Sunday, March 6, 2022

Abel's Vengeance Session 2

I finished the day with two emphatic negatives on the checks for encounters, so I feel like that should carry over into the night. I would normally check twice for an encounter, and I’ll still do that, but there’s only a 2 in 6 chance. So, about 2 am, Abel is coming in and out of sleep when he thinks he sees something moving in the shadows. 5. Nope. He manages to go back into his sort of half sleep. About 5 am, he is having restless dreams and wakes with a start. He looks around, but (5 again), there’s nothing. He tries to rest for another hour, but only gets marginal respite. 
Time to determine some things about Providence Gap. How long is it? 2D6 leagues again; I get 6 leagues, so about 18 miles from here to the temple, in whatever shape it’s in. I have already decided that this cuts through some mountains… does it follow a river? Heck no. Hm. Thought it would follow a river. Is there some other natural thing it follows? Yes. Not a river, but natural… is it some kind of river not a river of something other than water? Unlikely. So no. Is it an ancient stone path? Heck yeah. Okay. There is an ancient stone pathway. 

It just came to me. 

Backstory time: It’s called Providence Gap because a wandering group of pilgrims was trapped west of here in the wilds, set upon by all manner of foe and creature. They had run out of supplies, and were teetering on the brink of starvation. They called a prayer to their matron, the Seventh God (dess), and she answered them; they awoke to find that stones had appeared in the ground, leading away from their campsite and through a narrow valley. The stones formed a pathway that went through a gap that had supernaturally opened overnight, continuing for 18 miles before arriving at a hill covered in vines and wild sheep that were just grazing. They penned the sheep easily, and built a wall around the small, thick cluster of vines. This eventually became the grounds of the Bright Temple. That was three hundred years ago. Any follower of the Seventh Goddess who stands on the pathway receives advantage on all checks. Well THAT’S cool. That explains the name, too. I had no idea why it was called that. I literally just picked a cool word and went with it. This would make it a (super)natural barrier that evil creatures would avoid; they would move through the nearby mountains, even though it is harder travel, rather than set foot on this pathway that is offensive to them by its nature. It provides a barrier that the elves don’t have to patrol or really worry about - so they don’t.

So, Abel is feeling great about walking this. He would know this history, so this connection to his father and his forebears makes his heart lighter. He feels their hand upon his quest as he moves forward. He files this under ‘best day ever’, since things are likely to get much, much worse soon.

It’s only eighteen miles, so there are only three possible encounters. Early in the day, I roll 5, so no. Near mid day, I roll 6, so an emphatic no. Near dusk, I roll 5, so no again. If there is anything afoot, it is keeping a healthy distance from these magical stones. When he spies the spires of the temple over the next mountain, he stops to take stock. 

He has had a slow day of travel (he plans to investigate the temple in the morning), and is feeling quite refreshed. He should be able to rest more peacefully. I will say there is only a 2 in 6 chance of an encounter, and I’ll only check once. 6. Nothing wants any part of this Gap. Okay then.

I assumed that his battles in the gap would be session 2, but he crossed the entire gap without problem. I wonder if the goddess leaves him something special? Does she do something to help him on his quest? He prays for her guidance and strength in the days ahead, and hopes he is doing her will. Then he goes to sleep. It is likely that she does something. I roll a 2. Yes she does. Okay… how cool is this help going to be? I roll 1D6 and the lower the cooler; I get a 1. It’s going to be very cool. I am legit rolling these results… the main rule of the solitaire framework is no cheating. So, I am not going to cheat. If I had rolled a potion of healing, I would have been okay with it.

However, it’s going to be much cooler than a potion of healing. I rolled a 1!

When he awakes, his shield has been transformed into a relic. Hmm. How to roll up a relic? Well, it wouldn’t be redundant with his abilities; it would definitely grant +1 to Defense (it’s a shield)... I would think that a +1 to Resolve would be option one. Definitely not. +1 to Attack? Nope. +1 to Focus? That’s it. Okay. The Shield of the Final Templar is a relic that grants +1 to Defend and Focus. I actually like that a lot; his dad was a watchman, so having the Focus would be completely appropriate. However, he cannot get those benefits yet; he’s only a Hopeful.

However… he did cross the Gap of Providence (which was easy, but that doesn’t change the fact that he did it), and he received a blessed relic from his goddess at the end of the gap in an appropriate spiritual moment. I feel like this all qualifies as worthy of 7 hero points; the gap would be 3, and the prayer and intervention would be 3, so I’m only spotting him one. He’s going to need that. Well… he’s going to put that point into Attack, so here is our new and improved character at the end of session 2… and I love that he is now ‘notable’ instead of ‘hopeful’, because he is the one who bears the Shield of the Final Templar, and has received a special blessing from the Seventh Goddess herself. That makes him notable. People notice that. Here he is now:

Abel the Notable Human Paladin (Renown 1)

Attack 3 | Defend 4 | Focus 1 | Resolve 5

7 coins; potion of haste

Relic: Shield of the Final Templar (+1 Defense and +1 Focus)

On a Defend result of 13+ in combat, Abel can choose to either recover 1 Resolve point or receive advantage on his next Attack. 


Is this my favorite game ever? It’s close. There’s not much I don’t absolutely love about it. I love playing it. Like, I’d rather do this than almost anything right now. I think making it a solo system rather than a traditional ‘group with GM’ system is the best thing about it, and has really pushed the mechanics in cool directions. I'm hoping to talk my wife and daughter into making characters just to try a three-person team and see how that changes things (if it does), but for now I'm happy with solo play. It's already far more rewarding and interesting than any solo play I've done with other games. I HAVE to view my character as more than just a pile of stats... because there aren't really any stats to consider. I also live that I'm not sitting here the whole time thinking something like 'if he had a longsword instead of a broadwsord, he'd deal 1D8+1 instead of 2D4, and he'd have probably killed that goblin in two rounds... and his STR 14 is really holding him back... I need to do something about that'... those are such meta game things that have always taken me out of the game itself and into the machinery that drives it. I want the machinery to fade into the background when I'm playing. This game does that so much better than anything else I've designed.

Session 3 Awaits

1 comment:

  1. Broken record time, but I am loving how smoothly you'tr implementing the "emerging narrative" with the Framework. and you know my other comment already, I bet: Is there a chance of a Supers version of this game? I know you have a Framework for Supers already, but that would still use the full "Stalwart Age" characters, etc. On to Session 3 for me!