Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Take the Bridge!

This week was the last episode of our first ”Oriental Adventures” campaign. I have decided in the new year we’ll start over with new characters set in Rokugan (the setting for Alderac Entertainment Group’s Legend of the Five Rings).

Jackson’s friend Patrick joined us to try out Savage Worlds. In addition to the regular savages (Darrin, Amanda, Rick and Jackson), Christian also showed up and played one of Kohaku’s ashigaru retainers. Lacking any gen-u-ine adventure I just threw together another tabletop skirmish – which is handy for teaching the basic mechanics of things to a new player.


The Orcs of the wildlands have begun a full-scale invasion. Kohaku (played this week by Patrick) was tasked with securing a bridge on the flank, unfortunately the goblins have the same idea and have also sent a


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Akira was the fist over the bridge.

…and with a couple sweeps over her mighty ancestral Katana she took down the leader of the goblins. Hardly being disheartened by this – the goblins saw their leaders demise as an opportunity for advancement and pressed on…

The rest joined her to defend the bridge… well Daichi and Christian’s character joined her. Kohaku and Isamu stood at the back on the other side of the river and picked off goblins with arrows and Hayato called upon the wind Kami to stir up a tempest to blind and confuse the orcs…

The battle raged on for a bit…

Eventually the goblins and Oni were defeated…

Well that’s probably it for this year…. (unless we get in a one-off game or two over the holidaze). I hope everyone has a happy holiday and a joyful and prosperous new year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How Daichi Met Hiroki - Part II

Once again Rick and Jackson bailed on us and Christian, who had insinuated he might show up, also was not able. So after some discussion of where things might go in the new year I threw together a quick little skirmish for Darrin and Amanda.

Continuing on from the "prequel" encounter How Daichi met Hiroki, Daichi and Hiroki Akira continued wandering the lands together and one afternoon came out of a wood, entering an area of intense farming and happened upon a troubling scene...

A group of bandits robbing a traveling courtier of some sort and his wife.

Akira being of the slay first - ask questions later school of investigation charged in!

The two bandits closest turned and charged to meet her. She was temporarily knocked off-balance by their combined attack, but quickly recovered (benny).

meanwhile two of the other bandits attacked the Courtiers baggage carriers - one was immediately cut down, the other ducked and dodged the attacks of the bandit with the naginata. Arrows whistled by the bodyguard fro either direction!

The bodyguard took down one of the bandit archers with an arrow through his neck and turned to deal with the other. The remaining baggage carrier drew his knife and closed with the bandit attacking him, but his wild attacks failed to connect with his assailant. The bandit who had slain the first baggage carrier leapt over the lifeless corpse and attacked the courtier directly!

Daishi joined Akira and whacked one bandit on his head with his "lesson stick"!

Akira quickly cut down the bandit facing her, nearly cleaving him in two... (five wounds... maybe six...?)

Things were looking poorly for the Courtier - his bodyguard was struck with an arrow that took him down. The courtier and the baggage carrier continued to try and fend of the bandits relentless attacks.

Akria rushed in in the nick of time to save the Courtier.

Daichi finished knocking "sense" into (or out of...?) the bandit he was fighting.

Akira took the bandit attacking the courtier down with a single stroke - the remaining bandit in the melee was shaken by the violence of her relentless assault on his comrades.

Akira had no mercy for the bandit and cut him down where he stood...

The remaining bandit headed for the hills!

Daichi healed the bodyguard and one of the baggage carriers while Akira finished off the bandits.

Hopefully we'll be playing again next week... well at least Darrin, Amanda and I. the following following week will likely be out... hopefully we can get some folks out on the 2nd - or maybe have a one-off game with some guest appearances... (some friends will be in town visiting around new years and hopefully will be convinced to play some Savage Worlds...).

In the new year we will likely be beginning a new - but somewhat similar campaign. I've been picking up a pile of Legends of the Five Rings books to use as "reference material" for THIS campaign... but there's so much good fluff there that I thought I'd just start a whole new campaign set IN Rokugan (the setting of L5R). I thought maybe I'd just drop the characters into the new setting... but since we'd have to completely rework most of their backgrounds I figured we may as well just make new characters (thought I may let them keep the experience points gained in this one so far...).

