Monday, March 19, 2018

Cold Wars 2018 AAR - Just a Usual Night in Elizabethan London

As mentioned in my previous post, my son and I ran a Frostgrave/Ghost Archipelago game at Cold Wars.  I changed the setting to an Elizabethan England in which magic is real. 

The scenario was this: Playwright, spy and occultist, Christophery Marlowe has been murdered by agents of some of the great courtiers who were seeking to get his manuscript to Dr. Faustus, the performance of which may actually open a door to Hell. Various groups were searching his old stomping grounds for the manuscript and the grimoire that taught him how to draft magical scripts, the Dramaturginomicon.

We had 11 players, each with their own agenda so I modified the turn sequence and used an initiative roll mechanism for activation. Movement was increased to 12 inches given the size of the table. The warbands were smaller, containing one hero, having Heritor abilities, one magic user and only four henchmen. Each hero had only 3 abilities and each magic user only 3 spells. I tried to match the spells to setting - thus one faction, the Lord Admiral's Men who were actors had a Sigilist, William Shakespeare while a band of Irish pirates under Grace O'Malley had a Strom Warden. We got to a satisfactory conclusion of the game in about 3 hours.

Most of the action occurred in the Rose Theatre and Marlowe's former residence, the Garter Tavern. 

The players split their attentions about evenly between the two buildings. They soon discovered that both occult works had already created "leaks" to another dimension, releasing demons who had a distressing tendency to increase in size as time went on.

The players were surprisingly non-belligerent to one another, relying on negotiations with only the occasional outburst of violence. They faced far more danger from the staff and patrons of the Garter who proved it was the toughest tavern in London. The final result was that Solomon Kane managed to destroy the Dramaturginomicon using candles from a nearby church, a Spanish Jesuit managed to banish the very large demon that had appeared, and William Shakespeare ended up in possession of the manuscript, after he cast an explosive rune spell on the only exit from theatre's basement. This resulted in the destruction of the better part of two other warbands who had subsequently tried to leave to escape an ever-growing demon. The Rose thus blew up and burned down, while the Garter had been previously set alight as well. Shakespeare put his name on the manuscript, and added several editorial "improvements" resulting in it losing it's magical capabilities.

 I'll be running this again at Historicon. I also have an idea for a couple of sequels - next up will be "The Mirrors of Mortlake" about a raid on the house of Dr. John Dee, Queen Elizabeth's chief astrologer and alchemist.

Here's some additional games that caught my eye:

1 comment:

Mad Guru said...

What a great looking bunch of games!!!

Your Shakespeare-Weirdian extraveganza looks FANTASTIC! Of the other games shown, I'm most impressed/intrigued by the large water-surface outside the castle in the second medieval siege game, might have been the Siege of Orleans? It all looked great but that water looked amazing, and second is the huge DIY interior of the Victorian Sci-Fi airship. But everything looks impressive, thanks very much for posting!