Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Talisman 4th Edition

First of all let me apologize for not getting as many posts out over the last couple of months as I had hoped for. I am splitting my fun time between two blogs, a YouTube channel and actual hobby and game play. It is an extreme balancing act to say the least.

Our group has not played much D&D since Thanksgiving due to holiday schedules and such. We met a few times to play some alternate games such as a one shot horror themed game, board game or some other fun alternative.

Last Wednesday was our first get together of 2012 and we had 6 guys in attendance and were only missing one who was still on holiday vacation or break. Since there had not been much free time for Mike to work on his next installment of Telengard we pulled out Talisman and played that. We did a random dealing of two characters and each person picked one of those two to play. I had ended up with Monk or Wizard. Since I almost never play a caster in any game I took the Wizard.

If I remember correctly Tom was a priest, Richard a troll, Mike a thief, John a warrior and Aaron was the sorceress and the only other evil player to start the game besides my wizard. I had not played this in approximately a year so it took a few turns to get things figured out for me but then it went smooth from there.

I quickly found myself collecting followers and objects to help me build up my character. It wasn't long before I found myself increasing my strength and casting abilities to close to 10 a piece. This did begin to paint a bit of a target onto my back and I had a couple of the guys doing what they could to try and take some of my objects or spells from me. I even had the priest use a spell on me to hold me in place so I couldn't move that turn. All of these shenanigans took place on the first level region. Mike's thief ended up advancing to the second tier first and then I think Richard's. I ended up getting lucky enough to advance not just to the second tier but straight to the third. I then was able to work my way to the crown of power one turn at a time and began issuing challenges to tick down everyone's health. Richard ended up getting the closest in the third tier but he also ended up losing his last health before making it to the top to challenge me for the crown.

We ended the night with most everyone conceding to my victory other than Mike who kept rolling and trying to make it to me. Everyone but Mike had began cleaning up the table including me and I didn't even recall what cards I still had available to try and fight him off before he got to me. So I guess this victory goes to the Evil Wizard with an * in the book!

All in all I have had fun with this game the couple of times I have played it. This is the first time I made it to the final tier which definitely added some new parts of the game that I hadn't been involved with before. Everyone kept fairly civil and though everyone was out for themselves in a mildly competitive way, there were some good rivalries as fights were breaking out and items shifting owners several times. I demonstrated how karma works by not getting Tom back for planting me in my spot and not allowing me to move, but actually used a spell to heal him! This was actually a tactical move of course because I wasn't seeing much of a threat for my own health so wanted to switch that spell card out for something else I may used more to my benefit.

There were some good laughs though. I do recommend this board game to anyone looking for fantasy themed games.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Protective Samurai - Christmas Gift 2011

I know it has been a few weeks since I got a gaming post put up here. Our group took a couple of weeks off due to the holidays and I have been focusing my time on holiday things myself a long with getting some models painted and terrain built.

The video below is a model I painted and a small diorama I put together as a gift for my cousin this year. He seemed to really like it. Honestly several people seemed to love it and it looks like I will be doing similar projects for gifts next year for other family members.

The model itself is a Reaper Samurai model which turned out even better than I had hoped. The creases in the cloth and the pose made this model extremely enjoyable to paint.

The base is foam which I carved with my hot wire foam cutter. The tree is one of many I have laying around here from the Woodland Scenics line. The ground flock on the top of the base and under the tree, along with the bushes around the base of the tree were also from Woodland Scenics. The slate stone looking pieces that the model is perched on is actually cheap plaster o paris from the hardware store. I simply poured some into a storage lid lined with aluminum foil and let it dry. Once it was try I simply broke out junks with my fingers and then layered white glue over it several times to make it more durable.

All in all it was a fun little project and I got a chance to try out several ideas and techniques for the first time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DM Rotation & King Minos' Labyrinth

Our gaming group did not gather last week due to several reasons that kept us from our weekly R&R session. All but one (Marc is out for awhile as his boys are playing sports this winter - we patiently await his return) of us returned last night though for the first rotation to our 2nd DM to run his session. Tom who was playing Mr. Magic took the reins as our next DM and he didn't like a few of our originally created or proposed rules so made a few changes.

  1. Action or Hero Points were going to be drastically reduced because he feels it over powers the player characters. We would all start with 3 but have only those to use for his entire adventure which could be from 2 to 4 sessions.
  2. Healing per day was changed from BtB (By The Book) to be 1 full HD per day. So my barbarian would heal 12 hit points per day.
  3. Encumberence wasn't new but we finally finished hashing it out which I believe was built off of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This uses slots which break down to approximately 5 normal size items per tier of point. There were modifiers that included type of armor worn, over-sized objects carried and whether you had a STR and/or CON prime attribute. These were all added up to find out how your base movement is ultimately affected.
  4. There was also a magical item awarded to the party from our first adventure with John that Tom felt was too high of level and removed it. In John's defense he simply rolled on the loot table and that was what was given. Tom had him roll again at the beginning of the night and we ended up with a Girdle of Strength (21 STR) which my barbarian ended up with. No complaints with me on that one!
The story at the beginning of the night started with the party's boat being pushed off course and destroyed on a reef. They waved down a passing fishing vessel who offered to give em a ride. The party of course rewarded the crew with payment but didn't know what happened to Mr. Magic (Tom's character) or Bradford (Marc's character). They only hope their fellow adventurers are alive and found passage to safety.

The party arrived on an island and as the ship pulled in to port they found out that it was controlled by sea elves and that lesser races were confined to the slums of the of dock area. This suited Volrath (Chad) just fine as the city in general made him uncomfortable but the slums were a little more tolerable for him. The party spent several days selling and purchasing equipment and almost everyone upgraded their equipment or filling out things that may have been missing from the last adventure.

During the days spent mingling in the slums the party heard about a Labyrinth of death that King Minos of the Sea Elves uses to entertain his masses and dispose of trouble makers (aka adventurers). They met an old man who claimed to know a way out of this Labyrinth and paid him well for the information. It turns out there is an alter on the other side of the island where crushed bloodstones can be used to enchant silver rings which will allow an adventurer or party to be teleported out of the Labyrinth. The party purchased several bloodstones and silver rings, purchased another ship, hired another crew and set off to the other side of the island. As they approached the area where the old man described that he and his old sea elf friend had discovered the alter, the crew said they didn't feel safe going any closer to the cliff face. Half way up there was what appeared to be a castle carved out of the rock itself.

The party discussed possible solutions and decided with Volrath's new found super human strength he would drink a flying potion and carry the rest of the party up the cliff face with him. As they approached the castle they spotted dozens of orcs scattered across the perimeter in defensive positions. Of course the orcs spotted the flying adventurers as well. The party decided to float on down and try to hug the cliff face more so they weren't flying right at the orcs in bow shot range. As the party got close to the cliff though they noticed a small cave near the base and unfortunately were not quick enough in making out the siren before she began to sing. The entire party but Grimm were charmed and set down at the cave entrance. Grimm (Mike) knew immediately the danger of this creature and took to the offensive. However the siren demanded the rest of us protect her from his advance. Lews (Matt) grappled him and began dragging him toward the water. Due to the aspect connection between Volrath, Lews and Grimm his mind was torn and attempted to break Lews hold on Grimm so that no harm would come of him. Unfortunately, he failed miserably and this wouldn't be the only time in this encounter.

After some time Grimm finally broke the grip of several mer-folk and entered the cave in search of the now invisible siren. The creature threw some kind of lightening bolt spear that hit everyone and snapped them out of the charm spell. The halfling druid illusionist (John's character which I have forgotten his name) was felled. Fortunately this left the siren visible and the party pounced on her. After she shape shifted once the rogue Lackland (Richard) downed her. The party found the remains of what they assumed was the old man's sea elf friend who had fallen victim to the siren's powers and a few bits of treasure.

Our adventurers again downed another flying potion and made their way up the cliff face again. This time they kept out of view from the orcs on watch and find an entrance just above the guarded areas and entered to find a spiraling staircase heading down. At the base they found a rather large orc sitting in a throne and decided to regroup and attack. As they entered the room they found the orc leader was actually accompanied by a score of orc archers. Lews, Volrath and Grimm charged the archers and tore through the first 18 or more as blood and orc parts went flying. Lackland snuck around to attack the leader from the flank and luckily the boss fell as another score of orcs approached his blind side. The remaining orcs surrendered and were released as the party found the altar they were seeking and prepared their now enchanted silver rings.

The night ended with the party making its way back to the slums and volunteering to enter the Labyrinth. A spectacle was made as the adventurers were lowered into the labyrinth from within a coliseum type structure...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ancient Island Saved (5 DM Campaign)

Volrath Kromlaw painted and upon his winter themed base.

