Worked example of Into the Odd GM notes

My players in “Those Who Came Before”, calling themselves “The Auditors”, have completed a revolution in an oppressed little town as part of trying to stabilize society a little bit. At this point, the town has undergone a complete power shift, as the Auditors drummed up support among the locals, removed the oppressors’ source of wealth, and eventually took out the Baldwin family and many of their deputies with the support of key community leaders.

I ran all of this from these notes, plus a map of the Baldwin Mine. I’m putting them here in the hopes that some other GM sees something they can use in their own campaign, as well as to remind myself in the future of what the state of my GM practice was. Note that all the stats below are for “Into the Odd”, which makes them pretty sparse and makes some assumptions about unwritten stats. Everything else in the game comes from Luck rolls and improvisation, most of which consists of frantically figuring out how NPCs would react to unexpected actions by my players. Really, I wanted to take to heart Chris McDowall’s advice to treat the city as an adventure site. Baldwin ran on different principles and certainly a different scale than Bastion, but the core idea remained: you don’t have to make the town a boring place where they sell their loot, rest for a week, and head back out. (That’s a valid approach too – just not the only one.)

In future adventures, if I think my players will start a revolution (as I suspected they would do here), 0I’ll probably fill out more of the townspeople, particularly laborers, farmers, and such, rather than just the craftspeople. Reading back over it now, I’m struck by how much I focused just on individuals and excluded the rest of the village. This is something I want to improve, because oppression and the unrest it causes are incredibly important in these sorts of events.

Green cactus on a green grass field, with a small town behind it and red mountains in the background under a full moon
Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

Baldwin (village)

  • Dusty town, several hundred inhabitants
    • Industrial economy plus mining
    • Stone buildings, scrub trees, red dust, goats
    • Central well actually pulls from ancient waterworks known only to very few (Baldwins, adventurers)
  • Governed by Boss Rodd Baldwin
    • Elected but nobody crosses that family
    • Wealth from old silver mine (output has been decreasing for years)

Notable places

  • The Goatherd’s Respite (Inn) — only inn in town
    • Run by Stella, down-to-earth and vivacious middle-aged woman, a bit klutzy (6 HP)
    • And her wife Breen, quiet woman, slightly younger, tends to the cooking (4 HP)
  • The Guildhall (makerspace)
    • Blacksmithing
    • Carpentry
    • Other workshops
    • Swap meet (arcana)
  • Temple of the Wanderer
    • Overseen by Annan the Mind (retired adventurer)
    • Wanderer: Blesses those who wander; provides shelter, food, water (hostel)
  • Deputy House
    • Strong half-timbered building used as barracks, armory, and gambling den
    • Adjoins a small jail used to detain petty criminals and anyone the Baldwins don’t want around (told to leave town the next day)
  • Baldwin Bank
    • Managed by Freda Baldwin (Boss’s wife): 2 HP: blunt, impeccably coiffed white hair
    • Basement vault contains Alchemeat Extruder (turns animal flesh into silver, d4 guilders/day but needs to be minted or worked) // this moved to the mine

People

  • Annan the Mind (retired adventurer): WIL 15, 6 HP, needle gun (d8 damage, ignores armor)
    • Bald head with slowly animated tattoos on it (telekinesis for light objects, d4 WIL damage on failed save)
    • Often pleasantly drunk, sees himself as paternal figure
    • Not well-liked by Boss Rodd
    • Orb Box (two orbs that do d12 Blast damage)
    • Spike Cable (fires a spike into two objects or people, d4 damage to each and they are pulled to within 1m of each other by strong cable)
  • Doctor Montane (retired adventurer): WIL 15, 8 HP, wrist acid sprayer (d6 damage, blast)
    • Purple-splotched face, willing to pay for oddities
    • Well loved as the town healer
    • Guardian Shield built into his coat (15 points of dmg absorption)
    • Leech-o-matic (cures local infection or poison, heals d6 STR, d6 usage die)
    • Foamflesh (spray-on cure, d8 usage die)
  • Webin Dunbell (Makers faction leader): WIL 12, 3 HP, wrench (d6)
    • Best blacksmith in town
    • Unreliable genius with lots of scars, motormouth
    • Wants the craftspeople to ply their trade in safety
  • Woodrow Baldwin (Head Deputy): STR 12, 4 HP, Armor 1, fine saber (d8)
    • Misshapen head from being dropped as child, never healed right
    • Secretly jealous of his older brother
  • Tiny (bodyguard for Boss Rodd): WIL 6, STR 14, 8 HP, Armor 1, large club (d8, bulky)
    • 2 meters tall, wears a suit
    • Loyal to the Baldwin family
  • Rodd Baldwin (boss): DEX 6, WIL 14, 2 HP, dueling pistol (d8 damage)
    • Short, heavyset, always wears white
    • Usually has a coterie of 2 or 3 yes-men plus Tiny 

Factions

  • “Deputies” – supporters of the Boss
    • Detachment: 8 HP, dagger (d6) and flintlock pistol (d6, reload)
    • Individuals: 2 HP (same armament)
    • Recognizable by red neckerchiefs
    • Connected to bandits outside town (who wear identical but orange neckerchiefs)
  • “Makers” – artisans and craftspeople
    • Good place to find new recruits
    • Generally the town’s middle class
  • “Old Adventurers”
    • Well-respected in town but try to keep to themselves
    • Occasional lovers
    • Want to find out where the Baldwins get their riches (suspicious of mine)

Encounter Table: Baldwin

  1. Young goatherd (3 HP) with d6 goats, each 18 WIL and 2 HP
  2. Stella (6 HP, d4 fists) out getting supplies for the inn, greeting children in the street
  3. Webin Dunbell (STR 14, WIL 14, 3 HP, d6 wrench) cursing at mule who won’t pull the wagon
  4. Webin Dunbell, headed to make bank deposit
  5. Deputy (2 HP, d6 dagger, d6 pistol), drunken & boorish behavior but cowardly if confronted
  6. Deputy Detachment (8 HP, dagger (d6) and flintlock pistol (d6, reload)), engaging in “protection” or “tax / debt collecting”
“Ferno Walker” from “Ninth World Bestiary” p. 52, TM and (c) 2014 Monte Cook Games, LLC

Encounter Table: Badlands

  1. Bandit camp (d6, each WIL 8, 2 HP, d8 musket and d6 dagger)
    • Guard on watch will shout for help
    • Stash of food, water, and general trade goods
    • Want to survive by any means necessary
  2. Caravan (2 in 6 chance they have been robbed)
  3. Dust devil (form spontaneously, DEX save or d6 damage)
  4. Kanthid (see Salt Flats) // this refers to a monster that’s documented in my depthcrawl post
  5. Inferno Walker (d3, each STR 14, DEX 6, 6 HP, d6 bite) // renamed by one player as “Sterno Walker”
    • Can spend 1 HP to stream d6 heat blast, ignoring armor
    • Intelligent predator / carnivore
    • Potential mounts if befriended
  6. Falling Maw (see Salt Flats) // this refers to a monster that’s documented in Session 3

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