Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Gig In Bamesa Bay

Nate's Map

Saturday, we resumed +Rob Leduc's old-school Empire of the Petal Throne campaign set in the vicinity of Penom, the fabled "armpit of the Empire". Our PCs are a clan of "fresh-off-the-boat" islanders from somewhere in he Deeps of Chanayaga, the great ocean south of Ngeshtu Head. When we arrived in Penom, the signed-up en masse for the local marine contingent based in Penom. The capstone of our military training is to survive two weeks on our own on a special island reserved for the marines in the Bamesa Bay.

Mark Allan's beautiful map of the region
around Pan Chaka and Penom

This session spanned roughly days 4-7 of our stay on the island. This time, we hand four players. In addition to myself, the players were Nate, Evan, and Jasper. Rob GMed, and  +Chirine ba Kal hosted us in the world's greatest Tekumel gameroom.

Nate drew the map at the top of the post. The island we're on is roughly tear-shaped, with the broad end of the tear facing south. There are two mountains to the south, both marked in red. We are on the more southerly of the two mountains, in an area with a lot of trees and streams. From there it is an easy walk to forested areas where we have begun to hunt (marked on the map with the yellow die), and to the lake a bit to the north, where we are fishing (marked by the other die).

These days were eventful.

By the lake, we found two jewels, an badly damaged canoe, and evidence of a fight between the elusive natives and some large creature with birdlike feet. Given the presence of blood everywhere, the abandoned jewels, the punctures in the canoe, and the absence of any animal or human carcasses, we concluded that a large, possibly birdlike predator carried off the natives and made a meal of them.

No harm done.

We fished for a while, and followed the streams back up to our camp, where we went gigging "frogged" (and if you know the correct term for "fishing for amphibians", please let me know). Hunting, fishing, and gigging frogging was the routine for a few days.

This routine was interrupted by a Serudla, a fierce semi-intelligent creature.

One of Howard Fielding's fine castings,
as photographed by the Pewter-Pixel Wars

The PCs did the intelligent thing. They ran. This caused them to survive the encounter. We are all first level.

There was also an encounter with a huge, somewhat segasauroid reptile. Our shaman made contact with the creature and determined that it was a plant eater. We let it go on its way. This led an NPC to declaim: "There goes 6 tons of pot roast." To which my PC replied: "Six tons of salmonella, you mean."

There was much paranoia about the deafening anurid serenades to which our camp was subject each night. We decided that the best course of action was more gigging frogging by day. This didn't do much to reduce the din, but so far we have not discovered any humongous predator-frogs.

Just as I had to head out, some ruins were discovered. I am looking forward to hearing whether the players went in, or whether that is going to happen next session.

All in all, it was a great time. The session really brought home for me the pleasures of old-school gaming.
  • Learn about the world: plan and then act. Repeat many times. 
  • There are problems to solve: go out there and try to solve them with the tools you have.
  •  There are things too big for you: sometimes you have to run to stay alive. 
Looking forward to the next session!


  1. I believe the proper term for 'fishing for frogs' is 'gigging'. Sounds like you had fun.

  2. Any PC who doesn't run away when appropriate is a dead PC.

    1. Part of the context for this observation was that there is a perception that this doesn't happen much with games that emphasize balance (4e and Pathfinder, for example) or "player awesomeness"/player agency (a variety of modern systems including FATE).


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