- Ofi (Gobber Gun Mage 1, played by Ben, and then by Hark)
- Snarf + Piggy (Gobber Arcane Mechanic 1, played by Si, and then by Hark)
- Nikkit (Gobber Rogue 1, played by Ben)
- Rami (Bogrin Bodger 1, played by Hark, and then by Jess)
- Fran (Bogrin Fighter 1, played by Si)
Having rested up for a day, the titular Goblins! retuned to Thorsten’s Yard to check up on their stash, found a steamboat moored up at the jetty, and tried to sneak in and see what was what.
“The crate emits an almost Zen sense of crateness. If you come close to the crate, you may start questioning your life choices, and wonder if you wouldn’t be better off as a crate.”
Despite best efforts, they were spotted by a cigar-chomping trollkin (Torvald) and a pipe-smoking upper-class dwarf (Dagmar) who debarked, saw off their passenger, a mysterious female Nyss, and agreed to give the goblins a lift.
“This is our yard and if you wanna tie up here it’s two crowns a head.”
“Well, if you want a ride into town it’ll be… call it a crown a head. And one for the pig.”
Fifteen minutes later, the boat tied up at Park Wharf, on the edge of Fisherbrook proper, and the goblins cut through the implied park into town. Snarf, while covering the rear, spotted something glowing off in the bushes and rushed to investigate; the others only noticed his absence when a shrill goblin shriek came from the shrubbery they’d just gone past.
“Oh, and the pig’s done a runner.”
Twiggy forms, taller than a goblin but shorter than human, came bounding out of the shrubbery – one planted itself firmly in the path between Rami (who’d gone pig-catching) and the others and metamorphosed into a full-blown tree, while two more proceeded to belch gravel, sharp twigs and wood shavings over anything small, green and heavily armed.
“Ow. You’ve… well, you know that beautiful goblin face? If I say ‘pebbledashed’…”
In the ensuing melee, Nikkit and Fran both botched reloading their guns, wasting precious cartridges and ensuring some quiet time with a brush to extract all that deadly powder. Ofi took a particularly vicious spray to the face and chest and collapsed in a bloody pile, and Rami eventually caught the pig and worked out how to turn Snarf’s blowtorch on.
“Come on, piggie, say it with me: Mother Dhunia, we are very sorry that we burned all those trees down but we were looking after the tribe.”
After dispatching three twig-beasts and rescuing a dazed and confused Snarf (who’d been stuck halfway up a tree), the goblins decided enough was enough and fell back to the wharf. They bumped into Dagmar and Torvald who were coming the other way, drawn by the fire, and were bundled back onto the boat for their own protection.
“I’m quite glad I didn’t hit them. I like those guys.”
Torvald patched up Ofi’s face as best he could (they paid him for his time with the big bottle from the last session, which turned out to be trollkin moonshine), the others fixed up their guns, bartered for some spare parts, and tried to work out what the hell had just happened. Snarf had heard some stories (Tall Tales feat) about druids animating sticks and stones to use as weapons, or worse, and Torvald was not pleased, apparently having some issue with the blackclads.
“Double-crossin’ tree-shaggin’… *unintelligible trollkin swearing*”
Meanwhile, Fran – who was keeping watch – noticed something moving in the streets around the edge of the park, to which the fire had by now spread. The town wasn’t as empty as they’d thought; someone was there to contain the fire.
Meat for Meta:
Hotseating continues to work well. A couple of the players are becoming quite attached to particular characters, but they’ll be the defaults to pick up for missing people, so they have the chance to form attachments to others in the event of… well, the event. Taking Snarf out of the action when I knew I’d have four players worked well, and I was able to bring him back in when Ofi nearly got perished.
Introducing the initiative roll for social situations is helping a bit with turn-taking, although it does help if I write the results down. Other GM skills that have become rather rusty in the last year apparently include improv-theatre characterisations, although the players quite like Dagmar and Torvald, so I’m evidently not as rubbish as I think I am.
I’m starting to plan a few more steps ahead and around the players. Up until now the encounters have been fairly improvisational; I’ve pitched stats and bonuses to be either the same as the PCs’ or slightly better to give them a challenge, and they’ve yet to run out of spells or bullets (although we have had two maimings as a result of going below 0 HP, which pleases me – I’m houseruling in the loss or damage to a body part as a result of ‘bleeding out’ for future sessions). From here on in, things get serious. I’ll be statting up the NPCs they’ve encountered in this session, as well as some antagonists worthy of the name. Ben’s already theoryfindering out how this lot could take down a warjack – maybe not whittle away all its hit points but at least render it non-operational. We shall see what we shall see…
I’d originally thought that the party would end up based in the Khadoran camp, but the players seem concerned that recent events may be traced back to them and are keeping a low profile. Fine by me. It does make me wonder how I’m going to inject a bit of intrigue and world-dynamism into things, though, as the goblins seem fairly self-interested so far. What I might do is work out how the setting I’ve devised changes as a result of their actions and then use that working-out if it comes up – the setting will change as a result of player actions but it’ll be up to the players if they choose to notice, engage with and track the changes.
Next session on Sunday. Best get cracking.