Deeper down the rabbit hole – bone axes, saliva pools and Kingdom Death: Monster Year One

Things – as things are wont to do in Kingdom Death: Monster – have escalated. What began as a throwaway demonstration of the prologue is showing all the signs of blossoming into a fully-fledged campaign.

(If anyone is actually surprised by this, speak now or forever hold your peace.)

So, where were we?

Our survivors, buoyed by only having a quarter of their number brutally murdered immediately after waking up, find some other unfortunate souls huddled around a pile of glowing lanterns, and thus, the community of Edmond’s Field is born…

(We are still so sorry, Robert Jordan)

Settlement phase

Perrin, after an eventful time in the prologue, decides to hang back from the next hunt and stays next to the Lantern Hoard to contemplate his existence, gaining +1 understanding in the process.

The good people of Edmond’s Field, despite being peckish, decide to bury Rand after his heroic but rapid failure rather than cannibalising him.

The settlement expands, building a skinnery, bone smith, and organ grinder (seriously, think about that for a minute).

Although the majority of the White Lion’s resources are kept back until a Catarium can be built, there’s still enough to craft some rawhide headbands and bone weapons (a dagger, darts, and an axe).

Logain Ablar and Matrim Cauthon join the fight, and before you know it, it’s time to go out looking for a fight again!

 

Hunt phase

Four of us, one gigantic Lion. That is numerical superiority, whatever way you look at it

Our survivors quickly encounter a Sea of Golden Grass, Logain leading the way and everyone growing in courage for following him in.

But what’s this? Cresting a hill, they encounter a statue of a man sitting atop a throne. Logain does what anyone would, reaching out to touch it, and immediately taking the statue’s place, dying instantly. In his place is a new survivor who joins the party without a word of explanation. Dave the Statue has two random disorders (traumatised and hoarder), and is an axe specialist. It was nice knowing you Logain, for a whole three paragraphs.

Matt comes across a lion sculpture that gives each survivor greater understanding (and +1 insanity). Unfortunately, this signals the arrival of the Harvester. Ever seen Tremors? A giant worm erupts out of the ground and each survivor has to spend 1 survival point to not be eaten alive. Each survivor also gains a disorder card. What a lovely day out!

Elayne really lucks out by leading the hunters in a visit the Saliva Pools. Each survivor suffers a point of damage to the body, but does at least grow in understanding, which leads Egwene to become a better explorer.

Appropriately enough, Egwene finds the quarry and they move on to the SHOWDOWN!

 

The showdown

Survivors – Statue, Matt Cauthon, Egwene al’Vere, Elayne Trakand

Monster – White Lion (movement: 6, toughness: 8)

Funny, I feel less confident now it’s in front of us…

Round one

Monster: CLAW – Matt is first in the headlights, as the Lion moves to him and damages his body and arms. Given the damage caused by the saliva pools, and the encounter with Kevin Bacon’s nemesis (the worm), Matt is in no position to do much about this and is immediately knocked down.

Strong start, Mat. Strong start

Egwene moves to the blind side and attacks with her brand new bone axe… missing completely.

We’ve been through this, Egwene. You hit the Lion with the sharp bit

Elayne follows her to attack with her speedy bone dagger, hitting but failing to wound the Lion. This causes the Lion to leap away, colliding with Matt and knocking him to the edge of the board.

Statue moves to the tall grass to snipe the Lion with bone darts… but misses.

Round two

Monster: SMART CAT – the Lion becomes Enraged (giving him +1 damage until he kills or relieves someone of a limb. Shouldn’t be too long then) and then draws another AI card: MAUL. Matt is on the receiving end of this… he is first disembowelled, and then decapitated. Matt then dies.

Don’t worry lads, at least we’re fighting a dumb beast… oh

(Elayne promptly falls over at this point because she’s developed a fear of blood, which is really inconvenient if you think about it.)

Egwene moves to the blind side, successfully wounding the Lion (hooray! If it bleeds, we can kill it)

Statue moves to a nearby Acanthus plant and after seeing his colleague disembowelled and decapitated, decides to do a spot of gardening – gaining +1 survival which he promptly spends to encourage Elayne to stand up and get on with it.

Lions are notorious layabouts when it comes to mowing the grass, making this a surprising canny move

Elayne moves to the blind side and hits the Lion three times!

Perfect positioning. Nothing bad could possibly happen here…

…one of which turns out to be a trap, thus cancelling all other hit locations.

