Currently, I am running an Iron Kingdoms RPG campaign called Blight Hope. Running an RPG is new for me and this was our fourth session of this campaign. During this session I added in a variety of random elements so the players would not be conditioned for battle every time the GM rolled dice.
The players were camping on the side of a mountain for the night. During first watch there was a Sker (female Tharn bone grinder/blood tracker) and Vialoss (Male Troll Dhunia paragon/Fell caller); basically one who viewed animals for food and alchemical components (Sker) and another who only killed animals for food or self preservation (Vialoss).
While they were on watch I had a random encounter of a badger family coming out of the when all was quite to search for food. Picture this if you will: It is around midnight, in a mountain valley slightly up the slope during early summer. The three moons are at low light and there is a small campfire. A very tall troll and a small Tharn are keeping watch while the rest of the party sleeps.
The rustling of the bushes has Vialoss (troll) and Sker (tharn) heading forward to investigate when suddenly a family of five badgers comes out of the bushes sniffing around for food. Threat averted Sker heads toward the badgers proclaiming “kill”. Vialoss, our troll, begins to reason with Sker that is it unnecessary to kill this family of badgers.
This turns into a heated debate between Vialoss and Sker about when animals should be killed and the uses for the kills. Meanwhile, the badger family runs off as the debate becomes louder.
During their watches I had planned for a hunting pack of Vektiss to ambush the sleeping party. However, I took advantage of the loud, heated argument of the party members and had the Vektiss ambush them during the argument. Sker and Vialoss were so busy arguing they did not notice 5 Vektiss (spiders as big as mules) surrounding their campsite.
Fortunately, Wizen (Human male Blackclad Druid wolf rider) and wolf woke to the ruckus caused by Sker and Vialoss. Shouting an alert to the party; battle ensued. Fast forward through the slaughter of 4 of the 5 Vektiss when the party once again surprsed the GM.
Sker and Bress (Male Nyss (Ryssovoss/Duelist) are behind Ilka(our 8ft tall female Ogrun) and Vialoss when it is Sker’s turn to attack. The final Vektiss is unsteady on its legs and bleeding. Wizen (Blackclad Druid and wolf are on the other side of of the Vektiss).
Sker has no room to go around Ilka and Vialoss, so she decides to climb Ilka’s back to get to the spider. Ilka reacts by grabbing whatever is crawling up her back and throwing it … directly into Wizen who is on top of his wolf. As Bress sees Sker go for a flight check; he nimbly steps around Vialoss and stabs the remaining Vektiss, killing it.
After cleaning up camp and finishing the night our party continues on their journey. I have them encounter a small river with a herd of Ovis Bighorn (a stocky breed of sheep with large, spiral horns) on the opposite side of the river. The river is icy cold and over time rocks have been stacked in the river to make a small, slippery stepping path.
Our lovely Druid Wizen cannot make an acrobatics check and ends up in the river. Apparently, he also cannot swim nor is he able to make a survival check. Fortunately, his wolf is bonded to him and decides to not let him drown. With much huffing that sounds suspiciously like “dumbass”, Wizen’s wolf pulls him from the river so he can dry off. Meanwhile Bress looks at the rest of the party and nimbly jumps from one edge of the bank to the other; making that 15 feet look like a modern day sidewalk.
As Bress is touching down on the bank, the party asked me if they can still hunt; yes, you can. The sheep haven’t disbanded very far. Sker decides to skewer a sheep and Ilka decides to pick one up by the rear haunches and slam the front half into a nearby boulder. To which the GM replies: that is not technically hunting, that’s sheep bashing and her player responds but its effective!
None of this played out as I imagined and that is what makes role playing amazing. My friends have wonderful imaginations and love getting into character. I look forward to our next session.
Remember to keep playing and imagining!