Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Encounter at Ramat Bridge - Play Report from Macquarie con

!!!SPOILER ALERT --- Do not read this post if you plan on playing Encounter at Ramat Bridge. This is your ONLY WARNING!!!!

This is an email that we received from Martin Blake who ran Encounter at Ramat Bridge as a Slot 0  for GMs running it at Macquarie con. Read an enjoy!

The session went very well, we played for 7.5 hours – with the first hour being a thorough introduction to Exodus and the pregen characters and then the players going through the pregens and getting to know them.  We also breaked for half-an-hour lunch, so the real playing time was 6 hours.  This was good as it allowed me to run all soft encounters as well.

The feedback was very positive, with everyone enjoying the setting and background.  The game played well, with some fun and "awesome" developments.  Afterwards, Alistair Rigg (Sydney VC) commented that this was one of, if not the best, organised play scenarios he had played!

In the end a couple of players dropped out and we ran with 3.  The group turned down the option of taking along a 4th iconic, and so went with Amne Isa Zara, Milka Bronislaw and Nose-Cutter.

I took time with the initial movement into the Protectorate and slowly gave the party the information gathered through the various knowledge checks.  Nose-cutter used his profession (soldier) skill well – getting information from the local militia about most professional units mustering at Zarynth.  Zara got some good background information from priests of the Sanguine Covenant along the way too.  Milka was good to have in the party as a native of the protectorate – and as no PC had knowledge (local) she put her regional affinity trait to good work.  Everyone agreed regional affinity is a nice touch and a good addition to NeoExodus legacies.

The PCs actually bluffed their way into Zarynth, with Zara offering her services as a healer allowing them to get past the initial road-block and spend a night in Zarynth before Captain Ilyanova asked them to leave the next day, telling them she had no need for their services.  The night in the town gave them more info and a certainty that something indeed was afoot!  

The initial investigation of the massacre at Ramat Bridge went as planned.  The magical aura of the triggered magic mouth spell fading from the body of the priest worked well and kept the PCs on their toes thinking there was a spellcaster around.

The PCs opened the arsenal, thinking they could control anything within (they rescued some protectorate uniforms).  Unfortunately, the mobile cannons attacked and the party did well to limit damage from the 2 constructs.  The final cannon was reduced to exactly 0 HP – so I ruled that it was disabled and not destroyed.  Having the machinesmith in the party allowed Milka to spend an hour repairing the mobile cannon back to full HP and I ruled that she could use a knowledge (arcana)/spellcraft check to control them just like handle-animal with a combat trained creature.

This was one of the most "awesome" moments for the party.  They loved being able to get a mobile canon on their side, and they set it to "guard" the approach to the fort while they settled down for the night.
They had some good role-playing with the arrival of Calvill Emereth – not wholly trusting him, but taking him into the ruins for the night anyway.
Although the party set watches, they were all surprised/rudely awakened when the mobile cannon went off with a massive explosion as the first P'Tan levee got within the 60 foot range of the cannon's darkvision.  The first wave went pretty quickly, with the cannon doing a lot of the damage.

Imagine their surprise when the second wave has a rust monster!  Guess what he concentrated on? This wave was a lot more challenging and managed to get into melee with the cannon and manage to destroy the canon but deal little damage to the rest of the party.

The third wave was a different matter.  They initially took on the challenge of Ayayah, but nose-cutter threw a javelin at her and she went a bit nuts on him – with the Scythians rapidly crossing the bridge to join in.

The party really struggled with Ayayah – and I even completely forgot about here barbed defence and even after a couple of rounds I forgot about her DR too.  Even so they struggled to do damage to her and she kept putting nose-cutter down with deadly flurry-of-blows which kept Zara the cleric constantly on heal patrol.  The encounter lasted well over an hour, with Ayayah being the remaining enemy and the PCs being unable to defeat her – she ended up knocking all of the PCs unconscious, and I couldn't think of a good reason why they wouldn't kill them off.  So – a TPK in the first NeoExodus Legacies game in Australia!

It was actually a fitting end to the scenario – and the players all enjoyed it immensely.  They liked the Epilogue – it made them hungry for the next adventure.  I think having an epilogue like this is a really nice touch and helps to keep people interested and wanting to play more – please use these in the future too! So, all-in-all a very positive and encouraging for outing for Legacies down-under. 

Thanks for the report on the first international NeoExodus Legacies event and which looks like it will not be the last.  Talk to you later...