Continuing with a solo playthrough of Warlock!, using random tables built to reimagine Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Today they attempt to enter the Spire.
Disclosure - I'm a DriveThru RPG affiliate
Thoughts on Warlock!
I've run games using Warlock! before, solo and a campaign online during Covid.
But playing solo again brings back things I like and things less so.
House Rules. I'm using Advantage / Disadvantage from 5e as my only house rule for Warlock!
The design of Warlock is brave, as it goes without other stats and instead just has a list of skills. No Strength, no Willpower. Just skills such as Spot, Large Blades, Lie and ... Ostler (everything to do with horses).
As with any skill list, there will be items you like, ones you don't and ones you my feel are missing. But one of the strengths of Warlock is that it's easy to adapt. In Warlock you'll need to stretch some of the skills to fit situations, like using Ostler with non-horses, or Athletics for feats of strength.
Luck is also an important stat, used by the GM when they want to see if something goes a PCs way or not. And to resists various banes such as spells, poison, disease and curses.
Thoughts on Solo
I was using a custom oracle (that fit on an index card), and Mythic if needed. Plus Rory's Story Cubes for my ideas / spark tables.
Using a structure using random tables, means that I need the spark tables and don't need to think as much about what comes next.
Because it's in the context of a semi-structured adventure (a dungeon in a mountain, with 3 distinct sections, keys to a Warlock's treasure, themes of Sacred and Arcane), I'm finding it easier to pace things and have a rough idea of how long it should take.
Although a TPK can happen at any time!
Adventures of the Seekers of Tenstones
A quick reminder that the three characters are
- Snoranina Durgellasdottir (dwarf mercenary, Impolite, imaginative, brilliant)
- Hakgan (dwarf miner, warm-hearted, grouchy, generous)
- Erasmus (human tomb robber, puzzled, fierce, unfriendly)
- plus Sufeen of Tenstones (torchbearer) and the Pike the pack horse
Scene 3 - A Hidden Shrine (Risky Situation)
They went up into the mountain, leaving Tenstones and well-wishers. A swarm of flying beetles led them to a abandoned hidden shrine in a cave.
There were sheep there, along with a blessed pool dedicated to Nua, a Goddess of Magic and the Moon, who the mountain temple was dedicated to. Stop and rest and cook a sheep. Discover a secret chamber with sheep bones and a holy pool.
As they rest, a woman stumbles on them, a sorceress called Nadia who seeks to learn from the Warlock of the mountain. After telling her what they know, she joins them until she can discover more of events in the mountain.
Scene 4 - A Step Inside (Risky Situation)
Go up to entrance which is a cave mouth below a jagged rock face with gigantic claw marks. Outside discover a cage with a woman inside, scarred and with hands bound. As Erasmus tries to sneakily rescue her, others set up with crossbows and bows to cover entrance. A skirmish with three ogres, and then several goblins ensues, with Snoranina proving to be the best warrior there by a long way.
It ends with ogres slain, two goblins barricaded in a side-chamber, and a portcullis blocking the way forward, as well as Snoranina and Erasmus barely walking. They find a bunch of keys, including a magical one of red stone, and retreat, releasing the prisoner.
(They got pretty lucky, and without Snoranina would have been butchered)
Scene 5 - A Priest Goes (Risky Situation)
(Changed Scene - Different Environment. Kept the situation at risky as although it had been a hard fight, they retreated in good order and had found a key and someone with information)
The released prisoner is Sadie, a priestess of Nua who looked after buying and selling things for the temple in the mountain. She told them of a magician, Jasmal who had come to the temple and befriended the leaders of the temple. But then one morning goblins emerged from the tunnels and the sanctuary fell under Jasmal's control. The leadership appeared to be enchanted by the magician, although a few and some of the acolytes were locked away. Jasmal was one of those who tried to escape, but was captured by ogres who were guarding the entrance.
She also told them of an ogre called Ironfoot, a former gladiator who was in charge of the outer complex and was capturing dwarves. Has converted a former holy well into some kind of fighting pit. Sadie also told them that there was a treasure the magician kept at the heart of the sanctuary, that required several keys that were kept by her trusted minions. The key of red stone they had was probably one of these.
Sadie showed them a graveyard a few miles from the entrance, where the dead of the temple were normally buried, including acolytes from the village. Then she departed towards Tenstones, with a request from the group to get them some supplies from a friend of Erasmus.
Scene 6 - A Respite (Risky Situation)
The group rested at the hidden shrine they had found, letting a few days go past for Erasmus and Snoranina to recover. They also looked through a few weapons and bits taken from the goblins, deciding if they wanted to continue.
They resolved to try to rescue some dwarves if they could, and find out more about the treasure of this magician.
Sadie and a pair of militia from the village found them, with some of their requested supplies. They want to have a quick look at the graveyard.
Next expected scene - Taking a look at the Graveyard (Controlled Situation)
Plot Threads and Character List
Creating a list of Plot Threads, I had...
- Find the weapon of Majud the Ratcatcher
- Find out the fates of the acolytes from the Tenstones and bring back any they find
- Find out more about the treasure said to be in the heart of the sanctuary
- Find dwarves captured by goblins and Ironfoot.
- Find keys of red stone, said to be for the Magician's treasure
- Help Nadra find Magic of the Magician
The Character List / Extras is...
- Coscana Sweet, mayor of Tenstones. She is gaunt and cunning
- Sufeen of Tenstones, younger cousin of Erasmus, desperate for work, hired as torchbearer by group
- Majud the Ratcatcher, capable adventurer last seen entering the Spire, said to carry a silver holy weapon
- Goblins of the mountain, capturing dwarves for Ironfoot
- Villagers of Tenstones, a mining village of humans and a few dwarves
- Sadie of Nua, Priestess and former quartermaster of Runescorch Sanctuary, keeps beetles. Rescued by Seekers of Tenstones
- Ironfoot, ogre (f) gladiator, one metal leg, capturing dwarves, overseer of outer area of Runescorch Rock
- Magician of Runescorch Rock, a woman who befriended the leadership of Runescorch Sanctuary and then took it over with help of goblins and other creatures. Has some kind of treasure at heart of sanctuary
Seekers of Tenstones
They bought some equipment and supplies and I gave them 1 xp each too, to get things moving.
Stamina 18, Luck 9, female dwarf Mercenary. Impolite, imaginative, brilliant, hardenend
Worked for - The king's guard, who were in need. Haunted by a death - no one, you are made of stone and death.
Skills - Appraise 6, Bargain 5, Blunt 6, Brawling 5, Command 5, Crossbow 8, Dodge 7, Endurance 6, History 6, Intimidate 6, Language 6, Large Blade 11, Medicine 5, Navigation 6, Pole-arm 5, Repair 6, Small Blade 5, Spot 5, Streetwise 8, Survival 5, Thrown 5
Equipment - arming sword, moderate armour (chain, breastplate and shield), crossbow, quiver of bolts, book of religious scripture, backpack, 9 days food, waterskin, eating knife, clothes, boots, 10 torches, rope, 3 sp, 3 pennies
Stamina 20, Luck 13, male dwarf Miner, Warm-hearted, grouchy, generous
Dug up - nothing but dirt and ghosts. Seen a goblin town, complete with brats.
Skills - Appraise 6, Athletics 6, Bargain 5, Blunt 6, Brawling 5, Command 5, Crossbow 6, Dodge 5, Endurance 8, History 6, Intimidate 6, Language 6, Large Blade 6, Medicine 5, Navigation 10, Pole-arm 5, Repair 6, Spot 5, Survival 8, Swim 7, Thrown 5
Equipment - pick and shovel, axe and shield, leather armour (light), hardy and rough clothing, lantern, sack, wooden carving of a mine spirit, backpack, 9 days food, waterskin, eating knife, clothes, boots, light xbow and bolts, glowing key of red stone, bunch of keys, 3 sp, 2 cp
Erasmus of Tenstones
Stamina 16, Luck 10, male human Tomb Robber. Puzzled, fierce, unfriendly
Robbed - tomb of family Cesst, shattered. Found - body of a ghoul, fat and swollen.
Appraise 7, Athletics 10, Blunt 8, Bow 6, Command 5, Diplomacy 6, Dodge 6, Disguise 5, Endurance 6, Incantation 5, Intimidate 5, Language 6, Large Blade 6, Lie 6, Medicine 6, Navigation 5, Persuasion 5, Polearm 5, Repair 6, Small Blade 6, Spot 5, Swimming 6
Equipment - hammer and chisel, 2h-mace, hooded thick cloak, lantern, club, backpack, waterskin, eating knife, leather (light armour), clothes, boots, light crossbow, Pike the pack horse (shield, spear, 2 small tents, 9 days food, rope and grappling hook, crowbar, metal pegs), 3 sp, 8 cp
Stamina 22, Luck 11, female human Wizards Apprentice. Independent, eager, cold-hearted, worshipper of Nua
Command 6, History 8, Incantation 10, Languages 9, Persuasion 7, other skills 5
Equipment - 8 days food, backpack of trinkets, knife, waterskin, staff, books on magical theroy, leather armour (light), spellbook of Path, light bow and arrows, sp
Sufeen of Tenstones
Skill 5, Stamina 15, human female villager, cousin of Erasmus hired as torchbearer, desperate.
One weeks food, knife, 10 torches, clothes.
Well this might take longer than the sessions and articles I originally had in mind!
Next will be entering further into the complex (probably).