Saturday, 23 April 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 4

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (254 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (264 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (251 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (250 points)

Day 6 (Cont.)
Arc scooped out the wyvern's remaining eye for alchemical purposes, but ruined the teeth, while Zaxod removed one of the beast's feet as proof of its death and Aurum failed to extract its poison.  After resting for a bit, and curing Zaxod of the wyvern's poison, Arc tried healing him again but failed thanks to stacked penalties from earlier castings of Major Healing.  The party then headed back to Carda to hire a tanner, named Orric, to come out and remove the hide, and then returned to the forest with his cart and mule.  On the way back, Arc tried healing Zaxod again but accidentally did 15 damage when he crit failed his roll, earning Zaxod the quirk Distrusts Clerics.

The group left Zaxod in Greenbrook, worried he couldn't make the climb to the wyvern's lair again.  The half-orc returned to Alderman Tobias to inform him that they had killed the beast, presenting the leg as proof, but Tobias didn't like the look of the blood-covered half-orc brandishing a severed leg and asked to wait for the rest of the party.  While that was going on, Orric the tanner removed and then purchased the wyvern hide, minus his 30% fee (and some more for it being heavily burned), for $1848, which he would pay them once back in Carda, and then the party removed the (250lb) head as a trophy.

The rest of the party reunited with Zaxod in Greenbrook while he was cleaning the wyvern blood out of his everywhere, parted with Orric the tanner (who took the wyvern head into Carda for them) and presented themselves to Tobias.  He thanked them, sent a messenger pigeon to the Adventurer's Guild reporting their success, and invited them to the harvest festival the next evening.  The group spent the night in Greenbrook, with Aurum benefiting from Healing Slumber.

Day 7
Arc healed Zaxod some more, after much arguing over just how good he was at his job (turned out he was very good, because he crit his next casting of Major Healing), and then the group headed back to Carda, where they stopped by the Adventurer's Guild to collect their pay for the wyvern job (10gp), and grab the wyvern head to sell to the Duke.  At the gates of the Duke's District, the party asked the pair of guards standing watch to ask for a meeting to negotiate the sale of the trophy.  The meeting was set for the next morning, at the Jovial Unicorn tavern.

After grabbing their pay from Orric the tanner, refilling power items, and buying some Potions of Minor Healing from Bruno the Crimson's Splendiferous Magical Goods, the party walked back to Greenbrook for the harvest festival.  Shortly thereafter, Alderman Tobias gave a short speech and asked Arc to lead the village in a prayer to Pelor, thanking him for the bountiful crop.  Tobias then started the feast, and stated that the games of skill would begin shortly.  Arc held back and socialized, while Aurum, Mor'ath, and Zaxod all entered the games.

While they were eating, an older man came by and gave Arc a gift of 2 canteens of his finest mead as thanks for stopping the wyvern.  Shortly after, the games of skill started with arm-wrestling, the first of four competitions.  Aurum and Zaxod both lost in the first round, while Mor'ath made it to the second round before losing.  The winner was Ed the Woodsman, a fairly beefy villager, who received a red ribbon as proof of his strength.

In between events, a gaggle of children approached Aurum and asked him to show them some magic.  Safety being of no concern to wizards, he shot off a Fireball, and then cast Water Jet, knocking one of the children back 2m and off his feet.  The kids loved it.

The second competition was climbing.  The first to climb to the top of the oak tree in the center of the village and grab the yellow ribbon would win.  Mor'ath managed the climb with ease and won the yellow ribbon, with Zaxod a close second.  After winning, Mor'ath was approached by a local farmgirl who "needed his help", and led him around the corner to make out.

The third competition was one of skill: throwing canvas bags filled with dirt into a barrel.  Aurum missed the first shot, at 5m, while Zaxod and Mora'th moved on to the next round.  While waiting for the next round to start, some drunk guy shoved Zaxod for lookin' at his girl funny.  Zaxod yelled something about axes in an Intimidate-ing manner and shut the drunkard up.

Distracted by a look from the girl in question, Zaxod missed his next throw, while Mora'th advanced to the final round.  Finally, Mor'ath won in the final round by sinking 2/3 throws and won the blue ribbon.

While the mugs and tables were being set up for the final competition, a drinking contest, Arc was asked to bless a baby, which he did, and received some more gifts, this time 4 hooded wool cloaks from one of the sheep farmers.  He tried to say it wasn't necessary, but the old woman insisted.  Meanwhile, Aurum had come up with a plan.

