Sunday, June 13, 2021

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 152, Cold Fens 11 - Deadfalls & Defeat

Game Date: 6/13/2021 - 6/18/2021

Characters:
Aldwyn Hale, human knight (340 points)
     Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice wizard (170 points)
Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (329 points)
Crogar, human barbarian (336 points)
Desmond MacDougal, human wizard (263 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (418 points)
     2 skeletons (~35 points)
     Rahtnar the Skeleton (~125 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (354 points)

The PCs gathered at Ulf Hollow, with two new 18' skiffs they'd had made for them. They filled each boat up with four PCs (one big guy per boat) and left the extra skeletons behind, taking only Rahtnar the Skeletal Boatman with them.

They headed out into the Cold Fens, along the coast before making a beeline for the giant's islands. They did so without major issues - the weather was fine, and although they got eaten alive by insects, they mostly made out okay. One leaping leech attack on Mild Bruce failed. Swarms of bats harassed Aldwyn and Varmus, and again crippled Varmus's leg before being driven off. He was healed up easily.

The eventually made it to the giant's island, but decided to repeat their same path. Arriving late in the day, they moved out to a nearby landmass and camped there until morning, shrouded by the thick white mist that surrounds the island.

The next morning they poled over, dropped off the group, and then Rahtnar, Bruce, and Wyatt - the last two sans most gear and all armor - brought the boats back to their camp and concealed them there. They waded and swam back to the group. They gathered up and headed inland.

Along the path, about 1/4 of a mile in, they got their first inkling of trouble when their vanguard - Crogar, flanked by Aldwyn to his right and Bruce to his left - tripped over a vine and triggered a deadfall (for 15d). Alerted to the falling log out of the mist by Crogar's senses, they dove aside. Aldwyn failed utterly. Crogar's shield was destroyed as he dove backward. Bruce dove forward, onto a cunningly placed bent-branch trap that slammed a series of stakes into his back, wounding him badly.

Aldwyn was hit solidly, and his right arm was crushed under the log (more than 2x the damage to cripple, thus destroying the limb.) His mangled arm was freed by Crogar and Bruce (once they freed up Bruce.)

They continued on, this time with Bruce solo in the lead. Ahead, he spotted a trap, maybe 80-90 yards - another heavy deadfall, this time a bag of rocks and logs up in a large tree. They bushwacked a path around it, and continued on.

Another 100 yards or more past that, they hit a third deadfall, which Bruce triggered despite his caution (Traps-7 isn't great). It did another 15d, and crushed his left arm, again destroying it. The deadfall trigger also set off a trio of branch-launched spears. One missed everyone, one would have hit Crogar but he parried it, and another hit Aldwyn and went right through his left hand, crippling it.

At this point, with two fighters down limbs, they decided to bail. They retreated back to the water's edge, and used Levitate and wading/swimming to get across to their boats. They left, leaving a Wizard Eye behind to spy out anything coming after their boats. Nothing did.

They made it a few miles away before dark. They found a reasonable camp - but only with Comfort - and concealed their boats. During the second shift, Gerry and Wyatt were on guard. Gerry heard what sounded like someone wading off in the mist. They later heard low rumbled like deep voices, then a muffled crack of laughter and splashes of something hitting water - and of a rock hitting multiple trees.

They woke the group up. Bruce drank an Agility potion. They waited, and heard the sound of a big splash and more, like a struggle in the water. Low voices called back and forth to each other over the sound. Something like a big slap on the water was followed by deep laughter.

The wading and speaking continued, but this time further away. It receeded a bit, and nothing bothered them until morning.

They headed out from there, exploring nothing else, and worked their way back to Ulf Hollow.

Notes:

- Galen's player couldn't make it today because of ill health.

- The PCs gave up quickly after they realized they were walking into a fight - and probably more traps - with severely compromised combatants. 15d deadfalls are no joke. The after-action report was pretty simple. They didn't have anyone with Traps to make up for the loss of Galen, and they made a mistake in trying to attack the giants along the same path they took the last time. Going that way had a lot to say for it, but in the end it cost them their delves as the traps mauled them.

- Sparks flew between Wyatt, who immediately started to threaten to tell Mrs. MacDougal about the delve, and Desmond, who threatend him with Acid Ball. Those two ended up in the same boat, which wasn't the best planning to keep things quiet . . . Desmond is hard of hearing and tends to speak as if everyone else was, too.

- XP was 1 per for exploration. MVP was Mild Bruce for - and I quote - "I solved five traps."

- Short, profitless delve today, but it was still fun. It's a big question what's next, though.

7 comments:

  1. For some reason I thought Aldwyn / Desmond were same player. Oops.

    I tend to give any character who has a Per score > 10 traps because well, it is a skill where belt and suspenders helps

    How much did boats cost?

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    Replies
    1. Unless the Character is supposed to be shortsighted or not very aware of their surroundings, I almost always give them at least 1 point in Traps, no matter how low, that 1 point bumps the skill up by +4. Now if they have a particularly high Per I'll sometimes let them take it in the default for a bit, because well, Traps 13+ is still 13+.

      And Peter, was the splashing about by the Giants them smashing up the boats, or "something else"?

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    2. They don't know what caused the splashing.

      Delete
  2. Desmond and Ulf (and the late Hjalmarr Holgerson) are the same player. Boats cost $3k each.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did the party end up with Desmond and Ulf at the same time?

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    2. Specifically, they're a variation of the jolly boat from Low-Tech, p. 142.

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    3. Because when I copy the previous game's list of characters so I don't have to re-type them, I don't always remember to delete the missing or add in the present. Like the point totals, they're more of a rough guide than a accurate-to-the-point-on-this-date representation.

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