Con game

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Con game

Postby scudmore » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:14 pm

I ran a game at a mini-convention in Ottawa, ON a few days ago to introduce myself and a few players to Houses and it went pretty well.

Based on John's advice, I restricted my prep to working up some pre-gen characters (virtues and aspects only) and a one line jumping off point for the adventure: the characters are going to their lieges wedding.

I had three players. None had read anything about the game One had heard a bit about it from me, while the other two were folks I walked up to and convinced to playThe first was a falcon with with his family name and "I was nursed on blood, not mother's milk" as Aspects and beauty as a weakness. There was also a Serpent sorceress with strange intuition and prowess as an aspect. Finally, there was an Elk swordsman with "I have never surrendered" and a weakness in courage.

Through wisdom rolls the players determined that their liege was a countess who was getting married for the third time. Her last husband had been poisoned, gradually, over many seasons, in his breakfast. By some one.

I asked each player what they had brought as a gift, and had them roll beauty to see how it would go over. The Falcon brought a truly hideous diarama thing made of mounted animal heads. The Elk brought a fine sword engraved with the countess's name. The Serpent brought breakfast dishes.

The players were curious about the journey to the castle, so we flashed back to the road at this point, and learn that on the way here the falcon had fairly picked a fight with his half-brother the Elk, ending in a game of insults that resulted in the Falcon being branded with the aspect "no class."

Back in the present, the Serpent looked around the castle for secrets, and found, with a cunning risk, a secret passage still under construction that allowed the Countess to spy on certain of her guests of the house of the sepent.

The Elk engaged the Countess in conversation, hoping to parlay her pleasure at his gift into a chance to owe her a favour. He succeed in a cunning risk, attempting to manuver her into asking him a favour, and using wagers determined that she wants him to root out a conspiracy she susspects against her by the serpent, and prevent the seprent from talking to her groom.

Meanwhile, the Falcon was trying to strike up a conversation with the countess's Master of the Hunt. The player was expressing frustration with having to play through a fancy party while her character clearly was equipped for smashy-smashy, so I had the Master of the Hunt intimate that the falcon was afraid of his half-brother, the Elk. The falcon punched him in the nose, giving a rank 2 injury "messed-up face" and using a wager to ensure that he fell backward onto the buffet table.

The falcon was seized by the countesses guards and taken to the dungeon. The Elk used his favour with the countess to get her to show mercy to the falcon, releasing him into his custody. At this point the Countess also asked the Serpent to join in completing the task of rooting out the conspiracy, since she was the one Mwrr she could halfway trust.

The players decided to investigate the tunnels a bit more, and the serpent up interrogating a couple of sappers down there, before erasing their memories of the event using a blood ritual. Since I didn't want to get into the proper rules for blood rituals, I just let the sorceress define them with wisdom rules like anything else about the setting. They learned that the tunnels also allowed the countess to spy on her own master bedroom.

Meanwhile, the Falcon was approached by the Master of the Hunt's second, who informed him the jury had authorised a duel to injury. The falcon wandered off with the second to sign papers, leaving the Elk alone to guard the enterance to the secret passage. That finished they decided to snoop around the room of a certain Thantian Mwrr, a cousin of the serpent player, that might be involved in the conspiracy. Mostly, the serpent was hoping for a chance to rummage through her cousin's things for a grimoire or magical artefact, with the luxury of someone gaurding the door.

She finds a blood-mirror, as well as a small clay snake that she recognises as a scrying device, allowing a sorceror to keep an eye on his things while he's out of the room. Damn. No sooner is that revealed than Thantian comes down the hall, shouting at the Elk and demanding satisfaction for this invasion of privacy. The serpent comes out into the hall and Thantian starts in with a string of insults that would mean blood if she was wearing a sword. As it is she has to take it.

The serpent shows Thantian the spy-hole in his room and convinces him that it's in his best interests to keep the whole encounter on the hush-hush until they figure out what to do. He agrees, but insists that he will have his satifaction against the Elk.

That night the Elk is awaked by Thantian Mwrr entering his room. Thantian insists that the Elk take up his sword. The Elk manages to injure him on the first beat, but only by revealing his secret name. He deals a four-point injury "pierced lung" and uses his remaining wager to determine that in this state, Thantian cannot raise his voice above a whisper.

Thantian realises that the Elk doesn't intend to let him conceed the duel: not while he knows his secret name. He dives through the window and lands in a koi pond four stories below. The Elk has courage as his weakness, but he blows a style to swallow his fear and make the leap, sustaining a concussion as he hits the water.

Thantian reveals his secret name now, " I will not die unavenged". He is the aggressor in this beat, but instead of attacking the Elk he stabs himself through the stomach (for a rank four injury) whispers the Elks full name and curses him to never again sleep twice under the same roof.

The other PC arrive just as the Elk delivers a killing blow, and the characters are left about to dispose of a body as our time runs out....
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Re: Con game

Postby Snag » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:58 am

Srs bzniss! Nice game session!
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Re: Con game

Postby wunderworks » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:17 am

Nice game! ^_^
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Re: Con game

Postby scudmore » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:42 am

It continues... I ran the game again in the next block, and since two of my players decided to stick around we just carried on with the senario.

The Elk player disappeared to play another game, but we were joined by another player who picked a Bear with ballet dancer and "I eat pain and shit out victory" as his aspects. This was one of the pre-gen characters I had used in the previous block as an NPC-- he was the Master of the Hunt's second, which set him up in opposition to the other PCs, at least in the short term. The player was okay with that, so we kept it in.

It was dawn the next morning, time for the Falcon's duel. He had asserted the right to choose the duel's location and selected a site near the castle, an overgrown ruins. Using wisdom and his name aspect, he determined that the site was overrun with clouds biting insects each morning with the first light of day, but that he knew a method to make a balm to keep them off. The player spent two style to give the scene the aspects "overgrown" and "insect swarm". The serpent rolls wisdom to see what she knows about the history of the place, and explains that the site is associated with the sauven of truth, who in life brought traitorous ven here to die. The place is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the trecherous dead.

Meanwhile, the Bear was being serious about his role as a second, and searched the site for anything fishy (the bugs weren't out yet, as dawn was minutes away). He succeeded in his cunning roll with several wagers (I allowed the use of his ballet dancer aspect, because he could use his surefootedness and alility to reach vantage points other characters could not) and decided that he had found a perch in the ruins that overlooked the duel site, and that a blowgun had been secreted there, and that it was loaded with poisioned needles. He promptly reported this finding to his cousin, the Master of the Hunt, who tells him not to trouble himself about it. Pressed a little more, he reveals that he was asked by his uncle (the bear's father) to try to keep the Elk and the Falcon occupied, in case the Countess tried to use them against the count, the uncle and their serpent allies.

The duel began just as the bugs started biting. The two were pretty evenly matched, except for the falcon's advantage from the terrain and the Master of the Hunt's injury from the night before. On the first beat, the falcon hit the master of the hunt with a rank 4 nearly-severed arm, and used her remaining wager to declare that a sudden change in potion caused the sniper hit the wrong person.

Thinking quickly, the Master of the Hunt pulls out the needle and accusses the falcon of poisoning him. He points out the sniper and cries out to his second to kill him. The bear chases the hooded sniper through the woods, eventually catching him and pushing him off a high cliff to dash his brains out on the rocks below. The only box that can hold a secret is a coffin.

He returns to the now broken-up duel to hear his cousin and the falcon shouting for high revenge, and both participants being held apart. The bear reports that the assassin fell to his death trying to escape. Eventually, the spectators take off back to the castle. The serpent decides to call up the spirits that reside here against whoever has prepetrated this treachery, and begins a ritual that involves spraying blood on whoever she wants the spirits to test for trechery. The Bear avoids getting blood on him but doesn't bother to protect his brother from it.

A few minutes later, the sniper staggers out of the woods, caved-in head and all, and chases the Bear, who is now carrying his drugged, injured cousin through the forest. The other PCs look on in baffled amusement. Shortly, a door slides open in the ruins. I compel the soceress to investigate what occult secrets might be contained within. She compels the falcon to come with her-- it's better than going back to the party and politely dealing with all the questions that are going to come up.

Inside, they find a room set up for rituals and various clues that suggest that the countess was involved in a plot to steal the loyalty of her groom's vassals so that he could be safely disposed of.

Finally the Ork-that-was-once-a-sniper gets a hold of the cousin and heads down into the ruins. The bear returns to the castle and barters access to one of his harbours in exchange for borrowing some personal guard from a serpent. Then he goes back for the ork.

The serpent and falcon explore the tunnels under the ruins a bit more and find a chasm with the ork climbing head first down it, the cousin on his back. There's a rope bridge across the chasm, so they cut partway through the ropes. Hearing the clamour of many booted feet, they hide in the shadows. The bear appears, spots the Ork on the other side of the chasm, and orders his men across the bridge. Half of them fall to their deaths. He remarks to one of his remaining men that he now feels he's done his best and that his cousin is only worth so much trouble in any case. He returns to the party.

There, he strikes up a Romance with fashion-conscious baroness who has seen his perform and asks him to do a dance for her as his first task. He makes eight wagers for style, leaving only three dice to roll, and falls in front of the whole party, twisting his ankle.

I compell the sorceress's aspect again, planting the idea that there are likely powerful artefacts down in the cave the ork vanished into at the base of the cliff, but that there's no way she could get down there herself... although she's seen that bear do amazing things. Which is about where we run out of time again.
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