tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-32262985096134812082022-01-14T11:14:56.758-08:00Saturday Night SandboxBigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.comBlogger355125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-47417039243392313612019-12-25T08:36:00.002-08:002019-12-25T08:37:05.787-08:00MERRY CHRISTMAS!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rS4j06Bvdzs/XgOPx3YGqeI/AAAAAAAACJE/XaSW83GLGbcspVbgHBwVm_c2emfvxCmxwCNcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Cmas2019.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="945" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rS4j06Bvdzs/XgOPx3YGqeI/AAAAAAAACJE/XaSW83GLGbcspVbgHBwVm_c2emfvxCmxwCNcBGAsYHQ/s400/Cmas2019.jpg" width="295" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Peace on Earth, good will to men!&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">(And elves, dwarves, and halflings if you allow those in your campaign.)</div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-29024211383677048242019-07-04T06:56:00.002-07:002019-07-04T07:05:57.267-07:00Wandering DM's Livecast This Weekend!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-evJCHpOumGc/XR4Bue1PfwI/AAAAAAAACHg/S3zsPxHvi_k0CYNDot6F4r4woILpZNkkQCLcBGAs/s1600/wanderingDMSlogo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="264" data-original-width="573" height="183" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-evJCHpOumGc/XR4Bue1PfwI/AAAAAAAACHg/S3zsPxHvi_k0CYNDot6F4r4woILpZNkkQCLcBGAs/s400/wanderingDMSlogo.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />So if you need someplace to put your eyeballs this weekend and you wanna see how the old schoolies do it then check out my amigos <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/2019/07/02/birthday-business/" target="_blank">Paul's</a> titanic live streamed game session.<br /><br />To celebrate Paul's birthday (Happy Birthday, Paul!), some of the finest gamers on this planet will be congregating for the long 4th. of July weekend in his palatial gaming room to run thru <a href="https://dysonlogos.blog/" target="_blank">Dyson Logos'</a> deadly "<a href="https://dysonlogos.blog/maps/dysons-delve/" target="_blank">Dyson's Delve</a>", continuing the epic adventures they began <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/tag/birthday-dd/" target="_blank">one year ago</a>.<br /><br />You can check out the livestreams here and here all weekend:<br /><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/WanderingDMs" target="_blank">Wandering DMs on YouTube.</a><br /><br /><a href="https://www.twitch.tv/wanderingdms" target="_blank">Wandering DMs on Twitch.</a><br /><br />Were I a less philosophical sort of fellow I would be <b>BOILING </b>with jealousy right now, for they are all there in Massachusetts and I am out here in my fortress of solitude in rural PA. But I wish them all the best, and safe journey and travel mercies for all the folks making the trip up from NY. Maybe circumstances will allow me to attend next year's festivities.<br /><br />Listening in via the miracle of the interblab is the next best thing, and in the meantime while I vicariously enjoy their shenanigans I'll be working on some <i>exciting</i> projects that'll hopefully be seeing the starlight soon.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eWFgS5lwD5w/XR4FEYevLVI/AAAAAAAACHs/4NS_vd3d3Y8aJpmDgVBwawIgp6DvKflhACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Icon.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="100" data-original-width="100" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eWFgS5lwD5w/XR4FEYevLVI/AAAAAAAACHs/4NS_vd3d3Y8aJpmDgVBwawIgp6DvKflhACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Icon.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So stay tuned everybody! </div><br />BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-59250475002156479052019-07-04T06:35:00.002-07:002019-07-04T06:35:40.557-07:00Happy Independence Day!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BdwOdpuGxOE/XR4ACJWxMUI/AAAAAAAACHU/j1BH2kqo5b4w6T7OUhDe8Vu3yOjbjpb8gCLcBGAs/s1600/PatrioticD20.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="391" data-original-width="400" height="390" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BdwOdpuGxOE/XR4ACJWxMUI/AAAAAAAACHU/j1BH2kqo5b4w6T7OUhDe8Vu3yOjbjpb8gCLcBGAs/s400/PatrioticD20.png" width="400" /></a></div>To any and all Americans out there today, have fun, be safe, and remember the precious gift of freedom is always a thing to be grateful for. God Bless America! BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-7110372959630854292019-06-16T17:49:00.001-07:002019-06-16T17:49:15.590-07:00Happy Father's Day<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Fow0xvE6Uo4/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fow0xvE6Uo4?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><br />Whether you are one, have one, or had one, think on them with kindness today and do the best you can. BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-73135550796531514812019-04-30T19:10:00.002-07:002019-04-30T23:00:31.422-07:00Helgacon 12 - Outdoor Spoliation<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U-DOcMXfxbQ/XLYsLOEWEqI/AAAAAAAACCY/zRWDW2WbGHEKi00r7HXJB-Nyq9LBIAzBgCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="52" data-original-width="52" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U-DOcMXfxbQ/XLYsLOEWEqI/AAAAAAAACCY/zRWDW2WbGHEKi00r7HXJB-Nyq9LBIAzBgCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vJfVltQDS00/XLYsLAiummI/AAAAAAAACCc/lkNZTg9WVEg2IPufGTOO8ZYdgTtJ10olACPcBGAYYCw/s1600/HC12_Logo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="381" height="26" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vJfVltQDS00/XLYsLAiummI/AAAAAAAACCc/lkNZTg9WVEg2IPufGTOO8ZYdgTtJ10olACPcBGAYYCw/s320/HC12_Logo.png" width="320" /></a></div><br />The final game I played in for this year's marvelous Helgacon was <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta's</a> perennial favorite, <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2012/07/helgacon-v-outdoor-spoliation.html" target="_blank">Outdoor Spoliation</a>. In the eight years that this game has been a regular feature at this 'con, our wandering party of freebooters has established a Barony, and are working our way up to becoming Counts.<br /><br />So I guess there are kinda two tracks that this game has kind of coalesced along, the adventuring in the wilderness part, using the map/board from the Avalon Hill classic game <a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1511/outdoor-survival" target="_blank">Outdoor Survival</a> and the wilderness rules from OD&amp;D (adapted to Delta's wonderful <a href="http://oedgames.com/" target="_blank">OED</a> houserules) and the running of our fiefdom part, which seems to have become much more prominent in the session of spoliation I missed out on last year.<br /><br />Regarding the former, I'm still very enthusiastic about it, and Delta runs a great game of old school D&amp;D. We rolled out to the east end of our territory and met with a flamboyant magic item making mage who was totally owning his throne room with a couple of decorative chimeras, he in turn hipped us to the location of a meteor that had recently fallen in the mountains, that would contain the requisite starmetal ore he'd need to enchant some weapons for us. We also went trekking into the mountains to seek out a famed elf animal trainer whose services we'd be requiring for our burgeoning griffin hatchery to train our fledglings into mighty fighting mounts for our awesome fantasy airforce.<br /><br />The quest to find the elf turned hairy, or more accurately feathery, when we found that the giant birds he'd gone in search of as a new challenge in animal husbandry turned out to be not just rocs, as initially thought, but in fact roc-atrices. Nawsty!<br /><br />The big mama roc-atrice went out hunting every day, and we'd make tentative invisible forays to scope out its cave, avoiding the nest full of eight foot tall hatchlings. We discovered a cave full of glowing crystals and petrified people and animals, and thought we were maybe dealing with a basilisk, or at worst a medusa somehow lairing with these giant bird beasts, which we were sure were just garden variety rocs. (Even though Delta did take pains to describe them as very vulturey/roostery with spiky red plumes and a sinister mien.) <br /><br />As we were mulling that, mama bird came back early, and the fight was on, and we finally figured out what we were dealing with when one of our guys got stoned. It's been a few weeks, and I'm not totally remembering how we killed the big one, I think it was with a Fireball or something explansive like that, and then hacked the hatchlings to death as they mangled us with their sharp beaks and claws. My guy Halig Redsaber used his magic sword's annual Wish spell to bring back our petrified pals.<br /><br />Once all the dust and feathers had settled we went back into the cave and found a petrified elf, who turned out to be the guy we were looking for. I think we hauled him to our sorcerer friend and got him Stone to Fleshed. Happily, since he'd been sidelined as a birdcage decoration for about seventy some years, he was happy to get a job training our griffins.<br /><br />Our other mission, a bit farther up into the mountains, was retrieving the meteor. This adventure turned out to be a lot rougher on us. The meteor had burrowed deep into the earth, and had riled up some of the underground monsterfauna. I'm afraid the details are faded a bit in my mind, but I do recall we did a fair bit of scouting with an Arcane Eye spell, and spotted some <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2018/02/this-ones-real-looker.html" target="_blank">Beholders</a> and some <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCtcgI4BcIQ" target="_blank">Black Puddings</a>. The former turned out to be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76rqku7X4I" target="_blank">Gas Spores</a>, which thankfully got taken out with either bows or fireballs, the latter turned into a nightmare, as we got severely exfoliated by their rubbery, acidy embrace. I do recall Halig getting horribly delaminated, and his magic sword got destroyed (which is kind of a relief too, since the thing was intelligent and always nagging the poor sap)<br /><br />Either way, we managed to bull through and finally destroyed the oozes, and grabbed the meteor and skedaddled, stinging from being partially digested by the nasty boogers.<br /><br />So that, in my mind, was all the awesome that was on tap that session. When it's all about the adventuring and doing daring deeds and whatnot, Delta's games are hard to beat. <br /><br />Now as for the other aspect, I'm afraid I gotta be blunt about it, I don't think castle/fief management is really my bag. I'd put it down to it being the tail end of the 'con and us all being a bit worn out, but there were quite a few incidents of discussions turning into arguments and even antagonism. People got upset or agitated. I know I said a couple things I regretted in the heat of the moment, and for that I apologize to my fellow players.<br /><br />One point of contention, and one I still hold to my stance about, is that in a management/fief ruling mode, there's this tendency to delegate, which while it makes sense, is also counter to what I feel that core of the game is about. To paraphrase what I said at the table: It's Dungeons &amp; Dragons, not Deliberation &amp; Delegation. If we'd have sent lackeys to go and parlay with the sorceror, as several members of the group strongly suggested, we'd have missed out on a wonderful bit of role play, and in all likelihood the sorceror would have been offended that we didn't come see him in person.<br /><br />So while it makes perfect sense that as feudal lords we have people to do things for us, I just don't think it's as fun and exciting to have people go adventure for us. (There's a couple of Monty Python gags that are brought to mind, where the Prime Minister's wife has people to do the household chores for her, freeing her up to play snooker all day. And she doesn't even have to go to the trouble of playing snooker, 'cos she has people to do <i>that</i> for her too.) If you're delegating the <i>fun</i> stuff, then what's the point? Efficiency? "Winning" the game? Is that why we're playing? I'll note here that the most sought after reward the game has to offer is "Experience Points". As in, things we <u>experience.</u> Not things we have someone else do <i>for</i> us.<br /><br />I've noticed this tendency in games where some kind of hierarchy is part of the world building. I've seen it from the other side when I've run a superhero campaign where the characters are part of a government agency with officers above them and other agents in the organization. They sometimes kinda lose sight of the fact that the whole <i>point</i> of the game is for the players at the table and their in game avatars to be the ones doing all the things.<br /><br />I'm not saying this exclusively a problem of the players, it might be a problem of the setting and what expectations are being set up as well. In real life we understand that we have bosses and maybe people working for us, and we can't do everything ourselves, so when a game presents that as part of the world folks react naturally by how they've experienced it. But I digress, that's perhaps a subject for another time and another blog post.(Edit: I'll also note that I'm talking about settings in the general sense here, not Delta's setting for Spoliation, which is awesome. The fief part of it is kind of an emergent thing that happened between the players and the game's proceeding over the past near-decade.)<br /><br />There's a large contingent of Outdoor Spoliation players who are very much into the running the fief aspect that has arisen. If that is the direction the game has gone then I can't begrudge them that, but if that's what it's gonna be about, I think I'll regretfully give it a pass next time. That part of it just ain't my idea of fun. <br /><br />All that being said, Delta runs a fantastic game and in its free form, wandering the woods lookin' for and finding trouble phase, Outdoor Spoliation is an absolute hoot. I guess I'm one o' them ornery types who's happier on the wild frontier, before it gets all civilized 'n tamed. <br /><br />Thanks for running a great game, Delta. Whatever beefs I might have with the general consensus, the source material and the guy running it are top notch! :)<br /><br />And so that, my friends, was Helgacon XII. :D<br /><br />BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-10486654641146327262019-04-21T19:02:00.001-07:002019-04-21T19:02:42.670-07:00Happy Easter!<div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Christ is risen!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-leEynREoGFc/XL0giI3nkFI/AAAAAAAACGA/WYjL7DnpsnU3lFH2f6QKvQaVnezjMERXgCLcBGAs/s1600/131298.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="550" data-original-width="851" height="257" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-leEynREoGFc/XL0giI3nkFI/AAAAAAAACGA/WYjL7DnpsnU3lFH2f6QKvQaVnezjMERXgCLcBGAs/s400/131298.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">He is risen, indeed! </div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-46105779260803564092019-04-16T17:54:00.000-07:002019-04-16T18:11:46.071-07:00Helgacon 12 - Knights of the Star Condor: The Green Dome of the Reptozons<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tbtT4aSbxgI/XLZaH25f0kI/AAAAAAAACCk/YbfYq-Rgox08ld7umch0E_P48BJqkOpdACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Icon.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="100" data-original-width="100" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tbtT4aSbxgI/XLZaH25f0kI/AAAAAAAACCk/YbfYq-Rgox08ld7umch0E_P48BJqkOpdACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Icon.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hZ9UM_vwndk/XLZaMhAhvxI/AAAAAAAACCo/ZQ8Rs1HoMH88MwZgQ6b7T3p-gM9MU4HiQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12LogoBar.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="400" height="31" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hZ9UM_vwndk/XLZaMhAhvxI/AAAAAAAACCo/ZQ8Rs1HoMH88MwZgQ6b7T3p-gM9MU4HiQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12LogoBar.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KV7asJ8Pr2Y/XLZankvfnOI/AAAAAAAACC8/AQDdVC7xVtY1XKC1dcPO2TwcCvMnGhb7gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Titlecard.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="373" data-original-width="603" height="246" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KV7asJ8Pr2Y/XLZankvfnOI/AAAAAAAACC8/AQDdVC7xVtY1XKC1dcPO2TwcCvMnGhb7gCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_Titlecard.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The third and final game I ran this year marks the launching point for a new project that I hope to bring to fruition as a campaign book on <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/11619/Bigfella-Games" target="_blank">Bigfella Games</a> later this year.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The Star Condor campaign world has been slowly taking shape since I first ran it at <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2013/04/helgacon-vi-bjs-games.html" target="_blank">Helgacon VI</a> and then reprized it at <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2018/04/helgacon-xi-search-for-star-condor.html" target="_blank">Helgacon XI</a>. It's a multi-layered game experience that draws inspiration from the science fantasy of the early 1980's, the golden age of movies on VHS and syndicated cartoon series that were earnestly following on in the wake of a certain trilogy of movies about wars being fought among the stars. You know the one I <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrx7BZkmmcI" target="_blank">mean</a>. While it utilizes the trappings of science fiction and space opera, at its heart it's high fantasy.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The primary inspirations for the original game were the classic 1983 Parker Brothers game <a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1146/shadowlord" target="_blank">Shadowlord!