Monday, June 8, 2020

Blundering Through the Borderland- Turns 2-4.

This is a continuation of my experiment to combine the Five Leagues from the Borderland (5L) campaign rules with the Thud and Blunder (TB) skirmish rules for combat and character development.  This post will describe the events from turns 2-4.

Turn 2
Our team of heroes, led by Lena Ramstrom, returned to the village of Dunbrid after defeating the Orc cultist and eliminating their leader.  The village was full of good cheer towards the adventurers (we rolled Supportive Locals on the Village Event chart, which gives us an extra village activity).  Lena allowed her team to rest and recover from their recent battle before deciding their next move.

Village Activities:
Cirandale the Elf Ranger decided to train (which gave him a chance to gain a hero point, which he did).  Lena visited a local priest to gain a blessing for her team's next adventure (which we forgot to use).  Finally, Ersik encountered a wandering Monk and chatted politely with him for a time (using the interact action, he had a roadside encounter.  Using the 5L random charts we determined that he met a Monk, who had a polite attitude towards the hero).

Go Adventuring:
After a time, the Mayor of Dunbrid asked Lena to recover a trove of goods stolen by a gang of looters. His sources informed him that the looters were recently taken over by a brigand named Fulk, who had killed the previous leader.  Fulk, however, failed to learn the specific location of the buried loot, and only knew that it was buried in 3 spots near a secluded farm.  As Lena lead her band of adventurers to the farm, they encountered a wandering Entertainer.  When Grecco asked for a song, however, the Entertainer made a rude gesture and continued his travels.  Soon the party reached the secluded farm, but before they could start searching for the loot, Fulk and his brigands arrived and a fight ensued.  (On the random 5L chart we rolled both a combat encounter and a roadside encounter.  We rolled randomly to determine that the roadside encounter would be an Entertainer, and that his attitude was unfriendly.  Characters encountered may aid or harm the party depending on motivation, in this case the Entertainer was just a jerk.  For our combat encounter, we rolled the Outlaw threat, and randomly determined that we would play the TB Exploration encounter.  Rather than have 2 Trolls as potential random encounters, however, we decided that 3 of the tokens would be loot, and 3 would be nothing.  The party that got the most loot off the table would be considered to hold the field threat removal purposes.)

The Battle:

The farm house rests in a swath of land between bogs and forest, a rough land to eek out an existence.  The house seems idol, and the outbuildings look empty.  No signs of the farmer can be seen as the party approaches.  Scattered about are small patches where the earth has recently been upturned, perhaps these are the places where the buried loot can be found.

Lena tells her team to fan out and investigate the sites of suspicious digging. Samis approaches one, while Cirandale, Cassi and Flavius approach the hedge that borders the house. 

 On the other side of the farm Galifas and Grecco move ahead towards the south end of a copse of trees.  Lena and Ersik follow.

As the Adventurers approach the farm from the north, the brigands approach from the south.  Henry Brugel the Ox (blue coat), Fulk's right hand man, leads a group of former soldiers, mercenaries, and young thugs towards the farm.  They see the Adventurers and plan to take them out!

On the other side of the farm Fulk rushes towards the heroes, sending Ulric with his fighting dog ahead to guard one of the suspicious spots.  The Brigands scream and yell as they run.

 Ulric sends his hound ahead with orders to attack.  Samis readies a javelin as he sees the beast approach.

Flavius climbs the hedge and heads toward the center of the farm.  He spies a mercenary, perhaps a fellow former soldier, who stands ready with a weapon in each hand.  A young thug nearby wields a deadly looking ax.  A flash or flicker draws Flavius attention, and he quickly interposes his shield to block an arrow.  "Leave him to me," says the mercenary to the ax man.  "You can do the digging."  Flavius smiles.

Elsewhere, Grecco finds himself heavily outnumbered.  The Ox approaches for a fight as two thugs hold back, slings at the ready.  Another thug reaches one of the dig spots and prepares to search the area.

Lena and Ersik prepare to climb the hedge and head towards the center of the farm.  Galifas the Bright finds one of the dig spots, but stops to send a magic dart at one of the thugs.

Just as the thug pulls a bag of looted goods from the ground, a magic dart blasts into him.  He mutters a surprised gasp and slumps to the ground, out of the fight.

In casting his spell Galifas gave away his position and the enemy thugs sent sling bullets flying his way.  Though he tried to avoid them, one struck home and Galifas went down.  (He used a hero point to re-roll his destiny test, however still failed the roll).

Unafraid of some punk youth, Henry Brugel the Ox rushes forward, his longsword looking more like a massive cleaver as he waves it about in strong, threatening strikes.  Grecco, however, darts in with his spear and against the odds brings the brute down.

The mercenary rushes Flavius, preparing to attack with both longsword and knife, but Flavius catches the villain on his long spear and the fight is over.  The young thug with the ax stares on in disbelief.

Fulk the Brigand leader rushes towards Cassi, but the young guide calmly keeps his bow and puts an arrow in Fulk's leg, knocking him down.

Samis does not have time to throw his javelin before the fighting dog is upon him.  He tries to hold off the dog with his small shield while using his javelin like a spear.

