Chasing the Sunset & Misdirection

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, Stella was pulled into interdimensional shenanigans by a mad scientist Lantern piloting a scarecrow. Buckle and the rest of the world were insulated from the effects by another Lantern named Mira.

Mira offers Stella a gift for helping contain the dimensional portals.  She offers the location of a secret library, a sword made of light, and a Wire Port.  Stella chooses the Wire Port and adds it to her Gear.

  • Wire port. With the press of a button, this grappling wire teleports the wielder to whatever the end of the wire is attached to, instantly moving them along the wire’s length (2 Uses).

GM note: The players had to remind themselves what they were doing before the bottle episode. One player has been keeping a map of their travels, and used that to chart their course. In general, I don’t keep secrets from the players, but in an exploration game, not knowing what’s over the next hill is part of the fun, so I don’t give them access to my map.

The Fellowship just fled Port Fennrick are are sailing up the Mighty River on the Miranda, their racing yacht. Long ago, they heard some great power was hidden under one of two volcanoes, and they were only able to explore one. They’re going back to explore the other.  They see two volcanoes to the south of the river, roughly across from the tributary that leads north to Bogden.  The peak to the east is smoking. The peak to the west is not.  The smoking peak conceals Swallet, a goblin city where Buckle met Ugg in a Fight Club. The Fellowship left hasily during a police raid on the facility. Buckle specifically remembers throwing food at cops.

Stella: I don’t want to go back there.

The Fellowship disembarks and walks inland. On the plain in between the two volcanoes, four Goblins are planting sod around a patch of disturbed earth. Buckle sends Ugg to investigate, since he’s a former resident and can blend in. He approaches and starts helping to move heavy rolls of sod with his robot arms, acting like he’s part of the work crew. He strikes up a conversation with one of the workers.

  • Gaubeau Goblin she/her. She wears an eye patch on her left eye, with a small periscope that goes across her nose so her right eye can see from her left eye’s position.

GM note: we thought it appropriate to roll this move with Buckle’s stats, even though his Companion is the one doing the action diagetically.

Buckle Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What can they tell us about this project?
    • “Now that Swallet is back in Goblin hands, we’re correcting the mistakes of the previous administration and returning to secrecy.”
  • What can they tell us about the previous administration?
    • “Ugg! It’s me, Gaubeau. We were in Fight Club together, but I had both eyes back then. When the cops raided Fight Club, Fafnir fought them all the way back to City Hall and took over. She had us install a ramp to the surface and big sign so that she could attract worthy opponents to fight.  After the second battle of Fight Club, Nub-Nub regained control of the city and she’s taking it back to its orginal purpose: to avoid notice by outsiders.”
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Nub-Nub?
    • “Any visitors to this area can go to the library. There’s a library in the other mountain. All this time and we never knew it was there.” There’s a saying among Goblins, “The invention I can’t complete”, which means something that a person just can’t do, no matter how hard they try. “The invention Nub-Nub will never complete is a machine to make her tolerate adventurers!”

Ugg stays to finish laying the sod. Gaubeau invites him to visit her, since he’s back in the area. Nub-Nub returns to the Fellowship, who stayed hidden a distance away, and recounts what he learned.

Ugg: Y’all aren’t welcome. You know how they are.

Buckle: The library in the volcano PEAKED your interest, eh?

Stella: Let’s go to the library!

Buckle: Yeah, I like books.

Stella worries about the ever-burning Buckle destroying precious tomes by touching them. The Fellowship heads up the western peak. There’s a faint trail leading up. Further up the mountain, there’s a rocky area where they need to scramble. There’s a Dwarf cutting steps into the rocks to make the trail easier. Stella compliments his craftsmanship.

  • Lofar Dwarf he/him

Stella: I haven’t seen stairs like these in 28 moon-cycles!

Buckle: Does the Moon have cycles?

Lofar: Don’t have much use for the Moon, but I can look it up in the library. I hoped to find treasure under this mountain, but I found knowledge. It changed my life.  Go right ahead! The library is at the top.

Buckle: Let’s go. Every time we stop to talk, someone tries to steal from us.

The Fellowship climbs to the top of the volcano. Two staircases spiral down the caldera to a smooth dome of ceramic at the bottom. One of the staircases has been repaired. The staircases are mostly carved out of the volcano, but the repaired steps are stone from elsewhere.  The Fellowship descends and finds a large entryway in the cermaic shell.

Stella: Stay out here. I’m not sure how much room there is inside.

Buckle agrees, although he doesn’t see much reason to fear his burning heat. It’s not doing anything to the ceramic he’s walking on.

Stella enters the ceramic dome through a large, square opening. Immediately inside are two display cases. One contains a Goblin Power Suit. The other contains four horseshoes. The Librarian approaches and greets Stella. The Librarian is a ghost: a sheet with two holes for eyes and glasses hovering in front of those holes. This is a different kind of undeath from the Remnant, and from the hungry dead in the Deathlands outside Vieport. Truly, this world has many ways to not completely die. Past the display cases are shelves full of books, and desks and chairs for reading. There are two other patrons: a Human man facing away, his desk piled high with books; and a Platyperson with a lot of gear. Stella recognizes him, but takes a moment to remember where. It’s Perry Ogre-Bane, whom they met when they stopped to repair the Miranda on that small island.

  • Perry Ogre-Bane Platyperson he/him. A cautious and highly skilled bounty hunter. They never move in unprepared.
    • Weakness Exploit: The hunter knows the weaknesses of their prey, and brings appropriate weapons and armor. Their weapons can damage anyone in the fellowship through any defenses they have, ignoring them entirely.
    • Tailored Resistance: The hunter has Protection. For each player in the fellowship, they choose one Move or Gear option to be immune to. That Move always fails against them, and that Gear doesn’t do anything to them. The hunter chooses their resistances at the start of each scene they appear in.
    • Equipment Reliant: The hunter is nothing without their tools. Their strength and speed are unremarkable, and they rely and gear to keep up. The hunter is in Despair if they are ever without their equipment.

Perry is engrossed in studying a map, and has a few books spread out on the table. Stella tries to make a cool entrance by pointing our Evelynn’s estate.

Stella: Hey, it’s not there! How old is this map?

Perry looks up, startled, and stares at Stella for a moment.

Perry: You! With the boat. You fought the Half-Ogre.

The Librarian shooshes him. He continues in a low voice.

Perry: It’s at least 150 years old.

Stella Speak Softly 7-9 Ask 3 questions. 1 unhelpful answer

  • What is Perry doing? What will he do next?
    • Perry has a new quarry that promises sizable rewards. He’s researching Dragons.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Perry?
    • Perry’s a professional. He’s polite and avoids burning bridges, but he’s ultimately after glory and money. He’ll kill you if he has a reason.
  • What can you tell me about the hunt?
    • There are reports of Dragon attacks out west. He’s checking old maps because Dragons have been gone for 100 years. He hopes to find how they used to move. He has not moved on to the stage of gathering equipment to counter Dragons specifically.

Stella’s not happy. Surely Perry is hunting Fafnir, a former member of the Fellowship! Fortunately he’s still doing research and isn’t close to attacking her.  Attacks out west? There are vampires out west. They hate Dragons for creating the Moon, right? Stella keeps a calm exterior, but is panicking internally.

Stella: Wow, what a cool adventure. Mind if I tell my team? They’d be impressed.

Perry: Are you going after it yourself? You’ve already taken one trophy from me.

Stella: I’m not interested in money.

Perry: You’ll understand if I don’t share my research with you.

Stella gets the hint that she should leave, and returns to Buckle at the entrance of the library.

Buckle: Well,what kind of books are in there?

Stella: More important than books. Fafnir! Perry is in there researching how to hunt Dragons!

Buckle has emotions! He hatched Fafnir from an egg! She’s out there alone. Can she fend for herself? Buckle starts to march into the library to talk to Perry.

Stella: No, you might put her in danger! He doesn’t know who she is, but we do.

Buckle: So should be do nothing?

Stella: We’re going to try to stop him. Maybe he needs travel companions. It’s a long journey out west, and Dragons are dangerous.

Buckle: Fafnir’s not that dangerous.

Stella gestures towards Swallet.

Buckle: Maybe she can take care of herself. Maybe she doesn’t need me!

Buckle sadly plops down and sits on his flat tail.

Stella: She needs you in this moment more than ever! Do you think you can talk him down?

Buckle: He seemed reasonable.

Stella: He’d stab you in the back for money.

Buckle: We can sort this out, Platyperson to Platyperson.

Buckle walks into the library and the Librarian stops him. His burnign presence is an unacceptable risk to the collection. She agrees to page Perry. Everyone hears a ghostly whisper right in their ears.

Librarian: Perry Ogre-Bane, please meet your party at the front entrance.

The Human with the piles of books almost jumps out of his chair at the sound. Perry is also uncomfortable, but comes to meet Buckle at the entrance.

Perry: I remember you. What’s the deal?

Buckle: Perry, I hear you’re hunting a Dragon. She’s my daughter, Fafnir, and Platyperson to Platyperson, I must ask you to stop.

Perry: Ah, it’s name is Fafnir–your daughter?

GM note: Platypeople incubate eggs, and Dragons hatch from eggs, so Buckle’s claim isn’t as outlandish as a Human claiming to have a Dragon daughter, but it’s still really weird! Dragons are extinct, after all.

Perry feigns concern to try to get Buckle to overshare and reveal some weakness he can use against Fafnir. Buckle senses the danger.

Buckle Overcome 10+

He doesn’t overshare, and even get Perry to reveal some information. Buckle says that he hatched Fafnir from an egg and took her on the Fairy Ferry because she wanted to ride it. Fafnir is very important to Buckle. She’s his responsibility!

Buckle Speak Softly 10+

  • What can Perry tell us about Dragons?
    • Dragons were powerful enough to rule the world. They can fly and breathe fire, and are generally great physical specimens. They are so rare that most people think they are extinct.
  • What does Perry want, and how can we help him get it?
    • Perry wants to test his skills and be recognized for them. If the Fellowship wants to help with those goals, two obvious roles are heralds and opponents.
  • What is Perry doing? What will he do next?
    • After he learns about Dragon’s weaknesses, he will go west and meet the Count who issued the bounty. Perry produces a wanted poster with Fafnir’s name and a vague silhouette of a winged reptile.

Buckle: My baby is wanted by the law?!

Buckle forgets that he’s also wanted by the law.

Buckle: I’m certainly not telling people how awseome you are if you kill my daughter!

Stella: He’ll tarnish your name!

Buckle: I’ll tarnish more than that!

Perry doesn’t want to deal with this anymore and tries to walk away. Buckle keeps engaging him in conversation.

Buckle Keep Them Busy 6-

Buckle: You could hunt other targets. There are Dinosaurs! A Spider with a laser cannon! Werewolves in Bogden!

Perry reaches into one of his many pouches and pulls out a case containing a number of Werewolf teeth. He walks past Buckle, but Stella is leaning on the edge of the entrance to the library.

Stella Talk Nonsense: Talk Sense by telling grandiose lies with a straight face 10+

Stella: I guess you’re not interested in Cerberus. Surely you’ve heard of the one and only Cerberus?

Stella Talk Nonsense: On a 10+ you may Sting Like A Bee

Stella Sting Like A Bee: You can only Sting Like A Bee against those who are
larger than you.

GM note: Stella and Perry are the same size, so she can’t Sring Like A Bee.

Dragons are rare, but a completely unique monster is too good for Perry to pass up.

Perry: I’ll tell the Librarian that I’m done with my research and we’ll get underway immediately.

When Perry goes inside, Buckle leans in to Stella:

Buckle: What Cerberus?

Stella: It’s a big dog with three heads

Buckle imagines Wallace, the magenta pomeranian he met in Port Fennrick.

Perry returns, ready to set out a journey.

Stella: You’re under the imporession I’m going with you. I have a mandate to find Halfings in this continent. Deviating from my mission with have severe consequences. I’ll pay you great riches to hunt this creature for me.

Perry: Half up front is standard.

Stella: I’m not carrying that much cash on me, but I can give you collateral.

Stella offers King’s Blades, a pair of oversized swords once wielded by a fierce Half-Ogre.

Perry: I won’t fake accomplishments and accept trophies from a battle I didn’t fight. I can go get cash from your stronghold.

Stella: I’ll mark it on your map. Take the river east to the sea, then head north along the coast. When you reach Castellum, ask how to find the dinosaurs. They’re my friends, and will show you my stronghold hidden in the jungle.

Perry produces a scroll with a template contract for hunting. He fills in a large sum for the reward, and Stella signs it.

Stella: Remember, tell Castellum that you’re with the dinosaurs.

Perry sets off, hoping for glory and a big payday, unaware that Castellum hates dinosaurs, and anyone friendly to them.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: YES, the pocket dimension
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? YES, Buckle is protecting his loved ones (Fafnir)
  • Did we discover something new about the world or its people? NO

Two boons: healing, gear

Chasing the Sunset & Four Elements

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship explored a Remnant Dungeon related to Yuri’s magical sword, and found an item that will allow them to unlock more doors.

Yuri picks up the light left behind when the Abyssal beast exploded and wonders what to call it. It’s clearly a lantern, but Lanterns are a species of people in this world. Reverse Lantern? No, it emits as well as absorbs it. Polarity Lamp? Toggluminator? Yes, Toggluminator! The Fellowship returns to the bar and the surviving Remnants shrink from the Toggluminator. Shadows aren’t affected by normal weapons, but the Toggluminator can make them vulnerable. Also, the bright flash of the Abyssal Beast’s death just killed half the Remnants in the room. Yuri reads the room and puts the Toggluminator in his bag.

Remnants: We already died once. We won’t do it again!

Yuri: No need to fear. I mean you no harm. Feel free to leave.

The Remnants slink away into the trapped room to the east. Yuri uses the Toggluminator to unlock the door to the west, behind the bar.

  • A monster is defending something here. What are they protecting? A magical amulet that reacts to Yuri’s sword. It’s important to the quest.

The door opens to a storeroom shaped like a spiral. It has the small footprint of a multi-storey storage room, but heavy packages can be pushed up or down the sloped floor to any point in the room, no hoists or elevators required. The ceiling is 15 feet high, generous for the Human-sized Remnants, but just a bit to small for Edna. More urgently, a hundred Kobold Pokers have arrayed themselves against the door several ranks deep. It’s like they knew someone was coming! Behind them is a Kobold wearing a fancy amulet. He’s obviously in charge, and the amulet reacts to Yuri’s sword.

  • Gang of Kobold Pokers: These Kobold warriors hide behind shields and poke their enemies with a well-used spear.
    • Gang: This enemy can act against everyone at once. When this enemy is destroyed, this stat is damaged, or this is their only stat left, replace the Gang with two Groups of this enemy. This stat can only be damaged by Area, Dangerous, or Giant attacks.
    • Use the Pointy Bit: The Poker’s attacks are Piercing.
    • Big Shield: When an ally would be damaged while the Poker is near them, damage this stat instead.
  • Kobold Lord: he/him This kobold wears the amulet, making them the boss.
    • Amulet: Whoever has the Kobold Lord’s amulet is the current Kobold Lord. All kobolds obey the Kobold Lord so long as he wears the amulet. If this stat is damaged, the Kobold Lord loses the amulet and becomes a different type of  kobold. If another kobold picks up the hat, replace their stats with these ones.
    • Scamper Away: When the Kobold Lord becomes damaged, he runs away.

Yuri: Always enjoy a welcome party. I am owner of amulet. Ca nwe trade for it? I promise to return it when we’re done.

Vestri: Do you intend to keep that promise?

Yuri: Da, why not?

Kobold Lord: This intruder intends to overthrow our eternal society!

The Kobolds have been locked in the storage room for a very long time, and it’s all that they remember. As far as they know, they have always lived like this.

Yuri: No, no need to overthrow. It’s just that my sword reacts to your amulet.

Kobold Lord: You’ve got it backwards. The sword reacts to the amulet, so the sword must belong to us!

Yuri: Hmmm, convincing. What is use of amulet?

Kobold Lord: It’s my badge of office. Proof of my right to rule! What could be more useful that that which binds our eternal society?

Yuri: Provisions. We can reach the top shelves for you, or release you from this room.

