74 thoughts on “This is a good sign.”

  1. Mark Weis Pleasant, and awkward because my conscious and rational mind knows Adam is a fellow human appearing under professional circumstances but my animal brain just wrestles with appropriate levels of space and eye contact because OMG DUDE THAT SET WAS WICKED I COME TO ALL YOUR SHOWS MANNN

  2. Okay, so I don’t know how long it will take me to transcribe my non-shorthand from those three hours, but I will give an actual play recap to the limits of my brain, and small observations on how things were run for whatever that might be worth to y’all.

  3. We had two seasoned DW players, me who mostly GMs but has played in two abortive Hangouts, and one fresh victim, as yet untainted by our ways. First hour was character and world creation. Adam gave an overview of the core mechanic and described each class, explaining no double-ups, first-come-first-served, be adults who resolve conflict amicably, and no Canadian stand-offs (sorry, too polite for action, me).

  4. Our first character was Finch, a ripped halfling fighter with a dragontooth spear heirloom. They believe history is in the blood, so warriors begat warriors and the fate of your parent is likely to befall you. Pipeleaf is a cash-crop only, and dignified halflings do not get high on their own supply. The splinter-groups of toking halflings form peace-cults and get round and slow. Finch has no patience for them.

  5. Next was Bjorn, dwarven cleric of the god of treasuring valuable secrets, wearing a jewel-encrusted featureless mask. They shun the god of the sea, Lapis, whose followers are the Azurites.

  6. Ronin the bard travels the world studying ancient ruins from previous civilisations, searching for the knowledge currently lost to this age. His father died in one such ruin. Most recently, he was falsely accused of collusion with a thief who pickpocketed an audience during a performance.

  7. Last was my character, Halwyn the elven wizard. He fell in with the halfling peace-cults, partied with shroom gnomes and then woke in a ditch clutching a scrap of ancient parchment. Since then, smoke-dreams and trip-visions have whispered translations and further ancient writings which he has scrawled, studied, and turned into spells he regards as the True Magic of the dead worlds. Phew.

  8. Adam asked us questions from Truncheon World on the World’s Largest iPad perched 3/4 on the table corner and I tried to stay calm about it because he hasn’t broken it yet, clearly there is an understanding between them, clumsy players, and gravity. He called a bio-break and used the time to get further notes in order.

  9. The questions revealed some synergistic connections between Finch wanting to intervene on Halwyn’s drug issues, the other three characters’ relationships with the Secrets of the Ancient World, and a nice notion that secrets were a currency for most of us. Ronin and Halwyn often crossed paths in the ruins, one following knowledge of history, the other receiving cues from disembodied voices, either supernatural or delusional.

  10. It turned out that Lord Mayor Ossian the Grey was missing his son, Bryce the Wise. We had traced him to Orchid City, a ruin overgrown with gardens which claimed the lives of so many explorers, the pungent flowers blooming from their fallen bodies. The lush soil surrounding the ruin was where one peace-cult grew their crops, yielding a particuarly doomy strain of ashen leaf whose blue smoke brings visions of ghosts and skulls because they believe that death is the most peaceful of all states.

  11. Shadows had fallen upon us and were surrounded by the mocking cries of the Terror Birds, who, drawn by the odour of the orchids, mimic the voices of the dead to lure their loved ones to a similar fate. They were swooping down toward us. What would we do?

  12. What a great ‘in media res’ start! Did you ask Adam if he had ANY prep done, or did he come up with all that psychedelic orchid / terror bird stuff in the break?

  13. Nathan Roberts He admitted to zero prep prior to the session (half-expected) I didn’t ask, or actually read his notes, but I was fascinated by the colour-coded lines in his prep during bio-break. I got the impression that everything grew organically as we spoke, which is what I am used to, and he threw in various names and touches of his own which we then perverted to our interpretations.

  14. Sweet! I’m wishing I was a kid, so I could play in your game at the con! I can see some Koebel Influences working their way in to the session 🙂

  15. Nathan Roberts The influence is inescapable by design, but I’ll still run it in my own slightly broken and amnesiac way. It was great to see similarities in how he handles pacing, compromise and education. Predictably, he still has patience and generosity for differences across the table, forgiving to the players, and fairer to the characters than many GMs would be. #OneShotsAreSpecial

  16. Quick Quote: “I keep seeing the old typos from the original rules draft where it said YOU ENCOUNTER A LONG GOBLIN”Adam Koebel, 2017.

  17. Ronin raced for the cover of a colllapsed wall. Bjorn cast magic weapon on his mace and it blurred into an indistinct form, like a secret shrouded from future victims. Halwyr brought a bird to ground by entangling it with a magic missile shaped like a smokey, skull-headed snake, and Finch murdered another one outright.

