Where have you been..?

Well, it’s a loooong story but, after all the waiting for Discworld RPG to arrive, I got my copy from my FLGS and took it home to start avidly devouring the contents… And real life got in the way. Big time. Some big changes at work and in my personal life yada yada yada.

So I’m not going to bore you with the details but sorry for the prolonged absence at the most inopportune moment.

On the positive side, I’ve now got my fantastically weighty Discworld RPG hardback and had a chance to go through some of it. ‘Only some?” I hear you say. Yes indeed, ‘only some’ because it’s a magnificent 408 pages long, and so literally packed with game mechanics, Discworld background, characters, stories, scenarios, locations and octarine flavour that I’m taking my time to enjoy each section in depth, savouring it like a fine wine! I’m also working out how the new edition affects the planning I’ve put into my solo campaign (answer – not a massive amount, stats can be easily converted and the rest hasn’t changed that much, just improved with more detail and updating to include the more recent novels) and completing required adjustments.

I’m also getting back into my reading schedule for all the DW novels in order, just starting ‘Lords & Ladies’ (number 14) which is perfect seeing as the plot line I rolled up before my hiatus involves elves, and this is the book in which they are introduced to DW. So, lots of reading and planning to do and then… putting it all into action!

Exciting times… Mind how you go!

The waiting is almost over…

discworld_gurps_4e

According to tweets from Steve Jackson Games, the new Discworld RPG edition is on its way to games stores now! At last we can all look forward to the very long awaited ‘fourth-edition-GURPS-compatible-but-standalone-RPG‘ Discworld book filled with loads of new information and updated to take into account all the developments in the multiverse over the past 15 years or so!

Having just played a demo session of the new version, courtesy of the GURPS rules author himself Phil Masters, at Dragonmeet in London on Saturday, I can truly say I can’t wait to get my hands on the new book as it promises to be something really special for Discworld aficionados. I’ve ordered it with my FLGS in Oxford so the only question is ‘how long will shipping take to the UK?’ I’m really hoping it gets in before Christmas!

In light of these exciting developments I’ve been working hard behind the scenes (hence no blog updates!) to get my solo campaign ideas sorted out. To be honest, I found that the campaign I had started was too much standard fantasy and not enough Discworld so I’m putting that on hold for the moment in favour of a new idea. I canvassed others on the SJG forums for their preferred scenario ideas and the brilliant range of thoughts that came back made me realise that I need a strong theme to underpin the campaign and the comedy aspect.

So my new Discworld campaign is going to be based on “The X-Files” in Discworld with a couple of (Quite) Special Agents working for the UBI – the Unseen Bureau of Investigation – sent around Discworld to investigate odd happenings and unexplained events to ensure that magic is not being used to weaken the fabric of reality and let TTFTDD back into our dimension! They will answer to the Archchancellor of Unseen University himself, Mustrum Ridcully, and will be empowered to talk really sternly to anyone or anything found endangering the Disc.

Since I am playing my campaign solo, I think the episodic nature of the X-Files will help me create interesting encounters (think ‘monster of the week’ episodes) but underpin it all with a developing plot line around one of the character’s obsession with a secret conspiracy that only he sees…

I’ve also decided to use a new framework to ensure I don’t entirely know what’s coming. I saw the Mythic GM-less system on a blog about solo gaming and I’m really taken with how it supports solo play in any RPG ruleset so I’m going to use that system to drive the narrative.

Loads to look forward to now that the new edition is almost in my grubby mitts – watch this space!

The Power of ‘Seven plus one’!

I thought it only fitting to mark my eighth Discworld Adventures post in a suitable ‘7A’ way!

Discworld fans all know the importance of the number between 7 and 9 but if you’re new to Terry Pratchett’s works and are unaware of the significance of ‘2 cubed’ then here’s a crash course:-

The title of the first Discworld novel is “The Colour of Magic” – the colour referred to is Octarine, the ‘four plus four’-th colour in the visible spectrum and can only be seen by witches and wizards because they have special retinal cells called Octagons to detect this magical wavelength in addition to the usual rods and cones.

