Autor Thema: [Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!  (Gelesen 2892 mal)

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Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« am: 07. Januar 2010, 18:39:55 »
Ich beginne dieses Wochenende mit einer Burning Wheel-Runde, und würde analog zu Talwyn einfach meine Erlebnisse hier reinkopieren, damit vielleicht andere Lust auf dieses Rollenspiel bekommen. Es ist allerdings englischsprachiger Inhalt. Beginnen werde ich mit dem "World Burning", bei dem die Spieler mit mir gemeinsam festgelegt haben, wie die Welt aussieht, in der wir spielen. Eine kleine Ausarbeitung (größtenteils deutsch) findet man dann hier. Da sieht man auch, wie viel vor Beginn der Kampagne ausgearbeitet wurde. Außer den dortigen Inhalten habe ich nur noch eine Relationship Map mit den wichtigsten NSC und Gruppierungen sowie deren Verbindung untereinander, drei ausgearbeitete NSC sowie Ideen für den Beginn der ersten Sitzung (den "Kicker").

Im zweiten Beitrag dann die SC.

What's the Big Picture? What's going on in this setting that makes it ripe for adventure. What's changing, evolving, declining?
A hundred years ago, the cities of Penacoria were conquered by the Uchemi people (themselves fleeing their homelands, Sherek Chem). It was a short war: not only were the Uchemi better armed, they had the Gods on their side, and many Penacorians changed sides as they changed faith. When the great harbor city of Ca Marac sold its allegiance, the war was lost.

However, the Uchemi soon showed why, despite their prowess, they had fled their own lands. They were prone to in-fighting and betrayals, and Penacoria split into several large city states, each controlled by a noble Uchemi family and those Penacorian nobles willing to swear fealty to the new religion. Tensions have been high ever since.

Now, the ruler of Ca Marac was slain by his own bastard on the battlefield, and with no true heir, the bastard intends to sit the throne of Ca Marac. Young families, and weak ones, have thrown their lot in with him, while the families that rule the city now are already planning the bastard's demise, and other city states see an opportunity for conquest.

The players are among those who rode with the bastard, hoping to make their fortune or weaken the Uchemi's hold on Ca Marac, in any case, bring change to the city.

What's the world's culture? What are the cultural analogs? Analogs can be taken from historical earth, current events or fantasy works.
The Uchemi are a little like turks and take their family name from a heroic ancestor; the Penacorians have their own, second-class nobility, and a clannish culture where families, not guilds, are responsible for specific trades.

Priests are exclusively female; joining the clergy is the best way for a woman to accomplish something outside of motherhood, though female warriors or even sorcerers are not unheard of. Uchemi are nicknamed "Sandsnakes", and Penacorians "claybloods".

What's the conflict in which the characters are involved? What are the sides? What's wrong?
The conflict is about the future of Ca Marac between "tradition" and change. Tradition here describes the Uchemi tradition, not the Penacorians. The sides are traditional, progressive and reactionary (Penacorians trying to win their freedom back).

What physical place does this conflict take place in? What ecology, environment, place?
Penacoria is a lot like Tuscany. Sherek Chem, the ancestral homeland, is a desert realm (think Cappadocia, not Egypt)

What's the name of the most important place in this setting? Not the capital or any dumb shit like that, but THE PLACE where all the action goes down?
Ca Marac, the big trade harbor. The name means "deep pocket", and it is said it not only refers to the bay the city sits in, but also to the tendency of its people to sell everything, including their own souls. Ca Marac is the biggest harbor, and the only city where the fast three-masted galleons are built, the only ships capable of safely sailing beyond the horizon.

What's the name of a faraway place that folks talk about, dream about or mutter under their breath about?
For the Uchemi, that's Sherek Chem, the ancestral homeland. They dream of one day going back, but chances are the land has been ravaged and destroyed by the hordes that drove the Uchemi to Penacoria. For Penacorians, they dream of Floracion, a land beyond the sea where the streets are laid with gold and the men are tall and handsome (and possibly elfish).

Who are the antagonists? Who is opposing the goals of the characters?
The king's uncle and his retainers are trying to hold on to the throne and to tradition – the bastard is the son of a Penacorian woman; the church is trying to usurp power for itself; spies and delegates from other city states try to make Ca Marac ripe for conquest.

The three specific antagonists will probably be Zeiza, a racist Penacorian witch and mother to one of the players, who advocates a total revolution; Afonso ben Berik, Uchemmi noble, important tradesman and uncle to another player, who wants the bastard dead; and the yet-to-be-named leader of the Sisters of the Burning Ember, more or less the Inquisition.

Imagine all of the characters are standing a room/ruin/field with the antagonists or their minions. What do the antagonists want from that meeting? What do the characters want from that meeting?
The antagonists are striving for a racially pure (either way) nobility and rulership, a return to the old ways. The characters want to rule in the antagonist's stead and open relations between the two people.

Alternately, imagine the characters standing at the scene of some great disaster or calamity clearly caused by one of the antagonists. What's the disaster? How did it happen? What are the characters going to do about it right now?
The disaster is the murder of the bastard and his advisors, killed by violating the truce of hospitality. The characters would probably try to inflame the common people and start an uprising to revenge his death.

What type of magic exists in this world?
There is Faith and Sorcery. The Uchemi clergy is female; they pray to the One True Warrior Goddess. The Penacorians have their own cultish prayers to ancestors and spirits, but these have no effect. Faith only affects believers.
Sorcery is rare, but accepted. Sorcerers can be heroes or villains, but the gift of sorcery is either the Goddess' Touch or an ancient art, depending on who you ask. The Uchemi have a small, but renowned cadre of sorcerers specialized in hunting down other sorcerers (The Sisters of the Burning Ember). Sorcery can have both idioms, speech and gestures.
It is poosible that Corruption, Blood Magic, or both exist.

What character stocks are in play in this world? Which are restricted and why?
Humans, possibly elves in Floracion. Players can only choose Humans. There are monsters out there in the wild, and in the dark alleys of the cities (and its underbelly), but it is not a world full of strange, magical beasts.

What cultural traits apply to the characters of this game world? Pick three character traits for each culture.
(each character starts with these for free)
Uchemi: predatory, god-fearing, Born to be better
Maraci: mercenary, down to earth, blood is thicker than water (clannish)

What's your Resources cycle? 1 month, seasonal, 6 months, annual? What's the game world's currency? Who collects the taxes? What do people do for work? What's the major economy?
The ressources cycle is 3 months (seasonal). There is a currency of bronze and steel, and very rarely gold. The taxes are collected by the richest Penacorian family and transferred to Uchemi coffers minus a generous fee. Maraci (the population of Ca Marac) are craftsmen and traders, mostly, with foods and other simple goods being brought in from other cities.

Material world: What weapons and armor are available? Are some weapons and armor restricted to certain cultures or character stocks? What property is available? Are resources and gear otherwise restricted?
All weapons and armor are available. Martial weaponry (swords, superior weapons, polearms, crossbows, etc) are only available to soldiers and noblemen, as is armor of chainmail and better.
« Letzte Änderung: 07. Januar 2010, 18:44:52 von Tyrion the Imp »
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Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #1 am: 07. Januar 2010, 18:42:34 »
Characters

Ierod of Clan Ehirod
Concept egalitarian Duelist / Courtier

Stats: Wi B6, Pe B4, Po B4, Fo B4, Ag B4, Sp B4, Multi. x3.5
Attributes: Hea B6, Ste B6, Hes 4, Ref B4, Res B5, Cir B4,MW B10,

Age- 29
Lifepaths- Born Noble, Lead to Noble Court, Courtier, Lead to Noble, Lord, Lead to Professional Soldier, Captain

Skills- Bow B2, Command B3, Court Gossip-Wise B2, Dance B2, Estate Management B2, Etiquette B3, Falconry B2, Field Dressing B2, Haggling B3, Hunting B2, Inconspicuous B3, Knives B2, Noble-Wise B2, Observation B2, Oratory B4, Persuasion B4, Read B3, Riding B3, Sandsnake-wise B2, Seduction B3, Strategy B2, Sword B2, Ugly Truth B2, Write B3

Gear- Finery, Weapons, Plated Leather +3D Armor, Clothes, Shoes
Affiliations- 1D Macari Defenders, a group of nobles and upper citizens, 1D Family Horse Trading
Reputations- 1D An able Captain in the war, 1D Sharp Tongue
Relationships- Hrinna, maybe Wife to the new king, a Cousin (Significant, other family), Zeiza, Mother and Witch, Hater of the Sandsnake (Significant, immediate family, hateful/rival), Ochem ben Mesreni, a Thief and Fence (Minor)
Property- Manor (40rps), Secret Small Cottage (3rps)

BELIEFS
1) Hrinna is destined to be the new kings wife. Only the bastard will accept that, thus I have to support him.
2) In order to achieve my goals, I need the support of the common people. Simos can give me that despite his religious misdirections.
3) The end justifies the means. I will make sandsnakes and claybloods equal people. First one of the high priests has to be convinced.

