Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Blackbarrow Chronicles , Episode 4- The Cult of Orcus ,Part I

Summers distraction’s certainly got the better of me, but an early harsh fall has us spending weekends inside and me getting back to some fantasy gaming. We actually played this awhile back but the time it take to put these write ups together plus all the other things I want to mention should be an easy 2 or part post, Ill get the game in here and most of post game , advancement details in Part 2.
Let start with basics: we revisited the Otherworld Skirmish rules for this and had a grand old time,  while our homebrew RPG rules were cool they’re a bit busy and for this bigger skirmish I wanted something totally fleshed out.
Having played an posted a bunch of Otherworld Skirmish (OWS)  games before I was prepared ,  but the game does has some shortcomings which I needed to resolve for the ongoing narrative of the endless campaign based on our little village.  While I have always liked this game , the draw backs for me were always- There are no Campaign rules , There is  a serious lack of classic spells,  and the game is based on the  limitations of one off encounters   faction vs faction. Finally I don’t really love the D6 as the sole game die and more fond of other wider result dice..but it is what it is.

         Applying the needed fixes for Blackbarrow required the following, we record Victory points (VP) to not only decide who wins but as experience for faction members , each faction member  gets 1 VP for surviving a match -standard VP rules per the book are applied to scenario so multiple VP can be awarded to various team member based on events , I’ll go over this more in the post game but basically I’m taking a Mordheim-esqe  approach to the post game.

 We'll be converting  VP to gold and that be used to buy additional skills which are already specified in each units profile.
There is Out of Action (OoA) injury  chart for Character knocked OoA but not killed outright and a few other advancement options concerning building up team funds and buying items etc.
The biggest difficultly for converting this for me is all the profiles need to sort out all the character and townsfolk we have going, I only created what was needed for the game and there are bunch more to do. Finally we created a few spells as needed and where they fit the characters,


We left episode 3 in a Cliffhanger where the adventures found themselves surrounded by men pouring out the Dungeon while be confronted the mysterious ethereal evil spirit.  We had one character Killed and two that ran off (one being a secret cult member who’s task it was to lure people out to the ruins) after battling various undead being to called to a green flaming beacon placed by persons unknown , the remaining four characters  finding themselves prisoners of growing Cult running its operations out of the Dungeon.

The Adventures of the Hall of Tyr respond to the call of a rescue party, although they are less concerned with rescuing the men for the Wayside Drinkers Club, and more concerned with busting up the Cult’s activity which they have been monitoring  since Episode 1.


We are using the OWS rules here only modified in the post -game phase to create a campaign of ongoing battles and provide  unit advancement. As you will see below several of characters have advanced since Episode 1, which is track by their gold piece cost on the roster.


The Cult of Orcus

Last time we saw the Cult’s Leader was in Episode 1 where he never  got into the action, since then he’s grown much in power, teamed up with a Demon and gotten a bunch of Followers and Henchmen to join him.

The Current factions roster is:
Beleg / Wretched Priest /Cult Leader – sold his soul to Orcus many moons ago for power and his hope to rain terror and death down upon Blackbarrows Castellan and any who get in his way.
he's almost tripled in cost since Ep1 and has been given a powerful summoning circle that allows him to summon a Demon to serve him.

Ghruzl / Type I Demon- One of Orcus’s many agents he’s around to see Beleg does what he’s supposed to,  Ghruzl has been previously summoned in this scenario in order to balance the teams

Executioner- The Castellan’s  Castle executioner is a cult agent ,  executions are a rarity in Blackbarrow his other job as stableman is less appealing then playing for the Cult.

2 Acolytes- junior priests of the cult , fanatics to Orcus

4-Worshippers – the Cults muscle / cannon fodder, fanatical , disposable.

New Spell, Inflicts Wounds (9+)  a unholy blast causes 1 hit, with no save.

Hall of Tyr

Self proclaimed heroes of Blackbarrow, all team members had have some form of power increase

The Current factions roster is:
Arturus- Crusading Paladin of Tyr, also getting a very big power bump from episode 1
Harald- Priest of Tyr, valiant side kick
Killian/ Wild Ranger- Longtime companion of the group
Holger – Man at Arms- Henchman (Veteran Profile)
Cristoffe- Arturus’s Squire, a Henchman (fighter profile)

Factions are closely matched in Gold Cost ,  we will see how the 2 to 1 difference in numbers effects the way things play out

SETUP- The Cult are the Defenders , Hall of Tyr are the Attackers., The Cult has 8 Adventure Tokens which are place on the board before play begins

(No Character in this skirmish has the Treasure Hunter Ability so the starting 8 tokens remains unaffected) ,  The Attackers start with 1 luck (Harald Luck (1), the Defenders 0

Adventure Cards- there are only 12 Adventure Cards in the Deck for this scenario
8 Treasures and 4 Traps

All other cards have been removed, each Treasure card can be immediately cashed in for a random draw from the magic item deck OR the card kept for its stated VP total

Any remaining Adventure tokens that are not revealed go to defender should they win,  traps are discarded and VP or items are added to factions treasury.

There are no wandering monsters in this part of the Dungeon, the rats are just decoration.

The Summoning


INITIATIVE:  Attackers 4 , Defenders 2 –
FATE  1 each—
HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS) start with 3 Activation tokens
The Paladin. the Ranger and the veteran henchman get activation tokens
Arturus with use his Leader 2 ability gives both the Priest and Squire Activation token as he begins his turn

The Attacking team decides to eliminate guards in eastern hall and a grab an easy Adventure Token.

Arturus the Paladin , 1st action , moves his speed  6" -  Sees  a Cult Worshipper and Charges down the hall getting a free attack at -1 he attacks with a 3+ from his longsword but as it’s a charge he needs a 4+ rolling a 5 it’s a hit on the Cultist , since  Arturus is a weapon master his Longsword attack are “brutal” giving him two dice to a roll a 3 +  he rolls a 3 and 5 cutting down the first Cultist he encounters quite easily

Cristoffe is next,  the Squire makes a 6 inch move stopping on the rear flank of his mentor

Harald the Priest follows  also moving 6 " but for his 2nd action casts Blessing  his Intelligence is a 3 but he has 2 magic dice , needing a “8” to cast the spell he rolls an “8” + 3 (his INT) for 11 and Blessing is cast we add  second  luck Token to the Attackers Pool.

The Ranger and Holger the Henchmen both activate and move slightly to get a better view down the long western hallway, but don’t advance without the other hoping to protect the rear.


Starting the turn walready man down  they start with 4 activation tokens.

Worshipper 2- seeing his comrade cut down, now alone facing 3 enemies would need to make “Alone” morale test, however the worshippers are “Fanatics” and ignore this . this fellow moves to nearby secret door and uses his second activation a "special action" to open it.
 Worshippers 3 and 4 across the western hall to charge thru, it’s an Ambush!
Worshipper 3 moves 6 then Charges the Paladin, still in the doorway.. he hits on 5+ but since its charge needs a 6, he rolls a 4 missing.
Worshipper 4 moves up to try to join the fight.

Ambush using Secret Door

For the 4th Activation,  we activate the Demon who hearing the commotion in the hallway decides to investigate. Moving 6 (flying) he see’s the Ranger and the Veteran Henchman at the end of hall..
So he charges!..attacking with his Rending attacks  he normally needs a 3+  but in this case it’s a 4+ and he rolls a “3”  being it’s the last activation of the Turn , he use the team one Fate token to make that a HIT! its attacks are strength 5 and Brutal needing only a 2+ for wound…Our Henchman only has one wound  both dice come up hits only keeping the highest( 5)  Holger is toast but he has Light Armor and a Shield so he has a 5+ Save…we roll a “4” not good enough but we use their FATE token to make that move that 4 to a 5 and the Henchman survives the Charge.


INITIATIVE:  Attackers 5 , Defenders 3 –
FATE  1 each—
HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS)  again start with 3 Activation Tokens

