Thursday, 13 August 2015

Optional rule: Variable game length

I've come around to the view that the game having a set end, while not strictly necessary, will probably improve the game by focusing things on treasure hunting and avoiding the last few turns dragging out.  However I'm also not terribly keen on anybody ever knowing for sure that they are on their final turn as this will inevitably colour their decisions.  More uncertainty = more decisions and gambles = more fun.

So I'm proposing this to my game group:

Variable game length optional rules

We looked at the glittering pile of treasure just beyond the ruins to our left, we looked at the band of archers hunkered down in the building to our right, we looked at the ominous snow clouds forming thick and black on the horizon, then we turned our back on it all and headed for the warmth of home.  Gold has little value unless you live to spend it.

The weather in Frostgrave is unpleasantly chilly at best and extremely hostile at worst.  In a moment a blizzard can descend on an otherwise sunny day and all thoughts of treasure and fighting are swiftly forgotten in the rush for shelter and warmth.  These rules are optional, but as they encourage a focus on treasure gathering over fighting, the lowest level wizard in the game should get the deciding vote if there is any disagreement over whether to use them or not.

Starting from the end of turn 5, at the end of every turn roll a dice.  On a 1-10 conditions hold, play another turn as normal. On an 11-20 hostile weather closes in and the battlefield must be abandoned.  Treasure left on the table at game end is lost.  Treasure held by a figure still on the table at game end must be rolled for.  On a 1-10 it is lost as the figure battles through the blizzard for shelter.  On an 11-20 it is successfully recovered by the figure.

This means 50% of games end after turn 5.
75% of games have ended after turn 6.
88% of games have ended after turn 7, and so on.

I welcome any thoughts or feedback on the matter.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Frostgrave Scenario: Creature Lairs

First draft, entirely unplaytested so let me know how it works out if you give them a whirl!

Scenario/Optional Rules: Creature Lairs

We were working our way through the ruined merchants’ quarter when one of the lads spotted the hole.  Burrowed straight into the street, whatever had dug it out had done so with some force and discarded cobblestones lay all around.  Black as night it was in there, but it was all quiet and the snow around the entrance showed no signs of recent disturbance so we slowly edged closer.  Suddenly the cry went up ‘I can see the glint of gems!’ and before I could say anything three men had run into the darkness.  A wise man knows that all that glitters is not gold, and an eye in the darkness can sparkle as enticingly as any jewel.  We never did find out what made that hole but as we fled we could hear it roaring behind us for miles.

A creature lair is any kind of terrain feature that could hide the horrible beasties of Frostgrave on the battlefield.  A hole in the ground, a cave, a mine entrance, a nest, a collapsed corner of building, let your imagination go wild.  At its simplest a small black circle of paper can easily represent an ominous hole.


Place lairs at any point during battlefield set up as suits your terrain collection, but before the treasure counters are placed.  If played as a specific scenario place 5 lairs on the table.  If played as an optional rule during a normal game either agree on the number of lairs with your opponent beforehand or roll 1D4 and place that many lairs.  Place one lair roughly in the centre of the table and distribute the rest around the table as per the treasure counter placing rules (3” from deployment zones and 6” from each other), though a treasure token and a lair may be within 6” of each other.  In fact this is strongly encouraged!

Random Encounters:

If you are using the random encounter optional rules, the lairs represent a greater chance of creatures appearing and an additional place for them to enter the battlefield. When rolling to see if a random encounter occurs, add +1 to the result for each unentered lair on the table.  When rolling for the table edge the creatures appear from, add each unentered lair as a possible result.  e.g. On a table with three lairs roll a dice, 1-4 represent the 4 table edges and 5 to7 each represent a lair, re-roll an 8-20 until you get a valid result (or use a smaller dice).  Creatures appearing at a lair are placed on the table adjacent to the lair entrance and otherwise act as normal wandering creatures.

Entering a Lair:

Line of Sight cannot be drawn through a lair entrance.  Those inside cannot see those outside and vice-versa.  Any figure may enter a lair in the hopes of finding treasure by simply moving through the entrance, but a lair is never unguarded.  Forced movement into a lair is allowed.  Place a figure that has entered a lair temporarily off the table to the side.  The first time a lair is entered roll on the random encounter table to find its inhabitants.  Place the creatures and the figure that entered the lair in combat in the off table space.  If the figure that entered has an activation left it may then fight in combat as normal, otherwise the creatures will activate as normal in the creature phase.

If any further figures enter the lair consider everyone currently inside the lair to be locked in combat with everyone else.  If the winner of a combat in a lair chooses to push himself or his opponent back (remembering that all inhabitants of the lair are considered in combat so he may only push back himself if he is only fighting a single enemy) then place the pushed back figure at the lair entrance on the table.

A creature thus evicted from his lair activates as normal in the creature phase, moving to attack the closest enemy it can see on the table.  However if it can see no enemies on the table, rather than moving randomly it will return by the fastest route possible to its lair and re-enter.  As it cannot see through the lair entrance once outside it will choose a target on the table in preference to one in its lair.

If a creature is in its lair and not in combat at the start of the creature phase roll a dice.  1-10 it remains where it is. 11-20 it uses its first action to moves onto the board adjacent to the lair entrance and then acts as above, i.e. moving to attack anyone it sees or returning into its lair if there is nobody around.  Make one roll and apply it all creatures with the Pack Hunter trait within a single lair.

A figure not in combat is free to move from a lair back onto the table.  Measure its move from the lair entrance.

Searching for Treasure:

If a figure is in a lair with no enemy or NPC figures present he may spend an action to search for treasure.  Each lair may only be searched once.  Roll a dice to see what he finds:
1-5 Trouble!  Roll for new lair inhabitants as above.
6-10 Nothing but gnawed bones.
11-20 The glint of treasure!  The figure picks up a new treasure token.


A wizard brave enough to enter a previously unentered lair earns 50XP.