Character stable #9

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Shahu, a human merchant (or maybe a yuan-ti sorcerer) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in Scorching wastes, in Mernua. Level 1, xp 120, average stat 11.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk, and now in Adventure guild’s world’s past. Level 2, experience 850, average stat 11.
  • Ælfstan, a near-heretical monk who lives in poverty. In Adventure guild’s world. Level 3, experience 1406, average stat 15.
  • Senja, a leather-clad mercenaress who would rather not kill. Adventuring in Hot springs island, in Al-Qadim. Level 3, experience 1228, average attribute 12.
  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide. In the city of Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0, average attribute 9.
  • Guinevere, the current queen in England. Highest stat B5, skill G5 (others black and no higher).
  • Fridswid, a young witch in Yggsburg in the world of Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 2012, average attribute 12.

Character stable #9

Character stable #8

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Shahu, a human merchant (or maybe a yuan-ti sorcerer) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in Scorching wastes, in Mernua. Level 1, xp 120, average stat 11.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk, and now in Adventure guild’s world’s past. Level 2, experience 850, average stat 11.
  • Ælfstan, a near-heretical monk who lives in poverty. In Adventure guild’s world. Level 3, experience 1406, average stat 15.
  • Senja, a leather-clad mercenaress who would rather not kill. Adventuring in Hot springs island, in Al-Qadim. Level 3, experience 1228, average attribute 12.
  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide. In the city of Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0, average attribute 9.
  • Fridswid, a young witch in Yggsburg in Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 1957, average attribute 12.
  • Guinevere, the current queen in England. Highest stat B5, skill G5 (others black and no higher).

Character stable #8

The grimoire heist

This is a short game of Miseries and misfortunes, taking between one and three sessions; three only if characters are created from scratch during the first and if play is also slow or sessions short.

  • Play on weekends, either Saturday or Sunday, with time friendly for someone in Europe with family. We’ll start when it suits the players. Please let me know which weekend days suit you. We’ll aim for biweekly or weekly schedule.
  • Play online through Discord or a similar service.
  • Rules pre-knowledge is not necessary, but does help.
  • Previous knowledge about the setting is by no means necessary. Think of Paris and musketeers.
  • You can bring in an existing M&M character, should you have one.
  • It is possible to participate in only some of the sessions, thought it is doubtless more rewarding to take part in all.

The idea

A foreign nobleman, known as Jean de la Suède, has married a local noblewoman, Antoinette. They live in an apartment with some servants, and it is a strange apartment, given their status and wealth, being an old boutique in an area dominated by craftsfolk. Your interest lies in them having a certain occult tome, Rauðskinna by Gottskálk. During character generation we will figure out why you are after this tome; to discredit the owners, to sell it, to learn necromancy from it? But the grimoire is what you want.

What happens in play

  • Character generation; most of it can be done asynchronously, but if not, we’ll do it together.
  • During or after character generation we’ll figure out your motivations for wanting to get your hands on Rauðskinna. We’ll also figure out the motif for your character group and who Jean and Antoinette really are. Part of this will be public information, part will be secret GM knowledge you may be able to get your hands on by creative or effective play.
  • In actual play, it is known that the couple hosts a saloon once every d6+1 days or so. A character with sufficient reputation could certainly get in or even invited. But more likely you will try something else: break in, threaten, beat up, just honestly buy the book, etc.
  • Every day, the player characters whose obligations exceed their wealth have a chance of feeling it. I’ll roll a die of fate every day for every character. The clock is ticking. When the die of fate tells that now things get interesting, I’ll roll a die of fate for every obligation of the character to see which get acute, and continue doing this until the character gets their finances in order, one way or another.
  • I presume the play will first consist of information gathering. There are people who know them, or you can spy and shadow, and maybe there are official archives with relevant information. Their family relationships can certainly be found out somehow, somewhere. But all of this takes time and there is no guarantee you can make use of any particular piece of information. How deep and where will you dig, and how successfully? And will it be helpful?
  • At some point you will create or stumble upon an opportunity, or exhaust your ideas about how to prepare more, and will choose to take action. Or maybe the financial obligations or other stress is too much and threatens to break you. In any case, at some point you will decide to act, I hope; hard to succeed otherwise. You may want to formulate a plan and then try to pull it through. We’ll play it out in detail and see what happens; maybe you succeed, maybe not, maybe there are consequences.
  • At the end, we will figure out what kind of consequences there are to your character in the near and far future. Good grist for the mill for future play with the same character. Roll for mortal coil for those who used it.

