Into the Odd Delve #2: Scouting the Dusklands

Into the Odd Delve #2: Scouting the Dusklands

Yeah, 2.5 came before 2. Don’t @ me.

In the first adventure there was a gate that led to the Dusklands. The players had an arrow fired at them and shut the gate. In that time, I wrote out the adventure using my Trophy Gold Incursion format.

I wrote notes and really the most interesting bits came from decisions that weren’t on the page. Could very well be that having those notes gave me the peace of mind to make up the cool shit that made the game go because I didn’t have to think about the stuff I had outlined. Or the outline just wasn’t good (not the format, just my work within it) and so I fell back on old GMing instincts that have been getting me out of trouble for most of my life. I think it served me well; one of the players mentioned the details as being helpful during our post-game talk.

For whatever reason, I decided the Dooskalfs did not speak any language the players could understand. But their art and runes are so good that they can convey complicated stories and points of view by sharing this art. It was fun to convey lore and background through alien art.

I’m not going to get into specifics of the adventure but I’ll say that the players made smart decisions that kept them away from violence. Whenever possible, they reached out peacefully. I had an oathstone in my notes and this became the crux of the adventure as Marcus Guilder, one of the player characters, swore an oath that drove the rest of the game.

The game branched out and has demanded a future foray through this gate and into the Dusklands to loot a necromancer’s tower and a delve into the Herald’s Tomb, to return a Dooskalf’s remains to their comrades so that the prisoner in their tower might get an easier judgment from their Elders.

This trio of players gelled quickly. I’ve been playing lots of games with people from different parts of my life and this group had chemistry that I don’t often seen. It wasn’t anything any one of them did, just something about the four of us all together.

We did Stars and Wishes after the game, a tradition I will continue moving forward.

We discussed the need for our characters to be able to share delve reports with one another. I reckon we’ll do so through Google Docs.

Delve & Salvage Cooperative *** Report Ledger

Worn cover of an old book

There were no fights and only a few saves here and there. Guy’s player, when I asked them if they spoke Dooksalf, decided to let it be decided by a roll, a roll that really decided the vibe of the rest of the game. The roll failed; Guy had not paid attention in his Otherworldly Linguistics class. In other news, Bastion University has an Otherworldly Linguistics class.

The other roll I remember is also Guy, who was making a map and I wanted to know if it was a good map that could help future delvers and/or help them get through the Pentacle Valley in a hurry if they needed to hoof it back to the gate home. The map was excellent.

Into the Odd helped by allowing one of the new players to make a character in a few minutes with enough there to offer a vivid character but not so much that the character’s death would offer any real problems.

I have a FB group of about 144 friends who are either games or nerd-adjacent. I asked if they’d like to use the community to plan a few Into the Odd games a month and this game was born of that.

I recorded our Post-Game Stars & Wishes. This is my first time doing this. Might record more of these possibly with a short summary of what happened in the game.

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Delve #2.5 Sacrifice, Mutiny & Larceny: Into the Odd and Trilemma

Delve #2.5 Sacrifice, Mutiny & Larceny: Into the Odd and Trilemma

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.

Edited out the Octopus-God.

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?”

Into the Odd

Delve #2.5
Sacrifice, Mutiny & Larceny

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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Dragonslayers: Consequences to telling off a dragon

Dragonslayers: Consequences to telling off a dragon

Adler, insisting that he’s just a tailor, is on the edge of the bridge, watching the Young Storm glide in the distance on thermals. Drifter is on the cobblestones of the bridge nearby, in Dragon Dreams. Draven, with a successful Dex check, has dropped from the netting meant to keep the gryphons penned in into a tree and to the floor of the gorge, where dragonsworn archers have their eyes looking up, trying to suss out who is brazen enough to attack the young dragon.

From Last Game
PIC: Cool-ass dragon eye made from an alligator eye pic.
TEXT: Dragonslayers / Military fantasy built on Into the Odd

Jay couldn’t make it, so we played for about an hour and then pumped the brakes a bit.

I was more than ready for Draven to die but that wasn’t what the fickle Dice Gods had in store for him today.

