Tuesday, 9 February 2016

What is the Salt Hulk? [Actual Play]

"Being adrift after a shipwreck, my companions and I found ourselves washed up on this strange, alien vessel. Tired, emotional and starving we made our way below deck.

It would seem that the ship was crafted entirely of a peculiar, unnaturally coloured stone. The thing was run by some form of artificial intelligence, known as Ironchild. I say was..

There are fixers on board. They're weird things with gruff, northern accents. They have rat like faces and sprout multiple mechanical arms from their backs. There are big ones and little ones. I didn't like either.

A picture that I stole from Chris McDowall

One of my companions, Will, drank a phase tonic that allowed him to reset his personal timeline after a few seconds of activity.

I myself bore a brace of pistols, steel wire, a grappling hook and a fetch pearl.

We found a sailor who had been immolated  on a pair of steel spikes. Another companion, Darius, performed strange and possibly forbidden surgery to remove his dead brain and place it in a steel jar. Somehow through his arcane knowledge he could then speak with the brain, a traveller from a strange place named Hellion.

The Salt Hulk seemed keen to host us as guests but there was no food. As we explored we encountered the disembodied head of a fixer being taunted by its fellows. We bargained with it; a new body for answers.

The sailor's body now hosted the rogue fixers head. We learned there were two groups of fixers, those at odds with Ironchild and those that wished to restore it to control of the ship.

We travelled deeper into the body of the hulk. There were pools that seemed to lead down to a raucous underwater party. I used my fetch pearl to bring something up from the depths. It seemed I had caught a giant eel being and it appeared neither tasty nor friendly. I was able to return it to whence it came but not before it struck our tame fixer with its pale staff and blasted from his mind the knowledge we needed most: the location of the food..."

The game was run by the Oddfather himself, Chris McDowall, using his Into the Odd rules. Into the Odd is cool right now, lots of people running it on Hangouts and I can see why. The simplicity of the system and weirdness of the setting appeals to me. There was no combat, no traps, no treasure. It was just good old fashioned exploration and weirdness. This frequently happens in games I run so I was reassured that I enjoyed the session a lot.  It was good to give ItO a run as a player, plus it tied in nicely to my gaming resolution of running or playing all the games I own (in print) in 2016.

If the big fixers carry on the way they have been, there's going to be some shooting next time out.