I started running a campaign of The Deryni Adventure Game. A role-playing game using the Fudge system set in the Deryni setting. It is 10-12th century Europe with the names changed and a race of persecuted magical humans called the Deryni. I find it ripe for conflict and intrigue.
Our group discussed the focus of this campaign. We decided it will be the adventures of the Order of Saint Seraphin, a secret religious order formed by Bishop Duncan McLain and a secret founder to investigate situations of possible Deryni involvement. Their mandate is to investigate the situation and determine what to do with the Deryni. They are meant to be a neutral party as they recognize some Deryni are good and some are evil.
The characters of the first session of actual play were:
- Bishop Josiah Blackmane, an itinerant bishop who an eye to sense magic;
- Brom, a famous, charming landless nobleman;
- Iago, an aggressive sailor who chose be a thug for the church rather than go to the dungeon;
- Thomas the farmer, a hunter whose family’s farm is church-owned;
- Willem, a secret Deryni lay brother who abandoned his life of crime.
I started with “The Missing Heirloom” scenario from the rulebook. I made some modifications to include some NPCs which I’ve taken from the Masks book. The adventure starts at a autumn fair at Sir Broderick Skelden’s manor. North of the manor and past the farmer’s field lies the Forbidden Forest where locals tell the story of Lurika the Soul-Stealer (Masks #135), a Deryni who captures anyone who delves too deep into the forest. The Order of Saint Seraphin are here to investigate this Lurika.
First, the Order decides to get the festivities of the fair. Thomas participated in an archery contest. I used a series of 3 rolls and took the median amongst a series of NPCs. This resulted in a tie between a good archer and Thomas a great archer. The NPC and Thomas shot more arrows until the target was more distant and a winner was declared. Thomas receive two silver royals for his victory. As Bishop Blackmane searched for a competition to judge, he received an invitation to pass grace at the manor feast tomorrow. Bishop Blackmane learned that Sir Richard Skelden, son of Sir Broderick, was recently engage to Lady Fafne D’ahern. Iago went to drink & watch festivities. While Brom judged an apple pie contest, he chatted with the locals and learned that Lady Leallia Bellemar (Masks #71), a beautiful available noblewoman wasn’t invited to the fair. He wishes to visit her and she lives about a days travel east. While Willem was roaming the fair to sample the food, Lady Fafne D’ahern approached and asked him for a matter requiring discretion. While judging a goat contest, one of the goats ate her engagement ring. She declared that goat the winner to place the winning wreath. She wishes the ring found before Sir Richard returns and doesn’t wish Lady Margo and Sir Broderick to know. Willem alerts some of the rest of the group of the mission.
Bishop Blackmane wishes to create a purgative for the goat. Search for ingredients and equipment, he finds the travelling merchant Izzy Moran (Masks #99) who is selling a potion which renders you invisible to Deryni while in forests. He pays him to use his equipment to make a purgative for the goat. Thomas and Willem look for signs of the goat and find tracks leaving the fair. They follow those tracks which leads to the goat and his owner surrounded by bandits. The bandits are taking the goat while threatening the owner, a young lad. Thomas and Willem engage the bandits. The bandits manage to put the goat on a horse. Thomas manages to unhorse the rider with an arrow but the second bandit rider manages to escape to escort the goat the their camp. The bandit routs except the unhorsed rider who is captured. In the end, Thomas got hurt with a cut while Willem got very hurt with a nasty gash. They do some simple interrogation while Willem mind-reads the bandit which earns them some names.
While Bishop Blackmane tended to their wounds, Iago aggressively interrogates the bandit. He learns the bandits specifically went for the goat to get the ring. They were going to steal the ring when one of their own saw the goat eat it. He learns their camp is on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest. Brom brings bandit to the local reeve who tells him the bandits are a problem but no men are brave enough to follow them in the forest. Brom states group will tackle the problem. The group heads to the camp, arriving about an hour before sunset. They distract half the bandits by releasing the bandit’s horses. They attack as the bandits were about to gut the goat. It is a quick and bloody fight for the bandits. The goat runs loose by the Order of Saint Seraphin rescues it.
During the final fight, I remembered how much the wounds can be detrimental to an effectiveness of a character. Bishop Blackmane had done a great to treat Thomas and remove the pain and thus the effective penalty (although the wound would stay for a day). He didn’t do as good of a job on Willem and the wound and penalty of -2 would stay around a week. On 4dF, a -2 penalty is a significant detriment. From coming to running Dungeons & Dragons and a superhero campaign, this slower rate of healing will need to be getting used to.