I spent the past weekend printing, cutting and sleeving RAMV (Redjak's Automated Monster Variant) so that I could start playing through the campaigns solo. The system seems to be a lot like Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Road to Legend except you use cards and have to keep track of stuff yourself (like XP, gold, travel).
I elect to start with the original base set campaign - The Shadow Rune. I keep reading it sucks, so I'm only going to use base set monsters and the ones from the Crusade of the Forgotten set (since I've painted them). I decided not to limit my choice of heroes and classes in this manner - I randomly chose three different types of heroes (technically, my character choices were from the PAINTED figures I've done, but whatever) and randomly choose their class from ALL off the ones I had. I ended up with:
Tetherys - Thief
Hugh Mage Quellen - RuneMaster
Avric Albright - SpiritSpeaker
Off we go! For those unfamiliar with the system...
Each round, you draw an event card. Global Effect cards stay in play until the next one is drawn. Instants happen and then you continue on. There is an AI "script" geared towards each encounter and side quest that indicates how to handle each enemy's turn and if it doesn't apply to a group, then you use the monster AI or agent AI card. Also, ala RtL or Imperial Assault, activations bounce back and forth between enemy groups and heroes.
The party is wandering around and runs into an ambushed caravan! They decide to investigate and avenge those who were bullied by beating up the bullies. Apparently there is an Ettin named Mauler and his band of Goblin Archers (huh?) to deal with here.
Avric moves to engage the Ettin and try to keep him from blocking the path for the others Heroes. His attack is not enough to get through Mauler's defenses, but he is in place to keep him from moving. The goblins start their run to get away with the caravan's goodies. Tetherys started chasing goblins and kills one. After a nice hit, Mauler tosses Avric behind him so that he is out of the way. I know I win if I kill Mauler, so Quellen goes for the double attack, though only lands one of the attacks.
A new goblin minion enters play. Tetherys elects to use her HEROIC FEAT (attack two enemies with one roll) and still only kills one goblin minion. The goblins take off running again, but all hit Tetherys on the way. Quellen pops off a couple small attacks and brings Mauler down to about half his starting life. Mauler mauls Avric and then throws him leaving him teetering at 1 life. Averic decides to sneak a quick search in before limping over to Mauler for an attack.
A new goblin minion enters play. Uggh - RAMV attacks. A global effect in play says that if I kill Mauler now, there is a chance he comes back at full strength. 50-50, not worth it, going to play "searching for goodies". Tetherys finds a health potion and then kills a goblin minion. Only it doesn't stay dead, he pops right back up at full health and runs away. No arrows find their mark, but the goblin archer master got away clean. Mauler doesn't knock out Avric with his club, but grabs him and tosses him for the knockout. Avric recovers and plays Brave Sir Robin so that Mauler can try for someone else.
A new goblin minion enters play. I got very lucky. I forgot that the last global condition would stay in effect until another came out. Luckily one does. Time to end this. Thetherys drops Mauler to 1 life, but that means a goblin is going to get away. Oh well. Quellen rolls a strike and ends Mauler's misery. We got a little loot and 1 XP each.
Sweet! I get to go to town and buy some loot! Except I only have 75 coins. So I get jack crap. Time to check my skills and see if there are any 1 XP skills worth getting. Avric needs Healing Rain (roll 1 red and every hero in 3 spaces recovers that much), Quellen gets Exploding Rune (I can add Blast to his attack), and Tetherys gets Dirty Tricks (lets her stun monsters that suffer damage). Time to head out and investigate what's going on.
Travel! This is new-ish. In RtL, it is mostly handled automatically with events, but now I'm doing the events! First no event, then we get a little lost. Then a knight challenged us on the road. We had a chance to get a Steel Broadsword, but Avric failed to best the knight. Alas. Onward to Fat Goblin. RAMV says to add another Dark Intervention card to the event deck since the heroes won the last quest. This ups the odds that a lieutenant will pop up (not much, the deck is pretty fat).
Fat Goblin I
Goblins are attacking the farmlands so apparently I felt like checking into this. That's what we do right?
What the crap! I got Merriods for the open group. Not quite the welcome party I was hoping to see. I guess it is better than a ton of spiders. but not much. Now I have to fight through him before I can save the crops.
Ruh Roh, first event card is Dark Intervention. Looks like I'm going to fail most of my attribute tests - all tests add +2 shields. Tetherys goes first and uses fatigue to search the closeby search spot using her Greedy ability. Its a secret door. That sounds cool, but I'm not sure if I should explore it without taking care of some monster sillyness first. I use more fatigue to engage the merriod and attack. Her attack is defended. The goblins start their zerg towards the crops. Avric heads out and makes a decent swipe at the Meriod on the way, making up for his lousy outing with the Knight during travels. He gets whomped back, but uses his Stoneskin ability to keep Tetherys from any harm. Quellen wastes no more time and a couple of arcane bolts put the Merriod down.
