Thursday, May 18, 2017

Frostgrave Campaign Game 5 - Rise of the Undead

This past Saturday we once again got together for our monthly Frostgrave campaign game to play the 4th scenario of the The Thaw of the Lich Lord - The Storm of Undeath.  Once again real life interfered and we only had 5 players.  We scaled the scenario to accommodate multiple players, placed the treasure, skeletons, and random drew for starting locations.

You can see more game details in Chris' post so I won't repeat them all here:
Game 5: The Storm of Undeath

The Game Begins

As Bemis and his warband left the comfort of their library base, snow was lightly falling.  By the time they reached the ruins of the old city, the snowfall had intensified and visibility was greatly reduced. 

A view of the table set-up
Today Bemis was going out to investigate rumors of increasing undead activity.  Lately, it did seem like an aura of necromantic power was getting stronger.  Additionally he reading through some old journals he had determined the location of magic tome hidden in an old cemetery (Reveal Secret).  The cemetery was located near some ancient columns.  The columns themselves were wrapped in mystery and wild claims of unnatural power.  Many of these rumors had persisted for hundreds of years even though no one had actually seen the aforementioned columns in recent times.  Bemis was able to confirm some of the stories through reading and studying the old tomes and scrolls found beneath his library.  That coupled with a partial map of the old city gave him a reasonable level of confidence in today's outing.
One of the squares with undead waiting to be animated
Bemis and Agarn had prepared well by successfully writing scrolls.  Both were also able to summon their familiars, a honey badger and a beaver (Two successful casts of Familiar).  With these and the items taken from the vault (Scroll Drain Word and Scroll Time Store), his warband was well equipped for the day's activities, or so he hoped.  Nigel had assisted with drawing up an exploration plan.
Another view of one of the squares
The newly fallen snow helped muffle the sound of his warband moving through the outer ruins.  Although if you listened carefully you could discern the occasional clinking of various weapons and gear carried by his associates.  Having reached their rendezvous point, Bemis and the lads prepared to move into the search area.  The snow had gotten a big heavier and the wind was beginning to pick up.

As they entered the old cemetery, Agarn rooted around until be found an old rusted chest half buried in a crumbling stone wall.  Before he could pick it up, he noticed a lot of movement in the ruins to their front.

Chaffarn and his demon lovers
Bemis had also noticed the movement of a rival warband but that is not what had his attention.  Occasionally, when he was out in the frozen ruins, he had started to feel a strange necromantic tingling deep in his brain.  Like a presence lurking just on the edge of reality.  Were the rumors about a Lich Lord actually based on fact?  Was this Lich on the cusp of breaking into the real world?  Bemis knew he would do anything to prevent such an occurrence from happening.  Maybe these columns demanded personal investigation. 

As he focused on the square formed by the columns, he detected scattered piles of bones and four chests laying in the snow.  Something strange had happened here.  The scene had the appearance of a group of explorers who were simultaneously killed while carrying off items they had looted.  How long ago this may have happened could not be ascertained.  The odd part was all of the piles of bones were within the square formed by the columns.  The slight taint of necromantic sorcery was getting stronger, and it appeared to emanating from the columns.

Bemis and the gang move forward
Bemis then spotted Chaffarn on the other side of the square.  That cursed demon lover was here today.  Bemis started his warband moving forward towards the columns by casting Fog into the square to cover their movement from Chaffarn.  Nigel, Vale, 9Toe, Diesel Vin, Kleppo, Niko and Piko all moved towards the square.  Hatch and Shadow moved off to the right to explore.  Agarn forgot about the chest in the cemetery and moved up as well.  He decided to hinder Chaffarn by attempting to cast Drain Word but he twisted some of the words and his incantation failed.  Agarn then read the spell from a scroll and a rune of Telekinesis appeared in the cloudy sky.

