The Dragon Deal with Troika!

The Dragon Deal with Troika!

Played tonight despite everyone being a bit low energy but still, we played and finished up the Sword Temple and established a cool next adventure. We’ve got another game on the calendar for next week but agreed that we’d ditch the game in favor of some social bonfire enjoyment if the weather is nice, not wanting to squander these last days of summer. We are treading dangerously close to having a weekly game on our hands if we aren’t careful.

PIC: Red dragon eye with scaly eye ridge. Don't tell anyone it is an alligator with red and blank radiant gradient over it.

TEXT: The Dragon Deal with Troika!

The artifact that they use to traverse the worlds is a Wind Throne and it has a dot matrix printer that prints out all of their maps for them. I like having a map on the table to draw on and give everyone a sense of place. I edit out secret doors. Dyson Logos maps are too good not to share. I made a basement map, where the dragon is sleeping and where its treasure used to be. When one of the monks was asked where the dragon’s treasure was, he said it was in a bank. The floor of the lair was largely empty with only the dragon’s three favorite swords on stands near where it sleeps.

We returned to the game right where we left off, with disarmed sword-monks on one side and vengeful children on the other. A dead sword-monk was nearby, his face decimated by the nunslinger’s laser pistol. The children wanted the dragon dead for destroying their village. Sister Falconius was cutting a new notch into the pistol’s grip in remembrance the kill.

Mental Note: I should have the old 2d6 Moldvay reaction table on hand for when I’m just not sure how NPC’s will react and no skills work.

I read the amazing description of the dragon to the table from the Troika! book and shared the cool art too. The knew the dragon would likely kill them. The vengeful children were grabbing swords off the wall and debating about which one is the best dragonslaying sword.

Sister Falconius talked to the children, urging them to go outside and wait for them to flush the dragon out to them and told the monks to bar the doors and not beat anymore children. Then, Mallory cut a deal with the dragon. In flattering and flowery turns of phrase, Mallory asked that the dragon (“Lord Dragon is fine.”) never harm the village again and in return, they would do something for the dragon.

The dragon asked the nunslinger about the fresh notch on her pistol and she said something poignant about not only doing it to warn off would-be aggressors but to remember the violence she’s done.

They agreed to retrieve a sword from a king who slayed one of the dragon’s kin. This dragonslaying king stole a flame brand blade meant for a dragon’s own champion. In return, the dragon would not go near the village as long as one of the children still lived – as long as none ever entered the temple again.

When this was explained to the vengeful children, they complained that it wasn’t fair. In the end, I had them go home but I think we’ll see them again.

Science Fantasy Sword Subject Divider

Now I’m daydreaming about a city ruled by a dragonslaying king. Slaga means slayer and cwealmdr√©or is blood shed in death in Old English.

https://dysonlogos.blog/2020/10/19/marpenoth-river-city/

I’ll fill the blanks below with character options from Troika!’s d66 chargen tables, using those character options as factions. I’ll probably roll or choose on the game day.

The Slayer King took the throne when the Wizard-King never returned, killed in the attempt to slay the dragon.

The Slayer King took the throne and holds on to his power with the zealous backing of the _____________________________.

The Slayer King is dangerously close to losing the support of the _____________________________.

Across the channel, a monarch trained originally as a _____________________________ watches for signs of weakness in Slaga.

Science Fantasy Sword Subject Divider

Wind Throners,

The Slayer King is a difficult man to see. You’ve all been in the city of Slaga for a month now.

What is your favorite part of life in Slaga?

Does anyone get a job or do you crash in barns outside of Slaga’s walls, trading a roof for a hard day’s choring?

Does anyone fall in with the wrong sort?

Does anyone fall in love?

Does anyone grow up a bit? How does this maturity manifest?

Who seeks out what kind of training?

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Solving Problems with Swords, Necromancy & Laser Pistols ala Troika!

Solving Problems with Swords, Necromancy & Laser Pistols ala Troika!

We played our first game in June, so it was a bit hazy. Luckily, it was a good stopping point, jumping to another world aboard an artifact throne. I asked folks to remember moments where they felt their character come forward and that led to a fun discussion about things we did in the last session.

Solving Problems with Swords, Necromancy & Laser Pistols with Troika!

We ended on the Throne of Air, with young Mallory, a runaway squire from a Temple of Telak (“No, it is tel-AK.”) the Swordbringer asking the artifact to bring them somewhere cool. I said that we’d start the game at the Temple of Ten Thousand Swords but I think there is an adventure with that name already, so in an ancient tongue, ten thousand is shorthand for, more swords than is reasonable to count. Many.

