Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ancient Sagas of Everlance 6/29-7/13

This update covers sessions played on 6/29, 7/6, and 7/13. The current cast of character is as follows:

Brother Caswyn - Priest of Gloriana
Myshkin - Paladin
Beska - Wizard
Gifilte - Monk of love

Towerday, 27th Arist, 1096 md.

Like a bolt from the blue, sudden, violent, and foretelling stormy weather, Gloriana will light the path.

The people of Caer Brennau were greatly relieved to hear of our success. So much so that we’ve not had to pay for a meal or a bed or a drink. I’ve tried to turn some of this generosity to more worthy causes, but my massive hangover clearly indicates that at least last night I was not as successful as I might otherwise have been.

Gloriana has also very clearly indicated that she’s ready for me to get back to my work, and she delivered my next task right into our laps. Caravan guard duty. Unexpected, and even mundane, except for the fact that the Tample of Gloriana in the City of Cam has commissioned a statue from Olstat, a sculptor that lives here in Caer Brennau. Olstat will be traveling with the caravan as it makes it’s way north.

However, we weren’t hired to protect him, but rather to protect a young woman by the name of Kira, the daughter of Halmara the guildmaster. Kira is betrothed to some lordling in Cam.

Thunderday 29th Arist, 1096 md.
30th Arist, 1096 md.

Just as Gloriana stands among her divine brothers and sisters, so to must her followers stand with those who honor other gods, as long as the cause is just.

Two days on the road, and the only thing we’ve seen of Kira is her curtained carriage. No shock, since it turns out that she’s not actually in it. She was kidnapped (maybe) before the caravan left.

Severno, the caravan master, has asked Myshkin and I to ride ahead and see to the truth of the ransom note, and negotiate for her release. If there’s a good chance, try to rescue her.

Two passengers from the south will be joining us, a priest of the god of love named Gifilte, and a wizard named Beska. We ride in the morning.

1st Erstdain (first day of spring), 1096 md.

Gloriana’s anger is a cleansing storm. Once it is past, the world shines, as the offending skum has been washed away.

The day did not start out promising. Storm clouds hung low in the sky all morning, dark and threatening. We came upon a barrier in the road, a makeshift stop manned by 4 “tax collectors”. We killed 2, captured one and drove the last off. Not much further along some uniformed tax collectors received not only taxes, but the highwayman we’d captured, who had yet to actually regain consciousness. I fear I was a little… overzealous in the fight.

A short time later, still a couple of hours away from the Red Mug Inn (our destination for the night) the clouds delivered what they’d been promising. We made it to the inn looking like a pack of drowned rats. The curried owlbear chop and surprise stag essence ale almost made up for it.

2nd Erstdain, 1096 md.

Gloriana hold both sword and shield. Your duty is to protect as often as it is to attack.

The day was bright and clear, and after a filling breakfast, we followed the instructions on the note to the circle of oaks where we were to light two signal fires. However we found some tracks that lead off some distance, across a stream to an old ruin. Finding nothing there, we returned to the hill, and lit the fires.

A rider arrived after a time bearing a red flag with a yellow half moon. I spoke with him, he demanded 5000 gold for Kira’s release. I offered him 500. He rode off, saying he’d be back in 2 days with Kira, and that we’d better have the 5,000gp.

We followed him back to his camp, and found a well defended small fort. A quick count from a fair distance away suggested that there were at least a dozen bandits that we could see. We retreated back to the inn without being spotted.

We discussed trying to recruit some local muscle to roust the bandits from their hideout, but after some tentative inquiries, it seemed the bandits *were* the local muscle. We decided to return to the caravan and report our findings to Severno.

3rd Erstdain, 1096 md.

In the mud, blood, and gore following a battle is where you must prove your mettle to Gloriana.

More riding in the rain. Servano wasn’t thrilled with our report, but decided to pay, rather than risk the caravan in a rescue attempt.

4th Erstdain, 1096 md.

Most laws are of man, and bend like reeds. Gloriana’s law is like steel, and only bends to prevent the whole from breaking in the heat of battle.

The exchange was successful. The bandits were in force, but they kept their word. This whole experience sits with me like a bad meal. I will pass back this way, and the bandits will answer for their unlawful behavior.

5th Erstdain, 1096 md.

A glorious end is a mug of ale, and a sword hung above a warm hearth. Let your enemy die in battle.

Servano asked us to ride ahead to the next town to deliver a message to the outrider. We took the sealed envelope and headed out. After stopping for a quick lunch we were set upon by a great white reptile. My companions all were thrown from their horses as the beast charged. Gloriana smiled upon me, and I managed to not only keep my seat, but bring the mount around behind the lizard. Though I didn’t land a single blow, my presence, and the stamping of the horse proved enough of a distraction to allow my companions to bring the beast down.

As the weather was fine, and we’d made good time, we settled in for a true lunch of fresh steaks.

We arrived in Weeberry mid afternoon, and quickly found the Beggar and Rose Inn. Some yokel tried to pick a fight with me, and when that didn’t work, with another patron. I invoked the power of Gloriana to point out that this was a poor choice on his part.

