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Author Topic: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)  (Read 4594 times)

Offline marianas_gamer

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2020, 08:22:23 PM »
Love the story telling and discussion on how you ran the campaign. Although we usually emphasize the Lead in LAF, this forum is above all else about Adventure and this is a great example!
LB
Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.

Offline Oberstleutnant Koenig

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2020, 11:22:22 PM »
Turn 1 – 11 AM

Templeton’s party had run for almost 5 miles south from the village. Here they took stock on what had occurred and planned their next move.

Marcus determines their order of march as follows: Templeton leading, followed by Bennett, then Bulfinch. Tail end Charlie being Mitchell.

Templeton and Mitchell had served together during the War of 1812 – on the British side.

Marcus Templeton began his adult life as an officer in the British Army, his father having purchased him a lieutenants' commission in the 41st Regiment of Foot. During the war, as the officer commanding the light company of that regiment, he participated in the success night attack and capture of Fort Niagara on 18 December 1813.
 
Gaining much of his fighting and woodsmen skills during that war, Templeton fell in love with the North American wilderness. Determined to find his fortune in the pursuit of beaver fur, he resigned his commission as a Captain and with Mitchell in tow. Headed off west to trap the elusive beaver.

Tom Mitchell was a sergeant within that same regiment, serving throughout the war with Templeton. Mitchell was a good soldier and Marcus and Tom built on their mutual respect for each other during the course of that conflict – think Sharpe and Harper type of camaraderie. Mitchell followed his commanding officer and friend into the West; the thought of being demobilized and returning to his wife in England was too much for him.
 
Marcus determined that their best chance was to outwit the Indians. This would be risky as they only had an hour (1 turn) head start of the Red Devils. His plan was to follow the creek they had come across back to the river – Green River. Hopefully there would be a chance of finding some aid there.
 
Moving at a walking pace (1 hex), Templeton’s party crossed the creek to their south east ending their turn in hex 05.07. As they had walked, they had only a 50% chance of leaving trail; luckily this didn’t occur.

Shane and his party on the other hand, wanted to put as much distance between them and the Peaquin village as possible.

They continue moving at a Fast/Running, he turned his party south and crossed a small creek. This place them in hex 06.07, they resumed their travels in a south eastly direction.  Here the ground started to rise, adding to their exhaustion.

Climbing uphill (the darker the hex colour the higher the elevation), means additional Stamina cost. This was added to their elected movement mode and any other terrain features they had to deal with - crossing a creek.

By the end of the hour, Shane’s party was in hex 07.07 and overlooking the Green River. No sign of the keel boats. Yes, he asked if he could see the keel boat that had escaped the Peaquin village. I wasn't actually tracking the movement of the escaped boat, they were fluff for the story and I could add them in later if I needed too. This decision is still haunting me a year later, I should have been tracking their location on the river as they moved down the river. I wanted the game to be as self generating as possible, which only adds to the realism.

Because Shane and his companions had decided to move Fast/Run, they automatically left trail behind them.

Meanwhile, back at the Indian village...

The success of the attack on the trappers was still being celebrated. Black Eagle and his brother Smoke Wolf had exchanged fierce words over what had happened, with Smoke Wolf withdrawing to his tepee. It was clear that most of the tribe was extremely happy with the turn of events. The Hairy Ones had been defeated and all their trade goods and weapons were now theirs.

It was at this point it was discovered, that some of the Hairy Ones had got away. Those on the keel boat and two smaller parties that had avoided the massacre and had fled into the woods.

Black Eagle was now more or less the new leader of the tribe, having supplanted his brother Smoke Wolf as tribal chief. He was determined that none of the Hair Ones would live to tell the tale of what had occurred. Dividing his 60 warriors amongst the notable warriors of the tribe. This gave him six groups of ten warriors led by himself (Black Eagle), his son Bloody Bear, his brother Smoke Wolf, Deaf Buffalo, Grey Deer and Red Knife.

Whilst the option of tracking the mountain men was open to him, Black Eagle knew they had an hour head start on him. Fearing that as time past, the wider the search area would become. This would diminish their chances of finding the mountain men.  He decided to cast out his warriors in an arc as fast as possible, hoping to catch the Hairy Ones early - Run them down, so to speak.

Thus ignoring the use of tracking, he ordered his warriors out and into the woods. Smoke Wolf was still sulking in his tepee and Deaf Buffalo started to recapture the tribes scattered horse herd. Black Eagle hoped that once the horses are collected, he could use them with mounted warriors as a mobile reserve/quick reaction force once the trappers had been found.

Sadly, this plan didn't bare any fruit. None of Black Eagles' warriors were able to discover any of the mountain men that turn. Empty handed, the pursuit would have to continue. Luckily for me, this was the case. No Umpire wanted their game to come to a premature end so early in the piece.
 
The map below shows the locations of all the groups at the end of Turn 1 – 11 AM.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 12:21:01 PM by Oberstleutnant Koenig »

Offline von Lucky

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2020, 09:35:07 AM »
Gripping stuff - I am enjoying reading this and imaging the situation for all characters.

And "this decision is still haunting me a year later" so it should. So it should... lol
- Karsten

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Blog: Donner und Blitzen

Offline BillK

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2020, 01:34:59 PM »
You have a great endeavor underway, thanks for sharing it, it is really a wonderful thread.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2020, 08:51:05 AM »
Excellent and thought provoking stuff.

Did you draw up a list of possible encounters and if so how did you decide when to test for them?

Offline Oberstleutnant Koenig

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2020, 06:11:15 AM »
Thank you so much for such wonderful comments.

To answer your question Vagabond, I drew up an encounter chart and assigned each event a random number. There is currently 100 possible events, everything from encountering a bear and her cubs (thank you, Revenant), the mauled skeleton of a dead trapper with his .50 Cal Hawken rifle (thank you, Jerimiah Johnson), and so on...  anything that would give flavour to the game. Hunting opportunities would also come from the encounter chart.

I wanted the game to have a little of my input as possible, relying on the die rolls and the choices the players made.

The game was truly in, "The Lap of the Gods!"

I simply monitored it and provided feedback to the players. I never rerolled die result because of an unfavourable event or an outcome that was inopportune. What was to be, was to be.

I only threw for random encounters for the mountain men parties, they were the main focus of the game.

The trigger for consulting the encounter table was when a party walked or were stationary. I figured that a group that was moving at a Fast/Running pace would scare all wild life away.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 09:03:03 AM by Oberstleutnant Koenig »

Offline Brummie Thug

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2020, 07:48:10 AM »
Great read!

Offline Oberstleutnant Koenig

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2020, 08:04:53 AM »
Turn 2 – 12 PM

This turn was the most critical for Templeton. Funny it came so early in the game.

As you are aware, none of the players knew where the other parties were, they were running blind.  This created an unnerving effect on the Mountain Men Players when it came to writing their orders.

Was I running from danger or running towards it?

Each Run/Fast move, drained away Stamina and the last thing any player wanted was to have nothing in the tank when you really needed it.

 A quote from Marcus’s orders:
“My boys are getting a bit anxious and are keen to get some distance between us and the hunting parties” and “I’m concerned is for Bennett. He is not holding up to the challenge! There is a lot of daylight left and we need distance in order to hold up, eat and rest. Tomorrow we will need to move quickly in the direction of the fort and our salvation.”

Bennett had the lowest stamina level in the Templeton party and you see this was already having an effect on Marcus plans.

Another Templeton quote:
“I keep these thoughts to myself, but if anyone can’t keep up... I will leave them behind to their certain death!” What a mercenary bastard, Templeton is! Had to get that in, just so that the whole world can see it... Yes he is going to read this post… hehehe.

Marcus elected to put his plan into action to outwit the Indian player. Breaking into a Fast/Run pace, he moved two hexes to the north west, keeping the creek on his left. This move had his party leave hex 05.07, moving into 06.07 and then finally into 07.06. He was totally unaware that Grey Deer and Red Knife were searching the forest on the other side of the creek.

Shane continued to moving in a south eastly direction. Moving at a Fast/Run pace and he climbed another elevation in his journey up the mountain side. Both running and climbing was draining away his stamina fast. Gibbons was quickly approaching exhaustion, but Shane had a feeling a war party was on his tail. After all, he was leaving a trail all the way back to the Peaquin village. Surely, the Indians would be tracking him? His only chance was to keep ahead of them. How right he was!

Little did Shane know, but Red Knife and his warriors were hot on his heels, but this was sheer luck on their part. They weren't employing their tracking skills as you would expect from native Americans. Red Knife and his warriors were simply dashing into the forest, hoping to out run the mountain men, luckily for him and his war party they were going in the right direction. 

Red Knife crossed the creek and entered hex 07.06, then turned south and started to climb uphill into hex 07.07.
   
Umpire note: If he had used his tracking ability (80% chance of being successful), he would have seen Shane’s trail leading south into hex 06.07, the hex Templeton was currently moving into. If Red Knife had tracked Shane’s trail south, it would have led him straight into Marcus.

Black Eagle, Bloody Bear and Grey Deer were working together to conducted a fast sweep of the valley in a southernly direction. They were intent on finding the mountain man party that had ran south from the village after the massacre – Templeton’s party.

Black Eagle and Bloody Bear ran south searching the forest as they went.

Grey Deer as part of this sweep moved from hex 05.06, across the creek and entering hex 05.07. It was a close call for Templeton, he was just leaving that same hex.
Because you can't see the forest because of the trees, there was no contact for  Grey Deer.

Having not discovered Marcus, Grey Deer head south into 05.08, climbing the elevation as he did so.

Marcus was again to miss contact with Red Knife as he moved from hex 06.07 to 07.06 just as the Indians were leaving that hex. Luck was clearly with Templeton, as he had threaded the needle this turn.

Smoke Wolf and Deaf Buffalo continued gathering their scattered horse herd at the village.

You can see from this; all movement was simultaneous. Advantage was not given to either side for sighting/encounters – remember you can’t see the forest for the trees. Encounters only occurred when players occupied the same hex at the same time.

The Indian player had expected contact with the Hairy Ones this turn, he was greatly disappointed he hadn’t. Where had they got to? They must be still running and they were just keeping ahead of him.

Maps below shows the movement of the parties as pulses so it may help you understand what has occurred.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 09:22:42 AM by Oberstleutnant Koenig »

Offline Belisarius

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2020, 04:39:58 PM »
Nail bitingly good ........ :D

Offline Vagabond

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2020, 10:24:17 PM »
Really enjoying this, Templeton has to be the luckyest trapper around, to move across the front of the following warparties sounds a desperate move.
Shane certainly seems to have the right idea going fast and wide.

From the sounds of it your encounter table could be a help or hinderence but if they moved fast and noisily enough they would encounter little. I'm in the process of putting a similar game but in reverse. It will be a search and rescue mission in Vietnam and if the party move fast and noisy they will die.

Horses for courses. Keep it up and I'll be back to see how it pans out. By the way Templeton is right, your slow man could get them all killed.

Offline von Lucky

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2020, 10:40:31 AM »
My gawd! As someone that's playing one of your cat and mouse games, I fully get the fog of war feeling. You couldn't plan this - unless it was a Hitchcock film or something.

Offline Oberstleutnant Koenig

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2020, 03:15:43 AM »
Turn 3 – 1 PM

Hemmed in by a cliff to his north and an escarpment to his south and south east, Shanes path was determined by the terrain about him. He hoped that he had put enough distance between his party and his pursuers, but he was concerned about the trail he had left in his mad dash for safety.

The Indian Player was deeply perplexed as to why he hadn’t found the mountain men in the last two moves. He decided to switch his strategy to tracking.  This would slow his pace, but he needed something to go on.

Bloody Bear, Black Eagle and Grey Deer continued searching south, moving an additional one hex in that direction. Little did he know, the mountain men had not gone that way, so of course his tracking effort came up with nothing. He was really convinced that one of the mountain men parties had gone south, but where were they? What had he missed? They must be up ahead; still running like the animals they were?

Switching to tracking, Red Knife was rewarded with, “Three men, heading southeast, moving fast.” Clearly the mountain men were ahead of him, and they were running scared. By using tracking, you were restricted to a walk for that turn, as your trackers continued to focus on finding more trail for your party to follow. Red Knife continued to climb the mountain in the same direction as his prey, moving from hex 07.07 to hex 08.08.
 
Back at the village, Smoke Wolf and Deaf Buffalo had finally collected all 12 of the scattered pony herd.  Now mounted, well at least 12 of them were, they would quickly catchup to the other warriors of the tribe.

Having outwitted his Indian pursuers last turn, Templeton and his party were more or less home free.

Marcus and his men were behind the Indians now. The Peaquin warriors of Red Knife’s warband were the closest to them, but they were heading in the other direction. Eagerly pursuing Shane and his companions. The only real danger was now the mounted Smoke Wolf and Deaf Buffalo warbands, who were still at the village. They would have to be lucky to stumbled upon Marcus’s party.

Of course, Marcus didn’t know any of this. He felt sure that the woods surrounding them contained numerous bands of blood thirsty savages. He decided to risk a river crossing to put his men and himself out of the path of the Indians and into new territory.

Feeling that time was short, Marcus moved his party down to the shoreline to check the speed of the river water. It looked moderate, but rivers can be deceitful. Mitchell suggested that they should move upriver to find a slower moving stretch, but Marcus cut that option short, “Those red devils are all around us, we cross now!”

Searching about for some buoyant flotsam on the river bank, this would aid them in their attempt to cross, they all slung their weapons and made them fast. Then together, they walked into the river, trusting their fate to the Gods of Luck.

Extract from Marcus’s turn debrief:

All four of you entered the waters of the river. At first it was easy, but as you moved towards the centre of the river, the water drew deeper with a fast under current. Your party separated.
   
Tom Mitchell was the first to go. He struggled to keep his grip on the log he was using to give him some buoyancy, but it didn’t help. He didn’t scream as the river claimed him, he simply slipped away. 

Bennett yelped as the water swelled around him. A tree branch which was flowing down the river ensnared him and pulled him from his log. He cried for help, but you and Bulfinch were both struggling to keep afloat yourselves. Bennett disappeared out of sight and you thought the river had claimed him as well. 

Struggling to gain the other bank of the river, Bulfinch and Templeton pulled themselves from the waters. Bulfinch found Bennett 15 minutes later. He was laying half in and half out of the water; his leg was broken. The branch which had caused his dilemma had also saved his life, having carried him entwined in its branches to the shore.


Turn three was a bad turn of events for the Templeton party. One man lost, presumed drowned and one with a busted leg. What will happened next?


« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 09:20:08 AM by Oberstleutnant Koenig »

Offline von Lucky

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2020, 04:11:21 AM »
Note to self: don't follow a man like Templeton!

Offline Belisarius

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2020, 01:50:29 AM »
Lying soaked through  on the river bank with a broken leg and your powder wet . Why do the strains of the old song keep reverberating  , “ There may be trouble, ahead “ ........... :-I

Offline von Lucky

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Re: The Tale of Marcus Templeton and Shane - (A Mountain man story)
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2020, 10:11:23 AM »
Not "I see skies of blue..?" lol

 

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