Friday, July 13, 2018

Jessica Jones: Season 2 Review

Over the 4th of July, I powered through 11 episodes of Luke Cage, and then finished up the last 2 of the season the next day, and I finished up Jessica Jones back in June.

Today it about JJ, next week I'll write about LC.

Spoilers Below!

Season 2 of JJ wasn’t as tight as the first (when is it ever?) but was still a solid season. Jessica is a very messed up person for a variety of reasons, the least of which (or maybe just the most recent) is Killgrave’s influence. This season dives head first into the early headfucks that Jessica has to deal with in her life, from her biological family to the adoptive one. Then again, Killgrave isn’t entirely absent either.

The fact that her mother survived the car crash that killed her family, and is powered like her but a homicidal maniac, makes Jessica question her own killings. It comes so easily to her mother, and she shrugs off the guilt. The scientist who made them powered is now her mother's lover.

While all that is going on, Trish is having her own breakdown as she looks for ways to become powered herself. I've got to admit that her storyline was the weakest this season. It just wasn't interesting. Jeri Hogarth is terminally ill, and desperately looking for a cure. Malcolm meanwhile is growing in probably the most healthy way of anyone in the show.

Of the new characters introduced, the new super Oscar and his son are my favorites.

Overall, I enjoyed this season, though it didn’t grab my attention the same way the first season did. It was still better than season 2 of Daredevil.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Stonehell: Protomatter Pool

Session 70 was played on 6/16

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)

Beyond the hall of wizard portraits is a magically locked door, and one that was more powerful than Eiric could handle at this point. She decided to try something new... She and Brie would cast Knock together! As the spell took hold, the door resisted at first, but then clicked open. Within the cross shaped chamber was a triangular pool of greyish gently bubbling liquid. Karl and Koltic go on to investigate, while everyone else stays outside. Karl pokes the liquid with his 10’ pole, and then flings some of the goo at Scar, who cries. Eiric collects a sample of the goo.

From down the hall come rattling 6 ape-like skeleton creatures… they’re more resist Darryl’s and Koltic’s turning attempts than regular skeletons, and 2 of them charge into the party. Lex drops the first, while Orpheus and Darryl drop the second.

Deciding they’ve explored enough, they head back. On level 1, in the hall of statues, a group of warty goblins cowers at the back of the hall. The party decides it isn’t even worth their time, and they leave the room. Then a goblin shouts “Yeah, that’s right! Run from the Chosen of Zunbar.”

“Oh hell no” Eiric replies and Karl and Orpheus charge in and grab one goblin, and drag him out before Eiric tosses a fireball into the room, damaging many of the statues and killing all of the goblins. Lubnuz the Goblin, while peeing himself, explanes that Zunbar has taken this tribe as his own, and mostly hangs out in the water cave. Brie, who speaks goblin, is assigned to watch over him.

Back in town, the vial of goo is identified by Feris the wizard as the protomater he was looking for. He needs 5 gallons before he’ll make the magic weapon. There’s some intense negotiation and it’s finally settled that he’ll make them a magic mace and dagger for 500gp and a 5 gallon container of protomater.

While in town, Lex parties, and ends up helping out a local magistrate.
A-A-Ron does… something, but won’t talk about it. His grin suggests it was successful though.
Orpheus buys out several of the neighbors so the orphanage can expand into a full cloister.
Brie and Darryl spend some time in the stacks researching. Lubnuz thinks it’s boring.

Gains: Protomatter
Kills: Goblins, Bone Monkeys

Monday, July 9, 2018

New Spell: Demon's Rage

Hekreth, First Sorcerer of the Hobgoblin VII Expeditionary force marched in front of his personal guard. “In the coming battle, we expect to meet fierce resistance. Kelgath demands that we provide some advantage. You will be that advantage. I have devised a new formula which will imbue you with increased strength and ferocity. Before we march into battle however, we’re going to test the effectiveness of it.”

Well trained, loyal, and fearful of the sorcerer’s powers, the troops remained at attention. Only a slight tensing of their jaws betrayed any concern.

“Kelgath has provided me a captured scout to test my magic on. You will kill him, or die trying.”

The shackled halfling was carried by 2 guards out of Hekreth’s tent, his face smeared with mud, and swollen with a black eye. The troops chuckled incredulously.

“You monsters!” He spat “You’ll never take the village!”

“These are the fierce foes that Kelgath is concerned about?” The first of the Guard asks.

“Indeed. They may be small, but they are cunning. You will see. And, First, you will have the honor of combat against this one. Unchain him.”

The guards removed the shackles from the halfling, and Hekreth dropped a short sword before the kneeling figure.

“You can just kill me. I won’t be your plaything.”

“Oh, yet you will…” Hekreth chanted out a short phrase, and tapped the halfling on the forehead before stepping back. The halfling cried out in pain, clutching his head. The cry shifted in tone, and became a growl. Removing his hands from his face he looked up at Hekreth. His eyes glowed red, and small horns had sprouted from his cheek bones and his chin. Grabbing the sword, he jumped to his feet and swung at the sorcerer. The First’s own sword stopped the blow, and the little halfling went at him, blade flashing.

