Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Rangers of Shadow Deep, Mission: Burning Light. Scenario A: The Gatehouse

 A week ago, one of your fellow rangers stumbled into camp, escorting a Lorenthian survivor she had rescued from a pack of Orcs in the Shadow Deep. During their debriefing, they mentioned seeing the ruins of the Convent of St. Emilia, once a great house of healing in Lorenthia. It is said that the nuns never turned away anyone that came to them in sickness, and that they were aided in their mission through the possession of a powerful magic artefact, the Decanter of St. Emilia, also known as the Decanter of Burning Light. Water poured from this silver decanter onto a wound would wash it free of any infection, poison, or other corruption. The ranger didn’t approach the convent but, from what she could tell, the place appeared abandoned. The walls were cracked, and several of the towers had collapsed.
Soon afterwards, you were summoned by your captains. They explained the situation and tasked you to venture into the Shadow Deep, make your way to the ruins, and, if possible, find the Decanter of St. Emilia. Such healing powers could save many lives and prove a huge advantage in the ongoing war.
Gathering your companions, and what gear you need, you set off. You took the path known as the shattered stairs and descended into the Deep, slowly making your way through the boggy terrain that stretched out before you. Following a map provided by your captains, you carried on until the land finally dried into a barren, rocky expanse. You spent your nights sleeping in ditches and shallow caves, and your days dodging patrols of Orcs and other foul creatures, eating meals of dried rations and whatever could be caught – usually snakes. Thankfully, the map noted a couple of freshwater pools where you could replenish. After nearly eight days of travel, you caught your first glimpse of the convent. Its ruins stood at the top of a rocky escarpment, visible from miles around, even in the perpetual gloom. Conscious that anyone in the convent had a great vantage point to see you coming, you took your time approaching, flitting from rock to rock, always staying in the shadows. Finally, you reached the walls…

This report is a complete play- through.
all die rolls are shown as (X) all combat rolls are shown as (x,x) the first number always being the heroes.
Any text in Italic is reproduced story or event text from the adventure.
Pre- Game notes and Set up

Where covered in my last post so please refer to that if you need background.

Special Rules

The overall special rule for Burning Light is the evolving event deck. Each scenario has 2 additional event cards added  from a separate “shadow deep” event deck, these cards represent the shadow deeps awareness of the heroes and the events will grow in number and danger as the missions progress.
Each scenario has 6 event cards, with 2 added Shadow Deep event cards  for a total of 8. So the first mission has 8 cards,  the 2nd mission  will have 10 cards with 2 additional Shadow Deep event cards added , the 3rd mission with have 6 total Shadow Deep Event cards added, etc, etc. By mission 8 the event deck will be 22 cards deep. The last scenario is different and I will cover that when/if we live to get there.

This particular scenario has several points of interest beside the far door we must access to escape
Various situations refer to number notes as appendix in the back section of the book after reading some I realized the game would be much for fun if I DIDN’T READ there so I did not.  So there is a lot potentially happening that have no idea about..

The scenario will last 9 turns

The target point is point of interest B ( the middle hanging body on the map)

Before the mission I must nominate 1 figure to make either a stealth or tracking check, I choose the harder Steath roll at (TN 12) as Gord is +5 , he rolls (17) success this means the Ogre in the Gatehouse is set up further away at the start of the game.

House and Experimental Rules

We are using the current experimental rule from playtest doc V.2  which states
In a solo game a Ranger can only activate two companions during the Ranger Phase.

And as you will notice the Grim Reaper Icon on my character sheets, I am using my own house rule I now call “Russian Roulette” - Each time a Ranger or Companion is knocked “Out of Action” they receive a cumulative negative modifier on their next roll on the Survival Table for subsequent “Out of Action” results.
So for instance Thorvald is current -3 as he was knocked OoA in 3 previous missions the next time he goes OoA he will with that -3 modifier.  Making his chances at a full recovery a 12+ as opposed the stock 9+

 You’ll note my Ranger is +1 as that’s the general rule in the rule fro Rangers . Blackwulf has NOT fallen in battle yet- but should he,  that +1 will be reduced to 0, the -1,-2 etc.

The only caveat is if you roll a natural 20 on the Survival table your debt to the reaper is cleared and you start from scratch.

My Ranger

Blackwulf is currently level 5 after 8 missions

The Companions

 With Guthrum’s death and Xavos badly wounded, (and not accompanying us on this mission )
Blackwulf has recruited -Calistra , Knight of the realm to join the group as she was keen to find out what has happened at the Covent of St Emilia.



