A second-run playtest of something called Purple Gold. First playtest was Purple Gold.
Not yet. We’ll be throwing this out to try publication, and an any-time guess is a good guess.
No. One more session required.
Follow-up. Always two sessions?
No. It’s 3-5 hours, and this time around we got to 3 hours, were in the middle of something, and called it so people could sleep.
Nikolai – Sorceror’s Apprentice
Gricka – Malani Orlanthi
Tathia – Balmyr Healer sent up from Whitewall to fill a spot at a Colymar Temple
Inpira – Malani Babeester Gori
Varkill – Malani Humakti with a hate on for the Colymar
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should stop right here! Don’t keep reading. I mean it.
Early to mid Earth Season.
Varkill, Inpira and Gricka, three warriors, were sent to check on the village of Dagran’s Ford, which had been due to have a tension-easing feast with Stone Bowl, a village over the border into Colymar lands. They arrived to smell smoke of pyres, and burning. They all entirely failed to notice the lack of people out at harvest, but did question one person who was, who said it was all a bad business and they should talk to the chief.
They went towards the village – a youthful gate guard let them in and sent for his younger brother to take them to the headman. The younger brother talked about how when he was big he would go kill the Colymar, an ambition with which Varkill agreed. They were greeted at his house by a young women, Kara, who was headman Garasang’s sister. She was obviously exhausted, to the point where Gricka the young Orlanthi warrior tried to sit her down and help her, but as soon as Kara got the weight off her feet, there was a groaning from one of the sleeping alcoves and she had to run to deal with it. Gricka heated up some water to help wash people, and found that the water and food were both only about a day stale – the illness had come on quickly. Even Inpira ‘the Axe’ was helping out. Varkill was naturally of the opinion it was all the fault of the Colymar.
Henka, wife of the slightly ill Brotip, got in the way a bit. Garasang kept on trying to get up, and rather irritated Varkill by using his sword as a crutch, but Kara removed it so at least there was no incident. Garasang was insistent they go to the village of Stone Bowl and punish them for the poisoning.
Meanwhile, there were two slightly late arrivals to the game. These were Nikolai, a philosopher of Fire and Girly Screaming, and Tathia, a healer from Whitewall sent up by Jaldis to the Blue Tree village of the Colymar, and travelling through Malani lands to get there. After consideration, Tathia used magic to save the life of Brea, wife of Garasang, who was in the worst condition. Brea, still weak, was no longer in danger of death. The group discussed the facts, deciding that it was probably something that had been eaten or drunk at the feast, but that it was not necessarily a deliberate poisoning. Tathia being able to say it was definitely a disease was helpful there.
The adventurers went off to Stone Bowl, where there was an immediate ambush! Cows in the road hid a couple of people hiding in a ditch – they sprang to attack as the adventurers got close. There were two; a man with a pitchfork and a woman wielding a pair of trousers. Varkill shield-barged the woman to the ground, while Inpira cut down the man with a pitchfork, managing not to kill him, but damaging him badly.
Tathia saw to the poor lady with the trousers, who said she just wanted to go home. Nikolai settled down in the road to perform a Reconstruction, getting hauled into a hallucination of fire under his skin and fear. He remembered purple-gold flashes in his vision and a terrible hangover, but could not remember what he had eaten or drunk. The others walked on into the village, where they stopped at the first house that had little smoke in its thatch, and knocked on the door. A small child opened it – her father was ill, and she asked for help. They managed to get Tathia and her charge into the house, so they could both be looked after, although the charge, Pollia, kept complaining she wanted to go home.
Nikolai caught up, and with Varkill went towards the biggest roundhouse. On the way they were suddenly attacked by a woman with a kitchen knife, who ran screaming from her house. Varkill went for the shield barge, knocking the woman out and possibly killing her; Nikolai made sure of it by cutting her throat, which Gricka saw happening. The three of them went on towards the roundhouse, where they were greeted by a very young woman, Voskar… Varkill made sure of his hospitality before stepping over the threshold of an enemy. Inside, there was the smell of fresh corpses and the place was obviously worse off than Dagran’s Ford.
Outside, Tathia and Inpira started to walk Pollia home. Her house was across the main market area of the village, and as they went, the pigs that were lying there got up. Some fled, but several attacked.
Even inside the roundhouse the screams and shouting and oinking could be heard. Everyone piled out, with Gricka being smart enough to close the door behind her. Inpira had been downed by a pig, and Tathia had been wounded but had run in to heal the Babeester Gor. Everyone piled into battle in their own unique fashion – Nikolai called on the power of conflagration and set fire to a pig. Being a long-haired wooly pig, it ran away screaming and on fire.
The game paused at this dramatic moment.
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should not read past this point.
The GM for this game is the less violent but not bearded GM. It was her very first GMing outing, so at the beginning she was nervous and explaining what was happening instead of speaking, and trying to tell a story. That got put to bed pretty well, and quite early on, but the initial nerves meant she remembered important parts and skipped other details. The pyres did not get mentioned on the way past them, for example. It was nothing important and nothing got missed, but the first half hour didn’t have the same level of detail that other parts had. The longhouse was described as empty, when in fact it had lots of people in, but that was fine – there were sleeping alcoves, and mourning women came in later. That was actually pretty good timing, because it did not overload the first scene.
It might be worth adding extra descriptions to the areas – not sure if that was a GM in the headlights, or if we were insufficiently clear in writing it. Co-GM caught a question about how long people had been ill – the timeline may need to be referenced in the village section. Main GM described things as dating ‘from the feast’ but this seemed nebulous.
Things ran pretty smoothly at Stone Bowl. The GM was happier and more confident by that point, and the characters had settled in from their abrupt birth and sudden existence. There was more combat, first of all hardly dangerous at all, and then secondly rather more dangerous – pigs are nasty beasties, and these ones were angry and hallucinating. One of the GMs likes sharpened pigs as an encounter, and so there they were, with a critical to the leg…
I can’t remember while writing this up if the pigs are given a negative modifier to hit areas. It seems reasonable, to be honest. Rolling a D12 for where to hit is a good reason to bring a D12 to gaming nights, but it does complicate things. The D10 is more natural.