Sunday, 11 December 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 30: Battle With The Stone Axe Orcs

Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (329 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (329 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (339 points)

Player Absent:
Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (349 points)

Day 74 (Cont.):
Weather: Sunny, No Wind
Date: Coreli 5th, 2526
The orcs were arranged with the glaive-wielding cavalry and a shaman on the left flank, polearm-wielding footmen on the right, and archers protected by shieldbearers in the middle.  While the party debated what to do, the shaman cast several spells, and then the biggest orc, riding the biggest horse, blew a horn and the cavalry and flanking footmen began to charge while the archers nocked arrows.

The human guardsmen knelt down behind the 3' earthen wall to hide from the archers while waiting for orcs to come through the "gate", while the mounted orcs approached and strafed the wall, attacking Zaxod as they moved from left to right, breaking one of his axes in the process.  Aurum started casting Great Haste on Mor'ath, but took an arrow from the archers and lost concentration.

Arc cast Shield 4 on Zaxod, and then Major Healing after the big orc slashed the half-orc with his glaive.  Mor'ath moved to the right to deal with the footmen, two of whom tripped as they tried to jump over the wall, and parried and killed the third with his orichalcum saber before Aurum cast Panic, scaring one of the prone ones away.

Zaxod stood up and chopped the legs of horses as they rode by, knocking two riders off, one of whom went Berserk.  Arc turned and cast Major Healing, then Shield 4 on Aurum, to protect him from the archers, just as Mor'ath finished off the last footman.  Aurum downed a healing potion, and one of the guards cut a horse open as its rider tried to go through the "gate", only for the rider to stick the landing.

The big orc and another cavalryman jumped the wall on horseback and moved to harrass the party's backline while Mor'ath dodged arrows and killed the dismounted rider.  Zaxod jumped the wall and crippled the dismounted berserker's leg, but took a few hits from it and another dismounted rider with a glaive.  Aurum fired off a 4d Fireball at the big orc as he rode by, but it just seemed to annoy him, while Mor'ath stabbed the other rider in the eye, knocking him off of his horse which continued running north.

Noticing that Zaxod was distracted, the big orc used his mount's mobility to flank behind him and landed an All-Out Attack (Double) to the skull from behind with his glaive, knocking him past a couple death checks and leaving him prone and stunned on the far side of the wall, in plain view of the archers and the surviving dismounted rider.

Arc cast a Shield 4 on himself and then ran around the wall to start healing Zaxod as one of the guards managed to knock the big orc off of his horse.  One of the archers hit Zaxod with an arrow, but it bounced off of his mail shirt, and one of the guards had his halberd knocked from his grip when he tried attacking the big orc.  The big orc stood up, let out a bestial roar, and attacked Zaxod as he, too, regained his feet.  The big orc's horse charged Arc but bounced off, and Mor'ath sprinted left to reinforce Zaxod, and killed the big orc with repeated eye-stabs.

With their leader dead, the rest of the orcs fled, and the party split.  Mor'ath ran to the north while Arc, Aurum, and Zaxod hobbled west.  Mor'ath arrived to find Vel the swordswoman and Cirth the high elf archer wounded, but alive, with the orcs in retreat, and set back off to the west.  Arc finally managed to get Zaxod up out of the negatives just as they arrived at the western gate, at the same time as Mor'ath.

The situation was grim, with Trugal the halfling standing alone, several arrows in his chest, against six orcs, and four more with bows further back.  Mor'ath sprinted in and killed one as Trugal was struck several times and went down, and Aurum cast Panic, successfully scaring the remaining five orcs away, while Arc moved to help Trugal.

Zaxod charged over the wall and threw his remaining (non-throwing axe) towards the archers, who loosed a volley.  One arrow bounced off of Zaxod's shirt, and two were blocked and dodged by Mor'ath, who killed two of the retreating orcs and then stopped.  The archers broke, and Zaxod gave chase, felling three more orcs with his great axe before heading back to the rest of the party.  Arc informed the party that Trugal was dead, and the party vowed vengeance against the Stone Axe orcs.

Mor'ath's orichalcum saber is a great boon, as it lets him parry just about anything, instead of almost nothing.  Without it, he'd be dodging a lot more often (at a still-respectible 13 or so).

Forgot about Aurum's Bless when he got hit with the arrow, but it got spent almost immediately after on an attack from a horseman anyway.

At one point, Zaxod said something along the lines of "goddamn these horseorcs are hard to deal with".  It's almost like cavalry dominated medieval warfare or something.

After his axe broke, Zaxod parried a couple of hits with his Boxing parry, because he was too busy killing to draw another weapon that was capable of parrying.  I should probably make it more clear how defensive attack works as well.

Arc healed 100HP this fight.

Mor'ath noted that if the archers staggered their fire, he'd have had a harder time, because he was able to expose his back whenever they had just fired.

We use Extra Effort in Combat, and a couple of things were brought up.  Giant Step is ruled to be 1 extra yard, not an entire extra step, and both Heroic Charge and Rapid Recovery are banned.

With Shield 4, it's really hard to hit people who have great defenses to start, unless you can hit them in the skull from behind (which keeps happening to Zaxod).

Bringing people back from the dead is no longer as easy as getting the money together and going to a church.  30 years ago, the gods started requiring those seeking to raise someone to go on rigorous quests, proving their worth and furthering that god's agendas.  There are also rumours of foul demons capable of raising the dead, for a price measured in blood and souls.

Bless now has concrete end points, with concrete results, to hopefully end arguments about what exactly it should do and when it should end.

Bless 1
If you are hit by an attack you normally could not defend against (critical, from behind, etc) you get a defense at -2 on top of whatever other penalties there might be.
If you fail to defend against a normal attack, you get two rerolls, as per Luck.
If you fail or critically fail at a task that would expose you to harm (failing an attack, failing to dodge a trap, etc), you get two rerolls, as per Luck.

Bless 2
If you are hit by an attack, regardless of whether you could defend against it, it misses.
If you fail or critically fail at a task that would expose you to harm, you automatically succeed.

Bless 3
If you are hit by an attack, regardless of whether you could defend against it, it critically misses.
If you fail or critically fail at a task that would expose you to harm, you automatically critically succeed.

Escapees from the first battle:
-3 shieldbearers
-3 archers
-1 shaman
-2 heavy footmen

Escapees from the second battle:
-1 mounted heavy
-2 archers
-2 shieldbearers

1 for general success
1 for good roleplaying
2 for combat (worthy, outnumbered 2:1)
MVP was a three-way tie, but went to Mor'ath for mass murder

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