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Creating a Destruction Party

By Gene Capar

Hey everyone!  I thought I might like to write a blog post about Rack & Ruin and creating a party seems like the right place to start.

For this post I choose to go with a straight forward build, but with a bit of trait manipulation and a follower to flush it out a little more.

Please Note: This post is being made using Beta Rules v2.2, when these rules become out dated I will update the post as soon as possible.

Step 1: Choose Miniatures

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For this party I decided to go with all Orcs and Goblins.  I could have added miniatures that weren’t Orcs or Goblins, but I wanted to make it thematic.  These figures are all by Reaper Miniatures, the shaman and the goblins are from Warlord, the three Orcs in the back are from Bones and the archer in front is from Dark Haven Legends.

The miniatures I have chosen will allow me to create something pretty powerful for a starting party.  However, there will be a major draw back to taking this approach, Challenge.

Challenge is a balancing factor in Rack & Ruin.   First of all, a player must spend supplies equal to the challenge that she is fielding at the beginning of a game.  This can get hard to do, and the penalties for not feeding the troops can be very painful.  Secondly, every member of a party gains bonus experience equal to the Challenge difference between an opponent’s party and theirs.  Starting parties thrive on this bonus experience in established campaigns, so bringing a high challenge to the game will mean that I am missing part of the bonus of playing a new party.  However, my high challenge will mean that I can stand up to more established parties and grab some wins right away.

Step 2: Choose Goal

Okay, so in this case I did this step first.  I wanted to make a Destruction party and selected miniatures from my collection to make that happen.

The description for each goal makes suggestions on building party that will work for this goal.  In this case “best suited to a party with powerful warriors or large monsters.”  I am going with powerful warriors that are kinda big monsters.

Each goal has a restricted race, in this case, I cannot use Halflings.  Which works for me, they would only slow this combat machine down.

Each goal also alters your party creation slightly.  For the Destruction goal I can add a 5th hero during party creation.  This will allow to keep up numbers wise with more established parties.  However, this 5th hero comes with no extra gold, which means I have to spread my starting money a little bit further.

Step 3: Record Character Choices

Hero #1: Gorrock

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Attributes

Wisdom: 3

Agility: 4

Strength: 6

Charisma: 4

Perception: 4

Size: +1  Movement: 8″  Health: 20   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Lore, Finess

Traits

Ogre-Blooded, Archon, Well Equipped

Items

Wizard Staff (6g), Satchel (2g), Talisman (10g)

Because he is an Orc, Gorrock’s Strength is increased and his Wisdom is lowered.  Being an Orc also means he must choose a racial trait.  I select Ogre-Blooded.  Really, I have no choice here, Full Representation rules require me to use him as size +1.  So, he also gains +1 Strength and +5 health as size adjustments.

Since I wanted him to be a spell caster, I chose the Lore skill, which will add +1 to his casting total and Finess, which will increase his spell power.  Since they have a low Wisdom, off the bat, Orcs make poor casters, however, I really like this mini and I want to keep the theme of the army, so there he is.

For his two general trait choices I give Gorrock the Archon trait.  Archon gives him the ability to cast spells (which is important to a spell caster) and increases his spell power by his level when using attack spells.  Since this is going to be an expensive party to equip I use one of Gorrock’s traits to take Well Equipped, this will add 20g to my pool to arm and feed my party.

The 20g will come in handy, since Gorrock’s gear cost me 18g already.  The Wizard staff has good defence and is a casting item, which will enhance my lower spell power.  The talisman is also a casting item, plus it will increase Gorrock’s spell resistance.  The satchel will increase his capacity, allowing him to stash more treasure I find during games.

Hero #2: Urgut

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Attributes

Wisdom: 3

Agility: 4

Strength: 6

Charisma: 4

Perception: 4

Size: +1  Movement: 8″  Health: 20   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Alertness, Melee

Traits

Ogre-Blooded, Guardian, Well Equipped

Items

Light 1h Melee Weapon (3g), Standard Shield (5g), Medium Armour (9g)

Urgut will have the same attribute line as Gorrock due to Orc racial adjustments and size adjustments from the Ogre-Blooded trait.

