There shall be war.

23 May, 2008 at 7:50 pm (game mastering, persistent fantasy) ()

Another game session of the new fantasy game. I created a page that catalogues what is known of the setting and named characters. It will be updated whenever the game is played. The page is likely to be renamed but currently stands as persistent fantasy. Anyways. Participants in this session: Me, Thalin, ksym, wgaztari.

And so it begins

Abulafia speaks:

An unsavory treasure-seeker, with an honest map.
A mad alchemist brewing potent substances in his lair, where a monster is about to break out of its cage. (This oracle entry inspired by Ian Toltz, actually.)
A towering spire that overlooks the surrounding lands, left alone for centuries.
An unseasonal and destructive flood.

Thalin again plays Lóng the musician and ksym plays Kyo the ronin, as those two are on top of the list, aside from Chen Pong, who is not included as Ari is not playing.

wgaztari plays Cadoc the unsavory treasure seeker with an honest map. Stats: Treasure seeker 4, unsavory 4, honest map 4.

It is decided that Cadoc is hunting for the treasure that lies in the deserted spire. Lóng is seeking the alchemist living in the same. There are horse-riding barbarians, known as sedanei, who hold the spire sacred and Kyo is on a mission to find out why they are restless. There is a flood that has just about isolated the town from the knight who actually rules this border.

The spire is on a large hill with plenty of boulders, rocks, and such, many with sharp edges. Cadoc arrives during evening and makes a camp. Kyo, not much later, chooses to wait until day before seeking the sedanei and happens upon Cadoc’s camp. Both have horses. Kyo negotiated his from the one who ruled over the small town he just left, while Cadoc happens to own one. They share the camp.

Lóng joins them soon enough, first sneaking close and then pretending to come from afar. He introduces himself as Hûang. For all night everyone feigns sleep or sleeps lightly, save for Lóng who once sneaks to the tower, knocks, hears random animal noises and then someone opens the door a bit. Lóng asks if the one opening it is the alchemist who lives here. Answer is “No!” and the door slams shut. Lóng gets back.

Dawn, things start moving

Come dawn Cadoc starts climbing the tower. It is far from easy, the tower being 100 meterst tall and the lowest windows being around 50 metres from the ground. (The next set of windows is very close to the top.)

Kyo goes on the meet the sedonai coming closer; there are two warriors and three priestesses coming. Some discussion and bribery leads to discovering that there have been some human sacrifices (which is unusual by ksym’s narration) and offer to take Kyo to the spire to see what it all is about.

Lóng hides among the rocky slopes of the hill to spectate all of this.

Kyo and the sedanei get to the spire. There is a small stone table for sacrifices there; fruits and few dead animals are placed there, then there is waiting. Cadoc reaches the 50 meter mark at this point, though some rubble falls down and alerts the sedanei that something is going on. Inside every room takes one floor of the tower; there are unnamed liquids and random body parts in jars, one floor with moss and rats, next one with a leopard (that is not hungry at the moment), and the next relevant room is one with several buckets of water and half a human body.

Lóng pays a visit to the barbarians. They are not very happy at a random person intruding their sacred site. One warrior tries knocking him unconscious; Lóng plays along, pretending to succumb to the warrior’s attacks. He is bound and thrown to the altar-stone. Kyo chooses to also go inside. The door to the spire soon opens; there is a human-like shape of mud inside. It watches the sacrifices, then turns around. Kyo grabs Lóng and they both enter, with the ropes quickly cut. The golem then goes to pick up the rest of the sacrifice.

Cadoc rises to the highest floor of the spire. There are large windows, actual light (as opposed to mere torchlight) and one quite hungry gryphon loosely bound by four golden chains. Cadoc goes back one floor and feeds half a human to the griffon. It seems satisfied for now and lets Cadoc circle to rope ladders that allow entry further.

On the ground floor Lóng deals with the alchemist, trading some precious stones for a liquid that allows jumping into campfires without being burned. The golem starts ascending the stairs. Kyo and Lóng soon follow. On the way up they see something of an alchemist’s lab, a cage with human-monster hybrids and other similar details. Lóng tests the liquid given by the alchemist and finds it works, maybe even better than assumed. Lóng gets some gunpowder from the lab, applies it to the cage of the monstrosities, then starts making a trail of gunpowder towards the top of the tower, some floors behind Kyo.

