Saturday 13 April 2024

Devilry Afoot - The Harrying scenario

This week, Andrew and I played a couple of games of Devilry Afoot, beginning with an adaptation of one of the 13 scenarios that will be in the book, 'The Harrying'. The scenario is normally set in the wilds between settlements, but I really wanted to use Andrew's cracking ruined city terrain. 

We started with four new characters:
  • Fr. Hans, the devout religious whose drunkenness is mitigated by his penitence. Fr. Hans was equipped with a lantern and holy item, and also carried a dagger hidden beneath his vestments.
  • Cpl Gruber, a sadistic veteran soldier who is now a skilled hunter, equipped with a dragon (horseman's pistol) and dagger.
  • Dr Crilly, the lustful scholar whose studies focus on law, demonology, and banned (but tasteful) French illustrated manuscripts. Dr Crilly carried a sword and lantern.
  • Goody Doyle, the pistol-armed gallant goodwife, renowned for being swift on her feet, but less well known for her sadistic tendencies.

For this scenario, a group of six innocents are fleeing from the destruction of their town trying to make it to safety. They start on one side of the table and must escape via a designated exit point. However, they are exhausted and their movements are therefore randomised (1/2 d10 per action). Four of them must exit the table for the scenario to be a success. There is a barghest in one corner, a group of outlaws in another, and the hunters deployed at the centre of a random edge. In our case, between the barghest and the innocents.

From previous experiences, we decided that the very fast moving barghest would be the greatest threat and so the first activation saw Goody Doyle move towards it and fire her pistol through a doorway. The shot landed, causing two wounds and giving the hunters first blood for the hunt. Easy. Maybe it would be all much simpler than we thought.

The outlaws activated next. Two of them rolled shoot actions, but while they were in line of sight, they were out of range, so their actions became 'attacks' and them menacingly moved towards the innocents . The third outlaw, with the matchlock, rolled a stalk action, and so just moved along with his gang.

The barghest had the next two activations, it used the first to leap through the door and lash out at Goody Doyle, but missed her. She counterattacked using her pistol as a club, but also missed. The hound's second action was to skulk back to the shadows of the wall. Goody Doyle again tried an opportunity attack, but again failed to land a blow.

Full of misplaced confidence, Dr Crilly ran into the fray, attacking the barghest from behind, but his lack of martial abilities made a mockery of his bravado and he failed to even hit the beast. At that point, Fr Hans demonstrated that the word of God is more powerful than any weapon. He deftly quoted a bible verse (something about many-headed angels), and the barghest fled down the alleyway and off the table. All still part of turn 1! Too easy.

Finishing the turn, Cpl Gruber ran to try to insert himself between the fleeing innocents and the outlaws who also moved again to get closer to their quarry.

Starting turn two, Gruber offloaded his dragon, killing the outlaw in the blue coat outright. The remaining outlaws all yelled out with intimidate actions, scattering the nearby innocents, most of whom ran back towards their deployment zone. Unhelpful.

As the other hunters tried to get back towards the scuffle with the outlaws, Gruber ran in with his dagger where he found himself outmatched, overcome and, promptly, out of action.

Crilly, Doyle and Fr Hans all tried to leg it back to protect the innocent, but there was now nothing stopping the outlaws from laying into the fleeing civilians.

The outlaw in green activated, intimidating the innocents, but leaving Doyle and Hans standing resolute. The outlaw in red rolled an shoot action and fired his matchlock, hitting Goody Doyle and taking her out of action. Suddenly, the odds were not looking quite so much in the hunter's favour.

Without stopping to consider which bit of the sword was for holding, Dr Crilly leapt into combat with the green outlaw, failing to hit, and being badly wounded in the ensuing opportunity attack. The third hunter was down, but all the civilians were still alive, so all was not lost.

Until it was. Fr Hans, rather than attempting to lure the outlaws on a merry game of chase away from the civilians, drew his dagger. He strode into the the outlaws full of fire and brazen with the belief that he carried out God's work. His barely breathing body was found slumped in an alleyway the next morning.

So that didn't go quite according to plan and ended with a total party kill.  In the post-game sequence, we found that Cpl Gruber failed to recover from his wounds and died soon after. Dr Crilly recovered with a nasty arm wound, hampering any chance for him to wield a two handed weapon. Fr Hans did recover fully, while Goody Doyle, appearing ok, was permanently weakened, reducing her future carrying capacity.  

The second game of the evening is better left unrecorded. Each running three characters, we set out to find a troll hoard. The troll found my characters first, and despite me carrying out shenanigans to interrupt Andrew's plans, his characters found the treasure and made off with the loot...


  1. From reading the narrative I'm guessing that this game uses something close to Palaeo Diet with player actions triggering monster/enemy reactions. Is that correct?

    1. Related, but certainly not the same. Monsters have a reaction table similar to PDEE, but they only roll on it when one of their activation tokens are drawn from the bag.

      Different monster types have different numbers of activation tokens per turn. In this case, the barghest had 4, but the outlaws had 2, so the barghest is far more reactive within a turn, than an outlaw.

      That's why we wanted to focus on the barghest as early as possible, to kill it or drive it from the table before it really got a chance to activate. Otherwise, it could have torn through multiple innocents each turn.