Tis Sweet and fitting

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Tis Sweet and fitting

#1 Post by Nomine » Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 am

An invitation for a gathering of a most private and sensitive nature has been sent out, hosted by somebody claiming to be one of Stormwinds great sons. They have a proposal that they feel Starlight will be most interested in, one that promises riches but more importantly the chance to make a positive impact - for the greater good of all of us.


The meeting to take place the 2nd of April - at Curious Octopus Bar, along the Mariners row, in Boralus.
Starting at 20:00 (planned end time: 22:00)
Nomine has warned that the client seems to know who we are, so there is no need to go with disguises, it also means we should be extra vigilant and scout out the area beforehand, just in case there are people lurking in the shadows or back-allies. Scouting etc, will take place before 20:00 :)
The client is by all accounts a noble, so we should not be late. Being fashionably late is a privilege reserved for nobility.

OOC:
This is the first of a planned 3 events - that will drive Starlight into the machinations between the Alliance and the Horde.
This first event is intended as a taster, to us involved in the plot itself. This event will have some aspects of action, but not be focused on action.

We will be using the "Simple dice roll system" for any GM-ed NPCs, we will use emote battle vs any played NPCs.

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#2 Post by Nomine » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:48 pm


Starlight is joined by a mercenary known by Nomine: Salihah, somebody familiar with nobles.

The client turned out to be Lady Taria Wishock, of the minor nobility Wishock. She claimed to be part of a “Gentleman`s club” called the Second Sons, asking first what Starlight felt about Darnassus, admitting that she had came there while in the Kings service, and far to late.
The second sons work on building a better future, where there will be no starving kids on the streets, no new act of terror like Darnasssus.
Even if the second Sons were just one year old, they knew of Starlight since Theramore.

They want to hire Starlight, first on a trial basis and then later as official envoys.
That first trial, is a delivery of diaries and elixirs to Kennings Lodge. Lady Taria claims that the diaries contain memories by members of the second sons, and the elixirs are for fire protection.
They admit they hire Starlight, because in the past there have been people that see nobles among the Second sons, assuming they are ripe for the picking. She insists they have not planned a special trial for Starlight in case the trip is uneventful.
Starlight get to see the contents of the packages, and it does fit the description of diaries and elixir vials.


Starlight wisely makes a decoy package, before setting out towards Kennings Lodge.

Past Bridgeport, right before the last river before Kennings Lodge, there is an ambush. With a sudden crash a tree falls over, blocking the road, sudden scent of salt in the air, surrounding Starlight there are three groups, each containing one man with a sword and shield, two crossbow men. They demand that Starlight stop, and make no movement. As Chit slips of her horse and into the shadows, they fire on the group. Salihah takes a bolt to the arm, Eritis throws a smoke bomb down on the ground to hide Starlight. As Starlight prepares, they can hear the sounds of crossbows being loaded. Loki and Lady Violet use their magic to send a flock of illusionary goats out towards the attackers. The attackers fire with deadly accuracy at the goats, and this starts the fight in earnest.
After a brutal fight, Starlight is bloodied - but still standing, the packages had been securely hidden before the fight by Chit and are safe. 8 of the 9 attackers are dead, one of them made his escape.
Loki investigates the bodies and there is nothing on them: No makers make on the swords, crossbows, no coin in their purses, even their rings have been removed from their fingers, leaving pale skin. All of them are human.
Violet finds that there is faint magic on the packages - possibly a listening, tracking or watching spell. She leaves a tracking spell on her own on it.
The general view is that the attack was made by professionals, using the sort of tactics you would expect from trained soldiers.

The group makes their way, feeling wounds and exhaustion - but safely arrive at Lord Kennings lodge. The lord receives them well, taking the packages with care.


Between the events - hidden under spoiler tags - if your character has those connections, they can investigate the second sons further.


Nobility:
Spoiler!
Second Sons - Do they exist? Yes, there are a number of organisations or clubs a noble can join and there is indeed one called “Second Sons”, no member rolls are registered, other than an address down in the Cathedral square for their office. Apparently, it has provided a few wagons worth of food for refugees among others.
It has been sponsored by the 7th Legion High Commander Halford Wyrmbane

Lady Taria Wishock - Minor nobility, the “Lady” is a mere courtesy title, as she is not proper nobility on her own. She is the second daughter in a flock of five. The only one that took up military service, and she has been serving as an officer for nearly 10 years by now.
Noted for her absence in the social circuit.

Their motto is “For a better future”.

