Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Training to level up - Warriors

My plan for leveling up during the old school campaign is that the PC's will have to find trainers within the world.  For every level gained, it will cost 100 GP's, so Level 1 - 100 GP, Level 2 - 200 GPs and so on.

What crossed my mind, was for the fighter trainer, to have a guy like Sgt. Slaughter.  I am unsure as to whether you may have seen the GI JOE movie.  During the movie, the JOES have to go find Slaughter for training and for plot development.  He's obviously a hard ass, part of the quest is just finding the guy.  He lives I believe in the Mountains of Burma, or something like that.

Now just think about D&D and a Medieval world, Slaughter fits right in doesn't he?

Just checked wikipediaFictionalized versions of Sgt. Slaughter were part of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, cartoon and comic books, as a member of the G.I. Joe team and first appeared in the five-part TV episode entitled "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!

Here's the scene from when the JOE's meet Slaughter for the first time. 

From the scene you realize that Slaughter has his own crack team of "Slaughter's Renegades", basically some hard core guys who are currently going thru a training regime with the Good Sergeant. 

As far as D&D is concerned, first off role playing a drill Sergeant is going to epic-ally funny! Secondly he can be a old warrior living in the mountains training recruits who come along.  Still in super good shape, wrestles dragons for fun etc.  Obviously the PC's will have to go and find him first.  Should make for an interesting adventure I figure.  

Now to come up with a name for this heroic trainer? 



Monday, May 30, 2016

Players Newsletter #1

I've done this before and I actually quite like doing it.  It add's a bit of mystique to the game, and also immerses the player's within the story.  The other part of this is that it sets the stage to remind me who the major players are within the campaign, as far as the political leaders are concerned, etc.

Here's a copy of the text only.

SAD NEWS “SHIELDS OF ATREU” FOUND DEAD.
Head Marshall Penac has received news that the beloved shields of atreu have been found dead in a cavern north of Brymassen.  A group of Hero’s who recently came to Brymassen set off to find news of the ill-fated group.  A member of the group “biohazz” says “We found one of their shields!  And a very deceased looking adventurer, it’s quite sad”.  Another member of the group is not entirely pleased about the results, but is happy that the group is taking over the cottage that had until recently belonged to the shields of atreu. 

ARNOF TO SET OFF ON TRADE MISSION TO ELERD’S KEEP.
The Burgomeister of Brymassen has received news that Arnoff Trading is setting off to Elerd’s keep with a load of Salted winter fish, barrels of ale.  The town council is pleased that they will receive some payment for these items from Lord Elerd.  “We need to keep our economy going, in these hard times” says the Burgomeister.  He goes on to say that a few halfing families are moving to the lands surrounding Elerd’s keep.  Arnoff is seeking a few guards for the incredibly difficult trip.

WANTED:
Father’s Dagger – Inquire with Hamona at the Balding Minotaur Inn. 

BARBARIANS SPOTTED IN THE WESTERN HILLS
A recent song sung by the travelling bard “Llywelyn The Out Of Tune” has caused a bit of an uproar.  Apparently the Elf sang of Barbarian’s ravaging the lands to the west!  Halflings flew from the tavern and batten down the hatches for days.  Llywelyn is no longer welcome within the town borders.

NORTHERN SWAMPS ARE A SCARY PLACE!
Podo Brockhouse claims that he saw a 3 headed beast in the swamp.  “I was out hunting near the ocean, I saw the beast and ran as fast as my feet could carry me!”

PIRATES ATTACK A TRAVELLING MERCHANT
Word has come that “our ladies grace” was sunk off the blood coast.  The town councilor’s expected the ship weeks ago.  Rumours have circulated that Pirates are to blame!

THE ELVES OF AUTUMNSHADE WOOD DO NOT APPRECIATE VISITORS. 
It has been long known that the Elves of Autumnshade wood do not appreciate visitors, they have kept to themselves for many a year.  Just lately King Kendel Krisnorin of the Autumnshade Wood Elves has decreed that no halflings from Brymassen are allowed within the borders of Autumnshade.  The council asks that all town’s folk abide by these rules.  A plan to send an emissary in the spring is being discussed.  In the meantime the council has meet with the Dwarves of Ebonshield, and it went quite well!  Grizela Stonefist (leader of the Stonefist clan) has proposed to trade food for steel & gems. 




