Thursday, June 9, 2016

Session Capture: Bad Company Session 1, Our heroes fight too many pelicans because their boss told them to.

Something like this.
So, this is the true ground-breaking, ribbon-cutting, inaugural session. Players are getting used to the system with some easy battles, and very slowly getting introduced to the plot as they fight their way out of a swampy delta.

The Cast

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Tapioca – A bunny-man samurai, and a master of martial arts and strategy, and former, disgraced captain of the guard for Emperor Dyson. He was framed for the assassination of the emperor and now uses his skills to help those he can while on the lam. Introduced to Captain Burbank by Emilio the Goldfish, Mr. Tapioca took Captain Burbank as his liege and master.
  • 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.

Session Summary

The first day, the party asks Captain Burbank about the mission ahead of them. He discovered a map, and was promised a very valuable treasure if he could loot it. That's what his crew is for, so that's to what the party is put to task. They feel supplies are adequate, and so they go forth. Elizabeth being a native of the islands reminds the cast that their are goblin bandits through usage of her Area Knowledge skill.
Approximate progress in
two days.
The party gets off to a slow start as Cassana is overly careful of falling over as she is afraid of falling into the swamp [she fails a hiking roll.] As the day goes on, Mr Tapioca hears a disturbance and scouts ahead as the member of the party with the most stealth. With a faltering step at the last moment, he is heard by a dire pelican. Luckily he fell behind a tree, so the pelican didn't see him and only came closer to investigate. Mr Tapioca gestures to the party to distract the bird, but over the distance, the message is obscured and only the word "distract" came through clearly. Xelin uses a fireball on a tree to startle the pelican, which turns away from its current preoccupation, giving Mr Tapioca a chance to escape.
The rest of the hike for the day went uneventfully. Elizabeth being the survival expert of the group had to default for Survival (Swamplands) to set up camp. Because of how good her Survival (Beach) skill is, this was not especially difficult, and the party could find a well secluded campground.
During Mr. Tapioca's watch, his hair began to stand on end, he felt the encroachment of a dangerous presence due to his Danger Sense, the pattering of many paws echoed in his ears, but thanks to Elizabeth's choice of a secluded campground, the party miraculously was not discovered. In the morning, Mr Tapioca let everyone know that he wasn't able to go back to sleep, not because he was scared [Night Blindness made it tense,] rather because he was in a tight tent with two fine ladies [Lecherousness] The recticant Xelin takes to the pipe [Addiction] to assuage his mind and remove the image from his head.
The next day, hiking is slow again, as Mr Tapioca is slightly tired. The party once again encounters pelicans [uh, broken random encounter table? Maybe I should have just chose something different?]
The party succeeds at stealth, all except for Cassana, who trips making a loud commotion alerting the birds.
A fight breaks out with the following highlights
  • Mr Tapioca does really good at tactics scoring a bunch of mulligan rolls for our heroes
  • He also kills a bird in one stroke with a lucky roll of all 6s for damage.
  • Xelin and Cassana make to throw lightning bolts into the water to perhaps catch the birds in a huge AOE attack. Unfortunately, in the preparations for the attack, the angered birds followed the party onto the tiny islands away from the water.
  • Mr Tapioca swings wildly at a giant fly and scores a critical failure his sword is flung backwards into the ground at Cassana's feet. She makes a [lightly penalized] dive towards the sword and throws it back to Mr Tapioca who readies it in a single turn.
  • Xelin declares he intends to keep one of the defeated pelicans for vittles, no one wants to keep the flies.
The party soon makes camp and has an uneventful night. The session ends there.

Rules Thoughts

  • Mr Tapioca got a ton of mulligans for a really good tactics roll. This rule is explained on p.60 of Martial Arts. I used it instead of the positioning rule because... I like it better.
  • I dunno any rules for what would happen if lightning would strike water, so I was going to use The effects of a level 2 explosion.
  • I accidentally got the rule for parrying unarmed attacks wrong. For future reference to myself, it is on p.376 of Basic Set - Campaigns
  • Rules for butchering animals are in Low-Tech Companion 2, on p.6. The pelican can be converted into a lot of food. Likewise, rules for breaking a monster down into parts to sell can be found on p.13 of Dungeon Fantasy 8. Dungeon Fantasy Treasures 1 can take this a step further with p.15 with rules to concentrate venoms. Basically, if I read this correctly, the poison sacs are worth about $3.50 a pound, and can be reduced significantly in weight. That said, our heroes don't have much in the way of carrying capacity.

Feedback and Reflections

  • The game was fun, but there was too much fighting and not enough other activities. This is probably because I miscalculated the size of the island, and because the session was shorter than originally planned. Indeed, I wanted to start off with some simple battles, go into some simple skill uses surviving the wilds, and deciphering clues, and all that, but we didn't have time. I will probably change my calculations to say each hex represents about a half mile instead, or just recreate the map with bigger 1 mile hexes.
  • As a GM, I was told that I did a good job of not mucking the game up with too many rules or looking things up, which is something I've been trying to work on, so I'm happy to hear that.
  • I think the fights might have been a little boring because it felt more like a slog because the enemies were a bit too weak. Maybe a battle with stronger and fewer opponents would be more interesting.


  • Instead of 3 hour sessions bi-weekly, we have decided to start playing 2 hour sessions weekly. The session will officially start an hour later, but people are welcome to come by earlier as convenient.
  • It is agreed that if a player is absent, the one player will be put on autopilot. If multiple players are absent, then the game will be cancelled.
    • While on autopilot, a character will earn the "obligatory" or "progression" points, but no role play points.
  • I will be managing the "official copies" of the character sheets, but I made printouts for the players for their convenience. If a player's sheet conflicts with mine, then mine is the correct one.

Image Attribution

CC BY 3.0,


  1. As a player I like a mixture of battle types; from Easy ones where the PCs get to be big damn heroes and defeat lots of opponents with little problem all the way to the real tough encounters where I am really wondering whether my PC is going to survive this time. Mix it up.

  2. I thought fighting the pelicans was fine. And the flies parrying with their faces was particularly exciting. :p

    1. It wasn't the fly parrying with its face, it was you parrying the fly's face.


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