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Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017




Sure, D works.

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Slaan
Mar 16, 2009



ASHERAH DEMANDS I FEAST, I VOTE FOR A FEAST OF FLESH
NAy

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


"Give up, you crazy old rear end in a top hat!" Minar yells from the back. "Rochelle's already the legal count of Dragonholt!

Kyric lashes out with one fist, knocking over an overstuffed bookcase. Loose papers and volumes go tumbling and fluttering through the air. "Enough. The child knows nothing," he growls. "My sister stole the title from me. It was never hers to begin with!"

We learned the history of Regina's claim

The party picks their way through the clutter of tomes while Minar keeps yelling. "We found out how she 'stole' it - your dad made her the heir after you failed to step up when the county needed you! You ran and hid, while Regina struck deals with spirits and sacrificed for her people, a sacrifice you threw back in her face tonight!"

"No," mutters Kyric. He slows in his flight, becoming sluggish as the words set in.

Minar, now spitting mad, takes another wild potshot in Kyric's direction, more for emphasis than effect. "Everyone in this one-horse town loved Regina, they love her kids. The other lords recognized her and the last count died glad she was taking over instead of you. This is their home, and you're just some bandit from the woods terrorizing and killing anyone who gets in your way. Nobody in Dragonholt wants you for their lord, because you did nothing to earn it!"

Aria actually comes up short, shocked by Minar's vitriol. "I guess you were listening after all."

"I would have done as well, were I in my proper place," Kyric mutters. "The lords will see that, surely." He staggers away from the party, as if wounded by their argument.

Mark two progress in Peace

Peace: [x] [x] [x] [x] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
War: [x] [x] [x] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Stumbling through the fallen books, Kyric staggers through the door from Phillip's studio into Rochelle's training hall. The adventurers follow, passing into the long dueling salle with its racks of weapons and carefully smoothed floor to find Braxton and Rochelle blocking the door back to the salon. Braxton's face is grave, Rochelle's flushed and bright-eyed. Kyric has nowhere to run.

"Everywhere I turn," he breathes. He lifts his sword and stalks to the side, keeping his eyes on Rochelle. "Come, then. Let us make an end of this."

Athtar draws his own blade level. "Very well. Allow me." Before he can lunge forward, however, a hand tugs the back of his mail shirt. He pauses to glance toward Deepmind, her expression filled with urgency.

"Don't!" she hisses, peering past Kyric to Rochelle. "Chasing him all over the manor isn't helping. We're just making a mess and putting our real mission in danger. Remember what we're here to do!"

"He's deaf to reason," Athtar growls. "He refuses to admit he's beaten. Even now, even after so much death, even surrounded. I could put a stop to this masquerade with a single blow."

"It's not about out-swording him," protests Aria, as she draws up behind Deepmind. "We can't even be sure Kyric's the only one involved. But I do know nobody's gained anything from all this fighting. You can see in his face he knows he's in the wrong. If there's a way to end this peacefully, we have to try."

The elf hesitates, his sword dipping a fraction of an inch, but he turns his gaze back to Kyric and locks eyes with the furious bandit chief. Athtar's grip tightens on his hilt.

"Trust me," Deepmind urges. "Don't give him what he wants."

A) End this farce with steel and blood

B) "Throw down your sword. You're outnumbered."

C) "We're not going to fight you, Kyric."

(I don't want to put my thumb on the scale here, but I should note that we absolutely don't have time to fill both meters before the end of this sequence)

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017




Listen to the cat.

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010

Black Robe posted:

Listen to the cat.

I concur.

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


Athtar slowly lowers his sword. "I'll follow your lead," he murmurs back to Deepmind, who steps cautiously toward Kyric.

"It's over, Kyric," she announces, crossing her arms. "Your bandits are finished. Even if you beat us somehow, there's no one left to make you Count. It'll be a miracle just getting out of the manor alive, you're completely outnumbered."

"Outnumbered?" chuckles Kyric. "I have allies you haven't seen yet."

