September 17, 2018 0 comments

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Quest against the Darkmaster (PbP)

Here, on both sides of the road, the ground is stony and rocky, with many outcropping—none higher than waist-high—from the tall, tawny grass growth. It may be that the snakes have crawled out from their underground warrens to sun themselves on the road.

[By your suggestion, I have made a Nature roll for Ambrosius. I’m partial to any allied NPC to, at most, be in a mechanical roll of Assisting. I generally don’t enjoy games that, tactically, result in PCs relying on a retinue of NPCs that they gather about them—though I can see how this is a legitimate form of gaming. Please let me know your thoughts.

[Ambrosius succeeded on his Nature roll. So, as a form of Assistance, that would simply give Gyantwaka another +10, which remains a Partial Success.]

Ambrosius squints at the curved lines on the road in the growing, waving heat lines of the morning. “Uncanny that snakes live in the ground and appear in such numbers before us, now that we are an errand that opposes the Dark Smith of the Underworld, and you claim that my fallen apprentice has been summoning Gnomes of the Deep. A fey portent.”

With Partial Success, I’m gonna say that Gyantwaka recognizes these as adders. Not being a rider himself, he is uncertain of how horses react to the presence of snakes.

Gyantwaka judges the distance of road the snakes cover, how quickly would galloping horses cover it.

Gyantwaka says to the others, "Adders, which are poisonous - and just so happening to appear along a part of the road not easily gone around with all the rocks rising to the sides."

[Fine for NPC's to make helping rolls in this sort of situation, though I think I mentioned that generally I prefer to let PC's succeed or fail on their own with NPC's there to 'fill gaps in a small party rather than help PC's with their core skills, e.g., Gwenhild to fill out front line, on matters of arcane lore and history I would expect Ambrosius to be the source of info though then perhaps 'just knowing what the GM has decided he knows. Really it was Ambrosius' views on snakes and the Darkmaster that was sought and I believe he provided that to extent he has one.]

Gyantwaka judges the distance of road the snakes cover, how quickly would galloping horses cover it.

I figure horses would cover it in one Round.

Gyantwaka says to the others, "Adders, which are poisonous - and just so happening to appear along a part of the road not easily gone around with all the rocks rising to the sides."

Just to be clear, there is no reason why the horses can’t be guided off the road and around. The outcroppings, at their highest, are waist high, and these are old rock formations, eroded and rising fairly gently out of the tall grass. Horses could climb it (Ride Standard, +0) with care, but, more likely, you would be able to direct horses around the outcroppings and avoid the road for the Area it would take to skirt the adders.

Of course, there could be adders lurking in the tall grass, too, especially if the Darkmaster is involved here.

Does this change your intentions regarding Olwen’s use here?

Ah in that case scratch part of the above, from 2nd paragraph on (I'll edit and delete extraneous) - only partly changes, he doesn't get a torch now.

He continues, "If they have been brought here by some force, depending on its control over them, they might be made to move along.  If they are just snakes the local farmers will not appreciate us destroying them, as then there would be more mice, rats and such to plague them. 

I will scout a wide path around them [the skirting option], for the horses to avoid any rocks or gopher holes that would hinder them.  The snakes likely lair usually in the rocks and may just have come out to sun themselves.  This will be done by having a dismounted Olwen walk in front of me - if need be at the point of an arrow - in case there are more snakes.  If there are more, that is more likely the result of some force working against us both in terms of the unusual number of snakes and dispersal of them - which this one [Olwen] could have likely warned of if he was not a lost cause.  Follow a couple of horse-lengths behind."

Gwenhild will loosen the bonds tying Olwen's hands to pony reins and gesture for him to dismount, and suggest she be first in line after the pair with her spear ready - in case the adders are just a cover for another source of danger.  Leofred will ride beside Ambrosius, with the pack pony and Leofred's pony in a train after them

If that comes back to Gyantwaka pointing an arrow at Olwen just to get him to dismount, so be it.

[And yes striking unseen from in the grass is a good adder move, oooh, are they black adders? (couldn't resist, UK TV show reference)]

oooh, are they black adders? (couldn't resist, UK TV show reference)]

[Ha ha! Yeah, I’m only just now learning about adders online. To reveal a bit of the process for this, I rolled d100, rolled below 20, rolled a random Hazard, came up with Wild Beast, decided (because of the region and situation) on Adder.]

All proceeds as described. In a loose train, the fellowship starts a wide arc around the presence of the adders on the road and the nearest outcroppings. Gyantwaka keeps one eye on Olwen’s shoulders, one on the path ahead and the undulations of the terrain, and one (that’s his third eye!) on the threatening grasses all around.

And sudden movement grabs his third eye. The grasses sway, just slightly, as if in an errant breeze, and a golden-brown adder, perfectly camouflaged in terms of the surrounding grass, darts out from Olwen’s left. It curls like a whip. Its fangs are bared for Olwen’s leg!

