Actual play report: The Citadel Of Chaos - AFF2-style

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aduial
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Actual play report: The Citadel Of Chaos - AFF2-style

Post by aduial » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:58 pm

Today, I finally ran a game of the new edition of Advanced Fighing Fantasy.

I would like to thank Graham and anyone else who was involved in ressurecting this game, because frankly: I haven't had this much fun as a GM for a roleplaying in years. A few minor houserules were used, but really they were more clarifications than house-rules.

The game is amazingly simple to set up and "wing", but still has a LOT of crunch - especially regarding the luck-mechanics, which turn out to be genious when you remember that luck may be tested instead of any test - and take the "no bonuses to luck tests"-rule to apply both to positive and negative bonuses.

Citadel of Chaos SPOILERS below!!!

Four players tried to get through the Citadel of Chaos.

Player one:
Alakai the Analander - a sorcerer from far-away Analand, having come to Allansia searching for the lost treasures of Atlantis and, failing that, evil to foil.

Barsk the Dwarf Cleric of Telak - A warrior-priest of Telak, out to prove himself against the worst villains the world has to offer.

Fahrrad the Plains Nomad - A non-magic character with an archer/hunter/ranger/horseman build.

Koman the Half-Caveman barbarian. - A half-caveman barbarian, willing to do anything for a fight. (We used the optional rules for race-creation to create stats for half-cavemen, as an interresting option for "stupid strong guy"-type characters. I'll post the stats here one of these days.)

Anyway, after running around in Salamonis for a while, scrounging up extra gear and information, the players amazingly did NOT try to blow up the castle, but DID insist on finding their way in through the old mines beneath the citadel instead of going through the front door... I let them do so with a minimum of fuss (throwing in a single encounter, four goblins, which (due to extremly lucky rolling on my part) ended up being one of the harder encounters in the session). I let the exit from the mines be in the temple in the middle of the courtyard (that I had fleshed out to be a shrine to Logaan - the whole "one good, one bad, one ugly" potion-bit seemed very suitable for a trickster god to me.)

From the shrine they spoke with the quarreling men (ending up buying the dagger for 10 gold, the other potential buyer leaving in disgust) and read the mind of the orc by the campfire to get the password using the TEL sorcery spell - yes, the spell only allows the reading of surface thoughts, this was solved by actually asking him about the password while his mind was being read.

They also spoke with the madman, who attacked them after screaming about Ganjees. They knocked him out and shut him into the mines. (Where they also put the winged gremlins, incidentally.)

The players managed to get past the rest of the courtyard without incident. Going in past the rhinoman (giving him the password), they went down to O'Seamus' door - and never opened it. Instead, they trapped it, and went back up. I allowed them a "happy feeling" and a luck point for that, as I think O'Seamus would approve.

They told the butler they were the new servants, and were sent to the kitchen. In the pantry, the Sorceror managed to try to eat the Cursed Meat, which killed him... The first casualty.

The rest of the party went by the Scouts, and managed to get the charmed amulet. Then into the kitchen, where the old women gave them the food for the Ganjees and told them to be quick.

They put the food for the ganjees up, and poisoned it, then proceeded to WAIT for the monsters to come for their food... I had the room go magically black after a while, and them hearing someone talking about being delighted with the new taste of the food and someone being considerate enough to try to spice up their life with poison. The ganjees also considered eating the players, but decided to avoid them due to the amulet around the Barbarian's neck...

Next, the players went up to the balcony and into Mrs Dire's room. They fought her and managed to kill her (though it was a close call - I played her as a very powerful wizardess who used Starry Orb a LOT, along with a Death spell and Mirror Self). No casualties. They looted her room, but only took her jewelry with them... :roll:

Going on, they went into the children's room and slaughtered them, then entered the Gargoyle's room but ended up fleeing from it - they had very little magic at this point.

Then they went into the room with the Doom Pit Trap... And the barbarian managed to kill himself by falling in, more or less exactly as in the book. Taking the Charmed Amulet with him... so... yeah.

The others went on, and came to the Ganjees' room. Eventually, the Nomad set fire to the far door using lamp oil, and after letting it burn for a while ran at it to break it down with his shoulder - well, as anyone who's ever played tCoC probably know, the balcony on the other side has no railings. He failed his luck test to grab at something and fell to his doom. The priest fled out and up the stairs, Ganjee laughter trailing behind him...

Now, at this point, I made a horrible mistake as a GM... and forgot about the next encounter. Yeah, I know, I suck. I blame the eight or nine beers I had had at this point. So, the remaining character - the priest - came to the combination lock - and of course, didn't have the combination.

