in Fantasy, Retroclone, RPG, Solo Actual Play

Scarlet Heroes, Part eight – Urban adventure, Part five

Scene ten

As Kasumi listens at the door, it’s time to decide what’s actually going on; if the current score would have been a Complete Victory, we’d go with Option 2 – Yanmei has actually been kidnapped; as it’s only a partial victory, we’ll pick randomly.

“If this is true, perhaps we deserve to be punished?” asks Yanmei.

“Punished for what?  Wanting to better ourselves?  Bullshit.” replies an unknown man.

“Wait.  Did you hear that?” says a third person.

Having moments before the room’s inhabitants decide to investigate, Kasumi takes the initiative and bursts in.

Scene type: Action

Guide the Target or another important Actor out of the foe’s reach for at least a temporary period.  Roll a die; on an odd result face a fight to protect them as well as the check. (roll: 3 – A fray!)

There’s a moment of silence as the room’s inhabitants stare at Kasumi.  Two men and a woman are sitting at a low table on which are drinks and the remains of a meal.  The woman looks tired and dishevelled, but otherwise unhurt; Kasumi recognises her as Yanmei.  The closest of the men is well dressed, and has an ivory prosthesis in place of his left hand; Boss Nobu.  The last of the trio is wild-eyed, and dressed bizarrely in layers of brightly coloured, ragged clothing.

Kasumi leaps onto the low table, scattering cups and plates and grabs Yanmei, dragging the startled woman to her feet, whilst Nobu stands and pulls a corded rope behind him.  In the guard rooms, a bell rings.  The sorcerer yells, “You’re going to ruin everything!” and gestures towards Kasumi.

Boss Nobu: HD 2, AC 7, Attack +2, Damage 1d8 or 1d4+poison, Morale 9, Skill +2, Special – A poisoned blade in concealed in his prosthetic hand.

Jagged Ichiro: HD 2, AC8, Attack +2, Damage 1d4 or magic, Morale 9, Skill +2, Special – Magic: Amber cloud of Somnolence, Seven Small Thunders, The Deceitful Vision

Boss Nobu’s guards will start showing up at round 5, whilst Ichiro’s pet snake will show up at round 6.  Kasumi is hoping to be out of the room and running by then.

There’s a deafeningly loud peal of thunder, and lightning strikes Kasumi. (2 damage)

“Come with me, I’m here to get you out of here!  Akiko sent me!” says Kasumi to Yanmei, (Charisma roll at +0; -1 modifier, +1 Lawyer friend: 13) who fortunately believes her and stands up to follow.

Round two

Kasumi drags Yanmei to the exit as Boss Nobu steps forwards to bar her path, and Ichiro chants a second incantation.

Kasumi stabs at Nobu with her spear, drawing blood but not downing the man (1 damage); Nobu palm strikes with his fake hand, a poisoned spike emerging from the wrist as he connects; the injury burns, but Kasumi seems otherwise unaffected by the poison.

Ichiro finishes his incantation and strands of amber smoke envelope Kasumi, Yanmei and Boss Nobu; the two women yawn and stagger, but keep moving.  Boss Nobu drops like a log.  Ichiro curses.

Now out of the room, Kasumi and Yanmei keep running; the mansion will soon be on high alert and they still need to escape.

Scene roundup

Clues: 1

Victory points, Kasumi: 10

Victory points, Antagonist: 5

Heat (Red Spiders): 4

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 2 (Increased Notoriety here automatically because of the confrontation with Nobu)

Scene eleven

Scene type: action

Despoil or ruin a sanctum or safehouse belonging to the foe. Roll a die; on an odd result face a fight as well as the check

Alarm bells and shouts rise up across the mansion as Kasumi and Yanmei flee.  Intending to distract their pursuers, Kasumi stops beside a lantern and picks it up.  As she prepares to fling it against one of the paper screen-doors, Yanmei grabs her arm, “You can’t burn the mansion!  There’s too many innocent staff.”

“The mansion’s large and the fire will be small; they’ll get out in time,” says Kasumi attempting to persuade both herself and Yanmei, but the words fall flat. (Charisma roll, total 5 vs. 9)

“No, you’re right.”  Kasumi puts the lantern down and they continue to hurry out of the building.

They’re going to have to face two fights rather than one to exit the mansion.  Yanmei will fight in self-defence, but will not actively attack.

Rounding a corner they run into the first opposition, Jagged Ichiro and a small mob of thugs.

Jagged Ichiro: HD 2, AC 8, Attack: +2, Damage 1d4 or magic, Morale 9, Skill +2, Special, Magic; The Deceitful Vision

Thugs (6): HD 1, AC 9, Attack +0, Damage: 1d4, Morale 7

“Stay back!” yells Kasumi to Yanmei as she charges through the group of thugs, dropping one with a well timed strike (fray, 1 dmg) and striking at Ichiro; he smoothly leans out of the way in a serpentine manner, and then casts a spell.  Yanmei screams as the sorcerer’s pet serpent slithers out of the darkness behind her.  (Ichiro casts The Deceitful Vision)

What about the real snake?

It will arrive in 2d6 (4) rounds.

The thugs see the snake and are rattled, but hold and attack Kasumi.  Four of the five land their attacks, most drawing blood (3 damage total)

Round 2

Time to snake – 3 rounds

Kasumi decides to concentrate on Ichiro, reasoning that the snake may flee when its master is dead and manages to wound him, taking down two more of the thugs in the process. (fray, 2 damage; spear 1 damage)

Ichiro curses her and runs; the remaining three thugs however do not notice and continue to fight (Ichiro morale failure, thugs morale success), but of their blows that land, none wound Kasumi.

Round 3

Time to snake – 2 rounds

Another thug falls, and Kasumi is dealt another wound.

Round 4

Time to snake – 1 round

In a desperate flurry of strikes, Kasumi downs the remaining two thugs before they can retaliate once more.

The illusionary snake vanishes, and they both hear the angry hissing of the sorcerer’s pet as it approaches.  The women flee before the snake can catch up with them.

They travel swiftly through the house avoiding search parties, until finally they stand at the threshold of the courtyard.  Between them and freedom – Shiro the Ogre, a couple more thugs, and the three dogs that were previously chained up, their leashes now held by one of the thugs.

Shiro: HD 3, AC 6, Attack +3/1d10, Morale 10

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

Dogs (3): HD 1, AC 8, Attack +1, Damage 1d4, Morale 8

“You’re not going anywhere, so why don’t you put down your weapons, and if you’re really lucky, the boss’ll let you live.”   Shiro says, his sword planted in the ground in front of him.

“And how about you face me on your own?  Or are you too scared that I’ll send you running again?” says Kasumi as she walks forwards, spear at the ready.

(Charisma + Warrior monk check vs. 12 to taunt Shiro into accepting the challenge. Result – 9 L )

“Nah,” says Shiro, “how about this instead – take these guys down, and I’ll deign to fight you.”

At his signal, the dogs are released and the two thugs move forwards.

With a wild series of strikes, Kasumi manages to take down two of the dogs before they can bite, (fray 0, but 2 damage from her actual attack) and the third leaps for her, but gets nothing more than a mouthful of cloth from her sleeve.  The two thugs hang back and attack half-heartedly at best.

Taking advantage of the dog’s surprise and the thug’s hesitation, Kasumi dispatches them (fray 2, attack 1) and advances on Shiro.  “You were saying?”

Shiro snarls and charges, but his attack is deflected off her shield. (a hit, but 0 damage)

The combatants circle and feint, testing each other’s defences before Kasumi is able to dart forwards and spear Shiro in the ribs (two misses, followed by 2 damage dealt by Kasumi); thrown off-balance, Shiro’s counterattack is off-target.

Seeing weakness, Kasumi strikes again, but her spear is slapped aside and Shiro’s blade strikes hard (2 damage to Kasumi).

Realising that she can’t take a second blow like that, Kasumi regains her footing and puts everything into a final strike, taking the shou-blooded thug through the throat. (1 damage)

Pulling her spear free of the dying heavy, she turns to Yanmei, “Time to go.”

Scene roundup

Clues: 1

Victory points, Kasumi: 10

Victory points, Antagonist: 5

Heat (Red Spiders): 5

Notoriety (Red Spiders): 2


With the rescue of the Doctor and a 5 point victory point margin, this has been a complete success for Kasumi; she’ll get 2 xp, bringing her up to level 2; she gains 4 HP and can memorise another level 1 spell a day.

Both Boss Nobu and Jagged Ichiro are alive and know who she is; it’s time to leave town – something she was planning to do anyway due to her promise to Jiro a couple of days ago.  She has a discussion with Yanmei about the ruin they looted and the monster they awoke; Yanmei thinks it might be some type of demon, but doesn’t really know.  She does remember where the ruin was and tells Kasumi.


The urban adventure engine works quite well, though continuing till either side gets 10 victory points could lead to stories that go on for way too long, or a series of Conflict scenes with varying results could lead to a score that stays relatively static.  Reducing the number of points needed would lead to a much shorter story, as would making the total number of points gained by either side count – this would also lead to much closer victories.