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  • giorgis 9:18 pm on February 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt93 – Orc Horde Expanded 

    A while ago I had gotten the Orc Horde from the Hordes of Things range of Alternative Armies. I loved these miniatures, which I had painted in a different scheme than my usual deep green orcs. Later on Alternative Armies released some more orcs, in resin sprue sets, further expanding the range. I had my eyes on them and their archers, and eventually got them and, after a (long) paint queue, I eventually painted them. Tried to remember the paint scheme I had used back then, and thankfully I had some notes in my previous blog post. I love how they turned out, and as you can see in the group shot, they fit with the metal miniatures perfectly.

    Group shot of metal and resin orcs
    Orc horde
    Orc horde
    Orc horde
    Orc horde
    Orc archer
    Orc archer
    Orc archer
    Orc archer
  • giorgis 10:13 pm on February 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep21 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun explored the Bronzewood tunnels, and cleared the fourth level of skeleton defenders. Omac was wounded in battle.

    Turn 32

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 3 Gold Marks. Boots Foraged for Herbs and got (1) Ironshield Root and we also used Live off the land to offset the upkeep cost.
    Again, I’m attempting the next Delve level, see if I can finish this.

    After rolling n the Wallet Dungeons, the dice were against me. Out of eleven dice, eight dice were 4s, two were 5s and one was a 1. This brought out a very open dungeon layout. Also the enemies were rolled to be Giant Bugs which is no challenge at all for my warband at this point. I expect it to be a walk in the park.
    Due to the nature of this dungeon delve, I’ll give an overall narrative of the entire turn, as after 5 dungeon levels my mind is really taxed in trying to bring out a round by round narrative especially when there was minimal challenge.

    The halfling enters the dungeon first, and moves quickly to the main crossroads, that seems like an old temple. As he steps in, 3 giant spiders come at him from the center of the derleic room. They jump at him, and he cuts down one and wounds another.
    The rest of the warband follows him, just in time as spiders rush in from the three surrounding passages. They pour in from East, South and West. Along with them is a gigantic spider that seems to guide them in, and a wicked corrupt figure with long curved nails holding an ashen staff. Stilda, the bronzewood witch, delving in the dark arts of monster summoning and necromancy. She hangs back behind the score of spiders jumping in front of her.
    The gigantic spider comes at Myrick who uses the Heart Seeker to pierce through the monster’s heart, and kills it in one strike. The wily rogue hacks down 3 more of the beasts. Temir and Caldas come in matching at a close second, killing 3 of them each on their own. Bolga only kills one. The witch tries to cast a summoning spell but fails, and seeing the massacre, runs away as the last remaining spider scatters to the passages.
    The Ravens of Gadun spread around the dungeon to explore anything of interest. Brobern is caught by a pinning trap, and needs Calda’s expertise to be set free, while Temir heads the other way, only to be caught in another trap and set of large stones falls on top of him.


    The warband earns 3 Adventure Points for defeating an enemy Captain and a Unique Foe.
    Temir was only Knocked Out.
    Brobern, Caldas and Bolga earned 1 XP each. Myrick earned 3 XP and Temir earned only 1 XP.
    The entire Loot we rolled was Vital Information, Fine Partial Armour, Furs worth 4 GM, an enchanted Armour – Stout Defender!, and a Handful of Coins worth 3 GM. Temir will get the Fine Partial Armour and Myrick will get the Stout Defender. The Vital Information was revealed to be the Gnawling Hideout which is at the Fey Wall hamlet.
    We had no News Events occuring, and the Delve is finally finished!

    The Ravens dig Temir out in time, without any injury, he was merely rendered unconscious. As they gather together their finds from the dungeon, they realize that the tunnels have been cleared out. Bronzewood will be free for now, until Stilda resurfaces again. Among the loot there are gold marks, a fine set of brigandine armour, furs, and a set of finely woven mail, soft like silk. It must have been the Stout Defender, the armor of legends, and it fits Myrick perfectly. Caldas brings out a set of notes that Stilda dropped on her way out. In it she recounts that the ratmen have set up a hideout near Fey Wall, the small hamlet to the East of the Aristrax Marches. He smiles knowing that Omac will be glad of the news that will be delivered to him. They can finally leave this forsaken place and continue with their quests.

    Mid Session Summary

    Finishing through the dungeon took way longer than I expected, and was repetitive. I learned some lessons along the way, that I’d like to share here:
    Delves use the Lurking Foes table, but a lot more fights can occur compared to say eliminating a threat, therefore, to make things interesting, climb through the list instead of rolling. Otherwise you’ll end up facing the same foe more than once (I fought skeleton defenders at least 3 times that I can recall, and giant bugs at least 2 times). Alternatively, use an escalating difficulty modifier of say +5 for each Delve depth beyond the first.
    Irrespective of the use of miniatures or theatre of the mind, using a dungeon generation tool like Wallet Dungeons can really help set the scene. This game I ended up with a quite boring dungeon that I could have rerolled, but the odds of that are low. Especially the extra bits like locked doors, traps, room descriptions and themes really add to the immersion.
    Torches and monsters are something else that could be houseruled inside delves to add more spice. I know I said in the last session that I’d add torches, but the whole thing ended up being another grind here that I didn’t want to do the extra work to make it happen.

    The warband is very strong now. Bar ranged enemies, there are only a few enemy types that pose a significant threat. I don’t want to reach invincible status yet by grinding through even more enemies, so I’ll be going to a town to sell the accumulated loot, and then move to the Quest Finale for the Parchments of Ugmal that I lost in my first attempts. 8 Grave Walkers with all their leaders and an extra Unique Foe will meet their equals.

    Turn 33

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 2 Gold Marks. Bolga failed on his Hunting Expediation and we also used Live off the land to offset the upkeep cost. Omac is back on his feet, fully healed.

