This one took me almost two days, both because I had a hard time starting, and also because there were some more important things to take care of at home.
Anyway, as I said, difficulty choosing a rough idea for the scene. But I persevered and bothered hubby to get help. After some thrown-out ideas, we decided on having an attempted robbery en route to the landlord’s place. This, in turn, eventually became a group of thugs that attempt to coerce Surinder to do something for their boss.
The first roll was Surinder’s, an Average Perception + Wits roll to see if he would notice the thugs. Our Suri is pretty sharp, so that gave him a dice pool of 7. He rolled two successes on a one, and a third on a six. Six can reroll to hope for another success. He rolled another six, and then a three. Four successes total.
That many successes signifies flair in the accomplishment. It’s a little hard to notice things with flair. (what would you do, pose?) So I made them very noticeable while completely unaware that he’s seen them.
However, he is Shy (a complication taken in the character creation process to make his life harder), so he responds by trying to avoid them. This was when I decided on the idea of the men being thugs sent by someone. It has a for more interesting consequences than a mugging. Thankfully, Thugs are pre-created NPCs in the AP sourcebook, and have stats that provide two things: significant toughness and no making me have to make them. It’s a fairly quick process, but I’m lazy and I do not quite have a handle on the numbers.
When they approached him, they had to roll Intimidate + Mental, with a dice pool of 4. Because Suri is Shy, the roll for the Thugs was Easy, adding 5 dice to the pool for a total of 9.
Good thing, too. Having only 4 white dice on hand, the initial roll yielded no successes. Neither did the second group of four, nor the last single die. So I decided that despite their scary looks, the environment just did not allow them to utilise it effectively.
Then, after I went back to writing and decided someone needed a stupidity check, I realised that I should have had each Thug roll to Intimidate. However, I already like the way it turned out. Seemed a shame to waste such a perfect failure. I didn’t end up making him roll against stupid. He just acted stupid.
After they started their pitch, Surinder’s refusal to hear more brought us to another roll. Suri is fairly Streetwise and as Perceptive as a Level 1 character can be, so he couldn’t be unaware that they would attack him at this point. Therefore, they had to roll initiative and enter combat.
However, there was some thinking to be done. Three guys with these stats would thoroughly cheese him. Also, they would need to keep the coppers away, even in such a relaxed part of the city. I made one remain outside the combat, while the others double-teamed Surinder. Because there are penalties this in the rules. Insert grin of evil.
Just kidding. I’m not one of those lame writers who thinks their characters have actual feelings. I just wanted to use a couple of the mechanics of the game that I have not gotten to use. Narrative imperative demanded that the two fighting thugs be the leader and the weasel, because they had descriptors and personalities.
Both of them have the same stats, so they got the same dice pool for Initiative, which was 8. The weasel got 4 successes, the leader got 3. Surinder’s Initiative is 9, he rolled 6 successes.
There is a little wrangling to be done when two people attack the same target. They go in their turn order, attacking and defending. Surinder won initiative, with Weasel second, so they declared their actions and made their combat rolls. Surinder decided to try to Kick Weasel, while Weasel intended to knock Surinder down.
Surinder rolled Fisticuffs 3 + Dexteriry 2 + the bonus he earned for Initiative, giving him a pool of 7 dice. However, since he was outnumbered, he had to take 3 Black dice. He rolled 2 successes, but the Black dice rolled a success to cancel out one of his, leaving him with just one. Weasel’s combat roll was Fisticuffs 3 + Physical 6, with no bonuses or penalties, a dice pool of 9. He rolled 3 successes, and so got to deal damage. I probably should have had Surinder make his attack in the narrative, but I didn’t. Oh well. This took me a long time to write, and it had a lot of interruptions and low points.
Time for Weasel to roll damage. Something else I totally forgot when Edelweiss was fighting Thrimble was that when calculating the dice pool for damage, she would have gotten dice equal to the difference between her success and his. Which means I actually cheated her out of 4 dice rather than 1. She could have definitely killed the guy.
Anyway. The difference between Weasel’s combat successes and Surinder’s was 2, so he had that 2, plus 1 for using Punch as a “weapon” and 6 for Physical because Punching is a melee weapon. Yeah. Dice pool 9. Only rolled 2 successes, which is not bad for pushing someone to the ground. Taking 2 of Surinder’s health points brought him down from his maximum of 8 to 6.
Then, the Leader got to take a whack at him. Surinder’s intention was to try and Kick the Leader, while the Leader wanted to do the same to him. With Suri on the ground, he had to roll the same Fisticuffs 3 + Dexterity 2 + Initiative Bonus, but I increased the black dice pool to 5 to reflect his prone condition. There doesn’t seem to be a penalty for being knocked down, but I thought there should be, so I made one. I got approval. He rolled 2 successes on white, and 1 on black, bringing him to just 1 success.
As he has the same stats as Weasel (I wonder if I should have changed them), Leader had the same dice pool. He rolled 4 successes. This gave him a damage roll of DoS (degree of success) 3 + Kick 2 + Physical 6, for a dice pool of 11. He rolled 3 successes, which halved Surinder’s remaining health points.
Poor Suri, lying on the ground, in severe pain. 3 health points left. The thugs did not want to kill him, so they just decided their job was done, and left to report.
He did not distinguish himself in any particular way, so I didn’t break my initial decision not to reward experience points. I think I’ll keep that rule of thumb throughout these intro encounters. I also noticed that so far I have not used characters I blogged about before starting. Interesting, but maybe irrelevant.