Didn’t Mark Twain say “…all ideas are second-hand” or something like “everything is plagiarism”? He was probably right.

When I made the Big Null I thought it was a pretty creative design, mostly from my own imagination, perhaps just a tad influenced by the thin man character. Even the blue color scheme was pretty original for a nullman, I thought. Then yesterday I came over this artwork from the frostgrave folio and realized I had subcounciously soaked it up, much like the nullmen soaks up/drains magic from their victims.


I usually only read the Sellsword expansion on my phone when playing and this contains no artwork, only the description of nullmen which reads “….nearly featureless humans who glow slightly with an unearthly grey light” I have the folio and have casually flipped through it on several occasions, but I have not studied the artwork carefully yet, and I could not remember having seen this before so it did not occur to me that this image was the inspiration of my craft! I was not disappointed in the lack of my own genius, mind you, but rather fascinated with the subconsciousness of the mind.

Small digression there, on to the item/s of the day: playtesting of the homemade scenario, “The Big Null cometh…” and using the Ulterior motive expansion cards. First, the scenario worked very well! This brings me back to Twain of course since it is basically a  modified version of “the Worm Hunts” scenario by author Joe McCullough. The Big Null represented a stalking unpleasant precense which was what I wanted. It started on my side, of course, and it caused me to focus on keeping a certain distance between it and my spellcasters.


The Big Null starts in my corner. It will move towards the highest level spellcaster within 18″.

IMG_3633When using ulterior motives the warband has to start within 1″ of the board edge. This combined with the Big Null set up in my corner caused this intimate, shoulder-to-shoulder deployment.


This was my motive for the game. A friend’s lost child had to be retrieved. That was a bit out of character for the egotistical summoner Sabellicus, who does not bother with friends. It was more suitable with a lost demon snake that had to be retrieved for a price.


This was my opponents motive. He chose my bear hunter as the insulting party. This suits our narrative well since the bear hunter has had great success despite being the weakest and cheapest member of my warband. Surely a source of irritation for my opponent.


The table. Goblins gets the initiative and start out with telekinesis and some tactical placements.


I try to move my guys away from the Big Null with the help of the leap spell.


These guys go for the rescue and a treasure. I managed to bring the child..erm..demon snake off the board.


Some rounds in and the Nullman is almost close enough for a charge.


This is how close it got before the apprentice had to leap herself out of harms way.

Luckily, there was no actual contact with the nullman. I achieved my ulterior motive, but my opponent did not. The cheeky bear hunter escaped without a scratch! He even managed to damage a few enemies on his way. Something tells me the “payback” motive will continue…There were some pretty hairy situations, my opponent lost both wizard and apprentice, but luckily they survived the post game injury rolls. I had more luck, only having to roll for my ranger.

After my 2nd game of using UM I must say I like most of the motives we’ve had so far vengeance, rescue, hunt down a hidden demon….I’ve decided not to read all the cards and take it as it comes from now on. We will re-draw motives that we’ve had already. I don’t think UM overcomplicates things as might be some peoples concerns, but this might depend on the complexity level of the scenario.