Sunday, May 9, 2021

April in Review

The Pandemic continues… But I’ve now received both of my Moderna shots!It isn’t a guarantee, but it’s as close as I’m gonna get.

In addition to that, we found a new apartment and moved already, which is part of the reason this month in review is so late, and why nothings been posted on the blog in a couple of weeks now. We’re still settling in, and figuring out how to best utilize the space, but it’s so nice to have extra rooms, and 2 balconies! A real embarrassment of riches there… So far the weather hasn’t been super conducive to using it, but I’m doing my best there.

Gaming
Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk, though it’s been a couple of weeks since I last played.

I also just received my Stargrave Nickstarter. I haven’t downloaded the solo campaign but I will, and I’m going to get some games in!!

Miniatures
I managed to get a few things painted before packing everything up, but haven’t touched a brush since moving. Of everything I painted, I’m most proud of the crab, and entirely because of the can of Old Bay.


I’m planning on building some Stargrave minis on Monday after work, plus I need to paint up a few things for the Reaper Challenge League.


Media
Star Trek DS9 finished season 3, almost done with 4.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier


Goals - keeping it simple this month.
Play at least 1 game of Stargrave
Paint some minis
Play some D&D

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth Of Doom: Beware Shadows!

Session played on 4/18

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Leisha, Cleric 1 (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword
Wilsig the Mystic


After resting a few days in the village, Nick gets everyone geared up, and they head to the Mouth of Doom. Entering the dungeon, they do their usual check of the pit traps, then head around to the Iron Cobra stairs. On the way a pair of giant ants attacks, biting Biffin hard before they are killed. Dropping the rope down hey carefully make their way below.

Deciding to check out the side passage, they’re stopped quickly by a portcullis that slams down in front of them, and a demonic face on a disk in the middle of the bars laughs and taunts the party. Lada attempts to pick the lock, but the demon continues to laugh and mock his efforts. Nick promises to return with some acid.

Looping back around past Yaza’s rooms more doors are discovered and investigated. The first opened into a dusty empty room that connected to another dusty empty room, that connected to a room full of thick spider webs. Nick ask Wilsig if he has anything for this. Wilsig spends about half a minute waving his hands around and muttering under his breath, and then he releases a sheet of flame into the room… that doesn’t burn the webs… but does cause the large spiders back in the room to scream in pain. The spiders charge forward biting Wilsig, who survives their venom. They’re then cut down. Nick uses his magic ax to part the webbing, revealing 2 large cocoons. Remembering the time as a child he poked a cocoon and a ton of tiny spiders crawled out, he asked if Biffin would be willing to poke it. Nick backed away… Biffin punctured the nearer cocoon, and as Nick feared, out crawled a mass of tiny spiders.

“RUN” Nick screamed, shoving everyone out the door and slamming it behind him, saying “No, oh no, oh hell no, nope nope nope…”

Once Nick settled down, they moved onto the next door. This revealed yet another empty room… “They can’t all be empty?” Lada and Biffin poked around, finding a pair of secret doors! The first opened into a room with 3 sarcophagi and a pair of rotted coffins. The rotted coffins had long dead skeletons within. The sarcophagi seemed shut tight. Not being able to leave good enough along, Nick tries to get them open… and a gas trap is sprung. Almost the whole party dropped, retching their guts out onto the floor. While they were incapacitated, 2 of the sarcophagi opened, and out crawled a skeleton and a black skeleton.Biffin and Wilsig were the only ones not affected by the gas, and they charged in. Leisha was raked by the black skeleton, and her blood splattered across the room. Biffin took out the regular skeleton on his way to the black skeleton. Wilsig tried to put the skeletons to sleep. It failed. Biffin started to beat the skeleton, and Wilsig followed up with some Magic Missiles. Between the 2 of them, they managed to kill it before anyone else died.

It was an hour before the party could move due to the gas. On the upside, there was some treasure to be had! Jewelry worth a tidy sum was collected. The final sarcophagus was still unopened though… and why not. Keeping everyone but Nick, Cassandra, and Cory out of the room (in case of more gas) they lifted up the lid. A normal skeleton started to crawl out, and they dropped the lid onto it, killing it.

Checking out the other secret door revealed a black altar with black candles that flickered on as soon as someone stepped into the room. The room was checked, the altar avoided, and nothing of value was discovered. Back into the main hall, they continued a LONG way without seeing another door. When they finally come to one, it opens into a hallway with another door at the end. This door opens into a large chamber with a sunken floor wreathed in flames, chains hanging from the ceiling, and buttons next to the doors. Pressing the button nearest the door caused a bridge to slide out to about halfway across the room. Nick has Cassandra try to hit the button of the side door, and a bridge slides out, connecting with the already extended bridge. Thankfully the flames didn’t seem to need any fuel and gave off no heat, so they made their way around to the other door.

