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  • giorgis 10:22 am on September 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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    A Call to Glory S01 – Hârnmaster 

    Okay so for my next challenge, I will go at a more solo boardgaming approach than solo roleplaying.
    I will choose the Level 1 dungeon A Call to Glory from TSR’s Dragon Quest, introductory adventure game and play it with a series of different RPG systems.
    I will not be converting much, rather I will be freely translating to the nearest acceptable option. For example, if there aren’t kobolds in the RPG system under test, then I’ll choose another monster rather than try to create kobolds.
    I won’t be warping the adventure at all, rather I’ll be using it as is.

    I’ll be using a diverse party of 3 characters. I’ll try to include as many different demihuman races and professions as possible to have a party that can deal with most tasks.
    If I can find pregens that can fit a slot in the party, I’ll use them.

    So for the first attempt I will be using Hârnmaster 3ed. I expect combat to be deadly and slow. I’m eager to see how it will turn out.


    The Party

    I’ll be using pregens from https://www.lythia.com/game_aides/friends-foes-followers-volume-1/

    • Eitri Terrika, a Khuzdul Clansman
    • Melas Renier, a Sindarin Ranger
    • Rybryn of Dara (aka Shadow), an Unguilded Thief

    The Adventure

    The heroes have been called before Gustovan, the Burgomaster of Torlynn. Torlynn is a small village set in a quiet, hilly area near the mountains. The heroes have lived here for many years and think of Torlynn as home. Gustovan is known as a wise and kind mayor.
    He asks of the heroes to go explore the old, abandoned, dwarven, iron mine, because strange lights and sounds come from within. They’re to find out if there is something wrong there or if the reports are false.

    The heroes enter the dungeon. It’s entrance is a rough cavern, cut from the stone long ago by dwarves. They check their weapons and start down into the mine, with the wind blowing in their backs.

    Note: again I have to warn the reader that there are huge mechanics text blocks. Hârnmaster combat is very detailed, so I'm giving the reader an opportunity to read this as an example, or just skip it and jump to the narrative sections.

    Some abbreviations:
    CS/CF/MS/MF: Marginal/Critical, Success/Failure
    EI: Effective Impact, essentially the damage points done after factoring in weapon and armor types.
    DTA: Defender Tactical Advantage, an extra free move the defender gets, max 1 per round
    WQ: Weapon Quality


    A. Tunnel

    Wandering monster check: Hobgoblin

    I’ll be using the Black Orc stats for the Hobgoblin (Hgo).

    Round 1

    Eitri vs Hgo: 64/44: MS/MS: Block
    Hgo Handaxe WQ: 10/11: Survives, WQ -1
    Eitri Hammeraxe WQ: 9/15: Survives, WQ -1

    Hgo vs Eitri: 84/93: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA: Eitri vs Hgo: 84/70: MS/CF: A*2: Thorax: EI (Effective Impact): 1: M1: Minor Bruise: Shock Roll: 6/10: Not Shocked
    Hgo: 1 IL (Injury Level)

    Round 2

    Eitri vs Hgo: 59/62: MS/MS: Block
    Hgo Handaxe WQ: 8/10: Survives, WQ -1
    Eitri Hammeraxe WQ: 14/14: Survives, WQ -1

    Hgo vs Eitri: 19/11: MS/MS: Block
    Hgo Handaxe WQ: 8/9: Survives, WQ -1
    Eitri RoundShield WQ: 13/17: Survives, WQ -1

    Round 3

    Eitri vs Hgo: 63/94: MS/MF: A*1: Abdomen: EI: 1: M1: Minor Bruise: Shock Roll: 4/10: Not Shocked
    Hgo: 2 IL

    Hgo vs Eitri: 38/85: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA: Eitri vs Hgo: 55/41: CS/MS: A*1: Thorax: EI: 0: No Injury

    Round 4

    Eitri vs Hgo: 28/98: MS/MF: A*1: Right Shoulder: EI: 0: No Injury

    Hgo vs Eitri: 61/92: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA: Eitri vs Hgo: 40/42: CS/MS: A*1: Abdomen: EI: 1: M1: Minor Bruise: Shock Roll: 16/10: Hgo is down
    Hgo: 3 IL

    The wind fades away as the heroes move into the mine. A long tunnel leads onward, and suddenly from the other end, a cruel humanoid creature arrives. It’s roar is countered by Eitri’s dwarven war cry. The whole party is in a single file, so it’s a one-to-one fight.
    Eitri attacks the hobgoblin with his hammeraxe, and his enemy blocks the attack with his handaxe. He slashes at the dwarf who blocks his strike with his roundshield and finds an opening to counterattack. The hammeraxe finds the hobgoblin at the torso, bruising him.
    His wind lost, the dwarf attacks him again, but the hobgoblin blocks yet another strike. The hobgoblin gathers his strength and attacks only to be blocked by the shield, in the narrow tunnel.
    Eitri hammers down on the hobgoblin who fails to block, and bruises his abdomen.
    Bruised, the hobgoblin tries to hit his challenger, and is blocked again by the shield. Eitri pushes aside the handaxe and with the opening he manages a weak hit on the thorax of the humanoid.
    He follows with another hit on the hobgoblin’s weapon shoulder, too weak to make a difference.
    In vain the hobgoblin attacks again his masterful opponent, is blocked once more, and with the advantage, the dwarf hits him again in the belly. The consecutive strikes are too much for the creature, who falls, beaten.


    B. The First Lair

    I’ll be using the Small Orc stats for both creatures

    Round 1

    Eitri vs Gob: 51/43: MS/MS: Block
    Gob Spear WQ: 14/11: Broken

    Gob Grope Dagger

    Kob vs Rybryn: 65/33: CS/MS: A*1: Thorax: EI: 10: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 7/13: Not Shocked
    Rybrun: 3 IL

    Round 2

    Melas vs Kob: 84/39: MS/MS: Block
    Kob Spear WQ: 11/11: Survives, WQ -1
    Melas LongKnife WQ: 18: Survives, WQ -1

    Rybryn vs Kob: 46/13: MS/MS: Block
    Kob Spear WQ: 5/10: Survives, WQ -1
    Rybryn ShortSword WQ: 15/16: Survives, WQ -1

    Eitri vs Gob: 46/30: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA: Gob vs Eitri: 96/7: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA: Eitri vs Gob: 58/30: MS/CS: DTA: –

    Gob vs Eitri: 65/68: CS/MS: A*1: Left Shoulder: EI: 0: No Injury

    Kob vs Rybryn: 8/91: A*1: Thorax: EI: 11: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 23/13: Rybryn is down
    Rybryn: 6 IL

    Round 3

    Melas vs Kob: 48/51: MS/MS: Block
    Kob Spear WQ: 5/9: Survives, WQ -1
    Melas LongKnife WQ: 10/17: Survives, WQ -1

    Eitri vs Gob: 85/84: CS/MF: A*2: Thorax: EI: 8: S2: Serious Fracture
    Gob: 2 IL

    Gob vs Eitri: 42/32: MS/MS: Block
    Gob Dagger WQ: 7/11: Survives, WQ -1
    Eitri Roundshield WQ: 7/16: Survives, WQ -1

    Kob vs Melas: 19/39: MS/MS: Miss

    Round 4

    Melas vs Kob: 34/6: MS/MS: Block
    Kob Spear WQ: 7/8: Survives, WQ -1
    Melas LongKnife WQ: 14/16: Survives, WQ -1

    Eitri vs Gob: 31/45: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA: Gob vs Eitri: 42/42: Block
    Gob Dagger WQ: 17/10: Broken

    Gob: Morale: MF: Pass/No action

    Kob vs Melas: 79/65: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA: Melas vs Kob: 1/37: Block
    Kob Spear WQ: 9/7: Broken

    Round 5

    Melas vs Kob: 34/49: MS/MS: Miss

    Eitri vs Gob: 47/33: MS/MS: Miss

    Gob: Morale: MF: Pass/No action

    Kob: Grope Dagger

    Round 6

    Melas vs Kob: 13/81: MS/MF: A*1: Abdomen: EI: 9: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 11/10: Kob is down
    Kob: 3 IL

    Eitri vs Gob: 89/27: MS/MS: Miss

    Gob: Morale: MF: Pass/No action

    Round 7

    Melas vs Gob: 71/72: MS/MF: A*1: Abdomen: EI: 9: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 15/10: Gob is down

    As the heroes enter the room, they notice a couple of beds. Probably used to be the miners’, but now they have new occupants. A kobold and a goblin get up, pick their spears and attack.
    Eitri charges at the kobold, who tries to block his attack, breaking his spear in the process. The kobold draws a dagger quickly.
    The elf ranger and the thief engage in combat with the goblin who stabs Rybryn in the chest. She cries out in pain, but stands fighting.
    The heroes try to find an opening, but the goblin takes advantage of the spear’s long reach, and blocks both their attempts. The goblin follows up with another stab at Rybryn. Her belly pierced, the thief falls.
    The dwarf and the kobold exchange several strikes, with the kobold gaining the upper hand and hitting the dwarf in the shoulder. The dagger fails to pierce the mail, and the fight continues.
    The goblin blocks the sindarin ranger’s long knife and strikes back, but the elf dodges out of harm’s way. Eitri hits with his hammeraxe the kobold right in the thorax, fracturing a few ribs. Shaken, the kobold tries to retaliate, but only hits the roundshield.
    Melas slashes at the goblin who blocks the long knife, and tries to stab the elf, but the ranger does a quick side step and hacks the spear shaft in two.
    Eitri attacks the kobold, who ducks. Finding an opening to the dwarf’s side, he jabs, but Eitri brings his roundshield back to bear quickly, snapping the dagger blade. Unarmed, the kobold cowers in the corner, not knowing what to do.
    The heroes miss their enemies, hitting empty air instead and the goblin finds the opportunity to draw a dagger. It doesn’t do him much good as the elf ranger stabs him right in the belly, and he falls to the floor.
    The dwarf tries to finish off the kobold, who jumps around, evading the sweeps.
    All his attention to the dwarf, he misses the elf, who flanks him and stabs his abdomen, sending him to death.
    The heroes gather around their fallen companion and tend to her wounds. Once they’re certain that she’s stable, they look around the room for anything important and press on. They find a long sword and a belt among the rubble.


    C. Jagged Cavern

    I’m not going to run a wandering monsters check as the party is down to two.

    Nothing of interest in this narrow cut cavern in the stone. Only the occasional splashing of water driping from the ceiling.


    D. Orc Lair

    Round 1

    Melas vs Orc: Aim High: 50/33: CS/MS: A*1: Skull: EI: 2: Minor Stab: Shock Roll: 2/10: Not Shocked
    Orc: 1 IL

    Eitri vs Orc: 64/84: MS/MF: A*1: Left Thigh: EI: 8: S2: Serious Fracture: Shock Roll: 8/10: Not Shocked
    Orc: 3 IL

    Orc vs Eitri: 57/85: MF/CS: DTA
    DTA: Eitri vs Orc: 97/79: MS/MF: A*1: Left Knee: EI: 3: M1: Minor Bruise: Shock Roll: 14/10: Orc is down
    Orc: 4 IL

    As soon as the heroes enter this small room, the stench of rotten meat fills their nostrils. With their infravision they make out an the figure as they close in to engage.
    Melas quickly stabs the orc in the skull, while Eitri follows with a heavy bash at it’s thigh, breaking it. It groans and tries to retaliate, but wounded, the dwarf takes advantage and hits it’s left knee. It loses equilibrium and falls to the floor, moaning.
    The dwarf notices a loose stone slab on the floor. Pushing it aside he finds a bag of gold, probably spoils belonging to the defeated orc.


    E. Trapped Room

    Eitri: Awareness: 70: CF
    Greek Fire Trap: 48: MS: A*1: Skull: EI: 2: M1: Minor Burn: Shock Roll: 6/15: Not Shocked.
    Eitri: 1 IL

    A small empty room, with a funny smell. Black ash and soot cover the floors and walls. A steel door with an iron handle sits in the middle of the floor.
    As the dwarf tries to open the door he hears a clicking noise. He’s a bit late, and a jet of greek fire, lets of to his head. The helmet protects him, but without avoiding a slight burn. What’s even worse is that the whole door was a trap as behind it is only rock.


    F. Gnoll Lair

    Round 1

    Melas vs Gno: 42/27: MS/MS: –

    Eitri vs Gno: 25/79: A*2: Right Forearm: EI: 9: S2: Serious Fracture: Shock Roll: 7/10: Not Shocked: Fumble Roll: 14/11: Fail: Drops Mangar in next hex
    Gno: 2 IL

    Gno: Disengage to Mangar hex

    Round 2

    Melas vs Gno: 37/94: MS/MF: A*1: Right Shoulder: EI: 3: M1: Minor Stab: Shock Roll: 12/10: Gno is down
    Gno: 3 IL

    The heroes enter a room and a dozen of small insects buzz past them. Biting flies are everywhere. A large furred gnoll is sharpening his Mangar, and as he sees them attacks.
    The elf tries to hit him, but he steps aside, right into the trajectory of Eitri’s hammeraxe. He hits him in the forearm, seriously hurting him, and causing him to drop his Mangar which clatters to the ground a few feet away. The gnoll jumps back to catch the weapon, and the quick elf stabs his shoulder. The gnoll screams in pain and passes out.
    Searching the creature, they find an invigorating honey-like potion. Melas recognizes it for a potion of healing. Kur’s Drink. They decide to get it back to Rybryn.


    C. Jagged Cavern

    Wandering Monster Check: No monster


    B. The First Lair

    Wandering Monster Check: Monster: Bugbear

    Round 1

    Melas vs Bgb: 83/60: MS/CF: A*2: Skull: EI: 12: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 14/14: Not Shocked
    Bgb: 3 IL

    Eitri vs Bgb: 89/84: MS/MF: A*1: Right Thigh: EI: 6: Serious Fracture: Stumble Roll: 9/12: Not Stumbled: Shock Roll: 16/14: Bgb is down
    Bgb: 5 IL

    I decide Kur’s drink will heal 2d4 IL and allow for a new SR to see if the character is still in shock. It has enough for 3 drinks.
    Rybryn: Heal: 6 IL. Rybryn is back to full health.

    As the heroes get back to where Rybryn is resting they see a bugbear burst in the room. The bugbear sees the two dead humanoids, and then the woman resting on the bed and lets of a loud growl.
    Swiftly Melas attacks, stabbing the creature on the head. It screams in pain. Eitri hits lower at the same time, fracturing it’s thigh. Without having time to react, the creature falls to the ground, motionless.
    Melas gives the healing potion to Rybryn, and by magic, her stab wounds close completely, and she’s back on her feet.


    C. Jagged Cavern

    Wandering Monster Check: No monster


    G. Empty Room

    Wandering Monster Check: No monster

    I decide no to search the pile of dirt in the room.

    The heroes go through a rough room like a cave, a small pile of dirt is at one corner of the room. The party moves onward.


    H. Broken Room

    Melas: 73: MS
    Eitri: 70: CS
    Rybryn: 8: MS

    As the party goes through this large chamber cut from the stone, they notice the walls and ceiling are cracked, and huge chunks of stone have fallen on the floor. Their vibrations cause some more to fall as they pass through, but they avoid it without harm.


    I. Narrow Tunnel

    Round 1

    Eitri vs Orc: 100/24: CF/MS: D*2: Left Thigh: EI: 13: G4: Grevious Cut: Automatic Stumble: Shock Roll: 17/15: Eitri is Down
    Eitri: 5 IL
    Bleeder

    Orc vs Melas: 24/43: MS/MS: –

    Round 2

    Melas vs Orc: 21/95: MS/CF: A*2: Left Hip: EI: 13: G4: Grevious Stab: Automatic Stumble: Shock Roll: 11/10: Orc is Down
    Orc: 4 IL

    Eitri: Kur’s Drink: Heals 3 IL: Shock Roll: 5/15: Eitri is back on his feet.

    The heroes find another narrow tunnel. They go through in a single file, the dwarf in front, the elf in the middle, and the thief in the rear. Suddenly the door at the end of the hall swings open, and a foul orc, lifts its gleaming black axe and marches towards them.
    Eitri engages in combat, but he misses the orc, who counterstrikes, without trying to avoid the dwarf. His counterstrike hits the dwarf with full strength on his thigh. Blood spurts out from the wound. Eitri falls under the weight of his own body.
    The orc steps over his fallen foe and tries to hack at the elf ranger, who avoids the strike with agility.
    Melas now jabs at the orc, his long knife hitting the orc’s hip piercing it through and through. The creature lets off a scream, and faints through pain, dropping down in shock.
    Without wasting any more time, the elf administers a dose of Kur’s drink to the dwarf, whose wound starts closing, but not completely. Yet, the dwarf recovers, and can fight once more.


    J. The Story Room

    I’m not rolling a wandering monsters check since the next room has a major fight.

    The heroes enter a large chamber that has been polished smooth. Ancient dwarvish runes are carved into the walls. Eitri reads them out aloud. They tell of the story of the digging of the mine and the work that the dwarves did there. Near the end, it mentions that the dwarves found a vein of glowing iron unlike anything they had seen before. They mined this strange ore, which they called eisenmond and found they could make weapons of great magic with it.
    As they mined for more eisenmond they discovered some dark and evil secret about the mountain, without saying anything more than that they packed up and left overnight.
    The story ends by saying that they left behind a large nugget of eisenmond which glowed brighter than the rest, in the care of someone called the Stone King.
    The heroes realize that this is the key to the secret of the mountain, and what Gustovan sent them there to find.


    K. The Iron Mine

    Round 1

    Melas vs Orc: 8/13: MS/MS: Block
    Orc: Handaxe WQ: 12/11: Broken

    Rybryn vs Orc: 94/24: MF/MS: Dodge: –

    Eitri vs Gob: 25/36: CS/MS: A*1: Thorax: EI: 0: No impact

    Gob vs Eitri: 42/49: MS/MS: Block
    Gob: Handaxe WQ: 17/11: Broken

    Kob vs Eitri: 58/90: MS/CF: A*2: Face: Eye: EI: 13: G4: Grievous Stab: Shock Roll: 18/15: Eitri is down
    Eitri: 6 IL

    Gno vs Melas: 72/43: MF/MS: Dodge: –

    Orc: Gropple dagger

    Round 2

    Melas vs Gno: 36/54: MS/MS: Dodge: –

    Rybryn vs Orc: 64/3: MS/MS: Dodge: –

    Gob: Gropple dagger

    Kob vs Melas: 86/3: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA Melas vs Kob: 15/67: CS/MF: A*2: Abdomen: EI: 10: S3: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 13/10: Kob is down

    Gno vs Melas: 34/18: MS/MS: Dodge: –

    Orc vs Rybryn: 29/43: MS/MS: Dodge: –

    Round 3

    Melas vs Gno: High: 53/93: MS/MF: A*1: Skull: EI: 3: M1: Minor Stab: Shock Roll: 6/10: Not Shocked
    Gno: 1 IL

    Rybryn vs Orc: 2/25: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA: Orc vs Rybryn: 25/49: CS/MS: A*1: Left Upper Arm: EI: 9: S2: Serious Stab: Fumble Roll: 11/18: No Fumble: Shock Roll: 7/13: Not Shocked
    Rybryn: 2 IL

    Gob vs Melas: 75/84: MF/CS: DTA
    DTA Melas vs Gob: 6/79: MS/MF: A*1: Thorax: EI: 5: S2: Shock Roll: 2/10: Not Shocked
    Gob: 2 IL

    Gno vs Melas: 78/54: MF/MS: DTA: –

    Orc vs Rybryn: 16/15: MS/CS: DTA
    DTA Rybryn vs Orc: 94/56: MF/MS: Dodge: –

    Round 4

    Melas vs Gob: 73/19: MS/MS: Dodge: –

    Rybryn vs Orc: 64/98: MS/MF: A*1: Neck: EI: 1: M1: Minor Cut: Shock Roll: 2/10: Not Shocked
    Orc: 1 IL

    Gob vs Melas: 33/59: MS/MS: Block
    Gob: Dagger WQ: 8/11: Survives, WQ -1
    Melas LongKnife WQ: 9/15: Survives, WQ -1

    Gno vs Melas: 66/25: DTA
    DTA Melas vs Gno: 8/27: Block
    Gno Mang WQ: 11/11: Survives, WQ -1
    Melas LongKnife WQ: 8/14: Survives, WQ -1

    Orc vs Rybryn: 87/26: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA Rybryn vs Orc: 30/36: CS/MS: A*1: Right Upper Arm: EI: 4: M1: Minor Cut: Fumble Roll: 16/11: Drop weapon, current hex: Shock Roll: 6/10: Not Shocked
    Orc: 2 IL

    Round 5

    Melas vs Gob: 6/17: MS/MS: (Counterstrike): B1
    A
    1: Neck: EI: 8: S2: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 14/10: Gob is down
    D*1: Skull: EI: 6: S2: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 10/14: Not Shocked
    Gob: 4 IL
    Melas: 2 IL

    Rybryn vs Orc: 40/52: CS/MS: A*1: Abdomen: EI: 1: M1: Minor Cut: Shock Roll: 9/10: Not Shocked
    Orc: 3 IL

    Gno vs Melas: 51/01: MF/MS: DTA
    DTA: Melas vs Gno: 11/06: MS/MS: CS: B1:
    A
    1: Right Thigh: EI: 7: S2: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 11/10: Gno is down
    D*1: Right Hand: EI: 8: 0: No Impact
    Gno: 3 IL

    Orc: Gropple dagger

    Round 6

    Melas vs Orc: 3/98: MS/MF: (CounterStrike): A*1: Face: Mouth: EI: 8: S2: Serious Stab: Shock Roll: 14/10: Orc is down
    Orc: 5 IL

    Kur’s Drink on Eitri: 5 IL Healed, 1 IL remaining. Shock Roll:2/15: Revived

    The heroes enter a vast chamber that is roughly carved and still being worked. Small veins of iron ore still line the walls. Four monsters work the mine, and as they see the party they howl and attack.
    Melas closes in on the orc, who tries to block his jab. The orcish handaxe is too crude for the fine elven longknife, and the axehead shatters. The orc draws a dagger as Rybryn flanks him, and dodges the attack.
    Eitri locks himself in combat with the goblin and hits the humanoid in the torso, but the strike is too weak to hurt the creature, who attacks back. The goblin’s handaxe finds the tough dwarven roundshield and the hilt breaks in two. With his attention to the goblin, Eitri, fails to notice the kobold who jumps right in front of him, and stabs him with a dagger right in the eye socket, bypassing the helmet. The dwarf lets off a scream that echoes in the chamber, and holding his head, he falls to the ground.
    The gnoll comes in to support the orc who fights alone against the two heroes, but his attack against Melas fails and they dance around fighting, not scoring any hits. The kobold leaves the downed dwarf and sneaks to flank Melas as well, but the elf skewers him, and it drops.
    Rybryn and the orc keep fighting each other, and after a couple unsuccessful exchanges, the orc gain the advantage and stabs the thief’s left arm. She cries out at the wound, but holds on to the fight.
    Melas is fighting alone against both the gnoll and the goblin who has drawn a dagger. He manages to wound each, while dodging their blows. A few more hits end in clashes, the weapons blocking each other.
    Rybryn slashes at the orc, neck height, spilling some blood, the orc lunges back, only to fall into a feint, and she hacks at his arm, disarming him, the dagger clattering at the floor.
    Melas charges at the goblin, who decides it’s all or nothing, and forfeits any defence in favor of scoring a hit. They stab at each other, the long knife pierces through the goblin’s neck, finishing him, while the elf is hurt at the side of his head. The wound is serious, but he stands. The gnoll attacks Melas right away, hoping to hit the disoriented elf, but he’s mastered by his opponent. Melas stabs the gnoll at the thigh. The wound is too much for the gnoll and it falls. He barely hits Melas’ weapon hand as he delivers the hit, but the armor absorbs it.
    Rybryn gets past the orc’s defense, as it reaches down to get back his dagger. The thief’s shortsword hacks at his belly. The thief is assisted by his friend, and the elf dispatches the orc, with a through and through hit at his mouth.
    Weary and hurt, quickly the heroes pour the last contents of Kur’s drink into Eitri’s mouth. He barely manages to gulp it, but soon the healing properties of this potent potion take effect. While he’s not entirely healthy again, he’s been saved from certain death, and his vision is partially restored. If they make it out of the mine alive, he’ll need a healer.
    Searching through their opponents belongings, they find a cool silver ring, and a coil of rope. The thief takes them both.


