Monday, February 19, 2018

The Blackbarrow Chronicles, Episode 2 -The Gauntlet Part 2

 The Blackbarrow Chronicles Episode 2 The Gauntlet – Part 2- The Game

The Blackbarrow Chronicles is an ongoing series  of report on fantasy games played on my Village of Blackbarrow Table, which has been a decade long project  that’s finally come fully realized as its own little 28mm old school fantasy microverse in my basement.

Picking right up where we left off, on Sunday we rolled the dice and played “The Gauntlet” out.
I wont rehash  the preview much here, so please read that, for the Scenario setup and background.

I’ll start with the teams and there statistics and a quick shot the Bandits who were missing from the preview, I will go over various rules as we re- hash how this all played out.

Initiative –

Initiative was rolled with several key players failing,  those passed were ordered by their Dexterity stat ties were broke by the amount their roll passed by. The Sheriff and his men act in unison at their specified points , if forced into combat they are added to the bottom of the order based on their Dexterity stat.

Gwayne and Wynn
Henfrey -driving the Ox Cart
Black Mott
Rob Roy



Crossbows-  may shoot only once a turn as your attack action, may be reloaded  as your move action
Ignore 2 Armor Points on Hit, damage is per class.

Reach Weapons ,  Halberds , Spears, etc. may attack “nearby figures” not in base contact, figures with reach weapons cannot be charged.

Aiming-  sacrifice move action for a single ranged attack at +2 to hit

Racial Traits- 
Half Giant-  1d12/1d10  , Knockdown, Slow

Knockdown- STR test on charge when engaged with smaller based figures or be knocked down.
Knocked down figures take normal damage, and are the Prone (Vulnerable)

Slow-  Disadvantaged on DEX tests,
Bandit Gang, L-R  Scopra, Riff, Rob Roy, Treeble, Black Mott (front)

The bandits are deployed throughout  the town waiting to strike, the Merchants guild gathers and leaves from its side entrance

Hiding in the Shadows literally.
Merchants Guild Team Start

Rob Roy and Treeble plan on  sneaking up from the rear

Sheriff is looking on waiting to screw this whole thing up.

The Castellan and some of his troops eagerly look on.


Reynard-   Moves 4 inches under porch, casts Shield upon himself, rolling  an "18" for Intelligence Test, keep the spell in his memory. And giving him an additional 6 armor points

Riff- inches forward to edge of shadows

Scorpa- Inches forward to edge of shadows

Hugo- Moves 6 inches

Gwanye and Wynn - - Moves 6 inches

Ox Cart- - Moves 6 inches

Thrum- Run about 8 inches to middle of road guarding rears of the group.

Black Mott- Bandits attack!!! Mott the Assassin striking from concealment in Bushes at the Inn,  fires a poison crossbow bolt at Hugo from the merchants guild leading the team,  his high dexterity stat gives him an easy base to hit of “5” plus this counts as sneak attack, (surprise attack -2)  he chooses not to aim which sacrifice his move action so he can reload, he doesn’t really need to hitting  Hugo on a “3” or better. He rolls a “15” hitting him for 9 points of damage (Assassin Sneak Attack Damage 2d6 + level , in this case 2) The crossbow bolt ignoring 2 Armor points it eats up 2 of his 4 points getting through for 7 damage, Hugo now must make a poison save or take another D6 damage….his CON is a “9” he needs a 12 and rolls a “12” the poison didn’t take but he has a sucking chest wound.  Black Mott Reloads as his move action.

Black Mott, Assassin  Hidden set up at game start.

Treeble-  Easily the dumbest of the Bandits decides to take a Crossbow shot at Thrum standing in the middle of the road, the 9 foot tall 500 pound behemoth is an easy target  Treebles base is a “8” he choose to Aim -2, Range is about 10 inches so no penalty, and being on 40mm base as a large target give him an extra -1 , he needs a “5” and Rolls a “12” Treeble is a D8 with the Crossbow  but it’s a “3” tearing off some of the Barbarian shoulder Armor  (AP 6  drops down to 3)

Firing arrows at the Thrum maybe not the best idea in retrospect should have taken out the easy men at arms.

Rob Roy- alerting Thrum to their presence Rob Roy follows suit with a flurry of Arrows as a Ranger he can shoot three times but cannot Aim , he fires three quick arrows, the first two barely missing but the third hitting home, as Ranger Rob Roy get a D10 against the usual suspects (Giantkin, Goblins, etc)  he rolls another “3” removing the remains of Thrums light armor.

Zilchus- quickly moves to as near to the wounded Hugo is, Zilchus is easily “nearby” and casts Cure Light Wounds on him giving him back 4 Hp..Zilchus passes his WIS check to retain the spell with a  “15”

Usage Die checks for Bandit Quivers- all pass on the D10.

The Sheriff and his Men  now take 1 of their 2 turns here the other being at the top of turn 4.

The three guardsmen move out in the road to stop Thrum from advancing on Rob Roy and Treeble
“hold it there bigun, we aren’t starting a brawl in the streets here today, besides you are not even wounded!",

Guard Intervening, bottom of Turn 1

The Sheriff and Scower move and block Gwayne and Wynn from advancing, stopping them in their tracks hoping to delay them back from the rest.

Caravan on the move, the Sheriff steps in.

End Turn


Reynard- moves about 3 inches trying to stay near the rear corner of the moving wagon,  He can easily see Black Mott in the bushed ahead and lets loose some magic missiles  which hit home blowing through mott’s leather armor and wounding him for 5 damage (9 total)  Reynard  rolls a “13’ on his INT check to retain the spell

Riff and Scorpa  choose to DELAY their actions
DELAY : you may pass on your initial turn choosing to go later in the order but you must pass a DEX test to activate..otherwise your turn is lost.

