Friday, September 22, 2017

Tales from the Floating Vagabond: Parrot Head-case

This week's 5e game at the FLGS was off, since half the group had other events and weren't going to make it. Rather than just cancel outright, I decided to run Tales from the Floating Vagabond, a game I haven't pulled off the shelf since... 2002? And even then, I think I only ever ran it once. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to dust it off.

Plus, I came up with an idea for a ridiculous Jimmy Buffett themed adventure. After sketching down the outline for the adventure, I made up 4 pre-gens:
A Disgustingly Cute Furry Thing Bounty Hunter
Rhino-man Swashbuckler
Robot Tough Guy
Bird-brained Scientist

My 2 players picked the robot and the rhino. After going over the basics of the system, I jumped right into the scenario. Sadly, neither of them were parrot-heads, so the references were completely lost on them. On the upside, as insane as it was, they still had fun.

This is what I wrote up initially:
Space Nazis have stolen the Last Shaker of Salt, and there's a parrot-head convention arriving in hours!! (Just as soon as the concert is over!!) Spit offers a diamond as big as a ritz for getting it back.


Traffic snarled, cars, ships, boats, and planes abandoned all over the place.
Cultural Infidels! Space Nazis have the shaker of salt, but can't get away due to the traffic jam.
·   Billy is running from the big man, who aims to cut him up for sleeping with his woman. Wants protection.
·   Captain America is helping an old mother through the jam, will ask for their help with the busload of other old ladies. They're actually bimbos with guns, who try to abduct him!
·   Hippolyte hates the Parrot Heads just slightly more than he hates Space Nazis. Gives rocket ship to the space station to the Nazis.

USS Zydecoldsmobile –
·   How do you drive this thing?!?
·   What do you mean there's no gas? Who's paying?
·   Jamaica Mistake-a, getting shot at trying to land in Morant Bay

Space Station: Chase and Fights as Space Nazis make for their Shark Class Ship docked in Montego Bay
·   Desdemona's Bake Shop "Cosmic Muffin",
·   Joe Merchant hiding from Frank Bama and hemorrhoid-ointment heiress Trevor Kane,
·   Movie Theater w/ Frank & Lola watching adult movie,
·   Ellis Dee has the shakes and needs a drink.
·   Dance Hall & Tiki Bar - Hokey Pokey, Carmen, Hula/Limbo Contest

Back in time for the party???

***

Not all the ideas above got used, and of course things went sideways pretty quickly. With laser-like focus on the Space Nazis, the rhino decided to abandon Captain America to the Bimbos, and I skipped Billy since it was repetitive with Cap.

Hippolyte sold his rocket to the Space Nazis for *those* 20 pieces of silver. The players took the silver, and the keys to the Zydecoldsmobile.

Rhino couldn't figure out how to drive stick, but "The Machine!" could. But they realized they were low on gas, so pulled into the station to get some, and paid with the silver. The Machine kept 5 of the 20 sp. Continuing on, the Jamaican Space Station started shooting at them, thinking they were smuggling Ganja. The party floored it through the shooting, and busted into the docking bay. Unfortunately luck wasn't with them, and the cops showed up. Trying to prove that they weren't smugglers, they popped the trunk open, revealing several bales of weed. They ended up spacing the cops by lowering the force field.

Ducking into the maintenance corridors, they get lost, steal a maintenance worker's outfit (which doesn't fit either of them), cash, and ID card, and find their way out into the main station. The Rhino seduces Desdemona and they find the Space Nazis drinking coffee outside the cafe at about the same time Billy Joel runs past, followed by a bunch of rabid fans. In the confusion, some of the Space Nazis get away, rushing into the movie theater, where they take Frank and Lola hostage. The Machine! tries to get the drop on the Space Nazis, but ends up shooting Frank and Lola. The Space Nazis run for it, cutting through the Tiki Bar.

Everyone in the bar is watching Carmen dance. The Machine! shoots twice into the ceiling, causing a panic. They catch up with the Space Nazis back out in the main corridor, where one tries to wrestle with The Machine! and mostly just ends up awkwardly hugging him, while straddling The Machine!'s crotch mounted gun. The Rhino uses his rapier to duel with the last Space Nazi, gets shot, makes his strength check to remain standing, and then takes him out. They grab the shaker, and run off to the shuttle bay.


Getting into the Space Nazi's rocket, they try to hotwire it, but end up setting it on fire, and so move over to the Federation Shuttle, taking it back down to the Floating Vagabond just ahead of the crowd of Parrot Heads. Spit, the bartender takes out a box of ritz crackers, and pulls out a diamond, the size of one of the crackers. They feel like they deserve more, but Spit's cool way beats theirs, and they back down.

***
A fun time was had by all, and the next time D&D is off, I'll probably run more Tales from the Floating Vagabond!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Demon Disappointment

I was really looking forward to last night's game. We'd wrapped up the previous session with the party having barricaded the hallway between the Asylum and the Reptile House, and the hobgoblins having released the demon they'd summoned. It had just rounded the corner, ready to charge the 50' to their front line and lay into them. 

The demon the party faced in Stonehell was based on the manscorpion monster, one I've been dying to use since I first got the RC, and never found a good place to put one in. Now I have... on steroids! And in spite of the cool stuff I wrote above, I just ran it as a manscorpion with the basic template. Didn't feel it needed any additional powers. The beast hits like a ton of bricks, it's fast, and since it's mostly immune to the stuff the hirelings can throw at it, there are only a few characters who can do much directly. I figured that being a pretty basic, if beefy demon, that it would have the usual resistance to fire damage. 

Sadly, a pair of lightning bolts (one failed save, one passed), and a critical hit with a magic arrow were actually enough to take it down before it had the chance to reach melee range. The line of hobgoblin crossbows (12) backed up by a lieutenant and the army priest barely slowed the rest of the party down. 

It's kind of rough having a big bad go down so quickly just because of a couple of bad initiative rolls. I really wanted to see him tear into the line. More importantly, so did the hobgoblin commander. I need to sit down again and figure out what his strategy is going to be.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Defenders

It took me 2 weeks to get around to watching Marvel's The Defenders on Netflix. It's taken another 2 to get around to actually writing about it. That it took me a while to do it says nothing about how much I enjoyed it, because I enjoyed it a LOT!

There are going to be some spoilers in this review.


The Defenders is definitely a case of the sum being greater than the parts, which is impressive given how good (most) of it's parts are. And yes, I'm talking about Iron Fist. Danny Rand was most definitely the weak link in the lineup, and like many other fans, I was so looking forward to the rest of the group slamming him. And they did. He's a very self important character, and having Luke and Jessica there to take him down a notch was not just in keeping with their characters, but also satisfying as a viewer.



At only 8 episodes, it was very tight and went quickly. Other reviews I've read complained that the first two episodes dragged a bit. I didn't feel it. I thought that things moved along at a good clip, though definitely picking up speed as it went.

Being a Marvel Netflix show, there was the requisite hallway fight, but I have to admit, it kinda loses something when there are 4 protagonists fighting in the same hallway. I'm also not sure that the way the fight was cut worked in it's favor. The previous hallway fights were very smooth with the camera work. This one felt choppy.


While not a comedy, there were a few laugh out loud moments, one of which I actually had to pause the show to recover from. It happens when Jessica crashes the party in the restaurant.

I was thrilled with the returning characters outside the core group. Stick, Night Nurse, Foggy, Colleen Wing, Seeing them interacting with each other, and with the protagonists they usually don't interact with is great.

