Monday, September 7, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 13

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)
GM: Each of you reek of poultices. The poultices leak a combination of binders, fillers, and liquids—keep the torch that turpentine?—from the soaked bandages or makeshift slings. They cool the wounds and aches, if at a cost of making each of you less willing to stand near each other. Johann surely must find better smelling ingredients when back in Padua.
In a quiet moment, there is a muted boom in the new stairwell down. Wilhelm  states emphatically, "That's powder. A blunderbus possibly. Below for certain." New worries creep into your thoughts, are the Sigmarites now armed? Or may explain something less sinister: have they just not paid attention to Wilhelm's Bandit Reducing Hand Cannon because the Sigmarite's mistaking it for something else...
The stairs go down.
Tankred: As a small point of order. I smell of Wilhelm's vomit, but have escaped needing a poultice as of yet.
Johann is, understandably, offended at the bellyaching of the rest of the crew over something as trivial as "smell" and "sanitation." Such things are nothing compared to the brilliance of his treatments, and he makes very little effort to hide this fact.
Tankred's jaw is set with grim determination and his shield and sword ready to face the perils ahead. 
Vaervenshyael looks at Tankred to brave the threat of powder first. Her ear still rings from Wilhelm's last shot.

Inexplicably, the Verenan priest, Roderick, runs bye the party, with two war dogs hot on his heels. Tankred fills the corridor to battle the creatures. Vaervenshyael attacks from around his flank.

The party still hears explosions from behind a door at the end of a hallway. Wilhelm has snuck a peek through a keyhole (or some such) while the warriors fight the dogs. He then backed himself into a corner and wouldn't say anything coherent.

When the party enters the room, they view a scene of carnage. Sigmarite zealots are attempting to blast open a pair of metal doors via suicide bomb. The party watched one explode as they opened the doors. This led to Insanity points. There were more zealots, with a leader-type, further into the room, out of blast radius. They all held more pipe bombs, waiting for their chance to try the door. Wilhelm stepped into the room and shot one of the bombs with his pistol.

The resulting explosion blasted everyone in the room, including the PCs. The zealot holding the bomb was killed, as was another zealot beside him. Another was knocked back into a wall, and the leader-type was knocked out of sight. Luckily, Vaervenshyael had taken cover behind a column and didn't have to survive a direct blast. It took little for Tankred and Vaervenshyael, once they regained their senses, to take out the remaining zealots.

A nearby room had mosaic tiles with Arabyan letters on them. As luck would have it, the Doctor had learned to read Arabyan from a warehouse owner in town. The party used the tiles to magically open the polished steel doors the zealots were trying to blow open.

Before heading beyond the steel door, the party explored the rest of the megalith level they were on. They found a skeleton of an Estelian who had locked himself in a trapped room. The man had a rapier, very find craftsmanship, which Vaervenshyael decided to lay claim to. He also had an interesting earring, which nobody else wanted, so she claimed.

The rooms on this level had extra gunpowder. All Vaervenshyael needs to change careers is some ammunition. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Renegade Princeps Introspection 12

Here is some of the out-of-game chatter the players have been saying about their characters for the last couple sittings:

Starting with a question about the direction of Tankred's personality:

Me: Kind of Lawful Neutral. It's a distinct personality, so it works. Vaervenshyael needs to be more like that when it comes to dealing with humans. That leaves Wilhelm or Johann as our conscience. 
Tankred's Player: Roger nailed it really. I'm modeling Tankred a bit after the Expendables. Light hearted during his down time, enjoying his beer, and his work. But when it becomes time to fight, he is all business and is a sociopathic killing machine. I envision Tankred being more at home on the battlefield than anywhere else.
The Doctor's Player: Roger if you're relying on Johann or Wilhelm to be our conscience I think you'll find that it's quickly eroding. Poor Wilhelm may be incredibly enthusiastic and possibly the least morally ambiguous among us, but his mind is quickly and soundly being blasted by the horrors and cruelty of the world around him. And really, Johann is a losing bet when it comes to who will make the "morally sound" decision. Remember, he let the party get ambushed by beastmen just so he could get one of their heads, since he knew perfectly well that they inhabited those sulfur fields.
I mean, knowledge for knowledge's sake, while not malicious, is also not a safe path to follow in WFRP. In fact, it may be even MORE dangerous in a sense than seeking knowledge for power because of how wild and unrestrained Johann's pursuit is.

