December 30, 2012

There's No Crying in HackMaster

HackMaster PHB
Last night we had a short HackMaster session.  Short, but brutal.

We had four PCs "relaxing" at a waystation, the very waystation we had liberated from a nasty plague of zombies a few months prior.  Our "business" minded Elven Rogue was giving the young new owner some mentoring and the rest were just there.  My PC is a bit greedy and basically getting free room and board isn't something he'll pass up easily.

A man comes in badly wounded, practically passing out on the door to the waystation.  While the others scoop him up and take him to an empty room for first aid, my character, a Dwarven Fighter, runs to his room, strips down to the waist, and grabs both his battleaxes before running outside.  Once there he starts calling out to the woods something to the effect of, "Here Zombie, Zombie, Zombie...fresh Dwarf for supper!" all the while clanging his battle axes together.

When our group started out we fought a lot of zombies and Bolburd (my PC) is more than wary about them maybe coming back.  As a matter of course we decapitate all dead we come across (or create) and if we think we might come across zombies he strips down because the armor doesn't seem to help.  It took a lot of zombie bites to figure this out.

Bolburd gets out to the road and sees the man's blood trail.  It is obvious he was moving pretty slow, slow enough that if he was attacked by zombies they should have easily overtaken him.

It ends up the man was part of a group attacked on the road.  We assemble the party consisting of two Dwarven fighters, a Halfling Ranger, and our Elven Rogue to go an track down any survivors and dispatch any bandits.  Our group ends up heading off to the hills where we find both survivors, bandits, and something else.

The something else was huge.....and ugly.  The Dwarves trade blows with it and some good licks get in on both sides.  The other two are trying to free this thing's prisoners while we try to take it out.  There should be an emphasis on the word try.  The other Dwarf gets knocked back and taken out with a Threshold of Pain check.  It is just Bolburd against Mrs. Ugly.....and Bolburd can maybe take one good hit before he's out.  He's been taking lesser hits and a good beating from the creature wailing on his shield with blows that easily bruise him through the shield and his armor.  Luckily the shield holds up...but Bolburd's luck turns South with a huge hit.  Odds are he isn't going to make it because the GM is bringing out a small handful of d6's for damage.  This should be about a 24 hit point blow and Bolburd doesn't have that many hit points.

Imagine this, but uglier (Bolburd's eyesight is poor)
At this point I'm pretty much resigned to having my 7th level PC die.  It happens.....I'm just kind of hoping that I've bought enough time for the rest of the group to get the hell out of this lair and safely into the woods.  The creature's blow is enough to take Bolburd to -9 hit points.  Fortunately he has a Constitution of 19, which means -9 is the absolute limit he can take.  I end up burning way too many points of honor to make it a blow to -7.

Little did I know the creature only had 1 hit point left.  The prisoners are relatively safe and the Halfling makes a go at the beast, but misses.  Luckily the creature cannot immediately connect on a counter attack, but in a few seconds she will get to try again.  Our Elf is not a combatant.  While very attractive and charismatic, she is pretty weak and frail (low Constitution and a Strength of 5).  She manages to do the impossible and sink her dagger deep into the creature with a backstab forceful enough to fell it.

Bolburd is extremely lucky in that he manages to stabilize on his own at -7 hit points.  The Halfling does her best to bind his wounds, but he needs some "professional" help.  Some of the group leaves to get help and bring back a cleric who is able to heal him enough to for Bolburd to slowly return to the waystation under his own power.

It was a rough and brutal game session, but we prevailed.  Those always seem to be the best ones.  I was just a hair's breath away from losing another one of my PCs.  It would have been ok....after all there is no crying in HackMaster.

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