3/24/20

OddHammer Session #1 - They Took Our F****** Boat!

The Quarantine means I get to game more, and it has been quite a while.
I've always wanted to run The Enemy Within, the cult classic adventure saga for the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy RPG. If you go back in time on this very blog, you'll notice I actually attempted this before, and it ended up in a TPK, using Small But Vicious Dog. If you play in this game, you should probably not, though.

Anyhow I'm using the Electric Bastionland (Into the Odd) rules now, with bits and pieces taken directly from WFRP 1E's system to add more detail to characters.  Here's the characters:

• Konrad Kier is a nearly fifty years old boatman, Andreas' older brother and the self-proclaimed party's brain. He's seen some shit, and by the end of this session, has now developed a severe case of hemophobia.

• Marcellus Caligula is a (somewhat) charming and cool-headed tilean burglar, suspiciously knowledgeable about the Mafia's ways, quite good at what he does and, in a way, the party's moral compass.

• Klamgar Cheekstamper is a slightly neurotic dwarf protagonist and the party's wildcard. He will insult a stranger in a bar before casually introducing himself, in what is actually a clever strategem to destabilize his opponent. By the end of the session, he has nearly lost an arm, which is now all stiff and grey and nasty - but still working well, because of [a] Fate [Point].

• Andreas Kier is Konrad's younger brother, and the party's youngest, being barely sixteen. He does not handle alcohol well, has slight stabby tendencies, and is eager to prove himself to the world. What his adventures will turn him into, only the Gods know.

• By the later half of the session, our "heroes" have also acquired a lackey, erm, companion! He is a small mutated kid by the name of Hansel Von Groot, and he knows how to read, which makes him more of a scholar than anyone in the group. He also has a pincer hand and a horrifying face that he hides under a large blanket.

WHAT HAPPENED
• The party arrived in Nuln, where they got stuck in a long bureaucratic process at the end of which their boats were seized by the Stevedore's and Pilot's Unions until they can pay a 100 Shilling tax.

• Konrad remembered a nice inn called the Rambling Reaver not too far from the docks, and suggested that the party get there to rest. On their way, they stumbled upon a skirmish between tilean mobsters of the Valentina Gang, and the City Watch. The party decided to help the mobsters beat the hell out of the guards, stole their mail shirts and their boots, then left after getting an invitation from the mobster boss, young Emilio Jr.

• At the Rambling Reaver, Klamgar fixed a door while Andreas got drunk, and a good night was had.
The next morning, they went to meet with Emilio and got a job: go to a meeting outside of the city walls, get a crate of illegal goods from a small team of Schatzenheimer Gangsters, however they see fit. If they want to keep the money to themselves, it'll act as payment, as well as some help to deal with the Union.

• After accepting the job, the party prepares for their next move, at which point Klamgar decides to go pick a fight at the nearest inn. He starts insulting a bretonnian burgher called Robert, but his giant bodyguard HervĂ© scares him off. Once outside, things quickly get rowdy as people gather around to see the fight. Andreas decides to start gathering betting money in his hat, and Marcellus saves the dwarf by calling guards and throwing one of the mail shirt with City Watch colours on it onto Konrad, drawing further attention to themselves. HervĂ© decides to run away carrying Robert with him. The party does the same, and luckily isn't pursued as the excited mob acts as a barrage of sorts.

• The party decides to delve into the sewers to scout the way they'll need to go back through with the smuggled goods. Down there, they stumble upon a mutant kid called Hansel Von Groot, heir of the Von Groot Merchant Family of Marienburg. He's runaway after his father saw him turned into a mutant and tried to kill him. Now he lives in the sewers and would like a new family. The party has yet to reach a definitive consensus, but it seems they have at least agreed to let him tag along for now. As mentioned earlier, he knows how to read, which make him an invaluable asset.

• Once outside, Marcellus shines again with his B&E knowledge and gets the party into the woods without attracting attention. In the woods, the party decides they'll ambush the Schatzenheimers, and Konrad begins building twig snare traps. The kid has to stay back in the sewers while waiting for his new family.

• Eventually the Schatzenheimers arrive, there's five of them and one of them is an Ogre. Despite that, the ambush works well and after a gruesome fight, the party emerges victorious with no casualties, although the Dwarf did get brutalized by a battle-crazed gangster with a sword - his left arm looks ruined, and half the team splits to go and get him to a Barber-Surgeon. The other half gets the crate (which is full of pistols) through the sewers, gets the kid back, and gets paid.

• Herr Doktor Fehlverhalten works wonders on the dwarf and fixes his arm! Though it's grey and stiff and nasty looking now. The nails are yellow, too. But it works! Emilio Jr. is busy elsewhere, but his lackey seems happy about the job, and the party gets to use most of the money they got to pay for the Dwarf's operation. They're still left with 26 Shillings, which is...not a lot, but better than what they started with.

REFEREE COMMENTARY
• I prepared an intro adventure and a random table. Ended up using two elements of the random table and built off that into a one-shot. That's pretty cool! Although it means I kinda suck at keeping the main thing the main thing - too afraid of railroading I guess. Maybe "side quests" here and there alongside a sort of node-based Adventure is fine though.

• Lots of character interactions and banter, but the good kind, that add energy and momentum while driving play forward. This is what I love about tRPGs, and it's a breath of fresh air during quarantine.

• Electric Bastionland rules work very well: the combat was pretty fast and brutal, and I had no trouble ad hoc'ing rulings for necessary stuff like insanity. Overall I like to keep the rolling on the low side, though I did make a lot of Luck Rolls as I like the idea of Fate being a bit of a bitch in the Old World: lots of opportunities for ridicule and misery.

• Horrible Injuries are nice, but I'll probably need to extend that d12 Table I found in Oddvent Oddpendium into at least a d20 one.

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