Dec 17, 2016
This is a quick test run of the Upwind RPG system for solo play. Upwind features a unique mechanic called the Q-system where large points of conflict are resolved by playing cards from your hand.
My name is Rigald the Right. I trained as a protector in the church of Milani, the patron saint of those who fight against oppression. Her symbol is a rose growing from a blood-soaked street, and thus, I am called a Rosen Monk. After my training, I served as a bodyguard to the High Priest Valeron. After three years of service, Valeron received a vision from Milani saying that I should leave his side to journey the world fighting oppression. The same night I received a similar vision with the promise that I would grow into a vessel that would be most useful to Milani and help many people along the way. With my vision confirmed by Valeron and excitement in my heart, I set out into the world to find where I could be most useful. Quest options from Follow. Roll 1d12.
11 = 11[d12]
After traveling for two weeks from my hometown of Dalhurst, a major city in the region, I came upon the minor city of Wandermere. Wandermere is known as a hub of mid-level artisans. Prices are reasonable, and the craftsmanship is good. Because of the functionality and quality found here, trade is always booming. The true masters of their crafts won’t stoop to be in a minor city, so the prices stay level. After the staying the night at a local inn, I wake up in the morning to find that the city gates are barred. The city is under siege. But why and by who?
Carelessness / A project
It seems a local wizard out in the surrounding woods was experimenting with Pact Bound magic and must have incorrectly sealed in the outerplanes being he summoned. That creature then summoned an army of its own kind and is seeking to sow chaos in the world starting with Wandermere. These beings are intelligent, chaotic evil, and itching for a fight. Despite their magical abilities, there are not enough of them to take the city through a direct assault. Besides, they prefer more chaos than that. They have the city surrounded and are beginning to harass the citizens in any way they can. I would not be surprised if they tried to sneak in with magic and turn us against one another. There is another complication.
1 = 1[d6]
The different parts of the city are already at each other’s throats demanding different things. The government is calling for calm. The wealthy want protection for their property to be the highest priority. The artisans want a direct assault on the monsters so that they can send for help from their masters. The city guard is commandeering food stockpiles making the whole city nervous. The poor are demanding that the remaining few Pact wizards (students of the main wizard) who were in the town when the experiment went awry be jailed as accomplices. Blood could run in the street in many ways. I approach the captain of the guard, Drothos, about how I can help.
Challenges from Follow. 1d14.
10 = 10[d14]
“You can’t trust demons,” he growls. “We have to take the fight to them and quickly. To do that we’re going to need more soldiers. Can you go around the city recruiting citizens to help? We need to run the assault this afternoon. Get the most competent and trustworthy citizens.”
I agree and head out to find the nearest spot that people are congregating.
The first thing I notice is a school that has been barricaded. Thinking that nobody is as fierce as a parent defending their child, this seems like a good place to start.
“Hello?” I call out. “Anyone in there?”
“Go away, demon!”
“Look, I’m here on behalf of the guard. We need more citizens to fight these things. We can’t outlast beings from the outer planes in a siege.”
“You’re suggesting using the children in here to fight! You really are a demon!”
“No! I know that children are our greatest treasure and worthy of the highest protection. My thought was that the parents my be the first to volunteer to fight if they’re capable. How about it? Can you speak with the parents while I try to round up some other folks?”
I’m using my Every Little Thing I Say is Magic skill at rank 1. This is a 1 card challenge as the citizens really do want to fight. If I win the challenge, there will be an additional group of parents who will fight with the city guard. If I win by more than 10, they will be competent fighters. I’m going to use my High Priests Body Guard cache to help since I’m protecting people with this play.
I play a 7h and cache a 3h for a total of 10.
GM Card: 3d
“Yes, I see your logic. I’ll see what I can do. Give me an hour,” the apparent headmaster of the school says as he unbarricades himself from the building. He heads off into the residential area of the town to see who he can round up. I turn to the next major gathering place I can find, but first, is there a random even that happens?
(Very Unlikely | 2[d10]) No
Now this is the spot! It appears that a group of dwarven artisans have a small shop here in town. It also sounds like they are digging. As I enter the shop, I see they have begun a tunnel that looks like they’re trying to burrow out. “Very industrious, but surely you dwarves would prefer to fight instead of digging and running away, right?” Do they react favorably?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but…
“Bah! Ya’ bloomin’ tiger idgit! We’re getting out of here whether you like or not. We don’t owe ya’ anything! But, I tell ya’ what, since we’re not bad guys, we’ll let you use our tunnels to strike at the demon scum from behind. How ’bout that?” “I’ll take it. Let me inform the captain,” I reply.
