The Meal of Boregal translates to the wonderful Recursion of Panera
Okay, I know that The Strange isn't out just yet, but if you say "Numenera at Panera" ten times fast you get a free cypher… true story.
Last month Andy, Carrie, Emily, and I all sat down at the local North Huntingdon Five Guys Burgers and Fries for an exciting game of Numenera! Even though I have been playing in the Ninth World since the fall, none of my groups ever had the opportunity to play through the Beale of Boregal, an adventure featured in the back of the Numenera Corebook. Since Emily was a first time roleplayer it seemed like the perfect opportunity to let her try her hand at our favorite hobby. Well the event was a great success! Not only did we have an incredible time playing in public, we also discovered another wonderful place to play our games in the community. Turns out that Five Guys was really excited to have us play, and we were invited to return.
This month we wanted to try something a little different. Part of my #GetOutAndGame scheme is to showcase tabletop gaming in as many places as possible. So... new month, new restaurant. Our local gaming club, the Norwin Game Knights, had an exciting time playing The Resistance at Panera, so we figured that if management didn't mind us shouting "spy" over and over again, they'd be cool with a little dice slinging! As always I had Andy and Carrie with me, and Emily was up for another trip (she even updated her character, since the last one was a pre-gen). We even grabbed newcomer Jeremy, who joined the Game Knights back in April and is an avid tabletop board gamer. Finally, my middle daughter Evie begged to join in the fun, so we made her a character as well. I know she's only eight, and still needs a bit of help to play, but how can a geek dad say no?
- Vectoria, a Vengeful Glaive who Bears a Halo of Fire, played by Carrie W.
- Rygax, a Mlox Jack who Separates Mind from Body, played by Andy L.
- Elmy, a Mystical Nano who Siphons Power, played by Emily B.
- Ezmerelda, a Clever Nano who Controls Gravity, played by Evie W.
- Remy, a Swift Jack who Works the Back Alleys, played by Jeremy D.
Our trio of brave adventurers, Rygax, Vectoria, and Elmy were quite pleased with Seria's progress under Darvin's care, and the young girl was able to share some of the details of the psychic force that was engaging her mind and most likely causing such trouble amongst the local wildlife. Now with an inhibitor attached to her head, Seria heard the sounds in her mind with more clarity, and said that the entity's power originated in the town of Embered Peaks, to the north of Cylion Basin. Not knowing what kind of "thing" they would be encountering, the party asked Darvin if she knew of any local adventurers who would be willing to accompany the numenera hunters into the unknown. Ezmerelda was an associate of Darvin, a skilled nano with powers over gravity who was known in the community as a brave defender of those in need. Remy was a local crook, who had just recently escaped a cypher-related disaster in which he stole a pair of devices, only to have them interact with his existing pieces of numenera. When Rygax and his team met their two new recruits they just shrugged and showed them to their aneen. Darvin fashioned inhibitors similar to those she had given Seria to be work by the beasts of burden, which helped the party make good time as they traveled north.
Entering the town of Embered Peaks it was clear that things were not okay. The buildings were all showing signs of damage, small fires burned in the alleys, and the local population had turned upon each other. The party chose to enter a local shop owned by a man named Petris to see what was going on. Petris, a dry goods merchant, told the characters very little. He just kept asking if the numenera hunters were the "crazy ones." When it seemed like little could be gained from this poor soul, four of the characters left the store while Remy went through the man's cash register and departed ten shins the richer. Outside of Petris' establishment there was a young girl. Hoping to gain her trust, Vectoria knelt down next to the girl and asked her to share the woes of the town. Possibly due to overhearing others speaking in the village, the young girl told Vectoria the following words: "the dead lie here." The way the girl said these words was troubling to Vectoria however; her inflection of the word "lie" had nothing to do with rest but with dishonesty.