A murmur runs through the ranks of the Kobold. They’re short, and don’t have ladders to reach the top shelves, so those shelves have remained full and untouched.

Kobolds: The top shelves? Their contents are legendary! Philosophers have long debated what is in those untouchable cans. Leave the spiral? Is there even anything outside? Those strangers must have come from somewhere.

Vestri: You’re going to run out of food eventually.

Kobold Lord: We’ve had food for all of history.

Vestri: How long is that?

Kobold Lord: The spiral is eternal!

Vestri: I’m from a world outside your spiral, and Yuri here is literally from another world besides that one.

Shocking revelations! One bold Kobold breaks ranks and approaches the Fellowship.

  • Tin-Tin III: Kobold he/him

Tin-Tin III: I want to go outside!

Kobold Lord: Seize that traitor!

The ranks of Kobold Pokers advance on Tin-Tin III. Edna reaches down and picks him up, far out of the reach of their tiny spears.

Edna Overcome 10+

Kobold Slingers emerge from thier hiding places in the shelves and fire a hail of tiny pellets at Edna.

  • Group of Kobold Slingers: These kobolds are well-practiced with their powerful slingshots, firing rocks at their enemies from afar and then running away immediately.
    • Group: This enemy can act against two people at once. When this enemy is destroyed, this stat is damaged, or this is their only stat left, replace the Group
      with two normal enemies.
    • Rock to the Head: When they fire at an enemy who does not know they are there, the Slingers can damage this stat to deal damage as a Hard Cut.
    • Scamper Away: When the Slingers becomes damaged, they run away.

Group of Kobold Slingers Rock to the Head + Group: Damage Edna & Tin-Tin III

Edna Wobbles: Normal Weapons can’t hurt you

Edna Protect The Little Ones: When an ally within your reach would Overcome incoming harm, they may choose to have you take that harm instead of rolling.

Edna puts her other hand over Tin-Tin to protect him, and flinches from the bullets like one might flinch walking out into heavy rain.

GM note: Since the Kobold Slingers were dealing damage as a Hard Cut, Tin-Tin III didn’t have a chance to Overcome, so Protect The Little Ones should not have triggered.

Group of Kobold Slingers Scamper Away: When the Slingers becomes damaged, they run away.

The Slingers see their attacks fail and retreat, having accomplished nothing. Since Edna has Tin-Tin III up so high all ready, she puts him on a top shelf. Tin-Tin’s spear point is a can opener, so he opens a can that no other Kobold has ever touched!

Tin-Tin III: It’s green beans! Green beans, just like on the lower shelves!

The Kobold Pokers are thrown into chaos! Long-held beliefs are confirmed and overthrown in an instant. Endless debates resolved just like that! Tin-Tin III pushes cans down and Kobolds swarm towards them. In the confusion, Yuri walks up and grabs the amulet from around the Kobold Lord’s neck!

Yuri Get Away 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once: re-roll 1 die 7-9 avoid harm

Some loyal Kobold Pokers notice Yuri’s theft and move to encircle him.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri baseball slides past them and between Edna’s legs. Edna puts her heels together, blocking pursuit. Edna has been filling her pockets with canned food from the top shelf.

Edna and Vestri restore all Food in their Gear

Now it seems like time to leave. To give the Kobolds permanent access to the upper shelves that seem so exciting to the little folk, she breaks shelves to form a ramp.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: uncontrolled actions cause collateral damage

Edna damages Tin-Tin III

The cans on the shelf/ramp slide and roll down into the crowd. The Fellowship retreat from the chaos, but leave the door open in case any Kobold wish to explore.

Vestri: Maybe some of them will explore the wider world, or at least the bar.

Yuri: They’ll be scared of the Remnants.

Vestri: They won’t be able to get down the cliff face at the entrance, so they’re still stuck in here.

Edna: What strange people!

Vestri: That’s the Eternal Spiral.

Yuri: The Eternal Pantry.

The Fellowship returns to the circular trap corridor and Yuri unlocks the north door with the Toggluminator.

  • What cool centerpiece makes up the majority of this room? A large statue in a pool.

The statue is a bit taller than Edna. The statue holds an orb aloft in one hand. Surrounding the statue is a pool of water, fed by a waterfall. It must drain to somewhere, because the pool does not overflow.  The statue is covered in glowing fungus.

Edna: Oh, this could be a life-size statue of an Ogre. but it might also be a monumental statue of a Human.

Edna Look Closely 6- ask 1 question& find out the hard way

  • Tell me about the statue. how could it hurt or help me?
    • The orb in the statue’s outstretched hand must be important. Fungus doesn’t grow on it. Edna moves in to examine the statue and slips as she enters the pool. She falls against the statue and the fungus releases a puff of spores. They are an inhaled poison!

Edna damages Grace

Edna takes a breath, chokes, holds her nose, and tries to Mighty Leap away, but can’t get good footing on the slick underwater surface. She falls back and scrambles out of the pool.

Edna: Don’t go! *cough, cough* It’s bad!

Yuri: Do you need medical attention?

Edna: I’m OK. Just don’t breathe that stuff.

Vestri wraps a handkerchief around his face. It’s not a particularly clean cloth.

Edna: I think the statue holds something important. Yuri, does your sword react to it?

Yuri Look Closely 10+ ask 3 questions

  • Tell me about the orb. How can it hurt or help me?
    • It will help solve the puzzle to access the boss, but there’s a risk of magical discharge if the orb is used improperly.
  • What will happen if I put the sword close?
    • The orb glows with caustic patterns, like light reflected from water.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • At the base of the statue, almost covered by fungus, is a small recess that might hold something.

Vestri: Edna, can you hold me up to grab the orb?

Vestri Overcome (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

Of course she can. Vestri holds his breath, grabs the orb, and Edna pulls him out of the cloud of spores with no ill effects

Vestri: Here’s another glowing item to help you see in the dark.

Vestri gives the orb to Yuri and Yuri ponders the three magic items he has collected so far. The amulet from the Kobolds is a block of metal, twisted to match the Eternal Spiral. The orb is the size of a basketball, smooth like glass, with a faint aquamarine glow. It can purify water that it touches. Yuri’s sword has a flaming blade and gives him mysterious visions.

Yuri Look Closely 6- ask 1 question& find out the hard way

  • What will happen if I put these items together?
    • The orb is dim, and Yuri brings his flaming sword close to get a better look. The items touch, there’s a magical discharge, and the sword becomes searing hot to the touch!
  • Fake Firewall: The fire is an illusion. The heat and pain are not real. Only the  brave or reckless may pass.
    • This threat is Secret.
    • False Heat: Anyone who gets close to the fire feels its intense heat. Even those who are normally immune to flames will find it uncomfortably hot, and even painful to touch (this is a hint that it is not real flame). This pain is not real, but only those with Hope can muster the strength to pass through.
    • Disbelief: If someone becomes convinced that the flames are fake, they may attempt to Overcome the fire and walk through it anyway. But the pain is immense, and they will roll with Despair. Once someone makes it through by this method, damage this stat.

Yuri drops the sword, and thinks about pushing it into the water, or splashing it somehow. He can’t bear to touch the sword directly.

Yuri: Maybe I could use Vestri’s dagger.

Vestri: My what? Absolutely not!

Yuri: Can you speak to the earth to make a little ramp?

Vestri Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What can you tell us about this chamber?
    • It was carved by Dragons’ claws.
  • What should be be wary of when dealing with this chamber?
    • The source of the fungus is behind the wall, in whatever recycles the water.
  • Please make a ramp so the sword will slide into the water.
    • Will do.

The sword slides down the ramp into the water, but the water doesn’t hiss and no steam rises the the sword.

Yuri: Maybe if I touch them together again.

He wades into the water holding the orb. When the orb touches the impure water, it reacts. The orb purifies water by heating it to 170 degrees, which kills most harmful microorganisms. The water around Yuri becomes uncomfortably hot!

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri scrambles out of the water before it scalds him. The orb heats and purifies the water, which drains and goes past the source of the corruption somewhere in the walls, then comes out in the waterfall again. Eventually all the water is pure, and Yuri can try again to grab his sword. Edna holds onto Yuri and yanks him out of the hot water as soon as he grabs the sword

Magic Sword False Heat: Hope is required to grab the sword

Yuri + Edna The Bonds That Bind Us: When two people with bonds with each other work together, they have Hope

Yuri Overcome (+Hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

When Yuri grabs the sword, he realizes that the burning heat is only an illusion. Now he can handle it normally. He replaces it in its scabbard.

Vestri: Now, what have we learned about banging two magical items together?

The fungus at the base of the statue is now dead, thanks to the purified water, so the hidden recess may be accessible.

Yuri: I don’t want to mess with fungi. Is not fun for this guy.

Vestri: If only we had a way to put a lot of water on the statue.

The Fellowship backtracks to the bar, which is sure to have some way of carrying liquids, like mugs or barrels.  The few Remnants that they see retreat before them.  A few brave Kobolds are exploring the bar, led by Tin-Tin III. He wears a corkscrew around his neck to imitate the amulet that Yuri took. A Kobold finds a package of salted peanuts, which she’s never had before, and almost chokes on the strong flavor.  Edna waves to Tin-Tin III and grabs an empty barrel.

Back in the chamber with the statue, Edna uses the barrel to scoop up hot purified water and throw it on the statue to kill the rest of the fungus.

Edna overcome 7-9 Pay A Price

Edna damage armor

Between the splashing water and the puffs of spores, it’s dangerous work, but eventually the statue is clean. Edna and Vestri investigate.

Vestri Look Closely (+Hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • This statue is definitely a life-size statue of an Ogre. Ogres are stockier than humans, and with the fungus removed, the statue’s build is more apparent. Also, an inscription on the base of the statue identifies this as Walter the Unquenchable, an Ogre hero famous for protecting a Human village by defending its well from bandits. Fresh water is life, so saving the well saved the town.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Inside the hidden recess is a petrified finger. Walter the Unquenchable lost a pinky finger in his famous defense, from a strike that he mostly blocked. This is that finger.  Looking closely at the statue, Edna notices that it is missing a finger.
  • What will happen if I place the petrified finger on the statue?
    • Edna tries completing the statue with the actual finger, but nothing happens.

Edna keeps the finger, as it’s a link to Ogre culture. Since she was raised by Humans, she still feels a bit disconnected from her fellow Ogres.

Edna is curious about the door in the collapsed room that she can’t access.  Vestri can ask the earth to move and make space for Edna. Dwarves come from stone, so asking stone to move is like asking a relative for a favor.

Vestri Speak Softly 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer

  • What should I be wary of in this inaccessible space?
    • The collapsed half of the room is unstable. Move carefully.
  • Please excavate a ramp so Edan can climb down.
    • The earth moves, but the ramp is too small.
  • Please make the ramp much bigger.
    • The earth moves again, and this time Edna can reach the other side of the room.

Yuri opens the door with the Toggluminator. There’s a short walkway over a circular pit. Above the walkway, a large metal fan, and above that, a narrow chimney, presumably to the outside. A large switch is mounted at the end of the walkway. The collapsed room behind them had a planth where people could leave offerings. The good offerings were taken inside and put in the spiral storage room. The bad offerings went here: a room for burning trash. Dump the trash into the pit, then hit the switch to activate the fire and the fan that sucks the smoke out of the room. The Remnants used their Abjuration mgic to survive the fire tornado that filled the room, but the Fellowship doesn’t have access to such spells. Like the room next to it, this room has partially collapsed, so formerly smooth walls are rough and jagged, and bringing the rest of the room down wouldn’t be hard, especially for Edna.

Edna; This chimney is our way out.

Yuri carefully moves the amulet around to see if it reacts to anything in the room. Swinging his flaming sword around seems too dangerous. The amulet reacts to something inside the metal fan above.

Yuri: I could throw a rock to knock it down.

Vestri moves back to the entrance to avoid a rockslide.

Edna: If I jump up there, I’ll wreck.

Yuri: I could go. Will you catch me when I fall?

Edna: I’m always ready to protect you!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri leaps to the beams that attach the six-bladed fan to the walls of the chamber. The assembly is in bad shape because of the collapse, so Yuri kicks the fan loose.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri avoids causing further collapse, and Edna tries to catch the falling fan gently.

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna leans over the edge of the walkway to catch the fan. It doesn’t hit or dislodge anything, but Edna is off-balance and could fall into the pit.

Vestri runs up and grabs Edna to steady her.

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength: Strong enough to lift almost anything

Vestri Overcome 10+

The Dwarf stabilizes the Ogre who is five times his height.

Vestri: What are you two doing? Get down from there.

Yuri: I do not have good footing for landing.

Vestri: fall into my arms.

Vestri (+hope, Yuri’s assistance) 10+

Yuri drops and Vestri catches him safely.

Vestri: I’m very good at being there for you. I’m a rock that’s always steady.

Edna tears the fan apart and finds an artifact inside the hub. It’s a metal hoop two feet across. it’s light, but difficult to rotate because of the gyroscopic effect of the air inside, which constantly spins at hurricane speed.

The Fellowship now has four Remnant artifacts representing the four elements of Dragons’ magic.

  • flaming sword
  • watery orb
  • metal amulet
  • windy hoop

With these artifacts, they can open the final door in the dungeon, revealing a terrifying monster and the source of Yuri’s calamitous dreams.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

 

Chasing the Sunset & Pirates’ Curse

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff

Last time, the Fellowship stopped at the Sapphire Island and found a crew of Elves who can be trusted with the location of their final destination: The Forgotten Lands.  Edna is elsewhere.

Oloris Ovoran, a noble from the Sapphire Islands, comes along as navigator. He’s making an atlas, since he’s fascinated by the outside world, which residents of the Sapphire Islands do not visit often. He wants to chart a winding course to explore every part of the southern ocean. Lucia wants a direct route, because calling the Conclave is pressing business. They argue very politely, neither really saying what they mean.  Averiela rolls her eyes.

Averiela: Queen, may I suggest we visit certain outlying islands. Exploring them with only delay us two days, and we can refill our water supplies.

This compromise pleases everyone. Lucia gives the order, Oloris charts the course, and the crew gets to work. Soon they arrive at The Silver Ring, an arc of 9 islands. The sand on the beaches shines in the sunset, giving the islands their name. The largest island is to the south, and the islands get smaller as they go north.The second island has a fresh spring, but Elves whisper ancient rumors of a magical cave on the third island. Perhaps it hides precious treasure! Lucia orders the Luna Penumbra to the third island to seek the cave. The ship lands and anchors easily, but the surf hides sharp rocks, so rowing the lauches to shore is dangerous.   The Luna Penumbra can fly, so Lucia orders it to hover over the beach. Everyone but Will (the pilot) descends on ropes, then Will lands the ship in the harbor to await further orders.

The silver beach is about 50 feet wide, then the jungle begins. There’s no sound but the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. No animals or birds. The leaves of the jungle are moving, but not rustling.

Dryden: Does the white sand make you miss your Unicorn, White Sands?

Dryden scoops some sand into a vial and stores it behind his cape.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

Lucia senses evil in the jungle, but Oloris wants to reach a high point and triangulate points for his chart, so he starts marching towards the jungle. Dryden approaches the jungle and sees that the trees and bushes are covered and choked by Stranglethorn Vines!

  • Stranglethorn Forest: A briar of tangled vines and thorns. The thick kudzu strangles the life out of all other plants and many smaller animals.
    • Kudzu Growth: The stranglethorn vines spread over nearby plants, killing them as they go. Food cannot grow here, and local wildlife must either adapt to the thorny, poisonous environment, starve to death, or flee the bastion.
    • Unnatural Forest: Rather than Aberrations or Undead, the forest is mostly filled with Blighted Beasts. Standard Scourge threats may still appear, they just make up the minority.

Dryden cuts a vine with his sword, but the vines aren’t especially mobile, so the vine just falls to the ground.

Dryden: What should we do here? Cut our way through? Fly over? Light a match and leave?

Oloris wasn’t listening and just marches right in. Soon the Fellowship hears him struggling against the grasping, thorny vines. Dryden considers which weapon to use to free him. The big Dwarven hammer? Can’t cut. The cursed sword that shows enemies their worst fears? Lucia draws her beautiful blade and hands Dryden her plain back-up sword. Simple, proven tools are best. Together they hack through the dense vines to reach Oloris.

