Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Session Report: All You Had to Do Was Ask

(Before we even start, I apologize for any misspelled names...)

Our intrepid adventurers were at it again. After being denied access to Raglum’s Tower, racing back to their stronghold, and facing a team of crystalline dust skeletons, the team opted to regroup. 

As they discussed what seemed like very few, no good options, into the night, they heard a commotion approaching. Thinking it could be more Red Robed cultists or dust infected townspeople, the team observes what is actually Ves, Belray, Princess Consuela, Sven the Torch Boy, and Lister approaching, having met unexpectedly at a convention out of town.

The group was allowed into the Nes Gard and brought up to speed on the situation. This took some time as some details were a little muddled - was the red stuff dust or smoke or a gas? IT WAS DUST (crystal dust in a fine powered form). What exactly were all the bad guys names again? And why had PlumBob run off screaming into the night while Herbert had simply become a mopey drag? Some question were answered. Others not.

Either way the discussion came back to how exactly to get into the tower and save Zander, Xylarthen, and the others trapped by Shagast.

The dungeons were filled with red dust. They were out. And it was assumed finally that as the guest DM didn’t actually want to step on the usual DM’s toes so to speak, it wasnt even worth checking the other entrances. That left the tower. Unclimbable. Unapproachable. But there had to be a way.

And as Sherlock Holmes told us, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the solution. So the adventurers opted to simply ask to be allowed in.

Sven, the Sexy (former) Torch Boy, very charismatic, with an 8-pack and no shirt, did most of the talking. Shagast was... Intrigued. He didn’t want money.  He was willing to allow the group to enter, which was suspicious, and he sounded just a little too amused by the whole idea honestly. 

The party of ten, set to march forth. However, first, they noticed a small band of men, four of them, watching from a distance. A contingent approached the men to see if they were infected (they were not) and if they had any interest in joining the group going into the tower (they did). But they did not want to accept money. They were not sell swords. They were also hunting for a friend who has been lost during Shagast’s escape and were trying to find their own way into the tower. And well, strength in numbers.

So now there were 15 - Theodora, Herbert, Lister, Belray, Sven, Florence, PlumBob, Ves, Princess Consuela, Cade, Zeez Brightbow, and the group of four. They kind of looked like an angry little mob of oddballs. It was a lot of freaking people. But down the stairs they went, into the belly of the beast, so to speak.

The cavernous space before them was filled with a mist created by a giant waterfall coming from above and cascading down the stone face.  They found a set of stairs, which slowly looped around the space taking the team further downward.

On arrival at what appeared to be the next level down they found themselves in another large room, partially man made, partially naturally occurring, and at one end a massive set of carved doors. The image of the Hand was once again present here.

Simple enough.

But then there were Ogres. Two very large ugly ones. Visibility was still obscured by the aforementioned mist. 

Theodora, who spoke Chaotic, chose to try it on them as no one could really understand what they were saying. There was a serious language gap but some information could be gleaned. 

Namely that the Ogres were not going to just let them past, just because Shagast allowed them entrance past his minions and guards. 

And it became unfortunately clear that the Ogres weren’t complete fools either. They called for back up.

They could not be reasoned with, so in an attempt to shut them up before others arrived, the party attacked. 

Lister dearly wanted the Ogres for undead servants, so it was decided they had to die, which was a lot harder than people assumed it would be. And then the reserves arrived, cultists.

Some damage was taken and the handsome, young guy, of the group of four died. Pretty Boy? (It was Bright Eyes but I like Pretty Boy) People took a brief second to mourn a life lost too young.

Lister got his wish and resurrected the dead. A team of human and ogre zombies to do his bidding. (Bright Eyes was not included in this as he went over the cliff edge)

Then they crept as quickly as possible through the massive doors.

The group came upon a hallway lined with statues of Shagast. Each one where he was posing in some foreboding or impressive way. The guy was clearly into himself. And had done some really quick magic redecorating. 

At the end of the long room a hall went off to the right and the left. And right at the center of the wall was the largest of the statues. PlumBob tried to creep around it. One of the eyes was pried out.

A low and behold, the statues began to come to life, trapping the team between them.

Lister tried to arrange the Ogres and human zombies in front of the statues as the others clumped together, hoping to face off attacks from all sides.

The statues were no normal rock, they were very difficult to destroy. But as they were destroyed, one by one, members of the party crept forward toward the largest statue, still unmoving, and voted to head toward the right tunnel. 

Eventually, only the brave threesome of townsmen/former corpse worshipers were left, unexpectedly with PlumBob, unwilling to walk away from the fray. 

They fought valiantly. Lives were lost. Good men. Including Zeez - RIP - And most of the zombies, eternally disappointing Lister. But PlumBob and three of the men (Rafterman, Deuce, Biggs) remained, following behind the group after the statues were all destroyed. A single zombie cultist survived as well holding one of the giant gems taken from the large Shagast statue. 

They made their way down the hallway to a room, which seemed like a marginally safe spot to stop and regroup. It was a lavish anteroom decorated with plush cushion, rugs, and other lounging paraphernalia. What could be better?

And thus the group was down to 13. Lucky number 13......

But what awaits them next? Dun, Dun, Dun...

From Nes Gard with love, Theodora 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Saga of Shagast Session One: Basically the Part of Ghostbusters Where They go in the Library and Then Run Away

I have given up the reins of my campaign, surrendered them to another dm. It’s pretty wild. He blew up most of my wizard tower, but let’s not dwell on that. Lets’ talk about the adventure from my narcissistic perspective. Plumb Bob, the second level thief (that’s my character) and the other losers from Lidevin decided to visit Zander Scuttletoes. They arrive at the cool tower inhabited by Zander’s friends and discover that not only is he not home but that he prefers to live in a ditch. Classic Zander.

Here is a beautiful sketch of the possessed woman
that made my character go insane for an hour.
So a bunch of us are hanging out at the tower presumably doing team building exercises, when some possessed villagers show up. Possessed villagers were a bit of a theme for the session. They attacked and when defeated the gave off red smoke which caused temporary madness. It was a huge bummer. Plumb Bob spent an hour or so running laps around the town. Herbert the Half-Hearted became more listless than usual after a dose.

Despite these setbacks the party was determined to find the cause of the disturbance. Luckily there was a guy whose name a don’t remember (ok, turns out his name is Zeez Brightbow) who saw the whole thing, Xylarthen’s apprentice.  This guy showed up followed by some possessed villagers and gave us an info dump, nice guy:

It's a cultist. We briefly wondered whether the
red face paint would make us immune to the
spooky red gas but gave up on the idea.
·      Xylarthen was messing around with some crystal in his cool tower (formerly Raglom’s tower)
·      Turns out this crystal called the Chyridion was a prison for an entity called Shagast
·      Xylarthen accidently freed Shagast (oops)
·      Shagast locked Xylarthen, Zander Scuttletoes andFablon Wagshank in the crystal.
·      Now there are a whole other set of cultists besides the corpse worshippers in town and there is this weird red smoke everywhere.

Very cool.

The party journeys to the tower we fight some cultists and here is where things get interesting. There is a big schism in our playing group between those that have grown up playing Dungeons and Dragons and those that haven’t. Paul, the new dm has. I have. The rest had not. For tactical ‘thiefy’ reasons my thief was separated from the party when we saw the beholder taking part in some inscrutable demonic ritual in the center of the town by the tower. My character could not communicate with the rest of the party. He tried to gesture to call off the attack but none of the other party members understood the signal. They attacked the group of cultists led by the beholders. We all escaped due to some lucky rolls and some restrained refereeing.

I spent a long time thinking about what was going on in this tower
and how it connected to the dungeon underneath. Now it's been turned into a
giant red mist creature (cultists for scale at the bottom there). 
It did make me wonder though. When I am dming, one of our players, Erika has her own Monster Manual, which she will check because she doesn’t trust me. Here she neglected to look up the basketball-sized eye beast when it revealed itself. Does she trust Paul more than me? Had she forgotten the book that day? Was she merely negligent?
I didn't give the beholder a stupid enough look on its face
but otherwise it is pretty close to the original illustration

Anyway we all almost died. Then the beholder followed us home and scared the crap out of us, the end, sort of a ‘Saturday morning cartoon to be continued vibe.’

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Thanksgiving Adventure in Lidevin

The Cast of Characters:
Florence Mastercastle - Elf
Princess Consuela Banana Hammock - Cleric
Ves Grudrog - Magic User
Zander Scuttletoes - Halfling Thief
Plumb Bob - Thief

This boar was literally just eating some food
minding it's own business when we decided to attack it
It was the first time in a while I was a player instead of a dungeon master. When I am a player I am not the most mature; I have a desire to visit the perceived wrongs that players have committed against me back on other dungeon masters thus perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Fortunately this time there was another countervailing desire, to see one of my players who I taught how to play Dnd succeed her first time as a dm. Erika did a great job.

