Friday, 26 May 2017

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 3

In this session, a new player joined us, by new, i do mean Catalina, who made a character during the character creation session.
In addition, the player who played Yldiane, wanted to make his own character.
I used the rule that if you dont have a character, the first session, you have to play a premade character, in order to learn the game, so you have an idea of what you are getting into. It became painfully obvious that this player had not played enough to warrant a character creation, but I went along with it anyway, something that I regret now.
Anyway, this new character was named something along the lines of Avelyn, or Evelyn.

Session started with the group trying to figure out what they wanted to do with Dr. Twain, the votes was equally tied, and the tiebreaker caused the group to let him leave.

Should mention that as a GM, I was really glad for that, as delivering him would mean that he would die, something I was prepared for after having a week to think on it, but he would only be dead in the this game, if I start a game in the future, he would have escaped death.

Anyway, it was not too late to report to Cadeyrn so they headded back to the Inn. But on the way, they discovered a priest on the side of the road, freshly robbed of almost all her worldly belongings. The group questioned her and then brought her to the tavern for some food and trying to figure out what she could do. In the end, best option seems to be to ask Cadeyrn for work, while the city guard were looking for the robbers.

It went quite smoothly, with the group getting paid by Cynbell for protecting Dr. Twain, and Cadeyrn had prepared passes for everyone to the scholars district. Dornam however, had been given a response, saying that the king's Demorthen would see him later today. This invite, allowed, with some convincing, Catalina and Evelyn to join, as they had business in the king's castle.

Liam and Miriam however, had business in the scholar district, and everyone was covered in a rotating basis, but here I would have to go through each of them individually.

Liam knew of a professor by the name of Fingleburg who specialised in Botany, so he visited him to discuss plants like inverted wormtongue.
[The player had invented the NPC's name and the plants, himself. And while it was a bit tedious to handle the interaction, it was some good shit]
Liam managed to pick up on a few troubles around the peninsula, like the plants in reizh mutating and taking on new characteristics, mostly poisonous. While the trees in Taol-Kaer was suffering from some kind of degradation, which caused the wood quality to suffer, and no longer be usable for long-term building constructions or for building ships.

Miriam wanted to learn more about occultism, something that would come back to screw the group over massivly (according to them). So thanks to getting some hints from Aodren, she visited the old university building, but found it abandoned. After staking it out for an hour, she noticed several people visiting a certain building nearby, and went to check it out. It proved to be some kind of secret entrance, and since she heard about a group called the crows, she said "im here to see the crows", when asked about the password to enter the passage to the university. (Crows was the password). Inside the university, she saw a few hooded people studying books, and plenty of books in the various shelves around the room, but the shelves were far from full. Spending some hours in the place, looking for, and at books, robed person bumped into her and dropped his/her books, which she/he hurriedly picked up and left, leaving a single book.
Miriam, who had yet found anything, grabbed the book and made for the exit, as it must have been important.
A quick glance showed it to be the "black moon handbook".

Meanwhile at the castle, Evelyn was making things difficult for a butler. She had been intending to deliver a letter from the Gwindre - Taol-kaer border, but the king's military advisor was busy, so the butler were running back and forth between them, asking Evelyn to just give him the letter so he can give it to the military advisor, but no, Evelyn had to deliver it in person. So in the end, a frustrated military advisor stomped over to her and took the letter, giving it a quick read before throwing some money at her and stomping back out of the entrance-hallway.

Catalina had wanted to speak to a Gwindrite diplomat, who she was intending to serve, but there was nothing she could assist him with due to the trouble of a brewing war on two fronts. However, since the diplomat was busy in court, he tasked her with travelling and finding lost scriptures and symbols of the one, from lost temples since the war of the temple. He did give her some money to help her on the way, as she was robbed, and promised to redirect a stipend from the church, if she brought him news, scriptures or trinkets that were thought lost.

Dornam was the first to really get into any kind of meeting, but he also had the longest.
The king's Demorthen, who's name was Bob, met Dornam in a small courtyard, and there they talked about the various issues that were affecting their culture.
Bob was tied to the king's court and couldnt do much, but he provided Dornam with some of the information he knew and let him choose what to do about it.
The gist of the information was that the Demorthens had left their respected societies to attend to demorthen businesses, which caused a problem for everyone else, as they didnt know when, how or what would happen in the meanwhile, as they were lacking important guidance from the keepers of tradition.
There was suspicion of attacks being made on demorthen sacred sites, but no proof, so Dornam choose to send his father in the land of Deas, an update and then set out to find the demorthens and their sacred sites, to ensure that they could return to their possitions as keepers of tradition.

