Actual Play – A Belligerant Drunker (3/20/2012)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean Nittner, Kristin Hayworth, Justin Dhiel
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: Burning Theorsa

Again, with the belligerence. This game was a continuation of the last one. We didn’t really feel like the last one was over so we held off on Artha awards at the end and played this as the continuation of the last. However, in this one, after being put in the dungeons for a night to sober up, Balric finally did something good (or good-ish) and I already started feeling much better about him. But I get a head of myself…

The opening scene was in Duke Rothgarn’s court where everyone was supposed to attend. Moya was there, even Afon was there. Baldric was getting drunk in the dungeons while trying to worm information about his brother Aeric from their captive.  Court was notably annoyed that Baldric didn’t attend but ventured to proceed anyway.

The stakes -> The nobles would work together, fight off the usurper king, but the powerful Lord Galen wanted Moya in his service. He needed a wizard to aid his troops.  And without much fight Moya gave it up. To secure the alliance between Duke Rothgarn and Lord Galen, she would leave the duke’s service. Wow, big sacrifice.

Just as that deal was sealed, Baldric came stumbling in, completely inebriated and smelling of piss and ale. The original plan had been to try and marry Baldric off, but he successful thwarted that plan but being so undesirable, nobody would have him. He also managed to halt the meeting by vomiting on a guard and offending the noble host.

This ended him up back in the dungeons and this time, behind the bars. Yet, there was a point to all this drunken belligerence!

Baldric could not, or would not, allow his father to go to war with the usurper while they still held his brother (and the Duke’s youngest son) hostage. Baldric loves his brother like nothing else, and would do everything in his power to keep him alive… Thus came a very important Duel of Wits to make his father agree to send Baldric and Moya (who had just been promised to Lord Galen) south to the lands where Aeric (the young brother) was kept hostage and free him.

Despite Moya working against him, Baldric won, but only by the smallest margin (Body of Argument down to 1) so he conceded that Moya, the level headed one, would lead this expedition.

Later, he protested that a servant could not take charge of a knight, and just when Rothgarn though he was trying to rebuke the decree that Moya would lead them, he suggested that his father use that sword it his side to knight er already. Moya from ex-family servant to knight in one blow. I felt very, very good about this:

Thoughts on the game

I had a plan to use his drunkenness as a ruse, something to put off the nobles and by the heroes time to save Aeric. Would it be reasonable that Baldric would have actually thought of that plan? Probably not, but it made something redeeming about him and I needed that. Winning drunken master style!

Should a single night in the dungeon with a wretched headache have sobered Baldric so much? Again, probably no, but I played out his headaches, his aversion to light and noise, and took obstacle penalties for all of that, so I felt good winning that Duel of Wits. Besides, even if Baldric was drunk, the emotional drive to save his brother was still loud and clear.