Actual Play: GURPS DF Jade Regent – Ravenscraeg 7

GM: +Nathan Joy 
Players: +Mark Langsdorf , +Theodore Briggs , +Kevin Smyth , +Emily Smirle 

The Boss Fight

The game starts out with fire shooting out of a well in the center of the room. We initially fear monsters or death . . . but it turns out to be the sword we’ve been looking for all this time, narrowly wedged down the hole. We scrounge around in our stuff, because for a bit, it looks like no one brought rope.

Staver to the rescue with 20 yards of rope. Michel casts Glue and Apportation on the thing, wraps it up tight, and we haul it to the surface.

Mark: Is this cheating? It feels like cheating. 

We retrieved the sword, and then went down another level. This opened into a small corridor, which itself led to a few rooms with doors – one of them magelocked, much to Michel’s unpleasant surprise.

Finding little in the rooms we could easily access, we proceeded down the way to throw open the double doors, into a huge chamber that looked like a square room 20’ high, with another square room offset 45 degrees, culiminating in a pyramidal shape above our heads.

Initially, there were four ninja and a blonde woman they were all worshipping or something. These were the same demon-bird ninja from earlier. Our new companion, Dawn, rushed into the room to do battle, and that’s when we found our our first unpleasant surprise: the entire room was some sort of Unholy temple. Dawn would take damage or at least be very uncomfortable, while the other two clerics (Cadmus and Michel) are nerfed a bit.
Anyway, the battle joined, we then got an unpleasant surprise. An “executioner’s hood” dropped down and tried to start smothering Thumvar, the knight. Thumvar, of course, did what anyone who was a gargoyle encased in steel would do: he hit himself in the head four times with full-strength blows from his own axe over two turns, killing it despite impressive regen abilities.
Dawn managed to cut off both arms of one bird-ninja on her successive turns, and Thumvar and Cadmus – whose Righteous Fury should have been +6 to DX, +5 to ST and +2 to HT, but the Unholy cut that down to +3, +2, +1 – did in for another one, aided by Michel casting Great Haste on Thumvar.
Michel then cast Continual Daylight on the hoods, which a good roll of his identified as part of the “Squid” populatin (Good-Evil-Bunny-Squid), and the thing spent a lot of time thrashing on the ground subsequently.
Whereupon, a scary female voice called us fools, the screens all fell down, and a metric crap-ton of Viking zombies stood there slavering at us.
We broke there, facing two spellcasters, a lot of zombies, two more ninja, and possibly a few other baddies that escaped along the way. 
Next Tuesday’s going to be interesting. Hopefully, we’ll all remember the freakin’ magic artifact that is Ameiko’s ancestral sword in time for it to do something really impressive.

17 thoughts on “Actual Play: GURPS DF Jade Regent – Ravenscraeg 7

  1. The two statues definitely animated – I saw them on the initiative list. Depending on how the ordering works, we're looking at something like:
    * Cadmus goes into full protection from Evil mode to keep the zombies away.
    * Thumvar moves forward to protect Dawn from zombies until she recovers then comes back to protect Michel from statues (good thing he's Great Hasted)
    * Dawn and Staver shoot up enemy wizards and ninja
    * Michel figures out something useful to do but what that's going to be I don't know. Set everything on fire? That's my usual plan.

  2. I have agree with scary female voice. Win or lose, it was kind of foolish to think "screens? Let's advance past them into the room."

    Good luck next fight. 🙂

    1. In my (and Mark's) own defense, from the Skype chatlog:

      Early on, as we were bypassing the two statues we KNEW would turn into stone golems with really sharp swords later:

      Mark: So my experience from playing too much DA2 is that we should all run around the corner and wait for the reinforcements to jump down from the walls.
      Doug: DA?
      Mark: Dragon Age.

      Now, I took this to be a lighthearted joke, but he was making a serious suggestion, turns out.

      Doug : Hrm. I have a feeling wading in to these guys like we normally do might be a bad idea

      Doug: Ted: form an advancing shield wall? Since we're already in ranks?
      Ted: bah, what could possibly happen?
      Mark: I already suggested falling back to the corner.
      Emily: Ranked up? Pishposh!
      Emily: I think a) staying in rank is good, and b) not keeping ourselves ready to be surrounded by golems would be nice.

      Then, as we advance into the room . . .

      Douglas Cole: Maybe if Dawn flashes her, um, special holding pouch at the crazy ninja, Staver can feather them?

      Douglas Cole: I will happly engage in this, but we're rushing into a standup fight in an unholy area with three people who are susceptible to it, that's also full of vision-blocking screens. This is not a good plan.

      Theodore Briggs: you guys can totally back up to the door

      crakkerjakk: Doug. You and your reason. You and Mark.
      crakkerjakk: I find it hilarious that Pathfinder assumes PCs will simply rush into this and slug away.

