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  • giorgis 9:10 am on October 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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    A Call to Glory S05 – MERP 

    Continuing at the same challenge in the Level 1 dungeon A Call to Glory from TSR’s Dragon Quest, introductory adventure game, I could not leave Middle Earth Roleplaying Game out of the testing. Despite having extensively played MERP recently in my In the trollshaws adventure, and despite wanting to try out its modern retroclone Against the Darkmaster (aka VsD), I decided to go again with MERP, mainly for ease of use, having the books in print and everything.
    With this playthrough, I’ll have almost completed the d100 fantasy games in my collection.
    Middle Earth Roleplaying is a light Rolemaster sibling, using Tolkien’s setting. Iron Crown Enterprises held the IP license for several years and developed many supplements on the setting.

    I’ll be using a diverse party of 4 characters. I’ll try to include as many different demihuman races and careers as possible to have a party that can deal with most tasks.

    Scrolling through the core rulebook, I found 4 pregenerated characters for the sample adventure, that I’ll be using for this game.


    The Party

    Pregenerated

    • Bali Redhelm, a Dwarf Warrior
    • Boffo Northtook, a Hobbit Scout
    • Galadhil, a Dunadan Ranger
    • Lamalas, a Silvan Elf Mage

    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.


    A. Tunnel

    Wandering monster check: None
    Wandering monster check: None
    Wandering monster check: None
    Wandering monster check: None

    The wind fades away as the heroes move into the mine. A long tunnel leads onward, to the next room.


    B. The First Lair

    I’ll be using the weak orc stats for the kobold and goblin.

    Round 1

    Boffo move to attack WOrc1: MM: 67+50=117: 110
    Lamalas move to the side of the room
    WOrc1 move to attack Lamalas: MM: 39: 60
    Worc2 move to attack Bali: MM: 49: 70
    Bali move to attack Worc2: MM: 7+5-5=7: 50
    Galadhil move to attack Worc2: MM: 88-5=83: 100
    Boffo attacks WOrc1: 49+5-14-15+10-25=10: –
    WOrc1 attacks Lamalas: 56+35-10-5+60-100=36: –
    Worc2 atacks Bali: 32+35-10+70-100=27: –
    Bali attacks Worc2: 22+33+15-5-5-25+50-100=-15: –
    Galadhil attacks Worc2: 08+15+47-25+100-100=45: –

    Round 2

    Lamalas prepares Sleep spell
    Boffo attacks WOrc1: 60+5-14-15+10-25=21: –
    WOrc1 attacks Lamalas: 27+35-10-5=47: –
    Worc2 atacks Bali: 76+35-10=101:10A: 43-20=23: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. Wears leg armor.
    Bali attacks Worc2: 05: Fumble: 97: Stumble over an unseen, imaginary, deceased turtle. You are very confused. Stunned 3 rounds.
    Galadhil attacks Worc2: 33+15+47-25=70: –

    Round 3

    Lamalas prepares Sleep spell
    Boffo attacks WOrc1: 96+39+5-14-15-15-25=86: 10A: 55-20=35: Thigh strike. +3 hits. If no leg armor: 3 hits per round.
    WOrc1 attacks Lamalas: 28+35-10-5=48: –
    Worc2 atacks Bali: 35+35-10-19=41: –
    Bali stunned
    Galadhil attacks Worc2: 39+15+47-25=76: 7 hits

    Round 4

    Lamalas casts Sleep spell at the Orcs: 59+2=61: -15 RRB
    WOrc1 resistance: 60-15=45/50: Failure. WOrc1 sleeps
    Worc2 resistance: 81-15=66/50: Success. Worc2 resists
    Boffo attacks & moves to WOrc2: 54+5-14-15-25+25=30: –
    Worc2 atacks Bali: 18+35-10-19=24: –
    Bali stunned
    Galadhil attacks Worc2: 47+15+47-25=84: 9A: 49-20=29: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/ rnd.

    Round 5

    Lamalas waits
    Boffo attacks WOrc1: 63+5-14-15-25+25=39: –
    Worc2 atacks Bali: 75+35-10-19=81: 6 hits
    Bali stunned
    Galadhil attacks Worc2: 93+15+47-25=130: 23E: 85+20=105: Major abdominal wound. +10 hits. 8 hits per round. -10 to activity. Stunned for 4 rounds.

    Bali switches to warhammer and shield.
    They find a short sword & a leather armor.

    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 couple of goblinoids get up, pick their curved swords and attack.
    They face off each other in combat, Bali and Galadhil against one orc, and Boffo and Lamalas against another. The orc hits Bali on the leg, only his armor saving him from bleeding. He’s disoriented and stumbles on flat ground, stunned. Boffo jabs at the other orc in the thigh, while Lamalas prepares a spell, concentrating.
    Galadhil delivers a scratching wound to the orc, as the elf mage finally casts his spell. The orc in front of him falls in a deep slumber, but the one fighting off the dwarf still stands.
    It growls, shaking off the magic, but receives a sharp cutting strike to the upper leg, by Galadhil’s broadsword. It disregards the profound bleeding wound and hits the stunned dwarf once more, but the chain armor withstands most of the blow. Only for a moment as Galadhil follows up with another slash at the belly. The innards of the orc spill out, and it falls to the floor, dying out, incapacitated.
    The heroes dispatch the other spellstruck orc, and search for anything of value. They find a nice set of leather armor, dwarf or hobbit sized, and a sharp short sword.


    C. Jagged Cavern

    Wandering Monster check: No wandering monster

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


    D. Orc Lair

    I’ll going to be using the medium orc stats for this opponent.
    Only Bali and Galadil have entered the room

    Round 1

    Orc attacks Bali: 44+60-10-25-5=64: 2 hits
    Bali attacks Orc: 05+5+58-30=38: –
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 56+15+47-30=88: 7A: 89-20=69: Medium thigh wound. +6 hits. 1 hit per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds.

    Round 2

    Orc -1 hit. Orc stunned.
    Bali attacks Orc: 66+5+58-30-25=74: 3 hits
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 96+82+15+47-30-25=185: 22E: 36+20=56: Minor forearm wound. +4 hits. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.

    Round 3

    Orc -3 hits. Orc stunned.
    Bali attacks Orc: 97+75+5+58-30-25=180: 20E: 56+20=76: Blow breaks bone in leg. +12 hits. -40 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds. Orc is down.

    As soon as the heroes enter this small room, the stench of rotten meat fills their nostrils. With their infravision they make out an orc figure as they close in to engage. The orc wears leather armor and carries sword and shield. It attacks Bali, but the dwarf’s heavy armor withstands most of the blow.
    The orc parries Bali’s attack, but Galadhil’s blade cut deep in the orc’s thigh. The monster screams in pain, and grabs the bleeding thigh.
    Bali hits the stunned orc, but his strike is weak. Galadhil hits the orc to the forearm, causing another bleeding wound. The orc hasn’t had time to react as the two adventurers deliver strike after strike. Finally, the dwarf aims at the orcs leg. The blow breaks its bone. It falls down, incapacitated, unable to react as it bleeds out.
    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

    Boffo: Perception: 03-37+28= Absolute Failure
    Boffo: MM: 43+50=93: 70: Failure: 86-30: 56: Clothing catches on fire. Takes 2 rnds to extinguish. +12 hits. 8 hits per rnd afire. Stunned 1 rnd.

    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.
    Boffo looks around for traps, but finds none. As the halfling tries to open the door he hears a clicking noise. He’s not fast enough to avoid a jet of greek fire, that hits him and sets him on fire. It takes him awhile to put the flames out, and he escapes with a few burns. At last he opens the trapdoor, but it was just a trap as behind it is only rock.


    F. Gnoll Lair

    Using strong orc stats.

    Round 1

    Orc attacks Bali: 44+75-10-25-5=64: 5 hits
    Bali attacks Orc: 96+94+5+58-30=223: 22E: 23+20=43: Blow to forearm. +5 hits. If no arm armor, stunned 1 round.
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 20+15+47-30=52: 1 hit

    Round 2

    Orc stunned.
    Bali attacks Orc: 01: Fumble: 03-20=-17: Lose your grip. No further activity this round.
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 43+15+47-30-38=37: –

    Round 3

    Orc attacks Bali: 100+31+75-10-25-5=166: 18E: 46+20=66: Medium thigh wound. +6 hits. 1 hit per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds.
    Bali stunned.
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 68+15+47-30=100: 9 hits

    Round 4

    Orc attacks Galadhil: 80+75-10-25+5=125: 16C: 07: Minor calf wound. 1 hit per round.
    Bali stunned.
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 68+15+47-30=100: 9 hits

    Round 5

    Lamalas prepares Sleep spell
    Boffo moves to the side of the corridor
    Bali disengages
    Orc attacks Galadhil: 34+75-10-25+5=79: 5 hits
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 04+15+47-30=36: –

    Round 6

    Lamalas prepares Sleep spell
    Boffo waits
    Bali bandages himself
    Orc attacks Galadhil: 11+75-10-25+5=56: –
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 89+15+47-30=121: 13C: 82: Slash weapon arm. +10 hits. 1 hit per round. If no arm armor: muscle and tendon damage, arm useless.

    Round 7

    Lamalas prepares Sleep spell
    Boffo waits
    Bali waits
    Orc drops shield and takes the scimitar with the left arm
    Galadhil attacks Orc: 56+15+47-5=113: 12B: 38-10=28: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 3 hits/ rnd.

    Round 8

    Orc drops from blood loss.
    Lamalas doesn’t cast spell.
    Galadhil bandages himself.

    They find Kur’s drink.

    Bali: 25 hits healed
    Galadhil: 25 hits healed
    Bali: 30 hits healed

    Boffo equips short sword & leather armor.

    The heroes enter a room and a dozen of small insects buzz past them. Biting flies are everywhere. A large furred orc is sharpening his scimitar, and as he sees them attacks.
    He hits Bali, who strikes back with his warhammer, hitting hard the orc’s forearm, stunning him. Galadhil follows up with a strike, but only the end of the blade hits, barely scratching the wicked beast.
    Bali is anxious to get a hit while his opponent is stunned, but he fumbles, losing his grip and has to grip his warhammer again. The orc finds time to recover and counters back with a strong hit, wounding Bali at the thigh. The dwarf can’t do much than grin in pain try to parry his opponent’s blows. Galadhil hits the orc, but only blunt impact hurts the orc, as the chain hauberk dissipates the blow.
    With Bali stunned, the orc turns its attention to Galadhil, hitting the ranger’s calf in a low sweeping slashing strike, causing bleeding. Galadhil delivers another hit that can’t get through the chain hauberk.
    The dwarf warrior is wounded so the supporting heroes prepare for the worse. They want to try to draw the big orc out. Boffo steps to the side ready to ambush him, while Lamalas prepares another spell, concentrating, as Bali steps outside.
    The orc tries to hit Galadhil who parries with his shield, and strikes back, slashing the orc’s weapon arm, rendering it useless and causing profound bleeding.
    Despite its predicament, the orc stands strong, and drops its shield and starts fighting with it’s off hand.
    Not for long. Galadhil sinks his blade into the orc’s foot, and the creature perishes from blood loss.
    Searching the creature, they find an invigorating honey-like potion. Lamalas recognizes it for a potion of healing. Kur’s Drink. Bali takes two strong gulps, and Galadhil another one. Their wounds quickly heal, and they can continue again the quest.
    Seeing the dangers they face, Boffo decides to equip himself with the short sword and the leather armor.


    G. Empty 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

    Hard MM

    Round 1

    Boffo: 16: 5%
    Lamalas: 41+15=56: 30%
    Bali: 21: 10%
    Galadhil: 88-5=83: 50%

    Round 2

    Boffo: 30: 10%+5%= 15%
    Lamalas: 93+15=108: 80%+30%= 110%
    Bali: 43: 10%+20%= 30%
    Galadhil: 38-5=33: 10%+50%= 60%

    I. Narrow Tunnel

    Round 3

    Lamalas: Prepare Sleep spell
    Boffo: 05-60=-65:F: 23: You slip. 30% Chance of falling. -20 from maneuvers for 2 rounds: 01: Falls.
    Bali: 95: 60%+30%= 90%
    Galadhil: 25-5=20: 5%+60%=65%
    Orc MM to attack Lamalas: 47: 70%
    Orc attack Lamalas: 97+73+60-10-100+70=190: 48E: 01+20: Thigh strike, +3 hits. If no leg armor: 3 hits per round. Lamalas is down.

    Round 4

    Lamalas: +3 hits
    Boffo: stands up.
    Bali: MM to move inside & attack Orc: 09: 5%+90%: 95%. Didn’t move inside.
    Galadhil: MM to move inside & attack Orc: 96+52-5=100%+65%: Moves inside and fights Orc.
    Orc MM to move and attack Galadhil: 64: 80%
    Orc attack Galadhil: 86+60-10-25+80-100=91: 12B: 88-10=78: Medium thigh wound. +6 hits. 1 hit per round. -10 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds.
    Galadhil Stunned

    Round 6

    Lamalas: +3 hits
    Boffo: 02-01-20=F: 45: You stumble. 45% chance of falling. -30 from maneuvers for 2 rounds. 19: Falls.
    Bali: MM for rocks: 66: 40%: Success
    Orc attacks Galadhil: 73+60-10-25-21=77: 4A: 17-20=-3: Weak strike yields no extra damage. +0 hits.
    Galadhil Stunned.

