Sunday, December 4, 2016

Some Concerns About Travel

Date: April 18, 1650
Location: Stavanger, Rogaland
Weather: a fresh wind blowing from the west northwest, with chilly weather, a spattering to light rainfall, cloudy skies and a somewhat miserable outlook.

It is six in the evening.  The sun is down and the party is gathered together in a long house, a common shelter like many in the town, where residents gather to escape the weather.  The house provides benches and a fire, and does not demand that anyone make any purchases or pay a price for being there ~ it is offered as a sort of community indoor "park." However, it isn't closed to the weather, there are no window panes (though you are out of the rain) and the doorways have no doors.

I want the party to take a moment and reconsider the plan to take Engelhart's sloop to Sauda.  I wanted to write it in a post because I wanted all to see it.

The boat is open to the weather.  With the new CLO rules, now that this has been nailed down as a measure, I can easily impose measures that will represent the weather to your characters.  For the first day spent out in the weather that you are short of CLO, your characters will take 1 damage; for a second day, that will double and for a third day, that will treble.

Furthermore, if you're out and you take damage like I describe, you will have to roll to see if you catch a malady of some kind.  As Lothar already has one, he is at a greater threat.

In the boat, the only person who will actually be working will be Engelhart.  His CLO won't need to be so high, but the rest of you will just be sitting in the boat.  In this weather, the rest of you will need 3.44 CLO if you don't want to freeze.  I know most of you don't have anything like that.  I'm going to rule that rain will double the damage as well.

Now, Engelhart can take his boat the 50 miles to Sauda, and he's likely done it before. But depending on the weather, the actual time it takes could be more than one day.  Yes, a ship can travel 24 hours a day, but that's assuming the crew has someone to take a second and third shift.  Engelhart is alone (I think).  If the ship is running or reaching against the wind, he will make 8 or 10 knots an hour, and be in Sauda by the afternoon; but if he is close-hauling against the wind, he will make 2 knots an hour, which means it will take 24 hours to reach Sauda.  That's probably more than two days of work, assuming he's willing and able to work 10 hour days (more than that would mean damage as well).

It depends on the wind in the morning - but it also depends on the wind not changing during the day.

In any case, the party might be interested in investing in blankets.


Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Thank you for laying all of that out, Alexis.

In that case, compatriots, might we postpone our trip to Sauda (and then to Bergen) by a couple of days and go check out the barrows within a day's walk tomorrow?

Hopefully, we can obtain some coin that way and be better-prepared for the elements for when we do set out.


Lothar Svensson said...

Aye, this weather is dreadful, and I do not look forward to spending a day and a night tossing on a boat no bigger than this table. If we can walk to the barrows and the weather is fine enough tomorrow... by which I mean either not as windy or raining, or both, I'd be for that, at least to make enough coin to afford a bed tomorrow night. By the saints, I'd be happy with enough to afford a coat.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

"And this" - Engelhart explains apologetically, setting down another ladleful of steaming potato soup - "is why we're probably better off not testing the good Lord's will".

"Heed this servant's bequest and ponder that we make for a safer and less weather-beaten path, leaving the maritime roaming for such a time as when we'll be at least prepared to knock on Poseidon's gate with a firm hand".

Rowan said...

"We have feasted carelessly, friends. Perhaps this famine is our due."

Invest in blankets indeed! That's 17gp!

We'll have to stay close to home for now, I hadn't considered how dire sitting on a boat in the rain all day might be. No reason not to profit though!

What does our native Stavanger know about these nearby mounds, if anything? Hell, Rowan is only forty miles short of native himself!

In this case, I'm most interested in Kolhaugen, the Cairn some fifteen miles southeast. Mimmarudla to the west, much closer, is also of exceptional interest.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Aye, Lothar. A coat'd be lovely right about now.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Rowan, that sounds like an excellent suggestion. I do hope that whatever is there is relatively unspoilt.

Lothar Svensson said...

15 miles? A five hour hike by my reckoning, if we don't lose our way. We'll likely want to camp inside before returning if we can't make quick work of it. Or possibly even if we can. But I'd take potato and bean stew sleeping in an ancient grave with gold in my pocket over sleeping in the gutter on an empty stomach any day.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Hear, hear!

And we might be able to find some kind farmer's barn as well.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Point in fact, you ALL know, even the Dane, that going inland is always colder than it is on the shore.

Lothar Svensson said...

Well. With food taken care of, I have coin enough to afford a bed for 3 nights. What say we hunker down and see if the weather won't turn in our favor? Surely there'll be at least one nice day in the next three?

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Welp. Дерьмо.

Lothar, that sounds like a good choice. Also, Bearskins are only 9s and provide 0.3 CLO. That might prove invaluable when we trek inland.

