“We must have been blown through a worm hole in space or time” Rufina remarked conversationally to her 3 companions. She was a Wizards Apprentice and knew about these things.
“Right…. is that so….. well you can get us back through this damned hole of yours…… and do it now”, remarked Red Sonia, in a not so conversational tone.
Sonia was not known for her patience, so Rufina, thinking swiftly said “of course I can, just follow me”. That's when they heard the strangulated roar of an Alchemical Monster.
“And be careful” concluded Rufina.
‘Where the hell are we’ Rufina thought as she looked behind her at some sort of metal fence, ‘bugger that’ she concluded ‘I have to get us out of here before Sonia loses her temper. That might be an Alchemical Monster I can hear but it’s nor half as scary as Red Sonia losing her temper. She knew this from experience, -- bad experience.
They were in some sort of futuristic compound and you might be forgiven for thinking this is because I don’t have any Frostgrave scenery but you’d be wrong.
It’s because in 2017 I met Doug not EM4 and The Mad Lord Snapcase for the first time, Doug umpired a couple of Frostgrave games which I won convincingly. Well I was pretty convinced but it was late and we’d been to the Pub and sometimes we have selective memories and mine was that I won convincingly.
Be that as it may, I thoroughly enjoyed the games and recently Doug started to talk about Frostgrave again and we’ve been discussing how to expand the Frostgrave Universe into different time periods and well; yes…. you’re right I have no Frostgrave scenery but that’s not going to stop me.
He’d become enthusiastic about doing a 3 part campaign; Dark Alchemy and I’m tagging along in his footsteps.
This scenario has the adventurers trying to reach the far side of the factory and exiting through one of two doors in the far corners. You might be forgiven for thinking that the doors look suspiciously like a pair of wooden outhouses or Dunnies if you’re Australian but you should have your eyes tested because they are doors into the strange and wonderful world of Scungrave.
I can’t tell you any more than that because I haven’t read the 2nd scenario and I made such a mess of reading the conditions of the first that I just may re-play it. One final caveat is that this is my first solo game of Frostgrave and as mentioned, the previous game was 5 years ago so don’t expect my rules interpretations to be anything like correct.
The lass in the hat is my Apprentice Wizard, Rufina Grey Eye, Rufina has been apprenticed to the Sorceress Thanda the Grim for many years. Thanda chose Rufina because, whilst normally she has a pair of blue eyes, when she’s angry or crossed, one of them turns grey, this is a portent of a great Elementalist apparently and hence the sobriquet Grey Eye. Rufina is waiting patiently for this portent to become anything like a reality.
She is though, famed for her Commanding Right Hand, this has been known to subdue dogs, cats and small vermin and she’s hoping to extend this to larger animals and maybe even humans, at least the slow witted ones.
Red Sonia, in the red tunic is Thanda’s trusted Lieutenant, Warrior and Treasure Hunter, she has fought in many battles and has many scars but few enemies. They are all dead; some are even buried.
Her extraordinary strength allows her to use ‘Damage’ her famous axe either 1 or 2 handed with devastating results and she’s very adept with the throwing knife ‘Surprise’ that she keeps in a sheath strapped to her left leg.
Thanda sends Sonia on these missions to make sure that all the time she’s invested in training Rufina is not wasted by her being killed in some lonely, desolate, out of the way place. A little like the one she is in now.
The strangulated roar of the Alchemical Monster recedes a little as it makes its way towards one of the exit doorways.
As a Gollum rat appears from the open doorway of the Dunnie of Redemption, covered in slime, it lick’s itself clean before moving on towards the same doorway as the Monster.
Sonia ever the impetuous one, having given her orders to Ashara and Tina, rushes forward. Tending left to avoid the direction the Monster appeared to be heading she feels nothing as Rufina casts a strength spell on her, Rufina though does feel something, as a sharp jolt of negative energy flows up her arm and momentarily blinds her, damn, the spell failed.
Tina the Swift didn’t earn her nickname by being slow. She reaches a blue barrel and pushing it over, she’s happy to discover it’s full of gold, silver and gem’s, there’s a particularly nice Blue Sapphire that she quickly secretes in the lower half of her skimpy outfit.
Tina is small and exquisite; she makes you want to keep her safe, to hold her close, to protect her. Only later when your purse is missing do you wonder if maybe she could have taken it, but no, that couldn’t be – she is too fragile, too helpless and you are too much of a fool.
