Second Really Wild West Session — After-Action Report (Part Two)
After the first Really Wild West: Doomstone game session After-Action Report, and its Part Two follow-up, numerous people indicated they were excited to keep learning about the campaign as I run it. So, it’s two weeks later, I’ve run another session, and adapted notes taken by my wife Lj (who is playing the fenrin operative bounty hunter named “Sawyer”) as a quick report.
Still Day 4
After recuperating from the fight with monstrous Jerusalem Bugs, the PCs come to a fork in the road. One path leads to the Circle Axe Ranch, the other to the Vicious Hippogriff. There are five people on horses hanging out there, in the middle of the road.
- When they get close enough, the PCs can see they are cowpokes, the one covered weapons and collar that covers his face, stopping the PCs. They won’t let the PCs pass. Nor will they tell us who they work for (just insisting it’s “the Ranch” without saying which one.)
- The PCs move away to talk about our options. They glean some information about the cowpoke’s leader. -James “Burning Jack” Byrne, a gun-for-hire. Wears fire-retardant gear and then covers himself in flammable material. Also, carries dynamite.
- Burning Jack is clearly crazy.
- PCs decide to go around, trusting their map and Brone Mallory the half-orc cartographmancer to get them through the badlands. T’ll come back later.
The map indicates that along the route to get to the Circle Axe while avoiding the trail there is–in the middle of nowhere, with no trail or nearby town or even apparent water sources–an inn the PCs can stay at called Tombspider Inn. Skill checks tell the PCs that a Tombspider is spider-based flesh golem construct with built in melee weapons for legs.
- On the way there they find a ridge that has collapsed about 2 miles shorter than it should be accordign to the otherwise VERY recent and accurate map. Earthquake?
The Inn is veru large and well-maintained… but tumbleweeds blow by right in front of it.
- Kobold greets us at the door. Seems confused as to why we are here. Says he’s never actually had a customer. His name is Mr. Scrapgnaw.
- Apparently, this inn was built so that people can fight “the Tombspider” when it returns. It’s been 110 years since the last appearance. Ulysses S. Abernathy was the last, and only, other name in the log book. This is the name of an engineer whose name is a brand of thingamabobs (UPBs) and who created the “phantom pocketwatch” spell. He also built this Inn, and corresponds by mail once every quarter or so.
- Rooms are free since the PCs are on a quest. Tinned food. Room-temp drinks. Will take awhile to heat up the water for baths.
- We all partake in the dark gray liquid from a keg marked with a dead dog. Tastes like rum and coke. Not bad!
- Mr. Scrapgnaw says there’s not been an earthquake per se. Instead, he’s had wonky feelings over several nights recently. He thought it was just tommy-knockers.
- Scrapgnaw shows the PCs where the Tombspider will supposedly appear in 1936. It’s down below the Inn in a cavern.
- A rock covered in blood shows the symbol of the spider, but with guns for legs instead of blades.
- Each Inn room is set up for many people, weapons, wash tubs, curtains, radiators, and gas lamps.
- We forget to set watches and just enjoy the sleep and the fluffy beds.
- Breakfast: strong coffee, strong tea, cookies.
- A few Pcs mention they now plan to retire here.
The PCs arrive at the Circle Axe Ranch
- Sprawling fenced compound.
- PCs stop at the gate where there is a tall, lanky elf woman. Waterlily.
- She gets “Bo-hoss” a large ogre to take her post. He sports a rock bandoleer. (A broad leather strap with pockets for 8-10-inch smooth rocks perfect for him to throw)
- Waterlily takes us to Forman Dwargus Hardfist
- Hardfist carries a hand cannon (1-shot, 8-gauge shotgun pistol)
- Has a complex timepiece with multiple functions
- His family helped establish the ranch, and it was Hardfist’s mother who found the circle-axe the ranch is named for. She claimed it was an old Nordic relic, perhaps tied to the Hardfist family members who helped Leif Erikson explore North America.
- As a stakeholder, he gets a cut of each Roundup. For the past three years, each time his cattle are separated out they, and not anyone else’s, keep getting eaten by a manticore. No one else ever sees it. If Hardfist can get one more good sale of his share of a roundup, he plans to retire.
- It’s not the ranch owner’s family doing it.
- Doesn’t seem to be a curse.
- This all seems to have started when Felspark, the East Hudson Fur Trading Company representative, arrived as a guest at the Vicious Hippogriff ranch, which is also when relations between the two ranches went bad.
- Not an illusion.
- The fighter/mystic, who can both speak to animals and cast grave words, speaks with the skull 0.o
- PCs hear scared moos from the skull
- The fighter/mystic hears “Ow! Danger! Danger to the herd! I die.”
- The skull shows signs of poison. The fenrin;s scent ability allows her to determine the poison is the same as that used by the serpentfolk on the train.
What PCs want to know
- When is the next cattle round up? (Anytime — it’s been delayed until hardfist could get some help)
- Where could the serpentfolk and a manticore be hiding?
- What’re the forces that link the serpentfolk, manticore, and East Hudson Fur Trading Company together after? Water rights aren’t enough for this much trouble.
- Other ranch may want the water, so they let the manticore folk use the land.
- Venom King … what’s he after?
- What have the tripods awoken? Did the black gas seep down and wake something up?
- What if they’re headed to the hollow world?
- And the Trading Co would have a monopoly on the passage to the hollow world from the USA.
- Hardfist is convinced none of his people are leaking information.
- There were supposedly invisible rattlesnakes in these parts. “Smoke snakes.”
- The are given the seasonal bunk house to work out of.
XPs: 400 each (PCs now at 11,050, need 15,000 to reach 6th)
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Posted on August 11, 2020, in Adventure Design, Adventure Sketch, Microsetting, Starfinder Development and tagged Doomstone, Game Session Notes, Gamemastering Advice, gaming, Geekery, Really Wild West, Starfinder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.