    Boots brings the news of the Gnawling Horde hideout location to the Beard.
    “We have cleared out the Bronzewood tunnels.” He says. “The witch that took residence down below is gone, but we found this.” The halfling hands over the notes to Omac.
    “Excellent!” the Raven smiles. “I’ll be in fighting shape soon, and with the tunnels cleared out we can move out.”
    Omac turns to the rest of the warband. “We shall return back to the place of our failure, but this time we shall be victorious! Ugmal must be destroyed once and for all!”
    He looks at the stash they have gathered. The Ravens also wonder what will happen to all these items. Omac continues. “I suppose a short stop at Newhorn wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

    On the way to Newhorn we met with a Sociable Soldier who gave us a Contract Offer coming from Townsfolk to Locate Item for a reward worth 3 Gold Marks.
    Let’s see what Donjon gives: Balda: Male Human Fighter, Neutral. Balda is fair in appearance, with cropped copper hair and bright grey eyes. He wears banded mail and wields a battle axe and dagger. Balda is searching for a legendary blade named Spiritcleaver.

    At Newhorn we delivered the letter to Mina and got +1 Gold Marks.
    Arriving at Newhorn, we sold:

    • 6 Partial Armours
    • 2 Camp Gears
    • 2 Self Bows
    • 2 Light Armours
    • 3 Bastard Swords
    • 2 Standard Weapons
    • 2 Warhammers
    • 1 Shield
    • 1 Fencing Sword
    • 2 Strange Maps
    • Furs worth 4 Gold Marks
    • Animal pelts worth 2 Gold Marks
    • 2 Sacks of Grain
    • Bag of Foreign Coins worth 3 Gold Marks

    For a total earning of 34 Gold Marks.
    No News Events were rolled.

    Just outside of Newhorn they meet up with a man wearing Duke Gauwill’s colours.
    He closes in to the Ravens, weapons sheathed, and waves to them in a friendly manner. He is fair in appearance, has cropped copper hair and bright grey eyes. He is wearing banded mail, and has sheathed a battle axe and a dagger.
    “You’re the Ravens of Gadun, right?” He says. “I’ve heard you help the common folk. My name’s Gare. I’m looking for a small piece of tapestry depicting Imel’s demise. Legend says that the tapestry gives clues to the location of the legendary Spiritcleaver blade. It may be just a fairy tale, but I promised my late brother that I would continue his quest. If you happen to come upon it, I’m willing to pay the equivalent of 3 Marks if you bring it to me. I’m situated over at Newhorn, part of the Duke’s guard.”
    “That’s a fair offer.” Omac replies.
    Once they arrive at Newhorn, the Ravens immediately head for the inn. Caldas brings the letter to Mina. She reads it and cries.
    “In Bronzewood tunnels you say?” she asks. Caldas nods, and gently taps her shoulder. “And you cleared them of the evil that stayed there?”
    “That we did.” the halfling answers.
    She gives a small pouch of coins. “For your trouble and my thanks. I won’t take no for an answer.”
    Caldas knows better than to argue with her, and accepts the reward.
    Omac is about to make arrangements for their accomodation, when two groups of people take note of the huge stash that they brought in the cart outside.
    “Hey, Master Gadun!” a man wearing a cloak with the heraldry of a lantern calls out to him. “Are you willing to let go of any of these weapons and armour? We’ll pay well.”
    “If the Lanterns of Ariel won’t need the entire stash, then we, the Crusaders of Cawold would like a fair split. Our gold is good as well.” A woman from another group shouts.
    Omac smiles. Their quests seem to have inpired other adventuring parties in the region as well! He turns to them. “Seems like we have ourselves some customers. I think there’s enough to go around for both of your parties! My man, Myrick here will make arrangements of the trade to make sure you get a fair price.”
    Temir takes the valuables to the market and sells them, and for once, with all these sales, the Ravens of Gadun have enough coin to finance the next steps of their adventure.

    Turn 34

    No Camp Events were rolled. I think I’ll drop the house rule to reduce the number of Events. The Upkeep was at 2 Gold Marks. We Repaired Brobern’s Helmet for 1 Gold Mark and spent an Activity to Meet the Locals and had a Brief Chat. On the Trade step we purchased a Repair Kit worth 6 Gold Marks. For Adventuring we have to go to the Quest Finale which is at the Blighted Vale.

    After a few days at the Weasel’s Cellar, the warband has removed the stench of the Bronzewood tunnels. They are clean and rested. They spent some time chatting with the locals, purchasing some tools, and repairing their armour – Brobern in particular wanted to have the big dent in his helmet fixed, so that he could wear it again, and then Omac orders them to pack up and head back on the way of their first big loss. They step off towards the Blighted Vale.

    On the way to the Blighted Vale, we met with a Generous Knight who gave us a Ration and became a Friend. I rolled randomly on Donjon and got the following entry: Damay: Female Halfling Fighter, Good. Damay has curly blonde hair and sharp amber eyes, and a magical scar on her face. She wears plate mail and wields a military pick and heavy crossbow. Damay has an animal companion, a black wolf named Adoc.

    The warband is making a short camp in the countryside when a short figure, clad in plate appears in the distance. A black wolf is beside her.
    “Who goes there?” Yells Brobern as he points his crossbow towards her.
    The stranger lifts her helmet visor and pats her wolf. “May I share in the company of your camp? I bring food.”
    Brobern looks at Omac who nods in agreement. They sense no danger from a single stranger. “Come friend and warm yourself by our fire.” Brobern adds. “I’m Brobern, and we’re the Ravens of Gadun.”
    “I’m Damay. Roving Knight of the Aristrax Marches. This is my friend Adoc.” She points to her black wolf companion. “I’ve heard of your deeds Ravens. Your presence here has certainly helped.” She replies as she comes by the fire.
    The halfling knight removes her helmet, and her curly blonde hair fan out. Sharp amber eyes pierce through the souls of the warband as she eyes them carefully, but what really stands out of her appearance, is a scar running down her jaw. There’s something different about it, as it doesn’t look like i was made from a blade during combat. Black veins surround it as if whatever caused it was not of mundane nature. She does not speak about it, and none of the Ravens raise the topic.
    The evening was pleasant as they exchanged news and stories. Come morning the Ravens have earned another friend. She shares some of her food for the way, and they bid each other farewell.
    The warband continues on their way, and sooner rather than later, they reach the Blighted Vale. None of them speak, as the memory of Lady Liana perishing at the hands of the Grave Walkers still haunts them. They draw their weapons, and silently, they make their approach.

