Encounters Recap: 29 Apr 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, new guy coming in, High School Melodrama,  Godless Killing Machines. I consider the third one a personal trigger. I’m not going to discuss what I and the high school students talked about before the session because I don’t want them to catch hell. I will say this to the Faculty of Granite City High School: Your computer network security sucks and you need new passwords. Let’s move on to the recap.

The Colbert Report excerpts are quite necessary, as you will see. This session also introduced Player 11 to the game: James, one of the older Magic players, has decided to make the switch over to D&D, and created Jim, a Monk with a much needed offensive umph (Flurry of Blows with an extra Unarmed Strike…with an enhanced initiative.) He proved quite an asset in the three combat encounters as the party moved North toward Beliard. With a bit of a humorous, if not completely annoying, angle:

That bear in the Bears and Bandits encounter has returned, at first in the distance toking on a beehive…and then Scott, one of the kids on the table, whistled over to the Godless Killing Machine…just as they were about to stealthily sneak up to a bunch of cultists whom I placed around that wagon I so kindly left for the party. The older party members want to throttle him. I even let one try to attack him for 1d4 non-lethal damage. Something tells me I should supply more piko piko hammers and giant paper fans in “In Case of Idiot, break glass” boxes.

They were pushing it with an Animal Handling check to pet the bear…and a couple Nat 20s had him lying on the back being group snuggle. But the bear had enough and sauntered off. (Can’t say a blame him. Someone wanted him to drive the cart.) And all the time for the rest of the campaign, they wanted that bear to come back to him. And I’ll probably be hearing it from here until the end of the campaign, “We want Bear! We want Bear! We want Bear!” I could just see Stephen Cobert waking up in a cold sweat, screaming like a little girl.

Something tells me that, as well as upping the difficulty of some encounters by adding a minion jump-in mechanic (especially when you get three Nat 20s in the Initiative roll, not counting the new guy!) that this bear might come back to play with the party…in some unexpected ways. You know what they say; “Give the players the sun and make them fight for the moon.”

Will I be using this bear for good….or for eeeeeevil……zombie bear? Bear developing a taste for cultists? Bear raiding party’s picnic baskets? This will be triggering to Stephen Colbert, but the party has not seen the last of that bear!

On an unrelated note, I refer to this Link: http://daegames.blogspot.com/2015/04/dungeon-world-artifacts.html Since the DMG doesn’t have much in artifacts outside of the usual suspects “The Hand and Eye of Venca? Seriously?” but it encourages you to make your own. However, I didn’t exactly have the desire to build one by their guidelines. Instead, I had in my mind the idea of having artifacts that start small and then grow along with the player, gaining abilities and quirks as he progresses through the campaign.

It not a new concept; 4th Edition has artifacts with Concordance, which goes up and down according to how much in sync the character is with the artifact. In the linked blog article, the artifact gains XP much like with the player (in Dungeon World, you only gain 1 XP at a time, and if you get 7+your Level in XP, you Level up. Correct me if I’m wrong here.)

The way I do it is different. I let you build your backstory in a character, and if the backstory involves a certain weapon or trinket, I’ll haggle with you to make it your Artifact. When you enter the campaign, it’s little more than a basic non-magical weapon or trinket, and maybe a small ability to go with it (such as being able to call it to your hand a la Mjonir.) As your character goes through his adventures, you can gain abilities for your weapon in story events, and I’ll include a feature card to go with your weapon.

A prime example would be what happened in last week’s session. They were in the Haunted Crypt and one of my guys, who has an artifact sword his village has given him, were parlaying with a Ghost over how to cure someone of the Zombie Virus. And he rolled a Nat 20, which changes the path of the campaign. (I love it when the people in the table decide on a rail for me; makes things a lot easier.) I added something for his weapon: The ghost decided that the party didn’t really want to do any evil actions such as raiding a tomb and decided to further steer them clear of the Dark Forces, so he went into the sword. (Which is quite roomy, if I say so.)

The result is a sword that has acquired sentience through the spirit haunting the sword, it also became a +1 Magic Sword. The sword’s personality is that of the Lawful Neutral spirit, and as long as the character doesn’t do anything Evil or Chaotic, it shouldn’t give him any problems. (Read: The sword can’t be drawn from its scabbard if he’s doing anything stupid.)

There’s another guy who has an artifact weapon in my table, and I’ll let you know how his weapon-trinket turns into. Now if you excuse me, I need to set up the next Encounters season…and probably make a Ursine player race for my Customized Forgotten Realms.  I just know that someone would want to roleplay a Bear PC.

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