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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: ZenDog on March 19, 2004, 06:42:15 PM

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 19, 2004, 06:42:15 PM
The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard

I’ve been out of the hobby for about a decade and when I got back I decide to look around for a game that pushed all my Sword and Sorcery buttons. TRoS was the obvious choice, I got it, and I loved it. Now all I needed was some players ad I’d be in GM heaven. No luck there though couldn’t find a playgroup in my area.

Then I was contacted by an old friend, who was my best gaming buddy back in the early 80’s. He’d bumped into my sister, and she gave him my email addy.

He hasn’t played for decades either I suggested an online game and he was keen. So I pimped TRoS to him by sending him link to the TRoS site and he was interested (he commented that it reminded him of Runequest).

So we got together on MSN messenger and I explained the options for a game. We could play in any setting we liked (Glorantha, Middle Earth, Conan any D&D style heartbreaker) or historical earth or Weyrth.

I decide I would leave these initial choices to him, as I was happy to GM the game he wanted to play.

He toyed with the idea of Conan, as it would be a good fit but in the end decided on Weyrth feeling that it had potential.

At this stage he didn’t have the Core book and was just going of the website. So I explained the basic options we had for Weyrth.

We could basically play in the full plate Medieval part of Weyrth, The Eastern Steppes with Cossacks, tartar hordes, Polish nobility and Russian peasantry near the semi-mythical Odeons, (I quite like this part of Weyrth), we could go Oriental, Classical, African and Islamic or Dark Ages.

The player decided on the Dark Ages part of the map and given the choices of nations and starting points, he went for the Viking Savaxen lands.

Cool, Dark Ages and Vikings, I like that as much as I like the eastern steppes part of the map.

I decided as GM that as neither of us was familiar with the setting; that there would be no sorcery to start with (player or NPC) and no magical or mystical beasts that it would all just be superstition. The option to scale both in is there if we want to later.

Also, we decided to stick within the Dark Age kingdoms and go for a game based on raiding and warring with the Celtic neighbours and political machinations within various Savaxen clans.

Again with the option to just set off seeking adventures further afield at a later date.

I picked the most northwesterly Savaxen isle to be his homeland, as I liked the extreme location on the map. I have slightly altered things though. On the map this island has the capital city marked but unnamed, but I decided I wanted the Capital to be Theoricthrone on the mainland, I have also flavoured the Savaxen King more like a regular feudal one rather than based it on the Scandinavian model of elect kings.

Ok so that was all sorted out over online chat with me reading stuff from the book and explaining the map.

so that settled we agreed to meet online again another day and then we would create the character.

Title: Birth of a Legend
Post by: ZenDog on March 20, 2004, 09:18:27 AM
Time to roll up our hero, I’m not sure how easy it would have been to do this online with just one copy of the rules, but luckily, TRoS is very well supported online.

I got my player to download the map of Weyrth, ‘A hint at the riddle’ the pdf quickstart rules and both of Brian Leybourne excellent programs the Combat Simulator and the Chargen software.

Now I was a bit naughty here as the Chargen software can only be used when you have the Core rulebook to activate it, and I used my rulebook to activate the software for my player. Now evil as this is, it was all part of my cunning plan. You see I know my player well and by the time we’d created his character and ran him through the combat simulator a few times, he had whipped out his credit card and ordered not only the TRoS rule book but the first supplement ‘Of Beasts and Men’ too. That’s how good Brian software is it sells the game.

So on to our character generation, we both had the chargen software open on our PC’s and a messenger programme for chat. We filled in the details simultaneously, with me reading necessary info from the rules and typing it into the chat, so he could make informed decisions, and him typing those decisions into chat so I could cut and paste into the chargen software.

I’ll explain stuff where necessary, for those that don’t own TRoS, and don’t know the system. Or answer any questions asked. I’ll also explain for TRoS experts that this online Chargen was more or less the players and mine first Chargen and only I had the book. So, if you see that I’ve got anything wrong please point it out for me.

As advised we started with the character concept, the player in this case went for quite a classic Viking warrior, a huge hulking brute of a man who would relish death in combat, as this would guarantee him a place in Valhalla. However he would also be a man who was quite family oriented and honour bound.

After the concept was decided on, it was just a case of going through the chargen using the software page by page.

1st page we have all background and cosmetic details, I sent the player of to a site that had Viking names and their meaning and he picked ‘Varghoss’ it means wolf something or something wolf and it is linked to the players real name so he was pleased with that. After name, the first decision a TRoS player must make is one of philosophy, what will his character's philosophy be. In this case it was ‘Kill or be killed and that’s the way Woden likes it’ a simple enough philosophy for the characters concept.

Next his physical appearance, which is pretty much as you’d expect Varghoss is 6’ 4” and 240 lbs. of red haired, grey eyed, Savaxen manhood. Faith and creed are the pagan Norse gods, with a preference for Woden one eye god of death and war.  

For personality, the player decided Varghoss is sarcastic and aggressive, but also trustworthy and reliable.

The last section on this page is other notes, when I asked if he wanted to put anything in this he said yes, ‘father killed in a raid’ this one off the cuff statement would then mould the entire reasoning behind the character and the whole focus of the campaign. He then added that under his care were his mother and a sister not yet of marriageable age. I quickly scanned the map and gave the player a list of neighbouring nations and asked him to choose who killed his father and he decided on the Cymri (Welsh) a Celtic nation on mainland Angherhad.

So we now added Cymri to the enemies’ section, but left the allies blank for now.

Next up are the priorities, for those that don’t know TRoS you have to prioritise the various traits of your character in order of what is important to him (skills, attributes ect).

We started with race and made that the lowest priority F (as there will be no sorcery in this campaign). Next at priority E, we had gifts and flaws, this gave him one major flaw and one minor gift. Priority D the player picked skills giving him two skill packets at starting skill Rates of 8. For priority C social class ‘High Freeman’ it was important for the character (player) to have a good standing with in the clan, and be the captain of his own longboat (which opens up lots of play possibilities) we decided that high freeman was in Savaxen terms, a huskarl. This gave him a starting wealth of 50 gold standard ($50,000). Next priority was attributes at B giving him 43 points to share around his attributes. Finally most important at priority A he chose weapons proficiencies giving him 14.

So know we have Varghoss who is an elite Savaxen warrior, highly skilled in the weapons of his people, and member of the Karl class, physically fit, not particularly skilful, but not unskilled.

Next page on the chargen takes you to a colour map of Weyrth, and if you highlight an area it show you the modifiers a character can expect based on nationality. We already know he was Savaxen and his modifiers are +1 strength and endurance, -1 mental aptitude and Social, +1 weapon proficiency and free skills boating and sailing. So in other words Savaxens are big strong men, not known for either there book learning or manners, born with a weapon in hand and natural sailors.

Next attributes I can spare every one the details of this and just give you the stats, as these will be more or less familiar to everyone. Just one note there is no IQ score in TRoS the character are as clever (or dumb) as the players who run them. MA mental aptitude refers only to the ability to learn (skill and languages ect). Also in TRoS, you pick one attribute to be your best and none of the others are allowed to equal or surpass this.

Here are Varghoss’s stats


Strength (ST)     8
Agility  (AG)       6
Toughness (TO)  5
Endurance (EN)   4
Health  (HT)        4


Will Power (WP)           6
Wit                             6
Mental Aptitude (MA)    1
Social (soc)                 1
Perception (Per)           2

In general, the human average is four. This makes Varghoss of legendary strength (he would be well known as a strongman), fast, tough, fit, mentally strong, but unsociable to the point of rudeness. Barely capable of learning new skills and unable to hit the side of a barn at point blank range.

The most interesting and game defining part of TRoS chargen are the SA’s and after I explained what they do and what the different SA’s mean in Chargen the player came up with these SA’s.

Destiny:  Destroy the Cymri (1)
Drive:     Protect family (1)
Passion:  Hate the Cymri (2)
Luck:      (2) Woden loves bloodshed
Conscience: (1) Concerning clan and family he likes to do what is right.

I must say I was expecting him to hate the Cymri and want revenge for his fathers death at their hands, but destroy Cymri as a destiny took me by surprise, I was expecting the more standard, destiny avenge father. Should make for an interesting game.

Next I minor gift and one major flaw (he already has the minor flaw bad reputation just because he’s Savaxen) The player picks absolute direction (a very good gift for a sailor) and the major flaw of bloodlust. Considering his SA’s and what this flaw means in game terms this guy won’t be going in for stealth or subtlety and will no doubt get to Valhalla with no fear of a shameful death by natural causes.

Next are skill packets, which are in my opinion cool. You don’t have to spend ours going over long skill lists (though you can if you want to) instead just pick two skill packets, which contain a number of skills. Varghoss chooses Warrior and Sailor all the skills any self-respecting Savaxen will need.

For his weapon skill Varghoss’s player decides he will favour the Viking Axe combined with a shield, he’s also not too sloppy with sword and shield, and the longsword. Like any Savaxen, he is pretty handy in a street brawl (with or without a dagger).

