Warlord Games is a company that designs and distributes board games. They also make figures to accompany them, and oh my, the quality of their creations is amazing. They make small figures out of plastic, medium out of metal and giant creatures and structures out of resin. This means that their games are affordable and the price of figurines isn’t over the top as with some other manufacturers.
This company has a respectable number of well-designed games that every role-playing board game player should try at least once. Their latest move was to create several Sci-Fi games to expand their roster of games that had only fantasy board games before that.
Battle it out Beyond the Gates of Antares
Beyond the Gates of Antares is one of the Sci-Fi games that the company introduced as their expansion into science fiction. The said gates connect worlds across the universe and races that evolved from humans are in an unending war for the control of those gates. One that controls the gates gets the access to undiscovered worlds that lie beyond the knowledge of the known universe.
This is a simple encounter board game where you fight against other players in turns. Several variations of the battle exist, and they include a search for the tech of the builders and fight to recover reconnaissance drones that went rogue.
Black Powder 1700-1900 – Games for history lovers
Black Powder is a collection of games that reflect the larger wars between 1700 and 1900. One set of rules is viable in all games that belong to this group. You can use same figures for all wars if you want to save some money. But if money isn’t an issue then it’s better to buy figurines that match the battle as that makes it easier to enjoy the game.
This collection includes French-Indian war, Napoleonic conquests, Anglo-Zulu skirmishes as well as the American War of Independence. Check out the official site of the Warlord Games for more info about figures and rules as well as factions you can play as in this excellent collection of games.
Bolt Action – A World War 2 board game you have to try
Bolt Action is the most successful board game by the Warlord Games, and its premise is well-known as it covers the World War 2. Rules are simple, you gain control over one of the ten factions, and you wage war against up to nine other players in the all-out war. No alliances exist before the start of the game, and thus it’s up to you to forge powerful alliances and crush your enemies. But beware the allies, as they might stab you in the back.
This game was so successful that Warlord Games launched a sequel called Konflikt 47. The WW2 didn’t end in 1945, and all faction came up with new tech, including armored walkers and new tanks to battle it out. Rules are similar to the previous game, and the only difference is the introduction of the Weird War set of standards that cover new mechanized units.
The sheer number of Star Wars games is overwhelming with multiple titles hitting the online shops every year. You can play a Star Wars game on whatever platform you have, from PC to mobile device.
A beautiful thing about this franchise is that doesn’t limit its games to one or two genres. You can find Star Wars titles throughout the wide variety of genres from action to adventure and card games. So, what is Star Wars Adventure and is it worthy of being a part of the franchise that spawned dozens upon dozens of games?
Star Wars Adventure – A Lego game
Star Wars Adventure – Empire vs. Rebels is a sequel to the Lego game of the same name that came out back in 2014. This is a sort of a platformer game that places you in a role of a force user going through various levels and location Lego pieces for C-3PO. You have to gather all pieces to allow the Rebels to prepare the defense against the Empire as their attack is imminent.
This is quite a simple game with basic premise and controls, and its target audience is children, and thus we can’t criticize it too much. But that doesn’t mean that developers can just make a bad game and say it is for children. We won’t allow that to happen. This game is an interesting entry in the Star Wars franchise, but it has its problems that require attention.
Issues that plague Star Wars Adventure 2016
This game is an adventure platformer, and when you look at it from that angle, you will find that it lacks many things. It has some basic mechanics that aren’t anything special. If you compare it with some successful entries in this genre, it fails to draw attention due to lack of any notable mechanics or systems.
Graphics are also lacking even for a Lego title, but that won’t affect sales as children aren’t interested in that. The story of this game is also nothing special, and that will turn down any potential players that older than eleven or twelve years.
Many people consider Clash of Clans as just another browser game without any depth. They obviously didn’t invest any considerable amount of time in the CoC, as they wouldn’t think like that if they did.
Clash of Clans was a first highly successful browser game that drawn huge crowds of people together and divided them into clans that battle for supremacy. The success of the game lies in the fact that it creates an excellent gameplay on both solo and clan levels.
You can’t say that base building is a core gameplay of the Clash of Clans and yet it is a large part of the game itself. The war between clans is also a huge part of the game, and yet it isn’t the element that carries the game. The combination of these two is what makes Clash of Clans such a good browser game that everyone plays.
In the beginning, there was a village
Every Clash of Clans adventure begins with you and a worker, and it turns into a small village. Your village is the center of your power, and its protection is up to you. Expect attacks and expect a lot of them. Others will try to take your hard-earned resources, and that can slow your development and make you just a resource farm for other players. You must not allow this to happen.
Attacks in early stages of the game will be rather weak, but you still require defensive structures to defend your village. The combination of walls and towers makes for an excellent defense that will repel any and all attackers. In the beginning, you will have three types of towers, and you should use all of them. The catch lies in the placement of the said towers. They have to protect the important building from enemy fire and still be at locations where they won’t attract too much attention.
Destroy your foes with overwhelming force
Constant defense of the base isn’t too impressive, and they become dull after a while. Attacking is what a browser game should be all about, and Clash of Clans delivers gloriously. This game has a strong focus on multiplayer, but single player is also present.
In a single player, players will fight with NPCs that will help them to learn how to fight different enemies. NPC armies will come in various forms, and that will force players to adapt to different layouts of enemies.
Multiplayer attacks are what Clash of Clans is all about. This game gives a player the choice of various units to implement in their army, and it’s up to the player to create an army layout that will defeat all enemies.
Clan wars add another layer to the warfare as the scale of the battle goes up several times. The way players battle it out also changes as clan vs. clan war isn’t same as player vs. player. Some players will have to create defensive armies to repel invaders while others will focus on the destruction of the opponents.
Board games aren’t as popular as they were several decades ago but they are still here. In the past, people would gather and enjoy in long board game sessions where they played out fantasy settings where they battled enemies, explored new lands and investigated crime scenes.
The revival of the role-playing board games
2017 brought a huge change in the way people view board gaming as several games took inspiration from some of the greatest titles of this genre. Twitch streaming played a significant part in the revival of board and miniatures games, and thus this world is slowly opening for young players.
Now, many think that board games are the same thing as minis (miniatures), but that isn’t true. The goal of miniatures games is to try and recreate the setting as best as possible, and that is done with figures. Big role-playing games come with hundreds of figurines and that makes it possible to create environments and settings. This is a level of immersion that traditional board games can’t recreate.
The two largest role-playing universes
The majority of old and fruitful miniatures games belong to either D&D or Warhammer 40K universes. These two universes are highly developed, and the number of games set in them created worlds, stories and NPC characters that transcend time and space. People wrote exciting races that are spread out over those universes as well as calamities and threats that exceed single games set in the world. No new game set in one of these two universes goes without mentioning of some events or places from earlier installments. Enemies also cross the boundary between titles and that makes it possible to face villains from older games.
The best from the role-playing miniatures game world
Board games aren’t only limited to D&D and Warhammer 40K, and we will give you a list of miniatures games that are worth checking out.
Warmachine and Hordes are two games that are compatible. Both of these games earned rewards as some of the best miniature sets. The universe isn’t as vast as Warhammer 40K, but that isn’t important considering the nature of these two games. Both Hordes and Warmachine are skirmish games, and thus the majority of the gameplay focuses on the battle between two or more factions on one battlefield. This is a steampunk game that has it all, from machines and humans to fantasy races and savage hordes.
Planetfall is the best installment in the Firestorm Galaxy universe, and it delivers fast paced combat that involves futuristic tanks, lasers and much more. This game has a hardcore Sci-Fi setting that isn’t a place for regular humans as everything you meet on a battlefield is geared up to destroy city blocks and enemies whose size exceeds that.
Everyone knows that Monster Hunter franchise is full of excellent titles that have captivated players over the years. The whole franchise has been known for its unique gameplay where you go and hunt various monsters. The latest title is also going to follow the same trope and throw you into the world that is full of interesting monsters to kill.
The best installment in the franchise is here
We, along with the majority of people that await Monster Hunter World, believe that this will be the best installment in the franchise. This is the first Monster Hunter game that is developed for PC along with other platforms and that sets our expectations at a high level. PC users were able to play several installments from the franchise, but those were all ports from consoles, and thus players were inclined to accept some downsides.
But the latest title is developed for PC and thus we expect some improvements over older games. Monsters in this game are perfect, and we can’t say anything about that. The diversity of the monsters is also good, but we won’t complain if we get some brand new and powerful foes to face.
The only improvement when it comes to fighting monsters is the environment in which we will face them. Environment building wasn’t the strongest suit of the Monster Hunter games, but that should change in the new title. PC gamers are used to the well-build environment, and Monster Hunter World will have to deliver in that area to satisfy PC users.
The latest game in the franchise will allow players to switch weapons mid-battle, and that is excellent, but it can spawn some issues. All weapons have to be balanced and provide the player with a satisfactory experience. The developer confirmed that the arms from previous games would make an appearance and that will excite all Monster Hunter fans. But what we want is more weapons added to the game. Those weapons should play differently than already existing tools of the trade, but they shouldn’t be better and thus replace old weapons.
Many board role-players don’t know the extent of the Judge Dredd Universe, and thus they skip excellent games. This universe might not be as detailed and as famous as D&D, but it has some unique stories written by talented artists.
The Stiffy Blockwar! is the first longer board game set in this universe and it packs a punch. It contains everything a Judge Dredd game should have. This, of course, includes criminals, great guns, and justice and we mean justice for all.
The Stiffy Blockwar! – When newbies unite
This game is for a minimum of three and a maximum of five players that will act as new judges. The zone in which they will spread the law is Sector 190 that lacks judges due to other issues. Rad winds have been playing tricks with the equipment and thus its hot, 94 degrees of hot. This weather makes everyone nervous, and that leads to crime, and your group will have to stop it.
Acts in this game are called progs. Once one prog starts, the Keeper will share any relevant info about characters you will encounter and other valuable data that judges need to know. The first prog is a Roll Call, and it allows players to introduce their characters and tell others about their past and other info.
Bring the law to lawless
Sector 190, as well as other parts of the town, isn’t the safest place for a civilian and it’s up to judges to keep criminals at bay. This game has it all, from new-formed gangs and robots to secret plots and drugs.
The first piece of action new judges will taste will be against an elevator trolls. Trolls are groups that demand tolls in elevator areas, and that is highly illegal. This isn’t a hard encounter, and only the leader of the group might present a small problem. You don’t have to kill members of this group as they are just kids that are up to no good. However, if they resist arrest and refuse to obey the law (you), then you can do whatever you want.
The real fun starts with the robots. Your group will get a notification that a wanted criminal is spotted at the robot gathering. The criminal, as it turns out, is just a robot that doesn’t know it. The problem comes from the fact that he is based on a notorious criminal. This won’t be an easy battle, but some coordination and teamwork will bring the enemy down.
The next prog will have a team deal with drug dealers, and that will introduce you to a larger scheme that is happening in the whole city. This, of course, will be followed by a lot of shooting and spreading the word of law.
Dungeons and Dragons universe is vast, and dozens of board games had their setting in it. This is the world full of various creatures, non-human races, and magic. This is an excellently written world that has rules that will both reward and punish player depending on their play style.
Those that refuse to take risks will probably survive, but they won’t get any treasure or weapons. On the other hand, there are people that are willing to take that chance because they know that rewards await them after every tough battle. However, risking too much will only get you killed, and that is the end of the adventure. This is why every group should have a bit of everything, people that charge in and those that stay back and guard them.
Chariot of Tanith Ebar – A D&D adventure you should check
Chariot of Tanith Ebar is one of the more interesting D&D adventures that have quite a high difficulty. Luckily that difficulty is adjustable, and thus even beginners can play it. The premise is rather simple: you are hired by a wizard to enter catacombs bellow the city of Hue to retrieve chariot of the Tanith Ebar, an ancient warrior king.
Encounters in the catacombs
The path from the entrance to the Treasure chamber is long, and there is a total of twenty encounters the party will have to face to reach to the chariot. These encounters don’t represent fights as some rooms will have puzzles or other things instead, or along with the monsters. Some of the rooms will contain traps where players can lose health if they fail to see the trap and disarm it.
The fourth room (Moldy Room) will hold the first puzzle which has to be solved for the party to progress. The first battle will happen in a place after that (Armory), and you will face Night Hunter Bats. These aren’t strong opponents, and they are there to show you what to expect. This room contains bronze weaponry that can be sold after the adventure. Those weapons are brittle, and they will break quite quickly if used in a battle.
The real fun starts in the sixth room where your party will have to face a Wight and a Ghoul. These are tough enemies that might trouble your party, but that bronze weaponry found in the previous room will serve its purpose. The adventure gets harder after this, and only able D&D players will be able to accomplish the task and earn their rewards.
Traveller is a rather innovative space adventure that is worth playing over and over again. This is a sci-fi adventure that will see you and other players explore new star systems and make some discoveries.
The Traveller universe is extensive, and new systems are added every once in a while. This makes it possible to return to your favorite Traveller characters and take them in a newly discovered system where adventure awaits.
Welcome to the Chevron worlds
The Chevron stands for six worlds that were recently discovered. They aren’t unfamiliar to people, but they do hold some mysteries that players can explore. All important locations are well-written and captivating. A good Keeper will be able to describe those areas in a fashion that will bring them to life. We won’t spoil those locations for you, but we can sift through events to give you more idea about Traveller and what it represents.
Traveller – Missions worth mentioning
A beauty of the board game like Traveller is the unlimited number of missions and encounters your crew can take on. This is why the Traveller is a board game that transcends its limits. Chevron worlds contain several interesting encounters that will make any player return to this part of the universe and revisit those encounters once again.
The encounter in the Harakaza system is the best representation of what Traveller is all about. You will find that this mission contains everything a board game should have, mystery, investigation, thriller, and action.
This is a rescue mission, and the reward for the same is rather standard. But no mission in Traveller goes as you think it will and this one is another example of that. You arrive at the New Colony and fail to establish contact with colonists. After some exploration, you will find that settlers are aggressive due to some form of contamination. You will have to fight against them as well as some Marines (that came to the colony with you). This mission is excellent because it has an equal amount of everything including investigations, action, horror, and thrill where the chances of survival aren’t high.
Worlds of the Ley Sector Extension
This extension deals with the Shanape Chevron worlds. The Chevron is a group of 6 worlds located along the Spinward side of the Ley Sector. Most of the traffic out of the Chevron goes Rimward from the Harukaza starport. There is some commerce between the Cheveron and the Shanape Link Cluster from both the SHANAPE and 900-790 starports.
World Descriptions 67
New Colony 67
Rescue Mission 69
Pirate Attack 70
Smuggling Run 70
Non-Player Characters 70
See Rescue Mission on page 4.
The star system of New Colony was only discovered thirty years ago. The Imperial Astrographers were only recently able to detect the binary system through a rather heavy interstellar cloud. The system consists of 3 small gas giants and 1 terrestrial planet.
There is no starport on the main world.
The main world of New Colony is an Eden. It is a terrestrial planet with standard gravity, atmosphere, and climate. Its surface is 60% water. There are indigenous life forms on both the land and in the water, but none has intelligence. The world appears to be a prime candidate for colonization. A team was sent in earlier this year to conduct a detailed survey.
The Rest of the System
The other planets in the system are small gas giants. There is no planetoid belt.
See Smuggling Run on page 6
900-790 is a system with a single red dwarf star without any planets. Instead, it has a sizeable asteroid belt at 30 Million Km from the star. Imperial planetologiests have determined that the asteroid belt is the remnants of a large planet that was destroyed by some cataclysmic event. As such, the asteroid belt is rich in raw materials.
The system’s starport, know locally as Iceball, is located in one of the smaller asteroids. Two large craters have been hollowed out and docking facilities have been built. The out-system side is for jump-capable ships and the local freight haulers use the in-system side. Due to the microgravity fields, docking at the starport is tricky and requires a Pilot check (DC 20). A failure by more than 10 means that the ship has collided with the docking station. Otherwise, it is a near miss. Due to the amount of raw materials being shipped out, this is a very busy starport. The docking facilities remain 80%-90% full. There is a 40% chance that any arriving ship will have to wait in a parking orbit for 2d6+2 hours until a dock opens up. Due to the sparseness of the system, fuel must be shipped in. This adds a 25% surcharge to the basic fuel rates.
Since all the materials from this system ship out from the starport, the asteroid in which it is located has become the center of the system. The system’s government is a feudal technocracy rooted in the families of the original prospectors. The entire system is split between seven families, the Founding Seven, and they use a feudal system to mine and work their holdings. Of the system’s 4 billion people, most of them live in this hollowed-out asteroid. Needless to say, it is very crowded. As such, there is a very high law level – to keep down on the violence. Even so, with all the belters in the area, it is a violent place. Being an asteroid mining operation, the area has a very high technology level. The wealth of the system means that the highest technology is available for the mining work. Iceball is a modern-day gold rush boomtown. As such, prices are inflated 20%-50% over standard rates.
The Rest of the System
There are no other bodies in the system. The Planetologists believe that whatever force created the asteroid belt destroyed any other planets.
See Rescue Mission on page 4.
The Harukaza system consists of 10 planets, but no gas giants. The main word, Harukaza V, orbits the star at 420 Million Km.
The Harukaza starport consists of a single high port in geosynchronous orbit above the planet’s equator. Travel between the starport and the surface is by planetary elevators. This starport is the main jump point for ships leaving the Ley sector for the Glimmerdrift Reaches. As such, it is the most cosmopolitan of the sector’s many starports.
Harukaza V is a cold planet, with average temperatures ranging from -35° to – 70°. However, even with these temperatures, half of the planet is covered with water. The surface is ice varying in depth from 20m to 80m. Underneath this shell of ice, is an open water sea. The water is kept above freezing by huge steam vents on the ocean floor. All the indigenous life forms live in these ice- capped seas. There is not much biodiversity with only 200 known species. Most of these are jellyfish like, but there are a few mega-scale animals, of which the Harukaza Whale, a 150m filter feeder is the most famous. Due to the inhospitable conditions, the population on this world is low. The population either supports the starport or works the local agriculture: the former live in the central city while the latter live in small, outlying agri- domes.
The central city is directly below the highport. It is the seat of government and has a population of about 80,000. The other 40,000 inhabitants live in the numerous agri-domes around frozen seas. Some of these agri-domes aren’t domes at all, but large vessels that skate on top of the frozen seas and harvest the biomass that is just under the ice cap.
The Rest of the System
Of the remaining 9 planets, only two have an atmosphere, and these are methane green houses with ambient temperatures around 200°.
See Pirate Attack on page 5.
The Magi system is a binary star system. The stars, Prospero and Merlin, are red dwarf stars. There is a single gas giant (Magi 7), a planetoid belt (at Magi 6), and five other planets.
The class C starport consists of a highport made from the hulk of the original colony ship and planet side shuttle ports in each dome. The usual star port traffic is Jump1 ore haulers. There are also Jump1 Free Traders who stop for refueling on the way between Harukaza and Shanape. The highport is mainly for the ore haulers and, as such, has quite a bit of blue-collar entertainment. There is a -4 modifier when determining the number of middle passage and high passage travelers.
Arthur (Magi 4) is the main world in the Magi system. Arthur is an airless world with a high concentration of ores. This is a mining colony and there is little else here. Four major corporations (RMB Industries, Allied Mining, Seafort Shipping and Mining, and Consolidated Resources) have broken the planet up into regions. The CEO’s of these companies serve as the ruling (oligarchic) council of the world. Given the rough nature of miners and mining encampments, the council, or The Corps, struggle to keep the law level where it is. The government has been now to be very harsh in certain circumstances. Severely anti-social elements are encouraged to take up the life of a belter since it’s more economical than prisons.
The Rest of the System
The four corporations have small mining operations on each of the other planets, including a gas mine on the gas giant. Since the gas giant is being mined, the local constabulary frowns upon “ free lance fuel mining” and can be quite harsh in treatment of “ hydrogen smugglers” . The planetoid belt is too sparse for the corporations to make a profit, so it is left for wildcat belters to exploit. Due to the “Botany Bay” aspect of the belt, there are quite a few pirates and part time pirates in the area.
See Smuggling Run on page 6.
The Shanape system was the capital of a small empire that covered Shanape Link and Shanape Chevron worlds. The arrival of the Solomani empire caused this empire to collapse, but the locals have a long memory of their history.
The Shanape Highport is brand new. It has just been commissioned this year and, as such, it still has a few bugs to work out. There is a 20% chance that a ship will have to wait for 2d6 hours to dock or leave due to mechanical problems. The starport staff is quite aware of the problems and is quickly working to fix everything – however they are harried. Luckily major system failures have reduced in frequency – they only occur about once a month now. The downport is the same downport used since Shanape Imperial times. The architecture is quite beautiful and everything is built to impress travelers with the majesty of the empire. The Shanape government, as a reminder of the glories of the fathers, has kept up the starport.
Shanape III is home to over 2 billion people crowded into sixty large spire cities surround by verdant parklands. The Fathers had a great respect for the natural beauty of the world, so they minimized the acreage used by the people and left the rest of the planet as a large game preserve. With the fall of their empire, Shanape could no longer rely on agriworlds for its food production, so great parts of the parklands have been turned into farms. One advantage of keeping the population in close quarters is that they are easy to control. Soon after the fall of the empire, a military dictatorship was established. That has now turned into a Totalitarian oligarchy, which rules with an iron fist “in the
name of the Fathers”. People are constantly watched by electronic and biological spies and any minor infraction results in severe punishment. Off- worlders are welcome to spend their money, but they are very closely watched. Each ship landing at the downport has a liaison officer assigned to it. This officer is not so much a commissar as a guide and protector. The government doesn’t want to offend off-worlders as they are the major income of the planet, but they also don’t want any foreign ideas getting loose.
The Rest of the System
The rest of the system includes single gas giant and 3 terrestrial planets. Of these three, Shanape II is used as a prison by the government. There political prisoners and their families are exiled for life for “tainting the memory of the Fathers”. The planet has about 2 million people on it. The two thousand guards are all stationed on the downport immigrant processing station. The prisoners are allowed to run their own affairs as long as the factories keep up their production quotas.
The Grunwald system is knows as the system of giants as its central star is a sub-giant and the majority of the planets are gas giants. There are two planetoid belts as well as 1 terrestrial planet. The major export of the Grunwald system is hydrocarbons. The three gas giants have an abundant supply.
In this system, the starport does not orbit the mainworld of Grunwald II. Rather, it is high above Grunwald V, the largest of the gas giants. It is a functional starport designed for transfer of the hydrocarbons mined from the gas giants. Access to the mainworld and planetoid belts is handled by regular shuttle flights.
Grunwald II is a large planet with a small population. The indigenous population of Vargr has set up a feudal system to run their world. They have little to do with off-worlders, who they restrict to a single city on the southern continent. There is little commerce between off-worlders and the Vargr. What is allowed is the payment of royalties from the gas mining operations.
The Rest of the System
The three gas giants are mined by the Magi Corporations. They have their own capture ships working various parts of the planets and taking their loads to their own refineries. From these refineries, the hydrocarbons are shipped to the starport for export out of the system. Given the profitability of the gas mines, the corporations expend great sums to protect their rights. It is not uncommon to see retired military ships patrolling for the companies. Given the profitability, smuggling and claim jumping is quite common. It is generally a good idea to not scoop fuel from these gas giants. If a ship manages to not be destroyed, the owner will be tied up in paperwork for weeks.
The binary system of Kukelu is composed of two red dwarf stars. There is a single large gas giant and 6 terrestrial planets.
Kukelu’s starport is located on the south polar ice cap. It is a Spartan port that is used mainly for trade with the Shanape cluster world of Liar’s Oath. Being of ursine construction, everything is oversized. And given their taciturn outlook, there is little in the way of common entertainment.
Ursines originally settled Kukelu 3 and it is still 90% ursine stock. Like most planets in the shanape Chevron, Kukelu 3 is a mining operation. However, un like most others, a representative collective runs this one. There are few inhabitants scattered around in various stone cities. The chief of this is the polar starport.
The Rest of the System
The other terrestrial worlds in the system are barren rock. The Ursines have not done anything more than survey these worlds. They are “ left alone for future generations” . However, there is an unmanned Imperial Signalling Station out in orbit A.
Encounters Rescue Mission (Harukaza system)
This adventure starts on Harukaza where the party is approached by port authorities to participate in a rescue mission. The party will load up with a rescue team and supplies and fly to New Colony. Contact has been lost with the survey team.
Act I: Charter
Shortly after landing at the Harukaza Highport, the party is approached by a representative of Imperial Planetological Survey ministry. He wishes to character the party’s ship for a rescue and investigation mission.
Payment will be standard charter rates:
? Cr900/ton cargo space (66).
? Cr900/Low Passage accommodation (4).
? Cr9000/High Passage accommodation (6).
In addition IPS will cover any repair for damages incurred. This is an exclusive charter, so no other passengers or cargo is allowed. The total amount for the charter is Cr117,000 per two week period. If the party accepts the charter, then 50 tons of equipment and supplies will be loaded quickly and fueling will begin. The cargo includes military supplies, the largest of which is a GCarrier, labeled “ Kiss Me Quick!” The 5-member team will board the ship the next morning. The team member is lead by Dr. Archibald West, IPS geologist and experienced planetologist. Since things have gone quiet, an Imperial Marine Specialist Team accompanies Dr. West.
? Dr Archibald West – Geologist who leads the expedition; experienced planet surveyor.
? Capt. Hiroko Wilkins – pilot on TDY. Hiroko is along incase someone needs to fly the original survey ship out.
? Sgt George Apone – commander of the strike team.
? Spec. Juan Hicks – communications and computers.
? Spec. Adolph Gonzales – logistics and driver.
The marines will be billeted in the Low Passage berths, while Capt. Wilkins and Dr. West will take a stateroom each.
If the party noses around, they learn the following rumors about New Colony:
? It was recently discovered by IPS. An intervening ionized gas cloud prevented its earlier detection.
? The planet is a paradise with plenty of plant and animal life but none of it sentient.
? IPS sent a 10 man survey team to the planet five months ago.
? The first supply ship, the Far Trader Nathan’s Last Hope, returned with a report from the survey team two months ago. The team reported finding the wreck of an alien colonization ship. No trace of the aliens was found. The ship was overgrown, indicating that it had been there a long time.
? The Far Trader Nathan’s Last Hope was sent with more supplies. It is now a week overdue.
On board ship, Capt. Wilkins will be close mouthed, but Dr. West will be quite willing to talk to the party.
Act II: Arrival
Entering into the New Colony system, Dr. West will try to raise the survey team. No response, either manual or automatic from the surface. There is no response from Nathan’s Last Hope either. The orbital survey pod (OSP) doesn’t respond either. Dr. West will request approaching the OSP. The OSP is a survey satellite. In addition to surveying the planet, the satellite monitors and records all communications traffic of the survey team. It keeps stores this information in orbit in case something happens to the team on the surface- sort of a mission black box. The OSP also has a long-range antenna which can it can use to relay messages from the ground in case of a problem with the ground-based long-range antenna.
Recovering the recordings from the OSP requires either a space walk or pulling the 10-ton satellite into the cargo bay. A cursory examination reveals that the satellite was hit by a micro-meteor that disabled its long-range antenna.
Reviewing the data reveals that everything was going normally with the team. They had surveyed the plant and animal life and found no harmful poisons.
Shortly before the arrival of the first supply vessel, the team discovered the wreck. A small team was sent to investigate. The expedition was low on supplies, so the small team augmented its supplies with local produce.
The supply ship landed near the base camp and unloaded supplies. There had been an accident during transit and half of the supplies onboard the ship were contaminated. The ISP team sent the supply ship back with the report. The team began augmenting their reduced supplies with local foodstuffs. Two days after the supply ship left, the alien ship investigation team lost contact with the base camp. A subsequent team was sent to investigate. When the second team returned, they reported that the camp of the alien ship expedition appeared to have been attacked and there were no survivors. There was also no evidence of where the attackers went.
The last transmission recorded showed one of the survey team sitting in front of the Comms screen gibbering incoherently. The man then turns slightly to his left as a hydraulic ram is swung into his head and then the Comms station. This transmission was dated five days after the return of the second team. There is no other information.
An orbital survey of the planet will reveal the location of the base camp and the wrecked alien ship. Five miles from the base came is the wreckage of the Far Trader Nathan’s Last Hope.
Act III: Planetfall
Scene 1: Landing Preparation
Before Planetfall, Capt. Wilkins will thaw the Marines and get them ready to land. They will prep the GCarrier in orbit and load up. Dr. West will suggest landing out of sight of the original camp. Once landed, the GCarrier will roll out with the marines inside (and any others).
The drive to the campsite is uneventful. The lookout will see a large herd of herbivores resembling hornless rhinos about a quarter mile to the right. The animals pay little attention to the GCarrier.
The campsite is a mess. There are bodies lying all around the plascrete structures. It appears that they all have died violently. Some bodies show evidence of being shot with lasers or slug throwers while others appear to have been bludgeoned to death. The turf is churned up in front of an enclosed air/raft. The raft is powered up and humming. Near the access hatch are scorch marks. Inside the air/raft is another member of the survey team who apparently died from a laser shot to the chest.
Inside the huts are more bodies. Some rooms are neat and clean, while others are in a shambles. One or two have been meticulously cleaned.
Close examination will reveal:
? There are no tracks of any vehicles.
? There are no tracks other than those of the survey team.
? The bodies show evidence that they died fighting each other. Some committed suicide.
There is really no more information to be gleaned. Scene 2: Nathan ’s Last Hope
The wreckage of Nathan’s Last Hope is strewn over a two-mile area. There is a large crater in the ground where the majority of the ship resides. The area is highly radioactive. The ship’s data record is intact. Reading this and comparing it to analysis of the crash pattern shows that the Far Trader had a fault in its maneuver drive. During approach to the base camp, a drive baffle failed. This caused a cascading failure that lead to the detonation of the ship’s fuel tank. This faulty baffle is want caused the earlier shipment of supplies to become contaminated.
Act IV: Picking up the Pieces
Scene 1: Visiting the Alien Ship
Surveying the campsite shows that it has been damaged, but is repairable. The Comms center can be made to work, but apparently the main antenna is down. According to the notes, the antenna was put on a high mountain ridge about 30 miles away. Since the marines need to stay here to guard the site, Dr. West will send the party to repair the antenna. Arriving at the antenna, the party will find that one member of the team electrocuted himself on the transmission equipment. It takes about seven hours to repair the equipment and get it up and going again. Once this antenna is back on-line, communication is restored with IPS. When the party contacts the base camp, they are told everything is all right, but that a storm front is moving in. It will be gone by the morning, so they should wait it out.
Scene 2: Return to Basecamp
The next morning, the party is unable to raise the base camp. When they arrive, they see that the G/Carrier has been driven into one of the huts. As the party approaches, Apone, Hicks, and Gonzales open fire from inside the huts.
The rescue team cleaned up the kitchen and made dinner. They supplemented their own rations with some native fruits. These fruits have a chemical that is normally benign. However, it affects the brains of higher-level animals. The result is similar to violent paranoia. If the party survives, they can find Dr. West’s notes. He was one of the last to succumb and was able to note that the problem is in the native foodstuffs. As the chemical is present in the entire biomass of the planet, this world is not safe for colonization.
Coming out of jump space, the proximity alarms go off. The Comms channel crackles to life with a message from a ship named the Black Rose. The Rose is ordering you to stand down and prepare to be boarded.
The Black Rose is 1d20 * 750 km away (10T hexes; close range).
The Black Rose will fire to disable the target. When boarding, three Vargr pirates will come over in Vacc Suits armed with laser carbines. They are interested only in getting 50 tons of cargo. After off-loading it, they will let the ship go. If they suffer substantial damage, they will withdraw to the asteroid belt. There are no patrol ships in the area, so the ship is on its own.
The party is approached though black-market channels to see if they would be interested in running a private cargo to Shanape. Payment will be Cr200,000 with Cr50,000 up front and the rest on delivery. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. The cargo consists of 40 tons of seal containers and an Aslan who will accompany the load. The contents of the containers are laser rifles, powerpacks, and combat armor. If acceptable, the load ship will need to pickup the load from an asteroid in the middle of the area and be delivered to a ship in orbit around the gas giant in the Shanape system.
At an appointed time, the Aslan (Richard) will get onboard the ship and give the pilot coordinates for the pickup point. The trip would take seven hours in a direct flight, but Richard suggests a more round about trip that takes fifteen hours. A system boat will start following the party’s ship two hours after it leave the dock. A successful sensor check (DC 20 + 15 for running silent) will reveal the tail. If the party tries to avoid the ship, the crew has a Sensor rating of +5. If the party engages the system ship, it will fire back and demand that they surrender. The following ship will not engage the Party’s ship but will tail it to its jump point.
Coming out of jump, the ship will be challenged by port authorities. Richard gives a cover story that they need to scoop fuel from the gas giant to be able to make it to the port.
At the rendezvous, the party’s ship will encounter a ship named Freedom’s Breath. The two ships will set up to transfer cargo. In the midst of the transfer, two system boats will appear and challenge the ships. The Freedom’s Breath will undock and dive for the atmosphere. Richard, who is actually a plant, will get in the ship’s turret and fire on the retreating ship. If the party does nothing or helps, the system boats will destroy the Freedom’s Breath. If they try to run, one of the boats will be dispatched to follow them.
At the end of the day, Richard will reveal himself as a Secret Police operative. He will tell the party to take him to the starport. There, the party will be cleared of any charges, but they will receive no payment. They can take the Cr50,000 and leave the system – quickly!
Non-Player Characters Rescue Mission Regular Marine
Marine 6, INIT +1, STR 12, DEX 12, CON 13, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10,
EDU 10, SOC 10, AR 23 (+8 combat armor, +4 chameleon, +1 Dex), AR 8 (combat armor), SPD 6, ST/LB 44/14, ATTK +11/+6 Gauss Rifle 2d12/x2, FORT +6, REF +3, WILL +5.
Vessel (grav) Armor (light, medium, vac suit), Weapons (marksman, combat rifleman, swordsman, high energy), Weapon focus (gauss rifle, cutlass) Brawling, Zero-G Combat, second Wind, Toughness, High Morale.
Combat armor, chameleon, gauss rifle, personal medkit, and communicator
Marine 8, INIT +2, STR 12, DEX 13, CON 13, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10,
EDU 10, SOC 10, AR 23 (+8 combat armor, +4 chameleon, +1 Dex), AR 8 (combat armor), SPD 6, ST/LB 44/14, ATTK +12/+7 Gauss Rifle 2d12/x2, FORT +7, REF +4, WILL +6, SZ M.
Vessel (grav) Armor (light, medium, vac suit), Weapons (marksman, combat rifleman, swordsman, high energy), Weapon focus (gauss rifle, cutlass) Brawling, Zero-G Combat, second Wind, Toughness, High Morale, Tactics. Combat armor, chameleon, gauss rifle, personal medkit, and communicator
Navy 6, INIT +0, STR 10, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 11, WIS 11, CHA 10, EDU
12, SOC 11, AC 13 (+3 mesh) AR 3 (mesh), SPD 6m, ATK +6 Laser Pistol
2d10/x2, FORT +2, REF +2, WILL +5, SZ M.
Pilot +9, T/Computer +10, P/Administration+9, Liaison +9, T/Astrogation
+10, T/Communications +10, T/Sensors +10.
Vessel (grav), Armor (light, vac suit), Weapons (laser, marksman), Brawling, Zero-G/Low-G Adaption, Zero-G Combat, First Aid, Vessel (starship, ship’s boat), Ship’s Tactics.
Professional 6, Init +0, STR 10, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 11, WIS 10, CHA 11,
EDU 12, SOC 12, AC 0, AR 0, SPD 9m, ST/LB 22/10, ATK -3 (snub pistol
1d10/x2, FORT +2, REF +2, WILL +5, SZ M.
Pilot +9, P/Admin +13, Liaison +9, Appraise +9/ T/Computer +10,
T/Communications +10, K/Planetology +12, K/Geology +12
Vessel (grav), Armor (light), Connections (professional), Research, Barter, Trustworthy, Credit Line, Professional Specialty (Planetology), Carousing, Skill Focus Admin, Legal Eagle.
Body pistol, short range communicator.
