Tuesday, May 23, 2023

[Solo] The Magnificent Adventuring Circus, Session 2: Well- or Ill-met in Abazar?

Introduction and links to other sessions can be found here.

The cast of characters:

  • Julia Maxima, the Bearded Lady (Dwarf Cleric 1). Stern leader and cook of the circus.
  • Pointy Kid, the Knife Thrower (Halfling Thief 1). Sly acrobat with a pipeweed addiction.
  • Callisto, Master of Illusions (Human Magic-User 1). Archmage of the Highest Order, Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge. Obviously, he has a creepy ventriloquist dummy.
  • Sheila, the Odalisque (Elf Fighter/Magic-User 1). Exotic dancer and all-around cool girl. She won’t agree to be sawn into two halves.

Day 3 – continued [downtime in 3606, the settlement of Abazar]

On the third day of the journey, the Magnificent Adventuring Circus reaches the Abazar. They are received neutrally – the Abazarians natural grimness is mitigated somewhat by the presence of Julia Maxima (a Dwarf). The garishly painted circus wagon parks in the main square, next to “The Sleeping Ogre” tavern, and is converted into a makeshift stage by opening down one of the sides. Torches are lit when the evening comes, and a small group of 20 tired lumberjacks gathers around.

The Show

The show usually opens with the sword dance of Sheila, but the troupe decides that a semi-naked Elf lady swirling around with a sharp scimitar might aggravate an all-Dwarf audience… So Julia Maxima takes the stage first, with the stand-up comedy routine she practiced along the journey. At first the audience needs to time to adjust to Julia’s mountain dwarvish dialect, but gradually they warm up, and laugh wholeheartedly at the mining terminology puns and a couple of mandatory “elves smell!” jokes (Sheila allowed Julia a grand total of three). Next, Sheila puts on a “troll costume” (a dusty crocodile-skin and googly eyes) and prances around on stage. Then Pointy Kid bursts in, dressed as a knight. The two of them dance around a bit and put on a mock fight, as Julia Maxima narrates the events. On the one hand, the audience laughs at the Elf-Troll, but on the other hand, the troll is a very real danger around these parts. The lukewarm reception of this number makes Callisto very nervous, and he stutters while doing his Ventriloquism act. The audience boos and two out of three rotten tomatoes hit Callisto. Julia Maxima tries to save the situation by inserting a few jokes on the stuttering illusionist’s expense, but the evening is ruined.

The hat is passed around, and returns disappointingly light. Tough audience! But at least the troupe is treated to a free meal in the spirit of the approaching Harvest Festival.

The party retires into the wagon for the night. They would rather not carouse in this hostile town. Their plan is to reach a bigger, human-dominated town by the day of the Harvest Festival, and cash in on the festive mood of the populace… Julia Maxima goes out for a bit to mingle. She learns that there is a town called Tabriz on the river, about 30 miles southwest. Abazar sells lumber to them. This is where the Circus will head next.

Quick house rules: 

The circus is in town! List the numbers that the troupe puts on (3-4 will suffice). Describe them.

For every number, make an Audience Reaction roll.

Keep a running total of the numeric value of the rolls as well, and at the end of the show, that total x 50 is the base amount of copper coins gathered when the hat is passed around.

As a circus show is like a fight with the audience, experience points are gained as if the party has defeated every fifth member of the audience.





Outright hostility

Make a Reaction roll at -2 to see if the audience attacks or just tells the troupe to get out of town. No money gained, obviously.


Dislike, heckling

-1 to next Reaction roll


Lukewarm reception



Success, warm reception

+1 to next Reaction roll


Standing ovation

Number must be repeated, might override future performances. Double the amount of money earned.


1st number: Julia Maxima’s Dwarven standup comedy [Reaction roll: 10]

2nd number: mock fight between Pointy Kid and Sheila (dressed up as a troll) [Reaction roll: 7+1=8]

3rd number: Callisto’s rope tricks and ventriloquism number [Reaction roll: 4]

2200 copper pieces

20/5=4, 100 experience points

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