If you recall from last week, we had just completed a voyage to reach the location of the adventure. This contained from one to three challenges, each requiring some sort of roll and providing a positive or negative consequence.
Now we have reached ‘Meadhall and Mystery’ – the Hero arrives and usually makes contact with the local leader(s) and may find a welcome place to stay in the meadhall. It is often here that they first find out substantive news of the Monster. (They have likely heard rumours before but now they might receive clarity now that they are talking to those directly affected.)
We use a special presentation to make roleplaying out these various meetings (and how NPCs will often have goals that contradict each other) easier. These are called social stat blocks and allow a GM to quickly understand what affects a NPC positively or negatively and the range of possible responses, along with future communications interest (if any).
In our social stat blocks (along with other parts of the adventure) we strive to keep to a principle we call ‘failwards’. That means that even an unsuccessful meeting changes the situation, sometimes pointing another way forward or softening up a person so that the next conversation will be easier. There are often side-quests hinted at in the social stat blocks, which can transform failures into successes as well.
Not all activities will involve direct social interaction with major characters. A Hero can also be more passive… looking for clues by careful observation and discrete searching. They might even wish to just listen to the locals, using Insight or Perception to notice passive clues.
Most of these scenes take place at a meadhall or the equivalent, we provide a listing of likely characters present and discuss how to use them in the adventure. In addition to people to meet and question, there’s also every chance of meeting a new Follower, which you might be able to recruit immediately or might need a favour done first.
After finding out the secrets of the meadhall, it is time to wander out into the wilderness and do some Exploring.
Learn more about BEOWULF: Age of Heroes