Vargr Corsair in Vac Suit
Traveller 6, INIT +1, STR 9, DEX 13, CON 10, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10,
EDU 11, SOC 10, AC 14 (+3 vac suit, +1 Dex), AR 3, SPD 9m, ST/LB 21/10,
ATK: Laser Carbine +4 3d8/x2, Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3, SZ M.
Pilot +10, Gunnery +9, Gambling +9, T/Astrogation +9, T/Computer +9,
Vessel (grav, starship, ships boat), Weapon (marksman, laser, ship’s weapon), Armor (light, medium, vac suit).
Vac Suit TL-12, laser carbine, medium range communicator.
Richard the Aslan
Marine 6, INIT +0, STR 13, DEX 10, CON 11, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 10, EDU 10, SOC 10, AC 12/15 (+2/+5 Ablat), AR 2/5, SPD 12m, ST/LB 38/12,
ATK Laser Pistol +11 2d10/x2, Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +4, SZ M.
Spot +8, Demolitions +5, Streetwise +4
Vessel (grav), Armor (light, medium, vac suit), Weapons (marksman, combat rifleman, swordsman, high energy), Weapon Focus (laser pistol), Zero-G Combat, Second Wind, Toughness, High Morale
Ablat armor, laser pistol, personal medkit, communicator.
Smuggler Crew in Vacc Suit
Merchant 6, INIT +0, STR 10, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 11, WIS 11, CHA 10, EDU 12, SOC 10, AC 13 (+3 vac suit), SPD 6m, ST/LB 22/10, ATK: Snub
pistol +1 1d10/x2, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +3, SZ M.
Pilot+9, P/Merchant +9, K/Trade Law +10, Appraise +9, Gather Info +9,
T/Engineering +10, T/Mechanical +12, T/Electronics +12
Vessel (grav), Armor (light, vac suit), Weapons (Marksman), Barter, Brawling, Connections (merchant), Zero-G/Low-G Adaptation, First Aid, Jury Rig, Gear Head, Miracle Worker
The Black Rose
Corsair (Type P), Agility 0, Initiative +0, AC 10, Acceleration 3-G, AR 0,
Turret 1: Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turret 2: Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turret 3:
Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turrent 4: 3 Missile Racks (+2, 2d6). 20 missiles.
Corsair (Type P), Agility 0, Initiative +0, AC 10, Acceleration 3-G, AR 0,
Turret 1: Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turret 2: Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turret 3:
Beam Laser (+1, 1d8), Turrent 4: 3 Missile Racks (+2, 2d6). 20 missiles.
System Defense Boat
System Defense Boat (Type SDB), Agility +6 (+6 EP), Initiative +6, AC 30,
Acceleration 6G, AR 14, Turret 1: 3 Missle Racks (+2, 2d6), Turret 2: 3 Beam
Lasers (+3, 3d8). 60 Missiles
CAV – Journal of Recognition 2 is a classic Reaper board game that takes a bunch of different races and fighters and places them on one board. Reaper has been known for making interesting games that aren’t just focused on endless attacking. Yes, strategy plays an important part of any Reaper game, and that is what makes them excellent.
Diversity of the army is crucial in a Warlord game
If you ever played a game of Warlord, then you know that the type of your army will affect the way you approach the fight. Having a bunch of weak grunts may be an excellent thing if your enemy has few melee warriors, but it won’t work in the majority of other cases. Several well-positioned archers with longbows will render an army of weak creatures useless. A fireball or two will also do the trick.
The classic army layout is the best option for beginners. An army like that should have melee characters whose job is to try and reach enemy archers and mages. They should be hard-hitters if possible. Several strong should be there to soak up the damage and protect fragile units.
Having a quality lineup of range units is a key to victory. Some great archers will cause devastation among enemy melee creatures. A well-hidden group of range units can also destroy enemy archers and other ranged units. This can backfire so be cautious if you decide to make a move like this.
A classic army layout in this game has at least one wizard with several spells that may turn the tide of battle. Beginners should use traditional destruction spells like a fireball as they play an important part in the destruction of the enemy.
Advanced army layouts in Journal of Recognition 2
No experienced player will use a classic army design because they have their ideas and strategies to defeat their foes. Some add more mages to increase the offensive magic power, while others use mages for defense. Check out other Journal of Recognition 2 articles as well as other articles about the game of Warlord army layouts to find out more about advanced tactics and strategies that experienced players use.
Michael and I were recently invited to come down to Reaper HQ and play a game of Warlord for a Fictional Reality battle report. Actually, I don’t think Ed Pugh (head honcho at Reaper) actually got the entire invitation out of his mouth before we excitedly agreed. What follows is an account of the first game of Warlord that Michael and I have played along with some thoughts (and lots of pictures) of the game.
To keep things as an all-Reaper game my army selection was centered around what Reaper figs I had on-hand and painted. Being a D&D DM this meant lots of monsters and not so much in the way of a rank and file army. What to do? Hell, I emptied a dungeon and banded all of the monsters together to go raid a town! I had four squads (Bugbears, Carnivorous Apes, Gnolls, and Lizardmen) along with an Ettin, a Giant and a Ogre Mage attached to the squad of Gnolls. Not only did I like how it looked on paper and when deployed, it was also perfectly legal in Warlord.
Michael, having more player-character Reaper models than monsters, opted to grab stuff off of their shelves and went with an Undead army bolstered by a few of his own Skeleton Warriors. He ended up with units of Skeleton Cavalry, Skeleton Archers, Skeleton Warriors and a Necromancer. Much more reminiscent of a ‘standard’ fantasy army than mine and also perfectly legal.
Ok, so we get to Reaper and meet Matt (Warlord designer) who informs us that Ed will be here soon and we’ll be playing a three-way game. Michael and I feel not so confident now. Then, painter extraordinaire, Ann Foerster walks in and tells us that she’ll be playing on Ed’s team. Remember that scene from “A Bronx Tale” where the bikers go into a bar and feel like bad-asses until the wiseguys come in, lock the door, and kick the ever lovin’ crap out of them? That’s pretty much how Michael and I felt… like the bikers, not the wiseguys. Today, Ed will be running an army designed my Matt which will consist of Orc Archers, Orc Warriors, and Beastmen with an Assassin, an Evil Mage (attached to the Orc Warriors) and an Ogre.
Below is a picture of the awesome city terrain that we got to play on. My deployment zone is over by the bridge on the left side, Michael will start down at the bottom around the graveyard and Ed/Ann will be over by the top of the picture. We didn’t’ add any extra obstructing terrain and built the game around each of these ‘evil’ armies coming to take control of the town, but having to take care of each other first.
The next three pictures (right) show how the deployment shook out. I had a good portion of my army ready to move over the bridge and into town with a few guys having to move through the water. I think that Michael’s was a bit flawed with his cavalry needing to get around his archers before they could be effective, but we’ll have to wait and see. Ed/Ann had a pretty spread out deployment with their archers hanging back and the rest of their force, minus the Ogre heading into the cover afforded by the woods so they could advance on the as unmolested as possible. With that done we re-shuffled the draw deck and began the game.
My only fear at this point was that the game could turn into a 2 on 1 affair as many 3-payler games have a tendency to do. I won’t be giving anything away when I happily tell you that is not what happened here. Each of us ended up fighting the other two and it was not just one player teaming up with another to eliminate the third and then turning on his ally. Everyone went to kick everyone else in the teeth right from the beginning.
Michael and I were still not confident as we were fighting the owner of Reaper and a gal that is arguably one of the best miniature painters in the world and then having their army built by one of the designers of the game.
And so it begins…
Above (left and right) you can see the bonus Ranger movement for Orc and Undead armies. This extra move action takes place before turn 1 actually begins, but it is limited to each specific model that has the Ranger special ability. The leader of the Skeleton Archers (but not the Skeleton Archers themselves) and all of the Orc Archers (except their Leader) move closer to each other. Having nobody with the Ranger special ability my Dungeon Monsters took an extra few seconds to contemplate the meaning of the universe. Ok, scratch that, they picked their noses.
As with many miniature games turn 1 consisted mostly of moving towards positions on the tabletop where we expected battles to take place. The only combat that actually took place during turn 1 was the Skeleton Archers sending a volley of arrows down the dirt road towards the Orc Warriors. This resulted in a 2½” template hitting the orcs and one of them being killed. The draw for the turn went like this.
The pictures below and to the right show the positions of each army at the end of turn 1. Michael draws first blood as we all close towards each other.
My advance is hampered slightly by the funnel that the bridge creates and the river, which is impeding my progress. Still, we march forward ready to pound whatever we meet into jelly.
The Undead stay pretty bunched up as they move down the street and between buildings. The Necromancer is taking care to keep himself out of sight as much as possible.
The Orcs do some spreading out with the warriors cutting across the street and the Beastmen heading up through the woods taking cover. The Ogre is maintaining his presence with the leader of the Orc Archers.
Some more moving and feeling out still going on during this turn. Again, combat consisted of missile fire, but this time the Orc Archers tried to get into the act only to find that they were out of range. The Skeleton Archers were using longbows while the Orc Archers were firing, you guessed it, regular bows. The Skeleton Archer’s attack was devastating though as it killed three of the Orc Archers. Second blood to Michael also! The Orc Warriors advanced into the woods towards the Dungeon Monsters and the Beastmen maintained their bearings through the city towards the undead, eventually hoping to flank them. More of the Dungeon Monsters moved onto the bridge and further across the river and the Undead kept up their advance, but didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to engage the enemy at close quarters yet. The draw went like this.
1.Ed/Ann Orc Warriors
3.Mark Card buried using the Tactician Special Ability
5.Ed/Ann Orc Archers
6.Michael Skeleton Archers
9.Michael Skeleton Warriors
10.Michael Skeleton Cavalry
13.Mark Carnivorous Apes
15.Mark Gnolls / Ogre Mage
The draw for turn three went as follows.
The sneaky Beastmen are getting closer to the Undead. In the picture to the left (bottom) you can see them creeping along side of the building and the Half-Orc Assassin is ready to strike from around the building where he is hiding. I think that we’re about to have a massive bug-tussle down by the river as the Ogre and the Bugbears are closing in on the fight that just started there. The final position for turn three of many troops involved in the game can be seen at the top of the next page.
Ok, time to put boot to ass and really get this party going. Ok, before that can happen Michael’s Necromancer needs to run away from the Lizardmen that are pestering him. Wuss! Ok, not really, he’d have been eaten if he stuck around so I can’t blame him for taking off. Turn four did end up rockin’ and a rollin’ with plenty of blood being shed. The Skeleton Archers moved up some more and shot into the Beastmen right next to them and felled one. The Ettin, feeling all ballsy, charged the Orc Warlord (yup, da boss) and punched him once in the brain. The retaliatory strike from the Orc missed. Two of the Orc Warriors that had gone down bled out (blew their revive roll) and the rest charged the Ettin and brought the monster down. Their cries of joy were cut short as the Bugbears charged in and dropped another Orc Warrior and caused another wound on the Orc Warlord. The strikebacks from the Orcs were quite effective and dropped two of the Bugbears. Extra support from the Dungeon Monsters was needed in that area immediately.
The Orc Archers continued to pepper the Skeleton Swordsmen and another hit the gound. The leader of the Orc Archers moved up to get into position for
some close-up butt kicking. The Gnolls and Ogre Mage moved up with the Gnolls spreading out a bit and leaving room for a Fireball to be cast at the Skeleton Archers. Two blackened skeletons hit the ground and the Beastmen were appreciative of the support even though it was from an enemy that they soon expected to be fighting. The Ogre advanced towards the fight on the opposite shore while the Carnivorous Apes came around a building towards the same fight. The Skeleton Warriors charged the Assassin but were not able to hit their slippery foe. He also struck at them but missed and a retaliatory strike found its mark and caused a would to the Half-Orc Assassin. The Lizardmen filled in across the street as best they could to form a line that the upcoming Skeleton Cavalry would have to get through before hitting the Gnolls, Ogre Mage and Giant. The expected charge came and the Lich was leading the undead riders. He took down one of the Lizardmen, but not before receiving a strikeback from the cold- blooded creature. The Beastmen saw their opportunity and charged the Skeleton Archers. Two more of the undead bowmen were brought down along with one of the Beastmen. The Giant moved up, ready to bonk someone on the head.
The draw for turn four went like this.
Michael Skeleton Archers
Ed/Ann Orc Warriors
Ed/Ann Orc Archers
Mark Gnolls / Ogre Mage
Mark Carnivorous Apes
Michael Skeleton Warriors
Michael Skeleton Cavalry
The cavalry charge of the Undead can be seen here along with the Beastmen putting down the Skeleton Archers. You can also spot the Necromancer (da wuss) over on the top-left corner.
The Ogre must be highly pissed that the festivities started without him. The stars above represent models that are down, but not yet officially dead. They’re just “mostly dead” right now and are waiting to either blow or make a revive roll or to have their throat’s slit by a nearby sneaky bastage.
At the beginning of turn five everyone still has a dog in this fight, but by the end of it fortunes will start to change. Things started off with the Carnivorous Apes charging into the Orc Warriors and taking down the Orc Warlord. Another Lizardman goes down to the Skeleton Cavalry, but the leader of the Lizardmen is still standing. The rest of the cavalry fill in the best they can across the street, setting up for a devastating ride towards the Gnolls.
The Bugbears (being sneaky gits of low moral fiber) slit the throats of three Orcs, including the Warlord, which are lying on the ground. The Half-Orc Assassin and Skeleton Warriors continue to dance around each other and the Ogre charges into two Bugbears dropping one and taking a retaliatory strike himself. The Gnolls charge into the Skeleton Cavalry and pile another hit on the Lich. Three of the Gnolls go down in a flurry of strikebacks but a Bolt spell from the Ogre Mage drops another undead rider in his tracks.
The Necromancer moves up around some buildings on the other side of the fight in the street and the Skeleton Archers that are in hand-to-hand with the Beastmen manage to drag one down. The Giant sends bone splinters flying everywhere when he smashes one of the Skeleton Cavalry and the Orc Archers also take shots at the riders and bring one down. The leader of the Orc Archers charges into the Skeleton Warriors and smashes it into the ground.
The last standing Lizardman, the leader, misses the Skeleton Cavalry that he’s fighting and the Ettin dies from his wounds (I blew the revive roll). The Orc Warriors have two of their number bleed out and the remaining one charges a Bugbear only to miss and be dropped by a defensive strike. The unengaged Beastmen then charge the remaining Skeleton Archers and put a wound on the Sergeant and kill a regular archer.
Draw order for turn five.
Mark Carnivorous Apes
Michael Skeleton Cavalry
Michael Skeleton Warriors
Mark Gnolls / Ogre Mage
Michael Skeleton Archers
Ed/Ann Orc Archers
Ed/Ann Orc Warriors
I think that Michael took the worst drubbing of turn five. Ed and Ann didn’t do too badly as a lot of their casualties came from the slitting of throats, but it made sure that they can’t come back. My Gnolls did not fare well at all against the Skeleton Cavalry, but it came during defensive strike and there was not much I could do about it. If my Ettin had made his revive roll the Ogre probably would have loaded his pant, but as things stand the Bugbears and Carnivorous Apes will have to take care of him.
Turn six started with Michael’s cavalry dropping the Lizardman leader and a Gnoll, but the Lich is also hit in the process and is stunned (goes down). The Orc Archers draw attention to themselves by shooting at the Carnivorous Apes, but they cause no hits. The archer leader charges another Skeleton Warriors but the clang of steel on steel is all that occurs.
The Carnivorous Apes, while irritated at being shot at have more pressing business with the Ogre, charge the beast and take it down while also slitting the throat of a felled orc. A Skeleton Warrior stands back up (ain’t the Tough Special Ability great when it works) and the Assassin suffers another hit. The Bugbears do a coup de grace on the Ogre and the Bugbear sergeant actually makes his revive roll and stands up while another bleeds out. He gives the rest of the guys a big “thumbs up” at their good job of taking down the Ogre.
The Skeleton Archer sergeant is still fighting the Beastmen but misses when trying to strike but a defensive strike sends him back to hell. The Giant smashes another Skeleton Cavalry and then moves to stand between the last of the undead riders and the Ogre Mage. The Gnoll Warlord smashes the skull of the Lich in a coup de grace and the Ogre Mage steps out from behind the Giant to blast the last Skeleton Cavalry with a Bolt spell that shatter the rider and mount. Finishing the turn Michael’s Necromancer moves to get a line of sight at the Gnoll Warlord and Ogre Mage and casts Scare at them. They both look in his direction and mouth, “ I don’t think so.” as the spell has no effect on them.
We ended the game at the end of turn six with me having more than 50% of my army left and Ed and Ann’s and Michael’s armies both being decimated. The draw for turn six went like this.
Michael Skeleton Cavalry
Ed/Ann Orc Archers
Mark Carnivorous Apes
Michael Skeleton Warriors
Michael Skeleton Archers
Mark Gnolls / Ogre Mage
Had we gone another round or two I think that Ed and Ann and Michael would have ganged up on me but I’m fairly confident that I could have pulled it off considering how much of my army, including the Giant who was uninjured and the Carnivorous Apes (also still complete), was left alive.
Well, we went into this game wanting to learn how to play and also evaluate Warlord as a fantasy skirmish game. We accomplished both and had a good time to boot. Ed, Ann, and Matt (and for that matter everyone that I’ ve met at Reaper) are some of the nicest people you’ll meet and treated us like guests in their house. It was a pleasure to play with them and I’d jump at any opportunity to do so again.
Ok, on the learning how to play bit. We read over the rules and built our army lists prior to the game but went over some special rules before we started and then got to work. The game was very easy to jump right in to and the only thing we really referenced the rulebook for was to check on the exact effects of some spells. Warlord uses the same kind of damage track system as CAV, but this is really not fantasy-CAV. In CAV everyone is walking around (for the most part) with lots of things with large damage tracks. In Warlord your Sergeants, other leaders and characters and monsters have damage tracks, but grunts have their one wound and that’s pretty much it. Also, grunts (and adepts) have a significant place in the game and that’s not just to soak up hits for the bigger guys. They can all do damage and I never got the feel of Warlord being a system that just delivers the bad-ass characters towards each other. Yes, the big guys are devastating, but they can also be brought down under a mass of regulars. Case in point was how my Ettin went down and how I took care of the Ogre.