New global effect will cause another event to occur after an "instant". I decide that the Merriod reiforcement can't appear because I still occupy the entrace. Now, good heroes would not explore a trap door, but I'm not those, so Tetherys goes exploring. You discover a vast chamber filled with ciphered tomes and rune-scrolls... Maybe I should have read how secret rooms worked first - I'm going to have to test in order to get rid of tokens (or wait three turns). If I fail a test on this secret room, the Overlord is supposed to draw a card, which I'm playing as add a dark influence to the event deck. Meh. In for a penny... She finds a Goblin Archer! Swell. Quellen advances to try and get into shooting range for next round. Avric rushes right into the face of a goblin to make his future bleak, but he too can only move this time around. The newly discovered goblin must have been surprised because he misses and moves away.
Grasping Roots (instant) event. Quellen and Avric fail their tests and are immobilized. The new event is Frenzied Foes, so each after each attack, monsters attack again. This time the Merriod appears but can only lumber towards me. Avric can only manage to take out one goblin. His buddies make up for it putting a couple arrows into Avric and putting him in danger of dying. Quellen is too far away to try and hit the goblins and even if he wasn't, Avric is blocking his LOS, so he rests. Tetherys fails a book check and adds a dark influence to the deck. but now she just needs to kill a goblin to gain the reward. She does and cards are drawn. She draws two cards and keeps the handbow only because it costs a lot, not because I care about keeping it.
The new event is another global condition that causes extra damage to figures with conditions, which helps me here - it gets rid of Frenzied Foes. Quellen runs up and goes for the exploding rune attack. Somehow, one goblin ducks the attack while the other is blown to bits. The Goblin Archer master runs off with his food. 1 for the bad team. Another goblin is going to get away and the another just grabbed the food from the exploded goblin. Avric stops the new guy, but the other is going to get awy next time I think. The Merriod lumbers on toawrds the main part of the map just before Tetherys pops up from the trap door. She runs up and stabs the sucker in the back.
Another new global effect making X attacks just a blank instead of a miss. Avric moves up and smashes a goblin, but has no way to prevent the food from being stolen away by the re-appeared master Goblin Archer. 2 for the bad guys. Quellen decides that Tetherys abandoned them to search, so he decideds to search on his turn and finds a Curse Doll. The merriod turns to hit Tetherys but only nicks her for a point of damage. She nicks him back.
The new event is another new global - I have to spend a surge to hit a monster or that attack is a miss. Avric moves as far as he can back and secures a bundle of food - that f'ing Goblin Archer master is going to have to work to get the last bundle of crops. He's a nasty little bugger though and shoots Avric, knocking him out. Quellen wanted something other than a Curse Doll and explores the last search token, but karma is a bitch and he literally finds X (nothing). The merriod then whomps on poor Tetherys for 6 points of damage. Her counter is another nick.
The event is another instant event - Pickpocket. Quellen looks down to discover that he has lost his "stupid" Curse Doll! He takes it out on the merriod by blasting him into a pile of slag, saving poor Tetherys. The goblins run in trying to get to the last food. I should be able to stop them (I hope). Avric sits up and decides he should rest so he can fight or heal in the near future. Tetherys moves up and also figures a rest is a good idea.
The new global event cards makes monsters immune to conditions. Fine by me, that gets rid of having to use surges to actually hit. Avric decides to use the reach of his staff to attack, but misses the first time and then lands only a minor wound on the goblin. He shoots at Avric who uses Stoneskin to deflect the attack. The other goblin, with nothing better to do shoots Avric and nearly downs him again. The new merriod that has wandered onto the map starts his slow crawl towards the action (I don't think he's going to make it). Tetherys jumps into action and downs the master goblin. I should win now. I move Quellen up to make sure.
New event is irrelevant and I grab the last crop to win the encounter.
A surviving farmer pleaded with them to rescue his kidnapped brother Frederick, who was once a Shadow Binder.
Fat Goblin II
The goblins were not hard to follow, and now you edge cautiously into a cave in the Caedwyn Wood where they found Splig, King of All Goblins, setting to discover which of the prisoners was the Shadow Binder.
Open monster group is the Golem! Picking up where I left off, Avric and Tetherys are both in bad shape and now we are staring down a lot of Spee-EYE-ders (if you heard MegaMind, you did it right).