Foggy: Most people call me Foggy
Luke Cage: And you let them?

Then there's The Hand! Madam Gao is of course still wonderful. Sigourney Weaver's character Alexandra is great. I thought they handled her, and the rest of the Hand's leadership really well. Seeing their motivations, their familiarity with each other play out was well done. The return of Electra was woven into the story flawlessly, and she had maybe the most interesting character arc of all. And when she killed... well... *grin* Unexpected!

Definitely well worth the watch, especially if you enjoyed any of the previous offerings. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Neverwhere

It feels a little silly to write a review for a book with over 300,000 ratings and 1500 reviews on Goodreads. It's like trying to come up with an original thought on Hamlet. What can I say that hasn't already been said? Maybe nothing... but let's find out.

I mostly read on the subway now, which could be the most appropriate place to have read Neverwhere. It could only be more appropriate if I was reading it on the London Underground, rather than the NYC subway. But every day, as the subway car departs the lights of the station into the dark tunnels, and through a world only briefly glimpsed, I wonder what's going on in the shadows, in the distant spots of light. Is there a giant albino alligator living somewhere down there? A magical other realm with vampires, rat-speakers, goblin markets, and even stranger things. Neil Gaiman took me into that world, and once again shows how modern fairy tails can be told.

Back in the 90's when I was in high school, I picked up a copy of White Wolf's Changeling. Mostly because I loved the cover, but also because I enjoyed Vampire and Werewolf, and wanted to see how they wove in the Fairy, but it ended up being one of those things where there was just too much going on. Nearly immortal vampires doing their political thing, werewolves doing their thing battling the modern world, and then in the same universe you've got all the fairy and mummy and... too much, and it never fit all together, so I never got to play it. Everyone was way too into their vampires to think about playing fay. And honestly, I didn't really get how to make it work either.

I wish I'd had Neverwhere to show me how it's done. Between Gaiman and de Lint, I really want to start running a modern fairy tale RPG game.

The only complaint I have about the whole thing is the final page... But then Gaiman is more optimistic than I am. I'd have cut the story off just a few lines earlier than he did.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Scenes from Stonehell: Hobgoblin Edition

The guard stood in the mouth of the narrow cave, looking out to the wilderness beyond. The trail hacked open by his century was beginning to fill in with weeds and vines, but it was still easily passable, and open enough that he spotted the marching troops well before they reached the cliff wall. Reinforcements had arrived!

***

"Centurion, welcome to Stonehell."

"How goes the campaign?

"Slower than I'd like. There have been some difficulties that I didn't initially expect. The narrow passages make moving units difficult, and there are too many locations where our enemies can circle back around. Plus there are a surprising number of inhabitants."

"Good slave fodder?"

"Some. The kobolds are useful. But there have been several groups of roving adventurers with powerful magics. They've been depopulating chunks of the dungeon, and now that you're here, we can begin to fortify them."

***

"We lost 2 patrols?" And there's now some cloud of sparkling energy blocking one doorway?"

"The omens are not favorable." The priest warned the commander.

The warlock huffed. "Omens. Bah. You're here to bring the Warrior's favor upon us, not worry like some auntie."

"As are you" the commander growled. "What do you offer?"

"The power of Tezragul, demon of the sands, bringer of death."

"You fool! You would summon that which you cannot control!"

"We would bind it within a mortal vessel, and trap it within a cage of spells and your blessed wards until we're ready to set it free."

***

Trustee Sniv stood in the hobgoblin stairway hall south of the Korners. He never liked leaving his domain, but the newly arrived Hobgoblin commander wanted a meeting. His bodyguards looked woefully inadequate when compared to the meatheads the Commander had with him.

"I'm concerned about the stories of those humans and dwarves stomping through our home."

"Oh, they don't cause any trouble here." Sniv assured the commander.

"And I want to make sure it stays that way." He waved vaguely at his troops "my men need a safe place to relax... to spend their pay."

"The Korners are always available to any and all who don't cause any problems."

"I'm very glad to hear that. We're expanding our holdings, and we'd like to hire you for some construction work."

"What sort of work?" Sniv asked brightly.

"Gate installation, mostly. We have the materials, but your people as so adept at construction..." A heavy sack of coins is dropped into Sniv's greedy claws.

"I think we can handle that."

"Good, and in addition this payment, I'm assigning a few of my troops as guards in the Korners to make sure no one causes any issues."

"I have guards." Sniv's brow furrowed.

"And now you'll have more! This will help make sure that none of my men become over indulgent with that mushroom brew of yours. And just like your guards, they'll only be armed with small clubs, nothing too lethal."

One of the hobgoblin guards grinned at Sniv. "That's... very... generous of you." Sniv replied, gently bouncing the bag in his claws. "I'm sure that the Korners will feel that much safer."

***

The volunteer stood in the circle, stripped nude, his skin carved with runes that oozed dark blood that pooled at his feet. Iron chains cuffed to his wrists were bolted to the 4 pillars supporting the intricately carved ceiling. The priest painted wards of protection, lit candles, and muttered prayers while the warlock grinned with savage pleasure. "Are you ready yet?" he asked impatiently.

With a final brush stroke, he nodded.

"Finally." Chanting in a language none of the other spoke, the warlock sliced open his hand, and pushed the wound against the mouth of the chained host. "Drink." The carved flesh began to glow a dull red, then a fiery orange, burning brighter until it glowed white. The warlock stepped back, and the glowing form screamed. Flesh tore, blood splattered, and when everyone blinked away the blindness from the light, a monster stood on 6 chitinous legs that sprouted from the torso of the scarred hobgoblin. A great scorpion's tail curled over the demon, waiving, and then moving faster than anyone could see shooting out toward the warlock. The stinger stopped mere inches away, right at the edge of the binding circle.

The commander stepped closer, but not too close to the circle. "Now what?"

"Now we wait for the adventurers to make their assault."

"Is it safe?"

"Not even remotely. Best pray that our priest has done his job."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Demon Rules for RC D&D

I'm sure somewhere out there, someone has written rules for using demons in old school D&D. This is my simple(?) take.

Basic Demon Template:
Demons are immune to sleep and charm spells. NOT hold spells. Silver weapons can cause either half damage (lesser demons) or 1 point of damage (greater demons) on a successful hit. Magic weapons cause full damage. Demons can be turned as undead 2HD stronger than their listed HD. i.e. a 7 HD demon is turned as a 9 HD undead. Demons will often have resistance to certain damage types, usually fire (auto half damage, save for none).

Demonic creatures are unnaturally strong and will gain an additional +1 damage modifier to any physical attack

As for the monsters themselves, stick this template on any other monster, and you've got a demon.



Additional Generic Demonic Powers. Different demons will have different powers.

Force Grab - Ranged attack w/in 30'. Save vs Paralysis or be thrown 2d6' taking 1d6 damage. If thrown against a wall, the demon may maintain the force, pinning the target in place.

Hellfire - Ranged Attack, 30/60/90 causing 1d6+1 damage per 3 HD of the demon

Corrupt - Melee attack, drains 1d3/1d4/1d6 points of Charisma. Damage can be restored with 1 week/point of damage or Greater Restoration (or better) magic.

