Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Howl and the Game Tournament

Part Two of Howl's Tales - an Amazing Tales adventure

After befriending Lucky Liam the leprechaun, Howl the white wolf and his new pal travel through the fairy wood, looking for food and gold.

They hear a banging noise ahead. Howl tries to sneak up on the source of the noise, but he only manages to frighten a fairy away. In his haste, the fairy drops a stack of flyers. Lucky Liam reads the notice to Howl.

By the Order of Queen Thomasina

A Games Tournament Shall Be Held
Today at Noon
At the Gleeful Glen

First Prize - 500 gold and a free lunch

"Five hundred gold!" exclaimed Liam.
"Free lunch!" exclaimed Howl.

They decided to try their luck at the tournament.

Arriving at the Gleeful Glen, they see colorful toadstools arranged throughout the clearing. Queen Thomasina is on a perch overlooking the scene. Fireflies are flitting throughout the glen, creating a dazzling light display.

At first, the crowd is scared of Howl, but he reassures the attendees with his friendly manner. The pair sign up and are assigned the same toadstool.

As they are waiting for the tournament to start, a smelly goblin enters the glen. The guards are ready to throw him out, but he issues a challenge.

"Five hunnerd gold sez that I win this tournament!" he bellows. Queen Thomasina nods her head. The organizers sign the goblin up, and assign him to Howl and Liam's toadstool.

The game of the day is Settlers of Catan

"Excellent!" thinks Howl. "My bargaining skills will really come in handy."

"Excellent!" thinks LIam. "My luck will help me win!"

Howl tries to engage the goblin in some uneven trades. "Three of his sheep for one of my logs. He's stupid enough to go for it!" thinks Howl. The goblin just laughs at Howl and proceeds to build cities with the cards he holds. Meanwhile, Liam mutters in frustration. Unluckily, he just can't get any useful cards. At the end the game, the goblin emerges victorious.

As Howl and Liam hang their heads dejectedly, the goblin dances upon the toadstool and crows about his success.

"The tournament is not yet over." Thomasina reminds him.

The goblin laughs. "'Tis in the bag! I'll even up the ante. The goblin's hoard, in exchange for yer kingdom!"

"Enough!" the queen scolds him. "Respect the game or you shall not be allowed to play."

This makes the goblin angry. "Not play?! Then I'll be takin' the winnings!" With that he leaps onto the prize table, grabs the gold and a picnic basket with the lunch, and scampers into the woods.

"Not the gold!" cries Liam
"Not the lunch!" cries Howl.
"Find him!" cries Queen Thomasina.

"With your nose for food and my sense for treasure, we should find him easily!" says Liam. Howl nods in agreement, and the pair chase after the goblin. They track him to a dark, desolate looking cave.

"Let me check it out first," announced Howl. Stealthily he creeps into the cave, following the goblin's scent. Suddenly, a swarm of goblins jump him and tie him up! He barely gets a howl out before he is dragged off!

Meanwhile, Liam is anxiously waiting at the cave mouth.

And thus ended our first session. It was made very interesting by our heroes' inability to make their rolls. For example, in the cave, Howl's stealth roll was a 2 on 2D6!

By the way, I changed the task resolution system to use 2D6. In standard Amazing Tales, players will roll a D6, D8 or D12, depending on their skill, with a target of 3+. I'm not fond of multiple types of dice so I use a straight 2D6 roll, with a target of 5, 6, or 7.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Howl Makes a Friend

Part One of Howl's Tales - an Amazing Tales Adventure.

Once upon a time, there was a friendly white wolf named Howl. He lived in the fairy forest ruled by the benevolent queen Thomasina. One day, Howl was walking through the woods, looking for some lunch, when he ran into a little man. At first the little man was frightened of Howl (who had big, scary looking teeth), but Howl reassured him and they became friends.

"I am very hungry and looking for something to eat. Do you know where I can find something?" asked Howl.

"Nay," said the little man. Actually, he was a leprechaun named Lucky Liam. "I am looking for some gold. Do you know where I can find some?" he added.

"Sorry, I don't." replied Howl. "Perhaps we can help each other look."

So the duo began walking through the woods together.

And thus begins an adventure using Amazing Tales (which I describe in a post on my other blog). I picked it up because I thought my wife would prefer it to the typical math-intensive RPG. She came up with our characters (she is playing Howl and I'm Liam) and the setting and things went on from there. It was a natural for the ruler to be named Thomasina. That's our cat's name and for years we've been jokingly saying that she is really a fairy princess.

Howl is a white wolf who is good at bargaining, stealth, howling beautifully, and making friends. Liam is a leprechaun who is lucky, is good at finding treasure, likes to drink, and can walk on rainbows.

