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Author Topic: Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands  (Read 5633 times)

jgants

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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #135 on: January 28, 2018, 12:38:10 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 2 (of 7) ***

For the past several days, the newly-vampiric Viktor has been waiting near the ruins of Rodemus. After being completely drained of blood, he remembers rising again to find himself under the mental control of the vampire who killed him – Wi'zou.

Wi'zou instructed the former thief to make contact with Tickles and his band of mercenaries (or whatever they were; Viktor was never sure, and it found it strange a group of mercenaries included an old man with a cat and a young human girl). His new master, speaking telepathically into his mind, wants Viktor to travel with them in case they encounter someone named Bragosani. From what Viktor understands, Bragosani is some kind of necromancer who is the former master of his master. It is all very confusing for the addled goblin's mind, particularly as he has trouble clearly remembering much of his mortal life despite dying only a few days ago.

Viktor has tried to make the most of it by enjoying his new powers. He particularly likes the ability to metamorphosis into a bat, wolf, or cloud of mist. He also finds his ability to see very far in the darkness to be quite useful. It is with this ability he first spots a man on a horse and a young girl approaching from in the distance. He's fairly sure these two are part of the group he seeks; while the coyle isn't with them, the little girl and the cat are uncommon enough that it would be quite a coincidence if these weren't Tickles' allies. He steps out into the light of their torch to get their attention.

Deadly Snow and the Great Mulroney see the pale goblin step out into the light. Mulroney recognizes him as Viktor, one of the thieves who previously attacked him. Between the goblin being pale, having slightly longer teeth, and the fact he's pretty sure Wi'zou got the goblin while in wolf form, Mulroney is fairly sure the man before them is a secondary vampire.

Deadly Snow asks who goes there in Gobbley to be safe. Viktor responds with his name, saying he has been sent to make contact with them by Wi'zou. Deadly Snow asks what kind of contact, worried he may be planning to drain their blood. Viktor tries to assure them he means no harm and is discussing forming an alliance with them. As they speak, the mention of the goblin "making contact" with the girl reminds Mulroney of the vile rapist Nasser, who was tortured and killed in the most heinous way by the tumbler's guild after his crimes were discovered. The memory of the well-deserved torture and death of the evil man warms Mulroney's heart.

The conversation between Deadly Snow and Viktor takes a while to get anywhere. The goblin does not reveal why Wi'zou wanted him to make contact with the group but doesn't say much more than Wi'zou is not in the area any more. Trying to cut the conversation to the quick, and considering how powerful a vampire ally could be, Mulroney asks Viktor if he is trying to say he wants to join their "merry band". Viktor agrees.

Deadly Snow tells Viktor they are on their way to find a hidden temple. She asks if he wants to accompany them since it would take him away from Rodemus (as she's still unclear if Wi'zou himself wants to see them). Viktor says he'll come along and notes he can always make contact with the master later.

The Great Mulroney asks Viktor why Wi'zou wanted to contact them. Viktor simply says the master didn't want anything except to make an alliance, being careful not to say anything about Bragosani.

Mulroney asks what Wi'zou is offering as part of the alliance. Viktor says his services, as well as a mutual non-aggression pact (phrased as "not trying to kill each other") and sharing information. Though after asking some questions, it quickly becomes clear to Mulroney that the vampire has no information to exchange ("at this moment", Viktor insists). Mulroney notes the alliance seems rather one-sided, but he's happy to have Viktor along as Tickles is currently indisposed (joking the coyle is off dealing with a case of mange). Anxious to get going, Deadly Snow has them get a move on following the map to the hidden tunnels nearby.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2018, 12:41:35 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 3 (of 7) ***

As they travel, Deadly Snow explains how they are headed to a secret temple and asks the vampire if he's ever heard of it before. Viktor says has never heard of a temple of the Azure Dragon before. Mulroney sardonically notes this is more information the vampire doesn't have to share and that the alliance is already paying off big time.

Deadly Snow reads the map while Viktor uses his long-range night vision to scout ahead. He notes they are heading into the dangerous territory of the Zidhuran minotaurs who will capture and eat other humanoids if they find them. The vampire also says the minotaurs usually have patrols in the area.

