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  • giorgis 3:00 pm on March 31, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep02 

    Previously In the Aristrax Marches the Ravens of Gadun travelled to Langecliffe and cleared out the upper level of the old ruin of Longhaven, taking young runaway Brobern under their wing.

    Turn 3

    Again the local events table gave me a result of and that’s how the story went earning another Story Point for my warband.

    Upkeep costs were rolled higher, at 3 Gold Marks this turn, so it was necessary for me to choose to help the town guard as an activity to pay off the cost.

    Back at The Weary Knave the Ravens were enjoying their breakfast. It was all so frightening and yet so thrilling that giant spiders not only existed, but they had nested just outside the settlement of Langecliffe. Word of their exploits had started spreading in the village.
    “The righteous shall prevail!” Omac proclaimed. “We shall cleanse the land of evil, so that these people may live in peace, without fear for their lives!”
    “What’s our next move, Omac?” Boots asked.
    Omac looked at his group around the table, and touched his pouch.
    “The pouch is light, but before it becomes heavier, we must bind. Like the broth that’s still cooking, we need to stick together. The fire that feeds us is the suffering of the people, and the pot that will bring us together to a boil is the battles that we face!” The Ravens looked at their leader waiting for some explanation.
    He sighed. “Help the town guard for some easy coin, repair our gear and then set out for a patrol in the outskirts.”
    “Aye!” Bolga yelled, and the group dispersed.

    I can’t send my warband unarmed in a fight so I visited the blacksmith paying 1 Gold Mark to repair the damaged sickle.

    The research step identified that you may undertake a quest. The quest location was rolled to be in an Unexplored Location in the Wilderness. The task was rolled Information Costs. After talking with Ivan, he gave me a great solution of how to dress such a series of unknown quests with a narrative.

    I’ve decided once again to Ride Patrol as my adventuring action for this turn, and brought in my backpack my entire stash.

    After bashing a few drunkard skulls and fixing Solas’ sickle, the Ravens start gathering again at The Weary Knave.
    Omac is walking the streets of Langecliff when something shook his resolve. He tossed a coin to a beggar, and then the old man, looked at him with a blank stare.
    “Beyond the Savage Mountains, at the Chasm of Great Sorrow! The Black Ferret awaits you at the six Broken Fingers!” He cried.
    “Who awaits me, who is the Black Ferret?” Omac asked? But the beggar didn’t answer.
    “Who awaits me?” He asked again and persists, until a passerby saw his frustration.
    “Don’t expect an answer soon, the old man has had his tongue cut out years ago.” The villager told him. Omac lost his footing and left for the inn to clear his head.
    The rest of the Ravens pay no heed to his state of distress. They’ve packed their gear and are ready to leave for a patrol. He sees them, nods and they all set out.


    At the adventuring stage, while rolling for the encounters, I realised that in my previous session, I didn’t roll for leadership. So to make things fair, I’ve decided that in my next enemy leadership roll with a No leadership result, I’ll make a reroll and accept the new result.

    So I rolled that we encounter Unsavoury types and our objective will be to Scout the area. I rolled for the enemy at the Roadside encounters table and they will be Roving fiends 10 in number. Leadership gave a No leadership result, so I rerolled and got Unique Foes. Rolling further got me a result of Enemy marshal. With a motivation of the same goal as the group of enemies. The theme of the battle map will be settlement outskirts.

    Some notes on the encountered enemies. The Roving Fiends have no archers, natural armour and regenerate. This makes me think a lot of Witcher style necrophages, so my ghoul miniatures will fit right in. The Enemy Marshal is tough, can parry and gives a Combat bonus to his nearby allies in 4″. I felt like my Vampire miniatures would be the best match. I’m not thinking that the creature is a major vampire, but something more low key and primordial. Also enemies from Roadside encounters give 1 less Gold Mark in valuables, but also will flee if reduced to 1 or 2 figures in the Tracking Phase.

    For the battlemap, I went with a mostly flat terrain using my 20 cm² grass and dirt tiles. I put some houses to the centre and west of the map, and hills and woods to the east of the map, to better represent something that is the edge of the settlement. I put piles of scatter everywhere to make the entire thing look better. I’m only playing at a 2×2, so it’s important that terrain is as dense as possible, otherwise archery and movement become too easy.

    I rolled a placement distance of 17″ between the two forces, and that the two scout. objectives are the wooden cabin and the cross shaped roof house to the west. My warband failed to Seize Initiative.

    https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/627941499220525056/958764585165402192/329E9495-3052-4FEA-825E-0FB59A1B09A6.jpg
    To the left is North from where the warband arrives.

