Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Party Gets Lucky ~ Round 6

Here is how the map looks at after the players have made their move:

As none of the bugs are stunned at this point, all five of the bugs immediately near the party are able to attack.

Now, in the comments of the last post, I told Engelhart that any hex with two people could not be attacked out of.  This is actually not true of small, somewhat social animals, such as rats, piranha and quite a few insects ~ including these beetles.  However, I have arranged it this time so that no hex has two beetles attacking out of it.  I won't hold myself to this in the future.  The size of the beetles limits their "swarming" to two per hex.  Smaller creatures, less than 18 inches in diameter, can swarm three to a hex.  The beetles are about two feet long.

Here is the map as the beetles all move on the party:

From highest numbered hex to lowest numbered:
  • The beetle in 1210 attacks Lothar, hitting with an 18 and causing 3 damage.  This does not stun Lothar.
  • The beetle in 1208, having moved from 1107, attacks Lothar from behind, with +2 to hit.  It rolls a 7 and misses.
  • The beetle in 1108, having moved from 1008, attacks Engelhart, missing with a 6.
  • The beetle in 1008, having moved from 1207, attacks Rowan, missing with a 2.
  • The beetle in 1007, attacking Gudbrand from below, getting a penalty of -1 for attacking upwards, misses with a 6.
That is the beetles' attack.  The rest come rushing from across the room, but none have enough move to attack.  One beetle, in 0807, does reach Gudbrand and engages him in melee (but Gudbrand was already in a melee hex).

By my count, this makes everyone still free to attack, no one stunned.  Please take whatever action seems best.

Here is the X.P. total earned so far (please correct me if I've missed caused or received damage at some point):

And here is the party's end of round movement for actions recorded below:


Gudbrand Andersen said...

Oh jeez. If you didn't think I was a fool before you're gonna think it now, y'all: I totally forgot to pack a melee weapon. I never had a hand axe -- same boat as Aleksandra -- but I swear I added a dagger. I feel pretty dumb right now. Obviously I'll fix it when we reach town.

Alexis, about the XP counter. Please take away my 6 damage worth of experience from that hit I dealt. I couldn't tell you about my axelessness before everybody had moved on, but let's at least not give me something I couldn't have earned.

As for my turn, my gut says "jump on the beetles" but so far my gut has gotten me nowhere so I'm going to deliberate overnight. Y'all's turns are presumably more straightforward.

(ooc: Dani I'm flattered that you thought I was a grad student but what I've been working on is actually my undergraduate thesis.)

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I pick up my hammer and heave it the nearest bug (1108).

Attack roll: 5.

Damage roll: 2.

If I've enough AP left, I'll shift myself back to 0909. My mind's already on an exit mindset.

Rowan said...

Since I've got a hand free, I'll pick up my spear and toss it to Aleksandra in 1010. I believe that's 2AP, so with the remaining two I'll squash me a bug.

Bug in 1008.

To-Hit: 3
Damage: 6


So, in the event that I decide I'm incapable of landing a blow, would we still get XP for damage on Entangled foes?

Aleksandra Ivanovna said...

Thank you, Rowan!

I catch the spear, move to 1110, and attack that stupid beetle in 1210: 14-2+1=13 to-hit, 3 damage.

Running away is sounding better and better... It's two rounds per-person, since the twine isn't rated to carry more than one of us at a time.

Alexis Smolensk said...


What, what, what am I going to do with players?

I don't want an argument here: just accept it and move on, so that we can get this done.


There, problem solved. NO, I'm not going to take off the x.p. Now please stop equivocating and just play the damn game.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Three rounds a person, Aleksandra: climbing takes longer than descending. But you could save time by one person hoisting another, so that the climbing person only had to climb five feet after the hoist (so in that case, yes, two rounds).

Everyone misses. Wow.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, maybe Gudbrand and Lothar might hit something.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Lothar's damage output is pretty narrowed down, so his only viable target is the already wounded beetle.

For everyone else, if a spell selection can save us, now is kind of the time. I've Bless (useless at the present), Cure Light Wounds (still saving it for an emergency) and Sanctuary.

Sanctuary gives me time to hoist two of you in safety, saving us some rounds; We could've some rounds of pelting these mothers from down the hole for added bite so missile-worthy folks ought to go first.

