Archive for February, 2010

Stairs leading down… into darkness.  Into the dungeon of the Ruined Keep the party descended, to a battle with the goblin guards.  This battle was quick and decisive, as the characters pretty much chew through them at a rae of one or two per round.  The druid narrowly avoided the pit trap with his heightened physical skills.

Afer a search revealed litle but a lucky roll for a 100 gp bolt of fine black silk, they moved down the hall to the west, and soon enered the torture room.

The battle began with the hobgoblin torturer hurling a hot rod at the genasi storm barbarian Cordelia.  Then a few more rounds of back and forth occurred, but alas, it was cut short right in the midst of battle.  The hobgoblin was proving a tough customer, as were the two crossbow weilding goblins who fired from behind protection of the torturer’s rack.

Having played 1/2 hour over our allotted time, we took a snapshot on the daughter’s Dsi and rolled up for the week.

Happy President’s Day!

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The game commenced with the party awakening in their garret apartment of Dame Gilroy’s  Tenement, the morning after solving the Mystery of the Black Skull.

First order of business was breakfast, followed by shopping and information gathering.  Valthrun the wise gave a history lesson that revealed three things:  the downfall of the Keep was a rift in the Shadowfell caused by Orcus, that Orcus is imprisoned in the Abyss, and that Lord Padraig’s ancestor commanded that doomed garrison.

The dwarf Bronzebottom Brothers revealed that they received the crate with the black skull from men in the woods, and had some items to sell.

The party left town and went to the farmhouse where Jib Booter the woodsman agreed to help them navigate the wood.  They followed the trail of Delphina along a secret path that ran parallel to the Kings Road, until it met two other sets of tracks in a clearing and turned north just before reaching Ninaren’s cabin.

The cabin was made of living branches pruned from the tops of four living trees, which were the four cornices of the cabin.  It had a door, two shuttered windows, and thick thatched roof.

The cabin held a trap, a “Living Cloud of Daggers” that attacked when the door was touched.  Inside was Delphina, tied up ad bleeding from a stab in her bosom.  The room contained many hidden items, some of them magic: cat tabi boots, bloodstinger poison, an arrow of firesorm +1 and another of feezing +2.

Delphina was near unconcious, but before she slipped into a Snow White like slumber she told the following tale:

In the beginning, when the first elves awoke, even before the sun rose for the first time, they chose among them a king and queen.  Thus the royal line of elves began, and a prophecy said that as the first royal elf brought the rest of the elves into the world with him, so the last royal elf to leave the world, would take the elves with her.

In the Undead war of 100 years ago, the elf lads were invaded and decimated, the royal house slaughtered when the capital fell to ruin.  Only one young princess survived, and she was whisked away into hiding.  Delphina is that princess,and if she dies, so must every elf alive.

However, the full prophecy was thwarted when Ninaren stoul her soul with a spirit knife and then cast an eternal slumber upon her before she perished forever.  Why Ninaren, a fellow elf, would do this is unknown, but her tracks lead to the Keep on the Shadowfell.

Jib weeps as Delphina drifts into slumber, and vows to protect her. The party sets off for the Keep. ..

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The purpose of this blog is  to act as a repository for all the Dungeons and Dragons (4e) writing that I do.  In this, it will be divided into multiple sections.  The first section is a running commentary on my current game.  In this section I will on a weekly basis describe my current campaign and what happened in the latest session.  Expect this to be updated once per week, as I DM a weekly Friday night game.  It might also expand to include world-history, background information, and further details of the campaign in progress.  This will be the “Dirt on D’Erte” tab.
In the coming days, look for blog posts covering the first 6 sessions of our new campaign, as the characters make their way through Keep on the Shadowfell.  I hope to also include a few posts going into the general details and history of the campaign world D’Erte.

The second section is called “Tabletop Tableaux” and it will provide dungeon mastering tools in the form of encounters, backgrounds, backdrops, characters, villains, monsters, locations and adventures.  I have a fondness for the ‘delve’ format, and I plan on stocking this section full of good playable encounters with a minimum of prep-work for any DM to snatch up and use.  I also have plans to add skill challenges, traps, hazards, and other things as they spring into my mind.

Current work in this section include two delves I have created: “High Noon on Ant Hill” and “Kenku Tor” for 1st level characters.  My goal is for this to be the largest section of the blog, with updates multiple times per week.  Putting the polishing touches on these encounters will be the challenge of this section.  I may end up breaking out a tab for concepts and rough ideas at some point in the future.  This is new for me, so much will depend upon trial and error.

The third  section will be called “Campaign Conversions” and it will be here that I tackle the converting of older material into 4e, as well as re-imagining, re-interpreting, and re-booting any other previously published material.  I have no intentions of marketing or profiting from anything I do, so for that reason, I am placing zero focus on copyright fuss.  It is probably illegal, I know, but I have always been a law-breaking rebel.  No reason to stop now.

The main focus of this section, in the beginning, will be to detail the modifications I have made to Keep on the Shadowfell.  In the future, I will presumably tackle Pyramid of Shadows and Thunderspire Labyrinth in a similar fashion, as that is the current plan for my heroic tier campaign arc.   This will tie in with my current campaign, and will be spoiler-fied for those few who play in my game, none of which will probably ever make it this far into my strange realm.  If my campaign plan holds true, further play-conversions will include Hammerfast, Against the Giants, and others.

Other conversions I am working on, which are not tied directly to my campaign, include The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, and a mash-up of Dark-Sun with the old 1st Edition “Desert of Desolation” super-adventure.

Finally, I will devote a section, titled “Miscellaneous Musings” on subjects not related to my D&D design work.  This will include reviews, rants, news, opinion, and anything else I feel the need to spout about, and is not specific to the genre.  It is basically a catch-all, and we will see how much value it adds.

I have a fifth section I am considering, and that is for creative writing, but it may be a while before I am confident enough in the blogosphere to add this section to the site.  I have some unfinished writings that I am proud of, and would like to see a wider audience in order to hopefully pressure me into writing more, and possibly even (gasp) finishing something!

So that, in a nutshell, is where I plan on taking this blog.  It is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, all as a part of that over-arching goal of “organizing my life, and maybe making some sense of it” that seems always to slip further away, no matter how much progress is made.

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Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader

Good question.  Unfortunately there is no good answer.  I have always admired the Field Marshall, and enjoyed playing wargames from a young age.  Let’s see, I, like him, like tanks.  I, also like him, work with tanks, though of a different nature.  There is very little other connection to make.   Nice picture of him, though, huh?  It was taken from a very old Time magazine cover.

I guess it’s a catchy enough name, though, and I like the sound of it.  Better than “Random Encounters” which is what I was planing on naming the site until the moment I was confronted with picking a username.  When the mechanics of starting a ‘blog’ meet the theory, it can get messy.  So I will spend the next few hours learning how this thing works, and tomorrow I will publish my introductory post.

The image header should give a clue about this blog, though.  It is a collage I just whipped up of scans from my old Dungeon Masters Guide, Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and a couple leering faces out of the Fiend Folio for good measure.  (All First Edition, first editions, of course)

Until tomorrow, signing off,

Panzer Leader?

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