Monday, 24 February 2020

Venazia - Sellswords and Spellslingers Campaign Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – Something wicked this way comes.

Welcome to the City of Venazia – a shining jewel on the shore of the Great Western Sea.
All visitors note civic by-law 1/a: Arms, weapons and harness of war are expressly forbidden in public spaces. This includes body armour, shields, polearms, bows and crossbows. Gentlemanly sidearms may be worn for self protection.

The party paused just outside the door of their lodging house.
“What’s up with you, Gunnar? You’re scowling.”
“He’s still upset that his axe wasn’t allowed to count as a ‘gentlemanly sidearm’!” laughed Christos.
“Yes, but they let you keep your mace! And your even your shield, how did that happen?”
“They are symbols of my rank in my order. They are classed as religious regalia and under by-law 21/b are exempt from the by-law concerning 'weapons of war'!”
Sintamo sighed.
“So that’s fixed then – meet back at the tavern at eight bells. That will give us all time to do what we need to.”
“Seven Bells,” said Gunnar.
Eddie sucked his teeth. “I need more time than that. Transcribing the new spell has to be done at a certain pace, with special rituals.”
Sir Robin looked at Gunnar. “Why so soon?”
Gunnar narrowed his eyes. “Because… ale is a cultural enemy?”
Robin laughed. “I am sure you can fight the good fight alone until we are able to arrive to give support!”
“Aye laddie, it will be a hard battle, but I’m sure I will cope.”
As the party started to disperse to their various tasks Eldarondo called “Don’t fall in any canals.  And don’t cause any trouble.”
Sintamo looked at the Elf. “Christos, Robin, Eddie?  Maybe the second sentence first would have been better.”

Set Up

The canal streets of Venazia


Reach the tavern in the centre of the board. Game ends when all PCs are in there, or arrested.

PCs Entry.

Each member enters randomly, on their own.  This is done as per ‘Wandering monster’ arrival. Gunnar is already in the Tavern. He won’t leave unless another PC spends an action explaining what’s happening.

Special Rule.

This is a respectable town. The PC’s are not wearing armour, or carrying shields, and do not have bows etc. They carry just one weapon (plus knife) so Eddie has his staff, not the sword.


5 randomly placed hitmen (Barbarian assassins) out to get the party.

A Brigand leaps out of nearest cover.

1-2 1d6 Desert Barbarians
3-4 1d6 Brigands

Wandering Monsters:
1-2 1d6 Desert Barbarians
3-4 1d6 Brigands
5 Lunatic – Religious zealot high of substances
6 Assassin (unless 5 are already in play, in which case = Zealot)

Scenario Special Event:
1d6 City Guard (Armoured Militia) appear 12” away (in a random direction) from the PC who draws the card. If any fighting occurs within 8” they will rush and subdue all taking part. Damage is non lethal – so track lethal and total separately. Any PC or NPC reduced to 0HP is arrested. (We will assume that PCs are going for non-lethal blows etc, unless you really want to kill the good-guys). PC may give up at any time – they are arrested, and removed from the board (no criminal is stupid enough to try and kill a PC under escort). Arrested PCs get no XP, and are fined 22 sp, + 11 sp* per HP inflicted on a Guard.

Things could get worse.

The PC has become disorientated among all the bridges and islands, and are not where they think they are. They move 3d6 in a random direction, but not closer to the tavern – move them towards closest base edge until same distance is maintained.
No more actions or cards this PC turn- their go ends immediately.


Sintamo The PC has tripped on a loose flagstone. DEX DL8 check or stumble d6” in random direction. On a 1 they are prone at the end. If a PC falls into a canal STR DL12 to get out (DL6 if assisted by a friend).

*11sp = 1 local ‘weight’. The City State of Venazia uses a base 11 system for money and time, on the reasoning you don’t need the next digit along until you have run out of fingers. Thus mid-day is 11 local hours from midnight. These are subdivided into 11 ‘moments’. Merchants have learnt the hard way there is more than one reason why Venazian traders have a reputation for being successful. Also an 11th hour rescue in the City really is cutting it fine.

The Game

The table layout, the tavern is in the plazza at the centre of the lower edge.

 The tavern, as it is summer the landlord has set up an outside bar and move his tables out into the plazza.

 Gunnar enjoys a flagon of ale while contemplating sitting in for a hand or two of cards.

 Christos starts alone, far from the tavern. He is unaware of the assassin lurking ahead.

 Sir Robin and Sintamo can both see the tavern but there is no bridge near to them.

 Eldarondo is frankly lost, he can find his way blindfolded in a forest, but the maze of buildings and waterways has got him stumped. He can't see the tavern, but he can see Sintamo and Robin, so decides to head towards them.

As he does so, a local footpad, lurking in the shadows of the nearby bridge, leaps out. Caught by surprise, the elf takes a heavy blow to his shoulder before dispatching the robber with his sword.

 Oblivious to Eldarondo's danger, Robin and Sintamo move to join up.

 But as Robin crosses the bridge he trips on a loose flagstone and stumbles forward, straight into the canal! Robin tries to climb out but cannot get a grip on the slippery stonework.  Sintamo rushes over to help him, but is laughing so much, he drops Robin back into the canal! (I rolled a 2 when trying to get Robin out).
The second attempt gets the soaked knight back onto dry land.

 The pair caught up with Eldarondo.
"Robin, why are your shoes squeaking?"
Robin, stomped on ahead, leaving a trail of wet footprints behind him.
"He's fallen in the water." Sintamo whispered, with a grin.
"But how?" the elf asked, smiling widely and pointing at a nearby canal. "They're big enough."
The ranger just shrugged his shoulders.

 On the other side of the table Christos set a fast pace (not failing activations) and breezed past two assassins, leaving the bewildered desert killers staring after him.

Eddie was not so lucky, as he crossed a bridge he was charged by another assassin, who wounded the wizard. Panicked, Eddie flailed out with his staff and caught the assassin across the head. As he was wielding a long staff and having the advantage of higher ground, we decided to allow Eddie a chance of knocking his attacker over. The die rolled a natural 20! The stunned assassin dropped to the ground.
Unfortunately a horde of desert barbarians were also in reach of Eddie and charged in. With his eyes closed and failing around wildly, the wizard managed to tack down 4 of the 5 attackers, but took a second wound in return. seeing the fight ahead of him Christos rushed forward to Eddie's aid.

The last desert tribesman cut the wizard down. But before he could do anything else the irate cleric charged into him, caving in his helmet and skull with a furious mace blow.
Christos grabbed Eddie's inert form and slung him over his shoulder, then set off towards the tavern.

Robin stumbles around and realises he's taken the wrong turn, so rushes to catch up with Sintamo and Eldarondo, but is attacked by a local thug. With barely a pause Robin dispatches the impudent rouge.

Attracted by reports of scuffles in the street some of the city watch turn up. Eldarondo causally saunters past. "Good evening officers."

But they promptly move towards the last fight, which puts them breathing down Eldarondo's neck.
"Is it coz I'm an elf?"
"Don't get many of your sort around here, sir!"
" A long way from the great greenwoods, aren't we!"

The watch are distracted by seeing Christos take out another assassin.
"Oi stop! We want a word with you!"

In the meantime, a horde of tribesmen have turned up at the tavern and are stalking Gunnar.

They jump him, he takes out two with his ale flagon, but is overcome by numbers. However knocking over the card player's table provokes and all-out tavern brawl, which takes the remaining tribesmen out of play.

As Christos nears the tavern, Robin gets in front of the watch and "accidentally" blocks the pathway to allow Christos time to back to the rooms and heal Eddie.

Christos makes it back to the rooms and just has time to confirm Eddie's wounds are not serious, when the watch burst in and arrest them both.
Gunnar is also arrested, swept up with a whole bunch of tavern patrons arrested for the brawl in the plazza.
Sensibly, Robin, Sintamo and Eldarondo keep well out of the way. They will attend court in the morning to bail their comrades out and pay any fines.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Frostgrave (Wetgrave?) in Venice

I had the Frostgrave gang (Mark, Henry and Colin) over for a game to try out some of Mark's ideas for our new Frostgrave campaign. We have played two previous Frostgrave campaigns in monthly games and Mark has been inspired by my new Streets of Venice layout.
He has added in ideas for drowning, creatures/dangers in the water etc, which we want to iron out before we start our next campaign.

Here's a few pictures of the test game in progress.

 The whole layout, the four warbands will come on from each corner.

 My wizard throws a Bone Dart at Henry's wizard. First turn, first spell of the game and I killed him outright!
Later Henry realised that he had got his sums wrong and fact he was still alive with 1 HP left.

 Henry thought, why run all over the place after the treasure, when you can magic it closer to you? Just as well no one had a Crumble spell, his treasure could have ended up in the canal!

 Mark brought a long a BIG bear (too big for a lot of the gaps between buildings in fact!).

 Colin's warband get into problems with zombies (only 1 zombie by the time the picture was taken).

 Mark's animal companions gang up on a wandering leopard (which proved to be tough, killing the bear and another of his soldiers before it was finally killed).

 EKK! Spiders!
Don't worry, they are only small.......

 ....Oh bugger!

Another (wild) bear turns up and chases after Henry's warband.

A lot of fun, even if we did have to keep stopping to write down notes and new ideas.
Hopefully another game will be enough to tighten the new rules up and we can start the campaign!

Monday, 20 January 2020

En Garde in Venice

I set up the whole of my TTCombat Streets of Venice display (so far) and gave the layout a run through with a brief, solo En Garde game.

On with the game......... A trio of dodgy characters are out to kidnap a Papal Prelate.

Two tough guys looking for trouble.

Whilst their third comrade lurks on a stairway.

The Prelate and his bodyguard.

Two of the kidnappers rush towards the Prelate and his guards.

Who move forward to shield their master. The arquebus armed guard wounds one of the attackers in the shoulder.

The last guard crosses swords with the last kidnapper, who is moving up behind the Prelate and his party.

But, the guard is no match for a professional!

Another guard clashes with an attacker, As the spearman falls, the arquebusier hits the wounded kidnapper with a second shot, finishing him off.

The arquebusier frantically tries to reload, but his attacker rushes up and cuts him down before he can get off another shot. The Prelate draws his sword and successfully holds his attacker off.

But the arrival of the third assailant overpowers the Prelate. The thugs carry off their victim, leaving a trail of bodies bleeding in the streets.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

More Buildings for Venice

I've now finished the last two buildings for Venice, a larger, three storey, casa and a bell tower. All I need to do now is get the whole lot set up for a photo shoot (hopefully whilst playing a game on it!).