The confrontation begins at the edge of a rocky cliff. Hands are near weapons, but none are yet drawn. The first blows will be through words or glares.
In this scenario, the PCs are up against a set of bandits, exchanging words in the tense moments before a battle breaks out. Perhaps the PCs want to intimdiate them into backing down, charm them into forming an unlikely friendship, or trick them into performing some other action. Or, maybe the bandits have a hostage, and attacking immediately would result in the almost certain death of an innocent.
Enemies here largely focus on damage, with Counter movement as a bit of an afterthought. Still, the low starting position makes it tricky for the players to secure a win with that path.
|Conditions||Counter reaches maximum or all enemies are defeated|
Cliff Edge - Crossroads - Pretty Fields
Cliff Edge: +1 Damage dice level to Aggressive Actions & Reactions
Crossroads: No effect.
Pretty Fields: +1 Argue/Rebuttal dice level to Charming & Comical Actions & Reactions
Opponents might spend a round satisfied with their starting positions, but after that they'll try to move to positions that are advantageous for their Traits. They will always try to block PC movement, mostly just because.
The PCs talk the bandits down. You could have the bandits surrender or flee, or even start an uneasy alliance or friendship with the PCs if that's the direction things took. If the PCs were trying to trick them, they succeeded. If battle was inevitable regardless of the outcome of this scenario, start the combat with a major advantage for the PCs (such as Initiative and/or positioning). If blood was spared, Karma may be an appropriate reward.
Most likely, the bandits attack, though it's possible the PCs surrender instead. If the bandits had any hostages, things probably don't end well for them.
The default setup assumes a typical anger and bravado filled scenario against bandit scum. If you want to take the more “rugged outlaw” approach, especially if the PCs are also more interested in trying to make friends (or even flirting), consider swapping one or both of the sidekicks. You could swap a Ruffian for a Glamoured Beauty, a Tough for a Charmer, or a Goon for a Gossip or even a Smart-ass. If you only swap one, swap the one in the Pretty Fields.
The spread-out starting positions are intended to invoke specific theatrical moments. Your players may prefer greater control of their positional approach to the stand-off. It's best not to argue with them; you can suggest the theatrical approach as a cool idea, but don't force it. If they do adjust their starting positions, feel free to give the enemies more tactically-appropriate starts, grouping as needed.
If you plan to run a combat scenario after this, you may prefer to have the same number of Opponents as Adversaries. It's easier to pick different Opponents to match the set of Adversaries than the other way around, so adjust here as needed. There are plenty of appropriate options.