Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Clensing the Healer's Halls

Session played on 11/14

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

Restocking on holy water and oil, and shelling out 4,000gp for 2 scrolls of cure disease, the party returns to the worm tunnel. With Lada in tow, Nick leads the party back to the triple locked door. It takes some doing, but he manages to figure out the sequence and get the door open. Through the door was  what looked like a study/lecture room. 4 lecterns stood empty around a large pool of bubbling ick. On the far wall was a bookshelf and cabinet. Skirting around the pool, the cabinet is opened, and some scrolls are found, then the bookshelf is looted. Unfortunately one of the books was coated in contact poison. Thankfully Koltic was able to negate that with a potion.

While all this was going on, the bubbling pool spewed forth a trio of zombies toward those at the bookshelf, and another toward the three amigos guarding the door. Nick tells the amigos to back up and close the door. They do. Unfortunately the door locks behind them, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to open it on this side.

Combat is joined, holy water and melee weapons win the day over one handed plague zombies. Even after a third trio emerges from the goop. Koltic, keeping back to provide support, bumps against a carving of a hand on the wall, and disappears. He returns moments later, slightly crispy and telling of a work room with a ball of lightning that zapped him. He doesn’t want to go back. With the zombies dead, and Koltic back, it was time to reopen the door. Sadly there wasn’t any good way to do it from inside, so out came the tools and magic ax… After a long and loud process, the door was opened. Permanently.

Moving down the other open doorway, down a hall with a stream of goo flowing slowly down it, the party comes to a large circular room with a giant pond of the noxious goop. At the northern side of the room was a large statue of a healer, defaced with smears of goop and a necklace made of hands. The hands looked oddly fresh. While scoping it out, the pond began to bubble, and emerging from it were 4 of the evil chocolate demon babies! Combat was quickly joined. Multiple vials of holy water were thrown, most missed and landed with a ‘blop’ in the thick fluid of the puddle. The combat went as follows
+4 chocolate demon babies, Aroon diseased
-2 Chocolate demon babies
+2 plague zombies
-1 chocolate demon baby
+20 diseased rat zombies
-1 chocolate demon baby, -1 zombie
-10 rats (flaming oil)
+5 giant centipedes, Lada drops, Aroon poisoned
-10 rats (flaming oil), Lada healed, Aroon given antivenom
+5 giant centipedes
-6 centipedes
-1 zombie, -1 centipede
+3 chocolate demon babies, Koltic diseased, pool stopped bubbling
-4 giant centipedes
-3 chocolate demon babies

Everyone was nursing serious wounds as the last of the demons dropped. The stillness of the room was eerie after the chaotic and messy combat that, had it lasted another round or two, would have been the end of the party. They quickly get to exploring the room, discovering that under the pool was a summoning circle! Clearly this is the source of the contagion. Nick tries dumping some holy water into it. It bubbles and fizzes but has no other effect that he can see. After minutes of searching and looking and talking, the pool begins to bubble… With a curse and a prayer, Nick takes the hands off the statue. The bubbling continues to build. Nick asks Koltic to bless the hands, and then he tosses them into the guck.

There is an immediate reaction and the pool begins to contract on itself. The bodies of the demons, zombies and vermin all begin to boil away. In under a minute the pond is gone, as are most traces of what had happened. 6 black sapphires, the eyes of some of the chocolate demon babies remained.

Gains: 6 sapphires, 10 books, 3 scrolls of cure disease, 2 scrolls cure light wounds
Kills: chocolate demon babies, plague zombies, diseased rat zombies, giant centipedes

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Rappan Athuk: 3 locks, 3 statues, nope to both

Session played on 10/31

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

An ax-master had arrived at the keep. Nick paid to spend time with them. Either Nick is the worst student in history, or the ‘master’ was a fraud. 2 weeks and hundreds of gold pieces wasted. Nick also funds Koltic’s potion making while he’s training.

Nick then spends a pouch full of gold to have the word spread about what a bad teacher they are.

Gathering up his companions, they head out to the worm tunnel. A troop of kobolds is working to create capture ponds to keep the muck from contaminating the area. One kobold, Marty, was suffering from a festering wound on his snout. Nick gave him a healing potion. Once back in the dungeon and past the fountain (with another damned swarm of roaches rushing past) they press on to the west, then up to the north, and to a pair of some sort of tiled medical/surgical suites.

Past those they come to a large chamber with 4 diseased zombies in grubby white robes. Koltic tries to turn them, and one says “Your god can’t help you here!” Crossbow bolts fly, and mostly miss as the zombies close on the party. Holy water does work, as do the party’s weapons (when they hit). Jameth ends up diseased before the zombies are dropped. Notably, they’re all missing their left hands.

The room’s walls are covered in murals of the white robed healers healing a variety of mythic and magical creatures. There’s a door with 3 locks. Nick decides to avoid that till he had one of the thieves available. To the south is a door that leads to a gallery with 3 small gold statues in lit alcoves on the south wall. A unicorn, pegasus, and a gargoyle. Sensing “TRAP” Nick turns right around and closes the door behind him.

Heading back to the main hall they check a side passage which opens into a large hall containing multiple diseased opponents, including giant rats, 2 more plague zombies, and one horribly bloated mutated diseased rodent. Backing up to take advantage of the narrow hall leading to the room, several vials of oil were checked in, burning the giant rats as they attempted to get to the party. Then the cancerous ROUS vomited past the fire onto the party. Jameth was again infected with the rotting disease. Crossbow bolts flew toward the monster then it closed on the party.Jameth still in front took the initial brunt of the attack and went down hard. Koltic dragged him back and healed him. Aroon’s 2-handed sword scores a critical hit, and lops the head from the disgusting beast. Following it slowly were the zombies. Lor’Koth threw his ax at them, missed. The ax hit the far wall… and disappeared. The zombies are cut down as they reach melee range.

Searching the room, the party finds some random treasure, including a magical spork, and a magic dagger.

Gains: couple hungred gold, silver and copper coins, jewelry, daggers, magic dagger, spork +1 + poison detection 1/day
Kills: giant rats, plague zombies, cancer rous

Monday, December 20, 2021

Stonehell: Children of Yg's Lower Temple

Session 183 was played on 12/19

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

In the weeks/months since the last session, the 3 Amigos returned to stonehell on their own, rescued their petrified friend Rada, and managed to ambush a small party of Vyrelia before returning to town. Biffin wrapped up his training. Lady Morgana has been studying and trading info with the planar spiders in the lost level, collecting notes on their home and civilization. While the spiders are still somewhat suspicious of her, the fact that she Dimension Doors to them by herself has gained her a certain level of trust.

Lady Morgana, not quite feeling up to taking on the ‘ethereal dragon’ in the lost level, rounds up the 3 Amigos and makes for the unexplored sections of level 5. They entered Stonehell through the Hobgoblin caves. At the disco room a group of goblins taunted the party from the far side of the room. Morgana drew a quick caricature of the lead goblin, then showed it to him. He stopped mid taunt, paused, pointed and laughed. “Eh, you’se guys are okay.” And he waved his companions away. Moving through the disco room, Jameth is burned by one of the lights.

