Actual Play

  • 6 Replies
Actual Play
« on: February 14, 2011, 01:53:29 AM »
This thread is our regular group. I've called this the "Wrong Cave Massacred" as they keep leading Armoured butchers to their enemies caves. This first post is copied from a previous thread to keep this in one place.

The PCs:
- Gerturde the Goblin Blackblade, played by Epic Fail
- Bugsy the Goblin Skirmisher, played by Jim
- Brooza the Hobgoblin Armiger, played by GT

The game (fiction):
- Ran around and did the list which worked great. It emerged from this that Gertrude was a male and Brooza was not a good judge of goblin gender.
- Started with Cave Leader Blerch (need a list of NPC names badly) ordering the PCs to bring back two sheep from a nearby farm for the feast. A round of successful Dominate (Brooza) and Cowering (Gertrude and Bugsy) resulted in Brooza being appointed mission leader, Bugsy being forced to take point and Bugsy knowing why the feast was happening (Sub-Chief coming to visit).
- The raid was interesting. Brooza sent the others down to scope the farm and they happily pursued their own looting options. Eventually Brooza grabbed a sheep and ran off and Gertrude rode out of the farm on another sheep. They were hotly persued by a dog who tore into Brooza before he and Bugsy could kill it. They ran off just before the farmers arrived.
- Meanwhile Gertrude lost his sheep into the briar patch trying to turn around and help them. When the others arrived he failed epically to cover this. They tried to scare out the sheep, but failed and Bugsy jumped up a tree rather than face the cat that emerged instead of the sheep. Brooza came around and ran around with the cat all over his head before the others could help him kill it.
(Aside: Why did I put cats in for special mention? Because in some additions of D&D a house cat could kill a goblin in one round with its claw/claw/bite+rake attack. The players took to this, and now apparently goblins hate cats and want to make hats out of them.)
- They tried to get the sheep out of the briars, but spotted some other humanoids (see kobolds later) and ran-off.
- They took the live sheep and dead dog and the cat back to the cave and after some shouting (Dominate) and some toadying (Cower) they convinced Blerch this was an acceptable result.
- Next day Sub-Chief Langi (need name sheet!) arrived and Bugsy impressed him with the wine he had stolen from the farm. But Langi was annoyed that the Kobolds across the valley were also eating mutton for dinner (the sheep in the briars above). Desperate to impress Blerch sent the players to show the kobolds who was in charge .
- Brooza had to find the reluctant Gertrude to take him, and they stumbled into the Shaman’s area of the cave in the hunt. They were seconded to the Shaman’s use once they returned. They successfully ambushed and killed four kobolds, and returned to further impress Langi.
- Gertrude wasn’t interested in the back-slapping so reported to the Shaman who showed him in a dirty scrying bowl that heroes were coming through the forest to the cave and ordered him to tell Blerch. Langi discovered an urgent appointment elsewhere and told Blerch to handle it. Gertrude cowered to Blerch and convinced him to send the players.
- Deducing that the sheep had caused this, they came up with an excellent plan of using the wool Bugsy had just mended his cloak with to lure the heroes to the kobold’s cave. This worked brilliantly, and the players used their success to entice some of their tribe over to the vacant cave and set Bugsy up as leader of the new cave.
- Bugsy found what was left of the Kobolds treasure (7cp), but before he could even turn around Gertrude had stolen it.
- 2d6 weeks later Brooza had 4 pups (whelps), so it really was a happy ending.

- Really felt like they were playing goblins. Afterwards we though that two mechanics did this: Dominate / Cower and the Master combined with the Punish / Survive. Dominate and Cower were often used together by the players and on each other, which made everything they did feel like it was because they had been forced or tricked into doing it. The Master mechanic reminded everyone all the time to think about who was in charge.
- GT had a fake Olympic medal which he put on every time he was the Master which worked really well as a reminder for everyone. Will get more of these next time.
- Players did a great job with descriptions, but need to add “look” elements to make this easier.
- One player put an NPC on their list. This worked well so it is a thing now so might get everyone to describe another goblin in the tribe at the start to get this moving, and (although I didn’t let them in the game) I’m thinking I will also let them roll+List vs NPCs. Maybe could get them to describe the cave as well, using hold type descriptions. Also might add “I am going to have ____________’s pups” to the list.
- Careers worked great. Gertude (Blackblade) for example seemed to sneak almost everywhere which suits the career to a “T”.
- Races worked great. With their new racial power to get away after Survive the goblins felt appropriately slippery, and the Hobgoblin was bigger and tougher but only reasonably so.
- Combat was appropriately deadly.
- They leveled much, much too quickly. This was mostly because of all the use of Dominate and Cower against each other, but this fits the theme so perfectly I wouldn’t change it. We moved to 10 experience per level after they got to level 3. Will start at 10 next time and see how it goes.
- We tweaked a few rules as we went, but nothing major. We did discover a couple of needed basic moves which are below.
- Overall it was brilliant, and I can’t wait to play again.

Re: AP: Wrong Cave Massacred
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 01:54:26 AM »
Ran our second play session on Friday night. Played a version very similar to the Axe to the Eye.

Because of rule changes Brooza is now an Orc Marauder and Gertrude is a Thief. Also Kobolds are now Ratmen.

The fiction:
- The characters have taken over their own cave from the Ratmen last session. Took some time to run through The Cave one-pager which helped define the new cave for them, discovering that there was an underground river and one overworked Ratman slave (Shaddup).
- A Ratman raiding party returned with a keg of beer. Cave Leader Bugsy sent Brooza and Gertrude to deal with it while the other warriors got ready. Defeated the Ratmen in tough fight and the cave celebrated with beer.
- Then Bugsy hid the rest of the beer, but Gertrude followed and found where it was.
- Brooza discovered one of his new whelps (Sneck) was missing, last seen near the underground river. He has mixed feelings about this.
- Bugsy realizes that they have no food for tomorrow, so tries to organize a raiding party. Gets a couple of volunteers despite general beer induced apathy.
- Brooza leads the raiding party out, but veers around the hill toasted where he thinks his whelp has gone through the underground river. After a couple of miles a robust argument starts between Bugsy and Brooza.
- Meanwhile Gertrude lags behind to see what Spud (MC character) is up to. He realizes that Spud is trying to create tension with their old cave so that Spud can kill his enemy Firelegs. Gertrude kills him and plants a chicken he stole from Bugsy earlier on the body.
- The raiders come back to the cave without Brooza who is still out looking, giving up on the raid in disgust. Gertrude shows them Spud's body and the stolen chicken and while Bugsy is thanking him and trying to get the warriors moving Gertrude steals the chicken again. The have Ratman mystery meat for food the next day instead.
- Gertrude goes in search of Brooza and trades the stolen chicken for a bandage. Brooza makes a move on Gertrude (he still needs more healing from the fight with the Ratmen) but Gertrude is grossed out. Then they spot Sneck in the edge of the woods, with a sinister shape stalking him. Gertrude disappears into the mud, while Brooza screams at Sneck to run to him. Sneck runs back but a terrifying Forestlurker attacks Brooza. Gertrude takes a moment to see what happens before he jumps out and backstabs the Forestlurker. The two of them together just manage to defeat it. Gertrude grabs the Forestlurkers twin blades and Brooza grabs their bow and they head back.
- Meanwhile Bugsy has sent a scout to follow the Ratmen's trail to see where they got the beer. The scout reports that the Ratmen raided a small village with an inn. Bugsy plans a raid for that night.
- The player characters argue over the Forestlurker's weapons too loudly so that the other warriors hear and eventually they set out on the raid.
- They sneak into the courtyard of the inn and find some potatoes, a cart Brooza can pull and a their choice of two horses. It is decided to take the fatter nag (which is probably the opposite of the choice a Sunlover would have made) and Bugsy as the smartest tries to work out how it works.. They are surprised by a drunk patron coming out the back door, but Bugsy knocks him out with a sling.
- Gertrude gets bold, sneaks upstairs, finds a shield and creeps out the window to escape discovery. Meanwhile Brooza discovers the mother load in the cellar: a slave, beer and a sacks of food. They load up what they can just as they are discovered.
- Bugsy is dragged off by the nag while the others head home with Brooza pulling the cart and Gertrude riding his back and whipping him. Gertrude realizes that they can get away if they use a distraction, so he pushes over Firelegs (who just joined the cave before the raid) and watches him being beaten by the Sunlovers as they flee.
- Bugsy eventually controls the nag and they use the same ruse they did last time and leave a trail back to their old cave. Bugsy even gives their old cave leader (Blerch) the nag as tribute.
- The Armoured Butchers come in the next day and kill everyone in their old cave, leaving the new cave without competitors.
- But will the Forestlurkers be so easily fooled when they come to avenge their fallen brother?

- New rules worked well, except the more complex tactics which we dropped after the Ratmen fight.
- Raid mechanics were good. Limit on Big items worked well to control this.
- Forestlurker and the raid induced the right amount of fear in the players.

