Monday, October 31, 2016

Frostgrave Campaign Game 9

Here is my latent report from our ninth Frostgrave campaign game - from two weeks ago.....

Kodak's report can be found here:  Kodak

We were short two players but we did have Chris' new tower.  For this session we decided to play a home-made scenario based around random zoo critters spawning and rampaging around the table along with The Complex Temple.

Chris' new tower
The Narrative

Before the warband moved out, Knabe promoted Daggit to Treasure Hunter.  While everyone was congratulaing him, Knabe and Vogel set about casting their pre-adventure spells.  Knabe successfully brewed a Potion of Teleportation.  Vogel failed to brew anything other than a cup of tea - and not good tea either.  Knabe successfully cast Familiar and a honey badger scurried up to him.  Reveal Secret and Summon Zombie were failed casts by both.  Things did not appear to be looking good for using magical energy today, only two successful casts out of eight.  "I have a bad feeling about this" thought Knabe.
A view of the table

A view from the other end
Vadoon's warband
Kodak's warband
Necromancer's warband
Knabe's warband
The trek through the snow covered lanes to the frozen city was uneventful.  As they approached their pre-determined search area, Knabe could detect the magical energy of his nemesis Kodak.  He also picked up a new magical force he had never noticed before.  What he didn't sense was the energy of The Doctor.  That would make things a bit easier today.  Slowly picking his way through the ruins, Knabe noticed a large rhino creature within charging distance of his warband.  He decided to try out his new spell Animal Control.  He hadn't had much time to practice the casting requirements but he couldn't let any doubt disturb his incantations.  Fortunately, he successfully cast the spell (with an 18) and the animal was now under his control (and would remain so for the rest of game, all Will rolls failed).  Knabe told the animal to head off to the right and attack anything it found on that side of the ruins.  The rhino, after trying to shake the thought from his head (failed its Will roll vs 18), trundled off looking for someone to attack.

Daggit in the tower
Daggit, full of pride at being promoted, looked around the ruins for a likely place to check for treasure.  He was determined to repay his his good fortune by recovering some gold or maybe a magic artifact.  His eyes were drawn to a strange tower that could have only belonged to some long forgotten wizard.  "That looks like a good place to search" he thought and immediately drank his Potion of Teleportation.  With a slight "poof", Daggit found himself inside the tower.  A careful search revealed what appeared to be a bolt of fine cloth and a bag of coins.  He quickly grabbed both, stuffing them into his backpack.  Peering down around the tower, he noticed several large animals roaming around; plus he could hear the twang of bows and crossbows, and the strange crackling of magic spells being cast.  Daggit decided he would hunker down in the tower until things below looked a bit safer.

Fritz cautiously moved into a hidden position near an old aqueduct bridge structure.  Peering through the chilly morning air, he spied a figure off in the distance slowly ascending up the side of the aqueduct. Taking careful aim with his enhanced crossbow, he put a bolt dead center of the person's back.  As the body fell to the ground, Fritz recognized the face of the young human girl - the same face he had saved from a frost giant a few weeks back.  Such is the fortunes of Frostgrave. Fritz hoped she survived.

Vogel, seeing a body fall from the side of the aquaduct, looked up and noticed a chest on top of the structure.  Speaking the words and weaving his hands properly, he use Telekinesis to move the chest towards a tower structure where hopefully one of his warband could retrieve it (Unfortunately the Sigilist's warband recovered it).
One of Kodak's thieves climbs up a tower to get Vogel's treasure
Knabe successfully casts Raise Zombie and sends the creature off to his right, following Speck (Snow Leopard) and the Fox (War Hound).  Knabe then gets Vogel attention, "Sent me over towards that strange column."  Vogel casts Leap on him allowing Knabe to land inside a ruin near the column.  Vogel hoped it was one of the legendary columns that contained treasure inside - like a piƱata.  Meanwhile, Bobo (Bear) and Faenger (Treasure Hunter) entered the ruined building the hard way - climbing through the windows to join Knabe.

The two rangers, Legio and Pilum, both fired arrows at a nearby ostrich causing minor wounds.  Legio notched a second arrow.  Aiming well, he managed to take down the creature.  Kruger (Treasure Hunter) moves over to check out the dead bird but doesn't find anything worth keeping except a long feather which he stuck in his hat.

