Friday marked my first game of LotFP. Our cast -
Tesco - Burberry Wizard
Milk - Metal as Fuck Cleric
D.Pepper - Fightman
Abraham Von Gutchensmark aka Gutch - Sneaky yet Extravagant Dandy Fop
It would seem the players expected a simple one-shot. I was running this -
Tesco rolled the spells Spider Climb, Unseen Servant and Mending. Having heard of the capricious powers of the spell Summon, he offered a trade - he would lose Spider Climb and Mending in return for Summon. I agreed to this.
Our band of adventurers stumbled into the town of Farowton, noting the quiet nature of the place. Naturally, they entered the tavern, only to see a group of villagers wheel around to face them. The relief on their faces was palpable, and they quickly informed the group of their troubles - the seemingly violent disappearance of the Erhurr family. Unimpressed by the offer of 10sp and a drink, our party prepared to leave. Whilst doing this, they heard rumours of a magic axe possessed by the Erhurr family. Hearing this, Milk charged off in the general direction of the farm, the rest of the party following in tow.
Upon reaching the farm, they began investigating - a sling bullet had punched through the barn, whilst the main building had been violently entered and ransacked. Milk found a wood axe, which he tested for barn destroying properties - nothing beyond what you'd expect. He elected to keep it in case. The other members of the party found obvious marking of someone/thing being dragged towards yonder hill. This hill, they had been told, was the location of a slave pit from the 'Old Days.' The group was suspicious of the storyteller, an ageing member of a local farmers family.
Despite their doubts, they set off. Von Gutchensmark decided to flank this hill, approaching from the side. He spotted two small figures moving around in the dead branches of a tree atop the hill. Signalling this desperately to the main group, Tesco and Pepper drew their slings whilst Milk rumbled forwards. The creatures in the tree began launching missiles at Milk, failing to land a blow as he marched forwards, shield raised. Gutch, Tesco and Pepper returned fire, knocking down one of the creatures whilst the other clambered down the tree, opening a previously unseen door. Gutch shot it in the back of the head, causing the body to tumble down. Meanwhile, Milk crushed the fallen foe with his shield, creating a pulpy mess.
The party reconvened at the tree, examine their foes - ugly, ochre little humanoids with lumpy misshapen faces and long fingers. They seemed weak in stature, but no doubt dangerous in numbers. With this in mind, they decided to enter the passage in the tree, Tesco lighting the way with his lantern. Clearing the first room for potential threats/treasure, the party heard strange murmurings down below. Advancing cautiously, Tesco stuck his head around the corner, rewarded by a grazing blow from a sling. Moving up the stairs a little, the group elected to attempt to Summon aid. A great tearing ensued, a howling wind driving out a terrible creature from the Outside - a Thorny blood demon. Tesco failed his domination roll miserably, and the creature was mad as fuck, chasing them all the way out of the area, and continuing for another few minutes before returning to whence it came. Milk decided to test his axe once more, tossing the axe at the animate pool of blood. It did not seem to be effective.
Having beat a hasty retreat, the party decided to rest the night in the barn of the looted farm. Their second watch was interrupted by the villagers, going back through the area for signs. They heard mutterings from them, saying that the errant adventurers must've gone to the hill, and noting them having not yet returned. The caused our band to become mighty suspicious, stacking up either side of the barn door to launch a surprise attack. Eventually, a villager did open the doors and was surprised at 4 armed men threatening him with varying sharp objects. An exchange was had at length, and the villagers eventually left, somewhat smarting from the verbal beat-down Tesco laid down. With that done, the party returned to sleep, resting up for the next day.
Fully rested and recovered, the party set off early to investigate the area. They got to the same point as the day before, with a conspicuous lack of bodies (or axe, to Milk's dismay) Tesco felt it wise to attempt the same stunt again, tearing apart reality to let slip a horrific demon, this time able to control it - a ball of pure lightning, electrocuting and burning their foes. They heard the screeching and desperate footsteps cut short, before the creature returned to whence it came, leaving Tesco exhausted for the time being. They advanced slowly down the stair way, coming to a large hallway, marked with scorch marks and burning, blackened corpses. Milk spotted his axe, the handle charcoal and the head slag in the hands of one of his enemies. Probably wasn't magic after all.
At one end of this hall was a grinning demon, squatting down and on all fours. Whilst looking at this, an arrow flew forth from the demons mouth, barely missing Pepper. Pepper and Milk formed a shield wall, with Gutch and Tesco sticking close behind them. Using this method, they advanced without injury to the end of the hall, sticking to either side of the mouth. Gutch had spied a small tunnel they could crawl through, seeing sunlight on the other side. The party discussed plans for advancing careful, which bored Tesco to the point of foolish action - he used his backpack as cover , pushing it ahead of him as he moved through the crawlspace. Gutch leapt in behind him, leaving Milk and Pepper at the back.
Several arrows thunked harmlessly into the back before Tesco fell out of the tunnel, landing between a pair of the creatures they had been fighting, both wielding clubs. Courtesy of a natural 20, Tesco tripped one and caved his skull in whilst Gutch nimbly rolled out of the tunnel and began choking the other creature, taking advantage of its surprise. Milk and Pepper emerged into this scene, with Tesco relieving the corpses of their bows and arrows, equipping himself with them. The party pushed on, emerging into the titular Gully. The two sides of the complex were bridged - once by an ancient stone structure matching the masonry they had seen thus far, and the other a rough looking rope bridge over the stone one. Gutch went first, finding the rope bridge sturdy enough. He found himself in a room with two exits - a hole in the ceiling, with rope hanging down, and a set of stairs leading further down to his right. As he waited for Pepper to join him, he heard something from above. He moved silently over the to hole, only to see the surprised face of one of the creature. Moving quickly, he shot it in the face, causing it to tumble from the hole, driving the arrow further into it's head, killing it instantly. No further excitement delayed the party in gathering in this room.