Miliary:
Spoiler!
Lady Taria Wishock is well regarded among those who have served with her. She got a keen tactical mind, and are regarded as “One of the few among nobility that can make an Orch Chief talk.”
She has earned the nickname “The hook” part for her name, part for “If she gets her hook into something, she won´t let go, she will grind herself, others to bloodied dust to be victorious.
Part of that, is caring for soldiers that have served under her, who have been injured and discharged. She has found work for many, fought her superior officers to get them pensions and assistance.
We would love feedback on the first event!
Stormwinds poor:
Spoiler!
The Second Sons are sort of known, they are good for bringing in some supplies regularly. e.g. a wagon load full of grain on a month by moth basis, which is delivered to a baker that turns it into bread which is given away freely to the poor.
But each time, it is a bit of a pr. mission, they have politicians there, giving a few speeches. There is recruitment attempts (to the alliance Military). People that don´t "look deserving" gets asked to move to the back, at least until the politicians and media is gone.

Those who work with the refugees say that food spread over the month, is much more valuable than handing out a big wagon load once a month, but they give credit to the Second Sons for not forcing people to listen to a long sermon, they seem to give to all races. But it is not considered to be, all things considered - all that good use of money.

Please post feedback on the first event below (2 more events are planned).
What worked for you?
What did not work?
What would you like to see happen next?
Any direction you would want to take this event series further?

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#3 Post by Violet » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:56 pm

Thank you very much for coming up with that plot! I had a great time playing it and look forward to more to come! Thank you for all the effort and time you have invested in it - it shows!

What worked?
I really liked the choice of zone. It brought back many fond memories I have collected during BfA and ties in neatly with Violet's story. Boralus is much underused in my humble opinion and it was great seeing it put to life a little more. I also found the introduction of Lady Wishock done really neat, and she definitely sparked a lot of distrust in my character. I enjoy that kind of stuff. The attack on the way to the lodge also came as a surprise to me - I knew we likely would fight but I didn't expect it to happen in that way. It was also awesome to be able to act more as a mage and use more of Violet's toolkit in the process - makes me positively jolly! :D
I enjoyed the number of enemies and the different kinds of threats they represented - there was not just the danger of melee, which isn't all that big of a problem for a ranged fighter, but also the ranged enemies. Many things to look out for, many things to take into account and many ways to tackle those obstacles, I loved that.

What did not work?
Hard to say for me honestly, because I don't really have any constructive criticism for this event. It was well-rounded and very enjoyable. The only thing that might not have worked, and that is really high level snobby complaining is the fighting as it got me confused if I should wait for the outcome of my attack from the PL or if I should just emote it myself according to my roll.

What would you like to see happen next?

I would like to learn more about the Second Sons, but also about Lady Wishock and their involvement in both charitable and military areas. I would also very much like to find out who was behind that attack. Since I'm pretty sure Violet still has a bone to pick. What I would also like would maybe be a totally crazy plot twist or something, since that's also a thing I tremendously enjoy. :P

Any direction you would want to take this event series further?
For me personally, I think both directions of either light and comedic relief or dark and grim are totally fine for me. I'm very much a "go with the flow" kind of person and I would love to play anything you have made up.

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Chit
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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#4 Post by Chit » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:35 pm

Apologies for the very delayed feedback - I got started then interrupted and lost my work which is very dispiriting!

What worked well
Fantastic flexibility with the plot following our actions throughout. This really made the event.
I liked having the time to interact with the client and the ways in which character was built, like the emote of Lady Taria Wishock standing near the exit for a quick escape... It allowed our characters to show our focus - Eritis on whether this was condescension or a true understanding of the firing of Teldrassil, Chit on practical objectives, our guest merc on pay.
The attack was very well planned with the tree fall and 9 ambushers with crossbows. This was quite shocking; especially as my character had vanished with the parcel causing all 9 attackers to shoot at Starlight! Essentially the fight should have been over at this point - but I really liked the flexibility which meant there was a price to pay but we didn't all receive life-threatening injuries. The way that the fight worked out allowed every player to have a lot of agency - the fight depended on every one of us. The flexibility of how the rolls were dealt with meant we came out on top, but only just. I really felt that at every moment the outcome was open-ended, and there wasn't a pre-ordained plan for us to fail or succeed.
It was good that it was a Saturday event so there's no complication of a workday following a substantial length of rp.
I enjoyed the event happening within a wider world. We have a charitable set of minor nobles (or do we) and an organisation capable of mounting a precise ambush with military precision. So much to find out.
I liked that Nomine was with us on the trip (I wasn't sure how to treat Loki, given that she was an event runner - maybe just a notice of her role? This gives me thought about the recent event where Chit took a player role too.)

