Monday, December 5, 2016

4 December 2016 Game Log: Nature Kills

Dramatis personae

Kim, thief
Mayhem, barbarian
Ash, squire
Caleb, wizard
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)
Villûdē, guide (NPC)

Quid occurrit

After the fight, Ash picked up the shield of one of the fallen orcs. It had a crude drawing of something on it, with both fangs and horns. Maybe it was the orc’s girlfriend.

Kôštē healed Kim most of the way, then healed Caleb enough so that he woke up. She also healed Mayhem of some of his pain, but he was still asleep.

The next morning, 4 Brugés, was wet from rain. Villûdē got everyone back to the raft, but nowhere else. (I failed every roll for her, so the gang was moving at 5% of its normal Move.)

She did make camp alright. The alligator came again in middle of night. Ash warned everyone, and Kim slipped behind alligator and stabbed it, but she couldn’t finish the job so the alligator slipped away.

The next day had nicer weather. Kôštē finished healing Caleb, and healed Mayhem. However, he was still asleep, so she dumped two healing potions down his throat so he could wake up instead of dying from dehydration. They whole gang left the swamp to rest up. On the way, they saw the alligator in morning, but it swam away.

When gathering food that afternoon, Ash found a blackberry bush. He tried to pick some, and the ground gave way and he fell down three feet. The roots of the bush tried to grab Ash, but missed him twice and Ash climbed out.

The next day had good weather. Kôštē healed Mayhem most of the way up. They chose to take a chance and go to Vēristés Castle to warn them of orcs. Caleb gave a note to guards and left after hearing them rant and swear a few times. That night, they camped midway between the castle and the swamp.

The day after that had great weather. They made it back to their raft, and went back into swamp.

The eighth of Bruges also had great weather. While floating through the swamp, the raft hit a small bank of land. This is something that happens many time every day, but this time, the weeds on the land grabbed Kim. She slipped out of their grip, and Villûdē pushed the raft away. 

Yogi Bear wandered to camp in the evening, the night of the first quarter moon. Mayhem threw him some fish and he trundled away.

The next day, they made it to north end of naga island. They spent most of the day after that foraging. Mayhem searched the north end of the island for lairs and found none.

The next day was still warm, with a midday rain shower. However, Kim and Kôštē felt ill, with mild fevers and coughs. They went into the thicker woods to the south to look for lairs other than the one of the nagas they knew therein. Late that afternoon, some weeds slashed the legs of Mayhem and Ash. Ash stepped back, but Mayhem cut the weeds before him with his axe. A cloud of smoke came from weeds, and now everyone backed off. The smoke made Villûdē, Kôštē, and especially Caleb weak.

Cindy Bear came to camp in middle of night, and Mayhem threw her a fish.

The weather the next day good, so Mayhem kept searching for lairs. However, he found none. Mayhem finished his search for lairs, found only the nagas’. Caleb also started feeling sick, but Kim started feeling better. Yogi came in middle of night after another rain storm. Ash threw him some of Kim’s food, and threw him more when he didn’t go away at first.

The ground the next day was damp from rain. Kôštē’s cough was getting worse, while Caleb still weak from the smoke but his cough wasn’t worse. Most everyone stayed in the camp. Yogi came for food again at end of night.

Res aliae

The fight with the tangle weed was our first chance to try GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling. It seemed to work. I don’t think it’s any more complex than the normal GURPS grappling rules, but it’s more GURPS-like. Still, it’s a bit fiddly, as I kept having to look up the thrust damage Kim’s Escape-18 gave her at each level of active control from the tangle weed. The blow-by-blow was:

Tangle weed: hits Kim with frond, does 6 CP.
Kim: rolls Escape to break free. Her Escape is normally 18, but down to 15 due to active control of 6 CP. She succeeds, and does 3 CP, knocking the active control the tangle weed has to 3 CP.
Tangle weed: tries force posture change to get her down to the ground. It was at -4 to get Kim to go from standing to lying supine in the sunshine (brownie points to anyone who knows from where I got that line), but it spent its 3 CP to weaken the penalty. It failed.
Kim: rolled Escape to break free again, and succeeded easily.

Am I getting this right?

There was quite a few plants this time, owing to many rolls of true random encounters. One (the devilbush) I timed to sync up with the delver who did the worst at foraging that day, which was Ash. The tangle weeds I had randomly hit someone on the raft. The witherweed happened to hit the folks in the front rank as they were wandering through the woods. I think I should have given a few Per-based Naturalist rolls, though  Kim and Ash lack the skill so likely would have failed (defaults would be 7 and 5, respectively).

