Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Moathouse Operational

Whew. I've finished all the Moathouse NPCs, including a couple small extra surprises of my own. It helps that I could steal a few bits from already published GURPS sources. And people say GURPS doesn't have any monsters!

This still leaves treasure, of which I've already done most, and traps, which are so easy I'll probably handle them on the fly. I'd say it's ready for play, considering I already have an idea of how Hommlet is going to behave.

However, I doubt you tune in here to hear me congratulate myself, so here's a bit of musing.

Lareth's guards are naaasty. Even without a cleric backing them, they could probably destroy a party, played smartly. There are six level 1 fighters, led by a level 2 sergeant, and if they start losing they will call for the rest, which consist of twelve more level 1 fighters and two more level 2 sergeants. Yowch! Any party that just barrels forward into the combat is either going to be very lucky or very dead. If anything, this comes across more in GURPS; for example, the book says that six of these reinforcement guards have spears instead of crossbows, which naturally leads to the assumption that you will run them competently using unit tactics, with spearmen protected by your front-line shield-wall. This tactic transitions very well to GURPS, with the added benefit that a shield-wall is even more difficult to take down due to the ability to use sacrificial blocking and teamwork.

A party is going to have to be smart and sneaky to crack this nut. Oh, and that's not counting the lieutenant (a level 4 fighter) or the cleric.

Hopefully soon I get to let you know how it goes.


  1. The moathouse end-fight wiped out group after group in my old AD&D game and I didn't even use real tactics back in those days.

    If you're matching "level 1 one fighter" with "starting PC fighter" in terms of fighting skill, it's a brutal fight and unwinnable without attrition tactics and repeat visits, I think.

    1. I'm not quite matching them, but I'm coming close, as far as points are concerned. As far as capability is concerned, the guards may actually have the advantage, simply because of a couple of perks.

      I'm okay with this though, because I expect the PCs to be cunning, and they don't have to fight in the first place - I'm going to play the guards like intelligent people who want to avoid bloodshed unless necessary, not like automata that run on hatred and the blood of their victims.

  2. I find the idea of the moat hose crew able to field a coherent combat unit lunacy. Check out to see why!