Monday, March 5, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 2: X Never Marks the Spot!

The second installment of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago game was played on an 8'x3' table, with three Central Treasures evenly spaced along the center line of the table.  We had all seven players for this game.

I was lucky enough to draw for first pick of starting locations and choose a corner position to give me one safe flank.  Directly across from me and a bit to the right was the Heritor, Heritor, Herndon, and his Wave Warden;.  to my left was Lady Katheryne and her Storm Warden; and to my front left was Lord Fortrywn and his Vine Warden.  You can read Lord Fortywn's version of events here:  Ghost Archipelago Campaign '18, Game 2: The X's Mark the Spots

Skorri's Log

Skorri Drakenberg stood on the quarterdeck of his current sailing vessel, the Yacht Sea.  The old dhow had sailed a lot of miles but was still seaworthy, and suited his purposes - for now.  He was surveying a small island that some of the local tribal natives claimed held a mystical pool near a small temple.  The story did not match with any of his ancient maps.  Maps that had been handed down from one Drakenberg to another for several hundred years.  Regardless, he knew he had to land and check out the story.  Of course the other ships heading towards the island meant there must be some truth to the natives tale, at least that is what he told himself.  Skorri yelled to the shipmaster, "Make preparations to anchor."
A view of the table
Once ashore, Skorri and crew moves forward into the jungle.  Even though it was still early in the day, the heat was oppressive.  And the gnats and other bugs kept up an unceasing attack on the crew.  None of this seemed to bother Skorri, in fact he didn't even seem to be sweating, unlike everyone else.  After an hour or so of constant hacking through the dense vegetation, things started to clear a bit.  Skorri pulls out his telescope and scans the area.
An old overgrown temple
Way off in the distance, Skorri can just make out the columns of an old  temple rising out of the jungle.  He also detects movement in several areas of the jungle.  He decides he would not be able to make it to the temple and looks around the jungle closer to his crew.  He spots some likely areas to investigate; an old statue, a watch tower, and a small hut.
Hat Chet secures a treasure
Hat Chet rushes forward and picks up a treasure hidden in the brush under a fallen tree.  From his position, he could see a large stone in the middle of a clearing.  He pointed out that the stone had a carved "X" on the top.  The two bowmen moved forward to cover the area.  As this was happening, Anemone attempts to cast Beast Cry but bumbled the words and failed.
A treasure chest hidden on an old statue
Skorri surveys the area.. He points to a statue off to the distant right, "Tiefer, that looks like a small chest in the statue's arms.  Please go get it."   "You want me to climb something?" replied Tiefer.  "There's no water around Yes, go climb that statue" countered Skorri.  Obediently, Tiefer moves off towards the statue.

The skies start to darken as clouds move in.  It was clear a minute ago.  Must be a Storm Warden nearby. (Heritor Gregorious' Warden cast Storm Call)
Skorri moves forward with Blue Boy
Skorri moves forward to a small abandoned hut.  Peering inside, he notices a small urn sitting on the floor.  He Surges to vault through the window and picks up the urn.  Amrod takes a shot at Herndon's crewman and hits him for some minor damage.  Kukala shoots and misses one of Lord Fortrywn's crewman. 

Following Skorri's command, Tiefer heads over to the statue.  He starts to climb up mumbling to himself the entire time.  He easily reaches the treasure chest.  After a few minutes of clearing spider webs, he places it in his pack and starts to climb down.  Once down he heads to the rendezvous point.  Over near Skorri, Blue Boy shimmies up a small tower.  Halfway up he is struck by an arrow and falls to the ground, knocked unconscious.
Blue Boy climbs up an old tower
Blue Boy falls from an old tower
Amras sees the shot from Lady Katheryne's  bowman and shoots, slightly wounding the bowman.
In an attempt to hinder the other crews that are searching through the jungle, Anemone let out a huge yell, “Aah-eeh-ah-eeh-aaaaaah-eeh-ah-eeh-aaaaah!” (successfully casts Beast Cry).  Visibility continues to worsen as the storm clouds thicken.

Shortly after Skorri picked up the urn, one of Lord Fortrywn's crew-women ran into the hut, skidding to a halt when she saw him standing there.  Surprised as he was with  her brashness, he calmly pulls out his bow and takes a snap shot at her but the arrow flies wide of its mark.  Being a gentlemen, Skorri decides to spare her life.  He salutes and says "This is your lucky day" and jumps through the window, the treasure firmly tucked under his arm.
Skorri meets a member of Fortywn's crew
Skorri decides to spare her life and jumps out a window
The young crew-women has other ideas - like getting knocked out
Two more of Fortywn's crew challenge Skorri for his treasure
Skorri had barely landed outside the hut when he saw the young fool rush around the corner.  "Remember, you asked for this" said Skorri.  Not even bothering to engage her in melee, he struck her with a quick right cross to the temple, dropping her to the ground like a sack of potatoes.  Skorri didn't have much time to ponder the impetus nature of youth as  two more of Lord Fortrywn's crewmen came around the back of the hut and joined in the melee.  Skorri launched into a series of parries and ripostes against the other two crewmen.  They could tell they were outmatched but neither appeared willing to retreat.  Skorri easily broke through one crewman's defense, slicing him deeply in his left side.  As the crewman fell, Skorri could feel his anger getting the best of him.  His blood boiled as he utilized a Heritor ability to engage his third opponent.  The resulting Backswing seriously injured the third crewman, knocking him backwards a step or two.  The remaining crewman was the smartest of the three.  He quickly determined that retreating was a valiant option as he turned tail and ran.  As Skorri cooled down, he decided to let him go.  He moved to rejoin his crew.   Having observed part of the fight, Anemone successfully cast  Water of Life on Skorri, thinking he needed it more then he really did (recovered 2 points health), but better to play it safe.

