Thursday, April 8, 2021

Skurmish! Player maps

I put together some player maps so they can track the hexes they've explored and to track troop movement across the battlefield (I will be providing these in PDF for easy printing). The above is the 11x17 version with ample room for note taking. Below is the 8.5x11 for those suckers without larger printing capability.

Each hex is numbered (probably hard to read on these images) but essentially each column is a letter (A thru N) while the rows in herringbone style are numbered (1 thru 0). Players with old eyes (me included) will probably want to write those above and to the left of the hexes for visibility's sake.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

FKR Skurmish!

Inspired by this post, I decided to try my hand at this FKR skirmish game and enlisted a few fellas to help me. Essentially you create rival warbands based on an image and text alone. Then using that knowledge, and common sense, the Host (me) arbitrates the results of all the actions of the players. I have been wanting to run some sort of skirmish game and have struggled in the past with how to exactly do this without a complicated rule system. I have probably read or skimmed through at least 30 skirmish type rule books and I often came to the end thinking "This is way to complicated" without it dawning on me that using the FRK-ideals, one could really run a skirmish on hardly any rules...or rules at all! 

For those gamers among you that are struggling to understand how you do this, trust me, it is difficult. A friend and I struggled for a full week thinking about this. Anywho, if this manages to get off the ground, I will keep you updated as we play.

Below is the email that was sent out to the players, setting up the ideas of the game and how we will proceed:

This is being sent out to all the players BCC so you will not know your enemies. You cannot directly act with one without going through the Host (little ol' me), in other words, you can attempt to contact your rivals by sending a message through the Host.

How to Play:
1) Following this email, you will put together your warband, a small skirmish unit of beings. We will have a few email exchanges as we tweak your warband. You will not have ‘stats’. See "Setup" below for more information. Deadline is Noon (central) Saturday, 10 April. If everyone gets theirs in early, we will move forward.
2) I will provide a blank hex map of the valley to each player and indicate your starting hex.
3) I will request starting orders for your warband and provide a deadline for you to and these in.
4) You will receive a reply from me approximately 3-4 days later informing you of the results of your turn.
5) We will continue in this fashion until one warband is determined to be the victor.

Imagine an open world. Your warband has been called here to battle, to explore, to become victorious. Your warband has assembled and are ready to take to the field to seek glory and treasure! A massive valley, the Valley of Bones holds riches, dangers, but also rivals. Your warband has come here to explore the valley despite these dangers.

Step 1)
Find a picture (or more) of your warband to help define what type of warband you command. These can be photos, drawings, minis, paintings, etc. You tell me what type of warband (goblins, orcs, space marines, wizards, Stormtroopers, lizardmen, Army Rangers, etc….go wild here) and once I have these from everyone I will reply with numerical details of your unit. I will do my best to normalize the power levels (ie 100 goblins versus 1 wizard sort of thing). It is fine to have more than one type of being in your warband. Once we have the "type" locked down, we move to step two.

Step 2)
I will ask for a brief description of your warband. This can include names, backstories, quirks, etc. You can be as brief or as detailed as you wish. Include your thoughts on the morale of the warband. Your warband should have a leader, name this leader, how they became leader, describe him/her, and how effective you feel their leadership.

That’s it!

A couple of notes:
o Please put (Skurmish!) in the title for each email regarding the game, that way I can easily keep things straight.
o Deadlines for you to send in orders are hard deadlines. If you fail to send an orders, your warband will act accordingly. If your last order was for them to march north and attack any beings they encounter, they will continue to do so until they are given other orders, are defeated, or are victorious (in which case, what are you but a useless meat sack).
o There will be instances where you will come across caves, ruins, temples, even villages as you explore the Valley of Bones. These can be explored. These may detract your warband from exploring the battlefield, they can be dangerous, but they can also be rewarding as well.
o Alliances, treaties, deception, subterfuge, tactics, are all in play. You can instruct your war band to any task you can imagine, but remember their capability and the reality of the world. While we might have Jedi knights fighting Shaolin monks, battling warmongering giant hamsters, and facing off against dino-riding turtles, remember that the world is a place with real physics and your band is a group of people that want to live and breath.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Floundering Queen


This inn is so named after an event in the past that occurred during the visit by the Queen. After slipping into the sulfur mud pool to the north of town, the Queen managed to pull in her aides until they were able to drag her wet, muddy, and smelly butt out. A local artist's rendition of the event reside above the mantle in quite elaborate mosaic.

The tavern was hand built by the current owner and operator, Thornton Eckelstone. As Thornton is not an exceptionally skilled carpenter, he made a few notable mistakes when laying out and constructing his tavern. Most notable among these is the height of the ceiling. Due to his own short stature, he did not notice the fact that his ceiling was shorter than the norm. Many visitors will bang their heads on the aged, dark wood of the ceiling.

Regardless of how many people are here it feels crowded and has a claustrophobic feel. Favorite place of the sailors who visit the village. 1 in 6 chance every turn a fight will break out. At any one time there are d6+2 sailors here, 4 in 6 they are already drunk (and rowdy like sailors get).

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Woodrowe's Elixirs

Woodrowe's Elixirs is a shop the boys have been to in Shiteton. He's a bit eccentric and if I had to pigeonhole how he looks, sounds and acts, it would be Sean Connery. Just imagine a older Sean in a fancy medieval robe, fidgeting over a table filled with tiny bottles.

Potions, elixirs, salves, etc. If it can be made into some sort of ointment, powder, or drink, Woodrowe probably knows how to do it. He occasionally has magic items that he will let go to people that he likes. Will often pay ridiculous finder fees for mushrooms of unusual species. He also seems to have an affinity for elves, attempting to continue conversations with them beyond what would be normally expected, some times to the point of awkwardness. My guess is he hasn't seen that many in his life...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Barrowmound 5

The Darrowdeep Kickstarter just began and it inspired me to do up a quick barrow map. Nothing super special, just giving of while I listen to Erik & Bad Mike interview Greg to discuss his new KS. Gotta say, I like Greg and his adventures.  ;-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Marshall Barony

For those following along at home (and to help my players visualize) I made a map of the local area. I added all the locations we have explored thus far to the map. As we explore more of the wilderness I will be adding to it. Below is the black and white version for printing at home.