tisdag 18 september 2018

Post-session report: Session 05

We had a short session yesterday but it was very intense in that it started at the caves which meant there was fighting pretty much from the start to the end. These are some of the things that happened:

* Some newly set traps were disarmed

* The Hobgoblins were fooled yet again, this time they didn't want company but the PC's tricked them into opening the door.

* Three consecutive fights with hobgoblins ending with a fight with the chieftain of the clan. This gung ho attitude could've spelled trouble for them but they were fine this time with only minor injuries which could be healed by the cleric.

* They found a secret entrance into the armoury and looted what was left of it.

lördag 15 september 2018

Session 04: A trek through the Wicked Woods

Date: 2018-09-02

Honest Ernst, Scout, 256 points
Warrior Princess D'Joan, Amazon (Barbarian template), 250 points

With the rest of the party already gone to the Caves, it was Ernst job to find out what the elf meant with his mysterious message about the man in the forest and then try to find him. Ernst is not a man used to socializing but after forcing himself to ask a few of the hunters camped outside the city about the forest man it was clear that it was a hermit living deep in the forest. Ernst tried to find someone to follow him there or at least show him the way but everyone just kept telling him he was crazy for even contemplating finding him, the Hermit was a mad and dangerous man and hated everyone apparently. At last he found a newly arrived woman who was huge and carried a spear who was willing to tag along. She had heard that he might have some information about an ancient artifact lost by her tribe centuries ago.

D'Joan made some inquiries on her own, earning the trust of a local fisherwoman and although she failed to convince her to guide them she was told to meet with Eric, a leader of one of the hunter families. He told them he didn't know the exact location of the Hermit's lair but that it was probably close to an old cabin about a days hike north used by him and his comrades before the territory was taken over by the Hermit. He marked the site of the cabin on their map and told them that if they managed to find it he would appreciate it if they brought him an old bow that he had left there when they were forced them to abandon it.

After finding out where to go they decided to head off right away. They followed the edge of the forest for a half day while the rain was pouring down. Just when they where about to head into the forest they noticed a wild boar poking around inside a shrubbery, they considered slaying it but with no pressing need for food and having heard that the Hermit doesn't like hunters or people hurting animals they opted against hunting this time and let it be. Inside the forest they were quickly confronted with the dangers of hiking in the wilderness. A big tree trunk fell on top of them but both managing a Dodge. D'Joan tried to determine the reason for the tree falling, critfailing her Naturalist-roll convinced her it was put there on purpose by someone they that knew they were heading this way. That Eric guy sure seemed conspicously nice to her, being used to scorn from humans more "civilized" than her.

A few hours later they noticed they were being followed by a curious pack of wolves. After assuring themselves they were not dealing with the dire kind of wolf or that they were not particularly hungry D'Joan stopped to let them have a sniff and rolled a 16 on her reaction roll (with +1 from animal friend) which ended the encounter in a pile of cuddling and the wolves following them for another hour or so. Ernst deftly managed to raid a bees nest of some honey using Survival before setting up camp. The heavy rains during the day had slowed them down and they decided to not press it toward the cabin. Nothing particular happened during the night and in the morning they spotted the cabin after an hours hike as expected.

From afar they could see flying creatures heading into and out of the loft of the cabin. They started sneaking forward carefully to investigate further but when they were about 20 meters from the clearing where the cabin was a mountain lion jumped out in front of them, bared teeth and growling, between them and the cabin. They considered their options for a second but with D'Joan failing to read it's motivations they readied their weapons but was careful not to provoke it and started walking slowly backwards. When the mountain lion started advancing D'Joan made an Intimidation-roll as a last chance to make it stop it's advance before taking physical action and it worked! The mountain lion stopped and for a while there was a stand-off between them at about 20 yards distance. Then suddenly the puma changed posture, moved forward and started talking to them in common amidst growls and snarls.

