We are just three weeks into a new BoB campaign, and I wanted to just camp on a thread here to keep everyone appraised of how it goes. This the second campaign of it I have played with this GM, but all the other players are new. I’ve also run a full campaign as a GM Myself. I am playing the Marshall for the first time ( I was Commander last run) and having a total blast so far.
Our Chosen is Freya (the one I haven’t played with yet) and our Broken are Blighter and Breaker (the combo I haven’t played with yet!)
4 players, we’ve got a Spymaster but no Lorekeeper. I am not invested in any particular format for this thread, I’ll maybe do some quick reports week-to-week and cut-n-paste my Marshall updates to the other players. Feel free to hit me with questions or comments, happy to respond or not as warranted.
Week 1: Chargen and Initial Mission (Shreya)
I statted-up and played our Medic, Kirish Kahtri, a Bartan from a funerary clan who did not want to go into the family undertaking business so joined up with the Legion as a medic, a career his family would accept as honorable.
We did the Shreya mission and came through well, without losing anyone and minor injuries. As per the scripted Back at Camp scene, Shreya walked in and dropped the head of Elia the Shadow Witch. One LT down!
My Marshall is the Vicerine Lena Zundel, youngest Marshall in the Annals after the previous Marshall was dispatched at Ettenmark Fields.
Our Quartermaster took on the project of rehabilitating the routed soldiers of the Ettenmark disaster, so we’ve got a potential Squad in our back pocket.
Week 2: The Western Front!
Week 2: The Western Front
I statted up all of our Rookies and gave them all 1-2 sentence backstories for roleplaying and so they’d be actual people when they died.
Primary this week: The Special Mission to rescue the Contessa and her retinue! It went great, very strategic use of Resistance to keep Rookies from getting killed and shockingly good rolls all around meant we escaped with her and her retinue intact. Our Sniper and Heavy were along on this one.
The Heavy bargained with a Shadow Witch to spare her life, so we now have a captive Shadow Witch in our camp. The Commander is not happy, and Shreya is… ambivalent, as far as we can tell.
Secondary: Recon across the river, did not go quite as well, but a success. Two rookies lost and minor injuries to our Medic and Scout.
The Contessa: The Contessa Herminia Monhart was born Count Herman Monhart, but came to the conclusion at a very tender age that being a princess was much preferable to being a prince. Given the status and position of her family (barristers of some renown), once she made her wishes clear, the adjustment was made with due haste, and pretty soon most had forgotten there ever was a Prince Herman.
Except of course, for the Orite military, which drafted her as an officer as was standard practice for the ‘second sons’ of her Province’s Gentry. In a brilliant turnabout, her first official act as a an Orite Officer was to legally conscript her former home retinue and take them on as her staff. The joke proved short-lived when their expeditionary force found itself swept up into the Ettermark Fields fiasco. Her spite-posting, guarding the rear of the force, proved to be another cosmic joke; the rest of her division was utterly routed by Undead even as she was able to fight a strategic retreat to the village where the Legion found her.
She is not particularly pious, but presumes that one of her more faithful retainers was responsible for Shreya (a third cousin once-removed by marriage) coming to her aid. She’s deeply grateful for the Legion’s assistance, and very intrigued by their more egalitarian (if occasionally-baffling) hierarchy and structure. She hasn’t gotten the hang yet of ‘roughing it’, but she’s eager for the new experience, and to see as much of Aldermark as she can take in.
Week 2 Obits and Squad Maintenance:
RIP Grigoriy Liavelich and Azure Leaping Blaze, who pushed the boats their fellow Troopers were using into the river and turned back to hold off a full Rotter patrol until the current took them back downriver. The dead had caught wind of them as they were escaping with the Intel they gathered from Blighter’s lines. When last seen, they were back-to-back with 3 mangled Rotters at their feet, before the Legionnaires turned a river bend.
Onyx Counting Frost was promoted to Soldier after her quick-thinking slipped those patrols the first time, on their way in. As a former trapper, she’s Loaded for Bear, with extra Utility Load on every mission.
