Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Stonehell: Into the Maze

Session 72 was played on 7/7

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Eddard “Sunny Jim”)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Modar)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- men at arms (Medrick)

The pickings for new hirings were suddenly slim after the party returned to the city. Only Modar, Medrick, and Eddard “Sunny Jim” were willing to sign on with the party. Eiric also picked up the magical dagger that Feris made for them, and he says he’ll let them know when the mace is ready.

Heading directly back down to the 3rd level, they see some large beetles, but avoid them. Karl stops at the mead hall, before pressing onto visit the bugbears. Gretta is thrilled to see the party again, and gives Eiric a big bugbear hug! She then passes on the week’s payment, and Gretta escorts the party down and around to a robing chamber, and then onto a large t-shaped hall full of 4’ crystal lenses mounted on 6’ tall pillars.

The party spends a while spinning the lenses, but can’t make anything happen. Testing the double doors A-A-Ron tries to get close, and then is magically shoved away. After some experimenting, Eiric decides to try her Mind Blank spell on A-A-Ron, and that works! A-A-Ron gets the door open, and the rest of the party moves up. The chamber beyond is round, with 3 other sets of doors leading out of it. A dusty blood stained bowl stood on a tripod in the middle of the room, and arcane runes covered the walls. Eiric and Brie spend a while copying down the runes, and then they try to use Knock on one of the doors. The spell fails.

Growing impatient, Karl uses the knife in the bowl to cut his arm, allowing the blood to drip into the bowl. Karl then grabbed Modar, who’d been watching with horrified fascination, and cut his arm, and held it over the bowl. As the bowl filled, the doors in the room clicked loudly.

Heading through the middle door, after a long hall they came to an intersection. They turned back, and checked the other two doors. They lead to another pair of circular rooms with different magical writing. Copying down the runes, they then returned to the lens room, and took the smaller door off to the side, which opened onto a small maze. A-A-Ron, Koltic and Alias all go in. Karl follows a moment later, unwilling to wait around. Around the twisting walls, they see multiple glowing runes on the walls. They manage to trigger a trap, and a Gelatinous Cube attacks them! At the exact same moment the doors to the maze slam magically shut. They manage to slay the cube with only minor burns. Now trapped, they decide to see if the runes will get them out. Karl then tries touching one of the runes, and gets blasted by fire. He then tries another one, and disappears! A-A-Ron, Alias, and Koltic all swear quietly, and decide to not tell Eiric right away. They continue to map out the maze.

Meanwhile, Karl, transported to… somewhere else begins to explore his new location, discovering a throne room full of ghosts that ignore him. He moves onto an old dusty bedroom, and discovers a powerful magic sword and some other treasure. Then moving onto a reception chamber, where he’s attacked by a wraith, who drains his energy! But he survives, and slays the undead thing, resisting the urging of the sword, and sticking with the Hammer of the Great Digger.

Gains: Magic sword, magic dagger, scroll, and coinage
Kills: Gelatinous Cube, Wraith

Monday, July 30, 2018

New Spell: Mage's Eye

“You’re going to do it, aren’t you? Come on, just let me go in. This is what I do!”

“Too dangerous” Allianora replied. “We’re going to need you out here with your bow.”

Feris, looking a little queasy himself, reached up to his own face, muttering the incantation, and scooped his own eye out. A small trickle of blood seeped from the now empty socket.

“I’m with Nimble, that’s incredibly disturbing.” Rathgar rumbled.

Feris took a deep breath, and slipped the eyepatch over the empty socket. “I’m not fond of it either.” The eye wobbled, and then moved off in the darkness, dropping low to the ground and toward the dimly lit manor.

Brow furrowed, Feris kept his good eye closed. “There are a couple of guards, but the main gate is open, as are several windows.

Magic User Spell, Level 2

Mage's Eye
Range: Wizard only
Duration: 1 turn/level
Effect: Allows wizard to view distant locations.

