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TTRPG writeups: Madcap Redcap Recap #1

posted on: Friday, 14 January 2022 @ 10:45pm in

madcap redcaps wip

Redcaps is a casual game that I suggested to satisfy the roleplaying habit when people are unable to make sessions or aren’t feeling it but everyone else wants to play (the initial proposal went along the lines of “maybe make some madcap redcaps for a casual game for when people are missing”). Not everyone has to be present for every session, and anyone who has an idea can GM. There will probably be story arcs at some point because that’s just how I roll but they’re otherwise essentially a bunch of mostly improv one shots or short runs. The older boys were initially resistant because “Changeling is cringe” until 13yo’s Redcap character in Mercenaries made them all want to play Redcaps.

The title came about because after Session 2 we were filling in C (who had missed session 2) on what had happened with the other characters and 13yo asked “Is this a Redcap Recap?”.

The first session was done in lieu of any preludes and was mostly to get people used to the characters and be able to quickly refactor anything if they needed to while things were still in early days, and to establish relationships with each other and what everyone did around the sizable freehold I’d given them.


  • Seoras MacCuithein: Changeling Redcap Grump (played by C)
  • Brys Howells: Changeling Redcap Grump (played by 17yo)
  • “Pit Bull”: Changeling Redcap Grump (played by T)
  • Abigail MacCuithein: Changeling Nocker Wilder (played by yours truly)


Seoras, Abi, Brys and PB are hanging out in the Junkyard Freehold, a powerful (rating 4) freehold that the Redcaps have claimed and have relatively little trouble holding as it’s literally in the middle of a junkyard and the nobles, while interested in it for the power, are a bit less interested in the amount of effort it would take to make it less undesirable.

I’m slightly at a loss as only Seoras has some semblance of a backstory, but the group agree that they have known each other for a while at least through the freehold as Seoras is a bit older than the other two so can’t pull the childhood friends angle, so I ask them what they might do on a typical day. One of them decides on cow tipping.

Feeling bored on a nice day, the three Grumps decide to head out into the neighbouring farm to do some cow tipping, going out through some access holes in the fence that they/Abi put there, and go look for the herd of cows that are usually in the paddock. The herd is a decent size so the Fae have no trouble finding it, and there are general shenanigans as they take turns pushing cows over. Brys in his infinite wisdom decides it would be hilarious to try to push the much larger bull over.

17yo failed the strength roll to topple a bovine so I decided it was because he was trying to push a bull.

The bull objects to being shoved, lines Brys up and charges him. Brys has brought along a bin lid (he usually finds or brings a bin lid as I let them temporarily overlay their chimerical weapons onto a real world object for a point of Glamour) and he stands his ground, bashing on the bid lid and yelling to egg the bull on. Probably figuring that Brys is going to come off the worst for it and probably also wanting to get in on the action, both Seoras and PB attempt to shoulder check the bull as it charges past them at Brys. They aren’t able to knock it over but they are able to knock it off course enough that the bull glances Brys, who goes flying, rather than goring him.

Brys lands (and soaks) well enough that after recovering, he bursts out laughing and scrambles back to his feet, shouting “Again! Again!”

The bull swings back around and lines them up again, this time staring down Seoras, stomping a hoof and snorting. Seoras responds by stamping a foot and screaming at it, using the motions to bunk throwing Quicksilver on himself. Noticing what’s about to happen, PB flicks his hand over himself and then in Seoras’ general direction to bunk throwing Oakenshield on Seoras.

Seoras and the bull charge each other and clash violently in the middle to the cheers of Brys and PB. The bull initially gains ground on sheer mass and momentum.

C somehow beats the bull in an opposed Strength roll.

Seoras grounds and pushes back, and continues pushing, somehow managing to gain ground and after a hard wrestling match, is able to unbalance the bull and tip it onto the ground. He screams in triumph joined by the other two.

The farmer ploughing in the next field over hears them and squints in their general direction. The grumps decide it would be prudent for them to retreat back to the freehold at this point and decide to “scatter” in the same direction.

T suceeds the perception check, the other two not so much.