Paladin / Ranger and Veteran Henchman get initial tokens

Arturus the Paladin.  engaged with  Worshipper 3 who charged him last turn, upon activation he can give both his Squire and Harald the priest activation tokens thanks to his Leader (2) ability. His first activation is to attack, he hits on a 3 and wounds 4  putting the engaged cultist down as well.  For his second activation he immediately retreats 6” as he hears the screams of his comrades fighting the demon.
Holger the Henchman is next,  upon activation he must make a Fear test as the Demon is fearsome his Morale is 3 so he needs a 4+ and rolls a 4+ and stands true.
He attacks and needs a 4+ the Demon is a large creature making it a 3+ he rolls a 3! A hit , while the Demons Defense and the Henchmans Strength  are both  4. The Demon is invulnerable (1) which reduces the attack to Strength 3 , meaning he now needs a  5+ to wound he rolls a 4 but we gamble and put our fate point on the line to make that hit count! the Demon howls as it takes a wound…..
Killian the Ranger  must also make the Fear test he rolls a “1” failing miserably and now suffers the SCARED status giving him -2 to hits… Killian a crack shot only needed a 2+ to hit  due to the demons size that now goes to 4…..I want to move him away we opt for the shot on a 4+ and roll a 6! We need a 6 to wound however due to invulnerable lowering the bows strength…and roll a 2, he just outside of 6” from the Priest so we cannot use a Luck token otherwise I would…the arrow bounces off the Demons thick hide.
On his second action he moves 6 inches into the Western Hallway..

Harald is next , using both action to make a double move toward the Demon , he starts out far enough away he doesn’t need to make the fear test, but will next round.
Finally the Squire Cristoffe see his chance and Charges Worshipper 4 his attacks hits but he fails to damage with a “1” he gets a second activation and attacks again rolling a ‘5” then Damaging with another “5” the Cultist are dropping like flies…

Being now 3 men down they start with 3 activation tokens..the Demon gets ones as  does Cult Leader Beleg and so does the Executioner.

Beleg Activates 1st,  using his leader abiity he give both his Acolytes activation tokens, he then moves his speed (6) toward the action and cast CURSE rolling A 5 +4 (INT) For a “9” and one luck token is removed from the attackers pool,

the Cult on the move
Executioner  activates making a double move toward the remaining worshipper thru the open secret door.
Ghzul the Demon uses his Claw attack with 4+-  having the “unarmed adept” ability he rolls 2 dice keeping the highest in this case hitting with a “5” he only needs a 2+ to wound the Henchmen and rolls a 5+ , Holger does have a 5+ save which he rolls a 4+ we use our fate to make it a 5 and his armor and fate save him again. The Demon has a second activation he follows up with his Brutal Rend attack easily hitting and wounding Holger again, he rolls a “1” and we use our one Luck token to reroll rolling a ‘3” not good enough and the Henchman is smashed against the wall . knocked prone and is Out of Action.
Who's Next?

Both Acolytes make double moves preparing to engage the Temple invaders.

End Phase: we forgot about Killians scared status and should have save our fate for that…Killian has 2 hits so he rolls 2d6 looking for a 6 – 5 and 3   with noway to modify he remains “scared” into the next round

INITIATIVE:  Attackers 4 , Defenders 6 –
FATE  1 each—

Oh how the wheel turns,couldn’t be a worse time for brothers of the Hall of Tyr to lose Initiative!

Demon, Beleg and Executioner…receive activation token
The Demon Licking his lips charges Harald the Clumsy Priest, but the Demon see his Holy Symbol of Tyr and pauses he must make an opposed morale test against Harald but laughs it off with a score of 10 to 5 in his favor. The Charge continues…using he Claw Attack he rolls a 3 and 1..missing…he then turns to Rend in his second activation hitting with a 4 on the 3+  he gets 2 two dice needing a 3, but rolls a 2 and 1..we can use fate but Harald has Heavy Armor (a 5+) plus save and the Attacker have a Fate point… so it potentially 50/50 we waste the fate  point and there are 4 more figures to go… so the Demon grimace hissing “you got luckly priest.”.

Beleg activates next, he begins by using his leader abilty to give both Acolyte activation tokens
He them moves into hallway where he can see the Demon bearing down on Harald then uses his 2ND Activation use his “force of will” abilities on Harald , we are well within the 12” range and Beleg needs a 4+ he rolls a 2  and  the Fate point we are hanging on to wont help so he is done
Acolyte 1 activates he’s going to try to cast  “Cause Wounds” at Harald, since he only has magic (1) he going to CHANT for his first activation casting it on his second..chant gives you +2 on DC (9 in this case)
So he needs a 3+, we roll a “6” so the spell is cast and Harald takes an single wound..ouch!

Acolyte 2 ,  follows suit trying to cast cause wounds, he moves first to get into range so he cannot chant but rolls a 1 on the casting attempt…the spell fizzles.

Executioner – makes a double move toward the open secret door and remaining worshipers in the south hall

HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS)   start with 2 Activation tokens

Activation 1 goes  Arturus upon activating is within  6 inches of Harald and right next to Killian the Ranger,

Arturus moves thru the hall to get line of sight on the Demon and decides to charge since his special ability “burning zeal” is blocked by the demon on a 2+

The charge is luckily to the demons rear flank as he is engaged with Harald . the Paladin hits easily with a”6” and while the Demons invulnerability lowesr the STR of the attack, the extra dice from the Longsword being “brutal” gives us “4” forcing me to now use that Fate point and make it a 5 and a wound ..the Demon hisses…

Harald, wounded uses his first must make a Fear test which with he passes with a 3 from his 4 morale stat..next he uses his potion of cure wounds to Heal Himself and passes the intelligence test with a 5 then attacks the Demon with his mace missing with 2!

Killian is next  he’s got  the lone worshipper  down the hall and the Demon in his bow sights , he suffering the sacred status so he’s -2 two to hit but he can Aim and take no penalty from long range thanks to “eagle eyes”  both shots with various modifiers work out to be “4+” but the shooting the Demon is too hard to wound and I could potentially ended hitting poor Harald. He takes the Aim shot down the Hall rolls a “4” then another “4” to wound..all the Cultist lackeys are now Out of Action.
Cristoffe the Squire , seeing this break makes a double move down the Hall to grabs the games first Adventure token, we cant actually get it until next turn, since we reached with a double move
Attackers Turn Ends

End Phase – Only Killian is current suffering a status he rolls two dice and does not get a “6” he remains scared of the Demon.


INITIATIVE:  Attackers 3 , Defenders 2 –  luck is with the Attackers it seems
FATE : 1 for the the Attackers  , 0 for Defenders

HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS)   start with 2 Activation tokens

Cristoffe takes the 1st activation and flips and Adventure Card and gets the Strong Box for 1 VP we decide to exchange that for a draw on the Magic Item Deck and we get an “enchanted shield” which gives  the user Invulnerable (1) for Melee. A great score, this will make Arturtus extra tough to kill but since he is one the other side of board..for time being Cristoffe equips it

Enchanted Shield? definitely useful...
For his Second activation he moves up next to the Secret Door. Arturus is up next and after giving out activation tokens to neaby Harald and Killian he going to try to put this Demon  down

Attacking  large target and flanked he hits on a 2+ and wounds on a 5+ against invulnerable (1) but he gets two dice to try to get the wound he rolls 2 to hit 4 to wound,  we use our one fate point to put the second wound on the Demon…next attack is another 2 and ……drum roll please we get a “5” the Demon howls…at Arturus invokes Tyr’s name on the blow, the demon falls.
(that was some good luck)

This is a very bad for the Cult as they are now at ½ strength and will need to make shaken tests..

Harald is next and immediately attempts to cast blessing twice to put some luck on table… rolling natural 9 and 11 , Tyr’s holy light is with them and the attackers get  2 Luck tokens..

Killian , while still scared can now move toward the Demon since its fallen  but decides to double move toward the open secret door near Crtisoffe and catch the remaining Cult members in a crossfire .
Move x 2 he is done


2 activation tokens

Beleg and Executioner

Beleg is hoping to win initiative so we can get a  strike fear cast but no such luck, he gives his Acolytes activation tokens and casts inflict wounds on Harald (as he cant see Arturus) he only needs a “5’ on 2 dice thanks to his 4 Int and rolls a 6 Harald takes another wound
His second activation Beleg drops back into the doorway to protect himself

Acolyte 1 st activation Chant..second inflict wounds  rolls a 6 (+4) for 10!  Harald goes OoA ouch this is bad! The goes the Luck pool ( as far as I can tell, if the units with the Luck ability go OoA you lose access to the luck pool they need to be within 6” of the unit with Luck to use it . Having multiple figures with the luck ability is clearly a good idea.

Casting frenzy put both Harald and Killian OoA, you need to charge them you dummies!

Acolyte 2's 1st action moves slight south of door way and sees Killian coming thru secret door…
Cast inflict wounds but without chanting  rolls a “2” +4 =6 fails..
Executioner barrels up the hall has to move twice and cant charge Arturus but is lined for next turn to be charged or charge

End Phase – Only Killian is current suffering a status he rolls two dice and does not get a “6” he remains scared of the Demon, is a too bad since its defeated but I cant find anyway to remove the Scared status other than rolling a 6 in the end phase
 Here we must make Shaken test for the Cult we have a high morale 5 here so with the -1 penalty its still a 3+ and they pass with a 4..the Cult fights on

Turn 5 before both Acolyte 2 took an arrow to the face and The Ranger is brought down by multiple inflict wound spells.

