Category Archives: Session Reports

Alternate Character 2: Castle Ravenloft


After our somewhat lackluster time with Talisman, we still had about an hour or so left before we had to call it a night.  Rick was still in the mood for something “D&D-like,” but I wasn’t up for Descent at that point.  I had completely forgotten about the D&D adventure series sitting on my shelf!  I grabbed Castle Ravenloft, figuring it would be a good, light, hour-long dungeon-crawling romp.  (Wrath of Ashardalon would’ve been another option, but I still haven’t punched anything out of that one, my CR minis are already painted, and I don’t know the rules changes to WoA implements to the system off the top of my head… so that dance-fight was decided right there.)

I picked out the Dracolich mission, as I couldn’t think of anything cooler than taking on an undead dragon.  I was Kat the Rogue, as always.  Steve the Blonde was the Ranger, and Rick was the Dragonborn Fighter.

I became the weak link early on, getting downed by monsters and traps just a few turns in.  I had used up two of our… ahem… three healing surges by my fifth turn or so.  We were able to clear out some initial spiders and monsters, but soon we found ourselves facing a skeleton, two gargoyles, and a wraith.  The Alarm trap was quite annoying, popping up several extraneous monsters.  We also had the something-music environment in play for a while, which made us choose the worse of two baddies every time we drew one.  OUCH.   The encounters in this game are just awful.  We did have some luck in leveling up, as least Steve the Blonde and I did.  Rick couldn’t seem to roll above a 7 to save his life tonight, rolling “1”’s on multiple occasions.  “Why can’t you roll like that when you’re DM’ing?!”

After regrouping back on the stairs due to an encounter, we revised our “strategy” a bit.  We knew the Arcane Circle must be coming up in the tile deck, though we did mis-count due to having drawn several tiles from the bottom of the deck due to… sigh… encounter cards.  Steve the Blonde tried exploring the “neglected” passage off the stairway, but he was stymied by a flaming skeleton and then ran away (well, tactically retreated) from a kobold once Rick did draw the Dracolich himself.  That thing is nasty.  20 hp of badass.  We were lucky and smart enough to avoid his stronger attacks at first.  We did have a sound plan, as we placed the Laboratory containing the creatures phylactery quite close to my character.  Unfortunately, my character ended up being Immobilized for two turns; I could SEE the damned thing, but couldn’t reach it.  Several breath weapons, bites, and lightning bolts later, both Steve and Rick were down, and I was still stuck around the corner, simply hearing the screams of my comrades as the beast tore them to pieces.  With lightning.  Even with a few cheats and 3 healing surges, we didn’t get more than 2 hp off the Dracolich before being utterly defeated.


Man, as holey and fiddly as the rules are to this game, and as random and unfairly difficult as it can be, this game definitely has a FUN factor to it.  Even around midnight, I was tempted to just reset the game and play solo (kawa wookie!) to have another crack at it.  It’s not as elegant or polished as Descent, but it does have a lot of the same elements.  It is FAR quicker to play, learn, and set-up, and the programmed monsters means that no one has to be the odd-man out as the OL.  I think that Descent is a better game overall, for sure, but if I just want to open a box and play a quick dungeon crawl without thinking too much… WotC really hit the mark here, even with their crappy rules, second-rate story, and random random random play.  And the minis, while different and overall not as well-sculpted imo as Descent, are still super-cool.  Even when the Dracolich was off the board, Steve the Blonde was looking over at it saying, “Man, that thing is SCARY.”  Uh-yuh!


Rick was a bit down at his Dragonborn fighter sucking so badly.  Indeed, I was surprised at his lack of abilities causing more than one damage, and his support ability didn’t seem to help us much, though I will say we did “go it alone” more than we should have, especially me.  I did notice upon clean-up last night there were several other ability cards that Rick probably could and should have chosen to do more damage.  Also, if he could have rolled maybe more than ONE success all game, that might have changed his opinion.  Hey, it doesn’t matter what your skills are if you continually roll fuck-all-bullshit.  Still, the lack of ranged attacks is brutal for him, as it limits his tactics quite a bit.  Steve’s character was pretty awesome, I will say.



2 ranged attacks, exploring from a non-edge space, running attacks.   Very cool.  My rogue kind of let me down.  I really should have kept my distance from the monsters and focused on exploring and supporting the warriors.  I think I have an overly inflated sense of rogue survival abilities in close combat.  This might be due to my initial play of the game years ago, when I continually used Kat to chase after Steve the Bald’s wander-lusting character, saving him from peril at every turn as he continually strayed from the group.  I seem to recall more damage-y attacks with the Rogue, but I guess the haunting melody bringing out the more powerful monsters did impede our ability to one-hit kill most things.

As I said before, this is not the most elegant or polished game, but where it fails in style and elegance, it hits the mark in the overall fun and “one more game” categories.  (For my full review:  I definitely want to play this again, and soon.


Back-up Character #1: Talisman

We were two people short again for D&D, so Rick, Steve the Blonde and I looked for something else to try to scratch the fantasy itch.  Steve jumped at the chance to bust out Talisman again.  I will say, my last experience with setting up Descent did not have me leaping for it, as it can be a little overwhelming now that I have oodles of expansions.

Talisman was Steve the Blonde and my game of choice back in the day, on days when we didn’t feel like or couldn’t get a group together to play AD&D.  That’s Second Edition, mind you.  We had fun during setup, reminiscing about the old days, and we continually hunted for the elusive mis-printed “Bag of Glod” card.  I’m beginning to think now that this may just have been something we imagined, as no one pulled it this time round.  Still, it’s an inside joke now.

We dealt out three characters each as we went through brief rules explanation, but none of us was overly psyched with our choices… So we discarded the initial draw and dealt out three more.  Steve took the Wizard.  Typical.  I didn’t even need to look at the other characters once I saw the Assassin.  Rich discarded the Pirate and the Conjurer to take the Minotaur.  I always thought of that character as an also-ran, but the initial high strength is quite appealing, I will say.  Before we began the first turn, we decided to take the City out of play, as it adds too much complication for what we were in the mood for, and Steve wasn’t in the mood to go for High Mage, just as I wasn’t feeling the Sheriff this time round.

The game was one of the slowest, and definitely one of the more boring endeavors that we’ve undergone in a while.  I could tell that Rick was getting antsy and fed up, but he stuck it out.  Steve somehow, as always, ended up with oodles of items, followers, and high scores, despite some initial set-backs.  Rick struggled with some initial combats, including a pesky Ghast that popped up with a Serpent on the two-fer space in the Outer Region early on.  I believe that was originally drawn by Steve.  I kept looking for things to fight and kill, and I was able to topple assassinate a dragon and kill a goblin.  The chapel was noteworthy for becoming the residence of both a Ghost and a swarm of Vampire Bats.  Also, next door was parked the Holy Graille on one side, and the Holy Lance on the other.  All of us having Evil characters, these did us no good.  Rick was able to pick up the Cross, and he used that and the Staff of Mastery to exorcise the Chapel, which was nice.  He had an early foray into the Middle Region, as well, but eventually came back to the Outer Region.  He did have the fortune to have several Talismans at various points in the game, but he wasn’t quite powerful enough to attempt the Inner Region.

I decided to go for a hail Mary victory, inspired by Jon-boy’s initial underdog win with the game last year.  I went into the Dungeon.  Of course, Steve then followed me, eventually overtaking me inside.  He had recently lost all of his items to Raiders, and I think he finally realized that both Rick and I just wanted the game to end already.  I taunted Steve that to spite him, I would simply admit defeat if he got to the Crown of Command, ending the game before he would have a chance to take my one and only remaining Life Token.  (I am well-aware of the reverse-logic here.)  He hit the Treasure Vault a turn before me, but rolled poorly and ended up in the Middle Region.

I was up.  It was down to a single die roll.  I rolled…

A 6!

Crown of Command, here I come!  (Yes, I was quite glad we didn’t play with the random endings, though it may have been fun to just get sucked into the Horrible Black Void at that point.)  Steve and Rick quickly admitted DEFEAT, and I claimed victory.  And not a moment too soon.

I won.  More importantly, I beat Steve the Blonde.  I’m sure I must have beaten him at one point during our many many plays of this game in high school, but the vast majority of my memories of this game are of his munchkinned out High Mage turning me in to a Toad while obtaining every item and follower in the land then destroying me utterly upon reaching the Crown of Command.  But not this time.  I will not let him live this down in the near future… say, 20 years ought to do it.  It’s also fun that I won in the same slim-to-none way that Jon-Boy did during his first play.  I know that that gave him a positive view of the game during that session.

While I did enjoy this game a ton the last time we broke it out, this time was definitely a “you can never go home again” kind of experience.  I do love the nostalgia of the game, the art, the theme, and even the simple play.  But this game is a relic of a bygone era, when we didn’t care so much (if at all) about rules errors, balance, or anything else that has evolved in hobby gaming over the past 20-30 years.  I was saddened that Rick seemed to have as terrible a time as he did, as there is definitely potential for great fun and story-telling in this game.  But even Steve noted that this was a very boring session.  I still insist that there is little to no real strategy in this game, or rather, there are not many real choices to make.  Your optimal move is always to gain more strength, life, items, followers, and there are seldom more than one way to do that in a given turn or series of turns.  It was quite fun knowing and remembering all of the cards in the deck, knowing how things play together… There is something to be said for playing a game for over 20 years, even with some huge gaps in between.  There’s a comfort food factor that even our Chinese Food dinner couldn’t match.

Despite its flaws, I will be happy to break this one out again, and I will hope for a better session.  I do contemplate culling the decks for more balance, but ultimately, I think that’s more work than this simple but classic game is worth.

Friday Night Bites


I’m a bit behind in my session reports, so I’ll try to catch up.  Alex hosted game night, as Liz wasn’t working Friday night, which meant she could play or at least hang out with the rest of us.  Also in attendance— Jon-boy, M., Kelly, and my wife and son who left around the time we actually started playing.  The game was Fury of Dracula.  I claimed “it’s my birthday, it’s my game, you were Dracula last tiiiiiime,” and played the Count.  Alex/Liz swapped out playing Lord Godalming, Jon was Dr. Seward, M—with T on her lap at first— played Van Helsing, and Kelly played the often ill-fated Mina Harker.

The hunters spread out across Europe, but they conspicuously left the British Isles vacant, allowing me to utilize that initial gambit.  I began in Edinburgh, and was able to work my way South across all of the cities in England before reaching Plymouth.  The hunters had no idea where I was, but Jon began to have some thoughts of checking out the U.K.  The hunters were a bit disco-ordinated at first.  I’m fairly certain they inadvertently crossed one another’s paths at least once or twice in the initial rounds of the game, costing them valuable time.  Also, they did not employ the “starvation” strategy of not drawing Event Cards, that has come be popular in our group.  This allowed me to gather a full hand of advantageous cards (mostly Traps) rather early.  It also allowed for me to stump the hunters.

Just as I was contemplating taking to sea from Plymouth, Fortune smiled upon me.  Kelly/Mina drew the dreaded Evasion card, allowing me to pick up and go to any city on the board.  Seeing the large gap in Eastern Europe, and knowing that the hunters had previously been to numerous cities there and would probably not wish to return so soon, I decided to drop down there.  I believe it was Budapest.  Meanwhile, I had Jon/Seward stuck in fog in London as my Vampire was about to mature, and it was now the second day.  Before long, I had 3 Vampire points, and was well on my way to victory.  The hunters still had no idea where I was.

The hunters debated over using Newspaper Reports to find the oldest card in my trail.  Kelly raised an excellent point, as the hunters had not been keeping close track of exactly when the Evasion occurred.  Kelly observed that if they did not time it right, the Newspaper Reports would merely show a location in England before my trail “broke.”  I was impressed by her reasoning, and a little nervous that she might be on to me.  Alas, M shouted the newcomer down, the the hunters did exactly as I’d hoped and revealed the oldest card in my trail… which was still in England.  Jon worked his way up the isle but was unable to find my vampire before she popped.  Meanwhile, I tried to figure out a way to cross Europe and give Mina, currently in France, a bite during my next nighttime turn.  It was difficult to do, and I contemplated using Wolf Form and explored various routes, but then the hunters decided to move Mina back to Paris, which was well within striking distance for me now.  I attacked at midnight, feeling certain that I would win against the lightly armed Mina.

Jon had an amazing moment of opportunism.  He played a card that allowed any hunter to immediately escape a combat.  I was stymied.  Moreover, the hunters now knew exactly where I was.  I would have to scramble and make a tough decision on how to run out the next few turns.  Luckily for me, I had another Vampire to pop.  With daybreak approaching, I was ensured a win the next turn.  As the group decided to move Mina a mere stone’s throw away from our encounter location, I decided to go for the active route to victory.  I followed Mina to the adjacent city and went in for the kill during the small hours.

Mina had only Sacred Bullets to defend herself.  She did play Garlic, but as I had the advantage during nighttime and was hoping to bite her, not escape, that did not worry me.  I played Bite versus her Bullets, pointing out that a winning roll would give me the victory, as daybreak would give me my last VP.  I rolled…


I bit Mina, defeating her, and giving me a total of 7 VP’s, one more than I needed to secure victory.

I think the game went over well with everyone.  Fury of Dracula, with all its fiddliness, is quite accessible in concept.  It can be a bit difficult to balance play with new players, as with the experienced player taking the role of Dracula does not really allow for helping the newbies along without giving away the Count’s strategies.  Kelly played very well, and had several moments of insight.  Unfortunately, she was shouted down by M several times.  I do enjoy playing Dracula in these scenarios, as it is quite fun to watch the hunters talk themselves out of the winning plays.  I think it would be quite advantageous for new players to take a peek through the decks before play, particularly the combat items, as this can be crucial in their tactical planning.  At the same time, an overly complex explanation at the start can confuse what is at its hard a simple game to understand.  Kelly did want to jump right in after quick rules explanation.  The party was also hurt by Liz and Alex switching out roles to take care of kids’ bedtimes, and M left just before the last turn of the game, with Liz taking over.  If all of the hunters aren’t on their game and paying close attention, it can be easier for Drac to slip through their nets.

The game is a long one, but I did try hard to keep it interesting.  My initial goal was to take the battle to the hunters, in fact, but I couldn’t find a way to get to Mina from my starting place in England.  I wasn’t going to just give the game away by starting too close to the hunters, but I had hoped for some more combat early on.  Still, I’m happy with how I played, and I’ll take the victory.


Citadels and Crown of Destiny

Steve the Bald was stranded with car trouble, and with Alex out at his son’s soccer game, that left just Steve the Blonde, myself, and Rickster.  We opted to pull out a lighter game before we realized that Steve the Bald would be out for the count, so we grabbed Citadels.


I always underestimate this game.  Simple in mechanics, the beauty lies in the possibilities, each turn causing additional thinky-hurt, but of a different sort than, say, Ra, or another Knizia title.  Every coin counts, especially when you have the nifty butterscotch-looking ones from the small box FFG reprint.  (I gifted my large box to M a while back, after snagging this one back when I worked full time for an online game retailer.)

I started out strong, building four 5-coin buildings fairly rapidly.  What I didn’t count on was that Rick, being new to the game, would use his Warlord and a hefty amount of cash to demolish my large districts.  In my groups, it’s usually considered a waste of cash to trash larger districts, folks generally targeting the districts that are cheap or free.  I thought I was safe.  I was wrong.

I had been hoping to steal a win with valuable buildings, as Steve the Blonde looked like he was going to run away with the end-game, having 6 or maybe even 7 districts on the board early on.  He made a great maneuver early in the game, spending all of his money before my Thief could steal from his second character, leaving me flat broke.  We both also targeted one another with the Magician at least once, just looking at the other and beckoning for their cards.

Rick took pot-shots with his assassin from his side of the table at various points.  It’s nice when newcomers to the game aren’t afraid to be nasty, as that is what makes this game shine.  I think the fact that most several effects target characters rather than players fosters this, and after one player gets hosed and wants revenge, that does well to get everyone’s gloves off.

Three-player Citadels is it’s own beast, and I think it’s actually a great showcase for the game, as it allows new players to figure out the characters rather quickly, having 2 characters per turn.  It also makes for some nice internal combo’s if you can get away with not having one or both of your characters targeted.  Plus, you don’t feel like you’re out for an entire turn if one of guys gets gacked or robbed.

