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  • 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.


    Combat

    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.’

    Resolution

    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
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    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.


    Combat

    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

    Resolution

    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.

     
  • giorgis 2:05 pm on January 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep18 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun explored the Bronzewood tunnels, and cleared the first level of imps.

    Turn 29

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 3 Gold Marks, and I decided that we should Live off the land as one of the Campaign Activities. Caldas has 1 more recovery turn remaining. Bolga also tried to Forage for herbs and failed.
    Finally, after considering it carefully, I decided that we should further explore the tunnel complex delve of the Bronzewood forest.

    Omac looks at the weary Ravens. He’s wondering if they should head back to continue with their quest, or delve deeper.
    ‘We’re here now‘ he thinks, and gives the order to pack up and search the tunnels further.


    Combat

    Our first move revealed that the Foe Lurks, and I’ll add an additional Unknown Enemy Marker at the middle of the table.
    As for the enemy, it’s 8 Tomb Shades and their captain. We can’t seem to get rid of Undead.

    Ghostlike visages that cling to the last places of the living world. Their attacks are accompanied by bone-chilling howls.

    Round 1

    The tunnels open up, to a place that looks like catacombs. Skeletal remains, and items of old are placed in recesses at the walls. An eerie feeling overcomes the Ravens. The smell of undeath fills Bolga’s nostrils, and the Duskling jumps forward. As he enters a crossroads, trying to avoid the rubble beneath his feet, wraiths move in from the North, South and East. His blade at hand, he’s ready to send them back to their resting place.

    Round 2

    Bolga closes in on one of the shades. His sword hits, but doesn’t manage to slay the entity. It charges back at him, but his reactions are doubled. He counter attacks and finishes it off.
    One of the shades, wearing a crown around it’s head howls at Bolga who’s not afraid at all. He avoids the blade, and strikes back, with one swift hit, he cuts the crown in half, and the shade vanishes in nothingness, the crown dropping down with a loud clang.
    The wraiths close in on the duskling from all sides, and he can’t repel them all. One by one they wound him, once and twice, and the mighty warrior falls.

    Round 3

    The shades and the rest of the warband close in on the corridor.
    “Let’s hold them off there! there’s too many of them, it’s our only chance!” Omac shouts.
    Temir shoots an arrow at one of them, but despite finding it’s target, it goes through without hurting the being.

    Round 4

    Temir blocks the corridor, and a wraith reaches him. Being the most skilled warrior of the warband, and yielding the Heart Seeker, he quickly makes short work of the undead.
    He steps forward to attack another one, and wounds it, cutting off an incorporeal arm. Omac tries to follow up with a spell to finish it off, but he makes an error in the incantation, and mixing his words, nothing happens. Myrick though, standing beside him, takes aim with his bow, and the arrow goes through the wraith’s head, destroying it.

    Round 5

    Temir attacks the wraiths who now, have blocked the other side of the corridor, and with a quick strike, he cuts one in half. They come at him, and one by one he kills two of them, with each kill moving forward until he’s almost surounded by them. Two more attack him, and he wounds each one of them as they push him back towards the warband. Myrick comes with another ranged assist and kills yet another wounded wraith. Omac casts the spell successfuly this time at one of the wounded wraiths, but it seems to have no effect, as the wraith’s missing parts slowly reappear.

    Round 6

    With the rubble between them and the remaining wraiths impeding contact, Temir and Myrick both take shots at the undead who close in. But their arrows go through them without causing any damage.

    Round 7

    The shades goe through the rubble against Temir and Brobern, wounding the brave young man. A chilling feeling goes through his injury. Temir jumps to the rescue, and hacks down the tomb wraith.
    Yet another arrow by Myrick is goes through the shade without effect.

    Round 8

    Temir is locked in combat with a shade, exchanging blows, but there is no clear victor, while Omac prepares a healing incantation, and Brobern’s chilling wound disappears. Two more shades attack Temir, but they don’t manage to overcome the sword master’s defenses.

    Round 9

    With Temir pushed back, in the melee the shades now attack Omac. Cornered, he’s wounded, he parries wit his staff, but the next strike brings him down. “No!” Screams Temir as their leader is downed.
    Brobern, cornered in the other side of the corrider, is attacked too. He’s no match for the shades, and despite being armored like a lobster, he’s wounded twice and falls as well.
    Temir charges at one of the shades, pushing it back, but not managing to destroy it.
    Now Myrick draws his own Heartseeker and charges in the fray, killing one of the two last remaining wraiths.

    Round 10

    The last wraith and Temir are locked in combat. One after the other, they try to get an opening, but tired as the Ox is after all the fighting he doesn’t score a hit. Myrick though, comes from the side, and slashes at the shade, finishing the battle.

