Imagine my surprise when I realized overland movement and encounters weren't detailed in either Mythras or Classic Fantasy. Not what I expected for a “return to the golden age of roleplaying … between the late 1970s to 1980s.” I just read that wilderness adventures would be available in the Unearthed Companion supplement late 2017 or early 2018. That's more a return to 1981, when the Basic and Expert sets were around. In 1974, original Dungeons and Dragons (and each edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) had those rules in the base game.
Deal breaker? Not exactly. That's what house ruling is for (or buying another supplement), but it leads me to wonder if missing a third of the game, you know, getting from A to B, may be why it isn't as popular as D&D. I’d have to rummage through decades of Runequest rules to find out.
Be that as it may, I'll use Underworld and Wilderness Adventures from the original Dungeons and Dragons to keep it in theme to pre-1980 rules. It does beg the question why not just play D&D… I'll kick Mythras around a little longer to see what I think.
Following the silver standard, I adjusted the treasure amount by a factor of 10. And, now, I have an NPC to build...
Season 1, Episode 1, Part 2: The Beginning (One OK Rock with live action Kenshin)
It was two days travel going north to Thorndyke, a fishing community between the hills that border the Synnorian Valley and the Strait of Alaron. Rain gathered his meager belongings, the two most precious being his falchion and hand crossbow.
He had stumbled across the hand crossbow while exploring a cave and meant to sell it. The kind merchant in Corwell had informed him just how rare a thing like that was. Ruairidh had taken a liking to Rain when he was growing up. Rain would stop by frequently to see what new wares he had traded for from Waterdeep or Baldur’s Gate. The merchant never asked questions of where some of the things Rain sold him came from, either.
The cusped falchion was a gift from Nogai, a sailor from Thay. They had met in Ruairidh’s shop a handful of years back. The two engaged in conversation about the lands beyond Moonshae; that was when Rain explained his trouble with mastering the longsword. After that, each month, the two met for practice. He wondered if he would run into Nogai on his next trip.
[GM roll for lost, day 1 (1 in 6): 6]
[GM roll for encounter (4 in 6): 1]
[GM roll for lost, day 2 (1 in 6): 4]
[GM roll for encounter (4 in 6): 5]
[GM roll for encounter type: 8, Dragon]
[Player: W. T. F.]
[GM roll for dragon type: 6, Gold]
[Player: -wipes brow- Ok. Wait. This changes everything!]
[GM roll for surprise, Rain: 1]
[GM roll for surprise, dragon: 2]
[GM roll for sight distance: 30 yards]
The first day away from Chrysalis was uneventful. Rain was familiar with the nearby terrain and had visited the Strait of Alaron frequently. The second day, he had been following the base of the rocky mountains, when his ears heard the clatter of large rocks being sent down the cliff face. Cautiously, he pressed himself against the rocks and inched closer to see.
[Player roll for Stealth: 55]
[GM roll for Perception: 73]
As Rain came around a bend, he saw a nearby cave. Deep gouges were rent into the edge of the cliff.
“Don't be yourself. Don't be yourself. Don't… Aravae is going to be pissed,” he muttered to himself.
Rain eased closer and peeked around the corner. A large golden reptilian head faced him. Long whiskers curled gracefully against the cave’s floor and sharp gleaming fangs bared. Rain swallowed. The gold head lifted up toward the ceiling; Rain craned his neck to follow.
“What are you doing in my lair?” it asked, a rumbling whisper that wasn't as quiet to his ears.
Rain smiled faintly and came fully into view. “I heard falling rocks,” he swallowed again, “So I just wanted to… you know, see what caused it?”
“Ah,” it said, bringing its face close to the elf’s. “You're an elf.” The dragon's breath caused his green cloak to billow. “I meant to study you.”
It sounded like he wasn't going to be eaten. Not yet, at least. “Study?” he said, sounding more like a squeak compared to the draconic bass.
“It's why I moved here. I just brought the last of my things from my old home.”
[GM roll for treasure: 13,500 sp, 1,100 ep, 8,000 gp, 900 pp, 35 gems, 24 pieces of art, 4 maps, 2 rank 1 magnitude 5 scrolls, magnitude 2 potion of vigor, bastard sword +1]
Rain’s eyes flicked away to peer past the dragon. There was an immense pile of coins behind it, gems were strewn about, and a scattering of random items seemed haphazardly mixed into the pile. He glanced at the immense gold form and back at the treasure hoard. Don't be yo-
“Can I take a look? I collect odds and ends,” he said hastily.
The dragon huffed. Rain wasn't sure if that was yes or no, but he walked slowly into the cave. The coins didn't interest him so much as the strange items laying around. There were things he couldn't find anywhere in the Moonshae.
“Is that comb…”
“Made of jade? Yes,” a woman’s voice interrupted.
He turned and was again surprised. Where the dragon had been, a female elf stood. Her likeness reminded him of Aravae with her gold hair and eyes, but the similarities ended there. She wore a suit of golden armor made of scales and held herself as if she was waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Coiled, contained and focused.
“How do I look?” she asked, her voice emulated the melody of Elvish.
Rain remained quiet and tried not to compare her against the other elves in Chrysalis. This was a dragon. He was very capable of not angering a dragon.
“Would I pass well enough to mingle with your people?”
His eyes slid away and focused on the jade comb. “Yes. You’d… You'll fit right in. What should we call you?”
“My name is Shiventai. Would that work?”
Rain thought about all the things Aravae would say when she found out he was giving advice to a dragon. “It could, if you tell them you just arrived.” He cleared his throat and turned back around. “I'm Rain.”
“Rain isn't Elvish.”
“No, but it's what people call me.”
“Well, Rain, what were you doing before you trespassed into my home?”
Rain grew serious, reminded of his mission. “There's a fishing village, Thorndyke.”
“The little place I flew over north of here?”
“That's the one. They've been having some kind of trouble, and it sounds like they're being harassed by goblins or orcs at night. I was sent by Genna to find where they were coming from.”
Shiventai arched one delicate eyebrow. “A mission from the Druid of Myrloch. I'm either impressed or intrigued. Emotions are still a strange thing.”
Why was everyone so surprised by this? he wondered.
The dragon turned elf walked toward her hoard, brushing scale armor against Rain’s lighter leather, and reached down to pull a bastard sword free. “Where do we start?”