The Stars and Garters Report

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The Stars and Garters Report

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:22 pm

Notice: This post contains spoilers for the adventure the Stars and Garters, which is posted at viewtopic.php?f=44&t=694 - If you might play in that adventure, please beware of spoilers! I'll start with a sort of playtest review and then talk about how the actual adventure ran.

Leonard Deroches - Snark Journalist
Marie Chavez - Human Cowboy
Bill Sullivan - Troll Priest
Vesper Marzden - Elf Brassman

This is was the first time I've run 1879, the first time I've GM'd in years, and comes on the end of a pretty sad dry spell, so I was pretty rusty. Fortunately, I was with old friends from a legendary Earthdawn campaign, so I couldn't have asked for a better bunch.

They were immediately excited when I started telling them about the world. It is a awesome time and place to run an adventure. I gave them a big pile of characters that I had made up and let them pick. If I were to do that again, I would limit the selection so that I could be more familiar with their abilities, but they definitely picked characters they could get a lot out of.

In terms of the play itself - I didn't do much with Social Levels, because I felt we all had enough to deal with in a one shot. All the PCs were all SL 3 except for Marie, who was SL 2. Everyone seemed to have enough stuff that they were good at. I hate when low-level characters come off as incompetent. I did find myself letting them combine skills. "You can do this with this skill because you also have that skill." Not giving bonuses, just stretching what was possible. I let the journalist use Evidence Analysis on an interview to get information. That sort of thing. They were careful about getting into unnecessary fights - the milieu was pretty good at giving them the right cues. The karma seemed to be just scarce enough that they had it when they needed it. We didn't deal with the AP cost in the one-shot, of course. There was one combat. It came at the end of the night and we were starting to get pretty tired, but it was fun. Leonard's player had to work in the morning, so he had to bow out. The one thing that struck everyone as fiddly was changing steps based on modifiers. Our table rule is going to be that if the effect is temporary, then the bonus is applied to the result (as per the Earthdawn rule).

*Spoilers ahead.*

The adventurers met an old friend of Vesper Marzden, Alice, at a pub called the Stars and Garters. Ms. Marzden, an elf brassman, was also friends with two of them. She had befriended Ms. Chavez, a Cowboy, on her arrival from the Americas. Father Sullivan she knew as he was a Boojum with medical knowledge, and she was trying to understand her chances of conceiving a child. Mr. Deroches, however, was simply there to get the scoop on an unusual gliding lizard Marie had befriended. Some were calling it a baby dragon!

The tavern burst into flame as they were getting their bearings. Father Sullivan was completely convinced and retired several tables and chairs as he took the most direct route to the exit straight through them. Once reassured, they agreed to get to the bottom of they mystery on behalf of Francine, the owner. Mr. Deroches, of course, insisted on getting exclusive rights to the story.

They investigated the scene of the crime but were not able to get more than that it was definitely magical in nature, not mechanical or chemical. Franco, Francine's estranged husband, a snark and member of the Millwallers gang, came into the club with his entire cohort and was extremely obnoxious, offering her £20 for the whole outfit and telling her to reconsider breaking off their arrangements.

The party investigated at the Brass Bells, the watering hole of the Millwallers. Ms. Chavez struck up a tune with the piano player, a foul-faced dwarf and made a friend for life by making the tipping public more generous and not taking a share. Mr. Deroches entered into a drinking contest with Franco while Ms. Marzden kept an eye on the crowd. She tried to use her acoustic scout spider to listen in, but unfortunately it was spotted by a waitress, who returned it to her and then unceremoniously downed Ms. Marzden's drink as payment for her trouble.

Mr. Deroches engaged a spiritualist to contact the spirit while Ms. Marzden did some research on what situations could produce these sorts of effects. Father Sullivan studied the Astral Space of the pub some more, and then used Dispel Magic on some of the energies he could detect - not really with the intent of Dispelling anything, but more as a way to sort of poke at it. Whatever he did had immediate and dramatic consequences. The spirit manifested directly in front of him and punched him square in the face, breaking his nose.

During the seance, it came out that the spirit had been causing the illusory flames, but only to prevent Franco from actually burning the place down. It also came out that Franco had been physically abusive towards his family, leaving a massive burn scar on Francine's arm. The party decided to lure Franco away from his cohort and confront him. Mr. Deroches used his knowledge of London Geography to locate the absolute best place for it and then went missing until the next day. (OOC, his player had to leave because of work the next morning, and rolled a Rule of One on his test. So his character fell in the canal on the way to the meet. Would have had a lot more fun with that Rule of One if it hadn't gotten so late!) Father Sullivan confronted Franco "as a troll, and not as a priest," as he put it, while the others concealed themselves. Ms. Marzden set up a creepy soundscape. Franco and his stooge Toady, a human Weird Scientist, were thoroughly rattled. Franco dealt with his fear in the way he knew best, by punching the good Father in the face. Ms. Marzden faced off against Toady and his electrical arc pistol while the others dealt with Franco. Franco turned out to be a terrifying opponent, batting away Father Sullivan's shillelagh and hitting him twice, dodging Ms. Chavez's lariet and nearly punching her warhorse to the ground. Enraging the warhorse turned out to be a nearly fatal mistake, as it reared and smashed him to the ground twice. Ms. Chavez leapt from her horse, landed hard, but then flipped up and fired her rifle into his foot, incapacitating him. They again warned him away from Francine and the Stars and Garters, and left him for the Bobbies to pick up, as they could hear the law on the way.

That proved enough to push Franco out of power, and the Stars and Garters is again a wonderful place to grab a pint and a plate of bangers and mash!

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Re: The Stars and Garters Report

Post by Andrew1879 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:28 pm

Cracking yarn!

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