Last time, our heroes faced off against several competing gladiators. It was a harrowing battle, but they won...
Our heroes decide to return to sleep after the battle. Oberth resumes first watch. He spends his watch trying to build a new drone out of the components of the two damaged ones. He fails and ruins some components. By the time the others wake and it’s Oberth’s turn to go to sleep, it has grown dark. They know the night will last sixty hours and decide not to continue tonight, but to spend sixty hours waiting here and sleeping.
Sleepy time II
I don’t think I ever ran a session where people spent this much time sleeping. Personally, I never spent a night in the jungle--and if I have a say in it, I probably never will--but I’m sure there’s plenty of annoying stuff: bugs, strange sounds, nighttime critters that howl, bite, or gnaw, and harrowing humidity. It’s a bit like Manchester, I suppose...
The players asked me to fast forward to daylight, but I decided to pester them a bit with such things until they were good and annoyed, because I never took to the whole player-characters-can-wait-and-sleep-indefinitely-because-players-don’t-feel-their-characters’-boredom thing.
During the long night (that lasts multiple standard days) spent at the small house, our heroes encounter large mosquito-like creatures that crawl on the ceiling and attempt to bite them. Liam gets bitten, but he withstands the nasty effects of the poison thanks to his excellent physique. Our heroes use fire and the Spark Shield spell (see Core Rulebook, pages 187-188) to keep the creatures at bay and--so long as one man patrols with a burning piece of wood--the others can sleep. They also spot some creatures in the wild, hear many a strange thing, and see lights dance in the distance. However, they decide to remain inside the house.
After a very long night, our heroes set out again. They march for about five hours until they spot another small house, similar to the first. They also see the wall next to it has no barbed wire on top: this must be the place where the they should be able to scale the wall.
Our heroes decide to investigate the house first. They find a Psionic Heads-Up Display, a nifty piece of equipment that gives information about surroundings and targets, augmented by Psionic magic. Byzi claims the object. After they’ve investigated the house, they discuss how to scale the wall. Their plan is to have Liam use the shiftpuck to teleport to the top, lower a rope, and then have him assist Oberth and Byzi in their climb.
They craft a crude rope of vine and execute their plans.
If a character has 0 skill levels in a skill, but performs a skill check anyway, he may still roll 1 die. He may even still receive bonuses on that roll from e.g. equipment or favorable circumstances. However, if he gets a 1 on any of those dice, he ‘botches’ the roll, and something goes wrong.
When it was Oberth’s turn to scale the wall, his player decided not to accept the help of Byzi and Liam (which would grant him a bonus of two dice) since that would only increase the chance of his botching the roll: there is a greater risk of getting a 1 with three dice than there is with one die. Byzi's choice makes sense.
I think I need to rephrase this rule, because I don’t want players to refuse help because it increases the chances of their failing (even though that makes perfect sense from a paranoia perspective). Ideally, a player can still succeed on the check even if he rolls a 1, but something can still go wrong. So if Oberth would have gotten two sixes and a one, he would have managed to clamber up, but something would’ve gone wrong along the way. Maybe he’d drop his weapon, or some other item, or maybe he’d bump his head and get 1 Body damage. I need to give this some thought.
After a while, everyone makes it to the top of the wall. Farther west, they see a river shining silver in the sunlight. There is a small town on its west bank. Beyond that, the land transitions into rough hills. Our heroes heave a sigh of relief, having escaped from the clutches of the Monarchy for a second time.
More excitement in the Monarchy! Everyone received 100 Character Points, bringing the total per player to 780. As usual, there were some points where the Stage needs improvement:
- The Sharp Eye power (see Core Rulebook, page 117) may need limitation, as it may now be used to scan for lifeforms...
- The Interruption that players prepare as opposed to the Interruption action type needs a new name (see Core Rulebook, pages 22-23). Two different concepts with the same name is confusing.
- The Stage may need some rules that deal with sleeping too much to restore Stamina, Intellect, and Will, etcetera.
- I am not happy with how larger dice pools for skill checks with skills in which characters have no levels increase the risk of botching.