Unholy Aura - Any lawful or neutral creatures within the aura must save vs spells or suffer a -2 penalty to attacks, AC, and Saving Throws while within the aura and for an additional 1d6 rounds. Aura size varies based on HD of demon.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Escort Missions are the Worst! Part 1

With ReaperCon now weeks away, it's time to actually buckle down and get SOMETHING painted. Since I've got the diorama minis already cleaned, primed, and ready to go, it seemed like a good idea to start there. But because I never do anything the easy way, and my plan calls for some serious OSL (one source light) from a pair of torches... which I think makes it TSL? Maybe DSL? Or would 2SL be better? Anyway, the 2 torches are going to be the only light sources in the dungeon scene, so I need to know where the walls are, where the figures and torches are before I can really start painting anything if I want to get the effect even close to correct. So, first wall and base building.

Step one was figuring out just how big a base I need. The advice I've read is basically "make the base as small as possible and still be able to tell the story." So, okay, big enough to fit the 3 heroes, the pregnant lady, and the monster cobbled together that's seconds from trying to eat the lead figure.


Next was fitting the wall onto the base that will split the group from the monster. Both the base and the wall are made from pink insulation foam. Once I got the wall cut out, I then cut out the doorway. I followed that up with carving in the stonework of the wall, and giving it a little depth by pressing in some of the stones. I'd be a little further along if I hadn't sliced open my index finger.... and I still need to add more texture to the stonework.



And that's where I'm at now. Still to do:
Carve the floor's flagstones
Texture the floor
Attach the wall to the base
Paint the minis
Paint the base
Attach the minis to base

It sounds so easy listed out like that. 6 weeks? Plenty of time...

Sadly that's JUST the diorama. Still hoping to enter something into Painters. Probably not gonna get anything entered into Open or Ordnance at this point.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Blogiversary

Back on this day 8 years ago, I started up the Tower of the Archmage.



So what does 8 years look like?
1897 posts
2508 comments
289 Followers
1,210,957 page views (at the time of writing)

Not bad at all. And it's been interesting the changes that both the blog has gone through, and the blog-o-sphere generally. Not to mention all the changes in life. Many, if not most of the blogs that I followed 8 years ago and inspired me to start doing my own thing, have gone silent. Some sit quiet, mothballed, waiting to be reactivated. Others remain only as dead links, sites nuked by their owners. A few have become infested by bots and squatters. (Sounds like a post-apocalyptic setting, doesn't it?) New ones have been built, and many of those have suffered the same fates. Yet the community of bloggers and gamers still seems to be going strong, and thank Gygax for that!

In addition I've got 2 ongoing games, a mountain of miniatures that I'm slowly working on chipping away at, while at the same time adding to!

I'm not even gonna try to guess where I'l be next year, let alone 8 years from now. But hopefully I'll still be gaming with friends at least, and if I'm lucky, I'll still have some followers who'll read about it.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Happy Star Trek Day!

On this day, September 9th, 1966, The USS Enterprise first appeared on TV screens across the USA. (The Canadians got it 2 days early, lucky S.O.B.s...)

In honor of the day, allow my to share a some pretty pictures of the grey lady herself.







And while she may not be "my" Enterprise, she came first. And I have to say, she's still a fine looking ship!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stonehell: That Burning(prior) Sensation

Session 45 was played on 8/22

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Gar)
- men at arms (E, Ulrich, Limdal)
- Naideen(dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Brie, Human Wizard 1 (NPC Apprentice)
Karl, Dwarf 4 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Kanye, Stable Boy)
- Linkmen (Mongo)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 6)

Events: Eclipse (Demon released/summoned in the dungeon) & Earthquake (structural instability, collapsed tunnel/hall/stairs)

When the sun was blotted out of the sky and the ground shook, there was panic in the streets. Some wailed, some flagellated themselves, and some went insane and lashed out violently.

In the basement of the orphanage however, there was little concern as the party planned for their next excursion. Boxes of rags, rolls of paper towels, and bottles of cleaners of all different types were put back on the shelves once the shaking stopped.

“Yolanda kept a nice suite of rooms at the Scroll and Arrow” Brie told Ulrich while looking at the unfinished stone walls and floor. She’d have whispered, but the sound of children being served lunch thundered above while dust continued to float down. “Aye” the dwarf agreed. “This is some miserable accommodations. And I like being underground.”

Not long after, they set out down the old king’s road, through the box canyon, and into the dungeon. Circling around, they worked their way down to the Asylum, and then into the great hall of the area without doors. A pair of giant black beetles were digging around in the rubble at the far end of the room. Flaming arrows made short work of one, and the other fled out the southern doorway.

Looking over the map, Karl and Eiric bickered about whether to deal with the hobgoblin occupying army, or go check out the burning priest. Mostly due to the fact that Eiric had the larger share of the party on her side, they went south, following the beetle, aiming to visit the burning priest.

In the room with the moldy skeletons and the burn marks from the green slime, they discovered some new construction. Stout iron bars had been installed in the doorway, blocking their path. Through the bars they could see an iron bar gate blocking the doorway to the silvery fountain.

“We definitely need to deal with the hobgoblins” Karl warned. “And soon, before they solidify their hold even more.”

Eiric wasn’t convinced that today was that day, so they went around the long way. Down the long corridor, past all the meditation cells, they came to the room with the partly dug up floor, and a papery nest of giant bees! “Didn’t we Power Thirst this already?” Peeking in, they could see the burn marks on the ceiling. The could also see angry giant bees, each about 2’ long, crawling out and flying toward the party in the hallway! (Cue Steve Irwin “They’re Angry!”)

The stingers were vicious, digging deeper every round, but the party managed to slay all the bugs without actually losing anyone. . The paper caught fire quickly, and black smoke and the smell of burning honey filled the air.

Back in the hallway with the iron gate, Karl decides to see what he can see. As he approaches, a red face peeks through the bars, and sneers “It’s them” and backs up. Karl launches a rock from his sling, but it bounces harmlessly. Shaking up a can of PowerThirst, he snags a torch and rushes over to the gate. He pops the lid, and sprays. Unfortunately the power of Power Thirst doesn’t spray far enough across the room, and misses the hobgoblin watch that stood ready with their crossbows. Karl retreated with a little loss to his dignity, and a couple of nicks from their shots.

Moving on, the party makes it down to the destroyed chapel. Fire and Brimstone, death, damnation, and the lash of the Lady of Pain came spewing from the fiery prior’s skeletal lips. The light of his green and red flames kept the destroyed chamber lit. Taking a side passage out of the room, the party explored a storage room, prayer chamber, and bunk room, finding little of interest but an iron gong, that Karl barreled through everyone to bang. While satisfying, it didn’t draw the attention of anyone else in the dungeon.

At least, not that came to investigate…

Sneaking back around, they again avoid the prior, whose preaching had turned to the sins of trespassing and violating sacred places. Down the opposite hall, they find another storage room, prayer room with a gong, and an old dusty study. Karl again ran in and banged the gong, causing the roof of the room to collapse on him. It took over an hour to dig the room, and Karl, out. He alternated between swearing and saying “worth it” the whole time.

In the opposite room, the only item of note was an iron bound alms box bolted to the wall. A-A-Ron warned that there was a pressure trigger on it, but couldn’t tell what it was hooked up to. Karl hefted his pick ax, and motioned everyone else out of the room. While the first swing missed the box completely, the second sent coins flying everywhere! It also sent large darts flying all over the room, only one of which managed to scratch Karl.