About to duck through one of the holes in the fence to the scrapyard, PB detects something off but can’t actually see what. Prudently, he pauses. Much less prudently, Seoras decides to vault the fence where the hole is and is promptly ensnared in a cargo net for his troubles. He starts fighting his way out of it. Figuring there might be more traps around that general area, PB moves along a bit, uses his Holly Strike maul to Holly Strike another hole in the fence, and carefully goes through that. No traps are sprung, and Brys follows PB through the new hole. PB heads over to help the struggling Seoras out of the cargo net, Brys helpfully laughs at Seoras as he heads into the freehold. PB and Seoras make short work of the net and are not too far behind him.

Inside, Abi demands who set the trap off. Seoras owns up with a raised hand and slightly guilty expression. She gets exasperated and snarkily reminds them that there is a map of all the traps stuck to the fridge. Seoras blames Brys for covering it with a pizza menu. They get into an argument over who did what, it gets more heated, then they start playfully roughhousing. Abi gets exasperated and heads into another room to grab tools to reset the trap. The roughhousing gets rougher and eventually develops into a full blown fight including weapons (using flats so no one actually dies even though they decided to go full on).

I trust the boys enough to just let them play out their own fight without having to arbitrate it. T and I pay enough attention to laugh at them.

PB observes with a combination of amusement and exasperation. When Abi returns with the tools, he quickly makes a very half-hearted and very obviously fake attempt at doing something about the fight, weakly raising a hand and very quietly saying “No, stop,” in their general direction. Seoras and Brys obviously don’t hear him. Used to Redcap shenanigans, Abi merely glares at the adults and tells them there’s a training room for a reason, then asks PB to come and help her reset the trap.

PB trails along after Abi and after getting mildly berated for making yet another hole in the fence, once again tries and fails to understand her Rube Goldberg traps, and concentrates on trying to learn how to tie at least the simpler knots that she uses and generally following her instructions including putting her up into a tree so she could reset the net.

Seoras and Brys are at it for ages before Brys asks “what were we fighting about again?” Seoras can’t remember either, but both remember that there is pizza and head back to the kitchen to get into it.

Abi has just finished tying off the nets when she notices people approaching from her vantage point up in the tree. She informs PB, and then yells for her father. Seoras and Brys emerge to see what’s going on, and see five Redcap Wilders harassing the poor beleagured cows in the paddock. Seoras ambles back out into the paddock using PB’s new entry hole to confront them. The wilders front up initially gung ho on seeing an “old man” but on realising Seoras is a Redcap “greybeard” they get a bit less gung ho but need to continue fronting up to save face.

Seoras asks them if they “want to buy some prime garbage?” Three of the youths get excited and want to buy prime garbage. Seoras takes them the long way round through the gates on the road side and like kids in a candy store they start romping through looking for interesting bits and bobs.

Seeing her dad leading the new group the long way round, Abi figures there’s nothing to worry about and continues fixing up the traps, with PB half keeping an eye on her and mostly now monitoring the potential problems. Abi says they need more weights and Brys (who has the Wyld Mind flaw and can get distracted by the most random things or thought processes) promptly forgets about the invaders wandering over their turf and goes back into the freehold to get a washing machine that’s in there because “no one uses it anyway”.

Seoras has come to hang with PB and Abi. PB notices a weaselly looking member of the new Redcap group casually loitering and nosing around the freehold. PB paces him, staying between him and the freehold at all times and making it blatantly obvious that he’s watching him. Seoras monitors this as much as he can til they go round the other side of the freehold. He in the meantime stays with Abi as she finishes up the work she’s doing resetting the trap. Seoras notices a second weaselly character also nosing around the freehold and keeps an eye on him. The kid turns to see where they are, Seoras growls “You looking at my daughter, boy?”

I don’t do well on the Wits check.

The kid squeaks “No sir!” in response and quickly moves along, with Seoras continuing to monitor. Brys emerges with the washing machine, Abi is annoyed with him when he brings it out because “do you know how hard it was to find a working washing machine? There’s so many other washing machines!” with a big gesture in the general direction of the surrounding junkyard. Brys replaces the washing machine and goes in search of another one, seeming to completely forget that the other group of Redcaps are right there and not realising they could potentially be a problem.

Sensing potential drama, Seoras tells Abi to “go inside, you know what our fights can get like.” Abi grumbles a little but does as she’s told.

