Kyneros Episode 5

image from ArtBreeder

filed under actual play on 09 Nov 2016
tagged kyneros, kairael valeyn, mutable, scarlet heroes, solo, and pre-1.0.0

Rambling in Hindsight: In more recent games, I always split sessions (and scenes) with three asterisks (I used dashes for a while but they screw up the LaTex). Fascinating, I know.

If it seems like some of the mechanics are missing, they are – it’s one of the hazards of beta testing. Any time you see a line end in an ellipses and then pick up again as if a question had been asked and answered, there’s probably supposed to be a mechanic there.

This is the session when I pretty much give up on tracking temperature and weather. I liked the narrative color it added but it was too much to keep track of. Can’t imagine tracking weather for 365+ days of a campaign year just to have “realistic” weather patterns.

Being the fifth part of the adventure of Kai Valeyn, a man without a country, adrift seventeen centuries after the fall of his civilization and enroute to a ruined city of his people.

So, morning of the second day of travel. I'm knocking off vent and time elapsed at day's end.

First, let's roll up the terrain for the new area. Still seed 5.

[Terrain] hills (1)

Fair enough, let's roll for encounter, feature, and event.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 1 ] 1

That's another encounter. Hahaha, at this rate we'll never get to Helase!

It turns out it's a burning bull, a creature of magic, it's disinclined to fight and badly wounded.

Dune Laith will heal it, at Melysse's request, after which it...

[Description] "Cautiously Disgusting"

[Action] "Failure News"

... wanders off with a loud burp.

And feature?

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 8 ] 8

And event.

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 5 ] 5

So the next day's travel is uneventful. Does Laith go a different direction?

[somewhat likely, 41 ≤ 65] YES

They said goodbye to the lawman at the base of the hills, where their paths diverged. He thanked them and was on his way, prisoner in tow.

Okay, uneventful night, and straight on to morning.

[Terrain] heavy forest (2)

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 3 ] 3

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 8 ] 8

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 2 ] 2

I rolled up some ghost-haunted ruins, of an old temple partly destroyed by earthquake. The ghost's objective is to avoid hunters and it is disinclined to fight. So unless there's weather incentive, my party will pass it by.

Speaking of which, weather for yesterday...

[Weighted Weather] The same as yesterday.

And weather today...

[Weighted Weather] Much less comfortable than yesterday.

Hmm, let's see what that means.

[Dry Season ] Cloudy skies

So, it's a heat wave, plus cloudy skies -- thunderstorms brewing.

Which means everyone's risking heat stroke.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 1 5 ] 6

Using the modified weather rules, that'd put Kai, who is wearing his tunic and scale, at a -2 to all combat, Dex, and Strength checks, plus -2 for fatigued. Seems overly punitive; I think for heat I'll drop the penalties and just use the fatigued track.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 8 3 ] 11

Melysse seems cool as a cucumber, probably because she's not wearing any armor.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 4 1 ] 5

Poor Dac isn't doing well either.

Kai directs them to shelter in the ruined temple from the thunderstorm approaching.

Does the storm break before they reach the temple?

[fifty-fifty, 89 ≥ 50] NO

They rode into the overgrown courtyard just ahead of the storm, tired, and hot from the unseasonably warm weather.

Is the main room off the courtyard intact?

[fifty-fifty, 17 ≤ 50] YES

They corralled the horses in the courtyard, under the shelter of a half-collapsed roof, then scrambled through the great doors that once led to a great hall.

[Nature] A piece of artwork; even odds of original or stolen

This is a temple of exiles; is it from after Kai's time?

[fifty-fifty, 9 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

So it's fairly recent; the last fifty years or so.

Does the storm break?

[somewhat likely, 79 ≥ 65] NO

Kai took a quick look around.

[Room Size] Trapezoidal [Exits] 0 [Exit Type] as expected [Secret Door?] No

There didn't seem to be any intact exits, other than the one they entered through. Several massive murals lined the walls; the room was easily large enough for a community to gather for worship.

Kai tossed his gear down in one of the side alcoves, noticing the Melysse was doing the same across the width of the room. He had to admit she'd been bearing up much better than he'd expected. He still didn't trust her, but at least she wasn't useless.

Is it hotter in here?

[somewhat likely, 24 ≤ 65] YES

It was even hotter in here than ouside; he took a few minutes to strip off his armor and tunic and immediately felt better.

