Classic Fantasy Thieves - A Roses & Wyght Story
#1
CATCH UP

Tools: RPGSolo.com; Midkemia Press’ Cities book (4th Ed.)

Hello and welcome to my next campaign. I am finally getting back to my Roses & Wyght storyline. If you are a new reader to this campaign you may consider reading the first story in the series, Roses & Wyght, which can be found here in the rpgsolo.com forums or on my solo-roleplaying blog

To simulate the characters’ lives between the previous campaign and this next one I will be using the Catch-Up Tables in Midkemia Press’ Cities book. If you are not familiar with these tables, they help to fill in the gaps between adventures and allow your characters to “live” during that time instead of remaining stagnant, as though they sat in their bedroom and did nothing the whole time. The tables fast-track your character’s weekly events as they live out their lives in the city, factoring in such things as looking for or holding a job, weekly costs of living, gambling, investing and random events such as befriending or offending people, being accused of a crime, falling ill, having the opportunity to join the military, or even marriage proposals!

To refresh your memory, this campaign uses the Adventurers! rule system. Cities is designed for more traditional OSR games that use a much different system of character Stats. To account for this I had to create some new tables and guidelines to make the tables compatible with my ruleset, the specifics of which I will not bore you with except for the following:

-All currency listed in the tables, both earned and spent, will be reduced by ~75% to better match the economy of the Adventurers! world.

-Cities recommends characters earn 25XP per week. Adventurers! uses an EXP system that typically nets less than 10 EXP an adventure, so I am only going to award my PC’s 0.25 EXP per week, with half EXP or higher rounding up once the catch-up is completed.

One more thing about Cities that I want to address (for those who are familiar with the system) is Companionship. The rules state that characters must have companionship at least once every 5 weeks or their demeanor or attitude will drop each week until they do. I will be ignoring that requirement based on the following arguments.

I have read some players who define this companionship as any significant and meaningful interaction with another person. However, I believe the intent of the Midkemia authors is simply sex. (If you are not married or have a partner you must pay for companionship, and the lower the social class of that companionship the more likely you are to contract a disease. Sounds like prostitution to me.) If the first definition is accurate, then my characters will constantly have interaction with each other, thus fulfilling the requirement. If it is the latter, I do not wish to promote what that implies. If you’ve read my other adventures then you know that I have no problem with including extra-marital relationships in my tales (brothels, the Huntsmen hiring prostitutes, Sylralei the elf!), however, due to my faith I do not want to suggest that sex outside of marriage is something that is naturally required or even beneficial. Besides, the idea that every person’s attitude and happiness are directly related to how often they have sex is absurd and I’m not going buy into that premise!

Finally, following the first Adventure, Bhart and Leira spent 3 EXP each to raise their AGI by 1. Harper and Tristan chose to save their EXP points for use later.  If at any time during the next seven weeks Leira is offered a “Dangerous Mission” the catch-up will end and the next campaign will begin.


The Weeks that Followed the Night Bhart, Leira, Tristan, and Harper Stopped the Assassination Attempt on King Angelo’s Life


[Image: lr_market%20day%20chester720.jpg]
The Streets of Duskcall


Week 1

Leira: Nothing significant or unusual happened to Leira this week (No Random Events) She did look for a job (Plebeian Skill level), but apparently there are a lot of unskilled laborers in Duskcall, as the only jobs available required an Artisan skill level. Luckily, Naglen (the innkeeper where the PCs are staying) likes the group and has agreed to lower room and board for the party (from level 3 to level 2) as long as they are out of work. Leira has to pay 3gp, 4sp to cover room, board, clothing maintenance, and stable housing (6sp/wk). 

Having nothing better to do, she fell back into the lifestyle she enjoyed back in Swifthaven, namely hanging out with the crowds at the local tavern, joining in a game of cards, and maybe filching a coin or two. She joined a game with a scholar who spent most of the time freely sharing his knowledge of Duskcallian history with the players at the table. Leira did not fare well (losing 3gp), however, just when it looked like her luck might change, the scholar accused her of cheating. (She decided to gamble 3gp. Her gambling roll resulted in a loss of her bet and being accused of cheating.) Leira scoffed at this but the man persisted. Having enough of this, she stood up to leave.  Angered and influenced by too much ale, the scholar stood, went after her, and grabbed her by the arm, demanding that she show him some respect. When Leira tried to push away, the rude man backhanded her. Other bar patrons came to her rescue, but not after Leira was beaten for 1 END (which she recovers at a rate of 1 END/Wk). Leira quickly exits the Quiet Drake Barrel Tavern and deposits a single gold coin into her pouch, a coin she took from the scholar in the scuffle. (Having a background as a casual thief [see Roses & Wyght Setup ] I determined that Leira would have the option of making one Thievery check each week against AGI. If successful, she gets 1 gp. If not, nothing. A critical success earns her 2 gp and a critical fail earns her time in jail.)

During this week, in anticipation of further adventures, Leira purchases a rapier and commissions a leather smith to construct her a suit of Well-Fitting (-1 ENC) Black Leather Armor 

Bhart: His first week in Duskcall is uneventful. (No Random encounter) He does find an artisan level job working for a cart maker. (Bhart’s skill level is Artisan.) It’s not his preferred trapmaker job, but he does have enough skill (39% per Cities job skill role) to make it through the first week. He will earn 4gp/wk over and above his room and board costs (Room and board, up to a certain level, are covered as part of the weekly salary). He saves 10%, or 4sp and he must pay an additional 6 sp for housing his horse at the stables. Additionally, he buys a suit of Resistant (+1 to AR rolls) Leather armor.

Harper: He spends the first week following the previous adventure traveling back to Swifthaven to settle up affairs in the group’s home village. He has no meaningful encounters on the journey home other than noticing a fresh trail of blood crossing the road, which he ignores. (The result of two encounter checks.) Once back in the village he informs his parents that he will be spending some time in the capital city. He also asks them to close up and watch the Rosemight’s home now that there is no one living there. A decision about what to do with it permanently will be made later. Harper has no wealth back home to collect. The journey back to Duskcall is uneventful with no results on two encounter rolls.

Tristan: The first order of business for Tristan was to replace the Lute he smashed over Shylock's head. Beyond that, the bard, already being born and raised in Duskcall, has some advantages over the rest of the group. For one, he already has a job (his skill level is artisan), sort of. He entertains at the various taverns and inns around town. Since it is a different gig each week, I will roll up a new artisan level salary each week. Also, he lives in his family home which is paid for. Therefore, I will increase his pay by 2gp 5sp to compensate for not having to pay for room or rent. He does still have to pay for clothing maintenance and food. 

During his performance at one of the taverns, an aristocrat hears him and likes his singing. (Random Encounter resulted in befriending an aristocrat. Most random events in Cities have multiple sub-result that flavor the event. Some are random, some are optional choices. While I won’t specifically list the choices for each encounter, know that much of my narrative is based on those results. For example, if a newfound friend suddenly offers a PC a job, it’s because one of the options was that the PC is offered a job. Simple enough.) The aristocrat happens to be planning a big gala at his home and would like Tristan to perform. He is willing to offer the bard twice what he is making playing at the inn and, if things go well, he might want to hire him for future events. (25% chance each week of being hired by the aristocrat.) Tristan is no fool and he takes the job. Meanwhile, he makes 6gp 5sp for this week’s work and saves 30% of it (1gp 9sp).


Week 2

Leira:  This week Leira learns two lessons due to one event. First, you need to be more aware of your surroundings while living in the big city. Second, even a thief can be a victim of thievery. One day, while out looking for work, she stops to inquire in a bakery. They had no jobs, but they did have warm, sweet-smelling muffins. However, when she reached for her money pouch she noticed it was gone. Apparently, in the bustle of the busy streets, she failed to notice the pickpocket who lifted it off of her. (Random Event: Thieves steal 61% of her money, or 8gp 8sp) She is still unable to find a suitable job but does manage to pickpocket 1pg worth of gold herself. (Do unto others as you have had done unto you, I guess.) Her costs for the week are 3gp 4sp.

Bhart: While no random events happened to Bhart this week, it was rather eventful in that he lost his newfound job! (The result of his “Savings” roll for the week. Additionally, he failed the roll that would allow him to look for another job this week.) It was not due to any shortcoming on Bhart’s end. Business was simply slow but the cart maker did tell him that he would consider rehiring him in the future should business pick up. (Oracle: Was business slow? (50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...he is willing to rehire Bhart.) His weekly costs are 3gp 4sp.

Harper: Has no encounters and fails to find an acceptable job. He decided to spend some time gambling and lost 10gp. His weekly costs are 3gp, 4sp and he deposited 20 gp into the local bank. 

Tristan: This was the week of the gala event for which Tristan has been hired. All was going well until he decided to step away to a side hall to take a break. There were a couple of gentlemen deep in conversation when he arrived and they did not notice him. Despite having no interest in their conversation (and not being able to hear it very well even if he wanted to), one of the men grew very agitated and concerned when he suddenly saw Tristan sitting several feet away. He demanded that Tristan tell him what he heard. Tristan assured the gentleman that he heard nothing, but this fails to pacify the stranger, who called one of the guards on duty and accused Tristan of trying to steal items from the host’s house. As Tristan was being taken away, the man whispered, “Keep your mouth shut! No one will believe a thief!” 

(Per the random encounter roll, Tristan witnesses a secret ceremony and, as a result, a government worker questions him and he is accused of a crime. In this case, the government worker is an official involved in a secret meeting. Basically, the official was discussing some shady business with another person, believes Tristan overheard him, and, to shut him up, has him hauled away to prison. Who the official is, who he was speaking with and the nature of the deal is undetermined at this time, but I did make note of it as a possible thread for future use.)

Tristan is thrown in jail, but word of his plight reaches the King’s ears. Having had his life saved by this bard, King Angelo feels compassion and gives Tristan a royal pardon. (Tristan, as well as the other PCs, have a 60% chance of being pardoned once by the King due their success in saving his life in the last campaign.)  His weekly costs are 2gp, 8sp.


Week 3

Leira: Leira remembered from conversations with her late father that he mentioned knowing a particular lawyer in Duskcall and that this lawyer helped him with some financial matters. She sought him out, found him, and is surprised to learn that her father has set up a small fund to be distributed amongst Bhart and herself upon his passing. (Random Event: Befriend someone, Family member who gives you a share of the family inheritance. Since it was unlikely the family had anyone living in Duskcall, I made it a close friend of the family.) Ignoring all the logistics of proving that Leira’s father is indeed dead and she is the rightful heir, I gave her (2d20) 32gp to split evenly with Bhart. Job search is still unsuccessful (can only find Artisan jobs). Weekly costs are 3gp, 4sp. She successfully pilfered 1 gp and, following Harper’s lead, deposited 10gp in the bank to keep it safe. Additionally, after a conversation with her brother and a decision to stay in the capital, it is determined that they have no immediate need for their horses. Leira was able to find a buyer for her animal and she earned 11gp. (Players must make a negotiation roll against MND to determine what percentage above or below an item’s value they receive. Leira netted 110%.)

Bhart: Bhart checked in with the cartmaker but was told there would not be much for several weeks yet. However, he was able to find another job working for a trap maker, making animal traps at a salary of 3gp, 5sp a week. (No other events.) He saved 2 gp, 6sp of his salary. Like both Harper and Leira, he stored 30gp in the bank. He sold his horse for 11gp (110% of value).

Harper: Things got a little interesting for Harper this week, as he was approached by someone with a job offer . . . a dangerous job offer (Per random event roll). One night in a tavern, Harper was drinking near a young man who was going on about his girlfriend . . . make that ex-girlfriend who dumped him and started seeing another man. Next week was the new couple’s wedding and he was none too thrilled about it. In fact, he wanted to teach his ex a lesson. He offered to pay Harper to sneak into the “Brewed Awakening,” the tavern that was catering the reception, the night before the event, and steal or destroy all the food. (Per the tables, the dangerous mission involves Goods, in particular, he is asked to steal some trade goods. random words: Extravagance/Food) Harper felt the jilted lover was being petty and wisely refused to get caught up in this affair.

However, the encounter was not without benefit. Learning that the Brewed Awakening caters large events, he suspected they might have a need for a hunter to bring in some game. Turns out he was correct, as when he inquired about offering them his services they took him up on it. (finds an artisan job that pays 3pg 3sp/week.) He saved 30% of his first week’s salary or 1gp, 2sp, but must also pay 6sp for the stables, as he kept his horse, now necessary for his new job.

