Starry Fists and Ghostly Peak

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

The seventh phase of our Band of Blades campaign was the last phase taking place at the Barrak Mines and St. Oysingra. Here are the Mission Sheets I wrote up for each, and as usual, I’ve attached additional notes on meta-game events that affected play.

General information about these sheets and a full archive of previously posted sheets can be found on this page.

The Legion has stuck around the Barrak Mines, hoping to delay or even stop Render’s armies from advancing further. This was all very much player-directed as a set of missions, calling back to a lot of already established fiction, and there was a lot of excitement built up around it, and curiosity about how much they could accomplish.

Since the Commander was sitting on a lot of Intel already, he asked some questions that didn’t immediately pertain to the missions, learning about the appearance of the Heartless in Render’s ranks, and about their leader (Ache) and his weakness. They also learned Render’s plans were an attempt to cut-off the Legion by force-marching half his armies through the Talgon: “Forced March” was the next advance I was planning for Render.

The information about Ache would actually come in very useful in this particular session, and saved the squad from a brutal fight with the Lieutenant.

This was their choice for the secondary mission. I had decided, based on all the prior fiction, that losing the Legion’s Scout would be the penalty here. But the mission went off well. They rescued the Scout and brought her and her Intel back to camp, making the Commander very happy given his plans for the next turn, allowing him to burn it all and still ask multiple Intel questions.

The primary mission. The penalty here didn’t seem immediately obvious (“How does failing to destroy the pass cost Supply?”), but the Legion leaving behind Supplies for St. Oysingra to try and hold out seemed apropos. This was also a heavy fictional choice as it went directly against the core values of our game’s Legion. I should note that I also rolled Favor (Knowledge) as a reward for this mission, but as this did not apply to Zora, I did not list that benefit on the above sheet.

Interestingly, this is one of the few missions that the Star Vipers undertook (at least as a primary squad). As I recall, this was more an Ember Wolves or Ghost Owls-style mission, but the former were still recovering from the events in Oysingra’s tomb, and the players felt the Ghost Owls made more sense to send on the rescue mission instead. So they decided the Star Vipers could handle any weird things up in the mountains (sneaking through shadow-haunted passes was one of the given approaches here)…but then decided a crazy charge down the blizzard-choked pass was how they were going to handle the approach because Zora would more highly approve such tactics.

As no one in the squad had demolitions experience, the players asked if they could bring along a group of local miners familiar with placing and setting explosive charges. We discussed what this would mean and decided it would provide a better position when the charges were set and add potency to the resulting blast. They were fine with this as a trade-off for the 1d penalty to the engagement roll. It also set me up to make protecting the miners and keeping them from fleeing in the face of the undead a central part of the mission!

As with Ache’s presence, Render’s appearance during this mission was a choice by the players — it was offered as a Devil’s Bargain. They discussed it and decided to go for it, hoping they could pull off a huge victory, not be slaughtered to a man, and pick up the huge xp bonus (for any survivors). Again, the Legion’s dedication to Zora’s “Forward to Battle!” philosophy played a big part in this decision…not in a stupid fashion, though. They knew they would never survive a direct melee.

This was the mission they ignored for two reasons: it had no penalty if ignored, and the Quartermaster was current rolling in Supply and Assets. I think it would have been an interesting mission to play, as it was designed with a more social series of obstacles, and only meant to turn violent if things went poorly…or the players took some Devil’s Bargains to that effect. However, the complications mainly introduced decision points with no clear answer (ie: what does the squad decide to do if the Black Oak have altered the terms of their deal?

2 Responses to “Starry Fists and Ghostly Peak”

  1. colin says:

    hi i am just about to gm a BoB game with my group and was very happy to find your site and the resources. especially the mission sheets. I wanted to ask if you are willing to share those. I mean an empty one so i could use the template to generate some of my own.

    cheers colin

  2. greyorm says:

    Hey Colin! Glad you’re finding the resources useful! About the mission sheets: I don’t really have a good “blank” sheet to share. Re-creating the sheet in a proper layout program is on the “someday I might” list, but if you don’t mind a bit of a messy Photoshop file you’d have to move the elements around manually on, I could provide that.

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