Friday, September 01, 2006

Northern Crown/7th Sea game session #1

"You all meet in a tavern. . . "

We'll this game didn't quite start out that way, but it was close. First, party introductions: There is, of course, myself as Leutnant Kurt von Sturmblähung, an Orcish grenadier from the Bavarian Alps. Máire, a red-haired Celtic raider with a short temper. Samm Spaccioula, an Italian rogue. And a rakish adventurer who has yet to reveal his true name. There is a certain irony in that among all of them, I am the respectable one.

We had signed aboard a merchant ship with an eye towards sharing in the profits but when the cargo spoiled, we were left on the docks at Freeport (Port Royal) with nothing. Nothing except a press gang. We were met by a gang of pirates who gave us the choice of joining their crew voluntarily or being beaten into service with clubs and belaying pins.

"Hy tink not."

I drew my pistol and shot the leader in the head. It wasn't a good shot, landing only a glancing blow, but the fight was joined. One of the pirates grabbed at my pistol to wrestle it away from me. I was half again as strong as he was and simply pulled him towards my fist and he went down. I pistol whipped another, my comrades stabbed a few and the rest fled.

We were immediately greeted by a studious looking monk who had witnessed the fight and, believing us to be adventurous types, offered us payment for help in finding another of his order who had gone missing.

Thus, to the tavern.

To sum up the tale, this missing person had been normal. Became unbalanced. Was thrown out. Disappeared for several years. When he returned he had no memory of what had happened. Eventually worked his way back into the order's trust. Recently began showing disturbing tendencies and has gone missing again.

A doppelgänger, hy tink. Perheps an evil tvin. Or zumone else in his head, ya?

This led to a search of his home, questioning the locals and a lot of wandering around without much to show for it except the name of an Orcish pirate.

Being an Orc, I went to the ship to see if I could have a conversation with this captain but was ridiculed by the Orcs at the gangplank. I was civilized in a red coat, pants and shoes and they taunted me mercilessly. I attempted to engage them intelligently but I realized they simply didn't understand. So, I punched one of them in the head. The other drew a sword and took a swipe at me.

"Hey. Dat's not very neighborly at hall."

I punched him as well and he went down. That's when the sniper in the crows nest shot me through the lung. My comrades hauled me back to the temple and got me healed up. While they futzed around trying to interrogate the monks and getting nowhere, I returned to the inn and reloaded my pistol with the ball they dug out of my chest. I had plans of returning it.

Later, we went out in search of the Orcish captain and were waylaid by a squad of armored soldier-types in yellow tabards. We were outnumbered 2:1 so we thought to run. Well, I wasn't running far. My plan was to duck into the alley, wait for them to follow and then toss a grenade into their compacted midst. That didn't work out as the rest of the group got caught fighting out in the open. I drew my axe and ran into the fray.

The first went down with his head cleaved crown to jaw. The next, who happened to be the leader, was nearly cut in half and went down. I killed a third on my own and finished off a fourth that had already been wounded. The other three of the party had taken out one each, leaving one to make a run for it when he realized that he was the last one standing.

"Ve hunt!"

Well, he got away in the twisty alleys.

Game Commentary

The fights remind me why I never liked D&D and its successor, the D20 system. Hit points. And a critical means double the hit points of damage. I played Rolemaster for a number of years and enjoyed the graphic critical hits. "Shot through both ears. Hearing impaired. Dies instantly. Awesome shot." It adds to the mind's eye image of what's going on instead of just saying, "you take 4 points of damage."

Even though this is supposed to be 1688 or so and we are armed with matchlocks, the nature of using those weapons was completely forgotten. We might as well all have flintlocks. There were flintlocks in that time period but I blame the D20 system.

I've also never been able to reconcile the gold-standard inflation of the D&D universe. A night at the tavern cost 2 pieces of gold.

The GM is having a tough time playing to period. The guys in the yellow tabards who attacked us were not well described and, while I imagined them much like the Cardinal's men in "The Three Musketeers", they were described much more like your typical medieval fantasy town guards.

Finally, Kurt is much better suited to being the heavy than in all this Sherlock Holmes investigative crap. He's a grenadier, a storm trooper. Not a detective.

No comments: