So the kick off for my BoL campaign draws ever close. I tried it out with my wife as a bit of a solo game (I did however bribe her with a foot rub and a solemn oath that I'd take the bins out).
The setting is "The North Kingdoms", which I'll post about shortly, but the basic premise is an expansion on the official BoL map.
While that map finishes up with the Icy Wastes in the north, I decided to push these north lands even further north and slot in the North Kingdoms.
As I said, I'll get a post up with details about the kingdoms of Ty-Sog, the Arminum League and the Korean Confederacy and their going ons later.
I ran through the basic rules and character creation with my wife (she's never gamed before) and she decided on a wandering minstrel/scribe who has attained some skills with the sword in her travel.
Lezal the Bard
He idea was the Lezal is a teller of tales and stories from lands far to the east. She's wandered into the town of Yew, a rowdy seaport in Ty-Sog.
Yew, is a rather seedy, squalid settlement built at the meeting of the River Ty and the Great Western Ocean. Trade ships unload at Yew and their goods - precious stones and silks from Kor, pelts and hides from the far north and other items of great value are then barged up river to the capital of Ty-Sog.
While trade has staggered almost to a halt as a result of Ty-Sog's civil war, Yew is still a busy town.
Seeking local tales and legends, pertaining to an ancient cult of druids and tribes of centaurs formerly in the region, Lezal has rolled into Yew.
After describing the dirty, muddy streets and low, tubby stone and wood buildings my wife decided she was off to a tavern to wet her whistle and maybe earn a few coins singing her little heart out.
"So, what tavern are you going to head to?"
"The worse one I can find!"
Seconds later Lezal is hoisting an ale in the House of Syrne Gor, a tavern right on the docks full of people you don't want to meet in a dark alley.
I described the other drinkers: sun darkened sailors wearing short kilts or loin clothes and not much else, a small contingent of the town watch drinking in the corner and a pair of well dressed traders.
Most of the drinkers are watching the dancing girl, who whirls and twirls sinuously in little more than a few scraps of black silk.
My wife was about to ask the barkeep about maybe getting some work when a friendly wrestling match broke out between two of the sailors over the dancing girl.
Pretty quickly the wrestlers - a formidable black-skinned giant and a smaller, lithe fellow with olive skin and shoulders covered in crude sailors' tatts - managed to stumble into a table full of sailors from another ship, upturning it.
The dancing girl fled screaming as the table full of hard men drew daggers and short swords and fell on the wrestlers.
At this point, I asked Lezal what she was going to do. My wife didn't seem overly interested in getting involved in a bloody brawl until one of the wrestlers was stabbed (the dark one).
Now the unarmed sailor was facing five swordsmen and she decided this was just too unfair (with a little bit of prodding from me...)
Lezal got stuck in, her long sword flashing. Pretty soon two of the thugs were dead, both her and her new friend had suffered a few cuts and bruises and the rest of the thugs were fleeing.
With oily charm and a fair dose of sleaze her companion asks her if he can buy her a drink...
NOTES: This playtest went well. I'm planning on starting the real campaign in Yew. It's going to be the basis of a semi-sandbox game.
From Yew the players can branch out - either by sea or land - and do what they want.
I've generated some hooks and at this stage they include:
- with civil war pulling most of the regular forces north, bandits have started hitting the trade barges going to the capital.
- a local merchant is boasting that he's come across a map to an ancient crypt high up in the hills
- no one has heard anything from a small town about a day's hard ride to the north. Could it be bandits? The civil war? Or something worse?
- and the biggie is helping a "sailor" out in a tavern brawl. The sailor is really a the second mate on a pirate ship, docked in Yew for some R&R and pretending to be a mere trader.
The captain is looking to recruit some more likely lads because they've heard about untold wealth on a nearby island.
My wife played very well - she was a bit hesitant to actually talk to folk and needed a bit of prodding but she played the part very well and came up with an excellent back story for herself in a couple seconds flat.
Hopefully I can convince her to play more...