This week, my PCs went after bandits in the woods.

This week, my PCs went after bandits in the woods.

This week, my PCs went after bandits in the woods. They got ambushed, but just before fighting broke out, the wizard charmed the lead bandit. Now they’ve convinced him they want to BECOME bandits, and are going to have to participate in an initiation ceremony.

I told them it involved drinking a really nasty beverage; they have to swallow it all without gagging or hesitating. I want to have a special move for them to drink. One consequence, if they DO swallow it all, is that they are charmed (not by the bandit king, but by his wife, actually, who brewed the drink).  But what would be GOOD results of drinking?

Failing to drink provokes a battle between the attempted drinker and the bandit king; its presumed at that point that they were not charmed and are a liability if they continue living.

4 thoughts on “This week, my PCs went after bandits in the woods.”

  1. Aren’t you afraid it might feel like: ‘You charmed my bandit king, I charm you in return’?

    Anyway, I would write something like:

    When you drink the bandit queen potion, roll+CON.

    10+: you aren’t charmed

    7-9: you aren’t totally charmed but you must Defy danger (roll+WIS) when a strong order is given you. The GM will tell you when.

  2. I like Bastien Wauthoz ‘s move.

    On the other note, I think it makes sense that the Bandit King might have an initiation process and that initiation might help him to trust those under his employ. Bandits are a shady group of people.

    However, using the same “spell” that was used on him seems a little odd. Unless the Bandit Queen was established before this point your players might think you are just creating a higher up to reduce the impact of their tactic. Also, wouldn’t the King try to vouch for these guys since they are now his buddies?

    You did ask for some other actions that may be interesting if the characters drink the potion:

    – It could be a hallucinogenic compound, on a hit you trip out and the bandits put merit in your dream. On a partial, you get sick but the bandits think its funny, and on a miss you hesitate to drink and they get angry.

    – It could be a truth serum

    – It could just be a cup full of some sore of feces. The Bandits only invite their friends and this is just meant as a good bit of hazing. Think of some college initiation prank and put it here. 

    That’s all I got. Happy Hunting!

  3. I think it is important to maintain the players’ agency over their characters, though going through a bandit initiation sounds like a fraught situation with interesting repercussions. My inclination would be to have this bandit do some cult-ish brainwashing during initiation and then have the players roll on a move something like this:

    When you partake in an orgy of drinking, drugs and violence to become a bandit, Roll +WIS.

    On a 10+, you impress the gang and keep your head: tell me how. On a 7-9 you become caught up in the wilding and the Bandit leader gets his hooks in you: hold 2. On a miss you come to your senses in a messed-up situation the next morning, with unexpected compulsions and hungers lodged in your brain: hold 4 and be prepared to for surprises when you find out what you’ve done under the influence.

    Holds can be spent by the Bandit leader to give orders that you are compelled to obey. If you follow the order take 1 XP; if you choose to resist take -1 forward and prepare to explain yourself to the gang!

    Admittedly that’s pretty rough. It probably needs more to feed back into the fiction a bit more on the 7-9, and maybe if  you’ve impressed the gang with a 10+ you can use your new status as leverage in parley?

  4. Great ideas, y’all. Keep the coming!

    This is all very off the cuff, so I can change any element of the situation. I love the “you don’t know what you did” idea!

    And yeah, looking at it, charming them does seem a bit too much… Hallucinations would be moRe fun!

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