I do like the effect of the plants, however. I’m thinking of them as the slimes of the wild. Slimes in the dungeon keep the group moving, heightening the peril. Plants in the wild keep the group from going further, heightening the peril. And the witherweed was truly wicked after the gang got exposed to Pontiac fever. and lost HT as damage and thus making sure they failed a few rolls. It didn’t help that the cleric got hit the worst. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Where the hell did our horses go?

I made up a house rule on the spot today that I want to share. When the alligator struck, I had the horses make Fright Checks, which is common. Both wound up fleeing: Ash's riding horse right away, and the pony after a few seconds. After the fight, to round them up, I had Ash make an Animal Handling (Equines) roll. He missed by 6, so I ruled that he spent the next three hours looking for the horses.

So, here's the rule: if your mounts or pet dogs run away in a wide-open wilderness (not a dungeon), make the appropriate Animal Handling roll. Apply the penalty from the Speed/Range table for long range, reading "yards" as "animals." Thus, a lone horse gets a +2 bonus, the two horses got no bonus or penalty, and three horses gets a -1 penalty, and so on. If you succeed, you get them back with little fuss. If you don't, you get them back after a half-hour for every point by which you missed the roll.

This not only speeds play, as I don't want to game out every time the horses bolt and run (which is pretty much all the time, as neither is combat-trained), but encourages folks to spend points on seemingly useless skills like Animal Handling.

Game log 20 November 2016: Back into the swamp

Dramatis personae

Caleb, wizard
Mayhem, barbarian
Kim, thief
Ash, squire
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)
Villûdē, guide (NPC)

Quid occurrit

After leaving camp outside Vēristés Castle for the night of 3 Brugés, the gang set forth to the swamp. After trekking for a few hours in good weather, they reached the swamp, and there they chopped down a few trees and made a raft.

Late afternoon, Caleb spotted a big flyer in the sky. No sooner did he see it did that flyer fly towards Mayhem and try to stick its proboscis into Mayhem's armor. Ash and Mayhem smacked the flyer, which Caleb realized was a giant assassin bug, to death with one smack each. Kim was less helpful: she took a shot and hit Kôštē instead. Caleb bound the wounds of the cleric, who scowled at Kim.

That night, they camped in the swamp. In the middle of the night, Villûdē saw an onlooker: an alligator. She sounded the hue and cry, and the alligator made for the horses. Everyone streamed out of the tent, and saw the alligator, which flickered oddly. Villûdē turned white when she saw the alligator up close, while the flickering alligator so shook Ash that he ever after will have trouble sleeping in the swamp.

Kim and Mayhem, however, had no issue with the alligator, and both hit it hard enough that it fled into the swamp instead of chasing after the fleeing horses. Ash, already having trouble sleeping, spent three hours getting the horses back.

Ash slept on the raft much of the morning. Not long after he woke up, Villûdē hit a spot of land with the raft. Not at all odd, but before she could push away, many rat swarms started coming onto the raft, which had hit their nest. Kim, Ash, and Mayhem hacked away at them, while Caleb cast Create Acid to scald the lot of them. That afternoon, they spotted the alligator again, no longer flickering, but it swam away.

They made camp on a patch of land, and it rained that night. Not too long before daybreak, Kim spotted thirteen orcs coming for the camp. She yelled for the others, and aimed for the orcs. Once the others were out of the tent, the orc bowmen took their shots at the heroes, and Kim took an arrow to her chest. Not knowing what else to do, she dropped to the ground, dropped her bow, and played dead.

Six orcs came to the tent. Two of them tried to steal the pony, which gave them all kinds of trouble. Two of them went to the back of the tent and felled Caleb, who was trying to get a Blast Ball ready. The orcs then started to drag away Caleb.

Mayhem, seeing the orcs drag Caleb, ran over to them, and started hacking at them. Two of the bigger orc bowmen took shots at Mayhem, and one hurt Mayhem enough to maybe make him mad. He kept his cool, but chose to lose it to help his friend.

Ash, meanwhile, held off the orcs by the tent. The bowmen, after a few seconds of watching Mayhem and Ash take out their fellows, dropped their bows and rushed forward to help. (They also didn't have many good targets. The orcs who were still standing blocked the heroes, and they didn't want to shoot the horses, which would be tough to ride away dead, as well as drag away and eat back at their camp.)