While I was out for a walk, another trouble maker named Raylan asked us to retrieve a dagger from a goblin cave. He claimed the cave was on Artis Folcey’s land, a local farmer of bad temper. The serving girl said the land we were directed to belongs to Thale Gorfin, and she didn’t know any Artis…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prince Charming Reanimator @ Charm City Gameday

On Saturday 7/19, at the Charm City Gameday held at Games and Stuff, I ran +Daniel Bishop’s FT0 Prince Charming, Reanimator.

***This post contains spoilers***

Originally I had opened my table for 8 players. It filled, I got an e-mail asking to join in over the cap, and then had 3 cancel before the day. So when the game started, I had 5 players - Zach, Julie, Mike, Doug, and his daughter M. Everyone got 4 level-0 pregens. Unlike the last time, there wasn’t much time spent picking characters. A quick glance at the pile, and then grabbing 4 at random.

I gave the basic intro given, I asked them what path they’d like to use. They wisely chose the narrow path. No one was much interested in looking around outside the wall. (Note to self: have the PCs make a passive wisdom check to notice things). The bone strewn courtyard kinda freaked them out. They discussed heading straight for the inner keep but opted to check out the stables first.

It was about this point that Josh and Beth joined in. I really should have had the 5 other PCs give up a character each, and have everyone run 3 characters… Character deaths would quickly begin to whittle down their numbers anyway.



M had one of her characters enter the kitchen, once the hole was discovered. And, the vile drop crawler tried to eat her face. It failed, and unlike the last party that pulled back, there was a quick succession of characters crawling through the hole, popping up, taking a swing, and then getting shoved out of the way by the next character. One of the vile drop crawlers landed on a dwarf mushroom farmer, killing him instantly (first PC death of the morning). The number of missed attacks on that one landed on the poor dwarf’s corpse to the point where there wasn’t a whole lot left by the end of the fight.

One thing that cheered my old school heart, it only took them a moment to loot their companion’s corpse.

From the stable, they circled around the castle wall, checking out the collapsed tower, skipping Dr. Chadwick’s tower, and into the chapel. The party decided to all pray together, and I let them each roll once for their lawful characters. They also opted to leave the one farmer’s goose here until they found the princess.

The party then headed up to the upper courtyard, where the Hobyahs popped up out of the ground, and started attacking. Due to really good initiative rolls, followed by solid attacks, by the time it was the Hobyah’s turn, they were already down to half their number. I think I killed one or two PCs with the hobyahs. By this point the PCs had had enough, and were ready to find the princess.

One of the halflings went up to the keep door, and trying to look super cool, tried to push the door open/over one handed. This didn’t go well, and another character pointed out that the door opened out, not in.

Slamming my hand on the table was much less effective on a sturdier table.

The players divided up to search the great hall, discovering a fair amount of loot. The fairy princesses handed out the sword, shield and mirror. M’s characters (with the mirror) went straight up the balcony, and without waiting for the rest of the party threw open the door, and spied the pile of roses.

I was most impressed when she checked out the pile with the mirror. The rest of the part swarmed up the stairs and heroically charged the dragon. All except Julie’s characters, who, with the dragon distracted by the guy with the flaming sword, checked the doors to either side, first discovering the spinning room, then the room without the floor.

Again, super impressed when M ran over to look with her mirror, and saw the truth of the situation for herself.

The fight with the rose dragon… Ugh… I blame my dice. Multiple fumbles. Otherwise there would have been many more deaths before the flaming sword of truth wielding mercenary lopped the dragon’s head off. He put a rose on his lapel.

When it was suggested that maybe someone should try to kiss the princess before turning her over to Prince Charming, M (wisely) checked the mirror, thus ending all talk of kissing.

The party then took the princess to the chapel, and prayed for her. (Inventive, I liked it). The mercenary decided to head back for the gold from the spinning wheel. Of course I had him roll a agility check! And he failed, but made the save to only fall asleep. They collected him, and the princess, and returned the way they came.

Things with the Prince and Princess Aurora went was scripted, except the party decided not to heed the demon, and opted to attack the now undead princess. 1d16 damage didn’t even phase them.

0_o

2 attacks a round at 1d16 damage didn’t either.

o_0

Most of them chased her through the woods.

The halfling who stuck around the sleeping mercenary decided to take advantage of the chaos and snagged the prince’s syringe and box of 3 glowing blue vials. Like a dose of speed, he popped up, taking a hit on his physical stats. The halfling (little maniac) then stuck him twice more, using all of the prince’s serum.

I was flabbergasted.

All this going on while the rest of the party is beating down on the fleeing princess, and she’s killing on average 1 PC a round (usually whichever one was last to hit her). The PCs were helped by a trio of criticals (2 to the eyes!), but she just wouldn’t drop. The mercenary, took up the sword of truth, snagged the Shield of Truth, and stood toe to toe with the princess. This is about when the undead horde showed up, and most of the party was ready to flee. It probably helped that I reminded them that they had done more than twice the damage to the Princess than they'd done to the dragon, and she wasn't slowing down any that they could tell.