"LORD BELMONT, YEAH, WE MET," Urk helpfully mentions.

Kyric continues as if he weren't interrupted. "I don't need to beat you all. I just need to kill... her!" He spins and lashes out at Rochelle with his sword, but Braxton catches his blow on her shield, then steps into the block to drive him back. Kyric staggers, laughing and cursing.

Deepmind gains Persuasion, spending one xp

Deepmind perseveres. "I can tell what you're doing, and it doesn't have to end this way. You don't have to force us to kill you. The fight with your sister is over, let your niece and nephew live their lives instead of forcing them to continue this fight they had nothing to do with. You have the power to end this right now, just put down your sword."

Deepmind carefully moves closer to Kyric, her hands open. Rochelle and Braxton take tentative steps forward, their own weapons drawn.

Kyric looks from Braxton's sword, to Deepmind, to Rochelle's face, drawn and grave, her green eyes burning. The same color as his eyes. He sighs, his face contorting and then smoothing to blankness.

Mark two progress in Peace

Peace: [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [ ] [ ]
War: [x] [x] [x] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Kyric drops his sword to clatter on the floor, bringing his hands up to cover his face. "That's it, then," he sighs, his whole body shaking. He straightens and wipes at his face and watering eyes with one blood-streaked hand, then steps toward Rochelle with his palms open.

Eight progress has not been marked in Peace

A calm settles over the group. "I'm sorry," says Kyric. Rochelle turns away, recoiling as if burned. Braxton sheathes her sword and steps forward to restrain Kyric, who suddenly bounds past her, drawing a knife from within his tunic.

Minar and Aria curse in unison, both reaching for arrows, but Minar's quiver comes up empty while Aria hesitates - startled by Kyric's speed. Magical energies start roiling around Urk and Urist, but build too slowly. Athtar dashes past Deepmind, sword raised, but they're simply too far away.

Eight progress has not been marked in War

Rochelle turns back, raising her sword between herself and her uncle, but she manages only a shallow cut across his side. Suddenly Kyric is behind her, one hand tangled in her curls and the other holding the dagger to her throat.

"Dragonholt is mine!" he hisses.

"Rochelle!" screams Phillip as he rushes into the room behind everyone. "Let her go!" Urist releases his hold on his runic power, hustling over to the boy to keep him from throwing himself bodily at his uncle.

"Drop your weapons or she dies," barks Kyric. Braxton pauses, her sword half out of its sheath, her whole body tense. "Do it," the rogue lord demands, pressing on the knife until a drop of crimson forms on Rochelle's light brown neck.

Braxton's sword clangs as it falls to the floor. The only other sound is Rochelle's ragged breathing.

For a moment, the whole tableaux is frozen. Arcane power still hovers around Urk, barely contained, while Aria's bowstring is pulled taut and sweat beads on her brow. The tip of her arrow shakes as she tries to keep it trained on Kyric's head, without endangering Rochelle at the same time.

Urist holds Phillip back, time moving like treacle through his heightened senses. He sees the spells, arrows and blades poised to strike, and tries to calculate their odds of beating Kyric's knife across the narrow span of Rochelle's throat. The chances are frightful.

Athtar is mid-stride, his sword perfectly still, just two steps away from Kyric. Two steps behind him, Deepmind is similarly poised, trying to whisper something to the elf, but he can no longer hear her. The knight's vision narrows until his whole world is Kyric's blazing green eyes and the weight of his weapon - and, perhaps, a tiny voice on the edge of his awareness.

A) Rush Kyric and strike him down

B) [Archery] Try to put an arrow between Kyric's eyes

C) Drop your weapons

D) "You've already lost your sister. Don't take another of Phillip's from him."

(Here it is - the final vote! I'm going to leave this up as long as I can, so hopefully people can discuss the choice a bit. Success is still possible, good luck!)

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010
Well, I think we're unlikely to be filling the War track any time soon, but we're only two off Peace, so if we want a good ending then that's presumably what we want to aim for. Athtar has Willpower and Persuasion, and could but Empathy if he needs it... I'm going to suggest D.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017




Yeah, with only one realistic Peace option* and the fact we won't max out War no matter what, I vote D too.

*Technically dropping our weapons is peaceful but clearly that would either mean Kyric wins or that we get a sneak attack in the next scene.



Dolash, will you be talking about the road not taken once this is done? Obviously not every choice, there are way too many, but I'd be interested to see a general outline of alternate routes.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009



ASHERAH DEMANDS I FEAST, I VOTE FOR A FEAST OF FLESH
Do the peace

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


An agonizing pall of silence hangs over the scene, until finally Athtar sighs and relaxes his posture, his sword hanging limp in his grip. "You have my condolences on the loss of your sister."

Kyric lets out a strangled, mocking laugh. "You have a cruel sense of humor, elf."

Athtar gains Awareness, spending one XP

The knight shakes his head. "You misunderstand me, it's clear you lost your sister long ago. The rift that your father opened in the Fairfax family, that may have led us to tonight, but I promise you, killing children who have done you no wrong will only make things worse."

"Worse?" Kyric chuckles, a deep belly laugh with teeth. "How could it get worse? Do you think I want Rochelle and Phillip to die? That I wanted Sonia to die? Or even Regina? Light and shadow, they're my own blood!" His laughter dies. "I just wanted what was mine. Can you imagine what sort of reign I would have had, with my sister by my side? How strong our county would be today?" He twists the knife against Rochelle's throat, sneering. "But she couldn't have that, could she? She couldn't just... let me have what was mine!"

"And now she is dead," insists Athtar. "And Sonia is dead. And if you do not stop now, then Phillip will lose another sister - just as you lost yours." Kyric begins to weep, and his grip on his dagger relaxes.

Mark one progress in Peace

"Becoming Count can't replace what you have lost," the elf whispers. "It will not bring anyone back. The whole of the Fairfax family is now in this room. Your family's future is in your hands."

Athtar has Persuasion, mark one additional progress in Peace

"Kyric," says Rochelle. "I'm sorry for what happened to you. But this is not the way to get justice." She reaches one hand up to his wrist. "Let me go."

Eight progress has been marked in Peace

Shuddering, Kyric lets out a breath he didn't seem to realize he was holding. The dagger falls from his hand, and he deflates, his shoulder slumping, his stance collapsing. Rochelle steps carefully away, and Urk and Braxton waste no time in pinning him to the wall and restraining him.

Urist releases Phillip, who immediately dashes over to embrace his sister. The two hold each other as everyone looks on, Kyric's face burning with shame and tears at the sight. The arcane storm swirling around Urk peters out, and Aria releases a long, heavy sigh as she eases her drawn bowstring back.

With Kyric safely restrained, the fear and exhaustion of the last few hours catches up with the party in a rush. Soldiers clad in mail and Belmont red arrive, leading to a moment of tension before others in the blue of the Cunninghams join them. Under Braxton's direction, they escort Kyric away.

"For the record," Minar announces. "There's no way that should've worked."

Aria looks off in the direction Kyric had been taken, almost disbelieving. "I was so sure she was dead. How'd you know Kyric would snap on the family angle?"

"I didn't," Athtar admits, inclining his head to Deepmind. "I simply noticed Kyric's abiding attachment to the Fairfax family, and how angry he became at the notion he had betrayed them, rather than the opposite. He could not sustain the anger he felt toward his sister to a niece and nephew who had not wronged him, so long as he could be made to see them."

The catfolk returns a wry smile. "Awareness of a brick, huh?"

Urk sniffs. "URK WAS ABOUT TO SMITE KYRIC WITH PERFECTLY AIMED ICE LANCE ANYWAY, BUT ELF WAY WAS GOOD TOO."

There's a heavy clunk that causes five heads to turn, as Urist has fainted dead away. Minar sighs and hauls the Dwarf to his feet, slinging an arm under his shoulder. "Come on, it's been a long night. Why don't we get out of here and get some sleep, yeah?"

