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  1. 1 point
    Role-playing games are for everyone. Your Game Will Vary. Why did I choose these four? They're the ones I felt like talking about today.
  2. 1 point
    Secret File/ Delta Green first impressions/ We are all doomed/ Hello my friends! Awhile ago I asked you what the enigmatic game called Delta Green was, and if it could be all it's cracked up to be... Now I have obtained it. Woohoo!! Yesterday I received a secret package from Arc Dream Publishing in the mail, they were kind enough to send me a review copy of the slipcase set. So here is my unboxing video, and what follows is a brief summary of what I'm enjoying so far after a quick flip-through: One of the biggest problems I have always had with Call of Cthulhu is the way investigators are supposed to both investigate and work together just "because". The way investigators are often throw together to fight creatures or threats they would likely simply run away from in real life can get grating, and Delta Green provides the answer with its MIB or X-Files type approach to investigators. We have a secret sect of the government which functions as a secret society and will call on its members to fight Mythos threats. But instead of giving anybody any sense of security in their employers, the DG core books do quite the opposite, painting a picture of a bleak and horrifying group who is a mystery to even its own members. This group will stoop below morality for the common good, and if its hand picked agents have problems, those very agents often will become the mission! I also find the horrific aspect of the game to be important, and additional sanity resources are much appreciated. The way the game ties the sanity into the way real life and bonds are effected makes the terrifying mentality of the mental illness all the more poignant. The way bonds work also seem great, so much so that I may use the bonds rules set even outside of DG... In Call of Cthulhu (my favorite horror game, which is why I keep comparing the two), there is some artwork reminiscent of a cartoon and others which feel like a scientist's meticulous sketching of a creature from beyond. While I enjoy that style of artwork very much, I cannot help but notice how much more eye catching the artwork in DG is... I mean, those images are actually scary af! Half the time I have no clue what the heck I'm looking at, let alone how to process or comprehend it. As an aside along the same lines: the aesthetic of the game and the layout of the pages is evocative in itself. There are dozens of scenario hooks hidden in the pages which each could become a full blown campaign, and the general feel of the books is that you hold in your hands something confidential. Off limits. Redacted. I personally enjoy conspiracies and secret plots, the very concept of them. So the way DG takes those concepts and runs with them is truly incredible. Everything has layers of fear and goes far deeper than you though possible, everything is on a need to know basis, and if you learn more than you should, you will either learn to keep your mouth shut or likely end up dead. These are just some surface level impressions, I encourage you to heck out the video and let me know what you think, and also let me know what aspects of Delta Green you love the most or most excite you:) These are just a few examples of stuff I found exciting about the system and the core rulebooks, really didn't have any complaints at all (something rare to see, let me tell you). There was none of the copy paste stuff from the CoC core books, each book was its own entity and fully contained a part of the needed materials to both play and be a Handler (GM). The game has forced my hand, this is just the beginning. From this point onward, we shall be exploring Delta Green on my channel (in addition to RQ) and we shall start with a "How to get into: Delta Green" series. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the mind wrenching lore and sanity shattering system of Delta Green.
  3. 1 point
    Here is the recap for our last two sessions. The first one ended up being very short so I decided to lump them together. Previously, the heroes had learned that their neighbors, the Wozer clan, were having trouble with bandits in the Yellow Hills, particularly those led by Angtyr of the Horn, former king of the Balkoth Tribe and Lunar stooge. Egajia, in the name of restoring spiritual balance to the Yellow Hills and neighboring communities, convinced the other PC's to find this man and bring him to justice. The Wozer chieftain specifically requested that Egajia bring him Angtyr's enchanted horn as proof of his capture. To simulate the party's overland exploration of the Yellow Hills, I tried experimenting with a map-making program called Hex Kit, which I picked up in a Bundle of Holding. It allows you to draw a hex map, and then (if you have more than one screen) present a fog of war map to the players. It worked fairly well, but we had so little time for both of our recent sessions (each less than 3 hours) that we didn't do as much random exploration as I planned for. Anyway, here's a simple map I made of the Yellow Hills. The landmarks, towns and villages are mostly taken from the Hearts in Glorantha article by Stuart Mousir-Harrison. Each hex is meant to represent a mile, which makes it not quite consistent with the AAA maps, or accurate in general. Balkoth country covers the hills, the northern edge of Dundealos Valley, and the area south of Swenstown. Last time, the PC's were traveling from Wozer's Redoubt to Darrold's Hold, in search of a bandit with possible connections to Angtyr. They were ambushed by more bandits on the way, but managed to kill or drive off their attackers. They captured one of these, who failed to escape on her flying horse. Although she initially proved reluctant to talk, Egajia successfully intimidated her after an augment of the Death rune, which she is very strong in. The bandit, whose name was Zavia, proved easy enough to interrogate. She was convinced that her brother Destor, the leader of their band, would suspect her of treachery one way or another, and try to kill her. She agreed to share info on Angtyr and her gang if the party let her go afterwards. They agreed, so she spilled the beans. She told them the following- She and her brother had been raiding caravans for years during the Lunar Occupation. After the Dragonrise, Angtyr of the Horn was driven out of Harnafal's Rest by Orkarl Windstorm, and went bandit. Orkarl became the new king of the Balkoth. Angtyr took control of the bandit gangs and families of the Yellow Hills, and started raiding his own former subjects. Any bandits who resisted his takeover were killed or driven away. Angtyr is always on the move, and Zavia and her brother rarely speak with him face to face. Instead he sends messages to his lieutenants, who run their own gangs. Her brother Destor is one such lieutenant, along with an Impala Rider called Naveed, and a Telmori woman. She said these other two raided caravans near Swenstown, and near the forest at the heart of the hills respectively. Angtyr is personally very dangerous. He was a priest of the Gerendetho cult in the Yellow Hills, and still has access to powerful magic, including the ability to summon rock slides. When the interrogation ended, the PC's let Zavia go. She headed off in the direction of Prax, with the look of a person who hadn't yet escaped her death. Darrold's Hold Later in the day, the party arrived at Darrold's Hold. This was the traditional home and tula of the Daldari clan. They, the Wozer, and the nearby Untralos clan had stayed rebellious against the Lunars during the occupation, unlike the Penbal and Fimburos clans. After the Dragonrise, the former king of the Balkoth, Orkarl Windstorm, had returned from exile in Prax to reclaim his position. He set up court in Darrold's Hold, rather than the traditional tribal capitol of Harnafal's Rest. Upon arriving the party rendezvoused with Erindros, who had returned from business in Swenstown. Darrold's Hold is a stout hill fort with stone walls, built to withstand Praxian raids. There was a market outside the fort, and before speaking with King Orkarl, the PC's decided to listen for rumors or signs of bandits nearby. Egajia noticed one man standing out at the market place, due to his strange aura, which resembled red flames. He had a bushy red beard with singed tips, and wild hair. He was festooned with garlands of dried peppers and spirit charms. She also noticed he had a fetch, appearing as a small ball of flame. He introduced himself as Old Man Pepper, local shaman and seller of "invigorating herbal remedies." He claimed to be an expert on the nearby hills and woods, having lived rough outdoors for many years. Egajia asked