Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Some excellent Memorial Day Gaming at CoGS Con I

CoGS I? Tim, Dwayne and myself have been gaming forever experiencing a huge variety of gaming together. One time we set out to create our own RPG until we realize how much of a pain in the ass it was to get it to a quality we felt it would be acceptable to publish. For a brief time the rules were named the CoGS system for Conley, Gillingham and Shorts. After seeing the price on renting conference rooms here in Meadville we just might add running a small OSR/gaming con to our list.

So for CoGS I there was only one event, Dwayne of Gamers Closet completed Keep. Beforehand Dwayne told me to make up some character. I must have been tired or something because I thought he wanted a dozen instead of 5.

I figured that it was some type of battle scenario and pressed for time I relied heavily on DF Adventure 1, Mirror of the Fire Demon; Henchthings chapter. The downside of that is that the characters had little in the way of non-combat skills. Something that generated considerable amusement and frustration later.

However inspired by the campaign Dwayne ran I scoured the internet for suitable pictures to use as character portraits. That was well-received. Not so well-received was the use of random Anglo-Saxon and Viking names. Particularly all the Athels (Athestan, Athelbert, etc).

Here is a PDF of what I created. They are designed to print out on 4x6 index cards and have both GURPS and Swords & Wizardry stats.  Yeah I drew some of the vikings pictures from the recently concluded Viking series. Which I highly recommend by the way.

So with the preliminaries out of the way, Saturday came around and we all gathered there by the early afternoon.

This is the Keep before the adventure started

The roster was as follows
Me - Sir Ellestan, a foot knight
Tim - Elder Athelstan. a priest of Mitra.
Josh - Athelbert, a yeoman fighter.
Ken - Belafore a priest of Thor and whose name we could never remember.
Kelly Anne  Alia Juliet Rose, a (cough) scout.
Gregory - Cutie, another yeoman fighter and represented by a lego figure.

The journey to the keep was pretty eventful with a jerk captain foisted on us at the last minute by my commander's rival at court. Then later he wound up dead seemly by my hand until Belafore used his magic to figured out it was another, an assassin with legendary powers.

Finally as the nominal "leader" of the party I got to carry around this figurine of a sleeping man which allowed me to communicate with the King's Archmage in the dreamworld. The main catch being that he could draw me in at anytime. And apparently time doesn't flow normally so something a long meeting occurs in a short amount of real time, and other times, like with the assassin, a short meeting can take a long amount of real time. After the assassin I took it off my person and stowed it despite the ramifications of pissing off the Archmage. I didn't need a summon in the middle of combat! Especially with GURPS and 1 second combat rounds.

Finally we arrived at the Keep and went to an audience with the Baron. This barony is one of the newest to join the Great Kingdom and its culture is very much like our vikings. However the Baron has jumped into assimilation with the Great Kingdom in a big way with the keep as the centerpiece.

During the audience we are invited to feast that night and were given lodgings at the Inn

At the feast we found out that many people have disappeared from town including the Baron's niece. Unfortunately the Baron's brother is a hardcore viking traditionalist so we didn't have any luck getting any information from him. After doing some investigation, Tim, playing the priest Athelstan, found out there was a nearby oracle; the Blood Oracle. During this the lack of non-combat skills became apparently which was the source of much mirth directed at me and many blown rolls as various skills were attempted at GURPS' default vaue.

On the way to the Blood Oracle we ran into Orcs.

Athelbert, the guy circled in red, decided to ignore the advice over on Dungeon Fantastic and runs ahead of the party. It hard to see but there is a fallen tree marked on the map between him and the orcs. That and a +1 bless amulet saves his bacon. Although I had to stop him later from proving Newton's First Law of Motion by hanging onto him when he went over the cliff on the right of the map. One thing I did was take the time for my character and to get the other characters to shoot the  long orc archer on the upper slopes to the left of the map. That could made the fight much worse if the party left him unchecked.

Finally we made it to the Blood Oracle.

Cue ominous music.

A statue in the temple tells us that we have to overcome the guardians before our questions would be answered. And just like an old Harryhausen film the skeletons rise.

I wasn't much use during this fight as I mistakenly thought that I couldn't effect the skeletons. I spent much of the fight avoiding being engulfed by these moss creatures. Only at the very end I was any use to the party by shield slamming two skeletons and stomping on one until it stopped moving. One of the virtue of GURPS that visualizing the actions becomes very natural.

The party just after defeating the guardians.

The party venturing into the rest of the temple.

We finally got our questions after Athelbert answering the riddle, and Belafore flaming the Water Elemental. Of course with the water elemental, we only needed to toss a coin in but the flaming did the job.

From the Oracle we got enough to believe that the missing people were in the crypts of the Keep. So we headed back and explained our finding to the Baron. His brother didn't want us southerners to defile the crypts of his ancestors with our presence. His argument was inconsistent with his traditionalist stand and in retrospect we should have hit that angle harder than we do.

As it was we standing at the crypt's entrance when Belafore, the Baron, and his brother entered the Crypt. When of course both groups get attack. Apparently the brother had enough of the Baron and the Grand Kingdom and made a pact with the Lord of Darkness to gain the Barony and expel the Great Kingdom. Along with this he had allies from the mysterious east to help. Several samurai attacked in the Crypt's Entrance.

I wish that I can say the ensuing battle was a masterpiece of an adventuring group turning the odds and winning the day. Well we won the day but it was more of seeing who can emulate the Keystone Cops the least. I fumbled spectacularly on a sure shot and found myself on the ground. Alia Juliet Rose gets hammered and taken down. Elder Athelstan decides he doesn't need a weapon after all and throws his mace at the samurai, and the list goes on. But the opposition doesn't do much better. As one samurai was about to teach Sir Ellestan, my character, the lesson of why you don't do an all-out attack on a fully capable opponent, he wrenches his right arm and drops his sword.

In the end we did win, kinda of.  Despite her character going down I think it was my wife's lucky D20 hairstick that provided the edge.

The game was a lot of fun and the work that Dwayne put into the Keep and other models was simply amazing. I hope we will be able to this next year with something similarly spectacular and perhaps get it setup to have others join in the fun.

Until then Fight On!

1 comment:

Peter V. Dell'Orto said...

Nice models, and it sounds like it was a fun game!