Enough blog setup for the moment; some actual gaming now.
I may (or may not) return to Johann & Co. later on, but for now, a new party, running in the same timeframe but a different country. I like to imagine these little adventures as episodes in a TV show, so think of this as a spin-off series.
I’ve been reading a lot of OD&D blogs recently, so I’ll start in the heart of the Border Kingdoms – to me, that area feels closest in spirit to the OD&D wilderness of all the nations of Talomir. It’s March 986, and apprentice wizard Ispitan has just been summoned to meet his master…
The Tower of the Sable Mage broods on a hill overlooking the city of Acromerinth in the Border Kingdoms. Guards lead Ispitan to an audience chamber within , where the lord of the tower is at table with Issa, his bodyguard and paramour.
“Ah, Ispitan,” the Sable Mage drawls. He sips from a jewel-encrusted gold goblet. “Sit, break your fast. Good.”
Ispitan obeys, cautiously. The Sable Mage has a reputation for arrogance and treachery, which is why he is in semi-exile in Acromerinth, as well as for power and skill, which is why Ispitan entered into his service.
“Your apprenticeship is now over,” says the Mage, “And as promised, I shall promote you to Journeyman once you complete a final service for me.”
“What is your will, oh my Master?” asks Ispitan in sepulchral tones.
“Ever since the rules changed in 977,” says Sable, “I have found myself in need of various… material components. It’s all very boring. Gone are the days when… Well, never mind. The gist of it is that I require certain herbs which grow only in Goblin lands, across the border. You are to take with you some of my guards, and enter the Goblin lands in search of these plants, which you will collect and return to me. Succeed in this, and I shall raise you up. Fail, and the Goblins will likely feast on your flesh. Issa?”
His companion rises, and crosses to a door, which she opens. A band of warriors troops in; a pair of seasoned warriors in mail, and three leather-clad men of less certain experience.
“Your first test,” Sable says. “Do you accept these as your companions?”
“Rufus and William I know,” Ispitan says, “but not these others. If I am allowed a choice, I would take Grace for her knowledge of traps and locks, and Galen for his healing skills.”
“Well chosen,” Sable nods approvingly. “They shall replace two of the borderers, but Eyjolf shall remain, giving you five companions in all.”
Ispitan has CV2 (calculated as per page 11) and is allowed to recruit three times this in followers. I rolled randomly on the Border Kingdoms army list, and got one each of retainer cavalry and infantry, and three borderers, then replaced two of the borderers with a healer and a thief as permitted. Statistics for the two non-warriors come from the random NPC table on p. 16.
Ispitan and Company
|William||Retainer Cavalry||Mtd Melee||Spear||4||4||12||Elite Trained||SS|
Ispitan has Hardiness 1 and Social Standing 0 (1d6-1 and he rolled a 1). None of the grunts has any rating in either of those.
“Go now,” Sable says, “And prepare for your journey. Issa, be so kind as to remain – there are matters I would discuss with you. The rest of you may leave.”
Ispitan decides that he should remain in Acromerinth for the rest of the month, to allow Galen to produce healing potions in case of injuries on their mission.
Galen rolls 4d6 on the Making Potions table on p. 34 – he gets an extra two dice for being in a city. He scores 1, 1, 3 and 5 vs Rep 4 and passes 3d6. He can only pass 2d6 on the table but this is enough to make two Rep 4 healing potions, which he gives to Ispitan and Rufus.
I’m sure they’ll need them soon enough. Join us next time, when Ispitan and company venture forth on their quest.