Today, I finally started my Beasts & Barbarians campaign. We were able to start after our little girl got to bed and played more than 4 hours. Savage Worlds wasn't that fast this time, the last fight of the night took quite long. Still, it was eventful and full of action, so I don't think a bit of slowness was a bad thing. And as everyone's getting more experience with the system, I have no doubts about the fights getting faster.
Tereis, A renegade amazon who always takes vengeance to the end. Extremely skilled in fighting and parrying and very acrobatic, she's currently the primary fighter of the group.
Doris Costos, a dark-skinned syranthian captain with hedonistic tendencies. She had pissed of a high Caldeian lord by dumping a shipment of Khav to sea as her ship was being boarded by imperial guards.
Godzul, an old witch from savannah has strange powers that make others obey and serve him.
Falchor Eagle Eye, very young hunter who is seeking the place where his father has told him he holds a noble rank. He's very naive and he doesn't look very noble-like to the others.
In addition, there's a borderlander noble in the group, but the character isn't finished and his player wasn't present in the first session. This post will be updated with any new character info. There's also at least one more player/character coming to the game later.
Heroes start imprisoned under Caldeian arena. They all had fought one fight and were waiting in the same room (but in separate cages) for a death fight against each other. A borderlander noble started to talk, starting to get familiar with each other and then inviting others to join him in escape, and gain a title in his lands where he's going to win back his domain. He said he needed new blood in his court, as there's much likely some treasonous people in the court.
The noble had a plan; In the middle of the arena was a hole surrounded with staves. It was a way out of fight, but it was told that no-one escaped that place alive; After someone fell there, the winning gladiator hit a gong in the hole, inviting the beast down there to claim his meal. Now, there fell only one or two gladiators at the time. If several would fall there, they could beat the monster. They would find a way out, or sneak out during the night if there wasn't another way out.
Hole in the middle of the arena
So the group was sent to the arena, and they put up a show, some acting well, others not that much. They all ended up in the hole, the noble and Doris being the last ones, hands in each other's throats.
The labyrinth and the monster
The noble fell down pretty badly - he's going to played by a player but currently the player wasn't present this time (and the character wasn't detailed), so it was an easy option to put the character to the background. It soon became apparent that the heroes had fallen into a labyrinth, which required a smarts task to clear. Searching the pile of bodies resulted in a torch, which Falchor was able to ignite with his survival skills.
First clubs (or pendants, as I decided meant clubs in tarot cards) in the task meant that the group was attacked by a swarm of flesh-eating beetles coming from cracks in the wall. Torch, stomping and Doris' shield bashes got rid of them. Godzul's smartness cleared the labyrinth fast and the group found a cave with an opening to a cliff over the sea - with a really strong, locked portcullis. It couldn't be opened, and a large minotaur with a large axe attacked the group. After the initial frightening, Gozul used his horrible might to control the creature's mind, and stabbed it into eye. (This was because of an amulet that was depleted because of uses - I realized afterwards that it's a Veteran rank power).
Soon someone descended with a rope from above to check if the door was still intact, but was grabbed by Falchor and stabbed to death by Doris. He had a key that opened the door, but there were soldiers on the cliff above - apparently everyone wasn't that convinced about 'accidental falls' to the hole. Archers above tried to shoot the heroes while one soldier went for reinforcements, but the heroes had good cover, and after a sideways climbing the cover was complete until they were close to the city port, almost out of range.
Escape to the sea
Doris was a ship captain so she wanted to steal a ship to escape. Stealthy subdual of the guard didn't work out so well, and heroes were soon swarmed by both sailors from the adjacent warship and guards that were patrolling nearby. In addition, a man standing in the bow of the warship noticed Falchor, and it appeared to be the same slaver that captured Falchor and stole his amulet, an item that was a family hairloom and his only tie to his real parents. His hawk appeared from the sky after following Falchor for a long time and snapped the amulet from the slaver's neck. Two archers started firing from the ship.
After two sailors the slaver also jumped to the ship-to-be-stolen and caused severe issues to the group. Doris suffered 2 wounds from a soldier's spear and everone's bennies started to run out, but finally fight seemed to turn to victory of the heroes. The slaver (the only wild card) decided to run, Tereis jumped to the warship with a great stunt and took care of the archers, throwing one of them on the heroes' ship, giving Falchor a bow, giving a lot of trouble for the enemies. The slaver got hit by an arrow and was in three wounds, and the hawk attacked him tearing his eye out. Then more soldiers (including archers) started to close, the ship was ready to sail.
I had planned a lot more, but people had to leave so I hurried the end a bit. Heroes got away with the boat, were pursued but the skilled captain lost the pursuers in a storm. But the heroes had no food or drink and had to find a port soon, and ended up in an independent city. They knew their ship was 'hot', and they met some people who weren't very nice but wanted a ship badly - and paid a good sum for it. In addition, the ship had some cargo the heroes were able to sell, so they had a good amount to spend in taverns, brothels and wherever they wanted.
Carousing: While B&B carousing draws are more complete, I really love some of the results in Legends of Steel, especially in the expanded table that you can find at http://evildm.blogspot.com/2010/03/hangover-sword-sorcery-style.html . I let my players to choose which option to use, so Doris (With Carouser flaw!) chose LoS table and was accompanied with Falchor and Godzul, and they all ended up in jail for drunken hooliganism. Tereis drew a card (B&B table) and ended up with an iron Caldeian dagger.
The game went very well, heroes got in a good place for a new adventure and there's a very pissed-off one-eyed recurring villain in the game.
As they all started with no equipment, they now have their $500 to spend on their equipment.
Tarot cards used for initiative. I decided the order to be Swords (of course in Sword&Sorcery!), Wands, Cups, Pentacles (=Clubs). The cards were cool but very hard for me to read.