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The Riddle of Steel
Topic: People's games (Read 1548 times)
February 15, 2003, 06:19:21 PM »
This being such a recent game, and having only played a few sessions so far, I'd love to hear how the system has worked for other people - what kinda of adventures they've cum up with.
The specifics of a scene, for example (how the rules made it better), or a really cool fight would make good reading.
In one of my games, for example, a petty fight turned into an elaborate performance purely down to game mechanics. It was that much more enjoyable for both the PC and me as a result.
The PC was playing a young apprentice boy. He'd spent all day with his father at the prentice fair with no result. No one seemed interested in taking the lad on. So when a mysterious stranger appears just at close of day, proposing to take the boy on, the father is more than relieved to let his son go.
Within hours, the PC discovers that his new master is a burglar, and that he is to become a thief. Their first hit will take place tonight. The target: a plump merchant's villa on the edge of town - unattended for the night.
Convinced into breaking in, the PC finds himself wandering the darkened halls of the villa, unsure what to do. the villa is not, however, entirely empty. A caretaker had awoken, and confronts the hapless PC with a club.
Racing into a room, the PC shoves a door into the caretaker's face. A test of reflex allows the caretaker to jam his club into the door, stopping it from closing. This was the first time that night that dice had been rolled. Reaching for the door, the caretaker tried to seize it fully open.
I called for a contest of str as the PC tried to wrench the door closed. But because I judged this to be a combat-situation, I used CP for rolls, with TN'sbeing the opponent's STR. Deciding the draw his dagger, the PC split his CP between arming himself and sealing the door.
This is where the game got good. The PC tactical use of dice meant he lost the STR test. Being a young man with good stats, he would normally have won such a roll against the weaker, older caretaker. It was the way in which the PC invested his resources which decided the outcame. Sorry to harp on, but it's this process which makes playing TROS so exciting. Basically, the outcome was that he failed to both draw his dagger or grab the door (having lost both rolls).
Initiative was called - The PC defended whilst the caretaker attacked, swinging down with his club.
The fight taking place in a darkned room the PC was not familiar with, I called for terrain rolls. Again, the PC making the gamble to split his resources (in this example, draw his dagger, full evade, and make a terrain roll) he ended up on the floor with his dagger still in its sheath. Not having a good nite.
Not a good nite, no, but neither was the PC dead yet. He'd been failing and putting himself increasingly into a disadvantage, but he'd suffered no damage, no HP loss. TROS isn't annoyingly lethal.
What basically ensued was a desperate scramble across the bedroom floor. The PC constantly splitting his pool into evasion and other actions meant he was failing to get the jump on the fully attacking caretaker. But the margins of success by the caretaker were never enough to land a solid blow. It felt real. Like in a fight, when both combatants desperately scramble at each other up until someone lands a really square blow.
Eventually, the PC just gave up. He stopped reaching for his dagger, put only a few dice into doging, and concentrated instead on getting up. A whack to the shoulders which hardly hurt and the PC was up. A bucket of dice now went into grabbing the caretaker, shoving him up against a wall, and headbutting the poor fellow into unconsciousness.
It was a wicked fight - to us anyway. I apologise for having bored people to tears. And granted. I never brought Spiritual Attributes into it. But we were just experimenting with the basics, and wanted to keep things simple.
It was still great fun! The fight involved thought and tactics (kinda). Details mattered - which is hard to get from a HP-based system. The whole prcess revolved around judgement calls, and which actions to invest your attention on. It felt like a dance.
Sorry for the hyperbole. But this is great system. I've said it before, and so have many others, but congrats Mr J. Norwood.
So yeah, enuff of my insane rambling. Any one out there got some cool stories to tell? Some wicked TROS fights they've had?
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger - or a cripple.
Reply #1 on:
February 15, 2003, 08:00:35 PM »
headbutting the poor fellow into unconsciousness.
ouch, that poor old caretaker...
That is a wicked description, actually, and to be honest, the fact that TROS actually works with this kind of encounter is amazing. The great part is that you don't have to make up machanics, they're there already.
I wish i had a story, but alas, i am still in the group formation stage...soon, soon!
Reply #2 on:
February 16, 2003, 03:26:29 AM »
I'm going to be bring the melee system only into my Fading Suns campaign on Wed, to replace the weak melee system I'm using. It won't see a lot of use (I'm using the Millenium's End system, which is to firearms what RoS is to melee), but there's an upcoming scenario when they will face a Dark entity in a hulk where Dark runes prevent primers from igniting (ie, guns & grenades don't work).
The answer to the Riddle of Steel: use a bow. From behind a wall. While they're asleep. The Riddle of Steel is to stay out of reach.
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