Sunday, May 29, 2016

What a dragon? But we are first level - Old school session 3

We reconvened for a session the other night.  When last we left off the PC's were in the dungeons of Illzathatch, looking for the shields of a atreu.  After having just finished killing off a bunch of lizardmen.  They stumbled upon a large sack that was wriggling.  Inside was "dirk", a very skinny goblin, who pledged to help the PC's provided they gave him some food.  North of the last room they were in was a door that they could not get open, so the PC's made their way back south, past the "murder bucket" room. 

Dirk was created as a bit of a plot device, not so much hand holding, but to help out.  For example last time the PC's found a scroll and the thief kept it.  Dirk noticed it, and mentioned that someone else in the group may be able to read it.  The thief past the scoll to the cleric and she realized very quickly that it was in fact a scoll of cure light wounds. 

The PC's bypassed the "dragon" room and kept wandering around the dungeon looking for a member of the shields of atreu.  They stumbled into a few extremely dangerous trap rooms.  In one case, we were just going to go for a smoke break, and the PC's walked into a room.  I had them all save vs spell, then took the 3 that were successful outside first.  I explained to them what they saw.  The other 2 well they almost fell in the hole.  It works well when the PC"s are very concenerd with their marching order.  And in some cases with some rather funny results.

The thief has an extremely low wisdom score, so he doesn't act quite like a thief, and in pretty much every situtaion he just yells out "WHAT HO!" instead of actually attempting to be sneaky.  It's a entertaining player to have in the group.

The PC's stumble upon a dead adventurer with a shield bearing the mark of "the shields of atreu".  The decision is made that the PC's do not need to spend any more time in this "death trap dungeon" as they found what they were looking for.

On the way out of the dungeon the PC's finally make it to the dragon room.  The door is wizard locked, and they are unable to open it.  Previously the PC"s have found out that the command word for the door was breeyark!  However they totally forgot about it. 

Cue a bunch of lizardmen coming down the hall at them!  "Hey you! get outta here".  PC's draw their weapons, its sword to face time!  The goblin Dirk (who is not unsimilar to dobbie) draws his dagger, and yells BREEYARK!!!!!!

Door opens.

The PC's run into the room and the door closes behind them. 

The whole time I"m laughing because, you goofs just ran from lizardmen into a dragon room.  Seriously it doesn't get any better than that.

The PC's meet the spawn of Illzathatch, Hazathathch, a green young dragon.  I've been waiting most of my life to roleplay a dragon, I've never really had the opportunnity to do so.  They parlay with the dragon and do not make her mad.  She wants to know what has become of her mother, and wants the PC"s to look for her.  She will pay them handsomely.  The PC's are able to get out of the situation without as much as a scratch.  *I had made a reaction roll for the dragon, and it was favourable, so I went with it.

The PC's leave and quickly get into a fight with the lizardmen, in a blaze of glory dirk dies. 

The PC's finallly get the hell out of dodge, and that is where we ended for the night.

As a bad DM I did a few whoop's thru out the end of this adventure.  I spilled the beans on what had became of the rest of the shields of atreu, as well I let the PC"s know that I will level them up next game.  I suppose I can't blame myself to harshly as I had a few drinks.  As you can tell by the pictures.  I have to remember to be a bit more NEUTRAL as far as the game is concerned.  I can't help it though, I root for the PC's. 

Next up, the PC's make there way back to the balding minotaur.  At which point they can go off in search of the tomb of gardag, or something else!

2 things are on my mind currently.  1 having brymassen utterly destroyed by pirates, sending the PC's off to do the aerie of the slave lords series.  or 2.  Having the PC's meet up with Arnof the trader, who requests them to guard his caravan to Elerd's Keep, cue Morgan's fort campaign with a bit of a twist.

Of course they can always check out the deathtrap that is gardag. 

After I level the PC's I probably won't do it again for awhlie, I am going to continue to keep an eye on XP earned, at this point they are basically half way to level 2.  And suprisingly they are quite resiliant! for first level.  I don't mind the idea of 2 adventures and a level up though.  It will however cost them some moolah! 

I have to remember to print off the DM screen for Basicfantasy, at least the first two pages, as there is some helpful stuff there.  Having the saving throw numbers in front of you makes DMing a bit easier. 

One of the players wants to multi class, and I'm not sure on the rules for that in basic fantasy.  My opinion at the time was "alright, you stop being a warrior and start being a thief" provided you meet the requirements.

PS there's the new games table! $58 at Canadian tire, steal of a deal!


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Great Battle

I have been slowly concocting ideas for the "Great Battle" in the campaign I started.  I haven't quite decided if it will be a series of battles, like in Lord of the rings, or one great one at this point.  The plan is to really push the intrigue till the point that everything is ringing.

Mechanically I have a few ideas.  First and foremost, I will hand each player their own group of warriors within the battle on a piece of paper.  Each player will have 4 minis on the board.  The mini's will represent either 12 or 24 units within the battle.

As far as Armour class goes, I think I will set it up so its fairly even across the board, probably everything will be treated as level 1 for ease of combat, with no extra added bonuses.

On the sheet, I'll have the handy boxes used for HP's in basicfantasy adventures.  All damage will be d6 based, which will reduce the units with each troupe the players are handling.  If the player or monsters roll under the armour class, I decided to still allow troop damage, but what will happen is it will be 1d3 rather than 1d6.  Because in a battle people still die.  That being said if the player/monsters roll a 1, they will be over run, take regular damage and won't be able to do anything the next round.  On a roll of 20, it will be double damage, 2d6.

While the battle is taking place, I want to every 4 rounds or so, cut to the player's perspective.  So regular D&D type combat.  Then back to the battle at hand.

I plan to use a board from dragonstrike as the battle mat.  Probably the forest one.  As far as movement I think d4s.  What I haven't quite decided if there's going to be an objective other than complete destruction.  Like a tower or something the PC"s are protecting.  Or vice verse, storming the keep!  hmmm... actually that might just work.



As far as the lead up to the battle, I have a few ideas that I'm kicking around but nothing concrete yet.

This is what I've got so far.




Thursday, May 26, 2016

Piranhaspider

Last night I was revising "caverns of ugard".  I was using a pdf of labryinth lord rules, and I find it easy to do a Ctrl F when I'm looking for something.  I had just typed in piranha.  Then I went to look for spider.  But it didn't delete the previous word, so i had it looking for PIRANHASPIDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 #rollforinitiave

Now I need to find someone who wants to draw it! 
Here's the stats.

Piranhaspider AC 6, HD 3, MV 180’ (60’), #AT 1, D 1D6, Save F3, ML 9 , AL Chaotic, XP 150

The Piranhaspider will ussually appear in groups of 3.  They will attack anything that has meat on its bones.  The Piranhaspider can inject a poision that will cause the victim to become limp (save vs petrify).  They have extemely high morale and will fight to the death.  Once they have their victim subued they will take them to underground lairs filled with strange water soluable webs, where they will either munch down, or save the victim for a snack.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hacking it

So I think I'm going to hack Swords & Wizardry whitebox to suit my own needs. 95% of it is perfect. However here's the house rules.

Rolling a 20 on a hit does double damage for both PC's and Monsters.

Instead of a cleric turning table, it will be the same as the saving throw matrix. When a cleric attempts to turn they have to roll over the number (dependent on level) They also roll 1d6, if a 1 comes up the undead is completely destroyed rather than turned.

Same goes for thieving skills, it will be using a saving throw type table to cover all those skills. I know this will make the game a bit more swingy, but it will also be rules lite. To which I'm going to add a thief class to the game.

I'll also trim down the gear table and create a few adventure packs as well for quick character creation.

Ability checks will be based on DC's that become easier as you level up.

That would be about it.

Sometimes I forget things

My old school group has been going well, and we were discussing our next session which should be in a few weeks probably a tuesday.  All of the players are really enjoying themselves, and just the act of playing games.  They have no real idea of the culture of D&D, or any "back story" per se, as far as the game goes.  Whilst discussing when to possibly meet up I got super excited and sent an email talking about a new module I was looking at running, and I got really into "well we may try this version of the game" etc.  My wife gave me a bit of shit for it.  Basically because I don't need to ruin anything for the players, or talk to much about the game.  Just enjoy the game for what it is.  Problem is I can't help myself, because I'm always planning, and always thinking on how to make my game better.  I'm sure this is a problem for a lot of us.  If I was smart I would have just posted on this blog and talked to the rest of my D&D afficicanado's.  But instead I decided to both the players with my excitment.  The other issue of course is my mild to major A.D.D, depending on the day.  A lot of times I tend to get super excited and just blurb like a goof. 

So the things that have been on my mind thus far.

Switching to S&W Whitebox.

Running Sourge of the slave lords

Finishing up my little hex crawl and adding in some adventures from the Basic Fantasy Adventure Anthology.

and last but not least a few old Mystara adaventures including, Isle of Dread & Saga of the shadow mage. 

Oh and I had one brilliant thought of switching to 2nd edition.  Iyeyeyeye Shane! And one minor thought of playing with just the original basic rules red book.

This is the stuff, that I don't need to bother people with.  Esspecially people who just want to play. 