One of Herndon's crew members goes down under a hail of arrows
Amrod and Kukala are covering the clearing containing the large stone.  Herndon's warden has cast Thorns twice to slow access to the stone. Amrod and Kukala have any thoughts of crossing "no mans land" to check out the stone, preferring to just take shots at Herndon's crew.  They both take aim at Herndon's crewman and let fly with their arrows - both miss the target.  At the same time, Herndon's crew has been popping of shots of their own as they slowly move forward. The storm clouds worsen again reducing visibility even more (down to 12 inches line of sight).
Herndon's crew pasy dearly to obtain the central treasure
Amrod finally gets a shot on target dropping one of Herndon's crew in the clearing beside the large stone.  Before he can do a victory dance, an arrow flashes out of the jungle striking him on his helm.  Amrod had visions of stars dancing before his eyes as he slumped to the ground.  Herndon's crew get revenge with a lucky shot.

A potion of alertness - Skorri never goes adventuring without it
Amras has spent many arrows trying to hit out Katheryne's  bowman.  He is living a charmed life as every shot has been deflected wide by the undergrowth.  He calls out to Kukala, "How about some help over here?"  Kukala moves up beside him and takes careful aim on Lady Katheryne's  bowman. As his arrow strikes home and his target falls to the jungle flow, he says to Amrad, "That's how its done."  The way looks clear for Wu to gain the top of the tower.  Wu quickly climbs to the top of the tower and picks up a treasure.  Kukala ducks as a crossbow bolt flies over his head.  Maybe its not a safe as he thought.

On a side note, Anemone's Beast Cry brought in a Cortiki and 2 tribal warriors directly behind Robin Duck's merry men (or merry ducks).  They had fun playing with him.
Wu gains the top of the tower and grabs the treasure
Up on the tower, Wu starts to climb down.  A few feet from the top, he is hit by an arrow, knocking him unconscious.  His foot gets caught in the crossbeams leaving him hanging upside down.  The treasure he was carrying slips from his hand and falls to the ground below.  Amras hears Wu cry out as he is hit and looks up - just in time to dodge the small chest that lands beside him.  He quickly picks it up.
Wu gets hit, falls, and drops the treasure
"SNAKE" cried Chen Lee just before he has his breakfast squeezed out of him
Chen Lee is attacked by a giant anaconda.  The snake wraps itself around him, squeezing so hard he passes out.  Skorri moves forward through the underbrush and attacks the anaconda, wounding it slightly.  He then calls forth his Heritor powers to Surge and strike the snake again.  This time he manages to cut off its head.
Skorri Surges to get two attacks on the snake, taking it out
Kukala hears someone running through the brush and impulsively decides to check it out.  He sees one of Lady Katheryne's crewmen lugging a treasure through the jungle.  With thoughts of revenge for Blue Boy, he gives pursuit but hearing Skorri's recall, quickly turns around.   Anemone cast Amphibious on Amras and they both move towards the rendezvous.
The victory pose
Blue Boy, Wu, Chen Lee, and Amrod were all able to make it back to the beach - for the most part unharmed.  All will be available for the next outing.

Back on board the dhow, Skorris takes inventory of the day's efforts.  The haul was four normal treasures:  115 gold coins, some Scalegrass, a hand weapon +1 damage, and a superior hand weapon +1 fight.  Skorri gained 215 experience and Anemone pulled in 130 experience.

The archery shoot out with Herndon's crew was mostly just a lot of failed die rolls.  Skorri lost two crewmen to Herdon's crew.  Herndon lost two crewmen to Skorri's crew and one to a skeleton - but he made off with the central treasure.  The cover provided by his vine warden's Brambles kept me from wanting to make a run for it myself;  but Skorri still managed to obtain four treasures.  The warden cast Amphibious on most of the crew throughout the game even though it provided no real advantage (except for experience points).

Overall a great game, made better by having everyone in attendance.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ghost Archipelago Campaign - The First Outing

A few weeks back we played our first 2018 campaign game of Ghost Archipelago.  Five of our regular group were able play.  Since this was the initial game, the scenario was a straight up treasure grab.  We placed treasures and then drew for starting positions.  Additional information about the set-up and another game report can be found here:  Ghost Archipelago Campaign '18, Game 1.

