in Fantasy, Retroclone, RPG, Solo Actual Play

Scarlet Heroes, Part seven – Urban adventure, Part four

Scene six

Once in the mansion, Kasumi is going to poke around a bit more to try and find out what’s actually happening.

I could swop over to the Dungeon adventure rules here, but I want to test out each adventure engine as a discrete thing rather than play mix ‘n’ match.

Scene type: Investigative

Bribe an actor to give you a clue.  Roll a die; (10) on an odd, face a Conflict scene with them or on their behalf and win it to succeed.  On an even, pay a reasonable bribe or fail the scene.

Kasumi strolls through the mansion trying to look casual in her stolen clothes; she’s looking for a servant to question for the same reason that she’d originally considered disguising herself as one – they tend to hear an awful lot due to being mostly unnoticed.

It’s not long before she spots someone likely – a middle aged woman backing out of a room carrying a bundle of bed linen.

NPC details and reaction

NPC details: Middle aged, altruistic, and rolled a 10 on the Unfriendly NPC reaction chart – Qualified consent

“Let me help you with that,” says Kasumi as she approaches the woman, an approach that draws some suspicion – the guards aren’t known for being friendly or helpful to the household staff.  Throwing caution to the wind, Kasumi continues, “I’m not one of them; I’m looking for someone who was brought here a few days ago; I’m guessing they’re a prisoner.”

The woman looks around before replying “I did hear something, but if I help you and word gets out, I can’t stay here.”

Already obliged to escort one person out of the city, Kasumi says, “I can give you some money, but I can’t offer anything else.”

They settle on 3gp (Minor bribe is 5gp, but the woman is Altruistic and the reaction roll was decent)

The servant, Sulin, shares what she knows about the manor and Boss Nobu’s ‘guest’.

Scene roundup

Clues: 2

Victory points, Kasumi: 6

Victory points, Antagonist: 2

Heat (Red Spiders): 3

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 1

Scene seven

Scene type: Action

A tangled web

Before starting the next scene we need to discover what the actual relationship is between Yanmei the physician, the Red Spiders, and the mysterious Sorcerer whose influence was discovered in Scene two.

Using the Actor Relationship table I’ve come up with the following options:

Scenario one

Yanmei actually runs the Red Spiders; her work as a physician was a cover, and Boss Nobu is merely the public frontman of the gang. The ‘kidnapping’ was arranged due to the return of The Sorcerer.

The Sorcerer was married to Yanmei in the past. This was a ruse to gain control of the Red Spiders, either through manipulation of Yanmei or by having their eventual children inherit the gang, which would result in the merger of the Red Spiders with the Ghost Knives – the cartel run by the Sorcerer’s family. Despite the antagonism between the Spiders and Ghosts, some outside force threatens both groups and the Sorcerer is here to negotiate a truce.

Or perhaps this is more likely?

Scenario two

Yanmei, The Sorcerer and Boss Nobu were childhood friends who decided to go into the treasure hunting business. During what would be their last expedition they encountered but managed to escape from an ancient horror. They took their share of the loot and went their separate ways. 20-30 years later, The Sorcerer has come under the effects of a curse and traced it back to the entity they encountered; he believes that it will spread to the other two, and that all three of them need to return to the site and deal with it. Nobu was easy to persuade, but Yanmei refused, hence the kidnapping.

Face the foe’s best warrior.  Face a fight rather than a check.

One of the things that Sulin had said was that that there was a Sorcerer being hosted in the mansion, and that they seemed close to the boss.  Kasumi gets directions to the guest chambers and heads off to investigate.

The Sorcerer’s rooms are guarded, but by what?

Something alive?

Yes, but…

Alive, but not human is the most obvious answer.

Animal?

Yes

This is swords and sorcery, and we have a Sorcerer.  It has to be a giant snake.

As Kasumi starts to search the Sorcerer’s room, the great serpent that the Sorcerer keeps as a pet and familiar starts slithering towards her.

Giant Serpent: AC 7, Attack Bite +5, Damage 1d8 + poison, Morale 8, HD 5, Skill bonus +2

Difficulty save vs. the poison is 14

Serpent sneaking: 13 vs. Kasumi noticing: 16 (12, +2 wisdom, +2 Warrior Monk)

Kasumi turns and leaps away at the last moment as an oversized cobra strikes at where she’d been standing.  The creature’s head lifts off the ground to well over head height, its hood flares out and it waits swaying and hissing.

Kasumi lunges but misses, but her attempt brought her safely under the fangs of the beast as it too lunged forwards.

Having little experience fighting beasts, Kasumi once more misses.  The Cobra however, doesn’t and its fangs draw blood.

1 damage, save vs. poison : 9+2, a failure.

Poison is Save or Die.  For the first time in this adventure, Kasumi has to Defy Death, for which we roll 1d4 – 1 damage.

The bite is excruciating, and for a moment, Kasumi thinks she’s done for, but manages to shake it off – it didn’t manage to get into her bloodstream in fatal amounts.

She looks around for something she can use to give herself an advantage against the snake and decides to try and blind it with some of the sheets from the Sorcerer’s bed.

Skill check of Dexterity vs. the Serpent’s skill bonus

Kasumi: 11 vs. Serpent: 14

The sheet goes no-where useful, and Kasumi narrowly misses being bitten again.

Regretting not having taken the chance to run, she strikes again, this time drawing blood, whilst narrowly avoiding a counter strike by the snake.

A second clash results in mutual injuries, and Kasumi starts to black out under the effects of the poison.
Defy death roll required again due to a failed save, this time rolled on a d6, doing 2 damage and leaving Kasumi on 1.

This time Kasumi takes the hint and runs, hoping that the serpent won’t follow.

Scene roundup

Clues: 1

Victory points, Kasumi: 6

Victory points, Antagonist: 4

Heat (Red Spiders): 3

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 1

Scene eight

Once certain that she’s not being followed by the snake, Kasumi pauses to patch herself up (restore 2 hp) and cast Hand of Merciful Succour on herself, healing 5 points of damage.

She still doesn’t know what’s going on or where to find the missing Doctor, so it’s time for another investigative scene, as I want to replace the Clue that was lost trying to look around the Sorcerer’s room.

Scene type: Investigative

Stake out a location or Actor.  Whether or not you win the check, the Opponent gains a victory point due to the delay

Taking pains to stay out of the way, Kasumi prowls around the mansion hoping to overhear or notice something of use.

This is going to be a Wisdom check to see if she notices anything useful during her explorations.  Difficulty is 9.

It seems like she spends hours wandering around the mansion listening in on conversations and surreptitiously looking into rooms before overhearing some servants complain about having to carry yet another tray of drinks up to the Boss’s rooms.

Kasumi follows the servant, hoping that she can finally get some light shed on what’s going on and where Yanmei is.

Scene roundup

Clues: 2

Victory points, Kasumi: 7

Victory points, Antagonist: 6

Heat (Red Spiders): 3

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 1

Scene nine

We need another Victory point to make it worth triggering a penultimate action scene, so I roll up a conflict scene – if we win, the opponent’s victory total will go down by one, which will at the least counteract the build-up of Victory points from the number of investigative scenes that have been occurring.

Scene type: Conflict

Waylay or ambush a minion of the foe.

Kasumi follows the servant through the manor until they enter a room with two thugs standing guard outside.  From inside the room, are the sounds of an indistinct though heated conversation between three parties.  Once the servant has finished their business and is safely out of the way, Kasumi launches an attack on the guards.

Thugs (2): HD 1, AC 6, Attack +1, DMG 1d6, Morale 8

Kasumi will have to defeat the Thugs in one round to maintain the element of surprise and gain the Victory point.

It’s quick.  Kasumi walks up to the guards, spear in hand, and before one of them is halfway through the sentence, “Oi, you’re not supposed to be here” she’s on the ground gargling blood, whilst the other is trying to breathe through a crushed windpipe.

Attack roll of 24, with 1 damage dealt on both the fray and normal damage dice.

With the guards down, Kasumi listens at the door for a few moments…

Scene roundup

Clues: 2

Victory points, Kasumi: 8

Victory points, Antagonist: 5

Heat (Red Spiders): 3

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 1

To be continued…

Scarlet Heroes, Part three – Completed character

Kasumi Tanaka 1st level Cleric Str:         7              -1 Dex:       14           +1 Con:       15           +1 Int:         11 Wis:       16           +2 Cha:       8              -1 Attack bonus: +1 HP: 7 AC: 6 (5 with shield) Fray die: 1d6 Traits Warrior Monk: 2 Bursts of Strength: 2 Helped a Skilled Lawyer: 1 Spells […]