Monday, July 11, 2016

Camp Actions and Missing Players

For my stupid little fantasy heartbreaker project, I smashed up these rules to cover activities that players could do during rest downtime. The flow of the game is separated, similar to Torchbearer or similar games, between Crawl (adventurin'), Camp (restin'), and City (money-spendin') phases. 

Camp Actions
Typically, a Camp Action is one meaningful activity that you can do while relaxing in the few hours of your watch, after you've done all your important encampment chores. This is not an exhaustive list, but a structure to handle common requests.

Hunting and Gathering
If you have missile weapons, you can spend your time at camp away from camp trying to capture or kill some game. The hunter returns with a ration's worth of food for each success he makes on a Pentacles test. The GM will tell you what sort of food is available; the player is responsible for deciding how picky he'll be about rations.
If you are adjacent to special hexes, this might trigger a camp encounter.

Forage for Components
The Underworld does have one thing going for it--alchemy seems to be just bursting out of it. If you spend your time searching for alchemical components, draw Cups. You find one component for each success.
If you are adjacent to special hexes, this might trigger a camp encounter.

If you spend some time updating your map and comparing your notes about the terrain you’ve travelled, you may expeditiously retreat back to town. If you only travel on hexes that you’ve explored, each normal hex counts as .5 for your total movement during a watch

Scout Ahead
If you scout around, you might be able to learn something interesting about the terrain. Test Swords. For each success, the GM will give you a hint about some encounters in the nearby hexes or tell you what sort of monsters frequent here. If you are adjacent to special hexes, you'll learn about them. If you achieve no successes, this might trigger a camp encounter—otherwise, you're sneaky enough to see them and return to camp.

Pick a guild mate. Engage in a role-play with them. Share a memory. Talk about their quests. Ask about their childhood; tell about yours. End the conversation meaningfully so that the table knows you're done talking. At the end of this exchange, you both charge your bonds with each other.

If one of your guild mates is willing to teach you, you can learn a Talent from them. This takes both of your Camp Actions, and they get nothing from the exchange. Invest XP into the Talent they are teaching you. You prepare as many uses of that Talent as you have XP invested.

Read a Book
Do you have a book? Spend some time reading it. Ask the GM one question related to the subject matter of the book. He will tell you what the book says about it.

Spend some time looking for and crafting shafts for your recovered arrow heads. Refill your quiver to twenty.  

Guard Patrol
It’s assumed during the Camp Phase that the guild sets up a watch. However, you may dedicate your Camp Phase to setting active watch, patrolling around your encampment, and providing assault counter-measures. If you do so, the GM will draw twice on the Camp Encounter table and take a non-combat result if available.

I wanted to emulate the things these resting adventurers were doing.

I also recently had to face the question: What do you do with players who are absent? I realized that, rather conveniently, the Camp Actions gave a worthy list of things for people to be doing when they were not on-screen.  

Players Missing the Game

If a player misses a session during a Crawl phase, here is the default procedure. The player hero is assumed to be about one hex away, trailing behind the main guild. They are slowed down by their pursuit of one of the Camp Activities. When the player returns, she will tell the table what activity they performed, receive the benefit from it, and rejoin the main group. Obviously some activities (Fellowship, Training) require another player hero to be “absent” with you; only choose activities that make sense for your circumstances.

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