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Dead Suns #11: Temple of the Eleven

Last we left our heroes, they had entered the ancient elven Temple of the Twelve seeking a lost researcher and the secret behind the lost language. Oh, and they were about to get ambushed. (-GM)

1st Day of Lamashan, 317 AG

I didn’t really buy into Dr. Solstarni’s story, because if she had been taken by Devourers, then why wasn’t she eaten?

The next hallway snaked around a large room in the center. That was clearly where the boss was, so we saved it for last. We concerned ourselves instead with a group of cultists messing around with explosives. They used very advanced technology, such as a machine gun that fired from every barrel at once. However, it seemed they were in over their heads, for their “explosives” did not explode when I fired at them. Noobs. Everyone knows explosives are supposed to explode.

We found Dr. Solstarni tied to the wall. Apparently she had been captured by Devourer cultists and they were researching some relic. I didn’t really buy into her story, because if she had been taken by Devourers, then why wasn’t she eaten? I decided to watch her carefully in case she turned out to be conducting more than just research.

I wasn’t going to let a few bullet wounds stop me from completing our mission, but the others were fragile and wanted rest. We found a room with one of those constellations the elves shouldn’t have known about, and decided to sleep there, pretending it was the night sky. Our delusion of the outdoors failed when the stars activated their fire beams and tried to kill us. The fire cauterized our wounds, and within minutes we had regained our stamina and were ready to assault the boss room. No matter that I left a trail of my own blood; that was probably just indigestion.

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Posted by on February 17, 2018 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Dead Suns #10: Love at First Sight

Our party was in the middle of fighting at the giant statue of an elven lady looking at the sky, hunting for a lost researcher to find more clues about the strange language they found on the Drift Rock. (-GM)

30th Day of Rova, 317 AG

The sniper

Jumping right in to the action, XI pushed the flying jellyfish off his head as Chappie miraculously got over his sickness. We ran to the large statue to try and evade the sniper, and heard shots go off. Chee Kee shot her, and she tried to escape by jumping but broke a leg.

We took the stairs. We decided it would be a good idea to interrogate her for information, so we bound her hands and feet.

“If you answer our questions, we won’t hurt you,” I lied. She refused. Nikolai started to reason with her but I kicked her in the head and intimidated her. She yelled about how her life was meaningless because of what’s to come, how the Devourer would destroy everything, how inevitable our defeat is. (Incredibles reference). I sensed that she wasn’t telling us something, but she wouldn’t talk. So I kicked her into some sacred pool of blah blah.

We them searched through the statue and found something odd. Drawn inside of the head were some pictures of constellations that had only been discovered in the past few hundred years, yet these markings were about 3000 years old.

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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Twilight Imperium Is AWESOME

Yes, it is.

I almost won outright and had 9 points (1 short of winning), but I made a mistake and also Bruno took my home system RIP. (Losing your home system stops you from scoring Public Objectives.) Aidan was gaining momentum with a huge Barony of Letnev-sized fleet. Paul had a massive army of his uber-infantry in his home planet, but Bruno was planning on sending a war sun carrying a bio weapon his way…

If we hadn’t run out of time, victory could have gone to almost anyone, really. (Except Bruno.)

*cue the Darth Vader Theme*

Ended due to time!

1st. Yellow – Ronald, Emirates of Hacan
2nd. (a very close 2nd who also had 9 points!) Blue – Paul, Federation of Sol
3rd. Red – Aidan, Barony of Letnev
4th. (with 0 points… on purpose!) Purple – Bruno, Universities of Jol-Nar

#epic #willplayagain

See previous Twilight Imperium writeup

-The Grandmaster

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2018 in Twilight Imperium, Uncategorized

 

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Twilight Imperium – After-Game Report!

The first Berkeley Guild game of TWILIGHT IMPERIUM was AWESOME. Vying for the title of Galactic Emperor were (going clockwise around the galaxy):

  • Ronald, leader of the human Federation of Sol (the Starship Trooper-like humans pictured on the game box) Their greatest strength is that there are so many of them, you can spam ground forces on your planets, bring large armies and fighter fleets around the board, and their infantry are the best in the game.
  • Torin, leader of the Universities of Jol-Nar. (They’re the bug-eyed race with the green space helmets.) Their strength is Science, Science, Science. They get all the starting techs for free, can consistently research 2 techs per round (in a 4-player game at least), and can ignore 1 technology prerequisite when researching a new technology. They always get the science lead and are dangerous in the hands of a player who knows how to leverage it. Their weakness is that they are weak in a fight, with -1 on all combat rolls.
  • Ricardo, leader of the Emirates of Hacan. The space lions that dominate the cover of the game box are the merchants and wheelers and dealers of the game. They consider all factions neighbors from the get-go, they get the most commodities to trade, and they are the only faction who can trade away action cards. They can dominate the political aspect of the game.
  • Nate, leader of the Xxcha Kingdom. The space turtles are able to spread their territory without sending forces, their flagship can shoot 3 space cannons into adjacent systems, and one of their racial techs lets them shut down invasions into their territory. A solid race.

I opened the game by predicting Torin’s victory and saying that we all needed to ally against him. We would soon see how this prediction played out.

Our game during Round 5. Red – Federation of Sol, Yellow – Universities of Jol-Nar, Black – Emirates of Hacan, Green – Xxcha. (Sorry about the picture quality – don’t know why it came out kind of crappy.)

The game started with a period of peaceful expansion, Ronald (Sol) and Ricardo (Hacan) starting with an early friendship being on opposite sides of the galaxy and not in direct competition for resources. The space lions (Hacan) leveraged their merchant abilities and got a wealth of trade goods (11!) at the start of the game.

But soon Nate (Xxcha) saw an expansion by the Hacan in their direction as an assault on their living space, and there was an early battle as the space turtles took the planet by force. Meanwhile the Federation of Sol maneuvered into the center of the galaxy and took the center prize of Mecatol Rex and had a lead on territory as well, air-dropping ground reinforcements where necessary. Torin and the space nerds, the Universities of Jol-Nar, sat quietly in their corner of the galaxy and researched their way up the tech tree, soon grabbing technologies that let them send their dreadnoughts throughout the galaxy, even being able to teleport them where needed.

The Federation of Sol’s expansionism was soon seen as a threat to all other races, and Ronald in the powerful Speaker position was able to use his considerable influence to swing all votes in the Galactic Council in his favor at the end of Round 3. Ronald held an early lead of 4 points, with all the other factions at 1 or 2, which painted a big target on his back. The Evil Axis of Torin, Ricardo, and Nate openly conspired to take down the peaceful Sol who had obtained so many planets through their hard work and merit. I reminded Ricardo and Nate not to be played by Torin’s political machinations and that he would win the game if they threw their support his way. The scheming Torin of the Jol-Nar openly claimed territories deep in Sol’s territory and during Round 4 advanced his dreadnoughts at the urgings of Ricardo. Nate turtled his way forward and telegraphed a large invasion of Mecatol Rex. Ronald, spread thin throughout the galaxy, reinforced points that were under direct threat, but the suffocating blanket of the Axis of Evil was too much for one faction to fend off.

Soon the army of dreadnoughts descended upon Sol’s inner planets, whose spaceships by necessity had to make a hasty retreat to position themselves to reclaim their capital if it was taken. The imperialist Jol-Nar landed on Sol’s planet which had the Propulsion Technology specialty, only adding to Jol-Nar’s monopoly on science. The space nerds then advanced on the Sol capital, Jord, and despite the courageous sacrifice of Sol’s special elite Spec Ops II infantry units, Jord was now under the Jol-Nar flag. However, Sol’s flagship and their own fleet of dreadnoughts stood nearby, ready to counter-attack.

It was already 7:15pm — after a rules overview we had started at 1:15pm. After 6 hours, the battles had only just begun moving from local conflicts to an galaxy-wide war. We would have to end on time alone. The biggest battles were yet to come as we closed off for the night, with no one being able to research war suns (aka death stars) before we ended.

Round 5 opened with the Sol fleet taking back Jord from the Jol-Nar invaders. The Emirates of Hacan made overtures to the Xxcha to have a nonaggression pact. Nate declined, seeing no use with his huge fleet surrounding Mecatol Rex. Ronald was thinking that Ricardo and Nate were figuring out how to split the Sol pie, when Ricardo turned to his right and attacked a Jol-Nar planet! Torin’s conquering of Sol’s homeworld had made Torin the new leader and shifted global alignments. Ricardo laid waste to the Jol-Nar planet (which he had to do in order to nullify Torin’s troublesome teleporting technology).