Finally Varghoss gets some chain and leather armour. A fine hand-axe, a shield and helm, some clothes and jewellery, a pet wolf (white of course). That leaves him with 39 gold standard but the player gamely suggests giving all that up in exchange for his inheritance, which is his fathers, longship, and longhouse. So, he has a ship, some cattle, a home his weapons and armour, 1 mark, and a few fpenigs (the local currency).

So, that’s Varghoss, Savaxen warrior and sea raider.

Title: Thanks
Post by: BPetroff93 on March 20, 2004, 01:53:08 PM
Wow guys, sounds loads of fun.  Thanks for the breakdown by area, that actually makes Wyerth make sense to me.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 20, 2004, 02:01:10 PM
Thanks for the breakdown by area, that actually makes Wyerth make sense to me.

That's one of my favourite aspects of Weyrth, at first glance I wasn't too keen and thought it was a typical fantasy heartbreaker, but when I looked closer it just seemed to click for me.  You can focus in on specifc locales and get just the sort of campiagn you want.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 20, 2004, 06:53:45 PM
Now we have the hero, I can create a story around him.  

One thing that worried me was that the first grunt he looked funny at might decapitate the hero. Not because of malice on my part, or stupidity on the players but because, neither of were that familiar with the combat system.

So, I decided to run a two-session prologue first. The idea being to introduce the player to the setting and background, including a few NPC’s who may or may not feature in future sessions.

As the player had decided that the Cymri killed his father in a raid, I thought it would be good to play that out in game.

So in these first two sessions the player will play his character as a youth and his father. This way we can play out the father’s death, which will give the player the chance to get into combat without worrying about dying, (the father has to die, to set up Varghoss’s SA’s).

My plan was to start throwing low level Cymri spearmen at his father one at a time, then two at time, and then just keep throwing Cymri at him till the inevitable happens.

I’ve also thrown in a few twists and plot hooks that might surface when the campaign proper starts.

This means a bit of guidance (aka railroading) from me, but the player doesn’t mind the fact that he will be reacting rather than acting, in these first two sessions or that certain things will have to happen.

After these trial sessions, then future games will be based around Varghoss SA’s, the local politics, and anything the player decides he wants to do.

We have I guess kind of hit upon halfway house between plotted adventure and freeform world exploration, that suits us both. I’m happy to let the player do what he wants and go where he wants, and I’m equally happy to conjure up plots and adventure or lead play down a more story based direction.

We’ve played quite a few times like this (and had a great heroic Runequest one on one game back in the day) and the player trusts me to provide an interesting story when that’s what he wants. To be honest all this new-fangled player led narrativist gaming, is a novelty for both of us, being old school gamists in our youth. Saying that when we weren’t dungeon crawling my GM style always lent towards epic fantasy and making it up as I go along.

I think the difference being these days is we are more aware of what we are doing and what we want out a game, so we will *play these two sessions, and then discuss what we want to do next.

*already played session one, part two to be played next Wednesday (or should that be Wodensday).

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Sigurth on March 20, 2004, 11:30:26 PM
How did your scaling of combat go?

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 20, 2004, 11:51:44 PM
Quote from: Sigurth
How did your scaling of combat go?

Sigurth I'm pretty new to the game, not sure what you mean by that. Could you elaborate please.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Sigurth on March 21, 2004, 12:34:24 AM
Quote from: ZenDog

My plan was to start throwing low level Cymri spearmen at his father one at a time, then two at time, and then just keep throwing Cymri at him till the inevitable happens.


I did this 'throwing' bad guys his way work?

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 21, 2004, 04:08:53 AM
Oh I see.

No We haven't got to that part yet (that's this coming Wednesday). We played part 1 of the two part session (will post details soon). Part one focused entirely on the players character (as a youth).

It should be interesting because the combat we did have was quick (two strikes) but even then I was a bit lost on some of the rules (need to read up on blood loss, shock and pain rolls). So next combat will be intersesting.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Valamir on March 21, 2004, 08:56:50 AM
An interesting character.  The savaxren are probably my favorite Wyerth race.  With mental and social attributes so low you'll have the opportunity to really make things challenging for the character when he's home.

I can easily see crossing some Jarl/Eorl with bad manners and being exiled as a result.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 21, 2004, 09:38:30 AM
I've considered sending him on diplomatic missions, just for the fun factor.

He should upset  a fair few people. Not only is his soc 1, but his personality has been defined by the player as sarcastic and aggressive (also reliable and trustworthy but strangers wont know that).

Should also be interesting when he has his say at the Thing

He will struggle when he takes over as captain of his fathers Longship (a 20 oar Drakkar) so a chance to try out the brawling proffiency.

As for upsetting Jarls and Thanes, I'm more than happy to let him roleplay that but wouldn't a clan ettiquette roll protect him from making a social gaffe? If not would a Wit/soc roll be a good mechanic to use?

Any suggestions for this sort of thing would be appreciated. I haven't completly got my head round all the games mechanics yet and we are both learning as we go.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Valamir on March 21, 2004, 09:47:12 AM
Quote from: ZenDog
As for upsetting Jarls and Thanes, I'm more than happy to let him roleplay that but wouldn't a clan ettiquette roll protect him from making a social gaffe? If not would a Wit/soc roll be a good mechanic to use?

Clan Ettiquette certainly is going to be important.  But if I'm not mistaken, it ties to Soc...which at a 1 is going to lead to some fun moments.

Also, don't hesitate to allow the character's SAs to be thrown into the mix.

I can easily envision, the exiled warrior returning to the Jarl's hall battered and broken giving a Mel-Gibson-in-Braveheart-"they'll never take our freedom" speaches powered to a huge number of successes by SAs resulting in leading the Jarls men to battle.

Post by: ZenDog on March 21, 2004, 06:55:39 PM
The Saga Of Varghoss Redbeard

Lo, there do I see my father
Lo, there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning
Lo, they do call to me
They bid me take place among them in the Halls of Valhalla
Where the brave may live forever...

The Savaxen lands include the mainland peninsula, seat of the royal Savaxen house of Theoric.  The Theoric clan have ruled for generation upon generation from their capital Theoricsthrone. As well as mainland there is the Savaxen spiritual home. The three large islands of the raiders sea.

It is a land of ice and darkness, a land of majestic fjords and eternal night, of snow capped peaks, winters that outlast summer by many months. It is also a land blessed by savage gods and hardy men. The only place on Weyrth where a man can see the gods rainbow bridge with his own eyes.

The most north-westerly of the three islands, the Isle of Ravenscrag is your home.

Ravenscrag, is renowned for not only the skill of it sailors, but the voracity of its raiders.  The black-sailed ships of the Jarl of Ravenscrag are feared throughout the coastal settlements of Picti, Cymri, Angherhad, Stahl, Farrenshire and beyond.

First among the sea captains of Ravenscrag is your father Cormac Bloodaxe, the Seawolf. No Savaxen has sailed further, or raided so often and so well. Your father has played no small part in the success of the Ravenscrag fleet, and this does not go unnoticed, or unrewarded by Sorla, the current Jarl of Ravenscrag.  Among  his huscarls your father holds a place of honour.

All of which makes your current situation more galling.

For all the men of Ravenscrag have gone, sailed three days ago on the first of the summer raids. Only the women, the elderly and the sick remain behind, and you.

You have been left behind with the women.

For your father is sick and may be dying, and though his helmsman has taken your fathers ship on the raids, you must remain behind as a duty to your father.

His illness has robbed you of your manhood.

Your boyhood friends, this very moment, may even now be fighting in their first raid. Whether they live or die matters little.  For dead  or not, they will return to Ravenscrag as men, whilst you must remain a boy for one more year at least.

Of your father’s illness nothing is known. He fades day by day,  sometimes lucidity returns, and he may rise, seeming his old self. Other days, he rages and thrashes in his sickbed, until it takes you and your mother to hold him down. Even as weak and wasted as his stricken body has become.

Even the village’s renowned seer Frey ‘no-eyes’ does not know what ails your father. She is famed throughout Savaxen, for her healing powers and farsighted, god given visions.

So when your best friend Farlan returns with the others, he will be a man, he will drink in the Jarl’s longhouse.

You will still be a boy. A boy with chores to do.

You are not happy about this, and you go to long lengths to let old Gottir ‘the strong’ your weapons master, know how unhappy you are.

“Gottir, am I not the most able axeman, the largest and strongest of the boys, you have ever taught.”

“Don’t start this again boy, what’s done is done, and you are becoming tiresome.”

The old man stands on the headland and looks out to sea, even though you know he sees next to nothing.

“If I am so tiresome then why don’t you teach me a lesson you old goat rutter? Or are you a coward?”

For sometime now you have been trying to draw the old man into a duel.

He was your grandfathers swordmaster, your fathers in his youth, and now he is yours. Gottir is legendary among your people as not only the  greatest warrior  to have lived, but also the oldest.

This is his glory and his shame.

For years now he has been trying to die in combat, but can’t seem to manage, despite his eighty  years.

Last raiding season he went intending to die, but instead returned with five cattle, two slaves, three heads, taken from Picti warriors, and a new wife to boot.

Now though he is near blind, despite his most vociferous and bellicose protests, the Jarl would not allow him  to go raiding. He has resigned himself to the fact he will not die sword in hand, he will not go to Valhalla and feast with the Gods.