To the elevator, where some skeletons were clustered. Koltic destroyed them. Taking the elevator down to the 3rd level, a plated monkey jumps in as the door opens. Aroon and Jameth land glancing blows against it, and then Borumar nails it with his sword. Morgana makes sure all the magi-tech components are thoroughly destroyed. From the elevator, they make their way around and to the stair shaft.

Down 200’, they arrive in the reptile decorated halls. Borumar attempts to pick the lock on the big fancy door, and fails. Exploring to the south they get screamed at by some mushrooms, find a dozen dead canaries in cages, and one clockwork canary.

Following a musky smell, they disturb a pair of owlbears! Who are Angry! The fight is short, and only Jameth is hurt by either beast. Kicking their way past the huge owl pellets toward the nest Morgana pokes through the nest and discovers an old chest. Inside is a bunch of electrum coins, a scroll, and a potion. Gathering their loot, they return to the big door, and Morgana decides to use her scroll of Knock and memorized knock spell to unlock and unbar the door.

Beyond is a temple-like chamber with a pair of snake legged brazzers flanking a low dias. The snakestin tapestries are crumbling to dust.  Picking the northern door, Borumar pushed as hard as he could but couldn’t get it open. Morgana pulled it open with barely any effort.

Within they find a robe/changing room. Borumar finds a box of ritual items, including a small brass gong. He holds it up and hits it. Morgana looks on in disapproval. SHe pokes through the robes and viper masks, and finds one that is covered in gold and silver scales. They snag that. The door opposite was locked. Borumar easily picks that lock.

Gains: electrum, potion, scroll, silver & gold snake robe, clockwork canary
Kills: Skeletons, plated monkey, owlbears
Losses: 3 sellswords

Friday, December 17, 2021

Review: Kid on Bikes

Have you ever wanted to play Stranger Things? Well, have I got the game for you! Ennie award winner for Best Family Product 2019 Kids on Bikes. Renegade Game Studios Kids on Bikes Core Rulebook Role-Playing  Game for 2 to 6 Players Aged 12 & Up : Renegade Game Studios: Toys & Games

Now, this review is based entirely on a reading of the rule book. I haven't played or run it. 

In under 80 pages the game is a concise little system in a slick graphic novel feeling format. Most of the rules are covered quickly, and about a third of the book (the appendices) is tables to help with world building and to provide some basic templates for characters. 

The game does suffer a bit from being so rules lite. Much is left up to the Game Master to decide with vague suggestions about how they might go about it. Actions  are resolved by rolling the appropriate die against a difficulty number, and then comparing the variance of the rolls against one of the charts in the back of the book. For a rules lite system this gets a bit complicated. I suppose if you play enough you'll memorize the chart, or at least have a good enough feel to wing it, but at least at the start I bet it'll feel clunky. 

One design element that I thought was really interesting was the way it handles the powered/psychic characters. For one thing, the powered character is co-controlled by all the players. Each player is given a couple aspects of the powered character, and when that aspect is important, that's when that player gets to control the powered character. When none of the aspects are particularly important, it's a group decision. 

All in all, this is an interesting game that I'd love to try at some point. It puts a lot of work onto the GM, and I don't necessarily see it having good long term campaign playability (especially as it seems to lack a leveling up/getting better mechanic) but for a short campaign or one shot? It'd be fun.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

November in Review

And here’s Omicron. Needless to say, the pandemic continues. But, I’m boostered, so I’ve got that going for me. And this is super late being posted, cause of the holidays...

Stonehell remains on pause, but Nick’s explorations around the side dungeons of Rappan Athuk and his consolidation of power around his broken castle continue. More session reports to come on that.

Additionally I ran a game over thanksgiving for my neiflings, which was fantastic, a bit inspired by Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I’ll be posting about that a little later this month, once I finish writing it up.

Got a nice assortment of minis done for the month. Tried something new, did a teeny tiny bit of OSL, and some more NMM. Overall I’m pleased. 

Star Trek DS9
Babylon 5 (season 2)
8-Bit Christmas
A Very Murray Christmas

Paint some minis
Play some D&D
Enjoy the holidays!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level: All About the Arachnids

Session 182 was played on 9/26

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)

Biffin takes the magic book to study for the next 6 weeks, and so is unavailable. Morgana, after successfully researching a new spell, wants to test it out on the (phase?) spiders the ogre actors told them about. Gathering up Karl and Darryl and hiring some meatshields they head to the lost level to fill in more of the map.

They kill a random cobra, find a room with an old dusty fancy suit of armor. They disassemble the armor and pack it up.

Onto the spiders, once the first one was in sight, and Morgana confirmed that it was indeed a phase spider, she cast her Dimensional Anchor spell, locking it in this phase. Confirmation of the success of the spell came as the spider began to scream and yell at the party. Morgana was shocked to hear them speak and threaten the party for this unprovoked act of aggression. Morgana reassures the spiders that the effect will wear off. She leaves 10gp for them. Karl leaves some candy.

Passing back by the ogres, they get roped into chatting with them about the play. Karl asks them for their autographs. They prick their fingers to sign a page from the script.

The next set of rooms they explore were inhabited by more arachnids, this time by 3 (unintelligent) giant scorpions. In the battle Darryl gets poisoned, the 3 hirelings all die, and Morgana gets badly clawed. Darryl is saved with some antivenom, but the hirelings are beyond saving. Morgana collects the venom sacks from the tails. The party returns to town.

Gains: venom sacks (traded for antivenom)
Kills: giant scorpions
Losses: 3 sellswords

Monday, November 15, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level: Hobgoblins!

Session 181 was played on 9/12

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)
Lada, Thief (Robbie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage (Scott)

After spending some time in the rooms beyond the floating door, they descend back into the lost level, and continue to explore the blank spots on the map. Along the way they stumble into a barrel trap. Lada, Darryl, and Biffin all fail to avoid the rolling barrels, and get smacked pretty hard. Borumar gets past the trigger mechanism, and disables it.

Passing through the giant snake statue room, they come to a locked door. Borumar hears goblin being spoken on the other side. The party preps to open the door, but then 4 hobgoblins spot them coming up the corridor from behind the paty. Karl rushes toward them, trips and falls.Morgana casts sleep, dropping the 4 in the corridor. Within the room more hobgoblins prep for battle, but are quickly killed. The 4 sleeping hobgoblins are taken prisoner, stripped of anything valuable, and tied up. Under questioning, they reveal that they’re part of a scouting unit sent to discover what happened to the previous occupational army that had been sent into Stonehell.

The surviving hobgoblins are locked in a small chamber. If they can escape, good for them, and if not… it isn’t the party’s problem.

Past the hobgoblin camp, they find a dusty room with a lectern at one end. On it is a fancy book. Morgana and Gimble are thrilled, and they carefully pack it away. They also discover a button. Karl wants to push the button, no one else wants Karl to push the button. Karl writes “Only Karl gets to push the button” on the wall over the button, and “Don’t push the button!” under it

They swing through Kobold Korners, Karl get some candy. On the way back to town a group of angry and soggy berzerkers tries to get at the party. Gimble webs them, and they’re left to get themselves free.

