Played another game of Frostgrave last week with Casey. Third in the series. The campaign is nominally “Thaw of the Lich Lord” (literally: that’s what I’ve been putting on my warband sheet), but we’ve mostly been goofing around with it. Game 1 was Thaw’s “Total Eclipse”, Game 2 was “The Mausoleum”, and this one (Game 3) was “The Well of Dreams and Sorrows” except, obviously, we used the Dungeon Set-up.
Because things blend in a bit: yellow stars are treasure, green stars are special roll-on-the-Lich Lord table treasure tokens, blue stars are dungeon entrances (we didn’t have enough ways in, so the stairs down are warband entrances and Wandering Monsters can pop up out of floor hatches or, if undead, out of sarcophagi. We also parked Giant Frogs on top of the special treasures because that 16+ for Random Encounters doesn’t produce enough mayhem for my tastes.
The pool of blood in the center is, obviously, the Well.
I neglected to take photos turn-by-turn (maybe we’ll make a point of doing so next time?), but you can kind of see the direction the game goes in: both of us break some guys off to each side and push down the middle with our Wizards. Wizard vs. Wizard, Apprentice vs. Apprentice.
On the left, my Treasure Hunter chumped the Giant Frog, leaving the special treasure for the Thief to collect. He sent two models into the secret room to fight the Giant Frog on his side, which was a Mistake. They were obliterated by the Giant Frog immediately. What was going to be an Apprentice-on-Apprentice showdown ended early when his Apprentice caught a Crossbow Bolt to the face. Things are going my way, right?
Not as much in the middle. A bit of back-and forth, a few henchmen cutdown, and a clever gambit on my part that fell apart after reading all of the Leap spell text, and before we knew it the game boiled down to both of our Wizards, standing a few feet from each other, on their last legs, flinging Bone Dart at each other.
At this point, I would really like you to picture two guys, somewhere further along the Kovacs’ Wizard DCC evolution track:
standing in a mall food court gibbering, spitting, and flinging chopsticks at each other for an extended period of time. People stand by, uncomfortable and unsure how to respond. It goes on and on. Suddenly, a chopstick embeds itself in one of the combatants eyes. He screams, and blood sprays across across the bystanders as he dies messily.
Seriously, round after round of “I’m at 1 wound. I probably should run away, but he just missed Bone Darting me, and he’s only at 1 wound, too, and if I can Bone Dart him I’ve got this! Okay. Bone Dart it is!” Ending, of course, with my Wizard getting eyeball chopstick’d and dying messily.
We’re using the Just Play rules, that are explicit about between game order of operations: roll for Treasure, then roll for injuries. I got out with one of the Lich Lord treasures. Rolled: Crystal Rose (lets you reroll on an Injury table). Rolled for my dead henchpeople, then the Wizard: rolled a 2. DEAD. A dead hireling isn’t a big deal, but a dead Wizard is HUGE. But wait: Crystal Rose! Re rolled the 2, and got a Close Call! My wizard lost all of his gear (Magic Spectacles and a Staff of Power (3)), but lived on!
Talk about close calls!