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Okay, I'm picking up another RPGSolo campaign, which will hopefully last longer than one combat this time around. *incoherent muttering generally aimed against the RPGSolo RNG and my own poor tactics*

This time around, I'm playing a Succubus 1//Dread Necromancer 1 gestalt and a Vampire Spawn 1//Sorcerer 1 gestalt. Here goes.


This is the epic tale of the vampire Jerianghatet (Jerry for short), and his beloved succubus wife Xandria. Theirs is a story of love transcending the planes and death - she gave up her rank in the lower planes to dwell with him, he gave up his mortality and possessions to live with her forever. The wedding was short and unattended, though not without its charm: it took place in a cemetery and had a proper sacrificial altar and everything. So now Jerry and Xandria roam the earth together, searching to achieve ultimate arcane power and world domination.

Where do we first find our two love-stricken protagonists/antagonists?

Hire mercenaries at the supernatural rooftop.

Since Jerry and Xandria are rather short on cash, and since world domination cannot be achieved on a shoestring, they're hiring out their services as mercenaries to crime lords and various other wealthy evildoers. And what better place to hire themselves out than the Nerull Bar & Grill, the city's main rendezvous for scum and villainy of all types? The Nerull Bar & Grill is situated on the rooftop of Fatso's Tavern, hidden from prying eyes and ears (and noses) by powerful magic.

Jerry walks up to the tavern, followed by Xandria. "A pint of blood, please," says Jerry. "And a pan-planar gargle-blaster for me," adds Xandria. The bartender, a gruff looking orc with "Gruumsh is my homeboy" tattooed on his forearm, hands the drinks to Jerry and Xandria. He leans forward. "Say, I haven't seen you two before. Anything I can do for a fellow villain?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, we're looking to sell our services to somebody rich and powerful." Xandria explains. The bartender raises a bushy red eyebrow suggestively. "An attractive succubus like you shouldn't have too much difficulty selling your services", he says, grinning slightly. Xandria is unimpressed. "Mercenary services, I meant."

Does the bartender tell the PCs of a potential customer.

Yes, and...

What type of customer?

Overindulge / Danger.

A daredevil. A humanoid daredevil?

No, but... +Event: Triumph / A plot

"Oh. Those sort of services. Well, there's an Aranea over there who's been looking for some people to help her on a personal quest of hers - if you like, I'll introduce you two to her. It'll be my pleasure."

Jerry and Xandria follow the orc to a table seated by only one customer, an Aranea in hybrid form, wearing black sunglasses and a trench coat, and eating a white rabbit. The orc introduces the Aranea: "Meet Morphea, one of my most valuable patrons. Morphea, meet - wait, what did you two say your names were?" - Jerianghatet and Xandria quickly introduce themselves to Morphea - "Right, and these two fine fiends are interested in joining you in your venture. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got work to attend to." The bartender quickly slips off to clean up a mess on the floor caused by a Skeleton trying to drink ale.

What sort of job does the Aranea have in store?

Coolly / Mature.

Adjourn / Illusions.

Morphea beckons the PCs to a chair. Once Jerry and Xandria are seated comfortably, she calmly begins to speak.

"What is The Dreaming? It is all around you, even in this very tavern. You can see it when you look into the sky or when you look upon a victim. You can feel it when you cast a spell... when you go to the cemetery... when you avoid paying your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."

"What truth?" Jerry and Xandria ask in unison.

"Your world isn't real. Constructs have trapped your mind in a spell so powerful that you never get a saving throw against it. Have you ever seen an illusion spell that you were so sure was real? You are living in one."

Jerry asks politely "So where does that leave us, as your mercenaries?"

Ascend the throne at the giant alley.

Morphea smiles, displaying her mandibles. "There is a magical throne hidden in a gigantic underground alley. I will provide the directions to the alley in this sheet of paper. Take it. Once you have found the throne, you must climb onto it and survive the experience. Good luck."

"What about, you know, remuneration and out-of-pocket expenses and so forth?" Jerry asks.

"All I can offer is the truth."

"I meant something more along the lines of cold hard cash."

"Oh, that. Don't you worry, you will be amply rewarded for your service, if and when you survive. You are dismissed, go fulfil your quest."