The melee skill will help with Urgut’s attack and defence, meanwhile alertness will add +1 to any attribute saves he is required to make.  Alertness is also the roll to activate the Guardian trait, which I will describe below.

While Gorrock will be able to defend himself better than most spell casters, Urgut’s job is to make sure that Garrock stays healthy.  In a nutshell, Guardian allows one miniature to try and make itself the target of an attack, rather than a friendly miniature.   Again I use one of this hero’s traits to take Well Equipped, I really think I’ll need the gold.

Urgut’s sword will count as a light one-handed melee weapon.  It is a basic weapon, with decent stats.  The shield will help his defence, which is even more important since hopefully he will be taking attacks meant for Gorrock as well.  As far as armour goes, a case could be made for heavy armour, but at the moment I don’t think I can afford it.  After buying Urgut’s gear I will be able to add 3g back to my pool.

So far I am ahead in gold at 65g.  Which is good, because I have 3 heroes and 3 followers left to arm.

Hero #3: Surgraugh

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Attributes

Wisdom: 3

Agility: 4

Strength: 6

Charisma: 4

Perception: 4

Size: +1  Movement: 8″  Health: 20   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Muscle, Melee

Traits

Ogre-Blooded, Breaker, Destroyer

Items

Light 2h Melee Weapon (3g), Medium Armour (9g)

Orc racial adjustments and size adjustments from the Ogre-Blooded trait make this hero’s attributes the same as the others.

The melee skill will help with Surgraugh’s attack and defence.  Muscle will mainly help Surgraugh in two ways.  First it will add to his Intimidate actions, which I plan to use in lue of a ranged attack.  Second, it works with the Breaker trait, helping me beat down the armour of my opponents’ miniatures.

No space for Well Equipped here.  I already have two heroes with no role traits to gain victory points during a game, and that is a weakness to this party.  Surgragh has the Destroyer trait, which gives me a victory point each time he does damage.  Breaker increases the bashing of my weapon for each level of the muscle skill this character has.  Including this bonus and Surgragh’s size bonus his weapon will have bashing: 3.

Surgraugh`s gear costs me 12g, leaving me with 53g.

Hero #4: Drundrak

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Attributes

Wisdom: 3

Agility: 4

Strength: 6

Charisma: 4

Perception: 4

Size: +1  Movement: 8″  Health: 20   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Marksman, Searching

Traits

Ogre-Blooded, Destroyer, Scout

Items

2h Heavy Missile Weapon (5g), Medium Armour (9g), Light 1h Melee Weapon (3g)

Orc racial adjustments and size adjustments from the Ogre-Blooded trait make this hero’s attributes the same as the others.

Marksman is the weapon skill for missile weapons.  Taking this skill will increase Dundrak’s ranged attack and ranged defence.  Searching is going to be important, this party will need treasure in order to ensure it has enough supplies.

Like Surgraugh, I gave Dundrak  the Destroyer trait, so, his first priority is to shoot enemies and score victory points.  Scout will allow him to move through difficult terrain without movement penalties.

After paying for Dundrak’s gear I am left with 36g.

Adath

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Attributes

Wisdom: 3

Agility: 4

Strength: 5

Charisma: 4

Perception: 4

Size: 0  Movement: 8″  Health: 15   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Marksman, Command

Traits

Fearless, Follower, Advanced Follower

Items

2h Heavy Missile Weapon (5g), Medium Armour (9g), Light 1h Melee Weapon (3g)

Unlike the other Orcs in the party, Adath is size 0, thus I did not have to take Ogre-Blooded as my choice for a racial trait.  Instead I chose Fearless, which will help me keep control of Adath, which is important, since I will need him to be able to command his followers.

Since he will be using a bow as his primary weapon, I gave him the skill Marksman.  His second skill, Command, adds a bonus to leadership rolls Adath’s followers are required to make.

The trait Follower allows a player to add a Basic Follower to to the party under the command of the miniature that took the trait.  Advanced follower makes a follower the miniature already commands better.  I will discuss follower creation a bit more below.

