Siege of Kevala

This evening my players are going on the Kevala special mission at Gallows Pass.

The scenario is that the soldiers must hold out until the fires have been lit for 7 days and nights and Zora has been healing in the fires (borrowed this plot element from the authors youtube playthrough).

They rolled a 5 for engagement rolls so the siege will commence on the 5th day, so they will have to hold out 2 more days = Risky starting position.

We are not going to play the initial part of the siege, that will be handled by Flashbacks.

My clock situation:

In the siege Scene the players have to fill up the 12 clock the 7th day before the enemy either completes their walls or gate clock (6 and 4 respectively).

When 7th day clock is filled the wards on the monastery fire off and Zora is healed and depending on the fictions this might turn into boss fight with Zora and Irag in the main monastery or a escape scene where they get off the mountain without the enemy catching them.

I know there is a lot of enemy clocks on the tabel but the players can always flashback to reduce them. Say they brought a demo charge and wanted to create a land slide, they roll wreck to put ticks on the Gaunts clock.

I am thinking that when an enemy clock is filled they can no longer attempt to fill Gate or Walls clocks.

I am in a bit of conumdrum as to how the enemy should fill the clocks though. Should they roll a certain amount of dice? Or should they just fill in 1 tick whenever time has gone by? Then Irag and his knighs will complete the Gate clock in 2 time units. Then I guess the players will just have to resist that.

Any input?

In the past I’ve used the Threat level of the enemy to make a Fortune roll to fill clocks like this.

Another method I’ve used – to represent growing pressure – is to start at 0d for the first roll, increasing the number of dice rolled by 1d for each following roll (though I suggest capping this at 5d, or even the Threat level of whomever or whatever is commanding the enemy’s forces, rather than allowing infinite explosion).

For filling such clocks, I usually roll for this whenever the players take a significant action, and/or when a reasonable amount of (fictional) time has passed.

This is how it looked at the end. The Main Gate and Walls fell to the invaders but as the Legionaires battled their way back to the main monastery Irag the Flayed was slain!

In the end it was desperate melee to get the last two ticks on the time clock to complete the missions, and two NPC rookies died and everybody came out of the siege with almost all harm slots filled.

My players pulled every trick in the book to kill Irag, with 5+ flashbacks setting up bombs and blowing the shit out of him and his knights and the Heavy burning everything to go toe to toe with Irag in melee.

Great victory for the Legion!

This is my first attempt at a Forged in the Dark system and I am completely in love with clocks as game mechanic. This was the most epic siege I have played in a game (and I have prepped many in DnD) and it was resolved in about 4 hours. A big round of applause to the authors of this game for giving us such great storytelling tools.

This is probably my favorite mission in the game ^_~ Sounds like you had a wildly great time! Also HELL YEAH for your players using some flashbacks to set up a fight with Irag. That’s the way to do it!

As the siege was unfolding one my players who was a Scout asked “Can I sneak into Irag’s camp the night before and stab him so he is wounded in the battle”. I said yes.

What followed was some of the other players setting him up with a Knight of the Black Oak uniform and a get away plan. I made sure he knew he could die in the flashback so the stakes were very high.

When the party succeded I put a few ticks on Irags clock (think the effect was Great) and we zoomed back to the present were it was clear that Irag were moving stiffly because someone stabbed him in his sleep.

Sorry to say that seems a bit problematic.

You can’t die in a flashback because you can’t undo the current fiction, and the fact that the character you’re playing is alive is a well established part of the fiction.

The object of the flashback is a problem in itself: if you you can stab Irag in his sleep, why wouldn’t you just… kill him? he’s a living human after all, although “boosted”.

It made sense in the fiction and it was epic.

Irag had a 12 clock so it was clear they could not fill it all in one Flashback. I think he got in a good stab in though and filled 2 ticks on his clock, and survived to tell the tale.

That’s part of the problem. I would say that you are maybe prioritising mechanics over fiction, when it should be the opposite.

Why is Irag a 12-clock in normal circumstances ? Because he is of immense strength, filled with cinder blood, AND he is accompanied by several squads of BOK.

But the 12-clock is not absolute (and I would point out that it is purely a GM choice, since the book does not indicate this). When the fiction is different, then maybe there is no 12-clock, even for Irag.

In this case, you allowed the Scout to have entered Irag’s tent undetected, while Irag was sleeping, through a flashback and (I guess) a successful Scout action (probably Desperate?). Or maybe several actions. So the fiction says that the scout is in position to kill Irag. No need of clock. If it had been a huge Horror, with maybe no way to tell what or where any vulnerable part is, then it would be different. But again, Irag is a human. You need to differentiate the several types of powerful undead, the clock is not enough to do that.

In fact, even if you wanted to use a clock in this case, the system says that the clock could have been at least partly filled by the (several?) actions that the scout took to enter the tent undetected. Clocks are not hit points.

The other part of the problem is that you allowed a flashback to perform what could or should have been an entire mission in itself (enter the undead camp - find Irag’s tent - stab him in his sleep). That’s probably overstretching the function of flashback.

The last part – and probably the main part – of the problem, is that : even if the GM is absolutely allowed to be generous with what a flashback can do, what is not possible is to allow a flashback to undo the present fiction and the present reality which has already been established. So putting a character in mortal danger through a flashback is not possible – because you have already established that the character is here, and alive. If the scout had failed his Scout roll and been detected then killed or captured during the flashback, you would have had a big fictional problem in the current situation. Especially if the Scout had already done some actions this day, after his “death in flashback”. A flashback isn’t time travel.

So for the purpose of what the players wanted to do through the flashback, which was to weaken Irag, was there possibilities which did not entail the risk of contradicting the present fiction? I don’t know the exact situation you had described so I can’t say.

In the end though, what I just wrote is only advice and the most important thing is that you and the players seemed to have had fun and tension in this session. And at the end the “time travel contradiction” did not materialise, so everything went OK, and that’s fine.

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