When the wizard casts this spell, one of their eyes pops out of the socket, and can fly around independent of the wizard. The eye floats above the ground anywhere from ground level to eye level of the caster, and moves at 30’(90’). While floating around, the eye can see magical auras (Detect Magic). The eye has 1hp and an AC of 0. If the eye is destroyed, or not able to be reintegrated before the spell expires, it is permanently lost, as is the hit point. The wizard will suffer a -2 penalty to ranged attacks While they only have 1 eye attached, Spells that rely on line of sight can be cast from the floating eye.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Review: The Armored Saint

Earlier this summer I read Myke Cole’s newest book The Armored Saint. It’s about a very Joan of Arc young woman in a world where demons are real, and are battled constantly by inquisitorial squads who do all they can to root out any trace of demonic activity, lest they manage to intrude their way into the world and destroy it.

It’s taken me awhile to actually sit down to write this review, in spite of the fact that I devoured this too slim volume, and am anxiously awaiting my pre-ordered copy of the second installment of the series. Originally I tossed up a very brief “This is a really good book” review on goodreads, but The Armored Saint has lingered in my brain.

It’s should come as no shock that the main character Heloise ends up wearing the suit of armor, though the question of demons lingers. Would this story be a fight against the demonic hordes, or would it be against a false(?) religion that has enslaved the people? How does a teenager capture the hearts of those who might be her followers? The men of her village are veterans, they’ve seen war, fire, & death…

In this brutal short novel Myke manages to convey the emotional bonds that ties a small community together, the friendships, the disagreements, love and concern… And repeatedly puts those bonds against some nasty external (and internal) challenges. It should not come as a shock that deaths stack up fairly quickly. Loyalties are tested. Good people do bad things, they fail, and in failing there is grief, but also second chances.

And because Myke managed to describe the climactic fight at the end of the book so well, I’ve been planning out a diorama… We’ll see if I can capture the brutal fight in 28mm as well as he did in prose.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Read an RPG in Public Week!

We're already more than half way through it, but it's again Read an RPG in Public Week! And tomorrow is the feast day of St. Gygax!

Both of these are really solid products, FYI... reviews incoming!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

5e: Fire Giants, Hippogriffs, and Treants! Oh My!

From: Sir Fulhoff of Clan Balderk, Knight of Hawk’s Nest
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother and Father:

Having a moment before the giants spotted us was crucial. Rin drank the potion of growth, and I enchanted him with Flight. We then spread out, and Journey summoned an ice storm around the giants. The hissing of the frozen rain off their hot skin, and the burning hides of the hellhounds could be heard even over the sound of the sleet. Arrows flew mostly blind into the storm, though a few hit. Rin flew into the storm, swinging the giantslayer.

I summoned forth a pair of lightning bolts, threading the path between my companions to within a hair. The ringing in everyone's ears eventually eased off. Remarkably, neither the hellhound or the giant fell from my spells. Would that I could have summoned the Witchbolt, but I had to maintain Rin’s enchantment.

Thorin by this time had reached the edge of the storm, and his ax made short work of the first of the hellhounds, and then badly injured the second. Rin found the armor of the giants tough to chop through, and himself was batted out of the storm. Shaking his head, and applying some healing magic, he charged right back in, knocking the first giant down.

Journey began to cast fireball, but seeing this I yelled “No Fire Magics!” She made a rude gesture, but then wove a Sleep Spell which sent the injured hellhound and the giant Rin was fighting to the Land of Nod. They did not return from their trip. Rin charged the remaining giant, as did Thorin while Journey let the storm end. I called forth my Witchbolt, but the magic merely sparked, while Journey did the same. Her bolt struck with such force that the giant staggered back, shaking with the shock, and dropping his sword! Taking advantage of the stunned giant, Thorin and Rin cleaved into him, ending the giant.
RIn collapsed from exhaustion, and took a little while to recover himself. Meanwhile we recovered the gold the giants had stolen, along with some minor treasure of the giants, and then we all returned to Hawks Nest.

In honor of our deeds, the lord of the keep bestowed upon us knighthood. I am now known as Sir Fulhoff of Clan Balderk, Knight of Hawk’s Nest. However, more than the title, with the honorific came a more tangible benefit. We were all provided with hippogriffs! My mount (She’s named Krila) seems sturdy enough. Rin and his seem to have a soulbond of some sort. It’s a very intense relationship.