AP: Sneaking up to Backstab
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 10:02:15 PM »
Played another playtest last night. We're playing the rules for the upcoming "Backstabbed by an Extortionist" version.

Had a brilliant game as before, and it really works with the "drive it like you stole it" way we tend to play. Funny and tense at the same time, sort of like Fiasco meets AW. Or AW in a world full of con-men and bouncers.

Some design notes below, but first the details of play:

Six players last night, so we got to play all the races and almost all the classes:
- Snek the Goblin Thief (my brother, third game in 20+ years)
- Dirk the Goblin Extortionist (Epic Fail)
- Zannic the Orc Raider (T, first GW and only played AW once before)
- Angmar the Ogre Harrier (Crazy, first GW as well)
- Fourloom the Goblin Sorcerer (Jim)
- Howler the Worg Marauder (GT)

Got the Goblins to choose first, which left the Ogre as either a Beguiler (magic charmer) or what he chose: a Harrier (fast runner)! This turned out to be hilarious, so it will be a thing from now on that Goblins choose first.

Ran through The Cave and it turned out they were in the sewers of a Sunlover (human) city with a huge group that was almost all goblins. Doing this new thing I got from the Giants RPG where you draw on the details of the environment one player at a time which added some cool twists like the stupor mushroom field that Howler's slave Firelegs used. Also discovered through this and their dream that:
- the Cave Chief Hellrunner was weak and greedy
- the Cave Shaman Spangler was old and incompetent, and Fourloom wanted to show he was the master of fire instead and get back at for being branded
- Zannic had a rival in the Orc Coma (because you always have to have a Coma)
- Angmar was trying to interest Gertrude in some Rutting Like Rabbits, but she has a hidden secret
- Howler liked it when Camo patted him

In summary this is what happened in the first mission:
- The got ordered on a raid to bring back some pigs for a feast. Angmar slipped away and convinced the Chief to put Camo in charge. Once they got topside Zannic frightened and then (with Howlers help) killed a couple of drunks. Fourloom tried to use Visions of the Fall to find the pigs, but started ranting instead. Then a patrol of six guards came along who they beat in a tough fight with some cool backstabbing by Snek, although Zannic had to take a blow to the head (permanent -1 Quick) to survive. Dirk failed to dominate Firelegs to stop him looting the bodies and so put him on The List.
- Dirk convinced Camo that they could butcher the "long pork" in the tunnels and pretend it was pig. But once in the tunnels Dirk convinced Zannic that this was his shot to kill Camo. Howler tried to fight for Camo and Snek came in to support Zannic, but ultimately Fourloom's ill-timed Firey Blast killed Camo and resolved the tensions. Dirk used the fight to push Firelegs into the sewer and get his revenge for the earlier disgrace. The Zannic started to butcher the Sunlover bodies on his own as everyone else pulled a "goblin" and came up with an excuse not to help.
- Meanwhile Angmar was trying to woo Gertrude, but she played hard to get so he settled for a Goblin called Fancy instead. Looks like Angmar is having a pup. Later on Dirk also spent some time with Fancy.
- Zannic brought back part of Camo's body and fed it to the Chief in front of the whole tribe as part of his revenge on Camo, but he couldn't stop giggling and so the Chief doesn't trust him any more.

In the second mission:
- The Chief sent them to the forest near the town to get a Faery because he wanted to eat it and gain its powers. Before they went Fourloom showed off his cool new Fire Touch power and the PCs whipped up the crowd in support so that Fourloom was announced the new Shaman. The Chief didn't want a disgruntled, so he ordered the Shaman's to fight to the death. Fourloom held out his hand to shake to Spangler and then Fire Touched him to death instead of shaking and shouted "that's for branding me". The tribe greatly fear their new Shaman, although one stepped forward to be his apprentice.
- They tried to think of a way to fake a Faery body first, but then Fourloom tried to Dominate everyone and let him be the leader. Dirk countered with a Cower, but then convinced everyone Fourloom was the leader.
- As the group walked boldly to the forest, Angmar, Dirk and Snek slipped away from the back and hid in the darkness. Fourloom came up with a plan burn inside the forest to flush the Faeries out. Three watching Forestlurker (elf) sentries saw what he was doing and attacked. An awesome running fight ensued, with Snek knocked out and the others badly beaten before they could kill the Forestlurkers.
- Zannic managed to shoot a fleeing Faery and Fourloom hit two with a Firey Blast after the fight. Dirk tried to grab one too, but got shot with a Faery bow and fell asleep, so Snek had to drag him back to The Cave on his shield.
- Angmar finally convinced Gertrude to Rut Like Rabbits, and discovered Gertrude was a polymorphed Sunlover Wizard's apprentice. Looks like Angmar is having more pups, but will they look like Ogres or Sunlovers?
- Back inside they impressed the Chief with their Faery captures, but their may be some payback coming from the Forestlurkers...

