Last night’s RuneQuest session involved our intrepid adventurers and their dozen or so followers and mercenaries fight their way through zombies and skeletons into Blind King’s Castle. They succeed, although in the process they lose a few followers to enemy blows and expend pretty much all their Rune points and much of their magic.
Then they get into the castle. It is dark. It is spooky. The shaman and the grave dancer see ghosts. They are spooky. The shaman’s fetch says this is a “bad place” and murmurs about “bright death” below. The players realise how dangerous fighting with torchlight and candle light is – and how short lived Light is.
Then the fetch says the ghosts are moving. All the heroic adventurers flee the castle. Iiiiaaah!
Gods I love RuneQuest.
Before they can return to Blind King’s Castle they get a mission from Argrath White Bull. Off to Boldhome as their emissary to Prince Kallyr as she prepares for her Lightbringers Quest.
I’m sure that will be safer than the ghosts.
What I love about this is how quickly it moved from “let’s kill skeletons and zombies” to “oh, shit this is a Call of Cthulhu scenario.” And now it is off to being “Game of Thrones”.
How do you handle followers ruleswise? Just gm decision or actual rolls/ rules effects? Each player has the character sheets for their followers. In some situations they have their followers make pertinent roles (“does Simbal succeed in Listen during his guard shift”) – but the focus is not on them. They are given enough spot light that the players care about their fate, but not enough to outshine any of the adventurers.
In the skirmish, I hand waved how things went for the followers – after seeing how things were going for the players, I determined how many of their followers would take big unmarried hits, and then rolled some dice. Poor Simbal died, Orgarl got maimed, and a few others were badly wounded. The adventurers took Simbal’s body all the way from Blind King’s Hill to New Pavis, so it could be returned to his kin.
As an aside, Prepare Corpse has been a surprisingly important skill, and gets used regularly.
What is a grave dancer? Someone hired to sing and dance at funerals, such as: