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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Gothic Horror - The Hunt for Mary Scroggins Continues - Part 2

Well lads that’s the hard part over, no trolls under this bridge and that cabin up ahead looks warm and inviting, maybe we can eat there before continuing our journey. I’m sure a couple of hours while we eat our mid day repast wont go amiss.

You guessed it, that’s the cheerful voice of Sir Marmaduke Langdale, encouraging his small band of travellers and searchers onwards.

The previous part of this tale is my previous post - so no link here.

The small log cabin he is referring to, just up ahead by the side of the road.

They are nearly there. Sir Marmaduke in his customary role, out in front but without Baxter his faithful Bulldog who had been left behind in Little Piddling, still shivering with fear.

Well it’s not Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood but escapees from the local Insane Asylum and they’re not happy to see Sir M and are not going to invite him in for a cup of tea.

I usually try and clear the rubbish off the table before the photo shot but this shows the over view with it on – sorry I’ve sacked the camera man.

To decide who moves and in what order I roll a number of dice for each character based on their Rep, this shows the number of passed dice, and that decides who rolls for their In Sight test first. So the Harridan in the purple dress tests her reaction first, then all those that rolled 3 then 2 etc. It doesn’t mean they move first, just that they test first.

The Harridan charges forward at Sir M, he fails to counter charge, I guess he’s maybe feeling his age and all this running around is a bit much, anyway he pulls his sword to defend himself. She has an iron bar inside that Teddy Bear and he has 3’ of Sheffield steel but it’s no match for an enraged harridan and she knocks him to the floor.

Sister Matilda with the pistol fires at the harridan but is so shocked by Sir M falling in front of her that she misses by a mile. Well a couple of feet at least.

Sister OMV is stunned but stays in place.

Inmate 3 with the axe charges at Jeremiah who draws his sword and defends himself better than Sir M did and kills the mad man with a single stroke.

The guy in the Monmouth hat fires at Inmate 2 who has not moved but he misses just as inmate 4 charges at him, he has enough time to drop the musket and draw his sword. The inmate has his hands chained behind his back and Monmouth has a sword and is a pretty handy fighter. Yep it went the way you would expect and Inmate 4 is dead as well.

Daniel Carter the Carter is the last person to react, he sees Sir M fall and seeing red, he rushes at the harridan and knocks her to the ground with his stick, if front of him is Inmate 2, the last one still on his feet, he is baring his teeth and howling, if he can do both at the same time.

Daniel is in a killing rage and charges over to the Inmate, or I suppose he is an out mate now, anyway Daniel attacks him and the Inmate bites Daniels neck, blood spurts everywhere and Daniel dies. A sorry end to a very brave fellow. Even though attacking a man with his hands chained behind his back is a bit questionable ethically.

Everyone checks their morale, they are all a bit shook up by this latest attack and seeing their leader on the floor mill about a bit, except Sister OMV who strides over purposefully towards the remaining Inmate who has Daniels blood dripping down his chin. She tries to pacify, him this is a drawn result, and so she is able to try again still a draw, he his not proving an easy target.

Another encounter marker which has been drawn by the sound of shots is revealed to me at least.

Two Nosferatu are skulking on the edge of the forest, they pass their brains test and decide to wait and try and pick off a straggler or two, but later. Everyone else is so concentrating on the tableau in front of them that they don’t notice the Nosferatu creep away.

They move back into the trees.

You can just see them by the edge of the lake. By this point Sister OMV has won the battle of wills by a big margin and Inmate 2 transfers all his love, affection and adoration to her, and follows her like a lamb, with blood dripping down it’s chin.

After all the excitement Sir M is badly hurt and he can not keep moving and so decides to remain behind. The guy in the Monmouth hat is to stay to provide protection and  Sister Monica Of the Order of Perpetual Pain remains behind to tend to his physical and spiritual wellbeing.

They bury the dead across the road from the cabin, and chain the Harridan to the cabin and the rest of the group continue in their search for Mary Scroggins.

Sir M does ensure that Maude leaves some of the brandy, he has a notion that this might alleviate some of the spiritual tending that he’s not too sure about.

By the time they have buried Daniel and the two inmates it is late afternoon, but don’t worry it is still  a full moon, there’ll be plenty of light tonight.

The convoy sets off down the road, Mary Scroggins has a lot to answer for.

