Isle of Dread, Chapter 2: To the rescue

Last week we played the second chapter in our Isle of Dread campaign, which I have been telling you about in previous posts. Those of you who have followed the posts will know that our group of adventurers, led by the fighter Malcon deWitt, has entered into the jungles of the Isle of Dread in search for a fabled black pearl invested with magical powers.

In the first chapter Malcon and his party were ambushed on a northbound trail through the jungle. They were attacked by zombies animated by a wicked pygmy shaman. After the fight we rolled for random encounters and the dice determined that Malcom would encounter more pygmies. We thus decided to build the next scenario around Malcon and his party discovering a small settlement belonging to the same tribe as the shaman who had attacked them. Being a revengeful and greedy chap, Malcom persuaded his party to attack the settlement and grab what plunder might be found.

Instigating the attack would give Malcon an advantage and we decided to replicate a similar scene from Island of the Lizard King (a source from where we have pulled several of the encounters for this campaign), where the nameless hero also stumbles upon a small settlement in the jungle. A soon by tribesmen to be sacrificed man is here discovered. In the Fighting Fantasy book the hero has the option of setting fire to some of the huts in the settlement in order to create a decoy, allowing him to sneak into the village and free the prisoner.

Paperback, Puffin Books 1984, with the tremendously cool cover by Ian McCaig

This we transferred to our scenario. Looking in on the pygmy village, Malcon and his men saw a prisoner bound to a pole in the centre of what looked like some sort of shrine. They soon agreed to free the man and at the same time to plunder the place. Malcon’s three henchmen, armed with crossbows, thus fired burning arrows into the huts and then the charge began. The objective for Malcon was clear: Free the prisoner and transport him safely off the table. The defending pygmies had the objective to prevent this.

Some quickly defined rules concerning the sight of burning huts determined that pygmies had to take a Cool-test in order to move freely at the sight of a burning hut. If failed, the pygmy would either stop in his tracks or run towards the burning hut. However, if enemies were in sight, this rule was cancelled. Malcon only succeeded in lighting one hut, but this certainly was enough create a fair amount of chaos in the village.

As it turned out the combat proved to be an almost massacre. Rasmus, who played the pygmies, had an incredible unlucky streak, making most of his actions futile and rendering Malcon’s attack on the village a rather one-sided and very bloody affair. The scenario was fun to play, but lacked the tension our first combat in this campaign had.

Three of Malcon’s men were downed during the combat, but none of them died, and he is thus back at full strength in the next chapter. Oh, and the prisoner his group freed, is a barbarian named Ghimar, who a few weeks ago shipwrecked off the coast of the island and swam to shore with his beloved Iola. Sadly they were separated by the reefs and Ghimar is now searching for Iola. He agreed to join Malcon’s party if he in turn agreed to help find and perhaps free Iola, if this should be needed. Ghimar thus joined Malcon’s group.

If interested, this is Malcon’s roster (Malcon deWitt.docx) and this is the pygmy roster (Tonki-To Tribe_roster).

And this is what the game looked like.

The set-up of the 4″x4″ table.

Having surrounded the village Malcon and his men approach the village carefully. One hut is burning and the village is slowly realizing that they are under attack.

Peter the Melancholic, priest of Manann, and a henchmen appraoch the village

Huza-Ki, a giant pet hyena of the villagers, is gnawing bones peacefully but suddenly senses trouble

Malcon’s war hound Kenza and Huza-Ki see each other and immediately charge into a fierce dogfight

Young Ricco di Leonora enters the village and is met be poison arrows from a blowgun

Malcon, the halfling Jolly and one of his soldiers prepare to attack a pygmy defending his village from the invaders

Jolly, the halfling thief, makes for the temple area in order to attempt to rescue the bound man hanging from the large effigy

Rather surprisingly Kenza managed to chase the much more powerful Huza-KJi off the table!

Poison arrows from blowguns rain down on Jolly as he runs for the temple.

The temple area where the divine white apeman Offa is resting and guarding the soon to be sacrificed prisoner.

Malcon’s men are slowly closing in on the temple while fighting off the defending pygmies.

Proud pygmy warriors prepare to charge one of the men-at-arms.

The temple with the grand effigy where the barbarian Ghimar is held prisoner.

Kenza, in blood rage, really had a feast during this attack on the village. He charged from pygmy to pygmy and did serious damage to his victims.

One of Malcon’s men surviving a charge with a little help from crossbow support from behind the pygmies.

A view from the slowly approaching crossbow men who proved to be killing machines in this combat.

Malcon leads the attack on the temple, fighting Offa the white ape. Jolly climbed the palisade, planning to run rescue the prisoner, but a pygmy intervenes.

Kenza continues his wild rampage through the village.

All action is gradually centered around the temple area.

The last action. The pygmies have all but lost their village to the invading Malcon.

The conclusion – Malcon succeeded in dispersing the villagers with very few loses and freeing Ghimar from the sacrificial pole.

 

 

Welcome to the Jungle…

In November I participated in the splendid Horison Convention in Odense where Claus and I had brought along a little Oldhammer-scenario entitled Koka Lustria. The name more or less sets the stage.

Here’s the blurp which gives you an idea of the set-up.

This game takes us to the lush jungles of Lustria. Scaly lizardmen have captured the amazon novice Maka who was soon to be initiated as a priestess of the most sacred goddess Rigg. The vile humanoids are planning to use young Maka in one of their hideous fertility rites. Such blasphemy must be prevented at any cost and the fanatic servants of Rigg thus launch a rescue mission to free their sister before she suffers defilement from the cold hands of the walking lizards. A small warband of koka-crazed amazons, led by the most illustrious priestess Tototic, is thus sent off into the jungle to bring back their sister with the support from their pygmy allies. Will they succeed?

So the setup for the scenario is fairly straight forward. An alliance of amazons and pygmies have to fight the lizardmen in order to free young Maka before a huge snake rapes her during the weird fertility rite of the lizardmen. Yep, pulpy stuff, I know. The rules we used were more or less Warhammer 3rd ed. by the way.

This is more or less what the scenario look like. We played the game twice with four gamers each time and two GMs and the pictures come from both games. Sorry for crappy quality of many of the pictures! Thanks to those wo participated. We had a blast.

I’ll upload the rosters and technicalities of the scenario for further inspiration during the weekend.

Cheers

The game table with the ancient lizard temple in the middle

The game table with the ancient lizard temple in the middle

Lizardmen led by the by their snakeman leader

Lizardmen led by the by their snakeman leader

Koka-crazed amazons

Koka-crazed amazons

Pygmies rushing to the aid of the amazons

Pygmies rushing to the aid of the amazons

Things get into motion

Things get into motion

Young Maka captured in her cage while the snake waits for the rites to begin

Young Maka captured in her cage while the snake waits for the rites to begin

Troglodytes and dragon newt crawl slowly towards their attacking enemies

Troglodytes and dragon newt crawl slowly towards their attacking enemies

 

The dragon newt

The dragon newt

Pygmies ready themselves to throw their grappling hooks and scale the temple walls.

Pygmies ready themselves to throw their grappling hooks and scale the temple walls.

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The piece of cotton is poison gas released by the dragon newt

The piece of cotton is poison gas released by the dragon newt

More gas

More gas

The lizardmen

The lizardmen

Giant snake

Giant snake

The pygmies have arrived

The pygmies have arrived

The pygmy warlord Mu-Mu his fierce gorilla steed

The pygmy warlord Mu-Mu his fierce gorilla steed

Amazons and troglodytes clash

Amazons and troglodytes clash

More clashing

More clashing

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Lizard warriors gang up on the pygmy shaman Tiki-Tu

Lizard warriors gang up on the pygmy shaman Tiki-Tu

A brave attempt to rescue Maka is finally foiled as the lizards Cath up with Mu-Mu and his gorilla

A brave attempt to rescue Maka is finally foiled as the lizards Cath up with Mu-Mu and his gorilla

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Proud pygmies ready to attack

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I finished this bunch of pygmies for the Horisont Con in Odense two weeks ago. A fun little project which gave me a chance to work with African skin tones – something I only rarely have attempted. The lighting when taking the photos more or less screwed up my blending on the skin, making it all more or less chocolate brown, but that’s not how they look when holding then in the hand. Believe me.

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I know these pygmies are a slightly dodgy topic and surely totally politically uncorrected, but I take them in a pulpy vein like Vikings, medieval knights and such other stereotypes.

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The miniatures you see are a mix of old Citadel pygmies from ’86 and pygmies from Kalistra (not sure when they were released). There is a marked difference in quality when comparing the Citadel ones to the ones from Kalistra, but they fit together nicely. This should come as no surprise, by the way, as many of Kalistra’s models quite obviously mimic vintage Citadel stuff. But, as said, they are much, much cruder in the sculpting. Nevertheless look fine once painted and they also come cheap, which the citadel stuff doesn’t.

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The gorilla-riding pygmy is the warlord Tiki-tu on Mumu, the fierce and slightly evil ape. A conversion I had some fun working on. For Tiki-tu I used a damaged pygmy  shaman from Citadel and his mount is from Foundry.

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Hopefully I’ll be able to return next time with some better pictures. The lighting conditions aren’t great any longer, but maybe I’ll be able to catch a few moments of sunshine during the week.

Cheers

Martin