I finally got around to writing the blog post for our last game before Christmas. We had a long break over the holidays and it took a while before we got back to the table in the new year.
This episode started with the beginning of a fight in the alley in front of the house of Kautsky (The ju ju house). The shop keeper Gregor Boeglin (Silas N’kwane) had escaped the heroes and sought out the other cultists to get help eliminating the threat to their cult. A large group of cultists had converged upon the shop to engage the assailants. Fortunately for the players, they managed to spot the group coming into the alley so they were able to keep the battle contained to the door into the shop and the display window which quickly got smashed to allow the combatants access. Most of the session was consumed by the fight, both due to the group looking up rules as well as the tactics of the huge battle. In the fight, the players faced 5 bruiser cultists, 2 slingers, and the cult sorcerer Henri Clement (Mukunga M’Dari).
It proved to be a very hard fight for the party, which ended with several characters almost at 0 wounds and Konrad down. But in the end, they managed to defeat all the cultists and their foul leader. As the dust settled the players took in the scene and decided to enlist the aid of the order of the silver hammer in order to deal with the horror in the basement. Konrad and Ludvig hurried to the Domplatz Bezirk and to the grounds of the order. Here they quickly found Luitwin Schuhbeck, Konrads mentor in the order and explained the situation to him. He gathered some acolytes and they followed suit to the house of Kautsky. Luitwin ventured into the basement together with Konrad and two acolytes. There they lifted the lid of the pit and investigated the horrible sounds coming from below. This time Konrad managed to stay his cool and got first sight of the horrors that the ruinous powers can create. Luitwin decided to burn the entire place along with the horror in the pit and ordered those with him to find anything that might burn. As the place of corruption burned, Luitwin commended the heroes on their actions and the success of their investigation, which had lead to the discovery and elimination of a chaos cut.
The group left the Reikerbahn Bezirk to get some well-earned rest.
- Spoilers -
We have not had a lot of combat so this was the first time we really got to dive into it, and I am not sure if it's a consequence of us not being familiar with the rule but we found it hard to pinpoint the rules in the rulebook when we needed to. It was hard to navigate the combat section and on one occasion I had to give up and just make a ruling. We tried to figure out what happened when there was a tie in success levels, but we were unable to find any mention of this and re rules that it was a glancing blow. It anyone has any clues to how this is handled please reach out to me on twitter.
We also got to experience the full "pleasure" of advantage, which I have some reservations about. Not that I feel it's complicated or cumbersome but because I fear what would happen if it ever goes against the players. In this combat, they had the advantage of cover and were able to control much of the battle through preventing the cultists from entering the shop and surrounding them. I am considering lowering the gain for advantage from +10% to +5 and also limiting the positive bonuses from +20/40/60 to 10/20/30. We had many occasions in the battle where the players were virtually unstoppable due to bonuses and advantages. Like one Otto who wears a shield and at one time his WP on parry surpassed 100% against the cultists 40'ish %. I prefer the game to be more equally balanced and feel the tactical advantage gained for making simple moved is far too great. We will stick with the RAW for a bit more until we have more experience and then evaluate if we want to adjust.
One rule we have already added it to limit a character's possible advantage to his or her Weapon skill bonus. This set a limit to how much advantage the players can build, but it still makes good sense that more experienced warriors can take better advantage of the flow in battle.
For the chaos sorcerer, I used a mix of different spells from the school of dark magic and the generic schools. I tried to play him as support for the strong bruisers with him hanging back with the slingers and casting magic missiles at the players as well as occasionally boosting the other cultists. When he finally entered combat he had cast the Aethyric armor and tried to cast a modified version of the witch magic Curse of Ill-fortune, which the target resisted.