First event out the gate is Grasping Roots (how did I shuffle that back to the top?). All my heroes have been immobilized. Avric starts with Heaing Rain and give himself and Tetherys a couple more hp. Splig is a lazy fat bastard and does nothing but shout for a prisoner. Quellen tries to blast the spiders and misses. He adjusts his aim and does it again, this time with much better results. He clears out the minion spiders and puts a fair hurt on the remaining master. The Goblin Archers all march out to carry out Splig's orders. One actually gets a guy and is draggin him back for torture. Tetherys has no LOS and can't move, she rests. Avric tries to fend off the master Cave Spider, but still ends up poisoned. The golem opens the door and is now blocking the heroes from going anywhere.
Global event is the stupid Shadow Play card (must spend a surge or whiff the attack). I re-shuffle the remaining event deck. Quellen kills the master Cave Spider after two attacks, so at least one monster set is gone now. Splig still has nothing to do, the heroes can hear him yelling though. Poor Avric fails his poison check and passes out. He awakens and decideds he better rest. The goblins complete their mission - Splig has someone to interrogate and next round will have them all. Tetherys is no chump and moves in for the attack before the golem can get to everyone. I roll my third X on a blue die and decided to melt that one on my stove top. Actually I decided to use that bad luck die against Tetherys and of course roll 2 hearts on it.
Dark Intervention event - each time a minion is defeated, the others in that group heal a heart. I can live with that one. Tetherys chips a small chunk off the golem, but fails the other attack because of the Shadow Play global event. Splig tortures a poor soul, but turns out the guy isn't whom he wanted. The goblins drop of their prisoners and head out to shoot some arrows. Avric moves a little towards a search spot and then does another Healing Rain to try and make things a little more interesting. Quellen fires off two Arcane Bolts, but only manages 1 damage against that tough rock hide. The golem tries to return the favor by beating up Tetherys, but Avric uses Stone Flesh to keep the damage to a minimum.
The new event is the instant "Doom", which just ends up making Tetherys go last. Avric goes first and does a quick search. He finds a stamina potion and having none, gulps it down. He then wiffs his staff attack. Splig's torture is for naught this time as the poor guy he's tickling holds out on him. Quellen then misses (with an X - TWICE)! The Goblin Archers load up behind the golem waiting for their chance. Tetherys finally gets to go and does a little more damage. Only 5 more points to go! The golem unloads on Tetherys, but Stoneskin protects her again.
The event is a new global (thank you) - Hardy Foes. No conditions. Its a deal! Avric decides to throw out some more Healing Rain for him and Tetherys and then a little damage to the giant living rock door. Splig finally shows his prisoner naked pictures of his mom and the guy gives in. Luckily, it isn't the main guy (Frederick). Tetherys finally unloads a couple of decent attacks and breaks the Golem up - which just made her prime target for a bunch of overachiever goblins. Somehow, Tethery weathers the arrow storm (Stoneskin once again helps a lot). Quellen thinks about it for about half a second and unloads a couple of Exploding Runes onto the goblins (and Tetherys) clearing out all but one minion.
The event is an instant that does nothing to the heroes. Tetherys stands up and give Quellen the finger while recovering her fatigue. Splig finally finds his target, grabs Freddy and heads for the exit. Avric takes out the last goblin and awaits Splig. Quellen decides he can't wait for his lame companions and heads out to find Splig before he can get away.
The next event rids the map of the search token near Quellen. Sad, sad, sad. Quellen decides to take that out on Splig. His second attack (literally) came up short so only minor hit. Luckily Splig is slow as can be and can't even close to attack range. Not so for Tetherys who runs all the way over and knifes Splig. Avric is winded by moving and only gets halfway there before deciding to rest up for the fight.
The new event will give Splig a bonus to his attack, but Tetherys makes it a moot point by gutting the bastard for the win.
The heroes' assault on the cave resulted in the defeat of Splig and his minions, and the rescue of Frederick. Frederick asked to be taken to the Barons, realizing the import of the Shadow Binder hunt.
First (of course), we head back to town to spend our loot, picking up a nice Iron Battleaxe and a Belt of Alchemy (lets you easily get rid of conditions).
Hrmph. I realized I cheated in there standing up AND resting my heroes the couple of times they were knocked out. Ah well. I also realized there was errata for the quests, so I printed that out to try and make sure the remaining quests were adjusted properly where needed.
Kristabelle Du Bast
Great session report! I am playing through the Shadow Rune campaign using RAOVv4 and really enjoying it. Played Interlude 1 last night, losing to the overlord mainly because the Widow refused to swim!