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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:08 pm 
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The plan
The siblings know that the pirates will be surrounded by guards and sorcerers when they are driven before Gulu. It might be close to the harbor and all the lovely ships, but the opposition seems immense. Therefore they intend to strike the Tower camp.

Their plan is to conceal weapons and water in a fake caravan to Kinninguvu, manned by mercenaries. They will head the Tower camp, and attack the guards under cover of night.
Once the camp is theirs, they will arm the freed pirates and any other convict that will join them.
After this, all that remains is a forced march to Kiqwani and freedom.

Yes, as plans go, it’s a turd. The siblings have a bad feeling about it, too, but it´s the best they´ve come up with.

Anyone with Brains 2+ get feel unease when concidering it.
…and anyone with successful roll of tactics of height 3+ or any Strategy set can pinpoint the major flaws of the plan;

-To stealthily approach and attack and seize the camp without raising the alarm in the Hojad area is unlikely. Survivors or patrols are likely to alert the army units nearby- and that’s without considering the likelihood of Upunzi Visioning.

-To organize the exhausted and starved prisoners and do a forced march away from the Tower before sunup when the dust and buzzards reveals them to observers miles away will be very rough.

-But the biggest problem comes after this. More than a hundred weary, starved sailors, many probably injured, have little chance of getting out of the desert before Upunzine troops converge to block their path. Once found, the fugitives will be near-helpless against even a smaller force of disciplined, well-equipped desert veterans with archers and chariots… exactly the troops they will meet.

And… even if they should out-march or fight their way through the enemy, there is ample time for still more Upunzi troops to overtake them- and the Kiquani probably won´t want to provoke the Elders by sheltering a bunch violent foreigner bandits.

How it all goes down:
If the PCs do not interfere (or ever learn about the plans), the Elders uncover the plot, and forewarned, the army strikes as the caravan moves into the Hojar.
Shap´s thugs have already deserted, and Aiskenu and her cultists die trying to flee the chariots. The horsewomen fight well and die hard, riddled with arrows.
The twins are injured and seized, and added to the horde of Oblobs waiting to face Gulu in Upunzi.

This works well for the PCs. Any spies´ report of their activity are put aside, and they are presumed to have been mercenaries who mooched money from the twins before having the good sense of deserting.


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Hojad Area Map


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:45 pm 
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DESERT TRAVEL
When it comes to traversing the desert, most games will benefit from the GM rattling some dice and going “you cross the Hojad, tired and thirsty…”

But for those who have the inclination to make it a central part of the game, here´s the stats for it:

Travel times:
It is a four hour walk between the Tower camp and the town of Hojad (where any wandering, ill-supplied men are subjected to intense scrutiny as fugitives, and anyone else as possibly trying to aid fugitives).

From the Hojad town area, it is another twelve hours to Upunzi (or the Kiqwani trail).

(Anyone who spent more than a day in the Tower camp is already suffering from thirst and the heat, and start on –1 BODY.)

Dawn breaks at six in the morning, and night falls at six.
Darkness makes night travel in the broken terrain impossible for normal humans- there is nothing to do but huddle down and try to stay warm.

Every six hours of travel, each PC rolls (modified) BODY+COMMAND.
Failing to get a set means a further loss of 1 BODY to heat and dehydration.
(If the walkers rest for an hour per six hours of travel, they don´t need to roll, and don´t suffer a –1 to BODY).

If anyone is carrying armor, more weapons than a single axe, or spear, or other heavy equipment, require increasing height to pass each BODY+COMMAND roll.

Every full day, and each full night spent in the desert also costs each –1 BODY from exposure.
(Unless the travellers have enough water in daytime, and blankets for the cold nights).

-Skill use-
Anyone with the Endure skill can roll to ignore all penalties for lowered BODY.
Anyone who rolls a success with the Inspire skill, lets all others ingnore (Width of the roll) in lowered BODY penalties.

