Thursday 8 April 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: The Sinister Statues

'Holy' Moses scowled as he and his fellow rangers trudged out of the swamp. Despite the notes pleading for help, it had been decided to follow up on the clues about the mysterious dweller of the ruined tower first...

Time for the next virtual game of ROSD (as such I don't have any in-game photos apart from the usual blurry screenshot). The next mission in Giles' homebrew 'Man in the High Ruins' scenarion was entitled 'The Silent Statues' and was introduced thus:

As you leave the Black Mire behind, the land starts rising and you can see on the peaks of the hills ahead of you a set of ruins. As you trek upwards towards them through broken terrain of trees, scrub and so forth you come out into a flat open clearing, with four statues. There are two defaced sphinx statues, a statue of the grim reaper which seems newer, and a sinister cowled bat like figure which is also newer. All spell casters can sense that all four are magical in some way.

Our mission was to investigate these statues for clues. Over to Rita...

The rangers were tasked with resolving the conflicting reports they had previously uncovered regarding a man in some distant ruins, to discover if he was friend or foe. The party comprised Felton and Recruit Shelley (Giles), Ethan Jugge and Man-at-Arms Will (Alan), Bronwen and Recruit Eric (Rita), Holy Moses and Rogue Sneaks (Jon). Continuing on after crossing the dismal swamp known as The Black Mire, they trekked upwards into the hills and came across a clearing containing a couple of bodies, and four statues, which they sensed were somehow magical.

Ethan Jugge, Will, Holy Moses and Sneaks advanced into the clearing while Bronwen, Eric, Felton and Shelley circled around to approach from the opposite side. Bronwen moved to inspect a corpse, which proved to be a dead and badly burned Gnoll Shaman, from which she retrieved a poison vial. Felton inspected a statue and gained an additional spell, Enchant Weapon. Ethan used his Enchant Weapon and approached a corpse, while Holy Moses moved towards another statue. Unfortunately he then discovered what had happened to the Gnoll Shaman as a Firebolt shot out, inflicting severe injuries. This was to be the first of a sequence of calamities to befall the devout Ranger. Eric cautiously approached another statue, and managed to pass an Ancient Lore roll to gain an additional Companion Point. Sneaks headed towards the last statue as Shelley joined Felton, and Will inspected the other corpse, a Bandit, finding a Spell Scroll for Burning Mark, which he subsequently handed to Ethan. Three Gnoll Archers arrived.

Bronwen cast Fireball on the Gnolls, severely wounding one, then moved behind Felton, who fired his bow without effect. Holy Moses drank a Healing potion as he sheltered behind the statue. Ethan also tried to Fireball the Gnolls but missed completely. The Gnolls opened fire, scratching Felton but seriously wounding Holy Moses. Shelley attempted to throw a Magic Dagger at a Gnoll but missed, as Will and Eric moved to support the Rangers. Meanwhile Sneaks checked out the last statue, and could barely make out half of a sorcerer’s name on the defaced column. Nothing else happened.

Ethan cast Heal on Holy Moses, who also used his own Heal spell to return to full health, before charging towards the Gnolls. Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to repeat her Fireball spell against the Gnolls, but failed to score any hits, before Felton managed to shoot one. The Gnolls returned fire without effect. Will and Eric charged forward to pin the Gnolls, before Shelley piled in to kill one.  Sneaks moved to join the party, as two Gnoll Warriors arrived.

Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the newly arrived Gnoll Warriors, killing both. Holy Moses charged into the Gnoll Archer, but his ill-luck continued as he lost the fight and suffered accordingly, so Bronwen rushed to his aid and cut down the Gnoll. Felton was obliged to use his Heal spell on Holy Moses, who by now was giving a new literal slant to his name by resembling a pin cushion, so was grateful for the administrations of his companions. The companions grouped together, wary of any danger, but nothing happened. 

As the Rangers joined their companions, a Giant Snake appeared behind them. Bronwen used Magic Bolt against the snake but missed. Holy Moses and Felton were more successful with their bows, hitting and wounding the creature as it slithered towards them. The companions formed a shield wall with the rangers, as three Giant Flies flew into the clearing.

Ethan threw a throwing knife at the snake but missed, before Holy Moses killed it with his bow. Bronwen shot at the flies and missed, although Felton was more successful in killing one. One Giant Fly attacked Holy Moses, who was supported by Bronwen, while the other fly attacked Will, who had Felton in support. Holy Moses was wounded once again, but avoided becoming diseased, and Will killed his opponent, before finishing off the last fly. Three Bandits arrived on the scene.

