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  • giorgis 10:31 pm on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Trollshaws. Ep01. 

    So I’m back into MERP, but this time with another twist. I might be using parts of the Harnmaster Campaign tables.
    For the Oracle, I will be using a modified MUNE/RECLUSE Hack, similar to the one I used in my Dash Kile episode.
    I’ll follow up on my rule of player driven game. So I have three premade characters, which according to the MERP game, have the following motivations.

    Leowyn: Rohirim shield maiden. She wants to find her lover’s murderer.
    Camthalion: Sindarin archer. He wants to find what happened to his missing twin brother.
    Dwalin: He wants to recover a magic hammer, as a life-debt to a fellow dwarf.

    Now I could try to run a dialogue for these and see who persuades the other, but instead I’ll go with some metagaming here. If these three characters were played by three different players, it would be the players discussing what they would want to do next. So, in terms of where they are and how I want the adventure to go forward, I’ll choose Dwalin’s objective as the party objective.
    Some more details for the reader: The hammer was lost in the fray on a fight with Hill Trolls in the Coldfells. Bain, the dwarf to whom Dwalin owes his life, believes the hammer is in a troll lair somewhere in Rhudaur.

    Here comes the meta knowledge. There is a sample adventure in the MERP core rulebook, regarding the Trollshaws in Rhudaur. Maybe I can combine the two. I’ll have the party move north to Rhudaur in search for the hammer, and then they will visit the inn where they will learn about the sample adventure. That is if the Oracle and the random encounter rolls allow it…

    I’ll start off by using the Connections from BOLD, to create an overlay for some interesting discussions between the part members.
    I roll the following:

    action gerund subject
    impart avoiding allies
    ponder divulging a love
    scrutinize avoiding a posession

    Continuing from the previous session the month is Hithui, the location is the Inhyrst keep in north Eriador. The party is in the inn, having breakfast.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes

    I’ll get some information from donjon to generate the Inn.
    The inn is called the Hero and Flask.
    Location: On Iron Side, southwest of an outcrop of carved stone. The street outside is strewn with debris from a broken barrel.
    Description: The inn is a simple wooden shack, with a single salvaged stone wall and only a few crude tables and benches. Accomodations consist of a single large room with wooden cots. The inn is unusually noisy, as a company of dwarven miners sings drinking songs.
    Innkeeper: The innkeeper is a timid female human named Finde. She has an identical twin, who works opposite shifts.

    I’ll stop here since the rest of the information might or might not become relevant.

    Dwalin clears his throat as if to make an announcement. Then, with as much seriousness as a dwarf can muster, which is a lot, he speaks to his companions.
    “I saw how you fought those goblins in the tower. I could use your skills in my quest. We… we make a good team together, wouldn’t you say?”
    “And what exactly is your quest, master dwarf?” Camthalion asks.
    “I’m seeking a legendary hammer. It’s said to have slain a Dragon! I believe it’s a bit to the north of here. In Rhudaur, and have reason to believe it’s… in a troll lair.” Dwalin answers anxiously.
    “In a troll lair?” Leowyn asks astounded. “I mean, sure we made short work of those goblins, but trolls aren’t to be toyed with.”
    Dwalin stresses himself. “Help me with this and we shall split any other reward.”
    Camthalion shakes his head. “No. Not good enough. In addition, you will help us in our quests.” He sends a side look to Leowyn, who averts her gaze and looks to the floor. “I’m sure that a Rohirim shield maiden wouldn’t be so far from home if there was no reason? right?”
    “You are correct Camthalion.” She quickly changes the subject and turns to Dwalin. “We split the other rewards and you help us afterwards.”
    “Alright. Seems fair.” Dwalin agrees.
    The party pays rent and breakfast and sets off towards Rhudaur.

    Now here I believe that Dwalin managed to ‘impart avoiding allies’. He spoke of his quest (impart), but avoided the part of how it was a life debt to his ally and friend Bain. One connection complete! There should be some bonus Experience Points here.

    So, as I have said in the past, MERP is a game of serious bookkeeping. Let’s see how much did b&b cost.
    3 light meals (18 tin pieces) and 3 poor lodgings (3 copper pieces) for a total of 4 cp and 8 tp

    So I’ll start having a party pool. They had earned 10 sp and 12 cp in the last adventure. This leaves them with 10 sp, 7 cp and 2 tp.

    Weather: Standard temperate weather. 30F = -1C. It’s cold!

    Q: Is Rhudaur far away?
    A: No, and, it’s very close
    I’ll call it and say it’s one day’s ride. (8 hours, slow ride=30 miles). They can probably walk it within one day if they walk for 12 hours. Leòwyn has a horse but since the other two walk, I’m taking their speed as the lowest.
    So I’ll use the Harnmaster Encounter tables.

    First Watch: Day: No Encounter
    Second Watch: Day: No Encounter
    Third Watch: Night: Encounter
    So it’s Night and Lawless. It’s a Forester: Camping/Seeking Lodgings/etc.
    I roll 1d100 on the friendlyness: 46: He’s distant.

    I’ll go with the flow here.