Lucia Overcome (+hope, Dryden’s assistance) 7-9 temporary solution

GM note: the “temporary solution” turned into “added complications”

They reach Oloris and Lucia frees him from the thorns but the jungle is full of Blighted Rats!

  • Blighted Rat Swarm: Hundreds of rats, all swarming and striking as one.
    • Ankle Biter: Anyone trying to Get Away from a rat must pay a price.
    • Corrosive Touch: Anything that touches a Blighted with their bare skin must pay a price.
    • Swarm: A swarm fills the space they are in. You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price. A swarm can be pushed back or distracted by standard weapons and attacks, but they can only take damage from Burning, Dangerous, or Area attacks, or from attacks made by Groups, Gangs, Armies, or other Swarms.

Dryden Queen Of The Wild: You are the leader of all Beasts, and they can’t help but serve you.

Dryden attempts to talk to the Blighted Rats, but they’ve been turned into Aberrations by the influence of the jungle. They are no longer Beasts! With diplomacy ruled out Dryden swerves hard to violence! He takes out the telescoping staff from the Robotics Facility in Thaumatown and jars of a substance used for the Everburning Brand. He smashes one jar with each end of the bo staff and the goop inside ignites!

Dryden Curious Curios Trickery: Add Dangerous tag until the end of the scene

Swarm of Blighted Rats Swarm: You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price. 

Dryden pays a Price: lose a Strange Curio (Useful)

Dryden Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate

Dryden swings his flaming weapon about, driving the Blighted Rats back and igniting the dead plants under the Stranglethorn Vines. Lucia’s ready to hustle Orolis back to the beach, but their path is blocked by fire!

Lucia Get Away 7-9 bring Oloris along

Lucia damages a stat

Lucia grabs Oloris, climbs a tree, and goes over the fire. Well, over most of the fire. Back on the beach, Lucia signals the Luna Penumbra, although Will might already know something’s up from the smoke rising from the forest.

(Averiela didn’t pay attention to this commotion. She’s concerned about the trees that died under the weight of the Stranglethorn Vines, and started running around the island to see if any trees are left.)

Back in the jungle, the Blighted Rats recover from their surprise and start encircling Dryden. Drdyen spins his flaming bo staff with one hand and grabs his flying device with the other.

Blighted Rats Ankle Biter: Anyone trying to Get Away must pay a price.

Dryden loses leaf from Samantha’s Swamp

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, avoid notice

Dryden zooms up and back, through the smoke and away from the rats. One rat already climbed up his leg and grabbed the leaf from Samantha’s swamp before falling off. Since he’s already flying, he flies over the island to get a sense of the island’s geography, and look for signs of life. He sees Averiela around the other side.

Dryden: Averiela, what did you see?

Averiela: Nothing good. It’s like the whole island is covered in traps!

Dryden Look Closely 7-9 Ask 3 questions, find 1 answer the hard way

  • What’s going on? What do my senses tell me?
    • The island is about four miles across (Averiela runs fast!) and besides the thin strip of sandy beach all around, the jungle fills the interior.
  • What’s hidden or out of place?
    • There’s a bare outcropping of rock. Not the central peak of the island, but a local maximum.
  • Tell me about the bare patch. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The bare patch is free from Stranglethorn Vines, but there’s a skeleton dressed like a pirate there! He’s cutting vines at the edge of the outcropping with a huge set of shear made of two sabers.

Dryden lands and hails the strange person.

Dryden: Ahoy, matey! Looking for a way to get rid of the vines?

No-Eyed-Jack: Ay, they’re always encroaching on me rock.

Dryden: The easy way is to light the whole thing on fire. But your shears seem to work to defeat the vines, maybe you’re interested in defeating the evil on the island?

No-Eyed-Jack: Stick to the first one. I’ve got no flesh to burn.

Dryden: I’ve already started a fire. Is there anything you want preserved, or is the whole jungle dead?

No-Eyed-Jack: Sadly the vines are alive. I wish it was all like me.

Dryden: OK, thanks for your advice.  I’ll check with the queen about defeating the evil of the island.

No-Eyed-Jack: Can’t let you do that!

No-Eyed-Jack is the evil on the island! He advances with his giant shears!

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring No-Eyed-Jack along

Dryden uses Harpoon Gun

Dryden flies out of no-Eyed-Jack’s reach, then fires his Harpoon Gun. The hook passes through No-Eyed-Jack’s ribcage, then springs open, so No-Eyed-Jack is pulled along below Dryden. Dryden flies back to the beach, where the whole Fellowship is congregating.

No-Eyed-Jack: Howling Hurricanes! Put me down, you jackalope! Blatherskite! Coelacanth! You gibbering gelatinous gadabout!

No-Eyed-Jack cuts the harpoon’s line with his shears and falls towards Averiela.

Averiela Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Averiela rolls aside and No-Eyed-Jack lands shears-first, burying them in the sand with all his weight.

Averiela: Oh no, what has Dryden done now?

No-Eyed-Jack: No life-loving do-gooders with keep No-Eyed-Jack from his duty!

  • No-Eyed-Jack, Skeletonized Human, he/him
    • Just Bones: Skeletons do not take damage from anything that would slip right through them or is made to harm flesh. Most piercing weapons, ranged weapons, slashing weapons, and poison or fire-based attacks will have very little effect on a Skeleton.
    • Rampage: This threat is difficult to evade. If your Grace is damaged, you cannot defend against this threat’s attacks.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

Lucia detects that No-Eyed-Jack is evil, and advances, but realizes that her sword will do little to old bones. How does one kill what is already dead? What is this guy’s deal? She hopes to disable and question this aggressive skeleton.

Dryden Finish Them (+Sense, disable) 6-

Using flight to his advantage, Dryden dives with his heavy two-handed Dwarven hammer, aiming to knock No-Eyed-Jack’s arms off. No-Eyed-Jack gets his shears free and steps forward. Dryden smashes into the sand behind him, and how his weapon is buried to the hilt and unusable!  Averiela moves into engage No-Eyed-Jack blade to blade.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate

Lucia swaps her beautiful blade for nunchaku from the Robotics Facility, capable of bashing a skeleton apart.

Lucia Finish Them 10+ TAKEN OUT

Lucia knocks No-Eyed-Jack’s skull off. The body takes a few steps, then collapses.

Dryden: I was hoping to question him, but he was more formidable than I expected.

Dryden has never encountered living skeletons before. Averiela heard a story from old times, but hasn’t seen one herself until now. The story said something about separating the bones so they don’t find each other, but she doesn’t remember the specifics.

Dryden: So we chuck a bone overboard every day?

Lucia: Let’s bury the head now.

Averiela: We should bury it on that rock outcropping. If we bury it on the beach, the sand will wash away.

Lucia: Not near its lair!

Lucia buries the skull at the edge of the jungle. Luna Penumbra arrives and drops ropes to let the Fellowship board.

Dryden examines No-Eyed-Jacks shears. The metal is very old, but not corroded. He places them in a special bag, woven from spider silk (the spiders consented to have their silk used for this purpose, of course) The silk is very strong, so the sharp shears won’t cut through it. Dryden puts the sack behind his cloak.  The headless skeleton goes into a normal sack, and is hauled aboard the Luna Penumbra. There are no paths through the jungle to the outcropping, so everyone boards the Luna Penumbra and they fly there. As they approach they see another skeleton come out of a cave, pour a bucket of water off the edge fo the outcropping, then go back inside the cave.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

This skeleton is also evil.

Lucia: Why is it pouring water on the vines?

Dryden: Let’s make this one talk. How do we threaten a skeleton?

Averiela: We could offer some rum.

Dryden: nothing to do but go down and see. Maybe we should have someone on the ship’s guns?

The Fellowship takes stock of how Luna Punumbra can help them. Oloris is busy drawing a map of the island, so he’s no help.

Luna Penumbra Exo Suits: When a Quartermaster is assigned, they can give Protection to anyone leaving the ship. This Protection lasts only a few hours, and the Quartermaster must stay behind to keep it working.

Assign Mara as Quartermaster

Mara equips Dryden, Lucia, and Averiela with Exo Suits that will let them move through the Stranglethron Vines freely. The suits are covered with razors that slash through the vines as the wearer moves. The three descend on ropes into the jungle, and the ropes are pulled up behind them. They wait and observe the skeleton as it emerges from the cave with another bucket of water.

  • Molly Skeletonized Human she/her

Molly: No-Eyed-Jack’s not doing his duty. The outcropping isn’t clear!

She turns and goes back into the cave, just like she did before. Dryden has no problem laying a trap for her, since she has an obvious pattern and spends significant time out of sight in the cave. The next time she comes out, she steps right in it! Dryden’s Vine Trap is a bundle of small Ranged Ropes that burst out and entangle whoever triggers it.

Dryden Bear Trap: immobilize 1 enemy

Dryden: I tried to question the last one. Anyone else want to give it a try?

Lucia Speak Softly 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 answer is unhelpful

  • What can you tell us about your role?
    • The captain told me, “Molly, you keep that cave dry!” so every time the tide comes in, here I am bailing out the cave with me bucket.
  • What should we be wary of when dealing with you?
    • I ain’t telling you me secrets!
  • What can you tell us about the Stranglethron Vines.
    • Them’s new. Sure they make No-Eyed-Jack’s job harder!

Lucia: Especially because you water them.

Dryden: No-Eyed-Jack’s job seems a lot easier than yours.

Molly: You don’t pick your assignment. You just gotta do it.

Averiela: If you could, what would you pick?

Molly: Jellylegs has the best job, that’s a fact!

Dryden: You’d do better than Jellylegs, I’m sure.

Molly: They’d never trust me with such a task.

Dryden: I’ll take the bucket.

Molly: Finally!

When Dryden takes the bucket, Molly’s skeleton collapses. It’s constituent bones no longer hold together. Dryden has taken the cursed bucket that forced Molly to do her job long after her death, and now that job is Dryden’s!

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: NO
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking: YES, working on Averiela’s mission to deal with the Dragon Egg.
  • Did we learn something new about the world and it’s peoples? NO

1 boon: level up Averiela and Luna Penumbra

Dryden Workaholic: Spend 1 Food to heal a stat, belonging to you or one of your Companions. Heal Dryden.

Dryden Workaholic: Spend 1 Food to heal a stat, belonging to you or one of your Companions. Heal Lucia.

 

 

Chasing the Sunset & Professor Gummidge

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Professor Gummidge the Lantern/Mad Genius, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship hastily left Port Fennrick and sailed up the Mighty River on Miranda, their racing catamaran.

GM note: Buckle’s player stepped up to run this session. It’s a bottle episode with Buckle out of the picture, and a new character for the usual GM to play.

Without warning, a shimmering blue wall of energy surrounds Stella and her companions. She’s in a space that’s much larger than the deck of the Miranda. The boards of the deck underfoot expand and repeat to create a floor over what used to be water. In the center of the bubble is a crystalline building. It’s Lantern construction. Lanterns are creatures from another dimension who appear as floating bals of light. To blend in with the creatures in this dimension, they usually project holograms of humanoid forms. Buildings for Lanterns are solid transparent crystals, which Lanterns can pass through like most creatures pass through air. The bottom floor of this structure has traditional air-filled rooms, which Lanterns use to store physical objects in interact with other species.

Silouetted against the glow of the crystalline building is a lanky, eight-foot-tall figure with baggy clothes and a single glowing light in the center of its head. With startling speed it rushes across the bubble to stand right next to Stella!

  • Professor Gummidge. he/him. Lantern in Power Suit
    • The Power Suit (named Gallybagger) looks like a scarecrow made from an old wrought-iron lamp post, wearing worn and baggy clothes. Gallybagger’s head is the lamp enclosure, and Professor Gummidge (a floating ball of light) hovers inside, acting as the lamp.
    • Full arsenal: Dangerous, Ranged, or Piercing tags, but one at a time. Gallybagger’s arms end in multiple tools and weapons, covered by overlong sleeves
    • Rockets: Gallybagger can dash along the ground & take long horizontal leaps
    • Deployable Drones:  Two robotic Crows sit on Gallybagger’s head and shoulder. They are named Huginn & Muninn after Odin’s crows, because they bring information to a one-eyed person who seeks wisdom.

Stella: What are you doing here?

Gummidge: That’s a hard question. Where is here? Is here here? Here may not exist, and if it does, it may soon cease.

Gummidge was working with an artifact of power, hoping for interdimensional travel, but some unexpected interaction sent him here, and the artifact is shearing and twisting reality.

Gummidge Look Closely 7-9

  • Tell me about the shimmering wall around the space. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The shimmering wall is made of Lantern energy, so it was made by a Lantern
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • The Lantern who made the barrier is here!
  • What will happen if I try to break through the shimmering wall?
    • The barrier contains the artifact’s effects. If the barrier is removed, the reality-warping effect could spread to the rest of the world in a plague of interdimensional monsters!

A portal opens and a Wild Boar runs through. It charges at Gummidge.

Gummidge Bend Light Flash: blind everyone near by except you

Gummidge Overcome 10+

The lamp atop Gallybagger flares with intense light and the Wild Boar (as well and Stella and her companions) is blinded. Gummidge easily side-steps the boar, which continues straight forward until it hits the barrier with a reverberating thunk!

Wild Boar Wild Charge: When a wild boar charges, it keeps going until it hits something…. If the boar hits nobody, it damages this stat instead.

Wild Boar damages Wild Charge

Stella rubs her eyes. This situation is too chaotic for her comfort.

Stella: Everyone stop!

Stella Queen of the Wild: All Beasts are your Companions while you are in their territory

The Boar politely sits down next to Stella and she pats it on the head.

Gummidge approaches the portal the Wild Boar came through, but it closes. He returns to Stella and the newly-tamed Boar.

Gummidge Reveal The Way + Mind Trick: 7-9 Tell people what to do, even if you don’t mean it. Players can choose to follow advice or spite you (gain Hope on one roll either way)

Gummidge: You have a powerful way with words! Let’s work together. Don’t breach the barrier, lest the danger spread.  If your people can handle such monsters, maybe we’ll be alright in here.

Stella: That’s a me thing.

Gus, Stella’s cook, is claustrophobic, and doesn’t like being trapped in this strange space.

Gus: If we don’t do something, I’ll . . . I’ll cook that pig!

Gummidge Reveal The Way + Mind Trick: 7-9 Tell people what to do, even if you don’t mean it.They’ll do it in the way they think best, or only if you help.

Gummidge: Young man, be resolute! Don’t antagonize the monster.

Gus: OK, but we have to go somewhere. We can’t stay in this place.

Two portals open. One seems to lead to a hallway inside the crystalline structure. The other shows a bright, large expanse.

Gummidge: How important is it to you that you return to where you came from?

Stella: Extremely!

Gummidge suspects that these portals quickly close, like the one the Boar came through, so he looks for something that can jam them open.

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig: Spend 1 use of something to make something out of existing materials. (+hope) 10+ It works!

Cutting tools emerge from Gallybagger’s sleeves and cut some planks from the floor. Gummidge nails them together and jams them into the portal to the large expanse, holding it open. Gummidge looks carefully at what’s visible through the portal before stepping through himself

Gummidge Eyes of Fire: Your eyes are unnaturally good, and you can see fine detail even through the darkest night or densest fog. When you Look Closely, you may study any location you can see, no matter how distant, as if you were standing right there.

Gummidge Look Closely 7-9 ask 3 questions, find 1 the hard way

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • It’s a large, bright room that stretches off into the darkness (irrelevant to Gummidge’s keen eyes) and infinity. The floor is bisected by a dark gap. There’s a rainbow bridge (which Lanterns often make) across the gap, but it’s flickering. This room may be inside the crystalline structure at the center of the bubble, but it’s been warped.
  • Tell me about the Lantern who made the bridge. What are they doing? What will they do next?
    • This bridge is powered by the structure itself, not projected from a Lantern.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • The darkness in the gap gets larger and starts spreading across the floor of the bright room and comes out of the portal!

Stella is displeased by this strange and hostile phenomenon. She retrieves a package of vegetable stew from her kit and throws it at the shadow, hoping to reveal the invisible creature that casts the shadow. The stew falls to the floor without hitting any creature. The shadow is under the soup and still advancing.

