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01 December 2015 @ 10:05 am
Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom: Battle!  
Last night was another session of the Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom short-run game I'm doing. There was another session in between this one and the first one I wrote about, but I didn't have anything insightful to say about it and I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow recounting of this game, so I skipped it.

I'm writing here because this was the first session where we had actual combat. Part of the reason I wanted to use the Exalted system, even with all the ill-will it has on the internet, is that I'm convinced the base of the system is an interesting, crunchy timing-based (as opposed to round-based) engine and all the problems come when dozens of Charms have to interact with it. Also flurries. And the combat we had would seem to support that conclusion. It had seven participants, ran about half an hour--almost no one had played in an Exalted 2e combat before, so a lot of that time was explaining things--and went pretty smoothly.

Rather than use a battle wheel to keep track of timing, I used some glass counters I bought specifically for the purpose a while ago. Every time anyone took an action, they took counters equal to its Speed, and then I'd say "tick" and everyone would throw a counter in the pile. It made it obvious when people got to go again and kept things moving pretty well. I just wish that Daiju had gotten to participate, but he failed a Temperance roll, went off to investigate some pretty lights, and got beguiled by a faerie.

I did love my players' expressions when I said, "Faerie blood heals wounds. Just sayin'."

Since each player only had five or six Charms to pick from, all of which were from a single martial art and so focused on a particular combat style, there wasn't a lot of dithering and pouring over long lists. Chi used sorcery to link the group closer together so they could make group Stealth rolls, and then opened the battle against two kappa and two mycon bandits with Binding Filament Strands to take a prisoner. After that, he mostly just hid. Miyamoto leapt into the middle of the remaining three and laid about him with fists and feet, knocking one of the mycon out and getting a few hits on the kappa, though most failed to do much damage against its thick shell. Kabocha used her sticky tongue to snag the other mycon and chewed on it, eventually biting it in half. The final kappa ran after the other three bandits were incapacitated and Miyamoto and Kabocha chased it down, tackled it, and killed it.

Things I realized I forgot to do
  • DV Tracking: Uh. Oops. I forgot to penalize people's defenses for the actions they took. It was mostly just attacking without anything complicated, but DV is an important part of the rules and if I really want to see how well the combat system works we need to track it.
  • Combat Tactics: This is mostly because our printer is broken and I couldn't print out the reference sheet for actions, but I really should have had the sheet in front of everyone with the actions and DV costs on it. It would have helped people decide what to do.
  • Knockdown: I forgot that checking for knockdown is based on the raw damage of the attack, not the post-armor and -soak damage. There were at least two attacks Miyamoto made that were reduced to a one or two damage dice that should still have checked for knockdown (kappa have 8L/8B armor just from their shells).
I did remember to track most everything else, including movement. I found a blank sheet of paper was fine for tracking all the of the enemies they were fighting. No extras, either--everyone had full stats. And I didn't have worry about bleeding, chance of infection, or disease, because none of the PCs even got hurt. The only one who got attacked was Miyamoto, and he handily dodged every attack directed at him.

The PCs also followed a trail the bandits hadn't done enough to disguise and found out their their camp is apparently within the boundaries of the Forest of Shadows. How are they surviving in there without drawing the wrath of the forest spirits or the carnivorous flora? Mysterious!

Things I need to do for next time--get that combat actions sheet printed out, stat up walking trees and forest spirits, and come up with a set of rules for Shaping combat (Chi is planning to use dream sorcery to interrogate/brainwash their captive) that aren't 1) overcomplicated and 2) terrible.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Final Fantasy I - The Prelude
softlykaorusoftlykarou on December 2nd, 2015 02:12 am (UTC)
Also for posterity: Kabocha set the final kappa on fire with her fire breath. Deadliest Utah Raptor wearing a flower crown!