The time spent skulking around a Blighted river fort meant that the Specialists each returned with mild fever, nausea, and chills, nothing some bed rest and hot toddies won’t fix. (Level 1 Harm)
The 2 most impressive members of the Contessa’s Retinue, Dame Livia Garossi (her Etiquette Instructor) and Gabridyor Viltorichna (her Cook), have been issued Legion sashes and muskets and assigned to the Ghost Owls to fill in the open spots. There are 3 more on stand-by.
Week 3: Plainsworth!
Primary Mission to root out the undead who had turned a sacred grove into a charnel ground. This wasn’t a direct assault, it was slash-and-burn to purify the grove and destroy the Horror roaming the Grove with fire. The Contessa (Officer) and Kirish (Medic) accompanied the Star Vipers on the mission.
We succeeded and burned the grove out, but not before the Contessa succumbed to Trauma, becoming Obsessed with cleanliness after being doused in the putrescent biological waste pile the Horror sat atop. We lit everything up and ran, leaving the fire to do its work as the Contessa was guided back to camp by a Rookie who was promoted to Solider (Alderman Lian Zumbach, formerly an assistant to an unstable resurrectionist torn apart by a local mob before he fled to the Legion).
Secondary Mission: Investigate bizarre munitions dubbed ‘Head Grenades’ by the Commander that the troops call ‘brain bombs’. They are decapitated heads treated alchemically to explode in corrosive ichor when hurled at the living. We succeeded in getting the Intel we wanted, but not before an ‘unexploded’ brain bomb blew up two Rookies and injured our Sniper and Scout.
We’ve got injured and Stress to treat, but now we’ve got a big pile of Intel and the Time clock is in good shape, so we’ll be sticking around.
Week 3 Obits/Troop Report:
RIP Arhai Dadri, inveterate gambler who joined the Legion to escape her debts. She saw an opportunity to take an ‘unexploded’ Brain Bomb back to camp for study and her luck ran out as it exploded when she picked it up. Flesh and sinew fled her bones like it had a will of its own, killing her instantly.
RIP Vladislav Arenovich, who faked his death to escape an arranged marriage before fleeing to the Legion. He was next to her when the Bomb exploded, and managed to hang on halfway to camp before his face finally slid off his skull like a wet rag and he expired in agony.
Raghav (Scout) and Arun (Sniper) were both caught at the edge of the blast but managed to escape with Bleeding Eyes and A Pink, Frothing Cough (Level 2 Harm), respectively.
Alderman Lian Zumbach’s quick thinking in saving the Contessa got him promoted to Soldier, and he was transferred to the Grinning Ravens along with Pakresh Faqir, the Contessa’s former riding instructor, who has the best chance of keeping up with that quick-moving unit.
Zafof Saleem, the Contessa’s Exchequer and money manager was moved over to the Star Vipers; he’s currently the oldest Rookie in the Legion at 67.
Only one of the Contessa’s retinue, Golden Drifting Leaf, her music instructor (a former busker plucked from a market in Or and whisked away to court by the Contessa), has not been moved to an active Squad; she is currently helping Herminia convalesce from her recent mission.
This is great!
You say this is your second time through. What recurring issues – good or bad – are you seeing?
This is secretly the best part of the Marshall. You’re basically writing OCs for fanfic and folks are playing out these characters you’ve outlined. I kinda love it ^_~
Also Jim you’re wild. Another BoB campaign! I wish you luck. TO SKYDAGGER!
It’s a little early to say. There’s things I’ve noticed that I suppose might be viewed us bugs by some but features by others. I’m totally in the tank for this game, so I may not be the most reliable narrator.
So, in no particular order, so far: I now know the campaign arc and can help our Commander and Quartermaster make educated guesses about how to proceed. Playing a different role really helps it feel like a different game.
Playing through a second time as player really reinforces the feel of a repeat playthrough of a video game. Like, I know the broad outline, but it’s like playing a different class in DA: Inquisition where I’ll get some of the same set pieces (though I am going to not-so-subtly push to go a different route than the other 2 games I played, both of which went through the Forest) while seeing new stuff and replaying some scenes with much better understanding of how the rules work.
It’s still a VERY dense game with lots of overhead and I get stuff wrong, or misremember even after 2 dozen sessions. It’s never anything that feels, like, critical, but it can be occasionally frustrating to realize I’ve been doing something not-by-the-book all this time, and wonder how our campaign would have gone if I did it ‘right’. But then I remember we had fun and let it go.