The Report

Skorri Drakenberg observes the ocean swells as his ship gracefully sails towards a distant island.  Could it be true?  Have the islands of the Ghost Archipelago returned?  Or is this just another wild goose chase?  The Lost Isles have been the topic of speculation for many years.  False sighting arise every 10 years of so, sending adventurers, freebooters, fortune hunters and heritors sailing the ocean in hope of finding riches and the infamous Crystal Pool.

A view of the table
While he would prefer to be standing on the deck of a graceful longship, the dhow that he currently commands would suffice for now.  The oriental crew was efficient and most importantly, loyal.  He had managed to recruit some additional help in the form of two elven bowmen (Amras and Amrod), an elf who claimed he was an excellent swimmer and diver (Tiefer), and a hunter/tracker (Kukala) who said he was familiar with the wildlife typically found inhabiting the islands of the southern ocean.  As luck would have it, he had also picked up a spell caster.  The young warden who calls herself Anemone and swore she could manipulate the waves and call forth wild beasts.  All untested claims.  No doubt she'll probably end up fertilizing some desolate island jungle.  However, she was down on her luck and appeared to sincerely want to assist with his quest - and he had a soft spot for damsels in distress of any kind.  Only time would tell if he had made a good decision.
Meet the Crew
It is said the crystal Pool can not be found without first finding and deciphering 10 map stones.  There is a rumor that such a map stone might be located on Tikki Isle beneath one of the many statues dotting the jungle that has sent Skorri on this trip.
Another view of the table
The ship's master anchored just offshore.  A couple other ship's masts could be seen in the distance.  Other adventurers, and probably other heritors, would be searching the island.  Skorri quickly got his crew into the row boats and headed to the sandy shore.
The duckmen move forward
Skorri and his crew moved forward through the jungle.  In the distance he spots a toppled statue of a tikki warrior.  Hopefully the rumors about location of the map stones was true.  Skorri moved forward with the two bowmen.  Through the foliage and trees, he saw that another crew was moving around across a small river, and heading towards the same statue.  It appeared that at least one other was investigating the same rumor as himself.  Blue Boy moved toward an old lookout tower.  He thought he could see something concealed on the upper platform.
A tikki statue and a hidden treasure chest
Anemone (Wave Warden) spotted a duckman moving through the brush near a small river.  She quickly spoke the words to have the river smite the creature.  The water from the river rose up in the shape of a fist and swung towards the duckman but broke apart as it struck.  The duckman got wet but did not suffer any damage (successfully cast Wrath of the Waves).  Anemone struck a nearby tree in frustration.  She wanted to prove her worth to Skorri.

The duckmen moved closer to the river's edge, heading towards the fallen statue.  Skorri closed his eyes and he called forth one of his abilities.  He could feel the energy surge through his body; along with the usual twinge of pain.  He quickly moved forward in a blur and snatched the chest from under the feet of a fallen statue (Successfully triggered Surge to move twice and pick up the treasure).  He then quickly ducked as an arrow came flying his way.

Skorri claims a treasure
The two bowmen (Amras and Amrod) accompanying Skorri fired arrows at the duck heritor across the river but the dense vegetation caused the shots to miss.  Or maybe he "ducked".

Tiefer and Wu move forward to contest a treasure
Tiefer (Pearl Diver) had moved up to the edge of the river and crouched behind some bushes to observe the duckmen's movements.  Suddenly, the bushes uprooted themselves and slowly inched away from him.  Before he could move, Tiefer found himself struck in the shoulder with an arrow (9 points of damage).  Wu (Crewman) moved up crossed the river to challenge the duckmen for a pile of treasure hidden in the bushes.  Wu is quickly set upon by the duckman and is quickly taken down.  The duckman grabs the treasure.
Hat Chet dives in to recover a treasure
Anemone decided to try a different spell this time.  She spotted Hat Chet at the edge of a deep pool of water.  He was pointing at something at the bottom.  Anemone thought he would benefit from being able to breath underwater so she quickly prepared her Amphipibious spell. In her haste, she jumbled the words and the spell failed.  She was worried because Hat Chet dove into the pool anyway.  He swam down and grabbed a chest.

Kukala had moved forward and spotted movement through the brush.  He notched an arrow, aimed, and let it fly.  The arrow struck a duckman but didn't take it out action.  He then noticed Tiefer take another arrow and drop into the vegetation.  Kukala didn't see him get back up.

The sky was starting to darken, unusual for the time of day.  There must be some sorcery at play.  The weather would reduce visibility making it harder to spot targets but would also provide cover from arrows.
Skorri easily takes down a duckman
Skorri found himself swarmed by duckmen.  Skorri used Surge and easily dispatched one of the duckmen.  The other duckman wisely chose to withdraw.  He was covered by a duck bowman who took a shot at Skorri, barely nicking him (1 point of damage).

Anenome cast Amphibious on Hat Chet. It was just in time as carrying the treasure would have made for a harder swim check.  With the amphibious ability, Hat Chet easily made it out of the deep pool and moved into cover.  Kukala takes careful aim at the Duck Warden peering out from some palm fronds.  The arrow flew straight and impacted with a cloud of feathers (5 points of damage).  That made him duck (pun intended).
Blue Boy climbing the lookout tower
Blue Boy finally made it to the top of the lookout tower.  The item he spotted did appear to be a treasure so he quickly picked it up.  While up top he had a good view of the jungle area, even though it was somewhat hampered by the incoming clouds.  Off in the distance he could hear the sounds of swords hitting swords.  Someone was having a hard fight.  Though blurry, he could just make out the combatants.

Some of the other heritors' crews
Some heavy casualties were incurred by the other heritors
Covering Skorri's withdrawal, Amrod fires an arrow at a duckman bowman.  He doesn't cause any damage but the duckman does decide to move back.  The cloud cover thickens again, greatly reducing line of sight (visibility is reduced to 12 inches).  This was helpful if you were trying to get away with some treasure but at the same time, hindered your ability to stop other crews from doing the same.  Skorri slowly withdraws, moving from cover to cover to avoid the duck bowmen.  It doesn't take long before he is beyond their line of sight.

The duckmen that took out Wu was attempting to make off with a treasure.  Anemone cast Wrath of Water but only by straining so hard that blood oozed from her ears (pushed the spell for 5 points of damage).  Unfortunately that was the only damage the spell caused as the duckman was not harmed (water off a duck's back and all that stuff....). 

Over at the old lookout tower, Blue Boy dropped the treasure to Chen Lee and began to climb down.  Chen Lee picked it up and began to fall back.  Once he had climbed down, Blue Boy followed him.
Chen Lee picks up the dropped treasure
Anemone cast Wrath of Water on the duckman with the treasure once more.  This time the water hits him hard (caused 8 points of damage) but he remained standing, and holding the treasure.  Kukala took aim and shot an arrow towards the treasure carrying duckman.  Once again, the heavy jungle vegetation deflected his shot.

Seeing that his crew had collected three treasures, Skorri calls for them to withdraw.  Anemone pauses to cast Wrath of Water one last time.  With the sky being so overcast, she could just barely make out her target dashing through the trees.  She called forth to the river to reach out and smite the duckman but the fumbled her casting.  Kukala pauses beside Anemone to take a final shoot.  The reduced visibility and the vegetation once again causes his shot to fly wide of his target.  With a sigh, Kukala watches as the duckman, and the treasure, fades out sight.  Disappointed in himself, he slowly turns to head towards the beach.  As the crew is withdrawing, Anemone manages to cast Amphibious on two more of the crew just in case it is needed.

All things considered, Skorri was extremely pleased with the performance of his crew.  Sure the bowmen could have hit more targets and Anemone could have had better luck with her casting - but he did end up securing three treasures.  Back aboard his ship, Skorri examines the day's take.  The treasure chest he had found under the idol did indeed contain a map stone - just nine more to collect.  Chen Lee's treasure contained 10 gold coins and a sword that glowed with magic energy (Magic hand weapon +1 Fight which Skorri claimed for himself).  Hat Chet's treasure contained 10 gold coins and a potion - Water of Life.

 Fortunately for Skorri, Tiefer recovers with no negative effects.  With only 20 gold, it'll take a while to amass the necessary payment to head back to port to recruit another specialist.  Crewman Wu also managed to recover.  Skorri garnered 185 experience points while Anemone managed to gain 120.


A great first game.  Ghost Archipelago plays much differently then Frostgrave.  It seems to have a much more combat focus - both melee and ranged.  Only time will tell if this is really true.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Frostgrave Game 12 - Christmas in the Frozen City

A week or two ago we played the twelfth and final game of the 2017 Frostgrave Campaign.  Unfortunately, only five of the players were able to make it, but we had cookies, coffee, and some small gifts.

A view of the set-up
The scenario we did we called Red Sled Down, and featured St Nick’s sleigh crashing over Felstad, scattering packages throughout the ruins.  Also, St Nick and Mrs. Nick had survived the crash, and are stranded in the ruins.  To add a little more challenge to the mix, we also added two teams of six goblins who were trying to gather up the packages for themselves.  They were ruled to move towards the closest unclaimed packages first.  If there were no unclaimed ones nearby, then they would try to get claimed ones.  More information an be found in Quail's report: Frostgrave Campaign '17, Game 12: Red Sled Down, or, The Last Excursion
Jolly St Nick stuck on top of a ruined tower
Mrs. St Nick on top of some ruins
One of the groups of goblins looking for presents
Bemis' Report

Nigel rushed into the study, "Master Bemis have you heard? St Nick's sleigh has crashed somewhere in Felstad.  Rumor has the crash site near the goblin territory.  Some of the wizards are hastily preparing to go out and salvage whatever they can.  Should I alert the lads?"  "Yes Nigel, please prepare to go at first light" replied Bemis as he rose from his reading chair, Agarn and I will start our preparations as well."

Bemis and Agarn retired to the laboratory where they both were able to brew potions - Invisibility and Teleportation.  They then entered the scriptorium and prepared two scrolls - Drain Word and Awareness.  With that completed, they both retired to get a bit of rest before the morning's exertions.
Gru and his yellow creatures
It was an usually clear morning as the warband set out to search for the downed sleigh.  The lads were in good cheer.  Shadow VIII bounded along through the snow with endless energy.  At one point, a snow bunny emerged from the rubble, saw him, and took off at a fast hop.  Shadow sprinted after him for while but quickly gave up the chase as Agarn whistled him back.  The dwarven contingent started singing several refrains of the bawdy Icicle Bill the Delver song.  When their voices started to carry a bit, Nigel had to quiet them down.  But they all remained in good spirits.

Bemis guided the party unerringly towards their destination.  As they got closer, things took on a more serious note.  The friendly banter died off as everyone was on alert, both for other warbands searching the ruins as well wandering creatures.  Slowly creeping up behind a small ruined house, Bemis and Nigel spread out the warband using well rehearsed hand and arm signals.  Settling down, the sounds of other parties moving around the ruins could be detected.  Bemis could detect the slightly nauseating tint of necromantic magic which portent the presence of Missy and her evil undead worshipping followers.  Far off in the distance, flashes of yellow could be seen darting among the ruins - Gru's odd minions were also in attendance.  Bemis knew Quail was out today even though he couldn't detect her warband.
The goblins have collected a present
Carefully scanning the area, Nigel spotted a group of goblins directly in front of his position.  They chatted together in their guttural language while struggling to pull a large wooden sled through the snow.  As he watched, they stopped and excitedly hoisted a package onto the sled.  It must be one of the packages rumored to be carried by St Nick's sleigh.  Looks like Bemis brought us to the right spot.  Bemis spotted the goblins and their sled as well.  He leaned over to Agarn and pointed to the package, "That one is your responsibility."

Bemis cast Telekinesis on a package laying on the second story of a nearby ruin and managed to draw it closer to his warband.  Shadow and Hatch move forward to retrieve it.  Likewise, Agarn sees the package Bemis had pointed to and successfully casts Telekinesis to pull it off the goblin sled.  Kleppo immediately dashes forward and picks it up.
9Toe teleports to the top of a nearby tower
9Toe looks around the area and sees a duck fly up on top of a nearby tower.  With a quick gulp of his potion, 9Toe popped up on top of the tower's crenellation.  "Never give an inquisitive dwarf a Potion of Teleportation," mused Bemis.  9Toe barely gains his balance when a bone dart whistles by his head.  Momentarily surprised, he doesn't see the crossbow bolt that hits his helmet.  Knocked unconscious, he teeters at the edge before falling to a small platform several feet below his perch.  His feet get entangled in the rotting boards and later when he wakes up, he finds himself hanging upside down.
9Toe takes a tumble
Diesel Vin takes a peek inside a small ruined building, he spies a package lying inside .  He climbs through a window and quickly stuffs it into his backpack.  Niko moves forward and searches around a fallen column.  He finds a small treasure chest - right where Bemis had predicted.  With a bone tingling howl, a wild wolf announces its arrival.  Piko moves to intercept it.  Scurrying out of a nearby ruin, a giant rat skitters across the snow and lunges at Bemis like he is made of cheese.

Bemis turns and with a speed that defies his age, thrusts his sword out and neatly skewers the rat in mid leap.  He then moves towards Piko to assist him with the wolf.  With Bemis' assistance, Piko is able to defeat the wolf.
Bemis aids Piko in fighting a wolf
Agarn spots some of Gru's yellow creatures off in the distance.  They appeared to be moving towards the warband.  Agarn conjures up some Fog to block their line of sight.  To the right, Nigel and Vale head towards a tall ruined tower.  Vale reaches it first and begins a long climb to the top.
Vale climbs up a ruined tower

As they reached the package, Shadow and Hatch are each attacked by goblins.  Hatch, trying to guard a package, manages to successfully fight off and damage a goblin.  Shadow is not so lucky.  The goblin swings his club and bonks him hard on the head.  Shadow drops to the ground, never to rise again.  Hatch suddenly finds himself facing off against both goblins.  One goblin feinted towards his right side.  As Hatch blocked the attack with his dagger, the other goblin smashed him in the head.  The two goblins gleefully ran to the package to claim it.

Bemis had observed the goblins abusing his warband members.  He reaches down and grabs a large rock.  Quickly enchanting it, he hurls it towards the two goblins (Bemis cast Grenade).  With a loud bang, the rock impacts a goblin, immediately killing it.  Fragments injure the other goblin.  Agarn again casts Fog to block the line of sight of other goblins as well members of Missy's evil necromantic warband.

