Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ternketh Part II: Guards' Quarters

I had meant to take screenshots throughout the movement of the party through Ternketh . . . but of course, as the game commenced I got distracted.  As such, the next image I have in the chronology is this one:

Depicted: Olie, 8th level thief; Sven, 6th level cleric;
Sharper (blue), 7th level fighter; Holly (top of the stairs), 4th level fighter

Olie, wandering forward on his own, walked right past the first harpy that was hiding between bunkbeds on the bottom right.  Sven has just time to get to the door when he sees the harpy zone in on Olie (who never checked his corners), surprising him (he rolled a 1) and proceeding to rip into his back with a critical hit, right off.  I've increased the amount of damage a harpy does in AD&D, to 1-6/1-6/1-8.

Olie made his saving throw against charm, but the party lost initiative after the surprise so I got to attack him again:  all misses.  The party rushed in, Olie hit the harpy for all of 1 damage.  The harpy attacked back and hit him. This time, Olie did not make his save (yes, I do make it count every attack) and was charmed.  He dropped his weapons and then stood there.

Unfortunately for the harpy, the party had all rushed into the cramped room.  The harpy flew over the table, around the far side of the pillar.  The party was able to throw a dagger (missed) and a hammer (missed), but being in heavy armor they could not quite catch up (my harpies move 6 hexes, or have 6 AP, per round - they're fast!).  Then the harpy fled out the door, as shown:

Added: Demifee, 6th level mage; Taver, 2nd level illusionist;
Perkin, 4th level fighter; Maze, 1st level cleric
Demifee had time to get off a bee cantrip, shown as a small black and yellow striped circle, which did one more damage to the harpy.  The harpy's total damage to Olie was 11.  The thief then took 8 more damage as the party decided to bat him out of his charmed state (which fits in my rules for such things).  So, the party starts against the harpies 19-2.  Oh, and the harpy got away.

Note that everything in this room is interactive.  The doors can be opened and the chairs and table moved around.  The players tell me where they want to move as combat happens (and that can be complicated as we work out who goes first both on the basis of their dexterity and their position in retrospect to doors, furniture and each other).  I got called on my own rules a few times by the new guy, which is absolutely great, as I don't mind countermanding my own statements if my own rules say I'm wrong (the rules are always right, I am never right).

On the above, the harpy and the three chests in the room are all dundjinni's.  The rest is my own.  Were I to send the publisher file to the reader, I would strip the dundjinni stuff out but it would be easy for you or anyone to simply pull them off line again and fit them in.  I was glad to find a harpy on line - I did not look forward to trying to make one of my own.  The images that are 'transparent' are those with a crosshatching behind the image when the preview is looked at on google images.

This is the first three rooms below the castle walls - a small guard's rec room, the bunk room and a sort of commander's room at the top.  I've explained to the party that the harpies have defecated and urinated on everything, defiling it, but that it has been long enough that the effect is mostly dried (it was done a lot when Ternketh was taken but the harpies don't renew the effect regularly).  So the value of what they find is questionable.


  1. It's great to get a look at how these maps get used in the game.
    Something you briefly mentioned which I had been wondering about is how you've adjusted movement speeds for the various monsters to your action point system. The AD&D MM has all these manoeuvrability classes and varying movement speeds; given how much each action point can benefit a creature, I'd anticipate that you tend not to reward a creature with too many of them.
    But, for instance, the harpy has 6 AP and the brown bear has 9 while a regular adventurer has 5. How do you decide on these numbers? (Getting a good grasp on this would help me to better use action points in my games.)

  2. I don't remember the bear. Likely, whenever it was I probably based the speed on the internet. Usually I increase the monster manual by 50%. Most carnivores move between 6 and 8; most prey between 5 and 7. Typically, if the creature is large, I make it's speed between 6 and 10, depending on its size, amount of energy, flexibility and magical quality.

    But I have no set established numbers for every monster. Harpies can fly, that makes them nimble and a little lighter than most creatures. I see them as bigger than humans but not more massive, so about 150-160 pounds and 6'4. 8 hit points per die.

    I haven't actually thrown a harpy at a party since the 80s.


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