Sunday, August 2, 2020

OSR: The Calaveras Campaign 7

This is an ongoing Knave campaign, a smallish sandbox of sorts with new players to the hobby. Read what happened before here.

Let's look at the characters:
Zemalayou (iagson) - carrying a bow and a spellbook. Face heavily scarred and mutated. Speaks through a mouse.
Nerisse (Mo) - redhead bow-woman, who wakes up in the first visited dungeon without any memory of how she ended up there.
Angan Enge (Copernico) - beastman of the Biber Hills, assigned by Rhys to accompany the adventurers. Wants to find his family.
Hirelings/Animals - Ber (a goat that can carry their stuff)

Session 7

  • The adventurers arrive at the southern garrison's tower, a protection point in the Biber Hills. The Grim Kingdom keeps tabs with their neighbors of Diremouth to the West.
  • Short wooden walls surround the camp, as well as the tower. Broken entrance doors give way to the muddy yard. Several buildings in sight, one and two stories short. Two dead bodies in front of the central building, face down, with wooden stakes popping out of their backs.
  • They investigate the bodies (first "parking" the cargo-goat Ber). Then decide to enter that building (Grim Kingdom shield above door). Heavy smoke comes out. Feasting hall, music, and lots of people feasting in here. Big turkey with shiny knife at the center. (variation of Michael Kennedy's room, see Referee Commentary below).
    • They aren't let out of the room! The guards and soldiers get infuriated at mentions of what happened here. Food and drink are actually rotten or gone bad, Nerisse finds out.
    • Knife is found to be magical, and disperses the illusion when being held.
    • They go to the cellar from the kitchen area, all holding the knife. There, they find 3 guards (not illusions!) guarding a barrel. Dizzy and red-eyed. Heavy drug scent in here. What are they guarding? A variation of Delobia, they claim, and in spades.
  • Confrontation is avoided, and the PCs leave the scene. Then, a group of guards/soldiers charge into the courtyard, back from patrolling. Three on horse, with 5 dogs sniffing and snapping around (a lucky entry on the random encounter roll!). Angan and company take to dialogue and parlay, explain what happened, and convince the guards to join efforts to go to the basement and retrieve those drugs. Unfortunately, having authoritative figures present, Angan has to refrain from further investigating the drug.
  • Whilst this is being solved, Zem stays outside keeping watch. He spots the shadow of a big creature at the top of the watch tower. Horse-sized and with wings? The carcass of an animal (deer, pony, or similar?) gets dropped to the feet of the tower.
  • Next they investigate forge; find a dead dwarf within, again with small stakes protruding from the corpse. Small but vicious chained dog barking. Nerisse tames it with a fantastic performance of her harmonica.
  • Move north to a door with several locks outside. Unfortunately, takes them a while, and a flock of crows goes to attack them! (Hitchcock style). Nerisse takes the worst of it, but Zem throws his purse full of silver coins to distract them, and it works! (Of course it does).
    • Using the confusion, the groups hides inside another building, empty inside, which looks like soldiers' barracks. After a few moments it is decided; they will spend the night here.

Referee Commentary

  • The players liked this scenario, the interactions, and the mini-pointcrawl exploration.
  • What I did was to: 1/ grab this map by dysonlogos, 2/ come up with keyed locations (points), including a modified version of this one, 3/ make up a random encounter table. That's it, we are ready to go.