Sunday, December 15, 2013

Play Report - 29 Nov 13

We picked up on 29 Nov 13 at Milburn Hall, but I'd frozen time between games to allow the party to take care of some business that time would have made impossible.  Our cast of characters for the game:

The game started off with the characters regrouping; Dave the thief paid to have Draco the Mage resurrected, and the rest of the party pooled resources to bring back Gilder the fighter.  They purchased as much rope as they could, and then set off for the cliff they discovered south of the dragon's lair.

Their journey through the swamp was uneventful.  As they neared dry land near the end of the second day, though, they heard the howls of wolves off to the east.  The party decided to ignore the howls and upon reaching the cover of the forest, continued south another couple hours before they made camp.  During the night, the guards heard something off in the trees to the west, loudly sniffing, and rumbling, "I can smell you!"  They quickly woke the group, and faded off behind the trees east of the path.  Shortly there-after, a 12 foot tall humanoid lumbered into the camp.  They attacked it from cover, and after a few rounds, it fled back the way it came.  During the second watch, the red dragon they've encountered before flew overhead, but ignored them.

The next day, they continued south through the mountains until they came to the southern cliff.  Looking out over the gap, they noticed the mountains continued east and west and then curved around to the south on both sides, forming a huge gap many miles wide, and continuing south to ocean.  Three hundred feet below them they could see greenery.

Pulling out their rope, they took the time to tie four hundred feet together and then knot it every few feet to make the climb down easier.  They tied the rope off to a huge tree to the left of the path where they found the pegasus cave last time, and dropped it over the edge.

Dave the thief led the way down.  On the way down, they passed five additional caves, but only explored one of them long enough to find it contained a gigantic empty nest of some sort.  Two hundred feet down, Dave noticed a green shimmer in the air, forming a layer from the cliff outward as far as he could see.  they weren't able to see it from the top of the cliff, since they were looking through it to the greenery below.  Dave didn't want to touch it, even though the rope went through it, so Weeder climbed down first, and passed through the glow.  Beneath, the air was noticably warmer and more humid.  The party continued downward, until they reached what they now saw was jungle canopy.  They were able to make it through, then climb down the last hundred feet on a huge tree.

At the base of the cliff, they decided they wanted to head due south to reach the city they had seen from the cliff-top.  As they worked their way south, they found the going tough, and very slow.  The raucous sounds of the jungle were loud all around them, and the heat and humidity oppressive.  Suddenly the jungle went silent, and a bat with a twelve foot wingspan swooped down, attacking Reaper, and attempting to haul him away.  The party rallied and killed the bat, and Justin healed Reaper.  The party decided to make camp for the night, and began clearing an area when they found an ancient stone cairn with a symbol of Law inscribed on the top stone.  Rudy realized it was an ancient shrine and took it upon himself to clear it completely, so he could use it.  Blart, upon seeing the symbol of law, struck it with his club, shattering the scribed stone.  Rudy then attacked him, and dispatched him easily for defiling a Shrine of Law.  No other party member interfered, and Blart's body was tossed into the jungle after being looted.  The party then bedded down for the night.

During the second watch, a giant adder crawled slithered through the camp, over John, who freaked out a bit, and attacked it.  They easily dispatched the snake, and spent the rest of the night without incident.

The next day, as they continued south, the jungle again went quiet, and the party quickly drew their weapons and looked up in time to see another giant bat.  Since they weren't surprised, they easily dispatched it without damage to anyone.  Shortly thereafter, they encountered a halfling, dressed only in a loincloth.  He urged them not to go to "the shining city," and when asked, told them his ancestors had lived in other cities before "the shining city appeared and our cities were cursed."  He told them one of the lost cities was due east of their location, but urged them to avoid it as well.  He then did an acrobatic leap into a tree and swung off, tarzan-like, to the west.  Pikachu successfully attempted the same, and followed the halfling off into the jungle.  Caterpie, Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander set off after Pickachu.

Meanwhile, Pikachu lost track of the halfling tribesman, and then lost his hold on the vines, falling to the ground and getting the wind knocked out of him.  As he recovered his breath, a skeletal hand reached out of the ground litter he was sitting on, and grabbed his ankle.  He leapt to his feet as three skeletons stood up and attacked him.  He managed to hold them off for two rounds, when the other four of his companions arrived, and together they dispatched the skeletons.  After the battle, they decided to bed down for the night, while the rest of the party bedded down where they were.

The night passed uneventfully for the smaller group, but during their second watch, the larger party was attacked by a tall humanoid with greenish-grey rubbery skin.  They managed to kill it, then, while John Grammatikis was searching the body, it sat up and attacked him.  At that point Dave recognized it as a troll, struck it dead again, and called for a torch so they could burn the body.

In the morning, Dave turned east, and said, "I'm gonna check out that lost city," and headed off.  The rest of the party argued about what to do, and ended up splitting into two groups:  Tiny Tim, Reaper, John, James, Annie, Bellatrix, Angara, Anja, Ockhena, Batman, Joe Dirt, Noris, John Grammatikis, Sparticus, Dollf, Stewy, Mr. Cob, Stoner, Enteri, Kaza-Rune, Brock, Gilder and Gimli followed Dave (Group 1) east, while Rudy, Draco, Richard, Justin, Stewi66, Weeder, Fred, Blart, Pinkie, and Rose went west to find Pikachu and the others (Group 2).

Three hours later, the jungle around Group 1 went suddenly quiet, and they all ducked down under cover while looking up to see what had arrived.  With much loud screeching, 5 giant flying dinosaurs circled overhead, but couldn't get low enough to find any of the characters.  The party stayed under cover until the creatures gave up and flew off.  Meanwhile, Group 2 met up with Pikachu and company, who had been working their way back east.  As they greeted each other, twenty giant centipedes erupted from the vegetation around them, and attacked.  The battle was short-lived, with only one casualty:  Squirtle was bitten, and died from the centipede's poison.