Nigel and 9Toe grab some loot
Nigel and 9Toe quickly moved forward and picked up two of the chests, trying not to step on the piles of bones.  They could hear footsteps and whispering on the other side of the fog.  Nigel waved Vale, Diesel, Niko and Piko to move up. 
Agarn casts another fog bank
More of Benis' gang moves forward to protect their treasure
Having moved forward a bit, Bemis decided some more cover was needed.  He once again spoke the words for Fog to appear but stepped on his robe and was distracted - the Fog dissipated in his hands.  That'll teach to try and cast while walking.  "Agarn, some assistance lad" and pointed into the square, "Fog if it would not be too much trouble".  Agarn complied and in short order, another bank of Fog was protecting them from Chaffarn's view.
The unguarded treasure is almost lost

Over to the right, a crossbow bolt skips off a stone wall, barely missing Shadow.  This caused Hatch to look around for the shooter.  He doesn't see him but he does see one of Quail's men and a dog reach the cemetery wall.  They must be trying to sneak up behind us.  Hatch whistled to get Agarn's attention and points out the pair. Agarn says "Oh no, they'll find the chest".  He picks up a chunk of ice and speaks the cant to turn it into a deadly projectile (Successful cast of Grenade).  He throws it towards the two intruders.  The ice explodes throwing shards into the face of Quail's treasure hunter(potential thief) cutting him pretty good (7 damage).  The dog escapes injury.  Hatch yells at Shadow, "Sic 'em boy" and runs towards the cemetery to assist.  Shadow takes off at a full run and barrels into the treasure hunter.  The treasure hunter must have been a bit angry from the ice shards and struck Shadow with e tremendous blow to the head.  The poor thing crumpled to the snow never to arise.  With that, the treasure hunter and Quail's dog hightailed it back towards their warband.  Agarn breathed a sigh of relief, "Bemis would have been furious if I had lost that chest".
Intercepting Quail's thieves....
Quail's henchmen retreat after taking down Shadow

A flash of green lightning appeared off the right, along with a tingling sensation.  Some strange sorceries were afoot.  The sounds of fighting off to the right could be heard in the wind.  Quail and his bunch must be getting stuck in over there.
Quail and Chaffarn compete for treasure
Chaffarn's demonic dog moved around the fog bank and was sniffing at the piles of bones.  Bemis threw up another wall of Fog as additional cover.  The rest of the warband drags the treasure back.
Chaffarn's dog sniffing around
More fog is always better
Agarn successfully cast Telekinesis even though the Drain Word affected his mental faculties.  He strained so hard a slight trickle of blood came from his nose (pushed the spell for 6 points).  The chest moved towards Hatch and dropped at his feet as Agarn fell against the cemetery wall for support.  "Go" he weakly called to Hatch.  Getting the message, Hatch swiftly picked up the chest and headed out.
The piles of bones turn into skeletons
There was another flash of lightning and all four columns momentarily lit up which blazing runes.  Green energy arched throughout the square making everyone wonder what was happening.  Bemis knew an unseen force was trying to channel the power for some foul arcane purpose.  Suddenly no one had time to wonder as the piles of bones began to manifest into armored skeletons.

Behind the fog wall - Chaffarn
Two of the bone piles animated into skeletons on Bemis' side of the fog wall.  Vale was first to react, his Sword of Undead Slaying undoubtedly giving him an edge.  He easily sliced through a skeleton reducing it back to pile of bones.  Diesel and Nigel engaged the second skeleton with Nigel getting in the killing blow. 
9Toe, Vale, and Nigel engage the skeletons
Four skeletons are down
Seeing a skeletal arm poke through the fog, 9Toe and Piko move to protect Bemis.  They engage the skeleton but fail to cause any damage.  Agarn moved to look around the fog and spied more skeletons.  He grabbed a chunk of ice and quickly, and accurately spoke the words for Grenade.  He throws the chunk of ice but the shards fail to cause any damage.  Another skeleton joined the fray forcing 9Toe and Piko to each engage in single combat.  Nigel's endless sessions with the sword proved their worth; both managed to defeat their undead opponents.
One of the fog walls dissipates
Just as things are going well, one of the fog banks melts away exposing a scene of carnage.  One of the newly arisen skeletons has managed to slice its way through three members of Chaffarn's warband - a warhound, a summoned imp, and a treasure hunter lay in the snow around the undead creature.  Bemis rushes his incantation to cast Grenade at a fleeing Chaffarn.  Agarn throws up another Fog wall to prevent retaliation from Chaffarn.

Before Nigel or the others could react, the dead treasure hunter struggled to a standing position and turned towards Nigel.  His eyes were red and his movements seemed forced.  Could this be a revenant?  Bemis had read about such creatures.  His musings were cut short as the undead treasure hunter launched itself at Nigel.  Nigel was caught off guard but his reflects saved him.  He managed to deflect the creatures sword thrust from anything vital but took a tremendous gash in his side that nearly dropped him to his knees (10 points of damage).  Nigel reached into his bags of tricks (Used Captain's Trick Furious Attack for +3 Fight) and quickly changed the direction of his thrust, killing the undead treasure hunter - for good this time.  While this was happening, Vale engaged the skeleton but was unable to cause any damage.  Nigel, still feeling weak, moved to assist Vale as did Diesel Vin.  With the skeleton distracted by the other two, Nigel quickly lopped its head off.

Bemis sees Chaffarn's Man-at-Arms attempting to flee the area.  Not quite sure why, but he attempts to Transpose Man-at-Arms with Diesel Vin.  Bemis successfully managed to cast the spell and both figures started to fade out.  But as quickly as they started, they both re-materialized in their original locations (The Man-at-Arms made a successful Will roll). 

Agarn seeing what his Master had attempted decided to try his luck.  Before Bemis could stop him, he concentrated hard and managed to cast Transpose (boosted it 3 points to 21).  The man at arms failed to exert his will and suddenly found himself surrounded by members of Bemis' warband.

The possessed fighter defeats Nigel
Vale and 9Toe move up to revenge Nigel
Too late did Bemis and Agarn realize the henchman was actually possessed by some kind of demon entity (Chaffarn had cast Possess earlier).  Nigel, 9Toe, and Vale all tried to bring the beast down.  Nigel and Vale took severe beatings in the process and the possessed monster managed to get away.  9Toe decided to help out his friends instead of chasing the foul creature; with Diesel's help, they managed to get them to safety.  Agarn was relieved that they would make a full recovery.  Of course Nigel would have a few choice words for the two wizards once he had recovered.
The possessed fighter takes out Vale
Bemis cast one final Fog before withdrawing.  This time he made it out with all his band except Shadow who remained behind in an icy grave.

Like he always does, Bemis spent some time rummaging around through all the old documents, scrolls, and tomes in his library home.  He didn't discover any magical writings (failed the Library roll) but he did managed to learn of the location of a great under ground library (Absorb Knowledge).  Bemis was all excited, this must be the same library referenced by the great Druid Knabe in his annals.

The chest from the cemetery contained a grimoire titled Homunculus. Bemis wasn't sure what to make of it so he stored it in his vault for later consumption.  The other chests contained two more tomes, grimoire's of Summon Demon and Decay, 200 gold coins plus a rolled up banner (Banner of Courage).  Grimoires are always a favorite of Bemis.  Maybe the banner could be sold.
The end game photo

Spell wise this was a much better game for Bemis.  He and Agarn managed to cast 11 out of 15 spells (110 xp).  As a warband, they killed 5 skeletons (10 xp each) and 1 revenant (20 xp).  This added to the 200 xp from the 4 treasures, 50 xp for being in the square when the lightning struck, and the 50 xp from Absorb Knowledge gave Bemis 480 xp for the game. 

As for wandering monsters, we ended up with 2 frost trolls, 2 rangifers, a small construct, and 1 wraith - all came in at the far end of the table.  They had a good time playing with Quail's, Missy's and Alfred the Unready's warbands.

If you have read Chris' report, then you know Quail's issue with generating offensive firepower as a Sigilist.  Bemis being a Sigilist also lacks offensive spells, except for Grenade, plus he doesn't have any archers or crossbowmen.  This means he has to be a bit more creative in how he approaches each adventure.  I still like the spell Transpose even though things didn't go well this time.  I think used properly, it can be very useful.

Well six weeks until our next campaign game - Ugh.....

