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Regular Joes

Game Master John Napier 698

AD&D, 1E-feeling campaign. PC's start at Level 1. PF basic rules.

Don't get comfortable.


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Life was going along fine. Then, something happened to change that. Then something else. And another thing. Suddenly, you were on the road with nothing but your pack and a little money. Friends, family, fiancees - all have turned their backs on you.

Worse, whatever you tried has failed. New job, new town, new trade - nothing has worked. Did you inadvertently offend some stray, arbitrary god? Did someone lay a curse on you?

You haven’t found a reason for the change yet. Perhaps it is just the vagaries of fate. Or perhaps wandering is no worse than your life before. Whatever the case, the lonely road seems to be your destiny now.


Day 1

If you had hoped to find a better life outside your squalid little village, this sure isn’t the place you were looking for.

The road to Whatstandwell was a dream - level, firm, smooth - until the rain started. As the water soaked into the road, it turned into a special kind of hell. The road became a morass of particularly sticky mud, sucking your shoes off and sticking in huge clumps to anything it touched, feet included. The roadside was better in spots, but sprinkled with patches of brambles and bogs.

There was no good camping spot along the road. Naturally. There was no choice besides backtracking or slogging on to Whatstandwell. The only upside to the trip was that the post horses and carriages of the better-off were horribly, inextricably mired. The poor folk on foot had the easier trip.

Worse yet, there’s no evidence of a proper public house here. The shops were all closed when you arrived, and there’s no sign of an inn. There seems to be a party down one of the smaller streets. Laughing groups of men fill an area cheerily lit by torches, loosely grouped by age. Three elderly men sit side-by-side on a bench, nursing mugs and whispering dourly to one another. The middle-aged men are clustered into several groups, probably by vocation (judging by clothing). A group of annoyingly energetic young men have graduated from drinking to horseplay. One is drenched, his companions having amused themselves by dumping a water bucket on him.

A little building in the middle of one side of the street is the epicenter of this activity. Half-shutters that line the entire side of the building are latched against the walls, revealing that the half-wall is really the front of a bar. A portly woman sits on a stool behind the bar, bantering with a drunk and rousing herself to decant beverages from ceramic pitchers into clay mugs when the locals saunter over for a refill - after they have dropped coin into a slot on the top of a bar.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Flouncy struggles to kick off some of the clingy mud from his feet before he sidles up to the unconventional bar.

He produces a copper, showing it clearly as he drops it into the slot. A pint, please, he tells the woman. I need drink after that slog.


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dex slogs into the crappy little town feeling as miserable as he looks. He heads over to a seat in this "town center" watching the groups of men to attempt to identify who among them may be the leaders. After all, leaders of villages can give a man down on his luck an opportunity but only if he identifies them and observes them proper like to ensure his approach is just right...

Perception 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13


Male Human Commoner 1 (hp 10/10)

A youthful smile plays across Hunter's face as he sees the gathering by the bar. "A sight for sore eyes if ever there was." He scrapes the excess mud from his boots before proceeding. With characteristic resilience, he shakes off the dreariness of the road. "Wherever folk join for drink and company can't be all bad."

He approaches the bar. "Have you any mead?" he asks.


Flouncy Magoo wrote:

Flouncy struggles to kick off some of the clingy mud from his feet before he sidles up to the unconventional bar.

He produces a copper, showing it clearly as he drops it into the slot. A pint, please, he tells the woman. I need drink after that slog.

The frowsy woman and her companion stop talking as Flouncy approaches. Once the copper has been properly displayed and contributed, she silently draws a pint and slides it across the bar with a grunt.


Dexter Quigley wrote:

Dex slogs into the crappy little town feeling as miserable as he looks. He heads over to a seat in this "town center" watching the groups of men to attempt to identify who among them may be the leaders. After all, leaders of villages can give a man down on his luck an opportunity but only if he identifies them and observes them proper like to ensure his approach is just right...

Perception 1d20+3

observation:
One of the middle-aged men seems the loudest and preachiest. He has no badges of office, but his voice and assured manner might indicate some sort of leadership? He's probably middle-aged; his face and physique don't look old, though his curly hair is snow-white. You hear others call him "Cotton".

Hunter Payle wrote:

A youthful smile plays across Hunter's face as he sees the gathering by the bar. "A sight for sore eyes if ever there was." He scrapes the excess mud from his boots before proceeding. With characteristic resilience, he shakes off the dreariness of the road. "Wherever folk join for drink and company can't be all bad."

He approaches the bar. "Have you any mead?" he asks.

