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  • giorgis 9:31 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    A short Roleplaying history 

    A long time ago…

    —in a roleplaying game

    …I was playing with a group of friends. We played AD&D 2ed (Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Birthright), Shadowrun, Call of Cthulu and Star Wars.

    It was the ’90s, we were teenagers, gathering to play once per week.

    Time passed, friends changed, TTRPGs were put aside, stored in a warehouse. Computer RPGs and gaming scratched that itch a bit.

    More time passed, family came along. CRPGs no longer could scratch the itch, but there simply was no time. I remembered how hard it was to get to play once per week, even with that tight group of friends, even when our only responsibility was to studying for school. But the love for TTRPGs was still there.

    One day I stumbled upon a reddit post on solo roleplaying. At first I was sceptical. Then I found a subreddit, blogs from other fellow lonewolves. Solo roleplaying was something that worked, and there were tools designed to enable it.

    Finally I decided to give it a go. I pulled my old Star Wars the Roleplaying Game (West End Games) books from the storage, found my dice, got some pen and paper, and journeyed to my first adventure. So this is my blog, where I will talk about all things relevant to solo roleplay gaming from my perspective.

    Edit: This site is in the affiliate program of drivethruRPG, so the respective links include the affiliate id. It’s a small help with my hobby budget to try more new things.

     
  • giorgis 10:30 pm on June 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep08 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun managed to get hold of the Parchments of Ugmal, and can finish their quest; however with two wounded warband members, completion might havev to be postponed for a short while.

    Turn 12

    Once more camping outside of a settlement, at the Local Events we rolled that it’s Hard going out there, but thankfully we have plenty of Rations so we’ll just eat up one of them an avoid paying Upkeep altogether. Lady Liana of Trenne and Myrick scratch off one Recovery Turn from their wounds, and I decide once more to Forage for herbs and go on a Hunting Expedition. Bolga found one dose of Silvertree Leaf and Boots found some Suspicious Tracks. For the Adventuring Stage I chose to Battle the Enemy Threats and chose the Whispers from Beyond as my target, since they’re also the threat in my Quest Finale.

    Map

    The Ravens are camped in the forest. Temir tending to the wounds of Liana and Myrick. Caldas and Bolga delivering the necessary supplies as the land provides. Thankfully they had enough rations to bide their time, because at times it was too dangerous to go hunting alone, and they had to stick together. Unseen enemies prowl the woods, and Caldas found tracks as if made by human skeletons.
    Omac decides they’ve had enough. They will put an end to Ugmal, but beforehand they have to deal with the threat of the living dead. They shelter their wounded companions, grab their backpack and set off to hunt the dead.


    I’ve rolled that it’s 5 of the Taken with one Lieutenant. They’re in the same map area as we are, and they’ve set an ambush and if they win they will entrench themselves further. Our objective is to Investigate the Area. Okay this feels like a battle I can win with only 4 of my heroes.

    Following the tracks, Omac, Caldas, Bolga and Temir reach a cabin under a hill with a tower overlooking the surrounding area. Caldas whispers to Omac that they should investigate this.
    At the far distance they see six husks of men, driven by a malevolent force, approaching directly at them, their leader grunting louder than the rest. The Raven’s approach has been made. Any chance of surprise has been lost. They unseathe their swords and close in.

    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Caldas, the fleet footed, reaches the cabin within moments, and searching, doesn’t find anything of interest. Temir moves a bit closer and lets off and arrow at the husk approaching from the woods, but he misses.
    The two sides close in on one another.
    “What are these things?” Temir shouts.
    “The Taken! They’ve been lured into dark pacts and rituals. Nothing remains from their old selves but their physical manifestation!” Omac responds.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    The Taken all move one after the other towards the Ravens. Bolga is the first to fend off their attacks, while another one attacks Omac. He parries with his staff, and wounds his enemy, breaking some bones. Two more husks attack Caldas, who parries with his rapier and kills the first, and wounds the second.
    Temir reaches for his quiver but he fumbles and all his arrows drop to the ground. Bolga, Caldas and Omac go to the offense, each of them scoring a kill. Only two husks remain, but they’re fearless, unmoved by their casualties.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Caldas slashes with his rapier at another of the Taken, and kills him, as Bolga faces of their leader.
    The husk growls loudly, but Bolga is not bothered. His cleaver comes down in a horizontal motion, and the enemy’s head soon lies by their side. The body joins it in a short moment with a loud thud.

    ROUND 3

    On the resolution stage we earned 3 Adventure Points for defeating a threat, plus 1 for eliminating their lieutenant. I decide to attempt an Adventure Milestone and spend 6 Adventure Points to reduce the Whispers from Beyond Threat by 1.

    We had no injuries, so we check for Advancement. Omac and Bolga each reach Level 3. Omac gains the Spell Bleed, while Bolga gains a Speed increase.

    We only had one Loot roll for achieving the objective. Rolling on the tables, we received yet another Heart Seeker. Seems there’s a sister blade to the first one. I’ll give this to Temir.

    Since we hold the field we gain a roll on the Unusual Finds and it’s 1 Gold Mark worth of coins.

    Finally for News Travels we’ve rolled that the Rangers have been scouting the area and get to add 2 Adventure Points.

    Victorious, the Ravens of Gadun scout the battlefield. In the tower, under a loose heavy stone plate on the floor, Caldas uncovers a magnificent blade. It’s exactly the same as the Heart Seeker that Lady Liana wields. The legend of the blacksmith that had forged twins blade has proven true. Omac assigns the fabled sword to Temir, a hero of his own right.
    Bolga searches the husks bodies, and among the remains he finds several coins that will buy them drinks for at least one night at the local inn. He smiles with delight.
    Having scouted everything, Omac gestures the quartet to gather round and return to camp.
    As they reach the camp, they find company with their wounded companions. Rangers scouting the woods stayed with them to keep them safe. Omac offers them hospitality, but they cannot stay, they are on patrol, and soon depart.


    Session Summary

    This was one of the fastest battles I’ve run in Five Leagues from the Borderlands. I’ve had lots of fun, because I like light, fast games, and with all the delves lately, I had started to worry a bit. But my worries were all dissolved. I think I’ll continue hunting down the threats for the time being, but I might have to reach a settlement first. Staying in Camp has started to tire my warband.

    On another note, I’ve gotten word that the hardcopy books have started shipping. Eagerly waiting for my own shipping confirmation! Oh and this means that Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition is now available as PDF-only option from DrivethruRPG for those that want it.

     
  • giorgis 11:01 am on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep07 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun delved in the old ruins of Ghostwood forest to recover the Parchments of Ugmal. Unfortunately after clearing the first floor of the dungeon, the Parchments were nowhere to be found, and they will have to delve deeper.

    Turn 11

    The party camped in the wilderness. For camp events I rolled that we saw a choice animal and get to roll twice in the rewards table if we go on a successful Hunting expedition and keep both results! Of course, hunting is now on the table.

    For Upkeep I have to pay 1 Gold Mark, and I scratch off one turn of Myric’s Recovery (more on that later).

    For Campaign Activities, Bolga Foraged for Herbs, successfuly and got a dose of Ironwood root.
    Boots went on a Hunting Expedition and brought back two packs of Rations and discovered some Suspicious Tracks earning us 1 Adventure Point.

    For the Adventuring stage we choose to continue the Quest and proceed with the 2nd Level of the Delve.

    The Ravens camped outside the old ruins, taking care to guard the entrance to the dungeon. The ruins spread across the forest, so it is possible that other entries were possible, but Omac wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t give the advantage to anyone wanting their chance to the Parchments of Ugmal.
    He assigned Bolga and Caldas to forage and hunt, since they’re what he considers the rangers of the party. They have their way with the land, and boy was he proud of his leader choices when they returned with herbs and supplies. Caldas even shared that he found gnawling tracks heading east. Information like that always proves important.

    Once they were all fed and rested he stood up, packed his gear, and gave a speech.
    “Ravens. We have another chance now to strike evil at it’s source. We’ll go deeper and deeper in the ruins, and get those scripts before anyone else. We have the skill and the strength, and we WILL SUCCEED!.” Their morale high, the warband entered the ruin, with Boots once more leading the way.


    Caldas moved ahead first, and rolled A quiet entrance. I didn’t want to place any enemies at the centre of the table, giving them a higher chance of encountering us, so I decided to go ahead with the enemies.

    I’ve rolled that the Foes are from The Curse of War threat, and it’s 7 Opportunistic Pillagers (2 slingers) with no Leadership.

    With his first move, Boots is within LOS of the pillagers to the North.
    NOTE: At the end of the battle I realized Myrick shouldn't have joined as he was recovering. Nevertheless mistakes happen, so I dealt with it in what I considered a fair manner afterwards. Myrick will not be counting down a Recovery Turn of course.

    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    The halfling moves North quickly in the main passage through the rooms to explore the dungeon, and he comes upon 3 pillagers. Their warband must have entered the dungeon to loot, or -who knows- if they’re aware of the Parchments, to get them for their own. Not wasting a moment he charges at one of the trio, and with his light fencing blade, he carves a ‘C’ on the chest of his enemy, before he slices at his throat. Unfortunately as he does that, he hears footsteps to his left, and two more pillagers appear.
    A slinger swings his sling at the halfling but misses, so his companion charges at Boots. He fends him off, and wounds him with a swift strike before moving out of the way.

    Lady Liana and Omac move north to assist the quick halfling, while Bolga, Temir and Myrick move to the West.

    The hulking duskling is careless and springs of a trap. A huge gong sound echoes through the ruin, and two more pillagers arrive to investigate it.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Boots attacks the wounded pillager, and finishes him with a quick stab, but the slinger follows up with another shot while the halfling is pre-occupied in melee, and wounds him.

