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

jgants

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*** Campaign Introduction - Quick Background ***

This thread will be for my latest campaign, a Palladium Fantasy campaign I'm calling "Warlords of the Wastelands".

After my last campaign (Boot Hill) fizzled out, I was a bit discouraged and decided to take a short break. I've also had a lot going on personally and professionally lately. But, I dislike not gaming for too long and had some thoughts on a fantasy campaign for a while.

Our gaming group decided to make a couple of changes. First, we're not inviting one of the players back. As mentioned in the Boot Hill thread, we like the player on a personal level well enough, but his gaming style is just too disruptive for our group because it was too different and always seemed to break any momentum we had going in the games. We were never quite sure what his motive for playing was - half the time he'd avoid danger, the other half he'd be reckless. He seemed to want to play every RPG as a dungeon crawl (which made for rather annoying disruptions for our heavily character/story-driven Boot Hill and Cthulhubusters campaigns), but in the D&D Al-Qadim campaign he went out of his way to avoid going into any dungeons to avoid danger. Mostly, he seemed to thrive on being the group contrarian - never wanting to lead the group but always complaining about whatever direction the group tried to go and generally making an effort to always be doing something different than the rest of the group while avoiding obvious hooks to reconnect him with the group (but then oddly clumsily inserting himself back in when he wanted). He always seemed bored - he never engaged with any story (we aren't even sure he realized there were plots/stories going on in the games), he never seemed to enjoy combat or adventure, and always seemed to be searching for treasure (he'd try to loot bodies in non-fantasy games as if they were D&D goblins or whatever) but other times talked about how pointless the fake money in the games was. I fully admit - I didn't get it at all, but neither did anyone else in the group; we had several side conversations trying to figure out why he seemed to enjoy coming to the games despite not seeming to like anything we did (and then there was the whole "dragging his daughter along" thing, where he claimed she insisted on coming but then she'd sit around bored and spend the whole time on her iPhone or whatever). Anyhow, we all feel a little bad about dropping him by not inviting him back for the new game, but it's probably for the best and I think he suspects anyway.

The other decision was not to invite our Skype player back right away. We really like the guy and he adds a lot of humor to the sessions. At the same time, he's not the best at paying attention to what is going on and needs a little extra effort to keep included (partly because he's gaming over Skype via his phone, and partly because his attention wanders even when playing in person). We'll have him back, but we want to get the new campaign up and running a little first so the other players are comfortable with everything and we have the pacing good first.

The idea for "Warlords of the Wastelands" had been forming for a bit. It had a few different inspirations - it was part Necromunda (from the Warhammer 40K universe), part Dark Sun (from AD&D 2nd edition), part Warhammer Fantasy Battles (1st edition), and part Baalgor Wastelands (from Palladium Fantasy 2nd edition). I wanted a campaign where the PCs start off as low-level heroes or anti-heroes in a city ruled by evil oppression. Knowing my group, I was fairly sure they'd go the anti-hero route.

I gave them three options for a ruleset - we could either use my personal version of D&D (my preferred mix of original D&D, basic D&D, and AD&D rules and setting elements), Magic World (the basic-roleplaying fantasy rules; they were big fans of basic role-playing rules in Cthulhubusters), or Palladium Fantasy. In the end, they went with Palladium Fantasy to try something different - none of them have every played any Palladium rules before (the other two members of the group mentioned above were in my Rifts campaign but the current three were not); Magic World was a close second choice. Ironically, D&D was the rules I originally planned on using and had spent a lot of time prepping for that (which I am still converting).
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 11:55:20 AM »
*** Campaign Introduction - Rules / Campaign Info ***

So, now that the quick background is out of the way, here's the info on the rules. I went back and forth. Originally, my intent was to use the 1st edition Palladium Fantasy rules because on the whole, I like those rules a little better (more streamlined, and I liked to larger variety in hand to hand skills).

However, as I began typing up my quick notes to help the players learn the rules and started working up some of my initial adventure ideas / notes, I quickly came to the conclusion there was just too much I liked about the new material added in the later setting books (not to mention all the material I could use from the other Palladium lines). Also, the PCs have been a bit fragile the last few games and with a slightly smaller group I thought the overall slightly more powerful 2nd edition character rules might be better. So, in the end, I changed my mind and went with the 2nd edition rules.

Unlike my other campaigns, I'm trying not to create my own version of the rules this time. What I have done is come up with a master list of OCCs, skills, magic, psionics, etc. so players knew what supplement material is available when we did character creation. I do have a "player's guide" for the players that walks them through character creation and the basic combat rules, but it is more or less out of the book Palladium (given the differences between Palladium books, there is an old-school D&D-like feel where you are never quite sure you are interpreting the rules correctly so I needed something to make it easier for the players to learn).

For my part, I've started converting my adventure scenario notes over to Palladium rules. The downside of Palladium is that NPCs, monsters, etc. require much longer to write up than my D&D versions and I feel are a bit harder to ensure I have them "correct" (D&D has so many things statted up there is a lot more to compare with).

On the plus side, Palladium (in my opinion) encourages a more character-driven story and less dungeon-crawly approach to gaming, so my plots are shaping up to be more interesting. I also love having the whole Megaverse to draw on (though I am introducing some additional creatures based more on those other games I mentioned as inspiration).

One of my thoughts is how much material from past campaigns may find itself in this new campaign. It's a given I'll want to include some plot and character elements from my (relatively famous) Rifts campaign of a decade ago. I'm also planning to re-use some concepts that got started in the D&D 4e Shadows Over Fallcrest campaign as well as the AD&D Al-Qadim campaign.

I'm still at the early planning stages where I come up with discrete story plot concepts and start fleshing them out. Later on I'll start to weave together the spider web of tangled plots that I've become known for.

One thing I decided early on - the last few campaigns I've purposely tried to limit myself to make the plots less convoluted. This time, I'm not going to do that. I enjoy making Byzantine plots that are far too complicated for the PCs to fully follow, full of conspiracies, counter conspiracies, and dark cults. If the campaign develops towards my more classic style (as in Rifts and D&D 4e), so be it.

Similarly, the players have decided they want to return to full anti-hero mode. After spending the last few campaigns trying (and failing) to be more heroic, they are ready to go back to being selfish and evil bastards.

The campaign itself will begin in the Baalgor Wastelands. In my version, the PCs will be escaped slaves living in a small community of tunnels of the old Dwarven kingdoms of the mountains, underneath the city of giants, Gurthasi Tor. Here is the setting info I provided the players so far:

*** Campaign Setting Info ***
The campaign begins in the eastern mountain region of the Baalgor Wastelands, in the city of the giants known as Gurthasi Tor.

The lowest levels of the city are known as “the mound”, where the slave races live. These areas are primitive rock caves and resemble termite mounds.

Below the mound is a network of old dwarven kingdom tunnels known as the Undermound. Many escaped slaves and would-be adventurers travel here to make their fame and fortune. Rumors of the lost treasures of the dwarven lords still persist and dare anyone to brave the dangers to claim them.

Various smaller settlements exist in the Undermound. The existence of them are not entirely unknown by the giants, who by and large consider them too insignificant of a problem to deal with as long as they do not pose any threat.

High profile escaped slaves are hunted down by the slavers. The Undermound communities largely exist by the grace of the slavers, who demand heavy bribes and cooperation in exchange for letting the communities survive.

A set of laws has been put in place to ensure the communities do not pose a threat.
* No gods but the giants themselves may be worshipped.
* No use of magic is allowed.
* No mutants or those with mental powers are allowed.
* The community must cooperate with the slavers at all times.
* No community may be larger than 500 people.
* Trade of goods between communities is authorized solely to members of the trade guild (known as the guilders).
* An attack on a slaver, guilder, or other authorized servant of the giants is strictly prohibited.

Those settlements who fail to abide by these laws are swiftly destroyed by the orc soldiers of the giants.

The settlement where the campaign begins is known as Beartooth. Around 400 people total live in the town and surrounding underground region.

The unofficial magistrate of Beartooth is a retired human bard named Caleshomo. Caleshomo is said to have come to the town after journeying for some time with a band of warriors known for their heavy metal armament of plate mail armor and two-handed swords, known as the Sons of Disaster. He now owns the Inn of the Red Bull, the only inn in town.

Beartooth is home to many men at arms, typically mercenary fighters and thieves, along with the odd assassin. Law and order is kept under control by a dwarf named Taybury and his small force of town guard.

The local thieves’ guild is controlled by a goblin named Materich. Materich gets a small percentage from most of the businesses in town, including the Inn of the Red Bull. He has a small gang of a dozen or so members made up of goblins, hob-goblins, and orcs.

Magic is strictly outlawed by the giants, and to keep the peace with the slavers, most of the Undermound communities (including Beartooth) outlaw it as well. Men of magic in the Undermound have formed a secret guild known as the Scarlet Alliance.

Like most settlements in the Undermound, open religion is not practiced in Beartooth as the Giants want to be worshipped as gods by the smaller races. There is a hidden shrine to the Gods of Light, notably a local deity named Karreng, a god of gold, smiths, and minstrels. The shrine is maintained by the village priestess, Fleria.

The local trade guild representative is a kobold named Jongores. Jongores is a crafty man known for inspiring competition among the craft guild gangs, whether friendly or otherwise, to get the best production he can from them. Like most guilders, his underground caravan uses a small force of armed guards.

The usual slaver who comes through town is an ogre named Thrinton. The official legal representative of the giants for this area is a troll named Lucina. She rarely ventures into Beartooth unless there is dangerous criminal activity (leaving escaped slaves and minor crimes for Thrinton and Taybury to deal with).

*** Notes on Setting Info ***
Gurthasi Tor comes from the Baalgor Wastelands book by Bill Coffin, but the mound/undermound thing, and the guilders, is more or less taken conceptually from Warhammer 40K's Necromunda and the magic and religion ban (along with the secret magic guild alliance) is more of a Dark Sun inspired concept. I came up with the laws to try and explain how/why the giants would allow such settlements to exist.

The note about mutants is another change I'm making to the setting - in my version of the Baalgor Wastelands, the great cataclysm that turned the area into a desert also caused a lot of magical mutations.  I'll be using Necromunda, Dark Sun, and the X-Men comics as inspiration for that, along with some of the rules from Palladium's supers game, Heroes Unlimited.

