Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ranger of Shadow Deep, Mission 2: The Beacon Tower. Scenario 3: Tor Varden , The Upper Level.

The report is a complete playthrough.

Pre game notes

The first scenario I’ve played that picks up immediately after the previous one. We’ve been given some chance to revive our men that were knocked out of action and luckily not wounded any worse. The team wastes little time moving on climbing  the tower stairs  and coming to the inevitable mission showdown.

Standard changes are the rooms sizes are scaled down to fit my terrain, and Orcs replace Gnolls as the primary soldiers of the Shadow Deep. All other aspects are unchanged.

All die rolls are shown as (X) all combat rolls are (x,x) The first number always being the heroes.

There is no target point in this scenario.


The Shadow Knight here is the most powerful foe we have faced yet , and while this scenario bypasses both Clues and Random events for 3 scripted ones, it seems to be the most challenging.

Given that- I have decided not to “recharge” my heroic abilities but play this as the continuing mission that it reads.  Ranger  Blackwulf will have only his “Deadly Strike” and “Deadly Shot” abilities having used “Steady Aim” and “Heal” on the Lower level.  He is still in possession of two very useful items however that will be used. The Philtre of Fairy Dust which will make his weapon “magic” for the game giving him +1 Fight (so the max +5) and bypassing the Shadow Knights standard weapon immunities and the “Fireheart Green”  herb that will give him an extra action on his next activation.  Given it takes an action to ingest or apply any potion or herb, its seems I can use the herb on the first turn so on the second I can apply the dust and still have my two moves to engage the Shadow Knight.

We only start with three men on the first turn- I chose Sigurd and Skuti, as Sigurd has two remaining uses of his Brightness Shield to defend against to the tower archers plus he will deal an extra 2 point of elemental damage to the Shadow Knight from his discovery of the “hidden note” in the last scenario. Skuti is there to engage the archers right away.  The plan- turn 1 engage the archers prep for turn 2 , On Turn 2- Blackwulf and Sigurd engage the Shadow Knight while the rest of teams deals with his minons.  That’s the plan anyway.

Set Up

Tor Vardens rooftop, its along way down.

For this set up I used the Dungeon Tiles I made for the lower level. They are placed on a low table on top of my battle mat with the trees below so in the photos you get appearance of them fighting on very high tower.  Some smaller pillars are there to support the imaginary roof mentioned in the text , which apparently  has a hole in  it its center to accommodate the large bonfire. The wooden walkway overlooks the long drop to ground, where anyone wounded upon it must make a TN 5 acrobatics check of fall off and be reduced to 0 Health.
The Shadow Knight always passes this check should he have to make it.

On with the game!

Mission 2: The Beacon Tower. Scenario 3: Tor Varden , The Upper Level.

“Your party is battered and bruised, but the fight is not over. Whatever now rules in this tower is likely on the upper level. While it is tempting to leave now with the gains you have made, it would then be left to some other group to come and finish the job, and who knows what evil might be done here in the meantime. Readying your weapons, you advance up the stairs”.



Slipping thru the Trapdoor  Blackwulf, Sigurd and Skuti are the first three through.
Blackwulf activates all three via group activation,

 Blackwulf spends his first action consuming the “fireheart green”  herb

Spotted by the Orc Archers on the walkway, (they cannot see the Shadow Knight or the Soldier who are behind the bon fire.)  Blackwulf's second action is a bow shot. he fires a shot at the Orc in the NW corner. (6,1,) or 8 to 3- the shot hits but does no damage.

The Shadow Knight and Orc Soldier cannot see the Blackwulf and Co here, line of sight is blocked by the Bonfire

Skuti follows suit shooting at the same Orc (11,4)   Skuti is plus +2 the Orc is + 3 (+ 1 for intervening pillar, not cover but in the way) Skuti just barely hits him winning with a 13 vs 11 armor equals 2 damage..a nick…however the hit shakes the Orcs footing and it must make an acrobatics check (TN 5)  at +0 the roll is (3) 
Luck is on our side the Orc stumbles and silently goes over the edge..One Down,

This guy took only 2 damage but over the edge he went.

Sigurd advances 3  inches and holds trying to be a target for the Orcs arrows and target of the soldiers.

Sigurd Steps up.


The Shadow Knight moves first,  according the Creature AI since no heroes are in Line of Sight (blocked by the bonfire)  he will move in a random direction first… since hes on square tiles I used a d8 to determine direction and  roll (4)  after a 2 inch move the Shadow Knight can see Sigurd so he stops and with his second action he advances into Sigurd so no combat.  We lose Sigurd as archery target  but he’s drawn the Shadow Knight out and there was no combat.