him if he knew of any strange spiritual happenings nearby. He claimed that the local hunting spirit in the Smallwood to the north had been driven out of it's range. He had seen wolf spirits roaming the hills where none had been before, and heard rumors of Telmori attacking the goat herds. After asking if the PC's were hunting Telmori, he suggested that finding the lost hunter spirit would help in their search. He said the spirit resembled a giant saber-toothed cat (a sakkar). Egajia thanked him, and the party all purchased some hot pepper charms. These supposedly granted the ability to breath fire, although they had to be eaten, and thus only worked once. Next the heroes visited King Orkarl. They were granted an audience thanks to the Wozer guide, Hiark, who introduced them as emissaries of chieftain Orvengar. Orkarl was a fierce old warrior, who was suspicious of Dundealos emissaries at first. His thanes even more so. Egajia explained that they were operating independently of their clan and tribe, and wished to help the Balkoth hunt down their most notorious bandit. Orkarl's thanes reacted with shouts and disdain, demanding to know why the glory of finding and killing Angtyr should be given to Dundealos warriors. First Egajia sang the party's hit song about Angtyr that they had introduced in the Wozer village. It left the crowd laughing as it had the last time. Then Egajia explained that while Angtyr had betrayed and humiliated his people, he should not be given the status of a feared enemy. Rather he should be treated as a coward for hiding in the hills and stealing from his own people. Secondly, she and her comrades had no wish to steal anyone's glory. They only wanted to help build peace between her clan and their neighbors, and as skilled trackers (somewhat exaggerated) and deadly fighters (more accurate) they were in a good position to help. Orkarl was convinced, and offered the cooperation of his household warriors in hunting Angtyr. But he also explained that bringing the bandit in needed to be a joint effort, and he expected Egajia to report to him anything that the party learned. Egajia and the others agreed to this. The PC's then conferred about whether to stay in Darrold's Hold and look for the bandit Destor, or go deeper into the hills to follow leads on the Telmori. They went with the latter option, and set out north. Wolves and Smilodons Travelling for several hours, they met some friendly goat herders, who shared an odd rumor. Many herders had seen individual goats from their herds walking in a straight line out to the hills, then disappearing. No one knew where they went, or why they would walk off with such fixed determination. Occasionally these goats would be found later, dozens of miles away in a different clan's herd. Some suspected trickster magic. As the day went on, the hills gave way to a small valley filled with pine forest. This was the Smallwood shown on the map. Egajia did some cursory scouting with her fetch, but did not notice any major threats, spiritual or physical. Night was beginning to fall, so she decided that the time was right to go on a journey to the Spirit World to find the Saber-tooth Spirit. HWSAD was able to locate a rocky overhang that provided shelter, and some defense if necessary. Egajia performed the ritual of discorporation, and left her fetch, and her companions, guarding her body. It should be mentioned that we didn't have Garkar for the first session. We explained his absence by deciding it was Orlanth's seasonal holy day, so he had to stay behind at Rooster Stead. Thus, it was just Erindros and He Who Spits physically guarding Egajia. After about an hour, HWSAD's Chaos sense started tingling. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this in previous recaps, but HWSAD's Sense Chaos ability manifests as a pain in the back of his neck, a la Berserk. He and Erindros prepared for trouble, and soon a shadowy figure appeared in the trees. I showed the players the picture of the Telmori from the Bestiary (who looks a lot like Kurt Cobain!). He was accompanied by another hunter in the shadows, and two very large wolves. The first one approached and warned HWSAD that they were trespassing on the Wolfbrothers' hunting range. He Who Spits tried and failed an Intimidate roll to run them off, and he was met with thrown javelins. Thus began a fairly one-sided battle as the Telmori hunters got more than they bargained for. We ended our first session here, and then picked it up a week later with the werewolf fight, and Egajia's spirit journey. She successfully used Spirit Travel to locate the Sakkar Spirit. It wasn't far from where she started. She left the forest, and flew towards the hills. She found the spirit being chased by a pack of wolf spirits, nearly a dozen. The sakkar was huge, the size of a horse, and covered in glowing runes. But Egajia could see through her Second Sight that it was in a severely weakened state. After casting a powerful Spirit Screen, she charged right into the pack of wolf spirits, and engaged one of them in spirit combat, hoping to frighten the others. Unfortunately, she couldn't best it, and the pack soon surrounded her, taking turns in trying to overwhelm her soul. On the second round, she managed to roll a critical, and tore one of the spirits apart. The wolves momentarily withdrew in fear, and she used the reprieve to try communicating with the sakkar. She then failed her Spirit speech roll, although it wasn't a fumble. The sakkar did not attack her, but instead fled. It jumped into the sky, and began leaping from cloud to cloud. She had to use Spirit Travel again to keep up. The spirit wolves ran after them (flew after them?). Meanwhile, back in the world of flesh, the Telmori cast their eerie spells of transformation. They began to sprout fur, and take on more bestial features. Their teeth and ears elongated, their eyes became the yellow color of a wolf's. This was just from a casting of Wolfhide. The first Telmori charged, along with the two dire wolves, while the other threw javelins. HWSAD remembered that Gbaji's curse allowed the wolf-men to shrug off normal weapon attacks, so he whipped out one of the magical hot peppers. After chewing it, he immediately noticed certain side effects of the enchantment that the shaman had neglected to mention. His mouth was literally on fire at first, and he took 1 hp of damage to total hit points. But then the pepper worked as advertised, and a cone of white hot flame shot from his mouth, enveloping the Telmori brave and his wolf. They survived the blast, but were badly burned. Garkar (whose player returned for the second session) was tracking his allies through the woods to their campsite, where he saw the unfolding combat. He decided not to waste any time, and made a dramatic entrance by firing a lightning bolt at the first Telmori. It struck his leg with a crack of thunder, and he fell to the ground crippled. Erindros' player decided to roleplay his character's general ignorance and simply attack the other Telmori with his axe, to no effect. The tide was turning against the wolf-men quickly, and they made ready to flee. Egajia found herself swimming through the sky, up into the bottom of a black lake. She could still see the Saber-tooth spirit above her, and chased it up through the surface, onto a sandy shore in a forest. She knew the wolves were following as well, so she tried to talk with the spirit again, but failed a second time. The wolves came charging out of the water and swarmed her again, but she rolled well this time when defending herself. She blasted apart another two wolves in spirit combat, and again the pack withdrew, frightened. Looking at the sakkar in it's weakened state, she realized it might be easier just to subdue it. She grabbed it by the tusks and started to wrestle it. She was forced to do this and fend off wolves at the same time, and the sakkar proved to be a tough opponent in spite of it's depleted POW. After taking a few big hits in spirit combat, she managed to defeat it. It's spiritual body became hazy and amorphous. She turned it into a kitten (a symbolic defeat), and tucked it into her pouch. As the wolves began to renew their assault, she used Spirit Dance to make her escape. HWSAD had to fend off attacks from both of the wolves at once, but managed to cripple one with a swing of the maul. The fight had yet to turn truly deadly, when Egajia returned to her body. She fired off several Sleep spells, and soon had the Telmori and their wolves subdued. Garkar succeeded in a Lore roll to remember certain details about the Telmori and their customs. He remembered that they valued the lives of their wolves and treated them as family members. He advised not killing the wolves, and so they were trussed up along with their humans. Garkar graciously healed their wounds so they weren't crippled an longer. While they slept, Egajia bound the sakkar spirit in her fetch, and cast Visibility on it. She then woke up the Telmori, thinking they would already be intimidated upon seeing the saber-toothed cat. She was correct in her calculations, and the two wolf-men admitted to being in league with Angtyr of the Horn. They said that they (both brothers) and their sister Ashara had been driven south from Telmori country after a raid from the Cinsina Tribe had killed many of their family. They joined with Angtyr when he promised them protection. Erindros asked if their sister would take them back for ransom, and they said she would track them down sooner or later. The party decided to pass the night in