A successful Direction roll shaves (W) in hours off their total journey time.

--


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:46 pm 
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TROUBLE:

Anyone on foot (not mounted, or with a caravan of donkeys and horses, or in dune schooners) quickly attract uncomfortable attention.
The vultures know men on foot means food, and flocks of the lazily circling birds soon follow them high in the sky.

SOLDIERS
The trail of vultures attracts the attention of army patrols and the camps.
Once the telltale vultures are spotted, soldiery move out and set an ambush across the path, loathe to walk more than neccesary.

Such a patrol usually consists of ten spearmen and ten archers, led by a mounted officer or a lord in a chariot. They intercept the PC´s in 1d hours, unless night falls first.
These guys are professional desert warriors, and have 5-7d in neccesary skills.
They also have an elaborate smoke signal system in place, which lets them communicate effectively with other patrols or the camps during daylight.

Sense+Sight lets PCs spot the thin dust that trails the troops moving up to block their path.
Once spotted, the PC´s can try a Knowledge+Tactics vs. the enemy commanders´ Knowledge+Tactics, to avoid the ambush, or simply add four hours to their travel in order to circle the danger zone.

Troops will mercilessly kill any resisters marching the rest (back ?) to the Tower camp- where they will be put to death, if they´re escapees, or left to bake while Upunzi bureaucracy considers whatever claims they make.



HYENAS
Hyenas quickly find the walkers (within the hour) and begin to pad along, just out of weapon range. The beasts know the stink of tired, desperate men, and soon a sizeable pack is pacing them, seemingly uninterested.

The hyenas wait for darkness to attack, unless their intended victims are getting close to safety- then they attack in daytime.

When they attack, the pack, which now numbers (2.5x number of people), single out one target (whoever has the lowest Body score, or most badly wounded). Three Hyenas rush their target, biting for the legs, while the rest of the flock make Feint attacks against anyone trying to come to the victim´s aid (two Hyenas per individual).

Hyenas are lvl 2 Unworthies. (For actual attacks and feints, use the Wolf stats on pg. 309)
Their tactic is to keep everyone else away while they first immobilize their intended victim, and then rip out his throat (ie. attack the head) until he´s dead.

Once a victim is killed, the hyenas ignores the other humans, and squabble and fight over the carcass, ripping it to shreds. After having fed, they return their attention to the survivors, and the slow pursuit continues.

Success with a Knowledge+Tactics or a Sense+Hunting skills, find a distant sanctuary, some desert cliff or high dune that would give shelter from the Hyenas- if they can reach it before the flock hunts them down.
(BODY+COMMAND) again, with Endurance and Inspire to ignore own negative BODY stats, or to inspire others to ignore theirs.

Safety is still temporary, though… the Hyenas will wait, and every day and night in the desert will sap yet another BODY.

If two Hyenas are killed, or four are hurt, the flock will give up and seek easier prey… and return a day or so later, hoping thirst and heat has made their targets easier to bring down.


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:19 pm 
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I'd just like to say that's a gorgeous map.

-G.

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You like stories? I got stories. http://www.gregstolze.com/fiction_library/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:32 pm 
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GregStolze wrote:
I'd just like to say that's a gorgeous map.

-G.


Thanks- my technique is to have my wife, the professional artist, do something magnificent with my handmade squiggling : )


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Six things that happen during the Pageant of Punishment:

Lord Chaipir, in his best finery (which look quite tatty compared to the glorious vestments of the wealthy Upunziz present), trying to catch Gulus eye and look forceful and important, but soon lost in the sea of spectators and spearmen.

The strange tent erected in the middle of the plaza rolls and shakes. The soldiers and officials surrounding it seem terrified as they desperately hang on the guyropes.
A bunch of urchins sneak closer to have a peek inside before being chased off with surprising harshness.


