Topic: Thulian Echoes session with Runequest 6

This is a session report for Thulian Echoes, but I made it difficult for myself and converted it to Runequest 6 since this is a pretty awesome sword and sandal style adventure and I wanted to see if it could be done.  I didn't have a campaign going so it was all new characters and I had to bring in a bit of back story before they got the diary of the journey to the island.  I set the original adventurers in 1605 London as non-liveried members of the Mercers guild (read-- street thugs).  There were four players, one huge brute (as big and strong as physically possible to build within the rules) and the rest were little sneaky types.

I add some mechanical/system notes within the [] for anyone interested in the conversion.  It wasn't too difficult but it's an extensive system for skills where LoTFP is super tight. Character building in general was a beast compared to LotFP.

So here we go, this was with some of the drunken louts that I ran God that Crawls with and posted here awhile back. Thankfully we all didn't start drunk and they didn't yell at me this time that I was "NOT AN IRON GM" so my GM career must be looking up right? for now at least? This has spoilers (but not much)

After a rainy late summer day, after the rain cleared and the sun came out over London our ‘heroes’ were out and about looking for trouble.  Given the conflicts between the Drapers and Mercers guilds coming upon a lost group of Drapers stomping through the muddy streets seemingly lost was a gift.  After harrying them through the streets, our heroes boxed them into a back alley so they had to turn and fight.  There were four draper thugs escorting an old man who wore the livery of the Drapers-- he was a petrified non-combatant.  After some shouting in bad English accents, the two groups joined battle and after just a few rounds, all the drapers were slaughtered (rapier impale and severed leg were the highlights).  [The Drapers were set as underlings-- about 47% attack skill with a variety of weapons-- the most challenging being a dude with a short spear since he couldn't be attacked until the attackers were able to get within close range.  I wanted to get the players used to the combat first and foremost. I fudged a single roll of the weakest of drapers who had a two handed hammer that someone tried to parry with a dagger which would have ended with the character's head caved in-- chalking it up to lack of system knowledge that they didn't try to evade instead. Dodging around and parrying is covered completely in RQ by your combat skill percentage and evading is a different skill where you throw yourself to the ground prone to avoid attacks, traps vases thrown at you by rudely-swived whores, et al.]

After dispatching the drapers (except for the liveried guy) the thugs found the diary on the old man, took him to their man in the Mercers, Richard Trower to sort out his ransom.  Who was the old man taking it the book too?  Who found it in the first place? Questions Questions. They gave Trower the book along with the old man, and he gave them some coin for their trouble after a discussion about compensation and ransom of the geezer and sent them on their way to go out and party.

Week goes by and Trower calls them to his place via his catamite, Edward.  They show up and Trower looks pale and tells them they have to meet one of the Mercer grandees at his stately home.

They make it across London and are escorted into the home by the butler, given some drinks and told to sit in an opulent den filled with odd astrological stuff. 

An elderly John Dee (himself) comes in and asks them what they know of the book and what the old man said to them.  He then tells them this is deadly serious business.  That the book involves the theft of a great deal of silver by a Greek after the siege of Jerusalem by Titus.  The silver was stowed on an island in the north sea, somewhere north of ireland.  He then begins to read the book and translate from the Latin.

From the characters in the diary, the players selected the Gladiator, the Ex-legionnaire, the Sorcerer and the Pict and they hit the shore of the island with the vigiles (spear throwing NPCs).

[I had to make all these pre-gens/NPC's in RQ6 which was fairly time consuming but fun. The Sorcerer was the most difficult because from the RQ magic toolkit, you have to create a set of spells that are available to the sorcerer's 'school' of magic-- that stuff isn't defined for you.  The main thing he had was a magic missile type spell [Wrack] and a bunch of cantrips, the combat focused characters were surprisingly fast to build but trying to get the difference between a 5th and 3rd level fighter (the gladiator and legionnaire was a bit tough since RQ has no levels.  I completely ignored character 'passion' rules as that's not the style of game I want to run.]

The two fisherman, the Rabbi, the Engineer (the characters they didn't choose to play) and two of the vigiles were sent to set up camp.  They noticed a large statue jutting out of the water to of DAGON (Id’ed by the rabbi via an ancient lore skill roll).

Exploring the interior of the island, they shortly came to the chasm/drawbridge entrance and with the engineer’s help (who they went back and got), they cross the chasm and burned the drawbridge over the course of a day (giving the LAIR IS BREACHED tag).

On entry they pulled back the curtain and found the room with the statues.  the PICT and Gladiator climbed up to the balcony, finding the silk curtain and bowl.  The Legionnaire went right through the door below the balcony and the statues woke up and attacked, four at first and all twelve after a few rounds.

[I used the base minotaur stats from the main RQ book sans armour, but hits doing half damage from non crushing weapons, they swung at 67% or so, and were not pushovers so I really did not have high hopes for the characters surviving...but they did]

Combat was the rest of the session.  One vigiles was killed outright (impaled on a spear and left to bleed out in a corner). The ex Legionnaire went down with a wound to his leg, but stayed in the fight behind his shield (armor helps a lot in RQ).  The Gladiator took a similar wound and was put out of the fight.  The sorcerer blasted the statues 4-5 times doing damage to almost all of them, but not enough to take any out.  Everyone else was doing half damage.   Eventually the sorcery ran away and the Pict and the downed legionnaire were able to amazingly finish off the remainder of the statues, despite the half damage they took from their weapons.

This was a massive, too massive battle to try to deal with as a new GM with new players. 6 on 12 turned into likely the longest recorded fight in Runequest 6 history at seven full rounds (usually fights are done in 2-4 from my short experience). That said, it probably went real time wise about as long as this fight would have been in LotFP since the statues were 3HD and there were 12 of the fuckers.  It was quite fun though as the players weren't too worried about getting slaughtered.  They had some very lucky rolls (criticals are huge in a fight and they got several during the battle) disarming and tripping the statues to the ground.

Denouement to the fight, the Gladiator did first aid on his leg so he didn't bleed out, as did the Ex-legionnaire. Everyone else had scratches and cuts but were still alive, with the sorcerer running to the beach for help.  The two fighters were effectively out of the game at this point with wounds until healed up (which would be days to weeks) and it was getting late and people were burbling drunk so that was the end of our first session.  I didn't dole out XP for the pre-gens (what would be the point?) but gave 2 'rolls' to the original characters even though most of the session they were just sitting and listening.

[XP is a bit different in RQ--giving out XP rolls per session like WFRP rather than via gold and monsters killed-- this will be odd because this dungeon is filled with silver that may not have much meaning for the characters since the drive for coin for XP isn't there. I'll have to see how it goes]

I'm going to post all my conversions of traps and monsters somewhere once these guys run through the whole thing.