Winds of the North Playtest Session pt4 (Eyjolf, Winter, Year 1)

Part 1: Spring
Part 2: Summer
Part 3: Fall

Eyjolf enjoyed a successful Harvest thanks to his new Farmhand and Sickle. And after a brief combat, welcomed his Cousin into the Hirð. But some misfortune saw some wasted trips and early illness before the onset of Winter. And as soon as Winter started, our precious Horse died. Low Wisdom, no Horse, no Medicine, and low Silver. How will Eyjolf endure Winter?

We go into Winter with the updated rules and character sheet. Unfortunately, there appears to have been a weird error that messed up one of the fixes of the new character sheets (lettering appearing too dark in same places). I’ll have to re-work that into something functional.

Month 1, Winter

After the house was stricken with illness, Ejoylf knows it’s time to go get some Medicine. His Wisdom is definitely too low to rely on for healing. Luckily, Eyjolf has a bunch of Hides and a Shield he can sell (and 11 silver left over once the error was corrected). At the market, his Hides sell for 5 silver each and he sells the whole lot for 40 silver. The Shield nets 7, giving him a total of 56 silver (after paying 2 in fees). This is just enough to buy 7 Medicine. I debate buying 6 and some Food, but we’ve got so much Preserved Meat, surely I’ll have no use for Food… make a note of this…

Eyjolf also attended the Jól Festival where he offered his last Pig for sacrifice. Only got 1 bonus to a crop field, but it’s something. Since we’re pretty borderline on supplies, we skip holding a big Feast and go join the skirmish for meager rewards. He then goes to Explore and finally returns to the lord’s hall (his single Discovery) he helped build and gets a chance to rest. It’s a Recuperate with better odds of healing, but it only works on you and your Hirð (those visiting the hall). But it lets our Hirð heal back to full. For our first Ice-Skating, we get minor rewards. But the +1 Happiness is enough to give us a bonus to Recuperate! Though I end up spending my two Ancestral Spirits re-rolling Recuperate rolls. We had a bad series of rolls. A 3 which re-rolled into a 1, and when out Fishing, I got a 2, and the next Recuperate also rolled a 3. This isn’t the time for low rolls! At least the supply of Medicine helps. But my last re-roll converted into a success, so all the sick were healed. With not much else to do, Eyjolf crafts a couple of Torches. Exploring will be easier come Spring and we might need these for Caves. Not awful for our first Month of Winter.

For the end of month, we’re up for 4 more Preserved Meat and get 1 box closer to finishing the Smithy! We eat up, still have a good stockpile of Preserved Meat that should last us the Winter with a bit of Fishing and Hunting to supplement. For an Event, we get that friendly little house spirit again. He’ll help us heal some more! Oh wait… you have to offer him Food to get the reward. We didn’t buy any. No offering, he instead inflicts two animals with illness. I sacrificed my last Pig during the Jól Festival. No animals, he instead inflicts two Household members with illness. Two Family members become sick. For our Winter rolls, it’s bad. Only 2 people didn’t get hit with illness (Farmhand and a Family member). Both sick Family members died. Eyjolf didn’t like his sister anyway, and his uncle was old. Farewell. But with all the death and illness, our Happiness tanks. No more bonus to Recuperate. That was the time for those low rolls we saw earlier.

Month 2, Winter

Well, that couldn’t have gone much worse. Now down to 3 Household members, Eyjolf won’t get free build boxes each Month, not enough free hands working. The loss of Happiness will make Recuperating worse. The silver lining is that we’ve now only 6 mouths to feed and fewer people who will need Medicine. There’s some hope. It’s Cold Weather this Week; good weather for a couple of burials. With a bit of Fishing during Cold Weather, we bring in some extra Meat but more importantly, some Oil we can sell. While the Weather is as good as it’s going to get, Eyjolf heads out Hunting. He successfully builds a Trap and picks Boars for their big Meat payouts; he’s pretty strong in combat with his 2 Hirðmenn, so he’s not scared of a boar. He gets a 7 and fights the Great Boar. Eyjolf loses Initiative, but with two 7s for Defense and Attack, he makes quick work of the beast. See, things are changing already.

The Cold Weather continues, so it’s time to try and finish that Smithy. It won’t build itself (not anymore). His 0 Farming and +1 Hammer balance to 0 with the Weather, but the Smithy is a -2. But he only needs 1 last box to finish. He rolls an 8 which comes down to a 6, more than enough! The Smithy is finally finished! Now to see about some Iron. With some Oil and Hide (not much), Eyjolf heads back to the market. A couple of Iron would wipe him out, so he instead opts for a Shovel which gives him a +1 to Mine Iron, which is Survival, so he’s not bad at it. The Shovel will pay off in the long run and leaves him with 10 Silver. Before the Month ends, we make a last Recuperate to heal a little bit more and cure the last sick. Some Ice-Skating yields nothing.

We no longer have our free 1 box fill at the end of the Month, but we’ve finished the Smithy anyway. For illness, we get some good rolls, only Eyjolf and his Cousin get sick. Happiness has hit 0, so everyone is miserable, but things are turning around. No event this month.

Month 3

Snow (-3). Time to hit up the Thing (local assembly). Unfortunately, Eyjolf gets nothing out of it. When things clear, Eyjolf heads out to Mine Iron. First trip out, however, yields only 1 Iron Ore. While he can, he cuts more Wood since we’ll probably need a lot to build some good stuff when we have Iron. Things only get worse when the Whiteout hits (-5). Sounds like a time to Recuperate indoors. We get enough healing to clear the sick and get the Farmhand back to 2/2 HP. Eyjolf doesn’t have enough Iron Ore to smelt yet and it’s a terrible time for anything outdoors. We’ve only got 5 Wood which is best saved for when we have some Iron to work with. In a rare instance, Eyjolf has no worthwhile activities for his Secondary and opts to sit at home and wait out the Weather.

It clears back up, so time to head out. The next Mining trip gives us a second Iron Ore. We’re now in business. Back at home, he gets a great roll that makes 2 Iron instead of 1. This will come in handy for sure. But thus ends our Winter adventures. Time to finish the month, and thus, the Year.

We convert the remaining Meat and eat up. Plenty of Preserved Meat left over. No Ale to drink, so we remain miserable. No event. At the end of Winter, Animals would reproduce but we ate them all. Most of us are healed up, just our Cousin is still injured but survives the Winter. Lastly, we have to pay our Yearly tax to the king. We’ve run out of Hide and Oil, but we’ve got some Silver saved up. Eyjolf pays 8 Silver and 4 Preserved Meat to complete his taxes. For surviving the Winter, his HP increases to 7 and he increases Wisdom to 2 and Survival to 3. We’ve got 2 Iron ready to use, a stockpile of 9 Wood to build with, and even room for more people in the house…

It could have been a lot worse. But Year 2 awaits!

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