Re: Running a gang

From: bethexton_at_...
Date: Wed, 05 May 2004 18:49:10 -0000

ve thought about this a bit, and I see two ways I might try and run it (although I'm not totally happy with either option). Neither one particularly relies on close combat however.

My premise is that a handful of heroes, even ones that have a resemblance to the Tasmanian Devil (™) will have trouble killing 50 people with no escapees without a plan. Even with a plan, given that the victims are people who are Gloranthan and so at least somewhat used to danger and strange happenings, and are stone masons so will be at least reasonably strong, fit, and used to working together, it should be a challenge.

One way is to treat the resistance as mostly passive, and require the heroes to overcome it in a group simple contest using some sort of planning or tactics skill. Call it a base 6, bump up for numbers (~W), bump up for darkness (~W), bump up for there being obstacles (tents with ropes coming out of them, stacks of stone, etc) (~10), and give the resistance a bonus for the stonemasons taking coordinated actions (~10). So a total target around 6W3. The heroes choose a leader who makes a plan (planning, tactics, etc), augmented by the other heroes (most probably augment with their close combat since it is so high).

Another way would be to use the mass action rules. The heroes probably don't have a mass action skill appropriate to this, so will be taking improve modifiers, either small ones off of some military mass action ability, or bigger ones (say W) off of close combat. The stonemasons will start with a brutal level, also having no appropriate skill and probably defaulting to a 6 "escape slaughter" mass action skill. But they augment that with at least strong, and probably with some other general things (call it +1 for tools, +2 for knowing the camp, +2 for their relationship with each other, etc) so probably start at around 15. Apply the community support bonus to each group. Apply the leader's augment to the heroes (probably none for the stone masons). Then apply situational mods: darkness (-W to the heroes), and cover (+10 for the stonemasons).

Of course, you might also choose to avoid these niggling calculations over the quantity of corpses, and do it another way altogether. Like decide that a group of the masons are very pious and succeed in a divine intervention roll. Maybe one of them heroforms their brawny god and leads the rest in a counter-charge. Now play it more like a standard combat, with the stonemason hero supported by 50 followers, level of success indicates their final status. Or maybe the cut stone assembles itself into a wall to block the heroes long enough for the masons to escape. Or, or, or…..well, this is Glorantha, who knows what all!

I suppose to some degree it depends on how big a part of the story you wanted to make this. In more cold blooded military campaigns this might be treated as a simple tactical exercise, while in others such a slaughter might want to be an emotionally wrenching extended contest, pitting the heroes hatred of the enemy versus their compassion as much as anything else, or it could be a harrowing darkness and rain hunt with unexpected magic and disruptive local daimones challenging things....


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