Knowing your Virtues
And a final call to arms
There are just a couple of hours left to back Mythic Bastionland!
Now onto this week’s post
A little extract from the Oddpocrphya section of Mythic Bastionland.
After their character died last session, Tal has created a new character, the Riddle Knight. The Company are already worn down, having suffered CLA loss on their journey. They’re hunting a rogue knight who’s been harassing travellers.
Ref: So this is the hill where you heard the rogue knight was last spotted. What’s the plan from here?
Tal: How about we search for tracks. I can roll Clarity for that, right?
Ref: Erm… Hang on.
Ref looks at the Action Procedure and asks a few clarifying questions to Tal.
Ref: So the risk is that by scouring around these woods looking for tracks you might attract some unwanted attention.
Moss: Wait, if we’re just searching for something quickly could I use Vigour instead? That’s for like… athletic stuff, right?
Ref: Hm, no, I think that doesn’t really work here. Clarity is sharp senses and quick thinking, which is what’s being used here.
Tal: Urgh, we’ve both got super low Clarity at the minute. I wish I’d thought of this before we came all the way out here.
Ref: Well there’s always another way. Instead of scouring for tracks you could try to find somebody to talk to, see if they’ve encountered the rogue knight.
Tal: Oh, and if we get “guidance from a Seer” then we recover our Clarity, right? I know it’s quite far, but we could travel over to this sanctum (points to the map) where we know there’s a Seer living.
Moss: Works for me, we might get some other good info while we’re there.
Ref: Great, so which way are you travelling?
With just three Virtues to choose from, it’s usually quite clear which Virtue should be used for a particular Save, or damaged by a particular harmful effect. Ref is pretty confident that Clarity is the Virtue to use for covertly tracking an enemy, and I’d agree with them here.
In those cases where it’s not so clear I tend to err on the side of giving the players the final say, but I’d hope that these instances are rare. If they start occurring frequently then I’d perhaps take a moment to talk through the Virtues with the players, making sure everybody understands what each of them represents for their character.
In this example we see that having low scores in a Virtue can create some interesting moments, here driving the players to seek out a Seer in the hope of both recovering their Clarity and getting the information they were looking for.
If there wasn’t a Seer nearby then Ref could still have suggested some alternative directions for them to take, and speaking with the locals is usually a good direction to nudge players toward.
If the players are desperate to restore a Virtue, and the most obvious means of doing so is too far away, then remind them that Remedies exist, suggesting where they might be found. Although they represent uncommon goods, a holding will usually at least be able to point them in the right direction. For Stimulant, which is used to restore Clarity, perhaps they’d be directed toward a local herbalist or alchemist in service of the ruler, remembering that these things are never given away for free.
If all else fails, remember that moving to a new Season or Age restores all Virtues, so sometimes an impromptu time skip can be the best way to move things forward.
Prismatic Wasteland talks in defence of Ability Scores
Roll to Doubt talks about 50/50 resolution
I was at Dragonmeet this weekend and picked up some weird stuff from the Bring & Buy, but also spent the weekend meeting a bunch of lovely people. In a hobby that can be quite… fractured online, it’s great to just enjoy the company of a bunch of cool people in-person.
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