The frown on the woman's face as she serves a halfling turns to a smile as she looks Hunter up and down. "Hello, handsome! Haven't seen you around before. No mead here; His Nibs might have some for his family. Got ale, though, enough to slake a thirst." She tries unsuccessfully to shove stray locks of lank hair back beneath her cap and to set it on her head at a more fetching angle before wiping her hands on her skirt and picking up a clay mug. She waves the mug in Hunter's direction with an enticing, gap-toothed smile. "This 'un's clean!"

Her companion scowls at the young newcomer.


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dexter stands and stretches out his back, every vertebrae it seems makes aloud popping noise. He is a large tall man standing at 6’6” tall weighing nearly 300 lbs. He has no hair on his head but facial hair on his face. His body is all muscle from long days in the smiths as a young man and an adult. It is clear he has been on the road for some time as his beard is ill kept and his clothes a bit ragged, his backpack though is unusually pristine and seemingly heavily weighed down though the man carries it with ease.

He eyes the locals and mouths the word Cotton then turns towards the halfling standing near what passes for a drinking establishment in this place and approaches, "Oi, little man, there's something mighty familiar about you. Can I ken your name?"


HP 9/9 | AC 16* T 16 FF 11 | CMB +2 | CMD 17 | Init +9 | Per +1 | F +2 R +5* W -3
*:
AC: +1 AC vs. larger opponents; Reflex: +1 save vs. trample

A dirty blonde head covered by a wide-brimmed hat pops up from behind bearded bald man.

"Who me?" a cheerful voice asks. The ruddy complexion belonging to the owner of the voice could be an embarrassed blush or perhaps that's just his face. A wide nose and freckles can be seen as a different halfling looks up at Dexter. He smiles sheepishly a happy twinkle in his eye.

"Ah-ha-ha...I didn't think you even noticed me, heh," he continues while taking off his hat in respect. He scratches the back of his head as he looks down at his muddy boots. His traveller's pack seems to have several cooking implements hanging from it.

"My name's Robin. Robin Grumble, I am, halfling cook extraordinaire."

He looks back up and up and up at Dexter towering above him and the other halfling.


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8

Oh … how … wonderful,” Sunny says to herself, trying hard to stay positive. “All this rain will be good for … mangroves? Willow trees! And this town … it’s so … rustic …

She stands in the street, indecisive about approaching what appears to be a bar in the middle of the village.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Flouncy looks at the two human men. You look familiar, too. Flouncy Magoo's the name, the halfling says, offering a hand.

That other fella, too... Seems familiar, for some reason.


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dex frowns at the blonde Halfling, "I did not but well met all the same Robin. The road is long and harsh, a friendly smile is sometimes all that is needed to make one feel more at home. Even when one is far from it.

Agreed, that man as well does seem familiar Flouncy... but I cannot seem to place where I would know you or he from".


HP 9/9 | AC 16* T 16 FF 11 | CMB +2 | CMD 17 | Init +9 | Per +1 | F +2 R +5* W -3
*:
AC: +1 AC vs. larger opponents; Reflex: +1 save vs. trample

"Maybe..." Robin looks at the others quizzically but with a smile as a slight bit of realization dawns on him about the others' familiarity. Then out of nowhere he sings a strange little song.

"...now we're shaaaaaring the same dream!
And our hearts they beat as one
No more love on the run!
"


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

I know that song. LOL!


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8

Sunny stands, dripping slightly in her worn straw hat and rain poncho, her dark eyes scanning the small crowd of people. Suddenly her eyes light up in what appears to be recognition and she walks confidently towards a group of humans and halflings standing near each other at the bar.

“Hello,” she says brightly to the curly haired young man at the bar. “Oh … I’m sorry, I feel as if I should know your name, but it escapes me. I’m Sunny.”

The young woman also looks sideways at the tall shaved-head man nearby and his halfling companions, her brow furrowed slightly as if trying to remember something.


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dexter frowns, "This is an odd coincidence. A bunch of us straggling into town at the same time without remembering each other but feeling like we do. This is the kind of crap that Bards I guess would sing about though I'd be a damn fool to think that a Bard would ever sing a tale about the misery that has been my life..."


Male Human Magus - 1

An above-average man wearing sawdust-covered coveralls wanders in and drops a coin in the slot. "Hey everyone. Been a good day?" Begins drinking the purchased ale.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Yeah, I think so. A long slog for me, but a cool drink at the end of the day seems to make it worth it, in the end. Cheers!

Flouncy raises his glass, toasting not just the new arrival, but the lot of the familiar strangers. He smiles at everyone, with his 20 charisma.


