After a six week break we finally managed to get another Ironmaster RPG session in (the last one is here). This summary includes some things from the previous sessions that I did not write up at the time.
The players are helping me build the timeline of history and the broad strokes of the world are being defined more clearly for the Ironmaster novel.
They are all playing kids (and Grunts at that, in my T13 system the equivalent of 1st level characters) but last night the first of them made the leap to Mercari-hood.
The group are shaping from unformed character clay into a nice party.
- Mercurio – an Occult Scientist and Alchemist in the making, who has just learned the joys (and financial rewards) of raising Mechanimals from eggs and the first party Mercari.
- Annie and Jack – a brother and sister team from a lost noble bloodline who are just getting to grips with the fact they have magic and are from a “Fæ Bloodline”. Although they have so far been warned off from formal training in a college of magic, sooner or later one of them may have to make that move to gain official recognition and a series of Courtly titles.
- and finally, our budding Blacksmith . Who has now proved that he is “Black-blooded” and has a license to work Iron. He now needs to learn the art from the masters and is pretty sure that means a trip to Cymru (Fæ owned Wales) to learn from the Fairy sword makers.
The latest plot has seen the characters get to grips with some aspects of the Mageocracy that Britain has become. The Poor house they are all stuck in (due to parental debts- or simply lack of parents) were hired as extra staff at the Great Hall of Lord Sylva (who has various titles that the PCs have not learned yet). Lord Sylva was hosting a week-long hunting party for various human and Sidhe nobles, while there the kids got involved in a drag hunt (using rags soaked in tiger urine) and because they had heard that who ever gave the best hunt would be richly rewarded by the nobles they worked together to make one of them win, laying crossing trails and setting up tricks and so on.
One of the kids was elected to help feed and maintain the Mechanimal wolves that Lord Sylva had purchased for a special hunt, one of which laid an egg that the youngster stole and hid. He didn’t get the Plasma Pistol he’d been promised because of that, shame as a Tesla Corp Plasma Pistol is about the only thing that can stop a Mechanimal short of powerful magic.
Also it turned out that one of the Sidhe that was visiting was one that our PCs had previously encountered in the woods near Twisthall when their friend the Baronet had been killed by a Pwca. What was worse this Elf lord had brought one of those same Pwca with him. Worse still the kids learned that this Sidhe was planning something terrible for Lord Sylva, and was going to burn down Sylva Hall.
Like all good Players (playing not good characters) they decided to steal as much of Lord Sylva’s magickal library as possible before the fire. Slashing pages free from their bindings and hiding them in a cache in the woods.
The final ball of the hunt was upon them then, and the wannabe-blacksmith had earned a significant amount of cash with a daring drag hunt that ended in the gardens, streets and jitties of nearby Briarsley. Suddenly the word went out that the Tiger, that had been used to provide scent for the drag hunt had escaped, Lord Sylva called the nobles to horseback and set all the menfolk to a task of beating the woods at once.
The players took this opportunity to slip quietly away, although they observed the Pwca set fires in the library and cast spells to lock most of the hall’s doors before guarding the Iron-bound front door. They also observed the nobles gather for a ritual before they rode off, a ritual that if successful would have ended the supremacy of the Seelie Court and brought the Unseelie Court to power (being kids they do not realise all the intricacies of this world yet).
The kids used their recently acquired magickal knowledge to scry the Tiger and the hunt as they were picking their way away from the burning hall. They saw that the Tiger was not caught (partially due to all that false trail laying during the drag hunt which lead the Tiger straight into town), instead just before dawn it pounced on one of the Fæ and gained Fæ-blooded powers at that point, before slaughtering most of the gathered nobles.
Lord Sylva only just escaped to ride home and find his hall burning with many of his servants and the recently hired poor house workers brutally slain on his lawns or burned in the hall.
Our player characters “borrowed” a Mechanimal horse from Briarsley and rode to the train station in Northbridge before catching a train for Brummageham.
Once in England’s second city (and Industrial heartland) they set about moving themselves from obviously poor commoner waifs to upper-middle/lower-upper class children, and have started planning where and what to do next. So far they have not run afoul of any more elves, nobles or even the mighty and powerful Brummageham Guilds and Trades Unions, our wannabe blacksmith has managed to acquire his identity as a Blacksmith’s orphaned son by crossing the right bureaucratic palms with silver, and the Mages have a lot of reading and practicing to do…
All good fun. And has added quite a lot of unsought depth to the Ironmaster universe already. The novel planning is nearly ready for me to really begin writing, but we still have a lot to do with this game.
Do any of you Roleplay? Do you writers find it as useful tool for expanding your world-building notes as I do? Would you consider it now?