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Nevermet

Caravan Calamity, The Final Chapter (tm)

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This was the final session of my murder mystery.  At the end of last session, two key things happened:

  • The party discovered the murderer of the caravan boss - a scholar who the boss was blackmailing into translating some ancient texts.  The scholar poisoned the boss, demanding his freedom in exchange for the antidote.  The Caravan Boss died rather than admit defeat, which shocked the scholar.
  • The party discovered there is ogre trouble on the caravan!  Well.... it's actually more complicated than that:
    • A rich noblewoman was trying to join a cacodemon cult to save her family's fortune.
    • An ogre, masquerading as a hunter hired by the caravan, has made contact with her
    • The noblewoman's assistant witnessed the murder, and was killed by the murderer scholar.
    • The ogre and desperate noble had nothing to do with the murder, but they also were aware things were going bad for them, so they fled into the woods.

The party, deciding ogres MUST BE INVOLVED IN THE MURDER, grabbed the NPC Pralori warrior who is the head of caravan security, and they went to hunt the ogre down.

 

The hunter NPC was tougher than any of the PCs.  She's an ogre, afterall, and the big bad.  But I didn't really expect things to go the way they did.

 

So, 3 non combat PCs and a warrior NPC marched into the woods to find an ogre and human collaborator.  I rolled this as a simple contested group challenge - the image I had in my mind is they're walking through the woods and a stream of arrows terrifies them and sends them scattering.  ... However, they all rolled amazingly, and my poor ogre rolled horribly, resulting in a major victory for the PCs.

 

Now, since they all took defensive moves, I didn't rule this as physical injury for the ogre.  Rather, the ogre was now stuck up a tree in plain sight, and any attempts at moving or getting out of the tree would result in her having massive penalties.  If she tried to get out of the tree, she was toast.  And she knew it.  The PCs, on the other hand, were aware she still had plenty of arrows.  So... they decided to parlay.

 

The ogre made an offer: She had nothing to do with the murder, but she'd happily give them the human noblewoman collaborator, in exchange for letting her go.  At this point, the players, who are all new to Glorantha, stopped and asked me about Ogres, and then asked me about Chaos.  After my explanation, which was very much an Orlanthi perspective (2 PCs are Wenelians, and 1 is a Trader Princess), they agreed to agree to the ogres deal, and then double cross her, cuz "Screw Chaos." 😵😅

Long story short, they set the tree on fire while throwing javelins at her.  She rolled badly, and the NPC warrior rolled well, and she was squashed.  They then bound the ogre, collected the human collaborator, and marched back to camp.

 

And this is where things got rather special: the PCs gave all humans second chances: they acknowledged the caravan boss was a total bastard, so they let him go in exchange for the texts he was translating (they were treatises about water magic of all sorts).  They also exacted many promises from the noblewoman to help them move into the trade networks around her city of Selgos, and she agreed.  As for the ogre, well, they decided to have the caravan execute her as a public execution of sorts.

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Post Mortem

So.... everyone continued to have fun, which is great.  This is the first time I'd gamed with 2 of them, and I hadnt gamed with the 3rd in ... 15 years?  So I'm very happy it went well.  I was surprised how much they went in for an amoral, swords & sorcery attitude of how to deal with things.  Zero interest in chivalry or honour.  But none of them did anything beyond the pale, and they were all on the same page, so it worked fine.

 

I was VERY loose with the rules... we rolled 1 group contest in 4 sessions, and no extended contests.  I feel that worked ok for now, but more crunch will actually make things more interesting moving forward.  Also, the fact that sessions are 2.5 hrs is working well for us online, as its short enough that we can do it on a weekday night and everyone can stay focused.

 

Moving Forward

Partly because of the pandemic, everyone is excited to keep playing.

So, over the next week I am offering to help them edit their characters any way they want.  I made them all, like a con scenario, so I'm fine with them tinkering with them to make them their own.  None of the players wanted a whole new character, which I find interesting.

I also gave them 4 scenarios of what happens next.  So far, they are leaning toward getting into the religious politics of Selgos.  Which.... heh.  FINE BY ME 😈

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5 minutes ago, Minion1stClass said:

Sounds like a very fun game. Ending with a dead ogre is always a good thing. :D

That poor, innocent (of this crime) ogre.

tsk tsk...

 

Of course... that ogre's kin are not pleased.

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17 hours ago, Nevermet said:

That poor, innocent (of this crime) ogre.

tsk tsk...

 

Of course... that ogre's kin are not pleased.

Pissed off family is the BEST! My XU troll killed a ZZ Deathlord and I'm just waiting for his pals to show up. It'll be interesting since she wears his ghost in a necklace around her neck. :D 

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3 minutes ago, Minion1stClass said:

Pissed off family is the BEST! My XU troll killed a ZZ Deathlord and I'm just waiting for his pals to show up. It'll be interesting since she wears his ghost in a necklace around her neck. :D 

One of the PCs in our RQ2 campaign killed another PC, skinned him to wear as a cloak and bound his spirit in the Eternal Battle, to make sure he didn't come back seeking revenge. They didn't get on ...

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Sounds like a great time was had by all! Your campaign seems to be off to a stellar start!

The longer I play HQ/QW the less likely I am to use an extended contest unless the players will be disappointed if I don't. I've found that group simple contests satisfy them enormously and give each of them a chance to shine in some way. We've gotten to where we'll go two or three sessions without rolling a die, which might be excessive, but it works for us!

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4 minutes ago, soltakss said:

One of the PCs in our RQ2 campaign killed another PC, skinned him to wear as a cloak and bound his spirit in the Eternal Battle, to make sure he didn't come back seeking revenge. They didn't get on …

Now that is vengeful behavior! :D

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2 hours ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

Sounds like a great time was had by all! Your campaign seems to be off to a stellar start!

The longer I play HQ/QW the less likely I am to use an extended contest unless the players will be disappointed if I don't. I've found that group simple contests satisfy them enormously and give each of them a chance to shine in some way. We've gotten to where we'll go two or three sessions without rolling a die, which might be excessive, but it works for us!

Thanks!

 

And yeah, mainly I think I didn't make much that truly risky - they were rarely in danger, etc.

Whether I express that more with extended conflicts or simple ones is a secondary concern.

Edited by Nevermet

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2 hours ago, Minion1stClass said:

Pissed off family is the BEST! My XU troll killed a ZZ Deathlord and I'm just waiting for his pals to show up. It'll be interesting since she wears his ghost in a necklace around her neck. :D 

The party looks like it's going to go to Selgos and get involved in intrigue regarding the 52 Tombs of Castelein... PLENTY of room in that for Cacodemon shinanigans

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