Eve of Tschai 6 – The city of Osomena

Prior Events: [1] The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile. When the small ship crash-lands on the island of Vord, Eve breaks a leg in the impact. In the following weeks, she is cured by a Pnumekin (a human servant of the Pnume aliens), R2714, who also teaches Eve the basics of the language, geography and history of planet Tschai. The underground Pnume settlement is attacked by the Dirdir, a different alien race. Eve manages to escape and reach the surface, but she is wounded. [2] While hiding among the rocks, Eve meets a man, Uarzuan, who cures her wound and leads her to an abandoned Pnume tunnel. [3] A Dirdir follows them into the tunnel and kills Uarzuan. [4] Eve kills the Dirdir, but she is taken prisoner by a fellow of Uarzuan, Zutiz, that leads her to a boat. They sail Northward on an artificial canal. [5] Zutiz stops the boat near a shrine, where a priestess of the blue moon Braz declares Eve free and bids Zutiz to take Eve to the temple of Az (the pink moon) in Osomena.

[the following events happened in four brief sessions, named 6A, B, C and D below]

6A
Eve and Zutiz continue they journey towards the sea on the canal. Now that Eve has been declared a free woman, Zutiz seems to be willing to talk with her.

Eve’s goal: acquiring information about what happened to Titania, the other scout from Earth.

Round 1: Does Zutiz have first hand information about Titania: YES.

Round 2: Is he willing to share what he knows with Eve? YES BUT he seems to be too dumb do express coherent concepts.

Round 3: Can Eve make sense of what Zutiz says? [roll twice and pick the highest score, since Eve passed the first two checks, yet it’s a] NO
Game Master Apprentice cards: move impressive magic
Tatiana and the space boat have been remove by magical means: the work of an evil sorcerer.

In a couple of days, they reach the sea. Does the journey continue by boat? NO – they take a robot train that transport minerals from the canal to a factory near Osomena. According to Zutiz, the train is also operated by magic, but Eve’s opinions are different.

6B

Eve’s goal: to visit the temple of Az.
They travel by train for a whole day. They jump off the train before arriving at the factory. Zutiz says that the gods kill whoever goes too near to the factory.

Round 1: They walk to the gates of Osomena.
An armed guard asks Zutiz “who is this stranger?” Does Zutiz reply in a satisfactory way? YES AND he says they must immediately go to the temple of AZ. The guards lets them in.

Round 2: While they are passing in from of a blacksmithy, the blacksmith says “Hey, look, Zutiz the idiot is back!” Does Zutiz control himself? YES
Round 3: Next they pass in front of an inn (the Salted Sail). Zutiz says “Ozash has a strange sense of humor, but he is a good guy. I’ll have a drink with him”. Can Eve convince Zutiz to first go to the temple? YES
They reach the temple of Az, at the center of Osomena.

6C
A priest in a pink robe meets them at the entrance of the temple. Zutiz says that Eve must be put to trial.

Eve’s goal: to pass the trial of Az and befriend the cultists.

Round 1: Is Zutiz welcome to enter the temple? NO – he will have to wait outside, while Eve enters.
Round 2: Inside the temple, the main priest is examining a pink sphere. Does he receive a positive omen about Eve? NO BUT even if he is pessimistic about it, she will be put to trial and Az will give her response.

Round 3: Game Master’s Apprentice Cards: rearrange helpful game
Eve must play a king of boardgame with the main priest, who explains her the rule. The game of Az and Braz is based on pink and blue circles and crescents. Does Eve win the game? [disadvantage, since she has lost both the first two challenges]
NO – the response is that Eve belongs neither to Braz nor to Az. She is moonless and cannot stay in Osomena. If she will be found in the city the next day, she will be executed.

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Eve playing the game of Az and Braz, while Zutiz waits outside the temple.

6D
Eve’s goal: to find information about Tatiana and the space-boat on which she crash-landed

Round 1: Eve asks Zutiz to come with her to the Salted Sail tavern and to introduce her to other people. Does Zutiz accept? YES AND he knows a number of people there.

Round 2: A girl named Caj has a story to tell (Game Master’s Apprentice Cards: screeching tires) “A huge truck as come into town a couple of months ago, transporting a strange air-boat. It was embarked on a ship directed to the Parapan.”
Does the information seem reliable? YES – she correctly describe the space boat. She added a number of details, including the number of the ship: the Dima.

Round 3: Do others confirm Caj’s story?
YES AND An older name adds that Dima is the name of the city in South Charchan, East of Kabasas. He had heard the the ship was directed there, first stopping in Bamarsa in Eastern Kachan. The Dima is a fast motor-ship and by now it could have already have reached the Parapan.

Eve of Tschai 5 – The snake shrine of Braz

Prior Events: [1] The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile. When the small ship crash-lands on the island of Vord, Eve breaks a leg in the impact. In the following weeks, she is cured by a Pnumekin (a human servant of the Pnume aliens), R2714, who also teaches Eve the basics of the language, geography and history of planet Tschai. The underground Pnume settlement is attacked by the Dirdir, a different alien race. Eve manages to escape and reach the surface, but she is wounded. [2] While hiding among the rocks, Eve meets a man, Uarzuan, who cures her wound and leads her to an abandoned Pnume tunnel. [3] A Dirdir follows them into the tunnel and kills Uarzuan. [4] Eve kills the Dirdir, but she is taken prisoner by a fellow of Uarzuan, Zutiz, that leads her to a boat. They sail Northward on an artificial canal.
[I drew two Game Master ‘s Apprentice cards: “Return Sacrilegious Investment”]
After a few hours, Zutiz stops the boat next to a pillar surmounted by a blue moon. “I must return an amulet to Braz, the Blue Moon who has protected me. We will proceed tomorrow, if Braz so wants”.
Eve’s goal: continue the navigation along the canal.

Round 1: near the pillar, Zutiz and Eve meet a priestess of Braz. She examines the amulet and says that Zutiz must be tried by the snakes of the goddess. Zutiz asks the priestess if his prisoner Eve is exempted from the trial. “YES AND” Eve will not be considered a prisoner any more. She is a free woman.

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Round 2: The priestess leads Zutiz to a stone shrine and locks him inside. She tells Eve: “tomorrow we will know if he has passed the trial”. The priestess cures Eve’s wound. Does Zutiz pass the trial? “YES”. [two successes, the last challenge will be with an advantage, the best of two results]
The next day, Zutiz exits the shrines. He is tired but unarmed.

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Round 3: Are Zutiz and Eve free to go now? “YES BUT” the priestess says that, when they reach the city of Osomena, Eve will have to be tried at the temple of Az, the Pink Moon.

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Eve of Tschai 4 – Encounter on the canal

Prior Events: [1] The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile. When the small ship crash-lands on the island of Vord, Eve breaks a leg in the impact. In the following weeks, she is cured by a Pnumekin (a human servant of the Pnume aliens), R2714, who also teaches Eve the basics of the language, geography and history of planet Tschai. The underground Pnume settlement is attacked by the Dirdir, a different alien race. Eve manages to escape and reach the surface, but she is wounded. [2] While hiding among the rocks, Eve meets a man, Uarzuan, who cures her wound and leads her to an abandoned Pnume tunnel. [3] A Dirdir follows them into the tunnel and kills Uarzuan.

[I had a first quick session with FU dice and no drawings, to see if Eve could escape the Dirdir]
Eve’s goal: get rid of the Dirdir
Dirdir’s goal: capture Eve alive

Round 1: Can Eve shoot the Dirdir?
“NO and” her laser gun jams

Round 2: The Dirdir tries to capture Eve. Does she win the fight?
“YES and” she snatches the Dirdir’s gun.

Round 3: does Eve shoot the Dirdir? “YES But” this gun jams too. Anyway, the Dirdir is dead and Eve is free to reach the surface again.
Eve’s new goal is to leave the area.