Rowan said...

I think I need to assess how much warmth I can buy on a silver and a half.

If everyone else is hunkering down at an Inn, I'll probably have to humbly request the boat, not that the longhouse here isn't cozy. Hell, if someone wants to save on coin, I'll take a bunkmate. That's gotta be worth some Clo, eh?

Unfortunately, even finding a caster to Predict Weather on our behalf is of limited use. 2 hours per level doesn't mean much in our condition.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

If you can keep your hands to yourself, I'll join you out there. If not, I've enough coin for two nights' stay in a hostel.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Also, Lothar, tomorrow you could go hunting and see if you find something - a way to get some meat and maybe make some coin.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Funny that you should mention hunting.

I will be working on the sage abilities as often as possible. I will spread out the work between everyone playing but I will also try to prioritize things that seem to matter.

I came up with a much more simplified set of hunting rules, largely with Lothar and the party's food situation in mind. Have a look:

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

In fact, seeing the wiki changelog is what inspired my comment!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Aha! You saw me in my furtive little ways . . .

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

I might be compulsively checking both the wiki changelog and this post.

Lothar Svensson said...

I like it! If I've got warm enough clothing to stay healthy during a hunt, I will definitely consider that for the upcoming days. Which leads me to a question: might trapping be an option as well? It might be more energy efficient for collecting small game, rabbits, foxes, beavers, mink, ermine and the like.

So with the new clothing formula, if the temperature continues to be brisk what will I need to be wearing to avoid undue stress on my system?

Rowan said...

It occurs to me now, desperate trying to find ways not to freeze to death before the journey begins, that I don't see an entry for sleeves on my doublet.

Is it correct for me to assume then, that they exist, and can be removed? Or is there an unlisted charge for acquiring sleeves for a given piece of clothing?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yep, I had thought about trapping.

Unfortunately, it isn't a "scouting" skill; I'm going to organize it under forester, blightlander or the others of that nature, enabling trapping as an amateur in each biome. Those are in your field as well, you'll likely get at least one of them by 2nd level and probably all of them by 4th.

If you're hunting, you'll be working hard and generally warmer, with less need for CLO. Unfortunately, you'll also be moving in the total wilderness, and I'm thinking a random table for wandering around off road (with reduced modifiers for rangers, which the rest of the party won't enjoy). You have Pathfinding I, you'll remember, as a skill as well: but it says, doesn't provide any special bonuses when passing over treacherous ground. That was me thinking about wilderness damage tables (that I have struggled with now for five years).

Incidentally, the travel distance for a party in the back country outside of Stavanger is about 5 miles per day ~ 7 with your help! In 1650, the town was still largely surrounded by forest, not the farmland showing on Google Earth.

Rowan said...

In either case, I think I'll humbly request to borrow a pair of silver from whoever can spare it. That'll give me enough to afford a cotton robe, and that should enable comfortable work during the day at least.

I don't think Alexis mentioned what we may know about Kolhaugen or Mumlarud, so I'll doublecheck to make sure I'm not getting ahead of myself: is there a reasonable assumption that we've heard of these areas, and that either may have a history that would indicate the journey may not be in vain?

Or would it behoove us to seek out some local sage, historian, or spellcaster in search of grave dirt to learn more?

Alexis Smolensk said...


You're unclear on what a doublet looks like; it isn't a vest. Presume it has sleeves, as this one does.

The belief that doublets at the time were made with removable sleeves is a myth; people make them now that way, but they didn't at that time.

Rowan said...

Thank you for the clarification, you're right, I was unsure, as I'd worn one with removable sleeves during some ill-remembered school play or something similar.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Rowan, I put my 2 silver at your disposal.

I am also happy to offer my bearskin to those who need it - I won't need it during the day, I don't think.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I should stipulate that a doublet would be slightly better than a double-breasted suit jacket regarding CLO: wikipedia calls it the jacket 0.48; clothes were made warmer then and the doublet does not hang open in the middle. I'd rate it at 0.6, as the doublet was specifically designed to included a quilted lining ("doubling") and to add shape and padding to the male body (to provide warmth).

Alexis Smolensk said...

Regarding Kolhaugen or Mumlarud ~ it is probable that no one in Stavanger has heard of either place, certainly not the rest of the party. You, and you alone, as a druid, would know where to find these places. They wouldn't be located in parkland, where trees were cut to make ships from the 17th century forward for a burgening English fleet. This part of Norway is thickly overgrown, so the henges would be lost in the forest, probably not to be stumbled upon by anyone.

If there was no druid in the party, it is unlikely that anyone would be able to find them.

