Monday, October 9, 2017

HAWKs Host First invitational Gaming Day

    This past Saturday the HAWKs hosted their first ever Invitational Gaming Day.  This came about after some regular attendees of the HAWKs BARRAGE convention, from New Jersey, asked the club if it would be possible to get together on a more informal basis this October for a friendly day of gaming, after this year's BARRAGE had to be rescheduled to January '18 due to a mess-up with the venue's scheduler.  We ended up with a nice crowd of over 30 gamers from the HAWKs, New Jersey, and some from Western, MD and Pennsylvania.
     We used the meeting hall in the church where we run our regular meetings, and set up six full sized 8' x10' tables, and scheduled for two blocks of games; the first from 9:00AM- 1:00PM, and the second from 2:00PM to 6:00PM.    The games offered spanned many historical periods, as well as both the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres. It was big success, with everyone having a great time, and there's already talk of doing it again!
Don Manser's beautiful Pickett's Charge game using Fire & Fury.

John Mitchell's Operation Barbarossa game using Bolt Action.

Sam Fuson's Sherlock Holmes puzzle solving game using G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.

Heated pile on pile action in Jamie Davis' Magic Carpet Racing game using a Future Race and Blood & Swash hybrid.

Eric Schlegel's Sméagol's Ferry game using modified Blood & Swash

Don Hogge's Rumble in the Jungle game using Congo.

Greg Priebe's Clone Wars game using the new Star Wars supplement for  Combat Patrol.

Cliff Brunken's Battle of Germantown 1777 game using Black Powder.

John Hollier's 15mm Napoleonic game using Shako 2.

Zeb Cook's 1939 Winter War game using Combat Patrol.
     Thanks to the GM's and gamers for making this such a success.  From the onset we decided we wanted to keep it simple, so there was no food service (we ordered some 3' subs from a nearby Subway for lunch), and no flea market.  It really was a great low key and informal chance for gamers to get together for an excellent day of gaming.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Demo Video for the Combat Patrol Skirmish Rules' New Star Wars Supplement

     I was privileged this past week to take part in the recording of a demonstration video for the just-released Star Wars supplement for Buck Surdu's innovative Combat Patrol: WWII skirmish rules.  I played in a small 2-player game, along with the supplement's author Greg Priebe.  The scenario we used was based on the first episode of the first season of the Clone Wars animated series, Ambush!.  Combat Patrol author, Buck Surdu, acted as our Game Master.
     It was a really fun and close game.  I commanded the Droid forces, and the Clones did managed to take out my two tanks;  but by the end I had severely wounded Yoda, and decimated the Clone force down to just a few remaining troopers.

   The free Star  Wars supplement, as well as Star Wars specific organizational unit cards, can be found on the Combat Patrol webpage: Combat Patrol .  Note, the basic Combat Patrol rules, and at least one Combat Patrol activation deck are needed to use this supplement.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fall-In Playtest Game: Doctor Who and the Pirates of the Cyberiad Main

      A few of us got together yesterday to playtest a couple of our games for the upcoming Fall-In convention in Lancaster PA.  I ran a Doctor Who scenario called "Doctor Who and the Pirates of the Cyberiad Main", using GASLIGHT rules.  The set up was that the Doctor was enjoying a trip to a quiet 18th century Caribbean island when it was unexpectedly invaded by pirates who had rescued some Cybermen from their spaceship which had crashed somewhere in the ocean.   The Cybermen had made a deal with the pirates, and the prates had agreed to secure victims captives for the Cyberman.  So the goal of the Cybermen/Pirate players was to capture 6 Townsfolk and/or Garrison troops, and carry them back to their landing boats.  Meanwhile the Doctor had to  travel to three different buildings in the village to collect the equipment he would need to make special ammunition that would penetrate the Cybermen's armor (otherwise they were very hard to disable.)
An overview of the table.
   It was a fun and exciting game that went right down to the wire, with the Cyberman/Pirate alliance coming out on top with 6 captives in the end.
Townsfolk, Pirates and Cybermen scuffle outside the warhouse.

The Garrison takes on its share of Pirates and Cybermen as well.  In the upper right of the photo, a poor trooper is being dragged away by a Cyberman.

    The most exciting part of the game was when the Doctor and his companions (Amy, the Governor of the island, and the Governor's Daughter) attempted to get the last item the Doctor needed.  It was in a warehouse that was overrun with pirates, so the only way the Doctor could get in safely was by an upper story window. So, they ended up hovering in the TARDIS outside the window as the Doctor leapt trough the window into a room full of Pirates.  Amy tried to follow, but fell and was knocked unconscious when she hit the ground.  After the Doctor fought the pirates ineffectually for a couple turns, the Governor decided to jump across too, and a fun multi-turn swashbuckling duel occurred.  Eventually they cleared the upper floor, and the Doctor was able to secure the last item he needed, but it was a little late in the game, and the Cybermen/Pirate team were already near their victory goal.
The Doctor fights off Pirates in the upper floor of the warehouse.
   I'm really looking forward to running this again at the convention in November!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Frostgrave Campaign '17, Game 9: The Dark Cauldrons

   This past Saturday we got together to play the 9th game of our 2017 Frostgrave Campaign.  We moved on to the next scenario in the Thaw of the Lich Lord supplement: "The Dark Cauldron".    The Dark Cauldron involves a group of the Lich Lord's Death Cultists mixing up a big batch of Zombie soup in a large Cauldron.   Each turn a Zombie crawls out of the Cauldron and shambles off to attack whoever is closest.  Players can opt to tip over the Cauldron, and then drag it away for later use or destruction.  Of course, because we had 6 of our regulars playing, our scenario became: "The Dark Cauldrons"; and we put 3 of the zombie spewing cauldrons evenly spaced down the center of the table, each with their required Death Cultist crew.  The Lich Lord was obviously trying to swarm the whole city with his Zombie minions.
     To read the report from last month's game, click here: The Lair of the Ghoul King & Queen
An overview of the table including the Cauldron locations and Quails set-up area.  
      We had learned from last month's running of the Lair of Ghoul King & Queen that we needed to set up the table a little more carefully; and we endeavored to place buildings and terrain so no player could enter and form a firing line with which to decimate the Death Cultists on turn one.   I did well on the set-up location chip draw, getting second choice; so I picked a corner by a large black tower, with a covered set up area behind an old warehouse.  Bemis, the other Sigilist, ended up across from me,  Missy, the Necromancer, was to my left, and the the Summoner, Challara, was diagonally across from me.

