Apologies for the silence on the hobby front – I have the good problem of an abundance of work and when you’re self-employed, you have to take it when it comes. Our weekly game nights have been consistent despite that, (priorities, right?) but due to the hectic schedule, we’ve been focusing on RPGS. And when there are six regulars, it makes sense space and time wise to dial the scale of battle down so everyone stays engaged.
So with that in mind, John recently ran an excellent DnD one-shot wherein our party investigated an ancient crumbling fortress rumored to be tainted by evil, not to mention the most likely cause of a number of local peasants disappearing. Despite the rescue and subsequent accidental death of one of said aforementioned farmers, (Alas, poor Kevin, I knew him well…) we defeated the ruinous powers lurking beneath the fortress and freed the land from its malignant influence. It was a good time and lots of fun.
Now there are some very nice reinforcements on the painting table for our upcoming ZONA ALFA campaign, modern Russians and Chechens sculpted by Igor Karpov for SASM. (Igor is the putty genius behind Lead Adventure Miniature’s ‘Last Project’ post-apocalyptic figs.) That means six full crews should be entering the Zone some time in November.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered the dark fantasy RPG ‘Symbaroum’. Created by Jarnringen in Sweden, I was first captivated by the artwork’s brooding menace and melancholy. Now games don’t always live up to the marketing, but I took a chance on a hard copy of the rules. Fortunate for me, this one did. In fact, this game is downright excellent.
I’ll spare you the review – there are plenty of good ones circulating on the inter-webs already – but suffice it to say the mechanics are smooth and solid, and translate easily to the tabletop – which is important for me, a long time war gamer. Having said that though, I want to stress Symbaroum is about story telling, not loot and leveling – which is important to me as a writer. The back-story and aesthetic of Ambria and Davokar is dark and rich, a gold mine of inspiration. I confess that in 40+ years of hobby gaming, I don’t recall ever being this intrigued by a game setting.
So, while I catch up on glass work and brush my way through the painting queue, I’ll be running a one shot adventure titled ‘The Gloaming Roads’. Basically a treasure hunt, I wrote it up after reading the rule book and advanced players guide. It’s an introduction to the game and world. To make things easier, the players start out a couple levels up, sort of seasoned adventurers entering the forest of Davokar for the first time.
I can post specifics if there is interest but for now, here are some pictures of our first session and the player characters.
You can click on the images for larger versions, but basically you can see a town near the forest, a Barbarian Mystic, a Changeling Hunter, a Cleric of Prios, an Ogre Fighter, an Ordo Magica wizard, and an Ambrian Man-at-Arms.
The next episode of The Gloaming Roads is slated for Tuesday evening. More on that as it develops. For now, I’ll leave you with this:
When the Moon’s Womb is ripe, the Lone Gates open
By Blood and Root, the Learned may stride the Gloaming Roads
That span the breadth of sacred Symbaroum.
Have a good weekend.