RPGaDay day 1 – FIRST RPG played this year

It’s August already, RPGaDay has started. And I’m in catch-up. Hey well…

The prompt for August 1st is, appropriately enough, FIRST RPG played (this year). They are taking a multi-level approach to the prompts this year – they have a sentence prompt, and in that one word is bolded. This allows the responder to choose between the full prompt and the single word. Nice compromise – I have found the full prompt limiting, and in general preferred when they had single-word prompts, but I can see that others might prefer it the other way.

And in fact this time I find the full prompt more inspiring. First RPG this year. Time for another table tale, I think.

Looking through my notes, I find it was quite an interesting session. 10th January, part of my D&D 5e campaign based in Akorros. We were still online using FoundryVTT. The party was level 2.


  • Isilya Trovatella, a half-elf Grave Domain cleric training at the Chardastes Wing of the Temple of Khoronus
  • Jinnie Lundhill, a halfling rogue arcane trickster, living on the streets and recently joined the party
  • Gergran, a dwarf paladin oath of the watchers
  • Gareth Starhawk, a human eldritch knight fighter who left Glantri in disgrace because he didn’t study magic, but a bit of the magic of his family has rubbed off on him
  • Josep, a street urchin they had rescued from thugs within the caves

In the previous session before Christmas they had finished off the final monsters in the cavern under Toney Rock and worked out how to close the portal which had let them in. They had found a small chest and after trying to pick it resulting in Jinnie getting an electric shock, they had taken it back to a nearby pub where they had lunch and investigated at greater leisure. It turned out the lock was a trap, and the way to open it was poke it in the eyes, causing it to stick out its tongue; pulling on the tongue then opened the box.

Inside were various items – assorted potions, some metal bars, a snuff box, some small sealed jars, two gemstones, and some sheets of parchment. One of these sheets was title deeds to a house, 23B Drake’s Close, with a name, Ruben Salvador. Another was a sheet of names with some crossed out – one of them being Ruben Salvador. There was also the name of Gareth’s cousin (crossed out) and the contact she had given him (not crossed out), along with various names in Glantri.

So the session started with Gergran first persuading his mentor in the church to take on Josep as an acolyte (and persuading Josep to become an acolyte) and then them heading out to look for the address of the house in the title deeds.

Drake’s Close ground floor – Heroic Maps Scrivener Street

They found Drake’s Close, which is off The Place of the Silver Dragon – in fact, it’s the street of the blacksmith Gergran had recently bought a glaive from. There was an impressive stone town house on the corner at the start of the street, and wooden buildings in the rest of the street. They noticed the sign for Conrad Lamarca, Solicitor, and the lit windows of the Newt and Drake pub. Not sure where to go next, they met a person in street and asked directions. He said the close is a circle, with the higher numbers to the right, and then he headed into the Newt and Drake. Heading down the street they found number 27A and knocked on the door, but got no answer, and there wasn’t any obvious 27B nearby, so they headed across to Bernal’s Bakery across the street, where they bought pies and asked about Ruben. She clearly knew him and said he was regular, but she hadn’t seen him for a week or two, which was unusual. Further questioning got her suspicious of their motives and she refused to give any more information other than to direct them round the corner.

Heading back round the corner, they found a narrow close between a town house and a butcher, almost back on The Place of the Silver Dragon. Heading down the close, a woman burst out of a side door, bloody cleaver in hand. She accosted them and asked if they were from the authorities, come to deal with the smell. She took them into the close and the small court behind, then up the stairs to the first level.

She pointed them at the corner where she said the smell was coming from, and yes, there was definitely a bad smell which Isilya recognised as corpse. In her enthusiastic gossiping, she revealed that Ruben lived in the corner, and Moya and Comas lived in the other flat, and ran their shipping business from the office in the other corner. A girl stuck her head out of the final flat, and she told her to get back inside.