Once again Holy Moses was healed, this time by Bronwen, enabling him to use his Magic Bolt spell with Enhanced Power to slay one of the Bandits. Felton shot and severely wounded another Bandit, but Ethan’s throwing dagger failed to penetrate the armour to finish him off. The Bandits attacked Ethan and Felton but were both wounded, before Shelley and Eric finished them off. Another Bandit arrived.

Bronwen used a Magic Bolt spell from her Spellbook but again failed to score a hit –  she obviously needed  more practice required with this spell ! Holy Moses and Felton both failed to hit with their bows, and Ethan was similarly unsuccessful with his throwing dagger. The Bandit hurled himself at Eric cutting him down, before Shelley avenged her friend. A Gnoll Archer made his appearance. Holy Moses archery failed to hit, so Ethan used another throwing knife to  bring the Gnoll down, as another two Bandits turned up.

Holy Moses and Felton ‘s dismal shooting continued as they failed to score a hit on the enemy with their bows. Bronwen showed them how to do it by shooting down one of them. The survivor rushed towards the rangers in a display of suicidal bravery – or foolishness. He was pinned by Will for Shelley to attack but she was repulsed, so Ethan joined the fight and slaughtered the bandit, ending the scenario.

Thursday 1 April 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: Swamp Things

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write these up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken during the game by Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses wrinkled his nose: a lifetime of candle smoke and incense not enough to harden his olfactory senses against the stinking marsh gas that hung around the swampy ground.

“This is an unholy place…” he muttered to his companion.

“Aye. Stinks an’ all,” the rogue replied, picking mud from the sole of his boot with his dagger.

“Indeed. Well, let us get on with it; mayhap this mysterious fellow dwells not too far away and we shall not have to venture too far.”

Moses strode forward, but stumbled as his leg sank knee-deep in sludge.

“Gods, I hate swamps…”

Time for another ROSD session over the interwebnet! Giles has cooked up another mission entitled The Man in the High Ruins.

The titular fellow was hinted at during the last Escort mission: one clue marker alluded to a possible ally, dwelling in a ruined tower, while another warned that he was a mad wizard. Now it was time to find out…

The first scenario, The Black Mire, sees our heroes travelling to this mysterious ruin…

After your discovery of the notes about a man in the ruins potentially being an ally or an enemy,

you are summoned by your Captain, who gives you the mission to resolve this issue. The Captain

has additional information as to which ruins this man is allegedly inhabiting. Unfortunately, and

inevitably, this is close to the edges of the Shadow Deep, on the old border with Lorenthia.

The first part of the difficult path is through a dismal marsh caused long ago by an earthquake,

and is known as The Black Mire.

Though there is no evidence of agents of the Shadow Deep there, it has long been known to be a

place where unwary travellers have perished, and that giant flies are prevalent amongst other


Over to Rita.

The rangers were tasked with resolving the conflicting reports they had previously uncovered regarding a man in some distant ruins, to discover if he was friend or foe. To reach the site the party had to first traverse a dismal swamp known as The Black Mire. The party comprised Felton and Recruit Shelley (Giles), Ethan Jugge and Man-at-Arms Will (Alan), Bronwen and Recruit Eric (Rita), Holy Moses and Rogue Sneaks (Jon).

The track the party were following split into two around a large lake, which had half a dozen scummy ponds around it, each with a zombie beside it. Bronwen, Holy Moses and companions took the northern path around the lake, and Felton, Ethan and companions took the southern path. Ethan slew the first Zombie, and as a second Zombie moved in the companions moved up in support. In the north a Zombie attacked and wounded Holy Moses before being cut down by Sneaks, but four Giant Flies suddenly flew in to attack the northern group.

Bronwen swatted the first fly but Holy Moses was again wounded by another. Ethan killed another Zombie then searched the body, finding a note and treasure, before Felton attacked and killed another Zombie. Sneaks beat off two Zombies but Eric was severely wounded by another. The remaining three Giant Flies perished attacking Bronwen, Holy Moses and companions, but Eric and Sneaks both fell against the Zombies. Will found a note on another Zombie corpse and Shelley found treasure. Another Giant Fly appeared near Bronwen and Holy Moses.

Ethan cast Fireball on the three Zombies threatening Bronwen, killing one, before joining Felton and Shelley. Felton searched a Zombie corpse, finding a note and treasure. Bronwen’s attempts to Fireball the Zombies failed, and Holy Moses cast Heal on himself. Bronwen was wounded by a Giant Fly, but Holy Moses killed two Zombies. Will searched a Zombie corpse and found nothing, so joined Ethan, as Shelley returned to try a search, finding and deciphering a note giving the location of the writer. A Swamp Troll appeared ahead of Felton and Ethan.

Bronwen suffered another wound fighting the Giant Fly, which was then killed by Holy Moses. Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the Swamp Troll, wounding it as it lumbered forward, but Felton missed with his bow, so Will and Shelley joined the rangers to form a defensive line. Two Zombies emerged from a pond near Bronwen and Holy Moses.

Holy Moses found a note and treasure on a Zombie body and Bronwen cast heal on herself, before both moved into contact with the two newly arrived Zombies. The first Zombie was pushed back but the second one inflicted more wounds on Bronwen. Felton missed the Swamp Troll as it lurched forward. A Zombie appeared on the exit trail.

Ethan enchanted his weapon and moved to pin the Swamp Troll, enabling Felton to move in and fight it. The resulting draw caused both to be badly wounded. A Zombie was pushed back by Holy Moses, and Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the Zombies, wounding one, before retiring behind Holy Moses. The Zombies pushed forward again, wounding Holy Moses, who killed one. The Swamp Troll attacked Felton, who, aided by his three fellows, managed to finish it off. Will rushed to attack the arriving Zombie but suffered severely, before Shelley rushed to his aid and killed it. A Giant Fly arrived on the exit trail.

Bronwen moved to help Holy Moses but was felled by the Zombie, who was promptly killed by Holy Moses. Ethan searched a dead Zombie and found treasure, which was handed to Will, and Felton shot the Giant Fly. Will moved off table but Shelley headed for one of the northern Zombie corpses. Another Giant Fly emerged from a pool near the entrance point.

Felton and Ethan both cast Heal on Holy Moses, who searched a corpse to find a note. Felton did likewise to find a note. The Fly headed towards the party, as a Zombie emerged from the nearest pool, next to Shelley.

Holy Moses used Magic Bolt to kill the Fly and moved off. Felton and Shelley killed a Zombie, and Ethan searched the body, finding a note. Shelley found a note and treasure on another Zombie corpse. A Giant Spider arrived near the party.

Felton shot at the Spider but missed, and Ethan attacked the Spider without success. The Spider attacked Felton who killed it. Shelley searched the last Zombie corpse, finding a note and treasure which she passed to Felton. With all enemies dead, and all Zombie corpses searched, this part of the mission was over. They now had to decide whether to continue with the original mission to investigate the man in the high ruin or divert to answer the pleas for help contained in the many notes they had found. What would they decide?

Monday 22 March 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: The Beastie Boys

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write these up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken during the game by Alan.)

“May the Gods guide you through the Veil and welcome you to the great hall, oh faithful companion…”

‘Holy’ Moses made the Sign of the Departed over Baldrick’s ashes and bowed, before rising up off his knees and burying the recruit’s dusty remains in the dark soil.

“It is a sad thing that we must burn you, rather than bury you whole as is the custom,” he sighed. “But at least you will not rise again at the bidding of the dark powers that assail us.”

Making the Sign once more, he re-joined his remaining comrades, finding them in a state of some agitation.

“We’ve found something,” said Ethan, face flushed from the exertions of his scouting. “That ambush? I don’t think it was intentional.”

He grinned.

“For once, I think we have the advantage…”

Time for another online bash at ROSD! This time Alan, Giles and I (Rita being unavailable) took on the second scenario from the Menagerie supplement: Counter Ambush.

This saw our heroes; with an extra companion each due to there being less rangers (two for Ethan and Felton and one for Moses as he lost Baldrick last time) discovering a scene of pandemonium. Gnolls and cultists were struggling with a crashed wagon, roars and screams echoed throughout the forest and, in the confusion, we surrounded them and made ready to attack…

As usual, each paragraph describes one round of action, firstly the Rangers, then enemy and creatures, then Companions, and finally an event.

Recovering from the night melee with Gnolls and wild beasts, the Rangers decided to follow the enemy’s tracks to find out what was going on. However, Bronwen was taken ill with a fever so Yarra escorted her back to base, and fortunately encountered some more Companions, who hurried to join the Rangers. The party now comprised Holy Moses and Hawkeye, a Tracker (Jon), Felton with Shelley and Vernon, a Rogue, (Giles), and Ethan Jugge with Hubert the wounded Man-at-Arms still suffering from Hunger and Thirst, and Roderick, a Swordsman (Alan).

The enemy tracks led to a clearing, in which a chaotic scene was unfolding. Five carts, two manned by Temple Guardians, were circled around a sixth cart which had tipped over and smashed to pieces. Inside the circle four Gnoll Beast Handlers inspected the wagons while outside three Temple Guardian Archers kept watch. Seizing the opportunity, the Rangers crept stealthily forward from three sides, before launching a devastating surprise attack.

Holy Moses used Magic Bolt to kill one Temple Guardian wagon driver before advancing to the wagon. Felton stealthily approached the other wagon driver, knocking him off the wagon. Ethan shot at a Temple Guardian Archer then ran to the nearest wagon, out of sight of the Gnolls inside the wagon circle. Felton was wounded and pushed back by the wagoner, but managed to beat off a Gnoll. Holy Moses was attacked by a Gnoll but cut it down. Two Temple Guardian archers fired at Ethan but missed, before a Gnoll Beast Handler rushed to attack. Hawkeye fired at a Gnoll but missed, as Hubert cut down the Gnoll attacking Ethan and Roderick killed an archer. Vernon the Rogue rushed to help Felton and stabbed a Temple Guardian to death, and Shelley pinned another Gnoll. One of the wagons burst into flames.

Holy Moses picked the lock on one wagon and freed a pair of emaciated captives, then rushed to pin an archer. Ethan charged another archer, but was repelled. Felton drank a Healing Potion and moved up support Shelley against a Gnoll. The archer fighting Holy Moses was cut down, while Ethan displayed his fighting prowess by slaying both the Gnoll Beast Handler and the Temple Guardian Archer who attacked him. The last remaining Gnoll fell fighting Shelley, allowing the two freed civilians to flee to safety. The Companions began investigating the rest of the wagons. Hubert’s crushed arm inhibited him from opening a wagon, but Roderick smashed his way in to discover a cache of papers including a Spell book. Vernon opened a wagon to find various animal body parts of use to a spellcaster, but a Bear appeared behind him.

Holy Moses forced open the doors of another wagon, to find a troop of monkeys within, one of which he took as a Companion. Ethan broke into the last undamaged wagon, which was full of snakes, causing him to freeze in horror momentarily. Felton shot the Bear, wounding it, then rushed to defend Vernon. The Bear’s wounds were severe enough for Holy Moses to easily ward off its feeble attack and kill it. A Gnoll Beast Handler returned to threaten Hubert and Roderick.

Ethan rushed to his companions but was wounded by the Gnoll, as was Holy Moses. Felton retrieved animal parts from the wagon discovered by Vernon, before passing a Healing Potion to Holy Moses. The Gnoll attacked Hubert but failed to penetrate his armour, and paid for it when Roderick hacked him down. A Boar appeared.

Felton shot the Boar dead, while Holy Moses drank the Healing Potion and Ethan cast Heal on himself. A friendly Tiger appeared.

As the Rangers drew breath, three Giant Flies flew into the clearing, but two were quickly incinerated by Ethan’s Fireball, and the third one was brought down by Hawkeye’s archery. A less friendly Tiger crept up on Felton.

The Rangers loosed a hail of arrows at the Tiger to bring it down. Yet another Gnoll crept out from under a wagon by Hubert and Roderick.

Holy Moses leapt into action and slew the Gnoll. A Giant Snake slithered out from under another wagon, but it was quickly finished off by another arrow storm.

After the initial frantic melee this proved to be an easy victory for the Rangers, who were able to bunch together and swarm any creature that appeared. The forces of Alladore therefore inflicted a telling blow on the Shadow Deep, but would their next encounter be so easy?

Thursday 18 March 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: Animal Tragic

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write this up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken by our faithful scribe, Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses knelt, his prayers whispering through the trees. “

Assuage our hunger oh Gods. Grant us the will to suffer this thirst. Moreover, grant my companion Baldrick the strength to bear his unfortunate condition. With our faith we shall bear these trials and with our hearts we shall- “

Suddenly, a roar echoed through the clearing, causing rangers and their weary companions to spring to their feet.

Around them, high-pitched squealing and gibbering indicated that they were surrounded by Gnolls, whilst the roaring told of other creatures…

While Giles continued to work on his next homebrew mission, we took a look at another official supplement: The Menagerie; a two-scenario mission (entitled The Double Ambush) which starts off with Scenario 1: The Unintended Ambush. Over to you Rita…

The Rangers and Companions were returning home from an abortive mission and camped for the night in woodland. The party comprised Rangers Felton (Giles), Ethan Jugge (Alan), Bronwen, (Rita), and Holy Moses (Jon), with their respective companions Shelley (a Recruit), Hubert (Man-at-Arms), Yarra (Recruit) and Baldric (Recruit). The journey had been arduous so Hubert and Baldric were suffering from hunger and thirst, which reduced their health.

Yarra kept watch while the rest slept, when loud noises erupted from something crashing through the undergrowth, rousing the rangers except Ethan Jugge, who continued to sleep soundly. Darkness limited visibility so no enemies were immediately visible, but in the darkness a Bear chased by two Gnoll Beast Handlers had arrived in one corner, a Tiger in the opposite corner, and a Warden and two Temple Guardian Archers in the corner between them. The Gnoll Beast Handlers had lost track of the Bear and moved into sight as Shelley and Baldric woke up. Hubert emulated his ranger and snored on. A Gnoll Sergeant and a Gnoll Archer arrived following the Bear.

Ethan continued to sleep as Bronwen attempted to cast Fireball on the Beast Handlers, without success, but Holy Moses and Felton shot them down. The Gnoll Sergeant and Archer advanced towards Holy Moses, while the Warden and Temple Guardian Archers remained in one corner and the Tiger paced up and down along one side. The Bear moved out of the trees and spotted Bronwen. Hubert woke up and moved towards a clue marker. accompanied by Baldric and Shelley. Two more Gnoll Beast Handlers appeared near the Tiger.

Ethan finally woke up and followed the companions towards the Tiger. Bronwen fired at the Bear but missed.  Holy Moses killed the Gnoll Sergeant, while Felton wounded the Gnoll Archer, then finished him off when he attacked in turn. The Bear attacked Bronwen and Yarra and suffered severely. The Tiger and two Gnolls attacked the companions – Hubert and Shelley beat off the Gnolls but the Tiger killed Baldric. Yarra died fighting the Bear, and the Tiger killed Shelley and wounded Hubert. A Gnoll Sergeant and Archer arrived, while the Warden and Temple Guardians continued wandering around in the dark in one corner.

Felton joined Bronwen and killed the Bear as Holy Moses headed for the Tiger. Bronwen wounded a Gnoll with her bow, and Ethan unsuccessfully attempted to Fireball a Gnoll so moved to support Hubert. The Tiger was pushed back by Hubert, who was then killed by one Gnoll while the other wounded Ethan. The Temple Guardians and Warden remained lost in the darkness, but a Boar arrived near them, and the clue disappeared.

Holy Moses used Magic Bolt to kill the Tiger, while Bronwen pitched in and killed one Gnoll as Ethan killed the other. The Temple Guardians finally moved into view, with the archers failing to hit the Rangers. The Boar remained in the woods. A Gnoll arrived near the Boar.

Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the Temple Guardians, killing one, and Bronwen followed suit without success. Holy Moses fired at the Warden but missed, and Felton attacked and wounded him.

The remaining Temple Guardian Archer attacked Felton but was beaten back, and the Warden died under Felton’s sword. The Boar and newly arrived Gnoll advanced, as did the following pair of Gnolls. A choking ash cloud limited Ethan and Holy Moses to one action.

Holy Moses moved to support Felton. Ethan shot and grazed the Temple Guardian Archer, and Bronwen attacked and wounded him again. A Gnoll attacked Felton and suffered for it, the Boar attacked Holy Moses who killed it, and the Temple Guardian Archer died attacking Bronwen. Two more Gnolls attacked Felton who beat off one and wounded the other. Another Gnoll ran on.

Holy Moses, Bronwen and Ethan each killed a Gnoll, leaving only one survivor, who foolishly ran at the rangers. A Bear arrived.

Ethan and Bronwen fired at the Gnoll and missed, Holy Moses fired and hit. The Gnoll attacked Ethan who was wounded in killing the Gnoll. The Bear headed for the rangers. No events.

Bronwen used Magic Bolt to wound the Bear, Holy Moses and Felton fired and missed, Ethan cast heal on himself before supporting Holy Moses. The Bear attacked Ethan, who injured it. Bronwen attacked the Bear and killed it, ending the scenario.

Yarra survived, but Hubert suffered a crushed arm and Baldric died, which at least eliminated the possibility of his lycanthropy turning him into a werewolf.

The death of faithful Baldrick left Moses bereft of a companion for the next scenario of the mission. Will our heroes get their revenge on the Gnolls or will they fall prey to the deadly fauna of the menagerie?

Rangers of Shadow Deep: A Wolf in the Fold?

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write this up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken by our faithful scribe, Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses scanned the weary faces of the battered auxiliary warriors before him. He saw anger, fear, desperation and… something else… guilt?

“Aye, we will help you,” he replied to their pleas for aid. “Show us where you were attacked; perhaps we can draw out these evil man-beasts an, Gods willing, end them to the Twelve Hells.”

Following the soldiers, the rangers soon arrived at the grounds of a large house, complete with outbuildings and a large pond, upon which forlornly drifted a solitary boat.

“Aye, werewolves all right,” said Moses, sniffing the pungent air. “Well, there are four of you and four of us, so we shall pair up – better to spread out and find out what’s happened here.