Beartooth is named after the hard rock band, as are the Sons of Disaster, and the god Karreng is a reference to the heavy metal magazine.
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 12:10:46 PM »
*** Campaign Introduction - The Characters ***

A little over a week ago, I met with the three players to have a character creation session. If we would have had time, we would have also started the campaign, but it took pretty much the whole time to create characters as the players really liked to look through all the options before selecting things. We'll hopefully begin the campaign in earnest this coming Friday.

The first player is the guy who played Father Mulroney in the original Cthulhubusters game (he was also Mitka and Tiberius Enchilada in the D&D 4e Shadows Over Fallcrest campaign, Wreck Deckard in the Traveller 2300 AD campaign, Boo Le Doux and Frank Callahan in the Cthulhubusters Crescent City campaign, and Squantum in the Boot Hill Quebrada Cruz campaign). Taking inspiration from his own favorite past campaign, he created "The Great Mulroney", a miscreant changeling witch who is masquerading as a prestidigitator. He is the servant of a Deevil prince, and his greater familiar is named "Shoes". He envisions the character as some sort of reincarnation of Father Mulroney who believes he is human with a magical ability to shape-change. Of the three characters, he's actually the weakest at the moment.

The second player is the guy who started playing with us last campaign as Hennessy in Boot Hill. He went with an anarchist coyle thief named Tickles. In addition to being a thief, he has minor psionic powers.

The third player is the guy who played One-Eyed Earl in Boot Hill (he was also Silas Ballard and Sa'lid Dra'lah in Shadows Over Fallcrest, Chrysostomos in D&D Bronze Age, Shoes/Gem/Yulian in Cthulhubusters, Jean Danielou/Schlomo in Traveller, Gra'bir in Al-Qadim, and Eberhardt in Crescent City). He decided to go with a 10-year old human girl who is also secretly an aberrant assassin, named The Deadly Snow (I believe he said this comes from an anime inspiration). Because Tickles also had hand-to-hand assassin we decided she was an orphan girl raised and trained by Tickles. She is a complete bad-ass - a major psionic with tons of physical skills that make her extremely deadly in combat; easily the coolest starting character anyone in the group has had.
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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Session 01: Beartooth
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 01:12:34 PM »
*** Session 01 - Cast of Characters ***

Tickles: An anarchist coyle thief. He raised the orphan Yukiko from a baby to work as a hard killer.

The Great Mulroney: A changeling witch who believes he is human and masquerades as a prestidigitator.

Yukiko Amagi (aka The Deadly Snow): An aberrant young human girl trained as a secret assassin. She considers Tickles to be her father.
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 01:14:15 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 1 (of 11) ***

The Great Mulroney was an evil man, or more accurately an evil changeling (though he does not fully understand his heritage and believes himself to be a man). After enduring the hardships of the Undermound for a brief time, he found a way to sell his soul to a devil prince named Glebecar. In return for his devotion, Glebecar granted Mulroney a gift of magic power along with a devil familiar, a cat Mulroney calls “Shoes”.

This night, Mulroney was attending a meeting with his fellow witches in the Undermound who also worship Glebecar. They were there to induct Thomasin, a young woman who recently murdered her entire family to show her devotion to the dark lord. As part of the ceremony, she was granted her own familiar, a goat she calls “Black Phillip”.

As the ceremony ends, Mulroney passes by the other members of the coven. One is a standoffish woman named Alice with her familiar, a cat named “Vinegar Tom”. Mulroney does not bother to attempt to speak to her as she has made it clear in the past she wants nothing to do with any men.

There is also an old, half-demented woman named Janet. She attends with her daughter, a woman named Jenny who is a mutant with deformed hands and feet. As the old woman is senile, and the daughter too repulsive, Mulroney avoids them as well.

Finally, there is the pirate named Captain Spaulding and his nephew, Otis “Driftwood”. Mulroney has spoken with them a few times in the past; Spaulding has a small pirate ship out in Ruggsville Cove, near the larger pirate den of Scarbone’s Hollow. When they are inland, Spaulding and Otis pose as travelling performers so they can abduct, defile, and murder young maidens (and not always in that order, as they are death fetishists).

Spaulding moves over to Mulroney, clearly wanting to talk about something. Mulroney decides to oblige him. After exchanging greetings and their mutual desire to have their way with young Thomasin, Spaulding asks him if he knows any assassins in the area.

Mulroney says he’s heard of a new one in town but hasn’t met her yet. He offers he could look into it. Spaulding mentions there is some trouble that needs dealt with, saying it is “clown business”. Mulroney recalls that as part of Spaulding’s cover, he is a member in good standing of the Guild of Kleintro, the clown guild (much in the same way that Mulroney himself is a member of the stage magician’s guild as part of his cover as a prestidigitator).

Spaulding explains there is a group clowning without being members of the guild, which the guild doesn’t like. Mulroney says it doesn’t sound like a very humorous situation. Spaulding says the whole thing is becoming a real pain in the ass, and they can’t have a bunch of renegade clowns running around out there.

Mulroney asks what to do about it. Spaulding says that’s why he wanted an assassin, so someone could take care of it. Mulroney suggests he could find a local one, for a small finder’s fee. Mulroney, not familiar with the going rate for assassinations, quotes Spaulding a price of 100 gold for the job and 10% of it for himself.

