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  • giorgis 3:35 pm on November 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep14 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun emerged victorious from an ambush by a corrupt sorcerer and his undead minions, escaping without injuries and killing the sorcerer in the process.

    Turn 24

    I’m trying to declutter a bit all the extra things that happen. Therefore instead of removing the Events tables (News Events, Town Events, Camp Events), I’ll be rolling an extra d10 along with my percentile dice. If either of the percentile dice match the value on my d10, then the event rolled will occur, otherwise I’ll disregard it. If I calculated the odds correctly, that’s about 19% chance of an event occuring, which seems okay.
    So, I rolled that there is no Town Event this campaign turn.
    My Upkeep is rolled at 3 Gold Marks, therefore as Campaign Activities I choose to Help the Town Guard to negate the cost. Also Bolga will spend the turn Training and he gains another extra XP.

    All is quiet at Newhorn. The Ravens, maybe were a bit accustomed to the good fortune that befell them the previous days they stayed there, and the good nature of the locals who payed for their food and gear, and spent more than usual. Omac counted down their coin, and decided they’d have to help out the town guard to make ends meet. Only Bolga didn’t join them there, considering his previous dealings with the law, and spent his time training instead.

    I decided to hunt down the Whispers from Beyond Threat, and rolled that they’re on a location in the Wilderness and I’ll need to make a Travel roll. The Travel roll generated a Meeting with a Monk who offers to follow us as a Follower wearing a Light Armor and carrying a Standard Weapon.
    I decide not to take him with us.
    The enemy is Preparing to attack villagers and their Overarching goals are to establish a larger presence. All this makes sense.
    They’re 4 Fog Born accompanied by a Lieutenant. I increased their numbers by one for fairness sake because in my last Defensive Battle I had forgotten to apply this. Hope my choice doesn’t return to bite me.
    The Theme is Foothills and our Objective is to Hunt the Enemy – the Lieutenant must be killed in melee.
    We fail to Seize Initiative and the battle begins.

    Boots became aware of news of a dark evil near the Rurks’ Foothills a couple days ride away. Peasants were murmuring about a shadow over the land. Their livestock becoming sick, and their wolfhounds bark frightened at nights. With this new information, he comes to Omac who gives the signal for them to leave.
    On the way there, they meet a friendly travelling monk. Having heard of their exploits, he offers to join them in their adventures, but Omac dimisses him in a kind manner. “We’re grateful for your offer. Unfortunately we have as many mouths as we can feed. Spread the word, and help the people in the Marches. They need as much help as they can get.”
    It isn’t long after that they reach Rurk’s Foothills. There between the fog that shrouds the land, they see them. Dark shapes in the fog. Wraiths, holding ancient weapons.
    “Fog born”. Whispers Omac to the rest of the warband. He counts 6 of them, and notices that one of them at the center stands out. He gives orders to the rest of them and points them to the villager houses in the foothills.
    “We have to help the common folk. Drive off the creatures from this land!” He says to the warband, the intensity of his voice increasing. He turn to the wraiths. “Begone creatures of darkness! By steel you shall perish!” He shouts, and any chance of surprise is lost, as the fog born turn their attention to the Ravens.


    ROUND 1

    Omac orders the Ravens to hold the ground in the pass as the fog born approach from all sides.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Omac shouts the incantantions to Bind the fog born approaching from the West, stopping them on their heels.
    Bolga charges at the nearest wraith, hitting it three times consecutively before delivering a wounding blow. The fog born lets off an unearthly scream and steps back.
    Temir charges at the enemy leader and they exchange blows but noone delivers. As they disengage, Myrick takes a shot with his bow at the leader, but misses, his enemy obscured by the fog.
    Boots moves past the conflict and attacks the leader – their target – he hits, but a blow that would otherwise stun a weaker foe is ineffective, the wraith leader deflects the next attack and comes back with a hit that Boots barely avoids, being stunned for a moment.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Bolga has his eyes set on the wraith that was locked in combat with him before, and charges at him, merely stunnig him before his enemy is pushed back.
    Myrick takes a covering position near Boots and Temir – they’re about to be flanked and he’s not going to allow it.
    One of the bound wraiths breaks off his spell and moves closer.
    The wraith charges back at Bolga, but neither comes out on top.
    The fog born leader looks at Caldas – at least that’s what the halfling feels, since no eyes are visible. He swoops down on the little folk, and they lock in combat. Boots avoids the blows, and comes with one of his own, but it’s too weak to hurt the wraith.
    Omac follows up his spellcasting with a Bleed spell on the wounded foe. ‘Do the wraiths bleed?’ he considers right after. Guess he’s about to find out.
    Boots switches direction, and goes to attack a wraith that is about to flank them. The fog born blocks the first attack, but Boots manages to turn back the flow of battle, and with two strikes he manages to score the first kill of the battle. As his enemy dies, only an empty cloak remains.
    Temir takes a shot at the fog obscured wraiths, but, his arrow doesn’t find his target.
    The losses they have suffered doesn’t seem to cause any commotion to the enemy ranks, and the bleed spell doesn’t seem to have any effect sofar.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Bolga follows up in combat with the wounded wraith, but despite hitting his battered foe three times, his hits are too weak to wound or bypass his armor, and he finally steps back to catch his breath.
    Boots takes a shot with his sling at the enemy leader, but the bullet seems to fly through the fog without hitting anything.
    Now Boots is surrounded, and one by one the enemies attack him. He parries the attacks of the first wraith, and hits back weakly, before disengaging. Then their leader, attacks again the short folk, but he defends and steps back, only to be attack by a third enemy. The wraith hits him, but the halfling’s chain shirt saves him from the blow. Seeing his opponent stunned, the wraith tries to double up, but Caldas fights him off. Finding an opening, the halfling flanks his enemy, and with a swift strike of his fencing blade, he scores the second kill. An empty cloak drops.
    The duo of the wraith and Bolga, locks again in combat, but the result is yet again indecisive.
    Temir draws his enchanted blade, and attacks one of the wraiths that surrounded his short companion. He scores a wounding hit and with another blow another empty cloak drops on the dirt, the armour unable to protect it’s wearer.
    Myrick aims his bow carefully. The fog blocks his vision, but his arrow, goes right in the wraiths head. As if by luck, and with an unholy scream, one more empty cloak drops down.
    Omac’s spell seems to take effect, and suddenly the fog that surrounds the wraith scatters, and the wounded fog born’s cloak drops as well.
    Their numbers dwindling, one wraith runs off, and the leader turns to flee as well, but the Ravens won’t lt him.