    The long winter night has caught up to the company as they still are on the road. Far in the distance they can see some glimmering lights, and they hope it’s an Inn for travelers like them.
    As they drag their cold freezing feet, suddenly a figure jumps in from the woods right onto the road.
    It’s a sturdy man, with a hatchet resting on his shoulder and a bow worn along his chest.
    For a moment noone speaks. The sudden event has caught them all by surprise. They eye each other carefully.
    “I’m heading to the inn” The man finally says.
    “So are we.” Leowyn replies. “Will there be any trouble?” She asks as she slowly rests her hand on her sword hilt.

    I’ll roll on the Interaction and Influence Table. They just want to avoid any combat, but things are tense. Yet the other side doesn’t have the advantage so, I’ll give a +30 Routine Bonus.
    50+30=80: Partial Success. Your audience is still listening.
    11+30=41: Failure.
    So, they won’t walk together, but there is no fight either.

    “Move on, move on and keep your hands where I can see them” the man says.
    The party grumbles, and they feel uneasy walking forward with the man behind them, but he doesn’t immediately follow. He leaves a safe distance between them and then starts walking in a slow pace.
    Soon, the lights are closer, and the walls of an inn are distinct to the fair night vision of the dwarf and the elf. Leowyn only sees it when she comes much closer.

    I realized that when I rolled on the Highway Encounter tables and got the Reroll on Wilderness/Rural result, I should have chosen Wilderness, but instead rolled at 50/50 and got Rural, hence the roll on the Rural table and the forester. Retrospectively, the Wilderness result would fit better, but maybe to the south of the inn, Rhudaur is Rural instead of Wilderness, so that would make some sense. Anyhow, when the group starts searching around in the Trollshaws it’s going to be Wilderness fullly.

    The inn stands on the eastern bank of the river.
    “That’s Mitheithel. The waters are cold through the entire year, but it never freezes.” Camthalion tells his group.
    “The Last Inn”. Leowyn reads out loud the sign at the inn entrance. She guides her horse to the stable, while her other two companions get inside.

    Q: Is everything as expected?
    A: Yes, and, it’s business as usual.

    A young man comes quickly toward Leowyn. “Go inside ma’am. I’ll take care of your horse. It’s very cold to stay outside. Warm yourself by the fire. Have some mead. My mother makes the best mead in Rhudaur.”
    Leowyn smiles softly. “Take good care of her.” She says, as she gives the reins to the young man.
    Inside, the fire is burning, and several guests are spread around the common room and bar.
    As Camthalion and Dwalin head towards the bar, followed by Leowyn, the innkeeper turns to them. “Rubb Grumm. Food and lodging?”
    “Yes, get us some warm meals. We’ll be seated near the fire if possible. We’d also like to arrange for some accommodations with separate bedding.” Dwalin tells the innkeeper.
    “Get yourself seated, and we’ll come to you shortly. Something to drink? Mead perhaps?” Rubb adds.
    “A pint will be good.” Leowyn replies before Dwalin gets a chance.

    So, the adventure states that the first time traveller will notice a gloom in the air. Since my question ‘if everything is as expected, was a ‘Yes, And’ I’ll consider this readily available information, and not roll Perception or something similar.

    A younger woman, probably Rubb’s daughter, from the resemblance, serves them the mead, as soon as they are seated. Her eyes are throbbing.
    Leowyn asks. “Are you alright?”
    “Haven’t you heard?” she asks. “Of course not, how should you? You just arrived. My brother, Leddon has gone missing a week now, in the trollshaws.” She sobs.
    Dwalin just looks at her. He knows trolls rarely mean good news.
    She composes herself. “Forgive me. My name is Minna. You look like you can handle yourselves. If you care to, my parents are giving a reward if you find my brother. 2 gold pieces.”
    At the sound of gold, Dwalin’s eyes shine. “That’s a fair amount. How would we know who your brother is?”
    “He… he has a distinctive ring made of bone, carved in the shape of a calf rearing in its hind legs. And… and a birth mark on his hind leg. I hope you can find him.” She answers, as soon as her mother yells at her to get back to work.

    Okay, now I want to see if there are any of the regulars at the inn.
    So, there are Turlin, Goldang and Grepp. Maybe other people are around as well.

    “We should ask around to see if we can learn anything more about this Leddon fellow. Who knows, maybe if trolls have gotten him, maybe he has seen my hammer!” Dwalin proposes. “But.. let’s have some food in our stomachs first.”

    So, I’ll roll on the Interaction table, once for each one of them to see if they can gather any more information.
    Leowyn: 77
    Camthalion: 45
    Dwalin: 35
    I’ll apply their Presence Bonus and give an additional +20 for an Easy task.
    Since there is no generic skill to gather rumors or anything, and I don’t think their missing Influence skill fits the bill, I won’t apply the -25 penalty for not having the respective skill.
    So, considering the above, only Leowyn succeeded, having a partial success at 50%.

    With that in mind, I’ll give the group knowledge of the generic rumours and about Grepp the drunkard.

