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Sunday, January 17, 2010

[Playtest Campaign] 15th, January-

Before starting the session, we hammered out Tybylt's particular sort of magic, which, at this point is still derived from canned sources, namely the 3.5 Shadow Magics, and the Warlock, but will eventually be drawn entirely from the native Urutsk 'constructive magic' rules. I've been too diffuse already to dedicate time to the magic system, and I am unwilling to write up a bunch of canned spells -- the Retros and Simulcs do that job well, as does the above edition -- but it just isn't my vision of magic, and hasn't been for decades.

After that, I had Ashta spend some of her free Adventure Points on purchasing competency in the Aelbaan Technology she has become increasingly exposed to and comfortable with, due to her partial Aelbaan ancestry (Western Isles Vrun).

I rolled my trusty d12 about a dozen times to divine a loose line of internal inquiry, in which I determined a future encounter that 'made sense' given the current situation, as well as the main point, namely, to introduce more stuff/tech for the PCs to have the opportunity to procure/purchase/trade-for, etc.

My d12 methodology is ubiquitous:

* Frequency/Intensity/Proximity of Encounters (in the extant Referee's Manual .pdf)

* Clock-overlay directions ('I've got your 6', man, now advance up to that cover and survey our 10 o' clock.') I extend this to geographic scale to determine the general continental region, and then use refinements of these rolls to determine exact origin not only at the governmental/national, etc. level, but even districts, quarters, and so forth.
--Don't mistake my organic Top-Downism for Non-Oracularism. ;)

* Intensity of Reactions, etc.

* Quality of goods, etc.

* etc.

My SO and her brother were regarding my mostly silent, unwritten die-rolling burst, and then I recapped what had happened the session prior.

While many moments in the play were notable, I will condense further, as there is so much to cover (we wrapped a bit after 1 AM, having played for at least seven hours).

* The Aelbaan sphere was utilised to assist the friendly ground forces, until a missile attack was partially deflected by Tyb, using the Wand of Plant Control, and partly due to the geometry of the craft. The payload was some sort of alchemical viscous fluid that appeared to possess both corrosive and electrical properties (in fact it is a Plasmatic Acid payload, aboard a small cruise missile).
--Using the sensors, a flight path was reverse-projected, and the firing craft, a sailing vessel about a mile offshore, was identified and set after. Much futzing about resulting in that ship going down, but only after the Humanoid crew (4) who were overseeing a literal skeleton crew (16) gave the party a bit of trouble, including the Humanoid captain using a beefier version of the Jaunt-type spell trying to scuttle his ship so as to prevent its weapon from being captured.

* Back over the island, the initial resistance by the pirates was crushed, but only at the cost of most of the local ships (including the WICE Misty Sea), and heavy loss of life. Her captain, Qeurryk, lost his left arm and foot, but was saved alive.

* Dealing with the wounded. Dealing in a cultural context with the need to dispose of the dead. During this time, as captives are being centralised, it becomes apparent that a large number of the pirates are unaccounted for.

* Accusations of individuals harbouring the pirates begins to erupt into street 'justice', and in the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation trial, dozens of names are brought up, but between eyewitnesses and sphere/probe sensor logs, fifty percent of those in question are cleared of wrongdoing, while a new thirty percent were proven to be guilty, mainly upwardly-mobile businessmen and noble houses.
--The second trial results in Tybylt's executive decision to draw and quarter by horse those found guilty of the greatest offences. Three are killed before two are ready to spill the names of fellow traitors. The entire merry Tea-Time Magical group, and all but one member of House Ahzenbakh, including the Ahzenbakh kennel master, are directly implicated. Tybylt does nothing yet to alert them of his knowledge of their treachery. At the same time, the two final to be d/q'd are instead stripped of 90% of their wealth, and exiled. Private individuals who, out of humanitarian drive, provided shelter to individual pirates (as in the case of three boys who served with the pirates) were never brought to trial.

* As a prison is being constructed, it is determined that up to 20% of the prisoners are Humanoids, and Tybylt decides to keep their number separated, and refuses to bring them to swift execution (as is the way across most of Urutsk, especially if the Humanoids have attacked a Human population centre). Instead, he has a second facility built for them, and begins to investigate the connection between the Humanoids and the pirates. This exposes the contract-work the very organised (and strangely 'civilised' [the religious leader claims to be a starship captain, and possess a following of over 250,000 of his Abbekqorru kinfolk, apart from being a Class III Phaser technician]) Humanoids had with the pirate network. A hinted-at number of agents of his are somehow able to blend in with the Human population (the Half-Abbekqorru's Humanesque ability to shape-shift, like a jackalwere).

* Salvaging sunken cargo, etc. underway with Ashta, Qeurryk, and another highly Aelbaanesque WI Vrun, Yan Tsurmen, utilising the Aelbaan sphere's TK abilities to greatly speed up and make safer the operation. Six days and all of the PMH containers are centralised for Doran's arsenal. Ashta finally bunks down after sleep deprivation begins to catch up with her.
--Instantly she is whisked away by some unknown force and brought up through the atmosphere to an Aelbaan ship that de-cloaks as she is brought inside and thoroughly interrogated as to the whereabouts of Delver Denab. She overhears that while his sheath (cadaver) had been handed over to them (see the post regarding the underground Dryvv ship sections, etc.), they cannot account for the whereabouts of his spirit. As she is being returned, one of the congress slips something into her mind/brain and she has to deal with that.

* Negotiations with the Abbekqorru leader results in his being allowed to speak freely with his leaders of hundreds and tens, dressed in full armour and weapons, and he informs his people that they are now under contract with the Governors of Doran. Plans to utilised one thousand of them for tunnel-clearing operations (to flush-out the remaining pirates) are initiated.

* Ashta struggles with the news that her prefrontal lobe is being altered by an Aelbaan protein so as to develop her latent Psionic powers (the Aelbaan are powerful psionics). She eventually chooses to have it removed and go back to being herself rather than risk being brought 'into the fold' against her choice. The operation is performed by the Abbekqorru, and assisted by Mela, but the ship, now an extension of Ashta, merely trimmed the protein chain so to, in a hypothetical future, allow Ashta to willingly activate Telekinesis.
--I explain that, in effect, Ashta can now control the craft without much in the way of conscious thought.

We held it there.


  1. It's a real pleasure to read this, you know!

    May I borrow your d12 system? It beats using my 'Magic Eight Ball" for oracles... :)

  2. Jeff: I am extremely pleased that you find it so.
    --Of course you may. Please, be my guest. It beats Magic Eight Ball, or Aruspicina. :D

    Thanks, :D

  3. Cool post.

    I've been too diffuse already to dedicate time to the magic system I struggle with this all the time. Fortunately, the reality of actually running sessions keeps me focused on producing immediately useful stuff. However, I still try to do some top-down world-building whenever I have a chance. Trying to meld the two is always interesting, but I think it makes for a better setting in the long run.

    Thanks again for the post.

  4. Ken,

    I agree. The organic synthesis of the two methodologies seems the more complete one, rather than the camps of either extreme.
    --I realise that many who espouse either over the other readily do blend them, but it doesn't always come across that way.

    I tend to run the game first, then cook up the stats for public consumption.

    Thank you, as always, for posting. :D

  5. I shall also steal the d12 system. Very nice!