Mythweaver 2nd Edition Play Results

Started by krzyzewski99, February 18, 2009, 03:38:02 AM

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Mythweaver: The Splintered Realms Second Edition Game Report for 02-13-09

This narrative highlights several important gaming experiences had while playing the newest edition (2008) of Teddy Bear Press' Mythweaver product.  Many of the players had participated in play testing this game during the summer.  While our small group (five people) has extensive experience playing fantasy role playing games, (D&D 1st, 2nd and 3.5th editions, Ars Magica, I.C.E. Lord of the Rings/Role Master, etc.) we have only been playing together for about two years and enjoy trying new takes on favorite game experiences.  Collectively, we felt disenfranchised with D&D 4th Edition's narrow portrayal of character classes or roles.  Although some other aspects of D&D 4th Edition seemed interesting, too many other biases won out- we looked for a game that supported our style of play. offered a variety of inexpensive games, and our group is impressed with the high level of community interaction and feedback found with the Mythweaver game.  We will continue to play this game because it is relatively inexpensive for new players, offers a wide variety of character creation and advancement, has a fantastic magic creation system, and receives on-going support in the form of a regular magazine and some free products, too.  Our gaming group tries to meet once each month for an evening of game play.

Game Preparation
I take the role of referee, and will be using Sojourn #1, The Wreck of the Morning Glory.  In advance, I confirmed that my players had not read the adventure because they expected me to be the referee at some point in the future!  As referee, I took some liberties and made some adjustments to the adventure, but this free adventure remains largely in tact as found in Mythweaver Adventure Journal Zero. For this meeting, only three of four players could join; I adjusted adventure obstacles down by about 25% potency respectively.  The entire group agreed to keep notes because everyone knew that this adventure would be recorded and posted to the gaming community at large.  Our group enjoys making characters, so we made our own.  Players would not duplicate any race or perk.  However, we wanted to see how diverse a single class could be, so all players opted to play the Defender class.  For focus, players were told that their adventure would include a search-and-rescue mission, involving some watery skill challenges and combat.  The defenders decided their collective histories would be something like a group of pirates or privateers. After twenty minutes, the group had the following third-level characters ready for play:

Race     Class   Perk                            Arms        Magic                   Skill
Shadow Elf  Defender   Improved Range                  Missile      Lightning                   Lore & Stealth
Ork     Defender   Magic Ward                       Armor        Arcanum & Darkness   Burglary
Wood Troll     Defender   Hated Enemy: Humanoids   Melee x2   Cold                                   Athletics

Finally, I had cued three songs from the group, Nox Arcana, for three principal interactions in play.  The group seemed prepared, too.  They had sufficient dice, paper and grid paper, and most importantly- snacks!

