Sunday, 29 March 2020

Frostgrave: The Umbral Portals

Welcome back to the Vault once more my fellow Venturers, and I hope you are all keeping yourselves safe and well during these uncertain times.  Gaming wise I've been playing various board games with the family, and participated in the First Founding Dark Sun D&D campaign session over Discord which was a lot of fun.

I had also planned to play a solo Frostgrave scenario, but my eldest daughter decided she'd like to play so we had an impromptu rumble across the ruins of Felstad; this was a great way to spend a couple of hours!

All the fantasy gaming has put me in the mood to paint some related model, so I decided to pick up my Malign Sorcery project.  I've been painting up some of the wonderful Age of Sigmar Endless Spells models and coming up for some rules for them in Frostgrave.  Next on the list are the Umbral Spell Portals.


These were fun to paint up, and have a very simple scheme:
  • Prime the models black
  • Paint the mirror frames with 2 Retributor Gold, and wash with Argrax Earthshade
  • Basecoat the smoke/vapour with Mechanicus Grey, then overbrush with Celestra Grey, and finally Scar White
The bases are my usual interpretation of "Frostgrave Flagstone".

There's a lot more of the smoke on the back of the Portals:


I have to confess that the Spell Portals are reason I bought the Malign Sorcery box set in the first place as these models have so many uses, and these is a wonderful hint of mystery about them.  Who does the face at the top of the portal represent? And surely the collection of skulls dressing the opening warn of grave danger from the other side!


So how do I see these being used on the table top?  There are some obvious choices:
  • Spawn Point Markers for Wandering Monsters
  • Teleport Disks for The Keep Scenario (assume if a players's model moves within 0.5" of the base of the Portal it will activate the teleport).  As an aside I'd like to get hold of a second pair of these so I could put down the 4 needed for the scenario; it would look very cool!
My intention for these blog posts was to provide some suggested rules that Frostgrave players could overlay onto whatever scenario was being played, rather than alternative scenarios, so here are some ideas.

(Option 1) The Hall of Mirrors

Both Warbands have entered upon a strange complex decorated with a large number of enchanted mirrors; the Wizards soon realise they can project an element of control over the looking glasses and influence the real world through them.

Each player places Umbral Spell Portal model within their deployment zone.  At the start of their Wizard phase the player may move their Umbral Spell Portal up to 6". A Wizard treats his Umbral Spell Portal as a Wizard Eye, drawing Line of Sight from the front 180 degrees of the model.  The Umbral Spell Portal is ignored for drawing Line of Sight to enemy models or creatures, movement and may not be destroyed by any means.  

(Essentially treat the portal as a mobile Wizard Eye spell, the model should not impede you or your opponent's movement, etc. If in doubt remove the portal for the current game play and replace it when it makes sense to do so).   

(Option 2) Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Within these ruins reside the fabled Soul Trap Mirrors. These artefacts have been used to contain the essence of ancient and knowledgeable beings; the adventuring Wizards are keen to seek out the secrets of these tormented souls.

During deployment each player places an Umbral Spell Portal model within 2" of their deployment zone (either inside or outside).  If a Wizard is within 1" of the Umbral Spell Portal placed by his opponent he may spend an action to seek a boon from the spirits trapped within, choosing one of the following:
  • Learn from their experience: Gain 50 XP
  • Glean arcane knowledge: Roll on the Grimoire table; if the Wizard does not know this spell they learn it, otherwise the result is ignored
  • Discover their legacy: At the end of the game gain an additional roll on the treasure table. This does not count as gaining a treasure token for the purposes of gaining XP.
Below the mighty Acecerak asserts his will on the Soul Trap (and probably grabs the loot, greedy git).

I hope you've enjoyed the post; there's plenty more hobby to be done during lockdown and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.  Feel free to let me know what you are doing hobby wise at the moment in the comments below.

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