Drake’s Close first floor – Heroic Maps Scrivener Street

They went to the door of 23B (directly above 23A which they had seen below), but it was locked. However, that was no challenge to Jinnie, who picked the lock easily. Going inside, the smell was stronger, despite a draught from a slightly open window, and they found a body slumped over a desk in the corner. The room was almost unnaturally cold. Various papers lay on the three desks in the room and lay on the floor like they had been blown there.

Gareth shuffled Marta back out of the flat and closed the door on her so they could investigate in peace. The guy was certainly dead. He was dressed in a green woollen waistcoat over a light brown linen shirt and dark brown wool trousers. There was a damp patch on the floor in the corner near his desk beneath the window, which was slightly open. Looking through the papers, they found various scrolls and letters, including multiple copies of several adverts, a list of names and dates, and a list of some very random items.

Heading through into the next room, it got even colder. This was clearly the bed/living room, with some rotting food on shelves across the room, a carefully made bed in one corner, and a table with a couple of chairs in the other. A rug on the floor, a chest tucked against the wall and a cold fireplace finished the place. A ghostly figure was in the fireplace, trying desperately to reach up the chimney.

The ghostly figure resembled the body slumped over the table in the other room, even down to the clothing, but seemed frantic and oblivious to the party. Gergran bravely reached through the apparition and felt up the chimney where it was struggling (taking some freezing damage), and found a small key, at which point the ghost started trying (and failing) to pull back the rug. Lifting the rug, they found a loose board, under which was a small chest which the key opened. This held various names, some coins in a mixture of daros, half-daros, tentrids and passems, and a small leather-bound book with Graggs Bank on the front and pages of numbers and dates – entries every few days up until a subtraction of 50 daros on 2nd Sviftmont, leaving 2443d.

They then tried talking to the ghost, who was frantic and didn’t seem to realise he was dead. He kept putting his hand up to the side of his neck, and Isilya went back through to the other room and found a small dart they had missed earlier, with a worrying brown stain on the end (which she kept well clear of). Looking out the window, Jinnie spotted some scratches on the wall in the angle with the wall, and reckoned someone had clung there.

After a lot of back and forth with this ghost who seemed somewhat mad, he eventually seemed to accept that maybe he was dead, and started talking to the party trying to persuade them they needed to carry on his mission. He threw out various names: The Gecko, Mestridi, Barriade, Joya or maybe someone Joya, Gyrfalcon. He also asked that they give him a proper burial, and they discussed ways of getting his body across town to the temple, but eventually decided they needed some sort of cart.

They also investigated the other chests. The one in the bed/living room contained a suit of dark leather armour, almost a dull black, a robe in a similar colour with a hood, and a pair of finely fashioned boots with an intricate leaf design worked into them. Also a couple of daggers with dulled blades, and assorted other items of clothing, plus an additional blanket and bedroll. The one in the office room was locked, but opened easily with the key on Ruben’s belt; it contained sheafs of paper, carefully arranged bottles of ink and quills, rulers quill knife and other stationery items. Also some sheets of gold leaf, a small tub, and tiny hammers and punches including letters and various designs – stars, assorted flowers, scrollwork, some animals.


This party won’t be helped! They really seem uninterested in treasure. They still haven’t inspected these potions 7 months later, or tried to value or sell the items in the box they found. They haven’t properly inspected the things in Ruben’s chests, and certainly haven’t done anything with them. They have also been given multiple magic weapons which they have lost. What do I need to do?

I gave them Josep as a character who has some insight into the thugs they are chasing and the Akorros underworld – they have parked him at the church and never gone back to ask him anything. They now have the ghost of Ruben, who still has a lot of knowledge…and although they have persuaded Jinnie to take ownership of the flat, they aren’t making anything of Ruben.

Drake’s Close was inspired by Heroic Maps’ Scrivener Street, and when preparing, I found having a map and the images within really useful when coming up with ideas of who else was around. Check out their stuff – it’s artwork masquerading as battle maps. And join their Patreon for multiple awesome maps every month.  

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