Sunday, December 31, 2023

Dec ‘23 In Review

Well that went by in a whirlwind. The basement flooded, again. This time from the chimney, but we got that fixed. The toddler brought home a bug that the doctor said wasn’t COVID, the flu, strep, or RSV. Then I got it, and it knocked me down hard. 2 solid days spent in bed. The toddler is also pushing back on napping, which means I’m getting less time to work on my own projects. Add in to that all the holiday socializing… and sadly the New Year’s plans we had got canceled due to illness.

With the holidays, there hasn’t been as much, and with my focus elsewhere I haven’t made it the priority to get in any mini gaming time this month. On top of that I've been so focused on Kalanzar (see below) and wrapping up the #dungeon23 that I didn't get as much session report writing done as I'd planned.

Speaking of, my #dungeon 23 is complete. More thoughts on this later, but it was definitely a marathon. I haven't decided if I want to do something similar for next year yet.

Big focus this month was on completing Kalanzar the Wicked, and I did! But he’s gonna get his own post. Aside from him I also painted up a bunch of familiars, and did a little more work on the necromancer mini-diorama I’m putting together.  

The Expanse
A Year Without Santa Claus
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials 1, 2, & 3

Goals for Jan
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Down the long dark road

Session was played on 3/26/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Continuing down, the party reaches the long passage to Rappan. A pair of moldy zombie horses stand quietly, waiting for direction.

All is quiet, and the party makes use of the horses to help carry their extra supplies. Many hours later they reach a branching passage, and at the branch point is an inn, run by a roachkin named Urlouck. He provides some info on the 2 passages available but states that both end up at Rappan. The zombie horses stable themselves, and the roachkin offers to sell the party more magical hay to keep them going, as well as rooms to rest before pressing on the 40 more miles to Rappan.

There are 2 decently sized rooms, and the party splits up so that everyone gets a bed. However they still set a watch in each room… which is good, because the rug in one room tries to eat Aroon and Marthek! Its hide was remarkably resistant to being stabbed, taking on an iron-like  hardness. While badly mauled, Aroon and Marthek survive.

The party gathers together to decide on how to deal with this. Death to the roachkin, obviously. Morgana makes Borumar invisible, and he scouts up to the roachkin’s room. Unfortunately as he sneaks the door open, the walking talking vermin tosses a vial of paralytic gas at the thief.

Kills:  Killer Rug

Monday, December 18, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Back to the Mouth of Doom

Session was played on 3/19/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Heading out on the road to the Mouth of Doom, the party crosses paths with a group of Kobolds on the way to the keep. They chat briefly before moving on. Further down the road 8 promethean jumping spiders attack the party, surprising most of them. Borumar fumbles badly while Lor’Koth get bitten and suffers mightily from their venom. The spiders are killed, and Koltic heals LorKoth.

At the Mouth of Doom the party negotiates safe passage through the resident Kobold lair down to the lower depths. A guide shows them the way, and ensures the party sticks to the agreed upon route.

Kills:  Promethean jumping spiders

I don't recall if it was just a short session, or if it was a lot of talking with the kobolds, but either way, I didn't write much down, so short session report.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Back at the castle

Session was played on 3/12/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

The party takes the Lemon Mucker Ferry, crewed in part by the kobolds from Nick’s castle. Blotto sees something big in the water, tries to catch it using a dead pixie lure. He manages to catch a trout, but not the big fish he was after. He dives in after it, but doesn’t catch it. Nick needs to keep the kobolds from cutting Blotto’s line that kept him secured to the boat.

On the way from the ferry landing to the castle, Nick gets an update on the goings on, including encounters with stirges, giant spiders, a lion, a troll, some bandits, and “the warlock” with some human henchman. Coming out of the trees Nick sees that the castle’s outer wall has been repaired, the trees cleared back 200’ at least from the walls, and crops have been planted in the cleared area. The kobolds are quick to show off all their hard work, including the construction and expansion of caves into the moat wall.

Nick then checks in with Afrit the demon raven living in the tower. She has kept her word and not bothered the kobolds or their livestock. SHe reports that a troll nest is nearby, but not too near, and that the druid has been around, but again not too close or too recently. Nick and Afrit renew their bargain.

Taking a tour of the kobold warrens includes a visit to the spidershepherd. Apparently the kobolds have captured and are collecting the silk from a giant spider!

Within the castle is an invitation to the summer fete from the queen of the fairy court some 3 weeks hence. Nick signs the invite, and a pair of fairies appear and take his answer away.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Rumors Abound

Session was played on 3/5/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Safely back at home, Morgana researches constructs, while Nick and Aroon visit the shrine of Mirna. Borumar and Jameth spend time recuperating.

Nick’s rumor gathering revealed the following:
Don’t go down the well… you went down the well?!?
Hell’s own Coachman connects all local dungeons to Rappan
Zelkor fell down the well, and didn’t come back
The Mouth of Doom has 3 levels and connects to Rappan
There’s a man in a red/orange cloak who will have dinner with travelers and be gone by morning
There’s a gold mine in a cavern with a manmade river in it (pretty sure that’s where we were last session)
The lost army of Zar still haunts the Forest of Hope
The local necromancer hasn’t been around in a bit.

Additionally Nick asks about other local spellcasters who might have created the golems down the well:
Glazarel - great local wizard who was going to build a tomb in the area
Koradel - Champion with a dragon, disappeared when the army of light was disbanded
Zelkor - worked for the army of light, disappeared
Priestess Akbeth - rumored to walk the halls of Rappan granting wishes and causing destruction in her wake.

Nick also hires Sinnoth as a reve/sage from the shrine of Mirna to manage things at his castle.

Morgana’s research reveals that Brass Golems are very powerful, healed and fueled by heat. Morgana then crafts a wand of dispel magic

Friday, December 8, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Borumar gives a hand

Session was played on 2/13/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar, ½ Orc Fighter (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Emerging from the tunnels into a large room with a pool filling much of it, the party is attacked by some wraiths, that Koltic easily turns, and then by a trio of displacer beasts that quickly appear to be over a dozen! Combat is insanely unproductive as illusionary beasts keep being dispelled while the real ones keep doing some damage…. Until they run away…

As a Beholder drops from the ceiling above the pool!! Everyone runs in terror, and Morgana tosses a fireball at it, praying the central eye isn’t looking. It goes off with a bigger than expected BOOM, leaving nothing behind.

At the far end of the room is a steep cliff, and at the bottom are chunks of gold! Borumar quickly sets up some ropes, and heads down. On the far wall at the bottom of the cliff are 3 holes, each with a lever inside. As Lor’Koth begins picking out the biggest chunks of gold to collect, Borumar reaches into the middle hole, and grabs the level, and his hand is cut off. The screaming is loud, but Koltic at least stops the bleeding, even if he can’t replace the hand right away. Nick tests the left hole with his 10’ pole, and the end of it is chopped off. He then fashions a loop of rope on the end to grab the lever on the right, which opens a door in the wall.

Morgana uses her headband to check down the passage which opens up into a room with 4 brass statues. She uses DIspel Magic, which makes the statues grumpy, but also kills the illusion on the gold rocks. Not wanting to crawl back through the tunnels, Morgana uses her teleportation ritual to get everyone home.

Kills: displacer beast, blast spore

Monday, December 4, 2023

Rapan Athuk: Down the Well...

Session was played on 1/30/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar, ½ Orc Fighter (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Nick and Jameth find weapon masters and successfully train, while Aroon and his teacher don’t get along. Koltic sets up a brewery in the castle and gets some decent results after a couple week’s efforts.

Swinging by town for any news or rumors, but nothing worthwhile to be noted.

To the graveyard, the party finds 9 fresh plots, 1 empty grave with the headstone inscribed for Borumar “May He Rest Well”

Heading to the mausoleum with the key in hand, they see 8 gargoyles perched above the door. Lacking any real offensive ranged abilities, they keep their distance, and settle on exploiting the well, rather than face the gargoyles.

Setting up the rope, Blotto heads down first, followed by Borumar and Nick. At the bottom of the well is a watery middle and a pair of passages heading out to either direction, both slightly above the water. Stirges emerge from one! Nick gets bitten and ends up flailing around with it in the shallow water while Blotto and Borumar cut down the other.

The rest of the party make it down the rope, and as soon as the start heading down one of the passages, they feel an oppressive weight bearing down on them. Lor’Koth, Jameth, and Koltic are visibly shaken by the feeling, but Nick manages to convince everyone to press on a little further. Blotto makes a hat from a stirge body.

As they literally crawl through the passage, some rats start coming for the party. In such tight quarters even Blotto was feeling nervous about being unable to defend against the rats, but Koltic used his Book of Yg to summon snakes to come and eat the rats, which they did!

Kills: Stirges, rats

Friday, December 1, 2023

November '23 in review

Early in the month I came down with another damned cold. Time was additionally taken up by both holiday travel and a work trip down to DC. All in all it was not a super productive month for much of anything except getting a bunch of session reports written

I ran out of time this month for the Stargrave Hope Eternal campaign, but did play a few sessions of the Savage Worlds Necessary Evil campaign, and in the Stonehell game my players managed to take the dwarven hermitage and capture the evil artifact Gloom Crown. I was DESPERATELY hoping they'd keep their word and give it to the dark elves, and the chaos that would cause, but they've locked it up and are looking for a way to destroy it.... So now I need to come up with a quest for them to do just that. 

My #Dungeon23 is about a week behind where I should be. I've run into a bit of a mental problem with the current level. The dungeon has reached hell, and with all the real hellish things going on in the world, I have no stomach for making the level as evil as I'd started out thinking I would. It's rather cartoonish at this point, and I need to rework some things to get it where I want it, so I'm behind. I will catch up soon, and plan on wrapping up the year and my 365th room on 12/31!

My focus this month was on a couple of bigger projects, so not as much was completed as in most months. What I did manage to complete this month were a big brown bear, a gnome on a turkey, and an orc sorceress.

In progress I’ve got a big red dragon, a lich on a throne, and a necromancer raising a zombie. The most progress has been on the dragon that I need to get done by the end of the year, but even that has been kinda slow going. It took a while and a couple of false starts to find the right base colors for the body and wings, but then in working on highlighting the scales I’m worried that it’ll stop looking like a red dragon. I’m pressing on at this point. I can always glaze over it with a rich vibrant red later to tone down the yellow-orange highlights if I decide I don’t like it in the end.

On top of these, I also have been pushing some greenstuff around. I have some old minis that were missing parts, and I wanted to get them whole, so I sculpted a new claw for the dire badger and new eyestalks for the carrion crawler. And because I mixed up too much, I also made 5 worm things that I didn’t have a specific plan for. After I thought that I could make them baby carrion crawlers, so I've been attempting to make tentacles for them, with some success.

Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4
Nightmare Before Christmas
Great British Bakeoff
Quiz Lady
No Hard Feelings
Baby J Comedy Special
Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse

Goals for Dec
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.
Finish the dragon

Monday, November 27, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Unwelcoming Trolls

Session was played on 1/22/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar, ½ Orc Fighter (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Wanting to avoid any more encounters with the bug people, the party heads down in the direction of where the Orcus priest was going/coming from. At the end of the passage was a door, and silence beyond. Borumar checks it and says it’s clear, and unlocks it. Beyond is a disused steeped welcoming hall.

Within the hall were three trolls! Angry trolls. Trolls big and mean enough to quickly drop both Borumar and Lt. Marthek. Blotto manages to hook one with his fishing pole(arm) but the troll just pulls Blotto in by the line and takes a bite out of him. Lor’Koth manages to take one out at the knees, while Aroon shoves his sword through the head of another, while Nick uses his spear to pin the 3rd down until everyone else could finish it off. Koltic was quick with the healing, and the oil to burn the bodies was applied almost as quickly.

Gathering the troll’s somewhat meager treasure (pocket change and a fancy necklace) the party makes for the surface and home.

Gains: necklace, and gold coins
Kills: 3 trolls

Friday, November 24, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Insect-People Bug Us

Session was played on 1/15/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Koltic’s stills continue to produce the good stuff (healing potions) while Blotto works with Morgana to design a fishing pond for her grounds.

Back to the dungeon, and down to level 2 without encounter. At the bottom of the stairs a man and a woman rearing ratty clothing and crowns demand a toll. Nick is willing to pay a little, tossing one of the jet colored gems to them. They demand more, and Nick refuses. Then the rats attack, while the rat king and queen escape. After finishing off the rats and rescuing Jameth who got cut off from the rest of the party in the melee, they continue back down to the corpse of the purple worm.

A pair of insect-like humanoids are carving up the corpse. Their bright orange eyes send Nick nuts, and he attacks his fellows. The rest of the party piles onto him holding him down until the madness passes. The insect-people otherwise ignore the party.

Moving away from the corpse of the worm, and the weird insect people, the party stumbles on a small group of orcs, one in priestly garments. The priest casts Hold on Marthek, chanting about the power of Orcus. The fight goes poorly for the orcs.

The party continues on, away from the worm and the tunnel the orcs were heading toward, and run into 2 more of the insect-people. Koltic and Marthek both charge in in a maddened rage, the rest of the party follows. The insect people were much tougher than the orcs, but they’re eventually killed. Each had a single gem on them. Searching these bodies reminded the party that they failed to loot the orc bodies, so they back tracked to do that, collecting some fancy unholy symbols that could be melted down and sold.

Gains: 2 gems, unholy symbols of orcus, unholy water
Kills: orc priest of orcus, orcs, 2 insect-people

Monday, November 20, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Beware the Purple Worms

Session was played on 1/8/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar ½ Orc Thief 9 (Josh) & Fido
Karl, Dwarf (Julia)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Borumar spends his downtime looking for a dagger master to train with, while Koltic brews more of the good stuff. Nick goes on the hunt for a wizard to assist in exploring the dungeon, and finds Mithrandir who demands a full share of treasure, and 150gp retainer.

Back to the graveyard, and the mausoleum is guarded by 4 gargoyles. Borumar fireballs the top, injuring them, but Lor’Koth is grabbed, and lifted off the ground. Jameth and Aroon grab his legs and keep the gargoyle from lifting him away, giving the rest of the party a chance to finish them off. They collect 6 gems from the corpse’s eyes.

Using the key, they enter and make their way along down to the long hallways with the doors, and check out the 3 missed doors from last time.

