Tuesday, December 30, 2014

End of year

Well, I have to say that it was a good gaming year for me. Considering my business and family obligations, much better than I expected.

Considering wargaming, during this year I definitely moved to 6mm miniatures for historic and SF and 10mm for fantasy. I think I found myself in this scale, and I will probably stay here for a while.
I also painted a lot, that can be seen from previous posts.
I played less wargames than I hoped, but I hope that this will change in 2015, mainly because now I have enough painted miniatures to do that. I also ordered "one-hour wargames" rules, and they are in the mail, expected to arrive in the first days on New Year, so this may also help me fit some miniatures in the little spare time I have.

Solo RPG-ing has seen much more action this year. I tried lots of different rule sets, with different success. Scarlet Heroes seemed to have the biggest value for the money ratio, until the D&D 5th appeared. From first impressions and previews, it seems just like the book I need.
So far I have only Player's handbook, but I had a chance to see other two.
So I decided to keep my RPG activities at stand by, until my copies of Monster manual and DM guide arrive. I per-ordered them from Wayland games in November, using free shipping coupon, since it was the cheapest option at the time. I hoped that the books will be dispatched as soon as DM Guide becomes available.
Unfortunately, the books are not shipped yet. Seems that everybody got their copies but me. Remember me never to buy anything from this vendor again. So, all I can do is wait.

And that is it for 2014.
Have a Happy New Year everybody!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Polish / French Peninsular division

I have finally finished Polish / French division for Peninsular war using Muskets and Shakos rules by 2 hour Wargames.

This gives me enough painted models to start playing proper engagements.

Here is the complete division, commanded by general Józef Chłopicki.

First foot brigade consisting of French line battalion, first Vistula Legion battalion and French light battalion.
Second infantry brigade consisting of Old guard grenadiers, Old guard chasseurs and 4th Vistula legion.
Cavalry brigade commanded by captain Andrzej Niegolewski consists of regiment of Polish guard lancers and regiment of Hussars.
Finally, two batteries of French field artillery.
This will not end my Peninsular War project, since both sides need additional infantry, cavalry and artillery units, but I now I can take time with them.

Models are mix of Baccus and Adler 6mm.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Polish NCO

The main problem I have with the two producers of 6mm napoleonic armies I use is their opinion about necessity of NCOs in the army.

While Baccus never even tried to produce NCOs, Adler is making figures armed with  halberds, claiming that NCOs armed with muskets were dressed the same way as the ordinary troopers. The problem with that claim is in the fact that during marches (and marching pose takes 80% of 6mm army), NCOs held musket under right arm, while troopers under left. This is a feature visible even in 6mm.

To overcome this problem I am usually doing conversions. The easiest way is to convert spare eagle bearer into NCO, by cutting eagle and painting remaining part of the pole as musket, with some simple bending to create bayonet.

But recently I started painting unit of Polish foot by Adler. The eagle bearer from the Polish command strip is made in a really nice and unusual pose, but this makes it impossible to convert it into NCO.

Then, I noticed drummer from the same strip. It's right hand is raised to the lips to use whistle, while his left hand rests on the drum. Right hand has some molding problem, so on all models I have there is a small gap between arm and whistle. Thanks to that, this arm can be slightly bend into lower position, good to transform it into musket holding hand.
So, I cut off the drum and whistle, changed position of the right arm and glued musket taken from ordinary trooper.

The result is quite satisfactory, especially on the tabletop.

Next picture shows original drummer and one transformed into NCO side by side.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Old guard painted

French old guard grenadiers unit painted - models by Adler Miniatures.

Now, just to add some flock.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SM screen

And so, I got tired of turning pages of several books looking for the table I need, so I decided to make a Solo Master Screen :)

I printed tables I use most often from several RPG PDFs I own like Scarlet Heroes, Ruins of the Undercity, and so on (even some from free PDFs from D&D 5th edition), and I glued them all on one peace of cardboard, added what was necessary by hand, and here it is....

Now I always have all my favorite tables in front of me, I just need to roll...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dungeons of the Undercity

Recently I purchased a solo playable setting called Ruins of the Undercity,  by Kabuki Kaiser.

It is basically set of random tables with goal to send your character(s) into dungeon crawling quest.
The book is supposed to be used with Labyrinth Lord rules, but it can be easily adjusted for everything else, so I decided to test D&D 5th with it (OK, and using LL here and there).

Therefore, I rolled a Half-elf Bard called Loneflute, with Sage - Librarian background and neutral alignment.

As soon he arrived to the city, Loneflute looked for the first entrance to the underground and went directly into dungeon.
After some wandering through empty corridors leading north and then west, bard entered a 30x30' chamber with a statue in the corner. There he was attacked by two bats. Bats were flying, so he had disadvantage against them. Finally, Loneflute killed both bats, but he lost 2 HP. On the ground, half-elf found 375 ep and a jet gem.
Bard checked the statue, but there was nothing special about it.

Room had 3 exits. One was closed by door, one was a dead end, and one was leading to a smaller chamber. 5 gibberlings were guarding the stairs down. Loneflute retreated before they could see him, avoiding the contact with the more numerous enemy.
Bard checked the corridor leading north, but it quickly ended. Furthermore, he was attacked by Rot Grub, nasty little parasite that enters a living body and kills the host if the bite location is not immediately treated by fire. Loneflute performs the treatment and loses 5HP in the process. So, he takes a short rest to heal rolling his HD, and restores to full health.
Then, the bard goes to check the corridor leading east into T shape. But T shape had dead end to the north and a door to the south, so my hero decided to return to the city, take prolonged rest and maybe hire some henchmen, considering the fact that these dungeons are dense populated even so close to the surface.

As first impression, Ruins of the Undercity is a product full of tables. Some are really useful, and some just add flavor, and can be omitted during solo play. Once you learn which table to roll on, and which to skip, using this tool can be quick and really fun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Carnage time

Some 3 years ago, inspired by this blog post, I purchased a PDF of the game 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars.
I printed the game immediately, but I never got to read it.
Recently, for the reasons unknown I remembered about it's existence, so I started digging through my paper mountain until finally I emerged with the book in my hand. 

3:16 walks the uncharted territory between RPG, wargame and boardgame. The play is  highly narrative, but at the same time it depends 90% on combat, since there are no dice rolls when you are out of danger zone.
Game can also be easily adjusted for solo play, and it's re-playability is high thanks to combinations of several factors like Alien Activity level, planet type, alien type and alien special characteristic.

I decided to test the game playing 3 soldiers: Sargent Grim Reaper (fighting ability 3, Non-fighting ability 7), Corporal Joe (FA 7, NFA 3) and trooper Kid (FA 5, NFA 5).

Mission briefing: Team will be deployed on second planet in the Caravaggio system with goal to check if the planet can be cleansed from the ground. Caravaggio 2 is a high humidity planet. All lend on the planet is covered with water at least 1 meter high and that is on surfaces that can be called "land masses". All that water is  affecting soldiers equipment (house rule - at the beginning of each encounter, roll d6 for each soldier. In case of 1, tick armor box, if not already ticked. If already ticked, reduce effectiveness of one weapon of your choice by one step in one range). Planet is populated by artificial life forms (small intelligent steam ships floating on the surface of the planet, called Steamers by Tera Soldiers) with Alien Activity level 6. Ships have no reproductive system, but they can repair their fallen comrades, so order is to make every kill destructive one, beyond repairmen possibility. Considering this, Steamers care for every unit they have, and they will most likely run instead of fight (Flee special ability -  after aliens attack, ALL soldiers move one range further from them. This is automatic ability, not powered by threat token. Also, I will introduce house rule - in case aliens are to act first, they will not attack, but first cancel all remaining successes and then move all soldiers by one range back. If during domination phase aliens are to set range, they will always select far).