    Meanwhile Bolga and Temir charge at their opponents. Bolga cleaves a pillager in half, while Temir merely harms his enemy, who still stands. He tries desperately to get back at Temir, who deflects the blow, and follows back with one of his own, eliminating his foe.

    One of the warriors attacks Lady Liana, but she blocks his attacks, and is pushed back in a draw. Omac joins in the fray, but he too is stopped by his enemy, who retreats backwards.
    Myric shoots his bow at his enemies, but the arrow is stopped by their linen armour.

    Seeing their companions fall, two pillagers flee, but the rest seem now even more resolute to defeat the Ravens.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Omac continues his melee with his enemy, but once more it’s a draw. A slinger shoots at him, but his plate armour easily deflects the bullet. The pillager doesn’t want to let go and lashes back at the Beard. He feigns a parry and then swings his sword in a quick slash that cuts the pillager along the shoulder, all to the chest, killing him. Another warrior charges at Omac when his attention is elsewhere, but thankfully the plate armour saves him once more. The blow is staggering and Omac is pushed backwards, behind Lady Liana. Now she’s attacked by another pillager, but she doesn’t intercept the blow. It gets through the armor and she’s down.

    With the Beard covering the North, wounded Caldas runs South to head for cover.

    To the other side, the warband still searches for the Parchments, when Myrick hears footsteps behind him. He turns to the enemy approaching from the entrance to the dungeon, but he hasn’t put his strength and he’s merely stunned.

    Temir’s attention is drawn to the far distance where three more pillagers appear to be guarding a stash. He curses between his teeth believing they’re holding the Parchments, but as he’s about to move to them, something catches his attention. Behind a dark coloured brick is a hidden shelf, holding an ancient tome. It’s the Parchments of Ugmal! He tucks them under his cloak and whistles to the rest of the warband that they must retreat. They still will have to clear the enemies blocking their way out.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Omac attempts to cast a binding spell to hold his foes in place while he retreats safely, but he messes up the incantation and it fizzles to nothingness. A warrior attacks him, but he uses his staff to parry and manages to hold him off, albeit he’s pushed back in the process.
    Myrick is attacked by the warrior at the entrance. He tries his best, but falls under his enemy’s spear. Temir draws his bow and shoots at him. The arrow is lodged in the arm of the warrior who cries out in pain. Boots moves closer and shoots his sling at him. The bullet hits him in the head, bringing him down. The way out is clear.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Omac focuses this time, and the binding spell is successful. Under cover, Boots runs out of the dungeon. The wounded halfling is safe. Temir and Bolga move closer to the exit.

    One of the pillagers breaks out of the binding spell, but his companions block the way. He cries out to let him pass, but they can’t move a muscle. Their feet, are like lead, rooted to the ground.

    Assisted by the spell covering their escape, Omac, Bolga and Temir get out of the dungeon safely, the Parchments of Ugmal in their possession.

    ROUND 5 + ROUND 6

    Rolling on the Resolution stage I got that Liana has a Serious Injury for 6 Turns Recovery Time, while Myrick was only Knocked Out.

    As described above, this is where I realized I made a SERIOUS mistake here. Myrick wasn't supposed to join this battle as he was in recovery. Yet he did, and also was KO. I'm pondering on what I should do to keep things fair.
    I think I should roll a 2nd time and keep this result, and also scratch off the A lucky break option.
    So rerolling on Myrick: Item Damage: Light Armor. Okay. He's gotten a lucky break there, but I'm keeping his 5 Recovery Turns, and not reducing them.

    On the Advancement both Boots and Temir Level Up.
    Boots: rolled Speed or Skill: so I choose the Wits Skill.
    Temir rolled Agility or Toughness Increase and I chose Toughness.

    For Loot, I have Achieved the Objective , but I did not Hold the Field.
    Loot Roll: Valuables: Bag of Foreign Coins: 3 Gold Marks worth.

    Since the Quest Task #2 was Completed I rolled for the Quest Find: You have gained an item of great value during this task. I rolled up an Enchanted Item on the Loot subtables. The item rolled is Shadow Flight.

    Also I get to see if the Quest has another Task or I move to the Quest Finale and it’s the Finale! For story’s sake I decided to roll the Enemy Threat now and it’s Whispers from Beyond.

    Rolling on the News Events table, I’ve gotten that the Enemy is acting against you so I’ll negate my Ignore the First Enemy Plans roll.

    With the Parchments of Ugmal tucked safely, the Ravens of Gadun retreated tactically out of the ruins, carrying their wounded friends.

    Once they reached the safety of their camp they tended to their wounds. Myrick’s old wound had re-opened, from the strike that had ruined his armor. Lady Liana was also seriously wounded, and it would take her a long time to recover.

    As Boots started counting the bag of foreign coins they found, and considering their overall value in Gold Marks, Omac dived deep in the contents of the Parchments.

    What was described within made his hair stand on an end. It was telling the story of Ugmal, a Sorcerer of times old who in his lust for power and immortality delved in the dark arts. In the chronicles of his time he had raised vast armies of the dead, animated to his will, scourging the lands, but what was even more terrifying was the spells written within and the implications of them.

    Ugmal was eventually defeated, but not before placing a contingency plan. With a ritualistic spell he cast, sacrificing entire villages, he is supposed to rise back from the grave and continue his mayhem of destruction. The spell was not finalized, but the components need not be collected again. With the spell still in pause, one has either to complete it, or dispel it, and thankfully the Parchments describe how to do both. That’s why they needed the Parchments, to destroy Ugmal once and for all, and also that’s why they shouldn’t fall in the wrong hands.

    Omac reads the parchments again and again, his attention to all the details, when he glimpses Caldas examining a bow made from Ash.
    “What do you have there?” He asks the halfling.
    “This bow I found in the ruins. Intricate carvings all around. A weird feeling overcomes me when I hold it.” Caldas answers.
    “It can’t be!” Omac exclaims. “But yet!”
    He searches into the Parchments, and starts reciting. “…and Ugmal enchanted a bow for his lieutenant, from the strongest Ash wood, with runes, and named it Shadow Flight, and no tree, fence or stone could protect you from it’s arrows…”
    “This will be helpful.” Caldas smiles. “Where to next, Raven?” He asks.
    “The overgrown ruins of a stone tower in the Blighted Vale. That’s where Ugmal was defeated.” Omac answers, but looks to his wounded Ravens. Can they succeed with only four? He wonders.


    Session Summary

    Busy real life has got in the way and it took me a long while to play and post this report. Also this was the reason for the mistakes I did with the wounded party members.
    I have a chance now to finish my Quest, but I’m very cautious as to going in with only 4 strong. I may have to switch to other adventures first. I carefully described the quest narrative so as to make sense with the game mechanics. It might also be a nice change of scenery doing some overhead battles because for some reason most of the battles I’ve done so far where in dungeons, and it has gotten a bit repetitive.

     
    • Hambut 12:37 pm on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      What a cool write up. Like the Ugmal back story. Reminds me of Clark Ashton Smith weird fiction. Looking forward to see what comes next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 1:40 pm on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Defining the quest narrative comes with its own challenge but I find that it is well worth it!

        Like

  • giorgis 11:49 pm on May 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt85 – Wraiths (2) 

    To expand my wraiths miniatures, here are 8 Wraiths from the Hordes of Things range by Alternative Armies.

    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
    Wraith
     
  • giorgis 6:44 pm on May 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt84 – Adventurers (2) 

    Here’s some adventurers from the tabletop fantasy Asgard range by Alternative Armies. I really like these sculpts and how they’re armed to the teeth and carrying all their gear. I went with a bit different paints and basing than my standard fantasy, to make it feel like they’re in the dungeon (and gave the bases a grey instead of green rim).

    Halfling swordsman
    Halfling archer
    Thief
    Fighter
    Paladin
    Druid
    Cleric
     
  • giorgis 8:41 am on May 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt83 – Orc Horde 

    Got me some Alternative Armies orcs from the Hordes of Things range to try out. These are a bit smaller and less chunky than my Demonworld orcs, almost like goblins. So I went with a very pale green skin using a white base and the Army Painter Military Shader wash which gives a green tone. I went with a red tones (Karmin, Vermillion, Burnt Sienna) for their clothing and even used lots of bronze for metal parts as they have an Ancient Greece/Rome feel.

    Orc
    Orc
    Orc
    Orc
     
    • Bob 4:09 pm on May 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      Your blog and mini painting have got me investing in 15mm scale miniatures. Do you know of any particular vendor that has decent 15mm soldiers in plate mail? Something that could pass for a knight or paladin? Struggling to find, especially in US. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 5:16 pm on May 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply

        I think your best best would be Khurasan miniatures, particularly their Historicals range at 13th-15th century. Just take care to read any information regarding the scale as it’s common for historicals to be “true 15mm” and there’s only a few historical ranges on the Khurasan website that are towards “heroic 15mm aka 1:100 or 18mm”.

        For heroic 15mm these spring to mind: https://khurasanminiatures.tripod.com/late-fourteenth-century.html

        You could also take a look at old glory 15s/20s but I haven’t tried these so I can’t say.
        At true 15mm you could take a look at splintered light miniatures player character sets.

        Like

    • Bob 10:59 pm on May 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  • giorgis 10:01 am on May 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt82 – Dwarf Extras (2) 

    A few more of my Battle Valor miniatures. There was a mix up of my order it seems since I had ordered two different Dwarf women warriors, but I got one of them and a mystic. But this didn’t bother me since the mystic figure is beautiful. I’ve also added three Dwarian War Hounds without their handler since it’s not much usable in skirmish (have it haven’t painted it).

    Dwarian Assassin
    Dwarian Seer
    Dwarian War Hound
    Dwarian War Hound
    Dwarian War Hound
     
  • giorgis 8:32 am on May 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt81 – Skeleton Characters 

    Here are a few undead minis from Battle Valor. A Decian Seer, a Decian Captain and a Decian Foot Captain. I chose the first two because they looked really cool as figures and the last because I needed a third skeleton archer (both for Five Leagues max archer number in skeletons and for KPS ‘3s’) units. They can work as skeleton leaders or Liches/Wraiths/Wights.

    Liche
    Wraith
    Skeleton Archer
     
  • giorgis 1:25 pm on May 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep06 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens rescued Bertio, the Black Ferret’s nephew from deep inside a ratmen camp. Bolga and Omac were wounded, and had their gear damaged. The Ravens, now under Lady Liana’s leadership headed to the market village Broduncer to rest and recover.

    Turn 7

    Since Broduncer is a Market village, according to the rules, the first time I visit it, I gain 1 Adventure Point, coming to a whooping total of 9 Adventure Points. I really need to see how I’ll spend these.
    Rolling on the Town Events I got Offerings of Food and Shelter which means I won’t have to pay Upkeep this turn.

    1 Recovery Turn is chugged off for Omac and Bolga, and we proceed to the Campaign Activities. Bolga’s Cleaver (Bastard Sword) is off to the Blacksmith for repairs for 2 Gold Marks, and Liana makes a Study attempt, but fails.

    For Trading, we proceed to Sell a Camp Gear set, and Animal Pelts both worth 4 Gold Marks, and we buy a set of Light Armor for Temir and a Fencing Sword for Boots, costing 8 Gold Marks.

    On the Research step, we may take the offer of a contract. Rolling further, the source is an Individual and the task is to Retrieve an Item in an Unexplored Location in the Wilderness. I decide that I won’t follow up, since my warband is at 2/3 strength, and decide on the adventure step that we will Rest Up.

    Closing up the turn, on the News Travels we found out that the Duke’s forces have raided the enemy. I choose that the threat of the Gnawling Horde is reduced to 5.

    Turn 7 – Map

    The Ravens of Gadun enter Broduncer. It is small village that periodically is the central point of sales as people from the region gather to sell their goods.
    Word of the Ravens obliterating the rat-kin outside the village has reached the people already and they cheer for them. An old lady greets them. “You won’t spend your night in the inn. My husband was adamant that we’ll take care of you.” She says as she smiles. Lady Liana of Trenne receives the gift heartfully, and the Butcher and the Beard are taken care of at Mrs. Hame’s home. She’s Bertio’s aunt, so she must be a distant relative of the Black Ferret, but any attempts to glean any information about the elusive man, fall on deaf ears, as she pretends to not listen.
    Lady Liana spends some time in the local church to see if there are any manuscripts worth reading, but finds nothing of importance.
    Caldas takes Bolga’s Cleaver to the blacksmith, who eyes him carefully, considering that the blade is as large as the halfling himself. Caldas enjoys pulling jokes like that. Then he proceeds to go to the market, and starts selling what they don’t need. He’s made quite a good deal for the pelts he skinned and some camping gear they don’t need, so he decided to reward himself with a nice fencing sword. He also bought a set of leather armour for Temir, so that he doesn’t appear completely selfish.

    With two of their strongest out of action, Lady Liana decides that they won’t go adventuring, but rather keep on to their strength. Thankfully, their deeds didn’t go unnoticed at the highest levels of society. Duke Gauwill sent a detachment of troops and hunted down several rat-kin that were hiding in the immediate vicinity. It’s going to be a little bit safer for the people of the Aristrax Marches for now.


    Turn 8

    Staying at Broduncer, the Town Events rolled is Something for the road. We’re grateful for a pack of Rations.

    Upkeep is rolled to be 2 Gold Marks, and 1 more Recovery Turn is removed from Omac and Bolga.

    For Campaign Activities we will Help the Town Guard and Study. Study was a failure one more.

    In the Trade step we sold a bag of Foreign Coins worth 3 Gold Marks.

    In the Research step we had no result.

    For Adventuring I will risk travelling to Newhorn which is the only Town in the region so that I can repair Omac’s Full Armor which is damaged. The Travel roll gave a result of Uneventful Travels and we reach the Manor Town of Newhorn without any issues.

    The News Travels roll resulted in Travelers having seen something odd in the forest and hills, and I’m to add an Unexplored Location to the Wilderness. These are the Barakzir Crags.

    Turn 8 – Travel Map

    Mrs. Hames wants to keep sheltering the Ravens of Gadun, but Lady Liana can’t take that for much longer. She needs a proper hot bath, and is willing to pay the extra silver to the Cracked Cask. Of course she can’t insult Mrs. Hames, so she just says that she insists that they can’t stay in their feet for much longer ‘8 warriors who eat like 15’. Mrs. Hames finally gives in, but only if they agree to take a pack of rations with them. She also warns them to not take Bertio with them and to tell the ‘man’ as she refers to the Black Ferret for the first time, that Bertio will stay with her in Broduncer and help with work that needs doing.

    Staying at the Cracked Cask costs more than Lady Liana anticipated, so she ‘asked’ -not so nicely of Temir and Myrick to help the Broduncer guard with whatever they need, in exchange for some easy coin. She’s one of the few people who are privileged enough to read and write, but again her efforts to find something worth reading in the church, fall to the void. In the meantime Boots goes to the market and fetches a good price for the bag of Rahyrstian coins.

    After a short while, she realizes that they can’t stay in Broduncer for yet another week. She gathers round the group, and announces to them that the next day, they’ll be packing for Newhorn.

    Their trip to Newhorn is uneventful. They reach the seat of the Aristrax Marches, where Duke Gauwill’s winter home is. Noone seems to have heard of them hear, and the welcome isn’t near as close as the welcome to Broduncer. As they pass through the main gates, they overhear travelers speaking of the Barakzir Crags, and how dangerous it was to travel through there.

    At least Liana knows that here, they’ll find a blacksmith that can perform repairs to advanced items, such as Omac’s articulated plate armour.


    Turn 9

    First time in Newhorn – I recall that we have a task to take a letter from the Innkeep’s family. We’ll pick this up and deliver it back to Langecliff when we are in the village.

    Town Events resulted that an elder tells us a tale that stands out. We gain 1 Adventure Point.

    Upkeep is 2 Gold Marks and Omac and Bolga will finish up their recovery by the end of this turn.

    The Campaign Activities I choose is to Help the Town Guard (of course, we can’t afford to lose any hard earned Gold) and to go to the Blacksmith and repair Omac’s armour for 3 Gold Marks.

    In Trade we sell the last of our valuables, a Sack of Grain worth 1 Gold Mark.

    For the Adventuring step, it’s time to Travel back to the Chasm and get the information we need to continue the Quest. The Travel roll is again Uneventful Travels which is good considering Omac and Bolga still need this turn to complete recovery.

    So, for the next Quest Step the Quest Location will be at another Unexplored Location in the Wilderness. This is the so-called Forest of Ghostwood. I will need to explore this before progressing with the Quest Task which will be to Locate an artifact.

    To finish this turn, I’ve rolled at News Travels that a friend needs my help. Since we have no friends this means generating a contract, but I choose not to.

    Turn 9 – Travel Map

    The Weasel’s Cellar is the biggest inn Lady Liana has set her eyes on in the Aristrax Marches. It is located in a residential quarter, south of a tree-lined stream. Its neighbors include a large bathhouse and a modest traveler’s shrine. The inn is a two-storey building of timber and brick walls, with a smooth stone floor. Accomodations consist of several small rooms with wooden cots. The innkeeper is an old female halfling named Mina. She was once an adventurer, but claims that she was maimed by a dragon. It is actually an old halfling patron of the inn, who recites the tale for anyone willing to listen.

    The Ravens sit by the fire and listen to the hour long story of how Mina ducked under a rock while the dragon’s breath blasted everything to charcoal above her head, and how her foot was burned by her lead sling bullets melting through the pouch and dripping on her boot.

    After settling themselves in the inn, Boots quickly makes connections with Mina, who hands him over the letter for the Weary Knave. Messages between the inns are quite common as a means of communication in the Aristrax Marches, but hiring adventurers is the least effective way to perform it. On the other hand, hiring a dedicated messenger would cost a lot more.

    Lady Liana assigns tasks for Myrick and Temir to work for the Town Guard, while she goes to the blacksmith to have Omac’s armour repaired. A master armourer is needed, and a heavy pouch of coins worth 3 Golden Marks, half upfront, to get the work done, but in the end it’s as good as new.

    Caldas, having taken the role of the warband haggler, sells a sack of grain to the local baker, to make some coin for warband expenses.

    After having rested for a while, she can tell the time has come. She calls for the Ravens to gather and they head off to travel back to the Black Ferret. The man has some answers to give.

    A couple days later, they’re face to face with the Black Ferret.
    “Word has reached me. You’ve saved Bertio.” He sais. “I’m grateful. You might be the ones who can save us from this evil.”
    “Stop speaking with riddles. What is this about?” Lady Liana’s patience is nearing its end.
    “I know not where it ends. But I know this. The Parchments of Ugmal have resurfaced. They were thought burned, but word in not-so-valorous circles is that they are to be found in Ghostwood Forest. The ruins there are their last known location. And if Froinain never destroyed them, as legends say, then if they fall in the wrong hands, the Marches are in peril.” The Black Fereret explains.
    “What do these parchments contain?” Liana asks.
    “Noone knows exactly, because the keepers of this knowledge never shared it. But they’re thought to hold the key to power that could unravel the very fabric of balance. Needless to say, you must recover them, and judge for yourself if they must be destroyed or used to stop something worse.” He responds.
    Lady Liana nods. She turns to the Ravens. “We camp. We leave at first light.”


    Turn 10

    The Camp Events result is that This life is wearing on you.

    Upkeep is 2 Gold Marks again.

    For Campaign Activities I choose to Live off the Land so that Upkeep is negated, and Bolga will Forage for Herbs, resulting in a successful finding of Springwind berries (1).

    For Adventuring we go to the Unexplored Location for the Quest which is an Old Ruin. I resolve a Traveler Encounter. It’s a Priest, Sociable with Profound life advice which gives us 1 Story Point. To progress further we’ll need to clear at least 1 level of the Old Ruin delve so that we can continue with the Quest Task to Locate the artifact.

    Turn 10 – Travel Map

    Another day, another sleep in a bed roll on the countryside. Omac’s back is really hurting. He’s getting older and older. Sometimes he just turns his thoughts back to his old life. His cozy bed and linen sheets. But that’s all in the past now. He steels through, and gets back to the task.

    “Ravens!” He yells. His strength all back together. He’s recovered.
    “We leave at once for Ghostwood Forest. You ain’t scared of ghost stories are you?” He asks jokingly. “There won’t be any time for lingering around. We hunt and forage on the go. While travelling.”

    The warband is glad he’s back on his feet, even though that means some extra work for them. Under Lady Liana’s leadership, things were… different.

    A good two days later, they happen upon a priest doing his pilgrimage.

    “Greetings friends.” The bald man says. “Nellaser may guide your steps.” He sents a blessing of the Lady of Wanderers.
    “Well received, friend.” Omac responds.
    “Never forget, when you don’t know where you are going, you’re not truly lost. Because any road, will take you, where you want to be.” The man sends his advice and keeps on his way, while Omac, stands there pondering his words.

    By the end of a day, they make out some overgrown ruins. A huge, damp, rotten gate creaks loudly as Bolga pushes it open. Without speaking another word, they enter the darkness. Caldas, leads the way, his senses heightened to pick up the sound of any danger.


    Caldas the halfling, as always, scouts ahead first. The first move dictates that there’s A passage through, so I get to add yet another Unexplored Location to the same Map Area.

    The old ruin in the forest of Ghostwood
    on hindsight I should have used a battlemat underneath the dungeon tiles, as it would have made them stand out a lot better.

    Rolling for the enemies in the Lurking Foes table, my first result is Giant Rats (which I don’t have), so I re-rolled this time (instead of going down the entries as I did previously) and the result was Delve Crawlers, which immediately made me reconsider my options. I need to buy some Giant Rats miniatures.
    They are 8 in number and thankfully have no Leadership. For the Delve Crawlers I used my Vanguard miniatures not-Genestealers.

    Infestation with Delve Crawlers. Who knows who lived there before.

    There isn’t the sound of a single critter as Boots walks silently forward. This place hasn’t been inhabbited by it’s original owners in a long time now. Huge drapes of sticky webbing cover the walls and furniture. Caldas puts his hand on his sword. He can’t forget the last time he saw webs in a dungeon. Giant spiders were onto them within minutes. Who knows what creature has called this place its home.

    As he walks further in, he sees a passage leading outside. From the scattered sun rays, and the little openings he can make out a murder of crows circling above. He makes a mental note that there might be something of interest there, and continues inside.


    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Boots moves deeper in the ruins, and as he explores, he sees a big pile of loot. But what catches his attention is the trio of huge insect-like monsters that turn and see him as soon as he steps inside the room. One of them jumps at him, but the quick footed halfling steps aside, and strikes back. The chitinous carapace is pierced, but Caldas only manages to scratch the creature.

    ROUND 1
    From the start it seems that the first explored marker to the north gave a result of a Guarded Stash. This means that there's a 3! Loot rolls worth of treasure there, but there's also 3 more Delve Crawlers, which brings their total number up to 11...
    ROUND 2

    The sound of battle and screeches of the creature, raises the alarm, and they all crawl towards the main room.
    The Beard makes an incantation to hold a trio of creatures approaching from the west corridor as both Temir and Caldas shoot at their enemies. But neither missile pierces the thick chitinous carapace.
    The crawler next to Caldas jumps back again on him. Caldas fends it off, but a scratch on his arm is more than it looks. The halfling feels a poison running through his veins, and quickly drops.
    Another crawler charges at Omac arriving from the east corridor, but the Beard pushes it back.
    Bolga steps on top of the big table and cleaves a crawler in two, while at the same time Myrick shoots an arrow at another crawler from the north corridor, wounding it.

    ROUND 2
    Omac's spell didn't activate any additional Lurking Foes. They're too many already, and I'm glad (there's a rule for Lurking Foes when you're casting a spell).
    ROUND 3

    Myrick shoots again at the wounded crawler and finishes it off.
    Bolga attacks another of the creatures, but he fails. The creature snaps back, and his dripping poison mandibles hit Bolga’s armour. Bolga hits it back, stunning it momentarily.
    Lady Liana holds the northern attack. The heart seeker slashes at a crawler and cuts it like butter.
    Temir aims his arrows at another of the creatures, and the arrow goes through and through, dropping the creature.
    Omac’s spell keeps the trio of crawlers bound at the west corridor.

    The crawlers jump at Lady Liana and Bolga. They both fend them off, but Lady Liana can’t shake the feeling that fate intervened on her behalf.

    ROUND 3
    I had to spend a Story Point to save Lady Liana's life.
    I also timed Omac's spell carefully. Decided to use Anticipate so that he can act in the Quick Phase next round, for another Bind spell.
    ROUND 4

    Omac begins his spellcasting to keep yet again the crawlers bound under his spell, but he fails his concentration.
    Bolga holds the eastern line on his own, but doesn’t succeed in causing any casualties to the crawlers.

    From the north, Liana is charged upon yet again. The pincers pierce her armour, and she falls.
    Free from the spell, one of the crawlers attacks Temir. The Ox blocks the attacks and hits back, stunning the creature for a fraction of a second, which is enough for him to follow with another attack which wounds it. It staggers back and Temir holds his bow and attacks with an arrow, which is deflected from the creatures carapace. Myrick shoots at the same crawler. His arrow finds a weak spot in the carapace, and the crea(there’s a rule for Lurking Foes when you’re casting a spell)>ture dies.

    ROUND 4
    It seems my Story Point to save Liana was wasted. I should have used Liana's Will point to have her act in the Quick Phase. Maybe it would have been a different outcome, but I totally forgot about it.
    ROUND 5

    Omac concentrates again to cast a Bind spell on two of the crawlers, and puts all his willpower to it to succeed.
    Bolga holds off the eastern corridor, without killing any of the creatures.
    Temir shoots at a crawler. The arrow hits the head and kills it.

    The crawlers try to get past Bolga, but he blocks and wounds the creature, pushing it back.
    Myrick shoots at the wounded creature, but his last arrow hits the stone bricks.

    ROUND 5
    Had to spent a Will point to get the spell cast successfully. Thankfully it didn't activate any additional enemies.
    ROUND 6

    Bolga kills the wounded crawler with a strong hit.
    The last of the crawlers from the east jumps on top of their friend’s remains and attacks Bolga. He’s hit but his armor stops the strike, pushing him back, and the crawler hits again, but merely scratches Bolga, and finally Bolga stops him with a block.
    One of the two spell bound crawlers breaks free and attacks Temir, but each of the two combatants dodges the other’s strikes. Temir builds some distance and goes to shoot his bow, but he has dropped all of his arrows from his quiver during the melee.

    Omac decides to join in the melee. He brings his bastard sword down on a crawler, stunning it, and once more wounding it, before the creature has a chance to react and push him back. The wounded creature turns and flees.
    Myrick drops his bow and attacks in close combat a crawler nearby, but the creature snaps back and its pincers pierce Myrick’s armor, bringing him down.

    ROUND 6
    ROUND 7

    Bolga fights with the crawler in front of him, but it jumps back and hisses at a defensive position and he stops. The crawler pushes back at Bolga, who blocks the attack, but it delivers a spit of venom. Bolga falls under the influence of the poisonous substance.

    Temir on the other side slashes and wounds a crawler, but it blocks his next attack. The two combatants clash once more with no clear winner, but as Temir steps back he feels poison running through his veins. The venom entered through a slight scratch that got through his armour. But Temir isn’t known as “The Ox” for no reason. He grits his teeth and fights on. The crawler attacks back at him but Temir blocks and slashes with his sword, killing the crawler in one strike. Another one jumps at him and meets Temirs blade as well.

    Omac attacks the last crawler and wounds it. Stunned the crawler stumbles back and Omac finishes it off with his bastard sword.

    ROUND 7
    Spent my last Story Point to save Temir's life here, but unfortunately lost Bolga right afterwards. At least Temir paid off the cost by eliminating two of the last three crawlers.

    With danger lurking around every corner, the Beard and the Ox tread carefully to the northside. There they find a good stash of items and put it in their backpack.

    ROUND 8
    I could have rolled the 3 loot rolls here and now, but I rolled it in the end along with the rest, mostly in order to get the combat section complete, since it's getting late.

    The duo continues west to another room of the old ruin. A chest strikes Omac as valuable, and he rushes to open it, but it’s trapped! A bear trap maims his leg. Quickly Temir rushes to his aid and applies bandages dipped in a healing poultice to help him.