After paying for Adath’s gear I am left with 19g.

Goblin Hunting Pack

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Attributes

Wisdom: 2

Agility: 6

Strength: 2

Charisma: 2

Perception: 3

Size: 0  Movement: 8″  Health: 10   Natural Save: 2

Skills

Marksman, Searching

Traits

Character Race, Hobgoblin, Nocturnal, Pack, Pack

Items

2h Light Missile Weapon x3 (9g)

A follower’s attributes are far weaker than a hero’s.  All attributes start at 2, however, because I made them Goblins (the Character Race trait)  they get strong Agility.  Goblins are normally Size: -1, but the Hunting Pack has Hobgoblin.  Hobgoblin is a racial trait that gives the hunting pack some of the benefits of being Size: -1, but they become size: 0.

Advanced followers get two skills.  I selected Marksman for the ranged attacks and Searching, which will increase the chances of finding treasure.

An advanced follower gets four traits.  I’ve already selected Character Race, and that comes with a racial trait, which was Hobgoblin.  For the second trait I selected Nocturnal, since the follower is a Goblin, which means I can access further racial traits.  Finally, for the last two I take Pack, twice.  Since the Hunting Pack is size: 0 (due to Hobgoblin) I get once extra follower for one trait.  Spending both trait choices gives me a pack of 3 Goblins.

I had to go cheap on gear, because my gold is running out.  After buying the three bows I am left with 10g to buy supplies.

Step 4: Promote your Captain

At this point I can choose any of my 5 heroes to be my party captain.  I choose Gorrock, as I am building to something specific (which is actually being a useful spell caster).  As a party captain, he gains an additional 5 health, and a level of the leadership skill.

Gorrock also gains 2 more traits and 2 more skills.  I select Muscle and Alertness as the skills.  Alertness is generally handy, as it improves attribute saves.  Muscle will work with a trait I plan to give Gorrock at level 2, called Mighty Voice, which will, again, improve his spell power.

For traits I select the Orc racial trait Fearless.  Having a party captain immune to Disheartened pretty much means he will never run from battle.  Also, since I am building Gorrock to deliver attack magic, I take Destroyer, rewarding me when he deals damage.

Step 5: Calculations

Now time for some math.  Having me write this out here would be really boring, so the only calculation I am going to add to this article is one that I have been harping on; Challenge.

Gorrock is worth 3 Challenge (1 base +1 Size +1 Party Captain)

Urgut, Suraugh and Dundrak are each worth 2 Challenge (1 base +1 Size)

Adath is worth 4 Challenge (1 Base +1 follower +1 pack +1 pack)

This means that my beginning challenge is 13.  A standard starting party will be around 5, so while this party is powerful, I am paying for it.

Remember when I said I had 10g to buy supplies?  Well since I only have 10 supplies and a 13 Challenge, this party will be going into its first game on half-rations (costing 6 supplies).  Each member of the party will start the game Disheartend, except Adath and Gorrock, who are immune to Disheartened due to the Fearless trait (which is coming in handy already).

While fighting will be the bailiwick of this party, the first few game have to involve some treasure.  I need to be able to feed the troops and there is some gear that got skimped on in order to save money, despite taking Well Equipped as often as I did.

And this, is the basic cornerstone of game play in Rack & Ruin.  Nothing is perfectly solid, every party has cracks in it’s armor, everything can be countered.  In this case, a good treasure hunting party grab stuff before I can get to it, or a good fighting party can tangle me up in battle.  It then becomes very possible that this monster party I’ve created chokes itself out.

I hope this was interesting and maybe helpful,

Thanks for reading.

 

1 Comments ON " Creating a Rack & Ruin Party: Destruction "
  • alt_example

    fist June 12, 2015 at 8:21 am -

    I found it!

    For some reason when previously reading articles here at Spiral Bridge Studios, I missed this one!

    Very nicely written Gene. Definitely good to have this for new players to see just how the process goes.

    Perhaps make this into a PDF and have it available as a free download. Good resource for sure

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