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Messages - Sean F

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That's an entertaining podcast you folks have there.  It sounds like you all had fun!

If you play again, review who has authority over who.  It's subtle, and power often overlaps, but there's a chain of authority that the Dogs are not always on the top of.  The GM can call them out for Pride during an NPC's See/Raise if they step over those bounds.  Telling a wife how to handle something that's her husband's responsibility to control, placing themselves in de facto positions as Steward, etc.

Dungeon World / Re: Witcher Playbook
« on: August 05, 2015, 10:53:26 PM »
Andrey Barsky put one out a while back -

Check out the Google Plus community, it gets a lot more play on DW and has a decent search feature -

other lumpley games / Mobile Frame Zero part acquisition
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:47:23 AM »
Observations :

1 : Some public libraries (and many college campuses) now have Makerbots and similar 3D Printers available for public use at a nominal fee.  See also : Fabrication Laboratory.   I haven't done the math on a Lego-compatable brick, but a meeple of plastic costs 1/4th the price printed at my library as one ordered off gamecrafter (1/3rd if you buy in bulk)

2 : offers free, light weight, web based milling / extruding file creation tools for use with such machines.

3 : As of 03 March 2015 the website's entry  on "Lego" includes the metric measurements for standard and thin blocks.   (See also  for issues and historical precedents involving legality of producing such bricks)

If you're a non-purist I don't see why you couldn't make whole mech components single printed pieces with appropriate attachment vacancies / extrusions. 

brainstorming & development / Re: La Dureza
« on: February 25, 2015, 11:53:28 PM »
I may have committed a faux pas - Vincent, is it alright if I put the PbtA logo on this?  You've put out that if someone wants to 'hack' then they should hack away, but I think in hindsight maybe this image is part of your personal branding?

I've cut it out of the file until I hear back from you.  It would go on the character sheet.

brainstorming & development / La Dureza
« on: February 24, 2015, 03:19:43 AM »

A weird little thing - as much Poison'd, Murderous Ghosts and OtherKind as *World.  Maybe moreso.

Built to be played once, MAYBE twice.  Estimated runtime of an hour and change.  Personal playtest upcoming, danger seekers desired for testing with other groups.

other lumpley games / Re: [DitV] Some questions after first session
« on: February 03, 2015, 12:17:35 AM »
Okay... so, to use the same example, if the stakes are, "Does I convince Abigail to stop smoking," and it comes to you sticking a gun in her face, that's a legitimate raise because she'll do what you want rather than get shot.
But if the stakes are, "Does Abigail become convinced smoking tobacco is a sin," and you pull a gun out to make your point, you've obviously lost the argument and what you're really doing is giving, and probably starting a follow-up conflict.
As I see it.

Speaking of which, does pulling your gun out without the intention to shoot immediately escalate to gunfighting, or is it just physical until bullets fly?
I cannot recall where I read it, but I believe I've seen Vincent mention using a gun's dice during a conversation while threatening someone without going to Gunfighting?  Many of the people Dogs'll draw down on will escalate of their own initiative if leather starts getting slapped.

I don't know about the sleeping thing : whether that's a legacy example, or an encouragement for MC applying flexibility to the mechanics, or (?).   It'd be interesting to find out.

I second Munin.  Know your players and their willingness to accept 'brainwashing' before using it.  But I'm confident DitV is particularly suited towards protecting my players from enjoyment-crippling character brainwashing, because :
* Specific to us, they know (because I give a 'hard stop, fade out' speech roughly once a month) if the game is moving in a direction they find unfulfilling or offensive to go OOC and we'll find a way to redirect play accordingly.  In this case, that would probably be forgoing the conflict.
* The Dogs, as the protagonists, instigate like 80+% of the conflicts.  This means they are rarely the targets of the stakes. 
* If the proposed stakes, regardless of source, compel a Dog to do something and the player finds it interesting and/or the risk of losing acceptable then there's no conflict (except the one in the game of course).  If they don't they can renegotiate stakes before the rolling starts into something they find acceptable.
* The Dog is mechanically an all-defeating beast anyway, and will win against almost any odds if willing to tough out the conflict.  Dog - on - Dog philosophical conflicts are the exception.  ('Divine' justice, decided by caucus?)
* Raises involving walking away or violently dispatching the debater are much, much, much easier to justify than non-talk raises that push someone towards believing something else.  The listener who doesn't want to hear has a lot of die-providing tools at their disposal.

So - in a loss, the Dog's player still chose what the 'losing' condition looks like (retaining control over their character).  They're not likely to lose anyway, since the dice and fiction are stacked in their odds.  And unless the Dogs are gunning for each other regularly it should rarely come up.  Meanwhile, it offers a tool to consenting players in the form of the previously-mentioned caucus (Dog-on-Dog conflict to decide who/what to back in the town) and another thing they might be willing to give up on in order to get those delicious folding die for a follow-up conflict.

It works for me, but my way is not The One True Way.

other lumpley games / Re: [DitV] Some questions after first session
« on: February 01, 2015, 08:53:20 PM »
My take (usually best consumed with a pinch of salt)

If the steward knows there's a sorcerer in the town, is it still the steward's job to try to bring them back to the Faith?

A sorcerer within the town's population is still a person put under spiritual care of the steward by The King.  The Dogs worry about the town's salvation, but the steward is worried about each individual person, largely exclusive of the town.  No one is an "acceptable loss"... assuming the steward holds to classical (DITV sourcebook) methodologies.

Someone openly and obviously acting against doctrine is going to try to get the Dogs on their side, right? Because they're assured in their false doctrine, right? And because it gives the players a moral judgement to make, instead of someone easy to blame because they're trying to hide their own guilt.

Usually.  Not always.  The Dogs are a *threat* since they're walking, gunslinging representations of the status-quo.  Endorsement would be great, but maybe hiding or murdering them with a pre-emptive strike is the more reasonable solution to that person's understanding.

So when an argument starts about it, how does that work? They can't convince the Dogs that they're right in a conflict, right? Because the players have control over their characters' beliefs.

Say Abigail is an NPC who's been smoking tobacco and the Dogs are up in her face about it. Am I right in thinking it's bogus to have a conflict where the stakes are, "Is smoking tobacco a sin?"
What about "Does Abigail become convinced that smoking tobacco is a sin?"
Or as GM do I push for "Does Abigail put out her cigarette," because in the end Abigail's going to believe what she believes and dice don't have power over that?
What if Abigail is a Dog, how does that change things?

What is or isn't a sin is part of the Faith - either decided by the MC or the table or the source material.  There's no 'conflict' in the roll-the-dice-to-force-your-will-into-action sense. 
"Does Abigail become convinced that smoking tobacco is a sin?" sounds okay, but I'd push for something more like "Do I (slash my character) convince Abigail to stop smoking" since it allows for more ways to get there during the see-raise dance.  "Do I get Abigail to put out *this* cigarette" may be better, since it's a more give-able conflict, if that level of play doesn't make your towns into mandatory-multi-session affairs. 

I leave beliefs on the table as a thing a conflict can change.  It isn't easy : the 'defender' has a lot of options which protect their world view by distancing themselves from the incoming arguments and involve escalation (walking away, knocking out or shooting the talker) that the 'aggressor' would have a hard time meeting.  You can follow them, or return fire, but if it doesn't advance your argument or stand a chance of convincing the 'defender' then it's not a legit raise.  If you stay true to the idea that a raise has to actually put the other party in the position of having to address it or surrender the conflict, I don't see why world-views or beliefs are safe.  People do get convinced to change their minds about things, after all. 

I allow it against PC Dogs too.  The player doesn't lose agency of their character as a consequence of losing a debate any more than they would lose agency if their Dog's arm is broken in a fall.  It may be a bit of a challenge to roleplay, but that's no reason to avoid it.  If they feel that it is unacceptable they can draw their piece during the discussion anyway and protect themselves at the potential expense of dying / killing.   It would take a HECK of an argument to force a Dog to lose a discussion they didn't feel like having.

other lumpley games / Doomed Pilgrim AP
« on: January 23, 2015, 11:15:03 AM »
Setup  :

(New game) I’m a warrior seeking peace and an end to bloodshed. I’m on pilgrimage to the Temple to No Gods in the distant City of Gulls. My pilgrimage has brought me to mountains yet unsummitted by man, inhabited by enemies of my people. My goal is to pass safely through and continue my pilgrimage.
You, my friends online, play the world. Your goal is to see me to my doom, instead of safely on my way. You’re allowed only to directly answer my direct questions, though, so you might not be able to do it.
The rules: 1. Only answer my questions. 2. If you don’t already know the answer, make something up. 3. Keep your answers short. 4. If your answer’s disruptive, I’m allowed to delete it. 5. Otherwise, I have to go with the first answer somebody gives. I’ll 'like' it. 6. You may subscribe to this thread if you like. Please use the sentence ‘no gods watch over you’ to do so.

For three days I sought a Sherpa to guide me : no one took the duty on. Advancing slowly up the frozen heights of Icengard alone I've come to recognize a wasteland unlike those I've become accustomed to : less the inhospitable boiling sand kept alive by nighttime crawlers and scavengers, more a dead space of frozen bones and icy nothingness, climbing ever higher. The climbing, 15 degrees or so, slowly but noticeably drains my strength. I can walk upright but am worn to the point of leaning forward : using my arms to help me overcome the terrain of this last mountain.
I've been journeying for three months now. I have the summoning name of a ghost buried in my memory and a vast and deadly patience. With the sun threatening to settle in an hour I have scrapped a length of rock clean and begun preparing a fire. Something warns me of approaching danger : What warns me? Anyone should answer.