      Douglas Cole: Thus far, it's a good assumption. 😛

    2. Tactically, I'm completely opposed to charging into a screened pit with ledges above us. We had no idea what was lurking above, and the Hangman Nooses we did meet were bad enough. And I'm extremely unthrilled that our retreat is blocked by the statues.

      But my character is a little overconfident in fights and not a tactician, and my allies are apparently insane, so here we are.

      I would have been thrilled if we had fallen back to the corner while ninjas were getting to their feet and then let Staver pincushion them while they chased after us. Ah, well.

    3. Oh Mark, you may not be cut out for Dungeon Fantasy after all. I did a quick search of all the DF PDFs and the only way you can wind up with Common Sense is to a) have an Owl familiar, b) be a holy ally of Order or c) be a Servant. It's just not part of the idiom, as it were.

  3. We're going to have so much Fun next week!

    Need to brush up on my grappling rules for all thems zombehs.

    As I told everyone at the end of the session, if this doesn't end with you guys on top of a pile of corpses and shouting whilst holding weapons, I'm going to be very disappointed.

  4. Admit it, you've been less than fully challenged all along. It's time you bit off more than you can chew – how else can you be utterly bad-ass if you're not in over your head?

    1. The US military manages it all the time in Iraq. Curb stomps can be quite epic.

      I'm really much less worried about the zombies than I am about the golems. Any of us can take down a zombie or two a turn, but golems are tough.

  5. +Jason Packer, that theory didn't work so well for my gaming group on Monday. We tried to be utterly bad-ass, and instead ended up all DEAD. DEAD I tell you. RIP Decimus, Gan, Salvio, Aulus, Tiberius, Havoc, Maximus, and the other ~40 unnamed NPCs who followed me (Decimus) into a magic fog filled grove with undead Legionnaires, skull spirits, and a pissed off deer-man necromancer…

    And that's why next week, I am starting my Transhuman Space game. (Actually, that was planned anyway, but instead of being awesome at the end of the campaign, we're dead.)

    1. Man, I hope at least that the NPCs were abstracted out a little – otherwise, that would have been one long-as-hell fight.

      Were you hopelessly outmatched, or were the dice gods just not on your side this time?

    2. We didn't have all 40 NPCs in the fight that we could see, but they were still abstracted. We were probably more hopelessly outmatched than the GM intended, but the dice gods did NOT help us.

  6. I must point out that Holy Might Abilities and Learned Prayers don't suffer penalties from Low Sanctity. The reason being that the power modifier only includes a pact, and no Channeled Energy [1] [2] [3]. Power Investiture spells are different, since Power Investiture IS reskinned Magery [4] and the spells are explicitly magical in nature [5]. The confusion is common though. The Divine Favor modifier takes penalties for Low Sanctity [6], but that's a special rule of the advantage, and does not apply to the miracles themselves (be them in the format of General, Specific or Learned Prayers).

    [1] See the description of the Holy Power Modifier, DF1, p. 22, and contrast it with the Bard-Song Power Modifier, that explicity calls for penalties in low mana areas, and the Druidic Power Modifier that explicitly mentions reduction in power and/or penalties to success rolls for Nature Strength.

    [2] See the description of the Divine Modifier in DiF, p. 4, that refers to Pow pp. 26-27, where the cost is broken down, and there's no mention of Channeled Energy -5% as part of the Power Modifier.

    [3] See DF1, p. 20, under Spell vs. Power, where it makes clear that the power is immanent and not borrowed.

    [4] See Thm, p. 67, under Power Investiture as Modified Magery for the exact breakdown.

    [5] See DF1, p. 20, under Spell vs. Spell, where it makes clear that once cast, all spells follow the same rules, regardless of Power Source.

    [6] See DiF, p. 5, under Divine Favor Modifiers, for both Petition and Reaction rolls. Note that the modifier is not -5, as this is not the general rule

    1. BTW, I assume that everyone can understand the book abbreviations (They are no longer official, unlike what happened in 3rd ed), but just in case:

      DF1: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers
      DiF: GURPS Powers: Divine Favor
      Pow: GURPS Powers
      Thm: GURPS Thaumatology

    2. Nate was making a ruling on the fly and I couldn't remember how it worked, so we went with "like wizards and druids." Thanks for the cite; should help some next session though honestly, my preference for dealing with zombies is "Turn and let super-Thumvar carve them up later." Having Cadmus wade into them is actually less efficient.

    3. I wasn't thinking of having Cadmus wade in so much as (a) if I'm +6, +5, +2 instead of +3,2,1 I'm less likely to be taken out by random spellcasters or those NOT turned by my Prot from Evil, and we've been halving the effects of the powers – the radius within which PfE will work might just have gotten a lot larger, which will help us fight.

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