Villûdē took a blow from an orc twice, but Kôštē stepped forward and healed her both times. She kept parrying the blows of the orc until first his sword broke, then the straps on his shield. At this time, Villûdē and Kôštē struck the orc, felling him. They did a high-five. "Girl power!"

Mayhem kept moving through the orcs, shrugging off their blows. Ash took down two orcs himself, and held against their leader. Still, the orcs kept coming. Kim had crawled away, as no orcs were near her, but then stood up after a few seconds and shot the orc leader from behind, though did not wound him at all. However, Ash wounded the leader so much that he chose to break off the strike, bidding the others to flee.

Res aliae

We chatted a bit about future character upgrades. I told them what skills were on the 250-point versions of their templates, and suggested social skills for them since they're mostly lacking them (Kim has Streetwise). John, who plays Ash and Kim, learned in the fray that Ash needs High Pain Threshold, though he should also use his Luck some as well.

We got John using Deceptive Attack with Ash for the first time, though just a point, while Chris hit upon the combination of All-Out Attack (Determined) and Deceptive Attack 4 (Mayhem has Two-Handed Axe/Mace-20). As the orcs had good defenses (11 for Parry and Block), this let him move through them with ease. I'll try to think of some easy attack options for Ash; Kim will be trickier.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A list of monsters

I made a list of monsters that Dungeon Fantasy needs as a page on my site for reasons that no longer make any sense to me (I was feeling a little sheepish telling others what I'd like to see in a product), so I'm making a blog post to link to it.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Game log 6 November 2016: Time to level up and get dirty again

Dramatis personae

Caleb, wizard
Mayhem, barbarian
Ash, squire
Kim, thief
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)
Villûdē, guide (NPC)

Quid occurrit

They went back to Mīstássun. On the way, they ran into three men with spears. One of them, who wore stud piercings in his ears, yelled at them to stop. “Doncha know about the toll?"

Caleb said, “There never has been a toll before."

The man with the stud earrings said, “We are collecting tolls in the name of the Queen!"

Caleb asked, “Where are your papers of commission?"

“Papers? We don’t need no steenkin’ papers!"

And then the fight started. The goons yelled, “Make it easy on yourselves!” as they came near.

Caleb said, “We are … on our pockets!"

Kim said, “In your wet dreams!"

The heroic murderhoboes had a field day on the not-so-heroic murderhoboes. Mayhem took out two, and Ash took out one. Kim broke her sword trying to stop one from hitting Caleb. They looted the bodies, and Kôštē bound their wounds.

On the bodies, they found 3 gold pieces, 140 silver pennies, and 147 copper farthings, as well as a bit of amber. More interesting though less lucrative were papers saying that the three men were members of the Reapers mercenary outfit: Permónos, who wore the stud earrings, Prēssīvós, a buck-toothed man, and Dībrátor, who had a hook for a hand. Kim knew the Reapers were mercenary band that camped outside of town and whose leader hung out at the Scarlet Harlot tavern.

Once in town, they sold the bit of amber, and Kim bought a new sword. They spent the next week training and hanging around the bars, keeping their ears open. They heard tales of a dragon living in an odd church in the Eldalîvā Woods in the west, and about the Armor of the Ape in an old tower in the Dumenrôn Swamp to the south. Caleb pored over old books, and found that the dragon Hiszgorr the Poisonous lived in the north of the woods, and tales an odd beast with a flailed tail roamed near a tower in the swamp. Not wanting to fight a dragon, they chose the swamp, though this time wanting to keep away from the ibathene.

Caleb found that no one knew anything about his doppelgänger. Not only that, nobody remembered anything about his doppelgänger, or that he had ever been there.

They made sure to tell the powers that be about the Reapers’ strike. Nabbrášus the mine owner shrugged her shoulders. The Town Watchman at the courthouse said that since the strike happened outside the town walls, there was nothing he could do. The man at the castle with the County took the papers, and thanked them for letting the County know.

Before leaving, they went to see Villûdē at the Wild Cats tavern. She wasn’t having a good night, trying to have the crowd give her money for her tales of the swamp, but they wouldn’t hear of it. “If you saw the ibathene, why are you still alive!” Dodging rotten tomatoes, they went up to Villûdē, and asked her if she wanted to guide them again. Wiping a tomato from her arm, she agreed.