    ROUND 4
    'I made a ruling over rules here. Normally, all the enemies would flee according to the morale result. It is my understanding that a fleeing enemy is not willing to fight, and the warband decides to let him go. If the warband wouldn't want him to flee, as in my case, then the enemy would have to walk to the end of the battlefield edge to do it. Same rule that applies for the player figures.'
    ROUND 5

    Bolga jumps on his mark, and with two successfuly slashes of his cleaver, the wraith leader is gone for good. The Ravens have achieved their objective and hold the field.

    ROUND 5

    I’ve gotten a ton load of Adventure Points at the Resolution stage

    • 1 point for defeating 5+ enemy figures from the Whispers from Beyond
    • 1 point for defeating a Fog Born leader
    • 1 point for succeeding on the Hunt objective
    • 1 point for succeeding on the objective where the enemy would attack villagers
    • 1 point for defeating an enemy Lieutenant
    • I rolled 5 points for being Victorious against an enemy threat

    Out of the total of 10 Adventure Points I spent 6 for a Reduce the Enemy Threat Milestone, so the Whispers from Beyond Threat is at Level 1, and have an excess of 4 Adventure Points for a whooping total of 23!
    Everyone earned 2 XP except Bolga who earned 3 XP as he defeated the enemy leader. Bolga also advanced to Level 5 and earned the Battlewise skill.
    Undin rolled on the Flash of Insight table, but he didn’t earn anything. Makes sense, considering he didn’t do anything during combat.

    As for Loot we found a set of Partial Armor, and at Unusual Finds we found a way to a new Location which I’ll disregard for now.
    According to News Events I rolled that we had no event occuring this turn.

    Session Summary

    When I saw the enemy roll result as ‘Fog Born’ I was excited – on one hand it was going to be a difficult battle, on the other hand it was an excellent opportunity for me to use my (Ring)wraith miniatures. Since they all look kind of the same I decided to use the ones I got from Khurasan as the leader (different sculp range, different paint job) and the ones I got from Alternative Armies as the core troops. Five Leagues from the Borderlands really gives me a chance to use all of those miniatures I painted in the past few years.
    At the battle layout I was scared that my troops might get outflanked and perish at the funnel tactic I chose. Nevertheless, the risk payed off, and with careful tactics, we managed to win without a single loss.
    Now I’m even more excited for the next battle. I want to finish off the Whispers from Beyond Threat. To do this I will search for the Hideout and try to destroy it. If successful, this will leave a Camp of strugglers in the region, which I may target at any other point in time. Also I will need to revisit the Quest, and give it a second shot, but maybe I’ll do some contracts first to get some much needed gold and buy proper gear.

  • giorgis 6:07 pm on November 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep13 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the under-manned Ravens of Gadun barely made it out alive from a patrol, after finding out evidence about the enemy planning to attack them.

    Turn 22

    In the Town Events table I rolled that we are given a gift, a Fine Standard Weapon. I equip Undin with it.
    The Upkeep is rolled at only 1 Gold Mark.
    Due to resting, all the wounded Ravens remove 1 turn of recovery, and Undin is healed completely of injuries.
    For activities, Myrick will visit the Healer, and Temir will spend this time training.
    On the Trade step, I’ll sell Undins standard weapon.
    I decide not to do anything this round, and just rest. I won’t be going in a fight with half the warriors.
    So the Campaign Turn ends with News that travellers have seen something. I disregard it. I’ve got enough unexplored locations as it is.

    Omac is walking around the narrow streets of Newhorn, and as he passes by a smithy, he hears a man whistle. The weary middle aged smith gestures him to come over.
    “You’re the Beard?” He asks, and Omac nods.
    “You have done us common folk a lot of good. You defeated Nabaru, you’ve saved young men and women. I can’t do what you do, but perhaps I can offer you something.” He says and brings out an axe, wrapped in fabric. “Here, take this blade. I forged it myself. Hope it serves you well. My name is Hamund. If next time you kill a beast you’ll tell them it died by Hamund’s blade, it would make me very happy.”
    “I am honoured, by your gesture Hamund. It humbles us, and it well be put to good use.” Omac thanks him.
    All is quiet in Newhorn, the warband rests to recover, except for Temir who spends all his time training in single combat, and Omac can’t help but feel that the enemy lies in wait for them to peek out of the Town.

    Turn 23

    On the Town Events I roll that we get 1 more Campaign Activity as there are supportive locals.
    Upkeep once more is at just 1 Gold Mark, and with 1 more turn of rest all the warband members are ready for battle.
    Undin will try Scouting but he fails.
    Temir will gain 1 more XP training, and Omac will go to Pray but he fails his Devotion test.
    We won’t Trade anything on this turn. Since it’s my first Defensive Battle coming up, I decide to have Bolga, Temir and Boots, eat one Ironshield Root and Springwind Berries dose each. Let’s see if this will help at all.
    These will give them +1 Toughness and Speed +1/+1 each.

    As the Ravens recuperate, word gets on the streets of Newhorn that they’re going out to fight the evil. The locals support them in whatever needs doing. Sending messages, helping the pack, carrying baggage. The people are there for them.
    Undin scouts out unsuccessfully, his short appearance helps him hide, but his loud voice and clanging gear are worse than hanging a bell on a bleeting goat. Temir further focuses on training, but taking his bow to the archery range. His commitment is evident.
    Omac goes by the chapel, but his mind is taken elsewhere and he can’t feel the tranquility needed to meditate.
    He packs up, and has decided that enough is enough. They’re ready. Whoever’s out to get them, they’ll get him first.

    As stated in the previous Episode Enemy Plans roll, we’ll fight a Defensive Battle against a random active Threat. I didn’t bother choosing an adventuring plan, as I need to do this before anything else, and it’s best if I play along with this meta information. I’ve rolled randomly and I’ll be fighting The Whispers from Beyond which kinda makes sense considering we’ve taken the fight to them and we also have the Parchments of Ugmal.
    Rolling randomly I get that we have to fight 7 of The Outcasts, 2 of them are slingers, and they’re led by a Unique Foe. This one I rolled to be a Corrupt Sorcerer, who can conjure skeletons when he’s at a tough spot. Rolling on his motivation, he’s the warband leader, and they’re Brave as long as he’s on the field.
    According to the Enemy Plans I’m also to give the enemy 1 Lieutenant and 1 Sergeant, for 10 enemies total.
    Now some special rules. The Whispers from Beyond will grant me +1 Adventure Point if I kill at least 5 of them, but a fog limits visibility to 9″. The Outcasts will give me +1 Gold Mark on a roll of 6 for each Leader figure killed, but they are also Outflanking. The Corrup Sorcerer apart from the motivation rules, also has the trait of Awareness which means I cannot Seize Initiative against him, and he will Hang Back and stay in cover unless we’re within melee range.
    Rolling for Outflanking I get that 7 enemies are outflanking. Which means that I’ll be facing the 2 Outcast Slingers and Corrupt Sorcerer on the table until being Outflanked from a random table edge by 6 melee Outcasts, 1 Lieutenant and 1 Sergeant, yes that 1 more enemy, which is according to the rules.
    Finally I roll that the theme is Old Church which is an excellent opportunity for me to bring out my latest terrain which I painted – the Escomb Church.
    I place every figure on the map, and then before combat begins, the enemy starts coming closer in stealth to find a better position to attack me. Under the cover of the trees and the church, they manage to get pretty close. The two slingers are in range while the sorcerer takes cover within the church.

    They’re walking in the countryside, out of Newhorn, near an old church of the pantheon. An unnatural, thick fog covers everything. When Caldas catches some motion at the bush sides. They see the enemy at throws reach! They have been ambushed.
    Outcasts, whispers. The enemy that lingers between life and death. Omac knows that he’s caused them great discomfort, if they’re actively chasing them, and he’s validated in his knowledge that what they do has results. Time to press on further.


    ROUND 1

    Bolga charges at the nearest slinger. He brings his cleaver down on him with such fury that his enemy is dead in one swift blow.

    Boots takes aim and hits the other slinger with his own sling, but the bullet goes through the foliage, losing some momentum before hitting him, and he only stuns him.
    The enemy tries to sling back, and aims at Bolga, but misses. Meanwhile the enemy leader remains safe inside the old church.
    Temir also takes aim at the slinger but his arrow doesn’t find the target.

    ROUND 2

    Bolga now turns his attention at the other slinger. He charges and hits him, but it’s only a flesh wound. He hits again, pushing him back, and again, before finally wounding him and stepping back for a second to catch his breath.

    Boots follows up with a sling shot at the wounded for, and with a square hit to the chest, finishes him.
    Temir runs to the rear entry of the church and a dark sorcerer, his eyes black with blood comes out to face him. He hits Temir with his flaming rod, and the blow smashes Temir’s face. Despite being wounded, Temir pushes back at his enemy, and finally comes back with a weak hit, just enough to keep him away.

    The sorcerer laughs maniacally “I am Aszmyn, and you’ll die by my hand Ravens. I’ll take your lives, and you shall serve me in death.”
    Omac shouts “Begone betrayer of the mystic arts! Your time on this earth ends today!”, and points his staff to the sorcerer, casting a Bleed spell with his incantation.

    ROUND 3

    Omac focuses his inner strength and casts a heal spell at Temir, who’s rejuvenated and ready to fight.
    Bolga charges at the sorcerer, his cleaver coming down with speed, but his enemy blocks with his wicked rod.

    By some unseen sinister strength Bolga’s blow is cast aside and the dark wizard steps back. He makes a gesture like a hand unscrewing a light bulb, and with a chant in an unknown language, from the grave below his feet, a skeleton warrior rises. The bones crackle, a rusty blade is presented and as if animated by unlife itself, the unholy being moves.
    Only to be intercepted by Temir, who doesn’t waste a moment. He hits the skeleton with his magic sword, cutting bone and rusty armor alike. He follows up with a second strike, cutting the spine and the skeleton is destroyed, dead for a second time.

    ROUND 4

    Wrath overcomes Bolga as he sees the wizard bring the dead back to life. He lunges at him, and with a kick, takes his enemy by surprise, just enough for a horizontal slash with his cleaver to decapitate him.