‘And,’ he thought to himself as the hairs on the back of his neck began to bristle, ‘better to fight you if one of you turns out to be the perpetrator…’

With Giles’ excellent homebrew mission completed, Alan, Rita and I graciously allowed him some breathing space to compose the next one. As such, we decided to give one of the official ROSD supplements ago. Eventually we settled upon Blood Moon, a single-mission micro-supplement which sees Rangers, minus their companions, teaming up with a handful of survivors to solve the mystery of a werewolf attack. As the adventure progresses, creatures are fought and clues found, leading to the possibility that the survivors may not quite be what they seem…

Here’s what happened in our virtual session:

Rangers Felton (Giles), Ethan Jugge (Alan), Bronwen, (Rita), and Holy Moses (Jon), were directed at short notice to take an urgent message to a distant frontier garrison, so had to leave immediately without summoning any companions. On route they came across a small band of Auxiliaries in desperate need of assistance. Seb, Covin, Nikolan and Orla were survivors from a Werewolf attack on their nearby village, and begged the Rangers to assist in freeing the village. Two Werewolves were last seen entering a farmhouse.

Approaching the village, the party saw the farmhouse, with a barn and a wagon nearby. Before it was a deep pond with a boat floating in the centre, while to the right was a small wood. Four Giant Flies hovered by the barn, three Giant Rats could be seen by the cart, and a Grimwolf prowled the edge of the wood.

Ethan towards barn and enchanted weapon, Bronwen to pond, Holy Moses towards wood and shot Grimwolf. Felton towards cart & cast Armour on self. No enemy move this turn. Seb followed Bronwen, Nikolan followed Ethan, Orla followed Holy Moses, Covin followed Felton. Unbeknownst to the Rangers, a Werewolf lurked in room B of the farmhouse.

Bronwen used her Fishglass to swim to the boat, found old man cowering under blanket. Ethan fireballed flies, killed two, moved to attack another fly. Holy Moses moved into wood looking for clue. Felton moved towards Giant Rats and shot one. Giant Fly wounded Ethan but did not infect with disease, Ethan killed second fly. Giant Rats attacked Felton who killed both. Nikolan joined Ethan but was wounded by Fly but passed disease roll. Seb went round pond while Old Man rowed boat to shore. Covin joined Felton. Grimwolf arrived near house.

Ethan killed fly, moved to barn. Bronwen shot and killed Grimwolf, moved towards cart. Holy Moses found corpse in wood. Felton moved towards farm. No enemies in sight. Nikolan entered barn. Old Man joined Bronwen. Other companions joined their rangers. Giant Rat appeared by farmhouse, eerie howl caused Bronwen, Felton, Orla, Seb, Nikolan lose an action.

Ethan entered barn, found corpse, passed Perception roll to find treasure. Bronwen moved to cart. Holy Moses left wood to reach cart. Felton moved to protect Old Man from Giant Rat and killed it when it attacked. Orla & Seb moved to cart. Nikolan exited barn. Covin went to farmhouse door. Werewolf appeared in room D.

Bronwen searched cart and found corpse with embedded fang before moving to farmhouse, as did Ethan on leaving the barn, and Holy Moses. Felton approached side door of farmhouse. No enemies in sight. Nikolan ran to front door, as did Seb and Old Man, with Orla following. Grimwolf arrived behind barn.

Holy Moses broke down front door and entered the manor house, followed by Bronwen who cast Magic Bolt but only scratched a Werewolf. Ethan reached the front door as Felton failed to open the side door. Werewolf attacked Bronwen who beat it back, but second Werewolf attacked and wounded Bronwen. Grimwolf ran out from behind barn, and was shot at by Orla, who missed. Nikolan rushed in to attack Werewolf, severely wounding it, allowing Covin to finish it off. Seb and Old Man ran to support Covin. Giant Fly erupted from corpse near Orla.

Ethan stepped back to help Orla against the Giant Fly but was wounded although still avoided Disease. Bronwen wounded Werewolf. Holy Moses searched another room and found bloody handprint on wall, and a silver dagger. Felton finally broke down side door and entered, to find a young girl hiding under a bed. Werewolf attacked Old Man, who wounded it. Giant Fly and Ethan fought to a draw but Fly died and Ethan still undiseased. Grimwolf rushed towards Orla, who missed with her bow before fleeing to Ethan. Inside the house, Seb attacked Werewolf, wounding it, before Covin killed it. Companions exited house. Young Boy crept out from under wagon as Giant Rat came out of barn.

Ethan re-entered house to search, finding human remains. Bronwen searched last room, found discarded clothes, passed Read Runes roll to find Boots of Soft Tread. Holy Moses left house, shot and killed Grimwolf, to end all threats.

And so ended the mission. The werewolves and their evil allies were dispatched without mercy and, happily, it transpired that none of the auxiliaries had any dark secrets to reveal. Where next for our bold adventurers I wonder?






Rangers of Shadow Deep: Hungry Like a Wolf

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write this up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken by our august chronicler, Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses uttered a prayer of thanks to the Gods, for, having avoided further encounters with the creatures of Shadow Deep by taking tortuous routes, landmarks were suddenly becoming familiar.

Well-known hills, rivers and woods went by as the Rangers, their companions and the scholar they had worn to protect journeyed on, safe in the knowledge that their troubles were behind them.

That was, alas, until a chilling howl rent the air, swiftly followed by a score more…

The next session of ROSD saw us play the finale of Giles’ homebrew ‘Escort’ campaign, entitled ‘The Hunt’, which starts thus:

The Rangers are now heading back to base through the woods. They are aware of movement, and suddenly an eerie howl of a pack of wolves starts up. The following packs of wolves and more sinister werewolves emerge in the woods all around them.

Over to you Rita…

Rangers and companions: Felton, Shelley, (Giles), Ethan Jugge , Mouse, (Alan), Bronwen, Eric, (Rita), Holy Moses, Baldric (Jon). They were escorting Milankovite the Scholar through the woods, when they became aware that numerous wolves and werewolves were approaching. Blocking the path ahead were a very large Alpha Werewolf, another Werewolf and 4 Wolves, on the left flank were 2 Werewolves and 2 Wolves, with a Wolf behind and another on the right flank.

Ethan Fireballed the left flank enemy, killing a Werewolf and severely wounding a Wolf. Felton shot and wounded a Werewolf ahead but Holy Moses missed his shot at the following Wolf. Bronwen’s Fireball did little damage. The enemy closed in to pin most members of the party, with Ethan facing 3 opponents.  Baldric fell fighting a Wolf but Mouse pushed his opponent back and moved to support Eric, who was wounded by a Wolf. Shelley attacked and killed a Wolf, allowing Milankovite to move away from the melee. Another Werewolf arrived ahead.

Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to cast Fireball again, severely wounding the Alpha Werewolf and killing a Wolf, before moving to support Ethan. Felton badly injured another Werewolf with his silver sword and moved to shield the Scholar. Holy Moses killed a Wolf, then charged a Werewolf. Ethan beat off a Wolf. The Werewolf fighting Holy Moses was wounded and pushed back and a Wolf coming up in support failed to hurt the Ranger. The Wolf attacking Ethan was also beaten back, and the Alpha Werewolf died attacking Felton. A Wolf attacked Bronwen who killed it, and another Werewolf failed to injure Bronwen. Ethan was injured by two more Wolves. The newly arrived Werewolf moved towards Felton. Mouse attacked a Wolf by Holy Moses but lost and was wounded. Eric moved to Felton hoping to be healed. The Scholar cowered nearby. Two Grimwolves arrived behind.

Felton Healed Eric and moved to support Shelley. Holy Moses killed a Wolf, Bronwen was slightly wounded by a Werewolf, and Ethan killed a Wolf. The two new Grimwolves pinned Mouse, and Ethan Jugge was wounded by a Wolf. Holy Moses failed to kill a Werewolf and Bronwen was wounded again by a Werewolf. A Wolf died attacking Eric, and Felton wounded a Werewolf attacking him. Eric and Shelley fell fighting Wolves, and Mouse was wounded, but Milankovite was able to flee away. A Grimwolf arrived on the left flank.

Felton killed a Werewolf and moved to support Bronwen, who failed to hurt another Werewolf. Ethan was killed by a Wolf, but Holy Moses killed a Werewolf, before moving to support Mouse. A Grimwolf attacked Holy Moses, who killed it, but Mouse fell to a second Grimwolf. A Werewolf attacked Bronwen who beat it off. The Scholar escaped, which was just as well or he would have been fatigued and unable to move.

Holy Moses fought and killed one Grimwolf and charged another. Bronwen beat off a Werewolf, and Felton killed it. Holy Moses pushed off the Grimwolf attacking him, and Bronwen was uninjured by an attacking Wolf. A rainstorm reduced shooting ranges.

Holy Moses killed a Grimwolf, and Bronwen killed the last Wolf. The Rangers searched Werewolf bodies, discovering the original identify of one Werewolf, and a different pelt on another A Werewolf arrived behind.

The Rangers took the head off one Werewolf, and recognised the location of the village where the werewolves had been, before leaving the scene.

Baldric was badly wounded but Ethan and the other companions survived okay. However, Baldric and Mouse also developed lycanthropy, although Felton provided Wolfsbane to cure Mouse.

Finally, our heroes had made it to safety!

After bidding farewell to the grateful scholar (and hoping that the information he had gathered was worth the effort), they looked forward to a well-earned rest.

However, it was not to be, for once more their captain called upon them to convey an important message to a distant garrison. Meanwhile, a village had been attacked and people were missing, whilst eerie howls were heard during the night…

Rangers of Shadow Deep: The Walking Dead

(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write this up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken by our august chronicler, Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses crashed through the undergrowth, heedless of the twisted brambles that snared around his boots and snagged his armour.

“This way; I see light ahead!” he yelled above the eldritch howling that echoed through the gnarled trees.

Breathing heavily, he burst onto a wide track, lit as if by the grace of the Gods themselves by weak sunlight. Finally, after an eternity of pursuit and evasion, they had a path to follow and space to fight whatever evil the Shadow Deep had sent after them…

Having led the scholar to his objective, investigated the well and started on the long return journey, our next online session of ROSD saw Rita, Alan, Giles and I played the next mission of Giles’ homebrew ‘Escort’ campaign, called ‘The Herd’. Here’s the blurb:

The Rangers are resting as they navigate new paths to escape the pursuit they have heard behind them. Several of them peel off to try and see if a path home is free from Evil minions, unfortunately it is not.

An eerie and unnatural howl is heard from behind them, so picking up speed they move forward only to find a shambling herd of zombies ahead of them. More disturbingly, the Rangers and Companions recognise the badly ravaged remains of some of their colleagues…

Felton, Shelley, (Giles), Ethan Jugge, Mouse, (Alan), Bronwen, Eric, (Rita), Holy Moses, Baldric (Jon), were escorting Milankovite the Scholar through the woods. They were being pursued by a Zombie Werewolf and four Zombies, when a large group of Zombies (16) appeared ahead of them.

Bronwen fireballed Zombies ahead, killed 2. Ethan ditto but missed. Holy Moses used Magic Bolt to kill one. Watching the rear, Felton shot at Werewolf. Enemies advanced. Shelley failed to kill Zombie; other Companions joined Rangers.

Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to fireball 4 more Zombies. Ethan used Halt Undead to stop all Zombies then killed one. Holy Moses killed one. Felton shot Werewolf, wounded it, moved to support Shelley. Shelley killed Zombie & searched corpse (all zombies could be searched for clues) but nothing found. Baldric & Scholar ran past Zombies. Eric threw Explosive Cocktail without success. Mouse pushed back Zombie. Rain reduced shooting range.

Bronwen fired at Zombies but missed, moved to support Eric. Ethan Enchanted Weapon, attacked Zombie. Holy Moses searched corpse, found Magic Crossbow, left it, moved to Ethan. Felton shot Zombie. Werewolf attacked Felton who wounded it. Zombies wounded Shelley, Mouse, Holy Moses & Bronwen. Ethan beat off 2 others. Eric saved by Blocking Shield. Baldric & Scholar searched corpses, Baldrick found Enchanted Sword, moved to Holy Moses. Searching a corpse, Shelley got covered in gore so ignored by Zombies, moved to next corpse. Mouse beat off Zombie. Shelley killed Zombie. 4 Zombies arrived behind.

Ethan, Bronwen, Holy Moses killed Zombies. Felton missed Werewolf. Eric wounded, Holy Moses beat off Zombie, Ethan killed one, Mouse wounded again – down to 1 health. Felton killed Zombie Werewolf with silver sword. Scholar searched corpse, found formal letter. Eric beat off Zombie. Baldric killed Zombie. Mouse searched corpse, found Spell book. Any damaged figure has to pass health role or be poisoned – Mouse & Bronwen poisoned, Eric okay.

Ethan cast Heal on Mouse, moved to pin Zombie. Holy Moses joined in, draw. Bronwen used Split Cast to Heal herself & Eric, pinned Zombie. Felton retreated from advancing Zombie reinforcements, who followed. Bronwen wounded by Zombie. Holy Moses killed Zombie (Gregory Peck). Eric beat off Zombie, Scholar searched corpse, found Wolfsbane. Mouse & Baldric searched corpses, found conflicting notes about sorcerer in ruins. Bronwen grabbed by zombie corpse.

Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball approaching Zombies, killed 1. Bronwen freed herself from corpse. Holy Moses Healed himself. Felton shot Zombie. Zombie attacked Bronwen who killed it then left. Baldric searched corpse, found smudged letter. Scholar & Eric left. 3 Zombies appeared in front, blocking exit.

Ethan Healed Mouse back to full health using unused spell in Spell book. Felton shot & missed Zombie, but pinned it. Zombie wounded Felton; Holy Moses & Ethan drew with Zombies. Mouse escaped; Baldric killed Zombie.  Zombie arrived behind.

Ethan shot at Zombie but missed, supported Felton, who killed Zombie. Holy Moses drew with Zombie which was killed by Baldric.

Holy Moses shot Zombie. Felton & Ethan killed Zombie. Baldric & Holy Moses killed Zombie. Last Zombie advanced. Got extra action.

Rangers shot last Zombie & left.

Having successfully fought through the zombie herd and seen off their pursuers (for now at least), our heroes were able to continue their journey home. However, the hunters of Shadow Deep don’t give up on their prey that easily…