Gains: Magic Book
Kills: Hobgoblins

Saturday, November 13, 2021

New Spell: Beetle Curtain

"Nimble, I've seen wooden doors, steel doors, stone doors, doors made of force and even flesh..." Rathgar grumbled.

"Look, I don't know what to make of it either." Nimble whined. "I'm not sure how to get past it quietly."

"If it's noise we're worried about, I can make it silent." Feris offered.

"Yeah, that'd be great."

Feris wove the spell, and then nodded. "It'll be silent all around the doorway."

Nimble crept up to the double thickness heavy beaded curtain and began to carefully push his dagger through it to peer through to the other side, when the whole things just collapsed to the ground... Rathgar, Allianora, and Feris watched as the beads silently hit the floor, bounced, and rolled while Nimble froze. Then he began to flail as the beads became a swarm of angry beetles.

"Run!" Allianora yelled! 


Magic User Spell, Level 2

Beetle Curtain

Range: 10'
Duration: Permanent until triggered
Effect: creates an enchanted beaded curtain (or rug) that will turn into an insect swarm when triggered

Upon casting this spell, the magic user will create a beaded curtain or rug that can be placed where such a textile could be expected to be placed. Upon a set trigger, the curtain or rug will turn into in Insect Swarm. The strength of the swarm will be based upon the caster's level. A 3rd level caster will create a 2HD swarm, a 7th level caster a 3HD swarm, 11th level caster 4HD swarm. A 15th level caster can create two 4DH swarms. Every 4 levels beyond 15 adds an additional swarm. The higher the level of caster, the more intricate the pattern of the textile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Stonehell: The Lost Level: Floating Door

Session 180 was played on 9/6

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

Returning to the Lost Level, the party opts to fill in some blank spaces on the map, and so continue into the halls past the still destroyed wizards’ lair. There they come across a chamber without a door… but a door within, floating 15’ off the ground. Also a nest of stirges, and the bodies that had fed them. The party killed the stitges, and avoid the rot grubs infesting the bodies.

Karl levitates up to the door, opening it, and discovering rooms beyond. The party explores the nearly empty rooms.  A few have windows that look out on a barren rocky landscape devoid of any life that they can see. One discovery is a letter… that they can’t read. Taking advantage of the safe space, they rest for a day… night? The scene through the windows doesn’t change much. Stars over a rocky landscape.

Heading back into the corridors, they find a mushroom farm in raised beds. Then a locked door beyond which is an angry goblin who shares the small room with bags, boxes, barrels, cups, and bowls full of beans painted black and white, and a chalk board with indecipherable scribbles. They asked him what he was doing, and he said counting. Counting what? He asked some questions, before answering. They only understood about half the words he used. He then kicked them out. Karl stole some beans.

Further along the hall they heard some talking, arguing. Looking around a corner, they see some oddly dressed ogres arguing about something written in a book. It was the script of a play, and they were in costume. And they wanted to run the dress rehearsal for the party. They scrounged some chairs, a couch with springs sticking out of it, and a couple of crates with pillows on them, and then the show was on! It wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t as bad as they were expecting. The 5 hour run time was a little much.  They give some praise, and promise to return when they’re ready to do more than a dress rehearsal.

After leaving the ogres, they poke through several empty-ish rooms, finding a hidden stash of 200gp and a fancy dagger. They opt to return to the floating door to get some more rest.

Gains: 200gp, magic dagger, letter
Kills: Stirges

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Rappan Athuk: More Chocolate Demon Babies

Session played on 10/24

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)

Borumar introduced Nick to some of his friends from the Stonehell side of the world, and they came along to go explore the worm tunnel and adjoining dungeon. It stank. Worse than before. But when they return to the rooms they’d found last time, they found the 20K copper coins still there, which suggested that no one else had been down to the dungeon.

Trying the door they skipped last time brought them to an octagonal room with murals painted on it. 5 men in white robes, one with a blackened left hand. Examining it closer, it looked like the black paint was added later. The open doorway to the west revealed a long dark silent corridor. The door to the east led to an empty room with 2 other doors. Checking the door to the south, revealed a massive rat, the largest that Nick had ever seen. It vomited on Jameth and Nick. Borumar killed it with a solid blow after a short fight.

Nick and Jameth begin to feel pretty ill, but press on.

The other door opens into a bedroom. The nightstand has charcoal drawings of 3 different women. They don’t look related. Jameth vomits. Nick, feverish, finds a secret door leading into a walk in closet. They use a pair of the Cure Disease scrolls, and instantly feel better. Exploring the closet they find a table with a jar containing 5 gold rings, each inscribed with “to my one and only”, a leather bag with gold coins, a silver headed mace (magic?), an obsidian earring with “Rappan Athuk” neatly carved around the obsidian sphere (is there a gift shop down here???), and 3 red scrolls with a note basically telling the recipient of the scrolls, Jossel, to be less of a player, or at least use protection. Borumar finds 3 silver rings under the table.

Heading back toward the octagonal room, the sound of leathery wings and demonic cackling echoes down the hall. A pair of the chocolate demon babies! Combat is pretty quick, and the party manages to avoid too much damage. Borumar, while considering taking another horn, sees a weird tooth in the mouth of one, and pries it out. As soon as he does, the demon baby dissolves. Checking the other, he finds the same thing. The weird teeth were pearls!

Having checked all the available closed doors the party heads down the dark hall. After a good distance they find a pair of doors, and the hallway turns to the south. Checking the hallway, they don’t see anything. Checking the door to the north, they find an ooze that gets Borumar a little, but is killed quickly.

Nick makes a note to make sure everyone gets some ranged weapons when back in town.

Beyond the ooze is another hallway with a door at the end heading north.

Checking the other door before pressing on) they find a store room, and a large ambush spider. Borumar gets bitten, but doesn’t seem poisoned. Nick spears the spider, killing it. Searching the room they discover a large stash of copper coins, some silver coins, and a fancy silver plate. Using Borumar’s magical elephant, they carry out all the copper and get back to the village, only encountering a swarm of harmless but creepy  roaches that swarms over and past the party in the worm tunnel.

Back in town, Nick trades 1 red scroll to Olmam Dark, the necromancer, for 6 lesser healing potions, and 1 free cure disease spell (just have to make it back to the necromancer to collect on the spell, as well as a good discount if the scroll results in something useful.

Checking around with the charcoal drawings, Nick finds one older lady named Yolanda  who thinks she’s one of them, and she recognizes the name Jossel, her first husband. She lost him 60+ years back. He’d been a member of an order of priests devoted to healing, and apparently trying to heal the whole world of disease (what did they do wrong!?!)

Gains: Gold, silver, and copper coins, 3 scrolls of cure disease, silver mace, gold and silver rings, obsidian earring, silver plate.
Kills: giant rat, chocolate demon babies, giant spider, ooze

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

October in Review

What a month… Yes the pandemic continues, but it didn’t stop me from being there when 2 of my best friends got married! On top of that, there was my son’s first birthday, and Halloween. Overall a great, if somewhat exhausting month.

Due to scheduling issues, and what the players want to do in Stonehell, and how they want to go about it, we’re waiting to run that again till everyone can play… which has meant that I’ve gotten to keep playing Nick in Rappan Athuk.

