Monday 15 April 2024

Five Leagues From the Borderlands (part 1) – GETTING STARTED


I got hold of the physical version of the (Five Leagues from the Borderlands) book a little while back… but, aside from watching a few YouTube tutorials/playthroughs, I’ve never really delved into it – despite it sounding like a cool concept (I think the amount of rolling on tables put me off a little bit).

But, all that is about to change, as I thought it was about time I gave it a try :)

However, because this will be my first game, I am going to scale things down a little bit - so that the campaign will be a bit shorter than usual (more on that later)… and also, because I want to try something a little bit different - I want to try playing as ‘the bad guys’ for a change (something I usually shy away from).

And while the game isn’t really intended for that kind of thing, I think it’ll be interesting to see how it goes (I mean, it might not be worth pursuing after a while – but it’s only a test game… so I can move onto something more traditional once I’ve got to grips with the rules and seen how flexible the game can be).

And, seeing as how I seem to be in the mood for making some dwarven themed dungeon terrain at the moment (posted below is a crude prototype for a huge pillar/column that I’m working on) – what better place to set the game than the Halls of Moria (this also gives me an excuse/reason to paint up some of the Oathmark dwarves that I’ve had sitting in a box for forever ;) ).

So that’s the plan… I’ll assemble a small warband/party of orcs… and we’ll be battling against Balin’s company in the year 2994 of the Third Age.

And, since I’m led to believe that solo games work better if you keep a journal of sorts, I think I’m going to try and keep track of things here on the blog (at least to begin with) – and maybe take some photo’s of the game in action (as I always seem to forget to do that when running D&D sessions in person). Plus, if I play it for any length of time, there’s a good chance that it will also inspire future terrain projects for the YouTube channel as well!


OK then, as is usual with most games – the first thing you need to do is create your character, or group of characters… and this is no different. However, rather than go through the whole process, I’ll just share my roster HERE (hopefully there aren’t too many errors).

Like I say, I’m starting off with a smaller roster than usual – for some of the reasons I mentioned above (and also because it will mean that I have to paint less models ;) ).

Speaking of which – here’s what I’ve got done so far (note that the bat swarm will be used for the ‘summon’ spell)…

 …and here’s the (very basic) narrative that goes along with them:

* * * 

Lagashi is somewhat of a rarity amongst the orcs – a creature capable of harnessing dark magic through shamanic practices and foul rituals (albeit in a very minor way). This has allowed her to rise above her station, and gain the favour of her dark master.

To that end, she has been instructed to join with the forces that are rooting out those pesky dwarves that have (re)gained a foothold within the halls of Moria… and to strengthen the dark lord’s presence there (as many of the orcs that dwell within have turned to worshiping Durin’s Bane as a god).

And seeing as how the road to (and beneath) the mountain is fraught with many perils, she has been assigned a small (but capable) escort – lead by a huge uruk brute named Muzlug.

Muzlug is a fierce, bow-legged warrior – with long powerful arms, broad shoulders, and an evil heart. Despite his great size (standing man-high in spite of his hunched posture), his great loping stride allows him to close with his enemies with surprising speed – a trait that serves him well, as he seems to relish the chaos and brutality of close quarters combat.

However, he dislikes and distrusts Lagashi in equal measure – and he has made it perfectly clear that if the shaman were to ever use her magic upon him, then it would likely be the last thing she ever did.

And while his orders are to act as Lagashi’s bodyguard – he’ll not consider it a great loss if anything were to happen to her while they are so far from home… as he has brought with him a couple of ‘trusty lads’ in the hope of ‘setting up on his own’ if the situation presents itself. 

Speaking of which, Golb and Snagluk are the two orcs that are rarely very far from Muzlug’s side. Golb is equipped for hand to hand combat, whereas Snagluk is more at home picking off the enemy at distance. 

Together, this small force has set out from the stronghold of Dol Guldur, and one more march (under the cover of darkness) will likely bring them in sight of Moria’s east gate… 

* * * 

NEXT UP: House rules, and populating the adventure map.

1 comment:

  1. Great looking minis and a fun background.
    I'll be following this, and I'm looking forward to seeing the new terrain