It had been a few weeks, but the desert town of Sohai had finally recovered from the Christmas Eve chaos that plagued its streets. Normalcy had returned, if by normalcy you mean street brawls, illegal operations, and two-fisted action to get through your day.
With the latest batch of visitors to arrive came a new rumor: Someone had in their possession, a rare treasure map leading to riches in the south. Some investigation was required to narrow it down to the right individual, but in Sohai, a few simple questions to the wrong person might result in a bit more than a punch in the nose.
Millie, Age 6:
- Kacey Barbara, photographer on assignment in Egypt for the Daily Outlook of Detweiler, Maine. Armed only with a camera, a short knife, and her wits.
- "Sailor Bart" A sailor she met on the docks with a bit of a chivalrous streak towards the naïve photographer... and perhaps a secret agenda.
Maja, Age 7:
- Julie of the Jungle Patrol. Julie had just recovered from her Christmas Eve injuries. A map leading to her jungles sounded right up her alley.
- Hayden. A big-game huntress, Hayden had hung out with her ally during her convalescence, and was itching to return to her posh safari lifestyle.
Good 'Ol Dad, Age: Old Enough
- Maja Millie: noted Archeologist and Egyptologist. Renowned for her fast feet and her disgust for handguns.
- Nils Lingonberry, Swedish Adventurer and almost hapless sidekick to Maja Millie.
Note: As we've had a large carousel of characters, I had the girls roll for first pick (Dad would be last on the rotation.) I had brought out a large Chessex case of figures to choose from, and lo' and behold, neither of them could find Maja Millie, the most powerful (and popular) character, even though I put right in the middle of the figures. Win for Dad!
|The Zapdos Market, just off the Avenue of Jackels|
Objective: Ask around looking for info before confronting one (or more) of the supposed map owners.
- Four figures (with pink markers) could possess the map. A character needed to make two successful inquiries with other townsfolk before asking the pink character.
- Characters could walk up to NPCs on the board and attempt a random attribute check for one successful inquire. Certain characters and areas with a white marker could earn two inquiries.
- However, failure results could vary from nothing for a friendly NPC, to a wound for unfriendly NPCs.
- Each character could make a check on any one NPC once.
- Pink characters could be used for a single inquiry, but could not then be used to check for a treasure map.
- All NPCs moved four inches in a random location at the end of every turn. Dad had one minute to make this happen. Dad controlled what the NPCs do if they encountered a character.
TURN ONE: The characters all scattered to the four winds. On the NPC move, a group of military police encountered Julie and gave her a hard time, before heading further into town. Maja declined on using a Bennie to try and soak the wound given, so Julie was -1 to all rolls for the rest of the game.
|Julie gets in a little trouble.|
TURN TWO: Kacey and Sailor Bart had no focus. Each objective that attracted them were in opposite directions, so they just kept moving forward.
Hayden had a lovely conversation with Dr. Edmund Penhew, cult leader and mad scientist (SUCCESS!)
|"No thank you, Dr. Penhew. I'm already a member of the Stonecutters."|
Julie found a stray dog, but could find no clues on it. Lucky for her, it didn't try to bite her, either.
Maja Millie raced to ask Morty, a former sailor on Captain Larry's boat, about leads. *SUCCESS* "There be a feller who sailed with us a bit. He was a bit quiet. He might have a map or two."
Nils Lingonberry accosted a merchant marine by the name of Bucky, but earned a fat lip for his style of questioning.
|Maja Millie presses Morty for info.|
TURN THREE: Not seeing any nearby leads, Hayden bit the bullet and talked to Dr. Scotty McScotchguard, a travelling doctor. After rebuffing the huntress, they doctor fell sway to the much subtler advances of Kacey.
|The good doctor is the center of female attention.|
Sailor Bart entered a building and started sprinting up the staircase. Julie was about to turn a corner and accost another citizen, until she realized it was the infamous Lt Colonel Ovaltine! A failed roll against him could prove costly to her.
|"Oh no! Not Lt Colonel Ovaltine! That misogynistic pig!"|
Julie's decision was prudent, as during the NPC phase, Gerald the Saint turned the corner and spotted his nemesis, the Lt. Colonel. The retired mobster didn't appreciate a fellow who wouldn't take no from a dame, again and again. The two exchanged shots, with only a few grazing wounds.
TURN FOUR: Julie drew a Joker. Not only did she win initiative and get +2 on all die rolls for the turn, but a roll on the Fortune and Calamity chart earned her control of an NPC of her choice, as well as the benefits of the Joker!
Julie finally turned the corner, grappling the Lt Colonel into a full nelson. Gerald then dashed forward and cold-cocked him.
