Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More fun in the "City Stake of the Unvisible Ogre-Lord"

A few posts back I mentioned that our regular gaming group had begun a new adventure using Labyrinth Lord and the Wilderlands Of High Fantasy campaign setting. We all thought it might be fun to run an all-thieves campaign set in a city, and the City State Of The Invincible Overlord seemed like as good a place as any to find trouble.

First, a bit of additional character background. Gund is a rather gruff and mistrusting fella, even by Dwarf standards. But he's the voice of common sense in our group and therefore is sort of the leader..kind of like Moe of the Three Stooges...nyak-nyak-nyak!

Then there's Leif the mage and his watch-doggie Mylo. We do not yet know much about Leif except that he fancies himself to be a good-looking gent and a real ladies' man. He's right smart..but kind of unpredictable. I have no idea why he bought a guard dog, because then there's that ever-present problem of "Where's Mylo" whenever we are in a no-dogs-allowed tavern or worse yet, when we're trying to sneak in or out of a place.

Then there's Burzug, who prefers to be called simply "Zug". She's darn nimble, fairly strong and even somewhat clever... and wise... and has a decent constitution. Suffice to say Charisma is her dump stat, so she's got what you might call a face only an orc-mommy could love. She's not much for conversation either, and according to later more "rulesy" versions of Our Favourite Roleplay Game, would not be very good at intimidation either. Lucky for her she don't care too much for following the rules.

Finally, we have our newcomer, who calls himself Larry. He joined the plot already in progress, which as we all know can make for some interesting retro-continuity fixing or at the very least some awkward introductions. Larry is played by my good buddy Chris, who also plays with us under the name "Gavin the Archer".

So we're in a tavern right where we left off, and Gund has gone nosing over to another table to drop eaves on a couple of men in military dress who are revealing a bit more information about a plot-hook concerning a stolen horse. While Gund and the NPCs are chatting, poor Larry (Chris) is sitting at our table (on my sofa) casting odd glances at the robed human and the cloaked half-orc (looking at me and Shane with a bemused and confused look on his face as he oft does).

"Whoozat?", Zug asks the mage, hooking a thumb toward the non-conversant newcomer.

Then for the next ten minutes while Gund is entertained by the game referee, Zug and Leif argue back and forth over exactly how long "Quiet Larry" has been with the group. Zug begins to think that perhaps she has spent a bit more time passed-out-drunk than she had originally calculated. And then Gund returns to the group.

"Who be you?", he asks the newcomer, who promptly introduces himself as Larry. Then follows another ten minutes of trying to figure out whether Larry is one of Leif's old friends or just some nutty guy who has took it upon himself to do a bit of social networking at the tavern beginning with our table.

Eventually, however, we get around to the "truth" that Larry is also a thief..and he proves so by pinching the napkin from the dwarf's lap undetected. Now, far be it from me to further any racial stereotypes here, but a napkin?... from a dwarf's lap? get the picture too.

Surprisingly mostly of all to himself, he succeeds in doing so..and whether it be Larry's strange wit, the house mead, or the need to move things along in the game, we agree to let him join our little group, at which point Gund relates to us all that the men in military dress told him about the stolen horse, the other valuables that were also taken, and then speculates upon the possibility of a reward or at least something worthwhile for our troubles.

Fast-forward to a few hours later... well after dark...and our band of thieves..and don't forget Mylo.. are investigating the stables from which the horse was stolen. A city guardsman approaches the group and asks what it is they are looking for here at such a late hour. Larry, being the self-appointed spokesperson for the four, says "We're looking for beaver cheese!" *

*Beaver cheese is apparently one of the items on the menu at one of the City's more low-brow dining establishments according to the game-master's guide....a tidbit of local information that our game ref felt he had to share with us lest the adventurers never find that particular eatery on their own

Larry did eventually recover from a swift clubbing to his manhood by the guardsman, but maybe has learned how to better respect (or pretend to respect) the local authorities.

So, after the appropriate bribes are given, the guardsman reveals new vital information on the possible whereabouts of the horse thief we are seeking. The next problem is how to get out of the walled City in the middle of the night while the gates are all still closed. The laws don't look kindly on folks scaling the City walls, but the trail won't stay hot forever. The group hatches a plan to use one of Leif's Sleep spells to thoroughly neutralize a particularly slackish patrol and then make their escape.

"Where's Mylo?", Gund asks as the four prepare to climb over and out.

"Guess you gonna carry him?", Zug interjects, doubtful dogs can scale such walls.

Strangely enough, you can actually get a live guard dog into a backpack. Whether he decides to bark about it is entirely up to fate though. Fortunately fate was kind, and the dog behaved.. at least for that moment.

Well...they caught up to the horse thief in an outlying village. The group had found what they suspected to be his hideout and tried to sneak closer... but the dog started barking..and next thing they know one of the horse-thief's henchmen is staring us down and asking who we are.

So..what does a hafforc girl with a Charisma of 6 do?

"I'm with him", says Zug, pointing at Leif.

Meanwhile Gund thwacks the henchman upside the head with his quarterstaff and lays him out cold like a mackerel.

Not exactly what you'd call high strategy..but if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, then you baffle 'em with bullstuff.

In the end, we were able to capture the horse thief and return the stolen goods (well..most of the stolen goods) to the righttul owners for a decent reward. Gund, under the assumed name of Barry, explained how it all happened to the city guards..conveniently forgetting to mention the sneaking-over-the-walls part or the part where they found a huge stash of stolen gold in the thief's hideout.

And what about the dog?

Poor Mylo tried to be a good war dog, but in the end gave his life to save the life of his master. Leif is now thinking of taking his share of the liberated gold and buying a more practical animal for his particular specialized line of work.. something like a trained weasel or ferret.

The group has survived another night in the City... but there are as yet hundreds of new beginnings to new adventures out there in the sandbox waiting. I'll be tagging this and all future related gameblogs with "Invincible Overlord". Hopefully we'll be playing that campaign on a more regular basis soon, as I am really enjoying the group dynamics of this one.

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