</a> and <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta's</a> <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2012/07/helgacon-v-outdoor-spoliation.html" target="_blank">Outdoor Spoliation</a>, combined with <a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10676/knight-hawks" target="_blank">Knight Hawks</a> rules for the spaceship fights and <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/64332/Labyrinth-Lord-Revised-Edition" target="_blank">Labyrinth Lord</a> for the person to person level stuff. In an effort to make the eventual product I hope to produce more my own thing, I'm moving away from some of those sources and adapting a lot of it to my own content, and I'm also drawing more from my good friend Delta's expertise, by making the game compatible with his excellent <a href="http://oedgames.com/" target="_blank">OED</a> ruleset for OD&amp;D. </div><br />I should pause here with a hearty thanks to <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta</a> for all the advice and feedback he gave me in developing this adventure, as well as for the cycles yet to come as I mold this thing into shape. Usually when I'm putting together a game for Helgacon I'm hunched over my worktable laboring away without any guidance until I lay it on the table at the con. It was a rare treat to be able to collaborate with someone so knowledgeable and cool. So yeah! You're awesome, Delta! :D<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">On to the game itself, I had 3 awesome players. (I would have had 4, but unfortunately one of them had to stay home due to his kiddo being sick with the flu. Hope everybody's better now, Mr. G. :-\) </div>I also had a surfeit of characters, preparing 24 of them.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-csyikRK3ADQ/XLZkn2QHI9I/AAAAAAAACDI/NeMnm9GomvYrRWrM4Hxe9GizTLSIFgaNACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_Pregens.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="730" data-original-width="575" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-csyikRK3ADQ/XLZkn2QHI9I/AAAAAAAACDI/NeMnm9GomvYrRWrM4Hxe9GizTLSIFgaNACLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_Pregens.jpg" width="315" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So everyone selected a primary and a secondary character to play. Starriors, Wayfinders, and Astromages map pretty closely to OED's triad of classes of Fighters, Theives, and Wizards. (Although Wayfinders are more akin to explorers and pioneers than rogues.) So we had a nicely balanced party. I'd also prepared handout booklets to introduce my players to the new races and technology I'd introduced. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nED7e-vYTrY/XLZk6FrXCVI/AAAAAAAACDQ/n_4YMwIxmiI9uw8RCACJeBBKBGilbIIjwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_PCLineup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="771" data-original-width="800" height="385" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nED7e-vYTrY/XLZk6FrXCVI/AAAAAAAACDQ/n_4YMwIxmiI9uw8RCACJeBBKBGilbIIjwCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_PCLineup.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Their mission was to land on an isolated ice planet to track down and capture one of the most notorious leaders of the Shadow Imperium, the black dracozon Count Gwyth. I gave them the following briefing materials:&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uve4qLbdbpc/XLZl2ipYAQI/AAAAAAAACDc/jkBPCoRZDSYSSUN3rutHf7YAFQVj8hsKgCLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_Briefing_CountGwyth.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="525" data-original-width="800" height="262" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uve4qLbdbpc/XLZl2ipYAQI/AAAAAAAACDc/jkBPCoRZDSYSSUN3rutHf7YAFQVj8hsKgCLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_Briefing_CountGwyth.jpg" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hqL1GJY7oTA/XLZl3OFk_tI/AAAAAAAACDo/HzPuJRE1oVAfsjh7No2_pYeK6MP4LbgYACLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_Briefing_GwythForces.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="525" data-original-width="800" height="262" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hqL1GJY7oTA/XLZl3OFk_tI/AAAAAAAACDo/HzPuJRE1oVAfsjh7No2_pYeK6MP4LbgYACLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_Briefing_GwythForces.jpg" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ujBSYdMPog/XLZl22ELubI/AAAAAAAACDk/7QTJEp8i_Yg1JS02pWSaaV328RDkkfWmACLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_Briefing_GreenDome.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="525" data-original-width="800" height="262" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ujBSYdMPog/XLZl22ELubI/AAAAAAAACDk/7QTJEp8i_Yg1JS02pWSaaV328RDkkfWmACLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_Briefing_GreenDome.jpg" width="400" /></a>&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VfKklIEUP98/XLZl2nNQpJI/AAAAAAAACDg/zJWqdwg66wEu_Unbp8nqNjJsjyWp7h8nACLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_Briefing_GDMapSchematic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="525" data-original-width="800" height="262" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VfKklIEUP98/XLZl2nNQpJI/AAAAAAAACDg/zJWqdwg66wEu_Unbp8nqNjJsjyWp7h8nACLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_Briefing_GDMapSchematic.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Due to the danger to their starships from the installation's orbital defense lazers, the plan was to put down over the horizon and approach the Green Dome using Planetary Excursion Transports.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-21SdatYp9RI/XLZoWuXtUAI/AAAAAAAACEA/N-kzLOipMGUjAWIEQkNt2dKIKT7x6t0bACLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_tanks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="210" data-original-width="700" height="120" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-21SdatYp9RI/XLZoWuXtUAI/AAAAAAAACEA/N-kzLOipMGUjAWIEQkNt2dKIKT7x6t0bACLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_tanks.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As their vehicles, the Badger and the Otter, bounded across the endless ice plains, their scanners picked up enemies approaching to intercept, a squad of Shadow tanks trundling across the frozen tundra. The Wayfinders at the controls of both transports kicked it to full throttle and the battle was joined.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ITr_r5hiE_g/XLZo_78-9CI/AAAAAAAACEQ/TpOKsePtStoWzHgk9-yb9hI1vbBE9RbTgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_TankFight1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="600" data-original-width="800" height="300" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ITr_r5hiE_g/XLZo_78-9CI/AAAAAAAACEQ/TpOKsePtStoWzHgk9-yb9hI1vbBE9RbTgCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_TankFight1.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">While the Shadow tanks had heavier armor and stronger weapons, the Alliance vehicles had speed and maneuverability on their side, as well as a powered shield that could soak up a fair bit of damage. They essentially ran rings around the tanks.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Annk5CY9GbU/XLZo_8hMosI/AAAAAAAACEI/lw-Rj-Oapbwfc14DH3OWPrjhmBCMl8r4QCEwYBhgL/s1600/HC12_KSC_TankFight2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="600" data-original-width="800" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Annk5CY9GbU/XLZo_8hMosI/AAAAAAAACEI/lw-Rj-Oapbwfc14DH3OWPrjhmBCMl8r4QCEwYBhgL/s400/HC12_KSC_TankFight2.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">At one point, the first Shadow tank that was crippled fired in frustration on one of its own side. This precipitated the crews of both tanks to pop their hatches and fight it out on top of the smoking hulks. It was revealed that the enemy armor was crewed by hordes of stunted, cold adapted White Reptozons. The Astromage Dimas took advantage of the confusion and launched from the Otter wearing a flight harness, flying over the squabbling tank crews and dropping a Fireball spell on them. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wIX_Sa-Sabs/XLZqK8H0UZI/AAAAAAAACEo/9umDeHjpAZccSmDZBJJC11P2oY9nCZD3ACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_WhiteReptozons.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="555" data-original-width="500" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wIX_Sa-Sabs/XLZqK8H0UZI/AAAAAAAACEo/9umDeHjpAZccSmDZBJJC11P2oY9nCZD3ACLcBGAs/s320/HC12_KSC_WhiteReptozons.jpg" width="288" /></a></div>The survivors retreated into the still functioning tank, turned tail and fled. And it wasn't long after that the two hurtling Alliance transports had done enough damage to the other tanks' vital systems that two were disabled and one was quitting the field as fast as its gigantium treads could haul it. The Otter and the Badger double team pursued the last fleeing tank and enfiladed its turret with blasts from their pulse guns, rendering it harmless. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uZhsBwMiMSs/XLZo_1AIvjI/AAAAAAAACEg/ThQpaL1qSHwsGIO37odCkUuyekfznrxyACEwYBhgL/s1600/HC12_KSC_TankFight3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="600" data-original-width="800" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uZhsBwMiMSs/XLZo_1AIvjI/AAAAAAAACEg/ThQpaL1qSHwsGIO37odCkUuyekfznrxyACEwYBhgL/s400/HC12_KSC_TankFight3.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>The final talley, as witnessed here on my tracking card for the bad guys, was a destroyed engine, a destroyed cockpit, two destroyed ravager cannons, and damage to the crew compartment and drive treads. The mission team rolled on. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-meMq5Gz8zXY/XLZpAElvGnI/AAAAAAAACEg/jQgsZwN8s0wfBOPTJdcNRVIvAPf1WqewACEwYBhgL/s1600/HC12_KSC_TankFightFinal.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="800" height="150" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-meMq5Gz8zXY/XLZpAElvGnI/AAAAAAAACEg/jQgsZwN8s0wfBOPTJdcNRVIvAPf1WqewACEwYBhgL/s400/HC12_KSC_TankFightFinal.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Arriving at the Green Dome, they blasted their way inside the tank bunker, scattering the white reptozons who lurked among the junk and engine parts scattered about within. Using one of the tank boarding hatches as an entry point, they made their way deeper inside the structure.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tuPSnXz-C78/XLZsbJKRjHI/AAAAAAAACE0/KZMNqAiiKJEtw7i3U5CyzVJ1DRAv6n5-wCLcBGAs/s1600/SC_TheGreenDomeMap.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="575" data-original-width="759" height="302" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tuPSnXz-C78/XLZsbJKRjHI/AAAAAAAACE0/KZMNqAiiKJEtw7i3U5CyzVJ1DRAv6n5-wCLcBGAs/s400/SC_TheGreenDomeMap.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My GM's Map of the Green Dome</td></tr></tbody></table>Making their way down the trench surrounding the dome, they used a spell disk with the Passwall spell to create an entry point, with large gouts of steam issuing forth as the tropical air inside met the freezing atmosphere of the ice planet.<br /><br />Using that as a potential feint against any occupants of the dome, they headed toward the southeast orbital defense tower, where they repaired and suborned a malfunctioning battle droid unit they found on the first floor using a combination of a Wayfinder's knack for repairing devices and a Charm Machine spell cast by Gaius the artimus.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vj4NwhwUrhU/XLZtc0MOu5I/AAAAAAAACE8/VCCJ-i4UlC8w-Y5Ac-nx3ZVSDMjh2uGfgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_InertBattleDroid.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="500" height="304" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vj4NwhwUrhU/XLZtc0MOu5I/AAAAAAAACE8/VCCJ-i4UlC8w-Y5Ac-nx3ZVSDMjh2uGfgCLcBGAs/s320/HC12_KSC_InertBattleDroid.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>After they'd hacked the defense tower's computer systems and disabled the guns, they returned to the dome and made their way inward. As they crept through the dense jungle inside, buzzing with millions of insects and the unknown cries of other lifeforms, those among them with a bit more sensitivity to psychic impulses received a distress call from some unknown source:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Sjqn52-d6H4/XLZt-zjycyI/AAAAAAAACFE/bcr9oZt4r-k50KELQE3t5oMmU89VtcrHQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_PsychicCall.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="330" data-original-width="500" height="211" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Sjqn52-d6H4/XLZt-zjycyI/AAAAAAAACFE/bcr9oZt4r-k50KELQE3t5oMmU89VtcrHQCLcBGAs/s320/HC12_KSC_PsychicCall.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>Mystified and curious, they followed the call to a large ventilation duct in the forest floor near the central control tower. It was easy enough for them to open one of the panels and make their way inside. Once they had climbed down into the underground vent corridors, they found something extraordinary.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QzfFKgv9GPU/XLZviZES0mI/AAAAAAAACFQ/272poQXPN6gXqYiCFYbQCJHFnw1l-CYIACEwYBhgL/s1600/HC12_KSC_GwythDiscovered.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="700" data-original-width="550" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QzfFKgv9GPU/XLZviZES0mI/AAAAAAAACFQ/272poQXPN6gXqYiCFYbQCJHFnw1l-CYIACEwYBhgL/s400/HC12_KSC_GwythDiscovered.jpg" width="313" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div>It was a dracozon, but the likes of which no one had ever seen, with a silvery sheen to her skin beneath the layers of bruises and grime that covered her. In her claws, she clutched something even more incredible, a gold dracozon egg. These mighty progenitors of the dracozons had been extinct for well over a millenia.<br /><br />They assured the poor creature that they meant it no harm, but had difficulty gleaning any information from it, for its lyre bones, the complex vocalizing organs that the dracozons use to speak and sing, had been completely shattered. With considerable difficulty and apparently great pain, she managed to whisper the name "Gwyth", indicating herself as she did so. Another mystery, was this wretched thing actually the fearsome Shadow overlord they'd been sent to apprehend? <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As they led the battered dracozon up out of the vent tunnel, an ominous hush fell over the jungle around them, and suddenly they were barraged with a shower of poison spittle, as a savage mob of green reptozons leapt down from the trees and attacked.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Pqzz2q1CI9o/XLZx09w9knI/AAAAAAAACFc/PZROarjgh_MVBRt9v_1bvy4IMnAsPzAwgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_GreenReptozons.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="850" data-original-width="500" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Pqzz2q1CI9o/XLZx09w9knI/AAAAAAAACFc/PZROarjgh_MVBRt9v_1bvy4IMnAsPzAwgCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_GreenReptozons.jpg" width="235" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">A furious battle ensued, but soon the feral creatures were routed by the Alliance heroes' spells and firepower. They led their charge to where their vehicles awaited and secured her and her precious treasure in the detention pod aboard the Badger.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">They then made a second foray into the Green Dome, targeting the other orbital defense tower so that their ships could safely approach for a pickup. After beating back some stiff resistance at the entry port from a rabble of white reptozons defending a creche enclosure on the bottom floor, they disabled the second tower's systems and then returned to their transports to roll them out onto the ice fields for pickup, leaving the Dome behind them.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">They got Gwyth's story after they'd cleared orbit, having furnished her with a keyboard and tablet.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-safGVQLfqgU/XLZztYjIDmI/AAAAAAAACFo/znnrmDiFggExAL3PWpYRyIMTalHMem65gCLcBGAs/s1600/KotSC_GwythsStory.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="918" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-safGVQLfqgU/XLZztYjIDmI/AAAAAAAACFo/znnrmDiFggExAL3PWpYRyIMTalHMem65gCLcBGAs/s400/KotSC_GwythsStory.jpg" width="305" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Dracozons are an all female race that use magic, also known in this universe as the Prime Harmonic, to alter and improve the genetics of their eggs. Gwyth had attempted to distort the gold dracozon egg to her own evil ends, but had instead been transformed by it into a creature of harmony. Even her acidic spittle had been changed into a substance that could heal.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">After the expedition had delivered her to Alliance and Blue Dracozonic authorities, there was considerable debate as to her final fate. She was a war criminal and a scourge of civilized space, but she had bonded with the egg and a return of the gold dracozons would be a boon to the free peoples of the galaxy. It was eventually decided that Gwyth and the egg would be quietly retired to a garden world under guard, where she could raise the hatchling in safety.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;A while after they had performed so well on their daring mission, the members of the extraction team received this secure holovid card.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fAu4o7ZoZss/XLZ16kgphaI/AAAAAAAACF0/uJsvIT-oYBUJlueap3ZSaeZyHmF_5bSagCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_KSC_GwythTheenThanks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="800" height="237" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fAu4o7ZoZss/XLZ16kgphaI/AAAAAAAACF0/uJsvIT-oYBUJlueap3ZSaeZyHmF_5bSagCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_KSC_GwythTheenThanks.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">ANALYSIS:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Hoo boy, did I take a <u>big</u> chance with this adventure, namely creating a plot thread that I was very invested in seeing play out at the table. There were a million ways that things could have conspired to not have it turn out how I wanted. Take note, GM's out there. The phrase "<i>Turn out how I wanted.</i>" is <u><b>extremely</b></u> dangerous when you're trying to get there via random dice and player choice. I just couldn't help it, when I figured out Gwyth's <a href="https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeelFaceTurn" target="_blank">heel/face turn</a>, I had to roll with it. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">But bless their noble hearts, my players chose characters that were sensitive to little Theen's psychic signal (basically if they had a Wisdom bonus, or were a dracozon), and they made a beeline to the exact spot where they would pick it up.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So yeah, I'm thrilled with how it came out, 'cos I got to tell the story I wanted to tell. I count myself considerably lucky that it came off.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Otherwise, I think the tank battle at the start could have been snappier. There was a lot of learning the rules and strategizing, and I could have had the enemy tanks blow up easier, but that's not a major problem. The players were having fun, and it all fit into the 4 hours allotted so c'est la guerre.