Mars game, Barbarian Prince days 4 and 5, and week break.

The Mars game is going well. I’ve almost finished Fate Rolls. They’re one of those things that don’t seem that complicated but are hard to program. You can choose to spend Luck to get extra dice, and sometimes the lowest number is best and sometimes the player has to choose, and sometimes you don’t get a choice because you have no Luck…

I’m also part-way through dealing with Green Martians. After that, the next thing is the roll to see if you find a Settlement or have an Other Encounter, which is what I’m calling what d6 Shooters calls Events. My game uses a dice roll based on how far you’ve traveled. This removes the need for a board, which (if it ever gets that far) will make the game cheaper to produce.

Anyway, day 4 of Barbarian Prince. It would have been day 3 but after I posted I realised I’d accidentally cheated, and done two things that take up a whole day. So I’ve edited the previous post.

Today the Prince “seeks to hire followers”. Instead, I find a horse dealer, and buy three horses for 30 gold pieces. This lets me, and 2 followers, move 2 hexes a day instead of 1. In the evening, I once again meet guardsmen with “an unpleasant gleam in their eyes” (four of them this time). Once again I make my roll against Wit and Wiles and they let me go.

Since I have horses I have to pay 1 gold piece for food for myself, 3 gold pieces to feed the horses, and 3 gold pieces to stable the horses and thus ensure they don’t get stolen (I don’t have to pay for my own lodging, but any followers who sleep in the street might well desert).

On day 5 I decide to try again to get some followers. This leads me to…the slave market. I decide to ignore the ‘slave porters’ and ‘slave girls’, in favour of an old warrior, who costs 5 gold pieces. Unlike the other slaves, the game assumes I free him immediately. I just…OK. Anyway he turns out to have Combat Skill 5 Endurance 4.

The old warrior seems to dissuade any guardsmen from harassing me this evening.

Since I have to buy food for the warrior, and lodging if I don’t want him to desert, I have to pay an extra 2 gold pieces today.

So in total, I’ve spent 30 gold pieces for the horses, 7 for food and lodging for the first day, 5 gold pieces buying the warrior, and 9 gold pieces food and lodging for the second day, making a total of 51 gold pieces.

The Prince:

Combat Skill: 8
Endurance: 9
Wit and Wiles: 6
Gold: 84
Food: 0
Location: 1501 (Weshor).

The Old Warrior:

Combat Skill 5
Endurance 4

3 horses.

Secret of Aeravir Castle.

Time elapsed: 5 days.

Finally, I might not post on this blog for a week or so. I need to spend some time on the poem I’m doing for my thesis.

Barbarian Prince, days 2 and 3.

(EDIT: After I posted this, I realised that I made a mistake: I can’t travel and search on the same day. So I’ve corrected the original post)

I decide to head back to Weshor.

I get there without getting lost.

In the evening, I run into another two of the usurper’s guardsmen. Again, I choose to give them 15 gold pieces rather than fight.

and decide that today I’m going to “seek news and information”. I get a bonus of +1 for my Wit and Wiles, and this time I decide to spend 5 gold pieces to get another +1 bonus (the rules actually say “5 or more gold pieces”, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to spend more).

I rolled a 10, which becomes a 12 – “Secret informant offers valuable information for 10 gold.” I decide to buy it, and get the following: “The Lady of Aeravir Castle [in the far South-East] is the priestess of a local temple cult that requires virginity. You discover that she is actually quite promiscuous, and can use this to advantage if you gain an audience with her. Add one (+1) when attempting to gain an audience (r211) with her, and if you gain it, you can roll twice for the results of the audience, and select whichever result you prefer most. However, the Lady dislikes blackmail, and you must escape from the hex at the end of the day when you use this secret knowledge. You can never return.”

In the evening I encounter more guardsmen: 4 of them this time. I talk to them, with the result that “Characters encountered have an unpleasant gleam in their eyes. You try to create a favorable impression anyway. Roll one die, if your wit & wiles exceeds the roll they let your party pass, event ends; otherwise, go to r330 and subtract one (-1) from your dice roll there.” I get a 1, so they let me go despite their suspicions.

So 15 gold for the bribe, 5 plus 10 gold for the information, plus 2 for food means that I spent 32 gold over two days.

Combat Skill: 8
Endurance: 9
Wit and Wiles: 6
Gold: 135
Food: 0
Location: 1501 (Weshor).

Time elapsed: 3 days.

Secret of Aeravir Castle.


Mars game, and another go at Barbarian Prince.

