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  1. #321
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    Be aware I'll probably make you do story time around the campfire again at some point, too. I liked those - although I think the two natural storytellers went first, and then everyone else got a bit stage-frighty because they thought the bar was pretty high. There's no bar, you just try and tell a story in-character-ish. The important thing is giving it a shot.

  2. #322
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Thanks Harlander!

    For those interested, I threw together a spreadsheet showing probability of failure on trait rolls with exploding dice, a wild die and modifiers. You should be able to view it here:

    Link (Let me know if the link doesn't work.)

    Exploding dice make Savage Worlds probability curves a bit hinky...

  3. #323
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    what's the probability of someone incapacitating themselves by scoring 23 on a single d6 damage roll?

  4. #324
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    That was quite spectacular. Frank Spencer would have been proud.

    At some point I'll make a chart for exploding damage dice, and expected damage.

  5. #325
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    After action report, 2nd May

    The party are all together again after last week's exciting side adventure. Surprisingly, perhaps, the journalist travelling amongst them hasn't written a story about their strange experience. Perhaps he doesn't believe them? Then again, he hasn't written a story about Bayou Vermillion's murderous gangster capitalism, or their use of walking dead men, nor has he written one about the Mormon Spy Jetpack Kerfuffle; perhaps he's just not a very good journalist.

    Sadly he's also not a very good cowboy: reaching the swollen Canadian River our heroes, once again riding drag, are tasked to drive the cattle into the river at the fording point. Artemus Johnson's attempt to herd the cows does not go well, and falling from his horse he somehow manages to find the only jagged rock in the sea of mud at the river bank, and smash his face right into it. Luckily for him he's only incapacitated, as it's a wound that could easily have killed him, and the mess he makes of his face is only temporary rather than permanent.

    Brought back to consciousness and returned to walking wounded status by the ministrations of his friends, Johnson surprises everyone by making crossing the river itself look laughably easy; Kannavagh disproves this by being taken for a quick spin through the rapids, but suffers no permanent ill effects.

    The party also manage to rescue a cow from sinking into some quicksand, although any points granted to them for thinking "we could use a horse - wait, we could use more than one horse!" should be taken away again for not thinking "we could dig its front legs out" or "we could use a wagon wheel as a capstan". It's not a team-building exercise though, it's a deadly serious cattle drive - and Egg Shen's virtuoso display of riding pulls the cow out of the clinging mud while simultaneously not pulling the cow's head clean off its body.

    A week or so later the cattle drive passes close to Black Mesa, a place of ill repute and ill omen. They're beset by horrible nightmares - Kannavagh snaps awake with adrenaline surging through his veins and spots sinister ravens staring at the sleeping men and is able to chase them off, whereupon the dreams stop and the drovers sleep peacefully for the rest of the night.
    However the dreams return the following day, and Kannavagh's snares don't deter them - possibly due to the fact he has no wilderness survival skills and has never before made a snare in his life.
    The dreams are taking their toll, and a couple of party members have developed new phobias - snakes, violins, and snow, if I remember correctly.

    On the third evening it occurs to the party that a perimeter of fires, and walking guards with torches, should keep the evil birds far enough away that they'll have trouble working their foul magic. On the fourth morning nobody wakes up dead, or inexplicably scared of the number eight, or with a twitch.

    On the fourth evening, the infamous Shaman Black dog and a band of indian braves attacks the camp.

  6. #326
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    Incidentally I wasn't at my sparkling best last Sunday; I hope it didn't drag too much for you guys. I'd say there's two or three more weeks of this adventure to go before we're at the end of Book 1, which is a perfect natural stopping point.

    Up for more Radiance for a while, once we've done book 1 of the Blood Drive?

  7. #327
    Network Hub egg651's Avatar
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    Sorry chaps, but there's a very real chance I won't be able to make it on Sunday as next week is chock-a-block with A Level exams and I might need to do some last minute revision. Either way I will definitely need to get an early night. It's a shame, I don't want to miss the battle royals we've set ourselves up for.
    Unacosamedarisa: Egg, kiss me, you're beautiful.

  8. #328
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    I am visiting relatives this weekend but hopefully should be back in time for tomorrow night.

    My prediction: Egg's character remains asleep for the whole fight, everyone dies, then next week his character wakes up alone in the desert surrounded by corpses and no idea what happened.

