Sunday, June 18, 2023

Arath Session 6

Arath enters the cave he has encountered in hex E15. How’s this for random? I rolled a 7. I’m going to go to Dyson’s site, search ‘cave’, and use the seventh map I find (or the first map after the 7th that is available for commercial use in case this ends up being a supplement I want to actually publish). Here’s what I end up with…
Well THAT worked out really well. I didn’t read too much about his story for this, because I didn’t want to use his ideas for stocking this… just wanted a cave. I got a fantastic one. I had to go through and add numbers so I had a key. Arath enters from the northwest, and he descends into the dark. He’s got his torch out (since he cannot see otherwise). There is no chance of him sneaking here, so he’s not even going to try. He’s going to hug the right wall so he can find his way back out again.
1.     He peeks around the corner into the far western cave, and sees something. It’s spiders. Two tomb spiders stop pulling apart the corpse of a lizard they caught long enough to come and catch dessert. This is two level 2 monsters against a level 1 character. I don’t like his chances, but he has lots of resources… we’ll see. It’s initiative. Arath fails mightily. Both spiders miss, and Arath hits for 6. The spider makes its armor check, and is now at 13. Yeah. This is going to be a while.
Round 2: Spider 2 hits with a natural 12 for 7 damage. Arath fails to soak, but saves his luck for now. He’s at 6 hits remaining. He makes his might check (that might of 5 is nifty in spots like this). He attacks, missing.
Round 3: Both spiders hit. Yeah. It’s going to be time to run. Arath makes his armor checks (thanks to the luck he has to burn), so suffers 6 hits, which puts him at zero. He drinks the potion on his action, which restores 5 hits before he falls. He also runs – as fast as he can. He fails his check to resist the poison, so will be at 1 hit soon enough. He drinks the second draft of potion, which puts him at 6 after the poison runs is course. He keeps running until the cave is out of sight.  
I did not love that. I’m going to presume that the rest of the cave is level 2-ish, and that he’ll be much better equipped to manage it when he earns level 2. I put this on my to do list. He heard running water deeper in the cave, so he assumes that there is an underground river here. He makes a mental note of where this is (presuming he can find it again), and continues across the desert. Getting to the Oasis is his best medium-term chance.
However, there is another encounter in this hex, not more than two miles from the cave entrance. It’s a dread scorpion, like the one he encountered in the mountains when he first arrived. It’s initative. Arath loses, and the scorpion comes clattering in his direction. It hits with both claws and misses with its tail. Arath is down to 4 hits. You know… Arath hits for 6 damage, and the scorpion fails is armor check. It is down to 6 hits remaining. It makes its morale check with a 12.
Round 2: The scorpion misses with all three attacks (whew); Arath hits with a natural 12 for 8 damage. Sadly, the scorpion makes its armor check, so he only deals 4. It’s down to 2.
Round 3: That stupid tail hits with a stupid 10. Arath fails his armor check… the tail only deals 3, so that leaves Arath at 1. I’m going to save my luck in case he fails his might check. He doesn’t.
Round 4: Arath’s attack. He hits for 6, which is enough to kill it even if it makes its armor check. At 1 hit, Arath is victorious. Hey, at least he got 5 more xp. He’s almost halfway to level 2. That’s kind of depressing. He’s worked really hard.
Furthermore, his goal of crossing the rest of the desert today has failed. He just wants to survive at this point. I’m going to rule that each hour has a 1 in 12 chance of a wandering monster. Each hour he recovers 1 hit. He goes a full 12 hours without an encounter (rolled 2 twice!). He’s at full health. Arath lights his everburning torch, and also puts four torches in the sand around him at 10’ distance. He really wants a night off of shadelings. This reduces the chances to 1 in 12 every two hours, so only 4 chances. It doesn’t matter. Around 3 am, 6 shadelings cross the line of torches and attack. They have -1 edge. Arath is going to go with his big swings approach, trying to take out a bunch at once. He wins initiative.