Bemis cast a Grenade on the goblins
Bemis grabs another rock and incants the spell for Grenade.  He throws it well but the rock explodes with a weak whimper and without causing any damage.  Diesel pulls out his Horn of Hellfire.  He points it at the remaining goblin and plays a short note.  A burst of magic hits the goblin and fries it to a cinder.  Piko runs over and picks up the package.
Diesel uses his Horn of Hellfire to take out a goblin
Meanwhile, over at the tall ruined tower, Agarn sees Vale has reached the top level.  Thinking that he might be too exposed up there, especially with Missy lingering nearby, he casts Fog to protect him.  Vale finds a package laying in the rubble.  He picks it up and places it in his backpack.
Vale finds a treasure at the top of the tower
With four packages and one treasure in his control, Bemis signals his warband to withdraw.  As they fall back, Bemis and Agarn throw the odd spell or two at anyone they can see to try and disrupt there activities - to little real effect - except maybe one.  Bemis observed some bright flashes of magic power over where he thought Quail might be located.  The magic appeared to be coming from Alfred the Unready.  In an attempt to help out his fellow sigilist, he cast Fog way across the ruins to block Alfred's line of sight.  Whether it actually did any good or not, who knows.

The return trip was uneventful.  All the warband was in good cheer despite the loss of Shadow VIII.  9Toe and Hatch were slowly recovering even though they were both a bit groggy.  It would be nice to get back to the warmth of the library - and a pinto of beer or two.

Bemis had hardly made it back to his library when he received word that his fellow sigilist, Quail, had been cut down during the fighting that day.  Taking Nigel along, he quickly hurried over to Quail's base to check on her condition.  To his relief, Quail had only taken a hard knock and seemed to be okay.  "Quail, my old friend, it may be time for two old codgers like us to retire from adventuring."  After a quick cup of tea, Bemis bid her farewell, with a promise to write to her at her university post.

As for Bemis, he intends to remain in his library near Felstad for a while longer.  The old library still has quite a few tomes and scrolls yet to be examined.  Nigel was planning to hang around as well; for the time being.  Agarn and the rest of the warband decided they would head to warmer environs.  Rumor has it there is adventuring to be had sailing some ancient islands - for those brave enough to try it.
End of game photo op

Another great game to close out the 2017 campaign season. The loot turned out to be 230 gold, 2 grimoires, and 7 scrolls.  For experience, Bemis received 420 and Nigel a mere 20.  With this, Bemis ends the campaign at the grand level of 50 and Nigel ends at level 4.

After the game, we exchanged gifts based on how many treasures each player obtained during the game.  I received a couple of miniatures and a pot of Nuln's Oil wash.  We then ate some lunch and set-up to play a test game of Ghost Archipelago.  It was the first time any of us had actually played the rules.  Unfortunately I did not record the events of that game nor did I capture any pictures - was too caught up trying to learn the new rules (fortunately there are not that many differences).  The Heritors play completely different than the FG wizards.  I think they will prove to be extremely interesting to learn to play.  We all enjoyed the game and look forward to using GA for the 2018 campaign.

For those who have read my posts - Thanks.  I hope you have found them to be entertaining.

Have a great holiday season and tune in next year for more adventures.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Frostgrave Campaign Game 11 - Death of the Lich Lord

We recently completed Game 11 of our 2017 Frostgrave campaign.   It was the last scenario in the “Thaw of he Lich Lord” supplement book: The Final Battle.  Once again, only 6 of our regular players could participate.  With 6 players, we decided the Lich Lord would be located in a temple in the center of a hexagonal table surrounded by 6 Wraith Knights, 18 Death Cultists, and 36 Armored Skeletons.  On hindsight, we probably should have included a Lich Queen as well since we had 6 players.

You can find Wizard Quail's report here:  Frostgrave Campaign Game 11 The Final Battle.  It includes some additional background information as well as Quail's experience.  Well worth the read.

Bemis' Report:
"Nigel, most of the wizards have agreed to an assault on the Lich Lord's fortress, that hovering chunk of Felstad.  Please prepare the lads for tomorrow morning" said Bemis as he entered the main room.  "Then return and lets discuss strategy."

While waiting on Nigel to return, Bemis and Agarn busied themselves with brewing potions and preparing scrolls.  Bemis then retired to his observatory to peer through his celestial telescope, hoping to gain insight on the Lich Lord's location.  While he did get some vague vision of the layout, he also discovered what appeared to be a chest containing a large amount of gold (successfully cast Reveal Secret).  It should be located near a fallen statue.
A chest of gold?
Bemis and Nigel sat up late discussing strategy.  They decided the best plan would be to stay close together and head straight towards the Lich Lord to engage him as quickly as possible, killing everything along the way; and of course grabbing as much treasure as possible.
A view of the table opposite Bemis' start point
Morning came way too soon.    Nigel led the warband into Felstad, towards the floating ruins.  As they got closer, they headed to one of the large chains seemingly anchoring the ruins to the ground.  It would be a long and tiresome climb.  "Up we go lads" said Nigel.  Once they reached the top, Bemis found himself behind a small ruined building.  To his left he could detect the strange yellow creatures belonging to Gru.  To the right he saw Saffron's warband taking up positions.  And far across the ruins to his front, he could faintly see the duckmen of Alfred.  While he couldn't detect her, Bemis knew Quail would be nearby as would Missy the Necro. 

