So when an adventuring party is faced with the challenge of stealing a dragon’s horde out from under a dragon what is the best approach. I suppose this particular problem has been covered before and will likely be covered again, though I doubt too many other groups will find the ultra creative approach that my gaming group decided to take.
First off I should clarify for you that 1) this party is evil, made up of demonologist, necromancers and the like and 2) there was never any intent on slaying the dragon, just removing as much treasure as they could with minimal effort and sacrifice of life or limb. Now that we have those basic facts covered we can proceed with the story of how they achieved this goal. Oh, I guess I should mention that I was running Legendary Lives 2nd Ed. in our typical Friday night game.
So the plan, that almost went off, was to lure the dragon from its home in the side of the mountain and while it was out and distracted to rush the lair and steal as much treasure as they could and escape. The escape route was clear for they have a magic circle made of 26 leather sections that can be laid down in a pattern to teleport what ever enters the circle to another place based on the pattern the pieces are arranged in (think Stargate). But now they had to determine how to lure out the dragon.
Well the groups assassin found in the small town a contact that would sell him a dragon sized dose of double-vision poison. This, they hoped, would provide them a fighting chance. But the poison had to be ingested, so they devised a cunning plan. They bought a cow, and a towns worth of bacon and two cheese wheels [can you see where this is going]. Then headed up the mountain, once they felt they were close enough they used their fire magic to cook all the bacon at once. With all the freshly cooked bacon they wrapped it around the cow, attached the wineskin of poison around it’s neck and tied the two cheese wheels to its back. Double, bacon cheese burger on the hoof; sure to attract even the mildest of dragon’s away from their treasure. Who could resist that much bacon???
And while there is much more to the story, which I will cover in another post someday, I will say that they did successfully part a fair amount of the treasure from the dragon with only minimal party damage. All through a judicious use of bacon!
As promised here I am again to bring you up to current on the continued, and ever ongoing Man vs Dice saga.
While the great game of awesome roles continued to elude him, many an attempt has been made to understand the psychology of the bag of dice that our man keeps. Each member of the group has worked together to help him out by suggesting different ways in which his dice seem to be acting. However it all started with Man deciding that his dice desired to be acting on the “Color Coded Theory”, where red dice were for rolling high or “hot” roles and blue dice were for rolling low or “cold” roles. Of course I am sure you are wondering why one would want dice that rolled both ways, but that is simple as he is playing two games that both use percentiles but have reversed charts. In Legendary Lives high is good, where in Call of Cthulhu low is good. And in both systems when you go to improve a skill you must fail your roll. However by the second session it was clear that this system was not working and indeed his dice were giving out the same fail upon fail rolls he was used to.
So on to the next theory, which was the “Wrong Character Theory”, to understand this you must first know that our Man keeps all of his active character sheets, maps, treasure lists, general information, space ship specs and the like on one clipboard. At the start of each game he shuffles the current characters’ paperwork to the top of the clipboard stack and clamps it firmly in place. The theory for his poor roles was that his dice were not rolling for the top sheet on the clipboard, but rather for 3 sheets down on the board. So the current night’s character was shifted down three sheets and the evening of game play continued. And while for the first several roles it did seem like at last the dice might be triumphed over, it was quickly determined that the dice were on to the ploys of the Man and were not going to follow this theory either. Back to the drawing board.
So to take this even further into the murky waters of Man vs Dice, another theory was unveiled. Perhaps the thought pattern fell under, “Wrong Game Theory”. Just maybe, he was rolling for the next game and didn’t know it. So the the theory was put to the test, the first game was my game of Legendary Lives, all rolls for the night were recorded on a sheet of paper, but also used for the current game. The next week’s GM plays in my games (we alternate Fridays) and agreed to go along with it. The next Friday night, Man rolled but only recorded his rolls, the actual “rolls” for game that night came off the log sheet from the week before. Game went pretty good for Man, well until about half way through when those pesky dice decided to revolt and rolled horrible rolls. That is horrible rolls for the next week, they would have been awesome rolls for the current game. Truly the dice are evil. So much for that theory. There is no new theory yet, but I am sure that next game session the table will come up with yet another plan for Man vs. Dice.
So when we left off our ragged group of adventurers had not yet figured out that they were destined through PC aura to be together. The best laid plans of mice and DM’s go astride often I have found.
The draconian, being afflicted by the ratling disease ability, had left an easy to follow trail on his way to the abandoned, abandoned, toy factory (suggested by my PC’s who I think may watch Scooby Doo too much). The remaining group of rag tags followed his there with thoughts of a sizable, forged bounty in their minds. Upon arrival at the factory they gained entrance through a partially opened door. While moving in to the large warehouse with its crate lined walls they were ambushed by a dozen or so life-sized puppets that had come to life. Through the use of fire magic and control spells the walking dolls were quickly dispatched of. During the battle our Ratling Necromancer determined the whereabouts of the owner that the puppets were protecting.
While the Nomad took down the remaining mannequins, the Ratling and Goblin dug up the owner and used their Commune magic to speak with him and determine if he might still have valuables in the land of the living they could relieve from his corpse. They discovered that he had a house on the outskirts of town where his most valued possessions had been safely guarded during his life. The party determined to head there to find the treasure, right after they tracked down the Draconian to get their bounty.
Thankfully for them, but not our Draconian friend, the Wolfling had used this time to track him after he made his escape during the heat of battle. Tracking him down to a small shack the party finally manages to take him down, rendering his unconscious and drags him to the nearest lock up to collect on their doctored wanted poster. The Draconian get locked in the brink for the night, not so bad for him as they healed some of his wounds incurred in the previous two scuffles, and the party collects on the ransom. However their attempt at forgery is easy to see through when compared to a standard copy kept at the jail, so much for the big reward they had hoped for.
Now it is off to the factory owners house to collect his treasure, he sure won’t be needing it anymore…
Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is a fantasy based RPG published by Marquee Press in the mid 90s. I discovered it at Powell’s Book store in 1995 and fell in love right away. The system only takes one book and the character sheets have most all of the information a player needs on them.
The system uses percentile dice and all rolls are made against a table on the character sheet. Each roll is giving a rating between Catastrophic and Awesome and that rating is used to determine success or failure and to what degree. When a character rolls one of the two extremes they mark it with a check (one per adventure) and this allows them to perform a skill check later to possibly raise the skill, somewhat like Call of Cthulhu. Another feature of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition that is reminiscent of the much darker Call of Cthulhu is the sanity skill and how you can gain phobias and mental illnesses should you roll badly enough in the wrong situation.
With a choice of 26 different races and about as many non-magical and magical types there is a huge flexibility in the character choices. Also each character roles on tables to determine events that have happened in their character’s past both benevolent and tragic. This not only helps to shape the character but often provides the Game Master with plenty of character hooks to keep things moving along.
The magic system of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is unlike any other I have ran or played. There are a number of different spell skills each representing a broad area of magic, such as Fire Mastery or Protection. After the player describes how they are going to use the spell skill and the effect they are looking for the Game Master will tell them how many points it will cost in temporary skill reduction (usually between 0 and 5) and the character will roll for success on the reduced skill level. Having such an open system allows for a level of creativity in spell use that is rarely seen in more rigid rpg games and is one feature that really sets this often unheard of game above most others in my mind.
While print copies are hard to come by these days, the author has seen fit to put his Legendary Lives 2nd Edition rulebook up (minus the artwork) online as opensource for all to enjoy. I suggest you not only look at this game, but his others as well. Also there are a number of useful charts and adventures online as well. I hope you enjoy this simple, yet highly creative rpg system.
In a tavern in Smith City the ratling and the goblin who have formed a loose association are reviewing the adventurer postings near the front door when they notice that one of the wanted posters was for another patron in the tavern. Just as this duo were debating how to best approach the draconian to capture him and gain their reward, now if they could just read the wanted poster they have. At about the same time the nomad notices that the draconian is on the wanted poster as well.
The necromantic nomad approaches the draconian hoping to apprehend him for the reward. He strikes the demonologist draconian who breaths fire in his direction scorching several bar chairs and a table. This also alerts the tavern security. In retaliation the nomad summons a skeleton causing panic to ensue in the tavern. To this the goblin creates a aura of darkness around himself as well as the ratling, and a wolfling that had been sitting at the table, they are now all under the table. Since the wolfing and ratling can not see in the goblins darkness they are safe from checking on the status of their sanity from the skeletons fear aura, but the goblin can see through his own darkness and is therefore subject to the sanity check. At this point the draconian unleashed a homunculus into the world. This leads to the ratling taking control of the mental faculties of the homunculus and commanding it to transport the draconian out of the bar. While the homunculus is not strong enough to lift the demonologist there is no resistance as the bouncers are shoving them out anyways.
Once out in the street the ratling touches the draconian causing disease on him that will persist for the next several hours. To create a distraction, or draw attention, the goblin starts to scream “Plague, Plague!!” which encourages the draconian to exit in pursuit of a safe place to hide to wait out the horrible illness that has befallen him.
Stay tuned for updates to the adventure in the next few days…..
My favorite game to run is Legendary Lives 2nd Edition. I have been running this fantasy based RPG since the mid 90’s. In particular I like the open magic system and the ease of game play. Since Marquee Press went out of business the authors have put the rule book on the web at www.hauntedattic.org. There are several other RPG books available on the site including Lost Souls which I have always wanted to run but have not yet had a group interested.
I will be using this blog to post an update of my current groups adventures every other week. Look for the first post telling about how they all met in the next few days.