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Quest against the Darkmaster (PbP)

If it helps re incentive, per above, Leofred will prepay for a meal "he and his companion, who eating as five common men would" (Fare 1).

Leofred will say, "Your loyalty to a customer is commendable. It is my firm belief that Lord Ambrosius will be grateful if we are conducted to him, and moreover will be most displeased to learn any barrier to our meeting was raised when we do see him, which we shall." [all completely true in Leofred's view, and a carrot/stick as well]

Leofred's Charisma roll is 73, failure - unless any of the foregoing alters the modifiers etc. (d100=43 +40 Skill -10 Challenging)

  • If anything modifies enough to get into 75+ partial, Leofred will be satisfied if a note he writes is taken in (he has +10 Cultures which seems to indicate he can write).

[Ouch!]

”If sir can provide some Mark of authority from a lord commensurate with Ambrosius’s, to define his commission and good intentions, I would be satisfied. But, really, Ambrosius, through his servant and apprentice, has made it quite clear that he is not to be disturbed for any reason.”

He turns to the maid. “Maggie, go into the kitchen now and see if Lord Ambrosius’s breakfast is prepared.”

[A note before we go on. Have you looked at the rules for Helping? If Gyantwaka can contrive some means by which we can assist the persuasion, he makes a relevant Skill Roll and, if successful, thereby adds +10 to the main actor in the resolution. (For Partial Success while Helping, I generally award +5.)]

[OOC, I did consider that but Gyantwaka has Charisma -5 so could not help with the same action.  If perceiving whether carrot or stick would be best strategy to emphasize he would try that as I don't believe help has to always be the same skill, his Perception roll would be 132 (d100 62+skill 70), though I admit I have been thinking of the skill as more physical world than reading people, though Deceive is supposed to resolve 'conflicting' and logically Perception is the most reasonable response so could read people.]

If left as above, he would ask Gyantwaka to present the token from the Elf King and say, "This token will suffice."]

PS - I just post all these sucky rolls so you'll believe it when I claim 99 three times in a row. 🙂

Gabe Dybing has reacted to this post.
Gabe Dybing

[I agree that Helping doesn’t have to be the same Skill. I chose my language carefully concerning that. Generally, I prefer for the player to describe how their character is attempting to assist, then find the relevant Skill from that. But I would judge that presenting Oberon’s token of passage would justify for Gyantwaka a Standard (+0) Charisma roll.

[Since you’re aware of Helping, I’m sure you’re also considering Drive Points. 😀]

[Yes I did consider Drive Points but was reserving them for a more desperate situation, at this point given the delay in the elf court, if it takes a few days so be it is Leofred's view, and he has an 'alternative plan' in mind if the innkeeper remains obstinate.]

If Gyantwaka's Perception doesn't work to help by having him know to "step up" pressure on either carrot or stick angle (pushing Leofred into partial success), then when he presents Oberon's token, he says, "This token is to be presented to Ambrosius only, telling him that it was given messengers - Leofred and he - as a sign their message for Ambrosius is true."  His outcome is failure [70, having rolled 75 and then his -5].

[I have reconsidered your suggested use of Perception for Gyantwaka. I would rule that the roll is one step of Difficulty (for the unusual application) and another for the base difficulty for a total roll of Hard (-20). You can try it, narrated by successive interactions—a straightforward appeal with a purchased meal, name-dropping “the Elves” and a special mission, now wondering if threats are in order. If Gyantwaka succeeds in any way, I would have you narrate just how Gyantwaka “leans” on the innkeeper. This could become interesting later on.]

[OOC, thanks, it would be nice if the skills listed what would usually oppose them in contested rolls]

The Perception roll of 132 (above) would result in a final outcome of 112, success, so Gyantwaka would know if the innkeeper is best persuaded by meals and name-dropping vs threats - my suggestion is that the Innkeeper seems quite fearful of losing Ambrosius' trade, then he is more motivated by fear, so Gyantwaka stresses Leofred's point that, "Even if we must wait several days or take extraordinary methods to see Ambrosius, the cost of this delay will fall on whoever is responsible for the delay - and Master Ambrosius is unlikely to be annoyed at being presented a token from the King of the Elves.  As to what the King of the Elves would do if he learned someone interfered with his messengers... "

Gyantwaka is aware of the misguided views outsiders have of his people and will play into them if need be* as well as any odd ideas people have elves.