    Round 7

    Lamalas: +3 hits
    Boffo: stands up
    Bali: MM for rocks: 56: 30%: Success
    Orc attacks Galadhil: 88+60-10-25=91: 22C(A): 24: Blow to upper leg: +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/ rnd. Galadhil is down.

    Round 8

    Lamalas: +3 hits. Lamalas is dead.
    Galadhil: +3 hits.
    Boffo: 83-30= 53: 20%+15%: 35%
    Bali moves 10′ inside.
    Orc attacks Bali: 17+60-10-25+10= 52: 0
    Bali attacks Orc: 93+58+5-5= 151: 20E: 10+20=30: Blow to side. +4 hits. -40 to activity for 1 round.

    Round 9

    Galadhil: +3 hits.
    Boffo: 28: 10%+35%: 45%
    Orc attacks Bali: 100+35+60-10-25+10-40= 130: 26D(B): 98+10=108 & 88: Sever weapon arm. 15 hits per round. Down and unconscious immediately. Shatter knee. +9 hits. -60 to activity. Knocked down and stunned for 3 rounds.

    Round 10

    Boffo loads sling.
    Orc MM to attack Boffo: 26: 10%: 45% remains.

    Round 11

    Boffo attacks: 06: Fumble: 35: Fumble ammunition. Lose this round. -50 to activity next round. +56
    Orc MM to attack Boffo: 26: 10%: 45% remains.

    Round 12

    Boffo loads sling.
    Orc MM to attack Boffo: 83: 50%: reached Boffo.
    Orc attacks Boffo: 30+60-40-100+50= 0: –

    Round 13

    Boffo attacks with short sword: 97+97+80-5+10-14=265: 22E: 16+20=36: Minor chest wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity.
    Orc attacks Boffo: 39+60-40-5= 54: 0

    Round 14

    Boffo attacks with short sword: 38-5+10-14=29: –
    Orc attacks Boffo: 41+60-40-5= 56: 0

    Round 15

    Boffo attacks with short sword: 17-5+10-14=8: –
    Orc attacks Boffo: 28+60-40-5= 43: 0

    Round 16

    Boffo attacks with short sword: 98+96+4-5+10-14=189: 22E: 28+20=48: Minor chest wound. +3 hits. 1 hit per round. -5 to activity. Orc is down.

    Round 17

    Bali is dead

    So the adventure book states that if the heroes have a hard time, give them an extra Kur's Drink potion. Right now Bali and Lamalas are dead and Galadhil has lost over 84 hit points (he's at -35, with death at -90). So I suppose healing Boffo won't hurt, but it won't make much of a difference either.

    Boffo finds a Kur’s Drink.
    Boffo drinks it all: 35 hit points healed.

    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, so they walk carefully to attempt to avoid it without harm.
    Lamalas is the first to reach the door to the other side, and by the time he opens it, Galadhil is halfway there with Bali and Boffo way back, as falling rocks impede their movement.
    Lamalas opens the door, to find a narrow hallway, and duddenly the door at the end of the hall swings open, and a foul orc, lifts its gleaming black axe and marches towards him.
    The elf prepares to cast another sleep spell, and Bali closes in to assist, but they both are too late. The orc brings his battle axe down at the elf’s thigh, swinging it with both hands. The strike is so strong that the elf falls incapacitated due to shock, and lies bleeding.
    Before Bali has a chance to enter the hallway, Galadhil gets past him and faces the orc one to one. The orc swings his axe low, and hits the ranger again, and again and again. Galadhil can’t react to the successive strikes, and he drops unable to fight longer.
    The orc enters the broken room and challenges Bali. The dwarf parries a blow and hits the orc to the side. The orc counters with a swing top down. The axe cuts off the dwarf’s arm, severing it, in an arc that reaches Bali’s knee shattering it. Bali drops immediately, a pool of blood where his hand lies.
    The hobbit draws his sling, and tries to shoot at the orc, but fear overcomes him and he fumbles the ammo, losing precious time. By the time the or is upon him, he has no option but to draw his blade.
    The orc doesn’t expect much resistance from such a small sized opponent. Boffo uses this to is advantage and fights close with his short sword, where the orc can’t hit easily with his big two handed axe. Boffo manages to avoid all his enemy’s attacks, and stabs the orc twice in the chest. With the final hit, the orc drops. The hobbit notices a vial of the same kind of potion they found before, hanging from the orc’s belt, and snatches it quickly.
    Boffo quickly runs to his companions, but there’s no hope for the elf and the dwarf. He stabilizes Galadhil, gulps down his healing potion, and removes his leather armor to walk silently. He will sneak in the shadows to survive if possible.


    J. The Story Room

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

    Boffo: Read Rune: 31-25: 6: Failure

    Boffo Northtook enters a large chamber that has been polished smooth. Ancient dwarvish runes are carved into the walls. He can’t understand a single word that is being said, and moves on to the next room.


    K. The Iron Mine

    Boffo will attempt to ambush the first orc miner.

    Round 0

    Boffo: Stalk/Hide (vs Perception): 43+27-5: (Light MM): 80%: He can move 40′
    Boffo: Ambush: 06-14+35+10= 57: –

    Round 1

    Boffo will attempt to Run away to the next room.
    Conflicting action between him and the orc he tried to stab: 79+50 vs 74+10: Boffo wins.
    Boffo Run: 41+50=91: 100%
    Boffo gets into the next room, and reaches the door to the other side.

    L. Tunnel of Death

    Boffo Perception: 29+28=57+30:+20=107: Near Success: You gain some information on the topic that required the perception roll, and you are aware that you missed something. You may try again after 3 rounds of contemplation.

    So Boffo is quite certain the door is trapped, but he can’t attempt to disarm it. He can only open it and hope for the best as the four orcs enter the hallway.

    Round 2

    Boffo opens the door to the next room.
    Deadfall trap triggered. Everyone must make an MM maneuver of 100% or suffer a C Impact critical.
    Boffo: 10+50=60:80%: 69: Blast to shield arm. +10 hits. Shield or arm armor destroyed. If none: arm broken and useless, stunned 3 rounds.
    Orc1: 18+10=28: 20%: 57: Strike to leg. Knocked down. +8 hits. If no leg armor: stunned 2 rounds.
    Orc2: 37+10=47: 30%: 04: Not even a scratch. +0 hits.
    Orc3: 40+10=50: 30%: 98: Strike abdomen. +18 hits. Stunned 12 rounds.
    Orc4: 50+10=60: 40%: 29: Staggered by strike to side. +10 hits. Stunned 1 round.

    Round 3

    Boffo: stunned
    Orc1: stunned
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 10+35+20-40=25: –
    Orc3: stunned
    Orc4: stunned

    Round 4

    Boffo: stunned
    Orc1: stunned
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 53+35+20-40=68: –
    Orc3: stunned
    Orc4: recovers, and takes position behind Orc2

    Round 5

    Boffo: stunned
    Orc1: recovers and takes position behind Orc4
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 35+35+20-40=50: –
    Orc3 stunned
    Orc4 waits

    Round 6

    Boffo attack Orc2: 11+10-14-5=2: –
    Orc1 waits
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 53+35-40=48: –
    Orc3 stunned
    Orc4 waits

    Round 7

    Boffo attack Orc2: 49+10-14-5=40: –
    Orc1 waits
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 60+35-40=55: –
    Orc3 stunned
    Orc4 waits

    Round 8

    Boffo attack Orc2: 74+10-14-5=65: –
    Orc1 waits
    Orc2 attacks Boffo: 62+35-40=57: –
    Orc3 stunned
    Orc4 waits

    Round 9

    Boffo attack Orc2: 97+60+10-14-5=148: 30E: 70+20: Disemboweled, dies instantly. 25% your weapon is stuck in opponent for 2 rounds: 56: Not stuck.
    Orc1 waits
    Orc3 stunned
    Orc4 attacks Boffo: 91+75-40=126: 23E: 76+20=96: Knocked out for 6 hours with a strike to side of head. +15 hits. If no helm: dies instantly. Boffo dies.
    TPK

    Silently,Boffo enters a vast chamber that is roughly carved and still being worked. Small veins of iron ore still line the walls. Four orcs work the mine, but the noise of mining covers Boffo’s footsteps, who gains the element of surprise.
    He tries to stab an orc from behind with his short sword, but at the last moment, the orc turns around and sees him, foiling his attack, and shouting the alarm.
    Boffo escapes at the last moment swiftly and runs forward deeper into the mine into a narrow tunnel, with the four orcs at his trail. It is a smooth and straight tunnel. The floor is marked with the dark stains of dried blood. As Boffo reaches the door to the other side, he tries to do a rushed examination, and although he can’t pinpoint it, he feels like there is a trap mechanism attached. Hearing the shouts of the orcs charging down the hallway, he knows he has no other option but to open the door.
    Alas, despite his awareness, a pile of rocks fall upon him and the orcs. His left arm is broken and useless. Some orcs are stunned, but one wasn’t hit by a single stone. He climbs atop the rubble and charges the stunned Boffo who, tries to parry as best as he can.
    The two combatants exchange several blows, but neither one is too focused on the fight, still shocked by the noise of the trap. Finally, Boffo finds an opening, his short sword disembowels the orc, killing it instantly, black blood spilling everywhere. But as Boffo is over his downed opponent, the larger orc of the four, brings down his scimitar on his head. The strike to the side of the head is severe even for a Northtook, and the poor hobbit dies.

    The System

    I’ve played a lot of MERP during my past adventure in the Trollshaws, so I’m quite acquainted with the system. The turn sequence again, leaves a lot to be desired. Every time I need to pause and think who acts first. Also it’s not always intuitive. The best example was the fight with the orc bearing a two handed axe, but because it didn’t wear heavy armor it could attack before most of his opponents. Unless I’m missing something in the rules, which is very possible, since the book suffers similarly to WHFRP1e from layout and rules hidden in several places all over the book.
    The enemy’s stats (orcs) could have been better detailed as I was missing several pieces of information that are necessary and I had to make rulings on my own.
    Nevertheless combat is interesting and, of course, deadly.

    What about the Dungeon Crawl?

    MERP is very deadly for dungeon crawling. Without any meta currency to aid the player, a group of 4 diverse classes will soon meet it’s end in a dungeon, unless they head back, recover and enter the dungeon again. A single strike can end a hero, and there’s no easy reviving. It’s truly old-school, and even with high-fantasy healing involved (Kur’s Drink) success is not going to be easy.
    A fair bit of luck is going to be needed, and maybe, if we go the old-school way, a few men-at-arms.

    Summary

    This is a crunchy system with a fair bit of bookkeeping. I love the details, the information and the results. But considering the other d100 systems I’ve played these past days, it comes short. With regards to soloing crunchy d100 systems, Harnmaster was the obvious winner of the family, with Mythras next and the other two old-school games coming up last, but not least. I enjoyed every single one of them, as the narrative feedback was enough to give a detailed combat, and the deadliness made me try to consider different approaches. Maybe I’ll get to try VsD or WHFRP4e in the future, to see how their modern reiterations have tackled some issues, but first I’ll go along with the rest of the (non-d100) games on my list.

     
    • giannidowns 8:56 pm on October 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Great fun to read this series as it unfolds. Do you have a list of games you think you’ll run this through? I realize that you may lose interest before you complete the list, but I was curious to read your intentions (didn’t notice it listed in a quick search)

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 10:30 pm on October 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you!
        Yes, I avoided listing the games on purpose, in case I set up expectations that I won’t follow through.
        I don’t have a particular list, but on top, there’s The Witcher and (maybe) Conan 2d20. I am interested in both these systems because they have their own unique mechanics (not d100 or d20). My main concern is that they’re very well ingrained with their respective settings. I’ll have some reading to do beforehand.
        At the bottom of my list are games I’ve played a lot, which are mid to low crunch like Savage Worlds and MiniSix, and I more or less know how they’re going to behave.
        I leave some room in the middle for games that I might have forgotten, and I’m curious to try out.

        Like

        • giannidowns 11:02 pm on October 6, 2021 Permalink

          I completely understand! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to the next installment.

          Liked by 1 person

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

    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: MERP,   

    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: MERP,   

    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: MERP,   

    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: MERP,   

    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 9:24 pm on January 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MERP,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep07 

    Day 12, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    I think it’s a good opportunity to forage for some herbs
    Since the climate is most likely t (Cool Temperate) and we’re in a (D) Desiduous/Mixed Forest, the best option for herbs is to find Thurl, which has a Routine Difficulty (+30) or Rewk, which has a Light (+10) difficulty

    Leowyn and Camthalion will split and search in separate directions
    The weather (9) stays cool, overcast, with light rain, and the wind becomes a gale again
    Encounters for each of the three groups: 05/145, 57/84, 128/100: No encounter for any of the groups

    Camthalion Searching herbs: Thurl
    87: Partial Success
    93: Near Success
    135: Success: One dose found, will search for Rewk next
    39: Failure
    96: Near Success
    90: Partial Success
    No Rewk found

    Leowyn Searching herbs: Thurl
    48: Failure
    53: Failure
    84: Partial Success
    42: Failure

    After hours of searching in the rain, Camthalion and Leowyn return from different directions.
    Camthalion brings out some cloves.”That’s all I could find.”
    He looks at Leowyn, who shakes her head.
    Camthalion brews the cloves of Thurl and gives to Dwalin to drink.

