My First Session (or Yet Another Skogenby Playthrough)

Hey everyone!

So I ran my first TB session last night and it was a blast. I ran “The Dread Crypt of Skogenby” as a one-shot in order to introduce the game to 3 people who’ve only ever played D&D or Savage Worlds in the past. They chose their characters from among the pre-mades: Gerald (halfling burglar), Karolina (human warrior), and Ulrik (human cleric).

Upon arriving at the dread crypt’s entrance, Gerald wastes no time in packing away all the silver armbands that Marius left at the tunnel’s entrance. Ulrik tries to decipher the runes on the dolmen (advance to Turn 2) but instead barely dives out of the way as a bolt of lightning destroys the stones. After much hand-wringing about how tight the tunnel looks, the group decides to get down on their bellies and start crawling. Karolina’s goal for the session is to do all she can to bring Jora home, so she begins to scout around for any trace of someone being dragged away (advance to Turn 3). I ruled there wasn’t a trail but that Karolina’s investigation had disturbed the Tomb Guardians (advance to Turn 4, conflict)! Ulrik, being the brave cleric he is, quickly casts Fury of the Lords of Life and Death at the “boss” Guardian and one other beside him. Success! The two Tomb Guardians flee the cleric’s wrath leaving the party to face only two skeletons (8 Disposition down to 6, I think, for losing 2 helpers). They manage to dispatch these foes while losing only one point of disposition. Ulrik took the Injured condition as a minor compromise, and everyone ate/drank to relieve their Hungry/Thirsty conditions.

Ulrik has the excellent idea to chase after the fleeing Tomb Guardians to see if the party is led to Jora. They run after the skeletons into The Chamber of Vigils. Once here, Ulrik stops the chase because he is enthralled by this room. He spends lots of time trying to discern the purpose of this chamber and eventually figures it out (advance to Turn 5, Ulrick gains Hungry/Thirsty). The group moves into the next room and are greeted by the Altar of Ascension. Karolina, with Gerald’s help, is intent on finding Jora and begins looking around for any sign of the girl (advance to Turn 6, twist!). As she is scouting for any trace of Jora, the group’s torch and candle burn out (time’s up) plunging the group into complete darkness. In the moment it takes Ulrik to light another torch, Karolina and Gerald see a Corpse Candle flickering through the room (advance to Turn 7, Will test). Gerald doesn’t see anything special about this occurrence, but Karolina becomes non-responsive and begins to follow the light. The candle guides her to the secret door to The Vault of Bone Flowers and shows her how to open it (we were running out of time and I wanted to move us along). My intent was for the Candle to lead Karolina and the others to be ambushed by the Tomb Guardians in this area, but Gerald and Ulrik successfully get Karolina to snap out of her trance (advance to Turn 8, Fighter versus test).

At this point, the adventurers decide to make camp to clear their heads and for Ulrik to recover from his injury. They return to the Chamber of Vigils and are lucky enough to make a safe camp. Karolina invokes her instict (always hunt when we make camp) and successfully catches 3 rats. Gerald invokes his instinct (always prepare a meal when we make camp) to cook up those rats into a fine meal. No one was Hungry/Thirsty at this point, so I had them log 1 ration on their inventory (Do fresh rations go bad if not preserved?). Ulrik spent a check to try and recover from his Injured condition, but fails. Since he has the Heal skill, he wants to spend another check to try healing himself which I allowed as I could not find any rules to the contrary. Is this allowed? Finally, Ulrik asks for Karolina’s check (she hasn’t used it) to begin a Trick/Manipulate Conflict with Gerald which results in Ulrik getting one of the silver armbands that the halfling has been hording.

Well-rested, the group pushes on to The Secret Vault of Haathor-Vash. They are very unnerved by little Jora hugging her sides, eyes closed, sitting on the skeleton’s lap. Karolina meekly calls out to the girl and asks if she is okay. Jora’s head snaps up, eyes glowing and deep voice accusatory, “You have defiled my tomb!” Gerald (who probably deserves MVP for pulling this off) begins taking all the loot he has stolen and placing it on the floor in front of him. He tells Haathor-Vash that he was merely collecting the treasures that were stolen and returning them to their rightful owner (advance to Turn 2). Against all odds, he succeeds in this gambit and Haathor-Vash relaxes a bit. The players try to trade their own treasures for Jora - Ulrik offers his holy symbol and Karolina her necklace. Haathor-Vash isn’t having it. She becomes incensed; claiming that her vengeance is justified and she is owed apology. Karolina offers herself to Haathor-Vash if the girl is set free. At this point, I declared a Negotiation Conflict. Despite having only 6 Disposition against Haathor-Vash’s 13, the party argued valiantly for Jora’s release but failed in the end. I told them that despite losing the Conflict, they secured a minor compromise from Haathor-Vash. After discussing what to do, they decided to let Haathor-Vash keep Jora to sate her vengeance in exchange for no more attacks on the village of Skogenby. I agreed to that, though in retrospect I should have let Karolina trade places with Jora in order to secure the girl’s freedom. I was reluctant to let Jora go since their Intent for the conflict was to free Jora in exchange for something and they didn’t succeed.

Overall, we had a great time! I feel like I went too easy on the players as they didn’t have many conditions to contend with. Maybe I was just rushing because I was trying to finish everything in about 3 hours. I have a few questions though:

[li]In the first conflict with the Tomb Guardians, Ulrik casts his spell before the conflict (per RAW). Does he still get to select a weapon for the conflict with the remaining skeletons?
[/li][li]Could Ulrik have used Heal on himself in camp after failing to remove his Injured condition with a Health test?
[/li][li]Will freshly prepared food spoil if not consumed within a number of turns? I expect so otherwise there would be no point to preserving rations.

Thanks for the help, and for the great game!

Sounds like you did just fine! I hope it was fun!

  1. Yes. You did this right.
  2. Ulrik’s player tried Recovery (a Health test) and failed. After that, yes, he could use the Healer skill to try to treat the Injury. However, what you can’t do is make two tests in a row in camp (see Spending Checks on page 83). Before Ulrik could try to use Healer on himself, someone else would have to make a test. It also would have been possible for someone else to make the Healer test (possibly with Beginner’s Luck) and Ulrik could have helped that person.
  3. Fresh rations/food spoil when you return to town. See To the Dogs​ on page 86.

Level 6 Halfling Burglar here, welcome to my AMA.

Fresh Rations take up more pack space than Preserved Rations. Meals can’t be packed (aw, mom!) and are eaten in camp when cooked.

Thanks guys, I honestly can’t believe I got so much right rules-wise on my first go – I guess lurking here on the forums paid off! It was tremendously fun and I can’t wait to introduce the game to my other group as well.

Why did Ulrick gain Hungry/Thirsty on turn 5? Was it a condition based on a failed test?

Yes, he failed his Theologian test to discern the purpose of the Chamber of Vigils.