First, since I have a second blog now for social commentary, Fanatical Recycling Inc, (link to the right) I thought a more rpg related title was in order for this corner of the blog-o-sphere. No matter what we play, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, old school or new, we can all relate to the polyhedral dicebag.
My current game group, the Old School Pastafari, formed in March of 2009 and we still have a core of three of the original group members and we’re still playing AD&D 1st edition. Recently our party of six player characters hired twenty-two men at arms to invade a bandit camp. The bandits had attempted to rob the player characters in an earlier adventure and the party hoped to turn the tables on the bandits a second time. The party thief, Nigel, scouted the hills where the camp was located. He found a well kept farm and farm house at the foot of the hills. The farm appeared to be an odd form of watch tower guarding the bandit camp. That night Nigel counted twenty-five to thirty camp fires within the camp.
The party attempted to find employment guarding the merchant caravans on the route which the bandits were harassing but were informed that their group was too small, inexperienced and ill prepared. Plan B was instigated; follow the merchants and enter the woods along the trade route before the bandit ambush. This plan worked well and all twenty-eight members of the adventure party entered the woods and blended into the landscape before approaching close to the bandit camp.
With the body of the brigade concealed in the forest, Nigel drank a potion of invisibility and snuck into the camp to snoop around. He noted that there were simple timber fortifications used to guard the camp. He slipped past the fortifications and under the floorboards of the one cabin in the camp. All the bandits appeared to be in the camp, it must have been their day off from ambushing merchant caravans. Nigel didn’t hear any conversations containing information that would be useful to the party. He started a fire under the floorboards of the cabin and hid among the tents to watch the bucket brigade. The bandits quickly rescued some valuables from the cabin and began burying them. Nigel returned to the party with the knowledge of the location of the bandits’ treasure.
Nigel, still invisible, set fire to the barn on the farm to create a distraction. The bandits promptly streamed out of the camp to distinguish this fire and then began a search for the pesky arson. The player characters set their hirelings into an attack formation and charged the bandit camp. The hirelings formed three ranks, a first row of seven pike men, a second row of six crossbow men and six long bow archers as the rear guard.
This brigade approached a timber fortification and attacked from the range of the bowmen. The fortification was protected by five or six men which were quickly defeated. The brigade remained in formation and marched into the bandit camp and soon discovered a group of bandits gathered around the freshly buried treasure. The brigade again attacked this group from crossbow range. As this battle proceeded a second group of bandits joined the fight, thus attacking our heroes from two directions. The pickmen were instructed to turn at a right angle to protect the bowmen from this second attack. The bowmen finished off the treasure guards and all hands began to dig for treasure with and stick, spear or make-shift shovel available. (The plan at this point was; “Grab it and go.”)
The events of the evening concluded with the party/brigade safely escaping the bandits and finding they had enough loot to progress to the next experience level.
Next up for the blog, I share my Encounter Critical adventure design with the world.