Hunter’s Moon Replay: Death From Above Part 2

Continued from this post here, a quick rundown of what happens in the replay found in the first half of the Hunter’s Moon rulebook.  It’s a quick and inexact translation, just meant to give an idea of what the game feels like.

When we last left our intrepid Hunters, they gathered at the temple that was the site of the bloody massacre of several junior high schoolers that attempted to fight a monobeast named Aldol.  It’s the night of a full moon and they intend on exacting revenge.

Now that the introduction phase is over, the Pursuit (Sundown) Phase occurs.  First up, the GM rolls to see what the monobeast will be attempting during this phase.

The GM rolls for Aldol, and he rolls a 4: “The monobeast will devour another Hunter and gain a random ability.”  The GM decides that Aldol will be targeting Kimura, who had appeared earlier as Toujaku’s rival in the mage guild.  A random skill is chosen for Aldol’s action, which turns out to be “diversion.”  A PC must make a skill check against “diversion” and succeed, or Aldol will automatically succeed and receive a random ability.  Toujaku steps up and succeeds, saving Kimura and belittling him in the process, warning him to stay away from his quarry.  Kimura reluctantly agrees and leaves.  Well, he flies away, mage style.

Next in the Pursuit phase is the Location Roll.  The GM rolls to decide where the next battle will take place.  They roll a 1: Warehouse.  The effect of this location is that the PCs will receive one free item at the beginning of battle.  The PCs decide not to try to change it.  Next up is the Weakness Investigation.  Basically, when the monobeast takes enough damage to a body part, it’ll usually need to roll 2d6 for a death check.  But when the beast’s weak point has been hit, it’ll only roll 1d6.  The party decides to skip this for now, since it can’t be killed until the last scene anyway.

The next step is the Behavior Investigation.  If the PCs succeed on this check, they will know what triggers Aldol’s Extra Actions.  During each turn, a monobeast only gets a certain number of attacks–but if certain conditions are met, they’ll get Extra Actions, which can quickly tear a team apart.  I think this is what undid the previous party.  The PCs decide to give it a shot.  The PCs need to be choosy because each PC can only attempt a check once during each phase; Toujaku can’t do anything anymore since he took part in the previous check.  Sirius attempts it and fails, saying “I know, but I’m saying.”  George also fails, leaving Yoriko to decide whether or not to try, but she doesn’t.  After the Behavior Investigation, however, is the Location Change; since they don’t want to change the Location anyway, she moves on to the Practice Check and succeeds, despite her misgivings that she couldn’t roll over a 7.  (She’d been rolling poorly). Through repetitive training and practice, she has given herself a +1 to any damage she does.

This leaves the Feeling and Support Checks, but no PCs are left to roll them, so the game moves on to the Battle (Sundown) Phase.

Aldol flies into a warehouse on the outskirts of town.  First things first: the PCs demand their free item.  Once that’s out of the way, the PCs roll an initiative check.  Any that succeed may attack before Aldol, but any that fail will attack afterward.  All but Toujaku succeed.

George starts things off by combining his Explosive Shot ability with his basic attack, which raises his Emotion.  He succeeds and does 6 damage.  Once a PC’s emotion goes above a certain amount, they go into a sort of Frenzy or Terror mode, depending on their Emotion type.  PCs/monobeasts in Rage mode deal and take extra damage, but PCs/monobeasts in the thrall of Terror deal/take less.  The damage that was dealth to Aldol first is applied to his Morale.  In this first battle, Aldol’s Morale is 20, so this knocks him down to 14.  Once Morale is stripped away, damage is applied directly to certain body parts if the character fails to block and/or dodge it.  Morale acts as a sort of armor.

Next, Yoriko combines Skewer with her basic attack and succeeds, dealing 11 damage.  Yoriko screams, “See, you’re not invincible!!  We’re winning!”  The GM responds with, “Oh..  you said it, didn’t you.  You said you’re winning!”  Which can never be a good thing for PCs to hear a GM say.  Sirius uses his Shopping Dog ability to instantly buy himself a Net item.  This item prevents a wounded monobeast from fleeing, I believe.

Aldol takes his turn, combining his Drill, Flame Breath and Great Scythe skills to deal 1d6+3 damage plus the Flaming and Serious Injury status effects to every PC if it succeeds.  One of the player cries foul, saying that PCs can only combine 2 skills, but unfortunately, monobeasts are not held to the same rule.  Aldol succeeds, dealing 8 damage.  The PCs attempt to dodge the attack taking a penalty to the dodge check equalling 1/3 the damage total, but only George is able to succeed, so he takes no damage; the others all take 8 damage to their Morale and are put on fire with serious wounds.  Also, anyone who dodged (everyone) raises their Emotion by 3.  Toujaku then takes his turn and attacks, dealing 2 damage to Aldol.  Aldol has no Extra Actions, so the round winds down, leaving Aldol with 1 Morale.

The last thing that happens in the round is everyone’s flame damage.  Everyone takes some damage but George, and Yoriko and Sirius are knocked into Frenzy.  In his last attack, Toujaku managed to make Aldol affected by the Bloody status effect, so he takes an extra point of damage and raising his Emotion to 9.

Round 2:

The Initiative Check occurs and everyone but Toujaku succeeds, leaving him to go last.  The players strategize, agreeing it’d be a good idea to have Aldol’s Emotion go up quickly to get him into his Frenzy.  The frenzying Yoriko then applies her Crystalization to her basic attack, which would push Aldol’s Emotion up beyond his limit, sending him into his frenzy. She reasons that, in her frenzy, she’s realized the power that resides in her blood that enables her and her family to fight the monobeasts.  She succeeds and deals 7 damage and forces Aldol into a Frenzy.

George sees his chance and takes it, shooting another explosive shot.  He mutters, “I’ve got to be the blocker from here on out, so I won’t worry too much about doing much damage, but..” but he deals 11 damage to Aldol!  Once a character’s Morale is gone, any damage is applied to a static number (usually 6 for PCs, 10 for beasts) and if it meets or beats it, then a random body part is disabled.  Aldol takes a hit to a body part and loses his “Dominant Leg.”  Though the PCs reason that Aldol is probably blowing fire from this leg and therefore loses the ability, they are wrong and Aldol has no abilities linked to the dominant leg at all.  Sirius attacks and deals 9 damage… not enough to force body part damage.

Aldol takes his action, attacking Yoriko with his basic attack.  Aldol rolls 25 damage!  Usually Aldol would deal 4d6 damage, but both Aldol and Yoriko are Frenzied, they both add 1d6 to the damage–6d6!  After some discussion, George decides that he can’t spare the Emotion to block the damage to the point to where Yoriko could easily dodge it, and asks her to take the damage, reasoning that she can’t die from just a single blow.  Yoriko would have to roll a 15 on a 2d6, which is of course impossible.  In order to reduce the damage, someone would have to block it about 8 times, knocking 3 damage off each time.  She gets hit in her “weak arm,” losing the ability that was linked to it: Basic Attack.

Toujaku decides to run away before anyone else loses their abilities.  The round ends, people taking burning damage.  Aldol’s Bloody status hits him, too, dealing an extra 1d6 damage for Aldol’s frenzy.  Toujaku, though he’s left, rolls 10 damage!  That’s enough to roll on the body part table, taking out Aldol’s heart!  Aldol now loses his fire breath ability.


Round 3

The Initiative Check: Yoriko and George pass, Sirius fails.  Yoriko and George escape, leaving Aldol to attack Sirius.

Aldol fails on his attack, but succeeds on his Kairiki/Heavy Lifting attack dealing 11 damage nontheless.  The skill used in the attack is somewhat difficult for Sirius to use, with a base of 8 to dodge, but with a +4 to the difficulty, he’d need a 12 to succeed.  He takes the hit, and his Mouth is disabled, taking away his Shopping Dog ability.  When it’s his turn, Sirius runs away to join the others.


End of Battle

At the end of battle, everyone’s Morale is raised up to the “static number,” which is 6, but Aldol’s gets raised to 20.  Those suffering from serious wounds has their static number lowered.  The players discuss strategy and the Sundown phase is complete.

To be continued…

Next: the Midnight Phase.


~ by mattgsanchez on January 22, 2011.

3 Responses to “Hunter’s Moon Replay: Death From Above Part 2”

  1. >>there is a huge chart of 66 ‘skills’ (which includes body parts), taking damage to certain body parts disables adjacent skills.
    >>George starts things off by combining his Explosive Shot ability with his basic attack, which raises his Emotion. He succeeds and does 6 damage.

    Was this damage done to a specific skill of the monster? Or do they also have morale ‘armor’? Is there also a limitation or drawback to combining different attacks? What happens if you run out of attacks?

    This is the same as what Shinobigami uses right?

    In my experience with RPGs, the closest thing I can think of is… something like D&D’s skill challenges, sorta sorta.

    • Oh, I just realized that you were asking if the monsters have Morale, too, and yes they do. They start with a certain amount and it is replenished and rises as the phases progress, until it is 30 morale by the last phase.

      I believe that once you run out of Emotion, you can only perform basic attacks.

  2. Combat is similar to Shinobigami in that the PC has to roll to succeed against a particular skill to attack, which is determined by the attack being used. For each ‘support ability,’ such as the Explosive Shot, in this case, I think it just raises the Emotion that it costs to attack. A PC can only combine 2 abilities at any time (attack + 1 support usually), and they must manage their Emotion because once they’re over 30, they can’t use it anymore, and there’s no way to get it back during the game.

    This is similar to Shinobigami in that the characters are rolling to meet or exceed a certain skill on a chart, and the opponent must use the same skill to defend against it, but I think that’s about how far the similarities go. In Shinobigami, the players aren’t limited to 1 support skill as long as they have the Plot do use more. In Shinobigami, there is no limited resource management like Emotion; instead the players must pass another skill check and risk fumbling to use more ninpo/abilities, which could spell disaster.

    Damage in Hunter’s Moon is first applied to any Morale ‘armor’ they have, and once that’s depleted, damage is then applied to a ‘static number’, (at game start it’s 6 for players, 10 for monsters) and if it beats that number, then a random body part is hit and disabled. Damage in Shinobigami is much more abstract, and simply disables 1 category of skills for each damage done, meaning that each attack usually does 1 or 2 damage.

    The Pursuit Phases of Hunter’s Moon is almost completely identical to D&D skill challenges, since it’s basically the entire party trying to pass a series of skill rolls to get bonuses against the boss. I guess the main difference is that each skill check in the Pursuit Phase has a distinct outcome and there is no fiddly ‘2 passes before 3 failures’ sort of mechanic.

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