Since it will take some time to get through the territory, Mulroney decides it is finally time to employ his shape-changing powers. He transforms himself to appear as a minotaur, explaining to the others he is using some of his more powerful magic as he fakes casting a spell. As they have little understanding of magic, neither Deadly Snow nor Viktor see through the subterfuge.

Deadly Snow considers trying to decide herself as a young minotaur. Mulroney feels having her pose as a prisoner would be a better deception. As for Viktor, the minotaurs won't try to eat him but may try to kill him so he'd be best to hide in plain sight as a bat.

After some talking, Mulroney convinces the girl to try and disguise herself as a plague victim. Her disguise is less than convincing when he looks it over, so he has Viktor collect some of Gorn Clinker's manure and spread it all over the girl, so she will smell offensively, and no one will want to get close. No one but Mulroney is happy with the plan (and Viktor tries asking if it is part of some kind of religious ceremony), but they go along with it anyway.

With Mulroney looking like a minotaur, Deadly Snow tied to a rope and covered in manure and fake plague sores, and Viktor as a bat, they head on. It doesn't take long before they come across a patrol of five minotaurs. Mulroney tugs at Deadly Snow's rope and grunts for effect while Viktor keeps a look out from the top of the cavern for any other patrols.

The leader of the patrol calls out to Mulroney in Giantese. Luckily, the witch knows that language and can understand. The minotaur asks Mulroney who he is and why is he hauling the smelly child along.

Mulroney sizes up the patrol, noting they all wear heavy armor and are carrying battle axes. Choosing his words carefully, he tells the creature he found the diseased human wandering into their territory and is attempting to lead it out before it gets all of them sick.

The leader looks at Mulroney suspiciously, asking who he is. Mulroney isn't sure what a good local minotaur name might be, so he gives his name as "Stan". The leader finds that name suspicious, giving his own name as Reztal of clan Raktar. He asks which clan Mulroney is with.

Since Mulroney is lacking in knowledge of racial histories, he isn't really sure what clan name to give. Instead, he claims to be an outcast. Mulroney goes on to say he and his mother were cast out because his father was accused of being a traitor. Mulroney stresses his father was falsely accused but killed just the same while the rest of the family was cast out.

Reztal's eyes narrow. He is horrified to learn that Stan's father, Randy, was accused of being a champion of light. Mulroney shows the right amount of sorrow as Reztal declares what shame his father brought upon them all and gives a tale of his father being drawn and quartered for punishment.

Saying his mother and brother subsequently died of the same plague the human is carrying, Mulroney says he lives at the edge of the territories and hopes for the day he can return home. Since he knows the horrors of the disease carried by the human he wants to get her out of the area as fast as possible.

Reztal isn't sure why they can't just kill the girl. Mulroney claims it is too dangerous to touch her, as the disease is very deadly. He said he had to use his special roping skills to get her tied up in the first place.

Mulroney goes on to say that one with the plague rots from the inside. He invites Reztal to smell the girl, as her rotting has already made her smell like feces. Reztal agrees what Mulroney says makes sense.

He commands Mulroney to take the smelly girl away from here. Reztal suggests if he comes across one of their cave witches to give the girl to her for sacrifice. He then wishes Mulroney well, telling him to go with Xy (one of the Old Ones worshipped by their kind). Mulroney gives a dark blessing in turn to the minotaur leader.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #137 on: January 28, 2018, 12:42:32 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 4 (of 7) ***

Advancing further into the minotaur territory, the group eventually comes to a dead end in a tall chamber. Deadly Snow is momentarily confused as the map indicates they should be able to continue.

The girl asks the bat-man, Viktor, to fly up and check out the ceiling of the chamber. He does so and spots a metal trap door in the ceiling of the cave. A short chain drops down a couple of feet from the handle of the door.

Deadly Snow uses her rope and grappling hook to snag the end of the chain and pulls. The door at the top opens but appears to be connection to a tension spring; if she lets out any slack, the door will re-close into the ceiling.

