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Author Topic: Luthadel - Campaign  (Read 1926 times)
Akishma
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« on: January 15, 2012, 10:06:39 PM »

I got my game up and running about two weeks ago. Thanks to the map of Luthadel from the novels, I took the map and blew up the scale of the image, thus creating a larger map, that I can then add locations to. I run two groups playing Mistborn, and each of them has set up safe houses within different areas of the city. The First have set up within the lower cellars of a burned down warehouse, located close to the Cracks. While the second crew have moved into an abandoned minor mansion within the Old Gate district. A noble fixer, has used his influence of 6 to bury the paperwork on the manor being up for sale within the Canton of Finance.

In order to set the game rolling, I wrote five sub-plots which would bait the players depending on what actions and where they would roam through the city. From each sub-plot the players then take the adventure hook, and sit down to plan out a scheme and Objective list.

So far both groups have set up their first scheme, and they are all eager to see how I work out the details behind the notes they made answering each section of the scheme sheet.

The Allomancy powers are working out great, the players are very interested in coming up with ways to use the metals, Luckily for me, none of the players have read the novels, which has them very exceited over the amount of secrets that exist within the setting, something that a few of them are trying to discover. All in all, so far things are working out great, and Im very pleased with how the system is holding up.
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MistbornDave
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 10:14:45 PM »

Sounds like a great beginning
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Akishma
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 10:37:45 PM »

Just thought I would tell you a little about one of the crews that are currently playing in my Luthadel Campaign.

The Ashen Hands - Are led by Sully, a Skaa Mistborn, his mother was a noble who took a Skaa lover. On finally being discovered she threw her son out of the window into the river that ran alongside the plantation manor. Sully survived, yet has no idea what became of his mother, believing that his father probably killed her.
Sully - Mistborn

Kwyla a Terriswoman, was Steward to the Elariel House, but ran away, after discovering that based on her calculations for her master, she had caused the deaths of hundred of Skaa, working on the Houses various businesses. She flees, Great house Elariel and is luckily found by Sully, who brings her into the Ashen Hands.
Kwyla - Normal Terriswoman

Lord Stronham Berreanau, comes from a minor house, 3rd son and a physical weakling, looked down upon by the nobles at their balls, and parties. He creates a new identity for himself, using the House to buy items and then ship and sell these items through the black markets of Luthadel, he is rising in reputation in the criminal world, and things are getting dangerous. He offers his services as a Fixer to the Ashen Hands, and has intentions of using this crew to plot his revenge against his fellow nobles.
Stronham - Misting - Soother
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Akishma
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 11:08:36 PM »

The Ashen Hands Crew - Feel that they need more members, and they come up with the idea to intercept a prisoner transfer, that the Under Canton of Intelligence and the Canton of Stability run once a month to ship prisoners to the Pits of Hathsin.
The Canton's Obligators use his Ruler's highway at night to move the prisoners via armored carriage to the Docks of Luthadel, where they are transferred to a Narrow Boat and shipped out of the city.

The crew believe that any rescued prisoner would be more than thankful from being spared certain death within the mines and join their crew. The three members sit down and plan out their first scheme.

They answer the questions with the following replies:

Question 1:"Gain new members - we need loyal willing crew members"
Question 2:"A careful investigation of details"
Question 3:"Steel Ministry - A well guarded location - The Law"
Question 4:"A man on the inside - with personal interests"
Question 5:"Sully has a carriage - Kwyla has a contact in the Steel Ministry - Stroham has privilaged info
Question 6:" Players Left it up to the Narrator"
Question 7:"Hunted by the Steel Ministry - Get caught - Another crew might get involved"
Question 8:"Use the new larger sized crew to make a bigger heist"

we set up a total of 4 Objectives using the Plan of Action sheet
Objective 1:Stability is needed - investigation phase
Objective 2:Following the Plan - working on all the gathered intel, a plan is set
Objective 3:Prisoner Break Out - The crew intercept the prisoner transfer, freeing one carriage holding 3 Mistings
Objective 4:Give Me What's Mine - A second crew involved demand one of the prisoners be returned to them.

