Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Thousand Thrones: Children Say the Damndest Things

Yesterday I managed to get in another game of Warhammer FRPG second edition in the Thousand Thrones campaign. It started off with potential, as at long last, thanks to the Liquor Bar in Niles, I was finally able to find my Ty Ku coconut flavor in the full sized bottle. Lots of places have it in the small bottles but they want like $10 a bottle and here I was able to get the full sized one for under $20.

The bad news? I forgot it at home! Noooo!

The good news? Another one of my amigos brought Pacifico and between three of us, we managed to quickly down his twelve pack. As awesome as it would have been had there been more than a twelve pack, I hesitate to think of the effects of such a consumption of a large amount of alochol of my poor liver.

Good news is now I can save the Ty Ku for next week!

But in role playing...

Everyone managed to make it this week. We've recently been cursed with car problems. One of my friends suffered them last game and I have also suffered them to the tune of having to break down after twelve years and destroy any free funds I may have had for oh, the next six years by buying a new car. Ugh. It's a Kia Soul 2014 in the standard silver. It's so damn new it doesn't have a CD player. Somehow they decided that was an optional thing.

But anyway...

One of the things I've enjoyed about the Thousand Thrones, or well, Warhammer FRPG, is that there is a LOT more investigation going on. There is a often in the prewritten adventurers, a huge chunk of characters, scenarios, and well, an openness that allows the players to interact with the world far more than most standard Dungeons and Dragons adventures that rely on the funnel of a Dungeon to get everyone the XP and magic items that are required to advance.

I mention magic items, because while we've going on game five or six or something now, we've got exactly zero items. Which isn't bad in terms of power raise or anything, but I'm just pointing out that despite the swing of combat and how dangerous it can be, we're still managing to destroy enemies even when burning up fate points thanks to things like Ulric's furty. In D&D it'd be assumed, by the book of course, not individual campaigns, that by level X, you HAVE to have A, B, and C or the module and other prewritten adventure assumptions are just completely off the rail.

We did a lot of investigation that was a little hampered by our skill set. The player who is our 'faceman' if you will, is a little new, wild and reckless who tends to speak a bit before he realizes that he's wandered wall and off the beaten path, whereas I like to think I'm good at these sort of things, my character, a troll slayer, has a completely different path for gathering information.

So I went about it like I figured a dwarf would. Looking at the armaments of the camp without asking too many questions. Started to count the different uniforms, weapons, and armor and see where they broke up into different groups. Started to listen to the various back and forth between those who were merely camp followers there to make a living, those who were true believers, and those who weren't necessarily believers that the child was Sigmar reborn, but was something special and they wanted to be there to be a part of it.

After a few hours of hunting down information and writing down a ton of names and numbers, the opportunity for action is thrust upon us. Because of the open nature of the game, there may be moments of paralysis while the players seek information and debate on what happens next. In such cases, it's good to have an outside even happen that can provide some opportunity for the players to immediately interact with the setting.

In this case it was a zombie invasion with ghoul lieutenants and a vampire leader who sought to capture the child. We started off fighting the ghouls and zombies and moved onto the big guy.

Being a troll slayer, I figure, well, might as well fight the ghouls. They are the greater threat and therefore, the greater opportunity for death!

Remember how I said that combat is swingy? Well, not only did I never get hit and suffered no damage in the two fights that occurred that night, I only hit like three times out of like twelve attacks, and at some instances, my chance to hit was as high as 70% thanks to outnumbering the enemy. I was whiffing swing after swing and the three times I did hit, one of them  was for terrible damage. There was no Ulric's fury that night I tell you.

The bad news? Well, we've known for a while now that the "kid" we're following, his 'Crusade' if you will, is one that is influenced by his chaotic ability to manipulate those closest to him into loving him. This isn't a total domination effect because those effected still do what they want to, save that if the child asks them to do something, they have to, unless it's something completely out of character. Turns out that one of the group, during the vampie fight, decided to move closer to the child and BAM! Under the spell thanks to a failed will power roll.

And then when the rest of us decided, "Yeah, we're heading back to the encampament" we were ambushed by his zealots and brought into his presence. The halfling and I made our will power rolls but everyone else is pretty much at the call of the Child now. It'll be interesting to see what happens next game.

Personally I was tempted to try to plant my great axe into the kid's skull but with three members of the party under the kid's control, and let's be honest, my character wouldn't know if it was everyone or not, I decided to play it cool. It wasn't like we were being asked to actually DO anything yet. My character was figuring that being killed by his own comrades would not be a glorious death!

Next week I'll be curious to see where we head out to. We'll be on chapter four of I think... nine chapters +Tom Wright mentioned?

Anyway, it was a good game. For those who aren't necessarily playing Dungeons and Dragons but other games that might require a little more player interaction, do you find that there is ever a time when the group comes to a stop because they're not sure what the next move is?

For those playing in fantasy campaigns that aren't necessarily high magic, or common magic, like D&D, do you find that you miss magic items and the easy gathering of wealth? I know my character in the Warhammer setting is still scrounging some coin together to try and replaced the lost leather vest (destroyed by a critical) but I'm okay without having it, as after all, that will assist me in a glorious death!