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Knights & Legends - Shadow Lords Campaign» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session 1 - Actual Play rss

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Shardra The Castrator
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See previous Session 0 for character builds (and to explain why everybody is naked).

We start our adventure. Right away we discern that we've sorta blown it, because the campaign's introduction is intended only for two players - the game master and one player. And the character is sorta defined in the document. Probably, it would be better to point that out first in the campaign - but that's not the K&L way, I suppose. Well, let's proceed and see if we can pound our square peg into this gaping hole of a game.

Aside: all the weird grammar and syntax errors in following quotes are from the scenario which (apparently) requires the game master and the character to read from a proscribed list of actions/reactions. To keep things on the railroad.

Shardra wakes up at home, a humble peasant, now destined to seek my fortune in adventuring. Dad gives me a "tight hug", mom gives me "a kiss on your left cheek" and hands me a backpack. Because my "first task of the day involves speaking with the Vancroftian soldiers stationed in the outpost three miles north" I rather wish mom had given me a dress. I assume the Vancroftian soldiers will not mind a naked woman with a backpack, but I'm not sure it will send the right message.

Mom: "Me and your father have been working on this backpack for a few days now, we knew the day would come."
Dad: "Don't worry about the Kescs son, your well being is more important to us; Please be safe and come visit."

Dad has always been a bit off. Here I am, his daughter, stark naked in all my glory, and even after giving me a tight hug he still thinks I'm a son.

Naked Shardra: "Thank you! I'll make good use of it."

My parents "silently stare at you with watery eyes." Maybe they've just realized a dress would have been something more... appropriate. I'm off! I find within the backpack a poorly cast iron dagger. Whew, glad for that. It will have no effect in the game, but it's reassuring to have a sharp piece of iron (see below). I put it back in the backpack, for now. Then when I'm in the woods a boar stops and stares at me. Can't blame it, I'd stop and stare at me, too. I stand still. The boar charges! Thank goodness, something is happening!

Wild Boar - HP 12; STR 5; END 4; SPD 6
Naked Shardra - Health 55; Strength 15; Endurance 10; Speed 5

It's faster than me (SPD 6 vs. Speed 5) and goes first

Boar: D20 (19) + 5 - 10 = 14; I take 14 points of damage (ouch)
Naked Shardra: D20 (15) + 15 + 1 - 4 = 27; It takes 27 points of damage...

Well, that puts it at HP -15. The effect of that is... much scrolling through agonizingly-slow-to-load rules... undefined. The game master decides to use common sense and the boar is declared dead. Take that, stupid boar. I whip out my poorly cast iron dagger and castrate it.

I arrive at the outpost "Shirt drenched in sweat and thirst as if hadn't drank water in three days". I'm not sure how a shirt can be drenched in sweat and thirst, but... wait... shirt? Nice, I have a shirt!? No wonder dad has always thought I was a son. I don't mind half naked, but normally it's the other half around. Oh well. If only I had pants, I might have avoided: "the soldiers look at you with curious faces momentarily looking at each other as if asking oneself."

Left soldier: "Who art though?"
Right soldier: "Halt! you shall not pass."

Semi-Naked, Injured, Sweat-Drenched Shardra: ("Custom Answer...") That's awfully familiar of you, soldier on the left. In future, I'll thank you to address me formally until we've at least had carnal knowledge of a common acquaintance. "I'm Shardra, from... uh..."

Game Master: "Very well, you may pass. Report to Sir Zeghurtang in the training barracks at once."

I find the barracks. Sir Zeghurtang approaches me and asks if I'm thirsty. I say yep. "Sir Zeghurtang turns and empties the jug, slowly spilling the water on the ground right before your eyes." I try to figure out how he could approach, then turn, then do it right before my eyes. Aha, he is pouring it out behind himself, over his shoulder or something! Then he says I can call him Sir Zeg. Good, that I might remember.

Then "Willing to empress Sir Zeg, you rush to the dummy triggering a combat phase!" I'll go out on a limb and assume the "dummy" is not Sir Zeg. In any case, the "T. Dummy" is made of hay (?) and has HP 10; END 5. I must land three blows to "empress" Zeg. I can't picture Zeg as a good empress, but I guess I really want to empress him. Landing three blows, though... I won't be able to do that, alas.

Semi-Naked, Injured, Sweat-Drenched Shardra: D20 (12) + 15 + 1 - 5 = 23

T. Dummy is destroyed with one massive punch. Sir Zeg is not empressed. Impressed, he does congratulate me for "the skillful handling of a weapon" and critiques my skills. Weapon? He must be as blind as dad.