INITIATIVE:  Attackers 6 , Defenders 3 –  Cult Cannot get a break on Initiative
FATE:  attackers 2, defenders 1

HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS)   start with 2 Activations
I screwed up here moving Killian away with Harald OoA, I cant activate all  three of my units as the Ranger and Squire are too far away for leadership.

 I decide not to activate my best unit let him take the charge from the Executioner
And give activations tokens to Killian and Cristoffe

Cristoffe first moves thru the secret door to a nearby Adventure token and on his second action flips a card. Its bags of gold, since we are only up  4VP to 2VP at this point…we keep the loot as its good for a victory point

Killian Fires an Arrow at Acolyte 2 they can only take one Hit so we AIM (at +2) since he still suffering the Scared Status and that will negate it..  roll to hit -6 to wound  3 but we use a Fate point to make sure the Acolyte falls!  One more for a wiped out test for the Cult…


2 activation tokens

Executioner, Beleg

Executioners - 2 handed Axe is unwieldly so he cant charge and get an attack but  he can move and attack one so he does
He has the Onslaught ability so he can reroll a missed attack,  He doesn’t need it hitting with a 4 and the brutal ability  lets him roll twice looking for a 5+ he gets a “6” and Arturus  would take his first wound but he makes his 4+ armor save with a 4….

The decisive battle, Arturus was nigh unstoppable in melee, the executioner should have focused on the weaker characters and tried to force a rout...let the spells take this guy down....they learned their lesson for next time.

Beleg activates and gives an activation token to Acolyte  1
Beleg knows they need to put the ranger down they will force a shaken tests and that’s victory points
He moves to the door so he is in range  casting inflict wounds rolls the needed 9 before his INT is added and Killian takes a wound

Acolyte has to tougher job with one dice but he can chant for + 2 but rolls a 1!!…so not good enough.
The fate wont help us here and Killian skates by.

End Phase-  No more morale testsyet, Killian tries to remove his Scared Status rolls a 2 and 5 but we use our remaining Fate to make that 6 and he is finally no longer scared!


INITIATIVE:  Defenders 2  , Attackers 1 ,
FATE:  Defenders 1, Attackers 0


2 activation tokens

Beleg, gives his minion an activation token  1st action -Strike Fear..rolls  11 + 4 for 15 goes off and all of the Attackers are within the 12 “ range

Nerfing the Leader ability doesn’t do much here but the Morale hit does if he can take out Killian and force the shaken test..

2nd action inflict wounds on Killian… 9 +4 =13 on the 9 casting requirement ….Ouch Killians fall OoA..

Executioner -1st action attack!  Rolls a 4! Hit to wound a 3..miss….
2nd action attack again 4 again then a 4 to wound , the Cult uses its fate token to make it a 5 and a hit..
Arturus can attempt to PARRY this blow (forgot about this earlier) but rolls a 1
Arturus then rolls a 3 on his save and takes his 1st wound..
Acolyte 1  1st action moves toward Cristoffe…..2nd action tries to cast inflict wounds…Fails on 3

HALL OF TYR (ATTACKERS)  only 1 Activation

Arturus must  respond to the Executioner pounding on him attacks hits on 3+ wounds on 3+ (executioner is Def 3) I roll  5, then  4, 3 (wound) and 4, then 2,6 wound, Executioner Drops OoA.

End Phase 
Shaken Test for Hall of Tyr at -2 ( extra penalty for Strike fear) need a 5+ roll a 5!
His Courageous ability would have given me a reroll anyway…


Highest  morale is 5 needs a +2 but -2 for wiped out so a 4+ Rolls a 1.. remove d6 models
I roll a 3.the Cult is Defeated.

Final Score

The Attackers win this battle on Victory Points 7 to 5 not rout by any means yes, Beleg’s and Cult suffered a loss via wipe out. He just escaped in the  Dungeon to fight another day.  Wounded himself, a down to just his Squire, with 3 unconscious / or worse (we will see in moment) Arturus must abandon any hope of finding the lost Waysiders from Episode 3 and return to the Village.

As you'll see in the next post as we go over the post game how its shakes out campaign wise, Did everyone OoA live? What about the Demon?... 
Arturus " you know I'm not using that shield right??"  Cristoffe " maybe I can paint it??"


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