|Posted by bob on July 14, 2020 at 10:35 PM||comments ()|
Start the game in the town of Yoksdale. The three PCs are friends and broke and hanging in the dining area of a nice inn in the temple district called The Crossed Hammer. Balthazar, a local former burglar ready to make honest money. Jessimae, a dreadlocked hunter anxious for adventure and fortune. Trench, a pierced ex-cleric banished from her hometown and ready for anything that’ll pay for her next meal.
Balthazar sees on the wall by the door a local request board. The request, left by a trappers wife, says her husband left nearly a week ago to run his traps and should have been back two days past. The notice says to see the bartender for details.
The bartender is a tall, handsome woman named Grimul. The request board at the inn does not traditionally offer rewards but the inn gives a free meal to anyone who accepts one. The details of this request are given.
Veronica Perry made the request to find her missing husband, the trapper, Clancy Perry. He runs a trail of traps through the woods east of town. The trail runs from outside the walls and north of the river to the foot of the mountains and back. It usually takes him no more than two to three days and it has been five.
Balthazar asks if he and the group can claim their free meal after they check on Mr. Perry. With that, the group heads out. They set camp just outside of town by the riverbank so they can get started early in the morning. The evening and morning are spent fishing and gathering reeds for balthazar to make everyone slings later.
They start heading east by the river while gathering nice sling stones before turning in to the forest to try to find the trappers trail. The hunter, Jess, finds a trail that leads the group to a rabbit trap that appears to have been baited on schedule. Now they have the trail, they follow it through the rest of the traps up to the foot of the mountain. The hike takes most of the day so they make camp in the forest close to the mountain. Balthazar takes the chance to make slings.
The next day, the group picks the trail back up and follows it to find a discarded leather satchel with the name PERRY embroidered on its face. In the bag they find a wooden scroll case with the word Phobia carved in a fine cursive along the side of the cylinder. They also find a map titled, “The Forsaken Caverns of The Chaos Unicorn” with some notes on the back.
It seems that Mr. Perry acquired this map believing he would find his fortune there. “The caverns are where a man can find his true value by facing the Chaos Unicorn. I face and trap all manner of beasts in the woods and can’t get more than a few coppers for it. This unicorn is mine.”
Map in hand the group follows the foot of the mountain north until they find what seems to be the entrance. The interior is a dimly lit and stifling hot tunnel. Following it, they pass through a couple of large room-like areas and into another, smaller corridor. They have found evidence of life here, in the form of an eerie message carved into a wall and a pit of animal and human remains and refuse. No encounters with anyone yet.
Following the small corridor, the group comes to a large, heavy drape hanging across the passage. Balthazar listens carefully but can’t hear anything so he cautiously pushes the drape to one side revealing the room within.
They see five armed men standing in the room. They have the appearance of ruffians and the attitude to match as they set-to the group immediately. Trench and Jess notice a message scratched into the opposite wall, “PERRY DIED HERE”. After a brief struggle three bandits lay dead on the floor and two are trying to escape, they don’t want to fight anymore.
The group questions them about Perry, they deny ever hearing of him. After noticing the floor is covered in mostly undisturbed dust, the group decides to take the survivors’ weapons and let them go. After dragging the bodies out to the pit the group return to investigate.
Trench starts to dig a hole beneath the message on the wall. Balthazar stops her and suggests they set up camp for the night and investigate more in the morning. In the middle of the night, Trench has a vivid nightmare, she is in the corridors they traveled earlier but alone and running, she’s lost everything she came with and knows only fear. She runs and feels as if she’s been running for eternity. In frantic fear, she regrets coming to this place. She regrets seeking fortune for Veronica at the expense of never seeing her again. She remembers he is Clancy and he has been running from the chaos unicorn for longer than he hasn’t. As he desperately runs and the heat of the air burns in his exhausted chest, he pushes past a heavy drape and collapses against the opposite wall.
Knowing he has stopped and the end is near, he finally scratches in his death announcement and slowly turns to see a glowing orange horn part the drapes. Mr. Perry finally surrenders as darkness close in and his soul sinks in the ground.
With a loud start Trench jumps awake and tells the group her dream. With great effort they finish the hole started yesterday and recover a wooden box a few feet down. Looking inside they find carved in the lid, “Here lies the fortune of Clancy Perry”. Inside they see the signet ring described as Perry’s by Grimul at the Inn. The ring sits on a pile of 600 copper pieces with a note describing Perry being trapped and chased in the Caverns for an impossibly long time. With this, the group breaks camp and drags the chest back with them to The Crossed Hammer.
After an emotional meeting with the widow Perry, the group is given 100 coppers from the chest and they get their free meal.
|Posted by bob on July 14, 2020 at 10:30 PM||comments ()|
Introduction to Knave
We started this game with dnd 5e in a setting of our own devising. After the first few sessions, I decided to switch the system to an OSR because I found the aesthetic spoke more directly to the type of game we decided to play in our session 0.
As a group, we wanted high lethality and gritty lower fantasy. Magic is out there and folk magic is widely present but Wizard is not a common career choice or widely known to be an option. Monsters are there but mostly in the form of rumors. The world at large is currently unknown as, since a large-scale natural disaster a generation ago, maps are known to be unreliable at best.
The OSR system we chose is Knave because I felt it provided the latitude in customization we wanted and the classless system looks like it will serve us well.
As I mentioned, we had started a campaign in this setting with a group of Dnd characters. That story was going very well but we had a hiatus and during the break, I found these OSR games and was inspired.
I told the group what I was thinking and they all agreed to try it out. My group is super great for attitude, always up to try things out. I’m often grateful to them for that quality. I briefly was thinking we would adapt their existing characters to the new system and carry on their story where we left off. They had just finished the first “Arc”.
After discussing the new system though and looking at character creation we opted to just make a new group in a new town in the same setting and see where it goes. It was a good choice, we had a huge amount of fun generating the characters at the table along with everybody making a backup in case of KIA.
We took advantage of the tables in the toolkit for generating all the traits and physical features. The players were falling in love and really inhabiting the characters as they watched them come together. I was surprised by how much they enjoyed this part, it was the most fun I’ve had helping a group generate characters and it seemed like the most fun they’ve had as well.
With three players, we generated six unique, three-dimensional characters. Complete with their own outfits and starting gear and appearance. No money in their pockets but ready for adventure. Including a read-along with the booklet the whole process of getting started took less than an hour. Any given character could be generated in a few minutes easily. Straight up, it was so fun.
Referee preparation is subjective so I won’t say too much about that except that the flexibility of the toolkit makes it easier and more intuitive than any other game I’ve run or prepared to run.