Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
Solo Game Log - 6 Dec 2011
Urbain de Foresta, recently arrived in Marseille, takes up residence in the Hôtel de Galbert, a hostel. Taking stock of his resources – 150 livres, the clothes on his back, and the rapier at his side – he decides to ply the trade for which he is best equipped, and inquires at the docks about a tavern where games of chance may be found.
After a few inquiries (reaction roll 8), a merchant offers him directions to Lo Diable.
Arriving at the tavern, Urbain orders a mug of wine (12 sous), and watches the crowd. In his blue silk and velvet doublet with slashed sleeves, he stands out like a peacock in a flock of pigeons.
Q (Unsure): Does Urbain attract attention from anyone when he enters Lo Diable? YES
Q (Unsure): Is the attention favorable? YES
Tavern Encounter roll: 7 – A Nobleman and 2 Guards. Reaction roll: 8 – Interested. Range roll: 5 ( – 5 modifier, treat as 1) – Short.
At a nearby table sits a man deep in his cups. His velvet doublet hangs over the back of his chair and his silk shirt is loose. On each of his arms is a trollop. Behind him stands a well-dressed swordsman and a base ruffian with a truncheon in his hands. A deck of cards lies strewn across the table. A clay pipe smolders on the table, and there are several wine bottles and glasses, some empty, some half-full.
Q(Likely): Does d’Espard want to gamble with Urbain? YES
The man invites Urbain to sit down and after some small talk, d’Espard asks Urbain if he would like to play cards. Urbain agrees; d’Espard deals. The game is on.
Bet roll: 6; the bet is 50 livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 12 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 12 skill check = 7); d’Espard rolls 2 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambing skill – 7 resistance score = 8). 2 is less than half d’Espard’s modified roll (8 / 2 = 4), so d’Espard wins the bet.
Urbain is trying to remain cool, but he just lost half of all the coin he has in the world on a single bet. D’Espard is smiling, and the girls are giggling and fawning over him.
Bet roll: 5; the bet is 50 livres , the house maximum. Urbain roll 5 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 5 skill check = 14); d’Espard roll 10 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 14 resistance score = 1). 10 is greater than 1; Urbain wins the bet.
D’Espard doesn’t even seem to notice that he lost as he pushes more coins forward. Urbain breathes a little more easily. The swordsman standing behind d’Espard is watching closely.
Bet roll: 4, the bet is 50 livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 1 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 1 skill check = 18); d’Espard rolls 15 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 18 resistance score = – 3). 15 is greater than – 3; Urbain wins again.
Urbain is now up 50 livres and feeling pretty good. D’Espard shrugs and continues to put coins on the table.
Bet roll: 2; the bet is thirty livres this time. Urbain rolls 18 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 18 skill check = 1); d’Espard rolls 20 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 1 resistance score = 14). 20 is greater than 14; d’Espard loses again.
Urbain is now up 80 livres and helps himself to another glass of wine; Urbain has the Carousing skill, so he’s nowhere near his limit yet. D’Espard’s smile slips slightly, but after downing his own glass, he pushes more coins across the table once again and deals the cards.
Bet roll: 5; the bet is fifty livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 16 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 16 = 3); d’Espard rolls 20 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 3 resistance score = 12). 20 is greater than 12; d’Espard loses the hand.
Urbain is now up 130 livres and in no mood to stop; to his suprise and pleasure, d’Espard put coins on the table once again. One of the trollops is trying to catch Urbain’s eye, but Urbain is watching the swordsman and the ruffian; each is watching him intently, the swordman with a slight smile, the ruffian with a hateful glare. Urbain’s back is to the room, to his discomfort, so he doesn’t see the eyes on him.
Bet roll 6; the bet is fifty livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 2 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 2 = 17); d’Espard rolls 19 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 17 resistance score = – 2). 19 is greater than – 2 (!); d’Espard loses again.
Urbain is now up an amazing 180 livres , but now he’s anxious; winning so much is bound to attract attention, of an unwelcome and unwholesome variety. But the sheep continues to offer its wool, and Urbain is loath to put down his shears. “Perhaps a fresh deck is in order?” he asks non-chalantly. D’Espard’s smile is gone altogether now as he tosses his coins into the middle of the table.
Q (Likely): Is d’Espard angry about losing? EXCEPTIONAL YES
Note that d’Espard’s gambling score is seven (profligate gambler), he will play no more than two more hands unless he wins. Bet roll 1; the bet is just twenty livres as d’Espard takes stock. Urbain rolls 4 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 4 skill roll = 15); d’Espard rolls 8 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 15 resistance score = 0). 8 is greater than 0; d’Espard loses once more.