    Omac takes pause to listen and realises there’s more enemies on their way. He tells the Ravens to move on and make haste quickly. Their work is done.

    On the Resolution Step, we earned 2 Adventure Points for eliminating a Unique Foe.
    Since everyone survived, they each earn 2 XP, except for Bolga who earns 3 XP for killing the leader. This means that Myrick goes up to Level 2 and Temir goes up to Level 5. I’ve rolled their advancement and they each gained a Combat Skill increase.
    Undin rolled on the Flash of Insight but he didn’t gain anything.
    I rolled for Loot and we found a Set of Traps. I didn’t roll on the Unusual Finds since I didn’t find it completely fair to say we Held the Field, but only that we Achieved the objective.
    The total number of enemies we killed was 4, so we didn’t get any additional Adventure Points. I also rolled for the leader killed of the Outcasts, but there was no bounty, so no gold.

    “That should keep them off our backs!” Omac shouts once they have made distance.
    The Ravens cheer.
    “Look what I found!” Boots brandishes a set of traps. “They must have been planning to use these against us. Now we can turn the tables!”
    The morale is high once more. It’s been a while for them. Omac smiles. They’ll rest and take the fight to the undead.

    Session Summary

    This was a quite unique combat session with lots of rulings and possible mistakes.
    A possible mistake I did, was the casting of a Bleed spell on a non-wounded opponent. Although there’s nothing to prevent you from doing so, (and wait until one is wounded to apply the effect), I consider it a requirement. During play for some reason I thought that the Stun result on the Sorcerer was a Wounded result. Thankfully I write down all my rolls so I can decipher what happened afterwards, and this mistake of mine had no other effect.

    Now the main driver around this combat was the Outflank. Outflanking is meant to add a random element of some enemies surprising you in the middle of combat. I’d say it’s meant to make combat more interesting, and perhaps more difficult, considering that it adds a chaos factor, and since the only person who can apply plans and tactics is the solo player, it should be an advantage for the AI.
    In this particular chase, outflanking was at the extremes. The number of possible foes was at the maximum. Should they appear, during my fight, with the extra figures, it would tip the scales to the enemy’s favour.
    In practice though, it was to my favour. In the set up part, the few enemies on table came so close, that it was easy for me to dispatch them before outflanking happened. For this I had to make a ruling. Did I achieve the objective? There was no enemy left at the table, but yet I hadn’t killed half the enemy force. So I went with what made sense. In a defensive battle you want essentially to make an opening to escape. Therefore what happened is my warband eliminated the enemy because they didn’t coordinate properly. The assault group advanced much quicker and the outflankers didn’t arrive in time. This sounds very much realistic and I could imagine such a grave error happening in the field of battle. Timing is very important and their failure was our success.

    The second part I had to make a ruling also had to do with Outflanking. The Corrupt Sorcerer will raise a skeleton when less enemies than warband members remain on board. So I was thinking that the total number of enemies are more than my warband, but there are fewer of them fielded. After mulling it over and discussing it over at the discord with Ivan, it was decided that it would be more fun if the sorcerer activated his skill. So from the third turn onwards I started rolling for his skill.

    Overall it was a very fun battle, different than others, and it’s very interesting discovering more features that Five Leagues from the Borderlands have to offer. I know I could have won against the remaining enemies, but it was already getting late and I had to pack up the miniatures and terrain features so that the desk is usable as an office the day after. Therefore I called it a day. With the warband at full strength, I can resume my hunt to eliminate the first threat.

  • giorgis 11:40 pm on November 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep12 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun barely held the field after a fight with Nabaru and his minions. At half strength, they need to recover before returning to adventuring.

    Turn 20

    Rolling at Camp Events, since we’re in the Wilderness, I get a Wandering healer. Bolga scratches off one turn of recovery.
    Hard times are rolled really hard, as our upkeep is at 3 Gold Marks. We’ll eat through our last Rations.
    Well fed and rested, Boots, Bolga and Myrick all reduce their injury time by 1 turn.
    For Campaign Activities I decide to send Temir on a Hunting Expedition, but he fails his Wilderness proficiency test.
    Omac on the other hand succeeds in Forage for Herbs. I was aiming for some Silvertree leaf but all I got was a dose of Ironshield root that I have 4 of those already.
    Finally I decide to avoid adventuring this turn and just Travel to Newhorn. For my Travel roll, we meet a sociable herder and have a brief chat with them.
    Once in Newhorn we sell a Staff for 1 GM.
    The turn closes with News Travels about strange creatures delving in the vicinity of Langecliff. I already have 3 ongoing Delves there, I decide to disregard this alltogether, and not bother to write it down. My map is busy enough as it is already. Maybe the creatures made their home in another level of the existing delves.

    The moans and coughs of the wounded adventurers grab the attention of a wandering priestess of Nesella. Her holy symbol carved upon her staff, Omac doesn’t even ask for introductions as she enters the camp. She walks directly to the hulking duskling who has his wounded leg resting up, as he lies down on his back. She removes a paste and applies it all over Bolgas calf. Then without saying a word, she turns and leaves, her robes barely touching the dirt on the ground.
    As the wounded Ravens rest up, Bolga can’t help but feel a significant improvement of his health. He might be able to join the battle sooner than he expected.
    With their wilderness experts at recovery, Omac and Temir are appointed the tasks of resupply as the warband eats through their last supplies. By the end of the day Temir returns empty handed, while Omac, a curious mystic that he is, identified some Ironshield root that they can chew on in the next battle.
    Seeing the sorry state that they are in, Omac Gadun doesn’t make any announcements, instead he gives the word that they are to travel back to Newhorn. They’ll get back in shape faster in civilization.
    He can’t help but remember Lady Liana of Trenne and her affinity for the luxuries of the cities. They’ll miss her.
    Their journey back is quite uneventful. Only a sheep herder and his shepperd dog was in their way. He stopped to ask for news from the region, and was happy to find out that they were doing their part in keeping the lands safe. They bid farewell and a while later they reached Newhorn.