Beyond it was a t-intersecting hall. In both directions were doors with the same inscription “Let Those Who rest In Peace Lay In Peace”

That wasn’t gonna happen.

The first chamber explored had 5 sarcophagi. 3 were open and empty. 1 held a family of mice that were not thrilled to be disturbed. The last had a skeleton in rusty mail.

The other door had 3 sarcophagi behind it. These had rubies on each. The rubies were collected, then the first sarcophagi was opened. A sword wielding skeleton struck out at Nick, missing, but Nick felt his strength draining away. The skeleton then struck Cassy, knocking her down.  Darryl turned the skeleton to dust, and revealed a shadow that struck at Nick again and again. Bareilly able to swing his ax, Nick killed the shadow while Darryl healed Cassy. The fancy sword was taken by Biffin, and they decided enough treasure was had.

On the way out, a pair of stirges flew to attack. Wilsig put them to sleep. They were collected for Edrick, much to Wilsig’s grumbling. Then back at the bottom of the stairs some Kobolds were waiting to collect a toll. Nick chatted with them, and learned that the big footprints seen before were those of Vorlack the Ogre, chief of the Kobold Clan. Nick talks to the kobold about a change in management. The kobold drops a map to their camp. Nick pays the toll with the cheaper looking of the necklaces found, and then they head back to the village.

Nick spends a week recuperating under the careful ministrations of the local necromancer, who restores some, but not all of his drained strength.

Gains: magic sword, live stirges, assorted gems and jewelry
Kills: skeletons, black skeleton, shadow, giant spiders
Losses: Leisha, Nick’s strength

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rappan Athuk: The Mouth of Doom: Yowza, it's Yaza!

Session played on 4/11

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Tim the Elf (Jake)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword
Wilsig the Mystic

In Zelkor’s Ferry, Nick gathers up the usual suspects, and checks to see if anyone is interested in signing on. The creepy Hilgrun is again turned down, but Leisha is hired. In addition, Borumar found a pair of newly arrived wet-behind-the-ears adventurers in the tavern, Tim the Elf and Lada the Cleric. They agree to join up for half shares till they prove themselves useful.

Hitting the trail, only a short while out of Zelkor’s, they literally stumble on the warg and his pack that they’d run into just a few days before. The fight was quick, close quartered, and bloody… mostly for the wolves. One injured wolf and the warg escaped due mainly to poor archery skills from the hirelings… Something to practice on their downtime. One of the wolves had a fancy leather collar with a gem on it… and a rune. Figuring that they were close enough to the village that they could quickly sell the skins (and the gem), they returned and did just that.  The rune  was that of a crazy wizard who used to lair nearby, but had since abandoned his holdings. Might be worth looting later.

The next day, they again head out to the dungeon, getting chased by some giant bees near a field of flowers.

Arriving at the Mouth of Doom, the party sees some large footprints among the kobold prints. They go up to the MoD, but don’t seem to go in. Perhaps trading with the kobolds? A mystery for another day. Heading into the dungeon, Borumar shows Lada the ropes, checking the 2 pit traps for anything left behind. The party then circles around to the trick stairs with the iron snake statue. Tying a rope to the statue, Lada discovers that the trap is triggered by breaking a light beam between the 2 plinths. He also discovers a secret drawer in one plinth that has 3 saphiers in it! Really should have checked that last time…

Down in the Throat of Doom (aka Mouth of Doom level 2) the party follows the map to the unchecked doors. The first one opens into a round room at the center of which is a statue of a ram horned helmeted warrior. A scattering of coins is found around the statue, as if thrown from the door. The party collected the coins.

Circling back around to the weirdly trapped door that gave Borumar a weird feeling, he checks again, and decides to drink down his potion of gaseous form. Slipping through the cracks around the door, he finds it trapped with poison darts. He disables the trap, and opens the door for the rest of the party. The hallway isn’t long, and has 3 steel doors with small windows that open into small cells. The first has a coin wedged in between the stones. The third has actual treasure including a small hand mirror in gold, a silver holy symbol for a god that hasn’t been worshiped locally for over a century, and a vial of holy water.

