Monday, September 21, 2015

Malfaux Musings Week 1: Four Quadrants, A Funeral, and an Information Broker

The mysterious stranger stood amongst the abandoned ruins, immaculately dressed despite the dust and grit that seemed to blow its way into everything in the Badlands. His masked face was unreadable as he stared into the bloody charnel pit, still smoldering with the remains of whatever poor souls had been ritualistically destroyed here some time in the past. He reached into his vest pocket, retrieving a gold pocket watch. He flipped it open and nodded. "Ten minutes to midnight," he said to himself, nodding. "They'll be here soon." He looked up, eyes peering unnaturally into the gloom. They would come for Nythera, the fools. They would come thinking they could claim for themselves that which was unclaimable, and what once was would be again. And, as always, he would profit from their sorrow. That was his nature.

As the shadowy forms became visible on the horizon, eight small groups dashing towards him at full tilt, he let out a quiet, high-pitched titter of laughter. "Time to let the killing start..." 

The arsenals have been assembled, the rules are finalized, and we are underway with the Malifaux Musings Vassal Campaign League (MMVCL? sure, we'll go with that.) And the week one scenario is...

Deployment: Standard
Strategy: Interference
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Assassination, Bodyguard, Cursed Object, Plant Explosive
Vassal Map: Funeral Home
Weekly Event: 
The Information Broker
Tales tell of a masked information broker, in a dapper suit and top hat, who seems to know a little too much... Reports have sighted him all over Breachside, telling tales in the city and through the Badlands. Whether it is one man or many is uncertain, but only a fool would pass up this chance...

An Information Broker joins every Encounter this week. Place a 30mm Information Broker Marker in the center of the table (or as close as possible). This Marker is Ht 2, impassable, blocking, and it may be attacked. When it is attacked it is considered to have Df and Wp of 6 and 8 Wd. The Crew which is not Attacking it flips and cheats for it. It can only be damaged by attacks which directly target it.

Any model within 1” of the Information Broker may make a (1) Interact Action targeting it to ask it for guidance. When this happens, flip on the following chart (this flip may not be cheated): 

Black Joker
The model is immediately killed.
Heal all damage on the model.
The model’s controller may place a Scheme Marker anywhere on the table.
The model’s controller gains 2 Scrip.
The model’s controller gains 2 Scrip.
Red Joker
The model’s controller makes an additional Barter flip at the end of the game.

Alternately, any model within 1" of the Information Broker may make a (1) Interact Action targeting it to ask it for information. The player may spend 1 Scrip to gain 2 LP in any non-Nythera location controlled by another Faction. A player may not earn more than 6 LP from this event during Week 3.

Wanted to use Wyrd's weekly event, but of course there's a hiccup because we're only in week 1 and nobody has any scrip to spend on the information broker. Solution: add in the ability to use the action this guy is based on from Shifting Loyalties and get some scrip or other bonuses from him, which you could theoretically use later in the game to get some LP for your faction. 

And here are the week 1 crews. 

Player NameAndrew CasterlineScripCurrent BountyDo the job. Get paid.
Crew NameHannah's HellionsProgress0/3
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Hannah10Survivalist – 1SS
Hodgepodge Effigy4
Freikorps Librarian7
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameDoctorWhatScripCurrent BountyHit-List
Crew NameAnna's ExecutionersProgress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Anna Lovelace9Spare Parts (2 SS)
Canine Remains4
Carrion Emissary10
Rotten Belle5
Rotten Belle5
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameBrian SchonerScripCurrent BountyCovert Operations
Crew NameRolling Thunder0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Ototo10Call the Thunder
Katanaka Sniper7
Yin the Penangalan8
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameJoe BScripCurrent BountyLessons learned in Blood 0/4
Crew NameFlash of BrillianceProgress
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Hungering Darkness8Nexus of Power (1)
The Illuminated7
The Depleted4
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameAdam RogersScripCurrent BountyStrange Times
Crew NameRyle's Retaliators0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Ryle10Wade In!
Francisco Ortega8
Death Marshall Burns6
Brutal Effigy4
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameTravis DeVollScripCurrent BountyClean up crew
Crew NameTokkun0Progress0/3
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Yamazaki7Blot the Sky [1]
Takehiko (Thunder Archer)7
Yuuto (Thunder Archer)7
Jorogumo Takaide9
Tengu Asuka4
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Player NameJon / Sensei PhiascoScripCurrent BountyMark our Territory
Crew NameWu Kang0Progress0/2
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Chiaki the Niece6
The Thunder Brother 5
Katanaka Sniper7
Guild Pathfinder6
Total Models33
Maximum Game Size38

Player NameLittleGreenGuyScripCurrent Bounty
Crew NameBig Hats0Progress
Model NameSS CostSkillsInjuriesEquipmentUpgrades
Francois (Leader)7I'll Love It And Pet It (Lenny) (1)
War Pig9
Hog Whisperer5
Total Models34
Maximum Game Size39

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Spectral Line: A Through the Breach Campaign Hook


            In the last days of the Black Powder Wars, General Hiram Beauregard Trask, considered by many to be the bloody hand of the Guild, had an idea that would ultimately lead to his ruination and the destruction of hundreds of other lives. Only a young lad when he fled with his family through the First Breach prior to its closing, he still remembered the riches in soulstones and fantastic artifacts they had left behind. An avaricious man by nature, he spent his life dedicated to returning and claiming what was lost. A permanent breach presented too much of a risk of invasion, he thought, but a device that could make the journey on its own had potential for short-term raids that could make any man rich beyond the dreams of the age. And thus, the bloody seeds of the Spectral Line were planted in history.
            The Wars gave him access to the soulstones he would need to power such a device. His troops had a reputation as looters and pillagers more akin to pirates and privateers than actual soldiers. His lieutenants were terrors, each infamous in their own right, granted a weapon imbued with potent magic that made them nearly unstoppable and terrible to behold on the battlefield. His forces devastated enemy civilian populations, leaving their armies to watch helplessly behind the walls of their fortifications while their farms, cities, and homes were looted and burned. And all the while, the plan smoldered away in General Trask’s brain.
            As the war was entering its final days, Trask’s engineers reported to him that, at long last, the device was nearing completion. Dozens of Guild Mages spent their best years exhausting their magical prowess and in many cases their lives in the construction of a locomotive capable of crossing the space between worlds. It was a fearsome steel and black-sooted monstrosity, towering over mundane trains and eerily lit from within by the pale green and white light shed by its soulstone engines. But you can only deny the Guild their share of the spoils for so long before they come to collect. When their ledgers finally started to come up light, three agents were sent to Trask’s army to settle accounts. His lieutenants took it upon themselves to send payment back to the Guild personally, in the form of the agents’ heads packed in a shipping crate. The army was then dispatched to bring in Trask, leading to a clash near Trask's personal fortification near Roanoke, VA that left both sides bloody.
Knowing that time was running out, Trask loaded his arcane monstrosity with all of his ill-gotten gains and activated the device, ignoring the pleas of his engineers to wait until further testing could be completed. Guild cavalrymen chased the locomotive as it sped away from the factory, peppering it with futile gunfire before the massive train vanished with a terrific crack and flash of light. It's said that half the men who looked through the hole ripped between the worlds were driven instantly mad from the terrors they saw through the breach, and many more were struck permanently blind. The last anyone heard of Trask was his mocking laughter as he leaned out the window of the locomotive, waving his hat in a mock salute, followed for a split second by the horrified, agonized screams of every soul trapped in that steel prison when it rocketed into the aether. None of them were ever seen again.

            What happened to Trask and his cache of plundered soulstones is the subject of much speculation and legend among the folk of Malifaux, today. Any attempts to recreate the Locomotive have failed, as the notes left behind by the engineers seem to be no more than the ramblings of madmen, so most sane folk who know the particulars of the story assume that the device simply exploded and destroyed everything onboard. The Guild is more than happy to accept this explanation, and Trask’s expedition is considered to be officially lost with all hands in the space between worlds. Expeditions to search for it are flatly discouraged. However, Travelers in the Badlands have repeatedly told tales of hearing the haunting sound of a ghostly train whistle echoing in the night despite being miles away from the closest railroad tracks. Rumors abound that one or more of the Lieutenants’ weapons have been recovered and used in scraps in and around Malifaux proper. The engines in the locomotive used up soulstones by the barrel when running at full burn, and Trask’s logs recorded his supply train as carrying enough fuel for three round-trips. Anyone who could find it would be instantly rich beyond his or her wildest imaginings, so expeditions still form from to seek the legendary Spectral Line in the wilderness. For the time being, however, none of them have found anything besides dust and frustration. It seems likely, however, that one way or another this horde of soulstones will be found if it still exists. The only question is how many more souls will be ground beneath the wheels of Trask’s locomotive, first.