Several more hours passed, with Group 1 continuing east, while Group 2 decided to head further west before turning back to head east.  Once again, the jungle around Group 1 went silent and four great carnivorous dinosaurs leapt from the jungle and attacked.  The creatures were fast and attacked both by clawing and biting, and before the party was able to kill them, Stoner, John Grammitikis, Dollf, and Noris lay dead on the ground.  Group 1 bound their wounds, and found a small clearing twenty feet across with yet another small stone cairn dedicated to Law, where they bedded down for the night.  Group 2, meanwhile, arrived back at the larger clearing the whole group had made when they found the first stone cairn, and they chose that spot to camp for the night.

Again, I chose to freeze time between this game and the next.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Game Report #7 - Poison Arrows and Gelatinous Cubes!

We played again last night!

This was by far our smallest group of players:  M, V, S (NOT via Skype, but LIVE!), G and L2, and all five players remarked on how much they'd be able to accomplish with a smaller (and much more focused) group.  Characters in play this game were Dave, Reaper, Tiny Tim, Billy, Paul, Gorgoron, Anja, Bellatrix, John, James, Annie, Angara, and Justin.

The party had been hanging around Milburn Hall for a month, and sending meat to Scrint and Beeko in the tunnels every two or three days, when they decided it was time to go after the kobolds again.  They met the two goblins on their way through the earthen tunnels, at the first intersection, and asked them to lead the way to the stairs down to the second level.  At the bottom of the stairs they heard knocking sounds that seemed to come from the wall to their left.  They searched for hollows and secret doors, but found nothing, and the sounds gradually faded, so the party set off to explore.

They tried a door they'd skipped during their previous visit, and found a room with a carved wooden throne set on a stone dais.  Paul sat on the throne, and was disappointed when nothing happened.  After much searching, they located a loose stone at the base of the dais, and pulled it out.  Paul reached into the space behind it, and pulled out a golden necklace set with gems, and further searching turned up nothing else.  They decided to take the throne, which was bulky but not too heavy, and they carried it back to the base of the stairs.

Leaving the throne at the stairs, the party set off in a new direction.  After exploring and mapping several hundred feet of passages, Gorgoron accidentally set off a trap in the middle of a hallway, and was struck by a poison arrow.  He made his save, but was felled by the arrow anyway.  The party quickly bound his wounds, and then attempted, unsuccessfully, to disarm the trap.  Scrint and Beeko asked Dave, the only character who can speak goblin, if Gorgoron was dead, and if so, if they could eat him.  When he assured them the group wanted to save Gorgoron, the goblins offered to guard the body while the group continued exploring.  Eventually, Billy decided to stay with Gorgoron and the goblins, so they went back to the throne room to hide out.

The rest of the party continued on, and not too much later encountered a gelatinous cube.  At first they thought it might be a magical barrier of some sort, but closer examination showed coins floating in it, so they attacked it.  After several rounds of a very one-sided combat, they'd dispatched the creature and collected some coins, a potion and a ring!

Continuing, they mapped more empty corridors and rooms, and then, while searching a dead end for secret doors, Dave took watch.  He was were surprised by another gelatinous cube, which actually ran into him before he noticed it... but his armor protected him from the creature.  This time, with only forty feet of space to fall back in, the combat was a little more even:  Paul, Tim and Bellatrix were all paralysed before the cube was dispatched!  This time, they found three uncut Alexandrite along with a small amount of coin.

This time, the party decided to return to Milburn Hall.  They went back to the throne room for Tim, Gorgoron and the goblins, then made there way upstairs, carrying the Gorgoron, the three paralyzed characters and the throne.  Paul's paralysis wore off first.  At exit from the caverns, they realized they couldn't easily pull the throne through the earthen tunnels.  Tim and Bellatrix revived while the party was trying to decide whether to enlarge the earthen tunnels for the throne.  In the end, they left the throne in the care of Scrint and Beeko, and headed back to Milburn Hall.

They attempted to help Gorgoron but his wound proved too much for him, and he passed away.  They sold the gems, and the necklace, and Justin used his read magic on the labled potion bottle to determine it was a Giant Control potion.  Detect magic showed the ring to be magical, but they were unable to determine what it was.

Bellatrix reached first level and opted to become an Apprentice (1st level thief) as did Annie.  Angara became an Acolyte (1st level cleric) and James became  a warrior (1st level fighter).

We ended play as our time was up.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Game Report #6 - Goblin "Friends" (17 May 13)

Our group this time consisted of M, L2, J, J2, N, v, S (via Skype), L and D.

They played (in marching order) Dave, Gimly, Jimmy, Draco, Shern, Rudy, Salvador, Kaza-rune, Sammy, Enteri, Brock, Gilder, Gorgoron, Paul, Billy, Tiny, Reaper, Bellatrix, James, John, Annie, Angara, Anja, Snowflake, Weeder, Weeder Jr., Fred and Stewi66.

As the players settled in to play, they discussed their options.  Suggestions for the evening ranged from continuing their exploration of the Kemper Village Mausoleum, to joining the Orc tribe, to heading south, in a new direction, through the swamps.  It had been 3 months since they last ventured forth from Milburn Hall, so I let them know that another group had visited the Kobold's lair while they were sitting around.  This group had returned with much treasure, including a golden necklace set with gems that the Jeweller bought for 4000 gold pieces!  Immediately, all other plans went by the wayside... treasure hunting was the order of the day!

