Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back from the real world

I know its been a few months since I last posted but that was thanks to my day job's workload. I haven't been able to run or play as many games as I'd like but my heart's still in the game.

I've been cooking up monster reference cards for D&D 5E to make looking up monster stats easier for me personally as a DM since from past experiences looking up statblocks in any monster manual or beastiary tends to slow things down until I've memorized the stats. Here i've made some sample reference cards I'm planning to use hopefully I even get to do art for all of them but that's unlikely. Hopefully my other artist friends join in!

These cards should print in 2.5x3.5 size the same of a standard trading card, so if you can spend the money you could print the cards yourself on cardstock, while I'd simply use my old Magic commons as a backer and sleeve these little bastards.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adventures at the Western Sea; Rurouni DM's Numenera campaign

I know its been a while since my last post, I've had quite a busy week but as of last Friday and Saturday I was finally able to run the start of my new Numenera Campaign. Now with a firmer grasp on the game's setting and mechanics, I've written up a basic outline of what I hope will be a Living Campaign where in case that I manage to run the game continuously the story grows and the players actions affect my setting.

Adventures at the Western Sea

The past week I've been reading on Numenera's Setting Chapter and one place particulary sparked my interest The Sea Kingdom of Ghan, one of the nations of the Steadfast. Just some information to my readers, Ghan is a nation known for its coastal trading ships with an aptly named capital city called The City of Bridges, politically Ghan is relatively peaceful with no interest in accumulating power or challenging stronger nations such as Navarene, however like any good leader King Laird doesn't want to look weak in the eyes of his possible enemies, thus protects protects his borders with a watchful Eye. The Sea Kingdom of Ghan also has a relatively large fleet of ships, called The Merchant Fleet, with more than 200 vessels of varying sizes. Back in our during the colonial/exploration during the early 1500's it was common superstition that leaving port with a woman on board or more women than men; depending on which version, calls bad luck to descend upon a ship, in the 9th world however the people believe in the opposite wherin having more men
than women on the ship calls for badluck. Sternmen as sailors are now called are mostly comprised by female to drive off that bad luck.

Ghan itself will likely only have a few scenes on my possible campaigns; I'm expecting its appearance to happen sometime around the third session, so I haven't actually planned any encounters that might occur in any city or the region proper. The main point of my campaign will be the Naval adventures and discovery. You see one of my major influences in picking this setting is the 2012 anime "Suisei no Gargantia" as much as I'd like to tell you about it it'd be too long to discuss the entire show but just to give you an idea the show is set on a Waterworld like earth with many humans living aboard massive ships often times clamped together with other ships forming living growing fleets, most of the anime's people survive by riding mechs underwater to salvage goods from an earth long past. Sounds exactly like numenera right? So the first sessions I planned focused on that living on a ship in search of ancient technology.

Now initially I only expected one group to run this campaign for but last Friday a customer;JV, at my local hobby club requested a tutorial for an RPG session; he initially wanted to learn D&D which I would have gladly run but the only people in the club at that time was me and the shop's manager Jose(you've read about him before in the previous play reports) so we recommended he try Numenera. Once he finished his character he and Jose became guinea pigs for my new campaign, this won't be an official play report post so I'll try to keep the exact details of the adventures short but do expect an official report in the following days for the other group since they had a more complete encounter and battle, also do note I am an Action oriented DM who follows the rule of cool, don't expect much intrigue or at least just the basics.

Image from Suisei no Gargantia, perfect setting inspiration for the City of Bridges
So the campaign begins with all the players hired by one of the science vessels from the Merchant fleet needing mercenaries to protect them from pirates who frequently raid lone ships out at sea. The science vessel's original purpose is to ferry Aeon Priests to a recently discovered ruin(an off-shore platform)  located a few days west of The City of Bridges. The ship is one of the relatively larger ships of the  merchant fleet carrying  hundreds of crewmen and big enough to carry two numenera weapons on both sides.  The first few days of travel goes relatively smooth with the players simply lounging about the ship this doesn't last long however as they are attacked by a large black wooden galleon with tattered sails; unknown to the players however is that the Wooden ship is a fake and that its real form is a relatively small(compared to their own) sized submarine. The entire ship is rocked by an underwater blast from an unknown Numenera Weapon(Torpedos). As the players and crewmen scatter to their battle positions they see the a few of the pirates skating on the water using what seems to be a pair of numenera boots.

I did mention that most sailors are female right. I have an excuse to use this image.
I initially set a few ways for players to win this encounter; either by killing the pirates that board their ship fast enough; depending on the number of players somewhere between 8 to 12 rounds or to kill half of the pirates before they board using the ship's onboard cannons. The final way to win the scenario is to drive off the enemy ship by destroying its fake hull. All of the pirates are level 2 bandits, and attacking the fake hull is a level 4 task if the players use their own weapons or cyphers and a level 2 task if they use the ship's onboard cannons, it also has 20 hitpoints and 3 Armor.

If the players manage to successfully fend off the pirates they simply back off and cut their losses; and will likely attack again but in greater number.

and this image

Should the players fail to drive off the pirates before a signifiant amount of time passes, the submarine rams into the players' ship unloading more pirates and eventually the pirate captain; the players don't know her name yet but for you readers a spoiler - Pirate Captain Tenryuu, an extremely beautiful but fierce pirate captain. Should this scenario happen the pirates retreat after the players eliminate a majority of them and/or reduce Tentryuu to 15 or less hitpoints; however in the process they steal a strange box from the ship's cargo hold.The box's importance won't be apparent to the players yet until they arrive at the ruins.

Regardless of the outcome the science vessel continues on to the ruins suffering albiet moderate damage but nothing the Sternmen can't handle.

I'd like to tell you more but I haven't completely finished writing up the next chapter of this campaign but it will likely involve the ruins having somewhere between 5-8 major "buildings" each dedicated to a specific purpose, the players have to find out what the rooms do in order to understand it and maybe retrieve a valuable numenera artifact.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thoughts on Social Interaction

Thoughts on Social Interaction

So last week I was able to play a Numenera Game under Jay and you can check his blog for the play report along with Raymz, who's made his own review on Numenera. Now with the lessons I've learned from running the Beale of Boregal(check my previous post), I've gained afresh new perspective regarding Social Interaction in RPG's as a player thanks to Jay.

So in the game I played a Clever Jack who Leads, expecting that in Numenera a Face Role with a several trained interaction skills would be more useful than a Face Role who's specialized in one single interaction skill. Also known as "Jack D. Delver" more often referred to as


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I was dead wrong, mainly because I was thinking in the lines of D&D, why? Here's what I think about it:

If you're familiar with the mechanics of Numenera you'll know that a player will always roll against a difficulty level and he can have a number of skills and assets that can reduce that difficulty value up to a maximum of -3, then once the final difficulty value is set the player rolls a d20
; and in D&D players have a dice bonus or penalty (and in the case of 5E advantage dice if any) against a \static mental defense value(For 4/5E) or a roll off(3.5/Pathfinder) and hope for the best.

At that point both games look similar but when you actually play the games you'll notice the big disparity in them. Let's use a typical tier 1 numenera social encounter and a Level 1-5 D&D social encounter as a guide.

Social Interaction in D&D

In D&D between the levels 1-5; you'll often be squared off against weaker enemies such as goblins,
kobolds,bandits, orc raiders and cultists and several other mobs, by mid arc you'll be facing against
liutenants, shamans, high priests and by the end of the arc youll be facing against warchiefs, possessed priests and what not. Each of these enemies usually have will saves ranging from 11-15 on average, if the encounter is designed hard it can be as high as 16-17. Now depending on what type of action and skill a Face character has be it, Bluff, Diplomacy or Interrogation, he more often than not has skill bonus somewhere ranging between +2 to +5(remember level 1-5 D&D characters). If you look at the math average mooks have 12-15 will save, so if you factor in the +2 to +5 bonus meaning a Face will likely only need 10 or so on the d20 which gives him a 50/50 shot at succeeding in bluffing, negotiating or interrogating a nameless mook, and about a 30-40% chance against its superiors. That's not taking into account bonuses or penalties for player actions such as offering a bribe, or threats of violence.

When you do take into account player roleplaying, like as mentioned threats of violence which
from my experience a DM often gives somewhere around +/-2 to +/-4 bonus or penalty in D&D3.5/Pathfinder or a simple Advantage/Disadvantage for 5E then the math either greatly increases or decreases. Even then the game grants you a wider berth for success or failure percentages.

In my personal opinion depending on how a player and DM interact with regards to social interaction the game typically skews to the favor of the player, but not always.

As an example I once ran a Pathfinder game for a couple of college friends which they needed to find
an orc encampment to stop them from raiding the player's current village. Now they were playing a party of anti-heroes and the party consisted of a Blackguard, a Rogue/Ranger hybrid and a Monk at that point if I recall correctly they were level 3. The major interaction situation they had was after defeating an orc defense line deep in the mountains they decided to keep one of the orcs alive hoping to get the guy to tell them where their main base was. Now orcs have a -1 will Save in pathfinder so on a take 10 tha'ts 9 will defense but I wanted a noble savage type of orc culture in that game so I beefed his will up to +2(or 12 static). Now my players tied this orc up asked him "nicely" first and used diplomacy, they rolled poorly causing the orc to say stuff like "what proof do i have that you'll let me go after I tell you" which resulted in the blackguard verbally threatening him by and using interrogate; now as I said these are noble savages who don't take kindly to threats so I gave the orc a bonus of +4 for that roll and we had a roll off, too bad for my player since I rolled higher than him and had the orc say, "Then you better just kill me cause you'll get nothing from me!" This is where their "fun" began. Remember they're anti-heroes and chose to torture the poor orc instead, and I gradually increased his will for each form of torture they did and they did a lot; they stabbed him in the gut, beat his face to a pulp, and eventually cut off his legs, each increasing the difficulty of the roll however by the time they cut off his leg the orc's "will hp" as I like to call it dropped to 0 which meant he was back to his base will save and when they threatened to cut out his eyes; which they rolled off to check if he finally cracked, he did (since his will save was back to -1) but he asked for an honorable warriors death in return.

Do note that the players had roughly a 50% chance at the start to succeed if they had rolled
successfully the wouldn't have had to do all that torture but their ridiculous anti-hero antics gradually
reduced that chance, until I decided it was time for the orc to crack.

Social Interaction in Numenera

Now with Numenera a GM isn't limited to static values and roll offs, each socially inclined NPC like
thieves and bandits start off around level 2 and 3 meaning you need to roll somewhere between 6 and 9 to succeed doing anything to the generic mooks but with Numenera's beautiful Cypher System a Face character would often have the ability to reduce the difficulty without spending effort to -2 which means that he automatically passes that test.

Easy(ier) right? That's what I initially thought as well but what about situations where you interact with an NPC whose difficulty you don't know? Remember this is Numenera a GM can arbitrarily place a difficulty for a task depending on how easy or how hard it is for a player to accomplish the task. In my game with Jay I had to deal with a very experienced information broker who probably had a base difficulty of 6, a fanatical cultist with secrets again with a difficulty of 6 and a cultist sentry with probably a difficulty of 4. So these guys would have needed 12(difficulty 4) and
18(difficulty 6). My character only had Trained for most of my interaction related skills which reduces the difficulty of all actions by 1, so I would have needed 9 and 15 to succeed.

Again accounting for the actions(stupid often times) I took while negotiating into account such as.
Pointing my crossbow at an experienced information broker, threatening to shove a grenade down said information broker's throat, attempting to bluff my way by showing a GPS tracker artifact to a guard of a cult that worships numenera and plenty of other shenanigans. I probably rose the difficulty of my interrogate tests somewhere between 1 to 3, which greatly reduced my chances to succeed seeing as instead of rolling dice between 12-18 i now had to roll somewhere between 15 and 21.

Now I'm not complaining about the difficulty I mean this is role-playing and actions have consequences; and these weren't your average everyday mooks, but what I am comparing is with D&D and other RPG's you have the ability to better increase your chances  with re-rolls and high dice bonuses to get better chances to succeed which in my experience happens most of the time. However with Numenera, the most common resource you have to increase your chances of success are your skills, assets and effort and sometimes situational +1 or +2 bonuses. Normally these resources would have been enough but for social interactions more often than not you don't have access to an asset. Though there are chances you can have assets for social interactions such as evidence when trying to prove a crime or money to bribe but most common social interactions don't grant access to such assets which leaves a face character with an average of -2 difficulty bonus; most of the time thats all he needs to succeed especially when dealing with mooks but
when dealing with tougher social challenges, he often lacks enough resources to reduce the difficulty
with the tests.

Let's look back at my recent game, difficulty 6 negotiator, thats 18 to pass, I am trained in intimidate
bringing it down to 5 so thats 15 to pass thats already roughly a 25-30% chance to succeed on the d20. I displayed threats of violence in conjunction with my interrogate increased that to 7, again intimidate training brings that back to 18, should I have spent effort I would have brought that back down to 15, sadly I rolled a 17 and failed that roll. Again to reiterate I'm not complaining such is the nature of the game but sometimes like in real life you want to have that one thing that you think might have changed things.

Final Thoughts

I'm basically comparing apples and oranges, rather pointing out major differences in the way the two
games handle social interaction it's not a which game is better kind of deal it's more of explaining
my experience in both games. Numenera's system is beautifully crafted to keep the story flowing, enables a DM to stick to an NPC's principle and role. If a DM decides that his NPC will never break in a social interaction he can set a difficulty and leave it at that; the only way to make the task easier is to roleplay it in a favorable manner or present evidence to reduce the difficulty and hope for the best.

In D&D however sometimes a good role can easily bypass a 15 Will Save when the Face has a +5 bonus in 4/5E, or And the case of a roll-off with 3.5/Pathfinder a player simply needs to roll higher than the DM; Which can; at times, cause an unreasonable break in the NPC's personality.

Again no matter how I word it I'm comparing apples and oranges, both games would require different mindsets when playing both games, but as a DM with the new tricks I've learned this session I plan to improve my gameplay hopefully to be more engaging whatever system I use.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Numenera Playtest

A few weeks ago I was able to run a quick playtest for Monte Cook's brainchild; Numenera. To acclimate ourselves to the system, a couple of friends and I decided to try the first Corebook Adventure - The Beale of Boregal.

During the course of play we ran across a few rules inquiries, since it was my first time running the game I didn't have the basic rules memorized which resulted in a few play errors.

GM Intrusion - Initially I thought any player can refuse a GM intrusion but it turns out as one of the
players stated they need to spend 1 XP to actually refuse the XP, what I was doing was they simply reject the intrusion and gain the 2XP to divide.

Effort, Edge and Ability Use - We had a short discussion on the uses of Effort, Edge and Ability uses.
The situation was the player used Thrust and Effort to increase the damage by 3 on the same action, we were discussing on how much was the total might cost of the action. I was saying he only needed to spend 2 points of Might since He can use Edge to reduce the cost of Thrust(1) and Effort(3) by 2 since I thought they were two separate instances of edge use. However according to the rules you can only apply Edge once So the cost should have been 3 in either form of application.

However with all the errors in the first playtest do note it was more for a learning experience than an
actual campaign(unless the players want it to be). Also I can always use "Im the GM rule" to make an
excuse for myself.

Well on to the Meat of the Playtest Report.

