Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Conflict Card Distribution

Here are the card groups for each player.  Take note that you can see copies of ALL the cards here, so if there's any you think you should have, or which you want to trade for (lie, beg, seduce or boast), let me know.

The pickings are lean for three of the characters because you fellas truly raped your interactive stats for strength, constitution and dexterity.  Just so you know.

Ahmet's Cards:

Andrej's Cards:

Nine-toes' Cards:

Silvius' Cards:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It Hasn't Ended Yet in Engelke

Monday & Early Tuesday, August 25 & 26, 1650

Weather: Pleasant temperatures continue, with cloudy skies now, no rainfall and a moderate breeze.

The plundering of the town continues apace.  Distant cries, shouts, the clashing of weapons, the screaming of women and so on seeps in from outside, as a good deal of the wealth of Engelke is extracted in exchange for a population boost nine months from now, rich with genetic diversity ... not that anyone in the party knows about that.

Watchman #3, who identifies himself as Joost, approaches Silvius and Nine-toes, who happen to be standing together.  "Pardon me sirs, but Klaas and I;" Joost refers to the fellow resting in the corner, who nods when you look at him, "have been talking about how we owe you our lives.  We're very sorry about what happened, and we don't wish to go to prison.  We would like very much to serve you, carry for you, fetch for you, act as your shield men ... when Klaas is better, of course.  We wouldn't need much.  A bit of food perhaps, a bit of pay - half pay, sirs, if you can see yourself parting with 9 g.p. a month for a pair of pole men."

As Silvius and Nine-toes consider this, there are six men who appear at the front door of the stable.  They are dressed as the other pirates, save one - a priest dressed in robes associated with the Spanish catholic church ... dark, crimson red, with a wide high collar and a prominent silver cross and greenstone rosary.

"M'Lady," cries the priest upon seeing Madam.  "You've been hurt!"  She's been sitting, holding the handkerchief to her side all this time, not doing much more.  Now the priest begins to make signs for casting a spell, while the other five pirates move aggressively towards the party.

Before anything can happen, however, the Madam calls a halt to it.  "These are our friends!" she shouts.  Her men freeze.  "No one in this Inn is to be harmed, do you hear me?"

The pirates all stand down, and the party takes their hands off their weapons.
"You asked me a question?" smiles Madam at Andrej. 


This is an interjection in the campaign to ask a question.  In the last comments section Andrej the cleric 'hinted' about incorporating the use of my Imech into this campaign.  I am willing to do so, if people would like to give it a try, but I feel that it should be unanimous.  It isn't difficult to learn, though admittedly I haven't tried to teach it to a party online.

The offline party had fun with it, but were not really the type to embrace it wholly.  But its really up to you.  Let me know, and if you agree, we can give it a try.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Stable

This is the post intended for the event between the party and the town watchmen who have just entered with the expectation of seizing the party's horsemen.

The scene would look like this:

This is intended as a bare bones map; it doesn't include details about the street, or of the inside of the tavern beyond just the front area.  On this map, Ahmet is the brown man with the pick, mounted on the horse.  The orange is Silvius, whose just come in and is readying his horse.  The green is Nine-toes.  The blue is Andrej, readying the cart.  The white is Emmanuel.  The yellow is the bartender, holding his maul.
The pink and purple are the guard; three of them, in pink, are armed with glaives.  The others are armed with spears.

This is going to get a bit crazy online, but we'll try going slowly to see how it goes.  I ask the players to please be patient.

A few points:

1) We will have to determine everyone's movement.  You can work this out for yourselves from this table.  Nine-toes is a bit special - he moves 6 due to being a monk.
2) Please have a close look at this table.  It will tell you how to 'spend' your movement.  Remember that to attack, you must spare yourself two full movement points to do so.  Also, you may want to choose your final orientation at the end of your move - this costs NO movement.
3) I am thinking at this moment that the best way to do this is to create a post on your blog, where you can post your movement.  All you need to do is download the image, draw on it using Paint or any other program to show where you intend to go, describe here what you're doing, and then post the picture onto your blog.  I will collect your movements off your pages and pull them together onto the main table.  I'll show the enemies movements and update the table as we go.  If you want records of the combat, you'll have to save them yourselves.
This probably sounds a bit difficult and crazy.  I am curious as to how difficult it really is.  I know there are ways online to do this as an automatic feed, but I don't know how to use them at this time, and at any rate I wouldn't be able to access any such programs during the day.  If everyone is game, we can give this a try.
Alternately, if three of you vote against this idea, then I'll run the combat in the tried and true D&D way ... following your descriptions as best I can and updating the table from those descriptions.  It is up to you if you want to play this tactically or not.  HOWEVER, if we do play by description only, then the players will have to accept my judgement for where you wind up at the end of each round.  I can only do the best I can.
Let me know what your movements are in any case.  Tell me what you think and we can get started.  The announcement was made with the last post.  The party, at the moment, has initiative (the watchmen are giving it to you).
Other notes:  There is a door at the back of the stable which is closed and behind Andrej, which leads to an open area surrounded by a solid wooden slat fence five feet high.  There is a side door into the Inn from there, which leads to the Inn's mess area.  The fire appears on the map somewhat exaggerated for effect.  I'll answer any other questions as we go.  Oh, the last horse in the corner is Vorhein's horse.


Here is the current picture, showing only the combat portion for easier viewing.  Numbers have been added for soldiers, to aid in designating your targets.

For Movement, we can also try this:

Emmanuel's Movement

The idea here is that the hexes are numbered for the direction that you move - and that each movement is designated by that number.  Emmanuel's move on the right would be written 1-1-6-1-1.

Note that the orientation of the player is not relevant to the code.  The circle of numbers never changes.  If Emmanuel were to turn around and retrace his steps, it would be written 4-4-3-4-4.

You could also designate your target this way.  If the Emmanuel on the left were to throw an axe at the Emmanuel on the right, the trajectory would be 2-3-2-3.

Is that easy enough?


Surprise, Surprise!

Everyone has moved now, BUT the pirates:

The pirates first appear
The pirates start to move forward (arrows show movement)
Andrej and Ahmet get in some serious thumping.
And she shoots her own Man!
A round of tough fighting as the party gets into the thick of things.
Andrej gets seriously thumped.

Silvius gets a critical and Nine-toes hits home; the party fights back!

Madam moves forward and nicks Ahmet.

Ahmet strikes out with Madam.

 Nine-toes feels the Madam's dagger.

Vorhein's spear hits home and Andrej's up and ready for action.
(ignore the arrow by Pirate D ... a bit of flotsam left over from the previous image)

The death of #4, and the anger of pirates.
Ahmet & Silvius knock 'em back, and a pirate goes down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Returning to Engelke

Monday, August 25, 1650

Weather:  Unchanged; pleasant temperatures continuing as the sun sets, no rainfall and a moderate breeze, the overcast sky beginning to break up.

The likelihood is that the party has bundled Devereaux's body in a blanket from his bed for carrying, and that as the party makes its way back to town it is fairly loaded.  The body is about 80 lbs., so that is one player; the keg is not that heavy, 10 lbs., but it is bulky and fairly demands the attention of one person.  The chest is 72 lbs., which gets unpleasant for one person over a long distance - so it is probably being shared by two people.

The sun is an hour above the horizon when you get back to the edges of Engelke.  You find a chapel, speak with a priest there - who recognizes Devereaux and speaks kindly of the fact that the poor, deeply troubled man has found his rest at last.  He is well known in the area as a madman.  The cleric automatically associates the party (wandering mercenaries as you appear) as descendents of Devereaux's shipmates, and the lie seems simple enough that you go with it.  Whatever questions you may have of the priest in general go unanswered, as the priest knows very little of life, and politics, being simply a country vicar.

The sun is just above the horizon as you get on the road again and enter amid the first houses of Engelke.  Things seem a bit busy for the time of night.  Quite a number of the houses have lights burning as the sun slips below the horizon, and just now coming along the road is a wagon pulled by two horses, driving hell for leather towards you.  The wagon is mostly empty, and the driver hardly sees you before nearly running you down.  He doesn't look as he passes, did not even see you.

Over the next five minutes or so, as you are still at least twenty minutes from the Inn where you've left your horses and Emmanuel, the road starts filling with people, all moving in the opposite direction as you - perhaps a hundred overall.  From them you get news:

"Enrico Baptista has entered the Dollart [the gentle bay upon which Engelke rests] with nine ships, and swears to plunder the town," comes the first meaningful information you can receive.  From where the party is, the Dollart cannot be seen ... but the Inn you go to is within seven streets of Engelke's wharf.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Devereaux's House And The Gem

As the party stands together sorting out their mind-sets and considering what's just gone on in the last hour, with the house well in sight, they piece together bit by bit the realization that knowledge of the gem will not simply let them go.  There is a clear understanding that they have not been able to keep themselves from thinking about the gem since arriving.  During their conversation, they find themselves continuously talking about the gem.  With a great clarity, they feel a foreknowledge that sleep will be impossible without possessing the gem.  They must have it.  They cannot leave this place until they do.

While that prospect is frightening, it remains the fact of the matter.  They may be able to resist for a time, but sooner or later they will have to go get the thing ... no matter what consequences that brings.  Each member of the party understands this.  Each member cannot change it.

Devereaux's house stands there.  The weather is unchanged.  Only now the overcast conditions seem dreadful and foreboding.  The moderate breeze that felt good on the ride up now seems to sting the skin with bits of sand, threatening to drive a man mad.  The temperature that was pleasant before now seems thick and cloying in the player's throats.

All about seems hateful and ugly.  And each companion looks at one another with doubt, irritation and fear.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Learning About M. Devereaux

Monday, August 25, 1650

 Weather:  cool, with cloudy conditions, no rain and a gentle breeze.

Four days pass uneventfully.  The party is free to heal, if any of that needs doing, rest, attend church, become more familiar with Engelke and in general rest.  Remember that food consumption is only a pound a day, and that there are no costs beyond the inn rooms and stabling, unless you want a shave or a bath or something like that.

There was a terrific storm on Thursday afternoon, with high winds, an immense deluge of rain in only an hour (nearly three inches) and airborne spray off the sea.  Engelke faces the Dollart, however, and is well protected when the wind blows from the north or northwest, so the storm was mostly just very interesting, being blown away from the town.

Behind Engelke, I should say, there are no forests; the land is a collection of scrubby mounds of earth and sand, and there are even a few dunes here and about that grow and shrink over time.  There is some cultivation, but most of the hinterland has none at all, particularly north of the town, and what there is extends in the direction of Leer.  There is some hunting that the townspeople participate in this time of year, for the dunes are loaded with grouse living off the wild seed that grows there, and while the season of autumn begins to deepen the birds are fat.

Come Monday morning, whomever wishes to pay to enter the old walled town may do so; the price for looking up the name you want is a single gold piece, not one each.  But you are quite surprised when you are told by the records scribe, "Michel Devereaux?  Of course I know him.  He's still alive, don't you know?  Used to be a famous citizen of the town, but those days are well past now - don't imagine most know of him any more.  Mad as a hatter, lives by himself in the north of town, upon Tutelborg lane near the Hieve swamp.  Little two-story house, stands by itself ... sure you won't have trouble finding it."

One more view of the house, from the front

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reaching Leer

Tuesday, August 19, 1650

Weather: Moring is cool and overcast, with a fresh breeze.  This breeze lightens a bit through mid-day, but brings mist that lowers the visibility when the party reaches the town of Leer.  There is no rainfall.

It is two in the afternoon when the party reaches the town of Leer, a little more than 3,000 people, an open, unwalled town occupying a mere square mile upon the Ems river.  This is the region of East Frisia, and for the first time in some months, Andrej sees an openly Catholic chapel upon the wayside.

The town of Engelke, much larger, is reached by following the last few miles of the river before it enters the 'Dollart,' a small bay subject to tides, separating Engelke from the Dutch Province of Groningen.  A gentle slope surrounds the Dollart, but the party is only a few feet above sea level in Leer.

Both the town of Leer and the town of Engelke are trading markets - if you don't find something in Engelke, you might find it here ... but I'd have to dismiss the rest of today's travel if the party decided to stick around at this time.  In any event, I haven't generated a table for Leer or Emden (I can do so tonight), so if you do want to buy, we can presume it 'happened' and move on right now.


Monday, August 18, 1650

Weather: Morning is cool, overcast and with a moderate breeze from the northwest; around noon there's a light rainfall for 15 minutes, followed by pleasant temperatures that last through the afternoon and evening, though the sky remains overcast.  The night continues to have pleasant conditions as well.

There is little to say.  The day is uneventful save for the bit of rain in the morning; you do not meet anyone special upon the road.  The countryside is flat, very wooded and filled with swampy, barely tenured land.  You see at most a few woodcutters, a few herders and fruit orchards, but hardly a single planted field throughout the whole day.

The title of this post describes the region you're in.  in the morning you pass a large lake, almost two miles across, while you learn is called Zwischenahner Meer.  Towards the end of the day you spot some lumpy isolated hills here and there, and upon each one of them is a windmill vigorously turning with the breeze.  The travel is very easy on the horses and because it is dry, quite easy on the cart also - mainly because you are travelling along a very well cared for cobblestone road.

As night falls, you find it takes an enormous amount of time to set up the two tents, so that you don't bed town until quite a bit later than normally you would - as such, your sleep will not be as well as might be desired.  In later days, you will probably need to knock off travel earlier, travelling less distance per day, than before.

The town of Leer is still a half a day away, and Engelke a couple hours beyond that.  You should reach Engelke by late afternoon if the weather holds.

No one experiences any ill effects from travel today.