Hugo- Energized by Zilchus’s Healing spell he follows the Guildmasters orders to march ahead carrying his chest..he moves another 6 inches.

Gwayne and Wynn choose to also DELAY thanks to the Sheriff they can get around the Ox Cart and need to wait for it to move.

Henfrey in the Ox Cart moves 6 inches.

Gwayne and Wynn  now try to move but  Wynn FAILS his DEX test so they are stuck, thanks to the damn Sheriff!..
Delayed, and no purposely.
Scorpa decide to activate and easily passes his DEX test with a “12” , he rolls a 15 on his attack hitting with the poisoned Crossbow Bolt on poor Henfrey, the wagon counting as soft cover didn’t help him Henfrey  whiloses his Armor gets knocked down to 5 hp, he does make the poison save also rolling a “12” or he be in worse trouble.  Scorpa Reloads

 Riff – decides to activate passes his DEX test easy with a 17….HE Runs to the next alley over cut off the Merchants.. (Move 12 inches)

sticking all these old building of mine together works and small alley ridden section of the village here the bandits and strike when ready and avoid being seen.

Thrum is quite annoyed at his situation with the Guard, I think about having him he barrels them over with non lethal or improvised damage as per the “the black hack”  but don’t want a 5 on 1, so I have him run around them which has room but not the range, so he uses a throwing axe, Thrums low DEX make it a challenge but the dice comes up high with a “19” and Treeble takes a big 10 damage, He did have much armor to begin with.., Thrum can Throw a second Axe and he does  at Rob Roy but Rob Roy easily dodges it, (I miss with a “2”)

Black Mott- Now is only 4 inches from the wounded Hugo walking down the street and melee attack would be easy but could get him attacked by at least 3 Merchants before he goes again, he decides to move up 6 inches but some market table and fire the Crossbow again and this time he Hit Hugo with a “20”!  This isn’t a sneak attack but its double damage and I roll on the crit chart, the low roll does nothing extra but the double damage on the d6 rolls of “5” makes its 10 damage, blowing past his armor leaving Hugo with 1 Hp  but of course he now has to save versus poison , failing this time taking another 4 damage putting him OUT OF ACTION.

Black Mott probably should have waited till he could have shot, then moved. taking out Hugo with the chest was key but he paid dearly for it.
 Treeble- Returns fire on Thrum who is looming pretty close to him, its disadvantaged shot, being within 6 inches but he still manages to hit the Barbarian with the bonuses…Thrum  takes 8 damage and that just gets him mad…Treeble had to Aim so he is stuck there. And cant reload to next turn.

Rob Roy, -Not an idiot, Rob Roy isn’t going to stay there to engage in melee with Thrum, once the reason Rob Roy has been caught is his handy CLOAK OF INVISIBILTY, which operates with a D4 Usage Die every 24 hours (meaning as long as he doesn’t roll a 1 or 2 on the D4 after a use, he can keep using it)
Rob Roy goes invisible and scoots away from Treeble 6 inches..

the clear marker is showing the Invisibility Cloak is in effect, If that had burned out after one use which was a 50% chance I think we would have had a different ending.
 Zilchus runs to the fallen Hugo to safe guard the chest taking over carry it himself
(I put a treasure chest marker on the board) the move is too far for him to do anything else unfortunately.

Zilchus saved his own team, getting that smaller chest in Cart and hopping on board!

Usage Die, Mott pass, Rob Roy’s Cloak pass, Scorpa Pass, Treeble Fail, drops to D8.

End Turn


Reynard-  Reynard doesn’t need to move far to get eyes on  Black Mott, he does and lets the Assassin have another round of Magic Missiles in the face.. the resulting 9 damage is enough to put Black Mott down and we have our first bandit go OUT OF ACTION.  Unfortunately for Reynard he flubs the INT Test with a “2”  so he loses his last 1st level spell slot,  he can only cast his level two memorized spell at this point Web…until he can rest for 8 hours (see page 13 of TBH for an explanation on Spellcasting)

Fun with Photo editing tools variations on my favorite filter with some home made spell effects.  Reynard throwing out the Magic Missiles that take the Assassin out. 


Scorpa-  Shoots Crossbow at Zilchus whose  standing over the fallen Hugo and his Chest,  lining him with an aimed shot  to offset the fact he will be disadvantage for the close range, base to hit is “8” this is a Sneak attack as Zilchus has his back to him so he only needs a 6 he decides to aim to drop it to a 4. We roll 2 D20, we get a “12” and a  “1” FUMBLE!,  the result is weapon dropped, Scorpa fumbles his crossbow in the excitement and has no move action to pick it up

Riff , tries act , Fails his DEX test....losing turn...oof.

Vintage Citadel AD&D thief waiting to move on the cart, one the few figures I use regularly that I have had since the 1980's!
Gwanye and Wynn, move 6 inches

The Ox Cart moves  6 inches

Thrum-, cant charge Treeble because of the terrain but easily gets to him within 6 and unleashes his fury, his base hit in melee is only a “3+” and we rolls 19,18 and 2!  The resulting 19 damage puts Treeble very much OUT OF ACTION.  Thrum probably would have thrown him in the River, except for the fact this guy is worth a bounty…

This was so brutal, poor dummy didnt stand a chance
Rob Roy, Invisible moves 12 inches closer to the chests..

Zilchus, is now standing directly behind the cart . He use his action to pick up the smaller chest that Hugo was carrying and put it the cart , for his movement he  gets in the cart from Henfrey allowing them to fight from the cart.

Longview of Zilchus and Henfrey in the Cart, Henfrey gets killed right after.

Usage die,  Scorpa  Fails,  D8..


The Sheriff and his men get to make their big move,
Sheriff and Scower are a couple inches away from Gwayne and Wynn
They decide to just beat them senseless and take the chest to “protect” it..
The Sheriff is a 5th level warrior with 5 attacks even the D6 no lethal damage, he pummels Gwanye OoA after three hits
Scower gets 3 misses but lands a critical on Wyn which leaves OoA and Bleeding.

Rob Roy invisible waiting to steal the chest.

Reynard DELAYS

Riff attacks Henfrey in the Cart as.. rolls a 4  Miss

Scorpa Does the same the Cart has two chests with it taking it over would be huge , for Scorpa coming up behind this is a sneak attack, he rolls with Advantage we keep a 16, he rolls 8 damage Henfrey only had 5 he also fails the poison save  OoA, Zilchus is the lone Merchant standing..

Scorpa and Riff trying to take the cart.

Renyard Acts..passes his DEX test to do so with a 14,  He goes ahead and “Webs” the whole area around the Sherriff, Scower and the Chest hoping to tie them up..

Rob Roy- who is right there becomes visible steps up and grabs the chest, he has to save versus the “webs” and does easily with a 17, he grabs a check but it’s a large one so his move with the chest is reduced to half.

 Zilchus pulls the cart away from  Scorpa and Finn , 6 Inches… and cast Protection from Evil which is going to seriously help him here making giving the advantage against any incoming harm from an evil source for 1 hour

No Usage Dies to check

Turn End


He’s not sure what to do, Rob Roy has a  Chest-  but IF  he can stop Scorpa and Riff going after the Cart Two chests will most likely escape, He pulls out his Sleep Scroll and casts it on Scorpa and Riff
We rolls 3D6 (1 per level) for Max HD it effects we get 6 which enough for both, they get  WIS test to save Scorpa fails and falls asleep for 3 turns,  Riff Passes on the nose with a 10…..

Riff continues chasing the cart its getting close to the bridge and if he cant start hurting Zilchus now he wont be able to stop him alone,  he attacks no disadvantaged, and misses  a (4)


Decides to charge the guards and get through, non lethal damage, he could charge all three of them  and use his  size difference to knock them down…he cant charge the Halberd guy, but he can the other two.  He moves into base contact as a charge,  and attacks both hitting easily due to the size difference they have to make a STR test or be knocked down, Prone figures are Vulnerable and any damage caused is at an advantage for the attacker…and the knockdown itself is its own damage roll… Guard with the Club fails..he’s knockeddown talking 10 damage right off the bat, then on the Vulnerable Damage  from the attack, I roll a 12 and 1, we take the 12 which becomes a 14 with the charge..and the GUARD IS OoA, the other Guard with the Sword, makes his STR test stays standing and takes 10 damage with the +2 leaving him at 12 hp and no Armor.

The Guards arent push overs, I dont think Thrum could have taken out all three of them and then had fight the Sheriff, it was best to stand down, I like the flexibility of Lethal or non lethal damage at any point.

 Rob Roy, Turns Invisible with the chest and starts dragging it away 3 inches at a time

Zilchus, attacks Riff but misses with a “7” he then moves the cart ahead another 6 inches. This give Riff a free strike for leaving combat, but Riff disadvantaged from the Spell also misses..

The Sheriff -Standing in the Web, tries to break free and does easily with STR test
And moves towards his men fighting Thrum.

Scower- isn’t even close thou and is stuck in the web

Reynards Casting of Web, if only its tied up the Sheriff or Rob Roy.

Guard with Sword attacks Thrum missing with a 2

Guard with Halberd attacks Thurm hits with a 14, doing only 3 damage..

USAGE DIE, Rob Roys Cloak D4 Rob Roy cannot turn invisible again after this.

Turn End.


Reynard- Nothing he can do about Rob Roy, since he cant see him, he Delays hoping there is something he can do..

Rob Roy escaping with what turns out to be a decoy chest , we dont know that at this time thou..
Riff- realizes he cant stop Zilchus even with a Critical….he Flees in order not to get caught.

Reynard tries to act to get close to sleeping Scorpa to try to capture both for the bounty
But fails his DEX Test..oof..
(OoA figures down are captured or killed depending if the game ends  they are within 6 inches of only an rival faction

Thrum seeing the battle is over and Sheriff about to engage stands down,
We don’t see many CHA tests so I have him make one to see if he can end this battle with Sheriff peacefully or be forced keep fighting and face arrest himself …Thrum needs a “9” rolls an ‘11” - ..success!

Thrum  hasnt killed any guards yet and the cart is across the Bridge time to Stand Down.

Zilchus -Reaches the Bridge, it will actually take another turn to get completely within the Safe Zone but the Bandits are down or have retreated

He's made with two chests all by himself.
Combat Ends.

We Roll a D3 to see which chest contained the Castellans Gold.
1- Hugo’s Chest
2 -The Ox Cart Chest
3- Gwayne and Wynns Chest (which Rob Roy Stole_

I roll a “2”  soi Zilchus has prevailed a delivered as promised but at what cost,

The Castellan is pleased.

Victory for the Merchants, kind of they have two team members to replace.