The adventure started with the party’s most recalcitrant and obstinate character, Zander Scuttletoes having travelled back to his hometown for Fantasy Thanksgiving. Normally Zander would not travel back to the town of Lidevin, a sleepy hamlet he has never mention and apparently has no memory of, but he was getting fed up with the his other party members (I presume) and needed a break.

So, the adventure starts in a bar. Zander is getting drunk alone. He wishes not to be noticed. Unfortunately, as so often happens when you go home for Fantasy Thanksgiving, all the people Zander was hoping to avoid are at the bar. Plumb Bob, the cheerful (probably due to some sort of brain problem) has become the incompetent bartender. He begins chatting Zander up and neglects to keep his stein properly filled. Then other people from Zander’s long forgotten past pile into the bar. They are every bit as irritating as the party Zander left behind in Clargarser. Of course Plumb Bob waives them over neglecting to fill any drink orders.

Zanders is tortured by his past acquaintances until two members of the town guard bust in, some old dude, who is chill and some young dude that is not chill. The not chill dude is named Cade.

A bunch of stuff happens and we are sent to the lord’s house for a very standard quest introduction. There is a reward. I forget what it is. I remember the quest though. The town is next to a magic forest. Usually winter never comes to the forest and hence the town. Winter is coming for the first time in memory. The town is not set up with grain reserves to make it through the winter. So, stop winter or a bunch of people starve.  The Lord thinks that the unicorn is somehow responsible or for the coming of winter (yes, there’s a unicorn). Cade is a virgin and only he can seduce the unicorn to make the unicorn happy again (I am unable to remember this part accept as Plumb Bob understood it, sorry). Cade is embarrassed that everyone in the party now knows that he’s a virgin and we head into the forest with Cade and Plumb Bob’s mule.

The forest is spooky.

We meet the unicorn. The unicorn is kind of obnoxious. Cade seduces the unicorn and claims that she has nothing to do with the winter coming and that some monsters stole the three globes of there not being winter and took them into a cave. The unicorn can’t go down stairs cause she’s a unicorn so she was thwarted from retrieving the globes (maybe orbs) Also the unicorn say the mule has to stay with her. The unicorn gives each of us a single strand of her mane to help us rescue the globes/orbs. They have good magical properties:

Plumb Bob's Mule left the party to become the Unicorn's lover
Hair of the Unicorn: single use magic item. Say “give me light” to create light equal to a continual light spell. Say “I wish to be healed” to cast cure light wounds. Say “Guide my weapon” to guaranty that your next attack hits and if the attack does less than 3 damage double the damage.

 The dungeon itself started out as a cave and had the general shape of a spiral leading down. It was pretty linear, which was appropriate for the single-session-one-shot nature of the adventure. There were monsters that could be run from or fought. There were monsters that could be bribed with food or fought, and there were monsters that could be reasoned with or fought. There were a few monsters that had to be fought.

Off the main path of the dungeon were a few rooms that provided extra treasure or puzzles that we could choose to ignore. One of the highlights was a room with seemingly worthless junk that when removed from the room revealed itself to be much more valuable treasure. It was really simple but really created a feeling of wonder and felt really rewarding to the party.

Then of course was the talking skeleton (Yes he kept asking for wine) with a desk full of valuables, who we could fight for his treasure but that would give the massive snake in the room time to come down from the ceiling and eat us. We ran away.

The whole adventure did a really good job of creating a sense of fairy tail logic. We were able to beat monsters through creative use of stuff found in the dungeon. An old tablecloth found earlier in the dungeon was used to blind a minotaur. A scrap of paper found in one room turned out to be a scroll of silence we were able to use on the harpy guarding one of the orbs. It was good design. The orbs themselves were kept in tiny seemingly magical cupboards. The dungeon came was like a scary children’s movie, which made sense as it was heavily influenced by The Last Unicorn. More people should steal from The Last Unicorn.

In the end we got out of the dungeon with the three orbs. We gave them to the Unicorn, who was now grateful and had fallen in love with Plumb Bob’s mule. Plumb Bob bid a tearful farewell to his mule and the party returned to Lindevin.

 Perhaps due to the fairy tale nature of the adventure, both Cade the uptight NPC and Zander Scuttletoes became a little friendlier and less ornery that before. It was another Fantasy Thanksgiving miracle.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

New Magic Item: Tergwyn Temmurbund's Translocatory Trousers

The sages think that Tergwyn Temmurbund was probably a pervert. He is hopefully long dead and only remembered an odd pair of pants that records trace back to him.