Spaulding tells him to go ahead and make contact. He tells Mulroney that his other nephew, Tiny, can meet him at the usual place in a couple of days’ time (Mulroney knows the other nephew is a 7’6 tall deformed, mute mutant who isn’t a member of the coven but is loyal to his family). He agrees to the meet then decides to head back towards Beartooth.

Once they are alone, Shoes speaks to him. Shoes tells him their dark lord has requested another meeting for him. Mulroney finds the creature’s voice disconcerting as always and agrees to follow him to the meeting that Glebecar has commanded him to attend.

They walk a short distance to a nearby cave. Inside is a devilkin, who Mulroney greets but as a servant. The devilkin responds in kind, giving his name as Enilefil. Mulroney insists on calling him “Little Effil” to mock him.

After attempting to correct Mulroney, Enilefil continues to discuss the wine shop in Beartooth, the Drunken Cyclops. Mulroney offers he is familiar with it. Enilefil explains the owner, the man named Mathias, is secretly a wizard and head of the local Scarlet Alliance. Furthermore, his shop clerk, the young woman named Lorna, is his secret apprentice.

Mulroney isn’t sure what use this information is for. Enilefil tells him that Glebecar wants him to know that something has happened to Lorna; he won’t tell Mulroney what has happened as he shouldn’t appear to know too much. The devilkin says the important thing is that whatever has happened will cause something to happen in a few days’ time and that Mulroney should take the opportunity to insert himself into the situation when it does.

The witch is having a hard time following, but Enilefil insists he will understand better once the thing comes up. Enilefil explains as part of his involvement, he may come across a spirit. The devilkin suggests if that happens, he should try and get as much information as he can out of the entity without revealing his true intentions.

Confused, Mulroney asks what kind of information he should be asking about but says it won’t be hard to conceal his intentions as he can’t follow what the devil is trying to tell him and what he’s being told is almost meaningless. Enilefil says it is better for him not to know so that events can unfold naturally and he won’t need to fake not knowing.

The two banter back and forth for a minute but the devilkin ultimately tells him the important thing is just to listen. Mulroney tries asking for a tribute, but Enilefil suggests he should be the one offering the tribute. He then tells the witch he had better follow the dark lord’s instructions, as it would not do to make him angry.

Telling Mulroney he will follow up with him later if needed, Enilefil retreats back into the shadows of the cave and disappears. Mulroney decides to continue back to Beartooth, planning to stop at the Inn of the Red Bull to grab a drink and find out more information on that assassin he heard about.
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 01:15:28 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 2 (of 11) ***

Over at the Thieves’ Guild, Tickles is attending a guild meeting with his fellow thieves. Materich is complaining about falling revenue for the guild based on competition from a couple of nearby competing guilds.

The first is a new group of goblins and hob-goblins operating out of the old Temple of Rodemus. That group has been causing a lot of trouble lately with raids on travelers and caravans and may need to be dealt with soon.

The second is a larger, more powerful group known only as the Thieves of Harr-Ki who have been extorting local businesses. According to Materich, he wants to avoid open conflict at the moment with this group, as they are said to have a large fortress guarded by demons and double as a cult to some strange avian humanoid warrior deity known as Harr-Ki.

Materich does say he has heard there is some strange artifact the Thieves of Harr-Ki are scared of. He doesn’t know what the object is, but encourages his gang to keep their ears open for anything they might hear about that.

Finally, Materich mentions there is a crimelord named Khruul in the area, from the nearby community of Saigo, who he has granted safe passage in the area. Materich tells the thieves to stay out of the way of the orc and his men, saying Khruul has a legendary temper and is said to have killed his own sister last year in some family dispute.

Tickles takes a moment to think on the ruins of Rodemus. It is a day or so journey away, so it would not be easy to case out ahead of time. He knows it was originally established as a temple to the warrior goddess Rurga by a man calling himself Lord Rodem many years ago. It was abandoned long ago, after Lord Rodem was killed in battle and his family and servants mysteriously disappeared; some say they fell to a dark curse of some kind. Since then, the ruins of Rodemus have been avoided by most humanoids, despite persistent rumors that the lost treasure of the Rodem family still lies there waiting to be discovered. Most recently, a force of goblins and hob-goblins have established their base of operations there.

Deciding to get some food, Tickles heads over to the Inn of the Red Bull.
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 01:16:00 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 3 (of 11) ***

The Deadly Snow arrives at her secret assassin’s roost to find she already has a carrier pigeon waiting with a message. Taking the tiny scroll off the bird’s leg, she sees it is from an unknown sender inviting her to meet them in the alley behind the nearby trading post to discuss a job.

The meeting is set to occur soon, so Deadly Snow heads out to see what this is all about. Rather than head in directly, she decides to sneak there in the shadows and observe who is there.

Climbing up on the roof of one of the buildings, she carefully observes there is an orc standing in the alley. However, she also spots a couple of other orcs hiding nearby the alley, armed with clubs.

Deadly Snow quietly sneaks over above one of the hidden orcs and drops down. She immediately attacks him with her cat of nine tails, whipping him like a little bitch. She tries for a second hit, but the orc parries that attack with her club. He strikes her back with his club, but she rolls with the impact and minimizes the damage.

The other orc emerges from his hidden vantage point to assist while the orc standing in the alley just watches. Deadly Snow drops her whip and draws her daggers as both orcs miss with their clubs. She slashes at the orc in front of her, cutting him down quickly. He collapses to one knee.