    Before leaving the dungeon, the two warriors explore some of the rooms, and they find a fine wine, yet another ranger’s cloak in very good shape, and a handful of coins.

    ‘Note: the unknown enemy marker was revealed by Bolga at the start of the battle, and was equal to 2 enemies.’


    Resolution

    Since we killed an enemy Captain we were awarded 1 Adventure Point, and we’re at a total of 18.
    Rolling at the Injury tables for Bolga and Omac I was relieved to find out that they only got Knocked Out. Unfortunately Brobern got a result of Dead, and I spent my last Story Point, to get a result of Item Damage which ended up to be his Warhammer. He’ll carry a Fine Standard Weapon in his next battle.
    Temir and Myrick earned 2 XP being the sole survivors. Bolga earned 2 XP as well, as he killed the Tomb Shade Captain. Omac and Brobern only gain 1 XP from this encounter.
    Bolga reached Level 6 earning 1 Will Point and Myrick reached Level 4 earning a Combat Skill increase. He, like Temir, will become a Sword master. With their twin Heart Seeker blades and +3 melee, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Since they both carry a Ranger’s cloak, I’ll be changing their minis to something relevant (on hindsight I forgot to update Temir’s miniature which I had said I’d do). Though I’m seriously considering equiping both of them with a Shield instead of a Bow, making it even harder for them to lose a melee. In that case, I might change their miniatures once more!
    Our 2 Something Hidden successful Scout rolls earned us the Fine Wine and Ranger’s Cloak I described before, and a couple of Springwind Berries.
    Our Unusual Finds was a handful of coins worth 2 Gold Marks.
    News Travels resulted that the Duke’s forces reduced a Threat in the area, thus the Gnawling Horde is down a Threat Level of 4.

    Their injuries being only flesh wounds, the Ravens of Gadun step out of the tombs. They collect themselves and tend to their gear and loot. A bottle of fine wine for a special occasion, a ranger’s cloak given to Myrick, a handful of coins and a couple of Springwind berries. Brobern’s warhammer was damaged in the fight, and he switched back to his axe.
    “Our task is clear.” Omac said as the Ravens gathered around their camp fire. “We’ll clear this dungeon no matter how deep it goes. The evil of Bronzewood will be done once and for all.”


    Session Summary

    As I finished the session I realized that for every round I cast a spell, there was a chance that another Tomb Shade might appear. Lesson for next time to remember.
    Loved this session. Though I must say I’m a bit worried at the number of Delves. Considering that I have 5 active Delves, and only cleared 0-2 levels, it might get too repetitive. After clearing (hopefully) the Bronzewood Tunnels I’ll consider spicing up the Delves with some different rules. Maybe using theme generators or procedural generation, and perhaps different floors in the same delve level. I’ll need to think, test and play.
    With regards to the campaign, the warband is getting stronger and stronger. I’m thinking it might be a good time to either go back to the Quest or try to finish the Gnawling Horde Threat. In any case I intend to finish the Bronzewood Tunnels delve first.

     
  • giorgis 10:00 pm on December 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In The Aristrax Marches – Ep17 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun were ambushed by organized robbers. They defeated them, but Bolga and Caldas were injured in the process.


    Turn 28

    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. Bolga chugged off one turn of Recovery and is ready to fight, while Caldas has 2 more turn remaining. Myrick also tried to Forage for herbs and failed.
    Tried to roll for Connections at the Research step, but we got no result.
    Finally, after considering it carefully, I decided that we should explore the tunnel complex delve of the Bronzewood forest.
    Reading through the rules a second time, I could have removed one injury turn from Bolga in the previous Turn, according to the exception rules for two battles in one campaign turn. Not much would change, but nevertheless, here we are. I’ll be more wary next time.

    The warband is now more serious than before. They are gathered around the camp, looking over their shoulders for any beast that may approach from the tunnel complex. Boots and Bolga are at recovery, Myrick and Temir are foraging and finding supplies, while Brobern is keeping watch.
    Once they’re ready Omac gives the word. “We need to step in the tunnels. Whatever lurks in there, we cannot let it be without dealing with it.”
    They pack up, and head inside.

    I’ve taken some time to convert the 5P non minis test rules provided by Ivan, to work with Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition. Theatre of the mind is something I’ve always wanted to try out in this game, and I’m about to try it out in the site delve. You can find here the 5L theatre of the mind adaptation rules.


    Combat

    Our First Move revealed a Passage Through and we have another Unexplored Location in the same Map Area.
    As for the foe, I rolled that the Tunnels are infested by Winged Imps, 6 in total. A nice point here on my choice to use no-minis rules, as I have no winged imps miniatures or suitable miniature proxies.

