Cómo jugar a Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin

Nuestra banda de intrépidos D&Ders continúa en su búsqueda de fama y fortuna. Mientras que el emperatriz exánime may have been defeated, other threats linger – and these ones have a taste for flesh and blood. What trials await both them and our Dungeon Master in our latest Epic Encounters How to Play? How easy is the set to use? And most of all, is it actually any fun? Read on to find out.

How to Play Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin – Introduction

We’re back for another session of Dungeons and Dragons with the help of one of the latest Steamforged Games Epic Encounters box.

D&D can be a tough game to get into. There’s a lot to it, and the scope and breadth of its system leaves would-be players at the whims of a thousand rulebooks and unsure where exactly to start their journey. Donning the mantle of Dungeon Master/Game Master, however, is an infinitely more daunting prospect – even the most experienced D&Der.

As such, products like Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters sets take some of the legwork out of both running and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Revisión Unboxing 1

Designed to be an encounter in a box, SFG’s Epic Encounters come in one of two flavours: Warband boxes, which come equipped with a number of different figures for larger, pack-style encounters, and Boss boxes, for dramatic showdowns against monstrous, er, monsters.

Today, we’ve re-assembled our Dungeons and Dragons players to have a look at SFG’s latest Warband box. Having escaped the Arena de la horda de muertos vivientes y se enfrentó a su primer enemigo verdaderamente indomable en lo alto del Torre de la Emperatriz Exánime, our players’ next encounter will take place within the Hive of the Ghoul-kin.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you check out our full close-up review of the contents of this box in our Reseña de Hive of the Ghoul-kin.

How to Play Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin – The Team

You’ve met them once before already, fumbling their way from the Arena of the Undead Horde to the Tower of the Lich Empress, but here they are again!

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So, from left to right, we have Rich the Half-Elf Wizard, Ollie the Dwarf Barbarian, Dave the Wood Elf Druid (who would like everyone to know he doesn’t normally wear sunnies indoors, he’d left his regular glasses at home and only has these!) and Lizzie the Aaracockra Rogue*.

As ever, the session will be organised and run by FauxHammer’s own Rob…

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…who desesperadamente necesita una pantalla DM más grande.

Since last time, we’ve also outfitted our D&Ders with their own custom minis, courtesy of Miniaturas personalizadas de Hero Forge.

Encuentros épicos Revisión de Hive of the Ghoul-kin Heroforge Custom Mini 1
Lizzie’s Aaracockra Rogue
Encuentros épicos Revisión de Hive of the Ghoul-kin Heroforge Custom Mini 3
Dave’s Wood Elf Druid
Encuentros épicos Revisión de Hive of the Ghoul-kin Heroforge Custom Mini 4
Ollie’s Dwarf Barbarian
Encuentros épicos Revisión de Hive of the Ghoul-kin Heroforge Custom Mini 2
Richard’s Half-elf Wizard

These were all 3D printed by Ross using his Photon Ultra and designed and painted by Rob using Citadel, Monument Hobbies, and Scale 75 paints (aside from Dave’s druid, which he designed himself!).

* Para tener en cuenta, desde la última sesión, Lizzie ha cambiado su Aaracokra Druid a Aaracokra Rogue para tener una mejor distribución de clases en todo el grupo.

How to Play Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin – The Venue

As ever, we’re back at The Games Table in Norwich for this week’s adventure.

Core Space Review Tripulación Lugar 1

We could sing the praises about this place to the highest of heavens (and we frequently do), but today we’ll suggest you head over to su pagina de facebook and have a look through their recent posts and pictures for a good sense of what they’re doing.

Si vives cerca de Norwich, The Games Table definitivamente vale la pena el viaje. Si vienes de un lugar más lejano pero te encuentras de visita, ¡asegúrate de visitarnos!

How to Play Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin – Playtesting

Hay dos lados en cada sesión de D&D: la preparación y el juego. Ambos requieren cosas muy diferentes de un grupo de D&D y, como tales, tienen demandas muy diferentes de cualquier producto asociado. Como tal, es posible que desee familiarizarse con las diversas partes de este cuadro antes de seguir leyendo. Puede hacerlo echando un vistazo a nuestro Reseña de Hive of the Ghoul-kin.

La primera parte, la configuración, está a cargo del DM/GM. Como tal, cualquier recurso deberá ser fácil de implementar en sus juegos. La segunda parte, la reproducción real de la sesión, debe ser fácil de ejecutar y adaptar para el DM/GM en el lugar, y también debe ser muy divertido para los jugadores. Si una sesión es divertida o no, depende en gran medida de cómo un DM/GM pueda usar su material y recursos, por lo que las cosas vuelven al punto de partida.

