Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mayan, Aztec, and Privateer Mayhem in Xicalango

Cover art by Gustvo Lira
Image copyright. 2007-2010
by Obsidian Serpent Games
A few posts ago, I provided a brief description of Chad Davidson's Heirs to the Lost World  RPG, an alternative history 17th Century RPG set in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica. With Aztecs, Mayans, pirates and Conquistadors, it is definitely a setting that hits my sweet spot! It is also one of the few fairly gamist RPGs whose mechanics I feel comfortable playing and running.

This past weekend, I had a chance to run a new Heirs scenario for some good friends. One was game designer Chad Davidson, and two others were Heirs veterans. One player was new to the game and setting.

Since this was my first chance to run the game in several years, I did a fair amount of prep work during the week: reading the core rules chapter, the combat chapter, and the rules for magic. All the rules came back to me rather smoothly. That is probably no accident, since I ran a longish episodic campaign of Heirs from roughly 2008 until 2010, when my Dad passed away.

After work on Friday, I went to The Source to pick up a set of red d6's (5 per player for Effort dice), and another pack of black d6's (5 per player for skill dice, although you can get by with a shared set in the center of the table). I already had some cardboard minis I thought would be suitable for the game (more on that in tomorrow's post), so I also spent some time looking though those. Finally, I asked Chad Davidson to provide some sample PC sheets and some Heirs cardboard minis.

Friday night I re-read the Magic rules in Heirs, and then poured over several books on Mayan and Aztec archaeology.

Saturday AM, I got up and statted up a bunch of NPCs. None of them were used, as the PCs took another direction once the game began. This always happens.

In fact, I'd say that is a hallmark of fun!

The Heirs rulebook has many sample NPCs, so I was able to adjust to the change in direction quite readily.

The PCs choose to focus on investigating the circumstances surrounding two Dutch ships in the harbor of Xicalango, the Mayan port city which is a sample setting for Heirs. One of the ships was a pirate ship. The other - the Oudwater -  was a slave taker/native antiquities raider harassing coastal Mayan communities in the Yucatan. "The bottom of the barrel" as one PC put it.

By the end of the adventure, the PCs had assisted with a slave revolt, and the Oudwater was at the bottom of "the drink" in the lagoon near Xicalango. And the PCs had aired the idea of following the Oudwater's occult and commercial trail all the way back north to New Amsterdam (present day New York City) - in a future adventure!

Heirs has great stunting mechanics, and ALL the players took turns trying some cool stunts. It was a great game, and I hope we'll have the opportunity to play some more Heirs in the near future!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!