    The warband enters the cave complex and walks slowly through the debris. Omac and Myrick are on the lookout for danger that might lurk in any corner.

    ROUND 1

    Omac looks ahead carefully, and sees a figure in the distance.

    ROUND 2

    Myricks goes to investigate, and as he closes in, he can see the remains of a halfling. As he leans over the body, a flutter of wings behind him warns him to turn around. A winged imp claws at him, but he has his sword in place just in time, and pushes it away, the blade gleaming with magic light in the dark cavern. The cries of the imp has brought attention to the intruder, and another imp is visible in the distance.
    Bolga charges the caves, and comes face to face with another imp, he tries to kill it, but it’s tough leathery skin protects it.
    Omac goes to a side cave where someting else draws his attention.
    Another imp charges at Bolga and it’s claws wound the duskling, but he recovers, and raging, he hacks it down in two. It won’t fly again.
    An imp attacks Omac from the side, and hits him, but his breastplate is too hard for the beast’s claws. He blocks the next attack, and with a mighty swing of his bastard sword, he kills it.
    The imp that ambushed Myrick flies away and on to Bolga who just killed it’s family. It slashes at the duskling but, the warrior wins the fight. He swings his cleaver twice, and with each hack, the imp is chopped to pieces.

    ROUND 3

    Omac casts a heal spell to the brute Raven who just killed two imps, and Bolga is immediately rejuvenated. He moves to examine the movement that Omac detected, and it’s another ambush! An imp tries to kill him, but he manages to fend it off.
    Pushed away by Bolga into the direction of Myrick, it engages him in combat. Myrick wins the fight, and the Heartseeker carves the tough skin like butter. The imp is dead.

    ROUND 4

    Under the direction of Omac who scouts ahead, Myrick moves to where he pointed, and sees that something is hidden under the rubble. But as the warrior walks through the tunnel complex, from two side tunnels, three imps catch sight of him, and charge in.
    Brobern and Bolga stand in the way to protect their friend and stop the imps from flanking them. Brobern manages to fend them off, while Bolga also wounds one of them.

    ROUND 5

    Omac looks around for anything else interesting, but the imps don’t let him peek out, flying in and clawing at the warband. Bolga has had enough, and tries to charge at the creatures, but his attempts are unsuccesful.
    He is attacked by an imp, and he sends it away by swinging his blade in empty air.
    Two more of the imps come at Myrick who has turned to face them. He faces one off, and kills the other, swinging the Heartseeker like an expert.

    ROUND 6

    Omac again fails to scout ahead, and Bolga continues his attempts to kill the flying pests. He charges at one of the imps, forcing it on a short part of the ceiling. It’s move obstructed the imp is an easy picking for Bolga’s cleaver who takes the opportunity to kill it.
    Another imp comes at Myrick, who becomes their bane, killing one more of them. Frightened by the warrior, the other imp flies back away from him and switches to attack Temir. It’s attackls blocked, it flies away, and the tunnel complex is finally silent.

    ROUND 7

    Having secured the area, the Ravens explore the complex at their leisure. Myrick finds several hidden items, and puts them together in a stash for the Ravens to peruse when they gather together. He almost got crushed, when he entered a room full of poisonous gas, but the odd smell gave it away, and he stopped short of breathing it in.

    ROUND 8+


    Resolution

    Having held the field, all the participants earned 2 XP, and Temir reached Level 6, earning the final Combat Skill increase, and I chose mastery in melee combat for a +3 CS melee.
    Our 3 Something Hidden successful Scout rolls earned us 3 more Loot rolls, for a total of 4 Loot rolls.
    These ended up to be, a Quick Fencing Sword which I assigned to Caldas, a Ranger’s Cloak given to Temir (I’ll also change his miniature), a Partial Armour & Shield, and a Camp Gear.
    Our Unusual Finds was the remains of a victim, from Newhorn.
    News Travels resulted that Newhorn is in need of supplies.

    The warband gathers around and looks at the loot. Weapons, armour, cloaks and tools are distributed among the Ravens.
    When they have settled down, Omac pulls out a letter that they found on a halfling’s corpse and reads it the sender’s address. “Mina, Newhorn”.
    Boots looks at them. “We should take it to her, first chance we get.”


    Session Summary

    I really enjoyed the theatre of the mind for a change. It was way faster to run, though not as immersive as playing with miniatures. I imagine that I can do something in-between to help with immersion when I need, like placing a couple of minis and take some photos of melee engagements for the fun of it. Also I think that I could use maps or other pieces of art to help visualise the combat.
    The rules worked pretty much as expected. In the first couple of rounds nothing really happened, and after I held the field it was more or less rolling to reveal the markers. The thing to note here though, is that I had similar experiences when running delves with miniatures, so I can call it a success.
    On another note, either I’m really bad at bookkeeping, or trying to keep note of all the information connected together is very difficult when you add the narrative overlay. I just realized I never introduced the Adventurer friend from Ep11. I took a look on how I’ll be keeping notes from now on. Considered analogue solutions, but eventually I settled on Rolescape.

    You can find here the Aristrax Marches Rolescape. I’ll be updating the entries as well as on my own pace and I’m very optimistic that this will help fledge out the entire world. Really excited that I found this.

     
  • giorgis 3:46 pm on December 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In The Aristrax Marches – Ep16 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun destroyed the Whispers from Beyond hideout, and with it, they eliminated the threat in the region. Undin fell in battle against the enemy, denting their success. Brobern, the young runaway who joined the warband when they first arrived in the Marches, steped in to take the fallen companion’s place.


    Turn 26

    No Town Events were rolled. Upkeep was moderate at 2 Gold Marks, but I’ve gone to Help the Town Guard nevertheless to offset it. I’ve repaired the Damaged Partial Armour at the Blacksmith, switched it with Brobern’s Light Armour and sold the Light Armour for a total cost of 2 Gold Marks.
    On the Connections step, a Quest was offered but since we have a Quest ongoing, it’s disregarded.
    Finally at the Adventuring stage I choose that we will Explore a Location, Hightower that’s in the same Map Area that we are right now (Langecliffe).
    The roll showed that Hightower is in the middle of Fey Woods. I don’t think we want to tackle this right now, so we’ll step back.
    In News Travels we have no News rolled.

    After adventuring for so long, preparations have become routine for the warband. They assist the town guard for an easy buck, and spend some time at the market square, repairing maille at the blacksmith and selling a leather jacket.
    Once they’re all back at the Inn, Omac gathers them round to lay out the plans.
    “We focused on clearing the land of the living from the unliving. And we were successful. We should not forget though that as we stomp down the greater evil, others may arise. We shall head out and explore Hightower, which should be nearby.” He says and they all gather their gear.
    But the way to Hightower is right in the middle of woods. As they step in, the path seems to subtly change. Crossings that were going in two ways, now only go to one. A quick change of glance direction is enough for the scenery to alter.
    Omac stops. “Elfin magic.”
    He looks back and sees that barely, the clear sky from where they entered is just visible.
    “We shall head back, while we still can. Spread the word that these woods are not to be entered for no reason.”


    Turn 27

    Again no Town Events were rolled. Upkeep was rolled at 2 Gold Marks, which we’ll pay.
    For Campaign Activities Omac will Train and gain 1 XP and we will Meet the Locals in an attempt to get a Contract but instead we just Spend time having a drink and gain 1 Story Point.
    On the Connections step, as a second attempt to get a Contract – we’re low on Gold we did not find any information.
    Trading, we will sell a Damaged Standard Weapon for a mere 1 Gold Mark.
    Finally we decide to Travel elsewhere to Explore a Location which is Bronzewood, see what lies there.
    The Travel roll results in an Obstacle which is a Toll Post. We’re already low on Gold, and paying 2 more Gold Marks is not what we want, but unfortunately Omac failed in his Speech test. We will therefore attempt to go around, and make another Travel roll, which results in us being Waylaid by foes, and it’s going to be a defensive battle against 9 Organized Robbers, their Sergeant and their Lieutenant. The battlefield Theme is going to be Meadows and Fields and the Scenario is a Defensive Battle.

    The warband spends more time in Langecliffe, their resources dwindling. In order to keep himself in fighting shape, Omac spends some time training, while the rest of the men drink their worries in the inn, and make acquaintances with the locals. Their stories and how they cleared the Aristrax Marches of the dead spread in the village. They sell some of their loot that is unusable unless repaired, a sword that needs requenching and tempering as it has been bent way out of shape, and to Omac’s command they head out on the path to Bronzewood.
    As they walk through the woods, they reach a strong stream with a bridge on top.
    On the other side of the bridge is a gatehouse, barring the way.
    They knock on the closed wooden gate, and through a window opening, a man looks at them. “By order of Duke Gauwill, benefactor who built this bridge, all who pass through must pay the equivalent of 2 crowns.”
    “Duke Gauwill is at Newhorn! these are not his lands!” Exclaims Omac.
    “I do not like the looks of you lot. These lands are safe by order of the Duke. The cost is to keep you safe will crossing.” The toll post officer snaps back.
    “We’ll take the long unsafe way.” Omac scoffs, and leads the group by the stream.
    The path is rough, and there seems to be no way past the strong stream, until they reach a point a couple hours later where the stream is really narrow and shallow, and on the past side, the woods clear to a nice big meadow.
    “Ha!” Omac smiles. “Only a league’s worth of walking and we can make our own way.”
    But once they get past and start walking in the meadow, they see figures surrounding them, coming at them from the woods surrounding the clearing.
    “It’s an ambush!” Boots cries out, and they draw their weapons to fight.


