Epees & Sorcellerie: TWOTW session 2

Although 3 of my regular players couldn’t make it today, I decided to push on with the E&S game to help while away the afternoon.

After witnessing Visimar, Psatan and Deroth legging it out of the decrepit chapel, Akuma, a thieving ex-militiaman, joined Oxonfrey in the crypt. After making a ghastly discovery in a locked casket (a dead ringer of her ladyship with a wet doll), they too did a runner! Exploring the old farmhouse was surely a better idea…

They decided to extinguish their torches and sneak in, but found it was rather dark inside. The house was all shuttered up and there was only a smouldering hearth to light their way. It didn’t take too long before they sensed that they weren’t alone. There were creatures in the walls, under the floorboards and in the shadows. Nasty little hairless rats with almost human faces. Akuma managed to skewer two of them with his crossbow. Oxonfrey decided to roast one at point blank range with his elemental force but the rat-thing got the better of him, biting his leg, his finger and then slashing his wrist causing him to pass out in a pool of blood. As it gloated, Akuma got a bead on the rat-thing so that when it turned on him, he managed to fire a bolt right through its shrivelled skin. Ooh-ya!

Thankfully Akuma is a civilized sort, and was able to apply his learned mind to saving Oxonfrey’s life. Maybe there is honour amongst thieves after all…

3 thoughts on “Epees & Sorcellerie: TWOTW session 2

  1. oldboy

    I just discovered this game today, and have been trawling google looking for people discussing it. Glad to see something relatively recent!

    I’m curious if you have any feedback regarding combat in E&S. Specifically with regard to attack rolls and AC. I really like the elegance of the 2d6 system, but it looked like it could turn into a whiff fest?

    A lucky PC with a 12 dex, anyone in plate armor, and most of the high level monsters all seem nigh unassailable. A 7th level warrior with a +3 attack and +1 Str bonus attacking an AC of 12 only has like a 16% chance to hit and a 30% chance to tie.

    Hoping maybe I’m misinterpreting or missing some information. Have you had any experience with the high AC causing combat to be grindy?

  2. donjondo Post author

    Hi Oldboy, I’m glad to hear that you’ve found E&S. I’ve only run it at low levels so far, but I’ve found that in play, the combat is gritty and very dynamic. Melee is risky, as it’s the highest roller that hits, so you should pick your fights wisely. It’s probably best to best to stack the situation in your favour, either with positioning, outnumbering your opponent, exploiting a weakness, or fighting dirty. I think this is one of the things that helps to make it sword & sorcery rather than heroic fantasy.

    To answer your question about opponents with 12 Dex or AC12… the dice are fickle! The gods do turn their backs on the mighty more often that you might think. For every result, there is a possible narrative outcome. If all combatant declare their intentions (if a monsters intentions are not obvious, then you’ll need to telegraph it), then roll the dice and divine the outcome. Combat is anything but boring!

    The lack of initiative in the system is also a boon. Not all encounters need lead to combat. I think this helps players think more creatively about the adversaries that they face.

    For high level monsters, I’d suggest taking a small army. There are rules in the book for mass battles. As it suggests, use groups of soldiers as if they were 1 attacker, but when they take HP damage they lose that many soldiers. If they’re fighting against a high level monster, then it takes HP damage as normal. Alternatively, you could always try to parley. You may find that high level monsters may have troubles of their own that they need minions (PCs) to assist them with.

    I must admit the explanation of the combat system suffers from either a lack of clarity or a less than perfect translation. However I’d urge you to stick with it as it reaps huge rewards when you get the hang of it. I’d never go back to “turnabout” combat again.

    I had actually started writing a series of posts all about my thoughts on the combat system, so you’ve encouraged me to finish them. I’ll get them up as soon as I can. In the meantime, happy gaming!

    1. oldboy

      Thanks for your response! I look forward to reading more about your experiences with the game. I’m heavily considering running it instead of some of the other more traditional retro-clones.


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