Recruiting Day – Encounter Behind the Scenes

Here is a behind the scenes look at the actual game played that later becomes part of the story. A story idea percolates in the back of my head somewhere. Sometimes it percolates for a long time. The quest that Menalippe is embarking on started years ago when I first discovered a game called “Chain Reaction.” Bits & pieces have floated around for a time & now I think I have enough of it envisioned to start the quest.

Anyway, I actually do play games to help move the story along & to help flesh out the plot. Menalippe has left home with her childhood friend Antiope in search of adventure. The story opens with them walking from their village to the big city to enlist in an expedition. The Wandering encounter on page 92 of “Warrior Heroes: Legends” is the perfect first encounter with one minor adjustment.

The encounter objective is used as is.
20130114-101443.jpgPEF in Section 3

The forces is where I make the adjustment. At this point, my band consists only of Menalippe & Antiope. Instead of generating the NPC, I chose the NPC who will eventually become a member of the band. I also generated the first group of evil doers. For this first encounter, I chose not to give attributes to the individuals generated by PEFs in order to speed up game play. Here are the stats of the forces:

Menalippe – Star – Missile Class – Rep 4; People 3; Savvy 4 – AC 2 – Armed with 3 javelins & a shield – Attributes: Quick Reflexes – Marksman

Antiope – Grunt (co-star) – Soldier Class – Rep 4; People 4; Savvy 3 – AC 2 – Armed with spear & a shield – Attributes: Resolute – Resilient

Eurydice – NPC – Caster Class – Rep 5; People 4; Savvy 5 – AC 2 – Unarmed – Attributes: Arcane Knowledge – Wary – Charismatic

Thief #1 – Rep 4 – Armed with sword
Thief #2 – Rep 4 – Armed with sword
Thief #3 – Rep 4 – Unarmed
20130114-101505.jpgPEFs in Sections 6 & 5

Terrain generation was a no brainer. The entire encounter takes place in the city, so all table sections are buildings & streets.

The encounter calls for no figures to be deployed, but I deployed the NPC & the 1st group of thieves in section 5. Eurydice is being mugged. One thief is holding her down while another thief beats her. The third thief is going through Eurydice’s bag. None of the thieves are on the alert. Their attention is on the mugging.
20130114-101600.jpgThieves mugging the hapless NPC

Under “Special Intstructions”, I chose the day part as morning. The encounter rating is going to be a bit problematic for my games, since they do not take place in Altengard, Capalan, Mirholme, or Tereken. I examined the tables on page 69 & found that cities have encounter ratings of 4 or 5. I decided to roll 1d6. A result of 1-3 meant the encounter rating would be a 4 & a result of 4-6 would be a rating of 5. The rating for this encounter would be a 5.

The next step was to place Menalippe & Antiope onto section 8.

The last step before beginning play was to generate & place PEF markers. The first marker went in section 6, the second in section 5, and the third marker went in section 3. In resolving PEFs I decided I would roll a d3 or 1/2d6. A 1 would resolve into thieves, a 2 would resolve into towns folk, & a 3 would resolve into constables.
20130114-101630.jpgMenalippe & Antiope on the table edge
20130114-101700.jpgThe game starts

Turn 1

Menalippe has heard a cry for help. She & Antiope have left the main streets & entered a run down neighborhood in the poor section of the city to investigate. The heroes won the activation roll & activate first. Menalippe steps around a the corner of a building & comes in sight of a mugging. In sight is rolled & the heroes go first.

Menalippe hurls a javelin at thief #1 & scores a hit. With the impact of the javelin & her marksman skill, the thief is obviously dead.

Antiope charges thief #2. In the melee, the thief is knocked down & is out of the fight.

The third thief, who is unarmed, decides she wants no part of a fight with 2 armed women & runs away.

PEF #1 moves into sight & resolves into 3 thieves, all Rep 3, all armed with swords. The heroes win the in sight roll. Menalippe hurls a 2nd javelin at thief #4, scores another hit & another obviously dead result. Antiope charges thief #5. The melee results in thief #5 being obviously dead. After seeing her mates quickly killed, thief #6 runs away.

PEF #2 moves from section 6 into section 5.

PEF #3 moves from section 3 into section 6.
20130114-101729.jpgMenalippe & Antiope are Insight of a mugging
20130114-101943.jpgMenalippe wins the Insight Roll

Turn 2

Neither side can activate.
20130114-102058.jpgOne thief OOD, one thief OOF & one thief running away
20130114-102145.jpgA PEF comes Insight & resolves to 3 thieves

Turn 3

Menalippe & Antiope activate first. They choose to move back to the fallen stunned NPC & attend to her.

PEF #2 moves into sight & resolves into 2 constables armed with bows.

PEF #3 fails to move.
20130114-102228.jpgTwo thieves quickly OOD & the 3rd running away
20130114-102438.jpgThe police arrive

Turn 4

PEFs win the activation, but PEF #3 fails to move.

The constables take thief #2 (the one that is OOF) into custody & leave. Eurydice, the NPC, gets to her feet & decides to guide Menalippe & Antiope to the inn where recruiting for the expedition is being held.

The 3 move up the street & come in sight of PEF #3. PEF #3 resolves into 2 thieves. Thief #7 is a Rep 4 & thief #8 is Rep 3. Both are armed with swords. This time, the thieves win the in sight roll.

Thief #7 charges Eurydice, but even though Eurydice is unarmed, the melee is evenly matched.

Thief #8 starts to charge Antiope. However, Antiope countercharges, knocks the thief down rendering the thief stunned.

Menalippe charges into melee to assist Eurydice & the thief goes down out of the fight.
20130114-102456.jpgOur band moves in sight of the last PEF
20130114-102517.jpgThe last fight

With the last of the PEFs resolved, the heroes & the NPC exit the board.

Whew. There were a lot of thieves in those allies. I hope I played the encounter correctly. If not, I’ll learn what I did wrong & maybe the next encounter will run better & smoother.

I hope this after action report gives you an idea as to how the game becomes a part of the story or the story becomes a part of the game. As an example, even though Eurydice is a caster, she didn’t get a single spell off. So when I write the story, her magic won’t play a part because she is so beat up that she spends much of the encounter struggling to regain consciousness. The appearance of the 2 constables adds a little interest to the story. Athens hired Skythians, noted for their archery skills, as policemen. This lets me cast the constables of Asteria as being archers. And last, but not least, the action in the encounter serves as a blueprint of the action for the story. I don’t think I would have imagined 8 thieves on my own.

The next post is the actual story that was generated.

3 thoughts on “Recruiting Day – Encounter Behind the Scenes

  1. Great report and story. I have no idea if you did it right but it looked fun. That was quite a lot of thieves. And I liked the card terrain. Looks nice.

  2. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Loading up your PEFs before the games makes a big difference. Newbies complain that there are too many table and it slows the game down. But if you take the time before the game to load the PEFs, like a Game Master would anyway, the game flows.
    Very nicely done, very bad neighborhood!

    1. Thanks Ed. The encounter was fun to play. I really liked the “How Many of Them” mechanism on page 81 for determining the number of figures for a PEF.

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