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta's</a> advice came in <i>extremely</i> handy for the fights with the reptozons, which were essentially a <a href="https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=zerg%20rush" target="_blank">zerg rush</a> style foe. He gave me some invaluable tips that kept those fights from bogging down. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So yeah, I was really happy with the way this game worked out. And I'm excited about the Star Condor game and campaign guide. Stay tuned and watch this space, and <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/11619/Bigfella-Games" target="_blank">Bigfella Games</a>, for more info as it happens.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Fly on, Star Condor!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YXbB6o9FxG4/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YXbB6o9FxG4?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-29076584938561903612019-04-16T13:03:00.003-07:002019-04-16T13:25:01.830-07:00Helgacon 12 - Fiasco: Fun With Superheroes<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-U-DOcMXfxbQ/XLYsLOEWEqI/AAAAAAAACCQ/HHvqhL8MJzIu2YwuWMREOWdLTp_HZpYkgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="52" data-original-width="52" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-U-DOcMXfxbQ/XLYsLOEWEqI/AAAAAAAACCQ/HHvqhL8MJzIu2YwuWMREOWdLTp_HZpYkgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vJfVltQDS00/XLYsLAiummI/AAAAAAAACCU/hGTdefVb2DUHrxY5hvmwu_8A6z80TnLCACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_Logo.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="381" height="26" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vJfVltQDS00/XLYsLAiummI/AAAAAAAACCU/hGTdefVb2DUHrxY5hvmwu_8A6z80TnLCACLcBGAs/s320/HC12_Logo.png" width="320" />&nbsp;</a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">My Saturday afternoon game was a session of <a href="https://bullypulpitgames.com/games/fiasco/" target="_blank">Fiasco</a>, run by the effervescent Miz Petra J.&nbsp; It was the first time I'd ever played this game, which can best be described as tabletop improv exercise. There are dice, but they spend most of the game as tokens that are handed out for good or ill to the various participants for a final roll to determine how badly boned your character is when everything finally, inevitably goes south like a jet powered goose with a GPS pointed toward Antarctica.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The general theme was superheroes, but at best it flirted with the genre as far as I conceptualize it. I guess the best comparison, tone wise, could be made to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKmHBFgIoX0" target="_blank">Mystery Men</a>, where we're all 4th. and 5th. rate wannabees in the hero or villain biz. Honestly, though, it was less about grand heroics or villainy and more about small people and their failed relationships, foiled ambitions, and bittersweet nostalgia.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The game starts with the players going around the table and choosing relationships with their adjacent neighbors. I had <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul</a> and his dynamo brother Max to my left &amp; right. With Paul, we landed on Hero: Hunted Vampires in the 70's. With Max, I was Villain: 2nd. Rank Henchman. From that confluence of forces, Morgo the hunchback was born, and let me tell you he was a hoot to play. Paul wound up as my old vampire hunting partner Frank, while Max played my current boss the Great Figdigler, an up and comer in the mad genius biz. The rest of the group was a varied bunch of megalomaniacs, project managers, scientists, and bowling pros looking to make it big or rekindle past relationships. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">From there, a lot of romantic entanglements, broken hearts, ambitious plans, industrial espionage, betrayals, flying atomic hat thefts, flying atomic hat chases, <a href="https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/agile-project-management-scrum-6269" target="_blank">Agile</a> project management, and shopping trips to CVS ensued. The whole baroque house of cards collapsed as we triggered a worldwide disco <strike>vampire</strike> werewolf apocalypse with a weather control doomsday device and an old lady's doctored hearing aid at the climax of the League bowling championships.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Morgo came out of the whole mess mostly unscathed, but it was a pyrrhic victory at best, because while his fearless leader The Great Figdigler did manage to secure his entry into the League of Villains with his convoluted plan, our hapless hunchback was still compelled to show up for Scrum meetings.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Eeeugghhh...&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">All told it was a lot of fun, even though I was new to the system and was a bit tentative about how hard I could grab and twist the emerging narrative. I'd definitely be down for another game of Fiasco in the future.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Thanks for a great game, Petra! </div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-90004559250405043872019-04-15T19:37:00.001-07:002019-04-15T19:56:17.032-07:00Helgacon 12 - The Lost Tomb of Ra Hotep<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Cho6C_TRaxw/XLUzylk6e-I/AAAAAAAACB0/qqa6TmDNm0Y16QgOGpOrwvWheUY8qim4wCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="52" data-original-width="52" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Cho6C_TRaxw/XLUzylk6e-I/AAAAAAAACB0/qqa6TmDNm0Y16QgOGpOrwvWheUY8qim4wCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7KlBW6w46Rc/XLUzypzOUUI/AAAAAAAACBw/vcjvUAwDozwvJyJ3Vkdprk5xlKOXgVX7ACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_Logo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="381" height="26" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7KlBW6w46Rc/XLUzypzOUUI/AAAAAAAACBw/vcjvUAwDozwvJyJ3Vkdprk5xlKOXgVX7ACLcBGAs/s320/HC12_Logo.png" width="320" /></a></div>&nbsp;Saturday morning started bright and early with the mighty <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta</a> running the storied pre-cursor to the infamous <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Horrors" target="_blank">Tomb of Horrors</a>, the <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/2019/01/06/credit-where-credits-due/" target="_blank">Lost Tomb of Ra Hotep</a>. Well... not <i>so</i> bright and slightly late, as I just managed to get up, showered, and dressed and cram down breakfast in time to start. I'd been up late talking to folks the night before. It's an easy trap to fall into at Helgacon.<br /><br />And speaking of traps, that was what was on the menu for this adventure. I grabbed a dwarf fighter/thief named Belarus Blue Eyes, and since I was stockier (and more durable) than yer average footpad I was up up front doing scouting with Miz K's halfling thief whose name I don't recall at the moment thru most of the game.<br /><br />At the very start of it all my dwarfly eyes caught sight of a secret magic rune trap around the front door of the eponymous tomb that would have set a bunch of Invisible Stalkers on our tail if we'd crossed the threshold without noticing it. We got past it using a Passwall spell a little bit to the side. (We wound up fighting a bunch of what was probably Invisible Stalkers later on, but I dunno if they were just in the room we were looting (how could you tell?) or if they'd been summoned by runes that we'd missed.) <br /><br />Fresh from that triumph, I headed down the first hall and fell smack into a 50' pit trap with spikes at the bottom. Thankfully that only half killed me, so I got hauled back up and we kept going.<br /><br />Otherwise, we did pretty good detecting traps and avoiding them, although another memorable bit is when I thought I was being clever by dropping flat to try to activate what I thought was a horizontally aimed spear trap. If the group hadn't stopped me from following thru with that "clever" plan I would have been smushed by a falling block instead. So... yeah.<br /><br />Otherwise, aside from finding traps the Tomb of Ra Hotep was all about punchin' mummies for me, and I punched quite a few. Some of 'em weren't doin' nothin' but being dead, but I punched 'em anyway. Got a fancy necklace from one of 'em. The ones in the final grand hall where we fought the lich Ra Hotep and his minions were a bit more lively, and when I got ensorcelled into fighting on the big bad's side I had to switch from punchin' mummies to punchin' my friends, which I wasn't so crazy about. (I tried to loophole my way around doing too much damage to my comrades by being super literal about the orders that ol' Hotep was giving me, but Delta put the kibosh on that. Eh. You try things, sometimes they work.) <br /><br />The big shenanigan of the game was when <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul's</a> character was summarily evaporated by a big magical jewel as soon as we entered the main tomb area. Having watched his &amp; Delta's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss0ojE4rTys" target="_blank">livecast</a> and read their blogs, I was probably the first player to twig to the purpose of that sudden and severe HP reduction as setting the stage for Paul playing the <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2019/04/co-dms-for-boss-fights.html" target="_blank">Adversary</a> role for the grand finale. He threw himself into the part with relish, particularly against one of the party fighters who'd been trash talking Ra Hotep to aggro a bunch of stone golems we fought outside the tomb proper. I thought that part worked really great, and look forward to seeing more of those sorts of things in future games. I may try it myself someday. We'll see.<br /><br />So anyway, all told I had a great time with this adventure. Comparing it to Tomb of Horrors, also run by Delta all those <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2008/04/tomb-of-horrors.html" target="_blank">years ago</a> in the <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2008/04/s1-postmortem-errors.html" target="_blank">early days</a> of Helgacon, I'd say it felt a lot more like just a good solid dose of dungeon crawling instead of the merciless exercise in character culling that ToH was. It was challenging and tricky, and Delta was running it with his usual aplomb, but it didn't feel as bleak and desperate as I remember the ToH being. There definitely weren't as many dead ends or any pixel bitching in Ra Hotep. There wasn't this sense that there was only 1 right answer per obstacle and if you didn't get it you were donesville. So I'd say the original adventure was a lot better and more fun than its notorious successor. <br /><br />So yeah, it was a good session of some nice crusty old school dungeon delving. Thanks, Delta! :D<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RFBjCwuXQ10/XLU_xXte7pI/AAAAAAAACCE/o6fjBwxzT6Qw_PZcdx4a3ellGJUlJKBDwCLcBGAs/s1600/MMMummies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="170" data-original-width="500" height="135" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RFBjCwuXQ10/XLU_xXte7pI/AAAAAAAACCE/o6fjBwxzT6Qw_PZcdx4a3ellGJUlJKBDwCLcBGAs/s400/MMMummies.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-71412314004130980502019-04-12T14:18:00.002-07:002019-04-12T17:56:21.261-07:00Helgacon 12 - The Peach Orchard<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HoFuuY1IL18/XLDdxzRcwVI/AAAAAAAAB_I/4pv6mcWJXvoyWsbtm9jzp0SXcXamWvjXwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchardMon.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="150" data-original-width="150" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HoFuuY1IL18/XLDdxzRcwVI/AAAAAAAAB_I/4pv6mcWJXvoyWsbtm9jzp0SXcXamWvjXwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchardMon.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8j6tia-COP8/XLDd1GI8pqI/AAAAAAAAB_M/b2ayxTBx8tEXtiFv9Z3FbAi3uQD9SsZLwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12LogoBar.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="400" height="31" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8j6tia-COP8/XLDd1GI8pqI/AAAAAAAAB_M/b2ayxTBx8tEXtiFv9Z3FbAi3uQD9SsZLwCLcBGAs/s400/HC12LogoBar.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GO3TLu_w7Qs/XLDd2_4gkqI/AAAAAAAAB_Q/rQk-L2HtGG0WYf-ihZ1OMeM_S9BGJhcrgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchard_Title.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="350" data-original-width="700" height="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GO3TLu_w7Qs/XLDd2_4gkqI/AAAAAAAAB_Q/rQk-L2HtGG0WYf-ihZ1OMeM_S9BGJhcrgCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PeachOrchard_Title.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>Friday night brought the opening of Helgacon proper, and I ran the first of my full scale games, the second set in my new feudal <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh5LY4Mz15o" target="_blank">Japanese</a> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth_Lord" target="_blank">Labyrinth Lord</a>/<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Adventures" target="_blank">Oriental Adventures</a> milieu.<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiOXSTm_qP0/XLDfDmJv8sI/AAAAAAAAB_k/S-z9UQKQF40xkcS-7sGCuTl4-cM8TlQPQCLcBGAs/s1600/PeachOrchard_Stuff.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="700" data-original-width="930" height="300" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiOXSTm_qP0/XLDfDmJv8sI/AAAAAAAAB_k/S-z9UQKQF40xkcS-7sGCuTl4-cM8TlQPQCLcBGAs/s400/PeachOrchard_Stuff.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Here's the whole razzle dazzle. I like to really put on a grand show for convention games. </td></tr></tbody></table>Every thousand years, in the remote, fortified mountain monastery known as Momotakara, a certain blessed peach tree brings forth a single, magically supercharged fruit that is capable of working great wonders in the lives of those who partake of it. If only it had appeared a year ago, when the conquering forces of the Akai clan laid siege to the monastery and defeated the rebellious warrior monks who dwelt within, putting those who failed to escape to the sword. Shortly after their victory, the Akai army themselves fled the mountaintop fortress, sealing the heavy doors behind them in fear of the ingenious and deadly traps laid within' by the wily abbot, as well as the supernatural creatures said to dwell in the caves below. The players took on the roles of a ragtag band of outcasts and wanderers who'd joined together to find the Thousand Year Peach and transform their lives.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YU2tgVhWa40/XLDhAGSt76I/AAAAAAAAB_w/-SNhA2tboQIrj0L7tnMPpd8VxE7r5z67wCLcBGAs/s1600/PeachOrchard_PCs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="440" data-original-width="853" height="206" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YU2tgVhWa40/XLDhAGSt76I/AAAAAAAAB_w/-SNhA2tboQIrj0L7tnMPpd8VxE7r5z67wCLcBGAs/s400/PeachOrchard_PCs.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>&nbsp; I had twelve pre-generated player characters to choose from, ranging from samurai to kensai to wily spellcasters and ninja, with several hengeyokai shapeshifters as well as strange creatures such as tengu or kamejin. I had five excellent players, who chose the following heroes to make up their band of nakama.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-apdpNUIWDcM/XLDh6I7-mUI/AAAAAAAAB_4/OsJli7UokRECOmlhoffzwlsvsySW7gVpQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchardHeroes.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" data-original-height="330" data-original-width="800" height="165" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-apdpNUIWDcM/XLDh6I7-mUI/AAAAAAAAB_4/OsJli7UokRECOmlhoffzwlsvsySW7gVpQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PeachOrchardHeroes.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">L to R: Takenoko the kitsune hengeyokai kensai, Genzo the human shugenja, Shirokaze the human mahotsukai, Zenimon the human yakuza, and Hotaro the human kensai.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">My setting was based on two of <a href="https://dysonlogos.blog/" target="_blank">Dyson Logos'</a> wonderful maps: <a href="https://dysonlogos.blog/2011/05/27/friday-map-the-monastery-of-electrum-flowers/" target="_blank">The Monastery of Electrum Flowers</a> for the upper structure and <a href="https://dysonlogos.blog/2018/09/20/the-travellers-caves/" target="_blank">The Travellers Caves</a> for the underground caverns beneath. I keyed these up with lots of twists, traps, and encounters, and gave the players these two simplified maps as handouts. (I've learned from years of doing convention games that the sooner you get the players some basic knowledge of the stakes, setting, and layout, the easier it is to have a satisfying adventure in the allotted 4 hour timeslot. You don't have to spell everything out, just give 'em enough info to go on.)</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yj5e3EFjE3g/XLDkX4slVXI/AAAAAAAACAE/PA_xYbIMoJkRxqFOpJxraVMCeXwdhq6CwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchard_UpperMap.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="500" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yj5e3EFjE3g/XLDkX4slVXI/AAAAAAAACAE/PA_xYbIMoJkRxqFOpJxraVMCeXwdhq6CwCLcBGAs/s640/HC12_PeachOrchard_UpperMap.jpg" width="400" /></a> </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">(Actually, I didn't initially give them the cave map. I'd hidden it on the back of one of the paintings in the hall of paintings, but it was running toward the end of the session and once they got down into the caves it was easier to just hand them this than try to get them to map it. Caves are too non-euclidian for graph paper mapping, I've often found.)</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UnniTiebBYs/XLDkX60xpDI/AAAAAAAACAI/FdCSx5DOBakdkvBMqfHINEDWbEJLn006gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PeachOrchard_LowerMap.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" data-original-height="480" data-original-width="700" height="273" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UnniTiebBYs/XLDkX60xpDI/AAAAAAAACAI/FdCSx5DOBakdkvBMqfHINEDWbEJLn006gCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PeachOrchard_LowerMap.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I gave all the players a roll on a specially prepared rumor table. They gleaned these bits of info:&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Beware the wrath of the thunder god when invading the Monastery’s precincts, for he defends the sohei’s path. Bid him be still if you would pass safely. </i>(This one didn't really figure in their explorations. It referred to a trapped hallway where a statue of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raijin" target="_blank">Raijin</a> would shoot a lightning bolt if they didn't say a password to deactivate it.) <i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>A sacred scroll dedicated to the Goddess of War hangs among the Monastery’s collection of sumi-e. If a holy man or warrior reads what is inscribed on the back they can invoke the Goddess’ aid.&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>There is a waterfall to the North of the Monastery. In a hollow behind it there is a secret door leading inside.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Four sacred tablets, enchanted to summon and control mighty elemental forces, are hidden throughout the monastery. They are concealed among their elements.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>While the Akai claim to have sealed the doors of the Monastery, in truth they have converted it into a secret stronghold for their ninja assassins.&nbsp; </i>(This one was a false rumor, but <i>they</i> didn't know that.)<i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I gave the players a similar speech to the one I gave to my players for <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2019/04/helgacon-12-red-petals-on-road.html" target="_blank">Red Petals on the Road</a>, about what my expectations were for this game. I had laid out a setting and given them resources, and now it was up to them to decide what to do. Armed with their information from the rumor table, the players made their plan and set forth to infiltrate the monastery and retrieve the legendary peach.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i> </i></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Acting on the rumor about a secret entry, they made their way around the north side of the monastery, where they found the waterfall as promised cascading down from a high cliff into a mountain stream. There was a hollow behind it that contained a stone lantern with a lock mechanism cleverly hidden inside. They opened the latch and discovered the secret door, which led them to the shaft of the monastery's well. There were cleverly hidden handholds leading up to the wellhead, and the shaft disappeared down into the darkness 50' below. (A fact the party rather <i>stubbornly</i> ignored later on when they figured out that to find the Peach they'd have to get into the caves below the monastery. But I'm getting ahead of myself. :-\) From above the tunnel was concealed by a trompe d'oiel that made it impossible to spot.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i></i><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Finding themselves in a well room where stacks of rotting firewood was stowed, they crept into the next room, which turned out to be the monastery's kitchen. Prodding among the kamado stoves and the rotting bales of rice hidden in the corner, the party disturbed a nest of hideous 5' long centipedes, which sprang forth to attack them.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Hotaro chopped one to pieces while Shirokaze pinned one to the floor with one of his arrows. Takenoko rolled a <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2013/04/dodecahedrons-of-doom.html" target="_blank">critical fail</a> and fell to the ground with a twisted ankle, with a vicious centipede bearing down on her with mandibles clacking. Thinking quickly, she opened her magic purse that could swallow up to 500 lbs. and sucked the horrible thing inside. The final one was slain and the party took stock, hoping that they'd not alerted any Akai ninja who might be lurking about.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Taking a tentative foray down the hallway outside, they heard a commotion in the direction where their map said the monastery's famed peach orchard was. There was the sound of thrashing branches and a large booming voice lording over a gaggle of smaller, sniveling voices, all speaking in obake, the language of bakemono and oni. From what they could glean from Shirokaze's translations as the only one among them who could speak the language, it was a band of marauding yokai searching for the Thousand Year Peach.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Seized by strategic inspiration, the wizard called out "We've found the peach!" in obake, hoping to lure the rival invaders into range so that they might be defeated in piecemeal, and it worked splendidly for them. A hush fell over the monstrous brigands in the orchard, and the booming voice commanded some scouts to go see who'd said they'd found the sought after treasure.The party braced themselves in the adjacent archways of the kitchen as a pair of obakenezu, horrible goblin rats, came loping down the corridor. A cowardly bunch of bakemono peeked out the window, waiting to see how their beastly comrades did. Takenoko held fast but got a sprained wrist for her troubles, as Hotaro was bowled over by the slavering spirit beast despite his magical Sandals of Steadiness.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UdlKIZdWmgA/XLDshk4OZnI/AAAAAAAACAY/2UgP8xgz7EUB3B-5ClfMxSGq__IgypsXgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_ObakenezuAttack.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="480" data-original-width="700" height="273" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UdlKIZdWmgA/XLDshk4OZnI/AAAAAAAACAY/2UgP8xgz7EUB3B-5ClfMxSGq__IgypsXgCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PO_ObakenezuAttack.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">With a furious exchange of slashing blades and slavering bites, the obakenezu were slain, but the party had barely any time to catch their breath before the bakemono attacked. These too were dispatched with the two kensai's whirling katana and naginata.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Hearing the death shreiks of his minions, the horrible oni Gongoro finally decided to see what was going on with his own three eyes, and so he came stomping around the corner at the far east end of the corridor with a crew of bakemono archers in tow. He bellowed threats and taunts as he came, but was knocked ingloriously on his behind when Shirokaze cast an Elemental Burst spell that hit the lumbering yokai right between the horns with an explosion of air. He fell back, smashing his smaller minions beneath him. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-40OxbKa6DFc/XLDuIs2wWfI/AAAAAAAACAk/3iXCa844eEgVupTBz7aFRRNcLw5ZS8T_gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_GongoroKnockedOut.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="380" data-original-width="700" height="216" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-40OxbKa6DFc/XLDuIs2wWfI/AAAAAAAACAk/3iXCa844eEgVupTBz7aFRRNcLw5ZS8T_gCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PO_GongoroKnockedOut.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Seizing their opportunity, the party leaped to the attack. Zenimon slew several of the bakemono with a barrage of shuriken, while Takenoko and Hotaro strode forth and put an end to the oni with their flashing blades. In the melee Hotaro had slashed off one of the ogre's horns, which he kept as a trophy. The surviving bakemono of Gongoro's entourage, peering fearfully out the windows to the orchard, realized that their master was slain and fled screaming and scattered to the winds.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Searching the bodies, they retrieved a gourd full of magic potion hanging from the oni's belt, and Shirokaze discovered a beautiful child's plaything, a silken temari ball doubtless stolen from a nursery tucked into one of the sleeves of the bakemono's filthy, ragged kimonos.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZKD4yRo_eXw/XLD3TjcBVFI/AAAAAAAACA8/X9l2EcAkW2os5yYAib1e7FhoF_gqYH_awCLcBGAs/s1600/Flower_Tessellat_4ffa427f0c9a6__68972.1428642820.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="650" data-original-width="650" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZKD4yRo_eXw/XLD3TjcBVFI/AAAAAAAACA8/X9l2EcAkW2os5yYAib1e7FhoF_gqYH_awCLcBGAs/s200/Flower_Tessellat_4ffa427f0c9a6__68972.1428642820.jpg" width="200" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The party then proceeded to search the orchard, finding the mess that the yokai had made knocking down branches, leaves, and fruit with long sticks. They'd piled the fallen peaches on moldering straw mats next to a stone bench beneath a particularly profound looking old tree, where the oni had been appraising the fruits and sorting out the ones that seemed magical. The Momotakara orchard had been reknowned for other sorts of magical peaches besides the legendary Thousand Year Peach. In a cracked porcelain bowl was a pile of rosy blushing peaches that were enchanted with healing magic, making them equal to a Potion of Healing if you ate one. The party divided these up among themselves. There was also a tree bearing fruit that would instantly destroy bakemono if it touched them, as evidenced by an exploded wretch whose remains lay at the tree's foot. (The players gave this one a wide berth, not knowing how specific its effects were.)&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Finally, there was a tree that at first glance seemed dead, with bare branches surrounded by a tenuous fog. Upon closer examination, led by the rotting straw ropes and sacred charms that hung around its trunk, they realized that what seemed like dead branches was in fact an upside down root system, and that this strange tree was quite alive. Surely its leaves, and its fruit, were below in the underground caves. They were getting closer to their main objective.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Exploring further, they investigated the overgrown rock garden to the south end of the orchard. They discovered a couple of the large stones, laid out in the spiral patterns of carefully raked gravel, had been uprooted and taken. They reasoned that perhaps this was where one of the four elemental tablets they'd heard rumors about was hidden, and were proved right as they discovered a stone chest under one of the large boulders, which contained the tablet.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Deciding to search for the abbot's quarters, they went back down the hall toward the kitchen. Beyond to the west they found the monastery's dining hall, where Zenimon accidentally knocked over long tabletops and trestles stacked against the back wall. The party held their breath, hoping no ninja had been alerted, then continued their search.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">They discovered rot and water damage coming from a swollen shut sliding door to the north that felt hot to the touch. Carefully shoving it open with the butt of Takenoko's naginata and Genzo's staff, they avoided a gout of scalding steam that billowed forth.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Inside, they discovered a sweltering bath chamber. Everything inside was warped and melted by the heat and moisture. There were two pools to the east end of the room, one empty, and one occupied by a pool of water in which a bronze <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma_doll" target="_blank">Daruma</a> figure sat, glowing red with internally generated heat and boiling the water around it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dlWAet9AvjU/XLDy5ZbnLAI/AAAAAAAACAw/0OFKkOqF4_ckBAN9qWzhK-ArGP6OWPh8gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_BronzeDaruma.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="400" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dlWAet9AvjU/XLDy5ZbnLAI/AAAAAAAACAw/0OFKkOqF4_ckBAN9qWzhK-ArGP6OWPh8gCLcBGAs/s320/HC12_PO_BronzeDaruma.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />The figure was scalding hot, and damaged the party if they approached it. In one eye, the kanji for "heaven" had been painted. The other was blank.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">What proceeded here, if I may drop out of narrative into DM analysis, was one of those points where you present a puzzle to the players and they proceed to spiral into ever more elaborate blind alleys to solve it, completely mis-interpreting or ignoring the clues to the solution. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">I'll bear more than a little responsibility for this, because they latched on to certain parts of my explanation of what a Daruma signified in Japanese culture and ran with it. I'd informed them that Daruma dolls were often used as good luck charms by people who wanted to complete a task. The person would paint in one of the figure's blank eyes at the start of their task, and then paint in the other when they'd finished it. This is what the party grabbed onto, convinced that they had to complete a task to solve the puzzle. I probably should have left all that "complete a task" stuff out, 'cos honestly all they had to do is write something in the other eye. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">So they proceeded to laboriously fill up the other bath tub by drawing bucket after bucket of water from the well over a span of a couple in game hours. Hotaro stripped down and took a bath, which didn't really help, and he got kinda scalded while he was doing it due to being so close to the boiling daruma.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">What I'd failed to make clear to them was that the bronze Daruma's task was to heat the bathwater, and that since it had done that all they needed to do is write something to match "heaven". Since he was scalding hot, I was hoping that they'd take the hint and write "hell" in the other blank eye. Or they could wipe out the writing in the first eye, that would have shut him down too. (This was doubly frustrating as Genzo's player had blurted out that they should write "hell" in the other eye at the start of it all and nobody twigged to it. :-\)</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Anyway, they eventually figured it out after eating up several minutes of game time. Happily, they were rewarded with the Fire Elemental tablet, which they discovered in a hidden compartment in the bronze figure's base. So all's well that eventually ends well.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Continuing their search, they decided to head southward toward the monks quarters on the west side of the monastery. They were nearly trapped by an insidious spell that caused the hallway to seem endless, forever extending ahead and behind them no matter how long or fast they walked. Shirokaze's player figured out the way to foil this spell, by not depending on vision. He backed toward the tablet inscribed with the spell and removed it without looking, freeing his comrades from its effects. They found the stricken corpses of some Akai ashigaru who'd failed to escape this trap. One had starved to death in one of the monks' cells. The other, who's hair had gone stark white, had been run thru by a blade of some sort as he cowered by a wall. The hole the blade had left was uncannily cold to the touch.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Ominous...</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Proceeding further, they came to a darkened room that had been the monastery's meditation chamber. Inside, they were confronted with the terrifying specter of the Akai general who'd led the assault on the monastery, condemned in death to drive off any other interlopers.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iG9KezQEh7g/XLD5MEp61AI/AAAAAAAACBQ/fhIlXIUDxx8ewOnLyJdniRzHoszSfk3MQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_AkaiGeneralGhost.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="394" data-original-width="236" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iG9KezQEh7g/XLD5MEp61AI/AAAAAAAACBQ/fhIlXIUDxx8ewOnLyJdniRzHoszSfk3MQCLcBGAs/s320/HC12_PO_AkaiGeneralGhost.jpg" width="191" /></a></div></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br />Hotaro rose to the challenge and drew his woodcutter's blade, the Mokuzaiken, and stood in combat against the vengeful spirit, slashing its naginata's shaft in two. The yurei cast its bisected polearm aside and prepared to draw its sword. Knowing that there was no honor in a restless ghost, Shirokaze read the chant on the back of the Fire Elemental tablet, and summoned a mighty spirit of flames, which burned the Akai general's ghost away in its purifying fire and banished it from this world.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-akxbSaDbs04/XLD456UaM3I/AAAAAAAACBI/p457ftDBqMs9K-0GmM1Eg8iqQ0djzrXVgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_SpecterFight.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="730" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-akxbSaDbs04/XLD456UaM3I/AAAAAAAACBI/p457ftDBqMs9K-0GmM1Eg8iqQ0djzrXVgCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PO_SpecterFight.jpg" width="382" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><div style="text-align: left;">Searching the room after releasing the Flame Spirit and stamping out some of the fires it had left, they found two large, ornate gold incense burners on the meditation leader's platform. After a bit of fox mischief where Takenoko released the giant centipede at Zenimon, causing a bit of minor panic as they slew it before it poisoned him, they sucked the two censers into the purse where they could easily carry it off.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Working from the map, they found their way to the hall where the monastery kept its trove of sumi-e paintings, seeking to find the scroll of the War Goddess. They found a hall that had been long ago drenched in blood, with a victim slashed to ribbons and dragged away, and the two stones missing from the rock garden laid against the door. The only painting not marred with old dried blood was a magnificent painting of a tiger. This they decided to give a wide berth, especially after figuring out that its eyes seemed to follow them. They found an separate alcove where the goddess scroll was hanging, and reverently plucked it from the wall and rolled it up, another trophy from their sortie, and then slipped out again.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4FGTg7sBT10/XLD7DaMBB8I/AAAAAAAACBc/isRgke-P98weYKIS81TuDA0c2V6EkGzSQCLcBGAs/s1600/8371daac6baf4c8d9bd44db881eaf176--nagasaki-big-cats.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="543" data-original-width="236" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4FGTg7sBT10/XLD7DaMBB8I/AAAAAAAACBc/isRgke-P98weYKIS81TuDA0c2V6EkGzSQCLcBGAs/s320/8371daac6baf4c8d9bd44db881eaf176--nagasaki-big-cats.jpg" width="139" /></a></div><br />Remembering that their goal was to find the Thousand Year Peach, they did some figuring and some divining. Among Zenimon's many trademark coins, he had one that he could flip for a truthful yes/no answer 3 times a day. This they used to ascertain where the entrance to the underground caverns, which turned out to be a set of bronze doors decorated by carvings of tortoises in the northeast corner of the fortress. After failing to pick the bronze padlock, Hotaro chopped it off the door with his Kikorido woodcutter technique.