    They hadn’t even left the village, when they glimpsed some figures crawl around the houses at sundown. A chill ran down their spines.
    A wooden cabin and a big house had lantern lights still inside them. They could become targets for whatever was crawling in.
    Omac Gadun drew his sword and with his staff on the other hand he pointed to half the warband to take positions up on the hill to the east.


    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    From high ground, Myrick took a pot shot at the ghouls with his self bow, but the arrow fell way off course

    Stressed by the sheer number of fast moving creatures towards them, Boots loads his sling and shoots, but he’s too far away.

    Omac curses through his teeth. He has led the Ravens to the east side to gain advantage of the open field but the ghouls were not dumb enough to fall for it. As if they’re led by a stronger smarter sentience.

    They walk under the cover of trees and scatter and Omac reconsiders maybe he should have chosen the narrow alleyways of the settlement. He thinks if it is too late to reposition.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    With no target in sight, Boots turns to heel and dashes into the cabin, to see if there’s anyone in there. He sees a peasant an tells him to hide quickly into the hay.

    Omac repositions to the centre to support Bolga and Liana who now engage in combat against the necrophages that have closed in from all sides.

    Lady Liana of Trenne attacks, sword and board. But he ghoul is emboldened by the stronger cloaked fiendish woman in the middle. She sports her canines and hishes as she gestures to the ghoul to fight stronger. In the fight they’re equal, she pushes the creature back.

    Bolga attacks the other ghoul. His cleaver overcomes the thick skin, but he doesn’t kill it, and as the ghoul steps back, he sees the wound close on its own.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Omac Gadun, “The Raven” takes the moment by his sheer will. He moves forward next to his companions, and chants to the enemy marshal and the two ghouls that surround her. Invisible tendrils shoot and bind the creatures in place. He can feel that they’re a sacrilege to the world of the living just by existing.

    But a ghoul jumps down on Liana, and she’s quite certain that the claws of the creature would have stuck in her throat, but for some unknown reason, they struck void. Disoriented by this unknown save, she gets hit again, and stunned she is pushed back.

    The unbound ghouls surround the warband, as Bolga looks the vampire in the eye. He feels challenged by this monster, and charges head on. The vampire is hit. The Butcher earns his name, as the blade cuts the necrophage in half. Blood spews everwhere as the duskling screams a victorious cry.

    Emboldened by his companion, Myrick has an opening. He calculates the shot, and an arrow sends a ghoul to its end.

    Solas comes to the side of Lady Liana. Blows are blocked and parried, but he finally overcomes his enemy and kills it.

    Boots steps out of the cabin, and slings a lead bullet at a ghoul. It strikes, but the fiend survives, and the wound closes on its own.

    Lady Liana of Trenne, still disoriented, moves to engage her attacker. But the ghoul manages to turn the tables and wound her. She spits blood out and holds the wound at her side as she swears and curses at the fiend.

    With three of their own down, including their leader, a ghoul scampers away.

    ROUND 3
    I spent a story point to save Liana from becoming a casualty. I decided that those extra story points that I earned in my campaign turns by luck are an excellent resource to burn at a time like this. It's not so much the risk of Hero death, but the loss of an important combatant on my side so early in the battle, which can have catastrophic consequences.
    ROUND 4

    Lady Liana moves with her back to her companions as the ghouls approach from all sides. “We’ll fight them off! We must! before the sun sets!” she shouts. She draws a couple of balanced throwing knives and shoots them at the ghoul who eyes her with evil intent, sitting on top of the table, but she misses.

    Boots shoots at the same ghoul, but his sling shot is off and the bullet hits the farmhouse next to the monster.

    The ghoul growls and jumps at Lady Liana. She focuses her entire talent to defense. She knows she’s wounded and can’t afford to fall. Or her friends will fall next. Strike by strike, she blocks, parries and dodges, until the ghoul is pushed back.

    As they’re surrounded another ghoul attacks Bolga. As the creature is about to rip off Bolga’s neck with a bite, by divine intervention, Liana kicks it off with her boot. Bolga takes advantage of the situation, blocks, and returns with a counter attack, hacking the ghoul to death.

    Omac remains focused on his spell, keeping one ghoul immobilized.

    A fourth ghoul charges at Bolga, but he’s in a rage. He blocks the hit with his bare hands, grabs the ghoul by it’s throat, and brings the cleaver to it’s head, cutting it off.

    The warband is attacked continuously at the center. Back to back they fight the creatures. Omac uses his staff to parry the attacks of a ghoul. He manages to stave it off.

    From behind the fence a ghoul tries to flank Solas, but he’s ready. He wounds it, and screaming it distances itself.

    Myrick nocks another arrow, and shoots it, but it merely scratches the skin of the creature.

