Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell

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Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell
« on: June 07, 2011, 07:56:38 PM »
Our first session playing dungeon world.  Sorry if the write up is a bit long.

4 Players, myself as the GM.

We play over Skype (I now live in a different city to the others), we use Google documents to provide online character sheets, and a document that all can view and edit simultaneously.  One of the players has put together an very nice online dice roller which allows us to roll and track the various rolls.
The link for that:
We've used this setup for the last two years, getting together most weeks on a Tuesday evening (New Zealand time).  We've played various systems, mouseguard, burning wheel, one campaign of Apocalypse World among others.

First things first: we all had fun, we've got a good dynamic in the group, which helps, but the game seemed to flow nicely, and well, enabled the fun. So thumbs up in general.

I did a write up of the session here: in story form, it's fairly long though.

We have a good Thief (Delia), an evil elven bard (Pendrell), and a CG Ranger (Riddick)

Mechanics wise the players all very generously highlighted each others primary stats, while I highlighted CON on all of them, to take the edge off any saving throws they were going to have to make.  I had a fair idea there would be a few.  As a result exp flowed pretty fast.

They faced an ancient undead witch loosely modelled on Hellboy's (the comic) take on Baba Yaga.  She has a hidden agenda which this whole adventure revolves about, and a geas preventing her from just telling folks what she wants.  I've made up various cryptic quotes for her.  Powerful, evil, but with a vested interest in keeping the players alive for now.

The players performed a successful Discern Realities to determine much of what was happening, I didn’t have to much trouble couching the answers in terms of observable details (looks like signs of a scuffle beside the road).  Then Delia flunked her first roll, trying to Discern Realities more at the hag, so I had the ghoul I had prepared (was thinking it wouldn’t turn up till a bit later, but staying flexible, not leading the PCs into pre-prepared scenes etc) jump in, attack her (it’s inhumanly fast) and separate her from the party.

The ghoul:
Monster: Ghoul
Level 2: Hp (19) 17; Damage: 1d4+1 (Raking claws, Bite)  Armour: 1 (tough flesh)
Ghoul Paralysis: (see special move)
Crazy agile and quick- can climb as fast as most can run
Grey skin, shiny with rain, stretched taut over bones and sinew, little muscle or fat is visible, Glowing yellow eyes radiate hunger and a sickening carrion stench wafts from a maw of black, broken teeth and a foot long black tongue coated in lumpy green slime. It’s inhumanly fast, and its feet and hands are tipped with thick, ivory like claws.
Ghoul Touch: Con Check 6- choose 2; 7-9 choose 1; 10+ escaped harm.  Elves immune
-Ghoul paralysis: -1 to dexterity and strength checks till cured, or 24 hours pass, stacks
-Infected with blight: -2 hp now, if not cured within 1d6 days, the hp loss is permanent
-Dazed with intense pain: unable to act next (1d4 – Con bonus) rounds.

We abstracted rounds: using the term more to give myself and the player an idea of how long the effect lasts than an actual ticking off of actions.

And I just now realised that I should have been making the players roll saving throws every time they got hit, but it worked out ok.  Looking back I’d not have changed that aspect, they had to roll every time it hit them any way.

Focussing more on the flubbed rolls (they’re more interesting from a mechanics point of view:
Partial success volleys played out with: you can’t get a clear shot with the way it’s jumping about up the trees, spray and pray, or offer yourself up as a target to get a clear shot.

The one failed volley I chose not to have the arrow hit our thief who was in melee as she was already near death by that point, hard moved the ghoul crash tackling the ranger and biting his neck.

Partial fail on the bards healing song: “summoned” another ghoul
Full fail on the bard song: he found he’d inadvertently got ghoul chunks in the back of his throat- incapacitated for a bit.

The thief partial failed her Deaths Door roll, gave her a visitation from Cailleach who’ll be heading up one of the major factions/fronts in the campaign.  A pure evil entity offered her life, in return for an undisclosed favour, to be cashed in at a later date.  The thief was conflicted, but in the end agreed.

Fail on the rangers loot roll:  he stuck around after the rest of the characters bolted back to the safety of the road-side sanctuary stone, and ended up face to face, alone with the “summoned” ghoul. 

He then failed his Defy Danger roll (fleeing from the ghoul) I decided that seeing as he was running full tilt through a dark forest, he trapped and broke his ankle just outside the protected area of the sanctuary stone.  I’m just going to fiction the effects of that: any time he needs to run or whatever, he’s going to have trouble.

A second defy danger roll was partial failed: gave him the option of getting to safety while the others distracted the ghoul, but only if he used (and damaged) his bow as a crutch.

The bard’s partial on singing healing caused me some momentary discomfort, but I went with the protective nature of the stone turning against him (he’s evil).

At one point the bard asked if he could just sing his companions back to health outside combat, my response was “yes, but you do have to roll each time, and their may be unforeseen consequences.”