The coins were collected, they checked out the study, and found a secret passage! The once opulent bedroom had largely fallen to rot, but an armoire stood gleaming and dust free. Etched brass decorations depicting the Lady of Pain, whips, and suffering souls covered the teak wood. A-A-Ron picked up the smell of ozone, and tried to bribe the elf to open it with an offer of 5gp. The elf just looked mockingly back at him. The torch bearer jumped in and offered to do it. Pocketing the gold he reached out, yanked the door, felt a shock, and jumped back. Aside from a slight burn, and the fact that his hair all stood on end, he was okay. Within were 3 scrolls and 4 potions!

Heading back to the chapel, they searched among the broken benches, prayer books, and other debris, but found nothing. The flaming prior scolded them on the sins of wanton destruction and theft, and warned them not to interfere with those on divine quests. Karl threw a rock at him, which bounced harmlessly off if the prior. Without breaking the stream of consciousness monologue he flipped Karl off. Eiric cast Magic Missile at him. Holding onto the train of his sermon, he flicked back a small ball of fire back at her. In reply she hit him with a lightning bolt! The pulpit shattered, wood splinters flying everywhere while the prior was slammed back against the far wall. He lay curled up on the floor as the party cautiously approached.

He was sobbing. “Only 2 years, 3 months, and 13 days… I was so close… 97 years wasted!!” Karl hefted his ax, but Darryl held him off, and cast Remove Curse on the suffering soul. The fire wreathing his body flickered, and then went out. A silent moment later, it crumbled to ashy dust.

Deciding they’d had enough for the day, the party headed back toward the Asylum, passing some kobolds carrying skins full of water along the way. They nodded politely. “Where are you headed?” Eiric asked.

“Back to the Korners.”

“Wait, you can get to the Korners that way” she asked. “The Hobgoblins let you through?”

“Sure. They come to the Korners too.”

“Can you get us through?”

The Kobold looked worried “Don’t know, would really not want to try.”

Eiric understood, and the party continued out of the dungeon.

Gains: 600gp in assorted coinage, Potion of Healing x2, Potion of Extra Healing, Clerical scrolls of Ennui, What Was Your Doom, and Muttering Wounds
Kills: 19 giant bees, Burning Prior, Oil Beetle,
Losses:


Revised House Rules:
Leveled NPCs only get 50% XP, but full treasure share
Carousing must be done with a die that allows for the possibility of rolling over your level

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stonehell: Brie's Tale

“I want to be your apprentice.” Brie told Eiric.

Eiric wasn’t in the least impressed by this girl. But she was persistent. It didn’t hurt that she came with a spell book already, including a spell she didn’t know. What really sold it was the fact that she’d been with Yolanda’s group!

This is what she shared:

Yolanda rounded up a bunch of nobodies to start with, usually following where you’d gone. She made sure to always pay those who came back injured to tell their stories. She even hired Loris Jim’Bo after you let him go. By the time she hired me as a lantern bearer, she’d also hooked up with Skelmis the Arcane, Arlen the Elf, and Galladan the Pure. We all explored through the antechamber, the contested corridors where we finished off the goblin tribe.

You beat us to the wizards school. Skelmis was pissed. Trustee Sniv was practically gleeful at being able to charge to let us into it. And that was on top of what she’d been paying him for information on you. We still checked it out. That’s where I showed some talent with magic. Remember the floating blue ball? I could sort of move it…. When Skelmis saw that he started to teach me when we were in town.

The Asylum was creepy, and the area without any doors? Not a lot better. The snake place was at least kind of interesting. Yolanda found a cool magic dagger under a statue of a 4 headed snake. Then we went down even further. That’s when shit got real. We took the moving room down, and almost immediately ran into another wizard with bugbear bodyguards. We ran. Then there were some monkeys with armor and blades and even whole limbs replaced with metal ones. They’ll zap you if they get the chance. Kiff and Ket, they were brothers, they both got zapped.

Ended up paying some wererats for some info and directions. Took refuge in one of the apartment rooms nearby. After we’d recovered a little, we kept on, and passed through what felt like a hothouse full of plants. Nasty ones too. There were these frogs that made you just… stand there… We lost Galladan there, along with Nif. He was the torchbearer they’d hired after I got promoted.

We were poking around, making our way back toward the elevator, sort of when we ran into Lachesis and her two ogres. They were coming though some locked doors, not sure how exactly. Yolanda tried to attack her, but Skelmis… he attacked us. I’m not even entirely sure what happened then, but I ran. I made it to the elevator, and back to the snake area. I managed to Sleep a bunch of them and ran. I found some stairs that brought me to the quiet halls, and bribed a work crew of kobolds to get me out. I waited in the enchanted woods for a day, but no one else came out.

I don’t have the money to join the wizards guild. Not yet. But… maybe if I hook up with you. Share what I know, we can work it out.



Eiric accepted Brie as apprentice.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Stonehell: Teleporter Problems

Session 44 was played on 8/15

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (D, E, F)
- Naideen(dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 5 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Groot, Paris, Carrdio, Love Bug)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 6)



With Eiric only able to speak Dwarven, Karl has to translate for her, which makes things a little awkward. Added to it is the fact that her ears are HUGE! Checking in with the wizards guild, there is one willing to cast remove curse for 500gp. He charges 25gp for merely consulting.

Remembering that they were going to get strawberries for Malfrecas Nul, they grab some in the market, and then head to the Quiet Halls. The pile of bodies at the base of the steps has been clearly rooted through, both by looters (all the weapons were gone) and scavengers. Currently they’re swarming with maggots and other bug things.

The Quiet Halls are quiet, and they return to the Antechamber to take the stairs down to the Asylum. Banking around to head to the teleport chamber, the party goes through the room with the stagnant water pit and the rickety bridge. Going across one at a time seems to be the way to go until the bridge breaks under Carrdio, and he falls in.

He comes up from his dunking flailing. Then he screams as black leach like things start to attach themselves to him. The screaming and flailing stop way more suddenly than anyone expects, as he’s dragged under. In seconds, the dark water is again still.

The rest of the party opts to go around. Making it to the teleport room, Karl decides to experiment, and leaves the door open, and his 10’ pole sticking halfway out into the hall. This ended up being a poor decision.

**DM’s Note: I gave it a 9% chance that it just wouldn’t work, and a 1% chance it would go bad.


Most of the hirelings arrived at the other end of the teleporter inside out. Everyone else was in pain (2d6 damage). Finding themselves in a chamber with 5 other teleport rooms, and one door out into a hallway, they opted to explore the hallway rather than risk using a teleporter to somewhere else they didn’t know.

Picking a random direction, they quickly encounter some weird elf-like people. They order the party to disarm and surrender. That goes over about as well as expected, and the fight is joined. A-A-Ron uses one of his screaming arrows, causing one of them to run. Darryl and Naideen both crit against their opponents, The remaining few opt to run away. Karl, Orpheus, and A-A-Ron gave chase, into a large chamber with a large shallow pit in the middle. And in the pit, 2 angry looking hydras who start hauling themselves out. Plus another of the elf-dudes who takes a potshot at Karl.

Karl, Orpheus, and A-A-Ron rush back to the party, who were busy looting the bodies. Deciding they’d seen enough, they run for the teleport chamber, but are intercepted by 3 more elf-dudes and a basilisk! Groot turns to stone, and Darryl makes his save. A-A-Ron uses another arrow, causing one elf-dude to run. Orpheus crits on the basilisk, lopping it’s head off as he ran past it.

The remaining party members make it to the teleporter, and back out of the dungeon.

Back in town, Darryl casts remove curse on Eiric for free.