The Players

Jose - Malachore A Mystical/Mechanical Nano who fuses Flesh and Steel

DJ - Zurt Namir A Hardy glaive who Rages

The Story

The adventure begins as the pair of adventurers undertake the pilgrimage of the Wandering Walk. At a segment of the pilgrimage called The Fifth Stretch Malachore and zurt join up with the other Peregrines at the Mouth Cairns Camp, one of the few locations considered safe along the Wander. These cairns are made up of small hollows tucked behind a shadow of a hulking metalic sculpture each marked by a short round wall made up of the jaws of dead peregrines. In the camp the pair mingle with the pilgrims telling stories and listening to rumors mainly about the recent attacks on the pilgrims taht have passed this section of The Wander. Various theorys fly about from common bandits to the mysterious Slaytongue. The night passes by uneventfully once the stories of the recent deaths died down and the pair slept safe and sound. The next morning as they waken from the hustle and bustle of people preparing for the days journey, as Malachore and zurt prepare for the journey themselves the sound of thundering hooves in the distance begins to gather everyones attention. The pilgrims frantically search the area for the sound fearing an army of bandits; fuelled by the previous nights stories, as they attempt to identify the sound. One of the pilgrims makes out a single creature in the distance; she identifies it as a scutimorph, coming across the desert sands from the direction of its natural habitat; the false woods, heading for the camp at a staggering pace, carrying at least two riders. More rumors begin to fly among the pilgrims as the hear the news, the prevalent shock comes from the apparent reason that no-one rides
these creatures.

Eventually the creature arrives with its passengers, a young man clearly injured from a fight and a young girl clutching her head clearly distraught. Neither passenger bear the marks of a Peregrine. Malachore and zurt notice the strange connection between the girl and the giant insectoid creature and investigate the two newcomers. The boy introduces himself as Patel and learn that the girl is his sister Seria. The boy relays that their family is under attack by creatures called pallones, and are in dire need of help. Patel begs the two adventurers to take his sister to a Cylion Basin and she is in desperate need of protection, while he returns to his family and help them fend off the pallones. zurt discusses that they should help Patel defend his village first before bringing the girl to Cylion Basin while Malachore asserts that the girl is probably in dire need of help from her condition and she might not make the trip if they take too long, he says it would be best to split up one of them to help defend the village and the other to take the girl. As Seria hears this suggestion she immediately interrupts and says she can take care of herself she would rather have the two adventurers help defend her family while she heads to Cylion Basin alone.

Malachore insists that she wont make it in her condition; hiding the fact that he knows she controls the scutimorph, and tells Patel to take Zurt as he is a more capable fighter, to head to the village as they're wasting time. Patel simply nods and thanks the two warriors and leads the way to his village. Left with no choice Seria agrees to Malachore becoming her escort and mentally commands the scutimorph to pick them both up and head for Cylion Basin.

By early afternoon zurt and Patel Arrive at the False Woods, which from afar looks like an actual
cultivated forest, with each tree appearing to be the same height and diameter. However the False Woods prove aptly named as they finally enter it; each "tree" is apparently a strange ancient synth tubes with a strange living mesh at the top. zurt finally notices the "bark" as scutimorphs wrapped around the tubular structures. Patel warns the glaive to be careful around the scutimorphs as they tend to be agressive when their territories are encroached upon but will not attack if left alone. Irony however strikes a few minutes later as the two enter the deeper parts of the forest; a scutimorph suddenly drops from its tube and begins to attack the pair. Patel immediately notices the creatures strange behavior saying that this has never happened before.

zurt tells Patel to be ready to defend himself as the giant insectoid begins to lunge at him with its
enourmous mandibles. Zurt deftly dodges the attacks with his combat expertise; not to mention his trusty shield, and retaliates with his broadsword, he easily hits the giant centipede like creature however the blow barely manages to crush the scutimorphs thick chitinous armor. Patel follows suit in desperation striking with his short sword however he encounters the same problem as Zurt. The scutimorphs hide seems to shine with a slick coating of a strange substance after being struck twice by the two humans. It lets out a shriek of anger and attacks the glaive once more but Zurts shield proves a formidable defense. Zurt attempts to strike back again but his sword slides off the beasts hide; it seems like the strange substance on its body created an even more natural defense for it. Patel strikes again in desperation but somehow the beasts slick body now becomes sticky causing him to lose his grip on his sword. The scutimorph strikes back again but the stalemate continues, like a battle between the strongest shield and the strongest spear. Zurt uses all of his abilities to strike once more this time crushing one of the insect's plates but as the chitin cracks under the onslaught a large volume of the strange fluid bursts from it trapping Zurt's weapon. Noticing the futile effort of the battle Zurt orders Patel to fall back, the boy releases his grip on his sword and shouts follow me the village can't be far these beasts don't stray too far from their trees! Zurt nods in acknowledgement as he gathers his strength to pull out his blade from the scutimorph's back and just in time as well, a quick glimpse at his surroundings enables him to notice the rest of the herd begin to take notice of the battle, some uncoiling from their trees. The two men quickly run away from the battle and the creatures return to their trees.

On the way to the village Patel recalls the strange actions of the scutimorph repeating that not once
have they been attacked by these beasts for no reason. Zurt notices that the boy is hiding something
but doesn't pressure him, maybe he'll get clearer answers when he reaches the village.

The two men arrive by the village near sundown. They see several of the townspeople attempting to salvage any damaged goods they had, repairing broken walls, preparing weapons and defenses should they be attacked once more. Zurt notices that these villagers aren't trained for war but are handy with spears he assumes they probably hunt often but the damage on the village seems to be from an attacker they aren't used to. Before the glaive could ask the boy on what they should do next he notices the villagers take arms and he readies himself thinking maybe these villagers are wary of strangers but on a second look Zurt observes that their hostility isn't aimed at him but rather strange translucent disc like creatures floating just a few feet above them. Patel runs to a nearby spear; probably left on the ground from the last battle, and screams, "ITS THE PALLONES! THEY'RE BACK! PLEASE SIR ZURT HELP US!" as he strikes a nearby pallone. The warrior draws his broadsword once more hoping to help his employer; however a disc like creature stands in his way separating him from Patel; left with no option he duels against this creature readying his shield for defense. He strikes landing a clean blow on the flat alien creature, wounding it badly but not enough to kill it. The pallone begins to spin like a circular saw and heads for Zurt's neck but his wall like shield prevents the beast from severing his neck as he feels the pallone gouge deep lines on his shield.

Zurt sees Patel's duel ongoing through his peripheral vision; he notices the boy is more capable with
a spear than a sword; deftly dodging the pallones blade-like edges and striking them on their softer bodies. Zurt strikes his opponent once more immediately killing it, the creature falls like a feather to the ground. The glaive takes this opportunity to head to Patel to provide backup, on his way he sees a third creature break away from a larger group attacking the villagers flying rapidly to their location. Patel's concentration wavers causing him to miss and get hit by a pallone's flyby in turn. Zurt jumps by Patel's side weapons ready and attacks the wounded creature but his form isn't stable and misses the gelatinous mass entirely. The same pallone suddenly rolls itself into a cylinder and flys through the gaps in Zurt's defenses and unfurls itself causing a deep gash at the Glaive's side. Not even flinching from the pain the Hardy Glaive quickly spins and swings his broadsword striking the flying disc on its back cleaving it in two.

The third pallone arrives and attacks Patel while Zurt is preoccupied, wounding the boy gravely. In anger the young man strikes back and trips as he is suddenly thrown off balance. Two more pallone break from the herd as they see an easier target lying on the ground. The glaive knows if the boy can't stand on his feet he will die and quickly stands over him like a tower maintaining his sight on the enemies. Once the pallone moved in closer he strikes like an angry cobra hitting the creature on its sword like edge. He sees the two other pallone almost nearby; he knows he'll end up dead too if he doesn't finish it quickly. Strikes once more at the nearby assailant finally killing it this time. He then runs to the approaching attackers hoping to draw their attention away from Patel. His threatening taunt works; a little bit too well as another pallone breaks from the pack and heads his way. Two of them now circle around the glaive like a pair of vultures each attacking in turn, Zurt's defense manages to block one but the other attacks his blind side, red blood begins to stain his clothes and he drops his broadsword as he winces in pain. Luckily, Patel's Spear was nearby, he rolls for it quickly grabbing the spear and stabs one of the pallone's belly. He draws forth most of his energy in this attack instantly killing the creature. Two remain in his vicinity and both fly by hoping to land killing blows on the glaive. But he deftly dodges both with his shield.