Arming themselves, the party set off for the kobold's lair.  As they explored an area in the caverns they'd never been to, they surprised a group of goblins.  They slaughtered ten of them (and saw the death of Shern) before the last two fell to the ground and begged for mercy.  It turned out the two were a couple, Scrint (male) and Beeko (female) and they cried piteously until the party agreed not only to spare them, but to help them survive by bringing them meat between adventures!  Beeko fainted, and remained out most of the rest of the night, waking up occasionally to scream and faint again.  At their behest, Scrint led them to the place the kobolds lived, but the cavern proved empty.  After searching for a while, they found a secret door, with a staircase behind it, leading down.

As the party headed down the stairs, the walls of the cavern gave way to dressed stone.  The party followed a long corridor, coming at last to a locked door.  The Apprentice, Dave, attempted to pick the lock, only to be blinded by a gas trap, and the party was unable to get through the door.  Just around a corner beyond, the party found another door, went through it into a large room, and found a large group of kobolds.  This time, they showed no mercy (of course, none was asked), and they handily wiped out all sixteen kobolds.  Looting the bodies, they found both copper and silver coin, several gems, a wrought silver and gold necklace, and a jade bracelet the head kobold had been wearing as an armband.

They returned to Milburn Hall, promising Scrint they'd bring meat every few days to help the goblins survive.  At the Hall, they sold the gems and jewelry, and divided up their loot.  Salvador, Rudy, Draco and John all earned enough experience to reach first level:  Salvador and Draco became Mediums (1st level Magic-Users), John a Warrior (1st level Fighter) and Rudy an Acolyte (1st level Cleric).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Game Report #5 - Centipedes, Fire Beetles and Rats, Oh My!

Returning for Game 5 last night were L, L2, M, S (via Skype), J, J2, H, G, G2, and C.  D has been a part of the group, but this was his first time in this game, and D2 and S2 were new both to the campaign and the group.

L, L2, D, D2 and S2 all had to generate characters for the game:

Having had a character reach level 1 before dying, L was allowed to roll up a new first level character, rather than five zero levels.  His new character is Snowflake, a Veteran (1st level fighter).

L2 drew up the following characters: a prisoner named Reaper, an outlaw named Billy the Kid, a woodcutter named Paul Bunyan, a guild beggar called Tiny Tim, and an orphan named Gorgoron, who styles himself "the soul slicer."

D created 2 mushroom farmers, Weeder and Weeder Jr., Fred the Cobbler, an astrologer named Stewi66 and a ditch digger named Gravedigger ("He's got dreams, you know!")

D2 has an alchemist named Dave, a hunter called Teriyaki, Pikachu the jester, Sparta the cobbler, and a City Guard named Jerry.

S created a jester named Latula, a scribe named Meulin, a jeweller called Kanaya, a mercenary called Damara, and a smuggler named Kurboz.

After the new characters were created, we reviewed experience levels, and Eridan had reached level 1.  Eridan opted to become a Medium (1st level Magic User).

Three months have passed since the party returned from their last adventure, while everyone healed, and Eridan completed his training as a Mage.  As Aetherus brought Eridan back to the Hall, Ockhena took the opportunity to ask him if there were other towns or villages nearby, or just Kemper Village.  Aetherus explained there had once been a town two day's hike southwest, and another town one day's hike due south.  As the party discussed their options after breakfast in the main hall, Pyotr came in and asked them to try to eliminate the kobold threat, "because the Hall is getting crowded, and we want to build some houses between here and the river, but the kobolds raid at night and destroy the work and kill anyone outside after dark!"

The party agreed this would be wise, and spent the rest of the morning discussing strategy.  Should we block all the entrances then flood them out via the river entrance?  If so how will we get any of the treasure out of a flooded cavern system?  What if we send a separate party into each entrance and trap them all?  Do we know where all their exits are?  We know about three, but we don't know if that's all of them!  They finally agreed to use the tunnel closest to Milburn Hall, and go directly to the caverns below.  Their next discussion centered on tactics:  Do we split up and explore in different directions?  Do we make noise to draw the kobolds, or move as quietly as possible to surprise them?  Should we have one party explore while another guards our way out?  They opted for the latter, and at noon, ate lunch in the Hall, then started off for the kobold's lair.  They'd been into the caverns several times via this route, and made their way in with no trouble, with every third character carrying a lit torch for the long crawl in through the dirt tunnel to the cavern.  For the tunnel crawl, Snowflake led them in, followed by Billy the Kid, Tiny Tim, Gorgoron, Reaper, Paul Bunyan, Eridan, Gamzee, Damara, Meulin, Dave, Teriyaki, Pikachu, Jerry, Kaza Rune, Sammy, Enteri, Brock, Gilder, River, Anja, Ockhena, Fred, Weeder, Weeder Jr., Stewi66, Gravedigger, Rudy, Draco, Salvador, Shern, Justin, Richard, Rose, Pinky, Mordecai, Max, Ven, Ron, Don, Vladof, Bandit, Torque, Tediore and Maliwan.

Inside the first cavern, they split into two groups, Team A, with Teriyaki, Pikachu, Jerry, Kaza Rune, Sammy, Enteri, Brock, Gilder, Fred, Weeder, Weeder Jr., Stewi66, Gravedigger, Rudy, Draco, Salvador, Shern, Justin, Richard, Rose, Pinky, Mordecai, Max, Ven, Ron, and Don headd off to explore, while the rest, Team B, stood guard at the entrance to prevent an ambush.

Team A was exploring a large cavern, and was surprised by a pair of fire beetles.  Teriyaki died before the party cut them down.  In the next cavern, Stewi66 kicked a lump on the floor, and narrowly avoided getting splashed by acid falling from a hole in the ceiling.  They considered kicking the lump again so they could catch some acid, but Salvador the alchemist wisely said, "No way, I'm not letting acid splash on my arm while I try to catch it in a vial!"  They tried to get some from the floor, but it had already spread too thinly to gather in the vial.  They continued on, finding dwarven runes carved in one wall, a completely charred, illegible book in the same cave, and later, a stone statue of a man reading a scroll.  Stewi66, Fred, Weeder, Weeder Jr., and Gravedigger decided to head back to Team B, but as they got there, the Team B asked to be led back to Team A.

Maliwan, bringing up the rear of Team A, heard noises behind him, and turned to see them being stalked by at least three giant rats at the very edge of their torchlight.  The party turned to do battle, as Team B arrived from the side.  Before the rats were dispatched, River and Bandit both fell, and the party decided it was time to leave.  They carried River and Bandit, and dragged what turned out to be 14 giant rats back through the caverns to the entrance.  On their way, they spotted an killed a giant centipede and Dave claimed the corpse and brought it along.  As they crawled out through the dirt tunnels, Maliwan again heard noise behind him, and turned to see three kobolds tracking them and getting closer.  Only three characters were left underground, so they opted to exit quickly and attack the kobolds when they came out... but they never did.  The kobolds saw the bright sunlight flooding the tunnel when the party wasn't in the way, and retreated into the dark.

Back at Milburn Hall, the party skinned the giant rats so Gimli and Kaza-Rune could attempt to create more leather armor from them, and Maliwan decided to gut the rats and check their stomachs for valuables.  He got lucky and found two gems, which they were able to sell for 2000 gold pieces total.  Rest and Recuperation allowed the party to heal and gain their experience, and several more characters have finally reached first level.  Ockhena and Richard each train to become a Medium (1st level magic user), Anja, Gamzee and Pinkie will become Apprentices (1st level Thief), Justin becomes an Acolyte (1st level cleric) and Rose becomes a veteran (1st level fighter).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Next Game - 15 Feb 13

We'll play Game #5 on Friday night, 15 Feb 13... same place as usual (my Dining/Room/Kitchen) from 1900 thru 2200.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Game Report #4 - Audacious Failure?

A friend from work brought his sons over for last night's game, so we were joined by G2 and C.  G was unable to attend, so our players included L, L2, M, S (via Skype), J2, N, H, V, J, G2 and C.  During play, they broke into three groups, so I've split our cast of characters accordingly:

Group 1:

L:  Grimm the Medium (1st level magic user)
L2:  Ditchy the ditchdigger, Stabby the Mercenary, Chip the woodcutter, and Apollo the astrologer

Group 2:

M:  Dave "Hawkeye" the hunter
S:  Ockhena and River the mushroom farmers, Anja the urchin, William the beggar, and Becca the ditch digger
J2:  Brock the ditch digger, Enteri the locksmith, Gilder the weaver, Sammy ("Dark Reaver of Souls") the orphan, and Kaza-rune the armorer
N:  Gimli Fartbucket the armorer, and Jimmy "Ratman" the jeweler
H:  Gamzee the baker, and Eridan the hunter
V:  Bellatrix the alchemist, John and James the sewermen, Angara the minstrel, and Annie the orphan

Group 3:

J:  Rudy the baker, Salvador the alchemist, Draco the wizard's apprentice, and Shern the minstrel
G2:  Maliwan the jeweler, Torque the mushroom farmer, Bandit the beggar, Vladof the wainwright, and Tediore the guild beggar
C:  Ron the alchemist, Don the gambler, Max the caravan guard, Mordecai the jeweler, and Ven the herbalist

During the week they'd been hanging out at Milburn Hall, two more people were kidnapped during night-time raids, and it was assumed they were taken by the kobolds.  The party decided to attempt a rescue.  Following the path through the brambles that first led them to the kobold tunnels, they found the entrance, formed a single file line, lit torches and crawled in.  They managed to make the correct turns, and reached the caverns without incidence.

Here, they regrouped into a marching order four abreast, and began to explore tunnels they hadn't visited before.  The first curved around right back into the main entrance room, and it was here they heard voices coming from the north.  Although they couldn't make out what was being said, the language was clearly Common, so they headed north to follow.  They passed through a hall wider than their torches could illuminate, and found a statue without a head... but ignored it to continue north.  They came across another statue, toppled over, with a pile of blood-soaked clothing next to it.  Grimm picked up the clothing and they continued north.

Just a moment later, they came across another group, backed into a dead-end, facing them with weapons drawn.  Maliwan, Torque, Bandit, Vladof, Tediore, Ron, Don, Max, Mordecai, and Ven (our new players' characters) had attempted a rescue, and had found the four kidnap victims unconscious in the cave.  The two groups joined to head back to Milburn Hall.

As they headed south once again, they decided to explore the full extent of the room where they'd found the headless statue.  As they followed the western wall away from what they could see before, their torch startled a giant mushroom, which let out a loud blood-curdling shriek.  They quickly dispatched it, and Okhena, River and Torque, the three mushroom farmers, examined it.  When they couldn't identify it, they hacked it to pieces, learning in the process that it wasn't rooted to the ground, and could apparently move.  They managed to find a large bag of silver coins hidden under/behind it.  While continuing their exploration of the chamber, they located four more headless statues, and toppled all five, which broke into large pieces while making much noise.  

They regrouped, and headed south again, but were attacked by a large group of giant rats.  In the ensuing battle, Becca, Okhena and William were knocked out.  After dispatching the rats, the party hoisted up all seven unconscious people and continued on their way... only to be attacked by a party of seven kobolds in the main entrance room.  They managed to dispatch all seven, and found 26 gold pieces, a piece of amber, and a silver pendant on the lead kobold.  As they crawled back into the tunnels to escape, they dragged the unconscious along with them, and the two armorers, Gimli Fartbucket and Kaza-Runê, dragged the kobold and some of the giant rat bodies along as well.

