Classic Fantasy Thieves - A Roses & Wyght Story

Tools:; 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 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 stood 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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.
Chapter 1 - Strangers

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


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.


“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 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.”

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