Stella: Where is that shadow coming from?

Gummidge: This is not the right place for young Gus. Not a calming atmosphere!

Gummidge moves to remove the device that’s keeping the portal open, and the shadow flows up and over Gallybagger, covering it in darkness!

GM note: Gummidge has a move that instantly destroys shadows, but he used it already to disorient a Wild Boar. Poor tactical decision. If only he had predicted the future!

Lingering Shadows Armor of Darkness: Anyone pulled into the shadows becomes engulfed by them. When they step out, the darkness is controlling them, acting as both armor and puppeteer. They become a Shadow Warrior until the armor is removed from them.

Gummidge ejects from Gallybagger, which becomes a Shadow Warrior!

  • Shadow Warrior: They would be an ally, if the darkness wrapped all around them weren’t forcing them to swing their sword at you. They can still speak and think as normal, but have no control over their movements.
    • Forced Movement: The shadow warrior was a friend, but they have been possessed by dark power. They have all of their normal physical abilities, except they are also Clumsy.
    • Entangled In Shadow: If you expose the shadow warrior to light or fire, the shadows are destroyed. They person inside the shadows still suffers whatever affects that light or fire would deal to them, but then they are free from the shadow’s control and this threat is destroyed.

Gummidge: Look out, Ol’ Gallybagger isn’t following my orders!

Gummidge Knight: Your little light can be used as a firestarter.

Gummidge tries to set the deck on fire to create a light bright enough to dispel the shadow, but the deck has been treated to resist fire. That’s the only way Buckle can stay aboard the Miranda without burning it. Gallybagger advances on Gummidge, flipping through the various tools and weapons hidden under its sleeves.  Stella knows that the treatment makes the deck slippery when wet, so she pours the barrel of potent alcohol (from O’Later’s contraband warehouse) on the deck underneath Gallybagger.

Stella Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate.

The booze causes Gallybagger to stumble, and lets Gummidge start a fire.

Gummidge Finish Them (+Blood) 7-9 damage Gallybagger’s Advanced Weapons

Shadow Warror Entangled In Shadow: exposed to light? TAKEN OUT!

The Shadow dissapates from Gallybagger from the bottom up. Gallybagger stops moving, and Gummidge inspects it carefully before returning to his normal position inside Gallybagger’s head. Now that he has arms again, Gummidge pulls out the bars across the portal. The portal unexpectedly remains open. Gus freaks out and runs for the other portal, the one that shows a hallway.

Gummidge: The lad has a point. Go to the source to solve the trouble!

Stella: What’s going on? What’s causing all this?

Gummidge: Well, certainly not my machine. But the trouble is around it.

Everyone runs after Gus through the portal, even Grunt the Pig. (Stella asked its name) The hallway twists axially, and gravity twists with it. Eventually the Fellowship emerges into a bright featureless room. There’s a barrier across the room, made of the same hard light as the bridge in the other portal, although this barrier isn’t flickering. Gummidge walks up to tap on the barrier and his hand goes right through.

Gummidge: It’s fake!

Gummidge walks through the barrier. Gus runs full speed and hits the barrier hard! He stumbles back, a banana falls out of his pack, and he slips on it, falling on his back.

Gus damages Rations

Stella: Hey, Gummy!

Gummidge: It’s Professor Gummidge!

Stella: What do you mean it’s not real? Gus ran right into it.

Gummidge puts his hand through the barrier. Stella pounds her fist on the barrier. Gummidge remembers that the barrier around the bubble was created by a Lantern, and presumes this same Lantern is frustrating the Fellowship now.

Gummidge: Come now, we Lanterns are creatures of science, not trickery. Reveal and explain yourself!

Gummidge Reveal The Way fails because there’s no one here.

Gummidge is surprised that his speech was ignored. A small portal opens nearby. Three lanterns are visible on the other side. They rush towards the portal.

Mysterious Lanterns: Gummidge, you fool!

The portal closes before they reach it. After waiting to make sure they are gone, Gummidge looks around the far side of the room. It’s featureless, except for a doorway that leads to a hallway that curves to the side, so Gummidge can’t see the other end. As he moves around to look at it, the curvature changes. If he goes down that hallway, he might not find a way back.  Gummidge deploys his robotic crows to extend his sight. Huginn flies down the hall until it can barely see Gummidge. Muninn flies past until it can barely see Huginn. They relay data back to gummidge: the hall continues to bend out of sight. To explore any further means losing contact with the others on the other side of the barrier, possibly forever. Gummidge recalls the crows and returns to the barrier in the middle of the room.

The Fellowship is stumped. Through the barrier seems like the only way to go, but the Halflings can’t pass through it. After a while, a Little Light (a Lantern that’s not projecting a holographic body) floats into the room aimlessly.

  • Little Light: If a Lantern Reveals The Way to a little light, they take the 10+ result without rolling.

    • Blindingly Bright: You cannot look directly at a little light. Anyone trying to Keep Them Busy or Overcome their attacks is in Despair. Anyone trying to Look Closely at them fails to do so.
    • Aimless: Little lights act arbitrarily, and there is no way to predict what they will do next.

The Little Light wanders through the barrier.

Gummidge: Of course! It’s a barrier to keep out!

Stella: Outsiders? We’re technically still on my boat.

Gummidge: Hmmm, you’ve got me there.

Stumped again, the Fellowship watches the Little Light wander around, then pick up a mouse and carry it through the barrier.

Gummidge Hook Shot: pull yourself to anything heavy. Pull anything light to you.

Gummidge emits a beam of light that attaches to Stella and pulls her through the barrier!

Gummidge: A triumph of observation and deductive reasoning! Form a queue and I shall pull you through!

Before he can fulfill his promise, the Little Light fires on Gummidge!

Gummidge Light Shield: protect from any damage you can see

Gummidge blocks the attack, and the Little Light wanders over to Stella and bumps into her. Stella’s not sure how to react to this unpredictable creature. Fight, flight, or freeze? She chooses flight.

Stella On A Mirror’s Edge: start free-running and gain 2 Speed

Stella parkours off the walls to distract and confuse the Little Light.

Little Light Blindingly Bright: Despair to Keep Them Busy

Stella The Courage Of Halflings: Never in Despair when rolling with Courage

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+

Gummidge: Look here, these shenanigans are unbecoming of a Lantern. Think of our reputation! What example are you setting for these visitors?

Gummidge Finish Them (+Wisdom, show the error of their ways) 7-9 damage a stat

Little Light damages Aimless

Gummidge: Thanks, much better. Let’s press on.

Stella: How? We can barely see with all the glare.

Gummidge: You should go away, back through the barrier

Gummidge Mind Trick: you can Reveal The Way without believing it’s in their best interest

If a Lantern Reveals The Way to a little light, they take the 10+ result without rolling.

The Little Light obediently leaves the scene. Gummidge pulls the rest of the Fellowship through the barrier. Now they face the curving hallway.

Gummidge: Stick close. I don’t trust these curving hallways.

Stella: Physical contact, everyone.

The Fellowship links hands and Gummidge leads the way down the curving hallway. As soon as the last person steps out of the room and into the hallway, the hallway straightens out and they easily walk into the next room.

This room is a control chamber. Instead of dials, switches, buttons, and levers, the controls here are all fiber optics. Lanterns send commands by shining different lights through different fibers. This is the maintenance area of a large Lantern building.  Such buildings have emergency generators, but emergencies are rare, so Gummidge thought could use the generator to power his experiment. No one would notice, so he didn’t ask permission. That was just before the mishap that created the bubble.  Back at the site of his experiment, Gummidge is inspired once more. Turning the machine off would be admitting defeat. any malfunction was surely the result of interference, perhaps from those three Lanterns they glimpsed briefly in the previous room.

Gummidge: I need to keep going to finish my experiment. I can reroute power from non-essential systems. We’re stuck halfway. I want to get us all the way through to the other side.

Stella: Back to my boat, right?

Stella is getting sick of all the hassle Gummidge has put her through.

Gummidge: My projections, based on the available evidence, suggest the boat.

Gummidge Jury Rig 6-

Gummidge pulls out and reconnects bundles of fiber, and the great machines hum and roar. Gummidge asks too much of the machines and circuit breakers kick in,  locking out the controls!

A portal opens, revealing an idyllic landscape, and those same three Lanterns from earlier. Now Gummidge recognizes them. They’re Lantern Peacekeepers that enforce the ban on interdimensional travel that was created after the Lanterns were trapped on this world. Gummidge wasn’t content to stay in this world. He didn’t want to go back. He wanted to go onwards! Anyways, now these squares are coming to arrest Gummidge for his illegal experiments!

Gummidge Rockets: run very fast

Gummidge Bend Light Wall: block a passageway with hard light

Gummidge dashes to the portal and puts a wall across it so the Peacekeepers can’t enter the control chamber.

Gummidge Keep Them Busy 6-

The Peacekeepers smash through Gummidge’s wall and enter the control chamber!

  • Group of Lantern Peacekeepers
    • Little Light: Gauntlet Form: When the peacekeeper hits you with their gauntlet, you become immobilized in a cage of light.
    • Civic Duty: The peacekeeper has proper protocol to follow. They will not act without reason, and will act to disable all aggressors when possible.
  • Lantern Priest: A lantern who guides the lost.
    • Lead The Flock: The priest has control over The Innocents, and can command them to do anything.
    • Reveal The Way: Anyone who tries to Speak Softly or Talk Sense with the
      priest will receive the priest’s advice. Acting on this advice gives you Hope;
      acting against it gives you Despair.

Stella is still undecided on Gummidge, but she doesn’t want to be arrested, so she smashes the control panels with the King Of The Hill‘s sword! More portals open and the room warps and twists. The floor turns into a portal and everyone falls into a spooky temple. Gummidge has been here before. He recognizes the dias in the center of the room, and the artifact that hovers above it. This artifact looks like a jagged red fragment of glass, and acts somewhat like Infinite Windows, but for interdimensional travel. This is what Gummidge used in his experiments.

Stella: Time for Operation Apple Toss!

Stella Lived In A Shoe: You can shrink to the size of an apple

Stella shrinks to the size of an apple and Rose, her bodyguard, throws her at the artifact! Stella enlarges as she approaches the artifact and grabs it on the run. She’s yanked to a stop. The hovering artifact refuses to budge.

Gummidge Rockets: run very fast

Gummidge dashes to put the artifact between himself and the Peacekeepers. He sees Stella struggling with the artifact and tries to help.

Gummidge Hook Shot: pull yourself to anything heavy. Pull anything light to you.

The artifact is immovable, so Gummidge unintentionally pulls himself to it. It can’t move while any portals are open. Instead of trying to close all the portals, Gummidge opens another!

Gummidge Open Infinite Windows: 10+ stable portal to a safe place

Gummidge loses item Jewlery (Precious)

Gummidge uses a piece of Drawven jewelry to open a portal to Templeton, on the observation deck for the sundial. He jumps through.

Gummidge: Get through or get clear!

Stella would rather talk her way of trouble.

Stella: This is all a big misunderstanding.  I don’t even know how I got here. Gummidge isn’t at fault. There are other Lanterns making walls and trapping us here. it’s not fair. I just wanna go home!

Stella Talk Nonsense 7-9

Lantern Priest Reveal The Way: Anyone who tries to Speak Softly or Talk Sense with the priest will receive the priest’s advice. Acting on this advice gives you Hope; acting against it gives you Despair.

Preist: If you want to go home, help us catch this fugitive.

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig 10+ it works!

Gummidge redirects the lens that focuses sunlight onto the sundial far below so it shines through the portal as a beam weapon! Not a very powerful beam weapon. The lens focus distance is quite far, so the beam is rather wide when it enters the spooky temple.

Stella Overcome 10+

Stella Lived In A Shoe: You can shrink to the size of an apple

Stella Jams King’s huge sword into the ground and shrinks to hide behind it. The sword’s shadow protects Stella’s companions, but the Peacekeepers are hit!

Peacekeepers damage Gauntlet Form

Stella: Strobe the beam!

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig 7-9 only works once

Gummidge: This will only work once. Give me a sign!

Stella Lived In A Shoe: Change size within limits

Stella walks backwards in the shadow of the sword, drops off the dias, and returns to normal size safely below the beam of light. The Preist orders the remaining Peacekeeper to seize Stella.

Stella: Now is the time!

Gummidge blocks the beam.

Stella Lived In A Shoe: Change size within limits

Stella runs around the Peacekeeper, rapidly changing size to confuse him.

Lantern Priest Reveal The Way: Despair for ignoring his advice

Stella The Courage Of Halflings: Never in Despair when rolling with Courage.

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+ their attention is all on you

Gummidge comes back through the portal and bonks the Peacekeeper on the head.

Gummidge Finish Them (+Sense) 6-

The Priest moves in to close the portal.

Priest Close a Window 7-9 portal moves to somewhere else

The portal to Templeton closes, but where the sunlight from Templeton hit the far wall of the temple, a new portal opens, back to the bubble where Stella found herself at the beginning of this adventure. Stella runs for the portal.

Stella on A Mirror’s Edge: gain 2 Speed

Stella spend 1 Speed to leap over an enemy in your path

Stella Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Silk along

Gummidge, left alone with his enemies, flails with Gallybagger’s damaged arms

Gummidge Keep Them Busy 6-

Lantern Priest damages Gummidge’s Armor

Lantern Peacekeeper damages Gummidge’s Iron

GM note: My notes get messy here, so I don’t have any exact sequence of moves. Just narrative.

Stella returns riding Silk, which makes her a threat to the world! While the Lanterns beat poor non-combat-focused Gummidge, Stella draws her other sword and cleaves their Little Lights. Their holographic bodies flicker and disappear. Stella turns back to the portal.

Stella: I’m going with or without you.

Gummidge: Go through, I’ll close it behind you.

As he gestures to the portal, smashed pieces fall out of Gallybagger’s sleeves. The Power Suits hands were destroyed trying to fend of the Latern Peacekeepers.

Stella: Fine, I ‘ll do it myself

Stella and her companions go through the portal and Stella pulls it closed.

Stella Close a Window: 7-9 leave something on the far side.

Stella: Nice working with you, Grunt! Goodbye!

Gummidge and the Wild Boar are left in the temple with the artifact, presumably to continue his dangerous experiments. All the portals are closed. The shimmering barrier around Stella collapses into a humanoid form, another Lantern. They’re all back on the deck of the Miranda with Buckle and the rest of the Fellowship.

  • Mira, she/her, Lantern

Mira: Thank goodness! It took all my strength to keep the barrier up.

Stella examines the deck. The damage they did to the floor inside the bubble is nowhere to be seen. Mira explains that she formed the barrier to contain Gummidge’s experiments and alerted the Lantern Peacekeepers, but she doesn’t blame Stella, who was caught up quite accidentally. For helping to prevent an interdimensional disaster, Mira offers to teach a Lantern secret.

The Fellowship gains the fellowship of the Lanterns.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & Remnant dungeon

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship found the entrance to the secret facility that Yuri’s magic sword has been guiding him to. The entrance closed behind them, sothey must go forward and explore.

Vestri’s Drill Tank and his cousin who maintains it both stayed outside. Edna and Yuri try to remember which one is Gurtin and which one is Hundrin.  Hundrin is the Drill Tank and Gurtin is the Dwarf. They walk into the first room, an entrance hall of some kind.

The western half of the room has shifted down, leaving a gap between western ceiling and eastern floor of about a foot.  A plinth in the center of the room is pinned between the ceiling and floor, keeping the western side of the room from falling further. Desiccated fruit on the plinth reveals that this was a place where people would come and leave offerings. Edna scratches the metal plinth with her fingernail, then scrapes one of her diamond rings across it.

Edna: This is solid platinum. I’m not usually impressed by money, but this is worth quite a lot of money.

Vestri: Better leave it. It’s holding up the ceiling.

Yuri: We can get it on the way out. Speaking of, how are we going to exit? We needed a ride to reach the entrance and we don’t have a ride back out.

Edna picks up Ol’ Jardinier in one hand and sticks that arm through the gap into the sunken part of the room. Ol’ Jardinier calls out what he sees.

