Playing Ehdrigohr in a Bar

I recently had the opportunity to run an Ehdrigohr game at the Chicago Dungeons and Dragons Meetup (which actually happens in Evanston strangely enough in a Bar called Prairie Moon).

The adventure I was running is the starter adventure “Red Dog, Hungry Ghost” which will be found in the back of Ehdrigohr the Roleplaying Game. So be forewarned that there are some spoilers for the start of the adventure.

I got five eager volunteers. The players were all new to Fate and were using simple pregenerated characters. These characters were not built using the complete phases. I wanted to give people the simplest access to the game possible so the characters had a minimal set of aspects for ease of explanation. The meetup was going to be relatively short so I had to get the people up to speed on the basics of Fate and a brief intro to Ehdrigohr as a setting and its big issues. The characters were brought together in the Town of Paha I’Kha’ghi in the southern Shil.

  • Siriatai (a wandering Chi’an warrior who had taken up work as a Waywarden operating from Paha I’Kha’ghi)
  • GoodVoice ( A Wiitjaasa warrior who is a recent initiate of the Crow Society)
  • Juho (An Urali thief who had run from troubles in the White and taken up residence in Pah I’Kha’ghi. Unfortunately he couldn’t stay out of trouble, and is on display on a shame pole after being caught stealing)
  • Faltiorna (A Ge’Al medicine woman who had come east to learn more about medicine from various elders in the Shil. She is aspiring to join the Society of Mourning Doves and is currently performing her services)
  • Kimimila (A Wiitjasa elementalist who specializes in water but also has some skill in Earth. She has been traveling with the waywarden offering services as a water witch, helping people find sources of potable water)

The Medicine Woman had received a dream request from the Dove society to go to the settlement called TallBanks and provide healing. TallBanks had been recently assaulted by a band of vicious bandits called the RedDog Clan.

The RedDogs had been recently been very active on the Way between Paha I’Kha’ghi and TallBanks. Many were hurt and there is fear the bandits will return. The Crow is friends with the Medicine woman and opts to accompaniy her.

The local Elders’ Council asked that the Way Warden and the Water Witch, who were just getting back into town to accompany them as well.

The Thief has been caught stealing and is tied to a “shame pole” in the center of town. He just so happens to be an old acquaintance of GoodVoive and Siriatai, who asked if he can be released under their custody to assist them as a scout.

After much debating between the elders and the players about the thief’s value, the elders eventually relented (after an awesome show of shame by Juho using Deceit and some well played scene aspects) and allowed him into the custody of the WayWarden and the Crow.

TallBanks was a four day jouney on foot, so they set out at high noon in hopes of making it to the first WayHill by night fall.

As night came they approached the WayHill only to find that someone had broken the small spirit tower at the station. They had also covered much of the cooking area with the blood and remains of a person. The healer could tell this was relatively recent and had most likely happened this morning.

The hill, as it stood, had the following aspects:

  • Broken spirit tower
  • All this blood is a shiver magnet
  • At least we have the high ground.

The group worked to try to salvage the situation. Siriatai and GoodVoice worked to move large stones that were at the base of the hill to the top to give them a defensible protection to fight behind.

Kimimila worked with Faltiorna to gather all of the pieces of the broken tower and attempt to make a quick fix of it. The Water witch was able to make use of her rudimentary earth powers, combined with her water skills to hold the tower together. They were successful enough to change the tower situation from “Broken Spirit Tower” to “It kind of works”. Kimimila also accepted the compel “Distracted by maintaining the tower”.

Siriatai used some oil she carried to seed the earth around the base of the hill with a ring of flammable oil.

GoodVoice reached out to the winds and created the advantage that “The Winds will bring news of danger”

Faltiorna tried to use her herbs and chemicals to mask the smell of the blood. She was barely successful. She used rather pungent smelling things that masked the smell but had such a strong alternative smell that “The smell and fumes got in your eyes”

Then they started a fire.

By time the sun was gone they had the following aspects of this scene:

  • The Spirit Tower kind of works
  • Ring of flammable oil
  • The smell and fumes get in your eyes.
  • Defensible ring
  • At least we have the high ground
  • Water witch is distracted by maintaining the tower
  • The Winds will bring news of danger.
  • A bright fire.

The shivers attacked in the wee hours of the night, during the second watch. They started sneaking around the perimeter of the expected threshold of the spirit tower. They were nearly invisible to most but the Crow saw them because of the winds bringing cues to his ears and nose.

Kimimila noted the spirit tower wasn’t fully functional because it should have given them warning with a soft glow.

A shiver became visible on the road. It seemed to know the limit of the tower’s threshold, like it had been there before. A terrible chattering arose from the surrounding high grass. The shiver began to move cautiously forward unto it came into contact with where the threshold should be. There was no interaction so the creature screamed and charged forth. It was stopped short a few feet by finally hitting the threshold. There was a spark that lit the creature up. The shiver recoiled but its interaction caused a surge of energy that backlashed through the tower and erupted back into Kimimila who was left shaken. She hadn’t been able to defend because she was distracted by maintaining the tower. The medicine woman rushed to help the water witch and relieved the minor consequences of the surge.

GoodVoice fired an arrow at the shiver, but the pungent fumes at the top of the hill got in his eyes and he missed.

Siriatai rushed to the bottom of the hill to close range a bit, and threw her boomerang at the creature. The mighty throw knocked the creature back and broke what looked like it’s head and continued its trajectory back to Siriatai.

With that there was a terrible cacophony that arose from the high grass as a mob of the shivers revealed themselves and rushed the threshold. They were spurred on by seeing that the tower was having troubles.

Juho grabbed a log out of the fire and brandished it, managing to scare away one of the shivers which disappeared back into the high grass (it was the one that got away). Faltiorna threw a burning ember down to the base of the hill and ignited the ring of flammable oil, which created a ring  of fire and provided “extra light so they could see their foes”.

The shivers continued their charge and slammed the threshold. The threshold sparked and shown like lightning and caused such a great surge that it caused the tower to rupture and Kimimila  was thrown back into the stones where she lie burned and with a twisted shoulder. The crow and Medicine woman rushed to help her. The shivers were also left stunned and reeling by their contact with the threshold and Siriatia took the opportunity to kill two more with her mighty boomerang. The remaining shiver recovered and noticed that the waywarden was on the outside of the ring of fire. The waywarden realized her mistake as she recalled it seems that “Shivers always seem to have a taste for me”.

The shivers charged Siriatai. She was able to kill one before they closed, but the remainders descended upon her, knocking her to the ground, blinding her in the left eye, and leaving her cut and bleeding badly.

The Crow, seeing this used the wind to launch himself over the fire and he came hurtling down to the mob of shivers. The others on the hill tried to help but the fire was too much for them.

The Crow, recalled his oaths of being “duty bound to slay any shivers before him” and “to fight for those who could not”. He drew forth his crows lance, wrapped himself in the winds, and tore into the shivers. After a lightning fast exchange, the crow stood victorious, though bruised and winded.

When it was all over, the characters nursed their wounds and tried to sleep as best the could after that. Unfortunately they all woke up “Not well rested” bet set forth with the morning sun towards TallBanks. The air was filled wit the acrid smell of the shivers burning in the sunlight. They couldn’t help but wonder about the whereabouts of the one shiver that ran. It was “The one that got away” and they knew that it would hunt them for a while. They suspected that the RedDogs had been responsible for the broken tower and would have to keep a look out for any more signs of them.

That was where we left off because a few people had to leave early. People claimed to have had fun and wanted to play some more. That was exciting because these were, for the most part, all hard core D&D players. They were all completely new to Fate and they were digging the vibe of Ehdrigohr. They seemed to be quickly getting the hang of creating and using advantages and scene aspects.

I had a lot of fun pushing that idea that troubles and failures lead to great dramatic opportunities. We only had a couple of hours but it was filled with roleplay and as much fun as I think you can have running a game in a bar.

More notes to come as I move on to running more games.

Allen Turner

Writer, Storyteller, Game designer, Teacher, Dad, Table-top RPG geek. I'm just a dude who likes to share my wild imaginings. Follow me on Twitter @CouncilOfFools

One Comment:

  1. Awesome Allen. I can’t wait to get my copy of Ehdrigohr!

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