Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Into the Odd: One Page Ruleset is awesome

I ran Into the Odd for a friend, using the Underground area generator in the one-page edition, which was awesome. I had zero prep, other than reading one-page encounters and locations, and playing a bit of this solo through the same area. It was my friend's first time playing any tabletop game; he enjoyed it enough that he's bought his own set of dice and will probably try to run ItO on his own at some point.

His character, Trent, and Trent's companions, Finn and Kathi, awoke in the Underground after fleeing a failing expedition. We began at location (4), the horrible merging machine. After creating a terrible weapon - a throwing club - and an over-large brick that was soft as shale, and no random encounters wandered through, they moved on. There were 4 exits to the room, and it was at this point I realized I didn't want the player to have to pick a direction blindly. I rolled for the next 4 areas, and improvised some artifact or sound or smell which would let him make some kind of decision. Due South was area (9), an abandoned train station full of luggage and blood, so he saw a single sock in the corridor. (8) was East, with its mounted guns, so he could see a dull brass cartridge. North was (11), so, a smell of mildew and the sounds of faint singing, from a lake and its talking fish. West was a fighting pit (10), so he could smell sweat.

I was rather proud of this detail; I didn't want him to make navigational decisions without any clues to what he could find. He kept the Northern route in mind, but headed South, where he gathered up 4 silver in goods and his first random encounter: Ivo Calico, hungover aristo. After sufficiently insulting the three, going on about parties and how the Golden Lands are a Bastion city council conspiracy, Ivo offers them a gold each to walk him out of the Underground and back to Bastion. Trent accepts.

The first monstrous random encounter occurs, where a huge block of flesh clomps down the train-tracks. Trent and co. hide and, DEX save made, are not discovered. They head North and North again, arriving at the lake of talking, lying fish.

The fish tell Trent to take the stairs down, if he finds any, to leave the Underground (in reality this makes encounters more frequent). They say that the Underground is upside-down, and the way out the top is further down. They also say they'll trade rations for silver coins, which excites Trent's avarice. He throws a ration into the lake and waits. And waits. He concludes the fish are full of shit, and moves on East-South-East, towards the sounds of chanting.

Naked old men worshiping Arcanum awaited the four. A WIL save and humble pleading meant that one of them could direct Trent and co. out, due North.

The way out turned out to be an ambush; Finn fell in combat, but Trent and Kathi and even Ivo managed to drive off the mutant weirdos. Finn, bandaged, recovered as they marched out into Bastion. Ivo insisted they all sit down for a daguerreotype, so he could remember these common-blooded idiots in perpetuity, and later paid them their due.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Handy!

    Yeah, they cannot blink, so they're famously good liars.

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