Archive for the ‘Games we Play’ Category

Dungeons and Dragons is my passion.

Dungeons and Dragons is my passion.

We had a really fun night this Friday. Dave brought everything, starting with copious amounts of meat, in dog form, for the grill. He also brought a mysterious package that turned out to be more Dungeon Tiles! These tiles are from the Kickstarter that ran concurrently with the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter, and they are completely compatible,though made out of a different material, and there are some height differences. I will write an article focused on the new tiles, but let it be known that Dave is now our official Subsurface Environment Acquisition Specialist.

We began outside the bank full of ghosts, and started off with some good old fashion looting. In the inner vault were six coffins mounted along the walls. They were the tombs of the Banker Priests and six more ghostly guards stood watch until the heroes of the Lance convinced them it was time to retire. Then they looted the six magic swords from their coffins and left.

The gully dwarves led the way down the waterfall that led to the lowest level, but were captured by Draconians and taken to the secret Draconian encampment where they were tied up in the center of a bonfire. A huge black dragon and 7 draconians occupied the chamber. The plan was for the wizard to turn invisible and search the chamber for the magical disks while the rest of the party held back the enemy.However the wizard was confident he could charm the dragon and attempted to do so. It was only moments later when the dragon would not do as it was bidden, that the wizard realized it was a wicker statue.

Who would have known draconians have such artistic skill with wicker?

Who would have known draconians have such artistic skill with wicker?

They slew the draconians, discovered five black dragon hatchlings which they tried to tame or put spells on,then put into bags for later. They rescued the dwarves and continued on their way to the central plaza of the sunken city. Good times.

Read Full Post »

Descent into Darkness

Descent into Darkness

Tonight we entered the ruined city of Xak Tsaroth after a long journey. Between the illnesses and dating (two related subjects imo) the adventuring party was made up of just Goldmoon, Raistlin, and Sturm. Tanis joined in for the second half. We ate pizza made fresh from the grocery store and baked in our oven. For dessert, our dessert specialist brought delicious oreo cupcakes, which also turned out to be diabetic-friendly, which is nice even though game nights are decreed to be “Freedom Fridays” as far as food is concerned.

The heroes of the lance were in the swamp surrounding the ruined city. Realizing they had missed the turn, they backracked until they found a side path which crossed a murky pool over a fallen obsidian obelisk. Everyone had to make a dexterity check to cross, and Goldmoon was so adept, she was able to read the writing on the monument as she crossed. Unfortunately she read it from end to beginning:

Home our of grace the in
Us reward gods the
Deeds generous their and
People its of good the to speaks
You surrounds beauty whose
Tsaroth Xak of city great the

Heh. This adventure is so ripe in material, and I was so eager to get to the dungeon, that I missed out on a great iconic scene from the Dragonlance saga in the swamps. I think I will find a way to weave it into next session. Moving on.

Across the obelisk, the swamp opened up into a clearing with a giant black steaming pit on one side and a holy temple with doors shining bright gold in the afternoon sunlight. They tentatively approached the pit but the stench and feeling of evil persuaded them to turn towards the golden doors of the temple.

It was a temple to Misha-kala, goddess of healing, and the statue turned to life and spoke to Goldmoon about blah blah blah, go out and heal girl, but first retrieve the disks in the dragon lair at the bottom of this dungeon. Then the statue sticks its tongue out at Raistlin and turns back to stone.

There are multiple doors exiting the temple. The one they choose leads to a room covered in frescoes depicting ancient scenes of glory. Five hideously filthy stunted creatures scrabble and scratch at the plaster walls, forming globs and piles of the plaster. The creatures eventually notice they are being watched after inadvertently giving away everything they know. They beg for mercy and weep and moan, while the heroes try to figure out what they are.

GullydwarvesEventually they realize they are gully dwarves, universally despised creatures so low that they don’t even have beards. Raistlin uses his beard cantrip to grow 7 inches of beard on each of the 5 gully dwarves who immediately begin grovelling at his feet and worshipping him as a lord. They command the dwarves to show them the way to the dragon, and the dwarves agree but suggest that the first go see the gully dwarf king.

And so they set off down a long flight of circular stairs. Before they set off, the dwarves argue about which one of them will be the guide and they start climbing up the wizard to try and perch on his head. The others join in a game of king of the hill to get to the top of Raistlins head and be declared the guide. Somehow it all works out, but the chosen guide angers Raistlin by leading him back to the wall for some more plaster. Raisltin hurls him down a flight of circular stairs, and they listen to every bone crunching bounce all the way down.

