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Feoch mac Hugh has given his word

The final Water Margin campaign session was yesterday, and it was a hoot! Bill, the GM, wrote up the final episode here for anyone who wants to know all the details.

I have to admit, I had a lot more fun playing Garth Collin Patrick MacBride than I expected I would. I tend to flip-flop between playing cerebral characters and combat-oriented characters, and Garth was definitely a combat monster. I put a lot of points into Brawling, Wrestling, Shortsword, Knife, etc. My original intent was to play him as an amateur boxer with professional ambitions, but he ended up being a hell of a lot more.

The title of this post refers to the "alternate identity" that Garth took on when he fought the Polish cavalry that had been hired by the rebel Chinese Admiral in his bid to make England the seat of his new empire. After beheading, behanding, and bewhatevering his way through a pack of Poles that, in all fairness, really ought to have bloody killed him, he and the rest of the fighters (those being Jack Shilling and John Sunday) decide to let one go to deliver a warning to the rest of the Polish mercenaries. In a flash of inspiration, I had Garth lean over him ominously and say "Tell your commanders 'Feoch mac Hugh has given his word.'" That line, of course, is from the song "Follow Me Up to Carlow" by Patrick McCall, which wasn't written until 1899, 59 years after this campaign takes place. However, as the battle that the song celebrates was in 1580, and Feoch mac Hugh O'Byrne was hailed by the Irish as a great hero for centuries afterward, I decided that Garth was quoting the legend rather than the song itself.

Anyway, from that first message, Jack and Garth decided to keep running with it. Whenever we defeated Polish mercenaries, we would leave a message—sometimes carved into a tree, sometimes drawn in the ground, sometimes written on paper and pinned to the chests of corpses with their own knives—"Feoch mac Hugh has given his word." It eventually got to the point where the Poles took out a 1,000 silver Tael bounty on "Feoch mac Hugh", which made Garth grin evilly for days and days.

Of course, it wasn't all whiskey, whores, and slaughtering Poles for Garth. He came very close to dying on at least three separate occasions. But he always managed to pull through, mostly because of the great skill of the African doctor John Sunday.

Anyway, it was a fantastic campaign, I had a great time playing Garth, and I want to thank whswhs (the GM) and my fellow players for making it as much fun as it was.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
What made it work, above all, was that the players picked up the idea of "swashbuckling" and ran with it—and that I let you do it, instead of putting the rules in the way. I don't normally do "roll and shout" GMing, but for this campaign it seemed to fit.

Though I also want to give a nod to rhinogirl for her brilliant performance as John Sunday's aunt Thursday.
Jun. 9th, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
And that, alas, was a session I missed. I really wish I could have seen that. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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