Thursday, March 19, 2015
Heroic Age of Tékumel Example of Play
Six friends gather to play a game of Heroic Age. John is the GM and has an adventure ready. Jim is playing a scholar-priest devoted to Thúmis named Balésh, Sue is playing a priestess of Avánthe named Dzái, Dean and Loren are playing human fighters from the Temple of Thúmis, named Mígor and Múkor respectively, and Tom is playing a Tinalíya named La-Go-Ki. The characters are all 1st level. They've been playing for a couple hours and find themselves in a room in the underworld.
John (GM): Okay, you’re in a spacious room, maybe ten strides wide and twenty long, with high ceilings -- maybe 4 or 5 man-heights high. The walls are covered with brilliantly-colored frescoes depicting a crocodile-headed goddess eating sacrificed warriors and causing the life-giving floods that irrigate and replenish the land. In the middle of the room is a large statue of her standing with large green faceted eyes and very sharp white teeth, probably a hundred of them. On either side of her statue are two evil, nasty-looking Crocodiles from Hell statues. It almost looks like these statues are drooling. Across the room is an ornate doorway. The doors are covered in gold. At the base of statue is a large ewer. What’s everyone doing?
Jim (Balésh): I move toward the center statues. I’d like to cast Detect Magic on the area.
Sue (Dzái): I look at the frescoes? What do I know about the crocodile goddess cult?
Dean (Mígor): I walk to the gold door and see how thick the gold is.
Mark (Múkor): I move next to Balésh. What’s in the ewer?
Tom (La-Go-Ki): I move behind the statues and look for traps.
John (GM): Okay, Jim, roll your spell chance.
Balésh (Jim): (rolls dice) I rolled a 9, plus 1 for my level, plus 2 for my Psychic Ability of 96, making 12, which is equal what I need. I successfully cast the spell.
GM (John): Balésh detects a general aura of magic emanating from the three statues. You’re not sure if this is from their sacred nature or something else. Sue, you need to make a general knowledge roll, based on your religious education? Can you make a 12?
Dzái (Sue): (rolls dice) Nope, I got a 7. (She rolled a 6, plus 1 for her level, and +1 for her INT Mod.)
GM (John): All Dzái knows is what I’ve already told you.
Dzái (Sue): What can I glean from the frescoes? (rolls dice) I rolled a 14 and my INT Mod is +1.
GM (John): That’s enough. In every depiction of the goddess, you see water nearby, and she often has other crocodiles with her. Dean, Múkor thinks the gold is more than gold leaf.
Mígor (Dean): I’m Mígor.
GM (John): Oops. Sorry. (rolls dice) Múkor, the ewer is filled with a lot of coins of every type. Some look to be very old and not of the present regime. Tom, (rolls dice) La-Go-Ki detects no traps on the goddess statue. Okay, next round. Actions everybody?
Balésh (Jim): While I’ve got the Detect Magic going, I’ll go around the room looking for more magic.
GM (John): Starting where?
Balésh (Jim): Starting at the statues and moving toward the door in front of us.
GM (John): I’ll let you know if you detect anything.
La-Go-Ki (Tom): I’m also looking for any hidden latches or drawers or compartments around the base of the statue.
Múkor (Loren): I start filling my bag with coins.
GM (John): Your bag is full of food, Múkor.
Múkor (Loren): I dump the food and start shoveling in the coins.
GM (John): Dumping it in your backpack?
Múkor (Loren): No, on the floor.
GM (John): Okay. Mígor, what are you doing now?
Mígor (Dean): I’m digging in the gold of the door with my dagger to see how thick the gold is.
GM (John): Dzái, you’ve been studying the frescoes and are now over near the door with Mígor, and Balésh is arriving there as well.
La-Go-Ki (Tom): So, Múkor and I are the only ones near the statue?
GM (John): Yes. Whose turn is it to roll a d6?
Mígor (Dean): Mine. (rolls) I got a 2. I hope that wasn’t Surprise.
GM (John): It was Surprise. The two crocodile statues come to life. They are now actually drooling, razor-sharp teeth gnashing. Deep growls rumble in their throats, like rock grinding on rock. One charges Múkor and one charges La-Go-Ki. What armor do you each have?
La-Go-Ki (Tom): Leather, AC 15.
Múkor (Loren): Chain and shield is 17.
GM (Tom): (rolls) La-Go-Ki, your croc snaps at your arm, but misses. You can smell its fetid breath. Múkor, your croc leaps at you, jaws snapping. (rolls) It connects with your leg for … (rolls) … 2 damage.
Múkor (Loren): (marks 2 off of his Hit Points) He drops the bag and switches to his sword.
GM (John): Hang on. This is Surprise. You’ll have to wait till next turn. Which is now. Whose turn to roll Initiative?
Múkor (Loren): Me, and … (rolls) … we got a 4.
GM (John): (rolls) Ah, 3. You go first. Start with Loren and Tom, then the others.
Múkor (Loren): I switch to my sword, dropping the bag full of coins. I’m attacking the croc statue, trying to knock its legs out.
GM (John): Make your combat roll. Its stone body has an AC of 17.
Múkor (Loren): My 78 Strength gives me +1. (rolls) I got a 6 plus 1 is 7. Miss. Crap. Next!
La-Go-Ki (Tom): I’m pulling my Eye out of my harness pouch. If I shift a step, can I make sure Múkor is not behind the statue?
GM (John): Sure, a sidestep means Múkor will not be in line. Which eye is that?
La-Go-Ki (Tom): The Eye of Frigid Breath. I only have 5 charges left.
Balésh (Jim): You have an Eye of Frigid Breath?! Oh, man! Sweet!
Dzái (Sue): I’m jealous.
GM (John): Okay, roll to hit, but ignore armor.
La-Go-Ki (Tom): My DEX is 98, so +2. And without the armor the statue is 12. (roll) Aha! 15 with the +2 is 17. Whew!
GM (John): A sparkling white beam shoots from the Eye and strikes the crocodile full in the chest. The stone of its body goes white with frost. You feel a wave of cold on your skin. So do you, Múkor. In fact, the beam only misses you by about a foot. The beam continues and hits the wall, making the frescoes frost up as well. The croc’s joints lock up. He’s trying to bite, but his jaw is grinding. It can’t take a step either. It rolls its eyes wildly.
Mígor (dean): I drop the dagger and draw my mace. I’m charging the one on Múkor, waving my mace over my head and screaming, “Die for Thúmis!”
GM (John): Okay, you close the gap and can roll your attack.
Mígor (Dean): I smash the mace down on its head. +3 for my 100 Strength. Ooo, 13 plus 3 is 16! Woohoo! (rolls) I got a 7 for damage too!
GM (John): Excellent. You got its attention. Jim? Sue?
Balésh (Jim): It’s not a living thing, and I can’t use Illusion on it, so I’ve got nothing in the spell department. I’m going to open the gold door.
Dzái (Sue): I’m moving close to Múkor and casting a Heal Wounds. I need an 12. (rolls) 15! (rolls) I cure 3 hits, so you’re completely healed.
GM (John): The statue’s turn. The one on Múkor has to decide between him, Mígor, and Dzái.
Dzái (Sue): What?
GM (John): You’re in range next to Múkor. (rolls) It’s attacking Mígor. Its jaws snap. (rolls) A hit. (rolls) It does 3.
Mígor (Dean): Ouch, I’ve only got 1 left.
GM (John): The other one is still frozen and can’t move. New round.
La-Go-Ki (Tom): I give it a shove to knock it over.
GM (John): It can’t move, so you don’t have to roll to hit, but it’s big and heavy and you’re small, so treat it like an Open Door roll. Roll a STR Save. d20 plus Level plus STR Mod.
La-Go-Ki (Tom): (rolls) I rolled a 1.
GM (John): Aw, a fumble. You hurt your wrist when you shove the thing and fall against it. But … (rolls) … the thing is in mid-step, so it’s unbalanced. It tips over anyway. When it hits the floor, it shatters into a dozen pieces.
Múkor (Loren): I swing at mine.
Mígor (Dean): Me too.
GM (John): Okay, make your rolls.
Loren: A natural 20! And a 6 for damage.
Dean: I got a 15 plus 3 for Strength plus 1 for level for a total of 19! 4 for damage.
GM: Roll again, Loren.
Loren: A 19!
All: Instant death!
GM: Múkor hits the statue right at the juncture of its neck to its body, and the stone cracks. The creature bellows and turns toward you, but its neck cracks further and the head completely falls off the statue. It stops, shudders, and falls to the ground, shattering into a pile of rubble.
High fives all around the table with much hooting and hollering
GM (John): The goddess statue now starts to move and a booming voice issues from its throat. “THIS WILL BE THE LAST SHRINE YOU DESECRATE!” Enormous holes in the walls burst forth from the frescoes and water begins to pour into the room from four sides. What do you do?
Everyone starts shouting at once and hilarity ensues.