     Earlier that morning, Quail and Bailey had stood up on the their tower's parapet looking out over the distant ruins of Felstad, which were currently covered in a foul scarlet-toned mist and fog.  It stank of evil, and had been a distant source of gloom and depression for the last three days now.  What was worse, was they had been hearing more and more tales of people who had disappeared in the night from the local taverns and villages; more so than was usual this close to the magical ruins.  Other, lesser wizards, had already left the city.   Quail fidgeted with the magical crystal seeing glass, the one they used to interpret their Magical Atlas of Felstad; turning it over and over again absentmindedly in her hand.  Any attempt to decipher the maps had become all but useless with the permeating mist...the vapor definitely had magical qualities she thought to herself.  The gloom they all felt was not natural. (Both Quail and Bailey failed their pregame Reveal Secret rolls)
A view of the Dark Cauldron and it's Death Cultist crew that Quail and Bemis faced.
       It was a little heartbreaking too, as the Sigilist had recently begun to truly see the old Bailey back with them again after all the emotional turmoil the young woman had gone through.   News that the Sigilist Bemis' Apprentice, Agarn, was all right, and had survived unscathed from the Grenade Attack Bailey had thrown in a fit of rage, had buoyed Bailey's spirits even further.    Then the mist had set in and everyone had become depressed and sullen.  Quail found herself thinking more and more of her University.  She missed her dear Library and it's books.  The Maga Librarian's allotted time away from the University would be coming to an end soon; and as much as the Sigilist had wanted to get away a year ago, she now found herself looking forward to returning.  It all seemed so hopeless here.
     "Maybe we should head back to the University sooner."  Quail said aloud to no one in particular.      "Ma'am?" Bailey turned, snapped out of her own gloomy thoughts.
     And as soon as she had said it, the Sigilist realized it was the mist putting these thoughts in her head.  She shook her head to clear it.  There was still some evil at work here, and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.   "Nothing, Bailey.  Just a little homesick.  That's all." and she forced a smile onto her face.  "Let us go prepare some potions.   I think some activity, like a foray into the ruins, will help everyone shake this malaise."  And, she thought to herself, "Will give us a chance to see what is causing this unnatural fog."
       A short while later, Quail found herself further brought down when her attempt to brew some helpful potion before the trip failed miserably.  Luckily, Bailey had better success, and cooked up a nice Invisibility brew, raising the young Apprentice out of her doldrums a little.  (Quail fails to cast Brew Potion, Bailey successfully cast it.)