So to recap: We have an elf (no explanation needed), a sociopath, an unethical doctor, and a mad engineer. Like all parties in Warhammer Fantasy, we won't be measuring success by gold, or by good deeds. Soon we will be measuring it by our ability to survive, and I don't think a conscience has any place in our efforts.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 12

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)

Right ear still ringing (and hair slightly singed) from Wilhelm's gunshot from her shoulder, Vaervenshyael heads down the new passage. The walls on the other side of the megalith show even more murals. What can the party make out? An Arabyan priest? Burial rites? Vaervenshyael has no interest in these nor the niches with bones which line the hallway ahead.

The party evades a rustic warning trap, made with a string and an empty tin bucket. There are individuals up ahead. They are not paying attention. They are taken out by Tankred and, surprisingly, the doctor.

The room contains a crate full of coins. They are old, gold coins. They are not the kind traded around these days, but the metalworker think he can re-mint them. Vaervenshyael has been stymied by lack of human coinage in the past, so she makes sure to stuff and large handful into her personal purse. There is also a 5 pound, clay statuette of a female. Vaervenshyael tucked that into her backpack. She knows how much humans like their antiquities. If nothing else, the priest Roderick may pay a sum for it when they return, if she can get him back to Padua alive.

Further into the megalith, they encounter three men and a chained up dog sitting around a table. As luck would have it, Vaervenshyael is squared off with the largest human adversary. He has a two-handed sword and muscles to spare. Trying to be wise, she disarms the large human. He doesn't seem to mind, and punches her square in the jaw, hard enough for her to see stars. She can do nothing but defend until her vision clears, then she managed to finish him with her sword. The doctor applied a rotten-smelling poultice to her jaw, which, admittedly, did make it start to feel better almost immediately. Still, she's partially deaf in one ear and can barely talk through a swollen, bruised jaw at this point.

There is a door in the north end of the room, but the party hears more dogs on the other side. They decide to leave that door shut to save themselves the aggravation.

The final fresco we encounter this session is in a large shrine. First the party must dispatch a few Sigmarite zealots, then we look at the work of art. It shows an old Arabyan king, Abdul Al-shaar to be precise, with a ranseur (a type of polearm). One of the magical items, the tooth of pride, is on the cross piece of the staff. Another item is red like a jewel. Vaervenshyael is reminded that she has the tooth tucked safely in a pocket.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 11

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)

The party boldly entered the front entrance of the megalith. Various rooms in the lower levels contained nothing but filth. Upstairs things got more interesting.

(Meta: My character apparently contracted some kind of bed bug in a room full of hay. I don't know when she'll find out.)

Up a short flight of stairs we found a room full of columns and murals. The murals looked like Arabyan armies on the march. There was a Sigmarite zealot in the back corner of the room. Wilhelm shot immediately (thinking he saw a beastman). The zealot got away and led us on a merry chase up many flights of stairs into the top of the tower. Vaervenshyael was able to overtake him before he reached the top. She chopped his legs out from under him.

The room at the top of the stairs had little but fragments of furniture, rubble, broken weapons and the like. There were more zealots using an overturned table for defense. They were all dispatched.

Some rooms further in contained more murals with different armies, according to the uniforms. Then we came to the challenge.

The platform we saw from the ground balance unsafely out of a side wall of the tower. It did not look like it could bear much weight. Our mercenary weighs a lot.

The platform did have a rope tied above it which looked to provide access via a brazen swing over the platform an into a hole in a wall in the nearby wall. Our heaviest party member tried it first. With no safety rope.  (Meta: Score one Fate Point for the GM.)

The engineer decided to try next...again without a safety rope. (Meta: Score another Fate Point for the GM.)

The doctor was having none of it. He allowed the elf to try next. She insisted on a safety rope. She swung agilely to the opening in the far wall. Her safety rope was used as a guide rope for the others to swing safely over.

The next sitting will reveal what we find on the other side.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 10.5

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

(Previous Notes)

Wilhelm kicked over the body the zealot that struck him with the whip...a woman! Her features otherwise indeterminate beneath the filth and rags of her dedication to Sigmar.

Johann and Varvenshyael found cover from the looming megalith for the Verenan Roderic Leer. Unconscious still, Varvenshyael considered Leer's words, "I know the truth." Johann considered these words and the condition of the priest. He will live.

Tankred considered the megalith, the ragged entrance and torches that revealed little about what lied beyond them. In the quiet of the mind, punctuated only by the words of Johann and Varvenshyael over the priest, the echoes of Wilhelm's hand cannon remained.

The shadow of the megalith lengthened as the sun set, and a slight breeze moved the cloud of vapor which rose over the structure to the east.