Draven had explosives divvied up into small packets and he threw those into the unaware archers, who were looking up to the bridge, expecting a larger battalion of soldiers brave enough to face down Young Storm, the blue dragon. I had Draven roll a d12 and the archers, caught flat-footed and unaware as they were only rolled a d4. The d12 did 10 points of damage, decimating the 20 archers and the squire who led them. They weren’t all dead, just not ready to organize as a group of soldiers until someone came and took control.

That said, Draven failed his Strength test and so he took Critical Damage, falling unconscious. I might’ve missed a roll on a critical damage table, something to watch out for next time. Long-story-short, Draven was captured, thrown into the brig with the Gyphon riders they were here to save.

Meanwhile, Drifter was in the Dragon dreams when the explosives went off. Young Storm followed his father’s instructions, getting the eff out of there. Drifter had one-on-one time with The Dragon in the Dragon Dreams. Looking back, I wish I had taken some time to describe that a bit better – something to watch out for next time in the Dragon Dreams, a missed opportunity to describe the villain of the story. Drifter sold himself as a Dragonsworn spy, built on the reputation he had as the Betrayer of Green Devil Gorge.

Some fun back and forth between Draven and the Gryphon Riders. “Wait, aren’t you a rider? Which unit were you with?”

“7th Courier.”

“Fucking couriers…”

Spear Subject Divider


Playing the turncoat to the hilt, Drifter got into the brig with the Dragon-knight he had seen in the Dragon Dreams. Draven and Drifter jumped the knight, using the chaos from the grenade and the decimated unit still trying to put itself back together outside. We rolled some dice and they stabbed the knight and got the riders to their flying steeds, letting them know to meet them at Crone’s Pass.

Drifter had an ability from chargen, Summon the Saint of Goats. We pictured a non-Satanic Black Phillip vibe and they got help climbing out of the Green Devil Gorge.

I like the way the dice all roll at once and we look at the damage and figure out what it all means. It feels like the Fair and Clear phase dice rolling from early Forge games. The damage and people’s hit points all make for a visceral result in ways that are always interesting.

I’m also digging the way the d66 tables from chargen have added spice to this stew.

Next week we’ll head northwest towards Crone’s Pass, avoiding the dragon’s forces who will be on high alert after this flagrant act of rebel terrorism.

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More Into the Odd in the 6 Cities Thoughts

Thinking about those imaginary friends who want to play Into the Odd but in a setting that is a bit more D&Dish. Thinking this post over and it would not have been enough. Here are the tables from that post in a slideshow:

Maybe players get to choose which city their character is from and they get a character based on their hit point total. Perhaps new places and character options can be opened by forming relationships by new folk from different places.

Cool, then we take a hint from our Dragonslayers game and when players roll up their Strength, Dexterity, Willpower, HP and Coin, they keep track of any 1’s or 2’s. For every 1 or 2, they can roll one more time (everyone gets a free roll) on the table below, getting allies, pets, lore, weapons, reputations and spells that link one’s character to the setting in unexpected ways.

I’m thinking of a rule where players can choose the result of any 1 die roll during their chargen. If they have zero 1’s or 2’s, they seem to be the subject of a prophecy that may or may not be true and they can pick their one result from the d66 table below (but only after everyone with worse stats has already gone).

11 Torchbearer
12 Scoundrel
13 Zealous friend
14 Loyal Duelist
15 Runaway Apprentice
16 Ghost
21 Domesticated Mimic
22 Hawk-sized Dragonish Critter
23 Underpanther
24 Blink Dog
25 Talking Owl
26 Little Monkey
31 LORE: necromancy, undead and the planes they inhabit.
32 LORE: elementals, their kin, and the  planes they inhabit.
33 LORE: Devils, their kin and the planes they inhabit.
34 LORE: Demons, their kin and the planes they inhabit.
35 LORE: Angels, their kin and the planes they inhabit.
36 LORE: dragons, their kin and their lairs and habits.
41 A runeblade, malevolent and deadly
42 A silver blade, stolen and psionic
43 An ancient dagger with a fell name.
44 A spear from a famous hero-king's barrow.
45 A staff that belonged to a famous wizard.
46 A bright blade, shining and full of destiny
51 Saviour of the Northtowns
52 Orcfriend
53 Elf-friend
54 Gnomefriend
55 Dragonfriend
56 Hero of the Barrow Hills
61 Learned a spell from a Hidden Cache of  Scrolls from the Mage Wars.
62 Learned a spell from a tome called Gifts from the Fae Queen.
63 Learned a spell from  a book called  the Wizard’s Guild Journeyman Archives
64 Learned a spell from a book entitled Olde Queen’s Druidaria.
65 Learned a spell from a pile of scrolls known as the Black Market Hobgoblin Cantrips
66 Learned a spell from a tome known as the Lake Country Family Illusions.