Goldmoon rushes down the stairs and at the bottom, uses her staff of healing to bring the dead dwarf back to life. All the otehr dwarves watch and a feud starts between them as Raisltin and Goldmoon make charisma checks to determine which of them they will follow as their lord. Goldmoon gets two, Raislin keeps two, and one goes to stand by Sturm and declares himslef to be an atheist (whose player Dr Karen Khar is also an avowed atheist) who doesn’t believe in magic. This while Goldmoon is performing miracles and Raistlin is wielding beard magic.

OK so we went on for another couple hours of hilarious gully dwarf action. They met a group of 30 gully dwarves, awed them wth their power, and for the rest of the night a tug of war took place between Goldmoon and Raistlin over who had the most worsippers. Goldmoon was ahead from practically the beginning, even though Raistlin would do anything to impress the loathsome creatures, including taking part in their ritualistic cavortations in “The squirming Chamber.”

The dwarves led them through some old sewer shaft chutes the led to a lower portion of the city, hundreds of feet below the surface. They lnded in the mud of the bakery, or Squirming Chamber as the dwarves called it, and after napping for a few hours, set out into a cavern that they realized was a shop-fronted street of the old city.

There was a swift flowing river, which the dwarves suggested riding down to the next level, but first they were required to make a dwarf bridge so the heroes could search the bank-like building on the other side. This led to a battle with ghosts known as Spectral minions.

Spectral Minions in the Sunken City of Xak Tsaroth

Spectral Minions in the Sunken City of Xak Tsaroth

They entered the bank and saw a ghostly figure behind a counter. Four spectral guards lined the walls, and when the ghost demanded payment of 500 Tsarothian sculli, Tanis and company tried to bolt. Unfortunately the ghost were twice as fast as the fastest character, could fly and pass through inanimate objects, so fleeing led to them being quickly surrounded beside the river. It was quite an intense battle which was nearly the death of them.

Raistlin fired off as many magic missiles as he could before attempting to flee, taking his dwarves with him. Sturm hacked right and left against the two assailing him but could not hit in fa after four or five rounds of rolling 5 or less I let khar re-roll and re-roll and re-roll on one turn ad she still couldn’t hit! Sturm was eventually knocked unconscious and into the river. At this point Raistlin diverted his escaping dwarves to rescue the knight before he drowned, thus saving him.

Xak Tsaroth02Tanis fought a ghost on the dwarf bridge, standing atop the heads of the sputtering gully dwarves, as she swung against an incoporeal opponent. She fought like a wild woman and injured the ghost before a magic missile of Raistlin saved her bacon as well. Goldmoon held her own swinging her +3 staff back and forth with abandon, slaying more than one ghost. Raistlin on the other hand tried his hand at hand-to-hand and immediately rolled a 17, oh yeah… but no a 3rd level wizard does not hit an AC 2 ghost with a roll of 17. Meanwhile 6th level fighters could hit armour class 2 with a roll of 11 or so. Can’t do that without THAC0.

After Sturm’s fall, Goldmoon started using her staff’s ability to Remove Curse to dispel the remaining spirits, then healed everyone up.

Read Full Post »

NASA Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas

NASA Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas

There was no game last week, instead we made a trip to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas for my son Jackson’s 17th birthday. Great fun was had by all, including a brand new game of Ticket to Ride, an instant favorite. This week we were back to the game, crossing the half-way mark of DL 1, Dragonlance Dragons of Despair.



This week also saw the triuphant return of one of our players after an absence that was way too long. She filled the character of Goldmoon with life, and was very excited to be playing a Native American Princess. I had to try and explain t the player that yes indeed she actually is wearing pants, but the cover of the adventure did not aid in that argument.

We began after a short recap about flying pegasi and unicorn forest lords; a flight out of town pursued by hobgoblins; and finally an encounter in a tunnel through the mountains betrayed by dragon-men disguised as priests. The dawn finds them atop the mountains staring eastward across the great ameri-Krynn plains. Smoke rose from the sites of the plainsmen villages, including the village from whence came Goldmoon the princess. Though they had planned to take the shortest distance east to the ruins of Xak Tsaroth, the decided to detour through the villages.

First they came to Que Teh which was abandoned leaving meals half eaten (the players finished those right up) and even left – gasp – their children’s rattles scattered about(!) Goldmoon’s village of Que Shu was similarly abandoned except for the savagely erected gibbet in the center of town upon which hanged three smoking corpses. After much intrusive investigation it was determined to be hobgoblin corpses.

A placard was deciphered by the magus to read that the Lord Verminard was in command and he would not allow his armies to capture prisoners. After much discussion it was determined that Verminard was a powerful northern warlord whom their missing friend Kitiara had spoken about joining on occasion. Sturm and Tanis had both heard their companion speak of the powerful warlord who could seemingly show up anywhere at any time and then disappear just as fast.

The heroes of the lance figured out that the native tribes must have been taken prisoner and hauled off to the south. They must however continue their quest to the ruined city to meet whatever destiny had decreed for them. Soon after they spot a naked indian being pursued by four draconians. They slay the enemy and rescue Nightshade a scout from Que Teh who swears fealty to the princess of the plains. He says hye was sent from his peaople to search for an escape for them, who were slaves of the southern armies.

Later that night, after seeking camp in an old abandoned mine shaft, they were surprised by four trolls staggering up out of the depths for their nightly hunt. They immediately attempt to retreat, bu not before Nightshade is killed in grisly manner, his head popping like a popcorn kernel between the rotted jagged teeth of the troll. Then the wizard’s charmed guardsman meets a similar fate before they escape.

The blue staff shows off its magic, healing the most grievous wounds from the troll battle, and the next day they finally enter the salt marsh surrounding the ruins. They come to a spiderweb-like rope bridge crossing over an especially deep section of swamp. Tanis decrees that they cross the bridge with the utmost caution: tying ropes to one another as well as each one tying off to the bridge itself as they cross. Basic OSHA Fall Prevention. I had no idea my wife had such knowledge, but after years of gaming, she has learned many of my tricks. It is a good thing too, the text reads something like: “If a character falls in the water, they attract a monster from the wandering monster table.

For fun, I rolled to see what they would have attracted, and it came up catoblepas. Death cattle! Description: does 1d6 damage or gaze causes death.

Read Full Post »

The dungeon master singing Canticle of the Dragon, or possibly imitating unicorns.

The dungeon master singing Canticle of the Dragon, or possibly imitating unicorns.

Last night was incredibly fun and hilarious. It started with the grilling and consumption of meat, as is often the case, and was followed by three hours of game play that had some of the funniest moments of gaming I have experienced. It was one of those nights, some might blame the full moon.

The game started as the characters landed in the secluded forest of the Dark forest and met with the majestic unicorn called the Forest Master. This divine creature spoke to them in a lilting soft voice and told them that they would be safe from all the forest creatures while they stayed. He then told them about a prophecy which foretold that those who carry the blue crystal staff must go to the ancient ruined city of Zak Tsaroth within 3 days to receive “the greatest gift of all time.” During certain epic keywords during this speech, the unicorn would pause as the nearby pegasi who were chewing on some sweet grasses would shake or whinny or my favorite, shimmy their shanks, all of which I role played for the players to give the encounter and added level of visualization.

They were then led to a banquet catered by centaurs, and the young neutral wizard Raistlin commented that with the dark wood and the centaurs and the unicorn and pegasus bit it was sounding very Harry Potter. The DM retorted that was all well and good but Dragonlance was published in 1984, yearsbefore the british wizard apprentice invasion.

Goldmoon (and the blue crystal staff) were not with the party, but back in the inn at Solace singing plains folk songs with Riverwind accompanying on the flute. The pegasi flew the party back to the inn, where they ordered a meal. I was going to have the players roll for drunkenness but I forgot. Durnit.

Suddenly the swinging doors crash open and who walks in? …a villager. It is the one whom the night before said that there were groups in town offering a reward for the blue crystal staff. Behind him the hoboblin undersergeant Fewmaster Toad barges into the room followed by ranks of hobgoblins, still tramping up the spiral stairs into the taern resting in the bole of the great oak tree. The voluptuous Tika leans over Caramon and whispers in his ear “come with me if you want to live” and dashes off into the kitchen. The party is quick to follow.

There is a hole in the floor and a rope for bringing up supplies from the ground far below. As the party begins sliding down the rope, making dexterity checks, Sturm fails his roll, his hands burn on the way down, causing 2 hit points damage (one per hand.)

Raistlin starts to grab the rope, even though the humble wizard reminds him of the feather fall spell. The wizard counters that since it is once per day he might need it later. That does not do, with a nod, Caramon gives his brother a push, who stumbles out the hole and must cast his spell to float gently down to earth. Caramon’s look of dismay turned to one of wonder as he watched his brother glide to safety.

At the bottom they were confronted by a road going bo0th directions. At the end one way were a group of human guards, at the other were hobgoblins. They chose the guards but were having trouble convincing them to let the heroes of the lance pass, so Raistlin had to charm Roy the Guardsmam whose lack of wit will keep him charmed for 3 weeks. Roy led them to the shore of the lake where they had to search for a boat. They eventually found a small dingy with “The leaky caldron” painted gaily on its side. Speaking of which at some point during the night it was decided that since the player of Tanis only wanted to play a woman, and it is required for story reasons that Tanis have a beard, then Tanis would become Caramon’s “Beard.” I hhad to look up what that meant, but then I agreed.

Lair of the Turquoise Hydra

Lair of the Turquoise Hydra

(This setup had nothing to do with the game but the players set it up and it looks cool. )

As they rowed away in the leaky caldron, the hoboblins lined up in ranks and behind them the guardsmen lined up and leading them came fewmaster Toad. He shouted Archers! and the hobgoblin raised their bows. He shouted Fire! and a few of the archers loosed hastily drawn arrows while others looked around confusedly. Then fewmaster toad shouted No Flame! and everyone smiled and understood and the guardsmen rushed forward to light the arrows with their torches. Now Fire archers! he sputtered and they launched their flaming missiles toward the boat. Then then guardsmen stepped forward and when toad shouted Hurl! they all did you know what. They hurled their hand axes, ineffectually. They plunked into the lake. Except for one unfortunate guard. He was australian and was experimenting with a boomerang axe concept. Meaning he rolled a “damage self” on the penalty roll table.


On the other side of the lake, the party was safe and made camp. The next day they were crossing mountains on their way towards the ruined city, when they had to pas through a tunnel. Whilst in their they heard the chanting of monks, pulling a wagon upon which one of their number lay. Their were nine of them including the one in the cart, and the party pressed themselves against the wall to let them pass. the Leader stopped and told them they were on their way to a town where it was said a staff of healing was performing miracles. The heroes of the lance shrugged noncommittally, but Goldmoon (played as an NPC by an evil dm at the moment, until our real native american princess takes her over) steps forward and proclaims that she has the staff and will heal them.

It was around this time the wizard discovered the 0 level cantrips out of Unearthed Arcana. They are hilarious, as the below example for the spell Wink proves:

By means of this cantrip, the caster causes the subject person (or
creature) to blink his, her, or its eye or eyes. The blinking reaction is
only momentary, of course, lasting no more than half a second. A successful
saving throw indicates only a single eye wink, or no effect for
one-eyed creatures. The verbal component is a softly spoken magical
word (such as hat-cha-cha), voiced while the caster snaps his fingers

Make a saving thrown for half-wink!

The draconians revealed themselves and a wild melee ensued. The weapons got lodged in the dead dracs, Roy went on a boot-kicking spree, and someone’s wrist was sprained (It really hurts!) But they lived and were victorious and Goldmoon healed em up good at the end of the night.

Read Full Post »


Last week I was struck with sudden inspiration: why not play some good old fashioned AD&D? All week I pondered different ideas for our group to switch gears and start playing advanced d&d after a year now of playing various mini-campaigns using the upcoming newest edition’s playtest materials, when just before game-time, the Dragonlance idea struck..

With the Fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons publishing this summer, and being tired of sorting through scattered, incomplete playtest materials, I wanted a chance to cleanse my palate of all that and enjoy the first edition. Pure d&d.

Over the past year we have played at least 5-6 different min-campaigns, never getting above third level before starting something new. It sometimes happens that a game group has a hard time settling on a game, either after a long campaign, or if there are a lot of player changes, or if scheduling is an issue, or if the dm is a maniacal bag of insane ideas that can’t be silenced. We were beset by all these problems, but I was ready to get serious about a long-term campaign game. And so it came to pass.

At our smallest size since Friday Night Game Night began five years ago, five of us gathered round ye olde gaming table to pick up the roles of the dungeon master (that’s me) and Tanis Helf-elven (my wife played this dude, who has never played a character of the opposite sex.) Sturm Brightblade played by Dr Karen Khar, no stranger to playing dudes. Dave took on the mantle of Caramon who’s boyish grin and rippling muscles is surely how Dave sees himself. And o

f course the evil mage was played by our resident evil mage. No surprise there. (And for a young wizard who is used to all the trappings of modern magic users, he was less than enthused with many of the harsh old-school constraints put on his character class, including the 8 hit points, the few spell memorization slots per day, the low-powered spells available to him (Push?! I didnt even remember that spell existed and laughed out loud when I saw it in my old PHB.) The icing on the cake of disappointment was the fat that most others start at 5th or 6th level but Raistlin starts at third! (Don’t worry Joel he is also the only one to gain godhood, so it balances… eventually.)

