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Author Topic: Actual Play: Trithofar: Liam Learns to Set Up Fights  (Read 1423 times)
Mulciber
Member

Posts: 38


« on: February 21, 2004, 02:17:32 PM »

Some people play _Burning Wheel_ in Alabama.  That includes me and my friend Jared.

Trithofar Setting Notes (enough to get you by):
Kunjels are the not really anthropomorphized cats. They have access to hysterical strength if pissed off enough.
Kinto-Shah are the not really anthopomorphized aquatic rodents with a definite Asian twist. They tend to be very tough.
Gincha are not small talking foxes.
Sarkoshia is an extremely young port that is growing extraordinarily fast as the world recovers from a cataclysm in everyone's grandfather's grandfather's time.


Session I, Liam
20040214/~1815-2300
Liam: Will
DM: Jared
Sarkoshia, in early autumn


Following the advice of Jared's writing teacher, we began the story as close to the end as we could. In this case, that meant that Liam had just stuffed down his shirt the belt off the body of a Kinto-Shah nobleman who had been assassinated seconds ago in the middle of the street. (Before God and everyone as one might say.) Actually we began seven minutes later, when Liam had fled the scene and ducked into an alleyway to look at his spoil.

Examining the belt, he found on it a tanto with a beautifully carved ivory sheath.  The scabbard was yellowed with age and depicted some sort of story.  Using his Second Sight [and the Aura Reading skill untrained], Liam saw some sort of emotional hurt associated with the sheath.  The belt itsef turned out to be very nice, set with precious stones (topaz I think), and chased with gold.  Liam secured the belt and knife inside his shirt and pants in the hopes that it wouldn't be noticed.

This fell right in with the [generated consensually on the spot] need of Liam to pay for his lodging, currently ten days past due on this month and 40 days past due on last month.  Liam's hotel, the _Goose and Raven_, was also the workplace of Mary Henallah.  Liam has gallant intentions toward her, which she alas forebears to reciprocate.  Liam likes Mary's desire to be useful every day, and to help those in need.  Mary is basicly the good wife described at the end of Proverbs [as I read here; need to consult my DM].

Liam considered who he knew who could move hot items [i.e., made an open-ended Streetwise check], and the most relevant person to spring to mind was Oslo Cirqueville, who could be found during the Hour of Sighs [12 to 2 PM] at Dirky's.

_Dirky's_ is a rough place at all times of day and night, and a pit fight was winding down as Liam surreptitiously entered.  The smell of fish from the Sea Market is strong at _Dirky's_.  Looking around he saw a man with a couple of bruisers, women, and hangers-on about him and concluded that this was likely Oslo.  After visiting the outhouse to swap his functional and nondescript belt for the extremely fancy one, Liam approached and introduced himself, indicating that he had some merchandise Oslo might be interested in [at this point Oslo's eyes inadvertantly dropped to Liam's belt], resulting in an invitation to visit Oslo's room in back.

In back Oslo seated himself behind a cheap desk in a functional room, propping his feet up on a chest with a nice lock in the corner of the room. Liam began his line of patter, careful to imply there was more than just this so that he would not be simply robbed of his belt right then and there. Oslo gaurdedly inquired whether or not this might be hot material, at which Liam expostulated and protested the hurt to his self-esteem that that question caused. After restoring accord, Oslo inquired what Liam thought a reasonable price might be for such a good, at which Liam responded without batting an eyelid that he thought that ten crowns wholesale plus a 10 percent finder's fee would be a ludicrous undervalue, but one that he would be pleased to offer his Oslo since this was an initial transaction. Oslo temporized and indicated that 5 crowns was a far more reasonable figure, it seemed to him.  After a short period of vain remonstrations, Oslo inquired if Liam were a betting man. Why I bet my life on a regular basis, responded Liam, and so Oslo offered that if Liam wished, they might try the pit for stakes. Liam, unfailingly confident in fortune's smile, agreed to first one deal, then one at even higher stakes that could pay off the entirety of his rent for this month and still have some left over. This deal turned on a pit fight at which Oslo's champion would beat whoever Liam indicated among the challengers that evening.

Striking fists with Oslo in token of a deal, Liam exited (after restoring the fancy belt to the inside of his tunic) and snuck around back. He discovered an open kitchen door--as it was the heat of the day--and a great deal of garbage, which a cat was picking over. Inconspicuously slipping around the kitchen door, Liam found the windows to the back rooms. He listened at several of them and heard a woman and a man discussing the vicissitudes of life at the other end of the building from Oslo's strongroom. Referring to the male as "Mar," the woman indicated that he was injured and could not continue, over the course of several minutes. The man firmly essayed that he must continue and so he could continue, over the course of several minutes.

Liam heard something from the other end of the alley, and slipped down there quietly, only to be startled by the cat sprinting under a building. By loitering near the kitchen, he learned that a fellow in gray hight Bart had moved the cat along violently, and that the cook did not care to be called Ravioli. After further eavesdropping at Mar's window, Liam realized that Mar was Oslo's current favored pit fighter, and that Mar was fighting thus because of his brother.

