Monday, January 23, 2023

Stonehell: One thing after another in level 5

Session 191 was played on 3/6.

Morgana, Mage 8 (Rob)
Lada, Thief
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

Returning to the 5th level of the dungeon, they poke around south of the Temple of Yg, finding a shrine to St. Kanatius with a small slot under it. Morgana gives it 1gp, 1sp, 1cp. Further on they find a crate with a couple hundred lightly rusted arrowheads. Pushing west, they come to a larger cavernous space with a paddock with some sheep and goats in it, being looked after by a pair of mountain trolls. Lada backs off without being spotted. Returning to the east, they head south, and come to a Vrilya guard room, the northern edge of the upper reach of their territory. Backing away, they press on to the east. Where Lada finds a hidden stash of 10gp.

With nowhere else to go, they turn north exploring the region just south of the Temple of Yg, where they disturb a Grey Worm! That swallows Jameth! Luckily for the party it was a young one, and they dispatched it, and cut Jameth free before he asphyxiated. Morgana takes 6 of its teeth, and the party claims the 6 games found in its belly.

In a deeper chamber with water pooling at one end, Morgana gets bitten, twice, by a water snake! Thankfully the party has some antivenom. Pressing on, they follow a long dark and exceptionally cold tunnel to a small chamber where the frost covered corpse of a human in plate armor lies frozen to the wall. The specter of this unfortunate soul is so terrifying that Jameth and Koltic flee back toward the watering hole. Biffin charges in, and Morgana magic missiles it. Lorkoth follows up and sets the spirit to rest with his magic hammer. Beneath the body they find a small treasure of coins.

Collecting the frightened members, they head back to the temple of Yg, and investigate the doors with the crystals behind them. Morgana wants a sample, so they begin to break off some, when a shadow moves and a black dragon’s snout spits acid down the opening through the crystals and along into the hallway where most of the party had gathered to watch the work on the crystals. Aroon drops from the damage and is pulled away, while Morgana blasts an ice storm at the dragon. They run back toward the gate, only to be ambushed by minotaurs on the way. Morgana summons a water elemental to tie them up, and they all make it through the gate.

On the way back to town they’re ambushed again, this time by bandits. The heavily damaged party suffers under the rain of arrows, but Morgana’s spells kill a good third of them, and injure the invisible magic user that then drops a fireball on the party. Aroon, Lorkoth, and Biffin all drop. Tense negotiations between the wizards commence while the remaining party members administer what little healing magics they have left. Morgana agrees to hand over some of the treasure they found under the dead fighter, and each group goes on their way.

Gains: 1,000ep, 10gp
Kills: Bandits, water snake, specter
Losses:  4,000sp

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Stonehell: Scouting beyond the mines

Session 190 was played on 2/27.


Morgana, Mage 8 (Rob)
Joho, Mystic, 7 (Chris)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

The party swings by Kobold corners to arrange continuation of operations in the old gold mine. An amicable split is agreed to, and the party continues on their way to the lower Temple of Yg. A swarm of giant rats is quickly obliterated by a lightning bolt on the way to the gate. Anything that hears it decides to stay far away.

Once in the lower temple, the party heads from the gate toward the main service room, which they find barricaded by 4 minotaurs. Morgana fireballs the room, dropping 2 instantly. The 3rd falls to a blast of magic missiles. The 4th surrenders, and reveals he was hired to protect the room and not let anyone pass by some elf who paid well. Letting the minotaur go, they leave the temple and head back into the mines.

In the mines, they find a gang of kobolds has already found the magic rainbow blade left behind when Barcox fell. Not wanting to fight over it, they leave the kobolds and continue on their way down to the edge of what they’ve mapped. There Joho triggers the magic map, filling in a whole chunk they haven’t explored. Deciding it’s been productive enough, the party heads back to the temple gate. In the upper temple they’re set upon by 4 draco-lizards, which are quickly killed, and then dragged back to Kobold Korners where Nolti gifts the rainbow blade back to the party.

Leaving Stonehell, they quiet a mob of zombies and return safely home

Gains: Rainbow Blade
Kills: Minotaurs, Draco Lizards, Zombies,
Losses:

Monday, January 16, 2023

#Dungeon23 DoomGate Introduction

During the weeks leading up to 2023 I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to include in my dungeon, how I wanted  to go about building it, what the background was. Initially I was thinking that it would be a basic fantasy megadungeon, that I would roll things up randomly and work with what I got. Back when I wrote my first post about it I said it would be "largely unplanned" 

HA!!

That didn't last long. By the time I started my dry run with The Poisonous Vaults, I was already scheming. 

So here's the elevator pitch for my new megadungeon: DoomGate

The world was at, or just slightly beyond our current tech level when an ancient crashed alien space ship is found buried in a mountain. The military takes control of it, builds a sprawling underground base around it, and begins experimenting. This causes an apocalypse that includes opening a literal rift into hell. Fast forward an indeterminate amount of time. Society has rebuilt to a late medieval stage, magic is now real, but relics of the modern age are still around...

Couple hundred years ago a wizard finds The Core, the underground nuclear power plant (built to power the military instillation) and takes it over, using it to fuel his mutagenic experiments. Things obviously get out of his control. His victims lock him up. The settlement on the surface locks them all in. 

Very recently the well/water source the settlement above The Core uses stopped working, because they stopped wishing into it. The spirit (elemental? fae?) diverted the water, which breached the power plant. It also caused the reactor water supply to drop, as the pipe which supplied The Core got blocked. This upset the reactor AI, which upsets the roach kin.The mutated descendants of the wizard's experiments are always upset. 

After exploring The Core, my Dungeon23 will expand to include The Silos, Aux Control, HQ, The Ship, The Caves, and finally Hell on Earth (names subject to change). The upper areas will all be connected by miles long underground rails. Some working, some not.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

#Dungeon23 Dry Run Week 2

I just realized I never posted the second week of my dry run for #Dungeon23! 

Here's the link to Week 1 of the Poisonous Vaults

8. This statue filled hall hung with shields and banners taken from the Medusa's victims. Most statues are damaged. Every time the room is entered, the statues will have shifted position within the room. None are wearing shoes. 

8a. The Medusa store their collected loot in this chamber. 17,000sp, 5,000gp is all stashed in the various footwear taken from their victims. There are more shoes than victims. 

9. Empty plinth in west alcove. Small chamber to the north is a dusty guard room. Levers in guard room unlock the gates, but only one gate can be unlocked and opened at a time. 

10. White marble pillars veined in blood garnet with rings of brass spikes radiating out of them are set at every 3' the length of each pillar. Walls are covered in mosaics of chaos warriors marauding. Hidden behind the mosaic on the north wall is a chest with 4,000sp & 600gp.

11. The well from Room 2 continues through a collapsed corner of the floor. Anyone over 100lbs who steps within 10' of the collapsed section will cause the floor beneath them to fall on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6. 

12. A large circular table dominates the room with 12 ornate chairs around it. The table is set with fine china and silverware (200gp total value, fragile). The door to the north is locked, the key is in the lock. 

13. Lounge. Large hookah (1,000gp, fragile) sits in the middle of the room. The floor is piled high with pillows with 3 Medusa relaxing on them. The air is thick with pungent and poisonous (to mammals) smoke (-4 to rolls if save vs poison is failed). 

14 Laboratory of Sthedo (Medusa, MU6). Among the various equipment, bottles, jars, cages, etc. is a small locked chest with The Heart Of Stone. A vial of poisonous gas (10' diameter cloud, save or incapacitated). Her spell book is covered in a contact poison (save or die). 


 

Heart of Stone - Magical anatomically correct heart shaped uncut garnet, can summon a 12HD earth elemental. 4 charges remain.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Editorial: Hey #BrOSR! Grow the fuck up!

 My Old School Brothers* in Dice,


Do you want our corner of the hobby to die? Is that your goal? Because shit like this? 
 



And that's not even going into the classic assholes like Venger, Zak, and Pundit. (if you don't know who they are count yourself lucky!)

This is how you drive people away. This is how you make your tables unwelcoming. The RPG hobby has seen spectacular growth recently with 5E, and that's allowed a lot of very cool OSR and OSR adjacent projects to flourish. I have a shelf full of cool zines and boxed sets and rule books because people have been excited and able to make quality content for classic D&D type games. 

Assuming WotC doesn't ruin that first, your behavior will. That dumb PBS article that you're so up in arms about? They're talking about you. And I don't give a damn about your claims that "there's no politics at my table" and "everyone has always been welcome" because that's bullshit. 

How do I know it's bullshit? Because I've seen the other shit you talk about, the things you post with #brOSR and #SparkleTroll. I've seen the things you've liked and retweeted. You aren't subtle, and you aren't fooling anyone. 

And yeah, I can just block you and happily play my games, but I'd like to be able to get people interested in the hobby without getting a side eye when they find out the corner of it I generally play in. 

It's 2023, and time to stop acting like it's still 1979 (it wasn't good then, FYI). Your racist, misogynistic, homophobic bullshit needs to go. Your gatekeeping isn't helpful or wanted. Your puritanical zeal for a game written before most RPG players were even born is going to increasingly see you relegated to the same dank dark corners of musty old basements that hold the embarrassing collection of Nazi & MAGA paraphernalia that your kids or grand-kids will be embarrassed to have to deal with when you die.   
Kicking in the door, killing horrible monsters, and taking their treasure is a fun way to play. Get your heads out of your asses, grow up, and for fuck sake stop being colossal dicks so I can focus on making cool stuff for my game.

*Yes, brothers, because it's always a bunch of guys, usually older, and usually white.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022 in Miniatures

2022 was a productive year, largely because of the Reaper Challenge League. It really spurred me to keep painting, even when there were a whole lot of good reasons to not pick up a paint brush. The league probably wouldn't be as motivating if it wasn't for the group categories that I always signed up for, even in the busiest of months. 

117 minis in total in these pics (but there are at least 2 that I can't put my hands on right this second), including terrain pieces and some small terrain accessories Here's a group shot of all the fantasy minis.

 

And some close ups...


I'm still really pleased with these cultists.


And here's the sci-fi contingent.

A very productive year. I haven't finished any minis yet this year, but I've got several that are close to done, and a couple others that I just started. Ideally I'll paint at least the same number of minis... I have a couple of big things I'd like to get done this year too, including getting back to my cardboard spaceships.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Demon Idol

You know what’s really cool? Having a fellow player in your game who say “Hey, I’ve got a 3D printer. Anyone want anything printed out?”

And yes, yes I do…


One of the things I’ve really wanted was the demon idol from the 1e player’s handbook. Now I have one!



The green plastic was a little weird, and the print quality was pretty decent for something this size. The smaller PC sized minis were unfortunately too small for the details to come out, so I’m glad I went with something a little more substantial.

After cleaning up the support bits from the printer, I primed it with black craft paint. I was generous with the application, and the paint is thick to begin with, and for the most part it did a good job filling in most of the print lines.

I thought about carving out the fire and replacing it with the head of the medium fire elemental, but decided to just go with the printed flames, as the head wasn’t quite big enough, but the fireballs were too big.

Wanting to keep it fairly simple, I built up a couple of layers of dark, medium, and then lighter grey, but the more I worked on it, the more the lines stood out.  So I smeared the whole thing with wood glue and coated it in fine grained sand, and then painted it black again.

 
I still wasn't super thrilled, and so in frustration I put it away... for a long time. Way back in the summer of 2018.

Pulling it out recently I decided to wrap it up. I repainted it, added some OSL from the flames, and a pair of gems were glued in for eyes. 

I think that's looking just fine! And I'm glad to have it finished.