Knabe decides to test the rumors about the strange columns encountered in this area of Frostgrave.  He struck it once with his sword.  The statue immediately crumbled into dust, leaving behind a large bag of coins sitting atop a leather bound book.  Faenger dusted them off and placed the items in his pack.  Bobo, sniffing the air, decided to crawl out a window on the other side of the ruin.  Once outside, Bobo sees Fleck and The Fox racing towards what appeared to be a Necromancer and some of his minions.  He decides to join in the fun.

Knabe contemplates attacking a statue
In the ensuring fight with the Necromancer's band, Fleck is killed by bowman.  The Fox charges into contact with the Necromancer.  Additional fighters join in the melee and The Fox is soon stretched out on the snow covered ground.  Bobo collapses from an extremely lucky Bone Dart cast by the Necromancer's apprentice.
Bobo and Fleck lay in the snow
Meanwhile, on the left flank of the warband, Fritz fires a bolt at Vadoon.  Its a hit but it fails to drop him.  He is then set upon by Vadoon's Man-at-Arms who snuck up behind him.  Fritz is knocked unconscious by a low blow from behind.

The Zombie found itself fighting a vicious Snow Ape.  It held out for a couple rounds before being pounded back into the ground.

Out of the corner of his eye, Knabe spots movement on top of a distant ruined tower.  Knowing none of his warband are over there, he casts Push on the unsuspecting individual.  With the proper words and hand motions, he successfully sends a magical burst of air towards the tower.  The Push spell is remarkably successful.  The sneak thief, clutching a bag to his chest, is hurled up into the air to a great height.  He plunges down out of Knabe's sight, but not his hearing - SPLAT!!!!!  Knabe chuckles to himself as he envisions the poor fellow desperately flapping his arms all the way to the ground.  Vogel, witnessing the enire event, congratulates his Master, "Nice cast Master, the guy didn't even bounce; he just splattered all over the place."  Vogel, then being distracted by the magical feat his Master just achieved, completely misdirects his Bone Dart at one of the Necromancer's minions. 
The treasure chest was now laying up on a walkway.  Kodak's apprentice Teleported to the location only to attract with a flurry of Bone Darts, arrow and bolts. In the end, no one is able to recover that treasure item as it remains hidden under the unmoving body of Kodak's apprentice. 
An ape climbs up after Knabe - time to go!
Knabe and Vogel spend some time casting Bone Darts at the Necromancer's warband.  After having zero success, they decided to reconsider their options.  The shadows were lengthening fast.  It was time to regroup and head back to the safety of our home base.

(We managed to play through eight game turns.  The last three turns were extremely fast given that several wizards and apprentices had fled the ruins to safety).
End of game group picture with treasure and dead warband members
Knabe pondered the number of losses he sustained from his latest outing.  While the expedition had been profitable, it had also been costly.  Though granted, some of the losses could be replaced by successfully casting Summon Animal, that doesn't change the fact that members of the warband were still lost.  Pilum, Fritz, and Kruger were taken out; Kruger could not be revived.

With the warband down one member, maybe he would consider looking for the services of someone to assist with leading and training his warband in martial matters.  Then he could focus more fully on his magical studies - and the continued training of his young apprentice Vogel.

Knabe had recovered a couple of grimoires (Imp and Elemental Shield) along with a Banner of Courage and three potions (Heal, Invisibility, and Burrowing).  Total gold collected amounted to 420; added to the treasury holdings of 1185 made for a hefty sum.  Maybe it was the right time to hire an expert.

Generic action shot
Epilogue - The following evening while enjoying a drink at one of the local taverns, and recovering from being sucker-punched from behind, Fritz receives word that the young human girl had died from her injuries.  He didn't think he had hit anything critical, and she hadn't fallen that far.  She should have survived. He paused momentarily.... and raised his mug of ale in a silent tribute to the fallen girl. 

Why was this human girl's death bothering him?  He had taken down many other warbands' members over the years - plus frost giants, ice spiders, wild dogs, and many others.  He had survived combat with a wraith, been burned by a hot geyser, had beaten one of his own warband members senseless after Uhlmann had been mind controlled (saving a treasure chest in the process;  fortunately Ulhmann survived and Knabe rewarded him with a magically enhanced crossbow). what was it that was nagging him?  Was it his own mortality? "Nah, I'm a dwarf, still many years left in me."  Even so, maybe it was time to consider retiring from active adventuring.  But he had been with the wizard Knabe right from the start - and had profited well.  "Let me think on it with another pint of ale, or two - BARKEEP!"