The campaign began with a question: do you remember all those past adventures and campaigns and characters? For they were naught but dreams of another realm of existance. As one fades away, whether is be a Temple of Elemental Evil or an Isle of Dread, another dream of the multiverse comes into focus. We discover that all those characters are but aspects of the Eternal Champions who are called upon to serve and save where needed across the multiverse.

In this case the world was Krynn, and it was an Age of Despair.

Four of the Companions returned to the crossroads outside Solace five years to the day after setting out on a mission to rediscover divine healing or any sign of divine aid. They returned empty-handed, and while reminiscing about their journeys, they were interrupted when seven hobgoblins stumbled out of the underbrush, followed by a flabby donkey carrying a flabbier hobgoblin under-sergeant, the Fewmaster Toede. The cretin demanded they turn over the wizard’s staff, which caused a harsh rebuke: Raistlin cast Charm Person of the hobgoblin captain. He amazingly made his save and called for his troops to attack, whilst he rode off to safety.

Two hobgoblins charged each of the three fighters with the last charging the wizard. The first hobgoblin rolled a natural one – a chance to use the new improved critical hit and miss tables! He wound up killing the hobgoblin next to him, wanting Tanis all to himself apparently.

Sturm fought and parried two as did Caramon, but the one who charged Raistlin hit for max damage with his rusty logsword, doing 8 hit points damage and dropping the magic user to zero. The wizard, wounded onthe ground fought back and slew the hobgoblin with a strike of his magic Staff of the Magius.

After the battle they stumbled into the tree-town of Solace, and up the winding staircase that led to the Inn of the Last Home nestled in the bole of a great oak. They interact with the crowd, and then two Native Akrynnians enter and begin singing a song. Cue the youtube video.

The magic blue flash of Goldmoons staf heals the wounds of Raistlin and the crowd is surprised. They learn of four different choices where to take the staff: the capital, turn it in for a reward, Darken Wood, or the lost city of Xak Tsaroth. They turn in for the night and the next day set out to explore the region. Tanis goes to a nearby peak and hnts for the white stag. He spots a glimpse and follows it deeper in the woods. Meanwhile Caramon spots a naked giggling girl who darts off deeper into the woods. They both follow, while Sturm and Raistlin keep to the path.

The stag leads Tanis to a clearing in which four pegasi calmly munch on a patch of sweet grasses. Caramon is led to a pool around which six giggling girls sit. Regretfully he turns back to the path until everyone arrives at the pegasus clearing. Raistlin mounts a pagasus and it leaps into the air and heads south. The rest follow until the whole group flies between the peaks and heads deeper into the Darken Wood. They land in another clearing and standing on a rocky outcrop they came face to face with the beautiful unicorm known as the Forest Master.

Read Full Post »

The Temple of Elemental Evil Game Night

The Temple of Elemental Evil Game Night

Two years ago this January, we began playing the adventure Village of Hommlett. It was an epic occasion, but fell apart in the village of Nulb before ever venturing into the Temple of Elemental Evil itself. That game included some of the best roleplaying in the history of our game group: featuring one of my all time favorite characters the gunslinger Calamity Jane and her twin sister Calamity Joan; using the Pathfinder Beginner Box rules was a huge change from our earlier style of gaming; Rufus and Burne the gaylords; … there is too much to recount, read about it here: Welcome to the Welcome Wench, Wench!


Starting this year we changed all that, with a deus machina shift in the gears of our current campaignto place our heroes rght about where the last game ended, at the gates of the Temple of Elemental Evil. It happened like this…

For what seemed an eternity the part of advenurers had been wandering aimlessly through and endless dungeon with no sign of escape. Eventually they found themselves traversing a wide open area with grotesque columns holding up an arched vaulted ceiling. The chittering skittering sounds that were following them wherever they went surrounded them and resolved into giant insects of all shapes and sizes. The one thing they all had in common was that the bodies of the insects were covered in strange tufts of fuzz. The fuzzy mold covering the insects was of a different color for each one, ranging from bright purple to yellow ochre. The insects were easily defeated but the wizard and paladin were each bitten and contrated a constitution-sapping disease. Which the paladin promptly healed.

With much flapping of wings, the Raven Queen appeared, and offered to help them escape from the endless dungeon if they would do her a small favor – and slay the Demon Godess of Cosmic Fungus, Zuggtmoy, who was imprisoned beneath a temple dedicated to evil. They agreed and on a side note the paladin swore fealty to the Raen Queen and was granted additional healing.

They walked through a portal which sent them to a path. In one direction lay a hill in a clearing, upon which the blackened blight of the temple slouched. The other way led to a village of good helpful folk led by gay lords. The Raven warned them not to let the townsfolk know the temple was growing in power, for if they found out, the king’s evil advisor would soon learn and send armies of humanoids.

