Saturday, September 27, 2014

Birthday Present

The person I am familiar with, the "well known solo RPG blogger" just turned 40 today.

So few days ago I decided to threat him with a book.

And the package from BookDepository arrived today, just on time.

Now all he needs is to wait for Dungen Master's Guide to be publish in December and he will be able to solo 5th edition D&D :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Parates Attack - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 2.3

Continued from previous post.

Discussing solo RPG games, Leo Tolstoy once said: Successful scenes are all alike; every failed scene  fails in its own way. It seems that Scarlet Heroes system follows this principle... 

All that I need to finish current adventure is one successful conflict scene. When playing Scarlet Heroes urban adventures, successful conflict scenes give 1VP to hero while removing 1VP from antagonist.

So, I rolled against conflict scenes table, and I got following set up: Outmaneuver a local official suborned or bribed by the foe. Roll a die; on odd result add 1 Heat to the community (Heat is a measurement of pressure community puts on the hero. After each adventure player rolls d10. If the result is equal or lower than current Heat, hero needs to face the consequences community puts on her or to play adventure dedicated to lowering Heat). I rolled 4, so Oolong earned her first heat point in Earl Grey.

Oolong started building barricades in the town as defensive outposts against incoming pirates. But she soon realized that there is not enough material available. So, she approached one of the nearby villa's determined to "borrow" some furniture for there. On the gate, she was greeted by a local aristocrat, surrounded with six body guards. 
Oolong explained her needs to him, but he just laughed at her and refused to give any of his hard earned possessions (failed charisma test). But Oolong was not going to give up that easily, so she attacked aristocrat, determined to take what she needs by force, if necessary (This counts as unnecessary use of force. It adds another heat point to the community, but if Oolong wins the fight, scene will count as successful). Our hero managed to drop two of the bodyguard thugs to the ground, but the rest ganged on her, and she barely escaped with her life (with just one health point left). 

The scene was failure, so Pirates are gaining 1 VP. Oolong also had to rest to regain strength,  so another VP for pirates is in order. Luckily, after conflict scenes player do not roll for antagonist VP, so the current result is 9:9. The last conflict scene will determine the winner of the adventure.

One more roll against conflict scenes table defines the setup as: Sabotage the foe's possession important to the plot. Roll a die; on an odd result face a fight as well as the check. I rolled 5, so no prearranged fight. 

Oolong was informed that pirates made a machine producing smoke, that will hide them from town archers once they attack. So, she sneaked behind enemy lines (dexterity test), damaged the machine (intelligence test) and sneaked back into town (dexterity again).

So this is it. 10:8 for Oolong. Reaching 10 VP triggers final action scene that will end the adventure.

Pirates are attacking. Standing in the middle of the street, shoulder to shoulder with other defenders, Oolong is fighting to survive the waves of attackers. 
She needs to survive d6+5=7 combat rounds before pirate attack is broken by the main force of defenders. And.. She managed to stay on her feet for 3 rounds..... So, pirates are awarded with another VP and final result is 10:9 for our hero. It is minor victory.

Oolong wake up in the hospital, among all others wounded during the attack (In Scarlet Heroes, city encounters are described as never lethal, since wounded characters are usually healed by the city healers before they can bleed to death, so they are able to continue. If such thing would happen in the dungeon or in the wilderness, it will be the end of the campaign...).

Pirates are defeated for the moment, and they will not pose immediate threat, but they leader was not captured, and there is a serious possibility that the town of Earl Grey will not be really safe from similar attacks in the future. 

But in the moment, town is open again, and Oolong is free to leave, and that is what is currently important to her. So, she waited for her wounds to heal, and then used some of her hard earned money to better equip herself. 
She first visited Pai Mu Tan the alchemist, and purchased some potions from him - one more potion of Invisibility, one potion of Furious might and one Antidote, all for 15000 gp. She honestly expected some discount due to her activities in the recent events, but was not given.
She also purchased some eagle feather amulet, and a donkey named Guan Yin.
Than she wished the town of Earl Grey farewell, and left into wilderness. 

Some thoughts on Scarlet heroes urban adventures: Victory points system is really interesting, and makes for a tense game. The problem of this system is with the proposed scenes. System is not really storytelling oriented, so often it feels too mechanical, like - do a test to earn a clue, without even trying to explain how does the test fits into the story, or what is the clue you earned. But all in all, this is a good system.

To be continued.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Long Jing, the Hairdresser - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 2.2.

Continuing from previous post.