the forest with their captives. The Telmori voiced their appreciation that they had spared their wolf brothers and healed their wounds. He Who Spits, who was initially prepared to cook the wolves in front of the Telmori, softened up on them a little in spite of their stench of Chaos. Egajia spoke with the sakkar spirit. The Telmori had already found them obviously, so the spirit was seemingly no longer useful. But she then learned that it was Angtyr himself who infected the sakkar with a soul disease, diminishing it's power. It claimed that it could help Egajia track down Angtyr, as it knew his scent. It could smell him within a kilometer. It also knew some useful spells, and had the ability to possess someone and change their shape. She decided to keep it bound for the time being, but as an object of local worship for hunters in the Yellow Hills, she planned to eventually heal it and set it free. The night otherwise passed uneventfully. Follow the Goat In the morning, everyone heard a strange bird call, and the Telmori called back in response. A woman appeared, dressed and tattooed the same as the other two, with her own wolf at her side. She harangued her two idiot brothers for getting captured, and then asked the party what their terms were for ransom. Erindros asked only that she help them find Angtyr of the Horn. She agreed, saying their alliance was one of convenience, and nothing more. She performed a strange ritual, drawing a rune resembling a goat in the dirt and whispering chants. She then instructed everyone to hide. After about an hour, an actual goat appeared out of the bushes. It stood still in front of her, not moving. She told it to give Angtyr a message, saying that Orkarl Windstorm was closing in on him, and he would have to move camps again within the next few days. After it left, she simply said, "follow the goat." She then left with her brothers. Instead of following the goat directly, Egajia sent the sakkar spirit after it. Everyone else stayed about a mile back from it. The goat walked in a straight line for a few miles, and eventually climbed down into another valley. This particular valley (the Balkoth call them "cuts"), was rocky and bleak, with more Praxian vegetation. He Who Spits sensed the lingering taint of Chaos on the place, although he didn't detect any specific entities. The goat wandered on towards a series of well-hidden caves. As soon as the sakkar spirit could smell Angtyr of the Horn (who smelled like goat of course), Egajia called it back, fearing any possible defenses he might have at his camp. The party then planned to return to King Orkarl, and inform him that they had found their quarry. We ended the second session there. I had originally hoped that the party would be able to confront Angtyr before we all took a break for the holidays, but alas, it was not to be. So next time, the heroes will finally take on the Goat King! Thanks for reading!
  4. 1 point
    For our most recent session, the players took the reins and decided to visit the neighboring Balkoth Tribe. I hadn't really planned for this, but thankfully I had some good material to fall back on from Hearts in Glorantha, with the Balkoth article by Stuart Mousir-Harrison. Erindros' player could not make it for this session either, but since he had a wedding to plan, it was easy to explain his absence. Friendly Neighbors I usually start off a new season by sharing the local news from passing merchants and travelers. The biggest news came from Boldhome. For weeks after the Battle of Queens, Kallyr had lain in state at the Royal Palace, her body preserved with magic. Finally, in frustration, Leika Blackspear of the Colymar Tribe decided to torch Kallyr's body, and leave the city with her entourage (these events are covered in various books, including the core rulebook). The PC's reacted with unease at this news, until a messenger from Blackmane arrived. The messenger explained that the Dundealos would stay strong even if the Kingdom of Sartar disintegrated, thanks to their close alliance with the Pol-Joni Tribe. Earth Season rolled through, with the harvest being meager, but free of raids or strange occurrences. The players reviewed some of the recent problems affecting the clan, and pondered their next course of action. Bandit activity in the Verge was getting worse. A gift from the Bardori to the Hyaling clan had recently been stolen. The Wozer clan of the Balkoth had successfully repelled all counter-raids after stealing cattle from everyone south of the Willow Beck river. Many Bardori thanes still agitated against them. Many Storm Bull warriors from the Valley were heading to Heortland to fight the Scorpion menace. Egajia meditated on the problem of the Wozer clan. They had always been troublesome neighbors, with a