    Bolga engages in another fight with a ghoul, but he’s starting to get winded and can’t eliminate his foe.

    Seeing Lady Liana with blood in her mouth, Omac tries to focus on a healing incantation. He starts speaking the words right, but distracted by the fight, he fails to do the proper gestures at the right time, and nothing happens.

    Solas wants to take revenge on his foe. He jumps over the fence and chases the ghoul, but he can’t get past it’s defences as it claws wildly and jumps from side to side.

    ROUND 4
    Again, here I spent another Story Point to save Bolga.
    ROUND 5

    Boots shoots again at the ghoul on top of the table, wounding it, and the wound again, starts regenerating.

    Omac now focuses again on the same spell. He gets it right this time, and a surge of warmth overcomes the noble lady. She feels revitalized.

    As the wounded ghoul jumps from the table to her again, she blocks the attack. She counters, and with a hit of her own, her blade pierces it through and through. It’s dead.

    Bolga is attacked by the ghoul next to Liana, and taking point from her, he too blocks, counters and hacks it dead. Free from the spell that bound it, the other ghoul charges now at Bolga too. The hit is strong, but Bolga’s armor saves the day, for just enough time to give Bolga the opportunity to drive his attacker back. Bolga is attacked yet again by a third ghoul, but he manages to keep it at bay.

    Solas realizes he’s made a mistake to leave the defensive position of the fence, as the ghoul’s wound has regenerated and it charges back at him. It claws at him, and unarmored as he is, he’s wounded. He puts all his efforts to fend off his assailant, and manages to push the fiend back.

    Myrick shoots another arrow. An enemy is hit, but only barely scratched.

    Bolga decides that the distracted ghoul is a prime target. He charges furiously, with no regard for his own safety. The ghoul finds the opening and claws at Bolga from below, bringing him down.

    “No!” cries out Lady Liana, as she attacks the ghoul in vengeance, hitting it. But she’s lost focus. The hit, is merely a flesh wound.

    The falls, but the ghouls have suffered many losses. They scream and hiss, and run off to the darkness.

    ROUND 5
    I decided not to spend another Story Point for Bolga because a) I had spent one for him already, b) The battle had tipped in my favour, c) His fall was a result of my bad choice.

    Not having completed the Objective (I needed to Scout both buildings before Round 6) means I’m not entitled to a Loot Roll. Bummer. But I should have known better. Nevertheless, I’ve earned 3 Adventure Points!, and all Heroes earned 2 XP (even Bolga despite being a Casualty, because he took out the enemy Leader). Bolga thankfully was only Knocked Out, so I didn’t have to resort to any healing means.

    On the advancement front, Omac Leveled Up, earning a casting increase. Liana Leveled Up, earning a Will increase. Bolga also Leveled Up, earning a Combat Skill increase.
    Myrick gained a skill on the Flash of Insight table, and I decided to give him Expertise.
    Solas had a Moment of Inspiration on the Flash of Insight table. He became a Hero, and also earned a Combat Skill Increase.

    Since we Hold the field, I rolled on the Unusual Finds table and got a Damaged Standard Weapon and a Damaged Self Bow.

    On the News travels table I got a result that a Friend needs your help, but because I have no friends this means that at the next campaign turn in a settlement, I will get a contract.

    Covered in blood and the entrails of the wicked necrophages, the party took a moment to tend to their own. Bolga was only knocked out, but both he and Liana felt like they had survived by an unseen hand that intervened.
    “Xapha didn’t want me dead today” Bolga said. “My blade was led by the god of war.”
    Lady Liana looked at him. “By Achiem, through our deeds.” She responded. “The gods help those who help themselves.” Referencing Achiem, God of Fate and thanked him in a whisper, tossing some pebbles in the air as is customary. Her resolve was strengthened.
    Bolga just grunted. He stayed down, sitting cross legged trying to keep his head straight as to what had happened, and considering every strike he delivered.
    The Beard looked around to his companions. They had come too close to their dooms, but through self reflection they’d grow from this and emerge stronger. Why did his first attempt at healing fail? Was he distracted? He’s going to have to study his manuscripts tonight.
    But of all, his gaze stopped on Solas. He was gathering a sword and a bow that he found in bad condition nearby that didn’t look to belong to anyone. Solas no longer looked to be the frail apprentice that followed his master at whatever petty task was asked of him. Something in his eyes had changed. “You won’t let the beasts get you huh boy?. Tough as an Ox.” Omac told him. “Ox. That’s what I’ll call you. Solas the Ox”. Solas smiled.
    “Temir.” He said. “I’ll use my middle name…. I feel the blood of my ancestors flowing through me.”
    Omac nodded. “Temir, tough as an ox.” They both laughed.
    “The people will sleep safe tonight. Our work here is done. Ale tonight’s on me.” He declared, and a faint smile traced on their faces.


    Session Summary

    It was a really tense session. And despite not earning enough gold, my objective (as a player) was achieved. I wanted to strengthen up my warband, and those level ups were absolutely perfect.
    Having played the second session now, I must say that I find that even where the changes from 2nd to 3rd edition aren’t so evident, the improvement is. The game is better, plays smoother and has more tactical options to make choices relevant.

    Since Solas has advanced to Hero status, I decided to give him a different core name, a nickname, and I will also give him a new miniature to represent him. I’ll consider what that will be until the next campaign turn.

     
  • giorgis 11:55 am on March 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep01 

    Intro

    I’ve long awaited, and finally the third edition of Five Leagues from the Borderlands (5L3e for sort) has been released in pre-order by Modiphius! Pre-ordering means getting the pdf version (prior to any errata) at the time of the order, and that’s what I did.

    Now, this isn’t a review as I prefer to establish my thoughts after I discover topics that arise during gameplay, but I’ll do an exception and share some initial impressions.

    As was the case with the Modiphius version of Five Parsecs from Home, this one too got a huge facelift. The layout is just beautiful and clear. The artwork is really evocative and I found myself at times just scrolling through the pages to look at it. I was also glad to find an index at the end of the book, which -old school me- I used, despite having pdf navigation. This will be really useful at the final printed version.


    The Warband

    So I went ahead and read through the character generation and rolled up my warband. The standard size now is Four Heroes and Two Followers, a sizeable decrease compared to the 2nd edition, but one which I find necessary. Fielding 8 warband members in the past edition made the game a bit cumbersome at times, and easier than my liking. Of course, there are options to increase the size of your warband should you wish, with rules for balancing encounters and upkeep costs.

    Since I’ve spent a sizeable amount of time in the past few months prepping for the release by painting scores of miniatures, I decided to roll the warband randomly and go from there.

    So the results for the heroes were a Halfling, Two Humans, and a Duskling. I decided the humans would be a Mystic, and a Noble. I rolled for all the heroes their background options and rolled the descriptors for my followers as well. Assigned equipment and decided who my Avatar would be.

    I pondered a lot on which miniatures I would use to depict my party and used several generators online to find suitable names and nicknames as well as the warband name. I didn’t use any of my previous miniatures for the Wardens of Gahyrst because I wanted a fresh and unique look.

    I think it’s pretty clear in the above picture as to who is who, but let me introduce them more properly.

    “Boots” Caldas, Halfling. +1 CS, +1 Agi, +2 XP. Fine Sling, Light Weapon (Dagger).

    Myrick, Human, Wily Rogue. Self Bow, Light Weapon (Dagger).

    Bolga “The Butcher”, Duskling. +1 Agi, +1 XP, Wilderness Skill. Bastard Sword (Big Cleaver), Partial Armour (Brigandine).

    Lady Liana of Trenne, Human Noble. +1 Agi, +1 XP, Crafting Skill. Standard Weapon (Sword), Throwing Knives, Partial (Plate) Armour.

    Omac “Beard” Gadun “the Raven”, Human Mystic. Avatar. +1 Casting, +1 XP, Alchemy Skill. Staff, Bastard Sword, Full (Plate) Armour.

    Solas, Human, Studious Apprentice. Standard Weapon (Sickle).

    Backpack: Bandages (3), Silvertree Leaf (2), 4 Gold Marks.

    I’ve rolled on the Avatar table and got a result that an old drunkard told me to come to a specific place (unexplored location) and visit a strange rock.

    A short note on the various Origins, and more specifically now on Dusklings. Dusklings are on purpose of the miniatures-agnostic nature of the game, not defined as something specific. They can range from the high fantasy Orcs, to Dark Elves, to low fantasy Barbarian tribes.
    For my theme I am thinking to incorporate all of these. A collection of different species all of a warlike, nature. Maybe they would unite under a strong leader. But for now, I'm keeping the Orc part under the "Duskling" Origin, and will see if I'm going to accomodate the rest in the future or not.

    The Land

    5L3e has a point crawl map system. There are map areas that may contain one or more locations, but travel between any of the map areas takes one campaign turn. The campaign turn is an abstract unit of time so you can come up with any sort of narrative explanations of travel time and distance as you see fit during the game.

    I went ahead and generated the settlements, and came up with four settlements as follows: (town, manor), (village, manor), (village, market town), (hamlet, market town).

    To generate the lay of the land I went to the Perilous Shores procedural generator by watabou. I generated a few until I got something that fit, and decided to keep the names of the locations as given.

    I found out that porting the map over to powerpoint made a huge difference. I can add points of interest and information and even depict time and movements through the use of different slides and arrow connectors.

    According to the rules, I added two unexplored locations (one due to core rules and one due to the avatar backstory) and one Delve. Delves are the 5L3e terminology for Dungeons. I also added three camps, one for each enemy threat.

    The enemy threats is a known concept of 5L. They represent the types of enemies one might face. What is different in 5L3e is that now there are 8 different threats to choose from (or roll randomly). Two threats from the Foes Within table and one threat from the Fors Without table.

    Initially I went ahead and rolled the threats, but I changed one result as I felt I really wanted rat-men in my games (these Ben Siens sculpts from Splintered Light miniatures are just awesome) and switched the Ruin Within threat to be The Gnawling Horde.

    Overall here are the three threats of the region along with their levels.

    • The Gnawling Horde /6
    • The Whispers from Beyond /5
    • Duskling Warbands /5

    And here’s the final map of the region, called The Aristrax Marches, from which I’ll name my Campaign.


    Turn 1

    “We have been tasked!” Omac told, in his pompous fashion. The Ravens looked at their leader.

    “The Beard” as they called him, “the Raven” as he wants to be called, is man who spent his life in pursuit of the arcane. He prefers to declare himself a mystic, but depending on the local sentiment, he may be seen as a devout healer or as a heretic to be burned in the pyre.

    During his research, he has found that there are forces of evil constantly trying to consume this world in darkness. The borderlands are the only place that stands as a barrier against evil, and risk to be the first to fall.

    The petty baron princes, greedy aristocrats and corrupt mayors that rule these lands, don’t care much for their people, nor for the hinterlands. Unless it’s in their direct interest to combat the threats, best case, they’ll do nothing against them.

    Omac Gadun has taken it upon himself to fight this evil wherever it may come from. But he knows he can’t do it alone, so with the promise of gold, glory and fame, he has called up to friends and adventurers to join him.

    “The Aristrax Marches is where we’ll go. My sources tell me of rat-men poisoning the towns and spreading disease, restless dead rising from their graves and tormenting the living, and dusklings raiding and marauding the countryside. The people in these lands need us the most, and we won’t abandon them, or they’ll abandon hope.” Omac finished his speech. He looked them one by one in the eye. “Boots” Caldas, the halfling ranger closed his eyes in an affirmative fashion. Liana of Trenne did a small bow in acceptance. Bolga, “the Butcher” as they called him due to his big cleaver, punched the ground with his fist and shouted “Aye!”. Myrick and Solas nodded.

    Omac looked to the distance as if considering the things to come.

    So for the first turn of the game you start at the edge of the map, I rolled randomly and got that the Ravens approach from the West.

    As the first action I have to travel to the nearest settlement. I chose Langecliff as the destination, rolled on the respective table and got Uneventful Travels.

    The non uniform band travelled the ragged path towards Langecliff. The road went through a valley between two mountain ranges, and Langecliff is in the middle of the valley.

    The village is small, built around the manor of the local lord. No one payed a lot of attention to the newcomers as they met the innkeep to arrange accommodations, but a few who looked at Bolga with disdain, only to be met with a low growl forcing them to return their attention to their table.


    Turn 2

    So a normal turn starts with the preparation stage. Rolled and so the story went on the local events table, adding 1 Story Point to the total.

    Followed up with the upkeep cost which would be 2 Gold Marks, but I decided to Help the town guard as a campaign activity, negating the cost, and chose Meet the locals where I rolled A brief chat.

    Decided to not perform any trading as coin is low at the moment,

    On the Research step, Rolling for connections yielded no result.

    Finally as the adventure step I’ve decided on something simple to get started: Ride Patrol, and outfitted the warband by placing the bandages and silvertree leaf in the backpack just in case.

    The warband gathered around the table in “The Weary Knave” – weird name for an inn, Omac thought.
    “I know we don’t go way back between us, but even more so with the Aristrax Marches. We’re strangers here, newcomers. We’ll need to earn the trust of the locals. Coin is low, so we’ll help out with whatever tasks we can find, suitable to our skills.” Omac told the group.

    “A quick glance of the status of the town guard, tells me they will need help with a few pairs of arms. Even at the sight of Bolga, the drunkards will become sober. Let’s see if we can earn some favors there.” Boots proposed.

    “Excellent proposition Caldas! Now, anyone not involved in bashing drunkard skulls, I want you to talk with the locals, see if there’s any rumours floating around. Ring to any connections you have. We’ll meet in a few days here, to ride out for a patrol, see what the countryside around Langecliff is like.” Omac added, and the Ravens dispersed.

    A few days later, they joined up again to report. Solas, Myrick and Bolga brought enough crowns to the table to pay for their stay.

    “Any news from Langecliffe?”, the Beard asked Boots, but the halfling shook his head.
    “Any contacts?” he looked at Lady Liana of Trenne. “None.-” Liana responded.

    “Then we head out tomorrow.” He said sternly.


    At the adventuring stage, the ride patrol result was that we met up with a wanderer who says that they have seen something odd. I added an Unexplored Location at the same area. I decided to explore this directly since I didn’t want to head back empty handed, and find that a wanderer tells me about an old ruin, crawling with fiends. The Unexplored Location thus becomes a Delve. I rolled up a name using the oracles from Ironsworn and got the name of Longhaven. I rolled up a Traveller encounter, which turned out to be a Young Runaway whom I’ve decided to let join the warband. Pushing further, I decided to enter the Delve, starting the game with a bang!
    For narrative economy, I’ll consider that all the above different persons are the same one, since it has no mechanical impact if I do so.

    Just a bit further than the eastern outskirts of Langecliff, the warband comes upon a young man, running, trembling and mumbling. Myrick stands in front. “Hold up young sir! Is there something wrong?”
    “Y..ye..yes! I was just in the entrance old ruins, and I could swear something was watching me. I ran away as fast as I could.” The youth says.
    “Does your mother know you’re out here playing in the ruins? Don’t you have chores to help with your old man? Go! back to your home. We’ll investigate this ruin…” Omac replies.
    “No, I can’t go back to them. I’ll find somewhere else to go.” The young man says.
    Omac pauses to consider for a short while. Then he sighs. “Hold up. What’s your name?” He asks.
    “Brobern, sire.” He replies.
    “Alright Brobern, you can come join us for smart company, a hot meal and a lousy bedroll every night. If you promise to stay out of trouble, that is, knowing that we are after trouble, and trouble is after us as well.” Omac offers.
    “Yes, yes kind sir. I’ll join you.” The youth smiles.
    “Now, my name is Omac Gudan, and we’re the Ravens. Time to bring some tranquility to these torn lands. The rest of the band will introduce themselves. Now tell me, what do you know of this ruin?” Omac smiles back.
    “Tis Langecliffe sire. Used to be a manor of a lord of old. It’s been derelict for years and I thought I could spend the night here…” Brobern says.
    “You stay here, and whistle if you see anyone approach. We’ll go inside” Gudan says and draws his blade.


    It took me a while to get a grip of how the Delve should be run. I had to go back and forth between three-four different spots in the book. Encounter Locations, Delves, Site Battles and Lurking Foes. Despite going back and forth several times, it was very easy to get a hold of all the required information, and for a first timer, I must say it wasn’t very problematic.

    So in 5L3e, Delves have an interesting mechanic. One party member does a complete move forward and then you roll on a random table, and then you deploy the enemy. This all makes this first move really suspenseful. There are more interesting things in delves, like having exploration markers that also double as patrol points for the unaware enemies, and which give random results when explored, additional rules (limited LOS, movement, can’t dash), but we’ll see them in practice as the dungeon is explored.

    So Boots took the first movement in the dungeon, with a result of A quiet entrance. Afterwards I rolled up my enemy forces from the Lurking Foes table, and got a result of Giant Bugs, and a total number of 9. I have only 8 giant spiders miniatures, and two gigantic ones, so I was considering between using a Facehugger for the ninth bug, but instead I went with the gigantic one, but without making it any stronger. Our objective is to explore 3 markers, and then we can end the mission at any time.

    For the dungeon, I used the tiles I have prepared from the Gamemaster Dungeons Set, which I found to be very easy to make. Unfortunately I hadn’t had the time to prepare many more different tiles that I wanted, so I had to make do with what I had prepared. I added various pieces of scenery from 15mm Fantasy Battle Valor Dungeon Accessories set, and for the doors, I had to make do with paper standees from my ancient Dragon Quest TSR board game. I really need to make some new doors, as I felt like this was the only part that felt out of place.