Its been very interesting using the Scheme Sheet and Plan of Action, to work out the basic details with the players, and really let them feel that they have some say in the sytle and way the game will be played, very different from the standard role playing game, where by they simply listen and react to the Dm's adventure.

O course as the Narrator of the game, I have made use of the Twists, and Turning Points to keep the players on their toes, which makes them second guess every turn that they make, not fully knowing how the Objective will play out. Its been a learning experience on both sides of the table.
 
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 11:18:01 PM »

Welcome to the boards Akishma! Glad to see you're having fun with the game, and it's really glad to hear you and your group are having fun with the Schemes and Plan of Action. Keep up the updates! Smiley
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Akerbos
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 05:59:10 AM »

Oh, you have to keep us updated, Akishma. Misting prisoners probably means Inquisitor guards...  Evil
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ZetaStriker
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 12:55:36 PM »

Do you mind going more into detail on how the Plan of Action and Scheme stuff worked out? I've left it out from my group for the most part, as it seemed more of a way to get new groups started while we're all vets of other systems, but I'm curious about how your group may have reacted to it.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 01:56:41 PM »

Do you mind going more into detail on how the Plan of Action and Scheme stuff worked out? I've left it out from my group for the most part, as it seemed more of a way to get new groups started while we're all vets of other systems, but I'm curious about how your group may have reacted to it.

I think the system acts as a way for players to communicate ideas to the GM, though it is useful for new groups too. As such, I suspect it will actually appeal to experienced groups who wish to rely more heavily on player input and tailoring the gaming experience accordingly.

On saying that, I think I will probably not use it infull for the first set up, as the players wouldn't necessarily have the direction or information to complete the process. My first set up is likely to be a combination of answers from the GM and some left blank. Akishma's use of plot hooks is a good one.
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Akishma
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 02:19:10 PM »

Hi Zeta - yeah the Scheme and Plan of Action were the two parts of the game, that had my players a little surprised. The truth is letting your players know that they can contribute to how the next adventure turns out. I love to plan for each session, inventing details on the go, works out fine. But I feel that the game has to get past a certain stage and amount of sessions, before I feel comfortable with running the game free style.

So I use a standard Sub Plot idea in order to hook the players, inventing a scene where the players get to interact with Npc's who will lay out for them the concept of a heist. The scene plays out like a normal rpg session, with the amount of detail and notes your used to. Then towards the end of the session, once the players have thought a little about the hook, we bring out the scheme system.

Like the core book mentions, the idea here is not to bog down the entire evening with working out every single detail of the heist or scheme. I run through the questions one by one from the Scheme sheet, and help the players come up with ideas, suggesting the options listed in the book, they soon of course come up with their own angle of how the sentence should be written down. I like to get at least an idea from each player.

The players at first are a little skeptic over this phase of the game, but soon begin to enjoy the freedom you are giving them, so question 1 basically is the adventure goal, what the players hope to obtain from a successful scheme.

For Example: My second crew known as The Rage, are hired by great house Deveaux to steal an old heirloom known as the Ouvre des voies (Opener of Ways) that once belonged to them, from Great House Hastings. The players are intrigued by this since they wish to hurt the Great Houses of Luthadel, and maybe this scheme will give them the opportunity to strike at both houses, playing them off on one another.

Question 1: Whats your goal? Stealing the puzzle box known as the Opener of Ways from Hastings Keep, leaving a false trail back to House Deveaux.

Question 2:What's your method? - Careful Investigation (Here the players wish to investigate floorplans of the keep, find contacts that could help them, purchase knowledge from informants and so on.)

Question 3:Whats Standing in your way? - House Hastings, advanced Locks, Guards, fiendish traps, Hazekillers, mistings, House Mistborn. (Each player came up with an obstacle that may appear within the adventure or not) This may sound routine, but in the above example one player mentioned a corridor or level patrolled by savage dogs. We placed that under the guards option.

