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6/06/2014 12:27 pm  #1

Medieval Dark Fantasy Session

I figure you guys might get a kick out of this.
I ran a one shot session (well, it was supposed to be a one shot, but now the players want me to run it some more) this morning of BoL for a couple of guys from work who had only ever played D&D (via the Roll20 online gaming table).

I used a medieval dark fantasy setting inspired by the Empire from Warhammer as a basis for the session.
A couple of pre gen characters to jump right into the game were provided and helped showcase how a full character can be written up in just a few lines (Bjorn One Eye and Heinrich the Red, a couple of hardened mercenaries/bounty hunters).
The whole thing was simply the two PCs tracking down a wanted man ("Smiling" Jack) in the backwater region of the Kingdom (the Empire with the serial numbers filed off). They found themselves camped out in the ruins of an old keep when they were attacked by a horde of animated skeletons (Rabble).

My players LOVED it!

They were completely blown away by how fast and cinematic the game was.
They loved the freedom of using Hero Points for a variety of things.
They enjoyed the simplicity of attribute + career rolls for skill checks and the lack of an endless skills list (which I confess is not a small part of the reason why I love BoL as well).
When a mighty success was rolled, they enjoyed the feeling of a heroic counter attack they were able to pull off and the opportunity they created for themselves to run up to the top of the tower, jump out past all the skeletons, fight off a few stragglers, hop onto the horses and ride away like bats outta hell.  
They confessed that for the first time in years they were really concerned about skeletons
One on one, they're easy to take down, but because the more Rabble surround a PC, the bigger the bonus to hit and damage they get, and because of the relatively low amount of LB the average PC has, they really felt like they were in danger of being overwhelmed. Which is exactly the feeling a good horde of undead is supposed to evoke
Of course, it's possible I may have gone a little overboard. I had a horde of over 30...

Anyway, just thought you'd all get a kick out of that.
Have a good one guys.


6/09/2014 3:24 am  #2

Re: Medieval Dark Fantasy Session

That sounds like a really good session. And is there anything quite so satisfying for a GM as finding a system you really love and having your players love it too? Did they actually find Smiling Jack? If not, you could extend this into a series of games where they keep on his trail but never quite catch up with him. And everywhere they go they keep running into trouble because they are Danger Magnets - a bit like the old TV show/later film 'The Fugitive' - but sort of in reverse, as they are trying to catch the crim on the run.

I also love the 'careers not skills' aspect of BoL. Even running other games I love, the respective skill lists sort of irritate me now - "Bah, humbug! Why don't they just use careers?"

My real name is Steve Hall

6/09/2014 5:36 am  #3

Re: Medieval Dark Fantasy Session

Thaks for sharing. Sounds like you had fun! :D

We have not played with so many rabble yet. We have gone for 15 rabble against a group of 4 so far and they were not much of a challenge even if they scored a few damaging hits. What would you all consider to be a number that is creally challenging but not totally overwhelming for a standar warrior group?


6/10/2014 8:04 am  #4

Re: Medieval Dark Fantasy Session

Did you see the discussion here?

This is the only time we have discussed this topic on this forum. I agreed with MarCazm - swamp your PCs with rabble to get them to show you how good they are.

My real name is Steve Hall

6/12/2014 1:22 pm  #5

Re: Medieval Dark Fantasy Session

Sounds like you had a good time! I totally agree with what has been said above : you have to put a real challenge in front of ur players! In my last campaign of BoL I was too, let's say...shy about the opposition and it turned out that every single session was just a kind of promenade for them and even if they seemed to have loved it (which is to my mind the best reward as a GM) it missed something to me. So now I make them sweat their loinclothes and throw manyyyy rabbles and toughs altogether in the pit! And they seem to even more appreciate! I guess it's better when a player can feel the power of his character but as a same time that he is not invincible, that death is still around. A tricky balance to scale. They have to remember that running away (to come back fighting later) is always an option worth considering!

back to the Dark Fantasy thing, I'm a big fan of this style! It gives a real change to the S&S (even if u can absolutely mix both) adding a little bit of ambiance to it.

Last edited by Egregorein (6/12/2014 1:25 pm)


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