    Turn 21

    Rolling on the Town Events I find that there’s a Gambling Craze.
    For Upkeep the cost is at 1 Gold Mark.
    Since the cost is paid in full, Boots, Bolga and Myrick reduce their injuries by 1 Turn, and Bolga will be able to join adventuring.
    For Campaign Activities I send Boots to the Town Healer, paying 1 Gold Mark, to reduce another turn of injury recovery. I also decide that Temir will take advantage of the Gambling Craze and will wager 6 Gold Marks. I was lucky at the first attempt, earning 3 Gold Marks, and decide not to push my luck further.
    For adventuring we’ll pick something easy, a Ride Patrol. Unfortunately it was a Robber Baron Patrol, 5 of them (2 Crossbows) and 1 Sergeant. The 3 melee enemies will be part of an Unknown Enemy Marker. The battlefield theme is ‘along the road’, and our objective is to search for something.
    Finally the set-up distance is 20″ and we managed to seize initiative!

    The Ravens are resting at the Weasel’s Cellar arond a long wooden table, when they hear a ruckus from the other end of the room.
    Temir approaches and sees at least 4 tables rolling dice and the patrons placing bets and yelling. He feels the urge, and drops a heavy pouch of coins on the table. The gamblers stand silent for a moment.
    “May I join?” asks Temir.
    The man, gives a crooked smile and with one hand draws an empty chair and places it on the table. “Be my guest.” he says in a hoarse voice.
    Leaving Temir to his gambling, Omac takes Boots to the town healer. His wounds will still take time to heal, but the physician, along with a warm tea of unknown origin, gave them advice to follow for the next few days. “Rest a lot, and stay away from half-open windows.”
    As they reach back, they find Temir, holding two pouches of coins. “This should cover our expenses in Newhorn.” He smiles as he throws one of the pouches to Omac. “Though Bolga feels better already, and is asking for some heads to bash. I think he stayed bedridden too long for his taste.”
    Omac thinks it over for just a little while. “We ride out tomorrow. Let’s hunt down no-goodoers around the town.

    The morning finds four of them along the road. Temir runs back to them as he scouted ahead. “Men in the colours of Baron Tharliam. I think they’re collecting taxes if you get what I mean.” he reports.
    “Then they must be stopped.” Omac says proudly. “What else?”
    “I couldn’t count them all. At least 2 crossbows and one sergeant. They were looking the other way, but I think they have a stash of crates they’re looking after. Could be their loot or who knows what else.” Temir adds.
    Omac turns to Undin. “You will head to the stash. See what’s in there. The rest of us will move forward to face men at arms who prey on the weak and weary.” He draws his blade and moves forward, sword and staff.
    The Ravens have run several steps, before a branch cracking under their march, alerts the patrol to their presence. The enemy yells, and turn to face them.


    ROUND 1

    Temir shoots his longbow aiming for the crossbowman at the far side, but he misses by a long shot.
    Bolg moves closer behind cover as the crossbowman shoots a bolt that hits the fence instead. Coming closer, the full number of the enemies is revealed. Four more soldiers are joining the sergeant and the crossbowmen to face the Ravens who are now at a disadvantage. Undin heads towards the crates as Omac dashes forward.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Bolga draws his knives and throws them to the enemy Sergeant. But despite his strength, his enemy’s breastplate deflects them. Seeing his imminent surrounding, Omac shouts in an unknown language the binding words to keep the enemy in place. He almost loses grasp of the verses, but he puts his entire will to it, and the spell takes place.
    The crossbowman shoots another bolt at the approaching duskling, and this time it finds its target. The bolt goes through Bolga’s armour and wounds him in the arm.
    The soldiers try to move but Omac’s spell doesn’t allow them to.
    Temir shoots at the sergeant, but misses with his last arrow. Undin moves in the open road, just a few meters away from the crates.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Searching through the crates, Undin finds a sack with what he deems interesting. The enemy is preparing, and the evidence is here. All this time, he’s unaware of the crossbowman at the other end of the woods who shoots a bolt that flies just over the dwarf’s head.
    His duskling companion isn’t that lucky, as the enemy has him on his sights yet again, and this time the crossbow bolt brings the towering man down.
    Still spellbound 3 soldiers don’t move, but the sergeant and one of his men close in.
    Seeing how outnumbered they are, Omac gives the call to retreat.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    The dwarf stands frozen in the middle of the battlefield like a deer in headlights, and another crossbow bolt takes him out of the fight. As Omac and Temir have built up distance between their pursuers the fight is over.

    ROUND 4

    At the Resolution I checked for injuries and got that Bolga is Lightly injured for 2 turns, while Undin is Moderately injured for 1 turn. Since I achieved the objective I earn 1 Adventuring Point and I don’t have to roll on the Flight in the Dark table.
    Every member of the warband earns 1 XP, and Omac and Temir earns 1 XP more.
    Omac advanced a Level, and his Casting increased to +3! the maximum.
    Since I was victorious, I rolled for Loot and got 2 Torches.
    Since I failed to Hold the Field, I roll on the Enemy Plans and get that The Enemy is hunting you. Awesome /s. On my next Travel roll I’ll have to fight a Defensive Battle against a Random Threat and they’ll have a Lieutenant and a Sergeant.
    Finally on the News travels roll I get that a virulent disease has spread in Langecliffe and I can’t visit it. Maybe it has to do with the monsters in the delve that I didn’t bother to keep under control? who knows.

    Omac and Temir carry their injured companions to the side. “Hope it was worth it.” Undin mutters, as he gives Omac a sack he got from the stash.
    Omac looks through its contents and finds some torches, and at the bottom a sealed letter. He opens it and reads it. It seems that the robber patrol wasn’t by chance. These men were under contract to seek and destroy the Ravens. Omac looks around. Someone is on to them. “Quick, we must go to Newhorn, recuperate.” he says and they hurry as fast as possible to the town.
    As they gather around in the inn, the Ravens try to learn of any rumours about anyone hunting them, but all they learn is about a disease spreading in Langecliffe. They should avoid it for the time being. With four Ravens wounded, Omac considers his options. They must recover their strength as fast as possible.

    Session Summary

    I had no idea crossbows were so deadly. Especially when the enemy has a good vantage point. These things go through armour like its butter. You need to keep out of the line of sight of the enemy so that they have to move, and hence be unable to shoot at you, otherwise, you end up like my warband. Lesson learned.
    I’m excited to fight my first Defensive Battle. Though I’ll bide my time and recover from all injuries before I do so. That’s no point in time to be reckless.

    Finally, I must do something that escaped me sofar. I need to set my Win/Lose conditions for this campaign of Five Leagues from the Borderlands. So in order to have a Narrative sense for me, I decide that to Win, I’ll need to reduce all Threats in the region to 0. That’s a lot to do, but slow and steady does it, and I do want this campaign to go on.
    On the other hand, if all of my original 4 Heroes die, then I will have Lost. I think losing the original 4 Heroes means the consistency of the group has changed too much, and they could be called whatever else by that time.

  • giorgis 4:54 pm on November 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply

    Adventures await! 

    Being once more into the search of what to play next, I decided to do a recollection of my past actual plays, and see in what status I’ve left them, in order to answer one major question. Should I revisit them, or should I start something new?

    Warning, Spoilers ahead.

    A scout mission gone awry (20 episodes, concluded)

    My first successful adventure was a 20-episode long series in the Star Wars universe, using Star Wars D6 ruleset by WEG and mainly the MUNE engine, featuring Roy and a friend along the way, Luca. The adventure ended in the success of the crew, having acquired a new old starship and having but the entire universe to explore as they wish. There are a few plot hooks if I want to revisit it (Sith artifacts, pirates, rebels) but I think I’ll leave it be, a nice reminder of where I started.

    The old world (27 episodes, abandoned)

    Started my adventures in the Old World using the free prewritten adventure module Night of the Blood, and converting it into MiniSix for a quick play. It was lots of fun. This party along with the Middle Earth one (see below) are the most converted-between-rulesets parties I’ve had. After MiniSix, I’ve converted them to Savage Worlds for a play during the Siege of Ostenhofen. When the party broke up, Bianka the Ratter was converted to Harnmaster, which lead to her quick demise, while the rest where converted to Zweihander for as long as I could suffer. Finally the survivors became the Wardens of Gahyrst, for 13 episodes of Five Leagues from the Borderlands 2nd edition, which I finally abandoned when the 3rd edition was released.
    No matter how I love the stories that were generated, this group and story has been hacked up so much during the various conversions, that I cannot bring myself back to resuming it.

    Syriholm (6 episodes, concluded)

    The MiniSix barebones steretypical adventure in the ruins of Syriholm turned from a success at a cost to total failure, when I resumed for a take two in the overland map, using Savage Worlds for the first time. Misjudging the danger of a random encounter with dire wolves, lead to a quick TPK.

    Middle Earth (16 episodes, ongoing)

    Started with a quick conversion of a Hackmaster adventure in MERP, and continued with MERP for several episodes. Breaking up the party led to the death of my converted to Harnmaster heroine Leowyn (which leads me to consider that this has happened twice so far) and I’m left with Dwalin and Camthalion back at the Last Inn. I’ve spent literal hours pondering of converting them to Mythras or Harnmaster and continuing their adventure from there, but I’m finding it hard to continue.

    A crime at the river (7 episodes, concluded)

    A weird noir crime adventure using OpenD6. True to the Mythos, my protagonist eliminated the entity, only to die from an unknown disease later on. There is an NPC which could be turned to PC to run a new spinoff story, but I’d rather leave it be.

    One beginning, multiple endings (1 episode, concluded)

    In this Species-inspired horror one-shot using Savage Worlds, my soldier protagonist, survived the horror just in time. The adventure concluded successfully. I find no reason to revisit it.

    Theseus deeds (6 episodes, concluded)

    Using the myth of Theseus and Mythras ruleset, this adventure spanned 6 episodes and ended with Theseus reaching Athens. It was chosen carefully as this part of the myth contained enough deeds to build up an entire adventure. I find no reason to revisit this either.

    A monster’s bounty (8 episodes, ongoing)

    One of my most difficult adventures up to date. It was a learning experience for me, as made a lot of mistakes, and through overcoming this, I could find out what worked for me and what not. Athen Smarte is a monster hunter in a Witcher-meets Spellcross cyberpunk world, using Savage Worlds ruleset. She managed to escape in time as a conspiracy was revealed, and I paused the adventure there. Maybe with some better setup, and careful choice of oracle tools, I can pick this up and work again with it, for the second step, but I think I’m a little bit scared to touch it again.

    The tale of Bas (1 episode, abandoned)

    My one and only adventure using Ironsworn. I read it again to see if I can approach it once more, and I saw that I made several mistakes learning the ropes. I see things that I like in the system, and things that feel odd to me with regards to my play style. Can’t find it in me to pick this up again. Might give Ironsworn another try, but not with this tale.

