Chris Palmer This past Saturday we got together for our monthly Frostgrave Campaign game. We had 7 of our 8 regular participants, and the teenage daughter of one of our players (who had played in one of the campaign games once before) who was home on Thanksgiving break; to give us a full house of 8 wizards. So I set up the big 12’ x 3’ table. We decided not to do any scenario this time, but instead have just a straight-up game, with one exception; all treasures would automatically generate wandering monsters. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but with 24+ monsters entering the table, things got a bit hairy really fast.
For a report on the previous game, see: Game 9
|A view of the table before the game began. Kodak and his party entered on the bottom right just below where the photo cuts off.|
Treasures were all set as per normal, and then we sat by level order, with the lowest level wizard selecting their starting place, and the rest of us working up the table from there. With this seating arrangement, Kodak once again found himself across from his nemesis, Knabe, the Druid (Witch). To Kodak’s right was the Sigilist, and diagonally across the table was the Doctor (Chronomancer).
As the old Elven Illusionist and his party worked their way deeper into the ruins, they stopped for a moment to rest, and Kodak took the opportunity to attempted to cast Illusionary Soldier. The fates did not favor him with a successful outcome and he grumbled under his breath. He wondered if the unusually large full moon in the sky early that morning had played some roll in his failure. He looked over at his Apprentice, Leighlynndana, expectantly, and she too tried the spell only to have similar miserable results. In the back of his mind Kodak also worried if the full moon would have an effect on the number of monsters that would be stirring in the city this day.
The Illusionist also took the opportunity of their pause to divide his group into separate commands. With him he took Sister Zandkara, the Templar; Danlin ,the Marksman; and Connisyn Marcus, the Treasure Hunter. He assigned to his Apprentice, Leighlynndana: Weiss, the Ranger; the new Treasure Hunter, Hanwell Sincolar; and the Thief, Linesse. Left under their own initiative were: Bash, the Man-at-Arms; Edel, the Ranger; Cadwalleter, the Thief; and Odullorf, the War-hound.
As Kodak scanned their surroundings, he saw a large ruined tower not to far away. It looked like it would be a good place to start looking for treasure; so he Teleported up into what once had been the attic to look around. Before he left, he told Connisyn to check the lower floors, Sister Zandkara to go around and check the grand staircase leading up to the small hill where the tower was situated, and he instructed Danlin to find a good position to fire from and then keep his eyes open for trouble. The thought of monsters and the full moon still ever present in the back of the old Illusionist’s mind.
|Kodak finds a golden statue of a dog and a few gems in the ruins of the tower’s attic.|
Leighlynndana and her group made her way off to the left of the tower to investigate a large rubbled building located in the tower’s shadow. The thief, Linesse spotted a treasure chest laying on the rubble; but she also could hear the sounds of gruff Dwarven voices so she immediately knew that some of the wizard Knabe’s men must be in the area. She called out to Leighlynndana, who ran up and cast Fast Act on her in hopes that she could get a jump on claiming the treasure out from under the other wizard’s soldiers.
Leigh’s mind raced. One was trouble enough but two of these monsters was more than her and her group’s skills could handle. She looked over at the treasure chest so tantalizingly close on the pile of rubble, debated for a moment whether to send the Thief for it, then thought better of it. Linesse was good; but even with her skills, making her way back over the rubble lugging that chest would slow her down too much. "Fall Back to the hill!“, the Apprentice shouted to her group, as she herself made her way back the way she had come, around a large ourcropping with a ruined brown arhcway on it; as she knew she was too far to safely make it up the cliff face of the hill before the trolls would reach her.
As the group scrambled to get to safety, their progress was momentary halted as they all froze at hearing the blood curdling call of a White Ape ring out close by… (Yes, another monster; a White Ape, entering the table a foot down from the Trolls.)
Meanwhile, Kodak’s search of the old tower’s attic was rewarded with finding a small golden statue of a dog, and a few small gems. He bundled them up, and knowing how terribly exposed he was up their on top of the tower, he made his way to start climbing down the side of the old structure; figuring he could teleport off the side once he was behind the cover of the tower’s walls. As Kodak lowered himself over the edge of the towers roof, he could see the events unfolding below him. Before he could react though, the Druid’s pet Owl came zooming around the tower, and seeing Kodak precariously hanging there, dove in for an attack. Hampered by the bundle he carried, and clinging to the wall, the old Elf could do very little to defend himself from the evil bird. The Owl pecked at his hands until they bled (4 points of damage), and the Illusionist cursed as his hands grew too painful and weak to hold on any longer. (Winner of combat pushes opponent an inch away.)
|Battle above the battle. Kodak has a loosing encounter with the Druid’s Owl, high up on the tower’s wall.|
Down the Illusionist fell, as he braced for the impact of his body on the ground. He slammed into the paving stones below, and the wizard could feel the pain shoot through every bone in his body, surely some were broken; and the wind was knocked completely out of him. (8” fall = 12 more pts of damage on top of the 4 the Owl had done in its attack out of his starting total of 20.) The old Elf lay there for a moment fighting to stay conscious as lights and colors flashed in his eyes.
Kodak rolled over and tried to get up. He saw Linesse standing nearby and he called to her, as he gestured to the bundle containing the dog statue. “"Take it!” he ordered. The Thief ran up and grabbed the treasure and in a flash had turned and headed away. As best he could, the Old Illusionist got up and followed after her, limping along on a shattered leg. He knew he had to get someplace safe to cast a Heal spell on himself.
By this time Connisyn the Treasure Hunter had picked her way through the rubble into the tower’s ground floor. She had found a chest and picked it up; but as she turned she saw the tall shadow of BoBo, the Druid’s Bear, loom into view. She braced herself for the attack, and as the Bear lunged, she delivered a cutting blow to her ursine opponent.
Outside the tower by the fence, Danlin, the Marksman, stood, as he spotted the Druid’s Owlmaster lugging a chest up the main staircase leading up the hill to the tower; and taking careful aim, dropped him with a single bolt. The Marksman called out to Cadwalleter, the Thief, and point to the fallen body and the chest next to it.
As this was happening, Hanwell, the Treasure Hunter ran around the front of the tower to place himself between the Druid’s men and his group’s Treasure recovery attempts. He frowned when he saw the Druid’s new Captain come around the tower from the other side, but never one to back down from a fight, he faced the stocky little dwarf, and held his sword high. The Druid’s Captain raced towards Hanwell with a wry smile on his face; but his over confidence was his undoing as the Treasure Hunter quickly got the upper hand and struck the Captain with a mighty blow (Rolled a 20!), sending him reeling backwards.
|The Trolls pursue further onto the hill, as a skeleton appears down below.|
Kodak, half climbing half falling, got himself down the cliff face and looking around to make sure the coast was clear; began to cast a Heal spell on himself. He could feel the bones mending themselves in his body, which was a very strange pin-prickly sensation. Linesse was nearby, dragging her chest, and called out to the wizard. Kodak turned to her as the pinpricks in his bones faded, and saw her pointing to an animated skeleton warrior who lumbered towards them.
Back up on the hill, the trolls had picked up their scent and were still following the group. Weiss managed to hit one with an arrow, severely damaging it. Cadwalleter had run over and picked up the treasure chest from the grasp of the motionless Owlmaster, and then quickly dragged it over the cliff face besides the staircase to get out of view of any missle troops. For a moment he thought he was out of harms way, but the Druid’s evil Owl came circling around, and spotting him, dove in. It pecked and bit at him mercilessly, and he called out for help. Leighlynndana ran over and jumped off the cliff, her staff at the ready, to help.
|Cadwalleter and Leighlynndana battle the pesky Owl over possession of a treasure by the stairs at the front of the tower..|
Back up on the hill, Connisyn still battled the bear. But one mighty blow of his big dinner-plate sized claw caught her on the shoulder, and sent her crashing into the side wall of the tower where the remains of an old rotted wood staircase still clung precariously to the masonry. She collapsed on to the floor in a pile of broken wood, and rubbled stone. The treasure lay there unguarded. The Druid’s Captain dodged past Hanwell, and made his way into the ground floor of the tower where Connisyn and the Druid’s Bear had battled. The Treasure Hunter turned and followed, and seeing Sister Zandkara approaching nearby, called out to her to follow him as well. He could see that Bash was already heading into the ground floor from another direction as well.
Back below the hilltop, Kodak ran over to where Linesse was making her way with the treasure towards an old cemetery. He stood next to her, but placed himself so he stood between the oncoming Skeleton and the Thief. Keeping one eye on the approaching threat, he cast Invisibility on the Linesse. As the girl faded from view along with her bundle, the wizard turned with his staff to meet the undead foe. With one smash of his staff he crushed it to a pile of bones.
The Trolls now spotted Kodak standing there by the old cemetery, and began to climb down the cliff face towards him. Off to the left, Edel was ready with his bow and fired at the one Weiss had already hit, killing it. Still injured from the Owl attack and his fall, the last thing Kodak needed was to fight a Troll. He could also see a Large Construct, and an Ice Toad wandering the ruins not too far away. So, once again he Teleported, this time to get a safe distance away from the surviving Snow Troll snd the other threats. His worries about the full moon and the monsters was all too confirmed. The old wizard decided it was perhaps time to give the recall signal. And almost at the same time, he could see the Druid’s recall sign in the sky as well. It was time to head back to the Inn.
|After the battle. Two treasures recovered and Connisyn Marcus is Badly Wounded. The dead Snow Troll lies in the background.|
Back at the Inn later that night, Kodak looked at the two treasures his party had recovered. The gold dog statue and gems might bring about 60 Gold Coins, and the chest Cadwalleter recovered had only a paltry 40 Gold Coins in it. (Talk about miserable treasure rolls…First treasure roll a 1, followed by a 6. Second roll a 2 followed by another 2!) It was a bad day for magic too, (Cursed full moon!) as he and Leigh had only managed to cast 6 spells successfully. He comforted himself in knowing that at least no one had died on this trip; Connisyn was Badly Wounded, but he knew of a bear attack curing potion he could buy for 80 GC that would have her recovered from her wounds in no time.
Even with the Heal spell he had done on himself, and one Leigh had done when they got back to the Inn, the old Elf still ached. He dreaded the stiffness he would feel in the morning. Kodak, fingered a few of the gold coins laid out on the table; meager reward he thought, and considered the fact that he had been doing this for almost a year now. How long was long enough, he pondered. How many more of these explorations could his old body stand?
Epilogue: Wow, 8 players with 3 treasures each, meant 24 rolls on the Random Bestiary table; and some of those (as with the Snow Trolls) resulted in two of a kind entering. Our table is 3" x 12", which means there is 30’ of table edge; so when a wandering beastie appears, we roll a D30 die and the monster enters in the middle of that foot of table. For some reason it seemed that many of them ended up coming in right in the area where I was located, though the Sigliist beside me and Knabe the Druid across from me also had their share of beastly grief as well.
The game also ended earlier than usual, with the Elementalist Vaaron’s last figure leaving the table on the Apprentice phace of turn 6. Knabe and I both wished we had had a couple turns more to have a chance to resolve the battle on the ground floor of the tower, as it looked like it was shaping up to be quite a scrum!
For Elsa the Elementalist’s Account of the battle see: Another Day in Frostgrave