    ROUND 15
    In the first Exploration Marker I rolled up that it's a Brutal Treasure Trap. Omac was wounded, but I used up one of the Bandages from the backpack.

    After helping themselves to the contents of the chest, they head southwards. Temir starts coughing. A noxious gas fills his lungs and he drops unconscious. Omac drags him back. Alone, he knows he cannot continue exploring the ruin. One by one, he gathers his wounded companions, and they all step outside this forsaken place.

    ROUND 18
    The third Exploration Marker had an Environmental Hazard which brought down Temir. I won't risk going to the rest of the markers with only Omac alive. I've completed the objective, so I can leave and continue with the part of the Quest in the next Turn.

    Since I have two Misty Water Flowers, and two Poison Casualties, I decide not to risk it further, and use them. Caldas and Bolga recover immediately.
    Rolling for the rest of the Injuries, Lady Liana of Trenne was just Knocked Out, Solas Temir the Ox had his Light Armour Damaged and Myrick the Hood was Seriously Injured for 5 Turns of Recovery. I just realized here and now that I have forgotten to Repair Liana’s Helmet. This could be life saving and I must get to it the next time we get to town.

    The advancement was limited this time. They all gain +1 XP for participating in the battle, and Omac an additional +1 XP for surviving. There were no advancement rolls.

    Now we have 3 Loot Rolls from the Guarded Stash, 1 Loot Roll for the Treasure Trap and 1 Loot Roll for achieving the objective. I’ve rolled up one set of Partial Armor, a Fine Shield, a Fine Longbow, a set of Throwing Knives and a Bag of Coins worth 3 Gold Marks.

    For Holding the Field I roll on the Unusual Finds and get that there is a path that Leads to a location.

    Finally to close up the Turn, I roll on the News Travels that there is a Virulent Disease in Broduncer. Probably has to do with the rat-kin wandering in the region.

    Lady Liana wakes up as Omac pours some wine in her mouth. She’s battered but okay. The two of them take the misty water flowers and deliver a healing broth to Caldas and Bolga. The antidote acts quickly and they get back to their feet. Temir has his leather jacket torn, but it seems to have taken the brunt of the attack, since he’s in a good shape. He turns his attention to Myrick who has serious wounds to his torso. He helps him out, but he’s in no condition to be fighting. It will take him a long while to recover.

    After tending to their own, they set guard shifts in watches and Boots looks to what they rushed out. A set of brigandine armour will be a fine replacement for Temir’s ruined leather armour. Bolga picks up a strong shield, and Temir replaces his self bow with a strong composite long bow. Omac puts a set of trowing knives in his belt, and counts a bag of coins that they found.

    Boots with his keen eye also notices another path that leads outside. He follows it for a short while and in the distance he can see that there is an overgrown and long-forgotten tomb of carved stone. He returns with the information to Omac, but he disregards it.
    “Our task is further inside.” the Beard answers.

    It’s been a while since I had a proper photo of the warband, so here they are, outside of the delve. To help with more information sharing I’ll also display their roster.

    The Ravens of Gadun
    This roster display will have to do until I find a better way to do it. There are some issues with form editing of PDF over Linux.

    Session Summary

    That was one of the longest sessions I’ve run so far. Very interesting. I love how everything tries to connect together in the end, but some player oversight is required as Unexplored Locations can easily get out of hand.
    So far to handle this I decided to disregard Unexplored Locations about actions I explicitly don’t follow (e.g. May take up the offer of a contract), but maybe I need to set a hard limit.
    Also some considerations need to be taken regarding the naming of the locations. I started with names like “Ghostwood Forest”, but I can tell that this is best related to the Map Area rather than the location itself, because you don’t know what the location is until you decide to explore it.
    Therefore I went with descriptions in the last two Unexplored Locations. For example using donjon, I went with “Somewhere amidst a shadowed forest. A murder of ravens circles in the sky overhead.” and “Somewhere in the Darkmoor Fen. An overgrown and long-forgotten tomb of carved stone stands here.” and I’ll go with this style in the future. Because after all the Unexplored Location is just something that evokes interest without becoming clear what it is until you get there – and the relative table from 5L3e will take it from there.
    Also I can leave some Map Areas nameless. A number with a location in the Wilderness is sometimes enough. Don’t need to overload the Map.

    Now I also need to connect other aspects to what makes sense, even if it means downsizing (downsizing is to the player’s benefit). Maybe I can spend a Story Point for this, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. An example that arose (which is quite similar to what had happened before, therefore it’s bound to happen again) is that to proceed with the Quest Task Locate an artifact which is a Site Battle, I must explore the Unexplored Location which happened to be a Delve (aka Site Battle) so I must clear the first Depth. According to RAW, I’d need to clear the First Depth (which I did) and then proceed to a second Delve in the same Map Area. However I’ll consider that the Locate an artifact Site Battle is essentially the second Depth of the initial Delve. This will result in having less things to clear in the Map, and make it all more manageable. I’m afraid that if the number of locations continues at this rate, I’ll get lost.

    Finally I started removing some cleared locations and areas from the map, but I’m keeping their numbering for future reference, just in case.


    On a different note, some more topics I’ve noticed are listed below.

    This time on the Delve I went with measuring distance as per RAW instead of using grids, and I must admit that it’s tons better! The placement of the miniatures, terrain items, and the engagement zones are much more clear.

    Since I rarely had more than 8 Backpack items, and the Stash is an abstract feature that is valid in any settlement, I didn’t pay the required attention to the number of items, and I may have travelled with more han 8 (alas only by a small amount). I now will pay attention to it, and maybe I’ll consider the Stash-per-settlement rule as it will make things a bit more interesting.

    Finally the two topics that I’m considering is that Upkeep and Rest Up have zero to minimal consequences.
    I am undecided as to the Upkeep. The way I see it is that if you have plenty of coin, then you can afford to lose some (by not taking the Help the Town Guard or Live of the Land), and gain that extra Campaign Activity. Maybe that’s enough. But as it is, I can only think of a rare few cases that one might be willing to bite the bullet and pay the extra cost. Maybe wanting to both Repair a necessary weapon and visit the Healer because of a time sensitive activity? a contract? But contracts are mainly important due to the extra cash you get, so it seems counter-intuitive. Maybe there’s something I’m missing right now, I’ll keep monitoring it on the back of my head.
    With regards to Rest Up, it seems that if you do this the only thing occuring is that News Travels. So essentially, coupled with the Upkeep one could stay at a Settlement or Camp until every one in the warband is in a proper fighting shape, and then continue. As if time has paused. This is a little bit on opposite ends with the living world feel that the game has managed to evoke that occurs while adventuring. I am considering hacking this a bit. Maybe give a chance for Threats to increase or a chance for a roll on Enemy Plans.

    Back to the Quest topics that had arisen in my previous sessions, running Quests is a Player Skill to be learned. Using the right abstract parts from donjon’s generators and leaving some things open to interpretation seems to work for now.

    Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to the next session where I delve deeper to find the Parchments of Ugmal.

     
  • giorgis 11:20 pm on April 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep05 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun travelled to the Chasm of Great Sorrow to learn more about their quest from the Black Ferret, and defeated a giant who was plaguing travellers in the area. The Black Ferret will only reveal more if they rescue his nephew (slight typo there at Ep04) who hasn’t been heard from since when he left for Broduncer village.

    Turn 6

    Since it’s the first time the warband has stayed outside of a settlement sofar, I rolled on the Camp events table and got You feel like you are being observed all night long. Can’t perform any adventure milestones this turn, but if I decide to fight Enemy threats, I’ll receive 2 Adventure Points. No matter how tempting this sounds I’ll stay on the task at hand.

    The Upkeep cost is 3 Gold Marks. Instead of spending an action to pay it off, I decide to consume my Rations.
    For Campaign activities I decide to Forage for herbs (Bolga). It was very successful and delivered (2) Springfield Berries.
    Boots also went on a Hunting expedition and returned with Animal pelts worth 3 Gold Marks.
    Trading is not appliccable for Camps so I moved on to the next step of the Preparation stage.

    Rolling for Connections at the Research step gave the offer of a contract. I’ve decided again to stay on the current course and not follow on a new contract.

    Deciding on the adventure, we’ll travel to Broduncer village. Since the News Events from Turn 5 gave a result that local patrols make travels safe, I don’t need to make a Travel roll.

    Having set camp at the ruins, the Ravens are uneasy. They place rotating shifts for every watch, but when light breaks, they can’t shake the feeling that they were observed. Noone speaks for a while, and they all pack, eager to get back on the road. As they set on the path to Broduncer, and the eerie sense of being watched has been left behind, Omac calls for a short meeting at their first rest.

    “This is an opportunity for us. We’ve stayed long behind walls. Now we need to conquer the wild.” He said again in his pompous style.
    “Bolga! You’re skilled in the lore of the lands. You will forage for herbs. See if we can find something soothing or healing.” He sais to the big duskling who looks at him expresionless. Then he turns to the halfling. “Caldas! I know your people are we versed in the lore of the lands as well. Put your sling to good use. Go hunting.” He turns to the rest. “We’ll set camp and guard watches. Have some lunch ready by the time you return. Though by the looks of it, the local patrols have kept the area safe recently.”


    Rolling on the Unexplored location table for the Contract gave a Small community result, which means a failure on the Contract. I decide to spend a Story Point and re-roll. This time I get that there’s an Enemy Camp in the same Map Area. A random roll gives a Gnawling Horde result. This is going to be tough, but it’s time to fight some ratmen!