  • Modelling again on Iroquois, who were effective as British allies in the War of 1812 in part because the American soldiers and militia believed the propaganda about vicious savages etc. making them very effective as a form of psychological warfare, of which the British took full advantage.

“Well, I’ll take it up with the king, should misfortune come upon me for aiding you here.”

When breakfast is ready, Maggie comes out from the kitchen bearing a large straw basket covered with cloth. She leads you across the boardwalk, across the face of the library (away from the front door) to the east, to an iron gate [not pictured — oops!] set into the stones of the library and locked to a stone wall to the east. [Beyond the wall, naturally, is another building. Here is an opportunity to build “Scroll Street,” the “book industry” district of early times?]

Maggie produces a key and unlocks the gate. It screeches on its hinges. Beyond is a narrow, tunnel-like passage of stone on either side, in many places adorned with creeping, climbing ivy. At the far end of the passage appears to be a statue of some sort: a depiction of a person, larger than an average human, holding out something.

Halfway to this feature is a side door in the library wall at the top of three wide, stone steps. There is a simple knocker here.

Maggie explains that she typically leaves the basket on the step, knocks three times, then proceeds a few paces down the lane to wait and make sure the apprentice comes out for the delivery—she doesn’t want there to be an accident that results in the waste of food.

You notice that there is a sliding panel in the door, at about eye height. If it were to be moved (from within, of course), one could look out at anyone on the step.

While crossing the street, Leofred thanks Maggie for her assistance and hopes no ill will falls on her for bringing him to the inn, though every word he and Gyantwaka has spoken is truth.

Loefred asks Gyantwaka to place Oberon's token (the clasp he was given showing him to be an elf-friend) on the tray, which is done.  If they see the lookout-slot open, Leofred calls out, "Upon that tray is the elven token showing we come as messengers to Master Ambrosius from the court of their majesties Oberon and Mab, sent on a matter of dire import, we will await outside the door this maid's key has unlocked for a half-bell (half hour) and may otherwise be found at the Chapterhouse of the Evening Star."

The two then leave as described.

If no one appears, he asks Maggie if that has ever happened before.  He will also ask if it is as her master said that Ambrosius has communicated only through a servant and apprentice and if so how long have these been with Ambrosius and how long since Ambrosius himself has been seen.

If they do appear before Ambrosius, the case with Oberon's message will be presented.

[PS I've been going over threads to collate some information to be sure I'm consistent etc. after realizing I've said seven and five as to the number of Leshak tribes in Gyantwaka's region, I suggest we go with five]

[added - Gyantawaka's Herbarium as it stands

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zw7rcizb7wb3o82/Hebarium.pdf?dl=0

Loefred asks Gyantwaka to place Oberon's token (the clasp he was given showing him to be an elf-friend) on the tray, which is done.  If they see the lookout-slot open, Leofred calls out, "Upon that tray is the elven token showing we come as messengers to Master Ambrosius from the court of their majesties Oberon and Mab, sent on a matter of dire import, we will await outside the door this maid's key has unlocked for a half-bell (half hour) and may otherwise be found at the Chapterhouse of the Evening Star."

[A minor alteration.] Leofred and Gyantwaka watch as Maggie unlocks the door and proceeds into the narrow lane. It is quite shadowy at this early morning hour, with the height of the wall at its east and the buildings of industry beyond.

From where they stand at Scroll Street, the fellowship sees Maggie ascend the stairs, place the basket before the door, then she raps on the door three times, using a knocker. 😉 Then she descends the stairs and begins on her way back to Scroll Street, to join you where you stand.

She has not quite reached you when the door opens, and a man — dimly descried from where you stand, because of the partial cover of the doorway, and because of the alley shadows [though I would allow Perception Hard (-20), if more information is desired] — looks curiously up at the fellowship before he bends to gather up the basket.

At which point you deliver your message as intended. In response, the man seems to peer with interest up your way, then re-enters the library, shutting the door (and presumably locking it).

+1 Drive to Gyantwaka for hazarding an Elf token in this way

Halfway to the next bell, you are waiting by the gate as promised. From where you stand, you see the side door again open. By his build, the same man (so you judge, he is wearing a grey cloak with a hood this time) comes out, shutting the door behind him and locking it with a key on a ring.

Then he comes to the gate, peers intently at the two of you, looks cautiously up and down the street, then unlocks the gate, creaking it open for you to enter.

”You’re sent by the Elves,” he says conspiratorially, beneath his thin, young mustache. “Ambrosius says he must see you.”

If you step inside the gate, he will re-lock the gate and lead you to the side door.