Round 1: Eve climbs a stair in the room where she and Uarzuan have fought the Dirdir. She finds herself in a ruined building. She can see a nearby artificial canal, where a man stands waiting.
Eve tries to sneak towards the East, hiding behind the rocks and sculptures. Can she move away unnoticed? NO

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Round 2: The man spots her and stops her. She is wounded and unarmed: fighting does not seem to be a good idea. Eve tells the man that she is wounded. She has been helped by a man called Uarzuan who has been killed by the Dirdir. Is the man friendly? NO
The man replies: “Uarzuan was an idiot. I am glad he died”.

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Round 3: [Eve has failed two challenges, so the final challenge will be harder: the worst of two results].
Can Eve convince the man to help her leave the area?
[I drew two Norwegian style Resolution Cards: two YES BUT….lucky]
“Yes but… …in order to succeed you must sacrifice something dear to you.”
The man says: “I will take you away as my prisoner. Do I have your word that you will not try to escape?” Eve accepts.
The man’s name is Zutiz. He and Eve board a rusty iron boat and start sailing down the canal, towards the North-West.

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Eve of Tschai 3 – Uarzuan dies

Prior Events: [1] The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile. When the small ship crash-lands on the island of Vord, Eve breaks a leg in the impact. When she recovers her senses, Eve finds herself in a small underground room with artificial lights. In the following weeks, she is cured by a Pnumekin (a human servant of the Pnume aliens), R2714, who also teaches Eve the basics of the language, geography and history of Tschai. The underground settlement is attacked by the Dirdir, a different alien race. Eve manages to escape and reach the surface, but she has to fight against a Pnume guardian and is wounded. [2] While hiding among the rocks, Eve meets a man, Uarzuan, who cures her wound and leads her to an abandoned Pnume tunnel. They have a second fight with the Dirdir, and Uarzuan is wounded too.

[This has been a very simple session, with only 3 characters and FU dice]

Eve’s goal: save Uarzuan

The Dirdir’s goal: capture Eve

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Round 1: Eve and Uarzuan hear a Dirdir enter the tunnel where they are hiding. They move deeper to the next room. Does the Dirdir stop at the entrance of the tunnel?

“No but”…they move to another room at the North.

Round 2: Eve and Uarzuan are now in a room with two pillars and an ancient altar. Uarzuan now seems to be delirious: “This place is cursed, I don’t want to die here!”

Can Eve convince him to be quiet and still?

“No”

[Eve has failed two challenges: in the final one, the worst of two results will apply]

Round 3: Uarzuan moves to the next room, which communicates with that in which the Dirdir is. Can Eve stop the Dirdir before he kills Uarzuan?

“No” – Dirdir sees Uarzuan and shoots him with his laser gun.

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Eve of Tschai 2 – Eve and Uarzuan against the Dirdir

Prior Events: [1] The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile. When the small ship crash-lands on the island of Vord, Eve breaks a leg in the impact. When she recovers her senses, Eve finds herself in a small underground room with artificial lights. In the following weeks, she is cured by a Pnumekin (a human servant of the Pnume aliens), R2714, who also teaches Eve the basics of the language, geography and history of Tschai. One day, when Eve is ready to join a mysterious Pnume research program called “Foreverness”, the underground settlement is attacked by the Dirdir, a different alien race. Eve manages to escape and reach the surface, but she has to fight against a Pnume guardian and is wounded.
Eve’s goal: to escape the Dirdir.
Is the objective of the Dirdir attack the capture of Eve? “No but” they have now learned she was in the Pnume settlement and are after her.

The Dirdir air-rafts have landed in a nearby area and Dirdir troops are guarding the vehicles.

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Round 1: Eve emerges among a group of sharp rocks, in what appears to be a desert. It’s dusk. Even if she is badly wounded, she decides to move away from the exit of the underground Pnume settlement. At the East she sees a few strange trees and decides to reach them. There she meets a man that is moving cautiously. She shows him her wound and asks him to help her. Is he willing and capable to cure her wound? “YES but something unrelated goes wrong” [Resolution card]. While Uarzuan does his best to stop Eve’s bleeding, two Dirdirmen are send to scout the area in search of Eve. Do they spot Eve and Uarzuan? “Yes, but” they are not sure and cautiously move forward to check.