Being so completely depleted of hirelings, the party holds a major recruiting event. From it they pick:
Mongo the torch bearer (former fishmonger who still sort of smells)
Erstby the Stableboy
Kanye the thug
Gar the torch bearer
An elf and dwarf pair who’ve been travelling together for some decades now.
Brie, a 1st level wizard who was the apprentice to Skelmis, the wizard who adventures with Yolanda (former hireling!)

Eiric was hesitant to take on an apprentice, but Brie brought not only a spell that Eiric didn’t have, but also detailed info on what Yolanda and Co. had been up to, and how (and where) they met their end!

Gains: Magic Glove, Magic Ear Thing, Swords and Armor of weird metal, gold and platinum coins (230gp value)
Kills: 4 elf dudes, 1 basilisk
Losses: Love Bug, Paris, D, F, Kali, Groot

Monday, September 4, 2017

Bloodmane Gnoll Warrior

Bloodmane was the August Hangout Figure of the Month. I don’t think I actually ever got on the hangouts this month, but I did get him painted up in basically 2 sittings. The first was the basecoat of liner and painting the armor, the second was everything else over about 2ish hours of painting. My speed is definitely picking up, even though I barely painted this month. It probably helps that I’ve done several of this style gnoll recently.

I decided to try out the sepia liner, and I have to say just that looked great. Seriously had good coverage, and the lighter shade meant that I could see more of the mold lines that I missed when first cleaning it up. But also it meant that there was less I had to do to bring out the fur texture. It was all already there!





The eyes I painted with Alien Goo green, with a drop of Ebony Flesh for the pupils. The skin was the usual mix of blue greys I’ve been doing on my gnolls forever. The gums are crimson red, while the crest was Vallejo Red Leather. The teeth and nails are both Desert Sand.







For the armor, I used scorched metal and shadowed armor. I used a mix of tanned leather and desert sand, brought up with Linen White on the leather, washed in spots with a really thinned down ebony flesh. The skulls were painted Ebony Flesh, Desert Sand, and Linen White. The shield metal was done the same as the armor, while the wood was a mix of Ebony Flesh, Woodland Brown, and Desert Sand.





One detail that didn’t make the transition to Bones very well was the outer edge of the right foot. It ended up as a barely defined blob. I did my best to paint in some detail, but it’s still a really mutated toe. Just another example of his demonic blood showing.



The Sepia Liner didn’t hold up though. Along the edge of the base where my hand rubbed against it the paint ended up coming off. Brown, Blue, and Grey liners haven’t shown that tendency, so I’ll be switching back to using them. I usually don’t bother with clear coating most of my Bones, but because of this issue, I think I’m going to do this guy.

While not a show piece, he’s certainly a solid figure, painted to a good tabletop standard.

Friday, September 1, 2017

August in Review

This was not a great month in terms of getting a lot of minis painted. In fact, I only managed to paint 3 minis. Kagunk the Ogre Boss, Inquisitor Lorr, and Bloodmane the Gnoll Warrior (write up to be posted Monday), and 2 of those were started already.

A big part of why is of course Bones IV, which wraps up Saturday. I’ve been following along, tracking it’s hourly progress from the start. Everyone in my family is just about done with me pausing whatever I’m doing to update my spreadsheet every hour.

I never touched the Heroines in Sensible Shoes, who need to get done in time for Reapercon. And time’s a tickin! What I need to do first is get the wall/base built so that I know where the light and shadows go. I’m probably gonna work on that this weekend.

For September:
Heroines in Sensible Shoes Diorama
3 Heroines
1 Pregnant Lady
1 Monster

One thing I did get done was catching up on my Stonehell session reports! As of now, I am completely caught up! Plus I’ve also worked on 2 sub levels, and also made some changes to the dungeon based on what the PCs have done. Primarily, they’ve cleared out large sections of the upper levels, and left them empty, but they’ve mostly ignored the Hobgoblins in the process. They’re taking advantage of this by expanding their territory. It’s getting to the point where the upper levels are gonna need a nearly complete re-write of the room contents. After 45 sessions, things are really beginning to take on a life of their own in Stonehell!!

It’s been another month of reading. I finished:
Supernatural: Bone Key
The Case of the Singing Sword
Cryoburn

I’m currently reading The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds on my Kindle, and China: A History (which smells a little musty).

In other news I also got a new job, which I start on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stonehell: Ghost Beggars Final Ambush

Session 43 was played on 7/25

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (D, E, F)
- Naideen(dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 4 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Kardo)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 5)

Back in town and flush with cash, the Eiric hires F, and Karl hires Kardo the torch bearer, instantly promotes him to M@A with a shnazzy new suit of armor and a new weapon! Kardo isn’t sure about this turn of events…

The party gathers and heads back to the dungeon, aiming to check out the remains of the nest they burned last visit. Unfortunately, before they could make it that far, they were ambushed in the Antechamber by some Ghost Beggars!

Starting the ambush with several tossed vials of oil, they waited till the party was halfway through an intersection, catching Eiric solidly with the burning oil. Karl also got hit, and his dog Hobart, in a panic, managed to catch his own fur on fire. F dropped from the damage. Orpheus and the rest of the party slaughtered the bandits in response. It seems that 5 bandits, even armed with oil and some magic arrows (that they never got to use) wasn’t enough…

Gathering up all the bodies, the party drags them out to the magic grove, and strings up the Ghost Beggars among the trees. They then head back to town to deal with their burns.

***

Eiric decides to spend some time in the library while back in town, doing some basic research, and manages to cross some wires in her brain. Suddenly, she doesn’t understand even basic common, but the language of the dwarves comes naturally to her.

Meanwhile, Karl and Orpheus interview new hires, and pick Paris Hilton (who claims she can outrun a bear, Gryx (now called Groot) and Hurley (now called Herbie).

***

Meanwhile, back in the dungeon, Zoral Gnast, leader of the Ghost Beggars decides to deal with Eiric and Co. once and for all. He hires an outcast Ogre from the Korners, along with its 4 Orc bodyguards, and lays another ambush. This time, with every available hand that can swing a club!

***

The party heads back to the dungeon. Knowing that the Antechamber is mostly cleared out and safe, and that the Ghost Beggars will have been suitably cowed, they go stomping down the stairs into Stonehell. Once the party is in the entrance chamber, the ambush is sprung, and from nearly every door they rush the party. For once, they’re outnumbered!

In the first round, the bandits surge out, hacking into the party. Paris and Kali drop, as do 6 of the bandits.

In the second round, the orcs drop D, the bandits drop F. Darryl hits the ogre, which just pisses it off. A-A-Ron uses his new magic arrows on an orc, causing them to run. The bandit leader has his magic sword knocked from his grip, and the bandits generally are less than inspiring.

Round 3, Eiric magic missiles the orge, while Orpheus kills the unarmed bandit leader. A-A-Ron shoots the orge with another magic arrow.

Round 4, the last bandit drops, as does the orge. The fight is over…

Darryl uses his healing magic on the hirelings. The little treasure the bandits carried is collected, including the leader’s magic sword. Leaving the bodies where they fell, the party heads back to town, and promptly sells the magic sword.

*DM Note - WHAT THE FUCK?!?! Sell a magic sword?!?


Darryl hits level 6. Eiric tries her hand at more research, and manages to cause her ears to grow 4 times their normal size! Karl hosts a sedate Dwarven Tea Party.

Gains: 50gp, 20cp, Sword +1/+2 vs Lycanthropes (Sold for 3420gp), Screaming Arrows +1 x14, 2x 50gp gems
Kills: 21 Ghost Beggars, 4 orcs, 1 ogre, Zoral Gnast
Losses: NONE!!