Anyway, I will be continuing the narrative in later posts.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Last Ring

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Based on the Three Rings (A Four Against Darkness module)

Our heroes, Khamen, Candorra, and Rikk the Ranger, have been searching the South Wood for the last of the three rings. They encountered a large cave and have decided to investigate it.

Map of the cave
The entrance (1) was empty. The party decided to turn right (west). In the adjoining room (2), our heroes ran into a party of goblins. They took one look at Rikk, who was renowned throughout the forest, and ran out the south door.

The party followed into the corridor (3). At the intersection stood a statue of an armed warrior. Intrigued, Rikk advanced towards it.

"Interesting," he said as he reached out to the stone figure.

"No!" warned Khamen, who rushed to stop Rikk.

But the ranger's finger made contact. Suddenly, the statue came to life and swung its sword at Rikk. With cat-like reflexes, the ranger ducked. The blade continued, and smashed into the advancing Khamen. He hit the floor, his ribs badly bruised.

Rikk wasted no time, and stabbed the statue. Candorra peppered it with arrows.

Enraged, the statue rushed forward at Candorra. Its swords grazed her but she drew her own blade and engaged the figure. Their swords clashed as they circled one another. On occasion, Candorra's sword flicked out, stabbing or slashing the statue. Finally, her blade penetrated to its very heart and it crashed to the ground.

As Candorra and Rikk surveyed the enemy, Khamen came up, rubbing his sore ribs. Gesticulating at Rikk, he gruffly commanded "Don't touch anything!" and then stomped down the corridor.

In adjoining rooms, the heroes scared off some rats (4) and dodged a spear trap (5).

In the next corridor (6), the party ran into a group of orcs. Candorra fireballed one and Rikk shot one with an arrow. In the ensuing melee, all the heroes were wounded, Candorra badly. Yet they managed to slay the enemy. Candorra had to use a heal.

After passing through an empty corridor (7), the party entered a cobweb filled room (8). Suddenly, a giant spider dropped on them from above. Khamen and Rikk wounded it, but it sank its fangs into Candorra. She could feel the venom coursing through her veins, weakening her. It then turned on Rikk and gashed him. Fortunately, he pulled free before it could inject any venom. Finally, Khamen got behind it and stabbed it dead.

Despite their wounds, the party continued on, dodging a spear trap (9) before confronting more orcs (10). Both Khamen and Rikk took wounds before the heroes finished off the orcs.

After backtracking, the party finally found the orc reaver boss (11). In a blink of an eye, Rikk loosed 2 arrows, which struck the reaver in the chest. It howled with pain, rushing at Rikk. Its twin blades both struck into the ranger. Khamen tried to assist but the reaver moved like lightning and also wounded him. Candorra attacked, scoring a couple of wounds on their enemy. The orc swung at Khamen but he managed to dodge.

Candorra stabbed the reaver again but her blade got stuck in its body yet it did not die. As Candorra struggled to free her blade, it turned on her and delivered a crushing blow. She fell to the floor. The orc stood over her, lifting its blade for a death strike. Candorra pulled out a dagger, rolled between the reaver's legs, and plunged her blade up into its groin. The stab cut open a blood vessel, and a shower of black viscous blood showered over her. The reaver stumbled and fell dead.

Rikk tended to Candorra's wounds while Khamen searched the reaver boss. In its pockets, he found the object of their quest - the last of the sacred rings!


Days later, the party made its way from the forest and arrived at the abbey. The monks were ecstatic that the rings were back in their possession. They took care of the  heroes, using the power of the rings to heal their wounds.

"See Khamen," Candorra scolded him. 'Those aren't just some fancy jewelry we went after. Their powers provide aid to the community. We helped those people."

"Maybe." Khamen mumbled, unwilling to admit that he was wrong about accepting the quest. "But next time, don't volunteer!"

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Searching the South Wood

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Based on the Three Rings (A Four Against Darkness module)

After finding the second ring, our heroes returned to the crossroads. After a short rest, they began to follow the southern path.

In the first clearing (1), Rikk the Ranger got caught in a snare. It whipped him from his feet and suspended him from a tree. He bruised his head when he swung into a tree.

Khamen had to suppress a laugh as Candorra cut Rikk down.

"Watch yerself," the embarrassed ranger growled.

They followed a path (2) south. In the next clearing (3) Rikk discovered tracks leading south.

"Now what would ye do without me?" Rikk smugly retorted.

"Be without our comic relief" quipped Khamen.

"Khamen!" Candorra scolded. "Let's not start a fight among ourselves."
They continued south into a muddy field (4). Suddenly, the mud formed itself into 5 human-like figures. Candorra and Rikk cut down 2 of the mud-men with their bows. Then there was a brief struggle before the rest were defeated.

