Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Ruin of Nimbar Adventure 7: The Paths Of Night

"There is another way in to the City. It is not known by many and the few who know it will not be want of knowing...for it is a path of maddening darkness and danger. But it will lead you to the very door of the Tower of Altoth."

Following the meeting in Dal Haleth, the Mage Scion Eladrion set out with the last of the starfire crystals and opened the rift to the traverse the Lai T'run Fael, the mysterious Paths of Night which enables travel between the realms. Hoping that this path will secretly lead them to the tower in the besieged city of Astifoorn, Eladrion along with the Drow Ranger Drizzt, the Cleric Quinn, Druid Aldred and Necromancer Lolth, have embarked on the impossible quest to restore the crystals to the Everlast Forges. In a quiet clearing within the deepest parts of the forests, Eladrion used Arcane knowledge to create a vortex and, with a final glance at the serene peace of Dal Haleth, the heroes stepped though and into the Paths of Night. But as soon as the rift into the vortex opened, a second rift appeared and a Death Tyrant, a chaos-tainted undead Beholder followed the Heroes into the void.

Goal: Transport 4 starfire crystals through the Arcane Circle.
Number of Heroes: 2-4 (Group Adventure). Recommended: 4.
Suggested Heroes:
* Eladrion, Elven Mage - custom, see Mage Scion Build.
* Quinn, Human Cleric - WOA.
* Drizzt, Drow Ranger - LOD,
* Aldred, Elf Druid - custom, see Druid Build.
* Lolth, Necromancer - custom, see Necromancer Build.

Healing Surges: 4

Adventure Setup:
* One 20 Tile stack of random dungeon tiles, shuffled (no exits, stairways or vaults).
* One 20 Tile stack of ANY random dungeon/cavern tiles, shuffled.
* Arcane Circle Tile from CR.
* Any one Start Tile from CR/ WOA/ LOD.
* 12 Time Tokens.
* 4 HP Tokens
* D20 dice (I used 3 separate ones for Warps/ Tyrant movement).

Special Components In This Adventure:
* Death Tyrant monster card (see below) and 4 Death Tyrant tokens/ miniatures.
   (The ones I used are the Caco-Demons from the Doom Boardgame).

Death Tyrant Villain Card:

Death Tyrant Token (if needed):

When You Start The Adventure, Read:
A maddening silence eschews and all around you lie the ethereal cosmos that stretch out above and behind you into an infinite universe. The void is both beautiful and frightening and you find yourself being pulled through time and memory. Somewhere, off in the distance, lies the Arcane Circles which the Mages of Old used to travel between the realms. If you can reach it, you can transport the starfire crystals across to the Forges of Astifoorn. But be careful! The Void is perilous and prone to maddening Time and Space Warps. Also a Death Tyrant, a chaos spawned Beholder, has also entered the Paths of Night and is relentless in its pursuit of you!

Starfire Crystals:
You can use any colored gems/ beads to denote the crystals. At the start of the game, give each Hero 2 starfire crystals and place it on that Hero's stats card.

Place the 20 Tile Stack of dungeon tiles to one side. Then lay the 20 tiles from the random tile stack facedown in a 4x5 grid as indicated in the picture below. Use removeable labels/ stickers to number the tiles, starting from the topmost left (#1) to the bottom right tile (#20). Place the start tile facedown connected to Tile #1 (the topmost left facedown tile). This map represents the void/ Paths of Night and each tile in it is known as a Night Tile. Place your Heroes on the Starting Night Tile.

Paths of Night Setup: 4 x 5 Grid

Starting Tactics:
At the start of the game, before the first player starts his Hero Phase, roll a D20 and place the Arcane Circle Tile on the matching numbered Night Tile. For example: If this rolled a 14, the Arcane Circle would be on the 14th Night Tile as indicated in the picture below. Start the Time Warp Counter (see Time Warp Tactics below). Then roll a second D20 and place the Death Tyrant Figurine on that Night Tile. (If you Time Warped and there are more than one Death Tyrants in play, roll a D20 for each of them and place them accordingly). See above image for explanation.

Time Warp Tactics:
Place 12 Time Tokens face-up in a row to one side of the board. At the start of each Hero's Hero phase, flip over a time token. Once the last time token has been turned, a Time Warp occurs! Remove all 'explored' tiles and monsters except for the Arcane Circle Tile and any Death Tyrants currently in play. Then repeat the Starting Tactics above. You will need to find the Arcane Circle again!
Note: The Time Warp may only occur a maximum of 4 times (use HP tokens to keep track of time warps). After that the Arcane Circle Tile vanishes and your Heroes are trapped in the void forever!

Space Warp Tactics:
If your Hero is on a Night Tile at the END of his Exploration phase and there are NO monsters on the current tile, your Hero undergoes a 'Space Warp'. Roll a D20 and place your Hero on the matching numbered tile. Then Roll a second D20 and move the Death Tyrant to that numbered tile. The agents of Chaos are warping as well! (If there are more that one Death Tyrants in play, roll a D20 for each of them and place them accordingly).
Note: Hero's that have warped onto the same tile MAY exchange starfire crystals (one crystal per turn).