DM's Note: The Ghost Beggar cave is now mostly unguarded, as is the Ogres lair... if they choose to look for them.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stonehell: Glitter!

Session 42 was played on 7/23 (Sunday Morning Special Game)

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (C, D, PP, E)
- Naideen(dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 4 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 5)

Yet another dwarf shows up to take Matthias’ place, again claiming to be a cousin of Wilhelm, Matthias, and the various other dwarves who have journeyed with Eiric.

Darryl decides to stay in town to oversee the establishment of the kennel business, and keep an eye on the nuns.

Eiric rounds everyone else up, and heads into the dungeon. They safely make their way through the Antechamber, avoiding a bucket of magnetic glitter, which had been set as a trap. It didn’t seem like the work of the kobolds though… The party took the bucket of glitter with them.

Returning to the area Without Doors, and the sight of the previous massacre the party suffered from. The dome was now blank, the writing gone with the triggering of the trap. A-A-Ron took the levitation potion, and floated up to the ceiling to investigate the numerous decorations. He triggered a small trap door, and hundreds of coins crashed to the floor.

Moving on, a map room was next found, with one wall containing the map of the box canyon and surroundings, while the other was an unknown area. D volunteers to takes the time to draw the map painted on the wall, while A-A-Ron found a secret cache of coins stacked neatly in the leg of a table. Leaving D, the party goes across the hall, and finds a large conference room. Sadly, no secret stashes of money were found. Returning to the map room, Eiric found that D copied the wrong map, and so retasked him to draw the other map.

Poking around while D finished up, the party then headed back to the headless statue of the woman pierced by a score of arrows. A-A-Ron climbed up the statue, and poked around in the neck hole, and discovered an almost comically large brass key.

Moving on, they come to an elaborate silvery abstract sculpture that’s also a working fountain. The liquid was also silvery, and the party opted not to drink it. Moving on, they found a bag lying on the floor of the hallway, the strap broken. Within was a hunk of bologna, a small wheel of cheese, and a flask of whiskey. They snagged it, because why not.

The next doorway opened into a small square room, bare of furnishing, and only a small black slick. However, under a loose cobblestone, the discover a tunnel leading off to a secret panic room… sadly they were not the first to discover it, and nothing of value could be found.

Heading up and around, they enter a large chamber with a vaulted ceiling, and a Hobgoblin squad! Some insults, a tossed rock, and combat was begun at range, until Karl ran toward them, smashing one with his ax. It was at that unfortunate moment that Eiric let loose with a lightning bolt, killing the hobgoblins, badly hurting Karl, and causing the glitter that Karl carried to explode out into a highly charged magnetic cloud that filled the northern doorway to the chamber.

Dragging Karl out of the cloud, the party packs up and heads out of the dungeon.

Back in town Karl heals up, hires Wolwin (F), and then they head back in!

Returning to the quadrant Without Doors, they head back through to the chamber with the silver fountain, then down past an empty room to a large chamber with a squad of hobgoblins on watch. Deciding to skip that, they circle around to a room with a carved spider web. The carving is somehow sticky to the touch…

Back around to the silver fountain, they then come to a room with low benches and a dry font. A voice intones “discard your raiments and cleanse thy hands and feet.” Only Karl does so, stripping down to nothing, but finding no water to wash with, he takes a swig of whisky and considers the job done. A-A-Ron sneaks down a side passage where a voice can be heard. Within the ruins of a large chapel, up on a splintering scorched pulpit a skeletal figure in ruined robes burns with green and red flames that don’t seem to harm him. From his thin lips a constant stream of a fire and brimstone sermon pour. As A-A-Ron listens, the sermon shifts to the dangers of eavesdropping and skulking. A-A-Ron takes this as a divine sign to NOPE the hell out and away. Back to the party, he shares what happens, and everyone agrees that he made the right choice.

Moving along, they come to another fountain, this one dry, with a statue of a crying woman on it.

Then they come to the chamber with the buzzing that they’d heard before. With their handy powerthirst, they soak the papery nest and light it up. While the smoke filled the air, the party decided to head back to town before deciding on their next move.

Gains: Lots of loose coins
Kills: 6 Hobgoblins,
Losses: Bucket of glitter, C, PP

Monday, August 28, 2017

Stonehell: I prepared Chill Script today

Session 41 was played on 7/18

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (B, C, D, PP)
- Namish (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Matthias, Dwarf 5 (Julia)
- men at arms ( Nnnn, QQ, Kiln.)
- Herrick (dog)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 5)

Borumar Half Orc Fighter 4 (Josh) Ghosting
Poppet, Elf 1 (Nicole) Ghosting

Picking up where we left off last time, the party was recovering in the area Without Doors hanging out with some berserkers, drinking and singing their time away. Matthias shares some magnet rocks with them in thanks, and then the party continues on.

A large chamber just east of the great hall with decorative hemispherical cutouts on the ceiling. The largest one in the center of the room had inscribed into it the face of an old bearded man yelling. In his open mouth were some weird squiggles. Matthias had Nnnn and QQ boost him higher to see what they were.

“I prepared Chill Script today” he read out slowly. As his mind understood what the words were, the blast of arctic cold left everyone covered in frost. While Matthias survived the blast, both dogs, Nnn, QQ, Kiln, and B are all frozen to death. Grabbing the bodies, the party heads up the stairs from the Asylum to the Antechamber, but the way is blocked! The Ghost Bandits had prepared for them. The stairs were oiled, and as the party approached, lit! Matthias tries to charge through the fire to attack the 5 bandits he could see. Unfortunately the damage he’d suffered from the Chill Script meant that he collapsed, lungs full of burning hot smoke, and his clothing and equipment on fire.

The party turns back down the stairs, and works their way quickly around to the Reptile House and then up to the back door of the Korners. There they grab another load of beer, and head through the Contested Corridors and into the Antechamber and out. Thankfully no more Ghost Beggars were seen.

Back in town, Cousin Karl finds Eiric to find out what happened to his cousin Matthias, and vows to avenge his death against the Ghost Beggars.

Drinks are shared, bonus paid to the surviving hirelings, and death dues paid to the families of the fallen. E is hired. The orphanage gets a new job, running a breeding kennel for wardogs using seed money from Eiric.

After 2 weeks in town, the party is ready to head back into the dungeon….

Gains: None
Kills: None
Losses: Matthias, both dogs, Nnn, QQ, Kiln, and B, 1 900 gp hat pin

After Game:
“Dwarf, good, you’re awake… my name is Zoral, and you’re going to tell me everything about your friends.” The black bearded bandit holds up a hot poker. “And the sooner you do, the sooner the pain stops.”

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bones 4: 1 week to go!

Bones 4 is down to the last week of the kickstarter, and as expected there are a lot of cool minis.

This is the $100 core set, and it's still growing.

For $100 you're getting minis for about $0.83 each... including the dragon, and the pig with the pumpkin cart!!

And there's so much more. Demons, paints, giants, terrain (Including Baba Yaga's Hut!), and multiple expansions. Need sci-fi? There's Chronoscape expansion. Dark swampy fantasy? Dreadmere! Underdark? Darkreach!

So much good stuff. Click here to check it all out!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Stonehell: Small Men, Slime, and Flowers

Session 40 was played on 6/20

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (B, C, D, PP)
- Namish (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Yann)
Matthias, Dwarf 5 (Julia)
- men at arms ( Nnnn, QQ, Kiln.)
- Herrick (dog)
Borumar Half Orc Fighter 4 (Josh)
Poppet, Elf 1 (Nicole)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 5)

Both Eiric and Matthias have relatively staid parties in town, gather everyone up, and head back into the dungeon. A group of the Ghost Beggars nod warrily at them in the Antechamber, but no one seems interested in engaging in either talk or combat.

Heading down into the formerly Contested Corridors, and toward the Korners, they’re set upon by a swarm of Stirges. The combat was notable only for Nnnn stabbing himself, fainting at the sight of his own blood, and Darryl having to heal him. The make it to the Korners, drop off the beer, and head back to town.

Returning the next day, they make for the quadrant Without Doors. The first new chamber they explore is full of pig iron, rotted coils of rope, and an old carpet covering most of the floor. Matthias’ keen dwarven senses pick up on the fact that there’s a pit trap under the carpet right about the time he falls into it. In a fall that would kill nearly anyone, he somehow survives. At the bottom of the shaft, Matthias finds himself in a hallway, humid and full of the smells of plant growth. The corridor is lit by some unseen source, and there’s vines and flowers bushes and all sorts of growth everywhere. Across from where he landed is a door. He yells this up the shaft, and Eiric tells him to leave it alone, and to grab the rope they’re dropping for him. He does grab the rope, but then forces open the door revealing what was at one point a store room. It has been taken over by the plants as well. He grabs a while bell shaped flower as big as his head at about the same time a rope is pulled up.

Matthias spends the whole time he’s being hauled up sniffing the flower. He weaves it into his beard after showing everyone what he found.

Circling back around toward the main hall, they come upon a bat colony, complete with several giant bats! The party’s archers attack, causing the whole colony to swarm! In the confusion Namish attacks Eiric, C attacks B, Cali attacks A-A-Ron, while most of the rest of the party just ducks down to avoid the chaos. The big bats are eventually killed, while the rest of the colony flies off to the main chamber.

After cleaning all the guano off of themselves, they press on, and come to a room where 4 small naked pale men (very much not halflings) are painting swirls in lurid neon colors on the floor and walls. The ceiling has a bunch of iron spikes nailed in, set in a figure 8.

Matthias offers them beer, which they think is gross. Everyone else just shrugs, as they don’t seem interested in talking. Mostly they just watch with their large pale eyes.

Moving down the hall, they come to a room with white circles painted on the floor, and in each, a macabre scene of 6 dead rats with their tails tied together. Matthias uses his 10’ pole to poke at the rats. The small men, who’d been creeping in behind rush past the party to fix the layout of the rats. They then glare at the party silently. Walking around the circles, the party moves on, trying not to piss off the small men.

The next chamber, south of the great hall, is moldy, wet, and the 7 skeletons clinging to each other in the far corner is worrying. Predictably, Matthias pokes it with his stick. They fall apart.

The next chamber contains an odd statue, a headless woman pierced by a score of arrows. The ceiling drips, and the floor is cracked. Thankfully they notice the green slime above the door before it can drop on anyone. It slowly chases them past the skeletons and back toward the main hall. Seeing as it’s much slower than the party, they regroup, and light it up with Power Thirst. It creates the most god awful smell, and fills the area with rank black smoke. While it burns the party explores way from the smoke.

A giant rusty weather-vane stands on a low platform, pointing north. After a thorough investigation the party finds the platform moves. With everyone working together they shift it, and reveal a shallow pit with silver trade bars, gold coins, and some jewelry.

After retrieving the treasure they press on into a new hallway, when a mighty gust of wind blows out their torches, and knocks down half the party. Eiric’s amulet of hope lights up, and the party picks themselves up, relights their torches, and looks for danger. Finding no imminent attack, they press on.

A 3 eyed symbol looks out at them from behind an altar. Upon the altar are 3 scrolls. Eiric reaches for them, and is blasted by the eyes, blowing apart into gas. Borumar seeing the party leadership open up (and the map destroyed) goes for the scrolls. He dodges the eyes’ beam and runs from the room.

Leadership doesn’t go to well for him as at the next doorway he takes a berserker ax to the face. Realizing who they just attacked, they offer drink and rest. The party accepts, and about 30 minutes later Eiric reappears, telling them how she was turned into gas, but could still see and hear everything. Borumar’s face still hurts.

Gains: 7 silver trade bars, 200 gp, 3 pieces of jewelry
Kills: 3 Giant Bats, Green Slime, Stirges,
Losses: Eiric (almost)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kagunk, Ogre Boss with Demon Shield!

Reaper's Kagunk, Ogre Boss was July's Hangout Figure of the Month, and while I haven't been hanging out much lately, I have been trying to paint when I can.



As usual, Kagunk got a good wash and scrub with dish soap and a tooth brush, then hot glued onto a cork.



I removed the shield, and primed him with Brown Liner



The flesh was based with Ruddy Flesh, the eyes Linen White.



The armor was done with shadowed steel. The tunic fabric was painted with a combination of Imperial Purple and Icy Violet.





The face of the shield was basecoated with Dragon Red.



The Ruddy Flesh was brought up with Linen White, while Dragon Red was used on the leather, and then both the leather and armor were washed with Bloodhowl's homemade Armor Wash. The scabard was painted with IMEF Olive.



The red was brought up with Fire Red, and then Phoenix Red. The holes of the face painted with Pale Green, Alien Goo, Neon Yellow, and a blend of Clear Green and Clear Yellow.



The armor plates were done with tarnished brass, that was then washed with a thinned Clear Green. Not sure the effect is really noticeable.



The horn, skulls, and teeth were painted with Dirty Bone, while the wood of the club and shield were painted primarily with Woodland Brown washed with both Bloodhowl's Heavy Sepia and Armor.





Love this shield...



I'm really pleased with how he came out! Still need to do the base of course...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gideon Lorr, Witch Hunter Inquisitor

With the release of the new edition of Warhammer 40K, I got an itch to work on something from that universe. Digging through my figure cases and box of unpainted/unassembled minis, I found that I hadn't brought very many Games Workshop minis with me. The only 40K mini that I could find was a special edition inquisitor figure Gideon Lorr. While I wasn't much for most Imperial armies, the Inquisitors were pretty cool, and the most interesting of the sculpts.

So, as there was nothing else, he's what I worked on. And while I generally prefer to stick with my Khorne army, this is a great sculpt! I started off with it already primed, so I just stuck it to a cork with hot glue, gave it a gentle wash to get rid of any dust or oils that might have gotten on it in the last decade.



I started with painting the over coat, waistcoat, and gaiters using IMEF Olive and Leather Brown. The plasma gun, powerfist, and other metalic bits were painted with armor, and the coils painted with emerald green. The purity seals were painted with... Buckskin maybe?





The olive and leather were brought up be mixing in some linen white. The purity seals, some of the backpack, the face mask, and hat band were done with Dragon Red, brought up with Fire Red. Details were picked out with Dragon Blue.







Yes, I even painted the eyeball that you can only see if the lighting is perfect, and the mini is held at exactly the right angle.



The grip on the gun was linen white. The golden colors were a mix of Dragon Copper, Dragon Gold, and Dwarven Gold, sometimes mixed with some homemade Armor Wash.



If I ever decide to run an imperial force, this guy is probably gonna be included!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Stonehell: Golems, Spiders, and Snakes

Session 39 was played on 6/13, and was the first session played over video chat.

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Kali)
- men at arms (B, C, D)
- Namish (dog)
AARon, Thief 4 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Yann)
Matthias, Dwarf 5 (Julia)
- men at arms (Mordu, Nnnn, OOood, PP.)
- Herrick (dog)
Borumar Half Orc Fighter 4 (Josh)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 5)

In town, Matthias had some golden fabric fashioned into a golden pirate hat, while Borumar wore his bit as a bandana. Proudly wearing these, the party headed into the dungeon.

The head down through the Antechamber into the Asylum where the almost immediately hear singing! A party of Berzerkers is heading up toward the Korners. They wish the adventurers success and move on. The party continues along the hall toward the area to the south Without Doors. Just a bit down the hall, a trio of spiders sets upon the party, but they’re woefully outnumbered. In spite of this, one spider manages to know Matthias onto his ass with a pair of amazing critical hits!

Borumar pokes fun at Matthias, and the dwarf doesn’t take it well. Feeling his ego bruised, Matthias takes it out on Borumar. They scuffle, and Eiric threatens to turn this dungeon around if they don’t behave. They mumble that they’ll be good, and they continue on their way.

Turning out of the main central hall of this section they come to an abattoir, soaked in blood and guys. The 3 ghouls making the mess were repelled by Darryl who was having none of this, and the party jumped on them, killing them before they could even get in a swipe.

Across the hall was a dusty old sitting room, complete with a stopped grandfather clock. The next room was apparently some sort of workshop, long ago looted for anything of value. The hallway out was choked with webs. Returning to the sitting room, the party paused for a drink and a bite to eat. While taking a load off, a group of fairies popped their heads into the room from the hallway. The party was polite, but sent them on their way.

Getting that look in his eye, Matthias grabbed a bottle of powerthirst, and headed back to the webbed hallway, and lit it up! The smoke thankfully didn’t collect, as there weren’t any doors to block it, and the webs burned quickly. Once the flames were down, the party pressed on into a room with 10 rough wooden puppets each 4’ tall. Of course one of them was animated, and attacked. Few weapons hurt it, but the magic the party did have was enough to hack it apart. The rest of the puppets were knocked apart just in case. Borumar snagged an arm from the animated puppet.

Heading out of the puppet room, the party came to a hallway lined with small cells. Killing off some snakes and spider in the first 2 cells cut down the party’s number. Matthias’ strong dwarven constitution saved his life, but Mordu and Oood turned kind of purple and twitched for a while. Orpheus shined as he critted with his horned shield on a spider!

In the final cell, a ghost emerged, screaming in rage! Their moral shot, they ran not only from the quadrants, but from the dungeon.

Gains: arm of wood golem
Kills: Zombies, Ghouls, Wood Golem, Vipers,
Losses: Mordu, Oooodd

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Dungeon Rats


I'm not generally a big fan of actual play podcasts, and I don't often pay attention to unsolicited e-mails asking me to blog about things. I can't even tell you what it is about it this time that made me pay attention. Maybe it was the fact that they actually referenced stuff that I'd blogged about.

Either way, I did pay attention, and responded that I'd check out their podcast, but made no promises about blogging about it. Well, since them, I've made it to episode 6. Clearly, they're doing something right...



But Dungeon Rats isn't just an actual play podcast. There's plenty of those out there. This one uses audience participation. Monsters, scenarios, magic items, traps, and more are submitted, and the DM weaves them into the game.



In addition to the fun and sometimes ridiculous stuff that gets suggested (Blink Corgis?!?), these guys make an hour long podcast a whole lot of fun. The characters are interesting, and they players really get into role playing them. They also are more than willing to go along with whatever craziness the DM (and the audience) throws at them.

It also avoids the overly long introduction that too many podcasts use, and keeps the music and sound effects to a minimum, only using them when they'll actually enhance the action. It's also really well edited, making the sessions, which must run longer than an hour, into action packed chunks that take almost exactly the length of time it takes me to walk to and from my FLGS.

All in all, if you're interested in podcasts, this is one worth checking out.

The Dungeon Rats
The Dungeon Rats on Twitter

Monday, August 7, 2017

Little Keep on the Borderlands Session Reports

Session reports from the past 2 weeks of my 5E game at The Brooklyn Strategist.



To Her Grace, Canoness Iseult of the Anchorage on the Bluffs, Blessed of Bachontoi,

Dearest Sister,

I hope this letter finds you well. I'm sure word has gotten to you that I've been deputized and sent into the Borderlands; have no fear, I am still in one piece. My companions and I have been using diplomacy and discretion as much as valor in our endeavors here.

There has been use for our sword arms however, as we have come in contact with a large number of hobgoblins. We noticed them scouting farms and followed a group back to their lair, thanks to the tracking skills of the elf Wolfsbane. The hobgoblin lair turned 9ut to be a sturdy and quickly built fort, supporting around 100 soldiers. When we captured a scout and Marceline the bard charmed him, we learned that this company was the vanguard of a force he referred to as "the Legion." We also learned their plan was to raid the surrounding farms, force the people into the keep, then crack it with siege weapons. Sure enough, we fought off a raiding party later that night. We regrouped in the keep to make a plan and confer with our allies. The goblins offered to guide us to the Hobs' supply route and we intend to lay an ambush tomorrow morning.

I beseech you sister, use whatever influence you have to get support for us out here. Father will ignore any letters I send, Garth hates me more than Father does, and Kay does not have the political clout necessary to get troops up here. Till then we will do what we can.

Your loving brother,

Tristan.
---------------------

To the Count Eoghan DuKaine, defender of the Eastern Marches, Keeper of the Key of the Moon, Lord of Highmark.

Father,

I doubt that you will read this, but perhaps Valda will do so before letting you throw it in the fire. The hobgoblin situation has become more dire. The supply wagons and reinforcements indicate a much larger force is supporting them. Their siege weapons have turned out to be giants. Giants. While we manged to plunder two wagons, I feel we may be flies stinging a lion.

Dont feel you are doing this for me, our lands lie not far from the border. Or are you not still the "Defender of the East?"

While I live I shall remain, your loving son,

Tristan.

P.S. I still love her, and will marry her.



And then a report from last week...



Entry of Wolfsbane’s Journal

So I was still breathing.

Today’s start was certainly worse than what I expected. After the Kenku disappeared a barbarian sort of teleported in his place. He was Lorenzo’s friend, though how he appeared and the Kenku disappeared was beyond my understanding. Just as we all got our attention drawn to this interesting event, the Dragonborn escaped the fight and we had 5 only people.

Soon two outriders arrived, and we quickly dispatched them without a scratch. All looked well, until the main body of the caravan came. Ten Hobgoblins were coming at us. Each of our frontline fighters was fighting against 4 of them. They must be super lucky as they managed to survive for a while.

Unfortunately, we did not realize that Hobgoblins brought a silly Hill giant with them. At first, Roland was struck down. The Gnome helped him up, only to get clubbed down shortly afterwards. Our only hope was the raging barbarian who might get a chance to fight him and do some damage. Sadly, he got a club right into his face, and became a dead body shortly afterwards.

At that point I totally abandoned my initial thought of kiting the giant to death. It is doable, but too risky. A dead giant is not worth it anymore. I lured the thing into the woods and lost him, almost got hit by a log he threw at me. Meanwhile Roland and Lorenzo managed to collect the bodies and escaped with Hobgoblin’s wagon.

Overall, it was either a bitter victory or a not so bad defeat. We have the Hobgoblins’ supplies, and they lost way more men than we did. On the other hand, as their numbers keep increasing, it is only a matter of time we are overrun by them. The reinforcements from the capital better be hurry.