The widow Masua, whose sailor husband was killed by Oblob pirates.
This small, angry woman has brught her three children to see the pirates punished.
She screams her anger at the captives and throw pebbles at them.
…But when the ragged men are consumed by Fehee she blanches.. and when heads and hands are hewn off the prisoners, the shouts for mercy.


A travelling oblob priest is held aloft as he displays the Holy Spiral in hammered bronze to the prisoners, for them to find the comfort of the uncaring void at this trying time.
The bejewelled priests of the Spider King and Iwvinu, and a few cultists of The Sun Mother and Kurwis the Crafty, mutter in displeasure at this pagan display, but decide to leave well enough alone, certain that the superiority of their gods is soon to be made manifest in rent flesh.


Pronskutaleke, spokesman of the local Oblobs, surrounded by cronies, has two baskets of silver jewelry lain at Gulus feet. He makes a short speech (in Futai) about her right to punish as she sees fit, and how all must submit to the justice of the Elders.
His speech is as fawning can be, and sounds more like a whiny declaration of loyalty than a plea for the lives of the captives.
The disgust of the few local oblobs present is apparent.


Iduran, a prosperous merchant from Ovyo, in Upunzi by chance, spots an old Oblob friend and noivistol partner among the prisoners.
Overcome with emotion, he begs the guards to talk with his old friend this last time, but is refused. Teary-eyed, Iduran and his friend (Kopstakemalanse, a marine) communicate their last farewells to each others families with shouts and gestures.

Vendors weave through the crowds selling wine and honey-fried meats.
An angry quarrel breaks out between a clan of vendors and an extended family who paid how much and when.


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:40 pm 
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When Oblobs attack !

The GM fortunately has a few options when staging this massive situation. If the group enjoys wargaming tactics, “Die, men” provides a great way of running the battle, letting clever preparation and good tactics tip the scales. (Notes later)

If that kind of battle-gaming isn´t in the group´s taste, the result of the desperate Oblob attack is described below. The GM and players can use this as backdrop for resolving their own attack on Gulu.

The following factors significantly affect the outcome:

- Are there weapons available for the oblobs?

-Do the PCs get Fehee to attack the Upunzi guards ?

-Has a route to the harbor been planned ?

-Did the Oblobs believe the rumor about Gulus amnesty ?
(yes, unless the PCs actively prevented this )

-Is the Captain taking part ?
(no unless the PC have convinced him to)

-Is the Captain of Marines taking part ?
(no, unless the PC managed to win him over)

(If the GM feels that the PCs actions void the problem, go ahead and count a no as a yes..
for example, if the Captain does not take part because he is dead, but the pcs have successfully established Melkenser as a new, better commander in the eyes of the Convicts, that’s a big yes).

Yes to all of the above-Tremendous oblob victory.
The pirates crush the troops opposing them and fight their way to the harbor, looting and setting fires before escaping in stolen ships. Epic poems are written about this day.
Gulu retreats.

Yes to five of the above-Big oblob victory.
The fight is hard, but most of the pirates break through to the harbor, seize boats and escape.
Gulu retreats.

Yes to four of the above-Oblob victory.
The oblobs lose about half their number, but the rest reach the harbor, more by luck and stealth than brawn. They do manage to seize an unprovisioned freighter and escape.
Gulu retreats.

Yes to three of the above-
There is a bloody battle in the square, but the prisoners can´t break through the ranks of Upunzi spearmen, and are massacred by archers.
Gulu retreats.

Yes to two of the above-
The oblob assault is quickly hemmed by shields and spears. Dazed and hurt survivors beg mercy and get none, hacked to death in front of the crowd.
Gulu unprotected for 6 turns.

Yes to one of the above-
There is a brief struggle as the troops cut down a handfull of desperate pirates trying try to rush them.
Gulu unprotected for 4 turns.

Yes to none of the above -
A few Oblobs make a feeble attempt to push past the guards.
They are unceremoniously hacked down and order restored.
Gulu unprotected for 2 turns.


