Thursday, July 25, 2013

Khareo's Tale #2 - The pendant and the foil.

Act 1 is an introduction to get the players to settle into their characters. I picked two of these events as they involved fun play from each PCs. 

Act 1, Scene 1 - Martha's swashbuckling at the fair

GM's note: I thought that a bit of action to send the campaign off would work well with a 6 years old gamer! Chloe isn't familiar at all with Martial Art's combat options, but I narrated the combat as best as I could, using figurines and acting, and proposed options for her. She totally loved the ideas of feints and to use the serendipity engine to find combat openings. It worked very well: the action was fast paced and engaging. All that I needed to do is to translate what she wanted to do in GURPS terms, and tell her her target number before rolling. 

Mary and Martha went for a whirlwind tour of the Chilkarro Market to pay off outstanding tabs. The month of July had been good for business. At the fair, Martha spotted a fencing tournament and decided to enter. Her opponent was a tall man: not as fast moving as she was, but definitively with a longer reach. To win the 10 silver crowns, all that she needed to do was to score three hits. Martha played safe at first: a few parried strikes were exchanged to size up the competition. Then, she carefully evaluated her opponent and waited for him to slip and leave something open. While he was looking at her smallsword, she slapped him with her off-hand [ Serendipity Engine Opening, off-hand attack +1 to strike / -1 to defend vs waiving the ability to dodge this turn. ][+]. This blow was just enough to shock her opponent and get him to miss on the counter-attack. Martha made a feint low then scored a point on the man's chest.

Martha and her opponent traded a few strikes. She lost a point. Martha spotted a chance to lunge for the weapon's arm [ +1 if using an all-out attack option. ] [+]. She scored a point but got a bad nick at the elbow on the counter-attack. She recoiled while in shock, but her pursuing foe rolled a critical hit which could have struck an artery had her clothes not get in the way.  Defeated, Martha shook hands and hurried home, upset.

Mary bandaged Martha's arm. Martha's elbow was seriously hurts, although not crippled. This called for a bit of magic. The charm worked very well, a day later, all that Martha had to show was a kidney-shaped scar underneath a black ribbon.

Act 1, Scene 2 - The Queen's amulet

GM's Note: Critical spell failures can be cool. 

Mary decided that she wanted to offer a vitality amulet to her Queen. Usually, people bring their own jewelry to her to be enchanted. However, Mary thought that she should buy the best possible pendant so that she could stand a chance of having it presented to the sovereign. She had no idea of how much she'd need to sink into the pendant [ Failed Savoir-faire (High Society) at default. ][+]. So she set upon finding someone who could provide guidance on the matter. She headed for the Market and asked around for a high-end jeweler [ Research+4 to mine the market for the right "resource/person". +4 because of her excellent relation with the business community. ][+]. The jeweler that she eventually found claimed to be regularly selling to members of the Queen's retinue. However, he proved unhelpful and claimed that the Queen wouldn't look at anything worth less than 20 gold links (The equivalent of a few months' salary for Mary). So she decided to try her luck with a modestly priced item. This set her back 20 silver crowns.

Back at home, Mary picked the portrait of the Queen from the front hall and headed for her clinic. She carefully wrote down the full legal Queen's name on a piece of parchment. She picked some incense from her silver chest and prepared the amulet for the enchantment. Mary decided that she'd try to enchant the pendant for a whole year.

The ritual proceeded very well until about 30 minutes into it. An abnormal amount of black magic was gathering around the amulet and Mary had to try to channel the black energy away. However, she felt like the ritual was slipping away from her grasp. She denied the black energy from seeping in, but lost control of the white magic. The amulet started to heat up. It then sparked as if it was discharging electricity. The tablecloth started to smolder. Mary stepped back, bits of molten silver splatted on the Queen's protrait. Mary reached for a carafe of water, but the fire on the table was growing too fast. By the time the energy in the pendant was released, Mary had knocked over the table and suffered a burn to her hand.

There goes the pendant: Mary probably will be able to scrap 2-3 crowns worth of silver from the ritual plate. Probably not enough to replace the portrait...

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