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8/02/2016 8:13 pm  #1


Rat Murdered.

Started my first AS&SH campaign over the weekend. We ran Rats in the Walls. Four players, a Cataphract, Witch, Shaman, and Legerdemainist.

I sort of ran things on the fly with the module as a guideline, which worked great, and the game quickly took a bit of a jocular tone. Most of the player were fairly new to RPGs, and this was my first time running the system so there were some slow downs in looking up rules and I ran combat without referring to the phases but nothing too bad at all.

The party quickly worked out what the issue with the rats was and ventured into the basement to get a firmer grasp on things. Things got rough quickly and the encounter with the rats saw the Shaman and Ledgermainist down. Some quick thinking on the part of our Witch and a bit of creative rules interpretation regarding a sleeping potion saved the day.

The two grievously injured PC's think they are in the clear, however they both failed a check against rat borne disease. I've decided to make that a whole different issue than presented in the book, one that will lead to a perilous quest to cure them of their ailment http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


We ended the session that note and everyone is looking forward to next week.  

 

8/03/2016 7:43 am  #2


Re: Rat Murdered.

That's great, Arkansan! Love to hear this, and I'm delighted you took the adventure and made it your own, adding your own personal tweaks. That's excellent. And welcome to the forum! Say hello at the introduction thread some time. 

Cheers,
Jeff T.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

8/04/2016 7:24 pm  #3


Re: Rat Murdered.

Arkansan wrote:

Started my first AS&SH campaign over the weekend. We ran Rats in the Walls. Four players, a Cataphract, Witch, Shaman, and Legerdemainist.

A Cataphract - neat! I'm not sure I've had any of my players choose that class or even seen it in play at conventions. I think everyone thinks that unless there's an open plains, horse-riding adventure or something, they won't be able to enjoy the class to its full potential. How did it go? The other classes I've seen in play many times, especially the Shaman and Ledgerdemainist.

Arkansan wrote:

I sort of ran things on the fly with the module as a guideline, which worked great, and the game quickly took a bit of a jocular tone. Most of the player were fairly new to RPGs, and this was my first time running the system so there were some slow downs in looking up rules and I ran combat without referring to the phases but nothing too bad at all.

Good to hear that it went well overall, particularly with a group new to RPGs. As for the jocular tone, much as I try to make my games, no matter the system, grim or scary or whatever, we end up joking around. It's just my personality, I think! I'm fine with it though - if people are laughing, they're having fun.

Arkansan wrote:

The party quickly worked out what the issue with the rats was and ventured into the basement to get a firmer grasp on things. Things got rough quickly and the encounter with the rats saw the Shaman and Ledgermainist down. Some quick thinking on the part of our Witch and a bit of creative rules interpretation regarding a sleeping potion saved the day.

The two grievously injured PC's think they are in the clear, however they both failed a check against rat borne disease. I've decided to make that a whole different issue than presented in the book, one that will lead to a perilous quest to cure them of their ailment http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


We ended the session that note and everyone is looking forward to next week.  

Sounds like a nice little session - Rats is a good choice for a first adventure for a new group. It's brief, there's some roleplaying, there's some investigation and there's some fighting. Basically, it showcases different aspects of playing an RPG without requiring too much of the players. As for creative rules interpretations, I'm big a fan, especially if you're trying to hook new players (or encourage people to be creative). After a while, once your new folks understand what RPGs are all about and have a handle on the rules, you can decide if you want to ratchet up the difficulty level and be more of a hardass. You may not - some groups enjoy a casual game that serves as a backdrop to socializing. Oh yeah, I think you did well to spin the disease into an a new adventure. Great way to remind new people that actions have consequences, but failing a roll isn't the end of the world, while also reminding them of the game's continuity from session to session and give them a specific reason to come back next time (kind of a cliffhanger).

You planning on using any of the other published AS&SH adventures?


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

8/04/2016 11:14 pm  #4


Re: Rat Murdered.

Chainsaw wrote:

A Cataphract - neat! I'm not sure I've had any of my players choose that class or even seen it in play at conventions. I think everyone thinks that unless there's an open plains, horse-riding adventure or something, they won't be able to enjoy the class to its full potential. How did it go? The other classes I've seen in play many times, especially the Shaman and Ledgerdemainist.

It went pretty good, his high starting hit points help saved the day when things got rough against the rats. Though I forgot about his weapon mastery until about half way through the combat.

Chainsaw wrote:

Sounds like a nice little session - Rats is a good choice for a first adventure for a new group. It's brief, there's some roleplaying, there's some investigation and there's some fighting. Basically, it showcases different aspects of playing an RPG without requiring too much of the players. As for creative rules interpretations, I'm big a fan, especially if you're trying to hook new players (or encourage people to be creative). After a while, once your new folks understand what RPGs are all about and have a handle on the rules, you can decide if you want to ratchet up the difficulty level and be more of a hardass. You may not - some groups enjoy a casual game that serves as a backdrop to socializing. Oh yeah, I think you did well to spin the disease into an a new adventure. Great way to remind new people that actions have consequences, but failing a roll isn't the end of the world, while also reminding them of the game's continuity from session to session and give them a specific reason to come back next time (kind of a cliffhanger).