‘7 plus 1’ is such a core element of Discworld that each week is one day longer than our own with the final day known as Octeday. Indeed a year consists of two sets of 400 days making a total of… ‘799 plus one’ days.

This number is, in fact, so deeply entwined with the nature of magic and reality on the Disc that the greatest spell-book in the Unseen University Library is called the Octavo and contains the 6 Great Spells… plus the other 2 Great Spells. The University’s main gates are made of a rare and dark metal called Octiron which is said to be able to withstand any wizardly attack because it absorbs magical energy. A Level ‘seven plus one’ Wizard who lives at the university might spend his evenings (after a large dinner of course) casting powerful spells in the middle of a carefully drawn ‘five plus three’ pointed Octagram. He’ll be on the lookout for any leaks of the highly magical gas known as Octogen and will definitely want to avoid any alchemists with their old stock of Octo-cellulose after all the trouble they caused making their flicks in Holy Wood. Whatever the context, our Wizard definitely won’t want to say this special number out loud as this could attract the carnivorous attentions of “The Things From The Dungeon Dimensions”, hence all the mathematical shenanigans above!

How might this affect gameplay and dice rolls?

You may want to include a special Discworld house rule that any natural roll of 8 on 3d6, whether for a skill roll, fright check or reaction test means there is a strong magical aspect to the result, whether for good or bad, this is for the GM/players to decide according to the context.

Some ideas to introduce our special number to your campaign:

V8 Races” – A breed of magical horses has evolved in the high mana region of the Ramtops mountains. Over hundreds of years grazing on the very steep slopes, they have developed the ability to shorten both legs on one side of their body at will which enables them to feed on the most inaccessible plants. They are now used in teams of 2 for XXXX cart racing – they can take corners faster by shortening their inside legs and a two horse team forms a V shape when racing in a straight line to pull against each other to achieve greater stability at high speed (hence V for the shape and 8 for the legs).

VIII” – The Roman numeral ‘VIII’ is painted 6 feet high on walls in 8 locations around Ankh-Morpork forming a huge octagram on the map. This was done by a mad wizard who believes he’s an Emperor called Otto and he’s looking to turn the entire city into a gladiatorial amphitheatre for his entertainment. Most people in the city aren’t familiar with Roman numerals and assume it’s just a graffiti tag by someone called “Vill”. The PC’s have 8 hours to deactivate the markings (which keep magically re-appearing like one of those annoying birthday cake candles) or locate and stop the wizard (who is busy playing his violin at the Opera House, right in the centre of his Octagram) before the city tears itself apart. Each hour that passes gives a cumulative -1 modifier to every NPC reaction roll as everyone becomes more and more short tempered.

Gail force 8” – Level 8 is the first level of gales in the Beaufort scale. The PC’s are caught in a sudden and unexpected storm and one of them is injured by a large, flying branch. Just as suddenly the wind dies down again and an air elemental called Gail appears, she is young and just practising how to be a ‘Level 8’ storm. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone and apologises a lot, stating that her Boss insists that “real storms smash stuff up” but she’d rather just create a dramatic backdrop in love stories. She vows to assist the PC’s in future if they call her via a magic subsonic whistle that she gives them. A potentially useful ally.

Octave” – the PC’s find a magical music box which plays eight notes (the signature theme tune from the 1970’s TV show “Return of The Saint”) which takes over any person who hears it, they can’t get the tune out of their heads and it makes them think they’re an invincible hero. The PC gains a temporary 15 pt disadvantage of ‘Severe delusion – I am a suave, conquering hero’ which must be role-played!

Eight ball” – A mysterious fair comes to town which includes a magical billiards game sideshow. The rather twitchy owner invites strangers to play against him on his sapient pearwood billiards table with a talking ‘8 ball’. He wants to lose to the PC’s so he plays really badly and, after losing a fair bit of cash to them, will finally wager the table itself – if the PC wins, he wins the table. The former owner is desperate to get rid of it as the table follows him literally everywhere & gets jealous whenever he talks to a woman so he has had no private life for 5 years. Whichever PC wins the table will find this out the hard way! Games (Billiards, snooker or pool) skill would be advantageous, this defaults to IQ-5.

