Rangers of Shadow Deep – Mission 3 Descent into Darkness

The Rangers descend into the fissure behind Tor Varden to the broken stairway which leads into the Shadow Deep . . .

Scenario 1 – The Broken Stairs
Our party started the descent with one of the Rangers falling and taking significant damage. I think this is the first scenario where the environment was almost an adversary in its own right: the giant fly enemies were very fragile and easy to dispatch, but the risk of taking damage when moving too quickly or failing in combat encourages moving cautiously. Overall this was a quick and simple scenario which we managed to complete efficiently with no significant damage to the party.

Scenario 2 – Swampland
Again the environment rules here had a massive effect on play. Several rangers failed their initial Survival rolls and suffered minor damage from noxious swamp gases on the first turn. As the Rangers immediately move off the stairway into deep water, we quickly realised that none of us had invested skill points in swimming and so we initially stalled just as the Swamp Zombie emerged to attack us. Most of the party ended up taking drowning damage from failed Swim rolls. Since the Swamp Zombies don’t suffer from movement penalties they were able to move much more quickly that the party and so we weren’t able to leverage our numbers to gang-up in the close combat as we had become accustomed to. We just about managed to scrap through to the end of the scenario without taking any casualties, but nearly all of the heroes ended up being badly wounded! The giant flies which we quickly dispatched when we could attack as a party were much more of a threat as they could catch the stragglers at the back of the party and fight one to one.

Scenario 3 – The Last Stand
The culmination of the final scenario of the campaign saw a horde of zombies, giant flies, orcs and two trolls assaulting the ruins of a farmhouse while our Rangers tried to defend the NPC villagers. There is a keen sense of escalation in these scenarios so this was a suitably epic finale to our first RoSD intro campaign. Great fun and we are looking forward to starting the Burning Light campaign next and then the Blood Moon scenario. Since we only do a session once a month this should hopefully last us until around May by which time the next campaign book, Temple of Madness should have been released.

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