I decided to try something different. Into the Odd is such a clever little game with such a lovely physical book, that I just had to get some play time in with it. I don't have an RPG group, though (at least none that would be interested in this kind of RPG game), so I'm trying to play it solo.
Wait! Is this becoming the solo RPG blog? Are you trying to trick me? Is this a kissing blog?
I don't know. This is just where I am right now. I'm sure I'll get back to some minis soon.
Also, no photos in this one. I'm too lazy. Enjoy your wall of text.
Potential spoilers ahead, although anything that follows is only about 85% true because whenever I encountered some fact and interacted with it, I asked the oracle if it was actually true. That's basically how I did this. I asked Mythic, assuming that anything in the book was "Very Likely" and went from there.
The Iron Coral
A strange coral island has over recent weeks erupted off the coast. Louis Bradford, novice adventurer, takes three companions (Alan, Benjamin, and Charles) to explore it, looking for Arcana, the strange "magical" devices from a lost age. They land their boat on the beach, light a lantern, and enter the cave of iron-grey coral.
Inside are several passages, and a wall of "meaty" red coral. Louis pokes it with his prosthetic hand and the wall doesn't react. Benjamin and Charles are the only ones with swords, so they hack through to find a narrow, partially collapsed tunnel. At the back is a corpse covered in red tendrils.
Here was my first stumbling block. Clearly the tendrils are dangerous. I'm trying to outhink them, but even the GM doesn't know how they act other than "does 1d6 damage". They're not even a monster, just a "hazard". Are they dangerous to touch? Do they attack if I get too close? How close? There's no telling, and I don't have the tools set up yet to help me. (In retrospect, it would have been easy enough to do a thing and then ask the oracle if this was good enough, but I was trying to play and GM and figure out this new system all at once.)
In the end, Louis threw a large rock at it, and it attacked the rock. No surprise. Finally, Benjamin and Charles get as close as they dare and slash at it. Charles passes his DEX Save (vs 7), but Benjamin gets hit for 4 damage! He only has 1HP, so the other three cut into his STR, injuring him critically! Down he goes! Charles slashes the tendrils causes them to withdraw into the stones. Not sure when they would return, we consider just leaving, but instead, Charles tends to Benjamin's wounds while Louis searches the body for 20 shillings.
Obviously, Benjamin needs to rest, but despite being cozy, this tunnel is too dangerous thanks to the tendrils. We leave the cave to rest by the boat.
"Loitering" by the boat triggers a wandering (random) encounter with a "Crawling Carapace". A rust-colored humanoid that wants to prey on the weak. Luckily, we're not in a cramped cave, but the open beach, so it can't get the drop on us.
Here was another rough patch for me. This thing would, by its nature, want to mess with poor, injured Benjamin, but would it risk a 4 to 1 fight to do it? Would it try to parley, to lie or lure us back into the caves? Could it even talk or understand things? I probably could have asked the oracle these things, but it's difficult to step out of my role sometimes. Anyway, per the rules, encounters begin with a "reaction" test to see if the NPC has a positive or negative reaction. Louis, despite being a DEX 5 klutz, has a forceful personality with WIL 16. So he steps up and threatens the creature to go away, which it does, scuttling back into the cave, hoping to sneak up on these guys later.
(Also, was this the same Crawling Carapace that inhabits one of the rooms of the cave? If I kill it, would it not be in the cave later? What if I rolled the same random encounter after it's dead? And are the other, non-location based random encounters unique as well? I want to say yes, but it's not clear. If I were GMing this, I'd just make a judgement call, as I should here, but I've got a pretty big cognitive load going on as it is and this was just one more thing.)
Later, the party goes back into the caves and enters a new room, all red and meaty, with a pile of fleshy goo in the center. They carefully enter to investigate and all suddenly feel faint. It's hard to say what I would "really" do without knowing beforehand, but I wisely decided that they need to get out of there! They run for the exit, but it's another random encounter with a white-eyed husk of a man blocking the exit! Alan is surprised and gets clawed for 1HP by the husk. Ben swords it pretty hard, dropping it, and then Charles stabs it in the head, just in case. Louis bravely steps over the body and out of the room. Ben finally faints, but he's near the entrance, so the others are able to pull him to safety and revive him.
Next, they crawl through a low tunnel into some sort of storage room. The Mythic Chaos was getting pretty high at this point, and here I got my first "altered scene", which is always a challenge. Altered how? I pulled some random descriptors from the oracle and got "preliminary pack". So I decided that the formerly open crates are now sealed and will need to be opened. Into the Odd is a little... odd in that there are no "skill" checks. You only really roll the dice to avoid danger. So opening the crates, unless it's impossible, WILL happen. It's just a matter of tools and time. So, assuming that it takes time (and maybe a bit of noise), I just roll for a random encounter, but get nothing, and now the crates are open.
Inside is some jerky (are they supposed to be able to eat that?) and jars of green beads that turn into spikes when you step on them. Are these Arcana? Do I have to (or do I even have the option to) make a WIL Save to figure them out (without triggering them)? I had decided that the party would leave once they had found an Arcanum, but these also had a 30 shilling monetary value, which didn't seem right so I decided that these didn't count.
The next room has "glass" walls revealing a sea of dead fish and weird worms sucking on the glass outside. Against one wall of the room is another corpse. It remains a corpse, and on it Louis finds a small bottle of what smells like gin.
The next room is covered in yellow slime and has a faintly glowing, pulsing sac pulsing creepily in the center. There's nothing that seems valuable here, so they carefully skirt the thing and continue into a room full of glittering particles in the air. The party covers their faces with their handkerchiefs and looks around. There are two doors. One with a white hand-print, and one with a red hand-print. The red-hand door doesn't open, but the white-hand door does. Inside, on a plinth, is a strange white glove. Louis takes it and examines it. He makes as WIL save to figure out what it does without triggering it, and succeeds!
Unfortunately, we get another random encounter. The sac-thing has waddled up with its little sucker-feet into the doorway and is now just standing there. It's not clear what we should do, so I have the most agile character, Alan, try to jump over it without touching it. Alan kicks it on the way over, and it lets out a psychic scream that would have killed Alan if he hadn't already been out of the room! Everyone else just gets a little dumber for a while. Not trusting the rest of the not-very-agile crew to make the leap, Charles simply slashes the thing with his sword, doing just enough damage to "pop" it without any further screaming.
Then everybody starts making their way for the surface.
Once safely back home, everyone in the party levels up to Professionals! Charles is the big winner here, gaining a point in each stat and 5 (for a total of 6) HP. The big loser is Alan, who gains no stat increases and only 1 (for a total of 2) HP.
If I sell all of the loot, I might get a couple hundred shillings, but you need at least 10 Guilders to start an Enterprise, so I guess I'm just sitting on the money for now.
And that's it! Pretty fun, but I'm still figuring out the best way to interact with a scripted exploration adventure without just cheating. At least I can say that I've played it, and I can also say that I liked what I saw.
Ĝis la revido!"
Jason "Ludanto" Smith C;E