Cadoc has climbed as far as possible. There is a ruby hanging from four frail golden chains there. Cadoc rips it off. The more massive chains that bound the griffon are likwise ripped apart. Now there’s somewhat malnourished gryphon keeping Cadoc stuck up there. After a while it becomes necessary for Cadoc to come down. The griffin grabs Cadoc and takes to the air. Kyo reaches the floor just in time to see this happening and throws some knives after it. Cadoc stabs it at the roughly the same time. The knives miss and the dagger Cadoc used causes the griffin to loosen its grip. The griffon dives, straightening just before hitting ground and then throws Cadoc away. It hurts. Cadoc gets new trait, “broken bones 3”. The gryphon’s 7 dice for fighting served it well here, as can be seen. I overall rolled pretty well. Note to further game mastering: Creatures with high traits hurt, a lot, as they should.

The gunpowder Lóng set up goes boom. Kyo runs down, the golem, after having placed the foodstuff to where the gryphon used to be also starts moving down, and finally Lóng, too, starts moving down, playing his instrument of choice while doing so . The griffon assumes this to be a challenge and answers in kind while circling the tower (after having eaten the leopard that did not appreciate the “music” Lóng produced). Kyo encounters one of the formerly imprisoned disfigured monstronities, this particular one with a frog’s or toad’s head, somewhat mantis-like forearms, though not quite as formidable as weapons, and in other ways this one is human-like (later named Gez). It tries to hit Kyo who jumps over it, and the dice would have it succeed, by ksym chooses Kyo to instead take 1 harm. Running further down the only other relevant creature is a large, spiderlike thing that has leathery substance between its limbs, creating rudimentary and nonfunctional wings. First Kyo just dashes underneath it, but then turns around and after a single swing there are two halves of the spider-creature.

Lóng also gets past the critters, of which Gez takes a liking to his playing. Lóng avoids it (for now). The two eventually go to chat with the alchemist. There is some oil on the lowest step of the stairs, but it causes little harm. Little discussion, then action: Kyo rushes the alchemist, who first throws some dust that Kyo avoids, then Kyo gets grappling but has hard time due to only having one arm, and further the alchemist touches Kyo with his stuff, which makes Kyo nearly freeze. ksym chooses that Kyo takes harm in place of being paralysed by the cold; total harm is now 5, which means that the only relevant trait of Kyo is “ronin”.
In spite of this the alchemist is finally subdued by Kyo.

The mud golem finally gets downstairs. The griffin is waiting outside for someone to exit the spire and be eaten. Kyo forces the alchemist to turn the golem off. Said alchemist does tricks that look like magic and that may or may not be related to the golem, which does stop doing anything. Gez the disfigured monster comes down and tries to hug or kiss or pet Lóng, who easily avoids the clumsy monster. Kyo and Lóng ponder and discuss a bit, deciding to have the alchemist eaten by the griffon. The alchemist, for obvious reasons, doesn’t fancy this at all and orders the golem to slay Kyo.

The happy ending

Kyo and Lóng toss some alchemical liquids around, the alchemist is cast out but not eaten by the gryphon, which is scarred by an explosion and which quickly leaves the scene after that, Lóng (and Gez, carried by Lóng) exit the spire, Kyo and the golem are trapped in the spire by poisonous fog (well, Kyo is and the mud golem doesn’t really care), Cadoc is discovered by the horse-barbarians (sedonai) and tied to the ground as a sacrifice to the griffon.

Lóng, still carrying Gez, releases Cadoc. Gez attacks Cadoc but is easily stopped by Lóng. Kyo and the golem duel, Kyo gets some scars and finally defeats the golem, but is trapped inside the tower. Cadoc’s map reveals a hidden passage into the spire; along the way Lóng observs that the alchemist has disappeared; once on entrance to the passage, it becomes clear the alchemist passed that very way. The map turns out to be reliable; A way is discovered for Kyo to leave the tower and Cadoc secures an egg, presumably one of a gryphon. This he keeps hidden from the others.

The list

  • Chen Pong (Ari)
  • Lóng (Thalin)
  • Lóng (Thalin)
  • Martoh (Tommi)
  • Cadoc (wgaztari)
  • Cadoc (wgaztari)
  • Kyo (ksym)
  • Cadoc (wgaztari)
  • Grisnach (Tommi)
  • Kyo (ksym)
  • Grisnach (Tommi)
  • Kyo (ksym)
  • Kyo (ksym)
  • Gez (Tommi)
  • Lóng (Thalin)


Thalin avoided the dice pretty skillfully, so I did the stress-testing on other players. Worked out well enough. I’ll need to clarify some minor details related to attacks and such that affect several targets.

When not to roll dice

The following conditions are not sufficient for rolling dice: Someone is sneaking around and someone might notice the sneak; the dice only become involved when the sneak tries to accomplish something concrete, or the potential observer is clearly hostile towards the rogue. Likewise, merely lying is not a sufficient condition for rolling the dice; there must be concrete consequences to succeeding and failing. Besides, characters that are walking lie detectors are, simply, boring.


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