C’mpalla’s Saga: Setup

A solo campaign using Chimera and Mythic

A couple of posts ago, I created a Chimera character named C’mpalla. This was just supposed to be an example of Chimera chargen, but in describing the background, I got into the story and decided that it might be a good opportunity for some solo adventuring.

So before I kick off this little foray into madness, let’s lay some ground rules.

My Goal

This might be an exercise in wasted time (not?), but first and foremost, I’m hoping to have some fun playing. As I mentioned earlier, geography and time have made it difficult for me to get in time as a player. And, while I prefer to GM, this activity will get the Action-Jackson out of my system.

It’s also a good stretching exercise for Chimera. While the system seems to be just fine mechanically, what I really want to know is whether it has the right mix of tools for setting development. In other words, how well does the Campaign Creation section really scale? More on this in the next post...

Finally, this is a nice creative outlet, which is a nice break from writing game rules. My next big Chimera project is Swords of Telm (I’m talking to you, Tyson), and this is just the thing to help organise all the campaign thoughts in my head.

The Rules

I’m using Chimera Basic for all the mechanics—character generation and advancement, Abilities, action resolution, combat, and monsters. Along the way, there may be opportunities to create new material, like Perks, powers, monsters, etc. (in fact, I’m hoping that solo play will surface where these deficiencies lie). If so, I’ll add them in blockquotes, which look like this:

Blockquotes, right here.

Consider any new Chimera material to be optional adjuncts to the Basic rules. Use them, ignore them, tweak them as you will. All I ask is that you treat them as you would any other Welsh Piper IP: copyright remains with the author, and you can’t sell it.[1]

Since I’m going solo, I’ve decided to use the Mythic Game Master Emulator (GME), which I’ve never used before. Long (boring) story short, I found an online version of the Mythic GME and after goofing around with it, I bought the PDF from RPGNow to make sense of it (affiliate link).

I have to say: Mythic seems pretty cool. As my virtual GM, Mythic will create the challenges, turns, and twists of the adventure. Unless it spits out complete nonsense, I plan to heed its directives with suitable objectivity and without taking undue advantage. More specifically, I’ll abide by the dice, whatever their rolls turn out to be, in the interest of telling a good campaign story.

In Mythic terms, I’ll progress along the “Cinematic” route, meaning that scenes may not appear in chronological order. This approach may be useful in filling in bits of the main character’s backstory, and in revealing plans of the antagonists in proper context. Where necessary, I will avoid basing C’mpalla’s decisions on what the GM half of my brain learns from such revelation.

Each post of the C’mpalla’s Saga will consist of one or two scenes, in Mythic terms. Each adventure, in turn, will consist of a single thread. To keep things fair and easy to manage, I’ll make an Advancement Roll (CB/9) upon closing any given thread, [2] even if that thread is closed while pursuing another thread.

As a final note, in the saga to follow, mechanical output from either Chimera or Mythic will be set out in [brackets] while I provide narrative details in normal prose.

The Character

Mother of Conan
C'mpalla the Axe

C’mpalla the barbarian is a young woman bored with clan ways, so she leaves her people for the pure and simple purpose of sampling what the wider world has to offer. She gathers her meagre belongings and heads south to the City State of Vynkar, where she soon realises that her first goal is to earn some money.

My original concept for C'mpalla was as Conan's mom (because, really, who thinks about her after Thulsa Doom chops off her head?). More thought reveals (to me) that while she's definitely a barbarian clanswoman, she's definitely not the clanswoman type. She craves adventure, not being content with the lot of sword-wife within the tribe. Instead, she leaves the clan (for reasons I'll no doubt discover in a flashback scene) to strike out on her own. I don't know exactly where in the world her clan lives, but I see her arriving at some warm southern city—definitely foreign enough in temper and clime for her comfort level.

The full character sheet in the previous post, but in the more convenient and abbreviated short-form, her stats look like this:

C’mpalla, barbarian clanswoman (female human, steppes nomad)
Class & Level: Veteran 1
Move Rate: 8”±1d6 (Enc 4)
Wound Limit: 6 (M)
Defence: 2 (+2)
Resistance: +1
Attacks: Battle axe +2 (IM +1, Dmg 1d8+1)
         Short bow +0 (IM +1, Dmg 1d4, Rng 4”, RoF 1)
Abilities: Athletics +2, Fight +2, Shoot +0, Sneak +0
Perks: Batter, Insulation, Mounted Assault, Quick Draw
Sperks: Buttress, En Garde, Mighty Blow
Alignment: Neutral
Equipment: hide armour (Enc 2); battle axe (Enc 1), short bow (Enc 0);
           survival pack (x3, Enc 1), arrows (x1); 6 ch[3]

Assuming C’mpalla isn’t killed outright, these stats will no doubt change as the adventure continues; when relevant, I’ll present updates in the format above.

The Setup

As mentioned in the previous post, C’mpalla arrives in the City State of Vynkar. Based on her Boons and Baggage roll [2d12: 23; CB/8], she attracts the “favourable attentions of a powerful (but unidentified) patron.”

I’ve already taken the liberty (as “GM”) to identify this patron as Cav Duppor, an indolent sorcerer of Vynkar. Ostensibly, he’s well off, but prefers to act behind the scenes, and so he sends an intermediary to offer C’mpalla a job—retrieve the Purple Ruby from the ruins of Moko-Chaaka in the Weeping Plain. The asking price is 500 Cheneys, but I’ve taken the additional liberty (owing to the favourable Boons & Baggage roll) of granting a 150ch “signing bonus” to round out C’mpalla’s equipment for the journey.

I have no details about the Purple Ruby, the ruins of Moko-Chaaka, or the Weeping Plain. Nor do I really know anything about Cav Duppor or the City State of Vynkar. These are all things I’ve made up in my addled head. But they will form the “context” (to use a Mythic term) around which the subsequent adventure is framed. My hope is that the required specifics will reveal themselves through play via Mythic’s storytelling tools.

Final Words

So I’ve got my starting point, my character, and my character’s motivation. Before I can launch this solo campaign with any confidence, I need to do some legwork fleshing out the setting. To do so, I’ll follow the guidelines in Chimera’s Campaign Creation section (CB/24 - 29) and see where that takes me. Stay tuned.

  1. I’m pained to literally spell out such common-sense provisions, but I’m recently reminded that there are Class-A Butt-bags out there in Internetland. When they insist on posting copies of Chimera to file-sharing sites, I have to conclude that they’re either (A) illiterate morons who can’t read or fathom the “No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form...” section at the very ‘effing beginning of Chimera Basic, or (B) self-indulgent pricks with an inflated sense of entitlement that somehow (and erroneously) translates “free download” with “author-condoned piracy.” Ugh.
  2. I’m also using Session Rewards (CB/31), which may modify Advancement Rolls.
  3. Monetary quantities in this campaign are measured in Cheneys, the principle medium of economic exchange, abbreviated “ch.” Each is equivalent to $1 in Chimera terms.
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