Friday, May 4, 2018

The Dragon Tablets: Iteration Two – Playtest

Pretty much the same scenario as last time, but with archers. I estimate that it will be a little tougher than last time, but that the heroes still can handle four orc bandits each. As there are allies involved, I’ll add another four bandits for them. As with last time, they will not defend or all-out attack and they will go down at 0 hp.

Setting the Stage

Even though Arthur has a horse, the others don’t, so they are all walking. And Arthur’s dog is with them. They are traveling in a wooded area during the daytime and nothing is out of the ordinary.

Turn 1

16 orc bandits ambush the heroes from the trees. But as all three heroes and the dog have Combat Reflexes, so this Total Surprise is treated as Partial Surprise.

Edward has Danger Sense and he knows that something is off.

Nephithi is the leader of the heroes. She has Combat Reflexes, the higher IQ, but no points in Tactics. That gives her a total bonus of +3 to her initiative roll. Rolling 1d+3 gives her 7. The orc leader has Combat Reflexes, but not Tactics for a +2 bonus. But they also set the ambush and were waiting for the heroes, so they get an additional +1 for a total of 1d+3 and he rolls 9. So the orcs act first.

The four archers all shoot at different targets. They roll 15, 10, 11, and 13. So they miss Nephithi and the dog. Arthur ignores the arrow and it bounces off his heavy armor. While Edward stepped aside.

The four orcs with knives swarmed Arthur with Move and Attack maneuvers, all of them entering close combat and striking the face or the skull (from behind) for a -5 penalty to hit. All of them miss.

Two stick wielders attacked Nephithi from one yard away and two spear wielders attacked her from two yards away. Rolling 9, 7, 14, and 10. So one of the spears missed. She fast-draws her sword with a roll of 8 and attempts to dodge the sticks and parry the spear. And she succeeds with the spear, but fails with the others. They roll 4 and 5 for damage and her DR 2 armor reduces that to 5 injury, leaving her 6 hp.

The remaining orcs attack Edward, rolling 12, 10, 6, 9. He also fast-draws his sword with a roll of 4 and continuing to roll well, he dodges both sticks, parries one spear, and blocks the other with his cloak.

The heroes roll 12, 8, 9, and 6 and all of them, including the dog, make their IQ rolls. Thus they have to take Do Nothing this turn, but they will be able to act next turn.

Turn 2

The four archers drew another arrow.

The four with knives continue to attack Arthur’s head. And all of them continue to miss.

The two sticks and two spears attack Nephithi again, all of them doing well enough to hit. She dodges one stick and a spear and parries the other spear. The connecting orc rolled 7 damage for 5 injury, leaving her at 1 hp.

The remaining orcs attack Edward again. One stick misses and Edward avoided the spears. For 7 damage or 4 injury. Leaving him 9 hp.

And finally, the heroes can act.

Nephithi casts her armor spell, enveloping herself in arcane armor, giving her a total of DR 7.

Arthur orders the dog to attack the archers and prayed to heal Nephithi, who instantly was back at full hp.

Edward readies his bow.

The dog runs into one of the archers, but his bite misses.

Turn 3

Three archers ready their bows. One archer dropped his bow and drew his knife.

The four knife orcs continue to attack Arthur’s face. They still fail.

Four orcs continue to attack Nephithi, one stick misses, and she avoids the other three.

The rest attack Edward, a stick misses, and he avoids them.

Two swift swings with Nephithi’s sword slices a stick wielder to the ground.

Arthur steps out of close combat and attacks a spear from behind, bringing him to the ground.

Edward draws an arrow from his quiver, readies the bow, and shoots one of the spears in the face, taking him down.

The dog bit his archer for 3 hp.

Turn 4

Three archers fires at Edward, one miss, and Edward avoids the other two. One archer attacks the dog, but the dog avoids the knife.

The knives swarm Arthur again, attack his head again, and this time only three of them miss. And Arthur steps aside.

