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Walsingham

A scene from a nautical adventure

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Thought you chaps might be able to reuse some of the colour from a campaign I'm running.

 

I've edited it down to save needless bits for your own work.

 

The videos are essential to paint the picture. Do give them a listen at least.

 

 

 
Your first day in [the village]  you wake to a leaden sky. The village of sturdily built wood and stone houses is oppressed under the lowering sky, and squalls of fine rain drift in periodically. The sea itself is choppy, but with only a slight swell.
 
Both ship captains agree that a storm of significant proportions is brewing. Your own ship is far too shallow and light to put to sea with a strong if irregular offshore wind that could force it into deeper waters. Again the forecast is a stay of at least 4 more days.
 
[specific action outcomes]
In the evening, heartily tired after a a hard day, you retire to the Inn, in the company of the ships officers. Although a little brisk, the evening is clear, and the large door is thrown open. A fire is little in the hearth, while another is kindled amid some rough loose stonework outside. this latter soon attracts some of the freemen among the ship companies. They begin playing a number of tunes, while you drink and discuss, and tell tales.
 
[the eldest daughter requests a story, which can earn XP if retold]
 
[The mysterious dwarf passenger] glowers unreadable through a haze of pipe smoke as a fiddler outside begins a pavane.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B10z9b_PRXw


In turn the landlady, and first lady of the village stares at the dwarf from the shadows. She is quite tall, but pillowy, with her hair tied back in a peasant style which gives her a slightly goggle eyed aspect. She herself does not serve the company, but she directs a cluster of young girls about, filling mugs, and serving up bread and boiled salt mutton.
 
This slightly somber tune is followed by a couple of variations, then your captain pushes back his chair and prevails on the fiddler to stand in the doorway and play a galliard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbCTUvnawSg

 
As he begins, the officers of both ships get to their feet and begin dancing. They pair off with each other, it being apparently a custom among such men. They are most impressive on their feet, and compete good naturedly to retain their bounce, growing ever more red faced in the firelight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lDCxv3Hv2g
 
From nowhere the landlady's younger daughter appears with a pipe and joins in. Your captain, delighted, seats himself, pull off his boot and begins drumming on the heel using wooden spoons. The tune, thus enlivened, becomes a saltarello.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWMyb1UtlzE

 
In no time the ordinary crew are crowding their faces in at the door, although apparently wary of intruding. A second fiddle and pipe are soon in play, albeit some what muffled until a window shutter is thrown back.
 
The crew of the carrack begin to have the upper hand. Their second mate downing copious jugs of cider to stay on his feet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzW1P_v6-to

 
Suddenly the landlady joins in with a flourish of her skirts. Scarlet woollen stockings flash and she swirls. This is hardly decorum, but none can doubt her vigour as she attempts to keep the first officer from your ship dancing.
 
Withe  shout the poor man, who has been dancing solidly for above an hour, trips and tumbles, bringing the proceedings to a halt.
 
At this a round of drinks is issued, and many officers go outside for a breather, mixing with the men.
 
There is a pause of about  twenty minutes, during which your captain drinks, and denounces the unevenness of the floor. The honour of your ship seems to have been diminished, which seems a sore point as more liquor is consumed, but you haven't enough officers to rejoin the contest.
 
From nowhere two very wizened old men with almost no teeth emerge, clutching large viols. They begin playing a new and unusual tune. The hostess takes the floor before the fire while her daughters clear space.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCca6d2ceI0
 
If you will imagine her poised, drawing her skirts up with a red ribbon  in a bunch so her raised hand tugs the skirts high. This is done with an expression of solid concentration rather than allure, and her dancing feet and swaying is quite unlike any dance you've seen.
 
The end of the first dance is greeted with rapturous applause,m and she casts down a glass of grappa before sweeping out again into the centre of the floor.
 
She glares almost aggressively at the company, daring any man to dance...

 

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Lovely. 

 

I've partaken in music (epic space-jazz concert to cover a heist) and theater (performing in a hilariously awful Greek tragedy) as problem-solving mechanisms in PnP games before, but never dance. 

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Lovely. 

 

I've partaken in music (epic space-jazz concert to cover a heist) and theater (performing in a hilariously awful Greek tragedy) as problem-solving mechanisms in PnP games before, but never dance. 

 

I assume a 'bookend' skill check for the dancing. If the dancing is unfamiliar then they need an intelligence check to establish the right steps. A fail means they will struggle in the main check, which is a dexterity/ initiative check (depending on the dance). Finally, the need to make a performance check to see how well they carry themselves.

 

Basically, a fail cascades, but can be brought back on track by a later success. Successes early on don't carry over.

 

This makes it very hard to be impressive, but very easy to avoid looking like a total idiot.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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but very easy to avoid looking like a total idiot.

 

I agree that is it not wise to be overly simulationist in setting up the rules for a gaming night. 

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but very easy to avoid looking like a total idiot.

 

I agree that is it not wise to be overly simulationist in setting up the rules for a gaming night. 

 

 

I generally aim for simulation first, then break off any protuberances that don't look fun.

 

There should always be some set of logic involved which the players could agree with if they knew what was happening. You just don't need to explain it all.

 

Our medieval medic (chirurgeon) makes three rolls when he has to treat someone: diagnose, operate, and bedside manner. Diagnose and operate go hand in hand, but a bedside manner success/fail is what governs either repeat business or being allowed to try again. Moderated by appropriate roleplaying, of course.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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