  18. The voices in Halwyr’s head (provided by an audience member) called on him to jump on the entangled bird, but he hesitated. Ronin had told him to trust the voices to a point, but you never know. Ronin, flat on his stomach, drew his bow but when he reached for an arrow, vines entangled him and pulled him deeper into the alcove. Bjorn was grabbed by a bird and taken into the air, and Halwyr decided to try wrestling the wounded bird after him using the spellsnake as reins. This did not work out. As he wrestled with the creature, it screeched in pain as the magical wound seemed to beging a chain reaction of shining, crystal green transformation, its feathers splitting…Finch leapt to supplant the wizard, knocking him safely clear, and ended the creature as Bjorn was carried away out of sight.

  19. Seeing Ronin’s bow, Halwyr braced his feet outside the alcove and reached his staff into the dark space to help Ronin pull free of the vines, not without injury. From somewhere nearby, a bell tolled and the remaining bird hastened away.

  20. Airborne above a rocky pile of broken bodies, Bjorn wrestled himself free enough to strike the beast in hopes of steering its wounded body (and himself) into the river.

    This did not work out, either.

    Bjorn landed painfully just beside the water, just before his shield, to the mild confusion of some chubby, pink-faced halflings in hempen robes. He brought himself to his feet and proclaimed himself an emissary of the sky, whom they should take to their leader.

  21. The halflings agreed to lead the way toward the great and mighty Marzipan (followed by whispered repetition of the name, reverent chiming of finger cymbals) and began to skip the way up a mountain.

  22. At this point, the party badly seperated, we panned out to a wide shot of the area which our characters were yet to perceive first-hand.

  23. The bell was tolling at the base of a mountain, struck rhythmically​ by an azurite. Close to them, a circle of wagons which the halflings use as hotboxes of smoky indoctrination. Further up the hill, tonnes of halfling cultists were engaging in prepatory breathing exercises in synch with the bell. At the summit, a huge ceremonial stone bowl full of ash-coloured leaves sat beneath a five-leaved sculpted edifice to their herbal devotion. A series of pipes ran from this bowl down to those awaiting the signal from the high acolytes…

    (At this point, Adam broke and stressed that that pun was not intended)

  24. Bjorn’s ascent was momentarily halted by an azurite who questioned his business among them. Bjorn brushed him off and kept striding.

  25. The remainder of the party had agreed to head toward the bell in hopes that they would find Bjorn and Bryce there. They peeked over a rise to see the wagon line and Halwyr began some sort of eenie-meenie selection of which hotbox might hold the Lord Mayor’s missing boy.

  26. Bjorn tried to get a halfling to reveal Bryce’s whereabouts, and received a shabby lie in response. Finch decided to disrupt the rituals with a carefully-timed spear throw at the bell, and began lining up his shot…

  27. Bjorn and the azurite had a heated exchange, interrupted my the trollblood Marzipan, wherein it came to light that Marzipan and Bjorn were actually on the same side. Bryce was to be spirited away during the climax of the ritual, when the cultists’ vision and judgement would be more severely clouded than normal.

  28. Finch’s spear struck the bell and the ritual was thrown into mild, stonery chaos as he harshed their mellow. An old rival looked up across the sea of halflings and met Finch’s eyes. Something approaching combat began to brew.

  29. Ronin decided to help Finch by darting closer and sniping the rival (General Kerrick?) with his bow. Halwyr helped by casting invisibility on him as he broke off. The arrow struck home, Ronin reappeared and Kerrick turned his attention to the source of the arrow, as he sent waves of halflings with cudgels (peace cults have their limits, and the codeword seemed to be INTERLOPERS) around either side of Finch’s positon on the rise.

  30. Halwyn was spotted and angrily approached by the bell-ringer, so he hastily locked himself in the second wagon, which also turned out be empty. His pursuer started pounding on the wagon door with his mace…

  31. …Marzipan urged Bjorn to get the bell ringing again, lest the plan be disrupted…the halflings swarmed Finch and Ronin, Bjorn rang the bell and a wave of sleepiness overtook the halflings, Finch and Ronin, turning the battle into a cuddle-puddle…

  32. Halwyr burst out of the wagon, spotted Bryce in the crowd, raced over, grabbed him, whispering YOUR DAD IS GOING TO GIVE ME MONEY FOR DRUGS and then dragged him off at high speed…session ends.

  33. Learnings from watching Adam GM:

    When a situation is complex, he favoured adding a DD roll before the action roll, which is straight out of the book, but I suddenly realised I often just apply a -1 to the player’s roll for expediency.

  34. One player was deeply entrenched in The Old Ways and asking about dual-wielding like it mattered. Adam was patient, graceful and clear that this is about the story, DW (politely) doesn’t give a fuck about minmax mechanical bullshit.

  35. He also spotted the Looking At Sheet For Cues business and urged the player to simply describe their action first…even if that resulted in lots of dodging, rolling and fleeing.

  36. Also, I was excited as fuck and had trouble not staring lovingly into his eyes the whole time. I got home and the kids teasingly asked me How My Date Went, and my wife laughed at my blushing. Gosh.

  37. I played Bjorn, and the session was just as ridiculous as described. It was great fun playing with you!

    My partner made similar comments about my general excitement around getting to play in one of Adam’s games.

    Frankly the best of 2d10 seemed generous at the time considering the general poor quality of my rolling.

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