Actual Play – Siege The Wall! (11/8/2011)

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

We started the game late but a lot happened very quickly. Sir Baldric (as Catamere) was leading the army and proposed a daring feint to draw the enemy forces in one direction while a small group scaled the wall and opened the gates. It was a brutal strategy roll (especially with beginners luck) but with a crap ton of helping dice, persona and fate, they took the walls of Masad in a masterful stroke and soon had the enemy barricaded in their last holdout, a giant temple of their snake god. That’s when the fun began…

The religious and military leader stood at the gates of his temple and rallied his men, giving a rousing speech and emboldening them. In turn they shouted his name again and again. Kharim. Kharim. KHARIM. Yep, we had no doubt, the same Kharim that was given the heir when Sir Garrick died. The one man in this place we wanted to befriend… and we just sacked his city. Brilliant.

The follow up scenes were on a smaller scale.

After a discussion of how best to approach Kharim, Moya (as Catamere’s page) and Eogin (as Eogin) approached the temple bearing a message that the leader of the kings forces would like to speak with Kharim… and to add a little seasoning to the mix Eogin produced Garrick’s journal. With a bit of persuasion and a lot of outright lies Moya convinced Kharim to meet with Catamere.

Later, while Moya was outside the camp practicing her spell “Rain of Fire” (ooh ooh), Baldric approached Moya’s mentor Houdin who was trying to tend to the wounded defenders of the city. To appease him, and you know, not be a complete bastard, Baldric ordered his men to construct makeshift stretchers and carry the wounded men to the temple where the Kashkir could tend to their own. Having swayed Houdin to listen to him at least, Baldric made his please “your student has summoned horrors from the deep, such demons that stirred my soul. I must have some protection from her sorcery.” And boom, like that Houdin granted Baldric a charm. Totally Dumbo’s feather. But because, you know it makes sense that one would be afraid if they thought they were magically protected, it actually does offer him an advantage die on Steel tests against fear. Pretty cool.

Thoughts on the game.

I was really glad that Burning Wheel facilitated the particular goal I had. I want Houdin to make me a magic charm. I really wasn’t sure how, if at all we would handle that in the game, but an advantage die on Steel test worked our wonderfully.

All I could think at the end of this game is “Damn, we are proper fucked.” Shaun played it very well having the leader of our opposing forces also the one holding the treasure we sought (the heir Owain).

Man, this is twice that I’ve had Baldric do REALLY horrible things (first killing Cataemre to take his name and now, as Catamere leading an army to sack a city and kill thousands), but each time it was out of a sense of necessity, like without this the mission will fail. And yet, I play him as so idealistic and scornful of others who do not act in a manner befitting a knight. Even in his own deceit, he acts oddly honorable. For instance he tricked Catamere into coming outside the city with him, but then wouldn’t just kill him, instead he had a proper duel, and refused to take the advantage when Catamere was wounded (mechanically he hesitated during the volleys where Catamere was hesitating from his injury). He’s such an odd hypocrite.

Hmm… much as it take a while to play out, I want to see more Fight! I like Fight! And I have a character who can do it now (B6 sword FTW). FIGHT!