Craig Andrews
is proud to present for the benefit of several audiences...

The 2014 Advent Calendar

Being in the main a collection of twenty four brand new articles for a selection of much beloved and respected rulesets

(and perhaps one or two other more unexpected diversions)

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As with traditional advent calendars, all the numbers are jumbled up, scroll down to find the newly revealed window each day at 6am GMT. - Craig, OITW Editor.

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Dreadloque III - The Goblin in the Smoke - Act II: "The Baron's Mansion"

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The Goblin in the Smoke, Act II
"The Baron's Mansion"

A Flintloque / Cluedo Crossover Variant by Craig Andrews

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Our heroes have made it to the Baron's mansion. What will they find within in this Flintloque/Cluedo crossover for one to four players...

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The prelude to this adventure can be read here, the first act here; both exclusive to Orcs in the Webbe.

For the history of Dreadloque, click here to jump to the notes section at the bottom of this article.

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Having snuck past the island fortifications and dealt with the Kraken during the Interlude our erstwhile heroes have arrived at Bron's Island and left their ships and crews behind. Night has fallen quickly and a thick fog has risen from the sea as it often does in the Windy Isles. They have approached the Baron's Mansion together without being discovered. As they watch the house for signs of guards, there are no lights in the Mansion and seemingly no one at home. Our heroes go their separate ways, each realising the Baron's Mansion could hold the key to something each of them dearly wants...

Each hero is searching for something different in Bron's mansion...

Objectives

Flassz-Orc: Papers.
Arry Flassz-Orc was always in trouble. His assignment to the Windy Isles in the first place and his recurring orders to return here were all because things kept going wrong. That bloody thing with the mirror really wasn't his fault, it was only meant to give Sharke a bit of bother not kill half the bloody Notables. Always on the look out for something to help his career, Arry is looking for evidence that Bron is attempting to sign a pact with Catalucia to reinforce his grip in the Windy Isles. As this would also give him a foot hold in Urop, written evidence of Bron's plans to hand in to the boffins back in Londinium might even get him an office job again...

Gloriette: Her Father.
The beautiful Ferach elf is in fact the daughter of Louis Glorfindelle. Believed killed back on Hatey, she was in fact spirited away by her servant and friend Lobelia. She remained in a coma for months and when it finally broke she had no memory of who she had been. Lobelia decided the best way to keep her safe was to train her up in 'The Code'. She excelled at this new task, keen to fill her mind with knowledge. Whilst she learnt she found many other women who desired to live life by 'The Code' and over time built up a loyal following. Now, with a ship and an all female crew (and her memories restored during a hitherto unpublished adventure) Gloriette is searching for her father who she believes has been captured by Bron and is somewhere in the mansion.

Bilbo: The Smoke.
Bilbo Nesta Marley fought for the emancipation of the Windy Isles for years before Cam 'Lucci' Bron came along. Through an evil and distorted interpretation of the scriptures he has corrupted pipeweed and created The Smoke which he then used to 'free' the Halflings. Bilbo's hope is, finding himself here in the Baron's mansion, that he can find some kind of antidote or defence against the controlling power.

Jack: A Map.
Jack has been almost everywhere and since he found Shambog's Gold in Dreadloque II, he adventures just for fun. However, he has heard tale of a map to the center of the world that is rumoured to be in the possession of Baron Bron. Whilst he can think of no real reason to go there, he's pretty sure it'd be damned good fun. Arrr.

Playing the Scenario

This adventure is a mash-up of sorts combining Flintloque mechanics with the family favourite boardgame, Cluedo (or plain old Clue for some).

At the start of the game randomly shuffle all the room cards and place one face down on every room.

Then shuffle all the items and characters together and place one on top of every face down room card (there will be two spare, place these aside, face down, they are not used).

Starting Positions

All players roll for initiative and take turns to place their hero on any standard Cluedo starting square.

The Heroes Vital Statistics

Gloriette Glorfindelle - The 'Ambassador's Daughter'
Experienced Ferach Elf Guerrilla
Brawler, Boarding Technique, Nerves of Steel, Astonishing Reactions, Arrogant Peacock
Two Ferach Duelling Elf Pistols

Arry Flassz-Orc
Raw Orc Guerrilla
Massive Jamminess, Extreme Coward (has the effects of the flaw Thieving Scum)
Sword, Pistol

Captain Jack Crebain
Experienced Orc Guerrilla
Second Wind, Nerves of Steel, Sauce
Sword, Pistol

Bilbo Nesta Marley
Veteran Halfling Guerrilla
Improved Command (3), Brawler, Natural Leader
Short Sword (counts as dagger)

Moving

The standard Flintloque turn sequence is followed with each player rolling for initiative. Any special characters or Bron's henchmen on the board move after all the heroes. The henchmen follow the standard Flintloque solitaire rules for actions and experience level.