[I was wondering if it was a travel hazard from rules or 'something more', no need to reveal which - 'a random hazard now manipulated by xxx']

Oh my, now Gyantwaka spots the adder - his inward dialogue is 'Great Spirits why am I so perceptive, couldn't I have missed this and let nature do its job?', as it is outer dialogue is,

"SNAKE OLWEN! JUMP TO YOUR RIGHT FAST AND RUN!" (assuming we may be in TSR he has time for one declaration).

He won't shoot at the snake, as he figures Olwen outrunning it is the best solution, he wants to keep his notched arrow for "bigger fish" and look around for other adders lurking like this one. If the snake pursues Olwen, which Gyantwaka regards as unnatural in the case, then he will shoot at it.

  • He did have his bow out and ready (mostly to shoot Olwen) and a query on the message boards said that having your bow out and ready as your rounded a corner would count as "Ranged A" action before Melee (putting it before a Snake attack, Olwen if he makes Assessment would likely do the 'running away' attempt and be making an opposed Athletics check with the snake to see if it gets an attack while he runs - with a bonus vs rear, of course he's still -40 to everything so there's a good chance he's surprised and even if not that he loses Athletics contest against the Adder - if it's standard it has +20).
  • The snake attacking as Olwen flees wouldn't be "pursuing" so it's whether the snake moves after Olwen (or towards Gyantwaka) that dictates whether he shoots.


If the snake pursues Olwen, which Gyantwaka regards as unnatural in the case, then he will shoot at it.

The adder is, indeed, going to bite Olwen. Olwen failed his opposed Acrobatics to get away from it.

having your bow out and ready as your rounded a corner would count as "Ranged A" action before Melee

Yep! If you want to aid Olwen at all, you can fire before the attempted adder strike.

Gyantwaka fires his bow - I wouldn't begrudge a -20% partial cover for the long grass and it's a snake etc., which is sort of like shooting through mist or somesuch (if he was standing next to it striking at it no issues).  I haven't applied any Flank etc. bonus but arguably there could be one (it's attention is on Olwen) which would be plus 15%, really only -5 for the grass then.

  • d100 = 53 + Skill 60 = 113, presuming it's a regular adder its DEF is +0 and it has no armour- the grass/flanking is a question for final outcome.  A crit is likely, the crit roll is 13 before applying any modifiers for level (e.g., MOD is +20)
  • If it is -5 net, 108 Missile vs NA is 13 MOD, the MOD outcome 33 Pierce is +3 damage and 3 bleed (so 16 total and 3 bleed).
  • The snake is likely Bruised at a minimum, despite Bruising it would complete strike as it's all near simultaneous but it flinches due to injury [bruising, -20 to its attack, though if Olwen was running and failed to avoid an attack it has the +30 rear bonus, so net +10).

I believe the fleeing rule is that either way the person fleeing runs off, it's just whether they suffered the attack that is determined (of course if that hamstrings them perhaps they don't run off), so Olwen presumably does run off (again assuming he is not hobbled by a bite, even if 'dying from poison' he could run).  The rules don't appear to reflect that running etc. while poisoned is not usually a good idea (would speed poison as it circulates).

[Sorry if presuming at all by peaking at Bestiary]

Whenever Leofred realizes what's happening, as everyone is in the grass, he will call out for everyone to ride quickly through in a straight line (Gwenhild, Ambrosius, Leofred, ponys).  Hopefully there are no more snakes or few and/or being themselves limited in senses (Leofred doesn't realize many/most snakes have a vibratory sense and so could sense pounding hooves - whether they would be inclined to flee or not I don't know) so won't be able to strike or if they do there is only one available to strike at the column riding through same spot etc. etc.

He will call to Gyantwaka to swing up onto a pony.

So did you add a Flanking bonus (+15) to your attack? If not, you can add that and recalculate, if you want.

The snake's attack: 99!!! +48. 147 + 30 (Small Bite) - 10 DEF for Leofred (I don't recall offhand if he had any DEF when he was gut punched) - 20 Bruised = 147.

Small Bite = 90 is the max result.

+12 Hits, Superficial Crit

Crit: 79 - (No armor) +10 Hits, 2 Bleed, Stunned, -10 to all actions.

Poor Olwen.

Above the outcome in second bullet is penalty for long grass and flanking bonus combined, so a bruised snake if normal, bleeding to death in 2 rounds if normal.

  • Now if the grass was not a penalty and is 113 +15, for 128, which is 20 damage - if a normal snake that itself is 0hp and creature passes out (so no attack) and Grievous (+30 modifier on crit roll for 43 Piercing which is +2 damage and stunning - meaning attack likely falters for that reason even if it has more hp).

Above in 2nd line of your post I think you mean for Olwen, he had a DEF when we was punched (I think he put all his effort into defence but there was an underlying DEF if I recall correctly trying to 'deconstruct it' from his parry bonus).

Eep, so Olwen needs to make a Fort based save to avoid being poisoned (luckily wound penalties don't apply to saves) - hmm stunned likely hinders running off (half move so disengaged), a total of -50 now for his actions.  What is actual "wound" causing the -10? (we know he has stomach muscles pulled, now what).