  9. #329
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    That's a pretty good reason not to make it - and this is why we didn't start the battle last week, so I can easily retcon it that you're out scouting the route or something without having to make you and a couple of enemies for balance mysteriously vanish in the middle of a gun battle.
    See how you feel come Sunday, and if it turns out you fancy an hour or two's revision break I'll be glad to see you - and if you're revising or getting some needed sleep, I'll be glad not to see you.

  10. #330
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Cheers PW for another fine evening of entertainment, despite my moaning :)

    Oh and I reread and finally deciphered the Surprise round rules, too. Since we've gone back and forth on this a couple of times, I hope this helps clear it up:

    • The ambushers are not dealt cards in the first round - they are treated as having started the round on Hold (like if you hold your action beyond the end of the previous round). This means they can act when they like and can even interrupt other combatants' actions.
    • The guys getting jumped are allowed to make Notice rolls. Those that succeed get dealt cards as normal. Note this still puts them at a cruel disadvantage to the ambushers.

    Suffice to say after last night, Jesse's Notice went from d6 to d10 :P
    Last edited by Screwie; 10-06-2013 at 03:17 PM.

  11. #331
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    This has been a pretty brutal series of encounters for you guys, with several ambushes. The way it worked this time, with the attackers getting the highest card in the follow up, meant you were basically sitting there for an hour watching them take two turns to hurt you and kill your allies. Can't have been much fun, since you didn't have any player agency for half of the fight.

    Also we have a couple of non-combat-oriented characters, so I should maybe adjust the encounters a little to allow for it. The encounter last night wouldn't have been quite as horrible if the cards had gone differently though.

  12. #332
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    Sorry to say that I won't be able to make tomorrow's session - I've got a work project that has to be finished over the weekend, and it's going to take both days. :(

  13. #333
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Ditto, I have something that needs to be done for Monday and there isn't enough time in the day.

  14. #334
    I may be late, I was voluntold to babysit my nieces and nephew yesterday and it all depends on what time I can escape this afternoon.

  15. #335
    As I mentioned I will be writing an Only War campaign when I am away. I will very much be focusing on small unit combats so no vehicles, mass battles etc which should mean that the game wouldn't be too combat heavy, it shouldn't bog down and things will be kept varied.

    The basic premise is that your regiment has been seconded to a rogue trader who has newly acquired his warrant of trade and has started to build up his empire. At the moment I have 2 one offs and a more involved multi session campaign mapped out as well as ideas for a further campaign.

    All I need from you guys at the moment is a bit of guidance on the background. You will be in an Imperial Guard Regiment who will all be from the same planet (with a couple of exceptions that can be worked out later) so I will need to know what type of planet you would like to be from (it has a small effect on your starting wounds, stats and skills, basically they are the same as the Rogue Trader homeworlds). I was going to go with Deathworld but it doesn't really matter.

    The other thing that I need to know is what sort of regiment that you would like to be. Realistically there are a choice of 2 that fit the setting well: Recce regiment and Hunter Killer. This will have an impact on your stats and skills as well as equipment in addition to your basic regimental gear (Recce will have very light armour and access to sniper rifles while Hunter Killer will have carapace armour and access to combat shotguns or fancy(ish) lasguns). This will guide me in how I stage combats but obviously you wont get your ideal combat range in every fight.

    I have further cluttered the Radiance Dropbox folder with the Only War source book should anyone wish to take a look. Its very similar to Rogue Trader but the rules have been cleaned up and combats should be quite fast as critical hits automatically kill rank and file NPCs.

    Characters can be worked out nearer the time and the only stipulations that I have is that only 1 person should be a support specialist ( things like Ogryns, Psykers etc) and that Commissars aren't allowed as they would be too overbearing. Everyone else should be one of the Guardsmen classes, it would be nice if someone played a Sergeant though.
    Last edited by palindrome; 16-06-2013 at 11:14 PM.