Back at Milburn Hall, they sold the pendant and the piece of silver, and made 85 gold for the pair.  After resting, Dave the Hunter had earned enough experience to choose a class.  Pyotr took him away.  Becca and William succumbed to their wounds, and never woke again, while Okhena recovered.  The party hung around in Milburn Hall for three months, during which Dave the Hunter underwent training and became Dave the Apprentice (a first level thief), Gimli crafted one set of leather armor from giant rat hides, and Kaza-runê crafted two sets of leather armor from kobold hides.

Growing bored again of hanging around the Hall, the group decided to head to Kemper Village and return to the mausoleum.  They stayed off-trail to the east, and hid under the trees for a while when they heard the cry of the roc overhead.  They made it to the village without encountering any orcs, and split up into the three houses they've been spending the night in.

In the morning, they broke into three groups.  The first group (see above) headed back south toward the orcs, staying east of the trail until they had passed the wall, then coming back to the wall from the south.

The second group heard noises behind House Six, so Dave climbed up onto the house to look over the ridge of the roof, while the rest went around to investigate. 

The third group headed toward the mausoleum then turned left to explore more houses.

Behind House Six, in the trees, they spotted a man on a horse.  He fired an arrow at them, but missed... and Dave "Hawkeye" the Apprentice fired back, scoring an excellent shot and felling the beast.  As it fell, the players saw that it was really a centaur.  They headed forward to loot the body, but several more arrows came from the trees.  The spotted at least three more centaurs, and beat a hasty retreat back around to the street-side of the house, while Dave slid down to join them in front.

Meanwhile, the third group explored six more houses; four of which had shattered door-frames, and two of which had locked doors with T-bars blocking them shut. In the first, they found a set of four carving knives, and a chest containing gold and silver coins.  The second house, when opened, proved eerily clean... it was completely empty and without even a speck of dust.  They quickly exited, and replaced the T-bar blocking it shut, then headed back past the mausoleum to explore the other side.

In front of House Six, after much discussion, Dave climbed to the roof, then helped the rest of the party up.  They crawled up to the ridge, and raised their shields, peering into the woods.  By the time they got up there, the body of the centaur had been dragged off into the woods, none were visible at all.  They climbed back down, and headed south to Milburn Hall... staying off the trail to the west.  Near the wall, they encounted a group of twelve orcs, but paid a toll of 2 gold pieces each and were allowed to pass.  They made it home to Milburn.

The third group explored another house with the door frame destroyed, then came to a house with a T-bar... but decided it was time to head back to Milburn Hall.  They headed south, off the path to the East, and made it home to Milburn Hall without incident.

At the wall, Grimm told Grack (the usual orc guard) that he wanted to join the orc tribe.

Grack incredulously asked, "You want to join The Bloody Claw?"

Assuring him they did, the entire group were told to drop all their weapons and be escorted to the orc village.  They did so.  (Timing wise, as they headed west, other orcs gathered the gear they'd dropped and were carrying it to the village when the other party encountered them, paid their toll, and went on their way south)

At the orc village, they feasted, then spent the night.  In the morning, each of them faced unarmed combat with a single orc.  Grimm and an orc traded blows, and Grimm fell.  Apollo fared better, but also fell.  The rest of the group went down as well.

Thus ended our evening's play.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Game Report #3 - Centipede Poison and Zombies!

Friday night we played our third game.  We had three new folks (N, L2 and J2) show up, so there were ten players (L, J, G, L2, N, M, S, J2, V and H) sitting around the table, along with me (standing mostly, and walking between the table and the island in the kitchen, where I set up my stuff.

N's five characters were:  Gimli the armorer, Blarg the woodcutter, Jimmy the jeweler, Hans Olo, a gambler, and an old male jeweler known only as "Old Bald Lady."

L2 created Apollo the astrologer, Ditchy the ditch digger, Chip, a woodcutter, Knees the caravan guard and a mercenary named Stabby.

J2's rolled up Guilder the weaver, Enteri the locksmith, a ditch digger named Brock, an armorer named Kaza-runê, and an orphan called Sammy, who styles herself the "Dark Reaver of Souls."

As we began play, Grimm spoke to Pyotr and asked him if there was someone who could train him to be a magic user.  Pyotr said he'd speak to the Master of the Hall, and left through the kitchen.  In just a few moments, an old man in long grey robes came into the hall, and introduced himself as Aetherus, "Wizard of Milburn Hall."  He accepted Grimm as apprentice, and led him away for a month of training.  In the meantime, the rest of the group continued removing the brambles in front of the hall, and weaving baskets.  After a month, Aertherus and Grimm returned to the hall; Grimm a newly trained Medium, with the following spells in his book:  read magic, sleep, read languages, and detect magic.  As the party spoke to Grimm and Aetherus, Pyotr closed the kitchen door, used a key and opened the door again, to reveal the hallway leading to Cittá.  As the team of horses pulled the coach into the hall, Aetherus told the party he'd answer any questions they might have.

The only question I recall was how the door to the kitchen kept changing, to which he replied, "Pyotr is using one of the magical keys that lets the door open to other places... places like Cittá."  He went on to explain that he'd grown up just outside of Milburn Hall, when it was a very large community with several villages within a mile of the Hall.  He said that when he as a young man, something had come through, just like they were now doing, and it had forced the villagers to flee the countryside for many miles around, and was why the outer door was locked from the outside.   "The survivors, you see, were afraid to leave any door unlocked, and preferred to destroy doorframes altogether, so no other ways could be found."

