Whilst playing my Runequest adventure, I found that I was making less and less use of the Midkemia Press Cities book I had bought. This was partly because Mythic was better at driving the adventure, but mostly I put it down to the fact that the book is very much geared towards more traditional fantasy settings and characters.
As RQ arrived at a point where I need to do some serious preparation before continuing, and as the weather turned stormy, I was reminded of the predicament in which I'd left my LotFP characters; it's not snowing out, but it's cold and wintery enough so that over Xmas break I managed a session or two to finish the initial adventure (i.e. close all the Mythic threads) and start immediately in on a new one (chaos back to 5, new threads, etc.). This led immediately to a city where I intended to put the City Catch Up tables to proper use. As before, I don't like the Dangerous Mission being all-or-nothing with a 10-60% chance of death (no modifiers) for 1d20 x 100xp. But the tables are fun, so I played through them until a Dangerous Mission event came up, which will be run with Mythic and probably the 7-scene adventure framework, which I haven't managed to try yet.
Only a single character started off on the new adventure. But since a Dangerous Mission might be better for a small party, I decided to make 2 N/PCs to fill it out. I made a fighter and a specialist (thief), both fairly dodgy types, with the plan of running them through the catch up tables until they either died, were run out of town, or were offered a Dangerous Mission. They were a bit vague as only first level characters with a death wish can be, so it wasn't until after they survived long enough to be offered the mission that I rolled up their backgrounds. They're also both new in town, but as I knew when $PC was offered the mission, I was able to backdate their entry into Wandlebourne (this actually affected interpretation of some of the background rolls). And, truth be told, watching them navigate the chart-driven solo adventure definitely cemented their personalities in my mind.
Enough with the preliminaries! Let us meet the fighter.
Fighter, Lvl 1, Neutral
CHA 7 CON 9 DEX 11 INT 13 STR 15 WIS 12
HP 8 AC 15
mace, leather armour, shield, 20SP
background (using BoLD)
childhood: inclusive haven overcome by strong attribute (STR15)
-he ran away from home in a sleepy little village (Badger's Glen) to fend for himself
teenage years: regular soldiers overcome by weak attribute (CHA7)
-he was 'adopted' by a group of soldiers who thought he could one day join them
before campaign: regimental weather overcome by fate
-the rest of his unit perished in the new year's blizzard, but he miraculously survived. (I generated random weather tables for the next campaign year. There's a 4-day blizzard in the first 10 days; the timing fits perfectly.)
In the first days of the new year, Ruprecht was a soldier in the King's Army. His unit was being sent from Aylesbury to Uldmere Castle as relief troops for the beseiging host; the King has been forced to take sides by the high priests of the realm, and has thrown in his lot with the orthodox faction against de Molleré. As they marched northward from Finnsover, they were caught in the new year's blizzard that swept over the land. They pitched camp and dug in to see out the weather, but the extreme cold spelled doom. WHen the storm had finally ceased, Ruprecht awoke one morning to find he was the only one who had not frozen to death. He gathered what posessions he could, and set off looking for shelter, losing a lot of extraneous items along the way to hasten his march, before he too was done in by the icy winter. He wandered over the plain and eventually saw the spires of Wandlebourne in the distance. Perhaps here he can make a new life for himself; as far as the army knows (or will know when the camp is discovered), he died in the storm.
Event: Thieves steal (1d%=)97% of total money. This rounds up to all 20sp in his purse. Welcome to fuckin' Wandlebourne, matey!
Looking for work: Nothing available for which he has the skills. SO he's forced to sleep rough.
Living Without Money table: Put in a workgang for 1 week. (20% chance to be sold into slavery: roll=29, avoided)
Workgang. He spends a week hauling waste from buildings that collapsed during the bad weather. It's grueling, thankless labour, but at least he's fed marginally well and doesn't have to sleep outside.
Event: Accused of a crime but (50% base chance, no modifiers) not convicted.
Looking for work: He finds a job as a charcoal burner. Pay is (1d12=)4sp per week, and includes maintenance (room & board and clothing) at Level 2 (low). Being desperate, he accepts.
Working: He manages to save 30% of his salary this week: 1sp & 2cp.
Event: Offends a fellow worker: his work appears 25% worse (modifying the roll on the Job Savings table, I assume) and adds a -1% penalty to avoid any conviction roll if accused of a crime.
Work: Even with the penalty, he still manages a good roll on the table, so saves 75% of salary: 3sp.
Gambling: He goes gambling with his friends from work. Bets a total of 2sp (a few coppers at a time, naturally), and manages to break even.
Companionship: spends 2sp for 'Level 1 companionship': a night in a seedy gambling den drinking horse piss -- er, an inexpensive local tipple. Such a low and filthy place comes with a 30% chance of disease, but he rolls a 96, so probably was the first and only person to drink from the mug he was given that night. A good night out all things considered (and necessary; a character who does not have some form of Companionship for 5 weeks suffers a penalty of -1 Charisma).
Event: Offered a dangerous mission...
... ... ...
And now, the specialist:
Specialist, Lvl 1, Neutral
CHA 11 CON 12 DEX 17 INT 11 STR 9 WIS 6
HP 5 AC 14
stealth 2 tinker 2 sleight 2 climb 2
dagger, pipe, tobacco, tinderbox, wooden holy symbol, 31sp
background (using BoLD)
childhood: ordinary horror overcome by the authority
-abusive father in Uldmere pressed into army as recompense for petty crimes
teen: stale festival overcome by enemy help
-joined castle militia so he didn't have to take holy orders at the church where he was living as orphan
before campaign: impervious invader overcome by avoidance
-escaped siege of Uldmere castle
Since early autumn, the heretic de Molleré has been besieged in Castle Uldmere by the forces loyal to the current leaders of the Church of the Light God. Thiery had been an archer in Castle Uldmere's army, though when the siege began he was languishing in a cell for minor insubordination. As all able-bodied soldiers were needed to defend the wall, he was released and took his place upon the ramparts. He could see very early on that the defence was hopeless, and even heard rumours that de Molleré himself was planning to flee in secret, so that de Val d'Oine's forces wwould remain tied up in a pointless siege. Feeling no particualar loyalty to either cause, he took the first opportunity to escape over the lakeside wall and swim to safety by moonlight. From there he made his way to Wandlebourne, determined to become his own master.
Event: He befriends a rumourmonger (results in +20% on certain marriage rolls, should a match be impending). At least he can make friends in the big city.
Looking for work: -20% on available job table due to plebian social class means mostly plebian and artisan jobs will be on offer. The only available job this week, though, is sailmaker; being raised on a farm means he doesn't have the skills, so no job this week.
Cost of Living: He stays at the cheapest hostel available (Level 1 standard of living) which costs 3sp for 1 week's room & board.
Gambling: He gambles away 20sp with nothing to show for it. He now has 8sp left to his name.
Looking for work: An artisan-level job is available: fletcher. No job again this week.
Cost of Living: Another week in the crummy hostel, another 3 crummy SP spent...
Gambling: He tries gambling away his last 5sp, and wins and additional 2sp, 5cp.
Looking for work: he's no Ship's Captain: another failure.
Cost of Living: another 3sp. Maybe if he stays a whole month they'll give him clean sheets...
Gambling: Go for broke! He gambles everything he has (4sp, 5cp), but is unlucky in a big way and ends up losing double. Since he can't pay, there's a 40% chance of getting jumped on the way home: 03 -- they're after him. Since he owes less than 100sp, there's a 60% chance they will only beat him up instead of murdering him in a back alley. Rolling a 47 means only a beating: he takes (1d6+1=) 3 damage.
Event: His friend, a government worker (a lowly clerk he met in the gambling den), has offended a member of the underworld and comes to him for help. Thiery doesn't want a repeat of last week --or worse-- so refuses. His friend is now Offended, which results in four potential penalties: +2weeks to any jail term, +1week to any stay in debtors' prison, +15% to be enslaved if sent to a workgang, and -10% to avoid conviction if accused of a crime. But there's no chance of assassination as there would have if the underworld character became Offended, so probably a good trade-off.
Looking for work: again, nothing.
Cost of Living: As he now has no money, he must roll on the 'Living with no Money' table, with a -5% penalty for being a pleb. He ends up starving and begging, suffering a -1 to CON for 5 weeks.
Looking for work: fails
Living with no Money: Sent to debtors' prison for (1+1=)2 weeks
As he hasn't had proper Companionship for 5 weeks, he suffers -1 CHA.
no events, no xp, no nothing
out of prison
Event: He offends a townsperson (additional -1% to avoid conviction). Must be that lowered charisma.
Looking for work: Finally! A job as a cook is available. 5sp a week and Living Level 2 on a cot in the cellar. He'll take it.
Work: He manages to save a bit: 1sp, 5cp.
Gambling: He gambles everything again, and only breaks even. But no beatings, so ultimately a good night.
Work: Fired! He pays a little too much attention to the barmaid, and not enough to the cooking pot. At least no one got hurt in the fire. But he's thrown out into the street with no pay. He doesn't have enough saved up to afford a room, so it's back to...
Living without money: He's scooped up off the street and pressed into a workgang for a week (fortunately without being sold into slavery, despite the additional chance: base 15%, +15% for having Offended a government worker).
released from the workgang
Event: Thieves steal (1d100=) 63% of his wealth. An unknown person or persons manage to relieve him of his only silver piece. He now has 5cp to his name.
Work: Manages to find a job as a carpenter. 2sp/week isn't great, but at least it comes with food and a roof over his head (Level 2 maintenance). He even saves 10% (2cp) of his wages.
Event: His friend, (1d8=)a fellow worker, offends someone, (1d8=) another fellow worker. He comes to his friend's aid, gaining benefits from that and placing the second worker on his Offended list. The +1% and -1% conviction roll modifiers cancel out, and the +10% mitigates the -25% work looking bad penalty somewhat. His new friend will also reduce the chance of being beaten or murdered over gambling by 10%, and gives him a present of (1d20x5=)90sp. His (new) friend would seem to be more than just a common labourer to throw around that kind of money, so I'll put (1d6=3) him down as a foreman.
Work: He saves 6cp this week; not bad with all the nonsense going on at the building site.
Companionship: With his windfall, drinks are on him. Somewhere a little respectable, even. He spends 12sp for Level 3 companionship at an average working class pub; his -1 CHA penalty is now lifted.
Gambling: Oh, a friendly game of cards! Why not? Fortunately he left some of his money at home stuffed into a chink in the wall just in case. But he's got 50sp to play with, and manages to double his money. He's now got 128sp and 13cp. This is thrice the money he came to town with.
Work: saves 30% of his salary -- 6 more coppers
Gambling: He's still cautious, and only risks 80sp. But I rolled a natural 00 on the gambling table; he wins 100 times his stake: 8000sp. This does come with a 16% chance (2% per 1000sp of winnings) that he will be accused of cheating, and be beaten or killed. Fortunately, he rolls a 29, so nothing untoward happens.
Event: Offered a dangerous mission.