Gamemastering method

This section is completely voluntary reading, of interest to those who might want to compare and contrast with different methods, or who would like to understand this particular short game better.

The point about gathering knowledge might sound like I have a secret cache of relevant information hidden somewhere, or maybe a trail of breadcrumbs. I do have some amount of hidden information; I know the layout of the building, why they have it, where the grimoire is, and a bunch of other things I have deduced during and as a consequence of the character generation session.

However, I do not know to what extent any of this information will turn out to be useful. I do not know if you can get your hands on it; above, I just wrote down some obvious avenues of investigation that occurred to me, but they were me thinking about how the game world functions. The family trees of nobility are certainly archived and collected by a number of people and maybe even some institute, so sure, if you want to know some of that, go ahead and try to get your hands on it. I don’t know if it will be useful, and it is not my job to figure out whether it will be. That we will see in play. The players decide where to go and how much to pay for it in terms of time and money.

The pressure to act (financial, mostly) and any opportunities to act are likewise not calibrated by me. They are what they are. Maybe you all have luck and rich characters who can take their time. Or maybe you have bad luck and poor characters who have to act, right here and now, or otherwise things will only worsen. We will see in play. I will not be providing any particular opportunities to act, but if you make room for such, I will check if they do occur. If you find where Antoinette’s parents live and stay on watch, there is a fair chance of seeing them, for example, as one would imagine. Whether that is useful or not is, again, up to player ingenuity and something to be seen in play.

The process here is not that I, as the all-knowing game master, prescribe what works or not. Rather, we discuss how the world works and figure out how difficult various tasks should be, and then figure out how to roll for it within the mechanical framework of Miseries and misfortunes. This is a means of keeping the game world credible and sharing our information about it at the same time. It also allows characters and players to succeed and fail on their own merits, rather than on gamemaster whim.

The grimoire heist

How to play Miseries and misfortunes?

I see two options: brutal slice of life and urban old school play. I think both of them would be credible ways of using the rules. Based on Luke Crane’s reports at the forums, https://forums.burningwheel.com/c/Historical-Fiction-in-1648/Actual-play-sil-vous-plait/94 , he seems to be going more for drama and brutal slices of life.

Brutal slice of life

This is actually just how Eero Tuovinen sees Cyberpunk, so why not read that: https://www.arkenstonepublishing.net/isabout/2020/02/20/cyberpunk-2020-redux/#1-creative-model-simpunks-amp-nailbags

We play characters, pretty true to the historical period, who are about to face violence, verbal or physical. We want to see how they survive and at what price. (Mortal coil is very generous; a character might die after the situation, but is virtually guaranteed to not do it in action.)

Do they become rich or poor? Lose friends, make enemies, or the other way around? Learn or use some magic? Lose or gain reputation? The game is well-equipped to provide answers to these questions.

After the action a number of characters are likely to test mortal coil, which almost certainly has those characters recuperating for months, though some might die or only be off play for weeks or even days.

Something missing

The game is completely silent on what happens during the downtime for characters who are not active, or for those who are, for that matter. Given that many characters are likely to face financial ruin fresh from character creation, this becomes important as soon as the first adventure is completed.

Urban old school play

Here, we play characters who have ambitions, and we try to get them to succeed at those and do well in life. The game master does the neutral referee thing; provides an environment for the play to happen, referees the goings-on, etc.

