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Monday, 4 June 2018

Playing Not Running

So played D&D 5e at work last week and went really well. Playing with a group of relative newbies, I filled in the gap in our party and as such am a Tiefling Sorcerer with dark dusky skin called Temperance.

Below is the 1st episode's write up as completed by JM (Selise). We have more party members to join in future if you spot the glaring hole in our line-up.


Location: The North-West of the Forgotten Realms, on the Sword Coast. The nearest city is Neverwinter.

A Half-Elf named Naivara, a Human named Selise Marivaldi, and a Tiefling named Temperance, are part of a convoy of prisoners being led by a band of Orcs and Goblins through the Nether mountains towards a ruined castle. A temporary, albeit huge, encampment surrounds the castle.

The majority of the prison convoy is led away across the front of the castle and further into the camp, but for some reason Temperance, Selise and Naivara are separated from the rest of the group and taken inside the castle.

They are led into a dungeon, and locked in a square room with the pitiful remains of a fireplace set into one wall. They are guarded by a huge, hairy monstrosity that none of them particularly wants to mess with. Selise’s vague knowledge of Bugbear lore is detailed enough to let her know with relative confidence that he is a particularly bad-tempered hobgoblin.

They sit there, in sullen silence, for about three days. The passing of time is marked by the delivery of an indeterminable root and meat stew, and the occasional re-supply of fuel for their fireplace. Temperance lights these with the Firebolt cantrip, for which everyone else is eternally grateful.

In addition, the progression of days is more or less indicated by the fact that every so often, their guard drags a very bruised and bloodied Dwarf out of cell next door, and moments later they hear his screams echoing through the prison.

When this has happened about three times, they come to a general consensus that they need to escape. However, besides a loose flagstone in the floor of their cell, they have no immediate means to do so.
On what they assume is the third day, a bugle call sounds from outside. It would seem that the encampment around the castle is being called to move on. The three prisoners decide that if they’re going to escape, it’s now or never.

The guard comes back for his daily torture of the Dwarf, but this time, as he’s being hauled past the shared cell, the Dwarf stumbles and falls to the floor. The guard gets even more annoyed than is his norm, and as he reaches down to yank the Dwarf to his feet, a key falls out of his pocket. It lands right on the edge of the cell. Temperance surreptitiously moves over and stands on it.

The guard aims a swing at the bars in front of Temperance’s face, then skulks out with the Dwarf. The three captives wait until the screaming resumes from the corridor.

Temperance gives the others three options for escape: either wait until nightfall, or, if we’re going now, to try and sneak through the castle or fight our way out.

The three of them agree that they’d rather not risk their chances fighting that hobgoblin head-on, so they go for the sneaking approach. Temperance unlocks the cell and they immediately break the desk in the corner to pieces, using each of its legs as a makeshift club.

The bucket that their food has been delivered in is sitting in the corner by the door. Selise picks it up and ties it to her belt, mumbling something about it coming in useful later.

Naivara steps outside the dungeon and sees a staircase going up on the left, and a door on the right. Since the Dwarf’s screaming is coming from the stairs, they determine that that’s probably their way out, so they check the door on the right first. It leads to a small store cupboard, in which they find small bags of spellcasting items, a lute which looks like it’s at least a hundred years old but somehow still works, provisions, bedding, and some large sacks. Everyone takes what provisions they can carry. Temperance and Selise take the spellcasting items, and Selise claims the lute.

They head upstairs.

Naivara sneaks quietly up, wincing at the clumsiness of her companions.
Upstairs, they come to a door on the left and more stairs ahead. The screams of the Dwarf are coming from the door. Naivara slips inside, while Temperance and Selise wait in the hall.

The hobgoblin guard has his back to Naivara and doesn’t see her, as he’s too busy torturing the Dwarf. Along the left side of the room are three tables, on which are various torture implements that loosely resemble daggers, darts, lockpicking utensils, a meat cleaver, and a whip. Naivara picks up three daggers, the lockpicks, and the whip.
She sneaks up on the hobgoblin. She tries to kill it quickly with one stab, but as she lunges the hobgoblin moves, and she misses. It turns around, confused.
Temperance casts Firebolt at it from the doorway. He also misses.
The hobgoblin is now so confused that it stumbles against the torture table, and drops his sword as he goes to draw it.

