The fifth edition of D&D has released the first of the three core books, the Players Handbook, to WPN retailers and the Gencon audience, with a full release to come tomorrow, 8/19. Picking this book up on Friday has really rekindled my interest in filling out my world, and I think putting it out here for suggestions and comments will be extremely helpful.
All Role Playing Games
Just a few days ago, Wizards released the primer and dates for the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and it turns out they are doing a few things different this time around.
The schedule is below.
Dungeons & Dragons Starter set: July 15th
Players Handbook: August 19th
Adventure: Hoard of the Dragon Queen (Forgotten Realms): August 19th
Monster Manual: September 30th
Adventure: Rise of Tiamat: October 21st
Dungeon Master’s Guide: November 18th
I’ve been playing D&D for nearly 18 years now, and I’ve enjoyed all but a few times I’ve sat down to a table with my friends. I enjoy getting together with friends, shooting the shit, and playing monsters and heroes. I’ve been DMing for almost that entire time, and I’ve run my fair share of adventures, from years long campaigns to 15 hour one shot adventures. I’ve found different ways to turn tropes on their heads and I’ve built a huge mythology in my mind and in the players games that have affected the world I created.
My wife got me Fallout: New Vegas shortly after it released as a gift, and I played the hell out of that game. I put over 100 hours into it, and that was before any of the DLC’s.
PS: Though its over 2 years old by now, spoilers, right?
Its a glitchy, freezy, buggy game, and if I was any other person, I’d have probably tossed it out the window by now, but I powered through it. Westside is the largest problem, in that it often slows to a crawl, if it doesn’t just outright freeze up. I’ve also encountered animals in rocks, invisible enemies, and infinite gaps in the world. But, for all its flaws, I still love the game.
I had finished playing Fallout 3 some time before I picked up New Vegas, so I wanted something a little different: I turned on Hardcore mode. This unlocks a specific set of variables that makes the game decidedly different. I won’t go so far as to say that the game is harder: Food and Water is plentiful, sleep is rarely needed, and ammo does not weigh all to much; but the game definitely feels more desperate. There are popups warning about your hunger level, hydration and sleep, as well as the typical HP and Rad awareness. The biggest change, though, is the weight of the ammo. in Fallout 3 there was no need to wonder whether or not you’d use a specific ammo type, and it was light as a feather. Hardcore changes that, especially with the heavier weapons like missiles and grenade launchers.
And my new friend, the Anti-Material Rifle.
From the very beginning I wanted to play a sniper. I grabbed what rifles I could and made a go of it until I found myself an Anti-material rifle. And man does that thing roar. Sadly, I didn’t think I’d need strength as a sniper, but it turns out the the AM rifle is heavy, so for the longest time, I just dealt with a swaying set of cross hairs. It sucked, but it did make me good at timing those head shots!
I spent a ton of time and even beat the game with the sniper build, clearing every location (making sure by taking Explorer), getting very used to the way the game works. I took Boone and ED-E to up the sniper-quotient. Boone Marks out enemies in a red color, and ED-E allows me to see extremely far, upping my perception. Adding gear to increase my perception, and going to visit Dr. Usanagi to increase both Perception and Strength made it so that I was a nightmare to all the walked the wasteland. I could, and did, one-shot Deathclaws with head shots. It was glorious!
I tackled Dead Money and Honest Hearts when the game came out, but the wait I had for Old World Blues and Lonesome Road were to long, and they fell off my radar. However, a friend mentioned playing New Vegas recently, and it kindled my interest again. I picked up the game, and downloaded what I thought was the next DLC: Lonesome Road (I was wrong, and damn it, that makes me angry). I Immediately went north, Rifle in hand, and entered the Divide (I assumed it was the Grand Canyon. Maybe not?)
The divide and all it offers is a blast. I’m not going to do a walk through, though I am tempted by my predilection to do so. Instead, I am going to try to just give impressions and thoughts. Its a very cool place. The environs of a blown out canyon are cool, though they offer little in terms of a different feel. The main enemies are irradiated, trapped and insane Marked Men, who are both former Legion and NCR members. They are tough as nails, and have a pair of very aggravating traits: They tend to wear helmets, making getting head shots much more difficult, and they have the Rad Child perk, regenerating health in a land full of regeneration. If I don’t kill them right out with a head shot, its very likely that they will come and try to cave my brain in with Thermic Lances, Blades of the West and other very gruesome means.
