Monday, November 2, 2015

SGAM 2015 – Freeformpalooza: Fate (part 2)

The Emerald Crown, part 2

Session 1: Scornubel

Bold and italicized phrases are aspects.

A Stranger in Scornubel

A slender cloaked figure entered the caravan city riding a magnificent white stallion. He quietly inquired as to the whereabouts of The Stilted Fop, a popular watering hole for less-savory elements.

Information was what the stranger needed. However, he was an elf in the domain of man, and the crowd quickly discovered the stranger’s secret.

“What have we got here?” said the leader of an group of low-lives. [Ave nameless w/+1 in Str]

The elven interloper was surrounded, and the men were itching for violence.

“Human scum!” Rysdan Nythil uttered under his breath. [Decision-based compel based on his Trouble]

Unfortunately, the men heard that. Soon, they were joined by several others.

Conflict, exchange 1
[ Thugs fail to grasp because Rysdan spends to invoke “hatred” / Rysdan takes a fighting stance with [ 1 ] free invoke ]

One went for Rysdan’s wrist, but a hatred-fueled burst of speed spun the elf out of reach. In the next breath, the vengeful elf had tossed back his cloak revealing himself in deadly light with his keen elvish blade drawn.

Exchange 2
[ R: mental attack; 1 shift / thugs fail their attack ]

“The next man who dares lay hands on me shall find himself handless,” he growled. That was all it took for the men to utter a growl of contempt and launch against him. Rysdan twirled out of reach, batting away the closest ones.

Exchange 3
[ R: attack tie produces boost: on their heels / Thugs do 1 shift ]

The elf laid into them with lightning fast arcs, keeping a sphere of potential whirling death about him. Still, some fists and chair legs found vulnerable points.

Exchange 4
[ Rysdan fails attack / Thugs do 2 shifts ]

He was getting worn down and had to change tactics.

Exchange 4
[ Rysdan overcomes a 2 vs. active opposition to go 2 zones / Thugs overcome ]

Rysdan leapt from a tabletop to a narrow terraced landing overlooking the taproom. The astonished vermin cried out and took to the stairs (the longer way), but now could only face the elf one at a time.

Exchange 5
[ Rysdan makes a Grab of the first w/ [ 1 ] free invoke / Thug fails to overcome ]

Rysdan leapt forward to meet the mass. He ducked under a reckless throw of a fist, coming up under his assailant’s guard to grab him by the throat. The unsavory harmlessly swatted at the elf’s left arm, but didn’t break the hold.

Exchange 6
[ Rysdan throws the victim to attack! 1 shift + 2 + 2 for invoking available stuff plus point expenses = 5 / Taken Out ]

The elf sent the leader flying. Down tumbled the entire bunch in a heap on the lower landing.

The elf stepped nonchalantly over the groaning group and sheathed his sword. He approached the bar and ordered a drink.

“I’m looking for a man who sold an elvish artifact,” he said in a low hiss when he had finished. “Point me where I can find someone in the business of exotic jewels.”

He left with the name, Jandar Iltazyara, a jewel merchant with a penchant for expensive ladies on the caravan side of the river.

The elven Tomb Guardian left.

Notes: ended this scene with only one Fate Point. Mental note to self — make mooks easier when their job is to make the hero look awesome.

Myra’s House of Pleasures

Domain of Man.

Darkened Den of Depravity.

Only Building in a Sea of Tents.

Rysdan entered the brothel. He immediately saw a quick-eyed matriarch finalizing a deal with a dried up old sot. When finished, the elf approached.

The woman — the proprietor of the brothel — immediately tried to coerce Rysdan to one of her girls. The elf dismissed her offers and charms, trying to drive the point to the whereabouts of Jandar.

Myra wasn’t about to divulge anything about one of her valued clients — at least not without a good price. She began her negotiations.

Myra, Matron of the House
Experienced Entrepreneur, You Can’t Fool Me

+2 Cha; +1 Int, Wsd
Womanly Charms (Charisma). You are a master of seduction. Gain +2 to create advantages when trying to conduct a deal with the opposite sex.
Stress: [ 1 ]

Compel. Of course Rysdan got all snarky, openly again revealing his hatred grown 100 years, as was his derision of man. Myra had him thrown out. Two toughs appeared out of a side room to chase the elf out. Rysdan thought better about making another scene after the debacle at the Stilted Fop. Myra promised to have the elf killed if ever he were to step in or near the brothel.

As he leaves, the city watch was witness to the scene. To the elf’s dismay, the city watch had their eyes peeled.

An Unexpected Meeting

[ Compel. Wanting to make use of magic and steel combined, I rolled some story cubes to get a complication here and fuel Rysdan’s points (he’s still depleted from scene 1). It’s time to make things more complicated… To attach a meaning, I rolled 3 cubes according to John Fiore’s method (using one action cube), getting a satellite, a crescent moon, and a man building a brick wall. ]

Quiet Back Street of Scornubel
Wall of Men with 1 free invoke.

Rysdan watched as the toughs departed. He wished to rip them apart, but knew that this would serve nothing. He stalked away, wondering what course of action to take next. That’s when he found himself walled in by dangerous-looking men. Rysdan stopped and cast one corner of his cloak away to free his sword hilt.

“Rysdan Nythil,” came a voice.

Behind the line of men was a thin moon elf with a scar across his left eye. The elf orbited behind the protective line. It was Mourn Braegen, a fellow tomb guardian thought dead in a skirmish defending the eastern reaches some years ago.

“So,” continued the elf, “that was you I saw in the tavern not long ago.”

Rysdan questioned what his counterpart was doing there. However, a jade-colored bit of jewelry protruding from the scarred elf’s belt told him almost everything. It was clear that Mourn was not working for the interests of Evereska.

“Take this elf somewhere,” the elf sneered. “See that he does not breathe again.”

“Can we count on a the usual bonus?” asked a particularly large and grizzled man.

“Twice that, master Kilnsworth,” answered Mourn. “This one may give you a bit of trouble.”

“None we cannot handle, master Braegen,” the man boasted.

“Touch me, and you’ll not be the first this day to suffer the consequences,” Rysdan promised.

He was sorely outnumbered. However, he wouldn’t give up without a fight. The fate of Evereska was not now far from him.

Two groups of mooks (treated as in FAE):

Hardened Mercenaries
Hardened Mercenaries; If the Price Is Right

Good at (+2): Tactics, Fighting, Cheating
Bad at (-2): Working Alone
Stress: two groups of four (two stress boxes each)

Ballard Kilnsworth
Rugged Leader of the Gray Reavers; Dead Inside; “Ain’t Nothin' I Ain’t Seen"

+2 Strength, Constitution; +1 Intelligence, Wisdom

At My Command. You have experience and the loyalty of proven men. Gain +2 to create advantages when issuing orders that result in tactical advantages on the field, provided there is time to prepare.
Physical: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]

Mental: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]


Mourn mounted a gelding and rode off. The man he called Kilnsworth bade Rysdan to lay down his arms. “Don’t do this!” pleaded Rysdan in a low voice taut with wariness. The big man ordered his men to advance.

Exchange 1
[ Rysdan spends a point and action, activating arcane shield and lightning shield / mercs Rush en masse, Rysdan succeeds w/style, gaining boost ]

Rysdan drew his blade with a salute and spoke a few arcane words. Magical energy crackled about him. The mercenaries suddenly rushed to cut the elf swordsman’s spell casting short. Rysdan was already in the rhythmic trance of bladesong, his sword whistling as it glided to take on the forceful and hasty blows of the surrounding attackers. They were awed by grace embodied.

Exchange 2
[ Rysdan casts chain lightning, spending a point, getting 7 shifts, and 3 shifts, and 6 shifts on each, respectively (the last reduced by one to get a boost), taking out all groups of men. Ballard spends a Fate Point to invoke “Ain’t Nothin' I Ain’t Seen” to reduce to 3 shifts / Ballard overcomes to shake off boost ]

The leader shouted another command and the fighters began to press. Still, there was no opening in Rysdan’s defenses. He went through another spell rote, musically at one with his melodious voice in combination with his seemingly slow, graceful movements. Then, bright electricity erupted from the elf’s fingertips, felling every man around him.

The mercenary leader was struck hard too, but had prepared for the worst, putting a knee on the ground to help funnel the expected energy down. His gamble worked, though he was knocked breathless.

Rysdan continued his defensive posture as, inconceivably, the large man shook off most of the powerful spell’s effects.

Exchange 2
[ Rysdan tries to get the fear of doubt into Ballard, but ties for a boost / Ballard tries to disarm Rysdan, but the elf increases the two shifts needed to oppose with the aforementioned boost ]

“You should have listened to your boss,” boasted the elf arrogantly as he swung his blade about. “You cannot defeat me!”

The man wrinkled his face, momentarily perturbed. He launched violently forward with his own sword, using his size and brute strength to overwhelm and knock the blade from his weaker opponent’s hands. The ploy nearly worked if not for the clumsier man’s slight misstep.

Exchange 3
[ Rysdan attacks, misses / Ballard tries body blow, misses ]

The two danced and twirled about one another.

Exchange 4
[ Rysdan casts magic missile, getting 9 shifts! — Ballard taken out ]

Rysdan continued his graceful parries as he spoke a word of magical command. Brilliant darts of pure energy shot forth into his opponent’s chest, dropping the giant with the sound and smell of charred flesh.

Rysdan had quickly dispatched his foes. He looked after the still dusty cloud stirred up from Mourn’s retreat. He had his quarry. He only needed to fetch his steed and give chase. His heart leapt at the thought he might soon return with the sacred elvish relic.

Note: That last scene’s compel was not as complicated as I might like, but I just went with it to move things along. Probably should have made the opposition tougher here. It was also my first time trying out Fate Freeport Companion’s magic system. It’s costly in terms of Fate Points, but quite potent!

End, Session 1

This signals a minor milestone. Rysdan now swaps his Charisma and Dexterity scores, since he’s trying to do more swinging than spell casting.

For the game world, we erase the Tomb Robber, since that seems irrelevant now. Added is:

Mourn Braegan. Traitor in Possession of the Crown. Former Tomb Guardian thought dead.

Story Questions Revisited

Will Rysdan find the thief in time to help his kingdom? (Campaign Level)
Will Rysdan reconcile his own hatred of man and that of Juliet’s father? (Campaign Level)
Can he have any real future with Juliet? (Campaign Level)
Will Rysdan catch up to Mourn Braegan? (Scenario Level)
Will he win a confrontation with the traitor and wrest the crown from him? (Scenario Level)

Next up, part three...


  1. Nice! I've played FATE in a group setting before, but never attempted it solo. It sounds like it's working pretty well for you. Looking forward to reading more!

    1. There's some of us soloists that feel Fate solo is really difficult, and some that it's no big thing. I'm somewhere in the middle. Having fun so far. Thanks for reading!