I just wanted to share an episode from yesterday’s game involving the adventure deck, something that we started using last year. So there’s a showdown. On an icy bridge. With a frost giant (this is actually taken from a Pathfinder scenario published in Kobold Quarterly and minimally adapted by me to Savage Worlds). My son’s* knight, Sir Elathan, steps gingerly onto the bridge, sword drawn and ready to face down this 15′ monstrosity.
They engage. Back and forth the combat goes; first the giant is shaken, then Elathan. I think to myself: ‘this time I’ve got you punk – no more of this cleaving War Trees in a single blow malarky’. The giant starts Defensive and then goes over to Wild Attack when he senses the advantage. Elathan is having to roll agility at the beginning of each action to avoid slipping off the icy bridge and into the raging torrent, whilst my giant’s skin is covered in runes guaranteeing him safe footing on any surface (nothing like stacking the cards in your own favour). “To the first blood”, the giant had said, if the adventurers wanted to cross the bridge. The knight lands another hit, but fails to penetrate the leathery skin. By this time the other players are chanting “El-a-than, El-a-than”. Again.
Then my son draws a Joker for initiative and starts bouncing in his seat. Selecting Level Headed and Mighty Blow were two of the best decisions he’s ever made in character progression. “Frenzy!” He challenges me. ‘Bloody hell!’, I think, ‘won’t I ever find something I can throw against him that will put a dent in his shiny armour and even shinier ego?’ Two strikes and the same number of soak rolls later Elathan’s sword is buried to the hilt in the giant’s side, its light-blue lifeblood spilling everywhere. The giant staggers through the door behind him: “My brothers, I have failed!”, he exclaims and collapses. But my son’s not finished yet. Grinning, he slaps a card from the adventure deck on the table: Relic. An item associated with your victory gains magical powers. Yada, yada. The sword now confers Elemental Resistance: Cold upon the wielder. The giant’s blood has imbued the sword with this new power. Insult to injury.
But they still needed passage through the giants’ hall in order to reach the high mountain valley beyond. Elathan’s sister, Elowyn, stands boldly on the threshold and demands the right of passage through the hall, facing down three more frost giants that were planned to bloody their noses and teach them some respect for once and for all. Rolls high on Persuasion. “Bah, only those who survive the Rite of the Frost-Flame are permitted to the valley beyond, by decree of the gods!”, is my spontaneous response. My son grins. I know when I’m beat. Time to get back to the drawing board and plan some seriously challenging encounters.
The session ended early, but will be remembered for a long time to come.
*Our gaming group consists of my 13-year old kids, one of my son’s friends, my wife and a close neighbour from the village. We generally only play in the winter half of the year.