Entonces, ¿cómo se miden los recursos en la caja Hive of the Ghoul-kin?

Playtesting – Set Up

If you’re a DM/GM, you’ll likely know that setting up for your D&D session comes in two parts.

First, there’s the pre-session bit, where you make sure you’ve got everything you need to run your session ahead of time. Whether you do this five days before your session and spend hours and hours doing it, or you quickly glance over your source material five minutes beforehand depends entirely on your style.

Next, there’s the on-the-day stuff: laying out maps, reading your miniatures, making sure you’ve got all your resources sequestered firmly away from your players’ eyes behind your DM screen, and so on. We’ll have a closer look at what Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin does for both these steps now.

I. Pre-Sesión

Una gran parte de cualquier sesión de Dungeons and Dragons a menudo tiene lugar antes de que todos se reúnan y comiencen a tirar los dados. El Dungeon Master o Game Master, cualquiera que sea su preferencia de título (en adelante, DM/GM), deberá hacer al menos un poco de preparación antes de que comience la sesión.

Depending on how you like to run your session will determine how you use the book. For those DMs/GMs who are comfortable turning up and ad-libbing the encounter, the Campaign Book has all the basic info you need. There are plenty of notes on setting, guides on using the maps in the box, and all the stats you need for the enemies. You’ll find it easy to get from one part of the encounter to the next using just the info in the book. You could rock up to game night having glanced over the Campaign Book once and be ready to go with no prior planning necessary.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Folleto de la campaña 1

If, however, you’re a bit more pedante of a perfectionist like I am, you’ll likely want to have plenty of narrative fluff and other failsafes put in place in order to ensure your session goes off without a hitch. As such, I prepared a few sheets of notes to take with me, including some expanded loot (which on the day the party almost entirely missed all of). I also really wanted to give my players plenty of opportunities to really engage with their characters and build their personalities, which is, perhaps, the one thing that the Hive of the Ghoul-kin Epic Encounter doesn’t facilitate so well.

But that’s not necessarily a problem. Because the Campaign Book is so modular, it’s very easy to fit in other stuff around what is already written – which is what I was able to do, facilitating travel and exploration elements before arrival at the encounter. It’s pretty much a case of just plugging in the Campaign Book when you want it and unplugging it when you’re done with it. Looking over the notes I wrote, I have a few sides of my own writing, and then just a note to “use the Campaign Book from pages X to Y for this bit”.

II. Al día

Debido a que el conjunto Hive of the Ghoul-kin viene con todos los mapas y miniaturas que necesitas para llevar a cabo tu encuentro, configurar el día simplemente requiere que recuerdes empacar la caja y sacar el mapa y las miniaturas en el momento correcto. .

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Los minis en Hive of the Ghoul-kin se ven magníficos, incluso sin pintar.

That the campaign booklet is quite small and slimline means it is easily tucked behind your DM screen, and can easily be kept open alongside your other notes. In addition to this, as we noted in our full product review, the Hive of the Ghoul-kin’s packaging is excellent: the box isn’t too large, and the clever packaging makes certain that everything is both safely stored yet easily accessible.

Playtesting – Playing the Encounter

Con la configuración preliminar del encuentro completa y todos nuestros D&Ders presentes y contabilizados, pudimos comenzar la sesión y jugar un poco de Dungeons and Dragons. Entonces, ¿cómo sería la sesión y qué pensarían nuestros jugadores de los productos?

I. Salir de la Torre de la Emperatriz Exánime y entrar en la Colmena de los Ghoul-kin

In order to ensure that our players had a sense of continuation from the last Epic Encounter they played – which was Torre de la Emperatriz Exánime – we were keen to create a continuing story that took them from the setting we had established during the last session and on to the Hive of the Ghoul-kin.

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The group tries to figure out how to escape the Lich Empress’ tower whilst Dave prepares to take a bite from an invisible orange.

Según el folleto de la campaña Hive of the Ghoul-kin, a los Ghoul-kin les gusta comer cadáveres. Como nuestros jugadores acababan de enfrentarse al archivillano a cargo de todo un ejército de muertos vivientes, fue bastante fácil establecer una razón por la cual un grupo de monstruos devoradores de cadáveres merodeaban cerca.

“These ghouls have grown fat and strong on the corpses of the dead abducted by the Lich Empress’ followers. A sick symbiosis has existed between the Lich Empress and the Ghoul-kin for centuries: powerful allies and savage killers, the Lich Empress has allowed the Ghoul-kin to take corpses – and even the occasional one of her followers – in order to keep themselves strong. The Lich Empress knew that should anything threaten her, the Ghoul-kin would come to her side to defend her home – as well as their own. But the Ghoul-kin know this balance has now been disrupted and are on the edge of a feeding frenzy. Suddenly afraid that their way of life is under threat, they are lashing out and taking what they can from the Old Kingdom whilst it is still plentiful.”