Losing the previous three events quite horribly had bruised his ego, and so he decided to cheat in the drinking contest by continually casting Purify Water, pouring the ale through his fingers, and hoping nobody noticed.  Somehow, nobody did, and after using Luck on his first casting, which he critically failed, Aurum handily beat out Ed, Zaxod, and eventually Mor'ath, and won the green ribbon.

The games complete, Mor'ath was gifted with a crown of flowers and pronounced champion of the festival.  A short while later, with the festival winding down, Arc cast Neutralize Poison on Aurum, Mor'ath, and Zaxod, and the party walked back to Carda and returned to the Jovial Unicorn tavern, where Don the innkeeper berated them for being out so late.

Day 8
In the morning, a messenger from Duke Arthund Vynce of Carda stopped by and negotiated the sale of the wyvern head for 10gp, and then left, cursing how early it was.  The party decided to check out the contract for the mines.

I was surprised Zaxod lost the arm-wrestling given his 15ST, but the dice gods are fickle.

Aurum bought off Frightens Animals and took a quirk Scares Animals to replace it.

2 for success
2 for roleplaying well
MVP was Arc for all the healing

Saturday, 16 April 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 3: Wyvern Hunt

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (254 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (255 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (250 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (250 points)

Day 5 (Cont.)
The Dire Wolves got surprised thanks to Born War Leader 2 + Tactics + higher IQ, and were defeated pretty quickly, with no wounds.  The group gave up tracking when they realized they had switched trails at some point and returned back to Greenbrook.

Once back in town, Arc decided to ask alderman Tobias if they would be allowed to stay overnight, but was approached by another villager who claimed that he had seen what was stealing the sheep: a dragon.  The villager described how he had seen a great serpent with huge wings and two powerful legs grab a sheep and fly off to the southwest.

Though the description was poor, Aurum realised that the beast the villager had described was actually a wyvern, which, though less intelligent than a dragon, was still a massive threat due to its immense strength, tough scales, and the deadly venom delivered by its tail.  Luckily, wyverns are also nocturnal, meaning that they could potentially take it by surprise, if they could find it during the day.

After asking alderman Tobias' permission, the group decided to rest near the sheep pen closest to the forest in case the wyvern attacked overnight.  Luckily for them, it did not.

Day 6
Arc tried Tracking the blood trail (now two days old, and largely washed away) and miraculously succeeded, finding the 30' stone cliff where the beast had made its lair.  Mor'ath easily climbed the sheer stone face, saw the wyvern sleeping over on a raised area, and dropped a rope back down for the rest of the party.  Zaxod tried next, but was too heavy for the rope and it snapped, sending him plummeting to the ground.

Zaxod tried, and failed, again, so the group decided to wait for him to recover.  Unfortunately, a wandering Owlbear happened upon them, and, thanks to Frightens Animals, it rushed Aurum before he could climb out of reach.  Mor'ath tried to drop on top of it but missed and landed on Aurum instead while Zaxod hacked it up.  Once it was dead, Arc used his knife to harvest some bits for Alchemy ($500, 1lb).

Arc healed up the wounded, and with a little bit of luck, and a sturdier rope, everyone managed to climb up.  Aurum and Arc charged up 9d Fireball and Sunbolt spells while Mor'ath snuck into position right beside the sleeping beast.  Zaxod then failed his (default) Stealth roll, while the wyvern critically succeeded its Perception and woke up.

Aurum landed a solid hit for over 30 damage, lighting the wyvern on fire, while Arc landed a 20 damage hit to the face and Mor'ath struggled to penetrate its thick scales.  The beast took flight and bit Aurum, grappling him, but was parried by Zaxod, who crippled its wing.  With the wyvern prone, Mor'ath got in some vitals stabs while Zaxod landed two neck blows before being stung by the tail.

After many more attacks (and succeeded death rolls), the still-flaming wyvern died from a stab to the eyes, putting it at -160HP.

The ambush made the fight a lot easier because the wyvern was below 0HP the entire time, but it still put up a hell of a fight.  HT 14 might have been a bit much.

Zaxod doing half-damage on all successful parries assisted greatly in both fights.

Not sure if I should have an Owlbear be affected by Frightens Animals, because it's kind of animal-adjacent.

2 for success
2 for roleplaying well
1 for beating a Worthy foe
MVP was Aurum for landing the big opening hit.

Friday, 8 April 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 2: Arrival in Carda

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (254 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (250 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (250 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (250 points)

Day 3 (Cont.)
Arriving in Kral Narthis, the party went to the Silver Axe tavern to get out of the rain.  Aurum gambled some more and lost $50, while Mor'ath asked a guard about hobgoblins and was told that they might be more active because they are growing in number.

Day 4
The party left Kral Narthis early, and the rain got worse throughout the day.  Worried about more ambushes, Mor'ath scouted ahead again, and around noon spotted a group of 6 well-armed mercenaries (swords and mail, heraldry with a black dragon on blue field) blocking the road.  Before he could get back to the party, however, he was grabbed by a trio of mercenaries that were hiding in the woods (Mor'ath rolled 7 MoS on his Stealth, but he failed his Observation pretty badly so he had to move closer, while the mercs rolled well on their Vision, and with +2 from being a group, no penalties from close proximity, and +2 for time spent, they saw him before he saw them).

Mor'ath was questioned by the leader of the mercenaries, a man named Luccio, and failed his Fast-Talk to convince him that he was only an advance scout of a far larger caravan.  And so, without anybody to inform them of the pending ambush, the rest of the party wandered directly into the mercenaries.

Gylium hid in the back again while Zaxod went forwards to talk to Luccio, who had 4 men guarding Mor'ath.  A successful Heraldry roll let the party know that the mercs were from the Dragons of Carda, one of the companies that had gone unpaid after the recent war between the cities of Etriada, Isserno, and Mefalis far to the west.  Luccio explained that they were "tax-collectors", that they claimed 10% on any trade coming through, and that he worked for a man named Bertio Addon.

These terms were rejected, so Luccio offered an alternative: a duel to first blood.  If Zaxod won, they could pass for free, but if Luccio won, the mercs would take 20%.  Zaxod accepted, and the duel began.  Both fighters played defensively, Luccio Evaluated while Zaxod used All-Out Defence (Double).  3 rounds later, Luccio tried an All-Out Attack (Determined), Rapid-Strike, with the first attack as a Feint, and the second a Deceptive Attack to the arm.  He succeeded at both, but was parried, which led to an easy attack to the unarmoured hand for Zaxod against a defenceless opponent.

Luccio freed Mor'ath and let the caravan pass, though one of his lieutenants complained that their boss would be annoyed if he continued to do this.

Tired and wet, the party arrived in Carda just as the sun was setting.  Gylium gave them the second half of their pay, with a 2sp bonus each, and offered them the same job in the opposite direction in about a week.  The party accepted, and then left for the Adventurer's Guildhouse to see if they could find any work.  They woke up the sleeping halfling manning the counter, and had their pick of two postings; they could stop whoever (or whatever) was stealing sheep from the nearby village of Greenbrook, or they could find whatever had murdered 4 miners in the nearby iron mines.

Zaxod asked about any rumours, and found out that hunters from Greenbrook had seen orcs in the forest a day or two away, far from the plains where they usually stay.  Eventually, they decided to hunt down the sheep thieves, cashed in their hobgoblin ears for $80, and went to the Jovial Unicorn Inn to sleep.  Aurum stayed up a bit later and lost $100 gambling.

Day 5
Overnight it had stopped raining, though it was still cloudy.  They sold the hobgoblin breastplate to Griffin's Arms, recharged power items at Bruno the Crimson's Splendiferous Magical Goods, and did some light shopping (a camo cloak for Mor'ath and two wooden sparring axes for Zaxod) before heading out to Greenbrook.

The party met with the village's alderman, an elderly human named Tobias, and he suggested it might be hobgoblins or bandits.  Zaxod told him it was orcs, which are much more dangerous, but that they'd take care of it.  Tobias took them to a farm that had lost a sheep the night before, and Arc tried his hand at Tracking.  They went through the forest for about an hour before finding a group of 3 Dire Wolves eating a deer.  Thanks to Frightens Animals, they reacted aggressively.

Forgot the footing/visibility modifiers during the duel.

Luccio could have done something smarter during the duel, but All-Out Attack seems appropriate to someone with Overconfident and it almost worked.

It was nice of Zaxod to strike with less than full strength, so that Luccio could keep his hand.  4d cutting to an area with no armour is no joke, and even with the lowered 1d+2 he crippled it.

