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Thread: Example of Play

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Lynnwood, WA

    Example of Play

    Years ago I ran a Lord of the Rings campaign, and I just stumbed across this old example of play I wrote up. Thought some might enjoy reading it.

    “Northern Menace”
    Chapter 4
    The House of Margil
    Scene 6

    Aramil moved through the woods stealthily, and there was nary a sound as he tread softly over leaves and small twigs, using the cover of the forest to mask his movements. Not far away, Khanistra hid, concealed in the darkness of a thin tree, peering out from time to time to see the campsite. The other heroes carried on as if nothing was amiss, though they knew that they were being spied on.

    Aramil stepped on a small twig and froze, the Southron's head stopping instantly as he seemed to hear something.

    Tobin rolls a 7, which he adds to his Stealth (Sneak) of 9, and after adding + 1 from Woodcrafty, and + 1 each from the affinities of Observe and Survival gives him a 19. Khanistra rolls only a 4, but gets a + 1 affinity from Conceal, as well as a + 1 from Furtive. He decides to spend one Courage, which adds 5 since he has Lurking in Shadows. Adding all this to his Observe (Hear) of 8, means he has a 19 too. As this is an opposed test, it means they each try again.

    Aramil stepped a few more steps closer, and at this the tall Haradrim stood, having a moment where he could clearly run away (as he had the night before) or surrender. He stepped out from the shadows, and stood mere feet from the drawn Ringrist, which was extended warily from Aramil's body as a non-verbal instruction telling the observer that he had now been caught.

    For the second roll, Aramil rolls a 3, which gives him a total of 15. Khanistra rolls an 8, giving him a total of 18. He thus hears Aramil's approach, but decides to stand this time rather than run like last time (Aramil was much closer, and it would have been much more difficult for him to run away, at least compared to what it was last time).

    "Looks like we've caught you this time," the big warrior exclaimed, to which the olive-skinned rogue smiled sheepishly "'s YOU!"

    He led the intruder to the campsite, where each of the three heroes who had never seen him before looked up to see if they recognized him.

    Ramarthos rolls a 6, Rory an 11, and Gorrin a 10. None come close to recognition, since the TN is 25.

    Khanistra smiled and appeared friendly, though Drago eyed him with caution.

    "I'm so glad it's you fellows," he said, speaking fluent Westron, "I couldn't see who it was last night; if only I'd known it was you valiant people I would have come forward and been less afraid!"

    Each of the companions gets a Wisdom roll to resist Charm and/or detect a lie. It's an opposed test, and Khanistra rolls horribly, getting a snake eyes, so he spends a point of Courage. His roll of 2, added to his 6 of Persuade (Charm), plus the 3 from the Courage makes a total of 11.

    The TN thus starts at 11, but is modified by:

    +3 Khanistra demonstrates some sincerity
    +2 Same race (for Ramarthos and Aramil)
    -2 Different race (for the others)
    -5 Unfriendly (toward everyone that trusts what Drago says about him)
    -10 Hostile / Enemy (for Drago)

    Thus, the TN is an 11 for Ramarthos and Aramil, a 7 for Phailyn, Gorrin, and Rory, and a 6 for Drago.

    Ramarthos rolls a 10, adding + 4 (since he has Honour's Insight) and giving him a 14. Drago rolls a 4 and adds + 1, giving him 5. Gorrin rolls an 8 and adds + 2, for 10. Aramil rolls a 4, which added to + 2 gives him a 6. Rory rolls a 10 and adds + 3 for 13. Phailyn rolls an 8 and adds + 3 for 11.

    As Khanistra continued, Rory, Phailyn, Ramarthos, and Gorrin eyed him warily, not believing him. All observed that he appeared to have healed from the wounds they saw him with many months before. He stood tall (6'6""), but had a slim build. He wore the customary garb of his people, which looked a bit strange and out of place this far in the North.

    "I am SO thankful for all that you did for me! I would have never survived after the time that you last saw me, but thanks to your help, I have been able to do quite well. I've grown to like this land, and have decided to make the best of it here, even though it is so far away from home."

    Khanistra has Persuade (Charm), but does not have the specialty of Fast Talk, so does not get the + 2 for this attempt. He starts with a 4, and adds his roll of 8, giving him a 12.

    To see through this, the heroes use Insight. Ramarthos has a 6, and rolls a 6, giving him a 12, which ties Khanistra. Rory rolls a 6, which added to his Insight of 1 gives him a 7. Gorrin rolls a 7, and adds this to his Insight of 0 for 7, too. Phailyn rolls an 8, and adds it to his Insight of 7, giving a total of 15. Thus far, only Phailyn sees through him, and Ramarthos suspects that he is not telling the truth.

    Khanistra goes on, nervously, "I know I had a run-in with your little friend before (he motions at Drago), but I think that's behind us now. Hopefully we can all become allies!"

    Ramarthos rolls an 8 on his second attempt, giving him a 14. Khanistra's second attempt at Fast Talk gets a roll of 6, which added to his 4 gives him a total of 10.

    "You lie!" Ramarthos cried, standing tall and drawing his sword.

    The others were starting to believe the honey-tongued scoundrel, but Phailyn knew that he was not speaking the truth.

    Gorrin stood, readied his axe, and began to move to Khanistra' left side.

    Rory, seeing how Ramarthos reacted to the Southron, drew his bow and an arrow, saying, "What are you doing following us around?"

    Aramil quickly spoke, “Hold now Ramarthos.. lets give our friend here his say... I'm sure he has a good reason for following and spying on us.. treating him like that is not likely to get us all of our answers, unless we wish to inspect a dead body, which I don't”.

    He turned to the Hobbit... "Okay he’s offered somewhat of a truce Drago, lets hear him out before we do anything rash. While I believe you that he shouldn’t be trusted, I think we should find out why he’s been following us." With that, Aramil moved to place himself between Ramarthos and Khanistra, hand on hilt, and warned Khanistra..."I wouldn’t do anything that might draw us to attack you. You may find that you'll meet death quicker than you can say ‘stop’...”

    "Let's not be too rash in our actions friends" said Phailyn upon watching everyone's actions. "It is quite clear that Khanistra is being false in what he says. We know that he has meant to harm Drago before and we still gave him a chance to return home and he has not taken it. I bet that once we contact the Rangers, we will find that Khanistra has probably been preying upon villagers throughout this area. I think it is his avocation to take what is not his. I do not trust him and feel he needs to be watched until we can turn him over. Aramil, I can hardly believe you would jump to his defense, knowing that one of the reasons you have been with Drago was to protect him from Khanistra. Do not be fooled by lies covered in honey."

    "I've been nothing but peaceful towards you, and have never intended or suggested any harm towards any of you!" Khanistra interjected.

    "As I said before, I saw some travelers last night, and approached to get a better look. I didn't know it was you fine folk, and, not knowing if they were friend or foe, I cautiously retreated when they happened to notice me."

    "I would never attack any of you. I am but a simple man, a trader and bargainer who is traveling through these beautiful wilds. I certainly hope that none of you would harm me either, and would trust that you would show the same compassion and care that you showed me at our first meeting."

    Ramarthos said nothing, but held his sword at the ready, his steely blue eyes fixed on the Southron.

    “Protecting him from Khanistra doesn’t mean I should kill him without giving him the chance to tell his story”, Aramil responded. “So far he has not yet attacked either Drago, nor the rest of us... merely he has been watching us. I agree he should be watched, and possibly turned over to the Rangers, but he may be more involved here than we know about... which is why I have counseled everyone not to be too hasty in your actions toward him... until he gives proof of his continued ill will, we should give him his say...”

    "Thank you, thank you, friend Aramil", Khanistra said, stepping towards the great warrior. "I begin to think that most of your companions would leap forward to foolish and rash behavior, were it not for your calm and reasonable leadership!".

    "I have sincerely done nothing wrong, and I do not know why you accuse me so. I had a simple misunderstanding with the Hobbit craftsman Drago, and that is the extent of my misbehavior."

    "Turn me over to the Rangers? Whatever for? Is watching someone in the woods a criminal offense in these lands? Perhaps it would be best if I left back to the more peaceful deserts of Harad at once!"

    Phailyn responded, "So far he has continued to show ill will towards Master Drago, Aramil. By his continued falsehoods he is showing his heart to us all."

    He turned to the rogue. "Khanistra, your continued falsehoods will not serve you any further. If you would actually tell the truth, then we might be significantly more compassionate towards you. The problem is you have twice chosen to spy upon us, and knowing the past that you share with Master Drago, it is too much of a coincidence.”

    Aramil stepped away from Khanistra, “Be careful whom you call ‘friend’... for I most assuredly am not one who counts himself one of yours.

    As far as returning to the deserts, It is a little late to do that, as we gave you that option months ago. You seem the better for your wear as well... I wonder just how you have been making your living? These forests don’t tend to lend well to a single person making a living! What have you been doing since last we left you? I warn you, my companion here (indicating Phailyn) can tell when lies are on your lips. You may be able to fool me, but I trust him with my life, which is far more than you shall ever receive from me.

    Explain yourself!”

    Gorrin spoke to Khanistra, "People like you sneaking about me, make me very nervous!” He pointed the axe blade at Khanistra's head and spoke with great intimidation, “…especially a second time. You had better start telling the truth and the reasons you are in this region or I'll give good cause to wish you had not crossed our paths."

    Gorrin rolls a 9, which added to 4 for Intimidate (Power) gives him a 13. He receives test modifiers of + 4 (target outnumbered), + 3 (appropriate display of power), and + 3 (brandishing a weapon). The total is 23. Khanistra rolls a 10, which is modified by –1 (His Willpower after accounting for the fact that he is Weak-Willed). His total is thus 9, 14 less than the 23 he needed to get after Gorrin’s Intimidate.

    Khanistra fell to the ground at everyone's feet, groveling and literally crying like a small child, "I.....I....I'm so v..v...verrry, verrry, sss..sss..ssorrrrry!...Have pity on a miserable wretch that wants what he cannot have!" He cried for a few moments at Gorrin's boots.

    "I admit (sniff, sniff) that I wanted to take one of Drago's fine bows. I desired one and would pay handsomely for one...(sniff), he won't let me have one and it makes me want one all the!" (sniff, sniff)

    Gorrin gave him a little nudge with his boots to push him back a little, "What would you want with such a weapon?"
    Doug Taylor
    Member of Decipher's Hall of Fame
    Currently running The One Ring RPG. I also occasionally run Villains & Vigilantes (our campaign is in year 25) and WEG d6 Star Wars (both games are mostly on hiatus) and an annual game based on The X-Files (using Conspiracy X).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


    Doug, that is really cool ! A fun read, and a great example of how the game, and the CODA system works.

    Sounds like a terrific game-Chronicle. And I really enjoyed reading it. Very timely post too, since we've been playing a lot of Lord of the Rings since The Hobbit came out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    My to Fugazi Grrl
    Hodor !

  4. #4
    Nice story, well written mix of the tale and the game.
    -Agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

    -If you really think that your choice of game makes you better than someone who plays a different game, you are an idiot who has no further right to express an opinion.

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