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  • giorgis 4:41 pm on October 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep08. 

    The session continues from the encounter I had rolled last time. The Terrain and Oddity rolls are a bit contrasting, so I try to combine them. I decide that it will be a cave with rocks cutting the battlefield in half, leaving only a few openings available. I try to make do with rocks (real ones, not DIY) and a vinyl playmat.


    Cave Set Up

    Turn 1:
    Agility: 113344555

    Evie: Shoots Smuggler: 5+1: Hit: 2: No wound
    RW: Shoots Smuggler: 4+1: Hit: 1: No wound
    Ardus: Dashes closer to Smugglers

    Smugglers: Dash closer to Wardens
    Evie: (Will): Shoots Smuggler: 1+1: Miss: Doesn’t run out of ammo due to Large Quiver

    Evie and the Roving Wanderer shoot at the group of Smugglers closest to them, but the arrows miss, ricochetting off the rocks. As Evie shoots, for a moment she thinks she’s out of arrows. But the quiver is large, and she grabs another for the next shot.
    The melee combatants close in, and the Wardens notice more Smugglers coming in from behind the rocky face.

    Closing In

    Turn 2:
    Agility: 1122344566

    Evie: Shoots Smuggler: 2+1: Hit: 4: Casualty


    Rudiger: Attack Smuggler: 4+1/5: Draw:-
    Wigmar: Attack Smuggler: 3/4: Defender Exchange, 6/2: Telling Blow: Exchange, 3/43: Draw:-
    Ardus: Attack Smuggler: 4/3: Hit: 2+1: Wounded, Stunned, 5/32: Hit: 5+1: Casualty

    Smuggler: Attack Ardus: 3/5: Hit: 4: Harm: 2: Stunned, 32/3: Hit: 1: Armor Save: 5/5: Draw:-
    Smuggler: Attack Wigmar: 3/5: Hit: 2: Knock Back, Stunned, 62+2/5: Hit: 3: Harm: 3: Stunned, 53+2/4: Exchange:-

    RW: Shoots Smuggler: 4: Miss
    Evie: (Will): Shoots Smuggler: 2+1: Hit: 6: Casualty

    Morale: 235: 1 Smuggler Flees

    Evie aims carefully this time. Her arrow piercing through a Smuggler’s throat. The trio of Wardens charge at the solo Smuggler. He fends off Rudiger, then Wigmar, but Ardus scores a wound. The Warden follows up with a second blow, finishing him off.
    The rest of the Smugglers catch up, and one of them charges at Ardus. His first strike stuns the Warden, but his second is blocked, and Ardus falls back a little.
    Another Smuggler attacks Wigmar. He strikes with fury, hitting the scale armor, and knocking him back a few yards. He follows up on the stunned Warden, but he is fended off.
    The Roving Wanderer shoots at the reinforcements, but he doesn’t manage to hit.
    Evie, drawing on her reserves, lets off another arrow. Another kill is scored.
    Their numbers diminishing by the minute, a Smuggler runs off for his life.


    Turn 3:
    Agility: 122334556

    RW: Shoots: 2: Miss
    Wigmar: Attack Smuggler: 4/1: Hit: 3+1: Casualty

    Rudiger Charges

    Rudiger: Attack Smuggler: 3+1/1+1: Hit: 3: Wounded, Stunned, 2+1/41+1: Hit: 1: Stunned, 6+1/65+1: Hit: 6: Casualty

    Smuggler Lt: Attacks Rudiger: 5+1/3+1: Exchange, 5+1/2+1: Hit: 6: Casualty


    The battle is over. The field is held.

    The Roving Wanderer keeps shooting, but his shot fails again.
    Wigmar attacks the surrounded Smuggler, and with a swift strike, his blade finds the Smuggler’s guts.
    Rudiger enters melee against the last two Smugglers. One of them seems to be their leaders. He wears a leather armor and looks more intimidating. Rudiger, being a veteran of many battles, decides to start with the easier opposition. In a series of three strikes, he wounds the Smuggler, stuns him, and finishes him.
    As the Smuggler Lieutenant attacks in desperation, his strike is blocked. Rudiger gains the upper hand. He turns the tables, and his fine broadsword is lodged deep in the heart of his enemy.
    The Smugglers are dead or fleeing. The Wardens have won this battle.

    Unusual Find: Evidence: No effect
    +2 XP everyone, Rudiger +3 XP
    Evie (LVLUP): 09: Agility +1
    Rudiger (LVLUP): 06: Agility +1
    Wigmar (LVLUP): 22: Agility +1
    RW: 6: Nothing Gained
    SY: 11: Promotion: 97: +1 Will
    WR: 7: Nothing Gained
    Loot: 2 rolls
    25: Weapons: 95: Crossbow
    65: 13 Gold Marks
    +1 SP

    Looting through the bodies, the Wardens find 13 Gold Marks. A hefty sum. Also they find a Crossbow. A strong, quality weapon. The Wily Rogue arms himself with it.
    Evie calls for the Stout Yeoman. “You have fought valiantly many times by our side. Remind me, what is your name?”
    “Bruno, my lady”. The Stout Yeoman answers.
    “Keep it up Bruno. You are one of us now.” She says, and Bruno fills with pride.

    The next turn, I roll up another encounter in the countryside.

    Encounter Set Up

    81: Roadside AND Combat Encounter
    Roadside Encounter: 02: Priest: 07: Unfriendly: Corruption
    Combat Encounter: 35: Deserters: 31: Travelling: 45+2: 7 Deserters (1 Archer): 2: No Leader: 1: No Personality: 9+4″ Distance: Seize Initiative: 9: Initiative Seized: Terrain: 11: Meadows and Fields: Oddity: 33: Tough Battle: Lose Seize Initiative, +1 Enemy (Archer)

    Further searching, the Wardens come upon a man in black cloak. An eerie feeling overcomes them as he walks by. Occult symbols hanging from his neck. They stop to hail him, but he doesn’t speak. He just mumbles.
    “Let’s move on lady.” Gustav says. “Lest he lays a curse on us.”
    Evie nods and they move aside.
    They come upon some Meadows and Fields. They know they must have lost their way, because that’s nothing like what they look for. Before they have a chance to turn back, from behind some hedgerows, they see movement.
    “What we have here? Get them boys!” A man shouts, and 8 armed men, in uniform draw their weapons. Two of them, draw their bowstring as the Wardens take up positions against them.

    Another encounter! My dice rolls don’t want the Scenario to advance. Deserters can be tough enemies with their Combat Skill and Armor. Also the Oddity made me lose my Seize Initiative and added an extra enemy! At least there is no leader.


    Set Up

    Turn 1:
    Agility: 122334466

    WR: Shoots Deserter Archer: 2: Miss
    Evie: Shoots Deserter Archer: 5+1: Hit: 1: Armor Save

    First Blood

    Evie: (Will): Shoot Deserter Archer: 6+1: Hit: 6: Harm: 4: Casualty

    South Flank

    Wigmar, Ardus, Rudiger: Move, Dash

    Deserter Archer: Shoots Evie: 6: Hit: 2: Harm: 3: No wound

    Climbed Hedgerow

    Deserters: Climbed Fence, Advanced

    RW: Shoots Deserter: 2+1: Miss

    North Flank

    Bruno, NPC, Gustav: Move, Dash

    Morale: 1: 1 Deserter Flees

    Evie and the Wily Rogue shoot at the enemy. But the long distance, and cover make their shots miss.
    Evie takes another shot, as the Archer takes a peek behind the hedge. The arrowhead lodges in the enemy, bringing him down.
    The trio of Wardens flank the Deserters from the south, but the enemy doesn’t fall prey to the Wardens plan, and climb through the hedgerows, stealing the distance.
    The Deserter Archer shoots at Evie, but the arrow doesn’t manage to get through her clothing.
    The Roving Wanderer shoots at them, but his shot comes short.
    From the north, the rest of the Wardens circle around the pond, trying to flank the archers.
    The Deserters, aren’t the most steady troops. One of them flees at the sight of his fallen brother.

    Turn 2:
    Agility: 111223456

    RW: Shoots Deserter: 6+1: Hit: 6: Harm: 3: Wounded
    WR: Shoots Deserter: 6: Hit: 6+1: Harm: 4: Casualty
    Evie: Shoots: 4+1: Hit: 4: Harm: 4: Casualty

    Deserter Archer: Shoots Bruno: 2+1: Miss
    Deserter: Move
    Deserter Wounded: Activation End: 1: Wound Casualty

    Deserter: Attacks Ardus: 2+2/3+1: Draw:-
    Deserter: Attacks Rudiger: 4+3/6+2: Telling Blow: 3: Knocked Back, 64+3/1+2: Exchange, 4+3/2+2: Hit Deserter: 6: Harm: 2+1: Wounded: Activation End: 1: Casualty

    NPC: Moves
    Bruno: Moves

    Morale: 123: 2 Deserters Flee

    A hail of bolts and arrows is launched from the Wardens and two Deserters die, while a third one is wounded.
    The Deserter Archer shoots at Bruno who comes from around the pond, but the stress of battle causes him to miss the shot.
    Another Deserter dashes towards the missile troops, but his wound overcomes him, and he drops as he finishes his stride.
    To the South, swords clash as the Wardens fight the Deserters. Ardus fends them off, while Rudiger gets the best of them. He wounds his opponent, who, holding his guts, falls down from blood loss.
    With so many dead, two more Deserters flee. Oy one Archer remains to fight the Wardens, still hiding behind the hedgerow.

    Turn 3:
    Agility: 12333556

    RW: 4+1: Miss
    Evie: 6+1: Hit: 3: Harm: 2: No wound
    Wigmar, Ardus, Rudiger: Move, Dash

    Deserter Archer: Shoots Bruno: 5+1: Hit: 5: Harm: 1: No Wound

    WR: Shoots Deserter Archer: 5: Miss

    Gustav melee

    Gustav: Attacks Deserter Archer: 6+1/4+1: Telling Blow: 5: Harm: 5: Casualty.


    The battle is won. The field is held.

    Evie and the Roving Wanderer shoot at the Archer, but their shots find the hedges. The Wardens close in to the enemy. He shoots at them, but misses, and Gustav is upon him.
    The Archer is still clutching his bow, when Gustav’s sword cuts it in half, and finds his neck, killing him instantly.
    No more Deserters are left to fight. The Wardens shout out in victory.

    Unusual Find: 65: Sacks of Valuables: 43: Armor: 66: Full Armor
    All gain +2 XP
    Gustav: (LVLUP): 80: +1 Luck
    NPC: (LVLUP): 06: +1 Agility
    RW: 6: Nothing Gained
    WR: 7: Nothing Gained
    Loot: 2 Rolls
    82: Consumables: Bottle of Red Duck
    35: Weapons: 01: Quick Light Weapon
    +1 SP

    Searching through their enemies belongings, the Wardens find a suit of heavy mail armor, a stiletto and a bottle of Red Duck. This is a day to celebrate!

    The next turn, I keep my search going, and succeed. I can progress in the scenario.

    I decide to pause here.

    I’ll be doing some bookkeeping as well here. Below you can find the table of my warband. On purpose to avoid SPOILERS I’ve not included the scenario NPC. I will include him if he’s still alive after the end of the scenario, when there will be already some changes to his stats. Here you can also find the updated pdf of the Warband Roster.


    Combat Skill111001
    SkillsLibrary,Medicine,OrganizationTeaching,TrackingParryLeadership,ParryThick Headed
    WeaponsLongbow, Quick StilettoSwordFine SwordBastard SwordBastard SwordHatchet
    ArmorLight ArmorPartial ArmorFull ArmorPartial ArmorPartial ArmorFull Armor
    WornLarge QuiverHelmet, ShieldHelmetHelmet


    NatureRoving WandererWily Rogue
    Combat Skill10
    WeaponsSelf Bow, DaggerCrossbow, Dagger
    ArmorLight ArmorLight Armor

    Gold Marks 19
    Medicinal Herbs 1
    Story Points 1
    Light Armor
    2 Damaged Basic Weapon
    Damaged Militia Armor
    Damaged Warhammer
    Damaged NPC Weapon
    Bottle of Red Duck
    Holy Water
    Saddle Bag

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

    Session Summary

    Despite my difficulty in progressing through the scenario, I had so much fun!
    Right now I’m at a 6 Hero warband, two Followers and the NPC. My Wardens become stronger and stronger with more experience and gear. I believe that when I finish the scenario, I’ll have a force to stand up against most enemies.
    As I’m becoming more acquainted with the rule system, I love it. Ranged combat is very carefully balanced against Melee combat. The flow is great. I’ve also found my own way of taking notes in paper which is much faster, and I don’t break much of the game flow while doing it. I am aware that it’s not the easiest mechanics to read (even if you’re familiar with Five Leagues), but the reconstructed narrative can deliver the story. I’m pondering maybe adding a step-by-step sketch of the events, top down, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the trouble.
    The dice have spoken their own story, which meansI didn’t have a lot of chance to get a feel for the Scenario yet. I believe the next sessions will be driven by it.

  • giorgis 8:57 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt6 – Mercenaries 

    This is the Blighthaven Mercenaries Warband, again from Ral Partha Europe. I really liked these sculpts. Went with a blue uniform color and striped black and white shields. My custom wash turned out a bit stronger than I expected, giving a more dirty look, but I enjoyed the final result. These are supposed to be field warriors not ceremonial.

  • giorgis 11:51 am on October 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep07. 

    So this session begins directly with combat from the previous session. I read the rules more clearly this time and getting stunned is important, as the stunned figure begins the next exchange at disadvantage (take the lowest of two dice). Lots of rules that, re-reading them makes things clear. This is a game with a lot of depth.



    Evie orders the Wardens into three groups. The stronger warriors will approach from the opening to the west, while the followers will hold off the mob from the south.
    She and the Roving Wanderer will provide covering fire with their bows from behind the fence.
    The tower is overseeing the battlefield, but thankfully none of the enemies has ranged weapons. They are broken into three groups as well, one of them to a distance to the north of the tower.

    Turn 1:
    Seize Initiative: Fail
    Agility: (11235556)
    Evie: Shoot mob: 3+1: Miss
    RW: Shoot mob: 4: Miss
    Rudiger moves towards mob

    Mob: Dashes towards Wardens

    Gustav moves towards mob
    Wigmar moves towards mob

    Close combat
    SY: attacks mob: 6/3: Telling blow: 3: Wounded mob, 4/42: 2: Stunned mob, 1/53: Fumble.-
    Frans: attacks mob: 4/1: 1: Stunned mob, 6/52: Telling blow: 1: Stunned mob, 3/56.-
    WR: attacks mob: 1/3: Fumble, 1/33: Stunned WR: 5: WR Casualty.-

    As the heavily armed Wardens close in from the west, covering fire doesn’t hit any of the enemies.
    The mob attacks the followers. Blows are exchanged and the Stout Yeoman wounds his for. The Wily Rogue falls under the enemy.
    The mob to the north runs quickly towards the Wardens.

    Turn 2:
    Agility: (1113356)
    Gustav: attacks Cpt: 4+1/6+1: Telling blow, 42+1/4+1: Hit: 2: Armor Save: Knocked back. Stunned, 22+1/5+1: Hit: 4: Harm:4: Wounded Gustav.
    Rudiger: attacks Cpt: 3+1/2+1: Hit: 2: Harm: 5: Cpt Casualty.-
    Wigmar: attacks mob: 3/1: Hit: 2+1: Wounded, Stunned mob, 6/41: Telling blow, Stunned: 1+1: Stunned mob, 1/1: Fumble.-

    Mob: attacks Rudiger: 6+1/1: Telling blow, Stunned mob: 4+1/53: 2: Stunned mob, 5+1/55: 3: Wounded mob. 2 Wounds. End of activation (15): Mob Casualty.
    Mob: attacks Rudiger: 4+1/2: Exchange, 1/1: Fumble.-
    Mob: attacks SY: 6/5: Telling blow, 1/64: Stunned, 16/1: Stunned. End of activation (1).
    Mob: attacks NPC: 2/4: Hit: 2: Stunned NPC, 12/3: Stunned: 5: NPC Casualty.-
    Mob: attacks SY: 4/2: Exchange, 4/4: Draw.-
    Mob: dashes towards Wardens.
    Mob: dashes towards Wardens.

    Gang up

    RW: Shoot mob: 6: Hit: 2: No effect.-
    Evie: Shoot mob: 2+1: Miss
    SY: attacks mob: 3/1: 4: Mob Casualty.-

    Gustav reaches the mob leader. By sheer luck the enemy finds an opening, and hits Gustav hard. His armor saves him. The enemy strike knocks him back a few yards. The leader hits again, this time passing the armor and wounding Gustav, who disengages.
    Seeing the loyal servant wounded, Rudiger joins the fray. With a quick strike of his fine sword, he brings the mobster down.
    Wigmar joins his companions, wounding a foe, before being pushed off.
    The wounded enemy, charges at Rudiger, but the veteran warrior, blocks the strike, takes the upper hand and wounds him again. The wounds take their toll, and the foe drops.
    The mob attacks to the south, bringing down the recruit from the town.
    Their reinforcements from the north keep running to join their friends.
    Evie and the Roving Wanderer shoot another hail of arrows and miss.
    The Stout Yeoman, now stands alone against three, but he’s a strong man. He charges and kills an enemy with his hatchet, in a single blow.

    Turn 3:
    Agility: (112355)
    Rudiger: attacks mob: 1/6: Stunned, telling blow: 53+1/2: Exchange, 1/5: Stunned.-
    Gustav: attacks mob: 1+1/4: Stunned, 64+1/1: Stunned, 4+1/46: Hit: 4: Mob Casualty.-

    Before the end

    The mob flees due to morale. The battle is won. The field is held.

    Rudiger and Gustav press on, and a fourth foe, drops dead before their blades. Seeing their leader down and half their men dead, the cowards flee.


    WR: Injury: 79: Knocked Out.
    NPC: Injury: 55: Light: 3 Recovery Time: Item Damaged: Weapon.
    Desperate Mob has no loot.
    Rudiger: +3XP
    Evie: +2XP
    Gustav: +2XP: LVLUP: 38: +1 Toughness
    Wigmar: +2XP
    RW: 10: Attribute Increase: +1 Combat Skill
    SY: 9: Skill Gain: 92: Thick Headed

    The Wardens tend to their wounded and search the field. There’s nothing usable to be found. In addition, the recruit has his weapon broken in two, and he will need to visit the town healer to recover.
    Despite these shortcomings, the victory has raised the spirits, and they return to town, with morale high.

    Again, reading through the rules I realized I forgot to implement some of them. Items get damaged on 00, 05. So retrospectively I will roll for Gustav’s weapon from the previous session. Also I forgot to take into account Gustav’s wound for this battle. In addition I always forget to account my Luck and Will points during combat, which is a major hindrance. Will certainly do so for next one.
    Will in particular allows for extra moves and actions among others. I’d have Evie shoot twice more if I had noticed.

    Gustav: Item damaged: Warhammer.

    The next turn I return to town


    Ardus: 2 Turns RT
    NPC: 2 Turns RT
    Ardus: Visit Town Healer: MEDICINE: 3: 1 Turns RT
    NPC: Visit Town Healer: MEDICINE: 2: 1 Turns RT
    Rudiger: Study: (1126): Parry Learned

    The next turn I stay to town


    Ardus: healed
    NPC: healed
    NPC: Visit Armorer: Weapon: 5: 5 Gold Marks to repair.
    Evie: Study: (1355): No Skill learned.
    Labor: 2 Gold Marks gained.
    I head off to search again.

    The next turn, I roll up another encounter in the countryside.

    Encounter Set Up

    48: Combat Encounter: 73: Smugglers: 46: Encounter While Travelling: (45): 6 Smugglers: 5: + Lieutenant
    Seize Initiative: 3: Failed
    Distance: 15″ apart
    Encounter Terrain: 99: Cave complex
    Oddities: 54: Fenced In

    After spending a few days in Eerfeld to recover, the warband heads off again to their search. Looking for a camp site, they fall upon a cave complex, with shady figures transporting boxes. “Smugglers.” Ardus says. He hasn’t managed to speak, before a whistle is heard. They’ve been made. They draw weapons and prepare for battle.

    I decide to pause here.

    I’ll be doing some bookkeeping as well here. Below you can find the table of my warband. On purpose to avoid SPOILERS I’ve not included the scenario NPC. Here you can also find the pdf of the Warband Roster.


    Name Evie Gustav Rudiger Ardus Wigmar
    Agility 1 1 2 3 2
    Speed 5 4 5 5 4
    Combat Skill 1 1 1 0 0
    Toughness 4 5 3 3 4
    Luck 2 1
    Will 2 1
    Skills Library,Medicine,Organization Teaching,Tracking ParryLeadership,Parry
    XP 3 1 3 0 3
    LVL 2 2 3 2 1
    Weapons Longbow, Dagger Sword Fine Sword Bastard Sword Bastard Sword
    Armor Light Armor Partial Armor Full Armor Partial Armor Partial Armor
    Worn Large Quiver Helmet, Shield Helmet Helmet
    Notes Avatar Retainer


    Nature Roving Wanderer Stout Yeoman Wily Rogue
    Agility 1 1 1
    Speed 4 4 4
    Combat Skill 1 1 0
    Toughness 3 3 3
    Skill Foraging Thick Headed
    Weapons Self Bow, Dagger Hatchet Sword
    Armor Light Armor Light Armor Light Armor

    Gold Marks 6
    Medicinal Herbs 1
    Story Points 1
    2 Damaged Basic Weapon
    Damaged Militia Armor
    Damaged Warhammer
    Holy Water
    Saddle Bag

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

    Session Summary

    I loved this combat! Everything move so naturally. Getting Stunned, completely changes the battlefield. On the other hand, implementation of both the Telling Blows and Fumbles rules was a tad bit too much. That’s at least 33% chance at each roll for a Stunned result. And there are usually 6 rolls at each exchange. I will probably keep only the Telling Blows rule for next game.
    Five Leagues from the Borderlands is a very deep game. I will slowly be reading carefully each chapter, and after getting acquainted each session with a new part of the game I will delve into the respective rules. Next up: Will and Luck. Maybe positioning as well.

  • giorgis 10:16 pm on October 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep06. 

    It’s time now to go The Sunken Temple. This is a Five Leagues Scenario. I realize that there’s a good chance for blog readers to want to play this scenario as well, so I’m not going to reveal any SPOILERS. I hate spoilers; spoilers can get me to stop halfway from reading books, watching a tv show, even a game. Therefore I intend to keep this light on the scenario story and mechanics, and heavy on photos and review part.

    So, the party had one wounded party member with a recovery time of ‘2’, which is removable at once if they spend time on the healer, so I deem that the warband is at full strength as the scenario begins.

    The Wardens have heard rumors and gotten hold of the map to an old temple in the surrounding region. Considering the chance for spoils, they decide to start a search.

    At start the scenario gives you the chance to recruit a specific NPC. Since I’m at full strength, I decide not to go ahead with it.
    So, while searching for the temple I rolled an encounter. This is an encounter mainly using the rules of the core Five Leagues game.
    I went full on with optional rules in this, since I’m getting better acquainted with the ruleset.

    Note: I’ll be displaying dice pool results in parentheses. (344) means 3d6 rolled giving 3,4,4 respectively.

    Encounter Set Up

    Adventuring: 50: Combat Encounter: 82: Renegades: 60: Encounter While Travelling: (1,3): 5 Renegades (1 Archer): 1: No Leadership Presence: 5: Personality: 14: Sorcerer: Variations: (4,4): Manic, Stumbler

    Deploying figures: 10″: 3 groups of 2 enemies
    Seize Initiative: 11: Taken by surprise
    Encounter terrain: Overgrown ruins
    Oddities: 69: In the middle of battle: 3: Raider: (2,4): 5 Raiders (2 Archers): 3: No Leadership Presence: 6: Personality: 13: Sorcerer: Variations: (3,4): Sneaker, Stumbler

    So, I rolled two groups of enemies that fight each other, without leaders, but with a Sorcerer at each group! If I’m lucky they’ll only attack each other. But it seems that my Wardens are too close to be left out of the equation.

    Deep in the woods, the Wardens, see something reminding of a man-built structure. In the distance, they see several broken down walls and huge stone bricks scattered. Considering that this might be the temple they’re looking for, they come closer.
    Then suddenly, an eerie feeling overcomes them. Some sort of dark energy, shoots in front of their sights, from west to the east. They look at each other. Then another, blast, from the other side, as a response.
    As the woods clear a bit, they see two groups of men. The group to the west, is well armed, but their colors are not well defined. They look like deserters from an army. “Renegades” Rudiger whispers. They close in to the east towards the structure, only to be met from the other side by soldiers in Yellow and Crimson colors. Probably one of the border kingdoms. “Raiders” Ardus replies. Each of the two groups has a man that differentiates from the rest of the troops. Mumbling in some weird language, and pointing to the other side, these men seem to be the source of the dark energy. “Sorcerers” Evie completes.


    Renegades and Raiders

    Turn 1:
    Renegades Doom: (556)
    Raiders Doom: (444)

    Turn 2:
    Wardens appear
    Seize Initiative: All characters move East
    Agility: (12444666)
    Realized I had placed Sneaker on board. They will appear on next Turn.
    1: Evie: Move 2.5E: Shoot Raider Archer: 2: Miss
    2: Gustav Move 5SE

    Archer Moves 2.5E: Shoots Roving Wanderer: 3: Miss
    Swordsman Moves to Wall
    Swordsman moves towards Raiders
    Sorcerer moves towards Raiders: Doom: (233)
    Maniac moves towards Raiders
    Stumbler moves towards Raiders

    Archer shoots Ardus: 6: Hits: 4: Harm: 5: Casualty
    Sorcerer: Doom Gustav: (114): Doom!
    Stumbler moves towards Wardens
    Archer shoots at Renegade Swordsman: 1: Miss
    Swordsman moves towards Renegades

    Gustav melee against Stumbler: (11): Draw: End
    Roving Wanderer shoots Renegade Archer: 3: Miss
    Rudiger moves 5 towards Raiders

    Ardus down

    The two groups towards each other, but the Northernmost troops have been alerted by the presence of the Wardens who try to flank the Raiders. Evie shoots at a Renegade archer who climbs on top of the hill, but misses. In response, he aims carefully and shoots at the roving wanderer and misses too. The Raiders seem to find their target. A Raider archer shoots at Ardus and brings him down, while their Sorcerer speaks some words in an arcane language. A dark blast leaves his finger and finds Gustav right on the chest. He feels overwhelmed, but grits on and continues.

    Turn 3:
    Agility: (1223335)
    1:Evie moves 2.5E: Shoots Stumbler: 4: Miss
    2:Rudiger melee against Archer: (12): Archer Wins: (63): Rudiger Wins: (41): Rudiger Hits: 2: Armor Saved

    Archer Shoots Roving Wanderer: 5: Hit: 6: Casualty
    Swordsman Climbs Wall and Moves 3 towards Wardens
    Swordsman moves towards Raiders
    Sorcerer moves towards Raiders: Doom: (266)
    Maniac moves towards Raiders
    Stumbler moves towards Raiders

    Sneaker appears: behind Wardens 8″ away from edge: attacks Rudiger: 11: Draw
    Archer shoots Rudiger: 6: Hits: 6: Harm: 2: Not wounded
    Sorcerer: Doom Rudiger: (366)
    Stumbler attacks Gustav: (32): Wins: 3: Harm: 5: Casualty
    Archer shoots at Renegade Maniac: 6: Hit: 4: Harm: 5: Casualty
    Swordsman melee against Renegades: (32): Wins: 2: Armor Save

    Gustav down

    Brave Sir Robin

    Evie takes a shot at a Raider archer, but misses. Rudiger, flanking the Raiders comes in to close combat with the archer. They exchange a couple of glancing blows, and then Rudiger finds an opening, but unfortunately, the enemy’s breastplate protects them.
    The Renegade archer shoots again at the roving wanderer, from the top of the hill, having a clear line of sight, and brings him down with an arrow. The rest of the Renegades close further in to the Wardens and the Raiders, as their Sorcerer shoots another bolt to the Raiders, missing again.
    Suddenly, Rudiger realizes a Raider was hiding behind him. “That sneaky bastard!” he thinks as the Raider charges in. Rudiger’s skill is matched by his opponent, and as soon as the Raider loses the element of surprise, he disengages. The archer next to him, finds the opportunity as Rudiger has his back turned, and shoots him. The arrow pierces the armor, but it’s only a flesh wound. Rudiger doesn’t seem to bother, and screams a war cry towards the archer. All this draws the attention of the Sorcerer who now casts his spell to Rudiger, but the blast seems to miss and fizzles away.
    Another Raider comes into combat with Gustav. The faithful servant of Evie, now falls beneath the enemy’s strike.
    The rest of the Raiders attack the Renegades, one Renegade falling under an arrow.
    Evie sees the enemy’s strength. These are not any ill-equipped mooks. She sees that the ruins are those of a tower, and not a temple. She considers the tactical situation, flanked by both sides. She thinks of the three wardens fallen under the enemy. She screams “Flee! Flee bravely!”. And they take their wounded away to fight another day. Let the Renegades fight it out with the Raiders. There’s no point trying to hold this field.

    So I decided in using the Brave Sir Robin option from Five Leagues rulebook, to flee. I could have tried to flee to the edge of the battle, but considering the dice rolls, there was a lot of chance I could have lost another Warden, and it’s something I wasn’t willing to risk.

    Ardus: 32: Serious: (26): 6 Turns Recovery Time
    Roving Wanderer: 96: Knocked Out
    Gustav: 90: Knocked Out
    Evie: +1XP: 1
    Rudiger: +1XP: LVL UP (3): 31: +1 Combat Skill

    The Wardens regroup in a safe distance. The Roving Wanderer and Gustav recover, as their wounds are superficial, but Ardus’ wound is deep. The arrow has lodged itself into the bone. “We need to take him to the healer.” Evie says, and they all decide to return to Eerfeld, their morale low.

    The next turn I return to town


    Ardus: 5 Turns RT
    Ardus: Visit Town Healer: MEDICINE: 6: 3 Turns RT
    Roving Wanderer: Foraging: (22356): 1 Healing Herbs
    Evie: Study: (2533): No skill learned
    I decide to recruit the NPC, and head off to search again.

    The next turn, I roll up another encounter in the countryside.

    Encounter Set Up

    Roadside AND Combat Encounter: 29,81: Friendly Pilgrim: 46: Slavers: 95: Located Lair: (56): 11 Slavers + Lt + Cpt: Retreat without engaging

    On the road, the group meets up with a cloaked figure in robes. “Greetings travelers.” He says. He has a very kind visage, and they all sit and break bread together. Once the meal is over, they each go on their own way, spirits higher than they used to be.
    It’s not long after they have split apart, when the Roving Wanderer comes back with news. He whispers something to Evie, and they go together to scout. Evie sees what seems to be a slaver lair. Their numbers are high, she counts at least 13 heads. She ponders a bit, and then she decides not to engage, and continue the search.

    The next turn, I roll up yet another encounter.

    Encounter Set Up

    Combat Encounter: 61: Desperate Mob: 28: Encounter While Travelling: (33): 7 Desperate Mob: 6: + Captain
    Seize Initiative: 5: Failed
    Distance: 8″ apart
    Encounter Terrain: 90: Ruined Tower
    Oddities: 46: Ruined Structure

    As the group turns behind a curve in the road, they see a ruined tower. “At them boys!” the Wardens hear a scream, and they see 8 ragged bandits, in a mob coming towards them with clubs and staves.
    The Wardens draw their swords, and combat is about to begin.

    I decide to pause here

    Session Summary

    It’s been a tough few past days in RL, and I’m kind of exhausted, so my narrative is a bit short, considering.
    The scenario seems to be very interesting, but I have yet to manage to progress, since the dice were not in my favor. I can’t speak much as to the scenario therefore. Most of the time has been spent so far in traditional core Five Leagues from the Borderlands, within the scenario. But I like what I have read so far. On purpose I haven’t read through the entire thing, just in case there’s a spoiler waiting for me. Since this is all aimed at solo play, it would be nice if there would be a note somewhere saying if we’re supposed to read through the entire thing or not before playing, or playing as we go. So far, that’s my only thing to consider.
    Now to the core Five Leagues game, I really loved the option to fight two different groups, even though I failed to hold my ground. The oddities and all the random tables seem to give a very unique experience with high replayability.
    I need to do some better bookkeeping of my Wardens, maybe create that map of the region, with notes, and maybe add some pictures of the minis I use as Wardens. Also maybe I should spend some time naming the followers and unique NPCs I’ve met along the way. I’m not sure as to which one of all those is worth the trouble putting into, but I’m pretty confident that a map would be the best place to start.

  • giorgis 8:45 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt5 – Town Guard 

    This is the Town Guard Blighthaven warband from Ral Partha. The pack is taken from the Nobles from the Demonworld line, and according to the site description, they are supposed to be better equipped than the Mercenaries warband (coming soon).

    What was really evident from this is the difficulty to paint Yellow and less so, Red. Part of the reason, I got me later on a set of acrylic inks.

    Also I didn’t know at the time that Lemon Yellow has a green tint. That and Crimson which I used, are not Primary colors, but close. Nevertheless I enjoyed the final result since they make a nice contrast together. I also like the heraldry choice.

    Guard Captain
  • giorgis 12:29 pm on October 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt4 – Cultists 

    So, this is the Southern Death Cult Blighthaven warband drawn from the Demonworld line of Ral Partha miniatures. It contains 7 cloaked figures, and 3 zombies. Actually 2 of the cloaked figures could be zombies as well. They double in their role. For me they fill mostly a role of the broken back cultist servant, since they are cloaked but don’t sport masks as the rest of them.

    For colors I went with purple cloaks and metallic masks. For the zombies I put some Crimson Red in their wounds, and used the rust technique from the Skeletons.

    What I did different this time was basing. I went with a mix of baking soda and some coffee grinds for a better sand look. Using baking soda as basing material is a well known technique in the miniatures painting circles, especially in a combination with cyanoacrylate glue (super glue) as it creates nice texturing when setting, and it sets quickly. You need to take extra care though, as it’s very easy to travel upwards to the feet of your minis.

    Cultist Leader
  • giorgis 9:18 am on October 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Trollshaws. Ep03. 

    I’ll start my session with some leftover bookkeeping.
    Camthalion started with 40 arrows. He spent 4 of them the previous night against the Orcs and Troll. I’ll deem 1d5-1 of them are recovered: 1. I also deem that in the last fight there was no time to recover any arrows, so all 7 of them are consumed. Arrows: 40-3-7= 30 Arrows remaining.

    Some calculations regarding food:

    Rations Days
    Camthalion 3
    Dwalin 3
    Leowyn 5

    Going with BOLD again to roll up some connections.

    action gerund subject
    speculate lying friends or family
    guide preparing a possession
    protest understanding your nature

    Day 5
    Watch 1: 33/93: No Encounter
    Watch 2: 86/19: sighting. Harnmaster: 52: Ursine [Bear]: 76: Stalking/Hunting or Fleeing Predator. Since Bears are Predators, I deem it’s Stalking.

    Resting, each member regains hit points. Dwalin goes up to 11 hit points and Leowyn at 25 hit points.

    Q: Does the bear feel threatened by the party?
    A: No, but, it feels threatened by the dwarf stranger.

    Camthalion stands watch, as the party rests. Under the dim light of the morning stars, he can make out the huge mass of a bear in the distance. At first he doesn’t pay any attention, but then he notices that the bear goes in the stranger’s general direction. It has sniffed the scent of the dwarf, and changes pace to a charge, as it lets of a roar and lunges towards the stout dwarf.

    So I need to decide what the party will do. I decide they will try to help the dwarf in his fight against the bear. Maybe an ally is to be gained.

    First of all I need to decide the distance. Since the dwarf was in sight, I decide that he was in the ‘Fairly Well’ night vision range of 100′.

    I decide to use the premade character Bali Redhelm for the stranger dwarf.

    The bear is a black bear, since these are nocturnal hunters and aggressive.

    Camthalion: Nooks an arrow.
    Bear: Move 95′ towards Bali
    Bali: Move 5′ and attack with his Warhammer: 83+58+5-30=116: 15D: 90+10=100: Blow to jaw. Drives bone into brain. Dies instantly.

    …I didn’t expect it to end that fast. Speaks to the lethality of MERP. This could have been a PC.

