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!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 GM Rotating Campaign Update and more.

Well it appears that we are still moving forward with our grand idea of starting a new campaign using 5 separate DM/GM/CK (Game Runner). We have had two sessions simply trying to hash out the details with a third to follow tonight. We should end up with a summary of what we want to do as well as possible briefly play test a thing or two. The question was posed today via email if anyone had a list of what we had decided on. It turns out we only had some notes from our initial discussion session but forgot to get anything from the last one.

Luckily Mike had some notes and Tom and John recall some of the things we successfully hashed out. There are a ton of emails that could be rifled through looking for answers if it comes down to that. The discussions for this campaign have definitely been the most email activity our yahoo group has seen since I joined. There have been a couple of times several of us have felt simply overwhelmed and decided to hold off topics until face to face discussions.

The only things that I know for sure that has been decided are we are:

Core System - Castles & Crusades
Campaign Geography - Multiple islands controlled by each DM with a central common island for HQ
PC Starting Experience - 6006 which is 3rd level for most if not all classes.
C&C Primes - ALL races get 3 prime attributes of +5 and +1 to non prime. Humans get +6 for the 3 primes.
Demi-Humans are allowed
No planar travel
Demons & Devils are considered "Monsters" so they may appear in the campaign.
No physical manifestations of Gods
Death & Dismemberment table created and agreed upon

There are still a lot of things up in the air but should fall into place tonight hopefully. Some things we are still tweaking or working out details of are:

Age for weapons and armor - this is either going to be medieval or roman
Campaign settings of each island
Gold & Encumbrance - Working out tweaks to use Lamentation of the Flame Princess chart
Religion yet to be decided
Aspects or Allegiances used in place of alignments for hooks and to encourage stories and RP.
Hero Points system which will be connected to the above mentioned Aspects.

As you can easily see there is a lot to take care of still but once decided on and typed up I think we will end up with a great campaign that we will all enjoy. Either that will happen or we will all end up hating it due to everyone making compromises along the way!

I also wanted to point out two other things.

1.  Mike is running a really fun contest over at his blog Swords & Dorkery using TSR CCG packs to design an adventure. Go check it out here:

2. As if I have free time on my hands I have created another blog which will showcase my new Malifaux gaming addiction. I was going to post them here but I wanted to keep my d20 and skirmisher gaming systems separate. If you are interested in those types of game though, please check out my new blog Table Top Breach here: