Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another adventure by Gregory - part three (and final)

See part two here

You can also comment about the adventure on G+

Last episode of City of Judas: the good, the bad and the Roc Bird.

As Azim and Grégoire were closing the gigantic bird of prey, they spotted the band of warriors led by Abdul al Kerim hidden behind rocks.

Without any hesitation, Azim charged the Roc bird straight on with nothing more than his determination and of course his heavy mace in his hand. As it happened, arrows flew into the sky hitting the beast as Al Kerim with three of his men went to engage Azim in battle. But they didn’t take the courage of Grégoire into consideration who rushed them brandishing his family banner and shouting Frankish war cries as he rose his winged mace (the mace seems to be the weapon of choice among this group apparently).

Two fronts then took place : Azim versus the monster and Grégoire against Al Kerim and his bodyguards.

The veteran took advantage of the fact that the Roc bird was turning its attention towards the archers at the rear, to strike him with a very heavy blow.
NOTA : Azim’s player got a 10+ on his Last Stand move and therefore could fight the monster as an equal, well so to speak. As the beast wasn’t paying attention at him I didn’t ask him to roll a Face Danger move+edge for this reckless action. He got as well a 10+ to his Engage in Battle move and did a lot of damage to the monster but not yet enough to strike it down.

As Azim got the full attention of the beast now, the fight turned dirty for him : he had do duck, dodge and resist to the tremedous strength of its monstrous adversary AND the powerful wind its colossal wings hurled at him.
NOTA : as i just said earlier, I asked Azim to roll some Face Danger moves, be it +steel when he did something tough of athletics, +edge when his reflexes were put to the test and even +shadow when he told me he tried to hide between the numerous rocks and boulders all around.

Grégoire got the upper hand at first against Al Kerim and struck him hard with two consecutive blows, litteraly hammering Kerim’s chestplate. But he took as well his fair share of retaliations when the bodyguards went for him with their scimitars and spears. Grégoire realized that he couldn’t take down their leader by himself, at least with his warriors flanking him
NOTA : Grégoire got several 10+ in his Engage in Batlle move and I decided to make a hard move against him (damage dealing) as he was fighting numerous opponents but not numerous enough to be considered as a gang.

So Grégoire grabbed Abdul Al Kerim and the two of them wrestled as they were rolling on the ground until they fell on a ledge further down. Now it was a duel. The two opponents locked on their gaze to one another for a while, trying both to catching their breath.
NOTA : as a result of a 10+ to his last Engage in Battle test, Grégoire chose to outmaneuver his opponents to manage to reduce their numbers against him. Hence the duel.

Above, Azim managed to climb on the Roc’s back, grabbing his large feathers with one hand and smashing the beast’ skull with another. Some arrows hit him as well as the beast but he stood strong and kept his mace firmly in his hand. Then, in a terrifying shriek, the monster took off, shaking its head to finally throw the hardy veteran off its back! Azim fell hard over the rocky floor.
NOTA : Azim’s player chose the also the outmaneuver tactic to “climb” on the Roc. This was a good strategy as the monster couldn’t really attack him and all it could do was to try to get rid of him. So I asked couple Face Danger +edge to keep his balance and he missed the last one. The fall dealt +2ap to him if i remember correctly but nonetheless enough to have his health drop below 0. He’s gotten the Unstable condition as several ribs and vertebraes were in bad shape.

Grégoire resumed his fight with Al Kerim and after a couple bloody exchange of blows, he tricked the war chief moving just out of his way when he charged the Frank head on. Abdul Al Kerim fell off the ledge and disappeared from Grégoire’sight in a cloud of dust as he saw him roll down the very steep slope.
NOTA : another consequence of the Face Danger move in favor of the fiction : I described the situation to Grégoire’s player like Al Kerim was charging straight at him, bull style, what do you do? Then he did the above and I decided it was enough to take Al Kerim out of the picture even if he still could have fought a while more.

The Frankish leader didn’t have time to catch his breath as he saw the Roc bird taking off and the body of his comrade falling straight to the ground! He tried to climb up the slope to help Azim but his armor impeded him unfortunately and he was then delayed. In the meantime the three bodyguards saw their master falling into oblivion and the beast about to strike from above. Better fight another day and avenge the death of their chief and they ran away.
The two archers who struck the monster (and Azim!) several times during the fight were now about to pay the appropriate consequences of their actions. The Roc bird swooped down on one of them and cleaved him into the ground while the other ran away as if the devil was on his tail!

This gave Azim enough time to get on his feet and Grégoire arrived just in time to defend his battle brother from the wrath of the beast which hadn’t forgotten about this puny nuisance. The Roc bird nearly smashed Grégoire’ shield in one blow of his talons as big as blades but he brave and tough Leader stood his ground, allowing his compagnion to break one of its leg! The beast fell on its side due to the tremendous force of the blow long enough to give Azim the opportunity to deal a last and fatal blow, splitting the Roc’ skull open!
NOTA : here we had a Defend & Hold move and Grégoire got a 7-9 so chose the Hold Position option and I think I should have have the Roc smash his shield as my move (instead I said nearly smashed, like couple more blow and it’s gone). But here i did a mistake and didn’t make a hard move on Azim as he was dealing the final blow to the monster. I forgot that he was Unstable…Well good for him!

One day later, the look-out at Bersaba’s watch-tower spotten two bruised figures limping about and dragging what appeared soon to be an enormous bird’s head…

Another adventure by Gregory - part two

See part one here

You can also comment about the adventure on G+

Casting :
- Grégoire de Marsiac, Frankish Leader who went to the holy land to avoid ashaming his family further more
- Azim ben Arrabas, the veteran follower of the book of Q trying to redeem himself through combat for what he did during the crusades

Our two blood brothers just arrived at the gate of the remote village of Bersaba after being sent by Magister Geoffrey to evaluate the economical and strategical potential of the place and start partnership with the Iron Fist if worthy.
As they rode down the mountains where they had to flee an enormous Roc bird, they spotted a group of riders arriving at the village as well…

As they approached, they realized that the village was circled by a high (5m) stone wall and the door to wit they were arriving at was flanked by a wooden tower. A villager spotted them from afar and urged them to state their business. The compagnions declared being sent by the Iron Fist compagny to discuss the possiblity of a partnership with the village and there was a bit of a fuss from behind the walls. Several people were arguing amongst themselves and after a short while, the doors opened and two men welcomed Azim and Grégoire to Bersaba.

One of them, a broaded shoulders man by the name of Yakov, told them that it’s so rare to have so many visitors in Bersaba, especially the kinds who want to do business with them. The battle borthers were intrigued about the identity of the others and, as an answer, Yakov led them to the village plazza. The place was crowded by many villagers, men, women, old ones and children, gathered to listen and watch to the other visitors and as Yakov opened the crowd for Azim and Grégoire, they saw them as well.