Urbain quickly tallies his winnings – 200 livres . “Your pleasure, sir?” he asks, and d’Espard, leaning forward now, his brow furrowed, pushes his coins forward and deals the cards.
If d’Espard loses this hand, , that’s seven and he’s done. Bet roll 5; fifty livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 19 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 19 = 0); d’Espard rolls 13 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 0 resistance score = 15). 13 is less than 15, but it is greater than 7; the hand is a draw.
D’Espard feels his luck changing; Urbain pours himself another glass of wine. The cards are dealt again.
Bet roll 4; the bet is fifty livres , the house maximum. Urbain rolls 15 (Luck 16 + 3 Gambling skill – 15 = 4); d’Espard rolls 20 (Luck 12 + 3 Gambling skill – 4 resistance roll = 11) 20 is greater than 11; d’Espars loses, and as that’s seven hands lost, he’s done.
D’Espard sits back in his seat, shaking his head as he reaches for a bottle of wine. His hand is trembling. One of the trollops (reaction roll 9 + 1 Charm 12+ + 1 Etiquette skill = 11) sidles up to Urbain, and he smells fish, garlic, and wine. The chevalier opens his purse and reaches for the 250 livres stacked in front of him, but the swordsman’s rapier crashes down on the coins. The room goes quiet, then the tavern keeper’s voice booms out, “Not in my place, La Gautier.”
The rapier is withdrawn slowly, and with a curt nod the swordsman strides out the door of the tavern. The ruffian continues to glare at Urbain as he collects his coins and tucks his purse inside his doublet. Three coins he leaves on the table, and turning to the tavern keeper, he asks for a bottle of the house’s best for the d’Espard (net gain + 247 £). Urbain doffs his hat and offers a deep bow to d’Espard, “At your service, monsieur.” The marquis acknowledges the bow with a nod and a dismissive wave.
Urbain offers his arm to the trollop (Charm 14 + 1 Etiquette skill + 1 reaction modifier = 15; roll 13) and the girl accepts it. As they prepare to walk out the door of Lo Diable, Urbain quickly loosens the tie on his cloak and makes sure that his rapier isn’t stuck in his scabbard.
Q(Likely): Does the trollop want to rob Urbain? EXCEPTIONAL YES
Q(Likely): Does anyone else at Lo Diable follow Urbain out of the tavern? EXCEPTIONAL NO – apprently the tavern regulars don’t want to interfere with the marquis’ men.
Q(A Sure Thing): Does the trollop have Cutpurse skill? YES
The streets are dark, lit by the orange glow escaping through shutters and a nearly-full moon hanging over the hills casting deep shadows. Despite being alert, he doesn’t see La Gautier’s attack until the swordsman is upon him.
Surprise rolls: Urbain 1, La Gautier 4 + 1 Stealth skill = 5; La Gautier’s roll exceeds Urbain’s by 3+ so he attacks with surprise.
Round 1 (surprise): La Gautier attacks with a lunge; 17 or less to hit, rolls 16, a potential light wound. Urbain can attempt a reaction parry with his cloak, 14 – 6 reaction parry modifier – 2 Expertise differenc2 = 6 or less to parry, rolls 3, parries the attack.
Round 2: Urbain anticipates another lunge; he will parry with his cloak and draw his sword.
Q(Very Likely): Does La Gautier thrust or lunge as opposed to slash? NO
La Gautier aims a slash at Urbain’s throat (head) and prepares to parry a thrust from the chevalier.
Q(Likely): Is the trollop in league with La Gautier? EXCEPTIONAL YES – great . . .
Q(Unsure): Does the trollop have Brawling skill? EXCEPTIONAL YES – her Brawling skill is 8 + 3 (on 1D6) = 11; her chance to hit is 9 or less.
Q(Unsure): Does the trollop attack in the second round? YES
The trollop screams, the tried to grab Urbain’s sword arm.
Q(Unsure): Does Bazos arrive in the second round? EXCEPTIONAL YES
And at that same moment, the ruffian with the bastinado arrives, aiming a swing of his truncheon at Urbain’s skull!
Order of attacks: La Gautier, Bazos, and the trollop.
La Gautier slashes, 16 or less to hit, rolls 3, a potential serious wound to the head (hit locations rolls 5, 2). Urbain attempts to parry with his cloak, 14 – 2 for Expertise difference = 12 or less to parry, rolls 7. Urbain parries what might’ve been a killing blow!
Bazos – a generic bravo – swings his club, 7 or less to hit, rolls a 15, a miss.
Q(Unsure): Does the trollop use her attempt to grapple to cover for picking Urbain’s pocket? EXCEPTIONAL NO – she really is trying to help La Gautier and Bazos subdue or kill Urbain.
