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Author Topic: First death in a TROS campaign  (Read 1367 times)
Vanelan
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Posts: 2


« on: May 09, 2003, 10:00:17 PM »

Hello everyone.  I'm new here, and after tonight's events in the weekly TROS campaign I'm a part of, I just felt like sharing my story of unluck, as a tribute to my lost character: Vanelan Dro'Ladar, elven noble, unfortunate mage.

  We've been playing a mostly diplomatic campaign thus far, with one minor combat (lasted for one round, in which I was hit by a strength 8 troll/ogre with 6 successes... made it out with only a level 3 wound and a broken collar bone).  Today's session started out relatively quietly: I sped up my healing process a bit to get back to my full potential (which isn't much, for a noble elven mage who wants to melee -and- cast spells).  We were trying to speed things up a bit, because our real time was going faster than in game time.  So, I decided I was going to do something I'd been longing to do for some time: talk to one of the other PC's father.

  You see, Lord Osrik Krieger (the other PC) recently inherited a large kingdom, following the assassination of his father.  My character fancied himself as something of a necromancer, and had an intense urge to learn more about the senior Krieger's demise.  So I proceed down to the family vault, the first thing I do is take off my helm... Osrik immediately yells at me, because every time I take my helm off, something bad happens (either a commoner sees me, or a giant troll breaks my collar bone)... I shrug, and back on it goes.  I proceed to take a look at the body, throw some bones (I was allowed to take a skill: scrimshaw) and decide it's time to summon me a spirit.

  Now, we weren't exactly sure how to do the volume/range/etc components for a simple summon spirit, but since all the targets seemed to be incorporeal and I was just using a level 1 of Summoning (and then burned a luck point to make sure I summoned the father's spirit) I ended up with TN's of 2 (correct or not, it was a potentially vital bit of plot, so 2 was good enough).  Having spread myself out so thin, and with my abysmal attributes (started with two 4's, one 5, and seven 3's.) I only had a spell pool of 8... I decide to throw 3 in to cast and 3 in to resist.  Three dice, no way I can fail that, right?  right..?  Dice get thrown, three 1's.  After a minute or two of shock, holding my hand over my mouth, and just staring at them, people start realizing what I just rolled.

  Of course... normally, this isn't -that- horrible.  Unfortunately for Vanelan, as he was spread so thin again, he had taken gifts/flaws of E (I think.. one minor gift, major flaw).  What did I take for a flaw?  Why, volatile magic of course (what're the odds of botching a spell roll, and then rolling a lot of hits?  can't be much..)!  But, I can still live... roll to see how many hits I take... hm, 10, naturally (-3 for my massive toughness.. or endurance, either way).  So, we roll to see where they all are, and I end up with a level 4 wound to the chest, level 2 to lower left leg, and level 1 to upper right leg.  But I can still survive that, right?

  Needless to say, a few rolls later, Sir Vanelan Dro'Ladar has a massive seizure, lifting him up off of his back until, finally, his back snaps, and his heart goes still.

  On the positive side, I managed to create our first magical helm, as part of my spirit went into it as it passed.  I pity anyone who actually wears it.

  Anyway... the night had its share of laughter and tears.  I'm already working on the backstory for my next character (who's going to beat the snot out of everone who made a smart comment about elven burial rites).  An interesting experience, at the least.

  By the way... does anyone happen to know the actual rules for death by fire/lightning types of damage?  We searched for some time and couldn't find anything.  Mechanically speaking, the only way I knew how to die was from bloodloss reducing your health to 0.  I don't exactly think my character shouldn't live, I certainly wouldn't challenge that decision, but my entire group was wondering what actually "should" have happened.

  Thank you to anyone who responds... and to everyone else, I hope you think twice about the number of dice you throw in to an action. ;)
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2003, 12:35:26 PM »

First off: That was an interesting story, and exactly the sort of thing that I expect from TRoS.

Secondly: If it was a vital plot point, did you not have any SAs, besides luck, which could have applied to the situation? If not, that's a real pity.

Also, point of rules: A fumbled roll is when you have 0 successes, and 2 or more 1's... Didn't you say that you permanently spent a Luck point for a success? In that case, you'd have simply failed, rather than fumbled.

Damage for non-physical types of damage such as lightning and fire are covered by the generic damage table on page 251... and I notice what you mean. There is nothing to determine whether the damage is lethal, esp. considering there is no bloodloss. As a house rule, I'd say to go by location, and compare the damage rating to thrusting, bludgeoning and cutting damage to that location. If most hits are lethal at that level, or nearly so...

Any way it goes, not a bad death for a PC, and one well worth remembering. Hopefully your Seneschal is able to turn it to the advantage of the ongoing campaign.

Edit: I just realized that this response is more in the spirit of the actual TRoS forum, rather than Actual Play... My bad, but hopefully my interpretation is helpful.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2003, 04:27:41 PM »

I just want to reiterate something Lance said, because I think it's very very important in TROS.

Spiritual Attributes are not just for combat.

I know from experience that a lot of people see them that way, and don't consider them at other times. But SA's apply to ANY roll where the SA can be firing off because it's applicable. This means combat, but also skill rolls, attribute rolls, and yes - sorcery rolls. This is especially important in Sorcery, where even one low SA can make all the difference in the world. Some people play that the SA adds directly to your SP, others play that it adds to each roll, meaning that you get it added to your casting pool, and AGAIN to your anti-aging pool. Either way, still bloody useful.

For the record, I simply add SA's to the SP for the round, the same way I add them to CP for the round if they apply in combat, but YM(or your Seneschals)MV.

Of course, I don't know if you had any applicable SA's in this instance, but it sounds like it may have been an important plot moment, so it's at least possible.

Sounds like an interesting session though. Nice.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2003, 11:11:27 PM »

Yup.  In fact, Ron's essay in the Sorcery section is pretty strong advice to the would be Sorcerer about the importance of SAs in casting.
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arxhon
Member

Posts: 254


« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2003, 09:15:04 PM »

Quote
Spiritual Attributes are not just for combat.


I'm seeing this issue with my players. I keep telling them that they can use them for other stuff, but....

Anyway, that's a really cool story, and a really cool way for your character to buy the farm. Volatile magic indeed...:-P
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2003, 08:42:43 AM »

Hi Arxhon,

Just like having to lead players into understanding rules by reminding them of things every so often("Hey, you get 1 less dice because of reach, but 1 extra die for aim for his arm!"), you should just tell them when the SAs apply to things other than combat.  I mean, if someone is trying to woo their "one true love" passion, don't let them forget to add those dice, just tell'em, "How much do you have in your Passion-Elizabeth SA? Add those dice too!  Oh, and here's another for making the attempt!"

Chris
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2003, 08:48:34 AM »

Hi Vanelan,

If you can remember, what exactly were the character's five Spiritual Attributes at the time of the death-scene? And what were their values, at least approximately?

Best,
Ron
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Vanelan
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2003, 09:35:03 PM »

Ron,
My SA's were as follows:
Drive - To understand all, 3
Faith - In Death, 1
Destiny - Discovering the mystery of the fey (why they're dying), 0
Conscience, 0
Luck, 1

I gained a point in Faith during the whole ordeal, as I was examining the body of the father (it was quite goopy - great stuff) and that point was subsequently applied to a knockout roll (I think) to resist gagging, and again to the scrimshaw roll I made.  I then burned the luck point and rolled the dice (I was going too fast, I forgot to take the time to cast the summoning as a spell of three, argh) and split my pool 3 for casting and 3 for resisting age, then came my best imitation of a lightning rod.

Thanks for the replies everyone, it's good to see some responses. :)
I take it there aren't any exact rules for death by the elements though?

Wolfen- I did the same thing, comparing hit locations of other damage types at the similar levels.  I don't think any of them were instant-killers like some of the level 5 wounds, but they're still pretty bad with the heart and lungs and such in that area.  But, because they're all still dependant on the bloodloss factor, I decided they weren't really comparable and didn't bring it up...

Thanks again,
Vanelan
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2003, 06:08:21 AM »

In that situation, I think I'd definitely have tried to justify the drive of understanding all, and the faith in death in there.

Admittedly, understanding the death of a king is a small thing, but to understand all, one must first build a foundation of small understandings. I also think I would have rolled the Luck die, THEN spent it to attempt to avoid dying. I'd also have thrown Understanding all and Faith in death into the roll to avoid damage... After all, isn't near-death a spiritual experience, and isn't experience the foundation of understanding and knowledge?

Unless your Seneschal had it in for your character (which I am decidedly not picking up from your description of the session) he'd likely have accepted those as sufficient. Your character would have seen his life flash before his eyes, had a near-death experience, (which could be a cool roleplaying thing in itself... Perhaps you don't remember it until later, when suddenly you find yourself remembering, and finding that you'd seen spirits of the Fey, and they'd been trying to tell you something...) Ah well. Too late now, but hopefully this will give you some ideas for how to spin the SAs into situations later. As Ron points out in his essay, the smart sorcerer will only cast spells when it's important to him... ie, when he'll have SAs firing.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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