Not wanting to overstay the lord’s hospitality, we continued on our way, heading toward the Shadowtop Cathedral, looking for Eraglass the Sage. We arrived at the natural cathedral, and found it empty. While a stunning site, we were feeling anxious being here alone and uninvited. A satyr, rather despondent over the loss of a lover. He told us that Eraglass wasn’t here, but that his treant friend Turlong should be arriving shortly.

Shortly turned out to be 2 full days later.

Unfortunately the tree was unable to tell us where his friend might be. He did offer us a pair of awakened shrubs. Thankfully they didn’t freak out the hippogriffs.

The druid Thara, who has been with us most of this time, asked that we drop her off on our way back to the nearest teleportation circle, though where we would go from there was still something of an open question. We did, and met with Quinn the Eskimo retired ranger, who apparently has a thing for Thara. For bringing her safely to him, he dumped his old adventuring stuff onto us. Amazingly it contained a few useful items, including bracers of archery and a mask of water breathing! When I questioned his generosity to strangers, there was a twinkle in his eye, and a smile on his lips while he confirmed that we were indeed unknown to him. Meanwhile Journey elbowed me, and Bran was profuse with his thanks.

The Great Digger works in strange ways, but caution is always advised.

Next Stop: Mirabar.

Outstanding Rumors/Plot Points:
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Frost Giant w/ White Dragon Helm
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.
Gua - Hill Giant Matriarch - Grug-Hug Village location generally described
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?

Minor Loose Threads:
Jeff the guard, abandoned in Everland
Yartar - Lady Italia, Bat-weirdos (Kella & Zopin), Paw-Ming, Lord Dryland

Monday, July 23, 2018

New Spell: Claws from the Grave

Hiding behind the blackberry bushes, the party kept low and as quiet as they could. Beyond, the troop of hobgoblins marched along the road. “How many?” Rathgar asked.

Nimble considered a moment. “Maybe a hundred.” he whispered in reply.

A low growl, followed by some goblinoid speech, and then a yell from beyond the bushes. The booted feet of the hobgoblins changed from the regular marching pace, and could be heard moving away from the brambles quickly.

“Frell….” Allianora muttered, gripping her shield and getting ready to spring up. There was a brief lull and then another goblinoid yell. Arrows cut through the bushes, blindly shot. Leaves, berries, and thorns exploded out, and blessedly, every shot missed.

Nimble put his finger to his mouth and everyone held still. Booted feet began approaching.

“We’ve got to move” Feris hissed.

Everyone nodded, and rose up to a crouch, and stated to hussle away, Another hobgoblin voice called out in high draconic, and bony claws reached up grasping at the party’s legs. Feris quickly dispelled the claws, but it was enough of a delay that the first of the scouts had spotted them. Rathgar threw an ax at one, splitting his skull, while Allianora wove a glittering shield around Nimble. Feris threw a fireball at the thick blackberry bushes. The blaze quickly caught, and covered their escape.

2nd Level Magic-User Spell
Claws from the Grave
Range: 60’
Duration: 1 round/level
Effect: 30’ area becomes difficult terrain

When cast, a 30’ diameter area centered on any spot the wizard can see within 60’ erupts with skeletal hands the will attempt to grasp anyone within reach. Anyone starting their turn in the area of effect, or attempting to move through it must make a saving throw vs. paralysis or have their movement reduced to 0. Anyone who fails the first save must make a second, or fall prone and be grasped by more hands. Anyone prone must make a strength check to stand up.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Luke Cage: Season 2 Review

Over July 4th & 5th I watched Luke Cage Season 2. It was really good. You remember in my Jessica Jones post I asked when is season 2 ever better than season 1? Well, this might have been the season.

Spoilers Below!

I found this a much tighter and better plotted season than the first, avoiding the mid season change in badguy. And Mariah makes for a fantastic villain. Not only because she’s such a complex character, but because everything she does, she does for both a love of Harlem, and to legitimize her family name.

Shades was a surprising character for me this season. I remember not really liking him in the first season, and felt he was unnecessary overall, but in season 2? He was one of my favorites. Watching him and mariah interact, watching how he felt as she delved deeper and deeper into… insanity? She was certainly delusional by the end.