They try to figure out what to do next. Viktor flies up into the door to get a better look. He relates back to the others that it leads to another tunnel continuing in the direction they were heading; clearly, they will need to find a way to get up and use the tunnel.

Deadly Snow doesn't want to leave her rope and grappling hook tied to the ground to keep the door open. After discussing with Mulroney for a few minutes, he feels the best thing is to jam something in the door to keep it wedged open.

Viktor flies up into the upper tunnel and grabs a rock. He jams it into the door to keep it open.

Mulroney discusses a plan with Deadly Snow on her to detach her grappling hook from the chain and get them all up to the upper chamber. After going into great detail, he realizes he forgot one crucial element – Gorn Clinker! There's no way he can think of to get the horse into the upper cavern.

Viktor offers to feed on the horse, but Mulroney does not like the idea of losing his new method of transportation; particularly after having only recently acquired it. He also doesn't want to risk leaving the horse behind to die of thirst, starvation, or being eaten by monsters.

Deliberating on the matter a while, Mulroney ultimately decides he has no choice but to stay behind with Gorn Clinker while the others continue to the temple. Deadly Snow is shocked at his putting the horse above their alliance, but only for a second.

The girl then has Viktor shimmy over and grab her as she climbs up. She manages to get to the upper chamber and get her grappling hook back out without falling. She and Viktor then continue on; she wishes Mulroney good luck in staying safe until they return.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #138 on: January 28, 2018, 12:43:30 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 5 (of 7) ***

Sometime later, the cavern eventually leads to a fork. According to the map, either passage can be used to reach the temple. One way is identified with some kind of underground waterway that must be traversed. The other path appears to lead to some type of bridge over a large chasm.

As a vampire, Viktor knows running water can be deadly to him. He suggests they go to the bridge. Deadly Snow also feels the bridge is the safer route.

Meanwhile, some distance away in the other cavern, Mulroney spots another patrol coming his way. This group looks angrier and less tolerant of outcasts.

Thinking quickly, he approaches the men keeping Gorn Clinker at a slow walk. Just as he gets near and starts to greet them, he has Shoes cast a spell to cover the area in cloud of smoke while he has the horse break into a gallop, knocking his way past the men.

The gambit works, and he is able to escape. He decides it is too dangerous to stay in the area, so he leaves the minotaur territory to go get the remaining treasure at Rodemus and bring it back to Beartooth (if for nothing else, Mulroney believes he may need the money to pay for stable fees for Gorn since clearly the horse will not always be useful on their adventures).

Back at the bridge, Deadly Snow is thinking of her own way to overcome an obstacle. She doesn't trust the rickety bridge to hold if she tries to cross it (though Viktor won't have that issue since he can take the form of a bat) and the chasm appears to drop into the earth forever.

Using her psionic abilities, Deadly Snows makes herself float above the bridge without actually forcing her weight on it. Using the ropes on either side of the bridge, she pulls herself along.

When she gets about halfway across, a pair of ripper jack bats take interest in her. They swoop in to bite. Keeping one hand on the rope, she uses her other to draw a dagger. She manages to fend off one bat but is bit by the other.

Deadly Snow slashes back, but the bat moves out of the way. Swooping in using his own bat form, Viktor uses his claws to tear one of the ripper jacks in half.

The other bat attempts to bite Deadly Snow again, but she fends him off. Stabbing into him with her dagger, she kills it as well. With the threat of the bats eliminated, Deadly Snow pulls herself the rest of the way across and meets Viktor on the other side.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #139 on: January 28, 2018, 12:44:55 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 6 (of 7) ***

For what seems like hours or even days, the map leads Deadly Snow and Viktor most of the way to the temple. But just as they near it, they find another split in the passageway that is not on the map.

Between the two passages leading on is a stone statue shaped like a ratskin tribesman. Next to him is a carved plaque in the rock with a riddle. It reads, "The paths before you each lead to the domain of a local ratskin tribe. One tribe is of good nature, always tells the truth, and guards our temple as faithful servants. The other tribe is of evil nature, always lies, and will surely kill and eat anyone who stumbles into their lair. Before you is a simulacrum of a member of one of the tribes, but which no one can say. You may ask but one question of it to determine which path to take."

