Saturday, July 17, 2010

Playing D&D With Kung Fu Guys, Part II

Tonight was the second session of my all kung-fu student D&D game. We played last week, but I was on vacation from blogging at the time, and most of the session was character generation, followed by a little exploration of the Keep, establishing NPCs, buying gear, and hiring a guide.

A bit about the group:

-All guys but one (and she is married to one of the guys)
-All are students of the same style of kung fu under the same sifu.
-All but one have previously played Dungeons & Dragons, though not everyone had played old school D&D before. Some of the group are old enough to have played old D&D when it wasn't "old" D&D, while others have previously played only WotC D&D. About half the group has played/plays other role-playing games.

The party consists of a healer (modified from Amityville Mike's White Box Healer), a mystic, an elf, a halfling, and a thief. The sixth player has not been able to make it yet, so he doesn't have a character. Though I have alternate class options for demihumans, both players opted to go with the baseline class. The party currently has one retainer, an NPC guide hired to get them from the Keep to the Caves. I'm treating the guide as a 1st level thief, but he will not enter the dungeon, so for now it doesn't matter.

Tonight was almost a disaster. The group ended up entering the Caves through Entrance B, and the thief ended up shining his lantern into area 7, alerting the guards. The PCs made short work of them, but they had managed to raise the alarm, girding all dozen orcs in area 10 for battle. I thought they were done for, but they exercised amazing tactics, including hiding halfling, setting weapons vs. charge, and an incredibly well-placed and well-rolled sleep spell.

The party ended up capturing two of the male orcs (and two escaped to the chief's room.) Now here's the interesting bit... they discovered that there was another orc tribe, and have offered a cease fire with the chief of the orcs in area B in exchange for him lending his aid and remaining warriors to help the PCs exterminate the other orc tribe. We had to call the session with the PCs making their offer to the orc chief, so we're on a cliffhanger.

I need to do some thinking. The reaction roll table kept yielding neutral results. On one hand, the orc chief is pretty pissed that most of his fighting males (all but four) have been slaughtered. On the other hand, he is Chaotic, and this would be an opportunity for him... the PCs have offered the orcs their run of both orc territories if he helps them. It could go either way... the module implies that there is some cooperation between the two tribes. The orc chief also has three warriors and his two mates (who fight), so they actually outnumber the intruders at the moment. Still, the orc chief could be wary, since this group has already defeated 17 of his warriors. Luckily, I have a week to mull it over, and the PCs have a week to refine their offer. They did have the healer perform first aid on one of the wounded surviving orcs. I have to say I'm surprised and intrigued. This group is not only tactically sound, but they have more interesting plans than a simple kill n' loot.

I am pleased.


  1. The neutral results on the Reaction table could simply mean the orcs aren't used to "bargaining with human adventurers;" they're unsure what to expect. They probably see the benefit of an alliance (more territory grabs, more concubines for the chief, whatever), but they're naturally suspicious and wary.

    Nothing says the orcs can't make a deal and break it later (being Chaotic). That could certainly be a valid interpretation of a neutral reaction roll (as opposed to negative "don't trust them at all" or positive "they'd make good honorary tribesmen").

    I have found players often surprise you if you give them the space and opportunity to do so...
    : )

  2. I have to agree with JB. Based on the reaction results and them being, well, orcs, I see a high probability that the orc chief will attempt a double cross. Negotiate an ambush with the other tribe to take care of the interlopers.

  3. Any of your players follow your blog yet?