On the 6th of March my friend Thomas hosted the third session of the Silver Street Guild campaign. He has kindly written a campaign log detailing our (troubled) experience.
So here it is, in its full, unabridged glory: Thomas’s campaign log of session 3 of the Silver Street Guild Campaign! You can find session 1 here (including some background on the setting and the characters and an awesome drawing of the party) and session 2 here.
This session was marred by technical difficulties. We used the otherwise quite adequate RPG-platform Roll20, but some of our players were experiencing game-breaking difficulties with the built-in call function: at times they were unable to hear other players and at times other players were unable to hear them. We didn’t manage to progress the story by much as a result, but still had an exciting battle that wound up taking up most of our play time.
On to the adventure!
Day 4 (continued)
In our previous session, the players had found the tracks of a single cow and several wolves--one of them large and two-legged--on the river bank. The tracks led away from Cedric’s farm and deeper into the forest on the far side of the river. Woodsman Guy, aided by farm boy Rolland, tracks the wolves through the undergrowth.
After about an hour of tracking, the players hear a chilling howl further up ahead. There is a moment’s hesitation, but in the end the players decide to carry on. Just as Guy realizes that perhaps sneaking up on wolves with the wind in your back might not be a good tactic, he is set upon by one of the wolves and battle is joined.
There were several approaches to this encounter, but the players forewent tactics and decided to simply walk into the enemy camp. Of course, the wolves had caught their scent in advance and the enemy party got a surprise round as a result. Two wolves used this surprise to ambush Guy (who was on point).
The real challenge of this battle was a 'Wolfkin Shaman', a two-legged, intelligent wolf-like creature. This Shaman had some special abilities, such as his innate Alpha Male psionic power (the Wolfkin can spend 1 AP to order wolves around the battlefield or rally more friends to his cause). As a shaman, he also had knowledge of some Animism spells, most notably the Soul Shield spell (see Supernatural Rulebook, page 111), which he used immediately after he was hit by one of David's sharp arrows.
One thing that disrupted the quite lethal advantage the enemy party had was the retaking of the initiative by notably Tirin and David. Tirin, in true swashbuckling form, rushed forward, and forced the non-ambushing enemies to join combat immediately. David managed to land an arrow in the Shaman's chest, which forced the Shaman to use his Soul Shield spell and prevented him from rallying his wolves at the start of the battle. Combined with Guy's huge fists, Rollands ability to squire Tirin when he really needed it, Cesper's generous application of the Force Armor spell (see Supernatural Rulebook, page 87), and some last minute mauling by Mavis the Bear, the situation was resolved in the end and the players overcame a grand total of 6 wolves and their Wolfkin leader. Guy, however, had been seriously injured.
After the battle, Cesper retrieves a small bone talisman from the Shaman’s corpse, which seems to be enchanted with Animism magic. Guy, although wounded, manages to skin the hideous Wolfkin; its pelt will make a nice trophy for the Guild Hall. The players then return to Oakswater Crossing, report back to Cedric, and decide to spend the night at his farm. Cesper uses some Crawlmoss to tend to Guy's wounds and Cedric rewards the players with a majestic cow. Great! Thanks, Cedric.
Day 5: Return to Aberford
The players return to Aberford bearing their trophy (the pelt, not the cow) in the open, which piques the interest of the villagers. Before returning to the Guild Hall, the players ask the town guard to send the captain to their Guild Hall so they can report the conclusion of their mission to him.
Meanwhile, Cesper asks for Fendrel’s advice regarding Guy’s wounds. Fendrel comes over to visit Cesper and Guy at the Guild Hall, but has no further recommendations as he feels Cesper’s dressing of the wounds should suffice; Guy just needs to rest now.
When captain Bartholomeus arrives, the players show him the trophy while Tirin and Rolland recount the story and the Guild’s bravery. Captain Bartholomeus is pleased (but also concerned) and rewards them with a gold piece. Once the captain has left, the Guild members celebrate their second successful mission by drinking the night away.
Technical issues notwithstanding, I thoroughly enjoyed the player's battle at the Oakswood and trust it has inspired fresh confidence in the budding heroes of the Silver Street Guild!
First, thanks to Thomas for writing up this campaign log: it really helps in my understanding of the Stage!
Second, the battle with the wolves was the most interesting part of this session (from a rules perspective). There are two things I’m taking home from it:
- The wolves got a ‘surprise round.’ There are, however, no surprise rounds on the Stage. It’s a minor technicality, but the ambushing party automatically wins initiative, which means it acts first. It does not, however, get an ‘extra’ surprise round as it would in other systems, such as D&D 3.x; and
- The Force Armor spell, which grants a number of Defense points, was written before the new Defense point rules, and is quite overpowered now, even with the new maximum bonus rules. I will change this Spell in the next iteration of the Stage.
But apart from these minor nitpicks, I was quite pleased to see that combat works pretty well right now. (Apart from the underpowered Agility skill, but that will be fixed in the next iteration.) I’m keen to see where the next session will take us!
Read about session 4 here!