Matteo Vaccari

Matteo Vaccari

It is possible to write software that solves real business problems, cheaply and reliably. The recipe is well known, even though it's not easy to do.

I am an Extreme Programmer. I help individuals, teams and organization become more effective. I'm lucky to work as a developer for ThoughtWorks, mostly in the Milano area. I used to teach at Università dell'Insubria.

Current stuff

Older stuff

Rurik's Saga — the fight in Gimpy's Tavern

We have already established that Rurik can handle a cudgel with a 25% attack and a 25% parry. ...

Having reached his age of maturity, 16, he has gone to Gimpy's Tavern (run by three Adventurers, all of whom lost a leg in a previous adventure) for the first time in his life.

Intelligently moving down the bar from the rowdies at one end, his natural clumsiness literally trips him up (or is the boot of the rowdy with close-set eyes?) and he falls against a foppishly shabby sort sitting at a table in his path.

There is much shouting and insulting, and Rurik finds events moving too fast for him. In no time, the patrons have made a circle around him and his involuntary target and he seems to be in the middle of a duel. Youthful pride is too much to let him back out.

Being intelligent, Rurik has a good idea of whom he faces. This is Herkan Quickword, a known bully. Rurik is also aware that Herkan has picked up some training with the rapier he is now drawing, but has never been asked to join an Adventurer band. He is also somewhat smaller and less bright than our hero. Rurik hefts his cudgel and grins boyishly.

(Herkan actually has a STR of 10, and INT of 9, a POW of 8, a CON of 11, a DEX of 13, and a SIZ of 9. Rurik has a 2 point per hit location edge on him and his cudgel actually does more damage. Herkan has managed to be trained to 20% with a Rapier, which is added to his natural 5% bonus from the 13 DEX to give him a 25% chance with the rapier. He also parries at 25%. He doesn't like Rurik's grin.)

Herkan has a strike rank of 6 and attacks first, rolling a 44 (miss). Rurik's parry is 45, also a miss. Rurik's attack and Herkan's parry also miss. The more experienced habitues of Gimpy's are having many chuckles at the expense of the combatants' lack of expertise.

Second melee round, Herkan rolls 14, and Rurik's parry of 53 is another miss. The hit location is 9, abdomen, and Rurik feels the metal of the rapier enter his side. It's a shallow wound (only 2 points rolled for damage). Rurik misses his return attack and Herkan misses his parry.

Third melee round, Herkan again connects with 15, Rurik's 56 missing the parry. Rurik's left leg takes 3 points of damage. But Herkan is too cocky. His parry just misses the oncoming cudgel as Rurik rolls 01 on his attack! As neither of the combatants wears any armor, the referee rules that the critical hit does no special damage, rather than ignoring the effect of the non-existent armor. The cudgel lands on Herkan's abdomen, for a roll of 10 out of the 12 a heavy mace (cudgel) can do. Herkan takes 10 points in the abdomen! This is 6 more than Herkan can take in the abdomen, so Herkan dies.

There is a stunned silence in Gimpy's. Everyone look around for a friend of Herkan's to take up the quarrel, as Rurik hefts his cudgel and waits. When it develops that, indeed, Herkan had no friends, the patrons buy Rurik a drink.

Steve Perrin, Ray Turney, Runequest, 1978