Aetherus left them, then, and the original party met the 15 new people during the evening's feast.  The next day they set out for Kemper Village.  When they reached the orc's roadblock, several party members tried to bargain a new price, with Grimm first asking the orc's name (Grack) and then asking how much a lifetime pass would cost (50 gp for him, 100 gp for each of the others.)  Robin strode up to the wall, drew his bow and took aim at the orc, but before he could fire, arrows flew from the trees on both sides of the road, taking him out.  The party backed away, with Justin retrieving Robin's body, and the orcs allowed them to turn back south.

When they came to the bridge, they headed west along the southern bank of the stream.  When they came to the entrance to the kobold tunnels, the party decided to explore while Justin took Robin back to the Hall for rest.

They explored the dirt tunnels, hoping to find their way back to the kobolds caves, and took several wrong paths, finding two places where the tunnel sloped down, but shrunk to less than 15 inches high forcing them to turn back when they saw how difficult it was to find giant rats while slithering on their bellies.  The finally found the caves, where they fought fire beetles and giant centipedes.  Unfortunately, both Hans Olo and Knees were bitten by the centipedes and immediately fell into comas.  They died later without ever waking up.  The party decided to return to Milburn Hall once again to rest and recover.

At Milburn, they ordered equipment from Pyotr, and again spoke to Aetherus learning more of the area.  They decided to set out for Kemper Village once more, to seek treasure in the Mausoleum.  This time, after crossing the bridge and heading north, the travelled under cover of the trees, about a half mile east of the road.  They did surprise a patrol of three orcs, and felled two immediately.  The third threw down his weapon and shield and ran for help... but was hit in the back with a javelin before he could escape.

They spent an uneventful night in the three houses they'd picked before, and in the morning entered the Mausoleum.  This time, as an experiment, they decided not to light the oil lamp on the altar.  The thought the door to the basement might not open, but were surprised to find it did.  Heading downstairs after lighting torches, they took the long route to the room with the sarcophagus and pit, then tried the east exit.  It was blocked by a wooden portcullis, which the woodcutters handily dispatched.  Passing it, they turned left into a long room, and were surprised by a pair of richly dressed people... who of course turned out to be zombies.  Blarg was knocked out before they dispatched the zombies.  "Old Bald Lady" rigged a makeshift sling, and hoisted Blarg up on his back.  They found six gems on the zombies, and a sack of silver coins against the west wall of the room, and then headed back.  Back in the room with the pit, Blarg started waking up, but instead of speaking, he moaned, and attacked "Old Bald Lady," knocking him out.  In a panic, Jimmy and Gimli each attacked... one crushing Blarg's skull, the other "Old Bald Lady's"... because "We can't let them come back as zombies!"

After that, the party left the Mausoleum, and immediately headed back to Milburn Hall, again staying far to the east of the road to avoid the orcs.  The entire trip was uneventful, and at Milburn Hall they were able to sell the gems and split their profits after recovering.

Thus ended the night of play!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Game Report - Second Play

Today we played our second game.  Joining the crew from last time were two new players, S and H.

S created Becca, a ditch digger; William, a beggar, an urchin named Anja, and two mushroom farmers, Okhena and River.

H's characters included Eridan, a hunter; Bec Noir, a ditch digger, a baker named Gamzee, a guild beggar named Tavros, and a Gambler named Vriska.

The original party made the trek back from the ruined village.  At the place they'd encountered the orcs, they found a large tree cut down and laying across the path.  Approaching cautiously, they climbed over it and continued to Milburn Hall.  They arrived in time to see the coach disgorge a new group of indentureds in the Hall.

Grimm asked Pyotr to find a jeweler who could tell him about the necklace he'd found.  After breakfast the next morning, the jeweler arrived and offered Grimm 630 gold pieces on the spot.  As they were counting it out, Tavros ran over, grabbed a handful of the coins, and tried to run out.  Grimm, Bardzz, Penn and Baisil killed Tavros, retrieved the coin, and then paid Pyotr the 280 coins needed to free themselves from their indentured service.

The group of 28 then headed north to the ruined village.  When they reached the downed tree, an orc sitting there demanded a silver coin from each to let them pass.  The party hesitated.  The orc raised his hand and waved it, and the group heard noises from behind trees on both sides of the path.  They quickly handed over the silver, and were allowed to pass.

Two hours further along, there were surprised by a great bird with a thirty foot wingspan, which swooped down silently and grabbed up John the Hunter in it's talons.  It quickly flew out of arrow range, then dropped John from a great height, scooped up the corpse and flew away.  The party stuck to the trees, and made it to the ruined village without further incident.

At the village, they went to the large marble building at the end of the road, which had both a T-bar holding the door shut, and a chain and lock.  Above the door was an inscription that read "Kemper Village Mausoleum."  They moved the T-bar, and Becca the ditch digger managed to pick the lock.   They opened the doors to find a single room.  Lining the walls were shelves with urns full of ashes; while the center of the room held a raised platform with an altar on it.  On the alter was a three-branched oil-lamp with symbols of law, neutrality and chaos on it.  On the front of the altar the same symbols were engraved, with the names Aros, Topha and Samana under each one in turn.  The party lit all three wicks, and called out each name in turn, which caused the glow to become brighter than daylight.  Searching the room, they found a hidden door opposite the entrance, which revealed a stairway leading down into the ground.

Exploring below, they battled zombies and skeletons, and both Daxter the cutpurse and Vriska the gambler lost their lives in combat.  The survivors found several gems and some gold, camped out in houses in the village, then headed back to Milburn Hall the next morning.  On the way, they kept a look out for the great bird, and at the downed tree, no orcs were to be seen, so they continued back without paying a toll.