The trollop attempts to grapple Urbain once more. The trollop – a generic wench for stats – She needs a an 8 or less to hit (9 – 1 unarmed attack), and she rolls a 3. For the Strength versus Strength resistance check, rolls 8 (Strength 10 – 8 = 2); Urbain rolls 2 (Strength 10 – 2 resistance roll = 8). Urbain’s 2 is less than 8, and he shrugs off her attempt to grapple.
Round 3: Urbain anticipates a lunge, and he will parry and counter, entangling La Gautier with his cloak.
Q(Very Likely): Does La Gautier lunge or thrust this round? NO – for some reason, La Gautier is not using his best attacks, the thrust or the lunge, perhaps to throw off Urbain?
Q(Unsure): Does he anticipate a lunge? EXCEPTIONAL NO
Q(Unsure): Does La Gautier anticipate a slash? NO – this means he anticipates a thrust and will attempt to parry.
La Gautier once again slashes at Urbain’s head, 16 or less to hit, rolls 10, a potential light wound to the chest (hit location 6, 7). Urbain attempts to parry with his cloak, 14 – 2 Expertise difference or less, rolls 7, parrying the blow. Because La Gautier’s attack failed, Urbain can attempt to counter and entangle La Gautier, 14 or less to hit, rolls 13; La Gautier must roll less than his 15 Dexterity – 3, rolls 17. La Gautier is entangled in the cloak and loses all actions in the next round!
Bazos strikes with his club again, needs to roll a 7 or less, rolls 14, another miss.
The trollop attempts to grapple Urbain. She needs a an 8 or less to hit (9 – 1 unarmed attack), and she rolls an 8. The trollop rolls 5 (Strength 10 – 5 = 5); Urbain rolls 1 (Strength 10 – 5 resistance roll = 5). Urbain’s 1 is less than 5, and again he fights off her attempt to grapple.
Round 3: Urbain will lunge at the now-defenseless La Gautier.
La Gautier, entangled in Urbain’s cloak, cannot take any actions. Bazos will attempt to strike with his club again.
Q(Unsure): Does the trollop continue to attack Urbain? EXCEPTIONAL YES
Q(Likely): Does she continue to grapple? YES
And the trollop will grapple again.
Urbain attacks with a lunge, a long action – he can take no other action in this round. He hits on 14 or less, rolls a five, a serious wound doing 4 + 5 on 1D6 additional points of damage. Urbain aims the blow at La Gautier’s abdomen, and strikes him in the chest (hit location rolls 11, 7), causing 9 – 2 leather jerkin armor = 7 points of damage to the chest. This equal to or greater than half (13/2 = 6.5) La Gautier’s hit points; La Gautier collapses, unconscious for 5 hours!
Bazos club swings at Urbain, needs a 7 or less to hit, rolls 15, a miss.
The trollop tries once more to grab Urbain. She still needs an 8 or less to hit, and rolls a 1. The trollop rolls 1 (Strength 10 – 1 = 9); Urbain rolls 3 (Strength 10 – 9 resistance roll = 1). Urbain’s 3 is greater than 1, and the trollop wraps up Urbain, causing 1 point of general damage in the process. Urbain’s hit points drop from 13 to 12.
Rounds 4: Urbain is grappled by the trollop for the next two rounds, with her arm around his windpipe. Bazos attempts to hit the struggling Urbain again, still aiming for his head, needing 7 or less to hit each time. In round 4 he rolls a 2, striking Urbain in the chest (hit location 7, 3), causing 2 + 4 (1D6) – 1 padded doublet armor = 5 points of damage.
The trollop attempts to choke Urbain. Her roll is 5 (Strength 10 – 5 = 5); Urbain’s Endurance roll is 6 (Endurance 12 – 5 = 7). 6 is less than 7, so the trollop is unable to choke Urbain; she still inflicts one more point of general damage from her grapple. Urbain’s hit points drop to 12 – 5 – 1 = 6.
Round 5: Urbain is still grappled by the trollop and can take no actions. Bazos strikes with his club, 7 or less to hit, rolls 19, a clean miss.
The trollop again attempts to choke Urbain. Her roll is 13 (Strength 10 – 13 = – 3); Urbain’s Endurance roll is 6 (Endurance 12 + 3 = 15). 6 is less than 15, so the trollop is unable to choke Urbain; she still inflicts one more point of general damage from her grapple. Urbain’s hit points drop to 6 – 1 = 5. At the end of the round Urbain manages to break free from the trollop’s grasp.
Round 6: Urbain is able to attack and defend again. He thrusts at Bazos and dodges, to avoid their attacks if possible.
