Saturday, July 30, 2016

Session Capture: Bad Company Session 6, A Rough Path is Traversed; A Difficult Battle is Fought

If you pretend this picture is
a little more craggy,
it's pretty apt.
This session, the party mends up the horse, finds a fork in the path and chooses the more difficult shorter path, and then fights a battle wherein several to too many close calls were had. It was mostly fighting though.

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. [Elizabeth was out, decided to have her rest.]
    • 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.
    • 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. [Xelin was out, decided to have his character rest.]
  • NPCs [None of them involved this session except Al Freido]
    • 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

Sessionly progress in travelling.
The session starts with Cassana healing Al Freido. Elizabeth was beside herself with remorse and swooned for leading the horse directly into peril. The fifth day ended, and no one was attacked.
On the sixth day, Gordon and Sheek decided to bicker, and Xelin had something of an episode, no one knows why, but he seemed listless and wouldn't speak. Al Freido was well enough to walk again after having his injuries healed, and so the party proceeded as normal, as the sky began to grow gray for the first time since 
The party hides Al and the bunch behind
the horse.
When a fork in the river appeared, one path rising gently, another steep, the party decided the steep path would save time since it was headed in the right direction. This left much of the party exhausted for what lay ahead of them.
Out in the open before them was a campsite with a huge fire [in broad daylight, yes] and amongst them an ogre, all wearing gray clothes. Beside them was a tied up woman with pale white but slightly blue tinged skin.
The party noticing the enemy first [seemingly] hid behind a cluster of trees. The addled Elizabeth and Xelin were considered well enough at least to protect the horse, and so the bickering Sheek and Gordon proceeded ahead covertly with Cassana taking up the rear.
[Several failed perception and stealth checks later.]
Sheek approaching carefully from below a rocky switchback wants to peer above an overlook where the party is camping. What he unfortunately cannot see that neither Cassana nor Gordon can communicate to him [Cassana tried by throwing a rock, but missed by quite a wide margin] is that one of the goblins had an arrow nocked and pointed and was waiting patiently for just the right moment when he would show his head.
Gordon couldn't even try because he was all the way on the other side of the field... actually, right in the middle of the field. The goblins somehow didn't notice him anyway [or they were pretending not to notice him.] He saw a shaman among them, and thinking it might be the most dangerous target, let loose an arrow and shot at it, watching it collapse to the ground [it was acting, and the character had no skill at any level high enough to attempt to discern at such a distance.] Gordon watched as one goblin from the tent saw what was happening and ran away.
Sheek heard the slumping body and decided to climb up and over for a look, and that is when the goblin let loose an arrow... but critically failed, snapping the bow. He was now well within the campsite and decided to attack the goblin closest to him as it seemed obvious by now that they were noticed. Sheek used an all-out double attack to throw two knives at the nearest goblin, neither of which struck true. And this is when the biggest part of the trap is revealed.
The shaman that had fallen over for several seconds now cackled as it unleashed a fireball on the defenseless Sheek who was greatly injured. Coincidentally, at this point Cassana just happened to catch him up from behind and was able to heal him before the other goblin could finish Sheek off. Meanwhile, the ogre and the captain of the goblins started charging at Gordon who started shooting at both, but missing or striking armor. Suddenly [thanks, Magery 0] Gordon realized magic was at work somehow, and that would explain why his arrows were't working.
The Ogre and the chief were soon upon Gordon, and the ogre attempted to tackle him to the ground but failed. Sheek defeats one of the goblins when it gets close enough to fight, blade to blade. The shaman seeing the sign that we are at the beginning of the end orders a goblin to take the maiden and run.
Gordon runs through and tries getting there first, so does Sheek, who takes a long leap over the campfire to close the distance quickly. As Sheek gets close, an enemy goblin approaches him from behind. Sheek veers from the maiden to attack the goblin [using heroic charge] and is able to overcome it in a single attack. He shouts to the now nearby Gordon that the defensive pailing has been brought down since the shaman is no longer able to maintain it. Gordon tries to test it immediately by shooting at the goblin right to Sheek's rear, but misses. The goblin behind him though once again brings Sheek to negative HP with a swing of his ax. [Sheek uses luck to not pass out] Sheek turns around and evaluates the target while trying to overcome the shock penalties, but now with the pailing gone, Gordon is able to shine and he begins bringing all the enemies down one by one with his bow and agility. [He also makes a targeted attack to the ogre's groin, causing it to fall over.] The chief seeing this begins to flee, but Gordon shoots him from behind, the near death goblin leader makes to surrender. Gordon says that the ogre must be incapacitated, and Cassana tries using a prayer to put him to sleep, but critically fails again, putting herself to sleep. Gordon, with no one to tell him no, decides to kill the ogre, but keep the chief as a prisoner.
Cassana shortly after she awoke, now that she was much closer, realized the prisoner was a water elemental.

After Action Report

  • I used weaker monsters, but much stronger tactics this time, and I think it made for a much more interesting battle.
  • Luck probably saved Sheek's life.
  • All-Out Attacks nearly ended Sheek's life.
  • I think the usage of the terrain made for a much more interesting encounter as well.
  • I think putting absent players on pause versus using them as sock puppets worked better for me.
  • I tried using an incentive system for the players to award each other for role playing, borrowing ideas from other RPGs, but I don't think it worked that well because the idea wasn't well understood. I want to try it again, but I think I need to explain it better.
  • I got a huge mat now. The other mat was a bit tight, and I think this new mat helped enable some of the more interesting terrain.

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