Friday, March 4, 2022

One More Play Test: The Stoutling and the Ogre

I’m curious about a hobbit type against a big ogre… so let’s do that!

Roderick the Notable Stoutfellow Guardian (Renown 1)

Attack +4 | Defense +4 | Focus +0 | Resolve 4

Relic: The Dagger of Amu Sing (+1 to Attack and Defense)

On a Defense of 13+ in combat, Roderick receives a free immediate attack.

Ogre Brute

(Dire 2) Attack 11 | Defend 8 | Focus 7 | Resolve 10

On a Defense result of 6 or less (or a natural 2), an Ogre’s club deals 2 damage. It has no ranged attack.

This 10’ giant-kin can take a beating! 

Okay… I have put my little fellow up against an ogre that is one level higher, so he SHOULD lose this fight… but I really like his ability, and I think it might be the game-changer. Let’s see!

Roderick happens upon the lair of a hungry ogre as he wanders an ancient ruin. His offer to make the Ogre dinner is rejected, and the Ogre decides that Roderick himself would make a nice dinner. It’s initiative!

Roderick rolls 7 against the Ogre’s 7! Hah. Take that you big brute! Okay.. Roderick tries to poke it with his dagger, getting 11. He hits for 1 damage, and the Ogre is at Resolve 9. The Ogre attacks, but Roderick gets 14, triggering his ability; on his free attack, he gets 11, dealing 1 more point of damage, leaving the Ogre at Resolve 8. The Ogre is angry that this little creature keeps poking him.

Round 2. Roderick attacks again, getting 11, so he hits for 1. The Ogre attacks, and Roderick rolls 12, so he dodges (barely) but does not get a free attack. The Ogre is at Resolve 7, and several stones have been broken by his mighty swings, but the little Stoutfellow is unaffected.

Round 3. Roderick attacks, getting a natural 2. Ugh. He has disadvantage on his next check, so this cancels out his advantage on his Defense, which doth much sucketh. On his defense, he rolls 7, which really really really stinks. But not as bad as a 6… Roderick suffers 1 damage, and is at Resolve 3.

Round 4 - More pokey poke. He attacks and gets 10. That hits for 1 damage. He attempts to dodge the Ogre’s strike, and rolls 13, which triggers his ability; he hits with a 10, dealing another point of damage. The Ogre is at Resolve 5.

Round 5. Roderick will stab the Ogre… because that’s what he does. He rolls 9 and deals 1 wound. The Ogre attacks, and Roderick rolls 8. He gets smacked with the side of the club, and is at Resolve 2. The Ogre is at Resolve 4.

Round 6. Roderick stabs again, getting 11, so he hits. To Defend, he rolls 15, triggering his ability; he attacks again and gets 15, so he deals another point of damage; Roderick and the Ogre are both at Resolve 2.

Round 7. Roderick pokes away, getting 11, so he deals 1 wound. To defend, he rolls 11 as well, so does not trigger his ability. He still has his 1 point of renown, but that would not be enough to bump this up, so he accepts that he has dealt 1 wound, and the Ogre is at Resolve 1.

Round 8. Roderick really stabs good this time, or at least tries, but gets an 8. That is enough to drop the Ogre to Resolve 0; the Ogre collapses from a thousand papercuts, falling backward into a pile of brush.


This went rather as expected; the little, quick guy who is good at dodging was able to dodge a lot. That he can turn defense into attack is a pretty nifty ability; he does not win fights quickly (as you can see), but he’s a very efficient character. I think that a guardian is the ‘safe’ character to play; you are going to have high survivability. It’s not particularly glamorous, but it’s a solid character build. Most importantly from my point of view, the play experience has been quite different between the four characters I’ve tested so far. Each has a different fundamental vibe. This felt like a little hobbit ducking between the knees of an Ogre and poking at his calves as he runs by.

By the way, I keep play testing in large part because it's fun to stat up characters. Character creation takes about three minutes, but you have a few decisions with point allocation, and that's it. However, I like that I keep getting different builds, and part of the fun is interpreting how the stats 'look' in a living character. What does that Defense +4 mean for THIS guy?

Also by the way, players characters are often going to have potions or scrolls at hand that will make significant changes to play, so I expect that player characters are going to be a bit more powerful than the samples have been; if Roderick popped a potion of heroism (granting advantage on all combat checks) or decided to quaff a potion of healing (restoring 2 wounds) - or went with a potion that gave the haste that I've been testing a lot - this fight would have been over much sooner.


  1. Nice one, I like these conditional abilities, it gives more drama to the roll. I'm now wondering about the types of adventures non-wizard Focus-targeted characters would have - dodgy rogues who have to rely on awareness, non-fighting skill and their reputation to finesse their way through adversity.

    1. I keep tinkering with the second Focus class - I'm going to post about that now :)

  2. Another very cool play-test! I do, however, have a little dissonance with a stoutling slowly slashing an ogre to death, conceptually, so I would narrate the rolls/actions this way: The successful attacks by the stoutling represent actual assaults that do little "damage," but infuriate the ogre into increasing states of frustration/distraction. The successful Defense rolls that activate the stoutling's special ability represent maneuvering the ogre into running into obstacles in the area at speed, or making the monster hit the floor/walls hard enough to dislodge formations/debris from above that hit the ogre's head or otherwise actually physically harm the monster. All narrative choice, of course! :)