GURPS 4e Gladiators Arena

Competition within The House of Batiatus

“People of Patavium, during the last games, you watched Gladiators from House of Batiatus performing for you a spectacular tribute to a famous roman victory at The Battle of Tridentum. They faced bravely savageous Germani warriors and then fearsome germani Skin-Turners … and Won …
But who is the best among gladiators from House of Batiatus? you migh ask … well .. you will get the answer today, because today, they will face each other on the sand of arena. The winner of one-on-one duels will become a primus (champion) of the House of Batiatus … shall the games begin … "

Attended:
Parmenion, The Thraex, Tamer of The Rage (+ Michael Davis)
Jia Si Tian Shi, The Hoplomachus, The Slayer of Wolves (+ Justin Aquino)
Lucius Agrippa, The Murmillo (+ Vaclav Tofl – GM)

First Duel: Parmenion vs. Jia Si Tian Shi

round 1:
Jia: Throws away Small Shield (free action); Acrobatic “jump-in-the-arena-helmet-flies-away” (why not? :D ) – success = good reaction
Parmenion: Step in, saluting crowd and oponent theatricaly (Performance check) – success = good reaction

round 2:
Jia: All-out-Defense (increase dodge) & half move forward (taking position in the center of arena)
Parmenion: Two steps forward (casual jogging), towards his oponent

round 3:
Jia: All-out-Defense (increase dodge) & half move forward (gap between oponents is 1 hex now)
Parmenion: Step forward & deceptive attack (-2/-1) swing torso – hit; Jia: dodge&retreat success

round 4:
Jia: Feint&step back
Parmenion: Step & Attack: swing right arm – hit; Jia dodge&retreat – success

round 5:
Jia: Results the faint = parmenion gets penalty 0; attack with sweep technique – miss
Parmenion: Attack: swing right arm – hit; Jia: dodge&retreat – success

round 6:
Jia: step & evaluate
Parmenion: Committed Attack (determined +2) & two steps (-2) swing torso – miss;

round 7:
Jia: step & evaluate (stacking up to +2)
Parmenion: Step & Attack: swing right arm – hit; Jia dodge&retreat – success

round 8:
Jia: step & feint
Parmenion: Deceptive Attack (-2/-1): swing right arm (-2)= effective skill 11 – hit; Jia: dodge&retreat – success

round 9:
Jia: resolve feint (Jia by 7, Parmenion by 4 = -3 penalty to defense); Committed Attack (Determined, +2) Thrust Leg (-2) – success; Parmenion: Dodge & retreat – success (by shield)
Parmenion: Committed Attack (Determined +2) & two steps (-2) swing torso – hit; Jia dodge (-2 for previous committed attack & no retreat this time) – failed, Parmeniond rolls damage: 5 (cutting x1.5); Jia is taking total of 7 points of damage; 7 > HT/2 → HT check – success = not stuned, shock penalties next turn
note: Parmenion is getting +1 to his crowd-reaction runing total for spilling first blood

round 10:
Jia: All-out-Defense (increase dodge) & half move (seeking better ground because found himself “bare-back-on-the-wall”)
Parmenion: Attack (using Shortsword Art, supporting with successfull performance Check = +2 for purpose of resolving reaction bonus only): swing torso – hit (); Jia dodge & retreat (rolled 16)- fail; Parmeniond rolls damage: 9 (cutting x1.5); Jia is taking total of 13 points of damage; 13 > HT/2 → HT check – failed by 6 (more than five) = stun, knockdown, and not able to continue …
note: parmenion is getting +1 to his crowd-reaction runing total for succesfully using Shortsword Art skill to attack opponent

round 11:
Parmenion: “concentrate manuever” (asking the host for resolution); Savoir-Faire check (supported by successfull Performance check) – success = +1 to his crowd-reaction runing total for successfull Savoir-Faire check when ending the fight
Jia: Will check (to keep the face when facing possible death) – success = no penalty to his crowd-reaction runing total for facing the death bravely

Result:
Parmenion is a Winner … and since no other players attended today Parmenion is officialy the Primus (champion) of The House of Batiatus; Life of Jia Si Tian Shi was spared because ended up with a good reaction from the crowd after he successfully rolled his Will Check and didn’t break down …

note: suprisingly there was no critical hits or misses in this duel

Second Duel (was just for fun, because Martin had to leave and we had some more time to play):

Jia (brought back on full HP of course) vs. Lucius Agrippa (controled by GM)

coming soon ….

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The Battle on the Sand, part II.

Gladiators that attended to this games:
Parmenion, The Thraex (PC +Martin Davis)
Jia Si Tian Shi, exotic far-eastern Hoplomachus (PC +Justin Aquino)
Lucius Agrippa, The Murmillo (PC +Jessie Foster)

Hosting Apperance:
Albinius Victorius Glaber, grandson impersoning his grandfather, Legionare style (NPC controled by GM).

After the short break, four more germani entered the arena, dressed in wolf hides. Our Gladiators barely managed to prepare themselves, when one of the adversaries howled loud like a wolf and all four germani turned into a large timber wolfs, one of them giant.
Frightening howl of the big one (and few unfortunate rolls on Fright Check) caused Parmenion and Albinius to freeze for couple of turns. Even the crowd went silent, expecting a bloodshed…

The battle has began… Our Gladiatrs stayed by their entrance in the formation (a lot of wait manuevers, checks to unstun and “do nothing” manuevers). This defensive approach got them surrounded by the wolfs that one by one attacked and ran away again … The big one howled couple more times in a attempt to scare the gladiators again, mostly unsuccessfully.

During the battle, Gladiators managed to push the wolves back and conquer the center of the arena. Which turned out to be much better position, because thisway they could benefit from retreats (defense bonus) and then step back to a formation.

At the end of the battle, Jia was the most succesfull at delivering blows to the wolves and keeping them away from Albinius, even bringing the big one down, so Albinius could deliver the final killing blow and shine as was expected.

Our Gladiators survived and gained quite good reputation from this dramatic victory on the sands of Arena.

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The Battle on the Sand, part I.

“My Gladiators, we have been honored by an opportunity to give a tribute to famous battle of the past. Tomorrows games are a celebration of fiftieth anniversary of a Battle of Tridentum (note: todays Trento – Italy), where famous general Pelagius Victorius Glaber defeated Germanic raiding hordes, overnumbered he held his possitions and turned the Germanic raiders to flee.
Son of famous Pelagius, Tiberius Victorius Glaber honores you, the gladiators of the House of Batiatus, to take a part of the victorious legionares during tomorows games, and your oponents will be captured outlaws and bandids of Germanic origin, representing the Germanic hordes.
Together with you, grandson of famous Pelagius and son of Tiberius, Albininus Victorius Glaber will join the battle on the sand of arena, impersonating his grandfather. That is the condition under which we have to accept this offer. So, fight well, win, as history says, and make the grandson of famous general shine …. "
That’s how Gavius Batiatus spoke to his gladiators the evening before the games.

Gladiators that attended to this games:
Parmenion, The Thraex (PC +Martin Davis)
Jia Si Tian Shi, exotic far-eastern Hoplomachus (PC +Justin Aquino)
Lucius Agrippa, The Murmillo (NPC, controled by GM)

Hosting Apperance:
Albinius Victorius Glaber, grandson impersoning his grandfather, Legionare (NPC controled by GM).

Our three gladiators, acompanied with sixteen years old grandson of the famous general Palagius, entered the arena, followed by loud ovations of the crowd.
On the other side, five captured Germani bandits and outlaws were threw in. Germani were armed with spears (2), small shields and hatchets (2), and greataxe (1).

At the begining, our gladiators held a tight formation around the boy and advanced forward to take a possition at the center of arena.
Germani armed with spears were taking cover behind the axemen and the one, armed with greataxe, was trying to exploit his advantage of reach, by attacking when going back and forth from the cover of his shield wielding companions.

Very soon, Parmenion’s short temper made him untie himself from the formation and by trying to flank the Germani group, he’s got himself engaged in melee facing two oponents. Luckily for him, the greataxe-man was on the other side of the theatre now.
Lucius, The Murmillo, have been hit by a spearmen, stuned and went prone while Albinius, the boy, was taking cover behind him. Jia took a possition above his falen comrade, protecting him and driving the germani away (by attacks from a wait manuever) with his spear, till Lucius got himself back up on his feet. Ia a meanwhile Parmenion managed to take down one of the shiled-wieldnig axeman.
The battle got spread, but our brave, roman imperium representing, gladiators we pushing the wounded Germans against the wall. Parmenion, even hit badly once, shook it off and crippled an arm of one of the spearmen, while Jia took down down another one by quick stabs to the germans legs and feet.
Greataxe-man tried desperate action to rush trought the gladiator’s lines (with a slam manuever) but have been avoided and hiting noone ran trought, just to get wounded by Jias spear and finished by killing blow of young Albinius.
Crowd went for ovations once again … the boy, representing his grandfather was getting well recieved (thanks mainly to protection of Jia and Lucius who basicaly even took a hit for him).

The battle seemed to be almost over, when young Albibius warned his crew of gladiators:“Pull Back .. this is not over yet … there is something far worse coming in a second wave.”