I just played Abi like any other npc with fudged dice pools at this point, while also trying to quickly sort out characterisations as she is a major npc. After this session 17yo told me (again because I’d said no the first time he asked, given the chances of someone else GMing) that I should make a character so I could play whenever any of them decided to take a turn GMing, and I decided it would be much easier to just make Abi as a player character as being a major npc she was going to get a character sheet anyway. I developed her like a player character including running her Soothsay 3 steampunk themed laptop past the players, developed a bit more backstory with C and then realised that with what happened in the backstory she should have had a completely different reaction to being told to go inside.

Seoras starts closely monitoring the second weaselly guy. The two groups (PB monitoring the first one and Seoras monitoring the second one) eventually meet up as they were moving in opposite directions around the freehold.

C decides he wants to intimidate them, T asks if he can add to the intimidation. I decide they can combine successes because I forgot what the actual WoD teamwork mechanic is.

PB goes to stand next to Seoras and the two “big boys” stare down the two Weaselly Wilders.

PB has the huge size merit and stands at 2.25m, and Seoras is only a “bit” shorter at 1.95m. They got 9 successes between them. I rolled the 4 total Willpower dice the npcs had between them in the unlikely event they somehow got super lucky but got exactly the result I expected.

The other three Redcaps come back with trash that they want and after paying up, the two weaselly guys are more than happy to scuttle away with their tails between their legs.

Abi and Seoras go on a field trip to collect some very specific bits of wood and rocks that Abi wants for another trap. PB pokes around where the weaselly wilders had been and finds some very round wood cutouts in interesting locations. While he doesn’t fully understand scrying he is vaguely aware that stuff like this can be used for scrying. He doesn’t recall Abi telling any of them that she was setting up “scry cameras” and collects them up. Brys manages his “top secret” toilet hooch project (17yo says “it’s not top secret, everyone knows where it is”). When Abi and Seoras return, she gets Seoras and PB to help whittle the rocks and sticks into fairly precisely measured cones. They eventually form a production line with PB using his Holly Strike maul to carefully carve the rocks roughly into shape and passing them over to Seoras who whittles them down the rest of the way with his teeth.

Redcaps can eat pretty much anything that can fit into their mouths (if it can’t fit, they can make it fit by biting chunks off if they can get a grip), they generally have to spend a point or so of Glamour to eat and digest things that are technically inedible.

Abi then ropes the Grumps into helping her set up another trap. Before they head out, Brys asks if anyone wants a ratsicle. Everyone declines so Brys pulls out one for himself and they head out.

I try to describe an area of the junkyard that somewhat overlaps with The Dreaming as being a little bit larger and weirder than it should be. It’s perfectly normal for Abi who is only just a Wilder at 13 but made the Grumps sit up and take notice.

Abi warns everyone to follow her closely as she made a lot of sinkholes in this area. Brys and Seoras simultaneously demand “WHY DID YOU MAKE SINKHOLES IN THE AREA!” at exactly the same speed in the same tone of voice with the same inflections.

That happened because that’s exactly what happened with the players. T meanwhile decides that PB usually helps Abi set up the traps as being the biggest he can get her into higher places the easiest and probably gets used as a pack mule a lot and thus knows where the sinkholes are so takes his own path through while staying conversationally close to them. 17yo decides to provide some entertainment on the short trip.

Brys drops his ratsicle (possibly from slipping and trying to not fall into a sinkhole) and asks if anyone has seen it. Abi doesn’t even hear the question, Seoras misses it and PB does see it and points Brys in the opposite direction, then casually kicks some junk on top of the dropped ratsicle to cover it.

C and 17yo cackle gleefully and congratulate T on finally “playing like a Redcap”. While he has made a variety of characters T does tend to play them in similar ways.

Abi initially sets up a bunch of ropes and things and asks PB to put her on top of the fence and a tree while she ties things off. Seoras complains “I’m right here!” to which Abi responds “PB’s taller.” The Grumps are then tasked with pushing a large cable reel which is tied around with line very specifically weighted by the little conical rocks and holding it in place on the top of a pile of rocks while Abi secured it with more line. She explains that when triggered the reel will roll either way down the hill depending on which way it was triggered from.

The sun sets and Seoras and Abi head home, Brys heads out to a pub, and PB heads back inside the freehold.