Villûdē had not only heard of the beast with the flail tail, but had seen it, and said it was the santer. She didn’t know about the tower, but said the santer was in the eastern swamp, north of the ibathene and south of the nagas’ island. Caleb, however, thought it best to go at the swamp from the east, taking the road most of the way. Also, he thought it wise to meet the lord of Vēristés Castle, on the eastern road. Friends couldn’t hurt.

Because everybody needs a little ELP.
Thus, they set out on 31 Smôs, two days before the full moon. They took three days to reach the village of Agêdūnon, the last settlement before Vēristés Castle. From Agêdūnon, they set forth, but at midday, saw a tawny blur in the sky coming towards them. As it came nearer, they saw it had leathery bat-wings, the mug of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail of a scorpion.

A manticore. They weren’t too far from the spot in the woods where they fought another manticore a few months ago. It sprayed its tail spikes from afar but missed, while the heroes lobbed their volley. Caleb hit it hard with Stroke of Lightning, and it thought better of the strike and flew away.

As the night fell, they made it to Vēristés Castle. There, nine guards told the
m to hand over their weapons and come inside. After some dithering, they handed over their weapons. “Down with the Queen! Down with Ažbrátōr! Down with Nemmagós!” they shouted to the puzzled gang, and led it inside.

Inside, Lord Kaggrétōr, a man with sharp looks and light brown hair, made them all shout “Down with Ažbrátōr! Down with Nemmagós!” before signing a badly-written screed against the Queen. Most signed with an X, Kim with a squiggle, and Caleb signed, “Praidīvós of Mīstássun.” Kaggrétōr then asked them why the Queen hated him, why she tried to take away his castle, and, if they ever saw Count Gostálios, if they could put in a good word for him so the two could meet to talk.

With that, he threw them out, and tossed their weapons at them. They made camp, not having bought the parts for a raft from the castle.

Res aliae

As the manticore came in, with Chris's head in the way.
We spent a lot of time leveling up. At my behest, the players spent points and money into Carousing, and got two good rumors out of the deal. Being such a shifty crew, having skills in drinking at taverns seemed to fit.

After asking for world details, which brought out the note I had with my original rolls for the world four years ago with the idea that the local tree was a “palm” and the local game was a “reindeer,” Chris (Caleb/Mayhem) thought it a good idea to meet with the nobility, and saw Vēristés Castle near the swamp. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I’m always happy to play a loopy NPC.

We somewhat formalized the idea that there were main characters—Caleb and Kim—and more muscle ones—Mayhem and Ash. Mostly, that’s how things have been playing, as when they parley, they use the smarter characters for obvious reasons.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Smart swords

I'm thinking out loud with this post. I've been trying to come up with an angle on intelligent weapons to write as a Pyramid article, but I keep having trouble making them special, especially as the things they do in early Dungeons and Dragons or mythology are the Accuracy spell. This is my thinking on this as of the moment. I haven't playtested this.

There’s a spell in GURPS Magic called Weapon Spirit on page 64. In short, it gives a weapon an IQ score, and can communicate with empathy or, with the right spells, speech. That’s pretty much it. There can be other spells on the weapon, but you can always do that. The weapon could have some disadvantages, which would truly piss off a player.

Forgive me, but what a goddamn bother. Brains in a sword should give you a boon for wielding it, not just giving you a talking metal buddy that might not like you anyways.

So, these are two simple things any intelligent weapon can do that shows that it has a brain:

  1. Anyone who has an intelligent weapon Ready can Dodge attacks from behind him (p. B391), at -2. For those attacks from the side hexes which he normally must defend at -2 (p. B390), he defends at -1.
  2. If you hit when targeting chinks in armor (p. B400) with an intelligent weapon, you get through all DR, not just half DR.

The wielder must get a reaction of at least Neutral the first time he picks up the weapon to get these boons (or any others tied to the sword’s intellect). These boons show things the sword sees and understands and lets its wielder know.

Smart weapons are fickle. Remember, they need a reaction roll to use. Charisma and Born War Leader will always impress a weapon; Appearance and Voice do not. Status might; your call.

Let its Will be its IQ plus its highest level of Puissance or Accuracy. The wielder is -1 to Will checks against the weapon for every 1/4 HP or FP he is down. Control checks are a Quick Contest of Will. Check when:

  • The wielder has a chance for another magic weapon
  • One of its disadvantages comes up (see below)
  • The wielder drops below 1/3 HP or FP
  • Someone with a higher weapon skill is available to own the sword. Use skill plus maximum basic thrust or swing damage, as applicable.

If the sword wins the Quick Contest, it will make the wielder bypass the other weapon, abide by its disadvantage, keep fighting even if the wielder has lost most of his HP or FP, or drop his weapon to let the higher skilled fighter pick it up.

If a sword has a disadvantage, it expects its wielder to abide by it, and will try to control its wielder in case of any conflicts. The sword gets a bonus to its Will rolls to control its wielder regarding its disadvantage, and this bonus is equal to the penalty to Fright Checks for Phobias at each Self-Control Number, read as a positive. Thus, a sword with Honesty (15) gets a +1 to Will rolls to make sure its wielder behaves honestly, while a sword with Honesty (6) gets a +4 to the same rolls.

23 October 2016 Game Log: Sick of the kobolds yet?

Dramatis personae

Mayhem, barbarian
Caleb, wizard
Ash, squire
Kim, thief
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)

Quid occurrit

Lord Méldon came up to the gang after the fight, still in his bedclothes. He was unimpressed. “It wasn’t a whole lot worse without you guys."

Set up for the fight at the mill.
Instead, they just torched the place.
Caleb shrugged. “It could be worse. There could still be ogres."

Lord Méldon yielded on that, then walked off after learning the gang was going to track the kobolds to their lair when day broke.

That morning, Kôštē healed Mayhem, who woke up. After breakfast, Mayhem followed the tracks of the kobolds. Not long after midday, they followed the tracks to an an old mill on the edge of a cliff, whose water was flowing uphill.

Kim snuck up to the mill, and signaled to the others there were kobolds inside. The gang slipped to the side of the mill. The mill went over the edge of the cliff, and tresses on the side held it up. Caleb cast a big (6d) Blast Ball at the tresses, setting them on fire. Ash took Caleb over his shoulder and the whole crew went back to its horses.

Little folks at the gate.
The gang loaded up and took off. Ash looked into the river to make sure kobolds weren’t in it. They weren’t. Instead, kobolds were rushing out of the mill before it fell over the cliff. The kobolds, not being utterly dumb, went to Kerváron after the heroes. The heroes made it back to Kerváron shortly after sunset, and let the guards know the kobolds were coming.

This time, everyone manned the North Gate. The guards brought their two giant toads to help with the fight.

Kim saw kobolds first, and took pot shots at them as they made their way to the North Gate to ram it down. This time, guards and heroes alike held the kobolds at the gate. The kobold shamans came this time, and lobbed Fireballs at Caleb. None of the kobolds could lay a scratch on Mayhem and Ash in their heavy armor. The only losses for the villagers were the two giant toads. After losing 25 kobolds, the rest ran.

Res aliae

We needed lots of kobolds.
This time, I used Speedy Horde Combat from GURPS Zombies for the kobolds. If anything, it made them too easy. I had the whole lot of them run after 25 down as it was getting boring, and they couldn’t get through Mayhem’s and Ash’s mail hauberks. The tougher kobolds were in the back this time, though since Mayhem and Ash didn’t try holding the line last time, they wouldn’t have realized they were the only ones who could get through.

I want to get some kind of idea as to where the players want to go next. Right now, they’re lacking in skills to dig up rumors. They rolled Current Affairs at default, and only Caleb made it, giving them only one rumor: a wicked cleric has thrown goblins out of their home in the Eldalîvā Woods.

Stop me if they’ve heard that one before.

Still, they have options: the cleric in the woods, the dungeon under Dībités Rock, the dungeon in the Zúbrās Mine, or taking a week off in town in trying again (which will cost $750 for a week's Cost of Living). Not being good at something has its downside.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pictures of kobolds

Some pictures from the last session, because I know how you love pictures, +Peter V. Dell'Orto:

We used Chris's grey minis for the townsfolk, since he didn't have too many generic serfs handy. This one, well, shows the level of law enforcement of the village, though I think we had Barney be a serf.

Kobold barbarians at the gate. Unlike serfs, Chris has lots of kobolds—and we didn't have to dip into his plastic D&D minis.

Here the kobolds are breaking through, and the guards are holding them back. Since Caleb was back at the South Gate, Chris handled the guards, while John of course played Kim. The village wall is three hexes thick at the bottom but only one thick at the top, and made of earth. The village itself is from Judges Guild Village Book II, page 59, with a wall drawn around it, and the action here happened in hex 3310 of that map.

Again, the unpainted guys are the serfs. Chris, however, had lots of sheep.

Also in the picture: John has a Crown Royal bag for a dice bag, which are the best ones. Mine's the battered blue one that I've had for almost thirty years. Yeah, Barney Fife was a serf, and he panicked like all the other serfs. The action here happened at roughly hex 2209.

In a thoroughly unrelated note, Emperor's Choice has put the Arduin PDFs back up on RPGNow.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Game log 9 October 2016: Revenge of the Kobolds

Dramatis personae

Caleb, wizard
Mayhem, barbarian
Mayhem was still licking his wounds from the fight with the ogres
Kim, thief
Ash, squire
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)

Quid occurit

Early morning, 20 Smôs.

The heroes and guards found some wood and bolstered the North Gate with it. Then, everyone split up. Kim and Kôstē and three guards took the North Gate, Caleb and Ash took the South Gate with three more guards, while a third set of guards walked along the top of the wall. If the kobolds came back that night, they would be ready.

Kim was the one who spotted the kobolds as they came to the North Gate. There were more of them this time: around forty. Once she saw them, they did not try to hide themselves, and went to ram the gate again.

And from there we get a bloody battle of mindless slaughter. The roaming squad came fast, but those warding the South Gate could not get there fast enough to help. They took out four kobolds, but the kobolds took out three guards: short Watchwoman Ítōr, Vallîvos, a militiaman with a forked beard, and Īlápsos, a man in the militia with his whole arm tattooed. They had been a wall behind the gate once it burst open, and when the three of them fell, the kobolds could stream into the village.

Kim, Kôstē, and the three guards on the wall chased the kobolds into the village. In the middle of the village, outside the Dervish’s Arrow tavern, some of the kobolds ran into Caleb, Ash, and the three guards who were at the South Gate with them. Men, women, children, and sheep ran hither and thither.

Some kobolds settled on bothering one sheep who couldn’t outrun their clutches, and Ash took out the first kobold he saw, one of the bigger ones, before settling into a fight with the leader of the kobolds. Folks ran away from the fight, and many of the kobolds ran after them, or into homes to loot them.

Most of the fight was trading blows with the kobolds, of whom they took out seven before they ran. The kobolds took out only one more guard, Onbrátōr, a militiaman with tattooed forearms. Most noteworthy was that Caleb had trouble getting off a spell. The fighting was too spread out for Blast Ball, and once when he cast a Fireball, his hands fizzled while a kobold then lobbed a Fireball at one of the guards. At last, however, the kobolds guessed that they weren’t going to loot more, so they fled. Without the one sheep they were bothering; she had run long ago.

Res aliae

I’m leaving out the blow-by-blow. For starters, it’s boring. For another, my own notes are tough for me to figure out; I know the fourth guard fell early in the second fight, I just can’t find where a week later. Third, I tried keeping track of kobold mook HP as a mass, rolling HT every 8 HP they took to see if one went down. This wasn’t a great idea for the second fight when they were less of a mob. I should see if I can set them as a swarm, though I’m a little fuzzy as to how to do that. Yes, I have GURPS Zombies.

I gave out 8 CP for this session and the last few, but the kobolds looted the village. I need to make some rolls to find out just how many sheep they took or killed, and just how many villagers they hurt or killed. Plainly, they looted the food supply. There will be roleplaying repercussions of all that.

Needless to say, the players now plan on doing the old hex crawl tactic: make a Tracking check to follow the kobolds. Obviously, they made a tactical mistake by splitting up, and leaving their weaker fighters at the gate the kobolds just bashed open.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Game log 25 September 2016: The Kobolds Strike

Dramatis personae

Caleb, wizard
Mayhem, barbarian (unconscious all session)
Ash, knight
Kim, thief
Kôstē, cleric (NPC)

Quid occurrit

Mayhem passed out from his wounds. Ash bore him back to town, where Kôstē healed him, though he still slept. They also brought back the heads of the two ogres they killed. Lord Méldon smiled, which shone even from behind his scarf, gave the gang 750 copper farthings.

With the gang's normal tracker, Mayhem, sleeping off an ogre-sized headache, Ash went out to try to find more tracks, but couldn't. Afterwards, everyone went bed, hoping to be rested for the night watch.

