We had a short session where the players explored the basement of the house of Kautsky. As the session began we started the battle between the guardian horrors in the basement and the players. I used the stats from a Zombie and modified them slightly to match the Ciimba from the original campaign. The group had a tremendous fight against the horrors where especially Ludvig was hard-pressed by one of the guardians until the others came to his rescue. As the dust settled after the last of the guardians had been beaten so severely that it collapsed, the players began to explore the basement chamber. They found a cache of ritual knives in one of the corners, and in the alcove were the guardians came from they found all of the ritual items used by the cult. On a stand, they found the headdress of the high sorcerer as well as a leopard skin cloak and a pair of gloves made to resemble the claws of a lion. In a corner, they found a carved staff and a copper bowl, along with a metal headband that was warm to the touch. Hanging on the wall they found a large wooden mask carved in a horrible scream with a strange swirling symbol above the eye holes and ending in the carving of three screaming heads. Finally, they found a small lockbox on the floor, which they didn't open out of fear of what it might hide. Konrad packed up all the items in his backpack so they could hand it over as evidence against the cult.
They now turned their attention to the large slab of stone resting on the floor in one end of the chamber. Dieter began to use the pully which pulled the ropes anchored to the stone, slowly lifting the lid of the pit below. As soon as the slab left its resting place allowing sound to escape the pit a horrible moaning sound began to assault the heroes' mind forcing all of them to make a Challenging Cool test. Only Otto managed to resist the effect of the horror down in the pit. The rest where either crippled in fear or forced to flee the horrible images forced upon them by the sound. Otto quickly ran to the pully and pulled the pin preventing the slab from being lowered. When the stone again blocked access to the pit the heroes where freed from the effects of the moaning. The party decided to leave the basement and return to the order of the Silver hammer with the evidence. When they opened the door to the shop they saw a large group of armed locals approaching the entrance with murder in their eyes.
- Spoilers -
We finally had a regular fight that the players enjoyed, but we spent quite a bit of time crawling through the rules and trying to get the rules right. Especially around death, we found it hard to understand when a person was out of combat. This is an area we will get to explore again in the next session as we are again starting with a battle. I find some of the rules around combat confusing and it would be great if the rulebook presented the runes more clearly, like what happens when both fighters roll the same success level, is it defender or attacker wins or is it a draw and nothing happens. In my opinion, it's too hard finding these rules quickly for reference during a session.
We have also chosen to limit the number of advantages a player can gain. Each player can only gain a number of advantage points equal to their Weapon Skill bonus. So a player with Weapon Skill 34 can gain 3 advantage while a player with weapon skill 56 can gain 5 advantage. The advantage seems to have a huge effect on combat and I need to focus on how to "manage" the player's advantage using varied adversaries.
I was prepared for a number of different solutions the players might have come up with should then have overcome the initial challenge from the Chakota in the pit, but as only one managed to overcome the challenging Cool test they never came that far. The players had no desire to find out what happened if they opened the pit and left it for later. The entire session in the basement felt horrible and the players seemed to really get into the threat of the dark powers, which also affected their decisions about what to do.
- Items -
Lion claws: Melee weapon, Enc: 1, Availability: Unique, Reach: Average, Damage: +SB+2, Qualities: Fast
High sorcerers robes: This leopard-skin cloak if ornamented with feathers from the Border Princes and is of excellent quality. It is worth quite a few coins if the right buyer can be found.
Mask of Hayama: Marks of Tzeentch made from wood that is not of this world. If worn as explained in the campaign the mask grants a vision from Tzeentch and the wearer much immediately make a Challenging Willpower test or receive 1d10 corruption points.
The "copper" bowl: The bowl appears to be made of copper but is in fact mixed with warp stone and can be used to send visions from Tzeentch to potential cult members. Possessing the bowl for 2 days time will require the holder to take Average Toughness tests or gain 1 corruption point per 2 days the bowl is in their possession. A scroll with the spell can be found in the Lanric Society in Nuln.
The carved scepter: This scepter is a magical item that grants +5% to any channeling test when held. It is carved with the symbols of the changer of ways.
Metal headband: This grey metal is inscribed with ancient runes of dwarven origin. The band grants the wearer a +10% to any Willpower test against mental influence.