Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vol 2 Issue 1: 11 Oct 2008

I'm happy with city adventures. But I think we can step up the challenge level to be on par with what we're capable of. We're capable of a lot more than we accomplished last session. Perhaps some of the day-to-day life can be accomplished as admin time and summarized. We don't have to rush out to the wilderness right away.

We're not broke. I pooled the cash together that we've discovered and what people have given me for the "pool" and we have over 23 gold. We can live well for quite a while, and with a few of the group able to pull in some regular income to supplement this we can go even longer. So I think it would be fair to be able to admin past some of this. Assume we spend a month, and we don't need to detail every day. Instead, Dave can deal with generalities and feed us useful info.

Elise isn't the only one with a bunch of skills that can be best utilized in an urban environment. Mal also. Likely, everyone. But they might be dealt with online, adminned, or retconned.

Up until now we've been dealing with wilderness, orcs, and that tunnel complex. I don't think I was prepared to change gears suddenly to dealing with previously unknown civilization and their capital city that rivals the size and population of my home city.

I think it is fair to assume that we're going to stay in/around the city until at least late spring. It will likely be 2-3 months before we could even risk passage back north if we wanted to. It will likely be another month before snow melts enough in the lowlands that we'll want to do much outdoor travel. So I think the safest course is to just write off 1.5 silver per day for 30 days (4.5 gold) for living expenses, let Dave tell us how much income our efforts are worth, and go retcon some admin time. I'll be prepared for our next session with a shopping list of my own.

I know one way I've dealt with city interludes in games I've managed has been as above. Dock some cash, advance the calendar, and assume that everyone had adequate time to do X/Y/Z activities. Maybe roll a few dice, and then WHAMMO hey guys wake up THIS happens which is the hook into a new adventure path. Which sometimes gets ignored by the players despite the flashing neon signs, or sometimes running away from the flashing neon signs.

Another way I've handled things is to have people explain the things they want to accomplish during this city interlude: find a master, train a new skill, buy something, make something, whatever it may be. Some of those things may take a character "out of action" for a day/week/month. Conduct some RP of activities that happen while those players are temporarily out of action, and then bring everyone back together. Lumps of time along the way can still be accelerated for the sake of keeping the players engaged.

Certainly we can follow the day-by-day blow-by-blow as it pans out. Thats another option. There is a lot more detail that can be experienced in that fashion. Thats definitely a strength.

I guess a lot of it boils down to what Dave, as the gamemaster, expects of this. Our few previous city experiences have been interludes between wilderness campaigns. I got the impression that Dave didn't have a lot of fine detail fleshed out for this city (names, for example). But maybe that was just due to having the wrong map/notes in front of him.

I'm game for making the most of this city interlude. But I would like to "up" the challenge level a bit. Not necessarily through combat. Maybe in other ways. Perhaps we can develop some contacts and relationships within polite society here.

Recapping this episode of our adventures in the wide wide world of Rolemaster...

It has been easily 6 months since we've last seen civilization, that being the seedy little wannabe-Skagway of a port city on the north end of this the "South Continent". It needs a better name. Old Continent? Something to think about. But in that time we've managed to trek thousands of leagues overland, get lost in some caves, and eventually get a pretty good grip on mapping out an ancient underground Dwarf city complex. Not all of it, but a pretty darn good chunk of it.

Still the dead of winter, locked in the fart tunnels with our fart sacks. And each other. And a few thousand greenskinned rednecks. Nothing could be finer.

Well, maybe a few things.

Its time that Freddy speaks up.

Gather around, my little grandkits, and listen to this. There I was: it was pretty intense in the deep underground with the Twolegs and my Master. It had been months since I'd seen fresh food. Rats? Mice? None to be found. I had resigned to living off of scraps from the Twolegs, and my Master was pretty good about getting me fed. But it was like rat food: crowbait, cooked, and no freshkill to eat. They didn't know if it was day or night while we were sleeping in the tunnels, but my keen timesense told me that it was High Noon outside and time for all good little Stoats and Weaselkin to be fast asleep with the Bright Eye burning overhead. But we were so far underground that not even a hint of its fire could be felt unless my Master chanted it to be so.

I heard a distant noise, getting closer, but none would awaken from their sleep. We were in a narrow tunnel, damp walled and musty, near a place where my Master and his Twolegs companions had fought a great battle against the smelly Twolegs. I heard sounds of banging and clanging, and soon so did my Master's companions. I woke him from his meditations, I tell you I did, and this my grandkits you must be very careful about because Twolegs don't like to be awakened by Weaselkin or Stoats. Soon they were rushing about in the dark and my Master, the fire-handed one, put me on the back of the shortest of the Twolegs.

Well, that didn't last long. The little one was unstable on his feet, always falling and rolling, and trying to get himself killed. When he opened a portal to find out what had woken them from their rest, there was a great battle in the cavernroom beyond. Many of the rank and smelly Twolegs were fighting many other Twolegs that I'd never seen before, using sticks to cast other sticks through the air and smashing each other with wood and metal. No honorable tooth or claw. Did I tell you about the time that I fought off spiders the size of cougars from eating my Master? No? I'll tell you about that later. First, I'm thirsty.

When the Twolegs that were fighting tried to kill the short Twolegs I was riding on, I got off. Let them kill him, but not me. I had a duty to protect my Master and be his eyes in dark places where light might fail him.

We travelled instead up a staircase where we could watch the battle unfold below, but it was chaos. Finally my Master put me on his shoulder and leaped off a high balcony to stop the fighting. Instead of falling like a rock, like a Twolegs normally does when he falls, my Master floated to the ground like a feather and landed as lightly as any Stoat or Weaselkin. I was much impressed, and so were the other Twolegs because they stopped fighting to talk with him. Soon we had won ourselves many new friends, but none of them had any freshkill meat for me to eat.

In recognition of the great service that I had performed in keeping my Master safe, and of his stopping the battle before any other Twolegs were hurt, they took my Master and all his companions to their great stone Twolegs city where there was endless freshkill for me in the form of rats and mice.

And thats how we came to be lodged in Laketown, visiting with the councillors of Bard the Margrave, and plotting how we can make untold fortunes in trade and commerce by opening a route from the Triune Cities to Laketown.

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