The remaining orc slams her with another strike of his club. This time she takes the full brunt of the hit.

She lashes back out with her daggers, the orc parries one with his club but is cut by the other. In his haste to counterattack, he misses.

They repeat the dance again, with Deadly Snow slashing the orc with another dagger strike. After the orc fails to hit, she slashes him with both blades, one striking deeply.

As the second orc collapses, bleeding, the orc standing in the alley steps over and tells Deadly Snow, “That is enough.”

The orc laughs, telling the other two they are pathetic for being beat by a little girl. He greets the assassin by name, saying she has proved her mettle. He gives his name as Thahn.

Thahn explains he works for a local merchant who has been robbed recently by a mysterious man using a strange style of unarmed combat. He tells her he wants the man captured alive and brought to him to deal with. Thahn says they know only that the man wears a hood and left behind a strange sign. He shows her a symbol containing two lines – one above the other; the higher line has a bump in the middle.

The orc says he knows it will take her some time to find this man. Thahn doesn’t want to give out any more information about the robbery, saying the merchant wishes to keep it a private matter. He offers her pay in the amount of 2,000 gold to bring the man back to them.

Deadly Snow, never saying a word, holds out her hand and shakes on the deal. Thahn gives her a location to send him a note when she finds the mysterious man, then he and his companions head on their way.

The young assassin decides to head over to the Inn of the Red Bull to look for Tickles after changing into the clothes she wears in her normal Yukiko identity.
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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Actual Play - Palladium Fantasy: Warlords of the Wastelands
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 01:16:46 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 4 (of 11) ***

Over at the Inn of the Red Bull, the Great Mulroney spots a coyle thief enter. He knows the man is the one rumored to have a human ward he’s raised as an assassin.

Mulroney heads over and greets the man, calling him “Mister Fox”. Tickles asks what he can do for him. Mulroney offers to buy him a drink of dragon ale, which he agrees to.

Ordering a drink for each of them, Mulroney is surprised when the thief takes both for himself. He then tries to use what he supposes is a clever code, saying “I hear the snow has fallen.”

Tickles, unimpressed, simply says “has it now?” Mulroney claims it has, and could be a “lucrative falling”. Tickles asks how lucrative.

Mulroney explains he’ll pay 70 gold to take care of a couple of clowns. Tickles notes that doesn’t sound too risky. Mulroney claims it is essentially “free money” and all he has to do is rough up a couple of clowns. Tickles asks for clarification, and Mulroney explains it would be the kind of roughing-up that they wouldn’t walk away from.

Tickles is skeptical, feeling an assassin is overkill for such a light job. Mulroney says he wants to pay for quality, but Tickles notes he’ll need to quadruple his price then as he’s underestimating the cost of what he’s trying to purchase.

Mulroney says his employer wants to see some results first, noting there will always be more clowns to take care of later. He promises Tickles it could be a steady track of work for him should things work out.

Tickles says he’ll put Mulroney in contact with the assassin he knows for a small “finder’s fee” of 10 gold. He says he’ll have her meet Mulroney at a neutral location. The witch says the neutral location can be the table in the back of the room.

After ordering Tickles a couple more drinks and tipping the bartender, Mulroney heads to the back corner.
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jgants

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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 01:17:24 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 5 (of 11) ***

Not long after, a little human girl enters the inn and skips over to the thief. She greets him by name. He pushes her a drink, greeting her as Yukiko. She reminds him she doesn’t drink those kind of drinks.

Yukiko happily tells Tickles how she made a new friend today. He asks what kind of friend. She says it is one she can play with. Tickles asks if the friend is still alive, she indicates he is for now.

Tickles then says he may have found her another new friend as well. She asks what the job is. He says it involves roughing up a couple of clowns, but admits it doesn’t pay much but doesn’t sound too difficult.

Yukiko asks what kind of clowns they are. Tickles says they are the scary kind, unlicensed clowns. She notes all kinds of clowns are scary, reminding him about the one they hired to perform at her birthday a couple of years ago.

She asks how much it pays. He tells her seventy, but says there is a promise of more. Yukiko chuckles a bit, telling Tickles this is why she doesn’t let him handle the money.

Tickles says she doesn’t actually have to do it, he’s just delivering the message. But Yukiko tells him he knows she’ll do it for him, looking up at him with daughterly love.

She asks about the location of the clowns, but he says he doesn’t have any of the details yet; he just arranged a meet with the person doing the hiring.

Yukiko wants to change back into her Deadly Snow outfit before meeting the contact. Tickles points him out in the back of the room, saying she should sneak up on the man to impress him.

She gives Tickles a peck on the cheek, then loudly says she’ll see him at home and skips out of the inn.
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jgants

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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 01:18:28 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 6 (of 11) ***

A short while later, Deadly Snow shows back up at the inn in her full outfit. She sneaks in the back door and tries to sneak up on Mulroney, but he catches sight of her.

Mulroney greets her and mocks her by saying her stealthy talents are most impressive and he can tell his money will be put to good use. He asks her to take a seat. She does so, silently.

Since she doesn’t speak, Mulroney does all the talking. He tells her he expects her employer has already given her the basics, saying there are a couple of clowns he needs her to rough up.