Eights” – The PC’s get involved in the annual university boat race on the river Ankh which is raced in an “eight” – the eight man rowing boat used traditionally for such events. On Discworld however, the boat is carried by the team who run as fast they can on top of the river’s crust due to the thick and toxic nature of the Ankh’s waters. If one of the PC’s is a Wizard he gets invited to join the team (and it would be seen as very rude to refuse); if not, the PC’s accidentally injure one of the team’s ‘rowers’ shortly before the race and so have to step into his shoes to save the team from ignominious defeat. Sprinting ability and thick boots are a must!

After 7’s” – the Patrician calls on the PC’s to investigate when it appears likely that a trade war, or even a real war, is about to break out between Ankh-Morpork and several of its trading partners. This happened after a party held for ambassadors at the Patrician’s Palace last night. On speaking to those involved the PC’s may discover that a moreish snack was served at the meeting – small square mints with a picture of a clock on the paper wrappers – but nobody can remember who provided them. Getting this information will be difficult though as all the ambassadors seem to think that they were gravely insulted by pretty much everyone which is why they are very busy tearing up trade agreements and sending word home to prepare their armies! The ‘After Seven’ mints are in fact enchanted and cause involuntary truthfulness so all the usual diplomatic lies were swept away and everyone told each other what they really thought for once. The mints were provided by the Borogravian Assistant Ambassador who thinks it’s time for a proper World War…

Pieces of eight” – The PC’s are drugged and press-ganged into the crew of a pirate ship one night. They awake at sea and have to work their way into Captain Octarinebeard’s confidence. If they do, they learn that he is following a treasure map to untold riches according to the time honoured tradition of “X marks the spot”. Sadly the Captain has got a bit mixed up and thinks that XXXX on the map must mean there is more treasure there than anywhere else on the Disc. The PC’s will need to find a way to explain his error to him.

Have fun !

It’s almost Soul Cake Day !

Hallowe’en, which is a similar festival to  Discworld’s Soul Cake Tuesday, is almost upon us here on Roundworld. To mark the occasion, and join the other GURPS Halloween blogs, I’d like to have a look at the kind of monsters that Discworld children might dress up as when they go “Trickle-Treating”… The Things From The Dungeon Dimensions (hereafter referred to as TTFTDD)!

The Things From The Dungeon Dimensions (TTFTDD) exist in a dark, cold dimension full of silver sand. They crave life in a stable reality and are murderously jealous of the living, patiently waiting for their chance to cross the dimensional barrier. Excessive magic use in Discworld weakens the fabric of reality which can open up a conduit through which TTFTDD will enter and attack any living thing they find. Should this occur, one TTFTDD will be able to enter Discworld every ten seconds until the breach is sealed. Any use of magic near the breach doubles the number of Things able to enter. The Things are not intelligent or organised but they are numerous and patient so if a portal remains open for long they will overwhelm the defenders and kill everything they can before the physical laws of Discworld destroy their unfeasible bodies. They are susceptible to physical damage from weapons and to fire, which causes double damage.

Basic traits

Terror from horrific appearance – fright check at -3

Mana feeder (absorbs mana – add 1 point of HT & ST per magic point expended against it, no spell can affect it)

Frightens Animals

Jealous of all living creatures – will attack on sight

Brawling at DX

ST = 1d6 + 7

IQ = 1d3 + 2

DX = 3d6

HT = 3d6 reducing by 1 point every minute in our dimension unless actively feeding on mana. At HT 0, the Thing will lose cohesiveness and bits will start to drop off, it will only survive one more minute if left alone. In combat, any TFTDD at HT 0 will disintegrate once any further physical damage is done.

Appearance

Roll 3d6 twice for body shapes, the Thing is a cross between the results from the two tables.

