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08 March 2016 @ 11:43 am
[WotMK: Hexcrawl] Session One  
Yesterday was the first real session of the new Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom game I'm running. We've technically met twice before this, but they were mostly character creation sessions. The pitch for this game is a hexcrawl in the old tradition wandering murderhobos investigating locations, discovering perils, and then killing and stealing everything that's not nailed down or setting everything on fire.

This time, there are five characters:
  • Shining Star, mandragora sorcerer-priestess of Nyarhé, currently hiding her identity due to the bounty the Dragon Empire puts on most Floral nobility.
  • The Green Knight, a mandragora briarwitch, one of the spirit-driven fanatics who serve the Forest of Shadows. He's traveling with Shining Star because he believes the forest spirits have told him they seek an alliance with Nyarhé in order to fight the Dragon Empire.
  • Bonnie, a kong Auspicious Orator, the combination scribes, emissaries, and propagandists from Chai. Bonnie's family is quite rich, but all her money, and her government salary, are inaccessible at the moment. She's traveling with the group to study...
  • Amos Burnham, a human from Earth. After the Battle of 1812, he grew sick of civilization and went west, spending years by himself and occasionally trading with nearby tribes. Eventually, he fell into a sinkhole that led to a pipe and found himself in Agarica. Shining Star found him, taught him to speak Floral, and showed him a bit of magic, and they've traveled together since then.
  • Elaphe, a chuzan junior member of the Black Rose, the Muskalan Guild of Assassins. He went to Fairhaven when he heard Prince Greyfur was dead and an election was to be held, but after weeks with not a single contract being sent his way, he attached himself to a group that seemed likely to have trouble follow them. A group of murderhobos, for example.
Since this is a hexcrawl, I have a map (I'll put it in another post when I clean it up a bit) that in-game is a treasure map that Bonnie found in the diary of a famous adventurer from a century ago. That's the setup, and the players have the freedom to go about it however they wanted.

And how they wanted was mostly to dodge all the hooks I set up for them! Elaphe did take a moment to pickpocket his way through the crowd when they stopped in a small village where public executions were being held, letting me use the WFRP random treasure tables again to determine what he found, though with some modification--I figured that the bag of excrement was pretty unlikely--but they rode on by the ruins in the distance, let the other party of adventurers pass by without much incident other than questioning them about the source of their treasure, and left the town of Tannin and its election-related violence behind as soon as they could, other than Shining Star seeing if her healing skills were needed at the town's barber and being rebuffed and Elaphe riffling through the pockets of a mugging victim in an alleyway and then cutting their throat.

I used this set of random encounter tables to determine most of what happened, since they were the least low-level-D&D-centric ones I could find. I really need to make up some custom tables with categories like "fungal forest" or "Predecessor ruins" and more malicious spirits, thunder lizard migrations, and carnivorous plants, in addition to the standard bandits, travelers, and so on. It'll let me add more color events too, like the executions.

The party went out of Tannin's west game at the end of game, down the less-traveled road to Etemenanki, which the party is currently heading toward. There's a thriving town around there whose economy is based on adventurers going into the megadungeon and hauling loot out of it. We'll see what happens there!
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Retronauts podcast
 
 
 
nelc: Jennifernelc on March 8th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
Despite having sat on both sides of the table, I've never gotten a good grasp on what makes players ignore hooks and go chasing after phantom hooks that aren't what the GM had in mind at all. I mean, I guess I do it myself when I'm a player, but I've no idea why it happens.
dorchadasdorchadas on March 8th, 2016 08:20 pm (UTC)
softlykarou suggested that it might be because of the map. Since it's a treasure map with a literal red X on it, maybe it's providing a goal that the players feel they have to move toward.