Against the Mageguild   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Aegis
 player, 383 posts
 Veteran Mercenary
 Master-at-Arms
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 00:55
Re: Against the Mageguild
Aegis takes a swig from his drink, although he was noticeably taking it easy with the booze.  He belches, and otherwise waits for the group to decide on what to do.

He does seem to be mumbling to himself, though it was not loud enough for the rest of the group to hear it.
Reanna Draegan
 player, 575 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Fri 8 Jan 2021
at 11:53
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Aegis (msg # 586):

"Perhaps it would be wise to only partially block the road against wagons. Even if they do not have wagons, it will slow them without looking like an ambush. But really, do we need to block the road at all? If they are mounted or on foot, they can likely go around anyway, and it will only alert them...better to set up defences they cannot easily see."
Dilandua
 player, 116 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Sat 9 Jan 2021
at 19:32
Re: Against the Mageguild
"A tree across the road isn't a defense, it's a hurdle.  It stops the mage's party from immediately fleeing and out running us.  It helps trap them in our killzone.  That's why I brought these," Dilandua takes the two shovels, pickaxe, and rope.  "We string ropes at knee and waist height where they won't be immediately obvious and dig shallow brush covered trenches everywhere else, to stop horses and men from fleeing off the road.  And either drop another tree or pull a rope across the road behind them when they're in the box to block immediate retreat back up the road.  Hopefully we can kill them fast enough no one escapes."

Dilandua points out places where trenches would be appropriate and where ropes would work better.  At least so Dilandua thinks...

"But you're right.  The moment they see the tree across the road they will know it's an ambush.  Maybe if we rig it to drop once we've sprung the ambush?"





OOC:  14:28, Today: Dilandua rolled 13 using 3d6.  Traps (Setting) 9.

Ehhh.... if someone has a Traps (Setting) [Traps based on IQ] better than a 9, please roll it...

Dne Utrotare
 player, 288 posts
 Anyone
 down there?
Mon 11 Jan 2021
at 05:12
Re: Against the Mageguild
Old bird brains tries to help, but comes up with the skinny end of the worm.

00:11, Today: Dne Utrotare rolled 16 using 3d6.  Traps (skill 10).
Narrator
 GM, 8557 posts
 DM says
 roll for initiative!
Mon 11 Jan 2021
at 19:00
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dne Utrotare (msg # 589):

Oof! This could go very wrong
Reanna Draegan
 player, 576 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 00:00
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Narrator (msg # 590):

"What about Caltrops? They can be hard to see until you are onto them, and we spring the attack before they know they are there...a pit trap could have the same effect."
Dilandua
 player, 117 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 05:36
Re: Against the Mageguild
"We don't have caltrops."

Dilandua hands a shovel to Aegis and begins loosing the soil with the pickax forming the trench lines.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Fri 15 Jan.

Aegis
 player, 384 posts
 Veteran Mercenary
 Master-at-Arms
Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 18:49
Re: Against the Mageguild
Wordlessly, Aegis begins to dig.  He is quite experienced with this sort of thing, as a soldier would be.  The planning side of things, though...  He had never taken the time to learn that part of it.  He had nothing to add there.
Narrator
 GM, 8558 posts
 DM says
 roll for initiative!
Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 19:46
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Aegis (msg # 593):

A full.on pit trap may take several hours. A 1 foot deep trench a few yards wide may take less time. This may create bad footing for those passing it.


N
Dne Utrotare
 player, 289 posts
 Anyone
 down there?
Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 21:40
Re: Against the Mageguild
While they work, Dne goes up fifteen yards and looks all around.
Reanna Draegan
 player, 577 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Thu 14 Jan 2021
at 02:27
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dne Utrotare (msg # 595):

She takes up a digging implement and assists.

"We will also need to create a special cover. Meanwhile, if they come while we are working, half of us should remain hidden, with a lookout to warn us so that the fighters can come here and those with missile weapons can scurry to hidden positions. We can explain that we are trying to recover a magical artefact that was supposedly buried under the road. Perhaps our mages can come up with better details..."
Dilandua
 player, 118 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:02
Re: Against the Mageguild
"The faster done, the sooner we won't be surprised by them coming upon us.  Dne scouts, we dig, Alice can gather brush to disguise these shallow trenches."



OOC:  With Dilandua breaking ground with the pick and Aegis and Reanna digging (sorry, it's two shovels and one pick, I got it backwards earlier, Dilandua will swap off with Reanna whenver there is far more ground broken than dug) and presuming ST 10 we can dig 20 feet of trenches (20 long, 2 feet deep, 2 wide) each hour.  So in four hours we'll be done (3 hours for digging and stringing ropes, 1 hour for disguising the trenches), this presumes it's not just trenches, but lines strung anywhere we think it's disguised well enough from the road.  2 feet deep is all you need to disable a horse charging into it...  a man might fall into one and not break a leg, but a horse?  It's going down and spilling the rider.


Just to reiterate, the trenches are not on the road.  The road we'll need to block with fallen trees or strung rope, or whatever we come up with.  I'm beginning to lean toward rope pulled and tied off at the last moment it's "less obvious" in advance that it's an ambush, but it does mean two people are stuck dealing with that instead of attacking.  What do y'all think?

This message was last edited by the player at 03:09, Fri 15 Jan.

Reanna Draegan
 player, 578 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:17
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dilandua (msg # 597):

OOC: Not sure we are all on the same page. Reanna is for digging a pit trap in the road rather than felling a tree. Once complete, there will be no warning. Fallen trees are used as defences around to stop riders charging into the bush...
Dilandua
 player, 119 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:37
Re: Against the Mageguild
OOC: So when the early morning farmer and his oxcart come through before our quarry tomorrow we just what?  Kindly request he go arouns the pittrap and not alert the city there are brigands setting ambushes on the road?

Anything done to the road is a magnitude harder to disguise.  It's far better to just fell trees or string ropes right before the mage's party is upon us, or as a they come upon us, rather than anything that will disturb the locals, and turn them against us.

110% against cutting up a hardpacked road, which is likely concrete paved anyway...

Reanna Draegan
 player, 579 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:52
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dilandua (msg # 599):

Concrete is a much later invention (for roads)...cobblestones was the usual road of Roman times, at best.

Unless you want to fell a tree now and make an alternate path around it, so it appears as if the tree was felled some time ago. Then dig the pit trap on the alternate path. Simply felling a tee is like sending up alarm bells, and if they have any forward scouts, this will cause them to avoid the ambush altogether...

This message was last edited by the player at 11:00, Fri 15 Jan.

Narrator
 GM, 8573 posts
 DM says
 roll for initiative!
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 19:52
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Reanna Draegan (msg # 600):

The road is paved with cobbles that would need a crowbar to remove, but doing so would cause bad footing.
Dilandua
 player, 120 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 21:19
Re: Against the Mageguild
Reanna Draegan:
Concrete is a much later invention (for roads)...cobblestones was the usual road of Roman times, at best.

OOC:  Unless I'm completely off base, we aren't in Roman times.  Yrth's initial setting is 1990 A.D., roughly one thousand years after the first Banestorm transplanted medieval europeans, africans, and asians on it's world.  As well as goblins, kobolds, lizardmen, and others were also brought over form other worlds (dwarves, elves, and orcs are original inhabitants).

4e Banestrom is set in 2005 A.D.  Now I have no idea how much gwythaint is departing from the published setting aside from the gods actually being a real force in the world, but I presume he's holding somewhat true to it being well and past 'roman times'.  ;)


But that's neither here nor there.  The plan was to set the ambush site.  Then tomorrow Dilandua heads off ealry to scout the enemy, being far, far faster than anyone else.  Going several hours (like 3-4 hours for most people, 1-2 for Dilandua being at Move 11) down the road.  When the enemy is spotted, Dilandua returns at top speed and stealth, and we finalize the ambush.  Like trees blocking the road or ropes strung.

I admit I did not leave room in the plan for advanced scouts as those tend to be less used in civilized areas, though knowing they were closing on St Remy they might want to send agents ahead to prepare the way, IE renting rooms, ensure the mages have a comfy stay, etc.  We have no idea how these guys operate, but that's down to me not wanting to ask questions in St Remy in case the Imperial Guild had agents already in town.  At this point if we have to deal with advanced scouts, well... we have to deal with advanced scouts.  Like they wouldn't notice a pit trap in the middle of the road.

Reanna Draegan
 player, 581 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 22:09
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dilandua (msg # 602):

OK then. We build the pit trap just off the road and make what appears to be a well used detour, only putting the reason for the detour in at the last minute. Then have the scouting as planned. Yes, the plan was to have an ambush site, but we were rather sketchy on the details, and I suspect the GM wants those details now!
Narrator
 GM, 8577 posts
 DM says
 roll for initiative!
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 22:35
Re: Against the Mageguild
This is not quite yrth.
Borrowed names and languages  and the idea of some interdimensional  incidents and origins, but the roman culture lingered.
Year is around 1378, 40 years post plague. The roads are ancient iters.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:43, Yesterday.

Dilandua
 player, 121 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 00:29
Re: Against the Mageguild
Reanna Draegan:
OK then. We build the pit trap just off the road and make what appears to be a well used detour, only putting the reason for the detour in at the last minute. Then have the scouting as planned.