INSTINCTS
1) Always hide a dagger in your clothes.
2) If someone casts a spell, run!
3) Always tip the servants.

Traits- Mark of Privilege (+1D Nobility Aff., +1 Ob masquerading), Rapier Wit (+2D in DoW at intercept), Your Lordship, Savvy (C-O Circles), Scheming (+1D BoA)
Cultural Traits- mercenary, down to earth, blood is thicker than water

--------------------------

Simos of the extinguished Clan Galeoth
Concept/Bio: A well-read Smuggler and brand-new Follower of Thareos, the lost Penacorian God
Lifepaths: City Born, Student, Clerk, Lead to Outcast, Smuggler
Age : 25

Stats: Wi: B4, Pe: B6, Po: B3, Fo: B3, Ag: B6, Sp: B4, Speed Mult.: x3.5
Attributes: Hea: B4 Ref: B5 MW: B9 Ste: B4 Hes: 6 Res: 1 Cir: 2

Skills: City-Wise B2, Climbing B4, Geometry Training, History B3, Inconspicuous B4, Obscure History B2, Observation B3, Philosophy B2, Read B3, Rule of Law B2, Sleight of Hand B4, Stealthy B2, Streetwise B3, Symbology B2, Write B2

Affiliations: 1D Thieves's Guild
Relationships: Malik, an Uchemi thief (Significant, romantic love, forbidden)
Gear: Shoes, Clothes, Climbing Tools, Ink / Quills, Parchment
Property: small cottage

BELIEFS:
1) The bastard will unite all people of Penacoria, claybloods and sandvipers. As Prophecised. I must play also a major role in the prophecy and find out what it is.
2) I must uncover the truth about the Old Faith. First I must find information about Thareos itself.
3) The inquisition is after sorcerers, too. I will turn Tiagon to the dark secrets, so that we can fight the inquisition together.

INSTINCTS
1) When on a job, always stick to crowds and shadows.
2) Always keep an eye out for religious artefacts
3) Always leave Malik with a kiss

Traits: in progress. Paranoid, Cool-headed, +3pts
Cultural Traits- mercenary, down to earth, blood is thicker than water


(Note: This character first wanted to be a Dreamer, but now he rather wants to earn the trait in play instead of starting out with it. Therefore, a few trait points are left over)
--------------


Tiagon ben Berik
Concept/Bio: Son of a small Sandviper noble house and sorcerer, who is out to further the fortunes of his family and thus his own.

Lifepaths: Born Noble, Lord, Lead to City Dweller, Neophyte Sorcerer, Sorcerer
Age : 28

Stats: Wi: B6, Pe: B4, Po: B4, Fo: B4, Ag: B4, Sp: B4, Speed Mult.: x3.5
Attributes: Ref: B4, Ste: B7, Hes: 4, Hea: B5, MW: B10, Circles: B3, Resources: B3

Skills:Aura Reading B2, Calligraphy B2, City Wise B2, Court Wise B2, Dance B2, Enchanting B3, Estate Management B3, Falconry B2, Hunting B2, Knives B2, Oratory B3, Read B3, Research B2, Sing B3, Sorcery B3, Street Wise B2, Symbology B3, Write B3

Affiliations:1D Sons of Ca Marac, a loose association of young Sanviper nobles, 1D Morning Greeters, a small band of likeminded people, exploring the arcane realm
Reputations: 1D Bon Vivant
Relationships: Afonso ben Berik, uncle and head of the House (Significant, other family), Rovena, younger sister (Minor, immediate family)
Gear: Clothes, Shoes, Finery, Writing Kit, Traveling Gear, Quills, Scrolls, Parchment
Property: Town House of the ben Berik Family, Tavern with hide out (ownership secret)

Spells: Mage Light, Magesense

BELIEFS
1. What's good for my family is good for the city. I will bring my family to power, no matter what.
2. I enjoy my newfound art and want to further my knowledge of it. Zeiza knows many spells. I will use her son to gain her trust.
3. House ben Choled has offended the honor of our house. I will take my revenge by setting fire to some of their goods, thus straining their finances.

INSTINCTS
1) Always flirt with the most beautiful woman present
2) In a crowd, always check for troublemakers
3) If someone offends my honor, I hit him.

Traits: Mark of Privilege, Extremely Respectful of Ones Betters, Your Lordship, Gifted
Cultural Traits – predatory, god-fearing, Born to be better (elitist)
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Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #2 am: 07. Januar 2010, 18:52:14 »
Hier noch mal der Einfachheit die BITs der Charaktere, wie ich sie mir aufgeschrieben habe (auf deutsch!):

Lord Ierod von den Ehirod
Beliefs   
Hrinna wird die neue Königin. Nur der Bastard wird das akzeptieren, also muss ich ihn auf den Thron bekommen.
Um meine Ziele zu erreichen, brauche ich die Unterstützung des gemeinen Volks. Simos kann mir die beschaffen, trotz seiner religiösen Fehleinschätzungen.
Ich werde die Sandschlangen und Tonblüter vereinen, koste es, was es wolle. Zuerst muss ich eine Hohepriesterin auf meine Seite bringen.
Instincts
Immer einen Dolch in der Kleidung versteckt haben
Wenn jemand zaubert – weglaufen!
Immer den Bediensteten ein Trinkgeld zustecken
NSC
Hrinna – Kusine
Zeiza – Nutter / Hexe, hasserfüllt
Ochem ben Mesreni – Dieb und Hehler (a.d. Krieg)
Notes
1D Macari-Wächter, 1D Pferdehändler; 1D Anführer, 1D Spitze Zunge


Lord Tiagon ben Berik
Beliefs
Was für meine Familie gut ist, ist gut für die Stadt. Ich werde die ben Beriks zur Macht bringen, komme was wolle.
Ich genieße meine neue Kunst und will mehr lernen. Zeiza kennt viele Zauber. Ich werde Ierod benutzen, um ihr Vertrauen zu gewinnen.
Das Haus ben Choled hat unsere Ehre beschmutzt. Ich werde mich an ihnen rächen, indem ich ihre Ware den Flammen übergebe und ihre Finanzen treffe.

Instincts
Immer mit der schönsten Frau am Orte flirten
In einer Menge nach Unruhestiftern Ausschau halten
Wenn jemand meine Ehre beleidigt, kriegt er eine gewatscht.

NSC
Afonso ben Berik – Onkel
Rovena ben Berik – jüngere Schwester

Notes
1D Morgengrüßer, 1D Söhne Ca Maracs
geheimer Unterschlupf (Taverne)
Extremely Respectful of One‘s Betters


Simos (von den Galeoth)
Beliefs
Vitor ben Breno wird das Reich und alle Völker vereinen, wie es prophezeit wurde. Ich muss eine eigene Aufgabe in der Prophezeiung haben, und ich muss sie finden.
Ich muss die Wahrheit über den alten Glauben aufdecken. Zuerst brauche ich Informationen über Thareos selbst.
Die Schwestern der Sonnenglut verfolgen auch Hexer. Ich muss Tiagon dazu bringen, die dunkle Kunst zu verfolgen, und mir damit einen Verbündeten schaffen.