So, Gladiators left the last foe standing, the one with crippled right hand by Parmenion, to his destiny and regrouped at “their” entrance to the arena. Egyptian mystical medicus from The House of Batiatus, was let in and somehow quickly patched up wounded Parmenion and Lucius, while Tiberius Glaber, the host of these games, stood up at the tribune to deliver a speech to the crowd:
“As is very well known, the savageous Germani brought a fearsome beasts from the forrest of the far north in an attempt to overhelm my fathers small forces. Today I offer you, people of Patavium, a spectacular show, watch how the brave romans fought those beast at the Battle of Tridentum, under a lead of the heroic Pelagius Victorius Glaber … "

Here is where out Part I. of The Battle on the Sand ends. Part II comming soon …

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The First Games April 1st
The First Games

In the city of Patavium, Gavius Batiatus opened a new Ludus. After couple of weeks (few training sessions), he finaly found and got trained few gladiators to present his new ludus to public. Not that he would expected a glorious, unfogetable and legends-writing step-in into the world of games, but he still kinna hoped that his three finest recruits would get decently recived and therefore his new gladiator school would earn some respect and sound. For the first games which he hosted in Pataviums’ small arena, Gavius decided to challenge Ludus Crassus, yet well established Gladiators house in Patavium.

For presenting his Ludus in the first games, he chose promising greek slave with hardly tameable temper Parmenion fighting as a Thraex, whoms oponent was chosen Drixus, The Rage, cold-blooded Murmillo, who yet lives just thanks to his “ideal stoic” manners, which are liked by a upper-class roman citizens.
Second, Blood-thirsty Gaelic slave Gaius Aemilius, fighting as retiarius against Titus Vorren, Murmillo who already had a slight chance to build himself a decent reputation in a city of Patavium.
And finaly Third, unexpected, exotic Far-Eastern slave Jia Si Tian Shi seemingly promising, yet a little risky purchase, against Adawolf, German giant Dimachaerus, not long ago a Batiatus’ gladiator whom he sold to gain money for buying “Jia”.

“We who are about to die salute you!”
… and The First Games began …

First duel went very well for House of Batiatus. Parmenion, with a notable portion of luck, managed to outmanuever more experienced Drixus, withstand his shield rushes, once even sending his oponent down to the sand, and at the end to disarm himt with a callous slash to Dixus’ forearm. After that, Drixus didn’t stand much more chances and despise a few attemts to use his shield as a weapon, Parmenion finaly managed to defeat him. Crowd spared Dixus’ life and Parmenion gained himself, as well as to House of Batiatus, very precious acknowledgement and reputation. First time in arena himself, first galdiator of House of Batiatus fighting in public became a winner.

Second Duel, well, lets say the fortune of Ludus Batiatus went down the cliff directly to a horse-shit hole.
Titus Vorren entered arena in a “rock-star” manner and crowd cheered, Gaius Aemilius entered arena … and crowd kept cheering, expecting to watch so interesting duel of a Secutor versus Retiarius.
I have NEVER seen so lomg “criticals-streak” as i saw during first two seconds of this match.
First, Gaius managed to throw away (critical miss no.1) his net during an attemt to sweep his oponent legs right at the beggining of the fight.
Second and Third, Titus seeing a good opportunity to easily win, tried to exploit the missfortune of his oponent with a combination of attacks. First one, a bash with his scutum resolved in geting the scutum unready, hanging in a weird angle on his forehand (criticall miss no.2) and second one, a swing against Gaius’ chest ended up with a sword flying 6 yards behind poor Titus (critical success on dodge on Gaius’ side, giving a critical miss no.3 to Titus).
Despise his unfortune at the begining, Gaius began to chase Titus all across the arena with a ruthless combinations of attacks, some of which Titus managed to avoid just by a skin of his teeth, desperately redying his shield back to the right grip and even more desperately seeking his lost blade.
Fortune seemed to glance The House of Batiatus with a breef smile for this moment and Gavius Batiatus almost cheered on his gladiator out loud. But fortune is a bitch not to be trusted much. At the end, Titus Vorren managed to get his sword back and coming with that, the advantage which he exploited shortly. Slashing fiercefully Gaius across the chest (critical hit), he sent his oponent (and his internet connection as well) to the darkness of unconsciousness. Luckily for Gaius, the crowd liked his fearless attempt to best his oponent even without a so important part of his equipment (the lost Melee-Net), so much, that his life was spared.

score: Ludus Batiatus 1/ Ludus Crassus 1

Third duel was short.. Jia threw away his helmet right away, not that he would not want to have his head protected, but it would probably limit him at his fighting style.
At the start of the duel, everything seemed to be very promissing for House of Batiatus. The crowd liked a lot, far-eastern and exotic style of Jia, who tumbled and “acrobated” around the giant teutonic Dimachaerus, while still threatening him with a quick stabs of his spear. Adawolf just “blindly” followed his oponent, swinging blades, geting his attacks deflected by the quick parries of Jia’s spear or just cutting trough the air, where just a moment ago Jia was. Then the luck kissed the giant teuton, who managed to land a lucky thrust with his off-blade right to the center of Jia’s chest (critical hit to vitals), sending the poor acrobat right down, to bite the dust (badly failed HT check on major wound).
Crowd spared the third life thistime, hoping to get more entertainment from this exotic acrobat, who threw away his helmet, bravely, even before the fight started.

Fortunately, no gladiator of Ludus Batiatus left his life at The First Games, but their path to glory, wealth and mayebe freedom, will be probably harder than was expected.

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