OOC:  Please explain how going to the extra work of building a detour, which will require blocking the road anyway, to a pit trap (how big of a pit trap, that's a lot of work and time) will be inherently better than a few hastily felled trees across the road to get them to stop long enough to spring the ambush?

Are you thinking they're all going to fall in the pit trap somehow?


quote:
Yes, the plan was to have an ambush site, but we were rather sketchy on the details, and I suspect the GM wants those details now!

The details I just outlined are the same ones I outlined in msg# 127 and 132.
Reanna Draegan
 player, 582 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 01:03
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dilandua (msg # 605):

OOC: A fallen tree with a well worn path around it is not an obvious ambush for the current travellers, but just a recently felled tree is. As soon as they see a fallen tree with no clear path around, they are likely to start backing away. But if there is a well worn path around the tree, they are likely to quickly investigate before continuing on. A pit that will require a climbing attempt to get out of is sufficient to slow some from escaping. Perhaps 2 ft deep, with spikes at the bottom. This can inflict injury, which is much better than just hindering movement and providing cover against missile weapons.

Unless you have a way of bringing a tree down as they approach? In that case, why not bring one or two down on them as well?

Message #127 just talks about a generic ambush. Message #132 talks in more detail about the preparations around the ambush site, but not of what will block the road. That was the post that was sketchy in details about how to trigger the ambush, except for suggesting a couple of trip ropes. This will not work if there is a wagon, as horses are likely to see it an jump it easily, and the wheels will roll right over it.
Aegis
 player, 385 posts
 Veteran Mercenary
 Master-at-Arms
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 01:37
Re: Against the Mageguild
OOC This is why Aegis drinks, and lets the smart people argue about meaningless details.
Beeeelch.

Dilandua
 player, 122 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 05:48
Re: Against the Mageguild
Reanna Draegan:
OOC: A fallen tree with a well worn path around it...

OOC:  That's a lot of work.

A clearing the path and making it look naturally well worn, that is more work than you expect.


quote:
As soon as they see a fallen tree with no clear path around, they are likely to start backing away.

Which is why we drop the trees once they are in the box.

quote:
A pit that will require a climbing attempt to get out of is sufficient to slow some from escaping.

A 6x6x6 pit, which isn't particularly hard to get out of will take 5 man hours to dig, if it's loose soil all the way (83 pit is 12 man hours, a 103 pit is 25 man hours).  That doesn't account for anything else.  That's one short pit that an athletic person can hop out of with minimal trouble (it's slowing, not stopping).

That doesn't include disguising it so someone will fall in it, which we are hard pressed to do well (our Traps skills suck).


quote:
Perhaps 2 ft deep, with spikes at the bottom.

Easier, faster, but now we have to make spikes.

Honestly I was leaning away from spike traps as that's one less thing for us to worry about if we do have to go racing off after someone trying to escape.


quote:
Unless you have a way of bringing a tree down as they approach? In that case, why not bring one or two down on them as well?

Of course we do.  We have rope.  You cut the tree while it's held up by rope, position it so it will fall across the road once the rope is cut.  It's a deadfall trap which we spring.  I don't want to drop it on them, as we want it far enough ahead of them to take advantage of vision penalties to make it harder to spot.

quote:
...except for suggesting a couple of trip ropes. This will not work if there is a wagon, as horses are likely to see it an jump it easily, and the wheels will roll right over it.

A wagon won't be taken off off road unless it's dire.  Which is why we drop trees in front and behind*, if they have a wagon, it hobbles their ability to flee.  A rope strung at knee and shoulder height will stop a horse, they won't jump it (unless they're trained jumpers which is very dangerous to do in brush), in fact horses will avoid brush unless trained to charge through it, because they can't see the terrain beyond.  So riding horses will be stymied by ropes and brush, war and hunting horses less so.  Knee high ropes disguised with brush will trip people running, and hunting and warhorses.

* The more I think about it, closing their escape might be best done by Dne dropping a Windstorm on the road behind them, it's also a good place for himself to hide when not tossing lightning bolts.  He can step up above it, throw lightning, then step back down into it's eye to be safe from ranged attacks and pretty safe from enemies running at him.


gwythaint, how wide is the road here?

Reanna Draegan
 player, 583 posts
 HP: 11/11, FP: 10/11
 Rank 2 Admin badge
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 06:21
Re: Against the Mageguild
In reply to Dilandua (msg # 608):

I would have thought rigging trees to drop would be more difficult, but if you are confident, then go for it. But I do think that aiming a tree or two at them as well will distract them from the ones dropping to cut them off very well, and may well provide you with both cover and a way to enter the middle of their group undetected until the last minute. I not your plan is to enter their group and start chopping heads. Riding a tree into them may be a great way to do that, and avoid spears if they happen to hold them up for you...

Spike pits are tried and proven ways to ambush folk, but I am open to others if you think it will work.
Dilandua
 player, 123 posts
 Shadow Elf
 FP 12/12 HP 10/10
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 19:38
Re: Against the Mageguild
Reanna Draegan:
I would have thought rigging trees to drop would be more difficult, but if you are confident, then go for it.

Less "confident" more "it's a 'last moment' thing that we can trigger when needed".  For instance if the trees are light enough, we might stage a few to be dropped when Dilandua returns with the news the mages are an hour or so out.  Or we might do something else... I'm posing a few questions at the end of this post for the GM which will maybe clarify my thoughts and rule out a bunch ideas.

quote:
I not your plan is to enter their group and start chopping heads. Riding a tree into them may be a great way to do that, and avoid spears if they happen to hold them up for you...

OOC:  Riding a tree is a lot more difficult than Flying Leap with Invisibility Art and stabbing people till they're dead.  The same thing Dilandua did with the Ogre, just, into the middle of the mages.

The idea being Dilandua leaps in and kills or seriously incapacitates two Wizards immediately, then starts stabbing the rest two at a time (or one at a time if they prove to be tougher or more defensively built than "normal" Wizards and guards).  Dilandua will prioritize Wizards over guards until all Wizards have fallen, or Dilandua is unable to reach any Wizards and is hard pressed by guards (which is kinda likely to happen).  I'm hoping to get 2-3 rounds in where Dilandua can stab Wizards without too many guards clustering.  This is more likely if they are on horseback, or the Wizards are in/on a carriage/wagon, if the enemy party is on foot, Dilnadua may only get that initial surprise round.

Dne does a Windstorm to cut off retreat, and tosses lightnings (or whateves, Birdman's choice) to deal with anyone near him, or Wizards too far away for Dilandua to immediately stab damage penalties into.  Reanna and Aegis archery any guards or Wizards from the flanks and Alice... well, hangs out prepared to put some healing on people and fight only in an emergency.


I'm not opposed to dropping trees into them either.  If we have time to continue prepping such traps, the more the merrier.  My only quibble is the more of these types of traps, the harder it will be to disguise them, so it's something to weigh if we end with time to sit around and devise more devious methods of ambushing them.


quote:
Spike pits are tried and proven ways to ambush folk, but I am open to others if you think it will work.

Spiked pits are good, I leaned in on trip ropes and clotheslines as they are simple and fast* to setup and can even (if we were better skilled) be used to channel fleeing foes into spiked pits.

Rope traps will work if we have plenty of underbrush.  If it's 'clear' woodlands (short grasses and weeds, no brush, more of a 'fern' woods) we're deeply limited.  We're not SOL, as we'd likely have denser, thinner trunked trees (harder to do trenches, might not have big enough trees to even create a road blockage with, etc), but rope lines become easier once you set them a bit deeper off the road (more trees means it's harder to see deeply into the woods)...

* Time concerns weigh heavily on my mind.  We might not even have to prep all the simplest or fastest of traps, let alone pit traps, deadfalls, etc.  We might end up with them coming upon us while we're still setting up and we have to work fast to hobble their escape while trying to kill them.  Which is why I want to prioritize fastest traps first, we can get more elaborate if we have a second day to prepare, or not, just let everyone except Dilandua rest and wait.


Which creates another set of questions (repeating one from earlier):

gwythaint, how wide is the road here?

How dense are the woods here?  My definitions:

No Woods:  Can move formation and carts with ease.  No concealment.
Light Woods:  Formations and carts with some difficulty, skirmishers with ease.
Medium Woods:  Skirmishing footmen with ease, horses with some difficulty, carts and formations with great difficulty.  Good concealment for distant traps or hidden ambushers (10+ yards).
Dense Woods:  No carts, Formations or horses, skirmishing footmen are impeded/slowed.  Good concealment for close traps or hidden ambushers (5+ yards).

No Undergrowth:  As advertised.  No concealment.
Light Undergrowth:  Carts and formations can proceed with some difficulty, skirmishers with ease.    Good concealment for low line traps or trenches (immediate, not distance based).
Medium Undergrowth:  No carts or formations, skirmishers have difficulty.  Great concealment for traps up to shoulder height, good concealment for ambushers.
Dense Undergrowth:  Skirmishers are impeded.  Excellent concealment for everything (even your enemy).

What kind of size are we talking about with the trees?  Thin birch, medium pines, ancient oaks, legendary redwoods?