    At the end of the night, they have filled their bellies and set up in a room on the 2nd floor.
    “What did you find out?” Dwalin asks.
    “It’s dangerous. Hill trolls are wandering south from the Ettenmoors. People are disappearing every now and then. I believe Leddon is just another one of many. Hillmen and Orcs regularly patrol the forest. I think we’re in the last safe place in this part of the land.” Leowyn tells them.
    “Anything else?” Dwalin asks.
    “Yes, my ears caught a conversation with allegations from a man named Grepp. He said can procure a map to the castle where bizarre lights have been seen lately. He says there is a lot of treasure to be found there.” Leowyn adds.
    “Then let’s get the map!” Dwalin said!
    “He… seemed quite drunk, and also asked for 1 gold piece to sell the map.” Leowyn cuts him off.
    “Maybe we should find this Leddon fellow first.” Camthalion adds. We’ll have helped this torn family and also get a nice reward to set us up for this map. “What do you say?”
    Dwalin and Leowyn nod.

    Leowyn doesn’t sleep easily through the night.
    As Dwalin snores heavily, Camthalion turns to her.
    “What bothers you? Us elves are light sleepers, but given how tired we are, I’d expect you to sleep as heavily as our dwarf friend over here.”
    “I’m thinking about my lost love. Argulf. I miss him” Leowyn says, still looking outside the window.
    Camthalion doesn’t speak, to allow her to finish her story.
    “He was murdered, in Gondor. I will find his murderer and bring justice for Argulf.” She adds.
    “This road has led you away from Gondor though.” Camthalion points out.
    “I know. Orc raids blocked my passage and I had to flee north. That’s when I met you. Maybe with the strength of our number, once we’re finished in Rhudaur, you will help me.” Leowyn replies.
    Camthalion nods. “You seem honorable. I will be glad to join you.”

    So now, I’m scratching off the second connection from BOLD. ponder divulging a love.
    Only one is left.

    Some bookkeeping for the gold spent.

    The party pool is at 10 sp, 7 cp and 2 tp, and they drunk a pint of mead (5 tp), 3 normal meals (1 cp each), 3 lodgings with separate bedding (2 cp each), and the stable at 2 tp. The cost total is at 9 cp and 7 tp. This leaves them with 9 sp, 7 cp and 5 tp.

    Q: Does anything happen during the night (UL)
    A: No, and the night goes on very quiet

    So we head off to the Trollshaws to scout for troll lairs for the legendary dragon slaying hammer and Leddon.
    But before that, Leowyn must buy some rations
    She will buy 1wk worth of trail rations, which cost 1bp.
    And I realize I have missed the bronze piece in the economy
    So I’m correcting the values from yesterday, and removing the additional 1bp for the 1 week of trail rations
    The party pool is at 9sp, 8bp 7cp and 5tp

    Dwalin; Tracking: 41+11: 52: Failure. May not try again in the same area in the same day.
    Encounters in the first watch:
    Activity: -10 (Forest) +25 (Hostile): Roll: 67
    Avoidance: +30 (Actively Searching for Something): Roll: 90
    No Encounter
    2nd watch:
    Activity: Roll: 26
    Avoidance: Roll: 62
    No Encounter

    They will set up camp
    3rd watch: 86-51=+35: sighting by another group
    I will roll up Harnmaster’s encounter tables here: Tracks/Spore/Sounds/etc: I choose Sounds: Mutiny/Dissent/Argument/etc.
    Q: Is it an Orc patrol fighting each other?
    A: Yes, but, they have seen the party
    Q: Are they many?
    A: No, and it’s only 2 of them (weak).
    Q: Who is standing watch?
    A: Leowyn


    After a whole day in the winter, searching for troll tracks without success, the party finally camps at dusk. Leowyn takes the first watch.
    The night progresses uneventfully, until suddenly, a ruckus grabs her attention. Rough, wild, barbaric language reaches her ears. She wakes up her companions, just in time, to see two orcs, their blades gleaming in the night, their eyes staring at them.

    Q: How do the orcs react?
    A: 10: Unfavorably to the characters

    The orcs yell something in their language, and charge at the group.

    Q: Distance?
    A: 60′-300’= 1d6*50’= 60′ Oh crap
    Q: Does Dwalin wear his armour?
    A: No+Intervention: Advance plot: A hill troll from the group that caught Leddon heard the fuss and is heading this way.

    So, in MERP, sequencing is fixed
    So, first goes Camthalion, he shoots his bow. Since the bow wasn’t loaded, he suffers a -35 to OB. Range is Short. Roll: 64+48 (OB)+10(IB)-25(Orc DB)-35=62: 0 Damage
    Orc1 Moves 60′
    Orc2 Moves 60′
    Dwalin Holds
    Leowyn Holds
    Camthalion Moves 10′ back.

    Camthalion shoots again: Fumble: 23: Fumble ammunition: Lose this round. -50 to activity next round.
    Orc1 attacks Dwalin: 91+35(OB)+5(IB)-30(DB)=101: 15C: Minor Forearm Wound. +4 hits. 2 hits per round. Stunned 1 round.
    Orc2 attacks Leowyn: 34+35(OB)-5(IB)-40(DB)=24: 0 Damage
    Dwalin: Stunned
    Leowyn attacks Orc2: 98+60+38(OB)+15(IB)-25(DB)=186: 30E: Blow to Upper Leg. +8 hits. 2 hits per round. Orc2 is dead due to hit points loss.

    Camthalion Loads his bow.
    Orc1 attacks Dwalin: 55+35(OB)+5(IB)-30(DB)= 65: 0 Damage
    Dwalin attacks Orc1: 95+51(OB)+15(IB)-25(DB)=136: 21E: 100: Blow to Jaw. Drives bone into brain. Dies instantly.

    Despite the obvious noise, Dwalin had no time to don his armor. The enemy is too close. He grabbed his mace and his shield, while Camthalion grabs his bow and quiver. In a hurry, Camthalion shoots an arrow and misses. Within moments the orcs are breathing down their necks. Camthalion steps back a few feet and tries once more to hit the enemy, illuminated by the moonlight and the weak camp fire, and misses again. One orc is locked in combat with Dwalin. It’s scimitar finds his forearm and delivers a nasty gash, causing some serious bleeding. Dwalin can’t counter as the pain has gotten him stunned. The other orc tries to attack Leowyn, but the shield maiden blocks with her shield and slashes at him back, thrusting at its leg, a serious wound, bringing the orc down.
    Camthalion takes a moment to load his bow now, as the Orc tries again to hit Dwalin. Dwalin, has recovered, and with fury blocks the scimitar with his shield, ducks, and brings his mace up in a circular motion, hitting the orc straight in the face with such strength, that the orc drops down dead at once.

    It’s time for the intervention.
    The hill troll appears from: NW


    A huge moan is heard, and three branches from the tree fall, as a towering figure appears in their rear. In all the fuss, they didn’t pay heed to their surroundings.

    Camthalion shoots his bow at the Hill Troll: 96+91+48(OB)+10(IB)-20(DB)= 225: 26E: 66: Fine Leg Strike. +18 hits. 5 hits per round. -20 to activity. Stunned 3 rounds.
    Dwalin Moves 40′
    Leowyn Moves 40′
    Hill Troll is Stunned (2).

    Camthalion Loads his bow.
    Dwalin attacks Hill Troll: 62+51(OB)+15(IB)-28(OB)-20(DB): 80: 4 Damage.
    Leowyn attacks Hill Troll: 98+67+38(OB)+15(IB)-20(DB): 198: 22E: 68: Fine Leg Strike. +18 hits. 5 hits per round. -20 to activity. Stunned 3 rounds.
    Hill Troll is Stunned (4).

    Camthalion shoots his bow at the Hill Troll: 73+48(OB)+10(IB)-20(DB): 111: 13B: +10 Hits.
    The Hill Troll is down!

    ‘A Troll!’ Leowyn shouts. Camthalion has his bow ready. He aims, and with skill, the arrow pierces the troll’s hide, in the right leg, hitting a tendon. The troll screams out in pain. Who could think such creatures could feel pain.
    Leowyn and Dwalin were about to flee, but seeing Camthalion’s hit and how the troll is disoriented, they close up on both sides.
    Camthalion takes another arrow from his quiver.
    Dwalin tries to hit the creature, but his mace barely manages to bruise it. Leowyn has positioned herself to its flank, and while the troll is busy countering Dwalin, she slashes at the troll’s other leg. The hack is strong, and the troll screams once more. Black blood pouring from both its legs.
    Camthalion shoots another arrow, which finds the troll in its chest. The creature tries to grab itself from the tree next to it, but its wounds are too many, and it falls to the ground.

    Need to calculate EXP.
    For the Orc1:
    Dwalin: 242

    For the Orc2:
    Leowyn: 200

    For the Hill Troll:
    Camthalion: 600
    Dwalin: 0
    Leowyn: 150

    Dwalin is wounded at 15 Hit Points.

    The company looks at each other, in disbelief. Orcs they had met before, but it’s the first time they faced a troll.
    They apply a quick bandage and compress to Dwalin’s forearm.
    “It’s too many hours to daybreak.” Leowyn says.
    “The forest is dangerous, but we can’t risk finding a new campsite at this time of the night.” Camthalion counters.
    “Let’s search our foes for signs of Leddon. Maybe you can scout a bit before we go to sleep again.” Dwalin proposes.
    “Alright. Let me try to provide some aid to you first.” Camthalion says.

    Camthalion casts Heal: 96: RR(-55-70): Success: 10 HP healed!
    Risk Factor: 76: No Risk

    Q: Is there a sign of Leddon? (UL)
    A: No, and, the troll doesn’t carry anything but a huge club

    “Maybe we can follow the troll’s tracks in the morning. It won’t be hard to do. Maybe we’ll find its lair.” Dwalin proposes after their search comes up in vain.
    “Rest now child of the mountains.” Leowyn tell him.

    4th Watch: 105/87: +18: No encounter
    5th Watch: 47/28: +19: No encounter
    6th Watch: 27/106: -: No encounter

    Dwalin has healed 12 more HP. He’s at 37 HP.

    The group is following the Hill Troll’s Tracks: I declare a +30 Routine Difficulty, and also there is a +20 bonus since the scout is looking for a specific thing. 18+50+11: 79: Partial success: You gain some information but you’re not aware that you missed something. You may not try again for 1 hour.
    1 hour later: 13+50+11: 74: Failure: You may not try again for 1 day.
    So the group missed the tracks.

    I’ll end my session here.

    The rest of the Experience for the session:
    Camthalion: 100 for Spellcasting

    Idea Points: 646. I’ll split it in half between Dwalin and Leowyn for using the BOLD connections. They get 323 each.

    Each party member also gets 15+24= 39 Experience points due to travelling.
    Adding up the experience points from the previous adventure, I have the following totals:

    Name Experience Points
    Camthalion 1548 EP
    Leowyn 1337 EP
    Dwalin 1219 EP

    I’m quite partial to the resolution mechanics of MERP. I’m not quite happy with them. Lots of rolls, and results are quite meh. I’ll keep on to it, but on the back of my mind I have the possibility of converting to Harnmaster (and Mythras last after Harnmaster).
    Further delving into d100, it is evident that the rolls aren’t that robust as in D6 with the dice pools probability curves. Modifiers play a huge role here, and even then nothing is guaranteed.
    I was so lucky against the troll, but couldn’t follow some simple tracks.
    Since these games are old-school (not even OSR) there is no player currency. No success at a cost. You fail – the end. You can try again tomorrow. Until then, keep rolling to see if you survive the Trollshaws.
    But that fight! I was certain a TPK was imminent, but Camthalion showed his prowess as an archer. In general, both against the orcs and the troll I was quite lucky.
    I noticed I made a mistake on my encounter against the orcs. The activity detected by the MERP table had to be an animal/beast, so since the Harnmaster table wasn’t contradictory I should have had animals fighting each other.
    All in all, it moves slowly, is crunchy, but since I am in a similar mood right now, I enjoy the process. With summer holidays closing in, I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue my adventure soon, since it’s not digital friendly, but I’ll be coming back to it later on.

    Now to the side tools. Using miniatures and quick battle-hex-map was very refreshing. So much faster than theater of the mind, when you have the right tools available. Using the hex grid also helped a lot with distances. I took the liberty of not asking how far away the troll was, and I just added it to the edge of the map. Another added bonus.
    With regards to the BOLD connections. I like the way I have implemented them in solo gaming. It’s meta, but it makes me create bonds within the party. And it’s a nice way to give some additional experience as rewards.

    • Alan 12:58 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I like your solo rpg blog stuff! Let me know if you would be into adding a PC etc. to your campaign or create a new one that you run we can do a play by post or something. I’m doing to play an RPG , I have many systems and solo materials as well. No biggie if your not interested.



      • giorgis 10:41 pm on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Alan,
        Thanks for the kind words!
        One of the main reasons I started solo roleplaying was so that I can control when and what to play. Real life is so busy, that trying to organize anything more complex than that, just wouldn’t work for me right now. After your proposal I seriously considered setting up a discord server to run a play-by-post, but it seems I’ll have to take a rain check.

        Thanks again!


  • giorgis 10:33 pm on July 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep05. 

    In the end of the previous session, the Wardens were defeated by a band of Torn Flags. I noticed that I made a mistake. All the members should have received 1 XP, since they didn’t die so I assigned those. Also I noticed that if one member has the Study skill, then whoever goes to the Library can benefit from the 4d6 roll, so I decided to re-assign the Teaching Skill from Evie, to Gustav.

    Finally, I found out that it’s best for me to write down the state of the warband at the end of the episode rather than at the start, so I’ll be documenting these there.

    Village Events: Good Omens
    Rudiger: Visits Healer: Medicine Failure: Recovery reduced to 3 turns
    Wigmar: Visits Healer: Medicine Success: Recovery reduced to 0 turns
    Stout Yeoman: Visits Healer: Recovery reduced to 0 turns
    Wandering Rover: Recovery reduced to 1 turns
    Visit Trader: Buy Partial Armor
    I decide to spend one more turn in town rather than adventuring, and this cost me… 5 Gold Marks

    The Wardens spend a whole week in Eerfeld, trying to take care of the wounded. The Healer shakes his head, but sees that all they need, is some time to rest. Evie supports, with her medicine skills, and soon Wigmar is back on his feet, along with the Stout Yeoman. Seeing the danger of combat, the warband spends some well earned hard cash on medium armor.

    Village Events: Ill Reputation
    Rudiger: Visits Healer: Medicine Success: Recovery reduced to 0 turns
    Gustav: Study Success: Skill Gained: Tracking
    Tracking: Success: Located signs of the enemy
    Wandering Rover: Recovery reduced to 0 turns
    Visit Trader: Buy Partial Armor

    The next week, Rudiger gets back on his feet with the assistance of the Healer and Evie, while the Wandering Rover is back, with only some extra rest. She spends another pouch of gold coins to get another set of armor for her troops.

    Adventuring: Combat Encounter: Dark Secrets: Cultists: Located Camp: 8 Cultists (1 Archer) + 1 Captain
    Initial distance: 13″, and they’re split in groups 8″ from leader.
    Seize Initiative: Success!
    Terrain: Ruined Tower
    Oddity: Fog, Distance reduced to 11″ and max shooting range 9″.

