Thursday, July 28, 2011

How I knew some of this, I don't know...

allan took the Hardest Gary Gygax Quiz in the World and got 70%!

You are a Gary Gygax Champion. If knowledge of the minutiae of Gary Gygax's life translated to political power, you would be the satrap of a continent-sized province, owing allegiance to no one (except maybe that Grognardia guy).

Paladin Code: You completed this quiz without using Google.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Saves are saves

A comment I spotted from one "Anonymous", over at Jeff's Gameblog, that seemed worth highlighting here:
One note on the lethalness of saving throws... if you are making a save roll, you are basically already screwed/dead, and are being allowed one last desperate chance to survive. Don't think of it as an unfair "check" you have to make, think of it as a bonus chance to avoid something terrible that you got into by your own previous actions and decisions. It's the game's way of being forgiving once you already made a big mistake. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

1d6 only vs. variable weapon damage

We do 1d6 damage for all weapons, as per the LBBs, with a roll 2d6 drop the highest for really weak weapons, roll 2d6 drop the lowest for powerful 2 handed ones houserule. But the variable weapon damage option from later editions of D&D is always tempting. Here's an interesting article explaining the 1d6 only rationale regarding damage and hit points, well worth a read. Keep thinking, abstract combat, abstract combat, abstract combat... it's hard to keep that in mind, 'cause the way D&D actually models combat is so different from how we "play it out" at the table.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick update

Obviously the four of us involved in the campaign know this, but for anyone else stumbling upon this blog, just a quick note to say that yes we're still playing... we're up to session umpteen something, just haven't been posting here with session summaries, sorry. Heather, c'mon, get those notes together!

After their escape from "The Grinding Gear", the party continued on their way to where (according to the map given them by Skullface) they hoped to find "Xylarthen's Tower". But instead, they've come across "Mordenkaine Manor"... Where two sessions have elapsed, seeing the party fight such creatures as bears, centipedes, a leopard, giant frogs, bugbears, and bandits...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unlucky 13... aka, "Should we smash the skull?"

Bolin, Ronson and Stonk are still in Richrom's dungeon, exploring three rooms linked by doors, a monster-occupied pit in the middle of each (one with ghouls, one with bubbling black ooze, one with a troll). Ronson briefly banters with the troll (in trollish), but the party learns little from him. Moving to the ghouls' room, Bolin turns them from above, and in their unholy panic they scrabble at the algae-covered pit wall, revealing a door through which they escape.
Unready to enter the ghoul pit right away, our heroes decide to attack the black pudding with fire, with the advice of Oozes of Many Hues (and How To Survive Them), stolen from Count Zynyrd's library. With only one major backfire, they slay the poor trapped pudding, who commences to stink up the place, bubbling away and leaving a smooth crystalline pit (specialized to hold the monster... revealing the architect's attention to detail).
The party venture now through a door in the ghoul room, to a hall containing a "Private Chapel" locked with a showy lock that accepts the wooden key-shaped Les Paul statuette we found above, in the abandoned Loamville chapel...
Within, they find signs of aggressive search, and in the center of the carpeted room the decapitated skeleton of a small misshapen man, armed and wearing a backpack. In the backpack is his missing skull, and an annotated treasure-hunters' map of this dungeon. (Further foolishness involving tying up the little skeleton and replacing his skull results simply in his looking grateful.)
Back they head into the ghoul room and down into the pit (scraps of paper on the ground are painstakingly matched up, and revealed to be the notes for a "Perfectly Coiffed Hair" spell). The passage ahead is through a 2' high, 3' long tunnel opening onto a larger space. Nervous of this bottleneck, the party hustle forward, but Bolin (first into the room) is swiftly fallen upon by a green slime! The back of his armor is eaten away but he strips it off in time to avoid its attaching to him, and burns it away. Stonk shoots a flaming crossbow bolt into the room, failing to tempt a slime to drop down and be battled, but revealing a wheelbarrow in the center of the algae-slick room. They use a rope & grappling hook to retrieve the cart, kill the final slime that drops into it when it reaches the passageway, and retrieve the small stone Les Paul statue within.
Entering the now slime-free room, the three try its only other door, which requires an extra shove from Stonk to open. He enters the hallway first and is swarmed by a giant spider, who kills him right away with poison! Bolin and Ronson (and hirelings Lert and Danth) slam the door shut on this horror, and flee the dungeon with sickening sounds of their friend's consumption resounding in their ears! In their hasty exit the map is lost...
The party camp, and the players discuss whether Heather (who has now lost two characters to spider poisonings) should be allowed to play as the troll...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Session 13 coming up!

