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  • #16
    Solid stuff all around. It's always cool to see these sorts of things in practice. I'll be keeping a keen eye out when you get to the example Beast, as I have a theory that that Seeming has the potential to swing wildly during navigation, considering their Blessing and Curse.

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    • #17
      So, I took another look at The Hedge in the core rule book and Hedgespinning more specifically. From what I can tell it seems that when navigating the Hedge it would be counterproductive to actively try to Hedgespin via navigation rather than prepare to navigate with Hedgespinning. I mean, what with having to sacrifice successes in order to Hedgespin you'd be slowing yourself down and/or falling into the Thorns/getting lost more easily. Does that sound right?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
        So, I took another look at The Hedge in the core rule book and Hedgespinning more specifically. From what I can tell it seems that when navigating the Hedge it would be counterproductive to actively try to Hedgespin via navigation rather than prepare to navigate with Hedgespinning. I mean, what with having to sacrifice successes in order to Hedgespin you'd be slowing yourself down and/or falling into the Thorns/getting lost more easily. Does that sound right?
        On your own, sure. If you're, say, trying to get someone else somewhere and have the stats to minimize the slowdown, less so.

        (Remember, unless you roll an exceptional success and invoke a paradigm shift you can't spend all your successes on Hedgespinning, any success at all builds progress, and Wyrd and Goblin Debt are the two most durable means of lowering your target success count. Getting un-Lost is a lot easier when you only need to get two or three successes to win at the jump.)

        It's the sort of maneuver that lives in the higher-Wyrd space where you start having to be in dire straits to need more than half the successes the Hedge does; just belonging to a freehold counteracts the penalty for using a navigation roll to Hedgespin in normal Hedge.


        Resident Lore-Hound
        Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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        • #19
          And now we're gonna give Hospitaller Bill a look, and take advantage of his estate to leverage a few chase modifiers we wouldn't otherwise see much of in these examples: Someone has brought a severely injured person along the trod to Bill's Hollow for medical attention, and Bill needs to get them from the front gate to his operating room before they start bleeding out. Simple race against the clock on his home turf (though not his Home Turf — he knows the place well, but "defensible" is still on the itinerary for later).

          This navigation attempt theoretically takes place entirely in Bill's expansive Hollow, and while being given responsibility for a rapidly-fading life is probably not ideal, the man is a doctor, or at least close enough to one to have a professional level of medical knowledge (and a kith blessing in his back pocket, though the Hedge is obviously not the best place to start taking on severe damage). There's precious little setup to figure out here; Bill whistles for his ambullance and loads up the patient to go.

          Bill's Intent: Get the patient to the operating room before it's too late.
          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
          Bill's Stats: Wyrd 3, Clarity 8, Speed 12, Fae Mount Speed 38, Initiative 9 (7 + 2), Fae Mount Initiative 7 (5 + 2); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense.
          Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 2 (10 - Clarity 8).
          Bill needs: 8 successes - 9 (Wyrd 3, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's, your character knows the territory intimately) + 3 (characters are under a time limit [most urgent]) = 2 successes.
          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 3 (Opponent's Speed is twice yours) = 11 successes.

          It's Bill's Hollow. He's doing his job. He's got the Edge. He sets the dicepool to Dexterity + Drive for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. He snaps the reins of his Mount and prepares to thread the needle between running fast and running carefully.

          Bill rolls 6 dice (Dexterity + Drive pool of 3, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 8, 1, 5, 1, 1, 1. 1 of 2 required successes. The Playmate knows this isn't quite a milk run when he isn't practically already at the operating table. He spares a glance behind the ambullance…

          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 6, 5, 3, 8, 7, 5, 6, 1. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. No untoward complications on his own property, thank goodness. but celebrating too early is an invitation to disaster…

          The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for a pressing time limit): 10, 3, 1, 10, 6, 7, 8, 8, 1. 4 of 11 required successes. The Hedge can smell blood, evidently, and taking the patient out of stable terrain was clearly all the excuse it needed to ramp up its pursuit.

          As the Mount pulls up to the place where Bill keeps his medical supplies, the waning daylight glints off of the locks he keeps on the door — that stuff is valuable, and Bill knows there's unscrupulous sorts in the Hedge (hell, in the freehold) who could break in and help themselves, but for the moment he needs to get that door open quickly. The necessary dismount shifts the chase requirements slightly: The Hedge now needs 9 successes. He sets the dicepool to Dexterity + Wits for the second turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes.

          Bill rolls 9 dice (Dexterity + Wits pool of 6, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 4, 1, 9, 2, 9, 1, 4, 6, 2. 2 successes, 3 of 2 required successes. Bill pops the keys into and out of the locks like he's picking berries off a branch and hurries the patient into the operating room with the help of their benefactor. No further risk of getting there too late, but…

          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 1, 8, 7, 7, 9, 6, 6, 2, 5. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. Bill breathes a sigh of relief as the door swings shut behind him. Now he can do his work.

          The patient's treatment is outside the scope of this exercise to bother with, but for the sake of seeing whether Bill needs to take on some of their damage for expediency, let's roll his Intelligence + Medicine + Specialty to see how many of their 6 lethal wounds he can downgrade to bashing. (Gift of Warm Breath can help with those, and for example's sake we'll have him take on the rest as severe Clarity damage.)

          Bill rolls 8 dice (Intelligence + Medicine + Specialty pool of 6, +2 for well-stocked facilities): 6, 1, 9, 1, 2, 1, 4, 10, 10, 2. 3 successes. Bill patches up his patient fairly well, gives them a homemade drink and a pat on the back, and assures them it's going to be okay. Bill takes 3 points of severe Clarity damage (Current Clarity drops to 5).

          This having been a fairly high-urgency evening, Bill declines to entertain his guests further and goes to escort them to the Earthly entrance of his Hollow, where he intends to lock up and have a night on the town with his Touchstone to recuperate. The room is starting to wiggle a bit, though his Wyrded senses are still coherent and he's been in bad spots often enough to recognize that he's not quite at the shallows of Bad Trip Experience yet. He helps the patient to their feet along with their escort, hops on the ambullance, and heads for the back gate.

          Bill's Intent: Get to the Hollow's Earthly access point.
          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
          Bill's Stats: Wyrd 3, Clarity 5, Speed 12, Fae Mount Speed 38, Initiative 9 (7 + 2), Fae Mount Initiative 7 (5 + 2); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense.
          Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 5 (10 - Clarity 5).
          Bill needs: 8 successes - 7 (Wyrd 3, Initiative modifier is higher than opponent's, your character knows the territory intimately) = 1 success.
          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 3 (Opponent's Speed is twice yours) = 11 successes.

          Same deal as before except nobody's in a hurry. Bill has the Edge. He sets the dicepool to Wits + Drive for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's successes. The Wizened keeps an eye out in the darkening roads of his Hollowscape as he urges his Mount forward.

          Bill rolls 8 dice (Wits + Drive pool of 5, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 10, 1, 6, 2, 8, 8, 4, 5, 9. 4 of 1 required successes. They get there. As for whether they get there uneventfully

          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 6, 3, 1, 4, 8, 10, 4, 10, 1, 6. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. A softly squealing steam whistle emerges from the roof of Bill's gatehouse, and the sound seems to remind the patient's benefactor of something (1 Hedgespinning success to make a minor aesthetic change to a Hedge structure, 1 Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication for any character).

          As Bill lets the pair of them out the one of them quietly thanks him for ensuring that their mark didn't die before they could get them back home, and the grin they flash is distinctly inhuman in a way that draws his attention to the tools at his belt. The Huntsman says they'll see to it that the Hospitaller is fairly compensated for his time, and vanishes into the streets along with their unwitting quarry.

          Bill takes a Clarity attack (two dice, modified +2 for strong emotional investment; results are 2, 5, 3, 9, and damage roll is two dice [Wyrd 3 - Touchstone 1], with results of 6, 3), shuts the door, weighs the risk of trying to find a stiff drink in the Hollow in his current state, and opens the door again to find his drinking buddy to let some of this wash off him before he makes a report to the Queen.

          Sometimes you can have a rough night even without getting hurt, clearly. I can only imagine how the Thorns are going to treat poor Bill.


          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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          • #20
            In a similar vein, though on less short notice than the last example, now we're gonna see how Bill handles poking around in unfamiliar Thorns despite being a relative homebody. We'll probably be leveraging his Specialties a fair bit to compensate, and while the ambullance is no less subject to Size concerns than Merly's bird of burden it'll still be seeing some use; Bill's gonna go looking for missing people.

            We're well outside the Hospitaller estate, though this is definitely going into bits of the Thorns that are nearby enough that Bill's reputation and freehold membership do their thing. We're starting from the less friendly-looking endpoint of the Stable Trod and adjusting as we go; Bill's not sure what he'll come across, but he's stocked up and saddlebagged the bull in preparation for a tricky trip. He's apprehensive about being attacked on the road, but the ambullance is a sturdy creature who can fight better than he can and beating a hasty retreat is probably a safe option regardless. He angles toward cityscape, reasoning that he's more likely to find people there, and sets off, leading the Mount on foot.

            Bill's Intent: Find someone in the Thorns who needs help.
            The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
            Bill's Stats: Wyrd 3, Clarity 8, Speed 12, Fae Mount Speed 38, Initiative 9 (7 + 2), Fae Mount Initiative 7 (5 + 2); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense.
            Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge/Thorns): Speed 10/15, Initiative 2 (10 - Clarity 8).
            Bill needs: 8 successes - 6 (Wyrd 3, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) = 2 successes.
            The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

            Bill's prepared and not in a scenario where he's susceptible to being fast-talked, so he's got the Edge for the moment. He sets the dicepool to Wits + Investigation for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. He steers off the eerie cul-de-sac his trod ends in and into a run-down side yard, looking for signs of struggle and other peculiarities one might find on the trail of a newly-escaped changeling or a long-lost mortal.

            Bill rolls 8 dice (Intelligence + Investigation + Specialty pool of 6 dice, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 9, 3, 5, 2, 1, 1, 10, 3, 1. 2 of 2 required successes. He finds a temporary sort of hidey-hole squirreled away behind the broken wall of a dilapidated mansion; the mien and demeanor of its resident say "changeling," and the dirt and disorder suggest that they're in a Bad Place; Bill feels the shift in the atmosphere as he crosses the threshold into the Thorns and follows them around a corner. Bill now needs 3 successes. The Hedge now needs 8 successes. Before Bill concludes his effort, of course…

            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 9, 1, 9, 5, 2, 4, 4, 5, 6, 3. 2 successes, 1 of which can be used for Hedgespinning. As Bill turns the corner he hears a clattering sound and sees that a desk in an abandoned hallway has fallen over, spilling its contents onto the floor, including a lot of dust and a couple of things that look newer than they probably should. (One Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication for any character) Clearly this changeling does not have their head on entirely straight just yet. There's potentially bigger problems on his plate now, though…

            The Hedge rolls 10 dice (the starting 5, +3 for being in the Thorns, +1 for one character with a negative mental Condition, +1 for a character at less than half their maximum Clarity): 5, 10, 3, 5, 2, 7, 6, 5, 3, 9, 5. 2 of 8 required successes. The house shudders a bit, and more dust shakes loose from the rafters.

            Bill rightly infers that he should probably do something about this kid — it's why he's here, after all — and decides to lean on the other half of his kith blessing. He sets the dicepool to Manipulation + Persuasion for the second turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. He makes it clear that he knows about Props and Scenery and that he just wants to talk. He just wants to help. He just wants to fix this, as a fixture. (He's addressing the Hedge as much as the changeling-who-is-a-random-object here.)

            Bill rolls 9 dice (Manipulation + Persuasion + Specialty pool of 6, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense, exceptional success threshold of 3 successes from kith blessing): 6, 5, 3, 9, 6, 3, 5, 7, 4. 1 success, 3 of 3 required successes. The real furniture scoots away with a menacing rumble to clear a space for the Hatter to approach the immobile changeling. As the dust settles again…

            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 5, 9, 3, 8, 10, 7, 5, 6, 2, 7, 10, 9, 2. 5 successes, four of which can be used for Hedgespinning. This being the Thorns, let's go with the mean option again: the floor gives out as Bill steps into the open space, dropping him and his quarry into a moldy basement filled with stacks upon stacks of knick-knacks (Three Hedgespinning successes to make a minor location change, one Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication for any character). This is not good for Bill's poor heart (two-dice Clarity attack, modified -1 for some emotional investment and occurring via happenstance: roll results are 7), but he picks up the unresisting changeling-cane and prepares to carry them to safety. The ambullance is probably not going to maneuver well in this space, if it can even get down here.

            Bill's Intent: Get the new arrival to open ground.
            The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
            Bill's Stats: Wyrd 3, Clarity 8, Speed 12, Initiative 7; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense.
            Hedge Stats (Thorns): Speed 15, Initiative 2 (10 - Clarity 8).
            Bill needs: 8 successes - 6 (Wyrd 3, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 3 successes.
            The Hedge needs: 8 successes = 8 successes.

            It's pretty unambiguous that the Hedge has the Edge here, I think, given how wrong-footed Bill's gotten in the last five minutes. It sets the dicepool to Dexterity + Athletics for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character.

            The Hedge rolls 12 dice (the starting 5, +3 for being in the Thorns, +2 for having the Edge, +1 for one character with a negative mental Condition, +1 for a character at less than half their maximum Clarity): 4, 2, 1, 3, 1, 3, 7, 3, 8, 9, 8, 7. 3 of 8 required successes. The stacks of junk loom and shift and waver around Hospitaller Bill, threatening sharper drops than the one that got him down here. He presses onward, keeping a firm grip on his inanimate charge and moving as carefully as he can manage.

            Bill rolls 10 dice (Dexterity + Athletics pool of 4, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 3, 1, 2, 7, 3, 3, 4, 8, 6, 5. 1 of 3 required successes. He manages to dodge and clamber his way to the stairs up and out of the basement, but…

            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 2, 4, 1, 5, 7, 3, 7, 6. 0 successes, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. But nothing happens on the way there. No sudden shifts against him nor in his favor. Bill doesn't trust it. Now that he's above solid ground, he tries summoning the ambullance; it arrives some minutes later, lumbering delicately over fancy carpets and hardwood floors. The Hospitaller saddles up and prepares to charge, despite the dangerous terrain. Bill now needs 3 successes. The Hedge now needs 11 successes.

            It's not much of a change in context for the scene, so the Hedge still has the Edge. It sets the dicepool to Dexterity + Athletics for the second turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes.

            The Hedge rolls 13 dice (the starting 5, +3 for being in the Thorns, +2 for having the Edge, +1 for one character with a negative mental Condition, +1 for a character at less than half their maximum Clarity): 4, 10, 2, 6, 10, 2, 8, 5, 10, 6, 2, 2, 3, 10, 1, 3, 2. 5 successes, 8 of 11 required successes, exceptional success.

            The mansion creaks and warps and nearly wrong-foots Bill again, kicking him down to 0 of 3 required successes. He pats the ambullance on its flank and urges it forward with all speed.

            Bill rolls 13 dice (Fae Mount's Dexterity + Athletics pool of 7, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 9, 9, 2, 1, 7, 8, 2, 9, 4, 2, 4, 8, 3. 5 successes, 5 of 3 required successes, exceptional success. Bill's mount charges down the hallways and out the door, racing through the cramped streets to terrain that is at least something like a path. The toll for crossing that particular bridge…

            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 8, 9, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 8, 7, 8, 6, 9, 1, 9, 5, 9, 4, 7, 1. 11 successes, ten of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The mansion collapses in on itself and bursts forth as a particularly ill-omened mountain of stone and scrap. The resulting lift makes with the strain of landing from a much higher drop than it expected particularly hard on the poor ambullance. (7 Hedgespinning successes to completely change the scenery, 2 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a personal Tilt [Leg Wrack] for any character, 1 Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication.)

            The drop doesn't do wonders for Bill's nerves (two-dice Clarity attack, modified -1 for some emotional investment and occurring via happenstance: roll results are 8, and damage roll is two dice [Wyrd 3 - Touchstone 1], with results of 4, 3), but he gathers his wits and gets ready for one last push, because the new kid is going to need a safe place to unwind when they decide they're ready to stop being set dressing. He dismounts and lets the Mount save some weight, then starts looking for people to lend a hand.

            Bill's Intent: Bring the new arrival back to his Hollow.
            The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
            Bill's stats: Wyrd 3, Clarity 8, Speed 12, Initiative 7; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense.
            Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 2 (10 - Clarity 8).
            Bill needs: 8 successes - 6 (Wyrd 3, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) = 2 successes.
            The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 8 successes.

            The context has definitely changed now, between getting out of the Thorns and getting out of the building, but things are just precarious enough that we'll call for a roll to determine the Edge just to be sure. Bill talks himself up to the silent changeling witness, any unseen goblin rubberneckers, and the Hedge itself, desperation driving him to get this mess over with.

            The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +1 for one character with a negative mental Condition, +1 for a character at less than half their maximum Clarity): 1, 7, 6, 2, 3, 4, 2. 0 successes.
            Bill rolls 9 dice (Presence + Persuasion + Specialty pool of 6, +3 for Willpower, exceptional success threshold of 3 successes from kith blessing): 9, 5, 7, 2, 9, 10, 3, 10, 1, 3, 6. 4 successes, exceptional success.

            Bill feels the tension shift in the air and takes some solace in the fact that he's playing a home game again. He's got the Edge, and sets the dicepool to Wits + Streetwise for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. He'd love to leverage his newfound Inspiration on a more social road back, but what's important right now is getting what will hopefully be a fast new friend set up with a bath and a quiet place to rest. (He could use some of that himself, he thinks.)

            Bill rolls 12 dice (Wits + Streetwise pool of 6, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold he's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 8, 7, 9, 5, 8, 9, 8, 4, 3, 9, 7, 1. 6 of 2 required successes, exceptional success. Even without a fast ride to lean on, Bill ducks through the side streets to the cul-de-sac like a pro and gets the both of them home… safely?

            Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 3, 3, 1, 9, 3, 2, 6, 3, 2. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. It's an uneventful walk back, in any case.

            Bill gets a guest bed ready for the new arrival and busies himself with the work of making calls while the sunset approaches. That was a bit of a strain, and it definitely didn't go how he'd hoped it would, but he came out of it with a personal project and reinforced his place in the freehold. If he were a younger man, he might say something about the Thorns not being worth fussing over. (He doesn't say that, of course, because he knows they might be listening, and with that eruption of rubble behind him he'd actually put money on it. Another thing to share with the Queen later.)


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            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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            • #21
              I don't want to be (too much of) a choosing beggar, but is there any chance you might do something similar with Dreamweaving in the future?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by DoktorNiemand View Post
                I don't want to be (too much of) a choosing beggar, but is there any chance you might do something similar with Dreamweaving in the future?
                Certainly! I've a couple iterations yet to go through here — I'm trying to get each sample character through a batch of solo runs before I start dipping into examples of opposed or cooperative pursuits — and the narrower scope of dreamweaving is such that there's just less moving parts to worry about for it, but considering the amount of Important Stuff that can hide in dreams I'd be remiss if I didn't make a thread for that system, too.


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                Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                • #23
                  On to another new changeling! Leyla Anthide bounces us back to characters who aren't specifically built for the Hedge but have the stats to make that matter less. Playing to her skillset, we're going to see how she handles breaking into the secondary Hollow of a slumbering Goblin Queen to steal a rare book for the goblin who taught her Lost Visage. (Expect a lot of Clash rolls.)

                  The standard for these first runs is that the character starts with all their resources topped off, but Leyla's Anchors suggest that she's liable to get to work on this as soon as possible even if she won't get Willpower from sticking to them, so we'll start her out from her creditor's base of operations three blocks south of an inner-city Hedgeway and see how quickly she can put an approach together.

                  Leyla's Intent: Find the target Hollow.
                  The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                  Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11, Initiative 10; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                  Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                  Leyla needs: 8 successes - 7 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (characters are under a time limit [somewhat urgent]) = 2 successes.
                  The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                  Leyla's not super familiar with the surrounding Hedge — she does most of her work in the mortal world and she knows the way to her creditor's place because it told her — but neither is she at a particular disadvantage in the area, so let's roll to determine the Edge first:

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Wits + Streetwise + Specialty pool of 7): 6, 1, 10, 1, 4, 7, 5, 7. 1 success.
                  The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 7, 7, 1, 9, 7. 1 success.

                  Tie. Rolling again:

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Wits + Streetwise + Specialty pool of 7): 6, 9, 9, 5, 9, 3, 3. 3 successes.
                  The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 1, 5, 10, 7, 1, 7. 1 success.

                  Leyla wins the Edge. She decides that her best bet for getting anywhere is to get to higher ground, where her Acute Senses can do her some good. She sets the dicepool to Strength + Athletics for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character.

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Strength + Athletics + Specialty pool of 6, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to): 10, 4, 9, 9, 2, 5, 6, 6. 3 of 2 required successes. A quick clambering up the sides of buildings and a few hops between rooftops and the Darkling's spotted an out-of-the-way little shack down a side street. She slides down to the street…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 10, 3, 2, 6, 4, 10, 5, 9, 7, 1, 5. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. Bad news: the place is guarded by some pretty vicious-looking hobgoblins. Evidently the Queen thought this Hollow was important enough to leave part of her entourage to mind it, or at least hire help. (2 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a hazard to the scene.) They haven't noticed the Helldiver yet, but sticking around while they're there is going to complicate things.

                  Leyla sticks close to the wall she's just come down from and takes a moment to gather information. She looks at the hob in front of the front door and begins to reel off the string of word-association that characterizes the application of Portents and Visions, attempting to get a look at what kind of deal this goblin has most recently made.

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Manipulation + Occult + Wyrd pool of 7): 8, 7, 3, 2, 1, 3, 8. 2 successes.
                  The guard rolls 5 dice (Composure + Wyrd pool of 5): 6, 2, 1, 1, 7. 0 successes.

                  Leyla sees about what she'd expected: a glimpse of a distant drawing room, a different hobgoblin who looks like just as much of a piece of work as the fang-mouthed character before her, a solemn vow to protect their Lady's holdings. The tenor of the exchange suggests coworkers rather than mercenary payment. She shouldn't have to worry about involving a third party in this freelance gig. She did just scrutinize a Hedge denizen with fae magic, though, which might precipitate a different problem…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 7, 8, 5, 2, 4, 8, 10, 4, 2. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The Hedge holds its breath. Nothing happens. Yet. (2 Hedgespinning successes to bank one success for a later shift.) Leyla sets her mind to work. Best to get more information. Quickly. Comprehensively.

                  Leyla's Intent: Learn the layout and guard placements of the Hollow.
                  The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                  Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11, Initiative 10; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                  Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                  Leyla needs: 8 successes - 7 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 4 (Actively dangerous terrain, characters are under a time limit [more urgent]) = 5 successes.
                  The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                  Different context means it's time to re-determine the Edge again.

                  Leyla rolls 6 dice (Wits + Stealth pool of 6): 5, 10, 4, 7, 6, 10, 6, 7. 2 successes.
                  The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for pressing time limit): 4, 9, 1, 2, 1, 8, 1. 2 successes.

                  Tie. Rolling again:

                  Leyla rolls 6 dice (Wits + Stealth pool of 6): 7, 9, 2, 8, 4, 2. 2 successes.
                  The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for pressing time limit): 3, 3, 2, 6, 7, 7, 5. 0 successes.

                  Leyla has the Edge again. She has a process in mind for once she's in the house, but first she has to get the door guard out of the way. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Subterfuge for the first turn; failure will inflict a Tilt on the relevant character. She clenches a fist, hocks a pebble in the opposite direction of the sentry, and bolts when it hits the ground twenty feet away.

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Wits + Subterfuge pool of 4, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, -1 for hobgoblin Composure): 6, 8, 1, 10, 2, 7, 4, 6. 2 of 5 required successes. The hob turns its head and goes a few steps forward to investigate, during which time Leyla manages to slip up to the door. As she approaches…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 3, 5, 4, 2, 8, 9, 2, 9, 10, 8, 6. 5 successes, four of which can be used for Hedgespinning (plus one more banked). The door swings open silently — no need to try and force the lock this time. The tension holds. (3 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a major beneficial twist of luck, 2 Hedgespinning successes to bank one success for a later shift). The hob continues to search for the noise…

                  The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for pressing time limit): 10, 9, 9, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4. 3 of 9 required successes. The sentry returns to its post, notices the door is ajar, and nudges it shut with an embarassed cough. Miss Anthide, just past the threshold, holds back the sigh of relief that years of sneak-thievery for an Arcadian Shadow-Marquessa taught would cost her breathing privileges for a night and a day.

                  The Hollow stretches out before her. It's no vast estate, but this is certainly more than the two-room rest stop she took it for from the outside. Time to figure out if there's any more watchgoblins in place. Leyla sets the dicepool to Wits + Investigation for the second turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes.

                  Leyla rolls 11 dice (Wits + Investigation + Specialty pool of 7, +4 for Acute Senses, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 8, 3, 9, 10, 4, 4, 2, 8, 1, 7, 4, 8. 5 successes, five of which can be used for Hedgespinning, exceptional success. The Helldiver puts some of her investigatory acumen (and her Glamour) toward finding her eventual target and comes across some painstakingly scrawled notes on the tiny dinner table in what appears to be the kitchen, which saves her some of the trouble of figuring out where the library is. (3 Hedgespinning successes to learn which direction to travel in to reach a stated specific location that isn't deliberately concealed.) 4 of 5 required successes. The Hedge loses one from its accumulated successes, reducing its total to 2 of 9 required successes. Leyla's snooping around in a Hedge-house more generally, though…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 2, 1, 6, 3, 2, 8, 1, 3. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning (plus one more banked). …goes surprisingly uneventfully; as she passes by a window she hears the other guard muttering his schedule to himself under his breath, which is still loud enough for Leyla's hearing. (1 Hedgespinning success to give any character a +1 equipment bonus to their next roll [plan].) Speaking of the guards…

                  The Hedge rolls 8 dice (the starting 5, +2 for pressing time limit, +1 for one turn passing): 5, 9, 7, 10, 2, 10, 4, 6, 9, 4. 4 successes, 6 of 9 required successes. Break time is approaching for the guards. Anthide only has a short span left before she'll be trying to look around the place with two hobs in it, and she doesn't know if she trusts the Hedge to let her pick them off one at a time.

                  The getaway is down to later timing; Leyla needs to breeze through the rest of the Hollow for blind spots and hiding places and creaky floorboards. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Investigation for the third turn; failure will inflict a Tilt on the relevant character. She steps lightly and flits through the hallways to peer into as many rooms as she can. She dares not breathe.

                  Leyla rolls 15 dice (Wits + Investigation + Specialty pool of 7, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, +1 for plan equipment, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 4, 5, 5, 7, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4, 1, 2, 9, 7, 3, 1. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. More untidy notes on shelves and countertops from the unimaginative guards, from which Leyla can figure out the biggest blind spot in their patrols. (1 Hedgespinning success to learn which direction to travel in to reach a stated type of location that isn't deliberately concealed.) 5 of 5 required successes. Leyla's got what she came here for, and in record time, too…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 7, 8, 3, 9, 8, 10, 7, 4, 6, 6. 4 successes, three of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The front door slams open, the two guards snapping irritably at each other in hunger. It seems like they won't be leaving the landing until they sort out which one of them is responsible for catching dinner. (2 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a hazard to the scene, 1 Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication for any character.)

                  Leyla shrinks into a corner and prepares to wait them out. She'd rather not have to make a run for it on the way home.

                  Leyla's Intent: Get out of the Hollow and back to the Hedgeway she came in from.
                  The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                  Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11, Initiative 10; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                  Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                  Leyla needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's, your character knows the territory somewhat) + 2 (Actively dangerous terrain) = 2 successes.
                  The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                  Again, different context means a new check for the Edge.

                  Leyla rolls 9 dice (Composure + Stealth pool of 7, +2 for Small-Framed): 8, 2, 2, 3, 4, 8, 6, 7, 6. 2 successes.
                  The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for two characters with at least one negative emotional Condition): 9, 4, 4, 7, 9, 9, 4. 3 successes.

                  Bad luck; the Hedge has the Edge here. It sets the dicepool to Manipulation + Empathy for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character.

                  The Hedge rolls 9 dice (the starting 5, +2 for having the Edge, +2 for two characters with at least one negative emotional Condition): 2, 7, 9, 7, 5, 3, 2, 9, 7. 2 of 9 required successes. The bickering goblins sway closer to the door, each pointing insistently for the other to get their food. Defusing the situation would be the quickest way to get past them, but Leyla isn't good at that and isn't supposed to be here anyway. A different tactic may be called for, or at least a repeat of an old tactic from a different angle. She clenches a fist and pulls another rock out of her pocket.

                  Leyla rolls 6 dice (Wits + Subterfuge pool of 4, +3 for Willpower, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, -1 for hobgoblin Composure, -1 for wrong pool, no 10-Again): 6, 2, 1, 6, 10, 4. 1 of 2 required success. The rock hits a distant bush and gets both of the goblins outside, where the argument continues to simmer. Leyla creeps to the door…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 10, 3, 3, 2, 6, 7, 5, 3, 1. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The rustling of the bush gives rise to no weird eruption of fruiting trees or unearthly monoliths, and its value as a distraction is perhaps limited.

                  Minor change in the context of the scene, but "no longer blocked into a stranger's Hollow by hangry hobgoblins" is at least enough to warrant another check. Anthide rushes toward the wall she first dropped in from.

                  The Hedge rolls 8 dice (the starting 5, +2 for two characters with at least one negative emotional Condition, +1 for one turn passing): 1, 8, 1, 7, 5, 10, 6, 1, 1. 2 successes.
                  Leyla rolls 11 dice (Dexterity + Athletics + Specialty pool of 8, +3 for Willpower): 10, 6, 5, 3, 3, 6, 9, 9, 2, 6, 10, 5, 9. 5 successes, exceptional success.

                  The rush of action spurs Miss Anthide on and Inspires her as she seizes the Edge. She sets the dicepool to Strength + Athletics for the second turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. She begins to climb…

                  Leyla rolls 7 dice (Strength + Athletics + Specialty pool of 6, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to): 8, 1, 3, 10, 9, 4, 5, 4. 3 successes, 4 of 2 required successes. A harrowing journey in reverse, but she makes it back to the Hedgeway. Trouble is…

                  Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 4, 9, 8, 8, 5, 9, 6, 3, 8, 9, 2. 6 successes, five of which can be used for Hedgespinning. Well, the trouble is, between the stormy mood of the guards and the frantic scrambling of a potent fae spelunker, it's started raining in that section of the Hedge, which is only really good for getting back to the Hollow unnoticed — the goblins will doubtlesss retreat further indoors, and wet wood and concrete is going to be a right nightmare to climb around on without proper gear. (5 Hedgespinning successes to introduce an Environmental Tilt [Heavy Rain].)

                  Bit of a draining intel-gathering session for Leyla, but, like Natural Enemy, she's not as acclimated to the Hedge as some of her peers. At least she has actionable information and her wits about her for the follow-up.


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                  Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                  • #24
                    I hate to minorly derail, but as you have a lot of experience running these, two questions:
                    1. For a relatively new Motley with relatively low relevant skills/Wyrd/etc, how would you help them get out of a downward spiral of getting Lost, ending up in the Thorns, and having an even more impossible time navigating themselves back out?
                    2. For multiple characters, do you think Teamwork rolls should be allowed? The text seems to suggest each character is on their own, but it also talks about helping people Lost or left behind.

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                    • #25
                      Time for Leyla's go at the Thorns. This one's a commission — an influential courtier wants a follow-up on a rumor about the abandoned skyscraper looming in the distance, and Leyla's got the mundane skills and magical clout to make that (ostensibly) easy for her to manage despite an avowed unfamiliarity with the Hedge in general.

                      She's starting from the same Hedgeway as before, and plans to work her way through the cityscape to the base of the tower, then work her way up and out again. First, though — because Leyla Anthide is a Dynamo, not a fool — she's going to make use of her kith blessing to get some insurance in the safer areas of the Hedge by committing an act of Larceny.

                      Leyla's Intent: Find a person to pickpocket or a lock to pick.
                      The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                      Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11, Initiative 10; +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                      Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                      Leyla needs: 8 success - 7 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) = 1 success.
                      The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                      As before, it's not completely obvious whether Leyla or the Hedge has the Edge here, so let's check.

                      Leyla rolls 7 dice (Wits + Streetwise + Specialty pool of 7): 9, 3, 4, 4, 9, 6, 2. 2 successes.
                      The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 4, 5, 8, 5, 3. 1 success.

                      Leyla wins the Edge. She figures her odds of unpleasant complication are less likely aiming for lockpicking than pickpocketing, so she goes to look for places where, say, an unattended bicycle or a public locker might be in the cityscape. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Streetwise for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. She gets to looking…

                      Leyla rolls 11 dice (Wits + Streetwise pool of 6, +4 for Acute Senses, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to): 3, 10, 7, 6, 2, 2, 2, 4, 7, 5, 3, 2. 1 of 1 required successes. She finds a bike cabled to a parking meter…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 6, 10, 10, 7, 7, 8, 1, 2, 6, 7. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. …and nothing seems to be up with it. It's unattended. The tension ratchets up a little nevertheless (2 Hedgespinning successes to bank one success for a later shift.)

                      The lock is simple enough (5 successes needed), and it'd be quick work even without Brownie's Boon, but as an extended action in the Hedge this could get messy. Leyla gets out her tools and sets to fiddling.

                      Leyla rolls 6 dice (Dexterity + Larceny pool of 6, exceptional success threshold of 3 successes from kith blessing): 1, 6, 7, 1, 6, 3. 0 successes. Not off to a good start; Leyla needs to either accept a Condition or abandon the action. There's no accumulated successes to lose from abandoning the action, but the situation is tense enough for a successive attempt to merit the cumulative penalty. The Storyteller offers the Guilty Condition, for the obvious reason of "you're lockpicking for the thrill of it"; Leyla's player makes the counteroffer of Reckless, which is a natural fit for her Needle. They go with Reckless. Since Leyla's interacting with a part of the Hedge…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns 2, 9, 1, 4, 1, 10, 3, 1, 9, 3, 8. 4 successes, three of which can be used for Hedgespinning (plus one more banked). …nothing happens again. The tension rises. (3 Hedgespinning successes to bank two successes for a later shift [total of three]). Leyla goes again, pushing herself to remember the skills she learned in Faerie.

                      Leyla rolls 9 dice (Dexterity + Larceny pool of 6, +3 for Willpower, exceptional success threshold of 3 success from kith blessing): 1, 10, 4, 5, 10, 3, 2, 2, 4, 8, 6. 3 of 5 successes needed, exceptional success. Leyla reduces the required success total by her Larceny dots (dropping it from 3 to 5) and takes the Inspired Condition. The lock pops open and she breathes a sigh of relief — which, given her training, is probably not the thing to do…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 7, 8, 4, 9, 2, 4, 6, 2, 6. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning (plus three more banked). Leyla goes to close the lock back up. It's broken. Shit. (1 Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor complication.) She looks up and down the street, doesn't see anyone nearby, and promptly gets on the bike and rides off to try and find the abandoned skyscraper with the benefit of faster movement. This will surely not have consequences!

                      Leyla's Intent: Reach the base of the abandoned skyscraper.
                      The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                      Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11, Bike Speed 18, Initiative 10; Inspired and Reckless Conditions from exceptional success and failed extended roll, +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                      Hedge Stats (Neutral Hedge/Thorns): Speed 10/15, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                      Leyla needs: 8 successes - 7 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) = 1 success.
                      The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                      I think having an impulsively-stolen bicycle is a sufficient change in context to make another check for the Edge before we begin.

                      Leyla rolls 6 dice (Wits + Streetwise pool of 6): 7, 8, 7, 9, 4, 7. 2 successes.
                      The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 10, 6, 10, 6, 2, 9, 4. 3 successes.

                      The Hedge has the Edge. It sets the dicepool to Stamina + Athletics for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character.

                      The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for having the Edge, +/-0 for Leyla's Conditions): 1, 5, 3, 1, 8, 1, 10, 2. 2 of 9 required successes. The roads stretch out, increasingly filled with potholes and detritus as they go on.

                      Leyla takes the offer and hauls down the path. No need to hurry, no need to look over her shoulder…

                      Leyla rolls 6 dice (Stamina + Athletics pool of 5, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to): 7, 3, 1, 5, 5, 8. 1 of 1 required successes. The Helldiver pulls through the rough terrain and winds up in the bad part of town she meant to go to. Seeing as that means she's in the Thorns…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 2, 9, 2, 9, 8, 1, 7, 8, 10, 9, 2, 3, 3, 7. 6 successes, five of which can be used for Hedgespinning (plus three more banked). Apparently the local Hedge has spotted that Leyla's bound to Winter and wants to mess with her; as she approaches the tower, the ground turns to ice and the bike is wrecked in the ensuing crash, a trail of destruction behind it. Leyla avoids the worst of the impact, but the owner is doubtless going to be mad when they find it. (5 Hedgespinning successes to introduce an Environmental Tilt [Ice], 3 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a major complication for any character. Leyla resolves the Reckless Condition.)

                      At the foot of the tower, Leyla looks up and sets her sights at its rooftop. She's on her back foot, but she has the skills to try and turn this around, in theory. She takes off her boots, stands on the cold floor for a few seconds, and turns blue. (Activating the Heart of Ice Winter Contract.) She smooths a portion of the ice until she can see her reflection in it, then begins to recitate (Activating the Portents and Visions Common Contract).

                      Leyla rolls 7 dice (Manipulation + Occult + Wyrd pool of 7): 10, 5, 10, 8, 5, 5, 6, 2, 3. 3 successes. Leyla sees a bit of her near future and gains the Informed Condition. The Hedge won't quite get the jump on her this time, she hopes.

                      Leyla's Intent: Reach the top of the abandoned skyscraper.
                      The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                      Leyla's Stats: Wyrd 4, Clarity 9, Speed 11 (Ignore the effects of Ice due to Heart of Ice), Initiative 10; Inspired Condition from exceptional success, Informed Condition from Contract, +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory.
                      Hedge Stats (Thorns): Speed 15, Initiative 1 (10 - Clarity 9).
                      Leyla needs: 8 successes - 7 (Wyrd 4, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 2 successes.
                      The Hedge needs: 8 successes = 8 successes.

                      If not for Leyla taking a moment to prepare, the Hedge would definitely still have the Edge now, but Leyla is Inspired, Informed, immune to Environmental Tilts and further emotional tampering, and no longer Reckless; if nothing else, this seems like a point for another roll-off. Leyla's steeled herself.

                      Leyla rolls 10 dice (Wits + Streetwise + Specialty pool of 7, +3 for Willpower): 5, 5, 7, 5, 4, 6, 5, 1, 1, 10, 9. 2 successes.
                      The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +3 for being in the Thorns, -1 for Leyla's Conditions): 5, 5, 9, 9, 9, 2, 3. 3 successes.

                      The Hedge wins the Edge. It sets the dicepool to Strength + Athletics for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. The doors of the skyscraper are jammed and none of the windows are on the ground floor.

                      The Hedge rolls 9 dice (the starting 5, +3 for being in the Thorns, +2 for having the Edge, -1 for Leyla's Conditions): 7, 6, 7, 6, 7, 4, 8, 2, 7. 1 of 8 required successes. The sound of an angry person looking for their bicycle carries from the trail behind Leyla.

                      Leyla makes a go of it, scrabbling up the side of the building for a window. She has more options on that front than most.

                      Leyla rolls 9 dice (Strength + Athletics + Specialty pool of 6 dice, +2 for Small-Framed, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to): 9, 7, 1, 9, 10, 7, 4, 7, 5. 3 of 2 required successes. She makes her way in through the second floor, pries open an elevator shaft, climbs most of the rest of the way up, and gets out to the rooftop. Along the way…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 6, 2, 10, 6, 6, 2, 9, 4, 9, 1, 9, 9, 1. 5 successes, four of which can be used on Hedgespinning. That elevator shaft gets in Leyla's head a bit. It's dark and she could swear that at points she's climbing upside-down or sideways. (4 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a temporary Condition for any character as long as a Hedge feature currently in the environment could impose it [Disoriented].)

                      Leyla steps carefully onto the roof (two-dice Clarity attack modified +1 for some emotional investment; results are 10, 9, 6, 9, and damage roll is four dice [Wyrd 4 + Disoriented 1 - Touchstone 1], with results of 5, 7, 9, 10, 7. Leyla takes 2 points of mild Clarity damage (Current Clarity drops to 7) and has to take a moment to get her wits about her. She looks out from the rooftop, trying to find a landmark.

                      Leyla rolls 11 dice (Wits + Composure pool of 7, +4 for Acute Senses): 5, 8, 10, 10, 7, 10, 8, 4, 10, 6, 9, 6, 10, 8, 6, 2. 9 successes, exceptional success. Leyla spots a corner of the building next to the Hedgeway she entered the Hedge through in the distance. She's seen it every time she's come to visit her goblin patron and most of the other times she's come to the borderland. Leyla resolves the Disoriented Condition and gains the Steadfast Condition. Now, she's still in the Thorns, so in the time she took to make that observation…

                      Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 3, 1, 10, 1, 4, 2, 4, 8, 7, 2. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. …the rooftop takes on a mirror sheen, not quite glinting in the gauzy afternoon light. (1 Hedgespinning success to make a minor aesthetic change.)

                      Not wanting to risk the elevator shaft again, Leyla decides not to look this particular gift horse in the mouth; she taps a foot on the reflective surface… (Activating the Mirror Walk Royal Contract.)

                      Leyla rolls 8 dice (Wits + Survival + Wyrd pool of 8): 7, 1, 5, 10, 3, 9, 5, 4, 9. 3 successes. Leyla slips through the rooftop into mirror space, cuts her finger, and weighs the merits of going to the ground floor versus going home for the day. She remembers what events led her to the ground floor, observes that this trip is not one-way, and comes to a decision. She's not going through the Thorns with her head in the state that it's in.

                      She dabs her blood on a mirror, wills it to open to her home, and clambers through onto her bathroom sink, the color in her face returning as her Mask reasserts itself. Her Touchstone will be hearing from her in a minute or two.
                      Last edited by Satchel; 01-11-2021, 03:40 AM.


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                      Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Maina View Post
                        I hate to minorly derail, but as you have a lot of experience running these, two questions:
                        1. For a relatively new Motley with relatively low relevant skills/Wyrd/etc, how would you help them get out of a downward spiral of getting Lost, ending up in the Thorns, and having an even more impossible time navigating themselves back out?
                        The big thing is to take breaks between navigation attempts to leverage kith blessings, teamwork, and relevant Skills on Hedgespinning or poking at the Hedge to prompt it to do Hedgespinning in ways that benefit you. Wandering Jackie does a lot of this, limited as their options are, and it helps a lot. Take positive Conditions from exceptional success, lower the Hedge's Speed or Initiative by breaking its metaphorical fingers, learn which ways to go to get where, call up hobgoblins from afar (by inciting paradigm shifts, if necessary) to petition for aid, anything you can do to make the process of getting somewhere else easier before you commit to the act of navigating toward a goal. At low collective Wyrd you're going to be making a lot of stops between legs of your journey in rougher territory.

                        Other things to keep in mind are that having even just one changeling with high Clarity present makes the Hedge less able to get the jump on everyone, because its Initiative scales inversely to the highest Clarity rating in the group; that if a given character has a Clarity Condition it is to their benefit to resolve it as soon as possible, because Clarity Conditions are often negative mental/emotional Conditions, they're applied at the range of Clarity that actively lengthens your navigation process, and resolving them heals Clarity damage; and that your strongest advantage in a group is that more of you being in a good place mentally/emotionally, the fewer dice the Hedge rolls. Having the Inspiring Merit is very useful for this, but if you don't have it then anything that makes exceptional success easier to get is still invaluable.

                        Speaking of which: Willpower, Goblin Debt, and other resources are there to be spent, particularly when you are navigating faerieland without the stronger benefits of being fae. Push to gain extra dice, lower success requirement, or use your better dicepool, and when all else fails, bargain — you're dealing with dealmakers and you always have something to offer, even if it's something you'd rather not lose.

                        Finally, as a Storyteller, remember that, despite the technical phrasing of the Hedge's consistent intent, where it actually puts you is a place it's "decided" you should be, rather than necessarily dumping you in the Thorns or at the doorstep of Arcadia. As long as the characters are on unfamiliar turf, they could be anywhere in the Hedge, including a Goblin Market or a trod or any other place that simply wasn't where they set out to end up.

                        2. For multiple characters, do you think Teamwork rolls should be allowed? The text seems to suggest each character is on their own, but it also talks about helping people Lost or left behind.
                        I think it's reasonable for a character who's hit their success total to defer or give up their success to serve as a secondary actor for another character or stay with them when failure deposits them wherever it does, and it's likewise reasonable for characters to make a subsequent navigation roll to reunite, but the thematics of the Hedge are such that I don't think it's wise to let characters use the fact that they're in a group to only have to track one set of successes for everyone and therefore never worry about getting separated.


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                        • #27
                          Now for the really fun part, because we've reached Winona Wildqueen, whose build is so optimized for Hedge navigation I legitimately struggled to think of a scenario for her to tackle. Sorcerous sort that she is, we're going to watch her go through the first few chunks of a self-imposed fetch quest to prepare a plot device she caught wind of in a previous story. She needs five items, and the fearful intuition of an Autumn Courtier tells her she'll want to save a particular one for later, so she's going to try and gather the other four reagents in this session.

                          She's starting from her Hollow above the clouds, where her Contracts afford her some advantage, but she suspects that much of this journey is going to take her far afield from familiar ground. She could take a moment to try and glean the best direction to start gathering her symbols of the four winds, but this early in the journey she's inclined to save her resources.

                          Winona's Intent: Find one of the symbols of the four winds.
                          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                          Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 10, Speed 15 (12 + 3 Beast blessing), Initiative 14 (11 + 3 Beast blessing); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                          The Hedge's Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 0 (10 - Clarity 10).
                          Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (Actively dangerous terrain) = 1 success.
                          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                          Winona is relatively unprepared, but starting from her literal front door; we could say she has the Edge, but let's roll just to be sure.

                          Winona rolls 11 dice (Wits + Occult + Specialty pool of 6, +5 for Acute Senses): 9, 3, 1, 6, 9, 1, 3, 2, 8, 4, 2. 3 successes.
                          The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 10, 9, 1, 8, 1, 5. 3 successes.

                          Tie. Rolling again:

                          Winona rolls 11 dice (Wits + Occult + Specialty pool of 6, +5 for Acute Senses): 2, 7, 2, 8, 3, 3, 8, 7, 10, 2, 6, 9. 4 successes.
                          The Hedge rolls 5 dice (the starting 5): 8, 9, 9, 9, 9. 5 successes.

                          Jesus. Well, the Hedge has the Edge. It sets the dicepool to Dexterity + Athletics for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. The wind starts to blow, and the Hunterheart's neighborhood of rickety rope bridges and dark-winged islands begins to sway.

                          The Hedge rolls 7 dice (the starting 5, +2 for having the Edge): 3, 4, 7, 7, 9, 5, 5. 1 of 9 required successes. The tethers holding Winona's flotilla together strain audibly in the gusts of air.

                          Being still on fairly firm ground, Winona decides to accept the path of least resistance and acrobat her way to the ground; she's still in freehold territory and she knows the Hedge well enough.

                          Winona rolls 10 dice (Dexterity + Athletics + Specialty pool of 7, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense): 2, 1, 10, 5, 7, 5, 1, 5, 10, 6, 3, 3. 2 of 1 required successes. She touches down in an unfamiliar part of the Hedge that she vaguely recognizes as somewhere just outside the boundaries of the freehold, past broken branches and dead woods. Accordingly…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 9, 4, 4, 7, 5, 7, 7, 4, 5. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The place behaves itself.

                          It's a dark clearing dominated by an eerie beam of light, an unseasonable chill, and a single spherical fruit framed by holly leaves atop a fragile-looking tree trunk about the height of a young adult. Winona has an inkling of what this is, but elects to investigate further before she just picks a strange fruit and wanders off. She spends a point of Glamour and a point of Willpower and takes a point of Goblin Debt (using Kenning with Goblin's Eye) and opens her awareness.

                          Winona's ST rolls 10 dice (her Clarity): 4, 9, 3, 8, 10, 2, 7, 9, 10, 3, 2, 2. 5 successes, exceptional success. The fruit is definitely inherently magical. She gets five questions.
                          What is the true nature of this magic? It's one of the children of the North Wind, bound in slumber within the Hedge. It can, with time and care, become a swift courier that can take its surrogate parent just about anywhere. (i.e. This thing can be used to get a five-dot Fae Mount with the Manyleague, Chatterbox, Actormask, Dreamspun, and Hedgefoot [water-walking[ enhancements.)
                          • How long will this phenomenon last? Until the child awakens with time and care.
                          Is there a promise, debt, or oath directly associated with this phenomenon? Plucking the fruit marks you as the child's host until it awakens, which comes with all the usual worries of hospitality bonds; it will need, at the very least, food, water, and safe soil to be planted in by evening every night that it is in your care. Consequences for failure will include the Oathbreaker Condition and a steady rise in inclement weather around you until restitution is made
                          What is one weakness, bane, loophole, or catch this phenomenon possesses? Handing the fruit off to somebody else as a gift absolves you of further duties as a host, though if they fail to adhere to those duties you will be marked by your failure of discretion.
                          What is the power level of the phenomenon relative to my Wyrd? About equal to yours.

                          Having learned all this, Winona plucks the fruit and braces herself.

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 8, 10, 7, 8, 9, 2, 6, 4, 2, 9, 9, 7. 6 successes, five of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The chill picks up in the clearing, and it strikes Winona how dangerous it's going to be to carry this thing around unfamiliar ground while she's looking for three other similarly potent artifacts. She knows better than to go slowly in the Hedge, but the pressure is weighing on her mind now. (4 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a temporary Condition for any character as long as a Hedge feature currently in the environment could impose it [Spooked], 1 Hedgespinning success to reduce an opponent's Initiative by 1 for the scene.)

                          (Two-dice Clarity attack for the Condition, modified +/-0 for some emotional investment and spending Willpower; results are 5, 1.) Winona feels the impulse to hurry home — or at least out of the Hedge — to offload her newly-acquired millstone, but she knows she only has so long before nightfall and resolves to push through and defend her charge. She takes a moment to look up through the canopy and listen to the wind in the branches.

                          Winona rolls 13 dice (Wits + Occult + Specialties pool of 9, +5 for Acute Senses, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 8, 4, 2, 9, 8, 5, 3, 2, 5, 5, 1, 1, 9. 4 successes, three of which can be used for Hedgespinning. A thin path down the side of the clearing resonates with a slightly warmer atmosphere, Wildqueen finds, which will make for a fine starting point for her attempt to find the symbol of the West Wind. (3 Hedgespinning successes to learn which direction to travel to reach a stated specific location that isn't deliberately concealed.) Having done so…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 4, 1, 2, 5, 3, 4, 10, 10, 6, 2. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The chill wind blows past Winona's ear and whispers some fragmentary directions to speed the host of the North Wind's child on her way. (1 Hedgespinning success to give any character a +1 equipment bonus to their next roll [plan].)

                          Having prepared herself, Winona steps onto the path.

                          Winona's Intent: Find the symbol of the West Wind.
                          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                          Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 10, Speed 12, Initiative 10 (11 - 1); +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                          The Hedge's Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 0 (10 - Clarity 10).
                          Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 2 (Characters are under a time limit [more urgent] = 2 successes.
                          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                          Winona's just made preparations and the local Hedge seems to be on her side re: getting her out of here, so she's got the Edge. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Survival for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. She moves forward, listening for the wind and feeling for minute shifts in temperature.

                          Winona rolls 13 dice (Wits + Survival + Specialty pool of 6, +5 for Acute Senses, +2 for Hedge Sense, +1 for plan equipment): 8, 5, 3, 10, 8, 4, 5, 4, 9, 4, 6, 9, 5, 10, 1, 7. 6 of 2 required successes, exceptional success.
                          The Hunterheart works her way around the borders of the freehold to find another clearing and a breathtaking vineyard expanse. She takes solace in her navigational acumen (and the Inspired Condition besides)…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 1, 9, 2, 7, 3, 3, 8, 9, 5, 8. 4 successes, three of which can be used for Hedgespinning. While Winona had known ahead of time that the symbol of the West Wind was going to be something harvest-related, she'd sort of expected that she'd have to process whatever she found herself. Lo and behold, though, Autumn's bounty has seen fit to provide her with a rack of brown glass bottles behind the ramshackle counter of an enterprising hobgoblin, who seems to have set up shop in this semimystical location where the West Wind once sowed her seeds. (3 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a major beneficial twist of luck or complication for any character.)

                          Winona Wildqueen may not be an especially persuasive changeling, but she looks Striking and has a certain sort of Bearing and she only needs to come here once…

                          She feels the fruit in her pack shift and thinks better of it, opting instead look over the goblin's wares and try to get a good deal. (Spending 1 Glamour and 1 Willpower and taking another point of Goblin Debt to use kenning with Goblin's Eye again).

                          Winona's ST rolls 10 dice (her Clarity): 6, 1, 7, 2, 5, 5, 9, 8, 9, 9. 4 successes. The fae wine is definitely magical. She gets four questions.
                          What is the true nature of this magic? It's a distilled offshoot of the West Wind's mystic bloodline, which conveys its fertility and warmth to any living thing that drinks it or is fed on it; a character benefits from effects ranging from an excellent impression in Social Maneuvering, immunity to mortal frailties like hunger and disease, or lowered difficulty in cultivating plants and animals (including goblin fruits, which can be created with a subtle shift and two successes through Hedgespinning). This thing is basically every scam product you've ever heard of, only real.
                          Is there a promise, debt, or oath directly associated with this phenomenon? Maybe it's the involvement of a goblin winepress, but this stuff doesn't work forever and the first hit is only free if you got it as a gift; each use of the wine after the first gives the imbiber a point of Goblin Debt, and the vineyard will send someone to pick them up at the point where they'd become a Hedge Denizen if they don't find their way into the Hedge themselves.
                          What is one weakness, bane, loophole, or catch this phenomenon possesses? As mentioned, the first hit is free aside from whatever you paid to get the bottle, and getting gifted the bottle by a blood relative exempts you from the Debt from that bottle alone.
                          With which Regalia does this phenomenon most closely align? Crown. It's a temporary adoption into the bloodline of one of the four winds herself, and it conveys that status and authority over the world accordingly.

                          Winona chats with the shopkeeper for a bit and haggles her way into paying for a bottle with a drop of her blood, three of her headfeathers, and the name of her childhood pet (accepting a point of Goblin Debt for the bottle). As she conducts this transaction…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 5, 6, 3, 5, 2, 8, 8, 8. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The wind blows past again, and the color of the leaves on the vines shift to show Autumn's favor, which seems to excite the goblin's generosity somewhat, as their conversation turns to Winona's question and whether she'd be better served going after the South Wind's symbol or the East Wind's first — the goblin seems to think the East would be safer, given the South Wind's proclivities and the fragility of Winona's present cargo. (1 Hedgespinning success to make a minor aesthetic change, 1 Hedgespinning success to introduce a minor beneficial twist of luck.)

                          Winona thanks the goblin for the information, begs the use of one of her doors for a moment, and ducks out of the Hedge for long enough to duck back into her Hollow to save her progress and exorcise herself of the impulse to do something more unwise. (Taking another point of Goblin Debt, spending two points of Glamour for portaling and Easy Access, resolving the Spooked Condition by making this detour at the cost of resources, making use of her Autumn Mantle 4 ability to clear her four points of Goblin Debt, starting a new scene that sheds the modifier to her Initiative, and functionally returning to her journey's staring point.)

                          Now that's she's got the North and West Winds' symbols sorted out and stowed in her Hollow (the former safely in a large tub of potting soil, the latter safely wedged into a corner bookshelf), Lady Wildqueen looks out the window in what she thinks of as a southerly direction and thinks about how the weather and terrain of her hideaway best align with the stormy disposition of the South Wind and his ilk.

                          Winona rolls 9 dice (Wits + Investigation + Specialty pool of 5, +5 for Acute Senses, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 9, 2, 1, 10, 6, 7, 5, 1, 1, 4. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. She manages to adjust her perspective to find a direction that, if it isn't South, is at least the right angle to go to find places where the South Wind has been. (1 Hedgespinning success to learn which direction to travel in to reach a stated type of location that isn't deliberately concealed.) As she looks over stormy skies…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 3, 5, 6, 8, 1, 1, 7, 1. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The weather behaves itself well enough. Winona contemplates doing more research and coming back later, but that fearful intuition tells her she should probably at least get a third symbol before she leaves off for the night. She arms herself with a hunting spear and heads out her front door, spreading her arms and opening her mouth to consume the dream of flight along with one of the hawk's talons she acquired some time ago. (Activating the Talon and Wing Royal Contract and applying the movement and perception bonuses with the catch.) She heads to the appropriate edge of her neighborhood's platforms.

                          Winona's Intent: Find the symbol of the South Wind.
                          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                          Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 10, Speed 25 (12 + 3 Beast blessing + 10 Talon and Wing), Initiative 14 (11 + 3 Beast blessing); Inspired Condition from previous scene, +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                          The Hedge's Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 0 (10 - Clarity 10).
                          Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (Actively dangerous terrain) = 1 success.
                          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 2 (Opponent's Speed is twice yours) = 10 successes.

                          Winona's done some preparations, is in familiar territory, and doesn't have to worry about breaking a bottle of expensive wine or damaging a precious fruit. She's got the Edge here. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Survival for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. She sets about hunting for signs of damage, discarded elemental weapons, and other recent turbulence.

                          Winona rolls 15 dice (Wits + Survival + Specialty pool of 6, +5 for Acute Senses, +3 for Talon and Wing, +2 for Hedge Sense, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 1, 6, 1, 3, 6, 2, 1, 6, 7, 6, 2, 7, 2, 8, 3. 1 of 1 required successes, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. Winona takes a spill diving through the clouds, but avoids damage from impacts and minor scratches. The bad news…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 7, 8, 7, 4, 4, 6, 9, 4, 1. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The Hedge around her Hollow may be familiar, but it's certainly not friendly; gusts of wind buffet the Hunterheart about the head, and the rough landing she made has done no favors for her distractability. (1 Hedgespinning success to decrease an opponent's Initiative modifier by 1 for the scene.)

                          After a rough journey through rougher-looking terrain, Lady Wildqueen comes across what seems to have been a battlefield of some sort. Amid the battered corpses and scattered armor she finds a mortal man, exhausted and clutching a distinctive-looking spear. He seems unwilling to part with it, and Winona is not convinced she could convince him to let it go through pleasant conversation. There are a number of courses she could take to deprive him of this relic, most of them quite risky. She opts to go with the one she's good at.

                          Winona rolls 10 dice (Strength + Intimidation + Specialty pool of 6, +4 from Autumn Mantle 2): 6, 3, 6, 1, 2, 7, 6, 1, 5, 6. 0 successes.
                          The Survivor rolls 7 dice (Resolve + Composure pool of 4, +3 for Willpower): 3, 9, 10, 10, 3, 3, 7, 3, 6. 3 successes.

                          No dice. Evidently this gentleman didn't wind up in a Hedge battleground because he was fragile. He refuses to hand over the artifact, and struggles to his feet. Winona tries a different tactic, and looks upon the man with pity. (Spending 1 Glamour and 1 Willpower to incite Bedlam [sorrow].)

                          Winona rolls 8 dice (Manipulation + Wyrd pool of 7, +1 for unleashing the emotion of a closely associated court): 7, 1, 8, 7, 2, 7, 2, 2. 1 success.
                          The Survivor rolls 4 dice (Composure + Wyrd pool of 2, +3 for Willpower, -1 for already feeling emotions similar to those unleashed): 9, 1, 2, 5. 1 success.

                          Tie. Rerolling…

                          Winona rolls 8 dice (Manipulation + Wyrd pool of 7, +1 for unleashing the emotion of a closely associated court): 1, 10, 3, 9, 10, 6, 5, 4, 9, 8. 5 successes, exceptional success.
                          The Survivor rolls 4 dice (Composure + Wyrd pool of 2, +3 for Willpower, -1 for already feeling emotions similar to those unleashed): 8, 7, 2, 6. 1 success.

                          The mortal man's stance slackens as he's overcome with a deep despair (suffering both the Lethargic and Leveraged Conditions), and Winona wishes him well before retreating out of immediate visual range to watch him until he falls asleep or becomes too weak to keep her from taking the spear. (She's no longer in a hurry and she's immune to fatigue; she can wait all night if she has to.)

                          Six hours pass (or whatever passes for it in this part of the Hedge).

                          The Survivor rolls 3 dice (Stamina + Resolve pool of 4, -1 for the Lethargic Condition): 4, 10, 10, 8, 5. 3 successes. The man remains awake.

                          Winona approaches again and asks again if he'll give her the spear, so that she doesn't have to worry about people coming after him for it.

                          Winona rolls 9 dice (Manipulation + Intimidation + Specialty pool of 5, +4 for Autumn Mantle 2): 4, 3, 4, 1, 9, 1, 1, 9, 1. 2 successes.
                          The Survivor rolls 4 dice (Resolve + Composure pool of 4): 9, 4, 10, 9, 5. 3 successes.

                          The man refuses Lady Wildqueen's generous offer. She retreats again. Six more Hedge-hours pass. Night has fallen, or something like it.

                          The Survivor rolls 2 dice (Stamina + Resolve pool of 4, -2 for the Lethargic Condition): 7, 9. 1 success. The man remains awake.

                          Winona approaches for a third time. She offers to trade him his relic spear for her hunting spear. She points out that she is in better shape than he is, and that she can let him get some rest while she stands watch with the good spear, instead of leaving him to fall asleep by himself on a battleground in another world full of dangerous creatures like herself.

                          Winona resolves the Inspired Condition and rolls 9 dice (Manipulation + Intimidation + Specialty pool of 5, +4 for Autumn Mantle 2): 5, 6, 10, 3, 2, 6, 6, 3, 6, 1. 1 success, Winona regains a point of Willpower (Inspired).
                          The Survivor resolves the Leveraged Condition and declines to roll.

                          The pair of them make a trade of their respective weapons and the gentleman almost immediately falls asleep. Winona sits vigil until the sun comes up.

                          The man wakes. Some discussion is had; wherever he's from, the South Wind swept him into the Hedge and gave him a hand-me-down weapon from its arsenal to fight in battles to prove his mettle. This was to be the last of them, but the Wind never came back to reward him.

                          Winona has a sneaking suspicion this man is dead and just doesn't know it yet, but says nothing. As a token gesture, she gives him some trail rations and attempts to point him toward the nearest Hedgeway.

                          Winona rolls 10 dice (Wits + Survival + Specialty pool of 6, +5 from Acute Senses, -1 for declared Hedgespinning): 2, 7, 9, 8, 7, 5, 5, 2, 3, 10, 3. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The trees part as she identifies the right general direction; she points it out as she heads that way herself; she doesn't wait for him to catch up. (1 Hedgespinning success to learn which direction to travel in to reach one stated type of location that isn't concealed, but not a specific location; 1 Hedgespinning success to give any character a +1 equipment bonus [plan]).

                          Now that she's got what she came here for and stayed up all night, Winona's going to head back home and call it a day. The East Wind can wait, she thinks, pushing back her fearful intuition in the name of recovery. First, though…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 6, 9, 1, 9, 5, 8, 4, 2, 5, 7. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The wind blows, and the battleground is covered in a thin layer of autumn leaves. A certain stillness falls over the Hedge. (1 Hedgespinning success to make a minor aesthetic change, 1 Hedgespinning success to decrease an opponent's Speed by 1 for the scene.)

                          Winona's Intent: Find a Hedgeway back to Earth.
                          The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                          Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 10, Speed 15 (12 + 3 Beast blessing), Initiative 14 (11 + 3 Beast blessing); +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                          The Hedge's Stats (Neutral Hedge): Speed 10, Initiative 0 (10 - Clarity 10).
                          Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) = 0 successes. (Rounding to 1 because the Chase is not dramatic if it ends immediately.)
                          The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes.