A small group of warriors cladded in shiny and exotic armors, scimitars sheathed at their flanks, were standing next to a stern looking man, with an aquiline nose and an impressive and intricate helmet. They were grim, dour and dangerous followers of the book of Q and as soon as they saw each other, their leader stared straight at Azim with a murderous expression in his gaze.
In the middle of the two groups, sat on a small bench was a very old villager with a sheep pelt over his bony shoulders and a very long white beard. Despite his very advanced age sparkles of wits and wisdom could be easily seen in his grey eyes and he spotted at once the animosity that arose between the leader of the riders and Azim. Yakov hushed to his ear some words designing the newcomers and a cunning smile appeared on his dry lips as he spoke with a clear warm voice :
“By the Holy Vengeance of Judas, what do we have here? Other visitors who want to treat with us and from the City of Judas itself no less? So fortunate we are here in Bersaba! So, my friends, as I was saying to lord Al Kerim here, we, Bersabites, are a humble but hard working people. Our ancertors built this wall a long time ago, before even the Sons of Rome came and settle in Judea. We’re mostly herders and farmers but open to new opportunities nonetheless. So what is it you have to offer strangers?”
Lord Al Kerim, who didn’t stop staring at Azim with hate and disgust, answered to the Elder :
” We, followers of the book of Q, won’t demand much to your people, old one. We only ask you to convert and join our evergrowing army of followers for the benefit of the only Truth, in exchange of what you’ll receive protection from us against the carrion-eaters and scums that apprently roam this land even inside your very walls as it seems!”
Azim replied :
“At least, we, brothers of the Iron Fist won’t let their families rot when all the men will be killed in your senseless wars and feuds!”
NOTA : as you understood, Al Kerim & Azim knew each other. I introduced here an element of the BG of Azim as he chose for an issue which he will have to deal with soon. He described how some other followers of the book of Q beside whom he fought during the crusades resented him as a traitor and apostate, hence the behaviour of Al Kerim here.

The Elder, turned to Azim and Grégoire and asked them :
“So what do you have to propose then dwellers from the Holy City of our Saviour Judas blessed his name?”
NOTA : Grégoire should have spoken here for, as the Leader, his character was the most skilled at this, but as Azim stood up against Al Kerim AND it was an issue from his BG, I prefered to let him do the talking. So he spoke :
“Our brotherhood only want to start a partnership with Bersaba. As we saw, your walls are thick and high and your flocks plentiful. We may have the use of such an asset as your village as a place for shelter and resupply in this wilderness. In exchange, we’ll send brothers to help you out in case of need, some of our barbers might be sent here as well to tend the wounded and the sick, and our warriors will protect you against the rapacity of the desert wolves and other petty annoyances” said he looking at Al Kerim.
NOTA : he rolled+charm for a manipulate check the leverage being the help the IF might give to the village, and he got a 7-9.
The other followers of Q grabbed the hilt of their scimitars but Al Kerim raised his hand and they backed off.
Once again a witty smile shone upon the Elder’s face.
“Hummm…let’s see. So we both have here two valiant and potential allies and both their requests seem to be fair, in a way despite the fact that our faith is deeply rooted in Judas…”
“Then, you’ll have to pay a fine and go on with your faith. We’ll ensure that your temples and ceremonies go on as they always did.’ replied Al Kerim.
“That is very kind of you lord Al Kerim and a very sensible counter proposal. So now how to decide between the two of you?”
“Put us to a challenge! -proposed Al Kerim. We could easily overpower those ridiculous worms and son of traitor!”
“Then it is settled. There is a threat to us and our shepherds in the mountains nearby. A gigantic bird kills our people and our flocks for many moons but we can’t repell it. Warriors might. So here is the task : the first of you who brings us the head of the beast will receive our support. I swear it by the Holy Name of our Saviour Judas. What say you?”
The two sides agreed and the hunt shall begin.

As nightfall was upon Bersaba, Al Kerim and his warriors left the village by the way they came but the compagnions were offered a place to stay for the night. They really didn’t want to spend another one in the mountains… And as they were getting water at the village’s well by a young woman, Azim saw in guise of her the beautiful maiden he met in the Essenian district during his last mission. She was smiling at him with her radiant smile, her birght red lips and something, a primal urge to take her in his arms and kiss her was devouring his soul.
NOTA : remember the visions he had when he got bitten by the scorpion in the Part 1? I chose this precise moment to have him make a test your Spirit check that he totally botched. He chose then to take a -1 spirit instead of succombing to his urge…
NOTA : as it was getting late, I decided to jump in media res from this point to the confrontation with the Roc bird.

After a long day of hunting the monster among the rocky wilderness, they finally found it feasting on the remains of a few sheeps. But as they were getting closer, they could see the reflection of the light against metal : their rivals were here as well.
A tough and dirty battle was about to begin…

END of part 2.
As you saw there wasn’t so much of tests this time, I prefered having the players role play the talking but what I loved was the tension between the two sides and the surprise of Azim’s player when I told him that he saw this old ennemy in the village (I think he welcomed his presence with a “oooooh crap” or something like that).

Continue to part three

Another adventure by Gregory - part one

Here is another actual play by Gregory.
If you want you can also comment here on G+

For starters, the casting :
- Azim ben Arrabas, the veteran from the crusades follower of the book of Q who successfully accomplished one mission (and saved a mule called Judith^^).
- Grégoire de Marsiac, a Frank leader from Gasconny who ended up at Jerusalem after having ashamed his family.

The two of the blood brothers were summoned once again by the Magister Geoffrey but this time he sent them to the small and remote village of Bersaba in the southern part of Judea. Their mission was to assess the economical and strategical strengths of the place and if worthy to start negociate a business relationship with the Iron Fist (IF). Even if Azim was the most experienced brother, Geoffrey gave the command to Grégoire because he’s heard “some people” speaking highly of him (As a noble, Grégoire’s got some family in Jerusalem as he described in his background). Nonetheless, it didn’t really please the Magister who will particularily have an eye on Grégoire’s results. Better for him to succeed in his first endeavor…

The Quatermaster of the IF (have to give him a name next time, because I have the feeling he’ll be a recurrent NPC) gave them one horse each (strong european ones actually) and rations for the 10 days trip.
Before leaving the City of Judas, Azim thought that a map would (justly) help them to get quickly and safely to Bersaba.
NOTA : I, at first, thought they should have gotten a map but then thought that those items were rare and mostly very expensive at the time so I decided that, as rookies still, the IF wouldn’t invest so much in them…for now at least.
I called for a Equipment move and Azim scored a 7-9, so he could find a map but had to pay some extra gold for it (-1 equipment).
As for Grégoire, he had the very good idea to buy some presents for the Bersaba’s authorities, so both of them spend the rest of the first day around the numerous bazaars and souks of Jerusalem. They even witnessed to a christian flagellant procession towards the Mount of Olives.
NOTA : concerning the Grégoire’s request, I didn’t want to have him check his equipment move now as I thought it would be more funny/interesting to have it roll when he’ll give it to the village’s elder. I thought that maybe he could have choosen poorly the gift and maybe anger the Elder if he rolled 6- for example.

Anyhow, Azim & Grégoire got out of Jerusalem and started a long trip into the Judea’s wilderness. I asked only Grégoire to roll a Face Danger+steel and Azim to help him (actually both of them) rolling a face Danger+Brains as he was using the map. He rolled again a 7-9.
So…the map was really usefull to them as Azim’s player described how it’s got many places indicated to rest during the hottest part of the day and to find good shelter for the more than chilly nights (probably a map maide by an old pilgrim) but one day as Azim was looking at it at mid-day, he didn’t notice the scorpion crawling under the map and before he realized it stung him.
NOTA : the scorpion was the consequence of his 7-9 face danger test, it was a soft move at first as Azim spotted the crawly but failed at another Face Danger+Edge check. So I turned it into a hard move and had him loose 2 or 3 health (I don’t really remember how much it was).
BTW, how do you guyz rule the effects of poison? Do you give it a straight number of damage like I did? I thought that maybe one could give as well the Unstable condition even if Health is superior to 0? What do you think?

Grégoire decided to loose couple days to stay put to help Azim recover a bit from his strong fevers (I took there the opportunity, as part of the fiction to have Azim dreamt about the girl at the well from their first adventure and start having strange and mixed feelings about her. You’ll see why later…)
NOTA : Here I asked Grégoire’s player to choose between helping Azim and stay put but maybe loose their supply of food and water or to keep them but keep on going riding with a feverish veteran on a saddle.

After the two days, the fever was gone and they could resume their trip. So as part of the deal, i asked both of them to make an Equipment check to see if they’ll have suffciently rations to get to Bersaba, and they both aced it.

At the ninth day (out of 10) they reached a treacherous mountain path and had to take their mounts by the bridle, mostly climbing more than walking. I asked for another Face Danger+steel : Azim got a 10+ and Grégoire a 7-9. So as they were advancing amongst the rocky landscape, Grégoire spotted a strange shadow passing right over them. He couldn’t see what it was but it gave him an eerie feeling about it.
NOTA : here I used my move from the 7-9 of Grégoire to introduce a Remote Danger.

Some time later they heard screams quickly followed by a strange buzz and a sudden wind. As they were getting closer a flock of sheeps emerged from the top of a cliff, running in every directions. They peeked from over the cliff and saw a shepherd desperately trying to drive out the most gigantic bird they had ever seen. They noticed as well another shepherd lying on the rocks in a pool of his own blood. The huge bird of prey was flapping its wings with such a strength that he could create such a strong wind, that the shepherd had to wrestle with it to stay on his feet.
NOTA : the bird was indeed a monster. I just got my inspiration from the classical Roc Bird and have it be Massive with 2 armor points roughly speaking.

I asked the two compagnions what they wanted to do and after some considerations towards the beast, they finally decided to avoid any confrontation whatsoever with it. So as they were sneaking past it, I called for a Defy Danger+shadow test when the Roc just cleved the poor shepherd they could have saved.
NOTA : now I know what to do to them when they’ll reach -1spirit…Some tainting is on its way.

Azim, once again, proved himself worthy and sneaky and therefore avoided the monster quickly with his mount. But things didn’t turn out so good for our leader. Unfortunately he got a 6-, so he didn’t sneak past it AND the Roc spotted him! I also stated that his horse got scared and ran away (now I thought that maybe I was a bit hard on him at the time). Grégoire asked for the best course of action (or should has he said “survival”?) and I asked him to roll a perception test. he managed to figure out that the best way out was a small cave at some distance or trying to jump on Azim’s mount to ride double. But first he had to get the hell out of there at once as the enormous bird-thing was jumping straight at him! Time to roll an other Face Danger +edge. Grégoire just had the time to get to Azim before he heard the slamming of a gigantic beek right behind his neck!
NOTA : I had Azim helped Grégoire automatically as his described how he was getting his mount clsoer and ready for the Frank, waving and cheering at him to give Grégoire some more strength.

But now they weren’t out of harm’s way yet, they had to outrun the Roc and another time the battle brothers saved themselves thanks of the horsemanship of the veteran (who got another 10+ on his Face Danger+edge test).
NOTA : I’ve got a question here : I think I should have given him maybe a -1 to Azim face danger test as they were riding double. How do you deal with this kind of drawback in general? I believe that in DW you could do that but I’m not entirely sure.

They rode and rode quicker than the wind, avoiding the holes and the treacherous rocks along the way and after what was an eternity of riding, ducking and keeping balance on the saddle their got outside the mountain pass by nightfall. They didn’t catch any glimpse of the bird but could spot some lights down the valley. They had reached the village of Bersaba.
As there was 1 hour of riding left and it was dark, they prefered spend the night in a cave nearby even if the monster could be near.
NOTA : I thought that it was kind of a poor decision personnaly, as i described that the Roc was on their tail for most of their escape but their argument was valid, so I called for a spirit check. And they both failed (6-).

Azim and Grégoire spent the worst night they ever lived. During most of it, they could clearly hear the threatening buzz and the flapping of massive wings followed sometimes by a terrifying shriek. Azim was submerged by fear and crawled to the deepest part of the cave where he spent the whole night trembling and sweating, chanting all the prayers he knew from the book of Q. As for Grégoire, he was just furious against himself as he thought that he acted with cowardice when he let the shepherd got killed gruesomely by the monster.
NOTA : here I used the consequence of a failed test your spirit check and chose : “you show the worst of you…”

Only when the firsts rays of light shown themselves, they got it together and could they resume their mission.
As they were climbing down the mountain, Grégoire spotted from far away, the cloud of dust made by a group of riders approaching the village. Who were they and what was their business at Bersaba?…

END of the first part.

So, as usual, I’d love to hear comments, critics and advices from you guyz about how I ran the first part of this adventure. As you noticed, I called for a lot of Face Danger tests. Do you think there were too many? Or should I had replaced some of them with other moves maybe? To me it didn’t appear like weird really but I’m always open to suggestion! Hope you liked it! :)

Continue to part two

Monday, July 6, 2015

The first adventure from Gregory - third and last part

Here is the third and last part, from Gregory.

Read the first part here, and the second part here.

PART 3 (and last!) of my first COJ game.

As they were getting outside of Jerusalem by night, Azim and Zeno (and their mule) went towards the port of Ashdod. Zeno’s gang stayed behind as they didn’t cross the gate in fear of compromising the mission (that was a call of Zeno’s player actually and not such a bad idea).

Staying on the merchant road heading to the west, Azim pondered and strong of countless treks in the wilderness during his soldier life, thought that the road would be watched and decided to get off the beaten tracks. But as the City of Judas was at least lit a bit, that wasn’t the case (at all!) in the wilds and that they might be spotted at a distance if they used torches. Azim’s player asked me if he could have a kind of thief’s lantern with only one beam of light that one could shut down quickly. That wasn’t something his character was supposed to have amongst his possession as a veteran but I called for an Equipment check anyway. Azim scored a 10+ and then used two holds to have something unusual for his character and the last one to have it while on the road. Our two Fraters started their trip through the wild and rocky countryside.
NOTA : I called then for a defy danger+steel (if I remember correctly) as the trip was rough and they had to keep on moving quickly to egt to Ashdod before the captain ran away. Both aced it. However, I have a question here for +Davide : have you considered a move to deal with this “adventuring into the wild” like there was in DW?

After a harsh night spent walking, climbing and exhausting themselves, Zeno the raider and Azim the veteran finally caught a glimpse of the shimmering waters of the sea! They reached the port itself and noticed the frank vessel, “le Fol Ventoux” not far away. But between them and the boat stood a group of tough mean looking mercenaries who were visibly patrolling in the vincinity of the ship.Azim told Zeno to stay behind as he’ll try to get past the guards to talk to the captain of the Fol Ventoux. He succeeded (10+) and managed to reach the dock just in front of the vessel. There he asked for the Captain and saw a frightened bearded face looking at him with extreme caution. As they were nearly mid-day, he Frank was tense. He hushed at Azim about hem being crazy to try to board their cargo now as the mercenary pack was searching for them all around the docks. Azim tried to calm him down but failed (6-) at his face danger+charm move… Suddenly a rugged voice shouted something behind him. The mercenaries finally saw him! (I used the GM move show remote danger - well not so remote actually ). Already two of them were nearly at him and he started a bloody fight standing on the footbridge. He managed to throw one of his adversaries off the bridge but the other one forced him to abandon his position (-1 to his AD) using the length of his spear. Zeno who saw the whole scene from behind a sturdy building started to shoot at the other group of mercenaries, mostly forcing them to dive for cover. Azim fought fiercely against three opponnents (should I had him used the face death as they were more than 2 Vs 1?? At this time I didn’t but I am not so sure now…) and Zeno was now crossing blades with the sergeant (a strong type adversary) whose broad sword moved aside the light dagger of the raider and ripped his armor apart (thought that some weapon should definitely be able to break some armor, for good, as Zeno was only wearing light leather armor) putting his life at a real risk.
During the fight, the footbridge collapsed as the boat was leaving the port! Worse, one of the mercenary started to take the mule with him (as a consequence of one of their failed combat move)! Azim fled the battle and sprinted along the docks to finally jump and land on the Fol Ventoux’s deck! Then as he was trying to assess the situation (using a perception check) he asked as one hold this question : what is the best course to have the captain stop the ship? To which I answered : in threatening his life, and that’s what he did. He rolled a test of manipulate (and succeeded with a 7-9. With a blade onto his throat, the captain reconsidered his option and acept to give a bit more time to the blood brothers (Azim player chose the “they give you what you want …” option). The boat stopped his course and a rowing boat came down.

At the docks the battle between Zeno and the mercenaries led by their grim and strongly build sergeant went bad for the raider (he suffered several injuries and was at 0 health). As he didn’t see where Azim was (the player didn’t want to make a perception check maybe in fear of a failure hence another GM move?^^) he decided to run for his life! The mercenaries didn’t really care to kill him anyway, so they let him go (they were paid to recover the shipment only). That’s at this precise moment that two sailors led by a determined Azim appeared from below the dock where a poor now exhausted mercenary tried to pull the mule away. Quickly and with a deadly precision, the veteran sneaked behind the man and stroke him down with a blow of his mace crushing helmet and skull alike.
NOTA : here Azim asked to sneak behind the merc, so I asked for a defy danger+shadow. As he succeeded with a 10+ I decided that he stroke the man down without a Inflict harm move. I thought it suited best the fiction. Was the guard dead or simply KO, it didn’t really matter as he was taken down for the rest of the fight.

At once he started to pull the mule to get it inside the rowing boat when the rest of the mercenary gang spotted him and rushed straight towards his position! Zeno spotted this two from behind his hideout and rushed as well to help his brother. He ran like a madman until he reached the rear of the mule, pushing his bottom as Azim was dragging it!
NOTA here I asked for a help someone move and decided that Zeno automatically succeeded. I guess I was maybe a bit too kind having him spotted the whole thing as he said he was running away from the fight but it was late and I thought ah “what the heck”.

Finally the mule got in the rowing boat with Azim and the two sailors completely startled by the beast standing now next to them! As for Zeno he was the last to get on board and was baddly struck by a spear as he was trying not to regain his balance. The spear head pierced his leather layers and broke his shoulder blade (I think he was then at -2 health and as such got the unstable condition). And the hit pushed him overboard! Fortunately for him, Azim saved the day (and surely his life!) and pulled him out!
NOTA : as he got a 6 on the suffer harm move, I chose the “it”s serious…” option and decided he strength of the blow pushed him overboard. Then I don’t remember well but I asked a face danger+steel (or was it edge?) at Zeno’s player and I think he missed it completely., but as Azim tried to help him and successfully got a 10+ I said that he saved him from drowning. Was I right here? Can you still increase the success of someone who just failed ?

At the end, both Azim & Zeno went aboard the Fol Ventoux and managed to deliver the opium. The mission was still a success but there were some questions here still unanswered : who paid those mercenaries and the bribe at the gate? How could he knew of the operation? What was the fate of brother Timeus? Did he die during the assault in the Essenian district? And most importantly what will become of their new friend the mule?^^

Anyway I had a good time running this game even if I screwed up from time to time. We still have to go through the “milestoning” and the end of a mission move but I think we had a good overview of the game’s mechanics. Hope you enjoyed this gaming report!

Link to the original G+ post

The first adventure from Gregory - second part

Here is the second part, from Gregory.

Read the first part here

Part 2 of my first game of COJ

As Azim & Zeno were taking possession of the shipment of opium, screams and shouts started to be heard in the vincinity. (I forgot to mention that Zeno’s gang stayed in front of the first house where the PCs met Timeus giving his speech to the crowd)
Brother Timeus and several other members of his congregation ran towards the direction of what started to appear to the PCs as a battle going on.