Many times you have to explode undetonated nuclear weapons in order to get through to the next place. I’m not really sure how that works, though, as the explosion radius seems not to be to large. Maybe they are just small nukes.
Anyway, the whole time you’re chasing down Ulysses, another Courier, who is using a modified ED-E robot you found in order to communicate with you. He leads you through ruins and tunnels and back out again to where he’s planned to launch a nuke over to the NCR’s lifeline to the Mojave. From there, you can choose who to nuke, once you remove Ulysses as a threat.
Honestly, there isn’t much new, but there is a ton of content. 25 new locations filled with Marked Man and the other new bad guy: Tunnelers. These tunnelers are one of the things that really left me aching to find a secondary weapon to my AM rifle. Tunnelers, well, tunnel, and you can’t target them below the ground. They pop up close to you and do some serious damage, especially for one used to wearing light armor and crouching. Most often they would 2 or 3 shot me and I wouldn’t have time to get more than a single shot out. Add on the fact that they’ll actively swarm you with clusters of 2-3 of them, and you’ve just got a recipe for dead sniper.
Thankfully, one of the first Marked Men I killed had a Plasma Defender on him. I love energy weapons, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I’d been working up my Energy weapons, so it seemed a good fit. Thankfully, it did everything I wanted. With the extremely fast rate of fire and the low AP usage in V.A.T.S, I was able to pretty regularly overcome the Tunnelers I did face.
The hardest part of the whole mission, though, was completely optional. You end up sending a nuke to land just outside of Hopeville, the first area. If you go back there, it ends up being overrun with Irradiated Deathclaws that are extremely aware of their surroundings and are overly durable to anything but a AM rifle round to the head. While I enjoyed clearing the area, it was a brutal slogfest that didn’t end up giving me a whole lot more than I’d started out with.
In the specific instance of the Irradiated Deathclaws, being a sniper was a significant disadvantage. However, most often, the habits of wandering around in crouch mode as well as having a sniper rifle at the ready most times made the Marked Men and many of the normal Deathclaws trivial. In one spectacular instance, I exit into the wasteland from the top of a building. Thanks to my perception being so high and ED-E’s help, I can see there are enemies all around. Because I am at the top of the building, I have height advantage on every one of them. Though it took me almost an hour real time, I cleared every one of them out without needing to leave the roof of the building. It was glorious!
When I get to the end of the DLC, I wanted to see what the discussion would be with Ulysses, even though I was positive I wouldn’t save it. The discussion is interesting, but wasn’t anything I could live without. So the end battle was, as many of my battles, anti-climatic. I reloaded and then shot Ulysses twice in the back of the head from very far away, and then dealt with the many, man Marked Men that come to his aid. It took me a few tries, though. Ulysses is extremely hard to kill if you don’t drop a shell into his Noggin at least once. You a neat weapon from it, Old Glory, an old eagle-headed flagpole, and his duster and mask, which both are pretty good. You also can open up new areas on the map depending on who you nuke, and the legion camp I bombed was pretty neat.
I enjoyed the experience Thoroughly, and I look forward to playing Old World Blues. Makes me happy they are doing Fallout: Boston. At least that’s what the rumors are!
When it comes to Pen and Paper RPG’s there seems to be a sliding scale that is used to describe how a player approaches both their character and the game. On one end of this imaginary scale is the powergamer who is actively pursuing the game to its highest numerical end. They completely disregard of the personality of the character, having only the barest of bones to role play with: generally race, class and sex. On the other end stands the Complete Roleplayer, giving up every numerical advantage they can to have their character as close to the vision of the player as they can.
Neither end can really comprehend the other, as they are as antithetical to one another as the shadow is to light. Many times these two extremes, whether both are in the same group or not, will tear at any player in the center. These centrists represent the backbone of RPGs, the traditional player who wants nothing more than to have both an effective character in combat and also while having a reasonably developed personality.