Question 4:What's your In?- Keep is undergoing structural repairs/modifications - Noble house is mostly away, Keep at half occupancy. (Here the players decided on what freebie aide they could use, this question is the one the players enjoy the most, inventing something, or someone or a situation that could help them with the scheme)

Question 5:What do you have to work with? - (Each player gets to mention one item or piece of information that they have access to) Mask asked for a Plan of the Keep, Sully-the location of the Houses Atium cache, Kwyla asked for a skeleton key to the keep. (each of these items or information, can be worked out in the Plan of Action phase.

Question 6:What dont you know? - (Has the players set up information they wont have access to, in other words hindrances or blind areas) They note down: Enemy movements within the keep, and no idea of what the Opener of Ways really is.

Question 7:What could go wrong? - The false trail might not work, The skeleton Key is very fragile could break. (Each point allows for a tense scene during the Plan of Action.)

Question 8:What comes next? - We Keep the puzzle Box - learning how to use it. (This question is basically for letting the scheme run on, forming part of a larger campaign plot.)

When working with the Plan of Action, the core book mentions that you may use between 1 to 10 objectives, or up to two sheets of Plan of Action. I simply run through the Objectives that the players need to accomplish, leaving the interesting details such as Twists, Allies and enemies, Turning Points, and Secrets for me to fill in later.

So Objective 1: is Information gathering, the scene i will set up where the players each go about their own methods of discovering details that will become helpful to the planning of the heist, using their Personal network of contacts, or bribes, or influence etc.

Objective 2: Planning Phase - Here the players each bring to the table the information or tools that they obtained from the last session playing through the Information gathering Objective.

Objective 3:A lightning Assault on the keep - The Players during the Planning phase, have decided to poison the water wells of the keep, thus lowering the opposition on the actual raid.

Objective 4:The Theft - here the players move through the Keep, avoiding guards, traps etc, your standard rpg adventure flare.

Objective 5:The Chamber of Dreams and Nightmares - The location of the puzzle Box and the deadly incense that clouds the chamber almost like the insideous Mist.

What comes next? - Escape from the keep - Setting up the false Trail back to Deveaux - Covering their own trail.

With each of the Objectives above I write out the scenes with npc dialogues and notes and such, basically the amount of preparation I feel comfortable playing. The Twists can be very entertaining, while the Turning Point allows you to frame the players actions against the tension of the scene and its consequences,  I use the Scheme and Plan of Action for the players to come up with interesting obstacles or scenes that they would like to see in the game, or partake in. While the nitty gritty details are still left up to the you to fill in.

I Hope this has cleared up the way the Scheme and Plan of Action are used in my group sessions, try it out, it can be very rewarding
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ZetaStriker
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 04:53:48 PM »

I'll probably end up trying it, but it just hasn't seemed necessary thus far. I'm used to incorporating player ideas into my campaigns, and never railroad them along a set path, so since it's already happening for the most part I hadn't seen a need to remove it from the roleplay. I'm tempted to try it - just once - to see how they react to adding things to the narrative. They've loved the similar options the system has, such as spending Spirit, but I think this one might be a little too intrusive in the end.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 05:17:54 PM »

I'll probably end up trying it, but it just hasn't seemed necessary thus far. I'm used to incorporating player ideas into my campaigns, and never railroad them along a set path, so since it's already happening for the most part I hadn't seen a need to remove it from the roleplay. I'm tempted to try it - just once - to see how they react to adding things to the narrative. They've loved the similar options the system has, such as spending Spirit, but I think this one might be a little too intrusive in the end.

I guess one thing that is nice about Mistborn's approach is that its almost able to be roleplayed by the PCs. The process very much reminds me of the planning meetings that you see in the books. So it doesn't feel all that intrusive to me.

But yeah, if they players are giving all that to you in any case and you are responding in kind, then go with the flow.
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ZetaStriker
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 06:18:01 PM »

The only part I found intrusive, for reference, was the forced structure. I feel it can interrupt the natural flow of conversation in many cases unless a PC is presenting it as an "agenda" in-game. Or an NPC, but I prefer my NPCs to follow rather than lead if they get pulled into the story like that. The only way I can see the scheme system unfolding properly is to swap between being in character and out of character.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 06:39:48 PM »

The only part I found intrusive, for reference, was the forced structure. I feel it can interrupt the natural flow of conversation in many cases unless a PC is presenting it as an "agenda" in-game. Or an NPC, but I prefer my NPCs to follow rather than lead if they get pulled into the story like that. The only way I can see the scheme system unfolding properly is to swap between being in character and out of character.

