Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gathox Sessions #4 & #5 Play Report: Beer and Butter Edition

Riding high on the ensuing success from their Mudling Mansions contract with the Dohjaks, the party made their pick of the broad employment opportunities before them. Property retention for the Huttimer struck their fancy and off they went!

The Huttimer's Purveyor, Smitty Gorman, greeted them with warm beer, butter, and a stout chin beard, coaxing the party into an NDA before revealing the theft of the Huttimer Friendship Society's holy texts. Negotiations and sleuthing ensued.

The party chased breadcrumbs: first visiting Berling the Pusher, who drove the party dangerously close to breaking their NDA; then meeting with a reputable seamstress, Greta Sanbusterrin, for cloth sample ID'ing; and then on to the great and curmudgeonly dollmaker, Li Zhao, who gave up the goods on one of his steadiest clients due to clever maneuvering by the PCs.

Some B&E, hostage taking, and property destruction later, the party discovered Jedo Waldgrave's torture dungeon.  The Thin Green Duke assaulted an innocent doll in that dank basement, bringing them all to life - thirsty for vengeance!

Dozens of dolls advanced on the party, flanking them in the 1st floor foyer. Stretched thin and with few resources remaining, the PCs resorted to a previously successful strategy: Arson and Demolitions!

Making their escape from the scene of the crime, the party found themselves in The Free People's Advancement territory, where mutant Thla had seedy underworld contacts. A visit to Belinda the Recindah provided players with a much-needed regroup, as well as affordable disguises.

Finally, the players got Skaggers (full-time amputee and overtime assistant fence) stinking drunk, uncovering crucial information on the whereabouts of the book.

The team currently has 7 whole hours to fulfill their contract!


*Brother Saget initiating the A&D procedure at the right time, for the right reasons, with perfect party consensus;

*Steve the Psychic, now Mangleface Steve, knocking back a few bottles of ancient wine while directing the Thin Green Duke to pick locks with a battleaxe;

*Amadeus Marmaduke, pretending to be rich and yelling at firefighters; and

*Thla, running naked through the night and tearing out the throat of a hopelessly outclassed street thug.

The Casualties:

*Mr. T, hopeless loser body guard, who succumbed to a taffeta horde of kill-dolls in the torture dungeon.

The Take:

*285 gp each in stolen and properly fenced wares; and

*348 xp each, for accumulated gold, smashed murder dolls, and dead street toughs.

*A stack of forged writs of passage, sufficiently devoid of identifying information as to be usable by the players.

The Analysis:

By this time I had finished the city map of the Kettle neighborhood, allowing the players to plan strategy regarding geography. Watching players plot their course through town, exploring new areas while investigating the mystery-mission at hand, definitely gave me ideas on how to run a city as exploration. After this session I considered an alternate build of Gathox-as-pointcrawl which I'm now pursuing.

Another reward: observing a team of new players come together with consistent investigation strategies and operational procedures is like watching your friend's band become your favorite band. That is a form of happiness.

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