Telengard session 28: The Seige of Skara Brae: the siege!

The acolytes

This session would be a new player’s first, so I was not sure that a variant minigame would be the way to go, but to hell with it.  In the end the new guy (another Mike) brought his son too, 19 year old Vincent.  I was a little put off by the thought of such a young player until I remembered that Matt is 20 or 21 too.  I felt kind of bad throwing a new RPG at the Mike & Vincent (I think I gave Mike the incorrect impression that I was using straight Labyrinth Lord rules but in hindsight I’ve house ruled a lot of stuff) AND throwing a wargame at the whole group, but things went pretty well.

At the last minute I decided to try out a new house rule on ranged attacks too.  In standard LL and B/X, short range is +1 to hit and long range is -1.  I think that’s pretty bogus so instead at short range you use a d20, at medium range you use a d16, and at long range a d12, to-hit.  The flaw in my design is that there is only one d16 at the table.  Doh.

Matt feared that the battering ram would smash through the gate, so he stationed himself down on the ground behind the gate.

The archers

Each player got a squad of four soldiers.

The militia with the boiling oil

The boiling oil was popular, except that the first use was a miss and the d12 to determine the direction misfire was a 6 — so Thorin, Mike’s cleric, almost fricasseed Matrim, who was directly below and behind the gate. Oops.

The assault. The attackers have been depleted but are still a threat.

The pirates try to create a diversion with a flank escalade

As it became clear that there was little risk of the besiegers taking the walls or breaking through the gate, Mac decided to hop on a ladder and ride it down to the ground before the gates in the most cinematic moment on the siege.

toward the end of the battle, Mac brings the fight to the enemy

By then, the battle was a mopping up operation.  I probably made the besiegers a little too weak.  Worst of all, I forgot to throw in the gargoyle reinforcements.  The last half hour or so was a bit of a grind.

After the siege was lifted, the party celebrated in town, both new PCs leveled up, and in the carousing Vincent’s dwarf Durin got a new tattoo.  It looks kind of cool but is actually a really humiliating name in Gnollish.  Not that he can read Gnollish.

The party then had time to explore the pit a little more, and they discovered a wizard’s workshop on the “Morlock level,” with a portal to the Realm of Cyclopeatron.  Mike’s cleric stepped onto the portal and ended up in a large chamber with a rust monster.  Matt and John did not seem to remember where that is, so I’m not saying. 🙂

Lessons of the siege: The defenders probably could have taken on twice as many foes, or several more powerful ones.  At the last minute before the game I toned down the besieging force, giving the bugbears only 2 hits each; this compounded with the fact that I totally forgot that some of the orcs had bows, and that there was a squad of gargoyles who would be reinforcements, probably made the whole thing a little too easy.  Things ground to a very slow pace at the end, so I should have also handwaved the last few orcs and pirates … instead I stuck to the B/X rules as written that after making two morale tests, monsters fight to the death.  Next time I’ll be a little more flexible.

 

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Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds fun.
    Its been a wile since someone die eh?
    You must be getting soft.
    Mathmatically I would given monsters 1 hit per d8. PC 1 hit per 5 HP. Everyone but the fighter does 1 hit, the fighters do 2. (1d8+5)

    • Yeah, I underestimated how much of an advantage the walls were.
      Vincent’s dwarf did have to roll on the Death & Dismemberment chart but it was just a knock-out.

  2. When the great battle’s all over… a couple of years pass…

    Let’s see the Haunted Ruins of Skara Brae!


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