Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Do the monsters "level up", too?

Do the monsters in your game "level up"?

I don't mean, do they get harder as you go deeper.

I don't mean, do they necessarily have a formal system for improving.

I'm wondering if they get better if they survive contact with the PCs.

After the PCs roll through an area, of course, some encounters change.

Some battle-scarred survivors will change their tactics. They'll build barricades to stop those shield rushes and put out water buckets to deal with fire apells. They'll spread out to stop area attacks. They'll get reinforcements if they can, patch up the wounded, and otherwise get set. They might team up with other monsters who also had problems going it alone against the invaders.

Other monsters will move on, going to a new area. Or they might be gone in the sense that something comes and eats them.

But I like the idea that some monsters learn not only in the "better tactics" or "get the hell out of Dodge" sense but in the "my sword skill went up" sense.

I have a few wiley monsters that have actually survived multiple encounters with the PCs. Some at range, some close in (there isn't always time to finish the wounded).

So for them, if they survived in some impressive or memorable fashion, I'll just promote them. A Hobgoblin Warrior might become a Tough Hobgoblin Warrior. A normal gargoyle might become Determined (yes, I love prefixes). On a smaller scale, I might add a perk to a given group (they all had Shield Wall Training, now the survivors learned Teamwork), or a skill (they take up Crossbow since you were last there).

If it was more happenstance, I'll be a little less generous. Like in the case of a distant skirmish, say, or a brief encounter that ended with both sides moving on, or "knocked out and left for dead." These guys might learn something, but not "promote" or level up.

A monster that flees a lot (and makes it) might get better at fleeing, via a point of Running or Aerobatics.

A spellcaster might learn a new spell.

A warrior might turn into a berserker after that time the PCs crippled his limbs and left him for dead. Technically, this reduces his value as a character but it's a positive change in his threat level.

So yes, in my games, monsters can and sometimes do "level up." They can promote up the scale, get better, and pick up abilities. It's not formalized (yet), but it's there. How about in your games?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Revised GURPS Magic: Shocking Touch, Burning Touch, Deathtouch

Here are more spells from GURPS Magic I'm revising, or have revised, in my game. This is based on a "You can't be right about that" moment in my last game session.

Shocking Touch and Burning Touch are melee spells that I think have some issues.

Shocking Touch bypasses all armor; only natural DR helps. Metal armor, leather armor, suits of cloth, +5 insulation, whatever - bypassed. Weird. Lightning doesn't do that. Lightning Weapon doesn't do that. Also, unlike Lightning, while it can short electronics it can't do a Surge and stunning. Also weird. Not only that, while lightning attacks generally do less damage than other direct-damage spells, this one does more than other direct damage spells with more additional effects as well.

Burning Touch bypasses all armor, too, for reasons I can't fathom either. Uhm, to match Deathtouch? It's probably enough that it's fire, although juicing it up wouldn't hurt. It does burning, same as Shocking Touch, with no noted effects aside from (like all burning attacks) setting things on fire.

Here is what I did to clear up that weirdness.

Deathtouch - works as listed. It does 1d toxic per energy, bypasses all DR on the subjects it works on, which includes undead even though they're usually able to ignore toxic damage. If questions come up, I will base the answers on "what would Toxic attacks do here?"

Burning Touch - does 1d+1 burning (up from 1d) per energy. Can set fires normally.

Shocking Touch - does 1d burning (down from 1d+1) per energy, plus the surge/stunning effects from the lightning spell. Stunning effect as per lightning. Armor, aside from metal armor, protects normally. Metal armor only provides DR 1.

I think this is a good way to go - Shocking Touch is great against metal armor and can stun, Burning Touch can roast you but it's a more-or-less straight up fire attack (and they usually do pretty good basic damage), and Deathtouch is the bypass all DR toxic killer it's meant to be.

I've done a lot of little cleanup actions like this one. It's the kind of revision to GURPS Magic I'd like to see - but I'm unlikely to do. Lots of people really dislike the system (but have opinions on how to change it), use Ritual Path Magic instead (but have opinions on how to change spell-based magic), or have a very different idea than I do on what constitutes a "fix." But in my games, at least, I get to do what I want to do. It's mostly cleaning up exceptions and merging spells and eliminating oddness.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

DF Game Summary, Session 30 - the Great Hireling Massacre

July 27, 2013

Characters: (approximate net point total)
Dryst, halfling wizard (288 points)
     Father Hans, human cleric (?? points, NPC)
     Jon Shieldbearer, human guard (??, NPC)
     Shieldman Zed, human guard (??, NPC)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (297 points)
     Grace the Slick, human cutpurse (125-point NPC)
     Lean Jean d'Archer, human archer (125-point NPC)
     Norman the Axe, human squire (125-point NPC)

     Basher the Thug, semi-human thug (?? points, NPC)
     Barefoot Geroge, human pirate-type (?? points, NPC)
     "Pigsticker" Pete, human spearman (?? points, NPC)

Still in town:
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (251 points)
Borriz, dwarven knight (310 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (311 points)
Christoph, human scout (258 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Vryce, human knight (346 points)
     Lucky Pete, one-handed human guard (not many points, NPC)
     Larry One-Eye, one-eyed heavy crossbowman (even less points, NPC)

We started out in Stericksburg as usual. They gathered rumors, paid upkeep, collected their gear, and looked for Raggi - but he wasn't to be found. A few volunteers showed up, though, and they took them all with them, along with two shieldbearers - one new one and one they'd hired in the past.

(Annoyingly, at the very last minute) they also decided to hire three skilled hirelings - a cutpurse, and archer, and a squire. With lots of quick but effective searching (lucky rolls by Dryst's player they did manage to find some.

They were Grace the Slick (thanks to a big-chested thief Cardboard Hero I have), Norman the Axe, and Lean Jean d'Archer. They were promptly hired and put into the ranks. With two created servants as well, there were 13 guys in the party.

Who was in charge?

Me: "Do either of you have Leadership?"
Honus's player: "I have Intimidation . . . "


They headed up to Felltower and Honus, Grace, and Jean scouted around. There was a clear path through the wall now, and lots of tracks (clearly coming from, and then back to, the ruins). But nothing was by the well so they climbed down that way and in.

In the room to the second level, they forced the door and found themselves face to face with a rust monster that had been eating the iron banding on the door. In a nasty brawl, it ate Norman's mail shirt, Paul's spearhead, and nearly got Honus's mail. Honus lost a gauntlet punching it while Basher beat it to death with a club. Geez.

A quick trip to the second level, and then to the "fire-men" room, and there they decided the plan was a) figure out the statue puzzle, and b) go to "level 2.5" - the newtmen/lizardmen area, on the way to checking out "level 3."

They moved into one statue room, and forced open what was, naturally, a false door. The statue turned and zapped Basher, who was forcing it. Then it turned back. They manually turned it to face the wall (after checking for traps, etc.) and the turn turners (NPCs) got zapped lightly by black energy.

Then they checked a side area they'd avoided, and found a pair of rooms that had been (previously?) used by the hobgoblins. One was a toilet, or had been used as one. Honus ignored the feces and urine and tromped around looking for secret doors. Nothing.

The next room was a junk room, with two skeletons in the corner. Nothing told them how they'd died (although one had no front teeth), and nothing of value was found. So Dryst whipped out See Secrets and then Seek Earth (on gold - down and over, and silver - just over.) They decided the "just over" was a bricked-up room the hobgoblin Krug had told their predecessors had a bunch of dead hobgoblins and a "stone bird" in it. They figures, cockatrice, which everyone who memorized the AD&D monster manual knows turns you to stone.

So they headed there, and bashed down two successive doors (one bricked up, one shut) and found . . . screaming death. The "stone bird" was a little stone-colored serpent with wings and the face of a human. It was so venomous looking at it caused you poison damage - and the battering-ram wielding NPCs took it badly, as did Lean Jean when he moved up to get a shot.

Honus pushed through and with a blind, wild attack, smacked it with a lucky shot and did amazing damage. They heard stone breaking.

Long story short, it was dead - and had turned into bits of broken stone in death. They gathered them up (they'd prove dangerous and valueless) and searched the room - 14 dead hobgoblins were there, all long dead and dessicating. They took their weaponry, and set to resting and healing.

Father Hans healed a few of them, but a terrible critical failure on the badly wounded Lean Jean pushed him to negative 1 x HP and he blew his death check and expired. Damn. They took his bow and decided they'd carry out his corpse. They looted the hobgoblins and found some armor Norman could fit into, getting him leather on his torso.

But shortly after that, they heard some clomping of hooves, and the staggered stomp-bang-drag, stomp-stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp of an ungainly walker - oh shit, the Lord of Spite! They ran immediately. No one mentioned Lean Jean until later ("Aren't we carrying him?" "You never told anyone to." Oops) and he was left behind.

They caught their breath and kept exploring.

They checked the next statue room, climbing over the goblin barricade. As they reached the door, they heard a door shut behind them and a bar drop into place - someone just blocked their retreat. Nevermind, they moved on.

In the room they did the same routine - forced a false door (Basher refused, earning their respect - and Honus did it), turned the statue to face it (and got zapped, both times), and moved on.

They moved to the next room and did the same, after stopping at that weird altar and having everyone touch it - a variety of beneficial effects were had, including Honus getting a temporary Puissance +2 on all of his weapons. (Later they'd argue that included his shield, I said no, shields may be weapons but aren't valid for Puissance in this campaign, so no.)