Round 1: He misses. Even with the -1 edge, 2 claws hit him. I don’t bother rolling armor, since 1 point cut in half rounds up to 1. He’s at 11 hits.
Round 2: The mighty swing hits and kills 1. All claws miss.
Round 3: Mighty swing misses. Luck is used. Mighty swing hits with a natural 12! That wipes out 3 of them. 2 remain. They both miss.
Round 4: Arath misses. They both miss. Everyone misses. No hits. Nothing. This is the most wasted round in the history of rounds. Okay, it’s the most wasted round 4 in the history of round 4s. I’m sure there are some rounds that were bigger wastes. But those were not round 4s.
Round 5. Arath destroys 1. The 1 remaining misses.
Round 6: Arath misses. So does the shadeling. See description for round 4.
Round 7: Arath literally rolls two 1s. That is. I can’t. There is only a 1 in 144 chance of rolling that bad. He found a way. I am grateful that I didn’t put in rules for things like your sword breaking on bad botches. Because his sword would totally be broken right now. The shadeling is attacking at -1 edge, so it misses too. Fortunately, there have been some historically bad Round 7s in gaming history, so this (despite the double botch) doesn’t even crack the top ten. If this had been a Round 3… well, enough said.
Round 8: I’m waiting for Arath to redeem himself, but it’s just not happening. I’m starting to root for the shadeling, to be honest. Kind of want the lord of shadelings to roll in and tell Arath what’s up. This shadeling hits with an 11 (despite that -1 edge), dealing 2 hits. Arath fails to soak, and is at 9 hits.
Round 9: Mercifully, Arath finishes this thing off. This combat seriously almost went into a second minute. Hey, he earned 6 more xp. I wish I had a rule that a shadeling drops a black gemstone worth 1,000,000 gp, because Arath would have a lot of cash. As is, these monsters are low on XP and even lower on cash.
Morning comes, and Arath recovers 2 hits, putting him at 11. NOW he’s going to try to finish this journey across the desert. Maybe? Possibly? Not bloody likely.
He crosses the rest of hex E15 without anything happening, so that’s something akin to progress.
D14. He’s an hour in when another flipping sandstorm comes in. This one is BRUTALLY intense (on a scale of 1 to 12, it is a 12), and it lasts for 3 hours. He has to actually make a might check to keep from being overwhelmed by it. Good thing he has high might… and luck. He barely makes the might check without luck, so I’ll take it. Three hours later, he tries to shake the sand out of everything, but he realizes that Anakin Skywalker was right. No WONDER that guy turned to evil. Sand will do that to you. He manages to complete the rest of the hex, but it’s now late afternoon. He’s got 12 miles left… and six hours to nightfall. I rule that hunkering under his cloak during a brutal sandstorm is close enough to ‘rest’ that he gets his full hits back.
D13. He crosses an entire hex without conflict! He’s almost giddy.
C12. Ermugurd. He crosses another hex without conflict. He’s totally and completely giddy.
C11 – he enters Ubek’s Oasis as the moon rises. He finds some bushes to hide under, drinks a hearty drink of water (2 days’ worth! – he’s ready to party), eats a whole bunch of his rations (because he can) and gets the best sleep he’s had in weeks. His lore of the desert tells him that the shadelings will not enter the oasis. I award him 10 XP for finishing his journey across the desert… which still only puts him 2/3 of the way to level 2. 
By the way, I spent a decent chunk of my Father's Day wandering across a desert and rolling dice. I also went to church, went out to lunch, played mini-golf with my family, went out for ice cream, and walked the dogs. So it's been a great day. 
Here's my dude:
Arath - Brooding Fighting Man 1 (XP 64)
Armor 3; Hits 13; Move 60’; Greatsword (6); Sling (1)
Might 4 (5); Mind 1; Reflex 1
Fortitude; Luck; Two-handed (+1 edge); Warrior (+1 to hit)
Greatsword 6; Chainmail 3; Sling 1; Adventurer’s Pack; 10 days rations; 7 days water; Gauntlets of Might +1; Boots of Traveling; Everburning Torch; Decanter of Sustenance (4 people of water per day, healing potion 2x per day)

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