A Grail Epoch solo

Today I played a simple solo story telling game, largely based on A Grail Epoch by Rafael Chandler. I used the medieval paper minis I recently created. I had to somehow modify Rafael’s game in order to make it more solo-friendly: here you can find the rules I used (which I provisionally named “A Solo Grail”).

I intended to play something more or less Arthurian, so I decided that my setting will be defined by these elements:
Love
Rivalry
The Grail

I semi-randomly chose this destiny:
“When a youth is knighted, the Protagonist will kill someone”.

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Ivana, Kaspar and Porfirius

I chose six miniatures and I rolled to randomly select three of them.

Ivana is the Beloved daughter of the Protagonist, Sir Kaspar.
Porfirius, the Antagonist, is an apprentice wizard who is in love with Ivana.

I added to the map the two initial Locations: Kaspar’s castle and the Library where Porfirius brings on his study of magic.

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Round 1:
Sir Leo, who is going to be knighted in a few days, asks Sir Kaspar the hand of his daughter. Does Sir Kaspar accept? I drew a Norwegian Style Resolution Card and got: “No and someone is lost”…. Ivana is the obvious choice.
Ivana flees with Leo: they stop near the Green Chapel in the forest.

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At the library, Porfirius asks his master Manlius to teach him a spell with which he can make Ivana fall in love with him. Does Porfirius succeed in his attempt? “Yes but success has unintended consequences”.

Round 2:
Kaspar leaves in search of his daughter. He visits the palace where Leo lives with his sister Helena. But Helena know nothing of the whereabouts of her brother.
I drew a Norwegian Style Fate Card for Ivana: the Grail comes to Ivana’s help. Zacynt, a wandering knight of the Round Table, finds Leo and Ivana at the Green Chapel. He listen to their sad story and promises to take them to the king, whose encampment is not far: the king will marry them and Kaspar will have to accept his decision.
Porfirius, having learned his love charm, moves to the Village of Tryburg, directed at Ivana’s castle.

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Round 3: Kaspar moves to Tryburg, as well as Ivana, Leo and Zacynt. Porfirius charms Ivana and the girls runs to him: unintended consequences of this are that Porfirius has to face Leo anger. Does Porfirius survive the attack: “Perhaps, but help is needed….” Porfirius intends to take Ivana to the Library, searching Manlius’ help, but the couple is intercepted by Kaspar.

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Round 4: The whole group (Kaspar and his prisoner Porfirius, Ivana -who is in love with Porfirius- the puzzled Leo and Sir Zacynt) move the King’s encampment, South of Tryburg. Porfirius is put to trial for sorcery and sentenced to death. Kaspar is granted the privilege to personally execute the sentence. The charm is broken, but now Ivana does not feel like marrying Leo anymore: she will join the King’s court and be one of the damsels of the Queen. Leo is knighted by the King.

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Human Figure Dice

Thanks to an interesting G+ post by Ovy Ortega, I started thinking of “human body” dice. I am sure this ideas is not new, but I had a take on it with the design illustrated by this quick and dirty prototype:

die
The most obvious way to map a human body to a die would be to have a 4×3 cross, with the 4 vertical faces corresponding to head, torso, abdomen, legs. The two arms of the cross would be the arms of the figure.
But I think it is nicer to have different faces for the left and right legs, as illustrated in the prototype.
One could assign combat values to the different faces:
1. abdomen
2. head
3. left leg
4. left arm
5. right leg
6. right arm

You can have combats in which you roll a die of a specific color for each character involved: whoever rolls higher wins and you read the locations to “narrate” what happens. Ties count as parries and are re-rolled.