In the third room, they repeated this again - force, get zapped, check for secret stuff, turn the statue and get zapped.

They also took a run at the meteoric iron door in that room, with their 4-man battering ram they'd brought for this occasion (and used to smash down a few doors already). It didn't give way, even with Honus helping (they were doing something like 8d+2, but couldn't do more than scratch it.)

After all that noise, they realized people would know they were around. And the next statue room was after what they're sure is an orc-infested area. So they suddenly decided to move on to objective B, level 2.5.

So they moved back to the room that leads to the spiral staircase down, and found the door was tightly wedged shut from the other side. A few swings of the battering ram and there was no more door to wedge.

They went down the stairs, NPCs first, into a duplicate of the lizardman / newtman ambush from last session. Basher and a leading servant ate a bunch of poisoned arrows. The servant went down but Basher stayed up and kept fighting until he ate a pick shot to the body. Paul moved in, and he quickly got a crippled arm and chopped with an axe to the body and dropped, stunned. Norman fought well for a few seconds before a blown defense put him down - the the lizardmen were largely unharmed.

Honus then waded in, the way finally clear. But it went badly for him, too - he rolled three 18s on defense, unreadying his shield (and getting hit and hurt), then dropping his Flail of the Gales, then re-readying his shield and unreadying it again with another 18. His slams proved ineffective as the lizardmen were too strong and bulky to get trampled down, too.

At this point Dryst let loose with an 8d Concussion spell. He aimed past the melee at a wall, to just clip all the bad guys and do some minor damage to the PCs and NPCs. He missed, thanks to shooting through an occupied hex. "See if you hit that lizardman you shot past." BANG. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. It hit him, way, way too close to the PCs, and he rolled pretty good damage.

Everyone right up to the next to last person in line (Grace, on the previous level!) was still close enough to be hit. The four lizardmen went down, but the newtmen took minimal damage and were mostly okay. Honus was hurt. Basher, Paul, and Normal were making (and passing) death checks. Dryst as barely holding on to consciousness.

Honus was well enough, though, and grabbed his flail and charged the newts. They shot him with a number of poisones arrows, but he shrugged them off (most failed to penetrate, but the ones that did hit his HT 13, Fit, and Resistant to Poison for a 17) and killed them.

They tried to move on, resting for a few minutes while they policed up the area and bandaged the wounded, but Father Hans couldn't heal everyone. He started with Dryst and Honus, and then on to the hired help and volunteers. Dryst made a brute servant and a wheelbarrow, and they loaded up the wounded, Magelocked the door ahead, and moved down a side passage. Their servant was quickly killed by newtmen arrows. Dryst threw a Concussion around the corner but they were way out of range, wasting it. They Missile Shielded Honus, who stepped and shot an arrow at a newtman and missed, before deciding they couldn't advance and if the Magelock was removed the lizardmen would surround them.

They moved back, trying to retreat to the surface - three of their number were so badly injured they had to be carried and couldn't be healed back up (Pigsticker Paul was lightly injured at -16 HP, from a starting 12) but they managed to make it back to the barricade and over, as they heard lizardmen pursuing them.

That's when they realized the door was barred.

Stuck in a tiny pocket, they started to bash the door down. As soon as it crumbled, Honus let go of the ram and pushed to the back, getting out his alchemist's fire grenade. He threw it as they heard lizardmen opening the door in the statue room. Woosh. Flames filled the corner, blocking their rear.

Meanwhile Grace and Barefoot George moved past the destroyed door and into the room. Grace the Slick shouted "Hobgoblins!" as an bolt whizzed at her. She Dodged, and it kept going - and nailed Father Hans, who was still holding the ram and shiedless, and in front of his shieldbearer. He dropped unconscious.

So Grace and George moved in out of the cramped hallway. In short order, Grace was stabbed by a dueling halberd-wielding hobgoblin and George was attacked by more. Honus started to push back to there as Dryst readied a spell. Honus moved in as George and Grace both dropped.

Was followed was a long fight. Honus critically failed a Block again (with an 18, his fourth - from some who rolled a lone critical the whole session) and got hurt, and couldn't managed to hit the Dodging hobgoblins. They were smart, and used Dodge and Retreat vs. his morningstar and Wait to engage him all at once. Dryst threw in a Concussion spell and injured and stunned two of the hobgoblins, but the explosion caught George and Grace and put them both negative - and they failed their death checks (I made Dryst roll them) and died. (George may have been dying from a hobgoblin hit, so we can't solely place the blame on Dryst). Honus stubbornly meleed the hobgoblins and clipped their halberd-wielder in the leg, crippling him. But the other four held him back and hurt him a bit with strikes as a bunch of female hobgoblins ran forward to cart the crippled guy (and his weapons) away.

Honus pushed forward, and so did Dryst, meleeing with his human-sized short staff and Shocking Touch spell, but they couldn't land a blow. Finally, Honus decided that straight shots and Rapid Strikes were a bad idea and started going heavily Deceptive - and that turned the tide. Just-made Dodges became just-missed Dodges and he put down the hobgoblins. Dryst managed to hit a prone one in the face (it fell after a critical failure) and hold off the others. ("That's us Honus - back-to-back! Toe-to-toe!" "What? How is that even possibe?" "I don't really have the lingo down.") As one hobgoblin got to his knees facing Dryst, Zed charged and knocked him down, giving Honus a chance to reach over and smack him and Dryst to shock him.

They just managed to put down the four hobgoblins - the other one had been hauled off by the females - when they realized the flames would go out soon. They grabbed some available hardware (swords, and Grace's smallsword) and just ran. They couldn't carry the dead, so Dryst woke up the wounded (Paul and Hans) with Awaken and got them stumbling forward. At this point, he was maintaining his spells off HP, so he was bleeding to death while fleeing at 2 yards/second. They closed and Magelocked the doors they passed through to slow down the lizardmen and ran.

They managed to make to near the stirge lair before trouble started - Paul, in the back, got attacked by some stray stirges. They knocked him out but Honus squeezed on strix to death and Dryst pulled off a crazy shot, blasting one with lightning while Honus held it. Yes, seriously, halflings are good shots.

Somehow they made it to the surface and stumbled back to town, stopping on the way to stabilize the wounded more and heal up a bit.

In the end, they barely made enough coin to cover their bar tabs, rent, and so on, from sales of the weaponry and some coins from the cockatrice's "hoard" of dead hobgoblins.


Gaming Wine - we didn't have any, though.

A rare appearance by Honus, because the player lives two states away from us and needs to come down for the weekend to get in a session.

Profitable trip, barely, thanks to low upkeep (both are just short of the 300 point doubled-loot requirement), but -1 for lots of losses. Two 125-point henchmen died, so did one volunteer. Two volunteers were so badly wounded they'll be down for weeks at least (if they live), Hans was terribly wounded, and they couldn't afford to pay anyone anything extra. Norman lost his good armor and they took back the extra axe he'd grabbed to sell as loot. All in all, they did some serious damage to their ability to recruit NPCs.

As you can see by the NPC names, it was a little silly out on Saturday. Honus's player suggested that their three hirelings should be Conan's companions from Conan the Destroyer - but somehow "Grace Slick" came up before Grace Jones. He said Grace Slick would be a terrible henchman, and thus, Grace the Slick was born. We decided she really needed the job, and looked a little strung out. Good voice, though.

She and the others didn't last long - and it highlights a contrast in ideas. Honus figures the "cannon fodder" needs to be in reserve or behind the good guys, so the heavy hitters can suck up some attacks and get the ball rolling so the CF can jump in and finish. Dryst figures the CF is there to suck up the attacks and start dying, so the good guys can rush in and finish. It's the old "ram the expendables in and save the Old Guard for the finishing blow" versus "send in the elites and use the less skilled for mopping up" argument. You can see the difference in approaches in the two fights.

The group really missed having a scout with them today - all of their opponents would have been arrow-fodder for Galen or Christoph, who could easily have shot them down in short order. Even so, lots of bad luck (4 critical failures for Honus, 3 in a row in one fight!) cost them more than it should have.

I need to work on how I lay out doors. People knock them down and they expect, thanks to how I put down the map, to be able to move freely through a 3-hex wide area. No, a normal sized doorway isn't 3 yards across, but I make it look that way. I'll fit that.

We use 3e-style explosive spells, both for simplicity and awesomeness. So it's 8d on impact, 7d in the next circle of hexes, 6d in the next, etc. down to 1d on the rim. So they are BIG but dangerous to all.

All in all, a fun game, although Honus's player was really frustrated. Part of it is your basic Barbarian isn't a combat death machine. The other part was his terrible rolling meant that he couldn't easily outfight some lizardmen or some hobgoblins, despite majorly outclassing them in a lot of ways. So I felt for him, there. He needed to be the muscle and he couldn't manage it for bad rolling. Red Raggi does, through a mix of being suicidally aggressive and sheer lucky rolls (near-max damage very often, lots of criticals, lots of unlikely double hits with low odds, etc.) while Honus had a pile of critical failures and rarely rolled even average damage. How can that not be frustrating? You drive for hours for one of your few annual sessions and your guy brought his C-game to a B-fight.

Still, a good way to celebrate Gygax day - casualties and people fleeing a megadungeon!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Felltower Summary preview

I'll do the writeup tomorrow, but today, two PCs and nine NPC hirelings went into Felltower.

