I had the opportunity to run BASH Legends of Steel at Miscon Summer Game Day, given the short amount of time I had to prepare I opted to run the sample adventure, “The Pirates of the Belsa”. I figured it was the perfect time given that it was basically impossible that anybody present had read the adventure. If you going to someday play in the sample adventure I advise you to stop reading as there may be some spoilers, though the adventure is pretty open and there are an awful lot of things in it that are open to Narrator discretion. Also the game surprisingly (to me at any rate) took a turn toward the adult themed, I guess I should have anticipated that from a game where several of the characters are wearing “Sexy Armor”, so if that bothers you now would probably also be a pretty good time to stop reading.
Gaming Legend J. Peters, who introduced me to BASH in the first place, played the archer Risa
William Mattross played Brother Stern an aging War Priest
Robert W. Thompson of 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming fame played Talena the Pirate
Brittain Tiller played Anteus the Gladiator
De Silva the Sorcerer was played by Joshua Aronoff
The table was rounded out by Ben Rasley one of my BASH regulars playing the Fugitive Prince Talon Ironhawk.
These are th six iconic characters of Legends of Steel
The game opened with a brief and incomplete explanation of the rules touching on a few of the differences between Legends of Steel and UE for the benefit of the two other BASH familiar players at the table.
Once major questions were out of the way I explained that they had been hired by the merchant Dagobertto to bring the Bandit Joubert “to justice”. The merchant suspects Jouberto and his band of river pirates are to blame for his son’s death, and was not satisfied with the local authorities handling of the situation. Dagobertto arranged a meeting for the players with a Shady character by the name of Jonah.
When they met Jonah, who seemed like the sort of fellow who would sell out his friends for the right price, which was convenient really, given that, that was what they needed, but still he made the players appropriately cautious. Jonah explained to the party that he could get them to the gang but not into it, they would have to manage that themselves. He told them the details of the three trials that one of them would have to choose and accomplish for the group of them to accepted into the pirate band. It was settled that Talena would attempt the Trial of Skill given that she is great at sticking her hand in boxes. (and the innuendo begins)
The party decides that they will set out in the morning and will enjoy the night carousing. (Yea Carousing Table!), Jonah says that this is just as well by him as he really ought to “go see a man about a dog anyway”. This guy is pretty sleazy so Risa decides that she is going to tail him, and she successfully follows him around town as he accomplishes a number of almost certainly illicit but not tremendously suspicious activities.
Whereas after a few hours of drinking Brother Stern made a good friend in the shipping industry, Talena made an enemy for life, and Talon Ironhawk got beaten up and had all his treasure stolen (I let him keep his equipment, because I didn’t want to deal with him not having it in a con setting, in a campaign it would have been more fun to lose it). By morning the princes wounds having been successfully looked after by Anteus the party was as a whole happy to see Jonah and get out of town for a few days.
The party has a lengthy uneventful walk through the woods, where Jonah takes a nap and the others determine that they have reached a gently used and cleverly concealed rendezvous location. A short while later Joubert’s lieutenant Madoc arrives with a small entourage. Surprised to see the party Madoc, who seems to recognize Anteus from his days in the ring, wakes Jonah who after a moment vouches for the PCs to Madoc’s satisfaction.
There is another walk to a small encampment where Talena offers to take the Trial of Skill as previously agreed. As advertised she is great at sticking her hand in boxes, and manages to disable the trap in only two pages (It would have severed her hand after four). Madoc is impressed and the party is eagerly inducted into the pirate band. There is more celebration but this time the PCs themselves are a bit more subdued.
The following day it is to work as Madoc announces that a slave transport is scheduled to be coming down the river soon and they are to raid it, the PCs also. He leads them to the river and places the pirates in groups at strategic locations, and he falls back to watch the new recruits. There was some discussion led by De Silva as to what was going to be done with the slaves, where they to be freed or sold. Madoc laughed and joked that he didn’t get into the river piracy business out of the kindness of his heart.
They perform admirably, Risa knocks two of the many well armed and armored guards into the water, as an opening volley. The guards return fire but miss. She and Talon take out a further three before the craft is within boarding distance. When they are close enough Anteus leaps onto the boat and plows through the guards carrying two of the armored guards off the other side of the boat with him and leaves them to a watery grave. Talena performs a valiant boarding action and manages to kill one guard and wound another. (this game is by the way much deadlier than UE). “He’s Dead, Do It Again” Brother Stern then leaped onto the boat and killed the final eight guards, thanks to the lack of a tac map and possibly over use of the domino effect, though it seems he did throw his back out in the process.
Madoc became at this point thoroughly impressed with the new recruits. They all lead the remaining slaves who carried the ample treasure from the boat quite a distance to the pirates secluded lair. The lair is a series of cavernous caves. This turns out to be an issue for the claustrophobic Risa, who thinks the lair is just a bit too underground for her tastes. She and Anteus her suitor opt to stay outside in the (currently unoccupied) wood and earthen corral.
Inside the party finally encounters Joubert who is impressed with the stories of how the PCs performed in nearly singlehandedly executing this raid. There is much celebration amongst the pirates for the bounty of the raid and amongst the party who are now very close to their goal.
As Talena for the first time in her life out drinks Brother Stern, De Silva keeps a very close analytical eye on the pirates, an incongruous group of barbarians, Joubert, Madoc, and an Exotic looking witch followed by a ferocious looking leopard on Joubert’s arm.
After relating De Silva’s observations that Joubert who was not particularly polite to the PCs whom he seemed to be genuinely impressed by, but was being exceedingly polite to the barbarians, in a manner that suggested he wanted something from them. That the witch who outwardly seemed to be doting on Joubert but was casting furtive glances toward Madoc, who seemed to be at least infatuated by the witch. Joubert and the witch eventually retired to a private chamber. Then I left to allow the party to figure out how they were going to capture or kill the Pirate in his own lair.
And Plan they did.
(adult content follows)
The Plan as they executed it began with Talena attempting to convince Madoc that at three way between them and the witch was a good idea, It turns out that he’s a sucker for the Appeal advantage in combination with Sexy Armor. The problem with that as Madoc put it was that “she was in there with him.” Talena suggested that he could go in and get her out when after Joubert had fallen asleep. There was some talk about the door being locked but then she reminded him how good she was at “sticking her hand in boxes.” Being the sucker that he apparently is for this sort of thing (and a few dice rolls) he agrees that this is a fantastic plan that cannot possibly fail. But he wants to go talk to a couple of his guys anyway. His “guys” position themselves nearby Joubert’s chamber along with the rest of the PC’s except for Risa.
A single very high die roll from Talena later and the chamber door is open, Madoc steals in there is a whispered conversation and a long moment later he comes out again followed by the witch and her cat. The three of them proceed deeper into the cavern complex and a signal is given to Risa.
The distraction portion of the plan part two involves Risa making an absurdly difficult (TN 41) shot to start a brawl between the barbarians and the pirates, which a hero die and a hero point later she makes exactly. At the precise moment she makes this shot Brother Stern uses his light mastery to generally dim the area and De Silva hollers out that the Barbarians are pansies.
Talena then tries to extricate herself from this position she is about to get herself into telling Madoc and the witch that she needs to go back for wine, Madoc buys the story entirely but the witch is suspicious.
As, not a two way brawl between the pirates and the barbarians as was expected, but a three way brawl between the barbarians and two factions of the pirates begin Joubert is roused. Anteus is the first to react, aside from Risa who no longer has an option but wait or enter the Lair in the dark, by herself, and she opted to wait. Anteus charges into the chamber while Joubert is attempting to pull on his trousers, and grabs his pants preventing him from putting them fully on.
Talena who has made it back to the others notices a chest on the other side of Anteus and Joubert, and dutifully forgets everything else in favor of treasure. De Silva attempts to blast Joubert with his sorcerous bolt but misses, Talon and Brother stern both rush in and each wound Joubert. Who does manage to get his pants on and ready himself for battle, but then is nearly immediately suplexed into unconsciousness by Anteus.
Anteus begins carrying Joubert out of the cave while Talena and Brother Stern struggle to carry the chest out as well. As they are leaving Madoc and the witch return and watch as they leave without attempting to interfere in any way.
Madoc smiles as he is now rid of his rival for leadership and for the beautiful witch, She smiles because he sorcerous talons are deeper into Madocs heart than they were into Joubert’s and her power has grown as well.