Monday, December 17, 2007

Fate: Dark and Stormy report #11

We had taken last week off on account of my wife giving birth to a new baby. But this week, I arrived back at work, ready to dive back into Hightower Tor at the Friday lunch game table. This week, it was our muscled jungle master who started off the scene - still fighting the monstrous spider. As you may remember from last time, the spider has been ignited with flames all across its hard and hairy back.

Rwake began by attempting a stunning feat.

Llama: "I use my staff to polevault up onto the spider's back."

J: "Isn't the spider still on fire?"

Me: "Yeah. He's still on fire all over his back."

Llama: "Okay, I try to land on his head."

Me: "His head's on fire too."

J: "Is the spider still taking damage from the fire?"

Me: "Yeah. He did last session and he will again on his turn."

Llama: "All right. I spend a fate point to say that there's an open spot on the spider's back where the flames have gone out, near the head."

Me: "Okay, that sounds good. Roll. The difficulty is Fair (+2)."

Let me cut in here. For those of you who may be considering GMing with Fate, you might be wondering, "How'd you decide on the difficulty?" The answer is: I just picked something that seemed not to high and not too low. I figured something like this would be possible for Rwake, but harder than Average. So I said Fair. Setting difficulties can indeed be tough sometimes. For the sake of keeping the game flowing, I recommend just picking something just as I did - not too high, not too low. I find this process of elimination easier than pinpointing the perfect difficulty. The important thing is that the PCs have fun, so just pick something and let the players give it a whirl. Below, you can see Rwake, safely perched atop the spider.

Back to the scene. Rwake rolled a -2, added his +5 for Jungle Gym skill (flipping and jumping around the jungle) for a total of +3. His plan worked, and he successfully landed square on the bare spot he had aimed for. Crouching, he grabbed the nearest crevices in the spider's neck joint and hung on for dear life.

Elros, still near the spider, plunged his sword into the spider's leg for a +7 on his Swordsmanship. This gave him one shift above the spider's +6 Athletics roll. This inflicted one stress point which rolled up to the spider's 7th and final box on his stress track, leaving only consequence boxes. Below, Elros prepares for attack, while Rwake watches from atop the spider.

Getting in on the action, little Leo sprang forward, chopping at the spider's back left leg with his Shortsword of Shock. The spider was focused on Leo, so I figured the difficulty of this slash would be Mediocre (0). The spider wasn't doing anything to defend itself. It was simply outnumbered. Leo rolled an Average (+1), dealing one stress, which rolled up to a Mild consequence. I decided the spider now had the aspect "Overwhelmed". It was surrounded, and taking damage from every side, including its flame-broiling backside.

At this point, the spider offered a "concession". Since the spider wasn't a person, I just explained that the spider was clearly backing off with no intent of further conflict. In the Fate 3.0 rules we're using, the opponents can accept the concession, or they can refuse it and keep fighting. Each player explained why he didn't want to simply leave this battle behind. The primary reason they agreed on was that they didn't want to leave this spider to consume more victims exploring these ruins. So they refused the concession, earning the spider a fate point.

The spider recognized that its attackers were still hostile and lunged at Elros once again, achieving +7 on its Melee roll. At the same time, the spider made an attempt to throw Rwake from its back. I gave the spider a -1 to his roll because I couldn't remember the exact ruling of doing two actions simultaneously with one attempt. I rolled a +2 for this attempt. Rwake used his Death Grip stunt (+2 to rolls of strength when holding an opponent) to grip a crevice in the exoskeleton with hands of super jungle strength - a roll of +4 total, saving him from being thrown. Elros, for his part, moved to dodge the spider's attack, but with a +3 roll, he was crushed between the grotesque pincers of the spider's mouth for 4 stress, then tossed aside.

Then on Rwake's turn:

Llama: "I pull out my knife and find a weak spot to stab the spider."

Me: "Oooo, so as you feeling around you discover the spot Leo had been hammering with a chisel earlier?"

Llama: "Sure - do I need to spend a fate point for that?"

Me: "Nah. That's what Fate is about. This kind of stuff works out for you guys. So do you jab the knife into Leo's crack?"

[giggling from around the table]

Rwake: "I tag the Overwhelmed aspect to get +2 on my attack for a total of . . . +6."

Me: "The spider's exoskeleton is weakened, so that's going to be a difficulty of +3. You dealt 3 stress. Your blade sinks in and ooze starts to spill out."

Players: "Eeeewwww."

Me: "So now the spider is trying to madly shake Rwake off its back. It now has the Moderate consequence of 'Half-sensing'. Rwake struck something in the spider's neck joint to hinder its senses. The spider is visibly struggling now."

Elros, still aching from his spider bite, got up and charged the spider (supplemental action for -1) and rolled a +2 for his sword attack. That gave him the shift he needed against the spider's Average (+1) roll to move the damage up to a Severe consequence. Jumping into the air and slicing a two-handed slash, Elros' sword cleaved through the spiders eyes and mouth. The spider took a new temporary aspect of 'Weakened'.

Webbing now began too shoot wildly from the spider's abdomen, near Leo. The little Lufan quickly darted around to the front of the spider (supplemental action), using his Close at Hand stunt to freely pull out a long chisel and a short carving knife. Aiming at the wounded face of the beast, Leo flung both "weapons", rolling a +2 against the spider's +3 dodge. Leo now uses the free tag of the spider's new "Weakened" aspect to reroll his Thrown Weapons skill, achieving a +5 this time. those 3 shifts of stress took the spider into the Taken Out state. Leo's knife cut through part of the spider's face, while the chisel lodged deeply into one of the eyes. The spider wriggled for a few moments, screeching its last, and finally dropped lifeless to the dusty floor of its lair.

Before dismounting, Rwake wedged his knife into the spider's neck joint and methodically broke all connections, ensuring the spider's final death. Behold below - the monstrous spider fallen. Notice Leo's chisel embedded in the spider's eye.

A post-battle examination of the room turned up a Pearl of Power, which allows the owner to enhance the benefit of one stunt per day. Elros also found a leather pouch containing 15 silver among the corpses. He kindly split the silver between the three of them and headed back to the hallway.

So, after many weeks, they have finally bested the monstrous spider, Elros reasonably damaged from the experience.

Our next session won't be until the second half of January, once we're all back from Christmas break. It will probably take another 3 weeks or so to finish this adventure. After that, AC is going to take over GMing and we're going to play through the holiday-themed, Spirit of the Season. Some of us, especially J, have been wanting to try a real SotC adventure, pulp-theme and all. While I'm not into the pulp genre, I am willing to give it a try. So, AC stepped up to run this next adventure. Once we've finished that, we'll move on to the continuation of this campaign, following the story of Elros, Leo, and Rwake. The adventure will be one of my own creations. Thanks for those of you who read these reports. Comments are always appreciated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great session write-up, as always!