As pirates close the circle around the town of Earl Grey, Oolong continues with her investigation. She decided to bribe the guards at the town gate, to tell her the name of the person who is the most insisting to be let out of the town.
After slipping d6*100=200 gp. in guards pocket she gets the name (RSC: sheep + mirror): it is Long Jing, the local hairdresser.

Oolong succeeded in the scene, so she is awarded with one clue and 1 VP. After each investigation or action scene, player roll d10. If the number rolled is lower then number of such scenes, enemy also receives victory point. This is fifth such scene, and I rolled 4, so current result is 4:5 for pirates.

Oolong continues to dig following the received lead. She pulled some of her rogue contacts to find out why is it that Long Jing wants out so desperately (Charisma test, needed 10, rolled 11, success. RSC: Giant + Snail). It seems that hairdresser crossed captain of pirates, and that if the city fails Long Jing will have some hard time under the conquerors. If Oolong can move Long Jing to safety, it might prolong invasion....

Another clue and another victory point for Oolong. Roll of 7 on d10 keeps the enemy at bay, so the result is 5:5.

Will Pai Mu Tan the alchemist allow Oolong to take Long Jing out of town through sewers? Yes but .... RSC: Cage + City he wants sewer exit destroyed once the hairdresser leaves them and Oolong returns to the town. Pai Mu Tan gives our hero some explosive charges to perform this task.

So, it is time for some action (one clue used). Oolong visited Long Jing and offered him to take him out of the town, which hairdresser gladly accepted. Oolong purchased leather armor and a rapier for his companion, and they descended into the sewers.

(Long Jing is 4HD, AC7, +1 to hit, d6 damage character. Sewers are played as d10+5=11 room dungeon).

Rooms 1 to 3 were empty. Room 4 hosted dangerous intruder, religious in nature - Red Apostle!
(Red Apostle is the most dangerous Red Tide Spawn. It is intelligent 6HD creature, with AC2 - so Oolong hits it on 14+ and Long Jing on 17+ on D20, and two attacks with +6 to hit - hits on 7+. The only good thing is that each attack does only 1d4 of damage. But that is not all: creature has flame attack that hits both my characters. Oolong needs 9+ and Long Jing 8+ on 2d8 to save, or they suffer 1d12 damage).

Initiative: Oolong, Long Jing, Red Apostle. So, if it does any good, my heroes will strike first.

Round 1: Oolong hits for 2HD! Good start, 4 more to go. Long Jing misses, Red Apostle hits but rolls snake eyes on damage, so no effect. Hairdresser fails save against fire and loses 1HD (3 left).
Round 2: Oolong hits for 1HD (3 to go). Long Jing misses, Red Apostle hits Oolong for 2 points (5 left)
Round 3: Oolong misses, but Long Jing hits for 1HD (2). Red Apostle misses on attack, but Oolong takes 2 damage from fire (3 left)
Round 4: Oolong uses wizard's staff to retreat and bind wounds. NPCs recover 1HD each - new situation Oolong 5, Long Jing 4, Red Apostle 3. 
Round 5: Oolong hits for 2HD (1). Hairdresser misses. Oolong takes 1 damage from Red Apostle's attack and 1 from fire (3).
Round 6: Oolong hits for 1HD and kills Red Apostle!
Well if this is not +1 experience point, than I do not know what is :)

Oolong binds her wounds, and returns to 5 health points.
After searching Red Apostle's body, big treasure was found. Oolong and Long Jing decided to split it more or less equally. So, Oolong part consisted of 1500gp, 2 pcs. of precious jewelry and 3 pcs. of precious gems. 2 priceless gems were given to Long Jing, but Oolong took Potion of Resistance.

Room 5 was empty. Room 6 contained something stolen by inhabitants of the dungeon that holds unpleasant truth about NPC - Darjeeling the wizard. (RSC: Talking + Pawn) It is porcelain servitor that used to belong to our old acquaintance! Oolong convinced the golem to join the party. It will keep talking through the  rest of the dungeon, but will not say anything of interest, trust me on this.

Room 7 was full of poisonous bugs! Porcelain servitor is immune to them, but both Oolong and Long Jing failed their saves vs. poison. Oolong used her Defy Death ability on 3d8, and lost 3 health points (2 left).Than, Oolong applied Green Powder on Long Jing and saved him from death.

Room 8 was empty. In room 9 Oolong found a book, relic of the local aristocrats. RSC: Monkey + footsteps. It is "Book of Teas volume 2, Monkey picked leafs".... Seams that Librarian left in the hurry, leaving one of it's most prized possessions behind... Well, Oolong has plans to visit him in the Capital anyway....

