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Epic Barbarian Fail (Read 1397 times)
Stig
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Epic Barbarian Fail
01/04/17 at 11:07am
 
Not strictly a battle report, but you gotta hear this. This must have been the WORST Barbarian ever! After each incident, we thought it couldn't get any worse, but it did..

We were playing "The Slave City" series of 4 quests, which are awesome. The heroes did the first quest rather optimally, coincidentally taking the correct route through the dungeon, and got what they needed with some areas unexplored. The thirst for adventure was palpable amongst the group. Except, as it turned out, the Barbarian.

Tom the Barbarian said "Why don't we go back the way we came, that way we'll know that we probably won't come up against any more monsters"

The look the other Heroes gave him could have felled a tree. Uncharacteristically the Wizard, Crw Haf, proclaimed "No, we're adventurers, let's go look for treasure! Let's have a peek around that corner!". The Barbarian yielded to the wizards demands (the weak character that Tom evidently was) and stepped into the corridor. There he came up against a couple of Monsters, and nearly got cut down. Having lots most of his BP, the Barbarian almost didn't make it out alive, all the time complaining that they should have "taken the easy way" out of the Dungeon. Pathetic.

During the next Quest, Tom the Barbarian couldn't hit. It became hilarious - no matter what monster was up against him, whether it was a Goblin, Skeleton or whatever, the Barbarian needed help from his comrades. There were comical scenes with the wizard using his staff to poke diagonally to inflict the 1BP damage needed to fell the Orc that the Barbarian was having unexpected difficulty in dispatching. The Barbarian was getting rather self-conscious, if perhaps a little embarrassed. He's supposed to be the fighter of the group, yet Tom was the burden - others had to do his fighting.

When the Heroes finished a round of combat, the EWP played a Dungeon Event Card (I've made a huge deck - I'll post up elsewhere in the forum) that said

"Donk!

One randomly selected Hero has suffered an almighty knock to the head. They are dazed and have suffered significant memory loss. Play after the Heroes have been in Combat. That Hero has the Bonehead trait for the remainder of the Quest. (At the start of turn, roll 1D6. On the roll of a 1, they forget what they are supposed to be doing. They miss their turn, and fight using only their Character Die. Monsters may move through their square)"

Now the Barbarian would miss his turn if he rolled a 1. Guess what? Many 1s ensued, with the Heroes having to slow down their Quest, and fan out in order to take care of the Barbarian, who must have been stumbling awkwardly around the Dungeon going "duuhh??"

Could it get any worse? Yes.

Then the barbarian opened a Treasure chest [SPOILER WARNING] and put on a ring that was emitting black light. He had the option of putting it on...which became affixed to his finger for 10 turns. He wasn't able to move, and couldn't use any weapons in defence. Wow. That really put the brakes on the Heroes, who had to be very careful to defend the Barbarian. This was irritating - the Heroes had a real thirst for adventure, and having to look after the stupid Barbarian was a real drain. All the while the sand-timer for the Dungeon event cards was running down.

But it got worse...

Once the Barbarian got the magic ring off and was able to move normally (or as normally as possible, given he's Boneheaded), the EWP played another Dungeon event card:

"Hypnotic Runes

One random Hero [yes, the Barbarian was randomly selected again!] is transfixed by some strange, glowing runes, inscribed into the Dungeon wall. Take a mind test [roll 1D6, equal or under MP = pass; ie very hard for the Barbarian!]. If unsuccessful, the Hero is transfixed by the Runes. Next Hero turn, roll 1D6:

1-2: The Runes corrupt the Hero's mind. The must move and Attack the nearest Hero.
3-4: The Runes put the Hero to sleep. They take a Mind Test at the start of every turn. They awaken when they pass. Whilst Asleep they do nothing, including Defend themselves.
5-6: They suggest a source of Treasure. Take a
Treasure card."

The Barbarian fell asleep for another few turns, what a drag for the Heroes! By this point he was considered a HUGE liability, and Tom was getting huge levels of stick from the other players! He's boneheaded, transfixed, asleep, useless generally, what else??

Turns out, it was going to get a lot worse...

Then the EWP played a Dungeon Event card [I saw this somewhere here or at YeOleInn, can't remember, but it's an amazing idea]:

"Nemesis

A rival Barbarian has followed the Heroes  into the Dungeon.  Place a Barbarian in play at the Dungeon Entry. That Barbarian must attack The Barbarian in the party. If there is no Barbarian, the Heroes are Attacked as allies of the Barbarian. The Nemesis has the following characteristics:
Move: 2D6
Attack: 1purple 2white
Defence: 1purple 1white
Body: 5
Mind: 2"

The real-life players were crying with laughter at this point. Something the crappy Barbarian did in the past has come back to bite him! The nemesis made a beeline towards the Barbarian, who only had a couple of BP left at this stage. Here's what happened:

"Can you take him out for me, my friend?" asked Tom the Barbarian of Watkins, the Dwarf, who was having a brilliant Quest up to that point.

The Heroes looked at each other.

"Sort out your own problems, we're not here to fight your battles" they all said, almost in unison. Tom the Barbarian knew he would finally have to stand up for himself. He brought this problem to the party, and he could try to win back some respect by dealing with it.

Can you guess what happened?

Of course the Nemesis cut down Tom the Barbarian in a couple of turns, whilst the other Heroes stood by and watched, with relief almost.

I used the "bleeding out" rules from D&D - which are great in HQ in my opinion. Tom the Barbarian was lying on the floor bleeding, just waiting for any Hero to use their action to stem the flow of blood (in my houserules, just using the action for the turn stems the flow of blood. The Hero has 3 "units" of blood. The Hero loses 1 each turn. Once the last one is lost, they are dead. If the blood flow is stemmed, the Hero is lying "wounded" on the floor, unable to do anything. The Heroes need to administer some sort healing magic/potion to increase the Hero's BP to above 0"

The Barbarian's appeal fell on deaf ears. The other Heroes watched as he bled to death. Instead, the party asked the Nemesis barbarian what his name was, and if he would like to join the party!!

I can't imagine a worse Barbarian than Tom the Barbarian, who died in the second Quest, trying to rescue the Slave City. The Heroes agree he deserved it.

This was immense fun to DM a little bit - especially the negotiation of the Nemesis to join the party of Heroes. We made up some long spiel about how Tom the Barbarian was boasting in the taverns about what a great Hero he is, how he did xyz, but was stealing the credit of this other Barbarian - who decided to exact revenge. They finished the Quest, and the Nemesis got to keep all of Tom's equipment!
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knightkrawler
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Re: Epic Barbarian Fail
Reply #1 - 01/04/17 at 11:46am
 
I love this game!
So, the same player plays the new Barbarian? That delves deep into RPG-acting, right there, then.
Awesome read, this. Thanks for posting. Smiley
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Stig
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London, United Kingdom
Re: Epic Barbarian Fail
Reply #2 - 01/04/17 at 12:33pm
 
A pleasure! Always glad to share great laughs.

Yes, he used the new Barbarian for the last two quests. It was his first experience of HQ - of any fantasy games at all actually - and he took it all in good humour. To help out, I told him the new Barbarian was a Hero and was armed with a "fine" broadsword. I have my weapons in 3 classes: old, normal, and fine - and they roll different coloured dice. That made the new Barbarian much better, and he was quite effective going forward.

I agree that RPG-acting is great fun. We used a rule that the real-life players can't actually talk to each other if they're not able to so on the board, like if they're in a different room or something. It really makes the players feel "alone". The new Barbarian got his own story written too, with lots of in-jokes as well:)
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