    Dark Sun (3 episodes, abandoned)

    I literally got bored with this adventure. I used Scarlet Heroes, which is fun, but it essentially evolved to be a grinding experience. Also Dark Sun is unfortunately so strongly bound to AD&D 2e, that I can’t dissect the two of them without it losing it’s character. I love Dark Sun, but I can’t bring myself back to overlooking the things I can’t work with in D&D, so this story is abandoned for now.

    Greder Payne (1 episode, concluded)

    A fun one-shot dungeon in The Witcher. The man-at-arms and the witcher survived. They can be used again in another adventure or I can just make new characters. No reason to revisit.

    Dash Kyle (1 episode, concluded)

    This is where I had my epiphany about my solo roleplaying style. A young rebel in the Star Wars universe, using WEG D6. Liked the story, liked the premise and everything. Unfortunately, my rebel died at the hands of the imperials. I could connect to the story using a family member or friend or something, this leaves an open plot hook for me to pick up.

    Rogue Fists (6 episodes, ongoing)

    Five Parsecs from Home. Had lots of fun with this group. Quick, fast play. Unfortunately my favourite Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition was released, and I kinda switched to that as my skirmish gaming. Definitely not abandoned. It’s on the top of my games list to play.

    Fringe Bounty Hunting (1 episode, concluded)

    A one-shot bounty hunt using Savage Worlds in the Unified Space world. My protagonist survived, but there were no plot hooks at the end of the episode. Kinda left at a dead end story-wise, so there’s no reason to pick it up from there. I still can use the same character and world in another adventure without having to connect it to these events. I consider it concluded.

    The Aristrax Marches (11 episodes, ongoing)

    Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd edition is a huge game. In this play spanning 11 episodes and something less than 20 turns sofar, the map and events has grown to a size I have a hard time bookkeeping. I’m defintely continuing this, as I love it, but I need to find ways to start cutting down on the threads that keep sprouting like weeds on a farm. On top of my games to play next.

    The lost brother (2 episodes, abandoned)

    This is the one adventure that I couldn’t get myself to continue. A litte bit bored, tired and burned out. I’m labelling it as abandoned, even though it can be possibly continued in the future.


    I’m finding a pattern here. In my mind I have this ideal concept of a campaign arching over several adventures connected together. One thing that I had not considered is the mental drain to keep this in focus. One cannot do this, and keep switching between different rulesets and games, especially when doing it solo.
    Yes, as a social ttrpg player, you can play at more than one table at a time (if you can make the commitment of course), without much of a problem. But when you’re solo roleplaying, the mental load is even more, more than that of a GM. Even more so, several episodes in the adventure.
    I can run short adventures, or long ones, but when I start going back and forth in previous games I’ve stopped, and revisit them, that’s when I risk burn out.
    After considering the above, I will probably be only revisiting the Skirmish campaigns (Rogue Fists & Aristrax Marches). Going back and reading adventure-worths of episodes, in order to pick up where the main story was left off, is too taxing. I’d rather spend this time to prepare for a new adventure.
    I’m still keeping a big if for my Trollshaws and Monster’s bounty adventure, but I think that’s where it stops, and keep in mind that I should be wary of any more conversions. It’s best to try out new systems, using a test dungeon like I did in ‘A Call to Glory’.

  • giorgis 8:33 am on November 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    The Lost Brother – An OpenD6 Adventure – Ep02 

    April 6th 1932, at the sea, somewhere near Aden, Yemen

    I need to set up the scene, therefore I’ll start by asking a few important Oracle questions.
    Q: Is the sea calm?
    A: Yes, and it’s exceptionally calm.
    Q: Is there land nearby?
    A: No, but it’s not too far away to be reached in a lifeboat in a calm sea

    I was about to ask what moon phase it is, but I decided to check a moon phase calculator, and at that exact date it would be a new moon. There’s nothing visible but the light of the stars.

    With the sea as calm as oil, and the engines dead, I think the lifeboat splashing down with the chains unhinged would make a big racket, and it’s likely someone aboard would be alarmed.

    Q: Are the mutineers alarmed by Argyris’ escape? (Likely)
    A: No, and, they have also killed the ship lights. Argyris can slip away in total stealth.

    Only the stars provide some light on the dark night sky. Thetis’ lights are all turned off, and despite the lifeboat crashing down on the sea with Argyris inside it, noone seems to take notice. Argyris looks at the stars for guidance, and starts rowing away from the comandeered vessel, hopefully towards the land.

    Let’s see first if there’s any emergency gear inside the lifeboat.
    Q: Is there emergency gear?
    A: No, and it’s completely empty. That’s not good for Argyris.

    Unfortunately for Argyris, the Navigation skill is under Knowledge, which is only 2D+1. Thankfully according to OpenD6 Adventure Navigation skill difficulties, the base difficulty is 10, and I’d say there are no other modifiers.

    Argyris: Navigation (2D+1): 16. That’s an exceptional result.

    Rowing a few hundred meters away from Thetis, Argyris decides he’s at a safe distance, and decides to search the lifeboat for any emergency supplies and survival gear. He’s completely disappointed, as he finds nothing. Understanding the situation he’s in, he decides to row until he finds land, and possibly civilization.

    Okay with some calculations, Thetis was going at 15 knots, and it was approx 12 hours away from Aden, therefore, the ship is 180 nautical miles away. At a rowing speed of 3 knots, it would take 60 hours for Argyris to reach Aden, and with no supplies that’s impossible. Some further calculations point to me that the ship is still in the Red Sea, and land would be like 50 nautical miles away. If he rows for ~15 hours, he should reach land. That would require a good Stamina check, which Argyris has at 4D.

