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Fate Core System» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Thieves' Guild of Da'avos, Session n, "Bad for Business" rss

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J White
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Skip ahead to below the blue if you just want the session report -- this context might make it more intelligible, or not.

Some background: We've been dabbling with Fate Core for over a year now, playing roughly monthly, trying a campaign where all the characters are apprentices in a thieves' guild. My hope was that Fate would give plenty of room, through stunts and aspects, for these characters to be distinct in ways that, say, a bunch of 1st level thieves in D&D (any edition) just can't be. It's working reasonably well for that, although a lot of the time we're mostly ignoring the system except for some rough guidance from mechanics about what's a success and what's a failure.

We're rotating GM duties, with Tom, Christopher, and myself all having run multiple sessions. We loved Ars Magica's troupe idea, and find it's working well here to represent a many-faceted city with a lot of very different stuff going on.

As something of a New Year's Resolution (yeah, from 11.8 months ago) I've wanted to get session reports posted. If anybody notices them, maybe I'll be moved to backfill some of the past sessions as best I can, but life is pretty full and that might not happen.

So the characters are all apprentices of the Honorable Guild of Protectors of Life and Property of Da'avos, a.k.a. the Thieves' Guild. The idea is that protection money can take on a life of its own, and the best way to make a thieves' guild an enduring concern is to give it the legitimacy of supporting the status quo, as in protecting those in power (the citizens of the city, which in Da'avos is a very small share of the total population). So the guild vigorously roots out independent thieving, and only preys on "legitimate" targets like foreign merchants, the fairly narrow middle class of those without citizenship but with enough property to be worth stealing, and other convenient patsies. There are also very lucrative rackets in gambling, information brokering, and other related lines -- come on, if you can't trust the thieves' guild, who can you trust? Our (anti?)heros are all somewhere around 13 years old, have been in training for a couple of years, and have been acquitting themselves well enough to be held in mostly high regard by the masters of the guild.

---
Characters:
Loar, played by Mike, a bruiser
Zeke, played by Tom, unnoticeable
Knox, played by Christopher, urchin darling of tavern matrons everywhere
Marik, played by Jon, sneaky (and mostly background this session because he's my character, but story dictated he'd be involved)
---
In session n-2, the guild slapped down Big Mikos, whose operation has been edging in on the guild's numbers racket and various smuggling rights. Mikos was clearly overstepping his rightful position, and needed a lesson to be taught. Zeke was key to bringing down a flagrant raid by Mikos's guys on a citizen's home, which is strictly against all the rules, and quite a few of Mikos's guys were killed (a big deal in Da'avos -- the Temple of Justice usually fingers and exacts vengeance for killings in the city) or sidelined, with significant negative impact on his reputation.

We open with a quick scene with the apprentices on The Gauntlet, the guild's ever-shifting training ground. They're scaling a mock-shopfront to a second-story balcony, but the climb is a stretch and doesn't play to the strengths of most of the characters. Loar barely manages to make it up to the balcony, but is stymied by the lock on the door there. Zeke and Knox are in turn prompted to start, and the three of them are (somewhat embarrassingly) crowded on the balcony trying to get past the lock while the other apprentices look on. Loar suddenly has an inexplicable vision of Master Braavos tapping him on the shoulder and intoning "I hereby induct thee Initiate of the Order of Protectors" and the lock clicks open. Nobody's got a clue what to make of that.

Next scene, the guys are waiting near Westgate with orders to get the Watch to catch a couple of wagonloads of smuggled goods that Big Mikos is bringing in under false colors of House Ma'tikos. Knox, always with his connections, knows the lieutenant of the Watch here and tips him off about the smuggling, which otherwise would normally pass through with a customary bribe. The lieutenant recognizes the tightly-covered wagons, and holds up the line questioning them. The massive tunnel of Westgate is currently under serious renovations (of course only idle workers are anywhere to be seen), with lots of scaffolding narrowing the way to a single file each direction, so traffic backs up and people get restless. After several minutes, just as someone well back in the line gets impatient enough to try to swing out past, thus blocking the outbound traffic too and creating a complete snarl, the lieutenant settles for a shockingly fat purse of coins and waves the wagons through after all. But Knox and Zeke saw this coming and are in position, and Knox yanks out the rear axelpin on the lead wagon with impressive strength, and the wagon flounders, and when it tips the full load of precious smuggled blood oranges goes crashing and rolling across the plaza to mass chaos. Meanwhile Zeke uses the distraction to pick the fat purse off the lieutenant's belt in the confusion.

Now main scene, a massive coordinated effort by dozens of guildsmen aimed at various parts of The Angry Boar, which is Big Mikos's center of operations, combining tavern, several gambling rooms, fencing operation, and boarding halls. Our group has orders to steal everything from a designated second-floor hallway of the rented rooms. We're strictly ordered not to let any alarm be raised before the first bell (1am), but to be well prepared to scram shortly after that in anticipation of ruckus. Everyone does some advance scouting and prep, leading to Marik scaling the wall on the narrow side alley to the roof and then drawing the others up a few hours after dark. Zeke sneaks in through a room he's determined to be unoccupied, but finds it stinks mightily, and coincidentally has an outlandish circle of sinister-looking runes seared into the floor. Much stealthy probing is done over the next couple hours, with careful noting of what's occupied, what's not, and what's worth stealing. Near 12:30 they kick into serious action, quickly and systematically looting everything worth taking and shuttling it to their designated (reeking) entry room and thence up to Marik on the roof. In the midst of this flurry they have to pause when Loar notices Da'tanik of House Da'arik coming around the corner of the hallway with an expensive courtesan on his arm, but our lads snappily get out of sight, and Da'tanik disappears into one of the two large/expensive corner rooms at the end of the hall which have so far prudently been left undisturbed. They finish cleaning out everything worth taking from the other rooms, and finally Zeke picks the lock on the large/expensive corner room... and gets more than his 13-year-old eyes have previously beheld. But then in a flash he realizes that he's not the only onlooker to behold the charms of the courtesan -- Da'tanik's trusted guard is standing just inside the door too (rich folks are weird). The guard raps on the door to the adjoining (large/expensive) room to muster his comrades, and Zeke bolts to his planned escape room. The guards burst in just as Zeke vanishes up the rope out the window, as the sounds of alarm shouts rise from points all over the building. Knox boosts the confusion by lighting a puddle of oil he's poured onto the ominous circle of runes and yelling "Fire!" as he bails out the window himself.

JJW-T.C.H.
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