Kim, Ash, and Kôstē took that night watch with Méžalia again, and two militiamen: Vallîvos, a man with a forked beard, and Ulšêr, an older man with hair that looked a little too brown for his age. Sure enough, there was a strike: a bunch of kobolds came by the north wall. The heroes were on the top of the wall, and the kobolds made themselves known with arrows. Only Kôstē was hurt, however, and Kim and Ash tried shooting the kobolds back, with nothing doing.

Everyone had to work fast. Kôstē yelled, "Kobolds!" Kim nocked another arrow, while Ash dropped his bow, pulled out his sword, and moved hastily along the top of the wall. Kôstē moved fast to grab Ash's bow so she could shoot it, but she slipped and fell off the narrow wall, falling 15 feet to the village.

The kobolds made their way to the village gate but a few yards away, and Kim took a shot at the biggest kobold, who blocked her arrow with his shield. Ash moved nearer to the gate, while Kim tried to follow, but she also slipped, though she caught herself as she fell. From below, Kôstē stood, and groaned, "Oh, Mulch."

The kobolds all moved together against the door, trying to break the beam that held it shut. Ash moved down the ladder into the village to get ready with the guards to meet the kobolds. Kôstē drank a Minor Healing potion and limped into town while Kim tried to get up to take another shot.

Right before the kobolds battered down the door, Caleb made his way to the gate. When Ash told him the kobolds were ramming the gate, Caleb cast a Blast Ball. The kobolds burst through, and Kim put an arrow into the back of a kobold, which did nothing to him.

The guards heroes traded blows with the kobolds, and Ash felled one. Caleb lobbed his Blast Ball, but threw it too far, so it only singed a few kobolds through their armor. Méžalia took down a kobold, while Caleb cast another Blast Ball, hoping to get the kobolds before they broke through the wall of men.

The kobolds and men traded blows. Kim let loose another arrow that stuck in the armor of a kobold, and Caleb got off his Blast Ball. This one wasn't his best either, but it burnt enough kobolds for them to break and run. He got off one more as the kobolds were fleeing, but it wasn't his best, and wasn't hot enough to take down another kobold.

Res aliae

We got started late since we had to find a new table. The gaming store was holding a card tournament of some kind, so we had to walk to the apartment of one of our players. I hadn't realized how much better shape I am in than my players, so a walk of a mile and a half was nothing for me, while for my players, it was grueling. My apartment was filled with kids and their lethal toys, and even that shorter walk was tough on them.

I keep forgetting to work Weirdness Magnet into a session. I'll tie a string around my finger next time.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Resting in the dungeon

Over at Tenkar's Tavern, the Tagblatt of the OSR, there was a link to the Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools. Great little site, and I'm sure I'll be using it when I get my girls and some of their friends in a D&D game sometime this fall. (Note to Tony Bravo: can you add the wilderness encounters from the Expert Set to the Wandering Monster Encounter Generator?) But going through the Dungeon Turn Tracker, I noticed something I hadn't spotted in almost 30 years of playing D&D:

Once an hour, or every sixth turn, the party must rest. If it does not, it is -1 to attack and damage rolls.

Upon seeing this, I opened my PDF copy of Moldvay Basic and did a search for "rest." Lo and behold, I found this on page B19, next to last graf on the page:
RESTING: After moving for 5 turns, the party must rest for 1 turn. One turn in 6 (one each hour of the adventure) must be spent resting. If characters do not rest, they have a penalty of -1 on all "to hit" and damage rolls until they do rest. 
Sum' bitch. I'll blame the fact that I started with a kitbash of Mentzer Basic and the AD&D Players Handbook for missing this one.

Now, what does this mean for GURPS? After a moment's thought, it's pretty easy. GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures gives a rule (p. 24) for being down FP at the start of a wilderness encounter:
If on foot (Feet, p. 21), rowing or paddling, or otherwise doing work, the missing FP depend on the encumbrance of travel gear (above): 1 FP for None, 2 FP for Light, 3 FP for Medium, 4 FP for Heavy, or 5 FP for Extra-Heavy. 
So if you don't rest every sixth turn in the dungeon, you're subject to this. It shifts the burden of being down from the fighters to the spellcasters, but with the ease of healing spells in GURPS, that is more sensible since that often determines how far a party can go.

I'll have to remember this one next time they're in the dungeon.