Greder Payne – Ep1. 

For this one shot, I want to try The Witcher TTRPG. Since it’s derived from the video game I’m truly intrigued to see if it’s better suited for solo roleplaying, considering video games are aimed at one player.
As I’ve read through the mechanics I feel as if they hit a nice spot between crunch and speed.
I won’t go into chargen, since I’m only testing the combat aspect, and instead I’ll take one of the pregenerated characters from Easy Mode and change the name and go with it.
For the dungeon, I’ll go with a dungeon of choice from watabou one page dungeon.
For the Oracle I’ll go with Recluse, modified as follows: Doubles 4-6 give False Presupposition, While doubles 1-3 give Interventions as per MUNE.
I’ll also use TWENE from MUNE and ask each time I enter a new part of the dungeon if everything is as expected. Otherwise I’ll tweak it appropriately according to my custom oracle.

Crypt of Arus

Greder Payne stood at the entrance of the Crypt of Arus, wondering if he should have best kept his mouth shut.
‘We don’t need witchers!’ He had shouted after drinking more than a couple pints. ‘We can handle the beasts on our own!’
All was well until some smartass looking fella asked him to put his feet where his mouth was.
Now, he had to prove his mettle as a warrior. He lit his torch, gripped his battleaxe tightly and entered the damp dark crypt.

Q: Does he encounter drowners in the first room?
A: No, and they’re not around the passages either.

Awareness: 17: Average success.
Q: Does he find anything of interest?
A: Yes, and it’s something usefull (I’ll choose between Mundane/Strange/Occult after the roll): 74: Flint and Steel.

In a corner, Greder finds a brazier, under it is some flint and steel. He lights it up and continues.

Since there are no Drowners nearby, Greder will randomly decide were to go next. 3: He chooses the passage to the North.

Q: Is the door locked? (UL)
A: No, and there’s no door at all, just an opening.

Q: Is there a trap?
A: No, and, the floor seems to have been untouched on the right side were it’s dry.

Greder follows the corridor, under the dim torch light.

Q: Does he encounter drowners here?
A: No, and, it’s dead silent.
Q: Is everything as expected?
A: No
I will roll 1d8 on TWENE: 2: Decrease simple element: The dampness

For some reason he cannot fathom, as Greder walks onto dry ground, he notices that there is no sign of the mold he noticed in the previous room. As if water never reached this room.

He notices a rotten chest in the middle of the room.
‘To hell with it’ Greder thinks and smashes the lock.

Physique: 11: Easy success.

In the chest he notices a hexagonal shaped black glass flask. He puts it in his pouch and heads to the entrance, to follow another path.

Greder will randomly decide were to go next. 1: He chooses the passage to the South

Q: Is the door locked? (UL)
A: No

Q: Is there a trap?
A: No, and the floor may be submerged, but it’s sturdy, no chance of collapse.

Q: Does he encounter drowners here?
A: Yes, and it’s three of them!
Q: Do the drowners try to ambush Greder?
A: Intervention: New entity
Q: Is it a Witcher? (L)
A: False presupposition: The new entity will not arrive now, but after the combat
I decide there won’t be an ambush now, but whoever the new entity is will ambush the other side when they arrive. I found a gap here in my oracle hack. Switching doubles to Intervention doesn’t answer the question. So instead I’ll hack it further: 1: is No + Intervention, 2-5: False Presupposition, 6: Yes + Intervention.

Greder follows the path to the other side. As he wades through knee-deep water, suddenly three figures lash out at him from the corner of the corridor. Humanoid shapes, with wicked characteristics. Greder yells out a war cry to gather his bravery, and charges into the fray with his battle axe.

Round 1:
Initiative: Greder: 13, Drowners: 10
Greder does two normal attacks to the nearest drowner
First attack: 21/22: Miss
Second attack: 26/20: Hit: Torso: Damage: 11
Greder will do an extra attack at -3 Stamina: 20/22: Miss
Drowner has 14 HP left

Q: Is there enough room for two drowners to gang up on Greder?
A: Yes
It seems that the fight takes place to the small room next to the room with the statue.
Drowner attacks Greder: 18/19: Miss
Drowner attacks Greder: 18/21: Miss

Round 2:
Greder does two normal attacks
First attack: 19/20: Miss
Second attack: 18/15: Hit: Torso: Damage: 15: Drowner dies
Greder will do an extra attack at -3 Stamina at the other Drowner: 23/18: Hit: Legs: Damage: 6
Drowner has 19 HP left
Drowner attacks Greder: 16/25: Miss
Drowner attacks Greder: 17/22: Miss

