The one that got away, and the one who didn't


I finally got my game rolling last night! Woohoo!

The PC's arrived at Oleg's, absorbed the setup info, and defended the trading post.

In the battle, they managed to capture Happs Bydon but one of the bandits escaped on horseback to the south. Rather than pursue, the group focused on securing the leader and beginning their interrogation.

Through diplomacy and intimidation they have gotten information on the size of the Thorn River bandit camp and a warning that the escapee is sure to bring Kressle and the ten remaining bandits back to the trading post, and that they could arrive as early as the evening of the following day. Now they are preparing for that attack rather than going south and taking the battle to the bad guys.

(All the gory details, if you're into that kind of thing, can be found here: Session 1 Adventure Log.)

I have a little time to prepare since this is most likely a monthly game, so I want to put some thought into what will happen. I'd love any input others might have.

Kressle and Happs have a total of 12 bandits working for them. Two have now been killed and Happs is taken prisoner, leaving Kressle with 10 underlings. She could bring all ten for immediate reprisal and an attempt to rescue Happs, but that seems too simple.

I'm thinking that she might send two of her number south to notify the Stag Lord that somebody has taken it upon themselves to clean out a few of their number. (One is too likely to get killed, but more would deplete her forces too much.)

That leaves Kressle and eight bandits. It also ensures that the Stag Lord is less likely to be taken unawares.

Rather than immediately return to the trading post, I'm thinking Kressle might instead decide it's time to move camp. The escapee doesn't know how big the force was that took down his team, and might actually exaggerate it's size anyway to avoid being branded a coward. Faced with a potentially overwhelming force, a direct attack would be foolish. Not knowing if any prisoners were taken, the smarter route would be to lay some traps in the Thorn River camp and relocate. Maybe have somebody hang back in the trees for a few days to see if anybody comes, and report back.

Once relocated, Kressle could send one of her men to the trading post with some furs, disguised as a trapper with goods to sell, so that they can reconnoiter the forces present and come back with some intelligence of what they are up against. They might also discover Happs is alive, and depending on further diplomatic efforts on the parts of the PCs they could even witness Happs working with them and decide he's a traitor.

Other ideas?

If you want to be nasty - send fire arrows into Oleg's roof in the middle of the night. Lots of fire arrows and then withdraw. Pick the heroes off as they try to escape :P

That'll learn Oleg not to go get hero types to mess up with Kessle's banditing!

I'd considered that, but it's also been established that there have been light rains for several days, and it's very chilly. Light dustings of snow in the morning that quickly disappear as the sun rises. I'm not sure the trading post is terribly flammable at the moment.

On the other hand, one player did take note that Happs had two alchemist fires on him, so there's already a precedent that the bandits like fire as a weapon.

Anybody have any good house rules on using fire as a weapon in a damp environment? If it was done successfully, it would sure send up a lot of smoke... That might draw some opportunistic looters in.

Not to be "that guy" but you could do something like the Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven~ it had a similar theme (minus the captured bandit leader)with bandits raiding a small village. They fortified the village and when the bandits came on horse back they were met with swords. it was really a amazing movie so to see it in a session would be a mind blower for who ever caught it. xD

Sounds interesting. I'll look for it on Netflix. I've meant to watch it since forever, but now I have an extra reason. :)

Its a very long movie, has an intermission and everything but in all honesty its worth the time and subtitles.

Sadly, it's not on Netflix. Sounds right up my alley, though.

Or, another thought: -

That weren't no bacon tree, that were a hambush...
Or in English...

Kressle knows that there's new defenders at Oleg's but doesn't know the
exact composition of forces & doesn't want to attack an easily defensible
fort (she knows what happened last time!).

Instead, she sends men to the Staglord, but then sets up her camp (Thorn)
for an ambush.
Yes, I know that her & 8 bandits could easily be a TPK, but if you ran it
as a running battle, that might be different.
e.g. have 3 or so bandits holding an advanced position, with 1 of them
being a runner, so that when the PCs attack, 2 hold them off & they clearly
see 1 running (riding?) away at top speed. (Roll a perception so that the
PCs think they've seen something that they shouldn't oughta!) :)
The other 2 can either slowley withdraw, or you can have 'reinforcements'
arriving at 'speed of story' so that the PCs aren't overwhelmed.

That, plus a couple of pitfall traps or swinging logs etc, could make it
a memorable battle!

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