So take my advice, if your players don't want to discuss stuff like this, and just want to have fun.  Just do that.  Keep all your crazy DM ideas to yourself and discuss them openly on your blog.  (hopefully your players don't read it!).


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why I might switch to S&W Whitebox

The more I play old school games, the more I like less rules.  The more I enjoy rulings.  We have been playing basicfantasy, which I adore and is really a great game, however I've been reading S&W Whitebox latetly and there are certain things about it I'm really digging.  Mostly the trimmed down stats.

First off, I like that there is one saving throw, secondly I like the stat bonus's being only +1 or -1.

(Currently reading the 3rd printing). http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/WhiteBox3p.pdf

I like that the characters all get d6 based hit points, as well I like the exculsion of the thief as far as the classes go.  If I was running this I think I would just have thief skills based on dexterity checks and leave it at that.

I also like the d6 based damage from all weapons!  That's a lot easier!  I would even add DEX based initiave I think, from Holmes edition.

Oh and another change that is worth noting, monster's HD are based on d6's as well.  Basically you can play this whole game with a few d6's and a d20.

The levelling up is fairly straight forward for each of the classes, as well I like that the levels only go to Level 10.  

I think I may just give this a go at the next session.





Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Ribs Hurt - Old School Session 2

Seriously it was so funny.

At the last second yesterday, I decided instead of running a BF module, I would give two of my adventures a try.  The Tomb Of Gardag & The Lizardmen of Illzathatch.

As you know I'm currently working on a hex crawl for the world that the players are in, but it is not quite done.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-z57FUssnFroI-YjXhgh1NzJgfk8sBFf__SvLpzePk8/edit

First things first, as soon as the players sat down, I had them all roll on the d100 mildly plausible backgrounds for old school players.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-hlnlR7qn5XekkzWHVSXzdKYW8/view

My players eye's lit up as they rolled their backgrounds, and quickly came up with more reasons why they were all together, and tied their own semi created back stories up a bit better.  I have written down what everbody rolled (it is however at home).  But one of the Elves was a thief I believe, who stole something, he also got the re-roll twice, and managed to dream up a hilarious story.

Alright onto the adventure, as you know the players just finished up "Beneath Brymassen", and were doing the usual hang out in the tavern sort of thing.

The town burgomeister came in and talked with the PC's about a adventuring group that has went missing (Lizardmen of Illzathatch).  He told the PC's that the adventuring group had went north after a dragon and hadn't been seen in weeks.  Pointed them in the direction of the road leading north.  Part of the reason that the town want's to know what is up with the "Shields of atreu" is that they currently own a house in brymassen and they owe some back taxes!

The PC's head off north, manage to make a day's travel without much excitement and stop off at a small Inn on the road.  The "Balding Minotaur".  They sit down and order a drink.  At which point i go and grab a bottle of Saki and pour everyone a shot.

While they are hanging out, my wife's new character makes an appearance, and starts hanging out with the rest of them.  I killed her previous character last time.  I named the new PC "Oxanna", and she manged to do a funny Russian accent.

Onward!  So while hanging out in the tavern, the PC's meet up with a nice lady who's father was a cultist!  She tells them the back story, and agrees to pay the PC's half up front.  Swagger check. (cue Gardag!).

The PC's do a team huddle and decide to go after the dragon , and then deal with the cultist thing.

I'm happy that I managed to setup 2 adventures and give them a chance to decide what they wanted to do for themselves.

Next morning, they make it to a small cave about a half a day's ride from the Inn.  They wander around the dungeons, not getting into too much trouble.  They finally happen upon a bunch of lizardmen working and gambling.  One is smithing some crudely made weapons.

Reaction check. The Lizardmen are not outright hostile.  They talk a bit with the PC's and for most of the questions they say "it is what the master wants".  (the lizardmen are charmed by something within the dungeon.... I shouldn't put too many spoilers in here, in case one of the players' read this.).

The PC's determine that the dragon may be somewhere north of their present location.  The Pc's had to break down the door to get into the lizardmen room.  And one of the players asks "If the door was locked how do you leave this room?".  To which one of the lizardmen says "easy the north exit!".

Laughter ensue.

While traversing the dungeon the PC's notice a secret door and decide to open it.  The thief decides to yell "WHAT HO!" as soon as the door opens.  A giant rattler sticks it's head out and gets a free surprise round on the thief!

