Friday, December 26, 2008


In spite of it being the holiday season and all that entails, Garish's play-by-post RPG jumped off to a start this past Monday and is moving along at a nice pace.

For those of you just tuning in, the game is taking place on the Reaper Miniatures message board and can be seen here. The RPG system in use is Mythmere Games' Swords & Wizardry with a sprinkling of his own house rules. It only took a few days to gather up a cast of players, and I know at least one or two also follow my I won't be giving up any spoilers here.

Think of me as a bard... or a chronicler... or Kermit the Frog with a Sesame Street News Flash. :D


The story is beginning in Espanola (where the rain falls mainly in the plain) in the city of Augustine, and there is a bit of a noisy gathering at the Blade And Tankard, a tavern frequented by people looking to hire or be hired for high adventure. At this moment, the man doing the hiring is a rather portly man called Orizon, who seems to personally prefer the tankard to the blade. He hopes to hire a party to retrieve for him a valuable artifact, a brass bowl of some great importance.

A man steps right up almost immediately. He is a man of slight build, his robes a bit thin of thread and his head thin of hair. He has a large walking stick, and a deductive person might guess he is a mage. Besides, all mages have names meant to baffle the dyslexic. He introduces himself as Amarixes Rythykia, and demonstrates his abilities by making a coin disappear from his fingers and reappear elsewhere without rational explanation.

The reader may note that such a talent can be handy in an adventure, but even more handy in Illinois politics.

Anyway, as Amarixes and Orizon finish discussing details of the quest and payment, a tough but scruffy man with dark hair armed with a sword which the man says is his preferred means of negotiation. He introduces himself as Dukkor and offers to "stand toe to toe with whatever be blockin' the path to yer bowl."

Next to enter the tavern is Turleus Ba'dor, a tall wiry man in black desert garb carrying a longbow. Following right on his heels is Gwynned, an elf of tall stature (for an elf, that is) with blue eyes, brown hair, and sporting side-whiskers. The human immediately asks about the job, whereas the elf first spares a smile for the ladies in the tavern. Gwynned carries a bow as well as an axe, and tells Orizon that "Spirits told me to come there, so I did. Perhaps were they mischievous or mad spirits, but who knows?". Being that elves are permitted in this style of game to behave like college freshmen who cannot decide upon a degree, Gwynned is, at least for today, a mage.

Even as Orizon is inviting Turleus and Gwynned to join him in what seems to be a slippery path toward eventual drunkenness, a large tattooed man with braided beard and a pipe clenched between his teeth approaches the gathering. His name is Drake, and he is an old sailor who now seeks adventure away from the sea.

By now, everybody is busy getting to know one another better, though Orizon seems to think the party is still one short. (These things sometimes happen to PCs in online games during holidays, but our tardy cleric never strays too far on his sabbaticals.)


So, that is where we are. Sometimes I think the most fun as well as most important part of the adventure is the beginning-- the carousing around some inn or other in hopes of finding some new opportunity to earn wealth (or get killed) and getting to know the other characters. An article I read recently suggested that PCs in old-school style games ought not invest too much time in character backstory at first or second level because the character may very well not make it to third, but on the other hand, first impressions are so powerful in setting the tone of the game and how the party interacts with one another, I find it hard to imagine getting past the first round of in-game drinks without knowing more or less how one wants to be thought of by the others. One cannot keep being the stand-offish one in the darkened corner thinking how much cooler his character would be if the GM let him use the name Strider.

Yes, we had a PC like that once. You couldn't pry three words of character interaction out of him with a tire tool. Suffice to say, he don't game around here no more.

Anyway, I am really having fun watching this game afoot. Having played the adventure myself, I know where things eventually go, but like my Mom always said, "Getting there is half the fun."

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