The Cherry Gris
“Welcome, everyone. Thank you for answering my invitation. I have a lot to say and not much time to say it, so I will be brief.”
The dense smoke filling this private room at the Cherry Gris obscures your benefactor’s face, but he’s elven, and tall, even for an Elf. The invitation he mentions you found left on your person, like a reverse-pickpocket.
“In front of you are your gate passes. You and your entourages be able to come and go from the cavern as you please. This will be docked from your first pay.”
“Down there, we have been told there are many unseen species of flora. One in particular we are interested: Glavin’s Majestic Cap. It’s a mushroom, friends. A mushroom bigger than your standard wagon wheel. You can even roll them like one. And we want as many of them as you can provide.”
“Why I will pay handsomely for each cap, I shall not say, suffice it to say I have… connections.”
“I understand the majority of you have not been briefed on the dangers of the cavern, so I’ve invited an ambassador from below who will brief you. Friends, 2 gold coins for each cap bigger than a standard wagon wheel. I bid you farewell.”
The Elf bows and vanishes out the rear entrance. There is scratching and climbing at the seat where the Elf once sat.
“Turn the gas lights up, would someone?” it says. Somebody turns a brass knob and the room becomes brighter. The scaly-faced person coughs “Thank you.”
You see what looks like a scaly lizardman, but with larger, more armoured scales on his arms and back, and a softer underbelly. He must stand the same height as a Dwarf, but much skinnier. The scales’ edges reflect a bronze colour in this light. “A pangolin!” someone gasps.
“I am Schim. And I’m not a lizardman, I’m Pangolean. Yes, I’m from the cavern, and no, you probably haven’t even heard of us.”
“The Pangolean authorities have always… prevented our kind from coming overland freely. Your king has sent envoys but they have been turned away. Not many of my people care to come overland but Schim was curious and so bribed his way out and so here Schim is.”
A tankard clangs on the wooden floor. Schim tenses, resisting the urge to curl into a ball, then relaxes. He seems a little jumpy. Someone apologizes. His speech continues confidently.
“Our host wishes to procure some Majestic Caps and will pay for them. A few of my people grow these in grottos dotted around the caverns, away from the Pangolean towns and villages.” Sudden murmuring amongst those gathered.
“Yes, there are three towns of Pangolean within the caverns: Brigvark, the closest to the surface is the most accessible. Both Milgart and Zagu can only be reached by the rivers and chutes at Brigvark.”
Schim hands a wad of paper to the person closest to him.
“This map details the nearest shroom grottos you can get to without entering Brigvark.”
“I wish to return to Brigvark, and am willing to have you come with me to establish a secret trade agreement with some of my people. I can smuggle you in, but my people startle easily. Those who can handle tight squeezes could make the journey to parlay with my people.”
“It’s dangerous outside of Brigvark. There are sizable insects that would love to eat you. Don’t go alone.”
“I wish to depart in the next week. Those of you who wish to come to Brigvark, come find me here in two nights time. A good evening to you all.”
1. Aprop a Cap:
The grottos are not easily accessible. Ropes and pulleys seem necessary to elevate the wagon-wheel sized mushrooms. Be gentle: the spores are not fatal to inhale, just a little intoxicating. Okay, a lot intoxicating. Maybe take something to wrap them in.
- Navigate Ridwhick Caverns to a grotto (Difficulty 5)
- Harvest one Glavin’s Majestic Cap (Difficulty 5, each point you roll above 5 earns you one cap: e.g. Roll 6 for 1 cap, roll 10 for 5 caps).
- Transport Caps to your cart/vehicle (Difficulty 7, +1 per cap you wish to transport)
- Smuggle caps through inspections at Ridwhick Cavern Gates (Difficulty 8, +1 per cap you wish to transport)
Notes: Discard any number of caps between challenges, but you can’t get them back.
Reward: 2 gold coins per cap.
2. Brigvark Bound:
Helping Schim get back to Brigvark sounds like good business. Might have to stay a while to build those vital relationships. [First in, First Served] [Teamwork 3-4]
- Smuggle the Pangolin through Ridwhick Cavern Gates (Difficulty 14)
- Navigate to Brigvark with Schim’s help (Difficulty 8)
- Negotiate lodgings in Brigvark (Difficulty 10)
Reward: Schim’s bag of gold coins to split amongst the team. Your team will all start in Brigvark next round.
3. Delver Detective:
Now you’ve got a pass to the caverns, screw the Elf and the Scale-rat. Let’s explore the unmarked tunnels. Maybe we’ll find some of those giant insects to fight! [Variable Difficulty] [Teamwork 1-3]
- Navigate the depths and find an un-surveyed passage (Difficulty 12)
- Describe and defeat/conquer a subterranean feature (e.g. chasms, giant insects, etc.) (Difficulty 7, 10, 13)
- Share findings with the King’s Cave Surveyors convincingly (Difficult 4, 6, 8)
Reward: (2, 5, 10) gold coins from the King’s coffers.
How to Play
It’s not too late to join in, overlander! Post your character here before you venture into the depths.
First in, First Served
If a mission is marked [First in, First Served], the first player or team to attempt a mission prevents other players or teams from doing so.
If a mission is marked [Variable Difficulty], when starting the mission, choose Easy, Medium or Hard. When available on a challenge, use the numbers specified: (easy, medium, hard). You cannot change difficulty between the challenges of a mission.
Missions marked Teamwork N will require planning. The N describes the limits on team size.
If 1 is given as the lower range, then one player can solo this if they wish, but with no-one to help, one failed role is a failed mission.
A team should elect a Challenger for each challenge. The same player could be the challenger for each challenge, but this should really be shared around.
A challenger must attempt their challenge as normal: Tell us what you’re trying to do, which cliche you have that fits that best, and roll.
If any of their teammates are also helping at this challenge, tell us what your character is ordering the other characters to do, and which cliche they have that fits best, and roll. Ignore any dice that come up 1 through 5. Add the 6s to the challenger’s roll.
Everyone should get a go at roleplaying through the mission. Improv rules. “Yes and…” will be key. Respect other people’s characters and make them look badass
If a challenger fails a roll:
- Any teammate whose cliche was rolled against in the failed attempt can volunteer to take 2 points against that cliche. This could be the challenger or another teammate.
- The challenger will try the same challenge again, but this time can roll their own cliche with 2x the regular dice!
- If someone volunteers, they may also assume the challenger role.
- If the challenger volunteers themselves for the damage, they still gain the 2x bonus.
- If no-one volunteers within 48 hours of the dice bot’s roll, or everyone else in the team posts to decline, the challenger may assign 1 damage to any helping teammate and no-one gets a 2x bonus.
- The new/existing challenger tells us what happened, and what they do to attempt the same challenge, with the same or new cliches. Teammates may still lend their sixes but is not doubled.
If any one team member’s cliche is reduced to 0, the whole team fails the mission:
- Every helping team member loses 1 point to the cliche last tested.
- Someone from outside the team (or the GM) tells us how the failure went down.
If you have good reason to say a place exists, I will endeavour to draw it on the map, forthcoming!
If you want clarifications, just ask. This is all an experiment.
Enjoy Life. Make Money. Stay Alive.
Go, make each other look badass! Have fun!