Rick and I had a nice combo on Steve the Blonde at one point, as well, one of us targeting the Bishop with the Assassin, the other wrecking what would have been a “safe” building due to the Bishop’s immunity to the Warlord’s ability.

Slight Mispronunciation:  Dang.  I forgot that when calling role as the King, it is IMPERATIVE to announce “WARLORD” in a death metal growl.

Steve did eventually pull off a nice win, beating me by both going out first and having all colours represented in his Citadel.  I believe it was S: 41, K: 37, R: 21.  Well-played.

Now knowing (or at least strongly suspecting) that Steve the Bald was not going to show, rather than play three and a half hours of our Tyranny of Dragons D&D campaign, leaving behind two players and leaving Steve the Blonde and myself to play two characters each and possibly complete the first chapter of the module, we decided to break out Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd Ed.) instead.  (Steve had been baiting us for Talisman, but that was a little too random for my mood.  I had also suggested Android, but Rick didn’t seem to warm up to that after our last try with the game, years ago.)  As I didn’t see us having another chance too soon of trying one of the Hero and Monster Collection quests, I suggested we play the Crown of Destiny quest… on Epic Level.

Unfortunately, my gamestuffs were packed away anticipating our next campaign session with M as our OL.  Quickly we decided to just not use any of the characters from the campaign.  That still left us with a LOT to choose from, and Steve had even more trouble deciding upon monsters from all of the items I have acquired both on my own and as a very generous gift from Steve the Bald of all his old Descent stuff.  My wife’s gift of the Conversion Kit now leaves me with a conundrom of how to store and organize all of the different pieces.  Ugh.

Setup was a bitch, and cleanup is sure to be more of one as I now need to figure out how to bag and box things in a way that is easy to set up for both campaign and one-shot play.  I also need to facilitate further painting endeavors.  Once I finish the rest of my RuneWars heroes.  So much to do, so little time.

Eventually, Rick settled on Leoric of the Book as a Necromancer.

Slight Mispronounciation: Dammit.  I forgot to use the neCROHmancer pronunciation.  What is with me?!

I took Logan Lashley as the Treasure Hunter, as I was sad to not use him in our campaign.  (I opted for Jain as the Wildlander, instead.)

We took one look at the scenario and realized we were screwed.  No tanks, no healers, just two skinny dudes against a potential horde of creatures.  We did a bad bad thing and opened the door early, and I missed a potential extra attack with Logan by grabbing the initial treasure with no plan to use my bonus attack power.  Rick’s reanimate walked into the first room and corpse blasted the Master Chaos Beast into oblivion… or rather, into two minion Chaos Beasts.  This scenario sounded cool at first, but it seemed ever cooler the more we realized that the more big baddies we killed, the harder it was going to be to win, as Steve had chosen kobolds and ferrox’s as his open groups.  So not only did we have all of the little bastards running around trying to steal our destinies (mmmm… Gelfling!), but the freakin’ master kobolds split into two when they die!

We started our strong, but soon found ourselves surrounded, and Leoric fell first.  Logan ran to his aid, helping him up so he could re-summon his little skellington friend, then fell himself.  It got to be quite a drag, each of us falling once every turn or two at that point, but we did have a moment when it looked like we might turn things around.  Logan dropped two foes in a turn using his Heroic Feat, and Rick had the great idea to use his own feat to drop all of the kobolds and ferroxxeseses surrounding him.  Then he rolled an X.  We scanned his cards looking for anything that would allow a re-roll, but there was nothing.

We did hold on for some time, as it was very difficult for Steve the Blonde to roll the 2-shields or fewer to steal our destinies, but once he was able to actually drink one of the destinies with one of his master kobolds, it seemed more futile.  We would now have to kill a Chaos Beast which would then spawn into four more of the little bastards, one of which would split again when we killed him.

We played it out for a while, but once Steve had 3 destinies, and us having no game-changing plays at hand, it didn’t seem worth fighting out.  Mind you, I’m not saying we couldn’t have one, I’m saying that trying didn’t really seem so fun at that point, and after a long day of waiting and gaming, I was content to call Steve the victor.

Rick dug the game, and Steve always loves Descent.  If presented for what it is: a tactical mini’s game with a dungeon crawl theme; and not as what it looks like or we may want it to be: an rpg lite, it hits all marks.  The combat actually seemed more complex and engaging than our 5e experiences so far, but, grant you, our characters were only 2nd level in the D&D game.  I definitely think this scenario is a cool one and would be vastly different with four heroes, especially a tank or two.  I find myself wondering how our dream team of Syndrael-Knight, Avric-Disciple, Jain-Wildlander, and Widow Tarha- RuneMaster would have fared in this quest.  Maybe one day we’ll have a chance to try it.

Steve expressed some slight disappointment at playing the OL, as you don’t get to share your evil plan with anyone or strategize openly.  I find myself intrigued by this, as Steve was my primary DM growing up.  I think there’s a lot to be said for the role-playing we did back then and for rpg’s in general.  A 2-player rpg still necessitates some social interaction, while 2-player Descent is essentially, again, a tactical endeavor and can lead to some of this loneliness.  Maybe Steve isn’t such a heartless engineering tactical mercenary after all… Nah!

Kill count:

Keith/Logan: 4

Rickster/Leoric: 8

StevetheBlonde/OL: 7

Good win by Steve the Blonde.  And a not-to-be-overlooked highlight for me: watching my son eagerly grab after every Descent monster he could get his little toddler hands on, yelling, “Raaarrr!”  We let him bring a couple of the unused monsters upstairs with him, as he was reticent to let them go.. until he found a broom or cardboard box two minutes later.

For those counting, that’s 0-4 for me within 24-hours this weekend.  Not looking good for our fair hero.

But there’s always next time.

Me: Man, I lost all four games this weekend!

Wife: How can you rephrase that as a positive?

Me:  Um… my friends kicked my ass four times this weekend?

Wife: No… you got to play four games with your friends this weekend.

Me: Uh.  Oh.  Yeah.

Game on, y’all.



Ra and Rampage

Jon-boy and M. in attendance last night.  Due to time constraints, we opted for some shorter, if not lighter fare, though I had been holding out hope for another crack at commanding the Waiqar in RuneWars.  E opted out of game night, so we settled on Ra, which M. had played once before and Jon had never played.

I love this game, and am always happy at the thinky-hurt it causes each turn.  Truly a Knizia masterpiece.  Jon was having a bit of trouble keeping the rules straight, but I think he was just having an off night.

Slight Misplay: We got just about all the rules right EXCEPT that I incorrectly stated that the person who voluntarily invokes RA must bid.  While this is true in the case of ties, it is not necessary for the RA player to bid if there is a prior bid on the table.  We only messed this up once, and it was with Jon.  I think he was leaning towards bidding anyways.

Great game overall, though Jon seemed a bit overwhelmed near the end, and made the conscious choice to bid himself out early in the third epoch.

Slight Mispronunciation:  Okay, when I was first taught this game, the other gamers at the table pronounced the word “epoch” thusly: eh-pic  I had a strong feeling that this was incorrect, but not wanting to seem like a complete English nerd/douchebag, I let it go, and since that was the group I primarily played Ra with, I picked up this pronunciation habit.  It was driving me crazy.  So last night, Jon-boy and M. were consistently chiding me, insisting that the word is pronounced in this way (the one marked in blue), which prompted me to do a quick online search.  It turns out that both are correct, one being the British pronunciation, the other American.  As an anglophile when it comes to words, I’ll be doing my best to adjust this.

The game ended with me using my 11 sun on a small row of tiles with one Ra tile space left to go, as I didn’t want to chance losing out to the last Ra tile.

Jon ended up with 5 total points having lost quite a bit in the Pharaoh war and having few monuments and no civ’s at the end (iirc).  M middled out on Pharaohs, but had a ton of monuments, just shy of the 7 needed for the bigger bonuses.  I had misread this on my own board, somehow thinking I’d get a bonus for 5 different monument types, so I ended up losing to M by 5 points, even despite my 3-civ bonus in the third epoch.  Well-played game.

We then opted for another light-ish game.  Rampage came up.  Jon-boy has played a bunch with his kids (though without the special cards), and M. has never played.  It’s a nice mix of wacky dexterity with some very light strategy thrown in.  I do think the cards are a bit annoying, as they can be very situational/unbalanced, and the iconography is not very clear.

Oh, and you will notice I am calling this game by it’s original name, as I was lucky enough to get a copy before the cease-and-desist order came out, forcing the publisher to rename it “Terror in Meeple City.”  So there.

Not really much to report on this one.  There were a few rules quibbles over whether one could munch on a meeple atop a fallen roof/floor tile, and also whether one could then subsequently eat the floor as well.  Overall, a fun game for sure, but it does suffer from some rules holes that just add confusion and annoyance to what should be a very fun dexterity romp with amazing theme and components.

Jon’s practice with his kids paid off, and he beat me soundly by 10 points.  M was out of the running, as she had the misfortune to lose more teeth than she had, having to take meeples out of her belly.  She and Jon also were picking on each other with special cards, stealing meeples back and forth, so that hurt her, as well, as she ended up on the losing end of that battle.

I really need to find more monster-themed music for this game.  The Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark worked great for Ra, but with Rampage, I was stuck with just a couple Wolfmother and Blue Oyster Cult songs to evoke the mood.

At any rate, an enjoyable session sponsored by the letters “R” and “A.”


Tyranny of Dragons: Session 2

I grow tired of these despicable kobolds.

I can’t even remember how many times they and their lizard masters have set upon us since my last entry.  Four?  Eight?

The villagers we rescued on the outskirts had a bit of a hidden lair.  That was their story.  It was actually a small weapons cache hidden by simple but clever enchantment.  The problem was, once the enchantment was dispelled by the woman, we found ourselves out in the open again.  We took a brief rest, had a brief strategy session, and decided to approach the keep by night, staying to the swamp around the river until we broke cover for the keep itself.  We tried not to think about the Dragon above.

As we had been cautioned, many of the other refugees from the town flocked to us as we went, encumbering our stealthy journey.  I wish now that we had had the foresight to bring along some further arms so they could be put to use.  As it was, we lost several of them in the journey.  I cannot bring myself to grieve for them, these wretches who did little to save themselves until forced.

The last battle we fought before the keep was nearly our end.  The warriors among us continued to fight well— the dwarf seems made to smash in the skulls of the lizard beasts, but they all fell, one by one, even as the kobolds flanked the elf and myself.  I was able to dodge many an attack from the foul things, but one managed to slip through my guard and slice my belly.  He paid for his effort, and I will ensure that the rest of his scaly kind does as well.

The townsfolk eventually rose up to the aid of their would-be rescuers, and we did gain entrance to the Keep itself, where we now rest, recover, and await some further word on the actual happenstances of this besieged town.

I wait now for my Destiny to appear.  I can smell that she is close, and the air does crackle with electricity.  She comes.

