Monday, 12 May 2014

notes on notes

Sophia over at Lone Wolf Roleplaying asked "How do you actually write down your solo rpg session?" I'd been wondering how other people go about it as well.

It seems (though there's only 6 responses as I write this) that journalling is a pretty popular format. I've only ever kept one RPG character's diary, years ago, and it was more of a writing exercise than a record of play. I didn't take any notes at all during the game, and wrote it all strictly from memory afterwards.

For the (so far) two solo campaigns I'm chronicling on this blog, I've been taking sketchy notes in Notepad as an aide memoire for writing the posts up into coherent narratives (I was using paper when I started, but that just made extra work as I had to type up the notes...). It's as much about the gaming as it is the story, so I try to maintain a balance between game mechanic-y things and pure fiction writing. Oddly, it's the game mechanics that need notes the most; the imagery and scraps of dialogue I make up stay in my head much more readily.

Combat is the hardest part to make interesting. I have long since stopped recording all the die rolls, though I occasionally note the ones that seem interesting in one way or another (e.g. the attack that would have hit but for the character's shield).  I notice the combat system of the game pretty much sets the narrative style, though there are ways around it. My current LotFP game is an ensemble piece, so the combats (mostly) adhere to the sequence of actions in a round. There's a lot less combat in my Traveller game (on hiatus, but I will get back to it some day) and only one PC, so I can narrate combat as she experiences it personally.

Just for fun, here are the completely unedited notes I took for Part XXV and Part XXVI of my Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign, which includes some NPC notes that aren't in the actual post:

part 25

Scene 27

Chaos: 6

Setup: roll 4 = modified (was:into the dungeon to kill vampires)

Interrupt: move toward a thread - Neldir - Triumph / Technology. The dungeon will contain an item or clue to the item Neldir is seeeking; this will appear on a roll of Special for room contents on the 1st ed. DMG random dungeon charts. So it's kinda still Into the Dungeon...

Characters*: Neldir, the Elders of the Elven Forest, Ranwitha the Pious Merchant, Siorighan MU12,  Tibalt & Barnot, dwarven mercenaries, griffon, Reverend Father Gelnay de Val d'Oine, Reverend Father de Molleré, Brother Mundlo, Zuhal B'thallit, centaur lizard, Jola, Sir Gaunet, Jönnick, Baron Iehan Forzdeleu, Count Rotres d'Estancbel, Lady Delphinia

*The 4 new NPCs in the party will only be moved to the NPC list if they part company with the PCs. They will count as PCs on the Mythic charts whilst still party members.

Threads: find Neldir & the book
remove zuhal's curse
destroy vampires

day 69. arrive Foehrenfort 3hrs

old: partially inoperational/destroyed (no one will go near the old keep)
new: newly completed

Commander: Ftr 5 Raina del Gado y Jimixez
heavily built woman cocoa skin
motivation: avoiding past
personality: polite
quirk: fear of magic
bad habit: mild ingratitude
chainmail & scimitar

react: 9 (R's mod +1=10)

vampires here? 10+1(wereboar's react)=completely true

down into dungeon. 18" standing water on first level due to rains; keeping extra careful track of who has spare torches in case they fall in the water
Level A - dungeonlevel 2

L has torch, H has lantern

A1 empty, e door (forced)

A2 empty, oly exit w door

down 80'corridor

A3 20' squ chamber N/&S exits

invis undead #1 attacks Miolla
rolls 1

round 1. M misses

r2. hits W 3dmg (to 6)
w misses

r3. misses T
T hits 8 dmg (4 left)

r4. misses M
M misses

r5.  misses M
M misses

r6. hits R 1 (to6)
R miss

r7.  misses T
T  misses

r8. hits A 3pts to 10
A hits 6 kills

about to go S

wandering monster (shroud phantom) (from A4-monst& treasure)

round 1.

no surp, it wins init

atts M, miss
M misses

L hitsno dmg

R turned, retreats down long corridor
tells H to follow, she refuses

T hits, 7 dmg to8
G drawn s dagger, misses

hits T, 1pt (to8)
TG miss
L hits w/ torch 1 dmg (to7)

r4. misses t
TGL miss

r5. misses t
T hits 7dmg kill

S to A4 (3 shroud phantoms)

party init

M casts mag missile at a 10dmg to 4hp
L&G advance
T m missile at a 6dmg kills it
R looks in pouch for holy water
b&c advance

L hits c 3dmg to 16
G misses b
R getsholy water from pouch
b hits G 3 to 9hp
c miss L

G hits b 3dmg to 4
R holywater on b 7 dmg kills
T advaces
G hits c 1 to 15hp
c hits L 4 dmg to 12

A mmissile c 10dmg to 6
T hits 3 to3

L kills 

Treasure Type I (HC XIV)

Gems (3): Obsidian-25 gp, Malachite-25 gp, Onyx-75gp. Total Value: 125 gp.
Jewelry: (5): Clasp-600 gp, Necklace-400 gp, Chain-20 gp, Earring-1200 gp, Earring-80gp. Total Value: 2300 gp.

ne door, 95' corridor pass 2 south side passages
door, angled corridor to chamber A5

floating débris
enter chamber
3 shaggy lopers leap up to attack

Surprise rd.
a atts M miss
b atts W hits, 2 to 6
c atts G fire breath saves for half, 1 dmg to 8

r1. party init
M hits a 10dmg, to 6
L miss a
A draws sword, circles round c
R draws sword joins W, misses b
W misses b
T missesc
G hits c 7 dmg to 5
a breathe M fail save 2 damage to 11
b miss W
c hits G 4 dmg to 4

M miss a
L hits a 7 dmg to -1
Tmiss c
G hit c 8 dmg to -3
Wmiss b
R hits b 5 to 18
A miss b
b miss W

R hits b 9 to 9
W hits b 5 to 4
A miss
b miss W (shield)

Ahits 4 to 0

R casts cure light on G heals 5 (up to 9)
M notices secret door

5x5 secret alcove in N wall
inside are pottery jars filled with coins - 500sp, 20gp

n. to triangle room [a6] Special = monst & treas & THE DINGUS

7 claw fiends
no surp.
party init
A web - catches 4
L throws torch into web
M hits 7 kills
W hits a 2dmg to 7
T miss b

W & M miss a
T & G miss b
a hits W 5 dmg to -1
web burns out
d killed
e killed
f 3hp left
g 4hp left

R rushesto get W outofwater so won't drown
L att f miss
A att g miss
M hits a 5 dmg to 2hp
T&G both hit b 8 dmg to -2
afg miss

M hits a 4 to -2
T hits f 3 kills

LMA miss g
g hits A 1 to 9

A hits g 3 to 1
g hits A 6 to3

LMA hit g 14 dmg to -13

others support w so
R cure light on W 3 pts up to 2hp

L lights new torch

T&G inspect iron trunk

T notices poison needle
G fails tinker roll (5, needed 3) makes save vs. poison

in iron trunk:
treasure 500sp
magic item - iron torch - consumes fire -  (+4 fire saves, 1/2 or no damage, but eats 1 point of Wis (normal attribute recovery allowed; also eats 1 wis per day when weilded at 0 wis something awful will happen; save vs. spells not to want it when seen if not in use)
[LL AEC charts
MISCELLANEOUS ROOM CONTENTS: Torch, partially burned

T&G save,
dividing treasure
M&A save, rest fail; L fails save by widest margin (rolled a 4) so she wants the item

since she always carries a torch, no one cares
plus they don't realise it's magic yet

back to surface to recover

Q: make it w/o encounter? 50/50: 66, No +Event - Move away from thread - vampires - carelessness/illusions (see below).

a  m 16  9 12 11 11  6  4 Leather armour, heavy crossbow
b  m 14  9 12  8 14  9  4 Leather armour, heavy crossbow
c  f 11 10  9 10 15 10  5 Leather armour, heavy crossbow
d  f  9 11 13 13  9 10  4 Leather armour, heavy crossbow
e* m 10 10 16 12 16  9  5 Chainmail, shield, sword
f  f  7 14  6 16  9 14  5 Chainmail, shield, sword
g  m  9 14  9 11  6 10  5 Chainmail, shield, sword
h  m 12  9 12  9 12 10  4 Chainmail, shield, sword
i  f  9 14 10  7  7 11  5 Leather armour, halberd
j  m  9 16  6  7 11 13  6 Leather armour, halberd

*all 0-level except the leader (e), a 1st level fighter
ML 8, +1 if leader present

emerging up steps, meet with N's charmed ftrs

x-bows fire at L (ignore 4 AC points, so effective AC=(12+2)14)
18,8,1,17+1=18, 2 hits
3+3=6 damage, 6hp left

r1. party lose init.
hij attack L (polearms +1vs. armour) 15, 12+1-1, 7+1 all miss
L fights defensively (+2ac-4tohit) miss h
T gets scroll ready (1d3+1=)will take 2 roounds
party retreats down steps back into room

h & i can attack L on stairs, she's still defensive fighting (so AC20)
h 18, i 9+1, miss
L 2, miss
A casts shield

ghij in room
g att M miss
hi miss L
j miss W
W hitsj9 damage -3 mortal
W moves forward towards i
L def 19+2-4= hits h, 9 damage to -5
M hits g 5 damageto 0

e&f come in to attack, followed by a-d whospread out along wall
e hits L 5 damage to 1
i miss W
f miss M
T casts Force of Forbidment on e fails save (2)
f miss M
L move back, draw dagger
M hits f 10 damage to -5
W hits e 9 damage to -4
G shoots d 8 damage to -4

enemy losses at 50% incl leader, morale roll=10, failure
run out of dungeon

Q: Did gunshot & fleeing soldiers attract attention? 50/50: 11, Exceptional Yes + Event: NPC Action - Siorighan - Oppose Friendship (she's agreed to assist the Count)

Raina & about 40 other soldiers comes to see the commotion

chaplains have 1d4-1=2 cure lights avail (L&W worst off)

Neldir has already been here & got v blood.
charmed some soldiers to kill party
N went the other way in dungeon & totally missed the DINGUS

gave false name of XYZ, which is actually high elven for deciever of mortals

(raina: he said his name was xyt, xyv, or something like that
Lyc : XYZ?
raina: that was it
LYC: OMG, that means etc,

That setteld, R speaks on behalf of attackers; not thier fault, foul sorcery etc. keep them locked up untilparty leave but don't punish further

Q: Does Raina(or anyone) know that Neldir explored dungeon? Unlikely: 73, No.

rest healing & XP
rest 2 days all healed

rains for 2 days as well, dries up on the third

flitting spirit 50xp
shroud phantoms 4x 75xp
shaggy lopers 3x 75xp
claw fiend 7x 25xp
Ftr-0 9x 5xp
Ftr-1 25xp

gems 125 sp
jewellery 2300sp

total:(820+4425=)5245/8=655xp each

R 3rd level, gains 2hp

treasure is put aside for now, to be divided before they leave 9with, hopefully, more)
Gems (3): Obsidian-25 gp, Malachite-25 gp, Onyx-75gp.
Jewelry: (5): Clasp-600 gp, Necklace-400 gp, Chain-20 gp, Earring-1200 gp, Earring-80gp.
SP: 1000
GP: 20

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