OSH: The New World, session 1, reflections

Friday, we played in The New World with a guest game master running Old School Hack for five players (including me!) who had all played OSH before. Of course, we’re talking about “Fictive’s Talents and Templates” expanded version.

I played a war cleric, and there was a hunter, a scholar, a thief, and a fighter. As party leader, I called them an expeditionary force, and we headed out to see who our neighbors were and see who would be allies and who would be foes.

We traveled over about 9 days after arriving and getting off the ship in the settlement. We ran into a clan of dog-people, and they were territorial enough to fight instead of negotiate, so we whipped them. Then we headed back and got set up with a workshop for the scholar/cartographer and a head start on building a temple for the god of war.

Here are some of the system things we used that worked well.

  • Watch. Three watches, using Brawn or Awareness. To stay awake, use Brawn or Awareness. First watch difficulty 6, second watch difficulty 10, third watch difficulty 8. (Getting up for a middle-of-the-night shift is hardest.)
  • Minion Murder. If you get at least 1 more than you need to hit, and do more than 1 wound, you can spend 1 Awesome Point per minion to knock down more than one. (This sped up the process of knocking minions down, and made the party feel cool.
  • Shields and Parrying Weapons. I thought they were easy to use and lots of fun and made us feel much cooler.

As a war cleric, my character did very well towards leveling. We used individual leveling, which was good, because I spent 16 Awesome Points, and someone else at the table only spent 3. It was cool to have access to spells as a war cleric and to spend 3 Awesome Points to cast them, because that was a great venue to play in character and blow through the points.

We made good use of arenas as well; the best example, there was a hazardous arena of a pile of dead trees, surrounded by new growth forest (dense.) We took a couple hours and an axe and made an open arena semicircle around our camp, slowing foes and also giving us clear targets.

The thief had “Endless Daggers” (a favorite) so those of us without ranged weapons borrowed a blade to throw when waiting for an incoming rush, so the next round we could scoop up our melee weapons and get busy.

The hunter used the “Forage” inherent ability often to good effect, and also spent Awesome Points on “Butchery” talent after bringing down a deer. Also, spent Awesome Points on tracking.

As explorers, we got great advantage from the scholar not only managing language to interpret and learn the new language, and also spending Awesome Points to kick in the “Cartography” talent to map our progress.

After a few multi-hour sessions of interrogating the “Three Toes” dog people, when I leveled I picked up the language (and justified it by adding a helping of divine intervention to help me learn it.) Awesome to pick up a language in a way that makes sense in the game.

Anyway, lots of fun all around, and I hope we get to play again soon.

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