Sir Zeg: "After you present them this letter, they'll instruct you were to go next."

Them? Letter? Were?

Semi-Naked, Injured, Sweat-Drenched Shardra: "Yes, I'm hungry and exhausted."

Game Master: "Your body starts giving in, after another hour on the road you lean under a sizable tree and quickly fall asleep."

I sleep. I wake. I walk. I "feel the urge to relief yourself" and walk toward a tree (so demure). I see a sudden movement in the bushes. I decide to relief myself on the road (not so demure). After ten miles I reach my destination - a front gate guarded by two Templars.

Left Templar: "State your business peasant..."
The Right Templar silently stares at me.

I'm supposed to show him a recommendation letter. There's a glitch in the game, however. Sir Zeg talked about a letter, but didn't give me one. So I use "Custom answer" - I had a letter but I used it to wipe my arse after I reliefed myself in the middle of the road.

Game Master: "You wish to join our ranks? Go see Sir William..."

Wow, I get to join the Game Master ranks? Cool. Probably it's a just a typo. I track down Sir William and he tells me I must show him what I've got. Wearing no pants, I figured I'd already shown him. Apparently he's still not sure what he's not seeing. He calls over Maximilian to "spar" with me (I take that to mean no Super Abilities).

Maximilian: HP 42; STR 11; END 10; SPD 5
Semi-Naked, Injured, Sweat-Drenched, Hungry, Exhausted, Reliefed Shardra: Health 55 (51); Strength 15; Endurance 10; Speed 5

Oh no, we tie for speed! Who goes first? Undefined. We'll just say it's simultaneous.

Round 1:
Maximilian: D20 (8) + 11 - 10 = 9; I take 9 damage
SNISHER Shardra: D20 (16) + 15 + 1 - 10 = 22; Maximilian takes 22 damage

Round 2:
Maximilian: D20 (1) + 11 - 10 = 2; I take 2 damage (Ha! Puny male)
SNISHER Shardra: D20 (15) + 15 + 1 - 10 = 21; Maximilian takes 21 damage

Maximilian lies dead (?) at my feet, bludgeoned to death (?) by a semi-naked, injured, sweat-drenched, hungry, exhausted, reliefed woman with no training whatsoever. I whip out my poorly cast iron dagger and castrate him.

I earn the title of Squire (not Dame?) and three months go by. The game master pronounces I am fully healed, no longer sweat-drenched, hungry, exhausted, nor reliefed. Alas, still semi-naked. I am joined by my three fully-naked companions (the full party is not spelled out in the campaign but we decided it must be so, else success would not be assured - so we thought; later, we learned we were wrong) and we four female Squires are sent on a Quest.

Because this game is not an obvious rip-off of Dungeons & Dragons, there is no dungeon. But, "Following reports of several dragon related incidents you were sent to Pyro Peak (B-3), a remarkable mountain where legend says a dragon slumbers." The legends must be wrong, as a slumbering dragon no incident relates.

Pyro Peak, that remarkable mountain, is outside of Vancroft, east of Vaux Hills, south of Eroded Plains and Devil's Sea, west of Mt. Grael, and north of Serpent's Way. As there is no scale on the map, we must assume it's just a long way to get there. But using the "simple and comprehensible grid" system (a major innovation of this game) it is pretty easy to locate. If you're assuming Pyro Peak is a volcano, you're wrong. It's just a remarkable mountain.

We wake up in the morning and approach the peak of Pyro Peak, that remarkable mountain... wow, that was an easy trip. We come across two cloaked men who haven't noticed us. It is somehow clear to us "the two are Zealots of the Shadow lords order as they chant some sort of ritualistic gibberish". Ritualistic: invariably performed the same way. Gibberish: meaningless speech. Huh. Deciding that anything described as zealot or shadow must be the bad guys (after all, we're deep in the guts of the Shadow Lords Campaign), we decide to launch a preemptive strike (attack first).

Left Zealot: HP 24; STR 2; END 7; SPI 9; SPD 5 (Spell); Frost Weakness
Right Zealot: HP 10; STR 3; END 8; SPI 9; SPD 4 (Spell); Fire Weakness

Semi-Naked Shardra - Health 55; Strength 15; Endurance 10; Speed 5
Mlle P. - Health 47; Strength 14; Endurance 13; Speed 4
Mlle I. - Health 51; Strength 18; Endurance 18; Speed 4
Mlle J. - Health 48; Magic 9; Wisdom 8; Spirit 7; Speed 5

Round 1
Semi-Naked Shardra D20 (3) + 15 + 1 - 7 = 12 points to left zealot
Mlle J. (Frost) D20 (12) x2 + 9 - 9 = 24 points to left zealot
Mlle P. D20 (12) + 14 + 1 - 8 = 19 points to right zealot
Mlle I. D20 (9) + 18 - 8 = 19 points to right zealot

Unknown at the time of attack, left zealot had a weakness to Frost which is the only offensive spell known by Mlle J. Quite lucky, scoring more damage. In any event, the two zealots are dead before they knew they were under attack. I whip out my poorly cast iron dagger and castrate them.

This, gentle readers, is the first, last, and only element in the entire campaign that refers to the titular Shadow Lords Campaign. What they represent, who they are, and why they have zealots that ritually gibber is not explained. Keeping it consistent with the rest of the product line.

"Suddenly a dragon breaks through the mountain's top knocking you off balance and launching you to the ground. Left with no other choice, you charge at the dragon!"

Dragon: HP 60; MP 15; STR 18; END 12; WIS 15; SPI 10; SPD 3 (Spell); Ice Weakness

Semi-Naked Shardra - Health 55; Strength 15; Endurance 10; Speed 5
Mlle P. - Health 47; Strength 14; Endurance 13; Speed 4
Mlle I. - Health 51; Strength 18; Endurance 18; Speed 4
Mlle J. - Health 48; Magic 9; Wisdom 8; Spirit 7; Speed 5

Round 1
Semi-Naked Shardra - Super Ability Chop of the Twenty Blades D20 (17) + D12 (10) + D10 (5) + D8 (4) + D6 (5) + 1 - 12 = 30; dragon takes 30 points
Mlle J. (Frost) D20 (19) x 2 + 9 - 10 = 37; dragon takes 37 points
Mlle P. - Super Ability Yielding Devil D20 (15) + D12 (4) + D10 (4) + D8 (5) + D6 (5) + 1 - 12 = 22; dragon takes 22 points
Mlle I. - Super Ability Yielding Devil D20 (7) + D12 (11) + D10 (10) + D8 (3) + D6 (2) - 12 = 21; dragon takes 21 points

!

So, that was anti-climactic. I whip out my poorly cast iron dagger and castrate it. Which matches nicely with "After defeating the beast and collecting your trophy although badly wounded, you slowly make your way back to Vancroft to report". Yes, my trophy is badly wounded. It joins my other trophies and my poorly cast iron dagger in the backpack that my mom and dad so lovingly prepared for me oh so long ago when I was just a naked peasant girl.

We go back to town. Sir William is suitably impressed and says he'll recommend us to "his grace the sovereign King of Vancroft, Marcus Sexestus". Two days later Edgar D'Mont calls us to see the king. "you slowly put your armor on"... so... uh... now we have armor?! We go and kneel before the king. He gets up and walks toward us, and grants us the title of Sir Sharda, Sir Mlle P., Sir Mlle I., and Sir Mlle J. Sir? The king must be as blind as dad and Sir Zeg. And we can use the honorary "...the dragon slayer!" if we want. Even though slaying a dragon... well... lets just say that if four tyros can pull it off in a single turn without taking damage I very much doubt "...the dragon slayer" has much street cred in Vancroft.

After the scenario we learn that we were supposed to do it with one player only (contrary to the core rules) and that we were supposed to use a special character build (not legal by the core rules) to keep it challenging and balanced. Looking over the special build, I'd say it would keep it more impossible and lethal. But as the game development "lasted close to three years" and "six hundred plus hours were dedicated to this project throughout countless sleepless nights and obsessive perfectionism through trial and error" - whatever that means - probably I don't understand it right.

Don't miss our next exciting episode when we'll be searching for Knights & Legends - The Lost Relics of Ezora. Now in armor!
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Very Stout
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This angst goes to 11.
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Mark Wilson
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The most surprising thing is that you plan to play again. I think you risk popularizing this game through your shenanigans, but I'll be damned if I don't click as fast as possible on each session report your sanity permits you to create and release.
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Alain Curato
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Shardra wrote:
Left with no other choice, you charge at the dragon!"


"You see a tank coming at you, you only have a knife. Left with no other choice, you charge at the tank!"
"Wait, we do what?"
"Chaaaaarge!"

If I read correctly, the key to this game is to roll a 20.
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Kerry B.
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