    Heals: 1-4 hits: 3 hits.
    Also, resting, Dwalin heals 12 more hits, for a total of 15 hits healed. Dwalin is at 32 hits.
    I want to search for a couple more hours for Rewk, and then enter the Keep while it’s still daylight.

    Day 12, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (11) becomes Cold, and Sleet falls, as the wind falls to Windy

    Camthalion Searching herbs: Rewk
    22: Failure
    45: Failure

    Leowyn Searching herbs: Rewk
    53: Failure
    25: Failure
    Encounters check: 74/119, 05/121, -52/140: No encounter for any of the groups

    Dwalin has healed 6 more hits, and is now at 38 hits.

    Having found no more healing herbs, the party gathers their belongings and heads back into the keep.

    Back into Level One, won’t go to the Arena with the bear, so before heading further down to the next Level, the party will go into the Storage Room. Dwalin at front, followed by Camthalion, and rear guard Leowyn.
    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, but, roll 1d4 on TWENE: 3: Add Simple Element.
    Portent: Love birds
    Cobwebs and broken wine bottles litter the entire floor. It mustn’t have always been this way. As a sculpt of two birds singing at each other over the doorway shows of happier times.
    The party proceeds further into the Arms Storage area.
    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes, but, it will be Unlikely in next question
    So there are some interesting items, and piles of normal, but tarnished weapons and armor. I don’t want to just give away everything. I’d expect the party to go through them (especially since they’re looking for the relic), and roll perception for each party member for each interesting item on the list to see if they notice anything.

    Broadsword +5: Camthalion: 109 (Near Success): 85:(Partial Success), Dwalin: 96 (Near Success), 52 (Failure), Leowyn: 97 (Near Success), 37 (Failure)
    Broadsword +5: Camthalion: 100 (Near Success): 101 (Near Success): 122 (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
    Morning Star +5: Camthalion: 101 (Near Success): 50 (Failure), Dwalin: 94 (Near Success), 66 (Failure), Leowyn: 102 (Near Success), 130 (Success): Leowyn identifies the item
    Javelin +5 that returns: Camthalion: 139 (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
    Three +5 Arrows: Camthalion: 64 (Failure), Dwalin: 83: (Partial Success), Leowyn: 49 (Failure)
    Battleaxe +10, 60% weight: I’ll also give a bonus here to perception due to the low weight: Camthalion: 102 (Near Success): 113: (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
    They also pick up 18 arrows, and all the identified items
    They will also take the three +5 arrows, but don’t know they’re good, so any arrow shot from now on that is Doubles (33, 44 etc) will have used a +5 arrow until they’re expended
    That’s some good loot! finally

    Arms and armor, that the orcs can’t used are littered all over the place, Camthalion quickly fills up his quiver with much wanted arrows.
    Then they go through the items, see if the can find the relic Dwalin looks for.
    They did not, but they found some weapons of exquisite make. Camthalion equips himself with Javelin and a fine Broadsword, and Dwalin straps a Battleaxe to his back. Leowyn keeps a very spiky morning star to her side as a backup weapon. Dwalin is no longer a grumpy dwarf, and a wide smile covers his face.
    “Let’s go further! Treasure awaits!” he says, a bit louder than he should…

    So, there are two ways to go downstairs. Either go back and get the stairs, or continue from the direction the part is already going. I won’t bother to roll about their choice, as common sense dictates they continue on this path, follow the hallway and go to Level 2-A of the underchambers.

    Q: Is everthing as expected? (Unlikely)
    A: No, and roll 1d10 on TWENE: 2: Decrease Simple Element: Not much to decrease here, since all elements are major. Maybe I’ll state that there is less dust and cobwebs here than usual.

    Since there is a secret passage on this room, I’ll roll Dwalin’s Perception.
    Dwalin: Perception: 67+23=90: Partial Success. You may not try again in the same area, same topic for 1 hour.
    So they miss the chance to find the secret passage leading further down to the riches (and dangers).

    The party goes in the dungeon chambers, and I will roll on each of them to see if everything is as expected.

    Dungeon Chamber #4:
    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, Intervention!
    TWENE: 5: Increase major element. The doors are barred heavily, and do not open.
    Intervention: 6: Wild: d144: Bolt from the blue
    The figurative meaning makes no sense here, so I’ll go with the literal. The dungeon chamber door was trapped (as well as barred) and a ‘B’ Electricity Critical strikes Dwalin: 90-10=80: Strike to side devastates nervous system. Severe shock results. Victim is a living vegetable for 1 month.

    The trio walks through the underchambers opening every door they can find, searching for anything interesting. Maybe a sign of Ledon, maybe a sign of the dwarven relic.
    A series of doors in a narrow hallway, points to them for prisoner chambers.
    “Ledon could be here!” Leowyn whispers.
    Dwalin nods, and without any precaution tries to open the first door to their left. As he touches the metal bar, a surge of blue lightning passes through him. He locks fingers with the door, unable to let go as the nerves tighten and he clutches harder. Finally, he drops down to the floor, to the horror of his companions.
    Leowyn and Camthalion look at each other.
    Leowyn moves in front to reach the motionless body of their friend. Camthalion reaches out an arm to stop her “Whatever hit him… it could still be dangerous…” his words trail off.
    “We must.” Leowyn responds.
    She puts her ear to his chest, which is still moving, she makes out a faint heartbeat. “He is still alive.”
    Carefully, they drag Dwalin away, and carry him back out of the keep, to their camp.

    So, this is an interesting point. With such an event, for sure the party must return back to the inn.

    Day 12-13, Hithui, Overnight

    The weather (11) stays cold, overcast, and sleet falls, as the wind becomes a gale
    The weather (11) stays cold, overcast, and snow falls, as the wind becomes a storm
    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow Flurries, and the wind becomes a gale.
    Right before dawn, the weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind becomes a windy again.
    Encounter check: 64/34+50: No encounter

    Day 13, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy
    Encounter check: 28/-13: No encounter

    Day 13, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind becomes a gale
    Encounter check: -06/74: No encounter

    Day 13-14, Hithui, Overnight

    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, and snow flurries fall, as the wind becomes a breeze
    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, and snow flurries fall, as the wind becomes windy
    The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy.
    Right before dawn, the weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy.
    Encounter check: 24/92: No encounter

    Day 14, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a gale
    Encounter check: 68/36: No encounter

    Day 14, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind stays a gale
    Encounter check: 47/67: No encounter

    The party reaches The Last Inn

    Battered, and freezing cold, after two days, Leowyn and Camthalion guide the horse carrying the comatose dwarf to the Last Inn. They desire the warmth of the fireplace, and a hot plate of soup.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, roll 1d4 on TWENE: 4: Remove Simple Element. There are no customers at this time in the main hall.

    I take a pause here to deliberate. The GM hat cannot be completely avoided. See, I know according to the pre-written adventure module that Bura Grumm is a 5th level Animist, and there is a far-fetched chance that she has the spell list to heal Dwalin. Nevertheless this would normally cost around 25 gp, and the party hasn’t saved Leddon to say for example that they get a discount, or for free. So I seriously doubt that Bura can help them right now. I will ask the Oracle though with an Unlikely result to see if she helps in any way.

    Q: Does Bura help the party with her skills? (Unlikely)
    A: No

    So, we’re in a dire position right now. It’s make it, or break it.
    The party cannot afford to wait for Dwalin to recover (if he ever does, see, they do not know it). Leowyn wants to find her lover’s killer and Camthalion wants to find his missing brother. Both are time-dependent events. Dwalin’s cause for the relic is considered null and void right now, and Leddon is left to his fate (or another party of adventurers). The way I see it, either the party breaks up, leaving Dwalin at the last inn with a hefty amount to Bura to take care of him (until when?), or they try to help Dwalin right away, taking him with them in the cold to find a healer in the nearest town (and pay him with the gold from the manuscripts). Maybe they could consider a combination of the two. Leowyn could set off on horseback to fetch a healer. I think this is the best course of action right now, and what I believe a party would do. Maybe Camthalion will stay behind to look after Dwalin and find some way to pay for their rent.
    Now the GM hat tells me that there’s a high chance that the story of how Dwalin got hurt may leak while they stay at the last inn, and according to the pre-written adventure module, Ar-Gular, the owner of the keep that my party raided is a regular in disguise there. So maybe a random event triggered by an intervention could lead to an orc raid by Ar-Gular, or something similar.

    The Grumms see Camthalion and Leowyn carry Dwalin inside. “We will need a room. And some hot soup for the night.”
    Bura sees him and bites her lips. She calls for her daughters to help. “I can do everyday healing, but nothing I can help with this. You will need to take him to see a healer.” She pauses for a second as the wind howls outside. “Or better yet, bring the healer to him.”
    “I can ride fast. I’ll go first light.” Leowyn says. “Everything else will have to wait.”
    Camthalion nods. “I’ll stay with him.” He turns to Rubb. “Innkeeper, we have coin. But I would like to know if there are other ways we can support, to reduce the cost, before we expend every single one of our coins.”
    Rubb nods. “We’ll work something out.”

    By first light, Leowyn will leave on horseback. This night’s meal and lodging (separate room) will be payed normally, when I continue with Camthalion, I’ll consider the various options.

    Day 14-15, Hithui, Overnight

    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a breeze
    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes windy
    The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a breeze
    Right before dawn, the weather (13) is cool, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes windy

    Q: Does anything unexpected happen overnight (Unlikely)
    A: Intervention: Entity Positive, Yes, and it’s something good for someone. Maybe Leddon returns alive.
    Q: Does Leddon return alive? (Likely)
    A: Yes.

    As Leowyn goes to the Grumms, to ready up her horse to leave in the morning, she can’t help but notice the huge smile on their faces.
    “Is everything alright?” She asks Bura.
    “More than alright! My boy! He’s returned! Alive! He was rescued by a company of folks like you. Adventurers! You may not have found him, but I thank you nonetheless for your efforts. I will do my best to take care of the stout dwarf as long as you are here. A day of joy!” Bura tells her, tears of joy running down her streaks. The warmth of her happiness filling the room, and for a second Leowyn forgot they’re in the middle of winter.
    “That’s great news.” She says. “I am really happy for you!”

    I’ll do some bookkeeping now, before splitting the adventure into two parts.


    Bookkeeping

    NameDays Rations
    Camthalion3
    Dwalin3
    Leowyn5

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 36+3 arrows, Leowyn is at 35 arrows (forgot to bookkeep in last session).

    Criticals ReceivedEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin200
    Leowyn0
    Travel PointsEP
    Camthalion80
    Dwalin80
    Leowyn80
    Non-Idea EP TotalEP
    Camthalion80
    Dwalin280
    Leowyn80

    I’ll give the entire part half the total as idea points. 440 EP total, 145 each.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    NameExperience Points
    Camthalion3713 EP
    Dwalin5666 EP
    Leowyn2914 EP

    Money: The party pool is 9sp, 3bp, 6cp and 9tp.

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


    Session Summary

    I did not see that coming! A great example of the deadliness of MERP. At first I had done a mistake and hadn’t calculated the -10 of the B critical, so Dwalin would have been dead, with completely different results to the party structure. Now there’s hope, and a new story thread has evolved.
    Now as far as my three major choices.

    1. The magical items. In a regular ttrpg, the GM would have described the items, and the players would have acted accordingly. They would need a proper identification, to know the properties first. This is solo, and a pre-written adventure. I made it easier to find what it was about, which makes sense since a magical item would look better than the other tarnished weapons in the pile. So of all the weapons, the party only failed to identify one broadsword, and left it back in the pile.
    2. The trap being a B critical. I tried to be in line with the feeling of the adventure. In the same floor there was a trap on the secret room, that gave a B Fire critical to anyone not uttering the words engraved. Luckily my party missed the room altogether, but this gave me a good idea of what the authors had in mind. I did not give Dwalin a chance to avoid the trap, but it was a ‘bolt out of the blue’ so I felt that I shouldn’t.
    3. Ledon’s return. It felt right. Entity positive. There are other groups looking for the same reward. It gives the feeling of a living world, and closes up the thread.
      For my next session I will follow the footsteps of Leowyn as she travels to a major city to sell the manuscripts and find a healer and get him back. Once that is done, I will switch back to Camthalion for the set time period it took Leowyn to (hopefully) succeed to her task.
      Since I wanted to get back to my other d100 systems I do not know if this is a good time to do a quick switch over to Harnmaster or Mythras. I know that Harnmaster has a mounted combat specific section for combat. Mythras covers mounted combat as well. MERP, not so. Let’s not forget that Leowyn is a Rohirim shield maiden, a rider.
      I will sit on it.
     
  • giorgis 8:27 am on December 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MERP,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep06 

    Battered, the party looks at each other.
    “Since we’re here, we might as well take a look inside!” Leowyn says.
    They head in, not losing any time scouting the yard or the remaining towers. Dwalin up front, followed by Leowyn, and Camthalion at the rear.

    Despite having some meta knowledge, the party is in a bad shape, and an encounter even with the few remaining orcs could be fatal. Nevertheless I decided to take the risk. It’s all or nothing!

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, roll 1d8 on TWENE: 1: Increase Simple Element. The keep is in an even worse status of disrepair.

    From the main gate to the east side of the keep, the party enters the ground floor of the hexagon shaped keep. Window slits light the room. It must have been a beautiful, elegant hall, but no more, the walls are hung with torn tapestries and ruined paintings. Broken sculpts fill the inscribed stone floor. A set of stairs to the west side lead up, and another leads down.

    I decide to reach for the upper levels first. If there’s any reinforcements arriving, we should be able to see them from there.

    “We should go up first. The vantage point could be important if we’re going to have any visitors.” Says Camthalion, and the party agrees, taking the upstairs.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, roll 1d8 on TWENE. 6: Decrease major element.

    According to the module, there was not much here. I decide that most of the balcony has collapsed, and the quarters are not reachable.

    Most of the second floor is totally ruined. There’s no telling what purpose this floor served. Access to the windows of the east side isn’t possible, so the party moves on to the top, third floor of the keep.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes, but it’s going to be Unlikely in the next scene question.

    They reach the top floor. There’s a door to their left, and one to the front, left ajar, leading to the east side of the keep, from where they can stand watch. Weapons drawn, they go inside.

    Q: Is everything as expected? (Unlikely)
    A: No, roll 1d8 on TWENE. 8: Remove major element. So the orc lookout isn’t here. It’s possible that they weren’t here in the first place (maybe they weren’t as disciplined as they should), or seeing the demise of their friends are hiding elsewhere in the floor. They can’t have fled because they’d have met with the party. Unless they decided to head in the lower levels, which is unlikely.

    The party enters a slightly big room with windows overlooking the courtyard and the path leading to the castle.
    “I’ll stay here and watch while you search. I’ll warn you if I see anyone approaching.” Says Leowyn, seathing her sword and drawing her bow. She takes position at one of the windows and watches.

    Dwalin and Camthalion start searching the floor on a counter clockwise fashion. They go to the door to the north and open it, carefully.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes, but it’s going to be Unlikely in the next scene.

    They come across a room with various texts of experiments and weird apparatuses, all in disarray.

    Let’s see if Dwalin finds anything interesting.
    Perception: 96+94+23-30=183: Absolute Success!
    I can’t believe it. They found the one secret room that even Ar Gular didn’t know existed!

    Dwalin notices something odd about the bookshelves. He pushes them a bit, and discovers a tiny hidden chamber behind them! Inside they find texts on weird experiments on altering the size of beasts. Having a nose for valuable things, the Dwarf takes out his backpack and puts the papers carefully inside. He may not have found his relic, but the expedition has already paid off.

    They enter the room to the west.

    Q: Is everything as expected? (Unlikely)
    A: No, and, roll 1d10 on TWENE: 7: Add Major Element.

    Hacking RecMUNE even further. I've noticed that Recluse plays with probabilities by using an advantage dice on the respective Black or White die. This weighs results towards an and result. If I added a disadvantage dice on the opposite Black or White die, this would weigh results towards a but result. So I will add a disadvantage hack on the opposite die for a Slightly Likely/Slightly Unlikely probability, thus gaining more granularity.

    It’s pretty clear to me that the Major Element is the orc lookout who was removed from the Observatory room. Most likely hiding somewhere inside. If he’s not seen, he’ll try to ambush our party (if he doesn’t act in anyway, then why add this Major Element, makes no sense).
    So for hiding, there are no opposed rolls, only a Perception roll modified by the Search bonus of the searcher, and the Hide bonus of the hidden person. Dwalin has a +23, the Orc has a +12, but Dwalin has also a +20 bonus because of his absolute success in the previous roll.

    Perception: 05-97-38+23-12+20=-99: Blunder. You may not try again on the same topic (the room in the same day).

    The Library’s walls are filled with Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Old maps and torn-up books are everywhere on the floor and tables. Everything is covered in dust.
    As Dwalin enters the library and starts to search for secret rooms similar to the one he found before, he hears a scream, and an orc jumps out from between the bookshelves, coming at him, with his hatchet.

    I need to ask a question first.
    Q: Does the orc have a facing advantage?
    A: Yes. Since it’s a simple yes, I’ll go with Flank. If it was a Yes, And I’d go with rear attack. This is in addition to the surprised bonus.

    So normally Camthalion would go first, but since this combat initiates with the appearance of the orc and it’s attack, I’ll go with this first. I won’t risk it, and commit all of Dwalin’s OB to parrying (+66).
    Also the Orc here doesn’t suffer much from daylight. I’ll only give them a -20.

    Round 1

    Orc: attacks Dwalin (Surprised): 65+63+20+15+5-20-66-30-20=32:-.
    Camthalion: moves behind Orc on the other side of the bookshelf corridor.
    Dwalin: attacks Orc: 89-30=59: 4 hits.

    Round 2

    Camthalion: attacks Orc (Rear attack): 61+23+20+15-5: 114: 12B: 40-10=30: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/rnd.
    Orc: attacks Dwalin: 07+63+5-30-20=25:-.
    Dwalin: attacks Orc: 82+66-30=118: 16C: 37: Blow to forearm. +5 hits. If no arm armor, stunned 1 round.

    Round 3

    Camthalion: attacks Orc (Rear attack, stunned): 73+23+20+20+15-5=146: 18E: 32+20=52: Minor forearm wound. +4 hits. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.
    Orc: Stunned.
    Dwalin: attacks Orc (Stunned): 86+66+20-30=142: 21E: 48+20=68: Blow breaks bone in leg. +12 hits. -40 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds. Orc is down.

    The Orc hacks at the surprised Dwarf, who puts all his effort to deflect his blow, successfully. He manages a weak hit as Camthalion closes in from the otherside of the bookshelf corridor. Now the orc has nowhere to go.
    Camthalion jabs with his sword, thrusting it in the upper leg of the orc, causing it to cry out, as black blood starts pouring. The pain is searing and the orc can’t get a hit on Dwalin, who now has turned to face him. The element of surprise is gone, and the orc understands their stupidity.
    The realization hits as hard as Dwalin’s heavy mace on the orc’s forearm, stunning him.
    Camthalion follows up from behind, slashing at the wounded arm, causing further bleeding. The orc is unable to react, as Dwalin finishes it off with a downwards strike on the leg, breaking it to the bone. It cries and falls down in pain, losing consciousness.

    The duo proceeds to check the room to the south.
    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes

    Going through the door to the south, they pass through what seems to be the the servant’s quarters, and proceed further south.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No. Roll 1d8 on TWENE: 5: Increase major element. This is the Lord’s bedroom, there is no important Major Element here, so it’s all grander than usual.

    The last room, seems to have been the bedroom of the lord of the castle. What grabs the attention is the exquisite bed and linens. It looks as if it’s still being used. Opening the last door, the party realizes they have come full circle, and having searched the entire floor, they go to find Leowyn.

    In the back of my head I still have the appearance of the Orc captain and possibly 0-2 orcs. I’ll only make them have an appearance if the oracle rolls deem so (through an intervention maybe), which are quite common as I keep asking at each and every room.

    “Everything okay?” Leowyn asks them. “I think I heard some cries…”
    “Nothing we couldn’t handle.” Says Dwalin, tapping gently at his mace.
    “Did you find anything?” She asks.
    “Some research papers of value, but nothing relevant to our current tasks. We should be on our way. Anything to report here?” Dwalin points to the window.
    “Nothing so far.” Leowyn responds.
    “Then we head down below.” The Dwarf leads the way back downstairs.

    Again, I cannot choose the direction to go first in the Level One of the Underchambers (sounds ominous doesn’t it?). So, I’ll roll 1d3: Left to the Hall of Heroes, Ahead to the Arena, or Right to the Storage Room (it also leads further down, but the group doesn’t want to leave without searching the entire floor).
    1: Left to the Hall of Heroes.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No. Roll 1d8 on TWENE: 5: Increase major element. The major element here is the 50 gp tucked into the paintings at the end of the hall near the great statue. I’ll make it 75 gp.

    The long narrow passage is filled with the family portraits of, what seems to have been the inhabitants of the castle. They appear useless. At the end of the hallway a huge statue stands.

    Dwalin: Perception: 38+23=61. Failure.

    Nothing seems to grab the attention of the party, and they proceed to the door to their right, leading into an Arena like room.

    I was very lucky here. The adventure states that if I tried to take the jewelry (that’s a lot of gold) the stone statue would wake up. It’s essentially a golem, and the strongest enemy in the adventure. But we never found or saw anything to make the party look further.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, and. Roll 1d10 on TWENE. 6. Decrease major element. It’s either the bear, or the gold: the gold. I’ll reduce it to half.

    Coins of all sorts of metals litter the entire floor of the room. Dwalin’s eyes glimmer with desire. What awakens him from the trance of gold, is a muffled growl, increasing in intensity and becoming a thundering roar. In the center of the room, rattling it’s chained leg is a huge bear.
    “Look at that gold!” Dwalin shouts. “You’re good with the bow! Kill it!”
    “I won’t slaughter a chained up beast just for the sake of petty gold. We should move on.” Camthalion counters.

    Now, for me this is a great example for party dissent. The dwarf wants the gold. The elf doesn’t want to kill the poor bear. This isn’t a GM decision, but two players, and the odd thing is I’m running both.
    So I’ll roll Influence skills for both, and decide what will happen based on the following table.

    Dwalin\CamthalionSuccessFailure
    SuccessThey fight each other for their beliefsDwalin convinces Camthalion
    FailureCamthalion convinces DwalinDwalin will attempt to kill the bear on his own

    Dwalin has a Presence penalty of -5, and Camthalion has a Presence bonus of +20

    Dwalin: 34-5=29: Failure
    Camthalion: 13+20=33: Failure

    Dwalin scoffs. He readies mace and shield and goes in front of the bear. “If you don’t want to help, I’ll do it on my own.”

    Round 1

    Bear: attacks Dwalin: 53+70-30=93: 5A: 19-20=-1: Fairly weak hit. +0 hits. Zip.
    Dwalin: attacks Bear: 04+63-30-20=17: 0

    Round 2

    Bear: attacks Dwalin: 82+70-30=122: 11C: 51: Blow to shield arm. +5 hits. Shield torn away. Dwalin is down.
    Camthalion: attempts to drag him away. MM: 87+35=122: 100% success.

    The stout dwarf enters the arena. His gaze fixed on the bear. It growls, and brings it’s paws down on the dwarf, falling like rocks on him. The fight wears him out, and despite holding on, he fails to counter. Without pause, the bear doubles back, and a strong sweep tears Dwalin’s shield away. The strike is more than the dwarf can handle and he drops. Without wasting a moment, Camthalion gets in harms way, and swiftly, drags Dwalin out of the bear’s reach.
    He looks at the bandaged Leowyn, and the unconscious dwarf. Under the sound of the growls, he tells Leowyn. “We should leave. We can always return later.”

    Q: Is the shield reachable?
    A: Yes, and, it’s next to them, far from the bear.

    “We should. We can camp out of harms way for a day or two, maybe somewhere with a vantage point to make sure noone comes back here without us knowing.” Leowyn adds, as she picks up Dwalin’s shield, and the three of them leave the keep.

    So I’ll roll for the quality of the camp site. 73: A good, hidden camp site, with view on the keep and road.


    Day 11, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The weather (5) stays warm with clear skies and calm winds.
    Encounters: 66/16+50=66:-/- (I’m giving the avoidance roll a +50 bonus since the party is actively hiding, and they have a good camp site).

    Day 11-12, Hithui, Overnight

    The weather (5) stays warm with clear skies but a breeze warns of the impending rain.
    The weather (7) becomes cold, overcast, with steady rain, and a breeze.
    The weather (7) stays cold, overcast, with steady rain, and the wind becomes a gale.
    Right before dawn, the weather (9) becomes cool, overcast, with light rain, and the wind becomes a breeze again.
    Encounters: 95/16+50+25=91:-/- (I’m giving an additional +25 bonus to the avoidance roll due to the weather).

    Q: Does anyone reach the castle?
    A: No, and. The heavy rain have made the road impassable. It’s doubtful anyone can come.

    Overnight, the party has recovered 20 hit points. Leowyn is back at full strength. Her bleeding has stopped. Dwalin is at 16 hits.

    Camthalion casts a healing spell on Dwalin: Spell: 19: Success: Heals 1 hits. Dwalin is at 17 hits.

    The heavy rain makes resting uneasy, but it ensures noone will bother the three. Camthalion and Dwalin barely speak to each other, but as Camthalion casts his healing words on the Dwarf at first light, Dwalin mumbles. “Thank you. For saving my life.”
    Camthalion nods, and the party gathers to consider their next steps.


    Bookkeeping

    NameDays Rations
    Camthalion6
    Dwalin6
    Leowyn8

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 18 arrows.

    Critical DeliveredOrcBear
    Camthalion1050
    Dwalin00
    Leowyn00
    Kill PointsEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin195
    Leowyn0
    Criticals ReceivedEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin400
    Leowyn0
    Hits ReceivedEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin21
    Leowyn0
    SpellcastingEP
    Camthalion100
    Maneuver PointsEP
    Camthalion50
    Dwalin0
    Leowyn0
    Non-Idea EP TotalEP
    Camthalion255
    Dwalin616
    Leowyn0

    I’ll give the entire part half the total as idea points. 435 EP total, 145 each.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    NameExperience Points
    Camthalion3488 EP
    Dwalin5241 EP
    Leowyn2689 EP

    Money: The party pool is 9sp, 4bp, 2cp and 3tp.

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

    When I resume on next session, I need to remind myself to draw a card for Leddon’s secret clock.


    Session Background

    Loved getting into the dungeon, even though I had to get the party out before finishing the delve. I wasn’t entirely sure about how I played the interaction between the party, but I think it played out okay in the end.
    Since this and the previous session were dungeon delving, I decided not to use the BOLD connections for intra-party banter. It felt weird not doing the same routine I did in the past sessions, but it was a valid choice, focusing on dungeon crawl instead.
    Once more the oracle and random generators provide ample feedback to make an interesting story. I expected to find Ar Gular or Thuk returning to the keep (meta knowledge here, it’s a pre-written module) but the heavy rain (or something else) seems to have stopped them from doing so.
    Dwalin is the heavy hitter of the party, and I must consider getting him back to strength before going back in. Maybe forage for some herbs to help in healing. But is waiting, worth the risk?

     
    • Don 6:04 pm on December 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! Just did a full read through of Episodes 1 – 6, loved every second of it. MERP has always had a special place in my heart. So happy you have done a solo play through of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • giorgis 6:47 pm on November 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MERP,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep05. 

    Spent some time reading and re-reading the sample adventure text, since there’s some mix ups in the descriptions.

    I’ll be going with the same way I’ve been dealing with pre-written modules. Will have to be asking a lot more questions, once for each new room…that is if I get too far inside!

    My party is lucky to have reached the keep early in the day. Orcs are nocturnal, and this might be an important advantage.

    Now I need to consider the approach. By definition, we’ve reached the keep from S-SW. This means that the party might try searching for the entrance clockwise or counter-clockwise.

    I’ll be rolling randomly.
    Q: Does the party search clockwise?
    A: No.

    We’re adventurers not fools. Though someone might call adventuring foolish. Nevertheless they have met orcs, trolls, and hillmen, all hostile. It’s likely they will go forward silently. I won’t roll for that choice. I will roll though for their skill. Orcs are supposed to have keen hearing.

    Crouching, Camthalion and Leòwyn, reach Dwalin in height, and pacing each step carefully, reach the side wall of the keep. The two south towers are crumbling, and the party doesn’t consider climbing them, in case they collapse. The earth mounds higher on the southeastern tower and the party feels exposed for a minute before they descend.
    The collapsed gate lies before them, the frozen stream passing through it. They hug the wall, as they see that they are in sight of the lookout window of the northeastern tower.

    Let’s roll. There’s no rules for party rolls that I have seen in MERP so far, so I’ll roll for each and every one.
    At least I found the stalking rules. I’d expect them in a specific chapter, but they’re under the skills chapter. Thankfully there is a decent index at the end of the book to guide me.

    A quick measurement on my side shows that the party needs to go 80′ to get inside. I’ll be using the subterfuge skill bonus for the orcs against the stalk/hide skill of my party members.

    Round 1:

    Camthalion: Stalking: 75+40-12=103: 90: 85/2×90%: Camthalion moves 38′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Leowyn: Stalking: 12+5-12=5: 10: 35/2×10%: Leowyn moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed (barely)
    Dwalin: Stalking: 98+39+2-12=127: 100: 45/2×100%: Dwalin moves 22′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 2:

    Camthalion: Stalking: 75+40-12=103: 90: 85/2×90%: Camthalion moves 38′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Leowyn: Stalking: 92+5-12=85: 60: 35/2×60%: Leowyn moves 10′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 87+2-12=77: 60: 45/2×60%: Dwalin moves 11′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 3:

    Camthalion: Stalking: 94+40-12=122: 100: 85/2×100%: Camthalion moves 42′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Leowyn: Stalking: 12+5-12=5: 10: 35/2×10%: Leowyn moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed (barely)
    Dwalin: Stalking: 83+2-12=73: 60: 45/2×60%: Dwalin moves 13′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 4:

    Camthalion is safely inside the courtyard.
    Leowyn: Stalking: 98+23+5-12=114: 90: 35/2×90%: Leowyn moves 16′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 25+2-12=15: 10: 45/2×10%: Dwalin moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 5:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 28+5-12=21: 20: 35/2×20%: Leowyn moves 3′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 94+2-12=84: 60: 45/2×60%: Dwalin moves 13′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 6:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 12+5-12=5: 10: 35/2×10%: Leowyn moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed (barely)
    Dwalin: Stalking: 27+2-12=17: 10: 45/2×10%: Dwalin moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 7:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 82+5-12=75: 50: 35/2×50%: Leowyn moves 9′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 85+2-12=75: 50: 45/2×50%: Dwalin moves 11′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 8:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 41+5-12=36: 20: 35/2×20%: Leowyn moves 3′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 21+2-12=11: 10: 45/2×10%: Dwalin moves 2′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 9:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 43+5-12=38: 20: 35/2×20%: Leowyn moves 3′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 87+2-12=77: 60: 45/2×60%: Dwalin moves 11′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 10:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 34+5-12=27: 20: 35/2×20%: Leowyn moves 3′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin is safely inside the courtyard.

    Round 11:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 94+5-12=87: 70: 35/2×70%: Leowyn moves 12′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 12:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 70+5-12=63: 40: 35/2×40%: Leowyn moves 7′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 13:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 72+5-12=65: 40: 35/2×40%: Leowyn moves 7′ and doesn’t get noticed

    Round 14:

    Leowyn: Stalking: 52+5-12=55: 30: 35/2×30%: Leowyn moves 5′ and doesn’t get noticed

    The entire party is inside the keep and hasn’t been noticed.

    Again, this is some really old-school tactical grid management. Success dictates how much you move. It took Leowyn 14! rolls to get inside.

    Camthalion, swiftly with elvish agility, moves on the frozen ground, without leaving a trace. The heavyweight dwarf follows, but his training as a scout compensates, and not long after, he’s inside the walls. It takes Leowyn more than 2 minutes to cover the distance silently. She hears her boots sink in the ground, and does her utmost do stay silent.


    Now we’re inside. Do we search the towers or go directly for the keep?
    First of all, let’s check the scene.
    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, and, roll 1d10 on TWENE: 9: Wild Positive!
    No clue, what this can be, so I’ll roll on the d144 Idiom Portent Table.
    2,11: Straight Arrow

    The party sees a corpse of an armed man lying down, sitting next to the tower to their left. There is an arrow straight through his skull. It mustn’t have been more than a few days old. The arrow feathers are black Crebain feathers. Dwalin recognizes it for what it is. “Orcs.” He whispers and draws his mace. “We should search the place before going inside, or we risk ending up like this poor soul.”

    Let’s see if the party realizes where the arrow came from:
    Camthalion: Perception: 05-94+35+20+20=-14: Absolute Failure
    Dwalin: Perception: 26+23+20+20=89: Partial Success
    Leowyn: Perception: 26+5+20+20=71: Failure

    So much for realizing where the arrow came from. Therefore I’ll roll randomly 1d4 to decide which tower they will investigate first: 3: Tower 3.
    Lucky me, this is the tower with the Orcs.

    Weapons drawn, the party decides to enter the north eastern tower, next to the gate, with the window overlooking the entrance.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No. Roll 1d8 on TWENE: 8: Remove major element.
    So the sample adventure dictates there are 5 orcs here, and an extra 1-7 orcs at any time of the day.
    Now, this is a very important part and may change the entire adventure so I’m going to roll. 1-2: All the Orcs are missing. 3-4: The extra 1-7 Orcs are missing. 5-6: The secret passage isn’t there.
    5: The secret passage isn’t there.
    1-7 extra Orcs: 3.

    The party enters the tower, from the stairs, and the orc stench immediately fills their nostrils. Have they seen them? they are about to find out.

    Camthalion: Stalking: 48+40-12=76: 60: 85/2×60%: Camthalion moves 25′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Leowyn: Stalking: 41+5-12=34: 20: 35/2×20%: Leowyn moves 3′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Dwalin: Stalking: 7+2-12=-3: 5: 45/2×100%: Dwalin moves 1′ and doesn’t get noticed

    I decide that the party enters the tower unnoticed, and have surprised the orcs.

    Going through Herubar Gular in the Sample MERP adventure. Considering the odds I really wonder how did starting parties survive.
    I have a party of 3 1st level adventurers, and entered a tower of 8 3rd level orcs with chain armor, handaxe, shield and short bows, equivalent to strong orcs.
    Should I tone them down to weak orcs? It feels like cheating, but it doesn’t make sense to have those odds.
    Maybe I can draw them out in the open daylight and take advantage of their activity penalties.
    I’ll stay true to the deadliness of the adventure.

    Reading through the example actualy play report of MERP, I can see that the GM rolls a 1d100 activity roll for the Orcs. In general, the GM rolls 1d100 many times, to decide. So, since it’s day, I decide that the orcs are not active, and will only move around on a result of 80 or more, unless disturbed.

    Activity: 56. The Orcs are still snoozing around.

    So since only Camthalion moved this great distance, I deem that he managed to reach the 2nd floor and peek to see the orcs. Dwalin and Leowyn have only managed to enter the ground floor.

    Camthalion, silent as a cat, walks up the stairs, and peeks his head off the staircase. He counts eight vile orcs, wearing chain armor, their wicked axes and bows next to them, at the ready. He turns to his companions and gestures them to be silent. Then he makes the number eight with his fingers.

    Despite Camthalion’s stalking skills, he’s no good at Ambush, which is the skill required to backstab and kill those orcs without knowning what hit them. So here comes some intra-player talk. Talking to myself, I decide that the best tactic would be to draw them out, and maybe kill a few of them in the process. The party will try to light a fire with lots of smoke to make the orcs come out of the tower and pick them out one by one.

    Camthalion: Stalking: 62+40-12=90: 70: 85/2×70%: Camthalion moves 30′ and doesn’t get noticed
    Activity: 44. The Orcs are still snoozing around.

    Camthalion walks back down the stairs, and the party decides what to do.
    “Let’s light a fire. I’m good at fire starting, but there’s a chance it might wake them up.” Dwalin says. “Leowyn, you stay next to the doorway, and Camthalion, you ready your bow, aiming at the opening. Let’s smoke them out.”
    The party takes positions, and Dwalin begins working on lighting a fire with flint and steel.

    So I’ll reduce the chance for Orc activity to 70% considering the noise, but only for the first few rounds. Afterwards, it is just blowing air to make the fire grow. It will take Dwalin 1d3 rounds to get the noisy part out of the way.
    Striking flint and steel rounds: 3

    Round 1:

    Activity: 33. The Orcs are still snoozing around.

    Round 2:

    Activity: 57. The Orcs are still snoozing around.

    Round 3:

    Activity: 27. The Orcs are still snoozing around.

    It takes Dwalin a bit longer than usual to light the fire, but eventually he manages to do it without rousing the sleeping Orcs. 3 minutes later he has a fire going on. He only needs to move inside the tower to place it in a suitable rag or cloth to burn it down.

    Q: Is there combustible material in the ground floor? (Likely, the Orcs are not known for their clean living environments)
    A: Yes

    The tower is 50 ft in diameter. Since I got a plain ‘Yes’ result, I deem that the combustible material is going to be inside these 50′ with a bell curve. I will roll 5d10: 40′ away.

    Dwalin looks to the far end of the ground floor to find a good pile of hay, rotting wood, old rugs and torn rags. He knows it’s too far for him to get in a few strides. He fears his heavy steps might alarm the Orcs. He gestures to Camthalion. “Take the embers and place them in the pile next to the stairs. You elves are light footed, right?”
    Camthalion thinks for a moment then rips a bandage, tightens it around an arrowhead and lights it on the fire. “I’m a better shot.” He says and aims at the pile.

    Camthalion: Shoots: 64+58: 122: Success

    The arrow flies true and within a few minutes, the pile is on fire. The party covers the doorway, waiting for the orcs to come out. Dwalin and Leowyn wait on each side, while Camthalion has his arrow nooked, overwatching from a distance.


    So now I have three different aspects to monitor. Fire, Smoke and Orc Activity. I will roll 1d100 for each, each round. On a 80+, the Fire will increase in intensity, delivering an A/B/C/D/E critical to anyone passing through them in the ground floor. It starts at A. On E. The Tower will collapse. On 80+ the Smoke will increase in intensity, delivering a -10 to activity for 1 round(s). On 80+, one Orc will become aware something is wrong, and start rousing the rest of his friends. Each increase in Fire or Smoke intensity will increase the Orc activity chance by 10. Each increase in Fire intensity will increase the Smoke chance by 10.

    Round 1:

    7/16/92: An orc, picks up the faint smell, and starts to raise a ruckus.

    Round 2:

    41/47/86: The orc, picks up his gear and goes downstairs to investigate. One more orc starts looking around.

    Q: Is the orc within Camthalion’s LOS?
    A: Yes, and Camthalion has a clean shot

    I deem that the Orc isn’t ready for combat, and won’t be able to use his DB.

    Camthalion: Shooting: 19+58=77: 2 hits

    As the fire starts to spread slowly, Camthalion keeps his gaze in the staircase, which is visible from outside. His keen elvish vision doesn’t miss a thing. He sees a crouching figure moving downstairs, and immediately he lets go of his arrow. The arrow finds the orc, but gets entangled in its armor, only barely scratching him.
    “Goth! Nalt!” He screams in his black speech.

    So the rest of the orcs will spend one round picking up their gear. And then start descending. The hit orc continues his descend to get out.

    Round 3:

    87/11: The fire has spread, reaching a B critical status.
    Camthalion nooks another arrow.
    The Orc already inside receives a B critical: 80-10=70: Knocked down by fiery blast. Any organic foot and calf covering destroyed. +10 Hits.

    The flames suddenly lit ablaze, and the clothing on the orc’s leg catches on fire. It screams in pain and drops down, tumbling down the stairs.

    Q: Do the rest of the orcs fear being burned, seeing the misfortune of their friend?
    A: Yes

    The orcs in the second floor pause and stop mumbling, seeing their member burn and fall down. Leowyn and Dwalin block the exit downstairs.

    Round 4:

    8/56: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    I decide that the flames and smoke rolls will be open ended. Meaning a roll of 01-06 will bring the intensity down one level.

    Camthalion shoots the Orc1: 42+58 (won’t give the Orc a DB since it was knocked down)= 100: 8A: 93-20=73: Strike to lower leg. Tendons torn. +3 hits. -25 to activity. Stunned 1 round.

    I will roll again for Orc activity, in order for them to decide to risk going down the flaming stairs: 24: They stay put.

    Camthalion takes another shot at the advancing orc. His arrow strikes the lower leg, tearing the orc’s tendons apart.

    Round 5:

    32/26/30: Fire, Smoke and Orc activity stable.
    Camthalion nooks an arrow.
    The Orc is stunned.

    While the orc tries to recover from the fire and the arrow hail, Camthalion nooks another arrow and Dwalin and Leowyn wait patiently, in the advantage of the tight doorway and the daylight.

    Round 6:

    78/87/83: Fire remains at B and Smoke increases and the Orcs decide to move out.
    Camthalion shoots an arrow to the orc: 17+58-5= 70: 0
    Dwalin and Leowyn set up on defensive stance waiting for the orc to exit.
    The Orc moves to the exit, attacking Leowyn.
    Dwalin flank attacks: 45+51+15+15-5=121: 17C: 59=59: Blow to shield shoulder breaks shield.
    Leowyn attacks: 11+38+15-5= 59: 1 hit.
    Orc1 attacks Leowyn: 161+63+5-25-40-60=104: 10A: 54-20=34: Blow to upper leg. +5 hits. If no leg armor: +3 hits & 2 hits/rnd.

    So I decide that 1d100% (round up) of the remaining orcs will brave the fire.
    05: 1 orc2: B critical: 12-10: Hot Air. +0 hits.
    The orc passes through the flames and will suffer -10 to activity for 1 round due to the smoke.

    Camthalion shoots another arrow on the burned orc, but misses. The orc tries to exit the flaming tower and comes face to face with Dwalin and Leowyn. It aims for Leowyn, but Dwalin strikes from it’s flank, his mace crushes the shield. Leowyn tries to hit it, but only manages a flesh wound. The orc turns to her, and hacks his handaxe to her leg, gashing a wound open, blood spewing out. With the fire getting stronger, only one orc dares to brave the staircase, and manages to get downstairs without being burned. Just some smoke in his lungs.

    Round 7:

    69/28: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion loads his bow.
    Dwalin attacks the Orc1: 37+51+15+15-5=113: 15B: 96-10=86: Blow to weapon arm. +8 hits. Stunned 2 rounds. If no arm armor: tendon damaged, arm broken and useless. He has lost 64/79 hit points.
    Leowyn goes back to bandage her leg.
    The Orc2, drags the stunned orc back and attacks: Dwalin: 43+63+5-30-60(daylight)= 21: 0 hits.
    1d100% orcs brave the flames: 45: 3 orcs. Each takes a B heat critical:
    Orc3: 57-10=47: Blinded by hot smoke. +12 hits. Stunned 1 round.
    Orc4: 59-10=49: Blinded by hot smoke. +12 hits. Stunned 1 round.
    Orc5: 02-10=-8: Hot Air. +0 hits.

    Camthalion readies his bow, while Dwalin follows up with a strike to the orc’s weapon arm, crushing it to the bone. Leowyn steps back to bandage her bleeding leg. The other orc comes from behind, grabs his friends shoulder, and pushes his back, taking his place against the dwarf and the shield maiden. Three orcs brave the stairs, and two are burned by a gash of hot smoke as they go to the ground floor.

    Round 8:

    02/62: Fire goes back to A and Smoke remains at the same intensity.
    Camthalion shoots Orc2: 14+48+10-5=67: 0
    Orc2 attacks Dwalin: 56+63+5-30-60(daylight)=34: 0 hits.
    Dwalin attacks Orc2: 24+51+15-30=60: 4 hits.
    Leowyn moves back and puts aside her sword, drawing out her composite bow.
    1d100% orcs brave the flames: 90: All four remaining orcs.
    The two stunned orcs and three new orcs all receive a B heat critical.
    Orc3: 17-10=7: Strong heat, little effect. +3 hits.
    Orc4: 26-10=16: Strong heat, little effect. +3 hits.
    Orc6: 24-10=14: Strong heat, little effect. +3 hits.
    Orc7: 02-10=-8: Hot Air. +0 hits.
    Orc8: 70-10=60: Knocked down by fiery blast. Any organic foot and calf covering destroyed. +10 hits.
    Orc1: stands aside tending to his wounds.
    Orc5: nooks an arrow.

    Camthalion aims and lets of an arrow to the orc at the doorway, and misses. It tries to attack Dwalin, but the daylight is blinding, and it fails aimlessly as the dwarf parries the blows. Dwalin hits back the orc, as his companion, with the broken arm moves to the rear. Five more orcs brave the flames and fill the ground floor, screaming shouts at their enemies as the fire burns the staircase. One orc falls down by the fiery blast, remaining at the staircase.

    Round 9:

    89/60: Fire increases in intensity to B.
    Camthalion readies an arrow.
    Dwalin attacks Orc2: 30+51+15-30=66: 6 hits.
    Leowyn readies an arrow.
    Orc5 shoots at Dwalin: 62+40-60-5=37: 0.
    Orc2 attacks Dwalin: 47+63+5-30-60(daylight)=25: 0.
    Orc3,4,6,7 take out their bows.
    Orc1: disabled.
    Orc8: 91-10=81: Fire engulfs back. Knocked down. All organic material on back is destroyed. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.

    Dwalin faces off the orc in one to one combat. These are not the weak goblins they met in the forest. They have skill and armor. Dwalin barely manages to score a flesh wound while parrying successfuly the enemy. The orcs in the back of the tower draw their bows and arrows and load them. The orc trapped in the stair case is burned further as he fell on his back, burning further, it screams in pain.

    Round 10:

    04/46: Fire decreases in intensity to A.
    Camthalion shoots Orc2: 41+48+10-5=94: 7 hits.
    Dwalin attacks Orc2: 73+51+15-30=109: 14B: 97-10= 87: Shatter Knee. +9 hits. -60 to activity. Knocked down and stunned 3 rounds.
    Leowyn shoots Orc3: 73+33-5=101: 10A: 76-20=56: Strike along side of chest. 1 hit per round. Stunned 1 round.
    Orc1: Disabled.
    Orc2: Stunned.
    Orc3: Stunned.
    Orc4: Shoots at Dwalin: 48+40-60-5=23: 0.
    Orc5: Reloads.
    Orc6: Shoots at Dwalin: 94+40-60-5=69: 0.
    Orc7: Shoots at Dwalin: 100+12+40-60-5=87: 6 hits.
    Orc8: 31-20=11: Strong heat, little effect. +3 hits. Stunned.

    Dwalin shatters his opponent’s knee, knocking them down, as an arrow from Camthalion lodges in the surface of their skin. Leowyn takes aim at another orc, and releases her arrow, which strikes along the side of the orc’s chest, stunning it. The orcs release a voley of arrows to Dwalin, and one scratches him. The orc in the staircase remains trapped there, unable to move.

    The battle at the tower

    Round 11:

    20/97: Smoke Increases in intensity.
    Camthalion reloads.
    Dwalin attacks Orc2: 52+51+15-30+20=108: 14B: 47-10=37: Blow to forearm. +5 hits. If no arm armor, stunned 1 round.
    Leowyn reloads.
    Orc1: Disabled
    Orc2: Disabled
    Orc3: pushes aside Orc2, draws a handaxe and attacks Dwalin: 11+63-30-60-30=-16: 0.
    Orc4: Reloads
    Orc5: Shoots at Dwalin: 87+40-60-5=62: 0.
    Orc6: Reloads.
    Orc7: Reloads.
    Orc8: 70-20=50: Blinded by hot smoke. +12 hits. Stunned 1 round.

    As almost all the archers are reloading, Dwalin follows up on the knocked down orc with the shattered knee, and blows his forearm, further stunning him. The orc whimpers in pain, and one of his kind, drags his back and attacks Dwalin with their handaxe. The orc in the staircase is blinded by hot smoke, still trapped, doesn’t know which way is up or down.

    Round 12:

    85/06: Fire increases in intensity to B, Smoke decreases.
    Camthalion shoots Orc3: 54+48+10-5=107: 13B: 02-10: Glancing blow. No extra damage.
    Dwalin attacks Orc3: 99+61+51+15-5: 150: 22E: 09+20=29: Blow to side. +4 hits. -40 to activity for 1 round.
    Leowyn shoots Orc3: 14+33-5=42: 0.
    Orc1: Disabled
    Orc2: Disabled
    Orc3: attacks Dwalin: 77+63-30-60-40: 10: 0
    Orc4: Shoots at Dwalin: 96+94+40-5-60=145: 23E: 20-10=40: Minor forearm wound. +2 hits. If no arm armor: stunned 1 round.
    Orc5: Reloads.
    Orc6: Shoots Dwalin: 45+40-5-60=20: 0.
    Orc7: Shoots Dwalin: 91+40-5-60=66: 0
    Orc8: 21-10=11: Strong heat, little effect. +3 hits. Stunned.

    Camthalion delivers a glancing blow to the orc locked in combat with Dwalin. Dwalin delivers a blow to their side, remaing a stout obstacle to the exit of the orcs who still remain in the burning tower. An arrow hits Dwalin to the forearm, and the pain makes him lose concentration for a few moments.

    Round 13:

    49/36: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion reloads.
    Dwalin is stunned.
    Leowyn reloads.
    Orc1 is disabled.
    Orc2 is disabled.
    Orc3 disengages.
    Orc4 drops the bow and switches to handaxe and charges at Dwalin: 90+63+5-30-60-30: 28: 0.
    Orc5 shoots at Dwalin: 37+40-5-60: 12: 0.
    Orc6 reloads.
    Orc7 reloads.
    Orc8: 65-10=55: Clothing catches on fire. Takes 2 rnds to extinguish. +12 hits. 8 hits per rnd afire. Stunned 1 round.

    The archers reload, while the orc in combat with Dwalin steps aside, fearing for its life. Another one takes his place, and Dwalin puts all his skill to block the strikes. The orc in the staircase has remained trapped for too long, and his clothing catches on fire. It screams in pain.

    Round 14:

    67/93: Fire remains the same smoke increase in intensity.
    Camthalion shoots at Orc4: 96+89..: 25E: 51+20=71: Strike to lower leg. Tendons torn. +3 hits. -25 to activity. Stunned 1 round.
    Dwalin attacks Orc4: 75+51+15-30+20=131: 19D: 51+10=61: Blow to shield shoulder breaks shield. If no shield: shoulder broken, arm useless.
    Leowyn shoots at Orc6: 34+33-5=62: 0.
    Orc1 is disabled.
    Orc2 is disabled.
    Orc3 is disengaged.
    Orc4 is stunned.
    Orc5 reloads.
    Orc6 shoots at Dwalin: 55+40-5-60=40: 0.
    Orc7 shoots at Dwalin: 05+40-5-60=-25:0.
    Orc8: 39-10=29: Minor burns. +8 hits. 1 hit per round.
    Orc8 goes downstairs.

    Camthalion takes aim, low, below the armor, and strikes the lower leg of the orc, his arrow, tearing the tendons, and stunning the orc. As the orc cries in pain, Dwalin finds the necessary opening, and hits the shoulder. The mace crushes the orc’s shoulder. Arrows fly everywhere, missing the targets, as the flaming orc manages to get a grip and get downstairs.

    Round 15:

    84/11: Fire further increases in intensity to D. If it increases further, the tower will collapse.
    Camthalion moves to cast a healing spell on Dwalin: Spell: 99: Success: Heals 4 hits.
    Dwalin attacks Orc4: 30+51+15-30=66: 6 hits.
    Leowyn reloads.
    Orc1 is disabled.
    Orc2 is disabled.
    Orc3 is disengaged.
    Orc4 attacks Dwalin: 10+63-30-60-25=-42: 0.
    Orc5 shoots at Dwalin: 40+40-5-60=15: 0.
    Orc6 reloads.
    Orc7 reloads.
    Orc8 tries to put out his fire, but dies before making it.

    Camthalion goes next to Dwalin, he sees the dwarf holding the orcs all by himself. Concentrating, he whispers some elvish words, and the dwarf magically recovers some of his strength and continues his fight anew. He lands another hit on the orc against him, but it’s only a weak hit. Archers reload, others take a shot, but no shot meets the target. The flaming orc starts rolling around in the floor to put out the flames, but soon he expires, screaming, to the horror of his friends.

    Q: Does the flaming death of the orc cause fear to the orcs?
    A: False Presupposition: The orcs are locked in combat, and they don’t pay attention to the gruesome way of dying.

    Round 16:

    08/44: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion reloads.
    Dwalin attacks Orc4: 68+51+15-30=104: 13A: 90-20=70: Blow breaks bone in leg. +12 hits. -40 to activity. Stunned 2 rounds. Orc4 is down.
    Leowyn shoots at Orc6: 25+33-5=51: 0.
    Orc1 is disabled.
    Orc2 is disabled.
    Orc3 is disengaged.
    Orc5 drops the bow, draws a handaxe and charges at Dwalin: 100+35+63-30-60-30+5=73: 4 hits.
    Orc6 shoots at Dwalin: 91+40-5-60= 66: 0
    Orc7 shoots at Dwalin: 75+40-5-60= 50: 0

    Dwalin finds another opening on the broken orc, and breaks their leg, bringing it down. Another orc archer drops their bow and drawing their handaxe, charges in the fray, hoping for the opening past Dwalin. Leowyn and the other two orc archers exchange shots, but they all miss.

    Round 17:

    79/47: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion shoots at Orc6: 31+48+10-5=84: 4 hits.
    Dwalin attacks Orc5: 05+51+15-30= 41: 0.
    Leowyn reloads.
    Orc1 is disabled.
    Orc2 is disabled.
    Orc3 is disengaged.
    Orc5 attacks Dwalin: 11+63-30-60+5=-11:0
    Orc6 reloads.
    Orc7 reloads.

    The fight continues. All the combatants are exhausted and no significant strike lands, except an arrow launched from Camthalion’s bow, that wounds lightly an orc archer. Yet noone gives quarter. They all know what’s at stake.

    Round 18:

    44/12: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion reloads.
    Dwalin attacks Orc5: 60+51+15-30=96: 12A: 32-20=12: Minor fracture of ribs. +5 hits. -5 to activity.
    Leowyn shoots at Orc6: 58+33-5=86: 6 hits.
    Orc5 attacks Dwalin: 83+63-30-60+5-5=-56:0
    Orc6 shoots at Dwalin: 50+40-5-60= 35: 0
    Orc7 shoots at Dwalin: 43+40-5-60= 18: 0

    With the fight going on for 3 minutes, the combatants are losing their wind. Dwalin’s mace fractures the ribs of his orc enemy, and Leowyn wounds with an arrow the same archer that Camthalion wounded just a few seconds before. The orc archers, blinded by the sunlight miss their targets.

    Round 19:

    67/32: Fire and Smoke remain at the same intensity.
    Camthalion shoots at Orc5: 63+48+10-5=116: 16B: 01-10: Glancing blow. No extra damage.
    Dwalin attacks Orc5: 43+51+15-30=79: 8 hits.
    Orc5 attacks Dwalin: 51+63-30-60+5-5=24: 0
    Orc6 reloads
    Orc7 reloads

    Dwalin, immovavble as a rock, holds the doorway. Only three orcs are combat capable, and none can get past the dwarf scout, his shield and his mace. Supported by a glancing arrow hit by Camthalion, Dwalin, hurts his opponent without being hurt himself. The orc archers nook another arrow.

    Round 20:

    88/05: The fire increases in intensity, burning down the tower.

    The flames have reached the foundations and the wooden beams on the top of the tower. The roof collapses with everything on top, and crashes down on the orcs, burying them under flaming rubble.
    The party looks at each other. Bloody, and exhausted, having a slight smile on their faces. They are alive. The smoke has risen above the tower into the air. Any element of surprise they had is now gone.


    Now I have a complicated topic to resolve. Reinforcements/Alarms.

    • So any remaining orcs (10 to 12 orcs minus 8 killed) are either on the lookout tower or on patrol. So is the orc captain Thuk.
    • Ar Gular may be on site.
    • Crebain are on Tower 4.

    My assumption is that if Ar Gular is on site, he would immediately come out to face the intruders once he realized what is wrong. Same as with the orc lookouts. But how can I deliver this information, and at the same time keeping it secret from myself.

    Therefore, retrospectively:
    I’m going to use a dependent clock relating to the Crebain activity. With a twist. I’ll draw a card, face up, each turn where the fire started. On three consequtive cards of the same suit (any suit will do), then the Crebain are triggered. This means I’ll ask the Oracle if the adventure regarding the Crebain is as expected.
    Additionally, it’s 100% certain that from Round 6 onwards, the orc lookout may become aware of the fight going on. On the same drawn cards, any two consequtive cards of the same suit from Round 6 and on, will trigger the orc lookout. This means again I’ll ask the Oracle if the adventure regarding the Lookout is as expected.
    The Oracle questions will come at the first possible time that an action from the trigger could have occured.
    If (very unlikely) neither the Crebain or the Lookout are triggered until Round 20, then no alarm has been triggered.

    Clock

    So, at Round 18 the Lookout is triggered. An Orc will take at least 4 Rounds running to get downstairs. So the Lookout (if not a Scene Twist) would only come down to attack the party if they had reinforcements (Thuk, and/or the remaining 1-3 orcs). If the reinforcements and Thuk are on patrol, the lookout would want to warn them, but I doubt they’d risk going in the courtyard alone against triple enemies. So, at Round 22, I will ask if the Lookout scene is as expected, and also if Thuk and/or reinforcements are with the Lookout. If not, the Lookout won’t appear.
    Also at Round 20, the Crebain are triggered.

    Q: Is the Crebain scene as expected?
    A: No: TWENE: 7: Add Major Element. Portent: Make the hay while the sun shines. Figurative: Take advantage of a good opportunity. I’ll go with the literal meaning. The sun shines strong, upon the Crebain nests, and the party takes notice of the 3-30: 14 birds that take flight to the sky.

    As Camthalion looks up to the smoke, he can’t help but notice the northern tower. A bunch of black crow-like birds take off to the sky, cawing. “Crebain” he says. “There is a lot of evil involved in these parts. No point in hiding, they have seen us, and will notify their masters.”

    Since they take notice, where do the Crebain head to? 1d8: East.
    Q: Do all the Crebain head east?
    A: Yes

    As the birds head off east, Camthalion turns to his companions. “They didn’t head inside the keep. Whoever their master is, isn’t inside.”
    “Should we risk going inside? or leave while we have the chance?” He points to Leowyn’s bandaged leg.

    Q: Is the Lookout Scene as expected?
    A: No, but. TWENE: 1: Increase Simple Element. We’ll find out if the lookout appears what the simple element is.
    Q: Does the orc appear in the courtyard? (unlikely, since the Crebain headed off in another direction).
    A: No, and, they won’t appear in the keep too. Most likely hiding and trying to flee.

    The party takes pause to consider how to proceed. The risk is high, but so is the reward, and the time for decisions, is now.


    Bookkeeping

    NameDays Rations
    Camthalion7
    Dwalin7
    Leowyn9

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 18 arrows.

    Critical DeliveredOrc1Orc2Orc3Orc4Orc5Orc6Orc7Orc8
    Camthalion150307530000
    Dwalin7560757515000
    Leowyn001500000
    Kill PointsEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin150
    Leowyn0
    Criticals ReceivedEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin500
    Leowyn100
    Hits ReceivedEP
    Camthalion0
    Dwalin31
    Leowyn18
    SpellcastingEP
    Camthalion100
    Maneuver PointsEP
    Camthalion50
    Dwalin50
    Leowyn0
    Non-Idea EP TotalEP
    Camthalion300
    Dwalin1108
    Leowyn133

    I’ll give the entire part half the total as idea points, because the whole burn-the tower thing was quite smart. 837 EP total, 279 each.

    Summing up, from previous session.

    NameExperience Points
    Camthalion3188 EP
    Dwalin4480 EP
    Leowyn2544 EP

    Money: The party pool is 9sp, 4bp, 2cp and 3tp.

    Hit Points: Dwalin is at 17 hit points, Leowyn is at 11 hit points, Camthalion is at full hit points.

    Session Background

    What a fight! I run it all in theater of the mind and it was exhausting. Don’t be fooled by the picture, it was taken after game, for presentation purposes. I had to go back and correct mistakes at least 3 times, turning the course of the battle as I rewrote the events (no new rolls were made though unless they were missing). If I made a mistake here and there, it could not be avoided, since I had to re-edit the text as many times.
    I know that some orcs weren’t dead, but I doubt that anyone with broken shoulders, shattered knees, crushed forearms would stick to fighting. I didn’t roll for that, but instead decided that the more capable orcs would join the fight. That cost me the Kill Points of course. I tried to keep things as balanced as possible, and it all was very risky. If Dwalin ever fell, I don’t know for how long Leowyn would be able to hold them off without falling from bloodloss, or even getting wounded herself.
    The more I play, the more I love some hardcore parts of MERP, how the bleeding wound took Leowyn out of the fight. I houseruled that she could use a bow without risking getting the leg wound open.
    The hardest thing of all was trying to keep player, adventure module and game-master knowledge in their own separate boxes. I’m content with the results, but far from happy.

     
  • giorgis 9:59 am on November 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MERP,   

    In the Trollshaws. Ep04. 

    Back to the MERP adventure. To tackle the exploration issue I will be using a combination of a hexflower with a known map.

    Trollshaws Hexflower

    So here, I took the Trollshaws map, and overlayed the hexflowers (with some additions) on top.

    • Each hex represents an approximate one day walking distance.
    • If for some reason the party doesn’t travel, they stay in the same hex.
    • To determine the direction traveled when looking for the lair, the party will roll their tracking skill.
    • If they succeed, they choose the direction. If they fail, then they roll 2d6, with the Intended Direction (6-7) being, the target hex (#5)
    • Previously explored region doesn’t require a tracking roll. i.e. they can always navigate back to the inn.
    • If they end up going to a ‘dotted’ hex, then they spend a day there, but next turn, I don’t roll, and they move to the other non-dotted hex adjacent to it.
    • If they end up going to nowhere, then 1-3 goes to the clockwise dotted adjacent hex, while 4-6 goes to the counter-clockwise dotted adjacent hex.

    Since the party was already roaming around, I will roll 2d10-1 to see where they pick up the hexflower (and not at 4): 9

    The whole concept is that if they stray too far, they realize it and change direction. If one searches for a hill troll lair in Rhudaur, it’s unlikely that they will reach Rohan and keep going.

    Watches/encounters as per standard rules.

    Also I’ll start a Secret Clock, to determine if Leddon is still alive. It will be an Independent Secret Clock, triggered at three consecutive Hearts. I’ll draw two cards already for the days spent so far, and a new one.

    Drew 3 cards face down.

    I also decide to roll up 1d30 for the day, and it’s the 8th day of Hithui (we had established that before).

    Going with BOLD again to roll up some connections.

    action gerund subject
    address lying your nature
    proclaim repairing a possession
    speculate training friends or family

    Day 8, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    As the party eats up their breakfast, Dwalin looks into his emptying Backpack.
    “We need to replenish our supplies. It’s been two days already, and rations are running low.” He says to his companions.
    Leowyn and Camthalion both agree, and they head back to the Inn.

    Watch: 32/13: No encounter.

    Day 8, Hithui, 4th Watch

    Watch: 32/88: No encounter.

    It isn’t long before they reach the torch lighted windows of the Last Inn.
    As they enter, the Grumms look at them with anxiety.
    Dwalin shakes his head, and they turn back to service their guests.
    “Will you be staying the night? Shall we prepare the same room?” Rubb asks them while he wipes a mug.
    “We will.” Leowyn replies. “Also we’d like some dinner. It’s really cold outside and we could use something to warm our bellies.”

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, but, it’s 1d4 on TWINE: 1: Increase Simple Element
    I decide it’s the warmth of the place.

    “Come then, I’ll seat you by the fireplace. We’ve put more logs tonight, since it’s colder than usual.” Rubb signals for one of his daughters to take care of the party, and soon they are seated.

    I roll to see who of the regulars is in the Inn, and find that only Grepp, drunk again is there tonight.

    So we’ll be buying one meal for each (3 cp). 1 wk worth of Normal Rations (5 cp), and 2 wk worth of Trail Rations (2 bp). Separate Bedding for each (6 cp) and Stable (2 tp). This amounts to a total of 3 bp, 4 cp and 2 tp.
    The party pool is at 9sp, 5bp, 3cp and 3tp.

    “There’s fewer people here tonight.” Camthalion states. “I doubt we can glean any information. There’s only that drunkard selling the map to the fort.”
    “And he’s probably lying anyway.” Leowyn adds. “You all saw how dangerous it is to be out there. I doubt this man is in possession of a true map.”

    I think this covers the speculate lying a possession, for Leowyn.

    action gerund subject
    address ~~lying~~ your nature
    proclaim repairing ~~a possession~~
    ~~speculate~~ training friends or family

    Q: Does the night pass by uneventful? (Likely)
    A: No, and it’s something dangerous

    So now I’m thinking that it could either be a thief/assassin
    Or the trail of orc bodies they left wasn’t left unnoticed and maybe there is an orc patrol after them daring to attack the inn
    Also it could be the hillman they let live, maybe his friends are bent on revenge

    So to start, I’ll first take a look at the Hârnmaster tables, see if the encounter tables cover the above situations

    I think the ‘Lawful Highway Night’ table can lead to any of the above (and more)
    75: Forester: To/From Visiting Friends/etc
    Q: Is it the same forester from a few nights ago?
    A: No

    So a lot of thoughts fly in my head. I’ll go with the first idea that pops, and ask the Oracle for verification.
    Q: Is it someone who gets insulted by the party?
    A: Yes

    A nice heartwarming meal, and some mead later, and the companions are talking around the fireplace, sharing their stories about how dangerous the Trollshaws are, how they have killed a dozen orcs so far, and even fell a troll.
    It all goes well, and the audience is captivated, until Leowyn opens her mouth.
    “The orcs run abound in Rhudaur. And the men around here even if they weren’t self minded fools, caring for nothing but scaring poor travelers, they wouldn’t be a match for them. Bunch of cowards.” She spits out.
    Suddenly silence.
    A burly man pushes aside his table, making noise on the floor, as he stands up. “Who did you call a coward?!” He asks in a deep intimidating voice, as he puts his arms around his waist.

    Now, Leowyn is a proud shield maiden. She won’t be bullied, and stands up for herself. Nevertheless, her cautious Personality means she doesn’t want a fight in the only place for miles where she can rest safely. She’ll try to avoid conflict, while keeping her pride intact.

    “The hillmen who thought less of the women of Rohan.” Leowyn says and stands up as well. “I spared their lives. Not sure if the wolves were as forgiving.”

    Influence: 17: Failure. You have failed.

    The man attacks. It’s going to be unarmed combat. I decide that the party doesn’t wear any armor, and since it’s a fistfight, Leowyn won’t draw a sword either.

    Hillman attacks: 43+25-20 = 48: 1
    Leowyn attacks: 06+35-20 = 21: –
    Camthalion and Dwalin don’t intervene.

    Hillman attacks: 50+25-20 = 55: 2
    Leowyn attacks: 16+35-20 = 31: –
    Camthalion and Dwalin don’t intervene.

    Hillman attacks: 12+25-20 = 17: –
    Leowyn attacks: 58+35-20 = 73: 8T: 29-50 = -19: Fairly Weak: +0 hits. Zip.
    Camthalion and Dwalin don’t intervene.

    Hillman attacks: 86+25-20 = 91: 12A: 50-20 = 30: Leg Strike. +4 hits. If no leg armor, stunned 1 round.
    Leowyn: Stunned
    Camthalion and Dwalin don’t intervene.

    Hillman attacks: 93+25-20: 98: 14A: 70-20 = 50: Chest Strike. Knocked Back 3 feet. +5 hits. -10 to activity for 2 rounds.

    The man throws a jab at Leowyn, but it’s fast and not strong. It barely shakes her. She tries to hit back but finds only air. He follows up with a left cross and hit her a bit harder this time, as she tries once more to hit back.
    Now she has an idea about his opponent, and as he jabs once more, she steps aside and hits him with a strong punch to the side. He rotates his body and kicks her hard in the leg. She screams, and can do nothing but clench her fists in pain. As she lies there, he finds room and follows with a jumping kick right on her chest. The strike knocks Leowyn back 3 feet, and she falls on the floor unconscious.
    “And stay down! Hah! Woman of Rohan!”. The man says haughtily, but dares not move any closer as he sees Dwalin’s hand resting on his mace, and Camthalion grasping his sword’s hilt.
    The room runs cold. Not even the thick logs burning can warm the chill in their hearts.
    In the silence, the two companions take the beaten Leowyn back up to the room to tend to her.

    Q: Do the Grumms intervene? I deem that Unlikely since the whole conflict resolved itself.
    A: Yes, and they take a strong stance.
    Q: Do they side with Leowyn?
    A: Yes

    Camthalion casts Surface Ways on Leowyn: 89: Success: Heals 10 hits.
    Leowyn is at: 29-1-2-12-4-14-5+10 = 1 hit point. She regains consciousness.

    “No matter the insult, this is not a place to fight. You are not welcome here.” Rubb tells the man. “Keep your coin I don’t want it. You may spend the night in the stables, since it’s too cold outside, but after that I want you gone in the morning. I don’t want to see your face again.”
    The man swears something between his teeth, but seeing as he has no support among the audience, he mumbles and picks his gear and heads outside.

    “We’ll have to spend another night and day here, master dwarf.” Camthalion says. “Until she recovers at least. We’re in this alltogether.”
    Dwalin has no choice but to agree. “Let’s see if we learn anything more at least, during this downtime.

    I deem that Camthalion used the ‘address, repairing, friends or family’ connection.

    action gerund subject
    ~~address~~ ~~lying~~ your nature
    proclaim ~~repairing~~ ~~a possession~~
    ~~speculate~~ training ~~friends or family~~

    Day 9, Hithui

    I’ll be rolling in the Harnmaster Weather tables, since they’re more appropriate than MERP’s.
    The Weather is Cold, it’s Overcast, Snowing, with Calm Winds.

    Q: Do any more people arrive in the next day?
    A: No

    I’ll roll an Influence roll, to see if they learn anything about hill troll lairs in the region.
    Influence: 76: Partial Success: 73: Failure. They learned nothing new.

    I draw another secret clock card.

    Q: Does anything happen during rest period?
    A: No, but rumors abound regarding last nights events.

    Leowyn spends her day in bed. It still hurts a bit, but apart from some bruises, to remind her of the beating, it’s mainly her battered pride that worries her.
    Camthalion and Dwalin try to glean any information regarding hill troll lairs from the guests to the inn, but all they care to talk about, was the fight between Leowyn and the Hillman.

    So during extra rest period, they have to pay one more night of lodging and food. This amounts to 6cp + 2tp + 18tp + 3cp = 1bp +1cp. The party pool is down to 9sp, 4bp, 2cp and 3tp.

    Day 10, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The Weather is Cool, it’s Cloudy, with a NE Breeze.

    In the morning, I draw another secret clock card, and the party continues their search.

    Scouting for hill troll lair: 13+30+11: Failure. Can’t roll again for another day.
    Hex: 2d6: Towards #7: 7: Going to Hex #7.
    Encounter: 37/81: No encounter

    Day 10, Hithui, 4th Watch

    The Weather stays the same.

    Encounter: 30/90: No encounter

    Day 10-11, Hithui, Overnight

    The Weather stays the same (becoming cold for the night) for the 5th and 6th Watch, but strong winds and overcast skies storm from the North, during the 1st and 2nd Watch.

    Encounter: 13/79: No encounter

    For a whole day, the party searches the countryside, for any sign of Leddon or any troll that might have taken him. To vain. As the cold of the night sets in, they camp to a decent site. Leowyn picks the first watch, Camthalion picks the second and Dwalin the third.
    When Camthalion goes to relief Leowyn of her watch duties he tries to explain about the previous night at the inn.
    “We couldn’t have intervened without causing more trouble, or insulting your honor. I apologize if we let you down. We are all in this together.-” Leowyn interrupts him.
    “Don’t. If anyone has let you down it’s me. I should have been able to fight it out on my own. It’s my honor and the women of Rohan that I have insulted. This won’t happen again. I will train harder and better. I am set on making them proud.” She says sternly. Camthalion doesn’t say another word.

    I deem that with this, the final connection plays out for Leowyn. Proclaim, training, your nature.

    Day 11, Hithui, 3rd Watch

    The Weather becomes Warm, with Clear Skies and Calm winds.

    In the morning, I draw another secret clock card, and the party continues their search.

    Scouting for hill troll lair: 24+30+11: Failure. Can’t roll again for another day.
    Hex: 2d6: Towards #5: 3: Going to Hex #12.
    Encounter: 36/02: Sighting by (wild beasts): Track: Reptile: Ordinary Reptile/Lizard: Sleeping/Hibernating/Dormant.

    In the morning, they return to their search. The strong winds from midnight have calmed, and the sun rays warm their bodies. Will they find Leddon? Wil they find Dwalin’s hammer. Sometimes it all feels futile, searching in the trollshaws.
    Leowyn’s mind is hovers back to her lost love. Will she ever find his killer? The still morning floods her thoughts and feelings. A hibernating lizard in the dirt, under a big tree, doesn’t help take her mind of things. But then, Dwalin’s deep dwarven voice snaps her out of it.

    So the hex #12, contains the ruined castle! Here’s a chance to get away from the hexcrawl and do some dungeon delve! But first things first. I must ask the Oracle.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: No, but: TWENE: 3: Add Simple Element.

    I roll up a portent: Break the Ice. So I deem that the simple element is Ice. Maybe the stream running in the ruined keep has frozen.

    Q: Is the stream frozen?
    A: Yes, but, still running underneath

    Before them, at the top of a hill, lies a stone keep with several stories. A once sturdy structure, fallen in ruin.
    “Come and see! It must have been the castle the drunkard was talking about! We don’t need no map!” Dwalin tells them. Leowyn seems worried, because if the existence of the castle was true, then so might be the traps.
    “We must be careful, there could be traps.” She tries to calm him down.
    “And riches!” Dwalins eyes glimmer with greed. He calms down. “I know my way around traps. Plus, we can’t pass the chance that maybe the relic I look for has ended here.”
    Leowyn finds it far fetched, but she can’t deny a dwarf his treasure hunt. “Let’s go then, carefully.”

    I decide to stop here. Going into this castle is going to require at least one session dedicated to it.

    Bookkeeping

    Name Days Rations
    Camthalion 7
    Dwalin 7
    Leowyn 9

    Arrows: Camthalion is at 28 arrows.

    Hit Points: The party is at full hit points.

    EP: Leowyn has gained 238 EP from the beating she received from the Hillman. Camthalion, with Spellcasting, has gained 100 EP. The party has traveled 30 miles, giving 60 EP to each since this is a moderately dangerous region. This gives 259 Idea EP. Camthalion gets 86 EP more for a total of 246 and Leowyn 173 for a total of 471.

    Adding up the previous session’s EP.

    Name Experience Points
    Camthalion 2609 EP
    Leowyn 2132 EP
    Dwalin 3093 EP

    Money: The party pool is 9sp, 4bp, 2cp and 3tp.

    Session Summary

    Another grand example of how this old school system, is not suited for well rounded gameplay. The chances of a successful influence roll were low. Around 15%. If one takes a look at the classes and pregens, they will see that there is almost no focus on secondary (I’d say tertiary) skill, like influence.
    This is another testament to the old-school roleplaying style. All the interactions between characters were roleplayed and there were minimal in-system mechanics to resolve them.

    Next, I’d like to focus on the one-to-one combat between Leowyn and the hillman in the Inn. Even though Leowyn had a small advantage, the swinginess of this d100 system, is such, that she got her ass handed to her. This is not a game that can be played with one character. It is deadly. The swinginess is reduced by adding more characters in the mix. A party is necessary.

    Now in this particular scene, I decided it would be best if the rest of the party wouldn’t intervene. It was a one on one unarmed combat, and it wouldn’t be honorable for Leowyn or the group to gang up on the hillman. Thankfully the consequences in unarmed combat, usually aren’t dire.

    I enjoyed how the hex flower overlay starts to play out. I may have not found the hill troll lair, but I fell upon the castle which is so interesting! and it makes so much more sense to see my party moving around the map.

    I know this is a starting adventure, but looking at the combined stats of the enemies and the lethality of the system, I’m well aware, my party might not make it out alive. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

     
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