Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adventures at the Western Sea; Rurouni DM's Numenera campaign

I know its been a while since my last post, I've had quite a busy week but as of last Friday and Saturday I was finally able to run the start of my new Numenera Campaign. Now with a firmer grasp on the game's setting and mechanics, I've written up a basic outline of what I hope will be a Living Campaign where in case that I manage to run the game continuously the story grows and the players actions affect my setting.

Adventures at the Western Sea

The past week I've been reading on Numenera's Setting Chapter and one place particulary sparked my interest The Sea Kingdom of Ghan, one of the nations of the Steadfast. Just some information to my readers, Ghan is a nation known for its coastal trading ships with an aptly named capital city called The City of Bridges, politically Ghan is relatively peaceful with no interest in accumulating power or challenging stronger nations such as Navarene, however like any good leader King Laird doesn't want to look weak in the eyes of his possible enemies, thus protects protects his borders with a watchful Eye. The Sea Kingdom of Ghan also has a relatively large fleet of ships, called The Merchant Fleet, with more than 200 vessels of varying sizes. Back in our during the colonial/exploration during the early 1500's it was common superstition that leaving port with a woman on board or more women than men; depending on which version, calls bad luck to descend upon a ship, in the 9th world however the people believe in the opposite wherin having more men
than women on the ship calls for badluck. Sternmen as sailors are now called are mostly comprised by female to drive off that bad luck.

Ghan itself will likely only have a few scenes on my possible campaigns; I'm expecting its appearance to happen sometime around the third session, so I haven't actually planned any encounters that might occur in any city or the region proper. The main point of my campaign will be the Naval adventures and discovery. You see one of my major influences in picking this setting is the 2012 anime "Suisei no Gargantia" as much as I'd like to tell you about it it'd be too long to discuss the entire show but just to give you an idea the show is set on a Waterworld like earth with many humans living aboard massive ships often times clamped together with other ships forming living growing fleets, most of the anime's people survive by riding mechs underwater to salvage goods from an earth long past. Sounds exactly like numenera right? So the first sessions I planned focused on that living on a ship in search of ancient technology.

Now initially I only expected one group to run this campaign for but last Friday a customer;JV, at my local hobby club requested a tutorial for an RPG session; he initially wanted to learn D&D which I would have gladly run but the only people in the club at that time was me and the shop's manager Jose(you've read about him before in the previous play reports) so we recommended he try Numenera. Once he finished his character he and Jose became guinea pigs for my new campaign, this won't be an official play report post so I'll try to keep the exact details of the adventures short but do expect an official report in the following days for the other group since they had a more complete encounter and battle, also do note I am an Action oriented DM who follows the rule of cool, don't expect much intrigue or at least just the basics.

Image from Suisei no Gargantia, perfect setting inspiration for the City of Bridges
So the campaign begins with all the players hired by one of the science vessels from the Merchant fleet needing mercenaries to protect them from pirates who frequently raid lone ships out at sea. The science vessel's original purpose is to ferry Aeon Priests to a recently discovered ruin(an off-shore platform)  located a few days west of The City of Bridges. The ship is one of the relatively larger ships of the  merchant fleet carrying  hundreds of crewmen and big enough to carry two numenera weapons on both sides.  The first few days of travel goes relatively smooth with the players simply lounging about the ship this doesn't last long however as they are attacked by a large black wooden galleon with tattered sails; unknown to the players however is that the Wooden ship is a fake and that its real form is a relatively small(compared to their own) sized submarine. The entire ship is rocked by an underwater blast from an unknown Numenera Weapon(Torpedos). As the players and crewmen scatter to their battle positions they see the a few of the pirates skating on the water using what seems to be a pair of numenera boots.

I did mention that most sailors are female right. I have an excuse to use this image.
I initially set a few ways for players to win this encounter; either by killing the pirates that board their ship fast enough; depending on the number of players somewhere between 8 to 12 rounds or to kill half of the pirates before they board using the ship's onboard cannons. The final way to win the scenario is to drive off the enemy ship by destroying its fake hull. All of the pirates are level 2 bandits, and attacking the fake hull is a level 4 task if the players use their own weapons or cyphers and a level 2 task if they use the ship's onboard cannons, it also has 20 hitpoints and 3 Armor.

If the players manage to successfully fend off the pirates they simply back off and cut their losses; and will likely attack again but in greater number.

and this image

Should the players fail to drive off the pirates before a signifiant amount of time passes, the submarine rams into the players' ship unloading more pirates and eventually the pirate captain; the players don't know her name yet but for you readers a spoiler - Pirate Captain Tenryuu, an extremely beautiful but fierce pirate captain. Should this scenario happen the pirates retreat after the players eliminate a majority of them and/or reduce Tentryuu to 15 or less hitpoints; however in the process they steal a strange box from the ship's cargo hold.The box's importance won't be apparent to the players yet until they arrive at the ruins.

Regardless of the outcome the science vessel continues on to the ruins suffering albiet moderate damage but nothing the Sternmen can't handle.

I'd like to tell you more but I haven't completely finished writing up the next chapter of this campaign but it will likely involve the ruins having somewhere between 5-8 major "buildings" each dedicated to a specific purpose, the players have to find out what the rooms do in order to understand it and maybe retrieve a valuable numenera artifact.

1 comment:

  1. And then what happeed. My Campaign is also in Ghan. There are headed up the coast in a Large Cargo shitp to City of Bridges.