    The Combat

    According to the Quest Finale rules, for the second attempt, the same enemies appear with any casualties replaced. Since I had a Duskling Champion Unique Foe that had died, I decided to revive him, as Undead this time. Any Grave Walkers will be added as well. During Caldas’ First Move, I got a result of The Foe Lurks so I added an additional Unknown Enemy Marker. For ease of play, I decided to reveal them and make them an additional enemy group.
    I recreated the same table as from the previous attempt, but I randomly determined the entry approach and the enemy group locations on the table.

    ROUND 1

    Omac Gadun guided the Ravens from a different approach, in an attempt to catch the Grave Walkers by surprise, but soon after Caldas stepped in first, the undead detected the presence of the living and turned towards the warband.
    The two sides close in one to another.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    The halfling notices that the duskling champion, … who they had killed previously is back on his feet. A green shine in his eyesockets, a stale look upon his flesh, the wound gash still open. Who knows what unliving force animated him. Boots doesn’t pause to think it over for long. He loads a stone in his sling and shoots at him, crushing several bones, but the undead duskling is still standing.
    The grave walkers close in, and Bolga intercepts them. He attacks the enemy lieutenant, but his foe is skilled and deflects the strike, and wounds and stuns Bolga, sending him stumbling back.
    Temir jumps down the cliffside and attacks the undead duskling with the Heartseeker. Two consecutive strikes cut through armour, and the duskling is decapitated, finished once and for all.
    Myrick shoots his arrows to the lieutenant but misses by a long shot. Brobern has loaded his crossbow and follows up with a bolt to the lieutenant’s ribs, crushing several of them.
    Omac notices his wounded companion and casts a healing spell to Bolga. The duskling warrior is rejuvenated.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Bolga attacks back the grave walker lieutenant, with renewed strength. His cleaver falls down on the enemy, and cuts him in half, bones crumbling down. Unfortunately another walker follows up, and harms Bolga, twice, the duskling falls.
    Temir is has the cliff behind him, and is cornered by the rest of the grave walkers who close on him, among them a sergeant, but he manages to stop their attacks. He charges back at them trying to fend them off, but as he wounds one of them, he’s wounded in the process as well.
    The warband decides to use missile weapons to attack the approaching enemies. Caldas, Myrick and Brobern all shoot at the grave walkers, destroying one of them.
    Omac cannot cast another healing spell, so he goes to the side of the cliff, and with the wounded enemy facing Temir, he casts a spell to bring him down, hoping that the unholy force that keeps him together, will eventually seep out.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Myrick and Brobern again shoot at the approaching grave walkers and destroy yet another one. Boots finds that the enemy is too close, and draws his fencing sword, but as they clash, there is no victor. The skeleton attacks back and the halfling pushes him away.
    The wounded Temir is cornered by two walkers. He blocks the sergeant’s attacks, but the other walker stuns him, and with a following strike, incapacitates the Ox.
    Omac notices the enemy approaching by the ledge, and prepares himself, casting a fortune spell to assist him in the imminent close combat.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    The grave walker tries to kill Boots, but the halfling dodges back, and with the necessary distance, he shoots his sling to the enemy, missing unfortunately.
    Myrick and Brobern also shoot at the walkers, but they miss this time, and Brobern runs out of bolts.
    Omac engages in combat with the battered skeleton, but his foe’s armour is tough, and Omac can’t harm the undead creature.

    ROUND 5
    ROUND 6

    Omac renews his fortune spell, just in time as he’s attacked by the skeletons. Not even his magics can save him from the animated skeletons, and despite being saved by his plate armour twice, the third strike goes through, and the Beard is wounded.
    Boots is surrounded by the enemy, the sergeant and a walker come at him, and he blocks their attacks. He attacks back, but he doesn’t manage to hurt them either.
    Myrick notices the enemy captain behind the number of enemies in front of him. Only if he manages to get through, they have a chance against them. A walker attacks Myrick and he skillfully blocks the attack, striking back and with the Heartseeker wounding him. He goes on the offensive and destroys the walker.
    Empowered by his companion, Brobern, the young runaway, joins the fray. What he faces makes him reconsider and realize how Lady Liana might have perished against such a foe. The walkers are much stronger than anything he has faced before. They retain the skills they had in their previous life, they’re not mere automatons like the ones he faced in the Bronzewood tunnels. The grave walker blocks Brobern’s attack, and strikes back, twice, Brobern only parrying the strikes with his shield.

    ROUND 6
    ROUND 7

    The Ravens are in a bad spot. They have no opportunity to push their powerful foes back, as they’re funneled back to their entrance point.
    Boots attacks the enemy sergeant, and is wounded as he does so. His opponent strikes back, and they exchange several blows, until finally, the tired halfling falls under the blade of his tireless opponent.
    Two grave walkers attack the Beard. He fends off the first, but fails to repel the second, and the leader of the warband falls next to his companions. At the same time Brobern is attacked over and over, and wounded twice, he joins the same fate.
    Myrick is the only man standing. With the heartseeker at hand, and wearing the stout defender, he feels that with his skill he still stands a chance. A grave walker attacks him, and he cuts it down. Then the enemy captain challenges him, and despite trying to deliver a killing blow, he only manages to push him back. He turns to the offensive, but the skeleton captain counter attacks disregarding the rogue’s strike. The rusty flamberge injures Myrick who falls in one swift motion.

    ROUND 7


    The warband earns 3 Adventure Points for defeating an enemy Lieutenant and a Unique Foe.
    On the injury rolls, Caldas had Item Damage which is the Throwing Knives, Omac got Moderately Injured for 6 Turns, I’ll spend his Luck Point and remove the result. Brobern and Bolga both got a Dead result, after careful consideration I’ve used my only Springtree Leaf on Bolga (sorry Brobern) and at the reroll he was only Knocked Out. Brobern’s Bastard Sword was also damaged in the process, and we earn a Story Point. Temir was Lightly Injured for 3 Turns and Myrick would also have been Dead if not for his Helmet which saved his life.
    Myrick, Caldas and Omac earned 1 XP each. Temir and Bolga earned 2 XP for killing enemy leaders as well.
    Temir and Myrick also Leveled Up, with Temir earning the Devotion skill and Myrick 1 Luck Point.
    Since this was an astounding defeat, we earned no Loot.
    We had no News Events occuring, and the Quest has come to an end.

    Myrick slowly stumbles back up… his helmet has a big gap were the flamberge cut. He was saved by this trusty piece of armour. He looks around, the walkers are nowhere to be seen. He sees Boots recovering as well, carefully touching his own body to see if he’s okay and finding out that only his set of throwing knives was damaged. They run to the rest of the warband. Omac by luck only was saved. A flesh wound that will heal, just one inch away from a major artery. Temir is in a worse state, his weapon arm injured, but he’ll be back in fighting shape sooner or later. Bolga? Brobern? Myrick runs to Brobern as Boots runs to the duskling. They’re both bleeding profusely. Boots immediately puts some silvertree leaf poultice to Bolga’s wound, while Myrick tries to bandage the young runaway. Within a few minutes Bolga is recovering by the healing power of the leaf, but Brobern seems to worsen. His life force slowly fades as his blood drains away to the ground. Despite their best efforts, the young warrior is dead. Sorrow overcomes the Ravens, and then Omac asks…
    “The Parchments? Where are the Parchments?”
    Caldas looks into his satchel, and they’re nowhere to be found. They scout the battlefield, and they see a huge gap in the earth where something or rather someone used to be.
    A feeling of despair overcomes them. They have failed their task.

    Session Summary

    I grossly overestimated my warband’s strength, and went in guns blazing, no tactical oversight. The layout didn’t help either, with the enemy captain being so far away from my starting place. Additionally I forgot once more to use the magic potions in my arsenal.
    We lost once more the replacement hero. Is the slot doomed to failure?
    Furthermore I have to decide how to deal with Ugmal resurfacing, as it doesn’t feel right to only keep it as a narrative descriptor without any mechanical implications.
    I initially was thinking of having Ugmal as an aberration, and resurface the Whispers of Beyond Threat, but I quickly realized that this would be a total mood killer for me as a player and I might quit the campaign in the long run due to desperation. Instead, I’ll have him slowly gather his forces in hiding, and resurface in the future, in a second campaign.

    I was worried that I had reached a power level in Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition where the enemies would no longer pose a threat. I am happy or not happy to state that this is not the case yet. Finally I’d like to point out that I’m slowly expanding my Rolescape entry with more maps (one for each settlement now) and information. The Aristrax marches are being fleshed out.

  • giorgis 4:34 pm on February 14, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    Miniatures pt92 – (Not)-Elf Heroes 

    Due to a package taking the scenic route to arrive (several months), I had ended up reordering the [Elf Heroes]( Alternative Armies and had two packages of them.

    I don’t like having double poses in my skirmish games, but in most cases I can do away with uniform troops looking alike. In this case however this wasn’t possible so I went ahead and modified the second pack. Mostly an experiment with Greenstuff, filing, cutting and pinning. Some look better than the others, and it was a learning experience. I’ll definitely feel more at home next time I do this.

    I can use them as elf mercenaries or even not elves, but generic mercenaries in fantasy.

    Some words on modifications I attempted:

    I modified the existing poses by bending the hands in different positions. I also bent the bastard sword into a flamberge.

    I added a Polearm head into a spear. Made a few axes double headed. These were done with pewter sprues that I pinned and glued into place using a 1mm drill.

    I added shields that I had from Battle Valor to any figures armed with 1-handed weapons. These also were pinned in place.

    I cut off the elongated parts helmets and tried different designs. Some look better than others.

    I used greenstuff to add cloaks, hoods and helmet visors, as well as making a breastplate, a banded cuirass and a leather cuirass.

    Overall I learned a lot about greenstuff, and I am both amazed at the possibilities and awed at the skill required by the professional sculptors to produce miniatures. I am definitely gonna keep working with greenstuff as it’s really fun to do.

    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Miniature
    Modified Collage
    Original Collage
  • giorgis 1:53 pm on February 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep20 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun explored the Bronzewood tunnels, and cleared the third level of skeleton defenders.

    As I said in the previous session, I’ll be changing some things to make the session more interesting.
    First of all, I want to add some more narrative, because I feel like there’s some narrative drought in my latest sessions (which is to be expected in a dungeon delve). So I’ll add the Connections mechanic from Book Of Legends and Deeds.
    Secondly, because of the repetitiveness of setting up a dungeon table every time, with only so much variety, I’m going to turn to Wallet Dungeons. This will give me a quick map that I can easily set up, with a lot of information like room type, passage types and extra bits.
    It’s combat is going to be mapped, not theatre of the mind, but not miniatures either (though I’m going to take a few photos for extra immersion). Therefore I need some rules set beforehand to make it work.

