October 28, 2020

Halloween in the Caribbean

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Halloween came and went, and it brought a nice chance for some horror-themed gaming. I obviously wanted to do something a bit more pirate-y this year, so the theme was obvious.

Putting together a game to play with my friends, I went with my go-to ruleset, Flashing Steel by Ganesha Games.

I tweaked and simplified it at places for ease of gaming, and then wrapped it in a nice little cocoon of story.

The story was a suitable genre piece, with the dread undead pirate captain Armitage Shanks (last seen bothering the Orient) coming to claim charming young Rosalie Underwood for his bride for all eternity at the strike of midnight. To make things easier for him, Shanks decided to bring along an army of the dead as well as two horrible, imaginatively named lackeys, Ghost and Crab man. Luckily a group of heroes was there to thwart Shanks’ evil scheme! The protagonists consisted of dashing captain Pemberton Smythe and his two redcoats, pirate queen Valeriana de Torres with her voodoo priestess Madame Labadie and first mate Benson, Rosalie Underwood’s father with his priestly friend and trusted servant Belinda, and , the people’s swashbuckling hero.

What followed was an epic battle, with poor Rosalie’s fate hanging in the balance almost up to the last dice rolls of the game.

What did we get to see? Our heroes cut down waves upon waves of zombies. Father Wexcombe banishing the ghost with holy water, only to get shot down by Shanks just moments later and brought back as a zombie.

The terrifying Crab man crushing poor Daring Dragoon after the hero’s valiant charge.

The pirate queen and His Majesty’s captain fighting side by side to buy more time before falling to the claws of Crab man and Shanks’ blade.

The voodoo priestess dueling magically with Shanks, pulling the enchanted Rosalie this way and that…and finally, first mate Benson putting a pistol bullet in Shanks’ skull just as the witching hour passed and the forces of darkness withdrew.

It was a blast! We laughed a lot, we rolled a lot of dice, imitated death groans and roars of frustration (thanks Joonas!) and pushed little toy soldiers across the board, all the while overdosing on sugar. What more could you want from a Halloween game?

Attached are photos of various quality from the game, taken by the various participants on their phones. You can click on any of them for a larger view.
The defenders
Preparing for the forces of evil
One of the character sheets I put together
First mate Benson pretty much spent the game standing in this spot killing zombies
The Daring Dragoon’s fateful battle
The Halloween theme extended to the snacks as well
Another shot of our heroes, with the Daring Dragoon showing off
SHAME
Father Wexcombe’s heroic moment
A closer look at pirate queen de Torres
Belinda comforts the rescued Rosalie
Our heroes hold off the zombie horde
An aerial view of the starting positions
Shanks and his minions go forth
half-hidden by a fountain
Captain Smythe half-hidden by some stocks
The battle is won!
Belinda and Rosalie again – a subtext of romance was suggested
A blogger with that good old Innsmouth elegance

I think ending this post after that photo is appropriate.

For more on this story go to: https://dawnofthelead.com/2016/11/03/halloween-in-the-caribbean/

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