Without Seria to help pick up on the psychic impressions in the town, the party needed to create a makeshift telepath. When Remy had robbed that Cylion Basin man, taking some of his cyphers and creating a nasty pool of acid in the ground as the result of a negative reaction, one of the items acquired was an implant that could make the user telepathic for an hour. Remy offered to use the cypher on himself, but Rygax was unsure if the swift jack could remain in control of his own mind with the implant engaged. So the party tied the jack up with rope and cord and installed the cypher. At first Remy had a hard time overpowering the incredible force of the local psychic background noise, but Vectoria had a particularly cruel plan. Using her skills at torture, Vectoria worked at tearing out Remy's fingernails to help "ground" him in reality during this process.
Yes… my ten year old daughter's glaive used her torture skill on another player.
Remy could now determine that the source of the psychic impressions was inside the Forum of the Dead. Gaining access to this building was relatively easy. After Rygax sent his "eye" through the door, he saw a young man looking for "something" on the floor, oblivious to everything around him. Vectoria knocked, and the party was allowed in. It didn't take a lot of questioning for the young attendant to direct the party downstairs to Yieran, a man who would be able to give them more information. It was clear that the attendant was also troubled, and there was a glimmer of hope in his eye that the party could do something to heal the town's woes.
The stairwell to the lower levels of the Forum of the Dead was unusually cold, and after traveling down a tunnel, the party finally met Yieran. The man was talking to a dead man on a table, and the dead man was talking back! Yieran explained that he needed the answer, but it had to be the correct answer. This confused the party, who disclosed that they knew something already about the dead being less than truthful. Yieran confirmed that there was a device that he was using, a Resurrection Device, which allowed him to communicate with the dead. Unfortunately the answers to questions asked were always lies. It was the hope of Yieran and the rest of the town elders that they could use this machine as money-making tool, to bring the dead back to life completely. But all their tinkering did was make the machine slowly destroy the minds of all fauna in the region. Yieran begged the party to help turn the machine off, but he was still interested in keeping it intact. He admitted that he didn't know how to do this, and that was the question that he kept asking the dead elders… whom he killed.
The party entered the next room and found a giant mass of gelatinous bubbles surrounding… something. When Remy tried to connect with the device telepathically his brain ached. It was clear that any communication was going to be done at a great cost, but Elmy hatched an interesting plan. Using her power to siphon energy, the mystical nano reached out and sapped some of the energy from the Resurrection Machine. This allowed the party to communicate with the device through Remy for a few moments without risk of taking injury. The device left the impression on Remy that it wanted to be destroyed, and directed the swift jack towards a switch in the wall that would lead to it's demise. When Remy suggested that the party take this course of action Yieran darted into the room. The man wanted the machine turned off, not destroyed. Raising a sword in his hand to stop the party, Yieran was a moment away from striking a member of the party before Remy used his other cypher to create a box of force around the elder. Now trapped there was nothing he could do while the party flipped the switch.
The giant mass of bubbles slowly dissolved into a pool of liquid, leaving behind a petrified brain that was countless years old. Leaving Yieran in the box (the cypher would work for an hour) the party took a rod from the wall that could act as an artifact and went outside. Not sure where to go next, Remy looked at the petrified brain he was carrying and asked it where "it" wanted to go.
"Anywhere you're going!"
Jeremy: "What happens if this fails?" (new player referring to a die roll)
Jim: "You'll see…" (Game Master, smiling)
"Telepathetic!" - Emily came up with a new, useless esotery.
"I can torture him… that's effective!" - Carrie found a new use for her skills in order to help the party.
"Do we want to help it? Is't the goal done if we destroy it?" - Jeremy was really struggling with helping Boregal.
"Petri-fried is when you're stoned and fried at the same time." - Jim came up with a new term as well.
I'll be honest, we didn't ask the North Huntingdon Panera if we could play here before we started rolling, but this location is fantastic! By picking a Sunday evening, not exactly their busy time of the week, we were not in the way, and there was a really huge table in the center of the restaurant that was just perfect. So if there is a Panera in your neck of the woods, it's definitely worth checking out.