Hugo, has to pass poison save to even make the OoA check roll, fails DEAD
Henfrey- Same  Fails  DEAD

Gwayne rolls  “4” Cracked Bones- OK
Wynn- Rolls “5”  Fat Head- OK
(these are temporary effects more suited toi multiple battle scenario)


Treeble – Rolls 1, DEAD
Black Mott, Rolls 6- KO’d – OK
Scorpa _  OoA due to Sleep Spell OK

Both Assassins Black Mott and Scorpa are Captured- to the Castle Dungeon


Team  Experience

Surviving the Battle, +1 
Not being knocked out of Action +1
Getting the Gold to Castle or Stealing it +3

Individual Experience

Each enemy put Out of Action +1
Stole a chest (bandits only) +1

Team Bonus Goal  +2 xp
Merchants – Rob Roy
Bandits- Steal all 3 Chests

Gold  500 Gp to winning team (Split Merchants/ Mercenaries)

Gold 100 to losing team (Bandits)

Bounty’s paid on Bandits   - Treeble, Black Mott, Scorpa  150 gp (Mercenaries)

Merchants with Mercenaries
Zilchus  XP  +5 
Gwayne +4
Wynn +4

Thrum +7 XP
Reynard  +7 Xp

Bandits (Lowlander gang)

Rob Roy + 3 XP
Black Mott  + 2 XP
Scorpa +2 Xp
Riff  +2 Xp

Sheriff's men (combat only) 
Sheriff and Scower + 2xp
Guards + 1xp

Final Thoughts

Well this was a fun one, trying to figure the Sheriff and his men in was a challenge as I didnt want full 1 vs 1 vs 1 , it didnt make sense to have the streets totally empty and its alos a pain to weave a bunch of civilians into a skirmish like this, so we were happy with how it worked out.

Obviously Thrum and Reynard did all the work and mission ended up more a "guard duty" mission for them than a actual mission for the Merchants Guild considering they got slaughtered pretty bad but still won.

The Black Hack (TBH) basics seem to work pretty well here as combat mechanic, I am definitely flying in ALOT of my favorite house rules from various miniatures games to make this work and TBH is very rules light when it comes to this sort of thing and in a miniatures game its the opposite.
There a couple of wonky thing I am going to have to dial back as the Characters get more powerful
the 1 attack per level thing is going to get stupid fast , it was already borderline with the Sheriff with 5 attacks!, Ill probably cap it a three (one every two levels up to level 6 for warrior types. we will see how it goes

Moving ahead- Episode 4 a bunch of rookies from at the Wayside Inn, get goaded into going to explore whats going on at the Fellcross Ruins, Strange Lights, Missing Guardsmen, etc..
its heroes vs monsters scenario, Episode 5, will be first good old fashioned Dungeon Crawl
so keep on dropping by! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Blackbarrow Chronicles, Episode 2, The Gauntlet Part 1 - Preview

The Blackbarrow Chronicles,  Episode 2, The Gauntlet  Part 1 - Preview

Blackbarrow Chronicles is a series of reports on the  fantasy games played on my Village of Blackbarrow table. A long term project that I have been working on in large and small parts for just about a decade.   The rules for Episode 2 are again a “hacked” version of the OSR “The Black Hack” ruleset  designed with specifically miniature gaming in mind. 

Blackbarrow -from a longview from far above the Dungeon section
I spent the last month and then some of my hobby time getting ready for this post and I’m happy to report as I write this I have painted about dozen miniatures since last post and have four more to do before we start rolling dice. This first part of Episode 2, is going to explain the set up,  the factions and involved and cover some the general improvements I made in town since last post. I fear that If I left this all for one post its be far too long and that would just delay me getting the whole episode posted but the end of the month.

The Gauntlet run, the caravan will start just around the corner from where you see it here, its about 40 inches to the Bridge..

"The Gauntlet" , at face value is a pretty stereo typical skirmish game type mission, The defenders must transport the caravan from point A to point B, the attackers must make of with the goods, while delivering as much damage as possible . The Defenders or protagonists in this case are the Merchants Guild. The antagonists or attackers are the local band of thieves, the curveballs to make this interesting are the corrupt Sheriff of Blackbarrow and his men are working as double agents paid off by the Thieves to slow down and distract the Merchant Caravan, but order by the Towns Castellan to protect it. To add another layer to the mix, the Merchants is sending three chests in the caravan but only one contains the loot, the other two are decoys . Even the Merchants themselves purposely don’t know which of the chests contains the prize, we will roll off after the mission to find out which one.

This public market area is a work in progress , I have a few tables and one stall so far, it wont get too much larger, The bandits arent painted yet, but here is Rob Roys wanted poster..
The objective is to transport all three chests to from the Merchant House and Moneylenders to the Castle once the Caravan reaches the bridge (being physically on it, ) It is considered “safe” as its in range of the Castle Guards heavy crossbows.

The Sheriff and his men will intercede at the Bottom of Turn one and at the Top of Turn 4, if  involved in combat they will withdraw, but they main goal is to “inspect” the caravan while “escorting it” in order to hopefully make off with on of the chests.As the Distance traveled is just about 40 inches and the movement of the slow moving caravan is 6 inches..we should be running about 7 full turns not counting combat delays.

The town blacksmith finally made it onto the table!

The Story:
With local coffers dwindling due to Banditry and Corruption , attracting new recruits for a life of soldiering at Blackbarrow Castle has become difficult. With the disappearance of his Sergeant at Arms and 4 good men whose daytrip to investigate strange glowing lights seen at night from the Castle at nearby Fellcross Ruins has left the Castle Garrison woefully understaffed. The Castellan has been forced to sell off some his heirloom jewelry  in order to pay for the hire of the esteemed Iron Tower Mercenary Company. 

    The Merchants Guild was quite willing to come to his aid and and knows it can fetch a great price for the jewels at the regional port city. Already in possession of the jewels (which were discretely passed off days ago to the Guildmaster- Zilchus while at the local market.) All that’s left to do is move a large chest of gold crowns from the very secure Merchant House to the Castle so the Castellan can pay his mercenaries when they arrive.
Zilchus and the Merchants Guild, with the three Chests they will marching down the street, The three in the middle are just henchmen, the buff fellow on the end is a Warrior
      Zilchus is no fool he knows any number of local groups will be on the lookout for   opportunity to steal the loot. The Castellan,  not being able to spare any men at the moment,  orders the local sheriff to make sure his gold gets to the Castle "or else".  The Merchants wisely assume its worth the extra gold to hire some protection of their own out of the pool of  transient adventurers..

