Hey guys, I want to sincerely apologize about last session, I had something of ‘The Perfect Storm’ both literally and figuratively on Saturday. I was hung over from E&Js visit (we drank scotch until late) and when I got around to booting up my computer something crashed bad. To the point where I had to get my windows disks out and start reinstalling… then we lost power (t-storms). Now I know I have a laptop but its 5 years old and the battery is shot to the point where I litereally have about 10 mintues of power on them…so I shut down (not that it helped without a router). Ken tried to call on my cell phone, but I hadn’t charged it since Thursday morning and had one bar of power, which I wanted to save in case of emergency (and would have lasted about an hour anyway). So I pretty much just hung out until about 9pm, when power still wasn’t on and went to sleep. We had power in the morning and I spent yesterday getting my computer going again. Should be fine as I skype called lisa and everything. All that’s on my computer at this point is skype, internet explorer and itunes so hopefully no more crashes until I get my new computer in a few months. Again I apologize.
Further thoughts on shortage problems in Averis; by Galen the grumpy Baradar.
I find it interesting that people's solution seems to be directly related to their job description. Aticus want to use technology to solve our problems. Soban wants to build our way out. Even I am guilty thinking that hunting in the Miasma is the way to go. But I realize that my solution will only work in the short term. We need a plan for the future. No one, but myself, seems to even consider that the shortage problem may not be a factor of not enough production, but a factor of too much consumption. The grand buildings of capital must take a lot of man days of work. The "costume" that was made for me for a three day celebration was sturdy enough to last years of actual use. What a waste! Jeron has a made a good point that the capital should by it's very nature be bigger and richer then the country. But has it gone too far? Shouldn't some of the resources in Averis be directed to those in need?
Another major concern that I have is that we are trading one group of isolated city folk for another. Very troubling terms were thrown out during our discussions, such as; "greasing the wheels of the machine" or "steering the beast". Is this the opinion that they have of the common folk? Are we mindless beasts to be driven by the Doshandar?
This is kind of like closing the bar door after the horse(like animal) has already left. But I wanted to make a comment two weeks ago and I forgot. When we were in the garden of the biblioteca and we were arguing about whether T'S'Jin could kill two watchers, I thought there some confusion about if we were talking as players or characters. In my mind it was not Galen talking to T'S'Jin about how good a shot he was, or how healthy his target may be. It was Kevin talking to Alex and Ken about if it is even possible to kill a man in one shot in this game system. We all know of many game systems where a gun can not kill in a shot, or a fall from the fourth floor is no big deal.
On a related topic. I have noticed a few times where T'S'Jin or Alex or some combination tries to hurry us along. I can see reasons for both. T'S'Jin is a man of action and took orders well. He is probably acustomed to long debates. Also since Kevin / Shane / Jim are in the same room, so we tend to talk things out more. Alex in another state might want the game to move on. I think we should keep that in mind. I'm not sure how much of the prodding is T'S'Jin or Alex. Just a thought.
[First, I think I should provide some perspective to the Players on the Character of T’S’Jin Ost, of the Fourth Circle of Fantassin, the Nomarchs’ Personal Guard and Assassin. In general, when creating campaigns, the campaign is structured such that the characters from the end of the very first session have a strong reason to stay together going forward, if they didn’t already ‘know’ each other prior. In this particular campaign, as far as I can tell, only Atticus and Galen know each other. As such, we have to find a reason to become a team, we’re in that process, but we are certainly not there yet. While it is obvious from our perspective that we’re going to be an ‘adventuring group’ T’S’Jin isn’t quite there yet, he’s still only self-interested, he needs to leave the city, Atticus seems to know how to leave the city so he’s useful. Galen and Atticus seem to know how to travel the wilderness, they’re useful. J’Haran knows how to manipulate people and gain access to places the rest of us might not, he’s useful. J’Haran doesn’t know how to fight and T’S’Jin needs a sparring partner, therefore T’S’Jin is ‘training’ J’Haran.