Selise hits hurls a torrent of Vicious Mockery at the hobgoblin, followed up by another firebolt from Temperance.
Naivara stabs the hobgoblin. He flails in pain. As his hand flies past the Dwarf on the table, he bites at his fingers. The hobgoblin roars and flails around some more.
Selise casts Vicious Mockery at the hobgoblin again, but he’s already pretty traumatised and it doesn’t do much. In exasperation, Temperance shouts at Selise to go and grab one of the remaining daggers on the table, which she does, but it turns out that she doesn’t need it. Temperance intimidates the hobgoblin further using Thaumaturgy, before Naivara finally reaches up and slashes him across the jugular. He dies, rather horribly.

The Dwarf groans on the table.
Temperance goes back into the hall to check if anyone heard all that noise. It would seem that nobody did.
Naivara tries to heal the Dwarf, but he gets annoyed at her efforts and heaves himself up off the table. He grabs the meat cleaver from the dwindling pile of weapons, and all four of them make their way further upstairs. This time, Selise is a lot better at sneaking. Temperance and the Dwarf, however, render her and Naivara’s efforts useless.

They arrive on the next landing, and can smell a kitchen.
Without breaking stride, Temperance marches straight into the kitchen, causing everyone else to panic slightly. There are two goblins tending the fires immediately across from the doorway.
Naivara leaps past Temperance and over the table in the middle of the room, landing in front of the goblins and brandishing her daggers. Temperance turns, sees an Orc at the other end of the room, and hurls a Firebolt at it.

Selise decides that she’d rather not get involved. She turns around, slowly, and wanders off further down the corridor towards the next flight of stairs.
The Orc swings the meat tenderiser it’s holding straight at Temperance’s head, but it’s a clumsy swing and easily ducked. The Dwarf takes a chunk out of the Orc’s thigh. Naivara slashes at the right-hand Goblin, and at the same time, Temperance casts Thunderclap at the Orc. Both attacks, annoyingly, only serve to anger their foes, and do nothing to slow them down.
The Orc hits Temperance with his meat tenderiser right in the collarbone. The second Goblin misses a stab at Naivara, while the Dwarf swings his cleaver so hard it gets stuck in the Orc’s chest. The Orc falls down, very dead.

Naivara tries to stab at the other Goblin but swings too wide and gets tangled up in the muton spit. Temperance throws a Firebolt at it, burning a hole in its chest. He strides across the room, kicking the Orc on his way. Naivara and the Dwarf close in on the remaining Goblin. It, too, dies horribly.

Meanwhile, Selise has made it to the top of the next set of stairs. As she peeps above floor level, her eyes meet a huge, Morningstar-wielding Bugbear standing right in front of her, already on alert thanks to the commotion from the kitchen downstairs.
Selise screams. She yanks the bucket from her belt and lobs it at the Bugbear. It curves gracefully through the air and lands perfectly upside-down on the Bugbear’s head with a satisfying squelch. Remains of that unidentifiable stew trickle down its chin. Selise doesn’t stop to watch. She turns and runs, still screaming, back down the stairs, passing the kitchen and continuing on until she reaches the torture room below. She jumps into a barrel in the corner, and stays there.

The other three hear her screaming from the kitchen. Naivara and the Dwarf glance at each other nervously. Temperance quickly searches the pantry before leaving, and he finds water, wine, and two bottles of something which looks useful but he doesn’t have time to identify. He also checks the Orc’s pockets on his way out into the hallway, and finds a handful of gold.
The Bugbear – having removed the bucket from its head – rounds the corner. The Dwarf grabs Temperance and yanks him back into the kitchen before the Bugbear sees him. The two of them take up positions on either side of the kitchen door, and Naivara crouches behind a chair.
The Bugbear is followed by three more goblins, one of whom breaks off and scuttles downstairs. The second waits in the corridor while the third advances into the kitchen alongside the Bugbear.
Nobody moves for a moment.

Temperance casts Thunderclap, which hits the Bugbear but misses the Goblin. Naivara throws a dagger at the Bugbear at the same time, but her aim is wide. She throws another one, which also misses, and the Goblin also misses its attack on Temperance. He steps backwards and casts Chaos Bolt at the Bugbear, which forms a heavy layer of ice all across its chest and shoulders. The Dwarf carves a gash out of its back with his cleaver. The Bugbear roars, lunges at Temperance, and its Morningstar whistles by so close to Temperance’s head that his hair is moved by the breeze.

Downstairs, Selise can hear all of this from inside her barrel, but is too scared to come out. The Goblin follows her into the torture room and looks around, although more out of curiosity than anything else. It finds something underneath a bench on the other side of the room, and shouts excitedly to the third Goblin in the hall. It comes downstairs to investigate.

Back in the kitchen, Naivara draws her third dagger and leaps at the Bugbear. She stabs it in the back of the head, killing it instantly, giving Temperance room to launch a Firebolt at the Goblin as it takes a swing at the Dwarf. The Goblin dies too, and an eerie silence fills the kitchen. Temperance sinks into a chair. His collarbone is broken, and he’s bleeding profusely from one leg.
Selise finds the silence even more unsettling than the sounds of fighting, so she jumps out of the barrel and throws her dagger at the goblin in the torture room. The dagger sinks into its shoulder. It yelps, drops the bottle it had found under the bench, and runs away into the hall. The other Goblin takes its place and squares off against Selise.

The Dwarf hears the yelp and steps into the upstairs hallway, shouting for Selise. Naivara moves out and around the corner. She sees the wounded Goblin and throws her dagger at it, but misses.
A look of extreme annoyance crosses Temperance’s face, and he wearily gets out of his chair.
Inside the torture room, Selise casts Thunderwave at the third Goblin, throwing it across the room.
Temperance steps past Naivara, who has missed another dagger throw at the Goblin, and casts a Firebolt at it. It dies in flame.

Selise casts Vicious Mockery at the last Goblin. It runs out and down the stairs, tears streaming down its face. The Dwarf follows it down into the dungeon. Nobody else goes with him, but since he comes back again fairly quickly, it can be assumed that they won’t be having any more trouble from that particular Goblin.
Selise climbs out of her barrel and retrieves the bottle that the Goblin had dropped. There’s another one under the bench, and she picks that up too.

The four of them then traipse back upstairs, past the kitchen and up again, into a room that appears to be the Smithy and armoury. In there they find all the equipment that they’d had on them before they’d been captured. They also find about 10 days’ worth of rations each in supply kits around the armoury.
The Dwarf scans the whole floor and realises that there’s no one else around. They move next door into a barracks, bar the door shut behind them, and take a short rest.
During this time Temperance and Selise have a look at the glass bottles they’ve both picked up along the way. They contain healing potions. Temperance drinks one of his, and he returns to full health.
Once rested, they go up the last set of stairs. There are two rooms, both thankfully devoid of life. Temperance goes to the windows. On one side he can see the foothills of the surrounding mountains, and on the other sprawls the remains of the Goblin-Orc encampment. He thinks he sees the odd small movement, but for the most part, it is deserted.

Selise investigates the first room. It’s fairly decrepit and clearly hasn’t been inhabited for a long time. She finds a handful of coppers in the chest in the corner, but nothing else.
The other room looks considerably more lived-in. The chest in there is locked, and Naivara crouches down in front of it with her lockpicks and tries to get it open. She triggers a trap. Electricity hits her in the chest, sending her flying backwards.
Temperance sighs and takes the lockpicks from her. He gets the chest open in seconds.
Inside is a very well-made map of the surrounding area, which Temperance hands to Selise. There is also a piece of paper, with writing on it in a language none of them can understand. Temperance casts Comprehend Languages and reads it aloud.

It is a list of orders for whoever was commanding the garrison, written by someone called Breck. They state that the garrison is to obtain slaves, separating engineers and skilled people to be sent to the mines, and good fighters to be sent North. They are the orders of “The Hammer,” but they’re not addressed to anyone specifically.
Also in the chest is 100 gold pieces, gemstones to the potential value of 200 gold, and another scroll in a very fine protective case. It is a Magic Scroll of Scrying, which Temperance stows away in his pack.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Shape of Things To Come

So I'm currently without a computer and frankly I don't enjoy writing this up on my phone so hopefully this situation will change shortly.