The mountain lion introduced himself as Puck and told them that this was his territory. He said that he was the protector of the forest and warned them of hunting in these parts of the woods. He usually dealt with threats himself but if they were friendly as they said they were then they could show it by helping him with a beast his abilities didn't affect. It had moved into a cave about half a days walk east. The mountain lion was going to show them the way. After revealing the wanted information about the Caves the hermit told them that he promised to help them if they dealt with the Kobolds living there. Apparently they had been out hunting in his parts of the forest numerous times. As soon as they set off the weather took a turn for the worse and now it was pouring down. The RP's were more than a little skeptical of the talking puma but it held it's distance until it sensed blood at about the same time as Ernst spotted an injured hunter huddled in a tree. Before passing out he told them his name was Rodrick and that he had been attacked by a horrible monster, nothing he had ever seen the likes of before and begged them to help him get back to town. He was then given an ok round of First Aid (ok in the PC's minds anyway, Ernst basically tied a bandage around the leg, effectively cutting the blood supply which stopped the bleeding). They had a little argument about what to do with him but in the end D'Joan brought him along on her back. 

After a short while more they started seeing signs of spiderweb in the surrounding trees but this time Ernst combined Overconfidence and Stubbornness got the best of him and he decided they might aswell Sneak through it to make it to the cave of the beast before nightfall. Said and done, they both failed their rolls and before they knew it three spiderlings were crawling out of a hole in the ground and were all over them, twice injecting poison into D'Joans left arm, paralyzing it (one critfailed defence roll and one missed all out attack). One of them bit into Ernst leg aswell and fell just one point of tox short of paralyzing that aswell. A paralyzed leg would've severly cut their mobility for days since they had no means of quick healing available. When they had finished off the spiders they quickly pondered crawling into the lair but were content with marking the position on the map and maybe deal with it later. After getting away from the spiders nest they bandaged each other (D'Joan getting double HP back which meant she was in positive territory again at least, it also means using the double amount of bandage) before continuing. Their hurried exit also robbed them of the chance to gather some spiderweb or extracting some poison from the now dead spiderlings. They also realized that they had left the hunter by the spiders nest but left him to his fate (he was probably partly eaten by the puma already but they were not sure).

The paralyzed arm (and Reeling status) of the Amazon aswell as the heavy rain meant they had to wait another night before they found the Cave of the Beast. Luckily they were not disturbed during the night and could make a quick plan before springing to action. The mountain lions intention was very much to stay out of the fight so they decided to approach it head on, luring it out of the cave and toward the Amazon while Ernst stood above the cave entrance shooting it in the back after it was out in the open. It wasn't hard to rouse it and after it came out they immediately realized it was an owlbear. D'Joan threw a harpoon at it from about 20 yards distance but missed and Ernst got two or three arrows in it before it had reached the Amazon in front of it, it didn't even take notice of the arrows coming from behind. It tried to slam D'Joan to the ground but missed and ran passed and had to turn around. Meanwhile D'Joan got a hit or two in but that didn't bother it either. Only now they realized that the Owlbear was Undead and arrows was pretty much useless against it. D'Joan retreated back toward the cave now, aware that one hit from the owlbear would most likely get her back to negative HP (she presently has no DR, natural or otherwise). Luckily for her, the Owlbear decided to go for the grapple, successfully grabbing D'Joan with it's front paws but then failing the takedown which most likely would've meant the end of the proud Amazon, instead losing it's grip. They still had no clue really what was effective against it and now Ernst had to shoot through D'Joan's hex to hit the owlbear, almost hitting the Amazon in the back once. Only in the 7th or 8th round D'Joan managed to get a big hit in, crippling the owlbears back foot, making it almost immobile but only after herself getting hit in the torso, failing her HT-roll and falling unconscious. The same turn Ernst finally decided to try his cutting arrows which finished the owlbear off with another big hit, cutting off one of it's front legs before it had a chance to start biting into D'Joan with it's beak.

While D'Joan came to again Ernst scouted the cave, found an Owlbear cub (it was not undead) which he killed in cold blood to skin, also finding a useable bow and a few coins but no proper hoard. Then he dragged the huge barbarian into the cave for rest and bandaging while marinating owlbear meat in honey to feast on. When the Amazon came to he told her it was already dead when he found it but that the meat was good, she was in no position to question any of it. They waited for the rest of the day in the cave, sent the mountain lion back to his master with the news of the slain beast before heading bruised but not beaten towards the Caves of Chaos to hopefully meet up with a Healer there.