Instincts
Wenn ich „arbeite“, bleibe ich in den Schatten oder der Menge
Immer nach religiösen Artefakten Ausschau halten
Immer Malik zum Abschied küssen

NSC   
Malik – verbotene Liebe (homosexuell / Uchemi)

Notes   
1D Diebesgilde
Meister Thoros
Paranoid
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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #3 am: 07. Januar 2010, 18:54:01 »
Anmerkung: Der Einfachheit halber hatte ich darauf bestanden, dass die Spieler drei Beliefs nach folgendem Muster anfertigen:

1) Ein langfristiger Belief, eine Überzeugung, generelle Handlungsanweisung, die nicht sofort erfüllt werden kann
2) ein konkreter, kurzfristiger Belief, der schnell erfüllt werden kann, ein Ziel
3) Ein Belief, der irgendwie einen anderen SC einbezieht
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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #4 am: 08. Januar 2010, 17:53:21 »
Hier eine Kurfassung und in Auszügen die drei wichtigsten geplanten Gegenspieler der SC. Ich habe sie voll ausgearbeitet, aber hier sind nur die wichtigsten Details minus ein paar Überraschungen. Ich hoffe, man kann sehen, wo sie für Probleme sorgen werden:

Rafaela bint Chodek
Born Noble, Religious Acolyte, Lead to Religious, Zealous Convert, Priest, Inquisitor, Inquisitor

Beliefs
Chumash hat Simos an den Hof gebracht, möge IHR Licht seine Geheimnisse enthüllen. Ich werde ihn im Auge behalten.

Ich bin das Geschöpf Chumashs, mit dem SIE die Neun Königreiche von der Ketzerei reinigt. Durch mich rettet SIE das Reich.

Instincts
Bevor ich einen Ketzer töte, bete ich mit ihm um Vergebung

Traits
Infallible Religious Logic, Suspicious, Merciless, Cold Blooded, Thick Skinned, Righteous, Dreadful

Reputation
2D Eisschlange

-----

Zeiza von den Ehirod
Born Noble, Lead to City Dweller, Neophyte Sorcerer, Sorcerer, Lead to Noble Court, Court Sorcerer, Lead to College of Magic, Master Sorcerer, Councillor, Headmaster

Beliefs:
Die Sandschlangen haben uns unser Geburtsrecht genommen. Sie müssen alle miteinander ausgerottet werden

Mein Sohn ist ein idealistischer Träumer. Ich muss ihm die Augen öffnen.

Der Bastard kommt wie gerufen. Ich werde ihn benutzen, um die Uchemi zu stürzen.

Instincts
Immer über den Wein beschweren

Niemals eine Gelegenheit auslassen, einem Uchemi zu widersprechen

------

Baron Afonso ben Benek
Born Noble, Page, Student, Lord, Baron, Lead to Noble Court, Bailiff

Beliefs
Patricio ben Breno wird meine Ehre wieder herstellen. Dafür hat er sich meine Gefolgschaft verdient

Tiagon hat mit seiner Allianz einen schweren Fehler begangen. Ich muss ihn von diesem Fehler überzeugen.

Noblesse Oblige: Herrschaft durch jene, die nicht ans herrschen gewöhnt sind, ist unmöglich. Der Bastard kann und darf nicht König werden.

Instincts

Bei Widerspruch auf Rangfolge pochen („Ich bin hier der Baron“)

Immer Soldaten mit Namen anreden

Wenn überrascht, Schwert ziehen

Reputation
2D Soldatenfreund
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Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #5 am: 11. Januar 2010, 21:58:16 »
Constituting Session: Too little, too light?

First off, while I enjoyed the session a lot, I think I made a mistake in planning it. Early on, I had decided on starting on the day the bastard –*Vitor ben Breno – came into town after killing his father. And then, when the beliefs came together, and even a third player joined the group, I didn't think about maybe starting somewhere different. So the PCs all had beliefs about another PC, but they hadn't even really "met" in-game. In effect, this session was more about setting the stage, getting to know the major players and the things at stake, not about putting it on the line. All of which means I feel like I sort of failed Burning Wheel; it's supposed to ignite from minute one, isn't it? Much easier with the pre-arranged con games like The Gift... and now, for the recap.

The game begins just a few miles outside of Ca Marac, where Vitor ben Breno, kinslayer () is preparing to march into town as its new king. Vitor calls for five of his more trusted followers, among them the Lords Ierod of the Ehirod and*Tiagon ben Benek, and addresses them. "Today, the war is over, and a new kind of fight begins, the courtly fight. I am not one to make big speeches, and I loathe the weasels at court –*but I need someone to speak for me. One of you. Which one will it be?"

Naturally, all of the five minor nobles want to become speaker for the (possible) new king -*except perhaps one, who rather backs his friend's bid. Ierod has the idea of splitting the group so that instead of three, he would only have one serious contender. "Since Ca Marac is ruled by two different people, my liege, it would be smart to have two speakers, one being Penacorian and one Uchemi. So, with me as a Penacorian speaker, you would need one more." The other Penacorian noble in the tent, Herod of the Kallias, disagrees: "My liege, Ierod is well known for being a peacemaker between the two people, and I have contacts with the more traditional houses. Choose me as your Penacorian representative!"

We have a simple dice-off between Ierod – Persuasion B4 + Noble-Wise + Etiquette, I believe –*and Herod –*just Persuasion B4 –, with the winner becoming the speaker. Herod gets 3 successes, and Ierod just one. Vitor agrees to the proposal, but instead of promoting Ierod, Herod wins the post –*and let me just say that I did not notice the similar names until now, because I pulled Herod's name out of a list. On the other hand, Tiagon manages to become speaker despite having no skill in etiquette and not being much of a speaker, partly because his opponent tries to convince the bastard with Rule of Law and nearly puts the poor guy to sleep with his argument.

However, Ierod is recognized as perhaps the most capable noble in Vitor's retinue, so he gets a special order: make sure the arrival in the city goes smoothly. Ierod takes a horse and, after seeing to his men, leaves for the city.

In Ca Marac, people have manned the walls and are waiting for the big army –*almost 2,000 soldiers alone – to come home. It's a strange atmosphere, with people unsure whether to mourn for the dead king or cheer for the new one. On the castle walls, Simos is watching with his boyfriend, Malik, the two being pressed so closely together that nobody notices them holding hands. Simos, on the other hand, notices that the city gate is closed, and half a dozen guards are standing in front of it, accompanied by a young, puffy noble. At first, Simos thinks it might be a cousin to Patrizio ben Brena, the dead king's uncle and possibly the most powerful noble in the city –*but a failed city-wise test makes the guy out to be a minor son of the ben Quims, not important at all.

A small murmur goes through the crowds as a rider appears on the crest of the last hill before the city, but it turns into a groan of disappointment when the rider remains a single rider – Ierod, naturally. The young ben Quim puffs up his chest as Ierod approaches and lifts a hand in greeting. Several common people on the wall lift their hand in return, a mock salute that goes unpunished. "What's this?", demands Ierod, looking from the city guards to the noble. "Open the gates for Vitor and the corpse of the dead king!"

"Never", says ben Quim. "The bastard will not enter this city. Ca Marac does not open its gates for usurpers." At that, a few historically-minded listeners chuckle. If Ca Marac had not willingly opened its harbor for the invading Uchemi, Penacoria might still be free. Ierod speaks to all the people: "Vitor ben Breno comes, and he brings victory and the body of his father. Open the gates for him, and prepare a parade! Whatever you think of Vitor, you must to what's right!" Ierod uses his Oratory (B4) and FoRKs Etiquette, and he wins the versus test against the young Ben Quim (B4), who relents as the people on the walls start clamoring for a parade.

