Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, Florida
|Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:00 pm Post subject: "Avarice in Plunderland" Game Report @ Necronomico
|I ran a few games of Savage Worlds RPG at a local sci-fi/fantasy/horror gaming convention, Necronomicon, in St. Petersburg, Florida, over the weekend (October 26th-28th, 2012). For my third game, I was strongly tempted to run a pirate-themed adventure, since I've been running those a lot in the past year ... but I also wanted to run a Wonderland scenario.
Thus was born "Avarice in Plunderland." In other words -- why not do both?
Avarice in Plunderland!
(The "Snark Rider" is on the left -- a modified Mega Bloks Pyrates "Captain Cutlass's Stormstalker" with new decking and rigging stolen from a "Black Pearl" set. The card ship "Dead Man's Hand" is on the right, made of foam and printed paper, with rigging from a Pyrates "Dreadeye's Phantom" set.)
The premise was that in a Wonderland gone horribly wrong, our heroes had resorted to piracy against the fleet of the murderous Queen of Hearts. They had acquired a heavily-armed sloop, the Snark Rider, and had as their prey a Card Ship known as the Dead Man's Hand, captained by the wily Captain Jack (of all Trades), and the personal conveyance of the cruel sorceress Princess Heartless (a Queen of Hearts, rather than the Queen of Hearts), served by the Red Gourmancer, "Ginger," and a few other colorful minions.
Captain M'Alice at the Wheel of the Snark Rider
I handled the broadsides and approach somewhat in the abstract, rather than delving deep into maneuvers -- more-or-less, it consisted of a simple "chase" in which the Snark Rider gradually gained on the Dead Man's Hand, and cannon shot was exchanged at decreasing ranges, while Captain M'Alice struggled to close the distance more quickly.
Captain Jack (of-all-Trades) at the Helm of the Dead Man's Hand
(The "52-Pick-Up" rocket platform is visible to the far right of the picture, closer to the prow.)
The White Rabbit rather expertly took out a deck weapon on the opposing ship known as "52 Pick-Up" for its haphazard method of firing a barrage of rockets to scatter every which way in a fiery hail of little explosions, and then followed up with a successful chain-shot to tear up one of the Dead Man's Hand's masts and slow it -- allowing the Snark Rider to close in more quickly. The Banker (the ship's quartermaster) further secured their victory by launching impressive sounding threats at the opposing ship's helmsman (all in monetary terms of course, insinuating that there would be a price to pay if the Jack resisted, and that on no account should he consider any duplicity, etc., etc.).
Prepare to Repel Boarders!
Before boarding ropes could be thrown, however, Steven of Clubs was a bit over-eager and decided to fire another volley of cannons directly at the other ship (rather than using grapeshot), managing through extraordinary luck to take out the enemy ship's magazine. This resulted in a tremendous explosion that -- due to the close proximity of both ships at this point -- crippled both vessels. They promptly began to sink.
Fortunately, a timely use of an Adventure Card heralded Wonderland's tendency forward sudden and unexplained "scene changes," and the waters flash-froze in a brief Wonderland winter -- temporarily halting both ship's descent. On the other ship, Princess Heartless worked some sort of sorcery from her cabin, gradually working repairs to her own ship. Captain M'Alice gathered up Steven of Clubs and the Mad Hatter to salvage supplies and materials to build a life raft -- but when she realized that Princess Heartless was actually repairing her own ship through sorcery, she launched another plan: She told the others to withhold trying to deal further damage to the Dead Man's Hand. Instead, they would let Princess Heartless do her work, but in the meantime they would go over and take out the crew, then take the Card ship for themselves!
"Ifrit So" Cooks the Mock Turtle, while "Ifrit Not" Awaits His Turn
This initial plan was complicated when the Mock Turtle discovered two fiery djinn working on the remains of the other ship's gun deck: Ifrit So and Ifrit Not. The Mock Turtle tried shooting one, to no effect, then upon running out of gunpowder, threw his cannon at the fiery ifrit in frustration. The White Rabbit once again played the role of the sharpshooter, taking out one djinn and then the other with well-placed headshots.