In your desperation you have devised a solution to both your problems. If you can taunt him enough, he might fight you. That way, either you will die and become a man, or you will kill him and become a man, sending your beloved friend and teacher to Valhalla with honour.

To you it seems like a good solution to both your problems.

Gottir will have none of it.

“It will do me no good to kill a boy.”

“But at least I shall die and become a man in death, the gods know, it seems like it will never happen in life”


Gottir spits at the ground and turns his near blind eyes from the sea, and uncannily turns them on you.

“Boy if you don’t leave me be, you will wish you were dead, man or boy!”

With that he turns his back on you.

You know it will do you no good to press the matter.  Instead, you head for your father’s longhouse in dread of what horrors the illness might bring, but as you enter silently, you find your father sleeps fitfully, beside him your mother exhausted with the care of him, sleeps deeply.

Resigned to another year of boyhood you yourself settle to sleep.

It is a sleep disturbed by dark omens, and strange happenings. You dream of the black sailed ships of Ravenscrag, crewed by the dead.  You dream of a white furred terror, it’s cruel fangs ripping out throats, until it’s fur becomes red with blood.

The white coated killer tears at the night, with a howl that freezes your heart, until you wake sweating, as if you had been running from sleep itsself.

Only to hear the monstrous howl that is coming from outside, coming from somewhere near the Jarl of Ravenscrag’s longhouse.

You jump from your bed, and head out of the door, taking your axe as you go.

As you run for the door, you notice your mother is rising too, your father mumbles in his sleep as though his dreams are disturbed, but he does not wake.

At the door you see others have also risen, they follow you as you rush to the Jarl's longhouse. As you get nearer the howling becomes more terrible.

When you see the source of the howling you halt, puzzelled as are the villagers behind you.

Standing, naked as the day she was born, some seventy seven years ago, is the seer Frey ‘no eyes’. Her empty eye sockets weep with puss, as she stands howling and screaming at the night sky.

Gottir pushes past you and stands in front of her, one near blind man, and one eyeless Seer.  He slaps her hard, leaving an angry red weal on her leathery face.

Frey stops howling.

"Is that you Gottir? You still hit like a woman, I thought someone would have killed you by now."

"No such luck old hag. What is the meaning of this?"

As harsh as his words are, he wraps his sleeping fur around the old woman’s shoulders.

"Yes what is the Meaning"

Goodrun the fair, wife of the Jarl of Ravenscrag stands with her small son at her side.

"Death, treachery, and poison my lady, I have seen as much this night. The gods have spoken!"

A hush descends on the gathered crowd

"Speak on, old mother." Goodrun instinctively scoops up her young son, holding him protectively.

"The gods speak, but they speak in riddles, and they speak in visions. Black sails and dead men, white fur and blood.  An enemy who is friend, friends who betray. This much I have seen this much I have heard, the meaning I know not"

The people whisper among themselves, uneasy. You see several of the wives and old men make the sign against evil.

One of these young wives cries out pointing out to sea.

 “Fear not!Look one of our ships returns early, a good omen"

Across the moonlit bay you can see a solitary longship heading for the dock.  Her Savaxen crew distinctive in their armour, can be seen manning the ship.

Before anyone can say otherwise, the crowd, shouting and cheering, run for the docks. Leaving you, your mother, Gottir, Fray, and the Jarl’s family behind.

"Boy how does she look, how does she sail?" asks Gottir

You look as the ship lurches across the bay, illuminated by the high moon of early summer.

"She’s slow in the water, it looks like our men have forgotten how to sail, that’s no Savaxen crew Gottir"

"By the Arse of the Darkone! Boy go to the headland, see what you can see then return here"

"Madam" He says to Goodrun, "get what you need and be ready to flee,"  finally to your mother "try and wake Cormac, Ursul"

All of this is too much, your dream and Frey’s Vision, and the ship, is it a ship of dead men? What ghost sail into Ravenscrag port?

"Well boy don't just stand there like an idiot. One way or another you'll be a man by dawn!"

He grins at you as he draws his own sword.

"Now Run, curse you run"

You sprint to the top of the headland, your mind racing, heart pumping, stomach churning.

You run as fast as you can, you reach the headland gasping for breath, just in time to see the ship float past.

This is no ghost ship, but it is a ship of death.

Dead Savaxen Men have been lashed to the oar seats, and lying in the ship are many warriors, not Savaxens but Cymri.

You watch as three men slip over the leeward side, into the cold dark water.  They kick out for a secluded cove, that you know leads to the narrow back cliff-path, A steep trail that leads to  the Jarl’s Longhouse. Only someone who knows Ravenscrag would know this cliff path.

The ship glides towards the dock and the waiting crowd of women, children and old men. The crowd of friends and families you have grown up with. They stand and wave happily at the approaching longship.

You have never been on a raid, but you know what will happen.
You try and yell to the dock, to warn the waiting crowd of what you see. Loud as you shout your voice is lost in the swell of the sea, and the booming winds, that whip round the headland.

The three men have reached the beach, and are making there way up the narrow path

The ship is gliding into the docks

At full sprint you could make the docks  warn the women, or you could run faster than you've ran in your life, back to the Jarl’s house to warn his wife and heir.

You cannot do both.

The decision is not easy, but you know there is no time for hesitation or careful consideration.

You race back to the Jarl’s hut

Knowing that against thirty warriors all you could do is die with the women, does not make it any easier on you. Against the three men you might be able to do something.  With regret in your heart you sprint from the headland.

Running as fast as you can you get back to the Jarl’s longhouse before the men reach the top of the cliff.  Gottir hears you sprinting towards him.

"Well Boy?"

“There are thirty men hiding on the ship coming into the docks.  Three of the bastards are  sneaking up the side trail, heading this way.  They slipped off the ship before they could be seen from shore"

"Betrayed! wails Fray no eyes.

"Shut up old hag."

"Old goat" says Frey with less conviction..

"Make your self useful Frey, tell Varghoss's mother when she has  raised Cormac to come serve her lady and the Jarl’s heir"

“Me and Varghoss wont be long, we have business with our three guests."

“Come with me boy, if you want to be a man" and with surprising gait for one so old Gottir lopes off like a silver haired wolf in the night.

As you follow Gottir into the night, his words calm you, as you try to quell the fire in your gut.

"Remember what I told you boy. Keep your nerve, and your guard up, fight with your head not your heart, and think, think, think! Never fight fair when you can fight dirty, and if you can, take your enemy by surprise."  

"If you can kill your enemy before his sword is drawn, so much the better!"

“So you do listen to me boy, good.”

When you get to the clifftop, Gottir speaks to you in a hushed voice.

"Now consider this your last lesson from me boy."

You crouch down with him in the shadows, hiding from the moons fay whitchlight.

"There are three of them and two of us, and me an old man, you a mere boy."

You nod, appreciating the truth of his words.

"In a fair fight we would be wolfmeat. If I were younger I would take them on the cliff-path, but I can barely see past the tip of my sword."

You concentrate on his words, trying not to think of the lurid tales of battle you loved as a child.

"So here is your last lesson, misdirection and ambush."

Gottir pauses, surveys the rough scrub of  barren land on the clifftop.

"See that bracken you go lie in that, I will stand here in the path and chat to them, that is the misdirection."

You look to the bracken it looks like slim cover, your mouth is dry.

“When I kill the first one, which I will, then by Woden's teeth  you better be up out of the bracken, swinging your axe! That is the ambush, and then we are two against two, and we have the surprise."

You say nothing, your arms feel heavy as lead, the axe you hold in your hand feels awkward.

"Understand boy?"

"Yes Gottir"

You are relieved your voice doesn’t crack and betray you.

“Good, then get going."

With legs you feared would be too weak to carry you, you run to the patch of bracken.

As you settle yourself in the bracken, you hear the three men approach.  They make no efforts, to conceal their approach believing they will be unchallenged.

Their tongue is strange, you cannot understand the language. It is lilting and almost gentle sounding.

Your heart pounds in you chest as they pass you by, you clench and unclench your hands on the haft of your axe. Fearing your instincts will force your hand, cause you to flee, or run screaming at the enemy. You grind your teeth and force yourself to hold on, as unnatural as it feels.

You bless Gottir when his voice rings out in the night.

"So Cymri sheep tuppers is it? I should of known. Sneaking around in the dark like cowards"

You hear the intake of breath as the three Cymri walk past you, a mere yard away. Then you hear them laugh in relief..

One of them speaks in broken Savaxen.

"Look now old boy, are you the best the Savaxen can manage?"

His comrades laugh.

You risk a peek over the bracken. The man who speaks Savaxen, stands in front of his two friends. Gottir stands in front of them waving his sword around feebly, as if he is weaker and blinder than he really is.

"No I'm not alone," says Gottir, "there is a boy over there” he says.

For a second you freeze with dread thinking Gottir has given you away, but the old man points his blade away from your hiding place.

The lead Cymri looks over. The last thing he ever sees is an empty hedge row.

With the merest flick of his wrist, and a deft step forward Gottir opens the warriors throat. A quick snick, of the tip of his sword is all it takes.

Blood bursts from the Cymri’s neck,  a bloody foaming spray.

His hands clasp feebly around his neck, as he sinks to his knees, blood bubbling from his wordless mouth.