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8
Dexter Quigley wrote:

Dexter frowns, "This is an odd coincidence. A bunch of us straggling into town at the same time without remembering each other but feeling like we do. This is the kind of crap that Bards I guess would sing about though I'd be a damn fool to think that a Bard would ever sing a tale about the misery that has been my life..."

The dark haired young woman looks thoughtful. “That does seem odd,” she muses. “I know what you mean. Everyone looks a little familiar.” Then she brightens. “Oh, but it would be wonderful to have a song made about you don’t you think? How grand!


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

"I suppose it depends what that song actually says my dear".

Dex nods to Jared, "You a local man or drifting in as well?"


Male Human Magus - 1

Jared looks at Dexter. "I arrived yesterday. Jared Haesford, lately of the city of Havenport."


There is that odd sense of familiarity about both newcomers to the bar, as well. All are suffused with the feeling of knowing one another, despite being unable to place specific faces or names.

Feel free to chatter amongst yourselves or with townsfolk; I will wait for Patrick to join before proceeding with anything major. Still, you can Find Things Out in the meantime.

The western sky turns a lovely shade of orange as you obtain your beverages, with one bright star low in the indigo east. The rain clouds have blown north and tower in the distance there, but the sky above is clear. Lightning flickers through the far-off clouds, making an impressive light show.

The streets are starting to dry out in the evening breeze. They seem like normal streets, not like that horrid road. Speaking of the horrible road, the mud that has stuck to your clothes and shoes and feet seems to be drying to an amazing, rock-like hardness.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

What is it with this mud, people? Flouncy asks, to any who can hear him, futilely trying to kick it off his feet.

Seems hard enough to make sling bullets out of it...


The woman behind the bar cackles. "Another of His Lordship's brilliant ideas. Make a flat, hard road so's it's easy to travel on. Works great, 'til it rains."

Her companion nods vacantly. "Purty nice when it's dry, though."

The woman rolls her eyes. "Just another cockamamie idea of his. Like that mill wheel that caught fish... damned thing wouldn't turn at all! Ruined our mill in the middle of harvest! Or this law about no taverns so they don't get busted up by drunks. Now we have to drink outside! Man don't think nothin' through."

"Cursed, he was. Damned witches," her friend agrees.

"Cursed, he says. Cursed with the brains of a squirrel." The barkeep pours herself another from her mug and wets her whistle, muttering under her breath.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Who's this Lord of whom you speak? Flouncy asks her. She didn't seem to like him much, so he tries to turn on the charm.

diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22


"Why, Lord Featherbottom, up in his great house on the hill," she cackles, to which her companion absently rejoins, "Lord Feather. Just Feather. Call him Featherbottom in front of his guards, and you'll be black and blue fer a week." He rubs his jaw as if in remembrance of pain long past.


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Wow. Why is he so unreasonable? Doesn't he get that his ideas are hurting people?


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8

Well,” interjects Sunny as she tries to scrape the mud off her boots against a nearby railing, “it seems to me that some of those ideas are quite good ones, perhaps just not implemented very well. Roads are vital for trade and travelers, he just didn’t account for mud. Ruining the harvest is certainly no laughing matter – I would be mad about that – but using a mill to do two jobs seems a fine idea in theory. Closing taverns due to drunken behaviour … well, perhaps Lord Feather just needs a wise advisor to temper his ideas with reality?


Male Human Magus - 1

"Perhaps paving his roads with brick and allowing for drainage would help?" Jared interjects. "Havenport just finished replacing its roads with brick when I left."


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dex looks to the woman serving the drinks, "What does Cotton think of the Lord's idea?"


"Want to know what Cotton thinks, just ask him, or listen for a few minutes. He genr'ly speaks his mind on everything under the sun! He thinks about the same as the rest of us, though. Having a Loony Lord can be trouble, but it could be a lot worse. He's not a bad ruler, just a bit off-kilter. Still, he lets us be, mostly, and that's what we want - just to get on with life, ya know?"


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Went to a vigil for Heather Hyer tonight. Huge turnout, especially considering the short notice. I feel a little better. Nazis aren't welcome here in northern Indiana. We made it clear. :)

Hello, Sunny! Well, then. Let's talk to Cotton!

Flouncy is pleased that he thought of the idea "all by himself."


Male Human Commoner 1 (hp 10/10)

Hunter grins warmly at the barmaid. "Ale it is, then." He takes a swig before joining the others.

The young man raises his mug to all present, "A land without taverns is no land for me, eh?" he takes a drink. "Even when it seems all was lost, there is always warmth in a drink with friends. Hunter Payle is my name, lately of the farms outside Bridgewater, now of nowhere in particular." There is no ruefulness in this statement, and he conveys genuine warmth to all, despite the nagging feeling that he should know who all these people are.


Male Human Magus - 1

Raises tankard. "Cheers!"


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

Nice to meet you, Flouncy says, raising his mug.


Male Human Magus - 1

Recognizes story hook
"I'll accompany you to speak to Cotton, if you don't mind the company."


M halfling CG Unchained Rogue 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 17, 15, 13 | CMB: -4, CMD: 10 | F: +3, R: +7, W: -1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +4 |

OK, guys. Let's all go. What's the worst that could happen, right?


HP 9/9 | AC 16* T 16 FF 11 | CMB +2 | CMD 17 | Init +9 | Per +1 | F +2 R +5* W -3
*:
AC: +1 AC vs. larger opponents; Reflex: +1 save vs. trample

After his little song, Robin ponies up to the bar and drops a couple of coins in the slot to obtain ale and whatever delicious grub the outside bar is offering.

"That certainly sounds like a rough time! Sounds like we got something in common; this bad luck string is certainly contagious," he says his cheerful voice belying his words.


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8

Sunny's brow crinkles. "Who's Cotton?" she asks in some confusion about this person everyone seems to know but her.

Sorry guys, did I miss something? Who's Cotton?


HP 9/9 | AC 16* T 16 FF 11 | CMB +2 | CMD 17 | Init +9 | Per +1 | F +2 R +5* W -3
*:
AC: +1 AC vs. larger opponents; Reflex: +1 save vs. trample

Dexter made a roll and got the name Cotton from the results. It was in a spoiler, but yes, in character no one but Dexter and the townsfolk probably know who Cotton is.


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dexter turns to Sunny, "I think Cotton is the man we'd want to see about finding a way to fit in around here. The Elder the Elders seem to look up to if you take my meaning".


Male Human Magus - 1

Jared nods in agreement.


M Human Commoner 1st|HP 11|AC 12|Init +6|Perception +5|F+2| R+3|W+1

The morose shepherd follows the others. He speaks little, clutching his shepherd's crozier tightly.


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8
Dexter Quigley wrote:
Dexter turns to Sunny, "I think Cotton is the man we'd want to see about finding a way to fit in around here. The Elder the Elders seem to look up to if you take my meaning".

"Oh ... He must be very wise," Sunny guesses. "Yes, it would be good to find a way to fit in. We should speak to him then!"


HP 9/9 | AC 16* T 16 FF 11 | CMB +2 | CMD 17 | Init +9 | Per +1 | F +2 R +5* W -3
*:
AC: +1 AC vs. larger opponents; Reflex: +1 save vs. trample

Robin chuckles as his fellow familiar travellers speak of fitting in to this small town.

"Must be nice to be human. Showing up in a new place and knowing all one has to do is have a quick little chat with a man or lady to be accepted."

Robin sips his ale with both hands.

"So you all decided you are settling in this town? I might keep moving myself. Sounds like the area is under some mismanagement after all. If the Featherly Lord is really making bad judgement calls that affect the town, might be best to keep drifting."


Male Human Magus - 1

Jared shrugs. "I haven't really decided if I want to stay or not."


Male Human (Chained) Rogue 1 | HP = 11 | AC = 14 (FF=10) (T=14) | F+0 R+6 | W -1 | Ini. +10 | Per +3

Dex looks at Robin and strokes his beard, "I'm not a real people person, in fact, I don't much like em. I like metal. The harder I hit it the more it look the way I want it to look. If dealin' with people were that easy I'd be King, well maybe not yet but one day.

Still, the fact that we all're seemin' ta know one another is an odd thing. Real odd. I think we should all stick together and see if anything comes of it. If that entails stayin', I'll stay, if you are fixin' ta leave then I'll be goin' with ya.

How's that fer finnin' in?"


Female Human Commoner 1; HP 10/10; AC 14, ff 12, t 12; Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4; Init +2; Perception +8
Robin Grumble wrote:

Robin chuckles as his fellow familiar travellers speak of fitting in to this small town.

"Must be nice to be human. Showing up in a new place and knowing all one has to do is have a quick little chat with a man or lady to be accepted."

Robin sips his ale with both hands.

"So you all decided you are settling in this town? I might keep moving myself. Sounds like the area is under some mismanagement after all. If the Featherly Lord is really making bad judgement calls that affect the town, might be best to keep drifting."

Oh …” says Sunny, reddening slightly. “It’s not really fair is it? My parents taught me to judge folks on who they are inside, not what they look like, but I know lots of people don’t think like that … anyway, I’m not sure if I’d like to settle here. With the storm we had on the road I’m not sure the farming will be any better here than back home … and to be honest, I’d rather try something a bit different to farming for a time.

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