We had the first "session" of our one-on-one Alchemist campaign, using Strands of FATE as the basic rules. The campaign attempts to emulate the feel of the Atelier series of rpgs. I talked about that in yesterday's post; you can find a pdf file with the rules and materials for the campaign here. Each session consists of a month- though that may take a couple of sittings to get through. Each month has four weeks with ten units of work time.
Main Character: Mathilde Compos, member of an alchemist family with a mixed reputation.
Mathilde returns home after graduating from the Torvadi Academy- the newest of the alchemical schools and the least regarded. She receives a letter from an black-sheep Uncle, Dor Compos. Despite never having heard of this uncle, Tilly has been offered his shop in the city of Batstad as a legacy. Tilly consults with her family who try to dissuade her from going. Batstad is at the fringes of the Kingdom of Govril, in the mysterious and dangerous Valley of Doubtfall. She presses on and is assigned two house retainers of her age to go with her: Konrad Appel, a loyal and cheery house servant and Jessika Cherry, a sharp-tongued former lady-in-waiting now exiled.
After an extensive and journey (which I imagine happening under the opening credits). Tilly, her two servants, her cart and her mule arrive in the Valley of Doubtfall. They’re escorted by a knight of the city, Arjan Blanker, who warns them of the dangers of wandering unescorted in the valley. Monsters and beasts haunt the paths and ruins. Tilly sees the strange geography of the area- a patchwork of terrain types and climates from jungle to snow-cover, from desert to forest. Eventually they reach the city of Batstad. There Tilly calls on the legal agent (among many duties) Nikodemus, who assumes that the alchemist will want him to sell the shop. He’s surprised when she declines and states that she plans to make a go of it. Her takes her there and hands over the keys, passing on two key pieces of information. First, her Uncle isn’t dead- but instead scuttled off under cover of darkness. Second, he’s left behind significant debts which Tilly will be obligated to cover.
Tilly, Konrad and Jessika survey the shop. It has two floors and seems to have been a perfumery. The facilities are modest- some bottles left behind, a workshop and lab, a simple sales counter and some basic shelves. Creditors may have come through to take loose goods, judging by the recently repaired door. Tilly locates some of her Uncle’s notes- and his quest for an "Ultimate Aroma" which would attune itself to the wearer. Her Uncle had some contacts, but seems to have run from one idea to another in his work. Mathilde decides to settle down to work.
SESSION ONE: MONTH ONE
Staff Assignments: Konrad: Alchemical Processing (create temp goods for sale); Jessika: sprucing up the showroom (adding a temporary tag to the shop).
1. Alchemical Processing: Convert goods rating (1) into temp goods (TG) (3)
2. General Research: Tilly finds out about a client of her Uncle and determines she needs to get her favor (Lady Dalsgaard). Doing so will require having the shop look better. She calculates it will cost three temp assets (TA) to do an OK job, but 5 TA to do a good job. She and Jessika contact another former client of her uncle, the Chef Axel Terkelsen. Terkelsen is willing to lend the lovely ladies the money, but she will have to remove a vat of noxious and sticky alchemy ingredients sealed away in his basement, a legacy of her uncle.
3. Research Recipe: Tilly tries to come up with a recipe for a Talc Powder which will cover and keep the noxious liquid from sticking. She succeeds with spin, allowing her to set the suit of ingredients needed.
4. Alchemy: Tilly attempts and actually makes the Super Talc powder.
5. Research Recipe: To seal the cask, Tilly researches and comes up with a liquid which will harden quickly. This Super Shell will have multiple purposes. She creates the recipe.
6. Alchemy: Tilly brews the Super Seal. In-Between Event: Tilly, Konrad and Jessika go to the restaurant in the middle of the night to remove the stinking vat. They unseal the basement door and enter the dimly lit wine cellar. The stink of the place stands their hair on end- the odor has turned all the wine to vinegar. Tilly sees the cask, but also a Stink Puni which attacks her. She fights it off. The group seals the vat and takes it away. Tilly obtains a couple of alchemical ingredients from the adventure.
7. Alchemical Processing: Converting one TG into three TG.
8. Adventuring (Two Units): Tilly learns of the closest and safest place to explore, the path to Demon Pond. She sets out.
9. Adventuring (continued): Tilly fights through the three survival rolls of the first leg of the outdoor dungeon. She takes some damage and harvests some ingredients. She reaches the first event- finding her path blocked by a large bee. She moves to engage the bee and takes a hit to her arm. She runs for it.
10. Private Action: Tilly arranges a meeting with Lady Dalsgaard. They talk about her needs- and Tilly convinces her to give the store support. This action raises the shop’s Client rating from 0 to 1.
Staff Assignments: Konrad: Sales (exchange one good or temp good for one temp asset); Jessika: Sales.
