Friday, February 25, 2011

The Enemy Within Sessions 3, 4 and 5 Report (WFRP)

I did a quasi report of sessions 3 and 4 previously, but am reposting them here. Also, One of my players posted a report of session three

Session Three:
Session 3 was our first evening with no combat. There was actually minimal rolling of the dice. After the action heavy session 2, this was a nice change of pace. The players dug into the meat of the investigation itself and moved things along nicely. There were only three players for this session. Our new player was once again a no-show, and was for session 4 as well. We have not heard from him and at this point, I've ruled his character on official "Red-Shirt" status. Our out of town player was having technical difficulties and was thus unable to Skype in.

Session Four:
Session 4 was a different beast. We were up to what I now consider full-force, our out of town player was able to Skype in.

Having followed many clues to their conclusion, the bulk of session 4 was spent at a quickened pace. Their investigations from session 3 and a few more leads that the players followed up on in the beginning of session 4 brought them to the conclusion that a butcher by the name of Emil Stark was holding Hannah hostage. Moving at a break neck pace, they arrived at the final confrontation with Emil, whom they killed, and two beasts of chaos, one of which was Hannah the poor missing daughter of the butcher Herr Fleischer - Emil had been feeding her chaos infected sausages and the second was a missing noble rake named Rudi who had also been horribly mutated by Stark.

During the final battle, Gottfried received a critical wound to his left hand, courtesy of a crossbow bolt fired at him by a niggling little street thug named Dirty Dan (truth be told, I don't know if I ever revealed his name to the players - BAD GM! BAD!).

The group first encountered Dan in session one. He offered to take them to an inn that was sure to have open rooms for a mere two pence and instead led them into an ambush of thugs. They encountered him by chance in a tavern during session three. They were hoping for some payback, but Dan eluded them yet again. I had decided that I would give them one more chance at revenge.

It was called out in the adventure, "Sing for Your Supper" that their main antagonist, Emil Stark, was to have a lackey on hand awaiting to ambush them. I arraigned for this lackey to be good-old "I'll do anything for two-bits" Dan. When they arrived at the ambush sight, I rolled a secret Perception test for each player. None of them passed. Dan fired his loaded crossbow at Gottfried. I rolled a "10" for damage, re-rolled Dan's Ballistic Skill and confirmed the critical hit. A total of 15 points of damage was dealt to Gottfried's left hand. Gottfried passed his test to remain conscious and delivered the groups' final vengeance upon Dirty Dan.

They did not deal with the chaos mutations. Instead, they turned Hannah over to her father and the mutated Rudi, Gottfried reported his circumstance to the Cult of Sigmar who dealt with him. This occurred only after they considered burning half of the city down to take out one mutant. Our group has a history of burning cities down.

All of the above happened in session four. I ended the session leaving Gottfried's player in suspense. I didn't do this just to be cruel, that was only a small part of the reason, the main reason was I had just re-read some interesting optional rules on Barber-Surgeons and wanted to make use of those rules.

In the end, despite the fact that the girl and her father were given the final mercy by Shallyan Priests, they received their promised reward of 25 gold crowns, quite a small fortune.

Session Five:

Play action was picked up the morning following the events of session four. My first order of business was determining the fate of Brother Gottfried, Initiate of Sigmar.

I ended session 4 leaving Gottfried's player in suspense. I didn't do this just to be cruel, that was only a small part of the reason, the main reason was I had just re-read some interesting optional rules on Barber-Surgeons and wanted to make use of those rules. I did so in the beginning of session five, and they were entertaining. I was merciful by ruling that Gottfried had spent a pain filled evening at the Cult of Sigmar where they had made it a point to clean and dress the wound. This ensured that he wouldn't have to deal with the nastiness of infection. It also allowed his Fortune Point Pool to replenish.

For those that don't know Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay that well, each character has a number of Fortune Points that he can use each game day. One of these can be spent to re-roll a bad dice roll, and for a few other things as well. The number of a character's fortune points is determined by his Fate Points. Fate Points are spent to avoid death. They are not a "get out of jail free card", meaning, if a player is forced to spend a fate point to pull his bacon out of the fire, it probably means he may have been dealt a deadly critical wound. Crits are deadly in WFRP and can often result in neat new nick names like "Lefty", "One-Eyed Jack", or "Crutch". It is a grim and perilous world.

Thus, having the Barber-Surgeon appear the next day was a great boon for Gottfried. All turned out well for the initiate. The surgery was performed by an old bone-saw that had seen much action in the Imperial Army.