Of immediate concern, there were three death cultists a few yards to the front and a group of skeletons to the right.  "Nigel, the cultists are yours.  Remember our plan.  Agarn and I will take care of the skeletons" stated Bemis.  With that, he reached down and picked up a piece of rubble.  Bemis spoke the words for Grenade and threw it towards the skeletons.  The enchanted rock flew straight and exploded with a bright flashed.  When the dust had cleared, 3 of the skeletons were piles of bone.   Agarn attempted to emulate his master but messed up his incantation of the Grenade spell.
Bemis throws a grenade
Following the plan, Nigel and crew moved forward towards the center temple to engage the Lich Lord's minions; starting with the three death cultists.  Having been briefed the night before, Kleppo moved to a ruined structure to search for the treasure Bemis had scryed with his Reveal Secret spell.  He found it and quickly placed it in his pack.
Kleppo grabs a treasure chest
The entire warband, minus Kleppo, advanced towards the temple to escape the remaining skeletons.  Nigel and Vale square off against two death cultists and fight them to a stand still.  9Toe doesn't mess around and quickly dispatches another.
Nigel and crew cutting down the Lich Lord's minions
Bemis cast Strength on Nigel to assist him with the upcoming battles while Agarn follows suit and casts Strength on Vale.  Niko and Piko move forward to support their captain.  With their help, Nigel easily takes out the cultist he was fighting. Side by side with Hatch and Diesel, Vale takes out the last cultist.  A wraith knight slowly floats down the stairs leading to the top of the Lich Lord's temple; heading towards the warband.  Vale makes good use of his Axe of Undead Slaying (+3 Fight against undead) to slice through its immaterial body, destroying the necromantic magic sustaining its existence.

Continuing his movement towards the temple, Bemis catches wind of activity to his left and cast Fog to protect his lads from Gru's warband.  Agarn also cast Fog to the right to provide protection in that direction.  Another Wraith Knight floats down from the temple.  Nigel moved forward a few steps to intercept it.  Without any finesse, Nigel thrusts his sword (+2 Fight) through the immaterial creature's body, the magic contained in the sword easily robs it of its life force.
Bemis' warband fights its way forward
Niko had made a mad dash up the stairs. He grabs a treasure and moves back down the staircase.  Nigel, Niko, and Diesel move to the bottom of the stairs.  The group is almost immediately set upon from behind by 3 cultists who had just killed one of Gru's dog like creature.

The Lich Lord glances towards Bemis, his hollow eyes seemingly burning a hole through his very soul.  A boney finger points his way as a bolt of necromantic evil leaps forth striking Bemis in the chest.  Bemis staggers back, his robes smoking.  He was battered but still standing (took 8 points of damage from an Elemental Bolt).
Fighting off some death cultists
As he shakes off the strike from the Lich Lord, he notices treasure chests floating through the air off to his left.  He quickly incants the words for Drain Word - Telekinesis.  "Can't make it too easy on my fellow wizards now can I?" he mused.  He then moves forward and out of line of sight.  Shadow bounds up the stairs, curious about the undead creature standing at the top.  While Shadow is sniffing around the Lich Lord, Hatch, 9Toe, and Vale all grab treasure items.
9Toe and Vale grabbing treasure
Nigel and Diesel both manage kill a death cultist.  The third cultist attacked Niko.  Encumbered carrying a treasure, Niko barely fights off his attacker.  Bemis casts another Fog wall (can't have too many fog walls).  Agarn managed to cast Strength on Hatch.  With energy running through him, Hatch moves to assist Niko.  He engages a death cultist and deeply wounds him.  While attempting to parry Hatch's strike, the cultist strikes a lucky bow on Niko, dropping him to the ground.  Hatch's follow through kills the cultist.  Piko picks up the treasure dropped by his brother.
More death cultists
With all the cultists dead, Nigel and Vale climb up the stairs.  Bemis drinks a Potion of Healing in preparation for fighting the Lich Lord.  He then follows Nigel up the stairs.  Diesel quickly moves up the stairs to get in front of Bemis. 
Shadow barks at the Lich Lord
Getting ready to attack
As he prepares to charge, Nigel noticed two other fighters from Missy's and Quail's warbands have already charged into contact with the Lich Lord.  One of Alfred's duckmen was trying to hide in the shadows.  With the evil creature distracted, he waved 9Toe and Shadow forward and mentally prepared himself to attack.
The big fight scene
Bemis watched as Nigel charged the Lich Lord.  The foul being was distracted by his other attackers and turned too late.  Nigel's furious charge momentarily stunned the Lich but not near as much as when his downward swing cleaved through his body.  As the Lich writhed and thrashed around, you could see the necromanitc energies keeping him alive start to flicker.  Nigel quickly saw a chance to end the fight quickly and stabbed the Lich through his right eye with his dagger.  This coup de grace did the trick and the remains of the Lich Lord crumpled to the stone floor in a mound of smoldering ash.
The Lich Lord falls
The other fighters present, as well as Bemis, were astonished at the ferocity of Nigel's attack.  When the surprise wore off, they all cheered his victory.  The celebration was short lived as almost immediately the four warbands present on top of the throne started to suspiciously eye each other.  With the Lich Lord dead, all previous agreements were null and void.  Then the floating ruins started to quake and shudder.  The magic holding the "island" in the sky was decaying.  Columns were toppling and walls were crumbing.  Bemis signaled to withdraw.  His warband slowly backed away and moved down the stairway.  Nigel remained behind to cover the withdrawal, hoping that his display of martial prowess would be enough to discourage any thoughts of foul play. 

Once Bemis reached the bottom, he saw 9Toe was still up top and carrying a treasure.  Not trusting the other warbands, he cast Transpose on 9Toe and Diesel.  This put 9Toe and his treasure in a safer area.  Of course, it also left Diesel hanging if anyone decided to get treacherous.  Fortunately, no one was looking for a fight.

Agarn spotted a wraith knight off in the distance.  He cast Furious Quill upon the foul creature hoping to slow its advance.  Fortuned prevailed and the wraith knight headed towards Saffron's warband.  Nigel had the opportunity to capture a treasure from one of Gru's minions.  But since Gru had not attempted to interfere with his warband, he decided to keep the peace.  Nigel and Diesel headed down the stairs and towards the extraction point.  At the bottom of the stairs, Diesel stopped and slung Niko over his shoulder.  Couldn't leave him behind, his brother Piko wouldn't be happy.  As the ruins lurched again, Diesel quickly moved to catch up with the rest of the group.
Bemis and the lads withdraw leaving undead corpses everywhere
As they retreated from the Lich Lord's lair, Bemis and Agarn nervously glanced from side to side.  Always on alert for an attack by their rivals.  They both cast additional Fog to cover the warband.  They made it to their extraction point without incident.  Several more tremors shook the ruins as they seemed to be slowly dropping down.  Once again Nigel remained back to provide cover as the others started down.

Burdened down with five treasure items and Niko's unconscious body (dwarves are not lightweight), the trip down the chains was a harrowing experience.  Combined with constantly looking up to avoid falling rocks and other debris, its a wonder no one fell.  Fortune was with the warband as everyone made it down without incident.  Niko actually gained consciousness halfway down.  The squeal he made when he opened eyes and found himself dangling upside down was so funny that his brother Piko almost fell from laughing too hard.

Bemis and the lads
Back in his library, Bemis sat by the fireplace listening to his warband unwind after the day's activities.  Tired of the constant cold, some of the lads started talking about moving to a warmer environment.  Rumors had just started coming in about adventuring opportunities in the tropical south, provided you weren't afraid of sailing.  Maybe when winter ended, some of the lads would head that way.


To say Bemis had a good outing would be an understatement - he had an excellent outing.  Bemis and the lads tally for the day was 3 skeletons, 6 death cultists, 2 wraith knights, and 1 Lich Lord.  The loot haul consisted of 5 treasures: 950 gold coins, 3 scrolls, 2 grimoires (Summon Demon x 2).  Bemis already had Summon Demon so both grimoires were sold for 250 gc each giving a total of 1450 gc.  Of this total, Nigel received 203 gc for his services (seems cheap considering).  As for experience, Nigel gained 60 points while Bemis garnered 855 xp.  For Bemis, this brings him to level 46.

How did the Lich Lord die to a single attack?

Nigel's basic fight number is +3; add +1 for duel wielding sword and dagger; +2 for magic sword; and +2 for having received the spell Strength to give him a +8 Fight.  He had four other attackers in the melee, each contributing +2 fight = +8 fight.  As he charged in, he utilized his Captain's trick - Furious Charge for +3 Fight (for one roll, declared before rolling).  This totaled to a +19 Fight.  Nigel rolled a 19.  This gave him a total attack number of 38.  This easily bested the Lich Lord's roll.

The 38 became 40 for damage due to Nigel wearing Gloves of Strength (+2 damage in melee).

The Lich Lord had armor 14 and 25 health plus the Elemental Shield which would absorb 2 damage.  The 40 damage was reduced to 37 by the Elemental Shield, then to 23 by the Lich Lord's armor. The Lich Lord subtracted the 23 damage from his 25 health leaving him with 2 health.  Nigel then utilized another Captain trick, Coup de Grace with causes +2 damage and can be triggered after damage calculation, putting the Lich Lord at 0 health.  Victory to Nigel!

While this game ended the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign, we still have one more campaign game to play in 2017.  It will be a homebrew Christmas related scenario complete with real world presents; and hopefully cookies.  Stay tuned until next time for the details.