Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Session Capture: Bad Company Session 5, Wherein a horse is grievously injured; copious frogs are butchered.

In an abrupt turn of events, the leader of the group decides to pick up and leave to meditate and become an ascetic on the island with Chadwick, the boring nondescript NPC. The group squabbles to decide a new leader, is attacked in pitch darkness, and watches helplessly as the party's horse is attacked without recourse.

The Cast

  • Players
    • Cassana - Cassana is a Cat-Folk priestess who decided because of a vision from her god to travel with the crew of Bad Company. Her supernatural healing makes her a readily hot commodity. She is a prudish bore though, and spends her free time reciting passages and praying. She serves the deity Abuelito; his followers are often scorned because he is thought to be a miscreant since he is the patron of the poor and unloved.
    • Elizabeth - A burly thing of a girl who was raised among rabbit-people. She tries hard, but she doesn’t have the chops for the business. Her adopted father was abducted by a man named Salazar, and she has joined a band of pirates to hopefully secure help in finding this man. She is the support member, and a jack of all trades. She has a horse named Al Freido who helps protect the belongings of her and the party.
    • Gordon - A wood elf (?) archer savant that has no clue how to interact with other people. Fiercely loyal to the mission of protecting nature from those that would transgress against it, his memory of the past is riddled with holes. Did something awful happen? Why can't he remember? He follows the party for indiscernible reasons.
    • Mr. Tapioca – The player has left the group, and Mr. Tapioca has become an NPC.
    • Sheek - A half goblin/human hybrid who after a strange turn of events, has recently gotten in touch with his human emotions. Goblin society hasn't prepared him for this, and as his clan has been almost rendered unto nothing, he has decided to travel with the only people that have ever shown him a modicum of respect.
    • Xelin - Son of Van Zandt the Blight, though he was only a child when the story of that man took place. His lineage is a secret he must keep closely because of the unspeakable atrocities of his father. Unavoidably lead down his inevitable destiny to power and mastery of the cosmos, misfortune follows closely after him. For unfortunate reasons, he finds that the only people he can trust are themselves absolute dregs, and thus finds himself in the hire of Captain Burbank.
  • NPCs
    • Al Freido - Elizabeth's horse, she is afraid of him because she believes that he has some connection to the arrival of the demons.
    • Chadwick - Chadwick the nondescript NPC of zero personality and ambition was a prisoner along with Sheek and Emilio. He has become something of an assistant to Mr. Tapioca and the two have set off to find a secluded location to train themselves on the island.
    • Emilio The Goldfish - Long time friend of Mr. Tapioca but now the friendship is smoldering as Emilio betrayed the party, and Mr. Tapioca has attempted to have the man executed. Is he a bad man? Can he be trusted?
    • Mr. Tapioca – A bunny-man samurai who served at some point under captain Burbank, but has decided to attune himself with nature as an ascetic on the Bajura island abruptly after encountering demons and his (former?) good friend, Emilio.