    Entering the Old Ruin of Longhaven, Boots goes first.
    One of the spiders enters the intersection, and seeing the intruders it attacks Bolga. They fight each other, pushing through the narrow room, until it ends in a standoff.
    The noise draws the attention of another spider who joins in the fray and stands right behind it’s friend. Bolga rushes and charges the two beasts, but he’s careless, and the mandibles grab him, pinch him and toss him aside. Bolga is down!
    Boots attacks the spider with his dagger, but his weak scratches only manage to stun it shortly.
    Two more spiders come from the north, and Omac Gadun shouts an incantation in an unknown tongue.
    As if caught by an unkown hand, the three furthest spiders remain bound in place, unable to move.
    Lady Liana of Trenne comes to Boot’s side. With her exquisite fencing skills, she confuses the spider just enough time, for her to find an opening and drive her sword deep in it’s belly. The spider is down. Another spider comes from the western corridor and jumps at the lady warrior. She dodges the attack and finds herself behind the beast, slashing at it’s torso, killing it with one swift strike.
    Boots has loaded his sling with a lead bullet, he swings it, and with the momentum, the bullet lodges itself deep in the skull of another spider.
    Solas and Myrick have entered the room to help their companions.
    Solas rushes to one of the giant bugs, and with his sickle, he cuts off it’s head! Green goo spills everywhere.
    Lady Liana of Trenne charges at the other spider, but it covers itself with its front legs, and then lashes back wildly, and the lady has to step back.
    Boots climbs on top of the table and takes a shot at the creature, hitting it, but merely wounding it.
    The spider doesn’t move, still bound by the sheer will of Omac, who still seems concentrated on the spell.
    Another spider comes from the northern door, and attacks Solas. One of it’s sharp legs wound him, but in the end, Solas manages to push back.
    A roaming group of spiders saw the battle, and now rush to join from the western corridor.
    Myrick draws the string of his bow and shoots at the spider. The arrow finds its target, and another spider is down.
    With the spell ending, Omac’s concentration is back to his surroundings. The Beard draws his bastard sword and charges at the wounded spider. With a big lunge, he brings down the mighty blade and hacks the spider in half.
    Seeing the massacre, one spider that was coming closer from the corridor, now turns and flees.
    Myrick climbs on top of the table to get a clear view of the corridor. He aims his bow at the spider, hits it, and kills it with an arrow.
    Boots, shoots his sling from the doorway, and hits the last spider. Killing it instantly.
    The Ravens have cleared Longhaven from the creatures, now they can explore.
    Omac searches a pile of rubble, and hidden underneath the dirt, he finds a set of camp gear. This will come in handy.
    As Liana finds herself in the middle of the western corridor, she hears footsteps approaching. She keeps her blade at the ready.
    She searches the room to the north, only to hear footsteps behind her.
    Solas is close by.
    As Solas moves to explore further west, seeing the gap in the end of the ruin, leading to a cavern of sorts, a spider jumps in from the south. The footsteps Liana heard. It takes him by surprise. He tries to fight it off, but to no avail. It wounds him again, and he’s down.
    Liana comes in to the rescue, but she’s too late. She hits the spider with fury, her blade digging deep. The spider is dead.
    She then goes to explore the opening that Solas found, as Boots tends to their fallen teammate.
    Searching through a pile of bricks she finds an interesting potion, looking magical in nature. It’s in a glass flask with a dragon’s head as it’s opening. A swirling flaming red liquid splashes inside.
    Having lost two members, the Raven gives the order to step out. They’ll search for anything of value on the way out, as they carry their fallen friends and get them to safety.

    I decided to not proceed with searching the last two exploration markers, as I find the risk too high.

    On the resolution stage I rolled for injuries. Bolga was just knocked out, but Solas had his sickle damaged.

    On the experience and advancement, survivors got 2 XP, while the casualties earned 1 XP each. Boots advanced, and I rolled an increase to his Combat Skill, reaching +2.

    The warband earned a loot roll, and they found a suit of partial armour.

    On the last resolution step, news travels, rolled a result that a letter needs delivering from Newhorn to Langecliff.

    Just outside the ruins, the warband gathered again. A quick look at their wounded companions, and they saw that it was nothing but a scratch. Solas was unhappy because as he fought with the last spider he hit his sickle on a rock and got it broken. He’ll have to repair it.

    Boots found a nice chain mail shirt in his size, and quickly took possession of it. It would protect him well, hidden beneath his clothes. It was the first time he fought with a sling in such dark and close quarters, but he took knowledge of the lessons learned.

    “Gather round!” Omac spoke up. “It was a successful endeavour. We cleaned up the old ruin. At least the top part. I’m certain there’s more to it, but we’ll come back a later time. For now, back to Langecliff for drinks and rest!”

    As they reach the inn, the innkeeper eyes the group closely and gestures for Omac to come close. “I see you’re men who aren’t afraid to face the dangers that roam the countryside. I have family over at Newhorn. If the road ever gets you there and you send me word back from them in writing, I’ll make it worth your while.” The Raven nods and smiles, as he buys a round of ale for his company. They have earned it.