And the tiles move on, it’s becoming a proper conveyer belt now. Jonathan Hawke and Sister OMV move down the road but Jonathan who has assumed command in Sir M’s absence has decided that he needs to protect his flanks as well as search further off the road for Mary.

The grim determined expressions of the new leader and Sister OMV.

There is movement in the forest, they can’t see what is causing it but they are aware there is something out there.

His line of advance is spread out into the forest at either side of the road.

Hopefully you can see the flank guards in this picture as they move ever closer to Much Piddling in the Marsh.

Well if you couldn’t before you can now as the left side guards run into two entities.

Without warning a white faced man in a long black cloak steps from behind a tree, they are not too alarmed until a big white bear follows him. We know they don’t like bears.

Swiftly the newcomers move forwards and attack.

The white faced man is an ancient vampire lord, centuries old and showing no signs of aging and cynics don’t believe oil of ulay works. He can try and mesmerize Jeremiah or just attack and drain his blood, he is hungry so just attacks. Jeremiah is too frightened to run but he is able to draw his sword, this might have been a mistake because the Vampire Lord realizes he’s not that hungry and draws his sword too and cuts Jeremiah down.

Smith sees this and then sees the bear, fires at it and misses, the bear is on him before he can draw his sword so uses the matchlock as a club, he does not prevail and the bear knocks him to the ground.

On the road they can hear but not see the fight. They do not know what is making that hair raising growling.

Ok now they know, the bear bursts out of the underbrush and attacks Sister OMV, but he is meeting a very different foe here, she stands her ground and holds it off, Jonathan moves forward to help and with the howl of a banshee Inmate 2 attacks the bear with his teeth, it seems Sister OMV has a convert.

The bear is completely outnumbered but with a die roll seldom seen he wins the 1st round of melee against everyone.

But in the second round the law of averages beats him and he is left by the verge, just another example of road kill.

Facing determined and numerous enemies is not the way to live a long life, or should that be death and so the Vampire Lord disappears into the depths of the forest.

Two more burials and they continue on their way.

This next encounter is finally the Joker, this is Mary Scroggins. Is she alive or dead?

These were always going to be three choices once Mary was found,1D6 1 or 2 she was a vampire, 3 or 4 she was alive and scared or 5 or 6 she was dead and had become a ghost.

I really wanted it to be a 3 or 4 and for her to be alive, after all a lot of good men had died trying to find her, and it would make a happy ending, rarely encountered in my games. So I rolled the dice.

It was a 1, and so she has met the Vampire Lord and is now a vampire herself, a vampire to gladden Bryans heart.

I’ve not used this figure before, in fact I’m not even sure she’s finished and varnished, so I had no stats for her, so I did what I always do and rolled average dice for everything. This is what I rolled.

Rep 5, Brawl 5, Brains 5, Guts 4, Stealth 5, Alertness 5, Awareness 5, Strength 4, Constitution 5, Dexterity 4.

Bryan – she’s invincible – Well maybe.

However there is only the best of the rest left from the convoy that started out this morning. Sister OMV has proved herself time and time again and she was the first to step forward. She could attack with her staff but she chose to pacify the creature, is this a good move. It almost failed against Inmate 2.

They rolled dice, and rolled again and rolled again and on the 4th roll she failed, it was so close, I had determined that if she won there was a good chance she could release Mary Scroggins from the thraldom of vampirism. I really wanted a happy ending.

Failing this meant Vampirella attacked, this was just a straight physical attack, well no one likes being pacified do they.

Testing everyone else for this attack and they all stayed rooted to the spot, except Inmate 2.

With a howl of anguish he ran away, well you would, the problem was he was on a chain that was fastened to Sister OMV,s belt and a couple of die rolls later and I decided he had pulled her off her feet and dragged her back down the road a way. The power of fear.

Mary Scrogging/Vampirella is now a creature of the night so she decided she would return later with her Vampire Lord and drain the blood from each and every living human here, that would be so pleasant. It's a full moon tonight, the best of times if you are a vampire.

They will return.     Hopefully a bit more in focus.

They will be ready.

Well you might think this is the end but you would be totally wrong, tonight is a full moon and there are two Nosferatu out there, hungry for blood.

They are not taking part in a gurning competition, this is an ancient Nosferatu ritual conducted before the slaughter of innocents. Well Sister Monica of the Order Of Perpetual Pain might be an innocent, although I doubt Sir Marmaduke Langdale is.

To be continued ……………………

If you are still here - thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any thoughts and comments you make.

I'm away for a few days and look forward to catching up when I get back.
Cheers again

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Gothic Horror - The Hunt for Mary Scroggins Continues - Part 1

Well lads I told the Sisters we were not going and they said that’s fine, God will protect after us. Like buggery he will, so I said I would accompany them as far as Greater Piddling in the Marsh. You don’t have to come, I’m happy to go on my own. After all we killed that wolf man thingy and the Red Devil was not too scary. I know you don’t like bears Simon but he’s dead as well.

It should be an easy 8 mile walk, but if you are not happy about escorting the Sisters, I’m sure they’ll understand and forgive you, should anything go wrong – which of course it wont.

Daniel’s agreed to come and his wife – they’ve got bottle, I’ll give them that, no sense of course but brave as a pair of weasels, but if you don’t want to come, nobody will think any the less of you.

Oh and by the way Maude Porter still has the basket of brandy, and she’s coming too, but if you --- Oh do shut up Marmaduke of course we’re coming, chorused Simon, Jonathan, and Jeremiah, even Baxter barked his approval. (Sounds like something out of the Famous Five)

Well that’s a bit of a relief and I don’t mind saying so, - those Sisters are such chatterboxes and a man needs some male company you know.

Yep that’s Sir Marmaduke Langdale cunningly encouraging his companions to come with him looking for Mary Scroggins a second time.

If you didn’t read the 1st abortive attempt to find her look at this report here, I don’t think it will help a jot - but you never know.

These are the Sisters in question, and still don’t have first or Christian names, I feel I’m really slacking at the moment.

The Carter family - although no sign of Johnny.

I’m still determined to try the rolling table, by moving the action along the squares of terrain and when they exit one full set of tiles on the left remove them, and move all the remaining tiles to the left and add a new set on the far right. The table is 3 x 4 with all my sponge trees on it, and you can just see the river and bridge at the top of the picture, right side of the board.

The column heads out led as before by Sir Marmaduke and Baxter his faithful bulldog. Not had time to fit the steel/silver teeth yet.

The rear of the column with the Sisters grumbling a little about not being nearer to the front, the dust and the horse shit and the smell from the Carters same old – same old.

It’s still quite a strong force but after the debacle last time they sallied out, that’s not a bad thing.

I’m using the same encounter markers moving in a random manner and also the same encounter deck except I removed the encounters already encountered if you get my drift. The other point is that I am trying my rules but adding a supernatural and monster element to them rather than the CinC rules I’ve used before.

Almost as soon as they leave the village there is movement to the left of the road and a Black cowled figure appears. Gliding through the underbrush it makes no noise, moves no vegetation as it silently comes towards them. Sir Marmaduke is closest and the blood red eyes of the apparition bore into his mind, he can feel a lassitude come over him, he loses 1 from his constitution in the mental fight that is taking place, unseen by the others.

Simon Darkwood fires his pistol at the Ghost which can’t be hurt because it is a non corporeal entity but it can be dispelled. The bullet passes through where the ghost stands and appears to have no effect. Baxter is a brave and gutsy dog and attacks the ghost, which turns its baleful gaze from Sir Marmaduke onto Baxter. The dog is not phased by this at all and snaps at the ghost, there is a loud snapping sound as his teeth close on thin air.

The Ghost is not a physical thing so it attacks using mental powers to defeat an opponent but can’t physically kill the opponent but reduces it to a coma like state. Similarly Physical beings can attack the Ghost physically but can’t kill it, so when it is reduced in power it dispels or disappears.

Sir Marmaduke fails to activate, I guess he is still recovering from his brush with the ghost, but Jeremiah Pile. moves forward through the forest on the left and Jonathan Hawke moves up the road calling Baxter back so he can get a shot at the ghost, of course Baxter who has the brains of a goldfish ignores him and carries on snapping and snarling at the apparition, he feels a shiver of apprehension as he loses the mental tussle with the Ghost, but still remains in the unequal fight.

Simon Darkwood starts the long process of re-loading and the Sisters and other fighting men also move forward.

With a loud shout of “For King and Country” the Cavaliers charge forward to Baxter’s aid but it is too late and he falls to the ground shivering with fear. Fortunately it’s not far for him to fall and he does no physical damage.