The path led south to a clearing (5) then turned west. As they proceeded along the path, they ran into a swarm of goblins (6). The goblins tossed poisoned javelins at the party. Candorra was hit in the thigh but the other two managed to dodge. Our heroes rushed into battle and easily defeated the goblins (game note - the party rolled 3 sixes in one turn).

As the path turned north (7) the party passed a field of large mushrooms. Suddenly, 5 funghi folk rushed to the attack. Candorra turned into a killing machine, cutting down 4 of the abominations. Khamen then dodged and took out the last.

Next they came across a pile of skulls (9). "Careful," Rikk cautioned. "Remember the last skull pile we found." Suddenly, the pile morphed into a dozen skeletons that attacked the party. The heroes were able to defeat them without too much trouble.

Following the path as it turned south again, the came to a rocky area. Before them, they could see a large cave.

What will they find in the cave?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Uninvited Guests

A Zina and Zach Slipstream Adventure

After rescuing Roarona the lioness from the rock-men, Zina and Zach lead her back to the rocket ship, pursued by more rock-men. As they approach the ship, Zach begins yelling "We need to lift off!"

The chief engineer called back "I'm not sure if she can handle it yet."

Just then, one the rock-men chucked a boulder that landed a few meters from the engineer. He shuddered and said "I guess we'll find out."

The crew and passengers clamber aboard, just as a boulder strikes the hull. Zach jumps into the pilot seat, opens the throttles, and blasts off!


A few days later Zina and Zach find themselves on the planetoid Simba, home of the Lion Men, They are guests of honor of King Raorr, who fetes them for saving his daughter Roarona. Yes, Roarona is a princess! On this particularly fine day, the king is hosting an outdoor banquet a short ways from his castle.

Suddenly, there is a roar of engines as a horde of shuttles set down. Out leap squads of Primals (red markers), minions of the evil Queen Anathraxa. With shouts of "Kill them all!" the Primals advance of the banquet-goers.

As the guests (plain circles) flee to the castle, the Lion-Men warriors try to stem the invasion. King Raorr personally leads one warband (second from the right) while he calls Zach (circle) to lead another.

Raorr's wild charge routs a band of Primals while Zina and Zach find themselves in a brutal melee.

Meanwhile, a band of Primals tries to cut off the fleeing civilians.

One group of guests makes it to the castle.

"Zach!" calls Zina as she points to the straggling civilians. "They're unprotected!" Zach looks back and sees the vulnerable civilians. He leads the warband back to cover the retreat.

 The Lion-Men slowly fall back to the castle. Another Primal warband (left) routs.

And another routs, but reinforcements arrive!

Then the unthinkable happens. As Raorr's warband holds off the Primals, a blast echoes across the valley. A ray strikes Raorr in the chest. He collapses! (His band, on the right, routs). His men drag his mangled body back to the castle.

The remaining civilians make it to safety.

Zach leads the rear-guard.

Until his troops can make their escape.


After their harrowing escape, one of the Queen's rocket ships hovers over the castle.

"Fools! There is no escape for you. You have been sentenced to death by the order of Queen Anathraxa for treason against her most gracious rule, and you shall die on this planetoid!"

Suddenly, a flight of rockets passes overhead, spraying out a fine purple dust.

"Death Dust!" exclaims one of the guests. He explains that the Death Dust will slowly kill all living things on a planetoid. Within months, every plant, animal, and humanoid will perish. Simba will become a desolate wasteland.

A few minutes later, Zina and Zach are called before Raorr, as he lies in bed, struggling for life. They approach and he addresses them.

"Hunter and Marks," he begins (addressing them by their last names) in a labored breath "once again, you have done my people a great service. I cannot thank you enough." He stops for a moment to cough and shudder in pain. "Yet I must ask, for the sake of my people, for an even greater service. It is said that the planetoid Sandpit has discovered an antidote to the Death Dust. I know it is much to ask, but please go to Sandpit and bring back the antidote!"

Raorr collapses back onto his bed.

Zina steps up and says "We will, and it will be our honor to do so."

Raorr smiles, nods his head, and says "Save my people." With that, he passes away.


A few days later, Zina and Zach are strapped into their new rocket, one of the shuttles abandoned by the Primals. They are checking the controls in preparation for blast off. They get a prompt on their telereceiver. Princess Roarona appears on the screen.

"Our sensors tell us that the Queen's forces have set up a blockade around Simba. Be careful."

"Always." smirks Zach. Zina scowls.

"And remember" Roarona continues "the Lion Men are eternally grateful for your aid."

With that, Roarona signs off, and our heroes' ship blasts off into the teeth of Anathraxa's rocket forces.

Will Zina and Zach get through? FIND OUT NEXT TIME!

Game Notes

  • This scene of the Plot Point campaign is another straight up fight. I turned it into a miniatures wargame (with markers instead of minis).
  • The rules were an adaptation of FU, as per my other scenarios in this campaign. As I have mentioned before, FU doesn't really work for me for solo play - it's too free-form. For future scenarios I will be looking toward other rules.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cavern of the Rock Men

A Zina and Zach Slipstream Adventure

In our last episode, Zina and Zach rescued a lioness princess from space pirates, but then were forced to crash land on a rocky fragment.

After the landing, the surviving crew went to work to repair the ship. Zina and Zach decided to investigate the strange planetoid. They were joined by Roarona, the lioness princess.

In their wanderings, Roarona became separated from the group. Suddenly, there were roars and snarls. Zach turned and saw Roarona being dragged off by two large, rock-like humanoids.
Zina and Zach pursued, and witnessed the rock men dragging Roarona into a cavern. Cautiously, our heroes followed.

They entered a corridor (1) that branched out into three directions. Choosing the middle one (2), they entered a cavern. In the center was a fountain with healing properties. They would need it soon. They entered the next room (3) and fell into a pit trap. Scrambling out, they retraced their steps and used the fountain,

In the next room (4), our heroes ran into three of the rock men. Brandishing a sword taken from the pirates, Zach charged. He swung and hit, but his sword barely dented the rocky exterior of the granite-like humanoid. With a contemptuous swing, it knocked Zach across the floor.

Zina began shooting her ray-gun, with deadlier effect. One of the rock-men shattered in a cloud of dust. Temporarily blinded, Zina could not fire again for fear of hitting Zach.

Seeing Zina's success, Zach unholstered his ray-gun and blasted one of the rock-men as it lumbered towards him. It too shattered into pieces. But behind it was another of the creatures. It knocked the gun from Zach's hand and began to pummel him with its rocky hands. As Zach passed out, the dust cloud parted and Zina fired. The last rock-man was pulverized!

Zina used her med kit to revive Zach. Although a little wobbly on his legs, Zach insisted that they proceed to rescue Roarona.

Passing through a corridor (5), the duo was beset by centipedes. Zina was wounded but was able to apply an antidote to the poison injected by the creature.

Finally, (room 6) they found Roarona. She was imprisoned by a massive rock-man. Zina tried to reason with it, but it attacked Zach! With its massive fists, it smashed Zach to the ground. Both the heroes opened fire, striking it multiple times. Finally, it fled through a secret passage. Our heroes let it go, rescuing Roarona and escaping from the Caverns.

But what about their ship? Will they escape from the rocky planetoid?

Game Notes

  • In the Plot Point campaign, this scene is simply a fight between the rock-men and heroes. For solo play, it seemed really boring so I created a dungeon (cavern) crawl instead.
  • I'm still using FU, but have pretty much decided that it is not good for my solo games. Instead, I'll go back to modifying Four Against Darkness for sci-fi games.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Goblin Lair

After searching the East Wood, our trio of heroes found a secret lair.

Entering, they found a passage that split into 3 corridors. They took the right hand corridor and entered a square room. Inside was an iron eater! Rikk the Ranger tossed some gold coins at the beast and the party retreated from the room.

Choosing the middle corridor, they passed through a few rooms with goblins and orcs. In one of these, the heroes were beset by 8 goblins. The monsters attacked, and Khamen suffered 2 wounds. Candorra was a master with the bow, taking out half the enemy.

After bandaging Khamen's wounds, the party entered a hall with 3 trolls. They managed to dispatch them quickly, but one revived and attacked. Candorra cut it down, but it immediately popped back up. Finally, all three managed to slice it to bits.

They passed through a doorway and encountered a she-orc reaver, Deko the Dreadful!

Candorra and Rikk loosed a volley of arrows that peperred the reaver. She just howled in anger and charged. The sweep of her broadsword sent Khamen and Rikk scurrying for cover. Rikk was a little too slow, and the blade sliced into his arm. He whipped out his saxe and sliced, wounding the orc again.

Then Candorra stepped into the fray. With a dizzying display of swordsmanship, she slashed and stabbed the reaver multiple times. It fell dead at her feet.

"Huh." grunted Khamen, his mouth open in surprise.

"What?" Candorra asked as she turned toward him, her blade dripping with gore.

"Never saw you fight like that with a sword before. Remind me never to go toe-to-toe with you."

She brandished her sword. "I think this should be sufficient reminder." she announced.

With that, they searched the she-orc and found another ring. Two down, one to go!