Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vol 1 Issue 9: 31 May 2008

We don't know where they're being hauled off to, but chasing them in hot pursuit is just going to get us all captured with them. Elise as the little sneak has a good chance of gathering some intel on her own, and a good chance of escaping on her own with said intel. I believe that the plan is that with Elise healed up as best as the berries can provide she does her thing while Demayo and myself do ours. The chain is a hunch. It goes somewhere; we don't know where.

My observation is that the waterwheel is clearly an ancient structure, its just spinning, and it appears that the wheel turns the chain which should drive something above. But the waterwheel is spinning free right now, suggesting that it has some kind of clutch that is currently disengaged. I'm assuming, Dave, that the "chain" is more like a drive chain (motercycle/bicycle or timing gear) than a simple round link chain (padlock-style). Otherwise I can't fathom a reason why the chain would be there. Basically, the thought is that the chain goes SOMEWHERE and that if the chain is a drive chain and it isn't driving anything upstairs then whatever is upstairs is probably not very interesting for the Orcs and might be a "safe" place to break into the upstairs.

My mental map has the space upstairs of the chain connecting somehow and probably not directly to the "prison guard room" (with the stairs up/down where Matt and I fought Orcs on our own) and the prison platform connecting somehow to the "prison cell platform" (where we fought Trolls). I'm also just guessing, but it makes sense, and I think that at the bottom of the crevass in the prison cavern is probably the very same river we've been floating on. That would be too convenient. In any event, I'm glad to be coming full circle back to the hanging prisons because it is in the webs below them that Winterloin dropped his equipment, that bodies remain to be exhumed/looted/reburied, and if we can get back to this room we have a couple of good tunnel hideout positions from which to formulate a plan or base a rescue. Plus I could ferry back up to the food room for supplies.

Another mental map question I have regards that side room at the top of the stairs with the window overlooking the waterfall. Why is it there? What is it there for? What is it perfectly situated to watch? Maybe that room was for watching the waterfall for foreign objects to raise an alarm or net to catch them below and protect the waterwheel. Maybe there was some water-level control function performed from that room, since seasonal meltoff might be expected to change the water level or flow rate in this underground river. I'm imagining that from this room you can see the waterfall AND see the outflow tunnel and thus divert excess water to the outflow tunnel. Perhaps thats the whole point, in which case some controls should be in that room somewhere, either to control water diverted or engage/disengage the wheel or both, or maybe just to signal to someone in a different room. Its not like we bothered to look for anything. And one of the two outflow tunnels leading away from the waterwheel area likely heads outside. Somehow. Perhaps in a way that cannot be survived by us. But the Dwarfs clearly used this underground river for transportation as well as for work, and if they used it for transportation then there is sure to be a safe waterborne path outside of the mountain. My thought is that the Dwarfs mined ore from where we saw the Orcs, transported it DOWN the tunnel to the waterwheel, and put it on BARGES to go outside. That the worked stone side of the prison level is Dwarf construction and connected to the waterwheel region, and the unworked stone side of the prison level represents Orc tunnelling; that entire undermountain represents a Dwarf mine that was cross-tunnelled by Orcs.

At close of last session:
Elise is "berried up"
Mal cast Light on a small stone or sling bullet (Elise's choice) for Elise
Demayo and Mal heading down to the waterwheel and Elise following/tracking the prisoners

Mal's to-do list:
Inspect chain at waterwheel -
- what kind of chain (drive chain?)
- link wear consistent with use as drive chain
- rust on wheel/chain/etc?
- why do wooden docks not rot away, but wood slats from waterwheel are absent or rotted off?
-- maybe the docks/jetties are stone, not wood, and error of assumption is due to models used not reflecting reality
Light and Flight for Demayo
- Freddie go with Demayo
Mal goto overlook room
- whats the point of the window?
- wear evidence on floor as evidence of past furnishings
- stone, worn consistently, esp by metal shod feet or metal studded sandals, should show wear
Current flow in water
- brisk/sluggish?
- predominantly to the wheel, or to the tunnel?
- where does water go once past the wheel?
- depth of water?
- accessable water exit tunnels, perhaps fly up one
- sluggish water could be swum by a sable and scouted
Minimum 3hr rest to recover PP

1 comment:

  1. Okay, so lets talk about last session since it was such a bummer. We didn't need to get into that fight for a lot of reasons. We did, and once again we should have bagged out of it instead of sticking around.