Hey folks. We're playing tonight, it'll be lucky session 13. Haven't seen Heather's notes yet on the last two games, so maybe next week we'll get a mega-write up of sessions 11, 12 and 13. For those trying to follow along at home, suffice to say that the party spent session 11 at the yellow-fog-shrouded Swamp Castle, actually officially known as Castle Dripthorn. The occupants of which (old man Thil, old woman Mil, the burly Neg-Nock, and mangy dog Woofsie) proved to be very hospitable. The party, however, suspicious of the Dripthorn people and their absent master Count Zynrnd (who was out hunting), responded by sneaking into the library in the dead of night and stealing what they wanted: a spell book for Ronson the M-U. They also made off with another, strange book, locked shut. 

During the next session, Bolin finally figured out how to open that book, though (flipping it over and opening it backwards, sort of). It was in an unknown tongue, however, and the only words in Common were notes in the margins that said something about a "Carcosan Grimoire"... also there was a diagram of what appeared to be a shining trapezoid... 

After some wilderness encounters (with giant leeches in the swamp, who kill Stonk's horse, and at night with a giant eagle that nearly makes off with the sleeping Danth), the party returned to Loamville and entered into the dungeon beneath the Grinding Gear yet again, where they find the other party they'd left there some days before, tied up and sleep-ing, has apparently been eaten by giant beetles. They kill the beetles and also some giant centipedes, and finally end the session in conversation with a troll stuck in a pit (thanks to Ronson speaking trollish).

There were several good quotes from these two sessions, one of which had something to do with "the transitive property of XP ingestion".

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Session 10: Turning undead - It's not so many ensorcellments

And two weeks ago (real time, not game time):

We start session 10 still in the tunnels under the statue in the middle of Loamville...

Flush with the victory of creaming another small human party and taking all its possessions, our party returns to a nearby secret door and heads deeper into the dungeon. They trail along through corridors and staircases until they spring a trap on one landing, a hunk of wall suddenly punching out and smacking Bolin into the rest, Bowling (Bolin-ing) them all down the stairs. Bruised, they proceed using their heavy packs to trigger the trap and crawl one by one past the stone, which retracts and doesn't re-launch as long as sufficient weight remains on the landing.
Further along Stonk sticks his head around a corridor provoking a goblin attack (?); next in line Bolin is attacked by a tattered human corpse. Ronson fucks up the goblin, but more corpses stagger forward to do some damage. Lucky for the party, Bolin's so holy he turns the whole crowd around.

Our heroes follow the fleeing monsters to an intersection, heading north as the undead go west, to a door with a flame on it. They listen at it (but take no other precautions for some reason) and, hearing nothing, open the door.

The door scratches along the ground and ignites a huge fireball, which blasts Ronson, Bolin and Stonk into unconsciousness (the land of zero hitpoints). [Amazingly, though, they all fall to exactly zero hp, so they don't die - DM]

Danth and Lert bind their wounds, and they wake up badly burnt, with much loot lost; what's worse, their own holy symbol and spellbooks are consumed too. Damaged and defenseless, the whole party makes haste to the surface, staggering out at last into the afternoon sun, and fleeing Loamville as fast as their stolen horses can carry them.

Having made camp, the party attempt some rest and recovery; but the watch (Danth) awakens them mid-night to the approach of trouble. Hurriedly dousing their fire and breaking camp, they discern an advancing party of what sound like aimless mad thugs, spoiling for a fight, rambling through the forest hacking at trees! The friends scramble away on the horses just as the thugs enter the clearing, and stagger off into a swamp to try to salvage what sleep they can.

They wake up late and discuss the next move; it is decided that provisions are needed before the party head back to Loamville, and a nearby castle seems like the best bet for finding them...

Session 9: You make a pile of wolves; or, I really ought to write these up while they're fresher in my mind

Thanks goes to Heather (aka Stonk) for taking notes the last two sessions. Here's what happened 4 weeks ago:

The scene as we open:
An outpost that has fallen on evil times. All its inhabitants seem to be dead or evacuated after some tragedy or madness. A four-story inn (the Grinding Gear), a chapel and a stable surround an overgrown cobblestone courtyard with an impressive copper statue on a marble block in the center; the statue is surrounded by corpses for 20' in all directions. Our nervous heroes are considering splitting town on the healthy (though spooked) horses they found tethered in the stables, but find themselves compelled to try and unlock the mysteries of this place before nightfall...

