Play Report: Baroviania: Session 7
by Ramanan Sivaranjan on August 26, 2012
I rolled up Maria, a Rune Knight from the Dark Capital, for Reynaldo’s Baroviania game a few days ago. Yesterday she got drafted for her first game, the 7th session of the campaign. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It seems like most sessions of Baroviania thus far have been kind of zany.
Things began, as they often do, in a tavern. Maria started the game with 80gp and I spent most of that on a sword and plate mail. Buying the plate was probably a poor decision, since my character doesn’t even own rations or rope or any of the tools of the adventuring trade. I just can’t help myself: the AC bonus for plate mail is insane. Wearing shiny new armour from the Dark Capital I figured she’d be sitting alone. Being so thoroughly broke I figured she’d just be nursing an almost empty drink or eating the fantasy equivalent of bar peanuts. Scattered around the bar was a frogling from the HMS Apollyon, a little gnome, and a battle princess. The gnome approached and offered my hobo of a character some food. And so an adventuring party was born.
This merry scene was disrupted when a person entered the tavern through the window. On the other side of some broken glass were three maids. My character decided the prudent course of action was to munch down as much food as she could before a fight got underway. There was no fight.
A sleep spell later and we had knocked out the person who went through the window, but none of his assailants. This wasn’t what we were going for. Somehow we managed to convince the maids the prudent course of action was to negotiate what to do with our prisoner, who we decided we had captured fair and square. In the end we agreed to hand the fellow over if they agreed to pay the bar for the broken window. (I think they might have been better negotiators than us.) We learned they worked for Sasha, a mover and shaker in Baroviania. We also figured out that they were probably some sort of golem because they were kind of creepy and robotic.1
We followed them as they left with the prisoner, who it turned out looked an awful lot like Wolverine.2 It became clear they were also being followed by another person. We met him when we both ended up outside Sasha’s giant tower. He was working for Sasha’s rival, Azalin, as was the person the dolls had captured. He had decided busting into the tower was too risky, and left to let his master know what was up.3 We were strongly considering busting into the tower, but cooler heads prevailed. You may be asking yourself why we trekked all the way here only to not go in: good question. Due diligence I suppose.
We ventured North to the Eyevalis woods. It was dark when we arrived and pretty spooky. We were about light some more torches and charge in, but decided exploring during the day would probably be smarter. Adventuring in the forest during the day was uneventful. We did find a stump of a tree that opened up into a dungeon of sorts, and that’s where we ventured next.
Our first encounter was with a group of small monsters. Rather than fight we once more tried to negotiate, and once more dice rolls were in our favour. We left the room they were guarding, which contained a statue what was clearly a petrified person, with no one worse for wear.4 Our second encounter involved freeing a prisoner we stumbled upon. His name was Cody, and he looked like he could fight a street fight. He may have thanked us. He definitely ran away very quickly.5 His jailer arrived shortly after, annoyed at the escape. We somehow managed to convince him we weren’t involved. We all exited the dungeon together. Above ground he ran off after the mystery prisoner. We were left to decide what to do next.
D&D is ostensibly a game about break and enters and ultra violence. The game incentivizes two tasks: killing monsters and getting gold. Later iterations of the game got rid of the second incentive, so they are much more combat centric, and still don’t really reward acting nice. This session was funny because we some how managed to avoid every opportunity for adventure and destruction. We didn’t fight the maids, nor the strange little gremlin creatures, despite both of them clearly acting like assholes. We didn’t venture into the dangerous tower or the dangerous forest at night because we decided that would stupid. Our gnome was the group’s pacifist, the battle princess our groups pragmatist. I don’t know if there would have been more violence or looting if we had one player, but not the other. The groups make up seemed perfectly suited for the sort of session we had.
All in all it was a fun time. I need to play again so I get a chance to use my plate mail.