Monday, March 7, 2022

Abel's Vengeance Session 3

Stunned by his morning find, Abel spends the first hour of his day, just at first light, in deep prayer and thankfulness that his efforts so far have pleased his goddess. He gathers his gear and carries his new shield for the first time. It is both lighter and heavier at the same time.

Before an encounter possibility, I would think that he’d be able to see the temple at a bit of a distance now (it has to be less than two miles), so he’d be able to see what kind of shape it’s in… is it almost ready to re-open and just needs a fresh coat of paint (that’s a 1 on the die) or is it a virtual ruin, with only its tower of meditation still erect, but with its walls broken and its worship hall in shambles (that would be a 6). I roll and get… 4. So a little worse for wear. Most of the buildings are intact, although there may be some holes. Roofs all need re-thatching. Nobody has done any maintenance in a decade, but it also hasn’t been razed to the ground. There is a possibility that a few buildings may have collapsed, or that there is significant structural damage.

I will say that there is a 2 in 6 chance that there is some kind of encounter as he breaks camp and leaves the pathway, stepping to the foot of the hill upon which the temple rests. I roll a 6. He’s good.

The temptation here is very strong to build some encounter tables for the ‘temple grounds’ or somesuch, but I will resist that temptation and continue to lean into the solitaire framework. It has gotten me this far. 

Okay. the solitaire framework says to apply logic first. Logically, Abel would remember the temple and its grounds pretty well (he lived there until he was 9), and it would have to have the following things:

A hall of worship

A commune for the families to live (this could also hold the kitchens - the families could share a great hall with lots of bunk beds)

A livestock barn

A large yard (the vineyard could have been within the walls or just outside of them)

A tower of meditation for the library and work of the guard (and a watch post at the topmost point). It’s symbolically important to me that still stands, so I’m not including this as a possibility for the ruins of the temple.

A wall

A well

A place to butcher animals

I decide it is likely that there is something I haven’t yet added. I roll and get 6. Nope. That covers it. Okay. Since I got a 4, I should roll independently for each building. 1 is pretty good with some neglect; 6 is probably dangerous to enter. Here’s what I get for each:

A hall of worship (3 - still standing but roughed up)

A commune (4 - holes in the roof and floors are rotting)

A livestock barn (2 - it’s in pretty good shape, but definitely could use a new roof)

A large yard (6. The vines have long rotted, the entire thing has grass 3’ tall)

A tower of meditation (2 - largely intact with some minimal crumbling stone work)

A wall (3 - I’m going to say a few small holes in the wall that things - or a paladin - could crawl through - the main gate is intact but may be stuck open or closed)

A well (1 - totally fine and still gives clean drinking water)

A place to butcher animals (5 - the roof collapsed on this 3 years ago and it’s never been fixed)

Okay… now there is real-world logic and there is game logic. Real-world logic says that there’s a chance that this is totally abandoned, and that the only challenges are some regular rats, a lot of bugs, and maybe a snake or two. Game logic says that this place has to be occupied; however, the level of organization of those occupants can vary wildly. It could be a random collection of creatures that have gathered here over time (we’ll make that 1), or it could be a highly-organized force that holds this as a permanent outpost (we’ll call that 6). 6 it is; this is now an outpost held by the forces of Parth Goldu. I have already established that goblins are at least part of the forces of this organization, but I really don’t know much else. I would thing that goblins and hobgoblins would be the most likely forces here (I do only have Renown 1, so a group of ogres or bugbears is going to be a bit much)... So, is it mostly goblins and hobgoblins here? That’s likely. The solitaire framework says heck yeah (rolled a 1). Okay, this is largely occupied by goblins and hobgoblins. This would form the western border of Parth Goldu; I think it would be likely that their level of alertness is low, since the odds of things attacking are pretty small (they’ve gone a decade without much trouble I’d assume)... but I also know that the elves have already warned of dangers, so there’s a possibility that they are on alert. We’ll just go 1D6 again, with 1 being high alert, and 6 being drunk and asleep. I roll and get 2. They are definitely up to something, and are preparing for war. Hmmm. A campaign into the elfish lands to the west would absolutely use this as a staging ground and way stop. Are they doing that? It’s likely… 2 on the die, so yes. 

They are on alert, although not necessarily expecting trouble to come to them. They are preparing to wage war in the west (see that alliteration?). Their war machines have arrived ahead of the troops; maybe they’ve been building catapults and trebuchets here… that’s likely. Rolled a 1. Nailed it. Okay, so there’s a taskmaster or captain of some kind (maybe a hobgoblin of some rank - not sure yet) who has come to oversee preparations for war, and he’s working the goblins here to the bone. I like it. 

All Abel sees from a distance is a lot of activity, and the flag of Parth Goldu waving overhead. That’s enough for him. It is unlikely he faces an encounter as he tries to sneak up, but we’ll roll it anyway. 1. Yes. Okay. Is it a wild animal? 4. No. Is it a sentry for the goblins? 5. No. Is it a scout for the elves? 4. No. Hmmm. Is it an insect? 4. No. Running out of ideas here… is it another survivor of the fall of the fortress? Natural 1. Okay then. Let’s apply some logic.

Someone calls Abel from a nearby cave. He gets a 9 on his Focus check, so he hears the man approaching. He is prepared for battle, but the man wears an old tunic of the order. Does he recognize the man? 2. Yes. Is it a relative? 1. Totally yes. Is it his father? Dang. We’ll say only 1 in 6 chance of that. 3. No. Uncle? Rolled a 3, but that seemed possible. It’s an uncle; the older brother of his father.

Is he another paladin? 5. No. Is he a priest? 1. That’s it. Okay… so he’s a priest of the order. He had a dream the night before the attack given from the Seventh Goddess that the temple would fall into the hands of enemies, but that he was not to remain. She had him hide in a cave and watch for the last ten years. Last night, she sent him another dream - his nephew was returning to bring vengeance upon their enemies. He is to help in any way he can. 

That’s nifty. Let’s stat this guy up. He’s a healer… not a class I have, but we’ll put that one under Focus. He would be at least notable. I’ll start there, and say maybe he’s notable. 3. Yes. He’s comparable in power to Abel, which is fine. Here he is:

Garavin the Notable Human Healer (Renown 1)

Attack +0 | Defend +2 | Focus +4 | Resolve 5

Wields a quarterstaff in combat and wears his vestments.

He can use 1 action to heal himself or an ally in close range; he has 4 points in his healing pool each turn, and can use as many as desired. He can also cast light once per turn (that would be a reasonable ability for the follower of the goddess of light). He has no relics.

Does he have any scrolls? 6. No. Does he have any potions? 1. Woot. How many potions? We’ll say 1D3 (so as not to get greedy)... I roll 2. These potions are 

Okay. Not someone I’d want to play as a main character, but pretty good in terms of support. Even better, he’d have tons of intelligence on the temple, since he’s been watching it for a decade. I roll, and get to ask 5 questions of him. That seems fair. 

  1. Does he know anything about the elves? 2. Yes… okay. Time to find out. Are they in league with the forces of Parth Goldu? I roll 2. They sure are. Hmm. Is it for money? 4. No. A bargain for peace? 4. No. Did they give the elves something? 5. No. Did they have some dirt on the elves? 4. No. Is the leader of the elves a secret adherent of the Thirteenth God? 3. Yes. So, not all of the elves are corrupted, but the leader and a few key lieutenants are followers of the Thirteenth God, so they get prophecies and visions, and have been given orders directly from their deity on how to act. That makes sense. It seems as though the Thirteenth God has decided that the rest of the elves can be wiped out, but maybe he’ll spare the ones who have served him so well. And maybe not. He’s not a nice guy, I’m starting to think.

  2. Does he know about the leadership here? 5. Not much. Lots of goblins and hobgoblins, but he doesn’t get much closer.

  3. Does he have any other possible allies we could call upon? 6. Heck to the no. 

  4. Does he know of anything else in the temple beyond the goblins and hobgoblins? 3. Yes. Is it a monster? 6. No. Is it an animal of some kind? 4. No. Is it another humanoid? 3. Yes. Is it an ogre? 6. No. Is it a troll? 2. Yes. Okay… they have a troll here that is doing a lot of the heavy lifting (because things are heavy when you are building war machines). Is there anything else? 4. Not that he knows of.

  5. Is there a dungeon under the tower to explore (Abel wouldn’t know this, since he was just a kid, and probably never went into the tower proper). 6. There is not. BOO. I wanted a dungeon crawl. Maybe next time.

Speaking of which, this is long enough for one session. Let’s give Abel a hero point for finding his uncle and getting some good intel on the place. 

Abel the Notable Human Paladin (Renown 1) Hero Points 11

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. 


Um… all I did was explore and discover for this whole session, and didn’t have combat at all. And I still really enjoyed it. I like the process of discovering what’s going on, and learning about the complicity of the elves, and how it works, was nifty. I like exploring worlds as much as fighting stuff; some of my favorite moments in the LoTR movies were where characters were walking around villages and having tea. I just liked lingering in the world for a time. Nothing much else needed to happen. Since I’m using the Solitaire Framework to build it as I go, I get to be genuinely surprised by things. I did not expect him to find an ally at all, much less an uncle and healer. That’s cool. I expect that attacking the temple is going to be a challenge. It’s going to take some strategy to win this.

Onward to Session 4

1 comment:

  1. Another fun and surprising post! As these go on, I've started running alternate narratives in my head, like other possibilities in an Abel-centric multiverse :)