Monday, June 15, 2020

Return of Klang - Session Report 6/14 - That Time Xylarthen Joined the Team and the Decided to Enslave a Dragon

That Time Xylarthen Joined the Team and they Decided to Enslave a Dragon

Back in Clargarser, having escaped the Nightmare world of Shagast, the members of the team (still living) join some fellows in the tavern. This includes Nupo the Gnome, Fablong (the former Corpse Worshipper), and the wizard Xylarthen. All three of whom are suffering some pretty serious PTSD with a dash of survivors guilt for Fablong (as his fellows who attempted to rescue him were all killed in the process). 

The surviving party members - Theodora (gnome magic user), Cade (human fighter), Ves (human magic user), and Ember (elf magic user and fighter) - mourn the loss of their compatriots. Sven, Larchmont, Belray, and Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Lister, who lost much of his power has disappeared for the time being and PlumBear (née PlumBob) has wandered off into the woods to be one with nature and come to terms with his new form. 

Zander Scuttletoes remains huddled in his ditch hiding from the world and his feelings. 

Theodora has sold the circlet of teleportation to Xylarthen as she could not use it. But is wearing the ring of defense which brings her armor class from 9 to 6! The potions and scrolls were divided among Ves, Ember, and Theodora. Ves and Theodora also spent some time and money crafting two scrolls and learning a spell from Xylarthen. 

Ves still has the ring that allowed them to see only bones/skeletons and it is undetermined if they can actually see again? Or if they’ve just gotten good at the whole X-ray vision thing. (DM - thoughts?)

Ember is new to Clargarser and excited to meet new people. The first person the group meets in a thief named General Hux who happens to be offering free rides on his mule, Mulam Driver, to those drinking in the bar. Theodora shows interest but Ember begins a conversation with a group of elves. They are incredibly old, pale, almost translucent. They speak an older form of elvish and tell the party they were awoken with the god Nodens. 

The temple of Nodens is suddenly a bustling place. And many local residents have stopped wearing their skull masks and have switched to sleeping caps instead. (Nodens is a god of sleep/night.)

The team arranges to buy potions which will allow them to enter others dreams the following day, at the temple. 

The party has begun to converse when they hear a disruption outside the tavern. It is a large party of Dwarves beating their shields and chanting at the center of town. The party goes to check it out. 

They manage to catch some of the chanting in common. The dwarves have come from their mines in the mountain, which has been infiltrated by an acid spitting dragon. It has stolen their treasure and killed many dwarves. 

It is also spawning monsters that have taken over their mines and passage ways. Killing even more dwarves and making their tribute to the dragon even harder to find. 

A snake wyvern is mentioned that eats its fill then sleeps as well as a filching frog that lives in a magical pond and has a hoard of gems and magical items. 

It’s a bad situation really. One the group thinks they can help with. First, for a treasure payout and magical items. Second, they hope to ensnare the dragon and keep it as a pet/weapon.  

Theodora invites the dwarves back to the tavern, which is now selling ale as well as hard alcohol! And hot snacks! The adventurers then proceed to ply the dwarves with strong drink and entice them into playing cards (Clargarser Rat Screw). Once they are all drunk (which cost the group a considerable sum of gold) the party agrees to terms. They will be allowed to take all of the treasure and items that they can carry. 

The party declares they will leave the following sunrise (two days). Theodora convinces Xylarthen to accompany the party. It doesn’t take much convincing. He doesn’t really want to be alone at such a time. 

Three dwarves, strong and able bodied, are assigned to accompany them to direct them as well as help fight. They are Eorglor, Bardak, and Klaus and all are second level fighters with war hammers and shields. 

The adventurers depart with their potions and provisions. Mulam Driver the mule and Bart the dog join the party as they make their way to the mountains. 

Once the mines are in sight the party notice a creature high above in the sky, dark with leather wings, and realize it is the dragon. Xylarthen suggests a few members sacrifice themselves so he can move the rest to safety with magic. This idea is rejected. The dwarves suggest the proverbial back door. 

As the party enters they find a narrow, dark passageway. Theodora casts dancing lights and thus there is light but after a short time the lights dim and then vanish. 