E.g.
RED:right leg / BLUE:head – BLUE falls and RED defeats him with a kick in the head

RED:right arm / BLUE:right leg – RED’s sword wounds BLUE’s leg
It’s easy to imagine different dice for different characters:

Armored fighter:
1. abdomen
2. head helmet: re-roll
3. left leg
4. left arm shield: re-roll
5. right leg
6. right arm

Two fisted fighter:
1. abdomen
2. head
3. left leg
6. left arm with weapon
5. right leg
7. right arm with weapon

….and so on

SGAM2016 -4- Weirdgate88: a smooth cryptographic mission

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. From the hyperplanet, invading armies attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion.
The operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates. The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate have been localized. Ephraim and Pierre have been put out of combat during the last mission, but Calaf is ready to make is part in the final attack against the Head Quarters.

Five Parsecs from Home mission: escort

Calaf and the Green Robot (that have just been repaired) joint a squad of Q:4+ veterans with the task of escorting a cryptographer to examine a server facility that has just been secured. This mission is vital to grant the success of the simultaneous attack to the Hypergate 6 Head Quarters.

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The squad enters from the West. Unexpectedly, they meet no opposition and they easily take the cryptographer to the yellow building at the East of the area.

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[I did not roll any opposition. I decided to roll for some final irrelevant fight and only got 50 pts: two Q4 Gateling soldiers]

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While the cryptographer enters the building, two Gateling soldiers attack the group. The first shot puts Calaf to the ground [stunned].

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The first enemy is put out of action by one or the first shots, but the other one resists. Finally, the joint charge of the Green Robot and one of the veterans puts an end to the fight.

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As a mission result, I rolled a 4. Since the Heroes have already conquered 3 clues and this mission has been successful, they have a +4 modifier. The final result is 8: milestone!
Thanks to the success of the mission, the Earthlings could conquer the Head Quarters of Hypergate 6 defense.

SGAM2016 -3- Weirdgate88: the Golems strike hard

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. From the hyperplanet, invading armies, dinosaurs and giant golems attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion.
The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates. The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ have been localized. Now the Earth forces are preparing to assault the location in search for the key. Ephraim’s squad successfully defeats a group of golems. They are then ordered to push forward to deliver a message to two friendly Gatelings near the clock tower.

[for the 3rd War Stuff skirmish, I rolled “convince” on the Five Parsecs From Home mission table. I reduced the number of shadows from 6 to 4, so that the last two rounds are entirely devoted to resolve the situation that was previously created on the table]

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The heroes enter from the East. I initially placed the target Gatelings at the center of the table. But I resolved the North shadow as “Gatelings” and decided these must be the target, so I moved them there. Ephraim (fast) runs towards the target.
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The following two shadows where resolved as a major (three golems) and minor (a single golem) opposition. The group of three golems entering from the South is lead by a wizard, who immediately puts the Black Robot out of combat with a fireball spell.

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Calaf stuns the Wizard Green Golem, and Pierre finishes him with a charge. Ephraim delivers the information to the Gatelings.

Ephraim shoots and stuns one of the Golems. Pierre and Calaf start retreating, but Pierre is reached and put out of combat by the yellow golem.

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The yellow golem and the brown golem jointly attack Ephraim and put him out of combat. Calaf just manages to sneak in front of the slow stone golem and call reinforcements.

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Ephraim and Pierre will survive their wounds (I won’t let my Heroes die for now), but they will certainly not be available for the next mission.

Technically, the squad reached the objective of contacting the friendly Gatelings, but given that they suffered such heavy losses, I will not count this skirmish as a victory for the Earthlings. Still, they gain a new clue.

Clues:
1 location of Hypergate 6 Head Quarters
2 the large beasts are controlled by Begirt, a telepathic woman
3 the Earthlings must immediately attack the HQ, because large reinforcements will soon arrive for the Gatelings

SGAM2016 -2- Weirdgate88: Golems at the crossroad

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. From the hyperplanet, invading armies, dinosaurs and giant golems attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion.
The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates.The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ have been localized. Now the Earth forces are preparing to assault the location in search for the key.
[For my second OPR WarStuff 2 based SGAM skirmish, I rolled on Five Parsecs From Home a “Chance Encounter” mission: the heroes will simply have to fight any opposition in the area].