Azim decided that their mission came first and therefore stayed with the mule while Zeno rushed towards the battle, running through the houses now deserted. When he arrived where he left his brothers in arms he found them fighting fiercely in a shield wall formation (he chose the move at character creation) against what appeared to be a larger group of guards mostly made of Westerner fighters. Two of his men were already wounded, one of them showing a grim and bloody injury where a crossbow bolt hit him. Quickly Zeno, assessed the situation (he made a perception move in battle and asked for the best escape route which was back towards where the mule was) and then decided to block the entry of the house he was in collapsing the ceiling. He managed to gather the other raiders without more losses and to destroy a joist (face danger + steel with a 10+).
The gang then started to run back towards where Zeno left Azim who had a lot of difficulties in having the mule advancing (at least the way HE wanted). But no time was to lose as the collapsing roof wouldn’t delay the guards for too long.

NOTA : Perhaps my mistake here was that I wanted to have them face a moral dilemma having the girl from the well and/or Timeus being targeted by the guards but as Zeno succeeded his move I decided to go along.

They decided to flee through the Essenian district. (I called for a Face Danger +edge for Zeno as he had to keep it together and +steel for Azim as pulling the mule was pretty exhausting

NOTA : I thought to made a move for the mule but didn’t really have time and thought in the end that a face danger would do the trick. But anyway the mule could still be the target of some of my move : it’s kinda difficult to transport some barrels through a city like Jerusalem and its rocky countryside ‘well that is to say if they don’t have a gang helping them)

Azim managed to drag the mule (and the opium) without too much trouble but Zeno got a 7-9. So I had him to make a choice between saving one of his man who was shot by a crossbow but then all the ennemy gang will finally find them or basically leaving his man to die but he would then escape the guards. He chose the second option and then took a -1 spirit as a raider.
Then i don’t recall exactly what happened but if i remember it correctly the PCs started to argue about what course of action they should do regarding of the shipment…in a middle of a chase. So after a while (and told them that it was dangerous, that they were still chased…) I decided to go for a hard move : as they finally agreed to go on with the mission and finally got out of the Essenian district, they faced a smaller gang of guards (actually I thought that the guards splitted in two smaller gangs : one chasing, and the other one surronding them). At once Zeno and his men shot several of the opposition (thanks of another move he took from the raider’s playbook) and decided to go for the kill (he chose the option of being ready for a mêlée fight). The battle was as quick as it was bloody and the gang was (almost too quickly) dispatched.

NOTA : it was during this fight that we started to have some questions about the raider as I’ve discussed in another post.

Azim, Zeno (and the mule) finally got to the walls and one of the gate (I decided it surely was one towards the port) and as they assessed the situation (one of them successfully managed to score a 10+ on a perception check) they saw a shadowy figure leaving the guarrison followed by what appeared to be the captain visibly smiling at the mysterious emissary and poking something in his hand with content (I thought it was obvious he just received a bribe and didn’t want to make things too easier for the PCs either so I didn’t described more than that. But nevertheless, Azim and Zeno took the mule and walked directly towards the gate…

NOTA : at that moment I was thinking : “the guards captain just got a bribe to look for some sucpicious individual who will probably try to pass through the gate with a shipment of opium, and they are going right at him…” so at first I thought this was a very bad idea and wanted to make a hard move but then I realized that I wasn’t probably clear enough about the bribe thing so I decided to let them try away to see what happens.

Two guards speaking loud in frank and visibly drunk (stereotype here? maybe back then! haha) stopped them as they approached and asked them what they were carrying in those barrels. A glimpse of envy sparkled in their ox looking eyes…and Azim stated it was oliva oil. (He made a fance danger+Shadow and brilliantly scored a 10+). The guards looked at him with disgust (and a big disapointment!) and let them through.

The two Fraeters left the high walls of the City of Judas lit by torches and braseros behind them as they were entering into the darkness of the countryside. Will they reach the port of Ashdod in time and alive?…. Let’s see what happened to them in the last part!

Link to the original G+ post

Continues here