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Last year PingosHusband, after noodling around Exalted (2nd edition) and World of Darkness rulebooks (Vampire the Masquerade 2nd edition, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Mage the Ascension, etc.), announced that he'd like to run an Exalted game set in the World of Darkness.
We, his friends and loved ones, said “What, are you crazy? Have we not long joked about how unplayable and internally inconsistent the World of Darkness is; how its timeline makes no sense and its rules and worldbuilding are buried and often mutually contradictory; how foolish and suicidally incurious the various groups are regarding each other; and how so many of its many tragic angsty world-destroying problems could be solved if only each isolated group got its head out of its backside and actually talked to one of the others?”
He said, “Hear me out,” and since we have long experience of his keen ability to run entertaining campaigns, we heard him out.
See, PingosHusband has a knack rather like Alan Moore's ability to take unpromising old third rate comic book series and turn them into fascinating multifaceted mythic dynamos, or Neil Gaiman's ability to mine world mythology to create astounding and consistent and multilayered worlds, or James Burke or Kenneth Hite’s ability to take fascinating historical and technological developments and spin them into stories of human interconnectivity or disturbingly deep illuminati conspiracies for game use, respectively.
More than once PingosHusband has taken historical oddments, played “What happens if this is taken seriously and assumed to make sense somehow?” and produced some wonderful story or game setting or world.
(One of them won awards.)
So apparently he did this with Exalted and World of Darkness, getting under the hood, finding the core of what worked and what didn’t, seeing what could be connected to what else and what made sense, what was clearly absurd, what needed tweaking, what could be fun, what couldn’t be possible, why things happened, and who could have done them. He looked keenly at characters, places and situations, saw potential for fun in a campaign, wrote up background, and presented us with an introductory players’ handout.
I’ll get to particulars later. The simple version is that the world looks basically like the World of Darkness, except that all of a sudden a tiny number of people have Exalted with memories of the world of Exalted (“Creation”) and powers derived from it. There are five to begin with (the PCs), although more will come soon enough.
I have to say, this game has so far been tremendous fun. Our group has been playing together for over thirty years and I have rarely seen all of us this excited about a game. Our teenage / adult children are also involved and we have been having vivid family conversations over meals about history, strategy, and characters.
I’ve (of course) been painting up miniatures for the game. I’m having a lot of fun with these too. I’ll put links to Show Off threads when I have them up.
So, I've finally found a friend who is interested in Frostgrave and we've got a campaign going! We played several "practice" games with other warbands, but now we're ready to really enact a campaign. We, of course, waited until we'd received our copies of The Frostgrave Folio so we could include captains. I decided that the captain is my warband's actual leader and the brains behind the operation for the sake of the narrative. First off, let's meet the warband!
"This had better be worth what I'm paying," the auburn-haired warrior said to the odd fellow with the foppish hat.
"Oh good heavens yes!" the foppishly-hatted fellow said waving his arms flamboyantly around. "Felstad! City of wonders, mystery, enchantment...and other adjectives! It's thawing! If you can get there before other looters...I mean...historians, the treasures and riches of a past civilization of magical mavericks is yours!"
Branna sighed to herself, and handed over the bag of coin. She hated to part with such a sum, but tried to consider it an investment: pay money to make money. She knew she'd need a band of followers to share in the excursion, and she'd already started her recruiting. Reliq Burrows, pirate-turned-thug-for-hire, and Dell Furth, the skittish archer, were already on board and were sitting a table away as she secured the map. After all, it's always smart to have back-up around in case deals like this go south.
Next, Branna needed more hands to carry off loot they'd find. She knew exactly who she wanted to target for this.
"Hmm, sounds dangerous," said Jaffy Lightfoot, the Halfling thief. "Yes, much too dangerous. I prefer my safe, urban setting where plenty of pockets make themselves available for the picking. Yes. I say no."
"Huh, coward," chuckled his taller companion, Ella Shar. "Good luck getting out of your next scrape when someone catches your hand in their pocket and I'm not there to bail you out. I'm going with Branna."