    • The number of rooms (dice) rolled will equal 6 + Delve Level. It’s important to have more rooms than exploration markers, and a big enough dungeon to make sense. I feel like this number will work.
    • Moving between rooms may require a Move Roll:
    • A Move Roll is required to Move between Open Doorways passage types or more difficult. Each difficulty level applies a -1 Penalty.
    • A successful Move Roll is done by rolling 1d6 equal to or below the modified Move Score (There’s a -1 Penalty for being in a Delve)
    • If the previous Move Roll in the same Move attempt was a failure, no Move Roll is required.
    • Anyone inside a room can attack anyone else in the same room. All defenders gain a Combat Bonus provided there is at least another capable defender in the same room.
    • Phases work normally. If you moved in one phase you cannot attack, but can be attacked.
    • Extra bits provided by the dungeon (e.g. traps/locks/secrets) will require a successful test to resolve.
    • Enemies move in Groups as defined by placement rules.
    • Each room cannot have more than one Exploration Marker.
    • LOS is maintained through Open Doorways, Fully Open passages and Merged rooms.
    • Enemies become Aware if there is combat in adjacent rooms

    Turn 31

    In BOLD I rolled the following:

    • Proclaim, Lying, an Annoyance
    • Examine, Detailing, a Skill
    • Command, Excluding, Personal Qualities

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark. Boots Foraged for Herbs and got (1) Silvertree Leaf and Bolga returned from a Hunting Expedition with (4) Rations.
    Again, I’m attempting the next Delve level, see if I can finish this.

    The stench of the stale air of the tunnels has seeped into the Ravens of Gadun. They’re used to it. They’ve started to forget what sunlight is like. Yet Omac is not keen on stopping yet. Once Caldas and Bolga return from hunting and foraging, he gives yet again the go signal, and they delve deeper.


    I rolled 10 dice, and came up with the following dungeon map. Going from top to down, and then from left to right, the rooms in order are:

    1. Trapped Jail
    2. Damp Arboretum
    3. Opulent Library
    4. Opulent Gallery (North)
    5. Opulent Gallery (Mid)
    6. Opulent Gallery (South)
    7. Library with Hidden Alcove
    8. Pristine Crypts
    9. Crumbling Store Room
    10. Quarters with Secret Exit
    Wallet Dungeon Map

    I rolled randomly our entry point and it’s Room 7, the library.
    Caldas did his first move moving to Room 8, and found some Suspicious Tracks, which means I’ll add a Unique Foe to Room 5.
    I rolled that there are Exploration Markers in all rooms except Room 4, Room 6 and Room 7.
    The enemy is rolled to be 9 Skeleton Defenders and their Captain. They’re divided in 3 Groups of 3 each. Group 1 also includes the Captain.
    Group 1 starts at Room 2.
    Group 2 starts at Room 4.
    Group 3 starts at Room 8.

    Boots succeeds on Wits test to discover the Hidden Alcove.
    The Exploration Marker of Room 8 revealed an Item, which is another Strange Map.

    The Ravens enter a dusty room with crumbling bookshelves – all the books seem to have turned to dust.
    Boots notices a hidden alcove in one of the walls, but what really draws his attention is a set of footprints in the dusty floor. He lies down on the floor, his face touching the cold stone to examine them, but all he manages to get is dust in his nostrils and he barely suppresses a cough.
    He heads south as the room opens to a cryp and all of a sudden three skeletal figures come to motion, weapons drawn against him.

    This way I scratched off the BOLD connection “Explore, Lying, an Annoyance”.

    Round 1

    ‘Bolga fails his Move roll to follow Boots through the Fully Open passage. The enemy Group 1 want to stay to Room 2, but the Group 2 moves to Room 5. Temir, Omac, Myrick and Brobern attempt to Move to Room 5 through the Unlocked Door, but only Omac Succeeds.’

    The Exploration Marker of Room 5 revealed Footsteps. An additional skeleton is added to Room 3, which is connected via an Open Doorway.
    I rolled up the Unique Foe, which turned out to be a Ruthless Killer whose goals coincide with the skeletons…

    His quick fencing blade at hand, Caldas engages all his enemies. The slow moving skeletons are no match for him, and he fells two of them, and leaving the third in a state of disrepair.

    Omac heads east, opening a door and reaching a huge hall. It must have been a gallery, as exquisite frames cover the walls, having held paintings in times past.
    In the centre of the hall, a few yards away from him are standing three skeletons, and a ruthless killer known as Drarder. A man infamous for murders in the Aristrax Marches.
    “Your gruesome skill with the executioner’s axe won’t help you here Drarder!” Omac proclaims. “Your time has come to an end. You shall face justice!”
    Who knows why the skeleton defenders don’t attack Drarder. Perhaps he’s reeking of so much death that they consider him to be one of their own.

    And with this I scratched off the BOLD connection “Proclaim, Detailing, a Skill”.

    Round 2

    Temir and Brobern take their place besides the Raven. The trio stands against Drarder and his Skeleton friends. Omac casts a Binding spell to the skeletons and they stand motionless against the wall. The murderer accepts the challenge and attacks Omac who is on the defensive with his staff. He misses his first attack, but his next strike hits. His axe cutting through armour and flesh alike, and the Beard is down in onen hit!
    Myrick enters the gallery just as Omac falls. He screams in anguish, vowing revenge. Bolga changes course and instead of following Boots turns to join the fight in the hall.

    In the crypts, the halfling and the skeleton fight it out, with Boots eventually destroying his foe.

    ‘Note: having a Mystic casualty with an active spell is a curious case. After asking Ivan on the discord, I got the answer that the spell wouldn’t fizzle. Nevertheless I decided to stop it after the Quick Phase of the next Round and not let it go the entire Round. Also… I forgot to roll for the skeletons to see if they break their spell. Wouldn’t make much of a difference though. Mistakes were made.’

    ‘As for the movement of the enemy Groups, both failed their initial Move Rolls, so they remain at their current position for this turn and will be able to move without a Move Roll in the next turn.’