Round 3:
Greder does two normal attacks
First attack: 17/16: Hit: R Arm: Damage: 9
Second attack: 17/22: Miss
Greder will do an extra attack at -3 Stamina at the Drowner: 17/19: Miss
Drowner has 10 HP left
Drowner attacks Greder: 14/24: Miss
Drowner attacks Greder: 23/16: Hit: Torso: Damage: Doesn’t pass armor

Round 4:
Greder does two normal attacks
First attack: 22/21: Hit: Torso: Damage: 12: Drowner dies
Second attack to other drowner: 24/14: Hit: R Leg: Damage: 5
Greder will do an extra attack at -3 Stamina at the Drowner: 15/16: Miss
Drowner has 20 HP left
Drowner attacks Greder: 14/20: Miss

Round 5:
Greder does a strong attack
Attack: 21/19: Hit: Torso: Damage: 21: Drowner dies

It’s a chaotic combat in the dark, with only the torchlight in his hands to illuminate his surroundings. Greder hacks again and again at the creatures, which seem especially resistant to his battle axe. At the same time he tries to hold them at bay and not get completely surrounded.
Their raw unskilled attacks are easy to calculate and he can block them without much effort, either with his axe or his torch.
One by one, the creatures drop dead finally. One manages to get a scratch at him before dying, but his brigandine saves him, as the claws only scathe the surface.
His heart still pounding, he composes himself. ‘I did it!’ He thinks.
“I did it!” He shouts. “Take that you pompous witchers!”

The Intervention appears:
Q: Is it a witcher?
A: Yes, and he heard it all.

“Are you looking to take on our job?” A man asks behind him.
Greder turns, only to find a witcher looking at him in a casual stance.
“Why, seems I don’t need you. Took those nasties on my own.” He scoffs at the witcher.
“Well, if you had used fire on the drowners, you’d have finished in half the time.” The witcher replies.
“Don’t you dare take my loot!” Greder grinds his teeth, realizing he has antagonism.
“Don’t care to rob any graves. Do you mind if I remove some of their parts?” He points at the dead creatures.
Greder spits in the muddy waters. “Have at it.” He says and the witcher draws a blade and starts cutting off tongues.
Greder doesn’t pause to watch, and instead moves further inside the crypt.

Q: Is the room #2 as expected?
A: No, Intervention: Regress plot
TWENE: Increase major element: The water is so deep, Greder needs to swim to get to the statue (doubles as regress plot).

Q: Are there drowners here?
A: No, and it’s completely safe

Swim: Body: 12: Failure

I don’t find anything interesting on a failure in such a swim (duh, try again), so instead I will succeed at a cost. Greder will lose a random item in the water: Broadhead bolts.

Greder notices lifelike dwarf statue on the other end of the room, on dry ground. The statue holds a key to its hands. Realizing it might open something important, he heads on to take it, but he almost drowns. The water is much deeper, and the armor drags him down. He steps back just in time, but not without losing his precious broadhead bolts from his quiver. He curses his luck, removes his armor and swims to the statue to pick the key.

Q: Is it trapped? (UL since I had No, and regarding traps in this area)
A: No, and, it’s easy to get hold on to.

Greder picks up the key, which doesn’t seem attached to the statue in any way, put it in his satchel and heads back.

Q: Has the witcher finished salvaging parts?
A: False presupposition. The witcher isn’t salvaging parts and instead has moved further into the crypt, while Greder kept himself busy.

Greder sees the drowner corpses, but the witcher isn’t anywhere to be seen.
‘That lying two piece shit.’ Greder curses silently and continues to the door to the center.

Q: Is it locked (UL)
A: No
Q: Is it trapped? (UL)
A: Yes
Seems either the witcher didn’t go this way, or he avoided the trap somehow without triggering it.
Let’s see if Greder notices the trap.
I’ll give it a difficulty of 1d10+10=17
Greder: Awareness: 14: Failure
Q: Does Greder trigger the trap? (L)
A: False presupposition: The trap is already triggered
Q: Is the witcher on the trap?
A: No
Q: Is a drowner on the trap?
A: No, and, the trap is empty

Greder goes down the corridor, when suddenly he stops the last minute.
A huge pit with spikes lies in front of him, right in the middle of the T section. The remains of a triggered trap. He swipes around with his torch, but doesn’t see anything inside. Whoever or whatever triggered it didn’t fall inside.

Q: Is the door across, closed?
A: Yes, and it seems very sturdy.

He removes his grappling hook, attaches his rope, and tries to jump across safely.
He chooses the south passage since the eastern one is blocked by a closed door. Whoever triggered the trap didn’t go this way.

Greder: Physique: 22: Difficult Success

Q: Are there drowners here?
A: No, but, there are their corpses

Greder gets across the spiked pitfall trap, and the corridor opens to a room in the south.
Corpses of drowners are littered all around.
‘Darn witcher, out to get my glory’, Greder thinks and moves on.

Q: Is everything as expected?
A: No, and roll 1d10 on TWENE: Increase Simple Element.
A lavishly decorated stone gate modified as follows: the pillars are lavishly decorated as well.

The room Greder is in, is supported by pillars. Each pillar has decorations of golden leaves. A stone gate to the north has the same decor style.
Greder walls around the corpses carefully and reaches the gate. He notices a keyhole. Maybe his key will fit.

Q: Is the Witcher around?
A: Yes, and he’s waiting for Greder.

“I wouldn’t open this door if I were you” the Witcher says from behind a pillar as Greder holds the key in his hands ready to open the gate.
“Can’t get rid of you, can I?” Greder scoffs. “You already killed my hunt. I’m going in there. Could get rich.”
“You don’t understand…” his words trail off as Greder unlocks the gate.

Q: Is there any trap?
A: No, but the creature inside is aware of the trespass

Q: Is there a Wraith inside (L)?
A: False presupposition: The wraith isn’t inside, instead, at the moment the gate unlocked, the spell holding her collapsed, and she materialized outside.

As the lock pins tumble, a loud unearthly scream is heard, and a terrifying visage appears for a moment in front of Greder, only to vanish and appear behind him again.
He drops the key and draws his battleaxe.
“What is it?” He shouts at the Witcher.
“A wraith. Didn’t you read your history? Arus was some evil lord that was buried here. Alive.” The Witcher responds and draws a silver shining blade.

Round 1:
Initiative: Greder: 12, Witcher: 17, Wraith: 13
The Witcher attacks twice with his silver sword.
First attack: 31/17: Difficult Critical Hit: Head: Damage: 34: Dead

Greder hasn’t even managed to get a good grip of his axe’s haft, when the witcher thrusts his silver sword into the spectre’s head with a calculated swift strike.
It screams out and vanishes in mid air.
Greder is speechless.
“We’ll split the bounty and call it even.” The witcher says. “Name’s Alard by the way.”
Greder nods. “What’s in there is mine though.” and goes inside.

Q: Is everything as expected?
A: Yes, but, nothing more than what is seen on the map.

On an elevated floor, two steps above, lies a sarcophagus.
Greder checks for the sign of any traps.

Greder: Awareness: 9: Failure
Q: Is there any trap?
A: Yes, and it’s triggered as Greder looks to find it.
Greder: Dodge/Escape: 20: Difficult Success: He only takes 1d6 damage: Can’t bypass armor.

As Greder tries to feel around the sarcophagus for any traps, he feels a ‘click’ and by instinct jumps out of the way. Small darts fly towards his previous spot, and one is caught by his armor.
With the trap triggered, he carefully opens the grave.

Greder: Commoner Superstition: 4/14: Failure

Q: Is there any treasure to be found? (L)
A: Yes
Rewards: 78 Gold Crowns, 5 Items (No Rarities): Five iron nails, Dice, Scrimshawed human bone, Fish bones, Folk remedy for something

Greder takes a good look at the corpse, then quickly puts the gold crowns he found in his satchel, along with some dice, iron nails and a folk remedy written on a piece of paper. He’ll read it later.
As he heads out of the room he turns to Alard.
“Let’s get out of here. Ale’s on me.”

Summary

I laughed a bit at the random name and the pun. Greder Payne. Reminds me a bit of the video game Max Payne.

So in the second encounter with the Witcher I asked the bare minimum of questions. For me it was pretty straightforward that if the Witcher stayed around (Oracle question), it is because he would know that there’s a monster inside that’s worse than the drowners and shouldn’t be set free. Witchers hunt monsters, not people so he wouldn’t try to stop Greder with violence.

I liked the overall game system. Not thrilled, but it had good chances of success with combat, and it had a nice pulp feel. The threats were low, but I was scared to throw too much at them. Truth be told, the wraith kill was a bit anti-climactic, but witchers are strong against monsters, and this shows.
I was afraid that my man at arms wouldn’t fare too well, but he could stand his ground in combat quite well.
Not a major fun of hit-points systems due to the bookkeeping involved, but since I kept everything in low numbers, it was manageable.

Overall, in my superficial The Witcher TTRPG solo attempt, I had fun, I liked the game system, and the Recluse/MUNE mix chosen for oracle.