4aD: Space Frontier

     After my review of Four Against Darkness, and discovering the big possibilities of the games to be used with another theme.. this is the AAR of the first test of a sci-fi version for 4aD, that I have called 4aD: Space Frontier. This is a freelance version of 4aD.

 The corporation Tyler-Fang Group has hired the services of 4 new mercs for a secret operation in the Third Sector, they have lost contact with the starship STS Knossos since the last two weeks, and it's necessary to go there and take a look and recover some info in the Space Transportation System.

  The troops are four chosen marines:
Severin Tannen: A soldier armed with the typical Flux rifle, with a light armour reinforced. Level 1 and 7 points of life.

Patrick Wachter: A physician armed with a Eclipse rifle with explosive bullets, with a light armour reinforced. Level 1 and 5 pints of life.

Ulrich Kapsner: Is the bull of the group, bearing a Salvation heavy weapon, called "Betsy", is in charge of cleaning the path... when the things get hard. Level 1 and 8 points of life.

Iris Strasburger: Is the rogue of the group, nobody knows too much about her, she is armed with a FT pistol, she is specialised hacking the computers and will be the one who could open the door if the system still works. Level 1 and 5 points of life.

 The mission begins...

 The spaceship Moonsight contacted with the STS Knossos, but they didn't receive answer, so they decided to enter into the hulk. When they entered in the Space Station Transport, all was look like  quiet...

 Three corridors advanced into the station, they decided to choose the one of the left, they opened the door, and suddenly a group of deformed humans, dressed in medical scrubs, plenty of blood and with rotting flesh that assaulted the newcomers... the group answered firing their weapons and killed them.

 After some identifications and research Patrick said that the death corps are from the physicians of the Level 3, where they were investigating about the substance found in a spacehulk found three month ago. They must found the substance and go out from there.

 The group advanced though the station slowly, walking very attentive to any noise in the corridors or in the rooms. They found some objects, that could be appreciated in the black market, so Iris decided to slide them into his bag.

 Some rooms later they arrived to one of the main laboratories, there Patrick walked to touch a central computer, but Severin cry to Patrick to stop him, his sixth sense advised him about something was wrong... Iris take a look on the computer... and there were a trap... she started to hack the computer till she get to eliminate the trap and get the info for the medic...

 Some hours of investigation later in the other side of the station, they found a immense creature, it look like an human but with the heigh of three meters, the group opened fire against the thing, but this time Ulrich had some difficult with his weapon that got hammed and received some wounds from the creature... at the end the creature died filling the room with its entrails...

  The physician healed Ulrich, after a resting moments, the group advanced through a corridor and at the end they hear some sound like moans and drags.. they decided to enter in to the room, some bodies of zombie crawlers where awaiting to the marines... fire and death... at the end the creatures died but in that moment the door of the other side of the room exploded and appeared a terrible creature...

 The fight was an epic battle, bullets, cries and blood... the creature's fangs and claws tried to impact into the marines, without success... at the end, the creature fell down, and died... Patrick took some samples and all of them decided to go out from the spacehulk... too much action for a day...

 They run away from the spacehulk, but when they were arriving to the entry a group of zombies appeared but Severin through a grenade eliminating the enemies... and them, they arrived to their Moonsight. 

The spacehulk generated was like this.

 To play this adventure I used the basic rules from 4aD, using a Warrior, Cleric (Physician), Barbarian (Heavy Weapon) and a Rogue. Nothing was changed except the terms and name of the creatures... the Fat zombie was a Giant Spider, the first minions encountered where zombies, the crawling zombies where rats and the Final Boss was a Mummy. The last one zombies where goblins, and al of them died in the first attack of the heroic group with attacks with a lot of six scored... for that I decided to explained the attack with a  grenade. 
 The levels has been maintained, only the names changed. The mechanism is very simple, so is very adaptable.

Four Against the Darkness, a review

The guys from Ganesha games have released a new solitaire dungeon-delving game, it is named Four Against Darkness, it is a pen-and-paper game where you can choose between eight classic character classes. The mechanisms are very simple, the characters only have three stats: Level, Attack and Defence. The Level bonus, in some cases, the attacks or save of the characters. The combats are solved rolling a dice and adding the bonus. In an attack the character have to get a score that must be over the Lvl of the enemy. If you hit this score, your enemy suffer a wound. With the attacks of the enemy you must hit his level adding your Defence bonus for avoiding receive a wound. And that's all.

 There is a plethora of tables for generating the dungeon, the encounters, the enemies, the rooms, the treasures, the spells.... a bunch of them that let you to play alone with a pair of papers and a pencil. In the encounters you can find Vermin, Minions or a Final Boss or Weird Monster. The Minions, Final Boss and Weird Monsters let you get a level up roll that let you improve your warrior.

 You can see a character that I used in my last adventure, in the character creation the player have all the control except for the initial money.

Slorm the Cleric
Level 1
Equipment: Light Armour, Shield, Weapon. You can exchange the shield and weapon with a Heavy Weapon (Two handed).
Trait: adds half of his level to his Attack rolls, and his full level when he attacks undead creatures. He may cast the Blessing spell up to three times per adventure.
Starting Money: 1d6 gold pieces.
Attack: +0
Crushing Weapon: +1 against skeletons.
Defence: +2= Light Armour (+1), shield (+1)

The map was generated rolling in the table, and it finished in this way. The rooms were generated as the characters entered in them.. so you never knew where were you going to go.

 During the exploration the group found a wide variety of creatures: invisible gremlins, goblin swarmlings, fungi warriors, orcs, vampire frogs, a medusa, a giant spider and a small dragon. The enemies are from several backgrounds, but nothing force you to use them like appear in the text. You can change the names and modify their appearance... the fungy warriors could be a group of orcs with poisoned weapons, the small dragon could be a Troll with a vomit attack instead the fire attack, and things like these. The stats are very suitable for representing other creatures....

 After each combat, or when you find a treasure by search in a empty room, you can roll in the treasure room, and get from a bunch of coins to a magic weapon, a magic scroll or things like these... all in a very old school way.

 This time I am not going to tell the adventure completely, but I will tell some events that happened during the crawl:
The Final Boss was a Medusa that petrified three of the four warband members... included the Cleric. The warrior survived so I decided that he could go to the town to buy a Blessing Scroll to revive the Cleric of the warband and them recover the other members. As there are no rules for this situation, I roll an Average D6 and I get a 3, so the warrior would have to travel through three forest section to arrive the Town and buy a Blessing Scroll
The forest between the dungeon and the Town is a very tight wood, so it worked as a dungeon, the trunks were so near one to others that they look like walls...
in his travel the warrior found a statue, but he was wounded and worried about his comrades so he ignored it and in the other section he fight against a Weird Giant Spider, at the end he won and get to the town.
When he came back to the room with his petrified friends, he blessed the Cleric, and them the Cleric blessed the other members... but as I considered that the situation required of some dramatic I roll in a table:
1-4 some member is not recovered
5-6 all the members recovered

and the elf was impossible to be recovered... At the end, they decided to go back home...

The game is very adaptable to be used as an outdoor dungeon, in a Mirkwood style... with the tight trunks creating walls, and the leafs working as doors... or in a Spacehulk way, creating the corridors with the same tables, just only changing the name of the creatures, and considering that the attacks are with shooting weapons... the mage converted into psionics... the clerics as medics... and heavy weapons and magic converted into high technology weapons...

PROS: Easy to play and to learn, RPG style, School, very adaptable, very few elements necessary to play (a pen, a paper, a pair of dices, a copy of the book), you don't need miniatures.

CONTRA: Maybe the combats could be to much simple because they are solved with only one roll of 1D6. The characters with high levels are possible to much powerful.... could be "burned" the encounter tables if you play it to many times in a short time, you don't need miniatures.

Highly recommended, get it here!