Session Report: The Undying 1%
Quick Caveat: I divert occasionally from the correct game terminology, but I’m sure if you’re familiar with the game you’ll know what I’m talking about and if you’re not, well… you won’t know the difference!
The scene is set! A ‘wolf of wall street’ type necromancer is raising the dead - but not just any dead – only those with money in their coffers! Soon, with the help of his bourgeois undead horde, this necromancer will reign the free market and rule the 1%. Our objective? To thump skeletons back into the ground, pilfer their (the necromancer’s) money and thwart this clearly neo-liberal capitalist agenda!
The characters played were a paladin, ranger (me) and a humanoid Siamese cat. The ranger has the ability to reroll terrain dice (1/turn), which turned out more powerful than I had first thought. The obvious benefit is that this helps with crossing difficult terrain, but there’s also a less obvious benefit too (keep reading).
Having played a couple of times, I knew the first half of the story is about engaging with the world as much as possible. My strategy is to focus on getting as much money as possible, as my belief is that buying (good) items is perhaps the most challenging and important thing! Generally, in focussing on monetary rewards I’ve found you inevitably accumulate enough trophies etc. to round out your character anyway.
So with great movement, I skipped (I’m an elven ranger) over to the nearest town to pick-up some goods to sell later. While cashing these in I picked up a travel-based adventure along the way! Clearly a good combo for an efficient skipper like me. The adventure took me to some woods (probably my home town) where I rolled some terrain dice! My roll: blank x3. That would have been very disappointing were it not for my ability to reroll terrain dice! Suddenly the ranger ability seemed a lot more powerful! Boom, boom, boom: I rolled exactly what I needed and still had 4 skill cards to exert! This let me sift through the asset deck, only to find a 12 cost bow – very fitting for my character.
Armed with greatness, I decided a few combats were in order. One of my encounters was with a Moon Lizard (the deformed offspring of moon bears), which decided to deplete me of my skill cards (randomly). This was bad, because I had a dual wield skill that I was planning to use! I lost 2 of my 4 skills cards, but luckily I managed to retain my dual wield! Shear stress and trauma led me to train immediately and quickly use trophies to gain the dual wield skill.
At this point, I had gained some armour and some other bits and pieces and the first half of the story had come to an end. I decided this was a good time to stop being so self-involved and look at the board (beyond my own character). HOLY COW! There were $1 skeletons everywhere (killing undead essentially takes an action, loses you a HP and grants you $1). The whole land was full of floating dollars!
I’ve found the second half of the story moves a lot faster (as reaching the story end means everyone loses). This story half is the time to ‘wrap things up’. I needed two things. 1. A second weapon (to use dual wield) 2. To stamp out some undead so that it would be viable to approach the final boss: The neo-liberal capitalist necromancer! If I could defeat the undead he was controlling and take their money for a 2nd weapon, I could destabilize his regime for sure!
So I rallied the other players (remember I wasn’t playing by myself?), to collectively wipe out undead. This turned into a sort of ‘mini-game’ (I only killed 7 and lost - definitely no Legolas here). This wiped our health quickly so we needed to rest often, allowing the story track to advance.
Finally it was time to buy that well-earned 2nd weapon. What would have been more fitting than a 2nd bow? That’s right, a dual-bow wielding ranger. That’s definitely a thing right? [Thematic breaks are very rare in this game and in this case it was quite funny]. Everything was now set for the showdown, and everyone had arrived at the same time.
I narrowly got to the necro-capitalist first, but was defeated (despite my quite amazing run/ gear). He was a (lucky) expert necro-chit-caster too! Each of the others tried too, but were also defeated, being less geared than me. Each fight had been close though and there was still time to have a second go. We rested and travelled to a nearby town, where I bought a steed using some money I had ‘robin-hooded’ from the necro’s minions (guaranteeing me to be the first back!).
However, the story ticked along and unfortunately the necro-capitalist raised up more money brokering interns that further increased his HP. We collectively tried our best to wipe these out, but our efforts were in vain. The enemy was just too powerful now. We all had a last ditch effort at winning, with myself still being the closest to victory. We calculated that I would have won, had the chits been cast the same way during my first battle. But it wasn’t the first battle… it was “close but no cigar”. The cigars were instead destined to be smoked by the controlling 1%.