Blackwulf and company scout the 3 entry points to the Convent after some discussion they choose the gatehouse thinking perhaps clues to what happened here might be most obviously present.

Even before you set foot in the gatehouse, you are nearly overcome by the stench of death and rotting bodies. In the faint light that streams in through the shattered gates, you can see a trio of bodies dangling from chains in the ceiling. They have been there a while. As you move inside, a large and menacing form looms up out of the shadows of a side room. An immense ogre, covered in dried blood and gore and clutching a crude club, lumbers into the faint light…


Blackwulf chooses to activate Gord and Sigurd this turn using group activation

Blackwulf carefully enters the gatehouse first moving 6” he hears a noise and sees a Ghoul he calls out to the others turn and quickly fires and arrow ( 8,4) or (10,5)  ( +2 to hit vs +1 hurried shot) grazes the Ghoul the arrow does no damage.,

Gord – continues in, getting a nod from Blackwulf that says “Sigurd and I got this see whats about” Gord moves his 10.5 inches in to room he know gets a good luck at the revolting bodies hanging from the chains at the end of the room, skeletons strip for the meat something non animal enjoying human flesh.

Sigurd- activates and moves 6 inches , quite cant real the ghoul so moves up next to Blackwulf to make sure the Ghoul gets to engage them both.


A loud grunting sound followed by a Boom..boom..boom lets us know something is coming this way.
An Ogre has a nice line of sight on the door from his position in right side chamber of the gatehouse

He moves directly toward Blackwulf and Sigurd 9 inches..

The Ghoul mindlessly charges Blackwulf and Sigurd, its equal distance to both I roll a die and its Blackwulf whose engaged (8,14)  its +6 with Sigurd supporting vs the Ghouls +2 = 14 to 16 the Ghoul wins! And Blackwulf takes a nasty 5 points of Damage.


The rest of the Companions charge into the gatehouse

Skuti moves in 6 inches and fires an arrow at the face of the Ogre (11,10)  Skuti’s +2 for 13, the Ogre is +0 but -2 for Large but +1 a hurried shot from Skuti = +0  Skuti hits it but with Armor 12 it’s a graze with a single point of damage

Thorvald can get into the Combat with the Ghoul, Blackwulf and Sigurd in a single move..he attacks
With the big hammer (7,1)  Thorvald is +3 and he he gets +2 for support for  a 12 , the ghoul has a 3, a glancing blow but the hammer being +2 damage its 14 vs 10 Armor of 4 damage to the Ghoul.

Calistra moves 7.5 inches  (move 5) toward the Ogre and draws her sword.



Without warning, the entire world begins to shake, and the heroes realize they have been caught in an earthquake. Every hero must make a Move Roll (TN16) or miss their next activation.

Ooof this is ill timed, but it always is isn’t it?

Ok everyone has a 6 inch moves but Gord who has a 7 meaning , He needs a 9 while the rest need 10’s

Blackwulf (19)
Gord ( 1)
Sigurd (16)
Skuti 3
Thorvald (14)
Calistra (13)

At least all the main fighters made it!



Blackwulf activates Sigurd and Thorvald with group activation

Blackwulf tries to finish off the Ghoul. He attacks (12,17) Blackwulf +6 with support for an 18 0, the Ghoul is +2 for a 19 super close, I know its early but I used my Hand of Fate heroic ability I don’t want to eat 13 points of damage from the first ghoul with an Ogre charging us I roll (14)! Whew! Blackwulf prevails and finishes him with 10 points of damage

Sigurd and Thorvald form a line with a short move and await the Ogre I position them so Calistra and easily join the fight on her turn.


Ogre roars and comes charging in, he meets both Sigurd and Thorvald head on. I dice off and its Sigurd who gets the direct attack. Its + 5 with Support VS +3 from the Ogre (9,19) oof  Sigurd eats the Club losing 14 to 22 that 22 becomes 24 for damage purposes due to the two handed weapon Sigurd takes a crushing 12 damage and has 1 hit point left!


Calistra charges the Ogre she’s +6 with Thorvald supporting versus the Ogre’s +3 , (16,3) 22 to 6 a wicked blow to the Ogres flanks gives him 10 points of damage

Gord and Skuti miss their activation this turn due to being tossed on the ground from last rounds earthquake



A dead body that has been lying unnoticed on the floor suddenly animates and attacks the heroes. Place a zombie in a randomly determined corner of the main area of the table

No rest for the weary, I put a Zombie in same corner the ghoul came from (that’s the corner I rolled.)