Exploration Tactics:
If your Hero is on a Night Tile at the START of his Exploration phase and there are ONE or MORE monsters on that tile, the Hero cannot explore or warp away from that tile until the Monster is defeated.
If your Hero is on a Night Tile at the START of his Exploration phase and there are NO monsters on the current tile, your Hero may choose to explore the current tile. Draw a random tile from the dungeon tile stack and place it face-down on top of your current tile. Rotate the tile to choose your orientation for it and then flip it over.
Note: Your Hero is now 'locked' into a normal dungeon and cannot return to the Night Tiles by movement unless some special card allows for it.
The normal exploration rules now follow: Place a new monster and draw an encounter card if needed (we used encounters from the WOA boardgame). You may now follow the standard game rules of movement, exploration and tile placement and 'build on' to your existing explored tile to try and connect with the Arcane Circle.

Monster Tactics:
If your Hero is on a Night Tile at the START of his Exploration phase and there are NO monsters on the current tile and you choose NOT to explore the current Night Tile, then draw a monster card from the top of the monster card deck and place the monster on the current tile. That monster activates as per normal during the villain phase. That monster is now 'locked' in space to that Night Tile and cannot move to a new tile unless a Death Tyrant warps it (see Death Tyrant Tactics) OR any one Hero explores that tile. Monsters do not warp along with Heroes. Any hero warping onto a Night Tile with a monster may engage that monster in battle.

Arcane Circle Tactics:
Whenever a Hero carrying a starfire crystal either space warps onto the Arcane Circle (see Space Warp Tactics) or reached it through exploration (see Exploration Tactics), that Hero may spend 5XP to teleport the crystals through the void and safely to the Everlast Forges. Then that hero MUST immediately Space Warp. If that Hero lands on the Arcane Circle again, he may spend another another 5XP to teleport himself out of the void. Remove that Hero from the game.

Death Tyrant Tactics:
The Death Tyrants are relentless in their pursuit of you and the crystals:
  • If the Death Tyrant is on an unoccupied Night Tile at the start of any Hero's Villain Phase, the Death Tyrant space warps to a new tile (see Space Warp Tactics above).
  • The Death Tyrant also space warps to a new tile whenever a Hero Space Warps (see Space Warp Tactics above). 
  • Any one monster sharing a Night Tile with a Tyrant also warps along with the Tyrant.
  • If the Death Tyrant is on a tile with 2 or more monsters it undergoes a Demonic Surge! (see the monster's villain cards for tactics).
  • If the Death Tyrant space warps (not moves) onto the Arcane Circle Tile, the Chaos Beholder undergoes a Demonic Surge! Roll a D20 to place a 2nd Tyrant figurine on the board. Then, roll twice whenever these demons warp to place each on a different location. The Death Tyrants may only surge a maximum of 4 times.
  • If a Death Tyrant manages to kill a Hero or is on a tile with a Hero that has just been killed and that Hero is in possession of a starfire crystal, remove the crystal from that Hero and place it next to the Death Tyrant Villain card. The Death Tyrant has consumed it!

Special Night Tile Rules:
  • Treat any card ability or effect that has the text 'within x tiles'  as the current Night Tile. Heroes, Traps, Villains and Monsters are 'blind' to adjacent Night tiles for the purpose of this game.
  • Treat any card ability or effect that has the text 'adjacent to' as the current Night Tile. Heroes, Monsters and Villains occupying the same Night Tile are all regarded as adjacent to each other.
  • Any card effect or encounter card effect that requires drawing and placing an additional dungeon tile is done in a random manner: Roll a D20 and place the drawn dungeon face up tile on the numbered Night Tile, placing monsters as instructed. If the number rolled is already an explored Night Tile, roll again until your are able to place the tile. If all the tiles are occupied, discard the effect.
  • Any card or effect that removes a Hero from the board and allows the Hero to placed on any tile afterwards ONLY applies to explored tiles and excludes Night Tiles and the Arcane Circle. You may however place your Hero on an explored tile connecting to the Arcane Circle.
  • Where rules are unclear, card text should be given priority. House-rule where needed.
The Heroes lose the game if:
* You have exceeded the maximum number of time warps.
* All of the starfire crystals have been consumed by the Tyrants.
* Any one Hero is killed and no more Healing Surges remain.

The Heroes win the game if:
* At least 4 of the starfire crystals have been 'teleported' from the Arcane Circle.

* For a slightly longer game: Increase the maximum number of Time Warps to 8. In order to complete the game each Hero MUST also teleport themselves from the void by landing on the Arcane Circle and spending 5XP at the end of the current Hero Phase.
* For a more interesting variation: After each Time Warp, change the layout of the Grid with your own combinations of facedown Night Tile placement. Try a 5x4 or a 10x2 or opt for a lattice of spiral shape! (see below).

When All Of The Starfire Crystals Have Been Teleported, Read:
With the menacing Death Tyrants bearing down on your party, you manage to secure and teleport the last of the starfire crystals through the gateway to Astifoorn. Using a powerful summoning invocation, Eladrion the Mage Scion pulls all of your remaining company onto the Arcane Circle. Powerful shockwaves erupt from the sheer power of the spell and you all tear through the very fabric of the universe. Darkness envelopes you as you are pulled through time and space.. Then a burst and a piercing brightness blinds you as you emerge into the light and a somewhat familiar voice exclaims loudly in surprise and awe: "By Asharah! You lot are most certainly welcomed in these unwelcoming times!".
It is the voice of Tarak Half-Orc, Leader of the Warsworn Legion and Warden of the East.

You breath a sigh of great relief. You made it back to Astifoorn. The Everlast will now be reforged!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Ruin of Nimbar: The Meeting in Dal Haleth

And thus it was that five months to the day since the Gathering of the Wardens in Astifoorn that the three parties that had set out on their individual quests met again, in secrecy, in the ancient dwellings of the Halithoorn, deep within the forests of Dal Haleth. There, under the veil of the light of the First Kings they were hidden from the eyes of the Enemy and, for some time, at peace. So they rested as the sun of the early rebirth of the springtime shimmered between the leaves of the ancient House and the streams with sweet rivers that flowed beneath. And they recounted then all that befallen them of their quests.

For in this gathering were those that had set out to reclaim the starfire from the depths of Firestorm Peak: the Dragonborn Wizard Heskan, the Human Cleric Quinn, the Necromancer Lolth and the Druid Aldred  and it was Aldred who, above all others, was glad of heart to be back home in the lands of his people. There too were gathered the Company of the Hall who had parted from the army of the Dwarves of the Iron Mountains and, with great stealth, arrived in Dal Haleth, even as the shadow of darkness crept menacingly behind them. There was Bruenor - Herald of Clan Battlehammer, the Drow Ranger Drizzt, the Human Archer Catti Brie, the Barbarian Wulfgar and the skilled Assassin Artemis Enteri. And they spoke then of the lands of H'Garth and of the deep darks of Mount Comoth and of the War Council and of the Azkal'ronath - the chanting war music of the Dwarves. And in hearing this the hearts of those who were gathered were lifted for the Army of the Iron Mountains were a force of great reckoning and of great value in the war to come.

Then the Eladrin Wizard Immeril recounted his ordeal within the temple of the Eldar in the Ranarth and of his reuniting with Eladrion, his brother and the last true Scion of the Mages of old. And those that heard the tale stared now with awe and wonder at the Mage Scion, who to them had been but a story of myth and legend.
But Eladrion, who for many years had chosen a life exile, sat now apart and stared off beyond the forests in a quiet reflection. Near him was Lolth, the Necromancer, and he too it seemed, cared little for company and sat hidden almost in shadow. Yet they both listened quietly, for the words of the company were now too great a tale not to be heard ere the final hour approached.

Quinn spoke then of their plight to reclaim the starfire and of the difficulty they endured thereafter:

"Through dangers, torment and great peril did we escape at last the dread of Firestorm Peak and carrying with us the precious starfire crystals and the hope of all of Nimbar. Now could the Everlast again be reforged and the magic of the Shimmer restored but...Alas! The road back to Astifoorn was not an easy one and all paths to and from the Blessed Vale were being watched, We were in need of stealth and secrecy for the Enemy soon learned of our quest and of the crystals we guarded so covetously. It was said that upon discovering the success of our mission, his wrath was so terrible that he smote the lands in the East with such wickedness that they lay all but a barren desert now. Then he sent his hordes in a frenzied assault on us. We were being hunted and our foes were relentless, caring not for rest and they pursued us through day and night. Among our enemies Zaldramas had sent Death Tyrants - cursed Beholders, twisted by his own chaos magic.

Eventually we reached the Forests of Dal Haleth and fled therein, seeking out Aldred's people, who came willingly to our aid and gave us some respite, keeping us safely hidden from the terror of our hunters. Then we sent word to the remaining company and bid you all come for the hour is now upon us and we know not what now lies ahead. But what we well know is that our stay in Dal Halithoorn is ever to be a brief one, for the enemy is remorseless and the Death Tyrants he has sent carry the plague of decay, cursing the very earth over which they move and withering it into ruin."

Then spoke Drizzt Do' Urden, Warden of the North:

"Haste we must make then! For word has reached us that Enemy's plan to destroy the Everlast Forges has failed. Tarak Half Orc and his Legion of Warsworn have the city safely secured...but it is besieged. On all sides. The secret paths are destroyed and there is no way in or out of Astifoorn now, neither by land nor river nor air. And ever the eyes of Zaldramas are watchful. He seeks the starfire crystals and its bearers and he knows that eventually we will attempt to return it to the Tower. So he has laid siege to the City and the might of his forces and hordes have Astifoorn surrounded. Yet, our quest remains unfulfilled - for without the Everlast reforged Nimbar shall truly fall into ruin and all the world turned to memory and dust. What say you now, good friends, for we have need of council..."

"Besieged," spoke Bruenor, "Aye, we are indeed besieged. More so in our minds! Besieged! Hah! Is this not an hour of war?"
And the Dwarf Chieftain stood then and spoke with might of heart and firmness so that his voice seemed to carry with it the beating of the drums of war:
"Too long have we allowed the shadow to grow in the East and grown it has indeed. It has now taken the form of this so called Lord of Chaos. Lord indeed! I have seen many of similar title fall and I say this: Zaldramas' will indeed find us a hardy people to overthrow. For our people are ever the more skilled in craftmanship. If they have iron, then we have steel, if they have armor, then we have Mithril and if their weapons cut through flesh our blades can tear through diamond! Meaning no disrespect to your home Master Druid but far too long have we tarried in these woods. Let now not be the time to parly words under shade of tree and merry streams. Let now be the time where we ride out again, reunited as of the days of old, where we stood firm against our foes. Let now be the time where we lay sword and axe to hilt and strike true! Let now be the time where we ride out! I say we take the fight to him!"