long history of slights, raiding, and land grabs. However because she was adopted into the clan during the Dundealos exile period, she didn't have quite the same animosity towards them as her kinfolk. Their behavior since the Dragonrise had been unusually hostile, and she sensed that something spiritual might be the cause of this. She made up her mind to speak with the Wozer's wyter spirit, and convinced Garkar and He Who Spits at the Devil to go with her. Here are some maps to get a sense of where the Balkoth live (the left one is from the AA Atlas, which is why it still includes the New Lunar Temple). None of the PC's could remember what the Wozer spirit was, or where it was kept. Egajia tried speaking with the Bardori's chief trader, Stolf Argin's Son, who visited the Wozer occasionally. He was uninterested in helping them, as he suspected that Egajia was trying to get neighborly with the Balkoth clans. He explained that the Balkoth were once the wealthiest tribe in the Swenstown confederation, but since the occupation had become the poorest, losing all of their cattle and gaining nothing but filthy goats. The Wozer were the poorest clan of the tribe, and their constant cattle raiding was because no-one would willingly trade with them from the Valley. He wanted to keep things this way, as "weak Balkoth mean strong Dundealos in the Swenstown markets." Egajia left in frustration, and decided to visit the Wozer chieftain without any background info. The plan hatched by the three heroes was that they would openly approach the Wozer patrols, and announce that they were investigating rumors of Chaos activity nearby. Because most clans are eager to dispel any rumors of harboring Chaos, this would hopefully get them an audience with the chieftain. They crossed the Willow Beck going north, and immediately met some hostile weaponthanes on horses, demanding to know their business. Garkar did some fast talking (unsuccessfully), and then HWSAD relied on his intimidating bluster to demand an audience with chieftain Orvengar. The patrolmen acquiesced, not wanting trouble from Storm Bull. The party passed through the stunted, yellow pastures of the Wozer. Gaunt herders tended to goats (gasp!), sheep, and the occasional cow. The Wozer's harvest was clearly even more pathetic than their neighbors'. Egajia was not bothered by the omnipresent goats, but I really tried to underscore the revulsion that Garkar and HWSAD would feel at confronting these beasts. I described them as "basically broos with four legs, playing with children." The PC's also noticed a lack of young men or women, with many folk being older, or just children. The chieftain's hall was located on high ground, near a rocky outcrop of sandstone. Chieftain Orvengar was a twisted old man, nearly crippled from falling off a horse many years ago. His hall was filled with cows stolen from various clans. He was in the process of milking one of them when the heroes entered. He greeted them with jeers and derision at having their beloved cows stolen. Egajia did the talking, while the other two fumed at the obnoxious old man. She accused Orvengar and his people of betraying all of Sartar with their raids and selfishness, and also said that he brought Chaos upon everyone with his reckless leadership. Orvengar denied that Chaos had visited his people, and said that raiding was the right of any Heortling clan. Egajia then suggested that the Wozer clan looked "sick" to her, and asked when the last time the chieftain had spoken with the clan's wyter. This seemed to catch him off guard, and after more pressing, he admitted that he had not consulted the wyter for several seasons. Egajia asked to join him in consulting the wyter, and promised to help him "overcome his clan's sickness." He agreed to this, although they were accompanied by armed thanes. They went further up into the Yellow Hills, to a hilltop crowned with broken sandstone. There they found a hidden statue of a grotesque-looking man, with massive hands, feet, and genitals. As Orvengar prayed to the statue, it became animated, leaping about and making faces at the chieftain. It excoriated him for not making proper sacrifices, and ignoring it's advice. After many apologies, Egajia asked the statue what troubles affected the Wozer clan that they could help alleviate. The statue grinned and said- "Change is coming to the Yellow Hills, and our people must embrace it! But they cannot become strong again until they remove all traces of the shameful past. We must cleanse ourselves of past stains, and bring justice to the one who brought that shame unto us!" After this, the statue went silent again. Egajia was not sure what all of this meant. Orvengar explained that the statue was talking about the Balkoth's former king, Angtyr of the