    L. Tunnel of Death

    Rybryn: Awareness: 29: MS
    Rybryn: Lockcraft: 63: MS

    The heroes enter a smooth and straight tunnel. The floor is marked with the dark stains of dried blood. As they reach the door to the other side, Rybryn gestures the group to stop. She has noticed a mechanism that would release piles of rocks from the ceiling to fall upon them. After a short while she disarms it, and the party enters the next room.


    M. Mysterious Fountain

    In the center of the room is a stone fountain, carved in the image of a large dragon that coils around itself and sprays water out of its mouth. The water lands in a polished stone pool that has been cut into the floor around the statue. The air is sweet with the smell of fresh water. The heroes drink from the water to quench their thirst, and in a magical way, all their wounds and fatigue disappear.
    They look around the room and see that there are no more doors, and it appears to be the end of the mine. But knowing that they haven’t found either the Stone Kind or the large lump of eisenmond, they start searching for a secret door.

    Wandering Monster check: No monster

    Rybryn: Awareness: 37: MS

    They find the secret door.


    N. Sloping Passage

    The tunnel has been cut downards at a sharp angle. Walking down is very dangerous, but with the rope, the heroes descend it with great care.


    O. The Eisenmond Mine

    The heroes finally enter a rough stone chamber, with flakes of a mysterious glowing ore flickering in the walls, floor and ceiling, making the dark walls shimmer like a starry night.
    In the center, sitting on a small stone pedestal, is a short statue carved from a single granite block. It depicts a dwarf with a pick and other mining gear, missing it’s head which is tossed in the corner. The head sports a rusty crown, fashioned from iron, The statue’s hands are open and held out as if it was holding something.

    Okay, so here’s a puzzle concerning players and not characters, but it can be resolved with Int checks, which I will test.

    Eitri: Awareness: 27: MS: He finds a secret compartment with two nuggets of eisenmond, that fit perfectly on the eye sockets of the statue’s head.

    Eitri: Intelligence: 9/13: Success: He considers placing the head back on the statue.

    Searching around for secret doors, Eitri finds a small compartment in the pedestal that contains two nuggets of eisenmond. His keen senses tell him that they fit perfectly to the head, and he proceeds to place them there.
    The party looks at the head. Then Eitri decides to pay homage to his ancestors, and re-assemble the statue.
    As soon as the statue is assembled, a strange light fills the room. The stone body of the statue glows and the mouth moves slowly. In a voice deep and old as the mountain around, the statue speaks.
    It says about how the mine belongs to the dwarves, and how good it is that the heroes have arrived because a great evil has tainted the spirit of the place. The priceless magical stone called the Eisenkern was stolen, and along with it, the power to trap the beast that lives at the heart of the mountain. If the Eisenkern is not returned, that terrible beast will be freed, and a horrible evil will come upon all who dwell in these lands.


    Ending the Adventure

    The heroes return and report their story to Gustovan, who seems troubled by it. He rewards them and takes thought of the matter.


    The System

    Okay, this turned out more or less how I expected it to.
    Hârnmaster combat needed a lot of bookkeeping, and was deadly, but to be honest it was the most interesting set of fantasy combat rules I’ve played so far. I’m certain I’ve done several mistakes, especially near the EML (Effective Mastery Level – essentially the skill level after modifiers), and considering the deadliness of the system, the outcome could have been different. Nevertheless, it is what it is, and I’m not one to nitpick a solo crunchy game.
    So Hârnmaster has a very smart way to run combat. The attacker chooses a zone of attack (low, mid, high. defaults to mid) and weapon attack type (bludgeon, edge, piercing, defaults to highest impact) while the defender chooses their defense (block, counterstrike, dodge, ignore), and depending on their choices, there’s a large array of possible results (as you may have derived from the session). This all makes things interesting. You may have noticed that there were only a few results in combat where nothing happened.
    Usually it had to do with the dodge defense, which is what I’d call the safest defense approach, followed by block, and finally counterstrike where you forfeit defending, and something is bound to happen. There’s a caveat though with dodge, – it’s a separate skill.
    The results of combat include strikes, blocks, fumbles, stumbles, nothing (dodge), and defender tactical advantage. Now the defender tactical advantage is what I’d call an opening, The defender gets a free action. This is very effective in getting more dense action in a round, and higher chance for something happening. Also blocks have a chance to break your weapon, and also reduce your weapon’s quality. For how long can you keep blocking the enemy strikes before you end up unarmed? That’s an extra reason to carry a secondary weapon.
    Now, for wounds, the strike locations have a wide array of body parts that you may hit. I went with the detailed option and not the merged ones that are available in the Dead Weight w/Quickstart adventure.
    There you roll and calculate your effective impact, and get the resulting injury. The injury may cause a stumble or fumble, which will shift the battle one way or another, and of course there’s a good chance for a wound that will drop your character. Don’t go into battle unarmored!
    What I really liked was how Shock Rolls include every injury, so the combatant may either fall due to accumulation of minor wounds, a new serious wound, or a mix of both.
    Of course being wounded reduces your ability to fight properly and to do other physical tasks.
    Another clever mechanic of Hârnmaster was spreading the Critical results among the entire range. Criticals happen whenever a _0 or _5 is rolled on the d100. Which means that the better you are, you have a higher chance to roll a critical success, but also if you’re not so good, you have a higher chance to roll a critical failure.
    Injuries healing mechanics are equally crunchy (there’s a whole process to it, I won’t go into detail now), and may take weeks for full recovery.

    What about the Dungeon Crawl?

    All this results in a gritty low fantasy game. So I had to give my characters a chance to survive a dungeon crawl which otherwise would not be possible. I considered the healing potion as written in Dragon Quest, and saw it heals 2d4 hit points. So I decided that it will heal 2d4 Injury Levels, instantly. The last part is essentially important, as anything longer than that means, the wounded party member is not functional. I did include a new Shock Roll to give a chance that they won’t recover, but thankfully it did not happen.
    The pregenerated characters were a tad bit strong (they were rolled by their authors), which is also in line with the Draqon Quest adventure where the heroes are full hit die. Also I did not want to spend time generating characters (even using points) because it wasn’t the aim of my experiment.
    Following the Hârnmaster combat to the letter, made using a bow in a dungeon redundant. It’s scaled to a more realistic range, so there’s no reason the elf ranger would try to shoot a monster within melee range, and he used the long knife instead. I could have given him the option to shoot above the dwarf, when standing behind him in the narrow corridors. Maybe I should have, it would have made things more interesting and given me the opportunity to also see how missile combat works. Maybe next time.
    Also the thief, in regular D&D/Dragon Quest, they should be able to hide out of sight. I did not try to do this at all. It felt wrong to me for them to vanish in plain sight. But again maybe I should try it, since the chaos of the combat and the crammed and dark dungeon conditions would allow this. I’ll consider it for next time.
    I did follow the advice given in the adventure book on when to roll wandering monsters, and it all turned out quite ok.
    Overall with the modifications I did, I find it was a balanced experience, and my party was at constant risk of failure. They were stronger than the individual monsters, but the constant fights did wear them down, as a proper dungeon crawl should.
    As to the story, I must confess that without warping the adventure I got quite bored at about the start. There was no suspense at all, and it felt like an arena fight. I’m pondering at my next attempt to change things a bit.

    Summary

    Hârnmaster is still on the list of my favorite RPG systems. It’s more detailed than Mythras/Runequest. Compared to MERP/Rolemaster, it feels like in Hârnmaster you run the equation, while in MERP you lookup the result. I did enjoy this dungeon crawl, albeit I will need to make it feel less like a board game, and more like an RPG by introducing some Solo Oracle/GME elements.

     
  • giorgis 6:37 pm on September 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E08 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she found a new lead to follow.

    I’m digging deeper into Mythic, and I’ll be using Mythic Variations 2 for this session. I’ve also skimmed through Mythic Variations 1 to mainly for theory and examples to help me understand Mythic GME better.

    Therefore, I’m reducing CF to 6 to be in line with MV2 (Mythic Variations 2).

    I’m deducing that German Kennet is in possession of a car. I can’t think of another way he would be moving around Mr Morikai, so it makes sense that he has one.

    Q: Does it make sense to play out the fixer scene?
    A: No

    So, she’ll try to purchase a couple of SMGs from Merlin, and Night Vision goggles in case they need to go underground.
    Wealth (d8): 4,4: Success. Success, but Wealth die drops to d6.

    So, next scene will be them following Alcantar, waiting in German’s car until he shows up.


    Is the scene modified? 2 against 6: Interrupted: PC Positive: Guide a Project.

    I’m not sure about my interpretation, so I’m gonna ask:
    Q: Is she asked to root out any traitors in the guild by Col. Faulkner?
    A: No

    I was just about to scratch the interrupt scene in favor of the 10-second rule, then it became 100 seconds, then 1000 seconds. I so much hate disregarding mechanics, even when told to do so by the oracle. In the end, as I am about to give in. I decide a more liberal approach. Maybe “project” means one of Smarte’s goals (right now the threads she’s following), and maybe “guide”, means, someone has information to help her towards the goal. All in the context of PC-Positive.

    Returning from the meeting with Merlin, Lt. Smarte and Mr. Kennet park outside Athen’s Appartment. They’ve gotten themselves some more serious firepower and night vision gadgets to use, in case things turn more serious than they already are.
    As they step outside, a destitute pushes her.
    They look at each other for a moment.
    “You!” She gasps out. “You’re the woman from the station. You really showed them! Filthy corporate scum.”
    Athen instictively looks around to make sure she’s not heard.

    Q: Is the destitute woman heard? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes

    A couple of passers by look at her.
    “Shush! You must have mistaken me for someone else!” Athen shushes the beggar woman, and looks at her with meaning, hoping she can get the message through to the deranged mind.

    Persuasion (d6): 10, 5: Success with a raise.

    “Ah yes, you all look alike.” She says loudly, understanding Athen. “Come, come, I’ve got something to show you.” She tugs Athen from her jacket to follow her.

    Detail Check: Sadness, Ceaselessly Mysterious.

    Kennet looks at Smarte, and she motions for him to come along. They follow the beggar woman in a back alley, and she heads to a sewer grate and opens it.
    “Why go into the sewers?” Athen asks.
    “That’s how I escaped that night. The metro and the sewers connect, in an endless maze. Noone knows how to walk them. They all get lost. Except that man. The man with the third eye.” The beggar lady says. “I followed him from a distance.”
    “Take us to there then!” Athen asks.

    Q: Does the beggar woman agree to guide them in the sewers? (Unlikely, she seems scared)
    A: No

    “I saw piles of dead people. Terrible stuff. Nightmares. The hunters should not have allowed this to happen. No. We’re alone again. I’m not going back in there.” The beggar woman responds.

    Persuasion (d6): 10, 5: Success with a raise.

    “I’m a hunter.” Athen replies. “You lead me, and we’ll make those monsters pay.”
    The woman thinks it over. “I’ll guide you part of the way. Then I go back. Don’t get lost.”
    Athen nods.
    “I’ll go bring the support.” German says and he goes to bring the sack with the weapons from the trunk.
    Soon the three of them are in the sewers.

    I’m not 100% certain I chose the right interpretations. But it keeps the story going, though I must confess that it feels biased, even if the interpretations fit with the story threads.

    I’m keeping the CF at 6.


    I was so tempted to make this another dungeon crawl (or should I saw sewer crawl), but I’m still going to play by Mythic’s rules and guidelines to the best of my ability. Mythic plays with scenes, and that’s what I’m doing.

    Athen and German, follow the beggar woman into the sewers to the point of interest.

    Is the Scene modified? 8 against 6: No

    Q: Do they encounter anything on the way there?
    A: No

    Q: Do they get lost?
    A: No

    After a good while into the dark, searching around corners, following their guide, she suddenly stops.
    “Go forth. Second junction to the right. I’m not coming along.” She says.
    “Will you wait for us here?” Athen asks.

    Q: Will she? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes (barely)

    She nods. “But only for a little while. If I hear noise, I’m gone, like the rats.”
    Athen taps her right hand over her heart in a thank you gesture. She knows the old lady risks a lot by waiting.
    “If you don’t find me, follow the yellow arrows. They’ll get you to the orange line. You’ll figure it out from there.” She adds, and the duo arms their guns and treads carefully onwards.

    I’ll do another detail check here. “What do they find?”: Focus Thread: Investigate occult rituals in Ocano Point: Offensively Small

    Q: Is a small humanoid shaman there?
    A: Yes

    So it’s a short goblin.

    Q: Are there more goblins with him?
    A: Yes

    Q: Are there any humans alongside?
    A: Exceptional yes, and random event.

    I take that exceptional yes means that they’re collaborators as well as victims.

    Before resolving the random event I’ll set up the scene a bit.

    As the armed duo takes the second junction to the right, they hear speech. Human tongues and non-human tongues exchanging words in an unknown language. They also hear screams for help in what sounds clearly as human.
    Closing in, they see several short gaunt figures armed with crude weapons, bashing around some men and women, who clearly seem captured.
    What catches their attention though is a goblin – that’s what they make of the humanoid figures – shorter than the rest, wearing a tall hat as if to appear larger than what it is. He’s carrying a staff on one hand, with a green glowing orb on top, and a serrated dagger on the other. Next to him is a human, with whom he seems to have a proper conversation.
    All around the room are similar fusions of bodies to the ones she saw over at Ocano Point. What is nauseating is that some of these bodies seem to be still moving, albeit like a headless chicken moves.

    Let’s resolve the Random Event now: NPC Positive: Goblins: Assist Jealousy

    Two of the goblins seem to be antagonizing each other as they bring a prisoner to the shaman. He laughs and tells them something in their dark speech which only makes them more furious, and they each cut off the limbs of their victim and present them to their leader. The victim, as if under the influence, screams but doesn’t try to move.

    I deem that’s a good time for a good old Spirit check.

    Athen: Spirit (d6): 5, 4: Success
    German: Spirit (d4): 3: Failure: Vigor (d6): 5: Success. German is Shaken.

    Let’s see if Athen notices her teammate’s status
    Athen: Notice (d6): 2,4: Success

    German, almost pukes at the gross sight. He barely holds it inside. As Athen was ready to barge guns blazing, she pauses, and instead tries to get in a vantage point, hiding in the shadows.

    Athen: Stealth (d6): 3,5: Success

    Now German must make another Spirit roll: 2: Failure

    Athen aims at the goblins, while German still tries to force himself to look at the monsters. In the meantime, the shaman takes the two hands and places them together in a pile of flesh, and starts mumbling some dark spell, while sparks of green light flow from his staff to the pile.

    Athen looks carefully to the man next to the shaman, see if she recognizes him under the dim light.
    Athen: Notice (d6): 9,5: Success with a Raise.

    Q: Does she recognize him? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and Random Event.

    Q: Is it dirty official?
    A: No, then it must be Holbrook Alcantar

    Q: Is it Holbrook? (Sure Thing)
    A: Yes

    Random Event: Close a thread: Investigate third eye drug exchange: Overindulge Representative

    She recognizes the man to be their target, Holbrook Alcantar, the person who was in league with Morikai.
    Holbrook watches the shaman cast his spell, then, as he finishes, he opens up his briefcase, full of pills. He kneels and presents it to the shaman. The goblin smiles sardonically and passes his hand over the pills, while spewing spit and words. The pills then start glowing green, like the ones Athen saw at the drug exchange. That’s the source.

    Q: Do the goblins go pick another victim?
    A: Yes

    The antagonizing goblin guards smile and walk back to the prisoners, while Athen waits for Kennet to recover. She can’t wait forever.

    Now German must make another Spirit roll: 15: Success with two Raises.

    Kennet takes a few deep breaths. And looks back at the scene and Athen, who gestures for him to open fire.

    I’ll try to get some numbers down for the combat.
    Goblins (1d6+2): 3 + the shaman
    Prisoners (1d10+1): 4
    Room size: 36
    Distance to goblins: 21

    Q: Is there another exit?
    A: Yes, at the back of the room


    Round 1: Athen+Kennet 8S, Goblins 7H, Shaman+Holbrook 6C

    Athen 1 shot at each goblin: Shooting (d10),-2: 2,3,8,1: 1 Success: 10/4: Wounded: Goblin 3 is down
    Kennet 2 & 1 shot at each goblin: Shooting (d6),-2: 5,1,2: Miss
    Goblin 1: runs to Athen: 10: Distance 11
    Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 6: Distance 15
    Goblin Shaman: 2 bolts at Athen, 1 bolt at Kennet: Spellcasting (d10),-2: 9,9,7,4: Success, Success, Success: 2, 19, 5: Athen is Wounded Twice: Benny: Soak Roll: 3,7: Success: 1 Wound removed.

    Q: Does Holbrook flee? (Likely)
    A: Exceptional No. He also pulls his pistol and shoots.

    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 7: Miss


    Round 2: Athen+Kennet 6H, Goblins QS, Shaman+Holbrook 8C
    Goblin 1: runs to Athen: 9: Distance 2
    Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 6: Distance 9
    Goblin Shaman: Zombie: Spellcasting (d10): Success: 1 Zombie is risen for 1 hour
    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
    Athen Spirit (d6): 10, 4: Not Shaken & Acts: Quick Draw Pistol: Double Tap Goblin 1: 7,1: Hit: 14/4: Wounded: Goblin 1 is down
    Kennet shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 5,5,3: Miss


    Round 3: Athen+Kennet AS, Goblins 5S, Shaman+Holbrook KH
    Athen: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-2: 2,4: Miss: Benny: 6,1: Hit: 6/4: Shaken
    Kennet shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 2,5,2: Miss
    Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 7,2: Success: Not Shaken
    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
    Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 7: Distance 2


    Round 4: Athen+Kennet 10D, Goblins 10C, Shaman+Holbrook 2S
    Athen: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-2: 7,3: Hit: 14: 2 Wounds: Soak Roll: Vigor (d4): 7,5: Success: 1 Wound
    Kennet: shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 2,5,2: 10: Success with a Raise: Hit: 33/4: Goblin 2 is down
    Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 7,2: Success: Not Shaken
    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
    Zombie: runs to Kennet: 7: Distance 14


    Round 5: Athen+Kennet AH, Shaman+Holbrook KC
    Athen: Close in 6, SA Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-3: 7,1: Hit: 8: 1 Wound
    Kennet: Reloads
    Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 2,3: Shaken
    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 1: Miss
    Zombie: runs to Kennet: 9: Distance 5


    Round 6: Athen+Kennet AD, Shaman+Holbrook 2H
    Athen: Close in 6, Reload
    Kennet: shoots FA at Zombie: Shooting (d6),-2: 3,3,5: Miss
    Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 2,1: Shaken
    Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 5: Miss
    Zombie: runs to Kennet: 10: Distance Close


    Round 7: Athen+Kennet JH, Shaman+Holbrook KD
    Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8),-2: 9,9: Not Shaken
    Holbrook: Shoots Athen: Shooting (d4): 5: Hit: 9/8: Shaken
    Zombie: attacks Kennet: Fighting (d6): 4: Miss
    Athen Spirit (d6): 17, 5: Not Shaken & Acts: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10): 6,4: Hit: 12: 2 Wounds. Goblin Shaman is down.
    Kennet clubs the zombie with the SMG: Fighting (d6): 5: Hit: 12/7: Wounded: Zombie is down


    Round 8: Athen+Kennet JS, Holbrook 9D

    Kennet attempts to make Holbrook surrender: Intimidation (d6): 5: Success

    Q: Does Holbrook surrender? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    They start shooting off their submachineguns. Bullets spraying everywhere. The loud bangs echoing in the sewers. The flash of the gun barrels is evident, and as the first goblin falls under the hail of fire, the two others run towards the intruders.
    The goblin shaman points his staff towards them and green bolts fly off, one of them hitting Athen right in the chest, piercing the kevlar and wounding her.
    Holbrook, trying to show off to his friends doesn’t run away, instead he pulls out a small .22, and crouched, he starts shooting back.
    Athen grouches, and despite her wound, she stands up, drops the submachinegun and pulls her pistol. She puts two into another goblin, advancing towards her.
    Kennet keeps shooting at full auto, missing by a long shot, while the goblin closes in.
    The goblin shaman casts another spell. This time he aims at the pile, and a shambling flesh creation is animated and starts walking to the party.
    Athen shoots the shaman again, and again and again, walking towards the little bastard who is suppressed. One by one her bullets find their targets, and after putting a fresh clip in the chamber, a bullet blows his brains out.
    At the other side, German has emptied a whole clip, and it is by sheer luck that he managed to kill the charging greenskin. He understands his limitations, so when the animated zombie comes at him, he just uses the submachinegun as a makeshift club. Bashing the abomination’s head again and again until it stops moving.
    The group then turns their attention to Holbrook. Bloody angry faces, they aim their weapons at him.
    “Drop it!” German growls to Holbrook. “Unless you wanna join your friends in Warp Heaven.”
    Holbrook looks back at the exit, but he knows he’s missed his chance. He drops his pistol and surrenders.


    They tie him up and look around for anything else, before starting the interrogation.

    Athen: Notice (d6): 9,4: Success with a Raise.

    Q: Is there anything of interest?
    A: Yes
    Q: What is it? (Detail Check)
    A: Focus PC: Miserably Interesting

    Athen finds that the victims were mostly run down people. The poor and the downtrodden. But what raises the interest of Athen is that she finds several IDs belonging to military or security personnel. It seems that the goblins aimed at both the people noone would notice, as well as the people that would defend Morieva. Maybe the tainted wheat she read in the messages was tainted with this drug substance.

    I will try out the Behavior Check of MV2 now, as Athen and German interrogate their prisoner.

    Holbrook Alcantar
    Identity: Corrupt official, goblin collaborator
    Personality: Roughly familiar
    Activity: Lie dispute
    Disposition: Passive (-2)
    Theme: Interrogation
    NPC Action 1: NPC Action: NPC Action 2: Talks, Exposition

    Haha, sometimes Mythic’s results fit in perfectly. I rolled a descriptor here, but as expected it made no sense, and since I have all the information I need, I’ll disregard it, and run along the conversation.

    German puts his gun on the collaborator’s head, while Athen kicks the dropped .22 away.
    “Start talking.” He demands.
    “Alright, alright. We bring placebo pills to the goblins and they warp them to make the recipients suitable subjects.” He starts saying.
    “To what end? Who else is involved?” Athen asks.

