Same shtick as usual: light posting, but heavy behind the scenes work. However, I thought it might be interesting if I posted a little snippet of a combat that occurred during the current play-test as it really shows off how combat in Under the Dying Sun works as opposed to more baseline Ye Auld Game.
The fight is between 4 PC's and 6 Wild Men, those hairy little barbarians that lurk throughout the Tharian Hills. The PC's, all first level, are Admago (Desert Man Slayer), Dea-laidir of the Pit (True Man Slayer), Aban Dar (True Man Sorcerer), and Keendo (Mutant Survivor). What follows is just one round; first, the mechanics, followed by a bit of narration (I always liked when gamebooks woudl do that thing on facing pages).
Melee - Wild Men (WM hereafter) 4-6 were charging Admago and Aban Dar. Somehow, I forgot that these three guys were in between Admago and the further group. D'oh! Even with the Desert Man's speed, I don't see him running around three charging foes who were only 20 feet away. So, I say that Admago intended to move up, but meets WM 4 halfway (10') and clashes. Each gets a charge attack.
Adamago rolls 9+2=11. He does 1x3 with his bronze sword (3 because he charged) points of damage, not quite killing the Wild Man. His foe gets in his attack at the same time: WM 4 rolls 6+2=8 and misses.
Meanwhile, the WM 5 and 6 charge Aban Dar, who meets them with his wonderful iron dagger. The sorcerer rolls boxcars for a Critical Hit! No point in breaking the Wild Man's armour, so Aban Dar chooses to bump his damage multiplier from x1 to x2. His roll was 12+1=13, so he does 3x2 damage and obliterates WM 5.
But WM 5 gets his attack in. He rolls 11+2=13. Uh-oh. That's 3X3=9 damage. More than the sorcerer has, so he must roll on the Wounds Table. He gets 3:5, which means that his Left Shoulder is wounded; lose 1 STR. He then rolls to see if it's permanent and gets a 4; yep, that shoulder is permanently screwed. Which kind of sucks, but only if he doesn't die right now anyway
WM 6 rolls and gets snake-eyes for a Fumble! He misses and his spear breaks.
Meanwhile, Deal rushes back toward WM 2 and 3, who are rushing Keendo. He goes for the wounded WM 2 [No. 2 was hit by Admago's spear previously]. Deal rolls 6+5=11. Because he is charging he does 1x2=2 damage with his dagger and WM 2 is dead.
Before he dies, he strikes out at his target of Keendo. He rolls 3+1+4 and misses. His partner, OTOH, rolls 10+1=11, doing 1x3=3 points of damage to the mutant (who now has 1 left).
Keendo gets in his licks and rolls 7+2=9. Nada.
Missile - None.
Magic - None.
Movement - Admago and Deal charged so no movement this round. Keendo can do a half-move if he wants to try and get away from the WM. Aban Dar is on the ground bleeding from a massive shoulder wound and needs immediate attention.
All WM charged and so don't get to move this round either.
Summary - Aban Dar is ground zero, next to WM 5 whom he killed. WM 6 is with him, holding a broken spear.
10' on, Admago and a very wounded WM 4 stand.
35' feet from AD, Keendo and Deal, with WM 3. WM 2 is dead on the ground.
WM 6 decided to run from the party in the direction his whole group had originally been taking. He'll gone unless someone wants to chase him.
WM 4 attacks Admago.
WM 3 doesn't want to stand around between Deal and Keendo; he decides to try and run past the otherwise engaged Admago and get away like WM 6.
The tense seconds of combat , which had seemed an eternity, suddenly explode into blood and death! Admago tries to reach Keendo, but is intercepted by one of the charging Wild Men. The Slayer dodges a spear-thrust and delivers a stout backhand to his foe's chest. The Wild Man isn't dead, but he looks ready to drop.
Behind him, the other two spear-men race forward and find Aban Dar alone. Alone, but not helpless. He dodges one attack and sees his foe's spear shatter on the ground. The sorcerer then whirls his flashing steel dagger and cleanly puts it directly into the marauder's right eye! Yet even as he does, his opponent's spear pierces through the muscles of Aban Dar's left shoulder; pierces and rips through. Blood flashes about both foemen as they sink down together, the third man standing mutely with the broken haft of his spear dangling from his hands.
Meanwhile, two other Wild Men charge Keendo, even as Dea-laidir of the Pit charges them. The Slayer catches one off-guard, parries a spear-thrust, and plants his dagger in his foe's throat. But even as that one falls, the other stabs Keendo in his side with a wicked thrust. The mutant feels burning fire and knows that he can't last much longer.
What will happen? Will the party triumph? And, if so, at what cost? Stay tuned...