I let five game days pass. This allowed Gottfried some much needed healing time and it gave the characters an opportunity to spend some of the 25 gold crowns they had been paid. Willow the halfling took advantage of this, and had some new armor tailored to fit her small frame. The elven Wizard's Apprentice replenished his stock of magical components, which included some time spent trying to catch fire-flies. Bartloff, being the good protagonist he is (read "Asshole for Hire") went looking for trouble and easy coin.

Trouble he found, along with an offer to make much more money then he'd ever dreamed. He met a fellow protagonist named Rudolf (yes, he had a red nose) that after Rudolf challenged Bartolf to fight, in which Bartolf gave as good as he got, he told him that his boss, one Three-Fingered Willy, was looking to hire a few blokes for a dirty job. Rudolf gave no details, he only stated it involved busting some heads and that it would pay 100 GC for each participant. He also mentioned that if Bartolf knew a few blokes that were looking to make some coin, he could get them in on the deal. The job was to happen in a few days time.

The next night, a thief that had been secretly following Willow around after seeing her pay for new armor, tried to rob them. The players had opted to get themselves a private room instead of staying in the common room that they were previously. Willow awoke to find the thief trying to steal her purse while she slept and she alerted the other characters to the situation. They easily overcame him in a short pursuit. The thief had nothing of value on him but some lock-picks and a dagger. He was also carrying a note with a leaf motif that had one word upon it: "Malindi". Bartolf then shocked Willow with how he dealt with the thief. His solution was to tie the thief's hands behind his back and throw him out the window, where he fell upon his head, snapping his neck.

A couple of nights later, the characters met Rudolf and Three-Fingered Willy and were given more details about the job. The job consisted of raiding a place called The Asylum. The Asylum is a complex that three separate gangs use as a hide-out: the Schatzenheimer's, the Valatina's and the Huyderman's. Three-Fingered Willy is a prominent member of the Schatzenheimer Gang. He has the backing of over half of the gang behind him and he is looking to depose the current gang leader Kurt Volger. Three-Fingered Willy is being bank rolled by Alphonse Oldenhaller, the younger brother of Counciller Albrecht Oldenhaller who is a successful merchant of Nuln.

Alphonse hopes that with a newly organized Schatzenheimer gang on his side, that he can take his older brother's place as head of the Oldenhaller Merchant Family. Also, Alphonse had hired the Schatzenheimer gang to acquire an item for him. Smelling more money then what was offered, Volger has been refusing to turn the item over. Willy was made it a point to not tell them what the item was.

Willy's plan was, he had a majority of the Schatzenheimer gang willing to back him. His "boys" were to be in the hide out that evening, with Volger and a much smaller number of Volger's supporters. Willy had arraigned for the bulk of Volger's supporters to be out that night doing a job, which they were not to return from until early in the morning hours. Willy and Rudolf were going to lead the characters into the hide out where they and Willy's supporters on the inside, would slaughter Volger and his boys. When Volger's other supporters returned in the morning, they would set up an ambush, giving them two choices: accept Willy in charge, or die.

The characters were of course suspicious, but the lure of a king's ransom in gold helped them overcome their doubts. When they arrived at the Schatzenheimer's den, it was obvious that someone had beaten them to the punch. All of the Schatzenheimers were dead. The Valantina Gang had killed them leaving calling cards on the corpses that read: "Congratulations, you have just met the Valantina Anti-Personnel Crew". The characters noticed that the leaf motif on the calling cards, matched the leaf motif they had found on the body of the thief that had tried to rob them. After searching, Willy announced that the item that they were to retrieve from Kurt Volger was missing.

Willy stated that he had to report this to Alphonse Oldenhaller. He asked to characters to enter the Valantina hide out and retrieve the item. An argument occurred at the end of which Willy offered to increase their payment to 150 GC's and he was forced to tell them what the item looked like: a small lead box fixed to a chain, the lead box has a single coin in it, and it should remain inside the box. Rudolf also informed them that the calling card they had found upon the thief was most likely the Valantina's current password.

The agreed to the terms and proceeding forward, they used the password, Malindi, to gain entrance to the Valantina hideout. There, they managed to pass themselves off as stevedores. After posing as stevedores, they managed to gain an audience with the leader of the Valantina gang: Emilio Valantina; however, someone had managed to sneak into Emilo's room and behead him. They found his headless body, no head was found, nor was anything found that matched the description of the item they were sent to retrieve. A trail of blood led to a book shelf and ended. After a short search, they discovered a hidden door behind the bookshelf.

That is where play ended, session 6 will pick up in action.

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