In the above, all Gulu Retreats results means Gulu and her Fat lads fall back to the “safety” of Statue Avenue, where the PCs can ambush them.

Gulu unprotected in #” means the soldiery are busy fighting the convicts for the stated # of turns. In this window of opportunity, Gulu is “only” protected by the Fat lads, Laula and Naul. Afterwards, 2 soldiers and 1 nearby archer join the fight every turn until all the pcs are dead or successfully flee.
[The archer is within Medium range, has 8d in Bow and his arrows do ws+1k. He draws and fires at anyone closest to Gulu every turn, which lowers his width by 1 for resolution purposes.]


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Return of the neverending project…

Target for tonight:
GULU´S PALANQUIN
Attachment:
ny·bærestolI·farge.jpg
ny·bærestolI·farge.jpg [ 93.64 KiB | Viewed 2115 times ]

Note- Gulu is not actually visible through the hangings.

Gulus magnificent red conveyance is carried by ten fat lads, five on each side.
Another five usually walk in front, clearing the street with shouts and whips, and five bring up the rear, carrying the huge feather fans and banners she likes bringing along.
The Palanquin is heavy but the lads are strong, and they can manage a pretty decent sprint if they have to (although there is no way they outrun anyone not carrying a palanquin).

The palanquin is 2m wide and 3m long (7 foot wide by 10 foot).
A clever speaking tube contraption allows Gulu to command the front right bearer (The boss fat lad) from her seat.
Carried, the thing clears the ground by about a metre (3 feet).

The palanquin has four sturdy legs.
The central “house” is a three-sided frame of wicker to the back and sides. Gulu sits inside, on a supremely comfortable hammock suspended on chains, Naul at times sat beside her, reciting poetry.
To protect her from the sun, two layers of cloth form a tent around the seat- a thick red linen outer cloth decorated with her favourite mathematical equations, and a gauzy inner veil.
If Gulu wants a peep, she can part the outer linen, and still gets some sun cover from the inner hangings. Important supplicants approach the palanqin and speak through the outer hangings… and if greatly favored, are allowed inside the outer cloth.

When speaking in public, (like during the Pageant of Punishment) the outer cloth folds into a sunroof over her.

Attacking Gulu in the palanqin:

To hit:
Unless Gulu´s actual position is revealed (by someone taking orders, handing her a scroll or something, any attack suffers –3d.

The hangings also lessens damage. Striking through the outer curtain subtracts 1K (or 2S) from an attack- (the flimsy inner gauze does nothing) and the wicker back and sides costs another 1S. (So an arrow from the rear loses 1K,1S).

The GM must adjudicate how the palaquin curtain affects specific magic attacks and combat secrets.

The secret:
The floor beneath Gulus seat (under a jar of mist-grapes and a flask of Dindavaran rye Laula taught her to like) is an escape hatch.
She won´t leave the palanquin and the Fat lads dying to protect it unless it is her last hope, but if she must, she drops down and tries to sneak away.

Palanquin… Chaaaaarge !:
When threatened , the first instict the Fat lads is to plop the palanquin down and form a wall of muscle around it, fighting and dying to defend Gulu until troops arrive.
But if Gulu thinks escape is the best bet, she orders a wild palanquin charge:

Every available Fat lad grabs the palanquin and charge straight ahead, intent on smashing through any opposition.

This is an attack with as many dice as there are Fat lads (ie, not downed, hurt or temporarily out due to morale attacks).
Like any Unworthy attack, it can form no sets higher than W3. Also, since they are lugging a palanquin, their sets time as 1 less. (making a 2x0 a 2x9 for speed purposes)

Damage is W+1 shock, but, any set higher than 5 knocks a target (pc) down for 4d area trampling (shock) damage. Sets less than 5 push the target out of the way of the palanquin, but otherwise leave them unharmed (but still knocks a dice out of their lower sets).

