James Mallard – downtime

I’ll do this post all OOC, I think.

This week we had a talky game. Basically, aftermath in-town of the pirate battle. Our DM had some NPC speeches written up, so the session was wrap-up and scene-setting for the next stage of the campaign.

Saw a couple of important NPCs, dealt with some outstanding business. Lot of table-talk going on, I’m sure I have missed a few things. Naturally, this blog mainly mentions what happened to my character. You’ll have to read everyone else’s game blogs for a fuller picture.

Actually, looking at what I have written here there’s a surprising amount of ground we covered.

Scene 1 – Breakfast at the Inn.

Captain Colonel showed up, demanding compensation for his ship. James is like “dude, pirates sunk your ship”, but Isabel heads outside with him and gives him 1.5kgp – half what he wanted. He was accompanied by guards, and apparently there were certain threats made. Back inside, Isabel decides to share out the loot, a) because we are heroic and good; and b) because it’s safer than carrying a thousand gold. Divided seven ways, 1.5k is 215 gold – actually not outrageous.

She did the divvying up by dumping it on the table in the pub common room, it seems. Drat. Oh well. There’s more respect for an adventuring party that actually has some success at adventuring.

Oh – James asked Wilvur about Edmund the Wise, but in the confusion of serving customers and Captain Colonel’s arrival, he disappeared. Hmm.

We decided that we needed to find Sir Leonard, who was at the shrine.

Scene 2 – the Market

On the way to the Shrine, we dropped in at the market. Everyone did a bit of a shop, Tarry decided to pick up some miscellaneous junk. Mind you, it’s not enough to have potentially useful adventuring stuff, you have to get creative about using it.

We also mentioned to the shopkeeper that the Salty Maiden probably had tons of gold on board, laying at the bottom of the sea, now. Then again – we were not too far off shore when it sunk. The dwarf proprietor hurriedly closed up shop and disappeared.

Scene 3 – the Shrine

We asked “the bishop” about the lycanthropy salve. In the process of, the bishop reacted strongly to some of us, and to Mist’hanar’s new glove. We mentioned the necromancer dude, and the fact that some of us had accepted gold from him.

The bishop told us that Sir Leonard was probably at the Mayor’s house, and mentioned that the paladin was in the graveyard and might have salve.

Scene 4 – the Graveyard

Teifling paladin was in the graveyard. Had salve. Told Mist’hanar that his glove gave rest (comfort?) to the dead, or some such. The player was a bit nonplussed by this, but it occurs to me that if this campaign involves undead, then punching them wearing a glove that “gives rest to the dead” could be a good move. Also, Mist’hanar is old enough that there plenty of dead in his history and maybe a few of them could do with a little rest.


Scene 5 – the Mayoral Estate

Mayor was drunk, very appreciative. Rewards all around. Clearly isn’t in the loop about his “daughter”‘s parentage yet, and maybe it’s for the best. He mentioned that not getting the Griffinshart estate tax was a bit of a blow. In an effort to distract the town away form the fact that we are flush with funds, we told him about all the gold on the Salty Maiden at the bottom of the bay, and that he ought to impose a salvage tax.

He seemed to like the idea.

Oh, and Sir Leonard was probably at the fort.

Scene 6 – the Fort

“Lieutenant Mallard? Is that lieutenant Mallard out there? Get in here, NOW!”

Commander was not happy. Mallard got a dressing down for destroying three ships. “You’re a loose cannon, Mallard; but by God, you get results!” General hilarity. So we have established a semi-conflicted relationship between James and the fort Commander, which basically is a good thing. We can’t just grab a squad of guards simply for the asking.

Outside, a group of guards confronted Isabel about a certain incident involving threats earlier that morning. James tried to smooth things over, which probably isn’t meta-gamingly correct. Drama is about conflict! He did get to pull rank on a corporal pointing a crossbow in an incorrect direction.

Oh, and Sir Leonard was back at his estate

Scene 7 – Pirate Pete

During the battle last week, a stray ballista bolt managed to detonate the explosives on which the Griffinshart estate was built, leaving a large crater and not much else. Old Pirate Pete was in town, his leg blown off, begging for spare change.

We decided that he totally needed a wooden leg to complement his hookhand. The dudes found a very nice table leg in the shop, but were like “how are we going to make a peg leg out of this?” I was like, “it’s ok, I got this”.

Outside, James – who has High Arcana and Cantip Mastery talents (like a bawss) – performed the Mending cantrip as a ritual. It’s a 13th Age thing – you spend a few minutes to get a more serious or complex magical effect if you can justify it. It’s a bit hand-wavey, but that’s what the system is like.

Our DM ran with it. Was it because Old Pirate Pete has decided to become a druid? Was it because Chancer’s Hope is on the border of the wild woods? The wood moulded itself to Pete’s stump (flitting nature sprites, special effects), and Pete said that he could actually feel sensation in the wood. James mentioned to Lashley, like “Man, I was not expecting that.”

And back to the Griffinsheart estate. Or rather – crater.

Scene 8 – Griffinsheart estate

And cutscene. Nothing left but a crater, and Sir Leonard holding an iconograph that had miraculously survived the blast – himself and his old adventuring party. “We were so young!” We learned a little history, how each of his old companions had died or departed over the years, and then he rose and tossed the photo into the crater with all the rest of his memories.

Time to start fresh.

Our DM has decided that we will use the gradual levelling-up rules. Instead of all the stuff that you get at level 2 coming on at once, we will get the advances gradually. Finally, when we have all of those new features etc then we will be level 2. We are starting with something simple: we go from +1 to all attacks to +2.

Then we rolled 13th age Icon dice. In 13th age, everyone has three icon relationship points. Think pathfinder “factions”, although icons tend to be individual persons. You can have all three points relating to a single icon, or split them around, and it should relate to your character’s background/story. At stages in the game, you roll one die for each point, and a 5 or 6 means indicates that there should be some significant involvement of that icon in the upcoming story. Ad-lib theatresports gamers might just wing it, but our DM prefers to have us roll at the end of game and prepare something for next game.

So we rolled.

Oh. My. God.

Handfulls of fives and sixes. A lot of them for “The Dwarf King”, from two or three different players, and a few for the priestess as well as some others. “OMG!”, I asked, “What the hell was in that ship??” Artifacts? Then another thought occurred – “Alternatively: what the hell was under the Griffinshart Estate that the explosion has uncovered?”

There was a chorus of reply: “Dwarf ruins!”, and I think some high-fives.

Ok, so players shouldn’t be dictating the course of the campaign. And also: “spoilers”. Maybe we have uncovered a weakness of the 13th age Icon roll system: players have an idea what is coming up. But, it does help drive the game forward. Everyone loves a dungeon crawl.

If, indeed, that is what is coming up. Who knows? Well – obviously our DM knows. Or will do, once his exams are done with.

The point is: next week is DM’s week off and board games, and then it’s Griffinshart’s merry band of heroes (I was wrong about the ‘jolly’, it’s ‘merry’) dealing with whatever it may be.


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