Tuesday 24 April 2012

First Options

So, the plan is that by presenting the players with, at first, a small number of choices for their characters, we will slowly build the world through play. As we build a common understanding of the people, factions, locations, and logic of this world, the players will, naturally enough, be able to see a wider range of possibilities for action. Unfortunately, I've been very busy lately, so these three adventure seeds have been taken from published adventures (no point having a couple of cupboards of stuff if you're not going to use it). Names have barely been changed, if at all, but what actually happen might vary. *Will* vary, if for nothing else that all three were written for quite different systems. Here's what I presented to the players: 


With your last silvers, you have formed the Respectful Companye of Gentlemen Adventurers. While dossing about in the various dives that serve as social clubs and job centres for 'resting' 'professional' adventurers, you hear a variety of rumours.

A notice is pinned to the board in the Copper Bottom Inn in Docktown. It reads, 'Capable persons required to protect valuables. Well paid, food and board supplied. Contact Utho the Landlord.' Asking a few questions, you find the notorious inventor Wolfgang van der Kugel (great-grandson of Wilhelm van der Kugel, pirate/engineer and builder of the harbour barrage) is being harassed by extortionists, and in keen to employ 'adventurers' to put an end to this problem. He is offering 100 silver pieces per adventurer, payable when the problem is solved.

Widow Thanato, of Docktown, is complaining of demons in her house. She insists that something is eating the contents of her root cellar. She says that she can hear it moving about and growling at night. Widow Thanato is poor – there is no reward for dealing with her problem – but she is a popular, well-known figure in Docktown. And she is a close friend of your landlady, the Spinster Grunhilde.

Sariedo, a merchant of some repute, is known to be looking for adventurers. He is offering a large amount, 500 silver pieces per person, for a party to recover an item from the Belch for him. He warns repeatedly of the risks that adventurers might face, but always jingles his purse as he speaks of danger. When pressed, he tells more; he wants the party to recover a fist-sized amber gem that he believes is hidden in the cellars beneath the ruined storehouses in the Monastery of Righteous Revelation. He offers to pay 250 silver pieces to the party up front, and the adventurers can keep anything else they find. 


My players, however, appear to lack the mercenary instinct. Of the four, two have so far replied - the barbarian acrobat (played by S) and the warrrior from the Contemplative Empire of the Egg (played by A) - and both have opted to help the widow. 


  1. I'd go for Sariedo's job. Think of all the treasures hidden down there!

  2. Yes, you're thinking like an adventurer. The players are all thinking like decent, honest folk!

  3. As you might have spotted as well, we've gone for OpenQuest/Legend for the system, not WFRP. Which is a shame. But the appeal of BRP games has always been a unified mechanic that is easy to explain, and the fact that practically everything is on the character sheet.

    We'll see how running Legend combat with 8+ combatants works out... that might have us jumping to OpenQuest.

  4. Yes, significantly. In general, all the modifiers to rolls are either 25% or 50% (with a handful of exceptions, mostly magical), and in combat there are no hit locations or combat manoeuvres, just hit points and a major wound level. Combat is still fast and very deadly, if a little less colourful - though there still are options such as making an 'all out attack' or concentrating on defence.

    I quite like some of the rules introduced into the system by Clockwork and Chivalry, which introduces 'serious wounds' and 'grave wounds', as well as moving the advancement system closer to the old BRP system in which it gets harder to improve skills as a character gets better at something.

    The core rules for Clockwork and Chivalry are available free as a System Reference Document (called Renaissance) - though I have the big fat hardcopy. OpenQuest is also available free, as a series of Word files, which means building in your own house rules is easy as pie. Newt Newport will be bringing out a 'deluxe' version of OpenQuest later this year, I think.