Slowly, my regular WFRP3 group are dipping their toes in the fast-moving waters of Beasts & Barbarians. For their second outing, I rummaged through my hard drive and drew forth the adventure that persuaded me to buy B&B in the first place; Wolves in the Borderlands, which is to some extent a Savage Worlds implementation of the classic Conan story Beyond the Black River.
After some thought, I have decided it’s OK to post spoilers for items more than five years old, but Wolves in the Borderlands doesn’t quite pass that hurdle, as it was published in 2011. So just the spoiler-free highlights then.
The party consists of Max O’Well the Barbarian from Northeim, Dorjee Pema the Lotusmaster from Gis, Zosimus the Cairnlander ex-Gladiator, U’wahz the Sage from Syranthia, Ash the Gilaskan Scoundrel, and an as-yet-unamed Lhobanese monk, and as usual I dropped and merged encounters to make sure we finished on time – they are a relatively slow-moving group, and you know what, as long as we’re all having fun, that’s OK.
- Off-camera, Ash’s player is writing a parallel series of adventures about what happens between sessions. In those stories he has taken up with a slave girl, and they have established a scam; when they enter each new town, he sells her, and just before they leave, he steals her back. That will get him into trouble at some point.
- The monk. With one exception, a giant forest bear, the monk killed everyone he hit with his iron prayer beads. In one punch. Flukey or not, the rest of the party treat him with a new respect now. Especially since he has started describing his attacks… “I think I shall have your heart, Kerim Shah” or on one occasion “I rip his spine clean out, and he collapses bonelessly to the ground.” That last one did something like 30 damage on an Extra.
- Crossing a bridge submerged by floodwater. This was a good example of PCs having a solid plan; Ash (who has good Agility and Acrobat) used a stick to tightrope-walk across the handrail, trailing a rope behind him, and thus they built a bridge on the bridge. Zosimus, the last man across, tied the rope to himself and jumped in, letting the rope and the current swing him to the other bank, where Max reeled him in like a fish.
- Ash worships Etu, and in the previous session broke a piece off a pyramid sacred to Etu and used it to kill a crocodile sacred to Etu. The group now considers Etu the Great Crocodile Goddess, and Ash’s player checks every body of water for crocodiles as they approach. After he’d been doing this all session, I gave up and placed a supernatural crocodile in the flooded river, watching him. The others have now decided that crocodile must be ticking.
Good times. In our next session, the group will visit Syranthia, partly to return an orphan they’ve picked up to her next of kin, and partly because it’s about time the Sage checked in with the Great Library.