Two attack Nephithi, but both miss.

Three attack Edward, none miss, and he dodges a stick and blocks the spear. Edward loses 3 hp, leaving him 6 hp.

Nephithi switches to her fire spell.

Arthur steps out of close combat, swung at the other spear attacking Nephithi, dealing 9 hp in injury.

Edward fires another arrow, in the chest this time, bringing another orc down.

The dog continues to bite the orc for another 3 hp, bringing it to 5 hp.

Turn 5

Three arches fires at Edward, two miss, and he sidesteps the third.

The knives surround Arthur in close combat again, three miss, and he avoids the fourth.

Two attack Nephithi, but both miss.

Two attack Edward, the stick misses, and he avoids the spear.

Nephithi swings her sword and downs one orc and shots a jet of fire from her left hand, with a -4 off-hand penalty, that still strikes another orc and downs it too.

Arthur left close combat and struck one of Edward’s orcs to the ground.

Edward fired another arrow and downs another orc.

The dog misses.

Turn 6

Three archers drew an arrow each from their quivers. The fourth archer attacks the dog, but it evades.

The four knives close combat Arthur again, attack his face, and miss.

Nephithi skewers one orc with her sword and burns another with her flame jet.

Arthur steps out of close combat, turns, swings his hammer, for a critical hit, which in this case means that no matter how much injury is done, it will still be regarded as a major wound. Which doesn’t change anything as he does enough damage to cause a major wound. And the orc makes its HT roll.

Edward fires another arrow, for a major wound on the other orc, but it too made its HT roll.

The dog continues to bite the orc, bringing it down to 1 hp.

Turn 7

Three orcs readied their bows.

One orc attacked the dog, but it avoided the strike.

Two more orcs missed.

Nephithi skewers one of the wounded orcs and flame jets one of the archers.

Arthur knocks the final non-archer to the ground.

Edward fires another arrow and downs an archer.

The dog continues to bite his orc and brings it down.

Turn 8

The final orc runs away.

After Action Report

Nephithi decides not to use Luck to have the group attack first. And this is the only reason why this combat was longer than the playtest in Iteration One, as the archers and the dog didn’t impact the overall length of the scene.

Being too occupied by drawing and firing his bow with such speed, Edward forgot to summon his ally who could have helped.

Defeating 16 orcs in eight turns is only two orcs per turn on average, which is slower than in Iteration One for reasons mentioned above.

Focusing on keeping as much of the Iteration One hero in the Iteration Two suit meant that suggestions of Tactics and Off-Hand training for Nephithi wasn’t taken into consideration, but her Innate Attack was higher this time too. She started by casting armor on herself this time, which meant there was two turns she wasn’t attacking. And as she can attack twice per turn, four more orcs downed early could have shortened combat, but she was too injured not to defend herself because of the lost initiative.

Working on this post, it was discovered that partial surprise was handled incorrectly in Iteration One. As characters have to Do Nothing on the turn they succeed at their IQ roll.

Edward is still awesome with the bow! Able to fire every second. And this time we can see just how awesome that is next to those who cannot.

This time the heroes act not in the order of Basic Speed, like they did last time and how they normally do, but instead in the order of interest the first turn and that order was kept throughout combat.

Arthur is still not as skilled in combat as the other two, but his hammer still does more damage than anything else. Other than Nephithi’s magic. His heavier armor also keeps protecting him the way it is supposed to.

This time, Nephithi brought seven orcs down, and with two attacks every second at her disposal, killing more than any other is expected.

Arthur deals with three. He was close a couple of times, but only kill shots count.

Edward deals with four. So the boys together deal with the same number of enemies as the woman does on her own, which is exactly as expected.

The dog deals with one on his own.

And one orc runs away.

Last time being in close combat with Edward didn’t help, so these orcs tried with Arthur instead.
Iteration Two combat works, Iteration Two heroes are viable, and a boss type encounter with an NPC that defends itself would still be interesting.

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