Tyranny of Dragons: Session 1

Awoke to find strangers in our makeshift camp.  Apparently my Guardian made friends during his Watch.  Better than his usual company, I imagine. A strange lot– a hooded elf, a red-bearded dwarf, and a human bearing the sigil of Dol Dorn.  We walked in silence at daybreak, heading ever towards Greenest, which seems to all of our destinations.  Can’t help but think there is more safety in numbers, but I’ll have my eye on the newcomers, Sarrek as well.
Set upon by a group of what I can only call kobolds given their resemblance to the dragon-kin beasts I’ve read of.  They were leading (or perhaps being led by?) a large lizard-beast.  We opened with crossbows as we advanced on the ambush party.  The kobolds carried slings which they used on us to some effect before the Dol Dorn and Bloodrune closed the distance.  I tried to use the incantation I learned from Her, but it appears I still need to work on my aim, though the blast did send a rush through me as it cast out, so I know I spake the words correct and made the sigil as taught.  The lizard beast leaped upon the Dol Dorn, and bit the Bloodrune, and the two sword-bearers set upon it, killing it even as they themselves were brought low.  The kobolds left, apparently demoralised at the loss of their pet or master.  We camped during the day to let those laid low come to, then decided to march through the night.
Our attempt to avoid discovery under cover of night did not go well.  First we were joined by a rough-looking sort.  Mikhael he said his name was, a bounty hunter with a dragonslayer in his ancestry.  Bah.  I’ve heard better tales than that told by drunkards.  Still, I wonder how much of that he actually believes, and how it might be useful…
A group of robed individuals came toward us on the road from Greenest even as we marched and asked whether we “came to help.”  Our hesistation did nothing to appease them, and they opened attack at us.  Again, we sniped at them from afar, but they blew some odd type of horn and we were soon flanked by missile attacks from both sides.  We pressed onwards, fearing large forces closing from the sides, hoping to push through the robed ones (monks or cultists of some sort perhaps?) and move further down the road to a more advantageous position.  Once the robed ones faced defeat however, one of them made an Invokation, and then all of them burst suddenly into flames, including those assailing us from the sides of the road.  It turned out to just be two of them on our flanks, one on either side.  Interesting how they were able to give the appearance of larger numbers with such a small threat.  I’ll remember that trick.
We pressed onwards, hoping now to gain Greenest as quickly as possible and put these miserable grasslands behind us.  I, for one, could certainly use a night in a bed not made of earth, and I have not seen… or touched Destiny in several days now.  I imagine Sarrek wouldn’t turn down of wine-soaked debauchery, as well.  I don’t know about the newcomers.  Yet.  Further along the road, we spied a cart.  The elf crept forward to investigate, and I Touched his Minde as taught to encourage him to look at the barrels and drivers. He found the drivers had had their throats slit, but no evidence lay about as to what had been in the now empty barrels nor who had slain the drivers.  We moved on, following the road.
Next we found a weeping woman and he mate, him digging what could only be a grave for his offspring laying nearby in heaps.  The two of them were bloodied, and as we approached, the woman took a dagger and turned it upon herself, even as Sarrek dove toward her.  To stop her?  Help her?  Farugar, the Dol Dorn, aided the man in his grim work as Sarrek and the others looked on.  The survivor did not appear able to speak, and we did see signs that he was deafened and had Tounge cut out by whoever attacked him and his family.  I was able to use the Touch again and get some nods and head shakes from him in replie to my Questioning.  It appears the robed ones were behind this misery, as well.  Before allowing us to be on our way, the man implored us to use the same dagger on him which his wife used to slay herself.  I don’t think any of us wanted to become more entangled in his plot, but Mikhael, that noble Dragonslayer (oh, you are too droll), took the mans life, tossing the pittance he was offering into the very grave he had just dug, along with his corpse.  Interesting..  But cannot but thinke that She will be disappointed that it was not I who drew the blood from the pathetic derelict.

Didn’t make much of it, but I did pause to wonder– there are five of them with me now… ten eyes.  But those in the Dream were different.  Still, dreams can be deceitful, so I will keep close Watch.  I don’t want to miss one of Her signs, but nor do i want to midReade…

Full of interesting people and sights, this journey is.  Next we found a hunter who had spied us from miles away thanks to a hunting bird he had sent up.  He was helpful enough, feeding us and allowing us to rest at his camp.  His tale was simple, if true.  A local hunter living off the land.  He was finding it harder and harder to get supplies from Greenest.  The town is apparently lost now, both within and without assailed, but by whom or what, I don’t think he even knew.  Well-fed, we would have set out again, but for a strange occurrence…  A strange drowse set upon our limbs and minds, that is, if the others were as affected by the same… sorcery?  as I was.  We could not overcome it, but upon waking we found ourselves in loss of half a day, but we were now near to our destination.

Greenest is burning.  Set upon by assailants inside and out, just as the Hunter told, but most impressive– a Dragon!  Scales of blue, just as in the Ars Draconica from the temple library showed.  The Beast was whirling at the keep at center of Town.  A Glorious and Terrible sight to beholde.  I can only think that I am drawing nearer to that which She and They are sending me towards.  How else to achieve greatness, after all, than to draw oneself closer to Great Beings and Events.
Entering the town.  More kobolds.  We were able to intercept a group of them harassing some villagers.  Without a beastly pet, however, these were more easily swept aside.  And I write this now as the others tend to the pitiful viktims.  Maybe they can show us to a safer part of town in which we can find some respite, a drink, and I can get on with my Destiny.  It has been too long, and I have growne anxious.