Post game notes:
This was the most successful magic casting game I have played, if you discount the pre-game spells - 17 spells attempted, 17 successes.  However, out of nine Bone Darts successfully cast, seven failed to do any damage (I think Chris touched my dice).

At least I was able to recover four treasures as detailed above.

It was also the game where I lost the most number of warband members in this campaign: Pilum, Fritz, Kruger, Bobo (Bear), Fleck III (Snow Leopard), The Fox (War Hound), the Owl (Blood Crow), and my summoned Zombie.

Anxiously awaiting the next campaign date.....

Monday, October 3, 2016

Frostgrave Campaign Game 8 - There be giants here.....

For this month's game, we combined two scenarios, The Keep and the Invasion of the Frost Giants.  For The Keep we used 8 teleporter disks; only 7 have treasure on them.  We made the disks "magic null" zones to reduce the effectiveness of telekinesis, invisibility, and teleportation.  The treasures did not teleport meaning you had to teleport to a disk with a treasure already there for you to pick it up.  And the other rule was you couldn't exit and enter a teleporter during the same activation.
Our teleportation disks
For the Invasion of the Frost Giants, we may have over extended ourselves.  We placed 14 Frost Giants on the tables using the same rules for placing treasure.  Seven of the giants had treasure, the other seven had nothing.  You didn't find out which treasure tokens were actual treasures until after the game.  For the first three turns, the giants could not random move off the table.  They would turn around instead.  We didn't want potential treasure exiting the board too soon.
Our Frost Giants
And finally, each player placed one treasure using the normal rules.  We then had the lowest level wizard pick his starting point and arranged the other wizards along the table according to level.  That way a level 20 wizard wasn't opposite a level 1 wizard.

With the preparations complete, we started the game...... 

You can go here to read  Kodak's Report

Legend has it that a long dead wizard had managed to permanently embed a Teleportation spell into a series of disks or pads.  But the spell wasn't perfect and he never figured out how to control where he ended up once he teleported.  The the cataclysm occurred and his research was lost.  Knabe was hoping to find out more and so into the ruins they went.
The Doctor's warband to the left of the tower
Prior to leaving the safety, and warmth, of the Inn, Knabe and Vogel attempted four different spells: Reveal Secret, Brew Potion, and Raise Zombie which were all unsuccessful; while Familiar was successfully cast cast by both.  Knabe ended up with a beaver and Vogel with a honey badger.  Knabe grabbed a Potion of Invisibility from the vault, gave Vogel a Ring of Teleportation, and rewarded Pilum (Ranger) with Boots of Speed.
Kodak's warband

With weapons in hand, Knabe lead his band of followers through the snowy paths into the ancient city.  The sky was clear today but Knabe still had a foreboding that something was awry.  As the band rounded the corner of a tumbled down building, he saw several large creatures moving off in the distance - Frost Giants.  What were they doing here? After moving a bit further, Knabe found himself standing less than 10 feet away from one of the fearsome beasts.  As each stared at the other, Knabe's group was the first to react.  Like choreographed swimmers, Bobo (Bear), Fleck (Snow Leopard) and the Fox (Warhound) all moved as one to engage the Frost Giant.  Bobo swung left and right; although he out fought the giant, he failed to cause any damage.  Fleck threw himself into the fray, clawing and biting.  The Fox did some ankle biting, hoping to hamstring the giant (Each managed to cause 10 points of damage).
Knabe's Warband
While his pets were keeping the giant busy, Knabe successfully managed to cast Raise Zombie; adding another warband member to the group.  And placing another body between him and that giant.

Fighting a Forst Giant
Uhlmann (Owl Master, aka Crow Master) managed to climb into the top portion of a nearby tower and spied a bag of treasure laying in the corner.  The Owl (aka Blood Crow) flew to another nearby tower to get a better view.

Vogel feared that the noise of the combat might attract more giants, so he attempted to cast Fog to screen the warband.  He was not successful.  Vogel's fears were justified as another Frost Giant appeared from behind a nearby ruin and attacked Bobo.

Another Frost Giant joins the fight
Faenger (Treasure Hunter) moved into combat along side Knabe's pets and attacked the giant's blind side.  His sword struck deep and Fleck jumped to the side to dodge its falling corpse. The newly raised Zombie moved into contact with the dead giant, searched it, and grabbed a bag off its belt.

Fleck launched himself at the other Frost Giant to assist Bobo but was easily forced back by a swing from the giant's sword.

Knabe painfully miscast Bone Dart followed by Vogel once again miscasting Fog.

Legio (Ranger) put an arrow into a boar which appeared out of the mist (A result from a random monster roll).  The party would be enjoying some fresh meat for dinner.
Legio saluting his boar kill
Fritz (Dwarf Marksman), crouched behind a pile of old barrels, peered out and off in the distance noticed a Frost Giant busy beating the crap out of somebody. He took careful aim with his crossbow and fired.  The bolt struck the giant dead center in his back. After a few seconds, the giant wobbled and fell over dead.  A lovely face (for a human) peered out from behind the giant's corpse. Fritz blew her a kiss before ducking down to reload his weapon.
Fritz's view of the dead Frost Giant
 A cry of "Help" rang out from the nearby tower.  It was Uhlmann, he must have seen his shadow. Regardless, Knabe decided to help him by casting Leap on Fleck allowing the leopard to jump up into the tower.  Uhlmann was actually locked in combat with Kodak's new apprentice who had arrived via a Teleportation spell.

Kruger jumps into the fight with the frost giant but the giant tosses him backwards with no problem.  Faenger also attacks the giant and manages to get in a good hit.  While the giant was distracted by the two treasure hunters, Bobo moved in for the kill.

Bobo takes out a Frost Giant
"And a crashin' blow from a huge right paw sent a frost giant on to an early thaw...Big Bear...Big Bear...Big Bad Bear......"

After the frost giant had fallen to Bobo, Knabe yelled for Kruger to climb up the tower.
Up in the tower, things were not going well for Knabe's warband.  After orienting himself, Speck spots the young apprentice cowering in the corner.  He charges in without hesitation and takes a tremendous blow to the head.  Speck drops to the floor like a rock; out cold.  Uhlmann is now so shaken he can hardly concentrate on the apprentice. As he cut his eyes one last time towards Speck splayed out on the floor, the apprentice rewards him with a crack upside his head.  He falls to the ground, dropping the bag of treasure he had in his hands.

Kodak's dog's last moments....
Elsewhere, Legio manages to put an arrow into a thug who suddenly appeared on a nearby teleporter pad.  Daggit (Thief), treasure chest under one arm, swings his sword around himself to keep Kodak's dog at bay.  Legio then turns and places and arrow in the dog ending Daggit's worries.  Daggit waves at Legio and yells "I'll have a mug of mead waiting for you" and then scurries out the ruins as fast as he can.

Back in the tower, Bobo comes flying into the fray thanks to a Leap from Knabe.  The Kodak's apprentice immediately attacks him.  Bobo must have been feeling a bit cocky after killing the giant that he didn't perceive the apprentice as much of a threat. As he fell to the floor he realized he was wrong (For those keeping track, that's three of my warband taken down in melee combat by Kodak's apprentice).  Kruger entered the tower room.  He was taken back by the utter carnage that had taken place there, and in the center of it all was a diminutive little girl wearing robes.  Although it was inconceivable to his dwarven mind, he approached her with the caution he would give the mightiest of warriors.  Kruger moved in slow.  The apprentice's attack was easily parried and Kruger's follow through dropped her to the floor.  He saluted his fallen foe and quickly moved to the corner to grab the treasure.

All this carnage from a single Apprentice?
Up on a nearby cliff, a teleporter pad was attracting other warband members.  Knabe cast Fog to shield the pad from unfriendly bowmen.  He then tells Vogel to Leap him to the top of the cliff.  Knabe's leap took into on the teleporter pad and poof - he was gone.  Legio followed Knabe up the cliff to provide support but found he wasn't there anymore.  The Fox also made it to the top of the cliff, spotted an opposing warband member, and charged him - right across the teleporter pad.  The Fox was mighty confused when he re-materialized halfway across the ruins.  Legio put an arrow into the thug standing on the teleporter pad.  The thug fell to the ground and rolled off the pad.
Up on the cliff - death and treasure
Fritz had been dodging crossbow bolts from Kodak's warband ever since he killed that frost giant.  That's gratitude for you.  He spotted another frost giant off in the distance near another tower.  He put a precisely placed bolt in that giant's back but failed to drop him.  The giant moved off in the distance towards Kodak's band so he let him go.  They weren't that grateful when he killed the first one.  Looking around, he sees the crossbowman that had been plinking at him and hits him with a bolt.  He didn't drop but he did stop shooting at Fritz.

