Burning Locusts: Session 9

Fleshing out Scintillante One Circles Test at a Time

Note: This post has content disclaimers.

Burning Locusts: Session 9 is a game session report for Burning Wheel Gold. We played via Discord and Roll20 on .

Frederico’s player was unable to make it to our session. As much as I wanted to pull on the Lucianno, I wanted to leave that for when we have Frederico’s player.

Both Lucianno and Frederico have connections to the under belly of Scintillante; Lucianno as an Insurrectionist and Frederico with his Scintillante thieves guild affiliation.

Ansidora and Antonius Meet with Uncle Lawman

The scene occurs on 4912-12-24.

With Contract-wise, Antonius successfuly establishes that there’s a dwarf who’s always called in for contracts related mercenary contracts. Success, but no Help as a Linked Test for Ansidora’s Circles test.

Ansidora Circles up a dwarf who has Law-wise and would be willing to work on the case of exposing the contractual loophole in the The Scintillante Cicada Company Contract. She succeeds with style, and she names this contact: Uncle Lawman, a Graybeard dwarf. This is not Ansidora’s uncle. In fact, Uncle Lawman denies knowing Ansidora. Antonius explains the details of the Scintillante Cicada Company contract to Uncle Lawman. With Contract-wise Antonius establishes that Uncle Lawman had previously worked on this contract, some 180 years ago. Exceeding the Obstacle (Ob 📖), this Linked Test provides an Advantage to Haggle the terms of the help.

Haggling against a Graybeard, Antonius succeeds, reducing the Ob 5 Resources test to Ob 4. But fails his Resources test. The Game Master (GM 📖) gives the Gift of Kindness; one point of tax to Antonius’s B6 Resources.

Uncle Lawman is going to need a week to hit the books. This will be the last day of the human calendar year.

“For any deal to be valid, we must know each other’s names. I’m Lord Antonius de Mari and you?”

“I’m Unther Lehman. But as you might’ve guessed, lots of folks call me Uncle Lawman.”

“It is a pleasure, I look forward to hearing from you. Perhaps you shall be known gain a new moniker. Perhaps the Ironclad Cleaver, the man who took an ironclad contract and bent it under his might quill and ink.”

Some Establishing Wises

Ansidora is angles to use Clan-wise to establish that those arrested cede their possessions to the nearest family-member. We go with an Ob 3. Failure. The Prince holds this stuff until trial, and may keep it if the accused party is found guilty. This echoes of asset forfeiture, a police strategy of seizing cash, cars, and/or real estate. See Asset Forfeiture Abuse.

Antonius and Ansidora Seek out Lady Sofia

The scene occurs on 4912-12-24.

Antonius goes to Circle Up Lady Sofia di Montagna, calling on her at her Scintillante apartment; Lady Sofia di Montagna also has a small estate in the country.

As they approach her place, Antonius employers Ansidora to remain quiet. This may be a delicate matter, coming to collect on what’s due. He doesn’t want Ansidora penchant for always stating an opinion to muddy the situation.

She writes art related articles for various newspapers. In session 6, with Ansidora Rune Casting we established that she had the Greater Muse character trait. She has a Grey-shaded Composition, and art inspires her writing. Plenio, her husband, works as a Herald for the Stalwart Company. In session 7, the attackers on Adriano Faraldo’s party had tattooes indicating membership in the Stalwart Company. Antonius has read her art critiques which has helped shape his style; she’s written about an emergent style which Antonius had adopted before the writing. This was a successful Painting-wise and a callback to an established fact from a prior Painting-wise. Antonius broaches the subject of payment for the Scintillante cityscape painting. Lady Sofia confesses that payment will be quite difficult.

After some discussion (and not a Duel of Wits), they agreed to the following:

  • Lady Sofia would review and provide exposure to Antonius’s work; this would be fair and honest
  • If Lady Sofia sells the painting, she would provide Antonius with half of the sale.
  • When Plenio is next in town Antonius will host Lady Sofia and Plenio for a meal; Lady Sofia will bring desert.
  • Antonius may commission her to help him write things.

While this wasn’t a Duel of Wits, Antonius was leaning into his new Mover of Social Currents trait. He was also securing someone who might make a good propagandist or help in crafting precise missives or even contracts.

At the end of the scene, Lady Sofia said, “While I’m sure you and I will have much to talk about at dinner, I’m afraid my husband will be rather bored.”

“My dear lady, you don’t know who I once was? I was the Captain of the Radiant Company. I can talk about past campaigns as well as the art they inspired. We will all have a lovely conversation.”

Finding Someone Who Knows Lucciano’s Current Whereabouts

Ansidora and Antonius return to Villa di Mari. They want to track down Lucianno, and want Maccio’s help. In session 7 we learn that Maccio was dating Lucianno a few years ago. Ansidora and Maccio start reading some previous newspapers, looking for news of a past bombing that would provide insight on who might know where to find Lucianno.

This was a Bad End-wise test by Ansidora with Darkened Alley-wise help from Maccio. And failure; with the consequence establishing as there were several recent bombings, and more than just Lucianno acting alone.

Antonius and Ansidora went from café to café, playing games of Go. Looking for someone who knew how to reach Lucianno and was not aligned with the insurrectionists; an Ob 5 Circles test. A base Ob of 4, increased by 1 for Ansidora’s failed Linked Test. Antonius exceeded the Ob and could name the person.

Here we talked a little bit. We knew, from information shared by the GM to the players, that Lucianno owed money to Alfanso. Here we spent time discussing if we wanted to add another Non-Player Character (NPC 📖) into the cast of characters.

Given that Frederico had arranged to help Alfanso collect on outstanding debts, I went ahead and named Alfanso as the NPC Antonius had found.

Antonius, learned that Alfanso had some small dealings with Lucianno. And, as an added perk, we established that Alfanso was not aligned with the insurrectionists.

Reflections

In this session I did quite a bit of talking. Securing a lawyer has long been one of Antonius’s Beliefs. And I wasn’t expecting that we’d secure a dwarf lawyer, but it added some nice texture to the game.

Further, with Antonius’s newly taxed resources, he chose to call on Lady Sofia di Montagna to collect. But seeing the situation, he chose to lean into his new character trait: Mover of Social Currents. A savvy player might have chosen a Duel of Wits; but thus-far we’ve only engaged in one Duel of Wits.

Our continued use of Wises and Circles helps us shape Scintillante. In failing tests, we see the situation deteriorate, albeit from the perspective of the reader of a story.