For the second game, I ran the Bastard Bailiff adventure here from Lythia.com. I had also printed out the Charmic Manor and Eliten Manor articles, although in the end I didn't use the latter, since I ended up staging the final conflict at a roadside encampment. The character were Sir Durvo, the gentleborn Odivshe mage, the shipwright& weaponsmith journeymen, the butt-ugly mercenary Arca (born a bastard of a slave mother and freeman labourer father in Rethem, escaped to Kanday, since a mercenary - rolled parasites, poxmarks, and 2*scars on the medical table, and he wasn't pretty to begin with), and a yeoman. I pretty much just handwaved that the group had come over from western Harn with this summers Salt Route Caravan (and have thus traveled together for a while), but are staying in the East for this winter. As before, because this is a Con game, I ran things somewhat looser, faster, and easier than I would for a campaign.
The adventure started with the gentleborn character dining at Earl Curo's hall when the village priest is summoned to the hall to tell the tale of the plight of Charmic (after telling it to the Steward, who informed the Earl). The Earl promises a substantial reward, I upped it to £10 (from the suggested £5) for the bastard Akitt Llack himself, since the group was 6 people, including a relatively wealth knight and a gentleborn mage. They players debated for a while whether they should head off to the manor already in the evening/night, but eventually decided not to, after some slight prodding.
They arrive at the manour just an hour or so after the Earl's men (they had managed to find and recruit the village priest to act as their guide to the village), and the manour&fief are of course in appalling conditions. They blunder around the village for a while, mainly attempting to intimidate Akitt's Lackeys into telling them where he went, but none of them have any good information, except that he's deposited a lot of money in Tashal. Eventually a few more weak clues point to Tashal, so they head there.
Akitt has already left Tashal early in the morning of the day when the players arrive in the evening, around 6 PM. They spread out to watch the gates, but some quick bribery by Sir Durvo at the Timberwrights guild and flirting with the wench at the tavern across the square from there (followed by more bribery of the stable boy), got them the info they needed quickly enough: Akitt&crew had new clothes and were heading down the Genin Trail towards Tashal with some Laranian pilgrims.
After 2 of catching up (it was getting dark by now), they found the pilgrims, and slowed down to travel with them for a while. They had a warrant from Earl Curo's Steward, and managed to talk to some of the other travellers and show them the warrant, so they wouldn't interfere in the fight between the PCs and the villains. When the pilgrims made camp by the roadside, the players decided to ambush the villains in their tent a short while before sundown. The villains were eating in their tent, which the PCs surrounded, and then issued their demand of surrender.
The villains realised they would all hang, so a desperate fight to subdue the captors and/or escape followed. It started with the mage failing to cast Breath of Dhivu (and failing again - she had a 2nd chance because the first one was done with just silent muttering). She later failed twice more, and failed a Shock roll after a CF, making her faint (Odivshe ML of 57, so pretty good chances of success to begin with, but bad luck). The fight actually started with a thrown Shorkana from inside the tent at our knight - no effect. The fights were mostly one-on-one, although the PC knight was the victim of a 2-on-1 for a short while. Wounds were M1-S3 pretty much all around, except for one G4 slash by the knight at one of the mercs. Akitt Llack was the first to fail a shock roll, meaning the adventure was technically "won", were it not for the fact that the fight could still have gone either way at this point, really. One thing I thought was cool was that when the journeyman shipwright noticed he was pretty good at unarmed, he punched his foe once, but later took a grapple defence, pulled his foe to the ground easily, then proceeded to slash his cheek and neck. Both of the foes attacking the knight were defeated due to them falling because of leg wounds, after which they took a couple of nasty blows and surrendered/went into shock. The last man fighting was one of the mercs, who did attempt to run, but was charged by the spear-wielding Arca just then, resulting in a leg wound, stumble, and shock/surrender.
All in all, the party managed to catch everyone, and alive at that (assuming bleeding was stopped in time... but most wounds were level 1 or 2). The villains certainly survived as prisoners long enough to be hanged (3-4 days or so), the PCs got their reward, 3 cheers and so on. The adventure was quite good as a Con game, although I did have some issues with the arrangement of the adventure and Charmic articles. Some of the information of what the villains do and when was spread out in the adventure article. This wasn't too bad though, and tbh it's almost inevitable. Further, if the players would leave immediately, on horses, Akitt&co. would only have an hour or two at most to effect their escape before the players arrive, and this means they would meet on the road, so some timing effort by the GM is needed.: getting the players lost, attacked by wolves (the population around Charmic has rebounded during Akitt's time), or so on. The labourer at the quarry is a tricky clue-NPC: if the players stop at the quarry to ask questions (most players likely won't, if you just mention the quarry and they've decided to head to the village, but flukes happen and some players may be thorough), it's possible they'll just head straight up back the road (a risky prospect though, since they'll just know Akitt headed north along the road).
With Charmic (especially when I also needed to cross-reference the clues from the adventure) the problem was a simple one to solve: I found the arrangement, specifically the numbering, tricky. The numbering of the peasant houses on the map doesn't seem to follow any pattern. Neither does it go by eg. wealth of the households, or by clan ties (which have had a large effect on village politics during the hard times). Rearranging the number to a neat geographical (counter-?)clockwise arrangement, for example, or having the numbering done by clan ties (first the ones without relatives in the village maybe, and then the various clans grouped together by numbers, even if they aren't on the map), would make the map&NPC descriptions of the village easier to cross-reference. Neither rearrangement should have any significant effect on the readability of the chart detailing the manour charts.
Last edited by Snaake on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.