As dusk was getting close, Fritz spotted a treasure hunter (or maybe a thug or a thief - who can tell) on another teleporter pad picking up a treasure chest.  He didn't recognized with warband he belonged to but he knew it wasn't Knabe's.  It was a long shot (23 1/2 inches) but Fritz took the shot anyway.  The bolt flew perfectly straight and caught him high in the chest.  The treasure fell from the Treasure Hunter's hands as he was thrown backwards to lay still in the snow.  Fritz looked around but no one was there to see his accomplishment.  Well he thought, it was still a good shot even if there were no witnesses.

A fellow wizard made good use of the Fog spell
Vogel called to the other members of the warband, "Time to head back."  Legio replied, "What about Knabe, he's not back yet."  "He'll be okay, lets head out" replied Vogel.  So the weary band slowly withdrew from the ruins, constantly looking back, hoping to catch a glance of Knabe.
Back at the Hungry Shark Inn, Vogel had the warband warming themselves around the fire as they took turns standing watch outside.  Uhlmann slowly wandered in - "Where's Knabe? Have you seen Knabe?" the rest of the warband asked.  He shook his head no.

Bobo and Fleck came back together, a bit battered but nothing a couple days of rest wouldn't fix.  Still no sign of Knabe.

Finally, just as the morning sun was trying to peer over the horizon, Knabe, with the Fox, staggers into the Inn - his hair singed and his robes still smoldering.  Vogel came running in "Master, what happened?  Are you okay?"

"Bring me a mug of ale to wet my throat and I'll tell you what happened" Knabe replied.  After a quaffing back a couple sips, Knabe tells his story:

I landed on that verkakte teleporter pad and found myself on the other side of the ruins, face to face with an archer.  The archer must have been just as startled as I was since his arrow flew wide.  I attacked him but was still disoriented from the teleport jump, how else could he have bested ME in hand to hand combat (fight +8)?  As I reached into my bag to grab a Potion of Invisibility, an enormous bolt of elemental energy hit me from behind.  While my body was absorbing the attack, I glanced back and spied a snotty nosed apprentice staring at me from behind a crumbling pillar.  As I collapsed, my final thought was "I let myself be taken by a kindergarten magic user" (The apprentice was level 1, I was level 21).
Knabe is taken down
As I fell, I must have landed down behind some ruins. When I awoke it was pitch black and I thought I was drowning.  But it was just the Fox licking my face.  How he got there I have no clue. I rested a few moments to recover my wits and then we started back to the Inn.  It took us most of the night since there were still a few frost giants moving about.

In an attempt to make Knabe fell better, Vogel showed him the loot the warband had managed to recover.  Two bags and two chests had been obtained.  One bag only contained some cheap tin wear, a couple shiny stones, and piece of string.  The others contained a total of 400 gold coins and two grimoires: Fleet Feet and Leap.  The two spells were already known.  Knabe would sell those and add some more gold to his coffers.
Partial view of the table
Knabe's fate during this outing is why I like Frostgrave so much.  Besides just being a great game system, even high level wizards can be knocked out by lower level wizards - or in this case, an apprentice - despite 20 levels difference (The apprentice rolled a 28, d20 of 20 +8 for elemental bolt).  I initially thought we had overloaded ourselves with frost giants, especially with armor 15 and 25 hit points.  But the XP spread for killing them varied by level.  My warband killed three frost giants but only ended up with 75 XP (25 each).  The lower level wizards received 100 xp per giant.  Most of us were too busy either fighting or avoiding frost giants to focus much attention on the other warbands - unless someone teleported in front of you.

The teleporters added a new dimension to the game.  Of the seven wizards, only three actually braved the teleporter pads themselves.  Most sent at least one warband member through in search of treasure.  One wizard lured a frost giant across a teleporter pad in an attempt to have him teleport himself somewhere else.  The random roll resulted in the frost giant landing back on the same pad.  So the wizard then threw up a Wall so the giant wouldn't have line of sight to him.

Overall great fun was had by all.  Except maybe the new necromancer who lost both his wizard and apprentice but I'll go out on a limb and say he had fun also.