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Campaign Game 4: Herding Rangifers

Seems like forever since we last played.  Unfortunately we would be short three of our regular members.  The scenario would be Run of the Rangifers.  And it would be David's last game before he moves.  You can read Quail's report here: Borough of the Beastmen
A view of the table
A Rangifer looking for a victim
Bemis and Agarn were unable to successfully cast any of their preparatory spells except for one - Bemis did manage to cast Reveal Secret.  The other spells - two x Write Scroll and two x Familiar - all failed.  Unbeknownst to Bemis, this foretold a day of reduced magic energy surrounding the two.

While focusing on the revealed treasure location, Bemis ascertained that it would be found at the base of a large ruined bridge.  It would be in an area of the frozen city he had not explored yet.
Starting position for Bemis
As the warband made preparations to go exploring, Bemis gave Niko what he thought was a Potion of Invisibility and a scroll of Leap to Agarn.  He then split his band into two groups and moved out. 
As the party reaches the top of the ruined bridge, Nigel and Niko see an antlered creature to their immediate front.  It doesn't look happy.

Bemis and friends
Nigel signals to move up and surround the beast.  So Niko decided to drink his potion of invisibility.  He took a sip, immediately spit the foul substance out, and threw the bottle to the ground.  The bottle shattered and an unnatural darkness spread across the area greatly reducing visibility (Bottle of Darkness, visibility reduced to 12 inches).  Bemis had given him the wrong potion.  The darkness would hamper his warband's search but it would provide protection from ranged weapons and spells.  However, the noise of the breaking glass caused the creature to turn towards them.  Nigel pushed Niko forward and quickly followed him into contact with the beast.  Nigel was able to to slightly wound the beast. 

Hatch moved off to the right to explore a ruined building.

Over in Agarn's group, Kleppo sees a small runic stone on the base of a nearby statue and moves to pick it up.  While he was up there, he spotted another stone off to the left.  Shadow was already trotting off in that direction

Bemis and Agarn both tried to cast Drain Word but were unsuccessful.
Nigel and the lads fighting a Rangifer
Nigel was quickly joined by 9Toe and Diesel Vin while Vale skirted the combat and moved further along the old stone bridge.  While the others kept it busy, Nigel managed to strike it down with a single well placed thrust.  After the creature fell, Bemis told Diesel and Niko to go join up with Agarn's group, so he scurried down the side of the bridge.  Niko looked down and spotted a strange runic object half covered with snow.  He picked it up and stuck it in his bag.  He then followed Diesel.
Rangifer down
Bemis once again failed to cast Drain Word.  Was the darkness affecting his magicial abilities?  Something seemed to be wrong.

Agarn decided to use a scroll to Leap Piko to the top of a nearby tower.  The view would allow him to vector the warband to likely locations to search for treasure. Of course Agarn did not factor in the fact that visibility was greatly reduced.

Kleppo moves past Agarn towards the stone he had spotted earlier.  Shadow III is sniffing around the stone when an arrow causes him to jump.  He looks around and sees some of Quail's henchmen.  With a growl, he takes off running towards them.

Vale is attacked by another of the strange creatures sporting antlers.  At the same time, a third creature climbs up the ruined bridge right in front of 9Toe. 

After a series of blows and parries, Vale is cut down and falls from the walkway onto the rocks below.
Vale falls to a Rangifer
Not far away, Nigel finds himself outfought by one of the antlered beings.  He receives a slight wound from one of the creature's antlers.  But then, with a series of lightning thrusts and ripostes, Nigel beats his way through the creature's defenses and drops it to the ground.  Yelling a dwarven battle cry, 9Toe then moves around Nigel to engage the beast that took down Vale.  9Toe went in hard and straight and takes the creature down with a single blow.
9Toe avenges Vale
Bemis and Agarn again find their attempt to cast spells thwarted by some unnatural force.  Both experience burns from magical blow back (Bemis 1 damage, Agarn 2 damage).

Shadow jumps on Quails archer but is quickly whacked in the head and knocked senseless.

Kleppo picks up the runic stone and adds it to one in his pack.  Hopefully Master Bemis will know what to do with them.  Just as he puts the rune in his pack, he has to quickly draw his axe to fend off Quail's mutt.

