Burning Wheel developers using Codex Baltic guide for 'epic'

The lower Decatur Street of RpG's, anything goes at the Abbey...

Burning Wheel developers using Codex Baltic guide for 'epic'

Postby Galloglaich » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:43 pm

The Burning Wheel develpers have been playing a campaign, either in Burning Wheel or one of their other games, I'm not sure which, based on the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic. This was just sent to me by Jake Norwood, apparently from a google+ group

There was a post about it on Google Plus from Thor Olavsrud (yes, real name) at BW HQ, who's running the game. Here's what I've got:


The original Post from Thor -
I mentioned my Burning Baltic campaign in a previous post. Here's a snapshot of the last session:

The Prussian Confederation, having secured the Kingdom of Poland as an ally in its bid to rebel against its overlords in the Teutonic Order, have managed to capture the Teutonic Order castles in most of Prussia, barring Marienburg, Konigsberg and a handful of smaller fortresses and towns. The PCs helped secure Danzig, heroically leading the force that captured The Prison Tower, one of the most fortified positions in the city other than the castle.

Now Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, fresh from his marriage to Elisabeth of Austria (daughter of the late King of the Romans Albert II, sister of the King of Bohemia and Hungary), has entered Prussia with 16,000 heavy cavalry and 1,200 Polish infantry. He brings his troops to the Teutonic castle at Konitz (Chojnice), where a small garrison of 50 Teutonic Knights and 300 Old Prussian cavalry hold out under the command of Heinrich Reuß von Plauen, soon to be named Hochmeister (grandmaster) of the Order. Casimir is joined by 500 German mercenaries and burghers from Danzing and 2,000 Frisian and German mercenaries hired by the Prussian Confederation.

On September 18, 1454, a force of mostly Hussite (Czech protestant) mercenaries working for the Teutonic Order and led by the Moravian Knight Bernard von Zinnenberg (called Szumborski by the Poles), come to the relief of the beleaguered stronghold. He has 8,700 heavy cavalry and 6,000 war-hardened Hussite infantry with their war wagons.

The PCs arrive late to the battlefield, having experienced logistical troubles in bringing their company to the battle. A failed Circles test in the previous session had given them a Quartermaster for their company that is slightly mad. He had been given a letter of credit with which to purchase supplies for the company and spent most of it tossing coins into fountains around Danzig to garner the favor of the spirits and saints, then purchased spoiled victuals at a steep discount. While traveling to Konitz, many in the company suffered bouts of dysentery. Additionally, the condition of the roads required the company split three into groups and take three different routes. Failed Orienteering tests compounded the problem.

They arrive to see the Polish King leading his heavy cavalry juggernaut in a flanking action meant to attack the rear of the Hussite column. It is clear to Mordecai (the Rook), one of the PCs and now captain of the company, that the king, discounting the value of infantry, has made haphazard disposition of his own infantry and is not taking precautions against the Hussite infantry.

Mordecai attempts to use Circles to meet with the king, explaining that he tutored Casimir in chess when Casimir was a boy (Mordecai has the Power Behind the Throne trait, which expands his Circles into the Noble setting). Mordecai's player spent a Deeds and several Persona on the test, marshaling 14 dice for an Ob 7 test. In a truly lousy roll, I think he managed 3 successes. The king, at the head of the cavalry column, rides straight past the newcomers.

Instead, Jan Koniecpolski, chancellor of Poland, accompanied by his retinue of knights, draws his horse to a stop and demands to know who the newcomers are and where they belong. There's a heated debate, and Mordecai with the help of the other two PCs, manages to convince Koniecpolski that the current disposition of forces is a mistake. They all gallop after the king, leaving most of the PC's company behind (they had to butcher many of their horses on the march to Konitz in order to stave off starvation).

They arrive just in time to see the king lead a charge into the rear of Szumborski's heavy cavalry. The PCs ride after the king. The initial charge is very successful. Szumborski's cavalry is caught flatfooted. The king himself manages to split the skull of Prince Rudolf of Zagan, a Polish duke who has sided with the Teutonic Order, and against all odds his knights and men-at-arms capture Szumborski himself. But it's clear the tide will soon turn. The Hussites are chaining together their war wagons (tabor) in a square and are beginning to deploy a murderous rain of fire from their artillery and hand cannons.

One of the PCs, Adkirak (a Crimean Tatar who was recently baptized and was given the Christian name Sebastian), leaps from his riding horse to grab the reins of Prince Rudolf's war horse. It's a valuable prize! He earns a kick to the head for his trouble (a failed Agility test when attempting to grab the reins), but then manages to soothe the fierce beast (Animal Husbandry, also he has the Low Speech trait...he's a horse whisperer).

Meanwhile, Mordecai attempts to get King Casimir's attention, but fails the Conspicuous test (it was Ob 5 for a Pitched Battlefield). An enemy knight rides him down instead. Fortunately the knights war horse trips and breaks its leg as the knight tries to separate Mordecai's head from his shoulders (the knight failed the Riding test to urge his war horse into the fight...it was an Ob 1 test and I got zero successes on 5 dice). The knight manages to leap from the falling horse and take the attack to Mordecai, who manages to evade until the end of the exchange, when he wisely disengages. Sebastian and Sparrow (the third PC...a Samogitian, i.e., Lithuanian born and raised on a Teutonic latifundia (slave farm)), decide to engage the knight instead. Together they soon knock him down, lock him up and stab him through his visor.

Mordecai finally gains the king's attention and convinces him that he needs to change the disposition of his forces. They begin to fall back as the Hussite tabor take command of the battlefield.


Comments on that Post:

Andy HaugeJan 8, 2013
Nice! How's it working out for a historical game?

Thor OlavsrudJan 8, 2013
+
1
2
1

We've been enjoying it quite a bit. I think we're somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 sessions in.

I've been using the excellent Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/8 ... val-Baltic), recommended to me by +Jacob Norwood, as a primary source, supplemented by history books and Wikipedia.

None of the players are especially versed in the period, but I wrote a lengthy primer before we started play. Also, as GM, I try to put details in historical context for the players when they come up, explaining why something works or why it's important. I'm not interested in ensuring that events play out as they did in history (though we haven't really had any deviations so far) so much as helping establish the feeling of verisimilitude.
Expand this comment »

Jacob NorwoodJan 8, 2013Edit
This is awesomer than I can handle.

Thor OlavsrudJan 8, 2013
I knew that would tickle your fancy Jake! The Codex Guide really is as great as you said.

Next time I see you, remind me to tell you the story about how they managed to burn down half the city of Torun.

Dan HallJan 8, 2013
Wow, that is epic and awesome. Thanks for sharing that!

Peter TierneyJan 8, 2013
I'm impressed with the depth of detail! One of the reasons I stay away from such is my total inability to remember such stuff!

Thor OlavsrudJan 8, 2013
+
1
2
1

I try to keep fairly extensive notes when I'm GMing and review them often. I also study a bit before sessions so I can bring out a few new cool details every session. For instance, the last session had me studying: Elisabeth of Austria's relatives, Prince Rudolf's background, and typical tactics for Hussite tabor.

Dan HallJan 8, 2013
Hey Thor, can ask what you use to organise your information? Evernote perhaps? There's a hell of a lot of detail here :)
Thor OlavsrudJan 8, 2013
Hi Dan,

Nothing so digital! I keep a notebook for each game I run and I make a dated entry for every session. I try to note down important points as they happen and fill in additional details after the session is over. I especially make sure to note the winning statement of purpose for all duels of wits as well as any compromises. I also try to make a note of any NPCs that appear and what their disposition toward the PCs is.

I'm also a reporter by trade, so I'm pretty good at keeping track of details like the number of dice rolled in certain instances and how many successes are achieved.
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Burning Wheel developers using Codex Baltic guide for 'e

Postby Sigurd » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:05 pm

Hey there. Thor here. I'm happy to answer questions in the thread in the Codex Baltic Campaign Setting forum.
Sigurd
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:39 pm

Re: Burning Wheel developers using Codex Baltic guide for 'e

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Awesome, welcome to the forum !

G
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm


Return to Abbey Pub

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron