Actual Play: DF Jade Regent – Team Ameiko vs. endless hordes of undead

After the last game, the team (without me – I was out for some reason) had managed to survive the cave-in that was Pharasmically induced, do some minor looting before the entire cave system collapsed, and watch as one undead dragon flew off with a dead dragon in its claws.

Yeah, like we won’t be seeing them again in the future.

Anyway, we pursued them across the frozen north for a few weeks, and came up at camp to a woman that stirred Thumvar’s bones. He wandered out after her into the frozen cold. The rest of us resisted the evil hag’s lure.

Still, that put us in the middle of the frozen combat field with what looked like one or two foes. I think my vision-blocking layer was disabled, because I saw the entire freakin’ mess. That is a whole lot of Frozen Dead, at least four undead mammoths, a bunch of Frozen Wraiths, and one Woman. Plus a giant-ass stone pi. Awesome, like the mooks on the receiving end of River Tam’s wrath, we were about to be killed by Evil Math.

Turns out that was somewhat literal, too. That circle was black ice. Evil black ice, and any undead on it got a +10 to resist Cadmus’ usual bag of tricks, such as Protection from Evil. We found that out when Staver (our Infernal Scout) wandered in and felt the slippery evil for itself. Very bad, very tempting. She backed out.

Anyway, wackiness ensued. The snow slowed us down to half-move, which for Cadmus was 2 yards per second. He didn’t do a lot of moving, though – they came to him. Lots of them. Things rapidly got hairy, with mammoths trying tramples (all were dodged), very fast wraiths sneaking up from behind (but they mostly fell quickly to silvered weapons), and slow undead that woke up when the entire freakin’ battlefield shivered like a drumhead. Now they were fast zombies.

Great.

We managed to bring down most of the mammoths, and the bad guys still insisted on leaving their circle of Awesomely Evil to come to us. Still, we got pretty well surrounded. Lots of grapple attempts (alas, we are not introducing Technical Grappling midstream. Yet.)

Still, we thus far mainly are managing to hold our own. Cadmus has an attack called “Smite” that strikes undead with 2d burning injury per turn in a 4-yard radius. It’s irresistible, no roll required, just roll damage. The mammoths found it irksome, the Frozen Dead took a couple of rounds to fell, and the wraiths did not fare well against the combination of silver weapons and holy fire. Go figure.

We ended right as Cadmus was going to launch a smite attack that would impact eleven targets. Staver and Shiba are more-or-less surrounded . . . and since Staver’s an Infernal, if I get close enough to help them out, I burn Staver too. Ouch.

Lessons Learned

  • No player of Dungeon Fantasy should spend too long without silvered weapons. They’re cheap, and make things like our insubstantial wraiths pretty much easy pickings if you could get next to one. Since their primary attack was to slam through you (insubstantial, affects substantial – a 160-point vat of unfairness when it’s used on you), and a slam is a strike, well, armed parries are aggressive parries. I think Cadmus killed at least one, Thumvar also, just by a good parry roll on a weapon with a (2) armor divisor.
  • A stash of ranged, area effect weapons never hurts. Granted, we were in a freakin blizzard, so arrows were Right Out. 
  • Forming a wall of battle is hard when the most effective attack is an area effect strike that can hurt your own party members. We never tried, of course (we never do). And the charging mammoths kinda put paid to any formation dreams. When a 10-ton mammoth encased in armored ice charges at you, you get the frack out of the way.
  • If the enemy is willing to come to you . . . let them.
Future Rules Mods
  • The subject of all parries are armed parries came up, and I think +Nathan Joy and I are converging on a house rule we like
    • If you want to do full damage with an armed parry, Wait and Attack. 
    • If you want to parry with the blade of a hafted weapon, you’ll do so at a penalty (still working out what that will be, we toyed with -4, as well as -2 plus either a location or weapon bulk penalty), and do half your swing damage for normally-swung weapons (cutting).
    • If you just want to parry, you do half thrust damage, full skill. Bladed weapons like swords and knives do cut damage, hafted weapons like axes, maces, polearms will likely do crush (parry with the haft).
  • It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

5 thoughts on “Actual Play: DF Jade Regent – Team Ameiko vs. endless hordes of undead

  1. We just do "Made your Parry by 2 or more vs. an unarmed attack, you hit and do 1/2 damage." Not only that, we just use your average damage, so it's one roll. This is still a lot for, say, Chuck Morris doing 2d+11 (average is 18, he'll do 9 cut) but it's very fast.

    Your rule looks fine, and probably more accurate, but hey . . . fast.

  2. I resent the crack about us never trying to form a shield wall. I always try to keep Shiba as close to either Cadmus or Staver as I can (I'd keep him near Thumvar but the gargoyle flies twice as fast as Shiba runs and has a preference for Heroic Charges, so what would be the point?)

    In this particular fight, I made some fairly complicated declarations ("Wait: Committed Determined attack with double step to move near Staver when any foe gets within 2 yds of him and making a cutting strike on that enemy") in order to keep Shiba defending Staver, only to be foiled first by the wraiths being insubstantial (and immune to my shield blocks) and second by the mammoths being unblockable. And late in the fight, Thumvar at least requested that Staver and I retreat toward him, though we were being overrun by frozen pachyderms at that point and it wasn't possible or useful to stay in formation.

    So I think we try, or at least some of us try, to form a shield wall, but it isn't always a good idea to do so.

    1. You are nearly the only one who tries to fight as a team, in formation, regularly. the other two flying guys are just too mobile (and usefully so), and frequently Cadmus is just Too Damn Slow. In this particular fight, a true wall would have made us bowling pins. Squashed bowling pins. The crack was that from the first moment I joined this game, I have never seen us really try to form an honest-to-God fighting unit. That we don't get messily killed every combat is a testament to how badass we are. 🙂

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