Gracefully swinging the spear Zurt continually attacks the remaining two pallones, and after a few minutes of battle he finally kills the remaining two exhausting himself in the process. He regains his composure ready for a next set of attackers but as he looks towards the rest of the villagers he lets out a sigh of relief seeing that the remaining creatures are either dead or beggining to flee. Patel finally wakens as the battle ended and thanks the warrior for saving his life. Zurt is told to wait as Patel calls for his family. The Glaive is quickly introduced to Patel's mother and grandfather, they offer him food and a place to stay for the night as thanks, Zurt also learns of the true nature of the attack; people have been blaming Seria for the recent series of events due to her mysterious power to control the scutimorphs. The family believes Seria has nothing to do with them they cite the recent attack as an example, if it were indeed their youngest then the pallones wouldn't have attacked the town. The grandfather fears a more sinister reason is at work; he recalls that right before the pallones attacked a few days ago Seria started to deal with a sudden headache and she feels it comes from the west near The Embered Peaks, their grandfather believes that its possible there is a Numenera that is either broken or being used for evil means is the cause of all this. Zurt takes note of his new found knowledge, for some reason maybe honor, he feels as if its his duty to solve the mystery of Embered Peaks. Once he finishes helping the town reorganize itself he retreats into Patel's family home enjoys a hot meal and bath and sleeps.

Meanwhile Seria and Malachore's travel to the town of Cylion Basin passed by mostly uneventfully, would be bandits probably deterred by the massive scutimorph mount. They safely arrive at the Cylion Basin, somewhat like a tourist town attracting many travelers because of its mysterious 6 colored basins which are said to heal various ailments. Immediately upon arriving the pair are bombarded by several merchants and peddlers selling their various wares, however Malachore simply stonewalls the merchants as they look for the store they need. At the far end of the main boulevard they find a store marked by a sign with an actual brain; which is likely not human, nailed to it. In here they meet an old woman; with several shards of metal and synth portruding in semi circles around her eyes, the base of her nose and the corners of her mouth; she asks them to come inside saying she knows what they seek. She introduces herself as Darvin, a specialist in illnesses of the brain. She asks for the pair's story while examining Seria.

Darvin says she can help the young girl but is in need of materials for the remedy; however she cannot get the materials on her own due to a pack of Broken Hounds who've suddenly taken residence in the towns synth garden. A known community resource, many other doctors have been unable to replenish their supplies of precious medicinal materials due to these invaders. The old woman tells Malachore it's dangerous to fight these beasts but should he decide to rid the town of these pests they will likely reward him should he manage to return.

Malachore accepts the task and asks the woman what she needs for the medicine. She gives the Nano a sheet of paper listing the materials she needs along with accompanying pictures to help him identify them. After a short trek to the garden Malachore finds the pack of hounds lazily wandering about the garden grounds. He walks closer gathering the strange dog-like creatures with heads like an avian's skull. What seems to be the Alpha hound rises from its resting spot and lets loose a strange growl that seems to be a mix of chirping and guttural noises alerting its 5 other pack mates. Malachore
decides that maybe intimidation might be a good way to end this without a fight and slams the ground
with a force of energy. Though impressive his taunts do nothing but raise the hound's aggression as they begin to charge at the young man. Malachores reflexes prove essential as he manages to step back a few feet and perform an esoteric attack striking the beasts mind with his mental projection. One of the beasts slow down obviously in pain from the human's attack, but shortly resumes its charge. The 6 beasts then work in concert to attack the lone human however his metallic arms and armor negate most of the damage. The young man continues pounding the enemy hounds with his mental projections finally leaving one of them a brainless husk. The beasts continue their relentless assault regardless of losing one of their pack, they lunge at the Nano from various directions, each biting and scratching at him. Malachore notices that the beasts primitive weapons barely deal any damage against his tougher armor and fights on, straining his mental abilities to their fullest. A few short minutes of this dance however causes a second broken hound to whine in pain with its strange mix of dog bark and birdcall marking its death.

The rest of the hounds notice that they can do nothing against their superior opponent; the alpha breaks off and issues what seems to be a cry for retreat causing the rest to flee. They run far away from thenano eventually heading to the horizon far from sight. Malachore takes a minute to catch his breath then explores the beautiful artificial garden filled with both organic, artificial an biomechanical ingredients for various medicinal purposes. After finding the ingredients that Darvin needed he decides to take a few ingredients for himself as well; hoping to maybe create an salve to numb the phantom pain of his old limbs.

He returns to town bearing the news of the Hounds defeat and is greeted with cheer and admiration, but he returns to Davrams shop immediately. She thanks him and tells him that the girl will be cured by the next day. The old crone also grants them free lodging for the night, and a hot meal as well. She thinks of herself as chartiable as she sees Malachores wounds and damaged parts and offers to heal them free of charge in thanks for fending off the hounds with a few potions to boot.


The game took longer than I had initially assumed mainly because we were still acclimating to the rulesespecially coming from a mostly D&D oriented environment but overall I found the game a blessing to DM'sNot much to say for now as it was a quick session just to learn the basics of the game but stay tuned formore

I was fortunate enough to play under Philgamer last Friday and was able to learn more about the pros
and cons(though very minimal mostly nitpicking) of Numenera; I'll post that in a few days once I collate the stories from the other players  for now check out Raymz' review on numenera on his blog!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mapping the Redbrand Hideout Areas 3-6

So I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like to this past week mainly because we had relatives over and they're using my room to sleep in while i got stuck with my "workshop" and I usually don't like to do things in the workshop if I'm sleeping there(all the mess and all that). I also haven't finished my Numenera playtest writeup since I got busy with work and my Only War session got cancelled yesterday since one of my players went on vacation with a lack of internet. So here I am doing the Red Brand Hideout again.

Since my Numenera playtest writeup is still in the works I decided to do something quick which is doing these 3D tiles for the redbrand hideout.

If you've read  my previous articles on making the tiles it follows pretty much the same process, basically draw your tile on the foam, cut it out, paint it black dry brush gray to your taste. I don't have a picture of the tiles setup to look like the actual map since I finished these right before dinner time and had to clean up either way they're only 95% done without some basing techniques which I'll get to later

However what I'd like to talk about is the pit trap on Area 3, I didn't want to make a long 2x8 tile since I wanted to place the pit trap without making it hard for myself. So what I did was instead of making a long 2x8 tile I made a 2x4, a 2x2(which becomes the trap) and a 3x3 tile segment(which is now part of the last 2x4 section of area 4.

I needed to do this since when I want to place the trap I didn't want it to be an obvious trap tile like the legit tiles from WoTC since it becomes placed on top of your regular floor tiles. I wanted to make a functional 2x2 tile which I think ill be able to reuse often since It can function as a connector to rooms or as its intended purpose of a trap tile.

To make the pit effect I simply created a gradiation of gray and black starting with the black from the center then dark gray to the edges with the lightest gray. Now when I use it in the game should the players fail the test i simply flip the tile over to show its a pit trap. I wouldn't worry about my players knowing that the tile is an obvious tile trap becase in the long run when you use it often enough as a floor tile they'll forget that you can use it as a trap when you need to.

