Author Topic: Event Summary: 01/25/2015 - Shadows of Brimstone (Demonstration Game)  (Read 619 times)

Mister_ELK

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"A Lawman, a Bandito, and an Outlaw walk into a mine...."
While that may sound like the beginning of a joke, it was actually the beginning of demonstration game of "Shadows of Brimstone". 

A Lawman and an Outlaw arrived just before high noon on Sunday with hopes of wealth and riches to be retrieved from the mine. 
Jason H. and Andrew P. arrived at The Battle Standard a little before twelve o'clock on Sunday January 25th.

The Bandito was pressured into joining the adventure.  A logical enough decision for the added firepower, instead of being left behind with the horses.
I decided to play a third party member on the off chance that the third person signed up for the event actually showed up at some point.

All three managed to pass through the first four levels of the mines with relative ease.
As players explore the mines in "Shadows of Brimstone," each new room is usually picked at random and added to the appropriate passageway.  As mentioned, this was a "demonstration game," so I actually front loaded a few rooms and adventures, as to demonstrate various game mechanics in something of a progression.  Essentially, I was letting the new players get a sense of the game structure before bogging it down with specifics.

Our heroes (heroes?!?) picked up some experience and a little cash along the way.
It wasn't until the fifth level that they suddenly faced more than they could handle.
Seriously, I didn't plan this part.  The adventure took a turn for the worse.  A lot of unbelievable dice rolling, from players and monsters alike!

All three adventurers found themselves unconscious, either through physical injury or mental trauma.
As with most horror games of any sort that I have experienced, "Shadows of Brimstone" uses both a physical and mental injury system.

Through good fortune alone, the group managed to pull themselves together, albeit not unharmed. 
"Shadows of Brimstone" is not just a "do or die" type of game.  There is actually a "leveling up" mechanic to the game, so the idea of having characters suffer absolute death is a rarity.  Player characters get knocked out, and once the entire party is unconscious, then the monsters effectively leave the group alone.  I like to think of it as the monsters feeding off both the physical and mental energy of their prey.  If they were to KILL the adventurers, they wouldn't have them as a continual food source.  They can just SMELL the fear on the heroes!

Lingering injuries and a lack of funds made the trip back to down seem dire indeed. 
Just because players rarely die, that doesn't mean they escape unharmed.  Each time a player is KO'd, they wind up suffering some kind of lingering injury (physical unconsciousness) or madness (sanity unconsciousness).

Upon arriving back in town, local resources were at a minimum.  A number of shopkeepers had closed their stores, instead of taking the risk that the escaping darkness might cost them their lives.
Between adventures in the mines, players can go back to town in order to buy and sell goods, gather upgrades, and attempt to heal up from any lingering wounds.  What's interesting about going to town is that it is handled almost like a little "mini-adventure" game in itself.  Just because heroes go to a doctor, it doesn't necessarily mean they will be helped.
This is further complicated by the success or failure of the heroes' previous adventure.  The less successful they are, the more likely one or more of the town locations (i.e. church, general store, saloon, etc.) will be unavailable to the party.


With little hope, and even less funding, a local preacher took pity on both the Outlaw and the Bandito, granting blessings upon each for their next adventure in the mines.
As players visit locations in town, they have the opportunity to purchase supplies or trade items they own, but there are also random encounters that can occur.  In this instance, both players were lucky.  They could have just as easily wound up suffering some penalty that carried over to their next adventure.

With time left in the day, the three adventurers cast caution to the wind and headed back up to the mines.
This actually worked a bit better than expected.  I wasn't sure we would get through one adventure, let alone heading into town to showcase that game mechanic.  I was pleased that we could then take time to step into another adventure so quickly.

The decision was made to try a new approach through a different mineshaft.
This second game there was no front loading the adventure.  Instead of pre-selected mine tiles, we incorporated the actual randomness of drawing each new room as it was encountered.

With the day growing short, the adventure was hurried along. 
With one player having to leave and already running over the set time for the event, we decided to hurry things along.  The particular scenario we were playing required us to find a number of "clue tokens."  Essentially, these are only revealed as new rooms get added, so what we did was make each new room forced into being a "clue" room, so we could actually get to the final battle sooner, rather then randomly timed.  Again..... Demonstration game, so I'm well within my rights.  :)

All three managed to escape with their lives.  Although, the Outlaw also came out with a second head and a tentacle leg. 
Yes, that's right.   Did I forget to mention "Corruption"?  One of the key items heroes are searching for in the game is the mysterious Darkstone.  Sure, gold will let you buy things, but Darkstone is the bigger prize.  Used for certain magics, as well as capable of being infused into weapons, the more of it one has, the richer one tends to be.  Of course, the more of it one tries to pull from the mine, the more risk one takes with his or her very soul.  Too much "Corruption" leads to "Mutation."  Some mutations are good and some are not so good.  There are lots of mutations, collect them all!  But remember how I mentioned that "death" was something of a rarity?  Well, winding up with a duplicate of any random mutation is one of the ways to guarantee your doom!

Just another day in Brimstone!


Overall, I am really enjoying "Shadows of Brimstone."  It offers an interesting blend of boardgame, table top wargaming, and a sense of roleplaying all rolled into one.  Diehard fans or haters of any one class of gaming will likely find an assortment of elements to critique, but that can be said about most games.
"Shadows of Brimstone" currently has two starter sets available for sale:  City of the Ancients and Swamps of Death.
Each game is self contained and fully playable on its own.
Elements are interchangeable, but each set comes with different "player characters" and monsters to encounter.

(As a side note, one of the more subtle elements of the game materials is the "male/female" nature of all character cards.  The base characters all have male and female artwork present on opposite sides of the character cards provided.  (Corresponding miniatures will be released in the future.)  But gender plays NO part in the skills and capabilities of each character.)

It is my hope to run some additional Demonstration Events at The Battle Standard in the coming months.
If there is enough interest, I could see a the development of a league or some kind of tournament being run in the future.
If anyone is interested in participating, feel free to let me know.
((Within the next week or so, I should be setting up another event for a Saturday or Sunday sometime in mid to late February))
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