It ended up being a not super productive month. I worked on several minis, but only feel like I finished (not including basing) a couple of them. And given how busy this month is going to be, I’m not holding high hopes for getting much more accomplished.


Star Trek DS9
Star Trek Lower Decks (great finale!)
Ted Lasso (end of season 2)
Marvel's “What If…. ?”
Countess Dracula
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Muppets Haunted Mansion
Babylon 5 (season 2)
Picard (first half of season 1)

Goals - keeping it really simple this month.
Paint some minis
Play some D&D

Friday, October 29, 2021

Finding A Weapons Master

I was talking with my co-DM about weapon trainers, wanting my character Nick to get some training, but there isn't anything that suggested how likely the PCs were to have on available locally. So, I came up with a chart. I'd had a half formed idea already, since several of my players have taken advantage of the weapon training rules, so this really just codified the idea. 

Keep in mind, the arrangement of weapons into the different categories is based on my campaign

Chance of finding a weapons trainer in a large town. Chances reduced 50% for small towns, and 75% for villages. Cities add 10% base chance shown below.

Teacher LevelCommonUncommonRareVery Rare
Grand Master10%5%3%1%

Common WeaponsUncommon WeaponsRare WeaponsV. Rare Weapons

Axe, HandCrossbow, HeavyBlackjackBlowgun

Axe, BattleHammer, ThrowingLanceBola

Bow, ShortHammer, WarTridentShield Weapons

Bow, LongStaffCestus

Crossbow, LightJavelinNet


MaceSword, Bastard

DaggerSword, 2 Handed


Sword, Short

Sword, Normal


Thrown Objects (rocks, oil, holy water, etc)


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Worm Tunnels and Chocolate Demon Baby

 Session played on 10/3

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)
Gimbal, Magic User  (Scott)

While Nick had been preparing to face the spiders, a message arrived demanding he see the druid. Nick gathers a few of his friends, and heads down the river, following the messenger. Down the river, into the woods and straight into the area that the druid had identified as the spider’s nest. Instead of a nest, they saw a great big hole. And standing next to the hole, the druid, and some of her wolfish friends. Apparently some of the local purple worms have been acting weird, and one of them came and took care of the spider problem.

Good news!

Bad news is that she wants Nick to check out what’s messing with the worms. So, down the tunnel they go, with a stack of purple worm antivenom. Hundreds of feet down (at a thankfully gentle angle)  the tunnel wall falls off and the side of a (dead) purple worm can be seen. Pustules that still ooze cover the body.

Further down, the worm tunnel clipped the corner of a dungeon room. Within was a dry fountain, a couple of doors, and a slowly flowing stream of the same sort of ooze that flowed from the purple worm’s pustules. The stench was nearly overwhelming, but the company decided to look around. Through the eastern door, the party found a smaller room with some diseased rats and a chocolate brown demon baby.

The fight was brutal and blessedly short. Koltic was unable to turn the demon, but weapons were effective. Borumar severed a foul horn from the demon’s head and wrapped it in thick leather. The demon baby was guarding a fair haul of treasure, and after it was all scooped up (except for the copper) the party returned to the surface.

The druid Druzilla was unimpressed with the slaying of the demon and tasked the group to find the source of the ooze.

Gains: gold and silver, non-magical wand, 7 vials of anti-venom, 3 scrolls of cure disease.
Kills: giant rats, chocolate demon baby

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Off to a wedding!

It isn't every day that 2 of your players get married, but today happens to be one of those rare and lucky days. In fact, as this post goes live, the ceremony should be starting...

Congrats Kat and Julia!

I'm so lucky to have you two as both players and friends, and I'm so happy you two found each other. 

Now, quick poll for those readers I have... should I give them an in game wedding present?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Space Gnolls

A while back, when Stargrave first came out, I decided to make some space gnolls. Nothing too crazy, just mercenary arms on gnoll bodies. And because I kinda hate the thin Frostgrave/Stargrave plastic bases, I put them on Reaper 1" bases. I then used the clipped off bits of integrated base to add some stone ruin bits onto the bases.
Then I glued on some gravel.  
And spray primed them black.

I wasn't really sure what to do with them next, so I started with the fur, figuring that was easy, and then onto the clothing.

It took a number of tries to get the colors I wanted. I also decided, well into painting in progress to add a greenstuff wire running from the pouch to the hood on the hooded gnoll, and then to bulk up the stump the gnoll on the far left of the pic below into a full stone block.  The weapons were painted with a gunmetal color, and then highlighted with...  maybe Blade Steel?

Sadly I don't remember, and didn't write down the exact colors I used, but any future gnolls will be painted in different colors anyway.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level Hobgoblins and Ghost Girl

 Session 179 was played on 8/31

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage 3(4) (Scott)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)

Leaving Lady Eiric’s manor, the party heads directly to the main entrance of Stonehell, and to visit Rocky. After the usual pleasantries, they get to the questions!

Q: What do you know about the fog dragon?
A: More than you

Q: What properties does the cauldron on the hidden level have that makes the Sabrine want it?
A: (it isn’t on the hidden level) The cauldron has seen much death and would make a good necromantic focus.

Q: Where is the cauldron?
A: Taken

From Rocky’s chamber they head down to the lost level. Poking around to fill in the map, they stumble on some hobgoblins, who are quickly cut down. Then more hobgoblins show up, and Gimble sleeps most of them, and the rest are killed. One is interrogated, and they learn that it’s another part of the Hobgoblin Occupational Army, a scouting division looking to find out what happened to the legion that was sent before. The still living hobgoblins were tossed in a closet, and locked in. Maybe they’ll escape, maybe they’ll die in there….

Using Invisibility 10’, the party continues their exploration, hearing some awful singing. Gimble thinks the harpies are making the most beautiful music, but is dragged away.

Next they find a crying room. The spirit of a little girl, long trapped, was comforted and released from the curse holding her. In return, the girl shares the treasures she’s collected, including her doll, but also some gold!

Doing a bit more exploring they lift up a stone slab, and find steps down down down to a cave with lots of giant locusts. Running away, as the bugs start to jump up at them, they lower the slab on the bugs. Deciding they’d had enough for one trip, they start to head out. As they reach the gargoyle room, a troop of shadow dwarves is entering the lost level. The groups keep a wary eye on each other, but allow each other to pass without conflict… or even comment.

Gains: electrum from the hobgoblins, gold and a doll from the ghost
Kills: Hobgoblins

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Stonehell: The Lost Level: Unlucky NPCs

 Session 178 was played on 8/22

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage 3(4) (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

Borumar drops another 500gp at the spa to help them fund their operation. People are going to be coming from town to go to this spa… Biffin hangs out at the bar, trying to look inconspicuous.

Meanwhile Morgana and Gimble visit the wizard’s school. Lady Sabine meets with them, they chat about the dungeon, see if there’s anything they should know. She asks 2 favors of them. The first, to drop off a letter with the mage’s guild along with a renewal payment to reactivate her membership. The second, to bring her the ogre’s cast iron cookpot if they should happen upon it. She wants it as a potential focus for necromatic magics.

After collecting Borumar and Biffin, they head back to town, drop off the letter, check to see if there are any ranged magic weapons for sale (there aren’t). They then pack up and head to the Lost Level.

Passing through the Gargoyle Bubble room, they circle around to where the thieves had previously ambushed them. Hearing arguing voices from behind the door, Morgana prepared a sleep spell. Throwing open the door, the party was met with an arrow. Morgana let loose the spell, and they heard several bodies hit the floor. Moving in an angry dwarf tossed an ax at them, and then an invisible woman with a short sword stabbed Morgana. The dwarf and Biffin closed on each other, the dwarf seriously wounding Biffin. Morgana lashed out with her staff, and then her Cockatrice bit the unfortunate backstabber and turned her to stone. The dwarf was then knocked out, and he and the two sleeping humans were tied up.

After healing up a bit, they woke the youngest looking human. Another adventuring party, having bought a copy of their map, decided to see what was to be found, but they lost their copy when their wizard was killed by a ‘fog dragon’ in the abandoned library. Feeling a little bad about having basically wiped their party, Morgana offers to help them get out of the dungeon, and he accepts. They leave Rada the stoned thief behind to hopefully return and return her to flesh.

Back in town, Morgana commissions Boris to make her healing potions. Building a new temple is expensive, and the income is welcome!

Gains: New friends?
Kills: Rada the thief

Monday, October 4, 2021

Stonehell: Interlude in the Korners

Session 178 was played on 8/15

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage 3(4) (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

After returning from the Crypt of the Bloody Claw, Lady Morgana spends the next 2 months in recovery from the withering assault at the hands of the vampire, and working on some new scrolls to replace those that had been used up. Gimble spends the time learning new spells from Morgana’s spellbook. Borumar mostly goofs off but does hear that the returned scion didn’t recover as well as the other captive brought home, and the family has mostly pulled out of public view while they try to find a solution.

Finally, they decide to head back to Stonehell itself! On the way, while crossing the causeway through the swamp, they spot nearly a dozen ghouls making their way toward the party. Morgana drops a fireball into the group, and they are no longer an issue.

Down through the main stairs, they make their way over to Kobold Korners, killing a giant ferret on the way. Keeper Nolti looks even worse than before, but is thrilled to see the party. Over drinks, they discuss some of the happenings in the dungeon. Lady Morgana asks about Scintillating Orbs and hidden levels, and Nolti tells her what little he knows.

Borumar hangs out at the spa. Morgana plans a visit to the mage school.

Friday, October 1, 2021

September in Review

Sadly, the pandemic continues. Thankfully work has decided that we don’t need to go back to the office at all this year. Summer weather has broken, and we’re now well into fall. The air has that crip feeling to it, especially in the mornings. And Pumpkin beers are back in stock!

While Nick didn’t get any table time this past month, I did get to take Fulhoff out for a spin playing in a game with my neighbors!

Things in Stonehell are going interestingly. It’s fun seeing one of my old school players take a bit of a story and running with it. Maybe what he heard was right, maybe it wasn’t, but his idea was solid and I’m looking forward to it playing out.  We’ll see if their plan actually works out for them. It might work spectacularly. It might fail just as spectacularly.

The new supplement for Stargrave arrived! Quarantine 37, which has both zombies and space bugs to play with. I’m gonna need to get some space bugs. I already have lots of zombies. Not space zombies, but… we’ll see.

I’ve gotten some stuff painted, but very little I’m super happy with. I’m actually taking today off, and while I’m not going to paint another dragon, I think I’m going to spend some time working on a mini that hopefully I’ll feel happier about. 


Star Trek DS9
Star Trek Lower Decks
Ted Lasso season 1+2 (first half)
Marvel's “What If…. ?”
Clerks 2
Babylon 5, season 1
Come From Away

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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Stonehell: Crypt of the Bloody Claw part 4/4

 Session 177 was played on 8/8

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

Leaving the staked corpse and the empty coffin, the party, loaded down with coin, returns to the room with the gargoyles. As soon as the gate opened, they attacked. Lady Morgana webs them in place, and the party runs for it, up the stairs, through the secret door. Morgana then casts Hold Portal on the secret door, followed by Invisibility 10’ on the whole party. They sneak out of the dungeon with their loot, and back to the barn.

As they settle down to count their look, the illusion on the coins ends, and their 10,000 gold turns out to be 10,000 copper pieces. With that disappointment, they bed down for the night.

At about midnight, Morgana is shocked to find someone grabbing her throat. Her eyes snap open to find a pair of jade green eyes looking hypnotically at her. Morgana’s will was strong, and the charm failed. The beautiful vampire drained Morgana’s strength, hoisting her up like a rag doll. Morgana somehow managed to kick herself free of the vampire’s grip, falling on her staff, which she used to summon a water elemental. The thump and rush of water woke the rest of the party who all scrambled to address the threat.

The elemental slammed the vampire repeatedly. She looked beyond shocked (and soggy) before giving up and turning into mist, fleeing the barn into the dark.

After catching their breath, the party discusses what to do. Biffin wants to chase after the vampire and stake it again. Morgana agrees, since she’s already spent the charge on the staff to summon the elemental. They slowly make their way back to the dungeon entrance, and back down to the fancy coffin.

The gargoyles were waiting, and the battle was on. As they fight, the vampire joins in. Biffin gets horribly mauled by the gargoyles. The elemental and the vampire square off against each other. Biffin downs as many healing potions as he can before going back against the gargoyles that had mostly focused on helping the vampire against the elemental. The elemental damages the vampire badly enough to make it again turn to mist and fly away. The last gargoyle finally slays the summoned creature. Morgana kills the last injured gargoyle with a dagger.

Beyond the gargoyles, the staked creature was still on the floor. Searching again, they find a small opening in the wall behind the coffin. Morgana uses her collapsable 10’ pole to poke the hole. Having no way to shrink themselves or turn to mist, they debate how to get through…

Morgana orders the elemental to start digging.

Hours later the mud was ankle deep out to almost the stairs, but the hole was expanded more than enough for the party to pass through comfortably. In a worked stone chamber little bigger than a walk-in closet was another coffin. Within was the regenerating vampire. Because the elemental had so damaged her, and the sun was now up, she wasn’t able to react before she was staked, doused in more holy water, and beheaded… Without even a last gasp, the vampire turned to dust, leaving only a pair of fangs behind. That, and 15 opals.

After collecting the treasure, destroying the coffin, and scattering the dirt that was in it, they start heading back up. The pair of wraiths they encounter didn’t stand a chance. Near the exit of the dungeon they check one more door and find a set of 3 locked cells. Within each was an unresponsive figure, one of which was the missing scion! After opening the cells, and getting the sickly figures out, they suddenly come alive, and with the same unnaturally large mouths, try to bite the people holding them. One is killed, the other two are tossed into the elemental who holds them till they can be safely knocked out and tied up. The captives are brought briefly back to the village, but the feeling of unwelcome sent them packing back to town.