Meanwhile, Ersik, finally over the hedge, rushes to engage the thug ax man.  As he engages the brigand an arrow strikes his shield, momentarily distracting him from the fight long enough for the thug to swing first. Though the vicious ax strikes home, putting a rent in Ersik's armor, the hero somehow managed to avoid injury.  His longsword flashes and brings the youth down.  Investigating the dug up earth, Ersik recovers some of the stolen loot, and begins to take it to safety.

Undeterred by an arrow in his leg, Fulk jumps to his feet and takes Cassi down with a vicious sword strike.

Nearby, Samis takes down the fighting dog.  The dug up spot he was investigating proves to be a badger hole and not buried loot.  Cirandale fires shot after shot at Fulk, but does not mange to put the Brigand leader down.

Ulric, the dog handler, yells in anger and rushes Samis to avenge the death of his hound.  His shortsword cuts through the youth's javelin and digs deep into his shoulder.  Samis' eyes turn glassy as he falls to the ground near the dog he had killed.  Fulk charges Cirandale, his sword and dagger swinging with deadly precision.  The Elf ranger draws his dagger and bravely faces the menacing brigand.

Undeterred by the deadly flashing blades of the brigand leader, Cirandale ducks and dodges blow after blow.  With a quick reversal, he steps in for one quick strike with his dagger.  Fulk slowly loses the smile on his face and glances in surprise at the blood staining his coat.  He mouths words of profanity, but no sound escapes, and he crashes face first into the dirt.

On the other side of the farm, the Brigands have managed to grab 2 of the 3 bags of loot and head for a safe escape in the forest.  Flavius rushed after and intercepted one of the thugs, and Lena attempts to stop another.  The brigand archer on the barn roof knocks Lena down with a lucky shot.  The brigand she pursued rushes to the edge of the forest while Lena gets up.  Grecco, having run around the copse of trees attempts to engage the brigand, but the desperate brigand takes him down.  The delay, however, was enough for Lena to catch up, and the battle ensued.

Flavius, outnumbered and harried by arrows fired from the barn roof, manages to take down the thug with the loot.

Lena brings down the brigand, a mercenary spearman, and recovers the loot he carried.

While Flavius' attention was on taking out the thug with the loot, he is unceremoniously brought down by a club blow to the head that made his helmet reverberate and his ears ring.  Taking a chance, rather than take her loot to safety, Lena decides to rush back after the unclaimed loot.  Dodging arrows from the barn, she rushes back, and with a deft stroke, she takes down the club wielding thug.

Cirandale moves to a place where he can shoot at the Brigand archer, but before he can take a shot, he is rushed by Ulric the dog handler.  The Elf Ranger draws his dagger once again and quickly takes Ulric down.  Free to retrieve his bow, the Ranger begins firing at the Brigand archer.  Outnumbered and facing two heroic opponents, the archer elects to slip away into the cover of the woods.  The heroes have recovered all of the stolen loot and hold the field of battle.

Based upon the Thud and Blunder rules, the party earned 69 Reputation points, which will convert into 5L Gold Marks.  This is the reward from the Mayor for retrieving the loot.  Rolling on the 5L Unusual Finds table, it turns out that some of the Brigands had a price on their heads, so the party gained an additional 7 Gold Marks reward.  For other loot, the party found 3d6 Gold Marks, a set of Fine Knights Armor (I will have to convert this to TB mechanics), and a scroll called Whisper of the Weak, which can help heal a downed character.  Each character that went out during the battle had to roll on a recovery table to see how badly they were injured.  Galifas, Flavius and Cassi rolled well, and were just knocked out.  Grecco and Samis, however, rolled the dead result.  Using the TB Destiny stat to avoid injury (like the luck stat in 5L), Grecco made a saving throw and fully recovered.  Samis, however, died and failed to make his save.  The party has lost it's first member.  Finally, we rolled to see if we reduced the Outlaw threat level.  Based upon the outcome of the battle, we needed a 3+ on a d6 to reduce the threat.  We rolled a 5, so the Outlaw threat dropped from a 2 to a 1.  The next time we pursue the Outlaw threat will be raiding the enemy lair to get their boss once and for all.

Turn 3:
Since no lingering injuries exist, we did not have to visit the healer at the start of the turn.  For the Village event we rolled, "a place to stay" which gives the party an extra village turn without having to pay upkeep.  We decided that the Mayor put up the party at an Inn to celebrate the return of the loot.

Village Activities:
Lena, drowning her sorrows at the loss of one of her followers, caroused at the tavern.  There she met a hopeful youth named Olaf who wanted to join the party (she needed to make a TB Destiny test to recruit a new party member).  Meanwhile, Galifas went to train, but could not focus on his studies (he needed to make a TB Destiny test in order to gain a Hero point, but he failed).

Turn 4:
The party stayed in town to recover from their celebration.  Lena introduced Olaf to the party and then got down to business.  The Village event was a wandering card player, which would increase gambling winnings if we gamble.

Village Actives:
Galifas was sent again to train, and this time earned a Hero point, and Lena went out to retrieve herbs to make healing potions.

For our next adventure, we rolled to face the Border Tensions threat.  We will face a group of Nomads we encounter while travelling.  We then rolled a random TB scenario.  The party will be caught in a major storm full of flooding and deadly winds.  The only hope to escape will be to race the Nomads across the beach to small boat that awaits there.  The boat, however, only holds 3 people.

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