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Author Topic: [Columbus Roleplayers Club] TROS  (Read 1776 times)
Chris Passeno
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« on: July 21, 2003, 06:10:46 AM »

The Meet and Greet went very well this last Sunday.  Our club now numbers 3 people, with another two possibles.  Me and Colen have been gaming together for a few years and our new guy fits in well with our play.
 
 The first hour or so we all got to know each other by discussing our favorite games and characters while waiting for other possible players to show up.  None did, though we are still recruiting.
 
 Our conversation turned to The Riddle Of Steel.  I described the basic resolution mechanic and what means what on the character sheet.  We followed that up with a discussion on where we'd like the campaign to take place.  We are using the stock TROS world of Weyrth.  We like its resemblance to historic earth.  We tossed some ideas around, but finally decided on The Seat of the Xanarian Empire.  I decided that we won't be using any other race except human and for starters there will be no sorcery.  Later we can add that in.
 
We moved on to some sample combat bouts.  We took some characters that Colen and I put together earlier in the week and passed them out.  The players were part of the caravan guards who were protecting the Lady Beth on her journey to another kingdom.  The Caravan was ambushed by brigands a few miles out of the city.
 
Gerrard, the Bladesinger, quickly dispatched a lowly brigand with a rapier thrust to the chest.  Our fearsome Zhidara Warrior dispatched his well armored foe with a hooking of the legs and a halberd to the skull.
 
It took a little while to get used to the combat system.  With discussion and rule-book research we soon got a grasp it.  It's amazing how smooth and expedient it actually runs.  One player said, "it took some storyteller and adding in the best of Role-Master with out excess baggage."
 
The next round of brigands were ex-kights in shining plate armor.  The only saving grace was that they didn't have helmets.  Gerrard took two of them on, trying to use terrain to avoid fighting both at once.  The brigands out maneuvered him, though.  The nimble Gerrard showed his expertise with his rapier by neatly skewering one of the guards in the left eyeball, killing him instantly.  Unfortunately for our Bladesinger, the other Ex-knight laid a mighty blow on Gerrard which sliced into his side and stuck in his hipbone, taking him to the ground immediately.  The mighty Zhidarian Warrior joined the fray to help poor Gerrard, who was desperately trying to wiggle free.  
 
The fight only last a few moments longer.  Our hero's were killed, but not until taking a few more brigands with them...
 
We ended the meeting with character creation... after checking in with the wives for an extention on our curfew.  The player, who ran Gerrard, has chosen to play a Xanarian Senator.  Choosing Landed Noble as priority A.  This gives him land, servants, and a small retainer of soldier at his disposal.  One of his SA's is to return The Xanarian Empire to it's former glory.
 
Colen, who ran the Zhidarian, is making a Picti slave body-guard for the Senator.  He has chosen Attributes as his priority A.  His Drive SA is to have freedom.  I can't wait to hear his remaining SA's.
 
The players will be putting together their remaining SA's (Spiritual Attributes) sometime this week with some backgrounds.
 
I like the SA's in TROS.  It is a listing of what the players feel are important to their character and rewards them for pursuing those goals.  As a Seneschal (GM) it gives me a checklist of what to focus the campaign around.  Quite nice.

Chris
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2003, 06:37:26 AM »

Sounds like a text book perfect first session of TROS.

The character creation seems especially effective in having some powerful motivating factors that both unite the PCs and potentially place them at odds.  PC vs PC rivalry driven by SAs is a powerful tool in TROS, whether or not the two characters become enemies the inherent conflict in the slave master relationship should be a great engine for drama.  Especially given the circumstance of the slave making their desire for freedom explicit, and the senator no doubt having a great personal need for the slave's services.  

Hopefully they won't take the easy way out and just have the senator grant the slave freedom in exchange for the slave staying on as a retainer.  Not much drama in that...
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hyphz
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Posts: 157


« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2003, 03:47:49 AM »

Quote from: Chris Passeno
The players will be putting together their remaining SA's (Spiritual Attributes) sometime this week with some backgrounds.
 
I like the SA's in TROS.  It is a listing of what the players feel are important to their character and rewards them for pursuing those goals.  As a Seneschal (GM) it gives me a checklist of what to focus the campaign around.  Quite nice.


Sounds like a cool session.  I only ever got as far as the "playtest combats" with TROS; but I tested it with some of the sample monsters in the book, and in every one all that happened was that the PC hacked the critter in half in the first exchange.  Still, when it's continuous and there are multiple combats or combatants involved I imagine some tension comes into it.

But I've never understood the SA thing.  Or rather, I thought I understood it until (and this is simply a description of what actually happened; it is NOT intended to be a slam at the individual concerned), the author himself told me on a Forge board that using SAs as I understood them would be "lazy and cheating", and since I couldn't work out how to avoid that I shelved the game.
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Lebo77
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2003, 05:19:15 AM »

Quote

Sounds like a cool session. I only ever got as far as the "playtest combats" with TROS; but I tested it with some of the sample monsters in the book, and in every one all that happened was that the PC hacked the critter in half in the first exchange. Still, when it's continuous and there are multiple combats or combatants involved I imagine some tension comes into it.


Are you KIDDING me??? Did you try fighting a Hef?  What about a Giant? A WYRM?  I can't imagine any starting PC killing any of these with any consistancy.  Heck, it would take a heck of a good roll just to get past there toughness.  Plus, one hit from a Giant or Wyrm and you are DONE.  Str 20 = instant Lvl 5 wound.  Your toughness+Armor does not matter.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2003, 05:38:33 AM »

Hi there,

Yeah, hyphz, that sounds a little off to me too. For all I know, you did the rules letter-perfect, but if so, that was some serious rolling ...

Chris, what really excites me about your group is that they seem to have picked up on how important the player-characters' philosophies and goals are, and applied that idea to the new batch of characters in full. You're heading for a great game experience.

Best,
Ron
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hyphz
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Posts: 157


« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2003, 07:36:39 AM »

Quote from: Lebo77
Quote

Sounds like a cool session. I only ever got as far as the "playtest combats" with TROS; but I tested it with some of the sample monsters in the book, and in every one all that happened was that the PC hacked the critter in half in the first exchange. Still, when it's continuous and there are multiple combats or combatants involved I imagine some tension comes into it.


Are you KIDDING me??? Did you try fighting a Hef?  What about a Giant? A WYRM?  I can't imagine any starting PC killing any of these with any consistancy.  Heck, it would take a heck of a good roll just to get past there toughness.  Plus, one hit from a Giant or Wyrm and you are DONE.  Str 20 = instant Lvl 5 wound.  Your toughness+Armor does not matter.


Ah - I meant the opponents in the basic TROS book, not OBAM (which I just finished downloading ;) ).  But the SA's thing was the issue, anyway... I don't know what was up.  I might have taken the "the SAs tell you what the player wants to do" thing too literally, I'm not sure.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2003, 08:01:05 AM »

hyphz-

Hef, Giants, and Wyrms are all in the main book, too. They're just expanded in OBAM.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Chris Passeno
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2003, 09:13:15 AM »

Ralph:  I agree, I really couldn't have asked for a better session.  Maybe if I'd have read the "initiative" rule a little better, I'd have solved some minor issues.  No matter, we got them straightened out shortly there after.  I get the strong feeling that the Senator wouldn't be too happy about loosing his bodyguard/property, so there should be some drama happening.

Hyphenz & Lebo77:  We are only using human's for right now.  I will probably add in the creatures at a letter date, so I really don't have much to say about them.  I did use the knight stats from OBAM, slapped on some plate, in one bout and they worked out fine.

Ron:  I wanted to stress from the get-go to my players that this is a story about their characters.  They were coming from many sessions that the story was about what the GM wanted, not about what the Characters wanted.  I let them know up front that the SA's are how they advance in the game and are a check-list for me.  I can hardly wait til the next session.
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hyphz
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Posts: 157


« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2003, 11:09:38 AM »

Quote from: Lebo77
Quote

Sounds like a cool session. I only ever got as far as the "playtest combats" with TROS; but I tested it with some of the sample monsters in the book, and in every one all that happened was that the PC hacked the critter in half in the first exchange. Still, when it's continuous and there are multiple combats or combatants involved I imagine some tension comes into it.


Are you KIDDING me??? Did you try fighting a Hef?  What about a Giant? A WYRM?  I can't imagine any starting PC killing any of these with any consistancy.  Heck, it would take a heck of a good roll just to get past there toughness.  Plus, one hit from a Giant or Wyrm and you are DONE.  Str 20 = instant Lvl 5 wound.  Your toughness+Armor does not matter.