Gains: 15 opals, reward  
Kills: 3 gargoyles, vampire, 2 wraiths

Monday, September 27, 2021

Stonehell: Crypt of the Bloody Claw part 3/4

Session 176 was played on 8/1

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimble, Mage (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

After thoroughly searching the torture chamber and the prison, they begin to backtrack, searching as they go, thinking they may have missed something… and they had. A secret door! Behind the door? Stairs leading down. At the base of the stairs, 2 doors. They check the closer door first…

Borumar gets to work unlocking the door. Just as he finishes, the door is pulled open and a massive hand reaches out to grab him! An Ogre Ghoul! Borumar takes the brunt of the abomination’s assault, but a sustained barrage of Magic Missiles takes the thing down. The chamber it was locked in contained no treasure, just some well chewed bones.

The next door opened up into a moderately sized chamber. Against the far wall were 3 gargoyles in the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” poses, though using their wings instead of their hands to mimic the poses. Also in the room was another doorway, blocked by an iron gate. A mere 10’ beyond that gate was another. Beyond that? A fancy coffin. The gargoyles, as dangerous looking as they were, remained still as they investigated the gates. Borumar unlocked the nearer one, and as he did heard a telling metallic click come from the other gate. Keeping a close eye on the gargoyles, and the coffin, the party squeezes into the space, and Borumar unlocks the second gate, causing the first to lock behind them.

The fancy coffin was propped up against the far wall. Passing around holy water, they prepared to open the lid. When they did, a horrific looking undead thing lunged out at them, fanged teeth looking for something to bite down on. Between the holy water, and Borumar and Biffin’s ready weapons, the creature was cut down screaming, and then a stake pounded into its heart.

Behind the coffin? A chest containing thousands of gold coins!

Borumar leaves a Karl coin in the coffin.

Gains: Thousands of gold coins  
Kills: Ogre Ghoul, coffin creature

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Stonehell: Crypt of the Bloody Claw part 2/4

Session 175 was played on 7/18

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimbal, Mage (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

The two werewolf guards are efficiently cut down, and then the other 4 that charge down the hall toward the party are loudly blasted with a lightning bolt that then rebounds back on the 4 of them, stopping just a few feet before reaching the party. The charmed cultist runs for it, away from the violence, down the stairs, likely toward the rest of the cultists below.

Taking the stairs down after her, they open up onto a long hall, at the end of which is a statue of a moon goddess. As they approach it, it briefly animates and throws a silvery disk toward the party. Borumar in front ducks, avoiding it, but leaving Morgana wide open for the trap. The blade sinks deep into her chest, and she drops. Potions are quickly poured down her throat and all over the wound, reviving her before she slipped away completely.

Crawling toward the statue, keeping their heads down, avoids further blades and they safely make it past the moon goddess. Following the instructions they make it to the cult’s main worship room, where a ritual was in progress, but they also seemed ready for the party. What they weren’t ready for was Morgana and Gimbal both casting sleep. Lada and Borumar follow that up with bow shots at the still standing cultists, then Biffin runs in. He gets touched by the adept, hurting him a little,. The adept doesn’t survive the encounter. The sleeping ones are killed, except for the charmed one, who is tied up and left to think about her sins. The cultists pins are all taken (clawed hand made of silver, finger tips colored with red paint).

They then find and search the dark adept’s chambers, are attacked by his giant rat friends (who are all promptly put to sleep via a sleep scroll, and killed) and then his meager treasure taken. They then find a recently used torture chamber and prison, but still no noble girl...

Gains: cult pins, small amount of coins  
Kills: werewolves and cultists

Monday, September 20, 2021

Stonehell: Crypt of the Bloody Claw part 1/4

Session 174 was played on 7/11

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimbal, Mage (Scott)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC)

Word reaches Borumar that the scion of a wealthy noble family has gone missing, and was suspected of having been taken by whoever had taken up residence in the old crypt of the moon goddess hours out of town. Meanwhile Morgana was researching ritual magics.

Deciding to take up the quest, the party gears up and heads out. By the time they reached the village it was late afternoon. They talk to the locals, and get permission to stay in one of their barns as there wasn’t an inn. Dropping off their gear, Morgana casts invisibility on the party, and they head up into the hills where a circle of standing stones marks the crypt’s location. They find the crypt entrance guarded.

As it was getting dark, and they’d already had a long day of walking, they head back and bed down, setting the watch for the night. During Biffin’s watch, shortly before dawn, a pair of werewolves attack the party. Neither gets away, nor do they score any hits on the party with their bites.

Seeing as they were up, they make an early start of it. In the entrance hall of the crypt, currently unguarded, Borumar triggers a blade trap, but manages to avoid getting his head cut open. He disables the trap, and they move deeper, coming to a large entrance hall. As they look around, a side door opens and a young woman steps into the room, shocked to see the party. She turns to run, but Morgana’s quickly uttered Sleep spell drops her fast. They tie her up, and wake her. She bites Borumar with an unnaturally large mouth. Keeping her out of bite range, they question her, but she’s uncooperative. So Morgana Charms her.

She tells them all she knows about the crypts, about the dark adept who leads the cult, even points out the areas that she was told to stay out of, as they’re too dangerous and haven’t been cleared yet. Wanting to take advantage of the fact that they had a guide, they followed her through the crypts down a couple levels until they reached a guard post. The werewolves on guard were uninterested in the cultist’s protestations, and the party pushed her aside to meet the attack of the werewolves.

Gains: Charmed cultist guide  
Kills: 2 werewolves

Friday, September 17, 2021

5e: Crossing the Desert

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

Dear Mother and Father,

I'm sorry to have left so suddenly and without discussing it with you ahead of time. By Digger's mighty claws, I just could not listen to everyone go on and on about cousin Thorin and his new role as Clan Warden. 

Besides, the magic was calling out to me. I had a vision, or perhaps just a dream, just I had to find out what it was calling me toward. 

But first I had to get there. And no, I wasn't going to just spend my coin. I would hope you'd know me better than that by now. I found a caravan heading across the Scrier Desert. Not much of a caravan, in fact a mere 2 wagons pulled by camels, funded by the laziest gnome I've had the displeasure to encounter who goes by the name of Ragnear. But he'd already assembled a team of guards to keep his caravan safe. 

And I thought the company Thorin assembled was motley. There's Pand, a giant cat with memory problems, a small sneaky goblin named Heddah, an elf called Swallow Greenhorn on some sort of "work/study program", and a human artificer with too many children and an oily personality named Lou Saperstein.

Pand the cat was too big to fit on either of the wagons, so took the lead as we crossed the bridge separating the village from the desert gorges that would mark the first third of the trip. The Heddah and Swallow were in the first wagon with the gnome, and I was stuck with Lou... who talked too much even for a human. 

It wasn't too long before I noticed that the tracks of the camels and the wagons were quickly swallowed by the sands... It wasn't a magical effect that I could tell, but it also wasn't natural. And then they appeared, dust devils. 

The battle was joined, such as it was. Being in the rear wagon meant I missed most of the action, but the cat seemed to do alright, drawing a pair of swords from... I don't actually know where it was keeping them. I managed to slow one down with a ray of frost, but that was my only contribution to the fight. Lou managed to shoot himself in the lip with his crossbow. 