TABLE 1:

3 – Amoeba          4 – Caterpillar          5 – Crocodile          6 – Snake

7 – Spider             8 – Preying Mantis  9 – Bat                    10 – Vulture

11 – Octopus        12 – Hippopotamus  13 – Sabre toothed tiger

14 – Velociraptor 15 – Deckchair         16 – Bicycle

17 – Lawnmower  18 – Pogo stick

TABLE 2:

3 – Basilisk           4 – Dragon          5 – Gargoyle           6 – Goblin

7 – Gryphon         8 – Harpy            9 – Hellhound       10 – Hydra

11 – Kraken          12 – Manticore   13 – Ooze                 14 – Sea Serpent

15 – Sphinx          16 – Wyvern        17 – Yeti                  18 – Zombie

Roll 3d6 again for additional body features:

3 – No head

4 – 2 heads

5 – Wings

6 – Tail weapon (+2 pts cr damage)

7 – Horns (+2 pts imp damage)

8 – Tusks (+2 pts imp damage)

9-10 – Large claws (+2 pts cut damage)

11-13 – Dangerous bite (+2 pts imp damage)

14-15 – Thick hide (DR 2)

16 – No discernible limbs

17 – 1d3 extra arms

18 – 1d3 extra legs

Another 1d6 for Size:

1-2 – 1 yard (-2)

3-5 – 2 yards (0)

6 – 5 yards (+2)

Put it all together and you should have a vicious and peculiar Discworld monster or two!

dungeonmine

Image by Kit Cox from the L-Space Wiki

To help you test them out I’ve created the following quick and easy scenario seed for you to try out, feel free to change it to suit the number and point level of your PC’s:-

Seven young student wizards leave the grounds of Unseen University on Soul Cake Tuesday to go ‘Trickle-Treating’ around Ankh-Morpork. After consuming a few beers they get properly into the swing of things, using some illusion spells to provide themselves with really scary ‘TFTDD costumes’ and then head back to the High Energy Magic Building at Unseen University because it’s less frightening than Ankh-Morpork at night. As they approach the main entrance they see Ponder Stibbons who is just leaving the building on his way to see the Archchancellor. He wants to show off his latest creation – a revolutionary “Thaumos” flask full of highly pressurised Thaums being cooled by liquid Octogen which prevents a runaway Thaumic reaction. Unfortunately the illusionary costumes scare Ponder out of his wits – he faints and drops his Thaumos flask which cracks, letting the cooling gas escape. As the pressurised Thaums begin to split, the magic energy released begins to break down reality, allowing TTFTDD a way into Discworld. At the sight of the first Thing breaking through, the young magicians panic and run in all directions which attracts the attentions of the PC’s who are passing by in Sator Square. They will have to fight their way into the University, kill TTFTDD (without killing any of the terrified student wizards or burning the University down) and close the portal using the emergency rowan and lead shielding stored inside the HEM building before TTFTDD overrun the City.

Happy Hallowe’en!

“You’ve got to pick a pocket or two…”

The next day Xander heads down to the Plaza of Broken Moons in a great mood – this could be just the change he’s been waiting for. It’s a warm and sunny day and the ubiquitous smell of cabbage seems to have receded slightly as he finds a bit of space to wait just outside “The Moon Under Thick Mud” tavern. Xander doesn’t really like CMOT Dibbler’s latest business venture but the ale is pretty cheap and there are plenty of seats outside which is ideal so he won’t miss Rina when she arrives. He is lost in thought when he hears “Psst” from behind a column and then a second, slightly more urgent “Pssst”. Xander looks around and sees… a bag lady trying to get his attention! He turns to the Square again, looking out for Rina’s arrival and tries to ignore the strange old woman behind him, he feels sorry for such people of course but thinks it’s best not to encourage them. A few seconds later he is surprised when a pebble hits him on the back of the head! “Ouch” he exclaims and turns around to see the same bag lady beckoning to him. Losing his temper, he stands up and knocks his drink over before heading to the old crone with the words, “What the hell are you doing..?” He’s just about to launch into a verbal tirade when the ‘bag lady’ lifts her hood from her face and he realises it is Rina – she’s wearing an old woman’s clothes and is hunched over but it’s definitely her under the hood. Rina says apologetically, “Sorry Xander, can you follow me?” and walks into the tavern with a very confused Xander just behind her.

Rina, the beautiful would-be chef, has disguised herself and wants to keep a low profile as she fears that the landlord from “The Dragon’s Den” may have reported her to the City Watch. What our hero doesn’t realise is that Rina impulsively grabbed the night’s takings when she got her coat before leaving the pub last night and she knows that her ex-boss won’t take kindly to her thieving his profits. What Rina doesn’t realise however is that her former employer hasn’t actually reported her to the Watch but instead to some old friends of his in the Ankh-Morpork Thieves Guild who take a dim view of unauthorised pilfering. At this very moment, Dogwood Viscus – a big, lazy thief with a broken nose – is scouting around the Plaza trying to find the pretty girl who nicked $80 last night. Rina succeeds on her Disguise skill roll by 3 whereas Dogwood fails his Vision roll by 4 so he doesn’t spot her.

Once they sit down at a table in a dark corner, Rina pulls her hood away from her face, shakes her hair free (…because I’m worth it…) and says, “I’m really sorry about that, I think I’m being followed by an old boyfriend, he used to hit me and I don’t want him to find me again.”

Will Xander realise that Rina is telling him complete lies? She rolls a 9 against her Fast Talk skill of 15, which is modified by +4 because of her beautiful appearance – so a critical success! At this point Rina could tell Xander pretty much anything and he’d believe it!

Xander reassures her that he fully understands and will help her avoid her awful ex. So they leave the tavern by the back door and walk north towards Water Gate, keeping to the back alleys, while Rina explains what she needs Xander’s help with. “I had to flee my home City of Quirm because of that awful man and I could only bring with me what I could carry. This included a couple of items passed down from my poor, dead parents, which aren’t very valuable but they have great sentimental value. I’ve heard so much about Ankh-Morpork that I didn’t want to carry any valuables into the city in case I got robbed so I left them with a childhood friend in ‘The Maquis’ woods near Quirm. I don’t feel safe here anymore if he’s found me so I would like to return to Quirm and pick up my valuables on the way. Would you go with me please?”

Part of this is accurate – Rina left two special items with her friend Mistress Moonfall, a witch who lives in The Maquis, but they aren’t family heirlooms and she didn’t flee the city because of the imaginary ex-boyfriend. Rina had to flee because she stole the valuables (do you see a pattern developing?) and was being chased… She figures the heat should have died down by now in Quirm and wants to get back there as she now realises that Ankh-Morpork really doesn’t have that many good openings for chefs… or thieves. 

Xander believes the whole cover story, although he does wonder why Rina pulled him abruptly into a bakery in the middle of a sentence, just as Sergeant Colon came into view. “I do love a fresh meat pie,” Rina exclaims! After this impromptu lunch, the two of them head across the river to ‘Bang & Whymper’s’ outdoor supplies to get some equipment for their trip to The Maquis and Quirm. Rina chooses several top quality items which she pays for from a surprisingly large bundle of cash and she really seems to know her ropes & grapnels – “my brothers were in the Scouts” she replies to Xander’s quizzical raised eyebrow. Fully kitted up, they agree to meet at dawn the next day at the Deosil Gate to start their journey.

Into the Dragon’s Den

Having just finished a profitable but unexciting ‘Exterior Jump’ trip outside the city of Ankh-Morpork with a group of fat and boorish merchants, Xander returns to the city via the Hubwards Gate, feeling in need of a drink and a change. He slept badly last night due to a really disturbing dream which he thinks relates to his forgotten childhood – he only remembers brief images of 2 other children and a scary woman who terrified them all but this was enough to make him realise that he won’t find peace until he uncovers the truth about his past.

Xander is so wrapped up in his thoughts he walks a different route than usual towards his lodgings, turning into Treacle Street where he happens upon “The Dragon’s Den” tavern, a relatively new watering hole where, some say, fortunes can be won or lost in an evening. Feeling the urge for a new direction in his life, Xander walks hopefully through the door. Inside the tavern is quiet and quite empty with only a handful of customers. Xander walks up to the bar and sees the barmaid, a beautiful blonde woman who looks a little tired. He orders an ale cheerfully and attempts to start a conversation but she serves him tersely and is clearly not interested in small talk at the moment so Xander takes a seat to think how he might learn more about his past.

rina

The barmaid’s response is a result of the rolls I made when creating her using the Collaborative Gamer NPC tables which provide interesting depth for any NPC. Our barmaid is Rina Forgeron from Quirm, she is working, in an argument, tired, thinking about the past, in transit and dismissive towards Xander. She has a foreign accent, is wearing an unfashionable dress and has hopes for something to do with family.

While Xander is sipping his ale, he notices the barmaid take a drink to one of the booths at the back of the tavern where a sweaty, disfigured man calls out, “C’mere Rina,” grabs her arm and pulls her close to his lecherous face before he says something to her in a hushed voice which she clearly dislikes.

This troublesome drunk is Sebastian Larksong, age 45, a skinny merchant with a missing ear, a loud voice and a cruel face. He blinks a lot and is currently hopeful, specifically to recruit this pretty girl for the house of ill repute he is employed by.

Xander watches as the barmaid pulls her arm away from his grasp and says, “I’ve told you before Larksong, I will never do that! Keep your filthy hands to yourself!” At this point Larksong, who is clearly drunk, stands up and slaps Rina across her face, with the words “You’d better watch yourself girl or you could have a nasty accident!”

Everybody looks around at this point as Larksong has a loud voice. A couple of patrons leave the bar while others quickly lose interest but Xander is furious at such behaviour and cannot let this insult to a lady pass unchallenged. He rises to his feet and walks towards the booth where Larksong is standing unsteadily. “That’s no way to behave to a lady, I suggest you apologise, oaf!” he exclaims angrily.

I roll an NPC reaction roll here for Larksong, he gets -2 as he’s on his home turf and -2 as he’s drunk so his roll of 9 becomes a 5 – a bad reaction – he’s going to fight. His stats are ST 10, DX 10, IQ 9, HT 8. His speed is 4.5 against Xander’s speed of 6 so Xander goes first. Larksong has knife skill at 12.

Larksong decides to attack and, even though he’s drunk, he still realises that Xander looks younger and fitter than him so he grabs his knife from his belt and slashes towards his opponent’s chest. Xander sees him grab the knife and steps back to grab the nearest chair to defend himself just as the merchant lunges at him, blade in hand.

Larksong readies his knife then attacks while Xander grabs the nearest chair. Larksong rolls an 11 for his first slash but due to the +2 modifier for being inebriated, his attack fails by one against his skill of 12.

Xander can see that this drunken fool means business despite his inebriation and he knows better than to mess with a man with a knife so he decides to use the chair to knock Larksong out. As Larksong lunges again with his knife, Xander steps to the side and swings the chair at his opponent’s body.

Xander goes first due to his Speed of 6 and rolls a 10 against his Brawling skill of 14 for a hit. Larksong has a Dodge of 7 and padded cloth armour giving PD of 1 so his total defence is 8. He rolls a 10 so is unable to avoid the incoming furniture which delivers 4 points of damage – 1d of swing damage (2) plus extra 2 points for the heavy chair. Larksong’s HT is now reduced to 4. He slashes at Xander after the chair strikes him and rolls a 6, modified by +2 for being drunk, making an 8 which is a hit. Xander’s Dodge is 5 with +2 for his leather armour for a total defence of 7 and he rolls a… 7 and dodges the blade! 

Xander scores a good solid hit to Larksong’s torso which knocks the wind out of his opponent. As they close on each other, Larksong lunges at him with his knife but Xander dodges the blade as it whizzes past, mere inches from his chest.

In the next round, Larksong realises he is not likely to win this fight so he chooses an all out attack while Xander tries again to knock the older man out with his chair. Xander rolls first getting an 8 against his brawling of 14, a good success. Due to his all out attack Larksong cannot dodge and so only has PD of 1 to protect him. He cannot avoid the blow and takes another 4 points of damage which reduces his HT to 0. Larksong rolls a 9 against his HT of 8 for his knockdown roll and so is knocked to the floor, dropping his knife. He rolls 10 against his HT next round and so falls unconscious.