So Vitor's army gets to enter Ca Marac and ride down the big trade lane to the harbor, then back out of the city where the barracks are. There, the noblemen ride on, on to the high cliff overlooking the harbor, where the palace stands. And more than a few commoners follow him – among them Simos and Malik, of course.

At the palace, guards are trying to keep the commoners out of the large main hall, but so many are pressing on that despite a few getting beaten up, more and more slip through. As Simos is looking for an opening himself, he notices a man slipping past the guards who does not look like a commoner – in fact the dagger he is readying and the cloak he is wearing make him out to be more like an assassin! With Malik creating a short diversion, Simos manages to get past the observant guards and into the hall himself.

In the hall, meanwhile, there is a slight standoff. The major nobles, along with the Council of Seven, is assembled in the hall, standing in front of the throne. Also standing in front of the throne are two Korosian soldiers – hailing from the northern city of Lo Koros and being almost infamous for their honor and prowess – blocking access to the seat. "What's going on?", demands Vitor from his speakers, but neither Herod nor Tiagon have an answer. There is a short moment of quiet while nothing happens.

(Here, I was waiting for whether the PCs would to something, and I guess they were waiting for me to make my move. That's why nobody walked out and said, "This man will not be king". But it's only postponed, I assure you. Still, should have happened then and there.)

Simos breaks the tension a little bit by walking across the divide and approaching his – hated – mother Zeiza, who sits on the council as magistrate of the sorcerous arts. The two exchange the bare minimum of pleasantries. "What does the council think of this, mother?", he asks, and his mother answers, "We do not know yet whether there even is a claim, how can we already have an opinion about it?"

At the same time, Tiagon tries to steer Vitor around the nobles, so that the bastard prince may stand in front of the throne and not in front of the entrance when addressing the nobles. As he does so, the assassin in the crowd draws his dagger and sneaks up on Vitor. Simos notices and waits until the last moment before acting. "Assasssin!", he shouts, trying to push the killer to the floor. I gave Simos's player the choice between making a Conspicuous test –*making Vitor aware of the danger – and a versus Power test – shoving the assassin out of the way, and despite Simos not having Conspicuous, he chose a Beginner's Luck test – and failed. So Simos shouts something, and half the people don't listen while the other half think he's accusing Vitor of being one, and when Simos tries to interfere with the attack, he is too late. The assassin strikes, but his blade is turned away by Vitor's heavy armor, and with Ierod and Tiagon and others standing in shock, Vitor himself quickly subdues the man.

"I want to know who sent him!", cries Vitor, and the crowd parts for the Inquisitor Rafaela bint Chodek, the Ice Snake, who promptly takes the assassin with her for questioning. (Here I should have, really should have started something about an assassin being sent to kill a murderer, but I fucked up. BW is light on preparation, but you really have to think of a lot, I find, especially when you're not totally firm with the rules.) Vitor thanks Simos, and Simos drops on his knee and calls the man "his king". Vitor is amused, and tells Simos to stick around.

"Now, why is the throne guarded?", Vitor demands, and Tiagon's uncle, Afonso ben Benek, answers: "Well, my Lord –*he emphasizes the Lord just as much as Simos emphasized "King" –, first of all, your father died just a short time ago. We are all still mourning. Surely you agree?" For a moment, it doesn't seem like it, but then Vitor recalls a good side to his dead father: "My father Erico once gave me a horse for my birthday. It was a good horse. I shall respect the time of mourning." Such is the eloquence of the bastard prince, and with that and a nod to his trusted advisor Telma bint Santos, he strides from the room.

"It sure looks like there's a claim", says council member Eulalia bint Lucio, the Speaker for the Goddess and High Priestess of Ca Marac. Ierod nods, and he tries to incite Patrizio ben Breno to forget himself –*I forget what Ierod said, but ben Breno was very close to losing his cool and making a stand, if only the Ugly Truth (?) test had been successful. Instead, ben Breno merely smiles and invites the Council to an antechamber to discuss the situation. Ierod asks Eulalia for a private moment, in which he invites her to dinner. She turns the invitation around and has him come to her lodgings in the temple, but otherwise agrees.

Tiagon notices Simos still lingering around, and he asks the man to visit him the following morning, after Tiagon has had the chance to talk to Vitor about how his gratitude will look like. Simos agrees, then rushes home to Malik to tell him what happened.

That evening, Ierod has his meeting with the priestess, where he tries to persuade / seduce her into talking about how the other council members view Vitor's claim. Eulalia, at the same time, wants Ierod to find out the details of Vitor's relationship to the priestess Telma, and she doesn't want to betray the confidence of the council. The versus test is a tie, and we decide to have Ierod check the possible lovebirds out while Eulalia gives him the details on the council. She herself is uncomfortable with the idea of a bastard king, Patrizio is very much against it, and Zeiza seems to be disposed toward the bastard. The rest of the council votes with the majority, or has so far kept their opinions secret – this is due to the fact that I don't know yet who else is on the council. I left that open to be discovered in the course of the game, with Wises or Circles tests.

Ierod comes home to find his mother waiting to berate him once more, as she is wont to do whenever they see each other privately. Simos gives back as good as he gets, though. In between the insults, Zeiza agrees to support the bastard's claim if Ierod finds out who really hired the assassin –*no matter the official story –, and presents his findings in front of the council. Something which would possibly look like Ierod doesn't trust the Inquisitor, but Ierod agrees to it.

At the same time, Tiagon and Simos are called upon by Vitor. Having no idea where Simos is, we talk about Tiagon making a Circles test (the obstacle we figure is 7: +2 for uncommon occupation –*neither clerk nor smuggler is in Tiagon's circles –, +1 for lower station –*Tiagon himself is just a lowly lordling, but no commoner –, and +3 for "now"), but Tiagon declines. Instead, he just heads over to Vitor's lodgings. The bastard has not moved into his own house, and he can not move into the palace, yet, so he has commandeered a small Inn for himself. Tiagon arrives and is scholded for not bringing Simos, but not too much, because mainly "Rafaela wanted to see him." Rafaela bint Chodek is in the room with Vitor (and Telma), and she has discovered that the king's widow, Xoana bint Breno, hired the assassin. Vitor wants her found, and he wants Ierod to find her. Simos, he thinks, could be valuable as well, since the support of the common people might help, and "the only common support Patrizio will allow is when wiping his ass."

Vitor then leaves Rafaela and Tiagon alone, and Rafaela shows her true colors: "Did you plan to murder the king, or was it just an opportunity? I mean, if there's money to steal, your uncle steals it, so it would be no wonder that if there's power to steal, you take it yourself. It runs in the family." Tiagon has no choice but to slap her (an instinct). Rafaela smiles: "It is easy for a sorcerer to come into contact with the Dark Arts. If you happen to be in the same room with corrupting material, I will know, and I will destroy you." Tiagon is unimpressed and, after retorting something I don't remember, leaves the room, one enemy richer.

Next morning, Tiagon is up early to go back to Vitor's Inn. In the past two weeks, it was a tradition for the nobles following him to meet him in his tent and talk about stuff, and it's quite possible this "war council" lives on now. But Tiagon is stopped by his uncle. "Look", Afonso says, "I love you, Tiagon, but a bastard must not become king. Only someone used to reign can reign. You must take care not to fall with him when he falls, and fall he will. I don't want you to go to him unless he calls for you." Tiagon answers: "Uncle, should I fall, I am only a lowly cousin. It would not hurt our family much. But if Vitor prevails, then our family has a lot to gain. At the same time, you are with the opposition, and for now, should stay there. Oppose me, if you must. But let me go where I want, when I want."

Tiagon does a versus test with his low Persuasion, while Afonso tests with his nonexistant Persuasion (could I have used Command if he had given an order?). Tiagon wins, and Afonso turns to his trusted bodyguard Eris: "What do you think? It sounds like the boy speaks sense." Eris, despite being winked at by Tiagon for basically having to (smallish) breasts on her (sinewy) body, nods in agreement, and Tiagon is off to the meeting. When moments later, Simos arrives at the home and is told to wait for Tiagon, he instead decides to look for Vitor himself.