As far as what you, Rowan, know about them, it is more or less this:

a) That they were holy places to another druid culture, prior and leading up to the Vikings, only to be abandoned when Christianity tried to "cleanse" the land in the 11th and 12th centuries. Druids are no longer persecuted by the church in Norway and Denmark (as the culture is more enlightened now than five centuries ago), but Druids too have changed, having developed a magic that does not depend upon cairns.

b) Nevertheless, the cairns admit to an old, shamanistic culture. You'll remember I wrote about Shamanism on the wiki. There is undoubtedly some kind of power there. You should take note that it is possible to awake shamanism in you with the right kind of mushrooms.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[frankly, I love how deep my world goes]

Rowan said...

Woohoo! I'm more than just a homeless cleric!

Alright. Then, given my understanding of how difficult it would be to travel through the fjords:

I've got some ability to navigate and combined with Lothar's exceptional abilities, I will put forward the notion of striking for Mimmarudla. It is, upon some examination, approximately four miles west of Stavanger's center. That's about a day, given what information we have about our ability to travel.

If we can get a local to ferry us across the Starra Stokavatn, a small pond that lies between us and our destination, we'd cut that time still further. I assume it would be impossible to transfer the sloop from the bay to the pond by any reasonable means.

We've got a reasonable expectation of some forgotten treasures or magics, our Cleric may even get lucky uncovering a relic, perhaps stolen by the pre-Christian Vikings and interred there.

With this in mind, I'll cover my declared actions in another comment, and recalculate my Clo in accordance with my fun new robe that my bunkmate has offered up.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

This sounds great. I agree with Rowan's proposed plan.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Must be me: I can find nothing associated with Mimmarudla except a road near Stavanger. Care to enlighten me, Rowan?

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Rowan said...

Bookkeeping first. Alexis, you mentioned that you'd rate the doublet at .6: your wiki table has a sleeved doublet at .35. I've calculated this my new Clo, which I'll be putting on my character blog, with your table values whenever possible, but using the doublet at .6. For reference: current Clo is 2.13 without armor, 3.03 in it.

As for declared actions. The night is falling fast, so Rowan will, having shamed himself by grebbing for money like a common beggar, retire for the evening in the sloop. When and if Aleksandra joins him, Rowan will have little to offer but his thanks, being preoccupied with thoughts on the journey ahead.

"You honor me, Iyanovna. If fate is with us come morning, you will not find my gratitude insubstantial."

When that morning comes, I'll wake early and head for the Stokavatn in hopes of finding someone with a boat who would be willing to take us across. It is very possible that I won't find anyone in this chill rain, but failing to look would be intolerable.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The wiki table will need to be updated to the wikipedia article. We'll get the CLO rating for things established.

Wait for the post that is the morning. I want to get everyone to bed first; I'll then write that post tomorrow. Getting late here and I work in the morning.

Aleksandra, thank you for the link.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

"Aleksandra, please. Without you we would not know of ruin, so do not trouble yourself."

I'll finish my bowl of soup and head back to the sloop as well. When Rowan awakens, I'll head with him as we inquire about the ferry situation.

My CLO stands at 2.31.

Gudbrand Andersen said...

(ooc: hello all, I just got back from running my own session so I'm bushed. I'll post this then I will sleep and be more active tomorrow.)

I'll have myself a plate of pork wherever I can get it. It seems everyone else has dealt with their eats, but anyone who's still hungry can have pork on me.

Afterward I'll find myself somewhere close by to stay for the night, taking advantage of my free lodging. Someone who knows me personally is preferable, but I don't know if I have any contacts in Stavanger in particular.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

"'Mimm-a-rud-la', you say?" - Engelhart chews pensively on the word.

"And so close, too? Think us people would have heard about it in some way or other..."

"Your angling has me circling and nibbling, oh worshipper of nature, but I'm of a mind of making a few inquiries in mine own circles before I bite."

[Alexis, some hefty doubts:

- What is a Cleric's hierarchical status (in the reformed Church) in a community this size and is it always tied into level? Am I inserted in the structure at all?

- Have I any special renown as a holy man, or is divine miracle-working a common enough thing?

- What is the religious climate of the region proper?]

Lothar Svensson said...

Before you leave, Rowan, do you have an idea of what accommodation we might find once we arrive at your stones? If there is a sheltered cave or some such, well and good, but if not it will be a miserable night. Top of the list when we acquire since gold: tents enough to house us.

Does anyone have torches?

Alexis, do your elves see in the dark?

Rowan said...

"In my experience, the world is much wider than a man is like to consider. Our destination will be well hidden, but I know the signs. Even a single stone out of place is a sign that my brothers once dwelt near.