I also wanted to show a different polishing technique by using cement sand, regular sand or fine gravel to add more life into the tiles like with the moss but sadly I lost my bottle of white glue and wasn't able to do it. The logic for using the sand is to add a bit of aged texture on the insides of the dungeon since the moss would only work if the flooring and walls were regularly exposed to rain or other wet sources(like fountains) which is ideal for the dungeon entrance areas. The sand effect however would give more of an inside corridor feel since the sand would likely come from the ceiling or eroded dungeon walls. 

Once i get a new bottle of glue I'll make a quick update along with the completed layout of areas 3-6 if my table has space for areas 1-2 and the secret corridors I'll show it too.

My next likely projects would be Areas 7,9,10 and 11 since those rooms would be easier but I'm likely going to be only making a post on how i make the stairs rather than the entire rooms themselves since I think i can resuse the current tiles I've made right now to make them. Area 8 however would be my last since im still thinking of how to make the cavern effects with square tiles. After that I'll make a wilderness tile using basing techniques I've learned from minature wargaming.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Wandering into Numenera

I've recently acquired the Numenera Core Rulebook from Gaming Library, last Thursday and though
I've known about it thanks to Jay, it's till only now that I can do a proper review about it.


Numenera is a game made by Monte Cook; one of the people involved in creating D&D 3.0,which is
set in a future Earth one Billion Years from now. In Numenera players create complex characters
using a simple formula: My character is an "Adjective" "Noun" who "Verbs", and is played by rolling
a d20 against a difficulty level. One of the most important things this game has to offer is that
only the players roll. I'll divide this review focusing on the key sections of the game; mainly
Character Creation, Setting and Playing the game, hopefully properly explaining everything to
would be players.

Now when I first read about the game on /tg/ I found myself extremely
confused upon hearing the specifics of the game but after hearing a proper and thorough explanation
from Jay I became extremely interested and tried to gather enough interest
from my friends to actually try out the game when the book becomes available locally.

In what Monte Cook calls his Cypher system I immediately found it interesting and versatile mainly because when players create characters a lot of them usually ask me as a DM - can I become a Two Weapon Warrior, a Tough Hardy Barbarian, A Rogue who can talk his way out of anything and other variations of simple descriptions of what they want to play as regardless of the system.

I believe that this is a great way to entice people who've never even tried D&D into table top role-playing aside from that it mitigates power-gaming from the older players. Its a simple enough way to create a character, that a new player can be done within minutes; even slight overlaps between characters are hardly noticeable. For example a Charming and Clever character may sound the same; when you look at it even stat-wise, but depending on how a player and GM work together to describe a character's action both become completely different. Let's say both players are given a situation where they have to broker a deal with bandits to stop attacking a town; a Charming character would more likely describe his actions by charming the lower ranking members of the bandits into joining him and rebelling against their leader and maybe become town guards, where as a  Clever character might deceive the leader into believing that he has an army behind his back that would instantly destroy the band if they continued their actions.

Character Creation

Character creation is divided into three segments mainly:

Character Type

Character type is the "Noun" part of the "Adjective","Noun" who "Verbs" formula.
Numenera offers three Character types, they are Glaives, Nanos and Jacks. The best analogy I can give to differentiate each of these types is Glaives are your generic warriors, Nanos are your Mages or  Techpriests and Jacks are your Rogues and Jack of all Trades(Hence the word Jacks).

These types however aren't as fixed as other games; A Glaive for example may be your stereotypical tough,  mindless berserkers or they can be cold calculating assassins. It all depends on the combination of your character descriptor and focus and of course how well you describe your character overall.

Character Descriptor

Character descriptor is the "Adjective" portion of the formula. The Numenera core rulebook
and players guide offers 12 basic descriptors like, Charming and Tough. However the Player Option splat book offers a bigger selection to further customize a character. Each descriptor grants a character bonuses and sometimes extra abilities depending on its nature. For example from the given example above Charming grants a bonus to intelligence and training in skills relating to seduction, bluff and persuasion and the like while Tough grants a bonus to might and Armor and Might Defense.

Character Focus

Character descriptor is the "Verb" portion of the formula. The Numenera core rulebook
and players guide has a wide selection of various foci such as Bears a Halo of Fire and Rides the Lightning again the Players Option splat book expands a player's choices. Each foci becomes a sort of power source  and character overlaps change when combined with descriptor and focus. Let's compare a Glaive and Nano with Bears a Halo of Fire as their focus.

They both gain the ability Shroud of flame however when a player and Gm works together when describing their actions A Glaive's weapon becomes enshrouded with flame when he attacks with pierce or thrust while a Nano's onslaught ability originally described as a force of psychic energy, becomes described as a blast of flame. These descriptions don't factor in mechanically but are more for flavor and story.

Combining each detail, Type, Descriptor and Focus give a limitless amount of combinations. Even with overlapping character concepts a player will likely be able to enjoy the game without being
under the shadow of a similar character.

Aside from the mechanical side of character creation, each of its portion grants the options to help a
player developing his or her character's back story and player links.


Numenera is set in a far future a billion years from now, with several civilizations coming and going
affecting the earth in various ways leaving their marks on it. Book further expand's on the games setting however it can be very overwhelming to both new and old players alike so to briefly describe Numenera's otherwise deep setting, think of game's setting as an 80's sci-fi/fantasy cartoon mainly HE-MAN. Other references you could make with the game's setting is Riddick, or Wheel of Time.

It's a rich vibrant setting which fuses old world aesthetics and treats science and technology as magical. A GM can even create an isolated sub-setting in the world of Numenera to fit his ideal sub-setting without affecting much of the worlds canon.

I personally find the setting to be a hard setting to create campaigns for compared to other games like D&Dwhich enables a GM to create a campaign simply by using premade settings like forgotten realms or homebrew their own setting by drawing from Tolkien, Anime or Games. Even 40k Roleplay like Death Watch and Only War is easier to create a campaign for due to its rich setting and simply watching any war movie like Saving Private Ryan or more recently Fury and American Sniper is enough to get a GM's creative juices flowing.

Had friends of mine not reminded me that Numenera feels like old 80's cartoons like He-man, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Pirates of Darkwater and even The Herculoids I probably wouldn't be able to run my own custom campaign with this game and I would probably have to rely heavily on adventure modules (Thank god the Core Book has 4 free).

Playing the Game

The game uses a very simple difficulty number vs dice roll test to determine everything that happens in the game. The GM simply declares a difficulty level ranging from 1-10 multiplying it by 3 to
determine player's target number and the players roll a d20 and compares it against the difficulty to see if he passes. So a difficulty 3 requires a 9 on the d20 to pass. Aside from this basic rule players have skills, items or assets and what the game calls spending effort, that can reduce a tests difficulty which when they  reduce it to 0 they automatically pass. Unlike other RPG's Numenera rarely calls for the GM to roll any dice, when he does its likely only for a random encounter or rewards but overall he rolls next to nothing.

To further expand on this topic, lets say a situation calls for the player to jump across a gorge and the
GM declares it a difficulty 5 speed test; requiring a 15 or higher on the d20 to pass. The player is playing a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver. Being rugged gives him training in Jumping reducing the task by 1, he also has a rope which he wants to use as a sort of swing is counted as an asset reducing the difficulty once more by 1. Finally he decides to spend 3 points of speed as effort further reducing the difficulty by 1. The tests final difficulty is now 2(5-3) which now only needs a 6 or higher to pass.

Another of the games features is what they call the GM Intrusion. GM intrusion enables the GM to create interesting situations, advance the story or simply to complicate things for the players.
Let's go back to the jumping a gorge test, if the player succeeds the jump the GM can use this
opportunity to perform an intrusion and say the rope snaps or the landing spot suddenly crumbles which  causes the character to fall into the gorge. The player now has the choice to accept or reject this intrusion. If the player accepts he or she receives 2 XP from the GM, 1 for himself and the other to give to another player. If he or she rejects the intrusion he or she simply forfiets the XP grant with a 1 XP tax along with it and continues on with the original success result.