I just checked over the sheets again.  Thing was, his basic tactic was to drop red everytime, pray that he won init (which he always did) then put his entire CP into a big swing at V.  Even a Hef is going to have trouble walking away from that.  Their toughness isn't much of a problem when your Damage rating is 9 plus successes.
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contracycle
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2003, 09:32:52 AM »

And you did this how many times before shelving the system?
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Lebo77
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2003, 03:43:47 PM »

Quote

I just checked over the sheets again. Thing was, his basic tactic was to drop red everytime, pray that he won init (which he always did) then put his entire CP into a big swing at V. Even a Hef is going to have trouble walking away from that. Their toughness isn't much of a problem when your Damage rating is 9 plus successes.


Wow... That is a SERIOUSLY high-risk strategy.  You are betting it all on one die roll (init) and if it comes up badly just once you are likely toast.  Also, what if the other guy defends when you drop red.  In general defenses are easier then attacks. (With shields this is definately the case.  DTN 5) Attacker throws... say 14 CP to attack (TN 6 say), critter blocks with 10 of his 16 combat pool.  On the average the Hef is going to wholely block it or knock it down to so few successes that his AR of 2 (not counting shield) and toughness of 9 will handle the 10-11 points of damage comeing his way.  Now you are out of CP dice, the hef has 6.  If you had saved just 1 die you could make an "attack" to keep him off long enough to let your combat pool refresh, but you did'nt, so now he takes init and...

WHACK!  he splits your head open, killing you are shocking you to the point that the next hit finishes you off.  Too bad for you.

I know what the peanut gallery is saying, "Hef don't use shields!" OK then, What about THIS stratagy for the Hef?  Both drop red. Hef looses initiave to the super-swordsman.  Once again, 14 die attack from the swordsman.  Hef decalres... EVASIVE ATTACK!  activation cost 1, toss 2 dice into evasion.  Now the swordsman rolls 14 dice vs. TN 10, likely gets just 1 success. Once again this gets soaked up by the Hef's toughness.  Now the Hef can attack (still in the first exchange) with say, 10 of his 13 dice against TN 8.  Likely 3-4 successes.  OW.
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hyphz
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2003, 03:47:54 PM »

Quote from: contracycle
And you did this how many times before shelving the system?


I didn't shelve the system because of the one-hits - I assumed, as the other posters here, that this was just due to an incredibly risky strategy and some lucky rolling on that test.  I shelved the system because I couldn't understand what to do with the SAs, but that's being addressed elsethread as we write..
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Colen_Stapleton
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2003, 04:09:24 AM »

I finally finished up my last four SAs so I thought I'd drop by and post them on Chris's thread. I pretty excited about getting a game of TROS up and running since Chris and I have been wating for a chance to play since the game came out.  I'm playing Bedros the slave. His primary responsiblity is to bodyguard his owner Marcus the Younger. Marcus is a senator in the Xanarian Empire. Feel free to let me know what you think about the SAs.


SA 1: Luck
Why not?

SA 2: Drive- Gain my freedom
What can I say, it's every slave's dream. We'll all see why it's this
particular slave's dream in a couple of SAs.

SA 3: Passion- Protect Marcus the Younger
The other player and I are still working on why a slave feels such devotion to his owner. From a metagame perspective I'm seeing this as the "cash cow" SA. I figure it'll fill up to five dice often. :)

SA 4: Passion- Hatred of Birk the Cross
The top hatchet man for one of Marcus's main senatorial rivals.
Trained under the same weapons instructor as Bedros, a deep seated
rivalry has grown between these two men. Birk currently has the upper
hand as he broke Bedros's nose during the last festival games.

SA 5: Passion- Love of Anastasia the olive merchant
Ana is a second generation freeman (her parents were both freed
slaves) who is quickly becoming a prosperous olive importer. Bedros
has fallen in love with her and is trying to win her hand in
marriage. Anastasia has made it plain that even with out the existing
social restrictions she wouldn't marry a slave. Her husband must be
at least a free man. However, she is truly interested in Bedros and
gets a kick out of the prestige of being associated with Marcus the
Younger's primary bodyguard. Well, that and the fact that her
spending time with a slave is driving the neighborhood rumor mongers
through the roof.
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2003, 05:19:14 PM »

Very, very cool character. I'd love to see how this all plays out.
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DaGreatJL
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2003, 11:13:16 AM »

Just to comment on why Bedros would feel devotion to his master:

His master feeds him.
His master provides him shelter.
His master gives him prestige.
His purpose is to protect his master.

All these things are tied together. That is, his life pretty much directly flows from his master; in exchange, he must protect his master, the source of his survival and identity within the world. For him to grow attached makes sense psychologically.
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JL

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