The first mission was really interesting one, with lots of tactical movement.
On first encounter Sargent Grim landed his squad close to the alien nest with 3 threat tokens, but all soldiers failed to activate, so Steamers managed to score a kill on everybody and than run away into near zone. Corporal Joe then fires from his Heavy machine gun, removing one threat token and killing 11 Steamers. He also moves closer to aliens. Steamers act next, score a kill on Grim and Kid, and run away. Grim and Kid are now crippled in far zone and Joe is a mess in near zone.
In next combat round, aliens are to act first, so they cancel all successes. They just run away, out of range for Grim and Kid. Finally, aliens score one more kill on Joe, who also becomes crippled, and then run away out of his range also. Troopers find themselves alone and unchallenged, so they use they time to heal. They are all mess now. 14 TT remain on the planet.

Second encounter - 4TT, no water influence. Joe wins dominance test and sets range to Close.
After some dancing, 3 TT are removed, with Joe scoring 6 and Grim 7 kills. All soldiers were crippled again, when Steamers managed to run away. 11 TT remain. All troopers heal into mess.

Encounter 3 - 5 TT. Water starts influencing the equipment, so both Grim and Joe are forced to tick the armor box. Grim wins dominance test, and he decides not to risk. Grim uses his strength flashback - like fish in the water. Making his way through all that water, he remembered how he liked to be wet on Terra, when he was walking through the rain. Only thing he missed now was a sign of the rain beating on the windows - tap, tap, tap... So he started shooting his pistol to simulate the sound... .And in the process he removed all 5 TT (but killed only 4 Steamers). Prolonged rest made all troopers healthy again. Grim will be eligible for promotion if he survives:

Final encounter - 6TT.  Grim's side arm jammed, so he will be able to kill just 1 alien with it in near range. Joe wins the dominance test and sets range to close.
Kid scores his first kill in the mission. Joe also removes one TT (1 kill for each of them). Grim takes a kill and becomes a mess. Range changed to near.
In next combat round everybody succeed.  Joe remove TT and scores 9 kills. Than he moves forward into close range. Aliens and Kid act at the same time. Kid removes TT (6 kills). All move one range to the back. Grim removes TT (5 kills). Just one TT remains.
In next combat round, Aliens and Joe are to act first at the same time. If this would happen, Grim would take a kill and die, so he decides to use Weakness - fear of fair fight. When last Steamer moved towards him, Grim remembered that he was always beaten in one on one combat during military training. So, instead to engage alien, he ducked under water. Steamer passed over his head and was soon lost in the dense planet vegetation. In this way, Grim removed last Threat token on the planet, and will get a medal for it, but everybody have seen that he did not killed the last alien, but he let it get away. this will spoil his relationship with the troopers.

According to the report from this scouting mission, higher command decided that conditions on the planet do not favor land invasion, so the system was destroyed using Starkiller.
Grim failed his promotion roll, so was called for demotion by Kid, but there was nothing Kid could offer the military court as prove that Sargent chickened. Joe and Grim leveled up, and Kid got Power Claw directly from Captain, partially in order to protect himself from angry Grim.

To be continued....

Monday, November 3, 2014

Scouting the Village

I finally have enough painted 6mm Napoleonic miniatures to go on the proper scouting encounter using Muskets and Shakos rules by 2 Hour Wargames.

Captain Andrzej Niegolewski from Polish Lancers had orders to scout a small village in northern Spain. He took with him two cavalry regiments, his Polish Lancers and some French Hussars, both Rep 5.

Also, General Chłopicki offered him use of one foot artillery brigade Rep 4 (one section of howitzers and 3 sections of guns).
Poles arrived in the area in the early morning. Heavy fog was covering the countryside, but as they approached, fog lifted giving them good view at the village (weather condition, but lifting on first doubles, and that turned to be on very first activation roll).

Niegolewski sent forward one section from both cavalry regiments, to check out welcoming comity.
Two PEFs were resolved. Lancers encountered  Highlander Rep 5 infantry battalion stationed between buildings.
Hussars noticed Rep 4 British line infantry battalion in defensive position - inside one of the village houses. British had 6 skirmishers guarding the parameter outside.
Since they were just scouting, lancers decided not to engage the enemy. The forward section returned and formed line with the main body, protecting right flank of the guns.

Guns unlimbered and started firing. Howitzers missed skirmishers, but two of them got scared by explosion and left the battlefield. Remaining guns fired at the house, scoring one hit.

The main body of hussars fast moved towards the hill on the left, with goal to scout area behind buildings from elevated position.

On British turn, Highlanders moved into Big building, and started shooting at unlimbered guns. They scored one hit, and than guns received another hit and Silenced result due to the Receive fire test.
In next activation guns limbered and moved out of the Highlanders fire range. Hussars moved up hill, but could not reach required position.
Hussars are finally able to scout section 3. The last PEF turns out to be unit of 6 independent skirmishers from 95th Rifles Rep 5.
Mission accomplished, time to go home.
But British had something else in mind. They received reinforcements. Unit of Spanish guerrillas, accompanied by brigadier and a section of guns appeared on the worst possible place AGAIN.

Niegolewski knew that he can do little to help the hussars, so his lancers retreated from the table to report to superiors. Artillery also limbered and fast moved out, through my own board edge.
Separated section of the hussars changed facing and charged guerrillas, but charge failed, and section suffered 3 hits as result of guerrilla muskets (and all tests).
Main hussar body could not reach 2 inch from enemy, so they just moved.

British rifles were in range, so they started wounding my hussars. Luckily, officer was unharmed.
Guerrilla took their time to reload, and this was good news for my hussar section. Gun fired, but missed, and hussars passed Receive fire test with flying colors.
This allowed my bigger cavalry unit to flank guerrillas. Spaniards got afraid, so they run away, taking brigadier with them. Seeing the leader running, gun section also decided to retreat.

So, hussars reformed into one unit, and fast moved out of the reach of menacing rifles, and then out of the table through southern edge.
At the end, scouting was successful. My losses counted for 3 hussars dead and 2 wounded, and one dead and one wounded gunner.
I managed to accomplish my objective and to frighten British and their allays, although they walked away without bloodied nose this time.
Full scale attack of my troops is in order, but for that more preparation is needed (I have to paint at least one more French infantry brigade).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mobile infantry

Recently I was reading again Heinlein's Starship Troopers, so I got urge to go for some bug hunting. 
For this, I used 5150: Battalion Commander by Two Hours Wargames.

Battalion level games are the point where, in my opinion, 2HW games really shine, and therefore 5150: Battalion Commander, Warrior Heroes: Warbands and especially Muskets and Shakos are my favorite titles from this publisher.

At first, I wanted to drop one platoon of mobile infantry (ISS) on the bug controlled planet, on the patrol mission. I had one Rep 4 (blue) one Rep 5 (yellow) and one Rep 6 (red) squads, Rep 4 Rocket launcher and Rep 5 Plasma Gun. Platoon leader was a Rep 4 rookie.

Bug controlled planet with activity level 5 made chaos from the very start, as I was immediately faced with opposition that outnumbered my forces six times. So, I decided to pull back and try again, this time on human controlled planet.
 Too many of them - pull back!