Play consists of essentially two phases that alternate: A laid-off downtime phase, where the characters might do some light activity and fish for adventure hooks, and then the actual adventures themselves. Whereas in the slice of life play the game master is responsible for coming up with adventures, here it is the players who try to find profitable ones while avoiding the dangerous and stupid random encounters that might mess them up for no good reason.

The same downtime rules are missing as above, and maybe to a larger degree.

A discord server

One purpose is to discuss the game. Another purpose is to find people to play the game with. Welcome. https://discord.gg/69keXPAN5s

How to play Miseries and misfortunes?

Character stable #7

Now all the characters in the stable have been played this year. An interesting observation is that playing a session or two of D&D 5 is a fine way of advancing a character to second and maybe even third level, pretty much irrespective of the game content and character ability. All the characters are currently converted to some variety of D&D; a few to D&D 5 or variant thereof, a few to Eero’s Coup de Greyhawk campaign.

If there is a one-shot or a possibility to visit a game where I can play one of these characters, I am interested. A pity to leave a character unplayed. Starts from the ones who have been gathering dust the longest.

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Shahu, a human merchant (or maybe a yuan-ti sorcerer) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in Scorching wastes, in Mernua. Level 1, xp 120, average stat 11.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk, and now in Adventure guild’s world’s past. Level 2, experience 850, average stat 11.
  • Ælfstan, a near-heretical monk who lives in poverty. In Adventure guild’s world. Level 3, experience 1406, average stat 15.
  • Senja, a leather-clad mercenaress who would rather not kill. Adventuring in Hot springs island, in Al-Qadim. Level 3, experience 1228, average attribute 12.
  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide. In the city of Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0, average attribute 9.
  • Guenevere, a former queen in England. Highest stat B5, skill G5 (others mediocre). 1 deeds artha.
  • Fridswid, a young witch in Yggsburg in Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 1957, average attribute 12.

Character stable #7

The next campaign

I want to start a new campaign. Alternatives and info below. If you are interested, please let me know which one interests you and under which conditions, and also let me know if you are interested in being an active player (or even co-gm) or an occasional player. The alternatives are in a rough order of excitement, but all of these are things I would be willing to try.

This is very much a process based on inspiration and finding like-minded people, so please let me know; once a couple of excited people are found for a given idea, that is what I’ll run (or co-run) next.

Practical info

  • Play online: maybe Discord, maybe something else, maybe a virtual tabletop if the game asks for it. I am also willing to adapt to some other platform. Less closed alternatives do exist.
  • Play every third or second weekend. We’ll choose either Saturday or Sunday and stick with it.
  • Time zone: I live in Norway (about to move to Vestfold). A European-friendly time zone is a requirement. I can wake early, but prefer to go to sleep at a reasonable time, too.
  • Language is likely English. I am also fine with Finnish and to some extent Scandinavian languages.

The alternatives

Miseries and misfortunes by Luke Crane lies somewhere between ”Burning wheel” and OSR games. As I see it, it is primarily a game about climbing the social ladder of Paris in 1648. The rules are a well-developed variant of basic D&D, but they have little of the elegance of the original. Instead they have the arcane complexity of ”Burning wheel” and its ilk (but requires far less player attention), but as usual with Luke, the vision seems fairly compelling. The game allows varying degrees of supernatural, all from dungeon crawling (in the catacombs of Paris or farther in the countryside) to very little to no supernatural influence. Up to what we decide.

  • A short game of about three sessions: First is character and scenario creation, second and possibly third are play.
  • Premise for the initial scenario: A foreign nobleman has married a rich Parisian noblewoman. There are rumours of them holding a grimoire of some power, which is also without doubt banned by the church. During the first session we create characters for you and figure out why you want the tome. Then we play out if you get it, by whichever means you choose.
  • My goals is to get some familiarity with the rules system and figure out the power level and competence of beginning characters.
  • If there is interest, we can continue. My goals would be to run an interesting urban game, challenge-oriented, and to master the game rules and judge if they are any good. Especially interesting: social conflict, reputation, wealth.
  • The game is well suited to urban sandbox play and to varying set of players. Open game table is entirely feasible.
  • The short game could be with intervals of two weeks or even less, depending on what is going on in my life. The longer game would allow a co-gamemastering set-up, if there is interest.

Setting up a wizards’ covenant, the kind that ”Ars magica” is about. We’ll play to see how that works out. Build it by magic, buy it from a local ruler, clean and appropriate an older seclusium?

  • An estimate of about five sessions, but this depends on the game and approach we choose. Large uncertainty here.
  • I am willing to tackle this with OSR (see under Muster for more info), Burning wheel, Ars magica, or some other game system that has an interesting enough a magic system. The chosen rules system will have significant effect on the purpose / creative agenda of play, naturally. Show interest and we’ll talk it through.
  • I would be interested in any historical setting or a fantasy setting with somewhat established and non-boring metaphysics. If necessary, Mernua, the D&D fantasy setting I have been using for a while now, can also be used. Or we can start a new one. But I want those non-trivial metaphysics to play with!
  • My interest lies in the politics (though the Order of Hermes from Ars magica is not something I find particularly compelling) and the metaphysics of magic, but also other aspects related to the concept here: adventures, character drama and other usual business.
  • This premise asks for a bunch of committed players, who play the mages or other key characters, but also allows for casual visitors playing other characters or, well, visiting characters.
  • There is an obvious potential for follow-up: The covenant has been established. Now we can play out the strengthening, magical research, problems, or maybe even the downfall of the place. This can be with a different set of players and a different ruleset, if desired, or can continue right from the previous.

Muster in a historical or fantasy setting: Here we play our characters as they try to survive and thrive in a dangerous world, and we as players test our mettle against that very world. The game master is a neutral referee while we play. Some sources relevant to how we will play: Muster crowdfunding project by Eero Tuovinen, Principia apocrypha, Lamentations of the flame princess referee book, blorb theory by Sandra. Ask for details if you don’t know what this is about.

  • The ruleset will be something we develop in play. We can start with a basic rules chassis; most OSR games are fine, but any traditionalish game could work; maybe Warhammer fantasy (with no fate points) or Runequest would be a fun chassis to play with, for example? Then we cut it savagely to fit the setting (see below) and start modifying it to account for our interest and the way we see the world. Every ruleset is a snapshot of this continuous process, not a finished product, and we shall treat it as such.
  • I would be interested in a historical setting or a world where the culture is not a cheap copy of our modern Western society, and metaphysics are interesting, too; maybe pre-Christianity Scandinavia or Finland, maybe the Albigensian crusade, or maybe Glorantha or World of Near (from ”The shadow of yesterday”). Or we could go fairly hard scifi. We can also create a new world through play, if there is interest in that.
  • Sandbox play, open game table.
  • The cultural background, religion and life before adventuring of the characters will matter.
  • In combat the most interesting things are situational awareness, fear and leadership.
  • We can choose to go with little supernatural or more of it, but in any case, the supernatural will be sharply curtailed to what is appropriate to the setting (and few of them have magic missiles and fireballs).

Fairy tale fantasy means that we choose a corpus of fairy tales. We pick one to three of them and mash the set-ups of those together, playing characters from them and, of course, totally ignoring how the source tales go. When we have resolved one situation, we can go on to the next: maybe continue from the previous, maybe add a fairy tale or a few to the mix, or maybe take a completely new and independent set to begin with.

  • Episodic play, though episodes might be a session or a few long. Player pool and game master role can shift around, no problem.
  • I am up to pretty much whichever rules system (though I dislike the fiction being contingent on spending points in the style of Fate and Gumshoe). Characters options curtailed by the premise, so careful character optimization will not be a thing in any case.
  • We might choose something like Grimm brothers or H. C. Andersen, or just smash together everything we can find, starting from those and ending in Disney movies. Depends on how coherent themes we will have.

Charop hell means that we choose a game like D&D 3 or Pathfinder 1. The players start by having four totally random commoners as characters, playing one of them at a time, funnel style. Those who survive the first adventure get a random (non-commoner) NPC class, or if that does not suit them, can choose to take experience. This is the initialization and the actual consists of managing a stable of characters with the attempt to create a playable one.

  • Play happens in seasons. During each one of your characters adventures and others do downtime activities, the most remarkable of which is training: new characters, and characters gaining a level, learn completely random stuff, unless they are taught by an existing character, in which case they can choose stuff their teacher has.
  • An adventuring characters gets either an upgrade of class (commoner -> NPC class -> PC class) or, if they dislike what the random generator offers them or already are of PC class, they get experience. Levelling up happens to a random class (related to the previous one), unless you have someone of sufficiently high level to teach you.
  • Use your character’s knowledge skills to create new adventures, probably with the meaning to gain access to a particular item, feat or spell.
  • Eat monsters to gain their powers or be cursed with their weaknesses, ADOM-style. Skills in cooking and butchery might turn out useful for this.
  • Of course we will develop some kind of fictional premise to make sense of all of this.
  • This will be hardcore character optimization, but you will have a very random palette to work with, and your task is to build it up, while also finding some viable characters to adventure. Many trade-offs and a painful start.

The village game takes place in a village; we first choose a background world and define the village in a few sentences, and then play various kinds of scenarios: drama, interesting events, the occasional adventure. We always play whichever villagers are the most relevant for what we want to play.

  • Pretty episodic play, but benefits from people who play several sessions.
  • Burning wheel or some traditional, simulation-oriented, game would be fine.
  • The game world might be a historical or a fantastical one, but it would better be in a dynamic situation; a place where several cultures meet, perhaps, to give content to play through.

Notes

Several of the suggestions include learning new stuff about a setting or a ruleset. The idea will be to accept this and take it into account when imagining what play will be like. No need to read a history book before starting; we’ll default to our shared understanding of the rules and the game world, and deepen those via the process of play and, for those who are into it, as much research as they want to do. But such research is voluntary and it or lack of it should not be weaponized: neither by the game master as a gotcha or by the players as traps to the others or the game master. Everyone should share everything they know or guess freely, so that we can all learn and use everyone’s knowledge to further improve the game and ourselves.

Some of the alternatives can be combined. Muster to run a mage’s guild? Yes, please.

The next campaign

The witch and the mushrooms

A witch with affinities to mushrooms and plant life had set up camp in an abandoned dungeon, atop a dead dragon and its hoard, and allied with a bunch of animate mushrooms. Then adventurers burned it all down. The witch and some mushroom-folk survived. What do they do now, in this cruel world?

Meta

An OSR game, where a witch and some mushrooms, together with some other adventurers, decide what to do and we see how well they succeed.

  • Date and time to be determined. Assume weekend, some time reasonable for Europeans. There are more alternatives on the Christmas week and the week following that.
  • Estimated playing time is at most 4 hours.
  • Four players is good, but more or less works.
  • Rules system is homebrew more-or-less OSR-type rules framework. It is lightweight; you need no previous knowledge, and it does not really help you that much, either. Rules summary in Finnish: https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/vanhan-liiton-henkiset-saannot/ .
  • No prior knowledge required.
  • One-shot.
  • Voice via Discord. Voluntary video. A whiteboard application will likely be in use, too, at least if you choose to go dungeoneering.

Situation

The witch and the few surviving mushrooms are in burned ruins. The ground floor of the dungeon, an old watchtower, was burned and collapsed. The entrance to the first dungeon level proper is blocked by stones and such. There is supposed to be more mushrooms there, as well as other entities.

The village of Melford lies close by. The witch estimates the population of the settled area to be several hundreds. The people of Melford attacked them and the mushrooms. There are horses, cows and sheep in the fields. Also some horticulture.

There are goblins and giant spiders in nearby forests.