I appreciated how this season played with rules and rule breaking. Shades was, in spite of the awful things he did, a lawful character. Mariah had a strong shift toward chaos, and Shades couldn’t abide it. The two of them made a compelling pair.

Bushmaster was a less complex character, yet he still had an interesting story arc of his own. And I really appreciated that he wasn’t particularly interested in Luke Cage, but was completely focused on Mariah Dillard Stokes.

Misty Knight faced her own questioning of her place on the law vs chaos axis, along with dealing with the loss of her arm last season. She had help dealing with that from The Night Nurse Claire, as well as from Colleen and Danny.

And speaking of Danny Rand, he makes an appearance and is blessedly far less obnoxious. It might just be the fact that it’s only for one episode, or it might be that hanging out with the other Defenders (and getting made fun of by them) toned him down some.

The end of the season I think was the best ending of any of the Marvel TV shows to date.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

5e: Yartar... again...

From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother and Father:

By the Great Digger, sometimes life takes you round in circles.

In Silverymoon, we checked in with Hilda. She seemed surprised that we were still alive, and didn’t have anyone in town to directly help us out. She did, however, suggest that we could bring in other members on a trial basis, and as Joda and Journey were off exploring the town, we hired on Casper the Paladin and Valna the drow thief.

Somehow they’re a couple. I guess opposites really do attract.

Thankfully, they proved immediately useful. Casper, a lesser scion of a minor noble house, secured us an audience with Lord Zymorvan. We traveled out of Silverymoon proper and onto the Zymorvan estates. Zymorvan Hall is something of an old rockpile of a keep, but still fairly stately. The same can be said of Lord Zymorvan himself. After we informed him of why we’d come, he sadly informed us that his son stole the Giant Slayer when he ran off with a thief…

From Yartar.

Clearly there was a lesson the Great Digger wished us to learn.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner with the lord, where he regaled us with tales of his time as an adventurer, and then bid our farewells. We hustled back to Silverymoon, and then onto Everland, and used the teleportation circle to return to Yartar. Keeping a low profile, we went to visit the Hand of Yartar. Valna went in, while Bran, Rin, Thorin and I sat across the street. We shared around a scoop of mixed roasted nuts while we waited. It wasn’t long before Valna came out with several angry looking members of the guild. We followed behind them to a nearby house, and listened through the door as Valna and the woman confronted a man within. Valna’s ploy, that she was his lover worked long enough for us to find him, but once she messed up his name, we barged in and he quickly admitted that he’d lost the sword, that it had been taken by a corrupt guard captain down by the docks.

We quickly found out where he and his crew liked to go to enjoy the spoils of their deeds, and made our way in the early evening to the dock district. The warehouse was relatively small, with only one main door. I made Valna invisible, while Bran made himself look like an overweight overworked bureaucrat. Bran pushed his way in, and started waving a sheaf of papers talking about inventory. The guards were completely taken in by the act, and then with a thunderous clap, we charged in. It was a minor skirmish, but it had clearly been too long since Thorin had enjoyed combat. We had to pull him off of the bloody pulp that had been the guard captain.

Sword in hand, we find a druid named Thara Shyndle heading up to Hawk’s Nest. Erglass the Elf, one of the experts in giants is said to be in that direction, so we agree to be her bodyguards. Rin and her hit it off, and it turns out that she’s also looking for Erglass on the advice of a treant.

We arrive late to Hawk’s Nest, but do see the impressive fortification of the town, as well as several of the locally breed hippogryphs that make up the elite guards of the town. We spent a significant amount of time discussing getting hold of several of them for ourselves.

The following morning, we went to investigate the possibility of just that, and found out that a pay wagon had been attacked by fire giants. Word had only just arrived of the attack, and we decided to head out and see if we could track it down. Finding the site of the attack was easy, following the tracks of the giants was remarkably hard.

Rin, with complete confidence, had us circling the same stump for hours before we figured out where the giants actually went. The smell of sulfur should have been a hint, and it wasn’t long that we came across a pair of fire giants, and their hellhounds. Thankfully we’d arrived downwind from their position...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stonehell: Lightning Bolt Blues

Session 71 was played on 6/30

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
- Lubnuz (Louie) the Goblin
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)

Koltic was down with a nasty cold, and stayed behind this week.