I used the same set-up, but with Bugs activity level 3 and things looked much better. First PEF resolved as Something out there, and second into Bug hole, with forces equal to my on. The In Sight started, and all units moved, since the bugs were out of range.
 I rearranged my troops to better receive first wave of bugs.
One bug unit charged blue squad and send it on Spiral of Death until remaining soldiers left the battlefield.
I missed one In Sight here, since when the blue squad was destroyed line of sight opened between command stand and bugs. But I noticed this too late.
Than, low scoring doubles were rolled for activation two times,generating two new PEFs. Bugs are moving into offensive...
Bugs are finally in range, and human firepower starts counting, destroying one unit of bugs.
But that is where everything went downhill.
Unit of bugs charged the red squad. Just one bug reached melee, but it passed Crisis test with 2d6 and than send complete Rep 6 squad down the Spiral of Death until I finally rolled 6 and allowed surviving soldiers to leave the battlefield.
Also, new Bug hole opened just south of the forest, with lots of warriors pouring out and killing command stand.
With two more PEFs unresolved, Blue Squad and support weapon teams decided that they have had enough, and retreated from the battlefield. Next, Defend mission is in order....

So, what have I learned from this game:
1. Remember In Sight checks!
2. Bugs are terribly dangerous, even single bug can eliminate previously unscratched elite unit. They should not be confronted directly. Some other tactics is in order, maybe decoy unit to move them around table, while other squads pick bug by bug with firepower....
3. Command squad should not be in the open. And if it comes in the open, it should duck back as soon as possible..

Let see if I can implement this in practice in my next game....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dancing WIth Wolves part 4

It's been 4 years since I started a RuneQuest 2 Chaosium campaign Dancing with the Wolves. Than, last year, I decided to return to it, and I played first part of 9Qs adventure, but I stopped at the cliffhanger.
Here is the previous part of the campaign.
I really needed a push to go on with it,  and the push came in the form of the other campaign, one played by alea iactanda est.

So, I continue with the Q3. The previous plot stopped at the moment when one of my two PCs, a female character called Tigerina, gets affected by unknown madness striking only women, and attacks my other character, young barbarian Dragonfly.

Be the player next: Tigerina fights with the dagger, while Dragonfly tries to grasp her and tie her with a rope.

After lots of misses, Dragonfly finally - fumbles, and cuts his right hand on Tigerina's dagger, rendering his right hand useless. Dragonfly keeps missing, while Tigerina in her madness starts hitting, wounding his head, abdomen, and finally incapacitating barbarian's left hand. Dancing around to avoid the dagger of his mad friend, Dragonfly finally manages to land successful kick and brake Tigerina's leg.

While she was still crawling towards him trying to attack, Dragonfly was able to avoid her and to kick her in the head, rendering Tigerina unconscious. Then, he tied her up, bandaged his wounds the best he could and then dragged his mad friend back to the nearby village.

To avoid spreading of the madness to female population of the village, pair settled in the woodcutter hut in the forest. There, Dragonfly brought a male animal doctor from the village to heal his wounds and to fix Tigerina's leg.

While recovering, Dragonfly meditated on his adventures. He didn't learned anything from last dagger fight (needed 77, rolled 83) but he learned something from trying to grapple Tigerina (Needed 82, rolled 62, unarmed combat increased to 35%)

Be the GM once more: Break + Cube. As soon as her leg got better, Tigerina managed to untie her ropes and escape the hut.

Q4. How can the fight be brought to the enemy, gaining ground for the heroic motivation?
Be the player first: Dragonfly tried to follow Tigerina, but could not detect the direction she took from the hut (needed 15, rolled 54).
Therefore, he decided to return to the meteor stone area. Once he entered the land where the stone supposedly landed, he noticed it immediately (needed 10, rolled 6!).
So Dragonfly set in the grass and waited for dusk.

Be the GM next: Sun shining on something + Book. As the setting sun touched the stone, it started radiating some letters, as if the stone was actually some kind of book. It seems that Tigerina was right, and that stone was a vessel transferring knowledge. If only she was here...

Be the PC once more: Can Dragonfly read the words on the stone? No. Can he remember them in order to show them later to some Lhankor Mhy priest? No.
Dragonfly will have to find Tigerina, cure her and bring her here to decipher the text on the stone. And if that turns out to be impossible, he will have to find her master and bring him to this place.

To be continued.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Burn the hall

2 Hour Wargames recently released book Warrior Heroes - Warbands, dealing with small military operations in fantasy world.

At the end of the book, there is an option to play the game on one to one scale using simplified rules.

So, until I paint enough miniatures to play it properly, I decided to start learning the game through skirmish scenario The Hall Burning presented in the rules.

Here is my team: Orc warlord AGuGu (Rep 5) and two of his clansmen (Rep 4).
Orcs are attacking the great hall Located at section 3. There are 3 PEFs in the open (2 in section 1 and 1 in section 3), representing sentries, and 3 more in the hall, representing inhabitants.They will come out once the alarm is sounded.

The game is played by moonless night, so visibility is limited to 3+d6=9".

Turns 1 to 3: My Orcs started advancing through the woods. First PEF resolved as "something out there". As they moved towards the hall, second PEF approached and resolved into 4 enemies: Rep 5 Ranger, Rep 4 dwarf warrior and two Rep 4 archers. Alarm is sounded!
Turn 4: Ranger and dwarf charged AGuGu and were locked in melee, while archers moved into range. Orc clansmen are in good position to flank ranger, just if they could activate...
Turn 5:
Activation roll: Orcs 5, woodsmen 3, so no activation for clansmen.
While they were indecisive if they should attack ranger or archers, ranger and dwarf killed orc chieftain. Both clansmen pass Leader lost test.
But it is time for archers to shoot, and one orc routs.
One PEF from hall approaches, but it is resolved as case of nerves.

Turn 6:
Activation roll: Orc 1, woodsmen 3. Ranger and dwarf charge remaining orc and kill him.
Game over.

It was a fun game, but rules are written for bodies of troops not one on one skirmishers, and this is visible. For this scale, In Sight test was missed the most.

So, I am preparing the warbands for a regular game, and I think these rules will really shine than.

Here are the seeds from which my future armies will rise:
 Beginning of Orc warbands

 Future Woodsmen warbands

All models are in 10mm scale, produced by Copplestone Castings.

Monday, October 13, 2014

British Heavy Cavalry Brigade

Well, here is another British unit I painted in 6mm scale.

This time, I present to you Sir Henry Fane commanding heavy cavalry brigade consisting of two regiments: 4th Queen's Own Dragoons and Royal Horse Guards (popular The Blues).

 Two photographs, neither one is perfect.... First gives you better look at the troopers, second on the officers.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oolong Yard Sale - Oolong the Scarlet Hero, part 3.2 and final for now

Continued from here.

1. Hit Big
2. Bombard Rats

3. Cut Magnet
4. Puzzle Lighting
5. Old Key
6. Push Suspects
7. Big Present

Scene 3.
Seed: Push Suspects. Danger level 1.

Oolong spend a week stalking house Souchong until she finally noticed old Lord leaving house with some books. He is probably going to the library! 
Oolong took out the eagle feather she purchased at the end of part 2. Holding the feather, she swallowed the Potion of Bestial Form and turned into eagle.
As a bird, she followed Lord Socuchong until he led her to the library gates.

Story probe: Is this some kind of central Library where all librarians meet?
No. Something else: Big Flute. This is a secret library only for informed. To enter, you have to whistle a secret melody. Oolong remembered the notes.

Big question answered: WHERE - Oolong now knows the location of the secret library and HOW to get in there. But does the Librarian she is looking for ever coming to this place?  - unreliable.

Scene 4.
Seed: Old Key. Danger level 1.