Shadow Knight immediately engages

The Orc Soldier is next. He rolls (7) moving west toward the walkway and goes 4 inches before he can see Blackwulf  stops, then advances  with second action 6 inches and stops. (this should have only been 3 inches here as a second move..I didnt catch it until after the game)

Orc Archer SE, can see Skuti with portion of the pillar intervening so he shoots his bow is +3 vs +2  (10,12) the Orc wins 14 to 13..Skuti takes 3 damage dropping to 7 health.

This blurry orc in foregroud hits Skuti turn 1

Orc Archer SW has no Line of Sight , since he wont leave the wooden walkway he can only move left or right , I roll left he advances 5 inches then sees Blackwulf and makes a hurried shot with no other penalty its +3 to +2  in Blackwulfs favor , Roll (16,10) the shot goes over Blackwulf’s head into the sky.

Orc takes a shot but  misses, 
Our remaining companions don’t enter until  Top of next turn.


No event this turn.


Guthrum ,  Gord, , Leofric and Thorvald enter thru the trap door

Getting the band back together!


Blackwulf use group activation to activate Sigurd, Leofric and Thorvald

Ranger Blackwulf goes first and has a 3rd action this turn due to consuming the Fireheart Green last turn.

Action 1..Apply the fairy dust to his sword.
Action 2  move to engage the Shadow Knight with Sigurd
Action 3 Attack! …bonuses are +7  (+5 fight and +2 for Sigurd supporting versus +4 for the Shadow Knight
(15,8)  Boom ! his magic blade strikes true -winning the combat  22 to 12. The Knioght  has 12 armor so its 10 damage , it howls but fights on with 4 health remaining

Sigurd follows up with the next attack he is  +5 (+3,+2 for support)  vs +4 …roll is (9,14) the shadow knight prevails 18 to 14..Sigurd takes 6 damage! Leaving him at 6 health

Leofric moves 6 inches and engages the Orc Soldier.(15,18) Orc is ready and bests him 20 to 18..its a brutal hit taking Leofric down to 4 health..

Thorvald moves 6 inches into combat with Leofric and the Orc Soldier making it +5 (+2 for Support vs +2)
The roll is (14,7) Thorvald drops the big hammer and connects 19 to 9  its 8 damage +2 for the Two handed hammer  a good hit and just enough to kill him with 10.


Creature AI dictates that highest health creatures go first , so the Archers.

Archer SE has a clear shot at Guthrum so he takes it (9,20) Oooofffff, Poor Guthrum is hit and it’s a 22 vs his 9
22 vs 11 armor is 11 damage, Guthrum has 11 health so hes down he is not on the walkway however.

Archer SW has a narrow but clear shot at Leofric  the crates giving +1 cover (6,19) double Ooofff and just like that- Leofric is down losing 21 to 10 for  9 damage

The Orc solider here is already OoA, I just didnt lay him over as I did Leofric who caught an arrow here.

Orcs are 2 for 2 gulp!

Shadow Knight, attacks Sigurd since he has the lowest health +4 to +5 since Blackwulf is supporting.(1,15) a dark turn as Sigurd is struck down in his track losing 19 to 6…with 7 damage against his 6 health. (damn 1st time Sigurd has fallen) 

What a mess here, 3 guys down in one phase.
What the heck?? ok this turn was brutal!

3 companions down ouch!


Gord moves behind a pillar about 5 inches he then throws his lucky knife at the Orc Archer SE (11,20) but not lucky it Misses

Skuti turns and fires an arrow at the same archer (18,8)  +2 each the Orc is hit in the chest 20 to 10 which drops him to 0 health , I make the acrobatics check anyway which he passes so he falls  dead on the walkway.

Skuti with a key shot here taking down the NE archer he didnt have a chance to fall off .

A least we got some payback here.


During the event phase of turn 2, the heroes see a flame spring up in the distance. They
realize the neighbouring beacon tower of Tor Dargos has been lit, but instead of the traditional
orange light, it glows with a phantasmal green fire. All heroes must immediately make a Will Roll
(TN10) or become poisoned.

Blackwulf + 4 (10)
Gord +1 (9)
Skuti +1 (6)
Thorvald +2 (14)

Skuti is poisoned and now only has one action.



Blackwulf activates Skuti and Gord using group activation

Gord moves 1st moving into combat with Blackwulf and the Shadow Knight, normally in a competitive type game I would choose to have him not attack  hes just there for support. Here I have him stab away as that’s what he do he;s the underdog at  +3 vs +4  roll is  (3,8)  so he loses 6 to 12 The Shadow Knight swats his attack away cutting Gord for 2 damage he drops to 6 health and is lucky- I did not roll better for the Shadow Knight.

Gord got lucky fighting with Shadow Knight only taking 2 damage

Blackwulf attacks now at +7 with Gords  distraction (support) versus the Shadow Knights at +4…
Roll (14,7) there it is Blackwulf lands a clean blow 21 to 11 the resulting 9 damage with the magic blade puts the Shadow Knight down- it crumples to floor dead.