It was getting a bit late, so I allowed him to roll luck to guess the combination when he asked to - although with a special -2 penalty to the luck roll. And he did it. And entered. Where Balthus Dire was waiting for him. (I felt nice, so I skipped the trap and the clawbeast). He engaged Balthus Dire in combat. Now, the book consistently call him a sorceror, so I had modelled him as one - with magical items to do the various things he does in the book which can't be done using the AFF sorcery rules.

To the priest's credit, he lasted four combat rounds before being blasted into oblivion by NIP-dualled ZAP-spells...

So, the Vale of Willow is trampled under orcish feet, the Forest of Yore burns and Balthus Dire now rules over Salamonis. It is a black day for the forces of good.

I'll give another party a new chance at the module next time I have time. The players had a great time, as did I. Best roleplaying session we've had in years. There was even quite a bit of roleplaying (even though it doesn't sound like it in my summary above), both in-party and vs a lot of NPCs.

So again - To those who have had a hand in bringing this game to our tables: THANK YOU!

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torus
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Post by torus » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:24 am

Sounds great fun - well done. I'm surprised they got so far! And I like the idea of the mines, that's a good addition to the Citadel.

aduial
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Post by aduial » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:44 am

torus wrote:Sounds great fun - well done. I'm surprised they got so far! And I like the idea of the mines, that's a good addition to the Citadel.
Yeah - they players introduced that themselves acutally, wanting an alternative to the front gates for entry. They suggested mines, and were willing to roll luck to find some way into those mines. I believe in letting players create the story when they want to, and when they burn luck points as well... well, who am I to argue? ;-)

Mr Nay
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Post by Mr Nay » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:41 am

I love that book, and beers too, damn I wish I was in on that session :D

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Post by Dr Magister » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:14 am

A couple of friends are nagging me to run something this afternoon. Having read this, I think I'll go for my Firetop Mountain idea, and let you know how it goes.

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bottg
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Post by bottg » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:23 pm

Nice AP report. Sounds like a lot of fun, and people enjoying the game again was the whole reson to do this!

It does also show what a good resource the gamebooks can be.

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Post by Dr Magister » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:06 pm

Well I've run a game, although it wasn't Firetop Mountain in the end.

Instead my players, a priest of Logaan and a dwarf warrior, were hired by a bank to break into their own vaults, which are protected by numerous traps and monsters. The bank held a map to the vault, and all the monsters wear collar which cause them to fall into a deep sleep when a certain word is spoken. Now, the King of Salomonis wants his crown, which was stored in the vault for safe keeping.

Unfortunately, the map, with the word writtten on it was burnt by accident, and the spare map was safely stored away... um, in the vault...

My players got through the dungeon, and retrieved the crown and the spare map, and were paid well for it.

I used the random dungeon generator from the book to create the bank vault, with a couple of traps and features borrowed from the Riddling Reaver.

It's the first time I've run 2nd ed, and both my players were in my old 1st ed. games as well, and they both seemed to think the new rules work very well, especially the armour.

The dwarf has pointed out however, that according to the price list, it's cheaper to buy a fresh, whole, free-range cat than it is to buy a single meal...

aduial
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Post by aduial » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:51 pm

The price lists took flak from my players as well. Though that isn't the first time. Both WFRP2 and D&D4 has taken similar criticism from my players regarding their economic systems.

AFF2 actually came out rather well in that comparison - the bartering system and what little the rulebook says about trade was tentatively agreed on as "promising", although the price lists weren't up to the expectations.

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bottg
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Post by bottg » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:55 pm

Prices were always a funny thing in both the gamebooks and in "Titan". They never really made much sense. I tried to even them out where i could whilst keeping in line with canon......not an easy task!

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Post by Slloyd14 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:39 pm

It's hard to keep prices in line with canon when a meal of provisions costs 5sp in Master of Chaos, 3gp in the Sorcery! series and 1gp in Portal of Evil. In Blacksand you could buy some food that restores 2 stamina points for 1gp.

Would having 10 copper pieces = 1 silver piece help the situation so that you could have a small difference between small items.
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aduial
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Post by aduial » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:49 pm

I can believe that getting the prices right AND keeping in with canon would be difficult... hardly any game manages to get prices right.

An economic system that feels realistic seems to be one of the things that RPGs have the most difficulty with... The best I've seen is probably that presented in the book "...and a 10' pole", which strives to make a system-less, historically correct system. The trouble with that book is that the prices then don't match the balance in various systems as it applies to the actual effectiveness of armour and so on...

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Re: Actual play report: The Citadel Of Chaos - AFF2-style

Post by Slloyd14 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:08 pm

I'm going through the old posts. Any chance of a Citadel of Choas or other FF conversion any time?
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