Xylarthen casts a spell to permanently light General Hux’s torch which provides them a decent amount of light. Bart the dog pauses, growls, and then runs forward, ahead of the party. Theodora runs after him and the rest of the group follows. 

They quickly come upon the bodies of a couple of dead dwarves who are being devoured by three carrion crawlers. 

Ember immediately throws the dancing sword out, hitting one of the monsters. Cade rushes forward with the magic hammer (which had once belonged to Larchmont) but is hit and knocked unconscious before he can use it. 

In the melee Xylarthen as well as one of the dwarves is knocked unconscious and in the end, Theodora and Bart fend off a number of attacks and ultimately deal the killing blow to all three crawlers. 

The team must wait 3 hours in the tunnels for their compatriots to wake up. And once this happens they move on and come out in a room filled with veins of iron ore and garnets. There are also gold rocks on the group. They immediately set to picking up as much of this as they can, reminding the dwarves that this was part of the deal they struck with their leader. It is also decided that this is a good place to take a break and figure out their plan. 

So until next week!


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Update to Clargarser Prominent NPCs

Ludul: Priest of Nodens

Ludul is a 2nd level cleric that the party found drunk in the dungeon. Now that the worship of Nodens has been revived in the town he has become the head priest despite his low level. He may be available for hire in exchange for donations to the church. I got him from the magazine Megadungeon #1 but I can't find it anymore in my stuff so he is going to change a little


  • Weird tentacle Moustache
  • Was dreamy and detached even before worshipping god of dreams
  • Still likes to drink too much
You can buy the holy water of Nodens at the temple of Nodens for 100gp. Drinking it allows you to enter the dreams of a sleeping creature you are next to. As the worship of Nodens grows the temple may be able to offer additional services.

Weird Elves: Newly Awakened Residents

After Bringing the idol of Nodens to the surface some albino elves have begun to migrate up as well. They have dreamed with Nodens in the underworld for hundreds of human years and now rejoin the surface. Who knows what secret knowledge they hold? The answer is me. I do. I'm the dungeon master. 

Fablon Wagshank: Dream Warrior

Fablon is the former leader of the corpse worshippers and now runs the bar, Tehedrin's Final Rest 


  • gruff
  • shakes with excitement when imagining violence
  • Messianic Ideation
Fablon is no longer able to hire out mercenaries due to the heavy casualties that the city took during the weird Shaghast dream invasion. He is now a devout worshipper of Nodens

Carousing at the Bar Tehedrin's Final Rest

The Liquor supply in Clargarser is recovering now that the plague has subsided and people from nearby villages will trade
  1. Roll a d8.
  2. Remember that number
  3. Multiply that number by 50. You gain that much xp and pay that much in gp to the bar.
  4. Divide the number by 2 (round up) and Subtract it from your constitution score and remember that number too. Let's call this your "party score"
  5. Roll a d20.
  6. If the number is under your party score everything is fine. the end.
  7. If that number is over your party score, you have vomited on one of the prominent NPCs in town and cannot use their services until you make a gift to them of 100gp * your level. 

Aleena Lymro: Head of the Larchmont Memorial Clinic

Aleena runs the medical clinic attached to the Corpse Worshipper compound. 

  • obsessed with earwax
  • white knuckled
  • teetotaler
You can pay 20gp/week to stay at the clinic. This guarantees maximum natural healing and gives a +2 on any save vs. disease or poison at the end of the week.

Xylarthen: New Wizard in the Tower

He killed Raglom in battle and now he has moved in to Raglom's tower to steal all the dead wizard's knowledge. He has managed to raise his intelligence score since his debut in Men & Magic. 

  1. Handsy (sigh)
  2. Arrogant
  3. Has no emotional investment in whether anyone lives or dies

Wizarding Services and Costs

Currently these are the services that Xylarthen offers. He may provide more as his research continues.
  1. Reincarnation: There is a 35% chance that Xylarthen has a scroll of reincarnation on hand. If he does it costs 10,000 gp to get reincarnated.
  2. Remove Curse: Xylarthen will cast remove curse for 400gp + 100 gp for every level your character is over level 4. You will have to wait 1d4 days for him to memorize the spell.
  3. Spell tutelage: If you want to learn a spell that Xylarthen knows, he will teach it to you for 200gp * spell level for spells level 1-3 and 500gp * spell level for levels 4 and up.
  4. Divination: 1/week Xylarthen can cast the 4th level spell question (Blueholme p. 34) for 500gp. You will have to wait 1d4 days for Xylarthen to have time.

