The Devil’s Riddle: Session 20 (annotated)

Further to the last post I’ll be pulling back the curtain in this session to show how I end up with the narrative. First things first; do I have any character interaction I want to cover before I set out? As it happens, I do.

As they ready themselves to leave Rufus turns to Lisandra and says quietly “I mean no disrespect, but from here on in allow me to take lead in matters martial. I am trained in combat and tactics, and we will need to use every advantage we have if we are to come out of this place alive.” The channeller offers a curt nod in reply.

My heroes are ready to delve further into the dungeon in search of the captives. Which way do they go? Well, I’ve seen the dungeon, having downloaded it from Google and uploaded it into Roll20, so it’s not fair for me to decide. There are two routes from the room, a rough tunnel or a cut-stone passage to a door. Which one to take? I’ll use a Yes/ No question to the Emulator, with Probability set at 50/50:

Q: Do they go via the door? NO

Rather than ask the Emulator if they take the other passage (which risks the answer “No”, leaving my party incapable of moving forward) I assume that in the case of this 50/50 question the answer above indicates they take the northern passage.

That leads to my next question? Is the new chamber they enter occupied? I’d say it’s Very Unlikely. The Emulator agrees.

Q: Is chamber occupied? NO

No encounters here. That just leaves me with some description, and a screengrab from Roll20;

Rufus gestures to Fyn to take the lead and the young man steps carefully into a roughly cut passageway. Lisandra’s light reveals that the passage opens out into what looks like a small natural cavern with an ink-black pool in one corner.

There are two secret doors leading out of the chamber; are they hidden from this side? Looking at the way the rooms are set up it seems Unlikely to me.

Q: Are the doors hidden from this side? NO

Which way to go? That’s a 50/50.

Q: North? NO

Two passageways lead from the chamber to crude wooden doors. Fyn glances questioningly at Lisandra, who nods to Rufus. The blademaster points to the door to the right, then cups his ear. Fyn nods in turn, creeps forward, and places an ear to the door.

So is there anything for Fyn to hear? Let’s ask the Emulator. As I have no idea of the answer this one is a 50/50.

Q: Is there anything to hear? YES

This prompts the next question; how noisy is sound? I figure listening at a door is going to be moderately difficult, which is a base DC of 15. But I want to randomise things a bit, so I roll 1d10 with the following scale:

1-2: -20% DC
3-4: -10% DC
5-6: 0%
7-8: +10% DC
9-10: +20% DC

I roll a 1, which gives me a DC of 12. Whatever is in there is quite noisy.

Time for a Listen check. In Microlite20 that means using the Subterfuge skill plus Mind bonus, or +6 for Fyn. Rolling 1d20+6 gives me a result of 13. Fyn hears something! More Emulator questions to find out what.

Q: Is it voices? EXCEPTIONAL NO

That’s an interesting result; I’m going to interpret that as something that sounds like a voice but is not one; howling, but not from any organic creature. This suggests wind, and that helps me determine what is in there; this room contains a trapped and furious air elemental. Now and again the Emulator and my interpretation will determine what is in a room, rather than the random D30 tool.

The next question is whether or not Fyn realises that what he hears is wind rather than a person. I rule that this is a step up in difficulty from hearing anything at all, so DC 17. As Fyn rolled a 13 he doesn’t realise that what he hears is the howling of the wind.

The young man’s eyes widen in surprise. “It sounds like there’s someone behind this door wailing!” he whispers to the others. “Howling like they’re in pain! Could it be the captives being tortured?”

Rufus gestures to Fyn to carefully open the door. The rogue gently eases the door open a crack only to have it torn from his grip. It slams open knocking him back as a howling wind fills the chamber. Dust and debris whip and swirl around the adventurers as, impossibly, a ten foot-tall tornado comes roaring out of the room towards them.

That’s it, I hope the insight into the process was of some interest. As you can see there are few hard and fast rules, I tend to follow instinct most of the time and use random tools to help me when I get stuck. Thanks for reading!

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3 Responses to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 20 (annotated)”

  1. That’s really cool. Fun with the exceptional no I would have put a piece of machinery of some sort in there… Just shows how different minds associate to different things.
    Also I like that its obvious to you that mind+sub is listen…I would have used mind+surv 🙂

  2. Thanks man 🙂

    I think the intention with Microlite is for the skills to be pretty flexible. Pick the combo that makes thematic sense.

    A Rogue might use Subterfuge and Mind for Listen because he’s used to listening out for patrols as he hides in alleys, or for the breathing patterns of a mark trying to pretend he’s asleep.

    A ranger might use Survival and Mind for a Listen check due to all the time he’s spent listening for the warning crack of a twig, or for the subtle change in birdsong as a predator enters an area.

  3. Yea! I really love microlite by now. You know what else love? Shattered time lines which I’ve got :p

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