Deadly Snow groans, noting how she hates riddles. Viktor mumbles something about not really being very good at them either.

She knows she's heard a version of this riddle before but can't remember what the answer was. The young assassin does recognize it is a logic puzzle and sets about carving decision trees into the dirt with her knife to work it out. She spends several hours ruminating on the logical math before coming to her answer.

Stepping up to the simulacrum, the girl asks it if his tribe likes the tribe who are found in the passage to the left. Her logically reasoning is that if the statue answers yes, the passage is safe (because the evil tribe would lie about liking the good tribe and the good tribe would like itself). Conversely, if it says no then the other path is safe. After she gets her answer and travels down the path she believes is safe, she realizes the easier way to ask the question would have been to have the simulacrum say which path its tribe was located down.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #140 on: January 28, 2018, 12:45:53 PM »
*** Session 15 - Scene 7 (of 7) ***

At the end of the path is a small settlement of ratskins. A woman approaches Deadly Snow and greets her, saying her name is Ne'chi. She tells Deadly Snow she smells horribly, which the girl says is because of her leprosy.

Ne'chi asks what brings Deadly Snow there. She says she is looking for the temple of the Azure Dragon. The woman says that is the temple here, but only those who are not truly evil may enter it. Deadly Snow says she is not, but that her bat will need to remain there.

Approaching the temple, Ne'chi and Deadly Snow are greeted by the head custodian monk, a man named Tsering. Tsering and Deadly Snow exchange formal greetings.

Tsering says he can tell there is evil inside the girl, but also honor. He says he will allow her to enter the temple, but only if she gives her word of honor not to kill anyone or steal anything inside. She does so, saying she comes seeking only knowledge.

The monk allows her up the stairs and they pass through the temple gate. He says he will show her to her room, where she can rest and bathe (he emphasizes the bathing part). Before she heads in, she has the monk clarify that his order is the Priests of Pah-Ma.

Her quarters have a nice hot springs bath and she is given fresh new robes to wear. Tsering also delivers a small meal to her, and afterwards they head into a hidden courtyard in the center of the temple. The courtyard is a small forest, filled with various trees, faerie folk, and rare herbs. They spend some time meditating in the gardens and the girl is able to replenish her inner strength.

Once they are done meditating, Tsering asks Deadly Snow what has brought her to the temple. She says several things have brought her to the temple but starts by saying she wanted to check on the fate of Kandia, the priestess of Rurga from Rodemus.

Tsering relates that Kandia died of old age some time ago. He asks the girl if she is connected to the Rodemus family. She says she is seeking the return of several heirloom items from the family that Kandia brought with her.

The monk asks her to clarify she is seeking to return the objects to their rightful heirs. She says she is, and pledges on her honor to do so (as she and her companions are the rightful heirs due to the Rodemus family being killed off and their treasure the right of anyone who found it).

Tsering takes her to the vault of treasures, a room in the back of the temple. It is guarded by a large monk named Thubten. Thubten opens the locked gate and Tsering takes out three items from the many on the shelves, saying these are the items belonging to the Rodemus family.

The first item is a set of three healing potions, the remainder of what Kandia had left after her travels. The second was a ring Kandia wore, a magical ring of spell protection. Deadly Snow quickly puts the ring on for "safe-keeping".

As she puts on the ring, Tsering brings out a final item he calls the "silver scimitar", a magical blade with runes of Rurga on it. He says it is not an actual holy weapon but is an enchanted sword with a very sharp blade. Deadly Snow puts the sword in her waistband.

With the treasures recovered, Tsering asks the girl that since she is honorable, could he ask for her help in a different matter. She agrees to be of service if she can.

Tsering smiles, saying her coming is unusual and must have been aided by the gods to deal with their problem. He notes she is serendipitously qualified to assist. Deadly Snow agrees she has many skills.

The monk tells her to follow him. He takes her to the back of the temple and opens a secret passage. As they continue down the passageway, he tells her some time ago the ratskins guarding the temple found a blind man, badly injured and dying, in the tunnels nearby and brought him to the temple.