Heaps of other stuff happened that it is hard to fit in, but the players might jump in with funny stuff I forgot.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 06:29:34 PM by wightbred »

Re: AP: Sneaking up to Backstab...
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 10:10:12 PM »
OK, now some notes on the game:

What worked well:
- The new art and layout made the Playbooks rock. Looking very slick now, especially compared to "Axe in the Eye".
- New combat rules: combined tactical and fiction as I hoped. Basically this splits Seize by Force into four specific moves based on the (non-Weird) stats.
- New damage reduction options resulted in interesting twists to play, and we had early and often choices in this. Basically these allow the players to choose a range of penalties and conditions for themselves when wounded.
- Giving each Class a specific reason to want to be The Master strengthened this mechanic.
- The new The Cave arrangements really worked well, as it connected people to the game. Doing it straight after creation but before The List was exactly the right time.
- The List built the right connections and felt very "goblin". They are kind of petty compared to AW, but this suited GW perfectly. Also getting experience for resolving The List items drove some cool tension, but as soon as it was resolved it was back to normal.
- The "pig" harm chart worked pretty well, with tough choices all around but very simple to understand.
- Leaving goblin gender out of the sheets and rules allowed for more potential hookups, and was the cause for much hilarity.

What needs improvement? Very little based on this game, as experienced and novice players picked it up pretty quick. Some small things:
- Some typos to be fixed, and a couple of unfinished rules.
- A couple of potential rules loopholes identified (like no limit on stat reductions).
- More differentiation of the look text for the races.

Hoped to have the updated version of "Backstabbed by an Extortionist" out in a couple of weeks.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 10:19:14 PM by wightbred »

Re: AP: Sneaking up to Backstab...
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011, 10:37:35 PM »
For me, this session really brought out the importance of "the master" to each class.  Playing an extortionist meant that being the master was not very important to me in a gaming sense but, thinking like a goblin, I kept trying to be it anyway.

Combat was fast and furious with risk being carefully but easily considered prior to each move.  I really love the options for reducing damage, which gave even the thief an incentive to keep "the master" status just in case things got hairy.  Of course having an orc become brain-damaged was awesome too and made the fights feel really brutal.

Of course being a clever extortionist meant that I was well out of harms way, and kept using my silver tongue to get others to do things for me.

Goblin world is making me a bit concerned about my own morality though, as I do find it all too easy to slip on the skin of a conniving backstabbing little mongrel.

Re: AP: Sneaking up to Backstab...
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 06:15:06 AM »
Yay, Goblin World! Can't wait to get my hands on the new version.

AP: Space Hulk
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 08:38:12 AM »
Had a break for a couple of months from playing. When we started back the guys wanted to play Goblin World, but Epic Fail suggested playing Gretchin on a Space Hulk instead of Goblins to link in with our Rogue Trader campaign.

So I whipped up some character sheets for Gretchin and Ork Runts, dropped in Sluggas etc to the gear and changed The Cave into The Space Hulk creation in 45 minutes before the game.

We had the Gretchin Extortionist Shaggy [Epic Fail], Ork Runt "Space" Harrier Smitez [Jim] and Ork Runt Raider Spudulus [Dave].

We started with the usual chief trick of ringing the dinner bell to get volunteers and the players fell for it again, or at least pretended to. The first mission was bringing back a blackened las pistol clip for Chief Derk. They snuck about pretty well, especially Spudulus, and fought a bunch of Sunlovers. The highlight was some PvP with Shaggy sniping Smitez with a Slugga and KOing him. Luckily Spudulus wanted to forfill his dream of showing he was the strongest so he hauled Smitez back to the tribe just before Sunlover reinforcements rushed in.

The second mission was scouting the nearby Long Table tribe for an assault. Shaggy snuck in like he was a thief, but when he saw the quality of the other tribe he decided to switch sides. Lots of back and forth planning went on and Spudulus lead a partially successful raid before a confrontation between the two tribes. Spudulus took advantage of a wounded Chief Derk and then followed up by killing the Long Table Warchief. But not before Shaggy plastered both of them with shotgun blasts. Ultimately both tribes were effectively wiped out and Shaggy was killed.

Transition to 40k was easier than I thought and another hilarious and backstabbing game which was a good way to get us back into playing.