Navigating the river, marsh, and coastal regions of Vrahode can be challenging but also very rewarding. The most diverse biome group in Vrahode is the land regions that include water. Each of these region types plays differently, and once you understand these differences, you can use all three to great advantage as you seek to survive the rigors of Vrahode!
Overland regions typically require heroes to pay one or more fatigue to enter. They then draw a card and place it face-down, roll one or more threat dice, place them on cards or the tabletop, and then begin to uncover those cards as the group travels through the region. Regions are about the size of a large county on average, so heroes can uncover the cards slowly as they progress through a given region. If a region has multiple biomes within it, heroes can even decide which biome they are traveling through as each card is drawn, giving a greatly enhanced sense of travel and freedom.
Navigating Marshes in Vrahode
Marshes follow the general play as described above, with the biggest difference being that they feature a lot of difficult terrain, which slows everyone down, friend and foe alike. Each difficult square costs two movement points instead of one, making navigating difficult terrain an important aspect of surviving marshes.
Crossing Rivers in Vrahode
Rivers and coastal regions differ from marshes in that they are just narrow slivers of land/water, frontiers between land regions, or where land and ocean meet. This changes the way play occurs there. If you and/or your party shows up at a river with the intent to cross it, the first consideration is whether it is crossable. If it is not crossable, you have some choices: rest and see if the river settles down and reroll, or travel up or down river and see if the river is crossable there.
The good news is that because rivers are not huge county-sized regions, but merely a narrow band to cross between two large land regions, you do not have to pay a fatigue to enter river regions. The bad news is that when you enter a river region, you must draw a card per hero, resolve your threat dice, and then turn over all cards at the same time!
Rivers can also be used for transportation. At the cost of one fatigue, you and/or your party can construct a raft from local materials and set off up or down a river. Rivers begin at mountains and end at the sea. If you are traveling upriver (toward a river’s mountain source), each river region will cost you one fatigue to travel through. If you are traveling downriver (toward the ocean), there is no fatigue cost to travel. Heroes continue to draw cards, resolve threat dice, and pay fatigue (up river) as they travel, and roll a D6 modifier die to see if the river is navigable for travel.
Just like trying to cross a river, a roll of -3 means you must scuttle the raft on one side of the river or the other and decide how to progress from there. Rivers that share a region with mountains are considered unnavigable, so you would be forced to exit your raft there. Rivers commonly run along region lines, so regardless of which side of the line they are on, they must be crossed in order to go from one land region to another. When rivers run through regions, they can either be crossed or you can travel up or down river to try and avoid crossing them. Rivers can be finicky things, so you would be wise to respect them!
Walking the Coasts of Vrahode
Coastal regions are similar to rivers in that they are narrow frontiers and do not cost a fatigue to enter. Coasts can be traveled along, but not crossed like rivers. Just as with rivers, when you enter a coastal region, you must draw a card per hero, resolve your threat dice, and then turn over all cards at the same time. Coasts are where you will stand to call a ship to take you across the seas.
As we start our series, Captain Tentori, his crew, and their ship, The Lady Virtue, will come if called with the right device. Acquiring that is all part of the fun. Say hello to Strombrow for me! Later in the series, we will have a surprise or two for you regarding ocean travel.
Unlike rivers, you may not construct or use a raft on coastal regions, as the surf and oceans would quickly destroy such small craft! It is important to note that the Drelrhune, a race with a strong bond with water as their source of magic, feel right at home in river/marsh/coastal regions, which give them advantages we will discuss later!