Oolong had no better idea than to enter the Library. First she spent some time looking at the doors. By the number of people coming in and out, she deducted that no one will find her suspicious inside. Once inside, she could see books everywhere. There was no reception desk. All patrons seem to know what they want and where are they going, so there was no help inside.
She tried to find some books about teas (intelligence test + 1 for scholar trait) but failed.
She looked for some information board, but there was none.   Finally she decided to put note on the exit door: "Owner of the Book of Teas from Earl Grey, please contact me at the hairdresser shop in the first district."
Than she left the Library.
Oolong waited for several days.
Story probe: Did the note provoked any reaction?
No. It is a dead end.

Scene 5.
Seed: Cut Magnet. Danger level 2 since Oolong had a big failure in the last scene.

Oolong has had enough. She was sick of the Capital, and all she wanted was to go back home. So, she decided to stop looking for Librarian and sell the books at the first available place. That might be an antiquity shop just around the corner.
Story probe: Is the owner of the store interested in the books?
YES! ALL big questions answered - Oolonog will sell Books NOW in ANTIQUITY SHOP.

Scene 6 (Fight back)
Seed: Puzzle lighting. DL 2.

Oolong explained shop owner that she is dungeon explorer, and that if he ever need something from some dungeon  he can call on her. Considering future cooperation, he should give good price for the books. (charisma test + dungeon explorer trait, success). Shopkeeper noticed that she is an experienced dungeon rider, so he agreed.

Scene 7 (fight back)
Seed: Big Present. DL 1.

Oolong also told shopkeeper about Librarian, and that if he can find him he can make good interest (failed charisma test), but shopkeeper was not interested in previous owners of the books, He will sell them the way it suits him. DL stays at 1.


OK, lets talk price. Oolong asked for a greater magic item for the books, but that offer made shopkeeper laugh. How about lesser magic item?
"I am no magician or alchemist" the shopkeeper replied. "I can only offer some gold. How about... (d6*500) 3000 gp?"

"Whatever" replied Oolong, took money, left the antiquity shop and hurried to the city gate. She didn't want to stay at the Capital one second longer.....


So, Perilous Interactions produced for me a fun game. This adventure was more on the realistic side, considering that finding a person in the capital with no idea where to look really is impossible task, even in the fantasy world. 
The problem I had with the PI can be found in Story Probe mechanism. If you roll too much NOs (like in this case, and considering statistics with average luck on die rolls of average gamer this is the most likely outcome) it can lead you to the dead end and you can get stacked. 

After this, Oolong will take some time off. I need a change of pace, so some wargaming is in order, and than I would like to continue my long abandoned Runequest campaign...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rats in the Basement - Oolong the Scarlet Hero part 3.1.

Continuing form here...

Being a solo RPG player has its advantages... Among others is the possibility to try new tools of the trade. So, it is now time to playtest Perilous Interactions system by Rory Bracebuckle.

In PI, first thing you do is to determine a number of random Seeds, that will lead you through adventure. Using Rory's Story Cubes, I got following:
1. Hit Big
2. Bombard Rats
3. Cut Magnet
4. Puzzle Lighting
5. Old Key
6. Push Suspects
7. Big Present

Scene 1.
Seed: Hit big. Danger Level -1 (Advantaged).

Upon entering the Capital, the sheer size of the City overwhelmed Oolong. She was welcomed by Long Jing and (now his) porcelain servitor, so she had a place to stay, but she had no contacts, and no idea where to start looking for a Librarian.

Story probe: Long Jing opened hairdresser shop in the Capital. Is there someone among his customers who might know Librarian?  
No. Something else - RSC: Egg. In the hairdressers workshop Oolong met a cook working in one of the city noble houses, who is looking for a hero.

Big question answered: HOW - Oolong can find librarian by working for the servants of the noble houses - unreliable.

Scene 2.
Seed: Bombard Rats. Danger level 0 (At Odds).

A cook from a noble house of Lapsang Souchong admitted Oolong that he is afraid to go to the house cellar. All he needs is located in the first few rooms of the cellar, but there are many rooms in it, and when a cook is alone there, he can hear strange noises from the depths. What if his master ever sends him deeper for something? Cook knows that the noise is probably made by ordinary rats, but he wants Oolong to investigate.

Cellar has two levels, first of which has 9 rooms.
First two rooms were empty. In room 3 Oolong encountered more house servants. They were informed about her arrival. But none of them knew nothing about noises coming from room located deeper, or they were not willing to tell (failed charisma test). But than, Oolong saw someone signaling her from the side room (room 7). It was another servant, and he was ready to open his soul (this time charisma test was successful). (RSC: Eye + Heart) He tells that he recently met Lady Souchong here in the basement. The strange thing is that the lady was already dead for several years. The Lord was very much in love with her, so maybe... Servant dared not say anything more.
Rooms 4 and 6 were empty. Room 8 was locked. Is it some kind of prison - Yes and - it is protected by mighty magic wards. By peaking through the bars, Oolong noticed a beautiful lady standing inside. Woman seemed motionless, as in some kind of trance. Oolong recognised the creature immediately - it was a Leaping Vampire that used to be Lady Souchong.
Oolong just shrugged her shoulders and moved on. Vampire was not a threat for a cook, and she was here to find librarian, not to intervene in the strange love life of the rich....
Room 9 was empty except from some bottles of wine, so Oolong continued to room 5 and took a stairs to the lower level.
There, a narrow corridor took her to the opening of the big cave. Inside, she saw a huge winged demon (10 HD monster, RSC described it as Craw + Demon)! Oolong had enough. If Lord Souchong can have a vampire lover and a demon guardian, he must be a really powerful Blood Mage. And Oolong knew better than to mingle with plans of their kind. As she already noticed to herself, she did not come here to save the world.
So, she left the cellar (snatching on the way a bottle of good wine, no one will notice it anyway), and returned to the cook. She told him that he should stick to first few rooms, and that no one would send him deeper anyway. Finally, if he is so afraid, maybe he should think about changing employer...

And speaking about employers....
Story probe: Did master of the house recently hired new librarian?  
No. Something else - RSC: Safe + Question mark. Lord Souchong recently moved all his books to some unknown safe place....

Big question answered: WHERE - Maybe Oolong can find librarian in the location where Lord Souchong moved his books - unreliable.

To be continued....

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kill the Bug - Oolong the Scarlet Hero intermezzo

Continued form here.

This is just a small adventure to connect the loose threads.

After leaving town of Earl Grey, Oolong entered wildernesses and approached a lair of the giant bug that is needed as ingredient to wizard Darjeeling.

Oolong tied Guan Yin a little bit further from the bug's lair, and then she approached the giant insect.

Potions are really powerful in Scarlet Heroes, and I decided to use two - Invisibility in order to make surprise attack and Furious Might to further increase our hero fighting ability. It was enough to kill monster with first attack.

So, Oolong put bug's carcase on the donkey and went to see the wizard.

Darjeeling was very happy to see his ingredient ready to be used. So, he teaches Oolong some magic tricks, enough for her to become level 0 Magic User. Now, our hero can use d4 fray die against all opponents, and she will be able to use wands or scrolls should she encounters them. So far, she knows no spells, and has no spell slots, she needs to become at least level 1 magic user for that.

Oolong also took the occasion to ask Darjeeling about his Porcelain servitor. He said that he could not care less about the golem, but asked Oolong to keep it as far away from his cage if possible, because stupid thing talks too much. Oolong made the magician very happy when she explained that the servitor already left for the big city with Long Jing, the hairdresser.

Finishing with the job that was burdening her a little, Oolong earned one more experience point.

And now, off to Capital, where she will encounter some Perilous Interactions.....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Birthday Present

The person I am familiar with, the "well known solo RPG blogger" just turned 40 today.

So few days ago I decided to threat him with a book.

And the package from BookDepository arrived today, just on time.

Now all he needs is to wait for Dungen Master's Guide to be publish in December and he will be able to solo 5th edition D&D :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Parates Attack - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 2.3

Continued from previous post.

Discussing solo RPG games, Leo Tolstoy once said: Successful scenes are all alike; every failed scene  fails in its own way. It seems that Scarlet Heroes system follows this principle... 

All that I need to finish current adventure is one successful conflict scene. When playing Scarlet Heroes urban adventures, successful conflict scenes give 1VP to hero while removing 1VP from antagonist.

So, I rolled against conflict scenes table, and I got following set up: Outmaneuver a local official suborned or bribed by the foe. Roll a die; on odd result add 1 Heat to the community (Heat is a measurement of pressure community puts on the hero. After each adventure player rolls d10. If the result is equal or lower than current Heat, hero needs to face the consequences community puts on her or to play adventure dedicated to lowering Heat). I rolled 4, so Oolong earned her first heat point in Earl Grey.

Oolong started building barricades in the town as defensive outposts against incoming pirates. But she soon realized that there is not enough material available. So, she approached one of the nearby villa's determined to "borrow" some furniture for there. On the gate, she was greeted by a local aristocrat, surrounded with six body guards. 
Oolong explained her needs to him, but he just laughed at her and refused to give any of his hard earned possessions (failed charisma test). But Oolong was not going to give up that easily, so she attacked aristocrat, determined to take what she needs by force, if necessary (This counts as unnecessary use of force. It adds another heat point to the community, but if Oolong wins the fight, scene will count as successful). Our hero managed to drop two of the bodyguard thugs to the ground, but the rest ganged on her, and she barely escaped with her life (with just one health point left). 

The scene was failure, so Pirates are gaining 1 VP. Oolong also had to rest to regain strength,  so another VP for pirates is in order. Luckily, after conflict scenes player do not roll for antagonist VP, so the current result is 9:9. The last conflict scene will determine the winner of the adventure.

One more roll against conflict scenes table defines the setup as: Sabotage the foe's possession important to the plot. Roll a die; on an odd result face a fight as well as the check. I rolled 5, so no prearranged fight. 

Oolong was informed that pirates made a machine producing smoke, that will hide them from town archers once they attack. So, she sneaked behind enemy lines (dexterity test), damaged the machine (intelligence test) and sneaked back into town (dexterity again).

So this is it. 10:8 for Oolong. Reaching 10 VP triggers final action scene that will end the adventure.

Pirates are attacking. Standing in the middle of the street, shoulder to shoulder with other defenders, Oolong is fighting to survive the waves of attackers. 
She needs to survive d6+5=7 combat rounds before pirate attack is broken by the main force of defenders. And.. She managed to stay on her feet for 3 rounds..... So, pirates are awarded with another VP and final result is 10:9 for our hero. It is minor victory.

Oolong wake up in the hospital, among all others wounded during the attack (In Scarlet Heroes, city encounters are described as never lethal, since wounded characters are usually healed by the city healers before they can bleed to death, so they are able to continue. If such thing would happen in the dungeon or in the wilderness, it will be the end of the campaign...).

Pirates are defeated for the moment, and they will not pose immediate threat, but they leader was not captured, and there is a serious possibility that the town of Earl Grey will not be really safe from similar attacks in the future. 

But in the moment, town is open again, and Oolong is free to leave, and that is what is currently important to her. So, she waited for her wounds to heal, and then used some of her hard earned money to better equip herself. 
She first visited Pai Mu Tan the alchemist, and purchased some potions from him - one more potion of Invisibility, one potion of Furious might and one Antidote, all for 15000 gp. She honestly expected some discount due to her activities in the recent events, but was not given.
She also purchased some eagle feather amulet, and a donkey named Guan Yin.
Than she wished the town of Earl Grey farewell, and left into wilderness. 

Some thoughts on Scarlet heroes urban adventures: Victory points system is really interesting, and makes for a tense game. The problem of this system is with the proposed scenes. System is not really storytelling oriented, so often it feels too mechanical, like - do a test to earn a clue, without even trying to explain how does the test fits into the story, or what is the clue you earned. But all in all, this is a good system.

To be continued.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Long Jing, the Hairdresser - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 2.2.

Continuing from previous post.

As pirates close the circle around the town of Earl Grey, Oolong continues with her investigation. She decided to bribe the guards at the town gate, to tell her the name of the person who is the most insisting to be let out of the town.
After slipping d6*100=200 gp. in guards pocket she gets the name (RSC: sheep + mirror): it is Long Jing, the local hairdresser.

Oolong succeeded in the scene, so she is awarded with one clue and 1 VP. After each investigation or action scene, player roll d10. If the number rolled is lower then number of such scenes, enemy also receives victory point. This is fifth such scene, and I rolled 4, so current result is 4:5 for pirates.

Oolong continues to dig following the received lead. She pulled some of her rogue contacts to find out why is it that Long Jing wants out so desperately (Charisma test, needed 10, rolled 11, success. RSC: Giant + Snail). It seems that hairdresser crossed captain of pirates, and that if the city fails Long Jing will have some hard time under the conquerors. If Oolong can move Long Jing to safety, it might prolong invasion....

Another clue and another victory point for Oolong. Roll of 7 on d10 keeps the enemy at bay, so the result is 5:5.

Will Pai Mu Tan the alchemist allow Oolong to take Long Jing out of town through sewers? Yes but .... RSC: Cage + City he wants sewer exit destroyed once the hairdresser leaves them and Oolong returns to the town. Pai Mu Tan gives our hero some explosive charges to perform this task.

So, it is time for some action (one clue used). Oolong visited Long Jing and offered him to take him out of the town, which hairdresser gladly accepted. Oolong purchased leather armor and a rapier for his companion, and they descended into the sewers.

(Long Jing is 4HD, AC7, +1 to hit, d6 damage character. Sewers are played as d10+5=11 room dungeon).

Rooms 1 to 3 were empty. Room 4 hosted dangerous intruder, religious in nature - Red Apostle!
(Red Apostle is the most dangerous Red Tide Spawn. It is intelligent 6HD creature, with AC2 - so Oolong hits it on 14+ and Long Jing on 17+ on D20, and two attacks with +6 to hit - hits on 7+. The only good thing is that each attack does only 1d4 of damage. But that is not all: creature has flame attack that hits both my characters. Oolong needs 9+ and Long Jing 8+ on 2d8 to save, or they suffer 1d12 damage).

Initiative: Oolong, Long Jing, Red Apostle. So, if it does any good, my heroes will strike first.

Round 1: Oolong hits for 2HD! Good start, 4 more to go. Long Jing misses, Red Apostle hits but rolls snake eyes on damage, so no effect. Hairdresser fails save against fire and loses 1HD (3 left).
Round 2: Oolong hits for 1HD (3 to go). Long Jing misses, Red Apostle hits Oolong for 2 points (5 left)
Round 3: Oolong misses, but Long Jing hits for 1HD (2). Red Apostle misses on attack, but Oolong takes 2 damage from fire (3 left)
Round 4: Oolong uses wizard's staff to retreat and bind wounds. NPCs recover 1HD each - new situation Oolong 5, Long Jing 4, Red Apostle 3. 
Round 5: Oolong hits for 2HD (1). Hairdresser misses. Oolong takes 1 damage from Red Apostle's attack and 1 from fire (3).
Round 6: Oolong hits for 1HD and kills Red Apostle!
Well if this is not +1 experience point, than I do not know what is :)

Oolong binds her wounds, and returns to 5 health points.
After searching Red Apostle's body, big treasure was found. Oolong and Long Jing decided to split it more or less equally. So, Oolong part consisted of 1500gp, 2 pcs. of precious jewelry and 3 pcs. of precious gems. 2 priceless gems were given to Long Jing, but Oolong took Potion of Resistance.

Room 5 was empty. Room 6 contained something stolen by inhabitants of the dungeon that holds unpleasant truth about NPC - Darjeeling the wizard. (RSC: Talking + Pawn) It is porcelain servitor that used to belong to our old acquaintance! Oolong convinced the golem to join the party. It will keep talking through the  rest of the dungeon, but will not say anything of interest, trust me on this.

Room 7 was full of poisonous bugs! Porcelain servitor is immune to them, but both Oolong and Long Jing failed their saves vs. poison. Oolong used her Defy Death ability on 3d8, and lost 3 health points (2 left).Than, Oolong applied Green Powder on Long Jing and saved him from death.

Room 8 was empty. In room 9 Oolong found a book, relic of the local aristocrats. RSC: Monkey + footsteps. It is "Book of Teas volume 2, Monkey picked leafs".... Seams that Librarian left in the hurry, leaving one of it's most prized possessions behind... Well, Oolong has plans to visit him in the Capital anyway....

Rooms 10 and 11 were empty. Oolong directed Long Jing towards the Capital and wished him goodbye. Porcelain servitor was sent to follow hairdresser for now. As she watched them walking away, Oolong said: "See you both soon in the Capital".

Successful action scene, so +2 VP for Oolong. Roll of 8 on d10 keeps pirates in peace, so Oolong takes a lead for the first time 7:5.

But action continues, and Oolong uses second clue to set up explosives. She takes intelligence test to do it right, and succeeds. Then, she needs dexterity test helped by Long distance runner trait to outrun the blast, and it is another success.
Before she can return to the town she needs to pass through the bugs room again. Dexterity test helped with Perfect Balance trait also succeeds, so she emerges from the sewers victorious.

+2VP for Oolong. But now she needs to rest to recover to full strength, and that automatically gives 1VP to pirates. Also, low roll on d10 test gives pirates another VP. Current result is 9:7 for our hero.

To be continued.....

Monday, September 8, 2014

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.... Oolong the Scarlet Hero Adventure 2 Part 1

After getting out of the dungeon, I just wanted to go to the town, sell the acquired book and let Oolong live happily ever after...
But nooo, I had to try Aladdin Technique once more....

So, after some Rory story cube rolling, I got the following set-up:
Upon returning to her home town of Earl Grey - small border settlement on the coast that serves as a prison colony, Oolong finds that librarian that send her on the quest suddenly moved to the (RSC: crown) Capital. Furthermore, (RSC: Microscope + safe) Oolong is forbidden to leave the town, and wherever she moves she notices some shady figures behind her, so she is aware that she is constantly followed....

Damn you John Fiore for inventing things that are making us play more than we originally planed! :)

OK, so the urban adventures in Scarlet Heroes are played differently. Through series of scenes,  PC and antagonist (that might be unknown at the beginning) collect victory points in different ways. The first to reach 10 points wins the adventure. So, lets start.

Oolong decided to turn tables on her followers. She managed to lose her tail, but when she tried to follow her pursuer to find out his intentions, he, being a seasoned veteran of many campaigns, was waiting for her behind the corner. Fight occurred, and Oolong was victorious, rendering veteran unconscious. She searched her fallen opponent but found nothing interesting. Than, she just waited for veteran to wake up, and simply asked him what is going on.
Successful charisma test later, veteran had nothing against explaining the situation  (RSC: Jolly Roger + Song).
And that's how Oolong learned that famous pirate captain will attack the city of Earl Grey in order to release some of his crew members serving time in the local prison.
Upon receiving this information, all free citizens that could, moved to the Capital (librarian among them). Thus, authorities closed the town forcing people to fight instead of running away. Also, pirates already keep parts of town under control, so all who enter the town are followed until it is proved that they are not pirate spies.
Oolong lets the veteran go, and he assures her that she will no longer be followed.

After all this, result is 2:1 for pirate antagonists.

The most important person left in the town and the leader of citizen militia seems to be the town alchemist. Oolong goes to him and asks how to help. (RSC: Flower, Dead body) Alchemist sends Oolong to the gallows field, to pick some mandrake roots necessary for the potions.
Played like 4 room dungeon: In cementary garden, Oolong encountered some escaped prisoners trying to enforce some money from the locals. Our hero quickly sends them running. In cementary, she encounters two ghouls and kills them without problem. 4 more ghouls were feasting on recently dead in burial shrine. Oolong had some problems dispatching them (she failed saving throw and was paralyzed, had to use Defying Death to release herself), but finally she managed to clean the shrine from the undead. Finally under the gallows, Oolong meets seven pirates already picking mandrake. She runs into the fight, but they beat her heavily. Oolong is left for dead on the gallows field. Later that day, she wakes up with one health point. There is no Mandrake roots left. Lots of victory points for pirates.
Oolong rested, and than started for the part of town controlled by pirates to steal some mandrake roots. She manages to sneak in and loot the herbs, but on her way back she is surprised by the pirate sentries. Oolong tries to outrun them but fails, and again has to call Defy Death rule for help. Therefore, she manages to get away, and returns to the alchemist with requested plants, but again reduced to one health point. More resting for our girl.

The next task for Oolong was to investigate disappearance of some messengers who vanished from the streets of the Earl Gray. While investigating, she stumbled on a group of 6 pirate soldiers. Short fight later, the treat was eliminated. Finally some victory points for Oolong.

Total result is now 4:3 for pirates.

To be continued.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

When will this dungeon end? - Oolong the Scarlet Hero part 6

Continuing story from here.

Upon descending down the stairs, Oolong noticed a tunnel leading north-east to the next cave. The cave was empty, except for the long extinguished remains of the camp fire in the middle of it. The only exit from the cave was west, into more twisted tunnels. Upon walking through them, Oolong found herself where she started. The tunnel closed into itself.
Knowing from the wizard's story that the dungeon is bigger than this, she decided to look for the secret door. Then she had an idea. She returned to the camp fire and checked the footprints around it. Yes, there were some, but they were going into the tunnels, where they were erased just a minutes ago, when Oolong walked over them. Tough lack, but a least Oolong knew approximate location of that door.

Successful check later, Oolong opened secret passage into the altar room dedicated to the God of Wisdom. Shrine looked long abandoned, judging by dust no service was performed here for some time now.
Dungeon map, level 3
To the west from the altar room was a vestry. There, Oolong found a trapped chest with 500gp. oolong triggered trap while opening the chest, and was hit for 3d6 damage, but lucky roll (1, 1, 4) reduced it to loss of just 1 hp.
To the north-west of altar room was cistern. A Porcelain servitor was guarding the room. Oolong tried to talk with it, but construct took her for temple robber (can't blame it, really) and attacked. Of course, single creature like this was no problem for our hero.
Further north-west was a room that once served as a hospital. When shrine was abandoned, some sick men were left there to face their doom, and without proper burial they turned into Hungry Ghosts (5 of them). The last patient alive probably feasted upon flesh of his dead comrades, so he turned into Ghoul.
This was a difficult fight, even with help of wizard's staff, so Oolong ended it with only 3hp left.
In hospital, Oolong found a healing potion, but unfortunately it's usefulness expired (1 rolled) so drinking it produced no effect.
The remaining 3 rooms on this level were empty natural caves each with a vertical shaft leading down.
Oolong rested to gain full strength, and the she decided to lower herself down one of the shafts. Since in rooms 41 and 46 she could find no place to tie a rope, she pushed one of the hospital beds into room 45, tied a rope to it and slowly descended to the level 4.

Dungeon map, level 4
Oolong was almost at the ground when the old furniture above broke, and the rope followed our hero down (hazard rolled). Skillful rogue landed on her feet, but the way back to level 3 was closed.
Room 48 was just entrance into vault, ending with locked door.
Oolong unlocked it and entered the secure cell. Room 49, resting place for the Book of Teas! Oolong picked it up, and this earned her an experience point.
All doors leading out of secure cell were locked. Oolong failed to open the one to the south (failed check), the lock broke and this door can't be opened any more. But our hero managed to open door to the east, that took her to another empty temple.
In room 53 Oolong met with her old acquaintance, Necromancer. This time, he was prepared to make his last stand. Necromancer was equipped with spells Seven Small Thunders (Magic Arrow) and Walking among the Coved (Terror) and accompanied by two zombies and one skeleton.
Fortunately, 3 high attack rolls in the row prevented necromancer from casting anything. His minion fell as victims of the fray die.
After bandaging wounds, Oolong looted Necromancer's body. Spoils of the war included 600gp and 5 magic potions: Celestial step (levitation! just what I needed!), Invisibility, Furious might (improves combat for 1d6+4 rounds), Bestial form (shape shift into animal) and Lungs of the fish (breath under water).
Other rooms were basically empty, except for the Study, where Oolong found Powder of green purgation (use once, cure curse or disease or similar).
So, Oolong used levitation potion to return to level 3. She could theoretically find way to tie rope somewhere and check rooms 50 and 51 through shaft in room 41, but she decided there is no need for this. So, our hero returned to level 1. There, she used Potion of Might to finally make a short story out of cultist in the garden, and pick up some more loot. Then, she dropped to say goodbye for now to the Wizard, and left the dungeon.
Clearing the dungeon allowed for additional experience point, and that is enough to make her level 3 rogue. Oolong now has 8 hit points, and +2 combat modifier. Traits: Dungeon explorer (4), Resist Red Tide (3), Perfect Balance (2), Scholar (1), Long Distance Runner (1), Resist Poison (1).
Oolong's next adventure will be the urban one, as she will try to sell the Book of Teas.
At the end, some rules notes.
As I knew that this dungeon is mix of natural caves and man made rooms, I rolled together d6 and d20 to determine the kind of room Oolong is entering. On roll 1-3 it was a natural cave, on roll 4-6 it was appropriate built structure.
For every new room, I rolled d4 to determine the number of exits. If the one was rolled, it is dead end. I skipped rolling if the room was obvious dead end like caved in cave or submerged cave.
This got me into trouble twice during the game. Once at the very beginning and second time on level 3. Both times I decided that there is some secret passage around and made checks to find it.
When features were rolled, their nature was resolved using Rory Story cubes.
I used encounter table I made generic for this dungeon, and I recommend you do the same for your games.
Oolong encountered Necromancer 3 times. Each time I rolled for him to have prepared 3 1st level and 2 second level spells. Than I used just these that made sense in combat. For the first two encounters it were spells that allowed Necromancer to run away. For third encounter these were real combat spells, but lucky for Oolong, Necromancer had no chance to use them.
Everything else was more or less by the book.
I hope you enjoyed this adventure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Necromancer's lair - Oolong the Scarlet Hero 5

Continuation form here.

Here is the map of the second level of the dungeon.
Oolong tried to descend down to the pit as quiet as possible, but it was too hard even for her. Her presence was noticed.
Upon entering room 27 (a place used for the creation of the undead), she met the necromancer again, this time accompanied by 2 zombies and 6 skeletons.
Necromancer casts Assuming the Flesh of Mists (or simple to say invisibility) and runs away, confident that his minions will eliminate our hero.
But here, Oolong learned how to use the wizards stuff acquired earlier. The Sovereign Sign against Evil spell from the staff allows her to stop the battle whenever she gets wounded, bandage her wounds and than continue the fight. Of course, this tactic works only against unnatural creatures such as undead or Red Tide spawn, and can not be used against natural foes like humans or animals, since they are unaffected by the spell (so it is of no use against cultists in the garden, sigh).
But even with the help from the staff, this was difficult fight, and Oolong won it by loosing 2 points of health that can't be recovered until she rests for a day.
Necromancer left nothing to chance, so he left some more minions behind. So, crossroads (28) were home for 2 zombies and one skeleton, in stalactite maze (29) Oolong met additional 3 zombies, and finally, in dining hall (30) 3 zombies and 3 skeletons.
After eliminating all undead, Oolong continued to explore. North from the dining room she stepped into underground river, with strong current. Thanks to her dexterity and Superb Balance trait, she saved from falling into the waters.
South from the dining room were necromancer's quarters, but they were empty. Necromancer was nowhere to be found.
Further south Oolong found stairs down, into the third level of the dungeon. She decided to leave them for later.
Room 35 was a store room connected with the dining room. Some food was available on the shelves, but it smelled so horribly that Oolong decided better not to touch it.
Final room on this level (36) was another caved in cave. And once again, Oolong noticed something behind the rocks. She puled it out, avoiding the falling stones (successful save) and it turned out to be a peace of precious jewelry 500gp worth.

Finally, Oolong returned to level 1 and into wizard's home to rest and return to the full strength. She is now ready to explore level 3.

Continue here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cultists and Necromancers - Oolong the Scarlet Hero part 4

Part 3 is here.

As you can see from the map, Oolong entered the more populated part of the dungeon.

After leaving the Wizard, Oolong returned to the bathroom. Taking western doors from there, Oolong found herself within the underground garden. But she had no chance to marvel it's beauty, since she was immediately attacked by 3 twisted cultists with 2HD each. Oolong's first attack missed, with only the fray die doing one HD of damage. Cultists seem to be experience fighters and Oolong was hit for 3 points of damage. She decided to run away from garden, and in the process she was hit again, taking 2 more points of damage and barely keeping alive with 1 health remaining. She run all the way to wizard's lair (luckily no wandering monsters appeared), where she rested for a day and recovered to full strength.
Oolong decided to ask wizard if he can give her some healing potion. Well, he can sell here some, but here in the underground it is hard to find ingredients, so the price will be doubled - 2000 gp. Well, Oollong treasure is around 200 gp,  so no potions for her.
Recovered, our hero returned to the bathroom. No matter what wonders the garden has to offer, she is not going back in there for now. So, she took north west passage and found the cistern. Obviously, water from the cistern was filling baths, and than used water was directed towards plants in the garden. Surroundings of the cistern was populated by 4 dog sized chimeras, but our hero dispatched them easily. In their lair she found 20 gp and one peace of cheap jewelry.
Road east took Oolong to the pit ledge. There, she found 4HD necromancer and 2 zombies "enjoying some privacy" (I do not even want to think about implications of that encounter twist roll).
Combat round 1:
Oolong attacks zombies, to lower the treat. One hit with attack and one with fray die, so one zombie is down. Necromancer and remaining zombie hit our hero for 1 damage each.
Combat round 2:
Necromancer decides to cast a spell. Oolong tries to attack him in order to stop casting but misses. Fray die damages zombie for 1HD. Zombie misses, necromancer casts The River Reed Bridge, spell that allows him to walk over the vertical surfaces.
Combat round 3:
Oolong concentrates attack on the Necromancer, hitting him for 2 HD. Fray die misses. Zombie hits our hero for 1 damage. Necromancer starts running down the pit. He will disappear into the darkness bellow soon...
Combat round 3: Oolong tries to hit necromancer one more time but misses. Fray die kills second zombie, Necromancer runs away.
Oolong bandaged her wounds, and returned to 5 health out of 6 maximum.

