Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Greyhawk Again

Couple more Greyhawk sessions:

Secret Rooms

Undaunted by scary voices, they soon found a hidden trapdoor with a stairway under it. They found a barracks room with a big dining table and a pirate-looking dude whittling. Creeping up on the dude, they took him captive. They asked about Ferok and the dude said he was Dobbins, Ferok's butler. He said they preferred to keep "troublemakers" away, which was why they didn't do much to maintain the place. Looking around, they found a dead knight of Keoland covered with mold, and Sakura was attacked by giant centipedes in the kitchen upstairs (different stairway).

In a different nook, they found a bedroom/office which apparently belonged to the bossman. After looting it, they moved on to the door in the back that said, "DANGER" in big letters across the wooden slab that barred it from their side. In this room, they found a bunch of skeletons with bright green slimy stuff crawling all over their bones. Beyond this room, another secret door led them to an alchemist's laboratory. They snuck up behind him and clocked him on the head, knocking it clean off because he was actually just a skeleton (the non-reanimated kind) sitting in a chair. He had some books on alchemy, a number of goldified items on his table, and, clutched in his hand, a weird pale gold pebble, which Jinso immediately claimed.

Smugglers and Sneks

They started to explore the rest of the house, but some weird screams brought them back to the basement, where they found Dobbins edging his way off towards the other end of the big room. He said he was trying to get himself a bit of grog, but he was going the wrong way for that. A bit of searching revealed yet another secret door, this one leading into some artificially-enlarged caverns.

Out thataway, they found a bunch of nautically themed dudes moving bolts of cloth and casks of something around. They tried to be sneaky, but got caught so there was a big fight. There were also some gnolls hanging around and a guy in a hood slinging spells. Upon his death, the hooded wizard turned out to be some kind of wingless insect creature with a long mosquito-like snout.

They also found a sea cave with boat anchored in it and some more silk and brandy. They explored the rest of the house and then went back to ask their captive some more questions. Seeing that they already knew what was up, he gave up trying to hide anything and told them about their smuggling operation and the illusionist Sanbalet who made the house look haunted and how they signaled the ship.

Dobbins seemed genuinely surprised that Sanbalet was really a giant weevil, but said he had seen him talk to similar creatures on one of their stops near the mouth of the Javan River.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Nameless Way

There's some news about changing the novel formerly known as Gorgudai to The Nameless Way over at that site.

In not-really-related news, I reduced the prices of the print versions of Stars, Specters, and Super-Powers and Losing Lanterns to $5.99. Plus, if you buy the print version from Amazon, you get the Kindle one free through their Matchbook program. The print prices might go back up later, but the Matchbook thing will definitely stay on. I don't want anyone who invests in physical copies of my books to have to pay for the digital ones, but I don't always have a choice.

I've run the Greyhawk campaign again, but I still haven't written up the last session. And we're playing again, tonight. I'm thinking I may start doubling them up so there's not such a flood of session logs here. Maybe I'll record them somewhere else. I don't especially want to set up a whole other site like I did for The Scrap Pile, though. We'll see.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sailing to Saltmarsh

The end of the previous session saw Tuckras, Jinso, and Vyph marooned on an island with a bunch of vegepygmies. This session, we met Anton, a young human cleric of Pelor, and Sakara, an elf rogue from the Lendore Isles. They were on a ship headed to Monmurg for reasons of their own when a storm blew them off course.

The ship crashed on -- you guessed it -- the island where the other three were. After rescuing everyone who didn't drown or get eaten by the giant eel, they got to know each other a bit. Vyph noticed that a large lifeboat thingie had survived the crash in pretty good condition, but didn't say anything until they started talking about building a ship of their own to get back.

The sailors knew where Saltmarsh was, but advised them to head for Monmurg first because it was much closer and they would already be rowing for a week in the crowded boat. Luckily, Anton and Sakara had managed to hang on to their provisions and were willing to share. And Vyph spent a lot of the time swimming on his own. They all made it back to Monmurg, where the sailors went their own way and the others headed for a nearby inn.

Everyone decided to stick together and buy passage to Saltmarsh, a smallish town on the edge of Keoland's border, between Dreadwood and the Hool Marshes. At Nick's Tavern, Tuckras spoke with a half-elf adventurer named Koral while Vyph terrorized Yuri the trapper for sporting a lizard skin (lizardfolk skin?) jacket and boots.

After steering the naive young Anton into a dockside brothel for giggles, they visited an apothecary and an abandoned shop on Crest Street where someone who might have been Ferok (the alchemist they were looking for) probably worked. They found a really moldy book and a note that led them to believe Ferok had relocated to the creepy old mansion five hours down the road to the east.

They picked up Anton and headed off to the seaside mansion, finding it overgrown and dilapidated. Inside, Sakara picked up some footprints, which they followed down the hall, investigating side rooms along the way. While poking around the living room, they were confronted by a ghostly voice which proclaimed their doom and laughed maniacally.

We stopped there for the night.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Lizard Walks Into a Bar

(Two of our gang had to cancel at the last minute, so this was a quickie intro adventure. The character backgrounds for this session and some recent events are at the bottom.) After an awkward meeting in Monmurg involving Tuckras's spirit guides, Jinso had a few drinks and expressed his interest in finding more of his kind. Vyph, fascinated by the prospect of more "tiny meats," was willing to help, and Tuckras, after a brief argument with no one, also agreed.

Asking around, they discovered that a colony of halflings with "a bit of the same look about 'em" had been established on an island out past Fairwind back before the wars. They poked around a bit more, then hired some sailors to drop them off there. They found an overgrown jungle island where, after a bit of exploring, they noticed that small creatures were stalking them in the canopy.

This led to a fight with a bunch of fungus midgets, which they eventually won. Later they found a compound with several sheds and an abandoned laboratory. In the notes, the author wrote about having run out of subjects to "convert" so further research would have to be conducted elsewhere. The prospect of contacting the alchemist, Ferok, in Saltmarsh was mentioned.

They decided to go to Saltmarsh... once they figured out how to get off the island.

Recent Events

In CY 579, the devil-worshipping Overking of Aerdy declared war on several of his kingdom's former vassal states in an attempt to reunify this Empire. This, combined with Rary's betrayal of the Circle of Eight, marked the beginning of the Darkfang Wars, a period which saw the destruction of Geoff by invading giants, the invasion of the Sea Princes, Idee, Onwal, and other territories by the Scarlet Brotherhood, and uprisings from the Pomarj, The Horned Society, and Iuz. The name of the war comes from the curved, obsidian-like knives that proliferated during the period, but utterly vanished afterwards.

The Great Kingdom is gone, its former capitol a fiend-haunted wasteland, but its successors are relatively stable. The Horned Society is no longer a nation, although the order remains a widespread cult. The Scarlet Brotherhood has not been heard from in years. Their former vassals are reforming, with the exception of the Sea Princes, which remains only a tenuous alliance of city-states. Geoff is still mostly wild land, even though the organized invasion of giants was driven off. It's CY 591 now,

Players So Far

Jinso Kuna - Halfling Monk
Jinsokuna Ashi Gosutodoragon was raised at a remote overseas monastery.  According to his masters, he was stranded at the monastery as an infant when he was the sole survivor of a shipwreck.  He was raised and trained -but not respected- by his masters because of his diminutive size.  Hence, his extreme dislike of being called small or tiny.  He left the monastery answering the call of wanderlust and in search of his own people to learn more about himself.  He struggles between his inherited chaotic Kender nature and the structured training of his masters.  He will often speak of the teachings of Master Furui.

Tuckras Grigorrin - Human Cleric/Warlock
An orphan in Ket, Tuckras was raised by priests of Istus, wandered for a while, then settled in the Bramblewood Forest to hang out with the spirit voices that constantly plague him. Then he wandered off again. He is very tall and lanky with fair, almost pale skin. His long, black hair is disheveled as is his long beard. His eyes are a piercing blue. The overall effect is one of wisdom beyond his years, but with, perhaps, a touch of madness. His presence, though, is compelling. He carries a staff that looks suspiciously like a tall bedpost. The globe at the top of the bedpost staff is intricately carved to represent Oerth, and it appears to have some bird's foot and tail feather tied to it.

Vyph - Lizardfolk Druid
Yep, he's a big ole lizard.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Greyhawk!

Even though I never had many people at my local Keep on the Borderlands sessions, I was really getting into the module and the World of Greyhawk development I was doing around it. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for geeky things to put on the wall of my new study, and I came across this old map. It's far too fragile to fold and unfold on a regular basis, but it's a great poster. 
Once it was up, I just sat there and stared at it for, like, two hours. Possibly the absinthe had something to do with that. Anyway, I kept revisiting all the places we'd been on that map, and I finally decided that, with the in-store game getting less appealing and my Icons campaign on hiatus, I might as well go for it.
I went with Hangouts because there were people I was hoping to play with who live a long ways away, and ended up with a significant portion of my old D&D group from way back. Started them out on the coast in Sea Princes territory for a quickie intro adventure. Next time we start Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Events Submitted for Gen Con


Title: Fane of the Froghemoth
Short Description: To raid the lost temple in the swamp and steal the riches of the faceless priests, you have to sneak past their god, a gigantic, tentacled frog creature. Then your troubles really begin.
Event Type: RPG
Game System: Dungeons & Dragons
Rules Edition: 5th (Basic)
Minimum Players: 3
Maximum Players: 6
Age Requirement: Teen
Experience Required: Some
Material Provided: Yes
Preferred date/time: Thursday 1pm
Event Duration: 4 hours

Title: The Nightmare Tree
Short Description: Nobody stays long on the Stillman property outside El Dorado, Arkansas. Some disappear. Others are tormented by ghosts, aliens, or the image of a sinister tree that haunts their dreams.
Event Type: RPG
Game System: Vortex System
Rules Edition: 1st
Minimum Players: 3
Maximum Players: 6
Age Requirement: Teen
Experience Required: None
Material Provided: Yes
Preferred date/time: Thursday 7pm
Event Duration: 4 hours

Title: Archer: Something Something Danger Zone
Short Description: Nobody’s sure what year it is, but the Cold War is still a thing, Ray is a cyborg, and Mallory Archer is in charge of a spy agency called… Well, they’re still working on that.
Event Type: RPG
Game System: Vortex System
Rules Edition: 1st
Minimum Players: 4
Maximum Players: 8
Age Requirement: Mature
Experience Required: None
Material Provided: Yes
Preferred date/time: Friday 1pm
Event Duration: 4 hours

Title: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Roleplaying Game for Tables
Short Description: Take the roles of animated fast food products or one of their neighbors in this off-the-rails RPG based on the late night cartoon.
Event Type: RPG
Game System: Bean RPG
Rules Edition: Modified 2nd
Minimum Players: 4
Maximum Players: 8
Age Requirement: Mature
Experience Required: None
Material Provided: Yes
Preferred date/time: Friday 8pm
Event Duration: 2 hours