     As they walked deeper into the city, the foul smell  become almost unbearable, and some of the warband had tied rags around their noses and mouth to help subdue the fumes.  Poor Bailey had had to stop twice along their way to discreetly duck behind a corner to leave behind her breakfast.   Then Quail, sensing something, suddenly signaled them to halt.  The Sigilist cocked her head and, pulling her hood back, listened carefully.  Sure enough, she heard the guttural sounds of coarse men's voices just a short way off.  The Wizard gestured to Dorchesman and Kinny, and, nodding, the two creeped off to their left to see who else was also venturing into the city this morning.
      It wasn't long before the pair returned, and reported what they had seen: a group of four men, dressed like the Cultists they had seen before, pulling a sledge piled high with dead bodies through the streets just a block away.  Quail decided to investigate further, and they began to follow the morbid group.
Quail sets up behind a large warehouse.  Just on the far side you can see the Cauldron and Cultists.
   They saw them pass around a large warehouse, and Quail's party gathered along the large building's wall.  They could hear the men talking and they could hear the crackle of a fire.  It sounded like they had stopped, as they no longer heard the telltale sound of the sledge's runners on the icy paving stones.  A pallid red smoke rose into the air from the far side of the stone building.  The air was thick, and they could hardly see any distance at all. (Visibility set at 16" as per the scenario.)
     Quail moved off to her right, and stood behind a crumbling pillar.  Seeing a large old tower made of black stone on a rocky outcropping, she paused and recalling the words of the Wizard's Eye spell the Sigilsit had just learned after finding the Grimoire on their last outing, she spoke the spell methodically and was pleased to see a large unblinking eye suddenly appear on the tower's wall. Quail then shut her left eye, and concentrated, and sure enough an image formed, as if a moving magic lantern slide was being projected onto the inside of her eyelid.  The Sigilist could make out a group of 5 men, all gathered around a boiling large cauldron, and as she watched they grabbed one of the dead bodies off off the sledge and tossed it into the pot.  Quail fought back a wave of nausea, and quickly opened her eye.  As she opened it she noticed a green glow above, and saw that Bemis was here too, and had cast a Draining Word spell of  Bone Dart in the sky.  The Sigilist motioned to Sir Cardidil the Knight, and Luc Demic the Marksman, to move forward in preparation to deal with the Cultists; and she directed Dorchesman the Treasure Hunter to head towards the large black tower on the cliff to see if it held anything promising.
    Meanwhile, Bailey was down the far end of the warehouse's wall, and seeing members of the Necromancer Missy's warband moving nearby through the ruins, she quickly cast a wall of Fog to block their view.   Bailey also spied a large chest on the top floor of a low ruined tower to her front, and she signaled to Kinny the Treasure Hunter to move towards it, and she sent Clol the Barbarian along to for protection.  Quail's Apprentice then directed Sally to move through the warehouse, and keep an eye on the Cultists.  The Ranger smiled a sly smile, and without a word began climbing the wall of the warehouse and slid through the nearest narrow window.
     The Treasure Hunter Innis Flynn, and Barc the Man-at-Arms followed up the wall after Sally, while the Warhound Cirvid went trotting off after Dorchesman towards the tower.
Quail places her Wizard's Eye up on the Black Tower.
     Quail had ducked back to the safety of the warehouse's corner, and watched the progress of Dorchesman and Cirvid towards the tower. As she surveyed the area, she spotted a chest half buried in a rubbled building a little further to the left of the tower.  She also noticed some of Bemis' soldiers approaching it.  Quickly the Siglist spoke the words of Telekinesis, but the chest was wedged tightly, and she had to strain with all her strength to dislodge it. (Pushes spell for -6 HP)  Suddenly, with a sharp stab of pain in the her head,  the chest broke free and moved towards where Dorchesman approached the tower, but it was still within reach of Bemis' soldiers.   Quail put a hand up on the warehouse wall to steady herself, and took a deep breath.   She felt drained, and tried to shake the remains of a splitting headache, as she prepared to move the chest again..
    Likewise, on the other end of the warehouse wall, Bailey was also using Telekinesis to move the chest from the ruined tower on that side of the warehouse, so it would be closer to Kinny.  Like her teacher, the Apprentice also had a little trouble freeing the chest from it's icy resting place, and had to force her spell as well. (Pushes for -1 HP)
     As Luc approached the corner of the warehouse, a wall of Fog appeared, cast by Bemis, and it angled away from the far side of the large stone building so it totally blocked his view of the Cultists.  He heard a sudden commotion on the other side, shouted commands and the sound of clanging metal.  Carefully he crept to the corner of the fog wall, and peered around.  He saw a small walled-in courtyard, in the middle of which there was a bubbling kettle on a large sledge.  Nearby a small fire burned.  There were also five Death Cultists, some drawing their weapons, and some already engaged with a group of soldiers along the far wall of the square.  Looking closer, the Marksman could see they were Bemis' men that the Cultists were fighting.
     Not far away, from her perch in the raised warehouse window, Sally was also watching the developing fight.   She fired a shot into the melee, not too concerned with who she hit.  As she reloaded, she noticed a small golden colored kettle filled with what looked like gold coins sitting right along the wall of the warehouse.  She turned to Innis and Barc who stood in the rubbled filled main storeroom behind her.  "Quick!" she called, "There's treasure right beneath that window, and it's currently unguarded."     The two ran forward and started to climb up and out of the window. Then there was a sudden loud groan, and sound of splashing, and a Zombie rose up from the kettle, moaned loudly again, and started to slowly climb out and head towards the nearby skirmish.  Innis, Clol, and Sally froze, eyes wide and mouths agape.  The Ranger was first to regain herself, and she looked at Innis and shouted, "Now! Before we find out if there are any more in there!"
     But, before the Treasure Hunter could drop down from the window and retrieve the prize, the gold pot suddenly lifted of it's own accord and floated back directly away from him and dropped down within the courtyard wall. Looking up, Innis could see the other Sigilist's Apprentice, Agarn, grinning from behind a column in the distance.  The soldier grumbled a curse at the boy, and it was for the best the lad was too far away to hear the language used.
      Innis cursed again, as there was suddenly another loud groan from within the cauldron, and the liquid on top began to froth as a ragged arm rose up out of the muck and, reaching over, grabbed the rim of the vessel. The rest of the Zombie emerged, and turning it's head,  it's yellowed eyes fell upon the Treasure Hunter.
A view of the action as the Cultists rush Bemis' soldiers at the wall, and Barc and Innis use the opportunity to sneak into the courtyard.  Agarn has used Telekinesis to move the gold pot treasure away from the warehouse and over the wall.
       Quail, back in the shadow of the warehouse, suddenly heard a yelping and barking behind her, and turned to see two wild dogs suddenly run around a corner of a building tussling over some scrap.  They almost immediately noticed the Wizard, stopped their squabbling, and turning, raced at her.  The Sigilist quickly called out, "Sir C!  I need your assistance!"
      Not far away, the Knight turned, and assessing the situation, ran to intercept the onrushing dogs.   The first dog leapt at him, and catching the Knight off balance knocked him backwards.  He hit the ground hard and his helmet was knocked off.  The dog sank its strong jaws into the base of his neck at his shoulder. (Hit for -20 Damage out of the Knights 13 Armor and 12 HP.)  The other beast was suddenly there as well, and, desperate, the Knight lifted his sword and thrust it directly sideways, skewering the second animal in it's side, killing it instantly.
     Quail fretted for Sir C's survival, but he wasn't the only soldier who was depending on her now.  So with a deep breath, she turned her eyes away from the battle between the Knight and the Wild Dog, and back to the Treasure she was moving away from Bemis' soldiers.  Once, more she tried to cast Telekinesis  upon the chest, and attempted to move it closer again.    But her mind was still back with Sir C and his desperate fight, so that her casting was weakened, and the chest moved nowhere. The Sigilist had a quick reminder to concentrate in the form of sharp pain that stabbed at her brain from the failed attempt.  (Rolled a 1 on her casting roll, and took -1 HP)
     Back on the other end of the building,  Bailey watched in horror as the fog wall she had just cast  a short while ago, had already begun to dissipate.    Kinny was suddenly terribly exposed in the middle of a clear area, and one of Missy's Marksmen noticed the small Halfling standing there.  He turned towards this new target, and called to his fellow shooter to join him.  Frantically, the Apprentice began casting Fog again, but in rushing her spell she lost focus and the gathering vapor started to fade.  Using all her powers to concentrate, the young woman practically willed the fog to form, sapping her of energy and causing her mind to burn.  (Pushed for -5 HP.)  But, before the enemy could get a bead on the small Treasure Hunter a new wall of fog formed where the old one had stood.  