Tristan: The bard was informed last week that the Aristocrat would no longer be hiring him for any further events (most likely due to the scene that was caused at his expense). So, it’s back to playing taverns and he was able to find a gig this week that paid 5gp, 5sp., all of which he spent. (Find job?  (50/50) Yes)


Week 4

Leira: It was a boring week for Leira (no encounters) and other than some postings on the noticeboard for tutors (Noble skill) she found no job opportunities. Her weekly costs were 2gp, 8sp and she gained 1gp through thievery.

Bhart: Bhart is primarily focused on his new job this week (no encounters), however, his employer had very specific techniques Bhart was to follow, techniques that Bhart felt were inferior to the traps he made at home. After some unsuccessful attempts to persuade his employer to do things differently, It was agreed that it was best if the working relationship was severed. (A poor “Savings” roll resulted in losing the job.) Without an income, Bhart must pay his weekly costs out of his own savings. (2gp, 8sp)

Harper: Harper ran into the “jilted lover” again this week who is much distraught over the thought of the “love of his life” marrying someone else this week. Out of desperation, he begged Harper to help him stop the wedding through some extreme measures. He wanted Harper to kidnap the bride and bring her to him. Loverboy believed that, if he could just speak with her uninterrupted, she would understand that theirs was a love crafted by the gods and they would be happy together forever. Harper responded by buying his “friend” another mug of ale, clapping him on the back, and wishing him good luck. (Offered a Dangerous Mission to steal a body.) He continued to work as a hunter but spent every silver piece he earned, plus 6sp for the stables. He also went out gambling one night and, in the process of losing 2gp, was accused of stealing. However, the situation was handled peacefully and there was no altercation (makes the roll to avoid harm).

Tristan: Tristan pretty much had a week off from life as none of the local taverns required his services this week. (No encounters. Per an oracle roll he did find a job, however, as a result of the “Savings” roll, he lost his job. Roleplayed as nothing was available.)


Week 5

Leira: Back in chapter 4 of my original story Leira met Rod, one of the stableboys working at the Platinum Steed Stables. Even though Rod is a shy 12-year-old, he is smitten with Leira. Since that meeting Leira has visited her new friend at the stables many times, sometimes even helping him with some of the lighter chores, like rubbing down the horses. When she visited him this week Leira could tell the boy had something on his mind. 

“What’s up, Rod? You’re quiet today.”  The light-haired boy blushed and was unable to make eye-contact. “C’mon,” Leira encouraged, “Spit it out.”

“Leira,” he said quietly. “When I get older, will you marry me?” A wide smile crossed Leira’s face but she was able to hold back the chuckle. “My now, that is a very big question . . . and you are a very brave boy. You know Harper has his eye on me, as well. I’m not sure, but you might have to win me in a duel!” Rod’s eyes grew wide and his face paled at the thought. Leira couldn’t help but laugh as she reached out to tousle Rod’s hair. “I’m just kiddin’ with you. Listen, I am honored but you don’t need to worry about anything that serious right now. You just have fun and when you are older . . . who knows. We’ll just have to see.” She gave Rod a warm smile as she steered the conversation to other topics such as Rod’s family and friends.

(Leira’s random event was a Marriage Proposal. The class of the suitor was rolled up as “Plebian.” Obviously, I decided to have a little fun with that roll.)

While Leira had apparently found a potential mate, she was still unable to find a suitable job, which meant she had to spend another 2gp, 8sp on weekly costs. Those costs, however, were offset by the 1gp worth of coins she casually plucked off the bar at one of the local taverns.

Bhart: Seeing that Bhart was discouraged over his recent employment failures, Naglen Clayhanger, the Inn Keeper at the Faint Mule Hostel where the PC’s are staying, spoke to her brother about hiring him at the Scarlet Bear stables. All Naglen’s brother could offer was a job cleaning out the stables. Bhart decided to give it a try and earned 1gp, 8sp/week. He was careful not to spend any of it. Nothing else notable happened to Bhart this week.

Harper: The owner of the Brewed Awakening’s cousin stopped by this week and mentioned that he was interested in getting in some hunting. Harper agreed to let him tag along. As they rode out to the woods Harper learned that the man was a soldier in the King’s Guard. Harper told the soldier about his role in saving the King’s life five weeks prior (even though the hunter was unable to reach the King at the critical moment). Based on Harper’s stories and the skill he demonstrated during the hunt, the cousin suggested that Harper consider enlisting in the King’s Guard. Harper took him up on the offer and, with a recommendation from the cousin and the knowledge of his role in stopping the “Sacriment of Fortitude Assassination” (as it has been come to be known), he is offered a position as a non-commissioned officer, which means he may have the responsibility of leading his own squad. (Random Encounter: Opportunity to Enlist in the Military. Per rolls, he is offered a Level 1 Non-Commissioned Officer position. His weekly salary will be 3gp/wk.) Harper spent all but 3sp of his military salary, not quite enough to cover the 6sp stable costs. 

Tristan: Back in chapter 6 of the original story Tristan told the PCs about his friend Cherry who was a “working girl” at a brothel called the Snowflake House. Tristan had kept up this friendship over the weeks. He was concerned about her welfare and her work at the brothel and had been contemplating doing something about it for a long time. This week he decided to take the leap and ask Cherry for her hand in marriage. (Is Cherry interested in marrying Tristan? (Likely | 6[d10]) Yes) She accepted and they began making plans, setting the date for (d4-1) three weeks from then. 

(Tristan’s random encounter came up as a Marriage Proposal. Since he already had a relationship I felt this was the obvious choice. However, there is a catch. When I told the story originally it was part of a bigger tale involving the main plot of that adventure. The story was treated as a rumor, the truth of which would be determined at an appropriate time. As it turns out, that plot thread was never explored and the rumor was left hanging. Now was the time to determine the truthfulness of that rumor (using my favorite Rumour Table posted at the Alea Iactanda Est blog.  A 6 was rolled, which indicates the rumor is mostly false, which is good since my Cities roll indicated the bride was of the Artesan class, which wouldn’t fit a prostitute.  So here is the truth. Cherry is really a small-time actor. She was only playing the role of a prostitute because she thought it would be exciting and Tristan, who she liked, seemed intrigued by it. (Does she tell him the truth immediately? (Somewhat Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...she feels she must tell him before the wedding.) )

The bard found a job this week and earned 4pg, 8sp and saved 30% of it. (1gp, 4sp)


Week 6

Leira: While visiting a bakery (the same bakery mentioned in week 2), Leira decided to take a free sample of the shop’s muffins. The only problem was that the “free” aspect was Leira’s own interpretation. The baker had suspected Leira had taken muffins in the past (she had), but finally caught her this time. He detained her while his assistant fetched the King’s Guard. (Is Harper in the squad that arrests Leira? (Very Unlikely | 2[d10]) No) As was the case with Tristan, once the King heard about the incident he pardoned Leira (Rolled within the 60% chance), but with a stern warning against any further thievery. Leira agreed . . . with her fingers crossed behind her back. (Random Encounter: Offended a Shopkeeper and accused and convicted of shoplifting. Also, this will count as her thievery attempt for the week.) Still no job and spent the typical weekly costs of 2gp 8sp. Feeling a bit lucky after her unexpected release from jail and having long forgotten her beating from week 1, Leira decided to join the patrons at the Wooden Frost Giant Flagon for a few rounds of cards. While she wasn’t accused of cheating this time, she did fail to leave the table with any more coin than she came with. (Gambles 3gp and breaks even.)

Bhart: (For both  Bhart’s Random Encounter roll and Savings roll I rolled “03” on percentile dice. Two 03’s in a row. I believe the odds are 1 in 10,000. However, it wasn’t too lucky for Bhart as the savings roll means he lost yet another job.) Bhart tried his best to handle the horse filth and stench, but in the end, felt it was too much to ask for what he was being paid. Having collected the small inheritance a few weeks earlier also helped his decision to leave yet another job. Perhaps he will take it easy for a little while and consider his options. One such option is gambling, which he tried, turning 5gp into 20gp. He paid his weekly costs of 2gp, 8sp.

Harper: While out on patrol with the Guard, Harper got into a scuffle with a drunk citizen who promptly accused him of assaulting him for no valid reason. Fortunately, there were other soldiers present who witnessed the entire incident and confirmed that Harper acted accordingly. (Random event: Accused of a crime but not convicted) He spent all his salary for the week plus the 6sp for the stables.

Tristan: (Does Cherry tell Tristan the truth? (50/50 | 4[d10]) No)  With two weeks till the wedding Cherry was still keeping her secret to herself. Tristan kept himself busy playing at the taverns. (Saves 6sp of his salary and there are no other events.)


Week 7

Leira: Finally, after six weeks of searching, Leira was able to gain employment at the Flagon. Naglen’s cousin, Hattia Sandheaver, tends bar at the Flagon. Leira believed the job was offered due to Naglen’s asking Hattia for a favor, similar to what she did for her brother. Leira was thankful for the help, but the reality was probably that Naglen had tired of charging Leira the reduced rate for her room and wanted her tenant to find a job so she could start paying the full rent. Of her 1gp, 3sp/wk salary, Leira saved 30%, or 4sp. Despite her “promise” to the King, Leira’s new employment found her surrounded by a lot of distracted people, giving her plenty of opportunities to slip a coin or two off a table every now and then. (Gets 1gp due to thievery.)

Bhart: Instead of looking for another job, Bhart began to consider starting his own trapmaking business. One night he was relaxing at the Brewed Awakening having an ale when he was approached by a familiar young man. Bhart recognized him as someone he had seen hanging around Harper a few weeks ago. In fact, it was the Jilted Lover who still couldn’t get over his ex. He struck up a conversation with Bhart and told him about the events of the past few weeks. Since Bhart seemed sympathetic, the lover asked for some help. He knew a man who claime to own a vial of some type of love potion. The man was willing to sell it to loverboy, but it was too expensive. Loverboy was willing to pay Bhart to steal the vial for him, so he could slip a dose into his Ex’s wine in an effort to make her fall hopelessly in love with him. “I feel for you,” Bhart said, “But I am no thief.” (Random Event: Offered a Dangerous Mission, Goods-Recover-Magical Item  Random Words: Befriend/Liberty) Weekly costs were 2gp, 8sp.

Harper: This was another eventful week for Harper as he stopped a mugging while on patrol. The victim, an aristocrat, was so thankful to Harper (not to mention now fearful to walk the streets of Duskcall) that he offered the Guardsman a job as his personal bodyguard. To make the offer more enticing he agreed to pay Harper twice his current salary. Harper was intrigued by the offer and gave it some careful consideration, but in the end, stayed with King’s Guard. While the pay was good, being a bodyguard for one man seemed a bit monotonous compared to the variety of challenges offered as a member of the King’s Guard. After paying for the stables, HaRper saved 3sp this week. 

(Harper’s random event was that he befriended an aristocrat who offers him a job at twice his current salary. To determine whether or not Harper accepted I rolled an opposing MND challenge. If Harper won he stayed with the King’s Guard. If the new friend won, Harper to take the new job. Harper won 12 to 7. A side benefit of befriending an aristocrat is that you get an extra 10% on conviction (crime) rolls.)

Tristan: Stray dogs are sometimes a problem in Duskcall. Most of the time nobody barely pays them any mind. However, there was one particular pack that appeared to be vicious, growling, and baring their teeth at anyone who came near. Tristan and some of his friends felt something had to be done, so they set out to capture the dogs and get them off the streets. In the process, Tristan was attacked and bitten in the jaw. The only way to stop the dog was to stab it multiple times with a dagger, eventually killing it. It turned out the dogs were owned by a noble who was not pleased about the death of one of his prized pedigree animals. Despite the fact that the noble failed to control his dogs, he was able to appeal to friends he had in positions of authority to force Tristan to pay for damages in the amount of 47 gp, 5sp. Tristan did not have that kind of money and was facing a lengthy stay in the dungeon.

(Tristan’s random encounter is that he had an accident. More specifically he suffered a major cut and had to pay damages. What kind of accident? Imprison/Animals)

Upon hearing this, Cherry realized it was time to come clean because she had a means of saving Tristan from jail. She actually comes from a family of means and along with her hand in marriage came a dowry of 87 gp, more than enough to help pay what Tristan owes. (Does Cherry tell Tristan the truth? (Likely | 7[d10]) Yes) Tristan was obviously taken aback by the confession but agreed to take an advance on the dowry to keep from going to jail. Still, he’s not sure if this changes things concerning the wedding. For the time being, wedding plans move forward.

(Is Cherry even her real name? (50/50 | 3[d10]) No. I’ll generate a real name once the adventure proper begins.)

