Monday, March 19, 2012

Empire of the Petal Throne Solo Campaign

The 1974 manuscript/house rules for the Empire of the Petal Throne Campaign have been a delight to read and truly inspirational. Reading just the first half on a long train trip last week, I felt inspired by how many specific details there were for starting a campaign and decided to play a solo game on the spot (luckily I was traveling with dice!).

I could see that, if the dice rolls went against me, a campaign could end pretty quickly in debtor’s prison (or worse) if the characters do not find a sponsor before the high cost of living in Jakalla wipes out their savings. This also informed my character creation process, as it was much more important to have lots of gold leftover than to have the best armor I could afford.

I have not read part 2 yet, where I presume are the language notes that would help me understand how to name my Tekumel character, so for now my character will just be known as “he” or “him”. Tekumel purists will also have to forgive me for skipping accents on letters.

Align: Good
Gender: Male
Profession: Warrior
Race: Human
Level: 1
Title: Changdesha (soldier)
XP: 0
Strength: 79 (Strong, +1 to damage)
Intelligence: 46 (Average)
Constitution: 74 (Healthy, +1 to hp/HD, 60% revival chance, 100% heal chance)
Psychic Ability: 41 (Average)
Dexterity: 60 (Average)
Skills: (69) Fisherman, jeweler, interpreter (Salarvyani)
Professional Skills: (60) Spear, axe, sword, sling
Starting Money: 65 gold Kaitars
Current Money: 9 gold Kaitars
Items: Leather armor, sword, sling, 20 sling pellets, small sack, waterskin
Encumberance: app. 5,200 K.
Move: 12”

Day 1: Reached Port of Jakalla in father’s boat, found an inn, and made it known that he was seeking employment as an adventurer
Day 2: Spent 10 K. on lodgings. (rolls) Visited at inn by foreigner from Salarvyani looking for someone else who speaks the language. Offered a job as a spy on a ship leaving the next day that would be out on open waters for 2 days. For what purpose, the visitor wished to know.

As an aside, I could find no suggestions for how much adventurers should be paid for quests. I decided to go with 100 gp + adding INT score for haggling.

Day 3: Boarded the ship with fake papers given to him by the Salarvyani spy so he can pose as a merchant. On the first day out (rolls) a storm mysteriously rolled in and swept the ship off-course (rolls – NW instead of NE). While he was on deck, six Cholokh (giant flying beetles with tentacles) swooped down to attack the deck crew. He helped two crew members fight the nearest one. One crewman was crushed to death by rocks hurled by the Cholokh as it flew to the deck, but then the other crewman managed to stun it with a lucky shot from a belaying pin and then beat it to death while he was still deciding whether to attack with sword or sling. The rest of the Cholokh were killed or driven off with moderate losses to the crew. That lucky crewman became a hero for killing one single-handed. He tried to befriend the crewman, but the crewman (rolls) ignored him.
Day 4: (rolls) The ship was back on course, as the navigator’s charts showed an island to the northwest known for Cholokh, and the captain had perhaps wisely chosen not to pursue them to their island lair (I rolled 19 of them there). Later that day, the ship rendezvoused at its destination (rolls) – a position on the open water where a flotilla of six pirate galleys was anchored. (rolls) The ship captain was neutral towards the pirates and the pirates were neutral towards him – this was a business rendezvous. He learned that the captain was supposed to deliver something to the pirates and offered his services to the captain as a negotiator in the transaction. The captain (rolls – 92!) was very enthusiastic. The pirates had a neutral reaction to his presence as the captain traded a small chest for bags of gold Kaitars to the pirates, but the captain thought he was lucky and invited him to his quarters later to celebrate. There, the drunk captain confided that the chest contained a magic eye of great power.

Will he get home safely to report his findings to the spy? Will he get paid? Will he ever earn an XP? We’ll see if there’s a second installment of the solo campaign…

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