Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A Chibi World Batrep by Tarot Hunt part 2

Learning to Play by Watching a Game:

The 2nd and Concluding Part

The Swamps of Eternal Stench – with Grick Hall in the distance: looming like an evil ancient spider.

Oh woe betide! The Lady is down!!! Her howls of bestial rage, her sharp fangs and flailing razor like claws, make it impossible for her companions even to dare try get close enough to her that they might administer proper aid upon the Were-changed woman... the now dying mistress of the wretched and cursed, one time noble, House Wilder!

Candy and Marie-Claude stood about helplessly while the dread Lady, their unspoken leader, lay mortally wounded at their feet. But where is our brave intrepid Paladin? Indeed, while these unfortunate events were transpiring over at the far end of this old disused guard chamber, the Paladin had been busy with a little side quest of his own, and was still oblivious of events transpiring elsewhere.

When the party had rushed through the doors in fruitless pursuit of the horrible frog men, The Paladin had held back a little, and chanced to spot the hole in the floor where the frogs had, he reasoned, most likely originally appeared from; and then equally swiftly vanished down again when they grew fearful in the face of that terrible Were-creature. The Paladin figured, being water creatures, they might well be indigenous to the sewers below... and judging from  the strong smell assaulting his keen nose and the drip, drip of water in his ears: this way down in the floor seemed their most likely access point.

That was when the whispering started. “What`s that?” he startled. Thinking at first the voice was all around him. It came again, just an elusive slur of words, but... was it just in his head? The Paladin looked up a moment and was about to call his companions over, but they had moved on ahead of him. Kneeling down suddenly, he lifted the hatch and peered down into the darkness. Something seemed to be compelling him to do so.

{{At this point I would like to reveal something I had decided at the stat of the adventure. If ever one of the Heroes stood adjacent to or upon a trap door of any kind, I consider this a built in intrinsic condition of the dungeon. Therefore if a Hero stood alone (outside of any zone of control of another friend or foe) the trap door... or more accurately, the unearthly pull from below, would make the Trap Door into a sort of physical Trait: namely Control. If any hero standing alone were to roll 5 or more on a D6, then the dungeon effectively lures its victim down, down, down into the deeps. Marie-Claude shrugged off the feeling earlier on (with a 2 on the die), but the Paladin succumbed to the whisperings in his head with a solid 6 on the die. Ouch! Poor guy. There was no helping him now; he was in the thrall of dire magical energies, and right now that evil seemed more powerful than his own willpower}}

The Paladin feels compelled to check the hole in the floor.

The Paladin found himself stepping into the deep chasm of darkness, and finding easy purchase on a rusty old iron ladder.. he descended into the mantle of night. In a few moments he stood on an entirely new level of the dungeon.... the sewer level. He shook his head, confused: unsure why he had come down here. He now stood alone, and the darkness pressed in all around him. The gurgling of the foul water reached into his ears, and the reek of unwholesome detritus assailed his nostrils in ever increasing waves.

Above his head, he heard a muffled sound, like an explosion and then cries of surprise, roars of anger... and then the bellowing guttural growls of pain. Suddenly the Paladin`s head cleared: it felt like waking for an elusive dream: making him momentarily sluggish and slow to respond. He knew he needed to return to his companions. They needed him; he could hear the distress in their shouts and calls. He heard his own name being called. “Help us” his friends shouted.

“I.... I'm coming!” The Paladin called. The echo of the tunnels made his voice echo.

“Coming... coming... oming... ming... ing... ing... ng.”

Suddenly! From the gloom, there was movement. Figures were shambling towards him out of the darkness. They came on silently; and all of a sudden The Paladin realised his plight.

The Dead were coming! 
All about him, in front, behind, even on his flanks, crawling out of the water: the skeletal like zombies threatened to suffocate his sanity, closing in on him like a wall of silent death.

The Paladin felt, rather than saw, the presence of a Death Knight. The vile undead were being led by a monstrosity from the pits of hell itself. And all at once the Paladin knew he was now in the most dangerous position of his entire life.

The Death Knight used his deadly Trait: Pull, and a snotty white arm of ectoplasm, extended from the darkness... from the Death Knight`s plate mail gauntleted fingers, latched onto the Paladin and pulled him bodily, at supernatural speed, right into the clutches of the evil lifeless knight... who sneered mockingly at its living foe.

He felt hands clawing and raking at him, and fettered breath teeth reached desperately hungry for his warm succulent throat.

{{each zombie has Pack. This means each zombie not only gets its own 1D6 attack die, but one additional die for each adjacent companion. In this case, that is five extra dice. 6 total. That means that each zombie in the melee also gets this Pack trait bonus. As there are six zombies in contact with The Paladin. That makes 30 combat attack dice against our Hero.

The Zombies throw 30 dice and achieve a staggering 19 hits. I make things easy for myself and simply time this by two (X2) because they win initiative twice in a row. Saves time and I figure any hits the Paladin makes will, sadly, be pretty irrelevant anyway.

The zombies then roll for actual damage and inflict a stunning 15 wounds on our beleaguered Hero. This brings him down to within just one point of death. But the Death Knight has the ultimate pleasure of the final coup de grâce.

Almost nonchalantly, the creature waved its hands and cast Hex upon its target, inflicting an automatic wound. Sending the Paladin wheeling into the pits of oblivion. There is a lesson here - for the Heroes of any game of Chibi World. It’s not usually a good idea to allow yourself to get separated. Even the lowliest of minions can literally take you apart a piece at a time if you ever become complacent about your own prowess}}.

The last thing the Paladin knew before oblivion overtook him - was regret. For the first time in his life, he knew regret. Regret that he had failed! Then the searing pain overcame his senses, and he knew no more.
The ever hungry dead feasted upon his still warm flesh.

Meanwhile, up above, several things happened at once. For the second turn in a row the Heroes failed to win initiative, and the Monsters got to act first. In this case, there were no Monsters present and twice in a row the Monsters failed to produce any new spawns from the Random Tables. BUT as it was the Monster`s active phase, I figured it was time to call in a few thematic fillers to keep the Heroes occupied. What self respecting Chibi Master would I be if I missed a good chance to hassle the dratted Heroes and make their lives as difficult as possible by loading more and more stress onto their feeble spirited minds?

Break... break! you loathsome, uninvited pesky Heroes. Get out of my dungeon. 
{{Okay *coughs shyly* that`s enough of me enjoying myself as the Chibi Master, back to the Heroes again}}

Things started flying about the chamber, items seemed to be thrown by invisible hands, and things appeared to float and spin in the air. The sounds of muffled cries could be heard, tones of anguish and distorted by terrifying anger. The clank of chains and footsteps coming even closer, yet ghostly and insufficient: these things assailed Candy and Marie-Claude. Perhaps the worst of all was that the walls seemed to weep thick red blood from between the bricks, and the very walls seemed to be breathing in and out with an audible wail of macabre other worldliness. The effect of all this meant that no one was able to concentrate on healing the wounded Were woman.. and her inflictions remains, for the present, unattended.

Lady Lucarta Von Wilder chose just that moment to roll a double and unable to hold her form any longer, changed back into human form. The woman slumped on the ground, groaning from a dozen wounds.

The Heroes were in a bad place, and needed to turn this around - and quickly.

But the dungeon was contriving to make this very difficult for them, intent on either killing them all, or at the very last driving them out of its home. The end of turn 13 was perhaps aptly numbered.  Behind the three Heroes, the first of the zombies climbs out of the floor grate, and shuffles towards them - more follow.

Turn 14

Initiative: Monsters 1, Heroes 18. Heroes finally win a phase and get to act first for the turn, instead of just responding to the Monsters` well co-ordinated rallying assaults.

Holding up Lady Von Wilder between them, the Heroes push through the remains of the splintered door, moving as fast as they are able into the next chamber.... deeper and deeper into Grick Hall. Pet Cola hands up a potion to her Mistress, ever in tune to her needs. As they stumble forward, Candy manages to administer Apothecary on their injured friend. Uuugh!!!!  Everything they do goes ill. Candy rolls a D4 to see how many wounds are healed and throws a 1. Von Wilder`s Hits go up by a single point, bringing her to a meagre 2 Hits. Not enough I fear. Drat. It seems this whole place is ill fated. Perhaps the local villagers are right. The Hall is cursed. Next turn she will use her health potion on the Lady.

The chamber is strange, almost looks like an antechamber to a larger hall beyond. Indeed there is what might once have been a beautiful ornate pool of water sitting in the middle of the room. Its central fountain long ago snapped off and despoiled. Now the entire water feature simply looks foul and unnatural. Torches splutter in sconces about the room giving it the usual shadowy unhealthy pallor, same as found throughout the rest of the place. A door sits stout and shut within the right hand wall, probably leading back into the entrance chamber whence they came. But ahead of them, a huge portcullis bars their way. Whatever lies beyond is hidden in a deep concealing darkness.

