Sunday, 8 July 2018

Other Dust solo - Part VII : Back into the Wastelands

The heat of summer always makes me dig out my post apacalyptic games. So, after a long gap, it's time for more of Ewa's adventures in Other Dust. The game picks up as Ewa bids goodby to Tansy, Shelley, and the podborn mutants, and heads east from their enclave in hex 2.

(The campaign began here. The last post was here.)


Scene 15

Chaos: Out of Control (d8)

Setup: back into the wastes

Threads: the Quest

[Back to the SH Wilderness Adventure tables. I reset the die thresholds for Events and Features since she stayed so long with the mutants.]

Day 1

[back to hex 1, no encounters/features/events]

Day 2

[travel to hex 3.
Feature = ethnic enclave

Random enclave--
Size: average, ~400adults
Government: technocratic
Core: small town (Robertsbridge)
TL 1
Tags: secret masters, trade hub
Complication: rival enclave seeks their ruin]

Ewa travels north east for a day. She finds a small hollow in a grove to sleep in, and the night is so warm she doesn't even need the blankets the friendly mutants sent her off with. The next day she heads off again, this time without travelling back in a circle. By early afternoon she comes upon a town with signs of life.

The town was obviously bigger before the collapse. Now a tall brick perimeter wall has been erected around the new town. An old sign from the times before is hung above the gate, but Ewa can't quite sound out the name upon it.

A pair of guards in metal armour watch over the gate. They lower their poleaxes to for a barrier as Ewa walks up to them. [Reaction=5]

"Who are you, stranger?"

"Just a traveller passing through," says Ewa.

"Uh-huh. Where from?"

"The south coast." [Wis/Perception 8+ to detect leading questions: 8-1=7...]

"South coast is pretty big," sneers the guard.

"I used to live in Eastbourne. You know it? No, can't blame you. Then I left, and I ended up staying with some podborn mutants, helping them get on their feet a little. But now I'm back travelling."

"Yeah, alright. You got summat to trade?"

"I might do. I could use some supplies."

"You can enter. But be on good behaviour! No fighting in the streets. We got a peaceful town here."

Ewa wanders round the town to have a look at the market, which is mostly an agglomeration of stalls in the village square.

[She's not planning on having a full blown Scarlet Heroes Urban Adventure, so I just grabbed the Midkemia press Cities book for random encounters; post-apocalyptic towns are close enough to fantasy ones that it works ok.

Town encounter result: d4=1 beggar/thief/urchin bumps into and tries to rob the character
d6=f, d10=null strain human, 2d4x5=~30years old

random possession=water ration

The thief's Dex/Profession:thief vs. Ewa's Wis/Perception: 3+1 vs. 10-1.]

Ewa is having trouble finding both someone with ammunition to trade and someone who might have a use for power cells. She gets distracted looking at a food stall, when she feels a sudden shiver go up her spine. She looks quickly round to see a woman trying to take the canteen off the back of her pack.

"Oi! let go of that!"

[Q: Do they get away with something? Unlikely (5+): O3 C4 - No, but... they struggle

Str vs. Str. The thief has 3d6=14 str also; contest rolls are 8 vs. 7]

Caught out or not, the woman does not intend to let go. Ewa just barely prises her fingers off the canteen. "Try that again and you'll be spitting teeth," she growls.

[reaction roll - Unfriendly NPC: 2d6=10, Qualified consent]

The thief backs away slowly, then runs off into the crowd.

[Q: Does the commotion draw any attention? 50/50 (4+): O5 C8 - yes.

NPC Relationship: hostile
insane - confusion - the character]

An angry man comes out from behind his stall. "Damn thieves, always trying to get things that don't belong to 'em. They're the real threat to this town, if you ask me. Are you hurt? No, didn't think so. Maybe if you weren't walking round like a whole damn shop yerself these things wouldn't happen. I don't know who's worse, you lot with your salvage or them damn thieves or them damn raiders. At least the raiders is honest! And how do I know you aren't the criminal here, with your guns and your blue face... Why, when I was younger..."

Ewa backs away slowly, then runs off into the crowd.

[Q: Can find someone willing to trade for a power cell? Unlikely (5+): O3 C7 - No

One more Cities encounter: local character. This one is suppose to be defined by the GM, as all towns are different. I decided to roll randomly amongst the enclave Tags to see who it is--
50/50 for either Tag: trade hub
50/50 for Friend or Enemy: Friend
1d4 to determine which of the 4 options: Naive tribal

NPC Relationship: peaceful
Conversation Mood: forthcoming
prejudiced - bias - equipment]

Ewa finds a long street lined with stalls that leads out of the square. Perhaps, she thinks, she'll have better luck there. As she's looking, she hears a voice call out behind her.

"Wow, you certainly got a lot of fancy kit!"

Ewa tenses, and then turns slowly about. She is disheartened to find that her interlocutor is exactly as she'd feared: young, wide-eyed, a bit scruffy, and wearing leathers that had obviously been made for someone with a sturdier build.