Exploring further they come to a weirdly empty room that connects to a room covered from about 8’ up the walls down to and onto the floor with weird scribbling. The words are understandable, but they make no sense in any context. A slip of paper in the corner has more writing on it, and Tim figures it for a scroll…

Beyond that is a well kept room with a crazy man in it. The writings were his, the rantings and ravings of a twisted mind. Before the full depth of his insanity was revealed, he invited the party in and offered to read their fortunes. Tim accepted the offer. He stepped into the room and sat at the table. Nick stepped up and stood behind Tim’s chair. Yaza took Tim’s hand, and began to tell his fortune. Then Tim began to shake and foam at the mouth. Nick swung his ax, and Borumar and Darryl charged in. The fight was quick, and Darryl was able to save Tim. While searching and looting the room, and Yaza’s body (including his well made tentacle helmet that Tim took) Tim shuffled out and meditated on the writings in the other room. He fell into some sort of stupor. Dragging his unresisting body along, they decided they’d seen enough for one day, and headed back to the village. Tim seems to have shaken off whatever it was that got into his brain… but he kept the helmet.

Gains: small amount of coin, potion of healing, Mace +1
Kills: Wolves, Yaza of Orcus
Losses: Tim’s Sanity?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Throat of Doom

Session played on 3/28

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Karl, Dwarf 9 (Julia)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword

After recovering from the last delve, Nick goes looking around for more meatshields hirelings, as well as other helpful items to bring into the dungeon. He’s accosted by a youngling who says his grandpa is interested. Going off to meet him, it turns out that Grandpa Wilsig is a “mystic” of some sort who can, at the very least, knock people out. He charges 50gp a day. Nick agrees.

There’s also a night farm belonging to Edrick the “Naturalist” wizard. Thankfully the old man is not naked, but sells “organic” and “scientifically proven” potions, tinctures, and sachets. Nick buys the available healing potions, and Karl buys the Fire Candles. Edrick does ask (after prompting) that should we happen to acquire some stirge poop (and/or a live specimen or two) he’d appreciate it.

Nick also hires on Leafglad the linkman and Sunkin the sellsword.

Heading to the dungeon, they go directly to the lair of the stirges, but find that there are some giant ants in the room, eating the poop. Nick bottlenecks them in the door while Karl guards the back of the party, especially the old squishy “mystic” (ants are boring and you’ve got it). Only a single sack of stirge droppings were collected. Moving back to the entrance hall, the bag was left as a lure for the pit trap.

The stairs from the fossil room are flanked by a pair of iron cobra statues. Karl uses Nick’s shield to suft down the stairs. The stairs collapse into a ramp, making that easier, but one of the statues animates and follows Karl down. Nick slides after the snake, and together Nick and Karl smash it apart. Ropes are tossed down, and the rest of the party safely joins Karl and Nick. The stairs (now ramp) end in a branching corridor. Following along the branch that they can see a door,beyond which the party finds a large room with a pool in front of a statue of a dragon being ridden by an armored figure with a demonic goat head (helmet?) Checking the pool causes the stone bat on the figure’s shield to fly and attack the party. Darryl smashes the bat out of the air. The chunks of stone slowly begin to make their way back toward the statue. Karl grabs one, but the force of the pull causes it to worm out of his hand. Some coins are recovered from the pool.

Moving further down the hall, the next door leads to a room used to camp, with fairly freshly gnawed bones and a cold campfire. Directly connected to this room was a room with half a dozen gnolls. Wilsig sleeps 3 of them, the others are killed. While most of the party searches the room, Borumar grabs one of the corpses and drags it back to the camp room, and has a snack. It wasn’t tasty. The smell attracted 4 zombies, which he slowly killed. Darryl watched, just in case he needed help.

Adjoining the gnoll’s room was a very stinky room. The party opted not to investigate.

The next room from the camp room was a small square room with “Dam it is alive. Have to sleep, or die” written in charcoal on the wall.

The last door off of the camp room was more gnolls and a pair of hyenas. Wilsig tried to web them, but missed. He then shot out some flaming arrows… which didn’t seem to do much more than lightly crisp the gnolls. Meanwhile Biffin and Darryl tossed in flaming oil, and the gnolls were cut down. Some more minor treasure was recovered.

Feeling rather battered and bruised, the party packed up, and headed back to Zelkor’s Ferry.

There, they hired the gem cutter to try to recut 5 saphines they’d found. He destroyed one, damaged three, and only did a good job on the one. Never gonna hire him again. The stirge poop was dropped off to Edrick who was hoping for more.

Gains: Too little coin
Kills: Iron cobra, gnolls, hyenas, zombies, giant ants
Losses:

Thursday, April 1, 2021

March in Review

The Pandemic continues… there’s an end in sight, and it seems not so far away. I’m now qualified to sign up for the vaccine. There aren’t any appointments available that I’ve managed to get, but in theory, soon, I should be able to get my shots. Originally I was thinking by the end of May I’d have my first shot, but I think I can adjust my timeline to the end of April. Fingers crossed.

This week is my final week of paternity leave, and going into next week… well, it’s not going to be a gentle ramp up into work. On top of all that, we're looking for a new apartment... not fun.


Gaming
Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk, and I’m up to date with all those reports. I’m caught up with my Stonehell reports… writing them, anyway. The rest will be posted over the next several weeks.

I’ve been playing a bunch of Sunless Sea, which has sucked up a bit of time that couple probably have spent painting or reading or writing, but sometimes trying to survive in this resource draining game is HARD!

There’s also been a bit of Pandemic, Five Crowns, and Skip-Bo

Miniatures
My Reaper Challenge League entries are all done. One of the ones I’m most happy with is the pig and pumpkin cart. I stretched my style with the cyberpunk hacker.



Next month the theme mini is vampires for some reason. I picked 2 to work on, one fully armored, the other with his helmet off. I'm also going to work on some non-Reaper stuff to go along with Stargrave (the Nickstarter kicks off 4/5 I think...).


Media
WandaVision
Star Trek TNG finished
Star Trek DS9 finishing season 3
Disney’s Gargoyles in season 1
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Star Trek Insurrection


Delta Rae’s The Dark over and over again


Goals
Survive the Pandemic
Get the Shot
Finish Cardboard Spaceship #3

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Stonehell: Taking Chances

 Session 165 was played on 8/30

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

In the trade hall, the party encounters a wide variety of colorful characters, and groups more powerful than tend to show up in the Korners. Borumar ends up befriending Bashuk the Crimson, leader of a troop of orcs. She’d never seen a half orc so handsome, and was taken with him immediately. She was also on her way to the casino, and so the 2 groups traveled together. On the way, a group of 2 dozen kobolds were heading from the casino. One of them was excessively drunk and friendly, and insisted on hugging *everyone* before he could be convinced to continue on his way.

Once at the casino, the priests of chance collected everyone’s weapons, informed them of the rules, and traded cash for chips. Games were played, drinks consumed, karaoke sung. Karl and the silent albino he met at the bar signed up for “I will always love you” 

 

Everyone is moved to tears.

Boris and Morgana meet with the head of the casino, Fortunate Dram, and they discuss the casino, the chasm, healing/restorative magics, and make an offering to the gods of chance. Boris’ silver hammer gains a magical enchantment, and Morgana’s staff gains the power to detect evil. 

Morgana also spends time with the casino’s security wizard, and finds out that he’d been duped by his lover, a woman named Devona. She’d tricked him, turned him into a frog, and stolen one of his spellbooks. The wizard asked Morgana to get it back for him, and he’d reward her with new spells.

Gains: Winnings in the casino, enchanted weapons
Kills:  
Losses: Losses in the casino

Monday, March 29, 2021

Stonehell: Looking for Answers

 Session 164 was played on 8/23

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

A messenger arrives for the party. Esmalia wants to meet with them. The party is suspicious, but agrees.

Heading into the dungeon, they go directly for Rocky, rather than the meeting with Esmalia. After their usual chat and catchup, they get to the questions
Q1 What’s the most valuable treasure on the 5th level?
A1 The Hammer of Laghrin

Q2 What’s the most dangerous thing in the 5th level?
A2 Song of Night’s Screams

Q3 What does Esmalia really want?
A3 The head of Gamlegor Olga

They thank Rocky, and head down to the 4th level, turning a wraith that dared poke it’s head out. Down to the Neutral Grounds, they find a troop of kobolds talking to a couple of ogres. The ogres want beer from the Korners, the Kobolds want Nolti and the fairies gone. The party agrees to check in on Nolti to see what’s up, and try to arrange for some beer to be brought to the ogres. The kobolds and ogres depart, and the party waits for Esmalia… And waits… and waits…

Getting bored, they head down a level, coming to the Hydra pit of the Vrilya. The hydra keeper demands either gold, or battling the hydras to pass. They decide to pay the exorbitant 100gp each to pass. They head to the north, get blown over by a wind obelisk, and then interrupt a meeting between some Vrilya and some humanoid tigers. Moving on, they get directions to the elevator down to the main trade hall. Right off of the elevator, they come to a stall selling some Vrilyan blades. Borumar buys as many as he can.

Gains:
Kills:  
Losses: