Saturday 28 September 2013

The Message - Part 2

Part One

Edenstein Central to Edenstein Northern

2d6 are rolled for an Involuntary Encounter.  "9" - no Involuntary Encounter.

Arrive at the destination.
"I thought New Market was a small town," Arthur said as the trio made their way through the street. "Seems pretty crowded."

"It is," replied Dion." Except for one week out of the year when the New Market Round is held. It's this week."

The New Market Round was a three mile horse race run once a year for the past twenty years. It was a Royal Race, much favored by the King, and attracted large numbers of people. And with large numbers of people come large numbers of unsavory characters.

"Shouldn't we deliver the message as we were told?", Carl asked.

"We will," replied Arthur. "Three days on a horse builds an appetite..."

"You mean a thirst," Dion said. "Follow me, I know just the place."


Yes, I know, I probably should have went directly to the house where the message is to be delivered... but what the heck, it's off to the Bawdy House to see how it works. Here's a map of where it's located and how we got there.

Our heroes are in  blue. Here are the PEFs laid out at the start. In this scenario three new PEFs will be laid out after our heroes leave the Bawdy House (#35).

Our heroes move as do the PEFs. PEF resolution is different in Savvy & Steel as the PEFs must be in the same section to be resolved. Notice how the sections of the table conform to the streets and alleys and are not equal in size.

One PEF is resolved when the trio reach 7th Street but it's only an increase in the Area Activity Level. New Market is usually a 2 but with the Round it is a 4. Now a 5. The trio enter the Bawdy House.
"Dion! Long time no see," the barkeep says."Here for the Round? Here's drinks for you and your friends!"

(Defining Moment was Barkeep and Opposed Challenge result "Swept off its feet!" Barkeep is a friend and gives Favor (free drinks). So figure might as well go for another Challenge. Ask if he knows anything about the person they must contact with the message.)

"I've not seen myself but I've heard stories,"  the barkeep replies. "She has ties with influential people."

"But she isn't that old, is she?" 

The barkeep just smiled, "No she's not. But trust the stories, she has influence an best not to question from where."
I had decided to split the Bawdy House into three Defining Moments before I entered. The second Defining Moment went well I encountered a "companion" and a positive Challenge out Dion out of action for the remainder of the encounter as he disappeared upstairs.

The third Defining Moment didn't go so well. It was a group of soldiers and the Challenge resulted in them giving our heroes the Cold Shoulder.  This meant if Arthur ran into soldiers again during their stay in New Market there was a chance (1) that it would be the same group of soldiers and Arthur would count a -1 successes on any future Challenge with them. This gave me a bit of concern and here's why.

From the upcoming free New Market Round scenario for BS&S.

We Suggest...
The actual race is run on the Saturday but the festivities begin on the Monday before. We suggest that players decide which day they wish to arrive and start having Encounters.  During this week players can choose to have a Voluntary Encounter every day. Involuntary Encounters can also happen every day so you will have an eventful time.
The Area Activity Level starts at 2 on Monday and increases one point per day until maxing out at 5 on Thursday. The following Monday it reverts back to 2. 

I had decided that the boys had arrived on Thursday. This meant four possible Involuntary Encounters if they stood for the race. And I wanted to stay ...

Saturday 21 September 2013

The Message - A By Savvy and Steel Step-By-Step Adventure

One thing I like about By Savvy and Steel is the variety of adventures you can have. With the new area movement system (you can go through more than one area because Edenstein is a small country) it allows for more chances to have encounters inside each adventure. This is called the Message.

All I know at the beginning of the adventure is my party must travel from one end of the country to the other.  I have no idea if I will run into friends, enemies, how many of them or what encounters I will have. And that's one of the things that makes By Savvy and Steel interesting.

"Arthur my boy, with all the attention drawn to you by this Miss Von Helm, maybe a trip would do you good." The Cardinal stopped to smell the rose offered from the bush. "I had a visit from the Ambassador of Bavaria yesterday. Such a rude little fellow, interrupting my vacation."

"I am sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused, your Eminence,"  Arthur replied. "A trip?"