    Combat

    ROUND 1

    “At them boys! They look ripe for the picking!” The enemy leader shouts. “They didn’t want to pay the toll, now they’re at our mercy!”
    Quick on their reflexes, the Ravens shoot at their ambushers, but on their haste, all the arrows miss their targets. Only Boots’ sling bullet finds its mark, but only stuns the enemy for a moment.
    The robbers close in and shoot back and hit Myrick and Omac, who are both saved by their armour.
    Their foes in range, the Ravens close in melee. Bolga swings his cleaver twice and hacks the first bandit to death.
    Brobern exchanges hits with a bandit, with no winner resulting from the fight.
    Omac decides to close in melee as well, but his skill in swordfight isn’t equal to his skill in casting spells, and the robber has the upper hand, he wounds the Beard who steps back, looking at his foe, spitting in front of him.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Omac Gadun stands back, and switches his focus to cast a spell to recover from his wound. Arcane magics do their part, and the Beard is invigorated once more.
    Bolga jumps to another bandit, but with the support of his bandit companions, the enemy blocks the duskling’s attacks and attacks back, stunning Bolga for a moment. Brobern attacks the same Bandit, and shares the same fate, his foe stunning him as the blow is stopped by the armour.
    Temir shoots at the robbers, his arrow wounding an enemy. Boots and Myrick, concentrate their fire at the same foe, in an attempt to bring him down, but they both miss.
    The bandit leader points his axe to Bolga and they clash in combat. They forfeit any defense, and wound each other before disengaging.
    Another robber attacks Brobern hoping to break the warband’s line of defense, but the young runaway wins the exchange and wounds his opponent instead. And yet another robber jumps in, but the thug, is wounded by Brobern as well, and steps back. Brobern is furious.
    A bandit attacks Omac, but the opponets are equal in skill, and Omac is pushed back, and the fight is over.
    The bandit who was shot by Temir, breaks the arrow so that the tail won’t be an obstacle, and charges at Temir. His first strike hits Temir, but doesn’t go through the thick brigandine armour. Temir deflects the next hit, and with another strike from his magic sword, the bandit perishes, gouging blood.
    The bandit archers now have a clear line of sight and shoot at Omac, missing him altogether, and Caldas, who, despite the small size is hit, but his chain shirt stops the arrow.
    Two more robbers close in on Boots, the firsts one missing the halfling who uses the height of the fence to his advantage and counterattacks one bandit, his fencing blade wounding him, and with a follow up strike, finishes him altogether. Unfortunately, he hasn’t regained his strength to focus on the second bandit, who, with one strike of his weapon, drops the halfling down.
    The bandit second-in-command charges at Myrick who also keeps a defense at the fence. Myrick has become a skilled warrior since he joined the Ravens, and the robber is no match. He counters, wounds his enemy, and kills him.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Bolga likes to leave no case open, and continues the duel against the bandit leader. One strong hit is enough. The bandit can’t deflect it, and the huge, thick cleaver, hacks him down. The robbers are without anyone to lead them now.
    Myrick shoots at a wounded robber, striking true. The arrow goes in the lungs, and the thug drops.
    A bandit archer takes a pot shot at the wounded duskling, and the arrow bypasses the armour, Bolga becoming a casualty. The other archer shoots at Myrick, but misses, as Myrick is safe behind cover.
    The bandits engage in melee with Brobern, Omac and Myrick, but the Ravens push them away, without any definite winner.
    Temir, having switched to melee, continues with the Heartseeker at hand. He attacks a robber, and kills him, breaking their lines.
    Omac and Brobern try to assist, but they can’t score a success.
    The bandit casualties have mounted up, despite hitting two of the Ravens, and one of the bandit archers turns tail and flees, abandoning his friends.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Temir continues his killing spree, and slashes down another of the remaining robbers.
    The bandit archer decides to stop him, and shoots the hero, but with a trembling hand he fumbles, and drops all his arrows to the ground.
    Another robber marches up to Temir, but the Ox blocks his attacks and steps back.
    A bandit and Myrick face each other in combat, and tired as they both are, they are careless, and both step back wounded. Myrick goes back in the fray, and they exchange blows, without any decisive hit, until finally the hero finds an opening and kills his wounded foe.
    Omac tries his skill at melee once more, but the thug wins the fight, wounding the Beard in the process.
    The fight being a certain loss, the other bandit archer also flees, leaving the last of his friends alone in the battlefield.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Temir quenches the Heartseeker’s thirst for blood by finishing off the last wounded robber. The Ravens of Gadun cheer for Victory as they hold the field!

    ROUND 5

    Resolution

    Since we Held the field against Organized Robbers, we earn 1 Gold Mark as Crime does Pay a little. Also we earn 1 Adventure Point for Defeating a Lieutenant.
    Rolling on the Injuries table, Bolga ends up Dead. I spend 1 Story Point and re-roll, and get that he is Moderately Wounded and needs 1 Turn of Recovery. Boots is Lightly Wounded and needs 3 Turns of Recovery.
    Experience Points are awarded as follows.

    NameHold the FieldDefeat Enemy LeaderSurvivedTotal
    Bolga112
    Boots11
    Omac112
    Temir112
    Myrick1113

    Omac levels up to Level 5 and earns a Spell Improvement at Bind which reduces the Incantation Roll difficulty by 2.
    I roll on the Flash of Insight for Brobern and he earns nothing. I decide to spend 6 Adventure Points for an Adventure Milestone and make him a Hero, since he’s already Loyal. I will assign a Warhammer to him now that he’s capable of wielding it.
    The Loot roll, turned up a Fey Steel Full Armor, which will be given to Brobern.
    The Unusual Finds roll, brought up a Damaged Warhammer and a Damaged Standard Weapon.

    Since this was a result from the Travel roll, we will also roll what the Explore Location roll will bring up for Bronzewood we get that there is a Tunnel Complex which is essentially another Delve.
    The warband is in no state to start going in a Delve so we’ll stop here.
    Finally to close up, we roll that there are no News Events.

    The Ravens tend to their wounded. Bolga has a deep gash that runs by his side, and stopped just a couple of inches away from hitting his lungs. He can’t fathom how he stood so lucky. If he’d have been hit a little bit further, it would have been the end of him. Caldas is in worse shape. What was a simple foot injury, seems like it will take longer to recover.
    Searching through their fallen foes, they find enough gold, that the robbers had taken from other victims, and some weapons that are in a bad shape, but what really stands out to Omac is a fine maille hauberk. The craftsmanship isn’t man made. Fey steel, threaded and woven like wool. He calls for Brobern.
    “Here you go young man.” He says as he gives him the armour. “You’ve surely earned this the way you fought today.” Brobern smiles and humbly accepts his gift.
    Once they’ve recovered, they continue their path to Bronzewood. See if the rumours they had heard about people disappearing there are true at all. What they find, walking through the woods, gives credit to the stories. They have counted at least four cave entrances that seem to interconnect, and lead to a tunnel complex that goes who knows where.
    Omac stops as soon as they scout more than 200 yards inside, and orders them out.
    He looks at his companions.
    With both Caldas and Bolga injured, he doesn’t want to risk it.
    “We’ll camp. Once we’re rested and started to recover from our injuries, we’ll see to going inside.” He tells the warband, and they all nod in agreement. The fighting with the robbers was fierce, they’d rather rest before going deep in an unknown underground complex.


    Session Summary

    I really loved how the travel events joined up together in succession. We didn’t pay the toll, and ended up in an unlawful part, fighting for our lives. Is it by chance, do the bandits take advantage of the high toll price to pick up wanderers, or do they perhaps work together with the officials? Perfect food for narrative.
    I kinda need to be more wary of the combat options, and choose the different melee options. The story points saved us from losing another warband member, and a skilled one. Losing Bolga would have been a terrible strike. Also retrospectively if I had spent the Adventure Points to advance Undin to a Hero rather than a Follower, perhaps he’d be better skilled and had survived, but I completely had forgotten that part of the rules.
    Overall the Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition ruleset is very dense and detailed, but the learning curve is not steep. I’d say it’s linear at an average slope, so you can get started to play the game and be at 90% accordance with the rules, without much effort, but you can still add more rules and options as you go.
    Also it really helps having the book printed, but you will have to turn to Modiphius or the LFGS, as there is no print option at DTRPG for this.

     
  • giorgis 11:42 pm on December 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep15 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun defeated a band of Fog Born about to attack some villagers. Camped at the Wilderness near the battle site, they are almost about ready to eliminate the first threat.

    Turn 25

    Rolling for Camp Events since we never made it back, I got (as per the homebrew rule) that there is no event.
    Upkeep rolled is 3 Gold Marks, so we’ll Live of the land as one of the Campaign Activities. Bolga will try to Forage for Herbs but Fails.
    In the Research step I’ll spend 6 Adventure Points to Discover Hidden Location which makes this an automatic success, and we discover that the Whispers from Beyond Threat Hideout is in the same location as Langecliff. Langecliff already has 2 Delves and several Unknown Locations, so it feels like the Undead were hiding in common sight among other foes.
    In order to make it there we have to make a Travel roll, which is Uneventful Travels.

    The Ravens of Gadun spend most of their time in the foothills, trying to find something edible, as they’re out of rations. While Bolga is away foraging for herbs, Omac has laid out a map of the Aristrax Marches and starts noting things down. Using pencil and string he draws large circles, and finally by the time Bolga is back, empty handed, he yells Eureka.
    “Here!” he calls for the warband to gather around him. “By my calculations, considering the enemy sightings and their activities, the enemy is hiding in the region surrounding Langecliff. We shall head there and scour the land until we find them, and finish them once and for all.”
    The warband looks at each other with curiosity. All this science sounds like magic to them, but he’s the mystic, who are they to question him. It also helps that he is their leader, so they follow Omac to the path he draws.


    Rolling randomly on the Foe we are about to face The Taken, that’s quite easy, but the dice have spoken. Their numbers rolled are low as well. We’re facing 7 of them, supported by 2 of their Captains. The Theme is Near a Farmhouse. We sneak up as close as possible before being detected. On hindsight I could have moved my figures in a better manner to avoid detection until all of them were closer. Lesson learned.

    South of Langecliffe, they see a farmhouse, but Boots stops them. “Let me go scout ahead.” Omac agrees to this precaution, and Boots returns later with news.
    “There’s no living soul in the farmhouse. Some ruins nearby are inhabbited by the taken. Husks of men. Seems that after whoever lived here died or converted to the darkness, this place has sunk in evil. This could be what we’re looking for.” He whispers. “We should move in with caution.”
    Omac nods, and they unseathe their weapons, strap their shields and crouch forward.
    They approach under the cover of the building, and as they emerge from the sides, the enemy takes notice. The husks scream out in their hoarse voices, and the fighting is about to begin.


    Combat

    Boots and Bolga dash closer, and Temir takes a shot at the enemy, wounding one of them.
    One of the husks charges at the halfling, who, defending behind a ruined wall, parries, counterattacks, wounds and kills with a last strike the husk. The rest of the combatants close in to the fray.

    Boots attacks a husk on his side of the buttlefield. Strike after strike, he wounds and kills his enemy.
    Bolga steps out of the grove and cuts a husk in two with his cleaver. Another foe steps in to take the place of his friend, only to fall dead under Bolga’s cleaver as well. A third one jumps, and steps back, wounded by Bolga’s fierce fighting.
    One of the taken’s leaders challenges Bolga. His swing misses Bolga who steps aside and with a counter hit, kills him, his cleaver decapitating him.
    With one of their leaders down, enraged another Husk lunges at Bolga, and dies by his blade.
    Temir takes a pot shot at the Husk he wounded, but his bowstring snaps, so he abandons it for now.
    Myrick aims his bow at the same enemy, but his arrow hits a tree instead.

    Bolga now turns to face the last of the enemy leaders. One after the other, the two locked enemies parry their strikes, until Bolga finds an opening and wounds his opponent who steps back, bleeding.
    A minion tries to save his captain and steps in, pushing Bolga back. The taken leader, wounded, jumps back in the fight, but Bolga avoids all the attacks. Boots shoots his sling at the enemy, his bullet finds it’s target, but doesn’t hurt him.
    So Temir goes in melee. The heartseeker is true yet once more, and the wounded enemy husk perishes.
    Myrick now aims his bow at the enemy leader. Hoping for a finishing strike, he succeeds. The arrow pierces the taken’s throat, and gargling in his own blood, he is wounded, but stands.
    Undin, slow and steady has reached the fight. He attacks the wounded enemy leader, but despite the wounds, he’s no match for his enemy. The counterattack is fierce, and with a strong hit that passes through the dwarf’s armour, the adventurer drops.
    Omac cries out at his companion’s demise and decides to attack his enemy, staff and sword. The enemy predicts the strike and counterattacks, putting Omac on the defensive, before he breaks off the engagement.
    As time passes, the wound on the enemy’s throat closes, and a sinister smile is drawn on his face as he takes pause to look at the warband.

    At the middle of this round I realized that during the melee with the first enemy captain, I forgot to apply their Parry ability. Since I could not go back and fix this error, I decided in all fairness to disregard the death blow by Boots on the second enemy captain, and heal him altogether.

