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.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Godzilla Facepalm

Let's start the New Year out right with a Godzilla sized facepalm, Mea Cupla . I got a text from my friend Tim out in AZ about the last blog post and the comments. mentioning to check about notifications for publishing them. I did ,and found a couple things. First of all blogger seems to changed the way it notified me about pending comments, I was used to an alert posting in my main feed where you see the overview of your blogposts. that seems to have changed and I missed the memo on said changes. Coincidentally-this must of happened in fall of last year right when my reader comments stopped. when I clicked on the "awaiting moderation" sub menu of  "Comments"...I found 35 unpublished comments since the fall of 2016!, Wait you ask! what about email notifications for comments ?? yes, but it had my old comcast email address, (which is long long dead) in there that I swear to god I freaking changed!!

So, I am a moron. However its been corrected..And if you commented in the last year, or didnt and just read the blog. I want you to know That I appreciate it thank you!.  having that said, it doesnt change my commentary from the last post although from a personal standpoint, I'll roll back the bleakness just a bit.

Currently working on Blackbarrow Chronicles Episode 1, we had a great game , figuring things out  and I got a ton of great pictures. It's a longish post and its taking some time , plus all the photo sorting so hopefully up by the weekend , worst case sunday night...

Thanks again!


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