Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Narrative Combat - Aboard the Derelict Ship

The session closed out with the Explorers opening the derelict ship and discovering that it's infested with orks! We did some narrative combat to get the idea across of a battle with hundreds of troops to either side.

What I did was to use the squigs stats from Creatures Anathema. Then, I just wrote down a large number of hit points. What I ruled was this - the party had to do 400 points of damage to the general squig horde within 3 rounds. Failing that, their forces would be pushed back out of the ship and the ork horde would spill out into Footfall. Bad news.

So, instead of hardcore miniatures and tactics, I had them roll attacks and damage. Weapon Penetration added to the damage. At the same time, each round each member of the party was subjected to 2 squig attacks. Just 2 squig attacks a round was bad! One of the Arch-Militants had to spend a Fate Point to stay up!

The team was able to pull out a victory and push back the horde of squigs that attempted to pour off of the ship. To keep the encounter narrative, I allowed each player to narrate what their character looked like as he was inflicting damage onto the oncoming horde. It made for a great scene and allowed each character to shine.

Then, each party member had to make a specialized skill test to represent them pushing on into the ship. The seneschal was stalking and hiding through the ship as a scout, so he made a Concealment check. The explorator was spotting for trouble, so he made an Awareness check. And so on.

The results were interesting. Half of the party blew the rolls. Based on what rolls succeeded, I ruled that the party had kept their troops out of trouble. However, the blown rolls meant that their troops' morale was severely shaken. Right about that time, the Explorers rounded a corner and ran into an ork nob. We ended there on a cliffhanger.


  1. I just wanted to say that I'm loving these reports and I admire your ability to branch out and try new things. The best part of it seems to be that you're allowing each character to shine in what they want to do. Kudos to you sir.

  2. I'm thoroughly enjoying them as well. Looking forward to more. I just noticed you added my site to your linky links-- thanks!

  3. This is a really interesting approach, and a bit more elegant than my attempt at the same kind of thing.

    I'm still finding my feet with the way Rogue Trader player-characters are both individuals and "squad leaders", and I'm trying a new idea with every session; this game has turned me into quite the experimental GM! Last session I gave them the task of rescuing an orbital station which was slowly dropping into the surface of a gas giant; I came up with a clever little minigame to represent this, but then they came up with a completely different kind of idea, and I had to shelve it. Oh well.

    Anyway, consider this idea stolen for my game. Thanks!

  4. Kelvingreen, your approach isn't bad at all, especially if you roll out the results ahead of time (or not) and write out the results round by round.

    I think that it could add a lot of flavor to a battle, with the GM, each round, describing what is going on in the background.

  5. Thanks, that's what I was going for, and it worked well in the session, but for some reason, I'm not as happy with it as I could be.