10. A gnawed human arm is knifed to the back of the door, and 16 dead rats litter the floor.
8. Borumar isn’t able to pick the lock so Karl bashes the door open. Within are piles of smashed crates in a dirt packed room. Borumar finds a large grey potion (stone to fleshx4).
9. 11 rat skeletons, and stairs down. The party goes down the stairs.

The stairs end in a massive cavern with bats flitting about overhead. Not too far ahead was a sign 

“Beware the purple worms, Smigol the Archmage”

Passing the sign, the party is, shockingly, attacked by a purple worm, and Borumar is swallowed! Then so is Karl. Everyone throws everything they’ve got at the giant vermin, and they kill it, and cut Borumar and Karl out and Koltic heals them up as much as he can… enough to get them standing anyway. As the creature is dead, and cut open anyway, they cut down to the gullet and retrieve the corpse of an adventurer with a full suit of plate mail and a backpack full of treasure.

Calling that good enough, the party heads home.

Gains: 1500gp, jeweled collar, +1 plate mail, bag of devouring, potion of stone to flesh x4
Kills: Purple Worm

Friday, November 17, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Behind the doors

Session was played on 1/2/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar ½ Orc Thief 9 (Josh) & Fido
Karl, Dwarf (Julia)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

Heading south to a T intersection, the west passage is short and has the chalk outline of a door on the far end. Amazingly it shows the location of a secret door (thanks previous adventurer!) that opens up into a rough passage with some ghouls inside. Koltic destroys some, and we slam the door closed.

Continuing down the hall, we encounter a LOT of doors…
  1. Rat Carnage! 3 big ones, lots of parts of small ones
  2. Old wood and tools for making coffins, a chest with 10,000 rusty nails
  3. An animated broom and a big well swept pile of trash. Borumar figures out how the broom activates. Inventively, it’s saying “sweep”
  4. Four ogres, Karl says “sweep” causing Borumar to get dragged about. After slaying the ogres a ghoul shows up (Player Note: I have no memory of where the ghoul came from) and says “you’re not worthy yet”
  5. Ogre Den, polar bear skin rug (kinda far south for that, aren’t we?) a silver 2 handed sword, keg of wine, and a couple of potions are found in the mess.
  6. A note that says “took the door for cleaning, be back soon” Beyond the note is another door, made of gold covered in runes. Aroon takes some rubbings of the door’s runes.
  7. Dirt floor, smashed door, musty and unstable looking.
  8. Locked, good quality lock
  9. Locked, excellent quality lock
  10. Locked, good quality lock
  11. Dude ranting about orcus behind a curtain. When we knock he throws jars of green slime, one hits Jameth, and another hits Aroon. Nick and Koltic tackle the dude, and uses “cure disease” and “remove curse” and the dude passes out. Searching the room, we find a rat tooth necklace, flees, a key, ceramic jars of green slime, a gold bar, a spell book, and a beaver pelt.
After the dude takes his nap, he wakes up and tells us he’s Lt. Marthek from the army of light who was cursed by the cultists of Orcus.

The party collects themselves and they head for the surface, interrupted by a ghoul attack. They kill them off and make it safely back to the keep

Gains: gold bar, spell book, potions, silver edged 2 handed sword, Lt. Marthek
Kills: ghouls, ogres

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Minis: Man at Arms & Weird West Oz Scarecrow

While thematically these are very different minis, I used basically the same colors on both, painted them at the same time, so you get them together. Also, I didn't really take any good WIP pics, so you get final pics plus some description of what I did.  

First up, the Reaper miniatures henchman. I love the old school simplicity of this guy, and in keeping with the sculpt, I wanted to keep the paint job simple, but I also wanted it to be a little brighter than I usually go for. 

Next up is the scarecrow. I wanted to really lean into the creepy with this figure, and I think I pulled it off. It's funny how even using the same colors there's nothing cheerful or bright about this guy. Granted the sculpt helps a lot, but especially on the coat, minimizing the areas of highlight and leaving more shadowed areas really makes a difference. 

The greens and browns on both minis are going to look familiar, as I used the same base colored for these figures as I did for the plant folk in the last mini post, wilderness green, highlighted up with candlelight yellow, and russet brown. The design on the shield is the same candlelight yellow. 

I used reapers Pathfinder reds, starting with the asmodeus red as the base, and using the seoni scarlet to highlight it. 

The black on each is Carbon Grey given a black wash

The wood and bones on the scarecrow were a mishmash of colors starting with a base of russet brown with various hints of other colors added in to get different shades. 

The metallics all started with a base of stynylrez metal tone primer, and then brought up with shadowed steel or old bronze. Most of it was then hit with a wash of black, and a tighter highlight to pick up the details. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Black Bones and Rot Grubs

Session was played on 1/1/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar ½ Orc Thief 9 (Josh) & Fido
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

Player’s Note: I took very sparse notes this session, and don’t really remember what happened 11 months later, so… enjoy!

Checked the SW door in the corridor

5 Black Skeletons! Aroon, & Jameth fail their fear saving throws

Coffin Room - Rotting corpse of a small humanoid next to the coffin. In the coffin is the body of a human female in chainmail. Borumar checks it, and gets attacked by rot grubs. The inside of the coffin is purged with fire. 120gp collected from the ashes.

Gains: pocket change
Kills: black skeletons, rot grubs

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Freeblades Vinelings, Dryad, and Saryad

Some years back at Reapercon I picked up a couple minis from DGS Games from their Freeblades skirmish game.. and like many of the minis I've gotten over the years, it was a LONG time before I pulled them out to work on them, but last month, I finally did... spurred on by the couple of vinelings I added to the pile of opportunity. 

After washing them, and gluing them to their bases (I put the dryad and saryad on slightly larges bases than the vinelings) I decided to bend the vinelings into slightly more active poses, and then primed them with a red-ish brown primer.  You can see the color on the base of the vineling below.

Once they were primed, I used Russet Brown as the primary color to paint them with, and added Osirian Sand to lighten the color for each successive highlight. Mostly this was dry brushing. Then it was onto the foliage. 

I used Wilderness Green as the base color, and then lightened it up with more Osirian Sand.

Once that was all dry it was time to add some basing material. I started with a mixed sand to give it texture and to cover the gaps in the bases. I then painted the base with the same Russet Brown, and gave it a quick Osirian Sand dry brush.

 I followed that up with a mix of various turfs and static grasses to tie it all together. After cleaning up the edges of the base with pure black, they were good to go! 

Simple paint jobs, but absolutely lovely sculpts. My next Freeblades mini is a necromancer that I'm combining with a Mantic Zombie to make a little diorama.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Rappan Athuk: Through the Front Door

Session was played on 12/26/22

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Borumar ½ Orc Thief 9 (Josh) & Fido
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

At the graveyard, the main tomb has 8 gargoyles perched on it. The party pops over to the dwarven statue to get the key, then head for the door. The gargoyles attack, succeed in grabbing Koltic, pulling him up into the air, the gargoyle is killed, but then Koltic is dropped down hard. Using the key, the party rushes in and closes the door behind them. Down the passage, past some bone piles through the viewing room, ants room, Borumar gets poisoned by some playing cards that were left scattered about, and he had to collect. They avoid a pit trap, heading north toward an empty cavern. There’s some weird gurgling noises, the party searches around and finds a secret door. The “friendly” ghast gets a little too personal with Koltic, but some decent treasure is recovered.