Does the storm break?

[likely, 46 ≤ 75] YES

The sound of raindrops echoed, then with a low rumble the first thunder erupted and the skies opened with the fury of the heavens.

Kai didn't care how crazy his companions thought he was. He raced out into the storm and reveled in it, soaking up the rain and letting it wash away almost a week of grime from the grubby city and blood and the dust of travel. There was an exultation to be found in such circumstances, a wild and pure joy that his people had long treasured.

He was soaking wet and grinning ear to ear when he finally came back in. Dac and Melysse were perched on the porch, under the overhang of the roof, giving him twin concerned looks that he ignored in favor of digging a dry set of clothes out of his bag.

Okay, evening checks, then resolve when the ghost will make contact; it's disinclined to fight but may want something from them.

Does the storm last past midnight?

[fifty-fifty, 100 ≥ 91] Exceptional NO

So it's actually fairly brief, which makes sense. But it'll still eat up a chunk of the day, putting them into normal camping time.

Does Melysse approach Kai?

[fifty-fifty, 11 ≤ 50] YES
[RANDOM] Move away from a thread "Adjourn Prison"

travel to Helase and to the medusa's lair [Active]

So the main journey is about to become a lot harder; because something intends to keep them here until they...

accomplish something.

But we won't find out about that until we try to leave again.

Plus there's only one ghost; it's a 1HD creature.

I'm going to bump it up to a more intelligent, dangerous creature, hopefully without going overboard.

What does Melysse want to talk about?

[Mythic Complex] Heal Illness

It was after dark, and most had gone to sleep. Kai was sitting up, taking first watch as he listened to the rain taper off.

A slight shadow drew up across from him. "I wanted to thank you for letting me come along," she said, sounding hesitant.

He cocked an eyebrow. "You gave me no choice," he pointed out.

Her temper flared. "I had no choice!"

He stared at her until she finally sighed. "My father is gravely ill. I've... I've been such a disappointment to him." She moved a bit closer to Kai; her eyes were huge and dark. "A fortune spent on healers and seers, and we know the cure for his illness... his curse... is to be found in Helase."

"So you see, it wasn't personal," she started, her hand brushing against his knee, her other hand on his bare shoulder as she leaned in.

Kai stood up, shaking her hands off. "Goodnight," he said coldly, and left her there, staring after him.


Scene over, session over, I think.

Kai is angry because she reminds him of someone else who used him; a past lover who he thought cared about him but who quickly upgraded to his brother when given the opportunity.

So logically, he'll dream about this past lover, and that will give the ghost opportunity to strike at him.

Does the ghost attack any of the guards first?

[somewhat likely, 51 ≤ 65] YES

Is one killed?

[somewhat likely, 42 ≤ 65] YES

Are two killed?

[somewhat likely, 41 ≤ 65] YES

Are three killed?

[fifty-fifty, 48 ≤ 50] YES

Are four killed?

[fifty-fifty, 43 ≤ 50] YES

Are five killed?

[fifty-fifty, 68 ≥ 50] NO

Whew. Half the guards gone in a single encounter, murdered in their sleep.

Something for tomorrow.

I'm interpreting 'disinclined to fight' in this case to mean 'prefers to lull its victims to death instead of overtly fight them'.

Ok, whipped together a consuming ghost, built largely on the jiangshi.

Since the guards have no stats per se, I use their HD as a guide; the ghost has acquired 4 additional HD, which makes it a 9 HD creature.

Its obsession is love...

[Mythic Complex] Transform Benefits

[Action] "Travel Elements"

Weird. I got that one earlier in this game too. Quick review says the code is valid; just one of those things, I guess!

Kai dreamed of her; silky blonde hair, dark eyes, slipping into his bedroll well after midnight, just as she'd done on campaign in Sykos. He'd thought she'd been impressed with his skill and valor, but he'd been wrong.

Saving throw to see if he notices something is amiss; +1 because she jilted him.

The target DC is pretty brutal; 9 plus 9, 18. He's got 2d8, plus 1 for Wisdom, plus 1 for Eidetic memory, plus 2 for his class level.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 3 8 ] 11

15; not good enough. Will need to roll a 14 or better. any chance Melysse might try to sneak into his bedroll too?