     Quickly, Kinny ran to where the chest lay in the snow, and grabbing it, turned and started heading back towards home.  Nearby, Clol, seeing the Treasure Hunter secure her prize, the big Barbarian turned and ran towards the courtyard where the Cultists were.
A pair of Wild Dogs appears, threatening Quail;  and Sir Cardidil moves to intercept them.
        With Quail's failure to move the chest any further over by the ruined building near the black tower, Dorchesman had to think quick.  The prize set temptingly just a short distance away on the other side of the rusty iron fence around the low ruin, but four of Bemis' soldiers were now in view, crawling through the rubble.  He whistled at Cirvid, and pointing towards the treasure, said, "Guard!" and the dog bounded over the fence just as Bemis' hound arrived. The two dogs met in a snarling whirl of fur and fangs.   The Treasure Hunter couldn't watch, and he turned and peering up at the tall tower on the rocky outcropping, began to climb.  He hoped help would come from somewhere for the poor Warhound he had just sent on a suicide mission.
    Quail watched as Dorchesman began to climb, and saw the dog fighting over the treasure, then suddenly a wall of fog  appeared at the corner of the old iron fence around the low ruin by the tower, blocking her view.  Remembering, she turned back towards where Sir Cardidl fought the dogs, just in time to see him kill the second wild beast.  The Sigilist breathed a sigh of relief, as the Knight bent down and wiped his blade on the fur of one of the dead dogs.   Sir C. turned to where she stood, and Quail gasped as she saw the blood all over the side of his head and neck.   He bent down to retrieve his helmet and the Wizard could see he was weak and in pain.  But Quail needed him now, and so she called out his name and pointed towards the fog wall.  He nodded, then closing his eyes, with his teeth gritted, he pushed his helmet back onto his head and weakly jogged to help.  Quail also called to Luc as well, and he too came to help the situation.
Dorchesman and Cirvid find themselves outnumbered in their attempt for the treasure by the low ruin. 
      Back in the square, Innis prepared himself as the Zombie approached, and jumping up on the low wall around the yard, he leapt down on the creature plunging his sword squarely into its face.  It crumpled to the snow, and the Treasure Hunter withdrew his sword and then turned and retrieved the golden pot.   Barc was not idle while this short fight was going on, and the Man at Arms crossed the low fence and then headed over to the sledge, where he hopped up upon it and with a mighty kick tipped the stinking cauldron over on it's side before anything else could climb  out f it.   A couple more bodies along with gallons of foul steaming liquid poured out of it, and splashed in a wave up on to one of the nearby Cultists, who cried out in pain and surprise at this sudden attack from behind.   Horrible red vapor billowed up into the air, causing everyone's eyes to water, as they tried to breathe the murky air.
     Quail, was beginning to feel the effects of her several failed spells, and she took the time to cast Heal on herself, before making her next move.  Bailey, seeing Kinny move to safety and Clol run around to the other side of the warehouse, realized that she was suddenly all alone.  Turning she decided to follow the others into the large stone building, and she climbed up and through the window Sally had gone through earlier.
         Back on the sledge, Barc turned to jump down, and follow Innis through the wall of fog that Bemis had cast earlier at the corner of the warehouse, when suddenly a hunk of stone hit the sledge right on the edge by his foot.  The Man-at-Arms could see the glow of magical energy as the stone bounced off the corner of the wooden slat and landed on the ground. He had a sudden sinking feeling, and he quickly raised his arms to cover his head and turned his back as the Grenade burst; but the edge of the sledge caught most of the blast and he was only showered with a few splinters from where the plank along the edge was blown in two.  But, before Barc could recover from the shock, Bemis's Captain, and another one of Bemis's soldiers, having killed the last of the Cultists, rushed towards the sledge, with Bemis himself following up right behind.  Before Quail's Treasure Hunter could prepare to defend himself, the enemy Captain and Soldier had leapt onto the back of the sledge, and in one blow, the Captain sent Innis sprawling onto the ground, where he lay unmoving.
Innis grabs the treasure as Barc tips the Cauldron. (Doing 4 HP damage on the nearby Cultist.)
     Back by the low ruin, Cirvid found himself surrounded by both Bemis's hound and one of the other Sigilist's Treasure Hunters.  Quail's Warhound fought bravely, and injured both adversaries, but the numbers were against him, and the dog was cut down himself.
    Quail watched as Dorchesman neared the top of the tower, and was surprised to see one of Bemis's soldiers pop into view on the far ledge, and hop down onto the towers top level.   Likewise, Dorchesman reached the top as well and jumped down to immediately engage the enemy.   Quail knew what she had to do, and quickly cast Teleport in an effort to help.  The foul mist was heavy at this height,  and she gagged and her eyes watered.  Likewise, as Dorchesman sparred with the enemy soldier, he too was overcome by the fumes.  Worried for both their safety Quail choked out, "Lets' get out of here!", and the two turned to leave the noxious tower top.  Then, rallying the rest of her warband, the group headed for home.
The battle atop the Black Tower.
    Back at their tower later that evening, Quail sat arms folded, staring disappointedly at the two treasures the group had recovered.  On the plus side both Cirivd and Barc survived, and their wounds would be healed by the time the group had their next foray into the city.    When they opened the chest it reveled two Scrolls; Animate Construct and Create Grimoire as well as 50 GC.
     The pot was another matter altogether.  While it looked like a golden pot filled with gold coins, it was all an illusion;  The pot was merely coated with a fake gold paint, the gold coins were actually a cleverly molded fake top, that when pried away, reveled a hollow pot and a red velvet box lying at the bottom.   Carefully, Quail lifted the box from the pot.  As her hand touched the soft fabric (as new looking as the day it was made), her fingers tingled with magical energy.  Gently she set the box down, and slowly lifted the lid.  There on a bed of satin lay a  beautifully carved Crystal Rose.   The Siglist and her Apprentice gasped in unison, as they gazed at the blood red crystal flower laying on it's bed of white satin.  Among magical relics, a Crystal Rose was the rarest of rare.  Originally made by the ancient magical artisans of Felstad, they were said to be able to cure a person of horrific wounds, even bring back someone who had died.   The use of this magic caused the rose to  disintegrate into a fine crystal powder as it absorbed the damage into itself, so few survived to this day; and the skill and knowledge to make them  was lost with the fall of the City.     Quail had seen a picture in a book once, but had never seen a real one.  Bailey, too, had heard the tales.  No one knew of anyone who owned one except monarchs and the most powerful of magical and spiritual leaders.   Quail did not dare touch it, feeling its power through the velvet case was enough.  Slowly, she closed the lid, and carefully slid the box towards where Bailey sat.  "Here," she paused a second, "I want you to have this."
 Bailey gazed back at her wide-eyed and stunned.  Quail looked her squarely in the eyes, and said lovingly, "I almost lost you once.  And I won't let that happen again."  Your welfare is my responsibility.  I dragged you out to this wilderness, and if anything happened..." Her voice cracked and trailed off.  She concluded simply, "I care for you, Bailey."
     Slowly Bailey reached out her hand, and took the box.  She was tearful now, and could no longer look at her teacher.  She clutched the gift to her chest and standing, turned and headed for her room.
After game shot.
Game Epilogue: 
     Another fun game!  As we have come to expect, this scenario offered it's own unique challenges like the others have.  Luckily, with Bemis rushing the courtyard on the first turn, the Cultists weren't one of mine. :)
      Even though it was a fun game to play, in the end it was something of a disappointment.  Quail and Company were only able to retrieve two Treasures.  And failing all but one of my pregame Spell rolls, was a bad note to start on.    Another factor was the game ended suddenly and early, when one of the players decided to cut his losses and run after grabbing three treasures.    It left me on the verge of acquiring, but falling short on,  two more Treasures; the one on the roof of the Black Tower, where Bemis' man was wounded and had no where to escape.  (That's why I had to use the foul mist as a narrative excuse to end the fight up there.)  And the other was with  Clol the Barbarian who had actually maneuvered into the rear of Bemis' area and was a turn away from catching the wounded Agarn who was carrying Bemis' Reveal Secret Treasure.  (This is the reason Clol kind of disappears from the narrative halfway though.  There was no reason to include his side trip when it had no conclusion.)
    We now need to gear up for just two more scenarios from the book.  The next is the Bone Wheel which should offer it's own set of unusual problems!