While the injured rested for ten days, half the group wove baskets out of brambles, while the other half cut a new path from the front of Milburn Hall due north toward the stream.  It took them an additional ten days to cut all the way through.  At breakfast the next morning, they found that two men had gone out overnight to collect firewood, and had never returned.  They found footprints and followed them back to the kobold tunnels.  Each player picked one character to enter the tunnels.  This smaller group took torches and followed the tunnels.  A giant rat attacked as they were exploring, but it was dispatched with ease.  After almost an hour, the tunnel dipped down and opened up in a stone cavern where the party could again stand up.   A group of eleven kobolds confronted them, and the party bribed them with a bunch of excess equipment to win their escape.  As quickly as they could get out into the sunlight again, they returned will all their characters... only to find the kobolds no longer there.  The party began to explore, and quickly found a corrider leading out of the cavern.  Turning their backs on the cavern, they marched 2 by 2 into the 8 foot wide corrider, which proved to be a trap.  The front row was attacked and one round later the rear of the party was attacked as well.  Roxy, Jak, Bardzz and Baisil all lost their lives in the ambush, but after eight kobolds died, the rest fled, letting the characters escape again from the tunnels.

Back at Milburn Hall, J, who'd lost his last two characters, created a new batch:  Rudy, a baker, Merin, a fortune teller, Salvador, an alchemist, a minstrel named Shern, and a wizard's apprenticed named Draco.

This time, after recuperating, the group decided to skip the kobold tunnels and head back to the village.  Grimm and Penn carried the bodies of Bardzz and Baisil with them for internment in their house at the village.  On their way, they found the orcs had replaced the fallen tree with a double wall of tree trunks sunk vertically into the ground, with a door in the center.  An orc stood above them and told them the cost was again a silver coin apiece in order to pass.  Grimm and Penn called out saying they were on their way home to bury their dead, and could they pass for free?  A lucky reaction roll had the orc grant them approval, and the entire party was allowed to pass without paying.

Before reaching the village, the party was again attacked by the giant bird, which managed only to snag and drop the corpse of Bardzz.  The party hid under the trees, and the bird gave up and flew on.

Back in the mausoleum the party continued exploring the first basement, battling zombies, skeletons and rot grubs.  Merin the fortune teller was killed by a zombie.  The party found a deep pit, but their torches weren't strong enough to let them see the bottom.  They dropped bones and three zombie corpses and estimated the pit to be almost 50 feet deep.  They tied their ropes together, and knotted it every few few feet to make a climb down easier.  Three members successfully climbed down the pit, but Bec Noir slipped and fell to her death, impaling herself on ribs sticking out of the zombies they'd dumped.  The rest of the party stayed above, keeping an eye out for wandering monsters.  At the bottom, the smaller group explored the corridor in both directions, finding stairs leading further down, several doors they ignored, and a room with two zombies.  After killing the zombies, they found a chest full of gold, then battled several more zombies, one of which killed Penn the scribe.  As the party hoisted the chest of coins up from the pit, there were forced to battle one more zombie, which had climbed aboard for the ride up.  Leaving the mausoleum, they again camped in village houses, then headed for Milburn Hall in the morning.  This time, when they reached the orcs' wall; a new guard appeared on the wall and looked them over.  Seeing the ornate wooden trunk they carried, he told them the toll was a gold piece each.  Turning back, they went north a half mile then left the path and went half a mile to the east before again turning south.  They defeated a small group of orcs, and made it back to Milburn Hall to rest and recover.

After receiving their experience points, one character, Grimm the ditch digger, had earned enough to become a first level character.  He opted to become a mage, and was told he'd need to receive a month of training.

Again, the players said they really liked the much simpler rules, and how much faster play could be.  All in all, everyone seemed to have a good time, even J, who had to start on his second batch of zero level characters.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Game Report – First play

Tonight, my son and four of his friends became the first players in my new campaign world.  We’re using the original LBBs as the basic ruleset, with the addition of some house rules and a modified zero level funnel (idea courtesy of the OSR Blogosphere and Dungeon Crawl Classics).  Each player created five zero-level characters for the game.  For each character, they rolled on the Occupation Table (a modified table based on the table of the same name from the Dungeon Crawl Classics Quick Start Guide) to get their original occupation, a weapon and an extra item.  They then rolled 1d6 for gold, 3d6 for silver, and 5d6 for copper.  After that, they named each character and picked their alignment.  No other stats were generated.  Each character started with -500 experience points.  

In order to choose a class, they’ll have to survive long enough to earn 500 experience points, and test each of their primary attributes in some way.

Here was our initial cast of characters:
L’s characters included a grave digger named Grimm, a minstrel named Bardzz, a scribe named Penn, an herbalist named Baisil, and a prisoner named Cage.
M created a cutpurse named Vriska, an outlaw named Caliborn, a wizard’s apprentice named Roxy, and two hunters, named Dave and John.
J’s characters were a ditchdigger named Ash, two scribes named Jak and Joey, a locksmith named Mordecai, and a cutpurse named Daxter.
V created a pair of sewermen named James and John, an alchemist named Bellatrix, a minstrel named Angara, and an orphan named (of course) Annie.
G had a cutpurse named Richard, a hunter called Robin, a Minstrel named Justin, Rose the herbalist and Pinky the jester.

After character creation, play started as the Feast in Milburn Hall ran down.  After most of the crowd had gone to bed, Pyotr stood, and told them he knew they were not the type put up with years of indentured servitude.  “The Master,” he said, “would accept payment of 70 gold each to void their contracts,” and he explained that there was work to be done and treasure to be found in the surrounding areas.

