One of our most dedicated fans, Aaron Smalley was at this year’s GenCon running six sessions using the new Rolemaster Open-Beta rules. We caught up with Aaron after all the excitement had died down to get a full report of how it all went.
“Twelve pre-rolled 5th level characters were available for players to choose from for this game of infiltration. With this being a convention based one-shot game with prizes being offered, a point system was developed where the players would receive more points the quicker they accomplish their mission objectives.
In an obviously cliched starting point, the characters are in the Red Hooded Traveller Inn and Tavern in the city of Martelain where due to their appearance as “brave adventurers” they are approached by a middle-aged man who introduces himself as Vigdol Bairgain. He explains that he needs their assistance. He owns a building that used to have four shops and six apartments attached to a central courtyard. He goes on to explain that due to the depressed economic conditions in the city of Martelain, it had been empty for the last several years and a group of slavers have moved in and seized control of the building preventing him from being able to sell it to a potential buyer. The Martelain City guards will not deal with the slavers even though slavery is illegal in the city as they have their hands full with the riots and social unrest that is rampant throughout the city.
He requests the characters’ assistance in capturing the slavers and reclaiming the building and offers to pay them a tidy some in exchange. Stipulations of the mission are:
- To capture the slavers (if possible) so that they can stand trial for their crimes, but if they can’t be captured then they need to be killed.
- Avoid allowing the slavers to escape at all costs.
- Complete the mission as quickly as possible so that Vigdol can show the building to this potential buyer as soon as possible.
Characters received more points for capturing the slavers then killing them, however killing still results in more points than allowing them to escape. Points were also awarded for saving and/or releasing the slaves. Additional points were awarded for discovering the method that the slavers used to get the slaves in and out of the building which was through the city sewer system. A small number of additional points were also awarded for humor and good or unusual (but effective) ideas towards the completion of the objective.
The first group (Thursday afternoon) was at a bit of a disadvantage, as only two players were present. However they still did quite well, having completed it relatively quickly and entering by way of the sewer (although they did get lost in the sewer and encountered a were-rat and his giant rat companions, and thus went through an additional combat encounter. However they were one of only two groups who discovered how the slavers were moving their prisoners in and out of the building (through a hidden dock in the sewers). they also only captured two of the slavers while one escaped.
The second group (Thursday evening) captured half and killed half of the slavers, but did well in completing the objectives quickly and also found the hidden sewer dock, having also come in through the sewer. Unlike the first group who entered from where the sewer dumped into the channel, they entered at the nearest access point and thus had an easier time getting through the sewer system. While they did not place as one of the top two groups from a points standpoint, they only missed the second place spot by four points (despite having killed most of the slavers).
The third group (Friday afternoon) only managed to capture one of the slavers (killed most of them) but at least made sure that none escaped. However they had some very interesting and ingenious ideas (they entered via the roof) and actually were the first group to help (healed him, to the detriment of the healer character) one of the slaves that was in unusually bad shape. This group was also very humorous and entertaining from my perspective.
The fourth group (Friday evening) unfortunately killed all but one of the slavers, with that one escaping. However they took their time to think through their approach and took a very cautious stance in how to enter. They had some good ideas and the session was one of the more humorous, making it a very interesting and enjoyable one.
The fifth group (Saturday afternoon) went in over the roof as well and also managed to capture four of the six slavers while killing the other two (thus no escapes) and overall did pretty well.
The sixth group (Saturday evening) took a very unusual approach, spending more time discussing their options at length and actually took a multi-pronged approach. They did things no other group had done to scope out the building ahead of time and then set a trap of sorts in the sewer to prevent any escape via that route (although the one thing they didn’t do was discover the hidden dock and thus just missed a perfect score, although they had mentioned that they suspected that was probably how the slavers were moving their prisoners). Then they sent two of their party over the roof, while the remaining four characters figured out a way to get in through the front gate (which was an approach no other group had taken, although there was one other group that had an idea for approaching that way but ended up not using it). This group managed to capture every last one of the slavers (although they nearly killed four of them, only to heal/revive them) and released all the prisoners and even helped the one who was in really bad shape. In game-time terms this group was the third quickest to finish (but still quick enough to maximize the points for timing), but in real-time this session ended up running over by about an hour, however it was a very fun and interesting session.”
– Aaron Smalley
Overall it looks as if it was a great day and a really exciting game. A big thanks to everyone who took part and an especially big thanks to Aaron for putting the game on and giving people a chance to play.
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