Sunday, February 28, 2016

Session Capture: Varens Session 6, Where in our heroes soundly trounce an army of lizards

I hate drawing, but here's a map of a city with not
everything filled out!
So the battle ends very fast this session when suddenly I decide to use the Mass Combat rules. Against death defying odds, the heroes are unusually successful. Let's take a look.

The Cast

  • Sophie - A young artificer girl, the opposite of self-aware, but wants to be recognized as a genius of her time. Her poor social graces put a damper on the possibility of that ever happening. She doesn't care. Results should speak for themselves. She and Stuart are long time friends. Sophie spent a point on Throwing and on Fast-Draw for her sword.
  • Stuart ("Corduroy") - an Innkeeper saddled with the family business, but would much rather travel the world. He can't part outright with the family tavern out of respect for his family, but he needs to vet himself some people to take care of it in his absence, and gather enough money to pay them in advance as he doesn't know how profitable the inn will be in his absence, nor how long he'll be gone.
  • Wynter - A scholar who has just wandered into the town of Wood's Edge, she is just going along with whatever Sophie and Stuart are doing. She's not from around here and doesn't know what's what, so unfortunately is using Sophie as a barometer for normal.


1. Encounter Bug Bear and friends
2. Remember Prisoners and circle back
3. Take prisoners to Corduroy's Tavern
4. Help Dick and Kelly at the West Gate
Bugbear in the alley.
At the end of last session, The gang captured a dinoman and a Flesh-Eating-Ape. The party meandering aimlessly, wanders into a group of monsters, but Corduroy notices the bugbear waiting in wait for an ambush at the last moment. The enemy quickly closes in anyway, knocking Corduroy down [Critical Failure,] nearly surrounding Sophie, and getting several shots on Wynter reducing her to one hit point. The party however slowly recovers from these dire straits as Sophie expertly parries the enemy's attacks with feverish defense, and Wynter puts down two targets with her repeating crossbow. Sophie uses a heroic charge to knock out the enemy near Corduroy who is struggling to stand again.
In the aftermath, as the First-Aid kit that Corduroy previously had was misplaced, Sophie had to improvise bandages from Corduroy's corduroys. With a potion, Wynter was able to get back to full health. The more resilient Corduroy didn't require any treatment. After the battle, 26/100 of the enemies were defeated.
I decided to remind the party that they had hostages tied up, so they retraced their steps [they fortunately were tied up and failed a quick contest against Sophie's knot tying skill, so couldn't escape.] Corduroy discovers a tome of esoteric knowledge, which teaches the unfamiliar skill of thaumatology.
When returning to the prisoners, Wynter uses her Speak to Animals advantage to talk to the tied up Flesh-Eating Ape. The party escorts the ape and the dinoman to Corduroy's tavern where they feed the ape.  Through lucky negotiation, they convince the ape to help and they trust the results. [The party continues on here, forgetting about the prisoner.] They take Sable, Corduroy's assistant who manages the clerical duties of the tavern with them to the west gate.
Through unusual luck, the gate is still standing. Sophie asks Kelly to inspire a militia for her [using her contact advantage.] Charlie communicates from the wall to the rest of the Flesh Eating Ape unit to withdraw. There is nothing in it for them to continue to help the Dinomen. He convinces them successfully to desert, and is allowed to leave. Through this demonstration of Strategy, Dick and Kelly are convinced to allow Wynter to head the strategy of the final clash between man and lizard.
The lizards win the contest of initiative and decide to do an all out attack, with Gregory heroically rallying his troops and preparing them for the final thrust. Meanwhile, Wynter realizes since all the battles that occurred within the city walls were close to the warehouse district, sets a trap in the warehouse district as her heroic action, which pays off with the capture of Greta who was attempting a sneak attack.
The final battle, Wynter (North Side)
defeats the sneak attack. Thanks
to Kelly rounding up a huge militia, humanity
had a huge advantage in numbers.
Kelly was successful with garnering an overwhelming amount of conscripts giving humanity a huge advantage in numbers, and Wynter ordered them to Raid. In the raid, Dick and Sophie incur significant wounds [Misfortunes of War] but the effort pays off, and the Dino Men suffer 60% casualties in a single attack, with humanity suffering 5%.
The Dinomen, sorely disheartened by the results of a single combat, they go into an all out retreat in their next turn, losing an additional 10% to casualties. Kelly decides to harass the rear dealing an additional 5% in casualties.
Humanity's casualties are thus 2.5%, rounded down to 0% for winning. The army of two, Dick and Kelly, and the militia retrieve $60,000 in abandoned loot from the battlefield. With Greta captured, and Sophie using all her leftover gizmos for the session to make healing potions, it was a sound total success, and the battle was over at 0530 on the sixth day of the campaign.

After Action Reports

  • It was a big mistake of mine to not let Wynter's player read Mass Combat ahead of time, but myself knowing the contents of the book, I was able to walk her through the relevant parts of book faster.
  • I think my players had a really hard time keeping focus and kept forgetting several important things.
  • One of my players especially enjoyed the mass combat rules and hopes to have more mass combat sessions in the future, perhaps devoting large parts of the campaign towards it.
  • I underestimated the need for Troop Strength by a lot and I think I made the final battle a bit too easy, oh well, I know better now. Part of it was insane luck as well. I tried to give the settlement a little bit of an edge, but luck took that inch for a mile.

Rules Commentary

There was nothing especially noteworthy here today. Rules were all pretty straightforward without requiring any table debates or the like. I couldn't find a table for a critical miss on defenses though, even though I could swear there was one, so I just decided that Corduroy fell when critically failing the defense.

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