Third Session (9 page pdf) – We travel across Varisia and see the sights, until we reach Brinewall. Ameiko falls mysteriously ill and we go recon the town, which is mostly intact but abandoned. What caused its sudden abandonment? We mean to find out.
As we open in Sandpoint, V’lk continues to torment the local Sczarni for no real good reason. Then we get on the road in our caravan. We manage to avoid “caravan combat,” which is for the best, and basically just have a travelogue of Varisia for a while.
I got to roleplay Hiro’s somewhat naive side… He was raised by his strict and somewhat assholey dad and then was shipped off to Chelaxian military academy. “Dad always said that the Varisians are a dog people…” And he’s learning the samisen from Ameiko. Note that in our previous Rise of the Runelords campaign, fratricide Tsuto Kaijitsu went to jail and wasn’t killed, hence that reference here.
As a result of our Riddleport-based Reavers on the Seas of Fate campaign I run, neither hell nor high water can convince our band of only second level adventurers to go to Riddleport. I’ve done my job as a GM; the group is sure they will all be robbed and rape-murdered if we go within 60 miles of the place.
The one downside was that the relationship rules started to get stupid. The Jade Regent Player’s Guide has these rules for relationships with the primary NPCs, with the intent that you build up point after point for a long time so that they’ll like you. (Apparently I need to “gain faction” with my own sister?) Anyway, it seems like giving gifts is the surest way to a quick +1 and so you’ll notice a couple gift buying and giving frenzies, ending up with Bjorn finally being rebuffed after buying a puppy for Shalelu.
I don’t mind relationship mechanics but I don’t like when they are too exposed – it makes the relationship between us and the NPCs forced and mechanical. I can spend an evening learning the samisen from my sister, but that doesn’t get a point, just the list of things in the ruleset… With new NPCs we meet, we have to be concerned about are they “special” NPCs we should track faction with to generate relationships or just normal NPCs we make relationships with the old fashioned way. Bah.
We finally get to Brinewall and scout the place out, it looks interesting. Most entertaining is meeting Spivey, the “lyrakien azata” who lives in the graveyard. She looks like a little fairy. She’s clearly a fairy. Why would you have an outsider that just looks exactly like a fairy but it’s not because it’s from some made up outer plane? It’s just like the undead that aren’t undead because they are <some excuse here>. Anyway, she’s nice, even if the fact she’s a not-fairy is retarded.
Next time, we hit Brinewall Castle like a load of bricks!