Rusting Giant Delve

Screenshot of the play invitation to The Rusting Giants in the StorySynth gallery. The picture is of three adventurers standing in front of a metal construct covered in green from overgrown plants and vines.
Image from StorySynth Gallery

In this week’s session, we had one player entirely new to role-playing games and story games join us, so we returned to Rusting Giants by Faie Meredith Baker for another two-player session, in which we play scavengers delving into the remnants of massive mech-ships crashed on a low-tech planet.

The Outlaw enters the Giant and immediately finds himself a cache of books and data cards and a supply of small batteries of some value. Using his rope and rigging up a makeshift pulley, he manages to pry open the heavy armored door to delve deeper into the Giant. Next he enters the barrel of a massive cannon where an armored half-crab, half-human mechanical warrior blocks his way. After blinding the creature’s glowing eyes, he slips past it to enter a chamber where he retrieves the uniform and comm-badge of the Giant’s former commander. After swinging across a chasm in the next chamber, he encounters two feral children who refuse to be coaxed into returning with him to the village, even after accepting food from him. He collects a large battery pack, and returns to the surface and to the village.

The Pilgrim enters directly into the Giant’s control center with still active displays showing a cartoonish avatar’s face. Climbing up from there brings her into a chamber open to the sky but contaminated by a toxic sludge leaking from the walls that she must shield herself from using shards of the Giant’s armor. In the engine room, she encounters another salvager who threatens her with a sword. Maneuvering around until they’re in the right position, she unleashes a nanite flame spell to ignite the oil leaked onto the ground and leaves him behind in the flames. The next room is a medical lab with valuable medical supplies, but she decides to forego them rather than face the wolf-cat beasts who nest here. Later she finds a tree native to a region far to the south growing inside the Giant and bearing healthy fruit, and a cache of nanite powder nearby. She collects them and savors the sweet fruit. Before leaving the Giant for today, she recovers a functional radio from the abandoned living quarters of the long-dead crew.

Back at the village, the Outlaw and the Pilgrim meet at the local trader’s shop. While learning the prices the local merchant will offer for their treasures, the Outlaw asks if the Pilgrim knows anything about these books and data cards. The Pilgrim suggests he go someplace with access to great learning to get them properly assessed, and suggests he accompany her on her journey for she leaves for such a place in the morning. Not wanting to tarry long in this town that specializes in bilking traveling scavengers by offering too little and charging too much, the Outlaw agrees to travel with her. Apparently, she’s leading him to a pilgrimage site at the base of a volcano.

Elementary & The Rusting Giants

We had only two players this week, so we played a pair of short mini-games on the  StorySynth engine. First, we played Elementary by Martin Dubuque, in which we are given a list of clues and must come up with the crime they describe. Our clues are Dolphin Statue, Ex-lover, Third Party, Medieval Dagger, Wife, Red Herring, Lizard, and Small Jacket. The crime is the murder of a wealthy man at his home in the tropics on the day of a big party on his estate. We have three primary suspects, the ex-lover, the wife, and the third party, his accountant, who all attended the event. Secretly the millionaire was running into money troubles and fought with his accountant about it. Later, he and his wife were arguing while the red herring was being served. She was angry about the ex-lover being at the party and grew increasingly heated while they talked. In a moment of anger, she grabbed the medieval dagger from the wall and plunged it into her husband. She went into the bathroom to wash off the blood that had splattered, but she couldn’t remove one spot, so put on a small jacket to cover it. When she started to return to the party, she was startled by a large lizard, so she killed it with the pointed dolphin statue. Once back at the party, she told anyone who asked that she had gone inside to grab her jacket because she had caught a chill.

Screenshot of the play invitation to The Rusting Giants in the StorySynth gallery. The picture is of three adventurers standing in front of a metal construct covered in green from overgrown plants and vines.
Image from StorySynth Gallery

The Merchant begins by entering a fallen limb of the Giant. He finds his way blocked by a wide chasm that he must cross to retrieve a cache of books and data disks and continue inside. He uses the vines growing along with walls to create enough support to shimmy across the narrow bit of armor that spans the chasm. Next, he makes his way into the command center of the Giant where he is threatened by another delver carrying a sword. The Merchant, in turn, draws his laser pistol and holds the man at bay while removing the Command Badge from the skeleton of the long-dead commander of the Giant and backs out of the bridge to safety. Afterward, he finds himself in a safe glade where the Giant’s torso opens to the sky and takes a moment to catch his breath and have a light meal. While eating he discovers a vein of nanite powder and collects it for later barter. As he enters the chamber with the Giant’s mechanical heart, he finds five wolf-cat beasts wrestling over a carcass. Rather than risk death trying to subdue them, he backs away the way he came to find another way through, abandoning the valuable pieces of the Giant’s armor here. The end of his dive is through another of the Giant’s limbs, where a mechanical warrior activates and rises to attack him. Instead, the Merchant uses the command badge taken from the bridge to override the default systems and deactivate these defense mechanisms. He then gathers the guns and a unique sword and returns to the village.

Meanwhile, the Pilgrim begins her dive by encountering a pair of feral children in the barrel of the Giant’s cannon. She lures the children to the surface with food and sends them on the path back to the local village. Next, she finds a working portable radio tuned to receive strange musical sounds, which she retrieves by avoiding a dangerous looking iridescent sludge dripping and pooling on the floor. Down the next passage, she finds herself in the living quarters of the Giant’s crew and finds a complete battery pack filled with batteries, each capable of powering an entire village for a year. A valuable find indeed. Blowing a pinch of nanite powder in the mechanisms, she unlocks a heavy metal door blocking entry into the cargo hold, opens it, and steps through. She determines that the cargo hold is safe, so takes a moment to pray and refresh herself. After her meal, she finds an unused and intact medical kit, a few smaller batteries, and materials that could be useful for construction. She’ll need to lead a team of villagers back to this place to extract the building materials and carry them to the village. Finally, she enters a chamber filled by a beautiful tree bearing fruit out of season, perhaps due to the unnatural warmth here. She asks the gods to bless the fruit and tastes it. It’s juicy and refreshing, so she takes a bagful to share with the villagers; perhaps they can harvest it when their winter supplies run low.

Back at the village, the Pilgrim and the Merchant meet up. The Merchant agrees to give the nanite powder and books to the Pilgrim in exchange for the med kit and a battery from the pack. The Pilgrim gifts the rest of her haul to the village.