As he falls Gottir leaps over the body and launches himself at the next Cymri.

A high scream issues from the old wolf’s toothless mouth.

Fearing your legs may yet fail you, you launch your self from the bracken. Before you know what is happening, you are nearly upon the Cymri warrior, who stands with his back to you.

All the pent up fear, the anger at  the cowardly slaughter of your clans women, children and old folk, that you know is happening, even as you rush forward, a slaughter you cannot stop. The hatred of the men who should not even know of this secret way, the fury over the betrayal and the sheer, heart-ripping excitement of this your first combat, is too much for you. Despite all your training, despite Gottir’s instructions, the mad tumble of emotion erupts from your mouth in one bellowing war cry.

Hearing this and realising he is ambushed, the Cymri warrior spins on his heels, seeing you run screaming towards him axe raised, he tries to leap away from you.

You swing at him, as he turns side on, in a desperate scramble to escape your axe blade.

Your axe flows through the air in a deadly arc, cutting into his shoulder and right through,  rending flesh and blood  with a sickening ease.

He screams as his arm drops to the floor, as the blood from his ragged stump sprays your face.

You scream louder.

Like Gottir taught you, you don't hesitate,. Instead you finish him, as in almost one motion, you follow your downward swing, with an upwards swing. A slash that flows naturally from the first deadly cut. In another bloody burst, your axe head buries itself in the muscle and meat of his inner thigh.

You rip the axe from his flesh and watch him fall.

Triumphant you stand over your vanquished foe, raise your axe, and scream out a war cry to Woden one eye.

"Not bad" says Gottir, who sits on the chest of the second dead Cymri, idly toying  with the warriors decapitated head.

"I of course would of been quicker and cleaner, you do like your axe though, but if you like mess and gore..."

He stands, and carelessly tosses the dead Cymri's head into the bracken.

He looks at you and smiles

"Your chin is covered in blood. Now you are a man  you shall be known as Varghoss Redbeard!"

He laughs, pleased with himself.

"Come on!" He says, "no time to rest, back to the village."

Before you have time to think on what it means to be a Savaxen man, you are running after the old weapons master, into the night, into the world of men.

End of Part 1

Title: dude!
Post by: rafial on March 21, 2004, 11:35:11 PM
That ... was cool!

Was that a writeup, or the result of actual play?  If it was actual play, it would be really cool to have some annotation showing how the system drove the development of events in play.


Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 22, 2004, 03:45:57 AM
Cheers Rafial, it was kind of both write up and play.  We were playing on line so every thing was already play.  I wrote the intro and setting and pasted that into the chat room we played in.  Up to the dream is just the intro, after that is where we started play.  I'm going to post the mechancis and play notes later today.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: bergh on March 22, 2004, 03:02:48 PM
is this online play not a REALLY slow process?

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 22, 2004, 03:17:57 PM
I would imagine it is slower than face to face but I can't yet tell how much slower, as this is my first game of TRoS. Some things that should of been quick took much longer as I had to reread sections of the rules and search for pages/tables ect (I read the rules from begining to end when I first got them but that was a few months ago now and I didn't neccersarily get my head around them after one read anyway).

Of course typing takes a lot longer than speaking. but it doesn't seem to slow things down too much, it's just different is all and at the moment my only way of playing.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 22, 2004, 10:18:16 PM
Here is the play log, just to reiterate we played the game in two chat windows, one for IC (the write up already posted) and this one for OCC.

It’s been edited only for the sake of brevity, clarity and privacy.  I’ve left in all the mistakes I made or think I made with the rules. You can certainly tell this is our first ever game of TRoS.

Anyone who knows the system well and has time to check the mechanics as we applied them (or tried to) that would be appreciated.

Seneschal (08:25 PM) :
Right I'm running a little behind time in terms of organisation, so this is the plan
Seneschal (08:26 PM) :
Quit msn then we'll reopen msn chat so the widow is clean if you know what I mean (for the IC stuff)

Varghoss (08:26 PM) :
already have

Varghoss (08:26 PM) :
What am I gonna need for playing tonight?
Seneschal (08:27 PM) :
Ok you are going to play as your father and as yourself as a youth in this game. We will use your character as your father (like father like son and all). I'm just finsihing up some background stuff.

Varghoss (08:28 PM) :
Do I need my character sheet or just a pen and paper?
Seneschal (08:28 PM) :
You will need pencil, paper and some dice. lol
Varghoss (08:28 PM) :
lol on line dice it is then

Seneschal (08:31 PM) :
Ok going to reopen msn and send you the begining of the background (Which I'm still writing). You can read the start (remember messanger is for in character only so any Q's in this window
Varghoss (08:32 PM) :
Yes boss
Varghoss (08:42 PM) :
Where is Cymir on the map? I can’t see it.
Seneschal (08:44 PM) :
The Cymir are one of the nations that live in Angherad, their homelands are to on the coast of Angerhad.
Varghoss (08:44 PM) :
Ok cool

Varghoss (08:46 PM) :
lucky bugger (Re: Gottir coming back from raids with new wife)
Seneschal (08:46 PM) :

Varghoss (08:46 PM) :
Goes for eternal peace and comes back with even more stress
Seneschal (08:46 PM) :
I know this is a bit long, but nearly finished now. Then we get to the game itself.

Varghoss (08:46 PM) :
Nps. like Steven King set the scene.
Seneschal (08:47 PM) :
Varghoss (08:51 PM) :
He would prb kick my arse anyway! (Re: Gottir telling him to go away)
Seneschal (08:51 PM) :

Seneschal (09:03 PM) :
Now we begin
Varghoss (09:04 PM) :
Varghoss (09:04 PM) :
Do I need to decide what I am doing?
Seneschal (09:04 PM) :
Type actions in like - Varghoss does this - Varghoss does that.
Varghoss (09:05 PM) :
Varghoss (09:05 PM) :
Am I dressed?
Seneschal (09:05 PM) :
Put any speech in "Speech marks"
Varghoss (09:05 PM) :
Varghoss (09:05 PM) :
Can i just use capital V instead of varghoss
Seneschal (09:05 PM) :
Of course you're a sruffy 14 year old viking you sleep in your clothes and never wash (re: am I dressed q)

Varghoss (09:06 PM) :
Or would you rather I typed it all?
Seneschal (09:06 PM) :
‘I’ if it's easier I’ll edit IC stuff later anyway
Varghoss (09:06 PM) :

Seneschal (09:06 PM) :
So what do you do? (Player responds in IC window)
Varghoss (09:12 PM) :
Fuck me (re: naked Frey)
Seneschal (09:12 PM) :
Varghoss (09:13 PM) :

Seneschal (09:26 PM) :
Time to roll some dice.
Seneschal (09:26 PM) :
You have to bear with me while I consult the rules.
Seneschal (09:26 PM) :
Varghoss (09:27 PM) :

Seneschal (09:27 PM) :
What is your sailing skill?
Varghoss (09:27 PM) :
Seneschal (09:28 PM) :
what is your wit?
Varghoss (09:28 PM) :
Varghoss (09:29 PM) :
Can I see it clearly?
Seneschal (09:29 PM) :
Bear with me
Varghoss (09:29 PM) :
Oops sorry
Seneschal (09:30 PM) :
While I try and find out how to roll a skill test lol
Varghoss (09:30 PM) :

Seneschal (09:31 PM) :
Found the page hahaha
Seneschal (09:33 PM) :
Right if I've understood it, this is how it works.
Seneschal (09:34 PM) :
To see how the ship is sailing, you need to make a sailing skill roll.
Seneschal (09:34 PM) :
Your skill is six.
Seneschal (09:35 PM) :
So that is the TN (target number) you must roll against.

Varghoss (09:35 PM) :
Seneschal (09:35 PM) :
Your wit is 6
Seneschal (09:35 PM) :
So that is how many dice you have to roll
Varghoss (09:36 PM) :
See how many get over 6?
Seneschal (09:36 PM) :
Yeah you got it. So roll six die ten
Varghoss (09:36 PM) :
4 6 8 10 4 4
Seneschal (09:37 PM) :
Three successes
Seneschal (09:38 PM) :
Which according to the table is a success, with room to spare (the next step up is expertly done).
Varghoss (09:38 PM) :

Seneschal (09:39 PM) :
So you know from the way she handles, there is no way that Savaxen men are sailing that ship.
Varghoss (09:50 PM) :
Bloody traitors like she said (re: Frey’s vision and the men who know the secret clifftop path)
Seneschal (09:50 PM) :

Varghoss (09:50 PM) :
Can I shout to the people at the dock
Seneschal (09:51 PM) :
Varghoss (09:52 PM) :
Ya bastard (after he tries and can’t be heard)
Seneschal (09:52 PM) :

Varghoss (09:52 PM) :
Whats closer the 3 sneaking or the docks?
Seneschal (09:54 PM) :
Both about the same hahaha
Varghoss (09:55 PM) :
Can I honestly make the jarls hut?
Varghoss (09:55 PM) :
Or would that be stupid?
Seneschal (09:56 PM) :
Yes. You will need to make a running roll, to make either in time.

