Friday, October 10, 2014

Oolong Yard Sale - Oolong the Scarlet Hero, part 3.2 and final for now

Continued from here.

1. Hit Big
2. Bombard Rats

3. Cut Magnet
4. Puzzle Lighting
5. Old Key
6. Push Suspects
7. Big Present

Scene 3.
Seed: Push Suspects. Danger level 1.

Oolong spend a week stalking house Souchong until she finally noticed old Lord leaving house with some books. He is probably going to the library! 
Oolong took out the eagle feather she purchased at the end of part 2. Holding the feather, she swallowed the Potion of Bestial Form and turned into eagle.
As a bird, she followed Lord Socuchong until he led her to the library gates.

Story probe: Is this some kind of central Library where all librarians meet?
No. Something else: Big Flute. This is a secret library only for informed. To enter, you have to whistle a secret melody. Oolong remembered the notes.

Big question answered: WHERE - Oolong now knows the location of the secret library and HOW to get in there. But does the Librarian she is looking for ever coming to this place?  - unreliable.

Scene 4.
Seed: Old Key. Danger level 1.

Oolong had no better idea than to enter the Library. First she spent some time looking at the doors. By the number of people coming in and out, she deducted that no one will find her suspicious inside. Once inside, she could see books everywhere. There was no reception desk. All patrons seem to know what they want and where are they going, so there was no help inside.
She tried to find some books about teas (intelligence test + 1 for scholar trait) but failed.
She looked for some information board, but there was none.   Finally she decided to put note on the exit door: "Owner of the Book of Teas from Earl Grey, please contact me at the hairdresser shop in the first district."
Than she left the Library.
Oolong waited for several days.
Story probe: Did the note provoked any reaction?
No. It is a dead end.

Scene 5.
Seed: Cut Magnet. Danger level 2 since Oolong had a big failure in the last scene.

Oolong has had enough. She was sick of the Capital, and all she wanted was to go back home. So, she decided to stop looking for Librarian and sell the books at the first available place. That might be an antiquity shop just around the corner.
Story probe: Is the owner of the store interested in the books?
YES! ALL big questions answered - Oolonog will sell Books NOW in ANTIQUITY SHOP.

Scene 6 (Fight back)
Seed: Puzzle lighting. DL 2.

Oolong explained shop owner that she is dungeon explorer, and that if he ever need something from some dungeon  he can call on her. Considering future cooperation, he should give good price for the books. (charisma test + dungeon explorer trait, success). Shopkeeper noticed that she is an experienced dungeon rider, so he agreed.

Scene 7 (fight back)
Seed: Big Present. DL 1.

Oolong also told shopkeeper about Librarian, and that if he can find him he can make good interest (failed charisma test), but shopkeeper was not interested in previous owners of the books, He will sell them the way it suits him. DL stays at 1.


OK, lets talk price. Oolong asked for a greater magic item for the books, but that offer made shopkeeper laugh. How about lesser magic item?
"I am no magician or alchemist" the shopkeeper replied. "I can only offer some gold. How about... (d6*500) 3000 gp?"

"Whatever" replied Oolong, took money, left the antiquity shop and hurried to the city gate. She didn't want to stay at the Capital one second longer.....


So, Perilous Interactions produced for me a fun game. This adventure was more on the realistic side, considering that finding a person in the capital with no idea where to look really is impossible task, even in the fantasy world. 
The problem I had with the PI can be found in Story Probe mechanism. If you roll too much NOs (like in this case, and considering statistics with average luck on die rolls of average gamer this is the most likely outcome) it can lead you to the dead end and you can get stacked. 

After this, Oolong will take some time off. I need a change of pace, so some wargaming is in order, and than I would like to continue my long abandoned Runequest campaign...


  1. Nice game! Really interesting to see other's use of PI and where more potential issues are. One thing about not getting yes's — keep in mind that the Danger Level cannot go below -1 (that would result in 0% of getting a "Yes" on a story probe). The DL goes up when you answer any BQ's (even if they're unreliable). I may tweak the odds to more straddle the 50% margin give or take depending on circumstances. What do you think?

  2. What I think would be the best solution is following rule: if you happen to have 3 NO in a row, 4th story probe is automatically answered YES (I would call it karmic Yes since in this way system would give you karmic satisfaction for bed rolling). There can be other way around - in unlikely event of 3 YES in a row, 4th story probe should automatically be NO :)

  3. This is great to see. In my play tests, I have never received so many "No"s as you have here. Overall, it's at least a 50/50 split in my tests (due to the DL going up more dramatically). Generally, the idea is that as the stress and conflict is mounting, the player gets higher probabilities to take a bit of control back with "Yes" results. Even if I get a "No" and choose a "something else" result, it still achieves something meaningful (still not likely to be a dead end), it just is as opposite to my stated probe as I can get. Whether it is yes or no, the intention is that the answer will lead to some sort of complication. To get a true dead end, one should have to choose that result — for the reason that a player prefers a dead end over an opposite to a "No" result. At least, this is my thinking and intention.

    I like your idea. I'm not sure about going into the question with the knowledge of what the result will be. It's not necessarily a bad thing — after all, PI is about meaningful player choices.

    Another option: maybe the DL should go up for the next scene if the answer to a probe is "No". Maybe your choice is better.

    Thank you so much for being a "beta tester". This has been helpful!

  4. I have enjoyed Oolong's adventures, but I am really looking forward to seeing more of your Runequest adventure.

  5. I don't think an auto-yes would be the best thing to do. Maybe alter the odds to the question (80-20 or even 90-10).

    I still have to try out PI, first though I want to try out Covertous Poet's Driver.

    Kenny the Cabbage the home of solo roleplaying.