Josh (the merc’s player) engaged me in a whispered conversation, and then had the merc offer her his services.

0_o WTF?!?!?!?

And that’s where it ended. I had such a blast running this group through FT0. I told them that the group that gets to play FT1 isn’t going to be happy with their choices!

Mad props to Daniel Bishop for writing such an engaging scenario. If you're impressed (and you should be) go vote for FT0 for an ENnie under the Best Electronic Book category.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Contest Reminder: Free RPG Day Modules

I'm giving away these 4 Free RPG Day items.


LotFP's The Doom-Cave of the Crystal Headed Children,
The DCC/X-Crawl module
Chooseomatic Time Travel Dinosaur Mesozoic Mayhem book
Castles and Crusades Druid's Lament

To win, all you need to do is e-mail me a random table. Thus far, I've gotten only 2 entries...

Just send in your table to davidbrawley at gmail dot com

New Monster: Krol’ara

Nimble eased his tools out of the lock. “Done” he declared softly.

“Ready?” Rathgar asked.

His companions nodded and Feris dimmed his were-light.

The castle corridor was silent as Nimble slowly pulled the door open. Rathgar stood, shield raised, sword ready, and peered into the darkness of the opening doorway. The room beyond was large, and full of pedestals.

Once the door was open enough, Rathgar, followed by Allianora stepped in and to the side of the door, scanning for danger. Spying none, they looked about the room. Each pedestal stool about 4 feet tall, and on each was a unique urn. Some were ceramic, others clay, and a few looked like copper. Most were intricately decorated, painted, and embellished.

“Interesting collection.” Nimble said, breaking the silence. “I could find a buyer for these.”

“Later. We need to find the Baron.”

“There’s a door further on.” Alolianora pointed to the dark side of the room. “Check it, or continue down the hall?”

“Check it” Feris voted. Rathgar and Nimble nodded in agreement.

Nimble eased the door to the hall closed behind them, and they made their way to the far side of the room, skirting along the edge.

Nimble froze “Did you hear that?”

His companions paused, and from the middle of the room, they heard one of the unrs knock, as if something was pushing to get out.

It knocked again.

And again…

And again, this time causing the urn to rattle on the pillar. Then silence.

Everyone held still, not even breathing, and waited… and another knock, rattle, and a crash of ceramic on stone. Feris flared his light to it’s full brilliance, revealing a thick coil of black smoke that resolved into a worm like shape, held up by two thin arms and sporting a bright red eye, that blinked once, and turned toward them. Its bulky form scampered toward them with remarkable agility and utter disregard for the pillars knocked aside, and urns sent crashing to the floor.



Krol’ara: Init +2; Atk Smoke Tendril +3 melee (1d6+2); AC 16; HD 2d6; Move 40'; Act 1d20; SP Half damage from non-magical weapons; SV Fort +0, Ref +3, Wil +6; AL C.

This monstrous creature is not native to this plane, and even when bound here it has difficulty maintaining its form. It always looks less than solid, shedding black smoke constantly. It takes the form of a vaguely wormlike being that is supported and propelled by two thin boneless arms. The rear half of the worm hovers just above the ground. The front of the worm is a giant red eye. It has no discernable mouth, but a tendril of smoke can whip out that causes a burning sensation, and looks like frostbite on anyone it touches.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Free RPG Day Redux

I'm off running Daniel Bishop's ENnie Nominated DCC adventure Prince Charming, Reanimator today, but I wanted to leave you with something cool, and free stuff is always cool...

I managed to snag a few extra things from my FLGS from Free RPG Day. I got an extra copy of The Doom-Cave of the Crystal Headed Children, The DCC/X-Crawl module, and the Chooseomatic Time Travel Dinosaur Mesozoic Mayhem book. And I'm not really interested in keeping my Castles and Crusades Druid's Lament. I'm thinking I should just give them away, seeing as they're free... but how to choose?



How about I roll a random chart? It's thematic. So if you want a chance to win one of these books, e-mail me a random chart at davidbrawley at gmail dot com. I'll hold this open for a week, so you've got till midnight July 25th to get me your entries.

And because I don't want to leave you without anything today, here's The Hidden Way, a DCC one page dungeon based on a little map that Matt Jackson posted yesterday on G+.



Good luck with the contest, and may the dice be in your favor!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Awesomeness

Between getting ready to run DCC at Charm City Gameday, finishing up my entry for Tenkar's OSR Superstar Challenge (anyone want to give this an editorial once over?), and reading 5e, I haven't really had the time to put into the blog, and I feel bad about that. I have post ideas, but I need to sit down with them and spend some time hammering them out. Until I get to do that, here's a couple of cool pictures to make your Friday even better.

This is what a transformer should look like

Just cause the dragon is made of roses, doesn't mean it won't TPK your ass!

Who says feathers will make it look like a chicken?