Jerry and Xandria get up, throw a silver piece to the bartender, and leave the building. The last they see and hear of Morphea that day is her yelling at the barmaid "Soup!? How am I supposed to eat soup if there is no spoon?"

Once they're well clear of the building, Xandria turns to Jerry. "That girl is two components short of a Wish spell."

"You can say that again."

[To be continued, obviously]
Most enjoyable I look forward to the next scene Smile
(04-24-2013, 05:21 AM)smw Wrote: [ -> ]Most enjoyable I look forward to the next scene Smile

Seconded.
After a refreshing day's sleep in Jerry's coffin, Jerry and Xandria set off to do their quest at dusk. What is the first step as indicated on the sheet of paper given them by Morphea?

Excitement / Illusions.

Excitement about what?

Scimitar.

How many steps are there in the paper?

2 = 1[d4]+1

What's the second step, then?

Mistrust / Nature.

Jerry and Xandria read the sheet of paper. It reads:
"Goode morn, mine henchemen. Thy mission, shouldst thou choose to accept it, is to ascend the Throne of Zagyg. Ye may do this in three steps:
Firstly, get thyselves to the statue of the Broken Scimitar. It is not far from hence and in plain sight. Remember that it doest not exist, and that it is only an illusion.
Secondly, find the hidden entrance to the underdepths of the city, located near the statue.
Thirdly, defeat or escape any opposition that guard the Throne, et caetera, and finally mount the Throne.
(Optional Step) Leave the premises before the roof collapses on ye."

Do Jerry or Xandria know where the Broken Scimitar statue is?

Yes.

As soon as Jerry and Xandria have read the instructions, they hear a voice from the parchment say "This note will now self-destruct in three... two... one..." and the paper lights on fire, burning to ashes in another few seconds.

Xandria drops the burnt note into a nearby gutter, and the two leave, hand-in-hand, to obey Morphea's instructions.

Any event happen at the statue of the Broken Scimitar?

No.

Is anybody else at the premises or nearby?

Yes.

How many people?

10 = 10[d10]

Jerry is concerned at the presence of other people. "I thought we could get underground without a bunch of people noticing."

Xandria flashes him a reassuring grin, saying "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Let's find the entrance first."

"Right". Jerry casts Detect Magic. Any magic nearby that he detects?

Yes.

How many auras centered around the statue?

1 = 1[d3]

Jerry furrows his brow in concentration, trying to figure out what sort of spell was cast.

10 = 4[d20]+6

Is the aura located around the statue?

No.

Where, then?

Ornate rock formation.

Jerry relaxes, panting. "There's a magical aura located over there, centered around that... whatever that is" - he points to a detailed abstract art rock structure - "I couldn't find the spell school, though. I haven't got the hang of all this spellcraft stuff yet."

"Let's examine it." Xandria walks up to the structure and examines it from different angles. "Looks like it's art of some type."

"This is art? What'll be next? Soon people will be dripping paint blobs on parchment and calling it art."

Xandria touches the structure: is it solid?

No, and...

The myriad tiny grains of rock that comprise the structure fall apart; the structure is reduced to a small pile of rock-dust.

"Uh, Xandria... there's a sign here that says 'Do not touch magical rock art structure' "

"That would have been nice to know about thirty seconds ago."

"Or, you know, you could have just used your pretty little eyes like me."


Does anybody notice the damage?

No.

Xandria quickly looks underneath the pile of rock-dust. Is there anything under there?

No. +Event: Waste / Allies

As she pushes some of the dust aside to look underneath it, the wind picks up the grains of rock and scatters them all across the area. Jerry smacks his forehead with his palm. "Next time I find a a magical aura, I'm the one who'll do the investigating."

Jerry searches the premises, as Xandria tries her best to help whilst looking innocent.

Xandria's Aid Another roll:

3 = 3[d20]

Failure. Jerry's search roll:

16 = 8[d20]+8

Does he find anything relating to the underground entrance?

No, and...

They look up to find a city official at the back of their necks. "And wha' are YOU doin' here, examinin' the premises like this? And especially at this hour?'

Xandria's bluff check:

26 = 16[d20]+10

And Jerry's Aid another check?

31 = 20[d20]+11

Xandria looks up at the official sweetly. "Oh, we were just admiring the fine brick-work and sculptures here."
Jerry 'introduces' himself: "I'm Turin, and this is my friend Nienor, and we're novice landscapers..."
"... employed by Celebrimbor's landscaper's guild. You may not have heard of it yet, but it's up-and-coming and we're examining existing art as inspiration." Xandria finishes her husband's sentence.
"And we're only passing through and didn't have time to examine the art during the daytime, so we have no choice but to do this at dusk."
"Anyway, it's quieter in the evening."

The official's Sense Motive check:

14 = 14[d20]

Does he buy the con?

Yes, and...

The city official smiles. "Ah, landscapers, eh? I 'appen to know a thing or two about sculpt're myself. This ┬┤ere sculpt're of a broken scimitar was made by Mikelanjello, several 'undred years ago in th' Hippie era of sculpt're. It represents th' abolition of war, and Mikelanjello's motto of 'make love, not war'. Actually, he initially intended to make a sculpt're o' a mudder holdin' 'er dead child, but decided against th' notion since nobody would wanna look at it." The official leans forward and switches his drawling manner of speech to a more conspiratorial, half-whispered tone. "They say... underneath this sculpt're is hidden the entrance to an underground complex. 'parently this sculpt're was put here wi' the express intent o' sealin' off the underground."

Jerry and Xandria begin to grin like kids in a toy-shop.

The officer, having finished his lecture, straightens. "Well. Don't you two go and stir up any trouble, now."

Jerry and Xandria smile innocently. "We won't," they say in unison.
As the official leaves, Jerry and Xandria turn to the statue and begin examining it closely. Jerry's search check:

25 = 17[d20]+8

Xandria's aid another check:

9 = 8[d20]+1

Does Jerry find anything regarding the hidden entrance?

No. +Event: Malice / Misfortune

As Jerry and Xandria are hard at work trying to find the entrance to the underground, a halfling rogue sneaks up behind them. Move silently roll:

9 = 3[d20]+6

Xandria's listen check:

20 = 6[d20]+14

Jerry's listen check:

25 = 17[d20]+8

Jerry turns to Xandria. "Did you hear that."

Xandria doesn't reply, choosing to spin around instead, facing the sneaky halfling. "And what are YOU doing here, mister?"

Does the Halfling still choose to attack??

Yes, but...

The halfling grins. A beautiful and defenseless human girl and a rich-looking man. He would kill the man, kidnap the girl, and rob them both. At last, a decent stroke of luck! He brandishes his dagger, planning to take out the man first. Still, it wouldn't hurt to be cautious, just in case things turn sour...

Jerry's initiative roll:

6 = 3[d20]+3

Xandria's initiative roll:

7 = 5[d20]+2

The halfling's initiative roll:

13 = 7[d20]+6

The halfling attacks Jerry; what's his attack roll?

18 = 19[d20]-1

"Eeyah!" the diminutive humanoid leaps at Jerry, stabbing his dagger into the vampire's undead flesh.

How much damage does that deal?

3 = 4[d4]-1

How about sneak attack damage?

1 = 1[d6]

Four damage; Jerry is comfortably out of harm's way for now. Xandria's attack roll?

20 = 18[d20]+2

Damage?

9 = 8[d8]+1

If looks could kill, Xandria would have melted the halfling on the spot. Unfortunately, looks do not kill, so Xandria opts for the next best thing: she runs up behind the halfling and slashes him to death with her longsword.

The halfling sees his life flit past him as the unexpectedly violent girl inflicted mortal blows upon his fragile body. His story was a sad one: expelled from rogue school when he was 13 (for giving back an item he had stolen from his classmate), constantly berated and mocked by his peers and family, finally kicked out of his own home by his ex-girlfriend and left on the streets to starve. No tale (apart from this one) would ever tell of this unhappy failure, who had only wanted to mug/kidnap/kill two unsuspecting humans, and who in return was brutally murdered by a psychopathic succubus. All he can think is 'Why?'

But come, let us turn our attention away from this tragic tale, back to a happily living (and unliving) couple who had found true love in each other's grasp.

The assailant dispatched, Xandria turns to her husband. "Are you okay, sweetie?"