Meanwhile the people of Sol were assaulted along a second front, as the Xxcha sent in their flagship and main fleet into the Mecatol Rex system, with nearby planets lending their space cannons to the Xxcha flagship’s obscene triple cannons. The Sol’s lone carrier was quickly destroyed, but Mecatol Rex had a considerable ground complement: two Planetary Defense Systems that shielded against Xxcha bombardment and 6 elite ground forces. The space turtles took the planet after taking heavy casualties, and their ground force was reduced from 11 to 2.

Torin, meanwhile, had retreated his fleet to around his homeworlds. With surgical efficiency, he sent a fleet to drive out Hacan’s occupying force, and sent his main fleet toward Mecatol Rex! With his fast teched-up dreadnoughts, Torin was able to concentrate a large force from surprise, and his fleet vanquished Xxcha’s army and evicted their weakened ground force.

The galaxy shook with the Xxcha’s anger, and a couple of green war suns jumped onto the board — a combined effort of all players was needed to set all the hexes right again.

Then we all had to go home at 8:15pm. Torin, as always, was set to win another strategy game. #grrrrr The Universities of Jol-Nar (Torin) led with 5 victory points, the Federation of Sol (Ronald) at 4 victory points, the Xxcha Kingdom (Nate) at 3 victory points, and the Emirates of Hacan (Ricardo) at 2 victory points. Torin was also set to score a public objective and a secret objective which would have put him at 8 points at the end of Round 5, within striking distance of the victory. (I would have reached 6 points.)

If we had continued, probably only a galaxy-wide alliance to seize Torin’s homeworld could have prevented him from winning. Torin had a technological advantage, but the Jol-Nar’s -1 to combat rolls was going to be a crippling disadvantage in the face of Ricardo’s soon-to-be-deployed war suns. Torin would then have been limited to secret objectives (which the game limits players to scoring 3 points from). If Torin’s homeworld fell, who would have won then? Probably Sol with their many hard-to-conquer planets. But Nate could have brought another flagship-led assault on Sol. And if Ricardo had reached his goal of achieving war suns and fought to win, he might have come up with a heroic come-from-behind victory. But not very likely, as a lot of the scoring objectives don’t require all-out war, and Sol with their homeworld reclaimed could have hopped their way to victory. With Torin crippled, Ricardo and Nate would have had to gang up on Ronald — and then one of them backstab the other for the win.

TWILIGHT IMPERIUM was what it promised to be — epic, dramatic, and engaging throughout. It told a story. The game length was a problem, and our group played longer than the average group, as ahemcertainplayersahem deliberated a long time over some of their moves. That’s part of learning the game though. Repeated plays should make make the game go faster.

Definitely will play again and set out more than 8 hours for a 4-player game if those same players are there again. And my ultimate dream of a 6-player game would be an all-day affair.

Verdict? With 17 different factions (including psychic snakes, wormhole-hopping ghosts, and a virus!), the game promises infinite replayability. So yes: I want to play it again. And again, and again…

The Grandmaster (Ronald)

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Twilight Imperium

 

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Dead Suns #9: Jungle Fever

The party braves the dangers of Ukulam and find… the other explorers?? (-GM)

27th Day of Rova, 317 AG

Jungle. That one word describes the last 48 hours of hard trekking through the wilderness. We were constantly pushing through ferns and large trees covered in vines. The journey today had been uneventful but suddenly an ugly creature barged out and ruined everybody’s day.

(Purple as well as other colors, as pictured. -GM)

It was too early in the morning to be whipping out your guns and shooting some strange purple creature. Now don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against the color purple. But this thing was purple and dangerous and it being purple was not enough of a reason for us to be friendly. We shot it a couple of times but it ran away.

It would have been better if it had just tried to fight us. Because it ran off now we were constantly on edge. Having your gun out, scanning the surrounding wilderness for purple monsters, and pushing through dense jungle can slow the party down a bit. The creature appeared two more times before finally picking a fight with us. It shot some weird dart thing at us from far away, but this time when it tried to run Chee Kee chased it down and killed it. XI told us that the spikes it shot at us had a kind of poison that if we died it would make more of them. He made sure that everybody who got hit was very careful with cleaning and taking care of the wounds they received.

The rest of the day was fairly boring. We killed a dinosaur. No biggie. The good news about killing a dino was that we could cook its meat to have more food. We made camp at sundown and had people rotate through shifts keeping lookout.

Everybody was up by sunrise and had finished eating and packing up camp by the time the sun was peeking over the treetops. The day up through lunch was boring. Nothing came at us to fight. But at around 2 o’clock we found a body. The body was recent and was an insect… I mean Lashunta. We gathered that it was one of the ones we were following. XI noted that it had one of those thorns in its leg and that its stomach had exploded. He informed us that this was what happened if you did not clean your wound properly. We looted the body and moved on.

Toward sundown we came into a very large clearing:

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Posted by on January 12, 2018 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Dead Suns #8: Illegal Teleportation and Lots of Walking

Seeking more info on the Drift Rock with its strange language, the party treks across a wild continent to find a lost elven city and a doctor studying it in our next installment of Dead Suns! (-GM)

25th Day of Rova, 317 AG

After we left the restaurant, we talked to Professor Muhali, asking how we could get to the nature preserve island in a quick and hopefully legal way. She said that the only legal way to get there was to get a permit for an elf gate. But the problem was we didn’t have much time since we’re chasing someone, so we had to get fakes. We went to the place the guys in the bar said that we could find the person who made the fakes for doctor Solstarni. It took a few days but we eventually got them.

Then we went to the building containing the elf gates and hoped that the fakes worked, which fortunately they did. We said that we were security for a Dr. Khair al-Nuaf on the island and of course the people in charge of the elf gates believed us. So we got the key to the room containing the specific portal and teleported to the island. We arrived and were greeted by Dr. al-Nuaf. We said that we were a backup for doctor Solstarni’s expedition and that we didn’t listen to the briefing so have no idea where they are. He pointed in the direction of the forest that was past miles of large open plains and said that way. Then he grumbled about stupid mercenaries.

So we headed out through the plains. After a couple days, we were walking when we heard a gunshot go off, and then felt the ground shifting beneath our feet. Yaruks, giant six-legged creatures that seemed peaceful when we’d seen them at a distance were charging at us. We scattered, trying not to get trampled. We all tried different things to escape, like making noise to scare them or just running away. Eventually we escaped and they left, but we were all tired.

As we kept walking, we seemed to be followed by strange monkey mosquito like creatures. We fired some warning shots and they seemed to back off a bit. There was a lot of screeching coming from them and then about 5 started flying at us. We shot them down easily and kept moving. We found a large monolith that was in Elven that only Chappie with his spells could read that said basically turn back and some other nonsense that us powerful super strong charismatic and amazing adventurers don’t need to worry about. (Some stuff about approaching “Loskialua, monastery of starsong, embassy of the spheres, and temple of the twelve,” paying respect, messengers from beyond, an academy, and “interpreters of the beacon.” Oh and Tequila almost died. -GM)

Some monkey creatures still followed us later and we scared them off. We kept heading on, hoping that we’d find Solstarni soon because we needed to get off this crazy island.

-Hector Hottie (Enzo)

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XI, android mechanic 3
Chappie, android technomancer 4
Chee Kee, ysoki operative 3
Hector Hottie, halfling envoy 3
Tequila, android soldier 4

Nikolai, vesk soldier 4

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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Dead Suns #7: Public Relations

The party discovers that the ambassador/mediator was not the only one watching their adventures on the ship and the asteroid. The party’s investigations into the “asteroid”s origins take it to the nearby planet of Castrovel. (-GM)

16th Day of Rova, 317 AG

The party was exhausted. We had battled our way through countless monsters, fought other spaceships, and had not gotten any sleep for 22 hours. The last thing we needed was a huge crowd greeting us when we got off the ship back at Absalom Station. They were all shouting about how great Nikolai is but we ignored them because we know he is not. We dragged the parcel to the Eoxian embassy and gave it to the Eoxian ambassador Gevalarsk Nor. XI looked around the room, noticed 4 people, and said the number 4. That makes the list of people the party ignores 2 now.

He was happy to receive the parcel. We asked some questions about the language around the embassy but he did not know much. He said that the asteroid ship thingy was part of a much bigger ship. We learned that was a mere section of the power core.

As we were walking out of the building we got a call from Chiskisk of the Pathfinder Society. They told us that the language on the ship resembled something from some pyramid ruins on Castrovel. We were informed that there was this one “scientist” Halkueem Zan who studied them a couple of centuries ago. Zan was an explorer and his notes and someone might know more at the University of Xenoarcheology, also on Castrovel. We decided that that would be our next stop but first we went shopping.

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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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