2 for general success
2 for completing a minor quest
2 for roleplaying well
MVP was Zaxod for the duel

GURPS Free Cities Session 1

The Party:
Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (250 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (250 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (250 points)

Not Present:
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (250 points)

Day 1:
The party got off the boat in Adusia, and went to the local Adventurer's Guild to look for work.  Luckily, as members of the guild, their armour has a slight enchantment that marks them as members, and provides a slight pull towards the nearest guildhall, if it's within 1-2km.

They got a job to escort a dwarven spice merchant named Gylium to the town of Carda, 3 days travel to the south, for 20gp.  They went to Gylium's store, and found a thug leaning on the front door, who claimed his friends were inside discussing business with the merchant.  After a moment, negotiations broke down, Arc landed a solid blow with his staff, and the thug ran off.

Inside were 3 unarmed thugs holding Gylium against a wall.  A short skirmish (using turned blades and no spells) resulted in the thugs surrendering, and the guards hauling them off and talking about how the thugs' boss is going to be pissed that he has to pay bail.  After some unnecessary questioning by Aurum, Gylium thanked the party for their assistance, paid them half of their fee up front, and told them to be ready to leave the next morning.

They stayed the night at the Crimson Boot, an inn directly across from the adventurer's guildhall.  Aurum played some dice and won $25, despite his default Gambling skill.

Day 2:
The next morning, the party headed out to Cosium, the first stop on the road to Carda.  Thanks to Frightens Animals, Aurum spooked the horses, so Arc got to ride in the cart with Gyliulm, while Aurum and Mor'ath hoofed it.  The weather was fair, and the journey uneventful.  The party arrived at Cosium, a small town with a half-constructed palisade situated near the forest's edge, slightly before nightfall.

They stayed the night at the Wench and Flail inn where they met Cathney, an elven merchant and friend of Gylium, and her three guards, a male halfling, a female dwarven cleric, and a beautiful human swordswoman.  Cathney warned the party of a group of hobgoblins they had encountered further down the road; further north than the hobgoblins were usually sighted.

Day 3:
The weather took a turn for the worse and it began to rain.  The path to Kral Narthis, the next town on the route, went through light forest, and with the tales of hobgoblins Mor'ath, decided to scout ahead.  This paid off in the afternoon when he spotted a group of hobgoblins that had prepared an ambush, ready to drop a tree across the road.  There were hobgoblins in the forest on both sides of the road: some with spears and tower shields (one of whom had a bronze breastplate, and was clearly the leader), some with bows, and some kind of shaman.

The party decided to have Mor'ath sneak into close quarters with the hobgoblins on the left while Gylium hid in the back of the cart, and Arc and Aurum sat in the front to launch some missiles (Sunbolt and Fireball, respectively) at the group on the right.

Mor'ath snuck up successfully while Aurum managed to not spook the horses, and Arc drove the cart around the corner, into LoS of the hobgoblins, who failed a series of Tactics+4 and Vision+4 rolls to recognize that the party was obviously alerted and prepping missile spells, thanks to the rain and distance modifiers.

Mor'ath did very well, and managed to very quickly eliminate the hobs on his side with deceptive attacks and rapid strikes, despite their tower shields.  Arc and Aurum had more trouble, with both of their missiles not connecting.

Mor'ath took an arrow, but his armour caught it.  The leader and his spearman closed to Arc and Aurum, while the shaman cast an RPM version of Flash at Mor'ath, who resisted it.

Several hobgoblins tried to retreat, but Mor'ath caught them all with his Move 8, while Arc fought the leader with his staff and Aurum used Flame Jet to get rid of the other spearman by the cart.  The hobgoblin leader fought well, and managed to stab Arc for minor damage, but was quickly killed once Mor'ath regrouped.

As is tradition, the party looted the hobgoblins, and grabbed 32cp, 3sp, the hobgoblin leader's Cheap bronze breastplate ($420, 40lbs), and 8 pairs of hobgoblin ears after Gylium mentioned a bounty in Carda of $10 per ear.

They arrived at Kral Narthis just as the sun was setting.

I need to remember that Aurum has Frightens Animals more.

The ambush went well for Mor'ath (7/8 kills), but Arc and Aurum were easily blocked by shields.  It would have been a different story had they been ambushed, because none of them are heavily armoured, with Mor'ath in particular relying on high defences.

Adusia and Cosium are human towns, while Kral Narthis is dwarven.  Dwarven settlements are generally prefaced by a designation, such as Kral for towns.

2 for general success
2 for everybody roleplaying well
MVP went to Mor'ath for his killing spree