartet, daher sollte man als Spielleiter klein anfangen. Die ersten Abenteuer sollten keine riesigen, weltumspannenden Geschichten mit unzähligen versteckten Bedeutungen und unvorhergesehenen Wendungen sein, sondern kurze, gradlinige Erlebnisse.

Die ersten Nichtspielercharaktere benötigen keine tiefgreifenden Charakterstudien als Hintergrund. Für den Anfang genügen oberflächliche Beschreibungen, bei denen neben dem Namen bloß die Rolle im Abenteuer und ein beschreibendes Adjektiv notiert werden. Das vereinfacht es dir als Spielleiter, spontan in die Rolle dieses Nichtspielercharakters zu schlüpfen (und das wirst du sehr oft tun müssen).

Chaos am Spieltisch

Spieler verhalten sich fast nie planmäßig, sondern finden Abkürzungen und gehen seltsame Umwege. Sie erschlagen den geplanten Auftraggeber, weil sie ihn für einen getarnten Werwolf halten, und helfen dafür dem Werwolf, der sich als schmieriger Kutscher tarnt.

Im Gegenzug dazu erkennen sie offensichtliche Hinweise nicht und planen für obskure Eventualitäten. Sie finden van Helsings Holzpflock-Armbrust, aber anstatt Graf Dracula damit zu erschießen, entwickeln sie einen verwirrenden Plan, bei dem sie dessen Sarg um Mitternacht in einen Bach fallen lassen, damit er kurz nach Sonnenaufgang an einem Wasserfall ankommt und der Graf, von der aufgehenden Sonne in seinen Sarg zurückgezwungen, im zerschmetternden Sarg von Sonne und fließendem Wasser vernichtet wird.

Ich fand dieses Verhalten zu Beginn sehr frustrierend, weil meine durchdachten Lösungen selten bis nie zur Anwendung kamen. Inzwischen bin ich dazu übergegangen, einfach nur Probleme zu gestalten und den Rest dem Erfindungsreichtum der Spieler zu überlassen. Wenn die Lösung plausibel erscheint, lasse ich sie zu oder lasse würfeln.

Mit offenen Karten spielen

Ein großes Problem beim Rollenspiel besteht darin, die Informationen aus dem Kopf des Spielleiters in die Köpfe der Spieler zu bekommen. Als Spielleiter solltest du daher mit offenen Karten spielen und nicht versuchen, deinen gigantischen Informationsvorsprung gegen die Spieler einzusetzen.

Wenn ein Spieler etwas sinnlos Erscheinendes versucht, dann deutet er die Situation oft ganz anders als der Spielleiter. Daher bin ich dazu übergegangen, die Schwierigkeit einer Situation offen anzusagen, bevor gewürfelt wird. Frag immer noch einmal nach, wenn ein Spieler etwas eindeutig lebensmüdes tun will, und prüfe, ob ihr beide die Situation gleich einschätzt.

Ähnlich handhabe ich es mit Fallen: Die schießen nicht urplötzlich aus der Decke, weil dem Späher der Wahrnehmungswurf misslang. Gib lieber ganz ohne Wurf ein oder zwei deutliche Hinweise, derentwegen die Spieler von sich aus vorsichtig werden können: Blut, Skelette, Dellen in der Wand, Rußspuren, ein seltsamer Geruch…

Regeln bereithalten

Mit der Zeit gehen dir deine Lieblingsregeln in Fleisch und Blut über, du wirst viele Situationen lösen können, ohne die Regeln nachzuschlagen. Zu Beginn aber werden dir selbst regelleichte Systeme als gigantischer Wust erscheinen. Dagegen hilft es nur, sich die Regeln zu sortieren: Sei es, dass man sich eine Zusammenfassung der verschiedenen Regelsituationen schreibt, einen Index anfertig, das Regelwerk mit bunten Klebchen thematisch sortiert.

Sehr hilfreich sind auch kleine Karteikarten, auf denen man für wichtige Nichtspielercharaktere alle benötigten Werte mit Kurzregeln notiert.

Einfach anfangen

Diese Tipps helfen hoffentlich bei den ersten Schritten im Rollenspiel, aber sie können natürlich nicht die Praxis ersetzen. Um ein besserer Spielleiter zu werden, braucht man nicht nur Tipps, sondern muss auch Erfahrung damit sammeln, wie sie im Spiel funktionieren.

Dabei wird viel schiefgehen, du wirst gelegentlich unzufrieden sein, aber doch Schritt für Schritt in die Rolle hineinfinden. Halte dir immer vor Augen, dass Rollenspiel eine Gruppenaktivität ist, bei der sowohl du als auch die Mitspieler sich einbringen wollen. Solange du das bedenkst, lassen sich alle anderen Fehler korrigieren.

Und jetzt, viel Spaß beim Rollenspiel!

Dieser Beitrag gehört zum Karneval der Rollenspiele im März 2018, bei dem verschiedenste Blogs Tipps für neue Spielleiter geben.