Monthly Archives: April 2012

The War of Kerlath, 3rd session

Przeczytaj ten wpis po polsku/Read this entry in Polish

On yesterday’s meeting there were:
Arod, human town’s watchman [106 points]
Othon “Booze” Warfuner, dwarfen veteran, stone-mason these days [99 points]
The other players couldn’t arrive. Point totals are estimate.

A week has passed since undeads’ attack on Tafars, the city where PCs live. “Attack” is in italics, because there were no many lives lost. The attackers were aggressive only to those that were fighting, the rest was only asked to surrender. Booze bore no responsibility for killing the girl, cause three town’s watchmen confirmed that she was dangerous witch.

Arod rallied enough to go back to work. Othon considered his Tropphy Bear as poor decoration for an axe and tried to put it near the fireplace, but he has heard witch’s voice in his mind for a moment. Worried, he decided to ask watchmen wizards for help. On his way he met Arod, as he was patrolling. The watchmen thought that he could help his friend meet appropriate person.

Before they reached citadel, they went to the market, as they saw some assembly. It’s cause being a man in white robes, convincing people that the military has too few wizards.* Othon started to discuss with him, which caused people to split into two groups. One was aggressive against the dwarf and Arod, claiming that they have helped to attack town, as they ordered to show the little witch the watch. The other group was aggressive towards the White. PC’s were arrested, for their safety more than because of suspicion.

Arod and Booze explained their meeting with little witch again. The dwarf told about his issue with teddy bear. Wizards sealed the toy and inspected it, but first they explained Othon, that marking favorite mascot of a little witch with her blood was a bad idea, as could have magical consequences no one could predict. PCs had to wait for Verlay to testify the meeting with little witch, too. The dwarf convinced three people that he saved the town, making them very thankful, and Arod learned some new information of how the attack from last week went.

Next day morning, Warfuner was asked by watchmen wizards to destroy the mascot’s eyes, which were magical stones. They claimed that, because of his “ritual” of marking with blood, it could be safer if he destroyed the stones.

As Othon went back home, he found his door opened with force and his house ransacked. He bought info from a beggar that some thug and a white-wearing men were responsible for this. He told Arod about that went to temple. There he was told that man that was speaking yesterday on the market was no White Mage nor priest. Then he made official notice about burglary, but this wasn’t helpful.

The next evening Arod and Othon were relaxing with alcohol after some sword-wielding practice, when a group of people, led by fake White Mage, arrived at the dwarf’s house, demanding of PC’s to leave the town. Othon, always nervous, now tipsy, drew his weapon quickly. He stabbed three attackers, two others knocked out each other (complete lack of combat skills). The watchman took down another two with his bare hands. The dwarf wanted to surprise remaining ones from behind by sneaking through the window, but there he met some thug pulling the shutter apart with his axe. Booze ended this familiarity with two quick slashes. Then he took down the wizard and cut off both hands of another citizen. The last one fled from the battle.

* White Mages, the quickest thought that comes to mind seeing a wizard in white robes, is an order of wizards of light and healing, friars of which usually wander the kingdom, helping people.

1. Playing without books is a lot of fun. It speeds up the game, and this makes up for some rules inconsistencies. But I have to copy the table of critical misses, especially if there are more fights with nine people having no idea about weapon wielding coming.
2. I have to pay more attention to involving all the PCs into the plot. Arod’s player is not the type that needs to be persuaded to team play, fortunately. But I still think that I encouraged his character to take part in events not enough.

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in my sessions, The War of Kerlath


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The War of Kerlath, 2nd session

Przeczytaj ten wpis po polsku/Read this entry in Polish 

On the second session we had:
Verlay, human smith, a bit anarchist [100 points]
Othon “Booze” Warfuner, dwarfen veteran, stone-mason currently [97 points]
Arod, human town’s watchman [102 points]
Anwgard’s player was absent.

Othon and Arod were in Verlay’s forge, sharpening their swords, when they heard some screams from the outside. Arod stopped some man and heard from him that the town is being attacked by some monsters. The PC’s went to town’s gate to see what is happening. They saw some dead watchmen and 4 men entering all the houses. The intruders seemed not to see the PC’s, which decided to go get closer, but with backstreets. They met a little red-haired girl, searching for her toy, like nothing special was happening. They decided to take her somewhere safe, ignoring bad feelings about her. When they met another group of people, they left the girl with them and went back to meet the strange intruders.

The PC’s heard women’s scream from a nearby house. They went in to meet four zombies. The undead weren’t attacking, they were demanding surrender with their creepy voice. But a lady was in danger! The PC’s have slain zombies with little effort, as the beast didn’t even have weapons. A group of aggressive people was approaching, but Booze scared them off with critical success on Intimidation, despite lacking the skill. Players set off to town’s center, finding a teddy bear and grouping with some random folks on their way.

There was some fire ahead and the PC’s saw that the post’s door are open. Othon went ahead to scout. He perceived the redhead girl watching the fire with smile, and two zombies and two skeletons were accompanying her. The dwarf called Verlay and Arod with gesture. They were trying to close in unnoticed, but the girl heard them. Booze tried his intimidation skills again, but it didn’t work this time, despite using an advantage of having girl’s mascot. The child commanded the undead to catch PC’s and started casting Fireball. Arod tried to interrupt her with his charge, but he critically failed and ha fallen down at her feet. But she had a bad roll, too, and hit some building with her Fireball, instead of scorching the watchman. But the undead grappled him and the girl Ignited his clothes. Meanwhile Othon and Verlay destroyed one undead each. The dwarf tried to save Arod then, while the smith closed the gap between him and retreating girl. She Ignited his clothes, too, but it exhausted her almost completely. Othon went almost berserk, destroyed two remaining undead, and slain the girl. He decapitated her for sure with his two-handed axe, to which he tied the teddy bear, marked with girls blood, as a trophy. Othon ended fight unscratched, but humans were really badly burned, Verlay has lost consciousness.

In the post PC’s found two burned, but alive, watchmen, and a group of terrified folks. They have taken care of their wounds. Othon went out to meet seven troops from city-state. He led them to a place where he spotted some attackers. He left the last battle uninjured, but not damaging anyone also.

I’m still a very bad GM. There are practically no NPC’s in my games, even in town! When PC’s meet someone, he’s silent. The townsmen are acting artificially, with intelligence of goombas from Super Mario Bros. And I have ideas for plot, but I’m too lazy to prepare them, making them half-minute encounters. And I’m not good enough at improvising to balance this. I have to improve in almost everything.

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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in my sessions, The War of Kerlath


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The War of Kerlath, 1st session

Przeczytaj ten wpis po polsku/Read this entry in Polish

I’ve started a new campaign some time ago. It takes place in a fantasy world drawn from The Battle for Wesnoth. I run it on GURPS, and the characters are experienced, but not powerful. They are:
Verlay, human smith, a bit anarchist [100 points]
Anwgard Tafar, human swordsman [101 points]
Othon “Booze” Warfuner, dwarfen veteran, stone-mason currently [97 points, he traded some for cash]
Arod, human town’s watchman [100 points]
At least they won’t lack melee power.

We’ve started with bad news for Verlay: the supply from nearby mine didn’t arrived. The watch sent Arod to check if there are any troubles there, but the smith considered one man to be not enough, so he went with him. Anwgard’s father had the same feelings, so he sent his son. Othon, unwary of the situation, was going to fix some roof.

They hired some teamster and in twelve hours, despite the snow, they almost get to the mine. But they found some dying man by the road. They only heard his last will before he died. They taken the body on the wagon, and then they heard some laughs and saw incoming lights behind the hill. Almost all of the team stayed in the shadows of night, only Arod and Othon protruded on the front. Six bandits approached. One of them drawn back immediately. The rest of them claimed they rule this land from now on. When suggested to surrender, they attacked. They surrounded Booze, but he defended himself effectively. When Verlay knocked down two enemies with powerful hammer blows, and Tafar sliced down another one, attackers surrendered.

Short interrogation revealed that the mine is in control of prisoners that worked there. The team decided to fall back to town. An hour later horses stopped, unwilling to further exertion. Despite nearby mine, the night was calm. Next evening they were back in town. Arod found family of the dead man. He was let out of prison recently.

A week later a mysterious man come to Verlay’s forge. He claimed that, thanks to magic, he could provide iron despite blocked mine. But the smith recognized ore that he was using for years. The mage was arrested.

Another week later, troops from the county town came to regain the mine. The rumor spread that groups of undead men and elves (which aren’t leaving their forrest) attacked some villages. Othon met some man offering money for opportunity to talk about dwarfen culture in another settlement. The offer was tempting, but Arod was suspicious. He guessed that, because of his race, Booze was wanted by necromancer that attacked villages. We ended the first session when a man that lured Othon has been arrested. But he was an apprentice, not a strong necromancer.

1. Next time I’ll require making a team. It’s a bit too hard for me to make a team consisting of people with different status.
2. I’m too used to campaigns in which PC’s were significantly stronger than their “environment.” I’ve almost sent a group that would rescue captive bandits. By shooting down the guard and killing silently the rest of the team (in games of the type I’m used to, another group of bandits would be spotted and disabled).
3. I should prepare for fights that I’m pretty sure won’t happen. Random reaction roll for bandits was planned, but I expected insults as the worst possible effect, if only PC’s won’t attack. But the bandits have seen only two enemies and the roll was really low, so they end up attacking. I think I should make some mini-bestiary with common enemies.
4. I’ve made a huge mistake trying to lure Othon out of town. I’ve came with this idea during play and hadn’t thought in time that, if Arod won’t understand all the clues (only he had enough info to be suspicious), I’ll play with myself, trying to save the dwarf from my NPC’s. Fortunately, with a little help from Booze-player, the watchman saved the day.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in my sessions, The War of Kerlath



No one remembers the spy

 Read this entry in Polish/Przeczytaj wpis po polsku

I’ve remembered recently a bygone campaign, in which (of course) we had to rescue the world from doom. The trick was, we had to find some ancient artifacts that were spread across the world, and we had to find them very fast. Our characters were really powerful, but we didn’t want to split up (I consider it bad for gameplay).

Just now I came up with an idea. We were unknown but very powerful. We were elite of the world. We could have asked someone else to get one or two of the artifacts. It was time for us (well, for one of us) to play the role of a hooded man giving quest to a group of adventurers. But we would have to choose our hirelings carefully, or else they could cause more troubles instead of helping us. We had no true wizard. We couldn’t read the fate of random travelers from the stars nor could we read their minds undetected, to find the right man for this job. But the hooded quest-giver doesn’t have to be a mage. He just needs a spy.

The solution for our party (invented a bit late) would be like this:
1. I, as a gnome – a character that was hardest to notice (we lacked a halfling, which would be best for this job) – go around taverns, talking with random groups of people. During dialogue I rate their usefulness: their abilities, character and honesty.
2. We choose the best group. Another one of us, a noble human knight, delegates them to bring one of the artifacts. Not for free, of course.
3. I suggest our Game Master that he could decide the outcome of hiring this group or we could switch to playing those characters for a short time.
4. Two parties are trying to get two artifacts at the same time. Not-enough-time problem solved.

Everyone remembers the old hooded man. No one remembers the spy. And it’s good. A spy should remain unnoticed. No Game Master describes meeting with him. And it’s good. Who remembers some random halfling if an hour after him the quest-giver was met? No one. But the spy could came up later in story. Someone kind of known, but who knows why? Someone asking about recent achievements like he knows something. Helpful, but disturbing.
Remember the spy. Even if he didn’t exist at the start.

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in tips & tricks


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