What worked less well, also queries
The event ran very long, almost 3 hours, because it was essentially two events - the setting up of the trip, and the trip and attack and delivery. Yet without that willingness to run with what was done, it would not have been the highly successful event that it was. Yet a lot of our players can't sit and participate comfortably for that long. So I'm interested in what the event-runners can do if this start to happen to their event - ie learning for next time. Maybe share the plan for how long the first part will run, so we'd cooperate with a shorter set up? If it starts to run long, maybe offer a 15-minute intermission? I think the decisions that were made were the right ones, though, because the event was very compelling.
There were complications with the game mechanics, eg the posting of 3 emotes virtually simultaneously - /tree falls/threat to fire/Chit vanishes/smoke bomb - I posted the vanish at the same time as the threat to fire appeared, which made Chit responsible for potentially killing a lot of her friends - uncomfortable. But we rolled with it, and confusion does happen, so it is realistic. What was particularly good about this was that Chit wasn't punished (ie being the cause of horrible injury or failed mission) for something that happened because of a game mechanic.
I liked the idea of the spoiler-tagged clues when the event was written up - 'If you have connections with the poor, you can find out this' - but think that this new dynamic needs explanation and discussion. Is it something to do before the next event in the series? Before the next guild meeting? Just for player interest? This is a really interesting dynamic if we all have the same idea on how to use it. Unfortunately, this was complicated by the forum mechanism not working so trying to pick one of the 3 gave me a lot more info than intended.

What would you like to see happen next?
I like the ambiguity about the Second Sons, and I'd like to see this continue. Why should a group of people all be homogeneously evil/incompetent/wrong-headed? I'd like to find out more about the group, but piecemeal, and with contradictory information. I do like this idea of SL having a connection with a group that generates new adventures within the context of finding out more about the group.

Any direction you would want to take this event series further?
I want to continue to have action events where we are in a complex environment. It would also be cool to gather and share information in short rp sessions. I'd like a range of timings from 1 hour/1.5 hour/2-3 hours with interval.

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#5 Post by Nomine » Tue May 04, 2021 6:57 am

Tis Sweet and fitting - part 2.

The Second Son`s of Stormwind had been impressed with how Starlight handled themselves during the first testing mission, delivering the diaries and messages on their behalf despite being ambushed during the mission.
As part of their mission to build a better future, Second Son`s needed Starlight to deliver food supplies to starving families in Tarren Mill, specifically horde families that has been struggling ever since the undead`s took over the town (say what you want about Sylvanas loyalist undeads, they are not known for their great farming abilities...)

Before the mission, there was a brief discussion, where the Second Sons talked about the problems they have been having - including getting attacked several times, by human attackers, in one instance the attackers had even burned down the home of Second Son member.
As far as the Second Son´s knew, the ones that had been attacking them have been humans, trained, organised. But that is all they knew.

The food supplies where several 50 kg crates of hardtack, and a few 75 kg barrels of "aged" fish. The fish would not have been palatable to humans, but well.. orcs are hardier creatures.
Starlight was given a contact name among the horde, as well as information that the delivery should be kept secret from the undead or else the living horde might struggle with repercussions.

Starlight took all the cargo with them towards Tarren mill and made contact with the Horde connection there, an orc by the name Maroga.
The orc was frustrated as the delivery should have been there weeks ago, but the need was great.

Close to the delivery, some of Starlight noticed something familiar with the barrels, that they were similar to ones that been in the home of a poisoner Starlight dealt with a while ago. The poisoner had several barrels of fish, and Shienlao had been poisoned during the investigation (Starlight end the matter with killing the poisoner and burning his home.) viewtopic.php?f=89&t=1591

They cut a deal with the orc, giving support and promises to aid with other food. Leaving the orc with only the hardtack, and Starlight would keep the fish.
Fish samples were given to Anadelobrin and it is confirmed to be the same type of poison that was found in the poisoners home. Just in a slightly modified form, it would take longer for the poison to take effect, making it harder to detect and harder to connect the poison to the fish. So more people would likely be affected.

OOC:
This was intended as an event that would reveal more about the Second Son´s and their goals. As well, as connect Starlight more to the second Sons.


The question now follows - what do Starlight do next?
What sort of event would you like for the 3rd to be?

Examples: Investigating the second sons, focused on spying/infiltration.
Confront the second sons at their hangout

Or action focused, stealth focused, talk-discussion focused.

Feedback on the second event very much wanted!

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#6 Post by Chit » Thu May 06, 2021 9:01 pm

Feedback on part 2 from Chit

And again apologies for the delay.

What worked well

The introduction and travelling was just about perfect. Starlight tends to make far too much of travel, so having a short setup with the same Second Sons NPC as before, and then setting off with the wagon to travel a short distance had the fun and conversation of the journey and the chance to spot a dodgy cargo and discuss this and what we do about it, without it taking too long.

It was an intriguing situation and not an obvious action-oriented one that we had to deal with. It was about influence, decision-making and reputation. Starlight could easily have come out of this very badly, being the ones to break the armistice by 'trying to poison the Horde with fake supplies'. At the same time, the alternative of throwing the supplies away before arrival could get us a reputation for 'delivering too little, too late'.

The negotiation was also pretty perfect. I really liked the orc NPC and their pet. Just the right amount of suspicion and intolerance to make it tricky; the hunger-driven drive to take the fish even if it was slightly off - which would relieve us of the need to make a difficult decision - thus making it a moral choice to stop the orc's plan; the taking offence at an elf thinking he could hunt better than an orc when Eritis offered to hunt for meat instead of fish. The orc having a dangerous pet, and being within shouting distance of guards, made it a definite threat if we pissed her off!

We achieved I thought a good outcome; we managed to separate our own reputation from that of the Second Sons and raise a little doubt to protect the orcs; we managed to suggest an outcome that protected the orcs (test the fish on the bears); we managed to demonstrate goodwill by jointly eating hard tack biscuits. (I thought incidentally that we left the fish with the Horde who were going to test it on the bears - and we took only a sample back to Anadelonbrin to test for the poison? Could be my memory playing up.)

I also like that because of the nature of the mission, Chit was not thrust into the position of lead negotiator 'because she is an officer'. This is often an issue with events - whereas this event was particularly good at letting each character in the party play their part in finding a solution.
I particularly liked the way Shien with her yak and her experience of the poison had a strong part to play in the event; it's nice also to see previous events built on with a thread now arising about the connection between the poisoner we killed, his book, the Second Sons.

I loved the level of ambiguity. We weren't certain the fish was poisoned, it could just have been off because the shipment was delayed. We still aren't certain who interfered with the fish, or when. I like the Second Sons as potential villains or people with ulterior motives or possibly noble incompetents. I think there is much more mileage in them than just one more event.

It ran perfectly to time! This is a huge benefit, not to be overlooked.

Minor niggles
We were given a real problem to tackle regarding it not being safe to contact the orc openly, as receiving charity from the Alliance could bring her under threat - but I think this disappeared as we had no clues as to how to contact the right member of the Horde (eg a picture) or any meeting point, or any way of attracting attention given that it was weeks past the due date. Maybe something like having a rocket to fire and a well-hidden place on the map to meet would have made for a more secure meet-up? This is really just my very practical approach to visualising everything strongly. It does however present an opportunity for the reappearance of the NPC in peril, or having been beaten up by 'loyalists'.

Rolling on the scent of the fish, we got 85/85/91 perception rolls. This made it pretty clear that it was actually poisoned. Nomine managed to throw a lot of doubt on this but the rolls gave the game away. (It was a comfort to know we were probably right though!) I actually liked the uncertainty, so kudos to Nomine - but it's an example of where rolls can remove immersion. I'm not sure that the rolls added to the event. Shienlao, who had been poisoned by a sniff of a barrel of poisoned fish with the same poison would surely have the smell burned into her, so that could have been fed in by whisper leaving us unsure if it was Shien over-reacting, or real poison - the ambiguity that actually made the event.

I liked the idea of the additional information hid under spoiler alerts - it was a shame that the forum mechanic just dumped all the information whichever spoiler you clicked. I think people didn't know quite how we were expected to use it. We should explain this better - maybe talk about it at the next Storyteller's call, and look at it as an idea we could pick up and run with?

What next?
Personally I am a sucker for complexity and building on threads. I'd like to build on the loose ends. I would like to see what Nomine would do as leader with Starlight and the Second Sons since it is a complex political issue that needs investigation not immediate action. We need to root out some evil here, but it needs some subtle thinking to work out who are the bad actors. I'm not sure how we could do this. Maybe it could be a bit like Alice is Missing, with small investigation missions with various suspects? Perhaps leading to a final action event?

