Hello again! Today we begin our first dungeon delve. Let’s set the story:
As you are traveling toward Arhynn, you come across the still-smoldering remains of a traveling caravan. One of the caravan guards, wearing the livery of Baron Greigory, lies wounded nearby. “An ambush,” he gasps. “That ettin is sending his minions straight into Arhynn through the secret path! How could he have known?”
Ahead, you see the lumbering, two-headed form of an ettin. “He said his name was Mauler. You must stop him!”
Mauler’s goblin minions are taking a secret route to attack Arhynn, Baron Greigory’s seat. If too many of his goblins escape off the far side of the trail, Mauler will have triumphed over you. Your goal is to kill him before that happens.
With the scene set, let’s look one more time at the map:
The heroes are the grey figures entering the map at the southeastern edge. Goblins are moving in from the east (3 white minions and 1 red master goblin), and Mauler waits to the north (master Ettin — note that master Ettins normally have 8 health, but Mauler gets +2 health per hero for a total of 14). Remember, the overlord doesn’t need to defeat the heroes to win the scenario — he just needs 5 goblins to escape off the northwestern portion of the map (see the stairs above the lake). The heroes have to destroy mauler before 5 goblins escape. The heroes have one advantage — they will take their action first.
“I smell me some goblins!” shouts Grisban as the team moves away from the fallen soldier. “Let’s butcher the lot!” He raises his sword and moves through the fields, towards the howling, chittering sounds coming from the north.
Mechanically, Grisban begins his turn by using his fatigue, which he can spend to move extra spaces without using one of his 2 actions (note the yellow tear-shapes on his character card in the previous post). Grisban uses his fatigue to move 3 spaces (1 fatigue remaining), directly beside the front line of goblins.
“Die, vile creatures!” Grisban screams as he swings his sword straight towards the head of the closest goblin.
For his first action, Grisban attacks one of the minion goblins. To determine whether Grisban hits, we roll the number of dice listed on his great sword card (1 blue and 1 red). Heart symbols indicate damage, lightning bolts are surges, and numbers are generally only used for ranged attacks (Leoric will need to pay attention to these values). An X on the blue die means that your attack completely missed. Grisban rolls 4 hearts and 1 surge. Grisban can choose how to use his surge after the goblin has rolled defense dice. The goblin rolls 1 grey defense card (see his monster card) and rolls 1 shield, preventing 1 damage, but 3 damage still gets through. As the goblin only has 2 hit points, the goblin is defeated and Grisban gains 1 valor due to his “valor of heroes” skill. He also uses the 1 surge to increase his fatigue by 1 (2 total fatigue).
“One down, three to go!” Grisban swipes his axe to the side and slaps the nearest goblin on the side of the head (2 damage, 1 shield).
Avric strides up beside Grisban (1 move action). “By the power of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I spite thee!” Avric swings his mace towards the recently injured minion goblin (2nd action) and knocks the life out of him (4 damage, 1 shield = 3 total damage = 1 dead goblin).
Leoric moves behind the other heroes (1 action) and turns to face Mauler. “Fowl Ettin, feel the sting of my power!” Leoric shouts, and unleashes a burst of energy at the Ettin (1 attack, 2nd action). Mauler steps nimbly to the side and begins to advance on Leoric (2 hearts, 4 defense, no damage). His heads growl in unison, “Little wizard, I will smash you to goo!” (Baldur’s gate reference, for those who care)
It’s time to begin the Overlord’s turn. At the beginning of his turn, the Overlord draws a new Overlord card and is allwoed to bring in re-inforcements (1 goblin minion is returned to the board on the goblins’ starting tile). The overlord cackles maniacally to himself.
“Weesa outta here!” the goblins shout in unison and move smoothly through the legs of the heroes (1 movement action — scamper ability lets them move through heroes). The 3 goblins quickly move around the lake (2nd move action) towards the secret tunnel to Arhynn. Who can stop them?
“No one stops Mauler!” shouts the Ettin, who moves into a tight corridor to prevent the heroes from following his team of goblins (1 move action). He raises his club and roars, “Die, slimy mage!” With the force of a hurricane, his club falls towards Leoric. Moving with unexpected swiftness, Leoric steps to the side and the club smashes against the empty earth (the Ettin rolled a miss — see below).
The overlord howls in fury. “I will not stand for this!” Drawing upon his unholy power, the overlord rewinds events to just before the Ettin struck (the overlord played one of his overlord cards, dark fortune).
Dark fortune gives the Ettin the opportunity to re-roll one of his dice. The overlord chooses the blue die (obviously). A shift in space time warps the Ettin’s features. His club moves back to it’s original position and Leoric shifts back into the Ettin’s line of sight. “Uhhhhh…you not so lucky this time!” the Ettin shouts and swings his club from the side (3 hearts vs 3 shields, plus Leoric’s damage mitigation ability means 2 hearts vs 3 shields = no damage). Leoric deftly ducks below the blow and readies himself for another attack.
This is the board at the end of Round 1:
Note that Grisban made one mistake — he forgot to use his horn of courage to provide valor to another hero! We’ll remember next turn.