    Round 3

    Temir extends his arm with the Heartseeker pointing to Drarder. Another challenge is made, and this time the murderer has found his master at combat. The first slash from Temir cuts a gashing wound in Drarder’s left arm. Blood spews out. He loses momentum and Temir comes in with a thrust right at his belly. The life fades from Drarder’s eyes, as he drops to the floor with a thud.
    The skeletons, slowly come at the Ravens. Brobern wounds one, while Temir wounds another and decapitates one more.
    Myrick charges at the skeletons, destroying one that Temir left damaged. The heartseeker blades make short work of the rusty skeleton armours.

    Boots having cleared the crypt from his enemies, moves to east. He enters what feels like a store room in a precarious state, as the supports are crumbling. Through an open doorway further to the east he can see three more skeletons standing around a pile of items. ‘Loot’ he thinks, and decides to move on.

    ‘Maybe I should have used the state as something to interpret mechanically. Either as difficult ground or a need to avoid falling rubble. I’ll keep this in mind.’

    ‘Movement of the enemy Groups is complete in this turn, as the generated skeleton defender enters the main hall and Group 1 enters Room 3 (Opulent Library).

    Round 4

    The fight goes on in the main hall. Swords clash together. A skeleton attacks Temir who quickly dispatches it, and then enemy reinforcements arrive. Three more skeletons and their leader. Their grim and menacing appearance does not deter the brave Ravens. Temir and Bolga both engage the skeleton leader. But he’s too strong and wounds Bolga with his rusty blade. Brobern and Myrick exchange blows with the rest of the skeletons but don’t score a hit.

    Boots continues further eastward and enters what must have been the quarters of the guards once stationed there. He feels like something is off, and wants to search further, but first he’ll have to deal with the task at hand – eliminate the enemy.

    ‘As explained, during this round, enemy Group 1, made a Move Roll successfully and entered the main hall. The Skeleton Captain and three more Skeletons will fight the Ravens.

    Round 5

    The halfling fights the three skeletons, wounding one of them and managing to stay unharmed in the process.

    The skeleton leader challenges Bolga. The duskling tries his best, but he misjudges the attack and with a second wound, he falls.
    The rest of the skeleton group attacks Brobern and Temir, and the skilled warrior destroys two of them.
    He and Myrick flank the enemy leader, and Myrick scores a wounding hit against him, but with Bolga’s fall, their defensive line is broken, and as Brobern fights another skeleton, he is striken down.

    Round 6

    The skeleton leader’s broken bones reattach themselves, as if by an unknown force. Temir has faced such foes before. He charges in and breaks the bones again, and with another strike from the Heartseeker, the cuts the skeleton’s skull vertically in half, and it drops motionless to the ground. Another animated skeleton attacks Temir, who turns in an instant and blocks the attack and strikes back, destroying it.
    Myrick attacks and eliminates the last of the skeletons in the gallery. Temir looks at him. “They were no match for our magical swords combined. We will lead this warband to victory.”

    And with this I finished the last BOLD connection “Commend, Excluding, Personal Quality”.

    Boots is attacked by the skeletons in the east quarters. As he pushes back one of them and destroys it, another strikes from behind the little folk. Caldas drops.

    Round 7

    Temir and Myrick are the last members of the Ravens standing. The Ox turns to Myrick. “Let’s split to cover move ground. I’ll head Westwards, you go Eastwards, see what else this place hides.” Myrick agrees, and they take each their own path.
    Temir enters another library, but he can tell for sure that this was much more important that the one they first went through. The crumbling books have silver linings and velvet covers. He is certain that there will be something of worth in here, so he sets on searching.

    ‘Temir succeeded in his Move Roll and entered Room 3, while Myrick failed so he’ll enter Room 7 next turn.’

    Round 8

    Temir finds some tapestries. They’re not in very good shape, but there are parts that are still fine. He considers they’ll be of value when they sell them in a city.

    ‘Temir was successful in his Scouting Roll, but I rolled that there was a Sack of Grain. Instead I switched to Tapestries as it would make more sense for an Opulent Library for the same value of 1 Gold Mark.’

    Round 9

    Temir enters a room that must have been used to collect herbs. Perhaps this whole place was a wizard’s den. Dead plants cover the walls. Fungi and mushrooms have grown over the place. The moisture inside leaves a mark on the air, that is heavy and hard to breathe. Temir regains his senses and through the damp air makes out another trio of skeletons moving towards him. They seem to have been guarding a pile of items, and as soon as Solas entered the room, they became animated.

    ‘Temir made a successful Move Roll to Room 2, and Myrick made a successful Move Roll to Room 8.’

    Round 10

    Three skeletons close in on Temir and three skeletons are destroyed. He kicks back, and slashes out, ducks and thrusts, dodges and strikes. Each time a skeleton falls, until there is a pile of bones around him. His skill with the blade delivered once more. He searches through the pile, and finds a set of weapons. A curious find for the location he’s at, but he’s happy with the loot. A bastard sword, a crossbow and a set of throwing knives.

    ‘Myrick successfully moves to Room 9, and he’s almost to the place where Caldas fell.’

    Round 11

    The entrance to the last room to the west is a cell door. It is unlocked. Temir enters inside, and sees manacles fastened to the stone brick walls. A motionless skeleton wearing rags and holding a bastard sword lies down on the floor. Perhaps whoever was imprisoned here made an escape, killing his captor in the way out.

    Myrick enters the eastern quarters, and the two skeletons standing on top of the incapacitated halfling turn to him and close in.

    ‘I completely forgot about the characteristic of Room 1. I must be more careful next time, as it would be even more interesting.’

    Round 12

    The skeletons attack Myrick, but this Raven is as skilled as his equal, Temir. He dodges and ducks, and slashes and jabs, and the skeletons are destroyed. He then proceeds to place Caldas carefully on the side to recover and searches what the skeletons were guarding. He finds a variety of items including a Ferret’s Drink potion, Springwind berries and a mail cuirass. Something grabs his attention as he does so, and he finds a secret passage out of there behind a rotten curtain. Some ironshield root has grown there, and he harvests it and puts it in his pouch.

    ‘The Secret exit part of this room would be interesting if I had to make a quick route out of there. There was no need to do it now, so I didn’t use it.’


    The warband earns 2 Adventure Points for the Suspicious Tracks resolved, and 2 Adventure Points for defeating an enemy Captain and a Unique Foe.
    Omac suffered a Gruesome injury (-5) and was Lightly Injured for 2 Turns of Recovery.
    Caldas and Bolga were Knocked Out.
    Brobern suffered Item Damage to his Helmet.
    Omac, Brobern, Caldas and Bolga earned 1 XP each. Myrick earned 2 XP and Temir earned 4 XP as he delivered the finishing blow to both Drarder and the Skeleton Captain.
    On Loot we rolled a Bag Full of Foreign Coins worth 3 Gold Marks, and in Unusual Finds we find a Strange Sack containing Fey Steel Full Armour.
    We had no News Events occuring, and the Delve isn’t finished yet, and has more levels to explore.

    Caldas, Bolga and Brobern stand back to their feet. A bit dizzy, but they’re not injured. Brobern was saved by his helmet. The warband turns their attention to their leader who was wounded by Drarder’s serrated axe. The wound was not too deep, so he’ll recover in about a couple of weeks.
    Despite this small setback they’re excited. They found several weapons, armour and gear in the dungeon that will surely assist them in their adventures. A couple of bastard swords, Rahyrstian coins, throwing knives, a crossbow, a magic potion, but most importantly, another set of fey maille armour. Brobern takes the crossbow and gives his quick dagger to Bolga, while Caldas takes the set of throwing knives.

    Session Summary

    Same enemy, another delve level, repetitive? No! I absolutely loved this change of pace, and I’m confident I’m on the right track to handling my delves. I’ll certainly try to remember the extra tags for each room, and I’m thinking of adding some more traditional RPG dungeon crawl elements.
    I want to make use of Torches. I’m thinking of extra rules about it. Perhaps give a Combat Bonus to the side that doesn’t have their visibility impaired in each Room. This will mean that the warband member who carries a Torch won’t be able to hold a Bulky weapon or a Shield.
    Another thing I want to implement is to have a random number of enemies on the Guarded Stash roll. Maybe I’ll use the Unknown Enemies table to reveal the number of enemies guarding a stash.
    I also want the opportunity to hunt a Monster in a delve, but maybe this will have to wait for later. Five Leagues from the Borderlands has specific connections between the different Scenario Types and I don’t want to break anything. I’ll consider this carefully, but I really like the idea of minions protecting a big bad monster, so perhaps there’s a way to connect these without breaking anything.
    On the execution of the hack with Wallet Dungeons, I must say that there was nothing that felt wrong. It integrated with the core rules quite well, and the fights were interesting, while the bookkeeping was light. I had an overview of where the fights were taking place, and the time it took to clear the dungeon was acceptable.

    Furthermore it became clear to me that I need more terrain props to populate my dungeon and help with immersion. Sarcophagi, torch holders, columns, bookshelves, I will have to make some.

    On the strength of the warband, I’m feeling that Temir and Myrick are becoming unstoppable. The +3 Combat Skill cannot be reckoned with easily. The Heartseeker is also important against armored opponents as it can increase the odds of a successful hit by up to 50%. Perhaps the warband is now strong enough to attempt the quest I left unfinished.
    Nevertheless the rest of the warband isn’t that strong yet. Despite fighting against a quite enemy – that is skeleton defenders – all but Temir and Myrick perished, and I was just lucky in my injury rolls to have no dead. Omac paid his insolence of challenging such a strong enemy.
    I decided not to use either the Silvertree leaf or Omac’s Luck point and take the hit of losing him for the next couple of sessions, as I might need these later on.

  • giorgis 10:04 pm on February 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep19 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun explored the Bronzewood tunnels, and cleared the second level of tomb shades.

    Turn 30

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 2 Gold Marks, and I decided that we should Live off the land as one of the Campaign Activities. Boots is completely recovered, while Bolga performed a successful Hunting Expedition returning with animal pelts worth 2 Gold Marks.
    I really want to scratch off a Delve from my campaign map, so I’m trying for the next Delve level.

    Omac takes a close look at each and everyone of them. Temir and Myrick are testing their bowstrings, Bolga is sharpening his cleaver on a stone, Brobern is fixing the straps on his shield and Caldas trying out his fencing routine. They’re ready, full strength. The Bronzewood tunnels will be cleared. He gives the go command and they all follow, deeper into the cavern complex.


    Our first move by Boots, revealed that there are Undiscovered Depths, and I’ll add 3 additional Exploration Markers! at he table.
    As for the enemy, I initially rolled Winged Imps, since I’m playing with miniatures and I don’t have anything suitable, I decided to roll again, getting Skeleton Defenders, more Undead it is! It is 7 of them.
    I failed to apply the Delve modifiers for the 3rd level, which would add one additional Skeleton Defender and an Exploration Marker. Noted for the next session.

    As the Ravens walk deeper into the caves, they hear bones clack and click against each other. The noise is familiar now, and they all draw their weapons. The undead will be destroyed!