Our original notes at this point are hard to make out although they DO appear to say some terrible things about the Lion’s mother, for which we apologise unreservedly

The trap Dooms Elayne (meaning she can’t spend any survival) and the Lion promptly attacks her twice, knocking her down and causing all hit location cards to be reshuffled.

This was not how we envisaged that going

Round three

Monster: SIZE UP – Elayne is targeted but the Lion rolls a 3 and does bugger all. Not the strongest turn for Mr Lion.

Egwene moves to the blind side and scores a hit with her axe.

Perfect positioning. Nothing bad could possibly happen here… why are you laughing?

She rolls to wound.. and gets a 5. Not enough, you might think. But wait! The axe has +3 strength, meaning it’s still enough to wound! Axe, I… I think I love you.

Statue moves one space away from the Lion to throw his bone darts but misses again. To make himself feel better, he spends more survival to get Elyane back up. Again.

Elayne moves to the blind side… and hits!

Take that, heel!

Round four

Monster: REVENGE – the Lion heads to Elayne, as the last person to hurt him.

Statistically, a card titled ‘Revenge’ is not that likely to be helpful to the target, is it?

Two heavy hits to the head and leg later, she is again knocked down and dragged off into the dark!

A word of caution: mood lighting is not your friend when being dragged away by a hungry Lion. Opt for clear illumination instead

Egwene flanks the Lion but fails to do anything with her axe.

Statue keeps running with his theme and misses with his bone darts but encourages Elayne back onto her feet. Yet. Again.

Elayne moves to the blind side, attacking with her dagger and hitting twice, including a PERFECT HIT!

This is exciting because Elayne’s dagger gives her +1 survival on a perfect hit. As she had none left, this could prove to be critical to her… well, survival

The Lion is hit and wounded in the knee and fuzzy groin. Ouch. At this point it has five wounds, with four cards remaining (due to the Smart Cat being archived)

Round 5

Monster: MAUL – back to Elayne, which was inevitable. She is Perrin reborn.

Mauling the person you grabbed in the last round is really adding insult to injury. Or injury to injury, really

Somehow one of the Lion’s attacks actually misses, and Elayne immediately spends the survival she gained last round to dodge the other blow (avoiding a roll on the serious injury table).

In a moment of madness, the bleeding that didn’t actually occur because she wasn’t injured (which we only realised AFTERWARDS) causes her to fall down again…  making her also frightened of nearly bleeding, we suppose?

This situation not only looks deadly, it is also the result of basic incompetence and forgetting the rules (gasp)

Egwene moves to the blind side, attacking and wounding the beasts’ straining neck.

Statue moves so he is diagonal to the lion, hitting the Lion but failing to do any damage. He then picks Elayne back up, who seems to have spent this entire fight lying down.

OK, he may ALSO have done this in a bid to look cooler in this photograph

Elayne moves round to the blind side, and fails to wound the Lion’s soft belly.

Round six

Monster: SIZE UP – this time it’s the Statue who gets attacked, suffering brain damage.

Egwene moves to the blind side, hitting the beast’s tail – which inevitably triggers a reaction unless…

Not quite sure why this happens, given how placid cats normally are when it comes to their tails

It’s a critical hit! Which not only cancels the reflex but gifts Egwene a lovely lion tail resource to cut off and keep. Two AI cards left…

Elayne moves to the blind side, fails to wound the beast’s ear, and sends it leaping away.

Great plan Elayne. From here, the Lion is perfectly positioned to run away when you miss

Statue moves into the tall grass, sending a well-aimed bone dart to damage the beast’s femur!

Round 7

Monster: SIZE UP – thankfully one of the least threatening cards in the entire deck comes out, targets Statue and does nothing

Egwene hits the beasts ribs, wounding it and taking it down to its basic attack!

In the world of Kingdom Death: Monster, Lion ribs are not only delicious but ethically sound to eat

Elayne takes her dagger, along with herself, to the blind spot, scoring a perfect hit…

OK, that’s a great start… now defy all expectations and make this roll do something other than getting your own face chewed off…
Given our usual, luck this is genuinely unbelievable

… and then a critical wound!

THE LION IS DEAD!!

Oh yes, absolutely Geoff. The outcome was never in doubt. Cough cough

 

Not only do the survivors bag a load of Lion guts as goodies, the XP from the hunt triggers some ‘age’ story events.  Egwene becomes a Clutch fighter, and Elayne becomes a Crossarm fighter!

 

Victory!

 

(Oh, and RIP Mat)

 

Enjoying our Kingdom Death Monster playthrough? Find more hilarious violence – and a new quarry – in Lantern Year Two!

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