There are orcs on the nearby hills.

There is an elven city in the forest on the far side of Melford area.

The weather is unnatural: the winter is significantly (some degrees Celsius) warmer than it is supposed to be and there are constant unnatural storms raging over the region. The storms come from much farther away.

Possible characters

The set-up here is special, as the nature of the game depends heavily on the selected characters. The witch and the mushrooms are safe options, so to speak. Anything else will direct play significantly. Please do not make a character who hates another to begin with. Tensions are fine.

For character generation, either convert and use an existing character you have played (ask for details), or roll 3d6 in order (attributes are fitness, instinct, craft, will, charisma and lore) and select an appropriate character from the options below. Choose their background (profession or training before adventuring). Choose one of the three character classes: Expert (come up with a significant special ability), dabbler (come up with a weak special ability and an idiom of magic; we’ll roll you one completely random spell that fits) or mage (come up with an idiom of magic; we’ll roll you three completely random suitable spells). Write down whatever mundane equipment makes sense for the character. Done. You can name them, too, if you’d like.

The witch is a mechanically complicated character, and also a powerful one. Hit dice 2, a bunch of spells and some special abilities. Someone has to play the witch. They recover spells by feeding their fleurian symbionts.

  • This character is already complete, as it has been a non-player character.
  • Likely source of experience: Number of mushrooms at the end of session.
  • Other possible sources of experience: Number of people of Melford killed or 4000 xp if you drive humans away from the region, 2000 xp if you make an allience with the humans, or maybe amount of treasure acquired.

The mushrooms are of undetermined social and intellectual abilities, but they are about a meter tall and have a cap about a meter in diameter.

  • They do not seem to be to very active regarding their surroundings, most of the time, which suggests a low instinct.
  • They have a special ability; by default they can shoot spores that form into d6 new mushrooms, but other abilities are certainly possible.
  • Likely source of experience: Number of mushrooms at the end of session.
  • Other possible sources of experience: Number of people of Melford killed or 4000 xp if you drive humans away from the region, 2000 xp if you make an allience with the humans, or maybe the amount of treasure acquired.

The goblins and the spiders are the dominant force in some nearby forests. These goblins feyish and have blue skin, long ears and nose. Sneaky. Consider spiders as divine, yet do not build temples; respect and fear more than worship. The spiders vary greatly in size and in species of the real-world spiders they resemble. Some spiders allow goblins to ride them. The goblins do not have a great love for the humans of Melford, as blood has been spilt and the humans had a farm where they treated some spiders as cattle.

  • A goblin can have whatever stats. They are smaller than humans regardless.
  • Likely sources of experience: Gold, diplomacy with humans or elves, murder.

The orcs of the Red tusk clan of the Rotting eye tribe sometimes come here. They hold humans in contempt and sometimes rob, raid or even kill them, but the low level of activity has kept the relations relatively calm. They mostly target travellers, not locals. They sometimes take goblins as prisoners. They also have pies they claim are magical.

  • Typically high fitness, lower lore.
  • Experience from: murder, gold, diplomacy with elves or humans (hard!).

A resident of Melford of suitably tolerant, selfish or mercenary outlook might fit. The smith, Irena Yar, knows of a treasure hidden near by and has martial and thief skills. Then there are the farmers and hunters, some of whom might be sympathetic to the witch, if encountered in the right context.

  • Some residents already have stats. Ask if interested.
  • Experience from: Diplomacy probably, though gold is also likely.

An elf from Kyrimi, the elven town from the other side of the Melford settlements, might be appropriate. Some young ones have an eco-terrorist movement brewing. It is not clear how most elves would treat an elven mushroom-witch. The elves have diplomatic relations with the goblins, but no love for the orcs.

  • Typically high stats.
  • Experience from: likely diplomacy, maybe murder, mushrooms or gold

A wanderer, i.e. whichever usual player character, might also work, if they start somewhat sympathetic towards the witch and the mushrooms.