Mo Afsa: Black Smith

Just a blacksmith. any weapons or armor of the basic equipment list but you may have to wait.  Suits of armor will take at least 2 weeks to make.  

Nupo the Gnome: Merchant, General Store Owner

1. This guy's personality changes. Often over the course of a conversation. 
2. His accent changes too. I am not very good at voices.

Friday, June 5, 2020


I just finished painting my Sohei Monks for Test of Honour. This project was a minor milestone for my painting. You can tell by looking at the eyes on their leader as compared to his fellow monks. I loved working with the orange color.

I have a lot to work on for the future too. I gotta keep plugging away at those eyes. Thinner coats for whites and more control of the viscosity of the paint when I am doing faces. Better pinwashing technique, the list goes on and on.

I also have a lot more to learn about photography. I have really failed to catch the contrast between the bronze and the very dark blue/black on Hozoin In'ei's armor (That's the leader up front).

These were mostly a blast to paint. Hozoin's right arm had a big gap that needed filling (something else I need to improve on) My least favorite dude is hiding in the first picture. So let's look at the second picture.

 Here we can see him upfront on the right. Painting his blue armor didn't spark joy for some reason and his feet were unsatisfying to paint too.

His grumpy face is kind of cool though. You can also see how I am experimenting with eyes here. This guy I focused on pupils and in some of the others I focused on the whites of the eyes. I need to get some guys with exaggerated eyes to work on. I think my leack of enthusiasm for his breast plate is apparent in this photo.

 Here we see just the whites painted. It reads ok on the table but isn't great for taking pictures. You can also really see where I can improve on shading white by looking at Hozoin's muscular calves.  And I just noticed I knocked the roof into a bad position on my little house. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Helm Of Dul’Gahn

Raglom the Wizard wearing the Helm shortly before taking
a fireball to the face and dying. The helm was recovered from his corpse.
Yes, beer bottles represent flying.

I’ve been adding more and more ‘h’s to the name of this item to try and obscure where I got the name of this artifact from. My wife recognized that it is Gul’dan from Warcraft with the first consonants switched on the syllables. If I had known that the artifact was going to be so important to my campaign I would have given it a better name. The Helm started as an item I gave to an antagonistic evil wizard. The wizard died during a siege and the party was able to loot his body in the chaos. The item was originally designed for mass combat; I had to adapt it for regular campaign play.

The powers of the helm were originally:
1: raise 2d4 stands of fallen troops as undead under control of the user, once per day
2: Open a dimension door to send troops from up to 18” away, three times per day
3: Permanent shield spell
4: Permanent protection from good

Wow. First of all after looking this up. I realized that I had forgotten about the last two powers. Oops. I am a bad dungeon master. The first two powers were meant to be used in unison to overwhelm fortifiations in mass combat. The second two were meant to explain the permanent protections that all wizards get using the mass combat rules employed in the battle. I also had a little backstory for myself about helm. I did not expect this to ever be relevant. Duhl ‘Gahn (the apostrophe is going to move around) was an incredibly powerful long dead evil wizard whose soul and consciousness lived on inside the helm. He offered his power to any magic user who dons the helmet. He would then try to take over the user. I decided that the evil wizard wearing the helm in the battle was powerful enough to contain Duhl’ Gahn’s consciousness.

At the time I imagined it as sort of a less successful demilich. By that I mean there were parts of Dhuhl ‘Ghahn’s skull placed into the helm and that the evil wizard somehow created the item himself and placed his own skull inside the helm. No, I have not figured out how that happened, but it definitely involved magic. Perhaps Dhulhlhh’ ‘hGhahhnshhh’s consciousness resides in its own demiplane, where it can carry out arcane research unbothered. Perhaps the purpose of the helm is to seed his consciousness throughout the prime material plane. Any way here are the mechanics for how HDhulhlhlhlhlh’ hGhahhhhhhhhhhhnn  takes over someone’s mind:

1.     Anyone wearing the helm can commune with HDhulllhhhhhhhhhhh’’’’’’hhhhGhahhhhhhhnnn and he will answer their questions with his arcane knowledge gained over millennia.
2.     Then the wearer must make an intelligence check. If the wearer succeeds nothing happens.
3.     Once the wearer has failed an amount equal to their intelligence score their consciousness is erased and they are now ‘’hhDhuhhhlllhhhhh’’’hhhGhahhhhhnnhhh.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Alternative Rules for Solo Frostgrave: It's Open Ended and your Warband Hates You

My friend bought Perilous Dark and we were playing through the campaign cooperatively before the pandemic. We didn’t love it for many of the reasons other people have pointed out. The difficulty level seemed out of whack unless you tailored your spell list to the missions. The monsters were immune to a lot of our spells. It felt bad. And so on...

I don’t have the book anyway and I am stuck at home. I want to play a solo game that felt more like open ended old school Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve got my very old school Heritage Miniatures. I’ve got a bunch of terrain made from junk. So, Here’s what I came up with.

This table was much too big for my single player game. Also
yes my terrain has a brutalist garbage aesthetic.

Step One: Pick a Random School of Magic for your Wizard

No real Reason to do this, but I felt like it so I made this chart.


I rolled a 4 so I got a Elementalist. I named him Beebler Boyden

Step Two: Roll for Starting Gold

I decided that having a random amount of gold at the beginning of the game would better suit the vibe I was going for. I decided to roll 2d20 * 10 instead of the traditional 3d6 * 10.

I got a 3 and a 2 for a total of 50gc. Beebler did not have a lot of money. Yikes.

Step Three:  Roll to Recruit Hirelings.

I wanted to further limit Beebler’s choices and create the feeling of going into the tavern and paying the town crier to help you recruit mercenaries. The amount of money you pay the town crier determines what table you roll on to see which soldier responds to your request. You can choose to take that soldier into your warband or pay and roll again.

Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter

Beebler spends 15gc to roll 3 times on the first column and get two thieves and a tracker. If you play Frostgrave you are probably noticing that Beebler cannot afford to hire two thieves and a tracker; he only has 35gc left. There are new rules for that and some other things. Beebler has his warband together let’s look at the new rules.

New Rules:

Upkeep: You do not pay the price of a soldier when you recruit them. Instead you pay the price of the soldier after each adventure as upkeep or the soldier leaves your warband to find someone who hill pay him. If you a soldier’s upkeep their loyalty increases by one point.

Loyalty: Soldiers will not always do what you wizard wants them to do. There will be times when a soldier must make a loyalty roll. To pass a loyalty roll the character must roll a d20 and add its loyalty score and get higher then 10. Loyalty: starts the same a will. Wizards do not need to make loyalty rolls. Here are the situations when a soldier must make a loyalty roll so far:
i)      When a model finds a treasure and the wizard is more than 6” away. It must make a loyalty roll, failure means it starts heading to the edge of the table to retire with its ill gotten gains.
ii)    When a model falls into a trap and survives it must pass a loyalty roll or head towards a table edge. It will still be in the warband
Finally, Soldiers will not attack a fleeing member. If a wizard attacks a fleeing warband member, All soldiers’ loyalty will decrease by one. But, if a wizard kills a fleeing warband member all members make a loyalty roll. A failure means their loyalty decreases by one.  A pass means loyalty increases by 3.

Do not Place Treasure Tokens: This is pretty self explanatory

Searching:  Instead of getting treasure tokens and moving off the board with them, the war band is searching the terrain to see what treasures they can find. A warband member that is in contact with a terrain piece may spend an action to search. They roll a die, and if they number they roll is higher than the Trap number, consult the Search table. After a successful search roll, check to see if monsters spawn as if a treasure token was picked up for the first time.