And again Bemis is unable to muster the magic needed to cast a spell.

Agarn was watching Kleppo's progress when something struck the ground beside him.  He jumped and squealed in surprise.  Quail's archer had attempted.  He glanced down and noticed the arrow was fletched with quail feathers; they never fly straight.

Piko on top of the tower
Up on top of the tower, Piko had picked up a rune stone.  He moved to the edge and dropped the rune into the snow below.  Niko moves over and grabs it.

Seeing Kleppo in trouble, Agarn tries to cast Transpose on Kleppo and Diesel Vin.  The near miss by the arrow must have unsettled him as he has to really push hard to get the spell off (sacrifices six health).  Quail's dog was surprised to see he now faced a more formidable foe.  The dog manages to push Diesel back and with its tail between its legs, runs for home. 
Diesel teaching Quail's archer a lesson
Diesel spots the archer that shot at Agarn and moves to extract some payback. He quickly charged the young archer.  As he closed he shout "This is for shooting at the lad".  And with a fierce volley of attacks, he smacks her on the side of her head with the flat side of his axe.  Diesel then scans the area - he sees Quail apprentice to his front and contemplates getting back at Quail's warband again.  But there are sounds of a fight above him on a walkway.  Looking up, he sees a wraith kill one of the horned creatures.  And in a wink of the eye, the wraith is blown off the walkway and off into the darkness.  Then Diesel spots a rune stone laying on the walkway.  He starts to climb up to retrieve it.  As he does so, Piko is climbing down with the same goal in mind.  One of them has to get there before Quail's team.  Agarn solved that problem by successfully casting Telekinesis and moving the rune to Diesel (One of the three successfully cast spells all game).

Meanwhile, back on the bridge..... As 9Toe is celebrating his kill, he has to duck as an arrow flies by narrowly missing him.  He spies one of Alfred the Unready's archers on the far side of the walkways.  But before the archer can shoot again, Bemis finally manages to cast a spell.  A wall of Fog appears blocking the archer's line of sight.
Bemis casts Fog to protect his warband
Suddenly Bemis sees a ball of elemental power explode on the walkway between 9Toe and Nigel .  When the smoke clears, he breathes a sigh of relief - both men were completely unharmed (Alfred cast Elemental Ball but then rolled poorly, or rolled well, depending on your point of view).  Nigel looked across and spotted Alfred the Unready chuckling as he faded into the darkness.  And with that, Bemis called to his band to start to withdraw.  He glanced down at Vale laying on the rocks below and hoped he would be okay.  Then he suddenly remembered the other treasure.  Bemis shouted down to Kleppo, "Search the base of the bridge before you pull out".  Fortunately, in the first place Kleppo searched, he found a bundle covered in several layers of whale-skin.  He quickly stuffed it in his pack and hurried to catch up with the others.

As the group moved out of the ruins, Bemis kept glancing back to look for Vale.  He hoped he would be able to make it back.  Nigel put his hand on Bemis' shoulder, "Don't worry boss, he'll make it".  Bemis nodded and trudged homeward.
End game photo
Once back at the library, Bemis examined the day's haul.  One small chest with two potions and 50 gold coins, the whale skin package containing a grimoire of Brew Potion (Maybe Bemis needed to learn a bit more about potions), and five runic stones.  The stones were meaningless but that didn't stop Agarn and the boys from trying to make a word out them - with no success.  About this time the door opened and in staggered Vale.  There was much rejoicing and the mead flowed freely.  As the lads were celebrating, Bemis turned his nose to his books, always looking for more knowledge to absorb (Successfully cast Absorb Knowledge but failed his Library roll to find a scroll or grimoire).


Another good game only marred by the fact that David would be leaving our gaming group and heading northward in search of fame and fortune.  His absence will be noticed. 

The Bottle of Darkness changed the game by reducing the line of sight to 12 inches.  I think it reduced the number of casualties and limited the usefulness of certain spells - mostly spells Bemis doesn't have, so Yay!!

I also failed to take many pictures, must have been because of the Bottle of Darkness - that's my story.....

Well, I need to get this posted, our next campaign game is just three days away.