    NPC Action 1: NPC Continues
    Q: Are there others involved?
    A: Exceptional Yes
    Q: To what end? (Detail Check)
    A: Postpone Death

    Holbrook laughs. “You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, right? We’re everywhere. The cream of the cream of Morieva’s administration.”
    German hits him with the end of his gun. “Why?”
    “Oh but for what else? Immortality. You see wicked magics, we see untapped potential. We can live forever.” Holbrook laughs again.
    “What do the goblins get out of it?” She asks.

    NPC Action 1: NPC Action: NPC Action 2: Acts Out of PC Interest

    Q: What do the goblins get out of it? (Detail Check)
    A: Haggle Plans

    “They have plans. A grand strategy for all the world. But now we get to negotiate with them. We get to be part of their strategy. All because you managed to defeat them in the wars. We have to thank you for that Ranger.” Holbrook replies.
    Athen shudders that the man knows she served in the wars as a ranger. That could be deduced of course, but is it possible that he knows more about her? Are the hunters infiltrated by collaborators?
    “What plans?” She demands.

    NPC Action 1: NPC Continues +2: Gives Something: Debase Plot

    “Morieva is but the beginning. Once we’re successful, more will follow. We will take control of the city. The next war is going to be from the inside. By the time they realize what is happening, it will be too late.” Holbrook adds.
    “Names. Start giving names.” German says.

    NPC Action 1: Theme Action

    He will give them 2d6 names: 10. Politicians, officers, corporate suits.

    Q: Is Col. Faulkner between them? (No Way)
    A: Yes, Random Event: NPC Negative: German Kennet: Inquire Intrigues

    Donjon: Bryana Graydon, female journalist. Bryana is common in appearance, with blonde hair and gray eyes. She wears a casual skirt and blouse and cloche hat. Bryana is calm and impartial.

    Among the names there is Bryana Graydon, a female journalist. The moment German listens to her name, he steps back, as if hit by a truck. Holbrook continues, and also tells them about Col. Faulkner. Athen feels the ground beneath her disappear. Noone to trust. Nowhere. They look at each other. Holbrook smiles.
    “He’s lying!” German shouts. “They know about us and he’s lying to shake us.” He aims his pistol at Holbrook.
    “We can’t take the risk.” Athen replies. “We must find out if he’s telling the truth. Even if we waste precious time.” Tie him up. He’s coming with us.

    Chaos Factor remains at 6. The characters are in control of their immediate surrounding, but it seems the whole world is against them.

    I’m adding Bryana Graydon to the list.

    The third eye thread as well as the ocano point investigation thread are closed, and only the main thread remains.


    The next scene will have Col. Faulkner invited to Athen’s appartment and try to find out if he’s telling the truth.

    Is the scene modified? Yes: Altered Scene: Faulkner will arrive with muscle.

    It hasn’t been long since Athen hang up the phone call with Col. Faulkner. She explained to him that she had to see him in person for an urgent matter, with discretion, as she couldn’t trust the phone lines for possible hacking.
    Holbrook is tied up and gagged in one end of the room, and German is watching him for any attempt to escape.
    Is he fooling with them? Lying and trying to throw dust in their eyes? Or enjoys telling them the truth, certain that they can’t do anything to alter the course of the upcoming events. The collaborators are not known for their tongues to roll so easily. Yet, she’s been shaken, and watches out of the window, waiting for the Colonel to arrive.
    Then he sees him, come, in full uniform. Alongside with him are two more unis.
    “Shit.” Athen mumbles. ‘What could this mean?’
    She grabs her sidearm and turns to German. “We’ve got company. The colonel is here, but not alone.”
    They put Holbrook right in the middle of the room, open the door, and take positions, out of line of sight, at the sides of the room.

    There are several explanations as to why the Col. arrived with security, so the best thing to do is a detail check.

    Q: What is their reaction when they see Holbrook?
    A: Attainment the public
    The what now?

    Okay. So public… Holbrook is a public servant. They try to grab him.

    Q: Does Holbrook try to warn them about the armed captors?
    A: Yes

    Crap. The worst case scenario. There’s only a very slight chance they’re not allies.

    I’ll make an opposed Notice vs Stealth roll.
    5 Notice vs 10,7 Stealth. Athen succeeded with a Raise.

    The bodyguards, followed by the Colonel, arrive outside the apartment and see the open door and Holbrook tied and gagged. They rush towards him, disregarding his attempts to warn them of the ambush.
    As they reach him they hear the sound of guns cocked.
    “Alright boys, put your toys down and play nicely.” Athen warns them, having the upper hand.

    Q: Do they attack?
    A: No
    Q: Do they draw?
    A: No

    The men are caught by surprise and turn to face their ambushers, but don’t draw their weapons, fearing for their lives.
    “Is this what I see true? My eyes aren’t failing me? Certainly I thought my ears where failing me when the Captain told me about you. Have you gone out of your mind completely Smarte? Kidnapping a city official?” The colonel yells from the hall outside.
    “Found him in the sewers kissing some goblin cheeks. He confessed. Your name came up.” She replies from inside.

    I’m a bit indecisive about the tools to use right now. I could do a behavior check, but I’m gonna see what UNE gives first.

    Conversation mood: Guarded
    Bearing: Hostile, Destruction
    Focus: Future action

    Q: Does he threaten?
    A: Yes

    “You’re on a path to self destruction Athen. Your career is over, I hope not your life too. Put your gun down and I’ll make sure you get a psycheval. Avoid the court martial and all that crap. For old times sake.” Col. Faulkner threatens.
    “I sincerely had hoped that you were not involved, Colonel.” Athen says and shoots the men in the legs.

    Athen: Shooting (d10),+2: 8,4: Success: 13/6: Wounded

    Q: Does German follow her lead? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    German: Double tap: Shooting (d6),+3: 7: Success: 11/6: Wounded

    German also double taps the man he had at gunpoint, right on the leg. The two men drop screaming.
    “You’re done for Smarte!” The Colonel screams from outside.

    I think this is a breaking point for Smarte. She’s no killer, but she knows the threat Holbrook represents. She doesn’t want him to continue operating and he must pay for what he’s done so far.
    Yet she knows she can’t keep dragging him around as the latest events will turn her and Kennet into fugitives.
    It’s one of the cases where I won’t decide for my protagonist but I will roll a Spirit test. If she fails, she will execute Holbrook.

    Spirit (d6): 1,2: Failure

    Athen: Head Shot: Shooting (d10): 9,8: Success with a Raise: 14/5: Wounded. Holbrook is dead.

    Athen motions for Kennet to follow her outside from, jumping from the window, as the colonel may be overwatching the apartment exit.
    Before she does so, she takes a good look at the corrupt collaborator. She’s filled with all the suppressed emotions from the war. This man has betrayed all her sisters and brothers to make humanity safe again. Without thinking much, she puts a bullet in his head, right between the eyes.

    Q: Can they jump down?
    A: Exceptional Yes.

    At arms length from her apartment’s window there is the fire escape.
    They get out and make a run for German’s car. They have to escape Morieva and lay low.
    As the car flees to safe distance, Athen can’t shake the recent revelations from her head.
    “Hey partner.” German tells her. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll go to another city, find some support and expose these traitors.”
    “You’re right…partner.” She responds. Her gaze in the mirror, looking back.

    Okay. Time to close up the scene.
    Chaos Factor still at 6.
    Holbrook is removed from the Character List.
    All previous threads are closed.
    New threads: Escape Morieva, Expose Collaborators
    Athen and Kennet both get the Wanted Hindrance.

    Q: Does the Escape from Morieva warrant it’s own scene?
    A: No

    I’m gonna do a Zoomed out scene of the escape.
    Kennet: Streetwise (d6): 3: Failure
    Athen: Stealth (d6): 5,4: Success

    So, they don’t switch vehicles or find any support from the underground, but they manage to lay low, avoiding highways and get out of Morieva.

    I’ll be closing the session and season here. I’m going to give Athen an Advancement: Marksman. I’m also going to make German a Wild Card.


    Session Summary

    I found this session to be so interesting! Even though at some times I felt like I was circling around the same obstacle, without managing to pinpoint it, in the end the reason was clear.
    The threat was revealed to be much bigger than anything Athen could have faced at once.
    And what better way to close up the season, than with the bad guys winning, and darkness taking a piece of my protagonist’s soul!
    I really enjoyed the convo that was driven by the Behavior Check, and in general found MV2 to be so much faster and streamlined than core Mythic GME.
    Overall Mythic really held its ground and did what it was meant to: provide a coherent story structure upon which to run my adventure. I’ll definitely be using it in the future, or a mix/hack of it.

    Season Summary

    This story started with a lot of questionmarks, and as it went onwards it failed many times to provide the necessary drive. I’ve used several different tools, but due to a wrong approach based on the situation, it kept failing.
    Success (from a solo RPG perspective) came with the use of Mythic, which I was avoiding, due to my preference for a Player Driven approach.
    Keeping an open mind is important when trying out solo tools. I found out that I shouldn’t constrain myself depending on what I think I might like.
    I’m leaving the first season of A Monster’s Bounty with a nice feeling, and I look forward to picking it up again later!

     
  • giorgis 9:11 pm on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E07 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she was shut down from investigating certain leads and hit a few dead ends.

    Note: I had messed up the numbering of my sessions, and had to rectify it.

    I was eager to add a combat advancement after last session, but since she didn’t see any action I decided to up her Persuasion and Healing skills instead.


    Now for the next scene Athen will go to the base R&D team and talk with them and search the database, with regards to occult warp rituals.

    Before this all starts we gotta check if the scene is modified in any way.

    Is Scene Modified? : 5 against 6: Altered Scene.

    I’m quite at a loss of how this scene is altered. Maybe something has happened to the database. I’ll ask the oracle.

    Q: Is the database damaged?
    A: Yes

    Athen heads over to the library. She turns on the computer, and it flashes before her eyes, then the screen dies out.
    “Who’s in charge here?” She yells.

    Q: Does someone answer?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is it someone she already knows?
    A: Yes

    Cpt. Jaenke walks in from behind a desk. “I’m on active duty Smarte. What’s wrong?”
    “The computer it died out. We need to call the service.” She responds.

    Now, I’m gonna use UNE to set the conversation mood: cautious.

    “What do you want to look for? Maybe I can help.” He asks.
    Athen is still forthcoming, so she answers “I wanted to take a look for the occult rituals I saw over at Ocano Point. Mao Hsai…”
    “Mao Hsai has taken over the base and it’s over now. No politics. Remember?” He answers.

    Let’s see his bearing and focus: suspicion, and fame.

    “Why are you so bent on this case Smarte? Mao Hsai got to you? are you on their payroll. Wanna take the quick road to fame? You know it ends in death.” He caps up his sermon.
    Athen is quite speechless. “No, no sir.” she says.
    The Captain seems to think if he’s going to let off another warning, but Athen gets out before he does.

    She feels pissed off. First Taro, now the Captain seem to have their sights on her. Maybe she should go rogue and abandon the guild altogether. “Shit!” she yells, when she’s behind the barracks.

    Q: Does anyone listen?
    A: Yes, and it’s the worst possible person. Taro.

    She hears laughter from the corner, and voila, Taro emerges. “What happened Smarte? life treating you well?” he snarks.
    “Shut your trap Taro. You wanna put your money where your mouth is? now’s the time. Just you and me.” Athen taunts him.

    Q: Does Taro engage?
    A: Yes, and, he pulls a knife.

    “Oooh the little brat wants to get her ass kicked? I’m gonna leave you another mark on the face.” Taro says, raising his fist, and unseathing his combat knife.
    “The wyvern was pretier than you, asshole.” Athen replies as she runs her finger down her scar. She pulls her knife too, and the two of them begin their combat dance.

    Last time I had introduced Taro, he had the following results from UNE:

    Himeya “Assassin” Taro: Male Mercenary. Taro is thin, with blonde hair and bright amber eyes. He has a military cybernetic arm and carries an assault rifle. Taro is addicted to the street drug PBZ-3.
    UNE: NPC Power Level: Much stronger
    UNE: delightful conscript, offend poverty
    UNE: NPC Bearing: fear, NPC Conversation Focus: weapons
    I also recall he has a cybernetic left arm.

    So reading these I need to ask.
    Q: Is Taro currently high?
    A: Yes, extremely.

    I will roll on the Event descriptors to see if I can get some insight on the effects of the drug.
    I get Carelessness Energy. Okay, so he will get a -1 penalty to anything Agility and Smarts related, and a +1 bonus to anything Strength and Vigor related.

    Round 1:
    Initiative: Athen KC, Taro 9H

    Athen: Fighting (d6): 4,7: Success: 12: Success with a Raise: Wounded.

    As Taro closes in, and tries to lunge, Athen steps on the side, evades his trajectory, and stabs his weapon arm right between the fingers. He screams, drops his knife and clutches his wounded hand.
    Athen steps behind him, her knife at his throat.
    “Do as much as look at me next time, and it won’t be just your hand I’ll stab.” She punches him and walks away.
    ‘That felt good.’ She thinks as she leaves the base. ‘That felt really good.’ She knows Taro won’t tell anyone. He’s too proud and haughty to admit he’s been beaten.

    I consider that Chaos Factor remains at 6.


    Her sources at Vertden FOB burned, and with the increasing hostility, Athen will attempt to find Mr Kennet. See what he wanted to talk about. The next scene will play out in Morikai Bread Factory. There she might find Kennet’s employment’s records to find his home address.

    Is the scene modified? 10 against 6: No

    Athen arrives at Morikai Bread Factory. The receptionist is surprised to see her again.
    “Mr Morikai’s life might be in danger.” She explains. “Has Mr Kennet been here?” She asks.

    Persuasion (d6): 4,2: Success.

    Q: Has Mr Kennet been there?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is he still there?
    A: No
    Q: Was Mr Morikai with him?
    A: No

    “Yes Ms Smarte. Mr Kennet passed by earlier today, alone.” The lady answers.
    “Could you provide me his home address? It’s a matter of urgency.” Athen presses on.

    Persuasion (d6): 1,2: Failure: Benny: 2,2: Failure.

    “Sorry. I cannot give any private information to a third party. Especially one concerning Mr Morikai’s security detail.” The receptionist is adamant.
    “Can you call him then? Connect me to him? I must talk to him.” she counters.

    Persuasion (d6+1): 6, 12: Success with two raises.

    “I’ll be happy to.” The receptionist smiles.

    Q: Does Mr Kennet answer?
    A: No

    Let’s see if Athen saw the dialed in number.

    Notice (d6): 3,9: Success with a raise.

    As the receptionist dials in the numbers, Athen notes down mentally. 774-372-813.
    A minute later. The receptionist shakes her head. “He’s not answering madam. You’ll have to drop by later.”
    Athen smiles, and steps out. She heads to the nearest public terminal and plugs in the information, see if she can find the home address.

    Q: Is the address belonging to the number available?
    A: Extreme No.

    Athen tries to find the home address belonging to the phone address, but not only she can’t find anything, the number returns back as invalid. Did the receptionist just con her into believing she had called?
    Athen pretends she forgot something to get past security, storms back into the bread factory, and pulls her gun at the receptionist.

    Intimidation (d4-2): 1,5 vs 4: Success.

    The receptionist is startled, and raises her hands up.
    “You lying bitch. What are you hiding? Why did you lie to me?” Athen demands.

    Q: Did Kennet tell her so? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    “He told me to! Please don’t hurt me! He told me if anyone came asking to drive them away.”
    “Where is he? Is he inside?” Athen continues.

    Q: Is Kennet inside? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    The receptionist nods. Athen motions her with the pistol to move on.
    “Lead the way and open the door so that he doesn’t expect me. Signal him and you die.” She adds.
    They head upstairs and she opens the doors to Mr Morikai’s office.

    Q: Is Mr Morikai there as well? (Likely)
    A: Extreme yes.

    As the receptionist enters first, Athen pushes her to the side, to reveal herself. She comes upon the sight of a gagged and bound Mr Morikai. German next to the desk searching the files.
    Morikai tries to talk, his eyes begging for Athen to save him.
    German is taken by surprise.

    Q: Does German have his weapon on him?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does he try to reach for it? (Unlikely)
    A: No

    “You!” She says at the reception. “Go to the corner and don’t make a sound.”
    “You!” She says at Mr Morikai. “You’ll have your chance to explain yourself.”
    “You!” She says at Mr Kennet. “Tell me what the fuck is going on.”

    I’ll use UNE for the conversation mood: Forthcoming
    NPC Bearing: Investigation
    NPC Focus: Current Story

    Let’s see also for how long is German working for Morikai (d100): average amount of time

    “That’s what I’m trying to find out! I’ve been working for the big guy for five years now. He’s always been a little weird, but those last couple months he’s been too weird.” German explains and Athen gestures to him with the pistol to go on.
    “He never cared much for the workers, I know this much. I don’t care either. But when they started disappearing it was as if it was work as usual.” He sighs. “The he had some more meetings, some folks I had never heard of before. Late at night, with none of the usual folks.”

    Q: Does German have some evidence? Something that sparked off his behavior? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    “For security reasons it is I that take of the paper trash from his office to the shredder. One day I found this piece of paper.” He puts his hand in his pocket.
    “Slowly.” Athen says to him.
    “This writing ain’t human.” He continues as he removes a crumbled paper from his pocket and lays it open on the desk.
    Athen closes in and sees the evidence.

    Q: Is it similar to the writing in Ocano Point?
    A: Yes

    “That’s orcwrit. That’s for sure.” She says. “Alright. I’m gonna trust you now. I’ll stop pointing this at you. You gotta trust me too and don’t try anything stupid. I don’t care what the guild says. I wanna get to the bottom of this. Humans are dying, grossly.”

    At first I decided to ask the Oracle and roll, but the I realized it makes NO sense for German to go against her at this point. So I used my GM-Muscles and took over.

    German nods. “I believe he’s in league with some orcs or collaborators. It must be part of a bigger plan, because of all the meetings. I took him here to see if there’s anything else in his desk that could help my investigation, and then you arrived. He ain’t speaking though, and believe me I tried.”
    “They never do speak. Even back in the war. I think they fear their masters more than us. Heck I would too.” Athen explains.
    “What should we do with him?” German asks.
    “Bring the worker’s rep here. Tell him who’s to blame for the missing workers. Then deliver Mr Morikai to them. Let them work it out.” Athen proposes and Morikai’s eyes widen with anxiety.

    Q: Does German agree to that?
    A: Extreme yes

    German turns to the recepionist. “You heard Ms Smarte, call the worker’s rep.”
    A short while later, the factory boss is delivered to the workers, and Athen and German don’t look back.
    They have more important things to do, like find more evidence.

    Q: Is the desk locked?
    A: No
    Q: Do they find anything of interest?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is it a document?
    A: Yes, Random Event: PC Positive: Carry Adversities.
    Q: Is the document in orcwrit?
    A: Yes

    Searching through the desk drawers they find another piece of paper, sporting the same writing in unknown language. “We’ll need to take this to an expert.” Athen says.
    “Alright.” German replies. “Hey, look. I just want you to know we’re in this together, wherever this goes. I hate the darn creatures. Lost some of my own people to them, and I will never rest knowning they’re out there still hurting us. Whatever we face will doing this job. I have your back.” He confesses.

    I interpreted the Carry Adversities result, in that she has now someone to help see this through.

    Athen smiles in a ‘thank you’ manner. “Let’s take the datacomp with us as well. We can get this to a hacker to get us in. Maybe we’ll find a contact there to follow.” She says, changing the topic. She had never been big on words.

    I’m adding German’s stats at the bottom of the post for reference purposes.

    I’m removing Mr Morikai from the Characters List.
    I just realized that Chaos must always move up or down. Okay, so in this case the PCs where in control of the scene, therefore Chaos Factor is now at 5.
    I’m renaming a Thread to investigate the orc collaborator conspiracy.


    After a discussion in the mythic gme discord, it was brought to my attention that I can ask the Oracle if a specific situation warrants a scene, or just happens in downtime (Thanks @Thessius!)

    Q: Should I run a scene concerning finding an orcwrit expert to translate the documents?
    A: Extreme Yes

    So this should be an important scene, which should move the story forward.

    The scene will have to do with Athen and German hanging around in some sleazy bar, waiting for German’s contact to show up.

    Is the scene modified? 9 vs 5: No.

    German: Streetwise (d6): 8: Success with a raise.

    The Ace of Spades, not the most safe spot to get your drink in Morieva at night. Nevertheless that’s where German brought her, claiming he knows people there.
    They grab a seat at a small round table in the rear, order a couble of cold ones, and German goes to the bar. He exchanges a few words with the barman, and returns.
    “We got lucky.” Seems my friend knows the right person, they’re gonna meet us here.

    Q: Does the contact show up alone?
    A: Yes

    Let’s hit donjon to get some information about this NPC.
    Jasper Catlow: Male Doctor. Jasper is willowy, with short golden hair and hazel eyes. He wears a casual suit and glasses with dark rims. Jasper speaks with a strange accent.

    UNE: pragmatic recluse
    Motivation: blight industry (?)
    Mood: neutral
    Bearing: secrets
    Focus: future action

    Introductions are made, and Dr. Catlow gets to the point.
    “I’m told you have some non-human scripts.” He eyes the two carefully. His accent is snobbish.
    “Well then show me.” He adds.
    Athen carefully pulls out the two documents.

    Q: Does he ask to be paid?
    A: Yes. 80 silver dollars.

    Now I did some reading of my previous posts to see if I had any reference to a unit of wealth and in a quick skim I didn’t find any. I decide that having a silver dollar coin would be a nice thematic addition to the setting.

    Athen has the necessary funds to not require a wealth die roll. Nevertheless she will try to barter a little.

    Persuasion (d6): 2,3: Failure

    “It will be 80 silver. For my time.” He says.
    “Hey you don’t get to look at these all the time, how about 60?” Athen says.
    “You know anyone else who can read these? Don’t waste my time and you won’t waste your money.” He counters. Athen gives him the coin, and waits eagerly for the translation.

    I’ll take a step further and decide that the NPC motivation which was blight industry, doesn’t refer to Catlow, but to the documents.

    Q: Do both documents refer to the same matter?
    A: Extreme No. They’re completely unrelated, maybe different author as well.
    Q: Does the second document refer to the occult rituals?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does the first document (blight) industry have any drug reference?
    A: No
    Q: Does the second?
    A: Extreme yes
    Q: How well does Catlow translate?
    A: a bit below average.

    Dr. Catlow reads the first document again and again. “Okay, this one is quite generic. It refers to some of the most important industries of Morieva and how they’re a target. Something about ‘under, attack’ can’t understand much more.”
    “This one” he says as he reads through the second, “seems to be written with a different paint. The size of the letters is also different. It’s talking about performing rituals… and that the subjects must be prepared with substances for a long period of time. Something about a third eye. I can’t make much sense. That’s the main problem with orcwrit. The words are there, but their concepts are so much different than ours.”
    Suddenly it all made sense to Athen. The puzzle pieces fit in one by one. Collaborators are working with orcs to prepare the human subjects for warp magic rituals. The new drug on the streets is all part of their plan. At the same time they’re trying to undermine the infrastructure of Morieva. Maybe they’re using the sewers? Like in the bread factory. She still fails to see to what end all this is happening. One thing is for certain. The people of Morieva are in danger and they must investigate further.
    She thanks Dr. Catlow for his services and once he’s gone, she shares her concerns with German.

    Q: Does the bodyguard agree with her? (Likely)
    A: Extreme Yes

    German Kennet listens carefully. “You’re absolutely right Athen! We must find out more, you say you have a hacker we can take this datacomp to? Maybe we should take a look before jumping into the sewers.”
    Athen nods, and goes outside to call Quinn.

