Thursday 29 December 2011

Chapter Three and Four Too! Thomas the Hunter

For the first two chapters try

Chapter One 

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

The hunters decided to give it another try. This time they would take more care, staying to the woods whenever possible. Once they reach the edge of the woods they run across the clearing and reach the wooded hill. When they reached the crest they ran into three British Irregulars from the Ohio Valley Rangers. The six spent some time exchanging info, coffee beans and tobacco. The Ranger Leader said that most of the French had been driven from the area. After a rest both parties said their farewells and headed off into different directions.
The first PEF to be resolved were "Friends". Couple of more d6 rolls and it was determined that they were British Irregulars. When you meet friends you swap information and this allows you to count the area at one lower Investment Level for the remainder of the Encounter. This represents info as to where it might be safe or dangerous. As the parties were talking activation moved to the other side. The PEFs were at the other side of the table and now moved. The closest one entered the left edge of the wooded hill and the other followed close behind. Activation dice were rolled and…
Blue Shirt and Thomas kept looking back as they reached the bottom of the hill and into the flat wooded area. "What's the matter?" Joshua asked. "We're being followed," Thomas replied.
Blue Shirt held up his hand. "Better to meet them here than to lead them to our trapping area," he said. The three turned around and held their rifles at the ready. Not obviously aggressive but not at ease either. Three Indians came into view. Blue Shirt and one of the Indians began to speak. Thomas saw Blue Shirt smile and reach into his pouch and hand the other Indian some tobacco. Thomas relaxed. After a few minutes the two groups left in opposite directions. Within minutes the hunter/trappers reached the area they had been searching for and began to set their traps.
The 2nd PEF was revealed to be a party of Neutrals from a neighboring Indian tribe. But just because they were neutral to the hunters didn’t mean that they were hostile to the French. In any case, as with the Rangers before, the interaction with them reduced the Investment Level down by one level to a one. When the Investment Level drops, so does the activity from the PEFs. The hunters easily outdistanced the final PEF, exited the table and could now set their traps. The first Trapping Encounter of the season is only about setting the traps. To see if they caught anything would mean that at least one of them would have to check on them. But I also wanted to do some hunting. Time spent hunting was time not spent checking traps. Maybe I could split the party in two. When this happens you can have more than one Encounter per month but that means someone would have to go alone. That wouldn't be Joshua so it would mean that Thomas would be the one to set out on his own. Well, as the story is about Thomas then let's give it a try. I decided that Thomas would go off to hunt by himself while the others would come back and check the traps. So ended April…

Chapter Four

Thomas headed across the river to the north to hunt. Hopefully he would have less chance of meeting anyone. Early on he found some tracks of what appeared to be Elk but these didn’t pan out and the trail disappeared after a hundred yards or so. Thomas continued his hunt and saw some small game but never got close enough for a shot. It is getting late and he is running out of time. He couldn't go back to the others empty handed. Later in the day Thomas spies a pheasant taking wing and brings him down with one shot. As he approaches the bird he spies tracks. "Wolves," he thinks to himself. Thomas follows it around and quickly loses the trail. He heads back towards the downed pheasant and starts to get it ready to transport.
The first PEF were Elk tracks. In Long Rifle the hunter and the quarry roll d6 and count successes. Depending upon the difference the hunter can get close enough for a shot, the prey can flee, or the hunter can lose the trail, as happened to Thomas. The second PEF was small game and Thomas lost the trail of those as well. The third PEF didn’t move and instead split into two PEFs. The first one resolved was more small game and Thomas got a shot off and killed it. I decided it was a pheasant. Killing small game means the hunt is not a failure but the hunter doesn’t get any Fame Points for it. But at least he wouldn’t lose any either. The last PEF were Wolf tracks, two to be exact. One of the possibilities when tracking is that ferocious prey, if they score 2 or more successes then the hunter will have a chance to ambush the hunter. Wolves, mountain lions and bears are allowed to do this. So when I lost the trail I wasn't too disappointed.
In a Hunt the beginning PEFs are animals but there is a chance for unwanted attention. It has something to do with how many shots you take and even though Thomas only took one shot it generated one new PEF. And it was guaranteed NOT to be an animal.
After each kill it takes a certain number of turns to prepare the kill for transport off the table and to qualify for Fame Points.  As Thomas was doing this the PEF moved closer and….
As Thomas is readying the pheasant he hears the brush rustle and a French Irregular steps into view. Realizing that his musket is out of reach and with a tomahawk in hand he charges the Frenchman who fires. Or should I say, misfires! Thomas bowls into the startled opponent and they roll on the ground locked in combat. Evenly matched, the Frenchman rolls away and starts to run down the trail. Thomas retrieves his musket and fires, hitting his target in the leg. Thomas runs over to the Frenchman who is unconscious from the wound. Thomas takes his powder, provisions and axe but leaves him some water. Grabbing the pheasant he starts his trek back to camp.
Okay, this guy is officially lucky. I mean come on, the guy has him dead to rights and the gun misfires? What are the odds of that happening? Okay, they're 1 in 6 but come on. Anyway, it's time for Thomas to get out of here as the shot, you guessed it, generated another PEF. I mean what are the odds? Well with 2 shots it's 1 in 3. If only he can stop shooting. But I've learned my lessons.
Before setting off Thomas paused to reload his weapon. Thomas definitely hears something, no make it some things, heading towards him. He heads off away from the trail and towards the high ground where it will be harder to be tracked. Thomas picks up the pace as darkness falls.
Not sure what the PEF would have been but glad I got off the table. Lucky for me the PEF didn’t move one time, but it did split into two PEFs. Using PEFs and not knowing what exactly to expect adds a lot of tension, and enjoyment, to the game.
Thomas didn’t gain any Fame Point but he also didn’t lose any thanks to killing the Small Game. No points were gained for taking out the Frenchman. It may seem strange but Thomas chose the Hunter/Trapper profession. If I wanted to get famous killing people I should have chosen Soldier, Indian Warrior or even Irregular where combat is always an option and a way to gain Fame.
I didn’t want to play out a Trapping Encounter with Blue Shirt as after all its Thomas's story. So I fudged it and let them roll on the Check the Traps Table but with 1d6, and not the normal 2d6, for each one. Three sets of traps, three d6 rolled. Two were successful but one had nothing. For the month the hunter/trappers trapped four fur bundles.  I realize now why it would be better to trap in a lower Investment Level territory, more animals are about. Another lesson learned!
So ended May…


  1. Very nice, sounds like great fun. Looking forward to this.

    Will it be on sale on 30st or 31st of december?


  2. It looks like the 31st. Cover needed a bit of editing.

  3. Brilliant! I love this series.