On the other hand, standing on top of the tomb still gives us some small advantage (attacking and defending), keeping the party cohese is also of the essence, since our foes can crowd at 2 to an hex, things will get very hairy (chitinous...) for whoever is left in the cold. And flank/rear attacks will be the death of us.

All in all, I'll be playing with an eye to shoulder-to-shoulder cohesion plus denying attacks to some of the beetles by keeping them at arms length.

But, yes, either we start getting some solid hits in or all the best laid plans will amount to nothing.

The stunning rules are also pretty brutal at this level of play, by my reckoning we're but an unlucky round away from a no-frills TPK.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Rowan and Engelhart, remember my spell rules. You have to spend a round casting, then discharge the round after. A spell counts as an attack, so you can't attack with a weapon and a spell in the same round. If you're in a melee hex at any time prior to the spell being discharged, you're automatically jostled and your spell is ruined.

So to cast a spell, you have to move to a place where you won't be attacked or even engaged . . . with all these beetles moving around, that will be quite a trick.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Uhm, okay. I was under the impression that we had to be struck by an actual attack to disrupt our casting.

There goes that plan.

I'll be blowing on my dice and praying, then.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yeah. I find a lot of players seem to have that impression. Compelling the enemy to attack requires that the defender . . . defend. If you're casting a spell, you're not defending, therefore you have effectively dropped your guard and reduced yourself to an AC of 20.

Gudbrand Andersen said...

Alright then. "My lucky hand axe" added to my sheet. Move as follows:

2 AP: stick sling in belt
1 AP: draw my hand axe
2 AP: attack the beetle in 1007

d20 roll: 2 + 1 (Str) + 1 (high ground) = 4


Gudbrand Andersen said...

I doubt it matters but the damage roll was 2 + 1 = 3.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Are you guys using d20s for your attack rolls?

Gudbrand Andersen said...

Sure doesn't seem that way, huh?

If we get TPK'd here I think I'll play a fire beetle.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

We are.

Are you?

Once I realized that these beetles outclassed the mean number of AC of the party I could smell trouble. We came in woefully underprepared (no bless, party members without proficiency or impaired by illness, making little use out of our missile weaponry, the list goes on).

We made a picnic trip out of this and the encounter went from softball to snowball to avalanche. Quite frankly, we deserve whatever we've got coming.

I'm still having a blast, don't let the tone-deaf text fail to carry that over. ;)

Gudbrand Andersen said...

If we make it out of this one, we might want to make a pre-battle checklist!

Engelhart Askjellson said...

@Rowan: might you have some privileged knowledge of these beasties? Fire beetles could have some affinity for fire or heat, such that we may distract them and make our escape? Perhaps they can be upturned on their shells, rendering them defenseless?

Anything, really, that might contradict the ruthless statistician logic of "their side gets double the attacks per turn, ergo, you're going to perish".

Gudbrand Andersen said...

Engelhart, flipping them over sounds like a good idea. (Those of us with sticks and spears might have an easier time with it; I don't relish the idea of wrestling one.) Hope Rowan has info.

Alexis Smolensk said...

My combat system does not incorporate hit location. Technically, you're fighting them the best way you know how, so arguably you ARE trying to flip them over and strike at the soft underbelly.

You just suck at it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Um, Engelhart . . . when you said "heave" the hammer at the bug, did you mean "throw"?

Also, I heard nothing about the replacement hammer. Better?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

No, not throw. No incentive for that, save to throw it away in disgust.

The replacement is fine. Hope we live to enjoy it.

Lothar Svensson said...

I attack the beetle in 1210, then shift around into hex 1109, facing the hex I just left. Then I shout, "Group together!"

Attack: Nat 20(!!)

Damage: 3-1(net)=2

Alexis Smolensk said...


Don't forget the Critical Hits & Fumbles rules for natural 20s.

Won't help you in this case, since the creature had 1 hit point left - you had hit it previously for five damage. Creature is dead, though.

I'll start getting the next round up.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I think in future, I'm going to post the rest of the party's move at the end of the round, rather than at the beginning of the next round. So I have updated this round with an image of how the party has completed their move.

Please correct me if there is reason.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next round is posted.