We were finally able to get back to our Circle of Hands campaign after a ridiculously long hiatus of 13 months. The blame for the delay can be laid solely on the varied demands of my schedule and the limted range of options open due to divergent time zones.
This was Eloy’s first time to run the game and for Ivan and myself it was the third time to play it. Of interest to me was that it is one of few opportunities for the two of us to play as characters together, and I was curious how this game would shape that dynamic. With his decision to play the character that I played in the previous session, this interet was heightened.
This venture, our 5th, took us back to Rolke, this time very far north and once again deep in the mountains. It was late fall early winter, and the knights had become part of a community of primarily herders who, they were learning, had access to understanding of the mountain passes that might prove to be valuable strategically. The community, however, was deeply divided on a course of action in regard to their neighbors, and put under extreme pressure by the loss of a storehouse of supplies for the winter. They were debating endlessly about whether they should approach their neighbors to barter their fine cheeses and useful craft items for staples to help prevent starvation or if they should take pre-emptive military actions to prevent a raid.
With this information in mind we chose the characters of Anselm (seen in the previous Venture) and Kai Ernst (seen in Venture 3). Anselm is a freeman with martial training and very idealistic notions about how the world is and should be. Kai Ernst is a former wizard and warrior from the genrry with a strong sense of connection to and stewardship of the world which stirs him to act for change. As usual, the character selection aspect of play was a lot of fun.
This venture saw more combat and more uses of magic (large and small) than any previous venture. This also was very satisfying on many levels, such as enjoyment of description, actual use of these parts of the game, and the insight into character which arises from stimulating and dramatic play. As usual, the Charm Rolls had tremendous impact on decisions.
As usual, the venture prepartion was recorded and that video is available HERE.
The actual play recording of Venture 5 is available HERE.
Additionally, the usual round of Reflections videos are being done now and as they appear will be added to the Circle of Hands Actual Play list on my YouTube channel as they appear.
Due to the 13 month delay between games, we struggled a bit with certainty about certain rules, but our collection of notes and feedback from previous sessions were very helpful in keeping things moving. It was not like starting over again, but it was not as smooth as regular play would make it. That is a shame, but sadly it was unavoidable.
This session runs around 3hrs and brings out tension, humor, and bloody combat with gruesome magic. It also managed to have the clearest deplayment of the action order clock for the clash system for us to date. I think this session also stands out for its portrayal of the NPC characters and the very grey situation the Knights found themselves in as the session opened.