According to Tsering's tale, the man gave his name as "Brandt". Tsering says he and the other monks healed the man and spent several years training him in their martial arts so he would be able to defend himself despite his disability.

At the end of the secret passage is a dead end with a broken wall leading into a very small chamber that appears to have been bricked in as some point. Tsering explains one of their order, Hakushin, was an immured anchorite who lived in that chamber and protected a powerful artifact his order calls the Zalawad.

Deadly Snow asks what the Zalawad does. Tsering says he isn't exactly sure – it is a dark artifact from the Age of Darkness back when the Old Ones ruled the world. The monk says the word Zalawad is from an ancient language and literally translates to "The Darkness".

Continuing the tale, Tsering says that somehow Brandt managed to find the secret passageway, broke down the wall, killed Hakushin, and stole the Zalawad. The thief then disappeared into the night, which was several months ago.

What Tsering needs is for Deadly Snow to find Brandt and retrieve the artifact to bring it back to the temple. He says the only problem is, he doesn't know exactly what the artifact is or what it looks like, for only the immured anchorite was allowed near it.

The monk says what they do know is that it was contained in a 3' x 2' wooden box with special wards on it. He also recalls a set of verse passed down through their generations to warn about the object: "Value the world's many'd splendor; And keep it safe with your endeavor; For man's heart will grow as dark as beast; If this object ye do release."

Deadly Snow asks if they know anything else about Brandt. The monk says the man rarely talked about himself or where he was from. Brandt did mention a dead wife named Lua, and Tsering suspects he may have harbored thoughts of revenge related to her death.

Tsering hopes she can find the object, for it is not safe out in the world. Deadly Snow asks what they want done about Brandt, but the monk says that is of no concern to them. The girl also asks if they can teach her their special unarmed combat skills, but he tells her it would take many years.

Before she leaves, Deadly Snow tries to get some other answers. She discusses the hooded thief who uses the symbol of the Azure Dragon. The monk agrees the appearance of the man sounds like it could be Brandt, who is probably staying hooded to hide the fact he's blind.

Tsering isn't sure why Brandt would use the symbol of their temple. He says the constellation of the Azure Dragon has to do with their temples founding hundreds of years ago, back during the age of the Kingdom of Baalgor. According to their legends and writings, their order was formed to protect the world against the coming of a black dragon, a stalker from beyond the stars who is said to come to destroy the world.

Deadly Snow asks if it is a literal dragon, but Tsering says the current scholars are split on whether the tales are meant to be literal or metaphorical. Because they have been around so long, it is difficult to keep track of which of the teachings handed down over the centuries are meant to be literal truths and which ones are metaphors for larger messages.

The young assassin asks if Sa'lid Dra'lah or the Ebony Blade factor into their tales at all. Tsering says he has never heard of them.

He also asks about the zombie plague Kandia was escaping when she came there. Tsering explains they were unable to help Kandia with a cure for that.

Tsering offers some knowledge of the plague, that it was started by a necromancer named Bragosani the Damned. Deadly Snow asks if they know anything about Bragosani's whereabouts. The monk says they know he came through a portal from another dimension several hundred years ago and used dark arts to transform himself into a Mummy Immortalus, an undead creature of great power. As to his current whereabouts, they do not know.

Deadly Snow also asks about the Great Mulroney. Tsering says he has never heard the name and asks if he should have. The girl offers Mulroney himself would say they should have but he is probably not worth their time to know about.

Tsering can offer no help with Lorna or Ma'leese either. He has heard of the Thieves of Harr-Ki and their worship of the false god, the warrior bird Harr-Ki. Tsering is clearly not fond of the thieves, saying they lavish themselves in finery, lavishing in monuments to recreation instead of helping the poor.