    As Camthalion readies his bow and aims, the bear reaches the dwarf. He reacts with absolute calmness, and with a calculated strike, with all his might, he brings his warhammer in an upward motion, and hits the bear in the jaw. Without a scream or a cry, the animal, falls back. Motionless.

    Q: Does the dwarf notice Camthalion ready to help?
    A: No
    Q: Does the rest of the party wake up?
    A: Yes, but they’re still sleepy

    “What… is it archer?” Dwalin asks Camthalion.
    “This fellow dwarf, was about to be shred to pieces by a black bear. But his skill with the hammer saved his life.” The elf replies.

    Now, here’s a chance to use a BOLD Connection.

    “Another Dwarf? A warrior? Here in Rhudaur?!” Dwalin wakes up quickly. “We should help him, and he will return the favor. Us Dwarves stick together. Especially in perilous lands such as these. Come, come!” He stands up, and starts walking towards the stranger with his arms wide open, in a gesture of good will.

    I think this covers “guide, understanding, your nature” as a BOLD connection.

    action gerund subject
    speculate lying friends or family
    guide preparing a possession
    protest understanding your nature

    I will roll 1d100 to see the reaction of Bali? to the group. 38.
    It’s on the negative side, but considering he’s meeting a fellow Dwarf, I’d consider him, let’s say slightly annoyed, but not hostile.
    He’s Sober, Quiet and Pugnacious (learned a new word here) according to his character sheet.
    Rolling on UNE Conversation Mood for ‘distrustful’: 56: Neutral.
    I choose a Prejudiced NPC Bearing: 17: Doubt.
    NPC Focus: 2: Current Scene.

    “For a fellow Khazad, you didn’t help much with the bear. And now you come as friend?” The stranger scoffs.
    “I was asleep. We were fighting orcs just yesterday, and I was resting from the battle. The elf was keeping watch.” Dwalin responds.
    “An elf? How can you be friends with these tree lovers?” The stranger says.
    “He’s proven himself. It was him that saved my life and the Rohirim’s. I’m certain that while you were fighting the bear, he’s had an arrow cocked and ready, aimed at the beast.” Dwalin says firmly.

    So, I initially wanted to try and use some ‘Influence’ skill and roll on the respective MERP chart. But it seems that the social skills although existent, they’re much like OD&D Charisma. The players are supposed to roleplay the situation with the GM. Rolling is an afterthought for specific situations. Similarly here, the odds for trying something are terrible. Since in solo play we’re both player and GM, I need to delegate the GM to the Oracle.

    “My name is Dwalin.” The dwarf steps up and says proudly. “My elf companion is Camthalion and the shield maiden is called Leowyn. We’re on a task to recover a Khazadin relic. Maybe rescue a hapless villager from the Last Inn who was taken by trolls most likely. We fell a troll, but we lost the tracks and reached an abandoned lair filled with orcs. We killed more than a handful before scaring them away. After striking fear into the hearts of our enemies, we camped here. Would you care to join us while we travel in Rhudaur? We could use another strong arm.”

    Q: Does Bali agree to join them? (I’ll give it 50/50 since he’s doubtful).
    A: False Presupposition.
    This Dwarf is not Bali Redhelm. Time to roll on UNE.
    Also it’s a No, since it was double 2s.
    UNE: cunning preacher
    Q: Does he share his name?
    A: False Presupposition. I’ll reroll: No, but he doesn’t insult them. He just avoids sharing it.

    “My path takes me elsewhere. And I need to be on my destination soon. What is this relic you seek, maybe if I fall upon it on my travels, I will seek you out Dwalin.” The dwarf responds.

    I decide that this triggers Dwalin’s Suspicious Personality. It’s a good opportunity also to use another BOLD connection.

    “It’s a trinket actually, nothing to lose your sleep over. We shall find it on our own. Walk in peace friend.” Dwalin responds, and Camthalion looks at him sideways. He was afraid the dwarf would spill out more information, but he was smarter than his rugged looks showed. He turned 180 degrees approach when he suspected the stranger, even a member of his own people.

    I think this covers speculate, lying, a possession.

    action gerund subject
    speculate lying friends or family
    guide preparing a possession
    protest understanding your nature

    As the sun rises, the party gathers their belongings and tries to find more hill troll tracks.

    Scouting: 18+30+11= 59: Failure. You gain no information, but you think you have learned everything available. You may not try again on the same topic in the same area for 1 day.
    3rd Watch: Encounters: 44-(4-90)=130. hostile group, social beings.
    So, I also roll on the Harnmaster Encounter table, and get Human Adventurer: Questing. Since it’s a day, this all fits well. Reading through the sample adventure I decide that they fell upon a Hillman. Typically hillmen travel in patrols, but since the sample adventure has the typical hillman at Level 4, and the party is wounded, I’ll only place one against them.

    As a side note I discovered that for encounters, MERP uses the same 4-hour unit as Harnmaster, which fits nicely, but for camping periods, you only roll once. Seems I made things tougher for the party without knowing.

    As the party tries to find troll tracks, they unsuspectingly fall upon a towering man with crude wool tunic with leggings, wearing a rough over-coat and fur hat. He has a rudy complexion, and wields a broadsword. He smiles wickedly as he sees them.
    “I knew something smelled terrible. A dwarf and a rohirim! That’s my kind of day! The ancestors will be pleased.” He nods to Camthalion. “Leave, and I will spare your life.”
    “Dunledings.” Leowyn whispers. “There could be more hiding in the trees”


    Perception (Dunleding): 59+38=97. Near Success.

    “I’m more than enough for you!” He yells at Leowyn and charges with his sword.

    Distance: 1d10x10’=70′
    Camthalion nooks an arrow.
    Hillman: Moves to attack: 35′. Doesn’t reach Dwalin.
    Dwalin: Moves to attack: 22′ Doesn’t reach Hillman.
    Leowyn: Moves to attack: 18′ Doesn’t reach Hillman.

