Wednesday 25 January 2017

A Fool's Errand

Last night got to run the first part of my Fool's Errand campaign, though time constraints meant for a short gaming session. As ever there was one or two things that I didn't account for, though thankfully didn't have to wing things that much. Regardless heres the session report followed by some thoughts.

An Offer You Can't Refuse

Our adventure begins with a pilot called Arnie and his companion Brick the...err...Brick, receiving a visit from some brutes decently dress in second-hand suits. Our duo have summons from a local crime boss known as 'Ferret', though he would be most disappointed if his invitation was declined. Not wishing to disappoint (and wishing to avoid some interesting bruises) the duo accept Ferret's summons and are escorted to his office in a warehouse by the local airfield. Ferret greets them when they arrive and explains he has a job for them, a simple fetch and retrieve kind of job.

But it ain't that simple.

The item is a box located in a bank vault and there are possibly other people after the same item, oh and the bank is in a ghost town out in the Wulflands. Other problem is that if they headed to the town right there and then they would arrive only a short while before nightfall, spending a night out in the Wulflands isn't exactly a good idea. Arnie did point out that neither he or his heavyweight comrade are safecrackers, Ferret introduced his own locksmith in the form of a short lass called Karla. Things got off to a good start when Arnie made a comment about babysitting, Karla responded in kind and stated she could handle herself.

Our trio set off via aircraft to a point just east of the Wulfwall, a line of fortifications separating the Wulflands from the rest of Alyeska, where they setup camp for the night so that they had more daylight to take advantage of the following day. After an uneventful night they completed the rest of their journey and found the town without too much trouble, a circuit round the town showed it was abandoned with no sign of life. They then landed at what they took to be the town's airstrip, Arnie positioned the aircraft after landing so that it was facing along the runway so help save time later when they took off again.

Moving into town they saw many signs of neglect, wooden buildings rotted and partially collapsed. Even some of the brick buildings had sagging roofs and broken windows whilst the streets were cracked with weeds, there was also some wildlife in the form of birds and rabbits. The bank itself was easy to find, being one of the larger brick buildings and located in the town square, it also showed signs of neglect and its doors swung freely in the breeze as debris littered the interior. The vault thankfully seemed to be intact and Karla got to work opening the door (three successful Lockpicking rolls, last of which got a raise) and had it open within half an hour. Inside there was the box as Ferret said there would be, plus bags of paper money and bank bonds. Though the paper crumbled as Arnie picked some up, so the bags were considered to be worthless and left.

Just as our trio were getting ready to leave movement was spotted outside, an impressive Notice roll from Arnie revealed some men trying to sneak up to the bank in one of the nearby alleyways or side streets. A quick search of the bank turned up a back door which the trio left through and found themselves in an alley, though the men quickly discovered this and were soon on the trio's tail. A short Chase then took place on foot through the alleyways and streets of the town, one of the men fell to gunfire whilst a second got an impressive strike from Brick's knuckleduster (29 damage!). Gunfire on both sides proved to be ineffective during the short pursuit (the thugs giving chase often rolled too low to get an Action Card), Karla failed both times she tried to 'Force' the thugs with a distraction and Brick almost came a cropper when he ran into a wooden barrel (Minor Obstacle complication).

Before long they were back at the airstrip, slightly outnumbered by the thugs (5 vs 3) but still in procession of the box. The leader of the thugs attempted to convince the trio to hand over the box but Arnie, fearful of what Ferret may do to them, refused even when the thug boss offered double the coin that Ferret had offered them for the job. With a sigh the thug boss called out "shoot 'em!" and gunfire broke out a second time, the scant cover offering little protection for our trio as Brick went down almost instantly under the volley of fire but without a permanent injury. Karla was next to go down, but the trio had managed to thin down the thugs slightly in return.

Then Arnie spotted something.

Some Wulvers had been drawn by the sound of gunfire and set upon the thugs, tearing two of them limb from limb. With the thugs now otherwise occupied Arnie dragged both of his companions and the box onto the aircraft and hastily started her up. Only the thug boss remained facing down the Wulvers as the aircraft's engines spluttered into life, fire from the boss' machine pistol managing to cripple one of the beasts but that only delayed the inevitable of him being ripped to shreds. By now the plane was rolling down the runway and picking up speed, the Wulvers gave chase but soon enough the plane's tail came up and its wings started to bite the air. Before the beasts could get within a hair's breath the aircraft was already climbing up into the wild blue yonder, Arnie breathing a huge sigh of relief before easing off the throttles and settling the plane down into a cruising speed.

Both Brick and Karla were Incapacitated, but thankfully they weren't bleeding out and neither of them got permanent injuries. They still had the box and thus could complete the job for Ferret, but first Arnie wanted to get his companions seen to and had set course for the nearest town east of the Wulfwall. Because of time constraints the session finished there, but I'm quite pleased that we managed to finish Act One of Fool's Errand within two or three hours.


Stated earlier that there were one or two things that I hadn't accounted for when I wrote the adventure series; the players choosing to run.

I was expecting the players to stand their ground and use the bank as an improvised fort, but players are always doing things you don't expect. Still it gave me a chance to use the Chase rules earlier than was planned, one of my players said it was certainly a bit different compared to the normal combat that they were used to. But I will have to try to use the Chase rules a bit more often now in my games, obviously where it makes sense to do so.

My other observation was how much of a struggle it ended up being for the players, after all there was only two player characters and the GM controlled Karla against 7 thugs of which one was a Wild Card. The players had the Advantage over the thugs for much of the Chase, but the range penalties hampered their shooting by a noticeable amount. The thugs for their part had to contend with my pair dice rolling, though when they got the chance to shoot they almost wiped the floor as proven by how quickly they felled Brick and Karla in open combat.

On the whole I'm quite happy with how the adventure ran and the players seemed to have enjoyed it, though when it comes to writing it up properly I will have to factor in the consideration that the players may choose to flee rather than stand and fight.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

January 2017 Update

We're a few weeks into 2017 and already plans for the year are beginning to take shape.This week's post mainly concerns convention appearances, primarily trade stands and perhaps events I may run during the convention/show.


It is a bit disappointing that Diceni will not be running this year, though it is understandable that a number of factors meant the show organiser wasn't able to run it this year. Still, its set to return next year and its a good opportunity to take some time to plan out possible changes.

UK Games Expo

We're back baby!

Had to skip last year's UKGE, so looking forwards to returning to what is the biggest convention for Utherwald. Again we'll have a trade stand over the three days that the Expo runs, though tempted to run Frozen Skies related one-shots but we'll see.

Though I am hoping to have something pretty big for UKGE, but thats dependent on a few things and I cannot give any details until we're much closer to May time.


The second big event of the year for Utherwald, now expanded to a two day event in October. Though here it'll just be a trade stand.


The third and, quite possibly, final event of the year for Utherwald is Exilicon in Cambridge. Once again there'll be a trade stand, may do other events like the presentation I did last year. More details when I get confirmation of dates.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

The Iron Road

Prior to the arrival of aircraft, another form of transport was expected to be king in Alyeska; Railways.

Though eclipsed by the raise of air travels, the railways made a mark on Alyeska's history and still plays a valuable role to this day. Whilst everyone agrees that aircraft can fly cargo almost anywhere throughout Alyeska, the railways can carry almost anything. There are some cargoes that are better suited to carriage along the iron road than through the air.

The Grand Trunk

The greatest example and most important piece of railway in Alyeska is the Grand Trunk, a 'main line' that begins in Gravenburgh and runs through Morrdun before passing through the Wulfwall and terminating in Fort Ragnar on the coast of the Wulflands. Surprisingly passenger services are run along the entire length of the line, though in reality not many people will travel via rail to Fort Ragnar due to the dangers of the Wulflands. Alot of passenger trains terminate at Fort Albert on the 'civilized' side of the Wulfwall, the sole reason for the handful of passengers trains that do brave the Wulflands do so for political reasons to appease the reaming civilian population of Fort Ragnar.

There are another of branch lines that split off from the Grand Trunk, though alot of these are industrial in nature using mining and logging camps thus tend to see freight rather than passengers. Indeed the greater portion of traffic on the Grand Trunk is generally freight, a good portion of which is military related carrying supplies and munitions.

Other Lines

Aside from the Grand Trunk there are other railways in Alyeska, most of these are in the Outlands and don't reliably carry passengers. Again these are mainly industrial, serving mining and logging camps. The Tay River Railway connects Gravenburgh to the town of Tay River, located on the southern shore of Wicked Antler Lake in the Outlands. Purpleflint, a town on the northern shore of the same lake and capital of the Outlands, also has a railway line but that one is largely used for ores to be shipped to the town and loaded onto river barges to be taken to the coast. There are plans to construct a line that goes round the lake, but nothing has been done to achieve this yet.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Creature Feature: Scavvers

We're kicking off the New Year with a new Creature Feature!

This week we'll be taking a look at a critter that can be found all over Darmonica, one that is widely as nuisance vermin. In the coming weeks I hope to get a posting schedule sorted, basically structure what I'm going to be posting each week. Monthly updates and planning notes/session reports of my Frozen Skies campaign will probably form the backbone of this with a mixture of new monsters, locations, setting notes, etc.


Scavvers are small humanoid creatures with pale grey skin, big pointed ears and a scrawny build. They are natural tinkerers and are drawn to machinery, mainly found in urban areas but they been spotted in mining camps as well as old battlefields and aircraft crash sites. Scavengers second to none, they are considered a nuisance for their tenacity to steal parts which makes them especially unpopular in factories and workshops alike. In the eyes of the law they are officially considered vermin, some areas (if they're highly industrial) will place a small bounty on them.

Being cowardly creatures they would rather flee than face a fight, though if cornered or if they have numbers on their side they will fight like cornered rodents and will gang-up to bring down larger foes.

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8, Stealth d10, Repair d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 4
Special Abilities
*Claws: Str+d4
*Size -1: Scavvers stand barely more than 3' in height.