Redcloaks Mission 1: The Mist of Mwangi

Our heroes assemble at the gates of a creepy museum. Reporting for duty are:

  • Onkarion Onkariot, wealthy orc trader (Jules)
  • Malphalus, potty-mouthed pubescent frost mage (Charlie)
  • Ftumpsh: diminutive summoned demon (Sean)
  • Thanrir Ironbrow: one-eyed dwarven hooligan (James, joining us for the first time)

Mission Director Spode has instructed the team (in at least 12 accents) to brave the mist-filled Blakros Museum and seek out the curator, one Nigel Aldain, an ex-Redcloak who hates the Guild and has long denied them access to the museum’s many artefacts. This is a rescue and reconciliation mission.

A mysterious mist rolls out of the open doors of the museum. Some dark magic at work no doubt. Within, our plucky heroes have to battle a room full of exhibits turned walking dead. Things look dicey for Ftumpsh for a bit, but Malphalus blasts everything in sight into ice shards.

Possessed museum staff attack only to be given a similarly cold shoulder. Our noble heroes rescue an assistant from a filing cabinet and discover that a Redcloak adventurer named Lugizar Trantos  delivered some sort of relic from the Mwangi Expanse to Nigel Aldain which has clearly exerted some sort of demonic influence over the museum.

The party avoid a particularly spooky set of floating masks, opting instead for a jungle exhibit room wherein a score of small, medium and large monkeys surround a massive gorilla who stands atop a papier mache ziggurat. They are all clearly possessed, and three animated wooden monkey idols that scamper about the room are clearly the cause.

Thanrir goes for the direct approach but the gorilla leaps over him to attack Ftumpsh. Malphalus blasts away while Onkarion finds his diplomatic skills ill-suited to dealing with hordes of possessed demonic monkeys.

Thanrir then tries to rescue the imprisoned Aldain, who promptly attacks. Thanrir chops off the curator’s arm in retaliation, then gets mobbed by monkeys. Wounded, the dwarf succumbs to the rage magic of the mists and goes postal. Malphalus is spent. Things are looking as if they might go south until Ftumpsh and his summoned demonic ogre manage to destroy the three animated idols and dispel the mists.

Back at base Director Spode is almost speechless with fury. The museum has been trashed, priceless exhibits have been destroyed, his old friend Nigel Aldain has been killed along with two members of the museum staff, and all at his own team’s hands. He has been denounced by the Blakros family as an incompetent bungler, and all hopes at a reconciliation have been dashed. It’s latrine duty for a month for our luckless Redcloaks. Ftumpsh is delighted.

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4 Responses to “Redcloaks Mission 1: The Mist of Mwangi”

  1. Well aside from a bit of a rules learning curve for me, and some familarisation with characters and powers for the players, that felt as if it ran pretty well. Onkarion struggled a bit as a face character in a combat environment, we’ll need to see how we can prevent that in future.

    James, it was great to have you with us, I hope you enjoyed it and will up for more.

    I’ll prep something for next week but I’m keen to play too, so will definitely stand aside if anyone else has a scenario ready to run.

  2. Could you post some GM tricks you learned from this up at some point, when you’ve got time?

    Also, how did you assess threat levels?

  3. Hmm. GM tricks. Let’s see…

    Try to make your party think you’re trying to kill them whilst desperately trying not to kill them…

    In all honesty I winged this completely. I’m very much in learning mode with Savage Worlds, and kind of made it up as I went along. This was my first SW game as a GM.

    The first combat against 4 undead extras felt much more dangerous than the boss battle against the Wild Card gorilla. Ftumpsh could have died in that first battle, and I kind of went easy on him to prevent that. The gorilla went down fast, and I ended up turning window dressing monkeys into actual foes to avoid that last combat becoming an aniticimax.

    I have absolutely no idea at all how to balance encounters in this system. Some may say that is exactly the same as my ability to balance encounters in D&D, and as far as Next is concerned that’s probably true.

    I think I’ll need to run several more encounters and get a feel for the game to learn how to pitch it right. Unfortunately that risks the odd TPK along the way.

    One thing noticed: with exploding dice the game has the potential to be wildly swingy, and there is the risk of extreme die rolls causing insta-kills of PCs or BBEGs. My gorilla final boss was a victim of this. Some DM fudging is probably required in these cases.

  4. Things I noticed I missed:

    * PC penalties due to visibility (it was thick mist: -1 to attacks!)
    * PC and bad guy penalties due to inflicted wounds
    * Gang up rules

    I also didn’t have my bad guys do anything other than smack good guys. Some spooky zombie Intimidate rolls to Shake ahead of attacks would have been good.

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