"Hardly," she says.

"For this town you do. Where'd you get that rifle?"

"This one? Found it. But it's nearly empty. Know anyone who sells ammo round here?"

[Q: Does he? 50/50 (4+): O2 C1 - No, and...]

"That sort of thing isn't generally for sale. We're a peaceful town. There's even raiders what just come here to trade for food and supplies."

"Huh," observes Ewa.

"So you're like a great heroine of the wastes, then?" [prejudiced - assessment - the character]

"Hardly! Whatever gave you that idea?"

"You look the part."

"I look like I slept in dirt. Cuz I did. So if there isn't any ammo stall in this village, maybe there's at least a bathhouse. And a launderer."

The young man's enthusiasm for the Magnificent Heroine of the Deadly Wilderness shows no signs of abating, though her mood towards him becomes ever more curt. He does at least lead her to a lodging house where she is able to trade three flasks of lamp oil for food, a bed, and a bath. She needs to wash her clothes herself, but can dry them by the fireplace for free.

[Q: Uneventful rest of stay? Likely (3+): O4 C4 - Yes, but... can't ditch friendly tribal
+Event: PC negative - Befriend / Weapons]

Try as she might, she can't seem to ditch her would be Squire -- for she must certainly be a Knight. He could be ever so useful, especially if they found a mount. And he can fight -- he's made his own spear!

Ewa finally gives up on the silent treatment, and tells him he needs to stay in his enclave, and that she can't be stuck with a liability. To illustrate the outside world is too dangerous for him, she tells story of the  skewmen ambush, and Assia's betrayal, and ends her speech with a  graphic recounting of the  killer robots and their corpse pile.

[SH Reaction roll to get him to agree to stay home - Friendly NPC  (but -2 penalty: he really wants to go)= Pleased consent]

When Ewa is finished with her tale, she sits back and looks at him pointedly for a moment. "Well?"

"Maybe home sounds nice after all."

Day 3

[travel to hex 4

event: deadfall falls for 1d6= 1hp damage, to 7hp. I rule that this is damage beyond the 2hp you can heal after being injured, otherwise this would be a non-event.]

The next day Ewa sets out from the trading village. She makes good progress at first through the overgrown countryside and forests, but gets caught in a deadfall she was clambering over instead of going round. And this after all her lectures on the dangers of the wilderness!

Day 4

[travel to hex 5

encounter: 2d4=4 Wolfman hunters on the prowl (AC 6, Move 20’, HD 1, Atk: +1/1d6 spear, Skill +1, Save 15+, Morale 8)

reaction=4, hostile]

The next day she proceeds more cautiously. Around mid-day she starts to feel she's being watched, and unlimbers her combat rifle. Moments later, four wolfman mutants appear behind her, and throw their crude spears as she is wheeling about. She takes a minor scrape on the arm [only one hits for 1hp damage] and then fires off a quick burst at the one she hopes is the leader.

[She needs to roll 7+ on Wisdom/Perception to pick the right one: 2d6-1=7, success; her attack hits for 2HD damage]

The creature yelps once then collapses. The other three hesitate for a moment, then turn tail and lope off into the forest.

[Morale 7 (8-1 for losing their leader): 2d6=8 failure]

"Pack mentality," thinks Ewa, as she binds the cut on her arm [regaining the lost hit point]. "But still, they aren't just dumb brutes."

Ewa does her best to disguise her trail for the rest of the day, walking through as many streams as she can come across [wisdom/Survival check of 9+ is required: 8+1=success, so I won't need to consult the Oracle to see if they were following or not].

That night she sleeps with sodden feet, but for all that she sleeps soundly.

Day 5

[travel to hex 6]

The next day is just another slow journey overland. She skirts the edge of a necropolis [Ashford], even though her scavenger's instincts tell her there must still be treasure cached within.

Day 6

[travel to hex 7

1d8= a Feature

Feature: ruin-fortress
Reason built: Stronghold
Past event: Massacre of locals

Current state: Partially buried
Contents: trove type c1 Minor Hidden Treasure

The Treasure Types don't match up between Scarlet Heroes and Other Dust, so I went with G14 Ruin, Single Building (3d6 Random Loot, 1d4 Random Loot+10, 20% chance of Random Loot+20, 1d6 TL4 Parts).]

Well away from the necropolis, Ewa stumbles up on a ruined fortress of some sort. It seems to have been built before the collapse, but shows signs of more recent construction -- and more recent devastation. Most of it seems to have been buried or washed away by a flood, but there is one building still standing.

Divesting herself of her pack, Ewa is able to squeeze inside and dig through the loose soil. Amongst some bones and shreds of ballistic cloth, she finds a small treasure trove:

laser pistol (lightly damaged -1hit/dmg)
TL2 binoculars (worn)
climbing kit (worn)
power cell B (shoddy)
TL4 electronic components x5

She can't carry (or even identify) it all, but she takes the laser, binoculars, and power cell, brushes off as much dirt as she can from them, and stows them in her pack.

That night she eats the last of her rations.

Day 7

Ewa decides to spend the day foraging for sustenance before moving onwards. She collects a decent amount of probably edible food. She doesn't immediately die from eating it, so it must be fine.

[A Wisdom/Survival roll of 8+ yields 1d3+survival skill level worth of rations. Spending 8 hours allows a +1 on the roll. Her Weak Smell mutation gives her a -2. Characters who are "less fussy" are allowed two rolls, but all rations found are Dirty, and eating them gives you Toxin Points. Ewa isn't fussy (though she ought to be; her mutation doesn't help with resisting toxins form eating contaminants on purpose, as I had thought).

Her total modifier is +0 (+1 (skill), +1 (time), -2 (mutation)); she makes both rolls and finds a total of (2d3+2=) 4 dirty rations.

Eating 1 ration that day gives her 1 toxin point. As she's neither hungry nor thirsty at the end of day, she gets a Physical save  to remove one toxin point, but she fails the roll.]

Day 8

[travel to hex 8

Event: weather - Get lost; next movement is random]

The next day there is a sudden cold snap, and a dense fog moves in. Ewa eats more of her tainted food. She thinks it tastes ok, insofar as she can taste much of anything, but that heartburn can't be a good sign...

[+1 toxin point; failed Physical save, so 2 toxin points total]

Day 9

She's not sure which way she's going in the fog, but hopes it's generally the right way.

[random movement is due North]

She soon comes across an ancient road [the A2] in excellent condition, and follows it for a way. It's certainly easier going than tromping through overgrowth, but she can't seem to shake a bad feeling about it; someone or something must be maintaining the road for it to be in such a good state.

[Feature: ruined village

Great Past Event: Outside conquest
Current State:  Surface is in ruins
Contents: roll 2 encounters

Traders seek to reach their hidden stash: AC 5, Move 20’, HD 3, Atk: +3/1d8 Revolver, Skill +2, Save 14+, Morale 9

3 wanderers with PC classes of level 1d4+1 are plundering this wreckage.

Reaction roll between the two groups: 7, neutral]

After a while the road passes through the remains of a village. The surface buildings have been flattened by fire, and possibly worse. Ewa decides to have a look round; it's not such a big place, and might afford decent shelter for the night.

Before long she comes upon a trio of armed and armoured human(oid)s wearing heavy coats, facemasks, and goggles, making a careful sweep of the area. They turn towards her as she approaches them, and she finds herself at gunpoint. "You better keep moving, matey! This is our rubble, innit. Wouldn't want an accident to happen to yous." [Reaction=5, hostile; UNE: insane - accident - the character]

Ewa keeps her hands where they can see them and backs away. She ducks round the first corner she can in the ruined street, and thus it is she happens upon a second group. The five of them -- two mutants and three null-strain humans -- are much less threatening than the others.

"There's some dangerous sorts picking over the rubble," says the lead trader. "They already threatened us if we got in their way. We just want to recover some of our things and get back to civilisation. But we daren't whilst they're still here, lest they try to overpower us and take it themselves. You're more than welcome to stay with us. It'll be safer."

[Reaction=11; UNE: prejudiced - difference - antagonist]

But... Ewa's Mental save against paranoia: 1d20=1...]

The five of them look so innocent: soft faces, tattered travelling garments, only a few visible weapons. It is certainly a trap. No one is that harmless-looking unless they are trying to sucker you into their ambush. Why is the one-eyed mutant staring at Ewa like that? Could she be a psychic? Oh shit, she must know Ewa is on to them!

"I really need to be getting home soon," says Ewa, backing away again. "I strayed too far from my enclave, and I absolutely must get back before dark."

[Wisdom/Survival check 9+ to find safe (and hidden) bivouac in the ruins: 3+1, failure. Normal night-time survival check: 10, success.]

Ewa gets out of the ruined village as quickly and as quietly as she can. She makes a cursory search for a place to hole up for the night, but nothing looks remotely secure. She finds a copse of trees a little way out of the village, and clambers into a hedge to sleep.

[+1 toxin for dirty rations, another failed save puts her at 3 toxin points; she won't get sick until she hits 10.]

Day 10

Ewa decides to spend more time foraging as she has just enough food to last the day. She crosses the road and looks on the opposite side, well away from the ruins. She finds a moderate amount of food, but has eaten half of it by the time night falls.

[8 hours foraging for the +1 to her roll, but she rolled a 12 anyways. 1d3+1=2 clean rations, of which she eats one. She fails her Physical save, so doesn't lose any toxin points.]

Day 11

Ewa follows the road south east [to hex 9]. She still feels suspicious of its good condition, and takes care not to get too close to it. She almost loses sight of it once or twice, but manages not to stray too far.

That night she finishes the last of the tainted food, and, after another night of acid reflux and strange dreams, resolves to be more careful in the future.

[last of the dirty rations; +1 toxin point, but she finally made a Physical save, so still only has 3 toxin points total.]

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