Horn. While he didn't know about "embracing change," he knew that Angtyr unquestionably was the tribe's greatest shame. He was a Lunar hostage, who returned to rule the tribe during the Occupation. He brought foreign goat cults with him, along with the Seven Mothers, and lived a debauched lifestyle while his people starved. After the Dragonrise (which he managed to avoid), he became a bandit and disappeared into the hills. While Angtyr had not come from the Wozer, he had targeted them for reprisals due to their rebellious disposition. The people longed to see him brought to justice, but so far he had escaped discovery from the new Balkoth king. Egajia then offered help join the hunt for Angtyr, if it would help the Wozer. Orvengar said this would help to build friendship between Bardori and Wozer, as well as friendship between tribes. But the Balkoth had already been hunting Angtyr for many seasons, with no luck. He also said there was no chance of anyone getting their stolen cows back. "A Goat King, for a Goat People" The chieftain offered the PC's hospitality for the night. They decided to ask around among the Wozer folk about Angtyr, and see if they could learn anything interesting. They didn't pick up much (bad rolls again) other than what they already knew. One bit of info that Orvengar shared was that the two "goat cults" Angtyr had introduced to the Balkoth were still going strong in his absence. These included Gerendetho, an Earth god from the Lunar province of Kostaddi, and Uryarda, the Goat Mother. Angtyr himself was a priest of Gerendetho, embodying his more violent and hedonistic traits. The Gerendetho cult had been outlawed by the new king, but Uryarda's was still going strong. The people found that the goats did well in the dry Yellow Hills, and many admired their hardiness. There were also rumors that Angtyr still had supporters among both of these cults. The heroes decided to try something that would get some attention. They improvised a song satirizing Angtyr, and sang it to an assembled crowd of farmers. Their rolls were successful (and their lyrics were spot-on), so after a few hours the whole clan was singing it. I can't remember the lyrics now, but they involved Angtyr's alleged flatulence, and something about "blowing his own horn." While they had their crowd laughing away, they noticed a group of women at the edge were clearly not amused, and saw them slip away into the night. Garkar successfully followed them without being seen. He observed the women entering a large stead, and hunkered down to wait for anything interesting to happen. He heard loud arguments from within, and eventually a man stormed out of the stead. He mounted a horse, and surprisingly, the horse took off into the air on it's own, galloping as if the air were solid ground. Garkar, as a former outlaw, recognized the signature spell of the god of outlaws, Gagarth, the Wild Hunter. He assumed this man must be a bandit, and possibly might have a connection with Angtyr, the local bandit king. He heard the women refer to the man as "Destor," and also heard mention of "Darrold's Hold". He returned to the others to share this information, and also let Orvengar know. The chieftain told them that the women they saw were of the clan's Uryarda cult, and he would question them himself. There was no-one in the clan named Destor who fit the man's description, so he was likely an outlaw. Darrold's Hold was a hill fort owned by the neighboring Daldari clan, and the current seat of the Balkoth king, Orkarl Windstorm. The party decided to visit Darrold's Hold and find the mysterious Destor. Orvengar offered the services of one of his thanes, an Odaylan hunter and tracker named Hiark. He would guide them to Darrold's Hold (only a day's journey), and also make an introduction to king Orkarl. The heroes set off. They were going into the Yellow Hills, which were the traditional lands of the Balkoth. Dry, dusty, and rocky, the hills make for poor grazing, and are part of the reason for the tribe's poverty. The terrain is more like Prax than Sartar. I showed the players some random googled images to give them a sense of the place. After a few hours of travel on a herder's path, they entered a dry ravine (classic ambush spot). Egajia sent her fetch away from her body to get a bird's eye view of the land. She noticed two horses tied up near the edge of the ravine, and a man hiding nearby in the brush, readying a sling. Garkar noticed him as well, and warned everyone to take cover. The party cast a few spells in preparation, and then arrows and slingstones started to fly from both sides of the ravine. What followed was a short but bloody battle. HWSAD rode his antelope up the edge of the ravine, trying to close distance with the one attacker they had seen. Garkar