One by one, the adventurers drift into the great hall. Regina's body lies on the only surviving table in the place, resting atop a dense carpet of flowers and other memorials. Her own masquerade disguise, the black-and-white dragon, lies next to the white lamb that had been meant for her daughter, Sonia. Rochelle and Phillip stand vigil next to the table. Rochelle wraps one arm around her brother's shoulder as they stand and grieve, leaning on each other, neither quite falling because the other is there.

The party stands silent for a moment, paying their own respects, and then stagger out the front door of the manor, heading toward the Swan. The first light of dawn kindles in the eastern sky, and the birds begin to sing.

Completed "Paper Faces"!

Hopeful Ending

Kyric is placed in the guard station's cell until the following day, when after some debate, Rochelle has him escorted to the main hall of Fairfax Manor to stand trial. Standing before the entire household, notables from the village, and members of the nearby nobility, Kyric offers no defense for his crimes, so it falls to Phillip to argue for him, which he does with passion. Rochelle pronounces a sentence of exile, never to return to the barony on pain of death and promises that Baroness Katrin will honor the decree.

Together, the Fairfax siblings set about restoring their household and their county, often seen riding together through the village and the outlying lands. Rochelle strengthens her forces, adding ten new soldiers in under a month. Phillip returns to his studies with Celyse, who now also serves as one of Rochelle's chief advisors in matters of state. Braxton, too, becomes a member of Rochelle's inner council as well as the captain of her guard.

Ursula has the mural in the Countess Inn repainted to show a fierce warrior woman, sword and shield in hand, defending a young man, with the black and white dragons of Dragonholt rising to either side of her. The rest, she explains, will be added in time.

Rochelle rewards all the party richly for their part in the affair, both with money and honorary titles. "How does Defenders of Dragonholt sound?" she asks, while visiting the party at the Swan the day after Kyric's trial. "I've also been thinking of creating a few landed knights in the county. If you're interested in settling down."

"I am honored," Athtar replies. "But I am a hedge knight at heart. Our quest is finished here, and there are more adventures to be had in the world."

"URK'LL TAKE THE JOB." The orc sage casually rests her Rune Sword over her shoulders. "SPIRITS SEEM TO FAVOR URK HERE, AND URK BECOMING ATTACHED TO DRAGONHOLT ANYWAY. PLUS, URK ALWAYS WANTED NOBLE TITLE BEFITTING URK'S GREATNESS."

"I think we've had enough Dragonholt for now," says Aria, throwing a cheeky look to Minar as he lets out a groan. "The Princeling and the Anders Sisters might be on to something with their musical tour, maybe we can catch them up."

"So long as it's somewhere new," grumbles Minar. "And maybe with less bean farming."

"Alas, the breaking of a fellowship," declares Urist, his tone mournful. "I suppose I'll return to Nerekhall, then. The shop's likely suffered in my absence - I shall count myself lucky if my apprentices haven't poisoned one another." He tipples the last of his mysterious, technicolor vials into his tea. "What do you say, Deepmind. Are you returning to the city as well?"

The hyrrinx rests a hand on her chin for a moment, as though considering the option. "Hmm... nah, I don't think so. Guess I've caught the adventuring bug too." She glances sideways at Athtar and smiles.

"Well, wherever you may roam, you will all always be welcome in my county," says Rochelle. "Spirits, but that's still strange to say."

"You'll grow into it," Aria assures her.

"AND ROCHELLE WILL HAVE GOOD HELP," adds Urk, before overbalancing in her chair and dropping the Rune Sword with a clatter. "URK OKAY!" The countess smiles at her would-be knight's antics, thanks the adventurers once more, and leaves them to their impromptu celebration.

"Well then," says Athtar, refilling everyone's cup. "I think we can finally close the book on this quest. The..." he pauses frowning. "Fairfax Affair?"

"Too many Fs," says Aria, shaking her head. "Hard to set it to a beat. How about 'The Tragedy of the Bandit Lord'?"

"URK THINK TITLE SHOULD EMPHASIZE DRAGON ATTACK, MOSTLY BECAUSE MUCH BIGGER DEAL THAN NOBLE THING BUT ALSO BECAUSE URK DID MOST OF THE WORK."

"We'll think of a good name later," says Deepmind, raising her mug. "For now - we did it!"

The victorious adventurers bring their cups together in a hearty cheers, and the celebration continues through the day and night. Though the party would soon go their separate ways, the bonds of friendship forged over those days of intrigue and adventure would last a lifetime. This, they would later decide, was the true Legacy of Dragonholt.




(You did it! Epilogue and wrap-up to come tomorrow!)

Dolash fucked around with this message at 08:38 on Jul 19, 2018

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


Epilogue

On a quiet day, along an unassuming stretch of road in Western Terrinoth, there sits an unassuming wooden bench left just to one side. From the small rise, it commands a respectable view of Eventide forest for any weary traveler that might choose to rest a moment. Unless that traveler is a horse.

One such horse grazes contentedly on the roadside grass nearby, a gentle spring breeze ruffling his mane. The respite is welcome, for while the beast is particularly strong-backed, it takes a lot of work to haul two riders around all day.

Resting comfortably in the saddle above is Athtar, untouched by time as is typical of his people. The same weathered travel clothes and battered mail, the same well-tended sword hanging from his belt.

By contrast, the second, shorter rider tucked under his chin has changed her style considerably. Deepmind has traded her concealing traveler's cloak and baggy coat for a comfortable riding outfit. Her hair has been combed back and cleared of knots, and while she still carries an above-average number of knives, they've at least been tastefully decorated.

They hyrrinx's nose twitches. "They're here."

A few moments later, the sound of horse hooves approaching causes their shared mount to raise its head, curiosity piqued. Two more riders appear on a pair of horses, reining in close to Athtar and Deepmind as though they'd raced the last of the distance.

Aria beams at the pair, pulling up alongside in order to embrace both her old friends at once. Minar, for his part, simply smiles and nods a greeting while Athtar and Deepmind are squashed in Aria's grip. "It's sooooo good to see you two!" she exclaims. "How long has it been?"

"Too long," Deepmind concurs, slowly extricating herself from the vicelike hug. "We weren't even sure you'd come, if I remember Minar's feelings on Dragonholt."

"I've made an exception for the reunion," says Minar, smirking. He nods toward their shared horse. "You still don't know how to ride, huh?"

Athtar furrows his brow, puzzled. "I've tried to teach her several times before, but it never seems to take."

Deepmind cranes upward and kisses Athtar on the neck. "Yeah, a real mystery," she says, winking.

Aria giggles before giving her reins a light tug, setting off down the road toward Eventide Forest. "Come on, I think I remember the way."

"At least riding'll speed things up this time," adds Minar. "Should be there for lunch."

The road through Eventide Forest is wider and easier to travel than they remember, despite the snow and churned mud of spring that clings to it. The old ford has been replaced by a new bridge, which is marked at either end with a small shrine to the spirits.

Captain Braxton overtakes the riders on the road, reining in her horse and circling around to smile upon them. "It's good to see you," she says. "Go on ahead to the Swan; the others are meeting there. I need to report back to her ladyship first."

Mal greets them as they arrive at the Swan, gravely telling the adventurers that they are expected and that his father has set aside a table for them. He escorts the four there and even pulls out a chair for each of them before his childish dignity evaporates and he races giggling from the room. Sapphire is already seated alongside Urist, smiling at them over a mug of cider. "It's good to be back here," she says. "I like what Jasper's done with the place."

The old dwarf alchemist, seemingly having not aged a day, gets to his feet to embrace his old comrades. "I arrived only a few days ago myself," he explains. "Thought I would go on ahead and enjoy a little extra time off from the city."

Sapphire makes a confused noise. "I thought you just rode in a few hours ago?"

"Did I?" Urist replies, genuinely surprised. He looks into his pipe and frowns. "I really must check the freshness on my stock."

The group chats happily, catching up, as Celyse and Braxton arrive. Urk and Grisbeck arrive together to loud and general commotion.

"URK SORRY FOR LATE ARRIVAL," she explains, grinning. "AS KNIGHT OF EVESMOORE, URK HAVE MANY DUTIES TO ATTEND."

"She overslept," Grisbeck translates.

"BEING WELL-RESTED ONE OF URK'S DUTIES."

"And where is Penny?" asks Sapphire. "I'd hoped to see her."

"At school in Highcrest," beams Grisbeck.

"FIRST DWARF GIRL ACCEPTED, TOO," adds Urk.

"I hope my recommendation was helpful," says Celyse. "I wouldn't blame you if you decided to disavow it, not after that business with the goblins."

"She'd never have been ready f'r the school there without yer tutelage, miss," Grisbeck assures her.

"URK ENJOYED GOBLIN-BRAWLING ANYWAY."

Braxton frowns, surveying the table. "Where are-"

She is interrupted as a whirlwind of frentic energy erupts through the door and a young orc girl races across the room to tackle her. "Momma!" she shouts. "You're back from your trip!"

Mariam comes puffing after, her hair in disarray and still wearing her stained shop apron. "Are all orc children like this?" she asks. "Or just mine?"

"All of us," says Braxton, smiling as broadly as she did on her wedding day. She lifts the girl up to rest at her hip and turns her toward the gathered adventurers and Sapphire. "Max," she says. "I'd like you to meet some good friends of mine."

Mariam appears at Max's other side, reaching up to place a hand on her back as the younger orc stares around the room with enormous dark eyes.

"Hello," she says after a pause. "It's nice to meet you." The adventurers and their friends chorus back a round of greetings and introductions.

"Finally," says Mariam with a grin. "The whole family is back together." Her glances seem to include the entire assembly, and a relaxed mood settles across the room.

Braxton leans down to kiss her wife. "Always good to see you, Madam Wildheart," she says.

"Likewise, Captain Wildheart." Mariam blushes and settles down in her chair. "Let's eat!"

They talk, and eat, and laugh, and reminisce, and eventually the sun sets. Soon, Braxton, Mariam and Max walk back toward the apothecary shop.

Urist watches them go from a contented repose in a lounge chair. "Something tells me that, in their shop or elsewhere, they will live happily together to the end of their days,"

"That might work for them," Aria complains. "I'm not ready for a 'happily ever after' just yet. I'm still young!" Minar snorts, and Aria reflexively punches him on the shoulder. "Young-ish!"

Urk grins in her familiar, knowing way. "URK HEAR RUMORS SPLIG THE GOBLIN KING CAUSING TROUBLE NEAR OLD BRIGHTMAUL SILVER MINE AGAIN. COULD MAYBE INVESTIGATE."

There's a sound of metal scraping as Athtar half-draws his sword from his scabbard, checking the edge, before nodding with satisfaction. "I suppose we have time. It could be dangerous, though."

Deepmind idly tosses a dagger in the air before catching it again and returning it to a concealed sheath. "Unless Splig's found a pissed-off dragon or a couple undead wolves to back him up, we should be able to manage."

"Just so long as Urist actually lets us use some of the potions he's always hogging," adds Minar.

Urist protests, Aria begins playing a tune on her well-worn violin, and in the familiar old common room of the Swan inn, our band of adventurers start drawing up plans for their next great adventure.

The End

The campaign is complete



"That's it?" says Max, frowning. The orc woman squints into the shadows as the shrouded figure finishes his story.

"Seems a bit tidy," concurs the dwarf to her side. She finishes making a note in her journal before closing it up. "Rochelle becomes Countess, Count Leone doesn't make a fuss, the bandits are never seen again, and everything goes back to normal."

The gnome nods hurriedly. "Good point, Penny. What about the Belmonts? Didn't anyone follow up on their involvement?"

"That's the story as it happened," states the hooded man. "If there were any hard feelings or fallout after the fact, I wasn't there for them. Now." The man brings his gloved hands together. "What I'm curious about is what three young adventurers from Dragonholt County are doing all the way across Terrinoth to bother an old man in his retirement for a story."

The three look uneasily to one another for a moment, before Max nods to the gnomish man. "Tell him, Mal."

"There's trouble in Allerfeldt again," he begins, cautiously. "Leone is dead. The new Countess Belmont is taking issue with Rostum's arrangement with the other two counties. The Countess Fairfax is worried the whole thing could boil over."

"Rochelle wouldn't be afraid to get her hands dirty," says the old man. "What does this have to do with me?"

"Rochelle didn't send us," says Penny, narrowing her eyes at the dark cloaked outline. "Phillip asked us to find you - if you were still alive. He thinks you could help mediate between the two sides because of your... personal history. If you're willing."

The hooded figure leans forward, letting the light of the dimming candle illuminate his face at last. An old man whose black hair has turned to grey and then white stares back, with two shining green eyes. A long scar runs down one side of his face, framing a macabre smile.

"For my family?" says Kyric. "Anything."

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


And we're done!

Thank you all for participating in this Let's Play with me! I absolutely could not have done it without you all reading along, voting, providing characters and everything else.

On a personal note, I especially appreciate everyone making this Let's Play a success due to some health issues I've been dealing with. I've had some light sensitivity problems lately that makes regular computer use very difficult - most of this Let's Play was typed through a Kindle I jailbroke to work as a digital ink screen, with the last few made through a special non-backlit screen I got from Sol Computing. As someone who's made quite a few Let's Plays (not to mention also pursuing a PhD in robotics), being unable to use a computer normally has been a very depressing experience, so playing a booklet-based roleplaying game has been a great source of relief and comfort. Thank you all again.

I'll keep the thread around for a bit to share some information about alternate routes and outcomes, or answer any other questions or what have you. Certainly if anyone has any feedback or thoughts of their own to share I'd be happy to read them. I think the "Oracle System" (Fantasy Flight's name for the narrative gameplay system Legacy of Dragonholt uses) is pretty novel and gives a strong story-driven single-player experience for a non-video-game, which is pretty rare. I'll be interested to see if they make more games like this and perhaps refine their formula.

Just for starters on some alternate path stuff (which I'll spoiler in case people want to maintain the mystery), the game proper has four main endings based on who survives to the end of the story, and with the exception of the introduction quest the other five quests all have success and failure outcomes. You guys managed to succeed at every quest and get the best ending, so good job!

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010
That was a lot of fun, thanks for showing this off to us!

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017




Dolash posted:

You guys managed to succeed at every quest and get the best ending, so good job!

That's gotta be a first - a group of goons succeeding in the first run of any game ever :v:

Thanks for this, Dolash. It was a lot more interesting than I expected at first and I'd definitely follow any future similar things.

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


Glad to hear you guys enjoyed it!

This is the only "Oracle System" game Fantasy Flight's put out so far, but the mechanics are flexible enough I could see them making more. Heck, there's even some story variables set by the ending, as though they're encouraging you to hold on to your save for a sequel.

As for the odds of success, I'll admit that the format of this LP obviated some of the challenge - the main success/failure tension during quests is that the best outcomes are gated behind blind choices, where you don't know what skill will be tested by whoever makes the choice until after you've committed. Since I'd already played before, I could pair the right character with the right skills to each choice, assuming one was still available in the active party. This was a compromise to the format of a play-by-post, since otherwise we'd have been voting on who should take every action (probably slowing down the game) or I'd have to make some options deliberate trap options, that seemed unfair.

Even with that advantage though, there were plenty of times you guys skirted disaster and avoided it. Lingering in town another two actions (or picking some of the slower options on the way to the bandit camp) would've killed Phillip, using the bomb against Splig is very likely to lead to blowing up the mine, you only just managed to beat the tomb barghasts before they would've run you off, and if you'd selected any of the other three options on that final vote Rochelle would've died. Had Phillip and Rochelle both died, a victorious Kyric would've cut our heroes' celebration much shorter!