As the Cardinal and Arthur walked along the Rose Garden, the Cardinal explained. His Eminence had need of a message to be delivered to an old acquaintance in Edenstein Northern. His usual courier was not available. Perhaps if Arthur could do the Cardinal this small favor he would return a favor to Arthur in kind.

"Well my son," asked the Cardinal. "While you were away I could tell the Ambassador that you have been dealt with and satisfaction provided. And Miss Von Helm could return to M√ľnchen
And that's how Arthur, Carl and Dion found themselves on horseback riding east through Edenstein. The trio start in Edenstein West Coast at the vacation home of the Cardinal. They must travel from there to Edenstein Western, Edenstein Central (the Capital) and into Edenstein Northern. Once there they must deliver the message and return with the reply. All together a round trip of six Areas taking one month. In By Savvy and Steel you can choose to move through as many Areas as you like as long as you roll for an Involuntary Encounter as you enter a new Area.
Arthur, Carl and Dion head out, the message from the Cardinal secured.

Start of the Month

2d6 are rolled for an Involuntary Encounter. "6" - no Involuntary Encounter.

Edenstein West Coast to Edenstein Western

2d6 are rolled for an Involuntary Encounter. Again a "6" - no Involuntary Encounter.

Edenstein Western to Edenstein Central

2d6 are rolled for an Involuntary Encounter. "8" -  Involuntary Encounter - Robbery.

Edenstein Central - An Involuntary Encounter - Robbery!

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Fire! Dueling with PISTOLS for By Savvy and Steel! AAR - Conclusion

Part One

One thing I like about By Savvy and Steel, the upcoming 17th Century Adventure game is the stories that can be made from it. In By Savvy and Steel we cover dueling with swords and it uses very interactive and exciting mechanics. But with the invention of the flintlock pistol, dueling was changed.
Dueling with swords has been pretty well covered in By Savvy and Steel. But what about dueling with pistols? That’s what Fire is all about. Fire is a supplement for use with By Savvy and Steel without having to generate new Stats and Attributes. Instead we only use Rep and the Attributes that apply have been brought in from By Savvy and Steel.
Dueling with pistols follows a strict set of rules and will be very quick. Duels can only end in an apology or one or both of the duelists have received severe wounds stopping them from continuing the duel. In either case honor has been satisfied. Now let’s get continue with our story.

All those involved arrived at the appointed place, a clearing in the woods, at the appointed time. As Carl and Hugo loaded the pistols Matilda glared at Arthur. He realized that no apology, even if it was coming, and it wasn't, would be enough to satisfy her. Besides, the Rogue had shot first.
“Remember what I told you,” Dion said. “Arm straight, take a deep breath and …”
“Suck in my belly. “ Arthur replied with a smile. “Yes, yes, I remember it all. Thank you my friend.”
“Thank me with a drink after this, “Dion said, slapping Arthur on the shoulder.
“I hope so,” Arthur thought to himself. He wondered what would happen if he lost. Dion and Carl had also testified in court. No, he shook his head, it ends here; it ends now.”
“Ready, Mr. Brown?” the swordsman asked.
Arthur nodded and the two paced off the distance. Hugo would signal the first shot. As the two stared at each other, at the ready, Hugo held the handkerchief up high. After a slight hesitation he let the handkerchief fall from his hands. Two shots rang out.
I’ll go into how the duel works, step by step. Note that you do not have to use minis in a pistol duel, but is visually cooler. After the duelists have paced off the distance both take the Composure Test. As the Swordsman is a professional he has Nerves of Steel and rolls 3d6 versus Rep. He passes, as expected, while Arthur rolls 2d6 and passes, but just barely.  Both men are unshaken (shaky counts as a penalty on the First Shot Test.
Both men now take the First Shot Test. Who will get off the first shot? Dice are rolled and Arthur fires first!
Arthur rolls on the Fire Table and scores a hit. Hit location and damage is rolled. The Swordsman coat puffs as the ball grazes his back. The Swordsman takes the Continue On test and passes. The Swordsman smiles and Arthur realizes he hasn't yet shot.
The swordsman returns fire and rolls on the Fire Table. Arthur sees the puff of smoke and feels a sting of pain as the ball grazes his thigh. Arthur rolls on the Continue On table and they go to the next shot.

“Apologize, “Dion says.” Honor had been served.”
“No,” replies Arthur. “Besides she wouldn't accept it I’d wager.” Arthur smiles at Matilda who sneers back. After a small break to eat cheese and sip wine, the duelists prepare for the second shot.
The second shot is similar to the first shot. Composure Test. Second Shot Tests to see who fires first.
Both have been grazed so have a -1 to Rep penalty but both keep their composure.
Rolling on the Second Shot Test the Swordsman fires first but just barely and Arthur fires with a -1 penalty.

Rolling on the Fire Table the Swordsman grazes Arthur on the arm. Arthur fires; the Swordsman crumples to the ground, a serious wound to the head. The duel is over.

Fun little game with lots of tension as it can be over so quickly with one shot.And don't get me started on misfires. When the pistol misfires, no ball is discharged,but it still counts as a shot. 
No do overs!

Fire! Dueling with PISTOLS for By Savvy and Steel! AAR

“To Burton,” Arthur said as he raised his tankard.
“To Burton, “chimed in Dion and Carl.

It had been a month since Burton’s untimely death, a reminder to live life to the fullest each day. It was a slow night at the Drunken Squid but the trio found themselves in the tavern more and more since Burton’s death and the escape of the Highwayman. There were too many questions still to be answered.

“Arthur Brown?”
Arthur spoke before he turned to meet the voice, “Who’s asking?”
“I am, Miss Matilda Von Helm,” replied the young and very well dressed woman. “Again sir, are you Arthur Brown?”

With a big smile Arthur doffed his hat and stood up,” At your service Madame.”
Smack! Matilda slapped Arthur across the face. Recoiling slightly with a quizzical look in his face Arthur began.

“What in the…”
“I demand satisfaction Arthur Brown, “Matilda said in a strong voice for all to hear.
“Satisfaction is it?” Arthur replied in an equally loud voice. “I’d love to provide satisfaction Madame.  Would you prefer satisfaction here on the table or, if you’re a bit more modest, perhaps in my room?”
Arthur caught Matilda’s hand before it reached his face.

“Unhand her, sir,” said the calm voice, punctuated with the clicking of a hammer into place.
Arthur let go of her hand and asked, “And who are you and what is your business in all this?”
“I am here to see that Miss Von Helm gets satisfaction.”

Arthur looked first at the tall man then back to the woman. “What satisfaction do you seek Madame?”
“Revenge for the hanging of my brother based on the lies you and your friends told the court.” Matilda smiled at the man who accompanied her.
“He was a Rogue, a kidnapper and deserved what he got,” Arthur said.
“He was a bodyguard and was hired to protect Herr Schmidt,” she replied.

“He was no bodyguard and if he were why were we told that this merchant, Schmidt, had been kidnapped?” Arthur sneered. “And when the trial came about where was this Schmidt to testify on your brother’s behalf?”

Matilda looked at Arthur with rage. “Herr Schmidt was called away on business and sent written testimony which conveniently was over looked.” Arthur could see the girl ball up her fist as if to strike. “It doesn't matter; my companion here has agreed to act as my hand in a duel. What say you coward?

“Done!” Arthur shouted.” Carl, Dion, act as my seconds and prepare the details. I cannot wait to cross swords with you, fool!”

“Swords?” said a man at the edge of the crowd that had gathered. “Arthur, a word in private first.” The man pulled Arthur aside and whispered. “That man is a professional swordsman from Bavaria. I have seen him many times in my travels to Munich. He lives by killing others. You would have no chance my friend.

Arthur is a lot of things but fool is not one of them. “I choose pistols.”
“As you wish” the man said with a smile and nod of the head. Turning to a slight and so far unnoticed man to his right he continued, “Hugo, you are my second, see to the details.”

Offering his arm he said to Matilda, “Miss Von Helm?”
With a confident smile the two left the tavern.


Part Two

Monday 16 September 2013

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Friday 13 September 2013

By Savvy and Steel - A Matter of Formality

This is a detailed AAR for By Savvy and Steel the upcoming adventure game set in the 17th Century ImagiNation of Edenstein. The game uses similar mechanics to And a Bottle of Rum, our pirate game with the exception of dueling.

