My initial plans for the Game of Thrones arc didn’t include any interactions with the Night’s Watch, or with anything beyond the Wall for that matter—the followers of Daenerys were either going to be launching raids from the ruins of Winterfell, or from some area just south of the Wall. After some discussions with Claire (my eternal sounding-board for RPG ideas), she pointed out that it would be rather lame if we went through the whole Game of Thrones storyline without once running into Jon Snow. I eventually agreed and shifted some stuff around so that the players could experience a greater breadth of Westeros, which is where this episode came from.
Your travels have finally brought you to the Wall. It comes looming out of the distance ahead of you, an icy edifice stretching further than you can see in either direction and towering as high as a skyscraper. The light of the sun and the sky is reflected in its surface. Standing before it, dwarfed to almost obsolescence, is a collection of stone towers and timber keeps, all dark in color. As you draw closer, you can see that the place is abuzz with movement, although only a very small portion of those positioned at Castle Black are actually wearing the all-black garb of the Night’s Watch—many, many more are outfitted with armor and tabards emblazoned with the symbol of a black stag’s head within a red, flaming heart.
For those not familiar with A Song of Ice and Fire, this takes place during a time when Stannis Baratheon, one of the major contenders for the throne, has taken up residence at the Night’s Watch headquarters on the southern face of the Wall. The Night’s Watch at this point is led by Jon Snow, who would normally be very amenable to cooperating with the League, but Stannis (and his right-hand advisor, the witch Melisandre) are naturally suspicious and uncooperative, which I thought made for a fun and dynamic obstacle for the League to overcome.
I didn’t write any particular outcome for this session. Instead, I identified the three major characters at the wall (Stannis, Snow, and Melisandre) and defined their points of view and goals. I also came up with one possible threat to the Night’s Watch that could provide an opportunity for the League (the wildlings holed up in the Shadow Tower), but I purposefully left things open in case the heroes wanted to try another way to get past the Wall—when Nico is in the party, a LOT of stuff suddenly becomes possible.
King Stannis Baratheon: Has largely dismissed the wildling menace, seeing Mance Rayder captured and his host broken. He has no interest in allowing those not of the Night’s Watch to go beyond the Wall.
Lord Commander Jon Snow: Worries about Stannis’s occupation of Castle Black, and about the dark things he’s seen beyond the Wall. He’s willing to listen to pleas to go beyond the Wall, and may be convinced to help the League sneak past Stannis’s men. Samwell Tarly has been working to create a map of the route to where the Children of the Dragon are gathering their power, people, and ill-gotten goods—Snow is willing to give a copy of this map to the heroes, but only if they prove their worth by reclaiming the Shadow Tower, which was lost to a group of wildlings led by the Weeper and has yet to be reclaimed—the Weeper’s men have sent back the heads of any brothers of the Watch who have tried to retake the Shadow Tower.
Melisandre: Immediately distrustful of the group, sensing something otherworldly about them. She is disturbed by the images she’s sensed of a dark figure in the snow and wind calling out to her, and may be moved to assist the heroes if they claim to be trying to fight it.
(Of course, Dante’s attempts at imitating a Red Priest immediately soured any partnership they could have established with her.)
Health: 100 Karma: 26
Body Armor: Ty
Scythe: Str+10 damage
Crippling Strike: Target takes half normal Scythe damage and must make an Endurance check or be unable to use one leg or arm until healed
Whirlwind Attack: Make one attack each at -2 CS at any number of adjacent targets
Spears, Handaxes, Picks: Str+5 damage
Bow: 12 damage, and target must make Endurance check or be (G) slowed or paralyzed
Possession: Ex, animals only
Club: Str+10 damage
Earthquake: All within area and on the ground take Rm damage and must make Endurance check or be knocked prone and drop weapons
And that’s it for this one: some character interaction, some exploration, and a big fight at the end. Sprinkle in an appearance from Stitch the Big Blue Dog and you’ve got some delicious League! See you north of the Wall next time!