  16. #336
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    After Action Reports: Sunday 9th and 16th June

    With Egg Shen scouting the trail with Sutter and Canton, and several more of the Lazy S cowboys riding the perimeter of the herd, their guns were sorely missed by our intrepid trailhands as a sudden fusillade of rifle shots from the darkness announced another attack from the fiendish Black Dog. The treacherous ambush of Black Dog's band of renegade braves cut a swathe through the Lazy S cowpokes, with most of the cowboys going down in a storm of unanswered gunfire before they had a chance to join the battle. Black Dog had also previously cast 'beast friend' on a swarm of bats, which appeared out of the night and started clawing and scratching everyone within reach. Black Dog backed up his braves with the 'fear' spell, and while around half the braves continued to fire their rifles the other half screamed their warcries and charged the camp waving their tomahawks.
    Bats savaged Lowkey. Javier Ortega took what looked like a mortal wound from an Indian. Lazy S cowpokes were going down left and right, most of them without getting a chance to reply. Palindrome went prone and shot an indian down, and Harlander and Jesse blew a couple of them into scraps (one of whom was about to tomahawk Palindrome into bloody chunks), and one of the cowboys cut a heroic figure, taking down two indians before himself getting shot. Lowkey took a bullet to the leg that left him near death.
    Things were looking pretty bad for our boys when a party of ranch hands from a nearby spread galloped up, and Black Dog's men decided they didn't like the odds quite so much any more and scattered into the night. Some say Black Dog transformed into a crow and flew away.
    They left behind them a scene of utter devastation, but in the end most of the downed cowboys, including Javier Ortega, recovered with some timely medical attention from X-kot, and from a healing gizmo whipped up by the resident mad scientist. Even Lowkey was brought most of the way back to health, although he'll have a lame leg to remember this fight by for as long as he lives.
    Jesse used his powers to try to scry out Black Dog's motivations, and maybe find where he's hiding. He got a sense of implacable vengeance, a vision of the cattle drive receding into the endless distance and Black Dog following it forever. He also got a strong sense of enmity to Sutter and a vision of Sutter and the rest of his posse bringing Black Dog to justice in the past - Sutter's the only member of that posse who's still above ground, and Black Dog means to change that. Having been thwarted by our adventurers a couple of times now, Black Dog has started to hate them too - he has a lot of hate to go around.

    (Sunday 16th)

    The cattle drive picks up and heads on, over the Trincheras pass and into Colorado. They pass a homestead burned out by some raiders, with a gruesomely murdered body. They then encounter a couple of homesteaders who refuse them passage across their spread - but Lowkey is able to talk them around and defuse the situation before the shooting starts. The homesteaders tell them the raiders were probably "Colonel" Gault's men - he's a thug who claims to be working for the Union, and to have the backing of the Black River railroad. Whatever the truth of that, he's got a bunch of armed and vicious raiders working for him and they're terrorising the area.

    Sutter details X-kot and Screwie to scout the trail to the town of Exposition, a few days ride ahead, and sends the remaining four drag riders to the small town of Dog Leg, a day's ride off the trail. Two of his cowhands went there for supplies; they should have been back by now, and Sutter's worried.

    An uneventful ride brings them to Dog Leg, and they soon find out the town's in the grip of fear. Gault rode through here a couple of weeks back; his men gunned down the Marshal, and Gault left his own 'Marshal' in town with a couple of thugs backing him up. Everyone here's terrified of Gault and kowtowing to the gunslinger strutting round with the star on his chest.
    The two cowpokes are in jail on (what Palindrome's investigative skills quickly prove to be) trumped up charges of "wrecking up the place". They're chained to the floor of the "Marshal's office", which is actually a pretty standard house with no bars on the windows or anything, and have been beaten.

    Lowkey claims to be a reporter and asks the 'Marshal' for information on the two cowpokes, and quickly learns that the 'Marshal'
    a) talks slowly
    b) doesn't like reporters
    c) doesn't like anybody else, come to that
    d) wants $500 to release the two men.

    Egg Shen and the 'Marshal' eyeball each other, but neither actually calls the other out, so we don't get a gunfight (aww).

    Our intrepid adventurers realise they'll get no help from the townies, and lacking $500 between them they decide the best plan would be to get all Rainbowswat Countersix on the place. After all, if you have a mad scientist with you, and that mad scientist has anachronistic ghost-rock powered flash grenades, it behoves you to stack up, flash the room, and take the door.

