Rangers of Shadow Deep

 I set up a quick first mission for Rangers of Shadow Deep. A while back I made a Ranger, Arzad the Bugbear Slayer. He started out as a Redbook D&D character and not knowing what Bugbears were casually slaughtered one while a level 1 fighter.

Now 35 years later he is back where he started, patrolling the boundaries between civilisation and the wilderness.
Arzad has changed over the years and now fights more as an armoured horse archer. He still has his trademark shield with the face or a Bugbear enameled onto the metal.

Here is his team. We have an Arcanist, an Archer, a Conjurer, a Rogue and a Swordsman.



Turn 1

The team had arrived in the center of the village. It was deserted, we noticed a couple of Giant Rats lurking near a couple of the huts, then with a slithering and slurping sound a horde of hideous tentacle monsters (from Crooked Dice) surrounded the heroes

Arzad leads his team towards the nearest hut. Both Arzad and the archer miss shots at the creatures

Arzad and the Swordsman end up in combat with one of the tentacle monsters. The Rogue picks the lock on the door and the Arcanist picks up the clue in the hut. This turns out to be a magic potion.
Meanwhile more tentacle monsters lumber forwards and the Giant Rat-Crabs race over, complete with beady red eyes and nipping claws.
The end of turn event signals the arrival of two more hideous creatures. Just what kind of village is this and what happened to the inhabitants?

Turn 2

Arzad and his companion finish off the first monster, then Arzad rushes back to try and protect the less combat able members of the party. The Archer finishes off the Crab-Rat. With the creatures activating before the rest of the party, placing your Ranger for next turns Group Activation.

The Arcanist takes down the Giant Rat, The Swordsman, Archer and Conjurer take down a second creature. One of the other creatures is now almost within range.

The Rogue has discovered the body of the Ranger Agrivane and recognises his sword as a magic item, picks it up, knowing that eventually be returned to the King
The end of turn event sees a Giant Rat placed next to the Rogue and in contact with a building. Perhaps the smell of a corpse attracted the foul creature.

Turn 3

Arzad and the Swordsman are fighting one of the tentacle monsters, one has made it into combat with the Archer and Conjurer. Their weapons are finding it hard to get any purchase on its rubbery flesh. The Pustulant creature is almost ready to join in the combat. Getting bogged down in multiple combats and not being able to finish your opponents is becoming a problem.

The Archer and the Conjurer, drive back the creature they were fighting given them some breathing room.
A building collapses, fortunately the one that falls over is nowhere near the adventurers, its also one with a clue in it so I don't even have to unlock it.

Turn 4
Arzad and the Swordsman finally finish off the monster they have been fighting. Both warriors are now battered. Even so they pile into combat with the remaining creature so it can't chase the Archer or Conjurer.
The Pustulent Horror attacks the Conjurer, who stabs it with clinical anatomical precision and kills it with a strike to its brain. Arzad and the Swordman are still fighting the tentacle horror. The Arcanist is avoiding the melees and is moving towards the ruined hut and the two clues in the corner of the table, not currently heaving with tentacle monsters.

The Rogue was surprised by the Rat attack and got wounded, he then wounded the Rat in return. After another round of frenzied hacking and clawing the Rat was killed. The Magic sword certainly helped.
This turns event is the arrival of two more tentacle monsters. I am just about keeping pace with killing them as fast as they arrive back on the table edge.


Turn 5
We are now halfway through the mission
Arzad and the Swordsmen pile into the tentacle creature that had been threatening the archer and the Conjurer. Both of those characters move away to find other vantage points. The wounded Rogue staggers around the hut, wondering about his life choices.
The Arcanist searches the ruined building and finds some more herbs. Another monster is approaching him.
The Rogue moves towards the cue in the bottom corner. The Archer demonstrates why we recruited her and skewers the creature menacing the Arcanist. The arrow pierces a vital part and the creature deflates like a balloon.
Arzad and the swordsmen defeat the monster and move towards the Arcanist, several additional creatures and a Rat have emerged from behind the building
A Rat had emerged from behind another hut as was clicking its claws at the Rogue. The conjurer blasted it with a lighting bolt and fried the creature to a crisp. She could move faster than the wounded rogue so headed towards the clue.

Turn 5
The Arcanist finds a survivor of the village. The team are able to escort her to safety. Unfortunately is too traumatised to tell the team much at the moment.
The Conjurer finds some unusual tracks behind the hut but cannot make any sense of the strange marks in the earth.
A Zombie appears next to the only uncovered clue which fortunately is nowhere near any of he adventurers and there is no way we can get to that clue past all those rats and zombies.

Turn 7
The clock is winding down on the mission, we have uncovered as much information as we can from the village. Now is time to get out of here, Arzad tell the team to fall back towards the Arcanist and the survivor. Arzad shoots arrows at the creatures and acts as the rearguard.



The Giant Rat makes contact with the Rogue, "Rats why is it always Rats?" However he foul creature can't attack until next turn.

The event is Terror and the Rogue fails his test as one of the team with the lowest will score. So he can't activate next turn.

Turn 8
The running away from the monsters continues. The Rogue survives the attention of the Rat and the last event is an anticlimax. It was a disease outbreak.

Conclusion
Everyone made it out of the village. Everyone was battered and two members were wounded. We ended up with 82, experience, two magic potions. We also get to use Agravaine's magic sword in the second part of the mission.

The team now follow the strange tracks deeper into the forest. What could go wrong?






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