Some hours later, as the sun was hidden by the tall walls of the gorges, we were set upon by a pair of Yuan-Ti, an abomination and a pitmaster. Again, Pand was up front and was surprised, but recovered quickly, laying into the abomination. From my vantage point, it looked like the elf and the goblin went at the smaller but more disturbing pitmaster. Once again, being at the back meant I couldn't bring my hammer to the fight, but my magic did it's job. I cast Hideous Laughter on the pitmaster, which had it rolling in the sand. Lou, somehow useful, hasted Pand. I'm not sure I ever want to see a plushy 7 foot tall hasted cat ever again. Somehow the spell manifested in a rainbow flowing from it!

Hasted, Pand had dropped the swords in favor of a pair of flails. Again, I don't know where the flails were being kept. I did ask later and the answer it gave me was "hammerspace" which was blisteringly unhelpful. The abomination morphed into a giant snake and tried to bite the plushy cat, failed, and coiled around the elf who had gotten too close.

Heddah (the widdle gobwin as she insists on referring to herself as) shanked the pitmaster as he rolled. He stopped rolling after that, freeing up my focus. I cast Vitriolic Sphere on the snake's head. The acid wasn't as effective as I'd hoped, but I could still see it burning the monster. Pand grabbed it by the tail, and whipped it hard enough to release Swallow, who then promptly ran back at the snake and delivered a mighty blow against the scaled monster. So mighty that the snake didn't notice, and Swallow sprained his wrist. 

I must say, in my experience, the Eldar Arcanus may have mighty magic, but their failure to properly cultivate physical endurance and strength, not to mention a certain wisdom to recognize that failure... Dwarven mage-smiths and battle-wizards may be fewer in number but are truly a higher quality.

Lou, while still maintaining the haste, shoots off a pair of bolts. One hit. He calls himself a sharp-shooter, but... 

Don't tell Thorin, but I miss him and the rest of the company. 

I toss a lightning bolt at the snake's face (incidentally causing Pan's already poofy body to poof more), and then Heddah runs up the snake's body and slits it's throat. It thrashes and falls to the sand twitching, blood soaking into the dry earth as fast as it can flow from the creature's body. 

Taking a bit to search around, we found the yuan-ti's stash. Then we get back on the wagons and keep on till we reach what the gnome called "the second arena."



A big thank you to my new neighbor Vicky for DMing, and for inviting me to join her and her friends, and for giving me a chance to play Fulhoff again! Can't wait for next session.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Meeting the Neighbors

I think last night might be my most memorable introduction of myself. I was painting after getting the boy down to bed, and I heard the new downstairs neighbors out on the patio having a dinner party. No biggie. A little bit later the tone of the chatter changed, and something caught my ear. Someone was doing a voice. I stepped out onto my balcony and looked down. The food was all put away, and everyone had their screens out. I couldn't make out most of what was being said, but then...


"Make a sleight of hands check" followed by the clatter of dice.

They were playing D&D!

I went inside, and dithered a moment about how to get their attention. I grabbed a d20 and went back out on the balcony. When there was a lull, I said "Hi neighbors" and tossed the d20 down toward them.

Down 3 stories toward them.

"What the.... Did he just toss a dice down?"

"Yeah, and it's a nat 20!"  (I swear to all the gods I'm not making this up)

"Hey, you play D&D?!?"

"Yeah I do!" I replied.

"Can he join us? Do you want to come play?"

 Obviously, I could, and did. And that's how I met my new neighbors and their friends last night.


Bonus, I got to pull out my old dwarf wizard Fulhoff! His newest adventure will be tomorrow's post.

Stonehell: Nest of Otrogg part 2/2

 Session 173 was played on 6/27

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimbal, Mage (Scott)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC
Darryl, Cleric 7 (NPC)

The glowing pool turned out to be from some stones in the water with continual light cast upon them. Also in the water was some treasure. While collecting it, they were set upon by more beetles, which they killed. Moving deeper, they passed through a grotto filled with mushrooms. Then on past a rushing stream that flowed into a deep dark hole. Past that, Darryl got bit by a giant centipede, and Gimbal put them all to sleep.

They then came upon some mobile mushrooms that wanted to shy away from the party, but they got spooked, and rushed every which way, knocking over some of the party in a worked stone chamber. In an adjacent room they found a magically locked door that Morgana’s Knock spell wouldn’t open. They also found a chest that was both locked and rusty. They head back to the shy mushrooms, and then up and around to the north and then east before Gimbal gets dropped on by some green slime. Morgana burns it off, burning Gimbal at the same time Darryl does his best to keep Gimbal on his feet, but they decide to head out and back to town with their loot.  

Gains: 2 potions of healing, 1 potion of diminution, 800+ in various coins, Froghammer and a scroll of Protection from Undead   
Kills: Green slime, beetles, giant centipedes

Monday, September 13, 2021

Stonehell: Nest of Otrogg part 1/2

 Session 172 was played on 6/20

After a long break following the birth of my son, we return to Stonehell!

Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Gimbal, Mage (Scott)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Biffin, Fighter 6 (NPC
Darryl, Cleric 7 (NPC)

Gimbal starts the session wanting to go party. Borumar, always up for a good time, chips in, and what a bash. 3 days later Borumar is arrested and put on trial for disturbing the peace, destruction of property, and inciting a riot. At the conclusion of the trial, due mainly to a lack of direct evidence, Borumar is required to wear a dunce cap while in town.

Rather than head into the main dungeon, the party opts to take it easy in a newly revealed set of caves that appeared after a rockslide in the box canyon. The rough stone passages that slope down are mainly notable for the excessive bug population. Beetles, worms, spiders, and things with way too many legs scurry away from the light the party brings into their hole.

Early on they’re attacked by more of the nasty big beetles, and Biffin is bit twice through his plate armor before the vermin are squashed. Deeper in, they find the beetle queen laying her eggs. Morgana lights up the chamber with a lightning bolt that zaps the queen and her guards. Once their ears stop ringing, and the spots in front of their eyes ease off, they search the room, and find 10 eggs that survived the evocation. The eggs are packed away.

The next cave is a boulder strewn area with a glowing pool at one end. As they carefully make their way through the boulders, one of them rears up and attacks! A giant snail! Morgana, who has been carrying around a pound of salt forever, finally uses it. Borumar lands a powerful blow against it. Biffin flails uselessly against the shell. Everyone manages to stay out of the snail’s mouth, though Morgana is knocked over as it tries to bum-rush the party before it dies from the burning salt.

Gains: Beetle eggs
Kills: Deathgrip Beetles, Deathgrip Beetle Queen, Bale Snail

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Stonehell Lost Level: Earth Elemental Beats Leather Fog

 Session 171 was played on 10/4

Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Darryl, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Lady Eiric, Mage 8 (Kat)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Jurda, Fighter 1 (NPC)

Hiring a couple meatshields, the party heads down to the Lost Level through the caves. Returning to the thieves hideout, they make a more thorough search, finding a secret room off of one of the alcoves. Borumar disarms the trap on the door, and within they find the thieve’s stash.

Behind another alcove was a concealed door. Down the long hall, through the destroyed wizards chamber to the far door. It explodes when they try to open it, dropping the hirelings. Potions are quickly poured down throats, reviving most of them. Jurda doesn’t make it.

Morgana casts invisibility on Borumar, and he scouts ahead. They find a summoning room, with a silver inscribed circle. They take the silver. Returning to the room with the steel chest and the weird brown fog, Borumar strips down to his bark armor, and heads in to try to get the chest. He fails. Lady Eiric summons an earth elemental to grab the chest. It does, and they head for the surface. They’re attacked on the way by a pack of ghouls. Darryl destroys 5, Morgana fries the rest with a fireball.

Gains: various coins and a bunch of jewelry, silver from the summoning circle.
Kills: 9 ghouls
Losses: Jurda, again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Happy Star Trek Day!

 For 55 years, Star Trek has been bringing the hope of a brighter future. That mission has been a part of my life for basically as long as I can remember. Tonight I'll be celebrating that... that celebration might stretch into tomorrow as it doesn't start till 8:30pm Eastern, but we'll see. 


Here's to all that is to come, and the brighter future that awaits us! 

Live long and prosper. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Stonehell: Beetlemania

Session 170 was played on 10/1

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)

Borus hires a cartographer to redraw their collected maps into something more coherent. He also upgrades Jurda’s armor to plate.

Heading down to level 3, they fight off some nasty giant beetles. Jurda drops twice during the fight (they have a really nasty bite).

Down on level 4 they encounter a talkative minotaur who mostly wants to shoot the shit.

Down to the mines in level 5, they wander around, eventually finding a weird 10’ stone cube in the middle of a room. It doesn’t seem to have been carved. With great effort they manage to shift it to see if it was concealing anything. It wasn’t.

Deeper into the mines they find a clockwork canary. A mostly unrewarding excursion.

Gains: Clockwork Canary (detects poison gas)
Kills: Beetles

Friday, September 3, 2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings

I just got back a little bit ago from seeing Shang-Chi, and I have to say it's a solid introduction of the character into the MCU!

The story isn't anything too original, but it's well done, and the comedy beats, usually provided by Awkwafina are great and had me laughing. I also really appreciate that the friendship between Shang-Chi and Kate (Awkwafina's character) is deep, loving, and platonic. 

The special effects were up to the usual Marvel standard, the choreography looked good (certainly better than Iron Fist), and the cameos and twists toward the end played out well, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this ties in with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange going forward. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Stonehell: Stoned Hireling

 Session 169 was played on 9/27

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)

In town, Morgana commissions some antivenom from the alchemists’ guild, and Joho puts a tailor on retainer. He also hires Jurda, a shieldmaiden, and upgrades her shield to a large tunnel fighting shield.

On the way to the dungeon, a chimera attacks the party. Morgana uses her lightning bolt spell, which causes the beast to turn to fly away, but she finishes it off with magic missiles. They bring the corpse back to town and sell it for 500gp.

Heading back to the dungeon, they swing through level 2 (which is now infested with fairies) down to 3 (passing some bugbears) and taking the stairs down to 5B. Exploring the remnants of the old mine, they stumble on a cockatrice lair, and with a combination of fireball and magic missiles, they slay the beasts. Sadly Jurda is turned to stone in the combat. In the cockatrice nest they discover a suit of magic plate mail, a spell scroll (only slightly burned around the edges) and a potion.

Heading out, they’re attacked by some bugbears hiding in the shadows on level 3 waiting to ambush them. They’re spotted, and Morgana blasts them with a lightning bolt.

Back in town they sell the loot, get Jurda returned to flesh, and heal up for the next delve.

Gains: various coins, Plate Mail of Flight, Potion of Treasure Finding, Spell scroll with 2 first level spells.
Kills: Bugbears, Cockatrices
Losses: Jurda (petrified, brought back)

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

July in Review

The Pandemic continues… and the Delta Variant is still way less exciting than the Loki Variant. If anyone is curious, I still wear my mask anytime I’m indoors and not in my own home. I recommend that you follow the WHO guidelines on that, even if you're vaccinated. I'm really not looking forward to going back to the office next month.

There have been several glorious thunderstorms that I've really enjoyed watching from my covered balcony.

Nick hasn’t gotten to come put and play this month, but I’ve run a bit of Stonehell. I made up a new side dungeon based on an old map I drew years ago. Recently stocked it up, and now putting it through its paces. It’s an interesting and deadly little dungeon and I look forward to sharing it with you… as soon as my players wrap up with it.

I *have* the solo Stargrave rules printed out… but haven’t cleared off the table to play it yet.

Bones V arrived this month. I’m still slowly sorting through it but I couldn't help but paint up the big black dragon that I got.

Aside from that, it was a bit of a lack-luster month. Painted a couple of ghosts, a couple of fantasy minis, and a mushroom.

Star Trek DS9 season 5 into season 6
Various netflix comedy specials
Star Trek Lower Decks (new season starts in a little over a week!!)
Ted Lasso season 1 (first half)
Mask of Zorro
Loki - So good!

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

Monday, July 26, 2021

Agranzarax from #ReaperMini Bones V

 Friday the 16th my Bones V shipment arrived. Friday the 23rd I took the day off and painted my first mini from the set - Agranzarax the black dragon!

dry fitted Agranzarax next to a glass of whiskey, and a Bones Kassandra mini for scale

As an additional challenge to myself (as if painting a dragon, a BIG dragon in a day wasn't challenge enough...) I stuck almost exclusively to the new paints that came with Bones V. Honestly though, this wasn't a hardship, as the colors that came in it were perfect for painting a black dragon: Black Indigo, Carnival Purple, Wild Violet, and the 3 Oxides (Brown, Red, and Yellow). The only paint I ended up adding to that was Cairn Stone (an off white) and a home made black wash. 

After giving it a good soak in hot soapy water and letting it dry, I dry fitted the parts. I decided to keep the wings and the horns on the head off the figure while I was working on it. They were just too in the way. I also realized that being classic bones material, it was a little rubbery and needed some encouragement to all fit together. 


  • I trimmed down the peg on the neck for the head
  • I made sure the body was glued into the tail that curls around the tower before worrying about gluing the legs down.
  • I glued the back legs, then the front leg to the tower.
Agranzarax with black paint. Conan the Barbarian on the screen behind him

 One it was all glued together (and after I had to go out and buy some fresh glue)I started applying paint. Black Indigo was the base color for the body, and Wild Violet for the wings and the chest scales.

Agranzarax with base colors blocked in, wings and horns seperate

I highlighted the scales by adding some Cairn Stone to the Black Indigo. Some were individually highlighted, others were dry brushed, depending on the amount of detail available. 

Agranzarax with wings fitted in

Agranzarax's wings

To shade and highlight the wings, I used Carnival Purple for the shadows, and a mix of Black Indigo and Carnival Purple for the really deep shadows. To highlight, I added a bit of Cairn Stone to the Wild Violet. Both were applied somewhat carefully in thin washes. 

Highlighting the scales... so many scales...

Then it was time to work on the base. Using the oxides with the black indigo I managed a nice dark grey. I also used Brown Oxide on the claws, horns, and wingtips. I then used thinned mixes of Brown Oxide and Cairn stone to bring them up toward a more bone color. I used the Leaf Bud Green (another new Bones V color) for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

The base still needs a little work, but for 1 day's worth of work, I'm really pleased with how it came out.