Thrum , a Barbarian half breed of some long forgottern giant race and his cohort- Reynard , a Wizard who probably should have retired already, a hires by the Merchants Guild this time around.
The notorious local Bandit Rob Roy, and his gang, called “the Lowlanders” picked up word of the cash caravan from Zilchus’s own henchman , overheard talking about it while drinking at the Wayside Inn, they have conspired with the Sheriff to slow down the Caravan as much as possible so they can swoop in and steal the gold, Rob Roy isn’t stupid there a price on his and all his gangs heads. Despite promises to the Sheriff for "his cut"  Rob Roy knows the sheriff will betray him at first chance if things dont go perfect , So the bandits plan to let the Sheriff grab the gold himself, - then steal it from him- which if successful will kill two birds with one stone, With the Castellans wrath getting the Sheriff locked up in the Castles Dungeon..

The Sheriff of Blackbarrow and his men.
 The Sheriff looks out for himself, he’s been working with the bandits looking “ the other way” for a 20% cut for some time. He’s much better off with the Castellan’s power somewhat destabilized as it allows him much more freedom to operate. The Castellan recently upped Rob Roys Bounty to 250 crowns and 50 a head for his gang. The Sheriff and his men while too far to be seen at the end of turn one from the Castle will take any cheap shot they can on the Merchant Caravan, on turn 4 they will be much more careful looking opportunity’s hidden from view or looking for easy money  with “Out of Action”  Bandits to snatch up or better yet  loose chests from the Merchants Caravan to “safeguard.”

Blackbarrow and its current environs, Keyed, with a view from the large tower.
As far working on the Town itself -I haven’t bit the bullet on digging into the next project yet, I haven’t decided whether I want to build the Mill or finish up the Caverns in the Dungeon. I did do a little town maintenance, I cleaned a few transitions that sometime appear unsightly in some of the photos, I added a sewer grate over what makes sense to be a drainage ditch running from the Inn, past the Merchant House, Under the Hall of Tyr to the river, I cast some reduced profile stone work done and some odds and ends for the beginning of  the Market area, added a small bridge for the transition from the main table to the castle, more varying bushes and landscaping and probably some more I have forgotten about by now.
Something is always going on at The Inn, This time we have a couple of new visitors - a pair of elves from the Dungeon Decor Kickstarter a couple years back, I gave one them a hat from an old GW kit and the other Lute from the same KS.
  The next steps are getting started onwhatever the next large project is going to be which probably dictate where we go with Episode 3, and what ever models are getting painted up.I still need to finish painting the Bandits this week for this scenario and the we are rolling dice. Which I am hoping will happen this coming weekend, putting this preview together has got me ready to go.

Our new Travelers in the Ox Cart, the Cart and the Ox from those Wizkids D&D pre-primed line, way more work than I anticipated,    I often overlook that most D&D players are NOT remotely in anyway miniatures hobbyists, reviews I read on these are VERY kind and overlook ALOT of flaws, in the end I think it came out fine, it just was more of  a "project" than I expected.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Blackbarrow Chronicles, Episode 1,

Blackbarrow Chronicles  - Episode I,  A Grave Occasion ( Battle On Blackbarrow Bridge)

Blackbarrow Chronicles is a series of reports  on fantasy games played on my Village of Blackbarrow table that I have been working on in bits and parts for just about a decade.   The rules for Episode 1 are a test of a “hacked” version of the OSR “The Black Hack” ruleset  designed with specifically miniature gaming in mind.  Overall it doesn’t matter what rules we use, be it these, Otherworld Skirmish, Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes, or the several others I’ve talked about the games flavor and Campaign Narrative will continue. The are a lot of Characters in Blackbarrow, From  Heroic Adventures and their Henchman, the Townsfolk and the Royal Authority that rule them from Blackbarrow Castle, to various power groups both good and bad , like Merchants guild, the town sheriff and his guards,  Mercenary groups for hire, Evil Cultists and of course the local Dungeon chock full of monsters.. Future posts will  be new stories or focus on the overview of its town and its inhabitants

 Basic Rules Notes-
  Everyone gets a move action and an action, you can sacrifice your action for additional movement but not vice versa.
Dice Mechanic-
   D20  All rolls to hit , avoid, save or cast spells are tests against individual character stats
 (STR, DEX, INT , ect)
  Advantage- if some has the Advantage they roll 2 dice and pick the higher, if they are Disadvantaged the roll 2 dice and take the lower..

I've reposted the scale chart to explain distances, HTML reads my typed version of this chart as code.

  Armor Points- Some Characters have Armor, unlike traditional Armor Classes,  Armor Points used as Damaged Reduction with a static total per battle when they are gone, they are gone. In scenarios with multiple battles, there is an opportunity to repair.
Spells may be repeatedly cast as long as a Spellcheck is made testing INT with a penalty of the Spell Level, failing this the spell slot  is temporarily lost.
 Statistic Tests-
  Target number for Stat test is ascending . “ i.e you need a 11 to hit”…penalties increase that number so you will see “ +1 Penalty” making the target number harder or “-1 Bonus” making it easier. Often times we state the reverse (-1 Penalty) but mean the same thing. I’ve kept the notations linear in hope of keeping things as clear as possible.

Special Rules Episode 1-

This scenario takes place at NIGHT a light surce is required or line of the sight will be limited

Darkness Rules-
 Close- No Penalty
  Nearby -with Light Source (Torch, Lantern, Spell, Item) – No Penalty
  Nearby with No Light Source – Penalty
  Over There, with Light Source- Penalty
  Over There-  No Light Source- No Ranged Attack is possible

 Hall of Tyr
  Arturus, Paladin Level 2
  His Lv 1 Henchman -  Cristoffe his Squire and Holger his Man at Arms
  Harald the Cleric Lv 1
  Killian, Ranger for Hire Lv 1
 The Necromancer.
    The Necromancer level 3
    His Undead Servant HD 3
    Beleg, Cult of Orcus Leader Level 1

The Scene-
 Heroes of the Hall of Tyr, are alerted by the local gravedigger that a Necromancer is raising the dead at the local cemetery and proceed to intervene.
The leader of Cult of Orcus has arranged a clandestine meet with a Mercenary Necromancer to convince him to side with their cause, The Necromancer is currently indifferent to needs of the Cult of Orcus and really just wants  to raise some minions for his Cabal.

Experience to be earned-

  Hall of Tyr
+1 for surviving the battle (individual)
+1 knocking  out opposing team leader(s)OOA
+1 team if no one is knocked OOA
+1 for Survive
+1 for each undead raised and off the board

Beleg, Cult of Orcus
+1 Survive
+1 for any Heroes knocked OoA

All the heroes test against their dexterity those that fail act after their opponents, here  I arrange the main participants in Dice Order, summoned creatures add to end of the order.
1.       Arturus
2.       Killian
3.       Holger
4.       Undead Servant
5.       Necromancer
6.       Beleg, Cultist leader
7.       Cristoff
8.       Harald

Turn 1

Arturus,  moves once then sacrifices his action to also move for a total of 12 inches across the bridge
Killian, wants to jump from the hill to the bridge and needs to make a difficult terrain move check, since he is a Ranger  he is not disadvantaged testing his Dex and easily passes he then moves again scanning  as far the lanterns light will let him as he thinks he sees shadowy figures moving in the graveyard
Holger, Arturus’s Henchman  follows the Paladin a step behind (12 inches) Carry Lamp, no darkness penalty within 6 inches

The Undead Servant under orders from the Necromancers  shuffles quickly toward the road to intercept the incoming adventurers.

The Necromancer casts Lesser Animate Undead….he summons 3 Zombies and a Skeleton that rise up from the Earth, he then must spell check if he retains the spell and 2 level slot , with a 15 INT,   he only needs a 6 but it’s a 2nd level spell so it raise to an 8, he rolls a 12 and keeps the spell in memory for now.
Beleg the Cult Leader- moves behind Tree, waiting for opportunity to attack
Cristoff, the Squire  move twice to  following Arturus and Holger
Harald, The Cleric – brings up the rear (moves  x2)
Summoned Undead move to end of Imitative order
Skeleton moves
2 Zombies move toward Graveyard Gate..
One Zombie stays with Necromancer

End Turn

Usage Die Checks,
Kilian D10 Quiver – pass
Holger D6 Lantern- Pass
*Usage Die* are for disposable items..if a 1 or 2 is rolled the die drops to the next lower tier (D10>D8>D6>D4) a 1or 2 on a D4 the item is depleted.

Turn 2

Arturus – Moves 6 hedging his distance with the oncoming Undead Servant

Killian The Ranger  -eyeing the darkness he can just barely make out the shape of a freshly risen zombie at 12”” (“over there” range) the darkness penalty is +2 and the  Zombie also has soft cover for +1 in addition the zombie is 2 HD so an additional +1  for being a level  higher than the ranger .  Killian dexterity is very high 17 needing only a “4” to hit  and despite + 4  to the roll pushing him to an 8.. He rolls a “17” – the Arrow finding it mark no problem  damaging the Zombie for 5 Dam.

Holger – moves next to Arturus

The Undead Servant -Charges Arturus the Paladin

*Charge Rule*- clear unobstructed straight line of sight of more then 6 but no more than 12” to target attacker may move in to base contact 12” as a charge  following with an single attack at  +2  penalty to hit but also adding +2 to any damage total.
The Undead Servant uses the Necromancers INT as its Fight Stat its needs  a “8” to charge into Arturus with the Penalty , however since  this charge also forces him into base contact with Holger he suffers the additional +1 penalty for fighting more than one opponent.. The Undead Servant needs a 9 and rolls a 12 hitting the Paladin for 7 damage total with lowering his Armor points to 5 ….

The Necromancer- casts Lesser Animate Dead again this time summoning a Single Skeleton- with roll of 12 on the Spellcheck his 2nd level spell slot still memorized…

Beleg the Cult Leader remains hidden waiting to an opportunity to strike..

Cristoff moves into combat melee along side Arturus and Holger but must use both his move and his action to do so.

Harald moves to the rear to support his allies

Remaining undead shuffle toward the heroes..

1 zombie remains with the Necromancer so he can use it as a shield.

Turn End.

Usage Die Checks
Kilian Quiver – Pass
Holger Lantern-  Pass

Turn 3

Arturus - attacks the undead servant, he is a level 2 Paladin he has 2 attacks
His “to hit” is based on his STR of 13  and the base to hit is an 8+,  but gets a +1 penalty as the Undead Servant is 3HD..pushing it to  9, However Arturus has 2 allies in the fight  each giving him -1  bonus for a total to hit of  “7” he Rolls a “9”- a hit resulting in 6 damage. On his Second attack he rolls a “20”! a Critical hit equaling double damage  he rolls a “3” for 6 more plus there is a D6 critical hit table, but the result of a “1” yields no extra effect. The Undead Servant has no Armor so 12 of his 17hp are gone a lucky blow could put it down!

Killian -Fires an Arrow at the same Zombie as last turn  rolling a “2” missing.

Holger- attacks the Undead Servant missing it.

The Undead Servant- Pummels Holger hitting him with a"16"…The man at arms has a large shield but isn’t using it, as he’s holding the lantern so the 5 Damage punches a hole in his Gambeson  wiping out his 2 Armor and doing 3 damage…he has 5 Hp  left.

The Necromancer –  Seeing his servant is in trouble  moves to the top of the Gravemound and within Nearby distance casts “Protection from Good” upon his creature…He needs a 7 on the Spellcheck as it’s a 1st level spell, rolls a 7…

*Protection from Good* gives the Undead Servant  protection for incoming attacks from good players.  Those attacks directed at him all now have a disadvantage.

Now his three attackers must roll two dice for each attack picking the worst one..

Beleg, the Cultist Leader- isn’t interested in exposing himself to harm unless he can make an easy kill. If undead start dying..he will flee- in the meantime he stays put.

Cristoff the Squire -attacks the Undead Servant his base to is an 11 (10 STR) He gets a -2 bonus for his allies…but  +2  penalty  because the Servant to 2 levels higher that he(Powerful Opponent)    after the Die Modifierts he still needs a 11 but with the Disadvantage from the Spell rolls 2 dice roll a 12 and “2” so he misses.

Harald the Cleric -wants to try to banish some Undead but they aren’t close enough (must be Nearby) and the Undead Servant is too powerful (Harald would need to be 4th level to try to Banish (rebuke) it.)

He’s out of the fight for the moment until something breaks..

Turn End

Usage Die
Killian Pass
Holger FAIL.  Lantern , Oil in lantern drops to D4

Turn 4

Arturus The Paladin -Atacks the Undead Servant. We roll 2 dice the results are another "20” and a “14”As the Protection from Good spell is in effect we must take the “14” which is still a hit, the resulting 4 damage is not enough to kill it, but Arturus gets a second attack, the  rolls  are “16” and “5”  we must take the 5 as a miss no doubt this spell has kept Undead Servant in play ,as its almost dead and another hit will surely kill it.

Killian-  Now has a “over there” shot at 11 inches with the Necromancer  standing on the hill.
Although  his base to hit with his very high (17 Dex = “4”) but we have darkness ( +2) and multiple “ in the way’ and cover issues (+4) so he looking at a 10.
he rolls a “16” to hit so they don’t matter the Necromancer taking a big 7 damage from the Arrow which has the Necromancer reconsidering his strategy.

Holger -desperately ties to take down the Undead servant  but again misses,

The Necromancer really wants The Undead Servant to put Holger down, as he is carrying their teams light taking it out will limit LoS against ranged attacked and buy his team some time as someone else will need to pick the light up to use it.

The Undead Servant -easily smashes him with a but the 4 damage leaves Holger wobbling but standing with 1 HP!

The Necromancer -has offensive has more options but doing so will leave him exposed to Killians arrows He decides to move twice to a position of relative safety

Beleg , Cultist Leader- really wants to kill a weak hero in the name of Orcus preferably Harald but must bide his time..he passes

Cristoff- no luck for the squire against the undead servant missing.

Harald - Finds himself “Nearby” the zombie who is just on the otherside of the Graveyard walll and attempts to banish it!.  He only needs a 7 with his Holy Symbol (-2 to roll)  that’s now a “ 5” he rolls a 15 and the Zombie feels for 5 turns (2d4) and we surely run off the board. (fleeing Undead do count for Necromancer XP here so its best to try to kill them)

Zombies advance to attack and delay Heroes

Zombie flees toward Board Edge

The Necromancer Commands both Skeletons to hold after on move where they can engage advancing heroes if need be or escape depending on what comes next.As the turn ends the Necromancer plans to summon more undead…

Usage die
Killian D10-pass
Holger D4 - Fail the light burns out and hell to use a new flask of oil (he has 3)on his action to relight it!
End turn

Turn 5

Holgers light is out so the battle at this moment is happening in complete darkness

Arturus-   His first attack rolls are a “14” and “1” being disadvantaged we must take the “1” which is a fumble!(in the dark no less!) .which leads to him ending up being “Dazed” . as a result he loses his second attack and suffers further disadvantage next round.

Killian-  Climbs up on the bridge wall giving a clear 6” LoS to the Zombies in the rear , its dark but the Zombie at 6” is nearby so he can fire with the +2 penalty  he rolls  a 14 hits sticking the zombie with a whopping 8 damage ( I should mention here that shooting (not throwing) ranged weapons at less that 6 inches normally gives a disadvantage to the shooter , Rangers do not have this penalty as a class bonus.

Holger-  Takes  a big gamble and withdraw from the combat, he risks a free strike from the Undead Servant,  but staying put is riskier . The Servant would need a base 6 but needs a 8 due the penalty of being engage with 3 opponents…he rolls a 6 so Holger escapes relighting the Lantern! Luck!
The Darkness, recedes as Light in his lantern blossoms.

The Undead Servant,  is badly wounded  the Necromancer knows its time is numbered so he has it attack the s\Squire Cristoff, before he gets a chance to go this round…he rolls a “4” missing

The Necromancer cast another “Lesser Animate Dead” Spell ..This time he raises 2 more Zombies.
His spell check is an 18 so the spells again remains in his memory

Beleg, Cult Leader again does nothing, hiding waiting for a chance to strike- this is getting old

Cristoff  attacks the Undead Servant rolling a a ‘15” and “19” being disadvantaged we must take the 15.. He rolls 7 points of Damage destroying the Undead Servant.