    Argyris: Stamina (4D): 9. He fails but barely. I’d say he receives a Fatigue level.

    Q: Does anything unexpected occur until he reaches land?
    A: Yes, but. Let’s roll on TWENE: Add Simple Element.
    Portent from Mythic: Break Power.
    So the sea from completely calm becomes rough. Argyris will need another Stamina roll, at Moderate difficulty.

    Argyris: Stamina (4D): 15. He succeeds.

    Argyris rows for a whole night, and almost a day, as the sea is no longer calm and waves start hitting the lifeboat, slowing him down. Finally, near sunset, he reaches the shore.

    Q: Is there a settlement nearby?
    A: No. He’s in the desert.

    Since he has no water, or food, I’ll increase his fatigue level to 2. And he’ll sleep the night and start walking in the morning. He needs the rest.

    Q: Does the night pass by unexpectedly?
    A: Yes

    In the morning he’ll try for a Survival roll, to find something to eat and maybe fresh water to drink. Thankfully that’s a Perception skill. The desert climate has a 15 base difficulty and he has a -1D to his skill roll since he hasn’t ever been to this place before.

    Argyris: Survival (3D): 13: Failure. I’ll spend a Character Point to add a die to the roll. 5. 18 total. Success. He finds some edible roots filled with water, which extinguishes his hunger and thirst.

    He pulls the lifeboat ashore, and spends the night sleeping inside of it. At first light, he’s rested, but hungry and thirsty. Before the sun goes high, he tries to see where the small animals gather, and after searching for a while among the scarce flora, he uncovers some roots of a plant filled with nutrional juice. He’s quenched both his thirst and hunger, and quickly sets himself back on track. He’ll try to walk to the nearest settlement, find some help.

    Argyris: Navigation (2D+1): 1! and Critical Failure. A mishap happens.
    Q: Is it the mutineers?
    A: False Presupposition. There are no mutineers, because the mutiny has died out. It’s a patrol boat, sent out to find the missing lifeboat and hence they think Argyris is a mutineer.

    Argyris: Perception (4D): 16

    As Argyris is looking to the sky over the barren coastline, trying to find out which way is north and which way is south, his ears pick up the sound of a motor engine. He looks back far to the lifeboat he left, and sees 3 men in rifles surrounding it. He’s completely caught unaware and they immediately notice him, one of them shouts something to the other, and they take aim at him.
    At the same time the source of the motor engine becomes apparent as behind the raised ground he can see a patrol boat coming along the shore towards him.

    I doubt Argyris has a chance to fight these men off or run away. But I think he has to hide and if they find him he has to surrender and try to explain that he’s no mutineer.

    First of all he’ll Dodge and attempt to Sneak as the 3 men shoot at him.
    I’ll give them a Firearms skill of 4D. The range is Long which gives a +10 difficulty modifier.

    Argyris: Dodge (3D): 14
    Trooper1: 18<24: Miss
    Trooper2: 17<24: Miss
    Trooper3: 13<24: Miss
    Argyris: Sneak (3D): 2! Critical Failure. Mishap.

    Argyris jumps face to the ground as three shots fly above his head. He jumps down the hillside hoping for a spot where he can hide, but instead he missteps and sllides down. Once he stops, he’s down in the same beach as his pursuers with no cover between himself and them. He drops on his knees and puts his hands behind his head to surrender quickly. Hoping that they won’t shoot him dead on the spot.

    Q: Do they shoot him dead?
    A: No, but they knock him out, unconscious.

    The riflemen reach him, and with a strong hit of the rifle’s butt to the face, Argyris is knocked out, unconscious.

    I suppose he wakes up later. I guess, in jail.

    Q: Is he in jail? (Likely)
    A: False Presupposition.

    I can think a few different ways that his can play out, therefore I’ll roll for a portent.
    Expose Victory.

    “He wakes up!” Argyris hears a familiar voice, as the dizziness that clouds his head clears out. “That’s my boy!” He sees the captain, Dimitris Papaspyrou stand over him and slap him gently.
    “That’s the one that sabotaged the ship and stopped all these mutineers dead in their tracks! Thanks to him we’re all here alive to talk to you today.” The captain speaks to a man in uniform, same uniform as his pursuers before.
    “Are you okay boy? You’ll come together. You took a big blow to the head.” He says to Argyris, who nods.

    Q: Are they in Aden? (Likely)
    A: Yes

    “Look, the ship is going to need some repairs, and we’re also gonna need more crewmen. How do you feel like getting a promotion?” Captain adds.
    “I’ll need to spend some time in Singapore. I’m looking for my brother.” Argyris mutters.
    The captain sighs.

    Argyris: Persuasion (4D): 15
    Captain: Willpower (5D): 22

    “You’ll get as much time we get for shore leave. You may be in luck as we’re gonna need to stay a couple more days there for a full crew complement. I doubt Aden will have all that we need. But I can’t give any more time. Don’t take too long to decide.” He taps him on the shoulder and stands up.
    “These fine gentlemen will take your testimony of the events aboard Thetis. The ship has been towed to the harbour. I trust you’ll find your way. We can talk then.” He says and leaves, before Argyris has had any chance to ask him any questions.

    I need to drive the story forward.

    Q: Does anything happen until they reach Singapore?

    A: No, and the journey is peaceful.

    Argyris will try to find out why the mutiny happened. He doesn’t want to alarm anyone because his main focus is getting to Singapore to find his brother, so he gets only one chance at this information gathering.

    Argyris: Perception (4D): 11: Failure. No one is willing to speak about it.

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