XP was one each for exploration and another one for awesome non-fighting resolutions to a lot of the problems they faced in the forest. D'Joan got MVP for being the proxy to alot of those resolutions.

fredag 7 september 2018

Quick review: Hall of Judgement

A couple of months ago I ordered my first ever PoD-book, this is my first kickstarter-backing! My copy of Hall of Judgement arrived in the mail a couple of days ago and I must say it looks pretty solid.

I've only had time to have a glance at it this far but I can tell right now that I will at least use some of the creatures in the books extensive monster directory in my current DF campaign. The adventure as such might get baked into my campaign or played as a one-shot later on, depending on where my players want to take things.

The only thing I have a little trouble with is the authors view of norse mythology baked in with the classic fantasy tropes.  For me "nordic fantasy" has always been John Bauer's Trolls (see picture below) coupled with the dire animals like the Fenris Wolf or the world encompassing Jormungandr and gods that walk among men to test or challenge them on a whim or just to pull a prank or two. So if I play it I will probably not play it as a norse mythology kinda thing but rather a barbarians in the frozen wastes kinda environment.

söndag 2 september 2018

Post Session Report: Session 04

After a long and hot summer we finally managed to complete another session and it was a fun one. This time if was focus on the wilderness surrounding the caves with one barbarian and one scout working together to find the elusive Hermit said to live deep in the forest and his supposed knowledge about the history of the caves.

* Avoiding animals, befriending animals with exceptional reaction rolls, intimidating animals to submission and failing to stealth past animals. This session pretty much had it all when it comes to interactions with the wildlife.

* A conversation with the Hermit through his mountain lion proxy did not reveal much but helping him out might.

* A lot of questions about one of the local leaders in the hunter encampment outside the city. He sent them the right way but what are his true intentions?

* A few lessons in GURPS combat to new players, and also a few lessons for the PC's about vulnerabilities and the power of spider toxins.

måndag 27 augusti 2018

Writer's Dodge: One room a day keeps the doctor away

Before finally deciding to give it a go, I had been pondering a GURPS Fantasy campaign for a long time but it was Peter Dell'Orto's very amusing session reports on playing the Keep on the Borderlands with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy-rules that both introduced me to GURPS DF and made me kick off my own campaign.

My scope widened (as it usually does) after having read KotB to first redrawing the dungeon map into four floors, removing one or two sections that I didn't think fit very well into the feel of my setting, converting the monsters to GURPS stats, converting the loot and now I'm in the process of converting the actual room key descriptions using Justin Alexanders method in his The Art of the Key-series.

To keep the text flowing I'm trying to write up one room each day, if I feel I have more time after that I can use it to edit an old room or write notes on the next few. Right now I'm about ten rooms into a dungeon with approx. 60 keyed rooms so we'll see in about two months time if I'm finished or not...


torsdag 9 augusti 2018

Laws of the Dungeon: Alternative swing damage

After reading this old post about reducing swing damage to make for less deadly hand to hand combat aswell as more viable thrusting weapon options and less need for armour in the DR 10-15 range for tanks to not get one-shotted by big guys I've been thinking alot about introducing them in my game as a houserule. At first I though it was going to be a lot of work but then I found out it is already included in Gurps Character Sheet as an option which is awesome. Now I only need to explain the change to the players and adjust their Character Sheets to account for the cheaper ST-increases.

Said and done, it was less work than I first thought, now it only needs some playtesting to see if it makes the cut as a new houserule for future fantasy scenarios and campaigns aswell.

söndag 15 juli 2018

Go Figure: Additional work on Goblins, Hobgoblins and Cave Troll done

Vacation at home leaves some time for painting, and my neighbor has lent me his box of Vallejo Model Colours which he can claim back any day so I'm under pressure to use it as much as possible before that happens which equals some pretty productive miniature painting days. =)

 This is the pack of Hobgoblins I ordered from Otherworld Miniatures a couple of weeks ago, they turned out ok I think. Had a little problem with placing the eyes but otherwise it went fine.

They I had my first try on a big guy, this Reaper Miniatures Cave Troll. I basically followed this guide to great effect and then made some halfasset highlighting on top which in hindsight was really unneccessary.

 So this is basically what I've finished this far. I hope I will have time to do a couple more before going out of town in a few days.