Varghoss (09:56 PM) :
How many more soldiers on the ship
Seneschal (09:57 PM) :
about 30
Varghoss (09:57 PM) :
Varghoss (09:58 PM) :
I would have thought the jarls hut in viking lore would be the one worth saving im a little hazy

Seneschal (10:00 PM) :
So what do you want to do? (he decides to run for the Jarl’s hut)

Seneschal (10:00 PM) :
Not much you could have done against 30 other than die with the women.
Varghoss (10:01 PM) :
Thats what I thought, and she (the Jarl’s wife) has no hope without help.

Seneschal (10:02 PM) :
Ok so again hold on while I check out a running TN. Have you got a running score on your char sheet?
Varghoss (10:03 PM) :
Varghoss (10:03 PM) :
I’ve got move on derived stats.
Seneschal (10:04 PM) :
What is that?
Varghoss (10:05 PM) :
Derived stats, next to spiritual, with reflex, aim, knockdown, knockout
Seneschal (10:05 PM) :
No I mean what is your score
Varghoss (10:05 PM) :
Seneschal (10:06 PM) :
I did the last one , but the result was the same. You have to roll under not over the TN. Luckily with the last roll, you got three over and three under.

Varghoss (10:07 PM) :
I thought with skills the lower the better?
Varghoss (10:07 PM) :
But stats the higher the better?
Seneschal (10:07 PM) :
Ok it is an average test, you are fast, but have already sprinted to the headland, what is your Endruance?
Varghoss (10:08 PM) :
Varghoss (10:08 PM) :
Seneschal (10:08 PM) :
Hang on.

Seneschal (10:10 PM) :
No it is roll over you were right
Seneschal (10:11 PM) :
Ok your endurance is 4, so that is the TN for this roll (this is an attribute roll)
Varghoss (10:11 PM) :
So gotta role under?
Seneschal (10:12 PM) :
Over. So you have to roll over 4 to get successes
Seneschal (10:12 PM) :
your move is 9 so you get nine dice to do it with... but
Seneschal (10:13 PM) :
You have already run one way so, I will asign a minus one dice penalty.

Varghoss (10:13 PM) :
Varghoss (10:13 PM) :
I thought 2
Varghoss (10:13 PM) :
I did say sprint
Varghoss (10:13 PM) :
But i am a fit boy.
Varghoss (10:14 PM) :
And adrenaline is a wonderful thing
Varghoss (10:14 PM) :
8 dice over 4?

Seneschal (10:14 PM) :
So you have 8d10 to roll and the TN is 4 to roll over (if I've got this wrong, no matter it works for me, and I'll sort it out by next game)
Varghoss (10:15 PM) :
7 5 7 9 8 4 4 6
Seneschal (10:16 PM) :
Flawless (says the table an thats for five success) Your fast for a big lad lol

Varghoss (10:16 PM) :
lol could have gone for a run in the sea first
Seneschal (10:16 PM) :
Seneschal (10:19 PM) :
You still there?
Varghoss (10:20 PM) :
Yes p break while u type hehe
Seneschal (10:27 PM) :
Need a piss myself and another cup o tea 3 min break yeah? (that’s that British charm and culture you hear so much about)
Varghoss (10:27 PM) :

Seneschal (10:27 PM) :
I'll just type some more info and then go AFK
Seneschal (10:31 PM) :
Back in 3 mins
Varghoss (10:32 PM) :
Bugger just realised, I picked up me sword not me pigging axe, must be the shock of waking up with the scream.
Seneschal (10:33 PM) :
lol no worries I'll edit to axe later
Seneschal (10:33 PM) :

Seneschal (10:39 PM) :
Seneschal (10:39 PM) :
Ok combat should be interesting we will see how it goes
Varghoss (10:39 PM) :
Was just trying the combat sim!
Seneschal (10:40 PM) :
Getting some practise in eh?
Varghoss (10:40 PM) :
Hope so, loosened up a bit

Varghoss (10:49 PM) :
cheeky ***** (Too rude even for RPGnet Re: Cymri not even bothering to be quiet)
Seneschal (10:50 PM) :
Varghoss (10:57 PM) :
Nice one, the old drunken monk routine (Re: Gottir pretending to be more feeble than he is).

Varghoss (11:00 PM) :
What do you get for a suprise attack, a free attack or extra dice?
Seneschal (11:00 PM) :
Not sure I'll have to check
Varghoss (11:00 PM) :
Shouldn’t have been such a cheeky ***** (Re: Gottir killing first Cymri)
eneschal (11:02 PM) :
Ok slight pause while I check the rules.
Seneschal (11:04 PM) :
Cool, there are rules and tables for surprise.

Seneschal (11:04 PM) :
What is your reflex
Varghoss (11:04 PM) :
Seneschal (11:05 PM) :
Hang on, no it's me who has to roll, as you are taking my guy, by surprise.
Seneschal (11:06 PM) :
Seneschal (11:07 PM) :
I'll tell you all the info this time just to illustrate the rules in play. (Normally I would just describe what happened, if he took the guy by surprise or not).
Seneschal (11:07 PM) :

My guy has a relfex of 4 so gets 4 dice
Seneschal (11:09 PM) :
He has his back to you and is concentracting on (gobsmacked) Gottir
Varghoss (11:10 PM) :
Seneschal (11:10 PM) :
So I'm rulling that by the table he is blindsided.
Varghoss (11:10 PM) :
The phrase'what the fuck just happened' comes to mind
Seneschal (11:10 PM) :
lol so the TN is 13

Seneschal (11:11 PM) :
So the only way he can gat a success, is if he rolls a natural ten (then add and roll over) or a few natural tens otherwise you get a  free hit
Varghoss (11:12 PM) :
Varghoss (11:12 PM) :
So are 2 10’s in a row when you want 13 ....7?
Seneschal (11:13 PM) :
Any Tens can be stacked-rerolled
Seneschal (11:13 PM) :
Seneschal (11:13 PM) :
He can roll that ten again.

Seneschal (11:13 PM) :
Varghoss (11:13 PM) :
Seneschal (11:14 PM) :
So that is 5,5,7,19
Seneschal (11:14 PM) :
1 success.
Seneschal (11:14 PM) :
Let me check the success chart

Seneschal (11:16 PM) :
Narrow success he gets a defense, but I'm going to take 1 away from his CP for the first round (Can’t remember if that’s from the table or something I just decided)
Seneschal (11:17 PM) :
So what attack are you going to make and how many dice?
Seneschal (11:17 PM) :
I'll just check see what options you get with an axe.
Varghoss (11:17 PM) :
So 2 attacks per round?
Varghoss (11:17 PM) :

Seneschal (11:18 PM) :
In a normal round one attacks one defends, then the other attacks and you defend.
Seneschal (11:19 PM) :
but I think this is right, you've taken him more or less by surprsise, and all he can do this round is defend.  I think lol
Varghoss (11:19 PM) :
Varghoss (11:19 PM) :
So I could use my whole combatt pool and he wont be able to attack?

Seneschal (11:20 PM) :
Thats what I'm going to rule, I think that’s right.
Varghoss (11:21 PM) :
How do I work out my CP?
Seneschal (11:21 PM) :
He will use all his pool -1 to defend
Seneschal (11:21 PM) :
What does it say on your charsheet?
Varghoss (11:21 PM) :
Seneschal (11:22 PM) :
Ok lol. Still got the combat sim running?
Varghoss (11:22 PM) :
Varghoss (11:23 PM) :
On the sim.

Seneschal (11:23 PM) :
14 Your not wearing armour (this I know is wrong it was 12 the extra two dice were from aggressive stance not lack of armour).
Varghoss (11:23 PM) :
The charcter sheet doesn’t even say what weapon I’m good with.

Seneschal (11:23 PM) :
We can sort that out before next week
Varghoss (11:23 PM) :
Ok cool
Varghoss (11:23 PM) :
14 then
Varghoss (11:24 PM) :
If hes turned side on, a diagonal slash would be best.

Seneschal (11:24 PM) :
Varghoss (11:24 PM) :
14 dice to roll?
Seneschal (11:25 PM) :
Just need to check rules about TN
Varghoss (11:25 PM) :
My axe skill yesterday was 8
Seneschal (11:27 PM) :
Where are you aiming
Varghoss (11:27 PM) :
Downward diagonal. Is he side on or facing me?
Seneschal (11:27 PM) :
Side on.
Varghoss (11:28 PM) :
What armour is he wearing?