Not all of them came back.

The ones that did were all injured, some gravely, some only moderately.

Even the wizard was mainting spells off his life force by the end, and everyone was staggering from fatigue.

And in the end only a little loot was taken.

But a fun time was had by all, if "by all" you meant me and the two players who showed up.

Oh, and the revised Concussion effects came up a couple of times, worked very well, and worked in a BIG way (thanks to my old-style handling of Explosive spells.) Sometimes in a "friendly fire" way. And so did hitting the wrong target, which happened in the worst way possible while still hitting another bad guy and not a friend.

Details tomorrow morning!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Revised Concussion & Thunderclap spells

When one of my players was making his latest mage (Dryst, who replaced Nakar the Unseen, who replaced Volos the Too Close To The Minotaur), he asked about the Concussion spell.

It's always a bad sign when my players start a sentence with something like, "Oh, yeah, Concussion. Are you really allowing that spell in the game?"

I said, "Yes, I was, why?"

Long story short, we ended up changing the spell.

At first blush, the spell appears to be a combination of an explosive missile spell with Thunderclap, which can potentially stun or deafen targets.

At a closer look, it's significantly more powerful than either Thunderclap or most other explosive missile spells, but also has some weird non-effects.

It's a standard missile spell, in that it does 1d crushing/2 points of energy. Plus it's a HT-3 roll within 10 yards or be stunned (roll HT-3 per second to recover). Yet oddly, no deafening.

Combine that with tunnels, where sound carries extremely well (see GURPS Underground Adventures, p. 10), and it becomes a hot mess of calculations of blast area and tons of nearly-automatically stunned opponents.

We decided it was a little too much oomph - that stunning effect was much more than Thunderclap, yet the sound and pressure couldn't deafen you. And Thunderclap can deafen but not stun, which we thought was weird. Especially since the prereqs are Shape Air and Thunderclap - armed with those two spells you can learn Concussion and create a greater yet lesser sound effect than Thunderclap could on its own.

I really hate that kind of thing - you can see it in my Enslave ruling where I ruled that you can't see through the target's eyes and ears unless you've got the appropriate Rider Within-type spells, since none of the prereqs provide that ability. You've got to have a solid underlying way of creating the effect (or a lesser version of it) to make prerequisites make sense. And you've got to have a solid way of making separate effects happen before you can combine them into a spell.

So here is our revised effects - yes, nerfed effects, if you prefer:

Thunderclap: Effects as listed on GURPS Magic (p. 171), but if the HT roll to avoid deafness is failed by 5 or more, the subject is stunned (roll HT each turn to recover). Protected Hearing gives a +5 to this roll.

Concussion: Acts as a Thunderclap spell out to 3 yards or the maximum area of the explosion, whichever is greater; area is doubled indoors to 6 yards or twice the maximum area of the explosion. The HT roll to avoid deafness (and possible stunning) is at -1 for ever 2 HP of injury suffered.

So Thunderclap is upgunned a little to more than a simple "deafen with no other effects" spell. Concussion is downgraded from a somehow non-deafening but nearly automatic stunning effect in a 10-yard radius (or bigger, if you read it to mean within 10 yards of the damaging area, which makes sense if a bigger blast means a bigger blast area). Instead it's a damaging area spell with a linked Thunderclap, and your chance of stunning is linked to damage just like with the Lightning spell's surge so we don't need a separate mechanic to do the same job.

I've learned to always respect the warnings of my players when they find something they feel is abusive. This is one of them I heeded before it did annoying things in our current game.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Okay, not WABAC, but way back.

The other day, Jeffro mentioned earlier editions of GURPS, and even had a picture of the 1st edition GURPS boxed set.

I had that boxed set.

I'm still trying to remember if I got it at Fat Moose Comics & Games II (shortly after and still, Timewarp Comics & Games), or if I got GURPS Swashbucklers there and picked up the GURPS set by mail order or from The Compleat Strategist in Montclair, NJ. I can't recall - all are equally likely.

So I dug around in my files to find my "semi-destroyed but not tossed game books" folder. And here is some of what I turned up:

GURPS Group shot photo

My 1st edition GURPS Basic Set Book Two, and the cover of Book One. What, me take very poor care of things I was using all the time? Yeah. I'm not careful with the stuff I use. I literally wore these books out.

Both of my copies of Man-to-Man (one I inherited from my cousin when he quit gaming.)

GURPS Fantasy, 1st edition, with at least one spell that no longer exist in the system - Spellbreak. Oh, and half the book was the lands of Ytarria, which is now GURPS Banestorm.

That's a print copy of the 1st Roleplayer magazine, with a 3 x 5 card sized NPC sheet. I have two of that issue, and and two of a couple more. Of course, they're all available for free now.

GURPS Autoduel, one of the first GURPS supplements I got. Very cool, although it simply took the damages of weapons in Car Wars and multiplied them by x3.5 (to scale 3 hits to 10 hits for a person). Cute, but we had a half-ogre who could take a RL hit to his torso without serious damage and who could cut a Shogun 100 in half . . . oh well, it was still a good book, and it's why I wanted the next edition.

Orcslayer - I should have two of this, but I can't find both. We ran it several times and had a blast each time.

GURPS 1st edition photo

If you look closely at the basic set pictures, you can see the 1st printing, 1986 mark on them. I bought this the second I could. We couldn't wait. Although it would take a few years for GURPS to replace my AD&D game and my dalliance with Rolemaster, we started playing some things with it right away and never really stopped.

GURPS 1st edition closeup

You know, if someone has a list of what was on the stapled middle pages of MTM, I can see if I have all of the pages. Maybe that's all SJG needs to put Man-to-Man back up for sale on e23.

PS - I posted more minis on my eBay auction last night. Links on the right; more to come as I thin out the collection of stuff I'll never paint.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DF Session 20 photos and my Works in Progress

Here are three images I just uploaded. Two are from Saturday's game, and one is my current painting work in progress shot.

I've hid them all behind this handy jump cut.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blocking Two Arrows

So I moaned about the inherent unfairness of a DF Scout with Heroic Archer, under a Missile Shield and Dark Vision spell, versus normal ranged attackers. This sparked a discussion about multiple shooting with bows.

Mark Langsdorf seemed to suggest dumping Dual-Weapon Attack as an option, using Rapid Strike only, and using the rapid fire rules to treat them as one attack dealt with through one defense instead of multiple attacks versus multiple defenses.

William Knowles
pointed out that it's not reasonable or realistic for a person to shoot two arrows at once at full power.

I don't think that's the issue, though, because GURPS assumes you can, indeed, attack twice at full power in a turn if you attack with two weapons (Dual-Weapon Attack) or one weapon (Rapid Strike, All-Out Attack). A Heroic Archer could use Dual-Weapon Attack to shoot two arrows at once, but equally one can shoot one arrow after another at a net -1 for two shots by using Rapid Strike. The base -6 to hit on each is halves to -3, then halved and rounded down again to -1 if the Scout has Weapon Master. So even if you hit Dual-Weapon Attack with the nerf bat, Rapid Strike is left alone. And melee attacks, no matter how many you use, don't use the Rapid Fire rules (which make it less likely you'll land both, and lets the defender avoid them with one defense.) And I think if you hit that with the nerf bat, you have to do it to melee attackers too.

None of which seems very high-powered cinematic dungeon-bashing game to me.

In my experience, though, the problem isn't two arrows into one target for a -1 to defend against both. That happens, though, and it's not an issue of Block at net -1 plus Block at -6, but Block at -1 and Dodge at -1. Generally, though, the Scout tends to shoot two different targets ("Those two guys, vitals.")

But I do think it's fair to give a little something to people who get shot with two arrows at the same time.

Right now, you can reduce the penalty to stop each half of a two-weapon attack with the (cinematic) Dual-Weapon Defense* technique (Martial Arts p. 83). Some two-handed weapons can parry both halves of a Dual-Weapon Attack at a total -1 (Parrying with Two-Handed Weapons, Martial Arts p. 123)

So here is an optional way to deal with this with shields - a combat option and a technique to buy it up.

Add the following line to Dual-Weapon Defense*:
"You can also learn Dual-Weapon Defense for use with a medium or large shield. This lets you buy off the -1 to block both halves of a Dual-Weapon Attack, with a single block."

Then add this to Multiple Blocks:

"Dual-Weapon Blocking: With a medium or large shield, you can attempt to block both halves of a Dual-Weapon Attack with a single block. Success wards off the two attacks. On any failure, though, both blows hit!"

You can limit this to large shields only, if you prefer - I went with Medium to avoid turning Large Shields in the only truly useful shield. The nice thing is anyone can try this, cinematic technique or not - they just can't improve it. This takes a good step in the direction of making shields the ideal defense against a storm of arrows instead of just your first choice before you drop back to Dodge.

I think it's fair, really - bowmen, even Heroic Archers, have to have a higher skill for the same effect as a melee combatant, do lower damage, have a more limited ability to lower defenses (Prediction Shot, not full Deceptive Attack), and need a magic item (Cornucopia quivers) to avoid ammunition issues. The above simply gives a little something back to shield-using foes getting pinged by multiple arrow shots.

Monday, July 22, 2013

eBay auctions and a "free" Mattel D&D game

As promised, I put up a number of old gaming items on eBay last night.

Here is my personal profile with all of the auctions.