For dueling we borrowed from Friday Night Fights and 5150 - Alien Fight Night. Where both fight games are done with gloves we've added swords and tweaked the Dueling Tables to reflect the reality of a duel. This includes the moving back and forth as one duelist gains an advantage and the possibility of injury or death.

In By Savvy and Steel every character has 5 Dueling Stats. Swordplay, Aggression, Quickness, Power and Stamina. Each Stat is used on specific Dueling Tables where the duelists move from one to the other based upon their success on a Table.

Not every character will use their Stats for dueling (Pig Farmers have little chance of a duel) but the same mechanics can be used for melee, or more likely, bare knuckle brawling or the occasional cat fight.

Let's set the scene for the fight. Two soldiers of different regiments have decided upon a Formal Duel. The time and location set, and seconds enlisted. The two duelists are Benjamin (the Blues) and Reginald (the Red Guards).

Here's the dueling card where we list the Stats for each duelist. In addition we've added their Bonus Dice (once used, tossed) and their Attribute.
Benjamin is Slippery. When Reginald has taken control on the Taking Control Table, Benjamin counts a +1d6. Reginald is Resolute and can never count less than 1 success. Here we go!

Benjamin                                                                   Reginald













The duel commences at dawn in front of the Drunken Squid tavern. The two duelists start on the En Garde Table, sizing each other up. After a few strikes no one has gained an advantage so they return to the En Garde Table. Every time they do their is a chance that the City Watch will show up and break up this illegal activity.  But not yet.

The second time on the En Garde Table sees Reginald score better and forces Benjamin back.

We've included the actual dice results as well as the narrative. BD = Bonus Dice.

Turn 1 – En Garde Table

·        Blue = 8 + 2BD = 3 successes
·        Red =  9 + 4BD =  3 successes
·        Stay on En Garde Table  - No Watch

Turn 2 – En Garde Table

·        Blue = 8 + 2BD = 2 successes
·        Red =  9 + 0BD =  3 successes
·        Blue back 1”.
·        Go to Dueling Table.

The third turn has the duelists on the Dueling Table. This represents the actual exchange of thrusts and parries as each duelist tries to gain the advantage and take control. Benjamin recovers and forces Reginald back.

Turn 3 – Dueling Table

·        Blue = 8 + 2BD =6 successes
·        Red =  9 + 4BD =  5 successes
·        Red back 1”

·        Stay on Dueling Table 

The fourth turn has the duelists on the Dueling Table. Benjamin follows up his success and begins to take control. Reginald is forced back and loses 1d6 Dueling Dice. Loss of Dueling Dice represents losing the initiative and the enemy gaining control.  

Turn 4 – Dueling Table

·        Blue = 9 + 2BD = 5 successes
·        Red =  7 + 0BD =  3 successes
·        Red back 2”.
·        -1d6
·        Stay on Taking Control   

Turn five gets dramatic as Benjamin is now in control and the duel is on the Taking Control Table. Success on this table leads to possible damage. Benjamin uses more Bonus Dice and Reginald does not (rolled randomly). Having the advantage Benjamin goes for a Killing Stroke. As this exposes him Reginald gains 2d6. Both duelists roll 10d6 and Benjamin scores 2 successes more. This takes the duelists to the Killing Stroke Table where injury can occur.

Turn 5– Taking Control Table

·        Blue = 8 + 2BD = 8 successes
·        Red = 8 + 0BD+ 2 KS =  6 successes
·        Red -1d6
·        Killing Stroke

Benjamin receives a +1d6 bonus for going for the Kill on the previous table. He also adds Bonus Dice (2) and rolled versus his Power Rating, passes 1d6. Blood flows!

Turn 6 – Killing Stroke Table

·        Blue = 2 +1d6 +2 BD = pass 1
·        Red back 1”.
·        Wounded Table +1d6

Reginald receives a bonus 1d6 as Benjamin did not land a solid stroke and he uses 4 Bonus Dice. Rolling 7d6 he easily passes 2d6 versus his Stamina but still loses 1 point of Stamina, dropping it to 4. 

Wounded Table

·        Red = 2 +1d6 + 4BD = pass 2
·        -1 Stamina
·        Continue On Test
·        2d6 Passes 0d6 vs. Stamina of 4 - Capitulate

This brings Reginald to the Continue On Table. Once a duelist receives a wound (loses one or more points of Stamina) the Formal Duel is over as honor has been satisfied. In some cases the duel could be to the death but not in this one. So failing on the Continue On Test was a formality.
Lucky for Reginald he has a second who insures that he will receive proper medical attention (+1d6 modifier on the After the Duel Recovery Test).

Drinks for all! 

As the Red Guards attend to Reginald, Benjamin and his compatriots lead everyone into the Drunken Squid for a drink. Benjamin and Reginald have their Fame adjusted and Social Standing, if needed.

But the game doesn't end there as Benjamin can choose to have a Carouse Encounter where he can gamble, gain friends or even a Mistress.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Slight Indiscretion - A Savvy and Steel AAR

By Savvy and Steel is the swashbuckling game from Two Hour Wargames. Set in the 17th Century, in the fictional country of Edenstein (here's the campaign Map), players can adventure in the style of the Three Musketeers. We chose to set it in an ImagiNation because sometimes historical settings can constrict what the player can do.

By Savvy and Steel is story driven game where the player takes on the role of a Gentleman (or lower if you want a challenge) and move about their career trying to gain Fame and Fortune.
Some of the Encounters possible are:
Carousing - Where the player can visit taverns to gamble, carouse and recruit friends or Mistresses.
Rescue - Where a character has to be rescued.
Robbery - The player can choose to play either end, as a potential victim or as a Highwayman.
Duel - Dueling for honor and Fame using a new set of dueling mechanics.
Escort - Where the player receives a summons from a high ranking Noble to escort someone, somewhere.
And many more.

Instead of tracking wealth or items we've gone to an easy to use Fame points system where your successes and failures adjust your Social Standing.

This AAR is the result of an Encounter where the hero was out carousing with his Mistress and they have run into her estranged husband  (the story line can switch gears very quickly). 

In fact this was the result of an Involuntary Encounter where he needed to spend some time with his Mistress. I chose to carouse and do a bit of gambling at the same time, double dipping the chance to gain Fame. Rolling some dice resulted in a challenge and the duel was on. The encounter takes place at Night, hence the darkened pictures.

 First turn the PEF is resolved and the husband has brought along help. Not exactly fair but what the heck, let's see how fighting two opponents turns out (as there ARE rules for it).

FYI - The duel mechanics supplement the melee rules that are used with larger battles.

 Our hero is Rep 5 while the husband is Rep 4 and his helper Rep 3. Note that each character has Rep and 5 dueling stats. A more detailed AAR will follow. Anyway, the two soldiers attack.

 When fighting two opponents both characters roll their Dueling Dice, modified by the Dueling Table they are on. The higher scoring opponent is compared to the hero, this dictates how the fight goes. In this one the two push back our hero.

The duel continues and the hero is pushed back again. The opponents alternate scoring higher and the hero beats one but not the other. To win he has to beat both.

The soldiers score damage on our hero, even going to the Killing Stroke Table where physical injury can be scored. Luckily the hero avoids injury and they return to the En Garde Table, where dice are recovered...and the Watch can be summoned. Rolling to see if they show up I see that they do not but  the next time the duelists return to the En Garde Table I must check again.

More turns of dueling results in the hero exhausting his enemies' Bonus Dice and he starts using his own. With a rush he begins to take control and applies a Killing Stroke to the Rep 3 soldier.  The soldier goes down with a wound and capitulates. The duel is now one on one.

Both duelists score the same number of successes and it's back to the En Garde Table. I roll to see if the Watch has arrived and they do!

Dueling is technically against the law in Edenstein and getting arrested doesn't help anyone. Activation dice are rolled, our hero goes first, then the estranged husband and finally the Watch.
Time to leave, the hero breaks away, honor being satisfied by drawing blood. As he and his Mistress leave the husband helps his wounded comrade off the table. The Watch arrive to late to arrest anyone.

Thursday 5 September 2013

By Savvy and Steel - Three Musketeers Era Gaming

Look for the release next month and some Bat Reps this weekend. Compatible with And a Bottle of Rum and Long Rifle as well.