They manage to do away with the snake quickly.  In the room is a steal chest.  As the players are immensely concerned about Mimics, I decide in my infite wisdom to have a magic mouth spell on the chest.  Egad was that a hilarious role play.  "Alright I'll hit it with my spear".   So funny.  They finally realized that the chest didn't mean any harm.

They wander off and find a room with a well and a bucket.  This is where PC paranoia is so funny!  They seem to think that the bucket might in fact be a "Murder bucket".  As after they pulled it, it went back to its original place.  Once again Mimic paranoia.  It reality the well provided some healing properties.  They went so far as to lower a halfling down the well.  To which I started counting backwards from 30, for her "holding her breath" hahah.  Finally after they realized that it was not in fact a murder bucket, they tried to use it twice.  And that my friends is when I said

"You go to take a drink and as you tip the bucket the water disappears out of the bottom".

Finally the PC's make it to another room with lizardmen, and promptly start a huge fight!

And that is where we left it that night.  Honestly it was so funny.  I decided to start using "Inspiration" mechanic.  Just because they were role playing so well, I figured I'd give them a bit of a bonus.

Side note, I'm considering ordering S&W whitebox, I just read thru it the other day, and I quite like it.  Not that there's anything wrong with BF, but I like the idea of a bit more trimmed down rules.  I know they are similar.  What I have learned is that I really like not having rules get in the way of playing.  That or I might just have to finally finish the hack I started working on.

Another thing I realized is that I'm not a huge fan of DC based ability checks, I think I will make a house ruling that it will be the "roll under".  As it just makes a bit more sense in my head.  And will allow PC's to do a few more epic things without having to be a higher level first.





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

D100 Tables

Just finished creating
D100 Mildly plausible backgrounds for Old school players
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-hlnlR7qn5XekkzWHVSXzdKYW8/view?usp=sharing

Previously I created - D100 things found in pockets
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-hlnlR7qn5XSERHbjhsOU5Vbzg/view?usp=sharing

Go grab and em and try em out.  I plan to use the backgrounds in my next old school session.

Cheers!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

6 litres of mountain dew later - Playreport Curse Of Strahd - Session 1

*this may contain spoilers about Curse of Strahd. 

Pretty sure we drank 6 litres of mountain dew and a 26 of Gin, which goes reasonably well with mountain dew by the way.  So we got to Adam's place mildly late, but not super late.  I had all intentions of prepping my wifes character before we left, but ran out of time.  The good news was that Kurt also had to roll up his character so we had some time.  Our DM Josh showed up and then promptly realized that he forgot a important prop at home.  Which gave us some time to finish up building characters.  I rolled up one more character for the envitable death that will happen.  I'm currently playing a barbaric cleric.  Rolled up a elf wizard as back up.

After our characters were basically done, but before our DM left to run home, he told us that we all got to pick 4 common and 2 uncommon magical items.

PLEASE NOTE

*Someone needs to make a handy table/chart listing weapons in rarity.  Tis a mild pain in the arse to go searching thru the dmg looking for raritys.  "woo this is neat... shit legendary".

We get ourselves going on the adventure, by first discussing were exactly we are from.  Our DM asks us each to roll a 6 sided dice, and counter clock wise from ourselves to the result of the dice.  At which point we needed to use our bonds/flaws and ideals to make one positive suggestion about our background regarding the other player.  Super neat idea!!  The dice had a skull on the one, if that had came up we would have had to make one negative comment.

My character has an issue with fidgeting and breaking things.  I rolled that I had to talk about Adam our gnomish wizard illusion expert.  I said that I had been toying with his spellbook and managed to rip out a page by accident.

We all met at a tavern near luskan, my cleric has learned a lot of the smaller races over the years and has come to respect there stalwartness.

The thief & the fighter (both dwarves) were gambling and the thief was using a loaded deck to win at the game.  The gnome came in met us, and scolded us for being gambler's I believe.

Since then we've adventured on and off together.  Honesty to the gods, I love how these stories come about!  all from a simple die roll.   And a brief look at a map.

I should note that I am quite happy to no longer be in Faerun.

So we start the adventure by going down an old road, it gets foggy out, then really foggy and then its incredibly foggy.  You get the picture its foggy!

We all hear something, and our thief sneaks up to get a closer look,  she see's a tall man fighting some wolves.

We decide to bum rush the fight.  The whole time I'm thinking, who's the good guys in this fight? the tall man or the wolves.  At one point I had the DM flip a coin for me to help make my decision.  I was almost swayed to help the wolves, prior to the coin flip.

Cue dog poop.