A great stir and murmuring seemed to be in the air and a gust of wind blew in through the top of the trees as if many riders were upon it. But Quinn, the North Warden spoke then and a great smile and laughter was upon him:

"The fires of your Dwarven forges burn ever bright inside you Bruenor of Clan Battlehammer. Indeed our hearts are stirred now to act rather than linger. But Zaldramas already knows that we carry the last of the starfire crystals. He knows too we will attempt to reforge it and it is for this reason that they have laid siege to Astifoorn. He will be expecting us to come...he wants us to take the fight to him so that he may gain the crystals and destroy them for good. For if the crystals are destroyed, then so too the hope of all of Nimbar."
And he sighed before continuing: "As much as it would please me to launch an all out attack, our cause is ever in secrecy. We must get the crystals to the forge without being seen."

"And how indeed North Warden do you propose we do this?" asked Artemis, "You heard it yourself. The City is besieged: there is no way in or out."

A stillness hung in the air and it seemed like all of their hopes were beginning to fade as the light dwindled softly as the last of the afternoon rays eschewed over them.
Then a voice was heard and it carried with it the knowledge of ages past. For Eladrion, Scion of the Mages spoke:
"There is another way in to the City. It is not known by many and the few who know it will not be want of knowing...for it is a path of maddening darkness and danger. But it will lead you to the very door of the Tower of Altoth. This has neither gate nor door and only those with the knowledge of it may cross beyond the veil. It is now no longer known nor spoke of by Men, Elves or Dwarves - save but a few, but in the days of old it was known as the 'Lai T'run Fael'".

At the mention of this a voice was heard to inhale sharply and Lolth, who seldom spoke, had now a trembling in his rasping voice as he exclaimed: "The Paths of Night!"

Eladrion looked then at Lolth and nodded and then looked away, staring into the deep memories of the forests of Dal Haleth as he continued: "Yes Necromancer, the 'Paths of Night'. The world between worlds: A rift between all of our dimensions wherein the very cloth of the universe chooses to unravel itself. Herein time and space have little or no meaning and one may seem to wonder aimlessly for days yet but a drop of dew be in mid-fall in Nimbar. It was this rift by which the Mages of Old wove the realms together and allowed them to travel between. But it is dangerous! For the edges of the realms bleed into this void and with it all the enemies that lay within. This one of great sacrifice, for few have dared walk it less they fall into the madness of the deep dark that awaits therein."

He paused then and turned towards the gathered company: "I have walked the Lai T'run Fael only once before in the company of my master, the Archmage Romarr. It was he who bound the Everlast to the Shimmer and a protection to all of the realms. At the center, lies the great Spire, which you call the Tower of Altoth and though it appears to lie within Astifoorn, it is in fact manifest across all of the known realms. Getting to the Tower is no simple feat. There are Arcane Ruins that act as gates between realms and one may invoke these to cross back into our realm. It would be like crossing a bridge between worlds and you would find yourself in the very room where the great Forge lies. In terms of distance, it is the same distance as we are from Astifoorn...but take no comfort in this...for the measure of space and leagues have little meaning in the void."

"If such a rift exists, does Zaldramas not know of it?" asked Catti Brie incredulously.

Eladrion smiled wryly: "He most certainly knows of it. You see my dear Catti, it was his birthplace. And the birthplace of all the legions of Chaos. But they tore through the rift and sought out and conquered many realms and in doing so, they could never return. The Chaos legions feed off of life and hope and spread evil and darkness. The void is bereft of any life. It is a place of absolute stillness and quietness. There is light but not of the kind we know and there is darkness but not of the kind Zaldramas knows. And though he knows of it, it is not in his mind to dwell on it for the mere thought of it causes him great fear. And it is the only fear he, and all those born out of chaos, truly perceive. But there are those that dare. Chaocites we called them, Undead Beholders, resurrected and tainted with dark chaos magic, they are deadly and they spawn quickly and always in groups of four. It is no mere coincidence, Master Cleric, that Zaldramas sent Death Tyrants to pursue you here. He knows that we might attempt to walk the Paths of Night and his intent is that we do not succeed. His Death Tyrants are the Chaocites - they exist on the fringes of the void and they feed off of all life, good or evil. If a breach to the void is opened, they will most certainly follow. A choice now lies with us...though it is but the only choice to make." 

He turned then to look at Immeril and while he spoke to all, his gaze remained on the Eladrin Elf, his brother and his likeness:

"I shall this very night open the rift and walk this path. And by the blessings of the Mages of Old, carry the crystals through the rift to the Everlast forge. And while I know that many of you would seek to aid me on this quest, I must insist that many more remain. Immeril, my brother, alas that our time reunited has been but brief and now again our paths be split into two. I would ask it of you to join me but you must remain here. For you, above others, have knowledge of the Old Ways and of the Caverns beneath the Ranarth. For should we fail, then Nimbar would have need of one to lead the free people to the places of hiding, wherein none may follow except at great peril. As for the rest of you, I would not ask any join me as the path I now walk is one of great danger and even greater sacrifice."