In view of the attack on Gate6 HQ, Ephraim’s squad has been charged to scout a crossroad and clear any opposition. The Green Robot is still under repair after the previous mission, so it’s just Ephraim, Pierre, Calaf and the the Black robot. The squad enters from the East.

[I have placed 6 shadows again: the pink cubes that will be resolved one per round during the game]

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A mixed squad of three Golems and one triceratops enters from the North!

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The winged Golem flies to the top one of the silos. The Blue Golem is fast and charges the Robot.

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The winged Golem is a wizard: he casts a fireball spell that luckily misses. He then charges and stuns Ephraim. The Robot is successful in the melee fight and puts the Blue Golem out of combat.

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Ephraim recovers from being stunned. The triceratops joins the fight and charges Pierre and Calaf. The brown stone Golem is slowly approaching too. A fourth green Golem enters from the West (he is not in the picture). Luckily, two elite Earth soldiers (Q:4+) come to the rescue from the South!

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The reinforcements put the triceratops out of combat. The newly entered Golem charges Ephraim’s squad, while the Robot fights the Winged golem.

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One more elite soldiers enters from the South. The three elite soldiers are very effective and put the Green and the Winged golems out of combat. The stone golems has been too slow to join the fight. He is the only enemy survivor: a brilliant victory for the Earthlings, largely due to the impact of the reinforcements!

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I rolled a second clue and picked a Tarot card:

clue
On the body of the triceratops a tattoo with the name “Begirt” is found: this seems to confirm that the beasts that fight with the Gatelings are connected to a woman who controls them telepathically.

SGAM2016 -1- Weirdgate88: contact the Gateling informants

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet in which elements of the present world mix with elements from the remote past and from what possibly is a remote future. From the hyperplanet, invading armies, dinosaurs and giant golems attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion.
10 active hypergates put the hyperworld in contact with Earth, allowing a great number of hostile Gatelings to access our world. The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates.The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ must be localized and searched.

The Five Parsecs From Home mission generator suggested that the first mission will be: deliver. The squad must deliver some information to their Gateling contacts that will be on the opposite side of the table.
The squad enters from the left.
I placed 6 pink cubes that represent “shadows” and that will be resolved one per turn as opposition, terrain features or neutral encounters.

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Round 1: The contacts should be in the blue car behind the white building on the right. The squad and their two support Robots move forward.

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Round 2: the robots examine a red car and find it to be empty.

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Round 3: the robots examine a yellow car and find some Gatelings hiding inside. The squad approaches to try and understand if these are the people they are meant to contact. Communication with the Gatelings is not easy: the three soldiers all fail their quality tests.

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Round 4: Calaf finally manages to assess that these are just scared civilians: not their informants. Two more civilians exit from the background building. The soldier decide to ignore them and move towards their objective. The robots keep exploring the area.

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Round 5: A red Gateling soldier exits from the small yellow building and attacks the Green Robot! His shot is excellent and stuns the Bot. On the right side of the board, Pierre and Ephraim reach the blue car.

Round 6: Pierre successfully communicate with the informants in the blue car: mission accomplished!

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But the Red soldier charges the Green robot and puts it Out of Action. He resists the charges of Calaf and of the Black robot.

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Since this was a victory for the Heroes, I rolled with a +1 for the Mission result (mystery, clue or milestone). I got a clue:
The Gateling informants produced a possible location for the Gate 6 Head Quarters.

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SGAM2016 – Weirdgate88 Quest

I used the simple conflict generator in RND issue 3 to sketch a campaign for my SGAM skirmish games.

I first drew a couple of tarot cards to represent the goal and the enemy, and I got a 10 of pentacles and the Major Arcane XIV: Art.

 

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10 active hypergates put the hyperworld in contact with Earth, allowing a great number of hostile Gatelings to access our world. The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates.

Two more cards have detailed the first conflict I am going to play:

6 of Pentacles and Queen of Swords (here I mostly used two details in the cards: the key and the head)

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The Heroes make part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ must be localized and searched.