Amanda is torn between playing a Lion's Pride Samurai or a Unicorn Battle Maiden... I have a feeling Darrin will end up playing a Dragon Shugenja... but we shall see...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zombies vs Ninjas vs Samurai....

Just a couple quick pics of this evenings game...

I had little prepared so I threw together a little skirmish using everyone's regular characters... The Samurai they had helped out in the Previous Episode had invited our heroes to stay with him at his village. While there a message arrived from his Daimyo that a lost temple that had reputedly held some ancient relic had been discovered and he was to go with the man that had discovered the temple and recover the relic.

Unfortunately, When they got there they found a band of ninjas searching the temple for the very same relic... there was a bit of a stand-off...

But soon the two groups of foes had to join forces to battle a greater enemy - a giant Oni and a horde of ZOMBES!!!!

The ninjas all bit it in the battle... I had given control of them to the players and probably shouldn't have - I could then have kept them in the background shooting and chucking shurikens (all in vain) at the zombies while letting the characters get eaten a bit and then fight them for the relic... ah, well.. we started a bit late and I was tired...

Still not settled on a setting for this campaign - Kara-tur, Rokugan or somewhere else... Reading the L5R/Rokugan fluff is kind of fun... but I feel a little intimidated by the sheer volume of canon... A few books arrived this week that I picked up off ebay cheap. A few more will hopefully arrive in the next week or two, including some adventures. I guess we'll see once I have a chance to wade through a few of them!

I'm kind of torn - I have some pretty lofty ideas and long range plans for charcters being involved at high levels in politics and/or commanding armies (using Hordes of the SAVAGE Things). Not sure how that will jive with the Rokugan setting. It might just be easier to invent my own so I can use more of the armies I own (or ones I'm planning on building - mongols, Samurai Dwarves, etc...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Goblin Raid

Well… what next…

I have to admit I kind of launched into this campaign with more enthusiasm than preparation. I thought I’d whip up some maps of the empire and local regions around where the players were starting… figure out some names for the major clans and their relationships… and on we’d go… So far I’ve been just flying by the seat of my pants.

Well it’s been two months since we started and I have done no such things. I guess I still could. I dug out my old AD&D oriental adventures and two of the adventure modules I had for it – and then picked up two more off of ebay. I originally thought I’d sort of use it as a resource and fit the adventures into the world I had devised. Then I got to thinking maybe I should just say screw it and read ALL of their background and set the campaign in Kara-Tur (the original setting of the AD&D Oriental Adventures…).

I had also started picking up some more Legends of the Five Rings Clan War minis off of ebay… and then picked up a couple of the L5R RPG reference books – for further “inspiration”… but now I’m wondering if I should maybe just set the campaign in Rokugan…?

There are bonuses and pitfalls to either making my own or using someone else’s setting. If I use my own I can just make stuff up as I like – rough out the general locations of things and some of the big picture items and add detail as required… but that takes some work…

Using someone else’s takes less envisioning and thinking up of stuff. The players could read some of it on their own and not require that I spell out for them every little detail of the culture during the game. The Legends of the Five Rings Rokugan setting seems to have a fully detailed background and stuff . But the downsides are a) there’s a lot of books one could potentially have to BUY, b) I’d have to get around to READING them all, and c) players that can read faster, or have more time, could potentially end up knowing more about the setting that I do….

I’ll try and figure out what I’m doing by next week. As for this week…


After staying at the Temple of Wah for a few days to recover their strength our heroes were set off again on their wanderings againg. Daichi decided to stay at the temple a few more days so the others decided to go wandering on there own to explore the region.

They hadn’t gone far when a samurai came riding up the road and told them the next village had been attacked by a band of goblins that came down out of the mountains. He knew which way they went but couldn’t take them all himself. As our heroes looked like capable sorts he demanded they follow him and join the pursuit.


