Sunday, September 25, 2011

DragonLance Double-Header

I ran TWO, separate Savage Worlds/Dragon Lance games today, for two separate groups…

The first was for the kids. The whole point of picking up all the old DragonLance stuff was to run a campaign for the kids. I’ve been promising I’d run if for them for weeks and we finally sat down and played through the first encounter.

Keira was playing a feminized version of Tasslehoff Burrfoot, and Finnegan played Flint Fireforge and Tanis Halfelven.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The kids were pretty darn excited!

Unlike the game I’m playing with the Saturday Night Savages, the kids are playing pre-generated characters I’ve come up with based on the original characters in the adventures/novels/etc.

In the first encounter Tanis, Flint, and Tasslehoff are returning to Solace after a five year absence. They are ambushed by Fewmaster Toade, and his Hobgoblins, looking foe the “Blue Crystal Staff”

Tasslhoff, Tanis and Flint surrounded by hostile hobgoblins.

Two of the hobgoblins rushed Flint and Tanis. One landed a telling blow on Tanis! Luckily Tanis soaked three of the four wounds!! (Would have made for a short campaign if the leader was beat down by a hobgoblin on the first encounter of the first adventure!?)

Tasslehoff scarpered for the woods where she shot one of the hobgoblins and took him out of the fight. The remaining Hobgoblin gave chase, swinging wildly at the small kinder. Tass drew her sword and beat down her assailant!

Tanis just couldn’t wound a hobgoblin to save his life…. After the Kender had taken out two on her own the remaining hobgoblins attempted to flee. Flint finally knocked down a hobgoblin as it turned to flee.

And that was pretty much it for their first game… Everyone was pretty stoked and I’m sure will be constantly haranguing me for game #2!


Shortly after finishing up with the kids the regular Saturday Savages showed up for game three of our campaign. I have to say I was actually totally prepared for the adventure – ready for almost any eventuality – the encounter with the “clerics” on the road to Haven… plus all the potential encounters on the long road to Haven… encounters within Haven and the audience with the Highseekers… The Elves… The River… and they circumvented all that by actually spotting the damn white stag and following it through Prayer’s Eye Peak into Darken Wood where they had their brief chat with the Forest master and jumped on the Pegasi to fly off to Que-Shu. They had aquick look around the burning village and pressed on up the Sageway towards Xak Tsaroth… and that’s where we ended the adventure (a littler earlier than normal - because I totally wasn’t prepared to be running the Xak Tsaroth portion of the adventure!!).

NO pictures because there weren’t really even any tabletop encounters!?

Rick’s sent me his character background which I should get posted shortly… the others should have theirs in within the week (or NO BENNIES next week!!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Henry FitzArnulf

Henry FitzArnulf – Wildcard Knight of Solamnia - Christian
XP: 23 Rank: Seasoned
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d10, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 7 (9), Toughness 7 (10)
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Intimidate d6, Throwing d4, Survival d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d6, Swimming d4
Edges: Knight of Solamnia, Brawny, Arcane Resistance, Combat Reflexes, First Strike
Hindrances: Code of Honour (chivalry), Vengeful, Loyal
Gear: Heavy Armour, Large Shield, Sword, Dagger, etc…

Henry FitzArnulf is, somewhat reluctantly, an aspiring Knight of Solamnia. He is a quiet, taciturn man who keeps his feelings to himself, and tries to avoid attention, except in the presence of his friends, although he is given to the odd blasphemous outburst when surprised. His quiet exterior hides both a tendency towards depression and a quick and vicious temper, and people insult him at their peril. He is a large, fast, strong, skilled and resolute fighter, who is a master of the sword and shield. He wears his father's master crafted armour, which along with a fine longsword has been handed down for generations in the family.

Henry is the son of a real knight of Solamnia, Arnulf FitzHugh, himself the descendant of a long line of Solamnic knights. Arnulf did try to raise Henry in the traditions of the Solamnic code, teaching him the Oath and as much of the Measure as he could, and to fight and ride. Arnulf, however, was an outcast knight and a broken man who while preaching the code cheated, drank, stole, and beat Henry and his mother far more brutally than was ever required. His personal habits when combined with the general dislike for the Solamnic knights meant that Arnulf and his family could never remain in one place for long before being run off. This meant a hard life for Henry and his mother, who were forced to beg, borrow, and steal in order to get by. Events finally came to a head when Henry was fifteen. Arnulf was working as a bodyguard, and went on a particularly rough bender and started to beat his wife and Henry. Henry took off, but when he came back later that night, Arnulf had beaten his mother to death. Henry, in a fit of rage, fatally stabbed his comatose father in the throat, took his arms and armour, and then fled.

Henry spent several years traveling throughout Abanisinia working as a man-at-arms and caravan guard, until he ended up in Solace and met his current companions, the first people that he has felt comfortable with since his mother's death. Henry has never told anyone about his past other than that his father was a Solamnic knight who was killed, and that Henry inherited his arms. He will not speak of his mother under any circumstance, and reacts poorly to any mention of or questions about her. Henry has also decided that now that his father is gone, no-one will ever push him around. He reacts very poorly to any insult that he feels has been offered either to himself or to his companions. When the group split up, Henry went to look for other Solamnic knights, but found nothing. He is glad to be reunited with his friends, who he considers to be his new family and will defend to the death, and he is looking forward to more adventure.

Henry is very ambivalent toward the knights and their code. He can see that the code of the Solamnic knights is a good thing, and when feeling positive he talks up the knights and tries as best he can to live up to their ideals. Henry, for all he has been through, is a good person at heart, and he likes helping others. But when things are rough, or he is feeling melancholy, he sees the code as being an unobtainable standard, and his adherence to it wavers. After all, if his father was unable to live up to it, how will Henry ever do so? Similarly, Henry feels very ambivalent toward the knights of Solamnia in general. His father was a failure, and everyone must hate the knights for a reason, so even if he were to find one, it would probably be a big disappointment.

Savage Dragonlance

This all started because I was wanting to start a campaign for the kids… I thought they’d both dig a fantasy campaign… and I wanted a CAMPAIGN; an epic adventure of good versus evil sort of thing – not just a bunch of unrelated dungeon bashes… Immediately I thought of the Dragonlance Saga – which also has a great volume of novel tie-ins that I could probably get the boy reading.

Now I’ve read complaints that the campaign is a bit of a railroad; you just go from one event/encounter, doing what you need to do or finding what you need to find, then moving on to the next without a whole lot of choice in the matter. Frankly, a clearly laid out plot… that’s okay with me. The kids, I’ll point out are five and seven…

Anyway, I haven’t started playing with the kids yet – I’ll get back to that in a bit. I figured though, if I was doing all that work to prepare a campaign for the kids, why not run the same campaign for the Saturday (night) Savages!?

And so we’re beginning a new Fantasy/Savaged/Dragonlance campaign…

With the kids I think I’ll just make pre-generated characters based on the original characters. But for the Saturday evening campaign I’ve had the players make up their own and am running it as a sort of “What if ANOTHER group of heroic adventurers ran into Goldmoon and Riverwind before the characters of the novels ran into them?”

We started last week with four of the players making characters. Amanda is playing a human wizard, Patrick a Kender that is so buff and surly he might as well be a dwarf, Dave is an elf, and Christian is a Knight of Solamnia. (hopefully the players will all provide some background for their characrters – which I will post separately as they are submitted)

We then played a brief encounter along the road into Solace. The heroes were returning from some travel abroad and ran into some hobgoblins lead by Fewmaster Toede, who were looking for a blue crystal staff. Toede split, his goblins slain and the heroes carried on their merry way into Solace.

Sucks when you get a raise on a hit only to roll junk like this….

The next week (last night) Two more players who couldn’t make it the previous week made their characters; Rick made a Dwarven wanderer and Curtis made a priest (lacking divine magic because he worships the “false gods”).

Afterwards I muddled my way through them meeting at the inn of the last home (I’ve been reading the novel and the adventure module over the last couple weeks and things go down a little different in both so I got a bit confused between the two – but it all turned out good – the heros met Goldmoon and Riverwind.

A brief and confused brawl at the Inn of the Last Home

The Heros escaped from the Inn, and then ellusded some hobgoblins and made their way out of Solace!

We wrapped up the evening with one final skirmish as they discovered a a small party of hobgoblins guarding the bridge over the Solace Stream on road to Haven (where they have decided to accompany Goldmoon and Riverwind and seek the advice of the High Seekers)

The hobgoblins were dealt with in a swift and savage fashion – before finishing them off they interrogated one and discovered they, too, were looking for the blue crystal staff.

Hopefully this week I’ll get those characters generated and get the kids started on their own campaign…

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gladiators Week Nine/Ten

I decided to wrap up the gladiator campaign this week with an “End-of-Season Battle Royale”. Next week we’ll be starting a new campaign.

I allowed the players to use any of their surviving gladiators plus they could make (recruit) one new one. I also said there would be an extra weeks rest to allow some injured gladiators a chance to recover.

So, we checked to see if any of the injured recovered; Aximae miraculously recovered all three wounds, as did Hipp O’Potomus!? Monotonous recovered two of his three wounds.

Game On!

Represented this week were Ludus Amanda, Ludus Davidus, Ludus Patrician, and Ludus Rick. It was an every team for themselves the last team standing wins.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

With four Ludi represented each took one corner. On the left is Ludus Davidus, at the top is Ludus Rick, and over on the right is Ludus Amanda. Ludus Patrician is just off the bottom of the picture.

There’s Ludus Patrician in the corner facing off Ludus Davidus

On turn one Dimus Daius shouted “Follow me!” to his blind brother Darkus and dashed towards the gladiators of Ludus Davidus. Noobus, of Ludus Davidus, went sprinting past going the other way. Before Dimus realized what was happening or could shout a warning to his brother, Noobus had raised (a couple times) on his stealth roll vs. the blind Darkus Daius (even with -4 for running?!) and so I gave him “The Drop”

Noobus took down Darkus Daius with one mighty blow.

Dimus was then swarmed by the remaining member of Ludus Davidus – well… those that could get to him…

Meanwhile, at the other end of the arena… The members of Ludus Rick were still praying as the gladiators of Ludus Amanda charged towards them.

The following turn Dimus found himself fighting three of Ludus Davidus’ gladiators…

The gladiators of Ludus Amanda pinned the (still praying) gladiators of Ludus Rick in the corner. Strangely I had been thinking earlier in the day about possibly penalizing combatants that were trapped against a wall or in a corner… but thought it not the best time to implement such changes lest anyone think I was fovouring anyone… (the old Gamemasters Girlfriend Syndrome).

… make that FOUR of Ludus Davidus’ gladiators…

The following turn saw TWO jokers come out… and just to make things interesting when jokers came out I had a few random events lined up. First any time a joker came up the Sagittarius would shoot at a random gladiator with his bow. As it turned out the Sagittarius was a bit of a misogynist because EVERY time he took a shot it was at one of Amanda’s gladiators!?

Also I had a group of convicts that were sent out a random door.

The convicts were easily taken care of by Ludus Davidus but it did provide a couple of his gladiators with a couple turns worth of distraction – which kept Dimus in the game a few more turns…

Oh and those first jokers also brought out a lion…

Taking care of the convicts…

One by one they fell…

… and, finally, so did Dimus.

Ludus Amanda took down the lion and Aximae, but Rick’s new gladiator… whose name I didn’t even note down… was proving a bit of a tougher nut to crack.

After dealing with Ludus Patrician and the convicts the gladiators of Ludus Davidus formed a battle line a slowly advanced across the arena…

One of Amanda’s damage rolls – hit, with a raise, only to roll three ones!?

Were they just keeping pace with the slow one or were they waiting for Ludii Rick and Amanda to do as much damage to each other before entering the fray…? There was also a lot of smack-talking to gain as many intimidate/taunt bonuses as they could before entering combat with the girlie gladiators.

Seeing the end draw near – and wanting to get in while they were still distracted by Rick’s slowly dying gladiator – Noobus did his amazing sprint-from-one-end-of-the-arena-to-the-other-and-wild-attack moves…

The next turn another joker (or two…?) turned up and another lion entered the arena.

Noobus, not wanting it to be attacking them from behind while fighting Ludus Amanda, sprinted back across the arena to engage the lioness.

Ludus Amanda and Ludus Davidus square off.

Noobus is mauled by the lioness and will remain shaken for the rest of the game – due, mostly, to a d4 spirit!?

The gladiator so Ludus Davidus and Ludus Amanda pair off and beat on each other ferociously!

Things started going downhill for Ludus Davidus

Finally all four of Amanda’s gladiators were beating on poor Hipp O’Potamus (though two of her gladiators had three wounds, and another had two!?)

The finally took him down…

On the same turn the Lioness finished off poor Noobus.

Ludus Amanda won – and, miraculously, all of her gladiators were still standing, thought just barely. Two of her gladiators had taken three wounds, and another had two!? Even more strangely Sonja had no wounds and still had three bennies!?

The campaign was fun… and I'd definitely run a similar one again (with a few tweaks)… but I’ve had enough of it for now and I’m ready to move on.

Next week we’ll be beginning a new campaign – a sprawling fantasy saga: the original Dragonlance campaign! It’s been around so long and spawned so many other adventures and books and novels it can’t be THAT bad… can it…? Anyway I’ve tracked down most of the original modules and have ordered a couple of other books… I’m even reading through the original Chronicles novels (that were tied to the campaign modules).