I used a mix of the horror cards from Pulp Alley and from someone else who I can’t remember, Jeremiah failed his guts test and drew a card which was Suicidal Charge, fight like a mad man for one move and check bravery if still standing. Good oh.

Fighting like a mad man does the trick and the ghost disappears in front of their eyes.

Two other encounter markers come in sight. One is just the wind blowing through the trees but the other is not.

A pair of green Ghouls burst out of the trees, flesh eaters and scary as hell, these fight physically and can be killed but they also engender fear in opponents.

Sorry about the wonky bridge.

Jeremiah and Jonathan activate, Sir M doesn’t, the Sisters do and the Ghouls do.

There are a lot of opponents for the Ghouls and so they take a brains test, which because they only have tiny and quite defective brains they fail and charge to the attack. Jeremiah doesn’t like the look of these abominations and fires his pistol but his legs refuse the command to run forward, strange how legs can be so smart at times.

Jonathan also fires and then charges forwards but when 6” from the Ghouls takes another guts test because he can see what he’s about to fight, i.e. it’s a horror test and he passes and piles into the nearest Ghoul.

Even equipped with teeth, claws and a club the Ghoul is no match for a Kings man who survived the Civil War and is equipped with armour and a damn sharp sword which neatly takes the Ghouls head from it’s shoulders and it is now dead.

The remaining Ghoul runs away - quickly. These are creatures of the night and ambush they don’t like anyone who fights back.

Quick shot to show what is happening behind the fighting that is taking place at the front of the column. The plucky Sisters have pushed forwards, determined to do God’s work, something about smiting and hips and thighs and sinners, and eyes and teeth, not too much turning and cheeks though.

Before Jonathan can chase after the Ghoul, assuming he was going to do such a stupid thing another encounter marker appears and is revealed.

A Werewolf.  -  The forest round here is full of strange and wonderful creatures - all waiting to rip your face off and devour what’s inside.

You may think Jonathan is unlucky with these encounters but previously it was 1-4 Ghouls and this time it’s 1-4 Werewolves, so in the great scheme of things – he’s lucky. He might not see it that way though.

Jonathan is about 5’ 6” tall but stocky with it and he gazes at the werewolf which looks to be about 7’6” tall, but then he realizes it’s on a slotta base so it’s probably only about 6’6” tall. Ha that’s nothing and so with another loud cry of “For King and Country” he charges forward. The Werewolf not to be out done, growls Food and attacks as well.

There is a loud crash as Lobster Helmet, Steel Breastplate, Mathew Palmer Steel Sword bounce off Muscle and Bone, Tooth and Claw.

Everyone else is stunned and not a little afraid and do not activate except the Sister of the Order of the Virgin Mother (SOVM). You may not remember but she fought the Werewolf in the previous encounter and she is thinking Begorrha (maybe Irish!) that’s not as big as the last one, must be his little brother and she moves forward to help Jonathan but does not get there in time.

Ok so those slotta bases do count for something and Jonathan is flung to the ground, winded but not badly hurt, he would have be torn to pieces after that but SOMV arrived just in time to save his life and he didn’t get to find out if God was on his side in the Civil War. Not yet anyway.

She sets about the poor Werewolf with her staff and shouting incantations and extortions for it to go back to Satan, fights it to a standstill. They aren’t half a plucky lot these Sisters.

Sir M seeing the SOVM in mortal combat finally recovers from the effects of the Black Ghost and charges forwards to her aid brandishing his trusty sword, as does the Sister from the Order of Perpetual Pain (SOPP), armed only with a Steely Glare, which does no damage and the Werewolf ignores, it does not affect his resolve to eat as many humans as possible.

Sir M and SOVM lay about them and you can see Sir M’s sword made from the finest Sheffield steel pierce the Werewolf’s chest.

Frank tell your cameraman to eat his heart out, this is going to win the academy awards for best action shot. ;-)

And it falls to the floor, dead. Sheffield steel will do that.

Around this time the last encounter marker left the table and I finally got to move the rolling table forward.


The new table. The village has gone.

The river flows into a lake.

There’s a log cabin by the side of the road, is this Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood?

You see they are not yet over the bridge I have finished the game but at this point I’m going to leave it.

To be continued………………………..

If you are still here - thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any thoughts and comments you make.