Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Play report: Fun times in Quyen Valley


"Sir" Donnal
You go to sleep in an army tent in the Hill Cantons and wake up on a barge in the heart of Fantasy Fucking Vietnam, as run by the Calithena Gildenclaw, the fellow who coined the term.  That's life in the FLAILSNAILS multiverse.  Donnal MacDonnal, haphazard adventurer and darling of the first FLAILSNAILS jousting tournament, and his henchweenies Stanislav the World's Dumbest Magic-User and Polg the Nigh-Useless joined a party of hardbitten mercenaries consisting of Seńor Silver, Sigbert the Saxon Soccer Hooligan, Androx the Ambivalent and Grimepaw the Acolyte of St. Bast.  The mission was to clear a small stone keep of its hobgoblish occupiers, for which the local princeling promised us each a sack of gold.

The DM initially described our landing in Quyen as akin to stepping off the boat for the first time in Tekumel.  That had me worried we would all end the session on some sort of local impalement device, but instead we ended up a feast designed to induce us into fighting these dang hobgobbos.  So we end up trekking ten miles through brush and forest, leading our horses and clearing a path with machetes.  We routed around a group of five blue-skinned gigantos with mouths full of tusks, as they seemed to be wandering monsters of either ogrish or giantish strength.  That was a smart move because it turns out we can barely handle hobgoblins.

Sure, the first encounter is with a lone hobgoblin guard who gets a crossbow bolt through the eye before he can raise a hue and cry.  But the second fight with half a dozen of them is pretty intense, even with a party member taking out one of them with some poison slipped into their wine.  Polg proved less useless than usual by successfully back-stabbing one of the hobgoblins.  Then we fought a berserk hobgoblin leader and his orc anti-cleric buddy.  That turned out to be a helluva a fight.  For a couple three rounds in a roll none of the numerous fighters in the party were able to hit jack or squat, but the cleric Grimepaw kept whupping on the bad guys making the rest of us look like chumps.  My favorite part of the fight had to be when one of the badguys tried to escape and Stanislav cast Hold Portal to block him.  At the beginning of the session I asked "Are there any other MUs in the party? I ask because Hold Portal is the closest thing my guy has to an offensive spell."  In fact, it is his only spell besides Read Magic.

I like Stanislav because he is literally the worst MU I have ever seen.  Sure, my buddy Joe once ran a first level MU with Hold Portal as his spell, but at least that dude had reasonable stats.  Poor, stupid Stanislav isn't even a legal character in some editions of D&D, because his Intelligence score is only a five.

Anyway, once these two leader-types are kaput we put their heads on pikes and tell the rest of the hobgoblins to clear on out of the place.  It would have been hilarious to only then discover that these badasses were not the local leadership, but we were right in our guess.  The demoralized remnants of the hobgoblin tribe head for greener pastures and we return to the local lord to claim our reward.