Seneschal (11:28 PM) :
None. He swam from the boat in just his trews, he carries a dagger.
Varghoss (11:28 PM) :
Is it harder to hit if I aim for the head?
Seneschal (11:29 PM) :
-1 i think (that I know is wrong only –1 for a thrust to the head)
Varghoss (11:29 PM) :
Ok cool I can cope with -1
Seneschal (11:29 PM) :
Ok hang on one mo
Seneschal (11:34 PM) :
Ok, ready I think.
Varghoss (11:35 PM) :
Lets get ready to rumble

Seneschal (11:38 PM) :
You have an Attack TN (ATN) of 7 so you have 14 dice to roll over 7
To do a full evade it says Defense TN is 4 (DTN) so my guy has seven cances to roll over four
Seneschal (11:38 PM) :
So roll 14d10 and put up your numbers
Varghoss (11:39 PM) :
2,10, 5, 9, 3, 4, 7, 6, 4, 5, 9, 8, 8, 5,
Seneschal (11:39 PM) :

Seneschal (11:39 PM) :
Seneschal (11:40 PM) :
I have 3 success you have six
Seneschal (11:40 PM) :
You beat me by three success, I will now find out what that means
Varghoss (11:41 PM) :
iIadd my strength and you take of his toughness or summat?
Seneschal (11:42 PM) :
Hang on a mo
Varghoss (11:42 PM) :
Sorry hehe

Seneschal (11:44 PM) :
Roll 1d6 for location
Varghoss (11:44 PM) :
Seneschal (11:46 PM) :
Right you hit him in the upper arm, shoudlder area
Seneschal (11:46 PM) :
your DR (damage rating) with an axe is ST+2
Seneschal (11:46 PM) :
So that is 10
Varghoss (11:47 PM) :

Seneschal (11:48 PM) :
My guy’s TO is 4 so that makes 6
Seneschal (11:52 PM) :
BL 13
Varghoss (11:52 PM) :
Seneschal (11:52 PM) :
Shock 13
Seneschal (11:53 PM) :
Pain 14-wp
Seneschal (11:53 PM) :
Total loss of limb

Seneschal (11:55 PM) :
Basically I'm sure that means his CP is gone for the next round, there is a good chance he will either faint or bleed out in a matter of seconds, so you get a free swing next round. If you finish him you'll be putting him out of his misery.
Varghoss (11:55 PM) :
So I need to do the job then
Varghoss (11:56 PM) :
Upward swing to the groin, zone 6

Seneschal (11:57 PM) :
Ok roll 14d10
Seneschal (11:57 PM) :
That BTW is nasty lol
Varghoss (11:58 PM) :
10, 4, 6, 2, 10, 8, 9, 1, 3, 6,  6, 2, 3, 9,
Varghoss (11:58 PM) :
5 I think

Seneschal (11:59 PM) :
Yup minus his TO of 4 means 1 level of damage
Seneschal (11:59 PM) :
roll 1d6
Varghoss (11:59 PM) :
Dont I get anything for my str?
Varghoss (11:59 PM) :

Seneschal (12:00 AM) :
Inner thigh, just missed his wanger
Seneschal (12:01 AM) :
Despite you best effort to finsih him a minor laceration
Seneschal (12:02 AM) :
This is I say becuse he is falling over and you just catch him as he falls
Varghoss (12:02 AM) :
ahh artistic license
Seneschal (12:02 AM) :
Lol it’s my strong point

Seneschal (12:02 AM) :
He slips into a comma and dies of blood loss
Varghoss (12:03 AM) :
Poor boy thatll teach him
Seneschal (12:04 AM) :
Yes I can't be arsed to find out what I have to roll to see if he stays alive. Basically, with the best modern medical care in the world, you might just survive losing your arm at the shoulder,  with an axe wielding Viking psycho standing over you chances aren’t so good.

Seneschal (12:04 AM) :
The damage table only goes upto 5 you scored a six, he's fucked
Varghoss (12:04 AM) :
I know plus my boot on his windpipe when he slips over
Seneschal (12:04 AM) :
He's dead

Varghoss (12:05 AM) :
I dont think you added my strength or axe to the second attack if I am working it right??????
Seneschal (12:06 AM) :
Bloody rules lawyers:-)
Varghoss (12:07 AM) :

Seneschal (12:07 AM) :
What do you mean though add your strength when?
Varghoss (12:08 AM) :
After my 5 hits add my strength and axe then take off his toughness?
Varghoss (12:08 AM) :
and armpour if he had any?
Varghoss (12:08 AM) :
whatever armpour is?

Seneschal (12:10 AM) :
So it would be st + 2 10+5 15 - 4 11
Varghoss (12:10 AM) :
I think?

Seneschal (12:12 AM) :
well level 5 on the thigh says a major artery has been severed death is likely, but you scored 10 so ther goes his half his leg flying through the air and I think we can say he ain’t getting up.
Varghoss (12:12 AM) :
so 1 +8+1 _ 5 toughness no armour is 5
Varghoss (12:12 AM) :
Cool nicely diced then
Seneschal (12:12 AM) :
Hand axe is str + 2 DR

Seneschal (12:13 AM) :
right here would be a good place to finsih this session
Varghoss (12:13 AM) :
What with one left to kill?
Varghoss (12:13 AM) :
Varghoss (12:13 AM) :
Good time I’m knackerd

Seneschal (12:14 AM) :
No Gottir did him without breaking into a sweat, while you were busy hacking your poor sod up into little bits
Seneschal (12:14 AM) :
I'll just update the messenger bit
Varghoss (12:14 AM) :
Varghoss (12:15 AM) :
That was why I did the upwards bit, thought I might cut him in half if I hit him hard enough.
Seneschal (12:16 AM) :

Varghoss (12:19 AM) :
Throws the head loftily to me and says fancy a kickaround (re Gottir with Cymri’s head)
Seneschal (12:20 AM) :
Varghoss (12:22 AM) :
Nice! (re: Gottir naming him Readbeard)
Varghoss (12:24 AM) :
V cool

Seneschal (12:24 AM) :
So what do you think?
Varghoss (12:24 AM) :
Love it

Varghoss (12:25 AM) :
We  need a bit of practice with the skill rolls to speed things up, but when I get my own rule book it will take some of the time constraints of you

Seneschal (12:26 AM) :
Next session should be epic. You have to save the Jarls wife and child, while Gottir and your father (played by you) will face the 30 Cymri warriors side by side.
Varghoss (12:26 AM) :
Get in there!

Varghoss (12:26 AM) :
Maybe if its gonna be massive we can do that one day off next week?
Seneschal (12:26 AM) :
Yeah I'll bone up and check on stuff at the forum, once I know the rules better it should all flow
Seneschal (12:27 AM) :
Yeah works for me make a day of it (prolly take half a day to do more than one fight lol)
Varghoss (12:27 AM) :

Varghoss (12:28 AM) :
Set the scene and got me a bit more used to it, The two messenger windows helped a lot with us not being in the same room.

Seneschal (12:29 AM) :
Yeah I always firgured you need two rooms to do RPG online, one for rules chat, one for play, helps things go well

Seneschal (12:30 AM) :
After this first adventure it will be more about what you want to do as a player. We'll start you off raiding if you want and then there will be the matter of your destiny, and I'll keep throwing in plot hooks, and there are the consequences from this game (for insatnce who betrayed the clan??)
Varghoss (12:31 AM) :

Varghoss (12:31 AM) :
And this one must finish with some of the our raiders coming back?
Varghoss (12:31 AM) :
But we will see no doubt
Seneschal (12:31 AM) :
But you'll be free to do what you want, you can raid as long as you want, or concentrate on warring with Cymri ,or travel the known world whatever.

Seneschal (12:32 AM) :
You will see, yes (re Q about raiders returning)
Seneschal (12:32 AM) :
MWWWHAHHAHAHAHA (evil laugh from behind GM’s screen)
Seneschal (12:32 AM) :
Varghoss (12:32 AM) :

Varghoss (12:36 AM) :
Right I’m off to bed, gotta be up nice and early I’m knackered.
Seneschal (12:36 AM) :
Ok mate see you laters
Varghoss (12:36 AM) :
Cheers for tonight
Seneschal (12:36 AM) :
No probs I had a Blast myself
Varghoss (12:37 AM) :
I’ll get back to you about Wednesday

Seneschal (12:37 AM) :
Ok email me when you know for sure
Varghoss (12:42 AM) :
Night mate catch you soon
Seneschal (12:42 AM) :

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 27, 2004, 02:04:17 AM
The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard

Part Two

You follow Gottir into the night, heading back towards the settlement and the Jarl’s longhouse, for a moment you are filled with the glee of manhood, gained by the killing of your first foe. It is a feeling that lasts only until you see the smoke that chokes the moonlit skyline.

The slaughter of your people, the destruction of your home has begun.

As you catch your breath under the eaves of the Jarl’s great hall, you can hear the screams and laughter carried on the wind.

Goodrun and her son on her hip. Tearfully she embraces her handmaiden. It is only when you look again, you realise that it is Goodrun that wears the dowdy worn clothes of a Thrall. Her handmaiden now wears her finery. The boy on her hip is your younger brother, and he now wears the clothes of the young heir.

Frey  ‘no-eyes’ holds what you know by the design to be Gottir’s shield and Helm. As she passes them to him one after the other, they speak for what will be the last time.

“Die well old goat.”

“Die soon old hag.”

With that, they go their separate ways. Frey takes Goodrun by the hand and leads her and the heir away from their home.

Gottir raises his sword in salute to the handmaiden who carries your brother, she acknowledges his salute, and still carrying your younger brother walks as calm and dignified as any noble women to take her mistress’s place in the Jarl’s longhouse.


The voice that calls you is stronger than it has been for some weeks now the voice that calls you is that of your father.

He stands leaning on your mother who bears his weight with the strength of a true Savaxen.

“Varghoss, my son.”

He stands before you, your father. Cormac Bloodaxe, the seawolf. Stricken by fever and illness yet looking stronger than you have ever seen him.