(The next bit happened while I sort of thought Simos was already in the scene, while his player thought he wasn't, and later he rightfully said he felt a little left out. We have agreed to be more careful about this, and to speak up if something like this happens again, i.e. next time Simos' player will hopefully say, "guys, this is perfect for my belief, could you include me?")

Indeed, the War Council is still going on. Vitor greets Ierod friendly, immediately asking how the search is going, and then quickly losing interest and telling Telma a dirty joke, at which she blushes and – Ierod isn't sure – maybe makes a very intimate gesture. Soon after, Tiagon arrives, as well, and clears things up for Ierod as he tells him to find Xoana bint Breno, and the two also decide to research the crowning ceremony. First order of business is finding out that they need a majority of council members to vote for Vitor –*a failure for the test would have meant that they need unanimous support, and they only would have found it out after the mourning period was over –, and in a few weeks time, they will actually know that's true (untrained, careful Rule of Law test for the win! Tiagon helped with Research, and Simos could have helped with History, but he wasn't "there" yet – especially an oversight because the test takes several weeks, but as GM at that moment I sort of thought Simos's player didn't want to help. Why, I don't know. I should have asked.)

Simos arrives, and Vitor immediately greets him: "There's my savior. Tell us your name and what you do all day!" Simos explains he is a clerk and glad to help, and Vitor nods to Ierod: "Try him, see if he is useful", before turning back to his breakfast. We ended the game with Tiagon going to the toilet to cast "Magesense", just to go through the casting rules once before it was really important, and trying to read Telma's mood with Aura Reading. He failed, read her as being disgusted ("that's close to excited", Tiagon explained), and that's that. Time was up, Tiagon's player had to leave, we did artha awards and left it there.

As I said, I should have come down stronger, I think, and I'll try to do that next time. Since this is my first "real" face-to-face campaign, many of my D&D-habits sneak in. In con games, you know it's gonna go down in a few hours, and also the PCs are often rivals, and in an online game, you can think long and hard before everything. This was the real deal, and I'm not fully there, yet.

But, it was fun, I am not feeling down. In fact, we had a few nice moments in there. Also, I love playing the harsh, uncouth bastard prince.
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« Antwort #6 am: 11. Januar 2010, 21:59:58 »
Oh, and here's the prophecy I cooked up, possibly concerning Vitor:

From the mud, a viper will crawl
its bite will fell its father
it is a dead man's heir.
Nine crowns will bow to one
and the wheel will burn.
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« Antwort #7 am: 17. Februar 2010, 14:46:48 »
Okay, let's see what my notes tell me.

Session 2: Getting to know stuff (exciting, isn't it?)

As it turns out, Tiagon's player got sick, so we only had two players at the table. Also, we started with a very detailed recap by Ierod's player, earning him a Fate point, and looked whether the guys wanted to change up their beliefs.

Ierod's player did: he changed his second belief to – "I will find out everything there is to know about Simos".
Simos's player did, too: he specified his third belief; instead of leading Tiagon on the path to darkness, he wanted to "give Tiagon the reputation of someone messing with the forces of darkness". Unfortunately, this belief did not come up, as too many other things interfered.

The players then told me what they were planning to do, and I reviewed my notes on what I had planned to throw in, which amounted to a lot, and then we started where we left off: at the breakfast with Prince Vitor.

Scene 1: If you like it, then you put a ring on it
Sitting at the large table, one of the minor nobles suggested, among ribald jokes, that Vitor should marry Telma, his right hand and a priestess. Ierod, who has a belief about making his cousin the queen, disagreed, and the first Duel of Wits broke out.

Noble's intent: Vitor should marry Telma
Ierod's intent: Vitor should marry a Penacorian noblewoman (e.g. his sister)

Ierod is a DoW monster, which means he had a starting disposition of 14 against an opponent with a disposition of 6. It went pretty much like you would expect. The noble tried a feint and an obfuscate, and managed, with his last point, to mark three points off of Simos' dispo, but Simos avoided, pointed, and dismissed him to -3.

Compromise (minor): Telma has to agree on Vitor's choice of a queen.

In the course of the scene, Vitor also told Ierod to visit the dead king's body. Simos and Ierod agreed to look for Xoana bint Brena together (she supposedly hired an assassin to kill Vitor) and meet after Simos's work was over in a run-down bar (the singing eel).

Scene 2: History swallows itself
At work, Simos was visited by his contact for the smuggler's guild, Master Thoros, who told him that an old historian was being pursued by the Sisters of the Dawn (the Inquisition, basically), and that since the historian didn't have much money, but Simos was very much into history himself, maybe they could work out a deal. Simos had the historian, a man called Fasquito, sent to his home and met him right after work.

At home, Simos's secret and forbidden lover, Malik, had kept the historian somewhat distracted, but it soon became clear that Fasquito was kind of a git. Still, Simos was very interested in what Fasquito may have uncovered in the Tower of Night, one of the seven library towers of the city, the one with forbidden knowledge – it was quite possible that Fasquito knew something about Thareos, the lost god. So they started to talk about payment for getting Fasquito out of the city.

Simos' Intent: Fasquito tells me everything he knows about Thareos as a payment for getting him out.
Consequences: Since Simos's player wanted to take his time in persuading Fasquito to part with his forbidden knowledge, we had two consequences. The general consequence to failure was Fasquito tells him what he knows, but later on tells other people that he told Simos, meaning Simos might become a target for the Sisters, too. And the timed consequence was that by the time Simos and Fasquito were done talking, the guards were specifically looking for Fasquito at the gates (i.e., advantage dice to Perception / Observation tests).

Simos failed the test.

Still, Fasquito told him about Thareos: how Thareos was the god of life and death, of beginning and end, about how history was always repeating itself, how people would die and be reborn just like one day, the world would die and be reborn – according to Thareos, at least. How the Burning Wheel was Thareos's symbol, and how after the "Great Fall", when some holy artefact went missing from his major temple – probably after a raid – Thareos turned away from his people.

Then, Simos went on to disguise himself and Fasquito, he wrote a letter supposedly from Fasquito's mother how his sister had fallen ill, and he accompanied Fasquito to the gates to sweet talk the guards... where we hit a little roadblock, test-wise.

Here's what we did: Simos tested Disguise as a linked test (using Forgery as a FoRK – the letter), successfully for a +1D. And then I had Fasquito test Inconspicuous to get past the guards looking for him, with +1D for the linked Disguise, and +1D for Simos help with Falsehood, against the guards' Peception, helped with +1D for many guards and +1D for looking specifically for Fasquito.

Intent: Get Fasquito out of the gates
Consequence: the guards recognize him, follow him out of the city and then grab him – and according to the consequences above, spills the beans about Simos.

I was a little iffy since it wasn't Simos testing, but Fasquito, and since the brunt of the consequence for failure also would hit Fasquito. But if I had had Simos test his better Inconspicuous (Fasquito had Beginner's Luck only), would that have been right (considering the "slower, louder, dumber" rule of group tests)?

Anyway, they barely managed to pass the test, and Fasquito was sent on his merry way. Simos turned around and hastened to the inn where Ierod had been waiting for almost two hours now...

Scene 3: Surprise attack after surprise attack
Ierod, indeed, had been sitting in the rotten bar, and he had been stared at, being quite obviously a nobleman. He also had been approached by the barmaid Agape, who, fitting to her station, was not buxom and drop dead gorgeous, but instead quite ugly, yet still trying to ply her trade. Ierod gave her a Steel coin (there's bronze, steel, and the rare gold coin – rare for commoners, that is) and told her that when Simos arrived, she was to give him a good time.

Which meant I got to play the unappealing harlot, and I loved it :) Agape sat on Simos's lap, squeezed his manhood and dragged him into a backroom to make love, but Simos managed to placate her for a moment, tell her to get ready, then left the room and sent a one-armed sailor in who, miraculously, seemed to have set his eye upon the woman, and finally he fled the building. Ierod, having learned a little more what kind of man Simos was, followed.