To be clear, this was a conscious decision on my part as I thought the growth of friendship with the rest of the group would be fun as we learn to survive as a group. So if any of you thought T’S’Jin was a ‘wanker’ in the last session (thinking specifically to the rifle issue), he was, but he’s not going to continue to be, he just has to realize that this is a) in his best interest and b) totally aligned to his Beliefs (see below). To address the rifle issue, it wasn’t a group decision from T’S’Jins’ point of view, so even if everyone had said “we have a MUCH better way to do this”, he wouldn’t have changed his mind. That won’t always be so… he’ll eventually (probably soon) learn to operate as a group, he’s just been an independent operator for so long, it tough for him to consult with those who he doesn’t view as ‘wise in the ways of death’. So, while for now, T’S’Jin is a bit… adversarial, he certainly won’t continue to be so, he just has to learn to be in a new group. I’m looking forward to the fun of that, especially now that we’re outside the city and totally beyond anything T’S’Jin has ever seen, he’s still martial, but the forest is as alien to him as the surface of Mars would be for any of us. Finally, as we were supposed to publish our Beliefs in this community, here are mine:
I am loyal without question to the Nomarch, if he commands, I obey to the best of my ability. (This sort of goes with being Fantassin)
It is better to sacrifice an innocent than to let a real threat gain a material advantage.
The Nomarch is surrounded by traitors and those loyal to other powers.
With all that said remember that there are things in here your Characters wouldn’t know , but I think the Players knowing will make for a more interesting game… The Continuing Thought Journal of T’S’Jin Ost…]
We awoke this morning at the Inn… which I have learned is named The Inn of the Lost Loaves… and appropriate name when one surveys the lowlife diaspora that inhabits this place, though it seems no different than the rest of this Nomarch forsaken place. We are 10 floors up, 8 above the nearest other residents of this long abandoned building. I needed to get somewhere safe, as I was sure to be hunted at this moment, but I needed some information. Were there Fantassin who were no longer loyal to the Nomarch? As he has personally tasked me with making sure nothing happened to Malrubius, even in the event of a Malkoin, it seems like Fantassin would not have been involved in his death, yet they were. Yet if the Nomarch had reversed his position on Malrubius, surely I would have been told personally, those were my original orders. By any Logic path I can take (another gift from Malrubius, this Logic, somehow derived from The White Logic, though we never progressed to him explaining the derivation to me), the Fantassin involved in Malrubius’ death, and indeed in the raid on the party, must be rogue, no longer loyal to the Nomarch. Or perhaps I simply don’t understand Logic. I can trust only myself at this point however, so I must make myself safe until I can understand what needs to be done next. To this end I have decided to escape the city, it is too dangerous for me here and they will not expect me to brave the wilds, having never left House Absolute before my time with Malrubius, and even then for only short periods. Atticus and Galen seem to know how to deal with the Wilds beyond the Walls of Avaris, so I will travel with them for now, and I am bringing J’Haran along. His life here is likely ended and his skills will no doubt come in useful with minor functionaries of some of the smaller Burghs we may take refuge in. First however I needed information.
The opportunity came when Atticus mentioned he had to go to his Koinon, one I’ve never heard of and seems to be outside the official Koinon order and thus unsanctioned, to retrieve some information that would help us find a passageway through the Walls of Avaris. Surely there would be someone watching this place for I have learned that Atticus is every bit the Faber that Malrubius was and I may be fast becoming. With some helpful information from Soban we left at night to try to cross back from the Dead City using the same tunnels we came through. I was able to Shift into the White Logic somewhere near the tunnel we came out of and again, as if I’d walked the path every day for the past Chiliad, I saw the route we must take to the Bibliotec Populi, exiting in a park a short distance away.
Some initial reconnaissance exposed three of what looked like Lustrals, I selected what I thought would be their commander and sent Atticus and Galen to subdue him, knowing I could likely incapacitate him from afar if need be. I settled in a tree with J’Haran as a spotter and sighted on the first of the Lustrals. Disposing of them in short order, Atticus and Galen showed themselves to be worthy adversaries by subduing the Lustral. While Atticus did his business in the Bibliotec Populi, Galen, J’Haran and I hauled our captured Lustral back to the Tunnels.
It was quickly apparent that we could not get much from the Lustral, he kept telling me that one Idas had all the information but that he was ensconced at the Lustral Koinon in the abandoned Palace of Chanyu on Daneistes Hill. I disposed of the Lustral quickly, to the despair it seems of Galen, the old man must quickly learn that enemies of this caliber can not be allowed to live. Though he expressed interest in how to silence a rifle shot, whose only purpose can be Silent Death, perhaps he is less averse to killing than he at first seems.
On our return Soban informed us that the Lustrals were spreading rumors that the Starvling Cult had returned, a pathetic ploy to dupe the ignorant populace to their search for us, and perhaps the other Fabers they are searching for, sowing fear for no reason. She implied that the other koinon were working with the Lustrals, but Soban isn’t nearly as well informed as she would like us to think, she was easily convinced that all Fantassin are assassins, the reality that we a small hidden sect was unknown to her, so I don’t know how much to trust what she tells us is truth, versus her inserting her own perception.
We left shortly thereafter for the wall. I was feeling uncomfortable, my morning training consisted of teaching J’Haran not to get hit so much, something which he failed miserably as but seemed to have some aptitude for. Perhaps, eventually, he will become a worthy sparring partner, until then I will need to develop a new training regimen. Upon reaching the wall the White Logic enveloped me again. I found the door quickly, and to disperse any questions allowed J’Haran to open and close the door. Best they don’t know everything yet, there will be time later, for now they attribute my knowledges to either Fantassin training or knowledge from Malrubius. Inside the White Logic was thick, I felt I was walking through a soup and at times even felt ill. I tried to remember my training, but was overwhelmed in the Battle Room. The raw power there was beyond my meager skills, but I quietly filed away its location, knowing that it may be useful in the future. Shortly thereafter we exited the wall, into the wilderness beyond Avaris. I know from my training with Malrubius that the White Logic is rare beyond Avaris, but frequently powerful. I only pray to the Nomarch that I have the strength to do what needs to be done.
[So this mostly started as an excercise to remember Malubrius' last words, but what the hell, after Ascletarion went journalistic on us... I figured I can at least pull one entry out of my ass. There are some things in here your characters wouldn't know, I will trust that we're all grown up enough to separate player/character knowledge.]
The events of the past few cycles have upended the life I knew. What all started as what I can only describe as a tickle inside my head has ended with the death of the one who started me down this path. A path that I should have realized long ago, could only be resolved with my death, for we Fantassin are not given the choice of exile. This Thought Journal will never be uploaded to my superiors, however, if I am to remember Malubrius’ last words beyond the next few cycles, I must resort to the training I have.
At the beginning of this most recent cycle, I escorted Malubrius to his gathering. Perhaps I should have questioned him more as to the nature of this gathering for things started to go wrong from the beginning. Immediately after arrival at the gathering, the Malkoin was passed to me, though there was, perhaps, still a choice, I have no doubt another Malkoin had been passed that night, this decision had been made cycles ago. Earlier in the evening I had scouted several exits and when the moment arrived led Malubrius quickly and efficiently through the streets of Avarice. Unfortunately a crowd followed as well, fleeing the chaos caused by the arrival of some of the … traitors.
It was at this point when I realized that J’heran was in the group following, though I had noted his presence, I had only filed it away, I spent a few steps wondering why he was running from the … traitors, before concentrating wholly on getting Malubrius to safety. A man named Atticus began leading us to the Dead City when Sh’Tun attacked, they shouldn’t have sent the poor boy to his probable death like that, but they needed a distraction, by the time I was done with him, Malubrius was dying, shot. Shot in the 12th recession, giving him a short time to live. It is only now that I wonder why he wasn’t shot in the 1st recession, killing him instantly, or even within the 5th recession, perfectly within the skill of even the greenest of us and would have left Malubrius alive for less than three minutes. There must be a reason, though it will take extraordinary circumstances or those wiser than me to know why Malubrius was given so much time before death.
I tried to rid us of the mass of commoners fleeing with us, it was too easy for those pursuing us to follow, and if they were after Malubrius then none of them needed to lose their lives in ignorance. Malubrius told me to save them as well just as this Atticus fellow was making his disagreement with me known, I had no time to deal with him and no inclination make Malubrius waste breath so close to death, so they followed.
At this point the shifting happened again and I knew where I was going, saw it as clearly as if I had walked the path 1000 times before. Several turns and an alleyway later we were in the basement, near the long hidden escape route, built for an until now forgotten emergency, Malubrius’ training was serving me well.
It was at this point Malubrius called me to him. His last words still echo in my head though I have no idea what they mean, but I will remember them always until I do.
“This body is finished, but I will live again in the Dark Storage. Now leave me and save us both. May the White Logic guide you on your path." While saying this he took my head in his hands and I felt as if he were burining me, while at the same time I felt an intense feeling of vertigo, it stopped suddenly.
Then he died.
The passage was opened now and we followed Atticus through, I left the Malkoin on Malubrius’ body, for when he is found by the… traitors they will know that they half failed, I live. With my duties discharged the world blurred and I let my instincts take over. I was still shifted but Atticus seemed to know what he was doing so I simply followed. We ended up at an Inn, I am still not sure what the name is, but as I sit here composing my Thought Journal, I wonder what I will do next. Exiling myself I the only option, for if there wasn’t a Malkoin for me earlier today there is surely one now, and while I am afforded the Right of Blows by being of the Fourth Circle, when dealing with Threats of the Children, and knowing that traitors have infested the House Absolute, they will likely assassinate me from afar, or perhaps even with the cowardly use of poison. In the morning then, I will discuss with the others who fled, perhaps we have more in common than I know.
Good Morning Everyone, as Ascetarion and Semerkhet have posted, respectively, a Journal and a Commentary, I wanted to add my perspective on how the game is going (sorry, too pressed for time to write a journal).
I have enjoyed the gaming so far, and the remote thing is working surprisingly well, I think it will be much better when I 1) get a webcam and 2) get a new computer (my current pc is 5 year old gaming laptop that seems to overheat a lot lately, which may be causing some of the dropped calls). But overall, with the speakerphone, its almost like I'm in the room.
Sorry for falling asleep a bit there during the last session, my only defense is that I am sick (in fact I think the but I got is moving to take up residence in my chest, rather than just my sinuses... which means I may have to figure out my new health insurance sooner than later). I don't think that will be a regular issue, but I do appreciate y'all remembering that I am an hour ahead, again, I think normally playing until 2am EST/1am CST will be fine, just on friday was tough.
I will admit that when Shane started doing his social test I was worried that a 'Dominate' moment was coming up, but I think that A) Semerkhets diffused the situation and moved on and B) his last post explained what ACTUALLY would have happened, which I think offers good roleplaying opportunities... not so much Dominate as Influence... and even though I'm the only one in the party who is 'starstruck' by being in the same room with ... er... J'heran? there is no doubt that he has the most social skills amongst us and can probably, given enough time, convince just about any of us of just about anything that isn't directly contradictory to our Beliefs.
Anyway, really enjoying Gaming again and looking forward to the next session!
Well I finally got my ass in gear and ordered the book this morning. Looking forward to reading up on it and understanding the system. Ken I'll be sending you the speakerphone in the next week or so and we can test it when it arrives. Can't wait to start gaming again!!
Can someone point me to (with links preferably) which books you all have for the TFI game so that I may purchase and peruse my very own copies?
So, with Craig out of the picture, I'm wondering if we should find a replacement player. I am not totally averse to running with three people, but we might end up missing some skill sets, most notably in combat, since Craig's concept had been closest to a "soldier" type than anyone else. I'd really rather not have a NPC fill the primary combat role. In fact, that would be worse than counterproductive, given the way the BW Combat! system works. I'm not going to ask anyone to change their existing character concepts, so we need to decide if we're going to just deal with not having a combat-savvy character (at least to start with), or get someone else to play. Greg is still not likely coming back to Madison soon, and Jon Oess seems to be incommunicado, so that leaves us with recruiting entirely new blood. That has it's pluses and minuses, with the possibilities ranging from gaining a valuable new gaming friend all the way to getting a person whom we detest and have to kick out after three sessions.
On a brighter note, I've been making some good progress on the game for the last week or so. I've started the world guide first, on the principle that if I give you that document first, you'll have time to digest the setting material before I give you the actual Lifepaths with which to create your characters.
Here are some notes I've taken on themes for the game. If there is a theme you want us to explore, please feel free to add to the list or ask questions.
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