Fair enough. It sounds like more a matter of preference rather than experience, but that's cool by me.
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Akishma
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2012, 10:58:20 PM »

The Ashen Hands, feel that they need more members for their crew, Loyalty being top on their priority list, thus the scheme to intercept a prisoner transfer from the under jails of the Canton of Stability, the Canton of Intelligence and the Canton of Inquisition was their primary target.
These poor prisoners were on their way to the docks of Luthadel where they would be loaded aboard the Narrow boats and sent up the River Channerel, to the infamous Pits of Hathsin, from which there is no return.

The idea was simple, any man rescued from such a fate, would be more than grateful of being rescued, and they hoped they would make fine members to their crew.

The Ashen's leader Sully felt that they would still need some extra muscle on this type of heist, so he set about looking for someone who would be willing to work for them. The previous night he had ran into a strange individual, seems that while staking out the Old Travis Inn (A place where a mysterious noble was running that night a trial looking for talent) One person managed to get by Sully's observation. Sully waited in the dark close to the stone bridge that ran across the canals. He never saw the man who eventually answered the call.

Sully burnt Tin, the effect allowed him to see better in the growing evening mists, he soon heard the sound of breaking windows coming from the opposite side of the Inn. He burnt steel, and tossing down a coin pushed onto the roof of the Inn quickly scaling across to the other side.

Through the darkness he saw a figure leap off into the night, thanks to his tin he could clearly make out the signs of a mistcloak that the individual was wearing. His tin also noted the presence of a toxic incense that was still burning within the room from which the windows stood open, one pane broken, spilling the incense smoke out into the evening air.

Sully added iron to the his already growing list of metals and took off after the individual, the thought of another Mistborn intrigued him, especially one that was answering a secret trial test, through which this unknown noble house was going hire outside talent, obviously a job that they didnt want to use their own members on.

The Mistborn that was way ahead of Sully had no idea he was being followed, he was concentrating on getting to the location of the trial before the clay tube which incidently was spilling a very fine yellow powder, ran out. he had managed to survive the highly toxic incense that was burning in the room, and thanks to burning pewter ripped the lid from the coffer that carried the clay tube. In removing it from the coffer the tube broke as it was meant to. He read the note and acted as quick as possible, the note simply mentioned that if he didnt bring the tube to His Lord Ruler's Chapel within the Old Gate district, by the time the grains ran out, he had failed the test.

So Mask, as the Mistborn was known, rapidly searched the night for the thickest blue lines, pulling on them with his Iron and flying out and over the rooftops towards the Old Gate district, had little idea of the other mistborn that had taken to following him from the Travis Inn.

Sully was surprised, it took no time at all for the mysterious mistborn to outrun him, and fade from his sight, Sully landed on a wide rooftop and began to think, things were not going well for him this night, first this mistborn managed to enter the inn without him seeing his approach, and second he was too fast to catch. All that was left was to return to the Travis Inn and enter the room with the toxic incense, he retraced his route back to the Inn and swung into the room, the Incense holders had long since burnt out, and he quickly found a note lying on the floor next to a small round table, something had been glued to the table, and been removed by force.

He read the note, "Bring the clay vial to the chapel of his Lord Ruler, climb the western bell tower before the grains run out"

Now he knew where the next meeting would take place, but he was running very late, wasting no time he set off in the direction of Old Gate, his metals were burning low, and soon they ran out altogether. Sully took to the side alleys and dark streets, keeping an eye out for the Imperial patrols that would sweep the streets for any misplaced Skaa. without the metals, his allomancy was useless.

As he approached the area of the chapel, he suddenly saw that the very same mistborn was not returning his same way, he dived into a doorway, pressing himself as tight as possible into the shadows, but it was to no avail, the Mistborn walked right up to him, he was caught.

It would seem that the mysterious Mistborn, found Sully, very amusing. He told him to relax and invited him for drinks and moment of simple conversation. Once within a bar in the Twists, they talked, first about the trials, and Mask introduced himself, Mask was the leader of a new crew called the Rage, they seemed more like a rebel crew than a thieving one, like the Ashen Hands. Mask was very open about his past, his ideals and goals, he didnt seem to hide anything, he explained the job offer he was made, and Invited Sully to join him for a 50/50 share of the 600 boxings that he was offered.

In return, Sully explained that he needed extra muscle for a prison break out, he was planning in three days, he told him to come to a meeting that they would be holding, and gave Mask the location of his Safe House, as a token of faith.

MEANWHILE... Lord Storham Barreneau, who used his noble status to buy contraband items to the Skaa and sell these prohibited items through the local network of Black Markets, had made a name for himself. His new position as Fixer to the Ashen Hands, was something that interested him highly. He used his personal network of contacts and his influence to uncover as much detail as possible about the timetable of when and how the prisoners would be transferred, yet he was still lacking vital information, such as in which carriages would the captured Mistings be transported, for this was the true prize for hitting the prison caravan.

Kywla, a Terriswoman and once Steward to the Great Noble House Elariel, felt it was time to help out, she had a contact within the ministry a Prelan, the fourth son of Lord Elariel, who she had brought up almost like a mother, before he was sent off to the Ministry training academy. She had not seen or heard from him in many years, and the idea of trying to contact the man that once was called Minkas, seemed a crazy idea. But none the less she sent word to him to come to a meeting, and Minkas, agreed. Stroham decided that the idea of a meeting between Kwyla and the Prelan, was far too dangerous, he felt that all the crew would have to take up hidden positions within the plaza where the two would meet, just in case things fell through and it was just a trap. 

The scene was set for the meeting...
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Akishma
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 06:16:16 PM »

The Luthadel Campaign moves along…

With the crew of the Ashen Hands hidden throughout the plaza, they all awaited the arrival of Kywla’s contact within the Ministry. Stroham sat by the plaza’s fountain after getting rid of a cupcake vendor, he didn’t like the idea of this meeting one bit. Sully the crew’s Mistborn sat atop a small building overlooking the plaza, he was already burning Copper and Tin in order to better hear the conversation that was about to take place below.

Kywla looked across the plaza and could see that her contact had finally arrived, the grey robed individual didn’t take long to spot her and crossed the open plaza to stand in front of her. Kywla rushed to embrace him, it had been many years since she last saw Minkas Elariel, the fourth son of the noble family. He was sent to join the academy of the Ministry to become a Prelan, she could see that he already possessed the lower half of the eye tattoo’s.

Minkas slowly pushed her away it was not fitting to be seen in the embrace of a Terriswoman. “Kywla you look well, I can see that running away from my father’s home has become an improvement. Though you shouldn’t have stolen his prize, he will hunt you down for it.”
 
Kywla could see that Minkas was pleased to see her, she saw the smile on his lips, and the twinkle in his eyes, how could his father have sent such a sweet boy to become a Prelan, thus divorcing him forever from his family, now he was in the priesthood of the Lord Ruler. Once those tattoo’s were finished, there would be nothing left of that boy.

Sully watching the proceeding from the rooftop could make out the happiness of the Prelan, he decided that a little push would help things out in favor of Kywla. He burned Bronze and began to sooth the young Prelan, increasing his feelings towards Kywla, his old nanny.

Kywla went over the details that she needed, and Minkas was rather taken back by her request. “It is one thing to runaway Kywla, but it is quite another to join the ranks of a thieving crew, and now you wish me to help you, with the details of the next prison transfer. I am not sure I can do this.”

Kywla gave him that look, knowing that playing on his past memories was the best means to convince him of aiding her. Minkas looked away, “Ok Kwyla, for the old times, I will see what information can be discovered at the Canton of Stability. I will return tomorrow evening before the sun sets.” With this Minkas stood and left, Kywla watched him cross the plaza he never turned round to see her waving goodbye…
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