Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Making 5e weird...

One of the things I wanted to get away from with my Friday night game was the use of some of the more standard tropes of D&D. I've been reading a lot of DCC adventures, and listening to the Iron Tavern actual play podcast, and running a bit of DCC on the side… and I just want things to be a little more weird.

Last Tuesday Dyvers wrote about breaking away from the psudo-european setting, and that’s exactly what I’m doing (or at least trying) with my Weird New World. The basic overview I gave my players was the following:

About a century ago the New World appeared in what had been an empty stretch of ocean, and exploration and settlement began almost immediately. Strange ruins of cities designed for creatures larger than men have been found containing strange treasures and even stranger magics. Few settlements exist far beyond the coasts, and the interior largely remains a mystery. Creatures unlike those found in the Old World mix with the familiar, and even those things that seem familiar often have shocking differences…

Much of what I've thrown at them has been the familiar, at least from my side of the screen. The fishmen that attacked the ship were just kobolds, and the parasite-zombies were cultists, and the witch was a dark acolyte.

The party hasn’t found any magic yet, or even any treasure, so they have yet to really experience the oddness that this setting is going to provide. Right now the predominant inspiration for the mood is definitely New Orleans Gothic, but I’m going to draw in a more mesoamerican feel mixed with Barsoom/Purple Planet weirdness once they get off the coast.

One thing I’m going to focus on is the size difference of the ruins/dungeons. It’s going to be big enough to be an annoyance and just alien enough that I hope it throws them off a bit. I haven’t decided if they’ll ever encounter the Builders or not. I suppose it depends on how the game goes…

Speaking of Purple Planet weirdness, I got the first shipment from the kickstarter in the form of a poster!

It looks like this, but without the DCC trade dress over the moons. Gonna have to get a frame for it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

#6MMRPC - Week 4

Before I get to the progress I made this week, I want to take a moment to actually assess what this mountain of miniatures I’m chipping away at actually includes. There are 2 main reasons I wanted to take the time to make the assessment.

First I wanted to get a more concrete understanding of what the mountain is made of. I know I have a LOT of unpainted minis… but really, how many? And for what different games? Yes, it’s entirely possible to chip away at a mountain without knowing how big it is or what sort of rocks it’s made of, but I wanted to be able to quantify that. Putting numbers to the mountain makes it real, and in some ways less intimidating.

Second, I want a plan, and it’s easier to make a plan if you know what you’re dealing with. For example in October I’m going to work on Undead. December will be Elves. Knowing what undead and elves I actually have makes planning that out easier.

I have only completed an initial survey of my minis at this point, as a lot of the time I spent organizing rather than cataloging the various lose minis I had stashed in various cases. One thing I did note is that I have a number of minis that I’d consider about 75% done. A wash and some detail work would wrap them right up. Also, I have a lot of minis that need to be based in some way, shape, or form!

Let’s get down to brass tacks and look at some real numbers.

From the Bones Kickstarter, which came with 259 minis, I have painted a total of 88 or about 38%, leaving me with 171 unpainted minis. This unpainted pile includes minis as small as the familiars, and as large as Kaladrax.

If you’re interested, I've linked the spreadsheet here, which I will continue to update.

The next set of minis I looked at was my extensive Lord of the Rings collection. After my 40K berzerker army, this is my most painted set of minis, but even then I still have a lot left to paint. I don’t have a total number of minis both painted and not yet, but I have counted and have 146 left to paint that are assembled and primed and have a spot in one of my LotR themed mini cases. This doesn't include any of the minis that are in the storage cabinet…

If you’re interested in the breakdown, it’s the 3rd tab on the spreadsheet linked above.

And that’s as far as I've gotten quantifying my minis. There’s still a lot more to go, but that can wait for next week! Onto this week’s progress!

I spent most of this week’s hobby time working on Halbarand the Cleric. I’m pretty pleased with the way he’s come out. Getting blind hair to look right isn't easy… You’ll notice he’s painted up in Halloween colors, as he’s going to the be my Halloween Knight that will defend us all from the horde of undead that will crawl from their graves starting next week…

I also assembled and damaged a resin ship that I picked up ages ago to serve as a hulk marker for Battlefleet Gothic. Jake Ryan the Hero Explorer spent a little time under the file getting some nasty mold lines on his arms taken care of, and then both got primed. I was hoping to be a little further along with Jake to help out against the undead, but I went to a microbrew festival this weekend instead.