    Q: Does she find Quinn?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is he available to work on the datacomp?
    A: No.

    Persuasion (d6): 5,4: Success

    She calls Quinn from a payphone. He ain’t happy to hear her voice. “I don’t want to work with you. Can we just forget we met?” He says over the phone.
    “Nothing like last time. I just have a datacomp for you to hack into. Find me a few contacts. Routine boring hacking stuff.” She tries to calm him.
    “Alright alright, but it will cost you silver.” Quinn agrees.

    So, both threads are progressing, none is resolved yet. I’m adding Dr. Jasper Catlow to the Character List, and increasing Chaos Factor to 6, as things seem to be moving out of control.


    Q: Does the meeting with Quinn warrant a separate scene?
    A: Yes

    Athen and German will be going to Quinn with the datacomp to look into it.

    Is the Scene modified? 3 vs 6: Altered Scene.

    Q: Does the meeting take place at the Ace of Spades instead?
    A: Extreme No

    Okay so I interpret this as meaning that Quinn is a very careful fella and doesn’t want to be in a public place or his own (otherwise it wouldn’t be an altered scene).

    So the meeting will take place over at Athen’s apartment.

    Athen and German are waiting at the hall, when there’s a knock at the door.
    “Who’s there?” Athen asks, by the side of the door.
    “It’s me, Quinn.” He answers.
    Athen lets him in and he sets up at the kitchen table, failing to find another proper surface.
    “Where’s the data comp?” He asks, and German gives him the device.

    Q: Is the cost high?
    A: No

    Quinn connects his personal datacomp to Morikai’s. “It’s gonna set you back 70 silver.” He tells Athen, who puta her hand deep in the pocket to pay him.
    “Get on with it.” She responds.

    Q: Does Quinn manage to hack the device? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    With ample time at his disposal and all the tools available, Quinn soon bypasses the security protocols of the personal datacomp.

    Q: Are there any contacts that stand out?
    A: Extreme Yes.
    Let’s turn to UNE: Cultured Magister
    So it’s a government official in a position of power, who’s involved. Since this was an Extreme Yes, I take it that there’s undeniable information regarding their involvement.

    “So, we’ve got several messages here, back and forth with a fella called Holbrook Alcantar…wasn’t he running for city council?” Quinn lets his words trail off. “What you do with this information is up to you. Anyway, the messages were encrypted, but I’ve managed to decipher them. Take a look and decide. My work here is done. I don’t want to know what happens further.”
    German looks at Athen with a ‘can we trust him?’ face. Athen nods, even though she knows not to trust anyone. She’d hate if Quinn ended up in a ditch on her accord. The hacker packs up and leaves.

    Q: Does it have to do with the third eye drug?
    A: Extreme No. Crap, I was leaning heavily towards this scenario.

    I roll on the Events & UNE tables to see if I can get an insight on the content of the messages. I get dominate illness and abduct valor.

    So here I am contemplating if should disregard the Extreme No answer above. I mean it fits perfectly. On one hand I want to give leeway to the GM side, on the other I don’t want to write huge blocks of story text arbitrarily without any mechanical input from the game or GME.
    After careful thinking I decide to go with it. I’ve considered a way to make it fit, and maybe all the puzzle pieces will click in the end.

    One by one they read the messages between Morikai and Alcantar.
    It’s evident that Morikai used the factory to deliver tainted wheat products around the city. The messages don’t describe what substances are used to taint the products or what will happen to the consumers, but Alcantar has played his part in delivering said packages to armed forces around Morieva.
    “How deep does this go? They have spread their tentacles all over the city!” German sighs.
    “We need some contingency. I don’t trust the guild or Mao Hsai. Not anymore.” Athen says.
    “We can’t trust the cops or the city either. We don’t know who’s involved. And if we go to the media, the enemy will be alarmed.” He adds.
    He mulls it over, but Athen seems not to care. “We’ll copy the files and get a lawyer to release it in the event of our death. I want to follow that Alcantar fella. See where he leads us. I’m gonna call my fixer. Something tells me we’re gonna need to pack more before this thing is over.”

    Chaos Factor goes up to 7.
    Character List updated with Holbrook Alcantar.
    Threads remain the same.


    With this scene over I decide to pause the session here.
    I’m giving Athen another advancement per Savage Worlds rules. This one will be Quick Draw.


    Characters

    • Hunters
    • Mao Hsai
    • Goblins
    • Merlin
    • Dirty Official
    • Quinn
    • ~~Michal Morikai~~
    • German Kennet
    • Dr. Jasper Catlow
    • Holbrook Alcantar

    Hunters

    • Taro
    • Col. Leif Faulknen
    • Cpt Jaenke
    • Konicek
    • Girbach
    • Quartermaster

    Locations

    • Vertden FOB
    • Home
    • Ocano Point
    • Gustav’s
    • New Gorky
    • Old Pictorial
    • Morikai Bread Factory

    Threads

    • Investigate orc collaborators conspiracy (main thread)
    • Investigate occult rituals in Ocano Point
    • Investigate third-eye-drug exchange

    German Kennet: Male Soldier. German is muscular, with short black hair and gray eyes. He wears a grey suit and glasses with gold rims. German is quick-witted and pessimistic.
    Race Human
    Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d6
    Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d6, Driving d4, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Streetwise d6
    Hindrances Curious
    Edges Brawler
    Pace 6″
    Parry 5
    Toughness 5
    Wealth d6


    Session Summary

    Maybe the session of this adventure that I enjoyed the most so far. It had mystery, action and suspense.
    I absolutely loved the part where an extreme No answer turned the tables to my trail of thought and provided a way for the plot to progress I hadn’t imagined before!
    That’s a nice example of how solo play can surprise you.
    What I struggled most was my GM side pushing to take the story to one direction and Mythic pulling towards another. This issue existed even in my previous Player Driven gamestyle, but it’s even more pronounced with Mythic, because of the different approach. Mythic requires that you think of the story foremost, so having focused there, you feel the impact more when you have to disregard your imagined scenario.
    I’m still going to take the story to wherever Mythic takes me. I’m really curious.

     
  • giorgis 5:17 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E06 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session, she had left an abandoned military base in a hurry after residual warp magic and corporate goons made her presence too hot.

    I thought, what better way to return back to my blog posts, than with a campaign I had abandoned.
    After complete lockdown burnout and almost a month of vacations, I’m getting back in the saddle with Athen’s story. This time I’ll take the lessons I’ve learned regarding story drivers and apply them, but also I will try out one of the most popular solo engines out there, Mythic GME. Since I want to understand how it’s supposed to work, I’m not gonna hack it at all, and only resort to additional solo tools (such as UNE or BOLD) if required.

    I think Mythic, which is Scene based, will fit perfectly with the vague distances of a cyberpunk city. No more trying to decide how many hours it takes to get from one place to the next. This isn’t some fantasy hex crawl adventure.

    I took the time and created a Characters List. I had to make a subtable for the Hunter’s guild, since there’s just too many of them. Even though Taro could reserve special mention.

    Characters

    • Hunters
    • Mao Hsai
    • Goblins
    • Merlin
    • Dirty Official
    • Quinn
    • Michal Morikai
    • German Kennet

    Hunters

    • Taro
    • Col. Leif Faulknen
    • Cpt Jaenke
    • Konicek
    • Girbach
    • Quartermaster

    I’ve also made a list of locations and threads

    Locations

    • Vertden FOB
    • Home
    • Ocano Point
    • Gustav’s
    • New Gorky
    • Old Pictorial
    • Morikai Bread Factory

    Threads

    • Investigate occult rituals in Ocano Point (main thread)
    • Investigate third-eye-drug exchange

    Also, considering how the party had to turn tail and run, abandoning the scene in the last episode, I deem that the Chaos is high, with Chaos Factor starting at 6.


    Now it’s time to set up the first Scene.
    I’m considering that Athen will return to Vertden FOB to report back the failure in recovering the data, and also to investigate on the occult ritual remains they discovered on site. She knows that Mao Hsai has gotten to Ocano Point, but that doesn’t mean the potential danger can’t be overlooked.

    Is Scene Modified? : 6 against 6: Interrupt Scene.
    Event Focus: Ambiguous Event, Attract Animals

    Athen has walked a sizeable distance away from Ocano Point. She recalls she has to walk four hours to get to the nearest road to get a cab back. The war has destroyed the entire infrastructure around the base. With her flashlight showing the way, she treads among the ruins back to her destination.
    What catches her attention is sounds flickering in the darkness. She is alone, and a pack of beasts, mutated, warped or natural ones, would not be scared off easily.
    Alarmed, she draws her sidearm, releases the safety and continues, avoiding closed spaces.

    Athen will try to get a glimpse of what kind of creatures are following her.
    Notice (d6): 8,4: Success with a raise. I’ll ask two questions.

    Q: Is it avians? (50/50)
    A: Yes
    Q: Are they unnatural? (50/50)
    A: No

    So it’s either bats or owls. Experience dictates that owls are dead silent in the night, so I’ll go with the bats. With Mythic what is story interesting dictates what follows. There would be no point adding a scene where nothing happens, so I think that even if it’s a natural swarm of bats they could still behave unnaturally, and swoop in on Athen (not harming, but maybe bruises, a fatigue level) if she fails to avoid them. She might even lose her temper and fire off a blast with her pistol, possibly alerting other, more nefarious creatures.

    Winds flapping about, Athen realizes its a swarm of bats. Filthy flying rodents she thinks.
    Suddenly, the swarm changes direction, and flies directly on to her, and she tries to jump out of the way.

    Agility (d8): 6,5: Success.

    Athen dodges the swarm, as the bats turn again for another swoop. What the…

    Agility (d8): 17, 1: Success with three raises.

    Athen jumps out of the way, does a barrel roll, and gets in a shallow concrete ditch. The bats seem to be unable to detect her in the night. They do a couple more passes, and fly away.
    Shocked, Athen can’t seem to get out of her head, why would creatures so low in the food chain try to hurt her.
    Did it have to do with what happened in Ocano Point? Did she get hit by warp magics, or are the animals agitated by something else? intentionally? In any case she keeps her pistol at the ready and walks back in stealth.

    Stealth (d6): 9,1: Success with a raise. She leaves the scene safely.

    Time to close up the scene. On one hand Athen seemed to handle herself properly, but the whole animals attacking thing seemed chaotic. I deem Chaos Factor remains at 6. No modifications to characters or threads (I deem this bizarre behavior is in the main thread.


    Again, next scene will be the return & brief at Vertden FOB.

    Is the Scene Modified? 4 against 6: Yes: Interrupt Scene.
    Event Focus: NPC Positive: Mao Hsai: Truce Outside.

    It’s early morning when Athen finally gets back to where the cab had left them the night ago. The road is empty and deserted as it should be, but the sound of cars approaching gets her attention.
    She hasn’t slept for so many hours, and tiredeness starts to kick in.

    Q: Is it many cars? (50/50)
    A: Yes

    As they draw closer, she can see it’s a convoy. 3 armored SUVs rolling in. She tries to hide, but it seems they’re after her, as they brake quickly and do surround her position. She reaches for her sidearm, as the window of the middle SUV slides down.
    The red haired man inside takes off his glasses. His silver eyes gaze at Athen.
    “That won’t be necessary Ms. Smarte.” He says. “We’ve already talked with your boss. We’ve come to an… agreement. Pity we missed you last night. Would have saved you all the trouble.”
    It takes Athen a moment to understand what is going on.

    I’m going to use UNE for this conversation, as it seems to be the main focus of the scene.
    Conversation Mood: Sociable
    NPC bearing: idiocy
    NPC focus: relics

    “It seems both sides got what they wanted then. You got a nice fancy goblin blade, and in return you won’t try to restore the drives – which were fried any way. Win-win for you.” Athen replies.
    “So you did your research after all.” The man says. “You’re stupid if you think all we wanted was one trinket. There’s… more. But rest assured, Mao Hsai has Ocano Point now. You got in, but now, you have got to stay out.”
    Athen brandishes a card with her contact information and throws it to the window. “You’re gonna need this. When that sicko warp shaman comes knocking back. Because something tells me that evil, is still live and kicking around Ocano Point.”

    Persuasion: 4,3: Success.

    The red haired man takes the card. “We already have your contact info Ms Smarte. Mao Hsai is connected. You’d know this if you did your research.” He pauses for a moment. “You’ve seen these… mutilations before?”
    “No.” She snaps.
    “No?” He asks.
    “No, I’m not telling you anything unless you let me help you. Listen you, I don’t give a fuck what you find to make more money. But if you stir up some old-war warp shit, that’s my queue. You want to find out who did this and if they’re gonna do it again? Let me back in, or get out of my way.” Athen replies.

    Persuasion: 4, 6: Success. He agrees.

    Q: Does he take Athen with him to the base right now?
    A: Yes

    The window slides back up, and as Athen believes they’re gonna storm off, the door opens. She enters the SUV.
    “I thought there were no roads in shape to be driven to Ocano Point.” She says.
    “Oh there are none, but we’re going to the helipad. We’re not gonna walk there.” The man smiles. He points to his crew. “I’m Chuo Kai-Hoa. My assistant will prep an agreement that you need to sign on. The place seems to drag you back in Ms Smarte. You can’t escape it.”

    Characters: +Chuo Kai-Hoa
    Chaos Factor: drops to 5.


    I’m thinking the next scene will have to do with Athen doing research back in Ocano Point. With no obstacles, she will have the opportunity to investigate what happened there and if the threat is still active.

    Is the Scene Modified? 8 against 5: No.

    Athen took a short nap in the helicopter, but still she ain’t close to being rested. She was afraid she’d have lost the opportunity to investigate the base if she asked for a delay. Also it’s best to look at things while they’re fresh, unlike her.

    Q: Where there any other macabre findings?
    A: Yes

    I realize here that in my previous session I should have made a Fear roll. I’ll take the opportunity and make the test now, since Athen revisits the spot, and there are more things to see.

    Athen disembarked from the chopper with Chuo and two Mao-Hsai goons. She saw corporate suits everywhere. Some uniformed with guns, others in science robes, running about frantically. The heavily armored troops she saw last night weren’t to be seen anywhere. As soon as the rotor died, and they could make proper conversation, they guided her to the gross piles.
    She braces herself for what she is about to relive. As soon as they enter inside the stench overcomes her nostrils.

    Q: Does Chuo join in? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    Chuo puts a napkin over his nose and enters, seemingly unfazed by the visage.
    “Ms Beyett here” he says referring to the suit next to him, “will be capturing the scene audiovisually. If you need focus somewhere, tell her.”

    Something else I read in the Mythic GME is that you can ask questions regarding world truths. I find that this will help immensely with setting up the world.

    Q: Have there been developed warp detection devices?
    A: Yes

    Athen nods. “Any chance we can get a warp detector? I have this gut feeling that dark magic was at work here.”
    Chuo tells the other suit next to him, and he sets off to find it, as Athen starts investigating the site.
    She tried to tell herself that seeing these in the light of day would make it less macabre. How wrong she was. She can’t shake the feeling that these people in there where flayed, skinned alive to provide for this experiment. But what causes her nausea, is that she can see that some of the experiments seem to have partially succeeded. She can see that some of the flesh constructs are seamless.

    Fear: Spirit (d6): 3,2: Failure: Shaken. Vigor (d8): 5,4: Success.

    Athen wants to get out. But she gets a hold of herself. Her hair is standing up. She’s on edge, but she holds her stomach contents together, and gets to the job at hand.

    Notice (d6): 5,5: Success.

    Q: Is the experiment a recent one?
    A: No

    At first she thought that whatever happened here was recent, since the flesh constructs seem to be fresh, to the contrary to the mummified rotten piles in the corner of the room.
    Then she notices a huge circle marking the floor, under the flesh constructs, made with what else? dried blood. Occult symbols cover it end to end.
    She notices a patch of skin that is lying half in the circle and half outside. The part that is inside the circle, is still fresh and preserved, while the part that is outside is dried and gray.
    Athen points that out to the corporate suits. “Definitely warp magic at work here. I believe it’s old.”
    “Doesn’t warp magic dissipate with the passage of time?” Chuo asks.

    I’ll make a common Knowledge roll and if successful I’ll ask for a world truth.
    Common Knowledge (d4): 2,3: Failure

    “I don’t know how it works. I hunt them down and kill them. Will need to check out the database back in Vertden.” Athen replies.
    “Have you vetted the entire base? Is the place secured?” She adds, while at the same time trying to avoid gazing at the corpses, something hard to do as the entire room is covered with it.

    Q: Have they secured the place?
    A: Yes

    “It’s clear. Something else you want to take a look at, or are you done?” Chuo asks.
    “Magic has pooled here. I wouldn’t put my guard down… even when uncontrolled by the enemy, it’s known to affect things and people…” Athen counters. “Can we take a look with the warp detector see if there’s anything we might have missed around the base?”
    Some time later, a corporate employee with scientist robe arrives with a device on a two wheeled cart, and they start scouring the remains of the camp.

    I’ll do a Notice test to see if they get a bonus in finding anything more.
    Notice (d6): 5,5: Success
    Q: Is there any other pooling of warp magic?
    A: Yes
    Q: Do they find the pooling of warp magic? (Likely)
    A: No

    They search the base around with the detector. The contraption blips a couple more times, but nothing serious. Overall it seems that apart from the occult site, the entire place seems warp free.
    “I’d like a copy of the footage in that room.” Athen requests to Chuo as she gets back to the helicopter. “Maybe some research in the records will reveal something new.”

    Persuasion (d4): 2,5: Success.

    “We’ll review it and send you the relevant parts Ms Smarte. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.” The corporate agent replies.
    Athen smiles softly. “Thanks for the ride, and hey, if the shit hits the fan, give me a call.”

    I’m not closing up the investigation thread just yet. Athen needs to make sure that everything’s inactive. There’s this gut feeling she has that all is not complete. Maybe it has to do with the bat swarm attack of last night.

    I’m keeping the Chaos Factor stable.


    Athen will head to Vertden, take a short nap in the barracks, and do the debriefing and research.

    Is the Scene Modified? 4 against 5: Interrupt Scene.
    NPC Action: German Kennet: Event: Persecute Fears

    Q: Is Mr Kennet the subject of persecution?
    A: No, therefore he is the object of persecution.

    For the subject I’m gonna use UNE for inspiration: titled master. Heck I did not see this coming.

    Athen arrives at the gate of Vertden FOB to come upon muscular Mr Kennet holding a man by the rear of his neck, pushing him around in front of the guards. The man is none other than Mr Morikai himself.
    “…there was this hunter lady, Ms Smarte. She knows, she will understand!” she hears Kennet saying as she approaches from behind.
    “Know what Mr Kennet?” Athen asks in a dominating voice.
    German turns around, still holding Morikai who has been bruised quite heavily, most likely assaulted by his bodyguard.
    “Ms Smarte! At least I know you aren’t in league with those filthy orcs.” He spits down to the ground in resent. “I was watching him, oh yeah I was watching him… human traitor!” He snaps and punches down Mr Morikai who bends his knees and drops.
    “Calm down man. What’s going on?” She asks.
    “He… he’s in league with them. That’s why they attacked the factory. When he couldn’t hide their presence any longer he called you, to cover his tracks. ” Kennet answers.
    ‘A gorkie?.’ Athen thinks. That’s what the orcs called their human collaborators during the war. When the humans had started winning the war, they even faced battalions of them in the battle. They were mostly saboteurs. Few if ever had been taken alive. They always perished one way or another.
    The war ended, but the distrust had taken its toll. Witch hunts were set in villages, and many times people were accused and murdered in the name of some cleansing of traitors. More often than not they had nothing to do with it.
    “We’ll take him inside Mr Kennet. If the allegations stand true, he sent to be tried. Just bear in mind, we hunt monsters not humans. Not anymore at least.” Athen tells Mr Kennet.

    Q: Does Mr Kennet deliver Mr Morikai to Athen? (Likely)
    A: No

    Haha, okay, he may need some persuading first.

    Persuasion: 15,5: Success with two raises.

    It seems the diplomatic answer of Athen didn’t convince Mr Kennet.
    “He ain’t going anywhere where I can’t see him.” German responds and grabs Mr Morikai by the neck, who tries to mumble something like “please”.
    “You’ll come in to give a briefing as well, but you understand that we need to interrogate him alone. There are tests…” Athen lets her voice trail off, to make German’s imagination fill in the gaps.
    The bodyguard lets his old boss loose in front of the guards.
    “Let’s get them inside, different rooms, guarded. Notify Cpt. Jaenke” She tells them, and they follow.

    Q: Does Cpt. Jaenke agree with the questioning process?
    A: Extreme No

    The Captain enters the holding room, and yells at Athen for good. “We do NOT interfere with human relations unless we’re attacked by a subject. Get them both out of here!”
    “They could be…” she tries to say.
    “I don’t care! We’re called to hunt a beast. We hunt it. We kill it. We get payed. Politics is what gets guilds closed down, and I as sure won’t go down this road. Get them out. If the muscle wants to kill his boss, let him have at it, I couldn’t care less.” The Captain continues.
    Athen hangs her head as the guards escort the two men outside.
    Once they’re outside the Captain asks for her briefing regarding Ocano Point, and Athen provides it.

    I want to see if the Captain is aware of the Mao Hsai truce.

    Notice (d6): 17,1: Success with three raises.

    Q: Is the Captain in the loop?
    A: Yes

    As Athen recollects her memories and provides the briefing to Cpt. Jaenke, she can’t help but notice that he doesn’t seem to pay any attention to her story. As if he already knows.
    Not involved in politics captain, right? she thinks to herself. Just the ones that you're not payed for.
    When the briefing is over, she hits the bunk for some well deserved rest. Trying to piece all of it together. Questions, questions all over. Too many coincidences involving goblins and their work in the region. If there’s one thing she has learned is that there are no coincidences.
    She’s definite that there are goblins working with humans, and there’s warp magic involved in all of this, but they’re all in the hiding and she can’t do anything about it unless she finds hard evidence. She still finds it hard to trust anyone, and the guild doesn’t give her that sense of home. They haven’t embraced her at all. Is it the truth, or is she just depressed? she wonders, as she finally falls asleep.

    I’m increasing the Chaos Factor to 6 and adding a thread uncover local orc collaborators. She’s been told not to, but day by day it seems that her relations with the guild worsen.

    Also, I’m giving Athen an advancement, per the SW rules.


    Session Summary

    A breath of fresh air! Mythic seemed to shine in this game style.
    First of all, I did some thorough reading of the blue book, and realized that my own personal Player-Driven style wouldn’t play with Mythic well. So I tried to stick as much as possible to the guidelines by the author, and run it completely, Story-first. I was hesitant at first, but it worked perfectly!

    What I really enjoyed though was the Scene-based game style of Mythic. This wouldn’t work well in a dungeon crawl or hex crawl or similar game were the timeline is full and there are no gaps, even if the filling is nothing happening and noone encountered. On the other hand it fits perfectly in modern, post modern and urban adventures games. Time to perform tasks is so relevant it doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s like movie time.
    So what helped me was imagine the whole session as a movie or tv show episode. (Don’t confuse this with the cinematic style the author states in the book). We go from one scene to the next, where each scene has at least some story-telling importance, and if we need to know what happened in-between scenes, it’s just described within the scene that is playing. Perfect.