A winch system is attached to the brickwork, and a large wheel protrudes from the wall. This seems likely would operate the portcullis, if manned and turned. the wheel would probably raise the heavy gate allowing access to what lies further into the complex.

But it is at this moment that the slimes appear throughout the room, some slithering out of the murky blue pool of water, others dropping down from the ceiling and landing with a heavy plop! On the floor near the girls. Citrine and Emerald splodges of goo start to slither their way towards the terrified women. 
{{all rolled this turn on the Random Monster Table}}.

“Where is that Paladin?” Marie-Claude enquires breathlessly. “We need him!”

“I.... I don’t know, but we need to get out of here,.... fast!!!” Candy looked around frantically. 
{{she ushers YOU the reader to stick close}}
She looks at the badly injured woman they are carrying between them and asks her urgently: “Lady Lucarta, please.. is there anything you can do.. quickly, they are nearly on us?”
The first couple of zombies clamber out of the hole in the floor and start to pursue the Heroes.

{{Things don`t always go the heroes way. In fact, it can be quite a learning curve to know defeat; lick your wounds and accept past mistakes. There is always next time.... assuming you even manages to get out alive to have another day. Anyway, lets continue on}}.


Lady Lucarta Von Wilder, realises the situation is impossible, reaches to touch a pendant around her neck. “Where is The Paladin?” she mumbles woozily, her head still spinning in pain.

No one replies at first. But Marie-Claude shakes her head. “We do not know, we did not see... he is gone, I think.”

Lady Lucarta nodded back in understanding. “Take my hands both of you.”

There was a sudden violent flash of rainbow light, as the pendant around the Lady Von Wilder blazed with pure light. The room lit up like lighting for a moment, and when it was gone again, all the torches in the room had gone out. Gone too were the three woman.

The magical teleportation device within the pendant had activated, and they were transported far, far away, to a hearthstone on an ancient hill, deep within the vast Wilder Estate. They had failed their mission. But they were safe.... minus one of their number.

The End


 A Tarot Productions Presents ©2016


  1. Don't split the party, cardinal rule of adventuring - always goes badly wrong for someone! I remember exploring Drachenfels castle for WFRP and losing the first player character I had ever designed due to splitting from the party thinking he was powerful to take on anything, he ended up contracting the plague in a weird swamp room......

    1. Absolutely right. I would try everything in my power normally not to do that thing of splitting the party. But I had this built in game mechanic (for solo play) made it hard for the Paladin to resist the `whisper` of evil once he failed his dratted roll.

      Wow, I remember that scenario. That`s a real old one. was it "Empire in Flames?" if so I`m sure I had a second hand copy of it. Lost it when my home was burgled long ago. Bad luck on losing your first even character to that scenario; mind you, if its the one I remember, it was TOUGH - verging on macabre slaughter fest.

      Mine was a sprite/fairy (D&D 2nd ed) called Trinket! She got squashed at "The Yarning Portal" (Forgotten Realms) when someone called out: "Maine`s Gang, they`re back!!"" A successful returning party often means "Free Beer all round". The ensuing rush of people to the edge of the well, to watch the adventuring party (and their loot) get wheeled up, left my diminutive heroine a mere wet puddle of goo on the floor :(

    2. I think it was, yes. Damon Carlton from "Survivng the zombie apocalypse" blog was GM and when he told me that fate points can't be used to avoid death in Drachenfels I nearly broke down, I'd been gaming the character for about 4 years by this point "Horace Grimsure" assassin for hire. I remember like it was was 20 years

      Thanks for the AAR t' was fun ;-)

  2. Bah! What rotten luck for the heroes (Paladin especially). Thank you for a great battle report. I'm still taken by the black backdrop effect - The photo of all the undead shambling from the depths was really evocative :-)

    1. Thank you Jon, I`m really glad you liked it. Means a lot to me to know I did something which caused others enjoyment and pleasure, hopefully inspiring their own games even. The photo you spoke of was heavily cropped for the blog: you should have seen the original, now THAT was scary.

  3. Excellent read, really provocative and memorable. One of the best battle reports I`ve read in years.

    1. Thank you Mr Steve. I read all so much of your work and your books, and it inspires me to try and write as well myself.

  4. Nice work sweetie. I enjoyed that immeasurably. Poor old Paladin. I swear his gory end will give me nightmares for weeks.


    1. hehe, it was a bit gruesome wasn't it.

      Thanks Hil xx

  5. I wish all batreps could be as good as this one. It is not often that the heroes fail in their quest when people post a batrep but it does happen and I'm glad the party quit when they did. To carry on would have been suicidal.

    1. Thank you for such kind words Bryan, makes me feel humbled to hear such nice complements.

      Yes, from start to finish it was played out using the solitaire mode built in artificial A.I. within the CW rules, enhanced by my D30 DM`s Companion (randomiser). So it was just like playing with/against a simplified real Dungeon Master, I truly didn't know what was going to come at me one moment to the next, or what events might unfold turn to turn. Really enjoyable. I hope I managed to show how simple to play and fun Chibi World really is. And don't forget, the rules are completely free, from this blog.

  6. Oh noes!!! The paladin is daid!!! Just goes to show that a handlebar moustache is no protection against the undead...
    Excellent work, Tarot. Giving me the itch to do some old style dungeon crawling. May have to use non-Chibi figures though...As I've failed to buy the Frostgrave rules, but have painted up a warband, looks like Kringle's Men (including Thrud the Barbarian) might be venturing into the depths. Let's just hope there's enough ale to slate his thirst...

    1. sounds really, really fun: you will have to write up a battle report, add loads of piccies, and share with us all. I`m sure Mr Bryan will happily post it for all to enjoy.

      There`s nothing quite like a good dungeon crawl. Don`t forget, download the Chibi World rules (they are in word doc so easy to alter), change the name if you want, change the pictures even, the rules work just fine with non chibis and can be altered with ease. I`ve seen the guys do Pegasus Bridge (World War II), Treasure Island, 20`s Pulp, even Viking raiders, using this system.

    2. Just to confirm what Tarot said, Jez, I will accept articles from you or anyone else who thinks they are relevant to our blog. Just because we have been concentrating on Chibis so far does not mean that is all we are interested in. We mean to cover so many games, providing they have a connection with dungeon crawling, no matter how obscure that connection might be. :-)

    3. But the bar has been set so high! How can I compete? And she looks better in heels than me! Moving on...

      Hmm, an article/batrep showing how someone who hasn't played this type of game before (unless you count HeroQuest) has used the rules to play non Chili delving? I could probably rustle something up...
      Finally, quick question to whoever wants to answer - the zombies featured look like they would be ideal for my ongoing Ghostbusters project. So, where are they from and roughly how big are they?

      Thanks in advance


    4. Don't judge yourself too harshly, Jez. You write your own blog so you obviously have some talent for writing and taking photos.

      To answer your question about those "zombies" featured in Tarot's batrep, they are actually skeletons! They are 28mm tall and are made by Soda Pop Games for their Super Dungeon Explore game. They were originally part of the Von Drakk's Manor expansion set. The original set where they feature has been upgraded and they are now part of the Von Drakk Ghost House: Dungeon Tiles set, where you get 12 of them plus 6 double-sided tiles. They are known as Rattle Bones. I have some spare, so if you really want them just let me know and I'll send them to you.

    5. Ooh, yes please! I would only want/need a couple, three at most.
      And now I feel bad, because you've already sent me some Horroclix figures which I've yet to do anything with yet.
      Now I will have to come up with a suitable return gift...Challenge Accepted!

    6. I could very easily spare you a couple, Jez. I'll get them posted to you next week when I'm next in town. There is no need to return the favour. I'm only too happy to help a friend out whenever I can.

    7. You are a true gentleman, Bryan. But don't think you're getting off that easily! I have a cunning plan AND I know where you live. Which sounds like a threat, on reflection...
      Just you wait - I shall be applying my ingenuity to something truly unique. Mwah-ha-ha! Igor, open the roof, there's a storm brewing...

    8. Oh man, you own HeroQuest? I`d give my right (and left) teeth to have that (why did so many of us at kids and teenagers throw away and let go of so much cool stuff, stuff we`d die to get our hands on now).

      *wonders how you go about giving your right and left teeth to anyone*

      {{Looks at Crow`s roof opening and can hear over the raging wind: "Yesssss, Masssster"}}

    9. TBH, Steve, I own MOST of a copy of HeroQuest. The demon\gargoyle went first, the undead to someone building an army for WFB and the Chaos Sorcerer and Barbarian got converted into Skeletor and He-Man, because...well, why not? The rest I still own, although some of the goblins and orcs have donated various body parts to other projects.

      And I'm having a few issues with this Igor. He's not as reliable as the previous five, but the agency that provided him (Apfel) have informed me that I'm due an upgrade and the next one will be better. For some reason, they keep referring to them as iGors though - not sure why...

    10. You just can't get the staff these days, Jez! ;-)

    11. HAHAHahahahaahahahahahaaaa!!!!!! love it

      Strangely, I have the Gargoyle. he`s the ONLY one I still have from that game I think.

  7. Maybe a good point to mention I have been working on a new rules system for a while now. Basically designed around the same game engine Chibi World works on. However, the rules have an entirely different feel and tone to them. Like some other rules, these are more of a system (like G.U.R.P.S and Two Hour Wargames are systems, not just single games) in that they are fully generic, and can be used for whatever type of game you like... or even mix and match as the fancy takes you (using whatever miniatures you own in your collection). So you could use the rules to play in a hard, gritty post apocalyptic zombie world: or a zombie sci-fi universe.... imagine an Emperium suffering from a growing inner galaxy spread of the zombie virus... trade is in tatters as no one wants (or dares) let off world ships into their systems, yet still the virus seems to be gathering momentum, mostly through the black market and piracy). Of course, you can use the rules to play a medieval zombie game, or a modern day one set in England (that's something you NEVER see, it’s always America isn't it)? The rules work really well in a horror setting as well... especially with comic book style heroes and bad guys added into the mix. Why not try World War II, or even Weird World War II, or Pulp Era gaming of yester-year ("Sky Captain: World of Tomorrow", "Indiana Jones", or re-live "The Mummy" movie trilogy). The game also works just fine using a standard D&D type theme, using what even mythos you like (Standard Fantasy Medieval, Vikings, Ancient world... aka Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules: King Arthur, Japanese Bushido, Chinese Water Margin, etc ete). The rules do the hard work for you, then YOU choose what you want them to do and what type of game you want to play.

    I will start introduce the new rules here in the blog with a movie and computer game scenario/ mini campaign based on: “Doom” (anyone remember that classic PC franchise of games and subsequent cool movie they made, starring “The Rock” and “Karl Urban”?) . I figured zombies and hell demons in space, in a macabre futuristic Martin Space Station complex world be a great place to showcase what the rules can do. Fits the Dungeon Crawl theme nicely too ^^

    Gimme a month or so (others have loads of stuff to write for the blog first), and “Doom” will come to “All Things Dungeon Crawl”.

    1. Blimey, Steve, that sounds AMAZING! Good for you and I'm very much looking forward to reading more. Bring it on!

  8. still need to come up with a name, and I am waiting on three artists to complete the interior sketches, and create a nice cover image for me to use. I will offer this in two formats. Free as a PDF to anyone who wants a copy.. with my compliments: or a hard/soft cover print copy (which sadly wont be free).

  9. *holds a hand up* Please sir, me want print copy.

  10. Make that two print copies! I want one as well!

  11. So how does a generic rule book work? I mean, a medieval zombie game is different from a modern zombie game, is different from a fantasy dungeon crawl; and is sure different from a sci-fi game, and so on?

  12. Its quote easy really, and not a new idea at all.

    The formula was started back in the early 1970`s by a British Wargamer Donald Featherstone, and was used successfully for a number of books that he wrote: the most classic (and rare now) of which would be titles like “Skirmish Wargaming” and “Complete Wargaming.”

    Basically these books work (and start off by) offering a simple, overall generic set of rules and guidelines: just the basics and bare bones, movement, ranged combat, hand to hand combat, morale, all the obvious things you`d expect to find in a set of table top rules and which apply throughout for all eras of play. Then you devote a dedicated chapter to each subject. In this instance, one chapter on (let’s say) zombies, another on science fiction and science fantasy, a chapter devoted to horror, anther to Asian folklore and the orient, Arabia (Arabian Knights etc) a section on pulp era gaming, and so on and so forth. These chapters will not only satellite the things needed to recreate that specific genre on the table (and in your heads), but also introduces any game specific rules needed to bring the whole thing to life, even things like, how focus on creating the right tone and feel. Overall, it is a neat way of writing an entire games engine which gives readers lots of choice, without having to fork out a load of money on several books. I see the approach has started to become popular again lately. Just look at Warlord Games “Black Powder” rules as a prime example. I think that set of rules covers 200 years of warfare and just lumps it all under the generic term `horse and musket` era.

    Steve :))