Next week the dead walk.... Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls, a Mummy and something to lead them all! Ghost King? Skeletal Champion? Mummy Lord? We’ll see…

Friday, September 26, 2014

Whispers from the Well 9/21

Your weekly update of the goings on in Stonehell
As reported by the tavernkeepers of the Ogre Face  Inn

1sp/Issue, subscriptions available at a discounted rate

Rescue attempt unsuccessful!

3 brave adventurers headed down the well in search of a fellow temple-goer who failed to return from an expedition into Stonehell. Able, the human warrior was specifically looking for Cain the paladin and his companions Reda the pointy eared half breed sorceress, Oden the pointy eared sneak, and Arroo the demonspawn barbarian. Scarn, a pointy eared half breed sorcerer came to the tavern with Cain, and they hooked up with the gnome Zook who’s been hanging out in the taproom just waiting for a group to hook up with.

When they didn’t return after several hours, the betting odds got pretty steep that this novice group wouldn’t return! Thankfully, per bar rules, no bets are paid out on parties until they’ve been missing for a week, or conclusive evidence is brought back to the surface.

Sadly, when they did return to the well, they hadn’t found any evidence of Cain or the other’s he’d gone down with. After a few mugs of ale tales of rats and orcs were told aplenty! And it seems the expedition wasn’t a complete loss, as they did return with a variety of alchemical equipment, a beetle’s fire gland, and something that might be of interest to Sezrekan the wizard!

If anyone has any knowledge of the whereabouts of Cain, Reda, Oden, or Arroo, please be sure to stop by and tell Able. He might even part with coin for the information!

Whispers from the Well

The Market is said to be open again, for those who truck with kobolds… As before, it’s neutral territory, so don’t go looking for a fight!

The Howling Wolf tribe is at war with the Open Sore tribe again. Talking heads put the odds 2:1 in against the Howling Wolf goblins this time, due to a whispered alliance with a mysterious hooded figure seen conversing with some of the Open Sore Orcs.

The Checkered Bandits have been seen in the halls below the tavern. Best keep an eye out… their lair may connect to Stonehell, or it might even be in it!

Dead ends with scorched walls aren’t places you want to get caught in. Just saying.

Bree-Yark is the password that opens a series of secret chambers inhabited by the dead.


Laurina is looking for an amulet believed to be interred with her great great grandmother.

Willifred is willing to pay top coin for giant rat tails and hides. 5cp/tail & 5sp/hide. hides must be (mostly) intact.

Drake Stonehand is looking for his cousin Snori. A reward of 200gp is offered for his safe return.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ancient Sagas of Everlance: Rats and Mud

This update covers sessions played on 8/17, 8/24, 9/7. Since I’m so far behind, I’m going to wrap multiple weeks together. It helps that for much of the time (the better part of these 3 sessions) we spent exploring some muddy tunnels.

The cast of characters are:

Kelmar - ½ Elf Ranger
Beska - Human Mage
Myshkin - Human Paladin
Gifilte - Human Monk of Love
Arkane - Human Paladin (starting 8/24 or 9/7)

Arriving in Fairweather Commune, now emptied of communists, and mostly destroyed by raiders, the companions did a quick check of the still smoldering ruins. The only item of note was a giant hole in the back of the mostly intact barn, leading down into darkness. A quick exploration found the tunnel opened into a largish chamber full of giant and dire rats. While the pests were put down, the damage inflicted was severe, and the party retreated back to the surface to rest and heal.

Unfortunately in the middle of the night a swarm of the giant pests boiled up from the hole, interrupting the adventurers’ sleep. A running battle down the length of the barn was only successful when the barn was set on fire, scattering the rodents.

The next morning a wandering paladin named Arkane arrived at the commune, and seeing the destruction, offered to assist. Together everyone returned to the tunnels. Wandering around in the dark, tight, muddy confines the party faced more rats, discovered a badly wounded badger surrounded by dead rats, and an alternate exit to the tunnels. Kelmar soothed the beast, which allowed Gifilte to bestow some healing on it.

Deeper into the muddy tunnels the party encounters a watery pit. Creeping along the edge, even going slowly, the armored warriors slide down, and discover the water includes a nasty slime. It was killed without too much issue, but getting everyone around/out of the pit was still a task.