Outside, the two started talking about their plans regarding Xoana, when suddenly they were beset by a Winged Horror, creatures that came with the invaders a hundred years ago but have quickly multiplied and now hunt cats, dogs, rats or, if they are very hungry, unarmored humans like Simos and Ierod.

A Fight! ensued, another first for the group, and as it turned out having Speed B6, a multiplier of x12, Reflexes of B5 and a Long tail means you are pretty much unlikely to lose a positioning test, which means if you start out at Optimal with your opponents Out of Range, they are screwed. Ierod managed to close once, then failed locks and charged from Lunging, and Simos threw a dagger at the beast, but to no avail. On the other hand, Ierod was hit several times, but never with a mark result. Finally, Simos was poisoned. He took a Great Strike (B4 Severe hit, a Superficial wound), and then a few moments later got dizzy as heck – +5 to all further tests for now, and I even forgot the B5 wound and the necessary Steel test that should have followed.

Which wasn't too bad, because the fight still wasn't going much anywhere, and the annoyed horror took off into the night again, leaving Simos to stumble home and be cared for by Malik until the poison left his body – 11 hours later. Ierod also headed home for tonight, having once again not visited the dead king.

Interstitials: Looking for Answers
Earlier in the day, Ierod had tried to send word his former soldiers, looking for one who had witnessed the interrogation of the assassin by the "Ice Queen" of the inquisition, and we once again got into a little argument about Circles.

Intent: Find a soldier who witnessed the interrogation first hand, soon.
Consequence: The soldier would be too afraid of the Ice Queen to talk

Anyway, the player made the test with a success to spare, and named his buddy "Nemros".

It was now, on his way home, that Ierod was grabbed by Nemros. Nemros had been one of the guards who caught the assassin, and so he stood outside when the Ice Queen did her thing, which meant a lot of screaming first, then she asked him whether Xoana had hired him, and he screamed "yes" several times, and then she prayed with him before she killed him. Nice girl.

The next day, a newly recuperated Simos went shopping – he tried to find a present for his lover, Malik. However, using his City-Wise as a linked test for the Resources test led him not to a cheap shop, but to a tradesmen pretending to be cheap, but actually being quite expensive, and Simos failed his Resources test. Declining the gift of kindness to keep the tax in check, he then made his way to the library, a strange building designed by a madman and, at the same time as being the library, also being the local magical academy. He learned that only those who had a fitting patronage might enter the library towers, but that "General Vitor Ben Brena" (the academy being neutral on city affairs) was a suitable patron for the "general towers", i.e. if Simos wanted to learn about history or noble families.

A few days later, Ierod and Simos met Vitor for breakfast again, and Vitor admonished Ierod for not having visited his father yet, the man Vitor murdered: "If we have to pretend to be in mourning, at least do it right", Vitor said. Simos asked Vitor whether he could have his permission to visit the library, and Vitor agreed with a shrug. As it turned out, Vitor would have to write a letter for that, so Vitor ordered Simos to write his own letter and then he would put his sigil on. Simos had to make a Write test.

Intent: Write a fitting letter so that he gains entry to the towers of history and nobility.
Consequence: the letter is not accepted and Vitor is unwilling to sign another one.

Simos failed. He would have to find a different patron, or a different way inside. He did, however, offer Vitor to aquire rare items for him, should Vitor need some, basically offering his smuggling contacts. Vitor didn't really comment on that... yet.

Ierod also went to see Vitor. Ierod had agreed to find out whether Vitor and Telma had an affair, and he asked the Bastard Prince outright. Vitor smirked and denied, though he didn't see the harm in people believing he did. Ierod also asked Telma herself whether she wanted others to think she and Vitor had an affair, and was surprised to find out that Telma was a religious fanatic, claiming to have had visions about Vitor triumphant with her at his side, and so she didn't care what anyone thought. Ierod left, thinking how a straightforward, uncouth Warrior and a religious fanatic at his side might be a recipe for disaster, should things not go Vitor's way...

Ierod then visited another old friend of his, the smuggler Ochem ben Mesreni. He asked Ochem to find a guy that might follow Simos and find out where he lived. Ochem found a guy, but Ierod failed his Ressources test to hire him – but as the Gift of Kindness the guy agreed as a favor to both Ierod and Ochem to do the job anyway. Ochem then told Ierod that Simos was a member of the smuggler's guild, too (it's good to have the right relationships ;)), and so Ierod had the first of three necessary parts of information for his new belief (We agreed that in order to "know everything" about Simos, Ierod would have to know about Simos's smuggling, his gay Uchemi lover, and his heretical religious views).

Scene 3: Smuggler's Honor
Another few days later, the smuggler's guild met in a borrowed location. Quite quickly, the topic turned to the Bastard Prince and whether the smugglers should position themselves on his side, or the side of the ruling nobles. One smuggler suggested finding Xoana and getting her to safety as a sign of fealty to Patrizio ben Brena, while another suggested handing Xoana over to Vitor to gain his confidence, and Simos argued for keeping Xoana to themselves if they found her – he was disappointed, though, that the smugglers seemingly didn't know the whereabouts of the queen in hiding.

Master Thoros turned out to be a proponent of the old class, arguing for keeping the status quo, with Simos – following the theme of the campaign – taking up the mantle of Change and Progress. An argument flared up, and Simos received unlikely help from Ochem ben Mesreni, who knew that his friend Ierod would be on Simos's side – and it turned out that Ochems die was the success needed to overcome Thoros's abysmal 2 successes on six dice – Simos had managed to sway the smugglers in Vitor's favor, a nice success right at the end of the game.

Scene 4: Church Bells
At the same time, Ierod finally went to see the dead king, his slowly wasting body laid up before a pool of blood – for now, only an Ob 2 steel test, but it would get harder before the wake would be done –, and then went on to see the High Priestess, Eulalia, to first tell her what he found out about Telma, and then seduce the woman and get her on his side.

Eulalia proved to be relieved that Telma had no affair with Vitor, but she knew about Telma's fanaticism. She told Ierod that in order to publicly support Vitor, she would have to find some sign that the goddess Chumash also supported him, but privately, she was keen to hear his offer. Ierod offer was a dance and some whispered compliments.

We basically made a versus test to see who seduced whom, with the priestess of sexual love FoRKing "tantra-wise" and Ierod FoRKing Dancing into his (lower) Seduction skill. The winning party would get an advantage die for later Persuasion tests and similar, and as with Simos at the smuggler's guild, Ierod managed to pull out an unlikely victory – he rolled 5 successes on six dice or something, and she only rolled 2 on seven.

And that's basically where we left off.

---

As you will have read, I used very technical descriptions here. Would you rather I try and make it a little more "fictional", i.e. include dialogue and make it more like a story? Just as information for our next game and the next installment.
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« Antwort #8 am: 19. Mai 2010, 19:24:40 »
It's been quite a while since we played, but we'll be playing this weekend, so I better get on a summary of last time, even though I'm sure to forget some things.

First off, before the game, I actually wrote down the identities of the Council of Seven, insofar as their identities hadn't been established:

- The Treasurer Genndaios of the Deminar, also called "Goldenrobe" is from the clan that owns the largest gold mines in  the land, and thus his clan has an almost hereditary seat on the Council.

- the Whisperer Imaculada bind Edite, also called "Black Rose", has control over the thieves' guild, but might be swayed via the guild, as well.

- the Bannerman Josué ben Rui is the young poet son of Elder ben Rui, the true Councilman, who is sick and unable to sit on the council at the moment. Elder, called "Ironheart", is well liked among the soldiers, but his son is an unknown.

- the Seventh at the moment is Xesús ben Dinis, called "Half-Eye" and hails from impoverished nobility that, nevertheless, has strong ties to the Church.

---
Scene: the Drumroll
Simos, Ierod and Tiagon meet in a local tavern where they finally seem to come to some agreement about working together. Simos's connections to the underworld are sort of uncovered, so there is trust growing between the three. Their first priority is to find Xoana bint Breno, the king's widow – but sadly, none of the players makes a belief out of that, and I forget to remind them.