    Now this isn’t to say that it all worked without a single hitch. I’ve had a few “how to interpret the results” times, but nothing I hadn’t encountered before while solo playing.
    Also I can’t help but shake the feeling that some of my scenes are too short. I think dice results play a big role in this matter, and it could be just plain probabilities.

    I’m still finding some gaps here and then in my story… who’s on my protagonists’ side, what does she feel about following orders vs helping the fellow man. I find that there are some situations where her character isn’t as defined as I would like to, in order to help me better decide what she does. Maybe she hasn’t decided for herself right now, and she’s just playing along, until it becomes crystal clear to her what destiny (the oracle) has in line for her. She only has to hope it won’t be too late by then.

    I like how I’m adding more stuff to the world, and the world-building possibilities of Mythic. As I play more I find that the setting is more post-apoc and less cyberpunk to me, but it could be just the region the events take place.

    I’m curious now to find out if the story will evolve as I envision it, or if Mythic will throw me another curveball and take it all in another direction, but overall I really enjoyed the game and Mythic GME.

     
  • giorgis 5:47 pm on May 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep12 

    If it was a longer trip to bridge, I’d place some secret clocks to see what happens with, Ambald, the cart, the goods or the bandits. Instead, the Oracle will answer those.
    Also since it’s highly likely that this session will be about a fight, I won’t bother with using BOLD for connections, as I did in the past. If there is no fight, I will interject the connections from that point on.

    The trio leaves on foot, to ensure that the bandits don’t hear the horses.
    They also want to make sure that the bandits don’t kill Ambald, and want the element of surprise. For certain the steady rain will provide some bonuses to their stalk/hide rolls.

    Now, when they reach a visible distance from the bridge, I need to start asking questions.
    Q: Are the bandits still there?
    A: Yes, but, they’re almost ready to leave.
    Q: Is Ambald with them? (Likely, since they’re still there)
    A: Yes, and he’s bound.
    Q: Do the bandits intend to take the cart with them?
    A: Yes, and, they fixed the axle and they’re ready to start loading, and harnessing it the horse.

    So I’m trying to picture the scene. A bridge, 6 bandits, one hostage. I’ll ask each of the following a Likely Question.
    Q: Is the bandit leader in the middle giving orders? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and he is focused on the task.
    Q: Is one bandit at each side of the bridge standing watch? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and they’re focused as well.
    Q: Is one bandit with the hostage? (Likely)
    A: No, and there’s noone with the hostage. He seems to have moved himself to the edge of the bridge near the river.
    Q: Are ~~two~~ three bandits loading the cart? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    Camthalion raises his arm as the bridge is in sight. They find some shrubs to hide behind, and watch carefully.
    It seems that the bandits intend to take the cart with them along with the horse. They must have planned to carry the goods, but it seems that with the rain it won’t be possible, so they spent time unloading the cart, fixing it, and loading it back again. This gave the party the time they needed to reach them.
    Ambald the teamster is rope bound, but he has moved himself to the center of the bridge by the edge. There’s no bandit with him, he’s probably thinking of jumping in the river if the bandits intend to kill him.
    Their leader is giving three bandits orders on how to load the cart, while two other bandits are watching each side of the bridge for any travelers.
    Leowyn lays out the plan: they will move along the river bank carefully to avoid attention, as close as possible. Camthalion will cover them with his bow, while she and Dwalin will ambush them from the east side. If any bandit tries to get to Ambald, Camthalion will shoot them.

    So, I’ll ask at 500′ distance, if there is a chance that the bandit watches in their direction. If so, then I’ll roll in the Stalk/Hide vs Perception rule. If not, I’ll assume they move 100′ unhindered and ask again. Q: (500′) Does the bandit have a chance of seeing them?
    A: Yes
    Camthalion: Stalk: 64+40-5= 99: 80%: Moves 34′
    Leowyn: Stalk: 86+5-5= 86: 70%: Moves 12′
    Dwalin: Stalk: 68+2-5= 65: 40%: Moves 9′
    Q: Does the bandit have a chance of seeing them?
    A: False Presupposition. The bandit abandons his post. I’m thinking three options. Ambald tries to escape, someone arrives at the bridge, or he’s called to help load the cart. 1d3: 2: Someone arrives at the bridge.
    I’ll roll at the harnmaster encounters table: Lawless/Day: 59: Forester: 55: Offering employment. He offers to help them load the cart.

    As the party moves by the river bank under the cover of rain, the bandit that stood watch, looks their way, but can’t see them. His attention is drawn by a man arriving at the bridge. The bandit leader starts posing as an unlucky caravan master whose cart broke and he had to fix it. The man seems to offer his help. The distance is too great for the party to tell if they explain the prisoner situation or if it hasn’t come up to that yet.

    So, the party has moved at least 100′ more as the following transpires.
    Q: Does Ambald take the opportunity to escape?
    A: Yes!
    Q: Does he jump in the water? (Haven’t asked if he’s still bound)
    A: No

    I assume he has found an opening. Either he runs the other way, because the bandits are occupied with the forester, or he runs past the forester, hoping this will startle them, as they might need to face him.
    Q: But first I need to ask where does the forester come from? East? (Likely as the event impacted the watch on my side of the bridge)
    A: Yes
    Q: Does Ambald run past the Forester?
    A: No, he runs the other way, West
    Q: Are his hands still bound?
    A: No, he has untied himself.

    Ambald: Running: MM: 43+25=68: 90%: Runs 135′
    Q: Does the West watch bandit run after him?
    A: False Presupposition. He’s pushed down by Ambald as he runs past him.

    The taskmaster snaps his knots, and strides quickly west, pushing a startled bandit aside, who falls down in mud pool.
    “The prisoner!” The leader shouts. “He escapes!”

    Q: Do the bandits go after him?
    A: Yes, but, only one of them.
    Q: Is there any animosity with the Forester?
    A: No. For some reason, their ruse hasn’t been uncovered.

    So I decide that the party has moved another 100′ as the following transpires.
    Ambald: Running: MM: 51+25=76: Runs 150′
    Bandit: Running: MM: 64=64: Runs 80′

    The taskmaster doubles his running distance as one bandit starts to go after him. His armor and weapons seem to weigh him down.

    Q: Does the bandit keep up the chase?
    A: No

    The party moves another 100′ closer. The bandits are all too busy with the escape to notice what’s going on.

    The bandit stops to catch his breath, and waves his hand down in a gesture to let it be, and returns slowly to the bridge.

    Q: Is the party possible to be seen? (we’re less than 200′ away, but still there’s no reason to look at the river bank)
    A: No

    So the party moves another 100′.
    Now we’re too close. It’s time for the combat encounter. Camthalion is 66′ away, with Leowyn 88′ away, and Dwalin 91′ away. This time I’ll have them roll on the stalk/hide if they want to come closer.

    Round 1:
    Camthalion nooks a +5 arrow.
    Dwalin: Stalk/Hide: 94+2-5=91: 100%: Moves 23′ (68′ away)
    Leowyn: Stalk/Hide: 31+5-5=31: 60%: Moves 11′ (77′ away)

    Still distracted by the escape and the forester noone pays attention to Dwalin and Leowyn coming closer to the bridge.

    Round 2:
    Camthalion is waiting for the right moment.
    Dwalin: Stalk/Hide: 46+2-5=43: 70%: Moves 16′ (52′ away)
    Leowyn: Stalk/Hide: 56+5-5=56: 80%: Moves 14′ (63′ away)

    Round 3:
    Camthalion is waiting for the right moment.
    Dwalin: Stalk/Hide: 26+2-5=23: 60%: Moves 14′ (38′ away)
    Leowyn: Stalk/Hide: 75+5-5=75: 90%: Moves 16′ (47′ away)

    Round 4:
    Camthalion is waiting for the right moment.
    Dwalin: Stalk/Hide: 89+2-5=86: 100%: Moves 23′ (15′ away)
    Leowyn: Stalk/Hide: 0212+5-5=-10: 30%: Moves 5′ (42′ away)

    Round 5:
    Camthalion shoots the bandit watch at the east side.: 01: Fumble: You really mishandle your weapon. Stunned 2 rounds.
    Bandit: Draws weapon and Moves to attack Dwalin (in range): 59+5=64: 80%: Attacks: 68+80-100+43-30-30=31:-
    Dwalin: Attacks: 37+51+15-15=88: 7A: 79-20=59: Blow to shield shoulder breaks shield. If no shield: shoulder broken, arm useless.
    Leowyn: Moves in melee distance.

    Camthalion was holding his bow strung for so long until his friends arrived that he couldn’t take it anymore. He lets it go, and misses, while the bowstring hits him hard on the face. He loses his concentration completely, stunned.
    Leowyn shouts “You rotten bandit scum! you’ll die!”.
    As they’re within fight range, the bandit dashes at them, slashing at Dwalin’s chain hauberk, who hits back with his mace, breaking the bandit’s left arm.

    Q: Does the Forester flee? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and, quickly. He doesn’t want to get involved in a fight. Intervention: Entity Negative (Bandits/PC/Forester): Bandits. d144: Not the sharpest tool in the shed
    The bandit’s sword edge gets dull with the hit on the chain hauberk. -5 to attack.
    I also need to define some distances.
    Q: Is the bridge long?
    A: No
    Q: Is the bridge wide?
    A: Yes
    So, it’s a short, 100′ long bridge, 20′ wide, so that two carts can pass at the same time.
    The cart with the 3 bandits and the leader is 50′ away from the edge (65′ away total), while the other bandit is 100′ away (115′ away).

    The bandits will draw their swords and come running towards Dwalin and Leowyn at the edge of the river bank.

    Seeing the fight start, and hits being exchanged, the forester makes a run for it. Noone bothers with him.

    Round 6:
    Camthalion: Stunned
    Bandit 1: Attacks Dwalin: 13+43-30-5=21:-
    Bandit Leader: Moves 55′ closer.
    Bandit 2-4: Moves 55′ closer.
    Bandit 5: Moves 55′ closer.
    Dwalin: Attacks Bandit 1: 56+51+15-15=107: 11B: 60-10=50. Blow to forearm. +5 hits. If no arm armor: Stunned 1 round.
    Leowyn: Flanks and attacks Bandit 1: 25+38+15-15+15=78: 5

    As the rest of the bandits draw their blades and come closer, Dwalin and Leowyn flank their lone adversary. Dwalin blocks his enemy’s blow and brings his mace down on his forearm, stunning him, while Leowyn barely scratches him, flanking him.

    Round 7:
    Camthalion: Stunned
    Bandit 1: Stunned
    Bandit Leader: Moves & Attacks (D/L): Dwalin: 52+5=57: 80%: Attacks: 85+80-100+56-30:91: 8
    Bandit 2: Moves & Attacks: Dwalin: 58: 80%: Attacks: 100+37+43+80-100-30=130:14C: 47: Minor chest wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Bandit 3: Moves & Attacks: Leowyn: 13: 50%: Attacks: 27+43+50-100-40=-20:-
    Bandit 4: Moves & Attacks: Leowyn: 33: 60%: Attacks: 20+43+60-100-40=-17:-
    Bandit 5: Moves 55′ Closer.
    Dwalin attacks Bandit Leader: 96+36-20-5+51+15-15=158: 20E: 100+20=120: Strike to head destroys brain. Life is hard for the unfortunate fool. Expires in a heap, immediately. Bandit Leader is down.
    Leowyn attacks Bandit 1: 42+20+15+38+15-15=115: 13C: 18: Minor calf wound. 1 hit per round. Bandit 1 is down.

    Camthalion still struggles to recover himself from the hit of his bowstring. The bandit still writes in pain on his forearm, but his companions close in.
    The highwaymen leader snaps at Leowyn, recognizing her from before. “You can’t have both the cart and your lives!”
    At the same time he tries to get past Dwalin’s defenses, but the dwarf fends off the attacks. Another bandit though finds the opportunity and gets his blade past the dwarf’s armor. A minor bleeding chest wound.
    “You’ll lose both the cart and your lives!” Dwalin counters, and hits the leader with his mace so hard on the head, that the skull is shattered and the brain is splattered on the bandits.
    The other two bandits fail to wound Leowy , who is focused on her enemy, slashing his calf, bringing him down.

    Round 8:

    Q: Do the bandits flee? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    Camthalion: nooks arrow.
    Bandit 2: Disengage & Flee: MM: 62: 40 vs: 16-10=6: 10. Bandit 2 Flees.
    Bandit 3: Disengage & Flee: MM: 41: 30 vs: 32-15=17: 10: Bandit 3 Flees.
    Bandit 4: Disengage & Flee: MM: 60: 40 vs: 92-15=77: 60: Leowyn attacks Bandit 4: 06+38+15-15: 44: -. Bandit 4 Flees.
    Bandit 5: Flees.

    Camthalion readies an arrow and aims at the bandits, whose morale is broken completely at the skill gore strike to their leader. They flee to the west, before Dwalin or Leowyn can react.

    Q: Is the horse tied to the cart?
    A: No, but it doesn’t have a saddle.

    Leowyn runs to ride the horse. Riding without a saddle will be a Medium MM.
    Leowyn: Riding: 16+46=62: 40%. Success.
    Dwalin takes out a bandage to mend his wound.

    Leowyn jumps on the bareback horse, while Dwalin stops. His blood still pumping, to take care of his chest wound. He knows they won the fight. The steady rain washing away the remains of his enemy’s head.

    Round 9:
    I consider that Camthalion doesn’t have it in his nature to shoot fleeing enemies, especially men, and especially when they no longer pose a threat. Instead, he will move to Dwalin, see if he can help him with a healing spell.
    Dwalin can’t join in a chase and fight in his condition, so he will stay there.
    Now Leowyn has a demeanor change. She’s becoming more bloodthirsty. She’ll try to finish off the three bandits and then try to find the teamster.

    Q: Do the three bandits run in different directions?
    A: Yes, but two of them run in the same direction.

    So Leowyn will go after these two.
    I deem that the horse she got now is a Heavy Horse since it is a cart drawing horse, which means a speed of 150′. Still, three times faster than the bandits.
    So the two bandits have moved 100′ west so far. Since they were not expecting Leowyn this first attack will be a Rear attack.
    The other bandit goes (N/S): South

    Leowyn: Rides and Attacks Bandit 2: 97+52+46=195: 140%: Attack: 95+38+15+15+20-15+140-100=208: 22E: 27+20=47: Minor Chest Wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.

    Round 10:
    Q: Does bandit 3 keep fleeing? (Likely, he hopes the other bandit will slow Leowyn down)
    A: Yes, but, he changes direction, going (N/S): North
    Bandit 2: Turns and attacks Leowyn: 75+43-40-20-5=53:-
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 2: 61+38+15+20-15=119: 15C: 3: Weak Strike yields no extra damage. +0 hits. Bandit 2 is down.
    Camthalion: Surface Ways: 68: Success. Heals: 1 hit point at Dwalin.

    The bandit tries a futile attack to fend off the Shield maiden, but he fails and is struck down. Meanwhile his companion has had the smarts to get off the road and run to the fields North.
    Camthalion works his healing powers on Dwalin who becomes more and more appreciative of the elf.

    Round 11:
    Q: Is Bandit 3 visible to Leowyn?
    A: No
    Q: Is Bandit 4 visible to Leowyn? (Unlikely)
    A: False Presupposition. Bandit 4 has escaped, he’s no longer in the field.
    Q: Is Ambald visible to Leowyn?
    A: Yes, and he’s realized what is going on, and is returning.

    The thrill of battle still in her veins, she looks around for the rest of the bandits, but she can’t find them, they both seem to have dispersed in different directions, hiding behind trees and shrubs. But she makes out another figure. It’s Ambald, the teamster, coming to them.
    She wipes her blade off the blood, and sheathes it.
    “You arrived just in time.” He tells her as he comes within shouting distance. “You have great skill with the blade.” He adds.
    Leowyn smiles. “I’ve brought friends.” She adds.
    They tie back the horse to the cart, load it and return to the inn.
    Wyny is more than happy to have them all back safe, and even Ambald in one piece.

    Now the party must decide how to proceed.

    Going with BOLD again to roll up some connections.

    action gerund subject
    scrutinize negating a dislike
    assure detailing an annoyance
    speculate working a decision

    Camthalion, wants to find out more about the evil brewing in the region.
    Dwalin, being a stereotypical stubborn greedy dwarf, wants to keep searching the Trollshaws for the relic.
    Leowyn has given her word to the caravan master, and also going south to Tharbad takes her closer to her personal task to find her lover’s killer.

    The three adventurers go to their room, and have a meeting.
    Camthalion points out his worries. “There is great evil in the region. The Crebain followed us back here. Soon after I was confronted by a man who almost killed me. Master of the black arts, who knew we were at the keep. I found several manuscripts which we should try to decipher. Maybe bring them to Rivendell. That’s what should be done, before we head back in the keep, to clean it up of any residual evil.”
    Leowyn takes point on the conversation. “I understand your worries. But I have given my word to the caravan master. He’s lost a guard because he changed course to come here, and he’d have turned back, unless I offered my blade until Tharbad. Come with me down to Tharbad, and as soon as we finish our escort duty, we’ll return to the keep or go to Rivendell. There will be enough time.”
    Dwalin, diminishes the importance of Leowyn’s promise. “Did you offer your blade for free?” He asks.
    Leowyn shakes her head. “No, I’m to be paid the escort’s wage.”
    “Then you can null the contract, with no pay, and no harm done!” Dwalin adds. “We should search the region, if there’s so much evil here.”
    “I could try to convince Wyny to hire you as guards as well, you’ve proved yourselves and we could use the extra silver.” She tries to convince them otherwise.

    With these I deem that Camthalion has used up the speculate, detailing, a dislike, Leowyn has used up the assure, working, a decision and Dwalin has used up scrutinize, negating, an annoyance.

    Now let’s see on this break or make moment if the party will stick together.

    Camthalion: Influence: 34+20=54: Failure
    Leowyn: Influence: 87=87: Partial Success
    Dwalin: Influence: 34-5=29: Failure

    So Leowyn has another shot at it.

    “Is the pay good?” Dwalin asks.
    “I’m sure we can work something out. We can also ask for the teamster to put in a good word.” Leowyn replies.

    Leowyn: Influence: 62: Failure

    “Doesn’t sound reliable to me.” Dwalin says. “I’ll stay in Rhudaur with Camthalion. I think Tharbad is not in our way.”
    “I still wish you would join us.” Camthalion says. “Is your mind made up?”
    “I’m afraid so. I must honor my word. There’s a chance that in Tharbad I can find clues about what I’m looking for. May we meet again.” Leowyn adds.
    There’s an odd pause. They all feel numb, but they must take their own way.

    Bookkeeping

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 35+2 (I deem that the fumbled shot destroyed the arrow) arrows,
    Leowyn is at 35 arrows

    Criticals EP
    Camthalion
    Dwalin 310
    Leowyn
    Kill Points EP
    Camthalion
    Dwalin 250
    Leowyn 390
    Hits Received EP
    Camthalion
    Dwalin 26
    Leowyn
    Spell Points EP
    Camthalion 100
    Dwalin
    Leowyn

    Maneuver Points|EP
    Camthalion|
    Dwalin|
    Leowyn|10

    Non-Idea EP Total EP
    Camthalion 100
    Dwalin 586
    Leowyn 400

    I’ll give the party half the total as idea points, 1086 EP total, divided by three, 362 each.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    Name Experience Points
    Camthalion 5568 EP
    Dwalin 6614 EP
    Leowyn 5653 EP

    Money: The party pool is 6sp, 87bp, 6cp and 59tp. Which is 2sp, 29bp, 2cp and 20tp each.

    Hit Points: Dwalin is at 17 hit points, Leowyn is at full hit points, Camthalion is at full hit points.

    Additional Gear Weapons Valuables Herbs
    Camthalion Broadsword +5, Javelin +5 2 gems, 3 written works, 1 magic ring Rewk, Tharl, Attanar, Suranie
    Dwalin Battle Axe +10, Light
    Leowyn Morningstar +5

    Session Summary

    I was almost certain that the battle with the bandits would end in disaster when Dwalin got hit and Camthalion fumbled. But his 100 on his critical on the extra successful strike on the bandit leader changed the course of the battle in one second!
    I could have done the Influence roll opposed, with the entire party moving as one, but I worked with MERP success levels for two reasons.
    The narrative reason is that the party had serious reasons to follow their own ways. They felt strongly for their opinions.
    The mechanical reason is that MERP has exhausted me. The system is ancient and it has tons of gaps or non-streamlined parts, to put it nicely. I want to switch to another system. Either by converting these characters or by starting new ones.
    So essentially I’m putting a nice end on the Trollshaws part of the adventure, with options to continue the story sooner or later.

     
  • giorgis 4:28 pm on May 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep11 

    Switching back to 10 days ago, to Camthalion.
    Setting up some key points in my GM hat:

    • Lord Ar Gular, whose keep the party raided, is a regular in disguise in the Last Inn.
    • Crebain spies to Ar Gular have seen the party and most likely have notified their master
    • Either Crebain or Orcs may have tracked the party to the Last Inn.
    • Considering the raid on the keep, Ar Gular (Turlin) is unlikely to be at the Last Inn before the party
    • Ar Gular (Turlin) may arrive to the Last Inn to gather information, after examining the condition of the keep
    • Even if the party wasn’t tracked, there is the unlikely event that loose lips while staying at the inn may spread the story of their whereabouts to the keep

    Some minor points:

    • The cost of food & lodging for 10 days for the two of them is 1sp
    • Considering the extra care Dwalin needs, Camthalion will need to either pay extra, offer some services, or take care of him, himself

    Tools:

    • I won’t be using any random encounters, rather ask the Oracle every passing day
    • I won’t be generating weather unless required, since the party is in a safe place

    Day 15, Hithui

    Camthalion will try to come to an arrangement with the Grumms so that they take care of Dwalin in exchange for his services.
    Rubb, being the innkeep, is where Camthalion goes first.

    The elf finds Rubb behind the bar and puts a silver coin on the board. “Innkeep, we will pay the next 10 days. Separate room, three meals a day for me and Dwalin.” Rubb takes the silver. “Breakfast is served.”
    Camthalion hasn’t moved.
    “Anything else I can do to help?” The innkeep asks.
    “Can you look after Dwalin? I’m here to offer my skills in return.” Camthalion offers.

    Influence: 20+20+30=70: Failure

    Q: Does Rubb agree? (Unlikely)
    A: No

    “We have our hands full with customers. I’m sorry you’ll have to take care of your friend on your own.” Rubb replies.
    Camthalion puts another 5bp on the table. “Will this make it up for your services then?”

    Influence: 39+20+30=89: Partial Success

    Q: Does Rubb agree? (Slightly Likely)
    A: Yes, and he will offer to buy anything Camthalion forages from the woods if worth it.

    The innkeep takes the amount. “I think that is fine. Also if you brave the woods and find anything useful, I’ll consider buying. Now go eat some breakfast and speak with Bura about your friend.”
    Camthalion thanks the innkeep and does as asked.

    Camthalion will search for General Purpose Herbs in the 10-mile hex where the Last Inn resides.
    I choose that he will search for Attanar, which cures fever, is located in Freshwater banks/coasts and should be useful to the Grumms.

    Encounter Check: 8: No encounter

    Search: 36+20+35+2= 93: Near Success
    Search: 10+20+35+2+20= 97: Near Success
    Search: 10+20+35+2+20= 97: Near Success
    Search: 09+20+35+2+20= 96: Near Success
    Search: 45+20+35+2+20= 122: Success. One dose found.

    The elf searches along the river coast, where Attanar, a fever curing moss grows. He finds traces of it, so he keep searching along the river, under the bridge, until he finally finds a good amount. He puts it carefully in his pouch and returns to the inn.

    Q: Are the Grumms interested in Attanar?
    A: False Presupposition. Camthalion never brings it to them, considering that the importance of the herb is too much to give away.

    Q: Does anything happen during the day?
    A: No

    Night 15-16, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the night?
    A: No, but it’s going to be likely in the morning

    Day 16, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the day? (Likely)
    A: Yes
    Q: Is it loose lips? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    Dwalin eats and is cared for in his living vegetable condition. As Camthalion goes for breakfast, he can’t but overhear two customers talking about him and the dwarf, and how they returned from the haunted castle.

    Camthalion will search for Healing Herbs in the 10-mile hex where the Last Inn resides.
    I choose that he will search for Rewk, which grows in the forest.

    Encounter Check: 10: No encounter

    Search: 70+20+35+2+10=137. Success. One dose found.
    Since there is more time available, he will also search for Thurl in the same region.
    Search: 29+20+35+2+30=.116. Success. One dose found.

    Since there is nothing else that grows in the “Desiduous Forest” locale, Camthalion will return to the inn, eat his lunch and head out again.

    I choose that he will search for Suranie, which is Stun Relief, is located in Freshwater banks/coasts.

    Encounter Check: 11: No encounter

    Search: 11+20+35+2+10=78: Partial Success.
    Search: 45+20+35+2+10=112: Success. One dose found.

    Camthalion heads out for herbs again, and gathers several that will help them in their travels. Rewk, Thurl and Suranie among others.

    Night 16-17, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the night?
    A: No, but it’s going to be likely in the morning

    Day 17, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the day? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and it’s potential danger.
    When: (3 Watches, 1d12 hours, 1d60 minutes into day): 2.26pm.
    So, it’s highly likely whatever happens, plays out while Camthalion is outside foraging.
    I choose that he will search for Aloe to the scrubs by the road, which helps against burns.

    Search: 22+20+35+2= 79: Partial Success.
    Search: 0159+20+35+2= -1: Absolute Failure. No more doses will be found for the rest of the day, and Camthalion keeps searching.

    Q: Does the event happen at the inn?
    A: Yes, and Turlin or Orcs or Crebain (asked in this order) have arrived. Intervention: 5: Regress Plot. Camthalion doesn’t see the inn from where he is, so he is completely unaware and will return after the event.
    Q: Did Turlin arrive at the inn?
    A: No, but words have reached him that the adventurers headed to the inn.
    Q: Are Orcs attacking the inn?
    A: False Presupposition. There are no orcs left. The garisson was eradicated, and Thuk is with Ar Gular (Turlin).
    So if it’s something dangerous it must be Crebain.
    Q: Is it Crebain? (Likely)
    A: Yes
    Q: Do the Crebain attack?
    A: No, and, they don’t harass anyone, they are just spotted.

    Camthalion returns to the inn after a whole day of searching herbs, empty handed. There is a lot of ruckus, so he asks what’s going on, and learns about a group of large black crows swarming on the sky and circling above the inn many times before heading back North.
    Even if the customers don’t know it, he does. It’s Crebain. Like the ones they met at the keep. This can’t be a coincidence. He won’t be far from the inn to search for herbs again. Instead he will be patrolling nearby. He alarms his hosts, but without being too specific.
    “Crows like these often are friends with orcs and goblins. If they dared show themselves here, we should be alarmed. I’ll keep an eye.” He tells Rubb.

    Q: Does Rubb find him overreacting?
    A: No, and he believes him right away. Intervention: 4: Advance Plot. He connects the dots.

    Rubb nods. “Trolls held my boy and fed him like a turkey. These are dangerous times. I don’t know what trouble you stirred, but it’s coming this way, and it won’t go away even if you do. You’re to stay these 10 days you paid for, and please don’t come bringing trouble again to our doorstep.”

    Night 17-18, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the night?
    A: No.

    Day 18, Hithui

    Q: Does anything happen during the day?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Is it dangerous?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Is it Turlin?
    A: Yes, and he knows the adventurers are here.
    Q: Does he appear as Turlin?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does he find out who the adventurer’s are? (Likely)
    A: Yes, but, he risks being exposed.
    Q: Does he try to ambush Camthalion who’s on patrol? (Likely)
    A: Yes
    Q: Is Thuk, nearby?
    A: No, and he’s no longer with him.
    Q: Does he go by the inn first? (or does he happen to come across Camthalion?)
    A: No.

    So I can place the scene. Camthalion is patrolling out on the woods. Ar Gular, furious that a trio of adventurers raided his base, is informed by his trusted Crebain that they are staying in the Last Inn, where he is a regular. He travels alone, as he has no minions left. Thuk his captain, he either eliminated or he’s nowhere to be seen, to avoid facing his wrath.
    So he goes to the Last Inn, posing like the wandering minstrel, Turlin, looking for an elf, a dwarf and a shield maiden. Just before reaching the Last Inn, he comes face to face with Camthalion. Although he’s quite certain the elf might be part of the adventurers he’s looking for, he want to be certain, considering the Last Inn’s clientele, and this just might warn Camthalion, as they face off.
    Catching Camthalion all alone, brings a unique opportunity to Turlin, and is certain to attack the elf.
    Camthalion on the other hand is on guard, but Ar Gular posing as Turlin doesn’t seem as a threat at first glance.
    There is a HUGE level difference between them (Level 9 vs Level 1), and Camthalion’s only chance is the fact that Ar Gular, being a Mage doesn’t have any significant defenses. If he starts casting spells though, that’s another story.

    So, first of all let’s see if Ar Gular notices Camthalion (who is hiding).
    Ar Gular (Perception): 15-15-40: Failure
    Now let’s see if Camthalion notices Ar Gular (who isn’t hiding).
    Camthalion (Perception): 69+35=104: Near Success: 91+35+20=146: Success.

    Camthalion is out patrolling, bow at hand, when he hears footsteps. He draws an arrow, and moves to investigate.
    He sees a man, round face, with uneven gray hair and amber eyes. He wears fine clothing and several pouches hang from his belt.

    Q: Does he remember him from several nights ago in the inn?
    A: No
    So he doesn’t remember him, which keeps him a tad bit on guard.

    He lowers his bow. “Greetings stranger.” He says. “Dangerous times to walk alone.”
    Startled, the man, returns the greeting.
    “Greetings stranger. You’re not in danger from me. I’m but Turlin, a wandering minstrel.” He says.
    Camthalion responds in kind. “You’re not in danger from me either. Seen any orcs? they have ventured too south for my liking.”

    Q: Does Turlin say he has seen orcs?
    A: No, but, he tries to switch the subject.

    “Orcs never come near the inn.” The man replies. “Not even near Cameth Bryn, or the old castle. If you’ve been near the place.”

    So this is my interpretation of finding out who the adventurers are, but risk being exposed. I’ll have Camthalion roll Perception to see if he understands the question was off.
    I’ll give him a +20 bonus for Easy difficulty, (switching the subject, stranger to Camthalion).
    Perception: 89+35+20= 144: Success.

    Camthalion senses something is off about this stranger. He may be a master of disguise, but elves are not easily fooled. His arrow slips back on the bow.

    Q: Does Ar Gular try to diplomatically evade conflict (Unlikely)
    A: No

    “Lat kramp nar srinkhsha amirz lat nurzum” the stranger shouts as he poises himself for combat.

    Distance: 10d10′: 66

    encounter

    Round 1:
    Camthalion moves 10′ closer and shoots at Ar Gular: 57+48+10= 115: 15C: 78: Strike to lower leg. Tendons torn. +3 hits. -25 to activity. Stunned 1 round.
    Ar Gular: Stunned

    Camthalion releases his arrow, which hits the stranger on his lower leg. He drops down, interrupting his spell, and he starts stumbling to walk to some sort of cover.

    Round 2:
    Camthalion reloads, moves 10′ closer and shoots at Ar Gular: 77+48+10+5-35=105: 11C: 2: Glancing blow. No extra damage.
    Q: Does Ar Gular try an offensive spell? (Instead of defensive)
    A: Yes
    Ar Gular: List: Fire Law: Fire Bolt: 68+90-30-25-25=78: 12B: 34-10=24: Minor burns. +8 hits. 1 hit per round.

    Camthalion shoots another arrow into the stranger utters some unknown words and a small flaming ball appears between his fingers. He throws a curveball towards Camthalion and a bolt of fire strikes the elf. He gets burned, and the burning continues.

    Round 3:
    Camthalion reloads, moves 10′ closer and shoots at Ar Gular: 27+48+10-35-20=30:-
    Q: Does Ar Gular try an offensive spell? (Instead of defensive)
    A: False Presupposition. Ar Gular won’t cast a spell but draw his dagger and attack. Perhaps he’s afraid his spells may draw unwanted attention.
    Ar Gular: Moves 40′ Closer.

    Unwaivering to darkness, the elf warrior closes in and fires another arrow, but misses this time.
    The stranger draws a dagger and with a hurt leg almost covers the distance between them.

    Round 4:
    Camthalion reloads and shoots: 92+48+10-35-20=95: 8A: 91-20=71: Strike to lower leg. Tendons torn. +3 hits. -25 to activity. Stunned 1 round.
    Ar Gular: Stunned
    Q: Is Ar Gular prone (both legs tendons torn) (Likely)
    A: No

    His face a few feet away, Camthalion aims for his opponent’s other leg, and hits. The minstrel screams and stumbles once more. Stunned he stays on the spot.

    Round 5:
    Camthalion draws his sword and attacks in melee: 62+23+5-20-5-30=35:-
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 52+45-15-50-25=7:-

    Round 6:
    Camthalion attacks in melee: 73+23+5-20-5=76: 7 hits
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 19+45-15-50-25=-26:-

    Round 6:
    Camthalion attacks in melee: 24+23+5-20-5=27: –
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 93+45-15-50-25=48:-

    Round 7:
    Camthalion attacks in melee: 54+23+5-20-5=57: –
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 92+45-15-50-25=47:-

    For almost a minute, the two opponents are locked into melee. Their wounds prevent them from scoring a successful hit.

    Round 8:
    Camthalion surface way: Heal: 64-30=34: Success: Heals: 9 hit points
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 85+45-15-50-25=40:-

    Feeling close to losing his consciousness, Camthalion focuses inwards and casts a healing spell. He recovers as his enemy lashes with his dagger, and manages to evade the hit.

    Round 9:
    Camthalion attacks in melee: 32+23+5-20-5=35: –
    Ar Gular attacks with his dagger: 17+45-15-50-25=-28:-

    Another series of unsuccessful melee. The two opponents realize they must change tactics.

    Round 10:
    Camthalion attacks in melee: 03: Fumble: 45: Drop your weapon. It will take 1 round to draw a new one or 2 rounds to recover old one.
    Q: Does Ar Gular try an offensive spell? (Instead of melee)
    A: Yes
    Ar Gular: List: Water Law: Water Bolt: 8: Fumble: 88: Internalization overloads senses. +20 hits. Blind and deaf for 10 minutes. +1 CP.

    Keeping on the same tactic, hoping for a miracle, as his strength saps away from the burning spell, Camthalion fumbles and drops his sword.
    His opponent’s eyes gleam with the advantage he’s found. He screams in an unknown language and as he gestures ready to cast a spell, his eyes turn black, and blood oozes from his ears. He must have done something wrong in his incantations, and he walks around aimlessly unable to see or hear.
    Camthalion lifts up his sword, and carves his enemy in one swift movement.
    Then he pauses, and bandages his burns.

    Camthalion recovers (1d4-1 normal arrows and 1d2-1 magic arrows): 2 normal and 1 magical arrow.
    Camthalion searches his opponent’s belongings. An evil mage could have valuable information.
    23sp, 1gp, 2gems(9 carat amber, 5 carat quartz), 3written works(1: carved wood, local region, rigged condition, philosophical treatise, 2: parchment and ink, local region, good condition, map, spell descriptions, journal, mystic tome of valor, historical text, letter, 3: vellum and ink, local region, fair condition, law/decree/charter/pardon),1artifact(ring, shock bolt I twice a day)

    I've used both Harnmaster and MERP to generate the most appropriate items.

    Camthalion goes through the minstrel’s belongings. Nothing in there points to a wandering minstrel. Instead, he finds silver, gold, gems and written works of several types. The most important of which, a book with a map of the region, spell descriptions, and other interesting things that will take a while to uncover. He also finds a ring that has some engravings on it, and takes it too.

    Now Camthalion needs to decide what to do with his enemy’s corpse. He’s altruistic, good, calm and content. I decide he’ll bring him back to the inn, along with the findings.

    Camthalion, wounded and battered, returns to the Last Inn, dragging Turlin’s lifeless body with him. As he arrives, the Grumms surround him.

    Q: Do the Grumm’s recognize Turlin?
    A: Yes

    “That’s Turlin, the trobadour! What happened to him?” Rubb asks, scared. “Did orcs get to him? what evil has befallen us?”
    “He, he is the evil. He posed as a bard, but he’s an agent of darkness. He cast fire, by chanting spells in the Black Speech. I barely survived.”

    Influence: 45+20=65: Failure.
    Q: Do they believe Camthalion?
    A: Yes, but they’re shocked.

    “It… it can’t be.” He looks at Camthalion’s burn wounds. “He was spying at us all this time. You saved us from great evil. I sincerely hope your friend arrives soon with help. I doubt this place is as safe any more. We’ll start locking the doors at nights. We’ll do our best.” He turns to his wife. “Come, help me bury him at the back, before we scare our customers.”

    Regarding Thuk, the orc captain, the only possible threat remaining, the following scenarios are considered plausible:

    • He disappeared fearing his masters wrath
    • He is on a mission elsewhere
    • He is dead
    • He is recruiting more orcs to go after the adventurers

    Considering the story and Oracle sofar I believe the last scenario to be the least plausible. Therefore, with the safe haven of the Last Inn in mind, I will switch to a single Oracle roll for the remaining time period until Leowyn returns, and only reconsider if deemed so.

    Q: Does anything unexpected happen until Leowyn’s return?
    A: Yes, and. Intervention. Regress Plot.
    Q: Is it Thuk? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes
    Q: Is it a night attack? (Likely)
    A: False Presupposition. It’s not an attack.
    Q: Is it a sighting/tracks?
    A: Yes, and the orcs have a warband.
    When: Day 23, 1st Watch, 1.15am.
    Q: Does Camthalion see them? (Instead of news being delivered)
    A: Yes.
    Q: Is it tracks?
    A: No, it’s sighting.

    Seems Camthalion is worried by the enemy movements, and he patrols at nights.

    Orc Perception: 53+20-40=33: Failure. Camthalion isn’t detected.

    After recovery, Camthalion soon took patrol duties day and night near the inn. The first days pass uneventful, but one night, five days later, he makes out the crouched figures of several orcs under the starlit sky. He hides, and motionless, they pass by him.
    The Trollshaws are far from safe. Orcs coming closer and closer to the civilized lands.
    At morning, he tries to follow their tracks, see where they come from and where they went.

    Perception: 28+35=63: Failure.

    He follows the tracks for a while, but can’t make sense of them, unless he strays too far, and can’t risk abandoning the patrol of the inn, so he returns.

    Q: Does anything unexpected happen until Leowyn’s return?
    A: Yes, but, nothing dangerous.
    When: Day 24, noon.
    Q: Is it a rare book trader?
    A: No, but it’s a trader.
    I don’t think we’re interested right now in any purchases so I’ll let this event slide.
    I wanted to see if I could make the event interesting by having a possible buyer for the rare tomes found in Herubar Gular.

    The rest of the days pass without any further sign of orcs. Traders come and go. As the tenth day arrives, a caravan enters the inn yard. Leowyn dismounts from her horse and removes her helmet. She has arrived finally.
    The caravan seems battered. Leowyn and Camthalion greet each other.
    “I’ve brought a healer. How’s Dwalin?” She asks.

    Q: Does Dwalin show signs of improvement?
    A: No, but, only very slight.

    “He’s about at the same condition as you left him. How was your trip?” He asks.
    “First things first. Let’s get him to shape, then we can exchange news.” She responds. “Suse!” She calls to the healer. “Let’s get you to my friend”
    They go upstairs to Dwalin’s room.

    Q: Can Suse heal Dwalin with a spell?
    A: Yes

    Suse: Major Nerve Repair: 80+18+20+30= 148: -55 to RR: 46-55: -9The healer lays her hands by Dwalin’s side, and grabs his forehead. She spreads a paste over him and meditates. Dwalin starts shaking all over, Camthalion and Leowyn hold him down. Then after a while, he stops shaking and Suse removes her hands.
    Exhausted, she sits down. “I’ll need a moment.”
    When finally she stands up, Dwalin slowly gets on his feet.
    “Vrt prend?” He mumbles. “What happened?” He repeats.
    Leowyn smiles. “The healing lady here saved your skin. I believe you owe her a heft sum of gold.”
    “Two dozen of them coins it will be, and I’ve cut you one whole gold because the shield maiden here saved us on the road.” The healer adds.
    Dwalin’s eyes widen out. The dwarf might have just recovered from his condition, but the cost was enough to shake him.
    “As promised, we can trade with you for the tomes.” Let me get them to you.

    Tomes value: 42gp in a major city.
    Q: Do they agree on getting all the tomes in exchange for the services?
    A: No, but, they agree with 3 more gp, which the party provides.
    Q: Does Wyny make an offer against the bandits? (Likely)
    A: Yes.

    Suse pockets the tomes, which she gets at half market value, and an extra 3 gold pieces. Dwalin wants to grumble, but he’s grateful to be back in fighting condition.
    “Now tell me, what happened while you were gone?” Camthalion asks as they go downstairs.
    “I’ll tell you what happened!” The caravan master snaps. “Highwaymen jumped us on the bridge! They got away with one cart worth of goods.”
    The party looks at each other.
    “You all look like you can take care of yourselves. How does 1 gold to each of you sound…to take back what is mine?” He proposes.
    Before they could even discuss it, Dwalin moves forward. “Yes. Make it 4 gold for all of us.”
    “Are you sure you’re up to it master dwarf?” Camthalion asks.
    “But yes! I’ve been healed and taken care of like a baby!” Dwalin responds.

    Q: Does Wyny agree? (Likely)
    A: No

    “3 gold is all I can offer. Take it or leave it.” The caravan master counters.
    “Let’s do it! I want to get these feet moving.” Dwalin agrees.
    “Then do it fast. I don’t know how long it will take for these lowlifes to escape with my goods. The rain is gonna cover their tracks.” Wyny adds. “We’ll spend the night here and set off to Tharbad in the morning.”
    “We did not agree to that!” Camthalion points out to the party. “There is danger that we must deal with. We haven’t caught up yet.”
    “I’m already one foot in. I’m to escort them to Tharbad. Had to give them something so that they would come here.” Leowyn replies. “It’s very close. You can fill us in on the way.”

    Q: Does Enryn join them?
    A: False Presupposition. This was never on the table.

    So the party gathers their adventuring gear, and head out towards the bridge.

    Bookkeeping

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 35+3 arrows,
    Leowyn is at 35 arrows

    Criticals Received EP
    Camthalion 200
    Kill Points EP
    Camthalion 600

    Since Camthalion scored the criticals AND kill there's no reason to calculate them as criticals EP deduct from kill EP, for a same sum total.

    Hits Received EP
    Camthalion 29
    Spell Points EP
    Camthalion 100
    Non-Idea EP Total EP
    Camthalion 929

    I’ll give Camthalion half the total as idea points. 464 EP total.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    Name Experience Points
    Camthalion 5106 EP
    Dwalin 5666 EP
    Leowyn 4891 EP

    Money: The party pool is 6sp, 87bp, 6cp and 59tp.

    Hit Points: Dwalin is at full hit points, Leowyn is at full hit points, Camthalion is at full hit points.

    Additional Gear Weapons Valuables Herbs
    Camthalion Broadsword +5, Javelin +5 2 gems, 3 written works, 1 magic ring Rewk, Tharl, Attanar, Suranie
    Dwalin Battle Axe +10, Light
    Leowyn Morningstar +5

    Session Summary

    It’s always exciting to see how the Oracle and random rolls create their own story, and I’m always happier when that story somehow makes sense. I love how Ar Gular, bereft of minions, tried to deal with the adventurers on his own, and failed.
    It was a very risky combat. I knew about the swinginess of MERP, but I didn’t know about the dark magic part. I thought that Corruption Points was all it was about, but the Spellcasting Fumbles are up to par with WHFRP, with an Unmodified Fumble roll of 01-10, that’s 10% of all directed spells! And, that’s what saved Camthalion from certain death.
    Again, it’s becoming harder and harder to run MERP, as I discover a lot of spots where I have to houserule or ask the Oracle. This is an issue, especially considering it’s a d100 crunchy system, where expectations are a bit higher.
    Now the orc warband could have been Thuk (as the Oracle said) but maybe he’s going his own way, who knows.
    I believe right now I have enough of a backstory to introduce a Background Events Secret Oracle.
    Since the Trollshaws main thread is coming to an end (even though I don’t use threads directly), I will keep an open eye to conversions.
    Overall I really enjoy how the campaign evolves. I have three unfullfilled character backstories, a thread about the bridge bandits, and an escort mission to Tharbad.

     
  • giorgis 4:57 pm on May 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep10 

    Day 21, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (4) is hot, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is SE calm
    Encounter check: 6: No encounter
    Leowyn recovers 1 hit point

    5th Watch:
    The weather (4) is warm, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is SE calm
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter
    Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

    6th Watch:
    The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
    Encounter check: 8: No encounter
    Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

    After the fight, and getting back into shape, the caravan moves on through the warm and foggy weather. As night falls, the caravan camps at the foothills of the Weather Hills.

    Day 22, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter
    Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

    2nd Watch:
    The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
    Encounter check: 3: No encounter
    Leowyn is at full hit points

    3rd Watch:
    The weather (3) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is NE windy
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    4th Watch:
    The weather (3) is warm, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is NE calm
    Encounter check: 18: Encounter
    Since we’re right at the end of the border of the disputed region, I will ask the Oracle.
    Q: Is the region Lawless?
    A: Yes
    Lawless/Day: 22: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Rural: 22: Farmer/etc: 39: Half–Villein/Average Thrall: 37: At Work (Making/Selling Goods)
    Attitude: 58: Indifferent

    5th Watch:
    The weather (3) is cold, clear skies, and the wind is NE windy
    Encounter check: 3: No encounter

    6th Watch:
    The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S breeze, thunderstorms: 3: hail
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    The night goes by uneventfully, and the caravan continues on their way. They pass by some farmers collecting their autumn fruits from an orchard. They don’t pay attention to them, and go each on their own way. The warm weather switches to a cold NE wind by night, and nightfall catches them in the open plains, past the Weather Hills, towards the East. Severe hail and thunderstorms catch them unaware and they have to cover the goods and sleep under the carts.

    Day 23, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S calm, thunderstorms: 9: hail
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    2nd Watch:
    The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S windy, thunderstorms: 68: no hail
    Encounter check: 9: No encounter

    3rd Watch:
    The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, rain showers
    Encounter check: 16: No encounter

    4th Watch:
    The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, rain showers
    Encounter check: 8: No encounter

    5th Watch:
    The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 8: No encounter

    6th Watch:
    The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW gale, steady rain
    Encounter check: 16: No encounter

    Hail and thunderstorms take up most of the night, but as day breaks, the rain switches to showers. The day moves on without anything of importance, and the night catches them further east, the weather becoming cooler, and steady rain, soaking them for good.