Roll20 is absolutely a huge boon and arguably crucial to playing this online. I generally just go with a character keeper and dice roller when playing online, but there’s enough bookkeeping here that having a professionally-designed tool to manage it is a lifesaver.
Thrilled to be playing with a different Chosen and combo of Broken than I’ve had before, it’s already created a significantly different sense of what the Legion is afraid of and what they’re thinking about in terms of strategy. Maybe my favorite thing about the replays.
More will probably resolve as we play through. Next game, and update, tomorrow, from the bucolic vistas of Plainsworth.
Hahah there’s nothing secret about that. My Commander player was like “OMG its so cool you write all these microfictions for us…” and I’m like that’s the point.
Week 4: Plainsworth
PRIMARY: The Legion Assaulted the position of the Head Grenades/Brain Bombs launchers, based on Intel that Viktoria Karwall, one of Breaker’s Lieutenants, the designer of the devices was overseeing the operation. With explosives in hand to destroy the ballistas launching the things, The Contessa (Officer) led the Shattered Lions in a mission to destroy the devices and eliminate Karwall if possible, backed up by Melislav (Heavy) and Kirish (Medic).
Melislav and the vanguard of the Lions charged to distract the ballista crews as the Contessa and Kirish flanked the position to apply charges to the ballistas and blow them, trapping Karwall in a pincer movement with no easy means of escape. Despite her prowess in personal combat (a Hidden Blade proved quite deadly (Level 2 Wounds Resisted down from 4 for both The Contessa and Melislav)) Melislav managed to take her down. With a judicious use of the remaining explosives by one of the Rookie Lions to keep the Rotters at bay, the Legion retreated, victorious (Morale +3.)
SECONDARY: The Legion responded to the pleas of a local lord to defend his modest little Keep from dusk raids by a Shadow Witch. The Ghost Owls, led by the Marquessa (Officer) with Arun (Snpier) as their ace in the hole, they ambushed the Witch and her Devourer when she appeared to harass the Keep at sundown as usual.
the ambush worked and they brought down first her mount and then the Witch herself, but not before she inflicted losses on them in her last stand. The grateful local Lord gifted the Legion with his slain Knights’ horses (Asset) and a report on the Shadow Witch’s comings and goings (Intel).
Week 4 OBITS/Troop Report:
RIP Dame Livia Garossi, former Etiquette instructor to the Contessa. Killed when she charged a Shadow Witch after Arun managed to bring down its Devourer mount. With a wave of her hand and a gutteral command, the Witch twisted her head a full rotation before the Rookie fell lifeless to the ground without a sound.
RIP Margrave Liv Temperli, alive when hauled screaming into the air, but dead on impact when the Devourer dropped her from half a bowshot high to attempt to crush Arun.
Arun was struck by an outstreched arm of the falling Margrave and has a nasty bump on her forehead (Level 2 Harm: Concussed), but managed the shot that brought the thing down.
The Marquessa Nika Enggwiller rallied the remaining rookies to volley fire at the grounded Shadow Witch and bring her down before her hex could actually snap the Marquessa’s leg like a dry twig. (Level 2 Harm: Twisted Femur)
The Contessa was stabbed in the guts by Viktoria Karwall’s Hidden Blade (Level 2 Harm), and Melislav narrowly avoided having it lodged in his eye when she fired it at his face (Level 2 Harm).
No Rookies earned promotion to Solider, though Quaisar Jalbani acquitted himself with particular distinction.
The last of the Contessa’s Retinue, Golden Drifting Leaf, her music instructor, was transferred to the Ghost Owls, along with Thane Conz Staheli, an Ettermark survivor whose unit was wiped out by Wailer. He was hit hard hard enough to be knocked down a hill and away from the battle so he survived, waking up nearly a full day later.
Week 5: PLAINSWORTH
The Legion visited a former Knight, Boris Kingfisher, and with the minstrations of our Medic (Kirish Kahtri) and Snpier (Arun Kresti) and of course the Star Vipers’ entire supply of reliquaries, purged him of the Curse that kept him in isolation. He has joined the Legion as a new Heavy.
The Grinning Ravens’ accompanied officers Contessa Herminiah and Marquessa Nikka to assist some farmers in getting their crops in before Blighter’s troops overran them. The farmers gave over a portion of their harvest to be added to the Legion’ Supply.
Week 5 OBIT/Troop Report
RIP Cobalt Hiding Storm, mouse-eyed Panyar cook. A spitter got in a lucky shot and hit him right in the face. He was only able to scream for a few seconds before the acid dissolved his throat as well.
RIP Baroness Selina Wehle, happily hedonistic to the end, died frothing at the mouth and spasming after disobeying orders and sneaking an apple from a tree that ‘seemed fine’ among the blighted crops.
Pakresh Faqir, the Contessa’s former riding instructor, was promoted to Soldier after a jaw-dropping rescue of a farmboy who had fallen before the advance of some Rotters. She comandeered one of the draft horses to sweep him up as she rode past. Her skill as a Cavalry soldier has been noted, and she’s been assigned to shore up the Grinning Ravens’ riding skills.
Boris Kingfisher has joined the Legion as a Heavy alongside Melaslav. He is a living War Machine, capable of feats of strength bordering on the inhuman.
Maruska Danichna and Blood Surging Roots have been mustered from the Ettermark Survivors to join the Grinning Ravens. Morale remains high.
Week 6: The Long Road
The Legion located the fabled Bruin Graveyard and rescued several of the baerngard. Boris Kingfisher and the Ghost Owls convinced them there was still fight in them and so now they travel with the Legion, as Boris seeks to tame them sufficiently to follow commands and work with the Legion in battle.
The Ember Wolves accompanied their Officers on a Recon Mission, locating and employing an abandoned cliff-top star-scope to turn it towards the enemy below and observe their movements.
Week 6 OBIT/Troop Report
RIP RIP Stesha Johanichna and Emerald Twisting Smoke of the Star Vipers. Scouting for the entrance to the Barrack Mines, they ran into a small undead scouting force. Stesha was on point and therefore the first to meet their blades and claws. Emerald stayed behind to buy the rest of the squad time to escape and make it back to the Legion with the critical intel.
For resourcefulness and a cool head under duress, Copper Dancing Coal was promoted to Soldier.
WEEK 7: Barak Mines
After the Legion received word that Render himself would be inspecting the armor-plating factory overseen by the Infamous Heartless called Ache. As Shreya engaged Render, the Legion attacked the facility in a daring head-on cavalry assault. The Undead troops were routed (CRIT Engagement Roll), and Ache promptly dispatched with a sniper bullet through its howling chest-cavity head (Extreme Effect Shoot Roll set up by Squad Maneuver). Render was utterly unprepared for Shreya’s furious assault, and after burying her spear into his chest hurled him bodily into a mineshaft wired with explosives by the Grinning Ravens, who then buried him under several thousand tons of mountainside. (TWO CRIT FORTUNE ROLLS IN A ROW, second one with a Set-up from the Rig; Our Shreya also has the Advancement that makes her Threat 5 with Potency) It was, in all, an unprecedented and quite shocking triumph for the Legion. Morale is understandably high at this time and the Undead in disarray (Bonus Time, no Pressure added).
The Silver Stags and our two Officers ventured into an unstable mine at the behest of the Barak Consortium to retrieve black rock ore that had been abandoned by workers refusing to brave the mines (which had been breached by Undead) any further. The Legion succeeded in retrieving the ore, and were paid handsomely by the Consortium’s representative. (Bonus Supply)
Week 7 Obit/Troop Report
RIP Kalyika Dewa, Pious Bartan who joined the Legion to follow Freya, killed when Blackrock dust ignited and caved in the mine the Silver Stags were clearing out. RIP Princips Katovica Zardani, who joined the Legion on a lark to seek thrills. The palatial estate awaiting her at home will never welcome her back, as she perished in the same cave-in. No bodies were recovered.
Congratulations to Jaromir Vikeiich, a recent Legion recruit who joined to avenge the death of his Uncle at Ettermark Fields. His makeshift support for the tunnel roof allowed him to escape with the Contessa just in time, earning him a much-deserved promotion. His Iron Will to resist the psychological toll of battle with serve the Legion well.
The Silver Stags are currently under-manned. Squads have been shifted to place 5 Soldiers into the Shattered Lions, historically the first and best of the Legion, allowing us to field a veteran Squad for the first time.