Michael
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After playing my first session with Drizzt last week, I was eager to see how Wulfgar would play out. Returning from his travels to the south, the barbarian followed himself in unfamiliar terrain. He cursed himself for being so careless. He should have noticed that the fallen leaves were piled up less at that particular spot. But he didn’t. And so he tumbled and fell. He was in a tunnel. To his relief, there was light. And there were noises. Whoever or whatever lived in the tunnels would help him get to safety. And if these were foul creatures, they would dread the day that Wulfgar, Son of Boernegar fell into their lair.
I chose to play the Wrath of Ashardalon Solo Adventure, “A Day in the Life of a Hero”. As my powers, I went with that what’s shown on the picture below with one exception: I picked “Rampage” over “Recuperating Strike” since I found it more thematic. Wulfgar is all about offense, and I was curious to see if his high Hit Poins would make up for his low AC.


I noticed that the Legend of Drizzt Rulebook has special rules for starting Treasure Cards but went with the WoA rules for this adventure. Wulfgar started with a +2 Magic Sword, which was probably one of the better cards I could have drawn.
The start could not have been worse. I revealed a black triangle and a Gibbering Mouther. The Encounter was an Event-Attack at +4 for 3 Damage and Dazed. I rolled a 10 and realized that not many other Heroes would have been hit with that attack. The Monster hit, too, and Wulfgar was already down to 8 Hit Points.

Being dazed, I considered to throw Aegis-Fang at the Gibbering Mouther but decided to explore instead. This way, I would likely be able to use Rampage on my next turn. An Orc Smasher hit me on a roll of 4 on the die. Wulfgar could take it and had still more Hit Points remaining than any Wizard in his study. I hit the Mouther, missed the Orc and ran off. A poisoned dart arrow hit, and a Grell lurked in this part of the tunnels.


The Grell lashed out with its tentacles, and Wulfgar found himself dazed, poisoned and badly hurt. He was angry! With his Special Ability kicking in, the barbarian would now crush even powerful foes with a single blow of his warhammer. Two 17s, and both Monsters went down under the great man’s rampaging strikes. He shook off his poisoned condition, found a Lucky Charm, and – finally – his fate seemed for the better.
This notion changed rather quickly when the tunnels suddenly became unbearable hot, and a bear struck Wulfgar right in the face. A bear! He had battled yeti in his homeland, and this creature just knocked him out. It couldn’t be!

Up he hopped, his Hit Points back to a respectable 6. Until this point, Wulfgar had not been missed by a single attack.
I ran off into the other direction after hitting the bear with Aegis Fang. The beast was injured but standing – and in swift pursuit along with its orc friend. On the other side of the hallway, I ran into three Legion Devils. With an attack bonus of +11, I didn’t even need to roll the die – their hellish skill with the blade was too much for Wulfgar to avoid.

Furious, Wulfgar roared to Tempus, the God of Battle, and brought Aegis-Fang down in a sweeping arc. The Great Cleave power sent all devils back to their dark place. The barbarian took a few heartbeats to tend to his wounds (Healing Herbs) and picked up the ring that one of the devils had dropped. Back to 5 Hit Points, Wulfgar aimed the curious ring at the bear and... a shooting star struck the beast down.
Back to my initial route of exploration, I ran into another Grell and was still being followed by the orc. Wulfgar dodged the tentacle attack thanks to a 2 on the die. Finally, he had avoided damage!
After hitting the Grell with Aegis-Fang, Wulfgar ran right past the orc. There was daylight. How could he have missed that before, he wondered. Wanting nothing more than to get away from this stinking place, the barbarian started to run up the stairs when a small creature stepped into his path. “I am Meerak, servant of the mighty dragon, and you shall not pass!”. Clearly, someone had watched the Lord of the Rings a few too many times, and some three-foot reptilian was overconfident to take on a 7-foot hero of Icewind Dale. Or was he? The small creature commanded the orc to help blocking the exit, and both hit Wulfgar who was down to 2 Hit Points and really angry.