After finishing up her conversation with the monk, Tsering wishes her well as she meets up with Viktor and they begin heading back to Beartooth to meet back up with Mulroney and Tickles.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

jgants

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« Reply #141 on: January 28, 2018, 01:20:00 PM »
*** Session 15 - Session Notes ***

For once I've finished typing the game notes right away, so last session's notes and this session's are almost back to back. Friday's session started a little late (Panchero's was apparently taking a long time to make a burrito bowl to go for Deadly Snow) and ended late. And when we did start, it took at least a half hour or more to get characters leveled up (as Mulroney and Deadly Snow took forever to pick a new spell / new skills). Then there was the part where Deadly Snow took at least another half hour to solve the riddle (though to be fair, we got sidetracked when there was a debate over whether it was Randy Quaid or Dennis Quaid as Doc Holiday in the Wyatt Earp movie - IMDB solved it for us, it was Dennis).

Still, a very fun session overall with a mix of light combat, problem-solving, and character interaction. The Tickles player was out of town and missed it, but the Viktor player (formerly the Nardig player) was able to participate far better over Skype as he finally bought a new fucking webcam and is no longer using the best technology 2001 had to offer. Oddly, all of the video and audio connection issues seemed to just disappear when he upgraded that.

This session also finally knocked out another of the open plot threads I started way back in the beginning. It also introduces the new Viktor character, which I suggested to the Nardig player as a concept and he liked it. I think having a vampire in the group will prove fun but challenging for them.

Random notes about the session:
* I started the session after they already got all the money, recovered, and identified the magical items. It seemed easiest to handle all that "off-screen".

* Mulroney buying a horse took a while because Palladium is all over the place with where you can find that information (and things like the price of a saddle don't appear to be anywhere). It also revealed how inconsistent Palladium is with pricing - a simple mule is 1000 gold.

* I'm not really a fan that Mulroney chose to name the horse after a false name used in Cthulhubusters Crescent City. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of his obsession with the Cthulhubusters campaigns.

* The giant list of open plot threads was once again given to the PCs ahead of the session (I even organized it for them this time). They are having an increasingly hard time keeping it all straight (which is sort of the point).

* I'm still not 100% sure if Viktor was purposely being cagey with the other PCs by not mentioning Bragosani, or if he just forgot was he was supposed to be doing. In the past, he's had a hard time with forgetting plot points from even a few minutes prior.

* The off-hand reference to "Nasser" may or may not be an homage to a real-life person with a similar name who may or may not deserve a similar fate. Nobody knows for sure.

* Mulroney did joke Tickles was out sick, but I added the part about it being mange.

* I've been waiting 15 sessions for Mulroney to finally use his changeling powers.

* Mulroney and I had far too much fun suggesting Deadly Snow needed to be smeared with horse manure in order for her disguise to be effective.

* I have no idea where Mulroney came up with the name Stan. I added his father's name as "Randy" in the write-up to make it a South Park reference.

* The ceiling trap door (and especially the path across the waterway they didn't take) were heavily inspired by the Dragon's Lair video game.

* My favorite part was when Mulroney suddenly figures out they can't possibly get the horse up there. We all had a large laugh, as the group rapidly losing all forms of newly-acquired conveyances when I'm the GM has been a running gag for over a decade (and across different groups of players). Mulroney kept the horse just to spite the trend (and me).

* The rickety bridge over a chasm is an oldie but goodie I use all the time. Because of the way they solved it, the planned bat encounter was little more than a minor inconvenience.

* The riddle about the ratskin tribes was adapted from an old riddle. The version I remembered hearing first was in some old Randy Quaid movie (hence, the debate about Wyatt Earp because that was suggested by Deadly Snow as one of his movies it may have came from).

* The Priests of Pah-Ma and Brandt, along with the suggestion of the Star Stalker, are adapted from the stories in the Avengers comics in the 1970's written by Steve Engleheart about Mantis and her father Libra.

* The actual monks and the Zalawad are adapted from the novel The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.

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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #142 on: March 10, 2018, 12:44:53 PM »
So, it's been over a month since I last posted about this campaign so I'm going to wrap it up with this post.

Back on 2/10, we had the 16th session. And because the Mulroney player decided to throw a tantrum again, it killed the session and the gaming group.

It started off pretty straight-forward, the Mulroney player wanted to sell his horse back because he figured out it would be a liability more often than a help. Of course, the merchant only offered him half what he paid. So then he tried to use a spell on the guy. I pointed out his using magic would be obvious, so then he has Shoes cast it. The NPC makes the save, but then he wants to cast it again. What I should have done is just start using a rule that you can't cast the same spell against someone who already saved in the same day or whatever. Instead, I hinted to the Deadly Snow player that his character would, at best, be confused by what was going on (as he's made it clear in the past his character doesn't like it when the Mulroney character goes out of his way to commit petty theft or pointless murder). So, he plays that his character (the little girl) assumes the horse trader had a stroke or something and takes him to the priest for healing, which removes the confusion spell. When the merchant wants to know what is going on, Tickles and Deadly Snow have a humorous time trying to get out of the situation without fingering Mulroney.

Everyone else thought it was funny and added tension to the story. Unfortunately, the Mulroney player sees this as another example of the personal vendetta he now believes the Deadly Snow player has against him. He sits quiet and stews for the next 15 mins or so while they get supplies before heading out of town, but then launches into a diatribe about how the Deadly Snow player isn't playing his character's Aberrant alignment correctly (while at the same time insisting his own dysfunctional behavior in the group is justified because his character is Miscreant).

This is EXACTLY why I fucking hate alignment and when I use my own D&D ruleset I always get rid of it. 99.9% of the time, the only thing alignment does is give people permission to act like an ass at the gaming table or whine that another person isn't doing it right. What I should have done is houseruled alignment out of the game to begin with. Alignment is, without any doubt, my least favorite part of RPGs. I fucking, fucking, fucking hate it and believe it is one of the stupidest inventions Gary every made.

So the next hour is spent with the two arguing. I don't blame the Mulroney player 100%, but he's easily 90% of the problem in this case and was clearly overreacting (which he grudgingly admitted later, but feels he was entitled to do so because it was the "straw that broke the camel's back").

In the end, we tried ret-conning the whole part where Deadly Snow took the merchant to the priest to have never happened and continued on with the session for another hour or so, until they were nearly killed by some kelpies attempting to reach the Thieves of Harr-Ki, but it wasn't any fun. And by the time the next session was to come, I just sent an email saying I was ending the campaign for personal reasons.

Me, the Mulroney player, and the Deadly Snow player are all still pissed about the incident weeks later. The Tickles player just said the situation was crazy and doesn't want the drama. God only knows what our poor Skype player thought of all this.

Discussions have been attempted, but have gone nowhere. The Mulroney player is a close friend, but he's fucking stubborn as hell and gets really paranoid, so any attempts to discuss the situation won't work because he claims any problem we bring up with how he was playing the game is just an excuse and some deep-seated personal problem he insists the Deadly Snow player has is the real root of the issue. This enrages the Deadly Snow player, who also considers the Mulroney player a close friend but feels betrayed that a close friend won't take him at his word that he just finds his character obnoxious and there is no deeper personal issue.

For my part, I'm not sure I want to game with the Mulroney player any more. Over time, he made a lot of concerning comments that suggested he only wants to play violent, wacky criminal characters; which I wouldn't have such a problem with (though that does limit our gaming options), but then makes a huge issue when the actions have consequences (either daring me to kill him off, or insisting the other players have their characters ignore his behavior).

In the end, I feel he is playing in the way John Wick warns about in some of his books (he talks extensively about it in the 1st edition of 7th Sea) - where one player is trying to put his fun ahead of the groups. That just won't work. Especially when I have enough fucking nonsense to deal with my management job (which pays a hell of a lot better than running a RPG group).

Anyhow, I've talked with the Deadly Snow player about some other friends of his interested in gaming and I'm prepping some one-shots of games I want to try out - the second edition of 7th Sea, the classic RuneQuest, Numenera, Coriolis, and D&D 5e / Adventures in Middle Earth (that last one is more of the player's expressed interest; for my part I've never been a big Tolkein fan).
Now Prepping: One-shot adventures for Coriolis, RuneQuest (classic), Numenera, 7th Sea 2nd edition, and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

Recently Ended: Palladium Fantasy - Warlords of the Wastelands: A fantasy campaign beginning in the Baalgor Wastelands, where characters emerge from the oppressive kingdom of the giants. Read about it here.