My Cleric's holy symbol is a peice of petrfied mammoth dung.  I grabbed one of those fake dog poops, and pulled it out of my dice bag as soon as I cast my first spell.  Everyone looked at me like i was crazy.  But hey I got some laughs!

The fight ensued, I managed to help out the tall man by casting a few healing spells, and I also talked one of the wolves into being nice to me.  Well, I cast animal friendship and speak to animals.  one of the wolves came and leaned against me and got a good pat down, the other wolve I asked "what the problem is?"  and he said "because, we have to!".

Which of course got me thinking.  I'm already digging ravenloft, just because there's a bit of intrigue there, and backstory.  While I love hack and slash sometimes it can become a bit tedious.

The thief at one point used a bag of tricks and pulled out a white tiger, who got to fight with the wolves.  That was quite fun to role play!

Alright, fights over.  We go off searching for "tall man" as he disappeared into the murk, we followed his tracks but were unable to find him.  We do however see some lights off in the distance, so we make our way their sneakily.

As the other PC's are walking towards the light, I see a small pool of water, and decide that I smell incredibly horrible and I'd like to go for a swim.  (don't split the party!).  Whatever I buggered off.

The other PC's roll into town, hear a few rumours about Strahd, and how long he's been around etc.  We all have a bowl of stew, my character grabs the pot to serve himself, and since he's a major klutz, he spills it all over himself and breaks the handle.  Got inspiration for that one! LMFAO.

We are directed to a tent with an old woman seer lady, who hasn't shaved her chin in years.  She pulls out a deck of cards (this is what the DM went home to get, he grabbed the tarraoka deck for this specific scene! I would have went home as well).

She starts off by talking to us, she knows our names (Creepy!)  she knows our backstory (perilous!) she knows almost everything about us (its too perilous!).

She deals out 5 cards and describes a bunch of information to us.

I wrote that down, and I will attempt to re-write it a bit later.

And that my friends is the end of session one.  Giver take 4 hours or so. A metric ton of mountain dew (and some gin), cheezies and mangoe habanero wings.  BTW they are friggin amazing!  M&M Meat shops if you have one close to you.  super yummy.

I'm full now, and a wee bit tired.

I should start doing some more writing for my next old school session, but a nap feels like a better idea.

Today was thoughly enjoyable, it is interesting what you learn playing with different DM's, I've learned a lot from Adam & Josh.  Super fun.

I do however need to be a bit less meta, I think that's a bit of a DM issue sometimes.


keep those dice rollin. 

Whilst searching for a fake dog poop image, I found this youtube video on how to actually make it.  Weird.  








Monday, May 9, 2016

Beneath Brymassen - Play Report Basic Fantasy

The thing I love about old school modules, and specifically the basic fantasy modules, is that you can pick them up and run them without really having read the whole adventure.  I did however skim thru a bit of the adventure anthology and "Beneath Brymassen" grabbed me as the perfect adventure for a first time game.

So I got the call the other day saying "Hey it's my friends birthday and he wants to play some D&D".  Woot!  Thankfully I had prepped and printed BB and a few sexy dyson logo's character sheets.  Grabbed those and my copy of basic fantasy and we are off.

Once we got everyone at the table, we went thru character generation, honestly I love the fact that it takes all of 10 minutes to roll up a character.  I do have to remember to print the "player's book" for basic fantasy, as it would make life a bit easier rolling up characters.  We had the one book and were passing it around.  As well, I like the idea of incorporating the equipment packs, just for ease of "let's get going".

In my head brymassen is either somewhere in the known world, or a world of my own devising.  I haven't quite decided.  As I stated in a previous blog, I kind of like the idea of drawing the map of the world as I go.  What I am going to have to do is preplan a little background, like where are the PC's from etc.

First things first I asked the players, where did the characters all meet.  Since there were 3 elves, it was decided that they went off adventuring together.  At some point they were in a tavern and a fight broke out.  The other 2 characters (dwarf and a human hippy cleric) helped the elves.  And hence forth they have been adventuring.

It is winter in the small hobbit fishing village of Brymassen, and the character's are hanging out in the "herald's inn", enjoying some Winter ale.  All of a sudden the front door opens and a dishevelled hobbit walks in.  "Hey my children have been kidnapped! by weird dog like humans!"  His name is Rolof the weaver.

The PC's quickly decide that they will help the poor hobbit out.  Thank Odin! Since if they decided against it, we would have been playing cards against humanity.

The PC's follow Rolof back to his small dwelling and go thru a hole in the basement into the dungeon. First things first I have all the PC's roll 1d6 as they wander aimlessly thru the first room.  All  of them roll above a 1 or 2, except one player.  He steps on a plate in teh floor and a spear comes flying at his head.  Save vs death ray or suffer the consequences of having a spear stuck in your head.

 Alright onto the dungeon.  The players meet up with a wizened old hobgoblin who tells them after a bit of convincing that there are kobolds in the dungeon.  Funny thing was the hobgoblin wanted some money for the information, however one of the players wanted to do a "swagger check".  "I walk  up like Matthew Mcconaughey".  He rolled a 20.  The hobgoblin paid them for the information! hahahaha. Good enough.

Red Herring room with weird things written on the walls (room 7).  After a bit of discussion the PC's decided to go North.  (I moved the map so north was facing up, in the original map North is to the left,it screwed with my head).  They walk into a room with a bunch of kobolds.  A fight breaks out!  They manage to take a bit of damage, but are otherwise fine by the end of it.

I decided to steal the 5e death throw saving mechanic for this game.  Since they were all 1st level meat.

The PC's check out the room find some loot and move into a very small storage room.  The thief walks in and gets covered in slime.

He fails a saving throw, and is slowly becoming slime.  The other hero's beat the crap out of the slime and there's bits and pieces of it all over the walls.  I tell them that the thief can no longer feel his arms.  The player starts swinging his arms around like there are no bones left in his forearms.  So funny! After a bit of discussion the PC's decide to go to a small church of Odin and see if they can't get the thief healed.  The cleric hippy decided to use cure light wounds, but it didn't help him much.

The nice priest took a reasonable amount of silver pieces to heal the thief up.  I decided that the thief would suffer a bit from the slime and had him re-roll his constitution and keep the result.  His roll was lower than his current score.  hahah.

While in town the PC's notice a wagon out front of the Inn, it is "Arnof's Trading Co", the PC's divest themselves of a few clubs and slings, and buy a weirdly coloured potion for a crazy amount of gold pieces.

Back to the dungeon.  The pc's notice a small glowing light at the end of one tunnel, they disregard it and go back towards the red herring room with crap painted on all of the doors.

The entire adventure the PC's were midly concerned about mimics, so pretty much every door, they either poked or said "hello?".   Role playing a door was funny.  "Alright you hit the door with the end of your spear, there's a loud thunk".  At some point I'll throw in a mimic type creature, when they are least expecting it.

The Hero's step into a room filled with bones (I was super excited about the treasure in this room).  They decided after a bit of deliberation that this room freaked them out, and was to be known from this point forward as "fuck that room".  Which was promptly written on the map.

The PC's made there way back to the glowing lights room.  The thief snuck up and realized that it was in fact orc's and they were trying to pry some glowing skulls out of the walls.  A previous attempt to sneak was foiled by a 1, and the thief tripped and fell into a room filled with kobolds (room 8).

The thief reports back.  The 2 warriors decide to sit a bit lower that the other pc's with their spears held high.  Hoping that if the Orcs were to bum rush them they would get speared.  the thief decides to get the orcs attention by yelling "WHAT HO!".  Cue fight.

The orc's are smart enough to realize the trap being set and start firing arrows at the PC's.  A magic missile flings by and hits one of the orcs.

Big kuffle, all the orcs are dead save one.  I roll a morale check and he drops his weapon.

The thief decides to attempt to grapple the last remaining orc, in order to get some information out of him.  We roll a contest, and he rolls a 1.  I decide that the orc has essentially flipped him over into a position that mostly dogs do.

One of the other PC's strongarm's the Orc, and they question him.  He tells them that he heard cries for help from the north section of the dungeon, but other than that they are oblivious to much that was going on.  They are a scouting party from a larger tribe.  (note for next adventure possibly).

One quick dagger slip from the wizard an the Orc goes down.  The PC's turn their attention to the skulls embedded in the walls.  They decide in their infinite wisdom (of which they have little), that they will attempt to smash the skulls out of the walls.  I had each player roll a ability check (strength) with a really high target number.  All of them smashed the skull instead of hitting the wall.  There is now only 1 glowing skull left after they have demolished the other 3.  I have the thief roll a wisdom check, he rolls successfully and I mention to him that as he is walking out of the room, he hears a jingle in his pocket and is reminded that he has lock picks.   The A-HA moment.  The thief walks back into the room and attempts to pick the lock, and remove the skull.  He is unsuccessful and decides to leave the skull where it lies.

