Chasing The Sunset & Snapjaw

Chasing The Sunset & Snapjaw

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship neared Kitty the Tyrannosaur’s home, but approached Castellum, a human town fortified against frequent dinosaur attacks. They were not welcome, but withdrew without too much damage.

On the shores of the Cracktooth Wastes, the Felowship wonders what to do. Surely they don’t just kick Kitty off the boat and sail away. Perhaps they could return to her family. The humanoids doin’t realize it, but that’s insulting!  “Leaving the nest” is an important step in a Tyrannosaur’s life. An adult Tyrannosaur retirning to its parents means that it has failed as an adult, and its parents failed to raise it properly. That’s right out!

Buckle: What about your flock? Not who raised you. People you hang out with.

Kitty approves and leads the Fellowship from the shore towards the cracks in the north of the region.  This big cracks in the ground create narrow paths that a Tyrannosaur can block, and if its prey tries to flee, it will probably fall. Mega-Mantises live down in the cracks. Their powerful leaps let the move bakc and forth from the surface with ease. As the Fellowship approaches the cracks, a Mega-Mantis emerges from a crack and leaps at the nearest victim available: Buckle!

  • Mega Mantis: A giant insectoid predator that is always on the hunt for
    new prey.

    • Hopper: The Mega Mantis can jump to any surface it can see. When it
      jumps on top of someone smaller than the Mantis, they are pinned.
    • Scythes: The Mega Mantis has the tags Melee, Giant, and Piercing. When
      the Mantis pins someone, they take damage.

Mega Mantis Hopper: Buckle is pinned!

Mega-Mantis Scythes: Buckle is damaged!

Buckle: Kitty, help!

Kitty shoves the huge insect away from Buckle and growls, forcing it to retreat.

Kitty damages Gigantic to give Buckle the advantage “not pinned”

Buckle Mammalian Adaptation: Protection from Location Stat “Deadly”

GM note: Buckle’s Protection means that not everything should be out to kill him, so I refunded the damage from the Mega-Mantis, since it should have chosen someone else ot pounce on.

Stella; Did it think we were from Castellum?

Beyond the cracks, there’s a crater sunk into the ground, and a small thundercloud hovers over that crater, with an almost constantarc of lightning going straight down. There’s not much vegetation in the Cracktooth Wastes, except for the forest to the south. The Felowship wonders if Kitty really likes living in such a desolate place. She prefers the long sight lines. Mischievous fairies can’t sneak up on her here, like they did in the Fairy Forest. Buckle wonders about the strnage thundercloud, and when the Fellowship reaches the rim of the crater, they see Snapjaw, the Boss of the Cracktooth Wastes, at the bottom! The thundercloud hovers about Snapjaw, and lighting constnatly arcs between them. Lighting also arcs across Snapjaw’s skin as it moves.

  • Snapjaw: it/its. This is a tyrannosaur with lightning coursing through its body, making it even more dangerous than its deadly cousin.
    • Crushing Jaws: Anything Snapjaw bites is destroyed. Companions are immediately Taken Out and players take 3 damage from being bitten.
    • Lightning Veins: Snapjaw can spit bolts of lightning (Ranged, Piercing, Reload). When this stat becomes damaged, Snapjaw lets out an explosive blast of lightning in every direction. Everyone hit by this blast takes damage and drops everything they are holding.
    • Gigantic: Snapjaw and its attacks are Giant.

Snapjaw appears to give orders to a couple of Mega-Mantises and Komodo Dragons, who set off with purpose. They are not heading towards the Fellowship, but towards Castellum.

Stella: They weren’t very nice. Should we help?

Buckle: Let’s stay out of it. Hey, Snapjaw!

Buckle Wildspeaker: Speak the language of Beasts. Always have a chance to Speak Softly

Buckle Speak Softly 6- three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • What are you doing? What will you do next?
    • Pushing the humans into the sea!
  • What do you want?
    • Snapjaw is a Champion and Bully, so he wants to fight anyone who is a threat ot his strength, and that’s Buckle!
  • What would you have us do next?
    • Stay there, so I can come up and formally challenge you

Buckle: Kitty, is this challenge some kidn of dinosaur ritual?

Snapjaw Lightning Veins: spit lightning bolt!

Lighting strikes from the thundercloud, moving up its tail to its head, then it spits lightning at the unsuspecting Buckle! Buckle scampers up Kitty’s leg!

Buckle Get Away 6-

Snapjaw damages Buckle

But he’s struck by the lighting bolt before he can reach her! Stella mounts Kitty, taking a powerful stance to prepare for potential battle. Snapjaw follows his lightning attack by charging up the slope of the crater towards the Fellowship!

Stella Queen of the Wild: Become a Threat to the World when riding an ally

Stella: Should we retreat, or fight here?

Buckle: Run! Save yourself!

Buckle Get Away 10+ avoid harm

The Fellowship runs towards the forest, pursued by Snapjaw. When Buckle enters the underbrush, his superheated body sets it on fire! Will that prevent Snapjaw from following?

Buckle Keep Them Busy 6-

No! Snapjaw bursts through the flames! Buckle stumbles back into some dangerous plants!

  • Entangling Web: A briar grove that just won’t let you go.
    • Sticky Feet: Anyone who falls into the web becomes entangled, unable to leave unless they Overcome this trap, or an ally rescues them. Trying to Get Away through this place is impossible, and the move cannot be made.
    • Shifting Walls: The web shifts and changes, both in response to damage and at the whims of the creature that controls it. Whenever the web is damaged, and whenever a monster here has the spotlight, open a new path and block off an old one through the web.
    • Highly Flammable: If fire or a Burning weapon are used in this place, the whole area lights up. The entire region becomes Dangerous and Burning. Anyone who gains the spotlight within the web will take damage if they are still in the web when the spotlight moves on from them.

Entangling Web Highly Flammable: the area bursts into flames!

Buckle Heart of Earth: Immune to fire

Stella switches to Silk (a much smaller mount) and runs into the flames to disrupt Snapjaw by running around and between its giant, clawed feet.

Stella Queen of the Wild: Become a Threat to the World when riding an ally

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+ their attention is all on you

Entangling Web Highly Flammable: Stella takes damage

Buckle is cowering and whimpering, but he finds peace in the flames surrounding him. He opens his eyes and sees his friends fighting this huge monster in the flames, and he’s filled with rage and lets out a gutteral scream

Buckle: Leave my friends alone!

Buckle Pyromania: Gain Hope when surrounded by flames and chaos

Buckle Pay a Price to act against a Threat To The World: spend 1 Dragonfire

Buckle Finish Them (+Blood, Kill) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Buckle spits fire from his mouth, like his opponent recently shot lightning, but Dragonfire is more powerful and strikes Snapjaw down! The lighting tether from the thundercloud snaps, but the little thundercloud remains, hovering above the trees.

GM note: This is exactly how they killed the previous Boss they fought: Start a forest fire, then Silk & Stella run underfoot, distracting the Boss so Buckle can land a fatal blow with Dragonfire.

Stella cloak is singed. The dinosaur is dead, but she’s still in a forest fire and needs to get out!

Stella Overcome 6-

Stella tries to escape, but a buring tree falls and blocks her path!

Stella takes damage

Buckle sees that the thundercloud is its own thing, not part of Snapjaw. Maybe the lighting came from the cloud, not Snapjaw itself. Maybe Snapjaw was not in control of itself when it was so aggressive. But his friend is in danger. Should Buckle help his friend, or a potentially innocent dinosaur? Of course he helps his friend! He crashes through the burning log!

Buckle Overcome 6-

The burning log holds! Lightning flashes from the thundercloud, striking Buckle and a non-burning tree, which falls into the fire that Stella and Buckle are stuck in. Perhaps they could balance on that tree to reach safety.

Buckle damages Sense

Stella tries to push through the flaming debris again.

Stella Overcome 6-

Stella pipeleaf catches fire, spreading an intoxicating cloud. Usually that’s fun, but it will make quick action more difficult if they breathe too much of it!  Buckle tries running along the non-burning tree that just fell.

Buckle Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Stella along

Once clear of the fire, Stella stops, drops, and rolls to make sure she didn’t bring any flame along, then looks up at the little thundercloud floating above the forest.

Stella: What do you think that is?

Buckle: I don’t know, but I think it’s painful. How could anyone control lightning?

Stella: How do you control fire?

Buckle: Maybe we can put it in a bottle.

Eventually the cloud drifts over some trees that aren’t burning. Stella climbs a tree to get a better look at it.

Stella Look Closely 6- one question, find out the hard way

  • What will happen if I hold these metal swords above my head?
    • Stella holds the two wicked blades formerly wielded by the Half-Ogre who called himself King. Lightning strikes from the thundercloud! Stella holds on, not willing to lose these trophies in the forest below!

Stella takes damage

Anyone carrying metal Gear cannot hold this Artifact of Power without being hurt

Stella carries many metal items: these two swords. Her Halfling sword. Money. She won’t give all that up for an unknown artifact. Buckle doesn’t carry much, but he does have a bag of silver coins.

Buckle: Stella, hold my silver!

Buckle Get Away 7-9 bring artifact along

Buckle runs up the tree as fast as he can, outrunning the flames his footsteps leave behind. At the top of the tree he leaps and grabs at the cloud! The cloud collapses into a small, solid object that fits in Buckle’s webbed fist. hangs in the air for a moment, realizing that he has nothing holding him up, then falls to the forest floor!

Buckle takes damage

GM note: I knew Snapjaw was empowered by an Artifact of Power, but I intentionally did not completely define its powers. My players and I brainstormed for a while. This Artifact of Power is Gear with a number of uses and a number of powers. Surely those powers include ranged attacks, like Snapjaw used, but I didn’t want it to be only a weapon. Thinking about other forms of lighting an electrical phenomena led to the following powers:

  • lightning bolts: Ranged, Piercing, Reload
  • some kind of dash move
  • St Elmo’s fire: a bright glow around an ally that causes an attack to fail
  • Aurora Borealis: a dazzling performance that can make friends

The commotion leads the other Companions to Buckle, Stella, and Silk, after they were dispersed in the chase. Buckle holds the Artifact of Power aloft and an aurora surrounds him, making the rest of the world dim.

Buckle Enchanting Performance 7-9 form a Bond with one observer

Buckle forms Bond with Kitty

Kitty is amazed that Buckle defeated Snapjaw, and is also amazed by this new display of power.  She traveled across the world to return home, but she was with the right people all alone. She decides to stay with the Fellowship where ever they go! But they won’t go right now.

Buckle Mammalian adaptation: immune to Deadly stat

Stella Queen of the Wild: all Beasts are Companions

Between Buckle and Stella’s powers, the Fellowship can rest safely in the Cracktooth Wastes.

Fellowship Recovers: restore all Gear and Stats