Note that all movement is halved in this game (not shooting distance) and movement ends upon entering a room even if it has been entered before.

Every turn there is a risk that some of Bron's henchmen will hear something occurring 'upstairs' and come to investigate from the cellar (the centre square on the board where the victim normally is). Roll 1D10. If the result is less than the number of squares moved, one henchmen for every hero in play arrives at the entrance to the cellar. i.e. If two people are playing with one hero each if either one of them fails the sneak roll then two henchmen appear.

Finding the Objectives

Each turn as a Special Action a hero can 'search' the room they are in and pick up the room card on that room. They should keep it hidden from the other players, it is a clue to a possible location of their objective!

e.g. The Study card might represent a hastily scribbled note about a safe that's hidden there behind a portrait. The Conservatory card a daguerreotype showing a trapdoor that's now hidden by a large creeping vine. etc.

They must then, in the subsequent turns, make their way to that room and attempt to discover their objective.

To discover an objective they must again make a Special Action and then roll a D6 adding the number of Room Cards (Clues) they have in their possession. If they score a result of 6 or more they have found their objective and must escape the mansion. Each character can only attempt to discover something in a particular roomonce, keep a note of who has made this roll. It is possible a hero may not discover their objective, they are following up on mere rumours after all.

Stealing Clues

If a hero is knocked out of action or removed from play instead lay their figure down. Anyone in an adjacent square can spend a Special Action to search them and take their clues.

Also if a hero fights another hero in melee and achieves a wound result they can opt to do no damage and instead push their victim back 2 squares taking one clue from them.

Items and Characters

Whenever a room is entered if there are two cards the 'event' card for that room is encountered, simply turn over the top card. If it is a Cluedo weapon it can be picked up as a Special Action and the player should read the text for that item from those below.

If the 'event' card encountered is a Special Character read the appropriate entry below.

Bron's Men

Bron has used his controlling Smoke on a fair number of the populace of the Windy Isles. Whenever a henchman is required grab a random figure from your collection and use that to represent them. All Bron's henchmen have distant looks in their eyes and slightly pallid skin. The overall effect is quite disconcerting, almost as if they are going through the motions but not focusing on the events around them. They are statted as per race and experience levels are discovered during play as per the standard solo rules and they are armed as per weapon type on the figure.

One thing to note, due to the nature of Bron's controlling influence they all get +1 Steady and +1 Discipline on racial standard however they also get penalised with -1 Melee and -10% Accuracy.

The Items

The Knife - The knife is an ancient Ferach blade. Whilst it once held special powers it now serves as a rather lethal and perfectly balanced letter opener. Due to it's fine weighting it can be wielded in melee as a second weapon (cumulative) with no required skill. It is an exquisite weapon.

The Candlestick - The Candlestick is, unbeknownst to the heroes, an ancient Goblin artefact used in the creation of Bron's Smoke. As such any of his henchmen cannot move within five squares (or the same room) as it. If the player carrying the candlestick willingly moves within 5 squares (or the same room) of a henchman, it gets blown out, it takes a Special Action to re-light it. It can also be used, once only before breaking, as a +5 melee weapon verses any character controlled by the Smoke.

The Revolver - The revolver card represents an enchanted Ferach Elf Dueling pistol. Whilst near a source of Wylde Magicke (anywhere in Bron's mansion) it does not need reloading. It can only be fired once every turn. Outside of the influence of the Magicke it loses this ability.

The Rope - The rope is exactly what it appears to be, a sturdy length of rope. It, having been hastily cleft in twain by our heroes, can be used to securely close two doors on the board. It requires a Special Action to set up. Place a marker to show which door is blocked. It can also be untied as a Special Action and re-used.

The Lead Pipe - The lead pipe is a simply yet effective way of dealing with unsuspecting victims. If attacking from a surprise move (from behind after a successful surprise roll) the lead pipe affords a +6 bonus. Otherwise it receives the usual -1 for a small improvised weapon.

The Spanner - The worst thing to do to anyone's carefully laid plans is to throw a spanner into them! The spanner allows you, once per turn, to 'confuse' any henchmen, hero or special character on a roll of 6. e.g. Another player announces he's going to move his hero. You roll a dice, on a roll of 6 he does nothing instead. Every turn you don't use the spanner you place a counter on it. These can be spent (before rolling) to modify the die roll. e.g. If you don't use the spanner for 5 turns you can modify the number needed to 'confuse' someone to 1+.

Special Characters

As Bron and his henchmen have swept through the Windy Isles taking control of it they have run into a variety of people of note, some he has brought to his mansion for amusement, other as allies.

Col. Thargrak Mustard (ret.)
Colonel Mustard was an Exploring Officer in the Witchlands just before the Grand Armee Du Norde arrived at Moskova. The few that met him on his return to Londinium said his mind had clearly been shattered and eventually he was sent off to live out his days in the Windy Isles. When Bron found the Colonel he saw something in him, there was knowledge behind the façade of madness. Through careful sessions with the Smoke Bron has been doing some exploring of his own and has found out more about the Witchlands than he ever thought he would...
In game terms Mustard is a Experienced Orc Regular, due to his sessions with the Smoke he suffers from the Forgetful flaw. He will attempt to take any clues off the player characters, by moving into base-to-base-contact (if within range) and attacking in melee as described above. As he strikes he mumbles about metallic caverns deep underground. He does not score wounds. Once he has taken a clue from someone he will run away from any heroes each turn until he no longer holds a clue. He can be attacked as normal.

Mistress Rouge
Young Elefane wanted nothing more than to be like the Elven ladies her mother served at court, how she loved the Peacock Throne. However when Mordred seized power the tumult at court meant a lot of innocent people died. Elefane's mother was one of them. The young Elf girl managed to escape to the streets and soon found a place with one of the street gangs in the dock areas. As she grew up she became useful to the leader of the gang in other ways until one day he went too far and, whilst in his cups, struck her. She remembered well the lessons she'd been taught in the court and killed the gang leader in self defence. Wary of retribution from the gang she stowed away on a ship and found herself in Jamcakey. When Bron found her he desired her more than any other woman he had yet to meet in the Windy Isles and took her as his consort.
In game terms Mistress Rouge is a fiery hellcat, fiercely loyal to Bron, she will attempt to attack a hero each turn. She is an Experienced Ferach Elf Irregular armed with a stiletto blade (Counts as a knife). She has the skills Dodge and Serpentine.

The Mad Professor
Yorik Sleewa was one of the Dwarves drawn into the service of the Dark Czar, like Doktorov, for assistance in the early experiments with the Graviski Reanimator. He was forced to flee during the 'Whyte Revolt' as he was blamed for the failures in his particular crypt. He has helped Bron refine the process of the Smoke and is now one of the Baron's most trusted lieutenants.
In game terms Yorik is an Experienced Dwarf Civilian. He is actually armed with three ampoules of Smoke. Each turn he will break one on the ground in front of him and attempt to flee. The Smoke forms an impenetrable barrier for our heroes (as they don't want to be controlled by Bron) of 2x2 squares. If in a room and not in base-to-base contact with a hero Sleewa automatically escapes through a door, sealing it by breaking a Smoke ampoule. He will attempt to break from melee and flee if in base to base contact. He will continue to flee towards the entrance to the cellar. If he gets there he is removed from play. Once this happens the sneaking rules are no longer applicable as he has alerted the henchmen below. One henchman will appear at the entrance to the cellar every turn from now on.

The Reverend
Once a Priest in the quite village of Tarrwen Harbour, the Reverend went off to Afrique soon after the Time of Annul to bring religion to the natives. As was the case with many missionaries who went over back then the natives wanted nothing to do with what they saw as a mad ranting interloper and duly ignored him. As the years went by the Reverend began to hear things in the forest Things his own beliefs couldn't quite explain. As he listened to more of the voices he began to recognise them as the same voices he'd heard in the MurkyWoods, North of Tarrwen Harbour when he was a child. He still prayed to his God of course, but found he had time for these new voices as well. Slowly he developed unpredictable powers that worked along side his Godly gifts. He developed a wanderlust and sought passage away from the ungrateful natives, eventually finding himself in the Windy Isles. Caught up in Bron's rebellion he is being held here against his will, as Bron is fearful of the combination of Wylde Magicke and Faith, and is grateful to the heroes for freeing him.
In game terms the Reverend is an Experienced Hobgoblin Irregular. He has two Wylde Magicke gifts as well as the power of Faith from Grapeshotte. He is also armed with a staff (+2). He becomes controlled by the character who found him. He can be taken from that character in the same way as a clue. Note that any henchmen or aggressive Special Characters will attack the Reverend first.

"Mrs. Peacock"
When Bron started his rebellion in the Windy Isles he needed somewhere to base his operations. He searched the larger of the seemingly uninhabited islands looking for something suitable. Surprisingly he stumbled upon exactly what he needed. A property already built, well established with good links to several natural coves and even an underground cave network. Thinking the house long abandoned by it's dusty condition he moved in and set his henchmen about clearing the place up. It was at this point something awoke in the cellar. The creature that came up from there had the form of an beautiful Elven Lady, dressed in a shimmering white gown with a jewelled crown fashioned to give the impression of being made from peacock feathers. Bron was no stranger to the Undead and recognised that the Elf was in fact a Vampyre and a very powerful one at that. Bron approached her and spoke with her in the way one would a queen. She did not speak, she simply nodded and went to the room in which she now sits. Where she came from and how she became a Vampyre even Bron does not know. He's just glad she is seemingly benevolent, the look of loss in her eyes sometimes frightens even him.
'Mrs Peacock' does not move or take any part in the game.

The White Ghost
One of the stranger things Bron discovered as he swept the Windy Isles looking for threats to his rising powerbase was the White Ghost. Seemingly the spirit of a Goblin Shaman from before the Time of Annul the White Ghost is loyal to Bron. Able to traverse great distances in minutes with whatever messages Bron wishes to pass on.
In game terms the White Ghost is a Legendary Wraith, she has the Shroud Abduct skill and the Creepy Thing trait. She will not attack anyone unless attacked herself. If attacked she will use the Shroud Abduct skill on the character who attacked her. If it's a Veteran or legendary Character she will engage in melee instead. Once encountered the sneaking rules are no longer applicable as she has alerted the henchmen below. One henchman will appear at the entrance to the cellar every turn from now on.

Writer's Notes

I've had crazy ideas about combining Cluedo with Flintloque for ages and was originally going to put something together for Halloween but circumstances meant I didn't have enough time. Well, that and the basic idea, whilst a cracking one (in mine and other opinions) failed to germinate into something more. It was when I was re-reading my initial chapters of Dreadloque III, the Goblin in the Smoke things started to come together. I had already named the second adventure The Baron's Mansion Originally it was going to be a simple affair using most of the mechanics from the classic scenario "I Was Wheeling Turn's Double" but all off a sudden whilst on a bus on my way to meet my Best Man for a drink the two ideas merged in my head and became what you have just read above.

I'll hold my hands up and say it's not been playtested yet, however, it will be over Christmas so I'll let you know how it goes. Makes a nice change to the usual Christmas game of Cluedo :)

All of the names are a bit obvious but that's always been one of the quirks of Flintloque. I had great fun writing the characters they are a bit random and not too developed but it did give me a chance to throw a lot of other bits from Flintloque into the Dreadloque mix. Professor Yorik Sleewa's surname is how the word plum in Russian sounded to me using one of those online pronunciation gizmos.

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The final act of the Goblin in the Smoke will appear next year on Orcs in the Webbe !

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Webmaster's Notes: The Story of Dreadloque

Dreadloque and it's sequels are Danny O'Hara's piratical take on Flintloque - Alternative Armies skirmish wargame set in an alternate Napoleonic war featuring fantasy races - but are set in their own part of that world called The Windy Isles. A place of pirates and treasure far removed from the smoke hazed battlefieds of the Mordredian Wars in Urop.

Danny's first pirate tale, simply called "Dreadloque", was originally published back in the mid nineties on his website, Filbanto Stew, and it introduced the Windy Isles as a group of Halfling rebels kidnapped an Elven Governor's daughter only to be pursued by the Royule Orc Navie and Elven marines.

It was a favourite among Flintloque players and in 2008 Danny returned to the Windy Isles with the follow up tale, Dreadloque II "Dead Dwarf's Chest" which came in three acts with a prelude. This prelude, “Strange Winds and Unusual Currents”, set the scene for our heroes. It's first act, "The Wild Island", featured a rousing bar brawl. It's second act, "Return to Traitor's Island", saw the characters take up a frantic search across a feral wilderness. The third and final act, "Search for Shambog's Gold", was an old school style dungeon crawl featuring monsters both magical and undead.

In 2009 Danny let me play in his sandbox and I began the third Dreadloque epic, "The Goblin in the Smoke". The prelude, "Rise of the Baron", moves events on a year from Dreadloque II, things in the Windy Isles have changed and not for the better. Act I:"The Beautiful Daughter" saw our erstwhile heroes battling the Baron's men on the docks of Toblerona. The next installment, "Something Strange in Them There Tydes" was a nautical interlude in which our heroes' ships raced across the Windy Isles and came face to face with a giant Kraken. Act II: "The Baron's Mansion" was an unusual adventure using elements from the boardgame Cluedo which saw our heroes searching Bron's mansion for that which they most desired. The third and final act of "The Goblin in the Smoke" will be published here on Orcs in the Webbe as part of it's 2013 Advent Calendar.

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