Leriel Session

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Asik
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:55 pm

Leriel Session

#1 Post by Asik » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:49 pm

This post could go in a number of places. I choose here because I talk about one method of preparing and executing a session. Maybe this should be moved though?

As a brief introduction, our group started a new party of PCs (the B-Team). When a new HarnQuest is published the PCs start at that new location at the start of the session, and we play. And repeat. In other words, once the new HarnQuest is published, we move to that specific location (no traveling).

This was our first B-Team session. Two of our group were unable to join this time. Therefore, we had a 2 person session (one story guy, one player). I am going to write about how (1) I prepared and (2) executed the session, as well as (3) things I want to improve.

Preparation.

First.
I created three excel files: (1) Campaign Management; (2) Injury; and (3) Player Book.

Campaign management excel file has four tabs: (a) encounters (b) battle log; (c) quest log; (d) place log. Encounters tab tracks any substantive NPC encounters. I keep track of data such as the NPCs disposition towards a specific PC based on a -100 to 100 scale (-100 = NPC hates PC; 100 = NPC loves PC) as well as other data. The other three tabs are self-explanatory. They simply track the date and the event.

Injury excel file, self-explanatory, tracks injuries to PCs and relevant NPCs.

Player Book excel file I use to track all PC transactions, loot / gear, PC stats (and improvements), contacts, and similar relevant data for major NPCs.

Second.
I created a word file.

Cover page = The B-Team: Nuzyael 720. Leriel.
Page 1-7 = Sunset / Sunrise time for this month. Maps. PC profiles.

Page 8 = Pregame. How did the PCs arrive in Leriel?

Page 9 = The date, time, location and weather, at the moment that the session starts.
Nuzyael 1st, 720, 12:09. Vavryl Square. Cool, clear, wind NW 4 l/h.

Page 10 = Map of Sword and Sceptre (Aleath) because it is similar in shape to the Vavryl Jig.

Page 11 = Description of common room of Vavryl Jig. Furniture. Windows. Floor. Hearth. Lighting. Smell. Sound. Music.

TABLE, Summery of Population of the Inn. This is a table with the locations around the inn (bar, common table, table #1, table #2, etc.); the number of people at the location; what are the general topics the people are talking about (e.g. current situation, government, economics); and a very quick description of what the PCs will see if they look at the table. Note: All of the topics match the headings in the HarnQuest article, with some additions.

TABLE, Events. This is a table with the location of various events that may happen at the inn, a description of the event, the approx. time of the event and the probability of the event. E.g. Table#1, their cheers are heard around the bar, 13:30 hours, 90%.

Page 12 = Menu. I used the Leriel article, Gwaeryn article, and Arathel article to put together the menu.

Page 13 = TABLE, People. This table has four columns. Location, # Occupation (Name), Gender Age, Description.
Example: Bar, 15 Potter (Dwyte of Evynes), M 35, Jarin.
Another example: Common Table, Imogen of Kobbe employee of 13 Weaponcrafter (Hynrae of Aeran), F 16, Jarin.

Page 14-16 = Full NPC readouts for every person. Organized by where they are sitting. I have an excel file (downloaded from Lythia.com) that I added a lot to including some macros. It randomly generates 4 NPCs at a time. Copy paste into word. Names are a little harder. I use a website Behind the Name. I have assigned real life cultures to the Harn cultures. Select those and then take two or three of the random names and then I smoosh the names mixing and matching.

Page 17-22 = The conversations that people are having. Labeled with location and topic (e.g. Bar, Government). The text includes: (1) a description of what the PCs see if they look at the location; (2) name and occupation of person talking; (3) one-three lines of dialogue that the PCs overhear automatically; (4) further dialogue notes.

Page 23 = TABLE, Gossip. This table has two columns. Name and text. Name identifies the entry that text is under, e.g., 05 Apothecary (Kryste of Methews). For preparation, I read the Leriel article and identified any potential quest. E.g. gathering herb for the apothecary. I also identified any juicy bits of gossip. Then recorded those notes here.

Page 24 = Objectives that the PCs are trying to accomplish. Fennel would like to learn how to use a weapon. Pomme would like to improve her wilderness survival skills.


Execution.
01. Pregame. This is mostly me interviewing the player(s) asking them questions to figure out how the PC arrived in Leriel. It is a narrative style of pregame, with the player(s) providing the narrative.

