“I’m not really sure. Anyway, this is Jeff, he says he’s good with traps so we probably don’t need the ROUS anyway.”
“And what bar, pray tell, did you find Jeff in, priest?”
“I’ll have you know that was devotional.”
“Yes, the last one said that too. Just before the razorfiend gutted him, as I recall.”
The Spriggan looked impassively on as the Acolyte and Archer engaged in their usual arguing. All human fleshlings looked alike to her anyway.
Nearby, the Trickster, whose name was not Jeff, fiddled with his pack, desperately trying to organise the bits and bobs therein into some kind of useful order. The Brigand had slunk out of the bar while the Acolyte’s holy gaze was eyeing up a serving wench to attend to some personal business. The Trickster was simply unlucky and naïve enough to make eye contact during the subsequent fracas and eviction.
To compound matters, a travelling minstrel had attached himself the band as they crossed the last ford claiming that a wise woman had foreseen great deeds in their future.
“Maybe for the Archer”, thought the Trickster, “but a tree and a ‘devine’ of Boabeh? Unlikely, still maybe I can pick up some easy loot and then head back to civilisation with him when he realises the wise woman was just a mad old crone.”
“So all we have to do is talk to the miscreant and ask nicely where the gem is.” Stated the Acolyte confidently.
As usual the Spriggan said nothing and the Archer simply threw a withering stare.
“Let’s get on with it then.” She said brusquely.
Crossing the courtyard towards the palace the ground suddenly gave way and belched forth half a dozen crawlers.
“Aha!” Shouted the Trickster, “I have just the thing.”
Rummaging in the top of his pack he grabbed a collection of bolts, cogs and an old saw blade. Moments later a whirring, clockwork, wheeled saw contraption lurched towards the surprised crawlers, cutting half of them down.
Stunned by the effectiveness of their newest companion the other adventurers bold took a while to organise themselves but within short order the Archer and a cloud of very angry bees had made short work of the rest.
“See, easy.” Said the Acolyte, only slightly disappointed that a prayer had not been necessary.
This proved to be a masterstroke of understatement as the jolly band strode confidently into the main hall.
So far Story 2 Act 1 has taken two sessions, early confidence proved to be misplaced as bad luck poor lair management and the appearance of two mini bosses have slowed progress to a crawl.
The first section was cleared easily enough, but the big tile with two lairs rapidly filled up with minions, blocking access to the lairs.
While on tile one the Trickster looked quite impressive it soon became clear that he is not a great complement to the other three characters and is very heavily reliant on the right draw of cards to do much of anything. I spent the majority of the first session watching from the side-lines, never managing to do much of anything, bar a single grenade. Perhaps a well geared Journeyman will be better but due to this, the trickster is my least favourite class to play so far.
My favourite, I think, remains the soldier and as a group we are a little light on threat management, although against a mainly crawler opposition that’s not as important as they are a proximity based attacker.
There are two lairs on the main tile and the grubber lair was taken out pretty quickly. The crawler lair was slightly further away from the entrance though and had time to spawn a lot of minions before the party was in range, effectively blocking it.
Staying on top of the crawlers was proving a major undertaking as we basically hit a stalemate. The Spriggan’s draw was suboptimal and so she powered up quite slowly on this tile. This makes things tricks as she is fulfilling the role of the soldier due to her effective regeneration.
The dead weight of the Trickster left it to the Archer to deal out the majority of the damage. Once again the value of the endless quiver can’t be understated here. Neither can the value of the Harbinger title in reducing the damage potential of the darkness by forcing a courage test.
“Razorfiend! It must be the mate of the one that slew the last Acolyte, where’s this one?”
Unluckily at the start of session 2 the Acolyte drew a threat 8 event and a mini boss showed up, we went with the razorfiend and attendants again as that seemed to fit with the scenario. Closely following that the Darkness spawned a second mini boss and feeling risky we put Etrus on the board. Luckily the mass of crawlers boxed him in giving us time to plan our next move.
I had given up on the Trickster by this point and we agreed to bring in the Brigand again starting at the back of the 6x4 tile entrance to the 12x12.
“By the Holy Rod! The mucker’s exploded!” exclaimed the Acolyte, as the razorfiend’s mucker attendant burst apart in a shower of entrails.
Suddenly in a blur of black fur and blades four crawlers lay in cracked, bleeding heaps. The crawler pack burst apart as the spitters tried to escape the whirlwind of steel.
“I leave for an hour to take care of a personal matter and this is what I come back to? Amateurs.”
Fantastic draw for the Bandit, into shadows straight away and a massive attack to finish off the mucker in one go. Then back into the shadows and a suicide run to follow up. The mobility of the Brigand really seems to bring something to the group so I think that he’ll stick around as a permanent feature if I’m not playing the Soldier.
Etrus looked like a massive challenge but the mob of crawlers really penned him in an let the Archer pick him off from long range while the Brigand moved across the tile to take out the lair.
Our only casualty was the Acolyte who dodged the bullet via serendipity so what looked like it was shaping up for a TPK ended with us bloodied but unbowed.
Bring on Act 1 part 3.