They include:

- a lot of AD&D record sheets
- S1 Tomb of Horrors
- Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits
- M3 Twilight Calling
- some Ral Partha minis, including Planescape
- a pack of TSR monster minis
- some RAFM Reptiliads (later Universal Soldier ones, and a Rogue War Turtle)
- my spare copy of GURPS Low-Tech and GURPS Fantasy, to clear up some shelf space. I'll sign Low-Tech by request (I'm one of the authors)
- a Mystara boxed set.
- and a bit more

Some non-gaming stuff, too - including a Bodyblade and some Cowboy Bebop collectable figures.

If you win an auction and mention you're a reader of my blog, I'll throw in an extra something into your box - probably a pack of miniatures from my collection of old TSR lead I have way too much of. So let me know if you're a reader, and if lead is a problem tell me and I'll try to find something extra to throw in for you!

I also have a free giveaway. I have an old Mattel D&D Computer Labyrinth game. I DO NOT know if it works. It's missing pieces, too, including the adapter (it's also battery powered, though, via a 9V) and some of the wall pieces. It was given to me, used, as a gift, and I've never worked up the enthusiasm to buy a battery for it and try it out.

If you want it, it's yours - first person to contact me can have it for the price of shipping it to you. Shipping will have to wait a few days, perhaps, as I'll bring it to the post office with my first auction sales. It's about 2 pounds in a shipping box.

If you want it, it includes:

- game unit
- instruction book (intact but old and worn)
- 4 playing pieces (dragon, treasure, two heroes)
- 33 plastic wall pieces (originally had 50 according to the box)
(and since someone asked - that's no. No other pieces are included at all.)

I can't bring myself to list it on eBay because I don't think it's right to sell something possibly broken, and it'll no doubt cause animosity and bad feedback and pain. But for the price of shipping, you can find out if it works or cannibalize it for parts for your own more complete game.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

DF Game, Session 29 -Felltower 20

July 20, 2013

Characters: (approximate net point total)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (251 points)
     Lucky Pete, one-handed human guard (not many points, NPC)
     Larry One-Eye, one-eyed heavy crossbowman (even less points, NPC)
     Arn Ulfgard, aka Arnie, barbaric warrior (unknown points NPC).
Dryst, halfling wizard (286 points)
     Father Hans, human cleric (?? points, NPC)
Galen Longtread, human scout (311 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)

Still in town:
Borriz, dwarven knight (310 points)
Christoph, human scout (258 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (292 points)
Vryce, human knight (346 points)

Against all odds, Raggi was around despite clearing 13,000 sp last session (that's 26 pounds of silver, or over a pound of gold.) His roll to show up was only a 9 or less, and I rolled an 8. The joke was Raggi was now rich enough to hire other people to drink themselves to death for him - "That guy's my liver doner - look at him knock those back!" Father Hans was around, too, so he was promptly hired. And three volunteer hirelings offered to come along, and while Galen and Dryst were arguing about whether it was even useful to bring one, Chuck Morris told them all to come.

They did some shopping, and point spending - Galen bought up his Night Vision, which is allowed if really kind of funny ("I found this great eye doctor!") But what the hell, he took a lot of +1 Vitamin A. Dryst ordered some enchanted Dwarven plate, Galen went shopping for (and easily found) some giant spider silk cloth armor and a helmet (he's never had one so far, which is really funny to me.) Chuck finally got his armor enchanted.

As usual, they paid upkeep - I really need to put that as an entry on their GCA record sheets so they can just tick it off - and got some rumors. Raids by orcs on the outlying communities to the north, a failed hobgoblin raid a week back on Falcon's Keep (aka the Keep on the Borderlands), and one about how Baron Sterick was the king's right-hand man before suddenly turning on him. Oh, and Chuck heard that there isn't one set of dungeons below Felltower, but two - the one dug down, from the surface, and one dug up, that met in the middle. They decided on the spot the one coming up was dug by the six-fingered guys.

They decided to head right down to level 3, but this plan quickly got derailed.

They headed out, and started up the mountain. Just then Chuck said, just for grins, let's check Sterick's statue. You know, for secret compartments, if there is another way into the dungeon from there, etc. It was a great thought, but no, it wasn't. It's - as far as they can tell - just a normal stone statue. Good thought, though, and there is a rumor of another way into the dungeon from closer to town . . .

They reached the castle ruins above. They scouted, as usual. Galen found some significant traffic from the castle to the surrounding area, some clear signs of work on the broken castle walls to clear a path, and missing stone. They decided someone is taking stone from the ruins to build fortifications inside the dungeon.

Their usual entrance - the well - was untouched, although there was traffic nearby. They were cautious and headed down, Galen in the lead.

They got down to the first level, and heard some echoing noises - clumping and thumping. Maybe stone on stone? Not wanting to leave a real threat behind, they headed in that direction. They found their way to the "big room" and started to check the rooms and halls off of it. They saw evidence of spiders up one (webs on the ceiling), but decided spiders probably don't keep treasure so aren't worth dealing with. Behind another door was an empty room. Behind a third was a small room with a series of small round holes in the walls, in four rows going from hip height up to over head height. They sent a servant in to check but he couldn't see anything in the holes.

They checked another room, and found some cloaks on the floor. A servant was dispatched to check them, and put one on. But as Dryst leaned in to look at them, he saw movement - red fleas! So they dismissed the (now itching) servant and made a new one. They sent the new one out of the exit, but it hit a section of floor and writed briefly as wounds opened up on it, and it disappeared. They created a magical 10' pole and told Arn to go. He refused. So they sent another servant. He tapped and waved ahead of him but hit the same spot and died the same way. They decided to go another way. Their final attempt to reach the sounds connected them up to an area they'd been before, and they gave up and headed down.

The did their usual - down the stairs, stealthily passing the side passage, avoiding the arrow on the floor and the broken crystal hemisphere, checked the "chimera room" for monsters behind them, and headed to the fire-men. Still gone. They started to check some side passages they'd avoided last time. This lead to some undiscovered territory.

They found some side rooms - one trapped, with a level that temporarily sealed the room off (trapping a servant, who was no worse for wear after the trap reset, and a room where the phase snakes lived (they gathered some scales, which proved to be of no value. The sound of the trap going off attracted something, so they set up for a fight - and ambushed three gnolls and their four hyena-looking pets. It was a brief fight, but Raggi took a heavy flail shot, and with his hatred of gnolls went berserk. The animals died fast, the gnolls died soon after from arrows and axes and such. They were quickly looted.

The next room they found was a hexagonal shaped room with one of those rotatable statues in it. There were three doors. They forced two - one led to another hex-shaped room with stairs down, pretty deep ones, too. Another went to an empty 10 x 10 room, another they couldn't open but seemed to be a false door. They skipped the stairs and went to exlore more of the second level.

Next previously-bypassed side passage led them to a hide-covered door. They forced it, and found it could be (but wasn't) barred. Inside the door was further "fireproofed" and there were buckets of sand and stale water nearby. Also, one side door had a watch slit with its cover torn off. Beyond it were two goblin skeletons and their spears, behind a small barricade. They decided they'd been set to watch and died once they couldn't get back in after "some guys" killed their hobgoblin masters. Heh.

They head some noises - stone-on-stone clumping, and smashing wood, spaced out over time. So they headed in that direction.

They headed further in, and found a room with some torchlight leaking from underneath and goblin voices speaking. They tried to force it but failed, so they started in on it with axes (Raggi and Arn) and horse cutter (Chuck) until they chopped it down. Over the axe chops tGalen heard retreating footsteps, and they saw the torchlight fade. But finally the door came down and they moved in. A brief fight erupted. Arn took a bad turn, getting hit repeatedly in his body and neck, and dropped making death checks. But otherwise the hobgoblins got butchered. They tried, but they couldn't penetrate Raggi's armor or anyone else's defenses. Still, one female managed to escape down a flight of stairs, but she tripped and fell in the process. Raggi stopping killing to roar with laughter. Father Hans checked Arn, who'd surprisingly held on through a few death checks, but he was poisoned by the monster drool on the hobgoblin's swords and that pushed him over the edge to death on his last check. They grabbed his axe and left him with the hobgoblin corpses.

They looted them, finding some change and some salvageable weapons, but nothing else. There was a throne-like chair with cheap furs surrounding it, and a crudely-painted black six-fingered hand above it. They checked for hidden treasure, found nothing, and moved on - they didn't want to go down until they'd dealt with the sound. They managed to track it down, while also connecting their map to the area they'd had a huge brawl with hobgoblins.

They found the source of the sound in the storage area - what turned out to be two humanoid-shaped "rock men" with glassy orb eyes and gemstone teeth. They bounced arrows, broke a cheap sword when it hit them, and otherwise ignored attacks. They pounded with fists and bit with gemstone teeth, including biting a chunck out of Raggi's unarmored face ("You call that a bite? Hah!"). The floor was bad footing from the shattered crates and barrels and spilled food. The PCs ordered Lucky Pete to attack, but he said he didn't want to break his sword on no rock. Gah, volunteers aren't reliable! Damn it! But one attacked him so he attacked back, and naturally, his sword broke. The rock-man bit him back, randomly, and I rolled hand. It did a lot of damage, and bit off Lucky Pete's only hand. Damn, not so lucky today. Pete started screaming in shock and horror.

The group managed to eventually finish them off, with a few more hard hits and lots of terrible, terrible defense rolls by their foes. Father Hans tried to use Faith Healing on Pete, but couldn't heal his hand. So he closed the wound and gave him the amputated hand to bring back to town.