Liam headed off to see Lieutenant Captain Autagra of the enforcers of the peace to learn more of the brother. At this point we decided their relationship was one of shared information. After deflecting the good enforcer's questions about that morning's assasination, he discovered that Lieutenant (or Hunter) Chirka Twillu would likely know more as Oslo primarily operated within Gincha districts in general and Chirka's in particular.  Liam also learned that Chirka liked sweet things.

Hunter Chirka proved to take some time to track down, and when Liam at last found him, he discovered that the Gincha had arrested the brother of a kunjel fighter named Marcussar Renius for waylaying a district assemblyman, a serious offence.  The brother was being held based on the accusation of the assemblyman, and might not get a trial any time this century. This seemed dire (probably fatal) news for Mar's brother, as gaol is no place to pass time. He further learned that the brother might well lose his hand if the case ever came to trial.  [This only cost a pound of sugar.]

Heading back to Dirky's, Liam confronted Mar and his woman with the following story: After Mar's brother was arrested, Mar appealed to the Law for swift redress, but discovered that influence mattered considerably more than justice to the legal system. Going to a man he had heard had influence [that is, Oslo], Mar petitioned for help. Oslo seemed sympathetic but indicated that money had to grease the wheels of influence. Mar then indicated he did not have whatever sum. Not being in the charity business, Oslo dismissed Mar and then said, "Wait. Perhaps there is something you can do for me, that could repay the expense." And so a deal was made. Several weeks later, the money seems to be coming in too slowly to save the brother's life, so Mar is forcing himself to more and more incredible and astounding stunts to provide a bigger draw. Liam indicated that this was unnecessary, that since the entire situation rested on the assemblyman's accusation of the brother, once he had been convinced to withdraw said accusation Mar's brother would be round as a pound. After some vigorous interaction back and forth, Mar agreed to take a dive at the fight Liam gave him an appropriate signal at, in exchange for Liam taking Kristina (Mar's woman) in and straightening things out with the assemblyman. Escaping the room through the window, Liam evaded Bart.

Later that evening Liam sat by Oslo and picked an older Kinto-Shah as his contender against Mar. Mar dove as agreed, and livid Oslo paid out to Liam what was owed him.  After Liam paid his bill at the _Goose and Raven_ to Mary, ate supper, and went to bed we ended the session.
---

Social Situation: Jared and I are both late college-age.  We've been friends since high school, and roleplaying in Trithofar (a homebrew) nearly as long.

Level of setup: I invited Jared over to my house after noon.  He indicated he would be there about six.  I had a situation in mind (that described in the first paragraph of the transcript), we did setup for thirty minutes (contacts, etc.), and off we went. Of course, Jared is the most gifted and well-developed reactive DM that I've ever seen, but anyway.

What do we have to say that speaks to the Burning Wheel game, besides that people do actually use the system to play?

Character generation was very quick for me (of course we only did one and I was thoroughly familiar with the rules), especially with the worksheet.  After about twenty minutes I was ready to conclude set-up and start playing.

The systems fails to get in the way better than any other that we've used.

Jared is still unsure that this is what he wants to call home, but besides _My Life With Master_ this has been the first time I've had a lot of fun roleplaying in a long (~18 months) time.

Thanks, Luke.


Best,
Will
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Luke
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2004, 09:10:14 PM »

wow, vivid. You two are obviously very comfortable playing together, and have an easy rapport. The story and details are very engaging.

And your comments are wonderful, but I want details!

First, can you tell us about the character? Lifepaths and BITs? Salient skills? And how did these come into play?

Where were the dice rolled in the story? Where was the system used?

And lastly (and least importantly), can you tell me how you dealt with your "non-standard" races in Burning Wheel?

thank YOU, Will.
-Luke
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Mulciber
Member

Posts: 38


« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2004, 06:19:32 PM »

Perhaps you didn't know it, Luke, but there's an arbitrary communication delay between NY and Alabama (I apologize for not responding within a more conventional timescale).


Liam Ward

Lifepaths: Peasant Born, Peddler, Lead to City, Cutpurse [so he's 17]

He's a fast, twitchy little bugger: 6 Speed (black), 5 Reflexes.

BITs: [rather sordid, I'm afraid]:
1) Look out for yourself; no one else will.
2) People lie.
[sung] 3) Take the money and run.

a) If caught, run.
b) Check six.
c) Blend in.

Determined, Second Sight, Stubborn, also
Cosian, Westerling, An Undyrean Hill-tongue* [these are languages; we handle them with Traits rather than skills]

Liam's Persuasion, Streetwise, and Falsehood skills came into heavy use; his Inconspicuous ability I dangled several times before Jared's nose but he either didn't call for a test or I didn't mark it down. Liam's Brawling, Herbalism, Lockpicking, Locksmithing, and Mending have not been of much use to him on-screen, although he does want to examine the security of Oslo's lockbox at leisure at some time. Liam also abused his untrained Aura Reading to the tune of four out of six tests toward Aptitude. Jared seems to think it's cool, though.

Poor Liam; I spent all of his resource points on people, with none leftover for things like tools of the Locksmith trade or a Primer for Useful Use of the Second Sight, say.
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Mulciber
Member

Posts: 38


« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2004, 06:55:16 PM »

. . . when Liam had fled the scene and ducked into an alleyway to look at his spoil.

Aura Reading test here on the tanto and sheath in question; the results of which were:

Examining the belt, he found . . . a beautifully carved ivory sheath.  The scabbard was yellowed with age and depicted some sort of story.  Using his Second Sight [and the Aura Reading skill untrained], Liam saw some sort of emotional hurt associated with the sheath.  

-
Liam considered who he knew who could move hot items [i.e., made an open-ended Streetwise check], and the most relevant person to spring to mind was Oslo Cirqueville, who could be found during the Hour of Sighs [12 to 2 PM] at Dirky's.

There was no need for this knowledge check to be open-ended, I don't think. We were thinking of a perception roll, rather than an academic/knowledge base check.

-
. . . Oslo inquired what Liam thought a reasonable price might be for such a good, at which Liam responded without batting an eyelid that he thought that ten crowns wholesale plus a 10 percent finder's fee would be a ludicrous undervalue, but one that he would be pleased to offer his Oslo since this was an initial transaction.

I believe that we had a Persuasion roll here, possibly preceded by a Streetwise check to come up with appropriate wholesale/retail/informal exchange values.

-
He listened at several of them and heard a woman and a man discussing the vicissitudes of life at the other end of the building from Oslo's strongroom. Referring to the male as "Mar," the woman indicated that he was injured and could not continue, over the course of several minutes. The man firmly essayed that he must continue and so he could continue, over the course of several minutes.

This probably prompted a call for a Perception test, as did the following:

Liam heard something from the other end of the alley, and slipped down there quietly, only to be startled by the cat sprinting under a building. By loitering near the kitchen, he learned that a fellow in gray hight Bart had moved the cat along violently, and that the cook did not care to be called Ravioli.

Alas no difficult or challenging test was awarded.

-
Hunter Chirka proved to take some time to track down . . .  .

We used the system here to determine just how much time; a single Streetwise roll represented an hour, with 4 cumulative successes being necessary and additional successes knocking off 15 minutes each from the terminal hour. I think it took about 75 minutes to find the little joker.

-
. . . Several weeks later, the money seems to be coming in too slowly to save the brother's life, so Mar is forcing himself to more and more incredible and astounding stunts to provide a bigger draw. Liam indicated that this was unnecessary, that since the entire situation rested on the assemblyman's accusation of the brother, once he had been convinced to withdraw said accusation Mar's brother would be round as a pound. After some vigorous interaction back and forth, Mar agreed to take a dive at the fight Liam gave him an appropriate signal at, in exchange for Liam taking Kristina (Mar's woman) in and straightening things out with the assemblyman.

This was cause for a couple of Persuasion rolls, forked with Falsehood (in retrospect I probably could have dragged in Streetwise as well). First Liam convinced Mar, then had to alter his approach for Kristina. Shortly thereafter a spur-of-the-moment Aura Reading of Kristina revealed that she was very near kunjelic Rage, so Liam tread very softly and thereby likely avoided injury.

-
Later that evening Liam sat by Oslo and picked an older Kinto-Shah as his contender against Mar. Mar dove as agreed, and livid Oslo paid out to Liam what was owed him.

Liam got an Aura Reading test here, but was just not good enough at it to figure out Otto's deeper motives and reactions (is Otto really a sharky sort of sharkish man, who having been beaten must now exact vengeance at all costs, or is he more of a businessman? In short, is like he Michael in The Godfather and Al Capone in real life, or a more forgiving sort? Time will tell, because Liam couldn't.).

---
Currently the non-humans are hashed out ad hoc, which is to say that we haven't actually had to do anything yet but we'd just pull stuff out of our behinds if we had to -- again, this is one of Jared's special strengths.

My intentions are to have new races written up with multiple settings and scores of lifepaths per.


Best (if tardily),
Will

P.S.- Yes, I was using Streetwise as the end-all and be-all of skills. Shut up.
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Luke
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2004, 12:15:41 PM »

thank you very much for providing a clear and useful dissection of BW actual play. I think you two did a fine job, arses out and all.

BTW... no more open-ended Streetwise tests, you cheater. ;)

Otherwise, you are completely correct in your analysis of Streetwise as the shiznit.

-Luke
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rafial
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Posts: 594


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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2004, 10:30:04 PM »

Mulciber...  Thanks for a very cool and inspiring post.  Makes me want to play some more BW :)

I did have to mention though, the expression is "sound as a pound" ...
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