    Turn 6 Travel Map

    Rolling for the Foe it’s 12 Knife breakers plus a Lieutenant and a Captain. This is going to be a tough fight, since they outnumber us more than 2 to 1. Due to the high number of ratmen, I’ve had to pause here and paint a handful more of my splintered light miniatures (I don’t like double poses, but didn’t have a choice).

    The theme is supposed to be deep forest, but I’m low on woods. (Hint to myself that I need to make more trees and woods). I placed everything according to the rulebook, adding the individual to be rescued and some nasty dungeon accessories (including a mutilated corpse on a table) for both mechanical and immersion effect.

    The Ravens come at a crossroads. Further down in the distance beside a couple rolling hills they could see the smoke rising from the chimneys of Broduncer.

    Another path veers to the north, and what look like houses or a small hamlet was barely discernible beyond the woods.

    Omac decided to take the path see if the people in the hamlet knew anything about Bertio, the Black Ferret’s nephew. The Ravens followed. All but Boots. Omac looked at him with an expression of curiosity.

    “There’s pawprints heading East in the forest.” He answered Omac. “Lots of them. Bigger than normal paws. But what is even more interesting is the pair of boot prints. Which are dragged at times. Someone was here and was forcibly moved, by something not human.”

    “Then that’s the way to go!” Omac started with a shout that ended in a whisper. He knew they should move stealthily.

    They follow the tracks to a clearing. It looks to be a camp. Rat like humanoids armed and armoured patrol the area. Gray fur, long tails, nails and fangs.

    At the centre of the camp they have mutilated a corpse. Next to the table another human, looking like Bertie’s description, is tied and awaits his fate as a big ratman spits over him as he speaks in an unknown squeamish language.

    The Ravens, move closer, their weapons drawn.


    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Temir, Caldas and Myrick all sneak forward unseen, until the hulking Duskling Bolga walks with his heavy footsteps and is immediately detected by the rat people.

    They start squeamish screams and raise the alarm.

    Pissed off that he’s been made, Bolga pulls out his balanced knives and throws one at the ratman. He’s wounded and blood starts pouring. Boots has already readied his sling and shoots a lead bullet that misses by a long shot. The ratman is very fast and quickly covers the distance and fights in hand to hand combat against the halfling. Boots blocks and follows with a quick dagger strike that cuts off the throat of the rodent man. He falls dead.

    Several more of the rat people close in on Boots, but he’s covered by Myrick and Temir who shoot their bows, wounding and stunning the ratmen.

    Lady Liana of Trenne throws a slim knife at the ratman wounded by arrow, and she hits him, bringing him down. Omac follows but remains in distance.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Omac puts his will to the test and acts quickly. He begins an incantation and magical chains bind motionless two ratmen next to the tree grove.
    Lady Liana of Trenne is empowered by her leader, she forces herself to act quickly and charges at the nearest ratman. The heart seeker strikes true and another ratman perishes.

    Two ratmen followed by a stronger ratman cursing orders – probably a lieutenant – rush back to attack Liana. She has the halfling to support her, and one by one, she fends them all off.

    The ratmen bound under the Beard’s spell can’t overcome the magical strings, and remain in place.

    The bigger ratman who must be the captain, screams at Bolga, and charges at him with his battleaxe. “Shebura! Shebura!” chant the other ratmen in unison to cheer their leader. Bolga fights back and pushes him off. Another ratman flanks Bolga from the other path into the grove, but Bolga blocks, stun him with another hit, and cleaves him in two. A third ratman comes from the foliage at Bolga, but Bolga blocks his attacks too, and sends him back with stunning hit. A couple more ratmen close in from the North.

    It’s now the Butcher’s turn. He yells a bellow to Shebura, and the two duel. As he lunges forward, the captain draws a hidden knife and wounds Bolga to the ribcage. He can’t follow on his attack though, as Bolga blocks it, and the melee ends in a standoff, with Bolga bleeding.

    The Ravens armed with ranged weapons start shooting. Myrick aims his self bow at a ratman, and the arrow finds the creature in the neck, killing it. Temir’s shot at another rodent man misses by a hair, and Boots wounds the ratman next to the lieutenant, with his sling shot.

    With so many of their own down, two ratmen flee the carnage.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Caldas abandons his sling and challenges the lieutenant. The two are similar in height, and the fight on the hill is a sight for sore eyes, like a dance of blades. But the lieutenant gains the upper hand and Boots is pushed back. Lady Liana follows up on an attack against the lieutenant, but she only barely manages to scratch the furry hide.

    Back in the woods, the captain attacks Bolga, who blocks, but as he follows up the captain counter attacks. His knife now is stopped by Bolga’s armor. He’s stunned but alive for now. Another ratman encircles Bolga, but he’s ready and with a swift kick to the chest, the ratman is sent flying back.

    Covering half the field in a quick stride, a ratman attacks Lady Liana, who parries, deflects and wounds him with the Heart Seeker.
    The lieutenant turns his attention back at Boots, and trying to catch him unaware, he attacks. The halfling is ready, and after dodging his strike, he attacks back and wounds the ratman. He struggles back, bleeding. Boots ducks and his next strike reaches the ratman’s artery. Blood spews everywhere as the lieutenant drops dead.

    Of the two ratmen under Omac’s spell, one breaks free. He jumps on all fours and reaches Lady Liana. She blocks his attacks and sends him flying back from where he came.

    Bolga, wounded attacks one of his many assailants, but winded as he is, he only manages a flesh wound. Myrick shoots at another ratman in the woods, but, the arrow goes through and through his fur. The ratman grows and remains in the fight. Temir switches targets this time and focuses on the captain. His shot is aimed, and the arrow finds the captain in the belly. The captain curses in his rat language, but remains standing, though wounded. Bolga and the captain are on equal footing now.

    Omac no longer focuses on his spell. He draws his bastard sword and climbs the hill, hacking the first ratman he finds in two.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Bolga attacks the wounded ratman captain. His cleaver comes down strong, and the wounded captain can’t block the hit. The blade finds the captain’s neck and cuts off the head in a swift downward motion. Bolga screams a cry of victory. Albeit early. A ratman comes in for revenge from the side, and his flail hits Bolga at the head. The duskling is down.

    At the hill, a ratman attacks the halfling, but doesn’t manage to hurt him.

    Free from Omac’s spell, the other ratman charges at the Raven, but he keeps him at bay using his staff.

    The halfling has put his sling in his pocket. His blade thirsts for blood. He jumps at another ratman and with two consecutive strikes, kills him.

    Myrick and Temir keep shooting from a safe distance, providing cover to the warband, but their arrows didn’t hit the rodents.

    Liana charges at a ratman on the hill, but he fends her off. Omac joins in to assist, and the ratman swiftly hacks at the mystic with his blade. The Beard is down.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Boots attacks a ratman, but he is pushed off.

    Temir shoots his bow, and he kills another of the rodents. Only one ratman remains and he attacks Caldas back; the fight ends in a draw.. Myrick moves to shoot at him, but loses his footing and misses. Lady Liana of Trenne joins in the fight, but the ratman fights to his last breath and his ferocious slashes stop her from harming him.

    ROUND 5
    ROUND 6

    Caldas goes face to face with the last ratman. The ratman feigns a parry and Boots falls for it, and becomes the defender. The ratman hacks at him, but Boots mail shirt hidden under the cloak saves his life. They disengage only for a moment, as Boots has barely caught his breath when the ratman charges back. The halfling blocks, and follows with a finishing strike, cutting at the ratman’s chest. The fight is over. The wardens hold the field.

    ROUND 6

    Since we won a Camp Raid, we’re entitled to 2 Adventure points.

    Resolving the Injuries, I get that Bolga has Moderate injuries for 3 Campaign Turns Recovery time
    I’ve rolled that Omac is Dead, so I’m using Silvertree leaf and get that instead an item is damaged, rolling randomly it’s the Full Armour. Since the Silvertree leaf saved his life, I roll and get an extra 3 Campaign Turns Recovery time.

    Since Bolga and Omac were casualties in a fight with Knife breakers , I need to roll a Crafting test for them. Omac passed, but Bolga failed and had his Cleaver damaged.

    Liana, Boots and Temir each are awarded 2 XP for participating and holding the field. Bolga is awarded 2 XP as well for participating and killing the enemy captain. Omac is awarded 1 XP for participating.
    Lady Liana of Trenne leveled up, and I rolled another Will Increase.
    I’ve rolled that Myrick had Moment of Insight and thus becomes Loyal Hero. I’ll have to choose a new name, nickname and miniature to represent him.

    Since it’s a Camp Raid, I got Vital Information. Which I rolled to be a Quest Find (since I’m already in a Quest), and I got the Emboldened result again. Decided to give this to Caldas as 1 Luck Point.

    Realized that I hadn't applied the 1 Luck Point from Liana's previous Emboldened result. Also forgot that Liana saved from Dead using Silvertree Leaf, should have increased Recovery Time. I think it's only fair to remove the Emboldened Luck Status from Liana which I forgot to apply as well, so that everything evens out.

    The Camp Raid also awards 3 Gold Marks. Finally some cash influx.

    The Loot roll is Camp Gear. Seems I’ll have to sell this as I’ve already got one.

    For Unusual Finds I’ve gotten that a Key Individual was slain (the ratman captain). I’m earning 2 more Adventure points and I’m to ignore the first Enemy plans roll. Already have a similar item, so I’ll see how this will play out.

    My News travels resulted that someone important needs adventurers, and that if I will travel there within 2 campaign turns, I will receive a Quest. I find no reason to do so right now.