The Samurai and some followers, along with the characters, have followed a raiding party of goblins to a remote mountain pass. When the goblins stopped there for a breather their pursuers decided to make their move…


Akira - Amanda
Ag d10, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 7(+1), Toughness 6
Skills: Fighting d10(+1), Notice d8(+2) , Stealth d6, Throwing d6, Tracking d4, Survival d6, healing d6, Climbing d6, Repair d4, Knowledge (Sword Making) d4
Edges: Alertness, Ancestral Sward (+1) Acrobat
Hindrances: Loyal, Code of Honour (Bushido)
Gear: Kimono, Kantana (ancestral sword – Str+d6+3, AP2), Wakasishi (Str+2)

Isamu - Rick
Ag d10, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 7
Skills: Fighting d10(+1), Shooting d8, Notice d19, Stealth d4, Survival d8, Tracking d6, Healing d4
Edges: Brawny, Ancestral Weapon
Hindrances: Loyal, Code of Honour (Bushido), Death Wish?!
Gear: Kimono, Kantana (ancestral sword – Str+d6+3, AP2), Wakasishi (Str+2)

Hayato - Jackson
Ag d6, Sm d10, Sp d8, St d6, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5
Skills: Fighting d8, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, healing d8, Survival d6, Knowledge (Arcana) d6, Spellcasting d12,
Edges: Arcane Background (Wu Jen – Element: Air), Power Points N,
Gear: Robes, Staff (Str+d4, parry +1, Reach 1), 2x Knife (3/6/12, Str+d4), Waterskin, Flint&Steel, Trail Rations (10 days), Backpack, Bedroll,
Powers: Elemental Manipulation, Armour (Whirlwind), Stun (Whirlwind)

Kohaku - Samurai NPC
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d10, St d8, Vg d6,
Pace 4, Parry 7, Toughness 5 (9)
Skills: Fighting d10, Shooting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d4, Intimidate d10,
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command, Marksman, Dodge
Hindrances: Loyal, Heroic, Code of Honour
Gear: Full Armour (+4), Bow (20/40/80, 2d6), Katana (Str+d6+2)

Ashigaru Followers (4)
Ag d6, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d6, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 5 (7)
Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d4, Stealth d4,
Gear: Light Armour (+2), Bow (20/40/80, 2d6), Sword (Str+d6)

Ag d6, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d12, Vg d12,
Pace 7, Parry 6, Toughness 11
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d4, Intimidate d8,
Edges: Sweep
Gear: Big Sword (Str+d10)

Goblin Warriors (4)
Ag d6, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 5 (7)
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6,
Gear: Light Armour (+2), Big Axe (Str+2, AP1, Parry-1)

Goblin Archers (6)
Ag d6, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 5
Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6,
Gear: Bow (20/40/80, 2d6), Sword (Str+d6)


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Oni and the Goblins sitting around having a bite to eat…

Careless Ashigaru alerted them to the pursuers approach.

Kohaku looses an arrow at the Oni, but it glances off his thick hide. Akria, Isamu, and Hayato approach through the denser foliage.

The Ashigaru archers take down a number of the goblin archers.

The Oni and Goblin Warriors charge!

The Oni thumped on Kohaku pretty good. Kohaku burned all his bennies just surviving the intial charge!

Akira leaps out of the brush and cuts down one of the Goblins. Isamu, Kohaku, and Hayato are locked in combat with their respective assailants.

With a wild swing another goblin wounds Akira and throws her off balance.

A second wilds swing tkes her down before she can recover from the first blow!

The Oni Knocks down Kohaku with a fearsome blow. Hayato bashed in the head of the goblin attacking him and Isamu found himself fighting TWO! Though he was beating them back – knocking one off balance before receiving the renewed attack of the other.

Finally Isamu took down one, and then finished off the other.

The Oni charged – intimidating Isamu with a fearsome battle cry! (successfully intimidated but the Oni’s next attack roll was a 1… bennied that and hit, caused two wounds, but both were soaked…)

Having finished off all but one of the Goblin archers – who was set to flight – the Ashigaru joinin the battle against the Oni. While a terror in single combat the Oni was no match for FIVE!

Both Isamu and Hayato did a terrific job at treating Kohaku and Akiras wounds (both got raises – despite the -4 due to their grievous wounds!) and so both were able to walk back to the nearby village where they were able to rest some time and recover.

For his bravery and exceptional ability Kohaku awarded Isamu with a very fine bow and declared himself indebted to them all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

To the Temple of Wah

It’s been darn near two months since the last episode of our current “Oriental Adventures” campaign…. People were away… or sick… or stalking Bambi’s mum out in the bush…

On one of the intervening evenings I ran a “flashback” scenario about How Daichi met Akira.

This past Saturday everyone was in reasonably good health and available so we got back to the action!

To make a long story startlingly short…

Once everyone regained consciousness (both Akira and Isamu had been greiviously wounded in the last episode), the spent the rest of the afternoon stumbling along through the jungle valley as best they could to try and as much distance between themselves and any goblins that might still be lurking about as possible. By late afternoon the two ronin had collapsed again into unconciousness that they could not be wakened from until morning.

When morning did arrive, the woke to find a withered old man standing over them inquiring as to what they were doing there. Without waiting for much of a sensible explanation, or indeed for all to wake up, he instructed them to follow him and took of with uncanny speed through the jungle for some one evidently so advanced in years.

After a very close encounter with a goblin war party he continued to lead them to his hermitage – a cave in the side of a mountain.

There he brewed up a nasty smelling concoction that required spirit rolls to consume, but once all were able, they fell into a deep sleep and when they finally awoke felt much refreshed and well on their way to recovering from their wounds.

The old hermit then bid them on their way and our heroes obliged. They made their way across the jungle valley without incident. The next day they climbed through the pass and down though the mountains on the other side.

When they finally came to cultivated area they stayed a night at a farm. The following day they made their way to the Temple of Wah and dropped off the idol – after finding some small amount of information about it.

There everyone decided to stay for a few more days to rest up before carrying on with their wanderings.

…and that was pretty much that… it was still early so we played a bit of HOTT.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Daichi met Hiroki

Since Rick and Jackson were down with the flu, but Darrin an Amanda were available and raring to carry on I decided to run a little “flashback” or “Origins Adventure”…


About half a year before our Last Episode, Daichi and Hiroki had both been on the road for some time, wandering on their own. They both happen to find themselves in a small town in the Teriyaki province. They were in an Inn each spending their last mon on a bowl of millet…


While eating their respective bowl of millet a guest of the inn was also dining and enjoying much saki. He boasted how he was heading to the capitol with dispatches and gifts for the Shogun which would bring his clan great renown (and himself much honor!).

When he said he would be there in two days, the locals asked how that could be as it was at least a weeks journey by the road. The Messenger said he had heard there was a road through the Gachou Pass nearby that would get him there in two days. The locals looked on in shock and horror and explained to him the pass was no longer used as an Oni lived up in the pass and preyed the nearby farmers’ animals and any travelers foolish enough to go up that way.

The messenger looked as though he might cry. Then he stood up and announced to all in the Inn; “Is there any man here brave and skilled enough to defeat an Oni?! If there is and they are willing to escort me through the Gachou Pass to the capitol I will be able to provide food and drink on the journey and pay them much mon when we arrive there!”

Akira stood up and said “I don’t know if there’s any MAN that will, but I can…”

Daichi also offered his services.

Two others also stepped up. They claimed to be masters of archery that could kill an oni with a single shot through it’s eye…

The Messenger introduced himself as Kaoru of the Miso Clan and said he would take them all and they would leave at dawn!

The next day the group set off bring and early. They reached the pass in the early afternoon and there they met…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The ONI!!

The archers made a run for it on their first action card…!?

Daichi charged in and tried to whack it with his staff… silly Daichi… for his troubles the Oni chopped him good causing 2 wounds…

Akira then charged in!

One slice slashed his arm and leg and sent him reeling…

The second slice took off his head… Kaoru rushed out from his hiding spot with much praise for Akira.

There was little time for celebration, however, as an arrow whistled by Akira’s head and another struck Karou in the leg.

They quickly bustled over the horozon so the archers would have to come closer if they really wanted to kill them.

When the archers came running into view Akira and Daichi Charged!

With a single slash Akria darned near cleaved one archer in two (5 wounds!!). The other threw down his bow and begged for mercy. Akira took his bow and broke it in two and left him groveling there on the mountain side…

They carried on to the capitol without further trouble. There Kaoru paid them some money – but not perhaps as much as he led them to believe. Whatever the case he was very grateful and in their debt…

After that we watched the Seven Samurai, which I had taken out from the Saskatoon Public Library three weeks ago but still hadn’t gotten around to watching…!?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Into the Jungle

Wojon - A small village on the edge of territories controlled by the Kuji Clan, Autumn, 3214.


In our Last Episode the heroes came upon an old man, dying in the bush. He pleaded to them to recover the Idol of Kojuku from his village and beged them to retrieve it and take it to the Temple of Wah. The heroes find their way to the village and discover the scene of a massacre. Some set themselves to burning the bodies of the dead while others search for the Idol. They found a locked and sealed strongbox they presumed contained the idol, but had to stay the night in the village. During the night they were attacked by a small band of ninja.

It is morning decisions must be made as to what is to be done with this Idol…


In the morning there was much discussion as to how to get the Idol to the Temple. Daichi, it turns out as familiar with the temple, having visited it a couple of times, and familiar enough with the region to lay out two options.

Option #1 was to head straight up into the jungle and through the mountain passes. This would take about 2-3 days. They could live off the land on the march and be done with it quickly. Any more ninjas would have to track them.

Opion #2 was to take the long way around the mountains – around the northern end of the island. This option would take about two WEEKS!? The had pitiful little money between them to be staying in inns and buying food along the way… if there had been any other ninjas around the previous night they would surely be watching out for them and there would be no one they could trust on the road….

Eventually they decided to head into the jungle, covering their tracks as best they could.

Later in the afernoon on that first day they stumbled across a Goblin hunting party….

Strangely it was Isamu, who was taking up the rear, that spotted the Goblin drawing his bow in a tree up ahead and shouted a warning just in time for Daichi to duck!

Then the whole group loosed their arrows – Hayato was struck twice and wounded. He dove for cover in the bush as quickly as he could!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The other three stormed across the river and hunted down the Goblin hunters. The action was fast and furious – four were slain and the rest disappeared into the jungle…

The Heroes would be more wary in their march.

Their next encounter wasn’t until late at night… A larger group had tracked our heroes down and tried to ambush them while they were resting.

Once again their ambush was spotted and they failed to get the drop on our adventurers! Daichi spotted the marauding goblins sneaking up to their camp site and gave a shout and whacked all the others with his staff to wake them!

As the goblins charged in he summoned a blinding light. The goblin archers firing into the light ended up hitting more of their own than their intended targes and the attackers were quickly overcome and the rest faded into the darkness to summon a greater war party.

The adventurers were up and off as soon as it was light enough, expecting there would be more attacks…

It wasn’t until nearly noon that they goblins caught up to them and charged up from behind giving fearful warcries!

Meanwhile another band of archers had stole around in from of them and tried to sneak up as they turned their backs to fight the warriors.

Hayato took down one of the warrior goblins with a spear he had taken from the previous group, but then took an arrow in the back from the goblin archers. Akira wounded the sheiftan and Isamu charged in and took down one of the warriors!

DAichi was also struck with an arrow! Akira took down antoehr warrior and finished off the Chieftain.

The archers closed so more could get a shot. Wounded though he was Daichi charged into the bush and engaged one of them! Hayato was still trying to deal with the arrow stuck in his leg.

Akira charged across the open and sliced the head off of one of the goblin archer but was met with a hail of arrows from the others. She was hit by three and was down!! Hayato managed to crawl to cover in the bushes

Isamu also charged the archers and was mobbed by them and taken down. Hayato had finally regained his composure and summoned a swirling vortex of wind and leaves and branches which stunned the goblins.

Daichi and Hayato seized the initiative and charged the goblins beating them relentlessly with their staves and spear. Two were taken down and the rest set to flight….

They would be troubled no more by that particular tribe of goblins!

With the two Bushi wounded their plan to get the idol quickly to the Temple was quashed.