Final Notes

I like Numenera's system mainly because it's easy on the GM as it reduces the number of things he has to keep track of and focus on the story. Without looking at the book constantly a GM who homebrews a campaign can arbitrarily assign difficulty levels as he sees fit and still have a semblance of balance. Combat is easier since a GM can simply memorize the level, the armor and damage of basic monsters. Should the players ever need NPC allies a GM can simply give them a Level, specific weapon and armor and aside from roleplaying how that NPC acts he can effectively have the players control them.

A good GM can create a riveting story by focusing more on skill challenges without making the combat characters feel useless. He can do this by throwing in a very difficult combat encounter once in a while kind of like a boss monster to keep the players on their toes.

Overall Numenera is a great game, new and old players can easily delve into it without being too
overwhelmed; aside from reading the setting. Its price; approximately 40USD depending on where you get it from, is well worth it and with 4 free adventures its likely going to see heavy use.

I did a quick playtest last saturday with two friends of mine to get acclimated to the system;
to get ready for Jay's sessions, and I ran the first free adventure from the book; "The Beale of Boregal"  and we quickly cleared five encounters in about 2 hours more or less, losing time as I had to flip back and  fourth from the book but I think once I get the hang of running the game we could probably finish one shot  adventures in a span of 3-5 hours.

I'll write up a play report in a couple of days hope you stay tuned to read it and again feel free to leave a comment or suggestions.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Helping a friend

Philgamer is in dire straits anyone viewing the blog please read and help in anyway you can.

More Roll20 Dungeon Tiles

Here are some more dungeontiles for roll20, mostly 1x1 tiles for dungeon dressing and some of the bigger tiles for rooms

Again these shouldnt require any more tweaking when using them for Roll20, just drag and drop them and they should fit on the grid easily. I'm still planning on doing more tiles but Ive done most of the basic room and hallway tiles;  ill probably make a set of  1 and 2 square door, then a 2x2 stairway and 2x4 stairway but after that I'm not sure what most people would need.

Feel free to drop a comment on suggested tiles :D after the basic dungeon set I'll probably make a wilderness then cavern set.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roll 20 Dungeon Tiles

Originally I wanted to use scans of official WotC scans and crop the tiles as required to create .jpeg versions of them for use with Roll20 however after a recent discussion with my local DM peers I've decided not to do that to avoid any copyright infringement issues as its likely treading the border of legality so I decided to create my own digital tiles from scratch. Granted they aren't pretty but they should be functional, and they should fit on the online grid perfectly..

Though personally I find using tiles on Roll20 to be cumbersome unless I've prepared everything in advance; including ALL possible encounters we all got to agree Tiles make it look better. I cant say how good my tiles actually look compared to the official WotC ones but with the lack of support for free Roll20 tiles I hope it helps the community.

I'm planning on expanding from the tiles above these simple floor tiles were the only things I could do quickly with a short amount of time at the office; expect more soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mapping the Redbrand Hideout Area 1 and 2 part 2

Hi guys welcome back to Mapping the Hide out segment.

This time lets talk about painting the tiles.

I mentioned that I didn't know whether or not spray paints would be harmful styrofoam; apparently they are thanks to a warning by Raymz and reccomended I use styrofoam paint first then spray black. However being the cheapass I am and aside fromthat I couldnt find styrofoam paint in the bookstore I went ahead and just bought a big tub of plain acrylic paint.

Painting the tiles is simple the first thing I did was SLATHER i mean dont even bother wetting the brush just dip your brush in the tub of black paint and SLATHER it on the foam; making sure you evenly coat everything.

Heres everything coated in Black with the rest of the tools I need to paint
Once the black paint is dry you need to mix up a batch of grey paint and drybrush everything with a dark layer first keeping the grid clear as much as possible and other nooks and crannys to give the illusion of depth. Layer it up to the lightest shade of gray you want take your time, the first layers are often barely noticable from the black. Keep in mind however to reduce the amount of lighter shades to maintain that illusion of depth

1st Drybrush pass
Eventually youll end up with something like this 

Its probably functional to a degree by now and you can already use it at that stage but I decided to use my static grass from my miniatures to up the polish to 11

Simply brush some wattered down glue to portions you want and apply the flock to get some sort of mossy ruins effect

Big difference from your regular grey tiles, the moss makes the stone pop more in my opinion.
Once everything is done youll end up with something like this

Thats all for now stay tuned next time as I map out area three and if I can find a good tutorial maybe make some barrels and crates. つづく!

Only War Play Report

Play Report: Only War 


A quick background first. 

As you may or may not know, I've been running an Only War campaign for my old buddies who some of which moved to Canada. This group and I originally began playing RP's with D&D 4E and several other games after that. Eventually due to the ever present real life that tends to be detrimental for gaming we found it hard to continuously play sessions at my place due to location(again 3 of my players have moved to Canada) and scheduling problems and so we moved the session online via Roll.20 and Skype; so for my first Play report I'm going to tell you about the accolades of :

The Second South Hill Raiders

The team created the regiment using the Regiment Cration rules of Only War and these are the stats they picked out

Homeworld - Fortress World
Commander - Phlegmatic
Regiment Type - Reconnaissance Infantry 
Training Doctrine - Sharpshooters

For a total of 11 Regiment points which gives the regiment these bonuses

Characteristic Modifiers:

+3 to any two of the following characteristics: Ballistic Skill, Willpower and Toughness,
+3 to Perception
-3 to Willpower


Common Lore (War) - 2 Ranks
Common Lore (Imperium) - 2 Ranks
Common Lore (Imperial Guard) - 2 Ranks
Linguistics (Low Gothic) - 1 Rank


Nerves of Steel OR Sprint
Combat Sense


Ballistic Skill


Bred for War: Players must take a Challenging(+0) Willpower test to go against the regulations of the Imperial Guard.

Hated Enemy Renegades - Players may be required an Ordinary(+10) Willpower test to restrain from attacking the target of their Hatred.

Standard Regimental Kit Additions:

1 Chimera Armored Transport and 1 Magnoculars per player character.

The regiment was just a bundle of statistics untill I asked the players to give a short description about their regiment and squad.

They came up with the story of connecting all their regiment and future regiments to the Planet of South Hill; a world based off our home town. They became the 2nd South Hill Raiders drawn from the planet since the prior game had a simillar regiment composition named the 1st South Hill Sharpshooters(Who lost their lives attempting to evacuate the populace of Avalon from Tyranid menace assaulting the Calixis Sector). The valiant efforts of their predecessors made South Hill a prime world to gather new Imperial regiments to be sent to various battlefields across the galaxy, the 2nd South Hill raiders being one of the chosen to be sent to the spinward front. They didn't bother adding much flavor to their commander and war history saying - Their squad particularly is a bunch of misfits who take no shit from no man; being true to their reconnaissance roots; people who are used to be out on the field with little to no interaction with other guardsmen.

Dramatis Personae:

Ptesticles -(yep you read and pronounced that right) the Operator, played by Sam. Ptesticlese is the dedicated tank driver of the team, piloting their Chimera APC equipped with autocannons and a heavy bolter to serve as both the squads transport and the closest thing they have as  an anti-vehicle. Outside the tank Ptesticlese depends not on his lasgun but his ever trusty GRENADE!. His comrade who serves as his co-pilot and gunner is an addict named Vorgen; so far hes been sober enough to help the team.

Marcus - the team's Medic played by John. Marcus is basically your generic "healbot" in terms of other games but with the lethality and difficulty of Only War he hasn't proven his skills yet but that probably wont stop him as he serves recaf to the wounded while tending to their injuries no matter how bad he does it. Accompanied by Harmon, the field medics have been working more as doctors of death rather than life.