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">They proceeded past the door and were confronted with two animated wooden <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nio" target="_blank">guardian figures</a> that blocked their way. After a brief combat, and a haphazard stumble down the mossy stairs beyond, they were down in the deep mountain caves.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RfQueQQpe00/XLD8HnzMaXI/AAAAAAAACBk/frBlungX2Z4R-iUoUN8v6u06tH8zmXquQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_PO_Kongorikishi.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="345" data-original-width="700" height="196" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RfQueQQpe00/XLD8HnzMaXI/AAAAAAAACBk/frBlungX2Z4R-iUoUN8v6u06tH8zmXquQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_PO_Kongorikishi.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br />In the depths they discovered a stone turtle hung with sacred ropes and charms, with a flat spot atop its dome-like shell. Meditating atop it, Shirokaze heard whispering voices from the deep earth asking what offering he would leave. He carefully placed the temari ball and climbed down.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">The group came to a crossroads, and here, the mahotsukai decided to cast his Smoky Form spell, turning himself into a figure of smoke so that he could safely scout ahead. He went down a tunnel to the southwest, where the party could faintly hear the sound of a woman singing and weeping. It was hung with large cobwebs and bones, and eventually he came to the lair of a huge spider who had been the source of the singing, which told him to go away, as it was seeking to lure something with warm blood to it.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">The party instead decided to head to the tunnel to the south, which was full of fog that was suffused with a golden glow. There, they found a lush, pristine peach tree growing from the ceiling, its bright leaves floating on the calm surface of a shallow subterranean pool. Hanging about a man's height from the floor of the cave, perfect and jewel like, was the Thousand Year Peach.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Hotaro reverently stepped forward and grasped it, but no amount of pulling or twisting could get it loose. The party turned as a creature that seemed as if it had been worn into shape from the stone of the mountain stepped forth from one of the side caverns. It had the shell of a tortoise, and held the bright silken temari ball in its large, clawed hands. It smiled, and said "You must <i>ask</i> before you can pluck the sacred peach, mortals." With that it turned, and withdrew back into the deep caverns.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">After a deep bow and a humble request, the fruit dropped effortlessly into the kensai's hands. And thus the brave nakama acquired the Thousand Year Peach, whose every morsel if eaten could bestow a Wish, and at whose center in place of a pit was a priceless emerald of wondrous size and clarity.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">They had succeeded!<br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">ANALYSIS:</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">This was definitely a successful session all the way around. The players played smart and very in character. (The player who played Shirokaze spent the whole session with a plastic bowl on his head.☺) Aside from getting a little hung up on the bronze Daruma puzzle they made good tactical decisions and worked out things for themselves really well.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">I think the biggest tactical win was changing the context of the confrontation with the oni and his minions in the actual peach orchard. I'd intended it to be a big battleground, but by their subterfuge they siphoned off the bakemono and obakenezu so that they could be dealt with in piecemeal, and left the oni open to attack without his henchlings covering for him.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">So well done, players. I'm definitely looking forward to more adventures in this setting.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Omedetou! Kampai! </div></div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-49493924474046118272019-04-11T18:01:00.000-07:002019-04-11T20:59:13.310-07:00Helgacon 12 - Stay Frosty<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LSSuHmUKF5k/XK_MJ4l1AUI/AAAAAAAAB-c/_KIvjTbpAnwJ9sEagdV-n4XhCRW_zSxFgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="52" data-original-width="52" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LSSuHmUKF5k/XK_MJ4l1AUI/AAAAAAAAB-c/_KIvjTbpAnwJ9sEagdV-n4XhCRW_zSxFgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_LoneDiceBig.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CNfUT_tsuOE/XK_jrnhKZCI/AAAAAAAAB-8/Cdcn5tlCUO4eP36hy23Bh05hxWiauiEhwCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_Logo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="381" height="26" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CNfUT_tsuOE/XK_jrnhKZCI/AAAAAAAAB-8/Cdcn5tlCUO4eP36hy23Bh05hxWiauiEhwCLcBGAs/s320/HC12_Logo.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The second game I was in for the Premium segment of this recent Helgacon was "<a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206742/Stay-Frosty" target="_blank">Stay Frosty</a>" run by <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul</a>. This apparently was an adaptation of <a href="https://www.lotfp.com/RPG/" target="_blank">James Raggi's</a> "<a href="http://www.lotfp.com/RPG/products/death-frost-doom" target="_blank">Death, Frost, Doom</a>" module, re-genred to be more of a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ycDWywGls" target="_blank">military sci-fi</a> sort of setting. </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So to give a brief play by play, we were a bunch of grunts from a spaceborne military empire whose dropship had crash landed on a frozen planetoid where we'd been directed to stomp out some kind of cult activity. Since we were close at hand to the center of this cult activity, and lacking any chain of command since our captain and lieutenant had been pulped in the botched re-entry, a gaggle of us troopers following a sergeant had been given hasty orders from some general on the mothership to head toward the most recent satellite scanned co-ordinates, stomp what we could, and as a secondary order of business take out the orbital defenses so that they might get more boots on the ground. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We gathered up our gear and marched to where our wrist comps were pointing us, which turned out to be a small installation on the hillside where our dropship had augured itself in. We hacked the door access panel and got in, and then set about exploring the facility.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The upper levels were totally deserted, and were generally kinda forebodingly nondescript. Then we found a hatch that led down to the lower levels where things started to get weird. There was a room full of severed hands in a grid of tubes, each one hooked up to some kind of apparatus, that we passed on the way to a large chamber that had an assortment of unknown devices, and that's where things started to go south on us.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">One of the main features of the room was all these big chunks of ice hanging by chains from the ceiling, which turned out to be the frozen torsos of humans, once they started melting and dropping off their chains when we entered the room and raised the general temperature. There was this pipe organ deal that was so packed with alien molds and fungus that it killed our medic when they tried to play it. (The rest of us had better reflexes and the sense to step back and drop our facemasks when the spores started to shake loose. Of course Handyman Andy's attempts to revive poor Doc by slamming them in the face repeatedly with a medkit probably didn't help much.)&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Finally, there was this door with a couple of small, liquid filled receptacles on either side, which we eventually figured out would open if you put a tooth in one. So we had Private Nubbins, the jittery young recruit who'd stepped up to fill in for the Doc get some pliers from one of the tool kits and pull a couple out of one of the plummeting corpsicles.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">From there we further explored the complex and found all kinds of weirdo devices. By plugging into the computer terminals and doing some hacking and linguistic analysis, we determined that the prior occupants of the installation had been a bunch of aliens who'd invaded and used the prior prior occupants as subjects for a wide variety of grotesque experiments.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We followed our wrist comp pingers to the central control of the planetary defense grid, and discovered the room it was in was occupied by this giant, swollen bag of gross mucous that had at one point been a dude.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">This game has a mechanic for tracking rising tension, and it was at this point the freakout meter hit critical. Since my character, Circuits the network tech &amp; cable guy, had a satchel charge, my freakout involved going totally deadpan and arming my bomb, then shoving it into the mass of the gummy bear that was sitting in front of our objective and telling my comrades to beat feet down the corridor. This we did, and the goo-bag went boom, covering us with spluth from all the way down the hall, but we were able to get to the control panels and shut down the planetary defenses.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Of course, doing that also set off all the waiting waves of nasty horror that had been counting down with the dropping torso timer in the big hall, so a bunch of zombie type guys started swarming us. (Actually, they weren't undead so much as corpses being puppeteered around by 10 inch long alien centipedes, but a nod's as good as a wink for H.R. Giger.)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Private Nubbins got in a good hit that took out a wave of zombies with their satchel charge. Sarge, our fearless leader, had his gun jam one too many times and went apeshit, ripping off his shirt and attacking the shambling bug taxis with his powered stun baton, which sadly ran out of batteries pretty quickly.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We managed to put down the first wave, but more were coming fast if our proximity scanner was to be believed, so we had to think faster. Sarge leapt down the giant nostril that the gumbag thing in the control room had been nestling in, and was lost forever. (Turned out he landed in a big nest of brain centipedes and got turned into a sporty convertable by our alien overlords.) The rest of us scampered down a side hallway, and got gnawed to death by a horde of zombie children when we opened the wrong door. Whoopsie poopsie. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So yeah. It was a fun session, and Paul ran it with his usual flair. I <i>really</i> liked the character creation system a lot. It was exceedingly simple and flexible, and fit the concept of disposable cannon fodder future soldiers excellently. Our plastic space army men were a ton of fun to snap together before the mission started. I'd love to use this system with something like a <a href="https://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rpgs/paranoia.html" target="_blank">Paranoia</a> styled game or a genuine <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ycDWywGls" target="_blank">Aliens</a> or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKftiJS30Cs" target="_blank">Starship Troopers</a> style scenario. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">One innovation that I really gotta credit him for is the idea that we all just had serial numbers, and that it was up to the other players to give each of us our nicknames. So we had Sarge and Doc, I was Circuits, and rounding out the team we had an intelligence agent who wound up being called Handy Jack, then Handy Andy, then Andy just because he happened to have a toolkit as part of his equipment. (He definitely used it more than his intelligence, not that the rest of us were any brighter.) Private Nubbins was a result of the player who played the late, lamented Doc saying their character had crap stats and Paul telling them the character was probably just a basic private, which suggested a hapless <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/" target="_blank">Morty</a> type and that's pretty much how they played it, with the rest of us taking turns as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/" target="_blank">Rick</a>. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I'd say my only critique of the system was that their terminology for their rising tension system seemed kind of counter-intuitive in its symbology. You start at "warm" and go up to something like "super cool" or "ice cold", and the characters get more bonuses until they cross a threshold where they have to roll saves and roll on a chart to see how they freak out. This seems kinda backward to me, with a group under pressure getting more competent until a breakdown occurs. You'd think it would start at "frosty" and then get hotter until the meltdown, with more and more mistakes and fumbles on the way there as the soldiers' discipline and nerves break down. Odd.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Finally, the setting and scenario just didn't do a lot for me. I'm not much of a fan of horror, especially of the body horror/splatterfest variety that seemed to be on display here. It just felt like they were trying <i>so</i> hard to be disturbing that it just wound up being kinda uninteresting. I'm not going to invest enough emotionally to be genuinely disturbed, and it's not a sensation that I choose to seek out anyway, so I'm left just playing thru that aspect of it and finding other ways to enjoy the game. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So anyway, it was a TPK but that was kinda the point, and we did <i>technically</i> accomplish one of our primary missions, which was to shut down the planetary defenses so that our guys up in orbit could nuke it from same. So I call it a success!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Thanks for a fun session, Paul.&nbsp; </div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qOgXNvoOx4k/XK_i0EY7dII/AAAAAAAAB-w/8nQfizTS0F4MCUqsTMqohouZYfq1xU7NACLcBGAs/s1600/hqdefault.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="360" data-original-width="480" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qOgXNvoOx4k/XK_i0EY7dII/AAAAAAAAB-w/8nQfizTS0F4MCUqsTMqohouZYfq1xU7NACLcBGAs/s320/hqdefault.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Knowing is half the battle! The other half is not letting your brain get eaten!</td></tr></tbody></table>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-62016199019294453402019-04-10T17:57:00.001-07:002019-04-12T14:31:45.417-07:00Helgacon 12 - Red Petals on the Road<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FuNC3yLGQO4/XK6bKDMDW4I/AAAAAAAAB98/SpIs0UAsU0AYATJExZfN6HA_MnYX5nDrgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_SakuraMon.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="150" data-original-width="150" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FuNC3yLGQO4/XK6bKDMDW4I/AAAAAAAAB98/SpIs0UAsU0AYATJExZfN6HA_MnYX5nDrgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_SakuraMon.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UAt_jSpllr4/XK5vCA18mxI/AAAAAAAAB7U/T1oFgEfXUdg8lKy9Tlmb6aS8PpKXcwuRQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12LogoBar.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="400" height="31" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UAt_jSpllr4/XK5vCA18mxI/AAAAAAAAB7U/T1oFgEfXUdg8lKy9Tlmb6aS8PpKXcwuRQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12LogoBar.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XxQAgQzzbVE/XK5vL9GZelI/AAAAAAAAB7Y/SVo-5K-1bFgT4eEcU0s27zhpjilmqZzLgCLcBGAs/s1600/RedPetals_GMSSmall.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="386" data-original-width="500" height="308" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XxQAgQzzbVE/XK5vL9GZelI/AAAAAAAAB7Y/SVo-5K-1bFgT4eEcU0s27zhpjilmqZzLgCLcBGAs/s400/RedPetals_GMSSmall.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>The first game I ran was on Thursday evening. It was a spinoff from one of my <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2019/04/helgacon-12-peach-orchard.html" target="_blank">other offerings</a>, using a subset of the characters I'd prepared for it.<br /><br />I've been running an <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/244365/The-Thousand-Year-Sandglass--Book-1" target="_blank">Arabian Nights themed game</a> for several years, which I decided to put on the shelf for a while last year. So this year I embarked on a journey to the Far East, exploring adventures in a setting influenced by the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sengoku_period" target="_blank">sengoku period</a> of feudal Japan, with a strong fantasy element of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai" target="_blank">yokai</a><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai" target="_blank"> </a>and magic. The system I was using was my usual <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth_Lord" target="_blank">Labyrinth Lord</a>, with a hearty injection from 1985's classic D&amp;D supplement <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Adventures" target="_blank">Oriental Adventures</a>, which I've owned since it came out, and was one of the first game settings I'd ever run D&amp;D in, back in my college days in the early 90's. <br /><br />I had four excellent players, who chose the following characters:<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a9YnscVXxvA/XK5x9L7wIcI/AAAAAAAAB7k/520SqX8tEQsoZLzqM_yEWT5rDxJ_ckQdQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsPCs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="335" data-original-width="500" height="267" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a9YnscVXxvA/XK5x9L7wIcI/AAAAAAAAB7k/520SqX8tEQsoZLzqM_yEWT5rDxJ_ckQdQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_RedPetalsPCs.