Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Perilous Tales: Bride of the Gator Ghoul!

 I got the table cleared off last night and set up for another game of Perilous Tales - this time using the "Swamp Fiend" as my villain, a wonderfully nebulous descriptor that I opted to fill with a Reaper Bones Gator-Man carrying an enormous bone-bladed axe. The locale was once again Hangman's Swamp, and my heroes were once again Cappy Boyd's Expatriate Mercenaries from Pulp Figures. 


Our Heroes:

  • Cappy Boyd (Leader), with Eagle-Eyed and Tough
  • Sgt. Piney (Teammate), with Hair Trigger
  • "Boomer" Murphy (Teammate), with Demolitions Expert
  • Zeb Walton (Teammate), with Medic
  • Pvt. Junior Jones (Teammate), with Marksman

Our Objectives:

  • Disrupt the Ritual
  • Rescue the Prisoner
  • Plant the Explosives

 The story so far: Socialite and heiress Margo Plumme-Duffe has been kidnapped, muddy bootprints leading from her hotel room into the sinister, venomous reaches of Hangman's Swamp. The Gator Ghoul, a terrifying half-man half-alligator, plans to enact a ritual that will transform her into his scaly bride. It's up to Cappy Boyd and his mercenary commandos to disrupt the ritual, rescue Margo, and plant enough explosives in Hangman's Swamp to make the USS Maine look like a champagne cork. 

The commandos start slowly, moving forward in a group and keeping Eyes Peeled against any potential threats; Cappy used his Eagle-Eyed skill to scope out the nearest threat marker, which was a "1" - the Gator Ghoul himself! Cappy moved forward to the swamp altar to begin the 3-round process of disrupting the ritual. Zeb and Boomer began working their way towards the cabin, while Piney moved up towards some ruins in the northwest corner of the board. 

Unfortunately, Piney got a little too close to a threat marker, and got attacked by one of the Gator Ghoul's alligators!

Having Eyes Peeled let Piney put a bullet in the alligator as it attacked, for 1 Wound.

The villain phase sent everything straight to hell on the second turn - a total of FOUR threat markers moved within 6" of the heroes and spawned their threats - two more alligators and the Gator Ghoul erupted from the swamp! The peril "Utterly Horrible" also activated, forcing Piney to make a Horror Check.

The overall Threat Level of the game was still low enough, and there were enough hidden threat markers, that the alligators and Gator Ghoul used the "Lurker" AI to govern their actions, which saved my bacon a bit. Junior Jones took Cappy's place messing with the altar, while Cappy raced to the cabin to rescue Margo.

Here, Cappy encountered the crazed Cap'n Stubbs, fallen under the Gator Ghoul's sway and responsible for kidnapping Margo. Cappy's appeals to Stubbs' humanity failed, forcing the commando leader to resort to a jaw-shattering haymaker. Piney and Boomer managed to lay down explosives on the ruins and the old tree, respectively, and Zeb managed to finish disrupting the ritual while Junior fought off another alligator. 

And then the Threat Level hit "7" and all the villains switched to the "Aggressive" AI. 

Piney was caught between two alligators, Junior succumbed to a third, while the Gator Ghoul and one of his pets made short work of Boomer before moving on to Zeb.

Untying Margo, Cappy planted the last bundle of dynamite in the cabin and urged her to make a run for it. The Gator Ghoul's plans were thwarted for now, and surely nothing could have survived the series of explosions that rocked the swamp...


Tallying up my victory points...

  • +3 for rescuing Margo
  • +3 for setting three explosive markers
  • +3 for disrupting the ritual
  • +1 for my leader surviving

For a total score of 10, "a truly heroic performance!"

I had a really good time with this round of Perilous Tales, though I notice that 1) I forgot to apply Cappy's Toughness to the wounds he took from Cap'n Stubbs, and 2) I realize as I'm writing this that I gave Cappy the exact same traits that I gave Left LaRue in the last game. In fact, a lot of my traits carried over from the heroes of last game to this game. Using the Eyes Peeled action (letting any hero with Eyes Peeled fire off a shot at an activated threat marker) extra liberally has definitely boosted my success rate, but I want to make sure next game I give some other traits a go.


  1. another great write-up.
    like how i read Swamp Fiend and i think of like the Swamp Thing, but here u make it like a huge croc monster ghoul. great thinking.
    awesome job once again.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I like how open-ended "Swamp Fiend" is. There's a guy on YouTube with a playlist of Perilous Tales games he's played and filmed, and I think he used a D&D troll for his Swamp Fiend.

    2. thats cool, i need to find more solo skirmish games like P. Tales. starting to enjoy these kind of games more than ever, do u know any other titles worth looking into?

    3. While I haven't played it personally, I've heard plenty of good things about Rangers of Shadow Deep, which would mesh well with your collection of D&D miniatures.

  2. Another great little Pulp game Bill....those Perilous Tales rules seem to work very well.

    1. Thank you! The Perilous Tales rules are nice, though I've run into a couple of situations that have required me to do some interpreting. No ruleset is perfect, though, of course.