                          Winona's got the Edge, having just established she's not under threat by anything among these rows of corpses. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Survival for the first turn; failure will subtract one from the relevant character's accumulated successes. She squeezes through the gap in the trees that she pointed out earlier…

                          Winona rolls 13 dice (Wits + Survival + Specialty pool of 6, +5 for Acute Senses, +2 for Hedge Sense): 4, 7, 10, 6, 2, 9, 4, 10, 4, 8, 8, 4, 7, 8, 2. 5 of 1 required successes, exceptional success. She finds her way to a closed mausoleum door that's clearly facing the wrong way. As she goes to knock…

                          Eight Hedgespining dice with 9-Again for being neither trod nor Thorns: 7, 5, 5, 9, 2, 2, 7, 2, 3. 1 success, none of which can be used for Hedgespinning. …the battlefield's borders behave themselves. Quiet as the grave.

                          Winona lets herself out, holds the door for a minute to give the Survivor a little bit more time to make it (he doesn't show), then lets herself back into her Hollow. She stows the spear under her bed and tries to get some shuteye. She's got a big week ahead of her.
                          Last edited by Satchel; 01-20-2021, 03:59 AM.


                          Resident Lore-Hound
                          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                          • #28
                            In a different branch of events, let's take a look at how Winona tracks down a banished Fae among the Thorns. This could get swingy, but it's within her sphere of competence and won't necessarily be as much of a marathon as trying to find four artifacts in a single sitting.

                            Same starting point as before, and to spice things up we'll say this is for the sake of fishing up correspondence between this Fae and another one who's sent prior notice to the freehold in keeping with Autumn's Bargain — the approaching Stranger will arrive in a week, which gives Winona somewhat less time than that to dig up some useful Faerie scuttlebutt from the encounter. Spending probably a couple of days among the Thorns can't be good for her health, but that's what we're here to find out.

                            Winona's Intent: Track down the disgraced Marshal of Night-Oxen.
                            The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                            Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 10, Speed 15 (12 + 3 Beast blessing), Initiative 14 (11 + 3 Beast blessing); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                            The Hedge's Stats (Neutral Hedge/Thorns): Speed 10/15, Initiative 0 (10 - Clarity 10).
                            Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 2 (Actively dangerous terrain, characters are under a time limit [somewhat urgent]) = 2 successes.
                            The Hedge needs: 8 successes + 1 (Opponent's Speed is higher than yours) = 9 successes

                            Front door, prep time, etc. Winona starts with the Edge. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Occult for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. She scans the misty horizon from the floating platforms her Hollow is tied to, looking for hints in the shape of the clouds and the cast of shadows from the setting sun. Hopefully she can get something out of this approach.

                            Winona rolls 18 dice (Wits + Occult + Specialties pool of 7, +1 for being in the territory of the freehold she's sworn to, +2 for Hedge Sense, +5 for Acute Senses, +4 for Autumn Mantle 1, -1 for declared Hedgespinning, exceptional success threshold of three successes from kith blessing): 6, 6, 3, 7, 7, 10, 5, 7, 3, 9, 3, 5, 5, 9, 2, 9, 3, 1, 7. 4 successes, four of which can be used for Hedgespinning (exceptional success). She takes note of the descending lines and scrawling fog creeping toward her from the horizon and manages to wend her way to the ground among the darkened wood where she and the Marshal will cross paths; further preparation is always good to have, like the odd package the clouds tell her will make a useful bribe (2 Hedgespinning successes to give any character a +2 equipment bonus to their next roll [physical object]). 2 of 2 required successes. Winona makes her way just off the beaten path to encounter the expected Marshal. Getting there…

                            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 1, 7, 9, 7, 3, 9, 5, 5, 3, 5. 2 successes, one of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The ambient noise of the wood cuts out, leaving Winona and the Marshal standing in uncomfortable silence as the greetings commence.

                            Winona pushes her way through what she knows of the appropriate forms and addresses and begins the attempt at buying the meager assistance of one of the Gentry, offering the collection of ephemera that she picked up along the way and trying not to let it show on her face (or in the environment) that she wishes she'd brought someone better at negotiation to handle this.

                            Winona rolls 9 dice (Manipulation + Politics + Specialty pool of 4, +3 for Willpower, +2 for physical object equipment): 5, 7, 5, 6, 6, 2, 1, 7, 10, 8. 2 successes.
                            The Marshal rolls 8 dice (Resolve + Composure pool of 8): 2, 4, 5, 10, 6, 2, 3, 6, 10, 10, 2. 3 successes.

                            The Marshal appreciates the offering, but doesn't appear to be interested in discussing politics on the hunt. Winona keeps her cool and asks to arrange a meeting a few days hence, somewhere better suited to the grandeur of a Fae Marshal, to discuss the possibilities of a trade for information.

                            Winona rolls 5 dice (Manipulation + Persuasion pool of 2, +1 for Striking Looks, +3 for Willpower, -1 for unskilled): 7, 6, 3, 3, 9. 1 success.
                            The Marshal rolls 4 dice (Composure pool of 4): 1, 8, 5, 5. 1 success.

                            Tie. Rolling again:

                            Winona rolls 5 dice (Manipulation + Persuasion pool of 2, +1 for Striking Looks, +3 for Willpower, -1 for unskilled): 1, 6, 8, 7, 6. 1 success.
                            The Marshal rolls 4 dice (Composure pool of 4): 7, 3, 7, 10, 2. 1 success.

                            Tie. Rolling again:

                            Winona rolls 5 dice (Manipulation + Persuasion pool of 2, +1 for Striking Looks, +3 for Willpower, -1 for unskilled): 3, 6, 7, 2, 1. 0 successes.
                            The Marshall rolls 4 dice (Composure pool of 4): 2, 2, 6, 1. 0 successes.

                            Tie. Rolling again:

                            Winona rolls 5 dice (Manipulation + Persuasion pool of 2, +1 for Striking Looks, +3 for Willpower, -1 for unskilled): 1, 8, 2, 4, 1. 1 success.
                            The Marshall rolls 4 dice (Composure pool of 4): 1, 4, 3, 3. 0 successes.

                            After a long bit of subtle head-tilting and flattery and location-finagling that Winona didn't think she had in her, the Marshal agrees (with much hemming and hawing) to meet with a small number of freeholders to render negotiated aid under an oath of hospitality in less hostile terrain, then asks that the Hunterheart see herself off if she does not wish to join them in their hunt for Thorn-beasts. Lady Wildqueen graciously declines the implied invitation and leaves at as much of a scramble as a Composure 5 bird-person can manage.

                            Having just done an extended negotiation with one of the True Fae in person, let's see how Winona handled that before we discuss her exit strategy:

                            Winona takes a Clarity attack (five dice, modified +/-0 for strong emotional investment, spending Willpower, and being in the Hedge; results are 10, 6, 10, 1, 2, 9, 2, and damage roll is four dice [Wyrd 5 - Touchstone 1] with results of 7, 9, 8, 6.) Winona takes 2 points of mild Clarity damage (Current Clarity drops to 8) and stumbles momentarily over a loose branch as she gets away from the Marshal. She contemplates taking a moment to better get her bearings, but she's on a deadline and this is the Thorns. It's time for her to head home.

                            Winona's Intent: Find a Hedgeway back to the freehold on Earth.
                            The Hedge's Intent: Lure travelers off the path, into the Thorns or closer to Arcadia.
                            Winona's Stats: Wyrd 5, Clarity 8, Speed 15 (12 + 3 Beast blessing), Initiative 14 (11 + 3 Beast blessing); +1 bonus to navigating freehold territory, +2 bonus from Hedge Sense, Interdisciplinary Specialty in "Hedge."
                            The Hedge's Stats (Thorns): Speed 15, Initiative 2 (10 - Clarity 8).
                            Winona needs: 8 successes - 8 (Wyrd 5, Initiative modifier is at least three times the opponent's) + 1 (characters are under a time limit [somewhat urgent]) = 1 success.
                            The Hedge needs: 8 successes +/- 0 = 8 successes.

                            Things have more or less gone to plan and the main issue is that Winona didn't luck out and complete the negotiations then and there. She's still got the Edge against the Hedge. She sets the dicepool to Wits + Survival for the first turn; failure will inflict damage on the relevant character. She rushes through the woods as fast as she's able, scanning for details through her Wyrded senses to find her way back to the main roads.

                            Winona rolls 13 dice (Wits + Survival + Specialty pool of 6, +2 for Hedge Sense, +5 for Acute Senses): 10, 6, 5, 7, 8, 7, 6, 6, 8, 7, 2, 6, 8, 6. 4 of 1 required successes. Winona's wild flight through the Thorns brings her barreling out to a familiar doorway. In the course of that swan-dive past the psychoactive nightmarescape…

                            Eight Hedgespining dice with 8-Again for being in the Thorns: 3, 6, 1, 10, 3, 10, 4, 1, 5, 8, 2. 3 successes, two of which can be used for Hedgespinning. The Hedge's sense of humor is not what you would call pleasant; the relay from unfamiliar Thorns to freehold territory where Winona is a known fixture and an exemplary member of the Court of Fear seems to have led something from the Thorns to chase after her and post up near a well-used Hedgeway as she leaves, which will no doubt need cleared out before anyone else tries to use it again — or worse, that nightmare manages to get out into the waking world. (2 Hedgespinning successes to introduce a hazard to the scene.)

                            Winona goes to find the relevant people to set up the meeting in a few days and put the word out about the danger lurking behind the doorway. She'd prefer tackling whatever that was to sitting at the negotiating table again, but her presence will probably be required anyway. She drafts a few plans to see her Touchstone and marks up her calendar for the next week.
                            Last edited by Satchel; 01-28-2021, 03:08 PM. Reason: Fixed roll results for Clarity attack from non-Hedge cause. (Deleted rightmost die, which rolled a 7.)


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