To read Bemis' report from the game see: The Cauldrons

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Frostgrave "Thaw of the Lich Lord" Bone Wheel: Simple Halloween Scratchbuild

    This past week I assembled a prototype Bone Wheel terrain piece for the "The Bone Wheel" scenario in the Frostgrave supplement book, Thaw of the Lich Lord.    Since we usually have 6-8 players in our Frostgrave Campaign games, I intend to make three more of these now that I have finished the prototype.
     The scenario describes the Bone Wheel as, "A gigantic wheel, sitting some eight feet off the ground on a central axle...the wheel is constructed of human bones, bound together with old leather straps..."   I knew there was no way I was going to make a big wheel out of 28mm bones, as it would take hundreds, so I headed to the local Dollar Tree store in hopes of finding something that would be bigger than 28mm but not so large that it wouldn't look too out of place with 28mm scenery and figures.
    Happily, I found a skeleton Halloween garland that looked like it would suit the purpose perfectly.
   But, before I built the wheel, I wanted to make the central axle.  So I dug through my wood bits box, and found some pieces I thought would work; a disc, a couple small spools, and a small soda bottle shape.  I glued those in a stack on a 2" fender washer.
    I then cut off the skeletons' arms and legs, and then cut the feet of the legs.    Next, I hot-glued the legs to a 1" fender washer, and then hot-glued the arms around the outer edge.
      I decided the center needed some sort of cover piece,  so I cut one of the ribcages in half, and glued that to the center.  I then did a test fit of the two parts.
      Happy with the fit, I used some of the string that came with the garland to make some lashings around the bone junctures, where the central spokes met the outer rim bones. I then sprayed the parts with flat black primer.  And, as seen in the photo below, I began drybryushing the central axle with some aged wood colors.
          It was just a matter of finishing painting everything, and then fitting the two pieces together.
Shown with a 28mm Reaper figure for scale.
    I'm happy with how the project turned out.  Since this is a scenery piece that will probably only ever be used for this scenario, I didn't put a lot of effort into it.   Still, for a quick job, I think it looks pretty good.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ghost Archipelago Skull Rock Terrain From Dollar Tree Halloween Decor

   This past week my local Dollar Tree started putting their Halloween decorations on the shelves, and I grabbed one of their plastic skulls to make a skull-shaped rock terrain piece for Ghost Archipelago.
     I began by slicing off part of the lower jaw at an angle, so the skull would sit more upright and less leaned back.
     I then hot-glued it to a CD.
     I also hot glued a bit of pink foam scrap under the back overhang so it wouldn't look quite so unbalanced.
     I then sprayed it with flat black primer; and when that was dry, I sprayed it with stone texture spray paint.
     When the stone texture coat was dry,  I drybrushed the skull with various light grays.   When the drybrushing was dry, I used a little green stuff, some small twigs, and some spanish moss to make a little bird nest to sit in one of the eye sockets.
     I then hot glued various plastic aquarium plants onto the base.
     After that,  I flocked the base and added some more clump foliage and some grass tufts.    Finally, I sprayed it with some Testor's Dullcote matte spray paint.
Shown with a 28mm Reaper pirate figure for scale

     I'm very pleased with how this turned out!   I'm thinking I may like to make some smaller ones as well.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Only 5 Days Left For the Reaper "Bones 4" Kickstarter!

  I just wanted to send my readers a reminder that there is only 5 days left to get your pledge in for the Reaper Bones 4 Kickstarter!  A great opportunity to get lots of great Fantasy and Sci-Fi minis at a really great price.
   Check out all you get for $100.  Plus, there are a lot more add-on figure sets you can get.
Just click here to get all the details:  Reaper Bones 4 Kickstarter

Here's a couple of preview videos they've posted.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Three Wise Monkeys Idol Jungle Terrain Piece (Ghost Archipelago)

     My mom used to collect these old dime-store souvenir figurines of the the classic three wise monkeys from the Japanese fable. (See-No-Evil, Speak-No-Evil, and Hear-No Evil) .  She had them in metal, china, stone, wood; and in every size.  When she passed several years ago, I kept this one carved wood one because in the back of mind I always thought it would make a great primitive statue terrain piece.  Now, recently, with the impending release of the Ghost Archipelago rules; I finally had the impetus to set about making that idea happen.
    The first thing I did was find a suitable large plastic base for the terrain piece.  The base had sharp right-angle edges, so I took a hobby knife and roughly cut the angle down so they were more sloped in appearance.  I then hot glued the statue to the plastic base.
     Next, I glued some small gravel and coarse sand around the base of the figurine.   Then, when that was dry, I sprayed the whole thing with flat black primer.  After that, it was just a mater of drybrushing everything with some grey tones.  I also decided I wanted a little dirt showing, so I glued some more coarse sand to the base, painted it dark brown, and then drybrushed that a series of lighter browns.
     Lastly,  I glued on a whole bunch of various types of vegetation to make it look all jungle-y!
Shown with a Reaper 28mm figure for scale.

      I'm pleased with how it turned out.  And what's best is that I now have a piece of terrain that will make me think of my mom when ever I use it. :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Frostgrave Campaign '17, Game 8: The Lair of the Ghoul King & Queen

