We continue our low-budget campaign, this time borrowing pieces from a board game, Descent 2nd Edition. I also continue to tweak my home-brewed solo rules.
The session from Jan 2019:
Back to the frozen city!
There were some further updates from last game. I decided to give the magic weapon I found to my wizard to replace the staff. So now he has a large scythe. To replace my dead thug, I hired a Man-at-Arms named Yensala. For out-of-game spells, my apprentice successfully brewed a Potion of Teleportation. I gave the Gloves of Casting to my apprentice to help with their weaker casting then gave the scroll and potion to my wizard. Since I gave my wizard a big weapon (and wanted to keep my warband all the same scale if possible), I swapped the mini for a Bones.
Yensala on the far left, and my new wizard mini next to her.
I swapped to the blue table cover (old bed sheets). I still don’t have a battle mat, but at least blue is a colder color and more appropriate. Though the scenario I played was inside this time.
As I chose the library for my base, I decided the most obvious next scenario to try is the Library in the core rules. This would give me a chance to try my AI warbands with premade scenarios. I still tweaked things a bit. I rolled on my enemy table and got bandits. The bandits come with 2 archers, 4 thugs, 2 thieves, and a slightly toughened Man-at-Arms boss. I changed the bandit AI to favor collecting treasure more than the undead. For added fun, I decided to add 1 extra treasure to the map, but whenever a treasure is picked up, you roll a die. 1-10: nothing, normal treasure. 11-20: it’s a mimic, which immediately activates (small construct). There’s only 1 mimic, so once it’s found, no more rolling, and it’s worth 20 extra exp (and drops regular treasure if you defeat it).
I don’t have enough minis with bows, so I had to borrow 2 goblin archers from Descent. The mimic is in the back.
Since the library scenario is inside, I used Descent tiles to make the library. Then used some other tokens (also Descent) and some Bones furniture to fill in a bit and add obstacles and rubble.
I ended up needing to move treasure and tokens some after taking the picture, but the layout remained the same. Areas where the walls were next to each other on different tiles, I allowed figures to climb up and over the bookshelves. Though, I ended up forgetting and it never happened.
First round wasn’t very action-packed. A couple spell casts to get those buffs going and lots of moving. I needed to adjust the enemy AI so they can go after multiple treasures and not all rush the same treasure.
I stuck near the corner (just below the center room) to keep out of LOS of the archers and let them come to me. Then the big melee began. I actually take out the enemy boss with my wizard, Old Baris (since they’re not as powerful as a player-controlled wizard, bosses only give apprentice exp-80). Though, the aggressiveness to try and get more exp nearly backfires as a big hit knocks Baris to 4 health remaining. Then my loyal dog bites it. Even my new hire, Yensala, who is buffed to 13 armor is dropped to 5 health from one attack.
While all that’s going on, the enemy thieves have nabbed 2 treasures and are making a run for it (both rolled less than 10 and were safe). One grabbed a treasure from the center room near the melee, the other thief took one from the right side of the library and is able to make a good lead for his escape. I only have a thief, Shal, and a thug, Arkamon, trying to catch him. Since Arkamon is too slow, he deviates to grab a treasure. It’s the mimic. It comes to life and immediately attacks, but Arkamon gets a lucky roll and slays the mimic. It’s now a regular treasure that he can secure. Shal chases down the enemy thief and eventually catches him. But it’s thief-on-thief, anything can happen. They’re not far from the melee, Shal’s only hope is to get some backup before the dice decide everything.
In the melee, things clean up quickly once I’m able to get support bonuses. My captain, Loka, makes a mad dash to catch the enemy thief before he can get away but catches him right in front of the enemy archers. It takes a couple rounds, but he does kill the thief and pick up the treasure. My archer, Bree, manages to take out an enemy archer. Neither enemy archer has had any luck landing shots. Yensala breaks off to secure the last treasure (since I altered the rules for solo, I only get the treasures I’ve picked up, I don’t automatically get them all if all enemies are dead). Old Baris and Loka clean up the last archer and jump in to help Shal. In the last round, Yensala secures the final treasure and the enemy thief bites it (and we pick up the treasure he was running with).
The final tally.
The dog is fine, and Burin will be healed enough to rejoin us next time.
For treasure, even with the re-rolls, I only get 1 grimoire (6 of my rolls were below 13). I get a total of 210gc (21 goes to Loka), 5 potions, and 2 scrolls. Grimoire is Combat Awareness. Potions were another Teleportation, a Demon in a Bottle, Invulnerability, Strength, and Explosive Cocktail. Scrolls were Possess and Glow. I decided to sell 3 of the potions (tele., Demon, and Invul.) and both scrolls. This gives me another 400gc. That gives me a total of 725gc (including money from before). Seems like a lot, but it’ll go fast. Also, from my own library (my base), I get a scroll of Spell Eater, which I sold for another 100gc. Neither my wizard or apprentice successfully brewed any potions.
My wizard leveled up 4 times this game after going on a murdering spree! +1 Fight, +1 Health, learned a new spell, and lowered the cast of Elemental Hammer to 9. I also got 50 exp from Absorb Knowledge.
Now to spend the gold. I retired Shal to hire a Treasure Hunter (80gc), built a Kennel in my base (250gc, essentially, the dog, Yon, no longer takes up space in the warband), and then filled in my open spot in the warband with a Barbarian (100gc). Then I bought some magic leather armor (300gc, +2 armor) to give to my new barbarian. Suddenly, I’m back down to 95gc.
Whew. This one took a while to setup. I hadn’t finished the bandit AI, so I had to do that first. Then I had to get my Descent tiles, sort through them to find ones suitable for the scenario, then put together a map from scratch that fit the description of the library. Once the game actually started, it wasn’t too long (90 minutes?), and cleanup was faster than setup. I’m still tweaking AI, but I’m enjoying the process (and the results).
Until next time.