    Day 24, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, steady rain
    Encounter check: 16: No encounter

    2nd Watch:
    The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 3: No encounter

    3rd Watch:
    The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW gale, steady rain
    Encounter check: 7: No encounter

    4th Watch:
    The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    5th Watch:
    The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, rain showers
    Encounter check: 15: No encounter

    6th Watch:
    The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW calm, rain showers
    Encounter check: 7: No encounter

    The night is cold and rainy. The rain continues through the entire day, dropping the morale of the caravan as they head eastwards, even closer to the Last Bridge. They welcome the switch to a warmer south west wind and lighter rain.

    Day 25, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 2: No encounter

    2nd Watch:
    The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 6: No encounter

    3rd Watch:
    The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
    Encounter check: 18: Encounter: (10:18 AM): Lawless/Day: 85: Brigands/Highwayman: 53: Offering employment
    Attitude: 54: Alarmed
    Alright, some quick calculations tell me that this encounter happens right at the Last Bridge, in visible distance from the Last Inn.
    Bandits offering employment can be either taken literally (bandits could be sellswords) or they could “offer protection” in a general sense or as a toll to the bridge. I’m leaning towards the latter rather than the former, but sometimes it all depends on the balance of the forces. At the very least it seems that a fight could possibly be avoided.
    Let’s start by asking some questions to the Oracle.

    Q: Are there many bandits?
    A: Yes, and, they’re well armed. Intervention: Entity Negative: (Leowyn/Enryn/Caravan/Bandits): Caravan. Okay it’s pretty obvious that the situation isn’t advantageous to the caravan. Maybe as they were going through the bridge, they got ambushed and surrounded.
    Bandits: 1d6, twice, pick highest: 6 bandits.
    Q: Did the bandits surround the caravan?
    A: No
    Q: Did a wheel break off a cart?
    A: Yes, and it happened due to a covered loose stone on the bridge, probably done this way by the bandits.
    Q: Do the bandits “offer protection”?
    A: No
    Q: Do the bandits demand to fix the cart for a tribute? (Likely)
    A: False Presupposition. The bandits will ruin the cart completely.

    After another cold rainy night, sapping their strength, the caravan is almost at the Last Inn, but as it goes through the Last Bridge, one of the cart wheels falls into a hole that wasn’t visible. The sheer weight, cracks the wheel, and the cart gets stuck.
    At the same time, three cloaked figures from the west and three from the east side of the bridge appear, blocking any escape.
    They have short swords in their hands, and wear some sort of cured leather armor.
    A bearded man steps front and starts speaking, while the rest approach the caravan together.
    Unless Leowyn and Enryn begin a fight, they can’t stop them from advancing. And the odds seem against them.
    “Fellow travelers. What luck that you came our way. So many caravans are plagued by thieves and brigands. We will help you in your our of need, to fix your cart in a moment.” Before anyone has a chance to speak he turns to his men.
    “Boys! fix the axle!” And two men dash to the cart.
    Q: Does Enryn try to stop them?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does he use force?
    A: No

    Opposed MM roll: Enryn: 0170+18: -53: Fumble: 72: You Slip. 75% Chance of Falling: 86: No fall. Stunned 2 rounds. Bandit: 55+5=60: 80.

    Enryn tries to stop them, putting his horse in the way, but the slippery bridge from the downpour makes him lose control. By the time he has calmed his horse, the men have surrounded the axle.
    Leowyn shouts. “Halt. We will fix the axle.”

    Influence: 32: Failure

    With a grin on his face, the man responds. “But you can’t deny our help lady.”
    In a moment the men kick the other wheel, and the cart axle breaks, the cart hitting the ground.
    Enryn grabs his sword, but the men are pointing their blades to the crew.
    Tensions are high.
    “I believe you can’t leave your supplies unguarded in these dangerous roads, so we will guard them. Move on, and they will be safe.” The man adds.
    “That’s robbery!” Wyny says.
    “I call it services rendered.” The man responds.

    Q: Is the cart with Wyny and Suse the one broken?
    A: No
    Q: Does Wyny orders the guards to attack?
    A: No, and he feels threatened. Intervention. Entity Negative: (Leowyn/Enryn/Caravan/Bandits): Caravan.
    Q: Do the bandits take a prisoner?
    A: Yes: (Ambald/Eram/Sige): Ambald.

    “And we will keep this fine man with us, to make sure you don’t do anything stupid. We’ll release him in a few hours.” The man adds, as one of the bandits grabs a shaken Ambald.
    “Come on now, go on your way.” He adds.
    Grumbling Wyny orders the caravan to move on, towards the Last Inn, having lost a cart full of goods to the bandits.

    I need to stop the session here, because I need to know the condition of the rest of the party before I continue. So for the next episode I will be switching to Camthalion and the comatose Dwalin from Day 15 3rd Watch to Day 25th 3rd Watch. As far as bookkeeping is concerned Leowyn only gained 200 EP for the travel, reaching 4891 EP total.

    Session Summary

    Not much of a session this one. I know that random encounters are supposed to be meaningful encounters, but that concept goes with social ttrpgs in mind, where the story is a huge part of the overall experience as the GM fills in all the other details to make the world feel alive. In solo though, as I saw in the previous sessions the Open World concept is very important, and it comes alive by non meaningful, everyday encounters, just like the farmers collecting fruit.
    As to the bandits encounter it was a tough call. Essentially it came down to the caravan master and guard. If any of them would be aggressive towards the bandits, a fight would break out. Odds were against us though, even worse than in the previous bandit ambush. Since the caravan was near the Last Inn, it was in Leowyn’s best interest to not engage, but she would actively support in case of a fight.

     
  • giorgis 12:44 am on May 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep09 

    Day 20, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW windy
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    Day 20, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (1) is cold, clear skies, and the wind is N calm
    Encounter check: 16: No encounter

    Day 20, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (1) is cool, clear skies, and the wind is N windy
    Encounter check: 7: No encounter

    Day 20, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (2) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is N breeze
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter

    Day 20, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (2) is cool, cloudy skies, and the wind is N windy
    Encounter check: 2: No encounter

    Day 20, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (3) is cool, clear skies, foggy, and the wind is NE calm
    Encounter check: 4: No encounter

    Day 21, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
    Encounter check: 11: No encounter

    Day 21, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, foggy and the wind is SE calm
    Encounter check: 18: No encounter

    Day 21, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (4) is hot, clear skies, and the wind is SE windy
    Encounter check: 20: Encounter: Lawful/Day: 82: Brigands/Highwayman: 32: Seeking/offering Directions
    Attitude: 44: Neutral

    Initially I laughed at the Brigands seeking/offering directions to the caravan, but it gifted me an excellent opportunity for placing an ambush. Seems that’s the brigands play. Let’s see if the caravan can see through it.

    Two nights and a day pass without anything of importance. The weather becomes gentler. No longer does the cold chill of the North freeze their bones, but it becomes warmer and warmer.
    Less than an hour after they have begun their trip for the 3rd day, they see travellers on the road.

    Q: How many travellers are visible? (1d6 twice, pick lowest)
    A: 2
    Q: Are there any carts?
    A: Yes

    Now I’ll roll Perception for each of the guards and Leowyn.
    Perception Hreodhelm: 74: Failure
    Perception Enryn: 98+81= 179: Absolute Success
    Perception Leowyn: 17+5=22: Failure

    So Enryn sees everything. Let’s ask the Oracle.
    Q: Are there more travellers? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and it’s a lot of them. Intervention: Regress Plot.

    It’s quite self evident, there is an ambush and it’s a plot regression.
    Q: How many more bandits? (1d6 twice, pick highest)
    A: 5
    Q: Are they far away?
    A: No, and, they’re hiding right by the road in the ditch. Intervention: Entity Positive.
    Q: Leowyn/Guards/Bandits
    A: Leowyn
    Leowyn is in an advantageous tactical position. Her horse far away from melee, but she can charge easily the enemy.

    The caravan moves forward before a right turn. Two men are pushing a cart along the road. One of them lifts his hand to ask a question. As he starts to speak, with the raising of his hand, his cloak is lifted and a gleaming sword blade is uncovered.
    Enryn notices it and quickly looks around trouble. By the ditch in the left side of the road, a handful of men lie in wait, stuck against the ground.
    He knows time is of the essence. He draws his sword. “Ambush! To arms!” He yells.
    The caravan halts and the crew gathers together, while Hreodhelm and Leowyn draws their blades as well.
    Their ambush foiled, the brigands don’t waiver at all. They charge the caravan from the sides and front.
    Blood will be spilled.

    I will be running the battle in theater of the mind. Unfortunately despite a vast amount of minis, I’m lagging behind on painting my carts and riders.
    So, the caravan consisting of two horse drawn carts, one behind the other, with 3 crew each, has stopped after a right curve on the road. The left side of the curvature has a ditch where 5 bandits lie in wait and leaped out to charge. Since Enryn saw them, the caravan stopped before being surrounded. The caravan is a bit behind. The 5 bandits are on the left side of the mounted caravan guards, about 15′ away.
    The bandit cart with the two bandits on the road on the other hand is a bit further ahead, around 60′ away.
    Leowyn has an advantage. She happened to be guarding the rear, and is about 100′ away back on the road from the front cart.
    The caravan crew won’t fight unless attacked directly. Then, since they’re not warriors, I’ll be rolling 1d3 for Fight, Freeze or Flee for each attacked crewman.
    The caravan guards will be using level 1d3 warrior stats. They wear Rigid Leather, metal helmets, greaves and bracers. They carry broadswords and shields.
    The bandits are thugs. They carry short swords (the ones by the cart), handaxes and clubs (I’ll roll randomly) and wear soft leather armor. They will be using level 1 scout stats.

    Initiative hack: I'll be rolling 1d10 and adding that to each character's M&M bonus to see initiative order.

    Leowyn: 3-15= -12
    Hreodhelm: (Level: 1): Initiative: 6
    Enryn: (Level: 3): Initiative: 7+5=12
    Enemies: Initiative: 10+5= 15

    Round 1

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 39+5=44: 30: Moves and Attacks: 31+21+30-100-15=-33:-
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 90+5=95: 70: Moves and Attacks: 72+21+70-100-10-15=38:-
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: MM: 90+5=95: 70: Moves and Attacks: 84+21+70-100-15=60:-
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: MM: 30+5=35: 20: Moves and Attacks: 46+21+20-100-10-15=-38:-
    Bandit 5(Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 16+5=21: 20: Moves and Attacks: 87+21+20-100-10-40=-22:-
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Closes in on Hreodhelm
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Closes in on Enryn
    Enryn: Attacks Bandit 3: 56+69-20=105: 14C: 43: Minor Chest Wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Hreodhelm: Attacks Bandit 1: 39+43-20=62:-
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 5 from the Rear: MM: 60+46=106:90:Rides and Attacks: 27+38+15-20-100+90+35=85:9A: 82-20=62: Minor forearm wound. +4 hits. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.

    Round 2

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Hreodhelm: 92+41-40=93: 9A: 68-20=48: Minor Chest Wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: 96+71+41-40-10=158: 20E(D): 80+10=90: Blow to back of head paralyzes from the shoulders down. +25 hits. Foe quite stunned. Hreodhelm is down.
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: 44+41-40-5=40:-
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: 99+19+41-10-40=109: 11B: 43-10=33: Blow to side. +4 hits. -40 to activity for 1 round.
    Bandit 5(Club): Stunned
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Closes in on the front cart.
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Attacks Enryn: MM: 09+5=14: 50: Moves and Attacks: 88+21+50-100-40: 19:-
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 3: 48+69-20-40=57:-
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 5: 0538+38+15+35=20:-

    Round 3

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Leowyn: MM: 72+5=77: 100: Moves and Attacks: 28+21-40=9:-
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Leowyn: MM: 66+5=71: 90: Moves and Attacks: 52+21+90-100-10-40=13:-
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: 92+41-40-5=88: 7A: 27-20=7: Minor calf wound. 1 hit per round.
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: 03: Fumble: You lose your wind and you realize you should try to relax. -40 to activity for 2 rounds.
    Bandit 5(Club): Attacks Leowyn: 46+41-40-10=37:-
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Attacks: (Ambald/Berter/Eram): Ambald: MM: 13+5=18: 10: Climbs the cart and attacks: 71+21-100+10-(Fight/Freeze/Flee): Fight: -20=-18:-
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Attacks Enryn: 54+41-40=55:-
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 3: 100+81+69-20=230: 25E: 82+20=102: Major abdominal wound. +10 hits. 8 hits per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 4 rounds. Bandit 3 is down.
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 5: 40+38+15-20=73: 5
    Ambald attacks Bandit 6: 27+41-20=48:-

    Right here I was completely frustrated. I know the game is crunchy and dangerous and I know that some bad rolls can kill you without warning but I find the system lacking in terms of mounted combat and tactical options among others. Tactical options are limited to a distribution of Offensive and Defensive Bonus.
    So I decided that if Leowyn survived, I'd convert her to Mythras or Hârnmaster. Realizing that my previous failures to convert her had to do mostly with me not converting the Rohirim Culture and Warrior profession to the respective systems beforehand.
    I set to read the MERP book first to plan the conversion and I read the following text in the Special Abilities of the Rohirim
    +20 bonus to melee Offensive Bonus when fighting from horseback
    That text was nowhere in my character sheet. Doh. I went back and corrected my Attacks retrospectively. I'm keeping everything as is, rerolling where necessary to show how a single rule can change everything.

    Round 1

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 39+5=44: 30: Moves and Attacks: 31+21+30-100-15=-33:-
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 90+5=95: 70: Moves and Attacks: 72+21+70-100-10-15=38:-
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: MM: 90+5=95: 70: Moves and Attacks: 84+21+70-100-15=60:-
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: MM: 30+5=35: 20: Moves and Attacks: 46+21+20-100-10-15=-38:-
    Bandit 5(Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: MM: 16+5=21: 20: Moves and Attacks: 87+21+20-100-10-40=-22:-
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Closes in on Hreodhelm
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Closes in on Enryn
    Enryn: Attacks Bandit 3: 56+69-20=105: 14C: 43: Minor Chest Wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Hreodhelm: Attacks Bandit 1: 39+43-20=62:-
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 5 from the Rear: MM: 60+46=106:90:Rides and Attacks: 27+38+15-20-100+90+35+20=105:14C: 82=82: Slash weapon arm. +10 hits. 1 hit per round. If no arm armor: muscle and tendon damage, arm useless.

    The bandits quickly charge at the caravan guards, trying to flank them, but the sheer size of the steeds doesn’t allow them. They have lost their footing trying to get out of the ditch and fail to wound either guard, while the bandits from the roadside close in. Enryn wounds a bandit to the chest, causing him to bleed, but Hreodhelm can’t get a clear attack, trying to get his horse under control. Leowyn rides from the rear, slashing the arm of an unsuspecting bandit, who screams in pain, his weapon arm dangling around motionless.

    Round 2

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Hreodhelm: 92+41-40=93: 9A: 68-20=48: Minor Chest Wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Hreodhelm: 96+71+41-40-10=158: 20E(D): 80+10=90: Blow to back of head paralyzes from the shoulders down. +25 hits. Foe quite stunned. Hreodhelm is down.
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: 44+41-40-5=40:-
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: 99+19+41-10-40=109: 11B: 43-10=33: Blow to side. +4 hits. -40 to activity for 1 round.
    Bandit 5(Club): Flees.
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Closes in on the front cart.
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Attacks Enryn: MM: 09+5=14: 50: Moves and Attacks: 88+21+50-100-40: 19:-
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 3: 48+69-20-40=57:-
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 4 from the rear: MM: 90+46=136: 120: Attacks Bandit 4: 0538+38+15+35+20+120-100=60:-

    Hreodhelm is surrounded. He receives a handaxe to the chest, and as the blow reels him back, piercing his leather armor, another bandit clubs him to the back of the head. He falls down from the horse, paralyzed.
    Three other bandits attack Enryn, who fights them off, using his horse and shield to keep them at bay. He receives a club to the side, unbalancing him, and causing his attacks to miss.
    As the bandit that Leowyn disabled flees, she turns her attention to the one that wounded Enryn, and attacks him from the rear, but she finds clean air.
    One of the remaining six bandits in the fight has the cart on his sights.

    Round 3

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Leowyn: MM: 72+5=77: 100: Moves and Attacks: 28+21-40+5=14:-
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Leowyn: MM: 66+5=71: 90: Moves and Attacks: 52+21+90-100-10-40=13:-
    Bandit 3(Handaxe): Attacks Enryn: 92+41-40-5=88: 7A: 27-20=7: Minor calf wound. 1 hit per round.
    Bandit 4(Club): Attacks Enryn: 03: Fumble: You lose your wind and you realize you should try to relax. -40 to activity for 2 rounds.
    Bandit 5(Club): Flees.
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Attacks: (Ambald/Berter/Eram): Ambald: MM: 13+5=18: 10: Climbs the cart and attacks: 71+21-100+10+10-(Fight/Freeze/Flee): Fight: -20=-8:-
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Attacks Enryn: 54+41-40+10=65:-
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 3: 100+81+69-20=230: 25E: 82+20=102: Major abdominal wound. +10 hits. 8 hits per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 4 rounds. Bandit 3 is down.
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 4 from the flank: 40+38+15-20+20+15=108: 15C: 96=96: Knocked out for 6 hours with a strike to the side of head. +15 hits. If no helm: dies instantly. Bandit 4 is down.
    Ambald attacks Bandit 6: 27+41-20+10=58:-

    2 more enemies down. Suddenly things don't look as bleak

    The bandits that brought Hreodhelm down turn their attention to Leowyn, who parries their blows. Enryn’s calf is wounded by a bandit’s handaxe, and he returns the favor. His sword digs deep into his enemy’s abdomen, and he pulls out a bloody blade as the bandit falls. The two other bandits fighting him fail to wound him, one of them fumbling his attack severely, losing his wind. Leowyn attacks him from the side, hitting him to the head with her sword, killing him at once.
    A bandit finds his way to the carts, attacking the Ambald the teamster, who manages to find the courage to fight and fend off his attacker.

    Round 4

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Attacks Leowyn: 55+41-40+5=61: 2
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Leowyn: 82+41-10-40=73: 7
    Bandit 5(Club): Down due to blood loss.
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Attacks Ambald: 43+41-20+10=74:-
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Attacks Enryn: 55+41-40+10=66:2
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 7: 27+69-20=76: 7A: 91-20=71: Medium thigh wound. +6 hits. 1 hit per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds.
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 1: 69+38+15-20+20=122: 19D: 43+10=53: Minor forearm wound. +4 hits. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.
    Ambald attacks Bandit 6: 19+41-20+10=50:-

    The fleeing bandit dozes off due to blood loss while running away.
    The couple of bandits fighting Leowyn hit her, but the chain hauberk absorbs most of the impact. She counterattacks, wounding a bandits forearm, causing bleeding, and stunning him.
    Enryn’s armor saves him as well on his duel, and he slashes the bandit’s thigh, causing hemorrhage to his enemy who tries to recover.
    On the cart the fight goes on, without any winner.

    Round 5

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Stunned
    Bandit 2 (Club): Attacks Leowyn: 78+41-10-40=69: 6
    Bandit 6(Short Sword): Attacks Ambald: 56+41-20+10=87: 10A: 25-20=5: Weak strike yields no extra damage. +0 hits.
    Bandit 7(Short Sword): Stunned.
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 7: 46+69-20=95: 12B: 45-10=35: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/rnd. Bandit 7 is down.
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 2: 31+38+15-20+20=84: 9A: 53-20=33: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/rnd.
    Ambald attacks Bandit 6: 57+41-20+10=88:10B: 23-10=13: Minor calf wound. 1 hit per round.

    With her enemy stunned, Leowyn keeps fighting the other bandit, she receives another wound deflected by the armor, but her sword finds her enemy’s upper leg, causing severe bleeding.
    Enryn’s sword also finds his stunned enemy’s upper leg, causing severe bleeding, and bringing him down.
    On the cart the fight goes on, with the teamster and the bandit causing minor flesh wounds to each other.

    Round 6

    Bandit 1 (Handaxe): Down.
    Q: Does Bandit 2 Flee?
    A: Yes
    Bandit 2 (Club): Turns and flees. Conflicting action (Medium MM) vs Leowyn (Riding, Light MM): 25+5=30: 20 vs 64-15=49: 70. Leowyn wins and attacks.
    Leowyn: Attacks Bandit 2: 79+38+15-20+20=132: 22D: 63+10=73: Medium thigh wound. +6 hits. 1 hit per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds. Bandit 2 is down.
    Q: Does Bandit 6 Flee?
    A: Yes, and he drops his sword as he does so. Armbald doesn’t follow.
    Bandit 6: Turns and flees.
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 6 from the rear: MM: 29+6: 60: Rides and Attacks: 28+69-20+35+60-100=72: 5.

    Leowyn’s opponent with the bleeding arm, drops from blood loss. His friend loses his nerve and flees. Not before Leowyn has the final word. Her sword carves his thigh, finishing him.
    The bandit on the cart is panicking. He drops his sword, jumps down from the cart and runs on the road. Armbald lets him go, he’s happy to be alive.
    Enryn on the other hand is filled with rage. Despite his bleeding chest, he follows down the road with his horse, reaching him and hitting him with his sword.

    Round 7

    Q: Does Bandit 6 keep running?
    A: Yes.
    Bandit 6: Flees. Conflicting action (Medium MM) vs Enryn (Riding, Light MM): 30+5=35: 20 vs 42=42: 70. Enryn wins and attacks.
    Enryn Attacks Bandit 6:48+69-20=97: 13B: 31-10=21: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/rnd. Bandit 6 is down.

    Sometimes the brain freezes. Sometimes you don’t see any solution and keep doing what you were hoping for a different outcome. So did the unarmed bandit try to escape on foot from a rider instead of begging for his life. Enryn slashed him, hitting his leg, and letting him bleed out.

    So things to do now:

    • Bandage Enryn
    • Bandage Hreodhelm and put him on the cart
    • Search bandit cart
    • Search bandit possessions

    For the bandit cart I’ll use MERP random table generator at Very Poor.
    For the bandit possessions I’ll use Harnmaster loot table.

    Bandit cart: 40: 2 Composition rolls: 70: 80 bp, 7: 50 tp. Magic Items: 63: 0.
    Bandit 1: 1 sp
    Bandit 2: –
    Bandit 3: 2 sp
    Bandit 4: 2 sp
    Bandit 5: 5 sp, Earrings (5 dr, Gold, adorned with 14 carat quartz), Broach (3 dr, Jade, adorned with 2 agate 13 carat), Pendant(14dr, Gold), Written work (Carved Wood, Local Region, Middle Age, Perfect Condition, Journal)
    Bandit 6: –
    Bandit 7: 4 sp

    Q: Does Leowyn search the bandits first?
    A: No
    Q: Is it Enryn?
    A: Yes, and he gets hold of the jewelry.
    Q: Does Leowyn search the cart first?
    A: Yes, but, it doesn’t leave her time to search anything else.
    Q: Does Enryn split the spoils?
    A: No, and, he tries to hide the jewelry, and never mentions it.

    Soon after the wounded are taken care of any bleeding, the caravan crew jumps on a frenzy to gather the loot. Leowyn searches the cart, looking for any clues, but soon she catches wind of Enryn searching the pockets and pouches of the bandits that fled, while the crew does likewise in the dead bandits by the caravan. Realizing there’s no sharing the spoils, she keeps a hefty amount of bronze and tin pieces she found for herself, and gets back to the group.

    That was some gold the bandit was carrying around in jewels. Seems they must have recently hit a rich mark. Too bad Leowyn won’t get a grip of it.

    Q: Does Wyny want to return to Bree?
    A: Yes
    Q: Can Suse heal Hreodhelm?
    A: False Presupposition. Hreodhelm’s horse scared from the fight, fled off, knocking him down, killing him. Hreodhelm is dead.

    Wyny is scared. He calls for a meeting. “We can’t get to Tharbad with just one guard. The roads are teeming with bandits. We’re doomed. It may cost us a bit, but we’re going to be safer.

    Leowyn will counter propose her protection until Tharbad.
    Q: Does Wyny agree? (Likely, she proved her skill)
    A: Yes.

    “I’ll take his place. We go to the Last Bridge as promised. Then I’ll escort your caravan to Tharbad. You’ll pay me of course. Starting today. I’ll take Hreodhelm’s place.”
    Wyny thinks about it for a moment, and shakes her hand. “We have a deal.”
    He turns to his crew. “Alright, let’s do a proper burial for Hreodhelm, and these scum.”
    The crew gets to work.

    Q: Is Hreodhelm’s horse nearby?
    A: Yes

    They pick Hreodhelm’s horse, and get it back to the caravan, as they complete their tasks to continue on the road.

    Bookkeeping

    NameDays Rations
    Leowyn5

    Arrows: Leowyn is at 35 arrows.

    Critical DeliveredBandit 1Bandit 2Bandit 4Bandit 5
    Leowyn20251515
    Kill PointsEP
    Leowyn725
    Criticals ReceivedEP
    Leowyn0
    Hits ReceivedEP
    Leowyn15
    Maneuver PointsEP
    Leowyn10
    Travel PointsEP
    Leowyn35
    Non-Idea EP TotalEP
    Leowyn860

    I’ll award Leowyn half the amount as Idea EP for standing her ground and convincing Wyny to keep on for 430 more EP. Total 1290EP.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    NameExperience Points
    Leowyn4691 EP

    Hit Points: Leowyn is at 14 hit points, Enryn is at 33 hit points.

    Money: The party pool is 5sp, 82bp, 6cp and 59tp.

    Session Summary

    As I pointed out one (hidden) modifier changed the entire combat. My approach is to fix mistakes so long as the session is still malleable. Once posted it’s a done deal.
    I’m aware that I’m not always applying all modifiers possible, but TOTM makes running tactical combats very hard. I just try to adjudicate evenly so that my choices apply to both sides of the fight.
    A nice combat is where MERP shines, and this was a splatter. I still want a more modern system, but nevertheless I had fun visualizing all those criticals.
    At one point I was afraid of being too much murder hobo, but it was pretty straightforward. Swords were drawn before threats were made. The bloodbath was faster than tactical decisions and within moments it was over.
    The action economy (7 vs 3) was very dangerous, but the better equipment paid off.
    I’m really curious if the caravan will manage to reach their destination in these treacherous times.

     
  • giorgis 7:38 pm on May 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep08 

    I’ve spent like two sessions worth of time trying to convert Leowyn to Runequest or Harnmaster. I didn’t like either approach, so I ditched it and decided to continue with MERP.
    After thorough checking various sources, I’ve settled that the distance from the Last Inn to Bree is about 210 miles. If she rides fast she can reach Bree in about four days. Much safer than trying her luck in the Hillmen city of Cameth Brin.
    Since Bree is a village, she may not find a healer or someone to sell the tomes to, so she might have to continue to Fornost.

    I’m switching to Harnmaster encounter rules since I find them simpler to establish for this type of travel.

    Day 15, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (13) is cool, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes a gale
    Encounter check: 4: No encounter

    Leowyn rides west at first morning light, past the last bridge towards Bree.

    Day 15, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (13) is cool, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes a breeze
    Encounter check: 19: Ecounter: Lawless/Day: 92: Military: 19: Local Garrison/guard/patrol/etc.: 62: Recruiting.
    Time: (1d4): 1: 1 pm.
    Attitude: 31: Unfriendly.
    Leowyn Perception: 516+10=-1.
    Patrol Perception: 62+27=89.

    So, I decide that the Perception roll will identify at how many yards distance each side will notice the other. Leowyn doesn’t notice them at all, maybe they hid or was distracted. The Patrol noticed Leowyn coming towards them at 89 yards away.

    Q: Is the patrol Hillmen? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and they’re proud and haughty.
    Q: Does the patrol head towards Leowyn? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and they are alarmed
    Q: Does the patrol have horses? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes, and they’re all mounted
    Q: Does the patrol recognize Leowyn is Rohirim?
    A: No
    Q: Many or not? (2d6/1d6)
    A: Not Many: 3, and Intervention: Wild: Fight fire with fire.
    Q: Is it Fire?
    A: No, but there is Smoke
    Q: Which direction?
    A: NW

    Lost in her thoughts, Leowyn doesn’t realize she has ridden right in the middle of a Rhudaur patrol. The three riders eye her carefully, wondering what is doing on the road all by herself. They’re just about to begin questions when one of them points something to the North West. A cloud of smoke rises to the sky. They change direction, and gallop their horses fast towards it. Leowyn breathes a sigh of relief.

    Now here’s an important aspect regarding Story Driven play and Chekhov’s Gun. I did nothing on my end as a Player to get out of what appeared to be a tough situation. The GME (assorted Oracle and GM Tools), in the same way that it presented to me an obstacle, as a Deus Ex Machina, removed it without any Player interaction.
    Currently I’m partial to this. The Chekhov’s Gun (coming from the Story Driven side) states that there’s no point in presenting something if it’s not going to be used.
    On the other hand, an Open World approach does this all the time, because not every event leads to a story. Sometimes all we’re left with is a “what if…” that plays in the back of our heads.
    In this particular case, I’ll go with the Open World approach, as it fits best my Player Driven solo game style so far. I know Leowyn would be curious too to examine the smoke that caused the patrol to leave her be, but finding a healer is the first priority, and she has a long ride ahead, her rations, barely more than what is needed to reach Bree.
    I’ll keep an open mind to upcoming events, as they just might connect to this one.

    Day 15, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (13) is freezing, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes a storm
    Encounter check: 14: No Encounter

    She camps some distance from the road, and rests for the night.

    Day 15, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (13) is freezing, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes a gale
    Encounter check: 8: No Encounter

    Day 16, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast skies, and the wind becomes windy
    Encounter check: 14: No Encounter

    Day 16, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast skies, and the wind becomes a breeze
    Encounter check: 19: Encounter: Lawless/Night: 11: Reroll As Wilderness/Rural: Wilderness: 73: Ethereal: 10: Elmithri/Water Sprite/Water Elemental/etc.
    Can’t find anything close to what would fit in MERP, in the highway, so I’ll re-roll in the Ethereal table. If I don’t get something useful again, I’ll re-roll in the Wilderness table and so on.
    Ethereal: 97: Unique/rare Ethereal (GM Discretion). Crap, I have to ask now.
    Q: Is it a Nazgul? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes, and he’s accompanied by Wights.
    Okay I read a snippet about how in TA1636 (a few years ago) the Witch King of Angmar sent evil wights to the Barrow-downs in Cardolan in order to prevent the rebirth of that kingdom. Maybe he would send some more.
    Q: Is it the Witch King himself? (Unlikely)
    A: Yes
    Seriously? I’m weighing the results in my favor, but the dice tell their own story.
    Q: Does Leowyn wake up? (Likely)
    A: No, but, her horse does.
    Q: Does her horse wake her up? (Likely)
    A: No
    That’s creepy. I’m stressed now.

    Leowyn is camped to the edge of the highway. A few hours before dawn, an eerie chill bites to the bone, much deeper than the freezing cold of the deep winter. Leowyn can’t tell the difference in her sleep. Terrible nightmares overcome her. She sees dark figures emerge from an abyss and kill her loved one. Stab them again and again. She tries to save them, and they kill her too.
    Trembling in her sleep, she doesn’t hear her trusted horse neigh in fear.

    Q: Does the horse attempt to flee?
    A: No, but, it freezes motionless

    So… does the Witch King and his entourage perceive the camped Rohirim Shield Maiden?
    Reading about it the Nazgul and the Wights inhabit the spirit world. So they wouldn’t detect Leowyn easily, unless the horses would.
    Going through MERP and the Creatures of Middle Earth supplement I’m having a really hard time trying to find a Perception/Generic Skill for creatures. Therefore I have to ask the Oracle.

    Q: Do the horses detect Leowyn?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does the Witch King attack the camp?
    A: No, and they decide to move on.

    Was it because they didn’t care for a puny human? their plans were too important? maybe they didn’t want to risk someone fleeing and telling of their sighting? Whatever the case, they moved on…

    Leowyn woke up in the morning severely tired. She felt as if she had been trampled by a horse. Her head was dizzy and she couldn’t shake the nightmarish visions from her head.
    Her horse was uneasy too. She couldn’t make him relax no matter what.
    Despair had filled her and maybe she had to abandon her task…

    Again, I don’t want to have such an important event go without impact. In this case, I’ll give Chekhov’s Gun a priority. What transpired may cause Leowyn to abandon her party and head off to find her lover’s killers to the South. Nevertheless, I’ll roll an Essence RR against her own level (50/50).

    Essence RR: 56+5=61: Success.

    Leowyn decides her friends need her. They helped her more than once, and now they rely on her. She puts to the task, gathers her belongings and continues West.

    Day 16, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (13) is cool, clear skies, and the wind becomes stormy
    Encounter check: 3: No encounter

    Day 16, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (13) is cool, clear skies, and the wind becomes windy
    Encounter check: 18: Lawless/Day: 98: Adventurer: 66: Escaping Persecution/the Law/etc.
    Time: 7, 20: twenty past three pm.
    I’ll use Donjon for some input.
    Reyja Horbridotr: Female Dwarf Fighter, Good. Reyja has thin red hair and blue eyes, and walks with a limp. She wears chain mail and wields a ranseur. Reyja is pious and honorable.

    As always, I’m keeping any of the above non-facts as possible truths until they get challenged. It’s like reading an adventure module.

    Q: Is Reyja mounted?
    A: Yes, and she’s riding a pony
    Q: Is she riding away?
    A: Yes

    Leowyn catches up to a dwarf pony rider as her horse trots a lot faster. She’s armed and armored.

    Attitude: 7: Hostile

    Q: Does Reyja try to flee?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does she change direction off trail?
    A: No

    The moment Leowyn closes in, the dwarf spurs her beast and gallops away. Leowyn decides not to press on, as night closes in and she needs to camp.

    Day 16, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (14) becomes cool, cloudy skies, and the wind becomes a SE breeze
    Encounter check: 5: No Encounter

    Day 16, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (14) is cool, cloudy skies, and the wind is a SE breeze
    Encounter check: 19: Lawless/Night: 48: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Rural: 61: Reroll as Highway: 69: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Wilderness: 38: Local Tribe/patrol/etc.

    So I don’t want another “this happened in your sleep” encounter. I decide that from now on, an encounter means that for whatever reason Leowyn awoke and becomes aware of whatever comes.
    Encounter distance: 1d10*10′: 1: 10′
    Number: 2d3-1: 4
    Q: Are they mounted?
    A: No

    Leowyn awakes from her sleep and grabs her sword to see four figures approaching. They are men and speak the local dialect.

    Q: Have they seen her?
    A: No

    She stays silent, holding her breath hoping that they will not notice her.

    Stalk/Hide:
    Perception 1:48+5-5= 48: Failure
    Perception 2:8+5-5= 8: Failure
    Perception 3:21+5-5= 21: Failure
    Perception 4:23+5-5= 23: Failure

    The patrol moves past Leowyn and her sleeping horse without noticing her. Leowyn’s heart pumps heavily. She only returns to sleep after they are long gone.

    So I just realized I made a mistake regarding the weather. All this time I was rolling on the Winter table but Hithui is Fall. I’ll switch to the Autumn table, and just consider these some very unusually cold days that passed.

    Day 17, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (13) is cool, cloudy skies, and the wind is NE breeze
    Encounter check: 8: No encounter

    Day 17, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (15) is cool, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 11: No encounter

    Day 17, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (15) is cool, overcast skies, and the wind is SW gale
    Encounter check: 6: No encounter

    Leowyn picks up her gear and rides west.

    Day 17, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (14) is cool, overcast skies, with a heavy rain and the wind is S gale
    Encounter check: 12: No encounter

    Leowyn continues west past Amon Sul, the Weathertop.

    Day 17, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (14) is cool, overcast skies, with a heavy rain and the wind is S gale
    Encounter check: 1: No encounter

    She camps through the night near the highway.

    Day 17, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (15) is cool, overcast skies, the rain stops and the wind is SW gale
    Encounter check: 3: No encounter

    Day 18, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (15) is cool, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 16: No encounter

    Day 18, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (17) is cool, clear skies, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 2: No encounter

    Day 18, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (17) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SW gale
    Encounter check: 1: No encounter

    Leowyn picks up where she left off, riding on the East Road, south of the Midgewater marshes towards bree. The weather is warm drying her clothes after the heavy rain of the previous day. She should be closing in on Bree tomorrow.

    Day 18, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (17) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 7: No encounter

    Day 18, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (19) is freezing, overcast skies, sleet falls, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 1: No encounter

    And I realize that the different season means there are 3 daylight watches instead of just 2. I wouldn’t have Force Marched the horse, but I might have had to roll on different encounter tables. WIll be more careful now.

    As night falls, so does sleet. She covers herself and the horse in a warm blanket and rests for the night.

    Day 18, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (19) is freezing, overcast skies, sleet falls, and the wind is SW windy
    Encounter check: 15: No encounter

    Day 19, Hithui, 1st Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, sleet stops, and the wind is NW breeze
    Encounter check: 20: Encounter: Lawful/Night: 32: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Wilderness: 10: Tracks/Spores/Sounds: 60: Wild/stray Boar/pig/etc: 87: Eating/Kill/Grazing/Foraging/Hunting/etc.
    Attitude: Friendly

    Leowyn wakes up to the sound of an animal. It’s a wild pig going through her supplies! “Shoo! Shoo!” She shouts and throws a little rock near it. The pig quickly takes off.

    Q: Did the pig eat any rations?
    A: Yes

    Spoiled by the pig, her last rations are gone. She knows Bree is less than one day’s ride away. She hopes she can get there without much fuss, have a nice meal and restock on supplies.

    Day 19, Hithui, 2nd Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW gale
    Encounter check: 17: No encounter

    Day 19, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW breeze
    Encounter check: 20: Lawful/Day: 47: Caravan with Escort

    How many wagons? (1d6): 2
    How many guards per wagon? (1d4): 1
    How many crew per wagon? (1d4): 3
    How many horses? (1d6): 4
    So two one-horse carts, with six crew, including a caravan master and a teamster, escorted by two riders.

    Leowyn sees Bree to the far distance and picks up her pace. Her stomach is growling. She sees dust, and calms her horse down. She’s near civilized lands so she doesn’t expect any trouble, but she is on guard, given the previous days’ events.
    Closing in, she comes across a caravan of two carts with two riders.
    Keeping a safe distance, she waves to the caravan.

    Attitude: 35: Guarded

    The guards put their hands on their sword handles, showing they’re at the ready. The teamster looks at her without waving back. He has short auburn hair and blue eyes. He wears simple clothing and a wooden holy symbol.
    Leowyn decides to try her luck.
    “Good morning fellow travellers. I know my visage is rough, but so have been my days on the road. I’m coming from the Last Bridge. A friend of mine is in need of a healer. Does one travel with you? We have coin and goods to barter, if that doesn’t take you out of your route.”

    As I have pointed out before in MERP, there is not much focus on diplomacy skills. It’s from the Old School family of games where such skills were role-played. Therefore I’ll do a combination of the Influence action from MERP with an Oracle question modified by the Influence result (Influenced one might say!).

    Influence: Medium difficulty (they’re guarded): 25: Failure
    Since it’s not an absolute failure, or success, my oracle question will be unmodified.

    Q: Does the caravan master take to the offer?
    A: Yes

    “We’re heading to Tharbad”. The caravan master said. The caravan master is short and stout, with black hair and green eyes. He wears well-made clothing and several pouches hang from his belt. “Re-routing through the Last Inn will take us a handful of days off course. That’s double normal price at 4 silver, especially going through Rhudaur. Pay upfront. The healing cost will be assessed when we arrive, by Suse, our alchemist, but it will be several gold. If you can’t provide your own rations, the cost is double normal, at 1 bronze for a week’s worth.”
    “I’m good with a sword, sire. I can provide protection to the caravan. This should pay for my rations, and some more.”

    Q: Does he cut any cost? (Likely)
    A: No, and he won’t barter further.

    “We already have a route to follow. That’s the offer, with your sword skills included.” The caravan master says.
    Leowyn nods. “I have the silver for the trip. But not the gold. We have some manuscripts that could be of interest to your alchemist, that we could trade you with.”
    “Let me have a look at them.” The caravan master replies.
    “They’re at the Last Inn. Payment upon the deed.” Leowyn counters.
    “Have it your way. If they’re worthless manuscripts, no service will be provided. Now, hand over the silver.”
    Leowyn pays the caravan master.
    “Name’s Leowyn sire. I come from the lands of Rohan.”
    “I’m Wyny. I lead this caravan. My taskmaster” he points to the auburn haired man, “is Ambald. Suse is our healer. The hands are Berter, Eram and Sige, and the guards Hreodhelm, and Enryn. We come from all over Eriador.” He turns to Ambald, “Let’s get going.”, and the caravan keeps moving.
    Leowyn turns back again the way she came, minutes before entering Bree, accompanying the caravan. No rest for her. She pays one weeks worth of rations to the teamster and fills her belly for the day. At least her trip might be safer now.

    A quick calculation tells me it will take about 6 days for the caravan to reach the Last Inn.

    Day 19, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW windy
    Encounter check: 10: No encounter
    Mechanical trouble: 21: No trouble

    Day 19, Hithui, 5th Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW windy
    Encounter check: 20: Lawful/Night: 48: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Rural: 34: Forester: 86: Working/Looking for work/etc.

    Taking turns at watches, the caravan sets to the night tasks. A forester comes to the camp, looking for work, but the teamster turns him away.

    Day 19, Hithui, 6th Watch

    The weather (20) is freezing, cloudy skies, and the wind is NW windy
    Encounter check: 11: No encounter


    I decide this is a good spot to stop this session. I’m spent due to the whole situation, but I really wanted to continue this game, as I enjoy it. So I took this slowly, and sometimes I just played a couple paragraphs worth of text. Took me about a handful of days to finish this session, and I’m looking forward to the next.
    I’ll do some bookkeeping now.

    Bookkeeping

    Name Days Rations
    Leowyn 7

    Arrows: Leowyn is at 35 arrows.

    Criticals Received EP
    Leowyn 0
    Travel Points EP
    Leowyn 325
    Non-Idea EP Total EP
    Leowyn 325

    I’ll give the entire part half the total as idea points, just because she travelled alone. 162 EP total.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    Name Experience Points
    Leowyn 3401 EP

    Money: The party pool is 5sp, 2bp, 6cp and 9tp.
    Decided to remove the money from the party pool instead of Leowyn’s own possessions for ease of use.

    Hit Points: Leowyn is at full hit points

    Session Summary

    This session was mostly me, getting back my solo RPGing footing.
    The session wasn’t much interesting in terms of events, which is to be expected since my PCs task was going from one place to another.
    I need to settle on how to run random encounters, but I think I’m quite close to how I want them to be.
    The Nâzgul not-encounter felt quite odd, as I was switching hats between Gamemaster and Player. Deciding that an encounter always means that my PC has detected something, is a major step on a Player Driven game, and I’ll keep that in mind from now on.
    In general Hârnmaster has more complete tools for each situation than MERP, which makes sense, considering that Hârn 3ed which I’m running is much more modern.
    Unless something stops them, the next session will be about the caravan going to the last bridge Inn, and the next one will switch back to Camthalion’s story while waiting for Leowyn to return.

     
  • giorgis 8:20 pm on April 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep14. 

    On to attack the Bleak Keep as provided by the evidence found when I was fighting the Fanatics.

    Campaign Turn

    Village Events: Offerings of food and ale. No need to pay Upkeep this turn.
    Agents and Adventurers: Bruno – Away on Quest, Alida – Dead, Frans – Away on Quest.
    Pay Upkeep: Still away on Questing as Agents: Bruno, and Frans.
    Healing Up: Ardus, also chugs a Tonic. Roving Wanderer.
    Actions:
    Ardus (+Evie): Healer. Fully Healed.
    Rudiger, Gustav: Priest: Failure
    Roving Wanderer: Healer.
    Where are we going: Bleak Keep
    Sell Unwanted Gear: Nothing.
    Trade: Nothing

    Despite that the Roving Wanderer was at 0 Recovery Turns needed after healing Up at the start of the turn, I decided that in order to allow him to adventure he had to see the Healer, and thus spent a town action.
    Combat Encounter: Fanatics: Camp: 6 Fanatics (1 Archer), Captain: 13″ combat distance: Seize Initiative: Success.

    Theme: Edge of the woods
    Oddities: None

    Aftermath

    Injuries:
    Ardus: KO
    Unusual Finds: Bounty on their heads: 5 GM
    Experience:
    Gustav: Pathfinding
    Rudiger: +1 Luck
    Ardus: +1 Toughness
    Loot: Enchanted item: Hate Strike, Fine Standard Weapon, 11 GM. Also 3 GM for completing the mission.

    Journal

    With dark heart I received the news that Alida had perished. No longer would his steady crossbow cover us while we advanced against the enemies. But we lost not only a soldier, also a friend. We drank to his memory.
    Bruno and Frans were still away.
    The villagers of Eerfeld were still so happy we freed the lands that they gave us food and ale, and the innkeep gifted us our stay.
    Ardus and the Roving Wanderer were already feeling better, but with a visit to the healer, they’re back on their feet.
    Gustav and Rudiger went to the temple, but the priests weren’t receiving, due to a holy ritual that lasted the entire week.
    No time to waste, we headed for the Bleak Keep. Once outside, I taunted Crerdieu, and enraged, he and 4 fanatical followers met us out of the gates, while an archer took pot shots from above.
    The fight didn’t last long. With ease, we dispatched most of the minions, and Gustav finished off Crerdieu in hand to hand combat. Apart from a few scratches and wounds, only Ardus was downed in the field. He climbed the gatehouse and was knocked out by the enemy archer. This gave me an opportunity to finish him off with an arrow.
    It seems Crerdieu had a bounty on his head which we claimed, and also we got extra gold for clearing up the fort. Speaking of which, we found a fine sword, as well as an enchanted blade which screams with hate as Wigmar wields it. A fine addition to the armory.

    Evie’s Journal, week 14

    Session Summary

    The first of my hero deaths happened while they were away, using the optional Agents and Adventurers ruleset.

    In this fight I also used an optional rule about increased harm. This means that wounding happens much more easily. I really liked this rule as it gave a much faster game flow. The only downside is that the AI isn’t currently set to deal with it, so the player has a slight advantage as they can focus attacks on wounded enemies.

    With this battle, I’m hitting pause on the story of the Wardens of Gahyrst. Not hitting pause on 5L of course. I have some plans that I want to follow on later, but I feel that this warband power level at this campaign difficulty makes it go too easy… and I like a challenge.

     
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