Friday, 11 December 2015

Whitebox Hangouts 6: Of Prostitutes and Profit

Not your average street walker

Getting involved in the intrigues of Patricians and courtesans. Featuring: Trained pheasants that limbo and do tricks. A return to the sewers, an actual alligator (non albino), the re-emergence of the mole men, remembering they attack from above at the last minute, Vayne's critical miss destroying his violin, everyone else thought it was funny, he did not. Posing as professional mole man exterminators, new guy Steinar bluffing like the best of them, a trip to the posh market and the purchase of gifts, a fine cloak, the shortage of doodle sacks resulting in an artisan penny whistle (whittled by Devan the bone whistle whittler himself) a hyena skull valuation (believed by Ottsa to be used in summoning rituals sacred to Hyena God,) a meeting in the summer house. Not being fooled by gender ambiguous clothing. "Look are you or are not the prostitute who has been sleeping with my husband?" A sinister silver chalice. The acquisition of a distinctive ring, being followed, hiding out at the House of Mercenaries, Sellspears and Blades for Hire, fighting a pitched battle three stories up on a bridge, Alvis the mystic flailing away wildly, Ottsa the mystic macing with deadly accuracy. Possibly the first ever decapitation by mace, Vayne going down then making a 1990's pro wrestling comback, mystically aided of course. Ottsa smashing a man's knee then sparing him, interrogating him and healing him, before packing him off with ten silver pieces. It gets you a manservant for life it would seem. The successful delivery of the ring and collection of payment, left on the table by the door...

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Grim North: Dragonmeet Edition

Beards: Cool until they want you dead

Rogues Gallery:

Pahn McDohl, lvl 1 fighter
Wister, lvl 1 fighter
Ottsa, lvl 1 mystic and former Otter cultist
Andy's lvl 1 thief who I can't remember the name of...

In which a team from the House of Mercenaries, Sellspears and Blades for Hire investigated the claims of Cilk Von Herrick. A patrician who having defeated a rival in a beard growing contest now believed his beard was sentient and trying to kill him.

A return to the butchers saw the PCs become freelance debt collectors for the Butcher's Guild. Each pinned a piece of chicken skin to their chest as a sign of office. The Fizzing Stone public house in the Patrician District was visited, where the owner keeps three pet wolves in the bar and yet it is still a high class establishment. Cilk Von Herrick turned out to be a drunk in possession of an enormous beard who would not deign to speak to the PCs directly but only via his manservant.

Ottsa used her mystic powers and detected hostile magic on the beard. Andy's thief cut a lock from the beard causing Von Herrick actual physical pain. In the stables the beard was combed for evidence, finding only a family of doormice, before being plaited for ease of transportation.

Religious instruction was sought at the Cathedral of the Aeternal Lords. A clandestine meeting with a priest in the crypts below lead to heading North across the city to the Necropolis, passing through the Merchant District and the District of Bridges on the way.

Fortunes were told. Von Herrick's movements had to be lubricated with the application of lots of wine.

In the necropolis strange, grey robed priests arranged the embalmed dead in scenes from life, such as a card game and watching a parade.

They met the wizard Oraculees, who was wizened but with giant eyes, and his stunted servant Maximillian. Some ate a turkey that had been served for a dinner party of the dead.

Wister paid the wizard's price of three cups of blood. Oraculees consulted the Book of Beards. He deemed that a demon should be summoned and a sacrifice was needed. Without hesitation Pahn offered the patrician's slaves but it turned out only a chicken was needed. One of the relieved slaves was sent off with some silver to buy a chicken.

And there we finished as time was drawing on.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Dragonmeet 2015

My first con.

I had met up with Mick Reddick and David Black for some breakfast prior to arriving at the con. There was no skulduggery involved in our entrance to the venue, none at all. No sir.

Mick Reddick knows absolutely fucking everyone. Not a joke. He couldn't go five feet or drink a cup of tea without bumping into some gamer buddy or other.

I bought nothing. I have to admit I was a bit bewildered by the trade floor. There was so much stuff on offer but basically nothing I wanted or didn't already own. I'm not a collector of rpg stuff, I like things I can use and when I own things I haven't used they gnaw at me... Mick bought some Lamentations of the Flame Princess stuff to round out his collection and Dave bought Stonehell, which he already had as a PDF but wanted a book of, and some ugly neon dice to play his Hivelife 1979 retro future D&D hack with.

Then we headed up to the bar to set up for some games. I ran a Grim North session with Oli Palmer, Kathryn Jenkins, Rachel Tew and Rachel's other half Andy. Rachel and Oli have played in the a Grim North before via hangouts and it was nice to meet up face to face and throw down in a tale of one man and his potentially evil beard. We didn't get to resolve the session due to time constraints. As is fairly normal for me I rambled aimlessly along and we finished up with the players looking to sacrifice a chicken in order to carry out some sort of divination on the evil beard while its owner was kept in a state of near constant inebriation by wine toting slaves. Good times.

With too many players for one game Mick had recruited enough random passers by to make up two games and Dave stepped up to run his rag tag bunch of plucky misfits through Stonehell using his streamlined retro clone Black Hack. I ran Mick's fighter for about 45 minutes while both Stonehell and Black Hack proved their worth. David is clearly cool with GMing a game with zero prep and his Black Hack system runs really smooth and easy. Stonehell is a great resource and it was handled well. Everyone at the table was having a great time, even if I nearly got Mick's character killed at the end. Still, what's a bit of crippling between friends?

Things I learned. David Black both writes and runs a good game. Seek out his work and enjoy it. He runs games via G+ UK OSR Hangouts community. His Black Hack rule set is available for free on the internet. Mick Reddick is a force of gaming nature, when a man says "I'll just nip downstairs and get two more players" even at a gaming convention I don't expect him to be back inside of two minutes! And last but not least the UK OSR Hangouts Community is a great place, filled with lovely people who I have thoroughly enjoyed gaming with so far, and long may it continue.

I'm going to write a quick session report for the Grim North game tomorrow.