If the defenders either a) knock out all sets from the Palanquin charge or b) take 1/3rd of the Fat lads out of the fight, the charge fails, and the palanquin comes to a crashing stop.

If not, you have the makings of a really weird chase on your hands. The ten bearers keep running, while any remaining Fat lads turn to block pursuit.


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 Post subject: Re: Night of the Jackals
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Ambush in Statue Avenue:

It might be called an Avenue..
In fact Statue Avenue is a broad but winding street up to the Palace of the Elders, with a chaos of side streets and alleys leading into it, cluttered with vendors´ stalls, wagons, baskets and covered with awnings to shade the sun.
Any group of people trying to traverse it in an orderly fashion is inevitably reduced to a milling throng as they negotiate corners and obstacles.
And anyone of a malicious bent can move over the roofs of nearby houses or through narrow alleys to stage surprise attacks.

Statue Avenue is the obvious route for Gulu retreating from an Oblob rebellion- it is the only street wide enough to take her palanqin and fat lads directly to the safety of the Palace .

The statues that name the avenue are long gone- only massive feet of strange animals, and reclining torsos remain of what must once have been a bewildering sea of monuments leading to the hill where the Palace sits now.
The Upunzi traders have found good use for them; here the paws of a hyena support an awning that shades the sun, there the belly of a stone infant displays fine sandals and leather goods.

As Gulu makes her way to the Pageant of Punishment in the morning, she is accompanied by troops and surrounded by massive, cheering crowds making their way to the spectacle; an attack then will be swamped by the horrified populace and blocked by the soldiers.

But if she makes a desperate retreat in the face of Convict revolt, Gulu will be unusually exposed.

--

Mechanics of the attack:

In the retreat, Gulu´s twenty bearers are slowed by confused stallholders and cluttered streets, as they struggle to manoever their massive cargo along.
Even a group who have done no preparation, will be able to run along the narrow alleys and get in front of, or behind, Gulus retinue.

And a group who have walked the area and prepared a plan can roll Tactics and choose one of the following for each point of Width:

-A roof where it will be possible to jump onto the palanquin, over the guards around it.

-spots where missiles or spells (or flasks of burning oil, for the traditionalists) can target the palanquin itself, over the heads of the fat lads.

-Locations where the palanquins passage in one direction can easily be blocked (by burning awnings and barrels in its its path, or tumbling loose stone from a roof into the street..)

-Areas where reinforcements from the palace will be bottlenecked (two at a time) or must detour (arriving another two turns later than when rolled).

-Spots where a small group can sneak in from the rear, after the fat lads focus on an attack from the front.
--

If planning an ambush, the W of a Tactics roll is the number of turns the defenders automatically stop (and the palanquin stops moving) and can take no action other than defending against attacks, too confused to react agressively.


The Horrified crowds;
There are no secluded areas along the Statue Avenue: Any assault along this normally busy road will cause the horrified onlookers scatter in terror, but after a turn (+ any delay for a successful ambush, as above), the bravest among them form a rag-tag mob and try to assist Gulu. (This is four 1d Unworthies). Every turn after this, another unworthy joins in, brandishing sticks and knives, throwing cobblestones and shouting their outrage.
If attacks and Morale attacks takes out the entire gathered mob in one turn, it snuffs out the flame of resistance- the remaining civillians flee, howling, and no others dare to interfere.

Reinforcements !
After six turns of wild fighting, the nearest Upunzi troops reach the area and rush to rescue their beloved imortal sorcereress.

-Roll 1d10 for type of troops, each four turns.

1 Rebellious Upunzis want to help the PCs kill the hated Gulu !
(8 Threat 1 desperadoes with daggers and makeshift cudgels).
-A gang of dissidents, probably families and friends of someone Gulu destroyed-
The unimaginable act of actually striking against an Elder make them suicidally brave;
(Count them as Threat 2 vs. Morale attacks)
-If rolled again, read as #4; Red guards.