Player One : Directly behind you a twig snaps and a shadowy figure is visible when you turn your head.

My hand freezes, prone to strike steel on flint. I try to watch it out of the corner of my vision : Has this shadowy figure definitely seen me? Can I make it out, watching it as I am, or is it somehow shadowy by it's nature? Smitty should answer...

I tall thin man steps through the shadows, his careful swift step allows you to know the snapping twig was intentional and not the clumsy inept step of a drunk. He steps closer and is obviously armed with a bow and a small sword. Dressed in dark clothing he pauses and waits to see the reaction of this new lone stranger.

Trying my best to control my shaking, I stretch my arm out and offer him a length of my last remaining bison jerky. Mentally I try to map out escape routes, both up and down this eternal mountain, my eyes on him the whole time. Does it seem suspicious / violent yet? ANYONE can answer.

Player Two : He steps forward and reaches for the jerky with his right hand, while the left crosses his chest to rest on his sword. He keeps his body at a diagonal to you, careful not to expose himself as too large a target. He takes hold of the jerky, but does not pull it from your hand.

I let go of my end. I'm still in a crouch/hunker from tending the fire : maybe I can spring into him and knock him down the mountain. Or I could jump away and run up it a ways. Given the violent nature of my people's enemies I doubt remaining here with him is prudent.
Which looks more promising, fight or flee? While I weight the options does anything happen? Anyone can answer.

Player Three : From behind him the sound of rustling leaves is heard. Perhaps he is not alone, but a part of a of patrol.

Ahhh, the bow makes running uphill too slow, and if he has brush to his back I'm unlikely to knock him down the mountainside from my position. It will be dark soon though, I may be able to evade him/them.

Since his sword's in the crossdraw position and his other hand is full he can't draw when I spring into him, knocking him backwards momentarily, and take off down the embankment, weaving a bit and seeking a crevice or brush to place between us. Is there a place where I might lose him (and his band, if such exists)? Anyone can answer.

No promising hiding spot presents itself. There are shrubs and gulleys, but no convenient caves or woods to disappear into. But he/they do not follow you from that spot. He/they clear out anything you may have left at your makeshift camp, and fade into the wide and silent twilight.

Night comes fast in the mountains. I'm unlikely to be the first to successfully summit these colossal beasts, which means I still need to go through the area I just ran from. After waiting for the grey twilight to settle into pitch I creep back and onward, staying low and refraining from using any lights. This in itself endangers me, given the fractured and fracturing nature of the terrain, but I need to watch for the hunting party (or whatever they were) and my attention is split. Do I feel watched? Anyone can answer.

You feel the eyes of nocturnal predators watching you, wheter this is real or imagined you can't be quite sure of. You hear the sounds of Owls whooing off in the distance. You once agin feel the presence of another, though differant than the last time. You turn to see a figure of something you really wish you hadn't, you know in a instant that what you are looking square in the eyes is a moutain lion.

Ahhh!!! The worst thing I could run into out here. There is no way I can escape a mountain lion - it's faster by far and more familiar with the terrain. I'll have to risk the attention of the hunting party again. I draw my self up to full height and furrow my brow at the beast - hopefully it has tangled with the locals enough to fear man. Hopefully.  "What do you want, ugly clump of fur? Cause I haven't eaten in ages, and you're looking pretty tasty kitty."  Does it attack? Anyone can answer

It slowley creeps closer to you, not looking away, it sniffs the air around you. It readys as if ready to pounce.

Mountain lions attack by grabbing your shoulders, mauling your face with their maws, and rapidly kicking downward THROUGH the guts with their giant clawed hind legs. I want to pre-emp that, and I might be able to fight free from it. Screaming, I lunge for him before he (she?) can pounce. Does it withdraw and give me the opportunity to go?  Anyone can answer.

You catch it off guard, it wasn't expecting to be attacked. You knock it on it's back, dazed it slowly trys to get back up, leaving itself open until it can regain it's pose

It is too dangerous for me to run from it, here. I need to make it want to run from me or kill it. With no time to search for a suitable rock, and not wanting to bend over to pick one up even if I found it, I dash forward and stomp on its stomach, HARD, with my sandalled foot. As many times as I can.
Does it die or flee... or something else?  Anyone can answer

The big cat reacts angrily. Imagine a domestic cat who doesn't want to get his tummy rubbed, but bigger. He grabs at your calf with his front two paws and rakes up your leg with his back two, all claws protruded. He bites at your foot and a sandal does little to protect it. His bites don't crush bone, but they give a nasty, gristly feeling as they slide between tendons. Cat's mouths are disgusting places, and their bites are guaranteed to produce copious volumes of pus within about a week. What sort of clothing do you have? His claws will shred fabric, but more layers will leave you with more superficial wounds. If you have one layer of fabric, you will have gashes up to 8 inches long (but mostly about 4) and up to three quarters of an inch deep (but mostly about a quarter inch). One layer of leather will reduce that by two thirds. Whether your sandal has a thick sole will determine if his teeth penetrate your foot from the bottom, but they definitely do from the top.

