Jun 9, 2024


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

The Halls of Arden Vul

Yet another single-player session, but the other player should be back next time.

This week the party figured out two puzzles, which was pretty fun, and I also got to spring some faction happenings upon them.

A while back, about two months of real-time and one of game-time, the party was informed of a thorn in the goblin king’s side: some small-time goblin called Gislu has been saying that his reign isn’t legitimate, because the true king would have the “Goblin Sceptre”. This Gislu had attracted a following, and the king wanted him dealt with before he finds this sceptre.

The way I tend to resolve this sort of thing is to decide what the likely next step is and roll for how many days or weeks pass until the situation changes. If I don’t want to just decide the next step, I’ll think about what the actor’s goal is and roll a few d6s to determine how well it goes: in this case, I decided Gislu doesn’t really have many resources, and so just merited 1d6. But I rolled a 6, meaning this went about as well as it could for Gislu: he finds the sceptre (or at least, he finds the artefact he believes to be the sceptre). From there I extrapolated (mostly thinking things over during my morning showers): a few days after finding it, rumours would begin to spread; Gislu would go to one of the existing factions for backing to press his claim; then a few weeks after that (I rolled for how many) this faction would act, seeking to prop up Gislu as a puppet king and basically enslave the goblins.

Today we got to the “rumours would begin to spread” stage. The goblin king has demanded the party deal with Gislu immediately. If they keep putting this off, as they have been so far, then in a few more weeks they won’t be such favoured members of the goblin court…


This was going to be just me, free now due to leaving my Pathfinder group, and an ex-player who hadn’t been able to make Sunday sessions for a long time but was ready to give Friday sessions a try.

Then the Pathfinder game fell apart completely and my two other Arden Vul players wanted to join.

So this week the four of us worked through the session 0 exercises: deciding the high-level “truths” of our world, creating characters, creating the sector of space and settlements we’ll be dealing with initially, and deciding on the inciting incident. We got some play in, too.

The “truths” exercise is great. The Starforged setting is kind of an ALIEN / Firefly / Bodacious Space Pirates mash-up (at least in my mind), but you refine it further by deciding on these 14 “truths” that cover everything from why people are here in this galaxy at all, to whether space magic exists, to how laws work, and more. It takes the very fuzzy generic setting and resolves just enough detail for you to start to engage with this world.

For our inciting incident, we decided that we needed to recover some precursor space-drug to cure our contact’s daughter’s space-tuberculosis, as she lay dying in space-hospital. We made it to this precursor derelict and found the drug, and ended the session on a cliffhanger, with a pocket of explosive gas we’d disturbed exploding, blocking off our route out of the derelict.

It was… a bit clunky. We were referencing the rules a lot. I found myself slipping into GM-mode constantly. We did a lot of rolling and not much narrating. But the first few sessions of a new system are always clunky, I’m hopeful that we can get over that hump and will be having a great time co-operatively GMing ourselves into space-adventure-of-the-week.


I’ve spent several hours this week playing Against the Storm, which I picked up last week. It’s pretty good, I recommend it!