[Poison'd] First session: The Treachery of Bloody Ben

Started by madviking, December 19, 2008, 01:57:54 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Actual Play - Poison'd December 18, 2008

We played our first proper session of Poison'd last night. It was very successful, and everyone really enjoyed it. We did not have any previous discussion about what lines, if any, we would or would not cross. Everyone was comfortable with the tone of play, which was a lot more violent than usual in most of our games.

Doug: Silas Faulkner, ship's surgeon. Ambition to become captain of the dagger (among others). He promised Brimstone Jack that he'd see the Dagger sunk before allowing her to be taken. He promised to help Bloody Ben
have his revenge on Bishop Ramirez.

Rob: Elizabeth "Bloody Ben" Austen, powder monkey, a woman in disguise. She has promised Captain Rutherford of HMS Resolute help in taking the Dagger. She has promised Silent Sam to protect him from rape. Ambition to have her revenge upon Bishop Ramirez. Ambition to be Pardoned for her sins.

Rick: Silent Sam Hawkins, Sailing Master. Ambition to be pardoned (murder, robbery) and to become a respected member of society. Promised Silas Faulkner his support for captain.

The Dagger is fast and lucky. Her crew is eager to fight, served together for many years, and prone to petty rivalry and backstabbing.

The assassin Tom Reed is thrown to the deck. There is an argument about how to kill him - keelhauling, or just tossing him to the sharks. Bloody Ben has a flashback to a time in her past when she was in a situation with a helpless foe. She used cunning to seduce her mark, captain of the Bishop's guard Juan Antonio, gaining 2 Xs, and tries to murder him after getting him into a compromising position. Her conscience gets the better of her, and she hesitates, failing the roll. She is arrested by the Bishop's guards, and she is tortured and raped. This is a good flashback establishing some of Bloody Ben's motivations. We get to see the object of her vengeance on screen.

Returning to Tom Reed, she counsels caution. This advice is summarily dismissed by the others. Silent Sam tries to grapple the assassin and heave him over the side. He is not very good at this sort of thing. His Brutality is a mere 2 while his soul is 6. Tom sees him coming and grabs a belaying pin. It's a fight. Everyone helps subdue Tom Reed. The players did not need to escalate, and Tom failed his Brinksmanship roll in attempting to do so himself. He's a bit battered as they toss him to the sharks. Before he goes, someone suggests that maybe Tom isn't acting alone. I bring the cruel fortune Spies and Assassins into play. Sadly, I promptly forget about it.

Bloody Ben steps up and says they need a new captain. She offers her own services. Silas knows that he can call upon Sam's support and win the vote, but he wants consensus. He offers Bloody Ben 2 Leisure for her support. She agrees.

Silas decides they need to make for the spanish main. He's not looking for a prize. I decide to put one in his path anyway, a small dutch brig worth 2 dice. Captain Faulkner flies false colours to lure the brig closer, gaining 4 Xs for his deceit. He then attacks an unsuspecting foe, raking the poor brig with grapeshot, causing her to strike her colours without a fight gaining 2 more Xs. He orders Bloody Ben to inspect the prize, and she decides to be expedient, torturing the captain, who has
no secrets to tell. Silas and Ben get into an argument about following orders. Ben feels her interpretation is justified. Silas disagrees, not wanting to torture these people.

They find the hold filled with lead bars and barrels of sauerkraut. They roll her 2 dice and get... 2 points to distribute. Silas says that Ben can have the lead bars, thus fulfilling his bargain with her. She is furious. She says that this is no treasure, and the offer is an insult. Silas offers her the prize itself, if she'll sail her with a skeleton crew to a place where she can be sold. Silas wants Ben off the Dagger at this point. She's constantly trying to undermine him as Captain. Ben of course doesn't want to leave.

They have an argument about how to deal with their prisoners. Silas wants to set them adrift. Ben says this is murder, and will have no part of it (She hasn't murdered before). She insists that they be put ashore near a settlement. Sam points out that this will bring down the authorities when the prisoners tell their story.

It's put to a vote. Setting adrift it is.

Sam points out that someone still needs to take command of the prize, and he'll do it. Silas agrees, and Sam takes a skeleton crew with him.

Ben has had enough of Silas, and calls him a liar, a cheat, and a terrible captain, certainly no Brimstone Jack. I ask Doug if Silas intends to endure this abuse, or fight. He Fights. Sam sees The Resolute appear on the horizon. Silas and Ben are oblivious to the lookout's cries of Ship Ahoy as they fight sword to sword.

Sam takes the prize away, abandoning the Dagger to her fate, saving himself.

Silas has 4 more Xs than Ben. Ben escalates to the middle tier, but fails to get enough to match Silas. He spends 2 Xs, holding 2 back, but still comes up short. He gives, suffering a deadly wound, which he mitigates to superficial cuts with his 2 Xs. Silas stands over Ben, and offers a bargain. Swear to give me, your captain, your obedient and loyal service, and I will spare your miserable life. Ben says that as long as Silas is captain, he will serve him, but that one day there will be a reckoning. They both agree, and the bargain is struck.

They now notice resolute, and decide to flee. Silas tries his false colours ruse de guerre again, but Captain Rutherford is having none of it. The fight is brought, Pursuit and Escape. Dagger is under Wear and Breakage so has a Profile of 9 vs the resolute's 11, and the players have no Xs, having fought each other so recently. Rob withold's Ben's dice, and the resolute is closing fast. Silas chooses to escalate, and Resolute closes to broadside range. I ask if any of the players wish to try any success rolls. They do.

Silas wants to try to Enter into Danger to close to Boarding distance, which is the Dagger's strength. He is not successful, as the Resolute's fire is too accurate. Ben uses deceit to try to sabotage the Dagger's rudder, but Doug holds back his Soul from this, due to Ben's bargain, so cynically ignored, and she fails.

Silas decides to have her thrown into the Brig for her attempted sabotage, and she chooses to Endure Duress, gaining 2 Xs. She asks to add Arrest to her suffered list, but I point out that she already has that.

Silas fights the Resolute, which batters the dagger to a hulk, killing a large portion of the crew. Silas refuses to strike the colours. Ben bargains with her guard for her release. She reveals her bargain with Captain Rutherford and guarantees the guard his freedom from the gallows. He agrees. She cuts the colours down just before Silas has them nailed to the mast. the crew of the Dagger gives up. Silas tries to stab Ben in the back. Ben does not endure duress, but fights. Silas is struck a deadly wound. He swears to the Devil that he will see The Dagger and the resolute sunk before they reach Port Royal, and he promises to deliver the devil the soul of Bloody Ben. The bargains are written, and Silas gains the sin of bargaining with the devil.

Sam has parted ways, but says he will return to rescue the survivors of the crew from the clutches of Captain Rutherford and the Resolute.

Ben sips brandy with Captain Rutherford. The captain tells her: This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Question: Rob felt that submitting to the bargain with Silas while under Silas' power should be some duress he could endure. I wasn't sure, so we put it to a vote. We split, 2 for 2 against, so settled it with a die. Rob was not allowed to endure duress here. Upon reflection, I think this may have been the wrong decision. Any thoughts?

Eric Hansen