    The problem, as I see it, is a confusion between the concept of "roleplaying a character" and "programming an automaton". Talents, flaws, and background schtick are just tools to use in ROLEplaying. They help explain or flesh out the character, but they are not kernel-level programming that binds and controls the character's actions. The actions themselves still need to make sense in the context of a group of people (the players) working together for a common cause (the adventure). The characters should complement this, not define this.

    Here's my list of things I have a beef with:
    1. Halflings that rush off and do random things that unnecessarily hazard the rest of us.
    2. Fighters that behave like wind-up toys and unnecessarily hazard the rest of us.

    Okay, Dagobert (the character) has "blood lust". How does the game define this? "Minor Flaw, Mental, 10pt".
    Quote from: The explanation text
    Whenever you are in a fight, you want to see your foes die. You always use lethal force, even in a bar fight. You make sure a defeated foe is dead, even if they already seem to be. You do not necessarily have a short fuze - you could be a calm individual. When you enter combat, you go for the throat. If there ever comes a time when you must accept a foe's surrender, you must roll d100 (open ended) and add triple your SD bonus. If your total is greater than 100, you may prevent yourself from killing him.

    Your foes deserve nothing better than quick death. When you enter a fight, you thirst to draw your foe's blood. You yearn to extinguish his life, ensure he never threatens anyone again. You use the most lethal force you can. You appoint yourself judge, juror, and executioner.

    Nothing in that suggests, even vaguely, that Dagobert is compelled to blindly rush into suicidally over-matched battles. Nothing suggests that Dagobert goes berzerk when an arrow tinks off his vambraces and he takes a measely 4 concussion hits. The flaw ONLY requires Dagobert to test if he wants to accept a foe's surrender; short of that, the flaw offers no compulsion to do anything other than use lethal force in combat. So no "pulled punches", no "strike to stun", and no "using the flat of the blade" against ENEMIES. The flaw only talks about FOES. You can train other warriors, friends not foes, without going lethal on them. You can calmly watch other people fight, run away from a battle, or do anything else you want. You can decline a duel, but if you DO fight your blows are done with lethal intent and you are loath to accept a foe's surrender.

    There is a seperate flaw, also "Minor Flaw, Mental, 10pt" called "Bad Temper". Thats the flaw that requires you to test in stressful situations or go ballistic. To my knowledge, you don't have this flaw. So it is not necessary to roleplay it.

    Steve, I submit to you that if you downplay your Bloodlust to only what the rules require you'll have a much more enjoyable roleplay experience.

    Now, I don't blame Dave at all for the battle last night. Dave did everything reasonable to warn us to not fight them, but we did it anyways. We can blame Matt for rousing the Orcs and sounding the alarm. We can blame "hot pursuit" for chasing them to their rally point. We can feign innocence in our attempt to pull back from the fight, blaming Dave than an archer took a shot at us. But we can't blame Dave and we can't blame "Bloodlust" for rushing suicidally into the fight. We can, and should, be grateful that the Orcs (and Dave) were kind enough to merely take prisoners. I know that I, as GM, when faced with similar PC stupidity in the past, have been more than happy to take heads instead of prisoners. The image I had last night when we ran into the room full of Orcs and Trolls was of Han Solo chasing Stormtroopers through the Death Star and stumbling into a barracks room full of them (DVD enhanced). He turned tail and ran. So should we have done, and "Bloodlust" should have been no deterrent to doing so.

    I think that Dave is trying to run a game that is far more Myst than Worlds of Warcraft; far more Indiana Jones than Psycho. A game where creativity and problem solving leads to more and better rewards than brute force. Thats my opinion. He's a bright guy. Knowing the kinds of games he likes to play, I have to think that he enjoys cunning puzzles. The brute force approach hasn't paid off well. We need a different approach. I think that such a different approach can, and should, welcome Dagobert's help and your roleplay participation. You're pretty sharp with puzzles too.

    Here's another way to think about this. Our characters have been pretty close for at least 9 months. Very close. We've been through privation, starvation, mortal danger, and overland treks that would make even handcart pioneers cringe. We've slept under the stars with minimal shelter in all seasons, in all weather conditions, in ways that we could only have survived by close reliance on each other. Our characters should know each other by smell and touch like brothers who share the same bunk. There is no sensible reason why any of us should blindly risk the rest of the group on a whim.