The Summary

Shortly after defeating the demons and spending one more evening with the group, Mr. Tapioca and Chadwick depart from the party. On the start of the fourth day, the party argues about who the new leader should be. Xelin doesn't care, and Gordon doesn't understand what is happening or what it means. Between the last three candidates, Elizabeth is chosen as the new leader.
What an insanely
detailed frog figurine.
The party is low on resources so they decide not to hike for the day and search for victuals. Elizabeth, the party's survival expert decides she would rather not help, so the rest of the group looks for food without her. They barely find enough food for themselves [working off of defaults] and Gordon doesn't condone the hunting of animals making it even more difficult. The party spitefully decides to feed themselves first before feeding the leader [which leads to Elizabeth suffering starvation damage to fatigue] Gordon couldn't find enough food for himself either, and decided to eat tree bark [a heavily penalized roll, it succeeded, and I am going to require that he takes the Cast-Iron Stomach version of decreased consumption, allowing him to subsist on low quality food and water.] and no food is left over, so the party prepares to hunker down and try their luck the next day.
Elizabeth meanwhile spent the entire day looking for a nice campsite... she failed [rolled a critical failure, which no amount of extra time spent can protect against] and the party had to sleep in no comfort, no protection, and with no secure vantage.
During Sheek's watch, the campsite is attacked by a dozen giant frogs. Everyone, including the frogs, is at a disadvantage as they are fighting completely in the dark (by the insistence of Gordon.)
While everyone feebly swings at nothing in the dark, Sheek easily dispatches the frogs that can't even see him, and Gordon brute forces the visibility penalties with his high skill. Elizabeth critically fails [the penalty for attacking a small target in the dark made critically failing very easy] and her stick slipped from her hand. Xelin tried to launch an explosive fireball carefully aimed, but with similar results, missing by a huge margin, but igniting the ground and creating some light. The frogs then take advantage of this light and start attacking all at once. Gordon is furious at the fire and scrambles to put it out anyway he can, kicking dirt doesn't work, so he decides to... pee it out. [I had him roll a heavily penalized HT for forcing himself to pee at the exact moment, which he succeeded, followed by another penalized roll to have enough to completely extinguish the fire... which he didn't.] In the meantime, while Gordon fumbled with the fire, Xelin, Cassana and Sheek were able to defeat the majority of the frogs [an explosive fireball from Gordon defeated almost half of them in one go.]
The party decided to butcher the frogs and [using the rules from Low-Tech Companion 3 for butchering] created more rations than they could carry. Traveling alongside a stream and with all the frog meat they could carry, their food troubles were over... for now, but the party wakes up tired from sleeping in awful conditions.
On the fifth day, the party is surprise attacked by goblins wearing indigo twill weaved robes [I read Dungeon Fantasy Treasures!] But quickly snaps out of it. They spot an archer and a mage atop a steep incline on the opposite side of the river they are traveling alongside. Two armed goblins with swords are protecting the dry approach to their allies.
A horse is ushered to its doom?
Elizabeth orders her horse to charge through and wait [!!!] right behind the guards. The guards decide to attack the horse's hind legs, crippling it without giving the horse a chance to protect itself.
Sheek takes a running leap at the river and jumps as far as he can, and starts swimming towards the steep incline, and Elizabeth follows suit jumping across and into the water. Sheek reaches the opposite wall and starts climbing and Elizabeth decides to pull herself onto a stepping stone that another party member points out to her.
Gordon hears the enemy mage chanting, and decides to shoot at him, a fairly weak blow leaves the mage undisturbed as it continues mumbling it's spell, Sheek fires again and misses.
At this point the archer, aiming for the leader of the party on the stepping stone, shoots towards the vitals, so Elizabeth dodges and jumps into the water, saving herself from the arrow, but swallowing a lot of water [critical failure on a swimming roll, followed by multiple failures trying to right herself in the water.]
Cassana tries her sleeping learned prayer but it backfires [another critical failure!] and she instead falls asleep, taking her out of the battle early!
Gordon eventually takes out the archer [fatally] and the mage [unconsciousness,] and the two goblin warriors try to run away. Sheek takes a valuable jewel from the downed mage, and then blocks one of the escaping goblins and Gordon shoots the other in the brain as it is running away. He wounds the one that Sheek blocks in the leg. Sheek ties up the two surviving enemies and begins interrogating the wounded warrior. [Sheek fails miserably and the goblin rolls very well against will] He cackles that he'll never sell out the cause, and as Sheek executes him, the captive goblin locks eyes with the captor goblin, and smiling and struggling he continues to sing an anthem of sorts until he faints and dies, mildly unsettling Sheek.
The session ends here.

After Action Report

  • There were a ton of critical failures. I think my players need to seriously consider investing in Luck [only one character, Sheek, has it right now.]
  • I almost felt tested in terms of whether actions yield consequences or not [choosing to not gather food, choosing to send a horse by itself to fight two armed guards, choosing to fight completely in the dark (Which, actually, that turned out to be a valid and good strategic call as three of the characters could either see well enough anyway or had enough skill to brute force the penalties away,)] but I feel like I dealt with the events judiciously.
  • I feel that the terrain was really interesting this time and made some unusual strategic options possible.
  • I started the campaign slightly simple to the point where I wasn't even going to track food for the first adventure, but since players asked for some more variation from fighting, I introduced it this session. It feels kinda funny that the problem was solved far above and beyond all need on the very first day. The players did enjoy the change of pace though.
  • The party has a crippled horse with negative HP, and no one is especially skilled at healing animals. Besides the fact that losing an ally is a big loss of character points, and would require the party to carry a few hundred pounds of gear, I'd be kinda sad because I don't want a horse to die. Cassana can heal the HP loss and the crippling apparently according to Lay On Hands in Divine Favor, but it will require a lot of HP.
  • I'm going to research the loot the party is entitled to off-line, because fiddling with treasure tables and encumbrance values during a session is a real good waste of time.


  1. I forgot to use Sheek's luck. I can't wait for the next session

    1. You never got in enough trouble to need it! It get's tricky whe nothing bad happens because you don't know if you should save it or not.


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