Yeah Rats seemed like a really good way to get the group on board with the whole concept. To be honest it's one of best introductory type adventures I've seen. Next session I'm planning on running things closer to BtB, they seemed to pick things up really quick and are familiar enough with the basics. As to the rat borne illness, it seemed like a logical segue into more adventure, I figure after that they will be ready for a more sandbox approach.

I plan on making Ghost Ship available to them after they finish up the business with the rats and disease, whether they take the bait remains to be seen.



 

     Thread Starter
 

8/05/2016 8:18 am  #5


Re: Rat Murdered.

Arkansan wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

A Cataphract - neat! ...  How did it go?

It went pretty good, his high starting hit points help saved the day when things got rough against the rats. Though I forgot about his weapon mastery until about half way through the combat.

Haha! Well, on the bright side, he'll be even better next time!

Arkansan wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Sounds like a nice little session - Rats is a good choice for a first adventure for a new group.

Yeah Rats seemed like a really good way to get the group on board with the whole concept. To be honest it's one of best introductory type adventures I've seen. Next session I'm planning on running things closer to BtB, they seemed to pick things up really quick and are familiar enough with the basics. As to the rat borne illness, it seemed like a logical segue into more adventure, I figure after that they will be ready for a more sandbox approach.

Awesome.

Arkansan wrote:

I plan on making Ghost Ship available to them after they finish up the business with the rats and disease, whether they take the bait remains to be seen.

I enjoyed Ghost Ship when Jeff ran it at Gary Con - definitely one of my favorite convention games ever. The published module has much more material than we could fit into a single four-hour block, though, so we didn't get a chance to play through it all. I'm already jealous!

You know, if I recall correctly, I think Ghost Ship has two primary explorable locations in addition to the town, but if you wanted to expand it with a third, I think you could easily adapt Jeff's Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent. As written, Charnel Crypt takes place in the swamp outside of Khromarium and is for levels 4-6. For my home campaign, I reset it as the location of a low-level cult (with some of the higher-level traps already sprung and higher-level monsters already dead). You could do the same and set it somewhere near Cape Calencia. You could make the crypt's original owners a wealthy family from Calencia (maybe the original founders?) rather than Khromarium. Anyway, some food for thought.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

8/07/2016 12:45 am  #6


Re: Rat Murdered.

Well we wrapped up Rats in the Walls. The players manged to get through the rest of it without so much as a scratch! 

I added a bit of extra loot, really just a +1 Long Sword. They seemed convinced it would lead to something but consulting a local sage turned up that it was just in fact a very well made sword. Doesn't hurt to let them know that not all things are of superb importance. 

After a night of drunken reveling provided by a carousing table we discovered that one player had started a bar fight and another awoke nude in a temple. Well at least they are socializing.

The two players downed last time have begun to show signs of some strange illness. Consulting the sage once again they learn it is a magical illness with a rather difficult cure. They will need the blossom of a Golden Lotus, water from a holy place, and an amulet on which they have inscribed the true name of the Demon responsible. All they know at the moment is that a potion of Cure Disease stalls the advance of the illness and that they may find the lotus in the mountains north of Brigands Bay.

     Thread Starter
 

8/08/2016 7:21 pm  #7


Re: Rat Murdered.

Arkansan wrote:

Well we wrapped up Rats in the Walls. The players manged to get through the rest of it without so much as a scratch!

Cool! Sometimes that's how it goes.

Arkansan wrote:

I added a bit of extra loot, really just a +1 Long Sword. They seemed convinced it would lead to something but consulting a local sage turned up that it was just in fact a very well made sword. Doesn't hurt to let them know that not all things are of superb importance.

True. Not everything is part of some overarching plot.

Arkansan wrote:

After a night of drunken reveling provided by a carousing table we discovered that one player had started a bar fight and another awoke nude in a temple. Well at least they are socializing.

Awesome! I love those tables. We have used them to great success in my games. People really love betting the XP and the "bad results" can create some Comedy Gold moments.

Arkansan wrote:

The two players downed last time have begun to show signs of some strange illness. Consulting the sage once again they learn it is a magical illness with a rather difficult cure. They will need the blossom of a Golden Lotus, water from a holy place, and an amulet on which they have inscribed the true name of the Demon responsible. All they know at the moment is that a potion of Cure Disease stalls the advance of the illness and that they may find the lotus in the mountains north of Brigands Bay.

Sounds like a great transition. Let us know how it goes!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

8/21/2016 1:49 am  #8


Re: Rat Murdered.

Well we wrapped up session three tonight. A great time was had by all. 

Our heroes hitched a ride with a small trading ship to Port Varios (one I made up), once a one horse fishing town that has seen a massive growth in the last decade under its ambitious new lord. The port town is on one of the islands in the center of the bay. 

On their last night before setting off our Shaman decided to have a few drinks to celebrate, once again the drunken debauchery table came in handy. He experienced a divine vision that showed him an abandoned monastery to Apollo where Golden Lotus happened to grow. However it was made quite clear to him that in return for this vital information he was expected to restore the monastery. 

Of course the god failed to show the exact location of the monastery, but it at least they had something to go on. The next day they set off on their voyage. Sailing there was uneventful. Once in town they headed to the Laughing Skull (borrowed that from the thread). After buying a few rounds of drinks and our part Ledgermainist making contact with the local thieves guild they had gathered that the monastery was nestled in the mountains across the bay but for years had been home to a band of brigands that preyed on the local villages. 

Idle gossip revealed the open "secret" that the local lord Gill Varios had spurred the growth of the town by making a deal with pirates. In return for safe harbor they shared a cut of spoils with him eventually leading to a protection racket wherein merchants bound to pass near the bay would pay for the Lord's protection "or else be at the mercy of the waves". The town had turned into a bustling hub of ne'er do wells within a few years and Varios had become the most powerful lord in Brigands Bay. Leading to some political tension and rumors of an alliance forming between smaller lords. 

Anyway our party made their way to a small fishing village called Bron's Refuge nestled close to the foot of the mountains. The party discovered that this village and several of the others in the area bristled under the yoke of the bandit Lord Krofnir called the Blood Letter. The party set about fomenting rebellion and the session ended in a climatic battle between Krofnir's bandits and a villager militia lead by the party. Roughly 50 bandits (light infantry) faced off against just over 30 armed village men (light infantry) who baited them into attacking the Bron's Refuge. Carefully laid traps and a hastily fortified village center evened the odds and the villagers scored a resounding victory. The villagers lost just 8 men, while the bandits suffered massive casualties leaving only 13 fit to flee the field.

The battle was lost for the bandits when in a desperate move their lord called out for a duel of champions, him against a picked man from the villagers ranks. Our cataphract heeded the call. This is where we discovered that a cataphract's mounted charge is devastating. The first charge nearly felling the bandit lord and our champion making short work of him from there. With their leader dead the remaining bandits attempt to gather their wounded and flee the field. 

This is where we left off, next session they will make their way up the mountain pass to try their luck against a greatly diminished bandit force holed up in the monastery.

We had blast this session and the mass combat rules seemed to be an elegant, unobtrusive solution to large scale battles.

     Thread Starter
 

8/22/2016 8:10 am  #9


Re: Rat Murdered.

arkansan. Do you by chance have the warfare notes you used?

I'm curious to see an example of calculating the warfare rating of group.

Thanks.


What? Me worry?
 

8/22/2016 3:23 pm  #10


Re: Rat Murdered.

gizmomathboy wrote:

arkansan. Do you by chance have the warfare notes you used?

I'm curious to see an example of calculating the warfare rating of group.

Thanks.

I think I do actually, let me look this evening and if I can find them I'll post them for you. At first it looked at little complicated but after running through it, it's actually pretty straight forward.

     Thread Starter
 

8/22/2016 4:03 pm  #11


Re: Rat Murdered.

Arkansan wrote:

On their last night before setting off our Shaman decided to have a few drinks to celebrate, once again the drunken debauchery table came in handy. He experienced a divine vision that showed him an abandoned monastery to Apollo where Golden Lotus happened to grow. However it was made quite clear to him that in return for this vital information he was expected to restore the monastery. 

What a great integration of that table into gameplay. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


Arkansan wrote:

Once in town they headed to the Laughing Skull (borrowed that from the thread).

Nice!

Arkansan wrote:

The party set about fomenting rebellion and the session ended in a climatic battle between Krofnir's bandits and a villager militia lead by the party. Roughly 50 bandits (light infantry) faced off against just over 30 armed village men (light infantry) who baited them into attacking the Bron's Refuge. Carefully laid traps and a hastily fortified village center evened the odds and the villagers scored a resounding victory. The villagers lost just 8 men, while the bandits suffered massive casualties leaving only 13 fit to flee the field.

The battle was lost for the bandits when in a desperate move their lord called out for a duel of champions, him against a picked man from the villagers ranks. Our cataphract heeded the call. This is where we discovered that a cataphract's mounted charge is devastating. The first charge nearly felling the bandit lord and our champion making short work of him from there. With their leader dead the remaining bandits attempt to gather their wounded and flee the field.

It's great to see people using the mass combat rules and the cataphract shining in his element - and all instigated by the group fomenting a rebellion! Player trouble-making at its best, hahah!
 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

8/22/2016 10:02 pm  #12


Re: Rat Murdered.

Sounds like fun!  I ran a cataphract in one of Jeff's playtests at GaryCon or NTX---it may have been in Trouble in Dunwich or perhaps one of the newer KS adventures. 

It's fun to hear about your game details, Arkansan:  do please continue to share them! :D

Allan.

 

8/22/2016 10:27 pm  #13


Re: Rat Murdered.

[threadjack]

grodog wrote:

Sounds like fun!  I ran a cataphract in one of Jeff's playtests at GaryCon or NTX

I think it was TAKEN from Dunwich at GC 3 in 2011. Brings back memories!
http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af303/Chainsaw78/IMG_20110326_172942.jpg

[/end threadjack]


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

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