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21 October 2015 @ 10:06 am
Got a test game of Warlords off the ground!  
One short session, but still!

A week and a half ago was the first session of the short-run Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom game I'm running to see if all that work I poured into the system ends up with something functional or with an unworkable mess. It being based on Exalted, character creation took a while (though not as long as if the players had to pick Charms, fortunately), but in I ended up with four misfits thrown together by the vagaries of fate and the fact that I demanded reasons why the PCs all knew each other:

  • Daiju: A kappa of great strength, great size, and the corresponding intelligence that point-buy system balance forces for those advantages. He doesn't have many interests beyond eating, sleeping, fighting, and a dream to challenge the Dragon Emperor to single combat, but he's currently working as a yojimbo for:
  • Chi: A silent one from the Scarlet City, Chi is also a member of the Somnambulant Calculators, the Scarlet City's order of oneiromantic engineers. He's wandering through the Dragon Empire searching for Predecessor artifacts, after his abrasive personality and lack of concern for his fellows resulted in him being "promoted" to field agent.
  • Miyamoto: A kong from the Kong Jungles who's spent decades wandering through Agarica, Miyamoto has built up quite a reputation for himself as a sage, warrior, and tea-brewer. According to family legend, he is a direct descendant of the last Princeps of the Kong Imperium and is seeking some way to restore his people to their long-vanished glory. He's traveling with:
  • Kabocha: A raptok princess who met Miyamoto years ago when he passed through the Raptok Isles on his travels and eventually sought him out with the goal of making a name for herself. With the Kingdom of Flowers in turmoil, she figures it's a great place to look.

I started with the PCs all fleeing down a well-travelled road away from a Dragon Empire checkpoint, after a "misunderstanding" with the guards and a group of chuzan mercenaries resulting in a brawl, because starting in media res during a travel scene is an important part of sword and sorcery. They could tell the road was well-travelled because I took some inspiration from The Mirror Empire (link to my review) and its jungle full of carnivorous flora and imported that into Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom, so the road was burned down to bare earth for ten yards on each side to keep the dionaea and stranglevines and walking trees and gravecups from eating travellers.

After seeing a small path leading through the forest and knowing the Dragon Empire patrols were after them, they ran off into the woods, fought past a few lashvines, and made it to a small village miles into the forest, where they introduced themselves, overcame the initial misunderstandings due to their appearance--isolated Floral peasants not being used to kappa and raptok in their towns--saw a mysterious shrouded figure peering at them from one of the huts, and were told about the bandits plaguing the village, because I told the players when we started that I was basing this on Seven Samurai.

That's about all we had time for. The system went pretty well, though I admit that the basic Attribute + Ability part of Exalted isn't what people complain about and that's most of the mechanics that were invoked. The real sticking parts are usually combat and Charm usage, neither of which we got to, and I'm not going to be doing that much with the social mechanics for a short game like this. So the real test is yet to come, but so far it's going well!
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Back in my Play podcast