Harald - moves up into the gap where Holger once was and attempts to banish the oncoming undead but fails rolling a “1”

The 1st Zombie he banished leaves the board scoring for the Necromancer

The second pair of Zombies now engage the heroes, one attacking Arturus and the Other  attacking Harald, its base touching both Harald and Cristoff for a 2 vs 1

The Necromancer- Orders his new Zombies to Attack,  and his Skeletons to Hold.

Usage Die Killian Pass
Usage Die Holger pass

Turn End

Turn 7

Arturus- is still disadvantaged . Even thou the Protection from Good  on  Undead Servant stopped when the Undead Servant died.  He's dazed from his fumble last round .  He attacks the Zombie  in his face and  He rolls an  "18”  but  roll again and rolls a “10” which is good enough to hit but only does “1” damage  AND being Dazed he only gets one attack.

Killian - Moves  again  off the bridge wall and to his right up onto the hillside, giving him LoS on the opponents at the Graveyard entrance. They just barely on the edge of Holgers light so he can still shoot “over there” with penalties of +6 darkness , powerful opponent, and hard cover..(+2 each) . This turns his easy 4 into a 10…or a 50/50 shot he rolls a 14 sticking the Necromancer for 4 more points of damage leaving him 2 HP which dictating what comes next..

Holger moves up right behind allies to extend the Nearby Light a bit further. He uses his action to swap his weapon out for his large shield, so should he be hit again, he’ll at least have 4 armor points

The Necromancer doesn’t really have any healing options, he’ll have to keep that mind next time, this time he orders his Zombies to attack and His Skeletons to follow him off the board  and he escapes the battlefield leaving down the road off the table..

Beleg -decides he will wait one more turn and see if the Zombies can break anything open hes’ not getting any additional XP unless he claim a victim for Orcus…

Cristoff in battle with a Zombie Misses

Harald again tries to Banish all Nearby Undead and rolls a 2! Failing…

Skeletons exit board

Zombie engaged with Arturus  attacks…strangely enough this is the 1st time in this melee that a standard HD creature has attacked the Undead Servant being a counted as a “character”  standard creatures attacks are rolled defensively by the Character in this case Arturus must test against his own STR to avoid the blow.  HD levels above character level are added as a negative modifier, which isn’t an issue here are we have a level 2 character and 2 HD creature..base roll is an “8” or better to defend I roll a “7” so The Paladin is hit, the damage is 4 and the Zombie rips off a piece of his plate armor (The last of his Armor points) but does no physical damage..

Zombie engaged with Cristoff and Harald , attacks Harald..who also has a 13 STR and needs a “8” he has an ally in combat but the Zombie is a higher level , the die modifers  cancel each out.  He rolls a “10” successfully defending the blow

Other 2 Zombies move 6 inches forward to the road

Usage Killian Pass
Usage Holger Fail drops to D4

Turn 7

Arturus  unleashes two attacks rolling a 5 and 11, the 11 striking the Zombue but leaving it standing with 1 hp..frustrating

Killian -fires an arrow down the zombies coming down the road and it misses

Holger- passes any move or action, he stands remaining the light source, and trying to survive with 1 hp..

Beleg the Cultist moves out toward the road, looking for an opportunity or an easy exit..

Cristoff attacks and misses

Harlad attempts to banish the undead again this rolling a 12, the Zombies turn and flee for 4 turns BUT.doing so gives The Heroes of the Hall of Tyr free strikes as the zombies disengage from combat.
The resulting rolls cut them dwon,  both of are destroyed!

The Remaining two Zombie both -uninjured shuffle down the road but are short of engaging the heroes.

Usage Die

Killian FAIL quiver drops to D8
Holger PASS..whew…didn’t want to go dark right now.

Turn 8

Arturus- charges the nearest Zombie with two attacks his impressive rolls of 16 and 19 and damage of 8 then  4 outright kill it..

Killian- now with eyes on Beleg fires an arrow at him rolling a “18” the arrow knocks away his shield and pushes through his light armor (no damage but 6 takes out his armor points)

Holger , again pass, no actions

Beleg,  knows he’s done for if he sticks around…he flees unfortunately only getting  1 XP for the battle.

Cristoff wants to charge the second zombie all undead cause fear (which the Paladin is immune too) so he must pass a Fear test that is check against his WIS and he needs an “11”  he rolls a 12 and charges in hitting the Zombie and doing 7 damage..

Harlad again tries to banish the remaining zombie time with a “19” it turn to flee for but for only 3 turns but Cristoff free strike is good for 5 damage just enough to kill it…

The battle ends.

Arturus- now lays hands on Holger healing him 5 points….the group continues to graveyard to look around.


Hall of Tyr-
1 XP for each Team member for Surviving the Battle
1 XP for each team member for no one being knocked out of action.

This is bring both Harald and Killian to level 2,  The Henchman can’t reach level 2 until Arturus reaches
Level 3 so they still get the experience its just held in reserve for the time being.  Arturus needs 1 more XP for level 3 so the next mission

The Necromancer

+1 for Surviving the Battle
+3 for each Undead raised safely off the board.

The Necromancer must spend an 1 XP to create a new Undead Servant…so he only banks 3 XP,  he too will need one more to reach Level 4, 
But he now has  2 Skeletons, 1 Zombie and his Undead Servant at his disposal

Beleg, Cult leader, a bad day for him be he saw no point in risking himself any alliance with the Necromancer went  nowhere  1XP..

After the battle, the less conservative members from the Hall of Tyr celebrate after their victory.

Sunrise over the town, from the back wall of Blackbarrow Castle

So that's it for Episode one, I realize the battle was somewhat uneventful, alot to this was just getting a feel for the played pretty smoothly without alot of head scratching and rule look up, definitely doing the next one with this ruleset,  While the Necromancer will surely be back at some point, Next time well look at some of the other factions in Blackbarrow, More terrain spotlight and painted models to come as well.


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