Ranta Cravis – the Right Hand of the Liche

Our Song of Blades and Heroes campaign is coming to an end.

This past Tuesday eve, our intrepid adventurers were reinforced by an additional party led by Thematurge Malik D’Orr. Together, the combined force squared off against Ranta Cravis, a cruel Necromancer and chief lieutenant to the Liche. Cravis had bolstered his zombie horde with a Spectral Warrior and a Ghast champion, Sorik the Undying.

The trail to the Liche led through the ruins of an ancient monastery in the foothills of the Stormcrag mountains. It was there, the Necromancer planned his ambush.

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Ancient Monastery with graveyard.

Entering through the main gate, our adventurers wisely opted to advance together, supporting one another while individuals split off to check the treasure caches  on either side of the road.

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Malik D’Orr and his companions (led by newcomer, John)
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Matt fielding three of the Elf Exiles
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Derek’s clerics armed, armored, and anointed for battle. 
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Cravis and the horde
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Ghast, Spectral Warrior, and a swarm of locally sourced, corpse-fed, free-range rats.

As expected, the battle turned into a straight up brawl in the middle with our heroes slugging it out with the Undead. Thankfully, the two treasure caches yielded some holy salves and ointments that proved a bane to the Necromancer’s shambling mass. (at one point, Norbert the Novice was wading into zombie swarms with a +6 C bonus against the undead. He was unstoppable)

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Alas, the victory was not without cost. Two of the elf exiles fell to the Necromancer’s foul minions. (Not that Matt cared; he only played elves this game to avoid casualties to his regular crew prior to the big showdown)

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Elf rogue confronts rats while moving on last treasure cache

Final game scheduled two weeks from now. Our heroes may have defeated the evil Necromancer and routed his force, but can they stand against the Liche himself in the ruins of Stormcrag Keep?

Lo, the spirit of Leeroy Jenkins was heavy upon them.

Getting back in the regular gaming schedule, we re-ignited our ASoBH campaign last night with Matt and Derek’s parties supported by additional adventurers under John’s command. The three of them created a 7-person party with characters from their own teams, and together braved the outer ring of the Lich King’s domain.

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Facing them were Ebramon Hex, the dreaded Necromancer, with his legion of zombies, Imor, the Dark Sentinel, (Ghast champion) a nameless spectral warrior, and a swarm of vicious Plague Rats.

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Things started well, with the intrepid adventurers advancing through the ancient gateway, boldly striding to meet the forces of decay and death.

But alas, whom the gods destroy, they first make mad, and lo, the spirit of Leeroy Jenkins did come heavily upon them, much to their eternal loss and shame.

The bards will wonder if it was Matt’s bravado that led to their demise, charging forward heedlessly as rats, a ghost, and a ghast spilled from the ruined church. Or perhaps it was Derek’s decision to separate his two clerics from their comrades and angle toward the zombie-infested graveyard by their lonesome. Or was it John’s misplaced confidence in his Elf Spellcaster, evidenced by placing him directly out in front of the party without a fighter bodyguard?

Who knows what fantastical delusions, what insidious deceptions, devil-spawned hubris prompted the adventurers to reckless abandon and death? (Perhaps the zombies who ate their brains) No one will ever say for certain.

Next week, the survivors will face the Lich King himself.

If you’re not familiar with Leeroy Jenkins…

“You’ve got dead on you.”

Finally got to run through a trial game of Rogue Stars last night. One character each to get the basic mechanics down. Cyber-Ninja and Tank against a Bounty Hunter and Pirate (he prefers the term ‘Privateer’)

Rolls for Mission, Objective, Environment, Complications will come after we have Activation/Reaction, Movement and Combat down. Besides, some of us haven’t worked up a full crew yet.

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3′ x 4 Game area. An old military outpost built around the ruins of an ancient warp gate. Attacker’s Objective was to take a quantum flux reading at the center of the ruin then skedaddle back to their base line with the info.

Our Cyber-Ninja and Tank were the attackers while the Pirate and Bounty Hunter found their mutual interests momentarily aligned enough to team together to thwart them.

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Turn One saw both sides spend Actions/Reactions advancing and jockeying for position. Derek’s Tank Quantum Harnessed its big self a mere three inches from the objective right away. John’s Alien Bounty hunter rushed forward hoping to bring his Laser Rifle to bear.

Cyber-Ninja aka “Sneaky Death-Borg” sidled up the left by the bunker and through the trees while our dashing Privateer sauntered forward, ostensibly in support of his (temporary) ally.

The next turn saw Derek’s Tank move forward and blaze away with his Plasma Cannon, inflicting a world of pain on the Bounty Hunter. First volley sizzled through the torso armor, knocked him flat with two Pins and a Serious Wound. Threat dispatched, he then grabbed the objective.

The Pirate, shocked by the violent display, rushed forward and unloaded his SMG on the Tank. Two rounds of Automatic FIre (four shots) and the Tank crumbled. Huzzah Team Pirate!

Thinking the tables are turning, the Bounty Hunter successfully activates, removes two pins, staggers to his feet, only to be charged by the SDB and decapitated in a devastating flurry of Monowire Sword blows. Oops. The cyber-ninja wiped his blade clean and ran off behind a hill before the Pirate could turn around with his trusty SMG.

All that by Turn 3.

The Pirate – who couldn’t help but notice the keenness of the Cyber-Ninja’s blade and his prowess –  decided the wiser course of action was to camp out at the old Warp Gate and force the SDB to cross the open ground to him. (rather than chase after him) So… we called  it and sat back to discuss our first encounter with Rogue Stars.

IMMEDIATE CONCLUSIONS:

  1. A QRS would really help. First game sure, but flipping back and forth in the book got tedious. (which is not what we want in a game) For the love of all the miniature gods, I’m imploring you, Osprey.
  2. Range for 2-Hand Weapons. 8″ Base Range for pistols and such makes sense, I guess. But for Long Guns? 12″ at least. Might House Rule that. We’ll see.
  3. Character Creation is Fun. Yes, there are Pre-Gen Characters and Crews in the back of the book but you really can slot in any SF fig in your collection and make it work. All of us enjoyed making our characters and are looking forward to making full crews.
  4. A QRS would really help.

Again, this was a one-of game to learn the core Movement and Combat mechanics, so our impression is limited. The Mission Tables, Environments, Settings, Complications, and Campaign Rules all look great, but we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them. Rogue Stars might be a bit crunchy for some, but I’m confident once we familiarize ourselves with the basics, we’ll move onto a full-blown campaign. At this point, we’re all very much looking forward to that.

Below are a couple pictures of more recent brushwork. They may or may not get some Rogue Star action.

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Infinity fig doing it STALKER-style.
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Nice Cyber-punk fig.