and Egajia ran up on foot, he with his shield up, and she casting Disruption spells. Their guide Hiark stayed back and fired arrows. Her fetch continued to float above the battle, trying to locate other attackers with Second Sight. Egajia took an arrow in the arm from behind, Garkar was hit in the leg, and was forced to stop and heal himself. They noticed two other bandits, one a tall, muscular man with a bow, and the other a short woman, who began running for her horse after seeing HWSAD charge in. The first bandit they had seen rose up, and drew a two-handed sword. He was well-armored and tattooed in Death runes, marking him as a Humakt initiate. He whispered prayers to his sword, and closed in. HWSAD caught up to him first, and cast Berserker on himself. He then prepared to leap from his steed, but the Humakti got the first blow in. He cut deeply into HWSAD's leg, and had he not been raging it would have been severed clean. The extra hit points allowed him to keep it attached, and the Bull's rage kept him from going into shock, but he was now crippled. He fell to the ground. Thankfully, he could still swing his maul from the ground, and rolled a special success against the Humakti. As usual, he dealt a massive blow and rolled well for damage. The other warrior was crippled as well, and sank to the ground screaming over his crushed leg. Garkar let loose a javelin and impaled the big fellow, also through his leg. He then ran up to heal HWSAD, who rose and finished off both bandits. Arrows continued to fly from the other side of the ravine. Garkar took one to the head, but his helmet stopped it from doing serious damage. Egajia meanwhile was pursuing the fleeing woman. She attempted to cast her go-to Sleep spell, but the woman had fairly strong Countermagic up. The bandit leaped onto her horse, and it took off into the air, rising quickly. Egajia sent her bound Wraith after the bandit. Before it even caught up, Hiark, who had not accomplished much up to this point, let loose a well-aimed arrow. We ruled that a ranged attack from below would most likely hit the horse, and... it did. The arrow went through the poor horse's skull, and it died in mid-air. Rather than crash to the ground, it slowly sank down. Egajia's wraith enveloped the bandit, and began sucking her very life force way. The woman screamed for mercy, and then jumped free from her falling horse. She offered herself up as a prisoner. Everyone then looked over and saw another bandit, an impala rider by his steed and stature, take off into the air from the other side of the ravine. He was heading in the direction of Darrold's Hold. That's all! Pretty good session, considering I improvised almost the entire thing. With our next session, we will go deeper into the wild parts of Balkoth country, in search of Angtyr of the Horn. Thanks for reading!
  5. 1 point
    I played RQ3 back in the 1980-ies. I remember running Apple Lane and Trollpak. I also remember the PCs all died when they attacked a Dream Dragon on their way to Pavis. I returned to Glorantha with the new edition and ran a play-by-forum game for awhile. We ran through the Apple Lane scenario of the Gamemaster Screen Pack, and I was hooked. Having found five interested players I've now decided to start a new tabletop campaign. We will play by the new rules, but I've decided to run the old Borderlands campaign set in 1615. As some of the players are new to rpg:s and almost all are new to Glorantha I decided to reduce the number of variables and make them all Sartarite exiles from the Red Cow clan. They will be siblings or cousins, and we will generate their family history together when we meet for our first session tomorrow. I decided on the Red Cow to leave open the remote possibility of having the PCs eventually return to their homeland to run through the Eleven Lights campaign. The probability of the campaign lasting that long is low, but one can dream. The campaign starts ten years earlier than the standard RQ:G-campaign, so I had to rewrite parts of the family history section. With help from the BRP forums and some Glorantha blogs I added events for earlier years. I also decided to replace the personal skill bonuses with added language skills, in order to make the characters be able to communicate in Prax. My plan for the first session is a short intro talk about Glorantha (bronze age, runes, gods etc) and Runequest (skills, deadly, etc) followed by Daine's Briefing. After any questions, we'll do the actual character creation. That might take the entire evening, we'll see. I use Kanka.io to store my information. I've also prepared a Discord server. At the first session we will talk about our attitude to online activities between game sessions.
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