The party elected to send Gutch down the stairs to scout, a duty he took seriously. He stealthly padded down the stairs, peeking in the half-light into a room with six more of these creatures - four sleeping, two playing dice. Returning to inform the party, they formed a plan to deal with these foes. Tesco shot and wounded one of the goblins playing dice as Gutch snuck up behind the other, choking it out with his garrotte, quickly becoming a favourite weapon. Meanwhile, Milk and Pepper both set about the sleeping goblins. Pepper dispatched his easily, but Pepper's survived the first attack.
The goblins retaliated, with the one shot by Tesco bashing Gutch around the head viciously, knocking him out cold. The one of the sleeping goblins snatched up a weapon, whilst the other one leapt up and prepared himself for a charge. The goblin injured by Milk took a swing, missing horribly. At this point the group heard a loud THUNK from up the stairs, but elected to ignore it for now. Milk finished off his goblin whilst Pepper dispatched another. Tesco finished off what he started with another arrow, leaving only the unarmed goblin. It ripped away Peppers shield, slamming it into the shins of pepper, putting him to his knees. The rest of the party made short work of it however, and Gutch fortuitously regained conciousness, before being healed by Milk. The party charged up the stairs to investigate the noise, which was now a heavy scraping noise. The were met with the sight of four of the creatures, one obviously some sort of leader, dragging a large chest towards the rope bridge. Tesco and Gutch opened fire, taking out one of the guards easily, whilst Milk and Pepper charged down the leader, jumping over the chest nimbly. Milk failed to do much, but Pepper scored a telling blow on the chieftain.
The two guards turned and retailed for the leader, one each striking either Milk or Pepper, though both failed to make a significant blow connect. The leader attempted to strike Pepper, but was unable to inflict any damage. Tesco and Gutch fired at the guards once again, both making the shot, injuring them. Pepper struck down the chieftain, whilst Milk dispatched the guard attacking him. Once again, the party made short work of the remaining goblin.
Checking the chest, they found the hoard of the creatures, a considerable sum. They carried this back up the hole in the ceiling, and elected to rest having ensured they were in a safe space, finding farmers clothes, a scroll and a potion in the process. The night passed uneventfully, and they pressed on, leaving the chest in this area, believing it to be safe. They chose Milk to stand guard of the room connected to the rope bridge, as they wished to investigate the barracks - there was a door with a barricade constructed on their side. They began disassembling the barricade as Milk pocked around the room, kind of bored. He chanced upon a hidden door, and began poking at his with the butt end of his spear. The door began sliding back, revealing an extra passage way. Meanwhile, the party had finished removing the barricade, and opened the door. A dark pit, extending deep below them. The stink reached them, nearly causing them to retch, but this did not worry them so much as the noise of gurgling and splashing. They hastily re-barricaded the door.
By sheer luck, Milk heard a grinding from above, causing him to leap backwards, narrowly avoiding being crushed to death by a huge rock. The rest of the party charged up to investigate this noise. They elected to move the rock and investigate the passage beyond it. With this done, they saw a small passage leading to a stairway, flanked by skeletons wielding glowing greatswords. Suspicious, Pepper put a sling bullet through the head of one of them, causing them to animate and close in on our group. As before, Pepper and Milk formed a wall whilst Tesco used his sling to score another telling blow against the already-damaged creature. Gutch decided to improvise, and tried to use his 10' pole as a staff. He succeeded in pushing over the already-shaky skeleton, shattering it with the impact. The remaining skeletons attempted to strike down Pepper unsuccessfully, who shield-bashed the skeleton, throwing it backwards and doing some significant damage. Milk finished it off by charging it into a wall, also gripping his shield in two hands. The unholy things defeated, they gathered the swords, stashed them with the chest and pressed ahead.
Gutch scouted ahead, treading the stairs carefully. In the dim light, the thing that stood out most was a large crystalline statue miming the figure of the skeletons from the passage. The floor and walls were covered in decaying weapons, containers and armour. The party informed of this, they took the first tentative steps into the room, careful to avoid disturbing anything. They could not see anything valuable, but could not bear to leave the room alone, leading Tesco to mess up a pile of trash. The statue animated and began moving towards them, leading to Tesco throwing out a desperate Summon. He was gifted with a Crystal demon, which began whaling the statue, smashing it to tiny pieces before returning to whence it came. They party gathered up the fragments of crystal, feeling it worth selling in a larger town. With this done, they felt the job done, and headed back to town.
They returned to town to inform them of the grim news, with Milk and Pepper guarding the loot outside of town. Tesco decided to inform the villagers that their friends had perished in the struggles under the hill, and would appreciate a horse and cart to transport the bodies to their families. The villagers were moved by this, and gave them slashed rates on purchasing the above. They also gave advice to head to Midton to sell the crystal they had discovered. With this done, Tesco and Gutch met up with the party and left, Midton about two days travel distant.
In running this, the players really enjoyed the massively stripped-back and lightweight rules compared to 3.5, our main system. They also really enjoyed the aspect of actually needing to ask questions and examine the environment rather than simply making a search roll. Though initially nervous about the massively higher lethality, they quickly learnt to love it as they had several rapid and dangerous combat encounters in which the stakes were always evident. The lack of predefined options led them to be far more willing to improvise in combat and out of combat, leading to a great game overall. All of us are looking forwards to playing with the system more, something which will hopefully happen soon.