As the years have worn on, this central player has more and more disappeared, replaced by the two extremes. I’ve played D&D since I was around 12. I started in AD&D, moved to AD&D 2e, playing that for a very long time. After 3.0 came out, I did eventually grab the game, and grew to love 3.5. With the advent of 4e, I reflected on the fun that 3.0/3.5 had brought, and decided to run with 4e and see where it took us. I’ve also played Vampire, Gamma World, d20 Modern, Silver Age Sentinels, and the IKRPG. I dabbled a little in Savage Worlds and Exalted. Every game I played had its own dynamic, but they invariably contained people further along the spectrum towards either Personalities or Powergamers or both. lately, however, I have seen harder and harder stance towards one or the other, with little thought given to meeting in the middle. During these games, these two sides almost always would clash, causing player tension, which is the death of any game.
What really causes the divide is that there is a significant mental difference between the two perspectives starting points in playing the game. Powercentric players seek out and create a powerful character, placing a personality and character attributes around the core of the powerful character like a shell. It can be a very detailed and pretty shell with layers of color and different patterns, but it is still, ultimately, a shell. Personalitycentric players will seek to create a character and then fill out that character with abilities that match it. While its pretty and gorgeous on the outside, with the most fantastic styling, excruciating precise details and deep roots to the center, the core can be very rotten. The rules and abilities that they pick are based on color, not on taste. Its a very basic difference that is hard to describe, and even harder to acknowledge, as they are simply incomprehensible to the other.
D&D has always been the poster child for the powercentric because it enables a massive selection of choices that inevitably devolve into combat choices. Even the most character driven player becomes wary of the danger and finality of combat, and combat effectiveness becomes the focus of almost every character. When the figurative life of the character you have built through your mental power, given breath through your force of personality, and become attached to through shared experience is in jeopardy, players almost always start crunching numbers to make sure their emotional investment sticks around, because numbers are the only defense you have against death in that game.
But there are, inevitably, people for whom the puzzle of creating a powerful character is the original draw, for whom the the death of the enemy is not enough, and nothing but their total numerical annihilation will suffice. These are the people who strove to hear M. Bison yell “Perfect!” at the end of a match. They hunt down every complex interaction and every written rule that they can glean an edge from. They hunt down every +1 and each additional die that they can add to their characters sheet. They are little more than the complex number generators of a video game wrapped in paper. I find that there is no joy, no fun, in those characters. There is only the hollow victory before you need to get the next level, the next feat or ability that will allow you to do more numbers. When all your game decisions are made for you because they are factually the best its much harder to create a character that is believable, especially after the first. When every character you play has the same basic core, there is nothing new about it, no matter the color of the shell.
As another extreme, if you take a personality player and have them make a character who has a fully fleshed out life, has a family, a job, and a solid roof above his head. What reason does this character have to be in the game? what reason could possibly make him leave his comfortable life? each of his four children are painstakingly detailed, as well as his boss and his family tree. The layout of the house he lives in includes rooms for the kids, the stables and the cook. Maybe the character is a loner, someone who just likes it better on their own, without the interference of people of lesser skill. He’s been a hardened veteran of countless countless battles, and has no trust of the world. Neither of these characters is part of the world, they are either above it or contained by it. They could have the strongest rules set to back them or none at all, but they are as useful as a heap of used diapers.
I try to stay in the center, as Building my character to be powerful gives me a sense of accomplishment, but that accomplishment means nothing if I stare at my belly button between combats. I’ve taken a character’s bare bones idea and fleshed it out to be the best that concept can be. My most personally powerful character was a complete accident, one that a friend of mine had to unfortunately suffer through DMing as he was an unstoppable force of Magic. Now, I do have to say that I only played in an Epic Level 3.5 game once, and man was it insane, but I tend to stay between 1 and 15, so my power curve is a little shorter than most. Endrus “Hammer” Tolsien was a Human Mage (enchanter) that didn’t have a single offensive damage spell. What he had was Spell focus and a build created to make his enchantments extremely robust. Hold, Charm person, Charm Monster, Mass Hold, Slow, Haste, the list goes on and on. What really made him bonkers was that he was super-effective against anything alive and enchantable, but was also extremely good at buffing the party to take on things that were not. Oh, and he used a Maul, in combat if necessary, and I took feats and abilities to make it so he was good at it, because it was in his story and background I had written for it. No other game would allow me the freedom to create a character so detailed and rich and full of story that I have ever played. And that is the beauty of RPG’s: They are small scale acting studios with a game behind them.
None of it all matters, though, when the understanding of the core of the game flies out the window. When the Personality player creates something that is so detrimental to the group that it is divisive, when the Power player creates a character who’s very essence nullifies the rest of the groups existence, or when the middle creates a character that wants to stay home and do nothing. Everyone can be equally guilty at making the game no fun for anyone other than themselves.
What really is at the heart is that the game is a group game, set up between more than a single person. While you want to create the character that fits you the most, always keep in mind that there are other people at the table as well, including the GM, that are there to have fun. If your character, by their simple existence, is making someone else not have fun, you’re doing it wrong. You can build a powerful character that is the bane of the strongest monster without nullifying the DM, and you can create a dark character without having him be forced to come along for the ride. When creating a character you have to keep in mind that the whole game is based around going on adventures, and that the personality you create, bare or obese, needs to be able to go out on these adventures with others, and that these others need to have as equal a spotlight as you. I’m as guilty as anyone else is about breaking these rules, but I try hard to keep these in mind, letting other speak, kill monsters, and take the spotlight.
All the things that PP released from Templecon this weekend have me immensely excited to be playing their games, all of them. Even Level 7: Invasion has me really stoked to pick up a copy and defend the world.
There have been spoilers coming in from a thousand different directions, and I’m going to try and consolidate as many of them here as I can. If I’ve missed something, let me know.
The very first thing that came out, Wednesday, was the Warmachine: Tactics Backer update. In it we got two Images:
The first, above, is the painted sculpts of all the novice Warcasters, coming in Vengeance, along with Sturgis in both his epic and original incarnations. Sturgis is a separate release, but you know, I’ll accept that.
The second, below, is the cover of the short story compilation of all the novice Warcasters. If you look close enough, though, you’ll notice that the Khadoran ‘jack is wandering about in a distinctly different weapon load out. This lead to Kiko commenting on it and Matt Wilson replying with:
@thekiko Oh, you saw that did you? 😉— Matthew D. Wilson (@MattWilsonPrime) February 5, 2014
Indicating he knew about it, which is fantastic. Later on, Sunday evening, rumours started to surface that the gun on the hidden are of that monstrosity was a beast: ROF 5 and Double strike. Crazy, I say, but most things I’ve seen that are crazy come to light from a grain of truth.
Thursday morning, the store opened, and there were a number of early releases available, as their always is at these events. Among them was Rollin’ Bones Goreshade – a con exclusive sculpt of a soon to be released alt sculpt. Plarzoid got some unboxing pictures, and he looks really cool. He is not my style, but I can definitely see where he could appeal to a lot of people. s. Its a fantastic sculpt, and I look forward to the standard one.
About 10am. Chain attack got the scoop on Stryker 3, and man is this guys good!
I spoke with Lyle, who’d been running his Theme list all weekend:
|Lord General Coleman Stryker,+5||+5|
As you can see, the Theme List does at least two things.
-Point Cost reduction on Storm Lances
-FA Increase on Storm Lances
Lyle also mentioned that there were two other benefits: Armywide Pathfinder on turn 1, and +2 speed for ‘Jacks on turn 1. None of that is wasted space. The speed combined with Escort will rocket the battlegroup across the table. Pathfinder will make sure the army gets in position regardless of deployment, and cost reduction is two free points in the army, enough to grab a Stormblade Captain, say. I do not look forward to the beatings I expect to receive the first few times I fight him.
The next peak was late Thursday night, when Will Schick had his Goresshade III photograhped and put into the Cryx forums. I am really looking forward to grabbing him and putting him on the table.
The final drop on Thursday was Will, again, sending a simple tweet out.
Turns out everyones favorite executioner got a bump in focus. With the known spoilers so far giving him a debuff feat that also makes enemies explode into fiery bonfires, and the Wracks immunity to non-magical shooting, the extra focus is going to be a stellar addition. with that 14″ control area and the Huge 4.75″ base, he can really reach a large portion of the battlefield with any control area effects he has, including his feat!
and this was all before the keynote Presentation Friday morning!
The keynote was all sorts of insane, too. While I was disappointed at the keynote of L&L last year, nothing of the sort can be said of this years Templecon. Dear God, did they set the stage. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch all five parts here
Lets dive in one piece at a time!
First came the Warmachine Tactics preview, where they showed all sorts of Sexy model preview and level designs. While I appreciate the preview, I’m still stoked from Kickstarter. I didn’t need anything to raise my level of excitement. It was really cool to see the Protectorate ‘jacks, along with Sorcha and Strakov. I Hadn’t know that they were going to have Strakov, though, and that’s cool to know.
The next Portion moved into something near and dear to my heart: IKRPG! They seem to have done the same thing with the IK as they did with Warmachine and Hordes. Its two separate, compatible games. IKRPG: Unleashed gives us a whole pile of new player character races: Tharn, Gatormen, Bog Trogs, and Pygs. You can also take Human, Trollkin and Nyss, though they are available in the IKRPG:FMF. They have Bonegrinder, Monster Hunter, Tharn Ravager and Bokur as classes for the taking. They also specifically call out each race as having vastly different Warlocks, which will create some really cool characters. Oh, and over a hundred pages of monsters! A hundred! That is just overwhelming. I can’t wait to get back to playing the IKRPG! Screenshots:
Now, now we get to the meat of the matter, the huge pulsating heart of the keynote.
Now, here is where we get all sorts of screenshots and Details. I’ll just link the pictures to a gallery. If you want to see what something looks like, click the link!
Female Gator (Juga Juga) and Farrow Casters (Helga the Conqueror)
The female gator has an undead snake, and behind her is an undead Tatzelwurm
Xerxes 2, mounted on a Rhino, on what looks to be a Huge Base. He’s also mentioned as having the most badass wheelchair, so its plausible his legs are broken.
Legion gets Epic Absylonia, who is said to have Conferred Rage, stolen from Butcher 2
Gator and Farrow Battle Engines: The gator one is a mobile sacrificial alter, and the Farrow one is a meatgriner/flamethrower.
New Character Warbeasts, including a Heavy Nephalim for Saryn/Rheays That has two different affinities
Satyr Warbeast that looks blind. Has a spear/staff for circle. Mentioned at the same time as more character warbeasts, but who knows.
Lesser warlocks for each faction with no set battlegroup but affinities for certain beasts
– Troll: Pyre/slag
–Circle -Falconer w/ Griffons
-Legion Lesser warlock mentioned, but no picture.
Three of the four (five?) factions will get Warbast “packs” of four smaller warbeasts. Is a combination of both unit (separate damage tracks like a Medium based unit, no spiral) and a warbeast (all the fury rules apply)
The Skorne look like little monster diggers
The Legion ones look like giant wasps
There was also a brief moment that a trollkin unit with pistols showed up
Then, there is a short stint about a Risk-like game for Level 7: Invasion. I’ve very much enjoyed [escape] so I’m pretty sure I’ll pick this one up.
And, they saved the best for last, IMO. The new Mercs that are coming out at Lock and Load 2014: Cephalyx! Its been 6 years in the making, but it looks glorious!
Cephalyx will be a merc contract like Talion
– They will have living monstrosities, That are Living giant “not warjacks” with low arm but 36 boxes. – No cortex, do not count as warjacks, and are super cheap: No more than 7 points.
Cephalyx have Merc Attachments for any small or medium based merc unit, with Boomhowler, Alexia and Forge Guard called out. The UA will make them better, but if he dies, the unit starts to run.
A solo, a unit and a caster were spoiled:
The solo is supposed to act like Choir, giving Cephalyx models +2 to hit and damage, a welcome addition to the monstrosities stats:
The Unit is a Cephalyx and some special drudges that it can use as arc nodes, hopefully for some good effects. Thankfully, most of the Cephalyx have some sort of sacrificial pawn ability, enabling them to stay alive longer than would normally be the case. Except for Blast: that’ll kill ’em every time.
The final Spoilers I’ve managed to collect are on the Cygnar Reliants Gun. Supposedly, it shoots thunderstorms: AOE clouds that do lightning damage.
All in all, I am very pleased. Definitely picking up Cephalyx at L&L in June. Epic Xerxis looks awesome, as does the Skorne Beast pack. I am kinda upset I didn’t get to see the Skorne Lesser Warlock, but I can wait what with all the other Insane crap coming out!
Oh lord! I am going to have to get someone to paint my Sacrificial Alter for the Gator Exchange…
Till next time!
Over the past few weeks, I have had my interest in fleshing out the RPG world I’ve created rekindled. Its been what I think about in my spare time, which generally consists of time between holding my baby, and the ride to and from work. Well, one of the concepts that I have always known about my world is that there are tribes of barbarians with totem animals on the fringe of the main country of the island, Tyrndall (tear’n’doll). These barbarians, I’d always thought, would ride their totem animals into combat, and probably have lycanthropic leaders.
Reaper is at it again.
Their bones miniatures, which are really good, are back on Kickstarter. This brings me both joy and sadness. I like the idea of getting some more models, but do the really need another Kickstarter?
I like the concept of Kickstarter. It is a unique way of getting direct to user funding, breaking the traditional model of investment funding. Why should any concept be tied to the stodgy tried and true concepts others have tried? Investors are notoriously closefisted with their money and generally unwilling to jump for new ideas. I like that it gets novel ideas into a marketplace that has the ability to bring creators and individual funders together. Direct funding is really inspiring and I think its use for expanding the genres that a tenured company can venture into, reaching sideways, can be a boon. I even think its really great for companies going to novel production methods that test the tried and true bedrock.
There are some exceptions, though. I’m not fond of big companies plumbing Kickstarter for their basic tenants. Certainly, if other funding avenues are not available, then I’m OK with it. But I really object to seeing large name companies pitching the same type of product they would have been able to sell normally to Kickstarter. I’m also opposed to something I’ve seen come more and more: rapid-fire Kickstarters. I don’t think Kickstarter should be used a your basic business model and before putting another project up, you should definitely deliver on the first.
So, its with mixed feelings that I have signed up for Bones II. I have backed the original Bones Kickstarter, Warmachine: Tactics, Wild West Exodus, and Relic Knights, and I have had different results from each one. Relic Knights is still not at my door, Wild West Exodus is currently on the block to be sold, and Warmachine: Tactics has just finished up. Bones did me right, though. It delivered my products a little late, but they were all in there. A Kickstarter success, my first!
So when I heard the about Bones II, I was excited. The bones models I got were fantastic if a little bendy but the value was enormous, and I felt that I was helping Reaper achieve what it couldn’t do without my help: make the bones line a success quickly. It would be a kickstart to their bones line allowing them to get deeper into production. but then they put up Bones II, and the more I thought about it, this second incarnation had me more than a little torn. while there are some fantastic sculpts that are coming to the bones line, I feel that going back to Kickstarter is a little disingenuous. Isn’t this what we did for you the first time? Weren’t you supposed to move forward with your line once we got you… Kickstarted?
I’ve pledged in, but only to see what type of models they’ll release, and maybe get some extras. The real hook for me the first go round was the piles of giants I could get. Oh, and that I would never need another hero model again. 240 some models for $100 was pretty phenomenal. This next one, with about 14 days left, is sitting around 135 models. Its just not as thrilling. The addons are pretty neat, but only in a conceptual manner. The hill giants are really the only ones I have a powerful desire for.
We will see how it all pans out, but I am really hoping that they get a little more strength before the end so that I can feel good about my money going to them. Its going to need a lot more than a few cool models this time.
Hogan, Hero of the Resistance, has triumphed over Sodaving, Kayazy overlord of Leryn!
With a little help from his friends, of course!
This weeks IKRPG game on Tuesday ( I know I’m late, its been crazy), Finally pitted the adventurers against Sodaving and his personal guards. Though the fight was quick, with Sodaving going down quickly, there was no lack of danger to our intrepid hero.
After being hauled up and over the edge of the culvert in which we had followed our friend Sev and having dispersed the pistol wraiths, we found Koldun Lord Lazar and his right and left hand ladies in charge of a fairly empty area. Sodaving and his lackeys were firmly under watch. It also turned out our employer, Niccoli, had fooled Lazar into believing he was the world famous Reinholdt, and was advising him. Lazar questioned who we were and what was going on. We informed him that we were wrongly accused prisoners of Sodaving, forced to fight for his pleasure while he was feeding information to the Golden Crucible rebels. To convince him, I produced a map that I had found before ever entering Leryn, and told him that Sodaving had given it to us, thinking that we were Golden Crucible allies, and was therefore working against Khadoran interest in Laele
I’m going to interrupt myself here, as this is a point of the story I am none too proud of. I like bringing down the bad guy, and I like doing it clean. Playing an honest thief/alchemist/spy has been a challenge, and its one of the parts of the game I have enjoyed the most. That I felt there was no real, legitimate, in-game way to take out the big dude without framing him for something he didn’t do, feels so out of character, and it will haunt Jerek for a long time. With no real evidence, and only lies, was there actually anything Sodaving was doing that we could have, if we tried harder, found to bring him down? I’m not sure, and I’ll never know. Sodaving is dead, Leryn is under Menite control, and we are back on the run. It is good to have brought him down, but would the Menites just done it for us. We will never know. Now back to our narrative.
Once I recounted the false narrative to Lazar, staring Sodaving in the eye the whole time, he knew he was done. He broke free, a pair of followers running with him, and vanished into the crowed. Our tracker Von, however, was able to watch the crowd and follow him. We pursued. He lead us into the sewers where we had first encountered him after a lengthy chase. When we finally caught up to him and his two lackeys, a crazy monster broke out of the water in ambush obviously allied with Sodaving. Sor and Lefty, his Laborjack armed with a drill and a mining pick, took the brunt of the Hunter’s wrath, with Von and Ivan, the Explorer and Doomreaver, up front as they were the fastest, drawing Sodavings attention. I was stuck in the middle. That was perfect, however, as I am an intellectual archetype character with command 6, meaning that I give +1 to hit and damage to all allies within 6″ of me.
The battle took place both sides of a raging sewage channel, and the bridge over top of it. Sodaving strode in first, laying huge amounts of damage into Ivan, and slapping Von as well. Ivan Returned a blow, but Von was stymied, having to shoot into melee while being in melee himself. The -8 that created was more than could be overcome, even for him. Sor and Lefty struck back at the Hunter and mauled him pretty severely: enough that he took a bit of refuge in the raging sewage in order to not be attacked by the duo again. Sodaving, having enough of Ivan’s sharpened door and really having it out for Hogan used his acrobatic skills, which were impressive for a terrifying murdering machine decked out in mechanica armor with huge axes, to roll between Ivan and Von. He looked me in the eyes, and their icy looks told me he was going to end me. He connected on his first hit and Ivan ate the attack for me, his only friend. He was unable to protect me from his second attack, and I dropped to three HP. The last attack, thankfully, missed and I dodged backward out of reach where I could spike an acid grenade on his face. However, I had to survive the round to do it, and Sodaving looked just fine at that point.
Until Lefty. Sor roared out to Lefty to charge Sodaving, and the ever faithful laborjack surged into combat with the deadly Kayazy prince. Though we all had had problems hitting him Lefty had death in his cortex, connecting with a grand overhand swing. His pick bit deep into Sodavings back and armor,who howled in pain as Lefty yanked the pick out with inhuman strength, ripping apart both mechanical apparatus and human muscle. The pain was obvious in his eyes, and though he was harmed, he looked far from dead.
When it got around to my turn, I dropped an acid bomb onto Sodaving. I used the scatter rules and attacked with a pow 12 to all in the area of the grenade, feeling I needed to do supreme damage to actually kill the villain, and not expecting my dice to be good enough to hit. Instead, after suffering from the attention of Ivan and the gentle caress of Lefty, the simple damage of the alchemical acid was enough to put him in the ground. He staggered over to the edge of the waterway, where a giant sewergator, lurking for a chance at a lucky meal, sprung out and ended him forever. The remaining minions and the Hunter were easily dispatched by my compatriots, and we limped out of the sewer to the chorus of the Menite faithful outside the walls. the Khadorans were about to be expelled. The Northern Crusade had arrived.
IKRPG was last night, and Jerek of Jord Finally got his murder on.
Last night started, as it does so often recently, with our characters in cages. Ivan, our friendly neighborhood Doomreaver and I ringed together, with the others nearby in separate cages. Visitors come to Von, and Sev before coming over to me. Nicoli, our gobber employer, lets me in on some information. There is going to be a time when I am asked to present information on Sodaving, and I have some dirt I can throw in. Good. Being in these cages and fighting until we die seems like a poor out for Jerek, er, Hogan.
The crowd, over the days we are in captivity and not fighting, take less and less of an interest in us, and the enthusiastic recruits and the staunch supporters both vanish. Sodavings guard also diminish, to the point where its significantly noticeable. One of the set of patrons that doesn’t disappear though, is a pair of women who have been lurking around. It turns out that these two are the resident Koldun Lords right and left hand, respectively.
Sodaving, after days of imprisoning us, finally decided to do something about the accusations that he wished to bring against us. He calls out Sev, our poor, broken Gunmage ally. They will settle things the old Llaelese way: A duel.
I make sure to whisper conspicuously that Sevs good shooting arm is completely broken, while Sodavings is good as new. This is put down with cries of Sev being ambidextrous. A likely story!
As any proper duel does, this one calls for a second for each duelist. I try and volunteer to be Sodavings second, but Tom’s son, a prickly brat, is way ahead of me. Its sad I don’t get to try and jam Sodavings gun.
The duel is a quick affair, with both contestants beings shot in the face. Well, both were flesh wounded on the face, with each taking significant damage.
Sev, however, suspects Sodaving of cheating, and calls him out.
In front of everyone.
Sevs Luck is about to run out.
He gets tied up, and told that his fate is up to his companions, now, as he has dared to judge the fairness of his host. He is then tossed into a deep, dark, dank pit.
We are given our gear and told. Go, rescue him, if you can.
We swiftly don our gear, strap on Harnesses and drop down the pit to rescue our longtime ally from whatever is down there.
Its a dark, dank closed off culvert with a trio of bodies on the ground as well as gunpowder barrels, which is strange. There are also piles of refuse. Then, as we all start to get our bearing, Three eerie glowing spirits emerge from the darkness, pistols pointed at us.
The Pistol Wraiths get the jump on us, and each one fires away. They manage to miss a lucky few times, and we get to start our turns. While everyone fought the wraiths, I finally got to get my alchemist on. Fire in the hole drops a grenade on one of the wraiths, and then I spend my quick action to grab a grenade from my belt, my free to pull the pin, and then toss again as my action, hitting him again. I don’t do enough damage to drop it, but I’m pretty confident. I spend my extra bandoleer action to ready another grenade, and as soon as my next companion goes, I start off spending a feat point to toss another grenade. It costs a lot of money to go through 3 grenades a round, but man is it worth it! I missed at the start of Sors turn, but it was all worth it, as the next turn rats pop out from the gunpowder barrels, and we have more targets, and I toss three grenades again. The pistol wraiths managed to get me again, and I was down to 0 feat points with a broken agility, but -2 to hit doesn’t care when the dude tossing POW 12 AOE’s is within 4″. I take out a pair of rats, gaining a feat point, and once again tossed a pair of grenades at the second pistol wraith to come my way. Thankfully the other was taken care of between me going, and them going again.
Fun was had by all, and next week we get to see what the consequences of our actions are.
And the encounter put us at 30xp, so I finally get to be a spy. I really wish, as my cover so far has been Hogan, Freedom Fighter of Laele, that there was a Freedom Fighter career, or something that I could at least use as my cover identity. Alas, I just have to use another one, my Searforge Trader cover I have also used in game before.
While I was looking at the book for my cover identity, I cam across a couple more career pairs I’d like to try out, and I really think the design space in Warmachine could really support one of them.
Daravitch, Menite Priest/Duelist from Skirov
Hylissan, Iosan Gunmage/Magehunter
Crander, Ordic Alchemist/Warcaster
Komar, Trollkin Fellcaller/Storm Sorcerer.