I hit both, Orc and Meerak, with Rampage. With his Special Ability back in play, the Orc Smasher was pulverized. Drawing the “Lost” Encounter card, Wulfgar was given a break. I still had enough XP to cancel one more encounter. Meerak stabbed his sword past the barbarian’s defences, and down went Wulfgar. In the meantime, the Grell was close enough to attack in the next round, as well. I briefly considered to use my Lucky Charm, but with an attack of +8, Meerak wouldn’t miss my AC of 12 very often. It would be more useful for my own attack roll, I hoped.

Having spent my last Healing Surge, I hit Meerak with Aegis-Fang but took the kobold's sword in return. To make matter worse, the Grell’s tentacles wrapped poor Wulfgar up from behind. The barbarian was down to 3 Hit Points, Meerak was down to 3 Hit Points, and the Grell had 1 remaining. Wulfgar was raging, but I needed one hit on the Grell and two to bring down this nasty kobold. The die showed an 8 against the Grell – an exact hit thanks to the initial I rolled a 19 to hit Meerak. “Tempus”, Wulfgar roared, and this game was essentially over. A wandering monster (Encounter) thought about wading in, but one stern look of the barbarian sent it back into a dark recess of the tunnel. I wouldn’t have any more XP to cancel another Encounter Card but didn’t expect that I’d need one.
Meerak hit again (on a roll of 4), but Wulfgar flexed his muscles and jumped right over the reptilian. Standing tall and strong on the stairs, towering above Meerak, Wulfgar’s voice resonated through the tunnels. “Dragon, I will come for you next!”, he screamed.

Down went Aegis-Fang, intending to take Meerak’s head right off. A 3 on the die. Meerak ducked and grinned wickedly. “You will make nice food for mighty Ashardalon, fool.”, he said. Wulfgar had only one word for him. “Tempus!”. The barbarian’s Lucky Charm glowed a faint light blue, and a vicious back-hand sent Aegis-Fang the kobold’s way. A 4 on the die. Another miss. This kobold was as good a fighter as many dwarves that Wulfgar had encountered. Suddenly, the earth shook, and Wulfgar tumbled to the ground.
The barbarian was down. Meerak slithered over, and whispered into his ear: “Now, you will meet my master.” The sword pummel hit Wulfgar for good measure, and the mighty Hero went unconsious.
Somewhere deeper in the caverns, the voice of his master made Meerak forget how close he came to die in battle. “You have done well to keep this fool alive, my servant. Send word of his capture and we will soon see so-called heroes from all the lands. They will come to save this weakling, and in doing so, they will bring all their treasure to me.”

Some concluding remarks
Wow, Wulfgar IS squishy. Surely, I didn’t draw a singly 1 XP monster, and the last dice rolls were not in my favour. But monsters in WoA have an average attack bonus of 7.5 (8.0 in CaR). Not many will miss Wulfgar’s AC of 12, and even 12 Hit Points (+2 for Healing Herbs +12 for two Healing Surges +2 for Levelling Up won’t get you too far.
On the other hand, even if I would select Recuperating Strike, Wulfgar would only attack at +5 to heal himself. With an average monster AC of just over 14, I can see many frustrating battles. I do think, however, that Wulfgar will be more valuable in co-operative games. If other Heroes with higher AC will take some of the attacks away from him, his offensive arsenal could prove very valuable. His Rage ability especially, will always come in at the end of games. As such, the barbarian could be really useful when taking on Villains.

Edited to re-arrange some pictures.
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Rob Gleason
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I thought Wulfgar had an AC of 14 instead of 12? Wulfgar definatly isn't as good a piece as Drizzt is. With a low AC and attack bonuses of +5, luck will determine his fate more so then other characters. Someone that is a above average roller will need to play him or the experience will most likely end up being a frustrating one.

edit~ Wow I guess his AC is only a 12, thats horrible. Geez even a 14 is bad but a 12, were they trying to make Wulfgar unplayable?
 
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Alejandro Rascon
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Or a very "devil may care about armour" adventurer. I haven't read the books, so i dunno if maybe he strips when he fights. XD
 
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Michael
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I think that Wulfgar has his good sides as well. His Aegis-Fang at-will, for instance, has an attack bonus of +9, which is very good. Is also functions at range (although at only +5).

Having an at-will that lets him attack twice is also gold. It's even slightly better than Vistra's Reaping Strike, and it gets really vicious when Wulfgar's Special Ability comes to play (+1 damage when 4 or less Hit Points remaining). Up to 4 points of damage with an at-will? That's a Feral Troll (a 4 XP monster) gone right there. And Villains could be in trouble, also. And once you get the Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+1 damage with this item), he's downright insane.

I guess that the designers had in mind how each of the three melee-based companions would deal with incoming attacks. Drizzt deflects them with his scimitars (incredibly well done with the Twinkle Stance in my opinon). Bruenor is just tough to hit in his dwarven armor and shield (at-will Stance for the highest AC in the game and option to go offensive - also really well designed). And Wulfgar, well, he's just the toughest guy out there and simply takes the damage like a barbarian does. I mean, he has 26 Hit Points in a solo game! Just to put it into perspective, an average Hero (8 HP) has 16.
Also keep in mind that I drew only 2 and 3 XP monsters and some nasty traps in my session.

I'm looking forward to play him again in a cooperative game when in October. I guess with the right "teammates", he won't be the primary target of monster attacks and really shine.

Alejandro, in the novels, Wulfgar is incredibly tough, often taking a barrage of minor attacks and simply shrugging them off. He doesn't wear proper armor (only fur). He is, however, depicted as being very nimble for a man of his stature and learned how to deflect attacks with his warhammer. I guess the low AC makes sense in comparison with the other heroes, and a higher AC would have unbalanced his high Hit Point total which is very thematic.

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Alejandro Rascon
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Thought so.
Thanks Michael!
So, if iwant to start reading, read the prequels?
I ordered the comic book but dunno where that is going to start.
 
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Michael
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morgothrond wrote:
Thought so.
Thanks Michael!
So, if iwant to start reading, read the prequels?
I ordered the comic book but dunno where that is going to start.


This will be really hard, but I highly, highly recommend not to open the comic, yet. It actually takes place right after the novel "Gauntlgrym" which is the newest book. The comic, although just a few pages long, has THREE massive spoilers in it if you haven't read Gauntlgrym.

If you want to start reading the series, I recommend to start with the "Icewind Dale Trilogy". These are the first books written by Salvatore and feature the five companions Drizzt, Catti-Brie, Bruenor, Wulfgar and Regis. The books also cover much of the Board Game. You'll get to read the background to the "Search for Mithral Hall Adventure", know about Errtu (the main Villain in the Board Game) as well as Artemis Entreri (one of the Board Game's other Villains).
http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Drizzt-Boxed-Books-IV-VI/dp/078...

If you enjoy the series, you can either read the "Dark Elf Trilogy"
http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Drizzt-Boxed-Books-I-III/dp/078...
These books feature the origin of Drizzt and introduce some of the other Villains of the Board Game: Yvonnel and Jarlaxle Baenre and the Mind Flayer, El-Viddenvelp.

If you just want to go on with the story without having a particular interest in Drizzt, you can continue with "The Legacy" which are actually four books. I think it used to be one, but I could be mistaken (I just remember having this massive paperback with a different cover years ago.)
http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Drizzt-Books-7-10-Starless/dp/0...
These books feature another scenario in the Board Game - the attack by the drow on Mithral Hall. The books also feature two of Drizzt's siblings (both occurred in the Dark Elf Trilogy, as well) who are part of the game: Dinin Do'Urden and Vierna Do'Urden (the promo card).

The Legend of Drizzt series concludes with these books:
http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Drizzt-Boxed-Set-Books/dp/07869...

After that, three more trilogies have been/ are about to be released. The "Hunter's Blade Triology" features the war against King Obould and his horde of orcs. I don't think that anything of these books is part of the Board Game.
http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Blades-Trilogy-Gift-Set/dp/078...

The following trilogy advances the timeline in the Forgotten Realms setting by 100 years and has some dramatic changes. It has some more appearances of two of the Board Game Heroes/ Villains, Jarlaxle and Athrogate.
http://www.amazon.com/Transitions-Gift-Set-R-Salvatore/dp/07...

The most recent book is the previously mentioned "Gauntlgrym". One of the scenarios has Drizzt and Bruenor racing towards the gate of Gauntlgrym against Jarlaxle and Athrogate. Without giving away too much, this is connected to the novel, too.
http://www.amazon.com/Gauntlgrym-Neverwinter-Book-Nights/dp/...
In October, the continuation of Gauntlgrym will be released, Neverwinter.
http://www.amazon.com/Neverwinter-Saga-Book-II/dp/0786958421...

Then there is a collection of short stories which I thoroughly enjoyed. Each story has a foreword by Salvatore. One story describes the origin of Guenhwyvar, while one deals with Bruenor as a young dwarf. However, if you get these stories, do not read "Irundaloon" or "To Legend he goes" before finishing "The Ghost King" (the book before Gauntlgrym), or you will encounter spoilers.
http://www.amazon.com/Collected-Stories-Legend-Drizzt-Forgot...

If you have enough after the Icewind Dale Trilogy or prefer comics, both, the Icewind Dale - and Dark Elf Trilogy are available in comic format.
http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Realms-Legend-Homeland-Print...

Lastly, there is a "Reader's Guide to the Legend of Drizzt" which has two pages to summarize the main events of each book, introduces all characters and the region around the Legend of Drizzt. The books includes the first 13 books of the series, so it stops before the Hunter's Blade Trilogy.
http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Legend-Drizzt-Philip-Athans/dp...

Hope this helps. Any questions, just shoot.
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Tristan Hall
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Zwerg wrote:
he has 26 Hit Points in a solo game!


Shouldn't that be 24 (12 HP + 2 x 6 HP surges) for Wulfy? Or am I missing something?
 
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Michael
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ninjadorg wrote:
Zwerg wrote:
he has 26 Hit Points in a solo game!


Shouldn't that be 24 (12 HP + 2 x 6 HP surges) for Wulfy? Or am I missing something?


I had the Healing Herbs Utility in there (you or an adjacent Hero regains 2 Hit Points.
 
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Sweet.
 
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Rob Gleason
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You do bring up some excellent points Zwerg. Wulfgar seem to have some merits after all. I guess I shouldn't make assumptions about characters until all their abilities are known and had a chance to play with them.
 
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Jason Miller
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Zwerg I would just like to say thank you for you being very productive contributor to our community. I really enjoyed this. Thanks
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Alejandro Rascon
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Zwerg wrote:
morgothrond wrote:
Thought so.
Thanks Michael!
So, if iwant to start reading, read the prequels?
I ordered the comic book but dunno where that is going to start.


This will be really hard, but I highly, highly recommend not to open the comic, yet.


Oh my...
Thanks for telling me this, and IT IS gonna be hard not to open it; XD

I already ordered the Ice Wind books.
Thanks a bunch
 
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Michael
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Drenik wrote:
Zwerg I would just like to say thank you for you being very productive contributor to our community. I really enjoyed this. Thanks


Thanks for the kind words. I'll write up some more session reports in October. My wife is also a huge fan of the Drizzt series and is looking forward to play Drizzt's wife, Catti-Brie. She's just not into playing things without the proper miniature and card deck, so she will stick with her current favourite (the dwarf Vistra) in our games. But when October gets here, and we'll be joined by a friend who loves Bruenor Battlehamer, I'll put up some reports of 2, 3 and 5 player games.
 
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