[somewhat likely, 10 ≤ 13] Exceptional YES

Well, that's good at least. I'm going to say the "exceptional" part is that it'll be on next round, instead of following usual protocol and asking each round with a higher likeliness.

Ok, now it's the ghost's turn to attack; she's not going to do damage, just drain.

It's a touch attack, 1d20 plus 9, plus 6.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 11 ] 11

Well, it's not like he's resisting or anything.

So down one point of Constitution.

Doesn't change anything, yet; if he loses one more he'll lose his +1 per level and be down 2 HP.

So, top of the order, Kai first, with his saving throw.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 3 6 ] 9

... and he's still not figured out what's up.

Who goes, next?

[Options] melysse, ghost

[Choice] melysse

So Melysse is an actress and a saboteur and a spy. Does she have skill with daggers at close range?

[likely, 83 ≥ 75] NO

Throwing them?

[likely, 49 ≤ 75] YES

So she's not a knife fighter, relying on sneak attack and throwing.

Is it surprised?

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 4 ] 4

She attacks.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 2 ] 2

Not much to do with that; she has a +2 and +9 for its defense but not much else.

Does it notice her attack, since she missed?

[fifty-fifty, 24 ≤ 50] YES

Ayria wrenched away from him, her face twisted in a snarl, as she faded away and he woke, confused. Melysse, dagger in hand, was confronting the shadowy creature with Ayria's seeming. Her face was pale and terrified, but resolute.

Does he use his repertoire in reflex?

[fifty-fifty, 65 ≥ 50] NO


[fifty-fifty, 36 ≤ 50] YES

The shadow creature swiped at Melysse with a whip of shadow...

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 4 ] 4

, the barest touch causing the woman to gasp in pain.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 1 ] 1

Fortunately no damage.

Something -- the strange force that suffused him before -- burst from Kai, fueled by rage and heartbreak.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 3 ] 3

A miss!

But there's still Fray.

Rolling 1d4 1 times.
[ 4 ] 4

It was the creature's turn to recoil as a bolt of black mist scythed into it.

Melysse's attack.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 7 ] 7

Plus 9 ac, plus 2 for her AB, plus 2 for attribute/skill. 20 dead on.

Rolling 1d4 1 times.
[ 1 ] 1

1 more point of damage; it is down to 6 HP.

It's going to try to heal by hitting Kai for damage and drain.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 20 ] 20

Ouch. Even with its reduced HP that's still a solid hit.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 3 ] 3

1 hp, plus 1 Con, which drops his HP another two points.

And it's back up to 7 HD.

A whip of darkness caressed his cheek and Kai staggered, strength running out of him. The black mist was tinging his vision again, and he felt the same power welling up again.

Almost giddy, he let the magic channel through his fingers, razor-edged bolts of magic flying. Was this what being a mage was like, he wondered.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 19 ] 19

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 6 ] 6

Rolling 1d4 1 times.
[ 1 ] 1

7 minus 2 minus 1 more is 4 HD left.

Melysse's turn.

Please use standard dice notation, ie, 1d10.

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 19 ] 19

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 2 ] 2

3 HD left; morale check.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 8 3 ] 11

Melysse swung wildly at it and it parted before her blade, wavering for a moment before fading away.

The entire attack had taken mere moments; their slumbering companions across the room not even roused. Melysse stared at Kai, who was feeling entirely not himself, euphoric with the raw magic still channeling through his blood and bones, drunk with the power he'd been denied his whole life.

Does he try to seduce Melysse?

[somewhat likely, 17 ≤ 65] YES

Does she accept?

[somewhat likely, 52 ≤ 65] YES

He reached out for her, and she fell into his arms, the dagger dropping to the ground, heedless of the black mist crackling in the air around them both.


Scene over.

So, one more xp point, for sure -- that was a very dangerous encounter.

Additionally, Kai has two more powers to add to his repertoire; dreamwalking and Constitution drain.

I'm going to rule since it starts out ethereal and manifests,he technically gains the supernatural ability to manifest, which is of extremely limited applicability to someone who isn't already ethereal. But it might come up and it might be interesting as a Feedback.

Session over, too. Next session will either be the next morning, or, more likely, the arrival in Helase; I think that'd be more dramatic by far.

Did the ghost ignore Dac because he's too pure, ie, a virgin?

[likely, 91 ≥ 75] NO

Ok, fine, it was random luck. I was just curious.

[likely, 30 ≤ 75] YES