A group of friends in a gaming-related FB group are playing a twice a month Into the Odd game. This week’s game had too many people signed up, so I divvied it up into a Monday and a Wednesday session. Grabbed the adventure in Trilemma Adventures that I’ve always thought was interesting.
Charcoal sketch from an old water-damaged tome on Narin’s Ring called Isles of the Porth-Montoon.
The adventure, I explained, was taking place in the Deep Country. Eventually, when the campaign has matured a bit, I’ll have some hex maps for the Deep Country, the Underground and Bastion. We’ll build up to it after a few isolated delves to give it all context. For now, I’m not mucking about with travel and encounters with bandits or pilgrims. Time works different in the three zones, allowing us lots of freedom. They took the train out of Bastion to its most southern point and then road mules through the Barrow Hills out to the coast to Narin’s Ring.
These characters had never gamed together. 2 of the players went to college together but hadn’t seen each other in decades. I asked some questions.
“Ming (silent M), what do the others notice about you during the journey?”
“Marcus, what kind of habits or tics do the others notice?”
“Culver, what do you tell them about the first delve you went on?”
They went right to the Umbilicus, a wrecked tribute ship from an old incarnation of the Bastion navy. I was scanning the book and missed that the other priests were armed and that half of them were salt zombies. Ah well.
There was a spirited fight against the Octopus God, full of chaos and messiness. Good on Marcus and Culver for going overboard to save their comrade, Ming (the M is silent). Ming very nearly died and passed out right as Culver dragged him to shore before the god could drag him off to Drowned Gaal. Marcus grabbed Ming’s falling pick-axe before it could fall to the bottom of the ocean. The Octopus God took off with the priest Culver had pushed overboard earlier.
Ming wanted to burn every building in the Ring down and kill everyone. Culver and Marcus were a bit more measured in their response. At one point we rolled some dice to see if Ming could light the Umbilicus on fire before Marcus could hold him down.
An elder of the island offered them a place on the Orthodox, an outlander ship that would be leaving soon, to keep them out of trouble. The trio took refuge among the sailors who wanted to sail away right this moment but the captain wanted to haggle with the Ring’s elders.
When Connor, one of the sailors, suggested not-so-subtly that they undertake some larceny and mutiny before sailing off the trio was reticent. Then a conch blew in the distance as night fell and a fog rolled in (I nixed the weakness effect – just didn’t like it). Marcus’ player astutely asked if the fog seemed natural. Maybe I should’ve asked, “How does Marcus try to figure out of the fog is natural or arcane?” but it felt like the perfect question.
“Yeah, Marcus, you see the fog is rolling in against the wind; it makes no damned sense.” Suddenly, the group was all in for mutiny and larceny. Connor led them to a curio dealer to rob. Two burly sailors waited by the harbor chain to make sure the Orthodox could sail away. In the end it all worked out, though they sent Connor back to the boat to warn them that underwater zombies were coming for the Orthodox. Connor never arrived and the trio got back before the zombies attacked.
Interesting moment: the players had stepped out of character to discuss what to do. The fog hadn’t rolled in yet and they weren’t sure. A friend said, “Do we want to finish the advneture and grab some treasure,” and I had to stop them. “Cutting your losses and going home is a valid choice. We had an exciting fight on a ruined ship with an octopus-deity and got to take part in some fun fantasy moments. There is no pressure to finish anything in any particular way.” I didn’t want them to feel that some prep of mine was going to go to waste.
It was a fun adventure, a fun situation. The group did a nice job of checking in with each other as in-character tensions rose. I never felt like people were fighting, even as characters were disagreeing.
There were some good questions about the level of tech in the world and if there was any underwater gear. Maybe some Bastion adventurers will return to the seas around Narin’s Ring to try and poke around Drowned Gaal with some diving gear.
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