She is one of the greatest thieves of her age. Swift as a striking Cobra, daring as a Mongoose, bold as a Tiger she is a truly dangerous adversary. Armed only with a small but wickedly sharp knife, lock picks and feminine guile she should not be underestimated, or you might not see the sunset…. ever.
Sonia finds the barrel nearest to her is also full of treasure, her anger at their predicament dissolves a little. Thanda will be pleased if they return with something to show for their misadventure in the exploding factory.
Sonia isn’t sure how, or why but she’s fairly certain the Apprentice had something to do with the disaster and Thanda will look to Sonia as her trusted Lieutenant to explain it and to resolve the situation. She sighs with the inequity of it all before bending to collect the bounty at her feet.
The Alchemical Monster and the Gollem Rat get closer to their objective as a second Gollem emerges from the inky gloom of the dunnie and spots Rufina in the distance.
Rufina tried a second Enhance Strength spell on Sonia, and she felt the warm glow of a successful cast, wondered for a minute if she might be getting the hang of the spell then spotted the Gollem leave the Dunnie. As it cleaned itself she successfully cast a Mind Control spell on it, the poor creature could not resist and fell under her influence.
This was to be the last successful spell she cast, life is sometimes unfair or then again maybe she should spend less time in the public bar at the Frog and Parrot and more time studying her spell books.
Tina lost a little time collecting the treasure from her barrel, and so Ashara makes it to the next one first.
Ashara is the only Archer in Thanda’s Household, and she comes from the exotic hot plains of the southlands.
Learning to fire a bow before she could walk the Elders considered her proficient when she could bring down a running Gazelle at 100 paces.
Her father was famous for his armour piercing arrows but he also produced specialised howling arrows, ones that would put the fear of God into her enemies, and best of all, her Uncle made slightly bent arrows. They could, reputedly, shoot round corners. This just might be late night campfire talk, stories told after a few jars of Raki, that fiery southern drink, beloved of poets, skalds and other tall tale tellers or it might be because he wasn’t a very proficient Fletcher. Truth and myth are interchangeable in the Annals of Time but I prefer the former story.
Ashara discovers this barrel is also full of stones as Tina leapfrogs forward, encumbered by the big blue Sapphire.
At this point you will realise if you played this Frostgrave scenario that she shouldn’t be encumbered and slowed down, also that she could fight without dropping the treasure without a penalty. This mistake of mine was to have serious repercussions later.
The Gollem under Rufina’s influence attacks the one guarding the doorway and dies quickly.
Guard Gollem rolls 12, Influenced Gollem rolls 2, he dies.
An overall shot just to show Sonia on the left is close to one of the door’s, Rufina has discovered the last treasure but Tina and Ashara both encumbered by loot are making slow work of getting there.
The Alchemical Monstrosity and the victorious Gollem rat are off to the right of the picture.
Of course when Sonia tried the door it proved to be the wrong one and they have set off towards the other one. The door that’s guarded by the Monster and Gollem, they have seen the Adventurers and are moving in their direction.
Rufina has been trying to cast a Shield Spell on Sonia and failed twice taking damage each time, was the Demented Demon Best Bitter at the Frog and Duck worth it she thinks to herself.
Ashara is out on a limb; facing both opponents and because she can’t put the treasure down as well as fire her bow in the same turn she’s up S**t Creek.
She did the only thing a sensible archer could do….. she ran away. Then climbed onto the building and now has a commanding view of the enemy. They have rushed forward to attack our gallant band of adventurers but even though the Golem is in contact with Sonia it can’t initiate a fight.
Putting their loot on the ground and drawing their weapons, Rufina’s crew awaited the onslaught.
This is now the end of Turn 7
The Alchemical Monstrosity, a large, plant type monster with tendrils who will be called Planty in future, is attacking Rufina rather than Tina.
At the same time the Gollem attacks Sonia, which turned out to be the last thing it did and a new Gollem appears by the s**t house.
At this point if there’s anyone reading this and understands the rules I’d appreciate them looking over the fight stats and letting me know if I made any mistakes. Or just skip this bit ;)
Planty Rolls 4 Fight +4 = 8 Planty wins.
Rufina Rolls 4 Fight 0 + Tina Support + 2 = 6 Loses. Armour 10 – 8 No damage. Whooo.
Planty wins and remains in combat.
Gollem Rolls 20 Fight +0 = 20 Loses. Armour 6 – 24 = 18 Damage - Health 1 = Dead.
Sonia Rolls 18 Fight +4 Attack spell +2 = 24 Wins
The Girls go next and Sonia moves forward and attacks Planty
Sonia Rolls 3 Fight +4 Attack spell +2 Tina and Rufina in support +4 = 13 Loses. Armour 11 – 20 takes 9 damage.
Planty Rolls 16 Fight +4 = 20 Wins
Ashara shoots at Gollem.
Ashara Rolls 4 Shoot +2 = 6
Gollem Rolls 7 Fight +0 = 7 Wins = No Damage
Ashara decides that in spite of her famed archer skills she is better off climbing down and knocking seven bells out of the Gollem.
Which she does quite successfully.
Sonia continues to attack Planty.
She has some sucess but eventually Planty prevails…Oh NO not Sonia!!
Another Gollem erupts from the dark dank recesses of the spawning bog and attacks Ashara, she deals with it without compunction and it dies.
Planty now attacks Rufina, and if Sonia can’t beat it then this is going to end badly for Rufina, is she going to be an ex Apprentice!
Planty Rolls 19 Fight +4 = 23 Wins
Rufina Rolls 4 Fight 0 + Tina Support + 2 = 6 Loses. Armour 10 – 23 =-13 dead. WHAT!
Don’t you just hate it when you’re right.
With Rufina and Sonia down things are looking bleak and I was feeling quite disgruntled with the combat rules.
It seems that D20’s give far too wide a variable for my taste but let’s continue and see how it pans out.
Ashara turns and attacks Planty from behind as Tina supports her from the opposite side.
Ashara Rolls 14 Fight +2 Tina +2 = 18 wins
Planty Rolls 6 Fight +4 Loses. Armour 13 – 18 = - 5 hurt.
Ashara attacks again…. and Planty is dead.
Tina and Ashara pick up the treasure and rush to the exit door.
But only Tina made it.
Gollem rats kept up a constant flow from the Dunnie and Ashara was defeated in the fighting around that hell hole. Tina made a break for it and has won through. Somewhere along the way she has lost the big blue sapphire and gained an even larger white crystal.
Again, anyone who’s played the scenario will by shouting “you fool, she can carry any number of treasures in this game”
Well if you are, just hold your horses.
As Tina looked back on the mayhem around the Dunnie a strange thought occurred to her.
Bugger Joseph A. McCullough and his scenario, I’m one of the greatest thieves of my age. Swift as a striking Cobra, daring as a Mongoose, bold as a Tiger, I didn’t get that reputation by running off and leaving a mountain of treasure behind for some thief to take what’s rightfully mine, so she went back.
Three times she went back and collected all the gems, gold, silver and in fact anything that looked valuable, including some bits of parchment and phials of strange looking liquid and piled it up by the doorway ready to escape the place.
On her last trip she decided to check on her fallen companions and discovered that they were all hurt but not dead as she had supposed and indeed after rolling a few dice Rufina and Ashara recovered quite well but Sonia who had taken the brunt of the fighting with Planty was quite badly hurt and would need at least some time to recover her full strength. (One game apparently)
Tina also recovered what she considered her personal blue sapphire.
So they were all able to exit the futuristic compound through the doorway and into an unknown future.
Unknown because I haven’t read the next scenario yet and don’t know what I’ll have to do to fudge the landscape. I also need to re-roll on the treasure table 3 more times now that I know Tina should have carried all 4 tokens off the table.
You may feel Tina should have checked on her companions first before collecting the treasure but I did tell you that she’s one of the greatest Thieves of her age and that reputation is earned by Thievery not Nursery.
I’m going to try and do all 3 scenarios using the rules as written but will treat all characters the same as Wizards and they will gain experience etc as they go along, or not, if they don’t. Perhaps. Maybe.
My apology to any purists who may be aghast that I didn’t spend weeks building the perfect terrain for the scenario but I’m afraid life is too short for that at Vagabond Manor. C’est la vie.
Rufina and her sorry band of miscreants are only novices using the Frostgrave rules, they’ve appeared in a few adventures using my version of Frostgrave earlier on this Blog if you’re interested. Look for the tag that might read Sword and Sorcery or something similar.
If you got this far – Cheers.