 Unfortunately, I didn't get a post out summarizing last weeks session which was our first to kick off the 5 DM campaign so I will start there. After our custom character and background generation process we found ourselves heading to an island from ancient history. We were immediately approached by the village elder who informed us that he was to perform an ancient ritual that keeps the lands here safe and fertile. However the scrolls with the ritual script were missing as well as his son. The village had sent search parties up a large hill on the island and nobody has returned. He of course asked our adventuring party for help and we accepted. There was a brief mention of seeing a dragon or something similar terrorizing the village a couple of nights before. But the elder wasn't sure what it was exactly because he was cowering in fear when it was present.

Our party set up the hill consisting of a Fighter (Lews - played by Matt), a magic-user (Mr. Magic played by Tom), a thief (Lakeland - played by Richard), a ranger (Grimm - played by Mike), a cleric (Bradford - played by Marc), and a barbarian (Volrath - played by me). The first thing we notice is that this hill is rather large and there are old ruins and debris scattered everywhere creating walking paths between 10 foot high piles of the previously mentioned. The first encounter were several (I think around 10 or so) wild boars which my barbarian took a pounding from but everyone survived. Mr. Magic asked to borrow 10 feet of rope from Volrath (who it appears was the only one that brought rope and torches) and cast rope trick giving us a safe place to heal and memorize spells again.

The second encounter was with some strange living tree on top of one of the piles of ruins and rubble. It had roots coming out of the sides though that kept ensnaring and attacking us as we got close. Again the group prevailed though.

The third encounter was the first one to really scare me. We came upon a nest of 8 Harpies. Mr. Magic's web spell worked wonders and we ultimately vanquished this foe as well.

The final encounter of our first session pitted our adventurers against 8 gargoyles. The first round showed the gargoyles tearing most of us to shreds so Mr. Magic quickly cast his rope trick and we scampered up the rope and hid there for awhile and discussed our retreat. We utilized the invisibility spell and some clever tricks to distract the gargoyles giving us a chance to retreat to town to lick our wounds and discuss how to get past this encounter.

Volrath's Shield

Last night we continued our efforts up the hill but without our most valuable cleric. We knew from the beginning we were going to have to use our heads to survive this one. Our first task was to devise a plan on how to deal with the deadly gargoyles. We talked about using nets and maybe a boat to barricade ourselves into a choke point area in an attempt to deal with a minimum number of opponents at once. We decided to use the handy web spell again and it worked well. We took some bumps and bruises but we managed to dispatch our foes and moved further up the hill.

The next obstacle were a couple of thugs and a half dozen or so of zombies. Our scouts made quick work of the two thugs and the group finished off the zombies fairly quickly. Not far from this location we ran into more zombies, thugs, skeletons and some kind of grey robed mystic. The group confronted the undead and thugs while Volrath circled around and noticed the mystic in the back. Once he got an opportunity he charged and eventually subdued his opponent. Things got really weird during this fight as a thug surrended and Lews attempted to accept his surrender and move him toward the back of the fray where Volrath, Mr. Magic and the captured mystic were. During this time our thief became confused and kept firing arrows past Lews trying to kill the surrendering thug. When things were all said and done we got what information and loot from the mystic and Lakeland befriended the thug we came to find out was named Bob. He even offered him a percentage of loot as he agreed to travel along with us.

Nightfall was upon us and we knew we only had a day left to complete our mission so we decided to just move on. It turned out we were not far from the top of the hill finally. Grimm scouted ahead with his darkvision and found a large pit that looked like an old temple had caved into the hill. At the bottom of the pit there was a young blue dragon. The party other than Bob who was terrified made a plan to sneak in and see what they could investigate using invisibility. After we regrouped and made our way back to the pit which was approximately three hours later the dragon was no where in sight. Half of the party made its way down into the pit and found the scrolls scattered around the floor. Some of the party succumbed to their greed and started looking for dragon loot and the dragon returned before we could make our escape. A deadly battle ensued which seen both the wizard and the ranger fall. Blood was everywhere when the old battle brothers Lews and Volrath felled the beast on two final swings of their weapons. The scrolls and loot were gathered up and the party returned to the village to report to the elder what had transpired. That concluded our first adventure. We actually played quite a bit later than we usually do simply because we suspected we were close and things were going well and fun was being had.

