Song of Mirrorshades and Shadows

FISTFUL OF SHADOWS?

Here’s the table set up from last Tuesday’s Game Night.

We’re in an intermission from our Fantasy “Whispers of the Liche King” campaign so I can paint up more baddies and build a couple terrain pieces.  To stay in the mood, Derek, Matt and I did a quick game of cyberpunk-flavored ASOBH – the Itchy Bang Gang versus NKPD Special Activities Department. We stole some traits from Fistful of Kung Fu but find the combat results table too fiddly. Stuck with straight SOBH melee and modified the results for Ranged attacks.

Game was a straight-up brawl. No real story, more test driving the streamlined combat mechanics. Seemed to work, so we’ll bolt on more chrome in the next games.

COMBAT RESULTS

MELEE COMBAT = Per Standard ASOBH Melee Rules

DEFENDER WIN (RANGED) = Defender Dodge/No Effect

ATTACKER WIN BY 1 = Defender Recoils 1 Short toward nearest Cover.

ATTACKER WIN 2+ = Defender Prone (Auto Kill for any subsequent attacker win while Prone AND +2 to attacker’s C for Melee)

1 SHY of DOUBLE = Knocked Out. Can be revived by friendly. (3 Successful Q rolls. 2 if Medic. Auto Revive with Auto Doc. Can be Auto killed by melee enemy spending one action to attack. (cover or passive trait penalties apply but no defense roll possible)

DOUBLE = Kill

TRIPLE = Gruesome Kill (force morale roll to allies in Long/LOS)

***

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Jien Tien District of New Kong City
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Some of the IBG
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NKPD with Pacification drone.
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That’s why God invented snipers
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Damien Feuer, Street Mage
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You have 30 seconds to comply!

New Short & Release Notes

Hot Space Station Justice

HardKill-Book-Cover-FINAL  My new Mil SF short is now available at Amazon.

A word of explanation here. I cleaned this short story up and kicked it out the door while I wrestle over my next full-length project. Strictly speaking, Hard Kill is more ’15 minutes in the future’ than science fiction, but its definitely military action.

The story is born from three things: headlines, a trio of current history/political titles, and a gnawing unease. The headlines you know: Afghanistan, Iraq, drone strikes, Snowden, ISIS, Syria, etc. The books are Mark Mazzetti’s ‘The Way of the Knife’, David Rothkopf’s ‘National Insecurity’, and Jeremy Scahill’s ‘Dirty Wars’. Those books detail the increasingly murky government and military action over the past decade and a half in what has become known as the ‘Global War on Terror’. The unease is mine.

Now the question of the ends justifying the means is…

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Courting the Four Sisters

Encounter 3 in our ASOBH Campaign: Whispers of the Lich King

***

Arcane sigils in the ruins of St Cuthberts direct the adventurers to the Four Sisters: the ancient Scrying Stones deep on the Felldren Woods. Approaching the stones, the clerics sense the foul spirit of necromancy in the air. The elves split off to approach the stones from the flank while the clerics utter quick prayers, anoint their weapons with sacred oils, and move to confront the abomination head on.

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Glade of the Four Sisters
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Elf Exiles
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St. Cuthbert’s Faithful
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Cautiously approaching the ladies
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Elves rush the left flank

As soon as the elves crest the hill, a swarm of shambling undead emerge from a copse of trees. A pack of malicious Barrow Rats charges the elf spell casters.

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Elf casters face Barrow Rats
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while the warriors deal with the zombies

While the slaves of the undying darkness have greater numbers, the power and prowess of the elves quickly wins the day.

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elves and undead in melee

At the Sisters, a vile Necromancer appears accompanied by a savage ghast and a rabid hell hound. To add to the surprise, a vampire launches himself from the dark trees and attacks Norbert and Reinhoch

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The Necromancer reveals himself with a hellhound and a ghast.
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Vampire darts in on the right.

The faith of the clerics prevails as each dispatches one of the depraved slaves of darkness.

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And Stay down!
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You! I’m gonna kill you until you die from it.
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Norbert the Novice kills his first vampire
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Reinhoch vs the Necromancer

Victory! Now the heroes can consult the Four Sisters.

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Consulting the Sisters.

The Desecration of St. Cuthbert’s Abbey

“Orcs… only good thing about fighting ’em is you can smell ’em long before you see ’em.”

***

In the midst of the Seer’s treasure was an iron key engraved with the symbol of St. Cuthbert. It was wrapped in a scrap of vellum on which were inked the words ““Kneel in the chancel at the feet of the saint and there you will find strength for your journey.”

You and your companions are two days west of Wolford town on the Old King’s Highway. Following a rutted dirt road through the forest, you come upon the ruins of an abbey, its walls battered, roof caved in, sacred statues thrown down. A nearby graveyard is overrun with weeds and sickly yellow grass. You hear grunts and coarse laughter from inside the crumbling chapel. The musk-stench of ork is on the wind, mingled with the acrid tang of  campfire smoke. An small ork warband has definitely made camp here – most likely in preparation of raids on nearby human settlements. Three greenskin scouts loll by the ragged hedges outside the old abbey – the rest are inside.

Derek of Dunwich hefts his mace. “We’ll attend to the wretches desecrating the chapel.  You circle around through the graveyard and deal with the sentries.”

You slip your sword from its sheath, nod, and stalk forward.

THE BATTLEFIELD AND FOES

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TURN ONE: ORKS ADVANCE

The greenskins spot the approaching adventurers. The ork warchief leads two brutes out to meet the cleric’s party. The ork shaman lingers back to provide support. Meanwhile, the ork scouts seek cover behind a graveyard wall.

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ADVENTURERS ADVANCE

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The Elven exiles advance on their traditional enemies, blades drawn. The air around the elf mage shimmers as he prepares to cast a spell.
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The clash of steel as clerics and orks swirl in melee at the hedges outside the abbey.
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Ancient hatreds fuel vicious combat. The elves swiftly cut down the orcs.
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Bolstered by their war chief, the orks hold fast at the hedges. Combat see-saws as neither side can gain the upper hand.
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Scouts dispatched, the elves charge in on the ork’s vulnerable flank. The war chief goes down under the Night Hunter’s blade. Of course, the elves take credit for the victory.
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Treasure cache near the graveyard.
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And in the Abbey too.
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War chief dead, the shaman and a warrior run away.

***

Your chest heaves as you lean on your sword and  watch the last two greenskins flee. The clerics fall to their knees, giving thanks to their god for victory. You and your companions are bruised, bloody, but alive. There is treasure and provisions within. Perhaps even loot from the ork corpses. All in all, a good day.

Tonight you will bind your wounds, mend your armor, sharpen your blades. The riddle of the key and mysterious promise can wait until tomorrow. Now it is time to rest and recover.