The Temple of Elemental Evil using Dwarven Forge Game Tiles (plus extras)

The Temple of Elemental Evil using Dwarven Forge Game Tiles (plus extras)

While investigating the temple grounds, they unleashed a horde of 70 giant rats. This caused them to seek quick entry into the temple, so they held the ats off while they broke through the stout side door. Once inside, they began a methodical search of the interior, finding robes in four colors, and finding four means of gaining access to the lower levels: a great pit in the center of the temple had a narrow ledge spiraling down; a grand central stair led downwards; and two sets of spiral stairs also led down, hidden in chambers to the left and right.

While investigating the grotesque throne at the end of the temple, through luck and tenacity, they managed to figure out the puzzle. The chair immediately descended many hundreds of feet downward and opened into a strange fungus filled chamber with many doors ad stairways leading from it. While searching the room, they found two secret doors. The first door led to a sitting room filled with loveseats, divans, nd ottomans of all different colors. The fightress sat down on a green velvet divan and put her feet up on a black leather ottoman only to find they were actually made of green slime and black pudding!

They fled through the other secret door and came to a room that had a conference table and a great map of the region on the wall with the temple marked at its center. A shelf contained many silver weapons. There was also a black ottoman that attacked them and chased them out of the room and all the way back onto the throne, which they took back to ground level, after deciding that they still lacked the power to take on the Demon Goddess of Cosmic Slime in her own boudoir.

They ultimately decided to take a side stair down to the first level of the dungeon and begin exploring there. They passed through two intersections before coming to a hexoganal shaped room with debris on the floor. Just as the kender assassin found a magic ring on the floor, 16 stirges attacked, four per charater.It was a tough battle, but they defeated the stirges and found a ring of incredible worth.

Read Full Post »

holiday cheer around the gaming table

holiday cheer around the gaming table

2013 rang in the new year with a first for our gaming group – we played a short-to-medium length modern zombie horror survival game using the New World of Darkness role playing game. By late spring however, the clarion call of the worlds most favorite role playing game became too insistent to ignore, and we returned to dungeons and dragons for a series of playtest games that usually ended up with rolling up new characters and starting over every couple of months.

Zombie Horror Survival Game – When the Lights Went out in Kansas City

Modern Zombie Apocalypse Survival Campaign kicking off 2013
Walking with the Dead – The Cast of Characters
Game Night Jan 11 – Nightmare at Hill Manor, a Prelude to the Nocturne
Game Night Jan 18th – Zombie Apocalypse on the Broadway Bridge
Pixel-bitching the Real World – or how not to use “Now” as the game setting
Game night Feb 1 – Surviving the night of the zombie apocalypse
Game night Feb 8th – Shopping for the zombie Apocalypse
Game night Feb 15th – World of Darkness, Worlds of Fun
Game night March 8 – Cruising the zombie apocalypse in my Escalade
Game Night Irish 2013 – Shelter from the Zombie Apocalypse

…and that is where the zombie survival game ended. There may have been one more event that went unrecordeed, and indeed a pact was made that night to never speak again of what transpired in that dungeon beneath the church. The fate of the survivors remains unknown. Next, we playtested the new version of the next edition of dungeons and dragons, using 10th level characters I created based off the players best charaacters from campaigns past.

A Rogue’s Gallery of D&D Next Characters
Game Night D&D Playtest – The Mud Sorcerer’s Tomb

…then we started a new campaign as first level characters. This is a mega dungeon crawl.

Game Night April 12th – Playtesting D&D 5 Zero Level Rules for a new campaign.
Game Night April 19 – Playtestsing DnD5 and the Ruined Fortress of the Evil Overlord
Game Night April 27 – DnD 5e and the Ruined Fortress of the Evil Overlord
Game night May 3 – DnD5e playtest Ruined Fortress of the Evil Overlord
Game Night May 9th – Captured in the Fell Tower
Game Night May 31st – Playtesting D&D 5e and the Ruined Fortress – The Flaming Whats?