It didn’t take long for our players to stumble upon their first wandering ghoul, and shortly afterwards they found themselves at the entrance to the Ghoul-kin’s lair.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 35
“Chapter 2: How to Play Barbarian. Step 1: hit fings real ‘ard. Step 2: repeat til it stops wrigglin’. Step 3: collect loots.”

From a DM’s perspective, linking our previous session to this one – literally a case of going from the Torre de la Emperatriz Exánime caja de la Colmena de los Ghoul-kin box – was actually very easy. Whilst there was no guide on how to do this in either box, neither set imposed any restrictions on what needed to come before or after each encounter. As such, putting one next to the other – and linking the two zones with a little travel and some roleplay – was very easy, and the players were none the wiser as to the disconnect between the two.

One thing I was sure to include, however, were a few tremors – earthquake-like movements beneath our players’ feet, perhaps hinting at something to come…

II. Los encuentros con los parientes necrófagos

Después de vincular los dos encuentros con algunos fragmentos de narrativa y un poco de juego de roles, llegamos a la carne de la caja Hive of the Ghoul-kin.

The first part of the encounter begins with the players dropping face-first into the middle of the hive having happened upon an opening. The Campaign Booklet states players enter the chamber from a hole in its roof – that’s all. No restrictions, no prerequisites. Just a hole to fall through.

Bostezando, con bordes irregulares y teñido con el toque de la luz del fuego, el amplio agujero en el suelo mira hacia lo que parece ser una cripta. Puedes ver un puñado de antorchas ahogadas alrededor del borde de la amplia cámara rectangular que te espera a unos tres metros y medio más abajo. Puede distinguir un piso de piedra cortada y labrada, una vez colocado con cuidado pero ahora agrietado y desgastado después de incontables siglos de uso y deterioro.

From a DM’s perspective, this super basic, easily replaceable entry into the encounter is fantastic, as it afford you a great deal of flexibility. It’s an easy part to remove and rework depending on your own campaign.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 11

De hecho, caer de cara en medio de los ghouls fue exactamente lo que le pasó al pobre Dave. Espectacularmente olfateando una prueba de acrobacia, su druida elfo silvano se zambulló de cara en las garras del Ghoul-kin hambriento de carne, quien decidió intentar prepararle su última comida. El resto del grupo siguió, y el encuentro pudo comenzar en serio.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 21
Dave, surrounded by Ghoul-kin Reavers, awaits the rescue of his companions who were, er, looting another room…

It’s up to the DM/GM how to run the encounter: have the Ghoul-kin arrive in small, wave-like groups or hurl everything at the players at once. Because our party are all level 10, I decided to empty the majority of the miniatures onto the table at the start of the encounter, then reinforce the Ghoul-kin with the worm-riding Hive Wardens half-way through.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 13
Ollie y Lizzie se enfrentan a un Guardián de la Colmena Ghoul-kin.

Don’t be afraid to really hurl these enemies at your party – none of them are particularly beefy, and higher level characters will be able to one-shot the smaller ones. Also, DMs/GMs, keep a close eye on the Ghoul-kin’s abilities: some have some dangerous (and very fun) things they can do to keep your party on their toes.

And don’t forget the “pustules” table. This is un monton de diversion.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 14

También hay muchos factores ambientales adecuadamente sombríos que puede aprovechar: piscinas de ácido, granjas de gusanos, bloques de carnicería. Todos estos están diseñados para alentar a los jugadores a pensar realmente en su posición en el tablero en lugar de simplemente saltar de cabeza a cualquier cosa que aparezca. Ollie, por ejemplo, casi se encuentra boca abajo en un charco de ácido después de saltar sobre la espalda de uno de los acosadores Ghoul-kin en medio de la pelea para tratar de matarlo.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 18
Un Ghoul-kin Stalker intenta arrojar a Ollie a un charco de ácido mientras intenta arrancarle la cabeza con sus propias manos. Modeladores y pintores de miniaturas de todo el mundo contienen la respiración, con el corazón en la boca, ante este tremendo acto de equilibrio.

With the room cleared, the Campaign Book then suggests players encounter either or both the Corpse-Chewer Corral and the Tunnels. These smaller transitory zones don’t have battlemaps like the first part of the encounter and the mini-boss that finishes it off. These are smaller, flexible additions to the module that can be inserted or left out as the DM/GM requires – depending on both how you may wish to run the encounter and any time constraints you have have.

Para tratar de acelerar a los jugadores, eso retumbo sospechoso, similar a un terremoto apareció de nuevo, and as such they all fled into the Tunnels to avoid a rockfall. They then managed to silently sneak into the Brood-Sire’s Demesne, the second mapped part of the encounter.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 34
“Sssh, I don’t think they’ve seen us…”

The Brood-Sire is a mini-boss. He’s an intimidating foe, sure, especially when backed up by his ghouls, but he’s not an impossible task for an experienced adventure party. He’s also the perfect baddie to build some lore around, especially if you’re running a longer campaign.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 33
Alone, he’s tough. With two of his biggest, baddest buddies, he’s a nightmare. With an entire hive of nasties? Downright deadly.

Without spoiling too much for would-be parties, the battle with the Brood-Sire is about strength and endurance. He’s a monstrous, meaty meanie backed up by a near-infinite supply of smaller, but no less angry, minions.

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In the absence of a proper miniature, Dave’s Staff of the Python takes the form of a suitably green-coloured D4.

El grupo deberá ser inteligente con su enfoque y selectivo con sus hechizos. El Brood-Sire, él mismo un enemigo imponente capaz de arrancar bultos del grupo de jugadores, está respaldado por su suministro casi infinito de creaciones de Ghoul-kin, que lucharán hasta el último momento para defenderlo.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 6

Ejecutado correctamente, el encuentro con Brood-Sire tiene el potencial de ser un momento sumamente memorable para cualquier campaña. Su cripta-laboratorio llena de horrores, el parloteo de sus malvados demonios, su propia presencia aterradora: de eso están hechas las leyendas de D&D.

Our players prevailed against the Brood-Sire – by the skins of their collective teeth. As testimony to how tough the encounter can be, both Rich and Lizzie were brought to the very brink and were only saved by several timely heals from Dave (and Ollie kicking the living snot out of everything).

The laboratory falls still. The stench remains, as do the ghosts of the unspeakable horrors that took place here, but you finally have a way out. On the far side of the chamber is a heavy crypt door, slightly ajar, and beyond it a set of steps leading upwards. There is the faintest glimmer of light at the end of it – not weak, anaemic torchlight like that which fills the rest of the Ghoul-kin’s hive, but starlight: distant, faint. The world above beckons – not the ink-black, storm-scarred sky of the Old Kingdom, but the clear heavens of the rest of the world.

Whatever awaits them next? Surely it couldn’t be un gusano enorme y enojado? No.

How to Play Epic Encounters: Hive of the Ghoul-kin – Summary

Una vez más, el veredicto de los D&Ders residentes de FauxHammer.com fue unánime: Hive of the Ghoul-kin es muy divertido. Las miniaturas son excelentes y maravillosamente variadas, y fueron geniales para aumentar la emoción en el tablero.

Once the players were familiar with each type of monster, their appearances in later parts of the encounter elicited the appropriate reactions you’d want as a DM/GM. The small Reavers drew eye-rolls and cries “not these guys again”, from the group. When the two hulking Ghoul-kin Bulwarks lumbered into view during the Brood-Sire fight, the colour visibly drained from some of the faces around the table. Ollie even described the sinewy, canine-like Ghoul-kin Stalker “truly cursed” for its twisted appearance. In fact, he hated the way it looked so much he made it his priority to kill them both when they first appeared.

Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 3

From a DM/GM perspective, Hive of the Ghoul-kin is a fantastic resource that really helps bring a D&D session to life. It’s not restrictive in how it plays, and there’s plenty of flexibility afforded across the entire encounter (for example, we didn’t head to the Corpse-Chewer Corrals).

Puede ejecutar fácilmente toda la sesión solo con los recursos de este cuadro y no tiene necesidad de usar nada más. Los mapas son geniales, los minis son fantásticos y hay ideas más que suficientes en el Folleto de campaña para seguir adelante. Llenamos cuatro horas con esta caja, y eso fue conmigo apurando la fiesta en algunos puntos.

There’s a lot here, and all of it to like. Tons of fun for players, and easy to implement for DMs/GMs, Hive of the Ghoul-kin is a no-brainer. Grab yourself a copy, and plunge your D&D party into a horrific body-horror nightmare at your next session.

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Encuentros épicos Hive of the Ghoul-kin Playtesting 19

If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to check out our Reseña de Hive of the Ghoul-kin for a close look at the rest of the box. You won’t be disappointed.

Una vez más, muchas gracias a La mesa de juegos por hospedarnos!

Editor’s note: the flavour text that has been inserted throughout this article does not originate from within the Hive of the Ghoul-kin Campaign Booklet. This was written by Rob as part of his planning and was used throughout the live session.


Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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