Oktoberfest in the Westermark !!!


We usually play for about 8 hours on Saturdays. After 6 hours, all I had planned had come to pass and had 2 hours to kill. I'm usually pretty at running things off the wrist. I just happened to have the Aquilonia book opened to the page about fairs and tournments.

I decided that as it was late in the fall, to have a fair, in Schondara, a three day affair with lots of drinking, dancing and other shenaniggans. It turned out to be great !!! The guys liked it, they all had a blast.

This accomplished a few things, first off it gave some of the players a reputation boost, which I thought was needed. It gave the Scholar a chance to lock himself up (After placing a few bets on the other players of course) and do some studying and research, something he'd been wanting to do for a bit. The other thing it allowed me to do, was get the character's slightly attached to the town.

The reason I wanted them attached to Schondara is that next session I'll be running the campaign out of AtTR, and if the character feel a bond with the town, it'll be even more dramatic when the initial action begins.

One thing I noticed about the tournement suggestions in the book however, was that there was allot of archery contests, but very few melee contests, or other individual contests in general. I know there's the joust, but in my game that's reserved for those of Noble blood, and pretty much the same goes for the grand melee. I had an unarmed combat challenge, wrestling contest and a wooden sword combat contest.

What other suggestions do the rest of you have about these kinds of challenges? I hope to run another of these types of scenarios in the future seeing as it was such a big hit.


Keep us posted on how "The Fall of the Westermark" goes. I am looking to run that for my group in the future (maybe 4 sessions into the future), and any recommendations you have for running it wouldn't go amiss.

What level are your PCs?

As far has festival combats go, you kind of hit them all: wrestling, archery, jousting, and wooden swords combats.

Perhaps an arm wrestling match would be fun. Or a king of the bridge/platform type contest (two combatants try and knock each other off a raised structure).
Yeah, glad to hear the players had a good time with it. I'd like to run that soon myself, so I would also like to hear how yours is going.

I'd also think that an axe-throwing contest might be something they'd do, these folk use bow and axe. And of course dancing a jig with the local lasses (I'd love to see the South Island barbarian and the sinister Stygian sorcerer dancing with the wide-eyed lasses, oh and the comedy ensues. :lol: Actually, the only reason I haven't run it yet is my Stygian scholar, he'd just try to sacrifice every woman, child and dog he could get his hands on, but here I go rambling).

And of course, don't forget the drinking contests and games. Thanks for the post, and let us know how it goes.
I did something similar in a D&D game a while back. The point was to let the players meet NPCs in town, visit the shops, and learn a little about the history of the city. I planned unique conversations with prominent NPCs, so that the players wouldn't refer to them as "The blacksmith" etc. Instead, they would call him "Olaf, the blacksmith that lost the drinking contest to Huron..."

One of the signature events of the festival in that scenario was a game of "Greased Goblin" (which you might want to change to "Greased Pig" or something. But basically, have the players go against 3 other NPCs (make the players play by themselves, so they can't cooperate). The object is for someone to pin the goblin for 3 rounds. The first person to do so is the winner.

The players suffer a -4 penalty for an opposed grapple check with the greased goblin. They must also grapple the NPCs, or the goblin is stripped from their grasp, and they must start their "3 count" again.

It's a rollercoaster of a contest, and is quite funny to picture. It really added a humorous highlight to an already lighthearted adventure.
We only get to play about once each month, but I will try and keep you all apprised on the events as they unfold.

The Greased Goblin, Interesting concept...

I'm surprised I never thought of the axe throwing competition, that would have been a good one. I'll have to remember it for next time.

The party's average level is 4, though there are a couple of level 5 characters. There's 2 Aquilonian Soldiers, a Cimmerian Barbarian, and Nordhemir Barbarian/soldier, a Zamoran thief and a large, great sword wielding Aquilonian scholar :roll:

I think are lots of inspirations for competitions in the towns along the frontier based upon the types of people living there :

1. The Mountain Man Rendezvous of the American West
Drinking contests – whiskey or beer - speed, volume or endurance
Wrestling contests
Knife throwing contests – hit a stationary or moving target
Hatchet throwing contests - hit a stationary or moving target
Running races – outrun competitors in either short or long distance races
Rock climbing contests – race other competitors up a local cliff
Jumping contests – jump across a increasingly widening chasm
Swimming contests -
Canoe races –
Horse races -
Tall tale telling – tell an entertainingly unbelievable tale about your exploits
Insult contest – opponents take turns insulting each other, judged by crowd

2. Lumberjack Competitions
Tree cutting
Tree climbing
Log rolling
Log riding
Log running
Axe throwing
Rope climbing

3. Strongman Competitions (from The World’s Strongest Man tv show)
Husafell Stone – carry a heavy stone as far as you can in a limited time
Log lift – lift increasingly heavy logs over your head
Stone lift – dead lift increasingly large stones
Conan’s wheel – carry a weighted beam around a pivot as far as you can
Keg Loading – load several kegs of beer into a wagon in a head to head race
Keg Toss – toss an empty keg as far as you can
Chain drag – drag heavy logging chains as far as you can in a limited time

4. Humorous Competitions
Wheelbarrow race -
Wild cow milking contest –
Dizzy cowboy race –
Greased pig chase –
Pillow fights – competitors face off on a log over a mud pit with stuffed leather pillows

More important than winning or losing would be meeting the other competitors and letting the crowds know who you are for future interactions.
I don't know if any of you have ever seen a movie called The Vikings, starring/produced by Kirk Douglas, with Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Ernest Borgnine (1956), silly movie but I remember the scenes in the Viking hall where they play such games as these:
*Tug of war- over a blazing fire, loser gets burned literally as well :twisted:
*Pairs drinking o' the ale- man yanks on woman's hair, yanking her head back, he pours ale down her throat, then kisses her, they share drinking (don't thinking it was really a contest, it was just living lustily I guess)
*Arm-wrestling- with daggar blades sticking up from the table, loser gets the point (don't know if I'm remembering this right, or thinking of another movie).
*"Odin's Test for Unfaithful Wives"- (explained by Borgnine-the Viking king, to the English lord taking refuge in the halls): husband puts woman in a giant wheel fashioned like a stockade, stakes her hair in 3 braids to the wheel above and to either side of her head, and tosses axes at the hair. As he explained, if she's innocent the braids will be cut and she will be freed, if he misses the braids and hits her-then of course she's guilty!!,and if he misses both the girl and the braids-3 misses and the vikings drown the husband!).
*And of course, the more they drank, the drunker they got, the lustier they sang. Lot's of song in the halls.

Doesn't really apply to Westermark post, but if you're not too offended, you may consider these for an Aesir or Vanir hall. Just a thought.
Well I finally ran the first part of the campaign adventures in AtTR and it went very well. Only 4 of the players made it which was probably a good thing, I find with Conan RPG the smaller the group the better. We had a Cimmerian Barbarian L5, Aquilonian Soldier L5, Aesir Barbarian L2/Soldier L3 and a Hyperborean Soldier L4. Basically a lot of muscle, which proved to be a good thing. I'm not much of a story teller so I'm just gonna tell it like it was.

The party was crashed out after a typical night of tomfoolery in Schondara when the Picts began their invasion of the Westermark. The Picts just smashed through the inn so the players had to jump into combat mode very quickly. Normally they just laugh at the prospect of fighting Picts, but this time, without the time to don their armour it was quite a different story. Also I had 2-4 Picts attack each player while another few picts were stealing weapons and equipment they didn't have time to pick up. The battle was very chaotic with people falling over railings, falling down stairs, lanterns being knocked over and the inn catching fire. It didn't take long before the players were split up in various sections of the town.

What I did was take a page out of the narrative mass combat system in The Free Companies. I had premade a list of small goals for each PC to undertake while the battle raged on around them, like freeing the maiden with the infant on the second story of a burning house. The Cimerian ran right through the fire to rescue her, all the while fighting off the picts and dodging falling, burning beams as he ran up the stairs of the burning house. Another player helped fight off picts while a rich merchant and his guards loaded up his wagon. When he didn't get a reward he began attacking the guards, right in the middle of this big war, only in the Conan RPG !!! Another player ran to free the horse from the only stable in the area, only to be interupted by picts. By the time he got done with them, the barn holding some 20 or so horses collapsed, killing all animals within, including the players mounts. The other player noticed a pictish shaman going around sacrificing the wounded to his dark gods, racking up his PPs slowly but surely. The player charged in and took care of him.

Once that part of the battle was over, 2 of them had managed to regroup, that's when the old Thandaran Ranger showed up with the staff. Then armed with the staff, they regrouped with the rest of the players and helped each other straightend their armour finally. I now had a second set of goals for them to take care of, similar to the first group of goals except these were tougher, and included more specific picts, like Hawk Pict archers and Wolf picts along with a few drummers in the dark and higher level shamans, armed with masks feats and body paint feats. When used properly, and in just the right combination, Drum, Mask and body paints can make powerful opponents of almost any pict !!!

The final part of this massive battle included 2 of the players facing off with a powerful masked shaman and his body guards while the other 2 players faced a Forest Devil summoned by another shaman. The powerful shaman managed to gelid bones the cimmerian, but then took a heavy blow from the Aesir, leaving him with but a few HP. You can probably guess what followed next, an 8PP defensive blasts that forced the Aesir to be left for dead. With no PPs left, the shaman fled as soon as he noticed the other 2 players approaching. (But not before grabbing a few magical link for later use.) By this time all those who could flee the town had, and the remaining picts were begining to group prisoners either for sacrifice or to take back to pictland with them. The players had no choice but to flee.

They took the staff north, as requested by the old ranger, against the wishes of the Cimmerian, who wanted to break the staff and use it as fire wood!! During the first 24 hours of their flight, they were attacked by a Wolf tribe war party, a group of alligator picts and alligators waiting to ambush the players as they crossed a creek and finally a war group made up of Hawk and Wolf picts. The Alligator picts encounter was cool. The picts didn't have any weapons and attacked from concealment as the players tried to cross the waist deep creek. They would gang up on the players, grapple them and try to pin them underwater, all the while a group of alligators was circling around waiting for their chance to jump in. The Aesir was rendered unconscious and was scalped during the battle with the Hawk/Wolf Picts, but used a fate point and was LFD. Now he's quite scarred, and a bit more fearful of the Picts.

Eventually they found the dispatch and arrived at the plagued farmstead. The cimmerian caught the disease, and would have died, but I allowed him to hold the disease off for a bit by use of a fate point. The players then ran through the bush until they reached the evacuating village of Coyaga. Here a wise woman trained in the healing arts was able to save the Cimmerian.

Following the visions and dreams, the party has now taken 2 canoe's from the village and are starting to boat along the Thunder River, towards the Wildcat village in search of Lady Coelia. That's where we ended.

The session was a 10 hour marathon of combat. The battle of schondara alone took the better part of 4-5 hours to play out, and that was moving at a brisk pace !!!

Overall, we all had a blast, and we look forward to next months session.

I would like to thank Vincent for the great ideas in the book !!!