He is holding your leg with his front two paws the same way a disgruntled kitty holds your hand when he gets an unwanted tummy rub; loosely, with the apparent intention to deter, not devour. He continues to gnaw at your foot and rake at your leg.

(I appreciate the details : Good one [Player Two]!)
My sandals are worn down to practically nothing from the long march over the desert. Both teeth easily find deep flesh. My leg is, in all likelihood, ruined. Even if I somehow survive this completing my journey to the temple of no gods just went from unlikely to improbable.
If I can't get away now it will kill me. I screech the summoning name of the man I drowned over a half peck of carrots during the Last War and lay as still as my screaming pain will allow, my eyes closed. The bastard ghost has haunted every dream of mine since the day I killed him - either the cat will consider his presence eerie enough to leave its fresh kill and I can try to piece myself together, or the ghost will have the pleasure of watching nature take the revenge he couldn't.
I lie with my eyes closed and await my fate.
Does the mountain lion kill me? Anyone can answer.

Player Four : Since your eyes are closed you feel and hear several things at once. You hear an unearthly laughter above you and a brief gust of wind that swirls. You hear the growl of the creature and the pressure you felt on your leg is released. You also hear the familiar twang and whoosh of bow firing arrow. You hear the arrow strike something hard, well away from you. After a moment, you hear a sound of anger above you and all is quiet. Your leg is wet.

I think my leg has been wet since I first saw the cat!
I peek - the mountain lion has departed as hoped for, silent against the gusting wind. At the edge of my night vision I can make out a figure throwing something thin, curved, and chest high away and swatting frantically around his face as if being attacked by a swarm of bees. He trips on a lump of something at his feet - he goes down and the lump rolls slightly. Whatever he threw changes directions in midair a few times, even rising higher once before settling on the ground, buffeted by winds I can no longer hear. Biting my one remaining sandal between my teeth to silence my whimpers I climb downward on my hands and one good leg, belly in the air and eyes on the scene above, like a wounded crab.
When what little contrast between man and mountain disappears and my vision loses the flailing body in the night sky I roll over on my belly and crawl downward. A days walk behind me was the town of Blackened Wells - if I can crawl that far I might find a wetnurse or shaman for this leg. Maybe I'll circumvent the mountains and slog the longer route through the Longmoor of the predatory bandit-ghouls.
Near dawn I finally reach level ground and the end of the mountain, and I'm happy to put it behind me.
The End.

(For the mechanics of what just happened, or if you want to start your own Doomed Pilgrim game, check out . The creator played a game on his forum and ran a Q&A here - >
Thanks for playing guys!

That is a really weak ending. You went no where near your goal.

As a GM, in AW I'd frequently pull the card 'Hold up - having that (food, water, wicker baskets, leather, biodiesel, whatever) means you're either trading for it or *someone* in your gang is actually making it.  And since there's only (10-20) people in this place you call home... well, you guys tell me : why do you have that?'

In AW:DA that instinct falls by the wayside.  They're in a settlement, and settlements mean a bunch of people.  As GM my desire to learn who specifically does what in the settlement is curbed unless it's important in the moment.  I'll still use scarcity as a 'hard move' or complication, but it feels a bit forced and I don't think I do it as often as I would with AW.

Dungeon World / Re: New Look for DW Character Sheets
« on: November 28, 2014, 08:40:55 PM »
I like them.  There are some things that are implied by your sheet that are spelled out in the base one, so I don't think I'd recommend them for a first time player, but this is a nice looking setup.

Why all the dead space above Bonds?  That's typically the most undersized section for what is expected of it, and you've got a good inch plus of dead space there.

The player running the Wicker Wise argued that because of the pronouns used in the Birdspeak enchantment he could draw the recipient of the enchantment back to him whenever he wanted.  The recipient and I both argued that the context of the piece clearly meant that the recipient of the enchantment could pull birds towards themselves, but Lugh's player momentarily argued that the rules should be taken literally and not tinted by the assumptions of the reader.  I don't know how concerned you are about pre-empting this kind of rules lawyering, but if you care that might need rephrasing.

My players shouldn't read any further.

Anyone want to help me come up with a few new Trolls?  Tad's got about eight more 'brothers' running around out there besides the Hulk and The Watcher In The Brush, and even if they don't show up/ are avoided hinting at them would propagate the feeling of magic and maybe wonder.

Ideas so far : Tad didn't really know all the ins-and-outs of what he did.  He can imbue mud with life like his mother, but she never taught him so he's had to learn on his own.  That might buy them three half-formed man-like creatures from before Tad abandoned trying to replicate Children of Men and started crafting things altogether his own creation.  He probably got lonely and made something stationary, like a living mud pit that'll seek to drown those who come near but isn't vulnerable to your standard 'poke it with the sharp end' tactics.  His grandmother (she who shall not be named) offered him pointers after the first few failures in exchange for his creating a living weapon, something to one day clot, slow and still the Heart of the Dragon.  Even with all those I'm still three Trolls short. 

Alright, so one thing this game does not do is stagnate

- London is 80% burned to the ground.  Jesse (Pryss's maybe-husband) had his bandit band team up with the players to assist in razing it as revenge for imprisoning him.  The players wanted the people displaced so some would come north, bolstering their kingdom.  Pryss is commited to Nile, river spirit of that part of the Rhine, to keep the waters under his kingdom clean and respected.  In exchange the river fought back against those who sought to use it to extinguish the fires.  The new player, Ian the Dragon-Herold, was lit aflame while escaping from the home he was staying in.  When he jumped in the river it parted below him like the Red Sea, then collapsed back on him after he rolled the fire out.  On climbing to the shore Lucius and Lugh threatened his life if he resisted... which of course he didn't understand, since he doesn't speak Welsh.  They figured out a way around that, with Lugh enchanting him to understand birdspeak and then speaking the animal tongue to him.

- The Formorian Hulk (one of the Mud Children created by Tad since his exile from Cardeth), a quadraped two stories tall, slew three of Ian's clansmen on their journey away from the burning wreckage of London.  The party wisely avoided it, albeit at the expense of one of Ian's 'brothers' and Ian's own bravery in the eyes of his cohorts.

- Cardeth has absorbed the cursed-well town and sent a few folks to start working the fields of Angyng again.  This gives them a three-town empire... albeit with two of those towns practically empty.  Pryss has openly referred to himself as a King and gotten away with it.

- Ian ran into Tad (created 'child' of the Troll that almost killed Lucius and Victor) on the way to convince a water spirit to inhabit the well in the abandoned town and clean the water, making it usable again.  He swore to look after him if he wanted to join the town.  Ian only finds out on returning to the town, Tad in tow, the history between him and the decision-makers of Cardeth.  Tad helped out Victor's men and Ian's clansmen in replacing the ruined buildings and erecting basic fortifications.  He speaks any tongue, apparently, and is acting as translator between Pryss and Ian's people, as well as the primary defender of the town from 'outside threats'.  He is BLATANTLY self-interested though, making it clear that he doesn't consider the recovered town part of Cardeth and thus not within enforcement under his previous promise.

- Ian purified the Mud Cave near Angyng where Tad was created and his mother slain by Victor.  The child souls were nowhere to be seen (which he didn't know about anyway, but which the rest of the party might piece together later)

- The Wicker Witch offered Lugh a boon - drink the blood of a living person while thinking of her (Harm sacrifice + Beseeching the Wicker Witch) and she'll cure his wounds.  Which he has already taken her up on. 

Future fronts

- Tad, obviously.  He has tried to pick up his mother's mantel and created 'brothers' for himself - the Hulk being one of them.  If his hand isn't otherwise forced he'll try to make himself indispensable, maybe resorting to false attacks by his brothers which he'll 'drive off', and make increasingly taxing demands.

- The Sorrentti rep for the Northern Kingdom tried and failed to ambush Lucius during the razing of London (Pryss warned Lucius in time to save him).... but he's bound to try again.  Victor took on nine Londonites who fled northbound into his army (they think London was razed by bandits and don't know Cardeth was involved), which may be exploited.

- Jesse's men did not raze the Keep within London.  They'll claim that for their own if they can and declare Jesse the head-man-in-charge of the surrounding farming villages.  At which point he'll send for his beloved...

- As long as the two kids in Cardeth and Lugh's apprentice Adams are alive the Angyng gods will still be floating around, causing trouble for the settlers trying to reclaim it for Pryss's 'empire'. 

- The Wicker Witch is putting her hooks into Lugh.  And of course she'll retract her support the moment he needs it, offering a much worse deal instead.  She's probably not a fan of Ian, since he spent his season move in rites and ceremonies massaging the fey/lay energies, the blood of the Dragon, back into motion at the Mud Cave.  She'd just as soon see the Dragon dead.  I'm not forcing anything, but I can see Lugh being The King of Death before this is over.  Which of course has a different connotation for my group than it would in the Author's mind, but it seems like maybe a good place to end this game and wait for the next iteration of the rules, IF that's the way things go.

Session Four down.  No blue today.  Sorry, creators.

Pryss (Peasant Beauty) has decided his 'rule' is just sitting in council when people come to him with problems.  Victor (War Captain) dishes out justice to his military folks, but waits for the okay from Pryss on domestic issues.  The Wicker Witch visited Lugh (Wicker-Wise) and told him it offended her when people didn't use the name she had chosen for herself, the name I've spent previous sessions noting as giving her power.  A 'Candy Man' type thing.  She warns she's going to tell Tad (the troll-made) he's free of his vow, unless Lugh is willing to swear again in her chosen name.  He does, and by morning his gods are dead, denied a single living, uncorrupted member of their peoples.

The agreement was made to turn the burrows the Pikes used to live in into armories / stockades / fighting positions, but Lugh refused to willingly yield the Temple itself.

Victor had to dictate some justice for a Londoner who stole a container of mead from Pryss's uncle.  During the conversation with the uncle I had him ramble on for quite a while about why his mead is better than anyone elses, trying to imply the possible approach of senility and subtly reminding the War Captain that the Welsh serving with him now aren't "soldiers" in the way his men are, troops who believe themselves to be born-and-bred for service to him.  Of which there are I think six still alive as of this session's end.

An English/Londoner just showed up in the market, showing a charcoal drawing of Pryss around and carrying a bag.  When Pryss went to investigate, he dumped the head of a Tundarian (Southern Kingdom) out of the bag, handed over a letter, and began following Pryss around silently, shrugging when spoken to.  The letter, as translated by the scribe/spy from London following Pryss around, was a reminder of the love slash loyalty of Jesse and the hope that he'd figure out where Pryss fled to someday so he could rejoin him.  This was translated in front of Lucius, the foreign ambassador.

Lugh released Rosyln from service and took one of the surviving Angyngian children as a new apprentice.

The attack eventually came, and everyone pulled back as usual.  Except Lucius, who hid in a guard tower, prepping a poisoned arrow.  As two negotiators climbed the hill to the Temple fortification, Lucius let loose with the arrow, poisoning the enemy army's leader (we played soft-and-loose with the poisoning rules here, but since a Leap Into Action or Harass roll *might* have accomplished the same thing I allowed it).  A few soldiers chased the fleeing Lucius up the hill, but he made an Undertake roll and got within arrow-range of the defenses before they could catch him. The negotiators turned around, and the Londoner / Germanic army formed a phalanx and marched down after them.  As they came down the hill, they saw smoke begin to grow from various places around town, and started at a trot. 

The War Captain has insane power in War.  The enemy was driven off, about seventy men dead, the locals having lost seven.  I should have given the enemy bonuses for significantly outnumbering them, but failed to do so for some dumb reason.  Just forgot, I guess.  +1/+1 would have turned the tide significantly (the battle took two rolls)... but story continues, regardless.

Lucius and Pryss ran a bucket brigade to save the yet-unlit homes while the army beat back the flames that threatened the fields.  Excellent Undertake rolls saw only about 10% of the village's homes and a single field burnt down. 

Lugh summoned up a fire elemental to chase down the remnants of the enemy war party, and scryed into the Other World to see if it succeeded.  His vision told him that it had, but Jesse or Jesse's men (it's unclear which) were also wounded.

That's where we ended.

It was hard today to keep the focus going.  One of our players had just gotten back from a trip with stories, another wanted to discuss the two games he was playing, another just got a new job, and I got a call ten minutes in that I'd need to run my parent's suddenly-sick dog to the vet the next day (she's old and can't hop all the way up into their truck, so my car gets co-opted for vet trips), so there was a lot of misdirection going on.  I think the biggest failure on my part was not constantly asking questions to stir up conflicts / fronts the way I had in previous sessions, and not taking the smoke-breaks we usually work it (which offers vent time for non-game discussion).  There was a LOT of non-game related crosstalk when a player's character wasn't in scene, which is probably indicative of failure on my part to make the consequences of each character's actions affect the other individuals in some way.  More triangles, maybe?  Not exploring a 'front' if it only affects a single character?  Four sessions in I feel like the dynamics should be well underway, but this session seemed the most stable.

Fronts, lest I forget.  If you're in my group, don't read any further.

Fomorians, the mud-children, Tad's creations.  Tad'll be trying to free those souls he rescued from his creator's lair.  He lacks the skill of craftsmanship she had though, and the next iteration will be more monstrous that his Changeling self.  He'll probably not actively bother folks until he runs out of souls to imbue into his mud-creations.

Jesse, who cares for Pryss and now knows where he is.  Jesse has been presented to the party as "The Bandit King of the Western Silk Road".  He may make a power play in London if the chance arises.  The length of his influence hasn't been decided yet, only that he rules the underground and clearly has some combat-ready followers.  Civil crimes in London are settled by Trial-by-combat, so the group knows (if they think about it) that he was in prison for something of a more serious nature.

The Old Gods are dead.  At least the ones the Pikes and Welsh worshiped.  Killed by the Wicker Witch.  How does that affect the town?  Will Lugh confess it?  Will Rosyln?  What is Lugh willing to do to stop her?