2 Local toughs
(Six threat 1 thugs with knives and axes)
-A bunch of wine-swilling ruffians see an opportunity to profitably demonstrate loyalty.

3 Local toughs with their champion
(Six Threat 2 thugs with knives and axes+ “Barrelhead”.)
(Barrelhead, a renowned brawler wearing spiked brass rings on all fingers,
has 4 in all physical stats, Brawling 4 and Intimidate:7d.
He has mastered the four first Thunder Fist techniques, too, and his first action will be to loudly challenge the      toughest-looking PC to an unarmed duel.
-If rolled again, read as #2; More local thugs arrive.

4 Red guards
A squad of five Red guards show up.
(Five Threat 3 guardsmen who immediately rush to protect the Palanquin)

5 Spearmen
A unit of 8 spearmen arrive.
(Eight Threat 3 troops-but due to sound shieldwall tactics, they get +1d to their pool for every four Spearmen present).

6 Spearmen with an officer.
(Eight Threat 3 troops- and get +1d to their pool for every four Spearmen present, as #5).
Also, their officer follows behind, with Coordination+Shortbow 7d and shoots at
a) anyone imidiately threatening Gulu.å
b) enemy sorcerers
c) enemies with bows or missile weapons.

The officer is accompanied by a soldier toting a Large Metal Shield (AR3) and 6d Parry, which he uses to gobble attacks     against the officer, not himself.

7 Archers
(Four Threat 1 soldiers- but they count as 2d each when they make missile attacks,
so 8d attack pool)
They stop as far from the fight as possible, and target:
a) enemy sorcerers or missile troops
b) The attackers closest to the Palanquin.

8 Four Upunzine marines
Marines fight ugly wrestling and knife battles aboard burning ships, in and out of narrow holds and up and down       slippery gangways. This kind of warfare breeds dead men and quick-witted, elite troops.
      To save Gulu, the beloved admiral who led them from victory to victory, threatened, they will fight to the death if       need be…but they´ ll rather fight cunning, and win and live.
      Each of them (Two men, two women) have 4d in all relevant skills and stats you´d expect, like fighting, climbing,       sneaking and throwing. They wear leather armor and carry shortsword, and distictive red-striped tunics.

Depending on the situation, they do one of these:

Inferno !
The four quickly grab a cart of palm fronds (used as makeshift carpeting in stalls) and toss on oil jars and reed mats, douse all of it in lamp oil and set it alight. (All this takes them three turns)
Then they run the blazing cart into the mele around Gulus palanquin, fairly heedless of the health and safety of nearby fat lads.
This is an area 3 K attack that repeats every turn against anyone who remain in contact with the wagon. Anyone who retreats avoids this area attack automatically.
Sour black smoke fills the street.

If the chaos allows the marines to reach Gulu, they make her throw one of their striped sailors´tunics on, as one of them quickly dons Gulus radiant vestments.
Gulu knows them personally, and trusts them enough to do as they say.
While the fake Gulu makes sure she is visible behind the fat lads, the others drag Gulu away from the fighting, pretending to be evacuating an injured comrade.
(They even have Gulu clutch an arrow to her chest, as if impaled)

-PCs might spot something incongruous about their “wounded friend” with exeptional use of Sense and skills, noticing an incongruous number of finger rings, or gilded sandals.
-Other PCs might roll anything from Tactics (to sense something wrong about the situation) or Empathy (to sense that the retreating Marines seem too concerned with their wounded friend) to see through the ruse.

Release the All-seeing Elder !
Avoiding the fighting, the four scout the opposition, looking for an overall commander, sorcerer or archer. They select the most important-seeming individual (anyone barking orders would be their primary choice) and sneak up, before making a comitmitted rush. Three attack with disarm, pin and disarm techniques, while the fourth tries to block any attempts to interfere.