Volrath's Wolfskin Cloak

John was the first of the five to DM this adventure. John, Tom and I are all out next week so Mike is planning on running a one shot horror game he found recently for the remainder of the group if they get together. We will spend the next week or two figuring out if John will run another shorter adventure or if one of the other four of us will pick up the torch. We had originally envisioned each DM would get to run 3 to 4 sessions before switching and John only got to put in 2 for this one as we learned what was and wasn't working for the system we put together.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Beginnings of Volrath Kronlaw

Our new 5 DM campaign finally kicked off this past Wednesday night. We began the session figuring out brief backgrounds and using those to determine what our Aspects were going to be. The Aspects would in turn give us points of how our player characters were connected and give us points to earn addition hero points to use throughout the campaign. The characters player began the aspect backgrounds and then the sheets were passed around twice to different players to add how they were connected to that character. Below are the three stories that helped shape my barbarian characters background.

My Bit:
Volrath Kronlaw was the youngest of 4 sons to the Lord of Kronheim. His family has lead and protected his tribe for generations until recently. There has been an ever growing force on the island of Sigkara and many bad things have been happening. What once was a simple yet wild land, has been increasingly rampant with war. Volrath was tasked to train the defenders on the eastern range in preparation of war from invading armies located in the south. These armies were men but none like he had ever seen before. They were scrawny looking but they were tricky and wielded powerful dark mystic powers. His people have since called them the Warped Mystics. The message was received to begin the march southwest where his and his father's forces would meet to repel the Warped Mystics. Unfortunately, when he arrived the only thing he found was a single robe wearing mystic and miles of ice in all directions. They mystic began to chant something. There was a blinding light and a deafening roar of thunder. Then everything went black...

Matt's Addition:
Lews Therin met Volrath years past, and was linked somehow by fate. When Kronheim's army vanished Lews had to lend his support. But he must first meet Ilyena at the palace... (This is how Lews the fighter, Matt's character are connected)

Mike's Addition:
When Volrath arrived in Sosaria, he found the "civilized" kingdom difficult to understand. One of the first people he befriended was a feral woodsman with a hideous face and teaming with hordes of lice. They fought the Ugluk tribe of ogres together. (This is how Mike's character Grimm was connected to mine)

I do not have my character sheet in front of me but here are the aspects that I remember adding to it: Big & Strong, Enemies: Warped Mystics and Ugluk Ogres, Champion of Kronheim, fascinated by weaponry, good judge of other defenders and champions, weakness for brewery. These will give any of the DM's some good aspects to twist into their stories and adventures.

The first image at the top of this post is the miniatures that I still need to paint up but hope to work on it if not finish it this weekend. I will finish the post with the make of Sigkara which is Volrath's homeland.

Five Wishes for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons : Critical Hits

Five Wishes for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons : Critical Hits

One of the things I have begun doing is adding interesting and entertaining blog subscriptions to my Google reader. Today I read the above article and thought it was interesting as everyone continues to speculate what 5e will be. From what little experience I have with 4e I really don't have a lot of things that I don't like. I wouldn't mind a quicker combat only to easily offset the combat and role playing aspects. What would you you like to see added, removed or changed in the next version?
I apologize for errors in this post. It is the first from my mobile device while traveling.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Iron Chef Adventure Challenge: D&D Style

As I previously mentioned Mike over at Swords & Dorkery has begun a little contest using the old TSR Collector Cards. You can go to his blog to see the full details. Basically we are to open a pack of TSR Collector Cards which contain 16 cards each. Our task is to design an adventure using at least half (8) of the cards in the pack we open up.

I was torn between participating in the contest and helping to judge since Mike said he may try to enlist some of our gaming group to help in picking the winner. My only real concern was whether or not Mike planned on using any of the entries in our new Campaign starting soon. Since he informed me that he did not plan on doing any such thing it left me free to decide how I wanted to participate. I decided to enter the contest and opened my pack Wednesday night. I ended up with 4 Spelljammer and a couple of Greyhawk cards. I figured between the generic cards, the couple of Greyhawk and a Forgotten Realms card I should be able to pick 8 to use for my adventure.

Here are the cards I ended up with:

Magical Quill
Human Barbarian
Magical Canoe
Magical Potion
Magical Chariot
Pyros Silverbane
Ferret Familiar

All in all I think I ended up with some good luck. Very quickly I had an idea of what the adventure would consist of. Now I just need to decide the details, weave it all together and figure out the layout of how to present my adventure.

This sounds like a very fun and interesting contest and I would highly suggest checking out Mikes blog if you are interested in taking part. I don't know how many entries are available or how many have already been spoken for but the end products are certainly going to be interesting!