The Northern Kingdom probably attacked the Southern Kingdom after the hole in their defenses opened up with sending the war-party towards the village.  So there's fighting there.  How does that affect the player characters? 

What are the Sorrentii reps in the South and North doing?  How does it affect Lucius and the affairs of the three groups?

The displaced, their homes burned down, are going to move to Angyng or the town-of-the-haunted-well I guess.  Unless the group does something otherwise.  I suppose Tad and company will probably end up in conflict with them if they do.  They'll probably choose a new, local ruler to follow while Pryss is days away.  The first possessed territory owing the new ruler fealty?  What kind of complications might that make?

I think next session I'll try expanding the scope of individual actions.  My instinct is to push towards increasing the scope, but I should probably toy around with how different pacing works instead and let scope evolve as it will.

My favorite part of the system so far?

When two PCs are arguing over something, and it is entertaining, it can ride.  When I start to get bored, or see the people not in the argument start to zone out, I can say "sounds like you're trying to Win Them Over?" and the more aggressive player will roll without me trying to require it.

The move doesn't remove the 'victim' agency, since they can answer questions and respond honestly without compromising their character's position, but it works wonders for cutting the lag or fluff out of a conversation that looks like it'll just....keep....going. 

It did not occur to me that the player might hold his rights as denied after his character suffered a fatal wound.  Interesting how this could have vastly different effects depending on how the group addresses souls/weirdness and which interpretation of "hold it against the MC" they follow.  Thanks, Vincent.

Third session's in the bag.  I'll try to keep it brief, but in hindsight so much gets accomplished in one of these sessions.  It doesn't seem like great strides were made until you sit down and follow the chain of events from the starting position to where everything ends.  If something doesn't make sense here.... it did at the time, in context of all the little stuff being glossed over.

As always, cliffnotes/questions in blue.

The PCs arrived at the troll's lair the scouts had found near Angyng.  Indications that mud was central to it's existence abounded - it walked over mud without sinking, it's cave was in the damp clay of a river wadi side, it had a mud 'effigy' of a human in its lair.  The War Captain Victor engaged it in solo combat and won position on it, pinning it with sword to its throat and then killing it.  It could easily have gone with the troll winning positioning and extinguishing his torch, leaving the whole party bathed in darkness and likely dead.  The rules for combat put everyone in a crosshair.  This isn't news, but it is awesome and intimidating.  The contrast with Dog's "you can only die if you're willing to press the issue" is stark.

The Wicker Wise Lugh discerned that pots scattered around the room held souls captive within.  He learned a secret about Victor and Lucius (foreign ambassador) from the stains on their souls, and used that knowledge to tell which soul belonged to who.  I agreed that he could destroy one of the captive souls and count it towards taking a life for enchantment purposes, which he promptly did (along with taking blood from the scouts and burning what valuables remained from the Angyng people) to heal Lucius. 

They returned to town.  Peasant Beauty Prys and Victor discussed killing the kid rescued last week, Lucius found his stuff packed by Roslyn (apprentice WickerWise) who had acquired rights to the late Diana's house, but let him stay when they formed a physical relationship.  Not enough NPC triangles yet.  Felt a hair forced, giving Roslyn a sudden dynamic aggression, but potential payoffs were worth it and it matched with Lugh's difficulty.

Which was his father banishing him from the Temple.  The Pikes were all sporting festering wounds from the ritualistic blood letting, which they considered a curse from the gods for healing the heathen ambassador, as opposed to the machinations of the vengeful ghosts of the slain army they didn't know were still milling about.  Lugh had a place to stay (Roslyn's) and won a flock with a People's Judgement roll, but no longer had access to the temple.  (This infection follows from the fiction, the intersection of two major factors : the unexorcised ghosts, and the way the Temple folks are expected to ritualistically bleed all the bloody time for sacrificial purposes, which has been treated as a 'safe' choice from the enchantment list.)

Lucius and Lugh are now sleeping under the same roof, both having bedded the woman who owns it and lives there.  Possible fuel for the fire there.

Lucius got a note from his counterpart from Sorrentti stationed as a representative in the Southern Kingdom congratulating him on his group's success in the last battle and warning of future attacks, noting that he had made an arrangement with his counterpart in the Northern Kingdom to sabotage his 'friends' in the south with bad advice in exchange for a place of power in the north.  He was convincing his allies to avenge their fallen brethren, sucking more troops from their fight with the North, and warned to be prepared for more attacks.

Prys, peasant beauty, head of his household, was asked for permission by one of his family members to join the military / guards, who were of a foreign/relocated race (Germanic) separate of the native peoples (Welch and Celtic) for the last few generations.  Prys and the War Captain, Victor, agreed... opening potential future worm cans.  No immediate drama there, so we moved on.