The companions approach the statue as a group, picking their way over bodies as they go. They are mostly dead goblins and orcs, a few wolves, a human (or a few?); all these are unarmed and bear no signs of battle or disease, though they all seem to have needle-like bite marks on them somewhere. The plaque (marked "Garvin Richrom") on the marble base is pressed, a panel in the side opens up, and the party hear a hissing... two are felled (Stonk and Bolin??) but the other three pull them out of the 20-foot radius corpse zone just in time for a battle with six bats! After some painful struggle (and some bloodsucking), during which few bats are killed and more approach, the knocked-out companions revive and the party hightails it to the chapel to bind wounds and recover. No bats follow them inside, and through the stained glass they see the bats fly back to their home in the inn. When they come out, though, the door in the statue's base has shut again.

They scheme out a crazy plan to pile up corpses and make a fulcrum for pews (torn from the desecrated chapel) to lay atop so that they can nudge the plaque from a safe distance, jam a pew into the door as it opens, run back to the chapel and wait for the bats to leave, and look inside. It doesn't work on the first try, and our party hikes south through the forest to stay the night, before returning to run the whole rigmarole again (and again) and open the secret door at last. Down the ladder one by one they go...

From here, we switch from a write-up based on Heather's notes, to the somewhat more cryptic notes themselves:

"Mark well your passage, you would-be robber! For the clever observe closely, and only the clever will win the day."
Find secret compartment, find lever in down position and flip up.
"Family Crypt: Do No Enter"
Four (dead) rats fall from ceiling!
Open door to night sky room in incredible detail. Man in the moon playing the organ; painted in moon "what is my favorite song?" Party kick themselves for not taking the sheet music on the floor of the birdcage in the inn.
Secret compartment with downward lever. Flip up.
Candle, half burnt, unlit, under glass bulb.
Another secret door, down lever, flip up.
Light candle, certain stones in the floor glow: "Richrom Dares You"... but nothing came of it.
East passage - search for secret doors, found one, but try E door
After some awkward parley, bust in on another party - 2 figures in leather armor, 1 robed figure, all human. They say "Go away" but we smashed the door down. Stonk is knocked out yet again during the early action; Bolin & Ronson vanquish 'em and put 'em to sleep. Strip & gag them and tie them up. Get a shitload of loot. Bolin realizes that adventurers are by definition hoodlums...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Session 8: somewhat spooky

Tentative notes from last session by Nick:

After returning Terry safely back to his parents, the companions receive a map from Skullface showing the location of a Tower and a town, somewhere to the east. They, along with their faithful retainers Lert and Danth, set out on the four day journey to the Tower. The journey is fairly uneventful, except for the exceptional sighting of a red dragon flying overhead on their second night's camp. The dragon passed them with no breath-weapon barbequeing or claw-ripping of flesh, thanks to the quick dousing of their campfire. They arrive in the town of ????? [Loamville - DM] to find it completely deserted and somewhat spooky. There is an inn that the companions explore. I think at one point inside the inn giant rats [actually, they were bats - DM] were fought? They break open the inn's strongbox and discover a note, the contents of which I currently can't remember, but it hinted at a cache of money/treasure hidden somewhere. There is also a stable housing three horses and another building the function of which I can't remember either [it was a chapel - DM]. The companions are currently deciding whether or not to take the horses and head to the Tower or continue exploring the town. I think that's pretty much all that happened, but I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Next sesh

Happy New Year fellow D&Ders! 

Yes, we're gonna play this week (right?). Because of Josh's new class, we'll be switching to Wednesdays, I think this is OK with everybody. So, this Wednesday, January 6th at 7:30, my place... Josh, you took notes on the last session, I believe. Can you write up a brief synopsis asap so Heather knows what happened (and we all can refresh our memories) and either email it to me to blog, or simply post it in the comments section of this? Thanks! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This is why we play in my kitchen

And also why we don't wear weird occult costumes... 

And, yes, that's a friend of mine (Josh, you know him too...).

And, yes, he's quite insane.