1. Crafting: The swordswoman Zeldala Katsura arrives at the shop. She carries a fine blade which has some damage to it. Tilly studies the blade- she can sharpen and clean it, but the necessary repairs will require a Magical Whetstone. Zeldala explains she has no money and the two of them come to an arrangement. Zeldala will join her as an adventurer and Tilly will work to getting the blade back to its proper state. Zeldala agrees and Tilly gains her first Party Member.
2. Harvesting: Tilly explores and uncovers a harvesting point in the city. She gathers ingredients.
3. Sales: Tilly converts one TG into some TA. She uses the Client bonus on this check.
4. Alchemy: Tilly brews some healing potions. She uses ingredients offering the Forcefull factor several times. This allows her to increase the number of wounds the potion heals.
5. Adventuring (Two Units): Tilly and Zeldala return to the Demon Pond path. They travel the first leg and easily best the large bee this time.
6. Adventuring (continued): The party continues onto the second leg of the Demon Pond Path. They take some damage from survival rolls and reach the second event, three giant bees. They opt to fall back.
7. Resting: Tilly recovers and heals wound.
8. Conversion: Tilly heads to the shops to convert ingredients for like ingredients. Her roll allows her to make four exchanges.
9. Alchemical Processing: Coverting 1 TG to 3 TG.
10. Alchemy: Tilly brews Fire and Smoke potions. Spin on the former allows her to create an extra potion.
Staff Assignments: Konrad: Sales (exchange one good or temp good for one temp asset); Jessika: Sales.
1. Sales: Tilly pitches in to convert one TG to multiple TA. She receives news that in addition to the 5 TA debt she took on to get the shop spruced up, she’ll also have to pay 10 TA of additional debt at the end of the month- those creditors whom Nikodemas couldn’t put off. She also puts up posters around town, searching for another member to add to her party. She offers a share of the goods as well as room and board (if they’re small).
2. Research Recipe: Tilly researches a recipe for a better version of her Punch Stick, the Punchier Stick which allows her to apply a variable elemental effect.
3. Alchemy: She crafts the basic effect to imbue into her new wand. After this she receives a visit from a travelling salesperson, Cordia Wrathpol, Adventurer Accountant. She has a mini-Athanor, an important forging device for alchemy. They negotiate a price and Tilly ends up spending 10 TA to buy it. This exhausts her resources, but the shop’s Foundry value moves from 0 to 1.
4. Crafting: Tilly crafts her Punchier Stick.
5. Alchemical Processing: Converting one good to multiple TG.
6. Sales: Converting one good or TG to multiple TA. As well, Tilly finally gets a response to her advertisement. Tamarack Tinder, a tiny panda-like beastman in full-plate walks in. He offers his services in a formal manner, making sure the store is doing noble rather than purely mercenary good. Tinder and Zeldala do not hit it off- Tinder has a somewhat closed few regarding female warriors.
7. Adventuring (Two Units): Tilly, Zeldala and Tamarak return to the Demon Pond path. They travel the first leg and second leg, easily besting the large bees. Zeldala possesses a quick blade, while Tamarack offers expert defensive skills.
8. Adventuring (continued): The party continues onto the third leg of the Demon Pond Path. They take some damage from survival rolls and reach the final event. There at the pond, they see an Enormous Queen Bee and four Honey Puni’s, which look like bouncing and delicious gelatin monsters. Tilly wants to pull back, but Tamarack’s instincts kick in and her charges the tasty-looking beasts. The group engages in a hard-fought battle- taking a chunk of damage and using up a number of potions in the process. However, they win in the end. Tilly gathers some valuable ingredients and checks out a nearby ancient bell. It seems to have a message on it, but the tarnish and grime makes it illegible. Tilly takes a sample of the material.
9. Resting: The group rests and heals damage (since none of it was persistent).
10. Alchemical Processing: Converting one good to multiple TG.
Staff Assignments: Konrad: Restocking- refreshing the permanent Goods value of the shop; Jessika: Sales.
1. Alchemical Processing: Converting one good to multiple TG.
2. Sales: Converting two TG to multiple TA
3. Sales: Converting one good or TG to multiple TA
4. Upkeep: Each month the alchemist must spend time in repairs, reassurance, restoration, restocking and reinforcement for the various parts of the shop. Tilly must spend five units this month or risk values dropping.
9. Sales: Converting one good or TG to multiple TA
10. Sales: Converting one good or TG to multiple TA
Tilly manages to pay off her 15 TA debt, leaving her with 6 TA. These she uses to make up for the various payment checks on the different parts of the shop. Each has a difficulty and she has to spend 1 TA to gain a +1 to the roll. She ends up with 1 TA and 1 TG which vanish. She gets twenty development points for herself, twenty for the shop and twenty for the NPCs.