Magic User Spell
Level 2
Demon's Rage
Range: Touch
Duration: 2 rounds per caster level
Effect: Grants demonic strength to up to 2 individuals

When touched, the recipients will be infused with demonic energy that will result in painful minor changes to their appearance. For the duration of the spell, the recipients of the enchantment will receive a +3 bonus to all attack and damage rolls. On any round the recipient is unable to attack someone they will take 1d3 points of damage. When the spell ends the recipient will be at -1 to attack and damage rolls for the next 10 minutes. For the duration of the spell, the recipients will be affected by Protection from Evil and other similar spells.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Stonehell General Update...

As I look at what's transpired in Stonehell, the release of Ka-Nefar is probably the biggest change. Everything else has been merely a cleaning out of the dungeon. Ka-Nefar adds something to it. As he solidifies his hold on upper levels of Stonehell, the nexus feeds his power in the guise of the Black Sun. This allows the dungeon to restock, and fill with harder things than otherwise might initially appear. But the changes are all tied to Ka-Nefar. If he is defeated, the influence of the Black Sun will wane.

Level 1 - Lots of insect swarms and giant insects - 2/6 chance for random encounters
Quiet Halls Lots of lesser undead. LOTS! Mal is now a mummy lord
Contested, and Kobold Korners each commanded by a mummy lord.
Antechamber isn't bothered with much, but the Zunbar the Troll has moved in and has attracted a tribe of goblins who've been eating troll flesh. Chosen of Zunbar.

Level 2 - 2/6 chance for random encounters
Asylum - proliferation of ghosts, shadows and other non/semi-corporeal monsters.
Reptile House - Lizardmen wights, lots of roving lesser undead.
Without Doors - ghosts, Hobgoblins Ghouls, & Slimes
Hobgoblin - Hobgoblin Ghouls & Wights

Level 3
Dorm - Rats are super upset, undead moving in. Harpies are feeling the squeeze, move back into shaft as gargoyle tribe cut down.
Hex - Fulkith hired gobgoblins and bugbears. The bugbears have been paid to work for the party, hobgoblins figured it out.

Level 5
With the upper levels solidified, Ka-Nefar is bringing the fight to the vampire lord, and has destroyed his back up coffin, and is expanding into that level. Last of the Mummy Lords is heading up that fight.

Major NPCs
Rocky has several old messages for Eiric from Sniv. Misses everyone's visits. The goblins are very talkative, so that keeps him from being lonely.
Sniv has moved whole tribe to the caves, getting ready to leave the area.
Zunbar isn't really with it, but likes how the goblins bring him things, spends lots of time in the water.
Wererats have rats posted all over to keep an eye on the party. Want Undead dealt with. Thinking about heading deeper to get away from them, but out of treasure.
Lachkis thinks the party might be useful
Fulkith (Wiz 9) warned by hobgoblins of bugbear treachery, Bugbear chief maims takes all the gold. Rest of the bugbears mad about losing the extra pay. Will revolt if given the chance.

What's next? I don't know...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stonehell: Rats and Snakes

Session 68 was played on 5/26. I welcomed a new player this week, Chris, player of Thorin from my 5e game, who decided to take over Koltic.

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 1 (Chris)

As Koltic’s first act as a cleric, he spends a day tending to the sick, and manages to catch the plague, and share it with the party. Alias, Neon, Dash, GoMat, and most of the orphans come down with bad symptoms, but thankfully no one dies.

Eiric’s research shows that to unlock the doors found in the Monster Dorm will require a Knock spell cast by a 10th level wizard. Unfortunately the highest level wizard currently in the guild is only 9th level. For now, the doors stay sealed…

Into the dungeon, the party makes it down to the second level before being set upon by 4 Mummy Wardens. Darryl turns one, and the others are killed before their glaves can do much damage to the party.

Down on the 3rd level Karl stops and gets some beer from the magical dwarven mead hall, and then the party is set upon by shadows! They’re dispersed.

At the giant boulder the party starts to chip away with their tools, when a flood of rats emerges from under the sides of the boulder, and runs over everyone's’ feet and off into the darkness. Once everyone calms down again, and are about to get back to work, a raven haired woman steps out of the darkness. Her black and yellow checkered scarf is her most notable accessory, and she identifies herself as Esmalia, sister to the Ghost Beggars chief (long since dead). She asks the party to desist. The party declines. She threatens the party. They’re unimpressed. However, while she’s been talking, other wererats have gone for help…

From behind Esmalia, a trio of figures step into the torchlight. 2 hulking ogres with blindfolds escorting a woman in a black lace dress with a black veil.

Brie swears, and turns away from the trio and hisses at Eiric “Medusa!” There was a beat pause and Eiric calls for an immediate retreat. The party runs! Deciding that the Dorm is explored enough for now, the party heads over into the section of the 3rd flood that contains the elevator.

The first room they come to has a trio of off duty Bugbears! Rather than slaughter them, they talk to them… and find out they work for Kulkith! Eiric decides to outbid Fulkith, and pays them about 10x what he’s paying them. She sends the bugbears to inform the rest of the clan, except the chief who is probably charmed by the wizard… Or, at least that’s what she and Karl suspect.

Leaving the Bugbears the party continues on and finds an old room that smells of cat pee, and then further on a shaft with a winding circular staircase. With a shrug, they begin to climb down. After over 150’ they drop a torch, and catch sight of a mosaic tiled floor. They opt to climb back up… Lex, Darryl, Dash, Scar, and Cromwell all puke at some point during the climb.

Just as they reach the top, the wall cracks, and then bursts open, and 3 iron statues come out swinging!

Kills: Mummy Wardens, Shadows