In the meanwhile I have a new plan of action for how I'm sharing stuff with the public.

Photos and small updates will be posted on twitter and then shared on Facebook.

Larger updates (completed forces, aars etc) will be posted on here for your enjoyment. I'll hopefully be posting some scenery pieces soon as well as bolt action forces.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Juno Beach - Rommel Battle

So this Tuesday I played a game of Rommel using the Juno Beach scenario. Few points on this; I know it is a beginner scenario, but why is it 21st Panzer counterattacking - should it not be 12th SS? Also why are the 716th's artillery deployed so far forward - seems unnecessary.
Assault Brigades Advance
The game played well albeit we forgot plenty of rules. The counterattacking forces in the form of the Panzers were very effective in their assaults although the were all fairly spent through attrition by the time we called it. I also feel that I didn't assault very well once past the frontlines and allowed myself to be caught tipped a few times.
Panzer Reinforcements
The order sheets worked nicely, with the interdiction taking out 2 of Alex's artillery batteries which hindered massively his defence.
Allied Command Board
I think this will require a few more games just to get the hang of it but all in all enjoying it.

I have got a lot more Fallschirmjager painted and will get them all posted together.



Friday, 26 January 2018

Flamethrower and Panzerschreck

So been working through my Fallschirmjager - a little each night. As such I've got a couple more teams finished up.


 So I completed 4 more figures - I'm going for a bit of a mix of equipment with sand, luftwaffe blue and camouflaged helmets. I've also found that the metal figures are still a lot nicer to paint as well as feeling more solid in hand.

As with my previous models I've gone for a dusty outcrop type look to resemble these troops as they fought in southern Italy and Sicily. However despite previous posts to the contrary I've decided I will do some models with Panzerfausts to give me some more flexibility.




Panzerschreck team which for a veteran force is a whopping 104 points! Is this worthwhile in a low points game - hopefully find out soon.

On the other hand, including a flamethrower within a Fallschimpionier squad as part of an assault squad seems very cost effective. I really like how the bases have come out on these - the dust really helps to give depth.

Hopefully I will get a few more done this weekend as well as a few reinforcements to come. Handan are coming round tonight so should have a game report as well.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

WIP Flamethrower

So just a short one but wanted to share my recent Fallschirmjager advances. I'm still moving towards completing this (as a primarily if not solely infantry force) and hope to play a game shortly. I need to buy a couple more squads of infantry to flesh it out especially as I'm looking at incorporating an engineer squad in support as initially at least I'm going to avoid Panzerfausts as most reports I've read suggest they didn't have them in Italy in 1943.

As such here is the first member of that squad - he's not quite finished (still needs a dry dust).
Sorry about the awful picture quality - I'll try and get some better pictures soon as well as hopefully a battle report.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of The Dragon Queen) Act 1 Scene 1 Part 2 - I...do...not...do...Lightning!

***SPOILERS AWARE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING PLAYING THIS ADVENTURE!!!***

We left our heroes inside the keep at Greenest, recovering from their rescue of the villagers in the Temple (well half of them). After a short rest they were ready to emerge to the news that it appeared the cultists were attempting to set fire tot he towns mill. As the towns primary food source it was imperative this was dealt with.

Despite having being hinted at that there were no dwarven cultists, Ulla continued to try to deceive kobold groups around the town that they were with them. This (surprisingly) didn't work and they were forced to fight. This unnecessary distraction delayed them so that reinforcements may have arrived at the mill!

They sneaked up towards the mill and took cover behind a fence. After a while of viewing the mill - it appeared as if the 4 cultists on guard were making a show of lighting the building - setting fire to hay and outbuildings. As such our party managed to isolate one of the cultists on his rounds and managed to defeat them fairly quickly. However they (thanks to an appalling stealth roll on my part) managed to notice that there were multiple occupants of the mill.