The pants must have been nondescript for there is no description of them, only this brief anecdote:

The wizard Temmerbund had not been seen for many years until one day he appeared before the baron of Witherhelm in his court. The baron had little choice but to grant an audience to the foul and eccentric wizard. The wizard did smell foul it is recorded and spoke little sense. The court grew nervous and confused at the Temmurbund's erratic behavior and disheveled appearance. He then spoke some gibberish words and began laughing before disappearing. Long after he had gone his smell lingered. The baron could not escape it and he could not figure out why. He began to feel something wet and discomfiting around his buttocks. He looked down and realized that instead of his own legging he was wearing Temmurbund's trousers and Temmurbund had soiled himself vigorously before switching pants.


I was looking through some old notebooks and came across this magic item I never used. The notebook just say, "Magic pants that let you switch pants with anyone without them noticing when triggered by activation word regardless of intent." I decided to illustrate how they work by writing a story about a wizard that shit his pants.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Session Report: The Ship Builder and the Creepy Cum Monster

The Ship Builder and the Creepy Cum Monster

Our heroes, this time Herbert, Larchmont, and Theodora wake in their strong hold, have a brief conversation about how weird it is Zander won’t sleep there, eat breakfast, and opt to journey into the dungeon for the day to while away some time. Their fill their wine skins with far too much bourbon to be healthy for anyone and set out. 

Also discussed - the school, the local clinic, general welfare of the populous. As well as the Nigerian Prince scheme that Herbert is running with some trained carrier pigeons. The group has 5, currently. Only one bird came back with any money but it was more than 100 gold. The birds were sent back out again. (They are gone around a week). 

Along the way they rehire the three hired men - 2a, 2b, and 3. All have recovered from their previous mission into the dungeon and the spores that they were exposed to. 

The orphan, Abbey, remains with the group along with Theodora’s intrepid companion, Bart, the dog. 

The adventure begins with a visit to Nupo, an old friend, to check on him and his wares. And catch up on any gossip from around town that he may have picked up. 

Nupo is once again living above ground. He fills the team in on some news about Dwarves and the mountains, a possible dragon. But the group consisting of only 3 persons decides to save that adventure for another day. 

They request to use Nupos cellar to access the dungeon and are told to go right ahead. With a wave, they disappear below. 

At this time the travelers discover some flaws to their existing map. Tunnels leading to the wrong places, doors missing. And it is decided that the map could be flawed and they should to their best to find themselves while also exploring. 

Exploring turns up empty room after empty room. Though the map does come together somewhat during this time period. 

The troop heads back down into the passage ways and comes to a block of rooms that form a rough square. 

The first room the come to is an empty storage room. A second leads to a dim room filled with model ships. They slip through a door along another wall and enter a second room filled with similar models but in the middle sits a figure. It’s hard to make out any features. It is a wraith like creature swathed in cloth. And while he does not speak above a whisper the words seem to rattle around the groups heads in an eerie fashion that makes them want to high tail it right out the next door. 

Larchmont, however, has trouble with the door. And in the process of finally opening it, destroys some of the models. Theodora apologizes profusely. As the whisper hissing rises in volume. They escape and slam the door shut behind them!

The next room they enter has an unknown creature in it. He resides in the center covered in an ooze that immediately disgusts the party. It resembles cum. 

An attack is launched. Theodora casts light into the dark room to aid Larchmont and the hired men in their attack. And then web to hold the monster. It is killed through the web. 

I think one of the hired men died here...

A room is discovered with a spiral staircase leading upwards. Also some cloaks are found and taken by Herbert and Theodora to be altered to their size later. 

Up the stairs there in a mansion in ruins. It is not a viable exit. At the moment. But the three plan to tell their compatriots about the place. Then they can loot the mansion while also clearing a new entrance into the dungeons for themselves. 

The group runs into a mushroom elf who is kind enough to relay information to them on how to get to the third level of the dungeon. 

They finally find a new level! But by then it is late and the party returns to the surface. 

The end. Probably some other stuff happened. 

Also noted - never google the term Gwar cum monster if you’re in a public place.

- Theodora

Session Report: All You Had to Do Was Ask

(Before we even start, I apologize for any misspelled names...) Our intrepid adventurers were at it again. After being denied access t...