Oh yes, the witches curse:
 Curse of Maelgaunt: Con Check.  1-6 choose 2; 7-9 choose 1; 10+ avoid
-A Pox on ye: the characters face, hands and back erupt in pox – big round boil-like blisters.  -2 charisma.
-Ye bones as water be: the character crashes to the ground prone and cannot move for 4 rounds less one round per Con bonus
-A Ring of Rosies:  Bubonic plague.  Red spots, virulently contagious, chills and aches (-1 dex), coughing, eventually, death.
 -Ye have a wicked tongue: The characters tongue is now that of a serpent.  The character is longer able to speak, (but +2 to checks where a good sense of smell would be an asset).  Also people might find it disturbing.

"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing



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Re: Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 02:17:16 AM »
Second session posted up.

Again struggled at times to come up with good consequences for the bardic music gone awry, seem to be managing ok, because the bard’s player is now somewhat nervous of using the ability.

Combat seems to be fine, managed to work in some suitably dramatic effects (the ranger being thrown into a burning building filled with zombies seemed quite effective).

The bard used Charming and Open, seemed a bit odd that the priest would tell a complete stranger in-front of his parishioners that he feels shame and horror.

Being an elf on hallowed ground can be bad:
•   Roll Con:  10+ shake it off; 7-9 choose 1; 1-6 choose 2. All effects cease on leaving the hallowed ground. +2 to the roll if fought the zombies.
o   Your presence is announced in some manner: gargoyles turn to stare at you, statues demand that you leave
o   Your clothes start smouldering, giving off a foul stench, if ignored they will be ruined
o   You become suddenly photophobic, any kind of bright light causes pain (hard to disguise) and you take -1 on all rolls while in brightly lit conditions
"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing

Re: Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 11:42:31 AM »
Re: Charming and Open - it's never been my impression, either here or in raw AW, that the "ask questions/get answers" moves necessarily mean someone outright TELLS you what they feel. More that they give it away by subtle behavioral or conversational cues. So in your example the priest probably WOULDN'T have said it, but he might have been pale or had difficulty meeting the bard's eyes...



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Re: Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 07:34:40 AM »
Third session posted up.

Somewhat frustrated by the short sessions we're getting (only 90 minutes or so tonight) going to try and find a work around there. 

Changed the highlighted stats about some.

Had a thing with the alignment XP moves come up:
Bard (evil): When you command, manipulate or control others mark XP.
Ranger (chaotic good):When you free someone from literal or figurative bonds mark XP.
Thief (good): When you harm an unsuspecting victim mark XP.

The bard can potentially get his with just about every major social interaction, whereas the other two, well the thief's came up once so far.  Seems a bit of a disparity there.

Felt like this social interaction heavy session worked ok, but I felt like I didn't handle it as well as I could have from a role-playing perspective.  Also the thief didn't get much screen time it seemed.  Game mechanics wise it seemed fine.
"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing



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Re: Play Log. The second fall of New Dunfell
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 07:39:26 AM »
Fourth session posted up:
Story form, quite long again.

Mentioned before the game that I'd felt I'd been to easy on the players with regards to them getting the priest to 'fess up to starting the mess.  They felt that it wasn't to bad, and that having the rangers dog companion kill the priests daughter was not in fact an easy out.

The players made just about every roll this session, on the couple of failed rolls that did happen, I hadn't felt like I'd set a particular threat obviously, so I went with announcing future badness (the stirges*).  Very much the thieves spotlight this time.

Edit: somewhat frustratingly they also bypassed a lot of the colour/interesting features of the rooms they passed through, staying firmly fixated on their goal.**

Of interest (to me as a DM at least) was that, while I was clear in my own mind that when a Loot (Wis) roll is made, there's no obligation to provide loot, when the successful roll was made, I still felt like they should find something.  Really felt like I blanked on something inspiring/informative for them to find, ended up going with something like:
"You search the cave, but you cannot find anything really, just more tracks, you can't help but feel that whoever built this complex must have defeated and trapped the demon, they may well have left something useful behind in one of the other rooms."  Which, really, felt a bit lame.

I need to pre-prepare a few "successful loot roll" clues, things that could be found should another loot roll be made.  Took the time to think about a couple of unwanted attention options before this session (hence the stirges and the vision).  I don't think there's a place for wandering monsters per se, but having an idea of what kind of monsters might show up if "summoned" by a bad roll, and laying the groundwork for that appearance in the fiction seems a good idea.

*I'm trying to provide a bit of a classic/clichéd/old school D&D feel here, as one of the players never played the game, so I want to give him a bit of that experience.   Stirges seems appropriate in that context.

**Curse for defiling Christian sarcophagi :
Wisdom Check.  1-6 Choose 2, 7-9 Choose 1, 10+ Shrug it off
-Stigmata: blood flows from spontaneous wounds on the hands and feet (-1 cha checks.)
-Visions of perdition: Somewhat Distracting visions of eternal torment (-1 Wis checks)
-Tongues: The victim has a tendency to spout gibberish when attempting to communicate (-1 to any communication checks)
Effects last until the victim spends 2 minutes in sincere prayer asking forgiveness, in a church.
"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing