Goriel Versus The Orc

Regular listeners of the podcast will already know that I spend most Sundays playing solo. One of my favourite activities is to create a character for a new set of rules I am trying to learn and then run that character through a quick fight to help me understand how those game rules work. This account covers just such an event.

Learning Fantasy AGE

I’ve been learning the Fantasy AGE rules and decided to roll up a character. As the random generation led to a roguish halfling type, I dubbed him Goriel Swiftfoot in honour of my famous halfling thief from back in the mid-80s.

I found the character creation swift and easy so I decided to pick an adversary from Chapter 9 of the Fantasy AGE core rulebook. I am a little sick of Goblins so, instead, I chose an Orc.

Let’s have at it!

Mugged In An Alley

Goriel has been accosted by a grumpy Orc in a back alley somewher… urban.

It’s early evening and the light is failing but it’s not yet dark. The Orc is armed with a Battleaxe and Light Mail, and he has decided to murder Goriel and take the bulging purse on his belt. They are 4 yards apart when the Orc steps from behind Goriel and blocks the way back. Ahead is a turn in the alley with some boxes apparently blocking the way. A neat set-up for an ambush.

“Give us the purse, little squib, and nobody needs to die.”

Round One (Goriel @ 30 Health)

Roll for initiative! Goriel rolls 3d6, scoring 17 (wow!) and adding his Dexterity (5) for a total of 22. The Orc rolls 3d6, scoring 14 and adding its Dexterity (0) for a total of 14. Goriel will act first.

With grace and speed, Goriel draws his bow and knocks an arrow, pointing it towards the Orc. Ready and Reload Minor Actions.
“You can try,” says Goriel with a determined tone.

The Orc moves forward, closing the distance, and swings the Battleaxe with equal determination. Move Minor Action and Melee Attack Major Action.
Attack Roll is 3d6+4… rolls 11+4 = 15. Goriel’ a Defense is 15, so that’s a hit. Roll damage 2d6+3 = 7+3 = 10. Goriel has light leather armour which reduces that by 3, so it’s 7 points. Ouch!
The axe slashes across Goriel’s thigh and opens a long slash in his leathers, blood oozing from the cut beneath.

Round 2 (Goriel @ 23 Health)

Goriel opts to step rapidly backwards and then looses the arrow from his short bow. The halfling can move quicker than the Orc and falls back to the corner boxes, 7 yards back. The arrow lets fly! Move + Ranged Attack.
Goriel is 7 yards back and in short range. He rolls 3d6+2 to hit…11+2 = 13. The Orc’s Defense is 10, so Goriel hits. Rolls damage, 1d6+3 = 1+3 = 4. The Orc’s light Mail armour (5) deflects the arrow and no damage is scored.
Goriel’s arrow flies clear and true to strike the Orc in the chest… and then bounces off harmlessly. Crap.

The Orc moves quickly up to Goriel and slashes out with an All-Out Attack.
Roll to hit with +1 bonus, but takes -1 to Defense until Orc’s next turn. Rolls 3d6+5, scores 15 to hit. Damage is 10 again, so Goriel takes 7.

Round 3 (Goriel @ 16 Health; Orc @ 30 Health)

Pressed against the boxes, Goriel readies his short sword and stabs at the Orc is desperation.
Rolls 3d6+2, scores… 10 but also gets doubles to gain 2 Stunt Points. In short, when any test comes up with doubles the character gains stunt points equal to the roll of the Stunt Die (a different coloured die). Stunts allow for cool stuff. Looking at the Combat Stunts options, Goriel opts for Disarm. We Roll the damage from the strike: 1d6+2 = 7. That deals 2 points to the Orc. Then, Goriel must win an opposed attack roll to disarm the creature. Goriel rolls… 12. The Orc rolls… 16. Double crap.
Goriel’s blade plunges into the Orc’s belly, with the tip just able to cut the flesh beneath. The halfling then steps back and tries to hook the blade under the Orc’s axe… but seeing the move coming, the canny Orc deflects the attempt with the haft.

With a deep rumbling laugh, the Orc swings the axe around towards Goriel’s head. As he does so, he presses the attack and is ready to follow through if Goriel runs.
Orc rolls his attack, scoring 11 with 3 Stunt Points. As this misses, the Orc makes a Lightning Attack… rolls a second attack, scoring 12. Phew – two misses!
Goriel ducks under the first swing of the axe as the Orc grunts and slashes it downward on the return. Deftly jumping over the blade, Goriel avoids the strike.

Round 4 (Goriel @ 16 Health; Orc @ 28 Health)

This is not going well for the little rogue. Goriel opts to try once more to score a hit on the Orc, aiming for a Pinpoint Attack (+1d6 damage if Dex is higher than opponent’s, which it is).
Roll to hit… double six and a stunt die of five! Scores 19 to hit with 5 Stunt Points. The damage will be 2d6+2… rolls 10. That’s 12 points. Goriel opts for Mighty Blow (rolls 1d6 = 5), Pierce Armour (halves Orc’s armour to 2), and Skirmish (1 yard).
The short sword stabs out and rams into the Orc’s belly, blood trickling over the hilt. Goriel pulls it out and steps back one yard, up onto the boxes. The Orc grunts in pain as it presses forward, relentless.

The Orc’s axe swings around, aiming for the legs of the retreating Halfling.
Orc attacks with +1 from aim… 14 scored. A miss!

Round 5 (Goriel @ 16 Health; Orc @ 13 Health)

Goriel aims for the Orc’s head and stabs out with his short sword.
Rolls to Attack with +1 from aim… 17. Rolls damage… 8, nice. The Orc takes 3 points.
The Orc tilts its head down as the blade reaches out, and Goriel slices the creature’s scalp. In return, the Orc swings the axe but also brings its guard up.

The Orc is trading 2 points to the attack roll to gain 2 points to its Defense. Rolls 3d6… doubles, scoring 13 with 4 Stunt Points. Even though this misses, the Orc decides to Seize the Initiative, spending 4 Stunt Points to move to the top of the initiative order.
Goriel leaps over the swinging axe but lands on a wobbly box, putting his momentarily off-balance. The Orc roars as it gains the momentum.

Round 6 (Goriel @ 16 Health; Orc @ 10 Health)

The Orc makes an all-out attack and presses into Goriel’s precarious position.
Roll to hit… 16 scored! The damage rolls is devastating: double six! That’s 15 points of damage, landing 12 on Goriel.

Goriel yells in pain as the axe smashes into his abdomen and digs in deep. With what last reserves he has available, the halfling strikes out with his short sword.
Goriel’s Attack roll… 13. Misses.

Round 7 (Goriel @ 4 Health; Orc @ 10 Health)

The Orc laughs again and aims to knock Goriel’s legs out of the way.
Aimed Attack roll… oh crap… double six, 5 Stunt Points with a total of 22. Damage roll is 10. The Orc chooses Lethal Blow and rolls an extra 2d6 for damage… 4. That’s 11 points.

The Orc’s axe smashes into Goriel’s legs and knocks him down behind the boxes at the alley’s turn. As he hits the ground, the air whooshes from his chest. His last memory is of the Orc striding up over the boxes, cutting his purse from his belt, picking up his short sword, and walking off down the alley.
Goriel will dies in 2 rounds, that’s 30 seconds. Oh, dear.

Game over, little dude.


  1. Love this little melee, thank you.

    Last Goriel attack missed on 13? Only needed 10 in Round 2 ….. guessing badly wounded puts negatives on Goriel’s hit roll?
    Unlikely he would’ve dropped the Orc anyway.

    Keep rollin those dice Che 👍🏼


    • I think that might be a typo… can’t remember other than I am sure he missed. Maybe I should retcon it to 9. Negatives from pain/injury are (if I remember correctly) an optional rule from the Companion or some such. Anyway… glad folk like it.


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