Maja Millie met a pair of Military Police far more congenial that the brutes that beat up Julie. They directed her towards a suspicious pair in the marketplace (2nd SUCCESS!)
Sailor Bart reached the roof of the building, staring at a board laid between it and an adjacent building.
TURN FIVE: Julie searched Ovaltine for clues to no avail. Nils dashed over to see what the ruckus was about, but his encounter with Gerald the Saint proved just as detrimental as the Lt Colonel's.
Meanwhile, on the rooftops of Sohai, Sailor Bart performed some phenomenal tricks on the board above the marketplace. This helped him little with his inquiries, but the shenanigans distracted all the NPCs in the marketplace, so there was no end phase movement for them.
Sailor Bart's acrobatics. Who is Maja Millie speaking with?
TURN SIX: Sailor Bart performed simple front somersault off the roof and onto a car.... right in front of two military police. Fortunately for him, the nearby gunshots had distracted them.
|Nothing like a valet who jumps into action.|
|Maja Millie talks to a mysterious stranger|
TURN SEVEN: Nils recovered from Gerald's punch, saw the police coming, grabbed his hat and dashed off the board.
|Nils scrambles away to safety (Zero Successes)|
|"What country is this that a man can't take a afternoon stroll bedecked in ceremonial garb for a human sacrifice?"|
Sailor Bart tried his best to hot wire the car, but the best he could do was honk the horn and turn on the headlights.
|Not many cars to practice hotwiring on while you're on the high seas...|
TURN EIGHT: Kacey ventured over to the Gerald. Her sincerity and politeness unsettled the mobster. "Lady, I don't know nuttin' about a map. I just know I don't want to get caught by the police again..." (2ND SUCCESS)
Excuse me, kind sir... Is that man still breathing?
Sailor Bart ran from the immobile car and ran into the market, into the arms of his "lover" Hayden? They knocked over a few (semi) innocent civilians to get away from the law.... and elope.
|The Getaway Duo....|
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?????
Truth be told, the game was over on Turn Six. While chaos reigned all over the board, Maja Millie simply moved from person to person, grabbed her clues, and found the treasure map on the mysterious stranger in the marketplace. However, rooftop theatrics and ground level fisticuffs demanded we play things out.
Millie wanted someone to cross the board between buildings (which was my intention when I set it up). Both girls wanted some "kissy kissy love story" amongst all the clue searching, so Sailor Bart made a dash for it, tried to steal a car, and eventually ran off with his beloved. Everybody wins, with a few complications.
There you have it, the twelfth and final episode of the "Egypt Game" with my girls. What originally started as a simple Treasure Hunt game has turned out some great drama, some fantastic rolls, an island rescue, crazed dinosaurs, zombies, and a whole storyline involving a Hollywood starlet. I've seen grown adults do less with weekly four hour role-playing sessions.
This isn't the end of the game, rather the beginning of a new storyline, a "Volume 2" if you will.
The treasure map is actually a fragile papyrus scroll with a crude map and some hieroglyphics. It details an Egyptian settlement much further south than had ever been recorded by the scholars. The translation was sketchy at best, but the site may be the final resting place of certain artifacts that had yet to been unearthed by archeologists: The Sword of Soken, the Shield of Ma-nu-fa, and the Damar J'hai, an extraordinary gem of immense size and rumored to have magic powers to affect the future.
Its location is a hazardous tributary of the Nile, deep within the uncharted jungles of Africa, in an area surrounding tribes only name in whispers, Mchawi Mfalme. The Jungle of the Witch King.
With the reoccurring injury to Julie of the Jungle Patrol, the sudden elopement of Hayden, and even Gerald the Saint's desire to lay low for awhile, Maja Millie's choices for an expedition were limited. Nils would always tag along, and Kacey Barbara's press credentials proved for some added fame to the fortune they hoped to acquire. Maja Millie was also able to get in contact with her old friend Bob Njano, Slayer of the Desert Chupacabra. Bob was able to find three natives qualified to act as guides, as well as crack shots with a rifle. Their final companion was chosen out of financial necessity. Lord Jon-Smythe Cuppenbrush was a soldier, explorer, and adventurer with plenty of escapades from the Sudan to the Indian subcontinent. He had only had passing interest in the map, but when Maja Millie obtained it, he offered to finance a good portion of the expedition. It seems unsure if the gentleman's motives are financial or merely seeking a good adventure, but Lord Cuppenbrush is content to let Maja organize the campaign, opening up his coffers when asked.
|Front Row (L-R) Kacey Barbara, Nils Lingonberry, Maja Millie, and Lord Jon-Smythe Cuppenbrush|
Back Row: Bob Njano and three of his friends
As always, my best scenarios are pleasantly inspired by the awesome work of others. Another shout out to Preacher By Day.