Prior to the dog incident, Tristan played a few gigs around town and earned 5gp, 3sp of which he saves 1gp, 6sp


End of the Catch-Up

For seven weeks of catch-up, each PC earns 2 EXP.
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#2
Cool stuff. While it looks like this involves a fair bit of record keeping, I can see how it could provide a lot of background material for future encounters and it also results in a living breathing world. It also feels like it's possible that party members can run out of money and face real hardship. I wonder if that's due to the system or the campaign setting. For comparison, in my experience with a typical D&D party for example, poverty isn't something that they usually have to deal with. They're usually swimming in gold and platinum. I do like the realism your approach adds.

(Btw, thanks for taking a stand for your beliefs. As a Christian myself, I appreciate that.)
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#3
As far as record-keeping goes, this was no more than a typical chapter that I write up. I usually take a lot of notes during a regular play session and write up full narratives later.

The Midkemia Press book that I used as a reference is system agnostic, however, it is written more for OSR games and it would be easier to use for a D&D game than the rule set I am using for this campaign. (I had to adapt a lot of tables and adjust all the money values.) But you are correct, characters can be affected and changed significantly using this system, financially and physically. Characters can even be killed (10%-60% chance if they accept a "dangerous mission," which is one of the reasons I passed when offered).

When I decided to use these tables I thought it would be a fun exercise to see what random things might happen. What surprised me was the rich story-telling that it produced, creating some really great ideas for this next campaign. All I had planned going forward was Leira's story and how the other characters would fit in I wasn't sure. As a result of the catch-up, now all the characters have important things going on that will be interesting to explore.
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#4
Very cool. Regarding the "dangerous mission" option, would you role-play it out, or does it just state success or failure, hence the possible death result?
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#5
Depending on how you wanted to use the tables or run your game you could do either, but I suspect you may be asking about my game specifically. In my case, it depended upon who was offered the mission. My plan for this campaign was to primarily follow Liera's progress, at least at the beginning. Therefore, as I stated in the narrative, if she ever was offered a dangerous mission the Catch-Up would end on that week and the real story would begin. I borrowed this idea from Gerard at the alea iactanda est blog, which is also where I learned about these tables. However, if anyone else was offered a mission and I actually accepted it, I would have just used the quick method offered in the Cities book.

The process in the book, whenever a "dangerous mission" is rolled as the weekly event, is to first determine what the mission is. The GM can come up with one or there are additional tables you can use (which is what I did). Next, you are supposed to determine how much the job offers (which I failed to do). The book suggests 1d20x10 for 100-2,000 gp. (or 25 to 500 for my game's economy). Next, the player decides whether or not he will accept the mission before rolling the chance of death. If accepted, chance of death is determined by a d6 (10%-60%). Finally, percentile dice are rolled to see if the player succeeds. The GM does have some latitude to change the chance of death to simply a chance of failure depending on the type of mission. For instance, if you are given a mission to spread rumors, the chance that such a mission would result in death is unlikely.
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#6
Chapter 1 - Strangers

System: Adventurers!
Tools: CRGE; Never Engine’s Random Tables; RPGsolo.com; other generators

Housekeeping:

Before I get to the story I need to take a few moments to explain some things regarding the mechanics of this campaign.

For starters, I will be using GRAmel’s Adventurers! rule system for this game. This is the same rule system used for my first Roses & Wyght adventure. Since I have used this system before I will probably not spend much time explaining the rules, especially if a particular mechanic was already covered in the first story. I would suggest reading through that campaign if you wish to learn more about Adventurers!.

For my oracle, I will be using Conjecture Game’s CRGE GM emulator. CRGE uses a d100 roll on one three tables--Knowledge, Conflict, or Ending, whichever is most appropriate--to derive a Yes/No answer. The system also employs a surge count. The count starts at 0 and increases by 2 every time you roll a straight “yes” or “no” answer. The current surge count is either added or subtracted to your initial roll, increasing the likelihood of an “and” or “but” condition, and resets whenever such a clarifier occurs. Another possibility is that you can roll an “and unexpectedly” result. This adds a twist or event to the game. Since some of these events involve different story threads. To account for this I will be keeping track of the threads and listing them at the start of each scene.

Finally, for this campaign, I will be showcasing Never Engine’s line of random generators.  Never Engine offers a number of products covering such topics as encounters, treasures, dungeons, and missions. Whenever I need to generate something randomly, I will use one of these tables, providing an appropriate product exists.

Character Stats: 

Bhartram Rosemight  (Diligent Trap Maker)
Str:3  Agi:2  Mnd:3  At:3 Sword/2 Dagger  Def:2   End (Health):8  Her:3  ENC: 1

Leira Rosemight  (Charming Pickpocket)
Str:1  Agi:2  Mnd:5  At:2 Rapier/2 Dagger  Def:2   End:6  Her:2  ENC: 0

Harper Wyghtwing  (Confident Hunter)
Str:2  Agi:2  Mnd:3  At:2 Sword/2 Dagger/2 Bow  Def:2 Leather/4 Chain   End:7  Her:3  
ENC: 2/Chain

Tristan Cleves  (Curious Bard)
Str:1  Agi:3  Mnd:3  At:3 Dagger  Def:3   End:7  Her:2  ENC: 0

As usual, assume most of the names and anything marked with a [RG] to be randomly generated, if not specifically stated otherwise.

Now on to the story . . . 


[Scene 1: Surge count 0]

Main Thread: Leira’s Story

Minor Threads: Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King


[Image: ab2jmtp.jpg]

It was unusually busy at the Wooden Frost Giant Flagon, especially for the first night of the week. It was only Liera Rosemight’s second week on the job but she has already taken to it like a fish to water. She is being kept busy taking orders, fetching pints of ale and beer as fast as Hattia could draw them, and wiping down tables as patrons left, often staggering out the front door. The whole experience reminded her of nights back home in Swifthaven when she would lend a hand at the Filthy Princess Tavern if things got too busy.

She hurries toward the bar when a man seated at a table suddenly reaches out for her. 

“C’mere sweetness,” he says, grabbing her around the waist. “Gimme a hug.” He pulls her close as she loses her balance and falls into him. They both nudge the table hard, knocking over one of the mugs and spilling its contents. 

“Braffin! You mind your manners!” Leira scolds the copper-haired patron and slaps him on the shoulder. While this isn’t the first time Braffin has made a playful pass at her, Leria doesn’t protest too hard since she has previously taken advantage of his distractions to add some coin to her own pocket.

“Now look what you’ve done,” barks the other man sitting at the table. “Ale is everywhere.”

Quickly regaining her feet, Leria whips out a rag and starts sopping up the mess. As hoped, she notices 2 silver pieces laying on the table. “Here let me wipe that up,” she says reaching across the table. Meanwhile her other hand pulls a thin tan cloth with gold diamonds out of her pocket and deftly tosses it over the coins. As the Cloth of Hiding alights on the table, both it and coins disappear. Leira finishes wiping up the spill and steps back to show off her handiwork. 

“There you go, gentlemen. All cleaned up.”

At first, Braffin seems pleased, but then stops. “Hey! I had some coins on the table. What happened to ‘em?” He looks from side to side and on the floor before turning his attention to his drinking partner. “Gerey, you rotten thief! You took my money when I wasn’ lookin’!” He stands, fists balled.

“You’re drunk!” Gerey counters. “I didn’t take your money. You probably put it in your pouch. Look in there.”

While the two men are focus on each other, Leira brushes her hand across the edge of the table, retrieving the cloth and the coins underneath.

Leira rolled an AGI check to steal the coins. A result of 7 or more is a success.
(2d6) 10+2AGI=12 > 7 Success.

Does the patron look for his money? To Conflict:  87+0 surge: 87 Yes, and...accuses the person sitting with him of taking the money. 

Does a fight break out? To Conflict: 49+0 surge: No  (+2 surge)

“Tell you what. Let me buy you a drink,” Gerey offers. When Braffin hesitates he adds, “C’mon, it’ll probably cost me more than what you lost.” Braffin mentally questions his friend’s math but relents.  Leira takes the order and heads off toward the bar.

“Hattia, another round Braf and Gerey,” Leira calls out sliding the empty mugs across the polished bar.  The halfling grabs the empties and head off to the other end where the kegs are located.

“Does your boss know you’ve been collecting extra tips?”

Leira turns to see a scruffy, brown-haired man sitting on the barstool next to her. He speaks in low tones. [UNE for conversation mood (neutral): sociable]

Leira looks questioningly at the stranger, honestly oblivious to his meaning. “Extra tips?”

“Been watchin’ ya. You have light fingers. Neat trick how you made those coins disappear.” A knowing grin spreads across the man’s face.

Leira takes a closer look at the man and has a moment of recognition. Several weeks ago Leira was taken into custody over a little misunderstanding. She enjoyed the free samples offered at the bakery several streets over from her hostel. The owner, however, claimed she never hands out free samples and called the King’s Guard on her. While waiting to make her plea before the court Leira was locked up with a few other prisoners. One of them was this man. 

[Does Leira recognize the man? To Knowledge - 81+ 2 Surge= Yes and . .   Reset Surge) the “and” is that she knows he’s a thief having spoken to him in jail.]

“You’re that thief!” she accuses. “The one I met in jail. You were caught stealing a knight’s sword before a duel.” [RG]

“Ilhard Folcey,” he introduces himself, holding out his hand. Leira looks at it but does not make a move to accept the handshake. After an awkward moment he takes it back. 

“It takes a thief to recognize a good one,” Ilhard continues. “And you, my dear, are very good!”

“I’m no criminal!” Leira objects.

Ilhard scoffs. “So what, this is all for fun and you return the money at the end of the night?” 

Leira scowls as Hattia returns with the fresh mugs of ale. “I need to go serve this,” Leira says, them on her tray.

“Meet me outside when your shift is over. I have an offer for you.”

Leira eyes him suspiciously before heading back to the two men at the table. 


[Scene 2: Surge count 0]

Main Thread: Leira’s Story

Minor Threads: 
Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

[Does Leira meet him? To Conflict: 75+0 surge: Yes (surge +2)]

“So what’s this about an offer?” the blonde barmaid asks. She and Ilhard are standing in the shadows several hundred feet away from the entrance to the Flagon. It is dark, yet early enough that there is still a fair amount of traffic on the streets.

“You’re wasting your talent here. I know. I got curious about you when the King pardoned you so easily.”

“And . . ?”

“And I learned that you were instrumental in saving the King’s life during the Sacrament of Fortitude celebration.”

“What does that have to do with my work at the tavern?”

“Nothing,” Ilhard admits.  “That’s the point. You were made for adventure. You’re stealthy, sneaky. You are just the person I and my friends are looking for.”

Leira chews her bottom lip as she thinks for a moment. Ilhard waits patiently.

“Go on.” Curiosity getting the best of Leira.

“We have a little guild that does jobs no one else is willing to do,” the thief explains. “Sometimes it’s the danger. Other times it’s . . . well, let’s say that sometimes there is a disagreement over the legality of what needs to be done.”

“You’re a Thieves Guild!” Leira says, cutting to the chase.

Ilhard winces. “Oh, we don’t like to use that term. It’s so . . . demeaning. We prefer to consider ourselves Skilled Item Procurement Specialists.”

Leira scowls at the man disbelievingly. Eventually, Ilhard breaks with a sigh.

“Yeah. We’re a Thieves Guild.”

“So, what’s this Thieves Guild have to offer me?”

“Action. Adventure. Wealth.”

“A trip to the dungeon.” Leria adds.

Ilhard smiles sheepishly. “Only if you get caught.” Leira doesn’t respond. “We are meeting in an hour. If you want to be considered for recruitment, be there. This offer only comes once.”

The thief tells her where the meeting will be held, tips his head in farewell, and heads off down the street leaving Leira standing watching after him.
 

[Scene 3: Surge count 2]

Main Thread: Tristan’s Wedding

Minor Threads:  Bhart’s Career; Leira and Thieves Guild; Conspiracy against the King

[i]Is Harper at the Faint Mule Hostel? (To knowledge: 56+2 surge=58, Yes. (+2 Surge)[/i]

Leira bursts through the side door of the Faint Mule Hostel into the main dining area. She sees her brother Bhartram and their bard friend Tristan Cleves sitting across the table from each other. Tristan’s bandaged head hangs down and he looks distraught. Standing next to the table is the Rosemight’s friend Harper Wyghtwing, wearing his King’s Guard chainmail, the King’s Crest--a sparrow hawk against a black and red checkered pattern--displayed prominently across his chest. Bhart and Harper look up as Leira enters. Tristan doesn’t move.

“Leira, you won’t believe this,” Bhart exclaims. “Cherry doesn’t work at the Snowflake House.”