Deadly Snow pulls out a map of the area and indicates for Mulroney to point to where the clowns are. He says he doesn’t know where they are yet, he’s just trying to get a commitment for his employer. He says he can get her paid up front, but if she doesn’t get the job done they’ll be sending more than clowns after her.

The girl holds out her hand, and they shake on the deal. Mulroney says he understands she is one of the best. She nods, subtly. He tells her he hopes her skills at killing are better than her skills at sneaking up on an old man. Deadly Snow decides to let the barb slide.

Mulroney offers to let the girl pet his cat. She abstains. He tells the girl to meet him back here the next night. She nods, and walks out.

Tickles saunters over to Mulroney as the man tries to leave the inn. He asks for his finder’s fee, but Mulroney says he doesn’t have the fee as he needs to get the money from his employer first. Tickles insists Mulroney pay him out of his own pocket first, but the man pleads poverty.

The thief considers attacking the man, but thinks better of it. He settles for angrily flipping over a nearby table and walking out.

As he goes to leave, a local citizen runs in to tell everyone about the big news – the goblins from the ruins of Rodemus have attacked again. Using his keen hearing to hear from out in the street, Tickles hears the man explain a half dozen pilgrims were captured by the goblins this time.

Murmurs of anger and fear spread throughout the inn. Caleshomo begs the crowd to quiet. He then offers a reward of 50 gold per citizen saved from the goblins, or 500 total if all six are brought back alive.
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jgants

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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 01:19:49 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 7 (of 11) ***

The Great Mulroney decides to make the trek out to the remote shack where Captain Spaulding is staying. He finds the captain’s nephew, Otis, outside. Otis is dismayed to see Mulroney and asks what he wants now.

Mulroney tells him he’s there to see Spaulding. Otis says he’s inside with one of his whores. According to Otis he’s been in there five minutes so he should be done soon.

Waiting around, Mulroney offers a game of cards but Otis refuses, saying he’s not playing cards with a crooked old bastard like him. Mulroney tells Otis he’s smarter than he looks.

Mulroney asks how business is. Otis asks what he cares, and tells him to sit tight. He points out Mulroney was supposed to wait to deliver his message to Tiny, but Mulroney says he got his confirmation quicker than he thought, saying he’s efficient like that.

Around this time, Spaulding emerges from the shack in his undergarments, yelling about all the racket going on out there. Mulroney asks if he has any clothes to put on. Spaulding responds all he has are the clothes Mulroney’s mother left there last night.

After exchanging barbs, Mulroney tells him he got confirmation on an assassin for him but he needs the money up front. After complaining for a minute, Spaulding tells Otis to give him the money.

Along with the fee of 100 gold, Spaulding points out to Mulroney where the clowns have been active lately on a map – showing them near the area of Rikki.

Mulroney asks about distinguishing characteristics, noting there are a lot of clowns around and he wouldn’t want to target the wrong ones. Spaulding says they are strange clowns. When Mulroney tries to say all clowns are strange, Spaulding clarifies they are elves, which is odd given there are usually no elves at all in the wastelands.

Sensing this could mean the clowns are tied to something larger and this is less of a run-of-the-mill job than he originally thought, Mulroney points out he didn’t mention that before. He tells Spaulding the price will likely go up.

Spaulding doesn’t want to pay more money out of his own pocket, so he says he’ll need to go back to the guild to see if they’ll pony up more money. Mulroney wants 20 gold now for his finder’s fee. Spaulding says he’ll give him the money once he delivers the dead clowns, saying he can’t have renegade clowns out there clowning around.

Mulroney argues with Spaulding he didn’t say he wanted them dead before and the cost would be higher. He accuses Spaulding of trying to get a free ride and warning him to remember who he’s dealing with.

Spaulding, in turn, reminds Mulroney who he’s dealing with. When Mulroney points out he’s dealing with a clown, Spaulding menacingly asks him, “Don’t you like clowns? Don’t we make you laugh? Aren’t we fucking funny?”

Mulroney tells him his offer is funny and the assassin won’t take kindly to it, saying he doesn’t want the assassin after him. Spaulding says he should be more worried about his clan being after him reminding him the family aren’t just clowns (as they are also pirates and witches). He threatens to have Otis carve him up and turn him into “fish boy”.

In the end, Spaulding has Otis throw 10 gold on the ground for Mulroney’s finder’s fee. He tells him to get the hell out of there and he’ll let him know if the guild comes up with more money for the clowns.

Mulroney takes the money, makes a bad pun regarding his cat, then heads back to Beartooth.
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jgants

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 01:20:43 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 8 (of 11) ***

Back in Beartooth, the Great Mulroney makes his way to the Drunken Cyclops. When he goes inside, he is greeted by the wine shop owner, Mathias.

Mathias greets Mulroney, knowing him as the local stage magician. Mulroney asks him how business is. Mathias describes it as “steady”.

Fishing around for possibilities, Mulroney says he heard something about a “wine embargo”. Mathias has no idea what he is talking about, though says they have lost some goods from raids by those goblins from Rodemus.

At the mention of the goblins, Mulroney points out the recent news about the pilgrims being kidnapped. Mathias says he heard that as well, saying it is nasty business. They discuss the reward, but Mulroney says he is not the hero type and Mathias says he should probably keep to the shop.