    This past Saturday we got together for the 8th game of our 2017 Frostgrave Campaign.  We once again continued to make our way through the "Thaw of the Lich Lord" supplement book, and this month we did the Lair of the Ghoul King scenario.
(To read an account of last months game, see: The District of Longreach. )
     We only had 5 of our 9 regular players, so we modified the scenario to make it The Lair of the Ghoul King and Queen, adding a second throne.   We also multiplied the trapdoors per player (2), times our 5 players, so we placed 10 trapdoors . And, given there were 5 of us, we placed the two treasures on opposite sides of each throne (2 treasures x 2 thrones), and then placed the other 11 treasures normally.    Each player was assigned two Ghouls to place during the game as per the scenario instructions. Also, since there were so few of us, we decided to determine initiative the normal way: with dice rolls, rather than our usual numbered poker chip method.
     Unfortunately, since I can't roll dice to save my life, I got last choice of starting location and Quail entered on the back end of nowhere, with what looked like very little prospects in the way of treasure.  It was, however, a corner spot, so she wouldn't be surrounded on three sides. Across from her was Gru the Soothsayer, and to the right of her entry location was Bemis the other Sigilist.
A view of the table before the game.  Quails entry zone can be seen in the far back left corner.  
          The weeks since the last expedition into Frostgrave had been stressful ones for the Sigilist Quailelyn.   Her Apprentice, Bailisette, seemed little improved since the near-fatal magical Grenade attack and resultant scarring she suffered during their expedition two months ago; where they had fought against Bemis the Sigilist's warband in the Library.  And, since the humiliating defeat Bailey had suffered in last month's foray, during an ill-advised attack on one of Bemis' Treasure Hunters; it seemed to the Maga Librarian that on some days her Apprentice was even mentally worse than she had been last month.  Bailey had gone from being quiet, withdraw, and perpetually distracting herself with busy work in the weeks after the initial attack, to, in  the past few weeks, being angry and argumentative all the time. And the rest of the warband were becoming unsettled by it all.
       She had asked Sir Cardidil, the Knight, to give Bailey some sword fighting lessons, in hopes that getting the young woman outside and active, doing something proactive, might help.  And it seemed to help a bit, because when Bailey was out there clashing blades with the knight,  the Sigilist saw glimpses of the bright soul and mind she had brought with her from the University to be her Apprentice almost a year ago now.  She also saw a raging anger and fierce fire in the young woman's eyes as she wielded the weapon with a ferocity unlike the Apprentice's thin, reserved, appearance would bely.  But whenever Bailey was not out on the training field, the anger and argumentativeness flared anew, and it was spreading to other members of the group.
     Quail thought they all needed a good distraction, so one evening she discussed with Sir Cardidil the persistent rumors they had all been hearing about a large magical treasure horde located in the chambers beneath an old monastery, and the decision was reached to go and check it out the next day.  The Maga Librarian consulted her Magical Atlas of Felstad that night before bed, and having located the monastery she was able to locate where there was a cache of hidden grimoires within it's underground chambers. (Quail casts Reveal Secret pre-game.)
The Ghoul King, on his throne, awaits his victims guests.
      The next morning Quail tried to interest Bailey in preparing potions for their trip, but the Apprentice simply stormed out of the great hall when she heard that the Sigilist had chosen to brew Explosive Cocktails for the trip.  To Quail it seemed a sound choice given the rise in undead sightings they had been seeing in the city. (Quail successfully casts Brew Potion pre-game. Bailey fails to cast Brew Potion pre-game.)  Later, as the group gathered outside their tower base, Quail handed the potion vial to Bailey, and said "Take this.  I have no more room in my pockets and pouches." (Quail was at 5 item limit.)  Without a word, frowning, Bailisette reached out her hand and snatched the vial. The Apprentice's arm then froze for a moment in mid movement, and the young woman slowly raised the hand grasping the vial to her face, and unflexed her fingers.  Bailey stared at the clear red liquid frothing in its glass container as it rested on her palm, her eyes fixed upon it.  Quail thought for just a second she saw Bailey's eyes glint the same red as the liquid; then, before the Sigilist could consider this strange sight, as quickly as the Apprentice had snatched the vial, the young woman closed her hand around the smooth glass and shoved the vial deep into one of her pockets... a slight unseen smile coming over the Apprentice's scarred face.
     Once the band was in the city, it didn't take them long to find the ruins of the old monastery complex.  Quail looked around for a few minutes to get her bearings, and then located the steps they needed to get down into the underground chambers.  As the group descended the staircase, the Sigilist was surprised to find a solid looking iron-braced oaken door swung open at the bottom.  There was very little wooden structures left intact in the city after a 1000 years beneath the snow and ice, and to find a solid door like this was rather unusual, but Quail dismissed it as another of the strange sights one sees in this ancient city.
     The group entered the inky dark chambers, and a few of them removed torches from their packs and lit them.   They stood in a long T-shaped foyer, and Quail was organizing them into commands, when the door they had just come through suddenly swung shut of its own accord with a loud bang.  Everyone suddenly went quiet; and in the still air they heard bolts sliding within the door, firmly locking it in place.  Clol the Barbarian crossed to the door, and pulled with all his might and it didn't budge.  He raised his magic Club of Battering and swung mightily at the oaken beams, and the impact nearly broke his wrists, as the club bounced ineffectually off the the hardened wood. Quail step forward and put a hand to the door and studied it in her torchlight.  She could see now that is was no thousand year old portal, but a new one designed to trap them.  As if to confirm the Wizard's  thoughts a deep gravely voice echoed off the walls around them, "Welcome to my Lair.  I am the Ghoul King!  You are now my prisoners! Prepare to die."
     "Well, we'll see about that." the Maga Librarian said to no one in particular in her most authoritative voice, as if challenging one of the many students who had tried to test her mettle at the university; much to their dismay.  Quail continued to the group around her, "The way I see it; the only way out of this is to push ahead," and she motioned everyone forward.
Quail and her group prepare to delve into the Ghoul King's Lair.
          They had not gone far when Quail sensed a Draining Word spell against Telekinesis go into effect.  "Bemis is here as well," she thought to herself.  The Sigilist knew she would need all her wits to get them safely out of the current situation, so she began to chant the spell of Awareness.  Her mind reached out to unlock her ability to sense future outcomes, but then her mind suddenly began to fold back in on itself, and she had to force her thoughts to re-open her link to special insight. Quail's brain seared with pain and she felt dizzy.  The chamber spun and she slumped up against a nearby wall to keep her balance, but the Sigilist had made the link to an awareness of possible futures. (Failed to cast spell, so pushed for 6 HP) "Bailey!" she called out.  
     The Apprentice, who was off to the left, where she had just located the Reveal Secret treasure, let out a huff of frustration, and rolled her eyes.  She turned and stomped towards the Sigilist.  "Can you cast, Heal?" Quail asked weakly as her Apprentice approached. Without replying, Bailey, put her hand out and pressed it against the side of Quail's head.  She mumbled the words for casting Heal under her breath, and her half-hearted attempt was met with a sharp pain behind her own eyes. (Failed to cast by 6 points, took 1 HP damage.)  Her gasp of pain caused Quail to look up at her. "Are you alright?",  the wizard asked; but the young woman didn't reply, and merely rubbed her own forehead to relieve the sting.
     Suddenly there was a creak of wood in the darkness above them, and a Ghoul dropped down onto the floor from above. (The Gru player put one of his two scenario Ghouls in the middle of my group.) The creature looked slowly around with dull eyes, and then launched himself at Cirvid the Warhound. 
The party's opening advance towards the throne room.  The first Ghoul has dropped from the ceiling and set upon Cirvid the Warhound.
     Quickly, Quail put her own hand on her forehead and chanted the words of the Heal spell.  She immediately felt the burn behind her eyes lessen and her equilibrium returned.  The Sigilist strode further down the rubble filled hallway, determine to locate a means to get out of this trap.  She turned to Bailey, and said "Come on!".  The Apprentice followed and pushed right past her, plunging deeper into the darkness.   Luc Demic, with his crossbow at the ready; and Sallisee, with her bow in one hand and a torch in the other, had also moved on ahead to scout a path with their keen eyes.   In the distance, behind a crumbled wall, the Marksman and Ranger could see a large stone structure with a large ornate chair upon it.  Then off to their left, they heard the clash of metal on metal, and could see the light from other torches.  In the glow they could see the large yellow heads of Gru the Soothsayer's strange minions bobbing up and down, as some of them fought a large armored Ghoul with a crown.  They realized immediately that it must be the Ghoul King himself. In a matter of minutes, the yellow creatures had overwhelmed the Ghoul King and brought him down.
    Meanwhile, Cirvid had his teeth sunk into the arm of the Ghoul that had dropped from the ceiling, and shook vigorously.  Sir Cardidil the Knight ran up to aid the dog, and with one slice of his sword, empowered by the Knight's Ring of Life, the Ghoul was struck down.    He had little time to rest on his laurels though; for behind him he heard a creak of wood, and as the Knight turned he saw a trap door in the floor open and a Ghoul climbed quickly out from some unseen room below and charged at him.
     And to make matters worse, another Ghoul dropped from a hiding spot in the ceiling and landed right between Bailey and Innis Flin the Treasure Hunter.  Innis shouted at the Ghoul and attempted to distract him from moving towards the Apprentice.  It worked and the Ghoul lumbered towards him.
The party presses further towards the throne room and runs into Gru's warband. Another Ghoul has dropped from the ceiling and a third has climbed out of the trapdoor.
     While Quail, Bailey, and their group advanced towards the Ghoul King's throne,  the Treasure Hunters, Dorchesman and Kinny, accompanied by the Barbarian, Clol had taken a path to the left through a different series of crumbling underground rooms, unnoticed by any enemy.  Dorchesman was quick to locate and secure a treasure, while Kinny spotted another a little further on, and moved towards it.  Clol tired to stay equidistant between the two in case either needed help.  What he didn't notice was the trapdoor on the floor nearby, and before he realized it, a Ghoul had jumped out of it and was upon him.  It carried a bone club and swung it hard against the Barbarian, who instinctually raised his left arm to block it.  The club made contact and Clol could feel a sharp pain shoot up through his elbow. He, in turn swung his mighty Cub of Battering around and caught the enemy cleanly in his torso.  Though hurt, the undead creature shook it off and came at him again. Clol could not believe his eyes, for as they battled, another Ghoul climbed up out of the trapdoor and was immediately upon him as well.
Clol takes on two Ghouls as Dorchesman guards his treasure behind a wall on the left, and Kinny secures another chest that sits in a far corner of the room
     Back over with Quail's part of the group,  they had little time to think after the death of the Ghoul King, as Gru's minions now noticed them as well.  A crossbow bolt sliced the air, and hit poor Cirvid who, with a yelp,  toppled over onto the stone floor, motionless.  Quickly, Quail cast Fog, and called to Bailey to do the same.  Two walls of mist appeared, blocking them from the view of the  Soothsayers shooters.   Sally and Luc pressed forward to a low ruined wall near the throne, where they saw Bemis's hound trotting forward out of the darkness.  Sally set her torch down and quickly took a bow shot, but missed.  Luc fired his crossbow, and hit; the dog dropped to the floor.  They also noticed a treasure sitting behind the throne, and called to Barc, the Man at Arms,  to come retrieve it.
     Quail worried about the continued  appearance of more Ghouls, and saw what she had to do.   Since everyone around her was either busy with their own life or death struggle or out of view, the Maga Librarian realized it was up to her be the one to take care of the trapdoor.  She cast another wall of Fog to replace one that suddenly dissipated, continuing to block Gru's view of her warband, and then ran to the trapdoor and stood upon it; as there didn't seem to be any way to lock it.
     The Sigilist called to her Apprentice, as she tried to think of some way to block the door other than with her body.  She used Telekinesis to move a piece of rubble toward her, but realized one stone was not going to hold the door, and it would take to long for her to make a heavy mound of crumbled stones, even with Bailey's help.   Bailey came and stood by her, arms folded and back turned.  Then, suddenly,  the Apprentice walked away into the darkened chamber behind them.  Quail could see a torchlight in the distance, but wasn't sure who it belonged to, and why Bailisette suddenly left her to head towards it.  She called to Bailey, but the Apprentice just ignored her.
Quail moves on to the trapdoor as Innis and Sir Cardidl tangle with the two remaining Ghouls. 
     Back in the throne room, Sally had mounted the throne to look for some kind of mechanism to release the door they had come through.  She found a promising bank of five levers, and grabbed one and began pulling on it.  It took all her strength, but she was slowly able to fully move it.  She heard a clang echo somewhere in the distance, and realized she better pull all of them to be sure. (First lever opened a door near Gru's area of operations.)
       In the far chamber where Clol battled the two Ghouls, the Barbarian was hard pressed.  He was badly wounded, but had managed to kill the first Ghoul, and luckily for Quail's soldier, the second Ghoul was fighting from a position on top of the trapdoor, so no more of his fellows could climb out.  Kinny and Dorchesman had both retrieved their treasure chests, but were a bit at a loss as to where to go with them.  They weren't sure if they should drop them to help the Barbarian, or try to make their way to some safe spot...but where was it safe?   They didn't have to puzzle for long, as Clol, and his Club of Battering soon took care of the lone Ghoul survivor, and the big Barbarian quickly moved to stand upon the trapdoor.  The three of them had a hasty discussion and decided to stay put, until they heard if an exit had been located.  For Clol's part, he certainly did not seem inclined to want to step off the trapdoor at the moment.
Sally climbs up on the throne to find the levers that operate the doors, as Barc recovers the treasure behind the throne, and Luc stands at the ready to provide covering fire.
    Back near the throne room, Quail called desperately to Sir Cardidil, "She's run off!", and pointed in the direction Baliey had gone.   The Knight dispatched the Ghoul  he was fighting with a final blow, and ran over to the Sigilist.  Sir C. grabbed the torch from the wizard, and ran in that direction the Apprentice had gone.  He didn't go far before he spotted her.
    Bailey's eye had been caught by torchlight she had seen in the distance; and she could have sworn, silhouetted for a moment in the flame she had seen a familiarly shaped cone hat bobbing around behind a low wall.  Sure enough, as she approached she could see the top of the tall purple hat that Bemis' apprentice, Agarn, wore.    The flame from the boy's torch flashed red in her eyes, and her anger burned.  It seemed only logical to her that one cruel deed deserved another in return.  "Let his apprentice live with the scars forever!", she thought.  Without thinking her hand went to the deadly vial in her pocket and her cold fingers coiled around it.  She now ran towards the wall, and as she neared it, she pulled the vial out and hurled it with all her might.  Bailey watched the glass cylinder turn end over end as it glided through the air and it hit the far lip of the wall near where she could see the pointed hat.  Instantly the cylinder exploded in a ball of red flame, and a loud boom echoed back and forth between the walls of  the low chambers.