Oolong thought for a while if she should immediately follow the necromancer down, but decided not to do it, uncertain what horrors may await for her there. So, she decided to investigate the current level of the dungeon first.
Passage to the east took her to another library, but this too was destroyed by fire. Passage North east led down into the flooded cavern, so another dead end. To the north west, there was a narrow pocket in the wall. Ooloong thought she saw something glitter inside, but once she entered the pocket it turns out that it was just a reflection from her lantern upon the wet wall. But our hero realized that she is stacked between the rocks. She needed to make successful save or be trapped, but since this is dexterity chalange, she managed to pull herself back easily.
With nothing more to explore on this level (except for the garden, but she will not be going there again yet), Oolong returned to wizard's home to recover to full strength before descending into darkness of the deeper underground, on the necromancer's trail... 

Continue here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

1st British Division

We interrupt regular RPG program to bring you some wargaming news...

On the brinks of my Scarlet Heroes campaign (Oolong is having some hard time recently, she needed to run for her life, but you will read about it soon), I'm also finding some time to paint my 6mm Napoleonic armies and to play some boardgames from current Board Game Geek Solitaire contest.

Therefore, I finally managed to finish First British division for Peninsula War in accordance with the Musket and Shakos rules in 6mm.

So here is the British division in all it's might:

First, let me introduce the officers one more time..
The Divisional commander is Wellington himself.
 From left to right: Sir John Moor, Sir Stapleton Cotton, Lord Wellington and Picton with umbrella

The first infantry brigade is commanded by Sir John Moor, and consists of one Rep 3 battalion of Spanish Guerrilla, one Rep 4 battalion of line infantry and one Rep 5 battalion of Highlanders.
The Second infantry brigade is commanded by Sir Thomas Picton, and consists of one Rep 4 battalion of line infantry, Rep 5 First Foot Guard battalion and one Rep 4 battalion of light infantry that might be armed with muskets or rifles.
The light cavalry brigade is commanded by Sir Stapleton Cotton and consists of one regiment of Rep 5 Hussars and one regiment of Rep 4 Light Dragoons.
Division is supported by one battery of field artillery.
Corps Asset consists of 2 x 6 figure light infantry independent skirmish units from the 95th Rifles (Rep 5).
Models used for this division are mix coming from Baccus and Adler range.
Finally, here is one more look at complete division:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Enters the Wizard - Oolong The Scarlet Hero part 3

Continued from here.
Crossroads offered exits to west, north west and north east.
Oolong decided to take western tunnel first. She found herself inside the small shrine. Who knows to what gods this shrine was initially devoted. Now, it was a place to worship dark purposes of Red Tide. Oolong used her knife to destroy Red Tide symbols in the shrine. Act that made no difference, since it looks like all the cultist that once visited the place turned into spawns long ago. But Oolong, following her natural Shou hatred for Red Tide felt good doing this, and maybe it will bring her some good karma in the future.

Next room used to be the library, but it was affected by fire some time ago. Nothing useful could be found here. Oolong offered the point of karma earned in shrine to all goods possible, just to be sure that Book of Teas was not kept in this library...

Moving further north west, Oolong entered a cavern that caved, so that only a small part of it was available. Cave had no visible exits other the one our hero came in, so she turned to leave, when light beam from her lantern reflected on something.
She picked up the strange object resembling a man sized walking stick.  The strange symbol was carved at its top. Oolong recognized the symbol as a potent sign against evil, so she took the staff.
(I stumbled upon the feature. It was "something stolen by the inhabitants of the dungeon". Is it The Book of Teas? No. It is something leading to "reconsideration of dungeon's real nature". Ask Rory's Story Cubes: Gift + Travel. So traveler's friend, or walking stick!
Wisdom test - hard + scholar trait (1), successful -  it is a Wizard's staff. Once a day it can cast - RSC: Push + Monster - The Sovereign Sign Against Evil as if it's owner is a level 1 magic user with prepared spell)
Oolong backtracked to the unholy shrine, and moved north east. There was another crossroads, but this one was empty. Moving further east, she entered a room that once served as vault, but looked like it was already plundered. Detailed search reviled just 1 gp and one peace of cheap jewelry, probably something nobody else wanted.
Oolong returned to the crossroads (room 14) and continued north west first into the empty Servant's room and than into the empty bathroom. Bathroom had 4 exits in total, so our hero decided to return to previous crossroads to check the last remaining tunnel before going further north.
(She is again in room 14. Test showed no encounter with wondering monsters).
The corridor she took stretched forward as twisted tunnel. Oolong could feel some movement in the tunnel ahead, so she held her sword at ready. Than a ghoul and a hungry ghost leaped at her from around the corner falling straight to her short sword.
(In total, there are 3 ghouls and 1 ghost, but fight is happening in the narrow tunnel so Oolong will again face only 2 enemies at the time. In round 1 I rolled great, making 4 points of damage, but there were only 3 HD to distribute it. Sometimes this rule works against the hero).
Before she could take her sword out of dead enemies, two more ghouls were upon her. She felt the chill of the death as one of them scratched her skin with its claw.
(Rolling in round 2 was terrible. Oolong missed her attack, and managed to do just 1HD damage with fray die. Two ghouls rolled 6 attacks, but only one hit my hero, for 1 point of damage. She managed to save from ghoul paralyses rolling modified 13, just the number it was needed.)
Than, Oolong got herself together and dispatched both remaining undead with one powerful blow.
(Attack hit for two points, fray die for one, just enough. Phew.)
Oolong bandaged her wound, and moved on, stepping into narrow crevasse. Suddenly, magically written letters appeared in front of her: "State your name and business!" "I am Oolong, looking for the Book of Teas" she replied. "You may continue" stated the sign and than it disappeared, opening the way in front of her. (This was another feature).
A man with a beard and a funny hat waited for Oolong at the exit from crevasse. "Welcome", said he, "I am Darjeeling, a wizard. I see that you found my staff. Well, keep it, it will be more useful to you than it was to me. Welcome to my humble home. And before you ask, yes, I am the one responsible for the strange behavior of the nature outside. I might even tell you about it some day" (and that will be occasion to test Bold waylays again :) )

Does he have the Book of Teas? NO. Does hi know where can it be found? YES. In Room 49, once I reach that far :)
Does he have any task for Oolong? YES. What? RSC: Strange + Insect.

"Once you find the Book of Teas, maybe you can do me a small favor. I need one special insect brought to me, so that I can perform some experiments. If you do that I will gladly award you by teaching you to perform some basic magic" said Darjeeling.
"Is the creature alive?"
"It is now, but it does not have to be when you bring it in here, if you know what I mean", replied wizard.
"Can you tell me more about it?" - charisma test hard, successful. For description of the creature 4RSC: House, Forest, Flashlight, Eye.
"Well, it is a big and mean nocturnal creature. It resides in the magical forest outside my lair. You can attract it by light." (It will be 4HD insect, Armor 3, attacks 2 stings + 2, 2 bites +2, damage D6 each. No poison, phew at least something good. Move 40', flying. Morale 12).

For meeting with wizard, Oolong earned another XP.

Continue to part 4