“Huh?” she asks, barely aware of what her brother just said.

“In fact, she’s not even a prostitute. She’s an actress!”

“Oh, that’s nice,” Leira responds with about as much interest as if someone just told her it looked like it was about to rain. She pauses only briefly when she sees Harper in his “work clothes.”

“Isn’t it late for you to be going on patrol?” she asks.

“Actually, I just finished,” the Guard explains. “I just haven’t made it to my room.”

“Oh,” Leira mutters, then speeds out into the living quarter, past a couple of other boarders engaged in a game of cards, and up the stairwell.

“What’s up with her?” Harper asks the others. 

Before Bhart can respond Tristan picks up with his tale as Naglen, the halfling innkeeper, enters the room carrying a pitcher of drinking water.

“Her name isn’t even Cherry. It’s Maegan!”

“So let me see if I understand,” Harper says, having only arrived in the middle of the conversation. “Cherry . . . I mean Maegan . . . never worked at a brothel and is in fact an actress. She was only pretending to be an escort because . . . “ He hesitates, hoping Tristan will fill in the missing information.

“Because that’s how we first met,” Tristan says. “She was having fun one night in a Tavern wher I was performing. She was just playing a role. We talked and struck up a friendship. She could tell I was interested in her imagined profession . . . from an intellectual point of view, of course, not as a client. I felt some sympathy for her, but if I’m being honest, it was also a bit exciting.”

“Why didn’t she tell you the truth?” Naglen asks, filling the mugs on the table.

“She thought I might be mad that she had lied. She truly liked me and wanted to stay friends. If that meant my thinking she earned a living sleeping with strangers, then so be it. I think she actually enjoyed playing the part and coming up with all sorts of bawdy tales.”

“How did you find out?” Harper asks. 

“You already know about my incident with Master Leeyduw’s dogs and that I had to pay for killing his prize hound … you know, the one that took a chunk out of my face.” He lifts his hand to feel his bandaged cheek. “I didn’t have that kind of money. So imagine how surprised I was when the constable came to release me and told me that a young girl fitting Cherry’s description paid the 30 gold I still owed.

“Last night I confronted her and she told me everything. She is actually a member of the Freedane family. They’re not officially Noble but they move in the same circles. The money was an advance on her dowry. Since we are engaged to be married, she begged her father for an advance.”

“Are you?” Naglen asks.

“What?”

“Still engaged,” she clarifies.

“Oh, yeah. I guess.” The bard seems unsure. “If we call off the wedding I’m sure her parents would want the money back.”

“But that’s no reason to get married,” Bhart tells him.

“I know. I still like her, I just don’t know if I can trust her. And she still must truly love me, since I have nothing else to offer her beyond what her family can.”

“Either way, you only have a few days to decide. I don’t envy your situation,” Harper admits. “Well, I need to get upstairs and finish packing up my belongings.” Harper makes reference to the fact that he has decided to move into the King’s Guard Barracks located next to the castle and training grounds. The move will allow him to save more money since a bed and meals at the barracks costs significantly less than a room at the Faint Mule. (In game terms, this increases his weekly salary by 3gp.) 

Harper leaves the room while Tristan and Bhart sit in silence. Naglen has taken a seat as well, resting from her chores.

“So what about you, Bhart?” the halfling asks after a minute or so, breaking the silence. “Any ideas on what you are going to do to earn a living?”

“Yes, actually. I’ve decided to go into business for myself.”

Tristan looks up suddenly as he and Naglen stare at Bhart’s surprise announcement.

“My time making traps for Vakmu taught me something, the trappers of Duskcall are using poor quality traps. The best traps in town may have come from my father and the trade visits he would make every few months. With him gone, it’s up to me to keep the family trade going. Tomorrow I hope to visit some of the farms located just outside the city and see if I can’t interest them in some fox traps.”

“Do you have a workshop?” Naglen asked.

“Not yet, which is something I wanted to talk to you about. I was hoping I might be able to use your shed out back to store my supplies.”

Before Naglen could answer, the door between the dining and living rooms swings open and Leira appears. She is dressed in her stunning, custom fit black leather armor and leather boots that come up to just below her knees. Her rapier hangs from her left hip while her sheathed dagger is attached to the right. 



[Image: dz6lZk8DjArpr9iu16YnF7WpCsBbNFgLLA-4hZkf...UiVA=w2400]
Leira in Black Leather


“Where are you going . . . uh . . . all dressed up?” Bhart asks, stopping his sister right as she opens the door. 

“Uh . . .” She pauses a moment and turns to face him, thinking of a story. “Hattia needs me. The tavern’s muscle is unable to come in tonight. I told her I could keep watch for an extra gold.”

What is Bhart’s reaction (from playeveryrole.com)? The PC gives: an agreeable response

“Okay, just careful.”

“You were quick to let her go,” Tristan says to Bhart as the door closes behind Leira.

“She can take care of herself. You know that. Besides, it never gets that rowdy at the Faint Mule.”
Reply
#7
CHAPTER 2 - THE ORDER OF TWO

System: Adventurers!
Tools: CRGE; Never Engine’s Random Tables; RPGsolo.com; Donjon’s generators; Freewolf’s Party Connections; and other generators.

[Setup]

Before writing this chapter, I had to establish my Thieves Guild. I randomly determined the number of members (9) and used Donjon’s NPC generator to randomly choose the nine members. For the most part, I used the information from the generator for names, descriptions, and character traits. In a few cases, however, I did take the liberty to alter some details to fit my own ideas for the story.

So far, the only character I’ve developed further was Ilhard  Folcey, the stranger from the tavern. Since I anticipated that he would be a major character I wanted to establish some more background and personality details. For this, I used the NPC Creation Tables in the d30 Sandbox Companion. I will revisit this resource for the other thieves if and when it becomes necessary to fill out their character information.

The final step in creating the guild was to generate some pre-existing relationships. For this I used Freewolf’s Party Connections table. For each thief I randomly chose two of the other thieves and rolled a relationship from the table for each one. When I was finished I had a big messy pile of eighteen different connections I needed to sort out. A bunch of them was used to develop a brief history of several of the characters and the creation of the guild. A few others filled in some basic facts (i.e. two of the members are drinking buddies). The rest were set aside to be explored later if they ever come up. I plotted all the relationships on a table that I will share at the end of this chapter. My interpretations of the various relationships will be revealed in the narrative at the appropriate times.


[Scene 1: Surge 4]

Main Thread: Leira and Thieves Guild

Minor Threads: 
Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Does Leira have an encounter on the way to the meeting place.? (Unless otherwise noted, all random encounters are a 1-in-6 chance.  Roll: 2. No encounter.

Leira reaches the building at which Ilhard instructed her to meet him. It is a two-story, detached structure that appears to be a private home. While the street isn’t completely deserted, at this time of evening there are few people out and those that are are several buildings away. Sensing the coast is as clear as it will get, the leather-clad wannabe thief approaches the front door and knocks.

Leira waits for someone to answer the door and quickly grows impatient. She wonders if maybe there was another less exposed entry she was supposed to use when a faint scratching comes from the door and she sees the light in the peephole wink out. Instinctively she moves her hand to her dagger as the door opens a crack, revealing the shadowed face of the man from the bar. [Does Ilhard come to the door? To Conflict: 79+4 Surge = 83 Yes (Surge + 2)]

Ilhard grins. “Come in.”

He steps aside and opens the door barely a few inches more. Leira pushes through, her shoulders brushing the jamb as she enters. 

“Aren’t we a little overdressed?” the thief asks, eyeing Leira’s black leathers and weapons.

(Is Ilhard dressed the same as he was in the bar? To Knowledge: 78+6 Surge = 84 Yes, and . . .  see below. [Surge resets])

Leira notes that Ilhard is still in the pants and loose-fitting shirt he was wearing at the Faint Mule. In fact, he is barefoot, having shed his worn boots, and his shirt is unbuttoned to just below his chest.  [... and he has removed his shoes and loosened his shirt.]

“Well,” Leira stammers, suddenly self-conscious. “I just . . . just wanted to be prepared. You didn’t clue me in as to what to expect.”

Illhard grins enigmatically then gestures in the direction of an open doorway at the end of the short entryway. 

“Go on,” he instructs.

Leria steps into a large, comfortably furnished living area. Fine woven drapes cover the windows. Paintings of nature scapes cover the walls. Little boxes, bowls, and trinkets adorn the mantle, bookcase, and small tables that are arranged around the room. In addition to Ilhard and herself, seven other strangers, all humans, either sit on the sofa and chairs or stand along the wall. To Leira’s surprise, the women outnumber the men four to three. (Ilhard evens the group up to four each.) Seeing that everyone in the room is dressed in a comfortable style similar to Ilhard, she raises an arm in a futile attempt to hide her choice of outfit.

“Everyone,” Ilhard addresses the room. “This is Leira.” There was a half-hearty greeting in return, with only one or two of them offering a smile or raising a hand to wave a hello. One blonde female rogue sitting on a settee doesn’t even bother looking up. Instead, she carefully studies a dark cloak draped over her lap, hands nimbly drawing needle and thread through its fabric. The only person in the room who actually seems genuinely pleased to meet her is a slightly chubby, dark-haired male sitting at the table munching on a turkey leg. He flashes her a toothy smile (bits of meat stuck between his teeth) and gives her an exaggerated wave.

Ilhard introduces the group to Leira, beginning with a white-haired man sitting in a padded chair to their left. “This is Wyny. Next to that door is Elyn,” indicating a tall, slender woman with short grey hair.  “The woman sewing on the settee is Elinzia.”

Elinzia uses her dagger to cut the thread and, at the mention of her name, looks up. “Oh, hi!” she greets before shifting her attention to Ilhard and holding up the cloak. “I’m almost done, Ilhard. What do you think?” On the back of the cloak is an ornate embroidered snake stitched in reds with a hint of gold. The eye of the snake glittered as though it were a gem, but Leira could not confirm that from across the room. 

[Image: Yiob8KMUVtAq2rNVjD6rxDSzI94-6pL-Z4kqBLSQ...YdgGodLncw]
Ornate Embroidered Snake

“Really nice. Looks just like Alfaf.” Leira casts him a questioning glance. “My pet snake.” Her eyebrows raise in curious understanding at his explanation.

Moving his attention to the couch, Ilhard continues the introductions. “Sitting together are Hily and Ausan,” indicating a woman with thick, wavy red locks and another with long straight raven hair. “And at the table are Vyncent,”  a handsome man with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail and an anchor style beard and mustache, “and Ausan’s brother Driffin.” Taking a longer look, Leira can see the resemblance between the brunette and the turkey-eater. They are so similar, in fact, she suspected they might be twins.

“Are you done with introductions?” Asks Elyn, sounding bored and irritated.

“Yes,” Ilhard replies, drawing out the “es” in “yes”. “You may notify Beada.”

Without turning away from the room, Elyn reaches her arm out and raps a few times on the door beside her. 

While they wait, Ilhard leans over and whispers in Leira’s ear. “If spoken to, address her as Master Thief Beada and be sure to use the full title: Master Thief.”

“Why?” she asks, but before Ilhard can explain the door opens and Beada steps through.

“Perhaps keep it simple and just call her ‘Master.” No first name,” Ilhard suggests before turning his full attention toward the leader of the guild.

Beada Ashbane is a striking woman with messy platinum-white hair and amber eyes. Unlike everyone else, she comes dressed for business in dirty brown leather armor, visibly scarred from many battles. Maybe I’m not so out of place, after all, Leira thinks.  Beada’s serious eyes scan the room before stopping and inspecting the newcomer. 

“I see you went against my advice and brought the girl here anyway.” [Playeveryrole.com to determine Beada’s mood. The NPC gives: a bitter response]

“Yes, Master Thief Beada,” Ilhard responds. “I think you will find that she is very skilled.”

“She is a child!” the Master Thief snaps.

“Yes, she is young,” Ilhard agrees despite Leira’s insulted expression. “But so was Hily when she was recruited by my old guild.”

“I am not interested in how you did things on the West Side! This is my guild! Things are done my way!.”

“I understand, Master,” the chastened thief bows his head in submission and respect. “Besides skill, however, Leira has connections that might prove useful to your current interests. I trust you have heard of her heroics during the Sacrament Day assassination attempt.”

The white-haired woman softens ever so slightly and turns her attention to Leira.  “So, you wish to join the Order of Two.”

“The Order of Two?” Leira repeats obliviously.

“Have you told her nothing!” Beada snaps again at Ilhard.

“The Order of Two is the name of the guild,” he explains. “It refers to a thief’s strategy of working in pairs. One keeps a lookout while the other loots the premises.”

“Ilhard is correct when he says you could prove useful to the Guild," Beada continues. “But I have yet to be convinced that you are a capable thief.”

“Master,” Leira finally speaks up. “While I never thought of myself as a thief, I guess I could be called that. Ever since I was a young girl I was attracted by coins and trinkets and I often just took what I wanted. I knew nothing about stealth, distraction, or subterfuge and I was often caught, scolded, and even punished. Despite that, I didn’t want to stop. Over time I learned how to be sneaky and take things without being seen. As I got older I learned how to use charm and personality to distract people while I slipped a coin or two into my pocket. Once I even slipped a huntsman’s dagger from the belt around his waist without him knowing. In fact, it was that dagger that helped me uncover the plot against the King.”

Beada scowls. “It certainly seems you are a master pickpocket,” she says, oozing sarcasm with the word master. “But honestly, I can teach that to my dog.”

“Beada has a dog?” Leira hears Driffin whisper to Vyncent before he is silenced by a Beada’s dagger-like stare.

Turning back to Leira, the Master Thief smirks as she again studies her from head to toe. “I’m looking for someone with a much greater set of skills. A custom suit of armor and a shiny blade doesn’t necessarily turn a dog into a wolf.”

Leria drops her gaze at the admonishment.

“However, I’m willing to test you.” Beada strokes her chin with her thumb and forefinger as she thinks for a moment. Suddenly, her narrow eyes widen in realization. “I know. I would like you to retrieve something for me. An artifact of sorts. Have you ever heard of the House of Lost and Found?”

At her mention of the name, gasps arise from several of the thieves. Driffin stops mid-bite. Eliznia curses under her breath as she slips and runs the needle into her finger. Even Ilhard places a reassuring hand on Leira’s shoulder.

“Me dear, Yer in fer it now,” the red-headed Hily warns in a thick western-Arigord accent.

Leira lifts her chin, stands up a bit straighter and looks Beada in the eye. “No. I have not heard of that house.”

“The House of Lost and Found is the residence of Lord and Lady Blackster. They are a reclusive couple, rarely seen outside of their home. They are very selective about their acquaintances and attend only the most prestigious gatherings. Most of the year they travel the world, visiting exotic places and returning with extraordinary treasures. The home is a veritable Museum of the Unique . . . or so I’ve heard. I’ve never been inside myself.

“There is one particular item I am very interested in. It is rumored that on one of their recent excursions they brought back a salt carving or statue that either act as a portal or opens a portal.”

[I am using Never Engine’s “Weird [Stuff] Generator” to create the artifact. This tool offers the user a multi-sentence description of an unusual object with several key words removed and replaced with blanks. The user rolls on several tables to fill in the details. I chose to fill in a random three of these blanks to come up with the partial information Beada just shared. The remainder of the description will be filled in if and when the object is recovered.]

“Portal to where?” Leira asks.

“I do not know. That is what I want you to find out. My sources tell me the Blacksters are currently away from Duskcall. This gives you a perfect opportunity to enter their home and find the statue. If it is small enough, bring it to me. If not, find out all you can about it and return with the details.”

A glance around the room reveals to Leira that everyone has their eyes averted from her. 

“Ilhard!” Beada singles out the thief. “Since Leira is your charge, you will accompany her.”

“Aw rats teeth!” he curses under his breath. 

“That’s encouraging,” Leira responds.

“And you should have one more of the guild go with you,” Beada adds. “Ilhard, your choice.”

[Does Beada let Ilhard choose? To Knowledge: 54+0 surge=54 Yes (surge + 2)

Does he pick Vyncent? To Knowledge: 50 + 2 Surge=52 Yes (surge +2)]

Without hesitation, Ilhard chooses his friend Vyncent.

“Some friend you are,” Vyncent retorts, obviously not thrilled at Ilhard’s choice.

“Wait,” Leira interrupts. “I thought you only sent two thieves on a job?”

“It’s just a name, girl,” says the raven-haired Ausan, her voice deep and smoky. “We’re not foolish and we don’t take chances.”

“Really?” Vyncent questions. “Just going into that house is taking a chance.”

[Does anyone offer to take Vyncent’s place? To conflict [Unlikely - CRGE doesn’t have a mechanic for Likely or Unlikely, so I will roll twice and choose the most negative of the two rolls. The surge count will change based on the choice I make.  Roll 1: 5-4 surge=1 No, and unexpectedly (set change)   Roll 2: 77+4=81 Yes.  Roll 1 wins!

In CRGE, “and unexpectedly” is like a twist or a Mythic event. When you roll an “unexpectedly” you make a second roll on another table for further clarification. In this case, I rolled “set change” which means the scene continues in another location. (surge resets)]

“It’s settled,” Master Thief Beada announces, putting an end to the chit-chat. “You pass this test, Leria, and you will earn yourself a spot in the Order of Two. Now Ilhard, show her out. We have members-only business to attend to.”

Before Leira can protest she is practically pushed out of the room and into the entryway. Ilhard closes the door behind him. 

Leira whips around and snarls, “What the hellhound was that! I thought the Huntsmen were the only ones who practiced assassination, character or otherwise!”

“Shhh! Calm down. It’ll be okay.”

“Okay! It’s obvious that no one wants me here! And the House of Lost Things, or whatever it’s called, just sounds like a place best to avoid.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll just breeze in, find out what we can, and slip out. Easy. That is unless you’re chicken?”

“I’m not chicken!” Leira declares, then pauses to let out a long breath and slumps her shoulders. “I’m just feeling a bit foul.”

Ilhard lets out a hearty chuckle though he is uncertain the pun was intentional. Putting a rough hand on the girl’s shoulder he leads her to the door.

“It’ll be okay. I’ll be with you and there’s no better thief in the guild than Vee. We’ll protect you. Just meet me at the Faint Mule an hour before midnight. Can you do that?”

“Yes,” Leira says uncertainly, but repeats it with more confidence. “Yes. I can do that.”

With that, she is shown out the front door.

[Everything Beada told her about the House and the artifact will be treated as a Rumor and resolved using my favorite Rumour Table. At the appropriate time, I will make a roll on the Truth Table.  Assuming Beada’s sources are somewhat reliable I will add +2 to the roll, pushing the result more toward “true.” My plan was to offer one more separate rumor about the mission, however, the sudden scene change nixed that.]


[Scene 2, surge count 0]

Main Thread:Bhart’s business

Minor Threads: Leira and the thieves guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Conspiracy against the King

Bhart starts out early the next morning by renting a horse and cart from Naglen’s brother Oldack, who manages the Scarlet Bear Stables. (2gp) When his business takes off, Bhart knows he will need to buy his own horse and cart, but this will do for today. Loading the cart with some samples of his work, he heads off toward the eastern gate and the farms beyond the city walls.

[Image: Y897Hi_J4a29cotBL6wietrXoxxJ159hVMnXvb2d...AoDPKn9-aw]
The farms beyond the city walls

The new businessman first comes across the Meadowhunter farm, where he speaks with Shepard, the head of the household. The two have a pleasant conversation and Bhart learns that there has been a rash of fox attacks on the farm’s chickens. The traps Shepard currently uses are fine, but fail every now and again, letting the fox escape and reach the fowl. Bhart listens intently, then explains why the latches and mechanisms on his traps are superior to what he is currently using (making sure not to give away any specific manufacturing secrets). In addition to his traps, Bhart will survey Shepard’s coop and make recommendations for the best places to set the traps in order to stop the most varmints. Shepard is convinced enough to purchase one trap to try and possibly more in the future if the first one lives up to Bhart’s claims.

This scene more or less replays itself another five times throughout the course of the day. While there were a couple of farmers who are happy with the products they are already using, the remaining three place orders of their own. One farmer, Ansel Lowwater, was having a similar issue as Shepard with foxes. The remaining were interested in quail traps, hoping to put some additional food on the dinner table. [Type of trap RG]

As the sun began to set, Bhart drove the cart home please with himself for making four sales. Tomorrow, he would begin building the traps.  (Profit for each trap sold will be 1gp.)

[For the record, I asked CRGE if any of the farmers were familiar with Bhart’s father’s traps? If they were, I was going to give Bhart an advantage to selling them a trap. The result was “No”, Surge +2.]


[Scene 3, surge count 2]

Main Thread: Tristan’s Wedding

Minor Threads: Leira and the thieves guild; Bhart’s Business; Conspiracy against the King

“I am here to talk to you about my daughter.”

Tristan studies the man standing just outside his front door. The stranger, who appears to be in his late forties or early fifties, is rather large, but not fat. His blond but greying hair is wavy and cropped and he wears a busy mustache under his hooked nose. His clothes are of fine linen and all the buttons, clasps and buckles are brightly polished.

[I rolled to randomly choose who visits Tristan: Maegan, her father, mother, or both. Once again, I used the d30 Sandbox Companion to roll up some details and a profession for Maegan’s (Cherry’s) father. Names are randomly generated. I used UNE to determine the topic of conversation. The mood is “neutral” and the conversation is the scheming father wants to speak with Tristan about an arrangement regarding the campaign.  In this instance, the campaign will be the wedding.]

Tritan gives a long sigh before responding. “Mr. Freedane?” It was more of a statement than a question.

“Yes,” the well-dressed man confirms. “You are Master Tristan Cleves, correct? The young man who wishes to marry my daughter Maegan?”

The bard nods and ushers the man inside and shows him to the sitting-room.

“I’ll cut right to the chase, young man. Prior to last week I have never heard of you, Tristan Cleves. So when my middle daughter [Siblings Info Per Oracle Roll] came to me and begged me for an advance on her dowry to bail her fiance out of jail, what do you think went through my mind?”

“Listen, sir, I’m sorry to put you through all this,” Tristan apologies. “I didn’t ask her for the money. She did that on her own. The fact is, I’ve been under a lot of stress these past few days struggling to decide if I even want to go through with the wedding. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It’s not that I don’t like your daughter, I do. I just don’t know if I can trust her.”

“Because she likes to pretend to be someone else,” Mr. Freedane says with a tone of understanding. [Does her Father know about her facade? To Knowledge: 80+4 surge: 84 Yes, and… (surge resets)  C.Q. to inform “and” - Negligence/Good]

“She told you about that?” Tristan asks, slightly surprised.

“Son, she’s been pretending to be someone else since she was old enough to talk. That’s why her mother and I encouraged her to pursue a formal acting career. It might not be as prestigious as a Law career--our family business--but it came to her naturally. Unfortunately, she hasn’t always been content to stay within the constraints of her formal studies. She often takes to the streets and assumes the role of a peasant, thief, beggar, and yes, even a prostitute. [and... ] I’ve scolded her and demanded that she not neglect her formal training and embrace the respectable theater. But Maegan has a mind of her own and claims that she learned more these outings than on a stage. However, now I’m beginning to wonder if some good can’t come out of this after all.”

Tristan stares questioningly at the man through narrowed eyes. “What are you thinking?”

“My wife Ambra and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye in regards to Maegan’s future. My wife is set on marrying Maegan off to Artus Robinchild’s son Kenneth. Artus is a  fellow lawyer, but the man is an embarrassment to the profession. He’s basically afraid to argue a case and prefers settling for much less than what his clients are due. The only reason people hire him is because he’s cheap and they believe what they give up in the settlement they’ll make up for in reduced Lawyer’s fees.  Kenneth, Artus’ son, is as much of a dolt as his dad, not knowing a legal release from a liability waiver. I don’t like the idea of my Maegan becoming a laughing stock through marriage. Her mother, however, cares about none of that. She only sees the prestige and security in being married to a lawyer.”

“Has Maegan shown any interest in this Kenneth,” Tristan asks. “And what does this have to do with me?”

“Of course Maegan doesn’t want to marry the Robinchild boy. But Ambra can be insistent, persistent, persuasive, and basically a pain in the ass until she has her way. I’m afraid she’ll wear down the girl, despite my feelings. But in you, Tristan, I have hope!”

“Me?” Tristan asks wide-eyed. 

“Maegan loves you! In just these few days she has made that evident. She speaks of you as if you’re a prince. She’s been heart-broken these past several days, weeping in her room over the thought of losing you. She’s told me all about you and you sound like an upstanding young man. The fact you were willing to marry her to make her into a respectable woman shows that you do care. Never mind about trust. She has spoken of loving no one else before you.”

“And Mrs. Freedane is fine with marrying her daughter to a bard instead of a lawyer?”

“Oh, of course not!” Freedane admits emphatically. “Performers are too flighty and uncertain. She doesn’t mind Maegan acting, but that is only because she feels her real security will come through marriage to a man in a stable profession.”

“Such as a lawyer,” Tristan says.

“Such as a lawyer,” Freedane agrees. “Or, a merchant!” he adds, sitting back in his chair, arms folded and grinning widely. “Sure, it’ll be a step down from lawyer, but with the right persuasion, as well as the right candidate, I think Ambra can be convinced.”

Tristan throws his hands up in the air. “That’s great! Except for the fact that I’m not a merchant!”

“Yes, yes,” Freedane stands. He begins to pace left and right. “Here’s our plan. You, son, are going to have to find employment, even if only till the wedding. But you’re not going to tell Ambra that. You need to make her think you are serious about becoming a true businessman. Then, once you have this job, come to our house and ask for our daughter’s hand, the proof of your love being the fact that you are focusing on your new merchant career.”

“Providing I can even find a job,” Tristan blurts, now standing himself, “How am I supposed to convince your wife that I’ll be a better husband than Kenneth?”

“You’re a bard. Isn’t that what you’re trained to do? Tell convincing stories.”

“Great, I’ll bring my lute and sing her a song.”

Freedane wildly waves his hand and shakes his head. “No, no. That’s too corny. Ambra will think you’re not taking this seriously.”

Tristan drops his head into his hand and shakes it back and forth, never actually being serious about serenading Maegan’s mother.

“But what you should do,” the father continues, “Is to mention how you stopped the scoundrel who tried to assassinate the King. That will impress her! A merchant and a hero! Yes, this just might work. Tristan,” Freedane extends his hand, in part to prematurely congratulate the bard, but also to seal the deal. “If this does work, it won’t be long before I’ll be calling you ‘Son’.”

Reluctantly, Tristan accepts the handshake. What am I getting myself into? he thinks as Freedane vigorously pumps his arm up and down.


[Click HERE for the Thieves Guild Relationship Table ]
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#8
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I'm really enjoying this story, well done!
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#9
CHAPTER 3 - THE HOUSE OF LOST AND FOUND

System: Adventurers!
Tools: CRGE; Never Engine Random Tables; DMMuse.com; rpgsolo.com

[Setup]

Character Stats for the NPC’s in this chapter:

Ilhard Folcey   (Thief)
STR:2  AGI:3  MND:2  END:8  HER:2 
ATK:2 Club (-1 AR)/3 Sling (Rng 15)    DEF: 3 (Thief Armor, AR 5+)   
Skills: Stealth (Adv); Perception (Basic)

Vyncent   (Thief)
STR:2  AGI:3  MND:2  END:8  HER:2 
ATK:3 Dagger (Rng 5)    DEF: 3 (Thief Armor, AR 5+)   
Skills: Stealth (Adv); Mechanics (Basic)
Additionally, I rolled up some background characteristics using the d30 Sandbox Companion to assist in writing Vyncent’s personality and traits.

I know by now you are probably itching for some action and adventure. We definitely get to that in this chapter, however, there is one last conversation that needs to be had. Okay, I guess technically it doesn’t, but I wanted to include it for several reasons. The first is that it begins to reveal some of the backstory that I’ve created from the relationship rolls. Secondly, it fulfills a promise I made to a friend who inspired one of my NPCs. Finally, it introduces and establishes the presence of a particular “tool” that might become useful during this mission.


[Scene 1, Surge count 0]

Main Thread: Leira and Thieves Guild
Minor Threads:  Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

“If I die tonight, my ghost will haunt you every night for the rest of your life!”

“Cool it, Vee,” Ilhard responds to Vyncent’s greeting of Leira who has just arrived outside the Flagon. “The Bar Thief’s just doing the mission she’s been given.”

Turning to his friend, Vyncent retorts, “Who’s to say I wasn’t speaking to you?”

Ilhard waves him away. “Just go and lead the way.”

The taller of the two lingers on his partner a moment longer before turning and walking down the street.

“Don’t you mind him,” Ilhard tells Leira as they follow behind. “He’s just upset that I ruined his evening.”

Leira isn’t so sure of that, considering everyone’s reaction the previous evening. Nevertheless, she is stuck with him and, having little idea what to expect, keeps quiet and goes along.

As they walk through the nearly empty city streets, Ilhard shares with her a little of the guild’s history. Several years ago he was a member of the High Hands, the only thieves guild in Duskcall. It was there that he first met Beada and Elyn. The two thieves, along with Elinzia and Vyncent, joined the guild shortly after arriving in town, having recently fled from another guild in a distant city. Vyncent and he became friends and all seemed to be going well until friction arose between Beada and the Guild Leader. The High Hands mainly worked the west and wealthier side of Duskcall. Beada felt strongly that they should pursue avenues in the merchant quarters located to the east. When it was discovered that Beada and those close to her were doing some east side jobs on their own it was war within the guild. Beada, Elyn, Vyncent and Elinzia managed to escape the Leader’s wrath and escape from the guild, taking Hily with them. Ilhard stuck it out with the High Hands for several more months until Vyncent finally convinced him to leave and join the Order of Two. 

“And they just let you leave?” Leira asks.

“Oh no, Bar Thief,” Ilhard admits. “The High Hands have connections and all of us who left were in danger of being arrested or even killed. But that’s way too much to discuss for now. Once the dust settled the two guilds formed an uneasy truce, agreeing to stay on their respective sides of the city. Even so, each has been known to try and sabotage the other.” 

The three walk in silence for several minutes before Leria begins to question the scruffy thief about the other guild members.

“Driffin doesn’t seem like the stealthy type. How does he fit in?”

“Moneybags? No, he doesn’t do street work. He does our office work.”

“Office work?”

“His sister, Ausan, was recruited first and it was her who mentioned Driffin’s talents to Beada. He is very good with numbers and finances. And when I say good, I mean good at skimming off the top without being caught. Moneybags manages the financial records for several of the larger merchants in the city and by doing so is able to funnel some of their funds into the Order’s pockets.”

Leira nods in understanding. She had never imagined that the guild was as sophisticated as to have their reach actually within a merchant’s employ.

“And what’s up with Elinzia,” Leira moves on to another thief-of-interest. “Is she sweet on you?”

“Huh?” Ilhard asks, confused. “No! What gave you that idea?”

“This cloak,” she says, tugging lightly on the snake-adorned garment draped over the thief’s shoulders. “Looks like she put a lot of work into that embroidery.”

“Oh, that’s just Crafty’s way. She likes showing off her creative side. In fact, she made Vee’s good luck charm.” He points to a small ornament dangling from Vyncent’s belt.To Leira is appeared to resemble a yellow mouse, except that it had long, pointed ears and a wide crooked tail.

“What is that?” She asks, having never seen such a creature.

“Vee calls it a Lightning-Mouse. Apparently they used to have them in the village he grew up in. S’posed to be good luck to catch one.”

[Image: 3jQvrVpDAqj2yjT4LgHfqj-kMoFCq2mHY_r4oWwf...cDwA=w2400]
Lucky Charm

“Does that mean your cloak is your good luck charm?”

“I don’t need a charm. I’ve got the real thing.” With his thumb, Ilhard pulls open the slit of a pocket in his trousers. Out of the opening appears the reddish head of Alfaf, his pet snake whose image is depicted in the design Elinzia stitched onto his cloak.

“Put that thing back in your pants!” Leira orders. 

“Crafty is the guild’s fence,” Ilhard says, tucking his pet back in its pouch. “She owns the Golden Rose. You familiar with it?”

“I think I’ve been in there once,” Leira admits, remembering the curio shop with its shelves and counters full of small works of art and jewelry. 

“Everything in there was created out of some item the guild stole. Linz will take what we find, strip the valuables from it, work them into a new work of art, and then resell it. She also has connections with art dealers who aren’t too particular about how they build their collections, which is useful when we have larger items we need to move.”

The small party passes in front of a metal worker’s shop when suddenly the buildings end and a wrought iron fence runs along the north side of the road, extending for a couple of hundred feet. On the other side of the street the shops continue. Instantly, Leira knows where they are. 

Right in the middle of the merchant quarter, in a break in the shops, stands an unlikely residence, a majestic gabled multi-storied house set back off the street. The yard surrounding the structure is overgrown with shrubs and trees. Separating the yard from the street is a black wrought iron fence, broken only by a single gate. Leira always found this house curious in the daylight, however, at night the shadowed residence appears downright creepy. This must be the House of Lost and Found.

[Is the House within the Order’s territory? To Knowledge 81+ 0 surge = 81 Yes, and . . .  it is actually within the merchant quarter.]

Suddenly Vyncent holds out his arm and motions the group back into the shadows. A ways off, across the street near the far end of the fence, two King’s Guards walk in their direction. Being the only citizens out in this part of the city tonight, the thief thought it best that they try to keep out of sight and avoid questioning.

[A series of oracle rolls determined that A) there were King’s Guard in the area, B) the members of the guard were unknown to the party, and C) the street was empty of any other citizens. Current surge is 6]

“There’s a section of the fence where the bars are bent,” Vyncent whispers to Ilhard and Leira. “We should be able to squeeze through. Follow me and stay in the shadows.”

The approaching guards appear to have little interest in their surroundings, probably due to the fact that the street was deserted. If they take notice of anything, it is the storefronts on the opposite side of the street that might be targets for vandals or thieves. As for the House of Lost and Found, that’s another story. Avoidance is their main objective, apparent as their path veersd to the edge of the street furthest away from the fence and their reluctance to glance in the house’s direction. The soldiers must feel confident that the abode’s frightening appearance is sufficient to deter any mischief-makers.  

Vyncent hugs the fence, leading Ilhard and Leira along the fence, hidden by the darkness cast from leaf-filled trees. With the guard’s attention averted from their side of the street, the trio easily make their way through the damaged fence bars and into the shrubs on the other side. There they wait until the King’s Guard passes by and are several feet down the road.

[The stealth check is an opposing roll, using the party’s AGI against the Guards MND. The party makes one roll using Vyncent’s skill, as he is leading them. I randomly determined the guard’s “Attention Level” to be poor, meaning they receive no modifier to their roll. Vyncent’s sneak skill gives him advantage on the roll (roll twice, take best). Party Successfully sneaks, 13 AGI vs. 9 MND.]


[Scene 2, Surge count 6]

Main Thread: Leira and Thieves Guild
Minor Threads:  Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King


[Image: vsa4blwY20f_j-eL9i07Znu_s8UoXR82B1i8Z82v...qhjH9VNcBQ]
The House of Lost and Found

[The House of Lost and Found is based on the One Page Dungeon by the same name written by Brenton Haerr.  
Using a graphics program, I placed a “fog of war” layer on top of the map. As the characters move from location to location I erase the fog from that section of the map and its description, thereby keeping it as much a secret as possible. For a more detailed explanation of my method, see the first chapter of my Jingles the Clown adventure.

In addition to the original dungeon, I’ve added a few features. The first is a random spooky event. Once in each room, I will roll on Never Engine’s 100 Spooky...Dungeon Encounters table.

Second, I’ve added a fear check. Each time the PC’s encounter something spooky (i.e. each roll on the previously mentioned table), unnerving, dangerous, or otherwise scary they will make a MND roll to avoid fear. If they fail the roll they acquire one fear point. Every two fear points reduce all stat checks by -1 (including future fear checks). If any character reaches 6 fear points, in addition to having a -3 modifier their only desire will be to leave the house as soon as possible.]

“Let’s try the front door first,” Vyncent suggests.

“Is that smart?” Leira asks.

“The road’s deserted and no one gives this house a second look at night,” Ilhard explains. “The front is probably the fastest way in.”

They climb up on the porch and Vyncent goes to work on the lock while Ilhard keeps a lookout back the way they came. Leira, unsure what to do, stands still and quiet. 

With skill and ease Vyncent picks the lock and slowly pushes the door open. [Vee makes a successful AGI check, rolled with advantage for his Mechanics skill.] Grabbing Leira by the arm, Ilhard enters pulling the new recruit in with him.

“I’ll wait till you get the lamp lit,” Vyncent says, staying out on the porch.

With a deftness borne out of many years of practice, Ilhard retrieves the small hooded lantern from his pack and, despite the surrounding blackness, is able to light it with one strike of his flint.

“What’s up with him?” Leira asks, noting the mild quiver in Vyncent’s voice.

“Would you believe he’s probably the only thief who’s afraid of the dark?”

“You don’t say!”

“He hides it well. I know. Hily knows. Beada doesn’t, at least I don’t think so.” He stops as soon as Vyncent enters and closes the door.

[At this point I rolled to determine the truth of Beada’s information, however, I will keep the result secret for now.]

Ilhard shines the lantern around to reveal their surroundings. The thieves stand in the house’s foyer. The room contains a few chairs, a settee and a couple of small end tables. One corner holds a glass case with several shelves displaying a multitude of small items. In another corner stands a grandfather clock. The walls are adorned with portraits of elegantly clothed men and women, family members perhaps or figures of high station. Covering the floor is an intricately patterned rug, which itself is covered in a fine layer of undisturbed dust, as is everything else in the room. 

[Image: zahvm35pOuAtYp_smJeB0EaBPRuz8vQcOJOSG8Mq...gj7E2s73sQ]


“It doesn’t look like anybody has been here for some time,” Leira notes.

“If they have, they certainly have no mind for cleanliness,” Vyncent points out, mildly disgusted at the thought.

“Let’s just take the lack of footprints as a sign that Beada was correct and the Blacksters are away,” Ilhard offers.

Leira is crumbling the leaves of a dead rose she found sticking out from a vase when something catches her eye.  “What’s that?” she says, pointing to the top of the tall clock in the corner. 

Several inches above the clock face are two small glowing crimson orbs floating side-by-side. Vyncent is reluctant to approach the phenomenon but Ilhard pulls his dagger from its sheath and walks over to investigate. Leira, curious as well, follows close behind. Try as they may they can’t seem to detect any sign of the creature behind what they believe can only be a pair of demonic eyes. As they near within only a couple of steps the orbs quickly fade and disappear. Ilhard lifts a hand to feel along the top of the cabinet.

“Nothing,” he announces. “It’s not even warm.”

[Fading orbs were the result of the Spooky Table roll. Fear Check: L 12   I 10    V 9   All succeed.]

Vyncent glances toward the windows to check for any light source, of which he sees none. “I think your minds are playing tricks on you.”

“On all of us at the same time?” Leira quickly questions. 

“Perhaps not, but I’d rather not think about the alternatives.” Turning to the glass case Vyncent suggests they examine what’s inside. “I know we’re here for the artifact, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up some pocket change for ourselves.”

The case held several ivory figurines of various creatures: exotic cats, intricate spiders, majestic horses, and mystical dragons. Other figures were of people: jesters, knights, a princess, a king, and queen. However, what catches Vyncent’s eye is the shining antinomy crown sitting on the middle shelf.

The case doesn’t appear to be locked [Per oracle roll “No.” +2 surge], however, the thief examines it for any signs of traps [Made a MND roll to see if he checked.]. It’s a good thing since he finds a tiny lever in the frame, indicative of some sort of trigger. [Trapped per oracle roll “yes” +2 surge] Carefully, he is able to manipulate it in a way that allows the door to swing open without releasing any gas, darts or other hidden danger. [Successful disarm roll (AGI with advantage)]  Reaching in, he grabs the crown. Placing it on his head he turns to his friend for approval.

“So what do you think?”

“I think there’s less of a chance that someone will notice a missing statute instead of the centerpiece of the display,” Ilhard replies.

“So what?” Vyncent retorts, removing the crown and placing it in his sack. “They’ll certainly notice the missing artifact. What’s one more item?”

Ilhard shakes his head. “C’mon. Let’s get moving.”

Two doors exit the foyer, one on the wall to the left of the front door and one on the right. Without asking anyone’s opinion, Ihard chooses the door to the left--the one to which the group was closest--opens it, and steps through. Vyncent closes the glass case door and follows. Leira takes one longing look at the princess figurine in the case but resists the urge and quickly moves to catch up with the others.

Moonlight fills this room, casting everything in a bluish light.  Leira questions the source of the light until she realizes the walls mainly consist of large floor to ceiling windows. She also notices that Ilhard has extinguished the lantern to keep anyone passing by on the street from seeing it.

In the dim light, Leira can see a variety of plants and trees lining the walls and sitting on stands and tables. Some of them were local but most were strange and new to her. This must be the Blackster’s conservatory and the artificial jungle, a sampling of foliage the couple has collected on their journeys throughout Arigord and beyond. The only other object in the room was a large gold-leaf harp which stands in the exact center of the space. 

[Image: ka9L2jAJDSzpRzhjSk-qw0nn0D_jhtQd_-FVcJxR...k6D9S1u2SA]

Leira imagines a sweet melody emitting from the strings of the beautiful instrument. She closes her eyes, losing herself in the dream, when suddenly she thinks, I’m not imagining this. This is real. Opening her eyes she looks to both of her companions and sees them staring at the stringed instrument.

“Are you hearing that?” she asks despite it being obvious that they can also hear the tune.

[Fear Roll: L: 16   I: 12  V: 10  All succeed.]

“Creepy,” Vyncent admits.

“I have a feeling this is going to be an interesting night,” Ilhard says as he walks over to the self-playing instrument. He waves his hand all around the harp searching for whoever is playing it. Feeling nothing, he turns to the others and shrugs.

“I always thought this place was haunted,” Vyncent says. “Now it’s been proven.”

“Naw,” Ilhard disagrees. “There are no spirits here. It must be some magic enchantment. A way to entertain guests.”

“Believe what you will, my friend, but I’ve heard stories and I’m telling you, ghosts are not to be taken lightly.”

“Enough! Let’s go,” Leira says, turning to leave through the next door. But as she takes a step, moonlight glints off something in the floor. Bending down to investigate, she spots a ring wedged in a crack in the floor. [Leira is the only character to spot the ring (MND roll at -2)]

[Is the ring magical? To Knowledge 89+10=99 Yes and Unexpectedly  7-Framing (NPC or object becomes critical to main thread) surge resets.  I think this ring is going to be very important.]

Leira uses her dagger to pry the ring from the crack. Holding it up in the moonlight she discovers that the focal point of the piece of silver jewelry is a bat whose outstretched wings wrap around and touch to form the circular shape. Curious, she slips the ring over her finger.

[Random Words for vision: Cobweb Glistening Rat]

Suddenly, Leira is no longer in the conservatory. Instead, she finds herself in a darkened room, cobwebs strung from rafter to rafter. Try as she may, she can’t make out any of the objects in the room as it is dark and everything is covered in shadows. However, moonlight shines through a window and glistens off an object in the center of the room. On a small table stands a statuette of a man. Leira moves closer to get a good look at the piece of art. It is carved out of some type of light-colored stone, salt perhaps, the artifact she was sent to retrieve. The statuette depicts a man carrying a large sphere on his shoulders, either a boulder or the world, Leira isn’t sure. She reaches out a hand to touch it, but as she does she hears a cacophony of squeaks and squeals. Without warning, a slew of rats scamper out of the darkness and surround her. She raises her hands to ward them off as they leap for her, white teeth bared. She falls backward as the mischief of rats swarms over her.

Leira opens her eyes and finds herself staring at the conservatory’s ceiling. Yet, she is aware that she is not lying on the tile of the room’s floor. Instead, she feels arms underneath her.  Tilting her head back, she looks into Ihard’s eyes. 

“Are you okay, Bar Thief,” he asks. “You fainted.”

Leira sits up and removes the ring from her finger. “I’m fine,” she says. “I just . . . I don’t know.” She stammers, not sure how much of what just happened she should reveal. Quickly, she rises to her feet.

“Are either of you afraid of rats?” she asks. “Good,” she says when both shake their heads in the negative. Turning away from them, Leira quickly leaves the room through an unexplored door.

[Fear roll for ring, Leira only at disadvantage because of the intensity of the vision. 4,4,5=8+5=13 pass]
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#10
CHAPTER 4 - DOWNSTAIRS

System: Adventurers!
Tools: CRGE; Never Engine Random Tables; DMMuse; rpgsolo.com

Setup:
The setting and map images used in this chapter come from Brenton Haerr’s One Page Dungeon “The House of Lost and Found.”

[Scene 1, Surge count 0]
Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Re-lighting the lantern, Ilhard and the party see they are in the mansion’s kitchen. Various counters and cabinets line the walls, broken only by a wood-burning oven. Across the room from the oven sits an empty washbasin. A large oak table fills the center of the room, creating an island for meal preparation, above it a rack from which several pots, bowls, and utensils hangs.

[Image: ZU-yXBHwSg_VTP8wtPHD_nv2cnBE5cwNmJ7bsRdL...YCK7tvcJCg]

“Ugh, what’s that smell?” Vyncent asks, entering the room after the lantern had been lit. A rotten smell wafts through the air, making their eyes water. 

“I’m guessing the Blackster’s failed to clean their larder before leaving and left some meat to rot,” says Ilhard. 

Curious, the group starts searching to see if they can locate the smell or find anything else interesting. Ihard leans down to look under the table, Vyncent peeks in the oven, and Leira opens a cabinet next to the washbasin. As she does, a mug falls off a shelf and something flings itself at her face. 

Leira spots the thing before it makes contact but is too slow to keep it from clinging to her face and gouge at her eyes. She swats wildly at whatever it is, finally ripping it off and flinging it to the floor. However, as she does it rakes her skin, drawing blood. [Leira is randomly chosen as the victim. She makes her Surprise saving roll but the creature still gets a free attack, however without surprise modifiers. Leira fails to defend (8 vs. 13) and takes 3 damage. The creature has a chance to cause infection, but Leira makes the STR saving roll.]

Leria stumbles back to get away as Ilhard shines the light in her direction, he and Vyncent drawing their weapons. Spotting movement on the ground, the men see the aggressive creature. Expecting a rat, they are shocked and appalled to see a severed hand, covered in stitches, laying on the floor, seeming to support itself on its fingers. The animated body party skitteres left and right, preparing for another attack.

[Spooky Roll 38: A severed hand covered in stitches lies on the floor.

Hand: S:1 A:1 M: -1 AT:1 Def: 1  End:4  If a character is hit they must make a STR to avoid infection. Infection affects the player the following day, reducing STR by 1 (also affecting END) for a week unless healed.]

Rds 1-2:

Having only a dagger, Vyncent crouches down and attempts to stab the five-fingered freak. It easily skitters away and Ilhard tries to bash it with his club, barely missing. The hand raises its first two fingers to scratch at the Ilhard, but he backs away before being clawed. Seeing it distracted, Vyncent slices at it again and takes off a bit of its pinky. [Damage for 1 END] The creature ignores the attack and nimbly launches itself at Ilhard, who swats it away with his free hand. 

[Does Leira try to rejoin the fight? To Conflict: 51 Yes, +2 surge. Her attacks will be a -2 since her access to the hand is partially blocked by the others.]

Rd 3:

The swatted hand hits the wall and lands on the counter next to Vyncent.

“Let me at it!” Leira yells, her voice filled with bloody vengeance.

“Thanks for offering to lend a hand,” Vyncent responds dryly as he drives the point of his dagger right through the back of the hand, pinning it to the counter. “But I believe we have a grasp on the situation.” [V hits the hand for 5 damage, killing it, or re-killing it, whatever the case may be.]

[Fear Rolls: I: 11  V: 9  L w/disadvantage for being attacked: 8  All Succeed.]

“Is that a hand?” Leira asks, finally getting a good look at the thing that might have permanently scarred her face.

“Appears so,” says Vyncent as he pulls his knife from the dead appendage.

“But how could it move like that . . . without a body?”

“Some kind of magic,” Ilhard offers. “Or the hand of a zombie? Who knows what the Blackster’s have discovered in their travels.”

“My guess is that it was supposed to be some sort of guard dog, protecting the house while the owners are away,” Vyncent speculates. “I’m sure there are others. Everyone keeps their weapons drawn from now on . . . and be careful.”

“What’ll be next,” Leira asks. “A foot?”

“Great,” Ilhard sighs. “Just what we need. A good ol’ fashioned butt-kickin’.”

Leira grins as Vyncent sneers in disgust.


[Scene 2, Surge count 2]
Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Bookshelves filled top to bottom with leatherbound tomes of various sizes, thicknesses, and colors line the walls. Every so often several shelves were divided into small cubby holes, each hole containing a scroll, some in ornate cases, others loose. Several long, wide mahogany tables ran down the middle of the large room, an ornate candle chandelier hanging over each. Around the tables were several simple wooden chairs, obviously designed for function, not comfort. However, if one wanted comfort they could recline in one of the large cushioned chairs that were positioned in front of the floor to ceiling windows that separated the bookcases along the room's longest wall.

[Image: j90d_uVwQ08KdnUm039iQyKdJUxmykgRFLYSsZ7g...z66ssVoAFA]


“What a library!” Leira exclaims.

“They must have spent years collecting these on their journeys,” Vyncent says running his fingers along a few of the spines before plucking a thin black book off the shelf. Leafing through the pages he sees handwritten scribble that appears to be the author’s notes of his study and experimentation into the magical properties of nature. 

Looking from one end of the room to the other, Leira makes an observation. “I’m not sure, but I suspect this room runs the length of the entire mansion.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Ilhard agrees, stepping over to a table and placing the lantern down to examine an open scroll. On it are black ink line drawings of a gallant knight facing off against a terrifying fire-breathing dragon. As he pans down the parchment the intricate drawings tell the story of the knight’s conquest over the beast, ending with him standing over the dead creature, the hilt of his great sword protruding from its side.

The three make their way across the room occasionally thumbing through a book here and there. Several of them deal with the art of thaumaturgy. In addition to the notes he found, Vyncent pulls one of a series of books listing miracles and wondrous deeds exhibited throughout the world and Ilhard briefly pursues a lexicon defining various terms and aspects of thaumaturgy. Leria finds a scroll containing recipes for various potions (though most of the ingredients listed are foreign to her) and a book of fortune-telling based on the stars in the night sky. In addition to academics, the trio find several books of literature including a book of poetry entitled “Breath of My Future” and a steamy romance entitled “Ladyloves Of The Evening.” The most ominous tome they find is a biography of a tyrannical ruler and his methods for domination and enslavement of his subjects.

“Just a handful of these could fund the Order for a year,” Ilhard notes.

“If it was the right handful,” Vyncent specifies, placing little value on the racy “Ladyloves.” “Not to mention they are bulky. We can probably take two of the smaller books. The poetry and astrology books will probably garner the highest street value.”

Ilhard only partially listens to his friend as his attention is drawn to a fireplace that stands against the wall at the far end of the room. He begins to examine the cold structure and notices four glyphs stenciled into the face of the mantle. [Successful MND check] He gently brushes the tips of his fingers across the figures. Each one he touches glows. At the instant the fourth glyph glows, the fireplace suddenly comes to life and a large ball of fire spits out of the opening engulfing an area of about five feet in front of the fireplace. [Failed difficult (-4) MND check to decipher glyphs.]

Ilhard is caught in the flames and burned as his sleeves catch on fire. [1 Damage and must make a -2 AGI roll to put out fire] As he beats at the flames to put them out two giant arachnids, each the size of a large dog, emerge from the fireplace, their bodies ablaze from the flames! Leira is the only one who sees the spiders emerge as Vyncent has turned his back to the blaze to shield his eyes and Ilhard is busy with putting out the fire on his body. 

“Watch out!” she cries, charging with her rapier drawn. 

[Leira is the only one of the three to make a surprise saving roll.

Spooky roll: 23 A large flaming spider screeches as it races about … (I gave a chance for multiple spiders [d6]1-3: one   4-5: two  6: three  Roll: 4

SPIDER 1:  S:2  A:2  M:0  At: 2  Df: 2  END:4
SPIDER 2:  S:2  A:2  M:0  At: 2  Df: 2  END:4

Each spider has poison. On a hit, they inject poison on a roll of 1-3 (d6). Victim must make STR roll at (-1) or suffer one damage. Effect ends when they make the roll or 10 turns have passed. 
Additionally, each spider will lose 2 END each round due to being on fire.]


One of the spiders charges toward Vyncent.  Leira makes a stab at it but misses. Her hand brushes against a flaming leg and she quickly pulls it back to avoid being burned. Unfortunately, in the process, her weapon slips from her hand. [Crit fail on ATK. Loses turn] Ilhard successfully puts out the flames before taking any more damage but is oblivious to the new danger in the room . . . until he is hit from behind by a spider leg! [1 Damage, No Poison, Does not take fire damage.]

Leira can actually hear the spiders screech in pain from the fire [2 Damage Each] as she reaches for her fallen rapier. Ilhard swipes with his club at the creature that just attacked him but misses. The spider, however, lunges again and digs its fangs into his leg. The thief kicks out and dislodges the fang. [1 Damage, There is poison but Il makes his STR saving roll, No fire damage]

Vyncent reacts deftly to the rapidly approaching spider by falling to his back and reaching up with his dagger. The spider leaps for where he had been a mere moment earlier. As the monster sails over him, Vyncent slices its underside open with his blade. It lands in a heap just past his head. [Vee hits for 2 damage] He raises his head just in time to see the other spider succumb to the fire and curl up into a ball of death [fire does 2 damage killing the spider (From Spooky roll: “...[Spider] is soon killed by the flames.” )]

[Everyone makes a successful fear check. These thieves have nerves of steel.]

“A fire trap in a library filled with precious and irreplaceable books? These Blacksters aren’t very bright,” Ilhard remarks brushing ash from his arm. He looks around when no one responds. “I’m just sayin’.”

Getting back to his feet and retrieving his pack, Vyncent suggests they head back the way they came and look for a way upstairs.

“No,” Ilhard disagrees. “There’s something up with that fireplace. Why else would they have magical glyphs written over it? I think I can figure it out.”

“Ilhard, don’t be daft!” Vyncent scolds. “You’re not a magician.”

“Perhaps one of these books can help?” Leira offers.

Vyncent scowls at her. “And how long do you think it will take to find it?” Leira lowers her eyes, chastised.

“Just let me try a few combinations,” Ilhard says. “I’ll stay out the way of the fireburst. You two be ready with your weapons in case any more spiders come out.”

“Are you saying they’re part of the trap?” Leira asks surprised. “That they appeared magically and weren’t just living in the flue?”

Exasperated, Vyncent responds. “We’ve seen mysterious glowing eyes, phantom harps, and animated severed hands. Little girl, anything is possible in this place.”

Leira glares back, more annoyed at his calling her a “little girl” than his rebuke.

Knowing that any more debate would be fruitless, Vyncent stands at the ready as his partner prepares to make another attempt at the glyphs. Standing out from directly in front of the opening, Ilhard reaches out to touch the magical symbols. This time he taps deliberately in a sequence different than his first attempt. When he touches the last glyph he pulls back to avoid any flames that might erupt from within. This is a wise choice as he once again fails to enter the correct combination and a ball of fire fills the space in front of the fireplace. When the flames subside no new spiders attack and Ilhard is unscathed.

[Does the trap reset? (To ConflictSmile 78+2=80 Yes Surge + 2

Due to experience, Ilhard only has a -2 on this MND roll to decipher the glyphs but he fails again. He makes his DEF roll to avoid the flames.

Are the spiders part of the trap? (To Conflict, unlikely): 28-4=24 No or 61+4=65  Yes  Result is “No” +2 Surge]

Vyncent mumbles something about this taking all night and heads for the door and motions to the others to follow. 


[Scene 3, Surge 6]
Main Thread: Retrieving the artifact
Minor Threads: Leira and Thieves Guild; Tristan’s Wedding; Bhart’s Career; Conspiracy against the King

Leira and her fellow thieves backtrack through the rooms they have already explored until they reach the house’s foyer. The severed hand still lay on the counter in the kitchen; the harp continues to play its sweet yet haunting melody in the conservatory; the glowing orbs have not reappeared over the clock in the foyer. [Made standard encounter checks in each room to see if they encountered any new “spooky” occurrences. All were negative.] With no other options the group goes through the second door that opened off the foyer.

On the other side is an elegant dining room. Paintings and intricate draperies line the walls. Despite no one being home, the large dark wood table is set for dinner with plates, goblets and utensils made of silver. In the center of the table sits a small flower pot, the leafy plant growing in it yielding a single strawberry. [The result of the Spooky roll and no one fails their fear check.]  Over the center of the table hangs another candle chandelier.  At the far end of the room, set into the wall, is another fireplace. 

[Image: iY47kY9Q6I_-cgAapweyh78qnI_d7hEiF_29Fvdq...MBkEsGd9fA]

“The dining room isn’t very convenient to the kitchen,” Leira observes.

“Maybe the food just magically appears on the table after it is prepared,” Ilhard suggests, ending his statement with wiggling fingers and a Wooooo, the universal sign that something is haunted.

“Can we take this a bit more seriously?” Vyncent scowls at the laughing pair. “Leave it,” he orders as Leira reaches for the silver table settings. “Our packs are filling up. Perhaps we can grab some on the way out. Right now, we need to look for hidden doors. We checked all the normal ones and have yet to find a way upstairs.”

All three examine the interior walls for any seams, gaps, or hidden switches but come up empty. [Leira does make a success roll to find any hidden doors, but there are none to be found] Ilhard ends his search at the fireplace. He sees the same four glyphs etched into the mantle.

“I’m telling you, these glyphs hold the secret,” Ilhard insists.

“You might be right,” Leira agrees. “I believe this fireplace backs up to the one in the library.” [based on a successful MND perception roll]

“Okay,” Vyncent gives in. “But let me try. You are both injured.”

Ilhard complies and shares with him the combinations he has already tried as well as advice on how to proceed.  When they are finished, he and Leira stand well back from the fireplace and ready their weapons. Vyncent stands off to the side of the fireplace as Ilhard did in the library and reaches for the glyphs. He hesitates but a moment before tapping four times and pulling away, averting his eyes to protect them from the flames. Instead of flames bursting forth, the four symbols glow simultaneously. The entire fireplace pushes out from the wall a couple of inches, then slides over far enough to reveal a narrow opening wide enough for a single person to pass through. [Vee rolled a critical success (6,6) on his first attempt.]

“I was always better than you at picking locks,” Vee says to Ilhard in a rare moment of mirth. 

Stepping through the opening they find themselves in a narrow passageway. The wall across from the opening shows grooves that clearly indicate there truly is a matching secret door to the library. However, it appears the doors can be opened manually from this side as a small lever protrudes from the wall.


[Image: eoHCMWA0HNi_gF4tBmfyFiAoscGx97S3dmJPoD97...2vBT4OG4ZA]

The passageway zigzags toward the center of the house, first turning left, then right. Around the second corner the hallway widens, ending after several feet in a staircase that spans the width of the passage and leads upward. Hanging on either wall, opposing each other, are two portraits. Each represents the same night-time setting, a forest or grove illuminated by a full moon shining over the tops of the trees. The only difference is the person depicted in each. The one on the left features a tall, dark-haired man with a thin moustache and well-groomed goatee. He is dressed in a black suit and sports a top hat and walking stick. The portrait on the right features an elegant woman with long flowing raven-colored hair, her skin porcelain and her lips ruby red. She wears a low cut red dress that reaches to the ground, its hem pooling around her. The man and woman appear to gaze across the hall passionately into each other’s eyes.

“I’m guessing these are Lord and Lady Blackster,” Ilhard notes.

“She’s beautiful!” Leira exclaims studying the lady in red.

Vyncent hardly notices as he is constantly shifting his eyes from the walls to the floors to the stairs, taking note of everything. As he takes another step toward the staircase, he suddenly sees the wood flooring begin to shift and shimmer beneath him. Without hesitation he leaps forward toward the bottom step. The floor where he was standing doesn’t slide or drop, but simply disappears revealing a pit filled with black, murky water.  Leira and Ilhard have stopped several steps behind Vyncent, the floor beneath them remaining solid.

[Spooky Roll: 35 A PC splashes into a puddle that was not there an instant before. He is soaked in stale water.
Vyncent is the random victim and he must make an AGI roll, with disadvantage, to avoid falling in the water. He rolls 6,6,6 The two lowest die still give him a critical success!]

“There’s truth in tales and legends,” Vyncent says, his eyes locked his companions on the other side of the pit. “And there are many about the House of Lost and Found. The people in this city scoff . . . you scoff . . . believing them to be little more than children’s ghost stories, the imagining of impressionable minds. But one would do well to heed those stories as a warning. We should not be here, Ilhard. You know that, if not then, certainly now. And you brought me here. Thanks.

“And you Missy,” he addresses Leira. “Beada must really hate you. Why? I have no idea. She barely knows you. But I can’t see why she would send you here to fetch some unknown artifact except in the hopes that you are killed in the process. Beada also hand-picked you, Ilhard, for this mission. We might be friends, but right now I can't help but wonder if that's wise.”

“You’re thinking too hard, Vee. I'm sure the Master Thief knows what she’s doing. And while you may have worked with her much longer than I, I've never known her to intentionally endanger a guild member before.”

“Leira’s not a guild member.”

“And you’re not being rational.”

“Boys!” Leira cuts them short. “We have a statue to retrieve.” She easily jumps over the pit and climbs the stairs, not looking back to see if they are following.

Wrap up:

Now might be a good time to mention that the full title of the Never Engine generator used in each room is “100 Spooky, Yet Mundane Dungeon Encounters.” According to the original document, “Mundane” is supposed to mean “non-threatening,” but as you can see I have not held to that definition. Depending on the room and the roll, some of my interpretations have been rather threatening.
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