I also liked the flow of the game. You never knew who was going to get the next activation but we were also not locked into activating certain units when your turn came up. We did have a couple of occasions of people getting multiple activations in a row and if played correctly this can lead to some awesome beat-downs.
What I probably liked most about the game, even more than winning, was how you can build pretty much whatever army you want to play. Had I really wanted to I could have taken a single dragon as my army. Not sure how well it would have fared, but I could have done it. My army for today was built primarily around necessity (using all-Reaper) miniatures but I was also able to build a decent reason for them to all be together. The down side to this is that now I have all sorts of ideas floating around my head on new Warlord armies to build, like a jungle/swamp-themed army that has Snakemen, Lizardmen, Giant Frogs, a Tortoise Dragon and Frogmen in it. I liked Warlord very, very much and will definitely find myself playing it more.
Well, that went about the way I thought. For once a 3-way game didn’t degenerate into a “let’s you and him fight” with the third force playing cleanup. I attribute that to the fact that there were experience players all around the table. Personally, I knew I had to hit Mark’s forces with the Fireball spell when the were on the bridge because they wouldn’t be that bunched up again in the game.
So, what did I learn from this game? Lots, actually – but that’s to be expected when you play a game for the first time. I’ll run through the more important ones below:
Spells are purchased per cast. The 50 points that I spent on the Fireball wasn’t to have the spell for the entire game, but to have it once. I should have read the rules closer. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have sunk so many points into just one spell – but bought others – ones that could also be used to counter spell! The Scare spell is similar – I really didn’t have a chance to use it against a troop of grunts – when I did cast it, it was a desperation move.
Cavalry are tough – but hard to maneuver. I bought this unit expecting a more open battlefield. In the streets of the village, I was stuck in multiple ranks and caught behind my archers for most of the game. When they finally broke out, they couldn’t run down Mark’s Lizardmen, and so they stood around and gave up their bounty points.
Longbowmen are vicious. My most effective tactic of the game was the deployment of my longbowmen in a line firing down the street. I was able to outrange the orc archers and take out the majority of them in a few turns using Volley Fire. Against the hapless wizard, shooting lots took him out very nicely. However, once the beastmen got into melee with the archers, they didn’t do too well.
Grunts are tough. In most fantasy games, the regular troop types are just cannon (or wizard) fodder. In this game, they tend to stick around. There were many times that I thought my units would just cave in, but their 10+ DV kept them in the game. That being said, my swordsman sergeant sure did a number on the assassin.
Warlord is a fast playing game. The damage tracks means that most bookkeeping is handled for you. You don’t have to drop counters to keep track of wound status. The two action turn means that you can move/move, move/fight or fight/move or, if you’re special – fight/fight rather than using a move phase/shoot phase/melee phase mechanism.
The generic game is great, but it will get even better with the addition of the official Warlord troop types. I wonder what my Undead Horde would have done if they had had the Undead abilities? I guess I’ll have to wait to find out!
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens is a board game that will distance you from monsters and epic quests. This game throws you and other players into the 30s California, and it draws inspiration from classic movies of the time. This is an episodic game, and thus you can play it over several sessions.
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens in nutshell
This game is set in the 1930s in California where a professor is about to resent his latest invention that will change the world. Many different parties are interested in it, and only some of them have good intentions. But your story doesn’t start there but in a train bound for San Francisco.
The description of the train and all of its compartments is in the attached file, and the Keeper will share the info when one or more characters visit those compartments. The conductor will come to the cabin which is an excellent moment for self-introduction of all players. A lady will join the players, and after several questions, she will say that she is a daughter and an assistant of her father, the professor. She carries documents for her father as they are crucial for his presentation.
And the adventure kicks off
The adventure starts with the attack on the train. Seven enemies will board the train, and all of them will carry Colt M1911 guns, but they won’t use them if they have another choice. Your team has to survive the fight with these henchmen. Your group will continue with the trip to San Francisco even if the enemies succeed in kidnaping the lady. It’s better to save her, but the story will progress no matter what happens.
The episode comes to close
Only two more events will play out in the first episode. The first one is the police questioning where the group will talk with police. The professor will come and sort everything out. After that, the adversary will arrange a meeting with the professor, and it’s up to your team to think about the way to approach it. The professor will do everything the enemy wants, and it’s up to you to decide what to do.
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens
A Short Adventure for Savage Worlds
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens is and adventure for 3 to 5 players set in 1934 California. The classic movie serials of the 30’s and 40’s inspire this adventure. This isn’t your epic, earth shaking type of adventure – no it’s just the simple story of a megalomaniac bent on world domination and the innocent maiden who is ensnared in his web.
Since this is based on the serials, the story is told in chapters or episodes. The first two episodes are included in this issue and the rest will be in the next.
If you are going to be a character in this adventure, please go read another article in this fine magazine. The stuff below is FGMEO – For Game Master Eyes Only! You have been warned!
Note that this is a complete adventure on its own, but it is also part of a longer story line. What good serial would end without a cliffhanger?
Professor Alistair Gordon of Pacific Tech, a technical college just outside of Los Angeles, is scheduled to present his new invention at a conference in San Francisco. It is a rocket pack. There are many who are interested in the Professor’s work, both good and bad. Of the later, the most notable is Dr Boskone. The doctor is in league with evil forces and plans to use the professor’s invention to rule the world!
Dram at is Personae
Professor Alistair Gordon
Professor Alistair Gordon has taught aeronautics at Pacific Tech for seventeen years. He, and his good friend Dr. Bilderbeck, has spent the past few years working with rockets and jet propulsion. He has recently perfected a rocket pack that allows a man to fly without an airplane.
Wilma Deering was the daughter of Orin Deering, owner of Deering Aero Manufacturing. Orin was killed in a car accident ten years ago and Professor Gordon adopted Wilma. It was the least he could do for his old friend. Wilma, like her father, had a natural gift for aeronautics and she is currently working on her doctorate on rocket propulsion while assisting the Professor.
No one knows who Dr Boskone is or where he comes from. About two years ago, there was an explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed seven workers. A letter appeared in the Chicago Tribune claiming responsibility and warning that other plants would be destroyed unless a ransom of $250,000 was paid to a numbered Swiss bank account. Dr Boskone signed the letter. After another explosion, the ransom was paid and Dr. Boskone was not heard from again.
Dr. Boskone has made an alliance with the Emir of Venus. The Venusians want to conquer Earth and use it’s people as a slave labor force. When Earth is conquered, Dr. Boskone will rule for the Emir. Of course, the Doctor has other plans, and is just using the help of his Venusian allies to take over.
Detective Elliot Queen
Elliot Queen is a detective with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). He has been on the force for twelve years, working mostly homicide in and around the wharves. Last year he was promoted to sergeant and was moved to the downtown area. He usually gets involved only in high-profile cases. He is a chain smoker with a fondness for coffee with too much sugar and cream.
Grond is a close associate of Dr. Boskone. He is also a Minotaur. He is not too bright, but does have a low cunning. This, plus his stubbornness and “ stick-to- itiveness” means that the Doctor often sends Grond off to do the unpleasant things that must be done. Grond is originally from Venus. Dr. Boskone’s Venusian allies to sent him to help the Dr with their plans to conquer the Earth.
Episode 1: Train Ride to Terror
Location: Los Angeles Central Train Station, Platform 13.
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 9:00 a.m.
Summary: The party is drawn into the machinations of the Evil Dr. Boskone.
Boarding the Bay Liner Express
The adventure begins at Los Angeles Central Train Station where the party is boarding the Bay Liner Express for San Francisco. All members of the party have first class tickets for compartment 5 on the first class car.
The train is set to leave Los Angeles at 9:20, so the party as a little time to knock around. It might be interesting to have each player describe why he is going to San Francisco. Use this as an opportunity for the players to introduce their characters.
The steam train is pulling four cars – a first-class, car a second-class car, a dining car, and a baggage care. The first class car has six compartments that seat six people comfortably. The second-class car has bench seating for sixty people and the dining car has stools and chairs to seat twenty-five.
There is one conductor in the first-class and the second-class cars as well as a cook and two waitresses in the dining car. The brakeman and his assistant are in the baggage car.
Inside the compartment are six large chairs, 3 on each bulkhead, with a package shelf above each. The door to the compartment is on the left and there is a large plate glass window looking out over the platform on the right. A hinged table is attached just under the window. See the diagram below for the layout of the car.
The compartments are numbered 1 to 7 from top to bottom. There are 2 to 5 other passengers in each other compartment. Treat these folks and bystanders.
Two complimentary copies of the San Francisco Tribune are lying on seats. The front page of the paper has the following stories:
President Roosevelt to visit San Francisco on Tuesday to meet with the Foreign Minister of Siam. Ernst Rohm, leader of the SA, committed suicide on 1 July in a prison in Munich.
Professor Alistair Gordon is to unveil his new rocket pack today at the annual Aeronautical Engineering conference at the University of San Francisco auditorium.
As the conductor makes the final boarding call and the train whistle sounds, one of the characters by the window sees a striking young woman in a dark blue dress and yellow hat run up across the platform and get on board the first-class car. The character that notices is the one who makes the best Notice roll (TN 4, no modifiers).
As the train lurches into motion, the door to the player’s compartment opens and in steps the woman. She is carrying a large and obviously heavy salesman’s brief case. This is Wilma Deering, ward of Professor Alistair Gordon. She is taking some important papers to the professor in San Francisco The professor forgot them when he left for the conference. Wilma received the phone call with just enough time to pack the case and make it to the train. Wilma is very friendly and very pretty. She is smart but she is also aware that smart girls are not popular, so she doesn’t try to impress anyone.
she is a bit nervous about traveling alone to San Francisco, and is quite eager to talk. Wilma knows the following information, in addition to any small talk she may make. She won’t divulge this information herself, but she will respond if questioned:
? Professor Gordon’s rocket pack is a major breakthrough in both power and range. With a little training almost anyone can fly the rocket pack – and it is very fast (250 mph).
? The phone call this morning was not from the professor, but from one of the conference organizers. The organizer, who didn’t give his name, said that the professor needed his notes and plans for the rocket pack for his presentation. And asked that Wilma bring them to the conference center in San Francisco.
? Before leaving for the conference, she overheard the professor talking on the phone to someone. He sounded angry and kept telling the other person that he could not help him, not for any amount of money, and if he continued to call, the professor would call the police. When Wilma asked about the call, the professor said that it was simply one of his students wanting a better grade – however Wilma didn’t believe him.
Sometime during the trip, the conductor will come in to punch everyone’s tickets. If the party has not gotten the information about the Professor and Wilma Deering, the conductor will notice her name on the ticket and ask about her father. The conductor is an airplane fanatic and builds models of them on the weekends.
The Attack on the Train
Location: Aboard the Bay Liner Express about an hour out of San Francisco.
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 11:00 p.m.
Summary: Dr. Boskone makes his first move.
The trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco takes about three hours. After two hours, the train slows and stops. Soon afterward, the conductor comes by to say that a large hay wagon is blocking the track. The engineer and fireman are working with the farmer to clear the track. The train should start up shortly. Of course, the hay wagon is a diversion. Dr. Boskone has arranged it to stop the train and allow his associates to kidnap Wilma Deering and the plans to the rocket pack.
Shortly after the conductor leaves the compartment, there is a thump and the car shakes. Seven of Dr. Boskone’s henchmen get on the car – three from the front and four from the rear. Their mission is to capture Wilma – and they won’t be stopped by anyone in their way. Once she’s grabbed, they will take her to a waiting car and speed away.
The henchmen will first try and bully their way around, only resorting to shooting if they have to – or the party shoots first. The henchmen are not above taking hostages to secure what they want. If they can’t get Wilma, they will, at least, take her case. Fight this encounter out using miniatures as described in the Savage Worlds rulebook. The action will take place on the rail car and, maybe, in the immediate surroundings.
After this fight, there are three possible outcomes:
The henchmen kidnap Wilma, with or without the plans.
The henchmen don’t get Wilma but they do get the plans.
The henchmen fail to get Wilma and the plans.
In any event, the party doesn’t have much choice but to ride the train on into San Francisco.
Episode 2: The Dem on at Dev il ’s Dr aw
Location: San Francisco Train Station, Platform 4,
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 12:45 p.m.
Summary: The party confronts the minions of Dr Boskone in a ghost town where a shoot-out ensues.
Meeting Professor Gordon
When the train arrives in San Francisco, Detective Elliot Queen and six uniformed officers meet the party. Detective Queen says he wants to talk to the party and escorts them and Wilma (if present) to an office in back behind the ticketing windows.
The office has a single desk, four large filing cabinets, and enough chairs for everyone. There is a water cooler in one corner of the office, and a small window high on one wall – too small to climb out of. There is one door. Detective Queen says he needs to talk to the conductor and other passengers and will return He leaves three officers – Jack, Reggie, and “Doc” – to guard the only door to the room. If the party needs anything, they can ask the officers.
Detective Queen is gone about fifteen minutes when the door opens, and an old man enters. This is Professor Gordon. What happens next depends on if Wilma was captured or not.
In either event, the professor will inform the party of the following items during the discussion:
? The professor has been in contact with the US Army for the beginning on this project. They have funded part of the research.
? The army is very interested in the rocket pack. There are other countries that also would be interested in it.
? In the last few weeks of testing, the professor has gotten calls from someone calling himself Doctor Boskone. This doctor says that there is a rich and powerful group of men who will pay good money for the rocket pack.
The professor has politely refused the offers but the calls have become more numerous and insistent.
Wilma was not captured.
If Wilma is with the party she will jump up and hug her guardian. He will quiet her and she will say that the party saved her from the attackers. During this discussion Wilma will say that she brought the plans that Professor Gordon requested. The professor will say he made no such arrangements.
Professor Gordon will thank the entire party and pledge to present their case to the police. He will also inquire about the men that attacked the train. He will be most interested if any one had mentioned “Doctor Boskone” or were interested in the plans to his rocket pack. Earlier today, the professor received a call from Doctor Boskone saying his ward escaped today but wouldn’t be so lucky in the future if the professor didn’t cooperate.
Wilma was captured.
If Wilma is not present, then Doctor Gordon will introduce himself and inquire about his ward. He will be most interested in hearing what happened on the train, in detail. He will ask questions about the attackers, if they mentioned “Doctor Boskone” or were interested in the rocket plans. Earlier today, the professor received a call from Doctor Boskone saying that he captured Wilma.
Dealing with the Police
After the important parts of the Professor story have been told the to part, Detective Queen will come into the room. Elliot does not know much about what is going on, but he knows that the people in First-class Compartment 5 on the Bay Liner Express were the ones who fought the bandits. He will tell the group that he has statements from the conductor and the other passengers of the first class car. Now he wants to talk to the people in this room.
Randomly select one of the party members that Detective Queen will ask to follow him to another office. As the Detective and the party member are leaving the room, Professor Queen interrupts and asks to speak with the Detective in the hall. Detective Queen agrees, and tells the party to wait as he and the professor step out of the room.
After about twenty minutes, the professor and the detective come back in the room. The professor has managed to convince the Detective that the party were just bystanders and all they did was help, or try to help depending on the outcome of episode 1, a lady in distress. Detective Queen knows that there’s something else going on, but he doesn’t know what. The detective also doesn’t have enough evidence to hold any of the party members. However kidnapping or attempted kidnapping is a capital crime so the party is not to leave town. They are also to leave an address where they will be staying in San Francisco.
The Detective then lets the party go, and walks out of the room. The professor asks the party to hold on a minute while he goes to the office door. Once he’s sure the police are gone, the professor says that Doctor Boskone wants to meet with him at midnight tonight at Devils’ Draw, an abandoned mining town. The professor, after hearing how the party protected his ward, will ask that they accompany him to the meeting tonight, as Doctor Boskone said that the police were not to be involved. The professor does not want anyone else to get hurt – especially at his expense. He will want to cooperate with the demands of Doctor Boskone and emphatically does not want the police involved.
Location: Devil’s Draw ghost town,
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 11:00 p.m.
Summary: The party confronts the minions of Dr Boskone in a ghost town where a shoot-out ensues.
The party has plenty of time to prepare for the meeting – including scouting out the location or even laying a trap. Devil’s Draw is about thirty-five miles northeast of Oakland in a mountainous wooded area. There are only five buildings still standing, and these have been overgrown by weeds and brush. They line on either side of a steep main street. At the end of this street are the old mine workings.
Andersen’ s Livery Stable. The first building on the right is the old livery stable. A fire gutted the insides some time ago and now the façade is all that remains. The second floor is gone.
Devil’s Draw Saloon. The saloon is the largest of the six buildings, and the only one on the left side. The furnishings are still inside, though most are rotten. On the second floor there are four rooms that look out over the porch and the street.
Swenson’s General Store. The second building on the right is a general store, and is in the same state of repair as the Saloon. There are two windows on the second floor that overlook the street.
Wells Fargo Office. This door to this building is locked, but all the windows have been broken out. Inside, an old safe sits with its door open. Close inspection will reveal that someone had tried to open the door by force. The rest of the office has been ransacked.
Jail. This single-story building has bars on all its windows. Inside, it is bare; all of its furnishings have been removed. The cells, however, are still intact
Mine Workings. The Devil’s Mine workings are in the same state as the rest of the town. When the mine played out, the mining company sealed it with two large iron doors set into the side of the hill. Unlike the rest of the town, some one is taking care of these doors. They have been cleaned up and their hinges oiled. A fresh lock has been placed on the doors.
Deployment of Doctor Boskone’s Minions
Dr. Boskone has sent Grond and seven henchmen to town to wait for the Professor. Just after dark, about 9:30 p.m., the minions and Grond will come out of the mine workings and deploy in the village. Adjust this accordingly if the party have already moved into the ghost town.
If Wilma was captured, Grond has locked her in one of the cells in the Jail. He is in the jail himself. He has positioned the rest of his men around the town. They are hidden in the buildings with a good view of the street.
Grond has been instructed to capture the Professor and bring him to Dr. Boskone. He will not engage the party directly but will try and sneak up on them and grab the Professor from behind. Grond will then make for the mine and will try to lose any pursuit in the underground tunnels. The dense vegetation around the edge of the town will allow him to surprise the party.
The henchmen are meant to keep busy the obligatory police that accompany the Professor.
This part should be fought out on as a tabletop battle. I would definitely recommend using a large battlemat so that the whole town can be drawn on it. The Professor won’t take part in the battle, he is a frail old man after all, and will probably hang as far back as he can.