    Gustav enters the inn and heads straight to Evie.
    He whispers to her ear. “Remember the hunter we had met some time ago on the road? The one that struck you as odd? I’ve seen him at the outskirts of Eerfeld, and followed him. I traced him to a ruined tower half a day’s walk from here, he was meeting with some similar looking fellas. All clad in dark cloaks, occult symbols and talismans all around.”
    Evie turns to Ardus. “Gather the warband we head out. No demonic rituals will take place in our Ward.”
    At dusk, an eerie fog has covered the land, so the Wardens reach the tower undetected. By the time the cultist guard shouts “At arms!” the Wardens have closed in, and an arrow, shot by Evie has already lodged in his chest, wounding him.
    A second shot, finds him right on the neck, killing him instantly. The Roving Wanderer shoots, but misses, both times.
    Rudiger and Ardus charge at two Cultists, with Ardus delivering the killing blow.
    The other Cultist, tries to get back at Rudiger, but the veteran warrior gets the upper hand, and thrusts his sword at the cloaked man, spilling his guts.
    At the other side of the tower, the Cultists attacke Gustav, encircling him. Gustav falls, a casualty to their charge, while another cultist, from the top of the tower aims at Rudiger who has entered his weapon range, missing through the fog. Wet feet overcome one of the cultists and he runs away.
    The leader of the cultists, wearing leather armor, gets out of the tower to face the assailants.
    Rudiger and Ardus continue assisting each other in combat, and Ardus kills the last cultist of their group.
    On the other side, the Stout Yeoman is in a clash with the cultists, and after two exchanges, he kills another one of them. From the top of the tower, the cultist archer shoots at Ardus, wounding him just as the Cultist leader reaches him in melee combat. Despite Ardus’ skill, the enemy captain wins, and cuts a deep slash on Ardus’ arm.
    Ardus stands back, and pauses to wear his arm in bandages.
    Rudiger and the Cultist leader face off in melee, but noone gets the upper hand.
    The Cultist archer shoots again at wounded Ardus, but Ardus’ mail deflects the missile.
    Evie and the Roving Wanderer have now the Cultist captain within their reduced bow range, and shoot at him, but don’t manage to strike a wound.
    The rest of the Wardens close in on the tower and surround the captain, attacking at the cultist who stood at his side, bringing him down.
    Ardus is out of line of sight, so now the cultist archer shoots at Wigmar. His aim is true, and Wigmar falls, clutching his chest as the arrow protrudes.
    Another hail of arrows comes from Evie and the Roving Wanderer, and the Roving Wanderer manages to find his target. The Cultist leader is down.
    The remaining Wardens close in on the Cultist archer, who, with nowhere to go to, fights to the death, which comes a little while later.

    Gustav: Light Wound: 2 Recovery Turns
    Wigmar: Dead: I use I don’t think that’s how it went: Serious Wound: I use Medicinal Herbs: Dead: I use the Spring Vial to bring him back from death.
    Loot: Prisoner: Friendly Peasant, Saddle Bag, Light Armor+Helmet, Holy Water
    Threat: Reduced by 2!

    With the Cultists dead or out of the field, the survivors tend to the wounded. Gustav’s wound will take a week or two to heal, but Wigmar has it worse.
    He barely survives the arrow wound, and as Evie tries to do some first aid, she pulls the arrow out, and it starts bleeding badly. As he coughs blood, she knows they have no other choice. She pours down Wigmar’s throat the spring vial’s contents.
    Soon the bleeding stops, and as if by magic, his wound starts closing.

    Searching through the ruined tower, they find a small dungeon cell, a peasant locked inside.
    “Thank the gods!” He shouts when set free. “Name’s Aeheald. I’m just a farmer working the land. These fellas knocked me out and locked me in here. I could here them chanting in an unknown language every night a week now. Moon was almost full. I think you showed up right on time! Thank you! Here, take this.” He says and brings out a small bottle. “It’s Holy Water. I was keeping it should things go to worse.”
    “How worse?” Rudiger chuckles.
    “Don’t mind him.” Evie soothes the peasant. “You can leave now, or take the road back with us in the morning. Safety in numbers, until we bring this place back to its former glory.”
    “Be sure to spread the word that the Wardens of Gahyrst defeated the cultists.” Ardus adds.
    Among the cultists belongings they find a saddle bag and a set of armor and helmet.

    The other day, in the morning they take the road back to Eerfeld.

    Combat Skill11000
    WeaponsLongbow, DaggerWarhammerFine SwordBastard SwordBastard Sword
    ArmorLight ArmorPartial ArmorFull ArmorPartial ArmorPartial Armor
    WornLarge QuiverHelmet, ShieldHelmetHelmet


    NatureRoving WandererStout YeomanWily Rogue
    WeaponsSelf Bow, DaggerHatchetSword
    ArmorLight ArmorLight ArmorLight Armor

    Gold Marks 4
    Medicinal Herbs 0
    Story Points 1
    2 Damaged Basic Weapon
    Damaged Militia Armor
    Holy Water
    Saddle Bag

    Eerfeld (2,2,1)
    Heagrove: (1,1,1)
    Cebrook: (3,3,3)

    Session Summary

    Another great fight! I have second thoughts about wasting three different resources to save Wigmar, but it’s done now. Next time I’ll be at one and done.
    I think that’s a good point in time to go to the Sunken Temple. The warband will be in proper fighting shape by the next turn.
    I’m really enjoying these fast five leagues skirmishes!

  • giorgis 11:42 pm on July 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep04. 

    In the end of the previous session, the Wardens defeated a band of slavers.
    I’ve noticed I did a mistake while running the battle. I had given the slavers a Lieutenant and a Sergeant instead of a Lieutenant and a Captain. Oh well.

    Combat Skill01000
    WeaponsLongbow, DaggerWarhammerBastard SwordBastard SwordSword
    ArmorLight ArmorLight ArmorFull ArmorPartial Armor
    WornLarge QuiverHelmet, ShieldHelmet


    NatureRoving WandererStout YeomanWily Rogue
    WeaponsSelf Bow, DaggerHatchetSword
    ArmorMilitia ArmorLight Armor

    Gold Marks 19
    Medicinal Herbs 1
    Story Points 1
    Basic Weapon
    Fine Standard Weapon
    Spring Vial

    Eerfeld (1,2,3)
    Heagrove: (1,1,1)
    Cebrook: (3,3,3)

    Village Events: Infected Wounds (N/A)
    Pay Upkeep: 8 members, no extra cost
    Healing Up: No wounded
    Carry Out Activities:
    Evie: Study: Teaching skill gained
    Rudiger: Train: +2 XP: Increase Level: Roll: Will +1
    Wigmar: Train: +1 XP

    Outfitting for adventuring:
    Buy Bandages: -2 Gold Marks
    So now, we’re going adventuring!
    Adventuring: Roadside AND Combat Encounter
    Roadside Encounter: Merchantile, Unfriendly: Conspiracy: Outlaws: Threat +1

    Combat Encounter: Border Tension: Torn Flags
    Encounter Type: Located Camp
    6 Torn Flags + Captain
    Terrain Type: Overgrown Ruins
    6″ Distance
    Enemy 8″ from leader
    Seize Initiative: We seized initiative!

    Back in the village of Eerfeld the Wardens plan their next move. Evie spends time in the library, learning about training techniques.
    She uses her newfound skills to train Rudiger and Wigmar, Rudiger learning of Evie’s Iron Will focus in battle.
    After some well-earned rest, the Wardens gather up again and scout the surrounding region, looking for trouble.
    On the road, they meet up with a wandering merchant. As Evie closes in to see if he has any interesting wares, he covers up his cart and eyes them carefully.
    “You’re the so called ‘Wardens’ right? Ought to bring order to the land.” He says.
    “Yes we are, and yes we will.” Evie responds.
    He seems to be counting them, “Huh, only 8 strong. You have your work cut out for you.” He says and starts laughing. He lashes his whip at his mule and heads off.
    “I don’t like that my lady.” Gustav tells Evie as the merchant vanishes behind a hill.
    “Me neither Gustav.” Evie replies. “But we can’t go around fighting people just because we don’t like them.”
    The next day, the Wily Rogue comes back to the group. “Come, follow me, I’ve found our next task.”
    They slowly sneak behind him, and coming out of the woods, in the middle of some overgrown ruins, lies a band of warriors. Deserters. Torn Flags. They still bear the colors of their lord, but no lord is around to be found. Their captain laughs and they all sing together drunk about how they robbed some travelers.


    Evie nods at her Wardens and motions them to move silently. Before the enemy guards have realized it, they’re within striking distance. Evie shoots her bow twice, but only scores flesh wounds against the guard. And then the massacre begins…
    The combat skill of the soldiers is unparalleled and when this fails them, their armor comes to the rescue. At first, Ardus falls to their spears, and Rudiger avenges him fast. This breaks the morale of a soldier and he flees for his life.
    But the other 4 soldiers, lead by their veteran captain don’t falter.
    Evie is hurt, but she carries on. Wigmar is the next to fall under the enemy spears, followed by the Roving Wanderer. The captain faces off Rudiger. Even the weary retainer isn’t a match for the veteran, and soon falls after an exchange of blows.
    Gustav, the Wily Rogue and the Stout Yeoman are dropped in the field, while Evie only manages to wound another one of the soldiers, before she calls the retreat.
    The enemy doesn’t pursuit, and the other day the Wardens have managed to gather to their camp, counting their losses.

    Only Evie survived the encounter and gained 1 XP.
    Injury rolls:
    Gustav: Knocked out
    Rudiger: Moderate Wound: 5 Recovery Time
    Ardus: Knocked out
    Wigmar: Light Wound: 3 Recovery Time, Damaged Sword
    Roving Wanderer: Knocked Out
    Stout Yeoman: Light Wound: 2 Recovery Time, Damaged Hatchet
    Wily Rogue: Knocked Out
    Threat Roll: No Threat increase

    Rudiger got the worst of it, and will need to spend some time healing in the village. Wigmar and the Stout Yeoman also were wounded in combat and will need to visit the healer. The Wardens also had a couple weapons damaged, and will need to reassess their gear into battle.
    They all look at each other and noone speaks.
    Finally Evie steps up in the middle of the group. “We lost. We won’t win all the battles. But we will win the war. Let’s regroup and we will return with greater strength, and greater knowledge.”

    Session Summary

    Again, I didn’t pause to document the solo play. I’m mostly journaling to keep track what happens in campaign turns, rather than describing the details of each combat.
    I feel comfortable enough to start adding more combat options, like critical hits and oddities. All in all, 5 Leagues from the Borderlands is very well designed and has great play value. Combat is fast and cinematic, with the melee exchanges and the movement of figures. I even went ahead and got the summer bundle which includes character packs, enemy packs, additional skills, scenarios and more. For the next session, I’ll probably spend some time healing in Eerfeld and then go ahead and run the Scenario of the Sunken Temple included in the bundle.