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">L to R: Mikei the neko hengeyokai ninja, Takenoko the kitsune hengeyokai kensai, Genzo the human Shugenja, and Hoshi the young, idealistic human samurai.</td></tr></tbody></table>The armies of the aggressive Akai clan were massing on the borders of the province ruled by the Kobai clan. In the interest of forming a defensive alliance with the neighboring Murasaki clan, who had heretofore remained carefully neutral, the daimyo of the Kobai dispatched his daughter Lady Sakura as an envoy to negotiate. To safeguard her travel, she went disguised as a merchant's daughter on a pilgrimage, with only two servants to assist her. The characters were recruited by the loyal Kon ninja clan to give her extra protection when passing through a village on the border between Kobai and Murasaki territory known to be crawling with vicious Akai ninja bent on kidnapping her to use as a hostage against her father.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KVGOG3f0Gqo/XK51VDs5FII/AAAAAAAAB7w/zflkn2cpLNge46EBz3Ws1f_EDTCbH417ACLcBGAs/s1600/RedPetalsVillageMap.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="510" data-original-width="800" height="255" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KVGOG3f0Gqo/XK51VDs5FII/AAAAAAAAB7w/zflkn2cpLNge46EBz3Ws1f_EDTCbH417ACLcBGAs/s400/RedPetalsVillageMap.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Here is the village I mapped out. I printed out an 11X17 map and placed it on the table as the main game map. Behind the screen I had my own key showing where various ninja ambushes and other dangers awaited our travellers. Some of the houses and shops were loyal to Lord Kobai, others traitors and turncoats in league with the Akai. There were also places where they would be able to get resources or allies that would aid them on their journey.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LN2jWuY4dRs/XK51pkBRU2I/AAAAAAAAB74/O5URjqjdq1sfxV-z7yoAf-0EfgDsHuuOQCLcBGAs/s1600/RedPetalsHandoutMap.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="575" data-original-width="800" height="287" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LN2jWuY4dRs/XK51pkBRU2I/AAAAAAAAB74/O5URjqjdq1sfxV-z7yoAf-0EfgDsHuuOQCLcBGAs/s400/RedPetalsHandoutMap.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />I prepared this map as a handout to the players, to give them some idea of the features of the village. I started the session with a simple outline of what I was expecting from this game. (Which is an idea I got from a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZTUdrlzQrXl54PAALreVw" target="_blank">Wandering DMs'</a> video on the subject of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3qileYe6yo" target="_blank">convention games</a> from a couple weeks ago.)<br /><br />Long story short, I gave them a goal, made them aware of their resources, and laid out a setting. It was up to them to figure out how to get Lady Sakura safely from their secret meeting place in the hills above the village to the potter's house on the other side of the river. So the group put their heads together and started building a plan. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xVyJBX90RHE/XK53KnjRvPI/AAAAAAAAB8E/kGw5TYWBkYEarFqYdNp9B6ORk8tutCwAACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsProcession.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="700" height="227" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xVyJBX90RHE/XK53KnjRvPI/AAAAAAAAB8E/kGw5TYWBkYEarFqYdNp9B6ORk8tutCwAACLcBGAs/s400/HC12_RedPetalsProcession.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />The party decided to keep a relatively low profile, and so decided to take the less travelled road past the woods and rice fields to the south rather than traverse the commercial street with its inns and shops. The two shapeshifting hengeyokai took on their animal forms and scouted a little ways ahead, with the agreed upon signal of rolling on their backs as if taking a dust bath if they spotted trouble. Young Hoshi trailed behind Lady Sakura and her servants and priest Genzo, acting as if he were merely traveling in the same direction as the others.<br /><br />Trotting along the treeline our sly shapeshifters caught sight of someone lurking in the trees by the road across from a ruined, abandoned mansion on the outskirts of town. Sunlight glinted on blades, alerting Takenoko's keen vixen eyes to the presence of the enemy. She flopped on her back and started rolling around, giving the rest of the group enough warning that they were ready when a barrage of shuriken erupted from the trees and the battle was joined.<br /><br />One luckless ninja rolled a 1, and was compelled to suffer the effects of my <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2013/04/dodecahedrons-of-doom.html" target="_blank">Dodecahedrons of Doom</a> critical tables, falling indecorously out of the tree he'd been hiding in. Another unfortunate shinobi suddenly found himself with a bobtailed cat trying to claw his eyes out as Mikei attacked without bothering to shift forms. She was soon joined by Takenoko, who clamped on to the hapless ninja's ankle and started worrying it fiercely.<br /><br />Hoshi charged forward, wielding his ancestral family blade, the Satori Ken. Every time he struck, a ninja fell dead. Priest Genzo held back and shielded the Lady, having received a slash across his forehead from a shuriken that had pierced his straw hat.<br /><br />The surviving ninjas quickly fled, having been called to withdraw by a shadowy entity lurking within' the abandoned manor house across the road. As quickly as they'd appeared, they were gone.<br /><br />After dusting themselves off and tending to the few light wounds they'd taken, the group moved on, making their way between the granary sheds where the local farmers counted and baled their koku of rice. Takenoko took on her hybrid form, allowing her to wield her magical naginata Koeda, and loped along a bit ahead of the party to scout the way.<br /><br />Passing by the final granary shed, she was suddenly attacked by a large pack of rats that leaped upon her from the tall grass and bore her to the ground, scratching and biting. Overwhelmed, she didn't see a skulking obakenezu, a goblin rat in the uniform of an Akai ninja, scuttling forth to slay her with its bladed claws.<br /><br />Fortunately, Mikei and Hoshi rushed to her aid, with the youthful samurai beheading the foul creature with his magic blade as the neko pounced upon one of the rats and killed it as cats have done to its kind since time immemorial. Without the evil will of the obakenezu to focus their frenzy, the remaining rats scattered as fox and cat snapped and clawed, and another vile ambush was defeated.<br /><br />A bit more worse for wear this time, the party regrouped and prepared to move onward, when their collective ears perked up at the sound of a little boy calling to them from up the road. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SHtGoX8ZE1s/XK5_n6M9E0I/AAAAAAAAB8Q/FOSkZTTeMi0AQ2XYPiKdRq2FZtK-JXMXACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsYoungBoy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="300" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SHtGoX8ZE1s/XK5_n6M9E0I/AAAAAAAAB8Q/FOSkZTTeMi0AQ2XYPiKdRq2FZtK-JXMXACLcBGAs/s200/HC12_RedPetalsYoungBoy.jpg" width="200" /></a></div>The boy said that he was the grandson of the village elder, and that his grandpa would help them and tend their wounds if they followed him. The party agreed to follow him.<br /><br />Once again, it was thanks to Takenoko's sharp eyes that they discovered something was amiss. She noticed the tip of a fox's tail peeking out from under the hem of the boy's kimono. Just as they reached the secluded grove of cherry trees between the elder's house and the local tea house, she leapt upon him and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, demanding that he reveal his true form.<br /><br />This he did, transforming first into a male fox, and then into the richly robed kitsune sorceror Kuwadono, a notorious trickster and mercenary ally to the Akai.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-o0z4y7Q3Nm4/XK6Bf-mMWGI/AAAAAAAAB8s/3xM-QkW_E5Y-zzQv1D9dMO5cPEZdlX3XACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsKuwadono.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="365" data-original-width="623" height="233" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-o0z4y7Q3Nm4/XK6Bf-mMWGI/AAAAAAAAB8s/3xM-QkW_E5Y-zzQv1D9dMO5cPEZdlX3XACLcBGAs/s400/HC12_RedPetalsKuwadono.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />A band of ninja emerged from the blossoming trees with their swords drawn, interposing themselves between the heroes and the hengeyokai wizard to protect him as he snatched up some dead leaves to set alight and use to cast a spell. The village elder, his daughter, and grandchild were shoved onto the back porch under the threatening blades of two more ninjas, demonstrating that they were hostages.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WiQzcSNybdI/XK6BB_z5b2I/AAAAAAAAB8c/SHeMcFB1U5gvU-3u92AwNQg745AeZKf9ACLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsElderAndFamily.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="305" data-original-width="270" height="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WiQzcSNybdI/XK6BB_z5b2I/AAAAAAAAB8c/SHeMcFB1U5gvU-3u92AwNQg745AeZKf9ACLcBGAs/s200/HC12_RedPetalsElderAndFamily.jpg" width="177" /></a></div>Without a second thought the group attacked, with Hoshi leaping bravely up to rescue the village elder and his family. Takenoko charged Kuwadono with her mystic naginata, while Genzo chanted a sutra of protection for his allies and shielded the Lady Sakura. Mikei crept through the brush, taking a moment to assume her hybrid form and crouching to spring when the moment was right. Hoshi felled one of the ninjas who held the elder's daughter at blade point, and prepared to fight the other. <br /><br />Deciding that his Flaming Eyes spell was taking too long, Kuwadono instead conjured a pair of Flame Shuriken, hurling one at Genzo and blinding him whilst throwing the other behind him at Hoshi. As the magical missiles burst into clouds of noxious smoke, Mikei seized her moment and attacked, slashing at the kitsune sorceror from behind with a critical hit.<br /><br />Her player rolled a 5 on the <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2013/04/dodecahedrons-of-doom.html" target="_blank">Critical Hit Success</a> table. Humiliated! Kuwadono's ostentatious robes were slashed away from his scrawny fox body, leaving him ridiculously exposed as the jumped up varmint he was.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qLLazLWCdNk/XK6D5X217kI/AAAAAAAAB84/42R3AhwQ3r4fjnXc9wusmBrAWIWx2XThgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_embarrassedfox.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qLLazLWCdNk/XK6D5X217kI/AAAAAAAAB84/42R3AhwQ3r4fjnXc9wusmBrAWIWx2XThgCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_embarrassedfox.jpg" /></a></div><br />Demoralized, shamed, and in disarray, a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1wXjuPXPBQ" target="_blank">gekkering</a> Kuwadono ordered a retreat as he scampered away vowing vicious revenge on the heroes. The surviving ninjas cast their smoke grenades and vanished.<br /><br />Profoundly grateful, the village elder invited the group inside, binding their wounds and bringing out a healing potion to cure their ailments. As his daughter served them tea, the venerable old man informed them of many interesting things.<br /><br />He told them that if they went to his dear friend the sake brewer and told them of what they'd done for him, the brewer would give them a jug of his finest sake. This, he went on to say, could be traded to the boat builder by the river, so that they might secure a boat to make the crossing. (The party had decided that taking the bridge was just <i>asking</i> for another ninja ambush.) He also informed the group that if they wished to bolster their numbers, that there was a trustworthy ronin at the tea house next door who might be persuaded to join them if they bought him a meal.<br /><br />Thanking the elder profusely, they set out to act on all of this valuable information. First, they went to the inn, and recruited the ronin Daisuke to their cause. Since he had been made a ronin by the Akai overthrowing his lord, he readily agreed to join them.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u-hdzUIhzc0/XK6HGs1VuiI/AAAAAAAAB9E/XHYyEZANJqcbGgi8PeL0Zqdkemmqo_EpQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsDaisuke.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="295" data-original-width="300" height="196" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u-hdzUIhzc0/XK6HGs1VuiI/AAAAAAAAB9E/XHYyEZANJqcbGgi8PeL0Zqdkemmqo_EpQCLcBGAs/s200/HC12_RedPetalsDaisuke.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><br />Their numbers bolstered, the party made their way to the sake brewer's, where the met the jovial proprietor seated on his porch sampling some of his wares.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wn_hpUuQnv8/XK6HYA3eEOI/AAAAAAAAB9M/4-GBhi0xglwcgwzakesTHuWMJRnekNm0gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsSakeBrewer.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="196" data-original-width="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wn_hpUuQnv8/XK6HYA3eEOI/AAAAAAAAB9M/4-GBhi0xglwcgwzakesTHuWMJRnekNm0gCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsSakeBrewer.jpg" /></a></div><br />As they were telling him the tale of their recent battles and the rescue of the village elder and his family, a furious Kuwadono reappeared, covering his shame with cloths disrepectfully stolen from a nearby Inari shrine and brandishing a magical jewel that summoned flame spirits to attack.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OtWAyfo0CGM/XK6Il0X9yBI/AAAAAAAAB9Y/hHzCHAptiWcU3lt28TtavSgo42u88M_AACLcBGAs/s1600/fox-red-bib-tsurugaoka-hachimangu-kamakura.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="332" data-original-width="187" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OtWAyfo0CGM/XK6Il0X9yBI/AAAAAAAAB9Y/hHzCHAptiWcU3lt28TtavSgo42u88M_AACLcBGAs/s320/fox-red-bib-tsurugaoka-hachimangu-kamakura.jpg" width="180" /></a></div><br />The sake brewer cried out in alarm that the bounding spheres of flame would set his whole establishment alight, so the heroes leapt to the attack. Takenoko slashed one into scattering flickers as Hoshi and Daisuke rushed around the back of the building to attack the enraged sorcerer from his flank. Mikei darted under the raised storage huts where the brewer kept his stock of rice and the jars of fermenting rice wine.<br /><br />Kuwadono stopped half of the party with a Hypnotic Pattern spell, causing those who failed their save to stand transfixed by the swirling sparks he conjured in the air. Unfortunately for him, he had failed to ensnare his nemesis Mikei, who leapt from the shadows of the sheds and slid one of her tanto blades between his ribs, piercing his black heart. With a ragged shriek he dropped the magical jewel and his improvised coverings and staggered into the road, where he fell and lay still, just another dead animal by the roadside.<br /><br />Takenoko the vixen finished off the last of his flame spirits, dispersing them with the blade of her naginata. They recovered the recently roadkilled sorceror's magic jewel, an extra bonus prize for their troubles. <br /><br />The grateful brewer bestowed two jugs of sake on the party, as well as another healing potion and a Potion of Heroism. Thanking him, the group made their way to the boat builder's shed. As they approached, a final ambuscade of ninja leapt out from hidey holes concealed beneath straw mats covered in riverbank sand. Genzo cast a Hold Person spell, freezing many in their tracks, while his companions slew the rest with their deft bladework.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0VKbZBYuN9c/XK6L4d_op6I/AAAAAAAAB9k/fMhYvRsD8vcAS5NmfaYUQomo7LjY4BmegCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsBoatmaker.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="235" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0VKbZBYuN9c/XK6L4d_op6I/AAAAAAAAB9k/fMhYvRsD8vcAS5NmfaYUQomo7LjY4BmegCLcBGAs/s200/HC12_RedPetalsBoatmaker.jpg" width="156" /></a></div><br />They proceeded to greet the boat maker, who had hidden inside the hull of one of his latest creations as the battle raged among the fishing boats beached beside his hut. He gladly traded them a vessel to cross the river for some of the sake brewer's fine sake.<br /><br />And thus they got across the river, and made their way safely to the potter's house, where a palanquin from the Murasaki clan arrived to spirit a grateful Lady Sakura away as night fell. As the party stood out front of the potters, thinking upon the day's events, the shadowy figure that had called off the ninja in their first encounter appeared, a dark outline with gleaming eyes. It commended them on their bravery and skill, and acknowledged that they had won this battle. As it melted away into the darkness, its eyes flared. There would be another time, and they would be made to regret their interference. This was a promise from Yurei No Kage, the mistress of shadows.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eld-0i_ZmXg/XK6NHZcTtII/AAAAAAAAB9w/IobTQkIzRWcX4GDWb9acVSvO6QS8lO7NQCLcBGAs/s1600/HC12_RedPetalsBaddies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="700" height="227" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eld-0i_ZmXg/XK6NHZcTtII/AAAAAAAAB9w/IobTQkIzRWcX4GDWb9acVSvO6QS8lO7NQCLcBGAs/s400/HC12_RedPetalsBaddies.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Chalk one up for the good guys. Better luck next time, bad guys. :P</td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br />ANALYSIS:<br />I'm totally thrilled with how well this session went, and as we wrapped up one of my players complimented me on the pacing, which was a HUGE relief because that was probably what I was most afraid of messing up. The village isn't huge, it's only 650' X 420', and a party moving at a good jog could cross it in a couple rounds, if nothing gets in their way.&nbsp; <br /><br />Therefore it was up to me to throw as many impediments in the party's way as I could. This I did, both working off the key but also moving things in their way, like Kuwadono disguising himself as the elder's grandson. This may seem obvious, but one of the bad DM impulses I usually have to fight to overcome is the urge to keep everything as written, rather than making my setting elements flexible. So I'm glad that I ignored that impulse and put ninjas wherever they suited the emerging narrative.<br /><br />On the other side of that same coin, I'm particularly pleased with how free I was with the information the grateful village elder shared with the party. Another bad DM impulse I have is to be stingy with info. If I'd have held back on all the stuff the old man shared, then the adventure would have probably ground to a halt as the players lost momentum trying to figure out what they'd do next.<br /><br />It might be okay to tease out info in a campaign game, but with a convention game, it's better to give the players as many actionable items they can sink their teeth into as possible. The village elder's house encounter was like the second stage of the session's plot rocket firing, carrying us to a satisfying conclusion. <br /><br />So yeah, all told a great session and a wonderful kick off for Helgacon XII for yours truly.<br /><br />Konbanwa! Kampai! BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-63013938857655052512019-04-10T12:52:00.003-07:002019-04-10T13:25:40.427-07:00Huzzah for Helgacon 12 !<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OzYS5iwHWCU/XK5C6rZTG_I/AAAAAAAAB7I/wUmnaxaGiSYUGGvAvqcRxO6HOA-mJxeZQCLcBGAs/s1600/Helgacon12Logo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="215" data-original-width="400" height="215" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OzYS5iwHWCU/XK5C6rZTG_I/AAAAAAAAB7I/wUmnaxaGiSYUGGvAvqcRxO6HOA-mJxeZQCLcBGAs/s400/Helgacon12Logo.png" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />Well, another Helgacon has come and gone, and I can unequivocally say for me personally that this one was the best one yet!<br /><br />This year, our mighty con organizer <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul</a> set up an extra "Premium Day", giving attendees an extra day of hanging out and gaming if we so desired, and I so desired. (Plus, since I moved back to PA he's been been my ride down to the venue. So showing up for <i>just</i> the regular days would have been something of a logistical kerfluffle.)<br /><br />I enjoyed every game I played in, and all three of the games I ran I consider smashing successes. I'll be spinning the tales with lots of visuals and a bit of analysis in the following days. <br /><br />As for the non-RPG gaming, which I consider sort of the side dishes to the seven course banquet of dice bouncing that I did, we played a couple of rousing games of "<a href="https://www.themeborne.com/escapethedarkcastle" target="_blank">Escape the Dark Castle</a>" which was jolly good fun in a "we're all gonna die, probably from rat bites" kind of way. Both times the hapless escapees got medievally murderated before we could make it out of the donjon. T'was fun, tho. <br /><br />On Thursday night the Premium Day attendees all took part in a marathon session of "<a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/163908/house-haunted" target="_blank">This House Is Haunted</a>" which is kind of a weird cross between "<a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/925/werewolf" target="_blank">Werewolf</a>" and <a href="https://www.icebreakers.ws/medium-group/sardines-reverse-hide-and-seek.html" target="_blank">sardines</a>, where you turn off all the lights in your house and send missions off from a home base to various selected rooms where there are stacks of cards you have to retrieve. Some cards are good, most either saddle you with ridiculous curses, like having to speak in an accent or walk like a zombie without benefit of your knees, or tally up to make you be possessed by evil spirits, which cause you to actively work against your human former colleagues. You could also get trapped in one of the rooms, until such time as a subsequent searcher met the conditions for your release. (Several players spent at least an hour in the venue's enclosed porch trapped in a ghostly dance party.)<br /><br />I sat this game out as I was a bit weary after running my first game that evening, but I did perform a vital function as the guy who could call "olly olly oxen free" in case everybody got stuck in rooms. It was a hoot to watch, let me tell you.<br /><br />Aside from that, the food was uniformly delicious. (Particularly Paul's pumpkin chili w cornbread.) The accommodations were excellent, as usual, and I had a great time seeing all the folks I only get a few precious chances to see each year.<br /><br />So here's to another Helgacon for the record books. Gotta start planning what I'm gonna run at Helgacon XIII ! :)<br /><br />BTW: Here's the Wandering DMs' take on the proceedings:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_JETGV6upFI/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_JETGV6upFI?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><br />I played in Dan's "Lost Tomb of Ra Hotep" game and in Paul's "Stay Frosty" game, and shall be discussing them presently. Enjoyed 'em both!BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-54752614057540418362019-03-23T09:42:00.000-07:002019-03-23T09:47:48.570-07:00March HareWell, I know this blog has been kinda quiet of late, and it's A: because I'm furiously preparing for this year's upcoming Helgacon and B: I just haven't had much all to talk about. The latter's not entirely true, but in the interest of avoiding spoilers for reason A I've been keeping mum.<br /><br />So here's a bunny!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bVuHpxY3agw/XJZgjLIHu8I/AAAAAAAAB6o/ZGSuEvwRQaIuwGiQd0V4d9EH4UKkbUsYwCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_bunnygreens.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="425" height="301" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bVuHpxY3agw/XJZgjLIHu8I/AAAAAAAAB6o/ZGSuEvwRQaIuwGiQd0V4d9EH4UKkbUsYwCLcBGAs/s320/mm_bunnygreens.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>There's an amazing range of things you can get these days in the hobby, but some things are too specific or too expensive to acquire, and one of these was a 28 mm scale rabbit. My usual go to for minis <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/" target="_blank">Reaper</a> has a couple options in some of their metal <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/rabbit/sku-down/02756" target="_blank">familiar sets</a>, but as a fellow of limited means I wasn't quite prepared to spend $10 bucks for what amounted to a character accessory. <br /><br />But I needed an alternate form for one of the hengeyokai characters in one of my upcoming games, so I had to make it from scratch. I'm pretty happy with the result, if I may say so myself. I am beginner level at best working with the green stuff, and a tiny little critter is a challenge.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-18yFDj1OrXo/XJZhSUVg7vI/AAAAAAAAB6w/B0wGfNwVkx093xoWNZRcsD-WKobM-X0iACLcBGAs/s1600/mm_usagibushi.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="573" data-original-width="1600" height="141" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-18yFDj1OrXo/XJZhSUVg7vI/AAAAAAAAB6w/B0wGfNwVkx093xoWNZRcsD-WKobM-X0iACLcBGAs/s400/mm_usagibushi.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Anyway, we're a few weeks away game time, and even further from chocolate n' eggs time, but here's a hare to share.<br /><br />Hippity hoppity! BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-48323298917013452952019-01-27T19:35:00.000-08:002019-01-27T23:35:35.438-08:00Some Comments and Cogitations on Clerics<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0WhOJuwymnE/XE54GyPpuvI/AAAAAAAAB6M/8KNqZGxL0NIdmhTDJnDOnxbflGx577nCgCLcBGAs/s1600/FriarTuck.gif" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="240" data-original-width="320" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0WhOJuwymnE/XE54GyPpuvI/AAAAAAAAB6M/8KNqZGxL0NIdmhTDJnDOnxbflGx577nCgCLcBGAs/s400/FriarTuck.gif" width="400" /></a></div><br />This is a boiled down version of some responses I gave to my gaming muchachos <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul</a> &amp; <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Dan's</a> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZTUdrlzQrXl54PAALreVw" target="_blank">Wandering DMs</a> discussion of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-wf4glPPgE" target="_blank">Clerics</a> from a couple weeks ago.<br /><br />1: I tried to think about magical healing from whatever pulp literature/cinema I've encountered, and the only example I can think of is the scene in the 1st. Conan movie where the wizard played by Mako healed Conan up in some kind of special effects laden ritual after the disastrous raid on James Earl Jones' snake temple. (Although I think that was also more about curing some pretty heavy poisoning problems. Snake cults... whattayagonnado?) So that's a data point towards maybe just handing a couple healing spells to wizards and being done with it.<br /><br />I think one of the over-arching issues with finding historical or fictional precedents to the concept of healing magic is that D&amp;D's conceit of health as a numerated commodity just doesn't jibe with reality or fiction. Hit Points are an extreme abstraction of a very complex state/process, a very game based vital resource with healing spells and potions being a very game based solution for replenishing that resource. <br /><br />In other words the fictions that we base the game on don't turn up with a lot of healing magic because the authors weren't thinking in terms of the characters having some kind of abstract number tied to their health that needs topping up. Generally, a character is either fine until they receive a dramatic enough wound, or any reference to damage they've taken is just there to magnify their courage and determination or heighten dramatic tension.<br /><br />Often, I think, the literary trope for wounds and healing is the hero gets so roughed up they can't continue, and wind up holing up in some out of the way hideout and getting nursed back to health under the care of a sidekick or sympathetic, otherwise powerless ally, and then coming back healed up and determined to clean house. A prime example of that trope is <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojimbo_(film)" target="_blank">Yojimbo</a>/<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fistful_of_Dollars" target="_blank">Fistful of Dollars</a>/<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Man_Standing_(1996_film)" target="_blank">Last Man Standing</a>, or when Darkwolf heals up Larn in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_and_Ice_(1983_film)" target="_blank">Fire &amp; Ice</a>, or Lupin III's dramatic (and perhaps ridiculous) injury and comeback in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Castle_of_Cagliostro" target="_blank">Castle of Cagliostro</a>. A lot of other examples abound.<br /><br />The problem being that what works for a single protagonist doesn't really do the same for a large group of protagonists, and spending days or weeks out of commission under the care of a kindly old man or sympathetic schoolmarm isn't really what the game is about. <br /><br />The fact that a player has a number on the sheet that kind of gives them a meter for how healthy their character is at once a help and a hindrance. A lot has been said about how abstract the system really is, and I think HP is a big part of it, but I also think it leads to questions that don't get asked in the fictive examples above. The biggest one being "How can I make this number go back up?"<br /><br />Having the HP number there in black and white means that it's harder for the player to accept the literary hand waving and drama building that allows characters in books or movies to play on at full force through terrible punishment. Long story short, I think this is a prime example of game mechanics grinding gears with narrative. <br /><br />2: I heartily agree with the whole world building aspect that clerics engender, and actually I find it slightly problematic from the viewpoint of a practicing Christian. Since, as you point out, most of the cleric spells are cribbed from the Bible, the general commodification of the miracles performed, combined with having to make up other sources of those miracles to stand in for the big guy upstairs, is a little hard to reconcile. It would still be a problem just declaring capital G God as the functional religion in a D&amp;D game, 'cos the Lord isn't a vending machine in the way that D&amp;D clerics require their deities to be, and so that doesn't work for me either. (I mean, I'm all right enough with coming up with pantheons and such, since you can approach it as an exercise in creative mythology, but still, it's a little sticky.)<br /><br />The miracles described in the Bible are all meant as teaching metaphors as well as demonstrations of the Almighty's power, in fact there's one passage in the Old Testament where Moses gets in trouble with God for performing a miracle <i>wrong</i>. He strikes a rock to produce water in the desert, rather then simply waving his staff over it, essentially messing up the Lord's demonstration of how faith works. Miracles are always granted with a greater purpose, and the personal convenience of a bunch of jumped up looters is kinda pushing it.<br /><br />Long story short, I'm kinda in agreement that just letting the matter of pantheons and patron deities not be so front and center is the way to go, if you're still gonna include clerics. I'm okay suspending my belief for a game of make believe, as long as theology, or pseudo-theology, isn't the main thing.<br /><br />3: I'm kinda unsure about Turning Undead being <i>that</i> big a problem. You guys both talk about it nerfing an entire class of foes, but on the other hand those foes are particularly dire, with the higher level types' immunity to conventional weapons and paralysis and level drain if you're playing them by the book. Sure you can't just turn orcs to dust, but you can stab 'em, which doesn't work for higher level undead unless you got magic items.You can also Sleep, Charm, and Hold Person 'em, which you can't do for <i>any</i> type of undead. <br /><br />I think here's a point where a happy medium could be reached where on one side turning isn't an automatic kill switch and on the other the undead are more survivable. (I know Paul has a couple of lists of alternative undead powers that he uses instead of bog standard level drain.) Having tactical ways to drive the unquiet dead back or escape their notice is deeply ingrained in folklore and literature. The idea of a Van Helsing like figure (NOT the Hugh Jackman version, tho. Oy...) in the group is still kinda appealing.<br /><br />I actually very much like that interpretation of clerics, and it informed my cleric character Deacon Silver in Paul's <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2010/01/labyrinth-lord-at-dhs.html" target="_blank">B/X campaign</a>. I think one of the advantages I had in taking that approach was that I was the most knowledgeable about the lore of the game itself among that particular group of players, so it was a natural thing for the rest of the party to turn to me and ask "So what are we dealing with here, Deacon?" It was one of my favorite parts of playing in that campaign in that role.<br /><br />That being said, you could still have the aspect of exorcism/turning and cut player character clerics out of your game. Relegate the experts to sage status, and allow them to pass knowledge for combating evil monsters on to the party. (In "Dracula" for example, I believe it was Lucy Westenra's suitors who were the ones who drove the stake into the "Bloofer Lady" while Van Helsing merely stood by and advised.)<br /><br />Maybe, like finding traps, turning undead is a thing <i>any</i> party member can do, as long as they're properly prepared and equipped. Make it a power attached to certain relics, for example, and have those relics operate at a certain level of clerical powers. i.e.: St. Hieronymus' knuckle bone in its silver case can turn undead using the 5th. level column on the table, vs. a small folk charm given to you by a babushka in the village that only turns on the 1st. level column. It's essentially taking the ubiquitous healing potion solution and applying it to turning. There's a piece of equipment for that.<br /><br />I went into this a bit a while ago here <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2010/08/numerical-milestones-and-practical.html" target="_blank">on the Sandbox</a>, when Jeff Rients was talking about monsters that required plussed weapons to hit. <br /><br />4: In a related point, Paul mentions "Speak With Dead". This to me seems like an ideal spell to swap over to the Magic User's list. That, essentially, is where the term "Necromancer" came from, after all.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br />BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-50299426036074820552019-01-11T10:35:00.000-08:002019-01-11T13:24:48.633-08:00Grownup Shapeshifting Ninja CrittersSo I got my <a href="https://www.heroforge.com/" target="_blank">HeroForge</a> minis all painted up and I'm pretty happy with how they came out.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GFxJAthbPGg/XDjgHuBcxPI/AAAAAAAAB50/p_VWUV1qIW4W1j06z82UNoTIEZKAuyA1ACLcBGAs/s1600/mm_hengeyokai.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="700" height="271" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GFxJAthbPGg/XDjgHuBcxPI/AAAAAAAAB50/p_VWUV1qIW4W1j06z82UNoTIEZKAuyA1ACLcBGAs/s400/mm_hengeyokai.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Appearing here with some of <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/" target="_blank">Reaper's</a> Asian themed offerings. </td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WCGHTcG2plc/XDjgAD0v6GI/AAAAAAAAB5w/DiwAiYe34JAMcN3K40_2IIU_bGy5UUA-gCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_HFpainted.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="700" data-original-width="930" height="300" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WCGHTcG2plc/XDjgAD0v6GI/AAAAAAAAB5w/DiwAiYe34JAMcN3K40_2IIU_bGy5UUA-gCLcBGAs/s400/mm_HFpainted.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The kitty is a <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/familiars/latest/77176" target="_blank">Reaper Bones</a> familiar, slightly modified to turn her into a Japanese bobtail.</td></tr></tbody></table>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-7931089673687796462019-01-07T14:20:00.001-08:002019-01-07T14:23:16.830-08:00Holiday Hengeyokai!I got an awesome Christmas present from my brother &amp; his family this past holiday season, and the box came today! Whoot!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QEaONZEr6Qs/XDPL9iZnExI/AAAAAAAAB48/dipC2omRF2wNiQHgnUwccnu6ba3wGxu1wCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_HeroforgeBox.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="601" data-original-width="700" height="274" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QEaONZEr6Qs/XDPL9iZnExI/AAAAAAAAB48/dipC2omRF2wNiQHgnUwccnu6ba3wGxu1wCLcBGAs/s320/mm_HeroforgeBox.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />Yep, he got me some gift card action from <a href="https://www.heroforge.com/" target="_blank">HeroForge</a>, so I could get some minis made more or less to my personal specifications thru the modern miracle of 3D printing. <br /><br />I ordered 3 minis in their standard plastic, and decided to fill out the character roster for a feudal Japan/yokai themed adventure I'm gonna be running at this year's Helgacon.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GTQXY_Rc8zU/XDPMv8E8_AI/AAAAAAAAB5E/foly89-W87oWllf36k7dOLnLTLJaFW1xgCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_figsinpacking.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="225" data-original-width="700" height="127" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GTQXY_Rc8zU/XDPMv8E8_AI/AAAAAAAAB5E/foly89-W87oWllf36k7dOLnLTLJaFW1xgCLcBGAs/s400/mm_figsinpacking.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Since I'm adapting my material from the classic 1985 "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Adventures" target="_blank">Oriental Adventures</a>" book, the big thing I kinda lacked was hengeyokai, which are shapeshifting animals who can assume humanoid form. So my three custom characters are an <i>usagi</i> <i>bushi</i>, a <i>neko</i> ninja, and a <i>kame</i> <i>sohei</i>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f3frJBqBS4U/XDPNeSca-8I/AAAAAAAAB5Q/-6HNT-34WeUsagBJvxJZLTixpWRJ3txnwCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_HFminisunbased.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="750" data-original-width="1600" height="186" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f3frJBqBS4U/XDPNeSca-8I/AAAAAAAAB5Q/-6HNT-34WeUsagBJvxJZLTixpWRJ3txnwCLcBGAs/s400/mm_HFminisunbased.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />I got the figures with a slot base, so that I could go with the standard 20 mm Citadel bases I use for player character minis.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--eZHwzjrtxw/XDPNwk1XEXI/AAAAAAAAB5Y/ty2K-3bsrFMlmblNvO43qgOKafWzg-MoACLcBGAs/s1600/mm_HFhengeyokaiunpainted.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="700" data-original-width="895" height="312" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--eZHwzjrtxw/XDPNwk1XEXI/AAAAAAAAB5Y/ty2K-3bsrFMlmblNvO43qgOKafWzg-MoACLcBGAs/s400/mm_HFhengeyokaiunpainted.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />All in all, I'm <u>thrilled</u> with how these came out!<br /><br />The 3D renderings on HeroForge's creation screen don't do the figures justice. The detail is crisp and clean, the scale is perfect, and there were barely any rough spots that I filed off easily. They're gonna fit in with the other figures I've acquired for this game flawlessly.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hj4zbUz4BaQ/XDPOv31sKCI/AAAAAAAAB5k/DasZEpZLs1g-jIjNnTVHiL0-1oB616mYwCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_HFsizecomparisons.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="715" height="223" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hj4zbUz4BaQ/XDPOv31sKCI/AAAAAAAAB5k/DasZEpZLs1g-jIjNnTVHiL0-1oB616mYwCLcBGAs/s400/mm_HFsizecomparisons.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Depicted here with a <a href="https://www.perry-miniatures.com/" target="_blank">Perry Brothers</a> samurai and a <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/" target="_blank">Reaper</a> <i>kitsune</i>.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />I'm really psyched to paint these up.<br /><br />So my prognosis on <a href="https://www.heroforge.com/" target="_blank">HeroForge</a>: They're a fair bit more expensive than yer average mini, but the detail and quality is <u>great</u>, and if you have something kinda specific or unusual in mind and are willing to spring for it and wait about two weeks, then it's a great option!<br /><br />Kampai! <br /><br /><br />BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-5704549577030117342018-12-24T21:59:00.001-08:002018-12-24T21:59:47.983-08:00Merry Christmas!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Pqzu16QYAL8/XCHG7_9jwYI/AAAAAAAAB4w/v1MEtIw6KiQjraQReN0J3d0lp2KUGjeswCLcBGAs/s1600/Cmas2018.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="925" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Pqzu16QYAL8/XCHG7_9jwYI/AAAAAAAAB4w/v1MEtIw6KiQjraQReN0J3d0lp2KUGjeswCLcBGAs/s400/Cmas2018.jpg" width="301" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Peace on Earth. Good Will to All. </div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-14705415077961829752018-12-10T21:30:00.001-08:002018-12-10T21:32:50.100-08:00Scholars of the Old SchoolMy awesome compadres <a href="https://www.paulsgameblog.com/" target="_blank">Paul</a> and <a href="http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Delta</a> have sparked up a new project, wherein they discuss tabletop RPG's in the old school style. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/O9yi_398LcE/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O9yi_398LcE?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><br />These guys are two of the best GM's out there and I've been gaming with 'em for <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2018/04/helgacon-xi-high-points-from-triangle.html" target="_blank">almost twenty years</a>. They know what they're talking about, and if you check out their YouTube channel <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZTUdrlzQrXl54PAALreVw" target="_blank">Wandering DM's</a>, you will too!BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-28511506407623464822018-12-08T12:34:00.000-08:002018-12-08T12:35:00.992-08:00Elemental journey!Back in <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2018/01/its-elemental.html" target="_blank">January</a> I was showing off my <a href="http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Bones" target="_blank">Reaper Bones</a> elementals, lamenting the lack of an Air Elemental to complete the set.<br /><br />Well, my elemental lamenting is over. Behold!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9ImY1ZS9FnY/XAwpmXLxsDI/AAAAAAAAB4U/XNg1em_7Sg4VTGYozJ2Ia_BUTLiw7iJ5wCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_elementalset.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1104" data-original-width="700" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9ImY1ZS9FnY/XAwpmXLxsDI/AAAAAAAAB4U/XNg1em_7Sg4VTGYozJ2Ia_BUTLiw7iJ5wCLcBGAs/s640/mm_elementalset.jpg" width="403" />&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>&nbsp;So now I got the whole set!<br /><br />Miniature Madness has kicked in early on me this year, and now that the snow has started to fall here in Western PA, I've been hunched over my painting station working on a whole new genre of minis, who'll be making their debut in one of my games at next year's Helgacon.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r7UbMI2-B-g/XAwqdrbOa-I/AAAAAAAAB4c/axbMhvjP_XUobJIJg7xiWD62CjNcqsb4QCLcBGAs/s1600/mm_samuraiinprogress1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="335" data-original-width="803" height="166" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r7UbMI2-B-g/XAwqdrbOa-I/AAAAAAAAB4c/axbMhvjP_XUobJIJg7xiWD62CjNcqsb4QCLcBGAs/s400/mm_samuraiinprogress1.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>Kampai!BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-43199696998319951492018-11-03T09:00:00.001-07:002018-11-03T11:14:39.983-07:00Happy Godzilla Day!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-50fJEOobmUs/W93E8PEk8YI/AAAAAAAAB4A/uycln22c_4kUKGTL7o5XIbP1ElJDkgiggCLcBGAs/s1600/GZDay.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="700" data-original-width="525" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-50fJEOobmUs/W93E8PEk8YI/AAAAAAAAB4A/uycln22c_4kUKGTL7o5XIbP1ElJDkgiggCLcBGAs/s400/GZDay.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Today in 1954 the movie "Gojira" saw general release in Japanese theaters. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YpWoNG6H8MY/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YpWoNG6H8MY?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;">What a long, strange trip it's been...</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xD6LVmKbkzc/W93GA6KUxQI/AAAAAAAAB4I/gZXYwnTLYiYhCcQaT6ivQyRFQXw28A66QCLcBGAs/s1600/godzillafinal6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="200" data-original-width="550" height="145" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xD6LVmKbkzc/W93GA6KUxQI/AAAAAAAAB4I/gZXYwnTLYiYhCcQaT6ivQyRFQXw28A66QCLcBGAs/s400/godzillafinal6.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br />And for an extra bit of giant radioactive mutant nostalgia, visit the very first site I ever went to when I first got online back in 1995-ish:<br />&nbsp;<a href="http://www.godzillatemple.com/" target="_blank">Barry's Temple of Godzilla</a></div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-78868747648430861462018-10-30T21:18:00.000-07:002018-10-30T22:04:07.986-07:00Happy Halloween!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/a8-AO3gjj9U/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a8-AO3gjj9U?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><br />Have a spooky one!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zHdii9YrkXE/W9ksvqmkzEI/AAAAAAAAB30/EsNwX0tCWLESw8OhWjWtUGjYVOBuZMcbwCLcBGAs/s1600/HalloweenFunLogo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="470" data-original-width="500" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zHdii9YrkXE/W9ksvqmkzEI/AAAAAAAAB30/EsNwX0tCWLESw8OhWjWtUGjYVOBuZMcbwCLcBGAs/s320/HalloweenFunLogo.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />And while you're at it, there's still time to run a <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/251715/The-Creepy-Crawl" target="_blank">Creepy Crawl</a>, so download the .pdf and terrorize your players until the wee hours of the night!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/U41MxzxvPNA/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U41MxzxvPNA?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><br />Stay sick, group! BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-79187399765220260292018-09-25T11:16:00.000-07:002018-09-25T11:24:55.249-07:00Trick or Treat!Now appearing in print, the <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/251715/The-Creepy-Crawl" target="_blank">Creepy Crawl</a>! <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sBQakXgIeUE/W6p6ZWu8yPI/AAAAAAAAB3M/EhTRLuhF3EEGYHnq3HAav2HSNwi-8KHzgCLcBGAs/s1600/CreepyCrawlPrintedBook.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="750" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sBQakXgIeUE/W6p6ZWu8yPI/AAAAAAAAB3M/EhTRLuhF3EEGYHnq3HAav2HSNwi-8KHzgCLcBGAs/s400/CreepyCrawlPrintedBook.jpg" width="375" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Spiderwolf Approved!</td></tr></tbody></table>Yes, now you too can own this handsome volume to terrify and tantalize your ghastly gaming group! Just in time for a little bit of Halloween havoc around your attic, basement, or crypt's gaming table. The spooky season is nearly upon us! Now is the time!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XEtPaIldqOw/W6p63fK0M_I/AAAAAAAAB3U/IR3jHRj-KqkHttX-qJqIDYSHTw08yCmnACLcBGAs/s1600/HalloweenFunLogo.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="470" data-original-width="500" height="300" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XEtPaIldqOw/W6p63fK0M_I/AAAAAAAAB3U/IR3jHRj-KqkHttX-qJqIDYSHTw08yCmnACLcBGAs/s320/HalloweenFunLogo.png" width="320" /></a></div>And while you're at it, check out my other literary offerings, always available in the sinister sidebar to your left. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pITpyH8GMyc/W6p7KeFHPzI/AAAAAAAAB3c/gncA2PVuRKcD0tELptSczQ1G5rr5m98qACLcBGAs/s1600/CreepyCrew.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="705" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pITpyH8GMyc/W6p7KeFHPzI/AAAAAAAAB3c/gncA2PVuRKcD0tELptSczQ1G5rr5m98qACLcBGAs/s400/CreepyCrew.png" width="396" /></a></div>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-36098439530986546942018-09-07T14:55:00.001-07:002018-09-07T15:29:51.278-07:00The Creepy Crawl for One and All !<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WxseT8-mavc/W5LwU8fN5SI/AAAAAAAAB20/MIVxsGwrOsMX7p3VFce1J6YPHj_YD4_cACLcBGAs/s1600/CreepyCrawlCover.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="905" data-original-width="700" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WxseT8-mavc/W5LwU8fN5SI/AAAAAAAAB20/MIVxsGwrOsMX7p3VFce1J6YPHj_YD4_cACLcBGAs/s400/CreepyCrawlCover.jpg" width="308" /></a></div><br />Announcing the latest in grisly game books from <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/11619/Bigfella-Games" target="_blank">Bigfella Games</a>!<br /><br />As my regular revenant readers know, I've been spinning tales for the <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/search/label/Creepy%20Crawl%20Chronicles" target="_blank">past several months</a> about this spooky setting. Little did any-body suspect that all the while I've been working in my secret laboratory to stitch together this marvelous monstrosity for every-body to enjoy!<br /><br />Halloween is only 54 days away, and if you and your group wanted to run something in an old school vein (both in terms of rules systems and/or horror theming), then consider folding this feature into your frightful festivities. Written for Labyrinth Lord, but easily adaptable to any rule set you prefer, this book features a sinister small scale sandbox setting containing 5 discreet adventure areas, three custom <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2009/11/it-was-monster-mash.html" target="_blank">creepy classes</a>, a mass of manglesome monsters, and more grave robbing than you can shake a shovel at. Bring some stakes, some wolfsbane, a mandrake root, and of course some candy!<br /><br />Available for download as a .pdf here: <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/251715/The-Creepy-Crawl" target="_blank">The Creepy Crawl</a><br /><br />Give it a week or so, a fortnight tops, and I'll be digging up a Print On Demand version too in the same bat location.<br /><br />Happy haunting, you exquisite corpuses! BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3226298509613481208.post-16674075894008220942018-08-27T17:58:00.001-07:002018-08-27T22:36:44.119-07:00The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 73Attending:<br />Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2009/11/it-was-monster-mash.html" target="_blank">Dampyr</a> Head and zombie body.<br />Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter<br />Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User<br />Greed – Lvl 6 <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2009/11/it-was-monster-mash.html" target="_blank">Homanculus</a><br />Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian<br /><br />Henching<br />Ritzy – Lvl 6 <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2009/11/it-was-monster-mash.html" target="_blank">Homanculus</a><br /><br />Monsters Mashed:<br />3 Throghrin, magic missiled, stabbed, and then finished off with the acid sword.<br />240 EXP/5 players = 48 EXP apiece<br /><br />9 Strangulating Elderberry Bushes: Hacked, smacked, and magic missiled.<br />261 EXP/5&nbsp; players = 52 EXP apiece<br /><br />Total: 100 EXP apiece<br /><br />Casualties: Vlad’s body is pretty crushed up right now, and has one broken, useless arm.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VIegPE8ekuc/W4SZiSUw_KI/AAAAAAAAB2Y/ieOfJzCyPhktobSW5Xcnyg5yjm8gMZp-wCLcBGAs/s1600/CCCElderberries.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="318" data-original-width="367" height="276" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VIegPE8ekuc/W4SZiSUw_KI/AAAAAAAAB2Y/ieOfJzCyPhktobSW5Xcnyg5yjm8gMZp-wCLcBGAs/s320/CCCElderberries.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>Events:<br />The group bedded down in the tunnel for the night, and found that Ritzy had vanished during his watch. Turned out he’d been waylaid by a bunch of <a href="https://campaignwiki.org/wiki/Monsters/Throghrin" target="_blank">throgrin</a>, who are hideous monsters combining qualities of ghouls, hobgoblins, and trolls. They paralysed him and dragged him back to feed the blood drinking roots of their foul elderberry bushes.<br /><br />The party tracked them down and did battle, with Vlad getting badly crumpled by the entangling, crushing vines of the evil plants. Once the monsters had been defeated and Ritzy brought around, they climbed up thru the canopy of woven branches covering the sunken chamber where the bushes were being grown, and snuck away, avoiding the lone hill giant who sat watching the top of the shaft next to the overturned hulk of the hunting lodge.<br /><br />Marching back to Castle Von Himmel, they encountered <a href="http://saturdaynightsandbox.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-creepy-crawl-chronicles-session-58.html" target="_blank">Uncle Nukus</a> stalking something large and horrible in the forest by the road, armed with a garden rake. The wily supercentinarian pounced on his prey but was knocked back, and an infuriated owlbear with a rake stuck in its forehead has charged onto the road into the party’s midst.<br /><span style="color: #20124d;"><br /></span><span style="color: #20124d;"><b>Commentary:</b></span><br /><span style="color: #20124d;"><br /></span><span style="color: #20124d;">And that was all for the Creepy Crawl. A couple days after this session I got laid off, and this epic campaign passed into the realm of legend among my former co-workers at [Company Redacted]. If any of you guys are reading then here's to ya!</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #20124d;">I guess it's kind of an anti-climax, but that's generally the way campaigns end in my experience. They get rolling, hit some high notes, and then life intervenes somehow and that's that. It was fun while it lasted, though.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #20124d;">Don't shriek 'cos it's over, howl 'cos it happened. </span><br /><br /><span style="color: #20124d;">Despair not, my gentle readers. I've got something <b>exciting</b> to announce, so watch this space for more very soon. Let the rumor mongering commence.&nbsp;</span><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jOuI7X2VBwg/W4Sdf7BG3zI/AAAAAAAAB2k/iyfMyMGfIkc1M-Hffs1gZ6TfXLOYXTfswCLcBGAs/s1600/CCGraveyardGossip.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="225" data-original-width="505" height="176" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jOuI7X2VBwg/W4Sdf7BG3zI/AAAAAAAAB2k/iyfMyMGfIkc1M-Hffs1gZ6TfXLOYXTfswCLcBGAs/s400/CCGraveyardGossip.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #274e13;">A little bat told me, somethin's comin'... somethin'... <b><i>creepy</i></b>.</span></td></tr></tbody></table>BigFellahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03052419088140204154noreply@blogger.com0