In a larger cavern a pristine toilet is too much for Borumar to resist, but sadly, and predictably it turned out to be a mimic. Nick pulls him off the toilet-mimic, and they run from it down some stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs is a long room with blood stains, a bunch of dead rats and one dead halfling. The door to the north is covered in scratches and has a hatchet buried in it. A key sits unturned in the lock.

Gains: gold and silver coins, poisoned playing cards.
Kills: ghast, gargoyles

Monday, November 6, 2023

Stonehell & Rappan: Downtime on both sides

Session was played on 12/18/22

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Morgana, Magic User 9 (Rob)

Work at the keep has progressed. The kobolds have built into the moat and under the castle, expanding out the small basement/dungeon into a decent sized warren.

In the Rookery Tower, the demon birds now number 10! Thankfully the pact between Nick and the matron seems to be holding, and they’ve left the kobolds and the workers from the village alone.

Meanwhile Morgana continues her magical research, and after a month of work succeeds in creating a bag of holding for Borumar. She then moves on to learning Summon Elemental, and crafting a basic wand of fireballs. Over those couple of months, she also takes on 5 apprentices, and begins to receive the backing and patronage of a local baron.

DM’s Note: As it was only Rob and I, we had a pure logistics session, and since Nick, even as the master of a keep has less to do than Morgana, we spent a fair bit of time on her side of the campaign world.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Stonehell: Heading Home

Session 215 was played on 12/11

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Borumar, ½ orc thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

The party returns the locket to the ghost of Singu, and the geas on Koltic is released. Singu doesn’t ask for his sword and armor to be returned, or the staff, and the party doesn’t offer.

Leaving the tomb, they swing past the fishing town that is in the process of deciding if it wants to relocate closer to the water or rebuild the dam. Down river they go, getting harassed by 4 bogfoots (DM Note: I… what? I can’t really read my notes here, they don’t make any sense. Bigfoots?) that throw poop at the party. Morgana chucks a fireball at them, killing 2. The other 2 run away.

A day out of town, they camp for the night, and are surprised by a band of gnolls that surround the camp. Blotto wants to climb the grassy gnoll, the rest of the party just lays into them, and even unarmored and outmanned (out gnolled?), they mow them down with little difficulty.

Back home they rest for a few days before taking advantage of the Tournament of Champions taking place in town (DM Note: I rolled for various weapon trainers to see who was available, and got multiple masters and grand masters). Morgana, Aroon, Jameth, Koltic all succeed in improving their skill level.

Kills: 2 bogfoots, 10 gnolls

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Oct ‘23 In Review

It’s been a very soggy month, with 3 summer-like days near the end, and then cold for Halloween. At least it was dry for the kid’s birthday party and also for Halloween itself. It was cold, and we had fewer kids than last year, but I still enjoyed sitting outside in costume with the fire pit and a pumpkin beer. 

Last month’s attempt at scenario 2 of Stargrave Hope Eternal didn’t go well… Early this month I reset, and tried again, with better results. I was able to rescue the prisoner, and get most of my figures off the board. I had to take a little liberty with the scenario as written, because the grav-sled crew got taken out, and it just drifted away. I decided that the figures on the train would jump, and rolled on the chart as if they were taken out in combat.

I started playing in a Savage Worlds superhero game, but playing the villains. The campaign is called “Necessary Evil” and we’re 2 sessions in. I haven’t actually read Savage Worlds yet, so some of the mechanics are still a little vague to me, but I’m picking it up.

Stonehell has the players assaulting the Dwarven Hermitage. Not sure where they’re going to go after, or how they’re going to deal with the Gloom Crown. They pledged to give it to their Vrilyian patron, but it would be a majorly campaign altering decision if they do. I kinda hope they do. They’re currently holed up, hoping to recover some spells, but they aren’t going to get the chance without interruptions.

Not a big month for completing minis. I did paint up another 3 walls and another missile silo for the terrain set. Only 2 more pieces to finish to wrap up the New Eden terrain. I also painted up a Saryad, Dryad, and 2 vinelings from Freeblade as part of my “paint something other than Reaper minis” urge. And because of course I was still gonna paint some reaper minis, I painted up an ax wielding henchman and a Weird West Oz Scarecrow. 


That’s what I got done. What I started includes a big red dragon and a lich lord on a throne. We’ll see how quickly and how well I can get them wrapped up. I just finished some green stuff gap filling that they needed, and took the opportunity to sculpt a new arm for a dire badger and some eyes for a carrion crawler, as well as making 5 little worm monsters. They still need teeth. 

I also took advantage of the last of the summer-like days to get some priming in before the cold and rain moved in

Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th Part 2
Wallace & Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Lost Boys

Goals for Nov
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Stonehell: Auntie Ethel's Hut & The Staff of Life and Death

Session 214 was played on 12/6

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Borumar, ½ orc thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

Not wanting to be spotted, Morgana casts Invisibility 10’ radius on the party, and they head down the steep foggy pine-filled slope down into the boggy bottom of the valley. They manage to find a mostly dry path, but Lorkoth, Aroon, and Morgana manage to rub against some noxious plant, and develop itchy welts. They avoid an encounter with bog zombies thanks to their invisibility, but not the smarter bog wraith. Koltic destroyed the creature, but became visible.

Moving deeper into the bog they spot a single spot rising out of the water. A small round hill with a hut built on the top. Getting closer the hill has a low fence around it, each post topped with a skull. Some are animal skulls, but most are humanoid. Circling the hill the party discovers that it isn’t a hill but the shell of a massive tortoise when it gets up and moves about 30’ before setting back down. The hut on the shell has a crude covered porch with an equally crude rocking chair. Unbothered by the tortoise shifting position is a small black kitten.

Morgana uses Ice Storm to create a wall of ice from their position to the base of the shell, then immediately casts dispel magic on the fence, and then drops a fireball on the cabin’s door.

The kitten does not survive. The cabin is on fire, and the hag within is screaming. Snakes swarm out of the bog water onto the ice bridge and attack, Jameth is bitten and immediately drops. Koltic kicks away the snakes and pours antivenom down his throat. Morgana drops another fireball on the cabin, and it collapses. Aunt Ethel stands burnt among the ruins holding a glowing staff. Her visage no longer that of a slightly plump older woman, but a tall and frighteningly thin hag in burning rags with green-black skin. The party watches as the wounds and burns close up and brush off like dry ash.

Morgana drops an ice storm on the hag, pelting her with hailstones, and largely putting out the fire. The tortoise is finally annoyed by the goings on and starts to walk away from the fuss. Aroon and Lor'Koth charge up the shell and start swinging at the hag, desperately avoiding her long black claws. Lor’Koth is hit, but resists the poison. Aroon crits on her, which only seems to piss her off more. Borumar shoots her with his bow, and Morgana with her magic missiles. Finally staggered, Aroon takes another swing, taking her head. They quickly loot the ruins, making sure to find the locket, and coming away with an impressive stash of treasure, including the Staff of Life and Death. Koltic goes orgasmic upon touching it, and loudly lets everyone know he isn’t going to give it up. There are some worried looks, but decide now isn’t the time to deal with it. They quickly head back to the Tomb of Singu the Giant Slayer…

Gains: The Staff of Life and Death, Locket, 90,200 gp worth of treasure
Kills: black kitten, Black Hag

DM Notes: The managed to avoid the werewolf packs both coming and going, which meant they also missed the magic swords they'd looted from Singu's knights. I also expected them to talk with the hag, not just go right in with the fireballs, but I underestimated how much she'd pissed them off by fooling them. Had they talked to her, she'd have given up the locket without much fuss, but they'd have gotten a lot less XP and not gotten the staff.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Stonehell: Mud and Rock

Session 213 was played on 12/4

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Borumar, ½ orc thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

Upon returning to the ruins, the party finds Auntie Ethel and her followers decamped to parts unknown. The door to the crypts under the monastery was open, and figuring they might as well check it out, they head down into the muddy depths. The stairs had been mostly cleared of mud, though some wet bits were still along the edges, and everything was still very wet. At the bottom of the stairs, a flooded hall with a raised altar at the far end. The water was only ankle deep, and Borumar went to go check it out. In the muddy water he quickly discovered a significant number of bones, likely washed out of the burial niches when the crypt was initially flooded.

Approaching the dry raised section, the party started to follow, and they were surprised when a water elemental rose up and did its best to drown them. Morgana’s elemental staff saved the day, but while everyone was distracted by that, a pair of undead Wyrds stepped out of the shadows and started launching magical explosive orbs at the party. Between the elemental and the wyrds, Lor’Koth dropped, and fell under the water. Koltic eventually got to him in time to revive him, but he wasn’t up for much for the rest of the day.

With the wyrds and elemental defeated, the party explores the crypt, finding it already looted, the Staff of Life and Death long gone.

Returning to the muddy surface, the party scouts around, and Borumar finds a trail heading deeper into the mountains. The following morning they head out after Auntie Ethel.

The first day on the trail they were spotted by a flight of giant eagles, but the birds were uninterested in the party. Shortly after lunch a troop of rock baboons pelted the party from above with rocks, sticks, and shit. Not feeling a fight was worth it, they fled the baboons.

On the morning of the second day, a dozen stone giants used the party as moving targets, though it was a lazy effort on their part. Aroon’s new sword wanted to teach the giants a lesson, but was (wisely) overruled.

The third day of travel was without incident.

On the fourth day, the party reached a large circular valley, and the tracks dropped down into it…

Kills: water elemental, 2 wyrds

Monday, October 23, 2023

Stonehell: Tomb of Singu the Giant Slayer

Session 212 was played on 11/19

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

Back from the hydra lair, the party follows Auntie Ethel’s guide to the tomb where the locket to bypass the magical barrier blocking the monastery. Up the steps into the tomb, the passage opens up into a wide hall with pillars running down both sides heading toward a statue at the far end. The floor was littered with the bones and armor of long dead warriors. Blotto pees on things as the party slowly makes their way into the hall. The far end of the hall, just past the statue, looks to have recently collapsed. As the last of the amigos enters the hall, the statues begin to stir. Koltic calls on the power of his drunken goddess and sends the skeletons scurrying for the rear of the hall. Morgana drops a fireball on the huddled lot, sending them back to their eternal rest.

Koltic then finds a secret passage, and the party opts to take it rather than the passage off the hall with the wall coursing with green energy. The short passage beyond the secret door opened into the crypt of Singu’s 6 closest knights. 5 of those knights rose up to confront the party. Koltic was unable to turn them, and Morgana was unable to use fireball or lightning bolt due to the close quarters. The fight was hard, but the party managed in the end… Searching around after, 2 of the knights were found to be missing their swords. Also, the 6th tomb was false and hid a set of stairs heading down…

Following the stairs, the party comes to a simple small room with a single stone coffin, with the lid already open, and an angry ghost waiting for them. He accuses the party of being thieves, defilers, grave robbers who took his love’s locket, and that he would see their souls sent to the hell they deserve!

Some quick talking from Morgana calmed the ghost of Singu enough to forestall his immediate attack on them, but his anger remained. He demanded the return of the locket and refused to allow anyone to depart his tomb without a binding promise. Morgana was more than hesitant to accept any enchantment upon herself. Blotto similarly felt it was a bad idea (not that the ghost was willing to acknowledge his being anything more than a servant of the party). The 3 amigos started a round of rock paper scissors, but before they could finish it up, Koltic stepped up, and accepted the geas.

Singu, wanting to ensure the return of the locket, offered the party his aegis. Aroon was closest in size to Singu, and also used a 2 handed sword. He pledged that the locket would be returned as he bagged up the armor to put on later. Satisfied, the ghost disappeared, and the party returned to the surface.

Where they found their guide missing!

No locket, no guide… Auntie Ethel had already been here! And by the time they return to the ruins, a week will have gone by!

Gains: Aegis of Singu the Giant Slayer (Plate +3, Intelligent Sword +1, +2 vs giants)
Kills: 30 armored skeletons (3HD), 5 Barrow Wardens

Friday, October 20, 2023

Stonehell: Muddy Ruins

Session 211 was played on 11/13

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

The devastation along the river was total. Entire hamlets were wiped out. As they reached the mountain lake that was now half empty, they could see where the dam had failed. Next to it, the small fishing town was now dozens of muddy feet away from the water line. Talking to some locals, they said the days of constant rain had been even worse up in the mountains than what had hit down river.

Visible across the much smaller lake was a set of ruins long hidden by the water. No one in the town had any knowledge of it. Getting permission, the party took one of the mud-trapped fishing boats and got it back into the water (thanks to Morgana’s magic) and they made their way over to the ruins. Upon their arrival they found a group already exploring the ruins. They were all injured and crippled in various ways, and looking for a staff that was supposed to have powerful healing magics.

The party meets with the group’s leader, who asks them to call her Auntie Ethel. She’s a healer of some power, taking advantage of the broken dam to try to find the Staff of Life and Death, supposedly found in the ruins of the ancient monastery and tomb of Singu the Fair, Giant Slayer and consort of the founder of the monastery. She’s only interested in the staff, and is happy to let them have anything else they find, if they’re willing to enter the tomb under the ruins and get it. She just needs the magic locket that opens the tomb. But she knows where it is, and offers them a guide to the location.

The party accepts the offer, and heads out with their guide the next morning. Along the way the group is attacked by a wandering hydra, wildly attacking everyone with its 7 heads. It takes a few moments for the party to gather round to kill it, but they do. That such a massive creature could be so sneaky…

Morgana uses her magic to help find the nearby hydra lair, and recover the treasure within.

Gains: EP and GP, magical mace +2 +5 vs lycanthropes
Kills: Hydra

Monday, October 16, 2023

Stonehell: Beyond the Demon Door

Session 210 was played on 10/23

Morgana, Magic User 8 (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin (Lanse)
Gimble, Magic User (Scott)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

The rain, which started when the party headed out for the troll treasure kept up. Unseasonable weather, to say the least…

Following a lead the party heads up river from town. (I honestly have no memory as to why the party went to this dungeon...) Along the way Blotto enjoys some good fishing.

Arriving at the location of their lead, they find a demon door blocking the way. While Morgana and Gimble attempt to ascertain the means of opening it, the door summons forth some hellish spider monsters (counts as carrion crawlers and fire beetles). The monsters manage to paralyze Aroon and Blotto, while surrounding Lorkoth. Morgana settles the issue with a friendly fireball.

Defeating the guardians opens the seal on the door. The party bandages their wounds and heads in, descending down into a natural cavern with a large ritual slab in the center of it. The slab is stained with wax and blood, and scorch marks mar the walls. Under the slab is a hidden tunnel heading deeper into the earth. Lor’koth indicates that it’s structurally safe.

The tunnel drops steeply down, opening into a smaller cavern than the ritual chamber above. The floor is covered wall to wall with bones. As the party crunches onto them, 5 massive beasts with hooked claws for arms burst out from under the bones and attack. Lor’Koth takes the brunt of the first round of the monsters’ attack and drops from his wounds. Koltic attempts to turn the demonic things, and sends 2 scurrying back below the bones. The remaining beasts are killed, and Lor’Koth’s body is hauled back up the tunnel.

Out in the rain, the party decides to head to Boris’ temple fort and try to get Lor’Koth raised. On the way a pair of mountain trolls are spotted watching the party. Morgana and Gimble drop them with a pair of fireballs.

While at Boris’ temple, an earthquake hits! A short while later reports arrive at the temple that the natural dam up river has broken, and water has flooded down toward the swamp. But at least the rain has finally stopped. With Lor’Koth restored, the party heads further up the river to investigate.

Kills: Demon Spider Things (2 carrion crawlers and 9 fire beetles), 5 Hooked Horrors, 2 mountain trolls
Losses: 5,000gp to raise Lor’Koth

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Halloween Movies: Friday the 13th (1980)

 Of the classic horror/slasher movies I've watched, this one was my least favorite. 

While more gory than either Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween, the fact that the whole story isn't told till the end made most of it just seem... random, and that made it feel boring. I wonder if they had shown Jason's death at the beginning would have helped. Especially if they'd leaned into it being the ghost of the kid doing the killing. The twist at the end of it being his crazy mother would have been more satisfying. 

Another annoying bit was how dark so much of the movie was. Sure, a lot of it was at night in a rain storm, but come on... I still need to actually see what's going on.

I did like how Jason did show up at the end though, and I've heard part 2 is better. We'll see.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Jungle Scatter Terrain

As I mentioned in the post with the New Eden ruins, I started working on some scatter terrain. Now, I've never really made any before, so I wanted to make a few as proof of concept before making a whole bunch in case I wasn't happy with the result.

So,I started with a couple of oval bases, and added some coffee grounds to one, and some sand and gravel to the others. I also added some cork bits... after the original base material... Thing #1 I'd do different in the next set. Also the cork is too flat. Thankfully it ends up hidden pretty well in the end.

I started adding flock, and pulling out various bits of plastic foliage, and some pistachio shells which I glued closed and onto plastic stalks. I tried both super glue and hot glue for this. I think the super glue worked better.

In addition to the flock, I added a bunch of other random ground cover material, largely looking to add different textures, but also included a couple twigs to serve as fallen logs.

I dithered a bit about the plastic plants. I strongly considered just leaving the bases as is, but echoing in my head was every mini painter saying you absolutely need to paint your basing material.

So I did. First by priming black....

Then giving it an over spray of white.

This was followed by painting the foliage Craft Smart Hunter Green. Here's thing #2 I'll do differently In the future I'm going to make the bases without the foliage, ground cover only. I'm going to pre-paint all the foliage, priming it Black, then White, then (and this is the really important step) Green. If I had an airbrush I'd use that, but I don't, so it'll be rattle can. Once it's all painted a basic green, I'll go in an tint different plants different colors.


In addition to the green, I painted the base 2 different craft browns, and used a combo of the Hunter Green and Lush Foliage to pick out moss and other growths. The pistachio seeds were painted with the same Terracotta I used on the ruins, and some of the Spanish moss got painted with Purple.

And here they are among the ruins.

While not perfect I feel like they served as proof of concept, and provided a couple of important lessons for future pieces.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

New Eden Alien Ruins 3D terrain

A couple of years back a friend of mine gifted me with a BOX full of 3D printed terrain. I'm finally getting around to working on it. There was a delightful mix of stuff in it, from the alien ruins I'm sharing today from Printable Scenery, a couple small shuttles from 2nd Dynasty, and a bunch of city terrain from Flatline City

I'm nearing the end of the New Eden ruins, and wanted to share how it looks, before showing off the side project this set has inspired. This piece right here is the Mortis Simulacrum, and it shows off how I went about painting all of these terrain pieces. I took inspiration (ripped off) the official paint scheme from the web site. I started by priming it with Rust-oleum matte brown spray paint, and then gave it a heavy dry brush of Craft smart (from Michael's craft store) Antique White.

You really don't want to be using your good paints on big pieces of terrain like this. It's much better to a big 2oz bottle that costs less than a dollar rather than the 0.5oz bottle that costs $3.69.

After all that dry brushing, it's time for the terracotta accents. Again, this is the cheap craft smart craft paint. 

Finally it's time to paint the vines. Here's where I did exactly what I just got finished telling you not to do, and I used Reaper's Olive Drab. Why? Because I didn't pick up a green paint last time I was at the craft store and I didn't want to let that stop me. I'm very much in a "Any Progress is better than No Progress" phase right now, and wanted to keep knocking these out.

I did decide to do one thing different with this piece, which was to paint the central column figure as if it was a metal cladding over the stone. I got the idea from the piece below, and decided that since it looked very similar I'd do it on this one too. So the areas that were to be metal got painted black, and then dry brushed with Reaper's Blade Steel followed by a feathery light dry brush of Filigree Silver. 

You'll note the missing column above... It broke off, and my attempts to re-glue it failed, so I left it as a hole. I did add some gravel to make it look less like a 3D printed void. You'll see the broken piece in another post later this month.

And here's the whole set that's painted so far. I'll be getting it onto a table soon, and you'll see just how well this can cover a 3x3 table. There are a couple more pieces to add to it, and I expect to get them done soon. More to come!

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sept ‘23 In Review

Where did this month go?!? I swear, I spent a week ‘recovering’ from ReaperCon, and then a week catching up, and then suddenly it was the 20th? And now it’s over? We also got a TON of rain this month, and discovered a whole new leak in the roof! Home Ownership is Awesome! As this post goes live, I’ll be tilling up the back yard to replace the grass weeds with clover. Hope it grows!

I managed to get in that game of Stargrave! It didn’t go well, but I played. Actually “it didn’t go well” is something of an understatement. My captain got shot, stunned, and then fell off the top of a moving train. Things went downhill from there.

Stonehell is back in full swing, and the party is making their way through to the back door of the Dwarven Hermitage. I’m looking forward to running that during the spooky season!

My #Dungeon23 is finally caught up. I’ve been perpetually a few days behind all month. I do wonder how much players will enjoy 2 months worth of fungal monsters and caves, but as designed, they’ll need to collect a bunch of stuff from there, and also maybe make some friends.

Post-Reapercon I was all set to jump back in and really start to focus on the things the judges suggested I work on. And then I grabbed a piece of terrain that was half finished… and then another… and then another… Well, I got a lot painted, but it was almost all terrain! 

Closeup of terrain, a large central pillar surrounded by 4 smaller pillars. Off white bricks with terracotta accents, and olive green vines growing on it.

Collection of alien inca-ish inspired ruined terrain.

4 oval bases of jungle scatter terrain along with Sir. Forscale and Sgt. Forscale for scale.

I’ve been really enjoying working on this jungle terrain, both the 3D printed stuff, and the scatter terrain I’ve been putting together to go with it. As we get into October, I’m going to probably wrap that all up and move on to the Flatline City terrain, and the dragon I started…

Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4
What We Do In The Shadows season 5
Only Murders in the Building season 3
Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, The Swan, The Rat Catcher
Halloween (1978)

Goals for Oct
Play scenario 2 for Hope Eternal again, and NOT DIE
Complete the scarecrow for the yard for Halloween.
Watch more Halloween/horror movies

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

#ReaperCon #Dungeon23 Session Reports 3-5

In case you missed the first part, click here for Sessions 1+2

Session 3

**Short session, as I played Blood on the Clocktower (after dark 21+ session) prior to running this session, and ended up too drunk to run the game for very long

The party takes the shorter hallway to the room, and then through the large heavy metal door that was in that room, reaching a massive multi storey tall chamber dominated by a circular opening in the floor. A metal walkway stretched over it, and blue light shimmered up from the depths of the clear water within. The white tiles of the room gleam, and great steel machinery hums on the far side.

Carefully looking around, they quickly all find themselves either on the metal walkway or standing on the edge of the pool looking down at the 36 gold rods standing on end at the bottom of the pool.

Greed getting the better of him, Balfasak jumps in, sinking down to the rods, the water getting hotter as he goes. He grabs a rod, and reaches up toward the elf for help. The elf wants no part of the gold death rod, but Ivermectin the dwarf follows his cousin down into the hot water. Not to be outdone, Maypole follows, and feels himself getting woozy as he approaches his fellow dwarves wrapped obscenely around the gold pole.

**Drink more water! Less Rum, whiskey, and beer!!


Photo of my gaming table at Reapercon. All seats are full, and extra seats have been pulled up. Everyone is laughing or smiling.

Session 4

**No silly notes this season, clearly I was too sober.

We return to find our 3 dwarves underwater, clutching a gold rod in a nuclear reactor pool, all beginning to seriously suffer the effects of radiation poisoning that even their dwarven constitution is having trouble handling. The fighters on the catwalk use a rope and grappling hook to drag their irradiated companions from the water. The dwarves have acquired a tan and a “healthy” faint green glow.

Deciding that the gold isn’t worth it, they press on, and try another door, this one taking them to a changing room with a large sunken circular shower in the middle. Suits similar to the ones worn by the zombies are stored in cubbies on the wall, along with some metallic tanks that look like they can be worn with a harness on the back. They play with the shower, but aside from a few clunking noises, they don’t get anything from it.

Continuing on to a room with a large double metal door without handles, one door slightly recessed from the other, and an impressive looking desk in the corner, the party is set upon by large rats bulging with tumors. Watermelon provides a running commentary on the fight, followed by a post-fight pep talk to the party on the virtues of not being eaten by giant radioactive cancerous rats.

The party circles around and comes to the control room of the facility, full of displays and blinking lights. A voice addresses them in a language none of them know, but one recognizes as an ancient human tongue from before the end of the world.

“Speak Dwarven!” Maypole yells! And the voice does.

“System damaged. Water level is critical. Immediate repairs required before core meltdown.”

“Who are you?”

“I am the Core Computer interface for this facility.”

“What happens if the core melts down?”

“All connected facilities will go offline. Damage to the local area within 5 miles, total. Radiation will cause a 50 mile area to become uninhabitable. Systems must be repaired. Emergency Authorization for repairs is granted to any personnel capable of performing necessary repairs.”

“What needs to be repaired?”

“Water levels must be restored in the main pool.”

“We can pee in it…. How much water?”

“22,000 gallons.”

“That’s a lot of pee… how long do we have?”

“Approximately 11 months until total system failure and core meltdown.”

“How do we get that much water into the tank?”

“Repair the main pump”

One of the displays flickers, and in Dwarven runes lists out the repair needed, and the parts to accomplish it.

What does it say? Asks a party member.

Maypole, prophet of the Core Computer, translates that Computer requires a pump to be repaired. We need a virgin to sacrifice.

Everyone looks at Watermelon.

Where do we find the parts?

The screen changes again, and a map of the facility’s 4 floors appears, highlighting different storage rooms.

The party sets off to collect the parts. They run into another group of Roachkin, and a heated debate between Maypole and Mojito the Cleric on the blasphemy of calling the Computer Core a god. This debate triggered an existential crisis among the Roachkin who had no concept of “god” or “soul” but now had to grapple with the concept.

They fight some more rad rats, and collect some of the needed parts. In another supply room they find a massive steel shelving unit running the length of the room, stacked with barrels. Mojito screws up and causes the entire shelving unit to collapse. The noise was deafening, and the heavy barrels caused some serious injury among the party members in the room. It also caused a large and lumpy mutant to investigate. Hoping to avoid any more mutants showing up, Wooo goes out to calm the mutant, and the pair of them bond over a wineskin full of the good stuff. The mutant leads Wooo back to his chambers, the party follows, and closes the door behind them, allowing them to collect the remaining parts while Wooo takes one for the team.



chaotic sketch of various figures from the game, with the 3 dwarves on the gold rod in the bottom right, Notknot in the middle, Watermelon and Wooo to the left. The names of all the characters are on the bottom
Session art created by Smaht Goblin

 Session 5

The party has everything they need, so off they go to fix the pump (no virgins were sacrificed to prime it). Returning to the control room, they talk with the computer core some more, and find out about the system that connects the different facilities via underground tunnels. Of course they head directly to the room labeled “motor pool” all the while wondering why you’d put a motor in a pool.

3 dusty old vehicles sit in the large chamber with a wide opening out into a dark tunnel. Most of the party searches the room, while a few poke around one of the open topped vehicles. Eventually they manage to activate it, and it begins to hover a good 6” off the ground. A bit of experimentation, and they get it moving toward the tunnel. There’s two rails running down the tunnel, and the vehicle forcibly shifts to the left one.

Everyone piles into the back, and off they go!

6 hours later, through dark passages with no idea which way they’re going, and randomly picking directions when turns or splits appear on the way, they enter into a room almost identical to the last one they left, the main differences being no other vehicles, and the 6 GIANT SCORPIONS!

They party scurried off the vehicle as the scorpions attacked the driver…

**I don’t remember who was driving

…tries to ram the scorpions, but they’re too quick, and he just crashes into the far wall. House Red takes a stinger right to the chest, and drops, foaming at the mouth. The rest of the party clambers over the crashed vehicle, and through a small doorway with stairs going up… and up… and up….

**Sorry House Red, you were too sane to live with this group. Also, sorry about stealing your drink, but to be fair, it was handed to me.

At the top of the stairs was a busted door, and a rocky mountain side with some scrubby bushes. The scorpions were following the party, but due to the small size of the stairwell, were moving slower than they normally would in the open. The party started throwing rocks down the stairs. For 15-20 minutes they chucked every liftable rock… and then stopped to listen. Their efforts were seemingly enough.

Taking stock, they knew they couldn’t go back down, and only had a vague idea of where home was.

And then the large red dragon appeared.

**Gotta love random encounter tables!

The party hid as best they could, and thankfully the dragon either didn’t see them, or didn’t care.

**It didn’t care

After dark, they started to make their way down the mountain.

**We were getting short on time, and everyone was very tired from the long nights of the convention

The party made it back home after a week of travel, much to the shock of the nearly waterless town. Another party had followed them down a few days ago, but had also not returned. After they report what happened, the town elders focused their questions of the underground stream that served the well.

“So what you’re saying is that you need to dig a little dirt and rock out from where the wall collapsed?”

“Uh… Yes?”

They’re sent back down the well with shovels and picks, and after some hours of work, restored the stream to its original flow, saving the town.

Monday, September 25, 2023

#ReaperCon #Dungeon23 Session Reports 1+2

Games played the evenings of 8/30 to 9/3

Players and Characters - Not all players/characters played each night
Smart Goblin - Notknot Focust, Magic User
Thes - Ethanol the Cleric (aka 80085)
Aaron - Ivermectin the Dwarf
Haldir - Balfasak the Buzzed (aka The Aborted) the dwarf
JeepNewbie - Gorbeliead the fighter
Merrick - Charles Notchuck the fighter
Kyle - Ankou the fighter
Matt - Whooo the lover (not a fighter)
Thorne - Lethe the elf
Andy - Sarin
Natalie - Urethra
Brad Arm Candy - Mojito the 1st
Cranky - Maypole the Fudge Bringer, Prophet of Core
Ariel - Tila the Thief
Arthur - North The Elf
Evil Halfling - Mojito the 2nd (& 3rd) Cleric
Jeff/Dilvish - Uri
Dragoneye - House Red
Watermelon, NPC Torchbearer (12 year old boy or adult halfling, unclear, in platemail with no shoes and shoe polish blackened feet)
Lefty & Righty, NPC meatshields

Over the course of 5 nights I ran a rotating group of players through the first month’s worth of my #Dungeon23. These were all late night sessions (usually starting after 9:30pm) in which almost everyone had consumed various adult beverages. At any given time, there were usually about 8 players at the table.

DM’s notes, as written, will be indicated with **. These notes may or may not have anything to do with what's happening in the game, and may or may not make any sense… even to me.


The world ended. Fire burned the sky, and demons poured forth from the mountains to sweep across the face of the world, destroying the monuments and empires of mankind. But nothing lasts forever, not even the end of the world.

Everything was changed from that point on. New peoples with ancient empires appeared where once there was open farmland, and old nations fractured and split as what once was common became impossible to repair. Creatures of myth now walk, swim, and fly across the face of the world.

In the town of Dragon's Maw, so named for the ever steaming rocky gorge the town sits next to, the town's main well has gone dry. Workers were sent down to investigate and repair it. They didn't return. The townsfolk are nervous, and old wives tales about "The Demon Core" that lurks below seem a little more real. With nerves running high, and water supplies running low, a call has gone out for some would-be heroes to face whatever danger lurks below the town.

**I gave this intro every session, and sometimes multiple times if new players showed up.


Photo from DM's view of players at reapercon table in convention center hallway. My hamster plush sits prominently in the middle of the table next to my beer and notebook

Session 1

Too stupid to step back when the town council calls for volunteers, a half dozen unlucky souls are geared up to find out what happened to the workers and solve the problem if they can. Heading down the well, the strongest being lowered down first, they drop down into a long and somewhat narrow cavern with an underground stream running through it, and quickly discover that the cause of the problem is that a wall has collapsed, pushing the stream away from the well opening. More interesting is that the collapsed wall has opened an entrance into… somewhere else. Somewhere with a flickering blueish light.

As the fighters poke around, the nearly naked wizard, with bandoliers of flaming oil, loses his grip on the rope near the bottom, and falls. Lucky for him, he only suffers a bit of rope burn, a badly bumped noggin (no big loss) and a couple broken vials of oil. He then uses the oil to rub his nearly naked self down

**everyone is drunk, both in and out of game

**roll Tiddy dice for decisions

The party doesn’t see any sign of the workers in the cave, and so heads up toward the light. Once through the broken wall, they find themselves in a clearly man-made passage, with ancient flickering light panels set into the ceiling. Picking a random direction, they explore the hallway, ignoring the door near the break in the wall, and going directly away from it, ignoring the door at the turn of the corridor and looking further along, they see a group of four 6’ tall cockroaches, attempting to open a door further down the hall. 2 of them drop down onto all sixes, while the one at the door, and the one furthest back remain upright. They click and chitter amongst each other, then at the party.

Notknot, in his glistening glory, carefully approaches the roaches. They’re cautious, but let him approach, backing away from the door. He reaches for the door handle, turns it, and pushes in, and is immediately trampled by 4 more Roachkin busting out of the room. The Roachkin collectively scurry away down the hall, mostly on the floor, a couple using the wall until they round the corner down the far end. After a moment one sticks his head back around the corner and waves an arm before disappearing down the hall.

The party rushes up to Notknot, picks him up, and then they check out the open doorway. Beyond is a large open cubicle farm. The fabric walls are torn and moldy, and thick dust covers the inoperable machines within.

Returning to the previous door, they find a large plush office that once must have been for the boss, but was now just as ruined as the cubicle farm. Ivermectin does his best to fix the throne-like chair behind the desk, but the plastic wheels are beyond his skill and drunkenness level.


Session 2

The party continues exploring the underground facility, coming next to a store room, which was largely empty and the few remaining items were ancient and not in very good shape. Urethra offered someone a drink, and was weirdly turned down. Can’t imagine why… 

Among the various dusty artifacts is a weird four legged thing, about the size of a dog, but made out of metal and some other hard materials. A box, semi-attached to the bottom was the only bit that the party could shift with any ease. They pushed it one way, then another, and it clicked, and the dog thing stood up. While it didn't have a head, there was the impression that it was looking around. On unsteady legs it began to move, and then got more steady. They watched it for a bit, and it kept making a circuit of the room.  

**Resting Serious Face

The door across the hall was way more interesting, but stinky. Full of trash and lots of unidentifiable material, several more large Roachkin as well as an uncountable number of Roachkin nymphs, scurry in panic at the light coming in through the open door. Lots of clicking, chittering, and hissing can be heard.

**I’m smart enough to have an extra language, can I speak Roachkin? Sure!

Notknot clicks and chitters in return..

**We interrupt this session report for the sounds of Bohemian Rhapsody echoing down the hall, being played for Sophie Says in the main ballroom. None of my players heard it, and were apparently confused as to why I leapt up and ran into the ballroom to sing along

Conversation with the Roachkin continued for a bit, and the party agreed to not harass any of the roaches they might see in the facility.

**into a box

Leaving the Roachkin nest, they continue down the hall and into a decent sized room with 4 overly swollen zombies in torn radiation suits. Lefty and Righty charge in with the party fighters while Watermelon pees himself.

**Whooo’s toddling Watermelon (tutoring)

The zombies are tough, tougher than expected, and every time they get poked, a nasty gush of fluids squirts out toward the person poking them. Lefty and Righty both get a blast of the noxious fluids right in the face, and neither survives the experience. In a terrifying move, the wizard Sarin grabs the head of the nearest fallen zombie and chucks it at one of the last standing ones, killing it.

**That’ll do Canadian

After the fight is over Balfasak takes the intact heads of 3 of the zombies, and pulls the flesh off of them by hand, keeping them to throw later. He gets a minor case of radiation sickness.

**It might be small, but it’s neat and tidy... Really beautiful.

Opening the 3 doors to the room at the same time, the party finds a long hallway to the south, stairs going up and down to the north, and a shorter hallway to the east that leads to a room. 

Sessions 3-5 next post