Around the party lied a wide and long lost settlement of stone structures. Centuries old. Campfire pits and poor lean-to shelters crowded what fallen down corners of structures remained. The detritus of the zealots was practically worthless. Only scraps of poorly bound editions of The Life of Sigmar, prayer boards, and flagellant whips could be found amid the remains of unleavened campfire breads and bones of rats and dogs for food.

Tankred took charge: "We'll need a defensible position while the doctor tends to the Verenian. V, can you guard them while I scout for a structure that will suffice? Wilhelm, I need you to gather materials for a fire, and whatever blankets there may be. We don't have bedding for a fifth."

Vaervenshyael was confident she could defend everyone from the local unarmed human filth.

Tankred went to look for a relatively intact shelter that could be used to funnel incoming attackers. 

A quick survey of the area revealed no other zealots. Wilhelm was able to easily gather firewood from lean twos and stores zealots had previously made.

The shadows of the megalith lengthened as the afternoon gave way to evening. The tumble down debris strewn entrance in the wall of the megalith was more dimly lit as the single torch began to sputter.

Any inspection of the megalith from the outside revealed no other windows or openings. Only the roof or the wooden platform nested high above appeared to offer any vantage point.

Each of the party knew that a fire lit below could be seen from above. 

Tankred was beginning to suspect that the Sigmarites raised and lowered the platform above to gain entrance. He suggested making several small fires in their fire pits as if the zealots were still down below, and then tending to the priest.

Monday, July 6, 2015

First Level D&D Monsters

I don't always want to use kobolds, goblins, and giant rats for first level adventures. Let's see what else I can dredge up out of the 2e Monstrous Manual, not including psionics or good creatures:

Bat, Common 1-2 hp
Bat, Large 1/2 - 1 HD
Beetle, Fire 1+2 HD
Bird (various)
Bullywug 1 HD
Cat, Wild 1 HD
Centipede, Giant 2 hp
Crawling Claw 2-4 hp
Dog, Wild 1+1 HD
Dwarf, Duergar 1+2 HD
Fish (various)
Frog (various)
Fungus, Gas spore 1 hp
Gibberling 1 HD
Gremlins (4/6 listed are 1-1 HD or less)
Grippli 1+1 HD
Hatori (sand crocodile), Lesser 1-5 HD
Hobgoblin 1+1 HD (yeah, a goblin, but it may be considered a change still)
Human (various)
Insect, (various, each with interesting abilities)
Insect swarm
Ixitxachitl 1+1 HD
Leech, giant 1-4 HD
Mammal (various)
Merman 1+1 HD
Mold Men 1 to 6 HD
Mongrelmen 1-4 HD
Muckdweller 1/2 HD
Myconid 1-6 HD
Piercer 1-4 HD
Plant, Intelligent, Obliviax 1-2 hp
Poltergeist 1/2 HD
Skeleton 1 HD (don't forget animal skeletons 1-1 HD)
Snake, Heway 1+3 HD
Spider, Hairy or Large 1-1 to 1+1 HD
Tasloi 1 HD
Urchin, Black 1+1 HD
Worm, Bookworm or Rot Grub 1/4 HD or less

Those are just 1 HD or less creatures. I'm sure a small party could take on some 2 HD creatures as well. That would significantly expand the list. Let's give kobolds, goblins, and giant rats a rest for a while.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Renegade Princeps Introspection 10

Here are some thoughts from the players about the direction the characters are going. I had to mull over Vaervenshyael's reaction to seeing Roderic hanging and dying:

I still maintain that my actions were completely in character considering 1) the bloody Sigmarite zealots had been goading me since we first saved them from the beastmen. Then their friends did the same at the tower. 2) My background states I am "against injustice" and "take the law in my own hands". 3) the priest really is a resident of Padua, and I work for Prince Ludovic. 4) I did not attack them first. I drew my sword to cut down the priest and only defended myself once attacked. 5) It's a bit more meta, but: the tooth. Don't forget the tooth.

I just needed to write that out to convince myself I'm not still playing Mordrin. It seems valid to me.

The Doctor's player chimed in:

I don't disagree, and I think there are plenty of totally valid reasons why elves may do things that humans are confused by, especially when they defy the behaviors that humans would normally attribute to them.
Tankred's player:

Eh, Tankred, doesn't care. A little heads up if he needs to start killing, would be nice. But really, that is what he gets paid for, so he really has no qualms about it.
Tankred will slaughter the whole place for beer money, so it is all good. He is a bit morally grey, you might say. 
 And Wilhelm's player makes a good point:

Wilhelm might have reacted poorly to a perceived threat... but to be fair he was brutally beaten last combat.
All in all, I think the GM set us up for the perfect storm.