At this, the Halfling started making some odd sound at the back of his throat. It wasn't quite a gagging sound, nor did it entirely sound like whining. Ella had gotten used to it, and gave Branna a wink as she knew this sound indicated that Jaffy was weighing the options, but would ultimately side with her: as always.
"Fine," he said with a sigh, "but I'm going to regret this, I'm sure."
"Of course you will," Ella replied. "Regret is one of your many great skills!"
With a couple of treasure grabbers on board, Branna knew she'd need some magic. After all, one does not wander into a land of wizards without bringing one or two of your own. She'd known some great and impressive wizards in her day. Unfortunately, the only ones available, were...well...these ones.
"So, hot stuff, come to take me up on my offer?" the obviously fiendishly blooded fellow said, his voice dripping with self-confidence.
"No," Branna replied, and launched into a quick explanation of the quest before he had time to try throwing yet another of his bad pick-up lines her way. V'Roth Forcahl had quite the reputation as an overly-confident ladies' man. Strangely, his meek and timid apprentice, Sylvania Efilbrooke, never seemed to be one of those ladies. In his interactions with her, he seemed caring and almost fatherly. Strange qualities compared to his usual gusto and bravado.
At length, she finished her explanation. Sylvania looked at V'Roth to see how they'd respond. The tiefling laughed and said, "You know this is just your coy game to get in more time with me, Branna, but I'll play along."
"Excellent," Branna replied, then added, "it'll be cold where we're going. You should find a shirt." V'Roth simply laughed in reply and then flexed.
Branna was fairly happy with the band she'd gathered thus far. However, a single archer and her own bow would surely not be enough. Realistically, she could use another treasure grabber while she was at it. That settled it, she was going to bring in the twins.
Venna, the sharpshooter with the crossbow, and Vesienne, the rogue, were quite a capable duo. The drawback, they were excessively co-dependent. A warband is ideally composed of members who will look out for each other. Branna knew full well that either of the DeMoir sisters would forsake the rest of the warband for her sister. Still, as long as she deployed them together so that looking out for each other worked out in the band's best interests, she was certain she could use their devotion to her own advantage. Branna was, indeed, skilled at war, but she also knew a thing or two about managing people.
With the rest of the band in place, she approached the one member she truly trusted and the only one she saw as her peer.
"They're a jumbled mess of outcasts, but I think we can use them to our advantage," she said.
Then she leaned in and gave her warhound, Fang, a scratch behind the ear. "Just stick with me, big guy," she said, "and we'll finally hit our big payday."
And with the band assembled, the only thing left was for Branna to give them a name: Branna's Brigands.
V'Roth, Sylvania, and Jaffy are unaltered Bones minis. Branna and the twins are HeroClix minis I've altered (Branna was a gender-swapped version of Valeros, the iconic fighter from Pathfinder). Fang and Ella are rebased minis from MageKnight and HeroClix respectively. Dell is a Bones skeletal archer that I converted by adding Green Stuff.
In terms of additional characters, the barmaids are minis I sculpted. The foppishly-hatted fellow is the result of some kit-bashing I did and arms I sculpted (he's the mini for one of my Pathfinder characters named The Traveler). I made all the terrain pieces including the bar tables (and I still need to finish painting them).
By The Lurkin Gherkin
I'm a DM with an obsession for Bones/Reaper minis and after backing the first kickstarter figured I should use them. I had grand ideas for a campaign so I ended up using these minis as inspiration! The campaign was called The Crucible of Storms.
There were lots of memorable moments for me and the players:
- Orphaned rogue found their father - a miserable alcoholic guardsman
- Paladin was taken over by a vilkacis (werewolf ghost)
- Dwarven stonelord created a new colony of refugee dwarves
- Tripple 1's for the sorceror
- Elven warpriest through skill increases and a strange randomised mutation ended up having +50 to Perception
- Paladin killed an aasimar child...to buy everyone time to help kill the Tarrasque (his god was unhappy despite the greater good vibe)
- The Tarrasque! Such a momentous fight! The final battle was held in a cthulu-esque god-laboratory where the gods invented humanoid races. A portal to the Maelstrom was unlocked and sucked in the Tarrasque, killing it...forever!
Here are some photos from the campaign - sorry in advance for some poor quality photos. Cheers!
I am currently running DND5E OOTA and these are some of the minis I've painted. The only spoilers are character & place names. I have posted 1 or 2 of these minis before but I have reshot or touched up. Most of these are new.
My players have a mix of DND experience some played as kids, some read the drizzt novels some no experience at all
Ulus, a war priest from the Stonetoe dwarf clan. Though good by nature, betrayal has left him cynical and angry. The absence of war left Ulus to find solace in masonry, but the Drow have snatched him back into and adversity and now the Underdark. Hill Dwarf War Cleric.
Miniature: Eastern Front, Dwarf Gladiator KS. Interesting fact: I added the shield after he picked one up early on and only added the warhammer when he finally got to Gracklstugh.
Parker Lewis the human fighter. Menacing and calm. Has never lost a fight. Hates thiefs. Human Battlermaster Fighter
Miniature: Action Games, Drake KS Interesting fact: This was a multipart mini and I added a weapon swap as he was pursuing getting an axe that was until he got the sentient sword Dawnbringer who argues with his sentient cursed demonic helmet..
Balazar Scallion my friends call my Rat. I am Dragonborn the off spring of a Humanoid and a Red Dragon. I live by the Lawful code of the Red Dragons but temptation sometimes gets in my way. Dragonborn Rogue Swashbuckler.
Miniature: Stonehaven, Half-Orc Adventurers KS Interesting fact: This character was built around the mini which was a different approach to how the other players made there characters. Also the player does a great pirate accent!
Naivara Oakenheel a wood elf hunter native of the Ancient forest of Neverwinter. I've been captured by the Drow and taken to their deep under world. Wood Elf Ranger Deep Stalker.
Miniature: Stonehaven, Elf KS Interesting fact: This was my favourite miniature out of the players to paint, also to photograph.
Lander Brightwood. Young naive half elf out to bring light to the darkness. This earth bound paladin has entered the trials of his faith, now that he is in his own darkness...... The drow have left their mark. Half-Elf Paladin Oathbreaker.
Miniature: Stonehaven, Elven Adventurers KS Interesting fact: I had this miniature already painted for another campaign but it seemed to suit the char at level1 but now level4 that isnt the case. I showed him another mini very fish villainous type (Reaper Bones II 92620) and now I am painting up a four armed sea creature (Reaper Bones II 92617) and I have told the player IF they kill it that he should skin it and wear it as armor. It also didnt photograph well.
Rafaella "Fey" Blackling. A wizard from the Eladrin race. She fell down a tunnel in search of crystals and natural resources to conjure her spells, and ended up trapped in the hell hole that is the Underdark prison... She's hardworking and fair, and she has no time for dodgy folk... She'll be a good addition to the adventuring team when her damn spells start working! Eladrin Transmutation Wizard.
Miniature: Reaper Special Interesting fact: The axe doesnt suit the Wizard but suits the way the Player plays her!
Eldeen Moonsmoke. A Far Traveler from the lands of the Elves. On my journey I was given a choice to die in a watery grave or swear allegiance to Cthulhu, the god of the dark trenches. A contract was made and I was speared and given great power, now I am trapped in the Underdark with these.. commoners. How drab. High Elf Warlock.
Miniature: Stonehaven, Elven Adventurers KS Interesting fact: One of my favourite faces I've painted.
Thalia is the third Extra-solar Human colony. Humanity had found a precious treasure. And endless problems. I arrived to Thalia by accident. It would be my crucible, my home, my fight...
"Where there is richness we'll find greed. Where there is greed we'll find war." - Sunder C Class Wardroid - Free Citizen
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