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Kiltayre: Session 10 planning ideas

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One of the premises of this game was that the characters are from the same village, trust each other, are friends, and as GM I will keep the CR’s within the DMG recommended strata. This has all been met, mostly, with some PC’s drifting into distrust of the others out of player-habit, and out of one PC’s actions.

What I’ve noticed is that some of the players just fall into the same character with a new suite of powers (the current build). Do you have players doing this?

 

For Session 10; the PCs are at the Iron Tower and I hope they continue to explore. The incentives are pretty good since there is nothing about for 50 miles of snowy wastes. 50 miles away is the Black Tower, counterpart to the one they are in, so its not much of an incentive because the PC’s can reasonably expect it to be similar.

 

The mention of war, the Rhett invading from the south with one of their first reported victories being the PC’s home town has fizzled out (in what is discussed at the table & in-character). However, that is mostly environmental with a little bit of avoiding the RP that could be had. It will really take them returning to civilization for this to come back to focus – they need other people about, and their communication, to find out more about this.

 

When we get back to the original rhyme, from the Seer-woman in Felk Bay, we are only up to:

“Five swords of bone.”

Yet it seems they may have found them in the walking sarcophagi with their bone-claw attacks… or have they?

 

Another premise, although recent, is that we’ll escalate towards Epic-ness. That means pushing it out to levels in the teens, where the PC’s will be amongst the most powerful beings in the land. And for that I have a whopper of a subplot that even Erikson might enjoy.

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Kiltayre Session 8: review

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The game session went well. Full-house of players at the table and air-con to stave off the heat of a 37C degree day (99F for our imperial friends).

 

Play started out with the players incarcerated. Alassiel retrieved her psi-crystal. It’s fine size allowing it to make an unseen path to its mistress. She spent her time in the cell deciphering the memorized script of Felghanis’ Uncle’s journal.

 

Kallista, poor Kallista, was suffering the most. She cried and screamed for a priest. The gaoler asked it if was for a confession of her crimes. Kallista agreed to confess to trespass on the church’s road. The meeting didn’t come for hours.

 

Felghanis went for the top. “I need to speak to the Prelate.”

Eventually, some 6 hours later, the Prelate met with Felghanis.

 

Both meetings were between somewhat desperate prisoners and skilled diplomats. Each time the priest or the Prelate was well-used to dealing with such a situation. The prisoners were sent back. In Kallista’s case with a bucketful of guilt.

 

They persisted for a time until the lack of water began to take its toll. When they finally were given water Kallista attempted to create more but without her focuses and spellbook she failed the spell; drenching herself and her bedclothes. She passed out after less than an hour from the cold.

 

It was at this time, nearly 48 hours after being incarcerated, that they were moved by cart to a huge stone ship that sat berthed on the river of Dwarf Town. It had no sails and the populace seemed unwilling to come any closer than the shore to see it, or they ignored it. In the hold was like being in a cave. Time passed. They were fed, watered, and witnessed a fight over food. Callan, a murderer, pulled the eye from the prisoner who stole his bread, adding another soul to his victims.

 

Fenris was another prisoner, a self-confessed traitor, and three brothers; Tomasso, Dean and the eldest, as well as two dwarves, were there for tax-evasion. In chains they travelled in the belly of this stone ship. Alassiel shared that it was known generally as demon stone ships, and the church really ought not to be trucking with the likes who might have one.

 

After a lost amount of time, Kallista awoke to see Fenris apparently meditating. She heard the mutterings and recognised some words of summoning. It appeared he was calling in a pact, that had elements of summoning in its request. Alassiel awoke and drew the same conclusion. It was Felghanis who attempted to intervene (with his Charnel Touch channelled through his foot). Yet bad luck prevented Fel from managing to reach Fenris. Kallista was first to notice that the traitor had slipped his manacles.

 

Things began moving very quickly. Something smashed the ship and it wailed. Fenris started bending the bars, just enough to get his head out, and Fel called for the guards before he could escape. Like a wolf he lunged out and punched Fel nearly knocking the young necromancer unconscious. Dom quickly placated Fenris with promises to keep Fel quiet.

“Good. I don’t want you to drown,” Fenris’ reply was frightening.

“What’s happening?”

“I’m going to get the key,” Fenris answered. With a few more efforts he bent the bars and squeezed himself through, popping a shoulder, and replacing it once out.

 

More massive blows to the ship set it to screaming. Suddenly Fenris was back, with a sword and armoured, to see Dom and the dwarves were brute-forcing the manacles open. He threw in the key and then left. The part set about freeing everyone. Callan was last. Felghanis helped him loosed but the guards had beaten him so soundly he couldn’t walk properly.

“I’m not leaving without him,” Fel said resolutely.

Kallista nodded and joined the dark young man in aiding this murderer to get free of the hold.

The ship listed dramatically and then righted. They rushed up to the decks only to be blocked by thre guards with spears. They were shaken and desperately trying to carry out their orders.

“Get back below!” one bellowed.

“We’ll drown and you will, too.” Dom tried to reason with them.

“For no reason at all,” added one of the dwarves.

“Get back,” the guard was seeing the sense but fell back on his obedience to orders.

“Come on man, let us live, and you can, too. We can help each other get of this ship.”

Suddenly the prow pitched up and the ship ground over rocks to a halt. A flash of lightning from stern-ward lit up the night. Ahead was a looming cliff and above it a stretch of scrub. Motes of ice were driven in the strong wind and it was very dark.

The guards agreed and they used the mooring lines to make an escape.

 

At the rear of the deck a mage flung a lightning bolt. He was aided by a cluster of a dozen soldiers and they seemed to have driven off something huge. Into the dark water a massive neck and shoulder were swallowed by the midnight waves. Fenris was nowhere to be seen.

 

The ship went pale and the guards with their mage as leader arrived. Channelling raw mana, and then his own blood, the captain held the ship together enough for everyone to escape. including 6 guards who had salvaged three chests all marked with the sigil of the Church of St. Fergus. Once they were all off the mage leapt into a feather fall, and the ship collapsed in a fractured cacophony of stone shattering.

 

Assembled at the top the shock of the wrecking was passing. The captain ordered the soldiers to secure the prisoners. In what seemed like a whole minute, Kalista and Dom exchanged glances and then fled into the snow.
”Don’t pursue the,” the Captain said. “They will be back.”

He was right.

In return for the agreement to try to return Fenris to Captain Morgane the prisoners were given back their belongings (minus the deep earth crystal the party had acquired in the Soucairn of Thulemon) and set free. Seeing Felghanis’ with his map the Captain pointed out their current location.

“Plateau point.”

“What do you thin Fenris’ agenda will be?” Dom asked.

“He was robbing old tombs before he was arrested. I’d say he’ll be aiming to do that again.” The Captain’s eyes fell on the mark for the Iron Tower inked on Fel’s map.

 

The three brothers and Callan opted to head west and attempt to find Fenris that way. The dwarves joined the party and headed east.

 

The Iron Tower?

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Kiltayre Campaign: Session 6

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Again Chris has written a journal entry of the session. It is here.

http://www.buygameshobbies.com/stories/journals/journal-entrysession-6-05-02-2012-kalista/

This is the best one yet, I think, because it lets us in the character’s thoughts & feelings.

 

Overview

The characters finally made it to the five fingers of stone. Also known as the Hand of Gulresh. It was where the “nastier” Goblins lives. Those the captured Goblin in the Soucairn of Thulemon had said his gang fled. On the shoulder of the “thumb” was a stockaded settlement, or fort, with tall watchtower of wood.

It seemed to be manned by Scours of the Church of St. Fergus. Somehow one of the guards saw the party and a group of 8 were sent to investigate. The party hid from the Scours and were successful in evading them by hiding their tracks and just plain waiting them out.

Later they tried to circumvent the fort and enter the mountain. They found the mountain was a jail, and the keepers were the Scours. Using the Goblins’ females as collateral there was some bargain with the Goblins and they didn’t like it any more. Mobbing the watchtower the party heard thunderclaps break-up the riot.

Reconnaissance by the psi-crystal of Alassiel found that shipments are being sent and the latest wagon went out just that morning. They fort also requested reinforcements. The party chased the wagon and caught it, feigning to be travellers, they joined the wagon group. 3 soldiers and a priest.

Felghanis handed over his Uncle’s journal to the priest in the hope of being aided, or at least giving the damning evidence to people who have the power to take action – much to Dom’s horror (unfortunately Dom’s player was absent and we missed out on the potential for some great RP).

Pestritto, the priest, invited Felghanis on the wagon for some more assistance in learning the Uncle’s strange ever-shifting cipher (shifts from entry to entry). Fel saw a large trunk, metal-strapped, and bearing the sigil of the church. On the last watch, Fel’s watch, Pestritto confronted Fel about what they really were doing out here in the depth of winter. Next session we find out what Fel’s answers will lead to.

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Kiltayre: GM notes

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We’re about 5 sessions into the arc. It’s based on a few concepts:

A group of small-town, quite naive, friends adventuring together.

A “destiny” for the characters.

Play-style that is about the characters actually making it to the end of the main-plot.

Dangerous environment that requires co-operation, resource-tracking and planning to survive.

 

Given these influences on the game the style is a bit of a departure from our previous games. They were more about action and tactics than about heroics and interplay. That is still a part of the game but it’s dominance in the fore of attention has waned. They players are well aware they are potent for their level but understand that they can encounter threats far beyond their own combat capability. However, as GM I’ve committed to keep the base meta-game in play. That is encounter levels/CR are within the stated guidelines of the core books.

 

In combination with the game-rule elements of Fate Points and the in-game phylacteries, the PCs have a very strong case for making it to the end of the main plot. The challenge is to keep them motivated to pursue the main plot. So far it’s working well.

 

Last session was a bit of a “haunting”. With strange noises, slamming doors that shifted which way they opened, and the “ghost” in the crypt. Although the end of the game had them pointed straight back at the crypt it was great mental cliff-hanger (IMO) and it seemed to have the effect on the players’ faces.

 

Next session the grand plot will start to become visible to the players. Hopefully it will really push their buttons and get them motivated even more. For me, if an RPG is not about emotions then it is only about tactics and one may as well play miniature war-games instead.

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