    Outro

    First of all let me state that I’m biased, and this is not a completely objective review. Nevertheless, I’m still entitled to an opinion, and here it is, with regards to the my first session of 5L3e.

    In two words, my feeling of the new edition is that It Rocks!

    The random tables are everywhere, but they’re intertwined, and what started as a simple Ride Patrol, ended up with my warband searching deep into a Delve!

    The Delve mechanics are very well thought of, with the unaware enemies going from marker to marker. Even though my dungeon wasn’t the biggest possible, there was this one spider that was generated after exploring a marker (Footsteps result) and it never went the direction of the warband. Instead it kept roaming in the darker caverns. Looking forward to continuing the Delve, though I’m eager too for some overworld action.

    The preparation effort I placed in the past months with miniatures and terrain seems to have paid off, but I still feel like there’s a 15% more that I want for completion.

    I still haven’t settled 100% on the way that I will be presenting my posts, as I am constantly evolving my style.

    As to the tools I used, I really like how I can use powerpoint to depict changes on the map over time, add new places and notes. I think this will be a game changer for me as to how I keep my notes. Now I just need to updated it all with the latest results and prepare for the next turn of endless adventure!

    I intend to focus mostly on playing 5L3e on the coming time, and I’m really excited about it!

     
  • giorgis 10:23 am on March 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt80 – Octopods 

    The number 80 of this series of blog posts includes … what else, Octopods! These aliens are from Alternative Armies Hordes of Future range. On hindsight I should have painted the eyes a different colour, as they’re big enough to make them stand out. I might return and touch them up with a purple colour in the future.

    I think they’ll make perfect pirates or other enemies for my Five Parsecs campaign or other similar sci fi games.

    Octopods Officer
    Octopods Medic
    Octopods Assault
    Octopods Assault
    Octopods Assault
     
  • giorgis 9:34 pm on March 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt79 – Sci Fi Dogs and more 

    Here’s a bunch of sci fi miniatures from Alternative Armies HOF and Ion Age range.

    Robot dog
    Robot monkey
    Dog
    Sandworm
    Sandworm
    Sandworm
    Sandworm
     
  • giorgis 12:03 pm on March 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt78 – Picts 

    In accordance to my previous post about Northlander characters here are Copplestone Picts Characters from the Barbarica range.

    Pict Shaman
    Pict Shaman
    Pict Shaman
    Pict Warrior
    Pict Warrior
    Pict Drummer
    Pict Drummer
    Pict Warrior
    Pict Warrior
    Pict Warrior
     
  • giorgis 11:50 am on March 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt77 – Northlanders 

    Here are the Northlander Characters from Copplestone Castings Barbarically range. It was a pleasure painting these. Very well detailed sculpts. I went with earth tones.

    Northlander with axe
    Northlander with battle axe
    Northlander with axe
    Northlander with axe
    Northlander with maul
    Northlander with sword and axe
    Northlander shaman
    Northlander shaman
    Northlander shaman
    Northlander shaman
     
  • giorgis 10:32 am on March 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt76 – Dwarf Warband 

    Here’s a Dwarian Warband from Batlle Valor. The two stone golems I’ve posted in a previous blog post, while I’ve also added two single figures, a couple of Dwarf bear riders.

    I really enjoyed these sculpts, these dwarves have a round look to them, and they are all unique, no doubles.

    It’s a command group (standard bearer, captain, musician), and three ram lancers, and four each of hammerers, axemen, swordsmen, crossbowmen, spearmen. I may have mixed up the shield of the captain with the bear rider slayer, but I can live with it.

    The entire group
    Slayer bear rider
    Captain bear rider
    Ram rider
    Ram rider
    Ram rider
    Captain
    Standard bearer
    Musician
    Axeman
    Axeman
    Axeman
    Axeman
    Spearman
    Spearman
    Spearman
    Spearman
    Hammerer
    Hammerer
    Hammerer
    Hammerer
    Swordsman
    Swordsman
    Swordsman
    Swordsman
    Crossbowman
    Crossbowman
    Crossbowman
    Crossbowman
     
  • giorgis 10:05 am on March 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt75 – Winged beasts 

    Here are three winged monsters. A Manticore and a Griffon from Alternative Armies Hordes of Things range, and a Forest Dragon from Ral Partha Europe The Dark Eye range. The last one is a 28mm range but this is a small dragon and would fit my 15mm range with no issue.

    I painted the Manticore in a quite classic colour scheme. For the Griffon I went with a bald eagle inspiration for the eagle part. For the dragon I went with a Black Dragon colour scheme, by painting it mostly black and washing it with Military Shader to give it a more acid/slimy look.

    Manticore
    Griffon
    Black Dragon
     
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