Continuing in the tunnels the party makes it’s way to a chamber from which a seemingly unending supply of normal rats is flowing. In addition to the normal rats there are several crates, a bunch of giant and dire rats, and a ratman. The fight is brutal, but the party finally seems to have developed some strategy beyond charging into the middle of the room. The rats are whittled down one by one, until finally the ratman charges in. I’m happy to say that Kelmar critted that ratman’s skull, and ended the fight.

Within the hole from which the tide of rats flowed was a magic bag of never ending rats, a magic staff, and a treeman alive, but smothered by the rats. Closing the bag, we pulled him out. He introduced himself as Groot Thistle, said the ratman and the raiders (two different groups) were looking for the Infinity Stone Eye of Night. Since he could no longer be sure of protecting it, could we take it to Nova Prime someone who can?

We’ve got 2 paladins and a cleric, of course we can!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Behind the screen for Hoard of the Dragon Queen... again

My Wednesday night Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure league game has been going along pretty well. Like I mentioned last time, we’re ahead of where we’re supposed to be. We just wrapped up episode 2, and will be starting episode 3 this week. And like last time I wrote about it, I’ll be stepping behind the DM’s screen again. Our DM (Adam) is running a number of other games, and I guess Wednesday night is just one night too many.

I knew getting behind the screen last time was a mistake. Once they know you can DM…

All is not lost for my dwarven illusionist though… Adam has agreed to swap DMing duty every other episode. We’ll see how that pans out.. but, as ever, I remain hopeful.

But I’m also going to take full advantage of the fact that some of the best minds of the OSR have taken Hoard of the Dragon Queen and not only analysed it’s faults, but remixed it to address those faults!

Bryce Lynch at Ten Foot Pole does a fantastic job laying out all the faults of the adventure, episode by episode.

Courtney Campbell over at Hack & Slash is working on his remix. If I'm lucky he'll get to episode 3 before this goes live... (writing on Saturday)

Daniel Davis over at Detect Magic has been working on his remix, complete with a nifty little logo.

I’m also going to do my best to weird things up a bit. Now, since this is an official event, there’s only so much I can actually do, but even with that stricture I can make it more interesting and fun for the players (I hope).

On a side note, I do prefer the feel of the paper in Hoard of the Dragon Queen over the paper used in the PHB and MM. Anyone else with me on that?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#6MMRPC week 3

I'm glad I didn't make getting these posts up on Sunday a main goal for myself...

Some real progress this week! Still crappy photos though.

First up, the Black Orcs are pretty much done. I again spent some time outside enjoying the weather, and painting at the same time.

I also got Norgol, Irongrave Knight/Chaos Warrior painted up. He's a nice simple figure, and an easy one to knock off the to-do list.

After that, I started working on Halbarand the Cleric. I'm painting him up with a purple cloak and an orange talbard. He's going to be my Halloween Knight in anticipation of all the ghouls I'll work on in October.

Here you can see the base colors. No detail work tonight. I did spend a little bit of time cleaning up Jake Ryan the Hero Explorer, and also a bit of cleanup and destruction in a resin ship that's going to become a shot-up hulk.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lost Children - Weird New World: Session 2

Session 2 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 9/19

The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik)

With the cog repaired enough to limp to the next town that had a proper dock, the companions again boarded the ship and left the abandoned village behind.

The voyage to the town of Salt Bay was uneventful, though the arrival was not. Upon disembarking, the adventurers (and the ship’s crew) were told that any repairs would have to wait, as most of the townsfolk were busy dealing with the disappearance of 7 children the previous morning. The adventurers made their way to the inn to secure lodging before heading to the civic hall for a town meeting.

Nessendra, being totally tapped out for cash, decided to check in with the Ladies of Mercy house to see if she could stay with them. She arrived to the well maintained stone farmhouse to see several young robed women drop their tools, and scurry into the house. After knocking on the solid door, a crone cracked it open and demanded to know what Nessendra wanted.

“I was hoping to find lodging with you. I’m a cleric of-”

“Leave your weapons outside.”

“I can give them to my companions, and be right back”

“If you leave, you can stay away.” the crone snapped.

So she did.

The meeting at the civic hall was rowdy with townsfolk demanding that the Sheriff do more to find the children, and to protect those who were still safe, that the old abandoned manse be checked, that the river pirates be tracked down, that old farmer Wiggins is a witch, and Goodman Trellis has been acting strange… etc. etc.