Mathias does, however, mention the stories of the lost treasures of the Rodem family and speculates they may still be out at Rodemus. Mulroney asks what kind of treasure it might be. Mathias speculates there is probably a large monetary treasure and possibly some magical artifacts related to the goddess Rurga, whom the temple was built for.

Mulroney shows a little interest in the treasure, but repeats the hero business isn’t for him. He then pivots the conversation to ask about Mathias’ clerk, Lorna.

Mathias says she hasn’t been around for a few days, but assumes she’ll turn up soon enough. Mulroney tells him to let him know if there is anything he can do to help.

Confused, as Mulroney appears to be leaving without buying anything, Mathias asks if Lorna is related to why he stopped by. Mulroney gives the excuse he wanted to see if Mathias heard about the wine embargo but says apparently he got bad information.

They then exchange goodbyes and Mulroney leaves. Outside, the witch wonders how Lorna’s disappearance relates to what Enilefil was hinting at about something coming up in a few days that he’ll need to involve himself in. He decides to head back to the Inn of the Red Bull to wait for the “fox man” (Tickles) to return.
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jgants

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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 01:22:07 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 9 (of 11) ***

Back at his home, Tickles tells Yukiko he has a better job for them than “greasing a couple of clowns”. She asks what it is. He explains some citizens have been kidnapped by the goblins out at Rodemus and there is a reward offered for their safe return.

Tickles feels it is a chance for Deadly Snow to kill some goblins and them to make a lot of money. Yukiko asks about the number of goblins, but Tickles isn’t sure. She tells him she still has some research to do on her other job, but after that would be free to head out to Rodemus.

Thinking it over, Tickles says they may need to recruit a little help. Yukiko says splitting money isn’t really her style, but agrees to help. Tickles also notes they may also recover the lost treasure of the Rodem family in the process.

He asks her what she is researching. She says it is a symbol she is looking for more information on. Leaving her to her task, Tickles decides to head back to the Inn of the Red Bull to get that dinner he never quite got around to eating last time he was there as well as see if there is anyone to recruit to help.

As soon as he steps inside the door of the inn, Mulroney spots him and rushes over to greet him. Tickles is less than thrilled the man is still at the inn. He warms up a bit when Mulroney tells him he has his finder’s fee.

Mulroney invites him over to his table and lays five gold out on the table. Tickles reminds him that wasn’t the agreed amount. Mulroney says the job still needs to be done but that his employer has had some “scope change” that will require higher fees so they are paying half of the finder’s fee now and half later.

The witch insists the money is a sign of respect for Tickles and his protégé. Tickles isn’t buying it.

Mulroney then tells him he has a more profitable venture in mind for the meantime while they wait for the new fee to be decided by his employer. While he’s trying to talk Tickles into it, the thief tries to pick the man’s pockets but fails miserably.

Noticing the attempt, Mulroney sardonically asks if Tickles is also a member of the clown’s guild saying his attempt was pretty funny. Tickles claims he was confused as he’s had too many drinks.

Letting the matter drop, Mulroney turns attention back to the citizens kidnapped by the goblins. He tells Tickles they could get 250 gold if they bring them back alive, though “corrects” himself when Tickles points out he also heard about the reward and it was 500.

Continuing, Mulroney also explains the location could hold other items of value. Tickles asks what the proposition is. Mulroney says the two of them, along with Deadly Snow, could easily handle this and make out with all that money.

Tickles asks how many goblins there are. Mulroney claims with great confidence that there are only eight to ten goblins there.

When Tickles asks what Mulroney will do for his part of the money, since he’s just an entertainer. Mulroney counters that Tickles and Deadly Snow are entertainers themselves, and mocks their attempts at stealth and pickpocketing against him. Tickles explains it as Mulroney seeing only 20% of their usual skill as he’s only offered 20% of their usual fees.

Mulroney goes on to say his illusionary magic tricks can be quite powerful, though insists they are only tricks. Tickles isn’t so sure, asking if they are strictly legal. Mulroney says of course they are, as he is an honest man. Tickles figures if Mulroney’s magical abilities are as legal as the man is honest, they will be in good shape.

As Tickles finally eats his dinner, they discuss leaving for Rodemus later that evening before anyone else heads out looking for the treasure. Tickles tells Mulroney to wait there while he goes to get Deadly Snow. He even pays for a meal for the man.

When Tickles leaves, Mulroney has Shoes follow him. The cat keeps to the shadows, avoiding Tickles’ gaze.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2017, 01:23:08 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 10 (of 11) ***

Yukiko takes the symbol to the local sage, a man named Dietrich. She tells the old man she believes it is some kind of family crest, saying it was the only thing her real parents left her.

Dietrich, however, identifies it as an astrological symbol. Hauling out a copy of Cormath’s charts, he shows the match to Yukiko and explains it represents the constellation of the “azure dragon”, representing the east and spring season.

The old man rambles on about astrology for several minutes, talking about the alignments of planets and stars. Yukiko asks if he can tell her fortune from the stars, but Dietrich says he is only a scholar with knowledge of the theory and concepts of astrology – he lacks the ability to perform the science himself.

Yukiko asks if he knows any astrologists in the area, but the old man does not. Nor has Dietrich seen the symbol around in the area. He speculates perhaps her family was born under the sign or something. She pays him a small fee and heads back home.

She arrives around the same time as Tickles does coming back from the inn. He tells her he believes he found them a partner for their journey to Rodemus. She asks about the clowns, but he says it is on hold because they weren’t paying enough so she shouldn’t kill any clowns right now. She agrees.

He asks if she learned anything about her other friend. Yukiko explains she just learned some astrology stuff, but nothing useful yet. Tickles suggests if that isn’t heading anywhere they should focus on the Rodemus job first.

Explaining there are only eight to ten goblins, it should be easy for the three of them. The girl asks who the third man is. Tickles explains it is the same man who wanted to hire her to murder clowns.

She says that man sounds like a liability. Tickles suggests the man has certain powers, though warns they shouldn’t trust him. He also points out if they do the job and the man doesn’t pull his own weight, they can always take care of him when they get back.

Given her armor was damaged in the fight with the orcs earlier, Deadly Snow heads over to the armorer to trade in her armor for a new set.

They then meet up with Mulroney at the Inn of the Red Bull. Before they head out, Deadly Snow has Mulroney help bandage up her bruises from earlier and they stop over at the general store for a lantern and some torches as only Tickles can see in the dark once they get outside of town.
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jgants

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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2017, 01:24:04 PM »
*** Session 01 - Scene 11 (of 11) ***

Using his navigation skills, the Great Mulroney leads the group while carrying his lantern. He locates a path that will take them straight to the ruins.

About twelve hours into their journey, Shoes alerts Mulroney telepathically that the familiar has spotted something up ahead. The voice in his head says, “orcs” and identifies there are five of them.

Since the orcs have obviously already seen the lantern from far away, and appear to be heading their direction, Mulroney mentally commands Shoes to cast a fear spell on the creatures.

The devil familiar does so. The leader of the orcs along with two of his men run off in sheer terror – believing the light ahead must be a ghost. His second in command, wearing heavy chain mail armor and carrying a battle axe, and one of the other orcs (in leather and wielding a club) rush in to attack.

Tickles moves off to the side to keep the focus of the orcs on Mulroney as he prepares his grappling hook. Deadly Snow draws her daggers and throws them at the lighter-armored orc, hitting him twice. The cuts appear to cause minor wounds on the warrior but don’t slow him down too much.

The Great Mulroney casts an energy bolt, blasting the wounded orc. The blast, however, only scores a glancing blow against the orc.

For his part, Shoes also casts an energy bolt from behind the orcs after they run past him. The orc is badly injured by this point.

Tickles swings his grappling hook out to try and entangle the battle axe of the larger orc, but misses. The orc turns his attention towards the thief, advancing on him.

Deadly Snow, morning star at the ready, swings out at the other orc. The blow hits square in the orc’s armor, barely scraping against it.

The orc ignores the ineffectual young girl and swings at Mulroney, but Deadly Snow’s attack causes him to miss. Mulroney has Shoes cast another energy bolt into the creature’s back, killing it. The witch himself draws his long sword to deal with the other orcs.

Tickles tries another attempt to grapple the orc’s axe, but he shakes it off. He responds by hacking into the thief’s armor with his axe. Deadly Snow moves over to assist, as does Mulroney.

Making an odd tactical choice, Deadly Snow drops her morning star and decides to try and grapple the orc. He pushes her off.

Mulroney hacks at the orc with his sword, but he parries the attack with his axe. Tickles drops his grappling hook and draws his war hammer.

Unfortunately, before Tickles gets a chance to parry the attack, the orc hits him with a brutal strike with his axe. Cutting through his armor and down to the bone in his shoulder, Tickles drops to the ground in pain as his blood drips out.

Deadly Snow responds by trying to tackle the orc. Once again, he shoves her out of the way and she falls to the ground as well.

The Great Mulroney finds himself standing alone next to the large, unwounded orc with his battle axe looming over him. He has Shoes cast a fire bolt at the orc, injuring the orc. Mulroney himself swings his sword, hitting the orc around his thick armor and causing further injury.

The orc swings his axe at Mulroney. The witch manages to parry the first attack, but fails to block the second. It hits the man outside of his armor, lacerating his arm.

Pressing the attack, the orc cuts into Mulroney’s leg with his blade. Mulroney makes an ineffectual counter-attack with his sword which is parried, but Shoes does hit the creature with an energy bolt.

From the ground, Deadly Snow attempts to make a telekinetic kick at the orc’s leg. The orc blocks the strike.

Believing Deadly Snow’s tactic is a good idea, Tickles decides to also try and kick at the orc from the ground. The coyle hits the orc in the leg with a glancing blow.

Ignoring the weaker members of the group lying on the ground, he strikes at Mulroney again. This time, the witch manages to parry the attack with his sword. Mulroney tries to counter with his sword, but that is blocked in turn as well.

Deadly Snow attempts another kick from the ground, but the orc blocks it again. Tickles hits again with another weak kick.

Mulroney gets upset that his companions refuse to get up and assist him as the orc hacks Mulroney’s armor into bits. The next attack digs in deep, badly wounding the witch.

With a sweeping kick from the ground, Deadly Snow puts her foot through the orc’s chest with telekinetic fury, killing him.

With the orcs dead but everyone wounded and fatigued, they limp their way back towards Beartooth to recuperate before continuing on to the ruins of Rodemus…
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