    Lady Liana of Trenne runs to Bertio and cuts his bonds. “Thank you! thank you!” He cries. “They threatened to chew on my bones… what are these monsters? how come they’re so close to the village, how…” Liana stops him. “You’re safe now. But we need to take care of our friends. Stay with us until we reach the village and you’ll be okay. Here, drink some water.” She offers him her flask, and he slowly calms down.


    Omac’s wound is bleeding profusely. A huge gap in his breastplate depicts the extent of the damage. His companions lean over him and dress his wounds quickly with silvertree leaf paste. The healing nature of the medicine does its job and Omac is stabilized. He’ll need at least a couple weeks worth of rest to recover.
    Bolga is wounded, but stable. There’s no need for further healing, but a similar amount of time will be needed before he’s battle ready again. His blade though is damaged at the handle and will need repairs before he can yield it again.


    Caldas finds a mundane ring among the belongings, but a ring that carries the sign of his cousin’s family. They must have fallen prey to these ratmen and he vows that whoever sent them here will pay.

    Among the crates they find a backpack full of camp gear that will help them in their quests, and coins worth 3 Gold Marks. The halfling searches the remains of Shebura and finds several signet rings and markings denoting status. This was no ordinary captain. They must have slain an important enemy. The Raven will be glad to know.


    As they walk back towards Broduncer, Temir can’t help but notice Myrick trying out the feel of his bowstring. A different aura is around him. “Hey Myrick.” Temir calls to him. “The Hood. That fits you. Stay low and under cover. Your arrows will hide the sunlight from the enemy.” Myrick smiles. Yes, that’s a good nickname.


    As they reach the village, the crier calls for adventurers requested by someone in the wilds, but the Ravens pay no heed. They have to recover from their wounds and stay focused at their quest.


    Session Summary

    That was a tough fight. I’ll have to leave the safety of the hand-holding Story Points stash I had when starting, and make do with what I have. The grim nature of the game is visible, and it’s not too hard to lose a character that you’re getting attached to.
    Reducing the number of warband members to six from eight in 2nd edition was a step on the right direction. It makes things more manageable on the player side, and each character has that unique feel and attachment. On the other hand it feels like the number of enemies has gone up a bit, and it did feel like fighting a lost cause when I started combat. Despite the desirable outcome the fight could have easily gone the other way.
    This makes one thing clear to me. Player skill is required to survive Five Leagues from the Borderlands. Character skill comes secondary. By Player skill I mean, placing your warband in such a way as to gain the best tactical advantage. Stick together, formulate a line of defense with your archers in a safe spot. Use defensive style when attacked by more skilled opponents. Break out in the open only when you have the upper hand. And time your spells carefully for the best advantage. Yes it might make combats draw a tad bit longer, but it’s necessary until you equip your warband properly and get them skilled.

    I like it when games provide a clear challenge to the player, and Five Leagues delivers a proper challenge.

    For the next steps I’m thinking a couple turns with ride patrols or maybe travel to Newhorn to get the armor repaired (it’s the only Town in the region where I can repair a Full suit of armor). I’ll certainly need to get back to full strength before continuing on the Quest. I’m wondering if the gold we have acquired will make do to pay the upkeep until then.
    Once the Quest is done (let’s hope successfuly) I’ll switch to hunting down Threats in the region. Oh and I need to decide on what to do with those Adventuring Points I have gathered! New resource compared to 2nd edition that I haven’t had the chance to try out so far.

     
  • giorgis 11:27 pm on April 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep04 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun rescued a young man from a prominent family lost in the Catacombs near Langcliffe, from the animated Skeletal Defenders.

    Turn 5

    Rolling at the Local events table got me Something for the road, a pack of Rations. Hard times got me an Upkeep cost of 2 Gold Marks, so I decided to proceed with the Help the town guard activity which is a sure way to cover this. As the second activity I decided to send Bolga for some Training because he’s lagging behind in XP compared to the rest of the warband.
    In general I prefer to have a good all-around warband than one with better and worse characters to balance each other out. I think it’s better to be able to count on each and every one to be able to hold their own, rather than lose a battle because my skilled leader is down.
    Research didn’t provide any results, so for my Adventuring stage I decided to go on the Quest that I have noted. I’ll need to Travel to the Chasm of Great Sorrow and after I’ve explored the location, to receive a contract there.

    The Ravens are hanging around in the Weary Knave when an old man arrives at the table they’re hanging. He brings them a sack with food. Dry bread and cheese for the road, and several dried fruits and vegetables. “You’re making a difference here. Please take these with our thanks.” Lady Liana is humbled. “I’ll pass them on. You have our gratitude.”

    Everyone is looking at The Beard. “I have decided. We need to explore the Chasm of Great sorrow. The beggar’s word resonate in my ears.” He sais. “We’ll go there and see what awaits us. We depart tomorrow. Until then see what you can do to help around.”
    “I’ll go at the barracks. See if there’s anyone there willing to test his skill against me.” Bolga replies.
    “I’ll come with you. Keep earning the goodwill these people show. I’ll help the guard keep the peace at night. Heard a pack of wolves roam the outskirts.” Temir adds.
    “It’s settled then. Tomorrow we pack and travel.” Omac closes up.


    The Travel roll was Uneventful travels, which I must say I accepted with content, and I arrived at the location.

    I've noticed that the Maps had incorrectly labeled the "Ruin Within" instead of the "Whispers from Beyond" camps, and I've just corrected it now.

    I’ve rolled to see what the Location is, and it is a Monster Lair. Things just got interesting. Since I wasn’t tasked beforehand to see what the monster is, I’ll roll about it after I meet it.

    I decided to go ahead and explore the Monster lair, so I performed a Scouting roll with success! I’ve found the entrance to the lair.

    For the set up of the lair, I decided to go ahead with an overland lair. Some ruins of old where the aberration has set up its den. On hindsight, after reading the text more carefully I realized that the expectation would be best by using a dungeon, so after some discussions over at discord, I worked around this by adding extra terrain to close up the region as much as possible. I decided not to switch to a dungeon style battle because I had already set up the table, and also because I had already fought two dungeon style battles and wanted something a little bit different.

    Boots will scout first. He has entered through the Western path, and will head to the curious marker on the south.
    I played the scouting according to the monster lair scenario rules, and with a couple of lucky rolls, at the third scouting turn, I’ve reached in range of the Curious location and rolled that Boots found the Monster Unaware.
    I’ve stopped and considered my options, and since the warband is not too experienced, I decided that it’s best to take the tactical advantage I have now rather than explore further and risk being discovered by the monster. Even if that means abandoning a chance for extra loot.
    Since I found the monster I rolled at Creatures most vile and found that it is a Giant.
    For the Giant miniature I went a trip down the history line. Back in the 90s when I was playing D&D, I had gotten a Fire Giant miniature from old Ral Partha (not Europe) to my knowledge the miniature is OOP now, but I may be wrong. The scale of the Fire Giant was 25mm, but I find that it scales even better for 15mm. It was painted back then with only Humbrol Enamels, and the only techniques I used at the time where undercoating (instead of priming), basecoating and drybrushing. No blending, no mixing colours (enamels…) and no washes. I won’t touch up the miniature, since it’s a testament to the time period that it represents. Oh, and no basing at all. At least enamels are rock hard, so I expect it to outlast in toughness any acrylic.

    A strange stench hangs in the air as the warband reaches the chasm. Omac gestures for Boots to head upfront and scout.
    Boots, tiny compared to human sized standards enters some ruins. It must have been a settlement at times old. The ruins of a tower, and manorial support buildings cover the lower levels, and at the top of a hill overseeing the entire area are some columns, remaining from what must one have been a temple.
    The halfling moves further inside and southeast, as his hair stands up. The place isn’t abandoned. The entrails of a goat ripped apart in two sit on top of a broken wall. He proceeds with caution, and then he sees him.
    A huge giant. Not giant only by his diminutive standards, but by his human friends. He stands over 5 meters tall, and wears some sort of armor and carries a huge sword that not even Bolga could lift.
    As silent as a cat, he walks back and tells the Raven what he saw. They make their plans, and head back to fight the monstrosity.
    Temir and Myrick with Omac take positions at the top of the hill, while Bolga and Liana with Boots post themselves at the bottom. With all of them together it doesn’t take long for the giant to see them.
    “Who goes there?” He yells.”
    Omac can smell his bad breath even from 20 meters away. He draws his blade. “The Ravens of Gadun! and we’re hear to end your vile existence!”.

    Without further warning, the battle begins.


    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Boots takes aim, swings his sling profoundly, and despite being the smaller man, his lead sling bullet hits the Giant in the forehead, blood spilling everywhere. The monstrosity screams in agony, holding his head, not believing such a small creature could cause so much pain.
    Enraged he charges forward to meet Boots, but not before Lady Liana of Trenne has gotten in the way. She puts all her efforts to avoid the giant’s attacks. She has to step back, keeping the giant at bay.
    From the safety of the hill, Myrick shoots at the giant, but despite hitting the large dude, his arrow is like a toothpick. It doesn’t cause him any worry.
    Temir, the Ox, follows with another shot, but his aim is better. The arrow lodges itself in the giant’s eye. Despite the size difference, the wound is severe, and the giant screams in pain.
    Omac begins the incantantion for his spell of Binding. But the temple’s energies somehow interfere. He puts all his will into it, and manages to cast the spell, and aims it at the giant.
    Bolga moves in position next to Lady Liana, so that they can fight the aberration side by side.

