Wednesday, October 17, 2012

H'lars scouting - Era rule sampler

This is a quick intro adventure for the Era RPG I'm making.  Shows some of the basic mechanics coming into play.  I'm not going too deep into detailing what's going on mechanics wise.  Skipping some details on mana usage and combat mechanics.  More interested in showing the overall mechanism.  Specially the combat, fatigue and damage rules.  Hope you enjoy it.


You’re H’lar a human ranger of the northern mountains of Raakad. Mounted on a sure footed mule you’ve journeyed up river to the inner valleys to survey ogre activity in the area. The dwarfs have reported attacks on the merchant caravans crossing the passes and connecting the northern trade cities with the southern trade routes.

Finding more frequent orc and ogrish tracks you have left your mule behind and advanced on foot instead. You’re now hiding on a forested outcropping looking at some orc-hounds securing a narrow pass to a small valley beyond where the orge camp is seen.

To hide H’lar rolls against his Hide Skill. It is against his Enlightment attribute (12) and done at Master level (+3). You need to roll 15 or under with 2d10. You roll a 10. The difference between success and actual roll is 5 (15-10 = 5). This is exceeding good success and gives you -2(hard) to enemy checks when searching for you. Any check that succeeds by more than three gains a bonus.

Your backpack was left behind near a river you crossed 200 meters back. You had advanced with sword and bow and your trusted shield tied to your back. Your hiding skills are excellent, so far the orc-hounds have not detected you and wind is still in your favor. You scrutinize the ogre activity beyond trying to measure camp force and layout. You take note of all you can while the sun is strong above the camp.

As the sun begins to cast stronger shadows down the pass you notice the wind begin to change. Suddenly the org-hounds pick up on your scent and realize there’s someone in your general direction. They begin to advance toward you. Three coming your way and one staying down below in the pass.

The orc-hounds have been rolling every hour to detect H’lar. They have to roll 14 or less, but the check is done vs a very difficult difficulty level. The GM dictates It is initially -2 given H’lars distance to the target. On top of that H’lar did a superb job at hiding himself. They’ve been needing to roll less than 10 to succeed. After various unsuccessful rolls the wind changes and the difficulty due to distance disappears, leaving only H’lar’s -2 benefit (roll 12 or less, 14 – 2). The GM rolls a 12 this time and the orc-hounds pick up on the track and begin to close in on H’lar.

You crawl back gently and begin to fall back hoping to reach the creek and use it to lose the scent on you. A few steps back you pick up your shield and begin to jog quickly uphill. You try to put more distance between you and the orc-hounds, but it seems a futile exercise. They’re quick and strong on the track and quickly catching up. Realizing you wont be able to sprint the last 100 meters to the creek and lose them in time you turn, lay your shield on the ground, drive three arrows in the ground and prepare your bow.

Looking at the movement table you see H’lar is loaded as his equipment is more than 15kg (chainmail, sword, bow and shield). He’s joggin uphill making about 20m/round. He covers about 100m in one minute (50 seconds = 5 rounds). His movement table indicates he’s in the cardio cardiovascular level, yet the GM considers the uphill climb to add another level so he’s actually sweating it in the hard cardiovascular level. Seeing he can’t keep up this much longer he turns to fight. He casts Phantom Mist on the trail to try to confuse the incoming orc-hounds. Casting takes one round and consumes one action point. This takes him to max cardiovascular level for that round. He was already at hard due to running and that meant all his attacks were at -1, now they’re at -2!. He sets his gear down and takes a break as he sets the arrows in the ground. The mist slows down the orc-hounds a bit and K’lar has two rounds to recover. Bringing his cardiovascular level down to cardio. At this point he has no penalties.

As the first two run into range you put two arrows out. One to each.


As the orc-hounds break the mist you pump two shots into them. The attack starts with H’lar in cardio level. The first arrow goes off without penalties. You roll a 13 with 2d10 and the orc-hounds roll a 18 defensive roll. They lack shields or equipment to parry so they have a -5 roll penalty. They’re at short range so you have no distance modifiers and they’re coming straight at you so no movement modifiers apply. Their 18 becomes a 13, same as your roll and you hit the first orc-hound.


The orc-hound rolls 3d6 soak roll for his armor and you roll 2d8 for your arrow. The rolls are 4, 4, 1 for him and 8, 8 for you ( an excellent strike ). Both 8’s defeat the 4’s and all 16 points go through to the orc-hound. The orc has only 4 points of pain threshold making him suffer a terrible 12 hit points of damage (75% of total). He tries a save vs trauma (roll against Endurance) and fails. He falls to the ground unable to fight.


You set off the second arrow which is now done at hard cardiovascular level. Your last action upped your fatigue level to hard cardiovascular. According to your activity table you get only 2 action points for cardio and an attack takes 2 of them (1 for parries). Hard cardiovascular level makes all rolls -1 (attack, parry, dodge and damage). You roll a 9 with 2d10 and the orc rolls 10 defensive. Your 9 is an 8 given your cardiovascular penalty. The orc’s is -5 given ranged weapon. Your attack still hits, but barely. You roll damage for 6 and 2 which become 5 and 1 after the -1. The orc rolls 5, 2 and 1. None of your rolls beat the orc’s soak rolls, no damage is done and you realize you’re beginning to tire.

The second orc-hound keeps coming. Too close to shoot an arrow you cast a magic bolt at him.

You’re at hard cardiovascular level and the last arrow didn’t do anything to the incoming orc. Desperate you drop the bow and cast needle spells on him. Sharp darts shoot out from your fingertips. One, two and three go out. The first stressing your system to max cardiovascular, the second taking you to overload 1, and the third to overload 2. It’s a risk, you make an endurance check vs 14, roll a 5 with 2d10 and make it. The darts go out. You make a 19 hit roll vs 12 defense, a 17 vs 15 defense and a 15 vs 15 defense. All your shots hit as all defensive rolls are at -5 ranged weapon. Your shots were done at -2, -3 and -4 respectively as your penalty increases with each cardiovascular hike brought by the stress of casting magic. You got lucky on the last roll, it was an 11 (15-4), but his was a 10 (15 – 5)
You roll 2d6 for damage and the orc rolls 3d6 for soak. After rolling damage and soak rolls and resolving damage the orc takes 4, 4 and 6 points of damage on each attack respectively. The first four do only superficial damage and are easily absorbed by stamina and the 4 points of pain threshold. Only the last one exceeds the threshold and causes a 2 hp wound which is too minimal to stop the orc-hound.

Not visibly hurt the orc-hound keeps advancing and you see the other one coming into range now. You could try to make a desperate attempt at bringing him down with magic bolts, but you need to catch your breath. You prepare your sword and shield as the orc-hound closes the last few meters. A new round begins.

The orc moves up slowly clearly waiting for his buddy to come out of the mist. That time buys you a little bit of rest and you get down to max level by the time he reaches H’lar. The orc has the initiative (weapon length) and attacks with his spear rolling a 6 and you easily parry it with your shield even when rolling a 4 (4 + 3, shield bonus = 7). He attacks again with a 12 and you parry with a 11 + 3 = 14. Holding on the attacks and only parrying helps you recover your breath after this round and you’re down to cardio cardiovascular level now.
The next time he moves up you’re ready for a counter strike. He wins initiative out of sheer weapon length. He attacks with a 15 and you parry with an 18+3 = 21. A successful parry leaves the weapon out of the way and you move in. You swing with an 11 and he dodges with a 12 ( he can’t parry as his weapon was just used to attack and he lacks shield ). You separate and begin again. He attacks with a 5 and you parry with a 9 + 3 = 12. You move in and attack with the sword. Rolling a 16 vs a 15 for his dodge you hit. You roll 8, 4 for damage and he rolls 4, 4, 2 for soak. The 8 points go through, ripping his pain threshold of 4 and causing a terrible wound. He’s hurt, but not down. Your high roll of 18 allows you to keep initiative and swing again. You’ll be pushing your body in this round building too much fatigue and entering hard cardiovascular. A 15 vs a 6 converts to another hit even with your -1 due to fatigue. You roll 6, 5 which are 5, 4 after the -1. The orc rolls 5, 4, 1 and all his soak rolls stop your damage. It was a good try, but failed to deliver any real damage. You still have the initiative as you enter the next round.
You begin the next round in hard cardiovascular level with a -1. As long as your attacks don’t exceed your hard level action points this round you’re remain at hard and not ascend. If you use less attacks and just parry you will begin to recover your breath. For example falling back to just parries will lower your fatigue. Yet you choose to press for now given your initiative. You roll a 16 -1 = 15 vs a 13 for dodge and hit. You roll 7 & 5 for damage and he rolls 5, 2, and 1 for soak. Even with your fatigue penalty that’s still 6 and 4. All damage goes through the armor’s soak capacity and delivers 10 points to the orc. That’s 4 to stamina and 6 to hit points. Another terrible wound for the orc. The GM rolls a save vs endurance an fails it with a 16. The orc is stunned. You roll a 10 – 1 = 9 attack roll, and he rolls a 13 – 5 (stunned) = 8 defense roll. You hit again. Rolling 6 & 2, 5 and 1 after penalties you fail to damage him through his armor soak roll of 6, 2, and 1. Still stunned you roll again. An 18 – 1 = 17 vs a 11 – 5 = 6 defense roll. Another hit. The orc seems to be recovering so this better be a good damage roll. You roll 8 & 5, with penalties 7 & 4. They still beat the orc’s 5, 3 & 2 roll delivering a terrible 13 points of damage and a killing wound for 9 hit points.

The orc-hound drops to the ground terribly wounded and dying, but your problems are hardly over. The third one is closing in quickly. You get ready to dispatch the last two arrows set in the ground at him.
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