    ROUND 1

    Boots walks quickly among the narrow places of the dungeon and searching through an old container, he finds a strange map, still intact, and quickly puts it inside his cloak.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Boots comes at an intersection. He sees skeletons aproaching from the East, but he turns left to the North, as Bolga and Temir come from behind to face them.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Boots turns left again, and notices something is amiss in the room. He has to search it.
    Further south, at the intersection, Bolga charges at a skeleton, and with two hits, he destroys it, the bones clanging on the stone floor.
    Two more skeletons come at Bolga, who’s blocking the passage, and he pushes them back, causing some damage to one of them.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Boots searches closely, and from under a big stone tile on the floor, he uncovers a bastard sword. A tad bit big for his own size, but very useful for the rest of the warband.
    Bolga and Temir push the skeletons back into the room they came from, and Bolga destroys yet another one of them. Another skeleton joins the fight, and the two of them jump on the dusking, who cracks some more bones, but the skeletons are still standing, their skulls as if smiling, bereft of any skin.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Boots notices skeletons approach from the West, and runs back to the East. He has a clear line of sight to the other end of the hall, noticing another trio of skeletons, protecting a set of items on the far West wall.
    Bolga and Temir destroy their foes, and walk further into the hall, further to the south. As they approach, a trap is sprung! A spear flies from an opening in the wall, only to be caught by Temir’s armour.

    ROUND 5
    ROUND 6

    Boots charges at the closest skeleton approaching from the West, and with a swift fencing blow, he destroys it. Another skeleton jumps in to close the gap, but fails to hit the dodgy halfling.
    Having avoided the trap to the south, Bolga and Temir head further down, and see another guarded stash, with three skeletal defenders.

    ROUND 6
    ROUND 7

    The fight commences in all parts of the dungeon.
    Boots attacks the skeleton to the north, but misses. The skeleton attacks back, but the halfling takes the upper hand, failing though to get past the skeleton’s rusty armour.
    Bolga attacks a skeleton guarding the stash to the South, but only manages to push him back. He’s attack consecutively by all the three enemies. He enters a berserker rage. These skeletons are an abomination to life. One by one, he finishes them off, in a violent yet tranquil wardance. Temir is almost mesmerized watching him avoid their hits, and counterattack each and everyone of them, sending them to oblivion.
    Having arrived to the battle, Brobern tries to support Caldas. He wounds the skeleton, but loses the next exchange, and the skeleton finally manages a finishing strike, bringing the young man down.
    Myrick closes in to the support of his fallen companion and with his Heartseeker, he destroys the skeleton.

    ROUND 7
    ROUND 8

    A skeleton comes at Myrick, who with skill, avoids the attack, and attacks back, destroying it.
    To the south, Bolga takes a look at the stash containing a bottle of wine, a light armour and helmet and a quick dagger, while Temir explores further, finding only broken ground and cobwebs that make it difficult to trespass.
    The skeletons from the West approach the fight.

    ROUND 8
    ROUND 9

    Myrick and Boots join in the fray westwards, but only manage to wound one skeleton.

    ROUND 9
    ROUND 10

    Boots fights again hard against the skeletons, exchanging strikes, and destroying one, and wounding another, while he escapes unscathed. Myrick attacks too, but doesn’t manage to land a hit. As he walks to the west, a toxic acid gas is released, and he drops unconscious. Boots and the Skeletons move back in time, while Omac withstands it.
    He takes a step back and casts a spell to the wounded skeleton, hoping to finish him off, but to no avail.

    ROUND 10
    ROUND 11

    Boots covers his face in his cloak, and walks undetected through the toxic cloud, coming at the side of the unaware skeleton, who is eliminated, by a swift slash. The other skeleton attacks the halfling, and they fight, wounding each other.
    Omac doesn’t let his companion unaided, and casts a healing incancation on him, Boots immediately feeling rejuvenated.
    Temir has approached the rest of the party and explores the rooms just south of the toxic cloud. Another trap is sprung and this time the spear finds it’s target. Temir is wounded, and removes the spear point from his leg.

    ROUND 11
    ROUND 12

    Boots destroys his opponent, while Temir, despite being wounded continues his exploration.
    Bolga listens to footsteps behind him, and turns around to find another skeleton coming at him. He wastes not a single second. The cleaver comes down with such a force, that the bones become dust against the wall.
    The dungeon is peaceful now. Only the Ravens footsteps are audible, who explore the entire area, and tend to their wounded, before heading out.

    ROUND 12


    Rolling at the Injury tables for Brobern and Myrick I was relieved to find out that they only got Knocked Out.
    Myrick and Brobern only earn 1 XP while the rest of the warband earns 2 XP. Brobern reaches Level 1 and gets an Agility Increase.
    In total we got 8 Loot Rolls. The items rolled are:
    Strange Map, Bastard Sword, Fine Wine, (Light Armour + Helmet)x2, Thieves’ Tools, Large Quiver, Fine Self Bow
    Unusual Finds resulted in Sacks of Grain worth 1 Gold Mark.
    News Travels resulted in no events.

    The Ravens are tired, but smiling as they sit around the campfire. Laughs and banter are heard as they tease and praise each other about how they fought against the skeletons. Despite going in deeper and deeper into the dungeon, Omac can only sit back and enjoy as his companions grow stronger and stronger and get acquainted to the harsh life of the adventurer. He’s worried that the dungeon won’t end soon, but he doesn’t want to cloud their minds with his own troubles. Perhaps he’s growing as well.

    Session Summary

    Since I rolled an easier enemy this time, I decided to take my chances and explore the entire map. It was risky, as the traps and extra enemies provided an uncounted for factor, but in the end we made it. I want to spice things up a bit for my next dungeon delve, so I’ll see if I can introduce some different options. As I understood delves are supposed to be a different option for battles, similar to how threats are aimed to earn adventure points, contracts to earn money, ride patrols to earn experience and quests to get story points, delves are aimed towards loot, and for sure this seems to work out pretty well. But I’d like some more variety, and not have to pause the dungeon and do another adventure type for fear of repetitivenes rather than fear of losing. Taking into account that I have so many active delves, I’ll see what I can do to make things more interesting. Don’t get me wrong though, Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition has great options to keep one occupied, with great replayability, it’s just that coming from an RPG background, I want to squeeze the dungeon theme as much as I can.

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