Yes, I know, I need tables for the spells. Luckily, I have a google doc with spell names that should do the trick. I’ll post those tables next time.

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The Bastion Free Library

The Bastion Free Library

TEXT: Bastion Free Library / Cataloging the stars above / Accessing the mysteries below

PIC: Worn library building icon with star above and dingus below...

In the central blocks of Bastion’s Bookbinding District is the Bastion Free Library, an organization born from the work of the city’s founders and the good will of more recent philanthropists. The open door policy of the library and its mission to support the many communities in Bastion is a stark contrast to the dozens of subscription libraries around the city, that provide access to information and Arcana to only the wealthiest clients. The B.F.L.’s steadfast librarians work tirelessly to round up items of all kinds so its collection remain relevant to its citizens lives.

Arcana that the library holds cannot just be checked out like a book but can often by used and studied in the depths of the library’s sub-basements. If the need is clearly illustrated to the library’s advisory board and the Arcana’s powers match the situation at hand, a librarian will in some rare cases be dispatched to oversee the Arcana’s use outside the library’s walls. Those who steal the item or harm the guardian librarian will find themselves hunted by driven library comrades who have spent a lifetime delving into the darkest depths of the Underground and the farthest reaches of the Deep Country in pursuit of lore. Also, those who would steal from the library or harm its staff will find that support and good will from people and factions all over Bastion will quickly dry up, as the free library is a beloved institution.

The library treads a precarious line. Some librarians even claim a kind of magical neutrality. The time will come soon when citizens trying to wrest a true democracy out of oligarchic grip, a union fighting to prevail against militarized union busters or marginalized community struggling to survive will ask to use an Arcana under library care. That will be an interesting day on the streets of Bastion.

Chief Librarian Jeanine Pepper, Bastion Public Library STR 10, 9HP, 2G

Driven to gather and catalog rare Arcana and Manuscripts from all over Bastion, the Underground and the Deep Country and provide access to Bastion’s citizenry.

Outreach and Excavation Team 8HP Skirmish Knives (short swords with basket hilts) and dueling shields d6

Local Fundraising and City Government Support 4G Income

Founder’s Endowment d8G Income (can be bumped up to d10 for one cycle but until that money is repaid, it will operate at a d6)

Archivist General Holmes Volfhole, Elmer Volfhole Library Inc STR 8, 12HP, 7G

Driven to gather Arcana and Manuscripts in order to bolster its collection and increase the power and prestige of the private library’s shareholders.

Volfhole Acquisition Team 12HP Muskets w/ bayonets d8

Corporate Budget d8G Income

Black Market Dealings d4G Income

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Dragonslayers Character Creation & First Session

Dragonslayers Character Creation & First Session

The Dragon and its children, personifications of greed and power, rule this area by tooth, claw and fire along with their dragon knights (knights in cool dragon-adorned armor) and loyal bureaucrats and dragonsworn nobles. The player characters were a part of a resistance, a rebel force that fought the Dragon and its armies on 4 brutal fronts and lost. Now they are all that’s left…

PIC: Cool-ass dragon eye made from an alligator eye pic.
TEXT: Dragonslayers / Military fantasy built on Into the Odd

Paraphrasing what it says in the PDF below, I asked the players to roll up their Strength, Dex, Will, HP and Coin, marking down anytime they get a 1 or 2. Those 1’s and 2’s allowed for extra rolls on the d66 tables below. The tables coincide with different fronts of the war against the dragon and its forces. They can choose whichever front interests them for each roll. The characters had terrible stats, so there were lots of rolls on the tables.