    ROUND 1
    First of all I'd like to note that my first two successful hits at the giant were very lucky, since they scored double Monster Points damage, bringing him down to only 2 Monster Points.
    Secondly, I may have mishandled Omac's casting timings. To have the best effect you need to cast the spell at the Quick Phase and reactivate the caster at the Slow Phase of the next turn. But I couldn't afford to assign a Quick Phase agility die to Omac, so I went with it, losing a turn from the duration of the spell in the process.
    ROUND 2

    Boots takes another swing with his sling, but the lead bullet ricochets off the tough scales on the giant’s armor. Myrick shoots his last arrow at the giant, but he misses, despite the big target. Temir shoots another arrow, but as it sinks into flesh the giant breaks it off, like a mosquito bite.
    Bolga charges at the giant with his cleaver, but he blocks with his sword, and hits back. He sends Bolga flying backwards, stunning him.
    Seeing the predicament they’re in, Lady Liana of Trenne commits her will and intercepting the fight, she charges at the giant. The giant counters, and with a strike of his huge sword, Lady Liana wounded is brought down.
    Even though the spell should bind the giant in place, he breaks free and charges at the halfling, Caldas.
    The tiny halfling avoids the giants stomps, and dodging his feet, he tries to wound him, but his dagger can’t get through the giant’s armour.
    Omac tries once more to cast the binding spell, but he fails the gestures.

    ROUND 2
    Monsters have an easier time to break off Binding spells, as they add their Monster Points (I decided to use current Monster Points not maximum) to their attempt to break off. That's why it's really easy for the giant to save against such a spell. Nevertheless I decided it was the best spell in my arsenal until such time as when Omac would have to come to close combat. The other spells were not so useful, even Mark is offset, by the giant's big size, meaning that further advantage would be lost at such short distances, as a Natural 1 is always a miss.
    ROUND 3

    Temir aims from the hill draws his bow, and shoots, but his arrow again is just a nuisance to the hulking man.
    The giant charges at Bolga, who deflects the huge blade with his cleaver, and strikes back. The Butcher manages a strong wound at the giant’s thigh. He roars, but is pushed back. Bolga closes the gap, and follows with another strike, but this time he barely scratches the giant.
    Boots loads his sling and shoots, but the bullet flies too high and misses the giant.
    Meanwhile Myrick, having run out of arrows, descends the steep hill to join the melee.
    Omac concentrates once more on his Bind spell, this time successfuly.

    ROUND 3
    I considered carefully if Bolga would follow up his attack on the giant and step up. At his initial position Bolga has a +1 bonus from his Combat Skill and a +1 Combat Bonus from Boots at his side within 1". That's a total of +2 on D6 which is a lot, versus only +1 from the Giant's Combat Skill. Since he won the second exchange and pushed the giant back 1" as attacker this time, Boots would no longer confer a +1 Combat Bonus, and with just +1 Combat Skill, he's at equal terms against the giant. Hence he's at 50% chance of losing the exchange. This is very dangerous since the giant has Counter Attack, which means that he can wound the enemy combatant, even as Defender! Considering the Armour and Toughness penetration bonuses the Giant has that would be an almost sure casualty. Nevertheless I decided to risk it, because the giant was at only 1 Monster Point remaining at this time and the +1 to Harm from Bolga's Cleaver (Bastard Sword) was too much to let go.
    ROUND 4

    Temir aims carefully and shoots at the wounded giant. His arrow strikes the giant in the throat. Blood spews out. He gargles, puts his hands around his throat trying to breathe, trying to stop the bleeding, but soon, he kneels, and with a huge thud, he falls down dead.
    The Ravens are victorious!

    ROUND 4

    I’ve rolled at the Injuries tables, and got that Lady Liana would be Dead. Considering the choices between using Silvertree Leaf OR a Story Point, I went with the Silvertree Leaf, since any result better than Dead I’d keep, and there was no worse result. Also Story Points are more powerful than Silvertree Leaves as they can be used at a variety of situations. The re-roll showed that Lady Liana is Moderately Wounded, but she rolled doubles, and wears a Helmet, so the Helmet is Damaged instead and she escapeps unscathed.
    Defeating a Monster comes with many rewards. 3 Gold Marks, 3 XP split among the survivors, which I decided to give 1 of each to Temir, Boots and Bolga since they did the most work, 3 Loot rolls, 1 Story Point and 1 Adventure Point. I’ve earned 1 more Loot roll for Holding the field. No Unusual finds since there was no column for Monster Lairs at the respective table.
    I’ve done the 4 Loot rolls, resulting in Valuables worth 4 Gold Marks in total (Foreign Coins worth 3 Gold Marks, and Sacks of Grain worth 1 Gold Mark), Throwing Knives and Misty Water Flowers.
    In addition everyone earned 1 more XP, and the survivors Temir, Boots, Bolga and Omac earned 1 more XP.
    Boots advanced to Level 2 earning a Speed Increase.
    Omac advanced to Level 2 earning an Agility Increase.
    Bolga advanced to Level 2 earning a Combat Skill Increase.
    Temir advanced to Level 2 earning a Toughness increase.
    Myrick has his Flash of Insignt but didn’t gain anything.
    On the News Travels roll I’ve gotten that outriders of the local army have been patrolling the region, and in the next campaign turn I won’t have to roll on the Travel Table when journeying somewhere.

    Now with all this information I’ve decided to find out what the Quest contract is about, and got that it’s about Rescue Individual, and therefore the Location will be at the nearest settlement, which is Broduncer.
    Seems I’ll have to do some travelling, and the News Travels result will really help me travel without trouble.

    The Ravens head to Lady Liana. They all saw how the giant’s blade came down on her head with force. Omac prepares a poultice with Silvertree Leaf and applies it to her wound. The helmet is cracked, but it has taken the brunt of the blow. She stands up, dizzy. If it wasn’t for the helmet and the quick application of the medicine, she might not be able to live to tell the tale.
    They look around and see that the giant had made this place his den. He had looted caravans and preyed on travellers. Omac, knows that they purged a great evil this day.
    Bolga arms himself with some throwing knives and Boots puts the misty water flowers into their backpack. Foreign coins worth several gold marks, as well as local coin has filled their pockets, and some sacks of grain that will surely fetch a nice price when sold to the nearest village.
    But Omac is restless, the beggar had spoken about a Black Ferret and Six Broken Fingers. And then it hits him. The tower, and the ruins of the temple and the broken columns, they all looked together if they saw them from a particular angle, as the broken fingers of a hand. The Black Ferret should be around there.

    With the Quest in place, I think I’ll switch on to some Solo RPG tools to help me find out who this Black Ferret is, and what do they want.
    Back to my trusted UNE.
    Helpful Villager, Comparable Power Level.
    Motivations: explain faith, attend purity, maintain enemies.

    I’ll go simple, this is a villager, devout follower of Xapha the God of War. Through battle they explain their faith to their enemies, through bloodlust they attend purity, and they have to maintain enemies to fight. He’s helpful because he needs someone rescued (as has been defined above). Maybe he’s wounded and can’t travel far anymore.

    “Bra-vo! Brav-vo!” Omac hears someone clapping behind him. He turns and sees a black bearded man with an eye patch, and a wooden peg leg. “You fought with great passion. Xapha will be content today.”
    Omac nods.
    “You certainly have proven your skill against Gothmug, the giant who ravaged these lands. Men of your skill are needed. To save the lands from a terrible evil.” The man continues.
    “That’s why we’ve come to the Aristrax Marches. We’re to fight the ratmen, the undying and the dusklings.” Omac replies.
    “That evil is none of those. I’ll tell … alas no, I still have a personal task I want done, before I tell you what I know.” He adds.
    “Is this the Black Ferret boss?” Bolga asks. “Should I make him talk?”
    “I’ll welcome any attempt to fight! Actually I’m looking forward to it!” the Black Ferret draws a battleaxe.
    “Actually not. We’re not at quarrel with you, and we’re tired.” Omac holds Bolga back and steps forward. “We have your word that if we do as asked you’ll get us the information?”
    “But yes. My nephew was lost. Or taken hostage, I know not. He was supposed to go to Broduncer. Fetch him back alive. I’d do it myself, but my leg doesn’t allow me to travel far anymore.” He looks down.
    “We will. We camp here tonight and leave for Broduncer tomorrow.” Omac responds.


    Session Summary

    Fighting a monster was fun! Thankfully my first two shots that removed 2 Monster Points each were just what I needed, because otherwise the ending might have been a tad bit different.
    Fighting a monster was a lot simpler tactically compared to fighting many enemies where you have to take under consideration all possible attack routes. Of course it was a mostly simple monster. The knock back was the only attack that was tactically important, but only once did it happen, so my warband mostly stayed in one place. Having 3 missile troopers certainly helped, and the hill also helped, since I could pepper the giant with arrows while the rest of the warriors kept him away.

    My main concern right now is the Quest structure. I find some narrative issues on how to make it all fit together. As much as I found all the tables intertwined insofar really tied together, with the Quests I am at a slight loss. I may have not found yet how to deal with it, and it might be really simple. But I have to answer “what is the reason of this Quest about?” yes, I can populate it with Tasks, Foes and Locations, which all answer the What, Where and Who, but not the Why. (Side note: This all feels like me performing Data Integrity training in my day job, and trying to explain to people that the automated Audit Trail captures the What, Where and Who, but they have to enter the Why themselves, because no software has this knowledge).
    I managed to avoid tackling it sofar, but now I feel this more than ever. Why do the Ravens want to get information about something that they don’t know what it is? I decided to go back and edit my narrative, with a simple “a terrible evil has come, which is none from the existing evils you’re fighting but something else”. This all also fits with the usage of different enemy types than the existing threats according to the rules of the Quests. Maybe it’s a skill that I need to hone, and with time it will become clearer to me, as to how Quests work in the narrative term.
    Looking forward to progress further and see how it will work out in the end.

     
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