Saturday 17 February 2018

Frostgrave: Revisiting the Rune Stone Race

Welcome back to the Vault for another installment of my hobby ramblings!

I'm finally starting up my long thought about Frostgrave campaign at First Founding next month. I'm planning a couple of demo/introduction sessions and then we'll be getting into the campaign proper!

I posted a draft of my campaign ideas in a previous post; but I wasn't too happy with some of the rules and ultimately with how the campaign will finish. This post is therefore an updated set of campaign rules which I hope will be simpler to use, and more fun for the participants!

One of the many denizens of Felstad awaiting unwary players!

The Rune Stone Race
The Rune Stone Race is a set of rules for running a narrative Frostgrave “mini-campaign”. Rather than following the more traditional set up of a series of linked scenarios, the Rune Stone Race is designed to fit alongside whatever scenarios the players care to play among themselves.

Each player will play a set number of games over the period of the campaign (we are planning 6 games over 3 months); the final game of the campaign will be a (to be revealed) specially themed scenario!

Campaign Background
The Word Binders were an order of Sigilists who resided within ancient Felstad. These word mages developed a unique form of Rune magic which overcame the limitations of working with traditional parchment and ink; they carved runes into magical stones and crystals which could then be used by their owners to enhance other spell casting without being consumed like traditional scrolls.

As the frozen city is slowly thawing out and its secrets are being revealed examples of these Rune Stones are being found within the ruins, and their powers utilised by the wizards and mages who explore the ancient halls and squares. More recently a tome has been discovered which describes how these Rune Stones can be combined to form more complex and powerful enchantments.

This news has travelled fast and now the Wizards are racing to gather these stones for themselves and unlock the powerful magic these runic devices contain.

Campaign Objective
As the Wizards and their war bands explore Felstad they will come across various types of Rune Stones hidden as part of treasure troves.  The Wizards are also seeking the “Tome of Transformation” which explains how one Rune Stone can be converted into another, and how a set of Rune Stones can be used to control and empower a Tablet of Power (this mysterious Artefact will be revealed within the final campaign scenario). The Wizard to acquire the most powerful Tablet of Power will win the campaign.

Summoner Rune Stone
As I know my fellow players are an impatient bunch and will hate the fact I'm not revealing the final campaign scenario up front I'll give them the following objectives they should concentrate on to have a chance of winning the campaign:
  • Collect a wide variety of Rune Stones (a full set of 10 isn't compulsory but will help!)
  • Acquire The Tome of Transformation (this is pretty much mandatory)
  • Level up your Wizard
Campaign Rules: Rune Stones
Rune Stones are acquired from Treasure Tokens.  When a player is rolling for the contents of his first treasure token at the end of a game (assuming he has achieved some success in his adventures in Felstad), he must also roll a d3 to determine how many Rune Stones he has found and then a d20 for each on the following table to see which types of Rune Stones he has acquired:
  • 1-2: Chronomancer
  • 3-4: Elementalist
  • 5-6: Enchanter
  • 7-8: Illusionist
  • 9-10: Necromancer
  • 11-12: Sigilist
  • 13-14: Soothsayer
  • 15-16: Summoner
  • 17-18: Thaumaturge
  • 19-20: Witch
A spell caster who carries a Rune Stone is granted a +1 bonus when casting any spell from the Rune Stone’s school (he gains no further bonus for having two or more Rune Stones of the same type).

Rune Stones may be left in a treasure vault during a game; however they are small and if they are carried by a model they do not take up an item slot. Any Rune Stones carried by a model slain during a game (see the Injury and Death section of the campaign rules) are lost.

Witch Rune Stone
Campaign Rules: Tome of Transformation
As well as the myriad of Rune Stones, the Wizards are also looking for a copy of the Tome of Transformation as this spell book provides the arcane knowledge necessary to control the Tablet of Power. The Tome of Transformation may be acquired by one of the following means:

  • A Player may decline to randomly determine the contents of a Treasure Token and find the Tome of Transformation automatically
  • If a player finds a Grimoire when determining the contents of a Treasure Token he may decline to roll on the random Grimoire table and acquire the Tome of Transformation instead. 
The Tome of Tranformation may not be bought or sold; it is far too valuable that a Wizard would consider parting with it.

Once in possession of the Tome of Transformation, the Wizard may learn the Alter Rune Stone spell (as per any learning any other spell).

Alter Rune Stone
Sigilist / 14 / Out of Game
A Wizard may attempt to cast this spell before any game. If successful he chooses any Rune Stone in his possession which is immediately transformed into a different Rune Stone (e.g. a Wizard successfully casts Alter Rune Stone, and as he already owns two Witch Rune Stones he uses the spell to transform one of the two Witch Rune Stones into an Illusionist Rune Stone).

In addition to the Alter Rune Stone spell, the Tome of Transformation also contains the ritual to use Rune Stones to control and empower the Tablet of Power. Details of how this is achieved will be described in the final campaign scenario, but canny Wizards should note that holding a wide variety of Rune Stones (i.e. many different types) will make the ritual easier and grant greater control of the Tablet of Power.

The Tablet of Power
Campaign Rule: Twisting the Strands of Fate
The Tablet of Power wishes to be found and activated, and will use its power to help those which will ultimately use it.  Should a Wizard roll a Dead result on the survival table after a game, he may instead choose to select a Badly Wounded result (with an additional 100 XP penalty instead). Should a Wizard roll a Close Call result on the survival table after a game he does not lose any Rune Stones he was carrying. 

Campaign Rule: There is elegance in simplicity.
Only the Frostgrave Rulebook should be used for Scenarios, Soldier Types, Spells, Treasure, etc.

Campaign Rule: By my name shall you know me!
A player who provides a written description of his Wizard and Warband will receive a bonus of 50 XP at the end of a game. This bonus XP may only be claimed once during the campaign.

Campaign Rule: Raise the banners!
A player whose war band models are all painted and based will receive a bonus of 50 XP at the end of a game. This bonus XP may only be claimed once during the campaign.

Thanks for reading; I'll be posting news from the campaign as the games are played.

1 comment:

  1. As an idea, with the alter runestone spell, how about if you fail, you roll the d20 to randomly see what rune you have transformed it into

    Sounds fun, can't wait to start!!
    I'd best get painting and writing