Edna Look Closely 6- ask 1 question, find out the hard way

  • Tell me about the hidden door. How could it hurt or help me?
    • Obviously a door gives access to a new place. This door is secured by runes, and if you try to open the door without providing the correct offering, fire will consume you!

GM note: Shouldn’t there be a consequence for that bad roll? Oh well.

Yuri remembers that he is carrying a living Remnant in a light-proof box. Perhaps Heath would like to come out and help.

Yuri: We are in a Remnant house. Would you like to come out? It’s all desecrated.

Vestri: Desiccated.

Yuri opens the box and Heath emerges. It’s dark in here, but Heath thrives in the dark, and Vestri can see just fine in darkness.

Yuri: Did you live here?

Heath: Nnnno. We had many . . . towers.

Yuri: Can you read these runes? Maybe run you hand over them?

Heath: I don’t sssssee. Sight isn’t usefullll in the dark. I sense heeeeat.

Ol’ Jardinier begins describing the runes to Heath, heedless of the danger of reading magic waords aloud without understanding them.

Yuri: What if there was ice monster?

Heath: I sense cold too.

Yuri: What if air monster? You should gain eyes. I’m a doctor. I’m looking out for your safety.

Edna: Don’t mention “looking!” That’s insensitive!

Edna opens the door to the north, which is accessible to all and not locked by dangerous runes.

A short hall leads to a circuler area with a central column. From that column, various blades and spikes whirl around at different speeds, directions, and heights! The door didn’t need to be locked, because this room of traps would prevent intruders from going any further! The column appears to have controls which might allow safe passage. Vestri could figure out the controls if he could get close without being torn apart.

Edna Keep Them Busy 7-9 draw attention for a moment

Edna waits to get the timing, then stomps on the lowest spinning blade, pinning it to the floor. She grabs it with her hands to secure it and nods towards the central column.  The bottom two feet of the room are now clear of hazards, so Vestri prepares to move to the column.

Vestri: You could come if you crawl.

Yuri: I don’t trust that I can stay under two feet.

Vestri crouch-walks to the column to examine the controls.

Vestri Let Me See That: ask 2 questions about interesting technology or architecture

  • What is this for? How do I use it or break it?
    • These traps are to prevent traspassers from getting deeper into the facility. Pulling the four levers on the four sides of the central column will deactivate the spinning blades.
  • Who made it and why should I care about them?
    • The Remnants built this. They built the whole facility, which seems to be important to the calamity that Yuri is trying to prevent.

The blade starts to slip out from under Edna’s boot, and she tries to hold it back!

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Vestri hustles back to safety. Edna hears the metal groan as the blade slips free.  It turns once, trying to pick up speed.

Edna Finish Them (kill, +Blood) 7-9 damage Trap Column

Edna strikes the lower blade as it passes by, snapping it off the central column. The area is now slightly safer, at least for very short intruders.

Vestri hears a rhythm in the motion of the traps and absent-mindedly starts tapping his fingers in time. Heath recognizes the beat. It’s an old Remnant song!

GM note: The players decided the song was Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.

Vestri: I think I’ve got this. Your friend Heath is singing something to me.

Vestri Overcome 7-9 pay a price (damage Wisdom)

Following the beat, Vestri confidently steps into the whirling blades and pulls the first lever. Wait, duck, step to the next lever and pull it. Carefully keeping time, with Heath hissing the song in his ear, Vestri moves around to pull the third lever. There’s a section of the song where the regular four-count rhythm changes to a six-beat rhythm, and Vestri doesn’t expect it, so he moves a bit early and gets clipped in the arm by a blade! He pulls the fourth lever and all the spikes and blades stop and retract. The room is now safe. The northern and eastern doors are locked by runes, so the Fellowship opens the western doors.

Vestri and Heath were still humming the old Remnant song. The rest of the Fellowship could almost hear it too. Edna throws open the doors to reveal a saloon full of Remnant shadows. They were singing the old song too. They stop and stare at the new arrivals.

Yuri: Good thing they are on our side. Look, Heath is not a captive! You can stay here. Go talk to them.

Heath tries to talk to them, but they hiss in an unknown dialect.

Yuri reveals the magical sword that guided him here. He hopes the Rements will recognize it and help him understand his quest.

Yuri Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotions) 7-9

Yuri Fool Me Once 10+

The Remnants indicate that the person in charge is through the double doors to the north. That’s who Yuri should go to.

Yuri and the Fellowship open the doors to the north and step into a featureless black void! The bar is still visible through the doorway, but the room they are in is featureless and black, They can’t even tell how big the room is, except for the great, softly-glowing serpent in the center!

  • Primordial Abyss Beast: A terrible serpent, glowing softly. It rests in the deepest and darkest corner of the world, where nothing can be seen but itself.
    • Primordial Beast: A primordial beast is ancient and perfect. Its attacks are Giant. It cannot be harmed by standard weaponry. It cannot be destroyed –  if it would be, it takes damage instead. This stat functions even while  damaged.
    • Abyssal Champion: This primordial beast has Protection from the perils of the abyss. It has unusual senses, and can see through the deepest  darkness. It always knows where you are. You cannot hide.
    • Terror of the Deep: The abyssal beast can hunt you throughout its domain. You cannot Get Away from it.

Yuri: This would be a good time to use that Wizard Dagger, Vestri!

Edna: Wizard-Killing Dagger.

For the first time in her adventures, Edna meets something she considers a serious threat. Fighting’s a game for someone as tough and strong as Edna, and she’s rarely serious. Now she wields her metal-shod walking stick as a Giant weapon and prepares to kill!

Yuri: Is it ethical to make Heath join this fight? Heath, how do you feel about attacking this creature?

Heath: Ssscared.

Yuri: I’m scared too.

The Abyssal Beast lunges for the doors, trying to trap the Fellowship in the dark with no escape.

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength: lift just about anything

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+

Amazingly, the tiny Dwarf grabs the Abyssal Beast around the midsection and pins it to the ground! Edna rushes in to bash its brains in, if it has brains . . . if that’s really a head.

Edna Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 7-9

Abyssal Beast damages Abyssal Champion

Abyssal Beast Primordial Beast: Giant attacks hit three characters at once

The Abyssal Beast attacks everyone: biting at Edna, rolling over Vestri to crush him, and lashing at Yuri with its tail.

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Edna jams her walking stick vertically in the Abyssal Beast’s jaws, preventing them from closing.

Vestri Overcome 6-

Vestri damages Grace

Vestri feels the Abyssal Beast shift its weight and braces in a squat to lift the creature’s coils over himself. His stance is wrong and the Abyssal Beast rolls over him.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Yuri I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Yuri leaps and catches the Abyssal Beast’s tail in mid-air.

Edna and Yuri see that they control both ends of the Abyssal Beast. Through a move that Yuri taught Edna, they both have an Advange over their foe. With a move that Edna taught Yuri, they can finish it right now! They leap in opposite directions! Like Beowulf breaking Grendel’s arm, they’ll use internal trauma where regular weapons won’t do.

Edna & Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Finish Them (+Blood, kill. +hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

Abyssal Beast Primordial Beast: It cannot be destroyed –  if it would be, it takes damage instead.

Abyssal Beast damages Terror Of The Deep

Edna hit a wall as she jumped. The room has a form. It’s not infinite darkness. The Abyssal Beast retreats to the ceiling, wrapping around pitch-black stalagtites that eclipse its glowing coils. There is terrain here after all. The Abyssal Beast rips rocks from the ceiling of the cavern and throws them at he door, trying once again to seal the Fellowship in its lair. Edna leaps for the door while she can still see it!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: You are Dangerous, and any uncontrolled action you take can cause collateral damage or destroy the world around you.

Edna clears the doorway by knocking the rocks into the bar! Remants dive for cover and Steven (who had curled up on the bar to sleep) yowls!

Steven damages Purr-fect Rest

Vestri doesn’t carry ranged weapons, so he improvises, copying the Abyssal Beast’s tactic of tearing up rocks and throwing them up at the Abyssal Beast. He hisses in what he hopes are bad words in the Remnant language.

Vestri Deepdelve: see in the dark (to find rocks)

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength (to dislodge and throw rocks)

Vestri Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & you will face retaliation

Yuri sees his chance and leaps to strike a deathblow with his magical sword!

Yuri Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once 10+

Abyssal Beast damages Primordial Beast

Abyssal Beast TAKEN OUT

The force of Yuri’s leap drives the sword into the Abyssal Beast up to the hilt. The glow from the sword fills the Abyssal Beast, which bursts, showering the chamber with light! The bits of the Abyssal Beast seem to turn to paint, splattering over the chamber so that was once black on black is now white on white! The intense light instantly kills Heath and any Ramnants near the doorway of the bar!

The only thing left of the Abyssal Beast is a curious lantern. This Reverse Lantern alternates between emiting and absorbing light at the flip of a switch! It can open the rune-locked doors the Fellowship passed earlier.

END OF SESSION MOVE:

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? Only half-done with this dungeon, so NO.
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? Yuri still doesn’t know what the sword does, or what disaster he’s preventing. NO
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its peoples? YES, we learned about Remnants.

1 Boon: Heal

Chasing the Sunset & Sapphire Islands

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff

Last time, the Fellowship took commandeered the ship that was taking them to the Sapphire Island in the name of the Sea Viper, and now they sail (fly) under thier own (metaphorical) flag.

Dryden uses his half of the Friendship Bracelet to open Infinite Windows and retrieve Edna from the other party. The window opens to show a tunnel going straight into a rock face. Edna’s giant silhouette and several smaller figures are walking down the tunnel away from the entrance. The entrance closes and disappears, leaving only blank rock. Dryden looks around and sees that Infinite WIndow’s portal is hundreds of feet in the air. Edna nad her friends just walked into the middle of a cliff face.

Dryden: Well, she’s not a huge fan of water.

The final obstacle between the Luna Penumbra and the Sapphire Islands is a fierce storm. High winds and driving spray threaten anyone on deck, e.g. the pilot! Averiela plots a course through the storm because she knows where the Sapphire Islands are even if she can’t see them.

Averiela takes Navigator position

Dryden: Ranged Rope, lash me to the wheel!

Dryden Modifications: Ranged Rope is Autonomous & follows simple verbal commands

Dryden spends 1 use of Ranged Rope

Dryden Overcome (+hope, Ranged Rope’s assistance) 7-9 temporary solution

Dryden is blown off his feet by the winds and the rope barely holds. Any further shock could dislodge him.  He clings to the wheel of the ship and activates the afterburners, hoping to push the ship above the storm into clear air.

Luna Penumbra Afterburners:  make the ship move in a way it isn’t supposed to

Luna Penumbra Engines Primes: to rush past danger, Pilot rolls Get Away +Engines

Dryden Get Away (+Engines) 7-9 avoid harm

The ship rushes up and up, through blinding rain and wind, then bursts into peaceful sunlight! Above the storm the air is clear and quiet. Luna Penumbra arcs down from its wild climb, but Dryden doesn’t come down with it! The rope has come loose from the ship and trails along behind Dryden like the string on a balloon as he is thrown off the ship!

Averiela Perfect Grace: run along any surface

Averiela leaps overboard and runs on top of the storm clouds to catch Dryden.

Averiela Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

She grabs the end of the rope, but Dryden falls through the clouds and his weight drags Averiela down with him! Lucia’s freaking out, but her speciality is leadership, not derring-do. She orders Will to take the Pilot’s position and use emergency power to catch up to their falling crewmembers.

Will assigned from Gunner to Pilot

Will Push The Engines 6-

Luna Penumbra damages Engines

Dryden stops fooling around when he sees a plume of smoke billow from the Luna Penumbra. He deploys his Flying Disk and gives Averiela a ride back to the ship.

Dryden Modifications: Flying Disk is always Overcharged

Overcharged Flying Disk: can carry 2 people for a few moments

Dryden: Sorry, guys. I wants to see you be awesome.

The Luna Penumbra limps along above the clouds. It reaches the edge, and the crew looks down and sees the Sapphire Islands spread out below them. A circle of islands in the middle of open ocean, surrounding a blue lagoon. The lagoon used to be a volcano that exploded long ago, throwing huge chunks of rocks that became outlying islands. They are called the Sapphire Islands for two reasons. One, the bright blue water of the lagoon. Two, the actual sapphires, which can be found on the beaches and are used as currency. Magic keeps the sapphires on the islands. Locals speak of “holey thieves” who try to sneak sapphires out only for the gems to rip through their pockets, leaving holes. Hot springs are common on the islands and the lagoon is heated by volcanism to a cozy temperature. The lagoon is salt water like the surrounding ocean, but the climate and wildlife of the two bodies of water are different.

Dryden takes Pilot Position

Dryden reclaims the ship’s wheel from Will and steers the Luna Penumbra towards the inner islands. It lands in the lagoon and sails toward a vilage that extends over the lagoon on stilts. There are no docks for large ocean-going vessels like Luna Penumbra, since the ocean and lagoon are separated. Dryden steers the ship to the largest dock, which is used by passenger ferries that cross the lagoon connecting variou villages.  The Elves on the docks stare at the unfamiliar ship. The first person to greet the Fellowship is Canderon

  • Canderon, Elf, he/him, Bard
    • What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.
    • What Tales Do You Sing?: The bard can sing magical songs. They can perform a song of power, giving Hope to all who hear it; a song of sorrow, giving Despair to all who hear it; or a song of joy, distracting all who hear it.

Averiala: Greetings, cousin.

Canderon: How do you come here in this strange ship, with these strange companions?

Averiela: I can’t vouch for my companions, but I am here to call a conclave of the Elves. We have found the last Dragon egg. At last, there is hope again!

Canderon What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.

Canderon: Amazing! The prince of that island held a wedding banquet and didn’t invite the queen mother of that island there. The bride was the Druid’s daughter from over there.

Canderon What Tales Do You Sing?, sing a song of joy, distracting those who hear it.

Canderon signs the news of the conclave and the Dragon egg and everyone on the docks gathers to listen. This is disruptive for Lucia, who has to wait for dockworkers to attend to the ship.

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to repair Engines

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to repair Afterburners

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to restock Ammo

Luna Penumbra’s arrival upsets the natural order of Sapphire Islands. Response Level increases to 1. Sapphire Islands gains new stat: Jungle

While the crew and dockworkers restock the ship, the Fellowship has a meeting in the captain’s cabin.

Averiela: I wonder if we can take the crew of Lantern marines to the Forgotten Lands. Dare we reveal its location to strangers?

Dryden: We could send them away through Infinite Windows.

Averiela: An Elf crew would be more acceptable. Perhaps we could hire locals.

  • Lucia Speak Softly with Lantern marines 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer
    • What do they want?
      • They want to go home to Vieport, but they can’t! Robin will have told the Sea Viper that they mutinied. They’ll be branded as deserters!
    • What would they have us do?
      • Dryden’s suggestion of teleporting them somewhere sounds good.
    • What can they tell us about their home dimension?
      • The Lanterns lost access to their home dimension. Now they’ve lost their home city of Vieport. They are double-stranded!

Lucia and Dryden go to trade gossip with Canderon.

Canderon What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.

Lucia: We sailed from Vieport and must warn you of the treachery of the Serpent Ruler. He sent a ship, hoping to learn the secrets of the Forgotten Lands. We thwarted his plan.

Canderon: There’s another foreign ship?

Lucia: No, we commandeered his ship.

Canderon: Well, we did have a visitor from far away come through recently. Not a ship, though. A spear-fisher saw some mechanical bits floating in the water and poked them. The water rose up into the shape of a person! This person is called Baess, and said the fisher was thoughtlessly poking things they didn’t understand, but I think that describes Baess herself. She set up some experiment on the beach and dissolved half of it! The sand and rocks just flowed right out into the sea!

Dryden: We found a mountain turned into a weapon to destroy the moon! On top of this mountain, we fought and slew a Vampire and her minions! Some people seek to destroy the world, but we try to save it. You may have heard of Star-Rider at the bridge of Sugar’s Crossing?

Canderon has not heard of Star-Rider, but has gossip to share nonetheless.

Canderon: There’s a big debate between two influential Druids about contact with the outside world. One says we should keep to ourselves and preserve the Sapphire Islands’ specialness. The other says that the whole world is wonderful, and we diminsh ourselves by not gong out and experiencing it. In fact, the isolationist prince snubbed the exploratory king’s mom because she was born elsewhere and people from her side of the family have been moving in. It’s been 400 years, which is a really long time to hold a grudge.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: gain an audience with anyone you show it to.

Lucia asks Canderon to meet the head Druid. Protocol dictates that she meet the chief of the island before the head Druid. Canderon looks part her towards the interior of the island and says that the chief is coming to her.

  • Scintilia, Elf, she/her

Scintilia is very old, even for an Elf. Her white hair would extend past her feet if it were not held by attendants who follow her. As she walks she leans on a living staff with leaves and flowers.

Scintilia: Word has reached me on the wind of your arrival.  What brings your strange company to my shore?

Lucia bows her deepest. most formal bow.

Lucia: We are on a quest, returning to the Forgotten Lands. Averiela can tell you more.

Averiela: Deep in the Fairy Forest, we found a Dragon Egg. The heart still beats within. Perhaps it can be revived. Perhaps we can restore the Dragon alliance!

Scintilia: You’re calling a Conclave? Can I make the journey? It’s been so long since I have left the lagoon.

Attendant: Don’t trouble yourself, lady. Oloris can go.

Oloris Ovoran is the exploratory king from Canderon’s rumors. The isolationist prince he’s feuding with is Felenor Ivan. Both are approaching across the lagoon on speed-canoes! Oloris is happy to see travelers, but Felenor is upset.

Felenor: I demand the Trial of Iguana Shrikes! The storm heralds invasion. Let these outsiders prove themselves. As the ancients said, “Much will be risked for truth, but little for deceit.”

Oloris: That’s an archiac tradition. We haven’t needed it for 2000 years. We have a ring of defenders now. It’s a technicality that the law is still on the books.

Storms sweep in packs of Iguana Shrikes. They are wolves of the sea, amphibious predators that bring destruction. The Elves of the Sapphire Islands mobilize to hunt them, but it’s dangerous, so surely any outsiders who joins the hunt truly cares for the welfare of the Sapphire Islands.

Averiela: I’m offended! Of course we’d help, but not if you force us.

Lucia: As a fellow ruler of lands that value secrecy, I understand the desire to protect your land. Aggression will lead to aggression inresponse. Peaceful visitors will no longer visit, but hostiles will come prepared.

Felenor: You call yourselves peaceful visitors? Look at this warship! Behold the cannons and harpoons!

Lucia: The sea is dangerous. Gotta be prepared. If you listened for two minutes, it wouldn’t come to this. We’re on a quest. Averiela is calling a Conclave so we’re going to he Forgotten Lands. We’re looking for others who wish to join.

Felenor: Lies! Are you asking to kidnap us?

Lucia makes a final appeal to avoid the Trial, and Felenor sees that public opinion is against him.

Lusica Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotion) 10+

Felenor: Scintilia likes you, and I trust her wisdom. The Trial is an old tradition that’s not technically required. The defenders will suffice.

Felenor backs down dipolomaticaly, without actually admitting that he’s backing down. Since it’s not a requirement, Averiela is now interested in hunting Iguana Shrikes.

Lucia Royal Treatment: when you introduce yourself to the ruler of a place, you and your friend are given a room for the night and a hot meal to Fill Your Belly.

Scintilia hosts the Fellowship for dinner. It’s a “sungle dinner” that combines delicacies of sea and jungle.  Oyster shells full of meats marinated in fruit. Dessert tastes a bit like a plantain crepe. It’s boiled in the hot springs, then floated across the water to the table, so they arrive at the perfect temperature.

Oloris talks with the Fellowship about their upcoming journey. He’s so interested in the outside world that he’s making an atlas. He’d love to add the Forgotten Lands to it, but Lucia isn’t so sure about revealing the location of her homeland. Since the Lantern Marines aren’t allowed to sail to the Forgotten Lands on the Luna Penumbra, Lucia asks Oloris if they could crew one of his ships that sail to the outside world.

Lucia: The Lanterns could protect your ships. They are trustwo…capable!

Lucia Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 7-9 owe a favor

Oloris agrees to assign the Lanterns to one of his ships, but he really wants to join the Luna Penumbra for its voyage to the Forgotten Lands. Lucia has to think about it.

Lucia Yes, My Leige: When you issue a command to someone below your rank, they do it immediately. Someone is below your rank if they follow someone who has shown you Royal Treatment.

Lucia realizes that she can order Oloris to keep the Forgotten Lands out of his atlas, so she agrees to take him on as navigator.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & rapids

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship found a ledger: people who bought forgeries from the scammers who probably stole Vestri’s dagger. One of the customers is Lady Evelynn, whom Edna met at a gala some years ago, so they went to her estate.

Jayce, the butler, asks the Fellowship to wait in a ballroom until Lady Evelynn can greet them.  It’s a grand building with high ceilings, so Edna can move comfortably. although she does have to duck under doorways.  The decorations in the room are expensive and fancy, but slightly dangerous. Taxidermied creatures, paintings of hunting parties, and so on.

Lady Evelynn arrives after a few minutes. She looks mostly like a Human woman. She wears a black & purple dress and little round Pince-nez glasses with no earpieces.  She has long gold claws on her fingers, which might be expensive jewelry, or might be part of her body. It’s not immediately clear which.

  • Lady Evelynn, she/her
    • Superiority. She is bound by rules of decorum, and anyone being impolite to her is in Despair.

Edna and Evelynn shake hands. Evelynn’s extra long fingers wrap around the one giant finger that Edna extends.

Evelynn: Welcome to my home. I hope your journey was pleasant. Your parents are well?

Edna: Quite well, thank you. Your manor is lovely. I hope it is running well.

Evelynn: We’re actually ahving some problems.  Debris in the river has diverted some of the river. The road to town is washed out and my mill isn’t getting enough water. This is really going to hurt my position against the Millers and le Grind.

Edna: This is Yuri. he’s a physician. He’s from far away. This is Vestri Redrock of the Redrock dwarves. Vestri, you’ve got something to tell Evelynn, right?

Vestri: Do I? Oh, we found this!

Vestri thrusts the ledger towards Evelynn.

Vestri: I won’t make you read it, but basically, some persons have been taking items of great value and making forgeries. We found your name in the ledger and believe they sold you a forgery and that is a very rude thing to do! I feel like that is something that you would probably be displeased. We are displeased.  Perhaps you could help us find the people who sold you these forgeries because I believe they have an item of great sentimental value to me and my family. Perhaps we could return the real item to you.

Evelynn grits her teeth in barely-restrained fury.

Evelynn: I can’t believe anyone would dare to…may I see the ledger?

She snatches the ledger from Vestri and hands it to Jayce, who looks through it.

Jayce: Ah, yes, the Double Bill, the transforming pole-arm.

Evelynn leads the Fellowship up the stairs to the second storey and to a pair of locked double doors. She sticks a claw into the lock to open it. Behind the double doors is a trophy room with many rare and expensive items along the walls, on tables, and on a metal pedestal in the center of the rom. Jayce finds the Double Bill, a pole-arm that’s longer than he is tall. There’s a collar on the shaft that, when manipulated, changes the configuration of blades and spikes on the head.

Jayce: Here, ma’am. This is the item which the ledger says we bought from those Dwarven gentlemen. I must admit I am not an appraiser and cannot tell you if it is indeed a forgery.

Evelynn takes the weapon and stares at it angrily. These is evidence of a crime against her, and even with it in her hands, she can’t detect the crime!  Getting tricked is worse that getting robbed. At least she knows when she’s been robbed.

Yuri looks around for Remnant items. He finds a shield made of a special ceramic that must be baked in Dragonfire.

Yuri Look Closely 6- ask 1 question, find out the hard way

  • Tell me about the shield. How could it hurt or help me?
    • It protects better than a mornal shield. Armor (2 uses)
    • Messing with Evelynn’s prized items could get him in trouble. As he examines it, he bumps it and it falls!

Yuri Overcome 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once reroll 1 die 10+

Yuri bobbles the shield, but catches it before it hits the ground.

Evelynn: Is that a forgery too?

Yuri’s not an expert, but Vestri is. He examines the shield, being careful not to touch it.

Vestri Let Me See That: ask 2 questions about an interesting item

  • Who made this and why should I care about them?
    • This shield was made by the Remnant, the same extinct civilization that made Yuri magic sword. It must be over a hundred years old, because that’s when the Remnant were wiped out.
  • What’s wrong with it and how might I fix it?
    • It’s in excellent condition. It has been kept as a trophy and not used for combat.

Vestri: It is not a forgery. No, no, very much the real thing.  So maybe don’t touch it anymore.

Evelynn:  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will definitely take steps to remedy this injustice. Will you be staying the night?

The Fellowship accepts Evelynn’s offer and she tells Jayce to prepare rooms. He’s still holding the Double Bill, so he returns it to its stand before leaving. Edna, Vestri, and Yuri get the nice rooms on the second floor. Their companions get smaller room on the ground floor. Hundrin drives Gurtin into the stables.

Evelynn is impressed by Steven (the only housecat in the world) because he is a tiny, perfect predator. She extends a long, clawed finger and Steven sniffs it once, then pushes forward to scratch against it. When the Fellowship is settled in their room, they chat and plan their next move.

Edna: I think that went very well. Lady Evelynn seems like a very nice lady.

Yuri: Her fingers are very cool. So long and pointy.

Vestri: They remind me of spiders.

On Earth a big spider might be the size of child’s hand, but on this world, there are spiders big enough for Halfings to ride. Dwarves are too heavy.  There are also Spiders, a humanoid species that are roughly Human-sized.

Edna: We don’t have any new information, do we? Do we go find the next customer?

Vestri: We could ask her over breakfast if she remembers where she bought it.

GM note: The players did not explore the spooky mansion full of weird trophies with a mysterious and sinister owner.

The next morning, they go downstairs for breakfast. Viktor (Edna’s valet) is impressed as Jayce and his staff zoom around serving everyone. Vestri talks with his mouth full.

Viktor: This is what a well-run house is like? My former employer was such a mess!

Ol’ Jardiner: I didn’t sleep well. Vermin in the walls or something. I wasn’t comfortable.

Yuri: Steven gets the zoomies late at night.

Vestri: Morning! Good morning! I’ll take a little of this and a little of this. How did you sleep?

Evelynn: I didn’t sleep. I was putting out feelers to locate these criminals.

Vestri: i am also searching for these criminals for other reasons — great sentimental values and all that — I was wondering if you learned anything maybe you could share with me and my companions….

Vestri continues to ramble, but eventually says that the Fellowship would use any information Evelynn could offer to personally track down the scammers.

Evelynn: Ah, you offer to be my agents?

Vestri Talk Sense (+sense, plan) 10+

Evelynn requests that the Fellowship bring back not only  the real Double Bill, but the scammers as well. She sends Jayce to get a beacon that her messengers can follow. Jayce brings a large glass bead (the size of a shooter marble) on a chain.

Vestri: Is this the form of communcation or the thing that we show to your messengers?

Evelynn: That is what will draw my messengers to you.

Edna puts the chain around her wrist. The Fellowship prepares to leave and as Vestri tries to thank Evelynn, Edna steps in front with more practiced, formal words.

Edna: We appreciate your hospitality. The Harcourts will not forget this kindness. If you are ever near the family estate you can count on a warm welcome.

GM note: This is the only visit to Lady Evelynn’s manor that didn’t devolve into violence!

No doubt it will take some time for Lady Evelynn to send them information about the scammers, so the Fellowship has some time to pursue other interests. At the Hidden Library, Yuri learned that his sword and scabbard will open a place that is north, past the Singing Hills. That’s back the way they came. The previous journey through the Clay Dwarf city was bad and scary, so they want another path. They can climb over the mountains, or cross the Raging Rapids in the foothills. Edna and Yuri can jump. Vestri and Edna are very strong. The natural world does not harm Yuri. Surely all these powers can be combined to get the whole party across a river.

The Fellowship sets off on a Long Journey. They head south from Evelynn’s manor. The new river branch washed out the path, so there’s a temporary bridge. That channel is draining, since Vestri cleared the debris. They enter Sugar’s Crossing, mainly a Halfling town, and see the two other mills that Evelynn mentioned. A highway crosses the river, so the Fellowship can just walk across a sturdy bridge instead of trying to make their own crossing.

A map of the city of Sugar’s Crossing showing the river flowing south the the center, three mills, docks, and other landmarks.

With Sugar’s Crossing behind them they are in endless fields of beets, which the mills refine into the sugar that gives the town its name.  Beets are vital in Yuri’s culture. He wants to teach the locals how to make borscht.  He just walks up to a farm house.

Yuri: Ah, I see that you are farmers. Did you know? I have borscht recipe!

Yuri meets an old Halfing woman whom everyone calls Granny. She loves food, and senses a kindred spirit in Yuri, who is also excited about food. She leads him into the kitchen, which has a high ceiling for Halflings, so Yuri can stand up comfortably. When the cooking starts he realizes that the high ceilings keep the smoke and steam out of the Halflings’ faces and right in his! The counters are also lower than he would like, so he has to sit down to prepare the meal.  Edna stays outside because she’s taller than the building. Vestri stays in the kitchen. He doesn’t help preapre the meal, but he’s around and will accept any morsel that a passing Halfling may offer. He accepts a lot of morsels.

Borscht is a vegetable stew, mainly beets, but whatever is available. The vegetables are peeled and cooked in chicken stock until they are soft. The beets make the stew bright red. The vegetables in Russia aren’t quite the same as Halfling vegetables, but the recipe is flexible, so it still works.

Soon the Fellowship share a hearty dinner with their new friends.  After everyone else is served, Edna uses the cauldron and ladle as a bowl and spoon.

As they continue down the highway, Yuri remembers a monster flying around the Singing Hills. Vestri

The Fellowship leaves the road and heads north to the Raging Rapids. The rapids are wide, broken up by patches of slick, mossy stone. The rocks rise in the middle of river, so one bank is not visible from the other.

GM note: That last detail was specifically added because Yuri and Edna can jump to anywhere they can see, and jumping over the river was too easy.

Viktor spends Let Me Get That!

Viktor hands Edna a coil of stout rope.

Edna: OK, we’re going to do a two-step process. Vestri, you’re strong, hold the other end of this rope, or maybe tie it to a tree. You’ll have to climb the rope too.

Edna leaps to the top of the rock so she can hold the rope and her small friends can climb to join her.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 6-

Edna leaps to the top of the slippery rocks but her feet don’t stick and she disappears down the far side. The rop she’s still holding goes taut and breaks the tree tied to the other end! Suddenly a tree is moving iwth surprising force and speed through the rest of the Fellowship!

Vestri: Timber!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere he can see

Yuri leaps aside, but Vestri steps in front of the tree, hoping to grab it.

Yuri Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Vestri Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Vestri wrestles the tree to lie across the rapids, forming a bridge for her friends to run across, but it’s not easy. The current is trying to drag the tree downriver, and Edna is pulling on the other end of the rope, trying to climb back up the rocks.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+

Everyone is able to run up the tree and reach the middle of the river. As Hundrin drives Gurtin up the tree, Vestri considers how he’s caused his cousin a lot of trouble during their adventures, but this is one time when he’s helping. Edna climbs up the other side and is surprised to see the consequences of her actions.

Edna: Vestri, hold on to the rope. I’ll pull you in.

Vestri holds the rope with one hand and cuts the rope off the tree with the axe in his other hand.

Vestri Get Away (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 7-9 avoid harm

Yuri Top Of The Food Chain: nature will stay out of his way & avoid harming him

Now everyone is on top of the rock pile. When Yuri lands from his jump, the rocks become dry and the water flows around them, so no one is in danger of slipping and faling now. They are halfway across the river.

Raging Rapids increases response level to 1 due to collateral damage

On the other side of the river is a Walking Boat, designed to climb up rapids. It drives posts down to the bottom of the river to raise the boat up above the water, then pushes the boat forward, where another set of posts push the boat up again. The boat is currently between the Fellowship and shore.

Edna considers carrying people by jumping back and forth, but also considers throwing people. Throwing is rejected by the others. Perhaps the rope trick will work this time. Yuri will stay on the rocks until everyone else leaves to keep them safe, then will jump to the far side.

Edna Toss Aside: an ally can ride on her

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere she can see

Edna ties the rope to Gurtin the Drill Tank, picks it up, and leaps to the far side of the river. The rope crosses above the Walking Boat, and it’s rising to meet it.

Vestri: I never liked Walking Boats. They are very strange, in my opinion.

The Fellowship decided to stay away from the Walking Boat entirely. To the amazement of the boat’s crew, Edna jumps back and forth over them, ferrying her friends to the far bank. Yuri stays to keep the rocks dry until everyone is across, then jumps across himself.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere he can see

With yet another eventful river crossing behind them, the Fellowship moves on into the Singing Hills. Constant wind beats against these hills, so only grass and scrubby shrubs cling to them.  Standing stones on top of each ill whistle a unique tone as the wind blows through carefully carved slits.  The Fellowship camps for the night. A big weird bat flies in and flutters around the campfire. Enda tries to shoo it away and notices that it’s following the motions of one of her hands. She holds out her hand and the bat lands. It’s attracted to the glass bead around Edna’s wrist, because this is Lady Evelynn’s messenger! It’s carrying a little note that says the forgers have been located far to the south at the Oolite mines. Should the Fellowship continue to their destination, or divert to track down the forgers?

Yuri: I think we should follow the forgers. They seem mobile. Once they are found out, they are likely to flee. Time is of essence, whereas Remnants have been dead for centuries…

A spooky voice croaks from Yuri’s light-proof box.

Heath: Decades.

Yuri: I lose all track of time traveling inside and outside the universes.

Vestri: We should decide based on the information that we have.

Going south to the Oolite Mine requires crossing the river again.

Edna: We’ve come all this way. We should finish one journey before starting another.

Vestri: I think we should head to whatever distance is a shorter distance. I think we’re closer to Yuri’s thing. Frankly I don’t like rivers very much, so I would like to take a break going back to cross.

Yuri: Let’s continue then. I’m not married to idea.

Edna: You’re married to that demon lady, right?

Yuri: Da, da, quite soon! I have not made any affections towards her, but I feel like she knows.

In the morning, they set off north to find the Remnant artifact. They don’t know what they are looking for, but Yuri’s sword guides them towards it. They approach a cliff face and find the keyhole halfway up! There’s no flat ground for hundreds of feet above or below. Heath is a shadow, so he can probably slide up the wall, but he can’t carry the sword and scabbard. Yuri and Edna can jump to the keyhole, but with nowhere to land, they’ll fall right back down. Vestri can ask the earth to move, creating handholds to climb, but affecting stone as such a distance is a stretch. Edna can’t punch handholds into solid rock, and even if she was strong enough, she lacks finesse. There are no trees to repurpose as scaffolding. Truly a challenging problem.

As they crossed the Singing Hill yesterday, Edna saw something flying in the distance. She wonders if it could carry them to the door. Since it’s moving, she worries that she’ll miss if she jumps at it. Vestri suggests getting under it, then jumping up and down to get its attention. Vestri also suggests not breaking any of the standing stones on the way.  Edna agrees and leaps from hill to hill. When she’s directly under the creature, she realizes it’s bigger than she assumed!  It’s a huge Sky Serpent, at least 100 feet long.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere she can see

  • Haku, he/him, Sky Serpent, Boss of The Singing Hills
    • Threat to the World
    • Drop-Off: Haku can deploy Giants into the battlefield
    • Mostly Peaceful: Although Haku is huge and powerful, he avoids attacking little folk directly.

Edna jumps straight up and calls out to get his attention. When she rises up to Haku’s level, she sees two Giants riding on his back! One of the Giants drops off Haku as Edna starts to fall from her second jump. They both hit the ground and stand up. Edna’s an Ogre, but this person is a true Giant. She is 20 feet tall, head and shoulders above Edna.

  • Fum, she/her, Giant
    • Crushing Blows: deals 2 damage
    • Like Flies: anyone who fails a roll or pays a price while on a Giant is flung off, in addition to usual consequences
    • Proper Weapons: She carries two ship anchor at her hips, connected by a length of chain wrapped around her body in an “X” pattern. Dangerous.

Fum: What are you doing? This is very strange!

Edna explains the plan to fly the Fellowship

Edna: Hello, so great to see that this Sky Serpent carries passengers. My friends and I are trying to reach something halfway up the cliff face to the north. We were wondering if we could get your Sky Serpent to lift us up there. I see it is very big and strong, able to hold passengers like yourself.

Edna Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 6- they demand an expensive, difficult, or demeaning favor

Edna got off on the wrong foot by implying that Haku, Ruler of the SInging Hills, was some kind of pet. Fum demands that Edna do pennace for her insult, and says that Haku will carry the Fellowship if they first clean his scales. Edna is scandalized!  That’s servant’s work! She puts on a fake smile.

Edna: I’ll go tell my friends about this. There’s that lake. We’ll meet you there.

Edna leaps back to the Fellowship.

Edna: Ugh. The Sky Serpent totally takes passengers. There are Giants riding it already. It could carry us all no problem, but they say “You have disrespected him. You didn’t address him properly. You have to give him a bath.” I think that’s ridiculous. We can come up with another plan.

Yuri: I bathe Steven regularly. We they say we all have to do it? Maybe you could sit this one out.

Vestri: All we have to do is give it a bath? Why is this a problem?

Edna: It’s insulting! It’s a power play by this Giant to embarrass me.

Vestri: I have two things to say to that. One, I think it would be hard to clean yourself if your legs were that short and your body was that long. But also, why do you care about his opinion? Maybe he does want you to do something stupid, but then we get a ride and we never have to see him again.

Edna: I! Uh! So we get the last laugh?

Edna is convinced and the Fellowship hikes over to the lake. Haku has landed and curved himself along the shore. He’s over 100 feet long!

Vestri: Well, let’s get ot scrubbing!

Yuri: I wish I brought power washer.

Yuri has to explain this unknown technology.

Yuri: Is like, you know hose? If you make tip very small, the water pressure is very strong.

Vestri: No, no, yes, yes. I understand. I understand. That’s genius. Let me see, let me see if I can make something like that. Hold on. That’s a very exciting idea actually.

Yuri: Yes, Humans are very ingenuitive.

Vestri looks around to see what he has to work with and notices bubbles rising from the bottom of the lake. Vestri recognizes Dwarven crafts, and sees that a false rock is actually a valve regulating water flow to something subterranean, like a system of underground waterways. but that’s not important right now!

Vestri can carve a nozzle out of a rock with his tools, but he still needs something like a hose that’s flexible and hollow. Weaving one out of reeds would probably take longer than just washing Haku by hand. The water pressure is also a problem. Gravity is easy, but probably insufficient.

Ol’ Jardiner: Mmmmm, what if I conjured bellows?

Vestri: That would be amazing. I didn’t know you could do that. Yes, yes, perfect.

Ol’ Jardiner spends Overwhelming Power

Ol’ Jardiner’s bellows feeds water to Vestri’s nozzle. Edna provides the power to operate the bellows, and Yuri is strong enough to direct the jet of water over Haku’s body to clean him. Pressure washing is satisfying to watch, so Edna has a good time.  Pressure washing also feels good to receive, so Haku is quite happy too!  Teamwork! Invention!

Yuri: I do not follow Prime Directive. A directive where you keep the world in its prime.

Edna forms a Bond: “Vestri helped me swallow my pride”

Haku forms a Bond: “Edna gave me a lovely scrubbing”

Haku Heart of Fire: Bonds to not make him a Companion. Players can erase a bond to buy a reprieve.

Haku keeps his end of the bargain and flies the Fellowship up to the middle of the cliff face. Yuri combines his sword and scabbard to form a key and turns it in the hole in the rock face. The Fellowship walks inside and the hole closes behind them!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing The Sunset & mutual retreat

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship was exiled from Castellum, but they were leaving anyways. They head towards a volcano that Buckle heard about long ago, but when they are waylaid in Port Fennrick!

The Miranda (the Fellowship’s racing catamaran) stopped at the edge of Port Frennrick’s docks, following instructions from Bork, an Ogre who seems to be in charge of the docks.

  • Bork, she/her, Ogre. This 18-foot-tall woman is smarter than she looks and eager to prove her worth.
    • Big And Scary: Anyone trying to act against Bork is in Despair.
    • Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grabs the person she damaged. If she is not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.
      Eager To Please: Bork is trying her best and just wants to be loved. Anyone who is nice to Bork immediately forms a Bond with her. When Bork is harmed, erase all Bonds the fellowship has with her. Bork will not join the fellowship as a Companion unless someone can form three Bonds with her.

A man appears behind Buckle and snatches the Medallion of Cleft Sky from his neck. The Medallion isn’t on a normal chain. It emits a crackling cord of electricity that expands to fit its wearer. Where did that man come from/ The Fellowship didn’t see anyone board the ship.

  • Agent, he/him, Human
    • Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.
    • Patience: The Agent is Secret until they make a Cut. When they escape or hide, they become Secret again until they make a Cut.

Agent: O’Later will want to know about this!

Buckle: That’s mine! Who’s O’Later?

Bork: O’Later’s the boss!

Buckle: I don’t remember him.

Bork: The town is under new management.

Another Agent emerges from the cabin holding the Pheonix Egg. Buckle’s eyes surge with flames.

Buckle: That’s my baby! What are you doing with it?

Bork: Don’t interfere. This is standard procedure.

Buckle: What procedure?

Bork is taken aback. This is more resistance than she’s used to.

Bork: I don’t have all the procedures and clauses memorized, but O’Later can explain it to you.

Bork indicates that the Fellowship can follow her, and the Agents prepare to take the Phoenix Egg and the Medallion of Cleft Sky. Buckle’s close to lashing out.

Stella: We want safe passage through here in the future, so let’s talk. Hey, Bork, where are you taking our stuff?

Bork: Contraband warehouses. There’s one there, and there’s another over–

An Agent frantically motions for Bork not to reveal such sensitive information. Bork stops talking, grabs a rope tossed by an Agent and pulls the Miranda in to the dock. Buckle starts walking up the ship’s ramps and the Agents realize that Buckle is on fire and most of Port Fennrick is wooden boardwalks. They scramble to fetch barrels of water and pour them in Buckle’s path. Buckle carefuly steps only on the wettests portions to avoid setting the town on fire.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The strange procession passes the Port Fennrick message board. Buckle and Stella sneak a peek in passing.

GM note: The messages board is a way for players to send messages to other players that they don’t meet in real life. NPCs don’t read or censor the messages.

  • Port Fennrick Message Board
    • Edna: O’Later is a poor host and a Vampire. Please get Bork some properly tailored clothes!
    • Vestri: O’Later is a Vampire and Bork is his subordinate. Don’t hang out with them at night. They have contraband in a warehouse.
    • Yuri: Soldiers lurk in the shadows and there is a great wealth of confiscated goods.

Stella looks at Bork’s bouncer outfit, which seems a bit too small and bunches in certain spots. Buckle leans in to whisper to Stella.

Buckle: Did you read the message board/ We’ve fought Vampires before. Does our reputation precede us?

The procession reaches the town hall, a large stone building which Buckle won’t destory on contact. Bork opens the large double doors, and an Agent rolls up the red carpet so Buckle won’t set it on fire. Buckle thinks Bork seems nice-ish, so he offers to buy her some custom-tailored clothes. He has Ugg take measurements and gets permission to leave the party and find a tailor.

Bork forms a Bond: Buckle offered me a gift.

After a few minutes, O’Later arrives, He apologizes for the modest reception, since he was not expecting them. Another Agent offers a plate of Halfling and Platyperson snacks. There seems to be no distinction between O’Later’s servants and his secret police. They wear the same uniforms. Buckle makes conversation.

Buckle Speak Softly 6- 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer, 1 false answer

  • What can O’Later tell us about contraband?
    • Contraband must be confiscated to preserve order and safety in the town. It’s for your own good, of course! Thus, the contraband will not be returned when you leave town.
  • What was O’Later doing? What will they do next? (Particularly how did he come to rule Port Fennrick?)
    • O’Later found the town leaderless and in chaos, so it was his responsibility to bring order.
  • What should we be wary of when dealing with O’Later?
    • Buckle mentioned the Moon, and immediately O’Later gets mad.
    • O’Later: The Moon has been trouble ever since it appeared. It’s to blame for werewolves! Something should be done about it!
    • Buckle: Yes, we had to kill some Platypalooza.

While Buckle talks with O’Later, Stella pulls Bork aside.

Stella: Are you hungry? Seems like you’ve been on the clock for a while.

Bork: Thanks. Sometimes we find good food to confiscate, but not tonight.

Stella spends Halfing Lunch

Bork forms a Bond “Stella fed me.”

Stella overhears O’Later ranting about the Moon.

Stella Talk Nonsense 10+

Stella: We can take care of that! We were on our way to a big cannon in a mountain. We need the Medallion to power it.

Buckle: Yeah! The azimuth is slightly off.

Stella Sting Like A Bee steal a small item

Stella steals a large key from O’Later. The key’s teeth are shaped like fangs.

O’Later: A cannon in a mountain? When did you see this ? Tell me about it.

Stella: We’ve been travelling for a long time. The facility was abandoned when we found it, but we read some notes that indicated this facility was important. Maybe all the bad things happening these days would stop if the Moon was gone.

O’Later: A noble goal! We will return your Medallion and escort you to the mountain. Bork will make all the arrangements, and we will leave tomorrow at sunset!

Bork escorts the Fellowship towards the contraband warehouse (the one she pointed out earlier) with Agents pouring water in front of Buckle. Stella chats with Bork along the way.

Stella Speak Softly 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer

  • What can you tell me about your past?
    • Bork doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • What do you want? How can we help you get it?
    • She wants job satisfaction: the sense that she’s doing good in the world. Guarding the city is indirect and boring. She’s not fulfilled.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Bork?
    • Bork’s physical power is obvious, but she’s also easily manipulated, which makes her dangerous.

Buckle: What would make the world a better place?

Bork: Hmmm, maybe fighting werewolves? We rarely get any here in town. O’Later says the Moon is to blame, so I’ve tried throwing things at the Moon before.

Stella: When we get the cannon working, we’ll throw something that will hit the Moon.

They reach the contraband warehouse. Bork easily lifts the bar holding the gate closed and the Fellowship enters.  The warehouse is dimly lit, because Agents like the dark.  There’s a pile of knifes, coins, and other metal objects near the entrance. Most of the warehouse is orderly stacks of boxes, but some boxes have been pushed aside to make a clear space for the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The Agents assigned to the warehouse are standing a respectful distance away, pondering this strange and dangerous item that forced them to discard all their metal equipment. Buckle goes to pick up his Medallion and the Agents move to intervene until Bork calls out.

Bork: We’ve got a special mission. This comes straight from the top.

Buckle: Where’s the egg? Its’s important to me. It must be protected and I can’t trust these buffoons to do it.

Buckle isn’t sure what “buffoon” means, but hostile people have used that word against them.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotions) 10+

Bork: Give him the egg too.

Buckle reclaims his items. He wants to look around for more cool items in the warehouse, but the Agents don’t want him to set anything on fire or strike anything with lightning.

Buckle: I need to find materials for the mission to the Anti-Moon Weapon. I could get something to upgrade the payload, or use messenger robots to communite back to Port Fennrick.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Grace, trick them) 7-9 owe them a favor

The Agents are impressed by the mission. They’ll let Buckle look through their stuff, so long as he takes them along to the anti-Moon Weapon.

GM note: This is just Buckle’s player asking for trouble. Show me something cool, and show me how it can go wrong.

The first item that catches Buckle’s interest is a cask of exotic liquor. It was confiscated because it kept starting fires and fights. Not a safe object for someone who sets things on fire with a touch.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The Agents open the cask and as Buckle approaches to inspect it, the vapor coming off the cask starts to ignite! The Agents slam the cask shut quickly, and Buckle backs away.

Next Buckle sees some kind of robotic weapon. He sees a space where  a battery should go and zaps it with the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The robot starts powering up. It’s a Killbot! It looks around to select a target!

  • Killbot: They have a kill limit, but it is quite high. Killbots are targeted assassins – they have someone (or a list of someones) to kill, and anything that gets in their way is collateral damage.
    • Exterminate: Killbots are Melee, Ranged, and Piercing. If they are trying
      to kill you specifically, you need to pay a price whenever you go near a Killbot.

Buckle Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Buckle fumbles for an access panel as the Killbot stands up, spikes protruding in all directions. Buckle pulls a wire and the killbot collapses. A panel opens and reveals a countdown!

Buckle: I think it’s off, but it’s counting down. We might need to leave.

The Agents freak out. An explosion in this warehouse, full of valuable and dangerous items, would be catastrophic. Stella confirms that the KIllbot can’t stab her, then works to protect the warehouse.

 Stella spends 1 Pit Trap

Stella Wizardry: Push, pull, or grab as if you were somewhere you can see.

Stella sets a Pit Trap, retreats to a safe distance, and remotely pushes the Killbot into the pit.

Stella Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Stella spends a bag of coins (Precious)

The Killbot slumps into the pit, but the spikes sticking out prevent it from falling all the way in. Stella throws a heavy bag of coins at the Killbot, which knocks it the rest of the way into the pit. A moment later, an explosion shoots striaght up from the pit, blowing a hole in the roof of the warehouse, but sparing the stacks and stacks of boxes all around.

Buckle: Stella, maybe you should look through the crates.

Collateral damage increases Port Fennrick’s Response Level to 2.

Port Fennrick gains Response Move: Sheriff – someone will arrest a member of the Fellowship.

Bork: I’ve made a mistake letting you in here. You’re dangerous.

She moves in to scoop Buckle up in her giant hands.

Buckle: It was just an accident. We need these supplies for the mission to make O’Later happy!

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desires) 6-

Bork damages Buckle

Bork Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grab the person they damaged. If she are not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.

Bork grabs Buckle, who is about the size of a stuffed animal to her, and starts walking out of the warehouse. Stella runs after them.

Stella On A Mirror’s Edge: gain 2 Speed

Bork stops suddenly and kicks back with a giant boot!

Stella spends 1 Speed to avoid an enemy attack and keep going

Stella Get Away 7-9 take Buckle along

Stella damages Courage

Stella leaps up on Bork’s foot, climbs her body, and snatches Buckle from her hand. Channeling the power of her loyal mount, Silk, Stella leaps striaght up to the roof of the warehouse!

Stella Animal Trait: Jumping Spider

Buckle: The egg!

Buckle rushes to the hole in the roof and looks in to see if the PHoenix Egg survived.

Agents Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.

The two Agents inside the warehouse are waiting for Buckle, standing upside-down on either side of the hole!

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky St. Elmo’s Fire: surround someone with a dazzling aura to make an attack miss.

St. Elmo’s Fire crackles around Buckle’s body, dazzling one Agent, but the other strikes true!

Agent damages Buckle.

Buckle goes for the Medallion again!

GM note: The Medallion is a custom item. Buckle’s player made some suggestions for potential powers, and the Framework was supposed to write up an official version, but didn’t, so we are just winging its powers in this session.

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky Aurora: impress and distract spectators, Keeping Them Busy with a 10+

Bork can’t climb the warehouse, can’t reach the figures on the roof, and this is one building she’s unwiling to tear down. She looks around for a big rock or a long pole that she can use to reach Stella and Buckle.

Stella: You’ll never get us with logs! We are Fluming champions!

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+

It’s a standoff. Stella and Buckle are keeping all their opponents from advancing or attacking, but if they stop, their opponents will strike! The tense moment is interrupted by the slow arrivals of new adversaries. The uniforms they wear are smiliar to the Agents, but fancier, so they’re probably higher rank. Unlike the slippery, agile Agents, these Enforcers stomp heavily and stiffly towards the warehouse.

  • Ghoulish Enforcers, it/its, undead humanoids.  Preserved corpses, sustained by an ancient curse.
    • Cursed Strength: Enforcers are incredibly strong, and can toss aside anyone trying to Keep Them Busy. If your Blood is damaged, you must pay a price to attack an Enforcer in melee combat.
    • Tough As Nails: The first time an Enforcer would be damaged or destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Buckle drops the Aurora and goes to the edge of the roof to appeal to Bork.

Buckle: We’re all on the same side, working towards the same goal!  There’s just dangerous stuff around.

Buckle FInish Them (+Widsom, show the error of their ways) 7-9

Buckle damages Bork’s Big And Scary

Bork Eager To Please: When Bork is damaged, she erases all Bonds with the Fellowship.

Bork: You tricked me! I thought you were my friend!

Bork throws the Phoenix Egg at Buckle as the Agents emerge onto the roof! Buckle must catch the precious and fragile egg!

Buckle Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Buckle damages Webbed Hands

The impact of the huge egg (nearly as tall as Buckle) injures his hands and the momentum pushes him backwards towards the edge of the roof! He rolls with it.

Buckle Get Away 7-9 take Stella along

Buckle grabs Stella and they both slide past hte shocked agents and fall to the ground! Buckle lands on his back with the egg on top of him!

Buckle damages a stat

Buckle Firestarter: declare a fire starts if you had a chance to plant material before hand.

Buckle won’t start a fight, but he’ll finish one! He snaps his fingers and the warehouse bursts into flames! He was secreting explosive goo all over the items he was examining.  The exotic liquor explodes, turning the front of the warehouse into a hail of debris! The Agents on the roof are sent flying, their capes on fire. The Enforcers don’t look at the fire, continuing to walk straight towards Buckle until a pile of debris collapses on them. Bork kneels and braces herself, keeping her balance as the shockwave passes her. She slowly gets to her feet, sweeping splinters and flaming bits from her arms. The pile of flaming debris is thurst aside and the Enforcers stand up and continue walking forward.

Bork, Enforcers, and Agents all take damage

Buckle & Stella took full advantage of the distraction to flee the scene!

Buckle (+hope, Stella’s aid) Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Ugg along

They run for the Miranda as fast as their short legs will carry them, but they remember to swing by the tailor’s shop to get Ugg before fleeing town. There’s no disguising their trail. Buckle is setting fire to the boardwalks as he flees.  Buckle throws a coin purse in to the tailor, Ugg gathers up the huge suti in his big robot hands, and the whole Fellowship reaches the Miranda.

Port Fennrick: Upset someone in Charge: increase Response Level

There’s commotion all over town as the crew of the Miranda casts off and sails upriver. They have to go all the way across town to reach the river! Bork appears ahead on the boardwalk, with a flaming beam from the warehouse weilded as a club. Even her impressive reach isn’t enough to engage the Miranda in melee combat. She picks up a Ghoulish Enforcer and throws it towards the Miranda. It explodes in mid-air!

Buckle Anarchy Reigns: create an explosion, even if you could not have planted the bomb beforehand.

O’Later’s security forces are taken aback. Can they even approach these criminals? The confusion continues as Stella calls out and ugg throws a bundle from his post atop the mainmast.

Stella: Bork, catch!

It’s a custom-tailored suit. In all her time with O’Later, he never gave her such an expensive gift. She stares at the clothes for a moment, then drops them and grips her flaming club. Bork and the Agents follow the Mirnada upstream, but try to stay behind cover. They dont care approach openly.  O’Later appears in the sky, confirming his vampiric nature by flying in as a bat!

Buckle: We’re leaving! Dont worry about it!

Stella: Gus, garlic him!

Gus, Stella’s cook climbs the other mast and throws cloves of garlic, forcing O’Later to keep his distance

Gus spends Special Ingredients

Stella Get Away 10+ avoid harm

Stella pilots the Miranda upstream, out of Port Fennrick, and onto the Mighty River. The checkpoint that used to stop boats at the edge of the city has been dismantled, so they have no trouble escaping.  O’Later’s invisible inspections are effective 99% of the time, but fail in this exact scenario. The Fellowship is frustrated, even though they reclaimed their items, put the town’s forces to flight, and were able to continue their journey. Why do things keep goign badly? Why can’t the kings and chieftains they meet just be reasonable? They didn’t want to fight. They tried to talk it out so everyone could be happy.

NO END-OF-SESSION MOVE

Feed Pelican Town – A Stardew Valley Challenge

Stardew Valley is an open-ended farming/fishing/mining/building/friendship game with so much to do and such loose win & loss conditions that I like to work towards a goal that I set for myself, like completing the Community Center in Year 1, maxing out my heart level with every villager, or cooking every dish.

The Feed Pelican Town challenge imagines that the farm actually provides the food that the villagers in Pelican Town eat. I’ll need to learn the villagers likes/dislikes and their schedules, and create a diverse farm to meet all those needs.

The rules:

  • Give every villager two gifts per week
  • The gift must be food
    • Is Maple Syrup food? NO, it’s inedible.
  • The gift must be edible
    • Is Pufferfish food? NO, it removes 100 energy when eaten. That’s poison
  • The gift must restore at least 1 health or 1 energy
  • The villager must Love the gift
    • I’m really broke at the start of Year 1 and only have access to a few items
  • The gift must be Loved if possible, otherwise it must be Liked
    • Dwarf only loves Magic Rock Candy, an incredibly expensive item
      • Look, just let me get through Spring. I’ll deal with that later.
  • You don’t need to feed villagers that you can’t access, like Sandy in the Oasis, Kent who is off at war, or Krobus hidden in the sewers.

Attempt 1

Cookie of Feed Y'All Farm, 4 Spring, Year 1

The year starts on Monday. By Saturday (after the first batch of crops come in) I’ll give everyone their first gift, so I can give them their second gift on Sunday, the last day of the week.

What’s that? The “two gifts per week” week runs Sunday to Saturday? So it’s already too late to give two gifts in the first week if I didn’t give the first gift by Friday Day 5 at the latest?

FAILURE

Attempt 2

Cookie of Feeder2 Farm, day 4 of Spring, Year 1

I won’t make the same mistake twice! Six days to give two gifts to everyone, so I must give the first gift to everyone no later than Day 5.

But the Community Center doesn’t open until Day 5. So I can’t get the letter from the Wizard and gain access to his tower until Day 6. It’s impossible to give the Wizard 2 gifts in the first week!

FAILURE

This is really hard!

New rules

  • The Wizard only needs one gift in the first week.
  • Gifts given in Spring, Year 1 must be Liked at least. No requirement for Loved gifts, even if they are available.

Attempt 3

Foodie of Diner Farm, Day 5 of Year 1

One more time. I have my spreadsheet of gifts. I’m maximizing my income so I can spend so much on gifts and still invest in my farm. I got a lucky drop of Sashimi in the Saloon, which is cheaper than Salad, so I save some money buying gifts for people who don’t like anything I grow at the start.

Day 1: plant lots of Parsnips. Parsnips grow in 4 days, the fastest of any crop, and are liked by all but 5 villagers. They are my main source of gifts.

Day 5 is rainy. The Community Center doesn’t open on rainy days, so meeting the Wizard is delayed by a day. That means I don’t meet him at all in the first gift week, so that’s fine, right? He doesn’t need food if he’s not available. That’s like the rule for Krobus and Sandy. The Parsnips come in, so I harvest them, sell a few for money, and pass out the rest as gifts. Half today, half tomorrow (Saturday) and then the week rolls over.

On rainy days, Elliott does not leave his house. I can’t enter his house because we’re not good enough friends. I can’t give him a gift on Day 5. I couldn’t give him a gift on Days 1, 2, 3, or 4 because I can’t grow Parsnips that fast. I can give him one gift on Day 6, but that’s only one for the week.

FAILURE

Consulting the wiki carefully, I realize that I could have foreseen and avoided this. The weather report on TV predicts the next day’s weather. If I check the weather on Day 4 and see that Day 5 will be rainy, I can go to the Saloon, buy a gift for Elliot and deliver it on that day. Then he’s inaccessible on Day 5 when the Parsnips come in, and I give him a Parsnip on Day 6. But what if it rains both on Day 5 and Day 6? Unlikely but possible!

Future plans

i still like this idea. I imagine by year 2 I’ll have a kitchen in my house, cooking up people’s favorite dishes. I’ll stockpile some ingredients in season and grow others year-round in my greenhouse. I’ll have fish farms and a shed full of artisan goods. But this challenge is so hard at the beginning that I can’t get out of the first week!

Next time, I won’t give any gifts in the first gift week (Days 1-6 of Spring, year 1) Every resource is precious at the beginning of the game, so relieving the huge stress of providing 55 gifts in the first 6 days will let my farm grow a lot more, and I’ll be able to start the second week giving gifts immediately, so missing one day won’t immediately cause failure.

I could also give myself a little leeway on the rules to allow for occasional slip-ups. “No hit” challenge runs are like that. The runners start out by seeing how few hits they can take, eventually do a no-hit run, then get consistent at zero hits.  A runner who restarts the run every time they take a hit will probably never finish. Alas, that’s not my style! All or nothing!

Some tips for portraits

Zoom/Magnification/Field of View/Focal Length

Focal length is measured in millimeters from the front of the lens to the back. A prime lens has only one focal length, e.g. a 50mm lens. Zoom lens can zoom in and out and have a range of focal lengths, like 28-135mm.  A small focal length, like 10mm or 28mm is wide-angle. Large numbers like 135mm or 200mm are telephoto and magnify a small area, like a telescope.

Wide angle

A wide-angle lens will exaggerate poses, which is good for fun, energetic moods. It’s dramatic, but can easily look weird or unnatural.  Small changes in subject’s pose and your camera position can have a big impact, so if a picture looks weird, make some adjustments.

Wide-angle images have a lot of distortion around the edges, so avoid putting people’s faces near the edges.

Wide angle lens will include a lot of the background, so it’s more important to have a background that you actually want in the photo.

Telephoto

Telephoto lenses let you fill the frame with a subject even from a good distance away. That can be nice, but sometimes you won’t have enough room to properly use a telephoto lens.  Telephoto lenses have less distortion than wide-angle lenses, so they are good for photographing faces.

Telephoto lenses compress distance and make things look closer together. Compare the two photos below. The distance from gun to face is about the same in both, but they feel very different.

Wide-angle lens: high distortion, expanding distance

Telephoto lens: low distortion, compressed distance

Depth of field

Depth-of-field is a range of distances from the camera in which objects are in focus. Small f-stop numbers like f/2.8 give shallow depth-of-field. Big f-stop numbers like f/16 or f/22 give a deep depth-of-field.

Shallow

Shooting “wide open” with the smallest possible f-stop lets in the most light and has the shallowest depth of field. This is good for isolating the subject and melting the background into blurs, called “bokeh” That’s good for calling attention to one object, making the background less distracting, and for being pretty in general.

The drawback of shallow depth of field is that only one thing is in focus. The photo above shows one dancer very well, but the dancer behind her is completely blurry.

A closeup with a narrow depth of field could have a depth of field of one inch or even less! See how her cheek and hair on camera left are out of focus, while the eye on camera right is sharp. Be very careful with your focus in these situations. Focusing on the near eye is a safe play.

If you’re photographing more than one person, either be very careful to get them all the same distance from the camera, or increase your f-stop so the depth-of-field is big enough to cover all of them.

See how the background isn’t as blurry in this shot of two characters? That’s because my depth of field is bigger to make sure they are both sharp.

Deep

Use a big f-stop number (f/16, f/22) to get deep depth of field. Beware that this reduces the amount of light coming through the lens, so you’ll have to trade exposure time or ISO.

It’s easy to get multiple people in focus, even if they are different distances to the camera

Everything is mostly in focus, so the subjects feel more connected to their surroundings. That’s a benefit when you have a nice background.

Everything is mostly in focus, so distractions in the background are hard to hide. That’s a drawback when the background is messy, ugly, or hard to control.

Some artistic things I like

It will take a while to figure out the exact kind of photo you like to make. Try lots of things and pay attention to how you and your subjects react to them! What I love may be boring or ugly to you and that’s OK! Even if you don’t like the following examples, think about why you dislike them and you may get closer to what you do like.

People interacting

Interaction is specific and revealing. I like portraits that show who people are (or who they are pretending to be) and interacting with others can be a way to reveal that.

Backgrounds: use them or lose them

If I can, I want the background of a photo to be part of the story. That can be challenging. I have to know the subject’s story and be able to walk to a place that matches.

Interacting with the environment is active and specific. This picture wouldn’t exist without the fallen log.

If I can’t find a good background, I aim for a non-distracting background…

…or melt the background into irrelevance with bokeh (What camera setting would do that?)

Depth and layers

I like things happening at all different distances from the camera.