"Nonetheless, ask or not, I shall most certainly aid you. For though these forests of my home remain fair and green, I would not have the spawn of Chaos upon these lands, " spoke Aldred of Dal Haleth, "I shall join you on your quest Eladrion, for the sake of all that is green and fair. You have my skills as a Druid."

"And a Necromancer," rasped Lolth, "For I have stood on the edge of madness and peered into the void and I have no fear of it. I shall come with you, Eladrion of the Mages."

"As will I," spoke Drizzt, "For the honor of the Company of the Hall. For vengeance against the Drow. For Astifoorn!"

"I too shall join you, " said Quinn, "For you will have want of a cleric and I have traversed through space and time in a spiritual form. It seems only fitting that I undertake a journey of a physical nature in this manner as well. Very well. So shall it be: We shall attempt to return the crystals by undertaking the Paths of Night. Bruenor and the remaining forces will carry on with the war plans and the march towards Astifoorn. Let it be known that the fate of Nimbar hangs now in the balance. May the light of the Mages be with you all as the final hour approaches. May we all meet again under happier times."

And now we come to the last of our Adventures. Join Eladrion,, Drizzt, Quinn, Aldred and Lolth as they attempt Adventure 7: The Paths of Night. Then join our heroes again in the Final Battle as they bring the fight to Zaldramas and his Legions of Chaos!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons: The Mage Class

Following on from my Druid and Necromancer builds, here is my attempt at the Mage Class for the final set of adventures in the Ruin of Nimbar campaign. For the figurine I used a Elf MaleWizard from Nolzur's Marvelous Unpainted Minis (Bought from Wizard's in Stadium on Main, Cape Town but also has availability).

A few tweaks were needed after my initial play through but I am quite pleased with the result: an amalgamation of an Elementalist build I got off of boardgamegeek and my own invention.

Nolzur's Marvellous Minis: Unpainted Elf Male Wizard

Nolzur's Marvellous Minis: Unpainted Elf Male Wizards Unboxed

I used this version for my Mage Build

Breakdown of the Hero build below:

"Only one remained and it was he, who at the very end, bested Blaughir and  Khythri at the Silver River. Some there were who recorded seeing the likeness of the Mages of Old fighting alongside him, the last of the great scions."

Mage Character Card Side 1
Given that Eladrion was built around the latter part of my custom Ruin of Nimbar campaign, it would have seemed appropriate that his stats be slightly higher, given that the campaign has only gotten harder through progressive adventures. However, when compared with the earlier Druid build, our Mage's stats are fair and on-par, with perhaps an above-average Speed value. His innate ability, called 'Surge' enables the recharging (i.e. flipping back up) of an extremely powerful Daily Power but at the cost of sacrificing 2HP. While I will explain the actual Daily Power down below, I wanted (like with the Druid's Wolf Form) some leverage for recharging this power again. Thematically, this untamed raw power requires a sacrifice in our Elven Mage who's alignment is always purely elemental.

Mage Character Card Side 2

Mage At-Will: Card Back

Mage At-Will: Summon Elemental
 Eladrion's primary At-Will ability allows the summoning of powerful Elemental Allies, each with their own unique abilities. Knowing 'when' to cast 'which' Elemental adds an extra dimension to the ability that allows for tactical thinking. For example: Summoning Crush with his -2AC attack to Monsters makes sense early-game. The fact that he sticks by your side and is fairly hardy (2HP) makes him a worthy early ally. Blaze, on the other hand, has a powerful 2 damage Fireball to cast but is almost always on the kill and seeking out enemies, making it a useful ally to summon when their are a few more enemies on the board. Freeze is similar, going after monsters and effectively immobilizing them but both of these allies are easy pickings for stronger monsters, making them useful decoys for late-game tactics. One thing to note (in case it is not obvious), as with most allies in this game series, these Elementals activate first in step 3 of the villain phase. I have included the printable ally cards and tokens for each of these below but feel free to use actual miniature representations of any of these Elementals.
Mage Elemental Ally: Gust (Air)

Mage Elemental Ally Token: Gust (Air)
Mage Elemental Ally: Crush (Earth)

Mage Elemental Ally Token: Crush (Earth)
Mage Elemental Ally: Blaze (Fire)

Mage Elemental Ally Token: Blaze (Fire)
Mage Elemental Ally: Freeze (Water)
Mage Elemental Ally Token: Freeze (Water)

Mage At-Will: Phoenix Song
Eladrion's signature attack is the Phoenix Song, first seen when the Mage Scion was an ally to Immeril in Adventure 6. It's a fairly standard attack with a knock-back advantage and is particularly useful when dealing with multiple monsters or spawns/ swarms of enemies.

Mage At-Will: Lightning Bolt
Similar to the Druid build's Piercing Thorn, this range attack is useful for when you refuse to get up close with nasty Troll with an affinity for garlic and onions.

Mage Daily: Card Back

Mage Daily: Fury of the Elements
The most powerful of Eladrion's powers by far, Fury of the Elements allows you to send all your created allies to Elemental heaven by blowing themselves up. Poof! Infidels...I kill you! This particularly nasty attack is useful for when your allies are bunched up around a big boss-type Monster that needs a few slaps around the old yard.

Mage Daily: Phoenix Blades
Just in case you thought Eladrion's cowering behind his golems and ice creatures, this Daily shows that the aged-Mage still knows how to kick ass ninja style. Wielding 2 razor sharp Phoenix daggers, Eladrion dives in for the kill, charging up t his speed before severing the heads off of 2 Monsters in a furious attack!
Mage Daily: :Lightning Surge
A level-up on the Lightning Bolt, this ranged attack is quick and effective in getting rid of a lot of nasty enemies quickly.
Mage Utility: Card Back

Mage Utility: Summoner's Call
The Summoner's Call Utility is useful for quickly bringing all your Elementals into play without having to wait 4 turns.

Mage Utility: Dimension Warp
A Mage without a teleportation device is like a Timelord without a Tardis. This Utility Power is useful for getting out of tight spots, where your party is immobilized or the music on the current dungeon tile is just low on funk.

Mage Utility: Mage Shield
Mage Shield was initially created to pair with Surge but I needed it to extend to the party as well. The +3AC bonus made sense but adding in the ability to 'regain 2HP' was like the icing on the cake. If you feel this card is too OP then reduce the HP rejuve to 1 HP instead but the Nimbar campaign, we needed this card desperately.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Ruin of Nimbar Adventure 6: The Scion of the Mages

"Only one remained and it was he, who at the very end, bested Blaughir and  Khythri at the Silver River. Some there were who recorded seeing the likeness of the Mages of Old fighting alongside him, the last of the great scions. The Six were destroyed and the shadow of their corruption driven from our lands for good. But the remaining Magician went into exile and now wanders the Ranarth in shadow and secrecy"

Ever since I first delved into Ravenloft so many blood moons ago, I have been itching to get back into the dark and gloomy castle for one more bout of dungeoning. My first play through of CR was with Immeril, the Eladrin Wizard and rather ashamedly, I lost most of those early adventures - needing to double up with either Thorgrim, Kat or Arjan as Immeril's stats are not that great. Nonetheless, I have grown rather fond of the orb-bearing Wizard and thought it fitting to include a solo dungeon crawl with Immeril back into Ravenloft for the Nimbar campaign.

When You Start the Adventure, Read:
Immeril and his companions have searched the Ranarth for days, seeking Eldarion, the last true scion of the Mages of old. As their quest drives them deeper and deeper into the dark and perilous mountains, they are pursued at all ends by fell beasts and monsters. Narrowly escaping an ambush by Orcs, the companions happened across an ancient ruin, a long forgotten temple from the Eldar days. A chill silence hangs in the air and the smell of death permeates but Immeril is drawn towards the temple, certain that his brother is within its walls. But the temple is perilous and only one may be allowed to enter...

Goal: Find Eldarion, the last Scion of the Mages

Number of Heroes: 1 (Solo Adventure).
Suggested Heroes: Immeril Eladrin Wizard(CR).
Hero additions: Immeril starts this adventure with 2 extra HP, 1 additional Utility and 2 additional Wizard Daily Powers (you may use the Heskan's Wizard power cards from WOA).

Healing Surges: 3

Adventure Setup:
All the Castle Ravenloft Dungeon Tiles, set aside the: Start, Secret Stairway, Fetid Den, Dark Fountain and Arcane Circle Tiles.
Shuffle the dungeon tile stack and randomly select 20 tiles. Then remove the top 3 tiles and, without looking at any of the tiles, shuffle in the Dark Fountain tile. Place these 4 shuffled tiles at the bottom of the dungeon tile stack. remove the next 3 top tiles and repeat the process, shuffling in the Fetid Den tile and placing the 4 shuffled tiles at the bottom of the stack. Repeat again for the Arcane Circle and then lastly for the Secret Stairway. The Stairway will now be somewhere after the 20th tile in the stack.

Special Components in this adventure:
* Monster Cards from Castle Ravenloft
* Gravestorm Dracholich figure and stats card.
* Gravestorm's Phylactery token
* Werewolf figurine and stats card.
* Young Vampire figurine and stats card.
* Drow Wizard figurine (or any preferred figurine to represent Eldarion).
* Adventure Treasure cards from Castle Ravenloft.
* Mage Scion ally card (see below).

Treasure Tactics:
Whenever a power or ability destroys 2 or more monsters you may draw a card from the Adventure Treasure Deck.

When you reveal the Dark Fountain Tile, Read:
You stare into the fountain, seeing the face of your brother through the mirror. Eldarion was here but then...he left...and in a hurry too. What manner of beast would give rise to such fear in a Scion of the Mages? Behind you, a sudden growl turns into a vicious snarl as the full moon is illuminated on the surface of the dark waters and from the shadows...bright eyes and razor sharp fangs!

Werewolf Tactics:
* Place the werewolf figurine on the Dark Fountain tile.
* The werewolf activates at the start of your next villain phase.
* Once during your hero phase, you may attempt to 'escape' the werewolf by discarding a treasure card and rolling a D20. If you roll higher than 17, the werewolf slinks back into the shadows on the Dark Fountain tile and will not pursue you.
* You may not attempt to escape the werewolf if the Fetid Den tile in revealed.
* If you defeat the werewolf, you may claim Gravestorm's Phylactery token or 1 Adventure treasure as a reward.

When you reveal the Fetid Den Tile, Read:
Pursued by undead monsters and beasts, you rush across a narrow passage and turn into an enclave. The area is damp with rot and putrid green mosses seems to have spawned over the years. To your horror you see a giant Dracolich, dazed and immobile in the corner of the fetid den. Eldarion was most certainly here. It was he who placed the spell of immobility on the creature. You will need to be careful and very quiet...make too much noise and the Dracolich will awake!

Dracolich Tactics:
* Place the Dracolich figurine on the Fetid Den tile.
* Place 5 HP tokens on the fetid den.
* Until the Arcane Circle tile is revealed, whenever you perform an attack action where your attack bonus > 12 remove one of the HP tokens. You are being too noisy!
* If all of the HP tokens are removed, the Dracolich awakes and activates at the start of your next villain phase.
* If you have Gravestorm's Phylactery, you may spend an attack action to 'destroy' it and reduce the Dracolich's HP by half.
* If you defeat the Dracolich, you may claim 2 treasures or 1 Adventure treasure as a reward.

When you reveal the Arcane Circle Tile, Read:
A powerful surge of lightning rushes past you, disintegrating several of the monsters that pursue you. You gasp in amazement and turn towards the source of this power. There, in the center of the room is a man, robed in emerald and with a fierce radiance flowing through his eyes. It is Eldarion! You rush towards him and he feints a mock surprise. "Well, took you long enough younger brother!" he muses, "what say we finish off these foul creatures and be rid of this dismal dump?" You laugh, despite yourself and clap Eldarion on his shoulder. "Just like old times, hey?"
"Not so fast!" comes a sneering voice behind you. You both turn. Entering the room is a sour-faced Vampire Lord and a horde of undead monsters. "Sorry to break up your brotherly reunion like this, but I'm afraid Lord Zaldramas would like a word with you both. Minions...seize them!"

Arcane Circle Tactics:
* Place the Young Vampire figurine on any square of the Arcane Circle. The Vampire activates at the start of your villain phase.
* Add the Mage Scion Ally card to your hero card pool.
* Place the Mage Scion Ally token next to the active Hero. The Mage Ally counts as a hero and activates first in step 3 of the villain phase.
* Add the remaining dungeon tiles by drawing from the top of the dungeon tile stack and building on from any unexplored edge of the Arcane Circle Tile.
* Continue adding the tiles until you add the secret stairway tile. This is the way out of the dungeon!
* Select the top 7 monster cards and, starting with the secret stairway tile, place 2 monsters on each of the pre-built tiles, working your way back to the Arcane Circle. It's going to be a tough battle out of this mess!
* If you end your Hero phase on the Secret Stairway tile you successfully escape the Dungeon.
* If you defeat the Young Vampire Villain you may claim 1 Adventure Treasure or 2 Treasures as a reward.

When you escape though the Secret Stairway Tile, Read:
With monsters pursuing you in a wild frenzy, you rush up the secret stairway and into the open. Turning towards the decrepit ruins, Eldarion raises his hand and whispers a strange incantation. A piercing bright light illuminates the night sky, rising up like a flaming phoenix before crashing down into the abandoned temple, obliterating everything in its path. You stare in amazement, awed at the power of the Mage Scion. "Brother!" you exclaim, "Zaldramas will bring about the ruin of Nimbar. I was...requested to seek your aid. Will you help us brother? Will you"
With an aged weariness Eldarion turns towards you. "Alas, younger brother. Too far were the years spent apart ere we held these lands safe from darkness. But yet...despite all our efforts, darkness keeps creeping back. I chose to exist in the shadows, away from the memory of a world that I no longer have a place in...I....cannot keep hiding anymore. Yes, I Eldarion, last of the Scions of the Mages shall aid you in the coming war. We shall fight alongside one last time!" 

* You lose if either Immeril or Eldarion is killed and no more healing surges remain.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Unboxing

Tomb of Annihilation! 

The fifth game in the Dungeons & Dragons board game series has landed on my doorstep. The game that has been a high priority on my pull list has finally arrived! Before I dive into the deep dark jungles of Chult with my review and playthrough of the actual game, here's a video I put together for the unboxing of the components. Apologies upfront about the audio, I assure you that all subsequent videos will have a better sound quality.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Ruin of Nimbar Adventure 5: The Siege of Astifoorn

War! Astifoorn, the City of Stars is under siege. Zaldramas, the mysterious Chaos Lord has amassed an army of monsters on the outskirts of the Blessed Vale and is hell bent on penetrating the protective shields that surround the city. The enemy seeks to destroy the ancient forges atop the tower of Altoth wherein the Everlast may be reforged and the chaos driven out of Nimbar. While the remaining Wardens have separated into their own tasks of mustering forces (see: RON: Adventure 4), gathering Starfire see: RON: Adventure 3) and seeking out the last Scion of the Mages (coming soon in Adventure 6!), the fortification and protection of the city has fallen on Tarak Half-Orc, Lord Commander and Warden of the East. Skilled in warfare and combat, Tarak and his remaining War-sworn companions have secured the eastern paths leading up to the battlements at the pass of Ren, the only visible path into the vale. With the eastern front heavily fortified and imbued with deep and ancient magics, the dark tide of the armies of chaos were driven back into the shadows...

When You Start the Adventure, Read:
The eyes of the enemy are ever watchful and they learned soon of two paths, long forgotten and buried deep beneath the very foundations of the Tower of Altoth itself and stretching out, through many narrow passages and into the hidden crypts below a lost and somewhat familiar castle. Zaldramas has summoned hordes of his monsters, led by four of his most powerful generals to break the ancient passageways through the Ravenloft crypts and invade the tunnels below. Knowing that if the forces of darkness infiltrate the Tower, they will destroy the ancient forges and the Everlast will never be remade, Tarak Half-Orc and his battalion of fighters have gathered in arms in the lower foundations of the tower. Here, our brave heroes attempt to make a final stand to drive back the horde and also seal the crypt entrances to stop the monsters from entering the city!

Goal 1: Stop the monsters from getting to the Secure Exit and Tunnel Exit tiles and entering the city.
Goal 2: Seal the crypts and prevent more monsters from spawning and overrunning the lower tunnels beneath the tower!

Number of Heroes: 2 - 4 (Group Adventure). Best with 4 players (recommended).
Suggested Heroes: Tarak (WOA), Keyleth (WOA), Kat (CR), Jarlaxle (LOD), Arjan (CR)

Healing Surges: 4

Adventure Setup:
Start Tile from WOA, Secure Exit Tile, Tunnel Exit Tile, 2 x Long Hallway Tiles (WOA), 2 x Passage Tiles (WOA, connected to Long Hallway), 2 x Narrow Passage Corner Tiles (LOD), 2 x Narrow Passage Tiles (LOD), 6 x Passage Tiles (CR), 1 x Strahd's Crypt Tile (CR), 1 x Crypt of Sergei Tile (CR), 2 x Cavern Edge Tiles (LOD).
This adventure uses a pre-constructed map using the above components (see below).

Pre-Built Map Layout

Special Components in this adventure:
* All the monster tokens except for the '0 monsters' tokens, shuffled face down and separated into 2 stacks.
* Kobold Dragonlord, Werewolf, Orc Shaman, Flesh Golem, Mind Flayer and Duergar Captain villain tokens (shuffled facedown), villain cards and figurines.
* 8 x Time Tokens (or HP tokens)
* Monster card stack (from across all 3 games).
* Treasure card stack (from across all 3 games).
* 2 x Collapsed Tunnel edges (LOD).
* 1 x Crushing Walls Trap Token (CR),
* 1 x Dart Trap (CR).

* Setup the map as shown in the Adventure Setup image above. Monsters will spawn from the coffins on the 2 crypt tiles in separate waves and make their way down the tunnels.
* Your Heroes will start the adventure on the start tile as per usual.
* There are no encounter cards for this adventure.
* Shuffle the 2 monster token stacks as well as the villain token stacks. Then, without looking, place a random villain token after the 4th and 8th monster token in each stack.
* If you are playing a 2 player game, shuffle in one random villain and reduce the monster token stack by removing 5 tokens in each stack.
* If you are playing the recommended 4 player game, give each player an extra treasure card as a starting bonus.
* Divide into groups of 2 and assign your groups to 'secure' each of the tunnels. Randomly have each group select one of the 2 trap tokens and also randomly select 'even' or 'odd' for each group (explained under Tactics below).

* At the start of any Hero's hero phase flip the top of any of the monster token and place the appropriate number of monsters on the relevant crypt tile.
* Heroes may move and attack as per normal. Note the -4AC inside the narrow passage tiles applies to both heroes and monsters/ villains.
* Monsters activate as per normal and will travel down the passageway towards the heroes.
* Villains activate at the start of the villain phase as per normal for all heroes (independent of your group/ squad allocation).
* When defeating a villain, you gain 2 treasure cards for your group.
* After the first villain spawns, a Hero may attempt a suicide mission to 'seal' off the crypt by trying to reach the crypt tile and spending 1 movement action to 'seal the crypt'. Place the collapsed tunnel token over the coffin. No further monsters may now spawn from this passageway.
* When monsters reaches the Long Hallway tile, roll a D20 die at the start of your Hero phase. If the number you have rolled is even and matches your group's choice of even or odd, all monsters on and ahead of the Long Hallway tile moves 1 tile in the direction of the tiles arrow (i.e. towards the exits).

Heroes may spend 5XP to place a trap token marker on any of the normal passage tiles above the narrow passages. Traps activate whenever a monster moves over that tile. Note that traps will also still affect any hero ending their hero phase on a tile with a trap.

* If both crypt tunnels are sealed and no more monsters remain inside the tunnels, the heroes have won the adventure.
* If all the monsters are killed/ defeated and no more monster tokens remain, the heroes have won the adventure.

* If  8 or monsters escape the tunnels the heroes lose the adventure.
* Use the time tokens/ HP tokens to keep track of escaped monsters.
* Note that if a villain escapes the tunnels, it counts as 2 monsters.
* The heroes also lose if any 1 hero is killed and no more healing surges remain, the heroes have lost the adventure.

When The Heroes Are Successful In Stopping The Forces of Chaos, Read:
Victory! As the forces of Zaldramas slink back into the shadows, the tunnels below the crypts are secure. Making their way back up the tower, the battle-weary heroes return to their lodgings for some much needed rest. Along the way, they all stop by the old watering hole to ease their turmoil and mend their wounds and anguish of the day. Around them and blissfully unaware of the great dangers that our heroes have endured, the city folk of the Vale continue in drink and songs of merriment. But for our heroes, this has been a dark day. A day of sword, steel and blood. No words are spoken as they raise their goblets in a silent salute. They are the War-sworn. And this battle only just began.