    Camthalion shoots Hillman: 36+48+10=94: 7A:80-20=60: Strike along side of chest. 1 hit per round. Stunned 1 round.
    Hillman: Stunned.
    Dwalin: Moves to attack (41): 60-100-20+(51+15)/2-10= -17: 0
    Leowyn: Moves to attack (17): 50-100+(38+15)/2-10=-34: 0

    Camthalion nooks an arrow.
    Hillman: attacks (50/50): Leowyn: 61+52-40=73: 4
    Dwalin: attacks Hillman: 54+51+15-10=110: 11B: 14-10=4: Weak grip. No extra damage. +0 hits.
    Leowyn: attacks Hillman: 03: Fumble: 85-10=75: You stumble. The classless display leaves you stunned for 2 rounds. With luck, you might still survive.

    Camthalion shoots Hillman: 55+48+10=113: 13B: 55-10=45: Minor forearm wound. +2 hits. If no arm armor: stunned 1 round.
    Hillman: stunned.
    Dwalin: attacks Hillman: 66+51+15-10=122: 15C: 86: Blow to weapon arm. +8 hits. Stunned 2 rounds. If no arm armor: tendon damaged, arm broken and useless.

    This is no Monty Python movie, the Hillman yields.

    The two opposing sides advance towards each other as Camthalion covers the party with his bow. By the time they have made contact, an arrow is already flying, striking the hillman past his armor, and along his chest. He loses his concentration as he starts bleeding, but manages to fend off both Dwalin and Leowyn.
    Camthalion readies his bow again, as the hillman tries to wound Leowyn, but his strike is parried. Dwalin hits him, but the blow isn’t spectacular. The same can’t be said about Leowyn’s stumble. She gets entangled into a tree root and loses her balance going head on to the ground.
    The hillman sees his opportunity against Leowyn but has no chance to act upon it, as another arrow hits him, this time on the arm, and he pulls back his blade instictively.
    Disoriented as he is, Dwalin brings down his mace on the forearm, crushing his tendon. The sword falls and clatters to the ground. The man screams as he falls to his knees. “I yield, I yield. Spare me!” He yells.

    Camthalion gains 60 EP for the two criticals scored, but Dwalin gave the final blow, gaining the rest of the 290 EP.
    Leowyn gains 4 EP for being hit.

    Leowyn moves closer, to finish off the Dunleding, but Camthalion intervenes. “Don’t do something you might regret later child.”
    “Like letting him live? He’d have us strung by our vocal cords.” She answers. “If we let him live he will find his tribe, and they will get ready will fall upon us when we least expect them!”

    The last BOLD connection is finished. Protest, preparing, friends or family.

    “It’s a risk we must take. Don’t give in. Let him go.” Camthalion says in a more confident manner.
    Leowyn lowers her blade. She sees the hillman’s bleeding wound. “The wolves will get his smell after all. RUN!” She screams at the man, who stumbles away and runs in shame.

    4th Watch: 03/59: No encounter.
    Scouting for orc tracks: 24+30+11: Failure. You gain no information, but you think you have learned everything available. You may not try again on the same topic in the same area for 1 day.

    5th Watch: Camping: Camthalion casts Surface Ways on Dwalin: 71: Success: Heals 7 hits.
    5th-2nd Watch (Overnight): 153/11: Hostile (wild animal): 5 Wild Cats, Hunting.
    In which watch? 1st Watch. The party has rested 12 hours. Dwalin is at 32 hit points, and Leowyn is at full hp.
    Who is on watch? Leowyn.

    Leowyn is on watch when she notices some movement in the shadows. The glimmer of eyes in the darkness. She tosses a small pebble and wakes up Dwalin and Camthalion. Their darkvision helps them see clearly where the human had failed. A handful of wild cats is encircling them.
    “Fire! Light a fire!” Dwalin whispers to her.

    Q: Does Leowyn light the fire before the wild cats attack?
    A: False presupposition. Seriously? The wild cats never attack. They flee.

    As Leowyn starts hitting flint & steel to light a fire, the wild cats move away. Was it the armed party, awake against them? was it something else that scared them? For whatever reason, they left. And Leowyn stopped. The fire might save them from wild cats, but it would draw in any orc nearby.


    Name Days Rations
    Camthalion 2
    Dwalin 2
    Leowyn 4

    Arrows: Recovered 1d3-1: 0 Arrows. Camthalion is at 28 arrows.

    Hit Points: Camthalion and Leowyn are at full. Dwalin is at 36 hit points.

    EP: Camthalion, with Spellcasting, has gained 160 EP. Dwalin has gained 290 EP. And Leowyn 4 EP. This gives 227 Idea EP. Dwalin gets 151 EP more for a total of 441 and Leowyn 76 for a total of 80.

    Adding up the previous session’s EP.

    Name Experience Points
    Camthalion 2363 EP
    Leowyn 1661 EP
    Dwalin 3033 EP

    Session summary

    So, I made a few mistakes in this session. Combining more than one encounter system causes problems in interpretation. Everything worked out in the end, but at times it felt as if I was choosing the best option.
    Also retrospectively I might have misinterpreted the wild cats situation. It’s in the start of winter, most likely the party would be sleeping with the fire lit, not put out.
    Maybe I should start monitoring the calendar more closely, but I’m trying to cover so many bases, some things get lost. I had to retrospectively make Camthalion recover arrows and heal Dwalin. In a social ttrpg, the GM would have said to the player “well, you forgot”, but I’m cutting myself some slack here.
    MERP is a crunchy system and it’s starting to drag. Combat is really nice. I enjoy every moment of it. Even though the movement and initiative mechanics leave a lot to be desired, the resolution is beautiful. The tables provide all the narrative feedback I need. My main problem is the rest of the system. It’s quite broken with the success range being really hard to reach, which causes a pain to the solo player. I want to have a system that can support me, and not have to reach out to the oracle every now and then. It’s three days and nights already that the party is looking for Ledon, and I seriously doubt they will get to him alive, which would be totally okay, if I didn’t think its the system I use.
    I think a hexflower would be a great addition for searching/tracking in solo play. I just might create one. The issue is that I have a known map, where the party runs around. Even with failed tracking rolls, there’s a chance they might fall on their destination by chance, which I can’t account for now.
    Also the topic with Ledon fits perfectly with my Secret Clocks framework. How could I have missed this? I think I’ll start retrospectively as well for next session.
    Truth is I wanted to try out MERP on it’s own, with as few overlays as possible, but I see now that this isn’t feasible.
    Therefore I’ll add my overlays, and see where it gets me from there.

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