Bach impulsively stood up in the back row and offered to help with the search, and implied that the rest of his traveling companions would do the same. The Sheriff thanked them, and called the meeting to an end, since nothing productive was being discussed. As the townsfolk were filing out, one of the members of the search parties ran in reporting that one of them had been killed near the manse!

The sheriff, some deputies, the adventurers, and a good number of townsfolk hustled the mile or so out of town to find a group of searchers clustered around a dead man at the tree line about 50 yards from the manse wall. They’d found him strung up against a tree by vines with several puncture wounds in his chest. The tree was smeared with blood.

After making a quick examination of the body, Bach charged up the hill to the manse with his companions trailing behind with varying levels of enthusiasm. The manse was surrounded by a wall, lower in the front, taller around the back, and in the back apparently enclosing an overgrown garden. The entrance to the manse was a freestanding stone staircase that ended at a 10’ gap (missing drawbridge) to the main door. Max used his mage hand to open the door, revealing a skeleton sprawled out just inside the door. Still using the mage hand, Max grabbed the skeleton by the leg and pulled. The leg came apart easily, so he grabbed the skull and started making it bob around in front of Bach.

Bach didn't notice that it was Max controlling the skull, and introduced himself to it. Once inside the door, the party stood at the top of an interior flight of stairs, with a hallway running the length of the manse, and doors to either side. Rather than explore this area, Bach went right down the stairs, triggering a false step trap, which he managed to mostly avoid. At the base of the stairs, as he turned to wave down the rest of the group, a ghostly image emerged from the wall, yelled a warning, then charged into Bach, who fell over unconscious as the ghostly form seemed to merge into him. He woke seconds later, his eyes briefly flashing with light, but apparently none the worse for wear. Exploration continued, and the party found:

a trashed library

  • kitchen with a giant centipede thing with a beak and tentacles that took out Bach before being sliced apart
  • stairs down to a storage room
  • a hidden door with caltrops scattered about in front of it
  • a demonic summoning room
  • back upstairs to a walk-in freezer
  • a workroom/store room for unused large goods
  • servants dorm
  • the reappearance of the ghost image.

back up to the 2nd floor

  • little girl’s room with a murderous doll (door quickly closed)
  • boy’s room with lots of blood stains
  • older boys room, with blood stains
  • tower room with a grand hall and stairs down…
  • to an alchemical lab protected by 2 fart demons

back up to the other wing of the house

  • unused guest room
  • spinster aunt room
  • spinster aunt room 2, blood stains
  • chapel, blood stains, hidden stairs under altar

And the party descending the stairs is where we ended for the night. There wasn't much in depth investigation of the manse, as the party is focused on finding the children. Sadly they didn't end up investigating the pirate lead, which would have been very appropriate for Talk Like A Pirate Day...

Kills: 1 giant centipede-thing (carrion crawler), 2 fart demons (dretches)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Inspirational Image: Spooky Garden

We're getting to that time of year where summer's heat is giving way to crisp mornings, where pumpkin spice everything is on the shelves, and thoughts turn toward the spooks and goblins of Halloween...

Isn't it amazing how a little fog can change the mood of a place?

Image Source: Voyager for Life

Friday, September 19, 2014

D&D 5e Monster Manual Review

Today, the newest version of the Monster Manual is released, or at least it is for those lucky enough to have a FLGS that gets them today and not a couple of weeks from now.

Are you jealous?

I already have mine. I got it early as a thank you from my FLGS since I’m taking over as DM on Wednesday nights. Adam, the DM who’s been running us is feeling a little bit of DM burnout with too many games going on. I get that. I've been there! And since I've already covered for him before, I’ll again take the DM's chair. Unfortunately this means that my dwarven illusionist, who just hit 3rd level, is going to be benched for a bit.

Thankfully, this isn't a permanent situation, as Adam is willing to swap back and forth on DMing duty every other chapter, which should work out to every month or so. Not ideal, but someone has to run the game!

But back to the Monster Manual! Seriously, it’s good. I’m only halfway through it so far, but it’s definitely worth it. I love the lair effects for the legendary creatures, the little quotes scattered about, the concept sketches, and the wide variety of monsters. You've got the usual goblins, kobolds, vampires, and beholders, but they also included some of my favorites like Blights, Scarecrows, and Crawling Claws!

The art is something of a mixed bag. I appreciate that it’s all less over the top Wayne Reynolds anime style, but some of it seems a little… cartoon-ish. Compare the orcs (pages 246-47) with the crawling claw (44) for example. The orcs just feel very… WoW inspired, whereas the crawling claw looks truly murderous.