In the morning, Pyotr showed the characters their first and only mandatory task:  The main door to Milburn Hall was blocked from the outside, and needed to be cleared.  The characters decided to climb from an outside balcony down to the front of the Hall, then clear the obstruction and open the door.  Those characters involved needed to do dexterity checks, so first had to roll their dexterity.  Those who failed had to roll their constitution and hit points.  Ash the ditchdigger slipped from the rope, and fell backward onto the logs blocking the door, breaking his back and dying instantly.  Mordecai the locksmith, Joey the scribe and the outlaw Caliborn also fell to their deaths.  Strength checks were needed as the survivors cleared away the rocks and logs blocking the door.  After finally opening the main doors, the players decided to work both on clearing the field of brambles surrounding the hall, and exploring the paths that led through it.  Giant rats were encountered several times in the maze, and when a path led underground, several characters crawled blindly into the tunnel.  Vriska the cutpurse was clubbed by an unknown assailant in the pitch black tunnel, and dragged out only to die later from her wounds.  It turned out the tunnel was inhabited by kobolds, which they learned only after killing one and retrieving the body.

Tiring of the brambles and tunnels, the party finally decided to set out for one of the nearby villages.  On the way, they encountered (but avoided) a party of five orcs.  After several hours of hiking, they found an abandoned village.  They explored 15 houses, a few of which had their doors blocked from the outside, and the rest their doors torn down and their doorframes shattered.  One of the houses had a basement containing a stone coffin.  Opening it, they found a richly dressed corpse wearing a necklace.  Cage the prisoner reached in to remove the necklace, only to have the corpse sit up, reach out, and strangle him before anyone else could react.  They managed to cut off its head, then pulled the corpse out of the coffin and laid Cage to rest in it instead.  The necklace had a red gem surrounded by a silver medallion, and seemed rather valuable… so they took it.

The game ended there… five characters lost during about 4 hours of play, and none reaching first level.  Feedback at the table was favorable, both about how much they preferred the simpler rules over the 4e most of them learned on, and on the zero level concept.  Looking forward to playing again Sunday!

Welcome to Milburn Hall!

You found the merchant, or maybe he found you... whatever the case, you met with him, and he told you he could get you away from Cittá.  His price, as rumored, was seven years of service... but what was seven years and freedom compared to an entire lifetime of drudgery with no way out?  Of course you accepted his offer!

"We leave now," he told you, and before you could protest he hustled you aboard a horse-drawn coach full of strangers.  In moments, the coach headed down the street, toward one of the many gatehouses of Cittá.  You couldn't see much through the small windows of the coach, but the wooden walls past the gatehouse didn't seem usual in a city of stone.  Just a few moments later, passing through another gate, the walls gave way to a great hall.  The coach halted, and the merchant opened the door.

“You may come out now.”

Your fellow passengers grumbled, “How could we be out of the city?  We rode less than half an hour!”
In spite of their complaints, everyone left the coach.  You found yourselves in a great hall, fifty feet wide, and a hundred long.  The floor is paved with flagstones, the walls are stone up to 15 feet high, and wooden walls rise another 30 feet above that, until great wooden beams form an arch that peaks 15 feet beyond that!  On top of the stone walls is a balcony that runs around the entire room; with doors every ten feet all around.  There is a third floor above that, also with a balcony, and again, doors every ten feet all around. 

“Your attention, please!  I am Pyotr, Steward of Milburn Hall.  Welcome to your new home!  Some of you came here of your own free will, and some of you were purchased from the prisons of Cittá, but all of you are here now.  Each of you has a debt to pay, and the chance to make a new life for yourself, away from the cesspool that is the world-city, Cittá!  The balconies on the second and third floors of the hall lead to the rooms where you’ll be staying.  Each will hold five of you.  Please find rooms, and rest… we shall feast this evening!”

After choosing your rooms, and resting, you make your way back to the main hall.  You are seated on benches at tables in the hall.  Your table, as with all the others, is set with a great feast of roast game, goat and vegetable stew, loaves of dark bread and flasks of ale.  Servers cross the room to the kitchens constantly refilling mugs, and bringing trays of additional food as it is eaten. 

As evening falls, the feast goes on, and many people leave to make their way to their rooms for the night.  You, however, remain… hoping to hear what Pyotr has to say.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Cittá, city of a thousand golden palaces and uncounted crystal towers... a city of unimaginable wealth; largest and most beautiful of all cities ever built!

For the highborn, a city of riches and ease... but you are not of the highborn.  You may have been part of the working class; those who fed, or clothed or guarded Cittá.  Maybe you were a baker, a butcher, a smith, or a jeweler, or possibly a scribe or a soldier or a guard.  Maybe you were lower than that; one of the Unseen:  a beggar, a sewerman, a cutpurse, an undertaker, or even a prisoner in the dungeons beneath Cittá.  In any case, the wealth and glory of Cittá was not for you, and your life was destined to be one of toil and drudgery.

Until you were offered an out... 7 years of indentured service, then freedom, true freedom, to live as you would, away from Cittá!  At first it seemed too good to be true.  Away from Cittá?  The city was all!  How could there be anyplace else?  And just seven years, rather than a lifetime?  Ridiculous!  But still, you were curious.  Who?  How?  And where?  Could it be possible?

A certain merchant caravan seemed to be the key... 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Exploring the Outside Inn

Some doors open out, and some open in.  Exterior doors let you out when you're inside, and in when you're outside.  Interior doors lead from room to room, or from room to hallway or hallway to room.

There are front doors, back doors, side doors, garage doors, secret doors, and hidden doors, to name a few, and all serve to let you pass from one location to another - locations typically separated by walls.

But some doors are different.  With the right key, some doors don't just lead to the other side of the wall, but to other places altogether... with the right key, some doors let you out from outside or in from inside, and some doors let you go back before, rather than just back through.

With the right key, you might even find yourself at the Outside Inn.