This will turn out to be one of the things we'll try to do from now on: rewriting beliefs at the start of the session so they fit the current goal and situation. That way, we hope to bring not only artha, but more tension into the story.

Tiagon notices a beautiful noblewoman at another table, sitting with a group of friends, and decides to woo her. He claims the stage for himself and composes a little song, as well as does a little dance for the girl – a test of Seduction ForKed with Dancing (and Singing, I believe) – but to no noticeable effect. In fact, the girl Noela (or one of her friends) will tell her father about the incident, and her father will appear later on to make things worse.

The three leave the tavern quickly afterwards, with Tiagon heading for the great Church to finally pay his respects to the dead king. He is confronted first by a couple of dozen lowborn standing vigil outside the church, clamoring for justice for the king. It seems public opinion of the bastard is turning for the worse. Tiagon is confronted second by his uncle, who admonishes him for taking 10 days before paying his respects, and warning him to be at the Church for a full day soon.

Scene 2: Hunt for Xoana
Here's the second thing that didn't go as it should, and it's squarely my fault. I was under the impression that a successful Circles test meant the player got the assistance of the NPC he circled up, so after the successful test, I pretty much had the NPCs spill the beans. Total brain fart on my part, but that in particular made this session a little boring, I am afraid.

Ierod manages to circle up Xoana's old quartermaster, Carlo ben Breno, who is (too easily) convinced that Ierod will do his best to safe Xoana's life. Carlo tells him that Xoana was sick and probably not fit for travel.

At the same time, Tiagon circles up Celia bint Dinis, the sister of Xesús from the Council of Seven and a girl that was allowed into the inner circle of the Queen. Celia, being a plump and not very attractive girl, has a very attractive maid (Timo), but Tiagon is (too easily) not distracted by the low-born's beauty and flatters Celia. She tells him that Xoana's doctor, Ariston bint Mauricio, was the only one who had the right medicine for Xoana's sickness, some rare concoction – which might lead them to the woman.

As I said, two important possibilites for checks I didn't use.

Simos, meanwhile, meets with Telma (the bastard's close advisor) after hearing that she, too, is convinced Vitor will rule the whole country. But it turns out Telma is *not* a heretic, and instead of forming an alliance, Simos almost betrays his faith to someone who just as well might turn him in.

Which makes it all the more shocking when Simos comes home to find his lover thankfully away, but the Ice Queen of the inquisition herself, Rafaela bint Chodek, sitting at his table. Simos gets slapped by Rafaela's right hand man – to check whether he betrayed any martial training in defending himself –, and then Rafaela orders Simos to provide shipping documents of the ben Breno family, thinking Xoana might have been smuggled out of the city in a crate. Simos decides not to challenge Rafaela, though.

Another learning moment for me. I had thought putting Rafaela in the same room as Simos might generate conflict automatically, but it turns out the player(s?) might be a little gun shy, and for me to be more aggressive I should have a firm goal in mind that will inconvenience the player characters even more than such a simple mission. In other words, when I initiate conflict, I need to be sure about the conflict.

Scene 3: the library towers
It has been ten days since the bastard returned to the city, and finally Ierod's cousin Hrinna has arrived. Ierod finds her to be beautiful – so beautiful, in fact, that Tiagon is likely to notice her at once. He cautions her about Vito's character and Hrinna, quite adept, decides to go for the "country tomboy" look the night Ierod will introduce her to him. Ierod also tries to circle up a forger, but that person will only turn up eventually...

Simos finally manages to enter the library towers with a document signed by Tiagon. However, he is only allowed to enter a tower where no documents about his hidden faith are likely to be hidden. So he approaches the custodian of the tower. Since there's only a single student organizing the papers in this tower, he asks to help the student if, in turn, he might be allowed into more than this tower. The custodian scoffs, since the work in the tower is supposed to be an ordeal. So Simos persuades him successfully that he might just as well put documents where they don't belong and make the work harder – the custodian likes the idea and hires Simos. Simos now has access to the Tower of Time (with notes on history) and the Tower of Men (nobility and stuff), IIRC. But he should not be found out by the students, of course...

Scene 4: Action!
And then, finally, something cool happens. Just as the three guys are palavering over a beer again, Noela's father enters the tavern. Batista ben Pio is a herald for hire, and apparently he's on the side of the ruling nobility, as he accuses Tiagon of working for a war-mongerer. Basically, Batista is a tea party speaker. A duel of wits ensues where Batista threatens to wipe the floor with Tiagon, but with the help of his friends and some lucky dice Tiagon manages to eke out a tie – Tiagon and Batista stare each other down for a moment, but neither has really won the argument. The accusations about tax raise and certain war still hang in the air, and Batista's reputation has not been not tarnished (enough).

This was the final moment of the night, and fortunately, it was a great one. Suddenly everybody was in the moment again, things were on the line and it was hellishly close. The duel of wits really saved the session.

---

Afterwards, we discussed a little bit what was going badly, and the players pretty much asked me to make it harder for them. I'll try.
Gewinner des WM-Tippspiels 2010
»For it is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works«

Tzelzix

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #9 am: 20. Mai 2010, 09:43:55 »
Großartig, da ich ja dieses Mal keine Stichpunktliste des Abends gemacht habe, war mir das meiste tatsächlich schon wieder entfallen. So langsam erinnere ich mich, jetzt muss ich nur noch herausfinden, was ich nur dem Fälscher machen wollte...Mal heute Abend in meinen Block schauen, dann ergänze ich evtl. noch.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #10 am: 28. Mai 2010, 00:56:51 »
At the beginning of this session, we discussed adopting a “Session Belief”, making this session explicitly about finding the supposed assassin, Xoana. This did not work as well as we’d hoped, and we still have problems getting the other, more general beliefs into play, for which the group can see two reasons so far.

Scene 0: faulty memory
We had forgotten two things from last session…
1) Simos came home to his lover Malik one night and discovered Malik with a big bruise on his forehead. Simos wanted to know what had happened, and continued prying into Malik whilst attending his wound. As a consequence for a failed test (I believe it was persuasion), Malik got angry and left. However, thanks to this argument, Malik was not at home when Rafaela bint Choled visited Simos later.
2) In the last scene, just before Batista turned up, Simos had admitted to following a heretical belief in Thareos.


Scene 1: getting back on track
Since it had been almost two months since we last played, I suggested starting where we had left off, with Simos’ admission to heresy, so that the players could get a feel for the game again. This turned out to be a double-edged sword, as they spent quite some time discussing amongst themselves, “playing out” so to speak, making plans in character – but not really having a conflict or something on the line.

However, they also retreated to a tavern where they would not be overheard, and by failing the City-Wise test, ended up in a tavern where they were sure to be overheard – and then they failed the Perception test to notice the prying ears. So when they discussed heretical beliefs, when they discussed leading Rafaela bint Choled into a trap with forged documents, and when they planned to find Xoana, they were overheard, and someone will soon approach them with that knowledge.


Scene 2: Nothing like a fire in the morning
Before getting their plans started up, something strange happened. Afonso forced Tiagon to attend church with him, and Zeiza had a surprisingly nice talk with her son Ierod (surprisingly nice means she only used Sarch’s Glare on him at the end, when he failed an Ugly Truth/Persuasion test to tell him what was up). At the same time, the Inn where the bastard king was staying burnt down, with a couple of his supporters dead inside.

Simos could only watch as the building burned down, and he couldn’t stomach looking at the dead bodies long enough to find some clues as to their killer. The young noble who saved Vitor’s life, meanwhile, managed to Falsehood his way against Tiagon’s Interrogation and sent Tiagon searching for a “guard with a scar”…

But Tiagon and Ierod managed to Persuade Vitor (barely: 5 successes with 6 dice, I believe) not to immediately plan an attack on his enemies, but to remain calm. Somewhat. And to the GM’s great disappointment. Ierod also managed not to Ride down any citizen in his rush for the burning building, sadly.

