Friday, November 30, 2007

Fate: Dark and Stormy report #10

After skipping one week, we were back around the table, continuing the deadly battle against the monstrous spider, deep in the underground passages of Hightower tor.

When last we saw Leo, he was on the ground, having been thrown from the spider's back. Now, he sat up, noted the spider's shaggy back and quickly devised a plan. Reaching into his pockets, he pulled out a phial of sticky potion and threw it so that it splashed all over the spider's hairy back. Then, reaching into a pouch of flammable powder, he tossed a handful onto the layer of sticky substance. Leo ended his turn shouting to his party members, "The spider is flammable! Hit him with fire!"

This is an example of a maneuver. This maneuver placed a temporary aspect of "flammable" on the spider. Below, you can see Leo standing next to J's newly acquired specialty Fudge dice, a gift from gaming buddy AC.

Still enraged by having been stabbed by Elros in the belly (last session), the spider shot his head down to chomp Elros in his hideous pincers. Elros only managed a +1 on his dodge, while the spider rolled a total of +3 for Melee. Elros spent a fate point to gain +1 on his roll, giving him a total of +2. Elros managed to roll mostly out of way, but stumbled on some cocooned carcasses underfoot, giving the spider an open window to deal 1 stress with a bite to the hips.

Rwake, having burned the webbing off of his legs, leaped up, grabbed his knife from the ground, and ran at the spider, brandishing a burning torch. Crossing one zone (-1 to his action), he threw the torch over the spider's head, hoping to ignite its back. He could have tagged the "flammable" aspect, but didn't, and I didn't think to recommend it, but I really should have. Rwake gets a -1 and spends a fate point to bump it up to 0. The spider got a +4 with its Athletics skill and managed to skitter to the right, avoiding the torch and positioning itself with its back to the wall, assessing its attackers. The torch landed on the ground in front of Leo. Below, Rwake runs up to throw his torch.

Recognizing his window of opportunity, Elros quickly wielded a burst of Energy magic to toss the torch once again at the spider's back. He rolled and modified total of +6. The spider, attempting to evade the torch by hiding, managed only a +2. For some reason, I used one of the spider's aspects (I can't name it here because the players don't know the spider's aspects) to add 2 to the roll, which was futile since it only got the spider's attempt up to a +4. So, having needlessly wasted one of the spider's fate points, the spider scurried backwards, climbing now up the wall, butt first. The torch got close enough to set the flammable spider aflame. This maneuver gave the spider a new temporary aspect of "On Fire". This replaced the "Flammable" aspect. Screeching out, the spider hastened its upward climb, keeping it's many eyes on the adventurers below. Below, Elros wields magically throws the torch at the spider.

Leo, using his "Close at Hand" and "Anything Goes" stunts, pulled some old rotten daggers from among the corpses at his feet. Achieving a total of +5 with his thrown weapons skill, he flung the daggers upward. I had set a difficulty for this attempt at Fair (+2). One dagger hit missed, while the other made contact with one of the spider's eyes (eye contact?), inflicting 3 stress to the spider.

On the spider's turn, it managed a +2 on its Climb skill to get a few more yards up the wall, now approaching the ceiling. All above them, the PCs could only see blackness and no sign of the ceiling. But the flames on the spider's back allowed them to keep tabs on their foe.

Rwake, thinking to use his understanding of creatures, attempted to listen to the spider to see if he could guess at what the spider's intent might be. I decided this was a long shot, and therefore gave it a difficulty of Superb (+6). Rwake rolled a -1 and gave up the attempt.

With the spider at a safe distance for the moment, Elros began discussions with his companions about possibly leaving the spider and abandoning this battle. I remembered that Elros had an aspect called "A Score to Settle", which is based on a rivalry from his past. I decided that this would make Elros unlikely to leave a conflict behind. So, I took this opportunity to compel his "A Score to Settle" aspect. He accepted my compel and received a fate point for it. This was very exciting for me because it was perhaps the first time we have ever seen a compel worked out in one of our Fate adventures. I was surprised to see that someone was actually trying to do something that went against their nature. I jumped on this opportunity, just to watch a compel work itself out. So, Elros decided to stay in the room and pursue the spider to the finish.

Elros, using Energy magic again, attempted pull to pull the spider down from the ceiling. The rest of us felt that this was not likely to realistically work out against a spider in its element. But, I finally reasoned, Elros has Energy magic as his highest ranked skill (+5) on the skill pyramid. This is what Fate is about. It may not be likely for an ordinary adventurer to pull a giant spider down from its webs with magic, but for a Fate adventurer, this kind of feat is quite possible. Characters in SotC are intended to be the best of the best, beyond normal humans. That's how we are using PCs in this adventure. So, I told him to go ahead and try. Elros rolled a +5 total. Dissatisfied with this result, he used his "Educated at Prestigious Highcloud Tower" aspect to reroll, this time getting a +6. Against the spider's +5 Climb roll, this gave Elros 1 shift. I decided this was enough to pull the spider's front legs loose. The spider was now dangling face-first, hanging onto the ceiling by its back legs.

Leo fished around in the corpses, this time finding an old rusted dirk. I set a difficulty of Great (+4), against which Leo rolled a +5 for thrown weapons skill. The spider took yet another injury to the face - 1 stress.

At this point, the players were wondering how I was going to play out the fire. After some discussion, I finally looked at my cheat sheet on my GM screen and saw that there are some fire rules. Using this table, I decided that the spider would now take 2 stress from the fire licking its exoskeleton.

The spider now pushed off the ceiling with surprising speed, dropping straight down to land on Elros. Elros rolled Athletics to dodge the attack, achieving a mere +1. Spending a fate point, he notched it up to +2. The spider rolled a +3 for Melee, smashing Elros with one leg as Elros rolled out of the way, taking 1 stress. That made it two close calls for Elros this session.

Next session, we'll see what Rwake plans to do about the flaming, furious, massive spider.

Week after week, J takes nice pictures during the session for me to use on these session reports. This week, he managed this very nice shot of his new Fudge dice, placed among a scattered pile of fate point counters. These new Fudge dice are very befitting J's style. I'm very happy for him.


Mel White said...

Awesome spider 'miniature'!

TimothyP said...

Llama designed that. He can come up with stuff like that lightning quick. Very handy guy.

LlamaNerds said...

Thanks! We wanted to make one out of black pipecleaners, but never got our acts together to make one. On the day the spider cropped up, I found some coffee filters and realized that they would be about the right size, and broke out a sharpie.

The only problem is re-envigorating it so that it will stand up each sesh after being flattened in my character folder.