Q: Once Urbain is free of the trollop’s grapple, does Bazos continue to attack? EXCEPTIONAL NO
Q: Does the trollop continue to attack? YES
But Bazos has had enough. He leaps back, in preparation for escaping the fight. The trollop, on the other hand, perhaps sensing that Urbain is hurt, leaps for him again, calling out, “Bazos, you coward! Finish him!”
Urbain’s attack is wasted. The trollop hits on a roll of 8 – 3 Dodge or less, rolls 5. The trollop rolls 10 (Strength 10 – 10 = 0); Urbain rolls 19 (Strength 10 – 0 resistance roll = 10). Urbain’s 19 is greater than 1, and the trollop once again grapples Urbain, causing 1 point of general damage in the process. Urbain’s hit points drop from 5 to 4.
Round 6: Grappled again, Urbain can take no action.
Q: Does Bazos change his mind about running away? EXCEPTIONAL NO – he’s done, stick a fork in him.
Bazos takes the opportunity to make good his escape, the trollop’s shrill cries of “Coward! Dog!” wringing in his ears as he flees back to the tavern.
The trollop attempts to choke Urbain. Her roll is 20 (Strength 10 – 20 = – 10); Urbain’s Endurance roll is 7 (Endurance 12 + 10 = 22). 7 is less than 22, so the trollop is unable to choke Urbain; she still inflicts one more point of general damage from her grapple. Urbain’s hit points drop to from 4 to 3. He manages to twist away from her grasp once again.
Round 7: Urbain slaps at the trollop’s flank, striking to subdue, and attempts to dodge her attack. The trollop, sensing victory, dodges his attack and aims a vicious kick at Urbain’s groin!
Urbain strikes first with his sword, needing a 14 – 3 Dodge = 11 or less to hit, rolls 4, a serious wound. Aimed at her flank, the blow lands on her left arm instead (rolls 6, 12), causing 2 + 3 (+ 1D6) = 5/2 (halved for subdual) = 2 points of damage. Shrieking, she kicks at Urbain, needs a 9 – 3 Dodge or less to hit, rolls 11 and misses.
Q(Unsure): Does the trollop run away after she is injured? NO
Round 8: Urbain again attacks with the flat of his blade and dodges. The trollop tries to tackle Urbain!
Urbain slaps at the trollop’s injured arm this time, striking to subdue, hits on 14 or less, rolls 5, a serious wound. The blade strikes her on the flank instead (rolls 2, 16), causing 2 + 6 (+ 1D6) = 8/2 (halved for subdual) = 4 points of damage to her flank. She is stunned by the blow, and loses her attack; in the next round, she cannot take a long action. Her hit points drop to 8 – 4 = 4.
Q(Likely): NOW does the trollop give up the fight!? YES
Clutching her aching side, the trollop screams imprecations at Urbain, but she makes no attempt to attack him again. Urbain steps back and offers the hellcat a mocking bow . . .
Q: Does the fight attraction attention (random encounter roll)? YES
Encounter roll 1D6 Cutpurses, roll 3. Reaction roll 4 – Hostile, attack on 8+ on 2D6, roll 7; range Medium. Surprise rolls: Urbain 4, cutpurses 5 + 1 Stealth = 6 – no surprise.
. . . then notices a trio of men poised in an alley. With a flourish of his hand, he darts down another alley.
Q(Unsure): Do the cutpurses pursue Urbain? YES
Urbain attempts to escape the three, must roll 9+ on 2D6, rolls 4 + 1 Medium range modifier = 5.
Footsteps dog him down the alley, so Urbain looks for a place to make his stand.
Q(Likely): Can Urbain find an elevated place to make his stand? EXCEPTIONAL YES – a stairway that allows only one of the cutpurses to approach him at a time.
Turning down another alley, he finds one of the many staircases of Marseille, and to his relief he notes that it’s narrow enough that only one person can come up at him at a time.
Q(Unlikely): Will the cutpurses attack Urbain? NO
Q: Will they attempt an ambush? NO
The trio round the corner, see the chevalier’s sword glittering in the moonlight, and think the better of it, slipping away into the shadows.
Breathing hard, trembling from adrenaline and the sweat cooling on his body, he checks the purse in his doublet.
Q: Did the trollop have an opportunity to try to pick Urbain’s pocket? NO
The reassuring jingle of silver reaches his ears. After listening and looking a moment or two longer, he makes his way back to his lodgings.
Random encouner roll 5, encounter 3 (on 1D6) Dandies, reaction roll 6 – Unreceptive, range Long, surprise Urbain 6, dandies 4; avoid on 9+ on 2D6, roll 8.
Three gentlemen carousing catch Urbain’s eye, and while crawling into a bottle sounds good, he decides to take a slightly different route and avoids the trio, finally reaching his lodging at the auberge.