Lapua  - the teams oddity; the Ratling Sniper, played by AJ. Lapua is the team's dedicated hit-man, proving the ancient addage of 1 shot 1 kill most of the time. He prefers to hide WAY behind cover and provide pot shots so that the rest of the team can advance. Every sniper needs a spotter Lapua's is Odette a fellow ratling whose eyes can tell where the enemy is taking the hobbits, i mean VIP.

Piotr - The Heavy Gunner played by drew. Piotr acts as the squads de facto leader seeing as no one decided to play a sergeant or commisar to be the squads "Face." Piotr is your usual big man with a big gun type of character who is used to assaulting the enemy head on though has enough brains to hide when necessary. Assisted by Diane, Piotr's dedicated loader they form a formiddable moble MG platform as all Piotr needs to do is keep his finger on the trigger wihle someone else reloads the gun for him.

The Mission

We began the campaign using the GM kit's adventure - Old Soldiers. The team starts of being unceremoniously dropped off in the camp by their regiments chimera where they meet and greet the 37th Maccabian Janissaries, the guardsmen responsible for defending this area of the planet Virbius from the rebel guardsmen the Severan Dominate. The squad received the cold shoulder from the Janissaries, obviously noticing their low morale probably from the recent successive losses from enemy Guerilla tactics.

Once settled down the team was called to the command bunker where they meet their C/O, Colonel Raxe Garn of the 37th Maccabian Janissaries. Being the first squads from the South Hill Raiders to arrive Garn quickly tells them of their situation and mission. The Raiders are assigned to locate and assassinate the enemy general as the Janissaries no longer have teams to spare for the mission as they've lost several squads already and need the rest of their men to reinforce the front lines.

Piotr the squads acting leader arrogantly takes the mission with a, been there done that attitude and readies his companions for the mission the next day. As dawn begain the team ready themselves as they retrieve their mission assignment gear from the quartermaster and head out alongside the larger force of the 37th. Virbius' harsh nature was quickly shown to the team as they wandered for hours in forests, plains and mountains where enemy patrols lurked nearby. The team avoided numerous patrols and found themselves at the center of the planets most dangerous weather, the Virbian Lightning storm, Their dataslate had warned them to avoid this as much as possible for it was known to destroy nearly everything in its path. Ptesticlese narrowly escaped this threat losing only one of their jury rigged pintlemounted missile launchers in the process.

It was nightfall when they found the enemy base. Like all manly men the only option they could think of short of assaulting the front gate was assaulting the side wall. the made up the plan of leaving Lapua behind to provide covering fire by taking out the guards posted on the enemy base's tower while the rest of the squad ride the chimera downhill straight at the wall. Piotr though untrained in using missile launchers grabbed one of their spares thinking I don't need precision i just need to bust a hole in that wall. He fires one shot straight at a section of the wall damaging it but not nearly enough to punch through; this attack alerted the base; the four guards posted at the gate quickly went inside the base to warn the others. Lapua kills one of the watchmen posted in the tower to distract them from the charging tank. As he prepares his third shot Lapua sees an enemy Leman Russ vanquisher roar to life and head outside the gates. He shouts at the chimera warning them of the enemy armor pointing at it. Pioter barely understands what Lapua was saying over the rumbling chimera and simply continues firing at the wall with his missile launcher this time enough to blast it to bits.

Ptesticles catches a glimpse of the Leman Russ's rear armor through the smoke as it exits the base. He tells Piotr and Marcus to get off by the hole and he'll deal with the tank. He forces the tank to spin and puts it in reverse right directly at the makeshift entrance while he orders vorgen to man the autocannons to prepare for a tank war. Piotr gets off first and takes cover behind the rubble to brace his autogun while Marcus takes the opposite wall.

The Slow Leman Russ peeks through from the corner of the tower and fires a shot from it's battlecannon at Ptesticles' chimera, thankfully the enemy's main cannon jams; the emperor's will has protected them. Lapua takes another shot at the watchmen from the tower to protect Piotr and Marcus from their attacks forcing the last watchman to duck behind the fences. The four guardsmen from the gate quickly head towards the broken wall but are quickly met with full automatic fire from Piotr's autogun, losing one of their men instantly. Piotr tells Marcus to advance as he provides cover.

As soon as Marcus and Harmon get past the walls they quickly duck and jump from cover to cover while taking pot shots at the three guardsmen from the gate, killing one of them. This is when he sees their target, General Scarus; leader of the renegades. Meanwhile behind them Ptesticles Engages the enemy Leman Russ using the Chimera's higher speed to his advantage trying to keep away from the enemy's hull mounted heavy bolter while their main cannon is out of commission. Repeated attacks from their autocannon slowly peel the heavier tank's armor.

Lapua continues providing covering fire killing the last of the guardsmen posted at the wall. Piotr fires one last full auto burst at the guardsmen cowering behind the walls of nearby buildings and kills them. Piotr quickly hefts his autogun and advances to provide support for Marcus as he advances and attacks the enemy general. The The general quickly dodges the first shot and orders his two bodyguards to counterattack and they fire at the Medic and his assistant wounding them both. Ptesticles continues to circle around the lumbering Leman Russ with his chimera continuing to blast it with their autocannon. Their luck nearly runs out as the enemy tanks main cannon fires in retaliation once more hitting them at their weaker side armor, only narrowly avoiding certain death.

The teams heavy gunner now sees General Scarus and his two bodyguards and fires at them but without bracing his heavy weapon his shots fly wildly. The wounded Marcus and his companion move back attempting to use the nearby wall as cover and retaliate. Forging accuracy for volume of fire Marcus switches his Lasgun to Semi-auto burst and fires directly at the enemy general. It seems that the Emperor has smiled on him today all his shots strike the enemy general's head searing it clean off he breathes as sigh of relief as the remaining soldiers' morale quickly breaks. But before they could enjoy their victory a figure clad in black armor casts an intimidating shadow over their medic they see Lord Kalkus Veth, leader of a Dark Eldar Kabal accompanied by four of his men on Jetbikes. 

All of the guardsmen loyal or otherwise quickly fire at the alien's sudden appearance and the alien's henchmen fire at the hapless rebels reducing them to mincemeat. Lapua sees the threats and fires at what seems to be their Leader; his shot hits but the alien's armor protects him from the sniper. 
Before the rest of the 2nd could react Kalkus Veth sets his sights on the medic and fires his weapon at him. With nowhere to run Marcus was prepared to die however Harmon quickly jumps in front of him protecting his mentor at the cost of his life.

As the Leman Russ's crew seems to become lifeless Ptesticles takes the opportunity to return to his comrades inside the base and immediately sees the Xenos group with Marcus clutching their dead comrade's lifeless body and quickly orders vorgen to attack the enemy vehicles. The enemy jetbikes superior speed proves to be a challenge however as they deftly dodge the chimera's autocannons and position themselves to flank the weakened tank. Piotr Rushes to Marcus' side firing pot shots at the black clad figure attempting to drag Marcus away from the threat.

Lapua calms himself down and listens to Odette's coordinates, and aims at the head of their quarry as it menacingly saunters toward his allies, and he simultaneously exhales as he pulls the trigger of his sniper rifle followed by a loud resounding bag from the weapon his sight is momentarily blinded. He hits the leader and his shot breaks through his armor and wounds the alien however it doesn't do enough damage to kill him but it does throw off the Eldar's aim causing him to miss both Marcus and Piotr.

The two Jetbikes begin to pelt the tank with their alien weaponry, silvery flashes of light and particles slam into the tanks hull ripping through its armor slowly but surely. Ptesticles makes a quick decision to ram the bunker behind him and use it as a sort of cover to prevent the jetbikes attack from penetrating his weaker side armor and create an avenue for escape for his companions outside. Seconds later dust fills the air as the tank rams the wall breaking it but also damaging their vehicle. The Jetbikes' riders weren't prepared for this and were taken aback. This momentary laspe of concentration was all Vorgen needed to fire a barrage at one of the bikes instantly destroying one of them in a blaze of fire; as the wreckage flips the two riders atop it rag-doll into the air and drop with a sickening thud among the rubble.

Piotr sees his chance for a short respite from the enemy onslaught and orders odette to drag Marcus away from combat and provides cover for both of them as he shoots at the Xenos leader. Lapua learning from his previous attacks corrects his aim once more and pulls the trigger for the final time. Before the alien could deal the finishing blow to Piotr's group his helmet bursts in crimson mist as Lapua's shot hits Kalkus Veth right in the head. As the life leaves the alien leaders body his remaining men promptly elevate their jetbike and throttle it in a hasty retreat.

By the time the entire ordeal ends and the squads regroup they realize that its well past midnight and the dark night lit only by the flames of war. Now with a clear layout of the base they see it is composed of a large barracks complex a small supply depot and an underground bunker. The few rebels that did surrender to them as soon as the general died proved to be useless most of them being low ranking soldiers they knew nothing about the interaction between the General and the Eldar. After performing executions the team takes a few minutes to catch their breaths and rearm themselves using the supplies from the depot the squad proceeds to initiate a sweep of the enemy compound starting first with the barracks thinking it might contain more of the rebels.

Piotr is first to enter the complex followed by Marcus and Lapua while Ptesticles waits outside in their chimera in case of emergencies. Inside the complex they find one large hallway populated by several doors on each side, each one of them locked or empty. Lapua however with his heightened senses notices that there are still people inside probably barricading themselves in one of the rooms. Using Lapua's senses they find one of the locked doors and hear the whispers and hasty preparations of its residents. Piotr primes a krak grenade to serve as a make-shift breaching device and ready his team mates for what they thought would be a simple encounter against a couple of enemy soldiers. Once the blast cleared and the door opened the team opened fire however they were unprepared for the 15 guardsmen barricaded inside; it seemed that the barracks walls were composed of wooden paritions easily removed to expand rooms, The cowardly soldiers used this to their advantage to create a defensible position after barricading several of the doors using their beds and lockers.

The sheer number of opponents made it hard for the three man team to eliminate them all, especially with only having 1 narrow opening to attack from; grenades couldn't manage to kill more than one as the guardsmen inside scattered themselves and hid behind makeshift cover to protect themselves from the blasts. The team radioed in Ptesticles to ram the shoddy barracks from the side to provide support, and in a few seconds he floors it hitting the south wall, the chimera carried too much inertia to be stopped with the brakes causing it to ram straight past the north wall, dazing its passengers, everything went much better than expected however 11 of the guardsmen couldn't avoid the oncoming vehicle due to the dust and smoke wafting through the air delaying their reactions inevitably causing their deaths.

Piotr takes this opportunity to exit the hallway and run towards the south wall to gain a better firing position; while Marcus and Lapua distract the enemies. As the remaining four rebels reposition themselves from the onslaught their allies hiding in the northern section of the bunker come to reinforce them through the broken wall increasing their number to 10 as they continue to suppress the two members of the 2nd Raiders by the hall.

Once Piotr manages to find a good piece of wall to act as both cover and his brace he primes his autogun for a full-auto burst killing one of the guardsmen with several direct hits; his armor stood no chance. The desperate rebels see the heavy gunner slay their ally and attack in retribution; two of them fire at Piotr; the weakened wall offered minimal protection against the lasgun barrage wounding him gravely and finally hitting him square in the head; the energy coursing through Piotrs body was too much for him to bear; burning most of his face and hair, leaving him unconscious.

Marcus and Lapua see their ally go down and are gripped with righteous fury; Marcus in desperation throws a Krak grenade at one of the rebels and with either sheer luck or skill hits the Severan soldier in the head, the impact causing the bomb to explode prematurely leaving a grisly headless corpse in its aftermath. Lapua continues to fire with his sniper rifle however the disadvantagous angles he fires at reduces his effectivness causing minor wounds on their enemies. The rebels retaliate once more their morale raised by both losing their own allies and knocking out one of their enemies; they fire at the two remaining members of the 2nd by the doorway. One barrage shot hits Lapua square in the chest; his armor and cover offering minimal protection and his weak frail body is burnt with the white hot energy rippling through him causing a nasty scar and leaves him in a near death state.

All hope is not lost however as Ptesticles recovers his bearing and manuevers the tank to face the remaining four Dominate troopers with a burst from Vorgens autocannon two of the guardsmen disintegrate from the blast and personally manning the heavy bolter the Operator squeezes the trigger and leaves nothing but red mist for the remaining two enemies.

It took a long while for the team to rest this time seeing as they had two members critically wounded; after Marcus attempts to patch them up as much as he can they team readies once more to continue their sweep. They enter the enemy bunker this time only aware that there should only be a few people manning the bunker; mainly a vox room, a command center and likely officers quarters. They first locate the officers quarter and catch three Severan storm troopers hastily burning officers journals and valuable tactical data. A few grenades and a couple of shots here and there made short work of the unprepared officers leaving the badly wounded team nearly unscathed. They recover what they could from the tactical data and journals and find more incriminating evidence of the Severan Dominate high command's treasonous dealings with the Eldar menace and an enemy supply schedule.

They continue searching the bunker accidentally finding General Scarus' personal quarters. Here they see a room of a man bred in battle its meager furnishings proving that the man spent most of his time in either a command center and front lines; the team however recovers valuable data on recent attack orders given to the Eldar menace; proving that it wasn't their predecessors teams incompetence against the rebels but their unpreparedness for facing the Xenos. The team finds the enemy command center unmanned and recover more valuable tactical data; one revealing the exact coordinates of previous eldar attack sites and the various supply routes the Severan Dominate uses.

They bust through the enemy vox room next finding two storm troopers attempting to warn the rest of the rebels about the bases status. The 2nd however quickly dispatch the rebels before they could finish their task. Using the tactical data they recovered they use the enemy command center to relay the information to Colonel Garn and place an ambush for the enemy supply lines. With their mission complete and knowing reinforcements are on their way the team takes the time to relax and explore the rest of the base.

Ptesticles locates a large cave behind the base and explores it; he discovers that this cave seemed to be the hideout for the Eldar finding what seems to be a sort of arena and torture chambers inside. As he delves deeper he sees a larger room that seems to be both some sort of laboratory and torture chamber; several dead bodies litter the various alien machinery and holding pens inside. It is here he finds 5 survivors hooked to a giant machine all cables, needles and other indescribable devices for inhuman experimentation and torture. As Ptesticles sees the horrors unleashed upon his fellow man he feels his sanity chip slowly. He quickly calls for Marcus to help him remove the survivors off the machines.

Within moments Marcus arrives and examines the patients, he notices three of them as members of the 37th Janissaries and two who appear to be natives. He successfully extracts the guardsmen off the machines but fails to do so with the natives. They waken briefly from their coma like state as the machines attempt to pull them back; the various blades and needles stuck in them plunge once more putting the patient's already strained body into shock killing them instantly. Marcus attempts to revive the three unconscious Janissaries and successfully wakens two of them, one however was too far gone to be revived.

Once Ptesticles recovers from the sight he continues on exploring the caverns and finds an ancient Hive Gate. After examining it closely he finds a control panel and attempts to use his meager knowledge to manipulate it. However its ancient machine spirits do not recognize him and barred him or everyone else; from what he could see ,entry.

The rest of the night passes by uneventfully with the team recovering most of their wounds. The following morning they leave the enemy base as their replacements arrive. After a few short hours of travel back to their own base they are greeted with a ceremony honoring their deeds and medals are awarded for everyone with an obvious rise in their reputation.

They are given orders to rest and refit till the Emperor needs them once more