What happens in play

The likely play will consist of two parts: First, the characters decide on a direction of action and a plan, and second, they take action. These both are played. Goals (and sources of experience) are chosen after the direction of play has been chosen. The part where characters first meet and choose to not kill each other at once is not played, but rather assumed.

Note that different characters can have a different quest (source of experience), but everything that is earned is divided by the number of player characters regardless. If you have several sources of experience, you get average earnings.

The witch and the mushrooms

Character stable #6

Now all the characters in the stable have been played this year. An interesting observation is that playing a session or two of D&D 5 is a fine way of advancing a character to second and maybe even third level, pretty much irrespective of the game content and character ability. All the characters are currently converted to some variety of D&D; a few to D&D 5 or variant thereof, a few to Eero’s Coup de Greyhawk campaign.

If there is a one-shot or a possibility to visit a game where I can play one of these characters, I am interested. A pity to leave a character unplayed. Starts from the ones who have been gathering dust the longest.

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Shahu, a human mechant (or maybe a yuan-ti sorcerer) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in Scorching wastes, in Mernua. Level 1, xp 120, average stat 11.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk, and now in Adventure guild’s world’s past. Level 2, experience 850, average stat 11.
  • Ælfstan, a near-heretical monk who lives in poverty. In Adventure guild’s world. Level 3, experience 1406, average stat 15.
  • Fridswid, a young witch in Yggsburg in Greyhawk. Level 2, experience 1830, average attribute 12.
  • Senja, a leather-clad mercenaress who would rather not kill. Adventuring in Hot springs island, in Al-Qadim. Level 3, experience 1228, average attribute 12.
  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide. In the city of Greyhawk. Level 1, experience 0, average attribute 9.

Character stable #6

Character stable #5

If there is a one-shot or a possibility to visit a game where I can play one of these characters, I am interested. A pity to leave a character unplayed. Starts from the ones who have been gathering dust the longest.

I include some numbers that give an idea for the power level of the character.

  • Gotfried, a very unfortunate pickpocket who was caught and pressed into service as a dungeon guide. Level 1, experience 0, average attribute 9.
  • Senja, a leather-clad mercenaress who would rather not kill. In the service of a mad baron of Fortune’s pass. 4 lifepaths plus a one-shot, highest stat B5, skill B3, 3 persona artha.
  • Shahu, a human mechant (or maybe a yuan-ti sorcerer) working for the glory of his trade company (or maybe nest). Currently active in Scorching wastes, in Mernua. Level 1, xp 120, average stat 11.
  • athes, a cruel pseudo-mongol mounted archer. From Barren lands in Greyhawk, and now in Adventure guild’s world, in the past. Level 2, experience 850, average stat 11.
  • Ælfstan, a near-heretical monk who lives in poverty. In Adventure guild’s world. Level 3, experience 1406, average stat 15.
  • Fridswid, a young witch in Yggsburg in Greyhawk. Experience 1830, level 2, average attribute 12.

Character stable #5

Skullduggery

If you want to play in this one-shot, let me know and also tell which characters you would like to or are willing to play.

Meta

A blood opera with a few evil cultists, an elven prisoner, ghouls, a magical artifact, and maybe goblin allies.

  • December 13th Central European time.
  • Estimated playing time is 4 hours. If belief workshopping is not done before play, this will extend by up to an hour.
  • Up to five players, but three or four would be better and two the minimum.
  • Rules system is Burning wheel. Some characters are pregenerated, some you can burn up yourself, up to various constraints.
  • Prior knowledge of the rules system is a benefit, but not a requirement. Rules complexity is adjusted according to player experience.
  • One-shot, but I do plan to run further one-shots in the same game world. Rules systems that have been in use: homebrew OSR, Burning wheel, D&D 5, homebrew, Pathfinder 1.
  • Voice via Discord, other gameplay via Roll20. It has character sheets which handle some of the fiddlyness of advancement and rolling.
  • Blood and guts and undead are likely. I usually keep descriptions fairly tame.

Situation

Three cultists, Alyissid the powerful elven death priestess (now deceased), a human death priestess and a human mage hatched a plan to attack the elven city of Kyrimi. They took over an ancient elven tomb and brought with them goblinkin who took over old gnome burrows not far away. Then they started raising the dead and attacking caravans of humans about to trade with Kyrimi.

A group of elves, bolstered by Än, a human mage of great power, attacked the small death cult and killed Alyissid, losing most of their number in the attack. Some of the newly created ghouls retained their identity.

Alyissid also had a powerful artifact of evil, a dagger whose strike kills any mortal and raises them as a walking corpse controlled by the wielder. Now the dagger wants a new wielder.

Who gets the dagger? Do you leave or stay? Do you try to give Alyissid the gift of undeath, and what comes of that? What about the ghouls, horrified at what they have become?

The wider context and the map of the tomb are from an adventure in Footprints #3: https://www.dragonsfoot.org/ft/. It is completely voluntary reading (and not particularly good).

Characters

The characters are lacking in precise beliefs. We’ll write those after figuring out who the player characters are to know what we should be focusing on. We should manage to workshop this via Discord chat before the actual session, but if necessary, it can be done or finished at the beginning of the session.

If you want to play some character that you should burn by yourself but you don’t know how to do that, ask and I’ll do it with some input from you.

(reserved) Än the ghoul used to have magic. He still remembers it and is bitter.

  • Get the dagger and gift it to some powerful good actor to recover his life. Or rise an army of undead instead?
  • Social skills, ghoul powers, and some minor combat skills and academic skills, plus miscellany. Converted from D&D 5, so a bit strange mechanically.

The warrior priestess has the dagger; does she get to keep it? Why is she here, anyway?

  • The dagger, serious armour, some combat skills and other skills, decent stats. Converted from D&D 5; a bit strange mechanically.
  • At least one belief about the dagger.
  • At least one belief about why you are here.
  • At least one belief about another player character.
  • At least one belief about the dark gods of Duvan’Ku.

The mage is in love with Alyissid, though her death adds complications. Is that his only motivation? Maybe he, too, would find some use for the dagger.

  • You can burn this character yourself, but there are some restrictions: gifted, sorcery B5, knives skill opened but not advanced further and the only weapon skill, much of resource points already used (spells, potions, relationships, the tomb).
  • Quasit familiar.
  • At least one belief about his love for the departed Alyissid.
  • At least one belief about the dagger.

The prisoner is an elven woman. There were plans to sacrifice her within the span of days. She is yours to burn as a character.

  • Without equipment for obvious reasons.
  • You can make her as powerful or weak as you want. Up to you what you want to play. Do ask the other players if thinking of optimizing for several grey stats or humongous skills or other excessivities.

(reserved) The goblin leader has their ogre bodyguard and some thirty to forty mixed goblinoids and five gnolls. They are here to murder the elves and eat them, hopefully getting rich in the process. They do not yet have the strength to attack the elves; that is what the growing army of the dead is for. So why is it not growing? Maybe you should wield the dagger, after all.

  • This character is yours to burn, should you want to burn them. Get an affiliation, reputation and relationship with your forces and a relationship with Alyissid and your bodyguard. You wield a battleaxe and some heavier armour.

Seyrael the ghoul used to be an elven paladin of nature. Now he hates himself terribly and will certainly do something about the matter. He is physically powerful and has remnants of his old skills.

(reserved) The dagger is sentient and communicative if someone really wants to play it. Not mobile, though. Play at your own risk.

The quasit has nasty demonic powers and strives to corrupt the mage. But maybe its masters would be satisfied with the dagger and a rotting army, or a dead elven forest?

  • Stats based on the lesser dæmon, with some significant modifications and different special powers.

Playing a ghoul or someone from the goblin force would also be possible, if one really wanted to. Another character particularly well suited to the situation might be possible, too, if you have one gathering dust.

Skullduggery