When they overpower their target, they use him/ her as a hostage, gladly cutting off the odd ear and finger to demonstrate their ruthlessness. They demand the attackers retreat, or they will kill their victim, but their ultimat goal is just to cause a delay, knowing that help is on its way from all over the city.

-If rolled again, read as #5- Spearmen.


9 Noble and his retinue
      The Lord Kade Onjwa is strong, handsome, rich and late, as he lost track of time gambling. Now he and his retinue of       rough men (a lord who enjoys slumming needs stout servants, and he does tremendously enjoy slumming) are       hurrying to the party when they come across the unbelievable affront of someone attacking an Elder.

      He fills the street with a tremendous roar of anger, before drawing his blade and shouting his name and lineage (“Son       of Ereit and Jende of the Tall Mountain of Jua, grandson of Seimin of the bloodied fangs !”), swears he will have the      head of each mongrel who dared raise their hand to the Elder Gulu, and charges.

     He has 2d in all stats and 2d in all applicable skills. His five man retinue are Threat 2 unworthies.

     If struck for more than 1S, Onjwa flees, horrified, tossing away his bejewelled (wealth 4) sword. His confused retinue      follows him as he runs away.

-If rolled again, read as #5- Spearmen.


0 Wandering spellcaster
-Of all the encounters above, this is the one most likely to be a wild card that destroys the PCs plans and see them killed. Are you sure you want to risk that from a single roll?
If yes, pick one of these:

Zultasassa, Smoke sculptor of the Western Marches. Counterspell 7d.
A wizened gnome of a man, accompanied by a passel of acolytes (4 Threat 1 Unworthies),
Zultasassa is embarked on an arduous journey of his own and cares little for the locals and their squabbles.
However, he is quick to anger and quick to strike, and once he sees the melee, has his servants fire the dry kindling bag they carry, in order to provide smoke for smokemass.
The next turn, Zultasassa gathers energy for Smoke Scythe (9d+Wd) in case anyone gets uppity.
This should ring the Eerie bells of the PC´s, who can try to strike first, or communicate with Zultasassa. A decent Empathy roll will reveal that Zultasassa, unless attacked, will simply retreat.

Owl, the Sunwise, Emissary of the Supernal fellowship. Counterspell 5d.
A tall, frizzy-haired woman hiding her faint glow as best she can with a heavy cloak, but still trailing a rabble of sick and amputated paupers begging her help.
The Sunwise mostly despise the Upunzi Elders, but Owl is in town on business of the Supernal fellowship, and though she would quite enjoy seeing Gulu decapitated in the dirt, she thinks consequences; The other Elders will likely be furious is she ignores Gulu´s plight.
Owl quickly dons Lesser Radiant Form (7d), backs away from the fighting and begins to zap anyone attacking Gulu or threatening her with Blinding Beam (7d).
If seriously opposed, she tries to retreat out of harms´way, but returns once not threatened.
Also, if she can, she will try to save Gulu with Sunwise surgery, so the PCs had better be thorough with their killing.

Bao-dun the Opetkan(s), Mirror magic. Counterspell 6d.
Fat, with lusciuous beard and hair flowing to his hips, Bao-dun is a sight.
Especially as there is four of him. (in fact him and three Reflective Guardians).

Travelling to Upunzi to sample smoking a rare marsh root (Bao-dun is a passionate imbiber of strange flora), he is quite amused to come upon such a dramatic display of local history unfolding.

Giggling, he casts Martial Mirror, creating twenty copies of the PCs and their Unworthies, Fat lads and Gulu herself, (all Threat 2) and orders them into the fray. Then the four of him finds a nice vantage point to watch and munch on dates, as the fat lads grapple with themselves and try to protect two Gulus, while the PCs fight each other…

Imagoes are mirror-reversed images and cast no shadow. PCs who know this (Lore, or any Student of: Magic-variation or knowledge of Opetka, probably) will have little trouble determining who is real and who is an uncanny product of alien sorcery.


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