“But let me see if I can change your mind. You see, if the demons take over this town, they’re likely to follow you to wherever you go next. Wouldn’t it be better to stay here and fight? In fact, I’m going to play this card. The city guard is ordering you to stay and fight. They have protected you the whole time you’ve been here, so not only are you hereby ordered to protect this city, but it’s also the right thing to do.”
I’m going to make another play with the same skill. This time it will be a two card challenge. If I win, the dwarves will stay and fight. If I fail, they will decide to barter with the demons giving them access to the town from within once they escape from the tunnel. I’ll have to cache my Knight’s cache for this one. I play a Kh, crown with a 4c and cache 3c.
GM Cards: 7h, Qs, 7c, 2d, 8c
The first GM cards that came up of the same suit were the 7c and 8c meaning I win, but just barely. The dwarves will join the fight. I should really check one more place to see if I can find anyone else.
Coming across the market square, I expected more people, but it’s dead. No one is here, the stalls are abandoned, edible supplies are nowhere to be seen, and even non-edibles look like they’ve been pilfered already. It looks like looters are out and about. I’ll have to be careful. Do I see any looters around?
(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes +Event: Assist / Opulance
Artsy female Elf musician
An artsy female elf strolls around the corner still rummaging through stalls as she goes. I would guess by the lute strapped to her back that she is a musician. “Hey, you! Pick that stuff back! You have no right to thievery, especially at a time like this.”
“Funny, you don’t look like the guard,” she replies.
“No, I’m not, but I have been appointed by them. Why would you loot when there are attacking demons? No. Nevermind. I can guess the answer to that question plus there’s the fact that I don’t really care. You look like able-bodied, so how about signing up for an attack against the demons instead of me turning you in to the real authorities?”
She eyes me with a smirk as if formulating a plan before saying, “Why yes, I want to help protect my city. I am a loyal citizen after all.”
The words practically purr from her mouth. “I hear a ‘but’ coming on.”
“But I don’t work for free. You see, the lute you’ve been eyeing isn’t just any musical instrument. I’m actually a gifted bard who can soothe a savage beast and inspire the hearts of men with my magical lute. (Of course, I can do that without the lute!) My services are much sought after in the high realms, and it was only happenstance that I stopped in this lowly town anyway. I could probably magic myself away as it is, but I’m still having fun. Getting paid makes me have more fun. Promise me some coin, and I’ll join up.”
“I’m not authorized to get you gold, but perhaps if you put back everything you just took, we can ask the good captain.”
At the same time, I’d like to figure out if she’s lying. I’m going to do a standard check which pulls a 9c.
GM Card: 8c
I think I can read her. Is she who she says she is?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and…
Now that I look closer at the lute, it is of very high quality with inlaid gold and everything. I also look closer at what she took from the stalls and notice that they are tiny knick-knacky things that are worth next to nothing. She wasn’t really thieving, well, she was, but not to be a thief. She’s just an opportunist who found a cheap thing that she liked. Not good, but perhaps useful.
“I’ll take you to the captain. Maybe he can find a way to pay you.”
Upon making our way back to Captain Drothos, before I can explain about the parents, dwarves, and now this strange and exotic bard, he seems to recognize my new musical acquaintance.
“Anarra Wranxidor! I didn’t realize you were still in the city! Can we count on your aid against these demons?”
“You know me, Drothos. Show the gold, and I’ll show you first class service.”
The banter continues as Drothos tries to find an excuse to keep Anarra around, but he eventually does settle on a way that she can be paid. After I deliver the rest of my news, Drothos looks at Anarra and pauses to think.
“I think we can do this,” he says. “Miss Wranxidor, if you’d be so good as to join our war council, I have some further orders for our industrious monk friend here.”
“Sure thing, Drothos. And what was your name? Rigald? When we all survive this mess, come find me. I’ve been looking for a way to make a bit more coin and adventures earn double the pay through stories and treasures.” With that she walks away.
“Now, about that next challenge,” starts the captain…