Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Starshield Gaming Society Discovers the Rune Age and Enters the Mansions of Madness

 On Monday night five Starshield Gaming Society members got together for a night of tabletop game madness. While we waited for Brigid to arrive, Mage, Iczer, Weezoh, and I played a game of Rune Age. I had played many solo games and was eager to play it multi-player. I talked everyone into playing the "Resurgence of the Dragonlords" scenario as it was the one with which I was most familiar and was in a cooperative game kind of mood. 
Each player chose his faction: 

Mage took Waiqar the Undying, 

Iczer was piloting the Uthuk Y'llan,
Weezoh was the Latari Elves, 

and I was playing the Daqan Lords. 
After a brief tutorial, we jumped right in. The first couple of turns were learning experiences for the Starshielders, but after that, things started to flow with only a few rules questions throughout the remainder of the game. 

A little past mid-game, when we were a few cards into Stage II of the Event Deck, Waiqar the Undying made a play for the Objective. Thanks to the Warp-touched Attrition die, he failed the attack by 1 point! A dramatic highlight for sure.

Next the Uthuk Y'llan made a play for Dragonlord Ghox to bring a stop to his nagging ability and generated enough to have taken down the Objective if it had been his target! Another missed opportunity.

The Daqan Lords made a few paltry attempts and secured a Dragonlord who provided a bonus against the Objective, but in the end as pictured below, it was Waiqar the Undying who won the day with his second run at the Objective Dragonlord. Well-played, necromancer. Well-played.

By this time, Brigid had arrived (and sat in for Iczer while he ran to pick up Chipotle). Dinner was consumed and then all five of us dove into...

Weezoh took on the role of the Keeper for the game and had set it up under the cloth we used for Rune Age. So, the considerable set up involved with this game was done before our arrival, which allowed us to jump right into a game. We chose our characters and off we went. 
 Mage was playing a gun-toting tough guy, Joe Diamond; Iczer played the journalist, Gloria Goldberg; Brigid took on the role of dilletante, Jenny Barnes, and I, of course, chose the scholarly Harvey Walters for my character. His Warding Statue really came in handy. 

Having received what may just have been a posthumously sent letter from our friend, Mary. We quickly sped to the ominous convent on the hill where our friend was investigating before her disappearance.
We began exploring the creepy place immediately. It wasn't long before we discovered that the convent was swarming with robed cultists...

These cultists would frequently sacrifice themselves to summon these horrors...

Thank goodness I had found and learned a spell in my exploration of this cursed place. The spell was called the Shriveling Spell, and I used it to good effect against many of the enemies you see above. It even gave me the power to single-handedly destroy a summoned Shoggoth, pictured below:

As the game progressed, the madness caused by the Mythos and its followers began to take its toll. Joe Diamond was the first one to go completely mad and as you can see below. He began attacking poor Jenny Barnes. Jenny who had recently survived an attack by no less than 3 cultists, did not need the extra complication, to say the least.

In the midst of all the violence and madness, we still had to keep trying to solve the mystery of what ever happened to poor Mary. To do so, we had to unlock locks, and as you can see below, we also had to re-wire the aging convent's electrical system to open some doors. All very exhilarating and taxing to say the least.

Unfortunately, Harvey didn't survive too long after his Luck ran out. His Shriveling Spell and repeated attacks by creatures and people of the mythos sent him down the spiral to madness and eventually death.

After Harvey's demise, I took on the role of the scientist, Kate Winthrop, who was late to arrive on the scene. We found poor Mary, but by that time, it was too late. We had foiled the cultist's foul plans and prevented them from bringing unspeakable horrors onto our plane, but in their fury, they sought us out and murdered us.

An exciting and bittersweet ending to an awesome game. I am looking forward to another run at the Mansions in the future, but I am not sure it will turn out any different than it did.

After all, madness is what the Mythos do. "How many ages hence / Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er, / In states unborn, and accents yet unknown!"

Overall, a tiring, but excellent night of games. Until next time, good reader, good gaming and have fun. 

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