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.
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.
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.
We had a new guy with us last Tuesday night, so we did a quick one-of scenario for ASOBH. John is an old hand at RPGs but fairly new to TTGs. One of the many things I appreciate about the ASOBH system is how easy it is to teach newcomers.
Matt, Derek, and John each had a pair of heroes, all of whom banded together to chase the Iron Jaw Orcs and the infamous giant, Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills from the ruins of Gray Maarten’s Tower, near the rune stones locally called the Four Sisters.
Real slugfest. Heroes for the win. No AAR but here are some pictures.
Painted up two new Shadowrun-type crews, so ‘Song of Mirrorshades and Shadows’ on the docket for tomorrow night.
Derek was called into work, furiously cooking gluten-free alternatives for customers’ Thanksgiving celebrations, but Matt and I got together over a quick ‘one-of’ ASOBH game last night.
Hrodor the Druid and his nephew Brynar have been tracking the evil necromancer Heinrich Klutch for months. Following him to the quiet hamlet of Tendale, the Northmen hire two sturdy rangers to reinforce their party and follow the sorcerer into the woods. Little do they know the wretched man plans on desecrating the ancient Shrine of the Skystone with dire incantations and foul majiks.
After an hour in the woods, the rangers suddenly report the old man has stopped in the shrine’s clearing a quarter mile on and seems to be preparing to enact some kind of ritual. Worse, he has been joined by unnatural allies: two cursed spirits, a gibbering ghoul, a brawny ghast, and a large, ugly warrior armed with a heavy battle ax and a deadly hand scythe. Six against four – they’re outnumbered.
“No matter,” Hrodor said. “We will stop this desecration, cut Klutch’s black heart from his body, and finally put an end to his vile schemes.”
Brynar hefts his sword and ax. “Ja. And I’ll cut down anyone or anything that gets in my way.”
Reluctant at first, the rangers pluck up their courage, unlimber their bows, and stalk into the woods.
The battle began well for Hrodor. The Rangers crept forward on the right as he and his nephew went left. The Ghoul was the first to spot the intruders and raced to confront Brynar. Garn Gravehand, the large pestilent warrior, and the unnamed Ghast followed after, leaving Klutch and the Cursed spirits to finish the ritual.
Brynar cleaved the Ghoul in half, spraying ichor and black blood among the trees. The Ghast attacked one of the rangers but was forced back. Gravehand’s bulk slowed him down and he lumbered through the underbrush toward the fighting.
Eventually Gravehand and the Ghast reached the Druid’s warband and began slugging it out. The battle was evenly matched with neither side gaining an advantage – until the Cursed spirits showed up.
Aura of Terror. That’s what cinched it for the forces of Darkness. A simple spell but so effective.
Frustrated at the interruption, Klutch sent the spirits to help Gravehand. The spirits floated swiftly on dire winds toward the fighting. Before they landed a single blow, their eerie, forlorn wailing and unearthly glow forced Hrodor’s compatriots to make morale checks. First one Ranger panicked, then Brynar flinched. Next, the Northern warrior was forced back by the Ghast. Another ghostly wail, and he fled off the nearest board edge. That left the Druid and the second Ranger, who fired ineffectively at the creatures advancing on them before retreating themselves. A rather ignominious conclusion to noble intentions.
Like the old Northern adage goes: Run, run, run away. Live to fight another day.
Hrodor’s vengeance was thwarted but not quenched.
*Notice if you will, the fallen rune stone on the right edge of the board. If Matt had bothered checking it, (it was marked with an objective stone) he would have found Piotor, a former mercenary come on hard times. Not above rolling the occasional drunk or lone traveler for a few extra coins, Piotor had followed Klutch into the woods thinking him an easy mark. Once the uglies showed up however, he wisely decided to back off. Some assistance and the promise of a a share in the spoils/reward, Piotor would have gladly have given Hrodor and crew a hand. But did Matt check? Nooooooooooo.
Our Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes campaign continued last week with our intrepid adventurers hiking into the foothills to locate the White Monk’s Tower. Rumors of treasure helped pull them on but a scroll hidden beneath the feet of the White Monk’s statue reveals the hidden passes to Storm Crag Keep – the lair of the Liche King.
Resuming our ASOBH campaign, our intrepid adventurers faced random encounter with an Black Ork warband. A bit more than the old ‘toll booth shakedown’, these orks were perfectly content to take heads for their belts as silver for their coin bags.
As far as encounters go, this was a straight up brawl. The clerics kept on the straight and narrow, aiming for the gate while the elves and hired ranger advanced through the wooded hills on the right.
Not ones to be shy, the Orks surged to meet them bellowing war cries, bashing their weapons together.
Combat turned into a rugby scrum in the open ground in front of the gate. The adventurers drew first blood, with Norbert the Novice bashing an ork brute to the dirt near the way stone. In fact, it seemed our heroes would carry the day as the orks were consistently sluggish in their combat and movement. Two more orks went down – one to grizzled cleric Lazarus Sturn, the other to the hired ranger’s sword. (earning his pay, that guy.) Even the massive Ork war boss was beaten back as he attacked the exiles. It looked like a black day for the greenskins, except…
Thing about orks is they’re tougher – and stupider – than a wagon full of rocks. They just don’t know when to stay down. And they didn’t.
The brutes from the old fortification finally got into the fight and the raw power of ork muscle began to tell. The ork warriors engaged the clerics, driving them back. In the woods, the huge War Boss just wouldn’t die. Beaten back, knocked down repeatedly, he got up again and again. He kept coming, swinging that massive ax like a harvester trying to beat the rain.
Through brute strength and stubbornness, the tide turned. First Norbert went down, bashed by an ax. Then the War Boss scored a gruesome kill on the pesky Ranger. Lazarus Sturn was felled next, fighting two brutes. The elf rogue dashed in to engage the War Boss as it lumbered toward the elf spell caster. A vicious dance ensued but in the end, the rogue’s speed and cunning was no match for raw orkish rage and savagery.
The last turn saw both the head cleric and the elf caster fleeing the board with the orks braying crude insults at their backs.
The adventurers will definitely need time to recover before continuing their quest to find the Lich King’s Crypt.
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.
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 WIN2+ = 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)
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.
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.
While the slaves of the undying darkness have greater numbers, the power and prowess of the elves quickly wins the day.
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
The faith of the clerics prevails as each dispatches one of the depraved slaves of darkness.
Victory! Now the heroes can consult the Four Sisters.