Here is the Search Table:
A roll of 1 Always a trap Even with bonuses
A monster emerges from the opposite end of the table: roll on the encounter table and place the monster opposite the warband’s starting position.
A premonition of danger. Pick a terrain piece no soldier will search that terrain piece or move within 6” of it.
Foreboding, -2 to the next search roll
Dreariness, -2 to the next loyalty check
Only the cold, -1 to the next loyalty check
A long dead cat, -1 to the next search roll
A long dead child
A long dead peasant
Just dust and debris
1 gc
A hungry but friendly dog. Place a neutral war hound on the table by the ruin. The war hound will try to eat imps and giant rats.
A vague notion, a hint of a clue, pick an unsearched terrain piece add 1 to the search roll when searching that piece.
Ancient Graffiti with a vague clue, pick an unsearched terrain piece, add 3 to the search roll when searching that piece.
A clue, pick an unsearched terrain piece, add 5 to the search roll when searching that piece.
D20 gc
D20 * 2 gc
Roll on treasure table
Roll on treasure table add 1 to roll
Roll on treasure table add 2 to roll

Traps and Trap Number: At the beginning of a game the trap number is 1. You must roll higher than the trap number when searching or the warband member performing the search action has sprung a trap. After a successful search action, trap number becomes the number rolled for the search action. After a failed search action the trap number resets back to one unless the base trap number is modified by some other rule I haven’t come up with yet. Don’t worry I have recorded a full example of play below. Also, Here is the Trap Table:

Struck down by deadly arcane magic, reduced to 0 hit points
Arcane bolts of fury from a broken magic device, +10 shooting attack. Model is moved back 1” for each point of damage suffered.
KABOOM, Model suffers a + 10 shooting attack, instead of taking damage model is launched 1” directly up into the air for each point of damage that would be taken. Then the model takes whatever fall damage they would normally take.
Vampire Hovel, The model has stumbled upon the resting place of a vampire. Place a vampire in base-to-base contact with the model
Deep hole, The model falls into a 12” hole. Later gator.
Imp Ruin, a decaying ruin that kept imps imprisoned, now it’s broken. Summon 1-5 imps place them 1” away from the model but within line of sight
Monster bait. The model is now cursed to attract all monsters. Monsters will use their actions to move towards this model even without line of sight.
Possessed by a ghost demon, model suffers a +5 will attack. If the model fails that model is affected as if by a possession spell and becomes hostile to the party acting as an uncontrolled monster.
Arms switched, some crazy magic has switched the models left and right arms. -2 to fight and shoot scores, until fixed (who knows how that will be accomplished).
Something heard you, place a random monster 1d20” away in a random direction
Sticky Goop explosion, all models within a 3” radius suffer a +10 melee attack. For every point of damage a model would take they lose 1 action.
Lesser Arcane bolt, model suffers a +5 shooting attack
Disturbing voices from beyond, model’s will score is reduced by 2
Rat hovel, model is surrounded by 1-4 giant rats
Ghost of a union organizer, model’s loyalty score is reduced by 2
Falling debris, model suffers a +0 shooting attack
A very spooky ghost, model moves 6” in a random direction and loses its next turn
A sexy ghost, model suffers a +4 will attack, if it fails it loses its next turn
Coated with an ancient hallucinogen, model moves randomly during its turn until it passes a will +0 check
SMOKE BOMB! Fog as the fog spell surrounds the model in a 5” radius. Search actions cannot be performed in the fog. The fog moves 6” randomly each turn

Special Soldier Traits: So this is a work in progress. I am coming up with special traits for some of the soldiers for solo play:
1.     Thieves and lower Treasure Hunters lower the Trap Number by 5 each time they perform a search action.
2.     Trackers get +1 to their next search roll if they find a dead thing.
3.     If a model is within 3” of a friendly war hound when performing a search they get lower the trap number by 3 (I promise to add war hounds in later).

Example of Play


Beebler fails to reveal a secret and fails to animate a construct bummer (this is the only way I can think of to get a normal treasure token on the board so far).
The party consists of: Beebler Boyden (Elementalist), Harriet (Tracker), Barry the Bagman (Thief), and Plumb Bob (Thief).