The henchmen are all armed with rifles and are hidden. Remember that this fight is occurring in the dark of night!
Af t er m at h
There are two general outcomes from this adventure:
Grond successfully spirits away the Professor. Things are bad, Dr. Boskone has what he needs to equip his forces with rocket packs!
Grond doesn’t get the Professor. Dr. Boskone’s plans have been set back, but he still has the blueprints for the rocket packs!
So what happens next? Be here next issue, loyal readers!
Tolkien’s fantastic universe was a setting for some incredible games as well as a plethora of those that failed to amaze players. Shadow of Mordor was one of the most successful titles set in the Middle Earth and the best RPG set in the Middle Earth. But the title of the best RPG will most probably go to the sequel named Shadow of War.
The sequel will continue the tale of the first game, and according to developers, it will be several times better than it was. We had a chance to take a look at the gameplay of the Shadow of War, and we have to agree with its developers.
Gameplay and plot of the Shadow of War
Shadow of War plays similarly to its predecessor as it is also an action RPG set in an open world. You still play as the Talion who has a mix of abilities due to his origin as a ranger of Gondor and the fact that he carries the spirit of Celebrimor, an elf lord.
The goal of the sequel is similar to its predecessor, and that is to disrupt the work of Sauron’s armies. You won’t have to do this alone as you will have characters known as Followers that might help you if you choose a correct way to interact with them.
The fighting mechanics, however, went through some significant changes. The Shadow of Mordor was a hack-and-slash game that relied on combos to give the gameplay more variety. Shadow of War will deviate from that style and give the player more control over the attack patterns. The fighting mechanics will allow the player to attack, defend and dodge and combine those with other elements to defeat the foes. This new system will make the game more interesting when you consider the size of the changes they promised to make.
The original Call of Cthulhu saga spans over four stories, and the ending is quite satisfying. This board game is one of the best role-playing games for new players that are interested in this kind of thing. It isn’t too long and yet it contains all elements that will amaze and draw in people that aren’t familiar with board games.
Original Call of Cthulhu saga is forgiving for new players. The difficulty of board games rests on the Keeper and the willingness of the players to fight against odds. The final part of the original saga will give a player everything that board games are about and that includes dark cults, a villain that transforms into a badass boss and a desperate battle where you might not survive.
And the saga ends
The final part of the Call of Cthulhu adventure starts where the previous one ended, on the Bahamas. No important events happen there but the time spent allows players to read a book found on the ship (last part). Those that went through the book will be susceptible to visions, if players fulfill some other conditions (discovered in the file containing all data about the story). Visions will progress the story by revealing locations that the team has to visit to uncover more info about the Order of the Stone and their goals.
The investigation will take your team to several locations where they will be able to find clues and info about the ritual that the order is aiming for. Player will also have to face various enemies (people with magic as well as powerful creatures) to reach the end. And at the end, the main antagonist will turn himself into a Chosen of Hastur, a powerful foe that will be hard to kill.
The beauty of this story is that it can be altered to something else. Some also find it short, but that isn’t an issue for people with good imagination as the story gives you several opportunities where you can add another mission and extend the Call of Cthulhu. Get a few friends together and enjoy in a masterpiece known as Call of Cthulhu.
Order of the Stone
This adventure is the climax of the search of the Order of the Ancient Stone. The story is designed to pick up after the events in War Buddy1 (http://www.chaosium.com/cthu lhu/celaeno-coc/warbuddy.pdf), General Hospital, and Celestia Maria. Alternatively, it can be brought in at a later time.
This adventure is set in England and Wales in the early 1930’s. With minor modifications, the story could be moved to the 1920’s or to the modern day.
Note: The Ancient Stone in this adventure appears much like Maen Llia in Brecknock, Powys , Wales. (http://www.stonepages.com/wales/maenllia.html).
After being marooned on Bermuda by the events on the Celestia Maria, the investigators make their way to Plymouth, following Lance Blake who murdered Jack Meredith. But Plymouth is only another waypoint.
Following the cold trail of Lance Blake, the investigators reach the Welsh village of Hobbs Hollow and the secret of the Order of the Ancient Stone.
Background Information Background
See War Buddy, General Hospital, and Celestia Maria for background information. Lance Blake attended Eaton with William Carter Acres, heir to the Acres fortune. During holiday, Lance often came home with William. One night during his stay, Lance was not able to sleep and he began wandering the grounds of the manor. He soon came to the ancient stone on a hill behind the manor house. A single, central stone, known locally as “the Ancient stone”, dominates this hill. When Lance arrived at the stone, Aldebaran just rose above the horizon. In its baleful light, Lance had an epiphany and the history of the Ancient Stone was revealed to him. From that day forward, Lance set about forming the Cult of Hastur known as “the Order of the Ancient Stone”.
Over the years, Lance moved into the manor and assumed control of the Acres family. He supplanted William and finally killed him.
Dramatis Personae Lance Blake
Lance Blake is the head of the Order of the Stone in Texas. He is the friend who met up with Jack Meredith and had him killed. He is the one who sent Karl LeBlanc after Father Henesey. Lance Blake arranged for the Spectral Hunter to guard the offices of the Order in San Antonio as well as ordered José Dominguez to take care of anyone who might be following Lance.
In addition to being the head of the Order, Lance is also a Chosen of Hastur (pg 190). Once Lance changes, he looses his spells.
Dame Elizabeth Mary Anne Acres
Dame Elizabeth Mary Anne Acres is the reigning matriarch of the Acres family. Elizabeth runs the family business from Acres Manor. The Acres Manor is located in a remote area of Wales; near the village of Hobbs Hollow.
Dame Acres has not been seen in two years; though it is known she still lives at the manor. Most people agree that she had a breakdown after her son disappeared and has been living as a recluse ever since.
William Carter Acres
William Carter Acres was the last Lord Acres. He mysteriously disappeared during the middle of his last term at Eaton. His erstwhile friend, Lance Blake, to close the bargain with Hastur, sacrificed him.
Bert I. Gordon
Bert, originally from London, drives a hire car in Bristol. He is the only one who will take passengers to Hobbs Hollow. Bert is an outgoing man and very friendly. Bert speaks in a Cockney accent. He can talk at length on a great many subjects, but he is tight lipped about the Hollow.
Bert has a bad elbow, which kept him out of front-line service during the war. He was stationed in Hobbs Hollow as part of the Home Guard. Bert always had wanderlust and used to be a “rambler” (one who walks for miles in the country side). During his time in Hobbs Hollow, he would talk daylong walks around the countryside. Once Sunday afternoon, he chanced upon the stone behind the Acres Manor. As he stood in front of the ancient stone, he began to have visions of strange, far away places. Well, this scared him so much that he returned to the barracks and never went wandering again.
After the war, Bert began his hire business. He has always driven to Hobbs Hollow, and he has seen how the village came under the evil spell of Lance Blake over the years. Many of his friends from the War are different now; most don’t remember him. Bert has tried to tell the authorities that something strange is going on, but no one listens. So he tries on his own to help. But so far, he’s not succeeded.
Richard Burroughs is a reporter for the London Observer. He has been with the paper for fifty years; and was a foreign correspondent during the War. Three years ago, he moved to the travel desk. He has since traveled all over Europe and the British Isles.
Richard has always had an interest in the stone circle and standing stones that dot the English countryside. Ten years ago, he came to Hobbs Hollow and found the Ancient Stone. The stone attempted to contact him by showing him the Yellow Sign, but for some reason, Richard wasn’t completely enthralled like Lance was. The stone did make an impression, and he has been searching for years for what the Yellow Sign means.
Richard, on his latest trip to Hobbs Hollow, went to the stone again, but this time he met up with Lance. Now he is being held captive by Lance – to be used as the sacrifice to summon Hastur.
The shards of the Ancient Stone reveal images to whoever holds them. If a player holds a shard for longer than 30 seconds, he will receive a vision. Such a vision is a confusing mass of images and impressions, the first time someone receives the visions, they must make a Sanity Check (0/1d8).
In the last volume of this adventure, the party had the chance to acquire a copy of The King in Yellow. If any members of the party have researched his volume, they will be susceptible to the visions under certain conditions. These conditions are noted in the text of the adventure. Roll on the table below for a vision. Note that no player will ever experience the same vision more than once.
The sequence is set such that the events will happen in the order listed if the investigators do nothing to move the story along. Their actions may change how things happen.
The survivors from the Celestia Maria are subjected to quite a bit of questioning by the Bermuda authorities. Their story is, to say the least, a bit far-fetched, but it fits the facts and there is no evidence against it. Grudgingly, the authorities close the case and invite the investigators to enjoy the island – and to leave as quickly as they can.
Before they leave Bermuda, the character that read The Yellow King has a vision. If more than one character has read the play, randomly determine who has the vision.
Note: The Bermuda setting is a gold mine for Call of Cthulhu. A side adventure involving voodoo and the Old Ones is an obvious choice.
The Offices of Longfellow and Acres are just off Warf 4. The office is closed and there is a sign nailed to the door. The door is locked (Disable Device DC 17).
An eligible character has a vision upon seeing the door.
The layout of the Plymouth office is the same as the Galveston office. It has a single wooden desk against the west wall with two filing cabinets behind it. Hanging on the south wall are photographs of the company’s four steamers. The desk and filing cabinets have been cleared out.
A chalkboard on the east wall lists information about each of the ships (arrival times, sailing times, cargo, captain, etc). A quick glance (Spot DC 5) at the chalkboard shows that the Celestia Maria is currently listed as missing.
The water closet is clean. It has the normal fixtures and a small bureau on the south wall. Stuck in the bureau, behind the top drawer, is a single piece of paper. The paper is a page from a ship’s manifest. On the back is scrawled in a shaky hand the following:
The following is a rough outline of events that can occur. The events occur in the order given. The pacing of the events should be handled by the Keeper to keep the game moving but do not overpower the players. They should have time to investigate.
The first line is an abbreviation for “volume 22, page 133” – see #6 in the rumor table. The times given are the rising and setting of Aldebaran. A Knowledge (occult) check (DC 20), a Cthulhu Mythos check (DC 17), or a Knowledge (astronomy) check (DC 20) will reveal this fact. Investigation at a library (see below) or observatory will reveal that the next rising of Aldebaran is in two days time.
The warehouse is empty. It appears to have been swept clean.
The Plymouth library has a complete set of The Stellar Timings. This was the library where Lance did his research. If asked, the librarian remembers Lance – a well-dressed young man who came in often to look at the Stellar Timings. Few people refer to the books, and they are mostly professors or ships navigators. None, however, referred to them as often as Lance did. The last time Lance was in was three days ago.
Travel to Hobbs Hollow
There is no direct service to Hobbs Hollow from Plymouth, but the party can hire a car in Bristol. There is rail service from Plymouth to Bristol twice a day. The trip takes 4 hours.
The trip to Bristol is uneventful, except for another vision.
In Bristol, there are a few cars for hire, but most won’t take a fare to Hobbs Hollow. No reason is given or lame excuses. A successful Sense Motive (DC
check will reveal that the drivers are afraid of Hobbs Hollow. Eventually, the investigators will find Bert I. Gordon. He has a small bus (6 passenger) and will make the run to Hobbs Hollow. The trip takes about 5 hours along the small roads. The party will arrive at about 8:00 pm in front of “The Ring of Stones” pub. The Steeple of St. Timothy’s can be seen for miles around. As the investigators arrive, they might notice (Spot DC 15) a slight yellow glow around the steeple.
When the party arrives in the Hollow, it is evening. They can get rooms at the Inn cheaply. From here, there are a few things that they could do:
Sleep the Night. If the party decides to bed down for the night, they will all dream the same dream – one of the visions from the table.
Explore the Village. If the party decides to look around the village, they will encounter one or two villagers. These will be reserved and not too talkative. If pressed, they will suggest that the party should go talk to the Innkeeper or the Lord. While exploring the village, the party will definitely have another vision.
Head for the Manor. If the party visits the manor house the butler, James, will meet them. He will say that the lady is not receiving visitors at this late an hour and ask them to please return the following day. If they persist, the butler will close the door in their face and have the groundskeeper whistle up the dogs (4-6).
Head for the Ancient Stone. If the party visits the ancient stone, they will all experience a vision. Then the groundskeeper will appear and whistle up the dogs.
In general, the party will have to wait until the next day before doing anything constructive.
The first day offers the investigator the similar options:
Explore the Village. If the party decides to look around the village, they will encounter one or two villagers. These will be reserved and not too talkative. If pressed, they will suggest that the party should go talk to the Innkeeper or the Lord. While exploring the village, the party will definitely have another vision.
Head for the Manor. If the party visits the manor house the butler, James, will meet them. He will say that the lady is not receiving visitors at this hour and ask them to please return for tea. If they persist, the butler will close the door in their face and have the groundskeeper whistle up the dogs (4-6).
Head for the Ancient Stone. If the party visits the ancient stone, they will all experience a vision. Then the groundskeeper will appear and whistle up the dogs.
Tea Time at the manor is a formal affair – the investigators will need to get appropriate attire. At the manor, they will be escorted into the parlor where
Richard Burroughs will be waiting. Richard will be talkative but hesitant to speak of the Ancient Stone. If pressed, he will refuse. A successful Sense Motive check (DC 15) will show that he is under a compulsion not to talk.
After a short time, Dame Acres will appear. She is nicely dressed and will be the consummate host. A successful Spot check (DC 20) or a “true sight” spell will reveal that Dame Acres is actually Lance Blake. Dame Acres will invite the investigators to stay at the manor and will send a servant to get their things. After about an hour, Dame Acres will quickly depart and say she’ll see everyone at dinner.
Dinner is a sumptuous affair, but Dame Acres will not appear. James, the butler, will say she is down with a migraine. At dinner, Richard will be no longer under the compulsion, but will not remember visiting the Stone.
In the middle of the night, one of the investigators is woken by the sounds of movement outside. Looking through the window, the investigator will see the villagers carrying torches and walking past the manor toward the stone.
At The Stone
The villagers have been summoned to the Ancient Stone for the Summoning Ritual. They are standing in a ring around the Ancient Stone. In the center of the ring, are 8 stones formed into a V with the Ancient Stone at the apex. Strapped to the ancient stone is Richard Williams. He is wrapped in a white robe with his chest bare. Standing in front of him is a man wearing a yellow robe. He holds a black knife (obsidian) in his left hand. As the group chants, the stone begins to glow yellow. The figure with the black knife plunges it into Richard’s chest. As the blood washes the figure, it begins to change. The figure in yellow (Lance Blake) begins to turn into the Chosen of Hastur. As a chosen, he will attempt to kill everyone around him.
At this point, it should be pretty obvious what the party should do…
Hobbs Hollow is a small village in Wales; about 5 hours drive from Bristol. The town is in a hollow below the Acres Manor. The town has seen better days and is now almost a ghost town. Most buildings are abandoned or boarded up. The others are run down.
There are villagers in the Hollow, most work in the fields outside the village. The villagers are very quiet and do not speak to strangers. Anyone that hasn’t been in the village for about 10 years is a “stranger”. Some facts about the villagers are:
There is no native that is younger that forty.
The villagers often look up to manor as if expecting something.
None of the villagers will go near the manor.
Below is a map of the village. Buildings and fences are outlined in black; hedges are in green. Following the map is a key for each of the buildings in the village. The key does not cover the boarded up or broken down buildings – these are left to you to fill in if you are so inclined.
On this map, the manor is north of the village by a half of a mile and the stone is a mile beyond that.
Church – St. Timothy is the local Anglican Church. It is a medium sized building in the gothic style. A close examination of the outside architecture (Spot DC 15) reveals that there are stone circles included in the normal Christian carvings. Inside, the church appears disused. Dust coats the floor and it appears it hasn’t been disturbed in years. Spider webs and other signs of disuse are apparent. The great stained glass window at the far end of the church is a picture of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus, however, is standing in the center of a stone circle with a single large yellow stone behind him.
Graveyard – The graveyard of St. Timothy’s is as unkempt as the rest of the village. The grass and bushes have grown wild, covering tombstones and monuments. A search of the graveyard will reveal the following facts:
The most recent grave is dated 1916.
The oldest graves, from the 1200’s include a strange rune (the Yellow Sign) on their carving.
Arkwright’s Grocers (#1)– The grocer’s is open, but it is not well stocked. The proprietor is a large and rather ruff man with a bit of a stutter. He is surly and not included to talk much. If he thinks some one is not buying, he will strongly hint about a purchase and, finally, go into the back room and lock the door.
Ring of Stones Pub (#5) – The only public house in the village is the Ring of Stones. Brin Dwoner owns it. Brin is an older, thin gentleman who tries to keep a neat inn. He is not a native of the Hollow, having inherited the Inn from his aunt about five years ago. Business is good but not great. Mostly locals frequent the pub with a few travelers. Currently, the party is the only guests. Bert Gordon, who is a close friend of Brin, brings all the guests.
The last guest, Richard Boroughs, was a travel reporter from the London Observer. He was in the area working on an article “the less traveled ways of Wales”. He checked out two days ago to hike across country. He was especially interested in the Ancient Stone, the single stone behind the manor. When Richard checked out, he left a notebook.
Most of the notebook consists of notes for a travelogue. However, on page 35 is a notation about the yellow sign (see the handout section).
Welsh Historical Society (# 15) – Brin’s wife, Abagale, has always been interested in history and after moving to the Hollow, she focused her energies into the local history. She has collected quit a bit of information about the area and the manor. She has some information about the Ancient Stone.
Local legend has it that Vikings brought the stone here. They were led by Arnie Wulfsen who, the story goes, sacrificed his crew to the stone once it was erected.
There are tales that during certain times of the year, the stone glows yellow. During these times, the wolves that normally howl out in the fields are silent.
An early resident of the manor tried to have the stone removed to make farming easier. He disappeared after hiring the work gang to remove the stone.
The villagers burned the original manor house, a medieval shell keep, to the ground when it was thought to be home to a coven of witches.
A book written by the second Earl of Acres that covers the history of the Ancient Stone, Menhir d’ Acres, is reportedly in the manor.
Statue of the Earl of Acres (#20) – The fifth Earl of Acres fought with Wellington at Waterloo. He is memorialized on his horse by this statue. The figure faces the manor with his left arm extended. His horse stands upon a large stone. An inspection of the stone (Search DC 15) will show the Yellow Sign carved in it just below the rider.
The manor is a typical Elizabethan style manor with a significant number of rooms. Most of these rooms are mundane and have no bearing on the story. Those that do are listed below.
The wine cellar is accessed through a trap door in the kitchen. There are many racks of wine bottles in the room. One wall is blank. A search of this wall (DC
15) will reveal that the construction is more recent than the surrounding area. Behind this wall are the remains of Dame Acres. She has been dead for about a year. Before she died, she had time to gouge out her eyes, pull out her hair, and bite off her tongue.
The sitting room has paintings of all seventeen of the Earls. In each, they are wearing something yellow and close inspection of the paintings (Search DC 15) will reveal the Yellow Sign in each painting. On a table in the middle of the room is a sculpture of the first Earl. This is carved from a shard of the original stone. As such, it promotes visions.
The library has many volumes. A search (DC 15) will reveal the following books:
Menhir d’ Acres – This manuscript is an exhaustive treatment of the Ancient Stone. This book documents the connection between the stone and the King in Yellow. It also includes the ritual for summoning Hastur. Examination Period: 1d4 hours (DC 10); contains 1 spell, Sanity Loss: 0 initial, 1d3 upon completion. Cthulhu Mythos: +1 rank.
The King in Yellow – See page 122.
People of the Monolith – See page 122.
The original role-playing game Call of Cthulhu contained several stories that were connected in one big campaign. But the beauty of old board games is that you can change them without too much work. A popular thing nowadays is to update Call of Cthulhu stories and turn them into episodic games that happen in the present.
The steamer part of the original Call of Cthulhu board game happens after the events in the General Hospital. You and other players go to the San Antonio where you board the steamer called Celestia Marie. Your adversary, however, is aware of your plans and they will try and obstruct you.
What to expect in this part of the Call of Cthulhu adventure
This story is riddled with events that might sometimes overwhelm the team, but the Keeper ( the person that runs the game) should pace it out to allow the team to investigate and find some info as well as items to prepare for the oncoming storm.
And then the horror stars
First, two days of the trip are uneventful which gives some free time to the team to rest. The third day is when the struggle to escape the cursed boat begins. The party awakes and realizes that the ship has stopped and no noise comes from the engines. The team has to explore the ship, found out what happened and, when they realize the problem, escape.
The team will visit the Deck A and find the seaman that has been turned into a zombie as well as the Captain who suffered the same fate. Several other rooms, except the bridge with zombies, are located at the Deck A, and the team can find some useful tools to fight zombies. Other decks will also contain zombies that the team will have to either defeat or avoid.
The goal of this game is to escape the boat. This is achievable in two ways. You can either locate Jose, to use his radio to call for help, or wait for Jose’s escape boat and overwhelm the guards that came with it. This is a hard mission, and there is a high probability that some team members will lose sanity or even their lives.
This adventure is set onboard the tramp steamer Celestia Marie. The story is designed to pick up after the events in General Hospital and War Buddy1 (http://www.chaosium.com/cthulhu/celaeno- coc/warbuddy.pdf). Alternatively, it can be brought in at a later time.
This adventure is set in Texas in the early 1930’s. With minor modifications, the story could be moved to the 1920’s or to the modern day.
After their harrowing experience in at the General Hospital, the adventurers are once again on the trail of the murder of Jack Meredith. They have taken the train to San Antonio to meet with Charles Meredith, Jack’s father.
From this interview, the investigators determine that the Order of the Ancient Stone have an office in down town. Visiting the office, the Investigators find it ransacked. However, they find evidence that the members have taken passage on the tramp steamer Celestia Marie. The investigators book passage on the same ship to corner the fiends; but their quarry is aware of them.
See War Buddy for background information.
Dramatis Personae Harvey Acres
Harvey Acres was a member of the affluent Acres family.
Harvey got into a little trouble back in Plymouth and was sent to Galveston to avoid embarrassing the family. Harvey wound up enjoying the climate of Galveston and decided to stay. He was able to build up a good trade in shipping cotton.
The Order of the Stone was interested in clandestine moving people and cargo between England and Texas. They were able to put Samson Calloway in as Harvey’s assistant and, using Sam, were able to conduct their business.
Harvey started noticing some strange entries in the books and, after a quick investigation; he uncovered what Sam and the Order were doing. When he threatened to go to the police, Lance Blake killed him.
Lance Blake is the head of the Order of the Stone in Texas. He is the friend who met up with Jack Meredith and had him killed. He is also the one who sent Karl LeBlanc after Father Henesey.
Sam is a minor member of the Order of the Stone. Before he joined the order, Sam was a petty criminal. He met members of the order in the count jail and parleyed his connections into a good job at Livingston and Acres. Sam likes his new job and wants to go straight; but is afraid of the Order and what it would do to him. As such, Sam does just what he has to, and does so unwillingly.
The Order has done a good job of burying Sam’s record. A Research check (DC 30) is required to uncover his criminal record.
José is an elder member of the Order of the Stone. He is the ranking member of the Order in Galveston. He works for
Ltd, which is the front company for the order in Galveston.
José family has lived in the Galveston area since before the Texas Revolution. During that time they have been members of the Cult of the Yellow King. José joined the Order to add it to the existing cult in this part of Texas.
They say that Mr. Lance Blake, the man in the back office, was a quiet tenet. He was pleasant but not outgoing – he kept to himself. Mr. Alfonso hasn’t been seen in the past few days.
Inside the office is a shambles. The desks have been overturned and the file cabinets have been emptied out. A bookshelf lies across the floor, its contents spilled all over the floor. A quick search (DC 15) will show that most of the papers are the usual charity type of paperwork – names and addresses of donors. A thorough search (DC 20) will reveal a torn up ticket stub for passage to Plymouth on the Monkey Business.
An extensive search (DC 30) will reveal that the mess was intentionally made.
Captain John Englebert
John Englebert, a balding man in his late fifties, is the captain of the Celestia Maria. John has sailed the ship since she was launched in 1920. John is unaware of the activities of the Order, but he is familiar with Lance Blake; and he doesn’t like the man. “He’s alright as far as you know, but he strikes me as the kind o’ man that dogs would bark at.”
The following is a rough outline of events that can occur. The events occur in the order given. The pacing of the events should be handled by the Keeper to keep the game moving but do not overpower the players. They should have time to investigate. The sequence is set such that the events will happen in the order listed if the investigators do nothing to move the story along. Their actions may change how things happen.
The Order of the Stone kept an office in downtown San Antonio, just north of Alamo Plaza. The office is located on the fourth floor of the building; office 412. The Order masqueraded as a charity for widows and orphans.
Alamo Plaza Building
The office itself is composed of two rooms: a reception area and an actual office. When the investigators arrive, the door to the office is locked. No one answers knocking.
The offices to either side of 412 are vacant. Across the hall from 412 is a janitor’s closet. The only occupied office on the fourth floor is 414. This is the office of an accountant (Mr. Pitney) and his secretary (Mrs. Bowes)
After the party finds the ticket stub, a Spectral Hunter, which has been lurking in the room invisibly, will attack a random party member. If one of the adventurers has the shard (from adventure 1), the Hunter will attack him.
The Monkey Business is a steamer that left Galveston for Plymouth, England three days ago. The manifest does have a passenger named Lance Blake.
The Longfellow and Acres Shipping, Ltd (LAS) of Plymouth own the steamer. The Monkey Business is one of a fleet of four steamers that run between Galveston and Plymouth. The other ships are Celestia Maria, Marlowe’s Luck, and Sunrise Angel. They mainly run freight – cotton to be exact – but they also have room for a few passengers.
Longfellow and Acres Shipping, Ltd. have a small office on pier 13 in Galveston. A check of the newspaper archives (Research DC 15) will show that Longfellow and Acres Shipping opened their Galveston office in 1920. Further digging (Research DC 20) will reveal that the original manager of the Galveston office, Harvey Acres, died in January under mysterious circumstances. His obituary from the Galveston Paper is:
Galveston Pier 13
Pier 13 is a busy place in Galveston. When the party arrives, there are two shrimp boats (Monica’s Prize and Daddy Warbucks) are moored and are off loading their catch onto handcarts. The area is quite noisy and crowded. A player who makes a successful Spot check (DC 20) will notice that there is a short, fat man with an eye patch over his left eye is watching the party. If anyone moves towards the man, he will disappear into the crowd.
Longfellow and Acres Shipping, Ltd.
The office sits about two-thirds of the way down the pier. It’s a shabby looking
building, with peeling white paint and rusty lamps on the outside. Moored behind the office is the steamer Celestia Maria.
When the party arrives and knocks on the door, it swings open. The office inside is empty. The office has a single wooden desk against the west wall with two filing cabinets behind it. Hanging on the south wall are photographs of the company’s four steamers. A chalkboard on the east wall lists information about each of the ships (arrival times, sailing times, cargo, captain, etc). A quick glance (Spot DC
5) at the chalkboard shows that the Celestia Maria is currently set to sail tomorrow morning at seven a.m.
The water closet is clean. It has the normal fixtures and a small bureau on the south wall. A search of the room (DC
will reveal a small journal in the bottom of the bureau. The book is written in a fine, spidery hand. It is Harvey Acre’s diary and some pages have been torn out (April 30, 1931, July 9, 1931, and January 14, 1932). Samson Calloway is mentioned in the book as a friend and confidant. The diary will reveal no more information.
The warehouse is a busy place. Longshoremen are bustling around, loading bales of cotton on to the Celestia Maria. The warehouse is about half full of cotton bales. The players may spot (DC 20) the one-eyed man near the warehouse door. If the players move toward him, he will again disappear into the crowd on the pier.
Shortly after the party enters the office, the door from the warehouse will open and Samson Calloway will come in. Samson is a tall, thin man with white hair and a salt-and- pepper moustache. He will greet the party and ask to help. Samson worked for Harvey Acres and took over after his untimely death. In fact, it was Samson who found the body. Sam will be helpful to the party, though he is quite busy getting the Maria ready to sail. Sam will be glad to book passage on the ship for the party. If asked about Lance Blake, Sam will say he remembers the man, and the fact that he was in a hurry to book passage on the first ship out. A successful Sense Motive (DC 20) check will show that Sam is not telling the whole truth. Sam won’t reveal anything more. Sam is a member of the Order of the Ancient Stone. Though he didn’t kill Harvey Acres, he was an accessory. Lance Blake did the deed. Sam will alert Blake by radio that the party is asking after him. Lance will instruct Sam to send José Dominguez, the one-eyed man, as a passenger with the party.
The Celestia Maria begins boarding at 4:00 a.m. and weighs anchor at 7:00 a.m. The passage to Plymouth will take seven days, barring bad weather. When the party arrives, Captain John Englebert meets them. He will welcome them aboard and show them to their cabins (Staterooms 1 and 2). He will offer them the run
of the ship, as long as they keep out of the way of the crew, and will ask them to dine with him this evening. After answering some questions, Captain Englebert will take his leave to set sail.
There are four other passengers on the Celestia Maria:
José Dominguez – sent by the Order of the Stone to stop the party reaching Plymouth.
Anna Fleming – an elderly widow returning to England after fifty years in the States.
Laura Gooseberry – Anna Fleming’s nurse.
Jacob Hallmark – A civil servant for the Ministry of Trade. He is traveling on the Celestia Maria while checking the operations of Longfellow and Acres, Ltd.
The first day out of Galveston, the ship bears eastward following the coast. During this journey, the party will meet Anna Fleming and Laura Gooseberry, her Nurse as well as Jacob Hallmark. They will hear of the fourth passenger, José Dominguez, but will not see him. If they ask, they will discover that José is suffering from seasickness and hopes to join the others for dinner.
Needless to say, José doesn’t make it.
The second day out of Galveston, the ship passes the Florida peninsula and heads out into the Atlantic. The ship’s bearing will take it just north of Bermuda. That night, José does appear for dinner, but he doesn’t eat. If the party successfully spotted José earlier in the adventure, have them make an Intelligence test (DC 20) to see if they recognize José. If asked about the earlier appearances, he’ll make some excuses.
Sometime prior to dinner, José got into the galley and laced the passenger’s soup with a strong sleeping potion (Fort DC 30, sleep 5+1d4 hours). About an hour after dinner, everyone will start feeling tired and will want to turn in.
The Death of the Crew
After the party is asleep, José makes his move. He first summons a night fog and then moves through the ship, killing everyone he can find. He then animates the corpses and sets them to attack anyone that comes close.
José doesn’t get a chance to kill the party because he runs out of stamina before he gets to them. He then runs to Cargo Hold 2 and hides out in a place he has prepared. He is certain the zombies will take care of the remaining people.
Awaken to the Horror
Randomly determine which one of the party awakens. Four hours have passed since they went to sleep. It is dark outside and the fog still surrounds the ship. A Listen check (DC 15) will detect that the engines have stopped.
The party is alone on a ghost ship in the middle of the Atlantic. Now what?
As they party explore the ship, they realize that they can’t radio for help (as the radio is destroyed) nor start up the ship again. If they locate José, they can use his radio to call for help, or, wait for the cigarette boat that José has called to arrive.
Experience and Sanity Awards
This is a very direct adventure – survive the zombies and escape the boat. Doing so will earn each Investigator 3,000 XPS.
Consequences Radioing for Help
If the party uses José’s radio, a Coast Guard Cutter will get their message and pick them up within 30 minutes. Otherwise, the cigarette boat out of Bermuda will arrive three hours after the party awakens.
Cigarette Boat Arrives
Two men pilot the Cigarette Boat. They have orders to take José back to Bermuda and to kill any other survivors.
On board the Cigarette Boat are charts and a sextant of the area. There is enough fuel for the return trip to Bermuda. There is also a working radio.
The Celestia Maria
Some of the entries for the rooms on the Celestia Maria have two entries: one that covers the room normally (labeled “Before”) and a second that covers the room after José works his mischief (labeled “After”).
Before: The bridge of the Celestia Maria is a modern bridge. There is always one seaman here at the ships wheel. The mate, Chris Colombo, keeps the watch.
Chris is a very friendly, outgoing type – and quite talkative. Originally from Sicily, his accent is very thick.
After: Standing at the wheel is what’s left of Chris Colombo and he’s still talking; or, at least trying to. His jaws move up and down as he tries to sail the boat. When the party enters, Chris will turn toward them and advance. His voice is now a raspy hiss. A loud knocking can be hard from the door to the Control Room.
The zombie of Captain Englebert is bashing his arms against the door. His hands lay in a pool of blood on the chart table. The charts have been taken.
This room contains various spare parts, odds, and ends. In a very nice oak box is a spyglass. In an oaken box are a Very pistol (flare gun) and 4 flares.
Since the Very pistol isn’t a direct-fire weapon. There is a –4 To Hit modifier. A Critical Hit with a Very pistol indicates that the flare has detonated on impact.
Port and Starboard Storm Room
The radio shack is a crowded little room that is the home of Sparks. Originally from Houston, Sparks has worked on the Celestia Maria since she was launched. The radio has both a telegraph key and microphone. Sparks, who likes music a lot, usually has the radio tuned to a local music station.
The radio shack is a shambles; the radio has been wrecked and set afire. Sitting in the chair is the burned corpse of Sparks. As the part enters, it lurches to its feet and attacks.
The control room is filled with charts and tables. Captain Englebert is found here pouring over the charts for the journey. In a cabinet under the map table are a compass and sextant – both of them are very well made.
These rooms contain the storm fittings (slickers, deck ropes, and lashings) that are pulled out when heavy weather is due. A concerted search (DC 20) here will uncover 4 dry cell batteries wrapped in oilcloth
Recreation Room 1
Before: This room has a small game table in the middle with four chairs. In shelves on one wall are various board and card games. There is also a small but well-stocked dry bar on one wall.
After: Sitting at the table are the corpses of Anna Fleming and Laura Gooseberry. Their throats where slit in the middle of their game of whist. Blood covers the tables. A successful spot check (DC 20) will reveal bloody footprints that lead to the stairs down to C deck.
Recreation Room 2
Before: This room has four sitting chairs and two small tables. The walls are lined with bookcases filled with a wide selection of books. This is Jacob Hallmark’s favorite room. He has made quite a few trips on the Celestia Maria and has almost worked his way though the books here. Jacob has a fondness for Victorian Romance novels, and the ships of Longfellow and Acres are well stocked with these.
A successful search (DC 20) will uncover a copy of The King in Yellow. It is a thin book with a black cover. The front has a Yellow Sign embossed on it (SAN 0/1d6). Examination period: 1 week (DC 22); Spells: None; Sanity Loss: 1d3 initial, 1d6+1 on completion. Cthulhu Mythos: +1 rank.
After: This room appears unaffected by what ever occurred. A listening check (DC 15) will reveal the muffled sounds of sobbing coming from behind one of the sitting chairs. Jacob is hiding here, cradling a broken arm (left). He is muffling his sobs with a pillow.
Jacob woke shortly before the party and noticed that the engine had stopped. He ran into the zombies and he sanity snapped along with his arm. He fled back to this room and has been cowering here ever since. He hard the part approaching and, thinking they were the zombies, he hid behind the chair.
Jacob is suffering form amnesia – he doesn’t remember anything from the time he boarded the ship until he woke up. He is terrified and does not easily trust anyone.
Before: The Celestia Maria is a working cargo ship and, as such, the decks are not pleasant places to be when the ship is in port. However, while sailing in clear weather, the holds are covered with sailcloth and chairs are set out. There is also rigging to set up a volleyball court or a pair of basketball goals.
There are two large masts that are used to hoist cargo out of the Celestia Maria’s holds. A wireless antenna is strung between the masts.
The stairwell at the bow of the ship leads down into the larger of the two holds. It is usually locked (disable device DC 20) and the first mate has the key.
After: The lock on the stairwell has been broken off. A successful spot check (DC 20) will show that a wire leading form the antenna goes down the stairwell into the cargo hold.
Before: Three metal tables are bolted to the wall and there are benches on either side of each. Three people can sit comfortably on each bench. Two of the tables and their benches can fold up flat against the bulkhead.
All three tables are used when the crew is eating. When the passengers are eating, two of the tables are folded up against the wall.
There are always at least two crewmen here, “inspecting the galley” or having a cup of coffee. The cook has a magnetized chess set that is used by almost everyone of the crew.
