…And Finally, Bloodstone is a game session report for Burning Wheel Gold. We played around the table on .
Village of Daedmyr
- Holden is unconscious from a Forte tax.
- Menas and a handful of dwarves look for their wagon. It is broken beyond immediate repair.
- Menas finally pays the dwarves, making an Ob 5 resource test.
- Kruder is noticing that Katie is throwing herself on Remy.
- Kruder confronts Katie with the intent of making sure she doesn’t do something foolish during her mourning of Oban.
- Kruder makes an Ugly Truth with Coarse Persuasion FoRK – the consequence is alienating Katie. Kruder almost succeeds, but can’t muster enough successes.
- Katie slaps Kruder then storms off and throws herself at Remy.
- Remy and Katie go for a walk, and Remy is hesitant but eventually he gives in.
Village of Skeld
On the border between Arcata and Bloodstone. The village of Skrech is comprised of a fortified manor, several permanent structures, numerous tents, an overflow of people, bodies being buried, buildings burning, and a standing mercenary troop. (This was generated via my Random War-Time Village Generator - harboring a neighbor village, raided 1 hour before arrival, plenty of supplies, paying for a mercenary troop, plus a few secrets).
- Crispin, Menas, Holden, and Remy were going into town to purchase supplies, a wagon, and a bow for Lady Gwen.
- Holden was going to disguise himself as a younger man – And fails his Sorcery
- Garbled transmission and a restless dead rises from the bushes. Most everyone failed their Steel tests, except Menas.
- Not missing a beat Menas delivered a B13 wound to the restless dead. In hindsight, should have one of Holden’s dead students from the college rise and seek him out.
- Holden again tried and succeeded on a G7 Sorcery vs. Ob 3.
- Upon arriving at the village, the mercenaries exact a toll – 60 pieces of silver (Ob 3 resources), of which Menas had no problem paying.
- They made their way to a general store and began negotiating for supplies.
- Menas tried to eavesdrop on a conversation between two patrons of the shop, but they noticed and left (The player called for a Whispered-Secrets-Wise. The consequence would be that the entity in the village would find out. Menas failed the test).
- Remy, with soothing platitudes, unsuccessfully haggles with the merchant that also engaged in flowery banter.
- Menas succeeds at a Resource test (Ob 6) to purchase Carriage Wagon, Hunting Bow, and Supplies.
- Unbeknownst to Menas, Crispin, Holden, and Remy, they were being followed back (This was the direct result of the failed Whispered Secrets-Wise).
- Menas, Crispin, Holden, and Remy made it safely back to camp.
- Kruder, having set up a camouflaged sentry was about to break cover when he noticed a huntsman sneaking through the woods.
- The huntsman noticed him as well.
- Menas had a crossbow drawn and pointed, while the huntsman only had an arrow nocked.
- They stared for a bit, then the huntsman dove as Kruder let fly.
- I gave the huntsman a Speed test to add to the Ob for the Crossbow shot – I figured Ob 3 for the woods +1 Ob per two successes by the huntsman was reasonable.
- Kruder’s shot was true and delivered a B11 – he was bleeding.
- Hearing the twang of a crossbow and a thud, the others quickly came to the scene.
- Lady Gwen worked to save the huntsman, but her skills failed her.
- Menas wanted to scavenge up some papers – I couldn’t think of anything interesting on failure, so I gave them a map of the Bloodstone vale, including the bandit camp.
- Clearly they weren’t going to be going back through town. I called for an Orienteering test Ob 2 to skirt around town without being noticed. They failed.
Range & Cover
- They stumbled into a clearing, and 8 mercenaries in the fields armed with light crossbows took notice.
- The guards were under the impression that there was a wagon with about 5 people.
- We dropped into Range & Cover – Matt quickly explained this to Aidan. They were talking about withdrawing.
- Menas instead chose to split the group.
- Menas, Crispin, and the dwarven mercenaries would provide rear guard.
- Kruder, Katie, Dellen, Holden, Dragan, Remy, Brandon, Garlin, Garvin, and Lady Gwen would flee.
- The mercenaries scripted Close, Close, Charge – They were hoping to fire some crossbows, then finish off the remainder.
- Menas scripted Withdraw, Maintain, Charge – He wanted to fall further back into the woods then let the opposition come and finally engage with superior forces.
- Kruder scripted Withdraw, Withdraw, Withrdaw – He needed to ensure everyone was out of the way.
- Kruder and company managed to escape while the mercenaries beat Menas in the first exchange and rained arrows, however, Menas in his dwarven mail was unassailable.
- Menas plan worked, and they inflicted some light damage, but the mercs hesitated.
- And then the dwarves charged and it was mostly over – I called for a Tactics Ob 2 for clean up of inferior forces. Menas failed and one of the dwarves suffered a Traumatic wound.
- Lady Gwen immediately rushed to tend to the wounded – but the dwarves had finished them off.
- Holden notes that Crispin has been eating lots of meat.
- Holden attempts to use Second Sight, but is unable to determine if anything is wrong – Jaron should’ve petitioned for a few FoRKs.
- Lady Gwen, Remy, and Dragan were conspiring to open the letter from Brother Kevin of the Fendowns, a priest of Ilmater.
- Menas grabbed the letter from Lady Gwen, and opened it (Opposed Speed tests, Menas succeeded)
- Kruder threatened Menas then bashed him, grabbing the paper and giving it back to Lady Gwen (Brawling vs. Speed).
- Lady Gwen proceeded to read the letter aloud.
- The letter’s contents made mention of sacrilegious texts sent by Abott Aldric of Bloodstone, a boy named Elven who showed signs of true faith. The letter was gracious for the other true religious texts of Ilmater.
Clearly a village that has seen better days, the village of Bloodstone is run down. The walls are in disrepair, the gates are broken, the villagers are without hope.
- Katie immediately, throws coins to the innkeeper, and drags Remy to a private room.
- Lady Gwen and Holden go to the abby and speek with Abbott Aldric.
- Lady Gwen stretches the truth saying brigands took the letter and opened it.
- Holden calls her out.
- Lady Gwen recants, and gives the letter to the Abbott.
- The Abbott asks if Lady Gwen read the letter.
- Lady Gwen lied, and was caught by the Abbott.
- The Abbott insisted Lady Gwen seek penance the Ilmater way – self-flagellation (Lady Gwen has an ongoing +1 Ob until the next day).
- Dragan is flirting with Lady Gwen.
- Dragan reveals his holy Illumination of Lady Gwen – created with masterful detail (4 successes).
- Lady Gwen gives her valiant lover a kerchief – And thus the chivalrous love blossoms.
- Squire Marlen, a 60 year old man, is grandfather of Garlen and Garvin. He is the squire of Baron Tranth of Bloodstone.
- Squire Marlen thanked Lady Gwen for her tending to Garlen, and offered any future assistance
- Menas learns that since the Bloodstone mines were abandoned, there is little contact between the neighboring dwarves.
- Holden learns of Instructor Jeffry, a member of the college, who was last seen with the dwarves to the north.
- Lady Gwen and Katie have a conversation about Remy being so wonderful.
- Garvin is dressed up in finery and invites the characters to dinner with the Baron.
We ended the session with the characters preparing for a formal dinner with Baron Tranth.
End Session Procedures
We wrapped up by going over the Artha awards – prior to this session I’ve defaulted to giving 2 Fate and 1 Persona without much discussion. I warned the players that this would be the last session where we would have the default awards.
It turns out Aidan has been doing pretty well with Menas, though one belief needs refocusing. Savannah simply needs to refocus her beliefs, and she will knock it out of the park. Matt needs to tweak his beliefs a bit to reflect the current state of the narrative. Jaron and Joe are having the hardest times with their beliefs as they put most of the work on me, a busy Game Master (GM 🔍) managing a host of Non-Player Characters (NPCs 🔍).
We did a quick trait vote and handed out character traits to everyone. Menas is impulsive. Kruder is watchful. Remy is honey-tongued. Lady Gwen has a healing touch. Holden is counseling (though Trustworthy may be better).
Lady Gwen changed her belief from a very passive belief to “I will be the religious leader of Bloodstone by telling everyone of Abbott Aldric’s vile books.” I like it a lot. Lady Gwen told a lie, got caught, and is throwing a gigantic tantrum – one that will rock the faith community of Bloodstone. Then again, Abbott Aldric may need a kick in the pants.
I encouraged others to review their beliefs and ask me for some help. I want to hear the wheels humming!
Players, did I miss anything?
And Time Passes
After my conversation about advancing the timeline, I wanted to make sure that the characters arrived in Bloodstone.
All said, this session spanned 8 days of campaign time; Since the beginning of the campaign 12 days have passed.
I used a handful of pointed questions to provide a bit of flavor for the trip. By preparing and asking questions, I believe I was able to help the players get into their character’s minds and respond accordingly.
This bit was inspired/borrowed from Robert Bohl’s “Mispent Youth”, and D. Vincent Baker’s “Apocalypse World”
I need to read up a bit on Scavenging and spend some time thinking about what to do about it. Any advice from fellow Burners?
Consequences of Failure
Everyone was pounding on this, making sure that a test had the appropriate complication. Matt in particular was asking what the consequences were. While I welcome the request for consequences, I need to push back and ask “What is your intent and how are you achieving it?”
As I was writing the session report, I realized what Holden’s garbled transmission should have been…a sense of forboding followed a few days later by a restless dead finding Holden’s room…the restless dead would be a student that in part blamed Holden for his death.
Range and Cover
I’ve been leaning on Range and Cover, so I need to brush up on the rules of engagement. I’m really enjoying it, and was proud that Aidan stepped up and scripted what turned out to be both a brave and brilliant tactical decision.