Round 2: Do Eve and Uarzuan detect the Dirdirmen? “NO, but” they decide it’s better to move quickly. Uarzuan knows a dismissed Pnume tunnel where they can hide and wait for the Dirdir to go away. [Eve has scored a success in R1 and a failure in R2: she has a 50% chance of winning the final challenge and reach her goal]

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Round 3: Uarzuan leads Eve to the dismissed Pnume tunnel, but a Dirdir has found the entrance and waits in ambush for them! There’s a short and furious fight. Do Eve and Uarzuan prevail? “YES, but…your success will cause great personal harm”. Now Uarzuan is wounded too. The two snatch the Dirdir’s laser gun and enter the abandoned tunnel.

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[a second marginally successful session for Eve]

Next session: what will Eve and Uarzuan find inside the tunnel?

Eve of Tschai 1 – A first fight

[I have wanted to play something in Jack Vance’s “Planet of Adventure” Tschai setting for a long time. Now I feel I have the tools I need to try something. I will use my simple Solo Grail system, which is basically a solo hack of Archipelago III and makes extensive use of the cards includes in that game. For the setting, I will mostly refer to a simple Tschai sandbox (Adventures on Tschai) that was originally written by Steve Winter and Forrest Johnson for the Traveller RPG and published in The Space Gamer magazine in 1981]

The setting is defined by the following Elements (that will be used to interpret the Fate Cards):

  • news of Titania or of the Earth
  • the Pnume and Phung
  • the other alien races (Chasch, Dirdir, Wannek)
  • human peoples of Tschai

The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile.
When the small ship crash-lands on the planet, Eve breaks a leg in the impact and loses her senses.

[I rolled a random location for the crash, and found it happened near the Western extremity of the Isle of Vord, in the Southern hemisphere. I drew a Fate Card for Eve and got
“Something important is stolen from this character by someone connected to the element you own [the other alien races]”.
Aliens took away Titania and the scout small ship.
I rolled on the Space Gamer tables to determine who found Eve, and I got the Pnume]

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When Eve regains consciousness, she finds herself in a small room with artificial lights and no windows. Her leg has been medicated. For several weeks, she is cured by a man hooded in black who also teaches her the basics of the language of Tschai and a few basic facts about the planet. The hooded figure, R2714, which Eve calls Robert or Bob, tells Eve that, when she recovers, she will be involved in an ongoing Pnume research program known as “Foreverness”.

[Session 1 starts when Eve has just recovered the use of her broken leg]

Round 1: R2714 “Bob” is visiting Eve in her room: her leg seems to be healed and Eve is ready to join the Foreverness project. The leader of the Pnume guardians is in a nearby control room.

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An alarm siren starts and a speakers announces a Dirdir attack. Bob leaves the room, telling Eve that he will be back soon. Eve rushes to the door and tries to dodge Bob and reach the corridor. Is she successful?
“No, and …someone or something dear to you is harmed, lost or destroyed”.
Bob locks Eve in the room and leaves. She will never see him again.

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The Pnume guardian leaves the control room. Does he meet the Dirdir now? “Yes”
Can he defeat them? “No” – The Dirdir move on towards Eve’s room.

Round 2: Eve screams for help, hoping that someone will unlock her door. Is she succesful? “Yes” (now Eve has a failure in Round1 and a success in Round3: she has a 50% probability of winning the final challenge in Round3 or 4).

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A Dirdirman unlocks Eve’s door, but the Pnume guardian manages to reach him. Does the guardian win the fight with the Dirdirman? “Yes”.

Round 3: Eve attacks the guardian. It’s her chance to run away from the Pnume! Does she defeat him?
“Yes, but …your success will cause great personal harm.”
She puts the Pnume out of combat and grabs his sword, but she is injured.
Is it her leg again? “No and” she has received a serious wound from the Pnume’s sword. She is bleeding copiously. She barely manages to find the stairs and reach the surface.

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Next session: will Eve escape the Dirdir?