Grisban, hearing the shout of the Ettin, turns and rushes the giant beast (1 movement action). “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size!?” Grisban shouts as he rakes Mauler across the chest (1 attack = 1 valor [1 extra damage] + 1 surge [1 extra damage due to his sword’s ability]+ 5 hearts = 7 damage! Mauler rolled 2 shields — 7 – 2 = 5 total damage — final life total = 14 – 5 = 9 health remaining). “ARRRRRRRRR!” Mauler shouts as he falls to one knee. “You will pay for that, stinking dwarf.” Grisban blows his horn of courage in response (Avric gains 1 valor token)
Leoric moves away from the Ettin (2 fatigue to move back 2 spaces) and raises his rune as he again focuses his energy (1 attack action). ZAP! A small blast of energy hits Mauler’s right arm (3 hearts, 2 defense = 1 damage = 8 health remaining). “Ah, where is my power?” Leoric shouts. Leoric breathes and feels the energy of the earth flowing into him. “Beast, you will know pain!” he shouts as his hand extends forth one more time. A brilliant flare blasts the Ettin in one of it’s faces (1 attack, 5 damage, 1 surge, 3 shields — Leoric uses his pierce skill to remove 2 shields — 4 total damage, 4 health remaining). The Ettin’s right head lolls to the side, out of the fight. “MAULER 1! WAKE UP!” Mauler head 2 shouts, but Mauler 1 fails to stir. The Ettin turns towards the mage. “You will suffer for that, little one.”
Avric shifts into the gap created by Leoric (2 fatigue, 2 fatigue remaining). “Ettin, you will cause no more suffering on my watch!” Avric swings wildly at Mauler’s torso (1 attack action). Mauler, whose energy has been renewed by the loss of his brother, uses his club to knock away the fierce attack (3 hearts, 5 shields, no damage). Avric quickly turns and catches the Ettin on the knee (2 hearts + 1 valor token (1 damage), 2 shields = 4 – 1 = 3 total health remaining). Mauler seems barely phased by the weak blow, but breathes heavily due to his other wounds.
The overlord draws an additional overlord card, reinforces (1 additional minion goblin added to the board), and begins preparing his devious strategy (though he’s beginning to think that Mauler may not be the best ally). To begin the round, the overlord plays word of misery, which causes 1 extra fatigue to a hero whenever that hero is damaged. “Let’s see how those pesky heroes like them apples!”
“Wesa free!” shout the 3 goblins near the lake, who quickly scamper off to cause havok in Arhynn (2 movement actions, 2 more goblins must escape for the overlord to win). The newly spawned goblin notes the 3 heavily armed warriors. “Oh Mysa!” he shouts, and scampers through the heroes and under Mauler’s legs towards the lake (2 movement actions). Mauler, who is quite hurt, sits on Avric (1 attack action, 1 damage, the overlord plays dark might, which provides a surge to Mauler for 3 extra damage, no shields rolled, 4 total damage, 8 remaining health for Avric). “Ah, my energy, she drains!” shouts Avric from underneath Mauler (1 fatigue removed, 1 fatigue remaining). “This must be the work of that dastardly overlord!”
“Ah, what is this I sense?” Leoric, who doesn’t really like Avric and wants some treasure, moves south, away from his comrades (1 movement action) where, hidden amongst the lillies, lies an old bottle, still filled with elixir. Leoric recognizes the damage this flask can cause. “A fire flask! This will smoke those goblins out!” (ranged attack item, hits multiple targets [blast] when a surge is rolled. Note also that this treasure provides the heroes with 50 gold at the end of their adventure, whether they use it or not).
Grisban, meanwhile, leaps at Mauler. “Die, beast!” Mauler falls to the ground. Grisban’s slash separates both heads (Mauler 1 AND Mauler 2) from Mauler’s body (5 damage, 1 shield, 3 health – 5 health = defeat for the Overlord). “WE TRIUMPH!” Grisban yells. The remaining goblin looks at the body of his commander, turns, and scampers into the wild. One of Mauler’s heads (Mauler 1, in case you cared — the Overlord does) opens it’s eyes and (somehow) says “Though we may die, we are but servants of the almighty Overlord. Our master will be triumphant in the end! Arhynn will fall!”
The world is a safer place due to our heroes. But the overlord still lurks, and his power grows. Will the heroes continue to be victorious over the powers of darkness? Or will the overlord reign supreme?
A few closing comments: the heroes and overlord receive 1 experience point for this adventure. The heroes can gain new abilities, and the overlord can add new cards to his deck. Here are the cards the heroes and the overlord selected:
Unholy ritual allows the Overlord to draw additional overlord cards; he can cycle more quickly through his deck to find just the right cards for any situation. Grisban’s special ability (Glory of Battle) allows him to provide more valor to his fellow heroes, which can now be used to increase defense rolls. Leoric’s new ability (Exploding Rune) will be able to hit multiple targets with a single attack at the cost of 1 fatigue. Avric can now heal himself and other heroes when he successfully attacks withhis new ability, Blessed Strike. With well equipped heroes and a passionate and dangerous Overlord, only lady luck can predict who will ultimately be victorious. Tune in next time — we’ll be playing our second adventure, The Cardinal’s Plight!