Once the group was once again togeather, they discussed their various businesses, and tried to figure out what would be the next course of action. Most had finished what they were looking for, but most owed Dornam a favour of sorts, and he was kinda persuasive. So the first step would be to look at that sacred cave the villagers used, when the group were looking into why they were late for the harvest festival.

Some quick talking and travelling, later, they found themselves in the village, ready to explore and investigate. The cave itself proved to be nothing out of the ordinary, but somewhat recently build, which might have been wierd, if not for terrible rolls.
However, the Ionnthen in the village, informed the group, that there was an old site in the forest, and he gave them the directions towards it.
Talaitha remembered that its where that mudcrawler came from, so they would be expecting a fight.

However, no rest for the impatient, so Dornam & co, ran into the forest and found their way to the old sacret demorthen site.

Few really noticed it, due to the site was drawing their attention, but some wierd sounds could be heard, and the PCs was in a bit more danger than they had thought.

The group soon found themselves surrounded by a swarm of NANANANANAN BATMANS

[shit, this was tedious to write]

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 2

New player joins the game this session, so due to him not knowing the system, and me wanting to save time, I give him premade characters to choose from, and he picks Yldiane.

The group is back in town, and heads over to Cadeyrn, in order to deliver the news about the village.
At his office, they hear some talking, and quickly learn that there is another person wanting a pass to higher districts, apparently to deliver some letters. this new person is clearly a Varigal, and presents herself as Yldiane. Not wanting to waste too much time, Cadeyrn pays the group for their job and hands them the passes to "suburbia", and tells Yldiane to join the group if she want to have the passes before the end of the harvest festival.

The group looks at jobs they can do, and take both the one about apprehending the occultist, Aodren Floyd, and the one about protecting Doctor Twain. Then they set out to gather intel from the population, through rumormongering and contacts they have made in town... or just parttake in the festival, because, hey, why not?

The group's first destination is a woman named Cynbell, she is a poor woman who recieved free help from Doctor Twain, and the PCs learns from her that the doctor is a psychologist, not a medical doctor, and she was a indirect way of contacting him. If she puts a candle in her window, the doctor will visit as soon as he is able. The group offers to hide themselves in the cramped house to spring on the doctor when he arrives, but Cynbell clearly becomes worried, both for the friendly doctor, and for having a bunch of strangers occupying her home for unknown amount of time. So the group chooses to keep an eye on the house instead.

One person keeps watch, while the others try to track down Aodren Floyd, which they dont have much luck in, but they do offer to pay beggars and children for any information on the man.

By evening, Talaitha was informed that the man looking like Aodren Floyd, was headding towards the harbor district, but instead of paying the kid for the information, they grabbed him and pushed him to show them.

Meanwhile, Miriam was on watch at the time, and saw someone approaching. Looking from one of the rooftops, she could see a man that would fit the description of Aodren Floyd, visiting Cynbell's house. But as soon as the man entered the house, there were footsteps on the roof near Miriam, and she hid.

Two dark-dressed people ran over to the ledge where Miriam had been standing, pointing towards Cynbell's house, saying "there! he is in there".

Miriam, not being the kindest of souls, stepped up behind the two dark-robed people and pushed gently caressed, their backs.

The two people turn around and reveals to be youths, barely even considered men. They do however not take kindly to the pushing caressing, and return lovetaps with their daggers. a fight ensues and results in both of the boys on the street below, injured, one with a broken foot, and with Miriam, a bit bloodied, still on the roof.

During the commotion, the rest of the party is on their way, but Aodren Floyd, now believed to also be Doctor Twain, is trying to run away from the commotion. Miriam spots him however, and follows him to his hideout, a basement under a not-too-popular tavern.

The rest of the party however, finds and apprehends the boys, and with the assistance of a member of the Bán Company, gets them thrown into jail. But not before the group learns that the boys were after Aodren Floyd due to him having a bounty on him, dead, not alive.

So the group now has the conundrum of Saving Doctor Twain (Aodren Floyd) from hitmen, and because occultists are punished by death, after a short trial, this also includes the city guard. Or, deliver Aodren Floyd (Doctor Twain), to the city guard, so he can be publicly executed, which would be in favour of whomever hired the hitmen.

[Should mention that the Players had already, ahead of time, said it would have been funny if the 2 men they were after, were the same person, and they were right, they just didnt know it yet.]

Miriam reports back to the group about where Aodren is hiding, and they do some intel gathering. Miriam herself, manages to sneak into the basement and finds a notebook with several comments on locations that could possible be haunted. She makes her exit, but not before almost being spotted by the tavern owner, who was investigating sound from the basement.

Dornam manages to set up a meeting with Aodren and discusses with him about turning himself in, despite being threatening, Aodren does not agree, which worries Dornam. Still, Aodren says that he is willing to share some information, if the group look into a case in "suburbia" for him, as he cannot access it with people looking for him. Reluctantly, Dornam, Agrees.

The group then visit a house in "suburbia" to look into the death of the owner, who died 3 days ago. The diseased's brother answers the door and is thankful for a traditionalist like Dornam, would give the last rite to the dead, as noone have been inside the dead brother's room for 3 days due to being scared of what might have happened.

After some investigation, Liam concludes that the man must have died from heart attack, but the unnatrual white hair cannot be explained as if it were hairdye, which makes it wierd.
Miriam however, keeps most of the information to herself, but concludes that the man's soul must have been ripped from his body, and he likely died from fear, and somehow it drained the colour from his hair.
Dornam gives the man his last rites and consoles the brother, before returning to report the findings to Aodren.

the group plans to capture and deliver Aodren after getting the information from him, and thus comes up with a codeword for springing the ambush. But it seems like it is not needed, as Aodren is forthcomming with his information and only keeps a few secrets, which is enough to make the group doubt that they are right to condemn a seemingly innocent man, to death, on a suspicion of occult sorcery.

Parallell to this however, there were a few more of these boy assassins in the area, but by Yldiane trying to seduce them, which they react very nervously to, and bringing them to the attention of a city guard patrol, the boys leave the district.

[The game ended before the decision about Aodren was made, but they let him to at the start of the next session]

Edge of the Empire: The City of Nabat - Episode 3

With Packetstorm's typical "the gamers" introduction to the group, they set down in the city of nabat in Ryloth. Here Bas'ura Ban, the twi'lek they captured directed them through tunnels and passageways into the city's underground... which would be the regular city as it was mainly underground anyway.

They had some time to do some shopping with Trex' money before arriving at a indiscrete building with a metal door. Ban knocked, said some code phrases, and was let in. The group were directed to some seats while Ban talked to another twi'lek in secret.

When they were done, they were told that their ship could be repaired if they helped out with some problems, rescuing Ban, while they are thankful, could only go so far, so if they help get some of their operations back up and running, they would waive the fee for the repairs and refueling.

The PCs agreed to this and were directed to the new meen mines, but not before spending the evening in nabat. Which was not a very good idea as Arali'una choose to stay at the ship, but figured she would go out drinking instead, leaving the ship unlocked.

Trex, was rescued by a gand and some thugs, but the players would not know about this untill the next morning.

So, the group set out towards new meen mines on some borrowed speeders.

This is an old draft, i had lying around for a long time and never finished, so im posting the incomplete version to at least get parts of it out there.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 1

The first proper session was longer than the character creation, so a lot of stuff got done. The player who controlled Catalina could not come this session, but another player joined the game, and since we already had gone through the explanation of the game in the previous session, he got a premade character called Liam and would have to learn the game through play.

The group started out taking part of the festival, and looking for ways to earn money while. There was a lot of meandering, like Dornam making a friend by challenging a fellow Osag to armwresling and failing horribly, but they eventually came in contact with someone by the name of Cadeyrn who could be of assistance to them.

Cadeyrn offered to put in words with his contacts in order to have passports arranged on short notice, if they did some jobs for him. At first, it was suspected that these jobs were not exactly legal, but it was based on economics and the towns best interesst, at least in theory.

the PCs were given 5 jobs:
  • Assist a caravan merchant from Seol with tracking down lost caravans
  • Assist the city guards of Kalvernac, due to them being severely understaffed
  • Check up on a local village who have not yet come to the harvest festival
  • Protect Dr. Twain, as his clients suspects that he is in danger
  • Apprehend the suspected occultist, Aodren Floyd
The 2 first jobs were ignored due to being quite some distance from the capital, and there was a general vote for checking up on the village. So the group prepared and set out, all riding Talaitha's horses, and got there by sunset.

the village was found pretty much deserted, but after some investigation, it seems like people left on their own terms, and the 2 cows had been fed before the villagers left. The local demorthen's hut was empty and filled with cobwebs, much to Dornam's dismay. Liam however, had a blast collecting the various herbs that grew outside the demorthen's hut.

They found little else, and due to the growing darkness, they used the barn as a place to stay for the night, since they didnt want to intrude into other peoples homes. but still kept some people on watch, which wasnt very effective, as a Snagan (aka: a mudcrawler), managed to sneak up on them.
there was some sound of distressed cows and the PCs went to investigate, which turned out to be the Feond (monster or Fiend), biting one of the cows in two, causing everyone to have to do a mental resistance check.

Liam didnt see the Feond at the same time as the rest, but when he did, he critically failed his mental resistance check, dived for cover, missed and dropped from his vantage point on the barn's second floor, and landed in a haystack below, refusing to move due to being scared shitless.

The rest did attempt to do something about this feond, but while Talaitha didnt have much luck with her bow, the brave and unthinking Dornam stepped up, bashing his shield, provoking the Feond to attack him. During which, Miriam flew into a frenzy with a dagger (daggers would make for better story...), stabbing the living shit out of the feond. Still, the Feond was trading blows with Dornam and pushed him on the defensive, but not enough to inflict any injuries.

Soon the Feond was weakened enough to not really be able to put up much of a fight, and the group turned on the offensive, with Dornam finishing it off by removing its head as it was almost out.

The group discussed how to deal about the feond and the remaining distressed cow, and it became a cultural discussion, but it ended with them burning the feond (fire is bad) and liam gathering up enough courage to draw some blood from the Feond, and store it in a vial. At least they knew that this had not eaten the villagers, which was a good sign.

the rest of the night passed with unease, and they were found in the morning by returning villagers.
The villagers were worried about their missing cow and these strangers in their village, but after some explanation the tension was disolved.
Apparently the villagers had been part of a traditional demorthen ritual in a cave north of the village, held by the Ionntehn (druid apprentice), and thus had yet to go to the festival, but while they were preparing now, they couldnt leave immediatly due to the loss of one cow, they needed some time and would be delayed for a day.

The group however, did not want to wait, and got a written confirmation that the PCs had checked in and everything was fine, and thus headded back to the Osta-baille and got paid for their job, along with a promise that the passports was underway, but would still take a bit longer. Dornam asked if Cadeyrn could send a letter to the king's demorthen, to request an audience with him, so Dornam could ask about the growing concern of the Elusive Demorthens.

[I am a bit unsure where we left off that session, so i assume it was around this point]

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 0

I was playing in a Legend of the 5 rings game, which lasted only a few sessions, before the GM needed a break to plan more content for the game. So he asked if anyone could run a different game in the meanwhile.

I offered to run something, and looked at my various games, and seemingly i had a giant game of Esteren prepped that i never ran, due to previous players for that game said "naa, we want to play Iron Kingdoms instead"

This giant game had around 80 plots. 1 main plot that was based on a single picture, then it split into 5 major plots, and each of these major plots, split into 2-4 minor plots, then these split again into 2-5 plots that players could directly deal with.
I also had a LOT of side-plots, and if the PCs came across premade content, i could use that too.

So, the game was not lacking for content, but i needed to start them off somewhere, so why not the capital, in a harvest festival, for some more light-hearted stuff and all the PCs needed a reason for going to the capital.

Character creation started and i had a few players.
Dornam Velfire of the Downland Greenhill, a Osag (Celtic) thane, son of a prominent chieftain, who was travelling to the capital to ask the king's advising Demorthen (Druid), about why the demorthens across the peninsula (current extent of the game-world), have grown more and more elusive.
Miriam a Tarish (mongol-gypsies) occultist, who were seeking ways to gain power, the more powerful, the better, like black sorcery. Her quest was to talk to people from academical professions to learn more about occultism in general.
Talaitha, another Tarish, but this was a travelling pathfinder, who apparently started with enough money to buy 86 horses, she did want to start a horse farm, but due to not being able to stay with the group, this was shot down as a possible character option. And due to the money being something that a Tarish could only dream about, the money had to come from somewhere else, and in this case, it was a random sum that the king paid, but the carrier of the letter, died, she found the letter, and choose to keep it. She only wanted to see the world, and I as GM was not able to coax any more plot out of that player, so I left it alone for the moment.
Catalina, a Gwindre (religious country) Vector (archaeologist/missionary), who had the miracle of healing, so only spell-caster in the group (not that spells are common in the game). This PC wanted to meet with a contact, a diplomat who were currently trying their best to dissuade the country's king to from going to war (all 3 kingdoms on the peninsula was about to start a war, but it had yet to break out)

the game started with the PCs travelling alongside a merchant by the name of Von Strab (stolen from warhammer 40k), who told them about the capital (gave players a way to learn information through in-character questions), and they learned that most public offices were closed for the festival, which lasted a week, and they needed passes to get to higher districts.

The PCs could access lower district, high district, and port, without a pass, but to reach the "suburbia", they needed one type of pass, then another for the scholar district, a third for the noble district, and only on invitation, could they get to the king's castle.

The PCs got to familiarize them selves a little, and get a room in the more expensive part of town (high district), for a week, then the game ended the session as we were already running on overtime at this stage.

Comeback (Hopefully)

I have wanted to start the blog back up again, but i dont really know what to write. But due to having a really good game going nowdays, currently hitting 10 sessions, i feel like it might be worth talking about it, and since its somewhat fresh, i can delve into a little more details around it.

this should also serve as a motivator for covering my other games, which i have been running lately, or at least since last time i made an update.

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 3

In this session, a new player joined us, by new, i do mean Catalina , who made a character during the character creation session. In addit...