A nameless Necromancer with a co-dependent ghost named Rory, a Nunslinger named Sister Falconius Silvanus and Adamson ‘The Kraken’ Mallory, runaway temple knight of Telak the Swordbringer found themselves in a mountain range, near a temple. Mallory could tell it was a Telakite temple but something seemed off.

Tech Sword Subject Divider

The Prep

Last time we played I rolled dice and inserted factions based on the d66 character types but this time I knew I wanted a temple to Telak the Swordbringer but with a dragon sleeping in it. When I opened the book to look over some rules, I found the Vengeful Child character type. Instead of making a mad libs and rolling dice, I wrote:

Vengeful Children are running amok, wanting to kill the dragon and avenge the burning and pillaging of their town.

BLANK has a spy among the Telakite Monks.

Telakite Sword-Monks are trying to avert the dragons’ wrathful awakening.

I grabbed a map from the amazing Dyson Logos and did a touch of editing. More on editing next time, we ended this session in the midst of some Big Decisions. When we sat down, I filled in the BLANK and it fit into the story whole mess perfectly.

I knew I’d need to make swords and so I made three tables.

SWORDS! Type
1 Longsword
2 Gladius
3 Katana
4 Rapier
5 Saber
6 Two-Hander
SWORDS! Magic
1 Runes
2 Star-Metal
3 Tech
4 Blessing
5 Elemental 
6 Spell
SWORDS! Purpose
1 War
2 Fashion
3 Dueling
4 Executions
5 Slaying
6 Ornamental

Shit, do I now need a table of elements? Sure. Do I need two tables of elements? Yes.

Elements
1 Fire
2 Earth
3 Water
4 Air
5 See Strange
6 See Strange
Elements, Strange
1 Ice
2 Smoke
3 Mirrors
4 Magma
5 Steam
6 Black Hole

These were dropped into a pretty format for the blog but were just jotted down into my notebook quickly so that I could get this thing down in hopes of getting in a workout and a shower before the game (I got both in!).

I only used the tables once during the game. When they met their first vengeful child, I decided that he had grabbed a sword off the wall and rolled. I got a katana that I called Spring Blossoms on the Wall. Later in the game, when Mallory would use this magical katana to try to thwart a 13 year old girl with a longsword from stabbing the abbot, he’d fail his roll. I asked if he wanted to Try His Luck and see if he could activate the sword’s arcane power. He declined, not wanting to hurt her by accident, which I really liked – felt like a soulful, very real reaction.

Tech Sword Subject Divider

The Characters

The posse we’ve made are in their teens and early twenties and they feel very young. We laugh a whole lot at their shenanigans but it isn’t goofy. There is an emotional core there that I dig. Sister Falconius is a kind of old, cool sister with a laser pistol. The Necromancer without a name who is in an unhealthy relationship with a ghost feels so very much like a young woman before she comes into her own. Mallory is the teenage boy who wants to see the dragon, even though it might spell death for the entire party, because its cool. He carries around swords and has spent his life worshipping a sword-god but isn’t good at swordplay.

They are a hot mess and I adore these teens. Will we see them grow up? Will they survive?

Even without dragons, how did any of us survive those decades growing up?

Tech Sword Subject Divider

Dice

For whatever reason, I don’t like the roll under option and use the versus roll for everything. I need to think through what exactly I’m doing when I do that and write that down.

As the game began, I wasn’t sure how the Vengeful Children were doing as they tore through the Temple. I rolled 2d6 for the Sword-Monks and another 2d6 for the Vengeful Children. It was clear that the Sword-Monks had the upper hand and so the game began with a few monks tossing out a bruised and battered kid. I used those numbers I initially rolled for the first few conflicts where the characters tried to use their skills to get some kind of upper hand.

At one point, Sister Falconius tried to kneecap a Sword-Monk and failed the roll. A miss felt wrong. She shot the monk in the head, killing them instantly and accidentally. The monks dropped their staves and put their hands up after that but I feel like we’ll need to see a consequence of that death at some point. I’ve got ideas. I want failed rolls with firearms to be messy affairs.

Tech Sword Subject Divider

Next Time…

This is what happens when you send teens out into the worlds with only laser pistols, swords and necromancy to solve their problems but they also have tools, right out of the Troika! chargen that are better suited for solving actual problems – skills like Awareness, Etiquette and Relationship Counseling.

When we left the group, they had the vengeful children and the Sword-Monks rounded up. The abbot had been stabbed by a child. The six-step countdown clock for the dragon waking up had a few ticks on it. As always, I have no idea where this is going.

After our next game I’ll write about how this mess resolved and will also peel back the curtain more on the prep without worrying about spoiling any sense of mystery for friends at the table.

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