We continue on.  One of the PC's notice a crack of light coming from a wall.  Same thing I have all the PC's roll a d6, and one of them notices something odd.  I'm not a fan of secret doors in tunnels.  Especially if they are plot related.  This of course is not.  The PC's walk into a tomb.  There are 4 skeletons.  A fight ensues.  One of the warriors is bashing skulls literally with a war hammer.  The hippy cleric dies in a blaze of glory.  RIP Hippy Cleric.  After the fight the PC's clear the room out, find some much needed magical items and settle themselves down for a much needed rest.  While sleeping a knock appears at the door of the tomb.  It's a small halfing with a sword  (peon).  She's from the town and decided to come and help.

While the PC's were deciding on the treasure I rolled up a peon character for my wife, who was playing the hippy cleric.  Once again I love that i can roll up a character in 5 mins.

The PC's finally make their way to the room that kids are being held in.  They listen at the door, realize that its the kobolds.  They bust into the room and kill off the kobolds.  The thief attempts to toss the dwarf who in turn is going to attempt a backflip crazy axe maneuver.  It fails miserably.  However I hand out XP for silly shit like that.

Down to the final boss, I have a few half dead PC's, but we are successful.  The kids are returned safely to their happy parents.  Just before the kobold boss died, he is questioned about the rest of the dungeon.  He explains to them that the rest of dungeon holds traps that have been strategically placed.  (ie the DM is tired).

all told about 3 hours to get thru the dungeon.  It was a crazy amount of fun! I am going to sit down and write out a few hexes and side adventures for the lands surrounding Brymassen.  Which will then become "Beyond Brymassen".

EDIT:  Yes I was drinking bud light.  You can throw your insults as you wish.  








Thursday, May 5, 2016

My response to Facebook post "I am a horrid DM"

My response to Facebook post "I am a horrid DM"In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition group at Facebook Douglass Tanner posted this:
"I am a horrid DM.1.  I use a screen.2.  I fudge dice rolls (both in favor and against the characters, to promote more strategy)3.  I don't give them details they did not look for.4.  I use encounters that are under them, over them and in range of them.5.  I give few magic items out, and when I do its random.6.  I give out lots of $ and allow them to try and find an item or buy one. With % roll that it even exists in the city/town they are in.7.  i do not use modules, I use a home made world every time.I got this from Crypt Of Rabies, you can read his responses here - http://cryptofrabies.blogspot.ca/2016/04/my-response-to-facebook-post-i-am.html

Moi, 
1.  I've always used a screen, I like it.  I used to use a 2e screen, but the darn thing is so high its hard to see the players.   I got the 5e screen and have been using that, I like it because I can see reactions and rolls, etc.  One time I ran a start of an adventure without a screen, and it wasn't that big of a deal, just kind of held the map in my lap.  I wouldn't mind trying it again. 

2.  I used to fudge rolls.  I don't anymore.  Or at least I haven't in awhile.  I've been told by players that they like seeing the rolls.  So I think I will probably stick to that.  It keeps me from handholding.  That being said, as Thaumiel suggest's its sometimes good to keep certain rolls behind the screen.  As well, I like to just randomly roll a dice, look down.  and then keep going. 

3.  This is rather difficult.  I think it depends on the situation.  I know I've railroaded a bit, it depends on the module.  I need to stop that.  I like to give a general description of everything.  What is preferable is if there is something the PC's need to know about a description, I'd like to have 2 options, one real one and one red herring.  When it works. 

4.  Well it depends on the module doesn't it.  The last little while I've ran modules, so everything is mildly pre-planned.  A random encounter though, sure I'll throw some big bad guys at em.  It's their decision as to whether they think they can take em or not.  The world shouldn't "level up" with the PC's.  That's my one issue with certain "challenge rating" games.  We go from kobolds to killing gods.  And in all honesty I prefer low level games (PC level wise), its so much more interesting. 

5.  Yes for the most part.   However there are certain items I'd like to pre plan.  For instance, I've always wanted to use the deck of many things, and probably will at some point.  The 2e deck.  And of course throwing in cursed items is always fun. 

6.  I like keeping them poor as well.  There's no reason to adventure if you've got a nice big paid for castle, a garrison, some income coming in from a few houses of ill repute and the local tavern, is there? 
"you know how much that mortar work set me back! Aye! I had to kill off a whole giant clan for that!"

7.  I love world building, but tend to stick to modules, and place them in certain worlds.  As I've talked about, I'm a big fan of the "known world" currently and Thunderrift.  I'm planning on throwing in some basic fantasy adventures into those worlds, and see how it goes.  So modules & campaigns with some tinkering I suppose.  But yah, meta gaming is bothersome.