I was sick two weeks ago, and Blaine had some important business last week so there was a gap in our games. While we managed to meet this week, shifting schedules meant that this would be the last of Kento and Maxim’s games, at least for the foreseeable future. We started late, and we wanted to make this a good session to end on, so we didn’t really go into beliefs and such, because there was only one goal that mattered.
Rescue Yabe Nana.
We start off right where we left off 4 weeks ago, Kento had just gotten a letter from Sone Baba, his pirate friend, that his boat had been attacked, and the girl had disappeared in the struggle. Now, at one point I think I had a plan of exactly where she was and why, but at the time I only recalled the vague outline, but I ran with it.
The first thing Kento does is prostate himself before his uncle, confessing to his negligence and promising to make it right. The Yabe clan chief tells him to go deal with it. If he returns with his Granddaughter safe and sound, all will be forgiven, but “otherwise, don’t come back at all”.
Kento wants to circle up a pirate who can help him figure out who took Nana. I set the ob at 3 (1 base +1 lower station, +1 specific knowledge). Failure. My go to with failed circles is having them find the guy, but they’re gonna sell the PC out at the first opportunity. It’s not a bad failure condition for circles in my opinion, but since I knew it was the last session, I should have brought it to the front quicker.
Anyway, Kento meets this pirate captain, Shun. A bit of back and forth and Kento reveals that this group attacked Sone Baba’s ship, took a VIP, and is probably working with the Hirafune. Shun thinks he knows who Kento is talking about, and where they might be found, but he wants something for it. Kento tries to intimidate him into talking, but fails. Shun offers to take him there with his crew, but says if they don’t get enough loot out of the bargain, they’ll get it out of a ransom for him and Nana.
Kento reluctantly agrees, and sails downriver with Shun and his crew. They land where the river cuts through a swamp and begin a trek inland. I pause a bit to describe the stench and the sensation of shoes getting stuck in the muck, but eventually they see a wooden fortress in the distance. Kento tells Shun’s crew to wait for the signal and that he’ll go in first.
He scouts around looking for a good point of entry, but has to make do with a difficult one that involves trekking through chest high swamp water and still climbing the wall between two sentries. He manages to make the stealthy roll and gets inside and manages to kill one of the sentries and throw his body over the side. He takes the guy’s mask and tries to light the wall on fire, but only manages to get a small part of it.
Still it causes a commotion, but unfortunately he gets himself caught up in a bucket line with some of the bandits trying to put things out. Through a bit of luck he manages to sneak into one of the buildings and finds himself in the mess/meeting hall of the bandits, a few men are using the tables to play dice but he convinces them to go help with the fire. He then barricades the door with a table, and checks out the building. The main floor has the mess, kitchen and pantry, while upstairs has the barracks. He decides he wants into the pantry but it turns out it is locked. He fails the roll to bust down the door, and so I decide that he DOES manage to get it open, but it takes him multiple attempts and made enough noise to wake up some of the bandits upstairs.
He very quickly grabs what alcohol he can find and smashes it on the floor to start another fire. He then tries to run out the door, but finds it blocked by a table. He’s not quick enough to remove it before the bandits catch up to him and pull their knives.
We do a quick Bloody Vs. Him with brawling, and the Bandits with their knives skills and bonuses for numbers. The dice favor Kento and we say it went down like one of those scenes in a kung-fu movie where the group of thugs just attack one or two at a time and get owned, with one of those moves being him using that bucket from the bucket line he still had and getting right over someone’s head. He tosses those guys into the fire and then moves quickly to another building.
This one is a small number of prison cells, mostly empty. Inside there only seems to be one of the Black Onis sleeping off a bit too much to drink, and the captain of the boat Nana was on. Kento asks him where Nana is, and he said he is in their leader’s lodgings, but wants Kento to help get him out of here. Kento agrees, but can’t find the keys, it seems the jailer took them when he went to go help fight the fires. Kento promises to help, but he has to get Nana first, and the captain agrees to that, although reluctantly.
Kento makes it to the leader’s buildings, and finds some guards inside. These ones don’t seem too keen on leaving their post for some pesky fire, and so Kento cuts them down.
He comes face to face with the Bandit leader, who is annoyed, but ready for a good scrap. I knew what sort of weapon I wanted for this guy, one of those really huge spiked club things. I think the Kanabo was the correct choice, but in the heat of the moment looking things up I got the impression that it was a listing for a smaller, one handed club. I ended up using the SQ Hammer stats from BWG. For his stats, I ended up using the Lizard Man stat block. In retrospect, the leader of the Black Onis should have been an actual Oni! However, I didn’t think of it in the moment, and I think things worked out anyway.
We do a full Fight! The first exchange has this neat thing where they exchange blocks and strikes. I only put the bandit leader in 1d armor, but it works out for him, netting him only a superficial. The second round Kento’s armor deflects a powerful blow from his club, and Kento gets int he second superficial on the guy, but no major blows yet.
In the third exchange, I have him shift into an aggressive stance, and prepare a great strike, Kento sneaks in a strike during his wind up for the great strike, and manages to roll 5 successes! It’s a superb hit but Kento’s weapon has no VA and I have 2 armor dice., both of them come up traitors and that superb hit is a mortal wound. I describe the bandit leader raising his mighty club above his head ready for a mighty strike and Kento using that opportunity to drive his sword through the Bandit’s heart! He takes the leader’s head and finds Nana in the next room.
Nana is fine, (since these bandits were working for Kento’s uncle) but not entirely grateful to the person who, in her mind, got her into this mess in the first place! Still, she’s rather go with him than stay here so the two try to sneak out the same way Kento got in. Unfortunately, the whole camp is now active, both fighting the fire, and fighting off Shun’s crew who took the fire as their cue. I give Kento some advantage dice but they don’t help.
His route takes him by the windows of the jail, and its captive calls out to Kento expecting him to honor his promise to rescue him. Kento tries to pry the wood from the walls and let him out that way, but without proper tools it proves too difficult for him. The pirate captain suggests he get the keys from the jailer. Kento agrees, but, not wanting to fight all these bandits, decides to use the head of their leader and claim leadership of the Black Onis.
Burning Wheel conveniently lists the Conspicuous obstacle forgetting everyone’s attention in the middle of a battle, it’s 5. Kento does NOT roll 5 successes, and so he only gets a few people’s attention, and while they WILL grab their friend’s attention, they are not about to do so to declare Kento their new leader!
Unfortunately, it had gotten late, and as much as we would have liked to get to a better wrap up point, that cliffhanger will have to do. We even skipped artha, which we’ll have to do if we ever meet again to continue Kento’s story because he is OUT. For now at least, this is where Kento (and Maxim’s) story ends. It was a fun series of games, and I might do another blog post sometime in a bit about my impressions of 1 on 1 Burning Wheel overall, but I will say I would totally do it again!