After: The bodies of two crewmen lean over the stationary table – they were apparently playing a game of chess when they were killed. Both men have been stabbed multiple times with a butcher knife. The knife is nowhere to be found.
A Spot check (DC 15) will reveal a foul odor coming from the galley
Before: Alonzo is the cook, and he spends most of his time here. The galley itself has six gas burners and two gas ovens. In addition, there is a large (2 gallon) coffee pot that is kept full and fresh. Crockery and utensils are stored under a chopping block.
After: As with the galley mess, the galley is a charnel house. There is blood all over the walls and appliances. On the stove is a large pot of boiling water. Inside it is the head of the cook. A successful search (DC 20) is required to find the rest of the cook’s dismembered body in the two ovens.
Before: The walk-in pantry includes a large icebox filled with meats and vegetables. This is Alonzo’s pride and joy.
After: Inside the pantry is the zombie of one of the crewmen. The missing cutlery is still stuck in his body. This zombie will burst in on the party while they are searching the galley.
that the Brotherhood is a quarry company in Wales.
This is Anna Fleming’s stateroom. It is full of the effects of a well to do widow.
This is the stateroom of Laura Gooseberry.
Laura is inordinately fond of the mysteries of Agatha Christie. She even fancies herself a sleuth. A successful search (DC 20) will uncover her journal. She has a most interesting entry dated the day before:
The galley storage contains canned food, flour, lard, and dried foods.
The smaller of the two holds as bales of cotton stack in it. The air is musty. A successfully Listen check (DC 20) reveals the scurrying sound of rats. A small warren of them has taken up residence in one of the bales of hay (to the port side). The baggage of the passengers is also in this hold.
There are five staterooms on board the Celestia Maria. Each has a single bunk, small wardrobe, dressing table, and water closet. The two largest, numbers 1 and 2, have two bunks instead of one. Each outside room has one porthole.
This is Jacob Hallmarks’ stateroom. A successful search (DC 20) will uncover his books. In one is the draft of his report on Livingston and Acre. He has apparently uncovered a discrepancy in the company’s books. Not only are there missing funds, there are some fraudulent manifests. Jacob is looking further, but all that he has found is that all of the fraudulent manifests are associated with something called the Brotherhood of the Stone. Some research revealed
The Captain’s quarters are furnished in the same way as the staterooms. In addition, it has a chart table with a few extra charts.
A successful search of his cabin reveals that the Captain has a shard of stone similar to that found at the cabin. However, this shard is in a locked wooden box. The box is sealed with wax and there is an unusual symbol on the way seal (Cthulhu Mythos check DC 20 reveals that this is the sign of the Yellow King)
This storage closet includes the entertainment equipment as well as the liquor. Needless to say, there is a lock and the Captain has the only key.
Before: The engine room is a dirty, oil place where the only sound is that of the throbbing engine. To be heard, you must shout. The great diesel engine occupies most of the room, but there is a workbench along the inside bulkhead. The engineer and his two mates spend most of their time here.
They are grimy and covered in oil.
After: With the engine stopped, this room is unnaturally quiet. There is a noisome smell of burned flesh about the place. Three zombies, the engineer and his mates, are here. Apparently the engine caused their deaths as they are all badly mangled.
The crew cabins are similar to the staterooms, though not as nicely furnished.
The storage rooms are filled with various odds and ends needed by the engineering crew. One has a nice selection of very large hardware.
Cargo Hold 2
Before: This larger of the two cargo holds is full of cotton. The gangway from the deck leads down to the bow portion of this hold. Steel rods from the roof suspend it. A successful spot check (DC 25) reveals that rods have rusted. A successful strength check (DC 30) would be enough to cause the stairway to collapse.
After: José is hiding here waiting for the cigarette boat to arrive. He has a small wireless (30#) that the he has connected to the ship’s antenna. If José hears the party coming, he will cast Power of Nyambie and then use Red Sign of Shudde M’Ell. If the spells fail, he will fall back on his pistol.
Many people forgot about Call of Cthulhu but that changed half a year ago with an announcement of an RPG survival horror game. Whether the game will succeed or not is still unknown, and for us, it doesn’t make a big difference. We hope that it will do well, but that isn’t up to us.
An excellent this about this announcement is that it will get more people interested into the lore and hopefully into role-playing board games based on the same lore. Role-playing Call of Cthulhu games have been around since 1981, and they include a various setting for two or more players.
The hunted hospital – Back to the board
Call of Cthulhu board games is exiting due to extensive work that was done to create them. The hospital scenario is one of the first role-playing Call of Cthulhu games, and it is set in the 1930s in the small Texan city. But the beauty of excellently written board games, like this one, is that it can be adapted to the present day with an hour or two worth of work.
The story of this game follows you and at least two more players on your trip through Texas. You have to stop as you see a man in the dark and it turns out that his friend lost consciousness due to a car crash. You take them to the hospital, and there the game starts.
Every Call of Cthulhu game will force players to investigate, run and fight against the unknown supernatural enemy. But stories aren’t that simple and whether the enemy is evil or not is always inconclusive. In this scenario, the enemy is a ghost of a man that died a year ago, and you and your friends will have to uncover the reason behind his actions, and you will also have to find a way to survive.
People still play and write new Call of Cthulhu games because they force people to make some hard choices and even that doesn’t guarantee the survival. You can do almost everything right and still fail to survive the scenario, and that is what keeps us playing role-playing games.
This is a short d20 Call of Cthulhu adventure for 3 or more investigators. The adventure is set in Texas in the early 1930’s. With minor modifications, the story could be moved to the 1920’s or to the modern day.
The Investigators are in a minor car accident and have to rush an injured bystander to the local hospital. Arriving at the hospital, the investigators find themselves involved with a year old murder – and a ghost out for revenge.
General Hospital is a small hospital located on the edge of Jasper, Texas. Jasper is located in the piney woods of east Texas. The hospital is rather unremarkable. However, there are also reports of someone – or something – wandering the patient’s wing.
Exactly one year ago, Elvis Green was brought to General Hospital with a gunshot wound. Sheriff Carter, who brought Green in, said that he had been shot resisting arrest. Carter was investigating the disappearance of a 4- year-old girl and he wanted to talk to Green. Green ran from the Sheriff and was shot.
Dr. Cleave, the physician on duty, operated on Green in an attempt to save his life. Cleave, who had lost his twin sister when she they were 6, intentionally botched the operation. Green died from internal bleeding two days later – in the West wing. Since the mutilated body of the missing girl was found shortly before Green died, there wasn’t an investigation of his death.
On the year of the murder, Green’s spirit has returned to exact vengeance on Dr Cleave, Sheriff Carter, and the town of Jasper.
The following events occur in the order given. The pacing of the events should be handled by the Keeper to keep the game moving but do not overpower the players. They should have time to investigate.
The sequence is set such that the events will happen in the order listed if the investigators do nothing to move the story along. Their actions may change how things happen.
Below is a suggested hook to get the group of investigator’s involved in the mystery. Use this or create one that better fits your campaign.
Late one night, the adventurers are driving along a dark two-lane highway. As they round a corner, an elderly man standing in the road startles the driver. He is waving his handkerchief to get the party to stop.
The man says his name is Elwood Barber. He is a farmer that lives outside of Jasper. This evening, Father Gideon from the local church, came to visit Elwood. After supper, they were sitting on the front porch, when Father Gideon passed out.
Elwood quickly loaded Father Gideon into his truck and was driving him to the hospital. However, as he rounded the corner, he lost control of the truck and wound up in the ditch. Elwood has been standing on the road about fifteen minutes hoping to flag someone down.
The truck is front-down in the ditch and its front axle is broken. Father Gideon is the passenger side of the truck’s cabin. A quick examination reveals that Gideon is very pale and his breathing is shallow. A Heal check (DC 15) will show that Gideon is unconscious – actually, he’s slipped into a coma. A second successful Heal test (DC
20) will reveal the coma.
Elwood Barber is also looking a little ashen and pale. In all the excitement, a successful Spot check (DC 25) is required to notice.
Arriving at the Hospital
Jasper General Hospital is located on the north edge of town. It’s a large single story building with two wings; parking is in the rear. Nurse Todd will meet the party when they bring in the unconscious priest. She will be sitting at the reception desk.
Nurse Todd will give the priest a quick examination and then help the party move him to Room 1. During this time, Elwood Barber is starting to feel woozier. A successful Spot check (DC 20) will reveal this.
If the party has missed Elwood’s problems, he will collapse into a chair in Room 1. Nurse Todd will put Elwood in room 10. Unlike Father Gideon, Elwood is just exhausted. Estelle will put him to bed. She will also shoo anyone out of the Elwood’s room, saying he needs his rest.
After taking care of Elwood, Estelle will tell the party she is going to get the Doctor and admittance forms for Father Gideon. Some of the party should remain with the Priest to be able to pick up on the next event.
Nurse Todd returns and helps the party fill out the admission forms. It will take about 5 minutes to complete the forms.
Have the party make a Listen check (DC 20). The party members who succeed will hear a muffled scream coming from down the hall. If they leave the room immediately, they will see what appears to be a patient leaving Elwood’s room and entering the one across the Hall. No Sanity check is required for this sighting.
If no one makes their Listen check, Nurse Todd will go down to Elwood’s room after she’s done with the paper work. She will invite one of the investigators to accompany her.
If there is a player character in Room 7, he will meet the investigators as they come out of the Father Hennessey’s Room.
He will have heard the scream. If the party failed their
Listen check, it will be this character that sees the ghost go into Room 4.
If the party members enter Room 4, they will see only Mrs. Dahl who is sound asleep. If they wake her, she will not know anything about the incident.
When the party enters Elwood’s room, something doesn’t feel right. Players with the Sensitive feat should make a test (DC 15). A player that passes this test will feel cold when they enter the room.
A character that makes a successful Listen check (DC
25) will hear the faint sound of water (blood) dripping on the floor.
Elwood is lying on the bed, with the woolen blanket pulled up to his shoulders. His face is ashen and has a horrible grimace on it. Pulling back the covers will reveal that
Elwood has quickly bled to death from a small incision on
the left side of his chest. The blanket and covers are stuck together and make a wet parting sound when they are pulled back. The bed is covered with blood and some is dripping on the floor.
Upon a successful Spot check (DC 10), a bloodstain can be found on the floor next to the bed. A subsequent successful Cthulhu Mythos check (DC15) would identify the pattern as a marred Elder Sign.
A successful Heal check (DC 15) or a Spot check (DC 20) will reveal that the wound on Elwood’s body is a surgical incision.
Nurse Todd will approach the bed if no one else moves. She will quickly check Elwood’s pulse and then go for Doctor Cleave, leaving the party behind
The Doctor Arrives
Doctor Cleave will arrive shortly and examine the body. He will pronounce it dead at the time he arrives. He will then ask the party what happened to him. Doctor Cleave will ask if anyone did any unofficial operations on Elwood. After the questioning, Dr. Cleave will insist that the investigators return to the lobby to wait for Sheriff Carter. Dr. Cleave will remain behind.
Nurse Todd will have called Sheriff Carter.
As the group leaves Room 10, each one should make a Spot check (DC 15). Those passing the test will see the Ghost enter Room 9.
Meet the Sheriff
Sheriff Carter will arrive in about 20 minutes. He will be greatly put out for being called at this time of the morning. He dressed in a hurry and did not have a chance to tuck in his shirt.
Sheriff Carter will question the party members about what has happened. Though he sounds like a dimwitted oaf, the Sheriff is quite bright, and good at his job. He is not overly suspicious of the party; people die in hospitals all the time. However, he will be wary if anyone tries to pull a fast one.
During the questioning, Dr. Cleave will enter the lobby.
The First Real Clue
After questioning the investigators, Sheriff Carter will question Nurse Todd. Nurse Todd will reveal that the wound on Elwood’s body looks exactly like that on Elvis Green’s body.
Have the players make a Spot check (DC 20). A success will mean that the player sees a quick reaction on Dr. Cleave’s face. Doctor Cleave will go to his office, to work on papers. He will actually be making an entry in his journal.
After the questioning and any investigation that the players want to do, Enrique will come running into the room. He will be out of breath and almost hysterical.
Nurse Todd will fetch Doctor Cleave.
Between gasps and sobs, Enrique will describe seeing the Ghost enter Room 4. The figure looked familiar to Enrique, so he followed it into the room. He found Mrs. Dahl dead in the same manner as Elwood.
If questioned, Enrique will be able to describe the figure well enough that Nurse Todd, Dr. Cleave, or Sheriff Carter will recognize it as Elvis Green.
Nurse Todd, Sheriff Carter, and Dr. Cleave will run to Room 4.
Mrs. Dahl is lying on the bed, with the woolen blanket pulled up to her shoulders. Her face is ashen and has a horrible grimace on it. Pulling back the covers will reveal that she has quickly bled to death from a small incision on the left side of his chest. The blanket and covers are stuck together and make a wet parting sound when they are pulled back. The bed is covered with blood and some is dripping on the floor.
Upon a successful Spot check (DC 10), a bloodstain can be found on the floor next to the bed. A subsequent successful Cthulhu Mythos check (DC15) would identify the pattern as a marred Elder Sign.
A successful Heal check (DC 15) or a Spot check (DC 20) will reveal that the wound on Mrs. Dahl’s body is a surgical incision.
If Dr. Cleave fails his Sanity check, he will return to his office and kill himself.
Nurse Todd will follow the Doctor and will find his body. This will cause her to confess. Sheriff Carter will then arrest Nurse Todd for accessory to murder.
If the party dispatches the ghost, Nurse Todd will confess to them what she knows. Sheriff Carter will arrest Nurse Todd and Dr. Cleave.
Experience and Sanity Awards
If the investigators manage to uncover the evidence of Dr. Cleave’s crime and turn it over to Sheriff Cleave before Dr. Cleave commits suicide, they will score 1,000 XPS.
If the investigators dispatch the Ghost and/or uncover the evidence of Dr. Cleave’s crime, they will score 750 XPS.
If the investigators do not uncover the evidence of Dr. Cleave’s crime, they will score 500 XPS.
The arrest or suicide of Dr. Cleave and the arrest of Nurse Todd will satisfy the ghost. Elvis Green will not return. Sheriff Carter will clean up the mess, but he will suggest that the Investigators leave town as soon as possible.
Elvis Green was a drifter and handyman. He came into town about a month before his death and began working out at the Meacham farm west of Jasper. Elvis was an odd sort, and he was often found loitering around the school. When Sarah Angees was reported missing, Sheriff Carter immediately thought of Elvis, and went out to the Meacham farm.
He found Elvis working on a tractor and when the Sheriff went to ask him questions, Elvis began to run across the field. Sheriff Carter had to use deadly force to stop Green’s flight. The Sheriff saw that Green was grievously wounded, so he took him into General Hospital. During the admission process, Carter explained to Dr. Cleave about why he went to see Green.
When Doctor Cleave operated on Green to repair the gunshot wound, he intentionally did not close up the wound. Two days later, Green died from a massive loss of blood.
On the day after Green was brought in to the Hospital, the mutilated body of Sarah Angees was found buried in the hay in the Meacham’s Barn.
Elvis Green has returned on the anniversary of his death to exact vengeance on those who murdered him. The ghost appears as an ashen-faced man dressed in a hospital gown. The gown has a very large and wet blood stain on the left side of his chest. Elvis appears solid but close inspection (Spot vs. DC 20) reveals that his bare feet do not touch the floor. Elvis does not react to light or sound. Elvis Green only manifests himself between sunset and sunrise.
He is set on killing Estelle Todd and Dr. Cleave, as they were the ones who conspired to murder him. He also blames the hospital staff and Sheriff Carter for not doing anything to help him. He haunts the patient wing of the hospital as well as Operating Theater B. He won’t be seen in the other areas of the hospital.
The ghost never makes a sound.
If Dr. Cleave commits suicide, the ghost of Elvis Green will appear next to his body and laugh – though no one without the Sensitive feat will be able to hear him. After a few minutes, the ghost will disappear.
And, for the record, Elvis Green did kidnap, molest, and dismember Sarah Angees.
Dr. Adam Cleave
Dr. Adam Cleave, M.D., has been the presiding physician at Jasper General Hospital for fifteen years. In that time, he’s lost a few patients, but there was only one that he had a hand in dispatching.
When Elvis Green was brought in and Dr Cleave heard Sheriff Carter’s story, Dr. Cleave intentionally did not sew up the incision made when he operated. As a result, Elvis Green bled to death over the next few days.
Doctor Cleave has been tormented by what he did over the past year. Though he has not gone over the edge yet, he is very close. Shortly after the murder, Dr. Cleave began to keep a journal. He hides this in the bottom of a potted plant in his office.
If Dr Cleave suffers sufficient sanity loss or is confronted by the evidence of his journal, he will commit suicide with his Webley. He will be rather matter of fact about this – no running and screaming.
Sheriff Tiberius “T” Carter
Sheriff Carter has been the Sheriff for over thirty years. He’s a large man with a prodigious gut. He is prone to swagger and chew tobacco. In all respects, Sheriff Carter is the perfect Hollywood Sheriff as seen in Live and Let Die.
Sheriff Carter is prone to be rough with suspects, but this is not unusual in 1930’s Texas. He loves his job and is
the news of Bonnie and Clyde Barrow with great interest.
Sheriff Carter believes that Green killed the girl and regrets that he didn’t get a chance to die in prison.
Estelle Todd, R.N.
Estelle Todd has been a nurse at General Hospital for ten years. She has always worked the night shift – she enjoys the hours and not having to deal with all the people. She is the head nurse and also assists in surgery for emergencies. .
Nurse Todd assisted Dr. Cleave when he operated on Elvis Green. Nurse Todd noticed that Dr. Cleave didn’t close up as normal. Nurse Todd has been indoctrinated that Doctor’s know what’ they are doing. And she thought Dr. Cleave knew what he was doing.
When Elvis Green died, Nurse Todd knew the cause, but she didn’t want to sully the good doctor’s name. And the pervert deserved it, didn’t he?
Elizabeth Dahl, the wife of the hospital’s Pharmacist, admitted herself this morning with a pain in her abdomen. She had an emergency appendectomy in operating theater B just before lunch. She is now resting in Room 4.
Enrique Gomez is the night janitor. He is responsible for keeping the place tidy and keeping the coffee pot in the cafeteria full and hot (see 0). Enrique is a “heard but not seen” character for most of the adventure. He’s always in a different room from the party members.
The following descriptions correspond to sections on the Jasper General Hospital map.
There are currently 3 cars in the lot and an older ambulance near the Emergency Room doors. The cars belong to Nurse Todd, Dr. Cleave, and Elizabeth Dahl.
This area is about 20’ square with tables and chairs for people to wait. Two pay phone booths (the closing kind) are against the north wall by the business office. There is
a single reception desk just in the middle of the room. Nurse Todd works here nights. Nurse Marlene Schirmer handles reception duties during the day.
There is a telephone on the reception desk that connects to a switchboard in the business office. The operator (Sarah Johns) is only on duty during the day. The desk is full of normal office items.
The business office is about 30’ long. There are four desks here for the office staff plus a switchboard for the operator. In addition, there are 12 4-drawer filing cabinets. The eight of the filing cabinets contain patient records while the other four have business records.
Each desk has a typewriter, telephone, and office items.
File Cabinet 6
In the top drawer of cabinet 6 is the patient file for Elvis Green. It is not very thick and lists Dr. Cleave as the attending physician and Nurse Todd as the primary nurse. The official listed cause of death is “complications resulting from gunshot wound”. Sheriff Carter signed the death certificate.
A successful Spot check (DC 25) will reveal that the corner of an old newspaper is sticking out of the left side drawer of the second desk.
The front page of a year-old copy of the Jasper Tribune is in the drawer. The headline and lead story are about the finding of Sarah Angees. The article includes information about Elvis Green and Sheriff Carter.
Taped to the side of the switchboard are commonly used numbers. This list includes the police station, the fire department, and Sheriff Carter’s home phone.
Doctor’s Office 1
This is the office of Doctor Cleave. He keeps his personal medical records as books here. There is a large couch along one wall and a large desk in the middle of the north end of the room. There are various potted plants scattered around the office.
In the top right drawer of the desk, Dr. Cleave keeps his Webley revolver. It is loaded.
A successful Spot check (DC 20) will uncover a file folder containing clippings from various newspapers about the Elvis Green incident. A subsequent successful Spot check (DC 20) will uncover that some of the news clippings are from another event of fifty-two years ago – the disappearance of Dr. Cleave’s sister.
A thorough search and a successful Spot check (DC 24) will reveal that one of the plants can easily be removed from its pot. Under the plant is a copy of Dr. Cleave’s Journal (see 0).
Doctor’ Office 2
This is the office of Doctor Applegate. He is the attending physician for the day shift. It is similar in layout to Dr. Cleave’s office; without the plants.
The cafeteria and kitchen can handle about twenty people. During the evening, sandwiches are available in the icebox (yes, a real icebox) and an institutional coffee pot is always full. Enrique Gomez, the night custodian, keeps the kitchen clean and keeps the pot full.
This room is full of custodial supplies and office supplies. Along one wall are a washer and dryer as well as shelves full of bed linens. The autoclave is also in here.
This room is laid in a similar fashion to the Storage room. In place of the washer and dryer is a pair of electric refrigerators for storing medication. Enrique also has a few bottles of homemade beer hidden in here.
The door to the pharmacy is locked. The lock is not difficult to pick (Open Locks DC 15).
A successful search (Spot, DC 20) will reveal that five or six packages of prescription sleeping pills are missing. These have been taken by Dr. Cleave to help him sleep.
The emergency room is kept quite clean and orderly; though it is rarely used. There are a few cabinets along the north wall where emergency supplies are stored and there is a pair of wooden chairs. Most of the area is open so as to not obstruct access to the operating theaters.
The doors to the emergency room are locked; a testament to how quiet Jasper is. There’s a hand-written note taped to the door that instructs people to see Nurse Todd in reception. There is also a crude map on the lower part of the note.
Operating Theater A
This room is a full equipped and up-to-date operating theater of the 1930’s. There is all the usual equipment available and in plain sight.
Operating Theater B
This room is similar to A. This is the room where Dr. Cleave operated on Elvis Green. The past month, the hospital staff have reported that the room is cold and some have the feeling that they are either being watched or are not in there alone.
Upon a successful Listen check (DC 20), the sounds of an operation can be heard. The noise is faint, but the voices can be plainly distinguished and identified as those of Dr. Cleave and Nurse Todd.
Upon a successful Spot check (DC 24), a small bloodstain can be found on the floor at the head of the operating table. A subsequent successful Cthulhu Mythos check (DC15) would identify the pattern as a marred Elder Sign.
Upon a successful Psychic Focus check (DC 15), a character with the Sensitive feat will get impressions that a murder was committed in this room.
This large room holds the steam and power plant for the hospital. There is a workbench with various tools and a folding table and chair. This is where Enrique spends most of his down time. There is a radio on the folding table tuned to a Spanish station.
This room is a combination locker area; break room, and materials storage. There is a large sofa similar to the ones in the Doctor’s offices as well as two cots. There is one dinette next to a cabinet with a hot plate and a sink. Along the north wall are cabinets filled with medical equipment and some minor drugs (the rest are in the Pharmacy).
All patient rooms are single occupancy with a medical bed, radio, wardrobe, toilet, and two sitting chairs. Each room also has a window to the outside with heavy curtains. Around the bed is a track for isolation curtains. A bedpan can be found under the bed. Unless otherwise noted below, each room is empty but prepared. Note that only rooms of interest are listed below.
This is the room in which Father Gideon is placed when he’s brought to the hospital.
Patient Elizabeth Dahl is staying in this room.
If there is a new player to be introduced in this adventure, he will be in Room 7 resting after having his broken leg set.
This is the room in which Elvis Green died. This room is currently empty.
Upon a successful Listen check (DC 20), the sounds of raspy and pained breathing can be heard. The noise is faint.
Upon a successful Spot check (DC 24), a small bloodstain can be found on the floor at the foot of the bed. A subsequent successful Cthulhu Mythos check (DC 15)
would identify the pattern as a marred Elder Sign. This is the same sign as in Operating Theater B.
Upon a successful Psychic Focus check (DC 10), a character with the Sensitive feat will get impressions that the room is occupied by a non-corporeal force.
This is the room in which Nurse Todd places Elwood Barber.
The Journal of Doctor Cleave
Doctor Cleave has kept this journal ever since Elvis Green died. The entries of interest are given below.
April 22, 1931
Today I killed a man. Sheriff Carter brought in Elvis Green, a drift er, two nights ago. Our trigger-happy Sheriff had
plugged Elvis as he was trying to get away. While I was scrubbing up, Carter let me know that Elvis was to be questioned about the disappearance of a litt le girl.
In surgery, something came over me. I had just finished removing the bullet from Green’ s chest and was ready to close up, but I didn’t. At least, I didn’t do it correctly. The wound was seeping – and it wouldn’ t close on its own. In a few days, Green would bleed to death.
I knew Sarah Angees, her mother works for the Pink Ladies here at the hospital. She reminded me of sissy so much. I even commented to Sarah’s mother about it. Hearing what that bastard was wanted for made me snap. That’s the only explanation.
Nurse Todd was assisting me. She didn’t say anything when I closed up, but I think she noticed.
September 22, 1931
Six months ago, I killed a man. I thought I had gotten over it, but lately my dreams have been troubled. I see Elvis Green in his patient’ s gown with blood all over it. He is chasing me. I hear his voice repeating, “ You killed me!”
I’ve had to steal pills from the pharmacy to sleep nights.
April 10, 1932
The nightmares have returned, but they’ re diff erent. Elvis is still chasing me, but now he says “ I want revenge!” I have to take the sleeping pills again.
April 22, 1932
There’ s been an incident in the Hospital tonight. A patient was killed. His body had the same wound as on Elvis Green. I know its Elvis. He’s come back looking for me. I won’t let him take me!
The latest installment in a long lasting God of War franchise changes the central aspect of the game which is the setting. Previous six installments in this franchise followed Kratos on his adventures in the Greece. That is not the case in the latest title as this one takes us to the Scandinavia where Kratos will have to deal with Norse gods and other mythological creations from that mythos.
An entirely new game with our favorite God Slayer
God of War 4 may be similar to previous installments, but in reality, it is almost a whole new game with a protagonist as the only connection with the rest of the franchise. This installment is based on Norse mythos, and thus Kratos will meet (and maybe fight) many Norse gods as well as other monsters.
The game is set in pre-Viking Scandinavia, so the existence of other people is still unknown. This game isn’t about Kratos, and his vengeance as that part of his life ended with the God of War 3. In this game, Kratos moved to Norway to teach his son how to survive in a harsh world. This game will take you as a player in several realms found within the Norse mythology, and that kind of scenery change might bring some interesting world-building to the table.
Gameplay in the God of War 4
Gameplay in the latest God of War title will introduce new weapons and new mechanics. Our favorite god slayer will ditch his double blades and use an axe to slay his enemies. The axe is magical, and Kratos can imbue it with magic to increase its abilities. The variety of spells the ax will be able to hurl and use is still unknown.
We know that the player will also have a passive control over Atreus, the son of Kratos. This means that he will help the player in a variety of ways, through orders and similar passive actions. Whether this will work or not is still vague as there weren’t any successful attempts in passive control of characters in a third-person RPG.
Far Cry franchise is well-known for its freedom with storytelling and an excellent gameplay across all games. The franchise took us to islands led by madman, countries under dictatorships and even to the prehistory. One of the greatest things about the Crytek is their willingness to explore human psyche and make their games politically questionable while still delivering an excellent story and gameplay.
Back to the USA
The latest addition to the Far Cry family is known as A Montana Uprising, and its setting is in the USA. Your character is a sheriff’s deputy stuck in the middle of the war between a local cult and US Marshal Service.
The cult leader thinks that the government will collapse and he is a chosen individual that has to protect his family and cult. The leader has help from a large cult as well as his family, and it will be hard to take them all down. You won’t have to take the enemy down alone as you will have potential allies in several unique individuals.
The game caused an uproar among media as soon as it was announced due to the setting of the title. The Crytek took their usual “kill or be killed” idea and chose the setting where Americans fight Americans. The internet got flooded by complaints that had no real connection to the gameplay and the actual story of the game. Leave it to Crytek to cause an uproar with a game and draw the attention of the society to it.
What the Far Cry 5 is really about?
A Montana Uprising isn’t about political correctness or mental struggles of killing people that are same as you according to the developer. The setting and the story doesn’t exist to teach you a valuable lesson. The setting is there to draw you into the world that is familiar and still a bit strange.
Those that will buy Far Cry 5 won’t do that because of the setting and politics. They will purchase the game for characters, the story and the gameplay, aspects in which Crytek always delivers. Players will get a game that has many interesting characters, an intricate story, and gameplay that will keep them glued to their PC for hours.
If A Montana Uprising game is even similar to previous titles in the franchise, then we will get to play another interesting Far Cry game that will attract a lot of players.
Many developers shy away from neo-noir and with good reason. It’s hard to make a neo-noir game and attract a broad audience. But Quantic Dream decided to venture into neo-noir, and they created a thriller game called Detroit: Become Human.
Now, we don’t have too much info about the game, but we do have enough to discuss some positive and negative aspects of the whole genre as well as this upcoming title.
Story of the Detroit: Become Human
The developer refused to share the story of this game, but we can guess the majority of it as we already know who the main characters are. The developer confirmed that there would be three main characters of which we already know that two will be playable. The first one is Kara, an android that decides to escape her fate and explore her place in the society. The other one is Connor, also an android. He works as police offer with a task to hunt down and apprehend androids like Kara.
This tells us that the story will revolve around Kara’s efforts to understand society and become part of it as well as Connor’s efforts to understand Kara and her actions and to apprehend her. The number of different interactions between these two and the third character that isn’t confirmed to be playable (yet) may create other storylines that might be interesting.
Detroit: Become Human – Gameplay and possible issues
The developer revealed that Detroit: Become Human will be a third-person adventure game where the players will play as two (possibly more) characters. The gameplay will contain many choices that will change the way you play it. Some decisions may even lead to deaths of playable characters. Exploration of environment will uncover clues that will help the player make right choices.
The only issue that may hinder this game is a huge reliance on quick-time events. This ruined many great games, and we are afraid that it might ruin this one as well. We can only hope that the developer will listen to reason and come up with a bit more interesting gameplay mechanics.
The oversaturation of the gaming world by rogue-like games is evident. Dozens and dozens of rogue-like entered the market, and just a few of them became famous and beloved by a large number of players.
Many rogue-like games failed because they didn’t come with any new and exciting features that would make them better than other games. Whether an Indian indie succeeded where many failed is what we are here to talk about.
Asura – Worth the price or not?
As many other rogue-like games Asura also relies on randomly generated levels to keep the game fresh. It also has other features of regular rogue-like games, and that is one life where there is no way you can load the game. Once you die you lose everything, and have to start again. Other aspects of the game are also standard including the dodge and stamina mechanics.
A rather weak lore of the game is based on Hindu religion and its vast pantheon of deities. You play like a demon, and the intro explains how you came to be and what you are trying to achieve. Your goal is to reach the final boss and kill him and return to your human form as he is the one that turned you into a demon.
You will die many times in this game as in any other decent rogue-like RPG. An excellent feature of Asura is that every new start of the game gives you different skill trees you will have to work with. The majority of the skills are same, but the order in which you unlock them changes every time you start a new game.
The only real downside of this game is already mentioned weak lore, but that is mostly because only two people developed Asura.
Conclusion on the topic of Asura – Worth the price
Add a lot of different loot to everything we mentioned, and you have a game worth its asking price which is ten dollars.
Assassin’s Creed franchise isn’t well-respected among players due to its lack of innovation and bugs that make those games nearly unplayable. The first several games achieved great success as they brought new features and exciting settings in every release.
That changes several years ago as this company started releasing one or two Assassin’s Creed games every year. The result of that decision was the lack of new features and a lot of bugs that plagued the franchise up to this day. Whether the issues from the past will ruin the latest addition to the franchise is the subject we will discuss.
Assassin’s Creed Origins – Changes to gameplay?
The majority of the previous games in this franchise had the same gameplay, and the Origins suffer the same fate. That is the primary reason for the hate this franchise gets, and it seems that the Ubisoft decided to change little to improve it on this title. Don’t get us wrong, some changes are quite refreshing, but whether that is enough is up to you to decide.
Dodging, blocking and attacking mechanics in the Origins is same as in previous Assassin’s Creed games. If you aren’t a fan of that, then don’t expect to like fighting mechanics in the latest game in this franchise.
The significant change in the Origins is the upgraded AI, which might modify the way some people look at Assassin’s Creed. In previous games, the enemies would approach you one by one, and that made brawling quite easy and boring. But, in the Origins the enemies will swarm you and attack together, and that makes fighting two or more opponents at the same time quite challenging.
Origins – Is it worth the full retail price
Origins, like every other Assassin’s Creed game, come at the full retail price and whether it is worth it or not is up to you. You can already preorder the game, but that isn’t a smart thing to do considering the lack of success and bugs that plagued previous games in the franchise. Wait for some reviews after it comes out to see whether is worth the investment.
Agents of Mayhem is an entirely new game developed by the Volition and released several days ago by the collaboration between Square Enix (publisher) and Deep Silver (distributor). This is a third-person shooter set in a well-known Saints Row universe.
If you spent some time on one of the Saints Row games, then the gameplay of the Agents of Mayhem will be familiar to you. That doesn’t mean that this new game is just another sequel to the widely popular Saints Row games. No, Agents of Mayhem is a whole new game that introduces many new features that the fan boys of open world games will like.
Playable characters in the Agents of Mayhem
This game has twelve playable characters from which you can choose three. This number isn’t definite, and future DLCs will probably add new and also interesting characters. The difference between Saints Row franchise and the Agents of Mayhem lies in those characters as well as the number of the same you choose.
You can choose three characters at the beginning of the game, and you play with all of them. This opens up the way for exciting combinations players will be able to create. The ability to teleport characters in and out of battle adds another layer to the gameplay as it gives you the chance to heal one character while another one is keeping the enemies at bay.
There is some info about playable characters, but it is mainly about three of them that are featured on the posters that advertise Agents of Mayhem.
Hollywood is a former actor and a face of Mayhem (self-proclaimed). Fortune is a sky pirate with a heavy focus on dual wielding and agility while raining down fire from above. Hardtack is a demolition expert that uses a wide array of explosives to cause destruction wherever he goes.
The Destiny 2 is already in the early access beta on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and the current players have access to many features that will find their place in the final release. This sequel to widely popular game Destiny will contain quite some new features that will inject a breath of fresh air into the genre.
What Destiny 2 has to offer to both new and old players in the term of subclasses is the subject we will discuss. Do note that we won’t talk about Void Hunter, Arc Warlock, and Solar Titan as these subclasses aren’t available in the beta release.
Warlock subclasses – Voidwalker and Dawnblade
Voidwalker subclass of the warlock went through some changes since its iteration in the first game (this happened to other subclasses as well). The new additions to Voidwalker didn’t change the core gameplay of this class but added new skills that allow the warlock to heal allies.
Dawnblade promotes support style of gameplay with the warlock. It allows the player to inflict damage over time and it also provides the character with heals and buffs that help other team members to perform better on the battlefield.
Subclasses of the Hunter
Arcstrider subclass of the Hunter is all about dodging and melee attacks. The majority of skills focus on evasion of the attacks and counterattacks from multiple directions with the aid of a plethora of jump skills.
A Hunter that chooses the Gunslinger class sacrifices superior dodge and jump abilities, of the Arcstrider, in favor of increased range damage. It still retains some dodge skills that allow it to reload automatically or to generate energy for strong melee attacks.
Titan – Two basic subclasses and new skills they get
Titan Sentinel is a subclass whose focus lies in taking the damage and preventing the enemies from attacking allies. This is a form of tank class that also gains skills that place defensive shields on friendlies which protect them from damage. It also gets a wide variety of defensive skills that increase its ability to take damage and survive.
The striker is an aggressive subclass of the Titan. It doesn’t possess as many of defensive abilities as the Sentinel, but it has a plethora of offensive skills that inflict enormous damage to the enemy. One of the new skills Striker has the Fists of Havoc that allows the player to inflict damage in two ways, either with shoulder charge or one button attack.