"Yes, I think so." Jerry gingerly touches his wound. "The bugger didn't sting me deep, but it still hurt."

Xandria holds Jerry's hand and focuses, channelling negative energy through her fingertips into the vampire's flesh. Jerry always loves it when she gives him a charnel touch - it makes him feel pleasantly tingly all over, as well as removing any injuries he may have. "There, all better. Now, let's get back to work, shall we?"


---

Okay, time for me to collect and reflect on the campaign so far in a bout of unbridled introspection and narcissism.

If you've seen my other few actual plays up to now (or even my self-description below my username), you may have realized that I am an extremely gamist player. The appeal of role-playing for me is mostly centered on tactics and kickass-ery. Actual role-playing often (generally?) feels like a chore for me. It's kind of surprising, then, that in three entire sessions I only played through one combat, and the combat was totally uninteresting from a tactical standpoint. More surprising is the fact that I enjoyed every minute of the game so far.

I think it's the first time since years that I've really been this invested in my characters (as characters, as opposed to as tactical builds), and that probably accounts for a lot. I'm really happy with the characters' concepts: succubi marriages are always interesting in any circumstances, but the fact that the succubus is also a dread necromancer and her husband is undead makes it really interesting. And the fact that they're both different types of arcane casters is just icing on the cake (if slightly unbalanced from a 'well rounded party' standpoint).

I think maybe the SoloRPG interface and features are helping as well: the interface forces me to write everything that happens in the imaginary world. This alone helps role-play, as it's hard to really role-play a conversation in your head. In addition, I love how all types of random inspiration is always the touch of a button away; random inspiration is the easiest and best way to simulate an actual GM, and the increased accessibility of randomness helps me role-play more as opposed to, y'know, having to roll tons of dice and stuff.

Also, humor is very fun to write.


Now I'd like to hear some feedback from you all, while I'm on the subject of reflection... is the story's pacing okay or is there anything you want changed? Are there too many stupid meta-references? Not enough? Do you want more Xandria-Jerry dialogue, or less of it, or more and quirkier NPCs, or...
Yeah, feedback.
I would say everything is great as it is, the pacing and the dialog. I am really enjoying the story. And I was going to make a comment on your previous post that I am enjoying the humor too. I don't know what you mean by meta-references though.

I am curious what system you are using for the dice rolls like how are you determining the modifier and what the results mean.

And, lastly, I am extremely happy that you are enjoying using RPGSolo. Thank you!
(04-25-2013, 08:58 AM)Mark Wrote: [ -> ]I would say everything is great as it is, the pacing and the dialog. I am really enjoying the story. And I was going to make a comment on your previous post that I am enjoying the humor too. I don't know what you mean by meta-references though.

Okay, great. That's encouraging.
What I meant by meta-references is references outside the game-world, like the Matrix references in the first post, for instance..

(04-25-2013, 08:58 AM)Mark Wrote: [ -> ]I am curious what system you are using for the dice rolls like how are you determining the modifier and what the results mean.

And, lastly, I am extremely happy that you are enjoying using RPGSolo. Thank you!

Oh, whoops, I should have mentioned that in the OP. I'm using D&D 3.5 here. It's my favorite system since it's so adaptable and tactical. Not particularly solo-friendly, but after dozens of solo games with it, one gets used to it. I didn't think anybody would want to see lots of system crunch, which is why I opted to keep the logs crunch-lite and story-heavy, but if you'd like to see some more system crunch included in the log, I'd be happy to provide that.

Thank YOU.
Jerry thinks for a moment before speaking. "I'm sick of intruders popping up behind us. How about you keep watch while I try to push the statue aside to see what's underneath it? Pushing statues is man's work, anyway." He winks at his wife.

"Sounds like a plan to me."

Jerry begins to push on the statue: (Str check with an unknown DC)

23 = 19[d20]+4

Does he succeed in moving it aside?

No, and...

After several minutes of exertion, Jerry stops, panting for the second time that evening. "It's no use. It won't budge. I think it's firmly rooted into the ground or something."

"We could try digging..."