A long summer of hazy gaming passed, and I am not sure exactly what happened in the interim. More dungeon crawling? Not sure but it was probably hilarious and occasionally drunken, with plenty of missed Friday nights sprinkled in. Nonetheless, summer came to an end and we began anewwith a seemingly random series of games:

Dnd Playtest Oct 11 – Dicepaws
Game Night Halloween ’13 – Playtesting D&D with Dwarven forge Game Tiles
Game Night Nov 15 – Dungeon Nirvana
Game Night Nov 22 — Dungeon delving and demigod destroying
Game night November 30 – High Noon on Ant Hill Redux

Read Full Post »

High Noon on Ant Hill

High Noon on Ant Hill

One of the first adventures I wrote for 4th edition, while still testing out the game, and before taking the plunge with a new campaign, was the “delve” High Noon on Ant Hill. It is a 3-5 encounter mini adventure with a very straight-forward premise. Enter the ant hill of the giant ants and kill the queen. It was played twice, once with a group of middle schoolers, who only made it through the first encounter, and once with the permanent members of the game group, who were slaughtered during the final encounter. It was a great little adventure, known and reviled for its difficulty, and I decided to dust it off for our Thanksgiving game bash. It was a ton of fun.

The adventure was updated to 5th edition rules on the fly, and other changes were made to help the game “flow” and also because I wanted to build the whole dungeon before-hand using my collection of Dwarven forge game tiles. The delve was incorporated into the dungeon the party has been exploring, and for simplicity sake, there was no resting and no turning back while we played. I let the players know that if they made it through the whole adventure, they would gain a level at the end. This seemed to keep them moving forward without too much complaining. Sadly no photo was taken of the delve during play, but it consisted of four encounter areas.

The first encounter is the hill. Originally, it was a large conical hill with a dead tree at its top. The tree was hollow and acted as a doorway into the anthill. In this rendition, I mixed it up. They entered a large chamber. The ants had dug up a twenty foot trench and used the dirt to create a hill against the back wall of the chamber. They stood the trunk of dead tree at the top of the pile, and the hollow led through a passageway to the door in the back wall of the room. Hidden in the branches of the dead tree were a pair of giant flying ant drones. They were tough.

The ants had a high armor class and high hit points, and they had a fly by attack that let them make an attack in the middle of a move without provoking an attack. This worked until the party forced them to attack at the limit of their 8 squares, so they ended their round next to a party member. When the ants became bloodied, they could shatter their crystalline wings in a burst attack of crystal shards.

The ants were killed, and in the process the wizard’s ferret familiar was reduced to one hit point. Rather than having a wounded ferret on his hands, the wizard snapped its spine so it would reform fully healed in thirty minutes. The little ferret let out an agonizing squeal as it perished at its owners hands. The squeal echoed down the hallways and nearly a mile away, a giant lizard heard the sound of breakfast being served. Before exiting the chamber through the bole of the tree, they found a dead elf concealed by his cloak of elvenkind. The rogue snapped it up.

They came to a hallway, and heard a scratching sound ahead. They were not surprised by the carrion crawler ambush, and everyone was waiting for it when it sprang out of the wall. But they were not expecting the giant lizard coming at them from the direction they just came. The lizard attacked the wizard and while the rest of the prty fought the carrion crawler, the wizard fought the lizard. He scared the lizard so bad with his imitation of a female lizard in mating season, that the monster leaped up into the wizards arms, yet still tried to swallow his head. The paladin finally slew the carrion crawler and turned to stab the lizard. The wizard wept at the lizard’s passing, having become very close to it in such a short emotion filled encounter. From the lair of the carrion crawler, they found a pair of potions. One was a potion of invisibility, the other was unknown.

The third encounter area was a long chamber with the center dug up for farming. Various fungi were being tended by ten giant worker ants, and guarded by 2 warrior ants. Additionally, one new worker ant appeared from the far door each round until the characters moved into the final room. This battle was quick and decisive, as the worker ants only had one hit point apiece (yay minions!) In the fungi field they found an abandoned battle axe +1, which was made of weightless iron, and had a quirk that it was the only magic weapon carryable at ta time. The paladin took up the axe, but traded it with the fightress at the end of the adventure.

The party entered the final chamber where they had to fight the queen ant and her pair of drone cows, each of which was covered in corrosive slime and could pump out a worker ant or make a pincer attack. Meanwhile the queen flitted about making pincer attacks. The wizard was struck by a critical hit and knocked unconscious. The fightress attacked a cow and her weapons were corroded by the acidic slime. She went down the next round, and it was up to the kinder assassin and the dragonborn paladin to bring it to a conclusion, which they did. Beside the magical component they were looking for, they were rewarded with 500 gold pieces, a magic suit of banded +1 and a wand of magic missiles with 10 charges.

And they made it to third level. Good game.

Read Full Post »

thedm2Join me if you will good travelers as I recount a tale of how a group of random homicidal maniacs fell together one day into a large hole in the ground. Once down there, this group of murder-hoboes teamed up to embark on a voyage to escape, and to destroy the divine pantheon of their world’s creation along the way. Oops!

