Amara of Whitebridge 12 – Varena and Purena

Amara has lost all her companions. She resorts to her augur power and summons the crow that direct her to a safe way to the final destination of her journey.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, her cousin Quinn and the crossbowman Delos have a quarrel with the overseer Lestara. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes return to Whitebridge and free Lestara who had been imprisoned the Makari. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge. During the journey, Amara and Delos help a Broken girl, Kodra, who is leading the Makari prisoner Alith to her community: Kodra and Amara forge a bond and Kodra accepts to travel with Amara and Delos. The party is ambushed by trolls: Delos is killed, Kodra and Alith disappear while Amara is left unconscious on the battlefield.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:2

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer
Kodra – a Broken girl

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts
Alith – Kodra’s Makari prisoner

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 6


Amara summons the crows and asks them where Kodra is.
Challenge:5,1 Action:4+1(Wits) Weak Hit
[Location Oracle: Inaccessible Woods]
The response is difficult to interpret, maybe it means that Kodra is inside the wood where Amara and her allies were ambushed by trolls; most likely it just means that Amara cannot hope to make it through the woods alone. The Aida river should not be far West: Amara decides to head in that direction.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:2,2 Action:2+1(Wits)=3 Strong Hit (Formidable journey progress: 7)
[Location Oracle: small ruin]
Amara finds the traces of an ancient road running along the Northern border of the forest. The road leads to a ruined bridge.
[I interpret the Matches as a particularly favourable progress in the journey] The river flows slow to the South. The next day, she builds a raft and proceeds down the river.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:1,6 Action:1+1=2=3 Weak Hit (Journey progress:8; Supplies -1, now at 2)
Her attempts at fishing are profitless, she has to consume some of the small food she has with her. But moving along the water is fast and apparently safe.
[Oracle: Mountain Lair]
Amara can see in the distance a blue profile: the Broken Mountain were the sorceresses Varena and Purena are said to live. When the mountain is directly at her left, she directs the raft to the shore.

Early next morning she walks towards the mountain and starts climbing along a steep path.
Undertake a Journey – Challenge:3,1 Action:5+1 Strong Hit (+1 Momentum = 3) (Journey:9)
Amara meets a Broken girl: Nanda. Amara tells her that she is looking for the sorceresses and Nanda offers to lead her to their hut.

Reach your destination – Challenge:3,5 Journey:9 Strong Hit (+2 Momentum=5)
The twins are much younger than Amara expected: or at least they look so. They welcome her and ask her to tell them of her journey in the most detailed way. They seem puzzled by the episode of Kodra and her Makari prisoner.
Nanda, who also attends the meeting, is a friend of Kodra. Nanda says she had a dream about Kodra, in which she asked to stop the invasion of Havens. They all agree that an alliance against the Makari is necessary. [I also mark +2 progress on the Dangerous vow to free Whitebridge from the Makari]

Sojourn – Challenge:2,7 Action:3+3(Heart)=6 Weak Hit (+2 Health=5)
Amara is welcome to stay with the twins. They help cure her wounds with herbs and she fully recovers.

vp
Varena and Purena

Current situation:
Health:5 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:5
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:4

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Simple Super Hero Tabletop Rules

I have tried a minimalist rule-set for superhero miniature skirmishes: the Simple Super Hero Tabletop Rules by Peter Jones (v.1.1 2010).

These rules were inspired by Hi-Lo Heroes by Jeff Moore.

Each hero has 6 abilities (Move, Attack, Evade, Damage, Block “ordinary” damage, Block “fantastic/super” damage): he rolls 2d6 with advantage (i.e. picking the High roll) for three abilities, and with disadvantage (Low roll) for the other three. Characters with Damage advantage also have more hit points (15 vs 10 for the other characters).
Each hero also has two powers (additional +1 on one ability) and a single “fault” (-1 on one ability). Additionally, all heroes have +1 on Damage.

I defined stats for four Marvel heroes: Cyclone, Gypsy Moth, Moonstone and Rhino, for which I also drew some sketchy paper minis.

  Cyclone Gypsy Moth Moonstone Rhino
Move High+1 High Low+1 Low
Attack Low Low+1 Low High-1
Evade High+1 High High Low
Damage Low+1 Low High High+2
Block “ordinary” damage High Low+1 Low High+1
Block “super” damage Low-1 High High+1 Low
HP 10 10 10 15

Scenario: a random superhero (I rolled Rhino) will help four soldier escort a personality (the red figure) diagonally across the board. The other three heroes will try to prevent the personality from exiting. The personality cannot be attacked until it is near an escorting figure and can never be the target of a ranged attack.

1a
Ordinary soldiers roll all dice with disadvantage: since movement is the result of rolling the dice, they move considerably slower than the average superhero.