Eiric prepares to head back into the dungeon, and puts out word that she’s looking for a new Man at Arms. When Dino the Halfling walks in, her first thought is “I’ve never had a halfling before” which was unfortunately spoken aloud, and Karl, Orpheus, and A-A-Ron took great delight in teasing her about it.

With Dino hired, they head into the dungeon. In the antechamber they’re set upon both by crab spiders and centipede swarms. The spiders are stomped, and the centipedes are roasted with PowerThirst.

Down in the Asylum, a spectre manages to kill GoMat before Darryl could turn it. GoMat’s greyed out body is stashed, and hopefully retrieved for internment before he can come back as a spectre.

They pass through the Monster Dorm unmolested, but not unobserved. Passing into the next section they head to check in with Gretta, but she’s out. The Bugbear cooking in the room looks embarrassed, says she’s Gerba, and that Gretta is out on patrol. Eiric asks where Fulkth is, and she isn’t sure, but is probably with Hekreth, the hobgoblin wizard.

Moving on, they pass through the portrait gallery, and to the proto-matter room. Unlocking the door, they’re surprised to see a hobgoblin and human kneeling at the far end of the pool, along with a trio of bugbears and a pair of hobgoblins. Most of the guards were by the door, but one hobgoblin was sitting over in the corner. Karl charged in past the bugbears and swung at the hobgoblins. The bugbears swung at him, one connecting. Karl drops one of the hobgoblins. Eiric shoots a lightning bolt at Kulkth and Hekreth. Hekreth drops, but Fulkith sends another lightning bolt straight down the hallway, killing the bugbears, hobgoblins, all of the hirelings except Alias the Elf and Hobart (nat 20 saving throw). Only Orpheus was feeling anything remotely close to okay.

As Karl staggered slightly, blinking away the after image of a pair of lightning bolts, another flashed before his eyes. Eiric’s second bolt fried Fulkth. The remaining bugbear had only just barely gotten to his feet, and he dropped his weapon, hands shaking. Darryl began to pass out healing potions, and everyone took a few moments to let the ringing ease before taking any other action. Brie and Orpheus went to collect Gerba, Karl threatened the bugbear in the corner, and Eiric looted the bodies of the 2 wizards. Gathering their loot and using the bugbears to carry the dead, the party returned to the surface without further encounter.

Gains: Protomatter (x10 gallons), 2 spell books, potions, scrolls, magical dagger, magical cloak.
Kills: Crab Spiders, Bugbears, Hobgoblins, Fulkth, Heckreth,
Losses: Dash, Neon, Cromwell, GoMat, Tal, Scar, Lubnuz (Louie) the Goblin, Dino the Halfling

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Spell: Bigby’s Beckoning Finger

The library was quiet as the students shuffled as silently as they could in the almost absolute dark. Mage-lights long extinguished, they were nearly blind, heading down into the dustiest section glowing the glowing hand that beckoned them forward.

“What’s going on here?” The voice seemed to boom, to echo through the stacks, though it was barely above a whisper. The students all jumped and gasped, and Feris had a hard time not laughing at them.

“T-The hand…. We were following the hand.” One of them volunteered.

“It signaled to follow it…” another offered.

“And so you decided to follow an unknown magical effect, into the library after hours? Without alerting any of the masters, or even one of the seniors?”

Not one pair of eyes would look up to his, and the students all shuffled uncomfortably.

“Lucky for you, I was the one who summoned you. I was curious which of you would follow it.” He smiled as the hand faded out of existence, plunging the library into total darkness. Feris conjured a mage-light, and looked at the blinking students. “I’m going to teach you this spell tonight. It’s officially on the banned list, for reasons that will become clear. Your only responsibility to to not let the masters know about it, and to pass on what you’ve learned when you’re seniors.”

1st Level spell
Bigby’s Beckoning Finger
Range: Line of Sight
Duration: 30 seconds/level
Effect: Conjures a glowing hand

This spell creates a glowing force hand that will indicate to anyone viewing it to come in the direction of the caster, or another individual touched at the time of casting.

If cast *on* a humanoid, they will feel a pull toward the caster, but also be distracted unless they make a saving throw vs charms/spells. If they fail the save, their movement will be reduced by half, and they’ll suffer a -2 penalty on all rolls for the duration of the spell.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jessica Jones: Season 2 Review

Over the 4th of July, I powered through 11 episodes of Luke Cage, and then finished up the last 2 of the season the next day, and I finished up Jessica Jones back in June.

Today it about JJ, next week I'll write about LC.

Spoilers Below!

Season 2 of JJ wasn’t as tight as the first (when is it ever?) but was still a solid season. Jessica is a very messed up person for a variety of reasons, the least of which (or maybe just the most recent) is Killgrave’s influence. This season dives head first into the early headfucks that Jessica has to deal with in her life, from her biological family to the adoptive one. Then again, Killgrave isn’t entirely absent either.

The fact that her mother survived the car crash that killed her family, and is powered like her but a homicidal maniac, makes Jessica question her own killings. It comes so easily to her mother, and she shrugs off the guilt. The scientist who made them powered is now her mother's lover.

While all that is going on, Trish is having her own breakdown as she looks for ways to become powered herself. I've got to admit that her storyline was the weakest this season. It just wasn't interesting. Jeri Hogarth is terminally ill, and desperately looking for a cure. Malcolm meanwhile is growing in probably the most healthy way of anyone in the show.

Of the new characters introduced, the new super Oscar and his son are my favorites.

Overall, I enjoyed this season, though it didn’t grab my attention the same way the first season did. It was still better than season 2 of Daredevil.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Stonehell: Protomatter Pool

Session 70 was played on 6/16

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)

Beyond the hall of wizard portraits is a magically locked door, and one that was more powerful than Eiric could handle at this point. She decided to try something new... She and Brie would cast Knock together! As the spell took hold, the door resisted at first, but then clicked open. Within the cross shaped chamber was a triangular pool of greyish gently bubbling liquid. Karl and Koltic go on to investigate, while everyone else stays outside. Karl pokes the liquid with his 10’ pole, and then flings some of the goo at Scar, who cries. Eiric collects a sample of the goo.

From down the hall come rattling 6 ape-like skeleton creatures… they’re more resist Darryl’s and Koltic’s turning attempts than regular skeletons, and 2 of them charge into the party. Lex drops the first, while Orpheus and Darryl drop the second.

Deciding they’ve explored enough, they head back. On level 1, in the hall of statues, a group of warty goblins cowers at the back of the hall. The party decides it isn’t even worth their time, and they leave the room. Then a goblin shouts “Yeah, that’s right! Run from the Chosen of Zunbar.”

“Oh hell no” Eiric replies and Karl and Orpheus charge in and grab one goblin, and drag him out before Eiric tosses a fireball into the room, damaging many of the statues and killing all of the goblins. Lubnuz the Goblin, while peeing himself, explanes that Zunbar has taken this tribe as his own, and mostly hangs out in the water cave. Brie, who speaks goblin, is assigned to watch over him.

Back in town, the vial of goo is identified by Feris the wizard as the protomater he was looking for. He needs 5 gallons before he’ll make the magic weapon. There’s some intense negotiation and it’s finally settled that he’ll make them a magic mace and dagger for 500gp and a 5 gallon container of protomater.

While in town, Lex parties, and ends up helping out a local magistrate.
A-A-Ron does… something, but won’t talk about it. His grin suggests it was successful though.
Orpheus buys out several of the neighbors so the orphanage can expand into a full cloister.
Brie and Darryl spend some time in the stacks researching. Lubnuz thinks it’s boring.

Gains: Protomatter
Kills: Goblins, Bone Monkeys

Monday, July 9, 2018

New Spell: Demon's Rage

Hekreth, First Sorcerer of the Hobgoblin VII Expeditionary force marched in front of his personal guard. “In the coming battle, we expect to meet fierce resistance. Kelgath demands that we provide some advantage. You will be that advantage. I have devised a new formula which will imbue you with increased strength and ferocity. Before we march into battle however, we’re going to test the effectiveness of it.”

Well trained, loyal, and fearful of the sorcerer’s powers, the troops remained at attention. Only a slight tensing of their jaws betrayed any concern.

“Kelgath has provided me a captured scout to test my magic on. You will kill him, or die trying.”

The shackled halfling was carried by 2 guards out of Hekreth’s tent, his face smeared with mud, and swollen with a black eye. The troops chuckled incredulously.

“You monsters!” He spat “You’ll never take the village!”

“These are the fierce foes that Kelgath is concerned about?” The first of the Guard asks.

“Indeed. They may be small, but they are cunning. You will see. And, First, you will have the honor of combat against this one. Unchain him.”

The guards removed the shackles from the halfling, and Hekreth dropped a short sword before the kneeling figure.

“You can just kill me. I won’t be your plaything.”

“Oh, yet you will…” Hekreth chanted out a short phrase, and tapped the halfling on the forehead before stepping back. The halfling cried out in pain, clutching his head. The cry shifted in tone, and became a growl. Removing his hands from his face he looked up at Hekreth. His eyes glowed red, and small horns had sprouted from his cheek bones and his chin. Grabbing the sword, he jumped to his feet and swung at the sorcerer. The First’s own sword stopped the blow, and the little halfling went at him, blade flashing.

Magic User Spell
Level 2
Demon's Rage
Range: Touch
Duration: 2 rounds per caster level
Effect: Grants demonic strength to up to 2 individuals

When touched, the recipients will be infused with demonic energy that will result in painful minor changes to their appearance. For the duration of the spell, the recipients of the enchantment will receive a +3 bonus to all attack and damage rolls. On any round the recipient is unable to attack someone they will take 1d3 points of damage. When the spell ends the recipient will be at -1 to attack and damage rolls for the next 10 minutes. For the duration of the spell, the recipients will be affected by Protection from Evil and other similar spells.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Stonehell General Update...

As I look at what's transpired in Stonehell, the release of Ka-Nefar is probably the biggest change. Everything else has been merely a cleaning out of the dungeon. Ka-Nefar adds something to it. As he solidifies his hold on upper levels of Stonehell, the nexus feeds his power in the guise of the Black Sun. This allows the dungeon to restock, and fill with harder things than otherwise might initially appear. But the changes are all tied to Ka-Nefar. If he is defeated, the influence of the Black Sun will wane.

Level 1 - Lots of insect swarms and giant insects - 2/6 chance for random encounters
Quiet Halls Lots of lesser undead. LOTS! Mal is now a mummy lord
Contested, and Kobold Korners each commanded by a mummy lord.
Antechamber isn't bothered with much, but the Zunbar the Troll has moved in and has attracted a tribe of goblins who've been eating troll flesh. Chosen of Zunbar.

Level 2 - 2/6 chance for random encounters
Asylum - proliferation of ghosts, shadows and other non/semi-corporeal monsters.
Reptile House - Lizardmen wights, lots of roving lesser undead.
Without Doors - ghosts, Hobgoblins Ghouls, & Slimes
Hobgoblin - Hobgoblin Ghouls & Wights

Level 3
Dorm - Rats are super upset, undead moving in. Harpies are feeling the squeeze, move back into shaft as gargoyle tribe cut down.
Hex - Fulkith hired gobgoblins and bugbears. The bugbears have been paid to work for the party, hobgoblins figured it out.

Level 5
With the upper levels solidified, Ka-Nefar is bringing the fight to the vampire lord, and has destroyed his back up coffin, and is expanding into that level. Last of the Mummy Lords is heading up that fight.

Major NPCs
Rocky has several old messages for Eiric from Sniv. Misses everyone's visits. The goblins are very talkative, so that keeps him from being lonely.
Sniv has moved whole tribe to the caves, getting ready to leave the area.
Zunbar isn't really with it, but likes how the goblins bring him things, spends lots of time in the water.
Wererats have rats posted all over to keep an eye on the party. Want Undead dealt with. Thinking about heading deeper to get away from them, but out of treasure.
Lachkis thinks the party might be useful
Fulkith (Wiz 9) warned by hobgoblins of bugbear treachery, Bugbear chief maims takes all the gold. Rest of the bugbears mad about losing the extra pay. Will revolt if given the chance.

What's next? I don't know...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stonehell: Rats and Snakes

Session 68 was played on 5/26. I welcomed a new player this week, Chris, player of Thorin from my 5e game, who decided to take over Koltic.

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 1 (Chris)

As Koltic’s first act as a cleric, he spends a day tending to the sick, and manages to catch the plague, and share it with the party. Alias, Neon, Dash, GoMat, and most of the orphans come down with bad symptoms, but thankfully no one dies.

Eiric’s research shows that to unlock the doors found in the Monster Dorm will require a Knock spell cast by a 10th level wizard. Unfortunately the highest level wizard currently in the guild is only 9th level. For now, the doors stay sealed…

Into the dungeon, the party makes it down to the second level before being set upon by 4 Mummy Wardens. Darryl turns one, and the others are killed before their glaves can do much damage to the party.

Down on the 3rd level Karl stops and gets some beer from the magical dwarven mead hall, and then the party is set upon by shadows! They’re dispersed.

At the giant boulder the party starts to chip away with their tools, when a flood of rats emerges from under the sides of the boulder, and runs over everyone's’ feet and off into the darkness. Once everyone calms down again, and are about to get back to work, a raven haired woman steps out of the darkness. Her black and yellow checkered scarf is her most notable accessory, and she identifies herself as Esmalia, sister to the Ghost Beggars chief (long since dead). She asks the party to desist. The party declines. She threatens the party. They’re unimpressed. However, while she’s been talking, other wererats have gone for help…

From behind Esmalia, a trio of figures step into the torchlight. 2 hulking ogres with blindfolds escorting a woman in a black lace dress with a black veil.

Brie swears, and turns away from the trio and hisses at Eiric “Medusa!” There was a beat pause and Eiric calls for an immediate retreat. The party runs! Deciding that the Dorm is explored enough for now, the party heads over into the section of the 3rd flood that contains the elevator.

The first room they come to has a trio of off duty Bugbears! Rather than slaughter them, they talk to them… and find out they work for Kulkith! Eiric decides to outbid Fulkith, and pays them about 10x what he’s paying them. She sends the bugbears to inform the rest of the clan, except the chief who is probably charmed by the wizard… Or, at least that’s what she and Karl suspect.

Leaving the Bugbears the party continues on and finds an old room that smells of cat pee, and then further on a shaft with a winding circular staircase. With a shrug, they begin to climb down. After over 150’ they drop a torch, and catch sight of a mosaic tiled floor. They opt to climb back up… Lex, Darryl, Dash, Scar, and Cromwell all puke at some point during the climb.

Just as they reach the top, the wall cracks, and then bursts open, and 3 iron statues come out swinging!

Kills: Mummy Wardens, Shadows

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June in Review

Free RPG day was a bit of a bust for me. My FLGS, while hosting an event, wasn’t actually an official participant, so I missed out on picking up Eldritch Cock. I have not yet been able to find a copy for a reasonable price. If anyone knows of one, hook a guy up, hua?

Stonehell is rolling along. Just had session 71 over the weekend and tied for the most casualties due to a lightning bolt duel. It all came down to who won initiative in round 2.

Storm King’s Thunder is rolling along. I think the party is finally steering its way back to the main story. We have this... tendency to meander off on sidequests, even when our DM is VERY CLEARLY signaling that we should MOVE ON.

I did acquire Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes and the Horror RPG Humble Bundle that contains the 5e version of The Blight. I’ve read a bit of both, and like what I’ve got.

I finished up Cassie and her familiar, the Aboleth, and the Chainmail Dire Boar. Still plugging away at the dancing girl. I think I’m about done with her skin, though I might… maybe go for one more highlight.

The Demon Idol… Is frustrating me. I’m not sure how much of that is because of the heatwave, how much is because it’s a 3D print, and how much because I’m not actually super skilled at painting OSL (or wood). Or it just could be that it's hot, and I don't

Star Trek: The Lost Years: Deny Thy Father
The Servant’s Tale

Supernatural (Finished season 9, well into Season 10)
Coco - So Beautiful!!
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Dear Stranger, I love you

More Studying
Finish Dancing Girl & Demon Statue

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sunday Inspirational Image: City Night

I really like the arched building. At first I thought it might be part of a guardhouse, but looking at it more, I think either an inn or the residence of someone who thinks they're above everyone else.

City Night
by Eru17