Everyone moved as a group again (the theme of this session - they split up a lot more the last two times) to the Northern Kingdom to offer fealty in exchange for defense. 
The dwellers of the Northern Kingdom speak English, are tall black-brown people, and their capital is London, which falls on a major offshoot of the Rhine in eastern France.  Is this too free-wheeling for the intended flavor of the game?  I felt like the peoples made so far in my game tended to drift towards stereotypes from our world and wanted to discourage that.  Is this a core element of the fictional world as design would dictate, or up to the group playing it?  Put another way, is this something 'scattered along the bell curve of various play styles in various groups' or something 'core to the game itself as it is ultimately desired by the creators to be, thematically or mechanically important.'
They shortly were in the presence of the general of those peoples.  A bad roll to win him over convinced him (via halting Romantic / Latin pidgeon and pantomime) that their small down was strategically important, because the backs of the enemy army could be broken on it if they could be tricked into attacking in force!  Which would inspire the group to seek allies in the other camp, so they were carted to prison.  Victor invoked his right to respect from men at arms and was instead left in the war room to discuss strategy, on the deal that if he came up with a plan to win the war his friends and he would be free.  He ultimately won his way up to getting a small military detachment of support from the city (30 souls), with the understanding that they'd be the bait for the Southern Army.
The Peasant Beauty was prison-married without ceremony to a local well respected criminal in exchange for the group's safety.   Lucius's equivalently ranked cohort sent to these people bailed him out of jail, even as the others launched an uprising and busted out. 

A dozen unarmed men vs three prison guards, resolved with War rules (launch attack, come under attack) worked out very well.  Mechanically it was clear that the unarmed swarm of inmates would win early on, but there was still a feeling of risk since the three guards could still do serious damage depending on their rolls.  Is this the way to handle a dozen men against one? The +3/+3 make it seem like a viable option where someone might have a crazed, fighting chance (holding a bridge, small pass, cave entrance, city gate, a vicious troll, etc)

Prys was wounded but saved in part by both Lugh and Jesse, his prison husband.  Prys and Lugh were smuggled out of town by Jesse, who is totally a recurring character when I figure out where he should pop up to cause the most potential-but-not-guaranteed damage.  They run into a water nymph along the river, a friend of Jesse, who trades a patina'd old blade for a lock of Prys's beautiful hair.  That's probably how Jesse will find Prys later.

Lucius was only bailed out on swearing to the gods of the nest that he would abide by the will of Casius, the Sorrentti rep to the Northern Kingdom.  Casius ordered the guards protecting Lucius and Victor from the 'riot' to return their weapons (in English, the rest of the conversation having been in Latin), then left.  Victor scares the guards with Leap Into Action well enough to escape without having to turn treacherous and kill them.  Everyone escapes the city and heads home.

Victor smashed the Angyng kid in the nose, and he bled mud.  Lugh tries to discern what'll happen if they kill the child, and learns that the village will be appalled... obviously.  While in the other world the child challenges him, and they come to the agreement that the child will not return in exchange for leaving and taking the jars of baby souls ("my brothers") with him.

End of session and end of season.

Just as much happened here in the last 20 minutes, justifying the advances / rights. 

The Pikes are dead of their infections, except Lugh.  He is no longer of a people, but a thing distinct in himself, touched by the otherness he so often enters.
The support unit arrives, and greets Victor as an ally... and, surprised, Prys as a lord.  They have records, from the time of the Legion, of a banished sister to a King who fled to this area, and Prys bears her cheekbones, complexion, hair, eyes, nose, and regal composure.
Victor overhears some of the criminal laborers berate another inmate for whining over the fate of Markus, letting Victor know that the criminal element (and the common folk) have accepted his punishments for crimes, real or perceived, as the way things work... err, as "Justice"
Lucius has studied the way Pris holds himself in a fight, and has learned to emulate it with his own flair.

Ending with so much experience handed out (2 points, plus possibly seasonal experience) often means new rights.  Which needs fictional justification.  Which gives brand new societal balance issues for the MC to dwell on, and then attack the next session.  This is great, and kind of makes the game possible for me to manage as an MC.  It also makes it important to end with at least half an hour available for further kibitzing.  My prep work is just thinking up two or three intuitive, logical complications to each character during my drive home based on their actions / season moves in context of the world they've built. Maybe making a peoples, NPC, or war party entry.  Very easy.

I'm enjoying how dynamic this game gets. The Subject tag line is "The Pike Temple, Angyng, and their surroundings" but be the end of session three the Angyngians and the Pikes are doomed, down to one or two surviving members each, and the temple is no longer a place worthy of worshiping in (and dedicated to gods who are barely alive any longer, their peoples passed)

We didn't start with any playbooks that entitle authority over a community of people, except for the War Captain.  This seems to be resolving itself, as characters acquire Rights of New Nobility.  Time will tell, but that's the way it looks like its heading, which implies that the system resolves its own 'balance issues' over time.  I predict a group with no martial or war prowess would, if they survived a few sessions, start developing war and personal rights to compensate.

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