One more play test... I've had the characters of Rand and Mim for a while, but then realized that Rand was a pretty well-known character from a fantasy novel series... so, I've changed him to Brand, which I like less, but it is what it is. Here they are... (and I also updated the short story I wrote a few years ago for them and added it to the links for Hack'D & Slash'D, in case you care to read it).
Brand - Dour Human Fighting Man 4
Armor 5; Hits 48; Move 40’; Riming Blade (8)
Traits: Might 4; Mind 1; Reflex 3
Tags: Brawler; Fortitude; Thievery; Two Handed; Warrior
Gear: Scale Mail Armor 4+1; The Riming Blade (Bastard sword 6+1; +1 edge vs. fire-using creatures, restores 5 hits to the bearer 3x per day as a free action).
Mim - Canny Gnome Mythweaver 4
Armor 2; Hits 24; Move 40’; Shortsword (4)
Traits: Might 1; Mind 4; Reflex 3
Tags: Luck; Mystic (Arcane, Mental); Persona; Thievery
Gear: Enchanted Leather Armor 1+1; Enchanted Shortsword 3+1
Brand and Mim find themselves in the lair of a Mummy and his servitors, a pair of ghasts.
Ghasts - Medium Savage Undead 3 [Armor 3; Hits 15; Move 60’; 2 Claws (5); Sneak; Undead]. If both claws hit, the ghoul immediately lands a bite for 5 hits as a free action, with no armor check allowed.
Mummy - Medium Scheming Undead 5 [Armor 5; Hits 30; Move 60; Claws (8); Undead; Common Magic; Dark Magic; Regenerate 2 hits per round].
The heroes win initiative. They are 40’ away from the mummy and his two ghasts in the middle of a large tomb. Rand is going to spend his action closing for combat with the mummy, but Mim is going to cast an elemental bolt (eldritch) at the mummy. He rolls a natural 10, so he hits for 16 hits. The mummy soaks half of this, and is down to 22 hits. He immediately recovers 2, and is at 24. The mummy will use stun on Brand (which could go very badly) and gets a natural 1 (does not go bad - at all!). Rand shrugs it off and keeps running. The two ghasts step before the mummy to take on Brand - The first misses with both claws, but the second hits with both; Brand makes one of his armor checks, so suffers 10 hits total. He is at 38 hits remaining.
Mim casts another arcane bolt, and is again successful for 16 hits. The mummy soaks half, suffering 8 and is at 16. Brand attacks, hitting for 8; the mummy soaks 7 (natural 12) and suffers 1 hit; it is at 15; it recovers 2 to 17. It attempts to stun Mim, but again fails its check. Poor mummy. The two ghasts attack Brand, and again the first misses twice, while the second hits twice. Brand fails both armor checks (rolling 5 twice), and suffers 15 hits, bringing him to 23. He’s taken quite a bit of damage…
Mim is going to keep going with arcane bolts (no reason not to) and succeeds again. The mummy again makes it resist, so suffers 8 (down to 9). Rand cleaves at it, getting a natural 12! The mummy makes its armor soak, but still suffers 5 hits, down to 4. The mummy tries to stun Brand, and is finally successful with its action. Brand, however, makes his resist, and shrugs it off. The first ghast hits with one of the claws, and the second rolls two natural 12s! Uh oh. Rand makes his first armor check with a 12, so ignores that first ghast; against the second, he fails both armor checks, meaning that he suffers 7+7+5=19 hits. He’s down to 4.
Mim realizes he TOTALLY should have hasted Brand at the beginning of combat. That would have been a really, really good idea. With only a few hits left, and with 40’ separating them, there’s really no point now. Mim will use the arcane bolt again, and gets a natural 12. He deals 18 hits; the mummy fails its check with a 2, and he destroys it. Brand rolls a natural 1 against the first ghast, so smacks his sword into stone. The first ghast hits with one claw, while the second hits with both. Brand only soaks one of these hits, so he suffers 15 hits, putting him at -11. He immediately uses a free action to recover 5, putting him at -6. He’s down, but not dead. The ghasts run towards Mim.
Mim will get two attacks before they are in melee range; he attacks, then they run for a round, then he attacks again at the beginning of the next round, then they attack. He will use two elemental bursts against them; He succeeds with the first, fails with the second, and uses his luck to re-roll the second, getting a success because of the +1 edge from luck. He deals 10 and 10 damage; they each make one check, so each suffers 15 hits. Both are just barely destroyed as they get to Mim. If they had been able to attack, odds are good that Mim would have been sliced and diced.
Well, THAT was close.
Play holds up really well with level 4 and 5 heroes and foes. It’s still fast. I don’t know how many combats are going to devolve into huge slogs, but so far it hasn’t happened. This was a relatively high-level fight that still went quick. It was over in 6 rounds. The numbers all work; a guy like Brand is not going to deal a lot of damage if the foe has decent armor and rolls a solid soak, but the balance works; Brand is going up and soaking a lot of damage while Mim stands back and deals lots of damage. That’s kind of how it should work. When the ghasts got to Mim, he was not going to last long. It all works really well.
Incidentally, Mary and Grace played some level 1 characters yesterday and I took them through the revised Signet Tomb (mini-module A2), which I updated for the new rules. They both liked it, and we were able to play through the entire adventure in under an hour, which was good. Combat goes very quickly, and they both liked it better than D+D. Grace doesn’t like D+D because the one game she played in with others lasted a few hours, and they barely got through one combat sequence. This game keeps MOVING.
I’m one step closer to being ready to publish. I think that April 1 is a reasonable expectation.