    Bolga yells a battlecry and charges once more at his foe. The husk leader parries twice, but the last blow goes through his defence and wounds him. He pushes back at Bolga, but fails to land a strike.
    The last minion attacks at Temir, who deflects the strike and hits back, twice, the last blow of the Heartseeker going through it’s skull, killing it instantly.
    Temir turns his attention at the enemy leader, the last foe standing. His attack though isn’t as skilled as his enemy, who counterattacks, and wounds Temir at the arm, causing him to disengage.
    Boots goes in at his encircled enemy. His fencing sword elegantly bypassing his enemy’s defences, and finding the dark blooded thing the husk has as a heart. It stops, and motionless, the husk leader drops.


    On the Resolution stage, counting the Adventure Points I rolled 4 for the victory, 2 more for the leaders and 1 more for the Whispers from Beyond Threat numbering 5+, for a total of 7 Adventure Points which leaves me with 1, after spending 6 to eliminate the threat.
    Rolling on the Follower Injuries table I get that Undin is dead. I don’t have a Story Point or other means to save him. His Partial Armor is also damaged.
    Boots and Bolga earn 3 XP each, while Omac, Temir and Myric earn 2 XP each.
    Boots has leveled up to Level 5 and he earns the Scouting Skill.
    Myrick also reaches Level 3 and gets a Combat Skill increase to +2.
    For being victorious in the Hideout Raid we earn 2 Loot rolls, which result in A Light Armour and Helmet and a Spellbreaker Herb.
    This also gives 2 Unusual Finds rolls, which are a Warhammer, a Damaged Standard Weapon and a Damaged Bastard Sword.
    There are no News Events rolled.
    We also earn a Story Point and an additional Loot roll for ending a Threat which is 2 Torches.
    Finally, since we have Brobern, the Young Runaway since Ep01 with us, it’s time for him to join the company (according to the rulebook). I rolled on the Flash of Insight and gained nothing, but still he’s Loyal and will hopefully be a valuable asset.

    The husks dark blood stains the land. A feeling of accomplishment overcomes Omac, who stands proud in the field. But then his gaze falls on Caldas, the halfling who stands over Undin. The dwarf’s red blood is also spilled. The halfling shakes his head, and then hangs it in sadness.
    Their victory was pyrrhic. Noone speaks.
    Finally Omac breaks the silence. “The enemy is defeated, but this victory was not without it’s cost. Undin!” He yells. “Your sacrifice was not in vain. You shall rest, and know that these lands are safer because of your actions.”
    He turns to the Ravens. “Scout the battlefield for anything of value to our cause. Then we shall carry Undin to a proper place for a burial. He was one of us.”
    They gather a small stash of weapons and gear, and having cleaned and dressed their friend, they carry his body to Langecliff.
    They head to the shrine of Xapha, the God of War. The monks there stare at them. Battered from battle, they step aside, letting them pass. As is customary for warriors who perish in battle, the monks of Xapha arrange the funeral. They clean the body, and settle them with their armour deep in the ground where the blood spilled in battle goes.
    As the party steps out of the shrine, Brobern steps forward. “The time has come. I’m ready. I’ll fight by your side. I want to make Undin proud. I want to make you proud.”
    Omac smiles and gives him Undin’s axe and shield. “And so shall you.” He replies.


    Session Summary

    It took me 25 turns and 15 sessions to eliminate the first threat from the map!
    This is an excellent example of the campaign duration! Five Leagues from the Borderlands is a game that will keep solo players busy for a long time! Considering the different options in character creation, enemy threats and difficulty settings, replayability is high. This may be the only fantasy skirmish game I’ll ever need.

    Now as to the session itself I enjoyed it. At first I was afraid I’ll be bored with the low difficulty of the rolled foe numbers and types, but the existence of two captains really tipped the scales. It wasn’t the basic skill values, rather the combination of abilities (parry, counterattack, regeneration and tough) that made them really hard to defeat. So in the end we were victorious, albeit at a high price. I want some variety in my warband and losing a dwarf was not to my liking. The activation of the Young Runaway came at a perfect timing, though and the slot was covered. I’m curious to see if he’ll survive long enough to be a hero.

    For the next steps I’ll most probably try a few shots at Contracts. We need some gold to get some better gear before making a second attempt at the Quest. After this, it will be back to the threats elimination again.

    With all these changes I’ll need a new photo of the warband together. Until then, here’s the paper records 5l3e-e15t25 I’m using, scanned in pdf format.

     
  • 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.


    Combat

    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.

    Combat

    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.

    Combat

    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 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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