   The burst of red flame was blinding in the darkness, and Bailey came to a stop as she was momentarily sightless.  She strained to see the wall through the red flashing in her eyes, but the blast had blown out the torch. There was nothing before her, only darkness and silence, and dancing red spots in her eyes.  Something snapped in her mind, and tears welled up in her eyes. She gasped, "What have I done!"  Falling to her knees, the young woman sobbed, repeating over and over, "What have I done...what have I done.."  She was so overwhelmed with weeks of pent-up emotion, that she didn't even hear the tell tail sound of creaking wood in the ceiling, and was unaware of the Ghoul that dropped down almost directly in front of her.
Bailey hurls the Explosive Cocktail at Agarn and the Treasure Hunter.
      Quail, still standing on the trap door,  could now see a little of the scene as the Knight with her torch neared where the Apprentice stood.  The Sigilist saw the Ghoul drop from above, and quickly grabbed a quill from her pouch and rubbed it between her hands, frantically chanting the spell of Furious Quill.   Like an arrow, the feather shot from her hands and proceeded to dance around the monster's head, distracting it.  Sir C, dropped the torch to the ground and ran at the undead horror with his sword raised.  One mighty swing of his blade, and the distracted Ghoul was cut in two.  Bailey, oblivious, sat slumped on the cold stone floor and still sobbed, shaking her head, as waves of regret and sadness swept over her.  "I've killed him...I've killed him...I know I have...What has become of me...What have I done..."
   Sir Cardidil, leaned over and helped the young woman to her feet, she was so overcome with emotion, the aged knight wasn't quite sure what to do; but his first instinct was safety; so after retrieving the torch he dropped, he forced the Apprentice back away from the immediate area of danger.
        By this time, Innis had killed the Ghoul that had dropped near him earlier, and he now ran back to find Quail.  When the Sigilist saw him, she called, "The Grimoire by the door we came in; get it!", and the Treasure Hunter nodded and let the Siglist know that Sally was working on an exit for them.  He then ran back the way they had come in to retrieve the book.
As a Ghoul drops from the ceiling in front of Bailey, Quail hits the creature with a Furious Quill and Sir Cardidil rushes to the Apprentice's aid. 
     Sally still stood upon the throne, and she heaved at a second lever.  Again she heard a distant clang, but had no idea if it was the door they had come in or not, so she continued on to a third one. (The second lever opened a door near Knabe's area of operation, and the third opened the one Gru had entered through.)
   While she slowly and methodically worked her way down the row of levers, Barc had retrieved the chest by the throne, and was heading back the way they had come in, and Luc had moved forward to make sure no new threats appeared from the far side of the throne room.  Suddenly, a trapdoor opened in the chamber on the far side of the crumbled wall where Luc stood, and a Ghoul emerged and lumbered towards him.    The poor Marksman then could not believe his eyes as two more dropped from hidden doors in the ceiling. (Gru and Bemis decided it was a good time to use up their remaining player controlled Ghouls).  Luc fought bravely, and killed one of the monsters, but he was no match for all of them, and they quickly overpowered him.
      Sally eventually pulled the correct lever, and the door they had come in swung open. (But not during the course of game play)  Slowly the exhausted and battered group made their way out and into the overcast gloom of the city.  Everyone was too tired to talk much on the trip home.  Sir Cardidil passed Bailey over to Quail, and the wizard held her tight under one arm as they walked, like a mother bird.  The young Apprentice still cried quiet tears on the trip back to the tower, and kept her eyes lowered towards the road before them; except for one point where she turned her head upwards and looking squarely at the Maga Librarian and said simply, "I'm sorry."
Luc is overrun by Ghouls
           Back at the tower they were able to take stock of all they had retrieved from the Ghoul King's Lair.  They had luckily managed to come away with four treasures.  There were two Grimoires: Wizard Eye and Explosive Rune; as well as a Book of Rangifer, and a Belt of Animal Repellence.  There had been a  good deal of gold too; 320 Gold Coins; and Quail figured if she sold the Book of Rangifer to the university, that would bring in another 150 in gold coins.    They had gotten off well injury-wise also.  Cirvid had been badly wounded, but a 10 GC salve would mend him up nice and quick.  And Luc had somehow managed to survive the Ghoul attack relatively unharmed.
     Later that night Quail sat in her room and considered the day.  It had been a trap they had walked into, pure and simple.   She would be more careful in the future following wild rumors.  However, it did mean that they were a threat to someone, or something, but who?   Then her mind turned to young Bailisette.   Her Apprentice seemed, at last,  to truly be on the mend now.  The Sigilist wasn't sure what exactly happened in the chamber where her Apprentice had run to, (she had only bits and pieces of the story from Bailey and Sir Carididil,) but whatever it was, the emotional surge that had overtaken the young woman had seem to clear away a lot of the demons that had haunted her.    Quail knew she would have to find out the full story later, and that there was still a way to go before the old Bailey was back; but she was content for now that the anger seemed to be gone.  And, if the wizard was not mistaken, as they all took their evening meal, there had even been the briefest of happy smiles pass over the girl's face as she sat quietly and listened to the others joke and laugh about their exploits during the day's adventures.
The after-game shot.
Game Epilogue 
    It certainly was an interesting game!  I'll give the author credit, each scenario in this book has offered it's own unique challenges to overcome; which have been fun to tackle.   In this one the darkness and all the walls meant that there was very little the Spell Casters could do, as there were seldom targets to be seen.  Also, the Warbands, to a large extent, had only the briefest of contact. This was mitigated by the continually appearing Ghouls, and wandering monsters (Though, luckily, no wandering monsters ever entered in Quail's area.) The trapdoors became particularly problematic, as more folks started standing on them, the chances of the Ghouls popping out of the ones by me jumped significantly; so I had no choice but to stand on them myself.
     We made one error in set up, as we originally set the table for 6 players, then when we found out we were only going to have 5, we reset things so instead of 3 thrones and kings/queens we had only two.  In doing this, we didn't pay attention to the new spacing of the thrones (we were eager to start playing!), and it turned out that from two of the starting zones, (Gru's and Basil the Enchanter's) the thrones could be easily seen and brought under missile fire in turn 1.   This meant, in both cases, that the battles for the throne rooms were rather one sided.  Luckily for me, Gru was content to kill the King, gather the amulet, and the closet throne treasure, and move on, rather than stay and fight for the remaining treasure and levers.
     Quail had a good outing with 9 spells cast, 3 levers pulled, 7 Ghouls killed, and 4 treasure recovered; for 390 Experience Points.  Also, 470 Gold.  And, another trip where no one died.  I'm not sure how long this luck will last.
   I was also happy to resolve the Bailey story arc.  Yes, I pushed the issue a bit, as I don't know if I would have run Bailey over towards Agarn by herself like that if it wasn't for the narrative.  But, to be fair, Bemis' Apprentice and a Treasure Hunter  that was with him, with a treasure, were over a move away from any help from their own side, so were rather juicy targets...

For Bemis' report on the game, see: Who Closed the Door?

To continue reading the Campaign reports with the next game, see:  The Dark Cauldrons