Friday, August 17, 2012

Salzenmund Apophaſiſ - Prologue Part I


The first session of the Salzenmund Apophaſiſ went down about a month ago.  This writeup's a couple of weeks late, but c'est la vie.

Dramatis Personae

Amina Wegner - Boat(wo)man
Rosaria Gorman - Smuggler
Mannfried Orben - Noble
Nicholas Schlender - Burgher
Konrad Osterwald - Protagonist
Alberto Adriano Timoteo Raffaele - Camp Follower

Henchpeople

Bözsi - Messenger
Dalibor - Outrider
Heiko - Tomb Robber
Helfried - Scribe
Herman - Miner
Humbert - Camp Follower
Irmuska - Bodyguard
Körbl - Bone Picker
Magdolna - Militiaman
Melker - Rogue
Sven - Mercenary
Viktor - Protagonist
I gave each of the PC's d4 Henchbros to support them and, in cases of dire lethality, eat a would-be killing blow in place of the associated PC.  My DM dice have proven themselves to be downright spiteful, so a safety valve seemed prudent.  How little did I know...

I actually had a lot of fun rolling these up.  I gave each of them a skill, and rolled once on the Henchman Traits table.  They were 45% male, 45% female and two of them... hard to tell.  This gave us things like Viktor, the Protagonist with beautiful, lustrous hair, and Körbl the Bone and nose picker.

As promised, the PCs were all soldiers in service to Johann Tserclaes during the Sack of Magdeburg, serving under Graf Luboš Winther.  Winther, hits the limit for the depravity he's willing to participate in and suggested to the troops he's with that they desert, tag out of the war, and flee too someplace safe, like the Swiss cantons.  They agreed; finished loading up their loot wagon, and rolled out of town.

Along the way, they encountered some other looters who decided that a wagon full of loot's far more convenient than a city full of unbewagoned loot and decided to take it from the party.  This went down almost entirely as an exercise to run the players through a WFRP combat.  As a result, the three unnamed looters (this is a lie: they were each named "Dieter") were butchered and Nicholoas knocked into critical range.

Besides a bloody fight on the way out of town, their escape was uneventful.  That is, until a week or so after they'd left town.  Several of the party went foraging and hunting to supplement their rations... including Alberto, who shot, killed, and brought back a baby bear to cook.

The party was awoken in the middle of the night: Graf Winther was gone.  So was his horse and a sizable portion of the party's rations.  Before they could investigate further...


Bears!  The completely botched Outdoor Survial hunting roll was incredibly convenient, as part of the initial arc I've had planned very much called for bears.  True story, no joke.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, bears in WFRP are very much not something to fuck around with.  At all.  Battling bears (2 Bears, 1 Bear w/ the Brute advance scheme) took quite a bit longer to resolve than I'd expected or would like.  It was also deeply, profoundly lethal.

The sacrifice-a-henchment-to-avoid-a-critical-roll rule effectively made the fight an exercise in feeding henchpeople into a woodchipper.

I'll let the list of remaining henchpeople speak for itself.  Look at the list above, and now look at the list below:

Surviving Henchpersons

Bözsi - Messenger
Helfried - Scribe
Herman - Miner
Magdolna - Militiaman
So, yeah.  The math speaks for itself.  I hope next session's not nearly as bloody.  This thing I'm doing right now?  Just a prologue.  Setting the stage for worse things to come.  Hard to do that if everyone involved is being transformed to bear feces.

Monday, August 6, 2012

d10Commandments


While ordering some square-edged dice I stumbled across a d10Commandments; it had to be purchased.

I'm definitely going to use this thing in the game. I think I'll use it for NPC's motivations and secret guilts. Or maybe for things that religious zealots can assume about PCs.  "YOU!  YOU OVER THERE! YOU DON'T HONOR THE SABBATH!  I CAN TELL!  GET 'EM!"

I dunno: I like weird dice.  Give me a break!

Hunger During the Thirty Years War


Dame Wedgwood thinks I let my PCs spend too much money on rations...
"The fugitives who fled from the south after Nördlingen died of plague, hunger and exhaustion in the refugee camp at Frankfort or the overcrowded hospitals of Saxony; seven thousand were expelled fom the canon of Zürich because there was neither food nor room for them; at Hanau the gates were closed against them; at Strasbourg they lay thick in the streets through the frosts of winter, so that by day the citizens stepped over their bodies, and by night lay awake listening to the groans of the sick and starving until the magistrates forcibly drove them out, thirty thousand of them. The Jesuits here and there fought manfully against the overwhelming distress; after the burning and desertion of Eichstätt they sought out the children who were hiding the cellars, killing and eating the rats, and carried them off to care for and educate them; at Hagenau they managed to feed the poor out of their stores until the French troops raided their granary and took charge of the grain for the army."

"At Calw the pastor saw a woman gnawing the raw flesh of a dead horse on which a hungry dog and some ravens were also feeding. In Alasace the bodies of criminals were torn from the gallows and devoured; in the whole Rhineland they watched the gravyards against marauders who sold the flesh of the newly buried for food; at Zweibrücken a woman confessed to having eaten her child. Acorns, goats' skins, grass were all cooked in Alsace; cats, dogs, and rats were sold in the market at Worms. In Fulda and Coburg and near Frankfort and the great refugee camp, men wnt in terror of being killed and eaten by those maddened by hunger. Near Worms hands and feed were found half cooked in a gipsies' cauldron. Not far from Wertheim human bones were discovered in a pit, fresh, fleshless, sucked to the marrow."

"By November rich burghers' wives were seen in the market bartering their jewellery for a little flour. Horses, cats, dogs, mice were all sold for human food, and the skins of cattle and sheep were soaked and cooked. On November 24th one of Bernard's soldiers, a prisoner, died in the castle; before the body could be taken away for burial his comrades had torn it in pieces and devoured the flesh. In the ensuing weeks six other prisoners died and were eaten. On a single morning ten bodies were found in the center square of the town, citizens who had dropped dead of hunger, and by December it was being whispered that poor and orphan children had disappeared."

- The Thirty Years War, CV Wedgwood