At the office, Simos also began compiling his report for Rafaela, which would take him 12 hours – possibly not enough time to include a forged trap for the inquisitor… we’ll see next time.


Scene 3: Xoana? Really?
Finally, the players went for the Queen. Or her lowly physician. Despite hearing claims of Ariston being a pirate and able to cast spells (failed Court Rumor-Wise), it turns out Ariston was an old healer living in a small cottage and – as Tiagon found out after he broke into the cottage whilst being observed by neighbours (failure condition) – his wife had just left to live with her mother. The wooden basket full of plants suggested, however, that Ariston would return, and the three set up a trap.

Tiagon and Ierod waited inside, Simos on the outside. So Simos watched Ariston walk into his home, heard him utter a surprised shout, and then saw Ierod flee from the cottage (he played his Instinct to run away when someone casts a spell, and Tiagon had cast “Mage Light”). Ierod returned to the cottage in a bad mood and failed to Intimidate Ariston to silence – the doctor screamed, and some neighbours went to call the guard.

Now things had to go quick. Tiagon and Ierod grabbed Ariston (successful Power test) and carried him into the night, while Simos remained at the cottage, watching to see what would happen. Tiagon, meanwhile, knew of a safe location – a safe location that, thanks to a failed City-Wise, is currently in use by the Thieves’s Guild.

—-
One thing from me: I had thought about making the burning building a major scene, but I was afraid failed tests would lead to Vitor being killed – though know I think that would just have made things even more interesting, carrying a revolution without its leader. I intended it as a fairly short moment, but should have known it would be a longer scene even without that danger.

As to our problems putting Beliefs on the line: I think we still struggle to pin scenes and conflicts down, we have too much “fluff” in our game. I probably should ask for a clear intent way more often. Also, we have gotten into the D&D habit of minutial play, I.e. “Now we do this, and then we do that, and then, if there’s still time…” That also hampers the ability of the players to follow several plots – it seems one plan is on the forefront, and it’s hard to take time away from that.

Part of the lack of focus in this game is probably also attributable to our long pause in between, with us having to get back on the saddle again so to speak. But this session, despite not having a Duel of Wits or similar conflict, was still way more enjoyable than the session before. So we may be on the right track.

And next time, all the failures come to roost.
Gewinner des WM-Tippspiels 2010
»For it is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works«

Tyrion the Imp

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[Burning Wheel] Ca Marac soll brennen!
« Antwort #11 am: 02. September 2010, 21:34:00 »
It's been quite a while since we last played, but we'll be playing again soon, so let's see what I can get out of my notes to refresh my players (and me) and keep you sort of up to date. It was a good session, by the way, especially towards the end (my notes say, "the shit hits the fan!" :))

ETA: Thanks to Tiagon's player, whose notes helped me out a little. I'll add some more details.

Consequences of Failure

Last time, we left the characters as they were about to enter into a seemingly empty house which was, in fact, a safe house in use by the thieves' guild. The beginning confrontation was tight-lipped, with Ierod pretending to be a bodyguard and the whole thing almost dissolving into a fight, but a successful Intimidation check (see below!) at the last minute meant the thieves begrudgingly left the building long enough for the characters to interrogate Ariston, the queen's personal doctor. Though the Guild will have something to say about that.

ETA: The way I see it, I first had all of them make Steel tests (Surprise!) which ended up not mattering because the one who didn't fail (Tiagon) didn't use the opportunity. Then the characters wanted to pay off the thieves and I may have chosen a somewhat high obstacle (4), the attempt at haggling them down failed. And it wasn't an Intimidation test, but a bloody versus test with the intention of making the opposing party flee, which Ierod won with Sword B2 (and help).

Fighting the Inquisition

Basically, the characters managed two things that might end up harming Rafaela bint Choled. First, when Simos turned in his report to the Inquisitor, he included a forged document about Patricio ben Breno. We had a longish discussion about the Forgery rules here, especially about the obstacle – how good does a forgery have to be? In the end, I gave Simos' player the choice between two intents:
- make Rafaela believe the document before it proves false (Ob 3) or
- make sure Rafaela doesn't trace the forgery back to him (Ob 2).
He was tempted to go for the meatier choice, but took the secure one. Still, Rafaela might take the hook and get herself into trouble.

The second thing was Ierod circling up a priestess that might be persuaded to bear false witness against Rafaela. The Circles test failed, so the priestess, Zenobia of the Hypatos, owed Rafaela a big favor. Ierod managed to sweet-talk Zenobia, though, and finally they agreed that Zenobia might lie, but Ierod would make Zenobia the new Speaker of Ca Marac (basically the High Priestess) – when his current lover and ally currently holds the post! Sweet betrayal. (ETA: The test was Persuasion + advantage + Haggling FoRK – the advantage die came from Ierod's good relationship to that very high priestess he will now betray :))

ETA: Ooh, there was an awesome scene where Rafaela visited Tiagon at home. She asked him about Ariston's whereabouts, and her Interrogation test got in a whopping 7 (!) successes, beating Tiagon's Will of B6 so he told her where they kept Ariston. Rafaela then insulted Tiagon, and he threw his wine goblet in her face! The only thing keeping him safe at that moment was her desire to find Ariston – and Tiagon then won a Speed test against her and managed to warn the others and get Ariston somewhere else before the Inquisition arrived. How could I forget?

Random Stuff
Simos managed to find a herbalist that also offers some more potent herbs, but when he tried to buy some of them, he was aghast at the Ressource obstacle of 4. So he went to Tiagon instead and together, they are planning on visiting a friend of Tiagon's (Nicodemus). Simos wants to get high and maybe induce some visions (the player is starting to go for the Oracle trait).

ETA: Simos succeeded at a Persuasion B3+FoRK test vs. Ob4 to make the herbalist reveal that he has drugs. The Circles test for Tiagon's friend (Ob4) failed, so Nicodemus is an elitist bastard.

Ierod planned to introduce his beautiful niece, Hrinna, to Vitor, but an ensuing duel of Persuasion with Vitor's right hand, Telma, ended in a deadlock, and the tie was resolved so that (IIRC) Telma would get to meet Hrinna first and without Vitor. Basically, another hurdle before Hrinna can become queen.

ETA: And that wasn't something Ierod wanted, so he called the meeting off.

Vitor, by the way, has chosen to stay in the barracks, which may or may not influence public opinion. :)

The Queen
Most of the evening, though, dealt with the search for the queen. The players tried to get Ariston to talking, but Ariston used his Incomprehensible Diagnosis and lied about the queen's supposed sickness enough Falsehood successes (4), buying enough time for Xoana to notice something was wrong and to flee from her hideout.

ETA: Ariston's intent was make the characters spend some time tracking down herbs that would make the characters immune to the "sickness", which led Simos to the herbalist who also sold drugs, btw.

The characters' last clue were the parents of one of Xoana's guards, and they barely managed to get them to spill the beans (thanks to a FoRKed Command against the former soldier): Xoana was on a ship sailing for the free (pirate) island of Maeth. The characters rushed through the city and got to the ship as it was about to embark.

They found Xoana hiding on the ship, with a big surprise: Xoana is pregnant – her kid would be the perfect heir where until now is only the bastard Vitor. Such a child would pose innumerable problems for Vitor's plans, and of course Xoana immediately stepped forward to engage in a Duel of Wits with the child's life at stake.

And that's where we ended the session and where the players began plotting to kill Vitor and use the child as a puppet ruler themselves.

---
Still not resolved:

- Ierod circled up someone from his organisation (Macari Defenders) who might know something about the fire, to appear soonish.
- the Thieves' Guild will not be happy about the characters barging in
- Rafaela's reaction to the forged documents
- the characters being overheard in the bar when they planned basically everything
- Tiagon being watched breaking into Ariston's home
« Letzte Änderung: 02. September 2010, 22:46:45 von Tyrion the Imp »
Gewinner des WM-Tippspiels 2010
»For it is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works«