Friday, February 11, 2011

The Abandoned Village: A Chaos In Carpathia Multi-Player Scenario - Part One

The Chaos In Carpathia players in the group are planning a three-player game this weekend and, since I had some time to spare yesterday, I prepared the table and planned out the scenario that we would be playing. I thought that some of you Gothic Horror players (or fans of adventure games in general) might appreciate a scenario walk-through before reading the actual game report that will follow.

The table represents some rural village deep within the foothills of the Carpathians. An eerie silence hangs over this settlement ever since the villagers disappeared. Each player warband has their own noble or nefarious reason for discovering what happened to the villagers and the purpose of this scenario is to discover their whereabouts by finding and interpreting clues.

The building interiors are laid-out adjacent to the main table.

The Clues:

There are twelve objectives spread across the table which contain some clue to the whereabouts of the missing villagers.

The Cemetery Statue stands guard over the deceased. The cracked stone offers many hiding places.

The Sacred Tree was planted many years ago by the first settlers. Villagers often bury charms and trinkets under its shadow.

The Child's Tribute greets visitors at the village's south entrance. It stands in remembrance of a young girl who drowned in the river many years ago.

In the eastern woods across the river lies a Forgotten Grave. Some whisper that it holds the remains of a lost soul who committed some heinous crime.

The Hilltop Monument stands as a silent observer of all the village's comings and goings. If it could speak, it could tell many secrets.

Barrels of Produce lie forgotten in the fields. In moments of panic the fearful stash valuables in the most mundane places.

The Pagan Stones at the west edge of town remind the villagers of their humble origins. The Christian God was not always king here and, in the darkest corners, he still isn't.

The Bishop's Seat is kept in the church undercroft, only brought up to the nave for ecclesiastical visits.

The occupant of the Hero's Tomb was given a special resting place after saving the village from looting marauders.

The Doctor's Workbench is scattered with letters and journals; a perfect place to find clues.

The Great Fireplace in the village longhouse has a secret storage compartment known only to the town elders.

Since the objectives in this scenario require both perception and intellect to discover and understand fully, character's may add their scores in either Sharp Senses or Scholar to their MIND rolls. Searching an objective counts as a Special Action. If a character fails his perception check he may only try searching the failed objective a second time if he first attempts to search another objective first.

Bonus Victory Points:

As per my Indoor House Rules, characters may be lucky enough to find bonus victory points by searching chests, bookcases, and sarcophagi. Any VP found by rolling on the appropriate furniture tables are added to those VP earned from the twelve main objectives.


In an attempt to make the three-player interaction as interesting (and as unpredictable) as possible, I've come up with the following non-standard method of deployment. There are six deployment areas on the table as follows:

The North Road into town (Models must be placed on the road within 3 inches of the board edge)

The West Road into town (Models must be placed on the road within 3 inches of the board edge)

The Footbridge leading into the cemetery (Models must be placed within 3 inches of the footbridge on the east side of the river)

The Marsh (Models must be placed in base contact with the marsh)

The Professor's Cottage (Models must be placed anywhere on the ground floor of the cottage)

The Bell Tower (Models must be deployed within the tower interior)

I've borrowed and modified the game set-up system from the Settlers of Catan board game. Each player makes a Goal Roll equal to their leader's MIND stat plus any bonus dice granted by the LEADER ability. The highest roller decides whether he wants to be player one, player two, or player three. The next highest roller then chooses his place from the two remaining positions. The lowest roller takes whatever is left. Deployment zones are select then as follows:

  1. Player One chooses his first deployment zone
  2. Player Two chooses his first deployment zone
  3. Player Three chooses his first deployment zone
  4. Player Three chooses his second deployment zone
  5. Player Two chooses his second deployment zone
  6. Player One chooses his second deployment zone
After each player has two deployment zones, each model in the warband is secretly assigned to one of the two deployment areas (by jotting it down on paper). When all is revealed, starting with player one, each player takes it in turn to place a model or a unit of henchmen. To be clear, there is no limit on how many models a player can deploy in each zone but there must be at least one model deployed in each.

When deployment is complete players proceed with game play using whichever initiative system they agreed on (i.e. cards or dice). At the end of an agreed number of turns, victory points are totaled and the victor is declared.

If you're still reading, here's the epic scenario report complete with lots and lots of photos.

Thanks for reading,


Bard said...

That's some truly amazing looking terrain! Hope you have fun with the game -- I can't wait to read the battle report!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Absolutely awesome looking board and love those Pagan stones!


Mikko said...

What a stunningly beautiful table setup. Very inspiring - not to mention jealousy inducing.

Keep up the great work!

John@Plastic Legions said...

truly great stuff here, kudos. I love it. I dont recognize any of the miniatures thou..could you share their manufacturer?

JET (aka Jason) said...

Thanks for the kind words gents.

Hi John,
Most of the miniatures are from Westwind's Gothic Horror line, subsection: Vampire Wars -

If you are interested in Gothic Horror at all, Westwind is the first and one of the few stops. A couple of Chris's monster hunter miniatures come from Blue Moon's "I Had Such A Howling Good Time" box set -

Anonymous said...

That is very nice. Great job!

It is such a great job, I hate making a suggestion. For whatever reason, the wood grain on the plywood table is distracting. I'd paint it black, or use a black cloth to cover that table. I think that would help the interiors pop more.