Rooms 10 and 11 were empty. Oolong directed Long Jing towards the Capital and wished him goodbye. Porcelain servitor was sent to follow hairdresser for now. As she watched them walking away, Oolong said: "See you both soon in the Capital".

Successful action scene, so +2 VP for Oolong. Roll of 8 on d10 keeps pirates in peace, so Oolong takes a lead for the first time 7:5.

But action continues, and Oolong uses second clue to set up explosives. She takes intelligence test to do it right, and succeeds. Then, she needs dexterity test helped by Long distance runner trait to outrun the blast, and it is another success.
Before she can return to the town she needs to pass through the bugs room again. Dexterity test helped with Perfect Balance trait also succeeds, so she emerges from the sewers victorious.

+2VP for Oolong. But now she needs to rest to recover to full strength, and that automatically gives 1VP to pirates. Also, low roll on d10 test gives pirates another VP. Current result is 9:7 for our hero.

To be continued.....

Monday, September 8, 2014

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.... Oolong the Scarlet Hero Adventure 2 Part 1

After getting out of the dungeon, I just wanted to go to the town, sell the acquired book and let Oolong live happily ever after...
But nooo, I had to try Aladdin Technique once more....

So, after some Rory story cube rolling, I got the following set-up:
Upon returning to her home town of Earl Grey - small border settlement on the coast that serves as a prison colony, Oolong finds that librarian that send her on the quest suddenly moved to the (RSC: crown) Capital. Furthermore, (RSC: Microscope + safe) Oolong is forbidden to leave the town, and wherever she moves she notices some shady figures behind her, so she is aware that she is constantly followed....

Damn you John Fiore for inventing things that are making us play more than we originally planed! :)

OK, so the urban adventures in Scarlet Heroes are played differently. Through series of scenes,  PC and antagonist (that might be unknown at the beginning) collect victory points in different ways. The first to reach 10 points wins the adventure. So, lets start.

Oolong decided to turn tables on her followers. She managed to lose her tail, but when she tried to follow her pursuer to find out his intentions, he, being a seasoned veteran of many campaigns, was waiting for her behind the corner. Fight occurred, and Oolong was victorious, rendering veteran unconscious. She searched her fallen opponent but found nothing interesting. Than, she just waited for veteran to wake up, and simply asked him what is going on.
Successful charisma test later, veteran had nothing against explaining the situation  (RSC: Jolly Roger + Song).
And that's how Oolong learned that famous pirate captain will attack the city of Earl Grey in order to release some of his crew members serving time in the local prison.
Upon receiving this information, all free citizens that could, moved to the Capital (librarian among them). Thus, authorities closed the town forcing people to fight instead of running away. Also, pirates already keep parts of town under control, so all who enter the town are followed until it is proved that they are not pirate spies.
Oolong lets the veteran go, and he assures her that she will no longer be followed.

After all this, result is 2:1 for pirate antagonists.

The most important person left in the town and the leader of citizen militia seems to be the town alchemist. Oolong goes to him and asks how to help. (RSC: Flower, Dead body) Alchemist sends Oolong to the gallows field, to pick some mandrake roots necessary for the potions.
Played like 4 room dungeon: In cementary garden, Oolong encountered some escaped prisoners trying to enforce some money from the locals. Our hero quickly sends them running. In cementary, she encounters two ghouls and kills them without problem. 4 more ghouls were feasting on recently dead in burial shrine. Oolong had some problems dispatching them (she failed saving throw and was paralyzed, had to use Defying Death to release herself), but finally she managed to clean the shrine from the undead. Finally under the gallows, Oolong meets seven pirates already picking mandrake. She runs into the fight, but they beat her heavily. Oolong is left for dead on the gallows field. Later that day, she wakes up with one health point. There is no Mandrake roots left. Lots of victory points for pirates.
Oolong rested, and than started for the part of town controlled by pirates to steal some mandrake roots. She manages to sneak in and loot the herbs, but on her way back she is surprised by the pirate sentries. Oolong tries to outrun them but fails, and again has to call Defy Death rule for help. Therefore, she manages to get away, and returns to the alchemist with requested plants, but again reduced to one health point. More resting for our girl.

The next task for Oolong was to investigate disappearance of some messengers who vanished from the streets of the Earl Gray. While investigating, she stumbled on a group of 6 pirate soldiers. Short fight later, the treat was eliminated. Finally some victory points for Oolong.

Total result is now 4:3 for pirates.

To be continued.