The index seems like a missed opportunity. Yes, it’s a list of all the monsters alphabetically. We already get that with the table of contents. Sure, it includes all the animals and NPCs from Appendix A and B, but I think it would have been more useful had it been by challenge rating. Also, a list indicating which monsters are Legendary wouldn't have been out of place either.

I have gotten several good ideas from it for encounters I want to include in my Friday night Weird New World campaign, so that’s a definite positive, and I think that's highly indicative of the inspiration factor that the MM provides.

Have you gotten your copy yet? Are you going to? What do you think of it so far?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

5e Weird New World

Friday 9/12, seven intrepid outcasts took to the sea, leaving all they knew behind to reach a newly discovered land and find fame and fortune on it's alien shores.

The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik)

For a variety of reasons, these seven characters found themselves on a small cog, sailing toward this new land. Their ultimate destination is the city of Hurren, the largest metropolis on the new land. About a week from their destination, they were sailing along the cost of this new land, keeping the shoreline just in sight. A storm hit very suddenly, and drove the cog toward the coast, and into some rocks near the shore.

The party was below deck to keep out of the storm when the cog hit the rocks. Max the bard took it worst as a splinter of wood speared him in the side. At the same time, there were strange clawing noises on the side of the hull, and the sailors started yelling about boarders.

The party drew their weapons, and headed on deck to find humanoid angler fish climbing over the railing making strange murloc noises. The first round of combat in the wind and rain actually went well. Then the crocodile hauled itself on deck. Only the bard's incredible luck saved him from being critically chomped. The wizards sleep spell put an end to the fight, and the remaining angler-fishmen. Max was rescued from the maw of the beast, and then the ship's captain ordered them back off deck while the sailors tended to their injured ship.

We saw you get washed on the rocks! We're here to help! Ahh! Why are you attacking us?!?!

The next morning the captain sent the crew and passengers off the ship to the little village on stilts to look for anything that might help them repair their ship. The two boats pulled up to the shallow docks, and no human noises greeted them, only the sounds of the swamp that stretched on for miles. The village was abandoned. A quick search found only one man who lay injured and gasping. His face was unnaturally pale, his eyes bulged, and his leg had suffered a compound fracture. After a bit of discussion Max the bard decided that the man was turning into a fish creature, and needed to be brought to the water, so he carried/dragged the gasping man to the docks, and dropped him in. The man sunk the 3 feet to the silty bottom, bubbles rose up, and then a large shrimp-like thing swam out of the man's mouth. Max pulled the man from the water, and discovered that his tongue had been eaten away.

Meanwhile the flighty Embara had spotted something white out beyond the small village, and without telling anyone where she was going, she sped out into the swamp. A young human woman was spearing fish out of the swamp, and when she finally spotted the elf, she ran screaming. Embara kept pace, and almost ran into the woman's 1/2 orc "brother". After calming the woman down, she explained that the fishmen had attacked the village just a couple of days ago, but that she and her brothers were far enough away that they were safe. Embara brought them back to the village with her, and introduced them to the rest of the party. A few wanted to see where she lived, so back out to the swamp they went. The houseboat seemed safe enough, and they stayed for dinner before returning to the village for the night.

The party and the sailors who'd remained ashore stayed in various cabins, finding them all well provisioned.The "zombies" came in the middle of the night, and began by attacking the cabin nearest to the swamp containing Bach, Riia, and Verdt.

Max and Embara heard the commotion next, and looked through the window to see what was going on. Max went down to help, while Embara stayed aloft to use her bow. Nessendra was awoken next by the noise, but it took her a couple of rounds to arrive.

The fight in the cabin with Bach, Riia, and Verdt was very tight due to the limited space and the number of zombies that kept trying to come in. Additionally, something tried bashing it's way in through the shuttered window opposite the door the zombies were coming through. It was one of the brothers!

Around this time Embara spotted the woman in white, and shot at her. The woman shot back with a bolt of magical flame! Max got the attention of a few of the "zombies" while Nessendra ended up going toe to toe with the other 1/2 orc brother. Embara took a pot shot at Nessendra's opponent, but managed to hit Nessendra instead.

In the cabin Riia took some serious damage from the brother she was facing, but the combined arcane might of the warlock and the wizard managed to bring down the last of the zombies attacking their cabin. The "brother" who'd smashed Riia's arm went after the warlock, but Riia grabbed up his crossbow, and lodged a bolt square between the brother's eyes.

Kethra finally heard the commotion over the sound the the sailors' snores, roused them, and began to don  her armor. Max used his rapier, and his rapier wit to take out his zombies, while Embara chased down the woman in white, and then pinned her dead body to the wooden walkway with her arrows.

The last of the "zombies" were killed, and each and every one had their tongues eaten away and replaced with the shrimp things.

Kills: 9 fishmen (kobolds), 1 croc, 1 witch (dark adept), 2 brothers (thugs), 12+ zombies (cultists)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 2

This past week I found myself stuck all day in one of the nicest cities to be stuck in for a day - Frederick Maryland. The weather was beautiful though a little overcast, which did help keep the temperature down. I decided to take advantage of this, and bring my paints and minis with me, and I spent the morning painting at one of the local parks.

If you've never tried painting outside, I highly recommend it. It's nice to get out into the fresh air, while still enjoying your hobby. Granted the light is never ideal. Between clouds, the rotation of the earth, trees, etc. it's always shifting. Yet there's something to be said for natural light...

Here you can see the black orcs coming along nicely. I got more work done on them, but when I decided I was hungry and wanted lunch, I forgot to snap one last picture of them to show my current status. 

Lunch was a fantastic burger and a sampler of beers at Brewer's Alley. If you're ever in the area, it's well worth the stop.

Aside from that I didn't get much other painting done, and what painting was done looked more like this:

And in case you're interested in seeing who else is working on the project, check out the 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge Blog.

Monday, September 15, 2014

5e Stonehell: The Quiet Halls

On Sunday 9/7 the open table Stonehell Dungeon-crawl continued. In attendance were the following PCs:

Human Paladin
Human Fighter (pregen)

Realizing that once again they lacked any real healing ability, they opted to hire a cleric to join them. The new guy, in spite of never having played 5e before decided that he'd run the cleric was well.

As the Paladin was the only player to have entered Stonehell before, and he had the map, they followed his lead through Hell's Antechamber until they reached the great Dance Macabre doors of the Quiet Halls. The corpses of the fire beetles from the last delve seemed undisturbed. Pressing on into the chill darkness, they discovered an old morgue, and a remembrance chamber before discovering a secret hallway that brought them to a hall of crypts.

They explored 4 of them, encountering giant rats, numerous skeletons, some zombies, and a ghoul. The fights were hard and draining, even with the cleric's help. They opted to rest in the morgue, barricading themselves in and praying that nothing would come knocking.

Amazingly enough, nothing did.  Or at least nothing made it through the barracaded door. After their rest, the adventurers returned to the hall of crypts, fought some more skeletons, a ghoul, and a crypt shade! Looting from the various crypts they ended up with a mixed pile of coins and a few pieces of jewelry. Certainly enough to provide them with comfortable lodgings for a bit, and even a few spare healing potions.

The addition of an NPC cleric improved the PC's survivability, not just because of the healing, but also because of the radiant damage against the undead, not to mention the bludgeoning damage against the skeletons.

In running Stonehell with 5e, I've been halving the number of creatures encountered, and that seems to be working pretty well. The players are going at it with much more caution this time around, so I guess nearly killing them off last time was effective. I also haven't been doing very much prep since I don't really know where they're going to go. I just skim though the first level and glance at the second, and then keep the book handy. I can't wait for them to get to the Kobold Korners.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Inspirational Video: Bottom of the River

In a strange twist, today's inspirational image not only moves, but comes with sound too!

Make sure you pay attention to the mirror...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Feast and Famine

It’s interesting how the pendulum can swing so wildly. I’ve gone from having no regular games, to having a Sunday night online game, to playing Wednesday and Sunday, and running Friday and Sunday.

How did I end up with 4 ongoing weekly games?

First off I’m not working on my Master’s Degree anymore! That makes a huge difference. In addition to that I've shifted priorities and decided that I could spend less time sitting in front of a computer or TV. The downside to this shift is that it has taken away some of my blogging time.

Also I've been trying to focus some of my attention on my minis, and in fact I'm due for another 6MMRPC post...

Another factor impacting my blogging is that I’ve been spending my time learning and thinking about 5e, since that’s what I’m playing/running 75% of the time. I've already posted a few 5e posts, including the Clockwork Zombie. More in coming... The next issue of the Octavo is probably going to be the 5e intro adventure I ran last night.

But enough with the complaining that I've got too much gaming going on to write blog posts! Instead I'm going to put together a list of things that I'm planning on writing about!

Ancient Sagas of Everlance actual play report - rats and mud pits
5e Stonehell actual play report - the quiet halls
Friday night 5e actual play report - weird new world
6MMRPC week 2
Magic of the Swamp Witches
Hoard of the Dragon Queen thoughts
Swamp Village Map
Black Orcs for 5e
Fishmen/Murlocs for 5e
Making 5e a little weird.

As you can see, there isn't any lack of things to post about, I just need to get to it! And the longer I wait, the worse it gets, especially for the actual play reports... It's kind of hard to keep track of 3 different games worth of events well enough to write about in a halfway decent way if you don't keep on it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Contest Entries! (part 3)

This post wraps up all entries in my giveaway contest.

What Is That Elf's Hairstyle?
by C. Vermeers
1) Long, untidy, but tied up with a metal headband/tiara.
2) Ropy dreadlocks.
3) Cut short and plastered tight.
4) Braids (roll d6: 1) 1 braid, 2-3) 2 braids, 4) 2 small braids at the temples, back left hanging free, 5) 2 small braids at the temples, 1 large braid in back, 6) lots of braids)
5) Short and spiky.
6) Long, combed straight.
7) Mohawk.
8) Pompadour.

Magic School Charts PDF from Brian Richmond.

-Teleportation Gone Very Wrong Table- by anonymous

1. The Warden
2. Alpha Complex
3. Vanth
4. New York City (1: 1989, 2: 1922)
5. Barsoom
6. Carcosa
7. Hyboria
8. Middle Earth
9. Grayhawk
10. Blackmoor
11. Planet Algol
12. The Death Star
13. Quintessa
14. Golarion
15. The Planet of the Apes
16. R'lyeh
17. The wild west (with or without dinosaurs, DM preference)

Adventure locale by Mark and Jen

1. Wilderness
2. Dungeon
3. Ruins
4. Tree tops

And finally Daniel Bishop sent this, my favorite entry of a random table.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Contest Entries! (part 2)

So I'm way behind on posting the next batch of contest entries.

First up for batch 2 - Swampcrawl an 8 page PDF by Thaumiel Nerub. I'll be making a lot of use of this one for my Friday night 5e games.

Christopher Dawson wrote up this Random Barnyard Animals table:
Die roll                 Animal
1d4 pigs
1d20 chickens
1d6 goats
1d12 sheep
1d20 cows
1d6 horses
1d6 mules
1d12 turkeys

Brian Wille did a Random Escape Pod Contents PDF.

Edwin Stahlnecker entered some really Random Events:

Item No.
Item Title
Item Description
Hail begins to fall in 10 minutes, lasting 30 minutes
Swarm of locus approach arriving in 10 minutes, lasting until all food is devoured
Mosquitoes approach arriving in 10 minutes, lasting until all liquids are devoured
Gust of wind (not the spell) sweeps over the party extinguishing all touches, etc.
Random player character daydreams and bumps their head on nearest surface (wall, ground, tree, etc.)
Can’t Find It
Random mundane item will accidentally fall out of random player characters backpack, sack, pouch, while breaking camp the next morning
A family of small lizards are found inside a random player characters backpack, sack, pouch the next time they reach inside
A spider is fell crawling up a random player characters leg during the next combat action (PC does not know it is non-poisonous)
Random encounter starts off with casting of continued light, this causes a random player character to be surprised if in dark conditions
Random tree limp fans and startles the players characters the next time they pass a tree of 12’ or higher in height
Player character with highest Charisma score can’t help but to stare at the next member of the opposite sex they see
Random player character daydreams and inadvertently drools on themselves
Random player character begins to sweat profusely
Random player character is unaware they were bitten by a (you make it up) during the night resulting in puss oozing from their ear 12 hrs later
The next time a player coughs, one of their player characters catches a cold
Rest of party suddenly discovers that a random player character has built up a malodorous scent since the last time they bathed
Any players that pass gas result in all of their player characters having a malodorous scent for the next adventure
Random player character rips their pants seat the next time they bend over
Any player that snitches on another who passed gas, has all of their player characters having the most malodorous scent for the next adventure
See Below
See Below
Players Rules
Item No. = No. of living player characters
GM Rules
GM Choice

More tomorrow!