Blackwulf puts the Shadow Knight down.

Skuti fires his Bow across the way at the lone remaining archer (14,20) I'm noticing a lot enemy 20’s in this game- the arrow misses.


Orc Archer SW stands alone (what no morale check in this game?) shoots at Thorvald   ( 6,13)  he hits Thorvald and wounds him winning with a 15 minus 11 armor he puts 4 damage on Thorvald dropping him to 4 health.

Thorvald takes an arrow to the chest, it just pisses him off.


No events this Turn.



Blackwulf activates  Gord using group activation

Blackwulf moves twice its just enough to engage the last archer but they cant fight. He is on the wooden walkway however.

Gord  moves twice to engage as well but cant reach.

Blackwulf engages the last archer and kills him on the Archers turn., Gord looks on approvingly.


Orc Archer attacks Blackwulf +1 vs +5  (17,17 ) or 22 to 18 in Blackwulf’s favor with 11 armor that’s 11 damage vs 10 health the Orc is gutted and falls dead


Thorvald and Skuti move to free the Captured prisoner.


Wow! a bloody affair  , Sigurd, Guthrum, Leofric all Out of Action  let see how they did-

Sigurd (14) Full Recovery
Guthrum (20!)  Full Recovery

Leofric (6) Badly Wounded .

Leofric is leaving the group only being with us for this mission he will remain at the recaptured tower. Perhaps we will see him again in future games as a companion.

Group shot of the Heroes of Tor Varden


• + 3 XP (9 XP) for each Archer Killed YES. All  3
• +10XP if the shadow knight is killed. _YES
• +10XP if the man atop the woodpile is saved.- YES
• +10XP if the woodpile is not set alight.  YES
• +5XP if the heroes see Tor Dargos alight. YES
• +5XP if the heroes see Tor Hammel alight. NO
• +10XP if the heroes retake Tor Varden. YES

So 54 XP almost the max, I was happy to not see the Tor Hammel green fire beacon light up as that next check was TN 12 !!

Progression Points for Thorvald, Skuti and Gord

Skuti and Gord both have 5 progression points
Gaining +1 Health.

Ranger Blackwulf  goes to 333 experience making him level 3 giving him an extra 10 Recruitment points
We will be reorganizing our companions perhaps gaining a new one, we will see,.

Nearly a century ago, at the end of a brief war with Lorenthia, the king of Alladore
ordered a line of beacon towers constructed along the border between the two countries.
These towers were used once, during another brief border skirmish, but became mostly
redundant when a lasting peace was formed between the two kingdoms. For the next
eighty years or so, the towers were neglected, abandoned to the wear of time and the
elements. When the Shadow Deep swallowed Lorenthia, these towers now marked
the edge of the known world. Although most were in poor shape, they were quickly
A week after Lorenthia fell, the forces of the Shadow Deep surged up and
assaulted the line of towers, swarming over the defences with a tide of gnolls, undead,
and evil men. On that horrible night, the beacon towers burned with a phantasmal
green light, announcing to everyone within thirty miles that the Shadow Deep now
controlled the border. Only in a few spots along that line could the light of orange fire
be seen, offering just a sliver of hope that the warriors of Alladore were still fighting to
hold back the darkness


That was short and sweet at three and a half turns but a good showdown for the final battle at Tor Varden that recaptures the Watchtower.

It is pretty clear that IF Blackwulf did not have the magic weapon and the extra activation things could have went very bad. It’s a fair trade off since two of his heroic abilities seem to never come into play after 5 games!..(or if they did it didn’t matter) if you are a new player I would save Deadly Shot and Deadly Strike for late game abilities or just take one of them. I realize it all about luck with a D20 and they could /might come up a bunch more but right now its kind of a bust but that’s what I took so I am just rolling with it. Also having the extra, man at arms (Leofric in my game ) is absolutely key for this scenario.

Remember the text in “S1: The Bridge Guards” states he available for the entire “mission”, not just that one scenario . I’ve seen some online reports of people getting creamed in this mission  running a couple Rangers with some recruits a bird and a dog.  Losing Leofric will hurt but with the extra RP  I’ll have  at 115 total, meaning I can either swap out one of the boys for a tougher 35 point soldier OR add a recruit and a regular hound o or I could really mix it up and add a second ranger team. The break in story is right here  and good time to change things up as and the final 3 scenario mission takes us into the Shadow Deep itself . No idea what Ill do yet ill figure it all out as I figure what terrain I need to pull off  Mission 3 : Descent into Darkness.   Coming soon!


Phil Curran said...

John, an excellent write up.

joe5mc said...

Thanks for the write-up. Terrific table set-up!


blogger templates | Make Money Online