“Varghoss, my son, it does me good to see that you have become a man before I die.”

He shifts his weight from your mother and stands on his own two feet, they exchange a glance at no more, and then your mother is kissing your cheek.

“You do us much honour Varghoss.”

Then she is gone, she leaves you and your father, with out looking back, pausing only to smile and speak quietly with Gottir who stands sentinel before the Jarl’s home.

You think of your mother, the maid, and your brother. Listening to the screams, and cries that echo throughout the settlement, you try not to think what must surly happen in the longhouse. As if he could read your very thoughts, your father speaks.

“Our duty is to the Jarl of Ravenscrag.”

He need say no more.

“Varghoss, swear this to me, and swear to me now as this will be my death oath between us.”

He clasps a strong hand upon your shoulder.

“Swear, by Woden one eye, you will go now and take your place by the Jarl’s heir, and remain there by his side until this nights work is done?”

He stands before you his blue eyes bright in the moonlit night.

“Do you swear it?”

“But can’t I stand with you father?'

"Understand, that our sacrifice means nothing if the heir does not live. After this night he will need men such as you to stand by him."
"Do you swear it as one man to another?"
"Yes father, I swear.”

“Then go, my son and Woden be with you, for now I can die with honour.”

You walk with your father to the door of the Jarl’s home. He smiles at Gottir.

“Well old man, in or out?”

Gottir looks, around him and then looks to the moon, for a second you see a glimpse of a smile light across his face then, he is once more the grim faced old weapons master.

“It is a fine night Cormac Bloodaxe, let us entertain our guests outside, here before the Jarl’s fine home.

“Aye, outside it is then.”

“Go now, young Varghoss,” he says to you, “and do not forget me or the lesson is have taught you.”

You look again to your father, but his face is unreadable his eyes fixed on the flames and the smoke that now engulf the settlement.

There is nothing more to do or say, you head for the mountain trail that leads to Frey’s dwelling.

You run up the steep mountain path heading for the cave of Frey 'no-eye' you pause to look back, and are shocked to see more men appearing from the cliff top path.

Four appear to be Cymri warriors, one is dressed in the ragged filthy robes of one of their Druids, and one wears the clothes and armour of a Savaxen warrior.

The Druid spots you almost as if he knew you were looking at them. The smallest of the Cymri warriors’ points angrily at you and his three comrades start to race towards you.

As if the matter was settled the druid, the small Cymri, and the Savaxen noble, stroll on towards the Jarl's long house, talking among themselves.

There is nothing for it you cannot stand against three armoured spearmen alone and armed only with your axe. Knowing your only hope is to push on and look for a better place to make a stand. You race up the mountainside streaking ahead of your foes

As you climb the path becomes steeper and starts to twist in on itself. You find an outcropping you can hide behind surprise will be your only advantage. You press yourself against the rock face and can hear the sounds of your pursuers, as they round the corner.

A flash of white fur cuts across the sky above you. There is a low bestial snarl followed by a scream. As the white wolf rips the throat from the Cymri, the blood stains its snow-white fur.

The she-wolf leaps at a second man.

The second Cymri drops his spear and draws his dagger, he cries out and slashes at the wolf, his hunting knife rending the animals coat and flesh, as now it’s own blood stains it’s pelt.

Jaws snapping, the snarling bloody red and white knot of fury and muscle launches its self at the second Cymri and locked in deadly combat the two tumbles from the cliffs.

Both you and the third Cymri stare in disbelief as they roll down the mountains side, until you both realise, you have a grim business of your own to attend to. You stare each other down on the narrow cliff top both of you wary of the other

The Cymri bellows his war cry and with spear lowered, he charges.

His lunge is wild, that of a frightened boy, his spear point glides past your stomach as you jump away from it

Your axe swings, and he tries to meet you blow with his spear, but is clumsy. With sickening ease the blade of your axe cuts through his hand

Screaming he holds his bloody stump in front of his face.

Without hesitation you leap forward and swing your bloody blade. His screams are silenced forever as his head spins through the air and his body slumps to the ground.

You realise if his body is found here, he will give you away, maybe lead more warriors to the heir and lady Goodrun

You push his body over the cliff, so that he tumbles following his own head, until he lies in a heap with his two dead comrades, and the broken body of the white wolf

As you bend to push him over you here a mewling sound coming from the ledge above you. The ledge from which the wolf leapt.

As you pull yourself up onto the ledge after an easy climb, you find the source of the mewing.

A lone wolf cub

The little cub growls at your first advance, but is soon overcome by his curiosity and soon the little snarls and yips become more playful, as he bites and licks at your fingers

"Varghoss! This is no time for playing!"

Frey's shrill voice pierces the night, sending an involuntary shiver down your spine

She stands on the trail below, her eyes sockets seeming to stare at you in that uncanny way of hers

"Come and bring your new play friend if you must."
As you climb down, every thing seems to be going fine, until the wolf cub playfully sinks its teeth into your ear. You fall the last few feet, and land awkwardly on your side. The playful cub nips your face and pisses on you. You rise, a bit shaken, a graze on your arm, a crick in your neck, otherwise unharmed

Picking up the cub, you follow Frey to her cave

In Frey's cave, a low fire burns in a shallow pit. Goodrun, the Jarl’s wife is trying to settle her young son, who is crying and struggling to free himself from his mother’s grip

Goodrun smiles at you, a sad smile.

You place the wolf on the floor and he wonders over to the boy who pulls his ears, the cub licks his face, and a life long friendship has been made

Frey summons you over to her

"Varghoss, this you must see."

You stand before her and her leathery old claw of a hand touches your face.

In an instant you are wrenched from your body, from your mind, rising upwards, you see yourself standing in the cave.

Then you are by your father’s side. He looks as if he has seen you but there is nothing to see but the shadows of the night

He and Gottir have more pressing matters, before them stands a war band thirty strong. Men gorged and frenzied, from the blood, and the killing of your women.

Grim faced Gottir and your father stand shoulder to shoulder barring the entrance to the Jarl's home. The Cymri spearmen fan out around them, behind the spearmen, are a few swordsmen darting to and fro, behind the warriors are the skirmishers with their javelins.

Watching passively, seemingly without interest are the druid, the short Cymri lord and the Savaxen noble, his face obscured by his helm.

Two spearmen edge forward...

The spearman facing your father screams his challenge and thrusts at your father’s face with all his strength. A foolhardy opening gambit. The spear slides off your Cormac's shield as he splits the Cymri’s head with his axe. Gottir’s man follows him to death with one swift parry and thrust.

Before he can even make a thrust the second spearman is despatched by Cormac, again a savage swing, a blow that shatters the skull of the hapless Cymri warrior.

A third spearman thrusts at Cormac's gut. Screaming with hate and fear in equal measure, only to blanch as he sees his spear strike shield. Soon he feels the sickening, flesh rending death, as with all his strength, Cormac swings his axe up and into the man, with such force and ferocity, that the axe-head lodges in the pelvic bone.

Laughing Cormac puts his foot on the Cymri’s chest and kicks him away.

By his side Gottir's blade whirls in slow-fast arcs of cold metal death.

Before the next wave of attackers, the skirmisher seize their chance and launch javelins at Gottir and your father.

Gottir and Cormac though are veterans of many a skirmish and duck behind their round shields.

With a double thud the missiles hit home, weighing heavy on the arm dragging the shield earthward.

Without a word, they swivel towards each other. Each man cuts the javelin from the others shield, turning back in time to face the next wave of Cymri with a battle cry.

This time the Cymri come two at time. Trying to force Cormac and Gottir to manoeuvre. Trying to split them, but both Gottir and Cormac know that their only hope lies by standing side by side. If they stray from the entrance of the Jarl’s doorway, those inside will be slaughtered.

Two wicked spear points jab at Cormac, one at his face one at his legs, his shield move up then down with strength and speed, and his axe move down and across with skill and practise.

One spearman falls back his eyes wide in disbelief as he stare at the gushing hole in his chest the other falls over the bodes of his fallen comrades with only one hand left to drag himself away. A third axe stroke takes one of the spearmen Gottir faces, Cormac’s axe head slicing into the back of his skull.

Gottir breathing heavy swears at Cormac and cutting across the face of the last spearman lets curses Woden for making an old man of him.

This time a wild eyed swordsman leaps at Cormac placing himself between Cormac and Gottir who is beset by three Cymri there spears thrusting at the grizzled old warrior.
The Swordsman swings at Cormac who takes the blow on his shoulder, and buries his axe in face of his opponent.

The bloody Cymri swordsman falls like a felled tree, Cormac watches helplessly as despite his skill and courage the three spearman slaughter Gottir

As the third spear thrust bursts out of his back, Gottir smiles, sword in hand he cries out his last words

"Woden you piss drinker I'll see you Valhalla.”

Then he falls to the ground his face a rictus grin, his Sword in hand

Bellowing like a wounded boar, Cormac charges the Gottir’s killers, smashing into them with his shield they try to run their spears still lodged in Gottir but Cormac cuts them down with three feel blows and then backs into the open doorway and stands their alone. His axe heavy in his hand, his shield like an anvil on his shoulder his limbs ache his muscles burn, his lungs on fire.