How did we end up in Leriel?
Fennel the apothecary, grew up in Shiran, Tharda. Fennel is the son of a journeyman of Shain of Eabin. Shain is the shipwright in Shiran. Shiran 9:C3 (2013). In the spring of 719, Fennel traveled with a caravan from Coranan to Tashal. During the summer of 719, Fennel lived in Tashal. On Azure 1st, 719, Fennel departed Tashal for Leriel with a caravan. Fennel arrived in Leriel on Azure 29th, 719. Fennel spent the winter of 719 living in Leriel. (I played as Fennel).

Pomme the herdswoman, is the daughter of serfs from Shebra, Kaldor. In Agrazhar of 719, her younger sister, Blossom, ran away from Shebra, Kaldor. Her parents made an agreement with the lord to allow Pomme to go in search of Blossom. Pomme knew Blossom wanted to travel with the Fur Road caravan. Pomme went to Tashal and then traveled to Leriel with the caravan and Blossom. Pomme arrived in Leriel on Azure 29th, 719. Pomme spent the winter of 719 living in Leriel. Pomme and Blossom intend to return to Shebra when the next caravan leaves Leriel for Tashal.

Pomme and Fennel formally met each other on Azure 19th, while traveling with the caravan.

02. Enter Town.

03. Arrive at location (e.g. Inn).

04. Various info prompts. What is an info prompt? An info prompt is one-three lines of dialogue that a PC automatically hears. The PC may then choose to continue to listen to the conversation after hearing the info prompt. The conversation is read from the corresponding topic (e.g. government, economics, etc.) in the published article.

Example in game: Pomme and Fennel are sitting at Table#3. Pomme is drinking a horn of Sitting Bee Cider. Fennel is eating pottage. Pomme overhears a Jarin male, in mid-30s, with heavy frame and black hair say: “Enagh, when is Lord Eamonn going to hold the next moot?” (No skill test for this, hearing the line of dialogue is automatic.)
Now, the PC may choose to continue to listen to the conversation. If the PC listens to the conversation, then I read the section of Leriel article topic Government – as a dialogue. Using questions to transition between segments of information. And presenting the information in a more casual way. If the PC chooses not to listen, then PC takes a sip of drink, a bite of food, and then hears another one-three line piece of dialogue, another info prompt. Repeat, until all the topics of article are covered.

When we played PCs choose to listen to two topics and choose not to listen to six topics.

05. Quest. Fennel hired Pomme to gather some herb for Kryste of Methews. Fennel asked that he be allowed to accompany Pomme. Pomme agreed. They exit town and gather some herb. [Random encounter, local patrol]. As they completed this task they talked, got to know each other a little more (they had previously met), and they taught each other a little about what they know. Pomme knows a lot about foraging. Fennel knows a lot about herblore. Fennel talked about how he dreams of being an adventure traveling the land. Pomme was like, whatever Fennel.

06. Reward. Pomme was given money for the herb. Pomme also kept some of the herb for herself.

07. Postgame. Next time we play, we are not going to be here. So, is there anything that the PCs want to do before we leave.

08. Skill development. Disregarding portions of the official rules on skill development, at the end of the session player is given five skill development rolls (SR). SR may be used on any skill used during the session. Pomme used 3 SR on foraging and 2 SR on weatherlore. Why do we do it this way? Because it is fun. (In our main campaign, we do SR differently).

09. Debrief. What did the player(s) like about the session? What did the player(s) dislike?

Total time of session was about 3 hours.

Things to improve.
Number One. How I organized the page order of my word file. I needed all of the information in the file. However, it did not flow as a document. I need to rethink how to organize the pages.

Number Two. Reading the article as dialogue. Not as easy in practice as I thought it would be. A little time with the text and reworking it as dialogue will help.

Number Three. Introducing gossip and rumors. I failed at this.

We had a good time. We are going to continue with B-Team in addition to our main PCs.
Last edited by Asik on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MDMann
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Re: Leriel Session

#2 Post by MDMann » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:10 am

What do you do when there are multiple locations in an Harn Quest? Have you assigned the two absent players pc's or will they be determined as they start playing? Interesting.
Per Sir Veer.

Asik
Woodward
Woodward
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:55 pm

Re: Leriel Session

#3 Post by Asik » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:14 pm

For right now, while I am learning how to run this type of session, one session = one article / location.

I imagine in the future, if I get better at this, I will think of some creative ways to incorporate two or more locations.

Long story with your second question. Short version, there were PCs made for the two absent players. We lost one of the PCs in a computer crash. I tell the player: “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.”

And as for the other player, kind of MIA right now. I think we are going to be a group of three for a little while.

MDMann
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Constable
Posts: 2127
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 12:03 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Leriel Session

#4 Post by MDMann » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:20 pm

Cool. Keep posting your experiences. It's interesting to see how the articles are used, particularly the newer ones as it may spark ideas.
Per Sir Veer.

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