Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OD&D Solo game w/wife - How one woman nearly starts a war

No miniatures were put on the table this game, nor were any attack dice thrown. The only table referenced in this game was the "Carousing" table from Jeff Rient's The Miscellaneum of Cinder. And yet we had a diplomatic incident, tons of roleplaying and lots of laughter. What else could you expect from a game?

The defeat of Alaxus netted the brave adventurers quite a bit of loot and some XP, but @thePrincessWife's character Aeli was lacking 550 XP to make fifth level. Being the generous and kind-hearted DM that I am (why did I just hear a ton of raspberries?) I offered her a chance at the carousing table for 275gp (I give double XP to go against the Carousing table) and even reminded her about the d30 rule. @thePrincessWife was hoping that she'd fail her saving throw...

I've never seen a "1" rolled on my d30 before, but she did it. That was not only a fail, it was an epic failure, the kind of failure that would have long lasting consequences for the character, the kind of failure where you hear a pin-drop and a gasp of breath... and then the gleeful laughter from @thePrincessWife as I made her roll her fate. A 7. According to Jeff's chart, that means: "Insult local person of rank. A successful Charisma check indicates the personage is amenable to some sort of apology and reparations."

Well crap. So far, Aeli has managed to completely befriend just about everyone of note in Valetown. It was going to be hard to find someone that might be insulted by her... hmm.. think, think, think... I asked for 5 minutes to figure out her fate. Flip over to Finch's City Encounter table, roll a few dice... no, I don't think a "local guard" counts as a local person of rank... hmm... roll again... "Sporgo Frogface, carrying the Pennant of the city’s Overlord, exhorting all to courage in the face of adversity, and loyalty to the city’s government, 1d6gp."

Well, doublecrap, there is no overlord to Valetown, so probably no Sporgo... although what kind of overbearing, stuffed shirt would be in Valetown, which is just a small farming/agricultural center, almost a market town kind of place...  Wait a minute... Sporgo's kinda like an ambassador. What ambassador would care about farming? One on a trade mission. What would be best for a stuffed shirt ambassador that Aeli could insult?

Only one answer - the hidebound, strictly-by-the-book, lawful-stick-up-the-rear Southron Empire! Prepared with a name "Gale Merry" (snicker), I introduced Aeli's carousing efforts. I asked @thePrincessWife how she would have insulted the honorable ambassador during her two day-long rip-roaring bash over killing the Minotaur Mage.

Her: "I step on his toes and call him a buffoon!"
Me: "OK, he looks down his nose at you, calls you a typical Northern drunk trollop and tells you to go home to your husband who should keep a leash on you."
Her (warming up): "Oh really? Well, I laugh at him and point to his 'wee weenie' and call it that. I also tell him to wear loose trousers or stuff something into those tight pants of his." (gales of laughter)
Me: "Well.. that's impressive! The ambassador's face goes beet red and he says the only loose thing around here is you and your lips! That any man who would want you would have to keep you locked up to keep you from running them so freely."
Her (really into it now): "Oh yea, I tell him that the only thing he needs to worry about locking up is his ugly pig wife from leaving him! Hahah! I'm insulting his wife now!"

At this point, her friend and NPC party-member Tironell intervenes and attempts with help from her henchmen, to hustle her away up the stairs. As she was being escorted out, the ambassador had a parting shot.

Me: "Well, he says I would expect no less of rudeness from the so called Hero of Valetown, a swine living among pigs!"
Her: "Yea? If you're lucky, we'll give you leftover slop!"

So at this point, she passes out and wakes up to find out she has to make amends to the good ambassador. At first, Aeli was going to blow it off, but when told that news would go back to Lord Risz, the noble who the governor of the area, and that word would be passed on to the King himself as the Ambassador was threatening to end his trade mission, her face fell and thus the making up happened. Aeli ran around town, spending a good chunk of gold to find the best dress possible and she agreed to give up the two large gems found in Alaxus's tomb.

The "apology" would have to be done according to strict Southron custom, which involved Aeli taking a submissive, secondary role while Tironell acted as a proxy for a male member of her family making amends. She had to enter, assume a bended knee position and hold the gems while Tironell gave the apology. Here's where the CHA check came in. Given she was of nobility, I deemed the difficulty "normal/easy" and made her roll 3d6 to equal or be less than 12.

15. She could not make a roll this game to save her life! @thePrincessWife told me how her sword scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaped across the floor and ruined the mood of the apology. While the ambassador took the gems (duh), he also declared that she should never step foot in Southron lands, lest she fall under his rules - an implied threat!

So while the apology temporarily assuaged the ambassador's anger, it's clear that Aeli now has a possible enemy! I wonder if she'll ever have to travel to the Southron empire...

I really enjoyed the chance to broaden Aeli's/@thePrincessWife's view of the world, introduce an element that could play into her future (should she ever need to travel that far) and see how she'd roleplay it, especially since Aeli's background was nobility. We had great fun and I always enjoy bringing an element into the game that we've not had a chance to explore - this time being the relationship between the Southron Empire and the Northern Kingdom. We didn't get a chance to play much more than this, but I'm looking forward to her next game as she deals with the aftermath of her successful adventure... and maybe even find more ways of draining her gold from her. I think I got about 1,000 gp through this whole carousing deal and aftermath - thanks Jeff!


The Bane said...

You know, I have never been fond of solo games, except maybe PbP, and my wife seldom shows interest getting involved in 'boy's night' but these game posts are inspiring me to run the idea past the missus.

Thanks for sharing,

LokiSooner said...

GREAT application of Jeff's Carousing table! This will be lurking in the back of my mind when my players make it back to town to spend their hard-earned "phat lewts."

I think I modified that particular entry on the table to include a chance that the offended personage would refuse apologies and instead challenge the offender to a duel to recover lost honor. In your wife's situation, I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans would have ensued.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Bane - thanks for the kind words! Good luck - there've been a few posts on how to do that exact thing.

@Loki - I think she was hoping he'd want to duel her, as that is a typical Southron custom between *men* - in Southron rules and etiquette and customs, women are not allowed to duel.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Remind me to never, ever, in any case, roll on that table.

Darren said...

Very good post, ChicagoWiz! The sword scraaaaping across the floor actually made me laugh out loud in real life...

I too was inspired a few weeks ago by your posts, and am currently three sessions into the solo campaign I run with my wife (using hashed up Microlite74 for now). Just thought you should know that your blogs even effect lives as far away as the UK.

It's also good to know that some sessions do occur without many dice rolls. I was beginning to think it was just us!

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Darren - that's fantastic! Do you blog/write about it?

My wife and I started with m74 as well. We've not gamed steadily, real life gets in the way, but we're coming up on 3 years. :) I hope you guys have lots of fun!

Darren said...

We do, (http://www.beardygamer.com) though only session write-ups are actually posted and live (the website's only been up a matter of weeks). Nothing truly philisophical or behind the scenes yet because we're still learning the ropes.

The wife has even expressed interest in DMing when she gets the hang of it, and also hopes to contribute her points of view to the site as well. I've already seen her scribbling notes down on a pad that she wont let me see!

David Larkins said...

The Carousing Table is pure gold. I've had so many excellent plot threads spun out from single nights' debauched rolling. Great stuff!

Dangerous Brian said...

Congratulations. Tell your missus she can now be spoken of in the same breath as such illustrious ladies as Helen of Troy and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I think she'll like that.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@sirlarkins - as have I, in both campaigns.

@Brian - I think she's secretly pleased. :)