The Newhaven Campaign - Session 1

I’ve got a few ideas for this session, so there’s likely to be fewer questions posed to the Oracle. A lot of this is going to be setup for later sessions. Let’s get started!

[Scene: The woods, west of Newhaven]

It’s early early dawn and Harn finds himself hunkered down in the woods, scanning the horizon for a snowy white buck he luckily caught a glance of a few weeks ago. That trophy will do nicely, he thought.

Things have not been doing well in Newhaven. People are poor and starving. What little food and coin the people manage to acquire is taken in taxes. Most are little more than skin and bones. If things don’t change soon there may not be much left come the end of this years winter.

There’s still hope to be had, however. Master Remy of the Newhaven’s hunter lodge had the brilliant idea to hold a festival and make a big to-do about it. The main event being the hunter’s trophy’s. The hunter that brings back the best trophy kill will be crowned the best hunter in Newhaven. It’s all merely an excuse to get the hunters out in force, bringing food for the people, but if it works it’ll give us a brief reprieve.

Lost in thought, a small bit of movement off in the distance brings him back to attention. A large snowy white buck stands near the waters edge, it’s eyes taking everything in, it’s hooves pawing at the ground nervously. With a great deal of hesitation, it brings it’s head down to drink from the stream. Not wanting to waste any time, Harn knocks an arrow and takes aim. A slow count from three. Two. One.

A scream is heard off in the distance from what sounds like a small child.

[Harn has the “reluctant hero” trait]

“Damn it all!”, he growls, hesitating for just a moment. The buck, hearing the scream takes off at a dead run.

Annoyed and frustrated, Harn heads towards the scream.

[End Scene]

Let’s determine the situation in the next scene. First, how quickly does Harn find the source of the scream?

[Tracking roll (Target <= 60): Success (55)]

Harn gets there quickly. Excellent.

Now we need to determine the situation once he arrives. Blades in the Dark has this wonderful little mechanic called the Fortune Roll. We’re going to use that here.

So, we start with 1d6 and I’m going to add a d6 for the successful tracking roll.

[Fortune Roll: Success (6)]

So Harn arrives in the next scene with no immediate danger and plenty of time to react to the situation at hand.

[Scene: Bear Attack]

Harn carefully peaks out from behind a boulder at the top of a small cliff overlooking the stream. Before him is a rather large black bear that’s chased two kids up some rocks along the side of a waterfall. The bear is pacing back and fourth, roaring as if contemplating how to get to it’s next meal. The two boys, both no more than six or seven years old, are huddled together, just barely out of reach of the bear with their backs to the rock face behind them.

“Well, it may not be a buck, but it’ll feed plenty…”

He knocks an arrow, takes aim and lets it fly.

[Begin Combat]

[Surprise Round]

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3
Harn Black Bear  

[Harn’s Turn]

[Harn rolls Short Bow attack vs AAC 13: Success (21)]

[Harn rolls damage: 4]

The arrow rips through the air and sinking half it’s length into the flank of the black bear. It howls in pain and confusion, looking for it’s attacker.

[End Surprise Round]

[Black Bear Moral roll (7): Failure (3)]

[Round 1]

[Harn rolls initiative: Success (1). Player goes first.]

[Harn’s Turn]

Without missing a beat he lets loose another arrow before the bear can gain ground on him.

[Harn rolls Short Bow attack vs AAC 13: Success (17)]

[Harn rolls damage: 3]

As the bear rears around towards Harn, another arrow is plunges into it’s thick pelt.

“Kids, don’t come down until I’ve killed this thing or it’s long gone!”, he yells.

[Black Bear’s turn]

[Black Bear Moral roll (7): Success (10)]

The black bear turns tail and begins to run. He’s fast for such a large creature.

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3
Harn   Black Bear

[End Round 1]

With a sigh, Harn lowers his bow. Getting a bear of that size back to the lodge is more work than he’s prepared to handle.

[End Combat]

[End of Session]

I use a XP and leveling system similar to Dungeon World. At the end of every session I ask a few specific questions, and for each answer of “yes”, my character gets 1XP. So let’s get to it!

Did we learn something new and important about the world?

Seeing as this is Session 1 and we setup a great deal about the people going without food and means to support themselves, who the villains are and that sort of thing, I’m going to say yes. +1 XP.

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?

Yes! The bear! Harn got very lucky with the morale checks. In a protracted 1-on-1 fight to the death, Harn would almost have certainly lost to that bear. +1 XP.

Did we loot a memorable treasure?


Did we make a new important or powerful ally?

Maybe, maybe not. We haven’t discovered who those kids are yet. I’m going to say no for the purposes of XP.

Did we accomplish anything meaningful?

Saving a couple of kids from certain death sounds pretty meaningful to me. +1 XP.