These 3 Guards and 3 Cultists attacked the party and it looked ominous. Ulla had take multiple hits, and Phanny was looking hurt. Fortunately at that moment, a monk who'd been hiding across the way decided to assist - launching his spear into a guard and following it up with a flurry of blows. This interjection was enough for the party to defeat their enemies and defend the mill until reinforcements arrived to relieve them.

Dawn was now approaching as our adventurers made a final climb up the keep's walls. The cultists gathered their caravan of loot up and Langdedrosa - a blue half-dragon approached a dragon with a band of cultists dragging a young family behind him. Offering to release the family as long as someone faced him, Ulla was persuaded to face him. After one strike of his axe simply bounced off the scales of his enemy - Ulla was knocked out with a blast of lightning which nearly killed him outright from Langdedrosa's breath attack.

With this the cultists left (releasing the family) and Ulla was restored by the town's healers and was given 2 potions of healing.

And with that they reached Level 2!

***SPOILERS OVER***

We also managed to get in a game of Ticket to Ride - bit rusty but as with all European games it was close and I really didn't know who was going to win especially not myself coming from behind to win on longest route!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of The Dragon Queen) Act 1 Scene 1 Part 1 - Cultists, Cultists Everywhere





Image result for hoard of the dragon queen
So I persuaded JT and HanDan to give DnD a go (well JT has played before but this was HanDan's first go).  JT portrayed a Dwarven Paladin (who had been abandoned at a young age to live with the wolves!), the Han part of Handan played a Half-Elf Rogue (with very little memory of anything which had happened previously) and Dan was a High Elf Wizard (with comparatively little backstory - yet).

***SPOILERS AWARE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING PLAYING THIS ADVENTURE!!!***

Having run through the basic concepts, we entered the adventure with the party approaching the quiet town of Greenest. Unfortunately for our brave adventurers the town wasn't as quiet as advertised as a large Blue Dragon crackled with electrical energy in the skies overhead as cultists looted and burnt the buildings that they were approaching.

Sneaking into town they came across a family being chased by a group of kobolds. Being relativity inexperienced in real life combat, they took some hits before being able to dispatch the creatures. The parents of this family - Cuth and Linan - advised them to head for the keep.

Image result for greenest
Map courtesy of Heart of The Realms
On the way there the party defeated a bunch of cultists as stole their cloaks. This allowed them to pass the last obstacle on they way to the keep - unfortunately as they left the cloaks on as they approached the gates, they were nearly skewered by the town guard before managing to persuade them of their intentions.

Tarbaw Nighthill, the governor of Greenest, advised the party of the situation; the keep seemed secure but the cultists were looting and burning the town with the remaining citizens who hadn't escaped to the keep in imminent danger.

The gates were sealed shut now so the party had to make their way out through an old escape tunnel. A swarm of rats was scared off and upon exiting the tunnel they were able to persuade a cultist leader to come over a rise (sending away the rest of his party through the magic of nat 20s) and mugged him (gaining a deed to a piece of land just north of Waterdeep). Taking him back they were able to interrogate him into informing them that the cultists were raising a great hoard for Tiamat - unfortunately they then failed to remember from their learnings who Tiamat was - well that is a tale for another day I guess.

At this moment a crack of thunder signaled that the Blue Dragon was attacking, racing up to the rampant, our party arrived just in time to see a lightning bolt strike the wall and throw many of the defenders into the air. Realizing that they had no hope against this monstrosity they pulled the wounded down and reported again to the Governor. He advised that many of the citizens had barricaded themselves into the town's temple - could our heroes help?

Well having defeating the guards at the back door they broke into the temple and were unable to persuade the townsfolk to calm down from the frenzy they had got into. However they received assistance from the priest and evacuated everyone shortly before the cultists smashed down the door. Our heroes persuaded the cultists that they were with them before scarpering off after the refugees.

In one final bloody battle they cut a path through one final bunch of cultists (including saving Wisdom saving throws on multiple occasions to save against Command) and escaped to the Keep. And there we left it.

***SPOILERS OVER***

Sorry if that is all a bit garbled but I wanted to make sure I had a synopsis in a safe place. I hope to get better at the writing out as I do it more. 

On a side note I also am looking at painting plans for 2018. At the moment I am considering 52 bases in the year - we'll see.