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#7 Post by Nomine » Fri May 07, 2021 9:40 am

Some quick comments:
Minor niggles
We were given a real problem to tackle regarding it not being safe to contact the orc openly, as receiving charity from the Alliance could bring her under threat - but I think this disappeared as we had no clues as to how to contact the right member of the Horde (eg a picture) or any meeting point, or any way of attracting attention given that it was weeks past the due date. Maybe something like having a rocket to fire and a well-hidden place on the map to meet would have made for a more secure meet-up? This is really just my very practical approach to visualising everything strongly. It does however present an opportunity for the reappearance of the NPC in peril, or having been beaten up by 'loyalists'.
That was actually one of the challenges for Starlight to solve, how to reach the NPC without alerting the guards. It was why Tarren mill was picked as a location, as it is fairly easy to get to the city center without being stopped by the game guards. The group also had a couple of rogues that could quickly move through the city and find the NPC. At the time we did our event, there was a number of horde roleplayers inside Tarren mill as well, and the horde NPC had several potions of tongues that could have been handed out to the other RPs if needed :)

Second Sons did not hire Starlight only because of their ability to transport cargo, but also for their problem solving abilities. Delivering the supplies and reaching the NPC was very much part of the problems to be solved. As Starlight went for the solution they did - standing infront of and yelling, I asked the NPC to come out of the town center to meet them.
Rolling on the scent of the fish, we got 85/85/91 perception rolls. This made it pretty clear that it was actually poisoned. Nomine managed to throw a lot of doubt on this but the rolls gave the game away. (It was a comfort to know we were probably right though!) I actually liked the uncertainty, so kudos to Nomine - but it's an example of where rolls can remove immersion. I'm not sure that the rolls added to the event. Shienlao, who had been poisoned by a sniff of a barrel of poisoned fish with the same poison would surely have the smell burned into her, so that could have been fed in by whisper leaving us unsure if it was Shien over-reacting, or real poison - the ambiguity that actually made the event.
The rolls were given as a game mechanic to prompt players to action. At that stage, you were close to handing over the fish time wise. Traveling with the orc, to the hand-over spot. etc, in the situation of being on horde lands, with a hungry horde member, had the orc then gone "I won´t leave without the food, or forced the issue. Starlight would have been in a very bad spot. Had the fish been tackled before Starlight meet the orc things would have been different, and the roll would not have been needed.
Players had been talking about "maybe it is" for quite sometime, without taking action. I felt that essentially, there was a need for a bit of nudge OOCly, to give players the confidence to take action. It was one of those times, where the existence of the roll itself would have fitted the purpose, even if all people rolled badly :)

The fish did not smell the same back in that first event btw. Not even remotely, the fish was aged precisely so it would cover any lingering taste or smell of the poison itself :) Back in that first event - then the fish was fairly fresh and recently poisoned.

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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#8 Post by Barathean » Sun May 09, 2021 8:26 pm

"The question now follows - what do Starlight do next?"

I think they would try to find more info on the Second Sons and try to bust them on their shady dealings"

"What sort of event would you like for the 3rd to be?"

I would enjoy playing an NPC if we were to get a group of NPCs and a group of Starlighters and then we could rp the accusations and discussions, them escalating perhaps into a fight even. But I don't want to make too high expectations, I just like problem solving rp where it's semi-easy to grasp what the characters could maybe do, or fight rp when shit goes down.

About the 2nd event: I liked the schedule, there was variety and I enjoyed the chitchat and then being able to use the language potion and rp with a real orc! (It was my first time doing cross-faction even if it was a familiar player :D) The only thing that's always confusing to me is whether NPC guard toons should be reacted ICly or ignored. In this event I got it halfway so it was fine, but I'm always a bit uncertain about this :D
>Maxwell Barathean< | Rhena Kerridan | Darmiel Brownlocke

Violet
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Re: Tis Sweet and fitting

#9 Post by Violet » Wed May 12, 2021 2:40 pm

For the second event I enjoyed the pacing, went along really well for me, and also logical. Also enjoyed that we have been able to do cross faction rp. It's been a while and I kinda missed it :D I also liked that there was some twist thrown in there with the fish - I personally wouldn't have thought too much into it, because fish... well it's smelly :D I'm glad others did though, that could have led to really unpleasant consequences.
What for me still is very unfamiliar is to actively react to world npcs, since for the majority of my rp career the rule of thumb was "everything is not there unless emoted otherwise" :'D, so often I don't quite know how to react to things like that.

What I would like to see in the future event/s is that I would really find out more about the Second Sons and their motives and find out who poisoned the fish and why.
I would also very much like to get to know more about the people who attack Starlight on the first mission and if they maybe are related to the fish poisoning.

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