Turn one (Trap number is 1): The warband moves to different terrain pieces one thief peels off alone (Barry the Bagman) the other (Plumb Bob) stays close to the wizard. My wizard moves with the tracker into a ruined section of building and rolls an 18 for search. He gets a treasure! 20 gc and a cloak of protection! I start marking searched terrain with dice.
Next I am going to have a thief (Barry the Bagman) search. The trap number is now 18 but the thief will only need to roll a 13 or higher to avoid a trap because of his special rule. Barry the Bagman rolls a 13 and triggers a trap. He has found a rat hovel and 3 rats surround him! And by rats I mean evil penguins. Barry the Bagman passes his loyalty test but he is in trouble. The other soldiers move closer to try and rescue him.
Monster phase: Barry kills a rat but is brought down to 4hp.

The penguins are horrified by Barry the Bagman's Face.
It looks like deformed blob of lead. That's why he wears a hood.
If I ever figure out where his eyes are supposed to be I will paint them.
Turn two (Trap number is 1 again because a trap was found): The wizard searches and finds dust and debris(rolled a 10).
Harriet moves in and kills a rat. Plumb bob does not fare as well and gets taken down to 4hp. Barry the Bagman holds his own
Monster Phase: The last penguin is felled by Barry.

You go first.
Turn 3 (Trap number is 10): The party groups up to search an ancient furnace. Barry rolls a 19 on his search. 20gc and a grimoire.

Turn 4 (Trap number is now 19, yikes). The party approaches the giant ruin in the middle of the table.

Turn 5 (Trap number still 19): Flanked by the rest of the warband Plumb Bob makes it to the entrance and searches. He rolls a 14. With his thief skill he does not fall into a trap. Lowers the trap number to 14 and finds ancient graffiti with a clue. I choose a nearby monolith as the piece of terrain alluded to in the clue.  A monster spawns to the east. It’s a worm. Not good. The worm can see the party so extra bad news.
Monster phase: The worm heads towards the party luckily it is fat and has trouble squeezing through the terrain.

I needed to use a very high shutter speed to capture this image.
That worm was moving really fast.
Turn 6 (Trap number is back down to 14): the party heads towards the monolith while shooting at the worm. Beebler fires off an elemental bolt that does 13 points of damage. Harriet misses.
Monster Phase: the worm charges into combat with Beebler and Harriet

Turn7: Beebler wishes he had found the time to cast elemental shield or elemental hammer. He let’s Harriet attack first. She is hit and down to 4hp. Beebler lashes out and rolls a 20. The worm is dead. He moves towards the monolith. Plumb Bob rolls a 21 searching the monolith and finds 30gc and 3 scrolls. No monster appears.

Turn 8 (Trap Number is now 21, yikes).
The party is injuried accept for the wizard. They decide it is time to stop pushing their luck and head home.

Post Game:

Beebler fails to create a grimoire.
He has a chance to look at the scrolls and Grimoire he got and adds up his GC 70 total.
Enchant armor
Create Grimoire
Brew Potion
He also has a cloak of protection.
Experience: The party found 3 treasures tokens for 150xp and the killed 3 rats and worm for 20 xp.
Beebler gets 170xp.
Upkeep: Beebler has some tough decisions to make. Each thief is going to cost 20gc and Harriet tracker is going to cost 80gc. That’s 120 gc and he only has 105 Gc on hand. He decides to sell his scroll of create grimoire to cover the rest. Well fed his warband each gains +1 loyalty and he is left with 85gp. Beebler spends his point making it easier to cast reveal secret.

Post Mortem

I had fun. There were times I felt that I had to adapt to unexpected emergent situations. I was concerned about my warband dying but also not being able to afford keeping them. It felt good that monetarily I started out just a little ahead of where I started and that I had to sell something to pay for everybody. Thieves might be over-powered. I might need to tinker with their special ability. I may want to make it so that if a wizard does not attack first in melee it triggers a loyalty check. I may also want to make monsters spawn more often. The rule for trackers probably needs a buff.

Return of Klang - Session Report 6/14 - That Time Xylarthen Joined the Team and the Decided to Enslave a Dragon

That Time Xylarthen Joined the Team and they Decided to Enslave a Dragon Back in Clargarser, having escaped the Nightmare world of Shag...