  • giorgis 11:04 am on July 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep03. 

    In the end of the previous session, the Wardens defeated a band of cultists.

    Name Evie Gustav Rudiger Ardus Wigmar
    Agility 1 1 2 3 2
    Speed 5 4 5 5 4
    Combat Skill 0 0 0 0 0
    Toughness 4 4 3 3 3
    Will 1
    Luck 2
    Skills Library,Medicine,Organization Leadership,Parry
    XP 3 3 6 4 0
    LVL 0 0 1 1 0
    Weapons Long Bow, Dagger Warhammer Bastard Sword Bastard Sword Staff
    Armor Light Armor Light Armor Full Armor, Helmet, Shield Partial Armor
    Notes Avatar Retainer


    Nature Roving Wanderer Stout Yeoman
    Skill Foraging
    Weapons Self Bow, Dagger War Axe(Warhammer)
    Armor Militia Armor Light Armor

    Gold Marks 22
    Medicinal Herbs 1
    Story Points 1

    Eerfeld (2,2,3)
    Heagrove: (1,1,1)
    Cebrook: (3,3,3)

    Village Events: Wandering scholar
    Pay Upkeep: 7 members, no extra cost
    Healing Up: No wounded
    Carry Out Activities:
    Rudiger: Free study: No skill gain
    Evie: Study: Study: No skill gain
    Evie: Train: +1 XP: Increase LeveL: Roll: Will +1
    Gustav: Train: +1 XP: Increase LeveL: Roll: Combat +1
    Outfitting for adventuring:
    Buy Helmet: Ardus: -3 Gold
    So now, we’re going adventuring!
    Adventuring: Roadside AND Combat Encounter
    Roadside Encounter: Knight, Polite
    Combat Encounter: Outlaw: Slavers
    Encounter Type: Located Lair
    9 Slavers + 1 Lieutenant + 1 Captain
    Terrain Type: Grave Yard
    12″ Distance
    Enemy 8″ from leader

    In the village of Eerfeld, Evie starts to see the results of their recent actions. People are talking about the Wardens again and how they try to bring order to the region. She knows there is still much work to be done. A wandering scholar takes notice of them and scribbles down something in his papers.
    She and Gustav spend the week training, trying tactics they have seen against recent enemies, honing their skills.
    Ardus goes to the local trader and purchases a helmet, maybe it will save his life in the future.
    Once the band is ready, they gather up once more. Evie notices there’s some fellow in the back who fought with them the last time, so they’re at full strength, and head out. They had gathered rumors about a slaver band, kidnapping villagers and selling them off to faraway lands. Evie is set on finding them.
    On their way, they come across a knight in full plate armor riding a horse of war, accompanied by a squire. They exchange a few words, Evie wondering if his quest and theirs had anything in common, but the knight was just passing through. He did though tell them, about squatters in the abandoned graveyard, so after thanking him, they ready up their swords and close up on the site.
    The slavers have made the place their lair. They laugh and yell. She makes out two leaders of the party in the center of the ruins, surrounded by the core group, while others are spread all around.
    She splits the warband in two and attacks from two sides. With a war cry, she leads the attack.
    She and the Roving Wanderer shoot off a couple of arrows to them, but miss.
    On her side of the battle, Wigmar closes into combat with a slaver, and faulters, falling to his enemy’s blade, but the hanger-on the guy in the rear, charges in and kills the slaver. Seeing his fury, the other slaver next to him runs off into the woods.


    On the other side, Ardus kills another slaver, while the hanger-on follows up on the group that approaches and with skill, kills one more.
    Two more slavers fall to the Wardens. Seeing the Warden’s skills, a couple more slavers flee in cowardice.
    Evie hits the enemy sergeant with her bow, an arrow lodging to his chest, but the slaver persists and comes into close combat with Ardus. The two men fight each other with fury, but in the end stand off. As the sergeant pauses to catch his breath, he notices the arrow wound. The strain of battle has caught up to him and opened up the wound even worse, and he falls to the ground.


    One more slaver falls to the warband, and the leader seeing how he is all alone considers his options. He turns tail and runs away.
    “Yaaah!” Evie screams out loud, and the rest of the Wardens join in chorus. It was a well deserved victory. They chased down their foes.
    She is afraid though that too many men fled, and she might meet them again in the future.

    Injuries: Wigmar: Knocked out
    Loot: Icon, Large Quiver, Fine Standard Weapon, Spring Vial, Basic Weapon
    Threat: Reduction by 1
    Experience: All the heroes gain 2 XP, No follower progressed, the Hanger-on became a follower: Wily Rogue

    End of third campaign turn

    Session Summary

    I didn’t take much photos or pause this time, and just recollected the battle afterwards. I really enjoyed it. The flow of the game (especially having run a couple of battles) is so fast that it’s easy to get carried away, while the story just writes itself.
    The dice gods were in the favor of the warband this time. I was afraid of this battle going in, but in the end it all turned out to be a walk. Let’s see if we can eliminate the Outlaw threat soon.

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