Moving forward, I’ll have an equipment package with each front, asking the player to choose which one, of the fronts they rolled on, that they get. I also have an odd idea of someone who has ZERO 1’s and 2’s in their character creation having a reputation as some kind of prophesied Chosen One, with no mechanical back-up but some in-setting awe and maybe a little fear.

I had evocative stuff on the tables and did not define any of it. At the time I thought I didn’t define it because I was getting this playable fast but after a session of play, I like that the players define it.

Jay‘s character, Adler, had General’s Red Right Hand as a reputation. Jay defined that as having a rep for being a killer but the truth of it is that he killed someone assaulting him entirely by accident, a kind of reverse John Wick-pencil-situation.

Aaron’s character, Drift, had a reputation of being the Betrayer of Green Devil Gorge and Aaron defined that as meaning he had leaked intel to the dragon’s knights to draw them into a battle where the rebellion had an advantage but in doing so fed another group of rebels into the dragon’s maw, hoping for a good trade but in the end, both groups of rebels were destroyed.

Jim defined a contact as a talking green devil-bat, somehow related to the Green Devil and defined his Manticore Spear as having spikes that cause extra wounds when they meet flesh.

The map is set and the situation is firm but the players get to define things on their character sheets. Everyone assuming that Adler is some kind of bad-ass assassin while he insists that he is just a tailor is so much fun. The world has gained lots of details and richness from discussions about what different reputations, weapons and magic abilities mean. I’m there to offer ideas if needed because I definitely have ideas but also like it when the setting goes into areas I had not anticipated from character definitions.

We played our first session today. I wasn’t sure until we started if I was going to start the mission Blades in the Dark-style and start at the fort where the captured gryphon-riders and their gryphons were being held with a roll to see the starting situation. As it was, I’m glad I didn’t. Going through check-points through the Green Devil Gorge, meeting soldiers and dragonknights and their squires helped get a feel for the world and the characters. The players weren’t planning things to death.

When I wasn’t exactly sure how someone would react, I’d make a reaction roll and if a player did something that I just wasn’t exactly sure how an enemy would react, I’d ask for a Willpower check. When Draven pushed his ass-kissing to a dragonknight at the first gate, the Greengate, a little too far, everyone winced noticeably and I asked for a roll. It was a failure, so the knight sent word ahead to the next gate and that gate really took their faux merchant cart apart and asked lots of questions.

Drifter’s reputation as the Betrayer of Green Devil Gorge got him into the good graces of the Twingate’s knight, getting them out of trouble. They stayed at Twingate for a few days, letting Adler do some needed mending and gathering intel. I asked for a Willpower roll to see how the intel gathering went and it was a successful roll. I gave a broad overview of the soldiers and then dropped the big into bomb on them – The Young Storm, one of the Dragon’s own spawn, would be coming through the Green Devil Gorge to check on things.

I rolled once a day of travel time to see if the dragon arrived and when they got to Sixbridge, the bridge above the fort where the soldiers and their gryphons are being held, I rolled double 6’s. The Young Storm flew by and Jim said, “Fuck you.” I asked him if Draven said that. He said that he did say that. Maybe it was because Jim’s mic was a little louder than the others. Maybe it was because Smaug had amazing hearing. The Young Storm wheeled around in the sky to attack the person who dared drop an eff-bomb at him.

Aaron and Jay watched, awestruck, as the dragon and Draven tilted, the Young Storm breathing lighting on the fearless rebel. I could’ve easily killed him in those rolls but I didn’t, just took him down to 0 HP.

Aaron described Drifter’s eyes going white as his eyes rolled up and he went into Dragon Dreams. Wtf are Dragon Dreams? I decided they were how the dragons communicate and their most trusted knights had the ability. The Young Storm’s knight had entered the dream to talk to The Dragon and report that his son had been attacked.

The Dragon ordered his son to retreat to Tensgate and let his knights deal with whoever it was who had the audacity to attack a dragon. The son thinks it is an agent of the Manticore, based on the spear Draven had from chargen.

Adler, insisting that he’s just a tailor, is on the edge of the bridge, watching the Young Storm glide in the distance on thermals. Drifter is on the cobblestones of the bridge nearby, in Dragon Dreams. Draven, with a successful Dex check, has dropped from the netting meant to keep the gryphons penned in into a tree and to the floor of the gorge, where dragonsworn archers have their eyes looking up, trying to suss out who is brazen enough to attack the young dragon.

And that is where we’ll start next week. I have no idea what is going to happen. Can’t wait.

The above PDF is a rough playtest doc with only a first shot at writing down character creation.

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Into the Odd Quick Adventure Inspirational Tables

Into the Odd Quick Adventure Inspirational Tables

I’m running a twice a month game of Into the Odd with some friends. We’re about to have our second session and I’m fairly sure I know what the next few delves will be. After a while, once we have some context about our place in Bastion and our delves’ places in the Underground and the Deep Country’s orbit around all this mess, the players will likely start initiating ideas for delves.

But what if an adventure goes faster than I had anticipated or I want a fast idea?

If so, I’ve got the tables in the Oddpendium and I’ve got these.

Inspired by Into the Odd, Electric Bastionland and the playtest doc for Mythic Bastionland

Underground Faction
1 Rust Consortium
2 Star Cult
3 Ancient Council
4 Star Refugee
5 Lost Delvers
6 Mutant Beasts
Deep Country Faction
1 Secret Arcane Society
2 Rebellious Village Youth
3 Anti-Bastionists
4 Star Hunters
5 Irate Village Elders
6 Country Beast-God
Bastion Faction
1 Academics
2 Union Workers
3 The Young and the Hip
4 Revolutionaries
5 Urban Wildlife
6 Civic Officials

Daydreaming about Hex Flowers a bit too. Next time.

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The Delve & Salvage Cooperative

The Delve & Salvage Cooperative

Something I want out of my dungeon-delving fantasy crystalized during last night’s Into the Odd’s session. It is a feeling that has been growing since playing Wake of the Sorcerer Kings with Sean (LINK to blog posts / LINK to youtube videos). Here it is:

I want to play our games in a weird, sometimes horrific, fantasy dreamscape and not a capitalist nightmare.

In Wake of the Sorcerer Kings we solved this by making the delving a union-backed civic duty that, like firefighters, protected the community.

I wanted something a little different for Into the Odd and it hit me during a moment where they were divvying up the treasure. The players did fine and found a cut that worked for them. I have no interest in that tension. I want treasure to go into the Delving and Salvage Cooperative’s (DaSC?) vault, able to be signed out and used on future delves by whoever needs it. Everything the delvers find is community property, co-owned by their comrade adventurers who are a part of the Co-Op.

This takes pressure off the game and gets rid of arguments about how gets what treasure. The treasure goes in a pile and once they are home, into the vault. Cool stuff is shared. It is a community.

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Into the Odd Delve #1: The Nine’s Tomb

Into the Odd Delve #1: The Nine’s Tomb

Thousands of years ago, when I was in junior high, we’d play AD&D and the premise was called the Quest of the Nine. In this premise, one character from each alignment represented a higher power in a quest to find an artifact called the Dragon Orb. The idea was that we couldn’t directly hurt one another but once we got to the Dragon Orb, all bets were off.

Hence, my Into the Odd adventure idea, the 9’s Tomb, in which adventurers have had themselves interred in the Underground. Since Into the Odd is an industrial take on dungeon delving, the adventurers we knew from D&D were a thousand years ago. It felt fitting to loot what we know of adventuring as the first delve.

Less than a thousand years ago I had a Facebook Group of FB friends who are also gamers. 99% of them I’ve either met at cons or have gamed with face to face over the years. I asked if folks were interested in gaming together and got a few games together, thinking that we’d play an Into the Odd campaign in a consistent world. This was our first session in what I hope will be a twice-a-month game with rotating players.

After past year or so of Thursday nights going to D&D 5e, Into the Odd felt sparse in a good way. Rather than go to the dice, I found myself asking lots of questions about what the characters were doing and what it looked like, so I could decide how the world reacted. When the dice did come out they were fast and decisive. No initiative and no to-hit rolls was a relief. When in doubt, I shared too much information, so the players had enough information to make interesting decisions.

The tone was perhaps goofier than my gaming usually is – with the Fighter and Thief Skeletons playing it up for yucks until Culver showed them his Arcanum, a Bone Box, and the Thief stabbed him to get it. There are Prog Rock musicians called The Floating Skulls in this world, we discovered. I doubt I’ll be able to stop myself from making Floating Skull band t-shirts.

My favorite moment was when they cut a deal with the attacking Air Elemental and opened a gate they found in another room to the Dusklands, where a Dooskelf had attacked them earlier. Outside the box thinking and using the world around them as tools and levers feels like exactly what this game should be doing. What will become of an Air Elemental in the Dusklands? Maybe we’ll find out some day, maybe it will just be a mystery.

The players made interesting decisions – leaving the Intelligent Sunsword in its tomb, rather than deal with the Sword Nun who appeared to whoever wielded it, asking the wielder about their faith. They crushed the Thief’s skull rather than keep the living/talking skull as a mentor and adopted the electrified floating sphere, naming it Sparky.

We hit the fast forward button a bit at the end, getting through the last bits of the dungeon; the interesting parts were already thoroughly mined. Moving forward, we’ll flesh out the Underground, Bastion and the Deep Country and I’ll make a map of some kind with notes on the unknown bits in between the explored areas until we have a kind of hex-crawly shaped thing to explore. But for now, just single shot adventures as the characters grow stranger and stranger and the world is filled with ancient religions, prog rock bands and dusklit dimensions just beyond a magical portal.

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Dragonslayers: military fantasy built on Into the Odd

Dragonslayers: military fantasy built on Into the Odd

The Dragon and its children, personifications of greed and power, rule this area by tooth, claw and fire along with their dragon knights (knights in cool dragon-adorned armor) and loyal bureaucrats and dragonsworn nobles. The player characters were a part of a resistance, a rebel force that fought the Dragon and its armies on 4 brutal fronts and lost. Now they are all that’s left…

Dragonslayers / Military fantasy built on Into the Odd

Red dragon's yellow eye, built digitally from a crocodile eye

I made 4 different d66 tables, one for each front of the war. The Northern Front is where the dragon’s lair, a front where mountain pass battles with dragon knights and very possible engagement from The Dragon itself. The Southern Front isn’t a proper front, but where a city-state is, where lots of intelligence battles and back-alley knife fights occurred – the only battle mentioned on the Southern Front’s d66 tables is The Knight of a Thousand Knives. The Eastern Front is where the Green Devil Gorge is located, lots of hit and run battles in the hills and gorges, trying to make a dent in the Dragon’s overland merchant caravans. The Western Front is the Riverlands, covered in fortresses and castles, lots of prolonged sieges, starvation and fallen walls.

The characters got one free roll on any of the fronts of their choice and then got another roll for every 1 or 2 they rolled when rolling up their 3 stats, HP and Gold. We ended up with interesting characters who had an array of gear, named weapons, magical abilities, reputations (some well earned, some not so much), intelligence and contacts. I had a vague idea about getting more rolls through trying to level up and possibly taking scars but nixed it as too complicated; we had more than enough rolls on the evocative d66 tables.

One of the players had a child as a kind of contact/NPC/ally and I realized that, in a brutal war story, that could be a really poor choice. We X-carded it and had them roll again. Moving forward, I’ll take those options off the chart and come up with something better.

We had to cut the first session off early so we made characters, described said characters and the players decided that the first mission would be rescuing a unit of gryphon riders and their steeds who are held captive in a fort in the Green Devil Gorge. I wanted that first mission to come to them, not that I think any of these folks are going to have any trouble being proactive.

I’ve got ideas on statting out the dragons and some houserules on characters gaining more hit-points but more on system stuff later as it migrates from my ink in my notebook to a Google Doc. Looking forward to seeing this shake out at the table.

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Tabletop Role-Playing Game Collection
https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/collections/tabletop-role-playing-games