For lodging, I can only submit the barrow itself. Earth and stone have kept men from the chill for a long time. If you've the stomach to sleep in a cemetery, you'll find it little different."

Torches are a good call. I don't think anyone has any. 22cp a pop, well out of my price range, but if I'm lucky, a half-elf needn't worry.

If that's not the case, I'll be torch bearer for whoever picks them up. My encumbrance doesn't make me particularly speedy, and I'd want the Cleric's hands free for Turning Undead if it came to it.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

We also might be able to scavenge materials from the forest to make a makeshift torch or two - we could wrap a stick with some of the bags currently holding our food and tie it with some of my twine. It won't be great, but I think it should suffice.

Gudbrand Andersen said...

I've got some cash left over. I'll nab 5 torches and hand 3 over to Rowan.

Gudbrand Andersen said...

I'm trying to avoid an AP penalty myself, but if anyone else is willing to carry 5 additional torches, I'll gladly pay for them. Can't have too many ... well, until you need a cart to haul them around.

Rowan said...

(OOC: In a few minutes here I'll be gone to work for the next few hours. It's a short day, but I'll nevertheless be mia for a bit. Normally I'd ask my wife to keep an eye open so I could keep tabs, but she's under the weather.
I'll be back in around four hours and ready to get into the thick of things.)

Lothar Svensson said...

I've been doing some accounting. On the food front, I believe we have enough between all of us for 6 days on the road. I have an 8 lb sack of potatoes, Engelhart has 10 lbs of beef and pork, plus 20 lbs of potatoes (I'm assuming we ate up the mince pies and the soup tonight), and Gudbrand has 6.75 lbs of dried beans (which by my estimation, ought to cook up to 27 lbs). Is all of that correct?

In any case, I am ready to turn in and see what the weather looks like tomorrow.

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

I'm already at -2AP, so I'll take the other 5 torches - if we get into a fight, I'll drop my backpack and that should get me right as rain.

Gudbrand Andersen said...

"Looks like a few more toys in your backpack wouldn't slow you down any, Aleksandra."

I'll purchase and hand over the aforementioned 5 torches.

Rowan said...

Food wise that should all be correct, including the 10lbs of travel rations that I possess. If we DO get lost or somehow delayed, we can hunt to supplement, as we'll need a third pound in the event of combat.

Lothar Svensson said...

Whoops, I missed those on your character sheet. That brings our food total to 75 lbs and a bit. Enough for 7 days of pure travel, or a few fewer with some fighting. I don't think we'll need to hunt unless we get really lost. Unless those barrows only have bone dust in them, of course. Then a stag or two might be some compensation in the market when we return.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Good day.

Monday evening is my worst day, the one that leaves me most under the weather. I'm going to deal with emails, get caught up, perhaps address some quiet details, but I'm going to put off anything deeper until tomorrow night or Wednesday, when I have the day off.

Starting with Engelhart's questions:

Regarding hierarchical status; Engelhart, you have to choose a religion. The region is largely Lutheran, there are some Catholics and other Protestants, some Jews, very few Celts and everything else (which you can still choose to take) amounting to nearly nil. Taking a popular religion gets you greater support if you need something from a church, taking an obscure religion increases your personal agenda-making. At present, you're not in any church structure ~ you're sort of a free-lance friar, of little importance unless you create a church of some kind or start serving religious leaders of your faith like you are their personal bitch [that is, sucking up]. Until then, your faith is between you and your personal god or set of gods.

You have no special renown of any kind.

Everyone knows what spells are. Spells are not regarded in the world as strange, miraculous, incomprehensible or any other such idea ~ they are regarded as a 17th century real-world person would have viewed a musket or a cannon: dangerous and largely unavailable to the common person, but great if a friend has one.

Alexis Smolensk said...


Elves have a 60-foot infravision. After this post, I intend to treat infravision as though someone is standing with a lantern two inches above your eyes that allows 60 feet of perfectly ordinary illumination, that adjusts with the change of light so that when you choose to see things up to that distance, it does not matter how much "glare" exists ~ because there cannot be, by the way that your eyes work.

I'll try to fix the table salt error at some point.

Some of you may have noticed that I am keeping a file of Online Campaign notes, including a sheet that says "things to do" ~ that sheet is going to get very long, but I'll keep fixing things on it as they accumulate. Probably, as a bunch of things of one type of error pops up, I'll fix all of those at once ~ like errors in the prices table.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Putting you all to bed, I'll pick this up on the next post. I feel up to that tonight, so I'll get it together.

I've done something to my left index finger. Thing hurts likes a bitch.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The salt error was that it was giving the ounces: 31.49 ounces. That's four cubic inches of powdered salt at 1.97 lb.