Once the battle was over, the "sudden freeze" went away with a just-as-abrupt thaw. Captain M'Alice's lifeboat splashed down into the water, but enough of the opposing ship was repairing itself that it stayed afloat.
Not Just a Figurehead
The figurehead of the Dead Man's Hand, crafted to resemble Princess Heartless, but with a couple of swords, sprang to life, and swam over to fight the Mock Turtle -- but was eventually vanquished.
Look What's Cookin'!
After that, the boarding party had to deal with a wicked Card Gourmancer, "Ginger," who focused on summoning minions. She tormented our heroes with a pair of ginger snips (animated scissors), and a gingerbread golem (a little animated gingerbread man with a rolling pin), but the Mock Turtle went on a stomping rampage, squashing snips, cookie, and finally the cook herself.
Most of Captain M'Alice's crew (save for the Hatter, who had stayed behind to row the "life boat" with a conjured oar) was over on the "new" ship, and found its timbers rising into place to re-form the ship -- and a new, literal "skeleton crew" conjured to take over its duties. Another battle commenced, with the Banker (already in hiding, with the Thief, Assassin, and Improved Lethal Weapon Edges) playing a crucial role by sniping enemies with lethally-slung "pennies from heaven" or with his coinpurse (wielded as a very effective sap).
Confronting Princess Heartless
With the Gourmancer and skeleton crew defeated, our heroes proceeded toward the princess's cabin. They set off a corridor full of traps, but managed to evade most of them, and though a falling barricade caught the Mock Turtle, his massive body and hard shell allowed him to hold the gate open for the others to get through.
The Mad Hatter took a moment to glance over some "secret battle plans" and maps set out on a table, but awakened a diminutive red creature that identified itself as the "Devil in the Details," which "charmed" the Hatter into attacking Steven of Clubs (but fortunately his Fighting skill was pretty mediocre). There was also a mechanical guillotine construct, but the Mock Turtle managed to blow that to smithereens with his freshly-reloaded cannon before it could start relieving anyone of life or limb. In the corner was a perfumed plant that periodically let out heady perfume favors that tended to stun anyone who caught a whiff of it -- so the Hatter rushed to do some "pruning" on the plant.
Finishing Things Off with a Royal Flush
(The kitten-ized Princess is in the upper-left corner, while the poor Mock Turtle is pinned under a dropped portcullis toward the right side.)
Captain M'Alice, in a desperate moment, after nearly getting decapitated by Princess Heartless, simply grabbed the princess and began shaking her. "I'll shake you into a kitten, I will!" and so she did. (Adventure Card!) She then had to protect the kitten from over-eager fellow heroes hoping to quickly finish off the Princess; attacking the kitten would surely end this magical effect and put them right where they started ... so she took out a little glass box she'd saved from one of those mysterious "Eat Me" cakes, and put the kitten inside ... then tossed the box out into the ocean! Sure, the Princess would be out of the box in no time, but putting her out of range dispelled the summoned "Devil in the Details" and any persistent spell effects -- and once she got out, she'd be very Soggy from getting doused with ocean water.
So, at last, after a tough battle, our heroes had claimed a new prize ship: The Dead Man's Hand!
All in all, it was a crazy game, just the sort to end the convention with. I was a bit surprised, as it was the best turn-out I'd had (all chairs full) all weekend.
In retrospect, I need to do a bit more polishing-up of the ship-to-ship battle aspect (the sudden destruction of both ships was by no means part of the "plan," and it would have been a very different adventure without a convenient Adventure Card there to buy time), but I think it still served its purpose for a convention one-shot.
Wonderland No More Fan Material: http://greywolf.critter.net/wonderland.htm