The party in my table top game, you probably know, are a cleric, sorceress, warrior mage, elemental warrior and a mystic. In game terms the best fighters are actually semi spell users plus we have two hybrids and a pure spell user. The cleric and mystic are at present fulfilling the role of healer because they have no dedicated healer as such. The cleric can do magical healing and the mystic is the best herbalist.
In the last weekend the party had the option of taking the safe way around the woods or the dangerous way though the woods. No the party would not be real adventurers if they took the safe route would they?
Only a day in to the forest they came across the burnt remains of a wagon caravan and a little way off their slaughtered horses. They also managed to alert a couple of scouts looking for fresh victims. The party killed one but another escaped.
The banditry this time was being done by kobolds. I rather wanted to see how the party would fair against superior numbers. As characters they have not had much time to gell together and work out decent tactics and they had not really done much fighting yet either.
So half a dozen kobolds started to match pace with the party to the left of the road and another six to the right of the road. Seconds later two kobolds mounted on wolves broke cover ahead of the party and faced them down the road. The kobolds at this point had every intention to negotiate. Pitched battles were not their thing and being paid off to not fight suited them down to the ground.
Negotiation was not on the parties agenda. The lead kobold did not even get a chance to give his ultimatum. The warrior mage fired a sleep spell up the road. The cleric summoned a large crocodile and dropped it in amongst the kobold file on the left and the sorceress case vacuum amongst the kobolds to the right.
So at the start of the battle the five characters are facing 14 kobolds plus two wolves. Three to one odds in Rolemaster are not good odds to have against you.
I had told the players the wolf riders were about 100′ up the road and Surion the warrior mage announced he was going to cast sleep. (range 100′). I decided the range would be 90+2d10 feet and luckily for him they fell just inside the range. Not so luckily they made their resistance rolls.
The vacuum spell was more effective. It stunned three of the kobolds on one flank. It didn’t take any of them out but the kobolds were armed with light crossbows and it comletely disrupted their volley of bolts turning it into some sporadic fire.
On the other side of the track the crocodile landed amongst the kobolds and that drew most of their fire and certainly upset them.
Now we had the gods turn against the party. The warrior mage and the elemental warrior are actually doing OK. Another sleep spell goes off and takes out a the wolf riders. The elemental warroir is crashing through the undergrowth to engage the kobolds axe in one hand and sword in the other. The sorceress fumbles her spell casting roll but fortuneately only fails to cast the spell but keeps her power points. The cleric doesn’t bother trying to control the crocodile, just lets it do its thing now the kobolds are fighting it and decided to try and summon a second one to fight along side them. Bolts fly into the camp and one buries itself deeply into the clerics chest ad he is gushing blood.
The warriors try and chase down kobolds who are not really up for a fight against heavily armed and armoured warriors. Some of the previously stunned kobolds start to recover and loose off their crossbow bolts. The mystic decides to do her Florence Nightingale act and needs to get that bold out of the cleric so they can stop the bleeding. The cleric had just summoned a second large crocodile directly in front of himself which is now uncontrolled maybe it was the scent of blood or maybe it was a random dice roll but whatever the reason the croc turns on its summoner and starts snapping at the poor old cleric. the sorceress fails to cast another vacuum spell. Fast casting while low level is proving to be a challenge. The next crossbow bolt flying into camp and takes out the mystic transfixing her arm and pinning it to her chest.
The cleric is now losing blood in gushes, he is desperately trying to get control of his crocodile. The sorceress fails to case a third vacuum spell! The croc in the woods is doing terribly as well but it is at least keeping the enemy on that side pinned down. Another sleep spell does off and more kobolds fall and the warriors are fully in melee now. This is where the kobolds lack of armour and physical hardiness tell against them. Finally the sorceress gets a vacuum spell to fire and she stuns and wounds a couple of kobolds.
So the fight went on. The mystic shook off the stun from the hit on her and she managed to get some healing sove on to the clerics wound just before he colapsed. The sorceress gave up trying to kill kobolds, I think due to a lack of power points, and joined the cleric and the mystic. The mystic was bleeding heavily and so everyone was trying to first aid everyone else and the few herbs that were easily appliable were used up. It took four rounds I think for the cleric to finally get full control of the crocodile and at that point the kobolds were pretty much broken. Their tactic of striking from three sides with wave after wave of bolts obviously was not working and fighting what appeared to be heavily armed wizards (from the kobolds point of view) was not in the plan.
At the end of the fight I think only four kobolds got away alive. It cost the party dear in herbs and they were largely drained of magic to boot. It doesn’t hurt to hit the party hard, even in a casual encounter eespecially this early in their careers. It will I hope make them gell better as a team and it helps them figure out their limits. For me as GM the kobolds were on a par OB and DB-wise with the weakest members of the party and well below the ability of the warriors. The kobolds were two levels lower than the party members which should have given the party the edge in terms of resistance rolls. It also set the precident of fighting many foes from many directions which is something I like to do.
All in all I think it was a good fight and a good test of their abilities. The encounter was also converted over from a Forgotten Realms encounter and for once I did not tone down the numbers of creatures.
That was just a causual encounter next time we meet they should be gettng stuck in to their first real adventure!