Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Tales from the Razing Zone - Introduction
The boy finished his character the day before the game. I really like to name halflings after vegetables. Chicory Chives. Magnolia Honeydew. I don't know why, but it always makes me laugh. The boy, however, had another taxonomy in mind.
"Ferrit," he had decided on. Not Ferret. No. That wold be too pedestrian. So 'Ferrit' the halfling thief had life blown into him by my son. He also blew the rest of his cash on a saddle and a white pony named Snowfire.
Ron arrived first on game day. He had been carefully thinking about his character for a month. Ron rolled up a no-nonsense dwarven fighter-assassin named Spike - armed with a crossbow.
Tim was late. He hastily rolled, spitting out two jaw dropping seventeens and a sixteen. Then he flipped though the Advanced Edition Companion, not really familiar with anything before 2e. Eventually he put one of the seventeens in Charisma and said, "Elven Fighter."
I scratched my ear. "Um . . . charisma is kind of a dump stat. There are not really any . . . skills . . . so to speak, that would use it."
He nodded, a wild glint in his eye. "But there is some kind of reaction roll, isn't there?"
My palms began to sweat. Tim can be . . . Tim. This did not bode well.
"His name shall be 'Imbroglio,'" Tim said with much flourish.
I began to ask him if he knew what that meant. But, of course, Tim very knew very well what imbroglio meant. He was Tim, after all.
"Interesting," I nodded. "So it's a party of three demi-humans, starting off in a human controlled area where humans don't take too kindly to non-humans. Sounds fun," I smiled.
"Imbroglio will have a hat - a black woolen one - like Spock - to hide his ear tips," Tim was still buying his equipment.
I made the requisite mechanical rice-picker joke. Don't blame me. It's a part of my DNA.
"Can I get 50 pieces of paper with the same thing printed on them? Tim asked. I nodded and continued.
"Okay, so the three of you have made it to Audrain Keep, which looks like this," I pointed to the Erol Otus picture on the back cover of B2. "You know that settlements lock there doors at night and won't let anyone in till morning. It's evening now, and there is a long merchant caravan awaiting entrance at the gates. You three are behind the wagons, waiting for your turn. Since you don't know each other, this is a good time for introductions. A caravan guard is nearby, keeping an eye on the tail end of the train."
"I look at the others," Ron said.
"I'm on my pony," the boy smiled.
"Oh," said Tim, still writing in his equipment block, "Imbroglio has 50 - or however many he can carry - ten foot poles. Strapped to his back, maybe."
I thought about that. I really didn't want to ask why. "Um . . okay . . . then you look like that old man on the cover of Zeppelin Four."
Tim's eyes brightened. "Awesome."
"I am Spike. I am a huntsman and bounty hunter." Ron had his dwarf introduce himself.
Tim smiled. "My good friend dwarf, that is great news. I just happen to be here in the wild to capture some ferocious animals so that I might tame them and use them in my show. I could greatly use your help."
"Yes! I run the Amazing Spirit Traveling Extravaganza, where I break these ten foot poles over my head to show the amazing power of my god!"
I hastily tried to explain my religious concept for this world in which there was only one actual lawful god. Tim waved my explanation off. "It's okay. Imbroglio hears his god speak to him all the time, but the god doesn't really exits. Imbroglio is stark raving mad."
"Hi there. I'm a thief!" the boy had Ferrit introduce himself excitedly.
"Hmmm," I smiled, "The caravan guard's ears perk up and he starts walking over."
Tim almost leaped out of his chair "'Fine sir,' I say as I hand him one of the pieces of paper. 'Please accept this pamphlet explaining the wonderful miracles my god has bestowed on this land and . . .'"
"The guard nods, mutters something, and gets away from you as quickly as possible.," I chuckled.
"Young halfling," Ron said to my son in a whisper, "You might not want to announce yourself as a thief so close to armed guards. They tend to get over-excited. Maybe 'genetleman adventurer' instead?"
"Okay," my son grinned. "I have a pony and a slingshot."
I saw Tim carefully erase '50 pamplets' on his character sheet and replace it with '49 pamplets.'
This was going to be an interesting session, to say the least.