He screams at the Cymri. “Come on! Come on damn you!”

What’s left of the once thirty strong Warband crowds around Cormac. They look at the bodies torn and smashed that litter the floor. None of them seems eager to rush forward.

The short Cymri lord shouts at them, calling them cowards, and berating their parentage. He offers five Marks to the man who kills Cormac, three spearmen warily edge forward.

The first one charges with his spear, Cormac side-steps the charge and then slams him against the doorframe pining him with his shield as he cuts down the second man with his axe. As the pinned man tries to squirm free Ursla come from the shadow of the Jarl’s longhouse dagger in hand, she cuts his throat.

Cormac tuns in time to slam the third spear away and his bloody axe cracks wide the jaw of yet another Cymri warrior. Cormac laughs before kicking him back onto the pile of dead.

The grass is slick with blood and black in the moonlight. Some of the fallen writhe moan and try to crawl to safety.

Again, Cormac shouts a challenge, his voice hoarse his eyes wild.

“Come on you Cymri dogs!”

The Cymri fall back

"Enough of this!" the voice is scratchy and harsh

The spearmen part and the filthy looking, weasel faced druid steps forward. His eyes shine with hatred, and spittle sprays from his lips as he speaks

"Get back to your hole serpent,” says Cormac

The Druid smiles

"Ahh Cormac, you could fight the very gods themselves.”

Without fear, he moves towards Cormac.

"But you can't fight your destiny."

He smiles again, a cold cruel smile.

"And you Cormac are destined never to see Valhalla," as he say this he spits on the fallen Gottir's forehead

"Have you been sick Cormac?"

At the mention of his sickness, Cormac groans and fall to his knees.

"Ahh you have, haven't you Cormac?"

The druid laughs. And start to prance like a fool in the moonlight

"Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick,"

Cormac’s cries out his face white with fear and pain, his axe falls from his weak hand

"What is this witchery?”

The Druid stops his merrymaking suddenly solemn again.

"Ha Cormac, witches grub in hedges, and play at potion making. I can on the other hand am no witch."

His face shows his distaste for the female practitioners of the art.

The druid’s eyes lock with Cormac’s as he raises his sickle

Ursla runs past Cormac, her bloody knife raised, screaming no, but a Cymri javelin hits her shoulder and spins her back

"Cormac Bloodaxe, I have written your name on a stone and buried in the earth, I have whispered your death to the wind, and burned you hair on a solstice moon.”

The wretched priest stands over Cormac; his sickle raised above him its blade an ugly dull metallic spectre in the night.

“Cormac Bloodaxe, I have cursed you by air, I have cursed you by earth and by fire, now I curse you by water" he spits on Cormac’s face

Cormac falls backwards onto the floor and tries to reach for his axe.

"No Cormac you will not see Valhalla.”

The Druid bends over Cormac and there is a sickening shriek. When the Druid rises, he holds aloft a bloody trophy.

"Like a woman I send you to the underworld Cormac, Like a woman.”

The Cymri dance and cheer, The Viking noble who stands amongst them turns away to be sick on the floor.

The Druid throws Cormac’s bloody manhood onto the floor, and the Cymri warriors’ dance on it jeering and waving their spears in victory.

The Druid takes Cormac’s eyes and ferrets them away in his robes.

There is another scream and a warrior runs from the Jarl’s hall carrying the maids head and the head of Varghoss’s little brother.

"The Jarl of Ravenscrag is no more,” shouts the warrior holding the heads up high.

As Varghoss wakes from his vision the last thing he sees are them flames as they rise around his fathers mutilated body.

Varghoss weak and shaking falls to the floor, as Frey releases him from the vision

The last thing he sees before he slips into unconsciousness is the young Jarl of Ravenscrag and the white wolf cub.

From what sounds a long way away, he hears Frey's voice speaking in a whisper.

"The Jarl is dead. Long live the Jarl of Ravenscrag.”

End of part two

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Sigurth on March 30, 2004, 03:45:07 PM
Very cool!

So did you play the 30 Cymri v 2 Savaxen out? I am hoping you did to quell the nay-sayer who claim the TROS cannot be heroic..How many did they over 10!?

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on March 30, 2004, 06:29:44 PM
Hi Sigurth,

Yes we played it out, although I didn't play Gottirs combat every time Cormac killed a warrior, Gottir cut his down, until I decided it was time for Gottir to head for Valhalla.

I'll do a write up of the mechanics later (busy at the mo) but basically they stood shoulder to shoulder, with their backs to the Jarl's longhouse (so no-one could get behind them).

The warriors they faced were the lowest level mooks you could conjer up for TRoS. Most of them were Celtic peasant levy. Peasants straight from the field, no training, no armour and poorly equiped (poor spears) CP 7 ATN 8 DTN 9. The one swordsman was CP 8 ATN 7 DTN 7

These where the lowest of the low that my player will face, I wanted to get a handle on powerlevels.

Most combats were over as soon as COrmac made his first attack invaiarably ending with a celtic head being caved in.

As well as them being poor stats wise I also played them as foolhardy, inexperienced and bloodthirsty.

Cormac (we used Varghoss as Cormac) could kill these guys all night. Even with the -2 cp fatigue penalty he was still outclassing them. All told in actual dice rolling combat Cormac killed 8 warriors in a row.

At that point I decided to intervene with the druid (which was always the plan, I didn't think he would let Cormac slaughter the entire warband and then intervene).

I could have played them better and I could of forced the issue of the numbers more and had three or four spearmen poking at Cormac and made him defend at various negative modifiers, but for the purpose of Varghoss destiny, I didn't want him to die in combat.

We thought it was pretty epic.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Emiricol on April 03, 2004, 11:13:28 AM
I hope you keep posting :)  This is really good stuff.  I'm enjoying seeing the RP and the mechanics separated, too.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on April 05, 2004, 09:16:02 AM
Ok I won't print the whole play log this time, just run through the basics of session two.

As Varghoss the player had a race up the mountain path (attribute roll) and rolled against per to spot a good site for an ambush. After the wolf attacked two of the Cymri Varghoss killed the third then had an easy climb up a small ( 20' ft ) cliff face (extended roll) and slightly harder climbing down one handed carrying the wolf cub, he failed on the last roll so I rulled he made it most of the way down and then fell (minor damage from the fall).

Then we switched from Varghoss to Cormac for the big fight.

The detail of that were mentioned above, the only real problem we had was that after Gottir died and the player wanted to manouver to the door I couldn't quite work out how to do that (the table said N/A) and my brain wasn't wrking enough to pull a TN out of the air so I just let him move to the door.

been busy with some deadlines so didn't play this week but I did email the player a dream of Varghoss's just to keep things rolling.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: ZenDog on April 05, 2004, 09:20:19 AM
I sent this email to the player just to keep things rolling as we couldn't play this week.

The Dream of Varghoss

In his dreams Varghoss, crosses the sea faster than any Longship. Faster than any seabird, faster than an arrow shot from a bow. Flying free, just above the surface of the grey water until he reaches a land unfamiliar. A land of grey mountains, and green hills. The land of the Cymri.

Through forest and over field, bolt like he flies, until he reaches a place both strange and fearful. A place of death, a place of death and worship. The smell of death presses close upon him and the screams of the dammed are topped only by laughter at once recognisable.

The Druid.

Somewhere in the depths of a great forest in the shadows of Black Mountains surrounded by rolling green hills stands a dark temple. A place of grey stone and blood, a place of ancient practices, of iron bowl, bronze knife and a stone alter. A place of sacrifice.

The Druid, sweating and bloodstained, laughs as he brings down his sickle in stroke after stroke. His victim cries out the sickening desperate cries of the slow agonising death.

The druid laughs.

Standing between two grim-faced warriors, a huddle of women and children cling to each other as the cry out and wail in horror. As they watch the druid about his work, they know that their time is coming.

The Druid sickle raised for the final strike stops mid laughter and turns a foul curse on his sneering lips.

He turns and fixes his dead eyes on Varghoss’s corporeal form.

“As you see me Savaxen, so I see you!”

He opens his hand and when Varghoss looks into the palm of the druid, his gaze is met by a familiar pair of eyes. Those of his dead father. They bore into his eyes with an unearthly piercing power.

Varghoss wakes screaming.

Varghoss shudders as Frey touches his arm. He turns to face the old seer and her eyeless sockets meet his gaze.

“He has mine too Varghoss,” is all she says before placing her hand on his brow, “now sleep for tomorrow your destiny reaches out its hand.”

The last thing Varghoss remembers is Frey's warm hand on his brow before he falls into a peaceful deep and dreamless sleep.

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Sigurth on April 07, 2004, 02:56:29 PM
Quote from: ZenDog
I just let him move to the door.

Good call since the druid took him out anyway. It's good to keep the battles free flowing!

Title: [TRoS] The Saga of Varghoss Redbeard
Post by: Sigurth on April 07, 2004, 02:58:23 PM
Quote from: ZenDog
I sent this email to the player just to keep things rolling as we couldn't play this week.

The Dream of Varghoss

“He has mine too Varghoss,” is all she says before placing her hand on his brow, “now sleep for tomorrow your destiny reaches out its hand.”


Eerie! Nice little bit there.