So. Runequest combat. Not as much of a fan as I thought. The action point economy is nice in that you can outmaneuver your opponent by simply being able to do more per round and possibly baiting out parries or evasions. The special maneuvers are a nice touch, but I think there is definitely an order of operations that can be followed to maximize and game the system.
However, that being said, this was actually pretty boring. Each “round” every character had three action points. Basically, you get two or three exchanges per round, which is effectively three rounds of D&D combat rolled into one. This combat took just as long as it would in a D&D system. The difference is the parry and evasion mechanic made many of the characters’s efforts feel worthless. D&D: you hit, you damage. Runequest: you hit, they parry, and… nothing. For quite some time.
Finally, rabble and underlings as suggested in Mythras are not at all like minions in D&D. That was my mistake in thinking one character could take three rabble. Nope. The action point economy effectively controlled what options my characters could use. You’ll notice that rabble and underlings have ONE-FIFTH the hit points of a standard creature, and they very nearly kill one of the characters. Good thing I had a reset button to bypass the encounter and consider how to handle future combat.
Be that as it may, should I continue playing a Runequest based system, I’ll likely use Chaosium’s or Open Quest’s hit point pool versus the hit points per location found in Mythras aside from specific attacks or killing blows. I’ll probably keep the Special Effects, though. Anyway, on to part 3...
Rain waited patiently while Shiventai gathered what few pieces of equipment she had laying around. They brought a handful of coins with them should they visit a town for supplies. Together, they concealed her hoard the best they could before leaving.
From the height of the lair, they could see Thorndyke just a few hours walk from where they stood. A column of black smoke rose north west from the village. The two shared a glance then made their way toward the billowing smoke. By the time they reached the burning home, most of the fire had already consumed what fuel was available. There were patches of dark earth where a fight had taken place, furrows dug into the ground where something had been dragged into the trees.
[Player roll Shiv stealth: 41]
[Player roll Rain stealth: 29]
[Player roll Rain perception: 15]
Heading north, the pair wove their way between trees as cautiously as they could. Gruff whispers came from further ahead. The two crept forward, and Rain could make out shapes lurking in the shadows. The shadows were squat, short and there were six of them. Two ahead and two each pulling unconscious bodies back toward the mouth of a cave.
Rain turned to Shiventai, holding up three fingers then pulling out his crossbow and unsheathing his falchion. Shiventai nodded, reaching into a pouch at her belt and prying out something clenched in her fist. Her fingers glowed from the light emanating from the concealed object behind her shield. He nodded in return then took aim at one of the creatures ahead.
[GM Goblin Rabble (6): 3 hp]
[Player roll with Aim: 71, 1 damage, chooses Impale to location 6 (Abdomen)]
Shiventai pulled her sword free of its scabbard then threw a small round jewel into their midst. An enchantment placed upon it lit the small patch where the things stood. Tiny red eyes turned toward the light. Green skin with large sharp ears and hairless heads looked around, grunting in some dark language. The crossbow released its bolt with a soft clack. The projectile embedded itself into the goblin's side who shouted in pain and turned to the tunnels, fleeing.
[GM roll: Timer: 1]
[Player roll: Rain initiative: 18]
[Player roll: Shiv initiative: 19]
[GM roll: goblin initiative: 14]
[Player roll: Shiv attack: 71]
[Player roll: Rain attack: 97]
Shiventai charged forward from the underbrush and swung her bastard sword in an immense arc; the slash missed its target, whipping through the air above its head. Rain didn’t fare much better as he broke from the trees and swung the falchion down at the nearest goblin. The goblins sneered and muttered in their low guttural tongue as they pulled makeshift weapons free from their belts.
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 71, 19]
[Player roll: Rain uses Artful Dodger: 49]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 54, 44, 79]
[Player roll: Shiv parry: 02, chooses Overextend Opponent]
Two of the goblins moved towards Rain, rusted blades dull in the light provided by the glowing gem. The first swung its large knife at Rain, but the attack swept empty air. The second goblin pressed forward, forcing Rain to sidestep and skip backward to avoid the flailing blade.
The remaining three closed on Shiv. Two of them slashed at her with their club and knife, but she merely danced aside. The third goblin thrust with its short sword. Shiv parried the attack with a graceful sweep of her sword. The shift in momentum twisted the goblin to one side.
[Player roll: Rain attack: 36]
[GM roll: goblin parry: 37]
[Player roll: Shiv attack: 91]
Rain recovered and bounced forward, his falchion traced a path toward a goblin’s throat. The creature brought up its knife turned sword and beat against the elf’s sword, pushing it wide. Shiv’s attack completed her parry, twisting her wrist to spin the sword and cut with its false edge. The target of her attack had already moved away.
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 21, 69]
[Player roll: Rain parry: 41]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 12, 10]
[Player roll: Shiv parry: 01, chooses Overextend Opponent, 77]
The pair of goblins on Rain took turns swinging at him. The first attacker came close, its sword cutting the air toward his thigh. Rain used his falchion to brush it aside as the second goblin’s swing sliced where he had been standing.
The first goblin to charge against Shiventai met with her shield. The sword struck against it with a heavy thud; she took the opportunity to press forward, knocking the goblin off balance. The second goblin seize the opportunity to stab at her left leg. Had it not been for the scale armor, it would have been a vicious wound for another. A small streak of red welled up near her knee.
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 35]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 20, 47]
Only one of the goblins could attack Rain. It sliced feebly at the elf, the blade cut a small furrow in the leather armor he wore. The two goblins that could attack Shiventai came around either side of her. The first thrust with the large knife which bit between the scales and left a small wound. The second struck against the scale armor but failed to cause any harm.
[GM Orc Underling: 5 hp]
[GM roll: orc initiative: 20]
[Player roll: Rain attack: 27]
[GM roll: goblin parry: 17]
[Player roll: Shiv attack: 25]
[GM roll: goblin parry: 19]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 30, 88]
[Player roll: Rain uses Artful Dodger: 45]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 30, 96]
[Player roll: Shiv parry: 41]
A taller monstrosity emerged from the cave mouth. It had murky green skin and heavily muscled. One hand held a battle axe that swung freely while it surveyed the field with cold eyes. The thing barked incomprehensible statements at the smaller green creatures.
Rain saw the larger creature approach and attempted to dispatch one of the goblins in front of him. His falchion cut at the goblin’s arm but the creature ducked and pushed the blade aside. Shiv’s bastard sword struck at another arm, but this goblin was also inspired by the presence of the orc and deflected the attack upward and over its head.
One of the goblins aimed a cut at Rain’s unprotected head. Rain deftly ducked under the blade which passed a hair’s width over his head. Another of the goblins managed another strike at Shiventai’s side. Shiv stopped the blade with her own.
[GM roll: orc attack on Shiv: 20, chooses Disarm Opponent, 1 damage to chest]
[Player roll: Shiv parry: 87, 88 vs. Disarm]
[Player roll: Rain attack: 46]
[GM roll: goblin parry: 44]
[Player roll: Shiv attack: 73]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 23, 09, 28, 1 damage to right leg]]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 09, 09, 5 damage to abdomen]
[Player roll: Rain parry: 25]
The orc roared and charged at Shiventai, the more heavily armored of the two opponents. His battle axe cleaved into her, causing a light wound on her shoulder. The force of the blow sent her bastard sword a couple feet into the trees.
Rain assaulted the goblin in front of him, swiping his blade toward the goblin’s leg. The goblin leapt forward, the falchion skimming the air beneath its boots and thrust its sword into Rain’s stomach. A wound opened in Rain’s side, and the elf grunted from the impact. The next goblin mirrored the strike to his abdomen, which the elf managed to parry in time.
Shiv was surrounded and weaponless. She attempted to use her shield to bash at the nearest goblin barring her way to the sword but fell short. Two of the goblins scored hits but failed to penetrate the layer of scales she wore, while the third sliced lightly into her right leg.
[GM roll: orc attack on Shiv: 08, chooses Bleed, 5 damage to left arm]
[Player roll: Shiv Endurance: 80]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Rain: 51, 95, 3 damage to chest]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 17, 74]
The swarm engulfed the pair of warriors. The orc’s battle axe savagely cut into Shiv’s left arm and opening another trail of blood. The successful strike from the goblin failed to pierce the scale armor. Rain had trouble dealing with the two on him, as he was not as armored or trained in front line combat. Another blade struck home and opened a wound in his chest.
[GM roll: orc attack on Shiv: 36]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 55]
The strikes began to slow for a moment, the orc scored another hit, but that was warded by Shiventai’s scale armor. Shiv looked from her opponents toward Rain and saw he was not faring well. A decision had to be made…
[GM roll: orc attack on Shiv: 27]
[Player roll: Shiv parry: 20]
[Player roll: Rain attack: 50, 3 damage to left leg]
[GM roll: goblin parry: 92]
[GM roll: goblin Willpower: 78, 92, 25, 29]
[GM roll: goblin attack on Shiv: 57, 01]
The orc hacked at Shiventai, taking advantage of her disarmed state. Her shield rose and intercepted the attack. Rain slashed into a goblin’s leg, where it fell to the ground and immediately fell unconscious from shock. Then, Shiv knew that something had to be done; they were heavily outnumbered and losing ground. The shapeshifting magic melted away, her gold leaf scale armor faded into the wind as she returned to her natural draconic form.
Of the four remaining goblins, one of them stood in awe and edged away from her. It turned and screamed in terror, causing the remaining goblin engaged with Rain to also shout and flee. The pair ran into the cave mouth, their shouts amplified by the tunnel. The stalwart remainders swung their short blades into Shiv’s flank but fell harmlessly against her scales.
[GM roll: orc attack on Shiv: 35]
[Player roll: Rain attack on orc: 50]
[GM roll: orc parry: 49]
[Player roll: Shiv attack on orc: 30, 12 damage]
The orc shouted with reckless glee, seeing an opportunity to test itself against a powerful enemy. The battle axe rose and crashed down on Shiventai’s leg. Her scales once again deflecting the sharp edge. Rain charged forward and thrust his falchion at the orc who twisted and parried the strike with the haft of his axe. Shiv lifted her leg and stomped on the orc. It burst as it got shoved into the rocky earth, blood exploded beneath her claw and left a pool to stain the ground.
The other goblins turned and fled...