Blackwulf activates Sigurd and Thorvald using group activation

Blackwulf –charges Zombie  (10,13) not the best attack he wins 14 to 13 (+4 vs +0) but its only 2 points on damage the Zombie battles on

Thorvald Attacks Ogre He’s +5 with Sigurd and Calistra Supporting vs the Ogres  +3 (8,9)  another close fight Thorvald wins 13 to 12 the 13 becomes a 15 for damage purposed thanks to his two handed weapon. Its 3 points of damage exactly enough to bring the Ogre to its knees for the kill.

Sigurd-  barely standing , breaths a sigh of relief he doesn’t have to fight this turn


Zombie attacks Blackwulf (12,13) or 16 to 13 after Blackwulf’s +4 fight…again the 4 points of damage is exactly enough to bring it down.


Gord moves away from the door he was about investigate and goes to Sigurd transferring his potion of Healing to badly wounded man at arms,

Skuti moves up to have a clear view of the back half of the room, in case any undead appear out of nowhere.

Calistra makes a double move toward the broken wall to the east where Ogre came from
“looks clear , she says thou there is box Gord might want to take alook at, i.e Treasure!



A dead body that has been lying unnoticed on the floor suddenly animates and attacks the heroes. Place a zombie in a randomly determined corner of the main area of the table

Another Zombie pops up this time in a far left corner where Skuti was scanning with his bow
“ I knew there was one there!”, he snorts



Blackwulf, in corner alone after putting that zombie down is just far enough away from his companions that he must activate alone. He does so moving 6 inches to Sigurd and casting his Heal Spell on him giving him +5 health now up to 6.


The lone Zombie shuffles forward moving twice or 6 inches


Skuti wants to shoot that Zombie, “target practice!” he yells (11,9) or 13 to 9 the arrow sinks into the zombies shoulder for 1 damage and it keeps on coming, “impressive” smirks Gord

Thorvald lets out a warcry and charges the thing smashing it with his hammer (15,13) +3 vs +0 and +2 damage its 20 to 13 for damage purposed the 8 damage splatters the zombie on the wall and all over some nearby rubble.. Gords ‘cocks and eyebrow at Skuti”

 Gord sensing treasure makes for the room on the right moving his full 10.5 inches

Calistra stays put covering Gords moving toward the chest and being able to act in the main room if needed.

Sigurd downs the potion of healing gaining another 5 health he is back up to 11 health.


A cloud of small insects explodes out of a heap of rubbish and swarms around the room. Every hero must make a Will Roll (TN12) or miss its next activation

Blackwulf +4 (11)  pass
Gord +1 ( 4) fail
Sigurd +2 (20) pass
Thorvals +2 (12) pass
Skuti +2 (17) pass
Calistra (8) +2  fail

Looks like those bugs were thickest on the east side of the room.



Blackwulf activates Sigurd using group activation

Sigurd makes a double move towards the hanging body on the right (C) to investigate he must make a perception check (TN8) rolls (11) succeeds it’s a Lorenthian Royal messenger scanning room he sees something nearby discarded.

You retrieve the messenger’s satchel and pull out a sealed letter that has unfortunately become soaked in the messenger’s blood. At the end of the scenario select one figure to make a Read Runes Roll (TN12). If successful, see Note 963. Either way, gain + 5XP.

Blackwulf makes a double move towards the center hanging bodies (B) to investigate he determines its one of the Convent guards and must make a survival check (TN 18) his roll (18) or 22 succeeds ! wow wasn’t expecting that one.

As you approach the body, you realize that something just isn’t right. The man is clearly dead, and yet still seems to be twitching. Thankfully, you step away just in time as the zombie slips out of its chains and drops to the floor. Place a zombie on the table, up to 3” away from this figure and gain + 3XP.

Well another Zombie hello!!...


Zombie immediately engages Blackwulf (12,5)  Blackwulf gets the better of it quickly winning 16 to 5 but only does 4 damage the Zombie fights on.


Thorvald can make a single move and get into combat with Blackwulf and the new Zombie..he attacks  (12,12) Thorvald is +3 fight with +2 support from Blackwulf for 17 the Zombie is +0 so 17 vs 12 he connects hard +2 damage and its 19 or 7 damage enough to again smash the zombie to pulp…Thorvald one shots two zombies in a row nice!

Gord can not activate due to insect swarm

Calistra can not activate due to insect swarm

Skuti has move to the locked door, he can pick locks but he puts shoulder into it for a strength check (TN14) (8) and the door doesn’t budge…”going to need some help over here!”



The Shadow Deep decides to let us know, it knows we are here.

A horrific howl echoes around the ruins, sending shivers down the spines of
the heroes. Every hero must make a Will Roll (TN10). If it fails, it receives a
maximum of one action during its next activation.

Blackwulf +4 (20)  pass
Gord +1 ( 9) pass
Sigurd +2 (1) fail
Thorvald +2 (5) fail
Skuti +2 (13) pass
Calistra (15) +2  pass



Blackwulf activates Thorvald and Sigurd using group activation

Blackwulf makes a single move and investigates the left most hanging body (A) he sees it another convent guard he easily makes the (TN8) perception roll (14) +4 =18 to determine:

The guard wears a small golden ring engraved with a heron. It is a simple, yet beautiful, piece
and may be of value or interest to someone, so you decide to take it with you. + 8XP.

Thorvald and Sigurd both use their single action to move 6 inches toward the locked door.


There are no active creatures on the board.


Gord moves and secures the Treasure Token in far right corner of the east section of the Gate

Skuti drops back away from the door leaving the stronger character to bust it down keeping his bow ready

Calistra makes a double move of 7.5 inches back toward the door.



The Shadow Deep strikes again!

A vulture appears at the center of one randomly determined table edge. It follows
the standard rules for evil creatures

A vulture has somehow got inside the gatehouse flying around!, well deal with it next turn



Blackwulf is too far away from his companions to use group activation.

He activates and moves 6 inches toward the group spotting the Vulture entering from the east side of the building he fires off an arrow its getting late in the game so time to use his “Steady Aim” heroic ability to help get the job done  he rolls (14,13) +2 base + 5 Steady Aim = 21 vs 13..a lethal hit, even the Vulture high armor of 14 wont save it…7 damage kills it..dead,…take that stupid bird..

“Rangers are ordered to shoot these birds down on sight if possible”  - Done!


No active creatures on the board.


Gord  makes a double move back toward his companions after securing the treasure token

Calistra who has the best Strength Check at + 5 moves to the locked door and gives it a kick  since our thief wont make it here any time soon..(TN14)  roll (10) +5 – success! The door gives way cracks open

“As you open the door, you hear a shuffling and snarling, and suddenly a pack of ghouls rushes forth. Place one ghoul in each corner of the room. Place one treasure token in a randomly
determined corner.   + 3XP.”

Yikes 4 more snarling Ghouls and another Treasure Token!

Considering it going to take the ghouls a double move to all get to the door next turn, I have a plan and have the rest of the team move to position around the door to prepare for Ghouls as they get the doorway


The players hear a deep laugh and turn just in time to see a second ogre step
into the room. Place an ogre adjacent to the doorway opposite the heroes’
entry point

Uhhh OK, things just went FUBAR right now its 4 Ghouls + an other Ogre, I new the card was coming I was hoping it was next turn…




Blackwulf Activates Skuti and Sigurd using Group activation..

Blackwulf fires an Arrow at the Ogre wishing he saved his Steady Aim right now…he shoots (13,16)  + 2 shoot +2 Large target = 17 to 16 he just hits , the Ogre takes 5 damage is is cleary annoyed

Skuti follows suit shooting another Arrow.. (13,1) or  17 , +2 to hit +2 Large Target 17 to 1 a direct  hit Ogres another 5 damage , clearly enraged its still going to get a chance to attack..

Sigurd moves to Blackwulfs side to help bear the Charge…


All 4 ghouls immediately rush the door, fortunately there max move is 9” an none can get through the doorway to our heroes this turn.

The Ogre enraged by its wounds charges both Blackwulf and Sigurd since Sigurds health is 11 vs Blackwulf ‘s 14 he will take the brunt of the attack..but Blackwulf will be supporting.. they fight!- (10,4)  Sigurd wins the combat with 15 total! (+3 fight, +2 Support)
The Ogre takes 3 more Damage an is on its last legs with 1 health remaining


Calistra seeing Ogre is badly wounded moves to quickly finish it she attacks with Sigurd Supporting…(20,14)
Woot!  the first Critical this game..thats how you take down an Ogre it would have been a killing blow at full health with grand total being 30 vs 14…..16 damage..its head falls to the ground..

