I ran three sessions for Sci-Fi City in Orlando this weekend and all had a stunningly good time. There ARE some spoilers in this so if you are bothered by such…turn back now!
Let me start by saying FFG - this was a stunning product - a true adventure and FUN. The only complaint I have in regard to the overall pack sent to the store was the distinct lack of a location card: Black Fire Pass! =) [I used the ‘Steep Cliff’ location card in place]
The first session was Friday evening at 6pm and we had only 3 signed up - I felt the two dwarf brothers were 'key' so let free choice go between the other two dwarf NPC's. The party consisted of the Miner, the Agent, and the Troll Slayer - two of the three having never tried the system before. They did very well in the first part of the adventure, and the general role-play was good. The Act served it's purpose and set up a journey type feel and allowed them all to get a grip with the system including a brief but enjoyable fight with tomb robbers [making 1 group henchmen and the leader a normal NPC for brevity sake]. From there they moved along the Old Dwarf Road but sadly got horribly lost and arrived late in the evening fatigued and irritable.
Setting out the next morning for Black Fire Pass they worked their way through the terrain until they encountered a goblin scout. He was at long range to them so they wanted to sneak up a bit if possible – shockingly they managed it [and I mean TWO stealth tests with the first at 1d and the second at 3d!!!] and downed him before the alarm could be sounded.
When they saw the cairn they were overcome with shock and horror, the Slayer crying out in anguish. His call was met with the roar of the Greenskins and arrows began to pepper down on them from the cliffs up above. Filled with self-loathing and anger, the Troll slayer left his cohorts behind and charged [with a generous mix of Fate for the party ability and fatigue] straight up the rocky path to the encampment. The highlight of this fight was truly an epic moment: the Slayer met the Orc Boss in single combat and as he had already fought his way through some orcs to get there – fell after a brief exchange. His brother then felt obliged to charge in to the boss – this is the Agent…lol – and was felled with a fearsome blow that took out all the surrounding gobbo’s as well!
The tense last scene: only the Miner was up on the cliff…staring at the Boss with the unconscious brothers at his feet, and two orcs – he could tell from the large stack of wound cards the boss was hurt, but that he was unlikely to be able to fell him. Looking over his actions – he ran to the engagement and used Splints and Bandages – rolling SO well that the Troll Slayer was restored to consciousness with 2 wounds before the dark would again claim him! The party had an activation before the orc and took it – Reckless Cleave – that did EXACTLY what was needed to down the Boss and causing the remaining two orcs to flee in horror at the Slayer ‘coming back to life’
At this point we were past the slotted 3 hour mark and so wrapped it up with them finding the object they needed in the orc camp and moving off into the sunset to complete their task. Universally this group loved the system and picked up on it very well – at the end THEY were tossing in misfortune die or asking if they would get a fortune one for a situation.