The Game
Following a linear description, the party usually made short work of smaller encounters.  The group, as defenders, had plenty of combat power.  I thought the party showed an interesting twist by choosing to "adopt" a darkling badger from an early encounter.  Since this creature was also "evil," its inclusion presented less of a problem that I anticipated.  Please realize that the elf of shadows and the ork both have negative Aspect (ASP) values, meaning that they are evil and subject to temptation.  The wood troll is currently neutral (ASP 0), and quite foolish (REA 1). 
Skills came in handy almost immediately, as the wood troll swam to the ship and helped buoy the elf of shadow.  The wood troll had the best sea legs, too, and always succeeded whenever the ship tilted.  Wood trolls have impressive physical traits, but investing in the athletics skill helped.  The elf of shadows made some important rolls using her burglary skills, but failed an important one at the end of the adventure.  In hindsight, the player wished she had placed both skills ranks in burglary rather than diversify into stealth, especially since she was playing a pirate-like character in a pirate-themed party.
The ork tried to animate dead sailors' skeletons, which amused me. 
The wood troll resisted oozes' paralysis because the player chose STA as the favored trait, which allowed for ridiculously high rolls.  The elf of morning fared less favorably and took serious damage while wearing light armors.  In a later encounter with another ooze, she used several Hero Points to finish the animus with furious blasts of lightning.
The party cared for the darkling badger better than I thought they would.  The ork even used darkness magic to help heal the wee-bit.
Regarding magic use, the wood troll tried to freeze the soggy captain and his imp.  Finally, I allowed a very good roll to imprison the captain's legs in blocks of ice.  The wood troll found ample time to try his hand at spell casting while the darkling badger and its new master- the ork- fought off the imp!  The elf of shadows bided her time and simply shot arrows into the captain.  I was not prepared for the party to leave the semi-frozen captain...they took the case, kicked the dead imp, and wished the captain farewell after stabbing him more times for good measure.  The group saw my shocked face, and countered with two points: first, great sea stories frequently indicate that the captain dies with his ship; and secondly, the party is mostly e-v-i-l!  The party enjoyed some music set for this encounter, and found it invigorating.  As a referee, I will want to continue using music to help set the tone for combats and important events.  Upon reflection, the wood troll suggested interrogating the captain and finding more treasure.  This ploy allowed the party to find the treasure before the entire ship sank.  I decided to allow the captain to know of the giant crayfish, but that he would not warn the characters.  Too bad for the captain, because his mostly limp and bound body was brought along (carried by the very strong wood troll who imprisoned him) to identify and disarm his own booby traps.   When the crayfish appeared in Area Nine, the party tossed the captain to the beast!  I laughed heartily at this trick, especially since I felt few other groups could have done something this cold and dark.  The crayfish gobbled the captain, and was sufficiently distracted for the party to attack.  After the party killed the crayfish, I imparted a sense of urgency- the beast was heavy, in a sinking ship, after a battle that created more structural damage and excessive movement.  The party wanted to check one last area- for treasure that the captain lured them to check.  I sunk Area Ten.  The elf of shadows kept diving in and out of the room to breathe, since she did poorly on earlier swimming attempts.  The trap was identified, but only one of the disarm attempts worked- the elf of shadows was the only characters swimming in this area while others waited, so she took the brunt of damage.  She also swiped two gems secretly, and took full advantage of the healing potions (which I decided did not care about ASP for recovery purposes).  The party, having completed their mission and found other neat things, decided it was time to leave.  As the group swam back to shore, I placed a few shark-like dorsal fins breaking above water surface to discourage future jaunts in the near future...The party capped the adventure by returning to the Blink Basilisk Inn and collected the rewards.  Because the characters used several Hero Points, and they wanted to save some for future use, everyone decided to remain at level three for now.

Final Thoughts
The use of skills and magic came to the forefront more than melee or missile combat.  I enjoyed seeing how the same character class could use different parts of the rules to make very unique characters.  I particularly liked the action and discussions about the impact of Aspect (ASP) in the game.  The players took an opportunity to play some pirates whose scruples were not beyond reproach.  Honestly, I do not know how the party might have otherwise fared against the captain and the giant crayfish if they did not sacrifice the captain!  This session was a highly enjoyable one because of the unique style of play.  Our group believes that D&D 4E would not have allowed such diversity, and that Pathfinder (D&D 3.5+) would have encouraged too many specific feats/dice rolls to do things.  Overall, this game felt like D&D 1st Edition, with players fielding magic-using assassins and thief-acrobats.  I think the players' mentality helped steer the direction, but Mythweaver is somewhat less concerned about skills (there are six possible skills) and magic (our group used the newest, highly flexible, on-the-fly casting described in Mythweaver Adventure Journal #2) and more focused about role-playing.  The adoption of the darkling badger seems like its inclusion harkens back to a wizard's familiar, but the ork took better care of this earned creature than he has with other animal companions.  The group wants to play their pirates again in the future, and the players seemed to have grown attached to their advancement.  Please note that the elf of shadows character almost died while fighting the first obsidian ooze, and the ork would not have fared well without his darkling badger to aid him and distract the imp.  Outside of the inclusion on the Mythweaver Adventure Journals, we house-ruled that the players began with maximum starting health and gold coins, and could chose one item from a list drawn from the pre-generated characters slated for this scenario.  In closing, our group likes the high-fantasy (high magic use), loose skills sets, and mid-level combat opportunities suggested by Mythweaver's rules.  We also liked the progressive dice rules, which make character advancement and favored traits more enjoyable.  I highly recommend Mythweaver: The Splintered Realms 2nd Edition to players and referees who like these kinds of challenges, and lots of variety in character races, classes, and options.  While the choices are limited, the applications seem very open.  Thank you for reading our game analysis, and I look forward to any constructive criticism and suggestions for future piracy adventure lines...what WAS that scroll, anyway?



Apologies- I mis-formatted the characters block.  Let's try this instead:
Elf of Shadow Defender, with the Improved Range perk, Missile Arms talents, Lightning Magic, and the Burglary and Stealth Skills.
Ork Defender, with the Magic Ward perk, Armor Arms talent, Arcanum and Darkness magics, and the Lore skill (I made a mistake in the previous post, crediting the elf with lore and the ork with burglary- switch these as here), and
Wood Troll Defender, with the Hated Enemy: Humanoids perk, two Melee arms talents, cold magic, and the athletics skill.