Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Day In Leer

Wednesday, August 27, 1650

Weather:  It has been uncharacteristically lacking in rain for the last three days; temperatures have been consistently cool in the mornings, however, and conditions effectively overcast.  As you leave Engleke Wednesday morning, and arrive in Leer three hours later, the temperature has risen to being pleasant, with clouds and a gentle breeze.

Leer is as the party left it last week; it was unhindered by the pirates, and in fact has swollen a bit with people rushing in to seek supplies that have been plundered.  Thus the road to, and the town itself, is quite busy, but the merchants in Leer have plundered their storehouses in an attempt to sell all they can in these good times (for them).  From the street shown on the right, you can imagine what it is like trying to get your wagon, horses and group through the throng of people who have descended upon the town.  But there is a promise of more goods being shipped from elsewhere to compensate the people's troubles, and all is well.

The party also encounters a group of five hundred (thereabouts) pilgrims who have set themselves up in one portion of the farmer's market on the edge of town.  You may recall my mentioning that Leer is unwalled, and normally has about 3,000 people; at present, this number has swollen to double its usual size, but even at that these pilgrims can be seen everywhere.  They are uniquely dressed, in brown robes, red or bright green belts and white cowls, the men all with shaved heads and the women wearing hollar caps with red fringing.  Very little inquiry tells you that most of them have had their heads shaved in just the last few days - and it fact you discover a host of barbers are hard at work shaving the heads of even more men.

This party of pilgrims is gathering in Leer from throughout Germany; they are Roman Catholics, and are determined to leave upon the 1st of September for the Holy Shrine in Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, expecting to arrive there in four to six months.  Besides provisioning, praying, having their heads shaved (sometimes more than once), and exhorting others about them to join their pilgrimage, they are a jolly, pleasant bunch, and have brought much money to the town by their presence.

If the party will take its time and come to a clear, definite decision about what they will do next, we can begin the campaign again in earnest.

60 comments:

Andrej said...

River travel would be costly at about 37 gold pieces total (just over 8 gold each) for the party, 5 horses and 3 retainers for two hexes of travel, but certainly not prohibitively so. Looking at the map and assuming 1 hex per day travel on the road (is that a reasonable assumption, Alexis?) we don't make up much in time at the slow rate of 1/2 hex per day, but it will be more direct a route and possibly more pleasant. We can finish up our resting and be close to 100% in Meppen, provided we can pry Ahmet out from under his blanket.

Given the above description, Alexis, I think I know the answer... but in the event we decide to stay and rest, is there room in the town at an inn for our entire party?

Alexis said...

Sadly, no room. The town is just swollen past that possibility.

However, there are comfortable camping areas near and about the pilgrims, so you would have little to fear at night; there are too many people around to make open thievery or attacks a threat, and even pickpocketing is diluted with so many obvious noobie travellers about.

I feel I must point out that at the rate that Andrej heals, you'd be at full after a couple days on the road, even without rest. Of course, you might get an encounter the first day, and the 'road' along the Ems between Leer and Meppen is only a cart track (you can see there is no red line on the map), and thus less used ... but then again, it is harvest time and there are overfull wagons coming in on that cart track steadily. At no other time of the year are there more honest people around.

Alexis said...

Oh yes, you can heal from rest in a camp as well as in an inn.

Nine-toes said...

Party: How about if Ahmet, Emmanuel and I go into town to make purchases while the rest pitch camp.

Alexis, can we assume that we purchase goods for Sylvius at this time?

Alexis said...

You can purchase what you want for Silvius at this time, Nine-toes ... so long as it isn't done with his money.

Andrej said...

Sounds like a plan Ninetoes.

Andrej, Silvius and the two former watchmen Klaas and whats-his-name will remain to set up camp. Emmanuel will be going to purchase food for the journey with the others.

Nineteos, if you're still interested in tithing we could probably give the money to the pilgrims to help facilitate their travel or (even better) simply buy some food to hand out to refugees from Engelke.

Nine-toes said...

Good call on the pilgrims.

How much should we spend?

Meanwhile, Ninetoes is buying the following for Klaas:

Chain mail
Cowhide gauntlets
Open faced helm
linen hauberk
backpack

total: 70gp

Nine-toes said...

Sorry.

Ninetoes and Emmanuel (I won't speak for Ahmet) go to market. Ninetoes buys the items mentioned in the poorly-worded post above.

Andrej said...

Scratch "will" from the above and consider these our actions unless Ahmet or Silvius disagrees, in which case they can alter.

I'll update Andrej's character sheet with the common food stuffs Emmanuel purchases (he will enter town with a belt pouch filled with 250 sp). Upon returning I'll let the players know what is owed by each should they wish to continue drawing from common stores. Keep in mind that we have two more mouths to feed now.

Nine-toes said...

With regards to dividing up the cost for food, Ninetoes pays for Klaas and himself, of course.

Ninetoes also spends 100gp on simple food for the pilgrims

Andrej said...

Re: tithing, Andre actually can't tithe, he recieves them. Of ocurse nothing stops me from simply giving. What you tithe through me is your choice, and I'd read up on Alexis's tithing rules (link posted in the last Engelke post) before you decide whether to do so. By offering the pilgrims or the refugees as options I'm allowing you to pick what you'd most like your money to do. Technically, once you hand over the money to me its mine to determine, but since I'm not yet building a church or raising a Catholic army to take Jerusalem or London in God's name I figured you can pick your favorite charity. :)

Please keep in mind that there is no need to tithe, nor do I expect it. I just wanted you to know the option was there and there's a shot you get a boon from it (read the rules).

Andrej said...

Ninetoes, I've just been always splitting food costs 4 ways to make it easy on me, so you guys have been paying for Emmanuel all along. I suggest we continue on those lines unless somebody objects.

Nine-toes said...

My reasons for giving are 1) I think it's in keeping with taking Ninetoes' faith seriously and 2) I like the idea of giving food to pilgrims. I know a lot more would be required for an in-game benefit.

Andrej said...

Alexis, once camp is set Andrej asks around amongst the pilgrims to see if there is some leader amongst them, perhaps a cleric or some other organizer for the group. His aim is to introduce himself to this person, find out more about the pilgrimage and explain Ninetoes's new found faith and desire to aid the pilgrims through a tithe. What do they most need at this time to see them well on their way?

Alexis said...

The various buying of things goes off without a hitch, and the various poor persons (not necessarily all from Engleke) accept Ninetoes generous offer by swamping him. In future, he might consider not expressing the giving of 'gold' coins to poor persons, but rather the equivalent amount in silver or copper.

The poor rabble quickly becomes a small mob, with many non-deserving people vying for a coin, until at last a Deacon of the church ends the whole affair and collects the remaining money from Nine-toes ... with an admonishment not to be so foolish with regards to poor people. "Do you not know that persons have been killed or crushed in such matters?" thunders the Deacon - who thereupon forgives you, blesses you (literally, so that for a period you are +1 in your rolls) and upon determining your monastical leanings suggests writing a letter of introduction for you to a local monastery.

Nine-toes said...

Um, I thought what I stated was that I was buying food for them, not giving them coins:

"Ninetoes also spends 100gp on simple food for the pilgrims"

I meant I was buying food for them, not giving the coins to them.

Alexis said...

Meanwhile, following the association being made between Andrej and Nine-toes, from the two of you being observed together, the leader of the Pilgrims, Michel Rambouillet of Lorraine, approaches Andrej and tries to encourage him and his party to join the pilgrimage. In answer to Andrej's question about what they might need, there is no final answwer to that. Michel intends to bring nearly a thousand persons first to Basel, and thence to Geneva and Lyon, to Beziers and then through Catalonia to Santiago. He hopes to get far enough south before the weather sets in, though he worries their pace will be less than five miles a day for such untried people upon the road. Horses, wagons, boots and especially experienced men to forage the countryside for food would be more helpful than anything.

Alexis said...

Ah, then let me correct.

Much of the food is ruined in giving it away until the Deacon steps in and has his underlings manage the distribution. I am sorry for not reading more carefully ... I am somewhat rushed today with other things.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet heads to the market to purchase a score of heavy crossbow bolts and a quiver (do you put bolts in a quiver, or is there a carrying device unique to crossbowmen?).

That's 140 c.p. for the bolts and 14 s.p. for the quiver.

I would also like to sell my splint mail (52 g.p.) and buy plate mail (74 g.p., or net 22 g.p.), if I can. I have the same movement (3 m.p.) in either one, so I might as well have the most protection... unless there's some other drawback to plate that I'm missing?

I'll also buy a set of scale mail (52 g.p.), for my "walking around" armor. I get 4 m.p. with that. I hope there's room on the cart!

Andrej said...

(OOC: I think we may have all been talking past one another a bit with regards to the tithing and the difference between "poor people" and pilgrims, no worries if you guys are OK)

Andrej explains to Michel with regret that the party must make haste to Munster, but wishes he and the pilgrims luck and a blessing. In fact, Andrej blesses the the leader as per the spell after purchasing and donating 6 pairs of cowhide boots @ 6 sp each (total 36 sp). I'll be updating food, money etc... today/ tonight on my character sheet and will let all know the latest tallies.

We should stay overnight and into Thursday. Andrej has a market trip of his own to make and more time means more rest.

Andrej said...

Alexis, I'm drawing a blank... what are the daily food consumption amounts for at rest/ traveling/ fighting again?

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - No worries. I'm swamped at the moment but I'll try to get back on tomorrow.)

Andrej said...

More questions... I forget whether or not you award XP for magic items. If so, does somebody need to claim the key set or keg to get the XP? If not, I propose we make the keg a party item to be left on the cart and the keys we should discuss.

Andrej said...

If anybody needs chain mail in the party I'll sell mine to you for 30 gp.

Ahmet said...

Oh great, now we have a nudist half-orc.

Andrej said...

Andrej purchases (on Wednesday if there is still time or Thursday if not):

mithril plate mail for 351 g.p. (because that's how Andrej rolls)

normal helmet for 5 g.p.

Foodstuff purchases awaiting more info from Alexis on consumption.

Ahmet said...

Oh wait, maybe I'll get mithril too! Is there any advantage to it, other than the lighter weight? Is the m.p. cost the same?

Andrej said...

lighter weight, better item saving throw and, of course, the bling.

Alexis said...

Sorry for the departure.

1) bolts go in quivers; a typical bolt is still 18 to 22 inches long.

2) no other troubles with the armor vs. movement that I can see. Ahmet's about to become a tank.

3) Michel will thank you personally and hope that you and he cross paths again in the future.

4) Daily food: no action/rest = 1 lb. per day. travelling = 2 lb. per day. If combat occurs, 3 lbs of food must be eaten that day.

Alexis said...

5) I distributed the experience points for the magic items equally between all the party members when you first obtained them. I am considering making that policy, regardless of the item. I haven't quite decided ... probably in circumstances where no one can claim an item (like drinking a potion, using a weapon/armor/spell/wand etc.) I'll spread the x.p. out evenly, and give specific x.p. when the reverse is true.

6) Mithril plate! I'm giving you guys too much money. There's no trouble buying that on Wednesday, so long as you don't intend to rest (can't rest while being fitted, it takes hours). but you can't rest on Wednesday anyway, you travelled from Engleke to Leer for three hours!

7) The principle advantage to mithril is the endurance - it isn't magic, but it is much harder to destroy (gets two saving throws, either one of which has to be successful, against magical/nonmagical attacks; that's a change, but I think it will work better than a simple bonus).

Ahmet said...

Oh, I'll definitely spend an extra day in Leer for mithril plate. ;)

What do you guys think about buying some barding for these fine light warhorses we have? Or will it compromise their mobility?

Andrej said...

Yeah we're buying mithril plate today, but in a few weeks we could be eating our boot leather should things break that way.

As for barding, Ahmet, I can't ride my horse into a fight other than to hop off it and swing, so I'll abstain.

Thanks for the clarity above Alexis.

Emmanuel bought 2 sacks of potatoes, 2 sacks of wheat flour, 20 extra horse-days worth of feed (we feed 5 horses each day) and an extra box of salt to augment our stores (you can all see what's on the cart when I update today).

Due from each party member: 17 sp

Andrej said...

Food was deducted from our stores for Wednesday using the travel rates. We enjoyed our rabbit sausage and some beans.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes pays Andrej 17sp.

Andrej said...

and potatoes.

Let me know what you guys want to carry on the cart, if anything, so I can add now and update.

I'm ready to move to Thursday and if there is no further business to conduct to make travel plans. I still recommend the river-route and need you guys to chime in yay or nay. Has anybody heard from Silvius yet?

Andrej said...

Ahmet, remind me what we bought as far as tents, etc... our last time through. I don't have them in the cart.

Ahmet said...

I'll pay the 17 sp. Either my mithril plate or my scale mail will be on the cart depending on what I'm wearing. I also have a spare military pick (footman's) on the cart, unless that's already noted.

Ahmet said...

We bought three 8' square linen tents -- two we use and one is a spare. I believe Alexis said one 8' square tent would comfortably sleep six, so even with our two additional footmen we don't need Tent #3 yet.

Andrej said...

pick was already there, got the rest

Nine-toes said...

Yea for the river route.

With the addition of Klaas carrying a backpack, Ninetoes has nothing in the cart.

Ahmet said...

Are we waiting for Silvius?

If not... should we buy gear for Joost?

Andrej said...

Joost can use Andrej's chainmail for now, Silvius and I can make arrangements later. Did he not have a spear or something when he was attacking us at the in?

Nine-toes said...

He (joost) has a glaive and a club.

Alexis said...

(OOC: For the time being, feel free to continue without Silvius. He will make himself known when he's able.

I received word a couple of months ago that one of the players in the old campaigns I was running in 2010 stopped showing up because he wound up going to prison for 18 months. I trust Silvius' disappearance is nothing like this)

Let me know when and how you guys are ready to move on. You seem to have the details well in hand for the present, and there is no hurry.

Andrej said...

In that case Alexis, unless Ahmet objects to the river route we'll each pay 8 gold (I'll pay for Silvius for now) to secure passage four our entire party on a barge to Meppen to leave as early as we can on Thursday or soonest.

Thursday spells: Andrej Aid for 9 hit points (puts me @ 25). Ahmet CLW for 7 hit points.

Alexis said...

Don't forget the four legs belonging to the dog, with regards to barge passage.

Andrej said...

I thought he would just doggie paddle along. ;)

OK, Silvius's dog is also covered.

Ahmet said...

I'm now fully healed! Ready to rock and roll. Bring on the bad guys!

I'll pay the 8 g.p. Let's get out of here while we still have some coins. :)

Ahmet isn't a very bright bulb, but even he knows not to wear the mithril plate while on a boat... and I'm not sure how he'd fare if dumped into the war while in scale mail ("leather intersewn with metal scales" -- I suppose it depends on the ratio of metal to leather).

Actually, can Ahmet swim? If not, it probably doesn't matter. :)

Nine-toes said...

I'll pay the 8 gp, taking care that no pilgrims are about when I give the coins to Andrej....

Off we go!

Alexis said...

Shock and horror: if your character background has not indicated that you can swim, you actually can't.

I'll get the next post up, presuming you climb aboard a barge for Meppen first thing Thursday morning. It rains briefly Wednesday evening, but the tent protects you.

Alexis said...

(OOC: It's been a couple of days now, and I've got to ask you guys your opinion on a couple of things - specifically, the 10,000 word post and the amazing fact that I have SIX subscribers. Come on, guys, tell me what you think)

Andrej said...

here or over at Tao?

Andrej said...

I'll leave it here for now. Six subscribers sounds about right, and I'm certain of at least a 7th within the next few months. As for the 10,000 words, it was like a survey of some of your better posts or bits of advice otherwise scattered about a multitude of posts, now in one place. Being a regular reader it was an enjoyable read, but I felt like the choir being preached to somewhat.

In your own words: "...for someone who's a complete noob, I doubt the post would have been much use. For those who know the facts for themselves, it might feel good to find another voice uttering the same ideas, but as an educational document it doesn't have much worth. It says what you should do; it doesn't say how to do it..."

I think the single greatest benefit of the post is that somebody can go to one place now to get a good sense of what you're really about as a DM, without their getting wrapped around the axle on stuff beside the point.

Neither the hit count nor the lack of comments surprises me. Were I to comment, it would have been to say "right on".

As for the popularity of your other posts, particularly the gemstone one, I imagine having so many images leads many people in doing Google image searches. A lot of the non-D&D'ers were there for the pics. A post of mine that simply lays out a buunch of inspirational pics from Nat Geo is probably my most popular all-time.

Oh yeah, I forgot I even had a blog...

Alexis said...

(OOC: Thank you, I appreciate those notes. I'm still thinking about that "how to" post that deserves writing)

The next post is up.

Ahmet said...

I agree with Andrej... I would feel really insignificant following up a 10,000-word post with "I agree."

Ahmet said...

Oh, and the "how to" post definitely deserves writing!

Alexis said...

I got that impression overall, Ahmet (about "I agree," I mean).

Guess I have to write less, huh?

Took a shot at writing a first "how to" post just now, Ahmet. I see a long series ahead of me.

Ahmet said...

Ah, so swimming is a result you can generate from a background table, like being able to do various gymnastics or catch a thrown object?

Ahmet said...

I don't think it's having to write less, necessarily... there was a lot to digest in that post, yes, but not a lot of room for debate, I guess is how I would put it. Usually you'll get more comments (at least from me) when I think there's something else you ought to consider, or if I'm wondering why you did x instead of y.

Alexis said...

(GCI: Yes, you 'swim' if your father happened to have an occupation associated with the water, or if you hit certain athletic or chance abilities. You can always learn to swim, but you have to have someone teach you)