I’ve added the effects of heat to my Mars game (demoralisation and, at worst, eventual death). Next I’m going to add encounters with the Green Martians, which will be more complicated since players will have a few different choices.

Anyway, time for another go at Barbarian Prince. Probably the final one if he dies in the first couple of days again.

This time I start at Weshor (the town I unsuccessfully tried to reach), with 6 for Wit and Wiles and 2 gold pieces.

Since I’m in a city, I have some options that aren’t available in the wilderness. I choose to spend the day seeking news and information.

I rolled a 10 on 2d6, +1 for having a high Wit and Wiles = 11, meaning that I find the local Thieves’ Guild. They invite me to join in a robbery of 200 gold pieces, which I accept. The robbery is happening “after dinner” – obviously a hobbit thieves’ guild.

You can’t hunt for food in a city. Instead I pay 1 gold piece for the day’s food. Then, onto the robbery.

OK, thought it would involve rolling and possible death, but it seems like I automatically succeed. I can give the guild 20 gold pieces, or never be able to return to Weshor again. So I pay them, and now I have to escape, which means moving 1 hex in a random direction. In this case there’s only one way I can go: South-East to hex 1601, where the annual festival commemorating the slaying of my namesake, the tyrant prince Cal Arath, is in full swing.

Alas, four of the usurper’s guardsmen have attended the festival. They all have Combat Skill 5, Endurance 4, Wealth 4. A bribe of 15 gold pieces allays their suspicions.

Combat Skill: 8
Endurance: 9
Wit and Wiles: 6
Gold: 167
Food: 0
Location: 1701.

Time elapsed: 1 day.

No followers or items.

My current location, in the extreme north-east corner of the map.

Barbarian Prince II

It is one of the ironies of history that, almost exactly one hundred years after the hated prince Cal Arath died in a manner so befitting his father’s reign – beaten to death by poor peasants whom he was attempting to rob – another Cal Arath found himself an exile after the overthrow of his father. Such are the tumultuous politics of the northern kingdoms.

The new Cal Arath also has a ‘Wit and Wiles’ of 2, the lowest possible.

He starts play in hex 1801 – the same place as the first game – with 3 gold pieces.

This time he’s going to try to cross the river into hex 1702. As such, I have to check for encounters and getting ‘lost’ twice. In this case I suppose getting lost would just mean that I couldn’t find a way across.

However, he finds his way across the river without incident.

In the evening he hunts, obtaining 4 days’ worth of food, one of which is eaten immediately.

That was disappointingly free from disaster. Let’s go straight to day two, where our hero continues to travel south-west, into the plains (or ‘countryside’ as the game calls it) of hex 1602.

He doesn’t get lost, but does roll an event: “You are ambushed by bandits, who surprise you in combat (r220). The number of bandits exceeds the number of characters in your party by two. One of the bandits is the leader, with combat skill 6, endurance 6, wealth 15. The rest are combat skill 5, endurance 4, wealth 1.”

Surprise means that they get two hits at me each, then I get one, then they get one each, and we go back and forth like that.

The bandit leader strikes at -3, and the other two bandits strike at -4.

On their first strike the bandit leader, and one of the bandits, give me one wound each.

On the second, I take a third wound from one of the bandits.

I decide I’m going to try to escape. This is a single dice roll, with 4-6 equalling success. I got a 3, so I have to face another round.

Two of the bandits hit. I’ve now taken 5 wounds.

Again I try to escape – another failure.

I take another wound, for a total of 6.

Yet again I try to escape – a third failure.

I take another wound – 7. One more and I fall unconscious (you pass out at 1 Endurance, not zero).

Another failed attempt to escape, and this time I receive the wound that sends me into darkness.

This game is hard.

Mars game, and Barbarian Prince day 3.

Programming the online version of my Mars game is going more quickly than I expected. It already does the main roll, and updates your Info, Food etc. The next stage is dealing with heat and Green Martians.

Meanwhile, the barbarian prince heads northwest, for the town of Weshor.

Alas, they fear to ask directions from the local peasantry lest someone recognise the prince, and so they get lost.

In the evening the prince hunts again, and gathers 8 units of food. But the prince must be poaching on someone’s land, because a mob of peasants corners him. There are 20 of them, all Combat Skill 2 Endurance 2 except for the leader, who is Combat Skill 3 Endurance 2 Wealth 2. They strike first.

You have got to be kidding me, game.

OK, the leader gets -5 on his roll, the rest get -6.

I get hit 8 times in the first round, which is enough to kill me.

I think I’ll start a new game in my next post.