    Lowkey gets his Columbo on and "just one more thing"s the 'Marshal', making him tip his hat back and look up just as the flash grenade goes off. He's still agile enough to avoid the blinding light, although his two mooks are not and take no further part in the fight.
    The 'Marshal' shows almost supernatural toughness and strength of will (almost, he's a wild card not a monster) and shrugs off shots from Palindrome and Egg Shen that would have felled a lesser man. He replies with a fusillade of bullets, drawing his revolver in an instant, fanning the hammer and firing three bullets at Egg Shen, all of which hit their target. Things look pretty bad for Egg, but two of the shots are mere scratches. One looks like it's struck home in Egg's vitals, as he groans and clutches his side, but by an incredible stroke of luck it has actually glanced off a button on Egg's coat (giving him a nasty bruise) and cut a bleeding furrow in his side, instead of blowing an enormous hole in his lung as it looked fated to do.

    Harlander fires a vicious bolt of lightning right past Egg's ear and into the 'Marshal', burning him horibly and ending the fight. He surrenders immediately and tells his blinded mooks to throw down their weapons, which they do before they've had a chance to use them.

    The party then realise they have a problem - they don't fancy dragging this guy back to the cattle drive and then all the weary miles to the next large town with any law, and if they leave him here the townsfolk will just let him go again because they're all so afraid of Gault. Palindrome solves the problem by blowing his brains all over the wall. Then they collect up the two cowpokes and head back for the cattle drive...

    ... to find a scene of devastation!
    There are only about six cowhands left, together with Clanton and Miss Abby. The rest are dead, or captured alongside Sutter by Gault and his raiders. They swept down on the unprepared cattle drive while the cowboys were scattered riding the herd, and outnumbered and disorganised they never had a chance.
    Now our boys are back Abby wants to ride off immediately after them, but Canton points out they had about thirty men and even with our party the Lazy S will be horribly outnumbered. The party agree to seek help in Exposition, about three days North.

    Initially mistaken for Gault by Constance Merit of Black River and her band of enforcers (turns out that they're not backing him at all. Further turns out they're not happy about him using their name and have sent some rail warriors out here to the railhead to make that clear), Lowkey's fast talking defuses the situation before the misunderstanding becomes fatal.
    Further fast talking persuades Constance to detail 20 of her men to go with the posse in exchange for a mere 25 head of cattle - her mission is to protect the railhead, but she figures if she can do that and also take out Gault her bosses will be happy.
    Even more fancy talking from Lowkey, culminating in an impassioned speech where he throws a wanted poster to the floor and shoots it, gathers a double handful of townsfolk with their minds on the $1000 reward for Gault.

    It's easy for our gang and their little army to follow Gault's trail - 30 armed men and a thousand cattle leave a trail even Lowkey could follow - and they quickly find Gault's base of operation. His men are in the mouth of a box canyon, with the cattle penned up behind them and Sutter and the cowboys tied up nearby (probably for ransom).
    There's a guard on the bluffs at either side of the canyon mouth, about 40 armed raiders, Gault himself, and it looks like Gault has some sidekicks of his own - in an amazing coincidence there's a Gault enforcer for every one of our heroes.


    Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to part one of the Blood Drive: The Assault on Gault's Gulch!
    Last edited by President Weasel; 17-06-2013 at 01:44 PM.

  17. #337
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Holy crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by President Weasel View Post
    Lowkey gets his Columbo on and "just one more thing"s the 'Marshal', making him tip his hat back and look up just as the flash grenade goes off. He's still agile enough to avoid the blinding light, although his two mooks are not and take no further part in the fight.
    Quote Originally Posted by President Weasel View Post
    Even more fancy talking from Lowkey, culminating in an impassioned speech where he throws a wanted poster to the floor and shoots it, gathers a double handful of townsfolk with their minds on the $1000 reward for Gault.
    So awesome.

    Well done to PW for cleverly writing around our absenses, and for another lovely report.

  18. #338
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    You missed a chance to not be ambushed, Screwie - although if you show up next week for the big finale (and I hope everyone does) you'll get the chance to ambush someone else for a change.

  19. #339
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LowKey's Avatar
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    Fun times, only war-shotgun psycher

  20. #340
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    So when's this Only War thing going to take place?

    Also if we only get one Ogryn - does he get a ripper gun, and a rank insignia bolted to his skull? If the answer to both of these are yes, I would like to apply for the job.
    Last edited by President Weasel; 17-06-2013 at 06:28 PM.

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