The wizard had in his possession a magic recipe for the creation of an unknown magic item. The scroll was blank, and only when a spell component was near would a line appear with the needed ingredient. As the party was arguing and picking each others pockets in some obscure hall in an unknown stretch of dungeon, Jambunathon felt a warming sensation in his breast. No it was not his heart growing three times larger, it was the first line of the recipe filling in on the scroll in his vest pocket.

a hall

a hall

Dwarven False Gold appeared, a type of ore mined by dwarves and renowned for its use in magic. Ahead they saw a set of iridescent glowing, multi-faceted eyes at the end of the hall. A carrion crawler and giant soldier ant were locked in mortal combat. The ants eyes were glowing with particles of dwarven false gold. The adventurers quickly slew both insects, and they discovered that the ant carried 1/150th of the amount of the stuff they needed.

Ant man vs cat fish - I mean giant warrior ant and carrion crawler locked in combat

Ant man vs cat fish – I mean giant warrior ant and carrion crawler locked in combat

It was decided that the drone mothers, who spawned countless ant warriors, must contain glands full of the dissolved gold, and that they could get the required 2 pounds by extracting it from the source, rather than 149 more sets of ant warriors eyes.

However, when the party decided which hallway to follow at the intersection with the insect incident, they chose the long, dark, narrow passage sloping downwards, rather than the wide hallway with clear ant tracks. Go figure.

This way be monsters... but that way be monsters too.

This way be monsters… but that way be monsters too.

They came to a stair and descended. At the bottom of the stair, the magic users detected and anti-magic field. They entered, and were in a region that was totally dead to magic. There was also no escape, they could not leave the anti-magic shell once in.

But first, there was a strange and unexplained rumbling in the walls...

But first, there was a strange and unexplained rumbling in the walls…

They could hear the sounds of women grunting in what sounded like athletic exertion, and soon discovered its source. A chamber held two naked women, holding hands and fighting desperately with their long nails, gashing and gouging in a mortal fight that upon closer examination had been going on for a long time.

They were the fleshly avatars of the Goddess of Betrayal and of Treachery. They had been imprisoned and could not leave until one was destroyed, but they were equal in power, and though stripped of magic by the anti-magic shell they were trapped within, they could not one overpower the other.

Interestingly, another item appeared on the wizard’s grocery list. One drop divine heart blood. Oh this was going to be good.

The godess of treachery drew the short straw, and she was soon killed. The fightress Jillian knew a moment of divine strength as she beheaded the goddess. She then felt a stabbing pain in her back, as the lights dimmed in her eyes. Betrayed by the Goddess of Betrayal!

This is a creatively re-imagined portrayal of what actually didnt happen.

This is a creatively re-imagined portrayal of what actually didnt happen.

When the goddess was slain, the anti-magic shell dissipated. The Goddess of Treachery regained her powers and grew another set of arms and daggers appeared in each delicate hand.

The wizard survived a slash of her blade as he gathered a drop of divine blood. The paladin saved the fightress by laying on hands, and the goddess recognized she was in danger. In return for letting her escape, she would tell them the location of a magic sword (up the stairs down the hall, turn left, cross the wide hall and continue along to the tee intersection, look for the secret door) and she also granted them a favor if they should ever call on her.

Read Full Post »

A few photos from around the table. This is my little corner of the universe.

I am the dm.  The dm am I.

I am the dm. The dm am I.

Here I sit upon my throne, framed by the eternal pink and green flames of destiny, ready to judge and be judged. I am the dm, you can tell because of the hat.

My little corner of the universe.

My little corner of the universe.

I no longer hide my rpg material in the closet like a junkie, but festoon the walls overlooking the dining room table.

The gamers gaming

The gamers gaming

Here is a photo of a game in progress with actual role play happening, including epic role playing moves.

I play d&d -- all of it.

I play d&d — all of it.

This is a meme I made one time. It’s my bookshelf of rpg material, with my iconic black panther standing guard. Also yoshi sitting on a a pile of choose your own adventure books.

Twinkie Pie and Jinx Bell

Twinkie Pie and Jinx Bell

And here are the kittens who make it all possible. (Their cuteness is the reason people agree to visit our house.)

Twinkie is big now

Twinkie is big now

One time after a game, Twinkie Pie carried a puffball in his mouth and dropped it into the dungeon. He then chased and batted it through the corridors of the dungoen, knocking pieces everywhere. He was playing dungeons and dragons!

Typical encounter

Typical encounter

This didn’t actually happen last night… but it could have! (And quite possibly should have.)

And there you have it.


Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers