That room—once you enter it, you never really leave. You can forget you’re there, you can go on as if you hold the reins, that the course of your life, yea even its length, will reflect the force of your character and the wisdom of your judgments. And then you hit an icy patch on a turn one sunny March day and the wheel in your hands becomes a joke and you no more than a spectator to your own dreamy slide toward the verge, and then you remember where you are.Tobias Wolff, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories
Session 2 – Our Story Begins
Well, I guess I lied. In my last post in this series, I said “that I would prefer that the next post be where I am currently, as the goal of each Session post is to literally detail the game play of each Play session; what resource I used; recommendation; etc., so that’s what we’ll do instead.“
But then I realized that we’re probably going to need a bit of context that would be way too much as a lead off of an actual play session. Therefore, this post will in fact NOT be what I said it was going to be in the first place, but it sort of is.
Yeah, take a moment to unwind that.
It does “detail the game play of the play sessions; what resource I used; recommentations; etc” so I guess it’s not a complete lie. It’s just that it doesn’t pick up where I am currently in my solo game.
Instead, I’ll do my best to break down what has transpired so far. This might in fact take a couple more posts. Perhaps each post will cover 5 days of game time until I’m caught up and THEN, yeah then I’ll switch over to using Mythic. Heck, I might even turn this into a podcast of the play session, with each session post being a recap of that. But I digress.
The bottom line is some of you are going to think you’ve won. You will only be half right. You won, and so did I. Sorry, that was a bad WOTC OGL reference. I told myself I wasn’t going to do that. Let’s just move on. shall we?
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
The Story So Far
I’ve created my character, a human Bard named Morn Bardigus. and set him off to begin his quests in the land of Epica.
I won’t be detailing too much of what I used nor how I answered questions to further the story, as I’m saving that for my session 5 post where I’m switching to the Mythic Game Master Emulator (MGME).
And so, our story begins.
Morn explores a small dungeon and has his ass kicked by a bunch of rats and other creatures.
ATGM: I used the tables from Chapter 8: Random Dungeon Generation, in The Solo Adventurer's Toolbox (TSAT) to generate a dungeon and placed Morn at the beginning. I chose to start off in a dungeon because, well it seemed to be the easiest thing to get a sense of while learning to solo play from TSAT. I used Chapter 6: Dungeon Encounters to determine the types of encounters and Chapter 16: Monster Encounters For The Solo PC to get the specifics.
He collects his treasure and comes upon a village named Soothing Springs.
The local Tavern and Inn is called The Hammered King. A lanky man with busy sideburns and ashy blond hair, wearing a brown shirt, blue pants and the most ostentatious belt buckle you’ve ever laid eyes on named Grover Blacksburg is the proprietor of The Hammered King.
ATGM: I used The Game Master’s Book of Non-Player Characters (GMBNPC) to create Grover Blacksburg and the rest of the NPCs during this time. I used Inkarnate to find a town map I liked. Using Chapter 7: Quest Generator from TSAT, I came up with a quest I called Lost Daughter.
Mr. Blacksburg’s’ daughter hired gamblers in the tavern to escort her to the next town, but he hasn’t heard word back from her for 4 days. He wants Morn to find out what happened and will reward him for his time. He tells us she was heading east of town.
ATGM: I never actually named this town. We'll just call it, The Town To The East for now. I also didn't generate an area map, instead I just used a battle map and decided the distance across the map was the distance to this town. I should also note that I would do a d100 roll every 2 hours (6 miles of normal travel) for a 50% chance of having a random encounter. When I did, I used the information from Chapter 4: Wilderness Encounters of TSAT.
Morn encounters the gamblers in which he discovers they were raided by Bandits that kidnapped the daughter from them. After a period of time, he discovers the bandits; defeats all but one in combat; and then from the remaining bandit discovers that the daughter is dead. He ties up the bandit, to return him to the authorities along with the body of Mr. Blacksburg’s daughter.
After an uneventful rest and continuing their way back to Soothing Springs, they encounter a Cleric Human Female, a boat builder, by the name of Lisa Featherstead. Her father was trapped under rocks north of us 6 miles and needed help.
The party finds her father, but unfortunately by that time he is dead.
ATGM: Damn, everyone around me is dying and I get my ass kicked by rats.
Morn and the arrested bandit finally make it back to town and Morn explains what happened to the Innkeeper, he still rewards Morn for finding her. The bandit is turned over to the Constable.
While having breakfast at The Hammered King, a Human Male Druid named Aulek Bookins enters. His wives Gold Music Box was stolen by goblins from the north and he will pay 500 gold pieces for someone to retrieve it.
He believes the goblins took it to some caves north of Soothing Springs. About a days travel or so.
ATGM: It was about this time, that I decided to create a secondary character, a High Elf Fighter named Thenelis Goltorah, to travel along with Morn. I did this to accomplish a couple of different things: To learn how to play a different race/species and class. I wanted to generate larger encounters and enhance the battle with more PCs. Chapter 16: Monster Encounters For The Solo PC, in TSAT has a 2PC Conversion chart for solo players for this very reason. I also did the same as before, using a battle map and decided the distance across the map was the distance to the caves, but this time heading north.
Morn invites Thenelis Goltorah, a High Elf Fighter who is at the tavern to join him on this quest, and after about a day’s travel, the party find the caves and rest for the night before entering.
Morn and Thenelis battle quite a few goblins in the caves and come upon a hidden scroll. The scroll is written in a language they do not understand and needs to be interpreted. They also discover a map of the local area.
ATGM: I used techniques from Chapter 9: Random Wilderness Generation in TSAT along with Wondercraft to flesh out the area above Soothing Springs. At the time, I didn't have a name for the setting yet, but have since decided that these areas exist in the land of Epica. I'm not sure if Epica will just be the name of the continent we are in, or for the entire world just yet. Regardless, it provides plenty of area to explore and inspiration for the story in it's current form. Just as in Day 1, I used TSAT to generate the experience while exploring the goblin caves.
They finally encounter a Hobgolbin and after defeating it, they obtain a master key that opens the rest of the cave dungeon where they find the gold music box stored in a stronghold in the cave.
They return the music box to Aulek, and obtain their reward.
The party is told that a settlement to the north may have someone who can interpret the scroll. As they travel north, they run into a family that is begging for food or gold. They learn the name of the father of the family as Foke “Bernie” Barnswaggle. Bernie explains that his crops keep failing and that’s why he can’t feed his family. The party decides to help them hunt for food, instead of just giving them gold.
ATGM: For Bernie, I used the stock NPC from the GMBNPC, pg. 105 as he had some interesting characteristics I wanted to work into the story. I move our characters on a battle map as before, except this time every square on the map represented say 100 feet. I would roll a d100 for a 50% chance that we would find some creature to hunt (rabits, bears etc.). And then, using standard attack rules, determine if we slayed the hunted creatures.
After hunting, Bernie leads the party to his home for dinner. His home is on the southern edge of Lake Pickle.
ATGM: I came up with Lake Pickle, due to the catch phrase stated from the GMBNPC that Bernie uses.
The party discovers that there is an Aboleth lair beneath the lake, and this is the reason the families’ crops are failing. Considering the challenge rating of an Aboleth, the party makes a promise to come back and help deal with it when they can. They suggest to Bernie to move his family to Soothing Springs until the party can return to deal with the Aboleth.
Continuing on, the party eventually reaches the settlement where they were told it may have someone who can interpret the scroll they discovered. The town is called Dreadmere.
There is an inn called, The Leering Eagle, whose Innkeeper is named Honey O’dell.
ATGM: I used Inkarnate to find a town map I liked for Dreadmere, and I believe initially I just used information from The Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG) to put a few buildings and the Inn initially. Eventually however, I used Spectacular Settlements from Nord Games to further refine it and the town north of Dreadmere. I'll be doing an Investigation Check on Spectacular Settlements very soon, as it is an amazing resource.
I decided to end this session post on Day 5, as it was getting pretty lengthy. I have about 10 more game days to break down to get caught up! Once I’m caught up, I doubt the session posts will cover so many days at once (famous last words).
Regardless, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Do you like the format of the breakdowns I’m using? Would you like to see other details I’m missing or not calling out? Let me know and I’ll refine the process as we move along.
The Old Bard
- The Solo Adventurer’s Toolbox (TSAT)
- Dungeons & Dragons Core Rule Books
- Players Handbook (PHB)
- Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG)
- Monster Manual (MM)
- Wonderdraft for Large Area Map Generation
- Inkarnate for repurposed Village Maps.
- The Game Master’s Book of Non-Player Characters (GMBNPC) for some of the NPCs
- Spectacular Settlements by Nord Games.