B_

Cyclone is the first to eliminate a soldier with a “wind-burst” attack. Rhino and Gypsy Moth engage in hand-to-hand combat and soon are both wounded.

3c

Moonstone puts a soldier out of combat with her light-rays and then move to the left of the board to meet the mission target. Cyclone is engaged in a brawl with one of the soldiers, while the fight between Rhino and Gypsy Moth continues.

4d

Rhino puts the Moth out of combat and Cyclone does the same with his adversary. Moonstone is now very close to the target, escorted by the last soldier.

5e

The soldier engages Moonstone in hand to hand combat.

6f

The soldier is soon defeated. Now also Cyclone and the slower Rhino are getting near.

7g

While Moonstone delays Rhino, Cyclone flies in front of the target personality and stops him: the scenario is won!

8h

I liked the game (I am particularly happy with how dynamic the scenario turned out to be) but I guess that the rule-set could usefully be both extended and simplified. Some of the extensions might be derived from the rule-sets by Jeff Moore linked above. I am thinking of having separate abilities for ranged and hand-to-hand combat and a definition of being pinned-in-melee and how to disengage from such a situation.

Also, I feel that managing “to hit” and “damage” as two distinct abilities doesn’t add much to the game and could be simplified.

Amara of Whitebridge 11 – A trollish setback

Amara is travelling South with Delos, the Broken Kodra and her Makari prisoner Alith. The party has a disastrous encounter with three nasty trolls.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, her cousin Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes return to Whitebridge and free Lestara from the Makari. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge. Two Whitebridge warriors who were travelling with Amara and Delos are killed by monsters. Amara and Delos help a Broken girl, Kodra, who is leading the Makari prisoner Alith to her community: Kodra and Amara forge a bond and Kodra accepts to travel with Amara and Delos.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:4

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer
Kodra – a Broken girl

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts
Alith – Kodra’s Makari prisoner

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:1,9 Action:6+1(Wits)+1(Kodra)=8 WEAK HIT
Amara and the others proceed South, they finally exit the marshes, but supplies are always short (-1, now 1). Journey progress: 6.

Location Oracle: Peaceful Steading
They reach a large Steading belonging to a young woman, Saura, and her siblings.
Is Saura hostile towards the Broken? [50/50] NO
Saura has a deal with the Borken: she gives them some of her crops and they protect the area around the steading. Still, the surroundings are dangerous.

Sojourn – Challenge:4,2 Action:6+3(Heart)=9 STRONG HIT
Amara Recuperates completely from the wounds received during the previous fights (+2 Heath=5). Saura also provides generous food for the next days of travel (+2 Supplies=3).

Journey – Challenge:7,7 Action:4+1(Wits)+1(Kodra)=6 MISS
I interpret the Matches as someone trying to rescue or eliminate the Makari prisoner Alith: he will be the main target of the aggressors.
Are the attackers humans or trolls? [50/50] Trolls

While following a “lush trail” South, the party is faced by three large trolls.
a1.jpg

Amara attacks one of the trolls, but it’s a hard fight and soon she is wounded. Delos manages to put one of the attackers out of combat.
The largest troll attacks Kodra: she fights bravely and with this blow she manages to make the attacker momentarily fall.
c3.jpg

Delos and Kodra join forces and defeat the troll leader, but Amara is now out of combat.
Does the last troll retreat? [50/50] NO
He attacks Delos and puts him out of combat.
d4.jpg

I stop the fight here, since the two main characters are unconscious.

When Amara regains her senses, does she see Kodra around? [50/50] NO
Is Alith the Makari there? [small chance] NO

What happened of Delos?
Companion Endure Harm – Challenge:9,9 Action:6+3(Heart)=9 MISS

The matches seem to me to require a “strong” interpretation of the miss: Amara finds the lifeless body of Delos (-2 momentum, now=2)

Amara has received 2 harms (Health now at 3).
Endure Harm – Challenge:1,8 Action:1+2(Iron)=3 Weak Hit

The death of Delos is a blow for Amara: it was the last of his Whitebridge companions. Also, Kodra was familiar with the region and she might have helped Amara interact with the Broken, when she reaches her destination. Yet she will have to go on by herself.

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:2
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 6

Amara of Whitebridge 10 – Kodra the Broken

Amara is travelling South with Delos in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena. They meet Kodra, a Broken who is escorting a Makari prisoner, and help her fight a Makari patrol.

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes free Lestara, who had been imprisoned by the Makari in Whitebridge. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge.Two Whitebridge warriors who were travelling with Amara and Delos are killed by monsters, Amara is wounded.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:1 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:1

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:0
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5


Amara applies her Herbalist skill to Heal herself:
Challenge:2,2 Action:1+1(Wits)+2(Herbalist)=4 STRONG HIT
+2 Health (now 3)

Oracle suggestion for the matching dice: Escort Problem – Amara and Delos meet a Broken girl, Kodra, who is escorting a Makari prisoner. She tells them that the Makari (named Alith) has sworn an Iron Vow to help the Broken, but he will only speak in front of the council of the elders. All Kodra’s companions have been killed in a fight with Makari-led trolls.

Amara and Delos tell Kodra how they have been fighting the Makari in Stoneford and Whitebridge. Amara asks Kodra to travel together.
Compel – Challenge:2,1 Action:1+3(Heart)=4 STRONG HIT
Kodra gladly agrees. For the rest of the Journey, Kodra will provide a +1 on Journey rolls (she is familiar with the area).

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:5,7 Action:2+1(wits)+1(Kodra)=4 MISS

They have only travelled a couple of miles, still in the marshes, when they meet a Makari patrol!
a1

Amara and Kodra attack the two Makari armed with spears. Amara quickly defeats her opponent and is then assaulted by the Makari leader. Delos stays at the rear shooting his bolts.
c3

Kodra is put out of combat, but Delos kills the Makari archer and Amara the leader. Delos and Amara jointly attack the last Makari, who was approaching the prisoner, and easily prevail.
d4

Is Kodra still alive? [Likely] YES

Amara applies again her Herbalist skill.
Heal – Challenge:4,3 Action:3+1(Wits)+2(Herbalist)=6 STRONG HIT
The Broken was only lightly injured and Amara’s herbs put her on her feet in only a few minutes.
This seems like a good time to
Forge a Bond with Kodra – Challenge:7,4 A:6+3(Heart)=9 STRONG HIT (+2 Momentum – Now 4)

I grant Amara some progress on the Dangerous vow to reconquer Whitebridge – the first step in an alliance with the Broken has been taken!

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:4
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5

Amara of Whitebridge 9 – The Cave of the Harrow Beasts

Amara and her allies are travelling South in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena. Heavy rains induce them to enter a cave in the hills and they are attacked by a number of harrow beasts.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. The Stoneford river-idol is stolen by the Makari, a mysterious invading army, as a diversion to help in the occupation of Stoneford. Kaivan leaves the party, blaming Amara for the deception. The others join a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes free Lestara, who had been imprisoned by the Makari in Whitebridge. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:9
Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)
ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.
BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Maya – Redhall overseer
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
VOWS
Extreme Background Vow: When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow: Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Dangerous Vow: Reconquer Whitebridge from the Makari. Progress:0
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 3


Amara, Delos and the two Redhall fighters Temir and Flint proceed along their south-bound journey.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:7,3 Action:3+1(Wits)=4 Weak Hit
Progress in now 4, Supply:2

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:8,10 Action:1+1(Wits)=2 MISS
[Burn momentum (9) to make this a Weak Hit]
Progress:5 Supply:1

The party reaches a [Location Oracle] “low spring”: they are entering a marshy area.
They are low of supply: time for hunting.

Resupply – Challenge:4,2 Action:3+1=4 Weak Hit
+1 Supply (now 2) -1 Momentum (now 1)
The area is not favourable for hunting, nor for collecting vegetable food: more plants and animal are poisonous in the marshes.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:5,10 Action:1+1(Wits)=2 MISS
[Location Oracle] “abandoned cave”
It is raining heavily, they climb a low hill raising between the marshes. They find a cave that apparently is occasionally used by nomadic Broken and enter it: it is the only shelter in sight. When they enter the cave, the soaked rock ceiling gives way, trapping them inside. They reach a large chamber: rays of light suggest that there are several other exits. But four Harrow Beasts (giant insects) advance to attack!

a1

Amara attacks the largest beast, a caterpillar-like creature. Delos stays in the rear-guard, ready to use his crossbow. Temir and Flint attack a grasshopper-like creature.

b2

The Redhall warriors kill a first creature, but they the attacked by other two. Temir is killed. Amara is wounded by the caterpillar. Delos’bolts keep the cockroach-like beast back.

c3

Amara disengages from the fight with the caterpillar and leads the group towards and exit on the opposite side of the chamber. Delos follow her, but poor Flint doesn’t make it.

d4

Amara has been wounded [2 Harms, I decide. Health=1]

Endure Harm: Challenge:3,5 Action:5+2(Iron)=7 Strong Hit [+1 Momentum, now 2]
Amara is still sure that they are on the right track.

Make Camp: Challenge:5,10 Action:2+2(Supply)=4 MISS
They search a place to rest, but they cannot find other hills emerging from the marshes. The rain is too heavy to see at any distance.
[-1 Momentum, now 1]

Current situation:
Health:1 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:1
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:0
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5