Epsilon Moonshade
Nov 22, 2016

Not an excellent host.

This was a really cool LP. Sorry I was sporadic in my participation, but I'm glad to see it picked up steam and made it to completion. :cheers:

Black Robe posted:

Dolash, will you be talking about the road not taken once this is done? Obviously not every choice, there are way too many, but I'd be interested to see a general outline of alternate routes.

I'm with Black Robe - I'd like to hear about and/or see some of the alternative paths that we could've taken through the whole thing.

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


I touched on most of the big alternatives in my last post, although there's lots of other bits large and small hidden throughout the game. One interesting point is that all quests are optional, aside from the first and last - hypothetically we could've spent the whole game in the tavern, let Phillip die, let the dragon ravage Evesmoore, ignore the mine, never go to the crypt, and by the time we get to the manor we'd be hard-pressed to save Rochelle and salvage any ending at all.

There's some smaller scenes and items scattered around that we didn't see. If you'd gone into the bottom of the tower first while rescuing Phillip, you'd have found Kyric's black dragon mask he wears at the masquerade. You can actually wear that one yourself at the ball, in which case you get a dialogue option during the dance that'll score you a point on the Peace track before the fight with Kyric even begins.

Pushing Phillip out of the way of Kyric's crossbow bolt would've worked just as well, but only because Athtar had agility, otherwise he'd be killed. Showing up late is an automatic death sentence. Similarly, Rochelle is actually quite difficult to save and our path to that success was quite narrow - shooting Kyric in the end also could've worked, but only if we'd gone to the Chatty Archer more and learned how to win its archery contest. There's an ending in each case where either Rochelle or Phillip survive alone, in both cases a lot less cheery, and if they both die then Lord Belmont helps Kyric become Count and he has the whole party and Braxton hung. You only get the epilogue if you get the good ending, so that's like the "canon" one.


While I'd like to recommend the game, I have to say it doesn't have too much replay value, so having gone through it once now together you've probably had the full experience. I certainly got more enjoyment out of it running this game with all of you, so again, thanks for playing along!

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


In case anyone might still be interested, I cleaned up the text of this thread into a .pdf, with all the game stuff edited out (at least, I think!) and proper chapter/section headings. I also made sure to credit you all at the end for your help!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ml5dw5s9vajgvy/Legacy%20of%20Dragonholt.pdf?dl=0

Two hundred pages and almost 100,000 words! Quite the adventure we had.

I think this is about it for the thread, so thanks again to everyone for making it a success. I really appreciate it, and look forward to seeing you all again the next time I do a Let's Play!

Keldulas
Mar 18, 2009
Thanks for showing off Legacy of Dragonholt, it was an interesting way to see how they use a different set of mechanics to interpret classic D&D adventuring.

Emmideer
Oct 20, 2011

Lovely night, no?
Grimey Drawer
What happens if you kill the dragon?

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


Jon Joe posted:

What happens if you kill the dragon?

You get another Dragon Claw (they're worth a lot of money and the one we found was a lucky find from an optional action) and Dragon Blood (we bought one at high cost from the merchants to make a strength potion) but you get less heroism. Also you're an awful family destroyer and should feel bad. I think the egg goes to Fairfax manor but doesn't lead to any specific consequences.

Epsilon Moonshade
Nov 22, 2016

Not an excellent host.

Dolash posted:

In case anyone might still be interested, I cleaned up the text of this thread into a .pdf, with all the game stuff edited out (at least, I think!) and proper chapter/section headings. I also made sure to credit you all at the end for your help!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ml5dw5s9vajgvy/Legacy%20of%20Dragonholt.pdf?dl=0

Two hundred pages and almost 100,000 words! Quite the adventure we had.

I think this is about it for the thread, so thanks again to everyone for making it a success. I really appreciate it, and look forward to seeing you all again the next time I do a Let's Play!

Are you also planning to submit the thread to the LP Archive?

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Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,


Epsilon Moonshade posted:

Are you also planning to submit the thread to the LP Archive?

Ah right, yeah. I sent the email.

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