"Yeah, and if another city official walks up on us, what are we going to tell him? 'Oh hi there mister official, we're dirt inspectors and we were just examining your dirt. Lovely dirt you have here, sir.' " Jerry grimaces.

"Well, do you have any better idea?"

"... I suppose not. Let's do this, then! First, we'll need shovels to dig with, though."

"And we'll need to move this halfling's corpse away."

The two pick up the dead rogue and move him off to the side. "He's kind of cute when he's dead, you know." the necromancer succubus says.

"You WOULD say that, wouldn't you."

Is this period of time uneventful?

Yes, and...

The streets are empty and desolate as the couple goes off to steal a shovel.

Is there any nearby shop that might carry one?

Yes.

Are there paneless windows the characters can climb through?

No, and...

There aren't any windows at all. Is the door unlocked?

No, but... +Event: Haggle / Death

Xandria tiptoes up to the door and opens it slowly, cautiously...

Predictably, the door creaks louder than a paranoid shrieker fungus.

A fat hobbit instantly comes running out of the other room, brandishing a pitchfork. "Now you'd better get out o' my shop right now, or by Yondalla, I'll skewer you two like shish-kebab."

Xandria's bluff check:

12 = 2[d20]+10

Jerry's aid another check:

24 = 13[d20]+11

Xandria feigns fear and backs away slightly, throwing her hands in the air. "I apologize for my intrusion like this at this. I and my friend here were merely looking to buy some shovels. It's rather urgent, or we would have come here at a more reasonable hour."

Jerry adds: "But we give our most heartfelt apologies. We will take our business somewhere else."

Halfling's sense motive check?

11 = 8[d20]+3

The storeowner is sceptical, but slowly puts down his pitchfork. "Well. Since I'm already awake, if you're just coming to buy some goods, I can serve you. What'll it be?"

"Just two shovels, please." Xandria smiles.

"That'll be 4 gold pieces." the stout hobbit hands them two shovels, pocketing the cash that Xandria gives him. "Have a nice day - er, night."

Once outside, Xandria hands her husband a shovel. "Let's go."

The journey back to the statue is uneventful?

Yes.

Back at the statue, Xandria says "One of us had probably better keep watch again. We really can't afford to be surprised by an official this time around."

"Fine, you keep watch and I'll dig." Jerry sets to his task, digging in one spot next to the statue, in an attempt to see how deep the statue goes.

Is the statue founded relatively deep in the ground?

Yes, but...

And does anybody walk up on the couple as Jerry works?

No.

"The statue does have a deep foundation, as I thought. But it looks like there might be a secret entrance INTO the statue instead of under it.

Jerry's search check:

11 = 3[d20]+8

Another search check:

19 = 11[d20]+8

Does he find a secret entrance into the statue?

No.

Jerry takes 20, getting a result of 28 after a few minutes. Now does he find a secret entrance into it?

Yes, but...

"Okay, I've found a secret entrance into the statue, but it's really deep into the soil. I can only see the top part of the entrance now."

"Daybreak is approaching. Let's replace the soil and come back tomorrow."

Jerry quickly puts the soil back where it started, patting it down slightly to make sure it looks natural but remains easy to dig back up again.

Does anybody interrupt the characters as they work?

Yes.

Deviant jeweler.

As Jerry is cleaning up his 'mess', an elf in punk attire and wearing a T-shirt that reads 'Rebel against the Valar' walks up to the pair. "Fighting the good fight, huh?" Xandria and Jerry look at him in confusion. The elf continues, "I'm Feanor, you've probably heard of me." Seeing the couple's blank stares, he clarifies "I was responsible for the Kinslaying at Alqualonde, you've probably heard of that. No? Burning of the White Ships? No? ... Man, what sort of world is this, anyway? I commit murder and arson and I can't even get recognition for it." He walks away, muttering about something about Lyndsi Lohahn and jail.

Meanwhile, Jerry says to Xandria "I swear these rebels get crazier and crazier every year." Side by side, they finish their task and go back to Jerrry's coffin for another day's sleep in each other's arms.
I love the characters and NPCs in this story, and all the quips and meta references are hilarious :]

Also, I wouldn't change a thing as far as your system crunch to story ratio - Speaking for myself, I'd rather read more story and less system, so your minimal visible mechanics is perfect.