They started to loot them, but their rear guard reported more were coming. So they regrouped and attacked the oncoming next pair. They didn't do well - one killed servant, but Raggi and Chuck broke arms and legs and then finished them quickly. They looted the corpses of their eyes and teeth, with Shape Stone.

They headed off to the barricaded area, with the goblin skeletons, and climbed over the barrier. Beyond it, they found another hex-shaped room with a rotatable statue. They realized now it was a puzzle, where they all had to be facing the right way in some combo. "We're not a puzzle-solving group" said Dryst's player. He's not wrong, but it does mean some other group can give it a go.

They found a trapped room with a spiked wall. Servant was sent in, and died as the wall slammed into him, a false door (which caused the statue to zap Raggi unconscious with black fire when he opened it), and a way out. They revived Raggi and moved on, finding that weird altar again (TPT2), and all the "new" guys except Father Hans touched it. Larry got some improved magical effect on him (it never came up), Dryst got temporary Danger Sense (which also oddly didn't come up), Chuck had 3d30 of his silver coins turn to gold (He got 69, and was mightily happy with that result.) Raggi shoved the still shocked and ashen and handless Pete into the altar. I rolled . . . and got heal all injury! His hand was healed, too (more on this below). Pete's lucky finally turned!

From there, the group moved on. They found room with a stone "button" on the ground - a servant pressed it, and fell into a pit and died. Oops. They found another hex-shaped room, this time with an iron door amongst its others. They forced nothing, just to be safe, but exited out a side door. There they found the end of the orc-filled hallway from a few sessions back, and Galen skirmished with some orcs. He took a few arrows but killed a few orcs, thanks to Dark Vision and Missile Shield. They also found a hole in the floor, almost 10' across, with a steep (45 degrees or so) rough tunnel down. As Galen shot the orcs, one sounded the alarm, another blew a horn, and they heard and answering gong from below. While Galen shot a climbing orc in the foot even as he covered himself with a tower shield, it was clear they were getting rushed from multiple points by low-profit foes. They retreated, and Mage Locked the door behind them.

After this, the group basically retreated to the surface. All the noise and gongs had set the whole dungeon off. They heard lots of stuff moving around. As they headed to the first level stairs, they heard clopping of hooved feet and a shambling stomping. They decided this was bad, possibly "bit blue ogre!" bad, and ran. They managed to get to level 1 and the surface, and heard move nearby activity. "May as well keep running now." They took off to town as fast as they could.

They made it to safety, but were tired and a bit worried. What was that?


I forgot to pack my hobgoblin minis - I took them out to paint and never put them back. "We fight this combat under protest!" But I had my standby - I had five actual hobgoblin minis (well, orcs painted grey) and a bunch of hobgoblin beer beercaps. Haha! Protest withdrawn!

Those rock-men are new. I'm using old TSR vilstrak minis for them, but the concept is a little more Discworld troll and my own concept of what a rock-shaped humanoid should be like. They'll see publication someday, next time I get a contract to fill a book with monsters. I use some quick-and-dirty rules for breaking weapons on the attack, and cheap weapons are quite susceptible.

Chuck's player said we should have been keeping a log of how servants die. So we started today, at least in ours heads. One dismissed after getting fleas, one died in a pit, one died from a slamming spike wall, and one died from a rock-man's bite, and two died from that magical trap. 5 down from violence this session.

Penetrating Weapon came up in discussion - I'm either going to make this a rare spell (you can't just go and get it) or more expensive (all weapons use the Missile Weapon cost). It's not that I mind the power of it, really, but that it's offloading a lot of math on me. Plus it is really effective for the cost. It's kind of an equalizer for weak fighters vs. heavy armor, but honestly the heavy fighters (Raggi, Chuck Morris, Vryce) would end up getting it first. So maybe it'll be a "you can find it but not buy it" kind of thing.

Lucky Pete got very lucky. Raggi made him touch the altar, and I rolled on my little table of results. He got one about healing all injury. It said crippling, but what about amputated extremities? I sat pondering and Chuck's player said "Throw the guy a bone, come on." So I did, and ruled since it was a recent amputation, it would (slowly) heal. So his hand is attached, now, but it'll take at least a month of rest before he could use it.

Doors in DF go from "easy to force" (Light) to "hard to force" (Average) to "get an axe" (Heavy). This is believable to me, since we're talking one-second attempts to force. But it does mean a locked and barred heavy door is a significant obstacle. Against a seriously built door, the best bet isn't a crowbar and a forcing roll but skipping right to "smash it down with heavy axes and All-Out Attack (Strong)." A portable battering ram could help, too.

They also got lucky on where wandering monsters were in relation to themselves, so they didn't get too jumped. That they finished off two of the rock-men before the next two attacked from behind helped, too. They realized they'd be dangerous in numbers.

All in all, a good trip - lots of exploration. They've found 4 of those statue rooms, 3 ways down, how to get back to where they were from three different directions, and took some loot home.

Oh, and the volunteers? One died, one crippled but healing, and one useless (the heavy crossbowman only hit once, and his max-strength siege crossbow was useless the one time he hit against a rock-man). Chuck paid them each 2 gp ($40) out of his 69-coin weird altar effect.

Good session. Galen was the MVP. Yeah, scouts are totally unfair vs. normal folks. Also, totally unfair + Missile Shield and Dark Vision = oh come on.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Felltower raided, news tomorrow

We played a session today. About the same length as usual, but since it was Saturday we started later and ended later. So I'm too tired to get the whole summary down now.

Some highlights:

- maps were connected, so now all of the ways they know down to level two are now on the same map!

- orcs, weird rock men, and hobgoblins were slain.

- traps were set off by sacrificial Created Servants.

- they re-visited the mysterious altar from session 19

- not much loot was gathered, but it was still plenty to make it worth going.

- more exploration than fighting or looting this session. It was all about the map.

- No less than 3 ways down were found (two stairs, and one tunnel)

- another statue room was discovered - they've now found four rotatable statues.

All in all it was a really productive "slow" session, where not much happened and yet the stage was set for a lot.

Details tomorrow while I'm having my coffee.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Melee Academy: Ranged Weapons & Hitting the Wrong Target

It's time for Melee Academy. For the other posts in the series, check these links:
Melee Academy: Muscle-Powered Ranged Weaponry 101
Melee Academy: Entering a Room in Dungeon Fantasy
Melee Academy: Someone Took My Lucky Charms - Now What?

When you use a melee weapon, GURPS assumes you retain control of it - either you hit your original target, or you don't, and that's that. Barring a critical failure, of course.

But with a ranged weapons, it's possible to hit the wrong target. Either one between you and the target, or one on the far side. Let's take a look at the rules (from B389-390) and their implications for offense and defense.

Rule #1: Firing Through an Occupied Hex - Just because they're in your way, doesn't mean you can't shoot around them. But there are risks.

Each target (technically, "anyone") between you and your target gives you a -4. This is cumulative, which naturally means it's really hard to hit someone beyond cover.

Remember that prone, kneeling, or very small targets don't obscure you, but big ones can very easily fully block your line-of-sight (LOS). But it takes a standing SM+2 character to block a SM+0's LOS completely. SM+1 (such as your barbarian friend or the evil wizard's ogre bodyguard.)

But you can shoot past your friends. If, despite all of your penalties, you manage to hit, you hit the target you aimed it. Fair enough. But, hey, -4 is pretty steep. What if you miss?

Rule #2: Hitting the Wrong Target - If you miss you attack roll, you might hit someone else. This is bad if you're shooting past your friends. This is ten kinds of awesome if you're shooting past your enemies. Consider it a second chance to get some killing in.

Your chance to hit another target isn't great - your actual chance to hit that target, or a 9, whichever is worse. Plus you roll in order away from you - starting with the closest person (did you just shoot your friend in the front rank in the back?) and going all the way out to the maximum range of your shot. In a low-tech setting, especially with skirmish-like troop densities, this generally means only a few chances to hit. But with a long-range attack in a crowded area, it could mean a lot of potential targets to hit.

Rule #3: Overshooting and Stray Shots - Further, if you hit your target and the target Dodges, the ranged attack keeps on going. You start to check on the far side of that guy to see if you hit anyone.

This is why front-line fighters shouldn't Dodge when protecting thinner-armored friends. You're potentially letting them get hit instead of you. They may be "safely" out of reach of enemies and making All-Out Attacks with their own ranged weapons, but you Dodge that arrow and now they're a step down to the road to being a pincushion. Nice. Don't be that guy.

Now, tactically, what to do with this?

Use it to your advantage . . .

Take advantage of hitting the "wrong" (or as we say, "bonus") target.

Position yourself. If you can shoot in enfilade, do so. That will give you a chance to hit your intended target, anyone between you and the target, and anyone behind the target.

Basically, you want as clear of an attack on your chosen target as you can manage, but with as many enemies behind him as you can get just in case you miss.

That's if you have a specific target in mind. If it's a group melee and you only care that you hit someone, aim for the closest guy . . . but try to get an angle that lets you hit someone past him if you miss or he dodges.

This makes enfilade fire a great choice for lower-skill shooters. It takes you out from behind your own friends, and lets you get lots of chances (albeit, not very good chances) to hit your enemies as they're fixed in position by your friends. GURPS doesn't have Zones of Control or Attacks of Opportunity, but generally it's costly in terms of movement and difficult to disengage from melee to try and rush to a flank. Not impossible, but not easy, so shooting down the ranks from a flank from a moderate distance can keep you safe. Maybe not terribly effective, but if you've got a low skill, shooting from closer in but taking a -4 for shooting past your friends is more dangerous than standing at 10 yards away (also -4) on the flank. If you miss, your friends shouldn't be in your line of fire.

. . . but don't try to get cute - Don't try to aim for the "wrong" target to try and take advantage of these rules. It generally won't work out. You won't get a better chance to hit by accident than you would deliberately; the rules are explicit on this ("a flat 9 or the number you would have had to roll to hit him on purpose, whichever is worse.")

So you basically can't exceed a 9, or exceed whatever lousy skill you had to hit the target in the first place, by aiming at the "wrong" target. GURPS doesn't work that way.

Remember your goal - hitting the right target with the shot. All of this is great but bonus; if you move around to get a "better" enfilade but it costs you the Move and Attack penalty (for a normal guy) or costs you your Acc (for a Heroic Archer), it's probably not a great tradeoff.

But can't only Heroic Archers really take advantage? No, not really. A high-skill archer won't miss often, and can so easily shoot from behind allies these rules won't come up much. If you have Bow-22 and a Balanced Composite Bow (Acc +4) and Heroic Archer, you'll easily eat a -4 for your friend in front and -4 for the bodyguard in front of your enemy and still have an 18 or less to hit before range penalties. Your main concern is using "Overshooting and Stray Shots" to your advantage because of enemy Dodges.

Long story short: You can hit the wrong guy, so if your skill isn't great, line up as many "wrong guys" as you can in a row and shoot the closest one. If your skill is great, don't worry about these as much, except for that bit about hitting people past your Dodging opponent.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Random Thoughts X

Just a few random bits too small to be blog posts of their own:

Fast and Slow Dungeon Levels - Do you get through the level quickly, or does it encourage you to go through it quickly? Or is it a place you need to explore slowly?

These two now three excellent articles examine the question of time to deal with a level. It's couched in D&D terms, but it's really pretty general advice at heart. Just substitute "go down to level 2 and score enough for level 2" to "go down to level 2 and make a score big enough for a major upgrade" in GURPS terms.

Fast and Slow Dungeon Levels

More on Fast Dungeon Levels

Slowing the Pace (But Not to a Grind)

Clearly I have a couple of slow levels in my own dungeon, at least the first two. Surface was fast, level 1 and 2 are slow. Level 3 remains to be seen, although the PCs have been there before without knowing it . . .

Painting It was so hot and humid here I put the AC on (this is rare), but that meant it was cool and dry enough to paint. So I started working on a generic crossbowman, Father Hans the Healer, Lucky Pete, and my Bones lizardman.

Some Guys Half Done

I need a more pacifistic looking priest for Father Hans, but he's bearded, carries a stout club, and uses a shield, so this mini isn't far off.

eBay - I also put together some of my old gaming stuff and minis that I never intend to use again and I'll put them up on eBay soon. Some old AD&D stuff, Planescape minis, a RAFM war turtle, etc. I'll put up a real post and link once it's all together and I've got them listed.

Melee Academy - Don't forget tomorrow is Melee Academy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Volunteer Hirelings

In my last session report, I said this:

"There were also three volunteer hirelings this time - Lucky Pete, a one-handed swordsman; Borgnar the Bold, tough barbarian; and Zeke Spearman, a mercenary spearman. Volunteers? Yep. Word of the increasing success and routinely good hauls (and steady bonuses to hirelings) has attracted some volunteers. Hirelings who just showed up, offered their services, and asked only for a bonus if they made a good impression. Naturally, the kind of guys who'll offer their services free of charge for a potentially fatal mission aren't exactly the highest quality."

One thing about the Random Hireling Traits table in DF15 is, it's an effect roll. High roll, good. Low roll, not so bad. You get a -1 on the roll for every 10% less than a fair salary you offer, for a -10 if you're seeking a volunteer.

The rules on finding henchmen are good as far as they go, but they don't really address what happens if you stay in the town and spend your loot there, trip after trip, and build up a reputation for success.

So I decided that cumulative spending would affect the city.

I also decided that it must, therefore, inspire rival adventuring groups . . . but also inspire a certain class of fortune-seeker to offer their services to the party, for nothing. Just for a potential piece of the action.

Naturally the kind of hirelings who'd do that are of dubious value.

They're the desperate.

The foolish.

The treacherous.

The untrustworthy.

The unqualified.

The just plain dumb.

You also get the idealistic, the dreamers, the starry-eyed kids, the despondent (suicide-by-monster?), and the confused.

You know, the kind who get a -10 on that table.

And that's who is showing up and offering to come along for free. Now, I don't actually roll on the table at -10 every time. I make up some fun-seeming hirelings, throw in a ringer or two perhaps (good or bad) and roll for them straight-up. After all, the PCs aren't seeing these guys out and offering low pay, these guys are showing up and offering to work for free, for their own reasons. The fame of the PCs, and their success rate, goes well for them.

After all, my group has brought most of their hirelings back alive - they treat them as employees at worst, fellow adventurers at best - not as meatshields or guys to shove into trapped rooms. They've gone back into the dungeon and suffered heavy casualties trying to rescue lost hirelings. They've paid out solid bonuses every time (often 2-3x their pay rate) and take home vast wealth. For the honest hireling types, it must seem like a great job if they can get it, even without the daily rate. For greedy types, the chance to get some of that, perhaps sneak off with a little of the good stuff, must be extremely tempting.

So every session after a successful delve, my players can expect some volunteers to show up. They're of dubious value but they're free and they are right there, ready to go . . .


We've only done this one session, so we'll see how this works long run. But so far, they've been fun.

It's a good way to introduce some hirelings to a group that might not take them otherwise. They're good for comic relief. They're potentially dangerous, but only in the worst possible circumstances.

It's also a fun way to get people to take along camp followers and otherwise useless types, because they're free.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

DF Campaign Session 28 - Sprint to the Fire

July 14, 2013

Characters: (approximate net point total)
Dryst, halfling wizard (276 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (300 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Vryce, human knight (346 points)
Lucky Pete, one-handed human guard (not many points, NPC)

Still in town:
Borriz, dwarven knight (310 points)
Christoph, human scout (258 points)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (251 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (292 points)
     Father Hans, human cleric (?? points, NPC)

We had three players this session - but lucky for them Red Raggi Ragnarsson was around, but unluckily Father Hans the Healer was not. They're considering tracking Hans down and putting him on retainer so he's always available. I told them if they pay monthly or weekly, the guy is just there. If they pay a day rate, they have to re-find him each time. Hiring for spot work is like that.

There were also three volunteer hirelings this time - Lucky Pete, a one-handed swordsman; Borgnar the Bold, tough barbarian; and Zeke Spearman, a mercenary spearman. Volunteers? Yep. Word of the increasing success and routinely good hauls (and steady bonuses to hirelings) has attracted some volunteers. Hirelings who just showed up, offered their services, and asked only for a bonus if they made a good impression. Naturally, the kind of guys who'll offer their services free of charge for a potentially fatal mission aren't exactly the highest quality. But despite that, the group decided that one-handed "Lucky Pete" was a good pickup and brought him along. Dryst magically made him a shield to carry on his off-, er, arm, since he had no hand.

They gathered some rumors, hearing a mixed bag of rumors of gnomes gone bad (aka hell gnomes), the efficacy of salt versus zombies, and other semi-useful stuff. They also heard someone a year or so back went up to the dungeon with what he claimed was a legendary dragon-slaying sword . . . and didn't come back.

Otherwise it was pretty routine - pay upkeep, gather the group, buy some potions, and head up to the dungeon. They brought the bridge, even though the goal was the go in through the tower or well.

An abortive try at the tower cost them a Created Servant, thanks to that black fire. So they went in through the well, and right down to level two.

The goal was, kill the fire-men. Last them they tried this, it was pretty disastrous. They got mown down by fireballs at range. This time, they were ready - at long last Dryst had learned all the prereqs for Resist Fire, and learned the spell.

Long story short, they worked their way down towards the big long hallway (it's about 100 yards or so) where the fire-men stood watch at the end. Before they advanced on them, though, some Tracking told them something might be in residence the old chimera lair. They headed in, and immediately their lead Created Servant was devoured by a hunting slime. One of two huge ones (SM+4). They attacked. The first slime slammed Vryce as he was putting away his good sword, while Dryst tried to create a wooden sword for him (to avoid any acidic residue). It glommed on to him to but he easily broke free of its stickiness before it could engulf him. Raggi attacked, and Galen started to pump it full of arrows. In seconds they reduced it to many multiples of its HP and it oozed apart as the next one came. They just attacked it with more arrows and axe and sword blows. It didn't last. Hunting slimes do better in ambush than in a straight fight against high-offense adventurers. This was a good example of making sure to clear your six.

Then it was time to Resist Fire on everyone, and then sprint up the hallway. From almost 100 yards out, they just started to run up at the lowest move of the group (4 yards/second, which was Dryst with Haste in a tie with Vryce.) The goal was to get there before Dryst needed to maintain the spell on Raggi, which is expensive due to his size. Galen started to fire arrows on the move - and hit pretty easily, even jogging at a 100 yards, thanks to a good bow and Bow 22 or so. The fire-men started to throw fireballs back, and equally, made a few hits - but Resist Fire made the party immune. The arrows started to tell, too, doing damage before the fire-men could roast them. So they took cover out of LOS of the party.

Then the group arrived, and melee started. The fire-men (okay, Flame Lords from DFM1*) did their best to punch and kick, but without their fireballs having an effect or their damaging auras, none of their best attacks helped. They repeated grappled Raggi but he wouldn't burn, and just kept pushing them off. Still, the fire-men took an incredible amount of killing - multiple turns of very heavy shots from Raggi and Vryce while Galen pumped them full of arrows. Finally, they were down. The group rested very briefly before pushing ahead to the next room, where four more fire-men waited. Their leader had gambled on the PCs thinking they'd won and dropping their spells, but it didn't happen, and they were massacred as well despite doing some minor damage to Raggi and Lucky Pete. Lucky Pete did fumble his sword and have to draw his knife ("Lucky for me I brought my knife!") but no one was seriously hurt.

In the room they found a pedestal with a small iron box on it inscribed with a rune denoting cold. Dryst used Wild Talent to cast Resist Cold on himself and used Lockmaster on the box. It blasted a 3-yard radius 5d cold attack. Galen was just on the fringe and dove for cover, taking some minor damage. Dryst was immune, and suffered another blast with no effect as he finally got the box open.

Inside was a (bronze? brass?) statue, about 12" long, of a carp. Its scales were gold coins of some strange origin, and its eyes were rubies. Score! It didn't show as magical, though. They packed it up in a backpack, and then gave the strongbox to a servant to carry.

In this second room there were basically two ways out - one looking like it headed to a new area, one towards a possible map meetup. They went to the next area, which turned out to be a small room with a koi pond. No other way out, and no secret bottom (they checked with a servant standing in the pool, and with a 10' pole). Just six carp in a pond, all of whom avoided being poked with the stick and seemed annoyed/frightened by the servant. They futzed around, but neither the carp nor the pond were clearly magical, although how they lived was beyond anyone's explanation.

The headed back and then into a "new" area (actually, not new, just forgotten). They found a series of rooms, the middle of which had a big but not huge black six-fingered handprint painted on the floor. So they sent a servant in to touch it. It did, and seconds later the entire floor disappeared, and the servant fell down in a cylindrical chamber below. They got a brief glimpse of some ooze-like thing and a glint of coins, before the light stone went out and the servant disappeared! Then the floor reappeared.

Just then, they heard hissing coming up from behind. They ran back to set up an ambush but instead met up with two man-sized blue snakes with flickering tongues and venomous fangs. They attacked, but remarkably many of their attacks simply passed through the snakes without hurting them. Others landed just find, though, and they just managed to ward them off and kill them before anyone got bitten. They cut off their heads and left them, lacking the skill to milk them of venom.

They were extremely careful after this, avoiding going more than 3' closer to the handprint. After all, a NMZ and a critter was below them in a trap. Later Dryst would set it off while walking on air, just to see, but no one risked falling.

While Dryst searched a nearby room for secret doors, the others stood guard in the next room out. They noticed someone carefully trying to wedge the "north" door shut. So Vryce kicked it open - and surprised two newtmen. They croaked out alarms but Vryce killed one and Galen shot the other down. They called Dryst back, and then advanced.

They found a spiral staircase down, but it was narrow and slick and had noisemakers on it, and all three of the back three of the party failed DX rolls and slipped and fell down it. Vryce had to run forward into waiting newtmen and lizard men, who attacked him. They fought really well, but low damage rolls caused their poisoned arrows to ping off Vryce's armor and their excellent defensive position and aggressive attacks didn't do much. Eventually Vryce polished off three of the lizard men, with Galen shooting one down and wounding another, and shooting down the newtmen.

They group tried to force a door the lizard men clearly guarded, but to no avail (Extra-heavy ironbound) - even Raggi's axe couldn't make a real dent in it. So they headed off to the side down a passage.

Basically from here they found a series of rooms they'd found before, without quite realizing until they found a destroyed iron maiden. They'd come this way while fleeing the water level they'd been teleported to nine sessions ago.

They checked those rooms, found a room with a 20' wide 30' deep pit down (and shot down its newtmen guards, and scouted it with a servant using Walk on Air.) They also found a room with 20 newtmen in it, and just like nine sessions ago, Vryce ran in and chopped them up. Raggi did too, but fell ("Damn it! Again!"), although he got to his knees and from there killed a few with Cleaving Strike. Dryst cast Gift of Tongues and tried to convince the newtmen to surrender, but they wouldn't. And Pete charged in and was shot down and poisoned. They'd end up carrying him home.

They captured one newtman (Raggi kicked it and stunned in, instead of killing it with his axe), but it only said "You not master! Die! Die Die Die!" until Raggi snapped its neck.

After this the group gathered up their loot (fish, some swords, a spotted owlbear hide in one room, and the cinders from the fire-men) and headed home. Clearing their six meant nothing of any threat waited for them.

* I mentioned this and Dryst's player said "The hobgoblins called them fire-men, and that's what we're calling them." Good enough.


Yeah, free henchmen. That'll be a post all by itself.

Lucky Pete and his repeated claims of "this is my lucky day" or "Lucky I have my knife!" etc. was really more amusing than I'd hoped. And as hapless as he was, he wasn't detrimental.

Scouting with servants is interesting, but hey, IQ 9 and Per 9. They miss a lot even if they make good trap triggers.

Most fights are pretty much "we're fine" and then suddenly "we won" or "oh shit." The snakes fight was like that - it was short, but everyone was nervous and couldn't figure what made it work. Heh. They called them "phase serpents" and "ghost serpents." Maybe, maybe not.

The fish went for 50,000 sp - that's $50K. They were strongly tempted to let Dryst keep it as a power item (that's north of 40 power!) but it was their main loot, and if he kept it everyone else would have taken a pretty meager hoard. In the end, they netted out over $13K each, although they still haven't figured out some puzzles:

- what's with the koi pond?

- why do lizard men nail hides to walls?

- where are they getting deer hides from anyway? ("they trade with the deer for them" and "they raise subterranean domestic deer" were right up there.)

- was that the third level? Or did that pit go to the third level? The spiral stairs were too steep but too shallow to be a full level beneath level 2, or maybe they weren't - they dropped maybe 18' give or take.

Lots of stuff to explore - next week, if I get enough people (in other words, one more than just Dryst, since we play at his house.)

Oh, and MVP was Dryst. He's been building his spell selection up for Resist Fire specifically to nail the Flame Lords (okay, fire-men) and it paid off in spades.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Giving Out Treasure, Part II - How much to put?

Yesterday I suggested figuring out how much delvers need for a trip to be profitable. Enough to get by plus enough to incrementally work towards upgrades and training, that is.

Basically establish the cost of doing business for adventuring so you can decide what's enough to put out there for them to find.

A commenter on my Google Plus stream suggested throwing out the whole "how much do they need" and just calibrating what they spend it on. That's not a bad idea starting from scratch, but I already have a very well developed system of costs/rewards for the money. It's easy to add to it but not to rescale it if I suddenly handed out 10x as much treasure and just wanted to change how it affects them when spent. But it's not a bad idea at all.

Now that you've got a number in mind - cost x delvers - you can place away.

Here is what I've learned.

You need to put in a multiple of that. - If delvers need X treasure each, and you have 6 delvers, putting in 6x isn't enough. Not unless it's sitting in neatly stacked piles of coins on the floor in the middle of an easily-located room.

You need to put in extra, a buffer, to give them a range of anything from 0x (we found nothing! This dungeon sucks!) up to at least 12x or more.


They won't find it all. This is less true in smaller "one-trip" dungeons than in megadungeons, but it's true. They won't find it all. They won't look up and see the chest on the ledge. They won't check that one closet where the fur coats and hanging. They might not check for a false bottom in that chest or look under the altar or fish around in the pool of green slime.

Some might get bypassed or destroyed. They might just have to skip the dragon's hoard because they're too beat up to take him on. They'll possibly throw fire spells into the room full of ransomable prisoners not realizing it's not entirely full of orcs.

Some won't fetch full value. One classic mistake I used to make was putting in, say, $500 (in GURPS) or 500 gp (AD&D) worth of salable stuff in to a hoard, and then letting the PCs sell it . . . for a percentage of that. Say, used goods, Balto gives you half price. So my 500 gp worth of stuff was really 250 gp, tops.

So if you place by value, remember to consider what the actual sale value will really be. This can hit you both ways - in GURPS, a skilled or well-connected (aka Wealthy) seller can push the price up to more than double the expected value. You need to be aware that if you give them 500 worth of gear they might get as little as 250 for it or as much as 500+ for it. Plan for the low end, if you're concerned they might walk away with too little.

They'll keep some of it. My players do this very, very often. So much so, that I checked one character who was perpetually broke and found he had north of $25,000 worth of gear. Starting money is $1,000. How did this happen? He kept a magical shield, the most valuable jewelry found so far for a power item, and filled up on better gear.

You may put in an ornate suit of really demonic-looking plate armor and have the cleric decide to keep it. ("The Good God doesn't mind me looking badass.") That can drop the haul from "enough to make a living and pay the rent" to "Do you think you can let me slide?" in no time, even if they got something more costly than they could afford. It's happened in a few of my sessions that they took home real, true wealth, but didn't turn it into money.

     Note, however, the reverse will happen. They'll sell the armor you placed, sell the would-be-valuable-later meteoric weapon, convert the potions into cash, etc. with exactly the stuff you most expected them to keep. You get to play god but it's their game too, and you can't force them to keep stuff without lots of unpleasantness. My suggestion? Let them buy it back when it turns out they need it.

Adventuring can get you killed. Or cursed. Or crippled. Or possessed by demons. So it's quite possible some of the "profits" will go right into "unexpected one-time charge" because of a bad roll or a poor decision.

This also means some treasure will be bypassed because of fear or certain of death. A party badly weakened by previous encounters might need to head home, not head for more loot. So you can't bank on them finding everything, if only because the monsters and traps attach a cost to the treasure.

All of that is why I think you want to put at least double the treasure you want them to end up with - they'll never get all of it, or realize the value of all of it. There needs to be extra. How much extra is probably another post . . .

Friday, July 12, 2013

Giving Out Treasure, Part I - How Much Do They Need?

o you prefer giving out heaps of treasure, or being stingy?

Perhaps too-influenced by Gary Gygax's "Placement of Monetary Treasure" in the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, I tend to place too little.

When it comes to either magical or monetary, I tend to be stingy. Too stingy, often. I give out so little that people are risking death in return for pay they'd get more easily elsewhere.

I have been consciously trying to counteract that. It's hard, because you simultaneously want to keep a handle on the amount of gear they can buy, people they can hire, bribes they can pay, etc. You want them to stay hungry.

But you also want them to reap some riches, enjoy some wealth, upgrade their goods, and otherwise justify risking eventually-certain death fighting monsters. And if you give them too much, it's possible to just give them more things to buy to bleed some of that money away.

I'm still a bit cheap on magical gear, but I whipped up some rough guidelines on what needs to be there to make the game worth the wager.

So how do you know what's enough, what's too little, and what's too much?

Calculate the cost of living. First, figure what it'll actually cost for the characters to do the things they expect to do. You know, pay the rent, eat some food, travel to the adventuring locales, replenish their expendables (ammunition, rechargable magical items, torches, etc.), and repair damaged goods.

Once you know what a delve costs, you can start to figure out what's the minimum they need to take home for a successful trip.

Calculate the cost of upgrades. What's it going to cost for the PCs to upgrade their power? GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8: Treasure Tables has a good guide to this.

If you can buy magic items, or enchant your own (writing scrolls, mixing potions), this can eat up a lot of cash. Even if you run a no-magical-item-shop type game, access to higher quality mundane goods is something to keep in mind. What's out there they'll want to buy?

Calculate the cost of training. Does training cost you money in your game? Figure out how much they'll expect to spend.

Calculate miscellaneous costs. Did they borrow money to fund the delve, or promise a tithe? Is there some hidden cost or one-time charge they need to meet? You'll need to know that, too.

Now, add that all together and you know what's too little (less than that), what's roughly enough (equal or higher), and the start of an idea of what's too much (enough to upgrade substantially after each trip, say, or simply retire.)

Simply put, you need to know what the trip takes out of the PCs and what getting ready for the next trip will require before you know what's worth risking your life over.

In part II, I'll talk about how much you need to put to ensure "too little," "enough," or "too much."

In the comments, I'd love to hear what people think they do - do you feel like you give out too much, not enough, or too little?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What good is Meteoric Armor?

Meteoric armor isn't common in my DF game.

It's a niche armor in a world where magic is relentlessly hostile much of the time, but vitally beneficial as much of the time.

But it is useful in certain circumstances. Here is basically what I do in my DF game.

Stops Touch-Based Spells - Meteoric armor stops Melee spells cold. They simply can't work on a bodypart covered with meteoric armor. A fair number of monsters in my games have touch attacks, and some of them are magical. They won't work. Since some of those effects are stunningly lethal, meteoric armor brings you from "dead" to "unharmed" for some mere cost of DR in other circumstances.

In fact, it'll fail to trigger touch-based spells of any kind, so if someone casts by touch to cut the range penalty to -0, too bad, it doesn't work. A step by a meteoric iron boot might be noisy but it won't set of Nightingale or Watchdog or Link. You'd need to be fully encased to totally ignore Regular spells in my game, but you're still doing well if you can ignore some other spells.

Most spells create some kind of real, physical effect, which makes negating those spells tricky. A very strong ruling on meteoric would say that they negate that effect - so a sword created with Create Object can't hurt you, a Created Warrior can't punch you, a Cornucopia created arrow will simply fade away. Would this extend to Missile spells? It could. They create a very real effect, but it's temporary. However, this is a slippery slope down to "immunity to all physical effects from magic" which is more potent than I think it's worth making it. If you can ignore the fire from Create Fire, can you ignore the wind from Windstorm or the temblor from Earthquake? Seems iffy and difficult. You can carve out niches, though - perhaps things based on Create Object simply don't have any effect, while spells that create a real "thing" that lasts on its own do (so Create Fire would work, but not Fireball). Ironically, in this case the best way to attack someone with meteoric armor is to directly attack the wearer, not try to penetrate the armor!

It ignores magical armor penetration spells - If Penetrating Weapon is indeed priced as low as the books say it is, it's going to be common. It won't work on meteoric armor.

You can equally say it is fully proof against magical weapon enhancements of all kinds - no Puissance either - none of the offensive weapon enchantments have any effect on meteoric armor. Simply ignore them - they're the magical effect of enchantments/temporary spells that can't work their magic on the armor they hit.

Proof vs. Magical Sight - Magical detection spells can't trace a line-of-sight through meteoric armor. This seems minor, but it does mean you can hide small allies behind your meteoric shield to avoid Sense Life or put a special item in your pocket and ignore See Secrets.

And by the way, don't forget your meteoric iron shield is a weapon, too. A meteoric weapon at that. So is your meteoric mailed fist . . . Spiked Meteoric Armor is probably a great way to go for grappling magical creatures with touch attacks.

These aren't an overwhelming suite of powers, really, for some pretty pricey armor. To be fair, most armor enhancements are very pricey for what they do (look at fine, at +9 CF!) And again, it's a niche armor type. In my opinion, it makes for a good special armor piece (a breastplate or gloves when you expect to deal with touch-based attackers, say), or as a shield (all the bennies of an iron shield, plus it's a meteoric weapon) than a general-purpose armor set. But the same can be said for others - spiked being another example. It's very useful in a narrow band.

That's basically how I deal with meteoric armor in my game.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Show & Tell With Minis - Followup

We did my Show & Tell today with my minis. It was a bigger hit than I'd expected. We ended up spending almost 20 minutes on them. The kids got really into it, and they wanted to touch all of the minis. They were extremely careful with them, holding them the same way I did (by the edge of the base).

I showed them some of my brushes (my old Series 7, not the new one, just in case), some of the paints (I brought some Apple Barrel Colors and Vallejo), and some blister-packed and half-finished minis so they can see how they start, progress, and then end.

The other teacher got some pictures, I'll try to get a copy tomorrow, although I'll need to redact the kid's images.


- they loved my otyugh. Yes, he came out really well. All of them touched his teeth to see how they felt.

- they also really like my orc boar rider, which is a kitbash of an orc from an old Reaper set, a Savage Orc Boar Boyz boar, and a weapon swap from a scimitar to an axe from a Reaper Weapon Pack. He was last to return to the box.

- they were amazed by the eyes. I explained how I do it - a dot of white, and then a little whisker of black down, giving the illusion of a real eyeball. It's not hard, just delicate, but they liked how it looked and were amazed I could do it.
The visored viking I have impressed them, although it's not any harder to do eyes behind a visor. If you can see the eyes, they're just as easy to paint - for me anyway.

- they arranged all of the figures in height order, with monsters on the side. Then they put them in some other order I didn't quite get.

It was amazing how excited they got. They really showed me why I like minis - they're imagination sparking. They're tactile and interesting. They're fun. I could have explained RPGs to them, but I probably made vastly more of an impact putting down an otyugh and a ninja and a hook-handed pirate and a knight than I would explaining how you could fight the former with any of the latter in your imagination.

As I headed out, one kid says "Goodbye figures. See you."

Edit - pictures after the cut!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Show & Tell with Minis

My posting frequency might drop a little this week, as I'm helping teach English at summer camp at my school.

But today, one kid asked me "What's your hobby?"

So I told them I paint miniatures. Easier to explain than RPGs or MMA (I get tired of explaining that I fight for fun), really, especially to second language learners. I told them I'd bring some in tomorrow and show what I mean, since I think they're thinking, say, Gundam statuettes.

I picked out about a dozen minis. This is more work than just grabbing my game-ready case, but I don't want it to be too huge of a production. For that reason my dragon mini stays home, so do some of my more fragile ones.

But I packed up a shambling mound, my otyugh, and Eye of Death (I made those by hand), my efreet wearing his Pantaloons of Eyes (complete with hand-painted eyes), a ninja, a pirate, and a few of my best humans and humanoids.

I also grabbed a brush or two, and a couple of paints, so they can see what I use. Some half-finished minis and a blister or two of brand-new ones from my "someday" pile should help make it clear what the process is like.

Here is hoping nothing get broken (they're good kids, I think they can stay hands-off, if I explain the rules about touching first).

Yeah, show and tell with minis tomorrow. Maybe emergency gluing session tomorrow night.

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