Art by Jan Michiel Ruyten: “A coastal inlet with figures and a horse before a tower, a ferry beyond”
The Encounter at the Ferry example of play showcases the new combat options added in the upcoming Codex Superno. You can download it here!
One of the things people always ask about, and I think just about everyone likes to read, are examples of play. We have done a few short combat examples in the old days with Codex Martialis, but now that we have the new Codex Superno magic system, so it was time to give it a thorough play-test.
We also have a new character generation system, Codex Ingenium, which allows us to rapidly generate characters from different walks of life. The goal was to create a sustained encounter which would allow us to test multiple iterations of combat with spellcasting and magic mixed in.
So to do our play-test we created two groups of five players of about 5th level. One was a group of bandits led by an evil and quite powerful Necromancer. The other a group of travelers led by a Patrician knight, also including a Sage and a Clerk, both of moderate skill as spellcasters.
The two groups were roughly evenly matched, The encounter takes place within a narrow wooded valley with a road leading gradually down to a ferry landing. The scenario starts as the travelers begin the last day of a five day journey down the valley, when they detect an ambush waiting for them at the riverside. The Bandits have been robbing and killing pilgrims and travelers on the road, and they hope to do the same with this group.
What follows is a desperate struggle between the two parties. Both magic and combat prowess come into play, as does cunning, strategem and deception. It came down to the wire with severe casualties on both sides. We did not know how the encounter would end, but played out each turn as if we were running a game, rolling all the dice, creating tactics on the fly,, and taking thoroughly detailed notes. Character sheets for all ten characters are included, as well as several maps showing the starting positions of all antagonists before each of six distinct engagements between the two groups. There is also additional information about the use of magic and spell preparation used in the scenario and so on.
Play-testing this encounter was a useful exercise for us, and allowed us to fine tune the game rules a little bit. We hope that it is also entertaining for gamers and those interested in the system. Examples of play, going back to the original RPGs, are useful as entertainment and as a kind of reference or guideline for how to handle things at game time.
We hope you enjoy it and we plan to release more of these in the future.