Arnath Marches #3 of 6 — The Coppernight Delve

Only two encounters at tonight’s game, but they were fruitful with incident and narrative. If they took a long time it was because we were mulling our best moves, rather than trying to figure out how the rules work. I regard that as turning a corner. Awakening from their rest, the heroes found that Captain Cragmoor and his cavalry had returned from harrying goblins across the countryside, and the rest of the Company had crossed the newly-christened “Bridge of Four” and gone into bivouac on the west bank of the River Calaran. Sergeant Irontoe served the heroes spiced wine and … Continue reading Arnath Marches #3 of 6 — The Coppernight Delve

Monsters & Minions

As part of the fight at the Bridge of Four I threw a wave of thirty-two goblins at four heroes. Thirty-two goblins. That number is pretty staggering for a number of reasons. Those goblins were matched against first level characters, who weren’t greatly challenged by the attack, which says a lot about the power level of starting characters (and the importance of taking advantage of defensive terrain!). But more interesting, to me, is how easy it was to run that mob of monsters. A weakness of many RPGs is a failure to scale. Monster details that make individual creatures interesting … Continue reading Monsters & Minions

The Core Of The Matter

So how is this newfangled Essentials Rules Compendium holding up to actual play? Mechanically, the rules are doing just fine. Everything seems to be fitting together without contradiction or error, which is what you’d expect of this revised-but-don’t-call-it-Version-4.5 rules set. The rules are clear when you read them in advance of play and you go into your session with high confidence that you know what you’re doing. That’s where it gets tricky, and it has little to do with the clarity of the Rules Compendium. It has everything to do with how information is organized an how different people learn. … Continue reading The Core Of The Matter


A bit of campaign clean-up. Calendar First, our calendar. We hit our goal of playing twice in October (huzzah!), but I’d like to examine our November dates. The original schedule calls for us to meet November 4 and November 18, but the 18th is already out as Dave will be at BGG.CON. I’m going to assume we stick with the 4th, but when do we want to schedule our second November game? Pushing it back a week runs into Thanksgiving (although there’s nothing to say we couldn’t play on a Tuesday or Wednesday that week). Should we go for a … Continue reading Housekeeping

Arnath Marches #2 of 6 — The Bridge of Four

The Bridge of Four — that’s what the bards will call it. The formerly anonymous span across the River Calaran now inspires song, of the four brave recruits of Cragmoor’s Company who won their spurs by holding the bridge against all odds, fortifying their position behind mounting walls of goblin dead. Bor-ag! Bor-ag! Bor-ag! They sing of Cleitus, victorious in single combat against the orc champion Borag the Ear-Taker, he of five kills (or was it three?). The goblin host howled with delight when Borag wrong-footed the impetuous human, passing up a sure killing-blow to position himself for a clean … Continue reading Arnath Marches #2 of 6 — The Bridge of Four

Fengrim 2.0

So I spent the last few hours going over the rules for Clerics and double-checking my character sheet.  Clerics don’t have proficiency in Scale — Chainmail is the best they can use without a -2 penalty, and I didn’t want to pay another -2 check for a large shield; according to the rules, my DEX, STR, and CON-based checks are -1 for the chainmail.  Armor class drops from 19 to 17 as a result.  Note that since he’s a dwarf, he doesn’t take the movement penalty for Chainmail. There was a +3 ability bonus for Warhammer attack that I couldn’t … Continue reading Fengrim 2.0

DM Debrief

A few random thoughts about the rules and last night’s game, and also an excuse to post silly stuff, like … Bill Gates character sheet … and … Both of these images were heavily in my mind last night as we three father geeks gathered in my garage to put on the elf boots and roll dice like in the bad old days. After a few minutes of “What The Hell Am I Doing?” awkwardness (which I feel whenever first unfurling my gaming geek flag), I fell back into the rhythm and it was just friends rolling dice and pretending … Continue reading DM Debrief