It should read 16 damage , 30 was the total fight roll with critical to calculate damage.

Thorvald sees Gord smiling and pulling the fireball orb they recovered at the Farmhouse during “the last stand”
He moves back from the door awaiting any surviving ghouls rush…


Who is coincidentally exactly 10 inches away for the perfect target point figures this type of opportunity may not come up again he pulls the Fireball orb from his vest and throws it

A figure may spend an action to throw this orb anywhere within 10”. Every figure within 2” of
the point of impact immediately suffers a +5 elemental magic shooting attack.

 All four ghouls are enveloped in the explosion..Ghouls have armor 10

(19,11) = 24 vs 11 DEAD  14 damage
(17,14)= 23 vs 14  DEAD 13 damage
(10,4)= 15 vs 4  Charred but Alive 5 damage
(15,13)=  20 vs 13..DEAD 10 damage

Brutal , would have epic to kill them all but 3.5 is awesome….



“A set of chains dangling from the ceiling suddenly lashes out and snatches one of the heroes from the floor. Select a random hero on the table. That figure must make an immediate Move Roll (TN20) or be bound in the chains.
Once bound, the figure may make one attempt each turn to make a Strength Roll (TN20) to escape. It gets +4 to this roll for every friendly figure that is adjacent. Otherwise, it remains bound until the end of the scenario. Evil
creatures ignore bound heroes. If the hero escapes the chains, or dodges it to begin with, + 4XP.”

And the unlucky victim of this chain attack is our Ranger Blackwulf he make the move roll at +6 (4)  caught by surprise he is CHAINED



Blackwulf make now try to break the chains he is adjacent to Sigurd he will group activate Sigurd and Calistra using group activation
Blackwulf +4 Strength +4 adjacent figure (TN20) Roll (12) fails is he bound for the rest of the Turn

Calistra moves to engage the ghoul, unfortunately due to her heavy armor, she needs to move twice so cannot attack
Sigurd however is exactly 6 inches from the Ghoul, he engages and attacks (15,3)  or 20 to 3 with +3 fight and +2 support..the Ghoul falls dead.

With that, the company regroup, free Blackwulf from his chains and move toward the exit which opens to the convents bleak and ominous courtyard!

Gord says “ wasn’t there another treasure box back there?” Yes there was Gord but no one could possibly reach within the turn limit so we are out luck!


Healing /Survival checks

Fortunately here no one was “knocked out of action” it was very close for Sigurd. There is no full recovery between adventures in this campaign .the text reads

"After each scenario, all the heroes that are still alive either regain 3 points of lost Health or go back up to half their starting Health, whichever leaves them with a higher total Health. Furthermore, a figure that is still
below starting Health may attempt to regain 2 Health by having another figure pass a Survival
Roll (TN12) on its behalf. A figure may either request a Survival Roll for itself or attempt one
on behalf of another figure – never both. A figure may only make one Survival Roll after each
scenario, and while a single figure can request multiple Survival Rolls, it may only ever regain
Health from one successful roll."

Sigurd- regains 3 points to reach his full health

Blackwulf will be shy 2 points , no one (except Guthrum RIP) has the Survival skill so its an unaltered roll (13). We fail so Blackwulf will start the next Scenario 2 point of Health down.


Experience points are handled differently in Burning Light you get direct XP from enemies defeated
And direct XP from events cards and notes
For this Scenario acquired.

Enemies defeated -

OGRE x 2 = 10
GHOULS x 5= 10
ZOMBIES x 3= 6

29 XP

Notes and events-

+5 messenger satchel
+3 survival check chained zombie
+8 finding golden ring
+3 opening western door
+4- escaping or dodging chains- Failed , no award +0

19 XP

Total experience 48XP


Treasure Token
(11) Herb or Potion
(16) = Cordial of Spellfire

Golden Ring

Items Used
Potion of Healing
Fireball Orb

Final Thoughts

Overall, we got off easy in this one, having the fireball orb and being able to force the ghouls to choke point to blow them up was extremely convenient, not to mention the dice were very kind
prolonged fighting with Ogres will take down characters quick as Sigurd found out , while I though at first 4 Ghouls and Ogre second to last could have went south quickly, they made it look easy good ranged attacks and a massive critical.. I highly doubt will be so lucky moving ahead.



Phil Curran said...

Well that was a very entertaining report. Brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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