Larksong is clearly enraged by Xander’s attack and so launches himself madly forward just as Xander swings again with the chair, hitting him solidly and knocking him down as the chair breaks into pieces. The knife bounces away under a table as Larksong drops it and so Xander is able to grab the stunned drunk in a chokehold and drag him outside the tavern before dropping him into the gutter where Larksong falls unconscious.

Xander walks back inside where the barmaid, Rina, is standing dumbstruck by what has just happened – nobody has ever helped her so gallantly before. Xander apologises for breaking the chair and offers to pay for it but she refuses his offer and instead asks if he would like another drink. However, just at this moment the innkeeper arrives up the stairs, having heard the commotion while he was fetching another barrel from the cellar. Fearful of a visit from the City Watch (reaction roll of 4) he shouts at Rina “Get out of here and take your boyfriend with you!” Rina is only too glad to go as she has had quite enough of Ankh-Morpork and was thinking of leaving anyway. She impulsively replies, “I quit, you lazy pig!” before leaving with Xander. “Could I trouble you to walk me to my lodgings, sir?” Rina asks a little nervously. “It would be my pleasure, Miss..?” Xander replies. They introduce themselves and chat briefly before Xander delivers her safely home. Rina wonders whether this honourable man might be able to help her retrieve a valuable item she needs and asks him if he would meet her for lunch the following day. Obviously he agrees!

So that’s it for the first session, Xander has met his employer although he doesn’t know the specifics of the mission yet. Maybe this is the adventure he’s been longing for…

Xander’s character sheet

Here are Xander’s stats to flesh out the character, remember this is all 3rd edition GURPS as my current Discworld sourcebooks are based on that version of the rules (which is also the version I used to play a lot and feel comfortable with) – maybe I’ll update the stats once the new 4th edition book comes out later this year…

Xander Fallassi – Ranger and outdoor expedition guide

ST 10          DX 12          IQ 15           HT 12

Basic speed 6      Move 5

Advantages: Alertness (2), Language Talent (3) [part of his mysterious back story], Luck (as he’s a solo adventurer this may well keep him alive!), Unusual Background (to be tweaked and revealed in the fullness of time!)

Disadvantages: Bad temper, Honesty, Overconfidence, Total Amnesia (can’t remember any details of his life before he was 15 years old)

Quirks: Has a loud laugh; Wears a rune design necklace but does not know where it came from; Minor phobia about lightning; Practical joker; Uses foreign words to impress

Skills: Animal Handling 13; Area Knowledge (Ankh-Morpork) 15; Brawling 14; Camouflage 16; Climbing 11; Cooking 15; Diplomacy 15; Fast Draw (Sword) 13; Fast Talk 14; First Aid TL3 16; Fishing 15; Leadership 15; Navigation TL3 14; Riding (horse) 12; Scrounging 15; Shield 14;  Stealth 12; Survival (woodlands) 14; Tracking 15; Knife 13; Broadsword 13; Bow 12; Languages – Ankh-Morporkian 18 (native); Quirmian 17; Uberwaldian 17; Klatchian 17

Character story: Xander’s first clear memories are from his fifteenth year, working on a farm just outside the city of Ankh-Morpork. He does not remember who his parents were or where he was born and raised but occasionally he has disturbing dreams which he believes may be images of his early life and perhaps even of playing with brothers? He has drifted through a number of outdoors jobs, never feeling truly at home and often leaves after a bad tempered outburst. His current employment is a way to pay the bills and keep his mind busy as this last year has seen the odd dreams increase in frequency. He feels like he’s missing something important but is unsure where to even start looking for answers.

Using the Plot System from the Collaborative Gamer, Xander is just about to embark on a personal quest to find out more about his mysterious past, although this could prove tricky with so little to go on. The central plot is likely to appear as soon as Xander gets a chance to talk to that pretty barmaid at the “Dragon’s Den”…

ranger_by_jackieocean